Everton scrape a narrow win over tricky Arsenal

Everton were back at Goodison Park to complete a narrow win over struggling Arsenal, taking them back up to 2nd in the Premier League table.

Michael Kenrick 19/12/2020 488comments  |  Jump to last

Seamus Coleman returns after 5 games out with a hamstring injury, but is only a sub
Everton 2 - 1 Arsenal

Everton were back at Goodison Park to complete a narrow win over struggling Arsenal, taking them back up to 2nd in the Premier League table.

Seamus Coleman returns to the squad, as expected, but only on the bench with nine substitutes named for the first time this season. Davies replaced Allan in the starting line-up, while Pickford was rotated back in for Olsen.

Among the substitutes were Branthwaite and Nkounkou along with Gordon and of course a third goalie in Lössl. Gomes had a 'little problem' in training and Carl Ancelotti did not want to risk him, with a game coming up on Wednesday.

Arsenal kicked off but their progression was halted and Everton looked to build an attack but Sigurdsson's cross was hopelessly overhit. Keane tried a Route-One ball that was fielded by an Arsenal defender. Everton tried to build slowly with short back and side passing, inviting the press, until Iwobi gave up the ball.

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Everton probed and poked again until it broke down once again at Iwobi. Arsenal went long, Godfrey shepherding the ball behind and out of reach of Pepe. More short back and side passing ended with a direct ball that saw Calvert-Lewin slip. Another slow attack saw Iwobi cross to the hands of Leno.

Keane got given a lot of space and decided to wellie a shot from distance that was not far off the post. Arsenal were content to play deep and deny the Blues much space for anything creative. That was until Iwobi made another inward run and fired a tasty ball for Calvert-Lewin but his header was going wide until redirect by Holding just behind him, and into the Arsenal net for the first goal of the game.

This was just what the game needed as it had descended into a moribund pattern. Arsenal would now be expected to come out a little and indeed Ketia was given acres of space to drive his shot well wide of Pickford's goal. Arsenal then got a couple of corners, one off a particularly strong tackle from Godfrey.

Iwobi went on another run but ran into a cul-de-sac. Not much was happening until Davies was unfortunate to give a penalty away when Maitland-Niles appeared from his blind side to challenge for a loose ball. Pepe put it away from the spot.

Playing out rom the back finally worked with CL picking up the ball and trying to set up fr a shot until Tiernry took him out in the dee. Sigurdsson's effort was utterly hopeless, distracted perhaps by a main lying behind the wall to prevent the daisey-cutter.

Ceballos should have seen red for the way he came in on Mina, but Mariner only gave him a yellow. Nketiah gt a chance to shoot but there was no real power in it. Calvert-Lewin worked his way into a good position and put a great shot in toward the top corner that brought a tremendous save from Leno. A perfect corner from Sigurdsson met perfectly by Mina this time could not be kept out by Leno.

It was end to end at the start of the second half. One good break by Richarlison saw Sigurdsson miss his pass and the follow-up shot was not a threat. Arsenal looked to play in NKetiah with a tasty cross that beat everyone.

Everton came under some pressure with Arsenal dominating possession, Saka got inside but Holgate blocked him very well. Pickford flapped at a cross, David Luiz delivered it back in, deflected off Doucouré's block onto the angle.

Richarlison went chasing the ball around as Arsenal were attacking, giving away a silly free-kick but Saka wellied it high over Pickford's goal. Everton finally won a free-kick in the Arsenal half when Calvert-Lewin was fouled but nothing came of it.

Godfrey went on a tremendous run down the left but Calvert-Lewin got just too far ahead of his cross. Richarlison was next to make a determined push into the Arsenal area but the ball was not quite perfectly placed for Iwobi (Where was Calvert-Lewin?) and a brilliant chance evaporated.

Godfrey was fouled but the free-kick by Sigurdsson was wasted. Calvert-Lewin then found himself crossing the ball fro Richarlison, but lacking sufficient accuracy. At the other end, Everton's defence were being tested but holding firm, forcing Willian to fire wildly high and wide.

A foul on Calvert-Lewin saw a nicely worked effort by Sigurdsson scooped over the Arsenal defence to the advancing Michael Keane but the ball crucially evaded him. At the other end, Willcock got behind the Everton defence and put in a decent cross that sailed past Pickford and the far post.

Calvert-Lewin played in Richarlison but Maitland-Niles got his foot on it to give away a corner. Iwbi's shot deflected wide for a second corner from the opposite side, where Holgate got a talking to for blocking Leno. Coleman replaced Iwobi for the last 10 mins or so.

Arsenal attacked again and Willock headed weakly wide of the post. Everton tried to counter but the ball kept coming back at them. But a loose ball from midfield gave Everton a corner, and a respite from the late pressure, which they tried to walk into the Arsenal goal from the corner flag.

Godfrey tempted Willock int a rash tackle as Kenny replaced Richarlison, who got an extra helping hand to leave the pitch from fellow Brazilian, David Luiz. In a comedy moment, Calvert-Lewin got booked for not leaving the field fast enough, his replacement was Tosun.

Arsenal pressed hard again, forcing Everton to hang on amid screams from the Everton fans. A fantastic Arsenal cross beat everyone, then Pickford had to produce a brilliant low save, but still Arsenal kept coming until finally the whistle blew and Everton had won their third game in a row.

Scorers: Holding (og:25'), Mina (45'); Pepe (pen:35')

Everton: Pickford; Holgate, Keane, Mina, Godfrey; Iwobi (83' Coleman), Davies, Doucoure, Richarlison (90+2' Kenny); Sigurdsson; Calvert-Lewin [Y:90+3'] (90+3' Tosun).
Subs not Used: Olsen, Lössl, Nkounkou, Bernard, Gordon, Branthwaite.

Arsenal: Leno, Holding, Luiz, Tierney [Y], Maitland-Niles, Elneny [Y] (64' Willock [Y]), Ceballos, Saka, Pepe (71' Martinelli), Nketiah (76' Lacazette), Willian.
Subs not Used: Bellerin, Runarsson, Cedric, Mustafi, Kolasinac, Smith-Rowe.

Referee: Andre Marriner
VAR: Michael Oliver

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Reader Comments (488)

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Jeff Armstrong
1 Posted 19/12/2020 at 16:33:12
Maybe should have left Olsen in. I'm happy with Davies for Allan or Gomes.
Thomas Richards
2 Posted 19/12/2020 at 16:34:59
Gomes not in the squad?
Jay Wood

3 Posted 19/12/2020 at 16:45:52
Good! Davies filling in for Allan. And as Thomas says, Gomes not even on the bench. That must be an injury. I can't believe he wouldn't make the bench of NINE if fit.

And...you can never have enough goalkeepers on the bench, eh Michael? That is a strange one.

Also good for us, Aubameyang not even on the bench, never mind the starting XI.

Jeff Armstrong
4 Posted 19/12/2020 at 16:47:29
Surely Ellis Simms is worth a place on the bench for one of the keepers?
Lyndon Lloyd
5 Posted 19/12/2020 at 16:48:07
Gomes has a knock. Expected to be back for Wednesday, apparently
Thomas Richards
6 Posted 19/12/2020 at 16:49:54
Gomes is a better player than Davies so he will be a miss if injured.
I can see the logic of not playing Sigurdsson and Gomes in the same midfield, not a lot of legs out of possesion between the two of them
Tony Hill
7 Posted 19/12/2020 at 16:54:24
Come on, Tom. Seize the chance as Iwobi and Sigurdsson have recently done.

Glad to see we've kept the defence together.

Rob Hooton
8 Posted 19/12/2020 at 16:57:05
As we've just gone into tier 4 here in London and Boris the Grinch has cancelled Christmas, I am hoping that Everton can cheer us up today! I was hoping James would be back in the squad, fingers crossed he is ready to face Man Utd next week.

Come on you blues!!

Tony Hill
9 Posted 19/12/2020 at 17:00:16
Commiserations, Rob, and to all our fans down there.
Kevin Dyer
10 Posted 19/12/2020 at 17:00:48
Happy to see us resist the temptation to start Coleman. Also agree with starting Davies, as he offers more energy and positional sense than Gomes, who panics me as part of a central pairing. Still, his absence from the bench may mean he isn't fit so maybe Ancelotti would have picked him if available?

Worrying to see we have no central midfielders on the bench. Thankfully Doucoure and Davies are rarely injured, as if anything goes wrong we'll have (gulp!) Sigurdsson dropping back!

Hoping we can maintain the same level, as a team and as individuals from the last 2. Arsenal look devoid of confidence atm and should be there for the taking.

Kieran Kinsella
11 Posted 19/12/2020 at 17:04:04
Sky have 8 subs so maybe Lössl is wrong actually they have 10 subs cause they list both goalies twice.
Michael Kenrick
12 Posted 19/12/2020 at 17:17:40
Sky are full of shit.

Subs are as listed above... two goalies, both Olsen and Lössl... Why???

Steve Shave
13 Posted 19/12/2020 at 17:17:58
I think Coleman will get minutes for sharpness today. Big chance for Davies, please take it young man, I like him a lot but he really has not seemed to kick on, there is still time for him. If we get more luck with injuries I'd like him to be loaned to a Sheffield Utd or West Brom type side.

No Aubameyang up front is a big plus though we must beware of Saka. I no longer want to make predictions, I have to hold my hands up and say I simply can't call it with our boys anymore. When I think we will win we get spanked all over the park and vice versa.

It's been a funny old season, I am however licking my lips at the prospect of us getting players back with various of our on-song boys staying on-song, plus a little strengthening in January, it could get exciting. I'm looking forward to the game today, couple of close friends are Gooners so hoping for bragging right COYB!

Ciarán McGlone
14 Posted 19/12/2020 at 17:21:48
Gomes is another big loss in midfield. Hopefully Tom grasps this opportunity by the scruff.

Looking forward to this.

Billy Roberts
15 Posted 19/12/2020 at 17:23:54
No Aubameyang?? What's happened to him?

I don't understand what has happened to Lacazette also, the 2 of them were sensational for a few seasons but now.

Surely that has to be good news for Everton, I honestly don't care if this is a dull arse 1-0 win because, as I always say, a win is a win is a win!!

3 points please Everton because this congestion at the top of the table has to break up at some point and we want to be in the mix when it does.

Kevin Dyer
16 Posted 19/12/2020 at 17:25:56
#12 Michael - can Lössl do a job at centre mid? 🙄
Jay Wood

17 Posted 19/12/2020 at 17:28:37
I can see in the tunnel that Richarlison has a soft cast on the wrist he injured v Leicester.
Ciarán McGlone
18 Posted 19/12/2020 at 18:18:27
Confident half of football. Controlled and composed. Good passing but the movement ahead could be a bit better. Tendency to go backwards because there's nothing ahead.

Ironic that Davies puts that tackle in – given the criticism of Gomes last week. He needs to shake it off because he's played well otherwise.

Even when Arsenal had their spell, we didn't buckle. Great position to go on and win this.

Enjoying my bottle of red.

Great stuff.

Alex Gray
19 Posted 19/12/2020 at 18:21:18
Poorest Arsenal side I've seen in my lifetime. Even with our injuries, we look comfortable – apart from Davies doing his best Gomes impression of a tackle.

Next goal is crucial. Coyb!

Rob Hooton
20 Posted 19/12/2020 at 18:21:23
I've enjoyed that half; apart from the soft penalty, we have looked very much in control.

I thought Tom played very well and it was just an unlucky penalty really, had to be given but not really his fault in my mind.

Both goals came after Holgate was up on the overlap, hope he keeps those runs up.

Richarlison fairly quiet but working hard, hope we get to see some of his magic 2nd half.

Jay Wood

21 Posted 19/12/2020 at 18:26:19
Good half. So in control up to our first goal. So easy to repel Arsenal. Only David Luiz from deep really testing us with his raking long passes.

If we keep getting the room down the right flank, Dom will get more chances, like on the opening goal. Got sloppy before their equaliser. Unfortunate penalty to give away. We brought that on ourselves by not getting the ball clear ahead of that situation.

Tom Davies playing well otherwise. Doucouré continuing his improved form. Richarlison still off the boil.

Keane close with a stonker. Dom denied by a great save by Leno, but from the resulting corner, what a beauty of a second goal. Great corner. Great movement by Mina and what a fantastic powerful and well-placed header from so far beyond the near post.

It will only be our own silliness if we concede again because Arsenal really aren't showing a lot otherwise.

Ernie Baywood
22 Posted 19/12/2020 at 18:27:43
Playing well, in the lead. Arsenal have given us a few problems down our right.

Bigger issue for me is the one we had pre-Allan. How do we get the ball out of defence? We're working it left to right, into the wingers, back again. Too often it comes down to Pickford or the centre-backs to launch it.

Arsenal are there for the taking if we can find a way out of defence in possession. Tom's played well, but I think that's his job. Get the ball early and be brave enough to turn.

Chris Williams
23 Posted 19/12/2020 at 18:29:25
Both goals are completely down to Arsenal errors according to the Kop Sky Division.
Tony Hill
24 Posted 19/12/2020 at 18:30:45
The shot from Calvert-Lewinthat led to the corner for the second goal is remarkable. Apart from a very good finish against Cardiff, I can't recall a similarly clean strike from Dominic outside the box and one, moreover, that was bending elegantly into the top corner.

This man has formidable powers of self-improvement and transformation. It's beautiful to see.

Ciarán McGlone
25 Posted 19/12/2020 at 18:43:26

That was precisely my thought.. his current failing is his long range shooting off either foot.. made me sit up.

John Dingle
26 Posted 19/12/2020 at 18:43:53
Stop sitting back Blues. Keep attacking or Arsenal will score.
Andy Crooks
27 Posted 19/12/2020 at 18:43:59
Ciarán @ 18, I really hope that by MotD you are enjoying your second bottle.
Ciarán McGlone
28 Posted 19/12/2020 at 18:46:36

Wee bottle from a certain Cork distillery arrived today... I'll be on to that hopefully if we weather this current storm.

Ernie Baywood
29 Posted 19/12/2020 at 19:26:42
Well that was madness at the end. Not sure why we would do that to ourselves. Arsenal hadn't really threatened until we played a flat back 10.

But 3 great results. COYB.

Ciarán McGlone
30 Posted 19/12/2020 at 19:27:10
Excellent result and well played by all concerned.

Wasnt overly impressed with the subs and goin to 6 at the back.. the extra time has me behind the sofa.

Better team.

Enjoy.. 9 from Chelsea, Leicester and Arsenal.. ecstatic

Tony Hill
31 Posted 19/12/2020 at 19:28:21
A messy, crappy win when the psychological dynamics were against us. Thank you very much.

Calvert-Lewin superb. I would replace Pickford with Olsen.

A very important victory that.

Thomas Richards
32 Posted 19/12/2020 at 19:29:36
Don Carlo sets the boys up to move into second place.

Magnifico. Fantastico

Simon Dalzell
33 Posted 19/12/2020 at 19:31:27
Awesome. Don't like to single anybody out, some big performances. I've been on record saying Calvert-Lewin would never be good enough. He was Immense.
Tony Hill
34 Posted 19/12/2020 at 19:31:43
Mina excellent too. It's great to see players we've been dubious about coming into form and justifying themselves.
Kevin Dyer
35 Posted 19/12/2020 at 19:34:22
Ugly win, but 9 points from 3 is excellent.

Positives: we won, Godfrey excellent again, we looked solid defensively.

Negatives: hanging on to a slender lead at the end, Pickford's appalling kicking, formation starves Calvert-Lewin of service, the subs were overly negative and just invited pressure, puny offensive production.

Fran Mitchell
36 Posted 19/12/2020 at 19:34:34
Carlo Out!

On a serious note. 2nd in the table, quarter final coming. We looked knackered by the end, which can be expected, but we were the best team.

A couple of decent signings in January and we're in for the top 4

Michael Williams
37 Posted 19/12/2020 at 19:38:14
Arsenal tricky? They looked ponderous and not creative at all.
Jim Bennings
38 Posted 19/12/2020 at 19:39:30
I'm loving these wins!

We are starting to feel a lot like Diego Simone's Athletico Madrid, nice tight, snidey organized side.

Tony Hill
39 Posted 19/12/2020 at 19:43:21
Very true, Jim @38. That's our model.
Joe McMahon
40 Posted 19/12/2020 at 19:43:41
Not pretty, but we are slowly moving in the right direction. Last year at Goodison even with the added Duncan euphoria, we couldn't beat an awful Arsenal team. Top 4 (hopefully) at Christmas, we will all take that!

Too many Istanbul 2005 2nd halves however ain't good for our health.

Steve Brown
41 Posted 19/12/2020 at 19:44:06
That wasn't a win we scraped, it was calm and controlled.
Patrick McFarlane
42 Posted 19/12/2020 at 19:44:21
I sat through the whole 90 minutes this time, and whilst I would prefer Everton to be a lot more pro-active with the ball, I can't argue with the 9 points from 9 tally.

What is clear to see is that every player is giving his all and that's all we ask of them. Richarlison was as good a defender as any of the back four, and Dominic Calvert-Lewin is beginning to show why other clubs may be sniffing around for his services.

Despite the Gunners troubles they still have some really talented footballers and it would seem that Arteta's charges aren't getting the rub of the green – which is fine by me,

On to the next one, which will be just as tough, but hopefully not as tough to watch.

Jay Wood

43 Posted 19/12/2020 at 19:45:27
Another test passed.

Team on a bad run? Can't buy a goal, never mind a win? Everton too often the club that keeps on giving, but not today.

Lots of possession for Arsenal at the start of the second half for 15-20 minutes, but really nothing threatening. Everton much more cutting and threatening on the break for the next 15-20 minutes. Initially we managed the final 10 minutes well, but not the final two minutes of the game.

But! Three points, second place, and only them above us as I write.

Pickford one good save at the death, not as clean in his handling as in recent games. Godfrey hit a couple of poor passes, but other than that, what (another) good game he had. What an engine. What speed, on the front foot going forward, or recovering defensively.

Keane and Mina solid. Holgate a bit more mixed. Davies and Doucouré, who featured prominently in the first half, more subdued in the second.

Sigurdsson some really nice moves and passes. Nice to see something of a renaissance from him since his recall. Dom. Priceless. His hold up play. His flick-ons to Richarlison. His heading, shooting, passing and running. Richarlison a bit better today, but still not showing us his A-game.

See off Man Utd in the Cup mid-week and it will be a very Merry Crimbo.

Tony Heron
44 Posted 19/12/2020 at 19:45:49
Not really meant as a criticism, but I was certain which side of the goal the Arsenal player would put his penalty kick. His body shape was that obvious, so why did Pickford go the other way?

We're getting into a winning habit and it doesn't matter how you win it's another 3 points. Merry Xmas all.

Paul McCoy
45 Posted 19/12/2020 at 19:45:58
My favourite thing after a game is to jump straight on ToffeeWeb and see the ridiculously negative headline for each win.
Barry Rathbone
46 Posted 19/12/2020 at 19:47:49
9 points from Chelsea, Leicester and Arsenal is good by any standard and being top 4 at Xmas is a good gauge of where we are compared to the rest.

That said... the menacing ogre of reverting to cowardly shite remains.

Other than Klopp's crew, there isn't a standout team in the division, so... if we keep our nerve, anything is possible.

Stuart Sharp
47 Posted 19/12/2020 at 19:48:02
Bit of a scary finale, but a deserved win. I thought Godfrey was probably MotM, but Dom was superb. Can't believe we replaced him with Cenk when trying to hold the ball up. But still, another great win.
Jason Wilkinson
48 Posted 19/12/2020 at 19:48:58
We were full value for our 1st half lead. Arsenal were always going to have a go in the 2nd half. The only thing that was missing was an effective counter-attack. We got two up but one more breaking and we would surely have scored on the break.

Jordan can sit out the next one for me. He looked nervous, clumsy and his distribution was not his best. Iwobi was great going forward but didn't really help out enough in defence.

Sigurdsson played well but looked tired at the end. Doucouré and Davies were solid. Davies was unlucky with the pen. What was he supposed to do other than try to clear the ball?

It wasn't pretty second half but Ancelotti got us three points. Nine from the last nine. Can't ask for anything more. Calvert-Lewin working his socks off again. Unlucky to not get on the scoresheet.

Dave Lynch
49 Posted 19/12/2020 at 19:50:56
Kevin @35,

No negatives at all from that game.

A win is a win which equals positives. If we'd have lost or drawn I'd have conceded negatives but not from a win.

Tony Hill
50 Posted 19/12/2020 at 19:51:00
Yes, Godfrey. What a fucking player he is and is going to be. He has stuff to learn but the main stuff, including the stuff in his head, is already there. Credit to our scouting.
Raymond Fox
51 Posted 19/12/2020 at 19:51:30
Pass the smelling salts, I'm getting dizzy.
Brian Williams
52 Posted 19/12/2020 at 19:51:52
Well me glutes (arse for the heathens) are killing me from being tightly clenched for 50 minutes or so. It certainly ain't pretty but nine points from three games, we'd have probably expected three maybe?

Not gonna complain one bit when I look at the table and see a smear of shite between us and top spot.

I don't think that style of play will be sustainable if we want to stay up there but I'll happily take it for now.

We'll have to play very differently to progress on Wednesday.

Will Mabon
53 Posted 19/12/2020 at 19:54:00
A rather reluctant headline, Michael!

It was nervy at the end, but simultaneously a professional and solid performance.

Still not convinced by the substitutions policy, but can't argue with the results.

Jamie Crowley
54 Posted 19/12/2020 at 19:54:20
December 19th, 2020, in the year of our Lord.

Everton sit second in the table.

Just in case that fact is glossed over, I'll repeat.

Everton sit second in the table.

Drink heartily, and commence merriment!

Kase Chow
55 Posted 19/12/2020 at 19:54:33
Well done, Super Blues!!!

Our lack of attacking intent concerns me but our defending (plus a bit of luck) looks fantastic and purposeful.

John Cook
56 Posted 19/12/2020 at 19:54:34
Agree with you, Paul, some of the negative comments are unbelievable.

We fuckin never beat Arsenal! I think I heard today since the Premier League we've only won 8 games. I've been watching since 1962 and can hardly remember a win against the Arse.

Get a grip, lads, we've won 3 on the trot, up to 2nd in the league – what do you expect, for fuck's sake??? With this Covid shite going on, the Blues form is the only thing keeping me going at the moment.

Phil Lewis
57 Posted 19/12/2020 at 19:56:49
My heart is in my mouth every time Pickford comes half heartedly for crosses. Regularly flapping at the ball, rarely collecting cleanly. His timing is appalling.

The occasional brilliant stop does not compensate for the remaining 90 minutes, where I'm left to chew my fingernails to the bone in anguish at his complete inability to master the art of basic goalkeeping. If I'm feeling on edge with his antics, I shudder to think how his back four cope.

If we are to continue this upward trajectory and have any hope of realistically finishing top 4 or top 6, then Olsen needs reinstating and this nonsensical goalkeeping rotation system needs to be abandoned with immediate effect.

Tommy Carter
58 Posted 19/12/2020 at 20:02:21
Very good first half. Impressive run of victories.

We stopped playing after 55-60 mins. Against a better team we will be punished with that approach. Arsenal are poor and I'd have liked us to have put them to the sword. But we won the match and I cannot complain.

However. Always room for improvement. Davies shaped well early on but the challenge for the penalty, that was beyond poor. However, Godfrey loses the turnover immediately in that phase of play and immediately puts us in trouble. A learning point for both of them. The stint at full-back will do Godfrey the world of good. It will improve his decision making and use of possession under pressure. Inevitably he will move to centre-back where I expect him to excel. Hopefully in an Everton jersey.

Yerry and Keane look so much assured with defensive full backs beside them. Carlo has decisions to make as we undoubtedly look much more solid playing this way.

I don't think it takes too much away from us in an attacking sense actually but the problem comes with what you then do with Digne, who is an outstanding footballer.

Andy Meighan
59 Posted 19/12/2020 at 20:04:20
I didn't fancy this, but by god this wonderful side keep on surprising me. The way we defend as a unit is immense. The way we attack is fabulous and the way we look like a team is fantastic.

Big shouts to Doucouré, Sigurdsson, Big Yerry, Keane and Calvert-Lewin. Nah, fuck it... they were all brilliant. Everton I love 💘 you!!

Tom Bowers
60 Posted 19/12/2020 at 20:04:31
This was always going to be a tough game. Arsenal have a lot of talent and were always going to put a big effort in to end their slump and Everton's resurgence in defence needed to once again be called upon.

Everton have beaten yet another London club so when was the last time that happened? Who's left ?

Rob Halligan
61 Posted 19/12/2020 at 20:06:22
Slowly peeling meself off the ceiling after an almighty jump in the air when the final whistle went. Another great win against a team from the top six, sorry bottom six, although to be fair to Arsenal, they don't deserve to be down there, but Fuck em!!

Anyone else notice around the 75-minute mark, Arteta looked totally lost, and like he didn't want to be there. Reminded me so much of Unsworth at Southampton when we lost 4-1, when Joe Royle came down from the stands and put his arm around Rhino. I can't see Arteta lasting much longer unfortunately.

Martin Mason
62 Posted 19/12/2020 at 20:06:53
Why does the writer need to class it as a "narrow win".

Of course 2:1 is always a narrow win but says nothing about the nuances of the game. Everton won easily today not narrowly. It only became narrow because of the infantile substitutions.

Does it waste time? No the ref correctly added an extra 30 seconds per sub and put the result at risk.

Danny Broderick
63 Posted 19/12/2020 at 20:07:04
We held out. It wasn't pretty, but some of our lads have played a lot of football this season and Davies has barely played at all. We looked a bit leggy towards the end. I was begging for subs to put some legs in midfield from about the 70th minute. We were way too deep.

I can't help thinking Carlo will be looking to get a midfielder in in January. When Allan and Doucouré play, they are brilliant. Whoever plays next to them or instead of them – Delph, Davies, Sigurdsson or Gomes – just aren't at the same level.

Godfrey was brilliant again tonight. He is really growing into some player. Doucouré was outstanding again, he really does cover every blade of grass.

To be 2nd in the league with the injuries we have had this season is brilliant. We really need to get behind Don Carlo and the boys, because we have got the makings of a good team and good team spirit emerging, from what I can see on the pitch.

Let's hope we beat the Mancs on Wednesday night!

Dave Abrahams
64 Posted 19/12/2020 at 20:09:03
Tom (60), that’s the sixth London team we’ve beat this season, described as a Cockney grand slam on another website.
Pat Kelly
65 Posted 19/12/2020 at 20:09:38
The way we're playing, get a couple more defenders in January and we could win this thing.
Rob Halligan
66 Posted 19/12/2020 at 20:10:04
Tom, there are six London teams in the Premier League, and we've played five of them, and won five. The last one to play is managed by the Ginger One!!
Darren Hind
67 Posted 19/12/2020 at 20:10:05
Never really a danger against a good, but misfiring Arsenal side.

After years of thinking we need a 2-goal lead going into time added on. I just haven't felt we have been in danger in any of our last three games.

Professional performance from good players, led by a manager who has been prepared to go back to basics..

This is how we do it...

Brent Stephens
68 Posted 19/12/2020 at 20:12:16
Rob #61

"Anyone else notice around the 7-minutes mark, Arteta looked totally lost, and like he didn't want to be there? Reminded me so much of Unsworth at Southampton when we lost 4-1, when Joe Royle came down from the stands and put his arm around Rhino. I can't see Arteta lasting much longer unfortunately."

Yes, feel sorry for any ex-Blue in that position. I think we missed the proverbial bullet.

The noise from just 2,000 fans today was again impressive.

Rob Halligan
69 Posted 19/12/2020 at 20:13:05
Dave # 64. You're right of course, we've already played West Ham and beat them, in the Carabao Cup, so let's do them again on New Year's Day in the Premier League.
Dave Abrahams
70 Posted 19/12/2020 at 20:13:16
Rob (66), yes you’ve called that right Rob, just WHU left.
Patrick McFarlane
71 Posted 19/12/2020 at 20:13:16
Rob #66

We've already beaten West Ham in the league cup the only London side we've failed to beat is the neighbours. :)

Tony Hill
72 Posted 19/12/2020 at 20:14:35
What Ancelotti is creating is a lovely shape, a default mode for us. The opposition can be beaten by it, almost despite the particular players who operate within it. That's the key.
Kieran Kinsella
73 Posted 19/12/2020 at 20:16:16
I thought we played some nice football, especially in the first half, considering all the absentees. It was actually a better quality game than I expected.
Paul Birmingham
74 Posted 19/12/2020 at 20:16:51
There's some tensile strength and true grit forming in the squad and tonight they held, they kept their nerve and didn't panic.

Great win, and nice to be content and happy on the Saturday night before Chrimbo.

Let's hope there's not too many injuries and prepare for Wednesday.

Merry Christmas all TWrs and stay safe.

“What's Our Name?”

Rob Halligan
75 Posted 19/12/2020 at 20:19:31
John # 71, I thought "the neighbours" were more Norwegian!!
Sam Hoare
76 Posted 19/12/2020 at 20:19:59
Great stuff. We played better against Leicester and I'm not a fan of the ‘let's get 10 defenders on the pitch and sit back' tactic but it worked. This time.

9 from 9 is superb against Chelsea, Leicester and Arsenal. Any which way.

Iwobi was written off and some had already said Godfrey wouldn't cut it after his first few games in an Everton shirt. Both were good tonight. As was Davies who I thought was unlucky with the penalty as Maitland-Niles just nipped in on his blind side, Davies was solid otherwise passing well and covering the space effectively.

A week ago I was sure that our porous team was headed for 10th-13th. Now suddenly the sky is the limit. Funny old game.

Well done Carlo and all the team. Beat Man Uted next week and it really will be a very Yerry Xmas!

John Pierce
77 Posted 19/12/2020 at 20:20:06
A very basic win, the players looking like they are starting to flag. We kept an inept Arsenal to down the flanks, meaning any cross left us significant favorites to win. Only in the last knockings did they find a way through on the floor.

They were largely predictable, Pepe especially coming inside onto Godfrey's stronger foot every time. Willian, drifting inside into traffic almost on autopilot.

You can only play this way before your luck runs out and we scored first in each game, a big big footnote. Both Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin have worked so hard but are beginning to cut frustrated figures.

I'm hoping big changes and more positive game plan Wednesday.

Godfrey, Doucoure and Davies all superb, Iwobi with another assist.

Will Mabon
78 Posted 19/12/2020 at 20:20:38
Five more wins and we're safe from relegation – phew!
Kieran Kinsella
79 Posted 19/12/2020 at 20:21:26
I’m amused at the self professed title contenders Brenda and Frank who talk about themselves RS Spurs and the Manchester clubs but seem oblivious to us Soton AV and WH. Good, let them pile pressure on themselves while the rest of us quietly amass points.
Jeff Armstrong
80 Posted 19/12/2020 at 20:21:38
Good solid performance, you cannot call anyone out.

Second half drop off but kept them at arm's length, great win.

Brent Stephens
81 Posted 19/12/2020 at 20:24:02
I think Man Utd will have a testing time against Leeds tomorrow; and one day less to recover. I love a semi! COYB.
Mike Price
82 Posted 19/12/2020 at 20:24:10
Phil #57,

I couldn't agree more. I think Ancelotti would like to drop him completely but is trying to manage an asset, keep his value from plummeting even more and get rid as soon as possible.

He's so skittish and unpredictable, I can't believe he's ever been considered the best goalkeeper in England. There's barely a team in this league who would swap their goalkeeper with ours.

Jason Li
83 Posted 19/12/2020 at 20:24:44
Rushing through the park,
Godfrey's on the way,
Nice ball in by Iwobi,
And Dom puts it away...

Oh... Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle all the way...

Jeff Armstrong
84 Posted 19/12/2020 at 20:26:09
Brent, you cannot beat a semi... especially at our age!
Paul Hewitt
85 Posted 19/12/2020 at 20:29:13
That league table looks bloody good. Just ignore top spot.
Tommy Carter
86 Posted 19/12/2020 at 20:29:36
What is also interesting is that James Rodríguez has not really featured in this flat back four version of Carlo's Everton. I'd be interested to see how we get on with greater defensive stability behind a player who opens up the opposition relentlessly.
Brent Stephens
87 Posted 19/12/2020 at 20:29:49
Jeff, my wife says she hasn't seen a semi since God knows when.

You got a ticket for one of the games, Jeff?

Ray Robinson
88 Posted 19/12/2020 at 20:30:44
Wasn't a pretty performance but I'll take it! Godfrey, Keane and Doucouré (first half) were immense.

As someone else pointed out earlier, I think we can only play the current system with four centre-backs for a limited time. There were times tonight when I thought the admirable Holgate was struggling a bit against Tierney.

I'm just glad that Coleman is back. Calvert-Lewin is playing really well in other ways but his supply of crosses from the wings has virtually dried up.

Now for Man Utd. Win that and Christmas might just feel great again, despite the ongoing Covid nightmare.

Bill Gienapp
89 Posted 19/12/2020 at 20:31:08
I'll certainly take that. A little too passive in the second half, which made for a much nervier ending than was required... but another three points secured.

Tosun coming on pointlessly in the final minutes and nearly costing us because he couldn't hold the ball up sums up his Everton career at the moment.

Thought Davies was having an excellent match, then he gave up the penalty and kind of dropped off the face of the earth.

Mina's goal was superbly taken.

Pickford dutifully served up his one requisite spillage... just fortunate that Luiz hit the woodwork.

Calvert-Lewin letting one fly from outside the box was a welcome sight. If he can add that to his game, look out.

Bobby Mallon
90 Posted 19/12/2020 at 20:33:17
Mike @82,

I think Sheffield Utd would. 😂

Robert Williams
91 Posted 19/12/2020 at 20:35:50
RH 61 - "I can't see Arteta lasting much longer unfortunately."

Somebody on here suggest that he would be our next manager; the way he's going, he has a long long time to qualify for that job.

Next suggestion please!!

Robert Tressell
92 Posted 19/12/2020 at 20:37:23
It's a good point Tommy C. The trick will be to keep the defensive solidity when we have Digne, Coleman and Rodriguez back.

Interesting to see what our first 11 looks like when everyone is available because Godfrey and Iwobi are playing like they cannot be dropped.

Derek Knox
93 Posted 19/12/2020 at 20:41:02
Brent @81,

"I love a semi"? But I prefer the Full Monty. I'm sure I've heard those words before in a cheap blue movie! :-)

Not a Classic today but another classic three points, we are slowly getting there. Still not totally convinced about Davies, okay for the bench as back up, but too many heart-in-mouth moments with him.

The Carabao Cup game next, that will be a test and hopefully another win. I assume there were no more injuries from today, so should have a decent pool to pick from.

Just got to keep an eye on the rest of the games tomorrow to see if we get overtaken or not. COYB

Benn Chambers
94 Posted 19/12/2020 at 20:43:03
I'd have Ben Godfrey's babies!

£25m is gonna be daylight robbery. That 50/50 where he took ball and man is everything I wanna see from an Everton defender. The kid is fearless and he's rapid. What a player. He's not a full-back btw, and he's right-footed playing left-back. Faultless again. He just doesn't get beat one v one.

Thomas Richards
95 Posted 19/12/2020 at 20:48:31
A manager who has won 20 trophies in 5 different countries obviously has taken tactical advice from some of our fellow posters and is currently reaping the benefit.

Wonderful stuff!!

Peter Mills
96 Posted 19/12/2020 at 20:52:24
I can’t quite decide whether we “twatted the fuckers” or not, but it was a satisfying win.
Martin Mason
97 Posted 19/12/2020 at 20:54:24
Everton have few problems now in its financing and management. It has serious problems though in a poison within its support base.
Peter Dodds
98 Posted 19/12/2020 at 20:55:08
Made up with that win. I was on cooking duty and had to hold up the family dinner while I stood in front of the telly for the last five minutes.

The first half was excellent, especially Doucouré, Godfrey, Davies and Keane. But what was going on with Richarlison? Ball stuck under his feet, slipping over, he couldn't do a thing right. If only he and Iwobi can be a bit braver and look to take on the full-backs a little more.

Trevor Peers
99 Posted 19/12/2020 at 20:55:48
Great to win again, we're solid defensively and that gives us a chance of a win even when we have vital players out injured. Godfrey was a revelation darting up the left wing I was impressed with his quickness of thought and excellent fitness. Good acquisition.

We rode our luck at times but who cares?

Carlo will know exactly what players are needed in the next transfer windows to take us to the next level and hopefully he will have the money to spend, even if it means off-loading more of the dreaded deadwood first.

Kevin Molloy
100 Posted 19/12/2020 at 20:57:04
We all thought we knew what we were getting when Ancelotti was appointed. But if we had been told that Christmas next year we'd be sitting second in the league, I don't think anyone would have believed them. Top four is now a realistic target. Moshiri must be elated.
Martin Howell
101 Posted 19/12/2020 at 21:00:00
Merseyside top two in the league... That mid-80s feeling. 'Feed the world' on the radio... 'Match of the day' later but no 'Pink' Echo.
Rob Halligan
102 Posted 19/12/2020 at 21:07:30
Derek # 93. This time tomorrow we will be third. Even a draw for spurs puts them above us, while Leicester go second with a win, and god forbid, should man Utd beat Leeds by four or more then they will also go above us.
Kase Chow
103 Posted 19/12/2020 at 21:17:01
Isn’t it nice to have a winning team

And a team that keeps clean sheets

And that beats top teams

And that wins when not actually playing that well

We definitely rode our luck near the end but a win is a win is a win

Can we keep this going? Well we need more goal power across the pitch and need to continue to get lucky

NB: good decision Davies over Gomes

Tosun is useless

Richie needs to find his form

Siggy needs to start scoring again from open play

Doucore quietly excellent

Paul Birmingham
104 Posted 19/12/2020 at 21:18:40
If Everton win next Wednesday, then the dynamic for the squad, the coaching staff, management, and for Evertonians this season changes for the better in a very positive manner.

Consistency and belief, and doing the basics right, then there's a long season ahead, but plenty of optimism.

That result tonight, on top of the results this season, can galvanise EFC, and it proves hard work, belief and positive spirit can prevail.

I'm curious to see which goalkeeper starts on Wednesday and the back four.

Calvert-Lewin and Keane taking shooting lessons, and it would be great to see the rest of the team having the belief to try 25- or 30-yard shots against Man Utd.

Here's to a good build up to Chrimbo..and The Best of The Seasons Greetings to Evertonians across the World.

Bobby Mallon
105 Posted 19/12/2020 at 21:21:30
Why are people moaning about the subs, what was wrong with them? Two defensive players and a forward for forward seemed perfect to me.
Harry Williams
106 Posted 19/12/2020 at 21:27:02
Joe #40, do you think this Arsenal team are better than last season's team? It's there worst start in 40 years or so.
Patrick McFarlane
107 Posted 19/12/2020 at 21:32:27
Sky Sports can't help themselves, can they? Interviewing Carlo after the game the interviewer asks him: "Was it a fair result?" Carlo tried to be honest, and I paraphrase: "We defended well and in the first half, we played well, so we deserved the result."

I wonder if they asked Jurgen the same question midweek or Brendan, Frank, Mourinho, et al when they have sneaked the points with a less than stellar performance. I doubt they did or will.

Keep the run going Blues and we'll have the TV companies focussing on the battle of the bottom before the season is out.

Jeff Armstrong
108 Posted 19/12/2020 at 21:33:05
Yeah Brent, Man City, really looking forward to it.


Loved tonight

Des Farren
109 Posted 19/12/2020 at 21:38:28
Ciaran. At your age you should know not to follow grape with grain.
Are you under the sofa at this stage?
Tony Everan
110 Posted 19/12/2020 at 21:40:18
I thought this was an excellent win. Arsenal are a wounded, trapped animal trying to get out of the pit, getting more and more angry towards its captors.

We were weakened without Allan, also there was a bit of fatigue creeping in, especially in the 2nd half. But despite that, we just about kept Arsenal at bay.

I wouldn't be surprised to see some rotation for the cup game to keep the energy levels high.

Tommy Carter
111 Posted 19/12/2020 at 21:45:46
@92 Robert. I agree. Iwobi has shown me a run of form I didn’t think he was capable of. Without being brilliants he’s been steady which I’ll take.

Godfrey is our starting centre back waiting to happen. It’s a bit like when we signed Lescott. If he turns out to be anything close to Lescott then he is worth every single penny, as Lescott is possibly one of the best 3 Everton centre backs of all time.

Tom Bowers
112 Posted 19/12/2020 at 21:53:23
Whilst not getting ahead of ourselves it is a real fillip to get into Christmas with these 3 wins against top teams.

This is better than the opening 4 wins as only Spurs was considered a top team and we have done this whilst having some injuries.

Who knows what the team will be for the Mickey Mouse cup but I would much rather concentrate on the game after Christmas to further solidify our position and keep the pressure on Klopps billionaire squad.

John Keating
113 Posted 19/12/2020 at 21:54:21
Another great win. Pity we couldn’t keep a clean sheet but the 3 points is ehat was needed
Confidence must be sky high just now
I did think some looked weary in the second half
I think Carlo needs to keep rotating Pickford. Not sure what goes through that lads head but he does mine in!
Gary Willock
114 Posted 19/12/2020 at 21:58:26
Pickford (7) - got to stop those flaps, but another great match saving stop.

Godfrey (9) - think we are falling in love. So much heart, pace and commitment.

Keane (9) - a legend in the making we don’t yet acknowledge properly.

Mina (8) - still scares the crap out of me, but what a header. Got everyone’s back.

Holgate (6) - few poor touches but letting nobody down yet.

Iwobi (6) - scares other teams, but final ball just not there yet.

Davies (7) - worked hard, kept the shape. Scrappy for goal but blindsided too.

Doucoure (8) - looking like the player we all dreamed he could be.

Richie (7) - usual graft and always a threat on the counter.

Siggy (6) - not as good as recent weeks, and strolling a bit in 2nd half.

DCL (7) - one man army.

Ancelotti (6) - needs to get us to stop standing off from leads and 45 mins. We dominated first 30 mins, needs to make that 90. but, the reason we are 2nd!!


John Raftery
115 Posted 19/12/2020 at 21:58:30
Tommy (111) I agree with you about Iwobi and that Godfrey is a superb prospect. I think however your assertion that Lescott is possibly one of our best three centre backs of all time is slightly overstating his contribution to the club.

Lescott was undoubtedly a fine centre back but of those I have seen I would put Labone, Hurst, Watson, Ratcliffe and Keown ahead of him. I never saw TG Jones but I know those who did rated him as the best of all those who played before the sixties.

John Raftery
116 Posted 19/12/2020 at 22:02:25
Gary #114 Iwobi does need to improve his crossing but it was his cross which created the first goal tonight. I think he is improving in that aspect of his game.
Brendan McLaughlin
117 Posted 19/12/2020 at 22:02:35
Fantastic that after a brilliant start to the season and then a serious slump, we've got back on track and will be third in the table over Christmas. I actually thought we beat the top end teams Chelsea & Leicester more comfortably than "struggling" Arsenal. Hopefully that's evidence of the old adage of good teams winning even when they don't play well!
Peter Mills
118 Posted 19/12/2020 at 22:06:05
John #115, I would add Richard Gough to your list.
Roger Helm
119 Posted 19/12/2020 at 22:12:40
The table has a nice 80s look! This reminds me of Nick Hornby’s Fever Pitch - after underperforming for years, Arsenal suddenly became very difficult to beat and of course later went on to become the Invincibles. Here’s hoping!
Mark Frere
120 Posted 19/12/2020 at 22:14:04
Tommy @111,

I rated Lescott, and in particularly his partnership with Jags... But one of the best three Everton centre-backs of all time? Don't think he quite deserves to be talked about in the same breath as the likes of Ratcliffe or Dave Watson. I'm kind of hoping Godfrey becomes even better than Lescott was. He has the blistering pace like Distin had and is very comfortable on the ball.

I've never quite forgiven Lescott for the way he sulked his way through his final game for us when he wanted the dream move to Man City. The way he downed tools in that game was disgraceful.

Ciarán McGlone
121 Posted 19/12/2020 at 22:14:46
Fair point Des.. but the grape grain thing has never been a problem for me..

Lifes for living.

Ian Jones
122 Posted 19/12/2020 at 22:17:46
It will be interesting to see who plays in the games at Christmas, 2 games 26th and 28th Dec. Not a huge gap between the matches. Imagine we may look to rest players vs Sheff Utd. Hopefully pick up 3 points against them.
Joe McMahon
123 Posted 19/12/2020 at 22:18:19
John, I agree with Tommy as the games are much faster than it was even 20 years ago. So for me Lescott a top-player. I also thought for a while Sylvan Distan was very good. But yes Dave Watson my all time favourite Everton defender. I consider Vincent Kompany to be the best I've personally seen

Godfrey looks a very exciting prospect indeed and I thought was getting unnecessary flack off some after only his first game.

Andy Crooks
124 Posted 19/12/2020 at 22:19:19
Martin @ 97, never had you down as a drama queen. Seriously, take a red neck over that beaut.
John Raftery
125 Posted 19/12/2020 at 22:23:57
Eking out a win without having to play brilliantly is a sign of progress. With Richarlison in the team we have picked up 26 points from 11 matches. Without him we picked up 0 points from 3 matches. He may not be scoring as many goals as he and we would like but he keeps the opposition busy on his side of the pitch.

Yerry Mina has scored four goals this year in the 45th minute or in first half additional time...

Watford 45+1 and 45+4
Brighton 45+2
Arsenal 45

All the above goals were vital. The two at Watford brought us level at half-time. The goals against Brighton and Arsenal gave us the lead. Not a bad habit, I would say. His ungainly style makes him look awkward at times but in a team sitting deep he is a decent defender. Certainly he does not have as many mistakes in him as some believe.

After a poor run the manager has successfully organised the team to put points on the board. A pleasing aspect is that most of tonight’s team have their best years in front of them. That augurs well for the longer term.

Tommy Carter
126 Posted 19/12/2020 at 22:29:38
@John & Mark


In no particular order.

Lescott left the club under acrimonious circumstances but he was ever present and always superb, apart from him downing tools against Arsenal I never saw him have a bad game. I never saw him dominated by anyone. I never saw him shown up for ability.

Jags was awesome. A terrific player and most of all servant. And close to Lescott in terms of ability.

Waggy. A great servant. Gave his all. Unquestionable dedication. But nowhere near the class of Lescott or Jags

Patrick McFarlane
127 Posted 19/12/2020 at 22:29:57
It seems that the Daily Mirror (parent paper of the Liverpool Echo) also doesn't like anything Everton to be at or near the top of anything as they completely omit Dominic Calvert-Lewin from their list of leading Premier League goalscorers. The UK sports media really needs to be doing better than this.

Leading Marksmen

Don Alexander
128 Posted 19/12/2020 at 22:36:14
Minor point of order but Tommy was citing players "from his time". If the bloke's a young man he's every right to his opinion. If he's watched Everton since the 60's I can only assume he's on a bender with Ciaran!

The match was a professional effort, a rarity in recent decades, but my advice to Mr Moshiri would be to allow some spending of a meaningful nature in January if he wants European football next season.

Jon Harding
129 Posted 19/12/2020 at 22:39:06
Loved the first half. Imagine if Keano's master blaster had gone in!
Second half was a harder watch against the worst Arsenal team I can remember going back to the late 70s. Felt like Doucoure was playing midfield on his own at times.
Can't wait for the United cup tie now. Need Richie to find his top form. And I'll enjoy it more with the big calm Swede in nets rather than the frenetic Pickford.
Yerry Christmas Blues
John Raftery
130 Posted 19/12/2020 at 22:39:11
Peter (118) Agreed! His debut performance alongside Dave Watson in the 1-1 draw against Manchester United in 1999 was especially memorable. With a combined age of about 76 the two of them gave a masterclass in defending which kept us in the game.
Craig Walker
131 Posted 19/12/2020 at 22:44:47
Only downside for me was Redknapp, Sourness and Spitty giving their “expert” opinions, anchored by Kenny Dalglish’s daughter. As usual, Sourness does his “X is too good for Everton”. Last season, X was Moise Kean, today it was Carlo. Disgraceful broadcasting, yet again by a bitter ex-RS.

John Pierce
132 Posted 19/12/2020 at 22:45:07
Lescott was out-jumped by Shaun Wright-Philips at the back post in the league cup semi 2008.
Rob Halligan
133 Posted 19/12/2020 at 22:49:00
We're always told to take one game at a time, the next game is always the most important, and I totally agree..............

however, only one of our next eight league games is against one of the so called big six teams, man city. The next one after that is man Utd away on 6th Feb, which is the anniversary date of the Munich air disaster. Can we realistically be looking at having over 40 points after 22 games?

Ok, I won't look into the future, and will only take one game at a time!!

Paul Johnson
134 Posted 19/12/2020 at 22:56:14
Rob Halligan @ 102 ki bet you Christmas Day in your house is a fucking joy. Second in the league get a grip you miserable fucker.
Brendan McLaughlin
135 Posted 19/12/2020 at 22:58:06
Have yourself a Yerry Yerry Christmas
May the times be blue
From now on we'll top the league
And all our wishes will come true
So have yourself a Yery little Christmas
If you're blue

Sorry boys I couldn't resist and I KNOW I should have resisted a little bit better!

Rob Halligan
136 Posted 19/12/2020 at 22:59:59
Haha Paul. Only answering Derek at # 93. It's a sad but true fact.
Dave Williams
137 Posted 19/12/2020 at 23:00:35
We defended a lead well and I won’t criticise a successful tactic like that. Godfrey was tremendous, Tom and Doc were excellent but Pickford again suspect.
MoM for me was DCL. This was a complete performance. His control was superb, his movement and shielding of the ball was top class and he was very unlucky not to score an outstanding goal. This lad is developing quickly into one of the best strikers in Europe.
Guy Rogers
138 Posted 19/12/2020 at 23:00:48
It's obvious Godfrey will take over from Mina in central defence by February. As much as Mina has been performing well, ultimately he is limited and clumsy, and in some part, this is so Digne can play left-back who is excellent... Godfrey at centre-back with his pace could be really exciting for us. Holgate and Coleman will fight for right-back. Although Holgate's profile fits the defensive midfielder role IMO.

Midfield – Doucouré, Allan, Iwobi
Attack – James, Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison

So the key is James giving us the extra attacking intent we are missing but without losing the defensive shape... so he possibly needs to work harder, drop back into a midfield 4.

Pickford is a clown: get rid.

Great result today, but nice to look at how we can improve... plus Kean to return at some point.

Great kids on the bench, Nkounkou, Gordon, Branthwaite... future's bright!

Tony Abrahams
139 Posted 19/12/2020 at 23:20:17
I’m not always big on who’s motm, because it’s all about the team for me, but I have to agree with Dave W, because DCL, was absolutely brilliant for us tonight, and closely followed by a player I’ve regularly criticized, because I also thought Michael Keane, had a very good game.

Keane has gone from never quite knowing how to place himself correctly, (his starting position) to someone who is starting to really read most situations, and if it’s true that young Ancelloti has been working on our defence, then a lot of credit must also go to the coach.

Keep it up Michael Keane, especially the defensive desire that you’re developing, because it’s starting to help you make the game look easier, and being in the right place at the right time, is definitely not something I’d seen much of before👏

Brian Wilkinson
140 Posted 19/12/2020 at 23:31:45
Lots of shouts for Dave Watson, I thought Watson was a lucky buy.

Had it not been for Mountfield suffering a fit a few weeks beforehand, Kendall would not have made a move for Dave Watson.

I have a lot of fond memories of Mountfield and his goals, shame we let him go, because of the incident, but even if I am a minority of one, I have to put Mountfield among our top centre halfs.

Roger Helm
141 Posted 19/12/2020 at 23:32:03
As expected, all the MOTD analysis was about Arsenal.
Patrick McFarlane
142 Posted 19/12/2020 at 23:32:23
Many people are saying this current Arsenal side is the worst they've seen for many a year yet according to the Echo, prior to today's match there was little difference between the two sides under their new managers in the last year or so. Does that suggest that both clubs are in 'false' positions in the table?

Heading into this game, the Premier League records of Everton and Arsenal, under Carlo Ancelotti and Mikel Arteta respectively were similar. Very similar.

It seemed counter-intuitive to what we've been seeing and the narrative around both clubs but in 33 games Ancelotti's Blues had picked up 53 points and from the same number of matches, Arteta's team had 47 points.

The lack of success for Everton against the Gunners in the last couple of decades at Goodison and particularly at the Emirates seems to be on the turn at Goodison at least as that's a fourth win against Arsenal in the last eight meetings at Goodison.

I don't think Arsenal will be in the bottom half come the end of this season, but I do think that with a fair wind that Everton could find themselves in a European spot, perhaps, not the holy grail of Champions League but a top-six place. I still believe that the Carabou cup is very important for the club and its fans and if the team can overturn Manchester United in midweek, that will keep the juices flowing and help to reinvigorate any tired limbs.

Steve Guy
143 Posted 19/12/2020 at 23:39:12
I’m not Pickford’s biggest fan but apart from one flap (which he subsequently deflected onto the bar) he was excellent, especially his save right at the end which seemed to go unnoticed by Sky.

Can I also just register my disgust at Sky for their ongoing use of Souness for any games but ours in particular. Horrible. Biased. Should be sacked off by Sky.

Jason Wilkinson
144 Posted 19/12/2020 at 23:40:14
Watching MOTD. Slightly off subject but it was very obvious that Wilfrid Zaha was not happy with the quality shown by his teammates. Would you want him? I think he could add a lot to the way we are trying to play
Don Alexander
145 Posted 19/12/2020 at 23:41:54
Just watched MOTD and their in-depth analysis of Arsenal with next to no reference to us, as ever.

That said, it occurs to me that we may just be seeing the start of a fabulous swashbuckling career from our centre-forward.

I've seen Young, Pickering, Royle, Latchford, McBride and, erm, a few others, but none of them were swashbuckling in the way the likes of Batistuta, Cavani and Lewindowski have been on the world stage.

None of those three did it in the Premier League though.

DCL is a young man visibly dominating battle-hardened defenders, visibly displaying every range of lethality in terms of heading, poaching, positioning, running and, from today if not before, prodigious shooting from distance.

I plead with everyone at USMFF to polish the rough-cut diamond amid us.

Patrick McFarlane
146 Posted 19/12/2020 at 23:53:15
Don #145
I agree, but I have to admit that Dominic has surprised me, but he seems far more focussed on his task and today I think was his best performance in a Blue shirt, which may seem daft as he didn't score and hasn't for the last three games, but he's been involved in most of the goals that we have scored in those games.

It's amazing what confidence can do for a player and a team.

Jason Wilkinson
147 Posted 19/12/2020 at 23:56:49
Don #145
I was worried where the goals would come from at the start of the season. To a certain degree I still am. DCL has shown that he is by far and away the most improved player under Ancelotti. He is confident now. He has added a bit of steel to his game which wasnt there 18 months ago. Richy can score goals but his game is a touch off at the moment. Like buses I think he will get his spell where they all come at once.
The diversity was missing but Siggy, Holgate & Mina have all bagged in the last 3. Iwobi, Doucouré, Davies & Gomes should all be trying to get on the scoresheet more often. It is very rare to see any of them have a go from 25 yds. The occasional shot from range gives the opponent something else to worry about.
We cant afford to lose DCL this season (to injury) even when he isn't scoring he is playing out of his skin. Defenders are starting to fear playing him.
Phil Lewis
148 Posted 19/12/2020 at 23:59:15
Mike #82
Moyes was singing Pickford's praises, even as Sunderland were relegated, prior to us signing him. I'm quite sure that this recommendation persuaded his old mate Bill to reach for his cheque book. I believe Pickford was fortunate to be elevated to top keeper status, by virtue of making some crucial saves in an England Jersey, which the media grossly overstated. Personally, I haven't rated Pickford from day one. Nothing since has persuaded me to think otherwise. He has a unique ability to create panic out of nothing. He is a liability. Goalkeeping is the art of stabilising a defence with calm, assured, intelligent positional play, coupled with athletic strength and agility. Judged by what I've witnessed so far, of the two, Olsen ticks the most boxes.
I sincerely hope your assessment of Ancellotti's motives are correct.
Paul Smith
149 Posted 19/12/2020 at 00:10:34
Unfortunately for us the media story is the demise of Arsenal and not the rise of Everton.The Souness comment was explained at the time by himself as stemming from his partisan feelings due to his RS lineage. I’m glad they hate us again it’s better than patronising apathy. The performance itself I thought was excellent, Arsenal are desperate and have quality throughout. I think Tierney would suit Everton down to the ground and he was mentioned as an interest of our’s prior to his move down South. In Godfrey we have a beast, he has grit, passion, leadership qualities and his speed is frightening, a top prospect. The midfield was not much different to last seasons but with the defence much better we were able to hold Arsenal off. We need Allan back or some better back up otherwise some will go against us. Buzzing tonight even after going from tier 2 yesterday to tier 4 tomorrow.
Derek Thomas
150 Posted 19/12/2020 at 00:14:34
Martin @ 97:
Woman; If I was your Wife I'd put poison in your drink.
Churchill; Madam, if you were my Wife I'd drink it.
Martin, give over, have a nice Christmas and such - but give over.

One game at a time and a merry Christmas to all.

Graeme Beresford
151 Posted 20/12/2020 at 00:17:03
Anyone who isn’t happy with us over the last week needs their heads looked at. Anyone who called for Carlo’s head after a poor run of a few games, you need to hang your head in shame. What he did was understand he lost some important players and tried a new formation which failed, but the guy tried it, unlike previous managers who kept playing the same tactics over and over - even when everyone knew it wasn’t working.

Everyone of us would of probably took a win, draw and loss at the start of the week however to amass 9 points from Chelsea, Leicester and Arsenal is nothing short of incredible. Let’s remember our friends at the top of the league have had Fulham, Spurs and Palace. Our’s quite clearly the more difficult. I am delighted, just seeing us in second even for a day is great.

What needs to be looked at in my opinion is the amount of added time in our last few games. Leicester there was around 5 minutes but today was a disgrace. 5 minutes injury time when there hadn’t been a trainer on the field and Arsenal has made 3 subs. It seems we are punished all the time whereas other teams come out with 3/4 minutes. The fact that 6.30 minutes were played is shambolic. Yes, we time wasted, as everyone else does, I just don’t see other teams being punished for it with the amount of injury time that always seems to be held up against us when we are winning.

I still can’t get my head around 5 minutes and if they would of scored during that there would of been outrage.

Paul Kernot
152 Posted 19/12/2020 at 00:22:46
Nobody has mentioned the supporters in this thread. I personally think they make a huge difference in our home games. On the Sparksport commentry it was mentioned how many teams have more away wins than home. No surprise to me that this turnaround has come since we've had supporters back at Goodison.
Brian Wilkinson
153 Posted 20/12/2020 at 00:39:59
Paul, I think after the Man City game, it could be the last with fans in, have a feeling we will all be moved into lockdown again after xmas with us moving up to tier three, hope I am wrong.
Nicholas Ryan
154 Posted 20/12/2020 at 00:40:00
Olsen is a Swede.... Pickford is a Turnip!
Brian Wilkinson
155 Posted 20/12/2020 at 00:44:00
Jason@144, at the right price, I think Zaha could be a very good buy.
Phil Lewis
156 Posted 20/12/2020 at 00:46:12
Nicholas #154
A perfect analysis!
Harry Williams
157 Posted 20/12/2020 at 00:52:19
Don #145 will you ever give Big Dunc any credit for the work he’s done with the likes of DCL, and previously with Lakuku, come on man, man up and get on board!! Rough cut diamond, he’s more like a D flawless!!
Derek Knox
158 Posted 20/12/2020 at 00:58:14
Derek T @ 150, That quote reminded me of some of Groucho Marx's, not sure why, but they have always made me laugh.

" I could have danced all night with you till the cows come home, on second thoughts I'll dance with the cows, till you come home! "

" Last night I shot an elephant in my pyjamas, how he ever got into my pyjamas is still a mystery to me. "

" Now there's a man with an open mind-you can feel the breeze from here. "

All the best to you and yours Down Under mate, a few more wins and we'll be ecstatic.

Shaun Lyon
159 Posted 20/12/2020 at 01:06:41
People rightly noting the media focus tonight on Arsenal and not us - totally agree Don at 145 and Paul at 149...but personally I'm happy with that. We know who the media darlings are. Right now we're second in the table. Let's just see where it goes.
We are - self-evidently- a work in progress, and the injuries to Seamus and Digne forced this frankly slightly bizarre defensive set-up, one that has gone from shipping goals to 1 in the last 3 games.
Everyone will have their own views about individual performances. Anyone who saw the last great Everton side witnessed the best keeper ever (well, that I've ever seen) and Pickford is a million miles from Nev. But there is so much to be positive about, with young players like Godfrey thriving, DCL absolute textbook striker's performance tonight, Dacoure covering every blade of grass, Keane looking the fulfilment of the player we bought...let's keep it quiet, bollocks to the sky sports media luvvies and pundits, and see where we go under Carlo Magnifico. UTFT
Mike Gaynes
160 Posted 20/12/2020 at 01:09:36
Phil #148, "Olsen ticks the most boxes."

Based on having seen him play twice -- once in a loss and once in a win where he had little to do -- what boxes would those be?

Sorry, but Mike #82's idea that Carlo would like to drop Pickford but is trying to keep up his transfer value is total looney-tunes. Two of Carlo's three highest-paid players stayed stuck to the bench again today, and the third (Mina) lost his place when he wasn't playing well, and had to earn it back.

Face up to it -- Carlo, one of the most experienced top-level managers in the world, selects his team on merit, and he is playing Picks because he considers him his top keeper. And you and Mike and Dave and everybody else here who thinks they know more about goalkeeping than Carlo does had just better get over it.

Pickford is our keeper unless, and until, Carlo and Marcel bring in somebody better. And that "somebody better" is certainly not Serie A flop (but perfectly adequate backup) Robin Olsen.

Steavey Buckley
161 Posted 20/12/2020 at 01:12:51
The 4 lads at back are the ones who have made 3 wins on the bounce possible. They have brought to the team which the team have lacked all season defensive stability. The quartet should not be even broken up with a fit again Seamus or when Digne returns to fitness in another 6 week's time. Digne can play further up the field on the left with his magnificent crossing, but Seamus should be resigned to the subs bench. Iowbi is the one playing further up the field on the right hand side, and doing a great job.
Mike Gaynes
162 Posted 20/12/2020 at 01:15:58
DK, here's a Groucho quote appropriate for today:

"I'm leaving because the weather is too good. I hate London when it's not raining."

Of course, we left it raining on Arsenal!

And here's one for West Brom's new manager: "The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made."

PS... Groucho being a Yank, he spelled it "pajamas".

Derek Knox
163 Posted 20/12/2020 at 01:27:16
Mike G, like those American brassieres ' one Yank and they're off '.

With regards to WBA's new manager, it will be interesting to see if he comes in for Tosun (who he bought btw) and I don't suppose there is any chance that Walcott (his other buy) could be tempted either.

Mind you with Walcott, as many have mentioned, looks a totally different player, down at Saints, to when he went through the motions with us. It also dispels my theory that any player going 'back to a Club of former glory is unlikely to make it happen twice.

Still, he'll be off the books soon, but haven't we taken a financial hit there? One of many unfortunately but slowly between Carlo and Marcel Brands they are being weeded out.

Daniel A Johnson
164 Posted 20/12/2020 at 01:55:45
We've beat Chelsea, Leicester and arsenal with our fair share of injuries too.

We beat Arsenal today playing poorly without breaking a sweat how often does that happen?

The greatest gift Ancelotti has given us is his world weary calmness. He's very grounded and his experience and winning mentality is rubbing off on the team.

We're 2nd in the league and quietly going about our business.

Neil Cremin
165 Posted 20/12/2020 at 03:03:37
Ouch, Mike!

You really have blue-tinted glasses for Pickford. Fundamentally, as you know, I agree with Phil.

He has played well enough in recent games not making any silly unforced errors. However; there is still one or two in him each game. From what I have seen of Olsen, he looks to be less error-prone.

I would still rotate them both. Only time will tell who is the more reliable.

Jason Leung
166 Posted 20/12/2020 at 03:43:31
How good has Keane been this season? His positional play is next level. Always clearing dangerous balls in the box, always at the right places at the right times. Like Calvert-Lewin, Carlo has made a great player in Keane!!
Terry White
167 Posted 20/12/2020 at 03:49:41
Derek (#163), have you watched Southampton play recently? Walcott does not play on the wings as he was forced to do for us. He plays in a more central role in the middle supporting the front players.

He has always looked a better player and more dangerous when given a central role and that is where he liked to play for Arsenal also but never given that chance for us.

Mick Davies
168 Posted 20/12/2020 at 03:50:51
Anyone who's ever doubted the anti-Everton bias on the BBC needs to look at their highlights coverage of this game. We were the winners; we were at home; we were the form side and the club challenging at the top while they're struggling at the bottom, yet the after match discussion would suggest the opposite.

It was so obviously partial towards the Londoners that I rewound and timed the relative coverage. The time spent discussing Everton (Lineker, Jenas and Shearer) was 39 seconds. The time spent on Arsenal was 3 mins 18 secs. This isn't just a slight difference but a complete disgrace.

When we were struggling at the lower end and The Gunners challenging for the title, I expected more attention on Arsenal, but this is just a blatant slight on our club, and I hope it is noticed by EFC and we can treat these gobshites accordingly when they need us.

Derek Knox
169 Posted 20/12/2020 at 04:24:57
Terry @ 167, totally agree that his position within the Saints set up has been a major factor. Many on here, including myself, urged for Theo to play a more central role when we had scoring problems, but no managers ever thought of employing him there in that role.

It's not just the role though I believe, without sounding contradictory, but his attitude in general. When he was with us, he never seemed to be that committed, whereas, now he is 'back home', he seems to be relishing it.

Jim Harrison
170 Posted 20/12/2020 at 05:24:32
Let's be honest, the demise of Arsenal is currently more of a story than the rise of Everton! At least to the rest of the world it is! There were plenty of Everton headlines 5 games in, and if they keep up the good work, there will be plenty more.

But Arsenal are a real headline club to be dropping like a rock! Few teams can match Everton's history, but domestically and more in European competition, they are right up at the top. Sensational mismanagement.

Julian Wait
171 Posted 20/12/2020 at 05:49:14
John Raftery @125 – I totally agree about Richarlison, indeed, the only game we lost with him in the side was against Leeds, which was a) right after he came back and b) a really tight game that either side could have won.

When Richarlison plays, we play better. If he starts playing well again, and to his full potential, other teams better watch out.

Ajay Gopal
172 Posted 20/12/2020 at 06:19:23
I am happy with the win but not with the way we won.

This Arsenal team is probably the worst I have seen in the 20+ years of watching Premier League football on TV, and we just about scraped the win.

It was too much ‘backs to the wall' football with 6 defenders on the pitch – brought back memories of the Moyes era. As others have mentioned, this is not a sustainable style of winning.

The first 5 games, we played great attacking football; the next 5-6 games, Carlo was trying to cope with injuries and suspensions; the last 4 games, we have been very solid defensively. Of course, being solid at the back is good, but in this formation, if we concede first, then it becomes a mountain to climb, because we need to attack and then spaces open up for the opposition to counter-attack.

Finding the right balance between attack and defence is the key – stating the obvious – but Carlo has to find it. So, although I may be in a tiny minority, the back 3 formation with better coaching should be tried out by Carlo, given the players that we have when everyone is fit.

Holgate, Keane, Godfrey would make a very strong, athletic and physical back 3 (with Mina and Branthwaite providing able back-up). Digne and Iwobi would play as wingbacks and provide the crosses into the box. Allan and Doucouré would play in the middle to break up play with one of James or Sigurdsson in front of them to play the killer passes and Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin doing their thing – terrorising the opposition defense.

It needs a few games for the players to get used to the system and fans need to be patient, but long-term, I am convinced that the system will lead us to find the right balance. (Tin hat firmly on!)

Danny O’Neill
173 Posted 20/12/2020 at 07:13:32
Another very impressive controlled performance from a team that has found its shape and balance, which has created momentum. Maybe not as comfortable as the last 2 wins, but still controlled. Arsenal may be a team off-form and lacking end product, but they still have enough quality to hurt you if they click.

I didn't get carried away at the start, I didn't revert to hysteria in October / November. Right now, I don't really care about league position, just that we are playing well and in touch with our target. As Carlo himself said yesterday, the league position looks good, but it's not the end of the season.

On a few of the players. Pickford was Pickford. Rush of blood to the head, brain-fart flap moments countered by keeping the score in our favour with an outstanding save.

Tom Davies done well and proved he is a good back up player to have for where we are now. Considering how much Gomes is maligned for poor tackles and giving away stupid fouls, Davies is his equal. Lazy kick for the penalty and he has form here. Losing possession and giving away late free kicks that led to Leicester reversing our lead away last season springs to mind.

MotM: Take your pick from Godfrey, Mina or Keane. I'd probably go with Mina; Godfrey (harshly) marked down for his sloppy pass in the build-up to the penalty, but that shouldn't distract from a superb performance from what is increasingly looking like a superb signing. Credit to Keane or whoever is coaching him for finally understanding he needs to anticipate and read the game in order to counter for his lack of pace. Credit again to Sigurdsson; another solid performance and consistently good set-piece delivery.

We're in a great position at this stage of the season and let's not forget, we started without Coleman, Digne, Allan and Rodriguez.

Brian Murray
174 Posted 20/12/2020 at 07:18:43
Mick Davies #168.

I strongly suggested (not tongue-in-cheek) that the club should insist on impartial pundits whenever we are on the box instead of ridiculous gritted teeth praise from ex-kopites. Sadly as you pointed out but runs even deeper than that with supposed neutral presenters etc.

The stature of Carlo will I'm sure help to a degree and eventually the prominent ground on the banks of the Mersey. Them in their landlocked loft conversion over the park are already green with envy and know it already. Give it time, brother, we are on the March.

Dan Nulty
175 Posted 20/12/2020 at 07:47:44
Amazing week. I can't remember seeing such a disciplined group against good teams. Arsenal aside of course. I looked at their starting line up and thought nothing to fear.

Holgate and Godfrey were men of the match for me. Outstanding.

I was not impressed with Davies at half time, needless fouls, giving the ball away, leaving his man. Second half was as good a defensive disciplined display as I've seen from him. Helped he didn't get on the ball until the last 10 minutes where he had 100% success rate with 4 out of 4 passes going to a blue shirt. I'm discounting the clearance to touch as an attempted pass, it was the right thing to do. He provided a really good screen for the back 4 in the second half, tracking the Arsenal forwards trying to get into the space between him and the centre backs and preventing passes. It often goes unnoticed that by players who prevent attacking passes taking place, Allan is brilliant at it. I think he was getting deserved criticism at half time but deserved praise for his second-half performance. Hopefully he can carry that on into Wednesday and concentrate at that level.

Good performance, not getting carried away given who we have out injured but just hope we can keep competing.

Fingers crossed Man Utd rest a few in Wednesday.

Neil Cremin
176 Posted 20/12/2020 at 07:56:20

Glad you have your tin hat on.

My take: We played attacking football in first five games, conceding 2 goals per game against teams who are in the bottom half of the league, save in the first game against Spurs. Against mid-table teams, we were hopelessly slow in build-up and porous at the back, hence we lost.

We tried three at back due to injuries and that didn't work. We reverted to the back 4 and suddenly we were solid, conceding only 1 goal from 3 games (none from open play). Any team who has ambitions of competing for top 4 must be solid at the back.

Give me a boring 1-0 win any day rather than the open game we played against Leeds and lost. Winning is a habit and we need to establish that in the team that nothing less than a win is acceptable, no matter how it is achieved. I have criticised the team for lack of fight and effort and organisation; that certainly seems to have developed with this formation.


Kunal Desai
177 Posted 20/12/2020 at 08:19:28
Superb week, 3 wins on the bounce. Yet agree Godfrey was immense.
I'm happy to see us grind out results like these, rather then be open and conceding two goals a game. We all want expansive football, but let's not forget we don't have the players at this moment in time in order to get that balance right. We still need players in and strength in depth; hopefully, we can do some business in January and then summer will again be key.

For now we need to look at alternative ways of digging out results, and it may not all be easy on the eye.

Ajay Gopal
178 Posted 20/12/2020 at 08:21:33

I can understand Carlo's team selection for the past 3 games, and I am delighted with the results. But it is clear that this team lacks any sort of width, leaving Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison to feed off scraps and makes them less productive. I don't see Salah and Mane do half the work that Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison do, and that is not sustainable over a season.

Calvert-Lewin scored so many goals when he was roving in the opposition ‘D'. Now that he doesn't have Digne's and James's supply, he is working twice as hard to make things happen and I am afraid he may lose his scoring touch.

I am not convinced that Iwobi is the long term answer to the right-wingback role, but he is growing into the role and, if he can improve on his crossing range and accuracy, we could be equally threatening on both flanks.

Martin Berry
179 Posted 20/12/2020 at 08:51:12
Simple four at the back and pace for the counter and we are going to get more wins than loses, this week's results are not by accident.

Carlo maybe will add more options in January which can will us in with a real chance of European football.

Godfey superb yesterday along with Calvert-Lewin, all the team need to be congratulated for a superb week along with Don Carlo and his staff.

Neil Cremin
180 Posted 20/12/2020 at 09:09:00

For me, a win is a win – especially against Chelsea, Leicester and Arsenal. The key for me is not to concede and you won't lose and any goal will give you a win. Before going into these series of matches, there was a lot of pessimism here on TW.

Now that we are more solid, we can build on it. Maybe even get a bit more expansive. I have seen huge improvements in only a few weeks in Godfrey, Holgate, Iwobi and Sigurdsson. Let's keep the defence mean and build on it.

Did you notice that Carlo brought on Seamus and Jonjoe not as full-backs but as wingers. Maybe gives us some indication of what he will do when Digne returns.

Dan Nulty
181 Posted 20/12/2020 at 09:21:16
Interesting to read lots of comments about adding players in January. I really do not believe that will happen in the current financial climate. I'll be surprised if any clubs spend money.

We still need to clear our wage bill yet of all that deadwood.

For those talking about how much better Walcott is playing for Southampton. He is playing on the right-hand side of a front 3. For us he was a right-winger. Slightly different but he isn't playing centrally. What is evident is that he is working infinitely harder for them than he was us. Perhaps something to do with the fact he is out of contract at the end of the season and is therefore playing to get a deal somewhere, hoping it is Southampton near his family.

He never got going for us, always thought he was a bit meh for Arsenal, quick, bit of skill but not a good footballing brain. Doesn't play with his head up. He suits Hassenhutl's high-octane press press press where he doesn't have to think, just run.

Danny Baily
182 Posted 20/12/2020 at 09:26:07
Ajay, don't be fooled by recent results. Arsenal are a decent side and we deservedly won on the basis of our 1st half performance.

Subs continue to baffle but Carlo knows what he's doing.

9 points from 9 given the games we've had is fantastic. All about Wednesday for me though, I'd love to see us lift the League Cup. Really hoping James is back, ideally from the bench to give us a bit of creativity late on.

Tony Abrahams
183 Posted 20/12/2020 at 09:44:37
So what you're saying, Terry W, is that it wasn't Walcott's fault because he was never played in his proper position?

Southampton's manager has said that Everton never trusted him enough but surely a professional footballer, an international footballer to boot, should be showing the heart and desire that makes people “trust him” rather than never looking that interested because he wasn't getting used correctly?

Everything is good when it's good so let's hope it stays that way for Ralph the Mouth and his team; if Southampton hit a hard patch, let's see what his feelings will be on Theo Walcott then?

The more “I've made my fortune" footballers we can get out the door, the better, and especially if we can replace them with hungry players like Ben Godfrey.

You don't have to be great to play for Everton but, if you want to be remembered fondly, then alls you've got to do is play for the shirt because this might even gain you “some trust”.

Ian Edwards
184 Posted 20/12/2020 at 09:56:38
I'm not getting too excited about being second. The tactics under Carlo Pulis still leave a lot to be desired.

How many second halves have we seen where we sit on leads and it's like the Alamo on our penalty area for the last 20 minutes. Newcastle last season, Fulham away, Chelsea last week, Arsenal yesterday. I can see how Ancelotti lost in Istanbul. You don't see Pep or Klopp sitting on leads and being dominated. Taking off offensive players and bringing on full-backs.

Klopp and Pep go on and get more goals. We will never win by more than 3 under this Manager. He may get some results but I certainly won't shell out £50 to watch cowardly shithouse tactics.

No doubt I'll get pelters but it's the truth. And you know it.

Carl Manning
185 Posted 20/12/2020 at 10:02:41
Who cares whether the media talk about us or not. Get over it.

Fact is, compared to us the last 25 years, Arsenal are a huge club with a global following. We're a team from Liverpool that most Europeans don't know are based in Liverpool!

It's about where you finish in the league. Not who talks about you the most. Petty childish rants.

Robert Tressell
186 Posted 20/12/2020 at 10:14:11
With Theo, he's playing for his hometown club, is taking responsibility and is playing like a captain. With us, he had a brief spell right at the start when he was trying to get back in the England fold.

After that, his career was going nowhere, the days of the Champions League and trophies were over, we were a mess and his motivation dropped. That's why it's generally better to get players on the up.

Brian Murray
187 Posted 20/12/2020 at 10:18:08
Jeez, Ian @184. Ever heard the phrase "walk before you can run"?? We tried the expansive way earlier in the season but we haven't got the individuals (yet) to sustain that over 38 games.

I know for now (Carl) we are not a modern fashionable Sky club but I bet, when a club hears our name, they shudder a bit and don't bank on a good result. That will do for me.

Tony Abrahams
188 Posted 20/12/2020 at 10:29:28
I personally don't think it's the truth, Ian, but I would never give anyone stick for coming out and saying what they feel, though.

I'm delighted we have become hard to beat because we had been way too easy to play against, even if I thought we started to look a little bit limited going forward at times yesterday.

Arteta won the FA Cup playing like this but hasn't moved on to the next stage, and this might even get him the sack; everyone knows you need a bit more than this moving forward.

But, for now, I'm happy, and if Godfrey sprinting 50 yards to throw himself into tackles is shithouse football, I'll take it every day.

Andrew Clare
189 Posted 20/12/2020 at 10:37:45
I second that, Brian #187,

At present, Carlo is getting the best out of the players at his disposal; once he has another two or three transfer windows, we will see a team that dominates play and controls games. We just have to be patient.

Anyway who's complaining? We are 2nd in the table and Carlo has only been with us for 12 months in a very strange and unprecedented year. We have important players out with injury yet, despite that, Carlo's philosophy is getting through to the players.

Well done to everyone at the club. Very exciting times.

Brian Harrison
190 Posted 20/12/2020 at 10:56:18
As Carlo said after the game, our last 3 wins were not down to great attacking football, but more to do with desire and consistency; both of these have been sadly lacking under the previous 4 managers. He knows (like most of us) that we won't finish in the top 4 but may, with a bit of luck, qualify for a Europa League spot, which I think was his realistic prediction of where he expects us to be.

I know there are still quite a few posters on T/W who still question Ancelotti's appointment, and I don't think 3 wins will change their views. But you don't win as much as he has unless you are truly special. He is a serial winner and his record is better than Klopp's or Guardiola's – in fact, very few come close.

Many pundits ask: How did Everton persuade him to become their manager? Well, I don't care how; I am just glad we have got him. From Allardyce to Ancelotti... it seems impossible the same owner could have appointed these very different managers.

So, for those who question Ancelotti's appointment, I would suggest that, if we look at the purchases he has made in one transfer window: Olsen, Godfrey, Doucoure, Allan and James – can anybody say that these buys haven't massively strengthened the team?

So the next question the doubters will ask is: Well, surely a good manager should be able to improve the players he inherited? – and I totally agree. So let's start with Michael Keane: I, along with many others, thought before the first lockdown last season that Keane needed to be the first to be replaced. But the transformation in him from the finish of last season and the beginning of this season has been remarkable... in fact, for me, he is now the best English centre-back in the Premier League.

Next, let's move on to Yerry Mina – another who I would have been quite happy to see sold, but he is improving game on game and, where it looked as though he was only keeping the place warm for when Holgate returned to fitness, that isn't so nailed on as it looked 7 weeks back.

I would also suggest Coleman looks back to his best this season and, although some credit must go to Duncan Ferguson for Calvert-Lewin's improvement, I think his positioning has benifitted from Ancelotti.

So, not only has Carlo bought well, he has improved the exisiting players. Will he want to play a more entertaining brand of football? Definitely. But, as all top managers know, good attacking football comes from a solid defence, and with strong competition for all our back 4 places, I just see us becoming very reliably strong at the back, which will hopefully allow our attacks to flourish.

Frank Crewe
191 Posted 20/12/2020 at 11:00:10
Ian @184,

"We will never win by more than 3 under this Manager."

Well, we beat West Brom 5-2. West Ham 4-1. Brighton 4-2.

Although the fact is it doesn't matter by how many we beat the opposition as long as we do beat them. Only get three points no matter how many goals get scored. This is professional football and clubs cut their cloth accordingly. If we finish in the top 4 this season, you won't hear any complaints from me.

I'm sure Carlo would rather be playing the football we were playing at the start of the season. Unfortunately, injuries, suspensions and loss of form have, for the moment, changed his plans. Although I personally find our current style very good indeed. Solid at the back and quick on the attack. Godfrey is a revelation at left-back. That run where he steamed down the wing and delivered a good cross was great.

I think you should just stop complaining and enjoy the ride while it lasts.

Chris Leyland
192 Posted 20/12/2020 at 11:02:15
Ian – it isn't like the Alamo though, is it?

None of the last 3 sides we've played had a shot on target in the 2nd half. We've hardly been under siege. We've simply allowed them possession of the ball with no impact.

We've kept a tight and compact shape and played them on the counter with each and every one of our players knowing their role. As a result, we've got 9 points from a possible 9.

I'm sure the club will cope just fine without your £50.

Thomas Richards
193 Posted 20/12/2020 at 11:08:08
Miss World just knocked on my door bollocko, carrying two bottles of champagne.

I'm not getting too excited though.

Dave Williams
194 Posted 20/12/2020 at 11:10:28
Ian, who would you have brought on – the physically weak Bernard? Inexperienced youngsters? Carlo had very little from which to choose his subs and ultimately his task was to hold on to the win – which he did.

We have now seen three sides to this squad. First was outscoring the opposition. Second was looking disinterested to the point of some of us saying they weren't fit. Third, a gritty and determined group who will run themselves into the ground to defend a lead successfully.

Will we become a Champions League side with one of those three? Of course we won't... but combine the best of them and, with a couple of class additions, we will.

A solid back four is starting to appear but we need full-backs who can also attack. Keep Iwobi wide right and play James in Sigurdsson's position. Digne returns at left-back and Godfrey plus one other at centre-back and watch us go!

Tony Abrahams
195 Posted 20/12/2020 at 11:20:31
Arsenal and Chelsea both hit the woodwork in the second half, Chris, and Pickford made a very good save late on yesterday, which is the only real chance, plus Vardy's free header the other night, that the team have given away in the last three matches.

Before Delph went off at Burnley, teams were playing “in-between” our back 4 and midfield, but now they are usually playing “in front” of 9 and sometimes even 11 blue shirts.

Although football has moved on, I've seen many teams win football's greatest prizes by employing these tactics, so I'd definitely like to see where it takes us rather than criticise a team that is winning just yet.

Brian Williams
196 Posted 20/12/2020 at 11:22:56
Ian #184,

Nice one, Ian. Actually did make me lol.

Never win by more than three? Those 3-0, 4-1, 5-2 wins just aren't worth having after all...

You played the Scrooge part to perfection there, mate! Bah humbug!

Still chuckling here, mate, thanks for that one.

Barry Rathbone
197 Posted 20/12/2020 at 11:23:07

Don't think Carlo lost in Istanbul – I believe it was a draw (never watched it, that's all I know).

Admittedly the filth use it as a plan to invoke old nick in penalty shoot outs. Their success rate is a statistical freak!

Bill Fairfield
198 Posted 20/12/2020 at 11:30:42
A solid foundation is being laid by this manager. With a couple more signings and the support and patience of the fans, success might not be too far away.
Jason Li
199 Posted 20/12/2020 at 11:32:56
Tony @ 188, Totally agree.

Players say Carlo keeps it simple, and where I think we're doing it well...


In the Premier League there are lots of "pretty" footballers on the ball. But they don't like a tackle.

Remembering back at school, we all knew time-tested basics like if the ball goes past, then the man doesn't. Or, if you can't win the header, at least put them off.

These kind of defensive basics are what we doing well compared to last season. Calvert-Lewin on his own gives it every game to two centre-backs. Carlo brought in similar gritty coached players Allan, Godfrey and Doucouré. So we've built on the week when Big Dunc started this back-to-basics of football. Add Mason Holgate back in the team means our team standard is that we are full-on quick to the ball or man and gritty now.

The rest of the season: if there's Premier League players out there who are playing without any passion or desire at the wrong club, they're not going to enjoy 90 mins going toe-to-toe with Calvert-Lewin, Doucouré, Godfrey, Allan, marking Mina on corners.

That's why I think that the modern Premier League player today, who is mainly judged on how good they are on the ball, only has lead to mid-table finishes. Unless the player is absolutely world class, as the exception.

But we now have players good with the ball, good without the ball.

Mourinho spent a season coaching Spurs to do this and, by no coincidence, are in the top 4, and obviously the Red half have been coached to do this under Klopp to a man.

Maybe there's something else that explains it better but, for me watching on TV, Barcelona's Iniesta chasing players when out of possession told me enough about that great team, and what the ideal make-up of a trophy winning team is. I see early signs in this team...

Well done, Carlo, Duncan, the coaching staff and players on getting great results this season, giving us a Yerry Christmas.

Mike Corcoran
200 Posted 20/12/2020 at 11:46:10
The thing that pleased me most yesterday was Calvert-Lewin's cracking a shot from outside the box with his left foot. Now that is a massive improvement from the player along with a massive improvement in his close control.

He is getting so much more from players I had previously written off: Keane, Mina, Iwobi, Sigurdsson, Calvert-Lewin. Even Davies looked assured and used the ball well. Just need Gomes to get with it and a couple of canny signings in January.

What the injury crisis has given us is several ways to manage for the rest of the season. But please, if James is to come back in, then it can only be as a No 10.

Danny O’Neill
201 Posted 20/12/2020 at 12:01:53
Tony Abrahams @195, that's the pocket of space I kept droning on about a few weeks ago. With Allan and Doucouré pressing on, we were getting exposed in the area you call out.

We have fixed it with the 4-2-3-1. I think we can play 3 at the back, but need the "enforcer" type player to sit in and protect the defence. So, if the manager does decide a 3 would suit a particular game, I hope he would go 3-5-2. The 3-4-3 never quite feels right for me.

Like any formation, just pick the one that is best suited to the players available, not try and fit players into the system you want to play. In my opinion anyway.

Dan Nulty
202 Posted 20/12/2020 at 12:04:41
Guys, not that I agree with anything Ian had to say, just so you know, 5 -2 or 4-1 is only winning by 3, not "more than 3". Ian chose his criticism carefully. I'd take winning by 1 every week and would be more than happy with a 3-goal victory every other week too. Strange comment.

Pulis can't attract the calibre of player Carlo can, he has injuries to virtually 4 of his best players and yet we have still beaten Chelsea, Leicester and Arsenal. 3 results I'd have taken before the season started.

I'm not getting carried away; with what he has at his disposal and the injuries we have, I'd take 1-0 wins. As long as we win more than we lose and continue to be pressing for a European spot, I'll be happy. Oh, and get rid of the deadwood.

Kase Chow
203 Posted 20/12/2020 at 12:12:02
Ajay #172,

Spot on. Let's take one step at a time

Ian mate, chill pal. It's gonna take a lot to make you happy eh? Yerry Christmas pal.

Thomas #193, Funniest thing I've read for ages.

Dave Abrahams
204 Posted 20/12/2020 at 12:12:33
A lot of fans are raving about Ben Godfrey's run in the second half, and rightly so. The one he made in the first half, without the ball, was probably better; he won the ball, made a very good pass to Dominic, then carried on running 40 or 50 yards past Dominic, expecting to receive the pass all alone running into Arsenals penalty area. Dominic made the wrong choice and went inside but did win a free-kick in a good position.

Ben made good runs with the ball versus Leicester, but Richarlison stood there instead of being on his toes down the wing ready to receive the pass off Ben. On the other wing, Iwobi, although much improved, does the same at times to Holgate, static instead of being ready to fly.

Both Iwobi and Richarlison had a go yesterday but were wasteful too often with the final ball. When they get used to Godfrey and Holgate, realise they are good footballers as well as defenders, and trust them, the improvement in the team will get better and better.

I'm happy with three very unexpected victories for the moment and see where we go from here and then, from the January sales. If we don't buy, the improvement will stall, because it's not good enough or strong enough to improve because of injuries and suspensions.

Tony Abrahams
205 Posted 20/12/2020 at 12:12:56
I know you were going on about it weeks ago, Danny, because it was driving me mad, and you were one of the posters who was picking up on it mate.

That last paragraph makes the most sense, Danny, although bringing on Kenny to play totally out of position might seem like a contradiction but it's something I used to see Brian Clough do regularly. His words: “Just do your job, son, just do what you'd do if you were playing your normal position” – and surprisingly it nearly always worked.

Darren Hind
206 Posted 20/12/2020 at 12:20:11
The manager has done very well using the most basic of tactics with players who many poor judges claimed were simply not good enough. That will do... for now.

There is even a chance that, if he did earn his staggering salary by getting us into top four, he will win over the doubters who think he is past his best and unable to win stuff without world class players.

What will not win over the doubters, or make them feel grateful for his presence, is the endless sycophancy dripping from the pages of every Everton website. Mindless claims about improvements he has had nothing to do with – "Keane has really learned to pass under Carlo". Daft-arsed claims that internationals were crap before he came here. Endless excuses blaming everything and everyone when he fucks up.

Everytime we win a game, somebody will reel off a post telling the "infidels" where they are going wrong... expressing disbelief that others don't love him. When I hear a grown man declare his love, I feel really queasy. He's a football manager, for fuck's sake! Not Donny Osmond...

Carlo Ancelotti should be down on his knees in gratitude to Everton FC. He has been given an opportunity to do something he has never done. He has been given the chance to cement his name even further in history. The chance to silence doubters and to prove he can win something without having the good fortune to inherit world superstars.

Those who doubted Ancelotti's appointment will be very pleasantly surprised by where we are today, but they will also be very aware of how much fate played a hand in getting us here.

Credit to the man for keeping a calm head when his new signings were going down like flies. Credit to the man for motivating players who some thought couldn't be motivated (Sigurdsson, Iwobi). Credit to the man for using his vast experience to see out the last three games. Credit to the man for securing victory when he may have been tempted to put a cherry on the cake... Much credit to the man.

But, if you're selling sycophancy, please pass by my door. I won't be buying.

Mike Corcoran
207 Posted 20/12/2020 at 12:32:06
Donny Osmond? Well, we had the Dogs of War under Joe Royle, maybe these will be the Crazy Horses?
Alex Gray
208 Posted 20/12/2020 at 12:34:32
I've read some utter rubbish on here in the past but Carlo Pulis has got to be up there. Facing three top teams (even with Arsenal's drop off), and with all of our main creators out injured, and we take nine points.

We played defensively because all our attacking threats weren't available. Digne, James and Coleman are our creators and none have been available to start over the last few games. If we carried on playing the way we did at the start of the season, we would've been battered and left with 0 points from 9.

I for one didn't like the way we played the last few games but I certainly understand why and give credit to Carlo for adapting because it worked and we won all three.

Just some perspective: this time last season, we were in a relegation battle and now sit 2nd with a quarter-final midweek. We are very much a flawed squad and have a long way to go but we are learning from past mistakes and I'll take winning ugly over getting beat trying to play pretty football any day of the week.

Patience lads, we're going in the right direction and Carlo has only had one transfer window. On the other side of the coin, we could've ended up with Arteta, who has taken Arsenal into a relegation battle.

Once our players are back and fully fit, we will attempt to play more expansive football. Trying to do that now would be lunacy.

Jay Wood

209 Posted 20/12/2020 at 12:34:51
Dave @ 205 and others commenting on Ben Godfrey's performance.

Have you seen this lovely interview between

Clever Trevor Stevens and Seamus Coleman

Around 3 minutes in, Trevor recalls on his debut how Howard Kendall's final piece of advice to him was to get a good tackle in and the Goodison crowd will be on their feet, right behind him all the way.

Seamus echoed that and recalls a similar reaction on his Premier League debut v Spurs when he got a beaut and a brute of a tackle in on a Spurs player. They show it in the video.

With just 2,000 in the stadium yesterday, the roar when Ben got a great sliding tackle in in the first half and then didn't duck out of a similar challenge in the second half – for which the Arsenal player got booked – made me think of absent fans like you, your Tony, Rob Halligan and so many others on here who would have been in raptures.

Times that 2,000 by 20 and the roar would have knocked the Liver Birds off their mount.

Tony Abrahams
210 Posted 20/12/2020 at 12:38:43
Do you know the thing I like most about Ancellotti, Darren? I might be wrong because I've never met the man but I reckon he's the type of fella who would say exactly the same thing you have just said in your last paragraph.

You don't have to agree with someone to like them, but I'm sure someone as argumentative as you already knows this, Darren, and I'm saying no more, or that seller might just stop at my door!

All the best for Christmas to you and everyone else on this website, Darren.

Singing, “We Shall Not Be Moved!”

Thomas Richards
211 Posted 20/12/2020 at 12:40:28
Darren 207.

I have to ask, pal...

Did you love Donny Osmond?

Colin Malone
212 Posted 20/12/2020 at 12:41:40
Keane and Godfrey were superb. Keane has got to be the best centre-back in the country.

You could see the class gap between Allan and Davies: Allan playing a Reidy style, give me the ball, hunting and chasing; Davies, not holding his position and not wanting the ball.

Carl Manning
213 Posted 20/12/2020 at 13:08:09
This style of football is anything but unsustainable. Mourinho has made an extremely good living from it and has a trophy haul to match. This style of football may well be the one that gets the best of the squad we have until Carlo can implement a new style should he wish to do so.

This style of football did for Chelsea, it also did for Leicester who would have known what we would do, and it has now done for Arsenal, who would have been more than aware after the previous 2 results what we would do and how we would play.

So how is it unsustainable when 2 of the current top teams in the league and Arsenal were held at arm's length, knowing full well how to prepare for it? So many clueless armchair managers in here.

Carl Manning
214 Posted 20/12/2020 at 13:11:52
Darren Hind — you write some crap.

Cement his legacy? 3 Champions Leagues guarantees that.

So, by your ridiculous statement, Moutinho, Pep and Zidane will always be questioned as they've only managed elite clubs? How many managers have managed elite clubs and won zilch? Too many to mention.

Tony Abrahams
215 Posted 20/12/2020 at 13:23:44
Final mention has definitely got to go to our supporters yesterday.

I ended up watching on a Portuguese channel because it offered the best picture by far, so kept the sound right down so I could barely hear the commentary, but that didn’t stop me hearing the fans though.

It sounded that good, I actually put the sound up for the last few minutes, and was thinking exactly like what Jay W, described!

Tommy Carter
216 Posted 20/12/2020 at 13:25:06

Darren, I have to disagree with you. I love Everton but we are lucky to have Ancelotti. He's a very special manager, a once-in-a-lifetime kind of manager.

Yes, we are paying big money but you get what you pay for. He has overseen some great performances, average ones and quite a few poor ones too.

However, I have no doubt he is steering us in the right direction for the long-term. The owner had been attempting a culture change and been getting it wrong. Throwing money at the problem and getting it badly wrong. Rudderless transfer policy.

Carlo came in last season and refused to panic-buy. He worked with what he had and entered the summer clear in what he wanted. The signings he has made – whilst not making us instantly world class – are a distinct difference to the likes of huge money on Bolasie, Tosun, Klaassen etc.

Events have transpired that means we have a proven world class manager leading us and I am delighted that he is here.

Jim Harrison
217 Posted 20/12/2020 at 13:39:45
Tommy @217,

I think lucky is a stretch! £12 million a year is what we pay for the man. But if he can get the club up and around the top 4 and into finals, he will have earned his money.

Ray Robinson
218 Posted 20/12/2020 at 13:48:16
A random thought I had during yesterday's match: Pickford probably wouldn't have pulled off the save that Leno made from Dom if he'd been in goal. Not a cue to slag off him off but it highlighted to me one of the areas that we can look for improvement in the goalkeeping department.
Derek Knox
219 Posted 20/12/2020 at 13:52:55
Jay @ 210, thanks for that, a good watch and I can also recommend watching Howard's Way to anyone who hasn't already seen it.
Robert Tressell
220 Posted 20/12/2020 at 13:56:42
Carl, I agree we can probably keep this up but the acid test of the defensive approach will come if we go behind early. Then we'll see if we've got enough to come back. Sometimes we won't – so we'll drop some points and may well need to find another approach.

Fortunately, we're not a one-trick pony. We can play expansive too provided we've got the flair players fit. And squad players are starting to make a difference too.

But because the squad is still patchy, we'll probably have dips in form along the way. Luck plays a part too (Luiz hitting the woodwork for example).

Still, it bodes well and a top 6 finish is starting to look doable again. Maybe a cup run too.

Tommy Carter
221 Posted 20/12/2020 at 13:59:45
@218 Jim

We paid huge amounts for Silva, Allardyce and Moyes at the time was on huge money.

The luck lies in the series of events that have led to him being our manager. Whether we’ve paid for it or not, there is probably only Klopp or Simeone out there with greater ability than Ancelotti.

Anthony Dove
222 Posted 20/12/2020 at 14:32:48
Six young English players in the starting line up. Who would ever have thought that when Carlo
If Gordon is not going to play he has to be sent out
on loan and not spend the season sitting on the bench. To me, he, and not Iwobi, is the future.
Jim Harrison
223 Posted 20/12/2020 at 14:33:09
Tommy 222

There was definitely an element of fortune in the timing, and don't get me wrong, I think he is boss, the best manager in terms of his prior personnel achievements to ever take charge of Everton?

But he is in the top 5 best paid mangers in the PL.

Stan Schofield
224 Posted 20/12/2020 at 14:37:27
Darren@207: Would you love him if he brought us trophy glory? And would you give up Donny Osmond for him?
Derek Knox
225 Posted 20/12/2020 at 14:44:34
Stan @ 225, I think it's only ' Puppy Love ' with Darren, but ' Any Dream Will Do ' as long as it is about ' Paper Roses ' ! :-)
Jason Li
226 Posted 20/12/2020 at 14:52:18
Carlo worth the money over 5 years I reckon.

Simple calc

Iwobi, Keane, Mina and DCL were in many debates for transfers out this time last year, and taking a loss.

Now if we sell we'll be at least £100 million better off on total transfer fees due to improvements by Carlo and staff with players buy-in, compared to the estimated market values at their lowest points for each player last year.

Champions League music for at least one season and really experiencing going through a trophy winning season thrown in - what's that worth in our lifetimes, as we only live once.

Rob Halligan
227 Posted 20/12/2020 at 14:53:17
Derek, is Darren "The long haired lover from liverpool"?
Alan J Thompson
228 Posted 20/12/2020 at 15:09:05
And with young Davide we might even see a dynasty, or even the Fat Van replaced by Pizza and Pasta.
Derek Knox
229 Posted 20/12/2020 at 15:10:15
Rob, dat was Jimmy lah ! :-)
Terry Downes
230 Posted 20/12/2020 at 15:16:05
I just wanted to know if anyone else saw our successor to Coleman playing at left-back yesterday?

For me, Godfrey was excellent going forward and defending: energy and speed to burn.

Save your money, Everton, and put it towards a striker or midfielder!

Tommy Carter
231 Posted 20/12/2020 at 15:18:13
Jim. I know he is. He is extremely well paid.

But so are other lesser managers.

He was hardly going to take a pay cut to come here. Money doesn’t guarantee success. We gave Sandro Ramirez a ridiculous wage, so we just expected him to be great did we?

West Ham paid £7m a year to Pellegrini.

It’s all semantics. Facts to be dealt with are that he’s here. We have never appointed a world class manager in our History. This is manager who dines at the very top table of world football. Who has brought success to clubs far greater than ours; Milan, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich.

He is ours. He wants to be here. He has a plan. And quite right, he is earning his money

Bill Gall
232 Posted 20/12/2020 at 15:20:36
Ian #184
Your mistake was mentioning Klopp and Pep. Both have been at their clubs for 3/4 years and both have superior financial backing than Ancelotti has, and this enables them to have a more superior bench than Everton.
Ancelotti has to use the players at his disposal without the luxury of 5/6 transfer windows, and the position Everton are in is a reflection of his management style using players he has inherited and bought in his 12 months at the club.
Ancelotti said this season was to stabilize the club with a chance of a cup and qualification in a European competition. We would all like to see Everton playing flowing football going for goals but seeing how tight the league is shaping up, results mean more than style, and until we have a quality squad to cover suspensions and injuries Ancelotti has to get results with what he has available.
Remember goals can earn the points its the defenses job to keep them.
Steve Brown
233 Posted 20/12/2020 at 15:21:54
Apparently, a "fete played a hand in getting us here". Was it the tombola, wheel of fortune or pot luck? Did Big Dunc do the lucky draw?

Steve Brown
234 Posted 20/12/2020 at 15:24:21
Bill @ 233, actually Klopp had seven transfer windows before he won a trophy.
Jay Wood

235 Posted 20/12/2020 at 15:24:38
Derek @ 220.

Trevor Steven did a similar interview with Carlo Ancelotti.

Trevor Steven & Carlo Ancelotti

Interesting on their own, but with a good cause behind it. They are promoting the 'Howard's Way' film with all proceeds going to the People's Place project.

And a linguistic question for you Derek!

I think I'm right in saying you are Scottish by birth. If so, you are the right man to ask!

Do I detect a wee Scottish twang in Trevor's accent these days? From memory he is from the north east of England. But did he settle in Scotland from his Rangers days, thus the twang?

Or have I drunk a dram too many and imagining it?

Stan Schofield
236 Posted 20/12/2020 at 15:28:10
Bill@233: Agree totally. I'd also add that we WERE playing exciting football until the injury problems, which have been severe. The current approach is surely one that has been constrained by those problems. And it's one that's bearing fruit until the injury situation improves. In that respect, it's difficult, and arguably churlish, to find much fault with Ancelotti.
Brian Williams
237 Posted 20/12/2020 at 15:31:20
Jay, Tricky's from Berwick Upon Tweed which is as near to being a Jock, while being English, as you can get.
The accent is a unique one but one which Tricky's always had but it does seem a bit more defined these days.
It can often be mistaken for a Scottish accent by those not lucky enough to have spent many years listening to 'em!
Danny O’Neill
238 Posted 20/12/2020 at 15:41:29
Always found it fascinating as a child that Berwick played in the Scottish league despite being located in England.

Then again, look at Swansea, Cardiff, Wrexham and Newport.

Watching the Tottenham v Leicester match. Shows how well we done midweek.

Derek Knox
239 Posted 20/12/2020 at 15:45:48
Jay, Brian has correctly answered that one, actually I believe part of Berwick (Upper Berwick) used to be in Scotland while the Southern part Lower Berwick was in England. It is only a smallish town to start with. Not sure if that is still the case or boundary changes have it all in England now.

Carlisle is another borderline case with a mixture of accents, ranging between mild Scottish and what can best be described as a Geordie accent. Nearly all the pubs in Carlisle were Scottish and Newcastle (owned/run) but whether that has changed, again I'm not sure as I haven't been there for a while now.

Geoff Sanders
240 Posted 20/12/2020 at 15:59:58
As an Everton fan since age of 5 (I'm 76 now), I don't get to many matches, so reading fans' comments is a good way to keep in touch.

One thing that bugs me is the extremely harsh criticism of some of our players. Surely encouragement would be better than a tongue lashing. Just think how you would feel to be on the receiving end of such abuse.

Anyway, it's good to see the boys up there with Liverpool. Bravo, Carlo and the squad. Remember, we are right behind you. COYB

Terry McLavey
241 Posted 20/12/2020 at 16:03:19
I'm obviously delighted with the win, although I was furious at the end with the ludicrous 5 minutes added on, which grew to 6½ for no apparent reason? It was like Mariner was waiting for Arsenal to score!

I'm still smarting from the 96th minute winner by the RS in 94 minutes of extra time! Perhaps I should let that go now...

Are referees held responsible for their performances by anyone?

Brian Williams
242 Posted 20/12/2020 at 16:07:37
Aye Derek and don't forget the accent is affected by whether the population of Berwick boiled the water from the Tweed or not. If it was boiled the Scottishness from it's source was eradicated. Those that didn't boil it sound like the Big Yin. 🤣🤣🤣🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
Peter Mills
243 Posted 20/12/2020 at 16:18:34
Darren #206,

“When I hear a grown man declare his love (of Carlo Ancelotti), I feel really queasy”.

You'd better steer clear of the book “Quiet Leadership”, you'll find people like Ronaldo, David Beckham, John Terry and Zlatan doing just that.

Derek Knox
244 Posted 20/12/2020 at 16:22:07
Brian, Aye !

You know Christmas is only round the corner when you hear Bing Crosby and David Bowie singing about ' Rubber Bum Pumps ' whatever turned them on I say.

Joe McMahon
245 Posted 20/12/2020 at 16:22:46
Derek and Brian, an area of the country I love, great food, fantastic coast and plenty of castles.
Chris Williams
246 Posted 20/12/2020 at 16:23:21
Aah, the Little Bummer Boy
Brent Stephens
247 Posted 20/12/2020 at 16:23:38
Peter, yes, but what do the likes of Beckham, Ronaldo, Zlatan Ab etc know? Compared with Donny Osmond. Now that's a queasy love.
Patrick McFarlane
248 Posted 20/12/2020 at 16:28:50
Just read that Ceballos's 'stamp' on Yerry Mina was reviewed by VAR and they deemed that it wasn't forceful enough to warrant a red card and that Andre Marriner hadn't made a clear and obvious mistake, plus the 'civil' reactions of both players helped.

As was mentioned above, the added-on time yesterday was of great concern as memories of that Bournemouth 3-3 debacle came flooding back.

In yesterday's case, I don't blame the referee for the time added to the added time, but moreover our bench which seemed to be in total confusion as to whom was replacing whom, which also cost Dominic Calvert-Lewin a yellow card.

Mike Gaynes
249 Posted 20/12/2020 at 16:37:19
Brian #190 and Mike #200, great posts both.

Dave #204, you're more optimistic than I am... I don't expect to see us bring in any of the additional talent we need in January. Pretty sure we'll have to wait until summer.

Neil #165, no blue tints for Pickford here. I think we're eventually going to need a better keeper to go where we want to go, and I've repeatedly listed my favorites here, so often that I won't inflict them on the congregation again. (And none of them is playing in the Premier League.) I was just citing the irrefutable fact that Everton's esteemed manager considers him good enough to start every game, and good enough that he's not currently trying to replace him. Or rotate him with Olsen, which he is simply not going to do no matter how much you'd like him to. So, from my perspective, the complaints about Pickford, aside from often being off-target, are pointless.

However, I do agree with what you said to Ajay about winning. It's all that matters to me.

Terry #240, yes, you should definitely get over it. Remember, we pissed away a minute and a half with those substitutions -- Calvert-Lewin even got a yellow card for it -- and when you piss off a referee that way, his watch is gonna run slow.

Dave Abrahams
250 Posted 20/12/2020 at 16:42:28
Terry (240), I think Terry White explained the added on time in an earlier post, it was added on for the substitutions and possibly the time those coming off take leaving the field.

In that Liverpool game, Gana Gueye went down with an injury in added time, a Liverpool fan called him a dirty cheating so and so. I said to him “The time is usually added on for injuries”. Unfortunately, I never said a truer word in my life.

Danny O’Neill
251 Posted 20/12/2020 at 16:48:02
Interesting that a few posters don't think there will be much (if any) business in the window. Some due to the current financial climate, others maybe as January isn't always the best time to do business in the transfer market.

On the financial side, I thought the same in the summer, but was found to be wrong. I guess with the Premier League back on the screen, which is where it makes its money now, they may find short-term cash flows.

I suppose it's speculate but wait and see. We could be surprised.

Robert Tressell
252 Posted 20/12/2020 at 17:12:20
Danny, I thought we'd have a net spend of about £60m in summer. Total guess. If Rodriguez was free, it probably was about that.

I'm not convinced the Kean loan was expected or budgeted though, so there just might be some more pennies available in January.

Maybe a loan with option to buy. I'd be very surprised if it's Dele Alli given we're on Spurs' heels. Isco, perhaps. I've suggested Thomas Lemar of Atletico as a possibility as he is a bit out of favour but can play either flank and has a good left foot. Dennis Bouanga maybe as he'd be fairly cheap to buy.

Otherwise, I'd be delighted to see another Branthwaite style acquisition. And a few for the U18s too now that the youth transfer ban is over too.

Tony Abrahams
254 Posted 20/12/2020 at 17:32:43
We’ve been mentioned a lot about being interested in Bouanga, Robert, what’s he like mate?
Danny O’Neill
255 Posted 20/12/2020 at 17:42:20
Tony, you're back (assumed you'd signed off earlier). Just in response to your earlier post regarding Kenny. If, when you spoke about playing him out of position, you meant wingback, he played there last season for Schalke, so not totally alien to him or unrealistic.

I still have my doubts over Kenny but, to be honest, I'd prefer him as a wingback than a right-back, from what I've seen.

Tony Abrahams
256 Posted 20/12/2020 at 17:50:43
Fair enough, Danny, but I'd say left-wing is different to right-wingback, but Jonjoe has come on and gone about his duties in exactly the right way.
Darren Hind
257 Posted 20/12/2020 at 17:57:42

Not the same thing, mate.

I can respect the love and respect Carlo's former players have for him. They enjoyed success together. Great times.

What I don't get is Evertonians fawning all over him like a schoolgirl gazing at a wall poster of her favourite pop star. Total puppy love. They don't even know him... They just know he used to win things with players of a different level to ours – what the fuck is all that about?

Every time he is criticised or questioned, a list of former managers – who have themselves been abject failures – are wheeled out as if they offer some sort of yardstick.

Worse than that, carefully selected periods of other club's managers will be put up as an argument... Why? What have Klopp, Guardiola... or even Arteta got to do with this club? Why are they always dragged up? How can this club ever be successful if all we want to do is obsess about other clubs?

This calendar year, Ancelotti has won less than half the games he has managed. He has made some howling decisions. He has served up some of the worst football in memory... and we have paid him £11 million for that.

I'm both encouraged and relieved that he has finally stumbled across a winning formula. But "lucky"? These people really are having a fucking laugh.

I wanna see if he even makes a proper fist of qualifying for Champions League football before I start to consider if he has done a semi-decent job. I want to know if he can build a team.

Tommy Carter is right when he says you get what you pay for and we are paying for Champions League football. Anything else is failure.

Danny O’Neill
258 Posted 20/12/2020 at 18:02:27
Got it, Tony. You were referring to last night. I was thinking more about moving forward.

Yes, Jonjoe done what he was asked to and for the team last night. The lad's attitude cannot be faulted and I think he's another to keep around in the squad.

Dave Abrahams
259 Posted 20/12/2020 at 18:13:41
Mike (248), you could be right and there will be no additions to the squad in January. If that is the case, then I, for one, will not be expecting anything special from the team until next season – for the simple reason, as everyone knows, the squad is not adequate at the moment to stay where we are in the league and compete in the cups without at least two good additions.

Without these signings, unless we are incredibly lucky with injuries and suspensions, we are not going to be in the mix for anything. I think there will be some activity in the market, even if they are loans or players whose contacts are up at the end of this season, meaning lower transfer fees.

Danny O’Neill
261 Posted 20/12/2020 at 18:17:06
I'd be interested to understand if you have a timeline on that Champions League judgement day, Darren?

Personally, I agree with you, that should be the expectation within the course of his contract. I would suggest Europa League would be a good bar to reach this season.

And sorry to fall into your category of rolling out other managers, but Klopp finished 8th in his first season across the park.

Okay, they have nothing to do with Everton, but it's quite normal to use those who are top of the pile as your target if you aspire to get to the top. Howard Kendall and Alex Ferguson both knew that, to do so, they had to be like, and better, their counterparts at Anfield. Chelsea, Arsenal and then Man City knew that Alex Ferguson and Manchester United were the benchmark.

Now, it is Klopp's Liverpool and Pep's Man City. Neither have anything whatsoever to do with Everton but they are the benchmark. That's why people will refer to them when talking of ambition.

Neil Cremin
262 Posted 20/12/2020 at 18:24:53
Final point, Mike,

You know I have never been a fan but, that aside, I do think Jordan is getting less erratic recently.

I don't agree with your view that Carlo considers him good enough to start every game because he has already started to rotate. In my view, that rotation will happen more often going forward. But time will tell...

Robert Tressell
263 Posted 20/12/2020 at 18:36:15
Tony @253,

Bouanga is a very versatile forward. Probably best in Richarlison's position on the left flank. Can play central too or wide right. Runs with the ball, decent pace, good in the air, will shoot from distance but a few poacher's goals too.

Only scored twice this season but in a very mediocre St Etienne side managed by conservative Claude Puel. Got 10 in 26 last season. Age 26, he'd probably jump at the chance to join us as it might be the last chance for him to step up.

Probably never first choice but would certainly add decent cover and would cost about £15M probably. Might be worth doing if, say, we could shift Bernard out on loan.

Eddie Dunn
264 Posted 20/12/2020 at 18:36:45
Neil, it could well be that the rotation is doing Jordan good. Goalies are under huge pressure and every minor flaw is criticised so much more rigorously than, say a midfielder miscontrolling the ball or over- hitting a pass.

There are also lots of little niggles like fractured fingers, wrecked cartilage and sore ligaments in the hands. All keepers just get on with it but a rest here and there is good for them.

Having a decent back-up keeps your standards up too.

Bobby Mallon
265 Posted 20/12/2020 at 18:40:49
Darren Hind, you are a sour sod. Most on here don't give a rats arse what you think about Carlo. He has transformed a lot of players, made us hard to beat and got us into the top 4 for Xmas.
Peter Mills
266 Posted 20/12/2020 at 18:41:48
Darren #256, fair enough, I just didn't want you getting bilious at this time of year.

I have a different view of Signor Ancelotti from yours. I think our major shareholder has made a real hash of spending his money over the past few years, with some dreadful managerial appointments (I was optimistic only of Koeman, and quickly proved wrong). But I now believe we have a truly serious beast in charge, someone who can manage upwards as well as downwards, just what Mr Moshiri needs.

I have disagreed with some of Carlo's decisions in his first 12 months here, but overall I feel we are in a much better place than we were a year ago. As we should be, given his remuneration.

I always enjoy reading your posts, although I quite often disagree with them. I do think you could be a little more respectful towards those who hold contrary views to your own, but we each have a way of expressing ourselves. What's obvious is that you are a passionate Evertonian; for me, that's enough to bridge any differences in opinion between us.

Darren Hind
267 Posted 20/12/2020 at 18:56:00

I posted on the Live Forum yesterday that I was very interested in your assessment of young Godfrey after you went to the game. I was interested because I respect your opinion and because you have seen the new players in the flesh. I haven't. To me, that's crucial.

As for respect towards other posters, if I see respectful posters showing respect, I give it back in spades.


He has got a 5-year contract. You know how football works. If he is knocking on the door of Champions League football. He will be given every chance. If he isn't, his contract will be terminated.

Short answer: my timeline isn't relevant. I want to see him deliver while he is here. If that takes another four years, so be it.

Danny O’Neill
268 Posted 20/12/2020 at 19:15:52
Fair one Darren. I'm of the same view as you on that.
Chris Leyland
269 Posted 20/12/2020 at 19:17:34
I'm not sure why some on here have dug their anti-Ancelotti foxholes so deep and refuse to come out.

The fella has been in charge for a year. He inherited a messy, dysfunctional squad which was a combination of three previous managers and profligate mis-spending by the club hierarchy.

He now has a 50% win rate in that calendar year. That puts him joint 2nd in terms of win rate in our entire managerial history – only behind the late great Howard Kendall Mk 1, who had a 54% win rate in his first spell.

Has me made mistakes? Yes. Is everything perfect? No.

But...We are undoubtedly in a better place now than when he took over. I for one am looking forward to seeing whether he can take us further over the next 12 months.

Dave Abrahams
270 Posted 20/12/2020 at 19:17:40
Re Jordan Pickford, if fans look back at the Chelsea and Arsenal games, they will see two major cock-ups by the keeper: the very poor punch out that was instantly lobbed back over him but went over, nd yesterday's calamity dropping of an easy catch off a centre, resulting in Arsenal coming very close to scoring an equaliser.

If either of these mistakes had resulted in a goal, I'm sure that the threads on both games would have been a lot different to what they were and Jordan's ears would be burning.

Hugh Jenkins
271 Posted 20/12/2020 at 19:22:20
Darren (256). I understand your viewpoint. Having said that, I don't really believe that any of the posters on this site have an "adolescent crush" on Mr Ancelotti.

What I think they see is a man that has picked up a gauntlet that has been thrown in his face. He is rich, he is famous, he is renowned, he is loved and admired by his former charges, he has won everything there is to win in this game – so why did he come to Everton?

He didn't need the money, he doesn't have a world-class squad, he is very much putting his reputation as a serial winner on the line. Why did he come?

I don't know, and I don't care – but I think I know. He has a son, who has never achieved the playing level of his father and whom, without his father being in work, would probably never get the opportunity to ply his own "trade" as a coach.

So, Carlo takes a job at Everton to help his son, and, by all recent accounts, his son is doing a damned good job! Whatever the reason – when were we last 4th going into the Christmas programme?

I "love" Carlo – if only for that. It's not real "love", of course, more an admiration for what he has personally achieved in the past and what he has achieved so far, with Everton.

Danny O’Neill
272 Posted 20/12/2020 at 19:33:05
As I always tell my confused West Midlands wife, Hugh, when it comes to Everton, it's just a different type of love.

Yes, Dave, those typically Pickford brain-fart moments I referred to much earlier. At the moment, he seems to counter them by making a game-saving save, but this will eventually cost us.

Long-term, we need to improve but I'd say that may be a next summer thing in terms of priority.

Have to admit, I liked to more calming and commanding presence of Olsen against Leicester.

Stan Schofield
273 Posted 20/12/2020 at 19:36:55
Darren @266: I imagine that the vast majority, if not all on here, see
significant improvement, and consistently, with qualification for the Champions League, as necessary conditions for deeming Ancelotti's tenure a success. In fact, I'd say it's blindingly obvious that those things are a minimum essential requirement.

Unfortunately, so many debates tend by some to become polarised between full support and adoration of someone, and constant scepticism. When in fact the reality for most is sensible ground between those extremes.

Whatever manager is here, he'll be paid multiple millions. So really, the only factor relevant to us Evertonians is how good he is, and I couldn't give a fuck how much he's paid. If he satisfies our ambitions, he can get paid a billion a year for all I care. And our current assessment of how good Ancelotti is is definitely influenced by his past record. It would be utterly daft not to be so influenced, as in all cases of people being hired to do a job.

Peter Mills
278 Posted 20/12/2020 at 20:01:14
Darren #266, it's early days with Godfrey, but he has learned some of his trade already with Norwich. I'm all in favour of buying the best young talent available in the Championship.

The highest compliment I can pay him from what I have seen on the telly, and once live, is that there is a touch of Des Walker about him. His speed is obvious, he looks to have good positional awareness and anticipation, he likes a tackle and he has a bit of nark about him.

Going back to Carlo, it seems to me that if he can have a quiet word with the lad at times, and say “Paolo Maldini used to do it this way” then Ben would be well-advised to listen.

Sam Hoare
279 Posted 20/12/2020 at 20:01:27
I couldn't care less what we are paying Ancelotti. We've spunked an absolute fortune on other managers of repute who have not moved us forward one jot.

If Carlo wins us a cup and gets us nearer (or hopefully into) the Champions League then the money will be well spent.

It's still early days for me. The last three wins have been great but i'd say as a squad and a team we are not quite up to top 4 standard yet, though equally there may well not be 4 teams that actually are, if that makes sense? There's definitely opportunity.

Carlo has bought some very classy players here who, despite what some on here believe, would not have come were it not for him; but is he capable of molding them into a consistent team that wins more than it loses? So far the omens are good. But at times we looked dreadful in our run of 1 win from 5 so I'd say there are definitely fragilities as well.

Whatever happens by the seasons end it is a welcome and refreshing change to be going into Christmas within a point of second place. Can't remember the last time that happened.

Conor McCourt
280 Posted 20/12/2020 at 20:03:23
Darren, I think you are unfortunately banging your head against a brick wall. I tuned into this thread for the first time in a few weeks hoping to see the joyfulness and happiness of a fervent support after three really excellent victories, all overseen by Carlo at his best.

You have noted how excellent Ancelotti has been in simplifying things and basically outfoxing his opponents, knowing we had armour to hurt them if we nullified their threat. All three games were fine margins but I am thrilled with 9 points as I would have settled for 4 or 5 personally.

Carlo has showed all of his cuteness in adapting his team without the talents of Allan, Digne, Coleman and James but we have resultantly become more pragmatic, functional and more of an industrial collective, something which many other modern managers would have been too stubborn or too naive to adapt.

Praise for Carlo has now certainly been earned and rightly and justifiably given. I don't think however this will be anywhere near enough for those on ToffeeWeb if you are not eulogising about the man himself.

The same who are convincing themselves we will finish in the top four were only weeks ago telling us Mourinho has found his mojo and predicting Spurs for the title when they will be lucky to finish top four with this methodical approach.

We are on target for Carlo's intended top 6 finish but that is still a world away and anyone who thinks that is assured is watching different things to me. We are in a great position now but let's keep realistic.

What I have learnt on this thread though is that strangely there are actually greater feelings than love for Carlo on ToffeeWeb which I would never have believed. One is the vitriol aimed at you, sometimes almost seemingly premeditated, rather than of anything inflammatory based on your content. I think even seeing your name infuriates some.

But the strongest and most overwhelming of all the sentiments that I have seen being expressed on this thread was that Darren Hind absolutely devours and loves Donny Osmond!!! Now I know where your fanboy line comes from.

Danny O’Neill
281 Posted 20/12/2020 at 20:12:47
He's Donny's long-haired lover from Liverpool Conor.

My wife often asks me who I love the most, her or Everton. My response has always been "it's just a different type of love". She has never really understood it (confused).

Nearly dug myself into a hole there!!

I'd wish everyone a happy Christmas but no doubt see you all here for the Quarter Final this week.

Brian Wilkinson
282 Posted 20/12/2020 at 20:13:05
Our neighbours have picked up on Pickford's weaknesses, either put the ball high in the area, or like they have done in the past few years at their ground, hit it high and towards the top corner and you will do him everytime.

At Goodison, one-on-one, they chose to try and hit it low and he made the saves on 2 occasions, great shot-stopper, one of the best, but any balls coming in from free kicks, crosses and corners, and my heart is in my mouth.

With Olsen in goal, I feel much safer. Not for one minute am I saying drop Pickford, for me Olsen seems to do the basics you would expect from a goalkeeper, calm and knows when to come for a ball. With Pickford, it is like he is standing on hot coal barefooted, as some have said, worldie save one moment, the next, a brain-fart moment.

Best way I could sum Pickford up, is the Monk in the remake movie Mean Machine.

Conor McCourt
283 Posted 20/12/2020 at 20:22:12
Danny, just as well she didn't ask which one you would give up or you would be really fucked!!!
Stan Schofield
284 Posted 20/12/2020 at 20:22:18
For me, a good sign of what Ancelotti is capable of is the change in style that we've seen because of the injury problems. We've played as an entertaining footballing side scoring goals for fun (at the start of the season), and out of necessity (through injuries) have successfully morphed into a hard defensively tough unit that still scores goals.

So under Ancelotti we can do both extremes of entertaining football team and dour defensive unit, as the need arises. That is surely a major indicator of our potential for finally achieving something we've lacked for a long time: Consistency.

Ian Horan
285 Posted 20/12/2020 at 20:31:38
Guys, to ensure we are measuring like for like when assessing Ancelotti against Pep and Herr Flick at the RS, let's look at each manager's starting point.

Pep at Man City took over Pelligrini's Champions and virtually an open cheque book!!!

Herr Flick took over from Rodgers at the RS after (Stevie G La) slipped up the season before, again huge financial backing, most expensive goalkeeper, most expensive centre-back.

At Everton, I am sure there's no disagreement that Ancelotti took over a basket case of a team, 3 or 4 different philosophies, finally an unbalanced bag of expensive misfits..

Let's judge Ancelotti across a similar timeframe, also acknowledging his far lower starting point!!!!

Jay Wood

286 Posted 20/12/2020 at 20:40:56
Whilst Jordan Pickford remains a good shot stopper and defensively we have improved markedly in recent games, to my eye there remains two obvious flaws to his game:

1) when to come out of his 6-yard box to a high ball into the penalty area
2) how he deals with a high ball having come for it

On his shot stopping, that was on display deep into injury time yesterday when he got down low quickly to a sharp and fierce shot and defended it with a strong hand. You could even hear the 'thump' in the commentary.

On whether to stick to his line or come out for a high ball has long been a discussion on TW. He does appear to be coming out to claim a ball more than in the past, but it's what he does when he makes such a move which doesn't always work.

I've seen him make clean catches or punches with good distance to shut off the threat. However, I've also seen him spill easy balls or make weak punches which get no distance and lead to chances for the opposition Dave Abrahams mentions.

Again to my eye, it seems he sometimes goes with 'hard' rather than 'soft' hands when attempting to catch the ball which leads him to spilling it. On his punching it appears he sometimes does so on a horizontal line, (which risks it being kept in play in a dangerous area) rather than a higher angled vertical punch which, with good contact, ensures getting distance on the ball away from our goal.

Ex-goalie Rob Halligan's assessment of Jordan's play could be an interesting one.

Ron Marr
287 Posted 20/12/2020 at 21:08:36
I've not been a fan of Pickford's kicking for Everton, especially recently. I don't like when the defenders pass the ball back to him, because he frequently passes the ball back to the opposition. Looking at the pass completion percentage in the last couple of games:

Pickford 41% vs 96% Leno (Arsenal)
Pickford 29% vs 85% Mendy (Chelsea)

Patrick McFarlane
288 Posted 20/12/2020 at 21:09:11
Jay #285

I can't disagree with any of what you've written, but I know this may sound outlandish but do footballers, especially goalkeepers, have regular eye-tests?

I'm not an Ophthalmologist by any means but I do think that Jordan may need bifocals because his reactions are obviously very quick but the differences in his ability to see shots from a distance and of course long and high crosses compared to his one-on-one and general shot-stopping ability, do seem to indicate an underlying issue that undermines his overall ability.

Of course, he could just be an air-head who lacks the powers of concentration to be a really top keeper.

Andy Meighan
289 Posted 20/12/2020 at 21:18:39
15th this time last year, 4th tonight. I'd say 99.9% of us on here would have settled for that.

Has he made mistakes? Yes. Has he improved us? Most definitely. His signings have made a huge difference without a doubt and I love the way Doucouré is quietly going about his business in an assured manner.

To think that we've suffered injuries and a suspension to a key player and we're still riding high is testament to Ancelotti's management. Will we stay there? Questionable... but seems to me the top 4 is up for grabs this season and us or Leicester are gonna take advantage.

Paul Birmingham
290 Posted 20/12/2020 at 21:45:50
Stan @283, I agree.

Regardless of all TWrs views, and all are respected, if the knack of engineering results or winging results can be made consistently, then potentially Everton, as the old song goes, is on the up.

Fluke, guile, chance... but in life every day's a good day and it's how you make it.

The getting a tune of reduced personnel, for whatever reason, is a skill. This is being achieved, but keeping the winning mould making the right players is a knack as well.

The next game counts. I'm hoping that, careful stock of the last game and effect and impact is accounted for.

I believe that today's result at Old Trafford will help Everton.

Year on year, who would have said that this Everton are in the top 6?

This is the minimum standard, and progression to maintain and grow the club is massive.

If we beat Man Utd, I believe that we can win the Carabao Cup.

A new dawn is slowly forming, but we need luck with injuries.

A big statement of meaning, intent, desire and mood to win, can be made on Wednesday night.

Sick as a pig now as the RS have won BBC Sports Team of the year.

Henderson and Mr Ed, make you sick.

John Pierce
291 Posted 20/12/2020 at 21:47:24
So, some interesting points raised about Pickford, his form and contribution.
I thought his overall performances have shaped up, I did wonder whether being involved in the game more has played a part?

Going right back to Fulham, he's been in front of a deep-lying back line who have interacted with him more, even though in his last three games he's not had to actually make a lot of saves. I reckon being ‘engaged' has sharpened his focus a touch, as opposed to being redundant in games like Brighton, it speaks to his concentration levels.

The errors are still there, his kicking has been just as lousy, the amount he boots into touch trying a pass which is just too much. He's still suspect in the air, Leeds especially this was evident. The need to protect his wall from free-kicks continues to persist and it will continue to cost us, simply because opponents pick up on it.

However, he has righted the ship form-wise and Olsen has shown himself to be capable, two excellent saves at Newcastle and, more importantly, calm. Carlo seems to have hit the right balance for now. Good signs.

Lenny Jameson
292 Posted 20/12/2020 at 21:56:51
Mr McFarlane (287),

Talking about whether Pickford needs glasses reminds me of when we had Georgie Wood in goal. He was a great size, had good agility and for a while did really well. Until one night match against Nottingham Forest. I think it was Viv Anderson who hit a floaty cross-cum-shot that took ages to curl into the far corner.

A few weeks later, another night game against Man Utd, someone wellies it from the halfway line. It went a mile into the sky, bounced before the area, over Georgie's head and was heading for the net until he realized and chased back to save it!

A couple of weeks later, I asked Mick Lyons what the bleeding hell was happening with Georgie? He said, "Don't tell anyone but he wears contact lenses and the lights reflect on them and he can't see the ball."

A few weeks after that, we went to Leeds in the League Cup. Night game! We took an early lead and we're doing fine until a by high looping cross came in. It was dropping straight down to George who chose to punch it with a mighty haymaker. Needless to say, he missed the ball completely and knocked Mike Pejic spark out on the downswing. We lost 4-1.

He didn't last much longer. He went on to have a decent career at Arsenal but maybe they only played him during the day!

As regards Pickford, I think the "fuckwit" part of your answer is the correct one.

But Lewey! Lewey! (148 and innumerable other posts): Stop it. It's become an obsession! You're going to give yourself a heart attack. And how are you going to buy me that pint if that happens?

It'll be alright in the end. Cheers.

Tom Bowers
293 Posted 20/12/2020 at 22:00:24
I think we should leave Pickford alone.

Just a few weeks ago, almost the whole team was getting flack for one thing or another, which is the norm after some bad results.

How on earth we failed to score against a wide-open team like Leeds, I don't know... but then that's how poor Everton were playing.

Now, with the normal fullbacks missing and several midfielders, we get three wins against three ''top teams''.

Carlo has obviously tweaked with the formation and the attitude has changed.

I see most keepers in the Premier League making errors but, as long as it isn't every week and costing games, then they should keep their places.

Pickford is as good as they come for the most part.

Ernie Baywood
294 Posted 20/12/2020 at 22:11:53
I kind of agree with Ian. But I'm hoping this is a short term solution to injuries and tough fixtures.

If you're reliant on one-goal wins, then a bit of bad luck (or lack of good fortune) and you're dropping points. There's a reason why goal difference and points totals show some correlation.

I've been glad to see some pragmatism in our recent selections and performances. But it's not even a medium-term plan.

With this setup, we're struggling to play anything from defence. Left, right, forward, back. Sure, some defensive stability, a couple of close decisions our way, set pieces and penalties might give us a few good results... but we can't just rely on those things happening if we want to be better than mid-table.

It will be interesting to see how Carlo marries the defensive pragmatism with trying to break teams down.

Derek Knox
295 Posted 20/12/2020 at 22:35:04
Patrick @ 288, it almost triggers ironic belief that SpecSavers had Jordan Pickford in mind when they named the company. :-)
Mike Price
296 Posted 20/12/2020 at 22:35:47
The whole country knows Pickford is an erratic clown and the sooner he’s out of Everton the better. It’ll be a miracle if we manage to parley the England goalkeeper factor and actually unload him for a fee.
Jay Wood

297 Posted 20/12/2020 at 22:45:47
The notion that Carlo Ancelotti has ‘lucked' on to his current formation. Let's take a closer look at how the season has evolved.

First seven games with everyone fit and available, we were on fire. Some subsequently tried to devalue how good we actually were when we hit the barren spell, but almost universally there was a ‘feel-good' factor about all things Blue. Playful Evertonians even got a clutch of club-related songs to the top of the music charts!

That was largely based on the potent combination play down both flanks with Coleman and James and Digne and Richarlison, drawing in the opposition to the flank were the ball was before quickly and accurately switching flanks (usually the brilliant vision and passing of James) to create serious overloads on the opposition and opportunities for Calvert-Lewin.

The first bump in our 100% record was the home draw against ‘them'. We now know James was injured in the opening minute and so was compromised in his play. We lost Coleman before half-time and Ben Godfrey came in as a makeshift right-back. Richarlison was sent off and suspended for 3 games.

Next up was away to Southampton. No change in formation, but two forced changes in personnel. Godfrey retained the full-back spot (Coleman and Kenny both injured) and Iwobi in for the suspended Richarlison. Sigurdsson replaced the misfiring Gomes.

At his weekly presser, Carlo declared that Ben had trained to play right-back all week and looked well capable to fill the role. As it was, Ben had his poorest game to date in Everton Blue, partly culpable way out of position for their second goal. Iwobi performed like last season's Iwobi, not the recent Iwobi, and was subbed out at half-time for Bernard. Sigurdsson and Doucouré were subbed out on the hour for Delph and Gordon. None of the 3 subs staked a claim for a starting berth.

Having also declared James was not 100%, Carlo still played him and perhaps worse, did not sub him out. This was compounded even more by Digne's sending off and subsequent one-match suspension. Ahead of the Newcastle game then, taken all together, in two games we lost arguably the four players that allowed us to be so potent and who most kept Calvert-Lewin fed. How Carlo replaced them in the next game didn't work.

Away to Newcastle United, Carlo played Olsen for the first time. We retained a flat back four and picked two natural full-backs to replace the absent senior players, young Nkounkou in for Digne and the fit-again Kenny for Coleman with Godfrey left out altogether. The midfield and forward line were a hotch-potch. Allan and Doucouré were there, joined by Sigurdsson (retained from the Saints game), Gomes and Delph for the injured James and the dropped Iwobi.

Newcastle simply didn't come out to play and there was little guile, speed or inventiveness to open them up. Neither Nkounkou nor Kenny completed the game. Both subbed out (for Tosun and Iwobi respectively) and neither has won a starting berth since that game, even with injuries to Coleman and Digne. Bernard came on for the still misfiring Gomes. We coughed up two soft goals and sleepwalked to a meek defeat.

Next, home to Manchester United. Three of the identified four key players returned and a flat back four was retained, with the returning Holgate replacing Mina, for a back four of Coleman, Keane, Holgate and Digne. Bernard came into midfield, joining James and Sigurdsson. Bernard gave us the lead. We missed the opportunity to make it 2-0 when Digne chose to shoot from a tight angle rather than roll it across the 6-yard box for a Calvert-Lewin tap-in, then conceded two soft goals down Coleman's flank. The still rusty Holgate wasn't at his best in defending those goals. United easily and comfortably played all around our midfield.

Away to Fulham was the first time Carlo went with 3 centre-backs and 2 wingbacks. Keane, Mina and Godfrey made up the centre-backs. With Coleman injured again (so was Kenny), Iwobi covered as wingback and Digne played on the other flank. Richarlison, James and Calvert-Lewin were reunited for the first time in 4 games. At half-time, it was working a treat – 3-1 to the good, Iwobi, James, Digne and Richarlison all involved in creating goals as we had at the start of the season. And it could have been more. The second half was more turgid. A real bipolar performance by the Blues. But we won.

Carlo retained the same formation, but with a radical change in personnel due to an injury to Digne during the week. Keane and Godfrey retained their places, but Holgate returned as the 3rd centre back in place of Mina. Iwobi was retained as a wingback, but switched flanks to cover for the absent Digne. Tom Davies took on the right wingback berth. There was no starting berth for Sigurdsson or Gomes, with James, Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin making up the front three.

It was a good game... for the neutral. Post-match Holgate spoke how the team didn't follow the manager's instructions and got too involved in ‘mirroring' Leeds in a basketball-like scenario, you attack, we attack. The subbing in of Delph for Davies changed our shape to a flat back four. Gomes came on for Iwobi and, chasing the game, Bernard for Holgate, but as I wrote at that time, to me, each sub made us progressively worse.

Away to Burnley, Carlo again started with a back five, with tweaks. This time, Holgate gave way to Mina and joined Keane and Godfrey as the centre backs. Delph played left wing back and Iwobi was on the opposite flank.

We coughed up a really soft goal after 2 minutes. Delph got injured, Gomes replaced him (getting the nod from the bench in front of Siggy) and we reverted to a flat back four in which Godfrey played left full-back and Iwobi right, but still getting well forward in support. We were fortunate to go in level at half-time with another DCL goal. Carlo looked to win the game in the last 10 minutes by introducing Siggy for Doucoure and Tosun for Allan and it almost worked with James setting up Siggy for a chance he hit straight at the keeper.

That takes us up to the Chelsea, Leicester and Arsenal games in which Carlo played a back four of Holgate, Keane, Mina and Godfrey which has been pivotal in getting us three wins.

Evaluating all that, our early season attacking potency was seriously compromised by the absence of all or some of the four key players that was feeding the goal machine known as Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Following the first dropped points of the season, Carlo settled for continuity away to Saints with the same back four that finished the previous game v Liverpool. Godfrey was poor unfortunately, but the loss was not solely down to him.

Without all four key players away to Newcastle, Carlo continued with a flat back four and played two natural full backs in Nkoukou and Kenny. I thought given the poor performance by the team on the day they did ‘OK'. Carlo obviously thought otherwise, withdrew both before the end of the game and neither has started a game since. We lost.

Both first choice full backs returned to a flat back four v United. We lost.

Again without Coleman away to Fulham, Carlo looked for other solutions. And for 45 minutes it worked a charm. The entire team went off the boil in the 2nd half, but we won.

The loss v Leeds could have gone either way, but both the starting line-up and the in-game substitutions by Carlo were poor. Away to Burnley, again, not quite there

We have then played just 3 games with a back five and only in one of them did we play the entire game with that formation (v Fulham. We won). Versus Leeds it changed to a back four on the hour (BEFORE they scored. We lost). Versus Burnley it became a back four after 30 minutes with the injury to Delph. We drew. By contrast, we lost 3 games playing (in the main) our strongest flat back 4.

Carlo has made mistakes in his selections, his tactics, his in-game substitutions. He has admitted as much himself. I can't recall any TWer claiming his is infallible and above criticism.

That said, it's a very quaint notion that any single person on TW, or even the entire collective knowledge of TW, is more astute than Carlo Ancelotti and is quicker than him in identifying what needs to be done.

Call me ‘sycophantic' if you like, but for some reason I lean more towards trusting the judgement of a man who has managed around 1,150 very top-class games of football than any and all that contribute to TW.

Derek Knox
298 Posted 20/12/2020 at 22:59:09
Jay @297, enjoyed the Trevor Steven/Carlo Ancelloti interview, so thanks again.
Paul Birmingham
299 Posted 20/12/2020 at 23:06:36
Nice one Jay, @297,appreciated.

That interview by Tricky Trev, to Carlo, was genuine and is aimed for supporting for a very good EiTC, charity.

Good to see old adversaries, in their day, as internationals, for their countries, being honest and respectful.

Dave Lynch
300 Posted 20/12/2020 at 23:11:32
Last paragraph nailed it Jay.

I'd go as far as to say I'd trust Koeman's judgement over anyone on Toffee Web.

None of us know what it takes to manage a bunch of overpaid prima donnas.

Brian Wilkinson
301 Posted 20/12/2020 at 23:12:39
Lenny@292, Thomas Mhyre also wore contact lenses, in one game he lost one in the mud and had to carry on with the use of one eye, cannot remember who it was against.
Brian Wilkinson
302 Posted 20/12/2020 at 23:23:23
Good post That Jay, hit the nail on the head in our slump after the Derby, we lost certain players, but the constant week on week witch hunt on the Virgil incident did not help.

Same happened last season after the cup defeat, took us weeks to get ourselves up again,

Then finally the season before when we lit the liver birds Blue a couple of Days before the Derby, lost the game in stoppage time and went On a slump again.

Thankfully the next Derby is only in February so we need to keep our run going, before the curse strikes again.

Derek Thomas
303 Posted 20/12/2020 at 23:28:48
Jay @ 297; you're totally right of course, it wasn't luck...it was nailed on that Delph would get injured sooner or later...usually sooner and Godfrey would have to push over to the left and do a good job, especially if there wasn't a designated LB in the squad.

It could also be argued that Kendall got lucky getting a whole season out of previous serial sicknotes like Sheedy, Reid and Grey...Just like it can be argued that Ancelotti didn't luck into the formation.

But it doesn't matter, everybody needs luck...and I'll take 3 lucky wins all day long...especially if it carries on.

However we arrived at it, this KITAP1 formation is a handy thing to have in the locker. Add Branthwaite to the squad and that's the whole back 4 covered for 1 player.

I don't know when Digne is back or Rodriguez, but they don't need to be rushed back in now.

I just wish Ancelotti would not sit back on leads...Carpe Jugulum.

Phil Lewis
304 Posted 20/12/2020 at 23:31:08
Lenny #292
Now then Jamo! Good to hear from you Len. All the very best mate, for Christmas and New Year!
I know I sound a bit like a record with the needle stuck over Pickford. It's mainly because I think we are really close this time after so many disappointments, to being a top side. But I believe that can never happen with the lad I'm afraid.
Never mind Len. Bring back Albert Dunlop, all is forgiven!
Brian Murray
305 Posted 20/12/2020 at 23:32:35
Jay post 297. That Leeds game as you say almost basketball scenario looks like it might be back for the Man U cup game. We know they have exceptional movement up front but so do we in that our front two with their pace is too much for their centre backs if we can get to them swiftly enough. In truth they have probably more match winners so Carlo may keep the same solid look and hit them fast. Like most cup games it’s on the night. Be ruthless if we get a chance blueboys and before they get in gear we maybe two goals up. Plus ole is a bit iffy with his tactics normally.
Andy Crooks
306 Posted 20/12/2020 at 23:56:45
Does any team in the Premier league, actually any team in the world, have a goalie who is considered to be "a bad shot stopper". So, assuming Jordan is not a " bad shot stopper", what else does he offer? Histrionics, panic spreading, flapping, shit punching, making easy saves look spectacular, showboating, defence blaming.
Some of the crosses he flaps at would have been caught with one hand by Pat Jennings and thrown into the opponents net.
Brian Murray
307 Posted 21/12/2020 at 00:11:36
Andy. Olsen looks far more assured but maybe he is not what Carlo will eventually settle for. Pickford is a cup exit waiting to happen. Two anfield Derby’s will testify to that.
Lenny Jameson
308 Posted 21/12/2020 at 00:30:26
Alright mate.
I agree with you over Pickford. He's never going to be the answer. He doesn't come close to our title winning keepers. Westy and Neville were miles ahead of him. Even Georgie Wood in the daylight!
Having only seen Olsen on the telly, he looks more assured and safe but you've got to trust Ancelotti. He'll sort it out.
It'll be alright in the end.
Take care mate and all the best.
Darren Hind
309 Posted 21/12/2020 at 05:30:02
Haha Conor.

I simply don't care about personel stuff. I don't know these posters and they don't know me. Pack mentality means nothing to me.
When people try to pick up on Typos to score a point, or get personal or try to side track the issues, they are inadvertently telling you they cannot counter your point/s. Thats my take anyway

We all know how this team and formation came about. We were here. We saw the managers hand being forced. We saw him trying many different formulas and only stumbled across the current one as his options diminished. That doesnt matter. At least it shouldnt...After all, who the fuck wants an unlucky manager ?
That said: It is highly amusing reading posts from people who are so full of excuses. They even want try to excuse the managers luck by rewriting history.

I simply do not understand the claim that The salary Ancelotti earns is irrelevant. Its the only reason he is here. NOBODY else would have paid him anywhere near that much.

Carlo and his Mrs must walk along Crosby beach asking each other "Whats the catch ?"..."11million a year and no expectation ?...There has to be a catch"

"I can even play Fabian Delph or Alex Iwobi as left wing backs and they will be grateful for it"

"I fucken love Crosby"

Jim Harrison
310 Posted 21/12/2020 at 06:31:13
Darren 309

I think there is a stretch between fans being content that a manager has statistically greatly improved the position the club are in and having no expectations. The football has been a real mixed bag, but recently has been dull. Thats only tolerable so long as the results are positive, which this season (not the calendar year because its irrelevant) are as good as they have been in a good few seasons. I would guess as far back as Bobbys first Christmas?

Mike Gwyer
311 Posted 21/12/2020 at 07:48:54

Jim #310.

Don't forget the commitment that these players are showing.

Godfrey would be/will be an instant terrace hero off the back of his tackle that took out the ball and player. The 2000 fans pick up as soon as this boy gets the ball.

Siggy's commitment has defo picked up and for me Holgate would tackle his nan if she entered the Everton box.

You seem to talk about tolerance like it started a couple of weeks back and all before was yipppaadeeee do daaaahhh. In my view, Evertonians have been sucked into tolerance for over 30 fucking years.

Personally, I don't give a fuck if Carlo has used an Ouija board to get the present formation; nor care a jot if it was a case of paper, fist or scissors that got rid of Delph playing in the first 11. Or maybe, just maybe, it was his son who spent many a day working with our defensive players to form a solid, workable and aggressive back 4.

Success for me is when the BBC quoted Leciester jumping over Spurs to go 2nd in the League, not a mention of the mighty blues. Yep, I love it when the RS loving BBC blindly acknowledge our success.

Bobby Mallon
312 Posted 21/12/2020 at 08:15:09
The only thing that matters now is winning the Utd game. They are on fire at the moment. Their front 3 are as good as any in the premiership and if we try to play a high line then we will be punished. More of the same for me on Wednesday night. Frustrate the manks. either nick it by 1 or win on pens. I don’t care just don’t loose.
Tony Everan
313 Posted 21/12/2020 at 08:20:19
The football has been pragmatic and has been focused on defensive solidity. It’s a plan that was needed against Chelsea Leicester and Arsenal and 9 points from those three games means that this approach was a resounding success.

It doesn’t mean it’s the new club philosophy or a permanent approach. Against top 4/6 teams with excellent attacking players but slight weaknesses defensively this approach can get us many points. We can keep it tight and we can almost guarantee a goal or two these days.

The approach against teams with an overall weakness, like the upcoming game against Sheffield Utd will be different. We will be set up to attack more with the belief that we can and will out score Sheffield.

Jim Harrison
314 Posted 21/12/2020 at 09:00:22
Mike 311

I think tolerance for each manager has its limits. This one deserves some at present, the football is pragmatic, and that’s fine as long as it gets results. I do get Darrens side of things. If longer term we just get an expensive Moyes it won’t really matter his pedigree!

But for the time being he is doing what needs to be done.

Dan Nulty
315 Posted 21/12/2020 at 10:03:51
Darren, agree to a certain extent but don't confuse feeling positive or praise for a manager as sycophancy. They are different things. As long as people are willing to criticise when he does get it wrong (in a measured way) then it is OK to praise when things going well.

Personally, I couldn't give a rats ass how we play as long as we win. Once you win things and the financial benefits that brings you can invest in the better players then and play better football.

As city found when they had their investment, in order to attract better players or managers when you aren't up there challenging already you have to pay over the odds. What we have paid for Carlo in my view is worth every penny so far because we wouldn't have signed Allan and James without him and don't forget James was virtually free. In the last 38 games in charge he has accumulated 67 points I think. Last season that would have been good enough for 3rd. Worst position in last 8 years would have been 7th with that points total. I do think to get in top 4 this year will need more than that though as there are some terrible sides in the Premier league.

Is he the messiah? No. Will we win the league this year? No. But I think we are in a far better place both on and off the field and there is a feeling of stability at the moment which after the turmoil of Bobby Phenomenal, Koeman, Fat Sam and Silva I'd take any day of the week.

Thomas Richards
316 Posted 21/12/2020 at 10:09:08
Darren #309

Who has told Ancelotti there is "no expectation"?

Laurie Hartley
317 Posted 21/12/2020 at 10:22:36
Maybe I am just a football philistine but watching the opposition battering its head against our defence for extended periods for no result, then seeing us break with 3 maybe 4 passes to score, I find very exhilarating. Conversely I hate it when it happens to us.

So Holgate, Kean, Mina, & Godfrey it is for me until further notice.

It will certainly do me until both Coleman and Digne are both back fully fit.

Robert Tressell
318 Posted 21/12/2020 at 10:54:33
Dan - that's probably stat of the week. 67 points from 38 games. That's pretty impressive going. Hadn't thought of it like that. I think we got 70 odd points the year we finished 5th with Martinez (which was higher than our points tally when Moyes got us to 4th?). So it puts our progress in perspective.
Billy Roberts
319 Posted 21/12/2020 at 11:14:05
Jim @314
Correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't Moyes one of the highest paid managers in the league at the time of his departure?
I stopped paying attention to players wages a long, long time ago.
It's funny there was always a valid point amongst fans of not just Everton that a club should pay the most it can afford to the manager first and then worry about what they can afford on players.
Its similar to the lack of money spent on Goalkeepers until fairly recently, I always found it strange that clubs, ourselves included didn't break the bank for the best on the market.
It's only fairly recently that English clubs seemed to prioritise this Liverpoo withAllison, Chelsea ( think Petr Cech etc rather than Kepa!!, Man utd with DeGea.
Only time will tell if Ancelotti was money well spent but meanwhile we will have to just agree to disagree with each other on TW.
I am more than happy to let Ancelotti take the reins, mistakes included.
Joe McMahon
320 Posted 21/12/2020 at 11:18:37
Robert, I think it was 72 points for Martinez in season 1. If and this is a big If we can land a striker to assist DCL with the one man workload in early January, and If we get no more major injuries for a few weeks, the team can have eyes set on 70 + points again.

Lots of ifs I know

Dave Abrahams
321 Posted 21/12/2020 at 11:21:18
Billy (319), yes Billy, Moyes was among the top six highest paid managers in England, if not Europe, he was the only manager in England who got paid more than everyone of his players, until Arteta got a new contract at one stage and got the same as Moyes or maybe more,

Moyes stated in one paper I read, that it was only right and proper that the manager of a club should be the highest paid, and of course “ you know who” certainly agreed with that and paid him so.

Brian Harrison
322 Posted 21/12/2020 at 11:25:49
I think if its correct that we have got 67 points from 38 games then that is a true comparison based on a seasons long set of results. So it proves that we are heading in the right direction and with more quality additions in Jan and the summer then hopefully we can improve on that points tally. Turning a club round that bye and large have under performed and have been very inconsistent over the last 5 years, is not a quick fix. I think these stats prove that we have got the right man in charge at last.

I am sure that Ancelotti will want us to play a far more expansive game than we are playing at present. But he is also well aware that to be able to play a more expansive game you need to have a solid back 4. Every team that wins leagues have all been built on a strong defence, which we now seem to be putting in place.

Brian Harrison
323 Posted 21/12/2020 at 11:32:20

I also think Sir Alex Ferguson was paid more than any of his players. For me I don't care what managers or players earn, its what they produce on the field that matters most to me. Directors and owners have to be responsible for making a club financially sound, and most fans only ever mention salaries when a team is struggling otherwise its not usually a priority.

Christopher Timmins
324 Posted 21/12/2020 at 11:33:20
Our current style of play actually gives us a better chance on Wednesday night. We should defend deep and counter attack. Olsen and Coleman for Pickford and Mina.

Conor McCourt
325 Posted 21/12/2020 at 11:47:48
Dan I think the issue as highlighted by your stats is that some of us get really infuriated by the misinformation and complete lies fostered on ToffeeWeb that it almost hardens our stance and then some view this as a steadfast anti-Carlo position.

From my own perspective I don't come on ToffeeWeb as much and find I am much more objective for doing so. I am a doubter of the Italian and it will take more performances like that of the Spurs victory on a regular basis to convince me Carlo is the man needed to take us where we all want to be. I am willing and desperate to be on the other side of the fence but I still don't see the evolution that others profess.

Dan if you take your misinformation for a start. Carlo has only managed 34 PL games and his return if you calculate it over most seasons would have us sixth which we would all welcome. But don't forget you have calculated that on the back of three wins. Let's hope we finish sixth but your placing us third is an attempt to big Carlo's achievements up which I do find unnecessary.

It is this kind of stuff which particularly polarises myself and certainly does Darren as it's almost as if this manager is bigger than the club and must be promoted in the best light.

Already we have seen posters imply that Carlo's judgement shouldn't be challenged or analysed, we have seen brilliant young men like Anthony Gordon have their character and reputation slurred to excuse his non-inclusion in defence of the indefensible and even in this thread we see a total divergence from ready made held views which have deviated based on outcome.

After the Southampton came Marcel Brands came under fire for his purchases, of Godfrey in particular and the belief that Doucoure was his signing and just not good enough. Many claimed Allan and Rodriguez were brilliant signings and these were solely down to Carlo.

Now in our last three games Doucoure has been absolutely immense and Godfrey has shown what a player he will be and why I suggested that we had got the best talent from the Norwich brigade, they are apparently Carlo's signings now. When they were poor he had no say, now they are brilliant it's down to him.

The fact that we have won all three games Allan has had little or no involvement in has been overlooked and the team has had better shape and cohesion without Carlo's marquee men seems irrelevant to those who want to lavish unwarranted credit.

It's this type of cherry picking, lack of accountability and pedestal pushing nonsense which frustrates me. And the actual irony being that Carlo is actually such an honest and forthright man that I would imagine he would be embarrrassed if he had to read some of the stuff invented on his behalf.

Thomas Richards
326 Posted 21/12/2020 at 11:51:52

I think you are guilty of doing what you accuse others of there.

Robert Tressell
327 Posted 21/12/2020 at 12:04:31
I wouldn't get too worked up Conor. It's all opinion. I enjoy your posts even if I don't always agree. Stats are always flawed to some extent. Not least because they don't offer us a crystal ball as to what will actually happen.

Personally, I get the impression some people won't be satisfied until we've won the treble. Fair enough too, you could say.

I'm keen to see real progress and I think we are seeing that. Ancelotti has made mistakes, certainly, but he's also built two different teams / styles just this season and is getting a tune out of a few players who looked really shit about a year ago.

We're still light on real quality but a 6th place finish is within reach certainly - albeit we'll have our ups and downs along the way.

John Keating
328 Posted 21/12/2020 at 12:06:00
Everyone is entitled to their point of view but do you not think you and others do exactly the same cherry picking
Sam Hoare
329 Posted 21/12/2020 at 12:28:13
Conor, brilliant irony to accuse others of misinformation and then say “ The fact that we have won all three games Allan has had little or no involvement in has been overlooked”.

Allan played all the Chelsea game and almost half (our best half) of the Leicester game.

It’s true he didn’t feature against Arsenal and Davies did well filling in, bar the penalty. But I’d say Arsenal are the weakest of those three teams.

Jeff Armstrong
330 Posted 21/12/2020 at 12:28:20
I think the managers salary is a irrelevant really, do we pay a chump like Silva or Koeman £7 mill or someone with a lot more pedigree at £11 million?
The manager is the most important position at the club but some people don’t seem to mind that we’ve wasted (guesses)
40 million over the contract on Bolasie
15 on Sandro
lost 10 on Klaassen
20 on Besic
35 on Tosun
35 on Walcott
The list goes on, Ancellotti ‘s contract is a bargain compared to what we’ve wasted on players who have contributed literally zero over the last 3 years, the last 9 points are worth the £11 mill compared to what those I’ve mentioned have contributed!
Derek Taylor
331 Posted 21/12/2020 at 12:42:46
I understand your logic, Jeff. Applying the same to Allardyce, he now seems a good investment for about half of Carlo's deal. I see he's got the same deal at WBA. 'Keep us in the Premier for £2M cash plus £6M a year for as long as. '

Rather have Ancelotti, though !

Tom Bowers
332 Posted 21/12/2020 at 12:48:30
In Soccer it pays to be able to get the best and the only way is to lay the money down. That's how the likes of RS, Manure and Chelski can have many more class players not even in the first eleven.

Some of the other clubs do have money but it's spending is still controlled.

Everton getting Carlo appears to have been the first real step in getting quality coaching.

Patrick McFarlane
333 Posted 21/12/2020 at 13:05:19
I'm always bemused by the need for people to set themselves up in one camp or another, after all, aren't we all supporting the same club?

If Everton wins, we feel a little better and life is a little more manageable if Everton fails to win, we tend to feel a little more depressed and life becomes a little less manageable.

Being an Evertonian is difficult enough on most occasions, but trying to prove we are right about why the manager is or isn't good for the club is adding a level of angst that is unproductive and unnecessary.

None of us know what the future holds, none of us know the result of the next fixture or what the results of the next 25 fixtures will be.

If Everton loses or plays badly, come on here and criticise the manager, the players, or whatever else you think may be responsible, by all means, if they win and play well, then praise whomever you deem to be responsible.

We all want the same thing, for Everton to be successful and for the team to play as well as it can as often as it can, if the team manages to do that, I couldn't give a jot about who the man in charge is or how much he is paid. Season's greetings to all and may 2021 provide us with good footy and good health.

Darren Hind
334 Posted 21/12/2020 at 13:06:55
Dan 315

I don't confuse positive stuff or praise of the manager as Sycophancy. nor do I confuse the sycophants with the positive. I see the difference very clearly.

Both my lads are Adamant Carlo is the man for the job, so are 85-90% of of my mates. Many of the posters on TW whos views I have enormous respect for, also belong in the Carlo camp. I do not believe everyone who backs Carlo is an apologist. That does not mean there is not a real groundswell of sycophancy within our ranks right now...and I think its totally destructive.

You don't have to leave these pages to find people who will make every excuse under the sun to deny Carlo is to blame for anything. You don't have to leave these pages to hear people claim he has brought about improvements in players he had nothing to do with. As Conor points out if a player has a bad game. He is either a Brands signing or inherited deadwood. If he plays well the week after Carlo is lauded for the players massive improvement. Sometimes there is only a few days in between.

Do these people REALLY belief Carlo Ancelotti puts in hard hours with individuals. . . Are they REALLY that naive ? The Guys got a fucking football club to manage. He is not Colin Harvey. He employs his own Colin Harvey.
Ancelotti will drop little pearls of Wisdom, recommend a player studies another...but thats it. The hard hours put in improving players are done by coaches.

These sycophants are feeding off each other with misinformation.They have created a world where the manager is responsible for all the improvements, but has not part in the things which go wrong.

Look Dan. I think you made a genuine mistake with your stat...But just look how quickly people have run with it. "Stat of the week" ?????. Its as if facts have lost all relevance.

Give me a man who will acknowledge the mistakes the manager has made or A man who can come back with a strong counter argument and I will respect and listen to his views all day but when somebody tells me I should count myself lucky to have a manager who's main achievements for Everton exist only in their own heads. I feel like throwing up.

A right fucking ingrate me, ya know.

Sam Hoare

Conor is not peddling misinformation. You are . . .unless you want to give us a quick report on Allans performance against Brighton.

Brian Williams
335 Posted 21/12/2020 at 13:42:57
Well some fucker or other's improved us because last time we were in the top four at Christmas was 16 years ago!

Last time we were TOP at Christmas Rolf Harris sung innocently about two little boys ffs.

Let's hop we're still there come the end of this season, whenever that is!

Don Alexander
336 Posted 21/12/2020 at 14:06:30
Dazza (various), you claim to be particularly well-informed on matters within Finch Farm and use the information as fact in supporting your opinions (and "fact" and "opinion" still have different meanings - trust me).

Any chance of identifying, even obliquely, who the source of your information might be?

If you did, and it's credible, many fellow TW'ers may start to take you seriously.

Happy Christmas!

Hugh Jenkins
337 Posted 21/12/2020 at 14:14:47
Thomas (316). I don't think anyone has. If you read the article on this site of an interview given by Ancelotti, he clearly says that he has given an undertaking to take Everton to the "top".

None of us is party to the contract between him and EFC but given the amount of money involved, I would be hugely surprised if there were not certain "milestone" targets written into it.

I very much doubt that the phraseology is "just go out and do your best".

Jon Wit
338 Posted 21/12/2020 at 14:22:56
It's pretty easy to dump on managers, they all fail eventually.

I might as well bite and defend Ancelotti - who is doing a decent enough job, ups and downs, and is always very likeable too.

There is more fight in the team now since the days of Moyes and before that Royle.

Perhaps in a year or two we'll end up losing or replacing him and that is going to be tough again.

As far as the PL goes, I don't see a better manager for us right now - probably every club would want Klopp due to his current success but he's a red figurehead so not for us.

Others are going through some good spells of form, but the jury is still out.

Tony Hill
339 Posted 21/12/2020 at 14:23:21
There's an interesting interview with Davide Ancelotti doing the rounds. It does indeed seem, as others have noted, that his influence is significant. It must have been tough for him to earn the respect of the players but he seems to have done so and we may now be seeing the fruits.

It would be excellent news if we have a serious young coach on our books who may (who knows, of course?) step up in due course.

Thomas Richards
340 Posted 21/12/2020 at 14:31:51
Wriggle, wriggle

Patrick McFarlane
341 Posted 21/12/2020 at 14:36:00
Chris Beesley in a column looking at Carlo's first twelve months in charge observes that many people in the game expressed surprise that Carlo was chosen to lead the Blues and even more surprised that he took on the challenge, remuneration notwithstanding.

Yet some, namely those associated with Everton’s rivals, continue to profess their apparent surprise that Ancelotti has taken on the job.

For the Blues’ 2-1 victory over Arsenal on Saturday that propelled them to second in the Premier League table, Sky Sports served up a studio panel of former Liverpool captains Graeme Souness (who of course was also their manager) and Jamie Redknapp, joined by anchor Kelly Cates, daughter of Reds legend, Sir Kenny Dalglish while during the game, Jamie Carragher, who spent his entire playing career at Anfield, provided the co-commentary.

With the Kop having seemingly crossed enemy lines to broadcast from the other side of Stanley Park, in the interest of fairness even Redknapp balked somewhat at Souness’ declaration of shock that Ancelotti was employed by his old rivals.

However, in a statement that came across to many Evertonians as being loaded with a heady mix of narcissism and hubris, the Scot replied: “Everton are a fabulous club that live in the shadow of our team.”

And there’s the rub.

How dare ‘Little’ Everton – the neighbours who Rafa Benitez once referred to as a “small club” dare to get ideas above their station.

Sometimes, it is necessary to realise which people are seriously interested in what's best for Everton FC and not fall into the trap of believing the propaganda perpetrated by our rivals.

Platform for Ancelotti

Derek Knox
342 Posted 21/12/2020 at 14:36:24
Tony @ 339, that sounds interesting regarding Davide's interview, any chance of a link or reference? I'm sure many others would appreciate it too! Thanks in anticipation.
Tony Hill
343 Posted 21/12/2020 at 14:42:13
I’m hopeless with that sort of thing Derek, but I think it’s in a piece by Patrick Boyland in The Athletic featuring both Carlo and Davide. It’s called “ Inside Carlo Ancelotti’s First Year at Everton”.
Derek Knox
344 Posted 21/12/2020 at 14:49:48
Thanks Tony, I don't subscribe to the Athletic but I'll try and find it somewhere.
Patrick McFarlane
345 Posted 21/12/2020 at 14:50:37
Tony and Derek, it is 'The Athletic' which is carrying this interview, unfortunately, it is a subscription service, but for those who want to, it can be read by taking up the Athletic's free trial service.

Ancelotti Interview

Steve Brown
346 Posted 21/12/2020 at 14:55:51
Interesting articles Patrick, thanks for sharing.

We are definitely unsettling the reds, but it will require a trophy win to really be taken seriously.

Derek Knox
347 Posted 21/12/2020 at 14:56:10
Just found the OS version, so am providing the link should anyone want to listen/watch.
Tony Hill
348 Posted 21/12/2020 at 14:59:34
Thanks Patrick and Derek.
Sam Hoare
349 Posted 21/12/2020 at 15:03:49
It’s an encouraging piece in The Athletic. Sounds as though Davide is quite the football scholar and given lots of trust and responsibility by his Dad. Good combination potentially of a young, hungry, modern coach and a manager who’s seen and won it all.
Justin Doone
350 Posted 21/12/2020 at 15:28:25
Another great win and 3 points. A really solid and well organised defence.

Without attacking fullbacks we simply play deeper and stay solid. We shouldn't need to change the defence as they are not being overly stretched or overworked.

Another game another Pickford error. Maybe he needs a longer rest.

Forwards if they need a rest jusf 1 at a time. Bring in Bernard or Gordon for Ric against Utd. Maybe Ric with DCL for game after.

Rob Halligan
351 Posted 21/12/2020 at 15:54:28
I've been allocated a seat in the Upper Gwladys Street for the Man City game. I was praying I wasn't given a Top Balcony ticket, but I suppose beggars can't be choosers!!
Brian Williams
352 Posted 21/12/2020 at 15:56:01
Oi Rob, you cheeky swine. We can do without the likes of you in the Top Balcony, thank you very much!
Rob Halligan
353 Posted 21/12/2020 at 16:01:16
The mince pies aren't as good as they used to be Brian, that's my excuse!!
Brian Williams
354 Posted 21/12/2020 at 16:10:43
Jeez, Rob, I tried a pie once and spent a fortune on reconstructive and plastic surgery.

They heat 'em up using old uranium waste.

Mike Gaynes
355 Posted 21/12/2020 at 16:24:27
Darren #334... "I do not believe everyone who backs Carlo is an apologist."

Gee, thanks for finally making that distinction, but since you've obviously studied the posts of the pro-Carlo folks quite extensively, would you share what percentage of them you consider "apologists"? 20%? 80%? You've cast some pretty wide aspersions about that in the past.

"That does not mean there is not a real groundswell of sycophancy within our ranks right now...and I think its totally destructive."

Again, quite the sweeping statement. So even if such "sycophancy" exists, how (aside from making you nauseous) is it "totally destructive"? Destructive to whom? Or what?

Mike Connolly
356 Posted 21/12/2020 at 16:33:10
What's up with our club, we get advantage of fans and where do we stick some of them. As far away from the pitch as possible. Why not the Park End. Glad I did not go in the ballot.I'm happy watching at home with my can of lucky 1878 pilsner. won all three games with this match drink. COYB
Patrick McFarlane
357 Posted 21/12/2020 at 16:34:06
With a little or perhaps a lot of luck, this press release from the English Football League might have Evertonians dreaming of attending the national stadium in person for the League Cup Final.

Be warned though as the new date is a birthday shared by David Moyes and yours truly, very rarely do Everton do well on that particular date, but it would be fantastic if the Blues could make it to the final.

This season’s Carabao Cup Final has been rescheduled and will now take place on Sunday 25 April 2021, with a 4pm kick-off.

It is the objective of the League to stage the Final with as many supporters in attendance as possible and the decision has therefore been taken to move the Final from its original date of Sunday 28 February 2021 to later in the year.

The number of fans permitted will be dependent on Government guidance in place at the time and it is hoped that moving the date to later in the year will give Clubs and their fans the best opportunity to attend in person.

The competition is set to continue this week, with the Quarter-Finals to be played across Tuesday 22 December and Wednesday 23 December, with all four games live on Sky Sports.

Mike Gaynes
358 Posted 21/12/2020 at 16:39:25
Patrick #357, I'm happy to see that change, because it does allow the fantasy of a Wembley full of blue for the final.

Meanwhile, I'm officially suggesting the UK government refer to the new COVID variant as the Allan variant. Because it's a new strain.

Jay Wood

359 Posted 21/12/2020 at 16:41:45
Forums such as TW posts typically contain 3 types of content:

* Fact
* Opinion
* Speculation

To take one example and how all 3 can be applied, let’s consider team selection.

* The names of the XI starting players are a fact. Indisputable.
* How those XI players (and manager) perform as a team or as individuals is open to wide-ranging opinion, as is evidenced on TW during and after every game.
* Speculation evolves from people making presumptions as to why the manager selected certain players over others in a particular formation without having access to all pertinent inside information.

Darren @ 206 expresses scorn for the opinions that don’t align with his own and leans very heavily on speculation as to how and why Carlo played the formations he did, promoting the notion that the Italian was tardy in playing a back 5 rather than a flat back 4.

Not content with that alone, Darren invents an avatar, a profile of TWers as ‘mindless sycophants offering endless excuses blaming everything and everyone when Carlo fucks up.’

Darren doubles down on these imagined sycophants, comparing them to lovestruck adolescents swooning over Carlo. That they love the manager more than the club itself.

Yer reckon? You’re a gnarled, wizened old grump Darren. You like to shoot from the hip. Out these sycophants. Name them. That way we know who exactly you consider lovesick sycophants and how they demonstrate their sycophancy.

Because personally I know of no such person on TW.

I can identify the ‘infidels’ (your description Darren) of those not convinced by Carlo. You and Conor most definitely belong in that camp. I cannot think of a single person that comes close to checking all the boxes of sycophancy you make.

I don’t see anyone stating their love of the manager exceeds their love of the club.

I do see people willing to be more patient and tolerant of the manager than the likes of yourself and Conor who openly resented Carlo Ancelotti’s recruitment before he even signed his contract.

I do see plenty of those same people questioning team selection, formation and in-game substitutions, contrary to what Darren claims. I number myself among them.

Conor @ 280 evidently shares your lowly opinion of fellow TWers, stating:

What I have learnt on this thread though is that strangely there are actually greater feelings than love for Carlo on ToffeeWeb which I would never have believed. One is the vitriol aimed at you [Darren].

Sure about that Conor?

A quick on-page search reveals 15 different recipients to Darren’s post @ 209. 13 either fully engaged with Darren’s comments or gently and playfully ribbed him for the Donny Osmond comment. Only two (at a stretch) could be described as ‘vitriolic’ towards Darren as described by Conor. Carl @ 214 ‘Darren you write some crap’ and Bobby @ 265 ‘Darren Hind, you are a sour sod’.

Both comments read to me as typical response to mates down a pub to a claim you make: ‘Yer talkin’ outta yer arse, la’. Far from ‘vitriolic’ as claimed by Conor.

Conor @ 325 admits that he doesn’t ‘come on TW as much and find I am much more objective for doing so [as] I am a doubter of the Italian.’

Am I the only one to see the obvious flaw in Conor’s position? To paraphrase:

‘I doubt Carlo and I don’t want to read counter-opinions to my own position and by shutting out such voices makes me more ‘objective’.

No it doesn’t Conor. It traps you in your own self-affirming bubble.

Nobody, but nobody on TW, is denying either Darren or Conor to express the opinions they do. But if they want to express the disdain they evidently display for the opinions of others, promoting themselves and their opinions as more valid than others, then they really should expect to be challenged as they often are.

Personally, I consider they make some valid points. They also make, IMO, some totally nonsensical and invented ones, as demonstrated in this very thread.

Finally, as a double act I have to say Conor is like Rudy Giuliani to Darren’s Donald Trump, presenting alternative 'truths' as they do.

Ciarán McGlone
360 Posted 21/12/2020 at 16:56:12
Have a break lads.

This thread has turned into a crap version of Wiggesteins Poker - featuring basil brush and officer Dibble.

Alan McGuffog
361 Posted 21/12/2020 at 17:03:57
Apologies if this has been reported elsewhere. Rob and Brian, talking of matchday fodder, have a look at Daily Mail on line.

Article about worst footy ground food, there is a pic from one of our executive boxes. It showed, and I kid you not, a kind of spaghetti hoop terrine, topped off with mini franks.

I'll stick to a Higsons Double Top in a waxed cup at the back of the Street End.

Patrick McFarlane
362 Posted 21/12/2020 at 17:10:28
I think Rob's post referring to Mince Pies has been misinterpreted, probably because of the time of the year, as I think he was using rhyming slang to refer to his less than perfect eyesight
Brian Williams
363 Posted 21/12/2020 at 17:14:06
Alan #361,
Alan I'll have you know some Dunlop starred chef has lovingly opened a tin of Lidl hoops and franks and expertly spread them, à la nouvelle cuisine, for the executive match goer.

Jeez, man, what do you want for several hundred quid?

Brian Williams
364 Posted 21/12/2020 at 17:16:02
*Whispers* Patrick we know mate.
Danny O’Neill
365 Posted 21/12/2020 at 17:59:11
Darren, just want to unpick an important point on your 334 post relating to management and leadership. It is in tune with previous discussion on good players / coaches not necessarily translating into good managers.

The Harvey analogy is really good. Kendall was the manager. He made the players feel good, created the environment and set the conditions. Harvey delivered what Kendall instructed.

I use my military background to underpin this as it is relative. Officers (some of whom have been through the ranks themselves) set the direction based on their intent and back by their experience.

The players will be directly coached and drilled by the coaches. The instructions and influence on the coaches will come from the manager. So the players are indirectly coached and influenced by the manager, although the coaches obviously get to put their own influence on that too.

The Sergeant Majors deliver on that direction and intent. Every now and then, the officer comes along to check everything is going to plan and check everyone is okay. Everyone stops, nods and engages with the officer. The officer walks away happy, the Sergeant Majors start shouting again and everyone carries on.

Kendall was the officer, Harvey the Sergeant Major. Ancelotti is the officer, he has his Sergeant Majors. He is paid to think more strategically whilst his coaches deliver the tactics. It's called delegation and most top leaders / managers are good at it.

Conor McCourt
366 Posted 21/12/2020 at 18:02:46
Thomas @326 and John@328- I understand that many of my points I make are generally points that haven't tended to be discussed so they generally will go against the grain.

My previous point about objectivity was not to dismiss others as being lacking objectivity but just to suggest that I felt that getting away from ToffeeWeb has made me less tribalistic if that makes sense.

When Silva was in charge I remember one poster who no longer posts accused me of despising the man and within a week he had forgotten himself and described me as an apologist for Silva based on how I saw different aspects.

I would imagine if Darren and I were having a pint and discussing all things Everton and Ancelotti many ToffeeWebbers would be surprised at the respect and positivity we would express even if both of us are yet to be convinced that he is the man to deliver what we all desire.

Sam@329- I would say a case of thinking before you speak is in order.

Brian Wilkinson
367 Posted 21/12/2020 at 18:04:04
Brian@335, straight to the point, love it.
Brian Wilkinson
368 Posted 21/12/2020 at 18:20:00
Rob@351, one of the toffee web posters, kindly gave me a free ticket a few seasons back because they could not go, I ensured I made a kind donation to the Everton charity.

It was in the top Balcony half way up, now I am not one for heights at the best of times, the ticket was the very end seat Gwladys street side, where there is a wall and then a gap before the end cladding, I spent the whole game rooted to my seat, and avoided looking over the wall to see what was below.

I looked to see if there was any empty seats a little further in, but not one to be had that I could have happily occupied.

I doff my cap to fellow Evertonians, who can sit in those rows at the end, and even jump up and celebrate a goal.

If the poster still has the same seat, apologies for the indents of my fingers, embedded in the seat.

Stan Schofield
369 Posted 21/12/2020 at 18:22:42
Brian @354: They are old uranium waste. That's how they stay warm.
Tony Hill
370 Posted 21/12/2020 at 18:23:52
Debate, rude debate included, is the lifeblood of this place. It's as it should be: confusion, intensity, passing/lingering hatreds, pain and suffering, colossal egos and so forth. It's not, thank God, a logic symposium.

But we all hate the Red Shite and we will all be ecstatic when our moment arrives. It's getting closer.

Brian Williams
371 Posted 21/12/2020 at 18:27:05
Stan #369.

That would certainly explain some of my health issues, mate. 🤣

John Skelly
372 Posted 21/12/2020 at 18:49:57
I have to say Jay Wood is a very erudite poster but, getting to my point, Carlo picks a team available to him at the given time, and, in my opinion, he has chosen well.
Dave Abrahams
373 Posted 21/12/2020 at 18:50:55
Brian (323),

I agree that a manager's salary is usually only mentioned when he isn't doing so well. In Moyes's case, when he came from Preston North End, I fully supported his appointment. He was a young manager with good potential. I actually wrote him a letter after Preston were unlucky to lose 2-0, I think, in an FA Cup game at Goodison; they were the better team and played good football.

After two years at Everton, I'd seen enough, even though later he got us to 4th in the Premier League. The wages he got then and later were more than his talent deserved. How Ferguson picked him for the Man Utd position amazed me, but didn't surprise me – he had long been tipped for the job in the press.

I think it had more to do with Ferguson's relationship with Moyes's dad; they were friends growing up in Glasgow and connected through amateur football as well. It couldn't have been Moyes's ability, which has been shown up since his short stay at Old Trafford...

In my opinion, Brian, Moyes, was well overpaid at Everton.

Danny Broderick
374 Posted 21/12/2020 at 18:56:09
Wouldn’t it be nice if we all got behind the team and the manager? We are supporters after all, aren’t we supposed to support?

Debate and analysis is fine, I love nothing better. But there is definitely an illness within the Everton fanbase that simply throws the dummy out of the pram and demands the manager’s head every 6 months or so. We all know several hindsight merchants who will be out in force the next time we lose a game or drop points, criticising the manager. It’s as if there’s a prestige to be had in being the first to call for the manager’s head.

Ancelloti had a bad couple of games in terms of selection, tactics and substitutes a few weeks back (in my opinion). But he has my support 100%, because if he is successful, Everton are successful. He has got far more right than wrong in his first year here. I’ve got a nagging feeling there will be fans calling for the manager’s head between now and the end of the season if we have another bad spell.

We will not get a better manager than this guy. We might as well ALL get behind him.

John Skelly
375 Posted 21/12/2020 at 19:01:16
Hear, hear, Danny – my point exactly.
Rob Halligan
376 Posted 21/12/2020 at 19:02:21
Mike # 356. The reason the Park End stand is not used is because of the away team using the portacabin as a changing room located in the car park at that end.

Social distancing rules being applied, hence the same reason why there are no fans in the main stand or family enclosure. The club want fans away from players and coaching staff etc as far as possible, so the top balcony was the only other option after the street end.

I do agree though, maybe the 2000 fans could have all been put in the street end, say 1500 in the lower and 500 in the upper.

Martin Mason
377 Posted 21/12/2020 at 19:09:58
Danny@374 Exactly, that is what fans do, what fans do should not be to constantly whine and put down the club and the players. Everton would benefit from not having these fans following the club, they are total poison.

My son follows the social media outlets after the game, he rates Everton fans as the biggest whingers and worst supporters in the Premier League. I agree with him.

Tony Hill
378 Posted 21/12/2020 at 19:12:16
Danny @374. No, it would all be virtuous and dull.
John Skelly
379 Posted 21/12/2020 at 19:16:26
Rob 376,

The Street End is crap, the abuse I have received there for having an Irish accent over the years was embarrassing, fisty cuffs and all.

Tony Hill
380 Posted 21/12/2020 at 19:20:20
Martin @377, you rebut your own point. You are one of the most entertaining posters on here because you love to strike a contrary note. Who wants a parade of yeasayers analysing whether we're playing 4-2-3-1, 4-3-3 or 1-8-1? It's a vision of hell.
John Keating
381 Posted 21/12/2020 at 19:23:23
Really surprised-and shocked- to hear that John
Brian Harrison
382 Posted 21/12/2020 at 19:28:58
Dave 373.

What great news that you are getting your vaccination tomorrow, I am 72 but I think you might be a little older than me, but hopefully I will be getting my jab in Jan or Feb. I only replied to your post as you said you thought Moyes was the only manager getting paid more than his players, but I had read that Ferguson was also getting more than his players at Utd.

I think history has shown that trying to replace a successful iconic manager who has been at the club for a long time has proved extremely difficult for clubs, the one exception was our neighbours who replaced 1 iconic manager with another trust them. But Spurs struggled to replace Bill Nicholson, Utd struggled to replace Busby, Everton struggled to replace Catterick and Arsenal are still struggling to replace Wenger. So I am not surprised that Moyes struggled in taking over from Ferguson, now whether he was good enough in the first place is another debate.

Like you I have seen all our managers from Ian Buchan onwards and how sad we have only had 2 managers in all that time who have managed to win the league. I don't know if I will see another league victory in my lifetime, but I really hope Ancelotti can do it.

Peter Mills
383 Posted 21/12/2020 at 19:28:58
RIP John Fitzpatrick, former full back of Manchester Utd.

With great respect to him, I remember him trying to kick and intimidate Johnny Morrisey out of a match. Undoubtedly, the most foolish action I have ever seen on a football pitch.

Graham Mockford
384 Posted 21/12/2020 at 19:32:54
Let's face it – some just like to be the contrarians. Captain Blowhard has never changed. He considers himself intellectually superior to your average fan.

Meanwhile, most of us are feeling pretty positive with the first 14 games. This being Everton, the only thing that feels certain is that it's all likely to go tits up.
For me, I'm happy with Carlo presently but, if he doesn't deliver the goods, then he'll go the way of many before him. It's how it works.

John Skelly
385 Posted 21/12/2020 at 19:33:52
John 381, so was I at the time but, after I changed my season tickets for the Main Stand, it has been great.👌
Tony Hill
386 Posted 21/12/2020 at 19:37:26
John @379, I'm very sad to hear that. Our Irish connection has always been, and remains, incredibly strong. It seems you had the misfortune to encounter dickheads.

What do other Irish fans think? Is that a common experience? I would be ashamed if so and I'm sure other English Blues on here would feel the same.

Brian Williams
387 Posted 21/12/2020 at 19:38:43
Brian #382.

Typical Scouser that Dave Abrahams. Getting his jab tomorrow?

The fella's about 45 fer fuck's sake!

Brent Stephens
388 Posted 21/12/2020 at 19:45:26
Martin #377

"My son follows the social media outlets after the game, he rates Everton fans as the biggest whingers and worst supporters in the Premier League. I agree with him."

It's good to get a whinge off your chest, isn't it?

John Keating
389 Posted 21/12/2020 at 19:47:01
John, I agree with Tony they must have been dickheads!

Surprised the lads around you didn't sort them out?

Well at least you're now with the prawn sandwich brigade in the main stand politely clapping not only our goals but also the opposition!

“Come on, play up, you Blue chappies!”

Peter Mills
390 Posted 21/12/2020 at 19:48:56
Just a little prick, Dave.
Billy Roberts
391 Posted 21/12/2020 at 19:54:04
Danny @374, well said. Summed it up perfectly for me. as we stand. That is the most important perspective... as we stand isn't it? 12 months on.

Dave Abrahams, thanks for concurring with me on the Moyes wage comparison. It needs to be remembered this was a manager who had won nothing, and left Everton was it 11 years later still having won nothing.

Mike Gaynes... you took the words out of my mouth; if these sycophants exist? How exactly are they destructive? Are they affecting the first team's morale?

Or maybe Ancelotti, when he's walking on Crosby beach, with his big sack of money, he must think: "God, I love these sycophants – I'm picking Delph and Iwobi again!!!"

Is that how it works???

Dave Abrahams
392 Posted 21/12/2020 at 20:22:38
Peter (390), but it’s very good looking!!!
Steve Shave
393 Posted 21/12/2020 at 20:50:25
Always the same people on here who simply can't take it when someone disagrees with them... yawn.
Brian Wilkinson
394 Posted 21/12/2020 at 21:10:49
Entering the Live Forum when the match is gash... or entering the Boys Pen in the seventies – which is less daunting???
Laurie Hartley
395 Posted 21/12/2020 at 21:58:09
Come on, Darren, admit it –you laughed your head off when you read Brian Williams “comeback” @ 335.

I think Patrick McFarlane summed it up for me – when Everton win it gives me a tremendous lift. When we lose, I am down in the dumps for a couple of days. This by-and-large is regardless of whatever else is going on in my life. It's been like that for me since 1960.

I am starting to feel the nerves jangle about tomorrow night – here 12,000 miles from Goodson.

How does a football club do that?

Rob Halligan
396 Posted 21/12/2020 at 22:05:06
Laurie, I'm less than 12 miles from Goodison (about 6 I reckon), and my nerves have been shot watching every game on TV. It's funny, because I never seem to be so nervous when actually at the match. Maybe a few pints before the game helps to calm the nerves!!
Brian Williams
397 Posted 21/12/2020 at 22:06:32
Laurie #395.

That wasn't a comeback, mate, just making an observation. I trying not to enter into pointless arguments if I can avoid them. Well, the bit about top four at Christmas was factual anyway.

The jury's out on Rolf Harris's innocence!

Dave Abrahams
398 Posted 21/12/2020 at 22:14:37
Laurie (395),

When I go the game, I come home absolutely knackered. I kick every ball during the game. It's no different sitting in the house. I see my wife looking at me now and again, I don't know what she thinks, can't help it. Sometimes I kick the ball while Keane is still thinking about it!!!

Justin Doone
399 Posted 21/12/2020 at 22:47:56
Err.. role on next game or some new transfer rumours. That's what I want to read about.

I've never been one for handbags.

Laurie Hartley
400 Posted 22/12/2020 at 00:42:24
Brian #397 – well all I can say is you are very observant.

Dave #398 – do you lean sideways to? Let's hope its dripping butties or even fried bread on Thursday morning.

Justin #399 – Romero to Everton January window.

Steve Brown
401 Posted 22/12/2020 at 03:13:51
Conor's posts are always balanced and interesting – even if I don't agree with a lot of them. He also approaches the debate in a good spirit.
Darren Hind
402 Posted 22/12/2020 at 05:21:09
"Out the apologist"...What? They need outing???

Look, when somebody regularly posts north of 25 paragraphs in a desperate attempt to refute even the most mild and obvious criticism. I think he is identifying himself.

Mild criticism like "Carlo chose the wrong socks" does not mask the apologist. It's clear and obvious he is throwing in a token remark in order to appear balanced... but the true character is revealed when he digs around every fanboy site on the internet for stats that he can use in a multi-paragraphed post designed to try to persuade people to deny the evidence of their own eyes.

The apologist will credit Carlo with stuff he had nothing to do with and he will go to great lengths to deny he is responsible for things when they go wrong. The sycophant is the guy who says we should be grateful and consider ourselves lucky that a guy has condescended to join our great club. That, for me, is simply unacceptable pap.

I won't name names, because I will be accused of tackling the person rather than the point. Besides, in most cases, X really does mark the spot.

My guess would be that quite a sizeable majority on here are happy that Ancelotti is our manager. I believe the majority of them to be opened minded people who often stop cynics and critics like me dead in their tracks with a stronger argument.

Conor is bang on the money. I think Carlo Ancelotti would be acutely embarrassed by some of the claims made on here and other websites. Moving forward, that's something I'll try to remember. It ain't his fault.

Paul Ferry
403 Posted 22/12/2020 at 06:25:27
Martin Mason 377

My God... First, we have to take your son's opinion as what scripture?

Second, your son has some sort of expert view and word that we must defer to?

Third, your son – seriously – gives equal and fair time to all 'social media outlets' for each club over long three or four day weekends to come to this valuable opinion about people who live and breathe Everton?

You're funny, Martin, in your desperation – why? To coat the loyal away support and sell-out every game home support in the deepest worst hue.

Martin Mason: Kenwright love-in, Pickford's number-one cheerleader, constant denigrator of Everton fans, angry in Horsham, Phil Green backer.

Mark Murphy
404 Posted 22/12/2020 at 09:01:09
Solidarity for the Horsham massive!

Without actually rotting up numbers, I would say the majority on the matchday forums on here are extremely negative and some posters only appear when things are going badly.

But conversely our away support is unbelievably positive as I'm lucky enough to witness often. I only get to a home game 2 or 3 times a season and it depends on the opposition and, obviously the result, but I wouldn't describe our support as any more whiny than others.

We're certainly not happy clappers (like Palace) and we don't brag about winning the singing (like Villa) but overall, I'd say we are positive (outside the TW forum).

Thomas Richards
405 Posted 22/12/2020 at 09:07:57

You, and one or two other posters did not want Ancelotti. It appears that nothing he does will change your mind.

Your prerogative.

Conor McCourt
406 Posted 22/12/2020 at 09:15:46
Danny @374 and Martin @377,

I'm not suggesting those posts are aimed at me but I will give you my thoughts as this will be my last post on ToffeeWeb while Carlo is managing Everton – unless we finish top four, as I will come back just to eat lashings of humble pie and apologise for ever doubting the Italian.

I remember when Martinez was manager and there was a cantankerous old sod on here who could never see one positive in anything he did. Perhaps I am morphing into that man and the funny thing is the poster has now mellowed and regularly speaks with great affection about the job Martinez did, particularly in that first season.

I came back on ToffeeWeb when Brands was appointed as I was sold on the vision outlined on his arrival and overjoyed that the Club and Moshiri had finally wised up after the mismanagement carried out particularly under the Koeman & Walsh era.

I believe Everton were on the right path behind the scenes and I view Ancelotti's appointment as a total deviation and confliction from this policy. Just as we're beginning clearing the debris from previous regimes, I fear Carlo's approach is almost identical to Koeman's and worry history may be repeating itself – especially with the signing policy and development of our youth. My loyalty is solely aimed at the good of Everton and I don't always believe that any manager should take centre stage over the good of the club – and I don't always believe that their interests are necessarily aligned.

In terms of supporting the manager, there are only two games this season where I battered Ancelotti – Newcastle and Burnley – and I'm sure even the most ardent Carlo admirer would understand with the setups produced. Indeed I'm delighted with where we are now and even on this thread have given credit when I felt it was truly deserved and anyone who has read my posts will see I don't do tokenism. The table now speaks for itself.

I have also spoken up for him at times where I felt he deserved the benefit of the doubt, as after the Saints game, and pointed out that I believed that his hands were tied with the departures of Kean and Walcott.

I also feel our fan base have great validity at present in their staunch unwavering support of this manager. Tactically he is a class apart from previous incumbents and I don't subscribe to the theory that he is a lucky manager as I always feel you make your own luck.

As for the charges of supporting players, I don't think anyone has bigged up players more than me over the last two-and-a-half seasons. When many labelled players as "Championship quality" and downplayed the attributes and potential within the squad, I even wrote an article defending them and the talent we have at our disposal.

Again, when defending our youth players with the likes of Dominic, Tom, Ademola, Mason and, more recently, Moise and Anthony, I have had headaches with the time I spent fighting their corner against all comers – including against my good mate Darren when I felt he was a little harsh on the young Italian.

Finally to my record on calling for managers' heads. The only manager who I wanted and who we appointed was Martinez. Despite this, I haven't called for anyone's head. Moyes I felt we should have parted with a year or two earlier, mainly because I felt he had taken the club as far as he could. Martinez, Allardyce and Koeman – I never called for any of them because the Club possibly made the decision at the right time, though I wouldn't have been opposed to keeping Martinez with Moshiri's backing.

Indeed the only recent manager whose head I called for was Silva and that was after the Norwich game – primarily because the players and the club had no belief in him, so it should have really been done earlier and with better grace.

Steve @401 – that post was greatly appreciated.

Good luck to all Blues, happy Xmas to you all and I'm sure I will continue to have a sneaky peak at the threads. especially just to see the joy when we take one or two big scalps along the way.

Brent Stephens
407 Posted 22/12/2020 at 09:35:00
Conor #406,

"Tactically he is a class apart from previous incumbents and I don't subscribe to the theory that he is a lucky manager as I always feel you make your own luck."

Agreed. There'll be times when he gets the tactics wrong but I'd hope he can more often (than not; than previous managers) get them right.

Hope we get top 4 and you come back!

Brian Murray
408 Posted 22/12/2020 at 09:45:16
Rob. Post 396. With you being outside the city boundaries, there are plenty I have seen on here that suggest your opinion on the Blues is less valuable. Some even went further than verbal to an Irish blue. We have to encourage all out-of-town support if we want to grow even bigger.

Only time I felt a bit embarrassed is at the last man semi-final in the boozer before the game. I was the only one who knew the words to Onward Evertonians. See you all at the same pub in April!!

Peter Gorman
409 Posted 22/12/2020 at 10:17:36
Conor, Brent - today was one of those weird days when the internet algorithm recommended me the highlights of Ancelotti's Real Madrid's 5 - 0 aggregate win over Guardiola's Bayern Munich. It was a useful reminder of why I am happy to have the man in charge because he posesses something we've not enjoyed for a very long time and that is game management.

Interestingly also, Madrid had barely 40% of possession over the two legs, even with their enviable line-ups. I reckon Ancelotti will be right more times than he is wrong.

Mark Murphy
410 Posted 22/12/2020 at 11:01:09

They all say our days are numbered mate but we'll sing a song for Wembley – it's we shall not be moved!

Up the Fucking Toffees, and Merry Christmas to all Blues – even that Marsh bloke! 😘

Brian Murray
411 Posted 22/12/2020 at 11:26:58
Peter. Not lowering expectations here but that's what we want – a club and a team to compete against the top teams. It's been a long time but the Don is not interested in any inferiority complexes. C'mon Blue Boys!
Brent Stephens
412 Posted 22/12/2020 at 11:52:08
Peter #409 yes, give me a 5-0 with 40% possession. If not, give me 1-0 if necessary.
Sam Hoare
413 Posted 22/12/2020 at 12:10:16
Paul Ferry @403, I miss you on these pages! Hope you and yours have a Merry Xmas, sir!
Dave Abrahams
414 Posted 22/12/2020 at 12:14:39
Connor (406),

I always enjoy your posts, even if I don't always agree with you. Same with Darren Hind, both passionate Blues. That's what counts. Come back on to ToffeeWeb whenever you are ready.

By the way, I don't know how a team or a manager can “Make their own luck” – you definitely need that bit of luck. Every manager and team need it, and no-one can deny we had quite a bit of it in the Chelsea and Arsenal games. Maybe our fortunes are changing; possibly Carlo is the man causing that change. See you in the future, Connor, the sooner the better.

Danny Broderick
415 Posted 22/12/2020 at 13:43:06
Hi Conor (406),

My post wasn't aimed at you or anyone in particular. It was a call for unity if you like. I've personally found it depressing since Moyes left the club that the fan base has been divided on everything – chairman, DOF, managers, players etc. We can't be successful unless we are all pulling in the same direction - fans, players, owners etc.

We seem to be heading in the right direction now, we are second in the league with a massive game tomorrow night. Let's scrutinise and analyse, but with an open mind. If Ancelotti gets it wrong, like he did with 3 at the back, let's criticise him for it. It doesn't mean he's shit though and that he's only with us for the paycheque and that he's just taking us for a ride. He just made some mistakes like we all do.

I'm not saying you said any of that by the way – I just had a sense that some people are preparing their ‘I told you so' stance for when we lose a game, and I've really come to detest this in the modern football fan. If we lost 2 or 3 games under Royle in the '90s it wasn't the end of the world. If we lose 2 or 3 games now, the manager seems to be an idiot, all the players are crap, and it's the end of the world for some.

I really hope the 2,000 at Goodison tomorrow can roar us on against the Mancs. Mina and Davies will have to be careful in particular, as they go to ground at the drop of a hat in and around the box. I'm keeping everything crossed for tomorrow night!

Alan J Thompson
416 Posted 22/12/2020 at 13:51:00
Brian (#408); I'm fairly sure that Rob Halligan has said before that he lives near Calderstones Park so I'm wondering why you would think he lives outside the City boundaries.

Next you'll be saying John Lennon wasn't a scouser for the same reason. But, if you think opinions should be assessed on location, then who am I to differ?

Brian Murray
417 Posted 22/12/2020 at 13:53:35
Alan. Didn't he say 12 miles outside the city boundary? I said the opposite of what you're implying – that it's good to grow our support with hopefully the Bramley-Moore Dock project close.
Thomas Richards
418 Posted 22/12/2020 at 14:44:33
Alan J.

What was the advice your grandad gave you?

Dan Nulty
419 Posted 22/12/2020 at 15:25:31
Darren, Connor, if my stat is wrong then apologies, I read it somewhere can't remember where. I'd imagine we aren't far off that, had a quick look but can't find it.

Connor, you are right, I think though, that on average the points total he would have accumulated would be around 6th. I think we will need 65 plus to get 6th this year because of how many teams probably won't score 30 points. Still, I'd be happy with 6th and that would be progress.

From what I have seen of various videos, Carlo is quite hands on during training. He isn't a Fergie who largely sat in his office watching out the window.

Anyway, maybe I'm just a bit calmer than a lot, perhaps mirroring my politics where I don't quite understand the hoo-haa from those who position themselves at opposite ends of the spectrum. I don't quite feel the need for the doom-mongering though but I suppose it is understandable given how miserable we have been for decades now.

Most of it is opinion and speculation, of course it is, a lot of people confuse opinion with facts. My opinion is that if we hadn't got Carlo and had ended up with either Arteta or Moyes I think we would have an extremely unhappy fan base currently!

I sometimes feel that people say it will fail or that all isn't rosy just so they can say I told you so if it doesn't go well.

The way Man Utd played on Sunday, I'll be surprised if we beat them tomorrow. Especially with Allan and Digne out. Let's not all wade in with both feet if it does go wrong. I hope we can have another disciplined performance; we will need Davies to play like he did second half and sit on Bruno. I fear Rashford and Martial could tear Mina and Keane a new arsehole as slow as they are.

Rob Halligan
420 Posted 22/12/2020 at 15:45:42
Brian # 408. I was replying to Laurie when I said I don't even live 12 miles from Goodison, about 6 miles I reckon. As Alan # 416 rightly points out, I live right by Calderstones Park in Allerton, which is only about 3 or 4 miles from Liverpool City Centre.
Will Mabon
421 Posted 22/12/2020 at 16:06:03
"It showed, and I kid you not, a kind of spaghetti hoop terrine, topped off with mini franks."


Jay Wood

422 Posted 22/12/2020 at 16:13:24

Bizarre. Warped. False.


I notice on the Lyndon thread overnight you posted an excellent ‘Strictly Football’ comment.

Pleasingly, it was devoid of your usual self-aggrandizing or gratuitously abusive barbs towards a fabricated photofit profile of TWers who you display utter disdain for if they waver in one iota from your perceived 'wisdom'.

You should try that more often Darren. You would come over as a far more serious and credible commentator than is often not the case. However, as can be seen in this thread, your default modus operandi is to be the polar opposite of the above.

So, in answer to my challenge to ‘out the sycophants (or apologists. It seems an interchangeable tag to you) and name and shame them’ you number me amongst them, but refrain from naming anyone else.

That reaffirms to me you are a very inattentive reader, or a selective reader, or simply a fabricator of lies.

A true sycophant of Carlo Ancelotti as profiled by you in your own words would:
* Continually make ‘mindless claims about improvements he has had nothing to do with’
* Repeat ‘endless excuses blaming everything and everyone when he fucks up'
* ‘Every time we win a game, will reel off a post telling the "infidels" where they are going wrong’
* ‘Express disbelief that others don't love him’
* ‘[sycophants] feed off each other with misinformation’
* ‘have created a world where the manager is responsible for all the improvements, but has no part in the things which go wrong’
* ‘if a player has a bad game, [a sycophant claims] he is either a Brands signing or inherited deadwood. If he plays well the week after Carlo is lauded for the players massive improvement’
* ‘tells me I should count myself lucky to have Carlo as our manager’

How then do you include me as a ‘sycophant and apologist’ when I:
* have regularly questioned Carlo’s team selections, formations and substitutions, including right back to his very first game v Burnley (putting on a string of defensive subs that invited Burnley on to us for the only time in the game) up to including our most recent games
* never have and never will express greater ‘lurve’ for any manager or player (let alone Carlo) than my passion for the club itself
* never once uttered any claim about Carlo being solely responsible for any improvement in a player. I haven’t commented AT ALL on that question. My take is a very simple one: any improvement in any player (and there has been this season) is an accumulative effect over many years from many different influences. That, and that the individual player is simpler older, more mature, putting into better practice what he has been schooled in. Nor am I foolish enough to believe that Carlo and his coaching team have had NO input in any player’s improvement
* never once used the excuse that Carlo is hamstrung by the ‘deadwood’ he inherited. On the contrary, I have always been of the opinion he inherited good players at Everton, as demonstrated by our early season form
* have very explicitly said on several occasions that Carlo does not get a free ride from me until he can ‘get in his own players’. That he is Everton manager NOW. They are his players NOW. And he needs to get a tune out of them NOW

There is a whole lot more I could offer in my own defence. No need.

You claim that you can respect and listen to posters who ‘will acknowledge the mistakes the manager has made or a man who can come back with a strong counter argument’.

But you never truly do that, do you Darren? You can never be seen to concede on any post, any thread, any opinion. You have been offered valid counter arguments to your claims, but you never really acknowledge, engage with or counter them.

You say you ‘won't name names, because I will be accused of tackling the person rather than the point’.

Convenient. Unable or unwilling to identify who numbers in this 'totally destructive groundsell of sycophancy'.

You consistently offer sneering abuse and blanket condemnation against unnamed TWers, but your ‘honour’ stops you from naming the anonymous targets of your abuse because you will be accused of tackling the person, rather than their point. What a cowardly cop-out, as well as being totally false in how you do conduct yourself on TW.

This is a theme you have oft repeated in recent weeks, isn't it Darren?

‘There is ’a real groundswell of sycophancy within our ranks right now’ which is totally destructive’, whilst trumpeting how your standards mysteriously demand greater of Everton and helps elevate them to higher standards.

How does this ‘destructiveness’ manifest itself?

How does it directly impact on Everton’s performances and prevent us from reaching the desired heights of being multiple trophy winners?

Share with us the template, the words, the actions, the practices, that you employ Darren that successfully ensures greater from Everton. And more, how are you achieving this at a time when fans direct interaction with the club is virtually nil?

Because if you shared it with us and the Everton diaspora put into practice your own successful template then we would be an unstoppable force. You would be eternally elevated to the Everton equivalent of the Viking Valhalla where odes would be sung in your honour and wild bores roasted and mead quaffed in toasting your name.

Or in truth are you just like every Joe and Jane on TW and simply venting in the ether and your views don't make a ha'peth of difference to how Everton performs?

Rennie Smith
423 Posted 22/12/2020 at 16:37:08
I've seen comments on this site about Ancelotti only being successful because he inherited already world-class teams, here's one quote from earlier in this thread "prove he can win something without having the good fortune to inherit world superstars."

A couple of things on that theory, his first managerial job (after being an assistant in the national team for 3 years) was 2nd div Reggiana. He was only there one season and got them promoted, I doubt they had any world superstars?

Secondly, the reason why certain managers get "big team" jobs with world class players is because they are successful, and make that team more successful. He's not going to win the league with Chelsea then go and manage Rotheram the next season.

I'm not saying we should appreciate everything he does but sometimes people need to back up their opinions with actual facts.

Brian Murray
424 Posted 22/12/2020 at 16:56:52
Rob post 420. I stand corrected. Still reckon my dad is bigger than your dad 🙄Coyb wateva
Dale Self
425 Posted 22/12/2020 at 17:08:51
No offense but the most valuable thing I've learned from this thread is the meaning of butty. I'll have you Merseysiders know that I had one this morning and it was a beautiful thing. Somehow calling it butty made it betta.
Don Alexander
426 Posted 22/12/2020 at 17:16:52
Jay (#422), was it accidental or not that you use the term "wild bores"?

Just asking, for a friend.

Mark Murphy
427 Posted 22/12/2020 at 17:32:07
Wild bores
Patrick McFarlane
428 Posted 22/12/2020 at 17:38:58
Mark #427

Wasn't that a major hit for Duran Duran in the 80s?

Mark Murphy
429 Posted 22/12/2020 at 17:43:04

Well spotted, Patrick!!

Stan Schofield
430 Posted 22/12/2020 at 17:55:55
Darren has said that Everton should not be grateful to Ancelotti for being here, and that it should be the reverse. I understand what Darren is saying, because Everton pay Ancelotti.

However, if Ancelotti actively applied for the job, he should be grateful for having the job. Whilst if Everton sought out Ancelotti, and essentially headhunted him, then Everton should be grateful that he agreed to come here.

That is the case for any job, there being a difference between applying for a job and being headhunted for it.

But in any case, gratitude either way is not relevant. All that matters is the results by the end of Ancelotti's tenure. Any other debate about him at this stage, barring recognising his past achievements (which are clearly relevant) and discussing the specifics of his day-to-day management as they arise, is both a complete waste of time and extremely fucking tedious.

Dan Nulty
431 Posted 22/12/2020 at 18:06:58
Rennie, I'd hardly class winning the second division in Italy in his first year of management as proving me wrong. How about winning meaningful trophies. Does that help?

I'm not a Carlo basher, I like the fact he is here. He is doing a good job for me, even though he is making mistakes (against Leeds and Burnley, for example). He is getting it right more than wrong; I don't care if it is luck or not.

Brian Williams
432 Posted 22/12/2020 at 18:13:20
Derek Knox
433 Posted 22/12/2020 at 18:19:02
Stan @ 430, So it's all a bit of an Ancelottery, whoever you happen to believe? :-)

I stopped worrying about what players or Managers get these days some time ago, the whole thing has become an immoral fiasco in my opinion. However, these things appear here to stay and, as long as we are not footing the bill directly (although we all contribute by other means, indirectly), so not worth arguing between each other or losing sleep over.

Always saddens me when I see regular contributors, because of 'handbags at five paces', decide to vote with their feet away from TW. We are all one family with one common love, and families generally never agree on everything anyhow, so stay and remember it is the time to be jolly. La, la, la, la, la, etc.

David Pearl
434 Posted 22/12/2020 at 18:23:04
Jay Wood, 422

The defence rests? Some post that. I'm guessing you're in lockdown.

I can't wait for the next 3 games. Glad James is out till the weekend and hope the players can keep it going. Big ask but hopeful. Let's save our rotation for Saturday.

Brian Wilkinson
435 Posted 22/12/2020 at 18:32:19
Derek @433, sorry to hear about the sadness when handbags at 5 paces.

Let us go back to the chippy debate and leave them to have their reasonings.

More to the point, did anyone find out if the Wilmslow are putting any scotch eggs on?

Whoever is lucky enough to be able to attend the game tomorrow, enjoy the game, you lucky bastards.

Here's hoping we get the win tomorrow.

John Atkins
436 Posted 22/12/2020 at 18:59:31
On a separate note. Brentford now beating Newcastle. We need Arsenal to beat Man City tonight as the League Cup could be our best chance of a trophy.
Mike Gaynes
437 Posted 22/12/2020 at 19:24:12
Yep, John, and congrats to the Bees for knocking out the Barcodes. An Irish mate of mine is absolutely delirious at this moment.

DK #433, great quip.

Stan Schofield
438 Posted 22/12/2020 at 19:25:24
Derek@433: Ancelottery, nice one! To be honest, I think ToffeeWeb is brilliant, and I've learned loads about Everton since coming on here about 5 years ago.

And there are some posters who write fantastic posts (and occasionally fantastic articles), but who can also have a tendency to never want to back down in an argument, no matter how futile their argument is. They seem to want the last word, and seem desperate to never be wrong about anything. A few points about this:

1. It's not good to be desperate to be right all the time. It's like Peter cried "Wolf" – it can take away credibility that can detract from other, relatively good, arguments.

2. Although this site is partly about debate, there's a difference between debate that provides insight or humour (and we all need a fucking good laugh), and debate that is debate for its own sake in the style of a debating society and point-scoring. The first type is great, whilst the second type is the one that's fucking tedious.

I know we all want the same thing, but the point-scoring and personal comments are pointless unless they produce a damn good laugh, which most of the time they don't.

Anyway, if Everton improve consistently, most if not all of the point-scoring on here might just disappear!

Thomas Richards
439 Posted 22/12/2020 at 19:31:54
Don't hold your breath waiting, Stan...
Don Alexander
440 Posted 22/12/2020 at 19:46:13
I'm having the last word, in Portuguese, "Bah farsa!!"

All the best, folks (except Kenwright, obviously!)

Derek Knox
441 Posted 22/12/2020 at 19:50:27
Don @ 440, How humbug of you! :-)
John Pierce
442 Posted 22/12/2020 at 20:49:52
Stan, until the moderators provide a better environment for the first type of debate to flourish then the second type will always, sadly prevail.

If any poster cannot talk about the football without resorting to pejorative terms for groups of posters or personal insults then they should be put on notice. It only encourages others to do the same and more importantly discourages others from posting. I bet there's load of people who don't bother posting or post left often because of the behavior of others. It's an absolute turn off.

And whilst that's about any given posters accountability, it's most definitely about how the site environment is handled, currently I don't believe it's conducive to a good atmosphere.

It's got the point where the site is predictable, because you know on any given thread when individuals who indulge in the second type of debate get involved the thread will unravel and often deteriorate. Say some of this stuff face to face, and many would end up with a fat lip, so why say at all?

Brian Wilkinson
443 Posted 22/12/2020 at 22:04:01
Sorry if I put a spanner in the works, but talks everyone may be put in Tier 4 as early as Boxing Day.

Not sure if anyone else knows, or how it will affect the 2,000 fans for the Man City game on the 28th.

Brian Williams
444 Posted 22/12/2020 at 22:26:42
Brian, if we get put into Tier 4 on Boxing Day there'll be no supporters there on the 28th mate, simple as that.
Danny O’Neill
445 Posted 22/12/2020 at 22:44:00
I enjoy and respect everyone's view on here. It's what makes it interesting, entertaining and gives me food for thought on my own opinions and how I saw a particular game. Long may the different opinions on the one thing that unites us continue.

The country going into Tier 4 post-Christmas is the worst kept secret ever. Even if the Government are in denial, the media are clamouring for it so it will happen. The Government are driven by day-to-day graphs and opinion polls and what Sky News said about them on the morning news. Tier 4 / national lockdown once we've all had Christmas Dinner.

Michael Kenrick
446 Posted 22/12/2020 at 00:16:02
John @442,

I understand your frustration, and I'm sure you're right that a number of readers are put off from posting on threads where daggers are drawn in anger.

To be specific and, yes, personal, I think Darren wielded the sharpened stick with his acerbic attacks at #206 on this thread but he's usually careful to avoid breaking our Conditions of Use when constructing and firing off his depersonalized barbs, such that it becomes a "cap fits?" invitation for anyone bold enough to respond.

Even so, I'm quite happy to read most of his posts, which I would be hard-pressed to challenge directly – certainly not with the astounding diligence and unerring accuracy that Jay Wood, for example, somehow finds the time to employ. But I can understand for others those posts are indeed tedious.

We could try to go about moulding the environment to encourage more of the posts you favour and less of the ones you don't by challenging such inflammatory language. Recognizing it's done precisely to get a rise out of people. I think that's what you're asking for, isn't it?

Lyndon has encouraged a pretty open forum here, while interestingly being much more selective in the comments he vets before posting to articles on his 1878 Magazine offshoot. That is one approach but I think it would cause the spontaneity to be shut down, which would drastically cut the number of posts in one fell swoop, and the demands of time alone make that level of review impractical.

Don Alexander
447 Posted 23/12/2020 at 01:02:10
Michael, well said. You have moderately taken me to task in the past, and fair comment. We, as TW posters, need in my opinion to accept that some others of our number (repeat, OUR number – they're welcome in other words) are susceptible to feeling "offended".

Feeling offended is not to be disregarded but the personal vitriol against other TWers espoused by the likes of Dazza Hinds (and by a seemingly reformed, a bit, Jay Wood for instance) are par for the course in such a widespread community as ToffeeWeb.

Don't let a feeling of being offended distract anyone from espousing their feelings on this site about the club we love (in our different ways) folks!

David Cash
449 Posted 23/12/2020 at 06:40:15
John @442,

After wading through all the posts on what has been a cracking thread, I was disappointed to read yours. Threads like this may not be your cup of tea, but well over 400 posts would suggest many don't share your opinion.

One would have to be of a particular delicate nature to have seen the "insults" which have so outraged you. You say the nature of the thread discourages others to post, but the sheer volume of comments would suggest you are wrong. There are numerous threads currently running on this site, but this is by far the main event.

Jay only addresses Darren (and Conor) twice. Darren only responds to Jay once. Hardly a back and forward.

I have quite literally laughed out loud at some of these comments. When Jay described Darren as a "gnarled wizened old grump", I very nearly pissed my pants... and when he asked him to name an apologist, he must have been the only poster on the site who didn't expect the answer he got.

This is how football debate works. We are all very passionate. Put-downs and come-backs are all part and parcel.

I know this is not the first time you have registered this sort of complaint, but I couldn't disagree more. Everyone is free to walk past a thread which isn't to their liking.
Like many others, I log on to sites like this because I want to see what football-loving characters have got to say. I want to see raw passion.

If anything was to turn people off visiting this site I believe it would be posts like yours. The day football becomes a sport without passion, anger, joy, frustration, excitement and indeed conflict, will be the day I start looking for another sport and another site.

Anyway. I'm off to fawn all over my Carlo poster. Boy, do I love that man!!!


Brian Murray
450 Posted 23/12/2020 at 09:06:08
Brian. It's a shame over our fans but January was always going to be precarious trying to avoid lockdown. All the more reason for them to roar us on tonight and let's see how we all stand in April. Strong team tonight and a bit of lady luck and we can do this. Any chance Simms or at least Gordon on the bench instead of Tosun!
Hugh Jenkins
451 Posted 23/12/2020 at 09:39:51
There are numerous Everton Fanzine sites on the internet. Of them all, I only tend to visit two and, of those two, ToffeeWeb is, my favourite, by far.

What I find attractive about it is that, in the main, the posters are mature, knowledgable and erudite. I have been a member for a number of years, and, to date, have yet to feel offended by any post I have seen.

Of course, like all such sites, there are the "hobby horse" posters who will, whatever the article or debate, manage to bring their post round to their "hobby horse" subject.

As Winston Churchill famously said, "A fanatic is someone who won't change his mind and won't change the subject".

But, as we know, we are all "Fanatics" about Everton Football Clubs – or, to give us the short version, "Fans".

So it is little wonder that we get embroiled in "lively" discussions on this, or other forums.

I would hate to see the style, or editorial policy of the site change in any way as I believe that, as it is, it suites the great majority of regular posters.

And whilst I might disagree with what is said in many of the posts, like Voltaire, "I will defend to the death, your right to say it!"

Brian Harrison
452 Posted 23/12/2020 at 10:37:28
Hugh @451,

I have to disagree with you over Voltaire, defend to the death. I thought he was a bit old school and slow on the turn, glad we never signed him when we had the chance. I know he is a countryman of Digne but, for me, two completely different animals.

Mike Corcoran
453 Posted 23/12/2020 at 10:51:37
Brian, we should look at French/Algerian lad, Albert Camus, for goalkeeper, though, and make a stranger of Pickford.
Brian Harrison
454 Posted 23/12/2020 at 10:57:03

What a completely absurd suggestion.

Brian Williams
455 Posted 23/12/2020 at 10:58:11
John #442.

I'd give you one piece of friendly advice if you wouldn't mind?

When you scroll through the thread, simply scroll onto the next post when you see the name(s) of those who you know you want to avoid. It soon becomes second nature!


Brian Williams
456 Posted 23/12/2020 at 11:04:01
Talk about bittersweet!

Just got my ticket for the West Ham game on 1 January...

Chances of sitting in the Top Balcny to see it?

Answers on a postcard please!

Robert Tressell
457 Posted 23/12/2020 at 11:24:10
Voltaire would have enjoyed the wild swings from pessimism to optimism and back exhibited by ToffeeWebbers.

The Plague by Camus is both an allegory for the present pandemic, and the feelings of dread each time we approach the derby, typified in each case by suffering, madness and compassion.

Brent Stephens
458 Posted 23/12/2020 at 11:26:29
Mike #453, Brian #454 - a plague on both your houses.
Tony Abrahams
460 Posted 23/12/2020 at 11:36:20
I think you’ve got more chance of sitting in Goodison than getting those desperado’s off Dave, Brian!
Rob Halligan
461 Posted 23/12/2020 at 11:45:34
Brian, # 456, I'd say pretty much zilch going by your post @ # 444!!

Brent, I know you were in the upper Gwladys street for the Chelsea game, but can you remember your row and seat number?

Brent Stephens
462 Posted 23/12/2020 at 11:49:29
Rob - S143. Right at the back but we moved to the front – nobody sat near the aisle there.
Brian Williams
463 Posted 23/12/2020 at 12:20:15
Tony. I've got more chance of a kick around on the moon than that mate!!!
Dave Abrahams
464 Posted 23/12/2020 at 12:29:46
Brian (463), Brian as soon as you get your seat number let me know, I’ll arrange for six bottles of Desperado’s to sitting on your seat so you can really enjoy the game.

PS, could you please keep the empty bottles for me, there is a deposit on them.

Tony Abrahams
465 Posted 23/12/2020 at 12:33:51
Have faith Brian, I heard when he came round after having his vaccine, he was shouting that he was on his way to Seacombe but the ferry was sinking!
Brian Wilkinson
466 Posted 23/12/2020 at 12:43:40
To be honest Brian, you May get the chance in the top Balcony.

My reasoning is on two reasons, the first one being Boris pushed for mass testing and the Borough of Liverpool obliged, since then he has kept them in a lower tier, unless everyone is pushed into tier 4, Boris will have the reasoning of other Cities to have mass testing and would therefore want to keep Liverpool in a lower tier, otherwise it weakens his reasoning of other towns and Cities, to have mass testings.

My second reasoning is Boris normally waits and does a Dave Moyes and dithers at acting, normal reasoning would be to put everyone in a strong lockdown from Boxing Day, while the schools are closed, but past dealings makes me believe he will wait til the new year and call a lockdown, just as the schools reopen again.

On that basis Brian, you may just get your visit to Goodison on January 1st.

Brian Williams
467 Posted 23/12/2020 at 12:47:10
Dave, I've got my seat number mate but I can't post it for reasons of national security.

Glad to hear you got your first jab though I'm surprised they didn't suss yer phoney birth certificate!

Tony have a word with him will yer?

Jay Wood

468 Posted 23/12/2020 at 12:47:15
David @ 449.

For once, we are in agreement.

As Brian Williams says @ 455, I presume (hopefully!) all on TW have a working index finger. Whatever device you view TW on, scroll or swipe past the post or posters you have no appetite for. No one is under any obligation to read every word of every post. Simples.

As for this David:

'when [Jay] asked [Darren] to name an apologist, he must have been the only poster on the site who didn't expect the answer he got.'


Why presume I didn't expect the response I got?

I wanted him to give us names so we could fairly judge for ourselves who he considers 'sycophants and apologists'.

And I'm genuinely pleased that he named me. Why? Because as I was able to demonstrate based on my own posting history when commenting about Carlo, it totally exposes the nonsense of Darren's claims.

As I said in an earlier post, I see nobody on TW, no one at all, incessantly being sycophantic (or 'apologetic') about Carlo Ancelotti.

[And a quick aside here, if the aim is to achieve lexiconic accuracy, sycophant is not even the correct word to use in the context Darren does. A sycophant 'acts obsequiously toward someone important in order to gain advantage.' Obsequious is more fitting to Darren's application of a TW 'type' he claims in this thread. But either way, it remains a baseless claim].

As well as critiquing Carlo, I'm not in the least bit ashamed to declare that I also support and defend him from what I consider unfair criticism.


Because I'm an Everton supporter. As I've always done in my nigh on 60 years as an Everton supporter, I will support the sitting manager and the contracted players because if they do well, the team and the club does well. And if that happens, the fans are happy (well...most of them).

And more good things are happening under Carlo than there are bad.

Finally, sorry to hear about your incontinence David.

Have you tried a catheter?

Brian Williams
469 Posted 23/12/2020 at 12:50:52
He DID try a catheter but couldn't get it far enough up his snozz!
Jay Wood

470 Posted 23/12/2020 at 12:56:08
Brian, Rob and Co.

I sincerely hope those of you who won tickets in the ballot get to attend your games and that this damn plague doesn't torpedo match attendance again.

Given all the talk about Carlo, who better to evaluate him than his son Davide?

Here's a brief but insightful 2-3 minute interview he gave to TalkSport about his father and some really interesting comments in which he compares Calvert-Lewin to Christiano Ronaldo in his professionalism.

Worth a listen:

Davide Ancelotti on Carlo & Calvert-Lewin

Dave Abrahams
471 Posted 23/12/2020 at 12:58:22
Brian (467), too late Brian, it's all been arranged by a mate of mine at Goodison. If the Desperados are whizzed on the day, too bad, they are off the list and my debt has finally been paid. Don't worry about the deposit on the bottles, I'll just have to be the loser there, 6 x 10p is no joke though.
Rob Halligan
472 Posted 23/12/2020 at 13:35:25
Cheers Brent. I've been given S147, and I thought that was the one you had. I wasn't far off!! This is all assuming we get there of course.
Jay Wood

473 Posted 23/12/2020 at 13:39:31

'Brent. I've been given S147, and I thought that was the one you had.'

Take plenty of sanitizer with you, Rob. Wouldn't want you catching Brent's sense of humour...

Brian Williams
474 Posted 23/12/2020 at 13:57:57
Dave #471.

There's no way I'm gonna let you be even 60p out of pocket mate. If you message the admins for my email address and then just send me your sort code, account number, card number including last three digits off the back, an your PIN I'll send you the 60p ASAP.

Honest I will.

Brian Williams
475 Posted 23/12/2020 at 14:03:24
Listening to Davide he sounds like a chip off the old block. We're SOOOOO lucky to have him we should be really grateful he's here.
I love him, and I love his beard, and his accent.
I just love him.

But not as much as I do Andre Gomes.

Brian Williams
476 Posted 23/12/2020 at 14:03:53
*chip* fer fucks sake.
Jay Wood

477 Posted 23/12/2020 at 14:06:31
Catheter? Hip?

Get a grip, Brian!

You're falling apart!

Brian Williams
478 Posted 23/12/2020 at 14:07:13
You're right, Jay, but I've managed to edit it now!
Darren Hind
479 Posted 23/12/2020 at 14:20:05

Post 206 was not intended as an attack. It was intended as a response to another post.

I felt the post was destructive because I felt that, for the first time in a long while, a kind of contentment had descended upon this site in general and Evertonia as a whole. We have not been flying, but we had just won three on the bounce.

It's a pity some could not just simply enjoy the situation. If they wanted to tell themselves "Carlo Fantastico" is capable of flying, then who cares? If they wanted to dedicate all their posts to him, that's their business too, but that seemingly wasn't enough.

To choose this moment to tell the "doubters" where they have been going wrong is to look for a response. To proceed to tell them what their next question will be is to guarantee one.

How is that destructive to the team? It isn't, nobody said it was... but for me it was most definitely designed to destroy the recent harmony. I think it's what clever folk call passive aggression.

This website reflects life in general. The majority will always insult the minority in greater numbers, but they will be almost blind to it. Only the stuff which comes back over the net is registered. Such is life... If you can't stand the heat and all that.

Those who don't want the cap to fit, would get a lot less irate if they didn't insist on trying it on.

Anyway, this is match day. A time to put all criticism to one side and get behind the team.

Craig Walker
480 Posted 23/12/2020 at 14:47:58
Agreed, Darren. I love TW. It's a big part of being an Evertonian for me. I live in the midlands now and there aren't that many Everton fans around here. I love reading the opinions of other, more knowledgeable Evertonians than me. I'll read people's contributions, even if I don't agree with them.

I've got to say though that it is getting a bit irksome how the TW readership always splits into two groups: In Moyes We Trust / Moyes Out Brigade, for example. Now Carlo has those who think he walks on water and others who think he's a spent force.

For me, he's a very good manager and I'm glad he's at our club. He needs a few transfer windows to make it his team but James, Doucouré, Godfrey and Allan are the calibre of player we need to bridge the gap. I'll criticise Ancelotti when he gets things wrong and praise him to the hilt when it works. I won't get carried away with 3 wins, neither will I think we're the worst club in the division after two defeats.

There are certain posters who just shout down anyone's opinion that doesn't chime with their own. It puts me off contributing, mostly. I'd sooner we turn our wrath on fans of other clubs who love belittling us and putting little old Everton in their place.

Anyway, we are all here because we love this club, even though it's the bane of our lives at times. Ultimately, we want the same thing: a team we can be proud of and back at the summit of English football, where it belongs.

Let's hope for a win tonight. If you're lucky enough to be going to the game, raise the roof and enjoy it!

Stay safe and have a good Christmas, Blues. All the best.

Jay Wood

481 Posted 23/12/2020 at 15:23:18
Darren @ 480.

'Its a pity some could not just simply enjoy the situation.'

I mean...cummon.


Mike Gaynes
482 Posted 23/12/2020 at 15:37:44
Hugh #451, thanks for giving all the philosophy majors a chance to Camus all down a bit. Except Brian W, who simply Kant be controlled.

Now I'd like to point out that in a bit over four hours we will be playing a Carabao quarter against the Boko Haram of football, and we don't have a Forum up and running yet, and I'm so desperately pumped up with adrenaline that I'm watching Jamshedpur vs. Goa on ESPN. Time to shift the focus to some seriously obscene fanaticism.

Thomas Richards
483 Posted 23/12/2020 at 15:43:38
Serious, numerous,contradictions in post 480.
Thomas Richards
484 Posted 23/12/2020 at 15:46:59
Also in post 468.
Duncan McDine
485 Posted 23/12/2020 at 15:47:32
It looks like a lot of people are pissed already! Gotta love TW.
Brent Stephens
486 Posted 23/12/2020 at 15:47:39
Jay #474 you cheeky beggar!
Brent Stephens
487 Posted 23/12/2020 at 15:51:58
Rob #473 what a bloody coincidence! You're not stalking me, are you?
Mike Gaynes
488 Posted 23/12/2020 at 16:03:23
By the way, Jamshedpur vs. Goa was a cracking game.
Jay Wood

489 Posted 23/12/2020 at 16:18:20
Brent @ 486.


Too good a chance to miss, fellah!

Dave Abrahams
490 Posted 23/12/2020 at 16:49:39
Brian 474), I’ve sent you all them details Brian, including my pin No. You’re a real mate, one of the old school.
By the way I’ve also sent you a recent photo where I’ve come out of a tattoo artists studio, I’ve had Dickhead tattooed right across my forehead, I look dead smart.
David Cash
491 Posted 23/12/2020 at 16:57:51

You are a total embarrassment. It doesnt seem to matter what happens. You seek conflict. With whoever wherever.

While the "negative miserable fucker" has been really upbeat recently coming on to predict win after win encouraging people to "lump on" as he puts it. YOU have been "enjoying the moment" arguing and scraping with all on sundry.

On one current thread, You blast the OP as :mean'spirited" and rather squalid" ( oh the irony) then. Despite the thread being an unusually short one, you still have time to get into another spat, insinuating another poster was a half wit (more irony). Prompting a third poster to come on and mock you.

I kinda defended you earlier despite your incredibly long winded posts which had gone into double figures, but here you are back again with another seven. Looking for another scrap.

Sorry son, but you are little more than a long winded, attention seeking, last word merchant with very little of interest to say. A crashing bore who doesnt even have the courage of his convictions

I'm a big Carlo fan, but never have I seen anybody defend him with the frothing mouthed resolution you do.

I know you think you refuted Darren's claim, but many reading your incredibly long protest would have thought you protested way too much. Me thinks

Instead of bullying your way through different threads why not work a little on the courage of your convictions.

Rob Halligan
492 Posted 23/12/2020 at 16:58:02
Dave, # 490. Don't forget the expiry date on the card!!!
Dave Abrahams
493 Posted 23/12/2020 at 17:21:50
Rob (492), now you tell me!!!
Jay Wood

494 Posted 23/12/2020 at 17:42:45
Casho, you're a very funny man.

Pity it's not intentional.

With Conor's furlough from TW, Dazza's inner-Trump has found his new Rudy Giuliani.

Ciarán McGlone
495 Posted 23/12/2020 at 18:11:25


Quit when your behind.

Jeff Armstrong
496 Posted 23/12/2020 at 18:36:29
Ciaran 495, Jay quit? He’s a last word merchant, this thread will not finish until he has the final word, hopefully the next match will start a whole new thread, this one is 5 days old.

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