Everton defence finally crumbles in abysmal cup exit

It's a big night at Goodison Park as Everton take on Manchester United in the last quarter-final of the Carabao Cup.

Michael Kenrick 23/12/2020 331comments  |  Jump to last
Everton 0 - 2 Manchester United

It's a big night at Goodison Park as Everton take on Manchester United in the last quarter-final of the Carabao Cup.

James Rodriguez will miss a fourth successive match after Carlo Ancelotti confirmed that the Colombian won't be available tonight, with injuries to Digne, Allan, Gomes and Gbamin continuing to force Ancelotti's hand when it comes to team selection.

The approach too may need to be different considering this is a crunch knock-out game, with Calvert-Lewin in particular seeing fewer of the dangerous crosses he needs to maintain his scoring rate.

The illustrious visitors got things going but seemed happy to play it slow, Cavani getting called offside. Everton failed to play it out and immediately put themselves under unwanted pressure, giving up an early corner that glanced off Mina with Olsen fapping in a manner that would have done Pickford proud, catching Mina in the follow-through.

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The second corner saw Gomes gift the ball and how Man Utd did not score was a minor miracle. They should have scored from the third corner but Everton caught Cavani offside in a fraught start for the Blues, Keane losing the ball and Cavani trying to beat Olsen from almost the halfway line.

A fourth corner led to a fifth as the Blues rocked back on their heels, but kept defending solidly. After 10 minutes Everton had some possession that saw them play back to Olsen, who so nearly did anther Pickford, almost losing the ball in another stupid demonstration of playing it out from the back.

Another piece of nonsense, this from Godfrey on the wing, created a chance that Olsen miraculously saved with a brilliant tackle on Cavani. Everton finally played it up to Calvert-Lewin who could only head it on aimlessly and it ended up back in the Everton area, Cavani with three bites of the cherry at the far post but he could not beat Olsen and Keane.

Sigurdsson did well to dribble in and get a sight the Man Utd goal but Maguire blocked his shot. The red dominance of the play continued, a header from Greenwood flying inches wide. Everton tok 3 attempts before Gomes launched a free-kick into low earth orbit, beyond everyone. Another Red corner, another goal chance, but Pogba headed it straight to Olsen.

A rare Everton attack went wrong when Iwobi and Gomes lost the ball. Everton got it back to play short back and sides, Iwobi giving it away. When they did recover, they were reluctant to play the final ball, Sigurdsson eventually winning Everton's first corner in the 35th minute. Calvert-Lewin could only head it straight to Henderson.

Godfrey seemed to be pushed in the Utd area but no dice. Keane drew a foul for a nice set-piece that Sigurdsson at least tested Henderson, but it needed to be more into the top corner. The resulting corner evaded an immense salmonesque leap from Calvert-Lewin but Godfrey behind him could not react fast enough to fashion a shot. Sigurdsson then got a lazy shot off at Henderson.

Fernandes tested Olsen with a free-kick before the break as Calvert-Lewin let Maguire know he was about. It had been either a brilliant half of Ancelotti Masterclass defending... or one of the most dire halves the Blues had played all season — remarkably without conceding. Only 12 touches for Calvert-Lewin!!!

Sigudsson got things going as the ref took the knee — oh no, check that — he was just tying his laces! Iwobi did brilliantly to steal the ball off a Utd player, and Everton attacked but Richarlison wanted to shoot and couldn't. At the other end, Cavani threatened but Mina helped break from the Utd corner and Iwobi hopelessly overhit his cross.

Cavani pushed Mina over by the throat, surely a red card offence? Then Bailly and Richarlison collided heavily in a sandwich after Fernandes had pushed the Everton player and made the impact to his head far worse. The physio stopped him from resuming, Bernard on in his place. Then Davies replacing Gomes after Maguire had held Mina on an Everton free-kick when Pogba slid in on Godfrey, but not deemed enough for a penalty.

Man Utd countered on an Everton advance, Fernandes in space lashing his shot over. After a scrappy spell, Man Utd exerted some pressure but Everton broke and saw one of Calvert-Lewin's power touches fire the ball too hard beyond Iwobi on the wing. Then Coleman went on a great run and tried a forward ball to Calvert-Lewin, who was well offside, and he miscontrolled anyway.

Fernandes demonstrated he could do anything just as badly as anyone else, spooning a dreadful cross to the opposite corner flag as the game simply went from bad to worse as a spectacle. Bernard was poor, Man Utd sloppy, the whole thing painfully heading to penalties.

Bernard gave the Red Devils a chance with a poor tackle on Pogba in the danger zone but Telles kindly fired over before he was substituted. A series of sloppy turnovers preceded a Martial chance but he managed to kick his standing foot and missed the ball. Iwobi set up Sigurdsson for a dramatic diving header that, in the full spirit of this game, did not go anywhere near the goal.

With Everton now desperate to hang on to penalties, Man Utd went up the other end and Cavini drilled a shot past Olsen to surely win the game.

At the other end, Bernard was fouled by Tuanzebe but Sigurdsson's set-piece was not good enough. Everton plugged away through 5 mins of added time, with Fernandes clipping the angle. Martial finally finished them off after messing up a previous counter-attack. What a thoroughly dreadful game. Not a single Everton shot on target in the second half.

Everton: Olsen, Coleman, Mina, Keane, Godfrey, Doucouré (89' Tosun), Gomes (58' Davies), Sigurdsson, Iwobi, Richarlison (56' Bernard), Calvert-Lewin.
Subs not Used: Pickford, Kenny, Holgate, Gordon.

Manchester United: Henderson; Tuanzebe, Bailly, Maguire, Telles (84' Shaw); Matic, Pogba [Y:57'], Van de Beek (67' Rashford), Fernandes; Greenwood (67' Martial), Cavani.
Subs not Used: Grant, Fosu-Mensah, Fred, Lingard.

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Jeff Armstrong
1 Posted 23/12/2020 at 19:07:02
Agree Danny, Siggy and Gomes has never worked, still, Carlo knows best.
Thomas Richards
2 Posted 23/12/2020 at 19:08:24
Not that Carlo has many options but I fear they may outwork us in midfield areas with that set up
Shaun Lyon
3 Posted 23/12/2020 at 19:14:24
Eldest has just told me he's looking forward to seeing Dacoure play all 3 midfield positions tonight :))
Paul Birmingham
4 Posted 23/12/2020 at 19:14:34
Seen the starting line up, and I’m surprised that Gomes is starting, as in my view, he’s become a squad passenger, and has not got close to any level of form he showed in his first 10 games.

But I want him to succeed and I hope he properly gets stuck and takes some shots and makes forward passes rather than sideways and back.

Hopefully with Seamus back in the team, and the squad will rally to the cause tonight.

Looking forward to the match and a good night for all of us.

Will Mabon
5 Posted 23/12/2020 at 19:18:24
Don't like this with Gomes and Sigurdsson. We're gonna end up on the edge of our own area if we can't compete in the middle.

At least Pogba's playing.

Sam Hoare
6 Posted 23/12/2020 at 19:21:43
United have pace all over. Not sure it’s the right game for Gomes but then I said that when Carlo started Sigurdsson against Chelsea so what do I know?
Shaun Lyon
7 Posted 23/12/2020 at 19:21:53
Spot on Paul B. Hope you are keeping well and your Phil too mate. Feel sorry for Gomes, just don't think he's got back to the level he was at pre-break. But Doucouré will be all over the place as usual, so fingers crossed.
Ciarán McGlone
8 Posted 23/12/2020 at 19:24:19
I also thought Davies did enough to retain his place.

However, I think Gomes has a lot to prove and contrary to the prevailing wind I thought hed played well when he came on in the last few games. Big game for him.

Kevin Molloy
9 Posted 23/12/2020 at 19:35:58
Carlo had one thing to sort tonight. Bruno Fernandes. i'm not sure that midfield gets us there, but we'll see
Dave Williams
10 Posted 23/12/2020 at 20:07:51
I have a bad feeling about this. Midfield too slow with Siggy and Gomes and Gomes always likely to give away free kicks in danger areas.
Defence and attack are good and hopefully Seamus will add to our attacking options.
MU to win by one or two goals- hope to god I’m wrong.
Kevin Dyer
11 Posted 23/12/2020 at 20:11:12
Not in this atm. Thought Gomes would be back in, bad idea imo.
Ernie Baywood
12 Posted 23/12/2020 at 20:14:52
Worst 15 minutes ever witnessed?

What are we doing?

Kevin Dyer
13 Posted 23/12/2020 at 20:18:15
Shooting practice for Cavani.
Ernie Baywood
14 Posted 23/12/2020 at 20:35:07
I'm watching Gomes when we're in possession (rare glimpses). Just doesn't make any kind of option. A perfect example of how to not be involved in a game.

Midfield is overrun. I'd make that change right now.

Alex Gray
15 Posted 23/12/2020 at 20:46:06
Completely agree Ernie. Gomes is a passenger so far tonight. Not showing for the ball and we know his weaknesses off it.

We’re improving as the half goes on but that first twenty minutes was awful.

Chris Williams
16 Posted 23/12/2020 at 20:48:37
Third best!

0-0 ht

Ciarán McGlone
17 Posted 23/12/2020 at 20:51:47
Hard watch that.

25 minutes of fear. Luckily didn't concede despite Olsen's stupidity.

Finally woke up and realised that we have nothing to fear.

Jay Wood

18 Posted 23/12/2020 at 20:53:53
OK. Who else was screaming at the screen almost constantly for the opening half hour?

We were shockingly, comically, shambolically bad.

It was if the players had got together and decided: 'Right lads. Let's all play our worst game of the season.'

How United didn't score in that time, I've no idea. Maybe it's an omen.

Thankfully, we finally started getting our act together and had a very good 10 minutes, then wobbled again a bit before half-time.

Just happy to see 'zero' against United's name at half-time. We won't get away with the same for another 45 minutes. Need more - a lot more - of how we played after 30 minutes.

Neil Lawson
19 Posted 23/12/2020 at 20:56:48
Such a tough watch. Just not at the races at all. It is worth watching Gomes closely as others have said. He is contributing absolutely nothing and is a passenger. I suspect we all would agree he should be hooked... but it won't happen. We need more fight and mobility in the middle. United just going through at will.

Hold on for penalties!!

Andrew Keatley
20 Posted 23/12/2020 at 20:57:36
Hard to know what to say about that first half. Perhaps Ancelotti has noticed that this season United have been slow starters, often coming from behind to win matches comfortably, so he told our players to pose no attacking threat whatsoever for the first 30 minutes - like we were Rocky Balboa taking on Clubber Lang in Rocky III...
Ernie Baywood
21 Posted 23/12/2020 at 21:00:21
In my opinion, Jay, we are seeing what happens when we don't have Allan. Not just defensively, but as an option when we need to play out of defence. No-one else gives that same option and it eventually causes panic when we can't see a way out.

Doucoure can't be that player. Gomes doesn't seem to want to be that player. Gylfi is the one dropping from his advanced role but he's crowded by the other two and is then not the next option.

Gomes to Davies helps. Davies isn't necessarily technically great, but he'll find space and try to turn and move forward.

Otherwise, we might as well just throw on another forward and play long ball. Give up on possession, we're not going to have much anyway.

Ernie Baywood
22 Posted 23/12/2020 at 21:15:41
Kind of makes you hark for VAR doesn't it. Cavani, Fernandes, now Maguire...
Alex Gray
23 Posted 23/12/2020 at 21:44:40
It's worth pointing out Man Utd have been able to change their entire team. We've looked knackered. Sloppy control and passes.

Going to be a nervy ending, lads!

Pete Hughes
24 Posted 23/12/2020 at 21:47:43
Got what we deserved here... shocking display.
Andy Meighan
25 Posted 23/12/2020 at 21:52:12
No squad to speak of. The likes of Bernard, Gomes, Davies, Iwobi etc were very very poor. Though Iwobi and Sigurdsson have done well, the last 3 or 4 games they need shipping out with the names I've mentioned above.

Gordon must have shagged Ancelotti's wife if he can't even get off the bench instead of that lot.

Richarlison another passenger again tonight as he has been most of the season imo. Good player but not the superstar he himself thinks he is. Not surprised about the result.

Chris Williams
26 Posted 23/12/2020 at 21:54:02
Better team won.
Ciarán McGlone
27 Posted 23/12/2020 at 21:54:05
Everton's incompetence only matched by United's profligacy.

Utterly shambolic display. Not one player acquitted themselves well. The entire midfield was tragically awful. Sigurdsson back to his usual dross, Gomes rightly hooked, Doucoure invisible and Davies made zero impact. They may not be our first choice eleven but they should be able to pass and move.

I'm embarrassed by that. Could easily have been 0-8.

Tony Hill
28 Posted 23/12/2020 at 21:54:35
It's what we do: bottle it. There are no excuses for that performance, none at all. Basic errors throughout and a cowardly approach from the manager. Appalling.
Roman Sidey
29 Posted 23/12/2020 at 21:54:48
Davies has got to go. You could do a montage of all his touches tonight and set it to Benny Hill music.
Danny Baily
30 Posted 23/12/2020 at 21:55:40
Gutted but the better team won.

Still got the FA Cup.

Ciarán McGlone
31 Posted 23/12/2020 at 21:56:17
And Mina is a big girl's blouse.
Craig Walker
32 Posted 23/12/2020 at 21:56:40
The same players aren't good enough. They bring on Martial and Rashford. We bring on Tosun and Bernard. Carlo needs two more windows and the ones who continually let us down need shipping out. Our best XI would have fared better but we're suffering now.

Gomes and Sigurdsson are too slow and the latter's game for taking good deliveries and set pieces is one of the biggest myths in football. We need our better players back and a good January window.

Phil Rodgers
33 Posted 23/12/2020 at 21:57:02
Fucking embarrassing performance. This is why we get fucking laughed at by fucking kopites. Just a bunch of pathetic losers.
Ernie Baywood
34 Posted 23/12/2020 at 21:57:45
Couldn't really say we had a go. Looked like we were happy to go to penalties.

Of course in this day and age Cavani should have been off. Not sure why no response from a referee who watched it happen.

Paul O'Neill
35 Posted 23/12/2020 at 21:58:17
I honestly don't know why Everton bother entering the League Cup. More chance of lifting the Champions League than that three-handled horror!
Joe McMahon
37 Posted 23/12/2020 at 21:58:20
We all knew we were lacking quality in numbers up front, Moise Kean is allowed to leave and Tosun, Bernard and Davies have to come on. They bring on Martial and Rashford. We are light years away from any trophy.
Dale Self
38 Posted 23/12/2020 at 21:58:44
Apologies to James Head and Michael Barrett. You were both right and I was oh so wrong!
Andy Crooks
39 Posted 23/12/2020 at 21:59:07
Taking a break from Everton. The performance by the coach was spineless, inept and as bad as anything I have witnessed in a long time. Truly cowardly and shameful. Sadly, we're stuck with him. Happy Christmas, Carlo.

Never had him down as a coward. I challenge anyone to defend him. For me it was as bad as Martinez at Southampton.

Another low point. I just cannot allow my mood to be affected by these cunts for many a long day.

Jay Wood

40 Posted 23/12/2020 at 21:59:43
Yep! Agree with that Peter.

Neither side were great after the break, but most of what little football was on display came from United.

We need to be careful with Dominic. Service to him dried up. He is still being game and running a lonely furrow, but he (and others) looked to be running on fumes a bit tonight.

But then, who do you rotate him with?

Tosun isn't the answer as his stray pass that left us wide open for the second showed.

The trophy wait goes on.


Simon Dalzell
42 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:00:02
Just so poor. Couldn't even do the basics. Haven't the heart to elaborate. Against a moderate team.
Paul Birmingham
43 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:01:23
That was the stink out of the last few seasons.

The only positive is surely now that's Gomes never starting in the squad again, and to sell off Tosun, as he's not even ale house.

Did they change the tea bags again at Finch Farm?

The players were all doped and played with fear and no real desire and heart from the start.

No complaints from me, not even piss poor officials, tonight Everton weren't at the races, and the last hope of any desire went when Richardson had to go off.

I hope he's fit for Sheffield United.

Disappointing and sadly another case of not turning up, and this shows the lack of heart aside from Godfrey, Seamus, Richarlison.
Calvert-Lewin is now living off mirages of the previous games.

Now for a recovery in tempo and performance in Yorkshire.

Kevin Prytherch
44 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:02:33
Carlo made a mistake yet again.

Bernard should never have replaced Richarlison. When he did, he took Sigurdsson out of the game as we no longer had an outlet for him. Sigurdsson was reduced to a passenger, Calvert-Lewin was isolated and we dropped further and further back.

We had a more like for like replacement on the bench who would still have offered us some counter attacking impetus, but we left him there.

This match, and this season, have been here for the taking and I’m afraid that Carlo has not been covering himself in glory at times.

John Keating
45 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:02:38
Abysmal sums it up perfectly.

Atrocious from the first minute to the last and nobody or nothing positive. The players played and looked knackered our passing was dreadful. We really have to quickly write this game off and sort it out for Sheffield Utd.

That was the worst and most boring game so far this season.

Tom Harvey
46 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:02:49
Gomes doesn't have it!

And I've only witnessed one game (the Pickford looney tunes moment Anfield derby) where he showed the Barca class that he's been living off for far too long.

We just couldn't pass the ball out of our own half and that's one of his main jobs.

Having said that, except for Sigurdsson, the rest of them played as if they were hungover from a heavy bender.

Ciarán McGlone
47 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:02:53

I don't believe that for a second, lad... you'll be back Saturday. Drink it off, lad!

Thomas Richards
48 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:03:19
Miles better than us in midfield. Our hardest game of the season. Good side, Man Utd. For me, they will be in top 2 at the end of the season.

In my opinion, the four players that finished the game playing in midfield will not be at the club in 18 months time. Big changes over next 3 windows.

Tony Hill
49 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:03:44
Kevin @44, the failure to use Gordon is baffling.
Gerry Ring
50 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:04:00
That was shocking. Sigurdsson is pathetic with his acrobatic pretend tackles. Davies almost made things worse. Can't bloody understand why Gordon is being ignored.

I'm totally deflated!

Ray Jacques
51 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:05:20
Some disgraceful comments on here as usual by so-called football people who really need to give their heads a shake and stop talking shite.

The quality of their 6 players from midfield and up front is vastly superior to ours. They are the form team in the country at the moment. We are on a good run of our own and now Ancelotti is a prick because we lost.

Give this man time, wind your necks in and wait until he can get some quality in and get rid of the ones who aren't good enough. We all know who they are.

Chris Williams
52 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:06:22
The better team won.

Agonise over it, this player or that player is shite. Not good enough, too slow or whatever. It’s what we’ had on the night.

The manager is useless.

But you can’t evade the fact that we were second best by a long long way over 90 minutes.

Sometimes, often, that happens, and it happened tonight. Against a better team.

Complain, whinge, criticise. We were a long way behind tonight.

Thomas Richards
53 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:06:42

Can I ask why you consider Ancelotti a coward?

Anthony Jones
54 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:06:48
We desperately need young and energetic centre mids.

We continue to bring in players in their late 20s on bumper contracts.

Ancelotti is a bad fit.

Joe McMahon
56 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:06:54
Thomas, they were never good enough in the first place. Davies's goal vs Man City was a long time ago. Lukaku was still here.
Gavin Johnson
57 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:06:56
Knew we'd lose once Richarlison went off. The ref was a disgrace. Cavani shouldn't have been on the pitch. Mina made a meal of it but the intention was there. Typical Cavani would be the one who'd score the goal.

Carlo made a mistake, a cardinal error starting Sigurdsson and Gomes together. Talk about the definition of insanity?! Then why did he bring Bernard on instead of Gordon? Bernard isn't going to offer anything more defensively and Gordon has the ability to be a game-changer.

Just a horrible, horrible nigh.t

Ernie Baywood
58 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:07:14
If you're playing a defensive game then eventually something goes against you. Whether it's the rub of the green or just a bad performance.

We need to find a way to be more creative. Keep it tight and pinch one (or hope for penalties) is a short-term stabilising choice, not a medium-term plan.

Patrick McFarlane
59 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:08:45
Hardly surprising we lost playing that way, as cup-ties are there to be won. It's not a two-legged event, and trying to play for penalties from the kick-off is not really an option when you're up against quality strikers such as Cavani.

The only surprise was that we stayed in the game for so long but, from the start, the game had that inevitable feel to it, a chance or a mistake would come and it would be Man Utd and not Everton who would be the beneficiaries.

So many disappointing individual performances out there tonight, they looked physically and even more so mentally tired. Sigurdsson did his best but, unfortunately, his best is no longer good enough, Gomes is a really frustrating player and another who can't seem to raise his game when it's needed. Seamus, Godfrey - although far from his best performance – and Iwobi were the only players at least trying to get Everton on the front foot.

It could have been all over in the first half-hour, but that wouldn't be Everton so they put us through the hoops and we retained hope, even though most of us watching knew deep down it wouldn't be our night and, to be frank, we didn't deserve it to be.

Bernard, Tosun et al are not good enough and if we can ship them out in January all the better, but what on earth has Gordon done that he can't get a game?

Kevin Molloy
60 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:08:54
We were utter terrified shite from minute one.

I've given up trying to understand footy.

Tony Hill
61 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:09:21
What's depressing is that you could feel the fear from the start. It was in their bones. We have to dig that out. Above all, we need a shithouse captain. Seamus is too good a man.

By my twisted law of Everton sporting averages, that makes it more likely that we will beat Sheffield United. Manchester City? Not so sure.

Charles McCann
62 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:09:49
Really really poor tonight. Don’t like singling out players but sigurdson was particularly bad. The long ball tactic of kicking up to DCL looking for a lucky flick on is horrible to watch and rarely works. Time to start rotating the squad more and give more youth players a chance.
Ray Jacques
63 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:10:20
Anthony, 54. Shall we sack Ancelotti then?

Who do you suggest should be the manager??

A big blue, an ex blue, a local lad, a passionate blue?

Sam Hoare
64 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:10:54
I didn't think it was quite as bad as many on here. I was gutted to see Gomes in the starting line up and he was as woeful as I expected but after about the 30 minute mark (we were horrendous in first half-hour) I thought it was relatively even.

Carlo obviously picked the solid and counter-attack option and it almost worked. If Siggy had put in that diving header in the 83rd minute then we almost definitely are through to the semi.

Not pretty and ultimately not effective but after the initial horror show it was tight and looked to me like it was headed to pens.

The team is knackered and I think if those tired legs had tried to match Man Utd with a more expansive games then Pogba and Fernandes would have been licking their lips at the amount of holes that would have come.

Personally I thought keeping it tight was the right option tonight even if Gomes should never have started.

We are really lacking depth at the moment and good players who can come in to relieve the first team. Gomes, Bernard and Tosun were all shockingly bad while they have the likes of a full fresh Cavani to score a top class goal.

Disappointing night but we move on, my main concern now is who's gonna have the legs left to do it all again on Saturday. Definitely running on empty by the end.

Alex Gray
65 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:11:09
Before we slag Carlo off and be fickle again, look at our bench. Man Utd bring on Rashford and Martial, we had Tosun, Bernard and Tom Davies. Wouldn't get a game for West Brom let alone a result against Man Utd.

We've had to rely on defensive performances as all of our attacking threats are injured alongside Allan who was a huge miss today.

James, Digne, Allan and now Richarlison are our threat. Nobody else can create chances for Calvert-Lewin and our bench may as well stay at home as our reserve attacking options aren't worth even bringing on. They add nothing.

We still need a quality winger, a forward who can add something different to Calvert-Lewin and a creative centre-midfielder with legs to get around the pitch.

Better team and squad won. The lads had no legs left and Man Utd had a fresh team out. I hope we do business in January or we're one more injury away from sliding down the table with so many games close together.

Andy Crooks
66 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:11:23
Yes Thomas, you can.
Brian Williams
67 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:11:39
You can play all the formations under the sun but, when players play with a lack of energy and aggression, when they fail to complete simple passes to a teammate, fail to show for the ball, and fail to create, then you're onto plums.
Too many players just performed really poorly.
Simon Dalzell
68 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:11:52
Sorry Ray. That "performance" was unacceptable. Total garbage. We haven't got the quality of Man Utd. That's no excuse for that wretched display. Highly paid under-achievers unable to pass the ball 10 yards to a man in space. Consistently for 100 minutes.
Thomas Richards
69 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:12:57
Thank you.

Why do you consider Ancelotti a coward, Andy?

Tom Harvey
70 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:13:53
I thought Richarlisons wrist injury was making him hesitant in challenges.

He didn't look "at it" tonight, there's a good chance he was trying to protect it.

Graham Coldron
71 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:14:49
The Champions League has had a knock off effect that invariably one of the team's that plays regularly in it will win one of both the domestic cups.This is the problem we have along with the likes of Villa, Southampton etc.

However this shouldn't prevent any team at least having a go on the basis that if you are going to get beat at least go down fighting.

Carlo needs at least two more windows, regular European footie and a bit of luck.

At the moment we just haven't got the players to show a big game mentality depressing as it is.

The only glimmer of light is where we are in the league.

Tony Hill
72 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:16:36
Quite right, Ernie and Patrick @58 and @59. No-one is calling for suicidal gung-ho football against a good side. But some effort to take the game to the opposition in a cup tie in front of our fans would have been nice.

Of course, the players' failure to pass to each other and maintain control of the ball is a large factor. Our woeful ball retention remains a mystery - it's been the case for years.

Jason Wilkinson
73 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:16:45
Man Utd have been on a great run. They have an abundance of talented players. We have ground out 3 wins in the EPL but we haven't got the depth of squad yet. We all know that beyond are 1st choice 11 we haven't got equal replacements. Why beat the same drum? This player, that player shouldn't wear the shirt.
The positives for me are the new players to the squad improve us. Ancelotti will be looking to replace and build the squad in the summer. We have a good chance of being in Europe next season. We have 2 young exciting centre halves in Holgate & Godfrey. DCL is getting better.
As a squad we are looking much better this season than we have in the last 6/7 years. We miss the contribution of Digne down the left. He was the major supplier of crosses for Dom. Allan has been our most consistent midfielder. Without 2 of our best players it is going to be very hard to compete against the better clubs.
We need a right back (Coleman is injury prone) A midfielder who can create. A left winger and a centre forward. Defensively we look a lot better these last few weeks. Work on the training ground is paying off. We are lacking a bit of guile in midfield. Ancelotti will get this right. We have to be patient. Another good summer transfer window and we will be able to compete against the best in the division.
Paul Hewitt
74 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:17:30
We have just come of the back of 3 league wins that has us 4th in the league. Lose 1 game in the cup and the Carlo haters are out.
Michael Lynch
75 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:18:18
Sadly we don’t have the squad for two games a week. DCL needs a rest but who will take his place, Tosun? Can’t actually believe we let Moise Kean go - at least he was an option, right now we have nothing to bring on up front. Same with creative players - iwobi and Bernard ? Not good enough.

We need to bring in a striker as soon as the window opens, so we don’t completely burn out DCL

Dave Lynch
76 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:19:47
No surprise to me after the first 10 mins.

Utd pressed and attacked with speed and width, we can't cope with that.

Still... More proof for Carlo that we need to ship out the dead wood.

Pat Kelly
77 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:19:48
A gutless performance. Carlo wasn't bothered about the cup. He has enough on his plate to finish the season in the top half.
Tony Abrahams
78 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:19:58
United just had to much quality for us, and it was surprising that it took them so long to score.

I can see some spirit developing with certain players, whilst others just show how badly we have been mismanaged for years.

Also looking at United, a squad that is programmed to play weekend plus midweek, and Everton’s threadbare squad, that have just beat three good sides on the spin in eight days, but haven’t quite got enough numbers in quality just yet, especially offensively.

Who was the ref? Very poor, although he never done nothing to affect the result.

David Pearl
79 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:20:07
For what its worth Carlo should not have changed a winning team. I thought Mina, Doucoure and Siggy were great. The rest struggled. We need a sub for Richarlison and another left foot
Stephen Brown
80 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:20:57
The way teams have a monopoly and the CL places and trophies now it’s conceivable that we might never win another trophy ?

On nights like this I really hate football !! I bet Man U draw Brentford too

Andy Crooks
81 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:21:35
I consider Ancelotti a coward because he set out his team like Nuneaton v Real Madrid. keep it tight, defend deep, see what happens. He treated the opposition like they are world beaters. Bielsa didn't, He might be a fool but he is not a coward. He backed his players as being good enough and was wrong. Ancelotti, in my view, decided his players weren't good enough and helped them to prove him right.
Anyway, I've had enough for a while. Tonight, for me,was indefensible. For those who feel it can be defended, well done, respect.
Thomas Richards
82 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:22:53
Did Bielsas team get beat 6-2 ?
Peter Mills
83 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:22:58
A fair defeat. I could see what Carlo was trying to do, but the changes, Coleman for Holgate, Gomes for Davies, weakened us defensively. I thought he should have kept the team as it has been. Gomes was very poor.

We were simply outplayed for the first half hour by passing and movement. After that, something changed, difficult to tell on the telly, but it looked like our midfield consolidated into 5 until half time.

2nd half started fairly even but Richarlison going off was a big blow. After that, I was hoping for penalties. Utd’s substitutes were ominous. We were undone by a great goal by Cavani, who perhaps exposed Godfrey’s inexperience.

Overall, we were beaten by a team that is more advanced in their re-building, with a bigger squad of better players.

Paul Hewitt
84 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:24:09
Andy@81. Leeds lost 6-2.
Bill Fairfield
85 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:26:27
United’s quality showed through tonight,oh for a squad like theirs.Bruno Fernandes signing of the year.We’re better off than twelve months ago,hopefully improve more by the end of the season.
Andy Crooks
86 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:26:33
Sorry,Thomas my response to your original question was not meant to be snide. I posted without making my point and then a number of posts went up before I could finish my post.
Hywel Owen
87 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:26:52
Gomes and Bernard are both imitation footballers and are not worth bothering with.

Sigurdsson's first touch is abysmal to say the least. Rodriguez, for all his talent, is a perennial injury problem.

Godfrey does his best but he never will be mobile enough to play on the left side of the back four.

Apart from some bizarre selections and substitutions, I can just about put up with Carlo but he cannot live on his reputation much longer. Having said that, he needs at least five top-class players before we will be anywhere near competitive top six material.

Tony Twist
88 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:27:14
So near and yet so far. Well not near really. The personnel have changed somewhat but nothing has really changed. Yet to see much backbone to this side, the mentality so to speak, they are lacking belief. Concerned about Sheff Utd match now as we rarely bounce back straight away. A good opportunity given up with a whimper.
Paul A Smith
89 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:28:30
We can't really expect to win trophies when sides like United have about 600 millions worth of talent on the pitch.

They can turn it on at any given time. We were running on dead legs after 70 mins. Sigurdsson looked heavy legged.

Richarlison and Calvert Lewin always seem miles from each other and until we get a class ball carrier in midfield I think those 2 will always be over worked.

Gomes now a nothing player, we need midfielders and look at theirs tonight. Tough job Carlo.

Rob Halligan
90 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:29:04
Tony # 78. Andy Madley was the referee, and in my opinion, if he sees the incident between Cavani and Mina, then Cavani should have walked, and therefore doesn't score. I know he can't see everything going on, but surely the linesman could have seen it. With VAR Cavani walks, all day long. Anyway it's looking like a man city v spurs final. City draw man Utd.
Thomas Richards
91 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:30:35
No offence taken Andy.

All the best

Roger Helm
92 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:31:46
It will be such a big rebuilding job. We have about six or seven players able to play at a high level, then it's just fillers. When they can't play, we are lost. Poor Tom Davies chasing shadows was embarrassing to watch. And I have never seen Bernard or Tosun do anything, ever. Surely we have players better than that. If not, why do they have squad numbers?

Siggy tries harder these days, but he is just too old and slow. Gomez is slow and doesn't even try. Positives - all Carlo's signings are quality, so a few more windows like that and we may be able to sustain a challenge for top four. Also, I thought the goalie did ok, I would give him a run in the side.

Jim Bennings
93 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:32:26
To be honest I expected we would lose that game, both before and during the match because against Arsenal there were signs of it in the second half, it's just that the Gunners don't possess anywhere near United's firepower.

We've still got too many passengers, the midfield needs building around Doucoure and Allan for next season.

Gomes, Sigurdsson, Davies none are going to be good enough to move this club forwards.

On the flanks, Iwobi will never be a player that produces end product nor goals, and on the other side we need to find out why Richi isn't producing going forward this season, works his arse off but frustrating me going forward big time.

Bernard has regressed incredibly from the guy that we first seen when he signed two years ago, he's become a poor man's John Oster.

As for Gordon, he's obviously not ready or not fancied, but if he's not ready now then why was he ready earlier in the year?

Striker wise we have relied far far too much on Dom, and in January we should be looking for an experienced loan signing to help him out up top.

So many conundrums left for our manager to sort out.

Danny Broderick
94 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:34:13
Not sure about the title of this article. Defence crumbled? I thought the defence were magnificent after a terrible opening 20 minutes.

Our problem was midfield. Like I feared before kick off, Gomes was a spectator. Doucoure covered every blade of grass, and Sigurdsson had his best game for us in July opinion. Davies was doing a great job for us when he came on - he was basically marking Fernandes. I’d have to see it back, but it looked to me like Doucoure was well out of position, allowing Martial acres to stroll forward and pick out Cavani. Doucoure went off straight after, so I’m not sure if he had an injury. But it was probably the only time he wasn’t where we needed him to be in the whole game, and they capitalised. After that the game was stretched, and they got the sugar coating with the second goal. But this game swung on a gap in our midfield after a poor quality, battling performance for 88 minutes.

I’m really gutted, happy we showed fight throughout but amazed at the nervousness at the start. We didn’t start playing until 20-25 minutes in. Allan and Rodriguez are big misses. We ended the game with last season’s midfield basically, which isn’t good enough as we know...

John Atkinson
95 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:35:36
This is only my second post but I will keep it short.

Why oh why does Carlo keep picking Iwobi? He is fucking useless.

Andrew Keatley
96 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:36:31
Brian (67) - Spot on I reckon.

As for the unlikely trio of Bernard, Davies and Tosun (our 3 subs) being the ones trying to stop the breakaway that became the Martial goal... well, they might as well have just not bothered such was their ineptitude. Tosun in particular.

The game was obviously gone by that point but it just served as a stark reminder of how colossally bad our fringe players are. Three on three, just track your runner – and make the player on the ball do something extraordinary. Tosun charges at the ball, leaves the flat-footed Davies to move onto Martial, which he cannot possibly do, and the simplest pass puts Martial in on goal.

When players are making those sorts of poor in-game decisions then they need a dressing down from the management, and we made those sorts of mistakes all over the place this evening. The fact that, for the Cavani goal, Martial collects a pass in so much space – with Doucouré up the pitch and Keane tempted to go and mark Martial but then bottling it – is just pathetic.

Julian Exshaw
97 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:36:40
This wasn't about Man Utd's perceived quality. This was about us not performing once again when it really matters. The last game which frustrated me to such an extent was our loss to the red shite in the FA Cup last year.

What alarms me even more is the shoulder-shrugging attitude of the players and staff, and almost most disappointing of all, of some fans who are prepared to accept this dismal display. I can wholly accept they may have better players but the first 35 minutes of that match were an embarrassment to all Evertonians.

So we surrender another precious trophy winning opportunity limply and prolong our 25 years of genuine hurt.

Tony Hill
98 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:37:03
David @79, I agree about the three players you mention though I'm not sure I'd describe their performances as "great" tonight. Mina and Doucoure, in particular, are doing very well. Sigurdsson is showing more effort than I have seen from him for a long time but he's still short.

I hold to the view that we saw a typical Everton performance in big games (a game tonight that could have helped us on the way to European qualification) and I think Andy Crooks has the essence of it right: all the signals were that we didn't expect to win. From the referee's whistle.

Ernie Baywood
99 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:37:17
Rob #90, the camera showed that he had a clear view. He was watching it happen. I think that to say it should have been a red card is more a statement of fact than opinion. It's not particularly violent, and I'm not soft, but that's a red card every single time.

Maybe they're using the Carabao to increase the popularity of VAR?

But no excuses. We weren't good enough.

Steavey Buckley
100 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:39:28
The Everton substitutions were meaningless. For all they offered, they might as well have stayed on the bench for another cameo performance in the next game.

I hope Ancelotti has new players lined up next month; if he delays too long, the season will be soon be over for another season.

Calvert-Lewin is getting dreadful service upfront because the bench has no-one who can come off it and change the nature of the game.

Jim Bennings
101 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:41:10
John 95

Probably because he's got nobody else to play on the right.

Every now and then we look at our fully fit first eleven and think ok that looks good, but dig deep and the squad is still shite.

Jay Harris
102 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:41:52
Cavani or Calvert-Lewin
Bernard or Martial
Tom Davies or Paul Pogba
Gomes or Fernandes

Just think about that and reflect on how difficult it is to put a team out to beat them.

Tony Abrahams
103 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:42:02
Pogba’s dive was the worst for me Rob, because even with all that talent on the pitch, it shows how snide footballers have now become.

Disappointing to go out of any competition but it was honestly the first time I haven’t felt nervous watching Everton on the telly, such was the gulf in class between the teams tonight.

A brave manager would have got beat by five tonight with Everton’s team imo, but Ancellotti was seven minutes from penalties, so I take a different view tonight Andy, we all just see a different game at times mate.

Jason Wilkinson
104 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:42:19
From Carlo Magnifico to clueless in one game. It is incredible how the ToffeeWeb managers come out and think Ancelotti doesnt know what he's doing every time we lose.

He has an inherited squad. Two of the best players at the club sidelined and faced a club that can play Pogba, Cavanni, Fernandes & Rashford. We have Bernard, Tosun, Gomes & Davies. I'm not sure with a fully fit squad we would have won.

Get a grip, lads. Ancelotti needs at least two more transfer windows to compete against the best in the division.

Rob Halligan
105 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:45:01
Ernie, no excuses as far as the result goes. We could have easily been a couple down in the first 25 or 30 minutes, but we weren't, and slowly grew into the game.

In the second half, I'd say neither team deserved to win, and with Richarlison going off probably took away our only chance of creating anything. I'd even go as far as to say the foul on Richarlison was fully intended, as Fernandes seemed to give him a little shove as Bailly came clattering into him.

We were definitely playing for pens, and would probably have got there if Cavani had been sent off.

Thomas Richards
106 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:45:13
Jason 104.

Very good post.

Brian Wilkinson
107 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:46:29
First of all, yes, Man Utd played well; yes, Man Utd have countless talent... and yes, Man Utd deserved to win it; that is that out of the way.

Did we get overrun? Did we get stuck in and have a go? Absolutely not.

That was an awful performance; we struggled to even play simple passes. For all the praise on the Man Utd superstars, we made them look like world beaters. No heart... no passion... as poor a performance as I have seen for a long time.

We got what we deserved tonight, played short passes around our area, then Route One to Calvert-Lewin due to no midfield to pass to. We could not even play a 2-yard pass for most of the game.

Not pointing the finger at any one player or personel, but that was unacceptable tonight.

Tom Bowers
108 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:46:40
Funny how other teams can throw subs on late and get a result. When was the last time that happened for Everton?

Anyway, onward and upward (hopefully) come Boxing Day... and then the best passing team around (Man City). Not much chance of 6 points from those two games after today's game performance.

Don Alexander
109 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:47:37
If Carling did hopeless defeats, even they couldn't surpass our lot for the past few years.

I've said it repeatedly but Finch Farm and the boardroom need purging of the culture that never ever fails, year after year, to produce truly embarrassing defeats aplenty.

You accept defeat if there's a full-blooded effort, but not even turning up to compete is inexcusable.

Tony Hill
110 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:48:22
Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.
Barry Rathbone
111 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:49:39
No idea why people are surprised by our craven surrender in games with "something" on them – it is a decades-old party piece. Carlo is just the latest contributor.

The FA Cup will end the same way.

We need to ditch the "Toffees" nickname to "Gutless Losers" to remedy the debilitating delusion.

Stuart Sharp
112 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:50:34
I agree with Andy C's point that it looked like we didn't believe we were going to win. Tiredness must have played some role too, especially with them making 9 changes, and of course their squad is better, but we never really attacked with conviction. In fact, we didn't attack much at all.

Bit surprised some people have singled out Sigurdsson though. I thought he looked like one player who was really trying to make things happen. He's just not good enough. Iwobi also tried, but his final ball is so often poor. Very frustrating.

They deserved to win, despite having some deeply unpleasant characters.

Rob Halligan
113 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:52:25
Tony, totally agree. It's what Man Utd players do, dive, they are so clever at it. Haven't they had something ridiculous like 40 odd penalties in the last two seasons? That was pathetic by Pogba.

Like you, I don't agree with Andy's opinion of Ancelotti. Imagine the uproar if we went gung-ho and got smacked 6-2?

Ancelotti said recently there would be player rotation because of the number of games coming up, but unfortunately, at the moment we are missing the players we most need – Digne, Allan and Rodriguez – because of injury.

David Connor
114 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:52:33
Not surprised one bit by the result or the performance, it's just about where we are. Not quite good enough. We need to offload the dross we have and get hungrier faster players if we want to compete for trophies.

We need a decent striker, two hungry midfielders, and a reliable keeper. Until we have them, we won't win a raffle. Getting rid of the dross might be the harder part. At least 6 players need offloading. We know who they are. So does Ancelotti... I hope.

Lynn Maher
115 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:53:31
My husband and I went to the match tonight. Our initial excitement at being told we had been successful in the ballot, soon dissipated.

We had filled in forms, had our Covid-19 test, brought our IDs and arrived at 6:30 pm as requested. Still get shivers when Z-Cars plays and convinced we can play anyone. Then reality set in.

I have no answers for tonight's debacle. I wish I didn't care anymore, but I do.

Jay Wood

116 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:55:04
Rob, the shove by Fernandes on Richarlison which took him into Bailly was an extremely dangerous one, reminiscent of Mount's shove on Mina who then clattered into Pickford v Chelsea.

Richarlison could now miss the Sheffield Utd game due to concussion protocols. He looked well groggy to me.

It's such a dangerous play because the shoved player can take the full force of another incoming player's thigh, knee or hip with very serious repercussions.

I feared Cavani would be the difference tonight and his finish showed why. But I agree, VAR reviewing his stranglehold and shove on Mina and that's a red card all day.

But there is no escaping that, on the night, the better team won.

Stan Michaels
117 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:56:18
If Ancelotti gets this squad into Europe, then he deserves Manager of the Year award. Tonight has proved that we are still miles off teams like Man Utd. The fact they can make nine changes and still look threatening when we only make two changes.

It's no excuse at all but players like Calvert-Lewin and Doucouré are blowing smoke out their arses after 20 minutes because of the amount of games we have. Yet Klopp is winging about his team.

The fact that they can bring on Rashford and Martial. And there is us to bring Bernard, Davies and Tosun on to try and make something happen. The following players really should definitely not be at the club in the next 12 months:

Cenk Tosun
Gylfi Sigurdsson
Yannick Bolasie
Andre Gomes
Tom Davies

Not good enough at any level in this league. And this is not a knee jerk reaction, it's fact.

However, we lost ourselves the game on a big occasion from first whistle to last. More players badly needed next month and in the summer. And especially a few players out.

Steve Guy
118 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:58:45
If VAR had been in use tonight (and why isn't it?), chances are the goalscorer wouldn't have been on the pitch. Add to that the assault on Richarlison plus a number of other little nasties (especially that little gobshite Fernandes) and it's clear cheats do prosper. I accept we could have done more but we got mugged here.

Btw, we are 4th in the table, so it's not all gloom and doom by any stretch.

Rob Dolby
119 Posted 23/12/2020 at 22:58:50
Agree with Sam 64.

Sitting tight has produced good results recently and given injuries it was no surprise that we did it again. After an awful start, we got back into the game after 25 mins. Sigurdsson dropping a bit deeper helped us keep the ball better.

Big turning point was Richarlison getting barged and subsequently injured. If he is concussed, that's us knackered for another week.

The game's only quality moment came from a striker who has done it all of his long career. Bernard AWOL when the pass comes in for Martial, Godfrey gives Cavani half a yard on his weaker foot and Olsen is picking the ball out of the net.

In our entire squad, we only have Rodriguez, Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin that offer a goal threat. Man Utd's team is littered with match winners, that is the gap that we have to somehow bridge.

i thought Doucouré was good again. Sigurdsson worked hard and looked like our main threat. All of the defence did well even the goalie did okay after the first 5 minutes of madness.

I just hope Ancelotti is given funds to strengthen us in January. We have progressed but aren't anywhere near the big boys in this league in squad depth or quality.

Phil Smith
120 Posted 23/12/2020 at 23:01:10
Awful across the board. Keeper had no chance for the goals but his near early Chrimbo gift to Cavani was symptomatic of the team's performance, led by the coach picking the same daft midfield.

You can't play Gilfi and Gomes in the same side! How many times??? He totally fucked up again. He'd better not in the next match against them.

Truly pathetic today. Calvert-Lewin won't stay in this side if nobody can play him in. I'd go in for Dele Alli or someone who can add a little graft and craft.

Jeff Armstrong
121 Posted 23/12/2020 at 23:01:55
We lost the game when Ancelotti picked Gomes, and then brought on Bernard. He never learns that these 2 are not good enough, keeps picking them for no apparent reason.
Sukhdev Sohal
122 Posted 23/12/2020 at 23:02:08
Iwobi absolutely pathetic. Sigurdsson (the main hate-collector) was pretty good. Why didn't Bernard cross it in when our whole team bar 2/3 was forward? He instead tried a pass along the floor which led to their 2nd goal. Godfrey was good as he is becoming weekly now.

Brands deserves a lot more stick for the Iwobi deal. Anyone with a brain could see he was average at best in an Arsenal team that scored goals for fun so, in reality, even that made him look better.

Bill Fairfield
123 Posted 23/12/2020 at 23:07:04
Jason @104

Spot on, Jason, I couldn't agree more.

Patrick McFarlane
124 Posted 23/12/2020 at 23:07:05
Of course Manchester United is a team full of good players, anyone with an ounce of football knowledge knows that; however, it's more about how Everton lost the game – not how good the opponents were.

Perhaps, I'm too long in the tooth, but Everton in Gordon Lee's time were no great shakes for his latter years, but none of his teams at Goodison would surrender the tie at least mentally at kick-off because they thought they weren't good enough.

They saw off good sides at Goodison because they showed them no respect; Joe Royle's and Howard Kendall's teams also had the same mentality.

I suppose the constant media attention and 24-hour coverage of the top sides doesn't help when it comes to trying to convince players that they can overcome the odds in any particular game and I suppose the gulf in class between the 'haves' and the 'have nots' is bigger than it was back in the day.

Having gone out of last season's competition at the same stage with a similar performance against Leicester City, when Everton didn't get going until the midpoint of the second half, I expected Everton to put a lot more pressure on United early on in the game but it was not to be.

We'll have to hope that we don't meet any of the top sides in the FA Cup if we are to break our trophy drought, but that's unlikely and we may have to wait a long time to celebrate anything of note.

Tony Everan
125 Posted 23/12/2020 at 23:10:46
Man Utd had a bit more belief and confidence than us. Both teams were rubbish. I found it difficult to watch the poor passing and poor decision making.

I think we are badly missing Allan, he gives us a little bit more control over games breaking up play and winning possession. Gomes can't do that at all and it weakens us. The midfield was disjointed and poor tonight with no composure or forward energy.

I felt we were like a chicken on a conveyor belt in an abattoir, trundling along waiting to be put out of its misery at the end of the line.

A win at Sheffield Utd will soften the blow.

Derek Knox
126 Posted 23/12/2020 at 23:14:02
I have always said I can accept getting beaten if it has been by a better side, provided we have put up a good show and perhaps been unlucky, but tonight not only were Man Utd the better side, most of our outfield players didn't appear to even try.

I felt for Calvert-Lewin too, as he had little or nothing to feed off. Sigurdsson comes in for a lot of stick, but at least he did try tonight, probably one of the few. I thought the defence were okay, but were put under a lot of pressure through lack of support from midfield.

Gomes, Davies (after he came on), Bernard, and latterly Tosun were so poor, it almost beggared belief. Iwobi wasn't far behind after showing a lot of improvement in previous games. Doucouré tried too, but unfortunately a losing battle.

Olsen had a few heart-stopping moments early on too, but seemed to get a little better as the game went on. I just hope the Transfer Window works for us with many going the opposite way, but some quality coming in too.

Injuries to a few players, although we have 'numbers' who are a very poor substitute and exposes how weak we are in terms of quality in a bloated squad. Hopefully the Window, which traditionally is quieter than a Summer one, will allow us some more decent players.

Mike Oates
127 Posted 23/12/2020 at 23:14:56
The bottom line is the squad just isn't good enough. On top of that, we don't have a midfield that can compete with the Liverpool's, Man Utd's, or Man City's, and realistically even Arsenal, Leicester, and Chelsea dominated their games against us.

Even with Allan and James, there is something still missing – maybe a very fit Gbamin – but we can't dominate games.

We can't carry on with this defensive set up as we basically are knackering Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison. Ancelotti seriously needs to develop Nkounkou, Gordon and get at least 2 quality players in this window, with zero cash.

We can't be relying on Bernard, Tosun, Gomes and Davies – they can't do it at this level.

Martin Berry
128 Posted 23/12/2020 at 23:16:51
We lack the depth of quality in midfield when especially Allan and James are missing.

Hopefully Carlo will add depth in this area as Iwobi, Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin is a forward line that will do well if given the supply.

I would love to see James in the Sigurdsson role when fit, I think that could add another dimension to our play

John Raftery
129 Posted 23/12/2020 at 23:17:55
Without Allan's guile and James's craft, we have nowhere near enough in midfield. We knew that last season. Doucouré did his best to hold things together but he was fighting too many fires tonight.

In contrast, Man Utd were able to make nine changes and were still able to outclass our players. That illustrates the chasm between the two clubs and how far away we are from seriously challenging for trophies.

That said, it was disappointing to start the game so poorly. The players looked extremely nervous, bereft of confidence, and anything but up for a battle. We were lucky not to be 4-0 down in the first 20 minutes.

Jeff Armstrong
130 Posted 23/12/2020 at 23:24:19
Does the manager come off Scott free then? Come on, he picked Gomes, for fuck's sake, and brought on Bernard... He can't blame the transfer window or lack of options (Davies, Gordon) for that.

I'm angry tonight, angry at the manager for his lack of foresight regarding them 2 useless twats. He keeps picking them.

Mike Doyle
131 Posted 23/12/2020 at 23:26:46
We have a decent first 11, but a limited squad – and after 3 tough games, we came up short against the ‘away' form team in the Premier League.

Several players look knackered and in need of a rest. However, they won't get it because our squad depth is so shallow. Reinforcements are needed.

Mike Keating
132 Posted 23/12/2020 at 23:28:26
I agree with my namesake at 45: “That was the worst and most boring game so far this season.”

We woz crap and they weren't much better. Gordon on for Richardson might have made a difference but I doubt it as the entire team played like they couldn't be arsed.

Embarrassing for me as I talked my mate (in Thailand) into putting on his alarm clock and watching the game. Hope he slept through it instead.

Jason Wilkinson
133 Posted 23/12/2020 at 23:31:28
Jeff #130,

I don't get your argument. Who should have played in your opinion?

Jeff Armstrong
134 Posted 23/12/2020 at 23:34:06
133, Davies for Gomes from the start; Gordon on instead of Bernard.
Kunal Desai
135 Posted 23/12/2020 at 23:38:21
Better side won. They should have been out of sight in the first 20 mins and we got lucky. A game too far for us after digging out performances and 9 points from the last 3 games.

Quicker we can get to January, the better, and freshen the squad up with a couple of players. It's work in progress, the next two windows will tell us a lot more going into next season when I expect a much-changed midfield and final third with some level of depth off the bench.

Moshiri will provide all the tools for Ancelotti to succeed and go again stronger on all fronts next season.

Mike Owen
136 Posted 23/12/2020 at 23:41:14
I'm so depressed that for some reason I'm now watching Dolly Parton's Christmas Concert.

Can't expect to win a game if you don't score a goal. Worse still, not even look like scoring. Fundamental.

I was wanting to throw Niasse on!

Jeff Armstrong
137 Posted 23/12/2020 at 23:42:37
Kunal, next season? Seriously? Some of us will be dead next season!
Rob Dolby
138 Posted 23/12/2020 at 23:44:41
Patrick 124

I get where your coming from about showing the opposition too much respect but the game has changed. Gone are the days of getting your revenge in first!

Pogba dives over Bernard's leg for a free-kick. Godfrey dives over Pogba for a free-kick. The game hasn't got an honest bone left in it. Shithousery is the new king.

I loved Big Dunc last year playing 2 up top and fighting for every 2nd ball. Maybe we should have gone that way tonight but that only gets you so far. The game has moved on.

Ste Traverse
139 Posted 23/12/2020 at 23:46:49
Another exit in the cup we are surely jinxed in.

We were poor overall, the Mancs not that much better, and another chance at ending our trophy drought goes begging.

Never mind, it's only a Mickey Mouse Cup according to some of the 'expert' Evertonians out there.

But considering we would've got Man City in the semis (no chance we would've beaten), I'm suddenly less arsed about this loss.

Kase Chow
140 Posted 23/12/2020 at 23:48:39
Well, that was super crap!

We desperately need more attacking threat. That was a pathetic start because, as usual, we lack the mentality to actually compete.

In fairness, after 20 minutes, we grew into the match but basic passes seemed beyond us. Very disappointing but totally expected... Very sad.

Please can we get some attacking reinforcements in January?!!

Patrick McFarlane
141 Posted 23/12/2020 at 23:50:10
Ron #138,

I know you're right and the pundits such as Gary Neville don't help matters as apparently he thought it was funny when Richarlison got his head injury. I also know that the majority of our players are just too damn honest and haven't got that 'cheating gene' implanted yet.

The minute that the FA thought more of the money it could make rather than about the game itself was the time that traditional football fans were robbed of the game that was enjoyed by millions – now, it's a game enjoyed by cheating millionaires.

Jason Wilkinson
142 Posted 23/12/2020 at 23:50:50
Jeff #134,

I can see why you think that. Gomes is a more accomplished midfielder than Davies. He lacks the energy but his distribution is better (not tonight obviously).

Gordon is a head scratcher. He mustn't be showing enough in training. Ancelotti has said he picks players who show up on the training pitch. I think we could have had Iniesta in his prime and still come second best tonight.

Andy Crooks
143 Posted 23/12/2020 at 23:53:08
Good post, Derek @126.

Shit, just forgot I flounced off the site in a rage a while ago. I mean it this time. Ancelotti has ignored my advice for the last fucking time.

Bill Gall
144 Posted 23/12/2020 at 23:58:02
We win 3 games against 2 teams above us plus 1 who is considered a top 6 team and we end up 3rd in the league, with a squad we know is weak, and we are doing great. Lose to another top club who are one of the richest clubs in the league, with a squad to prove it, who took to about the 85th minute to score with a player who should not have been on the pitch and we are shite.

Yes, it would have been nice to stay in the cup but it didn't mean we were going to win it if we got to the semis, there is another couple of strong teams already there.

The league is what we need to concentrate on and, as we need a couple more players, the transfer window opens in about 8 days, where we may be able to get rid of some players and pick up a couple more to improve the squad.

I just hope we haven't picked up any more injuries after tonight and get back to winning ways this weekend.

And those of you that are blaming Ancelotti for tonight's performance, can you honestly believe that he told his players not to try, or put any effort into the game? Plus when you get the ball pass it to the opposition?

We all know we need to improve the squad and the starting 11, and I believe we have the right people at the club to do it, but there are still the FFP rules to follow, and getting rid of some more of our unwanted players is the way to do it.

Brian Porter
145 Posted 23/12/2020 at 23:58:13
Has to go down as our poorest performance of the season. One game away from a semi-final, and I simply couldn't believe the first 20 minutes. We looked like the away team with the home side battering us in an attempt to force an early goal.

After 3 wins in a row against good quality opposition, our confidence should have been sky-high and it should have been us putting them under the cosh, looking for an early goal... but no, there was no fire, no determination or fighting spirit, in short, no anything when it really mattered.

We're level on points in the league with Man Utd, but there appeared to be an enormous gulf between the two sides out there tonight. I love Carlo, but somehow, he failed to get the players fired up and motivated to go out there and do it for him, and for the fans tonight.

They were like the bad old Everton: no drive or inspiration and I couldn't believe that in a one-off game that would determine a semi-final place, we didn't manage a single shot on goal in the second half.

Admittedly, Cavani shouldn't have been on the field by the time he scored. Both he and Fernandes committed red card offences that were completely ignored by the very poor referee.

In short, we were abysmal and the sense of disappointment I'm feeling tonight is made worse by knowing that we could have at least had a go at them in the second half, but the players just didn't seem bothered. They looked as if they just didn't care.

Hopefully Carlo will read them the riot act in time for the weekend or we could end up as the first team to be beaten by Sheffield Utd this season. Would that really surprise anyone?

Jeff Armstrong
146 Posted 23/12/2020 at 00:01:39
Jason, I can't see why you think that. Why is Gomes a more accomplished midfielder than Davies, because he found Inesta with a pass 4 years ago?

He's done fuck all to show he's an accomplished midfielder since he joined us. Injury or no injury, he's the same player I watched in the Euros in 2016. (Yes, I've watched him for a long time.)

He hides, disappears, he's a coward, and our manager cannot spot that, but knobhead me can! (See post #1.)

Steavey Buckley
147 Posted 23/12/2020 at 00:04:10
The Everton manager submitted a list of 25 players for the Everton squad to the FA at the beginning of the season, but it turns out that there are players on the list the manager does not want to play.

So what was the point? Because the failure to have a strong 25-player squad at the beginning of the season is the reason why Everton are struggling when there are injuries, loss of form, and suspensions.

Jeff Armstrong
148 Posted 24/12/2020 at 00:05:16
144, it's 'lose', not 'loose', for fuck's sake – we fucking lost.
Ernie Baywood
149 Posted 23/12/2020 at 00:07:37
The change in Gomes is quite sad. He's not half the player he was.

But I'm assuming his brain still works? Too often he's hiding behind the opposition when we need a player to get free and receive the ball. In my opinion, he's offering nothing and just needs a new start somewhere else. He's offering nothing to Everton at the moment.

I'd much rather see us invest game time in Davies. Then there's the fact that we don't really have any other options. He should be a regular in Allan's absence.

Iwobi can't cross and makes poor decisions. But I'm assuming we can work on that? He is still relatively young and does some good things. I'd keep him around.

Bernard can go. I don't think he'd disagree.

I've never been in the Sigurdsson hate club. He's underperformed... in some poor teams. But he does have a bit of quality that's lacking around the club. If we replace him, fair enough, but he's the player most likely to do something with the ball right now. And I thought he was amongst our best again tonight (low bar, admittedly).

I look at the praise that will be heaped on Man Utd's world class match winner. How many chances did he have? Compare that to the guy in 9 for us.

Patrick McFarlane
150 Posted 24/12/2020 at 00:09:24
Jeff #148,

I admit that seeing 'loose' instead of 'lose' is one of my pet hates; however, in defence of those who post, the autocorrect on phones is likely the real culprit. Merry Christmas and happy 2021, don't loose any sleep... (Joking) – lose any sleep.

Jason Wilkinson
151 Posted 24/12/2020 at 00:16:20
Jeff #146,

I like Davies's attitude. He gives everything. The problem is, he doesn't have the ability. Gomes, Sigurdsson and Bernard all have more ability but rarely show it.

If the squad was at full strength I doubt any of the aforementioned would start. Ancelotti would play a midfield of Allen, Doucouré & James. We need to find 2/3 replacements but they are as rare as hen's teeth and generally cost a fortune.

There are still 8 or10 players to move on before we can reinvest in the squad. Besic, Bolasie, Tosun, Bernard, Kenny, Sandro, Gomes, Sigurdsson. All need to be moved on. I don't think Davies or Gordon will make it in the long run either.

Jeff Armstrong
152 Posted 24/12/2020 at 00:17:16
Patrick, sorry, you're right. I'm just in a bad mood (don't know why)... apologies to Bill too.
Tony Hill
153 Posted 24/12/2020 at 00:18:02
I think it's possible to be aware of the need for patience and re-building but, at the same time, to be dismayed by another invertebrate flop.

Keep telling our boys that losses like that are understandable because they're inferior and because some of their mates are missing and they will happily agree.

Mike Owen
154 Posted 24/12/2020 at 00:20:40
Was part of the problem that the gameplan was to sit back and place our faith in counter-attack, but in so doing we surrendered the initiative?
Especially against a talented United team that came flying out of the traps.
John Keating
155 Posted 24/12/2020 at 00:21:39
When Gomes first came here, I couldn't believe the praise he was getting. I equated him with Ray Wilkins: side pass only.

I was wrong: Ray Wilkins's 2-yard side passes actually got to a teammate.

Graham Lloyd
156 Posted 24/12/2020 at 00:22:25
Poor performance and I thought both sides looked tired which led to a lot of errors, particularly in the second half. I was convinced we were heading to penalties and would probably have lost on them if we got there. Whilst I have Bruno Fernandes in my fantasy team, he is just a nasty piece of work!

It's not the end of the world and let's hope we get up against Sheffield Utd and we'll all feel better.

Off topic but I hope every ToffeeWebber has a fantastic Christmas and keep safe wherever you are.

John Raftery
157 Posted 24/12/2020 at 00:22:46
I often think the League Cup is more trouble than it is worth for a squad like ours, lacking depth and quality. It is all very well ‘taking it seriously' against the likes of Salford and Fleetwood but inevitably in the latter stages we come up against the top clubs at a point in the season when the fixture list is already overloaded with injuries mounting by the week.

Unless and until we can build a squad able to compete across three fronts in the winter we would be better advised to concentrate on the Premier League and field a second string in the League Cup.

John Keating
158 Posted 24/12/2020 at 00:36:20

Think what will happen if we get a place in the mighty Europa League next season? Away at FC Fuckwit of Latvia on Thursday and away at Man City Sunday afternoon...

Rob Halligan
159 Posted 24/12/2020 at 00:39:28
Blimey, Feyenoord are reportedly interested in Tosun.

Graham # 156. Yeah, I was convinced it was heading for penalties as well, and I was thinking who would be taking ours? There was Sigurdsson, Calvert-Lewin, and then I got stuck. Maybe Iwobi, Doucouré, and I suppose Tosun, as didn't he take one against Leicester last season? I'm convinced like you though, we'd have probably lost on pens.

Kenny Smith
160 Posted 24/12/2020 at 00:48:31
I didn't need to see the Man Utd team once I'd seen ours. Likewise, I haven't read any of the previous comments on this thread because I don't need to. I know exactly what's been said.

A too defensive lineup and mindset tonight. There's was no way we'd catch them on the break (or, for the under 25s, the transition). Their midfield was far too strong and, after 20 minutes, we should've played Richarlison up front in a 2 and sacrificed a poor Sigurdsson for Gordon on the left. Then just bypassed the midfield to turn them round.

Anyway, I'm not too disappointed: our season won't be defined by missing out on a cup we've never won.

Let's push on and look to the next transfer window to improve our squad and to move poor players on. The real issue tonight was that we've clearly only got a good first XI and the rest are not up to it.

Derek Thomas
161 Posted 24/12/2020 at 01:03:07
Hindsight, I know, but putting in Coleman and Gomes was a mistake.

The Ref was rubbish, Fernandes and Cavani should have had red cards. Richarlison out with concussion?.

My nice pre-Christmas buzz ruined. Pleased for Brentford though, but the semi-final draw wasn't the biggest shock ever was it.

Roll on Boxing Day and try to get this out of our systems – or are we going on the 'bust' phase of our 'boom or bust' cycle again???

Sam Fitzsimmons
162 Posted 24/12/2020 at 01:04:03
Kenny #160, poor Sigurdsson? Sorry, I must have tuned into the wrong game.

The one I was watching, Sigurdsson was the best player in a blue shirt by a country mile. But sure – it's all about perceptions.

Jay Wood

163 Posted 24/12/2020 at 01:24:23
Rob @ 159.

'Blimey, Feyenoord are reportedly interested in Tosun.'

Big Turkish community in Rotterdam, Rob.

Always be a job for him serving the tables in a Schwarma bar.

Graham Lloyd
164 Posted 24/12/2020 at 01:25:44
Sam @ 162 – Agree that Sigurdsson was not the problem tonight. He gets a lot of stick on here but I always think he puts in a shift. It's when he is asked to play in midfield with defensive duties it becomes a problem.

Does his best but just not his game. I think he is now the back up for James as a Number 10 when fit.

Rob @ 159 – I was also struggling! Thinking Sigurdsson, Calvert-Lewin, Tosun, Coleman???

Lee Paige
165 Posted 24/12/2020 at 01:37:01
Well, that was an absolute pile of poo, but the most disturbing part for me was Ancelotti, whom I love, saying we performed well. What the heck was he watching? Absolutely baffling!
Steve Carse
166 Posted 24/12/2020 at 01:43:38
Derek (161), Coleman a mistake. On what grounds? I can't remember him doing much wrong. And he was one of only a handful who tried to make something happen in the opposition half.

He knows his time is running out and that the League Cup represented a real chance for him to mark his Everton career with a medal. It showed in his performance. Clearly few others in the side had a similar personal agenda.

Steve Carse
167 Posted 24/12/2020 at 01:52:41
Lee (165), I suggest Carlo's perspective on the quality of our performance is because he gets great pleasure playing the defensive game. Expect another defensive 'masterclass' on Boxing Day against the all stars of Sheffield Utd. And if we're lucky, we might even pinch a goal.
Phil Smith
168 Posted 24/12/2020 at 02:02:16
Yeah, that fecked me off to no end when I read he said that! We performed? Really? The only performance we put in was a totally shite one. Worst I've seen us play for a long long while.

Once again, I blame the boss. Stop picking Gomes! Also, League Cup games should always have 2 kids in the side. I actually think it should be mandatory to have 3 U23 players in a side for this cup for top 2 tier sides.

Just a thought. The Premier League is priority. Kids can always do a job and probably would have played bettter than anyone out there tonight. He only trysts them against lower-league opponents though. If you don't play ‘em, they'll never learn.

Kieran Kinsella
169 Posted 24/12/2020 at 02:02:23
Running on empty after three prior big games in the last 10 days. Man Utd made nine changes – all of whom are international quality players. We don't have that depth so I figured we'd lose and I didn't watch it to spare myself the pain.
Derek Knox
170 Posted 24/12/2020 at 02:12:40
Jay @ 163, from tonight's showing he would probably serve to the wrong table. £27M for him beggars belief, thanks Sam you big fat ugly greedy fraud.
Steve Carse
171 Posted 24/12/2020 at 02:25:58
Why is it that, when teams start winning games, they'll tell you that the revived confidence, spirit and heightened adrenaline carries them on to further successes but, with us winning a few, it just brings tiredness?

'Running on empty', 'One game too many' -- nonsense. Last night's performance was a result of sheer ineptitude, from the manager downwards.

John Boon
172 Posted 24/12/2020 at 03:28:19
I always try to be optimistic but, when I looked at the two team sheets before the game, I realized that there is an enormous disparity of talent between Everton and Man Utd. Having said that, I don't think that Olly is doing such a great job if that is the best he can get out of them.

We were very poor... in fact, the first half-hour was dreadful, but I still don't think Man Utd were particularly good either. I don't care how much we have spent – we will still need to spend a lot more if we are ever going to be a challenging team.

Considering the early onslaught I thought the defence played well. We always seem to get players who are constantly injured. Siggy made some poor passes, but he did put in an effort and added some skill to the team. I rarely like to be critical of young players but, as willing as he may be, Davies just does not have it.

Cavani may have scored a great goal but he should have been sent off. Personally, he is the sort of overseas player that I despise. Sly, creepy, complete with the theatrical over-the-top gestures and responses that should be left on the stage. I just wish Big Dunc could spend 5 minutes with him... actually he would only need 30 seconds.

When I watched football in the fifties and even through to the nineties, such ridiculous rolling around would never have been accepted by any team. If rolling 15 feet is a cure for injury or illness, then hospitals should have beds 15 feet wide so sick or injured people could roll around all day in order to get better. What has happened to "Grit your teeth, put the pain aside and get up!"

Kieran Kinsella
173 Posted 24/12/2020 at 03:43:58
Steve Carse,

Okay, you're right: Gomes and Sigurdsson who've stunk out the club for years could've easily run rings around Man Utd with a centre-back at left-back etc. It was all down to Carlo.

Billy Dawber
174 Posted 24/12/2020 at 04:04:10
In Carlo we trust? Not fucken likely in my book.

Another dismal cup run comes to an abrupt end. The only decent team we played in this competition and we get fucked. What more can one say? Get used to it, it ain't gonna get better with that team.

Now watch us get stuffed at Sheff Utd. Embarrassing.

Kieran Kinsella
175 Posted 24/12/2020 at 04:25:08
Billy 174

What team would you have picked then? Broadhead? Some other gem from the Under-23s?

Bob Parrington
176 Posted 24/12/2020 at 04:55:56
I have a couple of questions about this game. For instance, why was Everton 30-odd minutes late to start the game? 100% outplayed during that time and the main reason was Man Utd players all passed and moved and were not lazy.

Why was Cavani not red-carded for this hand at the throat assault on Yerri Mina? And, why was the assault on Richarlison not treated with a red card? – total intent to get him out of the game IMO.

Beyond that, we didn't deserve to win the game. That's for sure.

But, well done Godfrey, Coleman, Iwobi and Sigurdsson for great effort. Unfortunately, almost every player in the side failed on the basis of the final pass (maybe even the first pass in some cases).

Billy @ 174. We will beat Sheffield Utd.

Mick O'Malley
177 Posted 24/12/2020 at 05:25:19
Tonight we've seen the reason why James has to go straight back in the side and we have to find a way to accommodate him cos he is the only one who has a clue how to pass a ball.

That was an error-strewn cowardly display and Carlo has a lot to answer for, bringing Coleman back and dropping Holgate. The defence looked solid up until tonight and the less said about Gomes and Sigurdsson the better.

It's a disgrace we've never won the League Cup. Another disappointing night.

Gareth Williams
178 Posted 24/12/2020 at 06:54:14
Another poor result. Everton nearly always let you down.
Danny O’Neill
179 Posted 24/12/2020 at 07:10:29
Well, I always try to look through a result to see the performance (eg, Burnley recently). Last night was a disappointing result underpinned by a dreadful performance.

Recently, we've been controlled rather than defensive. Last night, we seemed to think we could go backs to the wall and defend in a KITAN1 manner. Either that or, and let's credit them, Man Utd just played as well as their obvious talent suggests they can when they turn it on.

A perfect storm of United hitting top form and Everton not showing up meant we were startled and under the cosh. Sometimes you can carry the odd passenger, but when all 11 fail to show up... I'll stop there, not even worth analysing individuals, that was just a poor team performance.

Players we have been crediting for the past several games just froze last night. Conversely, United couldn't put a foot wrong, especially in that first half-hour. They played as though they were a Klopp Liverpool team and hit us at 100 mph. I thought we'd weathered the storm after half-an-hour but, in reality, we never did enough to win the game and the result was inevitable and deserved.

I too was scratching my head over the prospect of penalties. One of the most glaring tactical faults I noticed was our failure to deal with Pogba, who, yes, was "cheating" (in football terms, not that he is a cheat), who floated around in midfield with acres of free space. Tactically we failed to identify that, or if we did, do anything about it.

Aside from my frustration at Everton (players and manager), I challenge anyone to question VAR. Even though it might not have affected the result or performance, my biggest gripe last night was that the player who scored wouldn't have been on the pitch if that was a Premier League fixture. In recent weeks, even when it's gone against us, VAR is getting it right. Give me VAR over incompetent officials any day.

That doesn't distract from a dreadful performance and yet another League Cup disappointment. I am resigning myself to this being the competition I will never see Everton win.

Martin Mason
180 Posted 24/12/2020 at 07:26:10
It was a no contest really, a great performance from Manchester United. Shows us exactly where we are though.

I'm not too disappointed as United are as good as any team at the top on their day. Like Everton, they are inconsistent but they have a much stronger squad. We're having to make do with Sigurdsson and Gomes in key positions and they don't have that burden.

Paul Birmingham
181 Posted 24/12/2020 at 07:30:25
Now to show character and stand up and be counted to every man vs Sheffield Utd.

The crux fixture frenzy is with every club now, and high stakes.

I hope Richarlison is able to play and the team that started vs Arsenal is selected, and last night's stink out was just a bad day at the office.

Chrimbo Greetings to All, enjoy and stay safe.

Reuvy Havin
182 Posted 24/12/2020 at 07:54:27
Sigurdsson was good and is good; the issue is – like someone said here – that he had to come back and fill in a lot defensively and offensively because the central midfield was lacklustre. That being so, he ran out of energy at times when he did have the ball far forward and made a few mistakes. He's shown recently, including tonight, that he has the skill and can add a lot to the team.

The actual issues, in my opinion, lie in three areas:

1. Lack of athletic ability and physicality in the midfield without Allan. Doucouré is not enough; I'd get Holgate or even Godfrey in there alongside Doucouré till Allan gets back.

2. Lack of overall movement in central midfield to progress the ball. A player with the ball at his feet needs others to make runs so that little overlaps and triangles can be created. Otherwise, it's very hard to progress the ball. This is something that can be taught and trained.

3. Iwobi's spot. He's got great attributes but Richarlison is so good and less of a crosser and passer, so it's good to have one of those on the other flank. Iwobi, however, isn't crossing or passing that well at the moment.

On that note, I think once gets James comes back, I would actually drop Iwobi and not Sigurdsson. With Iwobi, Richarlison and Sigurdsson in the front three, we'd have three top quality technical players who would not waste the ball once they got it, and Sigurdsson and James could have some great creative and incisive interplay with Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin being outlets. I'd either put Sigurdsson in the No 10 and James and he can move in and out often, or I'd put Sigurdsson on the right and he can interplay with James but also whip in crosses.

Tony Everan
183 Posted 24/12/2020 at 07:54:46
Without Allan in the side we are weakened. Without a suitable replacement of his attributes we will struggle. Using Gomes as our replacement midfielder when Allan is out does not work.

Using Tom Davies works a little bit better and looks the better alternative whilst Allan recovers or Gbamin can somehow get healthy.

Unfortunately it is looking likely that a) Gbamin will struggle to stay fit with the unrelenting physicality of the Premier League. b) Carlo does not rate Davies as a long-term first-choice central midfielder.

So that leaves us with needing to sign a central midfielder to replace Allan like for like when necessary for injury and rotation if we want to remain strong and keep Allan strong for the duration of his contract. This means one or both of Gomes or Delph will have to be moved on... if possible.

For now, we could loan out a player or two and counterbalance that with bringing Gana or similar in on loan for 6 months. It will be a more considered plan to reassess and act in the summer window to address this after monitoring Gbamin's rehabilitation and his performances.

The rest of the team just doesn't function without this quality ‘Allan' type of midfield player. We suffered when Gana left, and we suffer when Allan is out. Carlo and Brands need to address it.

Andy Meighan
184 Posted 24/12/2020 at 08:04:25
I see someone on here lauding Bielsa. God almighty, I despair, I really do. He's never won a major trophy while our gaffer is one of the most decorated in the game.

Manchester United could have and should have scored 12 against the master's team on Sunday, yet in our last 3 league games we've been breached once, and that was from a penalty.

Ancelotti inherited a complete shit-show of a squad yet, with a couple of astute signings, he has got us in the mix league-wise. Injuries have decimated us and said injuries proves we haven't got the players to come in and cover.

I'm not making excuses because last night was dreadful and we were really lucky to be in the game as long as we were. So let's cut Ancelotti some slack because he is now paying the price for the previous managers' shocking purchases.

And I really am sick to death of hearing how Moise Kean going out on loan was a mistake. It wasn't – he's fucking useless. He had enough chances while he was here and proved he wasn't up to it, so forget him.

That said, we do need a proven striker in the next window (a big ask) because Calvert-Lewinlooks wiped out. Calling the manager out is ridiculous because no manager out there would do anything with that squad. In Carlo we trust.

Benn Chambers
185 Posted 24/12/2020 at 08:07:09
First things first: Ancelotti should never ever pick Andre Gomes and Gylfi Sigurdsson in the same midfield. It's too slow and he should know this by now.

Having said that, he can only pick from what he has available and when his 3 best players are out injured in Digne, Allan and Rodriguez and Richarlison goes off injured, what's he meant to do?

André Gomes is a fuckin disgrace and I don't wanna hear about his injury anymore. It's happened and it's unfortunate but the injury hasn't caused an inability to show effort and desire. He's a lazy shithouse who just wanders through the game, always moving (very slowly) but getting nowhere. He doesn't show for passes, he doesn't track the game, he doesn't tackle and when he does it's to give away a foul in the edge of our area. The lad is finished in the Premier League now. Get rid.

Ancelotti has had one window and he'll improve us but we need to start getting young quick players in now.

This season must be the last for Coleman, Gomes, Sigurdsson, Tosun, Davies and Bernard. If they're your options, what do you expect to happen? Our first 11 gives anyone a game but our squad is embarrassing.

Iwobi is no more than a squad filler and I just hope January sees some youth, pace and quality to pack the squad out with.

Also, finally, Gordon is twice the player that most of that shite above are. Start involving the lad. Same goes for Ellis Simms. You can't tell me he's not better than Tosun.

Sam Hoare
186 Posted 24/12/2020 at 08:18:39
It struck me this morning that last night was a game in which we really could have used Walcott and/or Kean.

If you're going to sit back, then you really need some pace and energy to counter. Both Tosun and Bernard were woeful and, although Kean and Walcott seldom looked like world beaters with us, they are both fast and can run with ball or in behind.

When we moved both on, I assumed it meant that Gordon would get more game time to develop, or that we'd buy a replacement. Neither happened and now we are short of alternatives.

As others have said, our first XI when fit is very decent but the drop off afterwards is severe. The likes of Bernard, Gomes and Tosun, Delph and Bolasie have proved extremely disappointing signings who between them are paid over half a million per week. I read this week that not a single substitute of ours has scored a goal this season and that speaks volumes for our lack of depth currently.

Martin Berry
187 Posted 24/12/2020 at 08:29:47
Don Carlo would have learned a lot last night from that midfield display. He must know we need recruits and someone with pace and tenacity in that area, also cover for Calvert-Lewin.

We severely missed Allan and James, who I would like to see play in Sigurdsson's position. The January market will be interesting.

Merry Christmas under the circumstances to fellow Blues and wishing a progressive New Year.

Scott Minetti
188 Posted 24/12/2020 at 08:33:17
For those blaming Carlo, consider this:

At around the 60-minute mark, Man Utd brought on Martial and Rashford. We brought on Bernard and Tom Davies.

The gap in talent on the field was gigantic. Carlo needs at least one more summer window before we can start to blame him for that.

Danny O’Neill
189 Posted 24/12/2020 at 08:35:11
I do think James in the Number 10 role could have made a difference last night. Against the better teams, he would give them more to think about. Man Utd didn't have to worry about anything last night so pretty much had freedom of movement in their own half.

That said, I go back to my point. Last night wasn't about poor individual performances or one player. It was a poor team performance. Every one of them – including the dugout.

Robert Tressell
190 Posted 24/12/2020 at 08:38:04
I agree, Sam. I'm not convinced the loan of Kean was planned. It was v late in the window and Ancelloti had been backing him too. He wouldn't have got much game time but could potentially have made a difference last night.

But realistically, even with Walcott and Kean, we'd have had a job on getting something out of the game other than penalties.

We are £250M behind Man Utd in squad value. That's DeGea, Fernandes, Rashford and some squad depth. It really showed.

I used to think a manager could make all the difference. Maybe they once could. But, in this era of very expensively assembled squads, you just can't compete unless you have the players or a hell of a lot of luck.

We need more pace & variety from the forwards, a Fernandes in midfield, better midfield subs, an heir to Coleman and a new goalkeeper. That easily accounts for the £250M too.

Sickening, because I had a sneaking feeling we might just pinch a cup this year. We still might, but last night really put things in perspective.

Ciarán McGlone
191 Posted 24/12/2020 at 08:45:27
I'm struggling to understand why the value of the opposing team prevents our players from passing it to a teammate when not under pressure...?

Sometimes you've just got to admit that our players played poorly and made mistakes.

Bobby Mallon
192 Posted 23/12/2020 at 09:00:15
I am going to slightly side with Jeff Armstrong. Carlo made two changes: both didn't come off. Coleman and Gomes (especially Gomes who was very poor); that's it, Jeff. Davies is just as bad as Gomes, let's not give him an easy ride – he did nothing when he came on and they scored both goals with him on.

It would have been brilliant if Carlo Ancelotti would have changed 9 players (we could have changed 8: Olsen, Coleman, Branthwaite, Tosun, Gordon, Bernard, Kenny, Nkounkou). But then Carlo would have been slated for not going for it as we surely would have been walloped.

I have only two gripes: 1, we never pressed from the front, we let them play up to the halfway line all night.

2, Richarlison (before his assault) was absolutely piss poor. People saying he's our best player need their eyes testing. He never takes people on or whips crosses in. Always powder-puff shots, falls over with every touch, and has for ages now looked disinterested. I think his nose is out of joint because Calvert-Lewinis getting all the plaudits.

We had a break on last night where Iwobi broke down the left. Calvert-Lewin and another on our right sprinted into their box; Richarlison was actually furthest forward when the play began and just trotted, was overtaken by Calvert-Lewin and the other player – not good enough for me.

If we had a top winger, say Saha, I don't think Richarlison would play as much as he does.

Andy Walker
193 Posted 24/12/2020 at 09:02:46
What was it, about £90m blown on Sigurdsson, Iwobi and Gomes?

Sigurdsson’s back legs have gone. He does try, but that’s not enough. He’s always half a yard short.

Iwobi, awful passing and crossing match after match. Again trys hard.

Gomes, flatters to deceive. Has the ability but doesn’t try hard enough.

Then we have Bernard, another poor buy. Rarely has any impact on a game,

Davies, I don’t know where to start with him. I’ll be polite, he’s not good enough.

We’ve got some decent defenders now though.

United pretty much put a second 11 out against us last night and were by far the better footballers. We need at least 2 more quality midfielders, another striker and a new right back. Until then we are only better than average. I’m sure Carlo will know this and hopefully will be given more funds to sort it.

Robert Tressell
194 Posted 24/12/2020 at 09:03:57
I completely agree, Ciaran. And effort, aggression etc should all be the bare minimum we expect too.

Which is why we need to replace players who may have the talent but don't have the legs or the heart. That's where the £250m comes in.

Mal van Schaick
195 Posted 24/12/2020 at 09:27:00
We haven't got the strength in depth, particularly on the bench. That was a lot of bluster with little quality. Disappointing, but we can concentrate on a good league position and we still have a transfer window. Man City will be a good test, to see where we are at.
Tony Abrahams
196 Posted 24/12/2020 at 09:37:38
It really just shows the mismanagement that Everton have had for way too long now and is surely the reason why people need to get behind Ancelotti, who needs time just to put a bit of stability back into the club.

Man Utd made nine changes. So, not only were they a lot fresher, the players that came in also had a lot more quality than we possessed tonight, and I think it showed from minute one.

The most patient fans in the world are gonna have to be patient. Always tomorrow or tomorrow never comes? I'm sticking with my team and have to agree with Stan's opening paragraph @117; taking anything away from our best starting eleven, there just isn't enough quality in depth, especially for an attacking game.

Danny O’Neill
197 Posted 24/12/2020 at 09:46:10
Yep, Tony. We have a very good, much improved first 11, but beyond that, we are back to previous seasons.

At least 2 windows on, we hopefully will have quality in depth that allows us to cope with 2 or 3 key players missing. Even then, to compete consistently at that level, we need to keep bringing in better quality to the squad than we have now.

Massively disappointed with last night. Not just the result, the performance.

But, the season isn't over. League position looks healthy and we have the FA Cup ahead of us. Lick our wounds and look forward to the weekend.

Christopher Timmins
198 Posted 24/12/2020 at 09:52:01
Perspective, given the talent currently on the books we are doing quite well to be in position we are in. We are are miles behind the other club in the City and also some distance behind both of the Manchester clubs. If we can finish the best of the rest at the end of 38 games we will have done very well and that is still an achievable target if we can bring in one or two additions in the window.

The mistakes made by previous managers will take time to rectify.

With regards to last night's performance, well, if you consider the form Manchester Utd were in and the way we had to play against an awful Arsenal on Saturday in order to scrape a 2-1 victory, then the result was predictable. I was hoping against hope that, with a huge defensive effort we might scrape a 1-0 but knew if we took them on that we could be on the receiving end of a hammering.

We are where we are but there is some light at the end of the tunnel.

Ajay Gopal
199 Posted 24/12/2020 at 09:56:10
I did not watch the match – it was between 1:30 and 3:30 am local time and today being a working day – and I woke up to the dreaded peek to see the result. Honestly, based on Man Utd's recent uptick in form and the fact that we had ground out 3 tough victories against some very good sides, I was fully expecting to see this result. As many have mentioned, we just don't have the depth in squad that the top teams have – very disappointing, but that is the reality.

In hindsight, knowing the result, I wouldn't have minded Carlo giving some of the senior players some rest and keeping them fresh for the Sheffield United game.

Coleman Mina Branthwaite Godfrey
Doucouré Holgate Davies
Gordon Tosun Nkounkou

A solid defense, decent pace on the flanks, 4-3-3 in attack, resting some of our key players (Keane, Richarlison Calvert-Lewin, Iwobi, Sigurdsson) – I am sure that side wouldn't have let us down too badly. Almost certainly we would have lost, but maybe given Man Utd a few headaches as well. Anyway, hindsight is neither here nor there.

Now, I would go one step further and ask if TWers would be okay to 'sacrifice' the Sheffield United game with a similar set-up to the above and give a much-needed breather to our key players? Personally, I would take a draw along with our key players kept fresh for the tougher battles coming up. Who knows, a new star may burst forth?

Thomas Richards
200 Posted 24/12/2020 at 09:57:51
Tony #196.

Best post on the thread.

Ken Kneale
201 Posted 24/12/2020 at 09:58:41
A poor showing from the manager down is my view. If he and the players cannot get it together for a cup game, then motivation is clearly an issue.

If this performance had come under Moyes or any other manager since, they would have been rightly criticised. Carlo seems to be surviving on charm and background.

Very disappointing but sadly somewhat typical gutless collapse of the last three decades.

Andy Crooks
202 Posted 24/12/2020 at 10:03:16
Andy @184.If it is my post @81 you are referring to, "lauding Bielsa", then no need to despair. You have missed the point entirely.
Brent Stephens
203 Posted 24/12/2020 at 10:03:55
Tony #196 – agree with all of that. Fine post.
Bobby Mallon
204 Posted 24/12/2020 at 10:08:47
Please get Dele Alli and watch him go. The lad is a bloody much better midfielder than Gomes, Davies, Sigurdsson, Bernard – the lot. Get him.
Brian Harrison
205 Posted 24/12/2020 at 10:12:33
Tony @196,

I know, this morning, fans won't want to hear about being patient; this squad is still a squad that is mainly what Allardyce, Koeman and Silva brought to the club.

Last night, Cavani scored a brilliant goal but, in all honesty, from the first whistle, we were mainly second best. If they had have gone in at half-time 3 or 4 up, we could have no complaints. Why we started so badly, I don't know... but the first 30 minutes was the worst we have played all season.

Despite Carlo making us more solid at the back, we certainly lack being able to make the transition from defence to attack. I am sure he doesn't need me to tell him, and it's always easier to devise a system to try and stop conceding goals than it is to create a system which also allows you to attack more than we do.

I think it's really sad watching Gomes, and you wonder if he will ever get back to his best. It seems it's a mental as well as a physical problem. Somebody described him as a Rolls-Royce without an engine, and that sums him up perfectly at the moment.

There are players in the team who will need a breather in the coming games, but the problem is the lack of quality in the squad which makes it a real headache.

Calvert-Lewin has played in nearly every game and he definitely needs a breather, just felt the last couple of games he has been nowhere near his best. But the only other striker is Tosun, who wins virtually nothing in the air and has no pace so we would have to change the whole system to accommodate him.

Iwobi is a really frustrating player: he does something really good then immediately follows that with something equally bad. I thought Sigurdsson put a shift in last night but he isn't the answer long term.

Why Carlo brought on Bernard, I don't know – the man has done absolutely nothing in all the time he has been here. His goal tally for a forward is awful and his assists aren't much better.

I can only presume that there has been a falling out between Carlo and Anthony Gordon, as that can be the only reason the lad isn't getting more game time.

But as I said earlier, Carlo needs to keep the solidity at the back, but he has to devise a system which allows us to get players going forward with the ball rather than backward, and he will need to find the solution for us to compete more consistently.

Scott Minetti
206 Posted 24/12/2020 at 10:12:42
Ken #201 - how is Carlo “surviving”?

In a year and a day in charge, he has taken us from 15th in the league to 4th and to the quarter-finals of the League Cup. What else do you want from him?

Do you really expect us to be top of the league with our current squad? Did you really expect that we would beat a very strong Man Utd side in a cup quarter-final?

Peter Mills
207 Posted 24/12/2020 at 10:16:49
Talking of poor decision making and inconsistency, I see Mr Crooks #202 is back from his self-imposed exile!

Happy Christmas Andy, to all other posters, and particularly Lyndon and Michael for keeping things going this year.

David Pearl
208 Posted 24/12/2020 at 10:19:10
We made our own problems. When we pressed from the front, it took Richarlison out of position and they hammered us down the right. It didn't help we started so nervously with all of them guilty of losing possession.

Iwobi, Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin offered nothing. Gomes needs minutes and he might need a few weeks yet because he is better than that... surely!

Mina, Doucouré and Sigurdsson were all excellent and l hope they have something left in the tank for the next couple games. It's hard to come on as a sub when the formation is all bent out of shape.

The reason we conceded was the hole in midfield as both Doucouré and Sigurdsson ran themselves into the ground trying to do their jobs and all the attacking because Richarlison and Iwobi were spent, and just when it looked like they could do something, they trip over their own feet.

The subs? Well, they brought on Rashford and Martial. We can't do that. We gave 2 attackers away for nothing in the summer.

I don't know what the plan is for January but we need a couple more off the books to be able to bring in another forward with legs.

Without Digne and Allan, and of course James, we are a different team. Anyway, it's back to the league. Coyb!

Alan J Thompson
210 Posted 24/12/2020 at 10:35:25
I wasn't going to comment as I didn't and haven't seen last night's game but I find it remarkable that players a lot of people couldn't get rid of fast enough, like Walcott and Kean, are now being touted as players who could or would have made a positive difference.

We need a midfield that does not just play defensively but supports attacks which they set up. If we are to play men wide on both sides of the pitch, then it is important that the player on the opposite wing gets into the box as support for Calvert-Lewin and something else for the opposition defence to think about.

Roger Helm
211 Posted 24/12/2020 at 10:38:12
I don't understand how people can be unhappy with Carlo, despite yesterday's poor performance. This is what football is like – we had a good run, then it ended. You can't win every match. We are massively over-achieving with our poor squad, compared with a year ago. We will be second if we beat the Blades.

Then again, posters on this site have in the past insisted that we should have gone for Arteta or Bielsa or Emery as manager, which puts it into perspective.

Ken Kneale
212 Posted 24/12/2020 at 10:41:53
Scott – he is surviving – no matter how you slice and dice the current league position. No motivation, poor passing and movement, was it three shots during the whole game, only one of which actually required the opposition goalkeeper, some very strange team selections.

Last night's performance was woeful for a one-off competitive game that could have got us to a semi-final. If the manager cannot motivate for that sort of game, he should rightly be examined just as much as the inept players.

The fact Carlo is not is down to our mutual desire to see Everton do well. I wish him well in that endeavour but that should not include a free pass on matters for which he is responsible.

Thomas Richards
213 Posted 24/12/2020 at 10:46:04

What would have been your starting eleven, mate?

Paul Smith
214 Posted 24/12/2020 at 10:48:14
Can't believe some of the absolute drivel on here, we're fuckin 4th in the Premier League.

Yes, last night was poor, but so we're Man Utd, an awful game all round. Let's wait and see where we are at Christmas... well, it's here and, as it stands, we're qualifying for the Champions League. Some perspective please – something that will resolve the frustration from last night, I promise.

Merry Xmas, one and all.

Rob Halligan
215 Posted 24/12/2020 at 10:54:08
It's funny in cup competitions isn't it. In the early rounds, you have a very good chance of drawing lesser teams in the competition, and progressing. Each round it becomes a little bit more difficult. Get to the last eight and it's almost certain you're going to get drawn against a really top club.

Newcastle got lucky by drawing the second lowest rank club left in, but still messed it up. It took Spurs a good while to finally beat Stoke, needing quality players from the bench to do it.

When the draw was made, what, about 10 weeks ago, we were still on our unbeaten winning run and we all felt we could beat anyone. However, we've picked up a few injuries, while Man Utd have gone on an amazing winning streak away from home.

I agree, a bit more effort from a few last night would have been nice, and if the referee had done his job properly, the scorer of the first goal wouldn't have been on the pitch.

When Richarlison was deliberately taken out of the game, my choice of replacement would have been Anthony Gordon, but I'm sure Ancelotti knows better than anyone on here... after all, I don't seem to remember seeing any names on here sitting in Premier League dugouts!!

Shit happens, though it's been a bit too long for my liking. We'd have probably got knocked out by Man City anyway, and had to put up with all this moaning after that, rather than now.

Andrew Keatley
216 Posted 24/12/2020 at 10:54:08
Challenging for honours will always be a tall order with a squad as thin as ours. Occasionally, we will beat the more fashionable teams, and in a season like the current one – in which there are so many teams struggling for consistency – we might even finish in the top 6, but we clearly lack the personnel to truly compete.

We've had the money to build a competitive squad, but too many of our bigger signings have fallen short of hopes and expectations. And while transfer misfires are not a problem specific to Everton, to have so many over the last three or four years has left us with players (including Gomes, Bernard, Delph, Bolasie, Tosun, Walcott) who currently bear little resemblance to the player we hoped we were buying.

Couple in the reality that academy graduates like Tom Davies and Jonjoe Kenny have not really progressed in the way that the club would have hoped and it places our squad a long way short of where it needs to be.

Strap in, everybody; until we offload the chaff and then strike unlikely gold in the transfer market, we're going to continue to find pockets of decent form here and there before we inevitably capitulate against the also-rans.

Rennie Smith
217 Posted 24/12/2020 at 10:56:17
Spot on Paul. Poor game. We were a nervous wreck for the first 20 minutes, got a grip and worked the plan to the hold them off, but our breaks and set pieces were let down by the final pass.

It was an honest performance but we're a level below the Mancs. They bring on Rashford, we bring on Tosun. Enough said.

The same people screaming about a defensive approach are those that have praised the same gameplan for the last 3 games.

Thomas Richards
218 Posted 24/12/2020 at 11:02:15
A nice spirit of "I'm sticking with my club" developing here with good blues such as Rob Halligan and Tony Abrahams backing the manager and players.

In my opinion, that faith will be rewarded.

Jerome Shields
219 Posted 24/12/2020 at 11:17:31
Half of the Everton team did not seem focused from the start, with a lot of sloppy play which added to the pressure. They eventually got some control largely due to Sigurdsson, but Gomes seemed to be in a binary dream no matter what. Once a game is upped in pace, he is left for dead.

Going into the second half without an early goal was always going to be a challenge, but the game luckily was not over yet. Everton resorted to their usual second-half display and would be lucky to get to penalties, with forward options disappearing to nothing with the substitution of Bernard and Tosun. They did not make penalties, the result being assured quicker for Man Utd before the end of 90 minutes.

A return to sloppy play was Ancelotti's nemesis and jeopardise his first-half tactics with limited attacking options was always going to be a problem. At least two more transfer windows needed to strengthening attack.

Brands's deadwood disposal policy needs to continue. Whoever suggested that Everton's midfield should be built round Gomes was having a laugh.

George Cumiskey
220 Posted 24/12/2020 at 11:25:21
Got some control largely due to Sigurdsson????

That wasn't the game I watched.

Jay Wood

221 Posted 24/12/2020 at 11:35:42
Peter @ 207.

Don't worry about Andy and his volcanic doomsday post-match declaration.

You know after a fig roll and a strong cuppa he'll be in the trenches with us at the weekend, kicking every ball and being as delighted and exasperated by Everton as we all are.

The boogers better not give your Sheffield relies any reason for Yuletide cheer!

Andrew Clare
222 Posted 24/12/2020 at 11:40:38
It will take time to build up the squad but, hopefully by the end of the summer, we will be far far stronger than we are now.

Last night's result was on the cards with them being the form team and us suffering injuries to key players. Unfortunately we just don't have quality throughout the squad.

Having said that, in the end, it was only Cavani's flash of brilliance that separated the teams. Their second goal was inevitable so that really wasn't the deciding blow.

Until we have quality backup for Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison, games like this will pass us by.

Mike Doyle
223 Posted 24/12/2020 at 11:44:04
We cannot field a starting 11 featuring both Sigurdsson and Gomes. In the absence of Allan, we need to get more grit, speed and athleticism into midfield. The only contenders with these attributes and any previous experience we can call on are Holgate and Godfrey.

Though playing out of position, in the absence of Digne, Godfrey appears to be the only trusted left-back option – so Holgate would seem the sensible option (while Coleman remains fit).

On the right side, Iwobi deserves credit for the effort he's putting in but he rarely scores (rarely scored for Arsenal) and his final ball is terrible. The search for a right sider remains a priority.

God help us if Calvert-Lewin is absent for any reason.

Patrick McFarlane
224 Posted 24/12/2020 at 11:48:11
I'm not certain that all of the 'moaning' is down to the tactics employed, the manner of the defeat, or the lack of threat offered by Everton in the attacking third. It is more that a rude awakening has alerted some, that 12 months on and despite recruiting some better players, who unfortunately always seem to be injured when we need them the most, are nearly always replaced by players who lack heart, ability, and the basic skills and have no future at the club.

Walcott, Kean et al were not the solution, neither are the other huge list of never going to make it in the Premier League players we have in the squad.

This is why some fans question Ancelotti and how he chooses his squad from game to game. Surely Gordon or some other players should be given a chance to show what they can do from the bench when we all know that Bernard, Tosun, et al will add nothing to the team when called upon.

Apparently this season, no Everton substitute has scored when called into the action, of course, if most of the substitutions are defensive ones then that isn't so surprising, but it is strange for Everton not to have somebody that can come on and grab a goal from time to time.

Some say that Everton is overachieving by currently occupying a top-four spot, and given the evidence of last night's performance and the players who were available, it would seem that they have more than a valid point.

I dislike intensely watching Everton sit back and soak up pressure for almost the entire game, I dislike it even more when so few chances are created or shots are taken by Everton. I understand that on some occasions that might be the only way that Everton may emerge with a point or three, but it isn't sustainable long-term and over time it will damage the morale and confidence of our front players

If Manchester United came calling for Dominic Calvert-Lewin would he turn them down, given the number of chances that they created for Cavani last night? If a major European club offered Richarlison a place in their squad, would he turn it down? Both players are young and hungry for success and they are unlikely to be happy chasing shadows for large periods of the game as it doesn't bring the best out of either player.

Everton's anthem should be Orange Juice's "Rip it up and start again" which, despite Moshiri's money, is what Everton have done for so long.

Peter Mills
225 Posted 24/12/2020 at 11:51:43
Jay #221, my son and I have been assuring the Blades in-law that all any team without a win all season needs for Christmas is a match against us, but their spirits are low.
Eddie Dunn
226 Posted 24/12/2020 at 12:04:04
It is clear that, with Digne, James, and Allan included in our eleven, we have a team that is capable of holding their own against all Premier League sides. Obviously we have no depth and, unlike both Manc teams, Liverpool, Chelsea and Spurs, once the subs are needed, we are left behind.

This can be rectified and surely Carlo will be as keen as the rest of us to bolster the quality in the squad. Certain individuals failed with weight of pass or with poor control last night. Calvert-Lewin needs service, while Rashford, Martial, Cavani and Fernandes can all make chances for themselves. We only had Richarlison in that category.

On the subject of Richarlison, he took a bit of a thump and looked winded but so often the fight is taken out of him too easily and then we see him back a few days later. He didn't get anything for the blatant thuggery because the ref has seen him rolling round on the deck on TV like the rest of us.

As for Mina, he was trying to get Cavani sent off and the theatrical fall to the ground was gamesmanship or cheating and I'm glad that he got nothing for it. Indeed Mina would do well to forget the wind-up stuff and concentrate on his defending.

Then we have Iwobi: no end-product despite his willingness, and he is shit-scared of getting hurt in a tackle.

We had one decent attack in the second half when Coleman turned back the clock and cut into the box. Why did he not have a pop? If you don't shoot, you don't score.

I would say that we do need some fresh blood in January because otherwise we will be fighting it out with Wolves and Villa for 6th place.

Joe McMahon
227 Posted 24/12/2020 at 12:09:58
Andy @184, another way of looking at it: Would either Walcott or Kean off the bench be better options than Bernard, Davies, Sigurdsson, Tosun and Gomes?

Serial failures the lot of them starting the game and on the bench. Spurs got shut of Sigurdsson years ago to those giants of Europe, Swansea City, and Everton came in with £45 million. It's shambolic.

Jeff Armstrong
228 Posted 24/12/2020 at 12:13:36
Adama Traore is getting a bit restless at Wolves; now that guy can cross a ball, often from very tight angles. Calvert-Lewin would be licking his lips if we could get him, only 24 too.
Phillip White
229 Posted 24/12/2020 at 12:18:39
I'm with 184 Andy Meighan and Paul Smith 214 all the way. The best start to a season in god knows how long and people are moaning! I don't understand it either!!

24 league games left sitting in 4th, 5 points off the top of the league – what's not to be positive about??.

Great start to the season by Carlo and the lads. We have to move on from this match and keep fighting hard in the league – that should be our main focus, the Premier League.

Sheffield United next – bring it on. UTFT

Ian Horan
230 Posted 24/12/2020 at 12:20:40
I haven't read all this thread yet; however, I can't believe the comments of cowardice and tactically inept performance being made.

It was a cup game! Just for a moment, think back to the league game: we went toe to toe with Man Utd in an open game, that ended well!!!! Did it not? No: 1-3, I seem to recall. Now setting up to not concede is not pretty but, despite our worst performance for some time, we were still in the game at 82 minutes.

A ref with balls would have sent Cavani off. Small margins. Man Utd made 9 changes, yes 9, and everyone was an international for their country. Everton have rinsed our players over the past week to get 3 wins and 9 points.

I would say we are running on empty and without any creative supply for Calvert-Lewin. Let's have a touch of reality, people.

Ken Kneale
231 Posted 24/12/2020 at 12:29:03
Thomas - it's motivation of those selected that is important – we all seem to accept our squad lack balance and depth.

As Patrick has eloquently put it, the subs bench seems to be begging for Gordon but he does not even make it that far. How can he be behind Tosun or Bernard in the pecking order? That is a reasonable question to ask given such paucity in threat offered by the senior players coming on.

Gomes's continued selection also seems to be in the hope he may have a good game – I cannot remember his last good game, even before the injury, let alone a consistently good spell. Games such as yesterday should be made for players like him to be motivated towards a semi and final position but sadly, like many at Everton, such thoughts seem lacking and we end up watching moribund football.

Geoff Williams
232 Posted 24/12/2020 at 12:36:04
The outcome of this game was predictable once the team sheet was released but what wasn't foreseen was the performance of the goalkeeper who was simply awful.

The introduction of Coleman was a mistake. I understand the thinking behind his selection in that he would provide an attacking option which has been missing of late. Recent results were achieved by having a defensive wall of four but Coleman's attacking instincts left gaps at the back and, as a consequence, the space between the two centre-halves was too great as they moved across to cover. Coleman also occupied the area where Iwobi had recently found his form.

Gomes was given a role to which he is not suited and his lack of pace was exposed time after time. Gomes and Sigurdsson in the same team is a disaster waiting to happen. Doucouré was left to do far too much. Iwobi had his worst game for some time, he gets into good positions but he passes to the opposition or his crosses are either blocked or over-hit.

I noticed last night some were giving MotM to Sigurdsson but, for me, he is the major problem. I recognise that he ran a great deal but what did he actually achieve as a midfielder??? To be honest, very little. He didn't make a tackle, win a header or make an interception. He didn't spot danger or follow runners. I've noticed that he is constantly the wrong side of players when defending. As a No 10, he was ineffective as he created few chances if any. As our 'deadball' specialist, he failed badly as his corners and free kicks, apart from one, were delivered without conviction.

Richarlison worked his socks off but goals are drying up. He was the victim of a cowardly act by Fernandes and should have been replaced by Gordon not Bernard. Calvert-Lewin ran and ran but got very little service or support.

It was a truly pathetic team performance. I couldn't believe how poor the team was in the first 30 minutes. Had Man Utd scored 4 goals, it would have been a fair reflection of how the game was going. I am so disappointed that we couldn't get a result against Utd. I don't buy this "In Carlo We Trust" crap and I will reserve my judgement until the end of the season but anything less than 6th place will be a failure when the so called Big Six have been so inconsistent.

Robert Williams
233 Posted 24/12/2020 at 12:45:43
Perspective is a word that I've read here quite a lot concerning this match:

Yes, we were crap;
Yes, we were second best;
Yes, we need to sort out the deadwood;
Yes, we need new players;
Yes, we are riding fairly high in the league;
No, we do not need to get rid of the best manager Everton have had in years... and finally
Yes, Man Utd really did put things in perspective. They showed us that – despite our current league position – there is one hell of a lot of work to do before Carlo can be satisfied with HIS team.

Yes, perspective is important.

Thomas Richards
234 Posted 24/12/2020 at 12:46:03
Ken, #231

Wasn't Gordon on the bench last night?

Steve Shave
235 Posted 24/12/2020 at 12:54:05
Ian Horan @230, well said, my man, a voice of reason amongst a sea of reactionary bollocks.
Colin Malone
236 Posted 24/12/2020 at 13:00:38
I've never known Gomes to be a defensive ball-winning midfielder. He needs to replace Sigurdsson.
Thomas Richards
237 Posted 24/12/2020 at 13:00:44
Agree Steve.

A great post from Ian. Full of common sense.

Ken Kneale
238 Posted 24/12/2020 at 13:15:50
Thomas – and again he was overlooked for passengers who added nothing to the game.
Mike Corcoran
239 Posted 24/12/2020 at 13:19:18
Oh for Arteta in his pomp right now.
Brian Harrison
240 Posted 24/12/2020 at 13:20:33
Just like to wish my fellow ToffeeWebbers a "Merry Christmas". We argue passionately and sometimes cross the line but only because we all want Everton to be successful.

So to anybody I have ever offended, my apologies. I know that like me everbody without exception is desperate for this club to get back to winning ways, it's just that we disagree on how we get there.

Mike Corcoran
241 Posted 24/12/2020 at 13:23:16
I agree with Geoff Williams 100%.
Dave McDowell
242 Posted 24/12/2020 at 13:23:32
Even 24 hours on, I can't stop myself wanting a rant.

I'm so disappointed that James was “not available” for last night, our biggest game of the season, when we needed our magician to counter the missing Allan.

Not in doing anything remotely like Allan does but giving Man Utd something to think about, a player to fear, double up defenders, allow us more space etc.

I actually don't give a shit if James is fit for the Sheffield Utd game, we should dispose of them with the team that lost last night, but last night was our most important game and James was missing. The Everton players of the mid-80s would have to be in traction to consider missing a big game like last night.

Now of course I don't know the extent of James's injury but I do know that we were told it was a minor injury and he'd miss one game; we are four games in and he's a no-show – and no real explanation why.

I'm not going to blame Carlo because we all get things wrong and this rant is also me holding my hands up and admitting I was totally naive to have invested my trust in believing Gomes was a quality player who would repay the faith the club and fans have 100% shown in him.

Look at a kid like Maddison who can dominate a game and pull all the strings and a player with just as much talent (more experience) such as Gomes who literally contributes zero creativity, constantly takes the easy sideways or backwards option, and is a liability in the tackle.

I would rather Carlo had pushed Mason up instead, at least we would have had commitment and some forward movement.

I know our squad depth is shit, I know Carlo will get in better options, I know we are 4th but man I just can't resist spewing out my toxicity regarding last night.

However, I do believe Carlo should apologise to Abdoulaye Doucouré for making the poor guy play with such a dog-shit midfield.

Now I can move on, COYB.

Ian Horan
243 Posted 24/12/2020 at 13:24:03
KK@201 and a couple of other posts – you referenced Moyes in the same breath as Ancelotti!!! The same Moyes whose team were beaten in the FA Cup in I think the 3rd Round away to Shrewsbury who at the time were bottom 3 of the 2nd division.

Wow, really Ken, we are surely not that bad???

Ken, we are all pissed off but, as someone on the thread said, no team wins every game, not even Arsenal invincibles who actually drew 12 games that season...

Thomas Richards
244 Posted 24/12/2020 at 13:32:28
Ken #238,

Not my point.

You give the manager stick for not putting Gordon on the bench when he was on the bench.

Ian Edwards
245 Posted 24/12/2020 at 13:40:41
Ian 243. Ancelotti lost to Liverpool's Youth team. Far worse than losing to Shrewsbury.
Ian Edwards
247 Posted 24/12/2020 at 13:47:36
24 hours on, my views in the cold light of day remain the same. It was a Cup quater-final at home and we gave them far too much respect.

First minute, Maguire got the ball from his goalie and ambled unchallenged to the half-way line. There was no pressing. It was park-the-bus tactics and try to hit on the break.

It was shithouse cowardly tactics. Ancelotti was frightened of them. If the fans don't call him out on it then you accept it and deserve what you get. I still believe in the motto: Nil Satis Nis Optimum.

Len Hawkins
248 Posted 24/12/2020 at 13:48:30
My pet hate reared its ugly head last night: 2 minutes + injury time and they scored. Everton then started to attack, we won corners, free-kicks that led to nothing... but on one such situation, nearly on the last gasp: the ball went back to Davies – what did he do? Lump it back in the area where there is a chance to score...? No! Back to the goalkeeper to let him (from further back) lump it forward.

Negative rubbish! If he can't lob a ball into the box from 30 yards, then what is he doing wearing an Everton shirt? His uncle may have been a bit-part player in the 1969-70 team when Jimmy Husband was injured, but Davies is living on the Man City goal he scored like Lookman was – and he's gone.

Sam Hoare
249 Posted 24/12/2020 at 14:04:04
Robert @190, yes Man Utd were definitely a better team but we weren't far from sneaking it. Deserved or not. Perhaps if Kean or Walcott had come on instead of Bernard, they might have had the pace to utilize some of the gaps United were leaving. If we'd have got that first goal, I think we'd have won.

Either way, we definitely need some more attacking alternatives. Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin cannot play every single game covering as much ground as they do. And we need a few subs who might actually get us a goal occasionally.

I may write a little transfer piece which I know you will have interesting thoughts on.

Christopher Timmins
250 Posted 24/12/2020 at 14:20:25
Robert @ 233

Spot on!

Best wishes to all followers of the blues over the Christmas period. Hopefully, Liverpool will stay at Tier 2 and some of you can go and enjoy the games over the Christmas period. Looking forward to crossing the Irish Sea at some point in 2021 to take in a game.

Derek Taylor
251 Posted 24/12/2020 at 14:25:21
For all his fame and achievements gained elsewhere, Carlo is at risk of heading a list of our 'Premier' managers for their poor selection of reserve players and substitutes.

Smith would run him close but he was of a different century when money was tight, not burning holes in the DoF's pockets!

Ian Horan
252 Posted 24/12/2020 at 14:28:51
Ian Edwards,

Adrian, Milner, Gomez, Lallana, Origi — these aren't youth team players who played in that 1-0 win; also the same 5 players played in the win against Barca.

The FA Cup game was decided by a wonder goal (or our keeper having little arms).

It's important to have facts to justify the context of your response.

Robert Tressell
253 Posted 24/12/2020 at 14:30:56
Ian E you're totally right to be pissed off.

The real villain in all of this is the mismanagement that left us with such a mess of a squad after quite a few years of unprecedented spending. There's quite a few people to blame for this although of those only Brands and Moshiri are still at the club, and both seem to have been helped by the presence of a very experienced manager.

We're making progress under Ancelotti (and the shitty players are gradually departing) but we're not watching a miracle unfold. Until we've got a better playing squad we're going to have patchy form and disappointing results.

It's not just a question of, say, buying Zaha or Dele Alli and it all comes to together either. We need about 3 first teamers and 3 really good quality second string players before we can be a more consistent force to be reckoned with.

Bobby Mallon
254 Posted 24/12/2020 at 14:35:56
Ian Edwards, read #252.

Ian Horan, well said.

Brian Wilkinson
255 Posted 24/12/2020 at 14:41:26
Eddie@226, that was a very well put post, the only matter I would disagree with is the Mina incident.

From what I saw, he dug his hands into Mina's throat and then pushed him backwards. The ref saw it, everyone saw it, yet nothing was done.

You just cannot do that on a football pitch and no action taken.

Jamie Crowley
256 Posted 24/12/2020 at 14:53:35
There will be good days and bad days. Under Ancelloti, over time, there will be improvement. Players not quite up to it will leave, and players wanted by Carlo will be acquired.

I'm as frustrated as anyone. But we lost without Richarlison for the last third of the game, without James, and without Allan on the pitch, in a quarter-final against Man Utd. We sit 4th in the table at Christmas.

I'm not going to toss a fit over yesterday's game, considering what we've accomplished thus far. We're making progress, and will continue to do so over the next few seasons under Carlo.

Patrick McFarlane
257 Posted 24/12/2020 at 14:57:24
Obviously, a very subjective list by the Guardian, but Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison make the top 100 best footballers on the planet at No 80 and No 82 respectively. Former Everton striker, Romelu Lukaku, makes the top 20 at No 19. Be warned there is one particular team that dominates the list.

Best Footballers in the World 2020

Joe McMahon
258 Posted 24/12/2020 at 14:57:57
Ian (Edwards) @ 245, that year, Shrewsbury were relegated to The Conference. Also, I feel Moyes's worst were also at home being battered by Bolton, West Brom and Blackburn.

Wigan in the FA Cup was as disappointing as last night, but yes Man Utd are a better team than Wigan. It's just disappointment, year after year.

I promised myself I wouldn't bother as much and go walking on the moors, but that's easier for a weekend game – I wasn't gonna walk over the moors at 9pm at night on 23 December. I suspect the unlucky sods on the top balcony would have had a similar experience.

Brian Wilkinson
259 Posted 24/12/2020 at 15:00:42
Joe, walking on the Moors at 9pm would have been less scary than that horror show last night.
Bobby Mallon
260 Posted 24/12/2020 at 15:01:14
All those that watch the Under-23s or below:

Do we have any Madisson or Grealish type players?

Derek Knox
261 Posted 24/12/2020 at 15:01:55
Len @248, I couldn't have written your post any better myself and I share your frustration and feelings about Tom Davies. How many chances has he (undeservedly, in my opinion) been given? In how how many of those chances has he cut the mustard?

Mind you he wasn't alone last night which highlights again, as if it needed to be, how poor we are in depth of squad, numbers yes, but quality, very limited.

Tony Hill
262 Posted 24/12/2020 at 15:03:48
The perspective I have is that we have won nothing for 25 years. Last night was a quarter-final and we flunked it. Badly. As we have done many, many times before when we play matches which count.

That doesn't mean, of course, that Ancelotti should go; but it does mean that a lot of anger at the performance is justified. It doesn't make such fans “reactionary” or anything other than “good Blues”.

Jamie Crowley
263 Posted 24/12/2020 at 15:10:05
Tony Hill -

I think, for what it is worth, that’s a perfectly reasonable and understandable stance and reaction.

Fair comment.

Will Mabon
264 Posted 24/12/2020 at 15:15:28
Patrick, 257:

Interesting list but as you say, "Subjective" indeed.

Mark Frere
265 Posted 24/12/2020 at 15:18:59
Ian @247,

Last night looked like similar tactics to the previous 3 League games where we beat 3 very good teams in the Premier League.

Our players just didn't execute the tactics well, particularly in the first 20 minutes, where we looked totally switched off and could quite easily have been 3-0 down.

We did grow into the game after 25 minutes or so, but our passing, crossing, pressing and general play was way below par from what we've seen from previous games. I'm positive Carlo did not instruct his players to do the basic fundamentals so badly. You can't solely put the blame at his door.

The players looked fatigued to me and I do worry about the hectic fixture congestion coming up. We just don't seem to have the squad depth to cope. I worry Sheffield Utd will finally come good against a very tired Everton.

Ian, I much more enjoyed the flamboyance we played with in the first 4 games of the Premier League season, which had us top of the table and scoring plenty of goals. But, since the Merseyside derby, we were wide open at the back and conceding goals for fun. A combination of that and injuries and suspensions, Ancellotti has had to show flexibility in tactics, which he has done quite well... getting us into to the top 4 in League.

He hasn't got everything right but he's got more right than he's got wrong IMO. I was disappointed he started with Gomes last night and thought Gordon should've come on when Richarlison went off. But I think Carlo's done enough so far to earn our support of him – and constructive criticism of some of his selections and tactics is okay from people on here.

Bobby Mallon
266 Posted 24/12/2020 at 15:21:26
Of the top 20, only 4 were under 27.
Patrick McFarlane
267 Posted 24/12/2020 at 15:24:22
I suppose this comment by Dick Advocaat, the Feyenoord Rotterdam manager talking about the possibility of signing Cenk Tosun on loan, is what is holding up Ancelotti's ability to fill his squad with better players:

That is an excellent name, but not for Feyenoord. We really can't afford him. Those are guys who earn seven, eight, nine million gross. We can't think of that.” (Source: FC Update)

The number of squad players that we have in similar situations to Tosun is truly frightening and it could take another 12-18 months to put things right!

Paul Birmingham
268 Posted 24/12/2020 at 15:50:40
They say there's no gain without pain but, for Evertonians of an age span, it's permanent pain and of endurance in adversity to matters performance- and pitch-related.

I hope the coin has dropped for the management and coaches now in terms of the players who can be relied on, called upon, and trusted. That gives a very bare squad.

Time will tell but I'm hoping last night will prove to be the turning point. How many times... but if the squad is knackered and over-burdened in body and spirit, then there's a few questions to be asked about the game plan for the next match, and who's capable of playing a game every 2 or 3 days across three weeks.

I'm angry and annoyed at the lack of fight and desire, but I'm immune to the pain as it's been the normality for the best part of 50 years, bar a few golden years in the mid-80s.

Let's hope for redemption and a proper performance on Boxing Day. Win at Sheffield and the anger is erased.

But which Everton will turn up?

In relation, to VAR, how can competitions be fair and equivalent if VAR isn't used in every match and tournament?

The Mancs have got the street-fighting shit-tricks to a tee, with diving, feigning and shit-stiring on the pitch. There should be retrospective action against Cavani, as he got away with the same tactics in the league game at Goodison Park.

I wish we had a Reid, or Pat van den Hauwe, Barry Horne or Joe Parkinson out there last night. But it's shown the real ability of many of this squad who are frauding a living off Everton FC.

That alone suggests that it's gonna take some time to get the strength in depth needed, but until so-called world class or proper professionals can be added to this squad, games like last night will be part of the journey.

Sheffield United and let's see which Everton turns up.

All have a good night and enjoy Chrimbo.🍀🍺👍🙏🏼🥃🍻☘️☘️☘️☘️☘️

Michael Forster
269 Posted 24/12/2020 at 15:59:23
Going all the way back to #172, I agree wholeheartedly with John. Cheating has to be stamped out.

A suggestion: after an innocuous tackle, roll over once acceptable. Twice, a yellow. Three or more (I've seen it happen), straight red. Obvious dive, straight red. Pulling jersey, straight red. Harsh I know but players would soon get the message.

Another gripe: Why do refs waste so much time when a free-kick is awarded anything up to 30 yards out? Why does he have to have a long chat with the kick taker? Then another chat with the wall. I once timed this procedure take 2 minutes. Five of those and the game is shortened by 10 minutes.

Finally, why does he still have a long chat with the keeper when a penalty is awarded? Surely all goalies have heard the new rule about staying on the line.

Mike Gaynes
270 Posted 24/12/2020 at 16:15:01
Sam #249, I will be watching for it. Your speculations are always eminently readable.
Ken Kneale
271 Posted 24/12/2020 at 16:16:27
Thomas – if asking legitimate questions is 'giving the manager ' stick in your view, it is not mine. Carlo is paid to get a tune out of what he has to play with and we gave in meekly last night to a potential trophy route.

I like many question why Gordon is not used more when we bring on what we did last night – he seems overlooked an left on the bench regularly and on occasion is not even included in the matchday squad. On ability alone, my view is he would have benefitted last night with some energy and directness towards the opposition goal.

I would like to know the reason why - the only answer I have seen from Carlo was full of riddle and mystique.

Ian @243 – I remember those sadly all too well – the point I make is that on those occasions, the potentially better team was overrun by well motivated team play – we should have attempted the same last night and given it a real go. Instead, too many our players cannot raise their game.

Thomas Richards
272 Posted 24/12/2020 at 16:23:57

"As Patrick has eloquently put, the subs bench seems to be begging for Gordon but he does not even make it that far."

Is that a legitimate question from you?

Brian Murray
273 Posted 24/12/2020 at 17:11:39
This magical next transfer window, which we all say after the latest letdown, is wearing a bit thin. Ian Edwards on the Live Forum last night was even accused of being one of Satan's children from over yonder. I agree with everything he says however as frustrated and angry as he is.

I've been a blue too long to not become punch drunk by this latest glorious failure plus all I want is quite moderate compared to some. At least try and compete against the top four and in a game like last night not just hope to catch them on an off night.

A sobering thought, let's be honest, a lot of clubs would've bombed him out after getting humiliated by your rival's youth team, but we are if nothing else a very forgiving and hospitable club.

All that being said, I hope he is not as blinkered over youth as he looks so far. C'mon, Carlo, you are our best shot. Prove it.

Ken Kneale
274 Posted 24/12/2020 at 17:13:00
Thomas – I thought Patrick at 234 made some excellent points and asking why Gordon does not make it that far (onto the pitch) when others such as mentioned do seems a very legitimate question to me.
Thomas Richards
275 Posted 24/12/2020 at 17:16:53
Okay, Ken.
Bill Gall
276 Posted 24/12/2020 at 17:25:18
Along with a large number of other supporters, I am disappointed with the loss last night. Surprised? No, just surprised in the manner we lost.

Let's be honest, with 9 changes, Man Utd had the fresher players, and the only surprise was it took 85 min to score. The only 2 changes we made were the keeper (that didn't affect the previous formation) and Coleman, who was expected to provide more attacking play than Holgate. Apart from that, we have had nobody to replace Allan, and the use of Gomes failed.

Let's look at the subs: Man Utd bring on 2 subs and end up with a front 3 of Martial, Calvani and Rashford. We bring on 2 subs and end up with Iwobi, Tosun and Bernard. We bring on Davies for Gomes; Man Utd bring on Shaw.

The disappointment: it seemed that Everton players did not seem to have the desire and effort to win this game whereas Man Utd's players seemed more up to it. Was the difference that their players were playing to keep in their first 11? While Everton's players knew they would be in their first 11 next game.

We can all offer various excuses, but the blame for lack of desire and effort is strictly on the players' backs. It does not matter who the manager picks, they are expected to give 100% effort on the pitch and, if they don't, it becomes the manager's fault for playing them again.

We have a major problem, not with the first choice 11 when fit or not suspended, but with replacing them when either injured or suspended or even being replaced for loss of form. This was highlighted with the 2 teams last night with the starting 11 and the players on the benches.

If we have the ambition to finish in the top 6 this season, Man Utd have shown the type of squad you need to maintain this position. I understand that Everton will have to spend big and get rid of a number of players to make space to improve the squad and this will take time, and I doubt if Ancelotti will panic over this performance.

I would still like Ancelotti to give some of the younger players in the squad a chance in the team, even if it means giving some of the regular starters a rest. The problem that may arise from that tactic is, if we lose, the manager will get the blame for dropping the regulars. We have to maintain our league position.

Jay Wood

277 Posted 24/12/2020 at 17:31:32
Patrick @ 257.

Thanks for sharing that list of the top 100 footballers. All harmless fun and of course highly subjective.

I clicked on a couple of links from the linked article to see who voted and how it worked.

It's actually quite broad and comprehensive. There were 241 judges from 71 countries and every continent, including former players, coaches, broadcasters, reporters, correspondents and editors. Full list of judges by category here:

The Judges

They were each given a set list of 300 players to pick their top 40 from. Their first choice got 40 points, then each successive choice got minus 1 point until their 40th choice picked up one point.

There is a VERY detailed and complete spreadsheet available so you can see how votes were cast. I was interested to see how many voted for our Everton boys and how highly they ranked on an individual vote.

From the spreadsheet, you can see that Dominic, who finished 80th of 100 in the overall vote, received 24 votes and his highest voted position was 25th. Richarlison finished 82nd overall, received 15 votes in total and his highest voted position was 28.

By contrast, the overall winner Lewandoski was the only player to be voted for by all 241 judges with 201 making him their number one choice.

100 Top Players Spreadsheet

Harmless fun as I said, so thanks again, Patrick, for flagging it up.

Kieran Kinsella
278 Posted 24/12/2020 at 17:35:27
Gordon proponents. There is nothing to suggest he's any good nor any line of clubs trying to sign him. So maybe he's just not very good.

For all the talk of Man Utd's spending and squad depth ,they also have Rashford, Greenwood, McTominay etc all free and homegrown.

What is David Unsworth doing exactly? Where are our good youngsters? Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal have them but our lauded academy produces no-one of quality. That is a big problem because even wealthier squads rely on a handful of quality homegrown as opposed to mythic “maybe he is secretly good” jokers.

Thomas Richards
281 Posted 24/12/2020 at 18:04:11

I think the lad has a chance.

One question I would have for posters advocating he plays.

How many times have you seen him play?

Brian Wilkinson
282 Posted 24/12/2020 at 18:09:54
We've all seen how we have been in games in just one match a week, a few knackered and blowing out of their backsides after 70-odd minutes. Sheffield Utd will be our third game in a week, but I guarantee it will be the same squad and bench.

Pickford will come back and, if fit, James; the rest will pick themselves, either starting, or coming off the bench.

Nearly always the same players coming off the bench.

Now I know you can say, apart from Man Utd, we haven't played anyone in the cup. We gave Gordon and Nkounkou a runout and both attacked with intent, seeing off Fleetwood, Salford and West Ham with ease. In my view, both deserved to continue in the cup games, but one was left with splinters on his backside, while the other did not even make the squad.

When Richarlison went off, either of the above two mentioned could have filled that spot but, for whatever reason, neither have been seen.

Now if anyone mentions about how they perform in training, I swear I will scream. It is how they perform on the pitch, week after week, the same are picked; if it is down to the training pitch, then surely the penny must drop. Can anyone please tell me when Nkounkou and Gordon have played that they have been poor, apart from the Newcastle game where everyone was poor?

Anyway, like I say, the team will be the same Saturday, with either the same 14 getting some part of the match, either from kick-off, or coming on.

So much for rotating the team, when it is the same players, week-in & week-out.

Brian Wilkinson
283 Posted 24/12/2020 at 18:41:27
Kieran, there is nothing to suggest Gordon is bad either. He got a run out at the start of the season and we got results. He asked Carlo the question and has hardly been seen since.

We will never know how good he is, if we are only going to give him a small run out every so often.

You mention Rashford, Greenwood; there are also others out there, Mount, Foden, Curtis, all given run outs. We however do not seem to have the same belief of giving these guys a run out, apart from when we play Fleetwood, Salford and the likes.

If the regulars were outstanding every week, then there is a case for not being able to force into the team. However we never seem to freshen it up, the players coming off the bench are normally the players that played the previous game.

John Boon
284 Posted 24/12/2020 at 18:41:39
Mike (269).

An amusing post covering a very important aspect of present-day football. Yesterday's game was generally disappointing from any Everton supporter's perspective. However, the game also displayed many of the things that are wrong with the Premier League and football in general:

(1) All of the factors you so astutely pointed out regarding time-wasting.

(2) Far too many "fake" injuries where players who seem almost at death's door suddenly resurrect and get back up and are perfectly fit. If a player is so badly injured, they should stay off the field for 10 minutes.

(3) Blind refs who somehow don't see a violent attack. Cavani on Mina was a case in point.

(4) Cavani is the histrionic actor / so-called player who overacts to everything as though he was in some cinematic drama. Unfortunately, we have far too many of this type of player in the Premier League.

Everton players are not guilt-free (eg, Richarlison). I agree someone has spoken to him and he has improved. Seamus is a great example of what all players should do: "Grit your teeth" and get up.

Billy Dawber
285 Posted 24/12/2020 at 18:51:08
Keiran 175, sorry for upsetting you but yes maybe I would have put some of the younger players in. Someone who would maybe put up a fight instead of bottling it as usual.

Carlo seems intent at changing certain players around who under-perform, so why not throw someone different in and give the under-performers a kick up the arse?

We have some young lads chomping at the bit to get a game but all we see is the same players being put in different positions and not settling in their own positions which will cause us to put performances in like this one.

Surley we can mix it up with a few younger players – or are we going to become a buying club trying to find the little gems that we may already have???

Jerome Shields
286 Posted 24/12/2020 at 18:54:43
George #220,

Maybe a slight exaggeration but he did get more involved; before that, he was non-existent. Any improvement in that first half was welcome.

Tony Abrahams
287 Posted 24/12/2020 at 18:55:07
Brian W@282, although the squad is looking a bit bare, I'd say there has got to be a minimum of 4 changes on Saturday.
Jeff Armstrong
288 Posted 24/12/2020 at 19:09:31
Brian 282,

Kind of what I've been saying about Finch Farm — how crap can Gordon, Nkounkou etc be?

They're only coming up against the likes of Gomes, Bernard, Iwobi, Sigurdsson et al, so if they can't shine in training against the likes of them, then they maybe don't deserve a place in the team.

I can't see it though, even I'd shine against that lot and I'm 57!

Unless he has no choice, Carlo does not like youth, end of.

Thomas Richards
289 Posted 24/12/2020 at 19:16:39
Billy Dawber
290 Posted 24/12/2020 at 19:18:11
Thankyou, Jeff 288, exactly what I'm saying. Surely there is someone in our system worth giving a chance.
Paul Birmingham
291 Posted 24/12/2020 at 19:21:18
Tony, good point regards the starting line up for Sheffield Utd.

I reckon the goalkeepers will reverse and I reckon Holgate for Coleman, Davies for Gomes, and Gordon to replace Richarlison, if he can't start. I don't think we had the cohesion, balance, etc from the start, but Carlo will know.

I don't expect (bar a player fitness crisis) to see Gomes or Tosun close to the matchday squad again. No more blasts from the past for these spent players to keep them in the frame.

As likeable as they are, both are not Business Houses League or Zingari League Standard, in my view.

I'd prefer if Richarlison can start, and for Iwobi he was amongst many who got lost in the Goodison floodlights last nights and who showed arguably the most shithouse Man Utd team I've seen, far too much respect. Iwobi was bad but no worse than most of the team last night.

And I think a discussion about leadership on the park is another thread. Seamus is the only player but there's potential I'd start to consider in Mason Holgate. Take the Mike Lyons heart, the speed craft of Rats, the reliability of Wag, and there could be a succession plan.

All The Best of The Seasons Greetings.

Brian Wilkinson
292 Posted 24/12/2020 at 20:04:56
Jeff, I have one year on you, smoke 20 cigs a day, and I reckon I could look like Messi playing against some of them at Finch Farm.

We have some on the bench, but it seems to be the same subs everytime. If you played a game the previous week and stank the place out, do not worry, you will still be on the bench and come on at some point in the next match.

Why can we not try some of the others?

We get the same old argument: if we are winning and playing well, do not change a winning team; if we play bad, do not put the youngsters in as it will hit their confidence... so when do we play them?

I just hope Saturday we have a couple of additions, even on the bench, and they are at least given a chance.

Come Saturday though, you know if Gomes or Davies start and the other is on the bench, they will replace each other at some point in the game. If James comes back, whoever's place he takes will also come off the bench.

Like I said in an earlier post, it is nearly always the same 14 players. Time to be bold and give some of the others a go.

Steve Carse
293 Posted 24/12/2020 at 20:07:44
Bill (276),

"With 9 changes United had the fresher players" -- but also presumably, a weaker line up than for their previous game. There's no point searching for answers when the obvious is overlooked -- manager and players were poor and failed our support miserably.

Everton suffers from institutionalised defeatism and unfortunately, after years of failure, that has now spread to much of our support. Witness for example the following question asked by Scott Minetti (206) responding to a poster's warranted critique of the performance of players and manager alike: "Did you really expect that we would beat a very strong Man Utd side in a cup quarter-final?" Oh dear.

Tamhas Woods
294 Posted 24/12/2020 at 20:11:45
I turned 30 only last year, but I'm already resigned to Everton never winning another trophy again in my lifetime.

Utter cowards. They are no team of mine. I sometimes wish Segers had saved that shot in 1994... I really do.

Andy Meighan
295 Posted 24/12/2020 at 21:54:03
Thamas. I feel your pain and hurt, I really do. I'm old enough to see us pick up pots and been old enough to go out and celebrate. It'll come again lad without a doubt... I was down this morning but back on top now. COYB
Bill Gall
296 Posted 24/12/2020 at 22:12:47
Steve #293,

I believe I said the same thing about the players and manager in the paragraph starting with "We can all offer various excuses...."

Michael Kenrick
297 Posted 24/12/2020 at 22:37:24
That question posed by Scott Minetti at 206 caught my attention too, Steve (#293).

I know I've raised this before but it's a perception of the game of football that seems at odds with its entire ethos as a competitive sport. The fact that he's so obviously proud of the foreknowledge he boasts, at the expense of the club he presumably loves, and its myriad of fans, I find rather sickening.

Does he expect the players to go into the match with the same astounding mindset? The same fatalistic conviction? I guess the fact that they appeared to play from the outset as if they really did believe that could be cited as something of a giveaway, but doesn't it bring into question your whole life purpose as a professional footballer once you start to think like that?

And then what does it say of us as fans? That we should expect only defeat in certain games, before they even kick off?

Scott, what then is the fucking point of playing?

Bobby Mallon
298 Posted 24/12/2020 at 22:45:17
If I had my way, my team for Saturday:

Small (it's time for this lad to shine)

Winston Williamson
299 Posted 24/12/2020 at 22:55:44
There’d be no point playing or supporting, Michael. It’s fast approaching that point to be honest, especially as this club folds whenever the opportunity for any substantial success is there to be taken.

The only thing keeping my interest at the moment is the caliber of player Carlo is attracting. As, if the standard of signings made under Carlo continues as such, it’s inevitable we’ll have a top side capable of winning something.

However, my patience is fast running out (a slight contradiction). I’ve had enough, after the initial Moyes’ years of stabilisation, of seeing this club crumble to pieces and shit itself whenever anything is at stake. Even the relegation fodder sides we had in the 90’s displayed more consistent fight than these turds in blue.

I term some players as Instagram players. Players who will show up occasionally to make their social media accounts look pretty and interesting. There’s some at this club now. I have no affinity for these guys.

Barry Horne was a limited player (very nice guy off the pitch and very intelligent too), but I don’t think I ever saw him not put a shift in, be it a relegation scrap or otherwise. Definitely not a player who shit himself at the sight of a second rate Man Utd team at Home! I expect this attitude as a fucking minimum, nothing less.

Are these players stupid? The last three games have seen almost universal praise from us blues. The common denominator? 100% effort! This 100% effort stops and the result changes! Fucking clueless. Fucking shite!

Tom Bowers
300 Posted 24/12/2020 at 22:58:18
The Man Utd game was a non-starter from the off as Everton started so badly. It was one thing having Man Utd start on the front foot but the many nervous mistakes the Everton players were committing were just unbelievable.

I have said all season that Everton are one of the poorest sides playing the passing game out of defence and yesterday they hit rock bottom.

When you come up against a team that works the high press well, Everton flounder as they did against Leeds and yesterday again.

Iwobi and Sigurdsson just couldn't get going on the flanks and it's obvious they don't have the speed to match up in those positions against certain teams.

However, somehow they survived and had a chance but the Bruno Fernandes deliberate push on Richarlison basically put paid to winning the game in 90 minutes.

Had they held on, they may have sneaked it on penalties... but I am not so sure.

I think it would have been difficult, even if they had advanced, to get by Man City, who they would have been facing twice in a just over a week.

What we don't want to happen now is to become the first team to be beaten by the Blades. Heaven forbid !!!

Brian Murray
301 Posted 24/12/2020 at 23:05:39
I thought it was mostly me who, in the last few years, has started really resenting Everton as much as loving them... but I'm glad I'm not alone. I'm lucky enough to have seen us dominate until it was cruelly taken away from us.

I honestly believe, now that I'm over five decades a Blue, football has changed and Carlo's ability, or lack of it, will never be enough on its own to see us even challenge the other crowd. Even a derby win would have to be a fluke.

Hate being so negative and really try to block EFC out of my head, even for an hour or two.

Robert Williams
302 Posted 24/12/2020 at 23:26:44
KK 278. Yes, I too am a little concerned why we are not seeing more Academy involvement in the 1st team. Of course there have been one or two exceptions in the past but, in the here and now, we have very little to show for what must be a very hefty investment in under 23s and younger.

I am not knocking Carlo for his preference for older more established players to steady what has over the past few years been a very unstable ship.

I do wonder though whether this has anything to do with the length of his contract and the need to have a half-decent team to present to the fans at Bramley-Moore Dock, if and when it opens to the paying public. Again, if that is his and Moshiri's intention, and it works, who am I to argue with it?

However, in that period after his contract expires and we are looking for a new man to replace him and the 'old brigade' who by then will be ready for replacing, decide they have done their bit and start to react like the majority of today's lot, 'can't be arsed' and need shipping out. What then?

Will we suddenly find some hidden gems in the Academy or will we be starting all over again with no accession policy or plan but with a half-full state-of-the-art stadium and a team fighting to stave off relegation; and a 100% shareholding owner who just wants to cash in his chips and sell to the first mug that shows up – something like Kenwright did!!??

Tony Hill
303 Posted 24/12/2020 at 23:31:49
Tamhas, WInston and Brian, your pain is the visceral reaction that this club and team require. Sweet reason, “perspective” and endlessly deferred expectation of actual success (list here the excuses we’ve been hearing for years) will leave us becalmed.

We can’t afford to float about for another few seasons and transfer windows, as though the rest of the league is going to wait for us to do our thing.

We need to believe in ourselves right now, find some serious courage when it matters and keep winning. Fits and starts won’t cut it. Three victories are not enough. Injuries or not, we have to push on and stop finding reasons why we’re not quite good enough at the moment, if you don’t mind.

Shitty Sheffield United in the mud and cold will be a good place to start. And then Man CIty and then West Ham and then every other game. That’s the awful thing about winning: you have to do it.

Robert Williams
304 Posted 24/12/2020 at 23:32:12
BM 301 Yes, Brian, I know. I really know exactly how you feel mate.
Tony Hill
305 Posted 24/12/2020 at 23:54:01
PS the attitude I think we should demand does not mean that we don’t build the team and strengthen it. Of course we do. But if you build on sand then we know what happens.
Brian Murray
306 Posted 25/12/2020 at 00:42:57
Squad for Saturday:

Olsen Godfrey Nkounkou Keane Onyango Simms Calvert-Lewin Richarlison (if fit) Iwobi Gordon James (if fit) Doucouré Mina (notice I'm struggling to add anyone who, if I had my way, would never see a first-team shirt again and will be gone in January.

In an ideal world obviously. That lot would be a start, albeit probably disastrous, but we have to stop rinse and repeat every week.

Phil Wood
307 Posted 25/12/2020 at 01:42:30
Every win this season has had some semblance of luck attached to it. We have come under the cosh in every game for sustained periods and I for one have been amazed we have won so many of them.

Our injury list has nothing to do with a lack of fight and we have fumbled to victory in most of our wins. But God bless Dom.

No I am not impressed with us this season and cannot wait for more funds to be supplied so we can add more midfielders bereft of pace. In Carlo we are still out.

Pace and work rate is an essential in all the best sides. We have little of either and grit and determination is non-existent.

Feel like Ebenezer Scrooge but so screwed up by last night's no-show. Fed up with excuses for them.

Kieran Kinsella
308 Posted 25/12/2020 at 03:40:29
Michael 297,

The key word is “expect.” Scott never said he was happy or had no hope. But “expect” indicates a likely outcome. I expect the sun will come out tomorrow as logic dictates that. I hope Cameroon with two men sent off somehow beat world champions Argentina in 1990 - they did, great I am happy.

Were they to have played the Comoros I would have expected rather than hoped for a win. Logically Man Utd were expected to win as they have better players but that doesn't mean Scott or anyone else wasn't watching hoping for an upset.

Kieran Kinsella
309 Posted 25/12/2020 at 03:46:35

Barry Horne was shit and that's why the team he was in generally floundered. Man Utd had the luxury of “resting” 9 players and replacing them with world stars. We couldn't freshen our team as Barry's old mate Unsie blows a lot of hot air but churns out shit players and the last several managers signed shit players.

Godfrey and Co are probably knackered and yet rest of the squad are shite. But if you'd prefer some muppet like Niasse running around “trying”, then go and support MK Dons, mate.

Dave McDowell
310 Posted 25/12/2020 at 04:05:31
Robert #302, I would put forward the argument to dismantle the Under-23s as it's clearly not fit for purpose. That purpose being supplying a constant stream of first-team ready players trained to fit in the system the DoF or Manager has designated.

Rooney has been the only success story of the past 30 years, a once-in-a-lifetime player, sold without any benefit being gained on field.

The other contenders, Ossie & Hibbo, were players (with respect to them) of ability that could have been purchased from lower leagues.

Calvert-Lewin & Stones were bought as potential from lower leagues.

Where are our Madisson, Ward-Prowse, Grealish?

We should move to the sponsored feeder clubs system, at least one in each potential market worldwide that we pay a season retainer plus an appropriate fee plus bonus for every first-team ready player they supply.

We need tangibles not promises.

Tommy Carter
311 Posted 25/12/2020 at 05:48:11
Some bizarre comments on here.

To win this competition we were realistically looking at having to beat Man Utd, Tottenham and Man City. A huge ask for this current squad. City have won 5 out of the last 7 finals!

Man Utd have a dense squad full of quality. They were able to field their best players against Everton if they wanted to.

We had some of our key players unavailable. Digne, Allan and Rodriguez improve our starting XI immeasurably.

Carlo obviously looked to grind out some kind of result here and almost pulled it off. He is slowly building something at Everton and I'm massively encouraged by the first 12 months. Every player he has brought in so far has improved the team. If he can do this over a 5 or 6 transfer windows then we are in for an incredibly exciting journey.

Eddie Dunn
312 Posted 25/12/2020 at 08:31:21
Despite our awful start against Man Utd, we were in the game right up until the last five minutes of normal time. As pointed out above, our hope waned on Richarlison's removal.

On this subject (and I know it was a case of premeditated thuggery from Fernandes), do we have any news on how Richarlison is? Was he simply winded or did he sustain a proper injury?

For me, he hasn't been quite right since his red card. Now he has his wrist all bandaged. Is it fractured or is he a Keith Lemon fan?

He may well work hard and have the ability to do what none of the others can but I am worried about his mental state. He makes a meal out of nothing knocks, writhing around, and thus the gobshite ref had a preconceived notion that he was doing the same on Wednesday night.

There are many lads who would have gone off for a few minutes and come back on to get stuck in. He seems to be happy to go off whenever he gets a clonk. He can expect more of the same on Saturday.

Brian Williams
313 Posted 25/12/2020 at 08:45:13
Eddie, he won't get more of the same on Saturday because the lad had concussion and will not be allowed to play.

Did you watch the game? If you did, you'd have seen Richarlison's stiff outstretched arm when he hit the deck. It was a classic involuntary reaction to a knockout blow. Watch it again, it was horrible.

Richarlison tried to come back on, was staggering, and obviously seriously affected by what could have been a very serious injury due to that little shitbag Fernandes's push which was really dangerous.

Richarlison does go down easily but you're way wrong on this one.

Patrick McFarlane
314 Posted 25/12/2020 at 09:25:22
Eddie #312,

Richarlison wanted to carry on during Wednesday night's game, I think Carlo also wanted the player to come back on too, but the Doctor advised against it and both the manager and player accepted the doctor's advice.

Richarlison will likely miss tomorrow's game and possibly Monday's match too, which will be a major blow to the team, but perhaps Gordon will be able to stake a claim for a place because it looks as if James may not be ready either according to some reports.

Alan Johnson
315 Posted 25/12/2020 at 09:29:04
Dave #310,

That's a fantastic idea and I am sure it would reap benefits. Wonder would it be allowed to have so many feeder clubs?

Derek Taylor
317 Posted 25/12/2020 at 09:38:26
Surely Jeffers was a profitable commodity in respect of on-field service followed by multi-million sale? Dunne comes to mind as well.
Laurie Hartley
318 Posted 24/12/2020 at 10:03:39
Paul #268 – if you are suggesting we need a hard man, I agree. It is one peg that we are sadly missing.
Geoff Williams
319 Posted 25/12/2020 at 10:42:14
I suspect Sheffield United are looking forward to playing Everton. If you are in trouble and need a win Everton will always be accommodating. Not being negative, it is a simple fact.
David Pearl
320 Posted 25/12/2020 at 10:55:34
Geoff, have a day off... and Merry Christmas all Blues.

I got only booze this Christmas. That Santa knows his stuff.

Winston Williamson
321 Posted 25/12/2020 at 11:45:30
No Kieran, I don't want Niasse running around. So I'll respectfully decline your offer of watching MK Dons.

What I do want and expect is 100% commitment from ALL of our players, regardless of ability levels.

Barry Horne, incidentally, scored an absolute worldy to keep us in the Premier League. Dogshit he might've been, but his contribution is greater than a lot of the current players today.

I agree, players are tired. There's been many games played recently, and to a high standard, so you'd expect the ‘fresh' players coming in to bust a gut, but they don't, do they?

A Merry Christmas, Kieran.

Martin Mason
322 Posted 25/12/2020 at 14:42:22
In all of my days of watching Everton and participating in this site I have never heard any comments so totally ridiculous as some of the criticism of Carlo that I see now.

It is not his fault that United are a better side than Everton just now. The fault is 100% the fault of Martinez, Koeman, Fat Sam, Silva and Walsh.

Stan Schofield
323 Posted 25/12/2020 at 14:54:38
I don’t give a shit about the League Cup, never did. Merry Christmas.
Thomas Richards
324 Posted 25/12/2020 at 15:15:00

Man Utd have won all 6 league away games this season. Scoring a minimum of 3 goals in each game.

Robert Williams
325 Posted 25/12/2020 at 15:38:27
Dave 310, Nothing wrong with your argument IMO but don't we already have feeder clubs - Barca and RM? The downside to that is that we only get their cast-offs, not the up-and-coming youngsters, unless they happen to be loaned out like the Barca chappie that's now with Watford!!

In the past, we have been the feeder club and are now a rest-home for retiring gentlemen footballers...

Paul Birmingham
326 Posted 25/12/2020 at 15:54:12
Seasons Greetings Laurie, yes this team does need some tempered steel and grit, in my view, to win the hearts and minds battles that start before and during most matches.

The Man Utd team, took the pee, the other night and coupled with rank atrocious officials, got away with modern.

Tomorrow is a massive test of character for Everton, it would be great to get a win, and boost morale, ahead of Man City.

Here's to hoping you all have a good Chrimbo.

Martin Mason
327 Posted 25/12/2020 at 16:02:34
Thomas@324, yes and thank you. They were superb.
Brian Wilkinson
328 Posted 25/12/2020 at 16:27:01
Merry xmas everyone.
Ian Edwards
329 Posted 25/12/2020 at 17:32:55
Martin @322. All those Managers you mentioned have more balls than Ancelotti and would have had a go at Man Utd. They wouldn't have been frightened and waved the white flag like Carlo the Coward.
Thomas Richards
330 Posted 25/12/2020 at 17:38:15
Ian #329,

They may have more balls.

Have any of them won 20 trophies in their managerial careers?

Brian Wilkinson
331 Posted 25/12/2020 at 23:22:09
No Jesus or Walker for City against us, both Tested positive, they have a novice striker in Aguero to steep in, anyone heard of the guy :-)
Jason Wilkinson
332 Posted 25/12/2020 at 23:27:31
Blasphemy! No Jesus? It's Christmas man🤣🤣
Patrick McFarlane
333 Posted 26/12/2020 at 00:07:59
Looks as if we'll have to win a league game minus Richarlison later this evening. James will miss tonight and the match against Manchester City. The James situation is getting a bit tiresome now, it was only supposed to be a minor calf injury which kept him out recently and why is he training alone?

Dominic Calvert-Lewin will once again be asked to run his socks off, but hopefully he'll find the way to goal for these two matches. Ancelotti says he will only rotate players for the City match!

Concussion and Injury


John Boswell
334 Posted 26/12/2020 at 00:16:02
I do not see Carlo as a coward. I see him as a pragmatic man doing his best for the club with the players available to him. He was 2 minutes plus added time from a penalty shoot-out against a team that is 6 from 6 in away league games this season scoring 3 goals more.
Man Utd beat us 1-3 at Goodison a few weeks ago.
We nearly got there! I expected an ugly, attritional game and so it proved. Not what I want but needs must. I was weaned on Harvey, Kendall and Ball, a great team.
The group of players will be evolved by Carlo and he will bring good times back for us supporters.
We are not the only club carrying players that are no longer a good fit but are difficult to move on because of their salaries. Keep the faith, COYB.
Brian Wilkinson
335 Posted 26/12/2020 at 00:30:29
Where the problem is though John is most of these struggle to play one match a week, they are now asked to play their third match in a week, with the same 11 and same subs coming on.

Would be nice to see a few fresher legs in the team.

Not sure how much longer Calvert Lewin can carry on leading the line, with very little rest time.

Brian Murray
336 Posted 26/12/2020 at 00:48:20
It’s beginning to look a lot like another slump starting. Same old re jigging of players or formation. He has to act a bit inspired and find a way for Gordon at least to start. Tonight has nil nil written all over it. Let’s hope Brands has a full back and at least a proper winger lined up in January. In the meantime a bit of youth on the bench might save him from actually doing his job again.
Jim Harrison
337 Posted 26/12/2020 at 12:57:35
I get that it hurts. The wait goes on for a trophy.

But it's not an abysmal result or performance. It's a tired team, lacking at least 3 of its best players, 4 by the end of the match, playing a team that has talent to spare.

The squad is short on quality, and it shows. The early season success, to me at least, was largely built around getting quality balls into the 6-yard box and ensuring Calvert-Lewin didn't stray too far outside the box too often. It worked. But without Digne, James and then Richarlison, those balls dried up.

Now it's down to Carlo to basically get the same players Silva had, all 2 years older, to do what Silva couldn't do.

It sucks. But it was hardly a match that showed the unravelling of a season! It was just a bad result.

Justin Doone
338 Posted 26/12/2020 at 13:21:36
I've held back my assessment but 2 things sum this game and Everton up:

1: Attacking Intent. We appeared happy to sit back and counter-attack. Nothing wrong with that, as we have proved with recent wins. But it will only get you so far if lacking genuine attacking quality.

2: Attacking Quality. Calvert-Lewin has improved each season for the last 4 seasons and I've always been a big fan as I could see his development and ability. But he isn't a natural forward or striker. Once Richarlison went off, we lacked a key threat.

Man Utd have the youth of Rashford & Greenwood, the experience of Cavani & Martial. Massive gulf in genuine attacking quality to lead the line. All more natural finishers and attacking quality.

I want us to add a genuine top-class winger with pace and can add goals to help resolve both of these issues.

Si Cooper
339 Posted 26/12/2020 at 17:00:31
‘Keystone cops' start, better middle, but far too many passes gave the recipient little chance and game over when Richarlison went off.

Apart from the ‘comedy' first quarter, I thought there was nothing truly abysmal. Gomes seemed to do little wrong to me but did far too little, full stop. Tom Davies was more involved but overall was ineffective.

Gylfi and Iwobi seem to get both praise and condemnation on this thread. I thought both did okay but the end product wasn't there. Gylfi was the ‘nearly' man on a few occasions where an extra 6 inches in height or leg length (or the athleticism to compensate) could have made a significant difference.

Today against the Blades will be a completely different game but the players will have to be up for a battle. If Richarlison is out, I think Carlo could do with giving Gordon a go to keep them worried about leaving too much space in behind when they commit players forward.

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