Richarlison is sidelined by concussion protocols following his withdrawal from the cup quarter-final against Man United in midweek
Everton look to recover from the disappointment of Wednesday's cup defeat to Manchester United by advancing their claims for European qualification with victory at Sheffield United.
With the available members of his first-team squad further reduced by the enforced absence of Coleman and Richarlison, along with James, Allan and Digne, Carlo Ancelotti finally has to start Anthony Gordon along with the more experienced players who consistently fail to deliver the required end product. Will tonight be any different?
Ancelotti also again wastes a seat on the bench by naming two substitute goalkeepers. For the home side, former Everton captain Phil Jagielka, who once famously played in goal for Sheffield United, is named on the bench. John Lundstram is suspended.
Everton, playing in a rather nice blue and white strip, got things started in wet and blustery conditions at Calvert-Lewin's former home. But the home side won an early corner that needed to be repulsed.
Some intricate Blues passing broke down at Iwobi, but they were trying to get their passing game together, Doucouré next to give it up cheaply.
Davies tried a probing forward pass that was blocked. Iwobi put in what looked like a decent cross for Calvert-Lewin, who ran underneath it, with nothing from Sigurdsson's first corner delivered without challenge to Ramsdale. Brewster almost embarrassed Pickford, blocking a clearance.
A very sloppy giveaway by Sigurdsson saw The Blades almost score, Godfrey clearing it off the line with the linesman flagging for offside. Davies again could only find a red-and-white shirt with his otherwise tempting forward pass.
A decent counter saw Calvert-Lewin on the wing picked up the ball but showed too much of it to the defender. Iwobi then took the chance for a shot that Ramsdale had well covered.
A long ball up to Calvert-Lewin from Keane saw a brilliant chest trap, the paintbrush volley too straight and flying the wrong side of the angle. A free-kick after Holgate was caught saw Ramsdale fumble and it needed a Pinball Wizard to finish amidst the mayhem that ensued, The Blades finally saved by getting a free-kick.
Gordon played his part in trying to create an opening with some nice triangular play but Doucouré lost the ball. Iwobi and Davies were getting a lot of the ball but finding it hard to get a decent ball into the Blades area.
Iowbi danced through 5 defenders with some nifty footwork but could not fashion a shot, neither could Gordon. Sigurdsson lashed a shot from outside the area wide of the far post. Mina's long ball asked too much of Anthony Gordon.
Davies lost a 50/50 decision and Burke, with the final kick of the half, shot across the Everton goal from a very narrow angle that may have taken a fingertip from Pickford to keep it out.
The game was pretty open after the resumption, Sheffield United trying something different with long throw-ins for the Everton defence to deal with. But Everton were not really being challenged, yet seemed unable to ratchet up the tempo to the degree needed to force a result.
It appeared that Gordon had not done enough for Carl Ancelotti, Bernard replacing him just 10 mins into the second half, but would he provide the spark that was so obviously missing?
Everton finally built an attack and won a corner, Holgate glancing it on, beyond Calvert-Lewin's stretching reach. When they finally worked the ball goalward again, Holgate unleashed a wild shot miles off target.
Sigurdsson wasted another set-piece with a lazy over-hit ball, and Coleman strangely replaced Michael Keane. The home side then won a corner that fortunately was directed well over the Everton goal.
Sigurdsson fired his next set-piece direct to Ramsdale, the Blues strangely reluctant to really press their advantage in terms of player value and apparent superiority. Would Gomes be the man? Carl having a laugh, obviously, as he replaced Davies.
Amazingly, something like a flowing attack materialized... and then just as quickly evaporated with Bernard's poor ball, after Calvert-Lewin should have powered through on his own.
Finally an almost fluid movement looked to break through but it was recycled back to Coleman and then played through Bernard and Doucouré to Sigurdsson who fired a perfect strike just inside the far post to finally show the ambition needed to win this game.
The Blades tried to respond but Everton's defence held firm. They did win a corner that was driven across and then blazed over by Stevens. Godfrey decided to waste some time and got himself a silly booking. Iwobi won a late corner as 5 mins were added but they decided to fart around with the ball in the corner, leading to pressure for the Blades.There were plenty of danger moments as the final minutes were played out, Pickford also getting booked for time-wasting, McBernie firing wide at the death, but the Blues stuck it out to take home all the Boxing Days spoils.
Scorer: Sigurdsson (80')
Sheffield United: Ramsdale, Baldock [Y:71'], Basham, Egan(c), Robinson, Stevens, McGoldrick (63' Norwood), Ampadu, Osborn, Brewster (76' Mousset), Burke (46' McBurnie).
Subs not Used: Jagielka, Bogle, Lowe, Fleck Verrips, Sharp
Everton: Pickford [Y:90+3], Holgate, Keane (67' Coleman), Mina, Godfrey [Y:89'], Iwobi, Doucouré, Davies (74' Gomes), Gordon (55' Bernard [Y:81']), Sigurdsson (c), Calvert-Lewin [Y:51'].
Subs not Used: Olsen, Lössl, Kenny, Tosun, Nkounkou, Branthwaite.
Referee: David CooteVAR: Chris Kavanagh<
Reader Comments (284)
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1 Posted 26/12/2020 at 19:06:00
Hope he has as much effect on the game as some ToffeeWeb posters expect.
2 Posted 26/12/2020 at 19:12:27
3 full backs
1 centre half
3 Posted 26/12/2020 at 19:14:40
Still, Gordon in, so not all bad.
4 Posted 26/12/2020 at 19:26:15
Does look strange at first glance.
Managers sometimes send messages to the owners by their subs selection.
5 Posted 26/12/2020 at 19:27:01
We need a confidence-lifting bounce after the horrendous showing against Man Utd.
6 Posted 26/12/2020 at 19:30:20
Let's hope he can do well but it doesn't exactly set him up for success.
7 Posted 26/12/2020 at 19:38:10
8 Posted 26/12/2020 at 19:39:15
But, based on my own more realistic observations, I expect a tough night for him. However, I think he has enough about him to put in a performance. Good luck to him, he demanded an opportunity. Here it is.
9 Posted 26/12/2020 at 19:51:35
10 Posted 26/12/2020 at 19:53:45
1-0 down with 20 to go throw him on !
3-0 up with 20 to go throw him on!
11 Posted 26/12/2020 at 19:54:09
12 Posted 26/12/2020 at 19:55:25
13 Posted 26/12/2020 at 19:56:43
Imagine if two goalkeepers got injured or one got sent off, the howls of protest would be heard all the way to Sheffield if our third goalkeeper was not on the bench.
15 Posted 26/12/2020 at 20:12:19
18 Posted 26/12/2020 at 20:44:59
19 Posted 26/12/2020 at 20:51:12
20 Posted 26/12/2020 at 20:51:25
Not convinced by the central midfield trio at all.
21 Posted 26/12/2020 at 20:53:12
22 Posted 26/12/2020 at 20:53:30
Well you've already posted that you reckon we'll get beat so why not watch Carry on Screaming. 👻
23 Posted 26/12/2020 at 20:53:54
24 Posted 26/12/2020 at 20:54:19
25 Posted 26/12/2020 at 20:57:08
26 Posted 26/12/2020 at 20:58:18
I'd have Holgate off for Coleman personally.
27 Posted 26/12/2020 at 20:59:27
28 Posted 26/12/2020 at 21:02:26
Just a matter of taking the chance(s) when it comes and not doing anything silly to hurt ourselves.
29 Posted 26/12/2020 at 21:02:40
30 Posted 26/12/2020 at 21:03:51
No one could have predicted that!!!
31 Posted 26/12/2020 at 21:14:42
32 Posted 26/12/2020 at 21:22:22
33 Posted 26/12/2020 at 21:25:03
Gordon was complete crap, running into dead ends, giving the ball away, going backwards not forwards. You can't wish him into being a star, he's just not very good.
34 Posted 26/12/2020 at 21:30:57
Am I watching Morecambe and Wise ?
35 Posted 26/12/2020 at 21:37:15
Hurray, our crap team have scored!
36 Posted 26/12/2020 at 21:41:07
37 Posted 26/12/2020 at 21:42:55
Not gleeful at all, wouldve liked him to do well. Just tired of people using his absence as a reason to criticize the “busted flush”. Conor McAleny did more in one brief appearance than Gordon has so far. No one hyped up Conor
38 Posted 26/12/2020 at 21:45:13
39 Posted 26/12/2020 at 21:45:23
41 Posted 26/12/2020 at 21:51:04
42 Posted 26/12/2020 at 21:54:37
43 Posted 26/12/2020 at 21:56:21
I thought Bernard was excellent. Gets a lot of shit on here but one of a limited number of technically creative players we have. His touch for the goal was superb.
We won.. but we need our better players back.
44 Posted 26/12/2020 at 21:57:12
Win under pressure to go 2nd ✅
Subs make decent impact✅
Sigurdsson winner ✅
Dont let team break run against us✅
Well done blues!!
46 Posted 26/12/2020 at 21:57:29
47 Posted 26/12/2020 at 21:58:39
48 Posted 26/12/2020 at 21:59:59
The goal was a thing of great beauty. Really well played by both Bernard and Doucoure and clinically finished by Siggy, who really put in a shift with graft and craft all game.
49 Posted 26/12/2020 at 22:00:32
50 Posted 26/12/2020 at 22:00:33
52 Posted 26/12/2020 at 22:01:23
Calvert-Lewin, great player but needs service. Gordon was dire... all those calling for him, give your head a wobble!
53 Posted 26/12/2020 at 22:01:33
The shining light today for me was Tom Davies. He was given a job to do (and that wasn't to be the creator of everything) and he stuck to it and didn't put a foot wrong.
Bernard changed the mode of transition from midfield to attack when he came on and gave just that little glimmer of creativity that we'd lacked all game.
Defensively okay, but going forward generally slow, lacklustre and really struggling to create.
Thankful for three points and second place though.
54 Posted 26/12/2020 at 22:02:32
55 Posted 26/12/2020 at 22:03:11
I didn't have the clock on my screen but did the official add time to added time again? As the last few minutes seemed to go on for ages.
Anyway, the one piece of quality that Everton produced earned them the points and we should be thankful for that, but we need a lot more than we saw tonight; however, the application and work-rate was there against stubborn if limited opponents.
56 Posted 26/12/2020 at 22:03:36
Superb Mr Ancelotti and the players that performed there tonight.
Starting to see some performances from Mina which is a huge boost. This flat back 4 really seems to suit us.
Gordon literally knocked on the door of one of the game's most decorated managers and demanded his chance. Got it tonight and did very little with it. Bernard replaced him and there was an instant and marked difference in quality. The goal was down to his sublime touch in the box. Thank you. 1-0.
Listen, Gordon is young and I genuinely think he has a chance. But it's a symptom of the common Evertonian that, when things aren't going well, the next academy prospect becomes the obvious answer that is not being selected. Someone on here mentioned Simms for the game tonight. I honestly shake my head with disbelief. Tonight was a game for character, grit and stand up and be counted.
Tom Davies is regularly and graphically slated on this website during and after almost every game. Well, tonight I thought he was excellent. He gave the ball away repeatedly at times but he was in the position to intercept and dominate on several occasions. Attitude as always, first class.
Well done Everton. Well done Mr Ancelotti. A world class manager at a great club.
57 Posted 26/12/2020 at 22:05:13
58 Posted 26/12/2020 at 22:06:27
59 Posted 26/12/2020 at 22:09:10
Once by Villa.
Once by Spurs.
Twice by Everton.
We're doing alright.
61 Posted 26/12/2020 at 22:10:50
62 Posted 26/12/2020 at 22:11:55
63 Posted 26/12/2020 at 22:12:15
64 Posted 26/12/2020 at 22:12:17
65 Posted 26/12/2020 at 22:12:36
In football as in life, you make your own luck.
Cant say that his lack of input was the result of poor play from his team mates. Bernard came on in the same position and did incredibly more during his time on the pitch.
66 Posted 26/12/2020 at 22:13:50
68 Posted 26/12/2020 at 22:15:20
69 Posted 26/12/2020 at 22:18:16
We are in good hands with Ancelotti.
71 Posted 26/12/2020 at 22:18:45
Filled a corner though.
72 Posted 26/12/2020 at 22:21:09
Fairs fair, he played well when he came on and contributed to our goal.
Bit of a shite performance but how many times have we seen the 'Big Clubs' win like this and bemoan the fact that we can't?
On we go.
73 Posted 26/12/2020 at 22:21:13
74 Posted 26/12/2020 at 22:24:43
Hate to say it, but we looked so much better when Bernard came on. I'll attribute that more to Bernard being somewhat overlooked this season, rather than Gordon squandering his opportunity though.
Also pleased for Siggy. He's a player who has the quality to produce that one goal that proves the difference between a win and a draw, but it's been way too long since we've gotten to see it.
75 Posted 26/12/2020 at 22:28:12
Fine, mistake-free efforts by Davies and Iwobi today. Mina was particularly huge down the stretch, looked exhausted and I would expect to see him rested for Monday. Bernard made up for his poor showing off the bench Wednesday with some elegant touches today, Doucoure came up with a couple of big plays, and Siggy's finish was as composed as you could ask for.
We are 2nd. Well done.
77 Posted 26/12/2020 at 22:32:15
78 Posted 26/12/2020 at 22:34:11
Half of our outfield players, all of them starters in a fully fit squad, missing from starting and we are in 2nd position.
What's not to like?
79 Posted 26/12/2020 at 22:36:38
80 Posted 26/12/2020 at 22:37:05
81 Posted 26/12/2020 at 22:37:36
I'm honestly befuddled at what some people were expecting? The Live Forum was replete with, "We're playing shite" or, "We're awful" et al, that type of thing.
It was freezing, pissing down rain, gale-force winds, and we have a slew of injuries! This is why players like Tom Davies, Bernard, Sigurdsson, Gordon, etc. are valuable. They stepped it up and did right by the team, giving their all, selflessly as they're not "starters", when we had the need.
It's a team game. It was ugly, but we got what we needed and everyone pitched in to get a result.
82 Posted 26/12/2020 at 22:37:49
83 Posted 26/12/2020 at 22:37:55
84 Posted 26/12/2020 at 22:39:31
85 Posted 26/12/2020 at 22:39:33
Be interesting see the team for Man City. Calvert-Lewin, Doucouré and Mina must be in need of a rest.
86 Posted 26/12/2020 at 22:40:22
87 Posted 26/12/2020 at 22:41:43
88 Posted 26/12/2020 at 22:41:54
We are lacking something from an attacking point of view with Digne and James missing and that's to be expected but we seem to have gained something defensively. We are very hard to break down and score past now.
As is obvious from my posts on here, I'm not Tom Davies's biggest fan, not because I dislike him, I just don't think he's consistently good enough to be in our squad, let alone first 11. I do have to say though, that tonight, he was head and shoulders the best player on pitch until he had to come off. He needs to watch tonight's performance back and study it. That's what type of midfielder he is. He sat, he's showed for the ball and was always available and he was calm on the ball, he took in his surroundings and made us tick. Well done young man, more games like that and he could absolutely play in our midfield but he needs to show in consistently.
Special mention too for Gylfi. Not just for the winner, which was a sublime move and finish, but for his overall game. He worked his arse off and never stopped running. Also Michael Keane, absolute Rock. Mina as well.
Well done Carlo and well done Everton. 2nd in the league at Christmas. Brilliant.
90 Posted 26/12/2020 at 22:43:04
I thought he did okay too. Average. Steady enough.
But he's the one knocking on the door of the manager.
Shown me nothing tonight to suggest he should be starting. That's not to say I don't like him. I do. I think he'll have a career. But, every time we play bad, so many contributors on here start telling me that he's the next big thing and that Carlo can't see it. It annoys me.
91 Posted 26/12/2020 at 22:43:19
92 Posted 26/12/2020 at 22:46:19
We have Digne, Richarlison, Allan, James Rodriguez, and Gbamin to come back hopefully in the next few weeks. The squad will be looking strong. With that quality coming back fresh and fighting for their places, we can mount a big push for the second half of the season.
93 Posted 26/12/2020 at 22:48:28
Surprisingly we won. It was not a vintage performance but, at this stage of the season, it is all about grinding out the points not playing silky football. Calvert-Lewin, Davies, Sigurdsson, Iwobi, Doucouré, Bernard plus all of the back line contributed to a solid defensive display. Well done to all of them.
94 Posted 26/12/2020 at 22:48:32
I wanted to see Gordon play and he struggled to get into the game, it was a tough one for him so I shalln't be judging him on it.
95 Posted 26/12/2020 at 22:49:23
That's the most spot on and concise comment I've read from you.
Well said man! Cheers!
Julian Exshaw, wherever you are -
The LF shat (past tense of shit) out on me after you'd commented, "I've murdered a couple of them." Hilarious way to phrase throwing back a few pops. Cheers.
96 Posted 26/12/2020 at 22:49:35
The manager is doing his job. Them four defenders are giving us something to build on every week.
The board have to find ways to do their job now and find more quality for the manager to keep us up there.
97 Posted 26/12/2020 at 22:49:56
We need much better from the full-backs and wide men going forward though. And Sigurdsson, despite the quality he showed when he scored, remains the invisible man. Absolutely zero link up play with Calvert-Lewin again.
I hope Carlo can get them working on the training ground how to build attacks. We seem solid in defence at the moment. But our attacking play consists of going side to side and then back to centre mid. The only break in this pattern is when Pickford hoofs it aimlessly upfield.
Amazingly, we are second anyway! Happy days!
98 Posted 26/12/2020 at 22:50:56
99 Posted 26/12/2020 at 22:51:44
Typical negative attitude and lack of ambition!
100 Posted 26/12/2020 at 22:55:15
But nah, we're shite.
101 Posted 26/12/2020 at 22:58:35
Apart from the first win when the standard self-justification shout rings out: "I thought the manager got his tactics spot on today."
102 Posted 26/12/2020 at 22:58:58
Not free-flowing football in any way but a precious win. Bit of class for the goal. Well done, Tom Davies.
Now on to the next one. One at a time...
103 Posted 26/12/2020 at 23:02:09
Everybody remembers Peter Reid's vain efforts to catch Maradonna in 1986, but I can't help thinking that Sigurdsson couldn't currently catch the aging pop-star, Madonna, if she made a dash for it. However, he took his goal really well and he has skills but unfortunately, the physicality of the Premier League seems to be beyond him in most games.
104 Posted 26/12/2020 at 23:02:20
One Year One, on, and Everton are second in the EPL.
The same football rules, COVID rules, apply across, the globe.
Tonight, was a massive win, for EFC.
Evertonians, thats, a good performance, and better will come, but patience and belief is needed.
NB Mr Ed, is starting to show, consistently, his beliefs, excuses, every week, for ant game, the RS, struggled or didnt win.
Evertonians, you know, and will know.
Time and patience, lifes virtues, but essentials, to progress?
On the right track. 👍👌..
Id say yes, as this is the best form season, Everton, have had, since 1986/87.
If any one has facts to differ, then, speak up..Thats x2 x4 win b2b, winblocks.
“Whats Our Name?”
105 Posted 26/12/2020 at 23:02:29
I thought the manager got his tactics spot on today! 😜
106 Posted 26/12/2020 at 23:03:04
107 Posted 26/12/2020 at 23:03:46
Tough for a young lad like Gordon to make his mark when the left back checks back all of the time but he will learn from the experience. Bernard drifted inside immediately and showed a bit more composure and experience.
Thought Davies played very well though I would have liked to see him move the ball quicker.
We started the game with 2 goal threats in Calvert-Lewin and Sigurdsson, luckily enough our one bit of quality produced the goal.
We are 2nd without 4 of our starting 11. The league is stupidly tight this year. A European place is up for grabs with any additional quality added in January.
I hope Ancelotti doesn't make too many changes against Man City.
108 Posted 26/12/2020 at 23:03:47
That was all compounded by an additional 5½ minutes. Can anyone explain where that extra time came from?
I see he is from Nottinghamshire and wonder if there is any allegiance.
Anyway we got the three points and we are 2nd in the Premier League with a string of top players to come back from injury.
The future is brighter than at any time in the last few years.
109 Posted 26/12/2020 at 23:04:13
I thought Davies was very impressive, showed for the ball and mostly used it pretty well. Doucouré's running was gob-smacking and Gylfi's work rate was not far behind.
Gordon was a bit of a disappointment. Never quite seems confident enough to run at his man and try to make something happen. By contrast, Iwobi tried a few times and, though haphazard, looked the most likely to make something out of nothing.
Playing centre-backs at full-back might work against the good teams where you want to keep solid and hit on the counter but it's not great when you have more of the ball and the onus is on us to create. Godfrey was better than Holgate but neither will add much offensively when we need to open teams up.
2nd on Boxing Day. Brilliant. I had real doubts about us after the Burnley match, when we seemed to be shipping goals all over the place but we have tightened up considerably since then. Is it possible that injuries to Rodriguez, Coleman and Digne have helped to that end? Maybe. But, either way, much credit due to Ancelotti and the team for making it a much more enjoyable Xmas for Everton fans.
110 Posted 26/12/2020 at 23:05:09
Yes, there's an element of make it yourself. For most of the time though Gordon was rigidly in left wing position along the line, whether by instruction, I don't know. Bernard dropped back more and a little inside, roamed a bit.
I think Gordon will prosper more with a ball to run at rather than from stationary. Early days, can't dismiss him yet.
111 Posted 26/12/2020 at 23:05:54
* our last four wins have come without a goal by Dominic, who continues to play immensely
* we have conceded just 3 goals in the last 6 PL games
* we have 3 clean sheets in those 6 games
* only 4 teams have fewer goals against than the 19 we have conceded (City 12, Villa 13, Spurs 14 and Chelsea 17). City and Villa have played two fewer games than us, Spurs 1 fewer game)
* there are no fewer than EIGHT teams who, like Everton, have conceded 19 goals. Five of those 8 have played 1 or 2 games fewer than us
* we have the 6th most potent attack in the Premier League. Only 'them' 36, Chelsea and United both 30, Leicester 28 and Villa 27 have scored more than our 26
* only Leicester and United with 6 wins have won more on the road than Everton's 5 wins (equal with Villa)
* on home wins 'they' are the only ones with a 100% home record, seven. We are equal second with Chelsea and Southampton with 4 home wins
* we are equal first with both 'them' and Leicester with the most total wins, nine
Considering who is absent. Considering the fixture list and the quality of the opposition faced this month, I'll repeat what I posted earlier:
We're doing alright.
The rest of 'em are lucky we DID have a slump!
112 Posted 26/12/2020 at 23:06:02
He's won four on the bounce with quite a few injuries and people not being happy with the style is fine because it's their prerogative but, if you can't see a serial winner starting to add pragmatism to a football club that has stopped existing to win, then that's something I hope we begin to understand in the future.
I'm aware that we need to win something but I'm also certain that we will have a lot more chance when everyone gets behind the team and the manager.
We lack craft, that's obvious to see, but, for a man like Ancellotti, I'm sure that will be the easiest part to add, and what he's trying to instill into our squad is the most important thing for this illustrious and common-sense manager.
113 Posted 26/12/2020 at 23:06:28
We're a team in transition; it will take time... but, with more transfer windows, it will improve. There's a lot more to come, I'm certain of it.
114 Posted 26/12/2020 at 23:07:24
Bernard deserves great credit. He's come on full of enthusiasm tonight and he was cool in the box when that ball dropped for the goal.
The defenders deserve great praise too. I have given a couple of them stick and against top level they are not great but, against the other 15 or 16 teams, they can hit a good standard.
At the moment, they are the ones giving us something to build on.
115 Posted 26/12/2020 at 23:13:42
Without Digne and Seamus, Carlo opted to keep his non-specialist full-backs in their own half which, while reducing our creativity considerably, meant Sheffield Utd – like Arsenal, Leicester and Chelsea before them – hardly got a sniff. A nice goal and a good win against a dreadful Sheffield United in terrible conditions.
MotM for me Tom Davies, but Bernard was excellent when he came on, as was Seamus, both of them pushing us on up front. Shame for Anthony Gordon, who was anonymous and then hooked early.
116 Posted 26/12/2020 at 23:14:39
117 Posted 26/12/2020 at 23:17:21
Tonight, that starting line-up was bereft of 5 of these key players from the line-up – Coleman, Digne, Allan, James and Richarlison – but we still won, and the team is 2nd. I was disappointed by what happened in the cup but, on a cold, wet night in Yorkshire, 4 changes, players possibly leg weary, we came through.
Now, strangely these injuries might have a positive long-term outcome. We now know that we can rely on certain players to come through, play out of position, and still do a decent job. Plus, usual non-starters are getting game time, which benefits the squad as a whole, with the knock-on effect of subs being used that might not even get a sniff. All this, whilst 2nd, and 5 'first-team players' to return.
Bernard looked particularly bright coming on. We have competition for a change, a number of systems at our disposal, plus knowing who can work well within given systems.
Davies was excellent, and I am one of those supporters who cannot understand the vitriol towards him at times. Works hard, unspectacular, and quite versatile – Alan Harper, anyone?
Then, we have a January window too.
Long term, quite hopeful, though being a 50-year-old Evertonian, I do not get too excited!
Man City with 2 days prep may be a bridge too far, maybe not, but we are going in the right direction as a club – on several fronts.
We have won ugly, pretty and practically this season – all within 15 league games! When did we last do that?
Oh – No Richarlison tonight – and we won!
118 Posted 26/12/2020 at 23:19:30
Still, it was a big call at the time, so fair play.
119 Posted 26/12/2020 at 23:21:37
Everton! Show the same approach and tune in, they can win, as Man City don't have the same mental steel from 2018.
That team tonight did a great job and gave a professional performance.
“What's Our Name?”
120 Posted 26/12/2020 at 23:23:24
Most of Everton's tactics seemed to be not to make a mistake, and to not allow Sheffield Utd to gain any momentum. It was not a game for the purists but one of those games that hard work became necessary for the points.
We realize that this game was won without some of our better players but the subs who came on did not let us down; it still showed we will need some more quality players to make up the squad.
The position in the league we are in at the moment makes nice reading but, to maintain a position in the top 4, it will take more quality players brought in during the January window. The other positive is it makes it more of a chance to qualify for a European competition.
It was difficult to say who was Man of the Match for Everton but, in my opinion, it should be the manager and all the team — who played as a team for the result.
121 Posted 26/12/2020 at 23:24:07
It's a long time since we've seen that from Everton.
122 Posted 26/12/2020 at 23:25:01
The manager's most crucial change was Bernard for Gordon. We needed something different to unlock them and Bernard done that; especially in the build-up to the goal.
Credit to the much-maligned Sigurdsson too. I've criticised of late but he's been great in recent matches.
Man of the Match for tonight was Mina; awesome and didn't put a foot wrong.
Second in the league with half of the first 11 missing. Not a bad place to be.
123 Posted 26/12/2020 at 23:25:01
124 Posted 26/12/2020 at 23:27:03
125 Posted 26/12/2020 at 23:32:28
126 Posted 26/12/2020 at 23:33:59
Doucouré was my MtM. He still had steam left for another match straight after.
127 Posted 26/12/2020 at 23:34:10
You can just imagine the outcry in the media if our neighbours were shorn of so many of their regulars for such a critical period, they'd probably be calling for the temporary suspension of the league until the players were fully recovered. Never mind, hope we continue to pick up points regularly and eventually they'll notice that we're up there on merit.
Arsenal were rubbish last week because they lost at Goodison, but today they are marvellous because they beat Chelsea.
128 Posted 26/12/2020 at 23:42:59
129 Posted 26/12/2020 at 23:43:01
Everton, are improving.
Now to beat Man City, but it can be done.
I sense there will be at leat 50k Evertonian spirits at Goodison Park on Monday night.
Game on, Everton, and feck Man City. Massive game, but take the positives from tonight.
130 Posted 26/12/2020 at 23:44:09
132 Posted 26/12/2020 at 23:50:16
133 Posted 26/12/2020 at 23:50:54
I thought it a strange observation because, time and again against Arsenal, the defence did just that and Tom transitioned the ball forward well. As they did again today. And Tom was excellent.
Any one else notice that Tom appears to have observed (and applied) Allan's 'sticking out butt' trick that the Brazilian uses to keep possession when closely pressed?
Another bonus of having better quality players around the young 'uns at Finch Farm to learn off, perhaps?
134 Posted 26/12/2020 at 23:52:00
I can only echo those sentiments. Tonight the 14 players involved only included 2 of Ancelotti's signings; thus, he is getting a tune out of the squad he inherited to a large degree: a squad that has massively underperformed previous to his appointment. I don't think there is much more that you can realistically ask for!
135 Posted 26/12/2020 at 23:53:40
A massive result tonight for Everton.
136 Posted 26/12/2020 at 23:55:51
Ancelotti knows that it is necessary to pick points against these teams to keep up a challenge in the Premier League and achieve a Champions League place. Wenger knew this also and 14 years of Champions League football where achieved doing this.
No matter how lowly the opposition, a professional performance by Everton against Sheffield United was necessary based on this context. The fact they are bottom of the Premier League is irrelevant.
It was a very important game to win. Everton now have a squad with most players with playing time used their best.
137 Posted 26/12/2020 at 00:05:17
(1) Gordon is not yet the shining light that many fans have suggested he is. He should still be given chances because there may still be something there. He never seems happy.
(2) Bernard can be a frustrating player but, when he plays like he did today, he adds the "class" that we need.
(3) I did not understand the substitution of Keane unless he was being rested. His aerial presence was missed from the minute he was off.
(4) I know many will disagree but I do not think Holgate is a Premier League right-back. He tackles well but always belts the ball up the field, often to the opposition. He usually passes back because he is incapable of taking the ball to the byline. Seamus is 472% better, and showed that as soon as he came on.
(5) Both Gordon and Iwobi were only able to bring the ball back before attempting to cross. Calvert-Lewin, dynamite with his head, rarely got crosses that he could attack. This only happens when Digne and Coleman are supplying crosses from the lines.
(6) We did put in a tough display and fully deserved to win, but not enough class to indicate that we could regularly beat the top teams. We really do need more goals.
(7) Sheffield Utd are a very poor team. But teams still get 3 points when they beat them. We can be satisfied, but no more than that.
(8) Kudos to Pickford, Keane, Godfrey, Davies, Doucouré, Sigurdsson and, as always this season, Calvert-Lewin who deserves far better service.
138 Posted 27/12/2020 at 00:08:33
It's vital we don't have a bad window now. Isco, Milik, Alli — all possibilities in January. Anyone else know of any possible improvements we could pinch?
139 Posted 27/12/2020 at 00:15:42
With the teams around us dropping points and Sheffield Utd without a win, I had a bad feeling as the game wore on... but, despite the worst refereeing performance of the season, we won with a lovely goal.
Plenty to build on. Plenty to be positive about. Check the table and sleep well.
140 Posted 27/12/2020 at 00:21:49
141 Posted 27/12/2020 at 00:22:19
Sigurdsson put in a good performance - didn't stop running from the go to the final whistle. Looking much fitter now.
Lousy conditions. It seems to be pouring down at every game I've been watching for many weeks.
142 Posted 27/12/2020 at 00:25:02
143 Posted 27/12/2020 at 00:26:50
144 Posted 27/12/2020 at 00:31:17
I'm a bit confused but happy!
145 Posted 27/12/2020 at 00:31:31
Really good goal and we are 2nd in the league!!!
Obviously it'll all go very wrong soon... but WOW!!!
146 Posted 27/12/2020 at 00:33:58
We should also give credit to Davide here, I think he's worked with his father in tweaking systems, formations and style, coinciding in the recent upturn of results; it's not just Carlo that should be taking all the plaudits.
147 Posted 27/12/2020 at 00:45:38
We'd all moan and say 'Everton that'. 'Typical Everton', 'nothing ever changes' etc etc
But a real banana skin, away from home, in torrential weather, and we managed to get a 1-0 win, 4 on the trot, to move 2nd in the Premier League on Boxing Day.
All that without Digne, Richarlison, Allan, Coleman, and Rodriguez. That's 5 of our starting 11.
So that is something that is a huge change and not to be sniffed at.
There is much to improve, but we know that. We all know Gomes, Sigurdsson, Davies, and Bernard are limited, poor even. But we have serious potential to improve further.
Being top 4 in January could seriously encourage a couple more to join the Carlo revolution and we could, just maybe, challenge the top 4 come May.and beyond.
148 Posted 27/12/2020 at 00:48:11
I know the performances are not great but I think it's partly down to the manager wanting us to remain deep and compact as a defensive unit.
We have been caught cold on many occasions, conceding the first goal and having an uphill struggle to get back into games.
I don't want to criticise anyone but, on Gordon, he needs to build his strength up. He was being pushed and pulled but the referee gave him nothing.
Before that, he needs to be 'cuter' as many commentators say which is basically to get better at cheating to win free-kicks. He didn't impact the game but got poor service and did his role well. He has all the basic qualities to be a good player. He needs to keep progressing and become more confident and stronger.
There seemed to be clear instructions on full-backs to stay back and wingers to stay wide and help out defensively until the subs, who were given more freedom.
149 Posted 27/12/2020 at 00:49:25
I wonder if a certain Mr Hind is moonlighting for the BBC over the festive period? [Grins!]
150 Posted 27/12/2020 at 01:02:05
I'm wondering if Carlo is asking players not to do too much initially as we we can't rotate for top quality players to prevent further fatigue-based injuries. So we play just keep it tight for 70 minutes. Then really attack hard in the final 20-25 minutes where many Premier League matches have been decided.
It also reminds me vaguely of watching the Italian national team in tournaments. They always look like slow starters in the group stage, never sprinting, no-one's breaking sweat and no dribbling all over the place. They have this structured steady flowing pace of distributing the ball across the park. In the 2006 World Cup, suddenly they're in the final while everyone's concentrating on France.
In the end, less fatigue and less injuries with back-to-back fixtures might mean higher league placings, so that's one reason why we're not doing long sprints at the beginning of games. For example, I can't see Leeds keeping the long sprints up from minute one and getting a good league position if half the team are crawling in for half time soon.
If my observation is even half correct, then more evidence why we are lucky to have a top trophy-winning ex-professional player and manager at the helm to take us into the big time.
Oh yeah – stay around the top 4, and who knows who Carlo may attract to join us. Some exciting players at least, anyway.
151 Posted 27/12/2020 at 01:13:45
What the fuck does this guy have to do other than be our best player, working his bollox off for 4 games straight?
Davies had a solid game. Gomes looked tidy and Bernard made a difference. Neat and tidy, made the goal?
Jason @150, yes 1 game at a time. I don't care how the points come. But rather pleased we won as it added to my 80/1 accumulator!
Urggghj... back to my whiskey, it makes more sense. We could slip to 10th by next week in this crazy season. But, for now... we are 2nd, after 15 games. Enjoy it.
152 Posted 27/12/2020 at 02:14:51
In these conditions, even skilled players make mistakes but Everton did well after a slow start and showed patience until the fresh legs of the subs. came on. I expected a low scoring game knowing both teams lacked somewhat on offence, especially the Blades.
Good to see Gordon get a start but he really didn't show that he can be a force in this team.
Everton have won 4 in a row again but we all know the next game will be the most difficult.
I cannot understand though how Liverpool get an extra day to prepare for the Barcodes even after what will be a rather easy game against Albion tomorrow.
153 Posted 27/12/2020 at 02:19:40
Also, we could have tried to hold the ball more at the death but we opted to attack when there was an option. Still can't believe we are 2nd.
154 Posted 27/12/2020 at 02:24:08
January window: could we please get Eriksen and win the Premier League?
155 Posted 27/12/2020 at 02:37:20
The performance away at Spurs was fantastic. It set us up for the wins against West Brom, Brighton & Palace. We went into the derby with confidence that we might regain some pride by beating the neighbours. In hindsight, we were better in that game than we were in the previous 4.
Then followed a slump. Defeat to Newcastle being the most disappointing in my opinion. Somehow, Ancelotti has galvanised the squad and managed to change the mentality. I still think we need 4 or 5 better players than those at his disposal.
What he has done is turn Calvert-Lewin into a striker who is now recognised and feared by opponents. He has rejuvenated Iwobi. Keane is looking like the centre-half we hoped he would be. With the addition of Olsen, Pickford has genuine competition for a starting place.
Many (myself included) wanted Gordon to get his chance. Well... he got a start and he isn't Messi in waiting. That is not writing him off. Just that he isn't quite ready. Likewise, Gomes, Sigurdsson, Davies, Delph and others have been picked out as not good enough.
I don't believe Ancelotti would disagree. However, he can't buy a new squad in one transfer window. In the course of 12 months, he has, with the help of some quality additions, turned us into a team to be reckoned with. For the first time in many years, we have a squad that look genuine challengers to the Sky 4, 5 or 6.
The voodoo of not winning without Richarlison has been broken too. We are 4 games away from halftime in the season. If we are still in the top 4 places, I would suggest Moshiri has found the right man to lead us back to the top.
156 Posted 27/12/2020 at 02:49:47
Hopefully we can do something in January to boost the team whilst the key players get back to fitness. But so far we are getting on okay.
Next game will be tough. To get a point would be a result; a win would be dreamy. But should it be a loss, it will be important to keep the score down.
157 Posted 27/12/2020 at 03:01:10
He'll be better for the run.
Good on Gylfi. He's showing his quality and he's upped his workrate. There's always room in the squad for a guy of his ability.
158 Posted 27/12/2020 at 03:03:25
I reluctantly hoped that no more injuries and a scraped draw would be the best outcome. Especially when I also heard swirling wind and rain would replace another game devoid of fans.
Okay, it wasn't pretty, and the ones who have been poor in previous games all put a great deal more effort in. There were a lot fewer misplaced passes, and although attempts at their goal were very limited, the same could be said for our hosts.
Who, last season surprised a few in grinding out many wins with workmenlike performances, and finished above us if I recall, just missing out on a Europa League slot. Now they have 2 points from 15 games and a –18 Goal Difference... I would be getting worried if were a Blades fan, but feel a little for them too.
I think Chris Wilder is a decent honest manager, and I don't envy either the task that lies ahead to turn things round, or improve their position. Although it's mathematically possible at this stage, it seems highly unlikely where that spark is going to come from.
Getting back to our boys, I couldn't really fault any of our players, considering the wintry horrible conditions. I had hoped that Anthony (Flash) Gordon would have played a blinder and given Carlo a headache come next match, but he was largely anonymous and probably the Weakest Link on the night.
As Justin @ 148, mentioned he ('Flash') looks like he could do with bulking up a bit, and become more of an imposing figure. I also heard some time ago, that he sent for a Bullworker, to improve his strength, but had to send it back because he couldn't get the box open. :-)
Man City next, and not a lot of time to prepare, but if ever there was a good time to play them, it could be now, they still look decent but are not a patch on how they were 18 months ago.
159 Posted 27/12/2020 at 03:09:31
Man City is a different animal but one that we can take down with the grit this team has. We just have to be patient and focus on eliminating the dangerous passes through the channels and those pinpoint passes out wide. We can do this.
With this said, we need some help in January, don't we? A wide player and a creative midfielder would make a big difference. I think we might be able to hold off until the summer for a right-back and another striker unless we can poach a few goodies.
I can sleep happy at least! Very happy to be talking trash to people-representing the best club in the world!
160 Posted 27/12/2020 at 03:57:54
I read this is the first time since 1986-87 we have won four in a row twice. Do my childhood memories deceive me or did we not also have a three-game losing streak in September or October that season versus Arsenal, Spurs and West Ham? Before rebounding?
I'm asking based purely on memory — no cheating. But anyone remember?
161 Posted 27/12/2020 at 04:37:39
I thought Tom Davies was the Man of the Match – but Doucouré came close.
I have been very disappointed with Gomes and Bernard because they have quality which they showed when they came on.
Sigurdsson seems to have found his goalscoring touch – can he chip in another 10 this season? He is certainly fighting for his place.
I love Seamus but leave the back four alone, Carlo.
I had a look at the ages of our current crop:-
Subs not Used:
Plenty to be encouraged about there.
162 Posted 27/12/2020 at 04:59:28
Also, we're not a patch on how we were 18 months ago either.
Let battle commence,
163 Posted 27/12/2020 at 05:19:31
Patrick @ 55, Terry @ 61 and Jay @133.
Really shitty conditions so don't expect classic football. Refereeing very poor on the whole but not 100%. Hoping Gordon would impress but perhaps the wrong game to reintroduce him as he was regularly left inside boxes with no pass available and very few chances to run at the opposition. Conditions didn't help.
Davies was the stand-out for me in this game and I was surprised by this. Yes, Jay, he has certainly learned that trick from Allan.
Sigurdsson has ran his arse off in the last 4 games and this one was no exception. Topped it off with a well-taken goal and, guys and gals, wasn't this a peach of a team goal??
On to the Man City game and the need to rest some players. Hmmm? Let's do selection, taking into account availability and needs to rest. I'll start the selection game with the following:
Either Pickford or Olsen
Coleman Holgate Keane Godfrey
Doucouré Sigurdsson Davies
Iwobi Calvert-Lewin Richarlison (if fit)
I'd switch sides for Iwobi and Richarlison occasionally.
Subs: Either Olsen or Pickford, Nkounkou, Gordon, Branthwaite, Simms, Bernard, Kenny, Gomes, Mina
164 Posted 27/12/2020 at 05:45:50
Gordon did nothing outstanding but, if that was the reason for subbing him, then he must have been unlucky that his number was pulled out of the bag as few others did much of note. For me, Tom Davies, always looking involved, was our best until he too was taken off, but he did look in some discomfort at the time.
After that Doucoure came to the fore and Calvert-Lewin showed a couple of exquisite touches without doing a lot more than pressing and chasing. Some of the substitutions seemed to have more to do with the upcoming Man City game rather than trying to have a positive effect on this game.
A win away and 2nd place in the Premier League but without sacrificing too much defensively... some way has to be found to get more players forward when attacking, and into scoring positions.
165 Posted 27/12/2020 at 05:57:00
Let's not over-criticise Gordon for a quiet game – we should be patient with him and we will get the rewards.
Richarlison will miss the Man City game as he is serving his concussion protocol, plus Ancelotti will rotate the team. So expect an unusual line-up with the fuller strength team back for the home game vs West Ham.
Here is my guess on the line-up (could be wrong!):
Coleman Holgate Mina Godfrey
Davies Doucouré Gomes
Iwobi Tosun Bernard.
166 Posted 27/12/2020 at 06:05:39
I love Seamus Coleman. But Id not touch that back four right now. We havent conceded a goal from open play in four straight league matches. Dont mess with that.
Bring Seamus on as a substitute when we need to focus on getting forward.
And Id say this, too about Seamus:
I cant think of a better Captain in my time than Seamus Coleman. He does everything a footballer should.
Conducts himself with dignity.
Plays the game at 100%.
Plays the game without drama.
Never once shied in the face of adversity.
Is a genuinely good person.
Hes Irish. 😉
The man simply makes me proud. Hes genuinely class, and he might be my favorite player of any team Ive ever been a fan of. There is this fella named Bobby Orr whod probably nip him in the favorite race for me, but my goodness do I simply love everything Seamus Coleman is, stands for, and represents.
I feel like Ive watched a kid from Sligo Rovers, bought for sixty grand, become the epitome of everything I could ever ask for from an Everton player.
I know that seems a contradiction, saying he should not start presently, but thats down to our back four playing well. And the great thing is, Seamus would probably agree, and when his number is called, he wont bitch, sulk, or complain. Hell just get out there and play his ass off for Everton, and lead us the way men should lead other men, by example.
167 Posted 27/12/2020 at 06:58:09
Bernard is an interesting player. He is one of our more talented footballers but struggles against well-organised sides. Against the lower-placed teams, he can really show his worth. This may seem like he's only good against bad teams, but Everton lack players who can expose weaknesses in sides and take advantage, and have done for a long time.
I watched the match live and then watched the extended highlights a few hours later and cannot for the life of me see why everyone is so hyped on Davies. He was better than he has been this season, but that really isn't setting the bar too highly. Not trying to have a dig but, if someone could explain with tangibility why he had such a great game, I'd appreciate it.
Gordon is an unfortunate case. The conditions were very shit for a pacey winger trying to make yards, so we can't judge him too harshly. However, he won't be afforded too many absent nights if he's literally knocking on the manager's door at 19.
168 Posted 27/12/2020 at 07:07:33
This was never going to be a scintillating match – given the conditions, the injuries, the fixture congestion and the overall circumstances, it was always going to be a slog, and a test of character... one that we ultimately passed, in a way we almost certainly would not have in seasons past.
I mean, people keep saying "We miss James, and Richarlison, and Digne, and Allan" and I'm like "Well... yeah?" Of course we're better off when we have our full-strength squad. But oftentimes you just have to make do with what you have. It is what it is.
169 Posted 27/12/2020 at 07:18:31
Okay, the football is not great; however, is it not the sign of a great team to win when they are playing badly?
We are 2nd in the Premier League at Christmas, for the first time in a very very long time; embrace where we are, look at who we have injured; more importantly, enjoy the ride and believe in Carlo Magnifico.
The blue half of Merseyside have been reborn again; enjoy and back the boys, back Carlo, and kill the virus?
170 Posted 27/12/2020 at 07:30:29
I agree, this is beginning to look like the side Davey Moyes took to 4th place. No frills, just a group of players focusing on the job they have each been given. Huge pat on the back for Mr Ancelotti – and son.
Moyes was fantastic in the early days, before he forged his unholy alliance with Kenwright and started talking of glass ceilings and became The Ginger Twat. He amazed by leading his relegation favourites to Champions League qualification.
I think this team can do the same. It has all the same qualities, only with better players. Whilst others are floundering, we are quietly going about our business.
If we can get Champions League qualification, you would expect Moshiri, Ancelotti and Brands to be a tad more ambitious than Kenwright was last time around.
Tom Davies for me was easily MotM. Just as he was against Arsenal. No, he doesn't go tackling everything in sight, but he is maturing by the minute. His positioning, reading and discipline have been remarkable for a player his age.
Davies has had to do it the hard way. Like Calvert-Lewin and Holgate before him, he has had to climb from under the boo-boys telling him he will never be better than Championship quality. He has had to ignore the abuse and show his critics the finger in order to get here; not only is he standing in for a player we "couldn't win without", but he is standing in and winning.
Anthony Gordon has been left out in the cold for so long, he was never going to come back firing on all cylinders. He looks like he will be the next target. Fortunately for young Gordon, he now has three role models to look to when the going gets tough.
Leave those kids alone.
171 Posted 27/12/2020 at 07:37:09
I agree with your love of Seamus! One of the best ever! Came back from a horrific injury and performs as if it never happened. Don't we love that!??
172 Posted 27/12/2020 at 07:38:19
Difficult conditions last night make a mockery of anyone suggesting we should have been playing fast flowing football. We were efficient without looking in trouble really; these 1-0 away wins on a cold wet night really make a difference at the end of the season. We have 4 of our 5 best players out injured with Seamus and Gbamin to come back too, attractive football will come back again this season I'm sure.
Calvert-Lewin feeding off scraps but boy does he look effective, he holds it up so well. I'd like to give a shout out to Gomes who, like Bernard, looked fresh and energetic when he came on – worth saying, I thought, as he has been getting a lot of stick, plus he has nice hair.
173 Posted 27/12/2020 at 08:16:09
174 Posted 27/12/2020 at 08:19:55
Seamus has been tremendous for us and is a genuine top person as well as a talented footballer. But right now, that back four is very settled. I would only change it when Digne comes back.
Still Mina for me last night. Tom played well and is getting deserved recognition, but as soon as Allan is back, he makes way.
Need to see more of Gordan but again, looks like back-up for me and that is back-up for the squad we have now. Once we add more better-quality players, I'm not sure.
Still well placed and on target for a European place. As we were after the draw at Burnley.
175 Posted 27/12/2020 at 08:34:14
176 Posted 27/12/2020 at 08:48:48
It upsets me that 86-87 is an "old timers" question. But I guess that's the reality!!!
I cheated and looked it up and yes we did lose 3 on the bounce. That season we also had 2 runs of not just being unbeaten but winning 6 and 7 consecutive games as we took the title back. Not as swashbuckling as the 84-85 team, who themselves got off to a terrible start, losing 4-1 at home to Tottenham on the opening day followed by a 3-2 defeat to West Brom.
Good job we didn't judge the season on a game by game basis in October back then!
177 Posted 27/12/2020 at 09:01:34
Usually we'd lose at a Sheff Utd and let a Brewster break his scoring duck against us
When the pressure is on and we've just lost a big game we'd lose this too
As happy as I am about the win and being 2nd, I'm just as happy about our mentality to win this match. We desperately need a couple of attacking reinforcements to support Calvert-Lewin but I'm amazed at how Carlo is getting a tune out of players like:
Mina (let's be honest: he's been mainly solid)
Sigurdsson (he's actually looking half decent)
Davies (best game I've seen him playing for 2-3 years)
Iwobi (amazing approach play can he sort his final ball)
Bernard and Gomes (both have been utterly ineffective for so long but they changed the game yesterday)
So the results are impressive, the improvement stark and we are changing our mentality long may it continue!
178 Posted 27/12/2020 at 09:06:05
As always, I admire your backing of the young lads. I don't always agree with the way you do it but your support of Tom has never floundered. Whether he has or will ever have "what it takes" to step up a gear again, I simply don't know... but your reminders for us to give these lads breathing space on this forum is helpful in my view.
I'm trying to stop making predictions about 'anything Everton' lately; to me, we are simply an unfathomable, basket case of a club who I cannot predict. We seem to win the games I think we will lose and lose the ones I think we will win.
Just when a player looks finished (Pickford, Iowbi et al) they start performing consistently. Just when we seem to build someone up to be the next big thing, they disappear and don't move on. You've got to love our club. :)
179 Posted 27/12/2020 at 09:07:35
180 Posted 27/12/2020 at 09:14:11
I think Davies has had his best two games in a long time. Maybe with a run in the side, he can establish himself as a starter, we will see. I always think it's hard for a player in their late teens or early 20s to learn their craft in such an unforgiving environment as the central midfield of the Premier League. I think that's why so many go out on loan to the Championship.
But, in his case, he has 100+ games under his belt so this season does feel like now or never. It's also true that homegrown players get more stick than others. I think fans have greater expectations of them. Gordon could be just another in a long line. Ossie and Hibbo anyone?
181 Posted 27/12/2020 at 09:14:12
I've read through the comments, and apart the from first ones predicting defeat, all the post-match comments have been I find enthused and really quite happy with the game. Not the 'negativity' that many refer which I think is more assumed than actually read.
I think Godfrey is looking a real player. I remember Lescott playing as full-back before forcing his way into his preferred position. He could be equally good.
Davies is looking much improved... his decision-making, short, quick passing, and positioning is much better than a year ago. He's also holding the ball much better. All round improvement and clearly putting the work in at Finch Farm.
Calvert-Lewin puts in another shift, leads from the front, and almost scored a worldy. If only that volley had gone in.
Mina too has recovered from his early season wobble and looks commanding.
Gordon will have learned a lot. We can't expect him to just waltz in and play like Messi. But he'll have learned how he needs to battle and run to make it. Patience is needed. I'm sure Carlo is working with him greatly in the training field.
We have much to be content with. And much to improve still. An alternative or support to Calvert-Lewin is greatly needed, and maybe that's enough if Davies and Sigurdsson continue their improvement.
Another winger would be great, with Bernard moving on.
182 Posted 27/12/2020 at 09:17:38
I am not a Sigurdsson hater but I have frequently called for us to sell him. Yes, he has upped his game and I am pleased for him but we should be looking to cash in.
My main issue has been how (no fault of his own) his purchase has hamstrung us for years. This was tolerable for me when he is pitching in with goals and assists; when he is not, he offers little to us.
I for one thought he was finished and I make no apology for having this view (he has probably been the one player I have lambasted the most – he represents the ill-fated Koeman & Walsh splurge for me which, to be frank, may have coloured my view). I reiterate I am happy for his performances to turn my head and change my view. He has some way to go yet before I will be convinced.
183 Posted 27/12/2020 at 09:18:11
I sometimes think that the media handling of Everton influences a proportion of our fan base to think in line with the images of Everton that the media promote. Not entirely unexpected, since many folks are easily swayed by media bias. But such folks should make more of an effort to be less gullible.
184 Posted 27/12/2020 at 09:25:23
Conditions were terrible last night but, fair play, the Blues dug it out in a game that was devoid of good play.
The squad still lacks depth. The Man Utd game proved that our bench has nothing if we go a goal down. I doubt we will sign anyone unless we can shift some players.
But enjoy it, Blues, we deserve this.
185 Posted 27/12/2020 at 09:36:17
Like a lot, I've criticised Gomes and Bernard and groaned when they came on, thinking what will they do on a stormy night in Sheffield? Well, the pair of them were excellent and turned the game our way in the last half-hour. Well done to the whole squad last night.
186 Posted 27/12/2020 at 09:43:43
Yes, I am always happy to admit it when I've got things wrong, I am happy for players to show me they are up for it: Mina, Pickford, Sigurdsson and Iwobi have all upped their game much to my delight.
Why we love or dislike players is not always rational, as mentioned above, the unnecessary and expensive purchase of Sigurdsson has always represented something else to me, a gross mismanagement of team planning, building and finances.
Irrationally I don't think I ever forgave him for this or that he became our 4th No 10 that season whilst we showed the door to our best No 10 (Barkley). Not his fault, nor was the juicy contract we offered, it has held us back for years – trying to fit him in and justify the outlay.
187 Posted 27/12/2020 at 09:44:11
Coleman and Digne can supply Calvert-Lewin and will no doubt be reintroduced when fit and maybe Calvert-Lewin will get back scoring.
Personally as long as we are winning is all that counts. We won't see much of the ball against Man City, whoever we play, so let's keep it as is, however, Ancelotti needs to change to a more attacking option if needed.
188 Posted 27/12/2020 at 09:50:37
It calls for pragmatism. I'm glad we don't have Arteta as I imagine him being stubborn and trying to play our way through the injury crisis.
Without 4 of our best players, I really think we are over-achieving. Any club in the league would be struggling without 4 of their top players.
I actually feel with the discipline, concentration levels, and actual effort, the team are actually personifying Nil Satis Nisi Optimum. They are giving their all, what we are witnessing is the lack of quality on the ball and pace but they are making up for that in effort.
Worried about tomorrow and talk of rotation but I'd have taken the points haul from the last 5 games without a shadow of a doubt.
189 Posted 27/12/2020 at 09:55:28
Talking of penalties, why wasn't McBurnie booked for his blatant dive that was checked by VAR? Why is Niasse still only one of 2 players to be banned retrospectively for diving?
Pisses me off that week after week other players and clubs get away with it.
190 Posted 27/12/2020 at 10:00:25
The negativity does disappear (along with the posters) as another win nears the end but there are far too many at the start of games – even before we've kicked off. Some people come across as actually wanting us to lose so they can appear more knowledgable than Carlo! UTFT!
191 Posted 27/12/2020 at 10:02:39
Liverpool have one more game to play this year, but I'm sure Virgil van Dijk will be mentioned many times by some of these very biased condescending bastards who probably would have been fuming if Calvert-Lewin's wonderful effort had gone in!
192 Posted 27/12/2020 at 10:08:30
My explanation – he seemed to make space for himself nearly every time he received the ball.
193 Posted 27/12/2020 at 10:28:50
194 Posted 27/12/2020 at 10:30:46
That was me re Tom Davies. He was very good last night. Taking the ball off the back four as a deep-lying centre-mid should always be available to do when the centre-halves split.
If you think he played a similar game against Arsenal, I can only suggest you watch the Arsenal game again.
195 Posted 27/12/2020 at 10:30:59
It's gonna be interesting to watch how he goes and if he can grab that 3rd spot in midfield, which I think Sigurdsson is beating him to at present.
Did any anyone else hear Siggy say “Carlo asked me to play defensive midfield prior to the goal last night so he wasn't sure why I popped up where I did.” Lucky for us he did but was Carlo happy with the point?
196 Posted 27/12/2020 at 10:38:48
Holgate Mina Keane Godfrey
Iwobi Sigurdsson Gordon
Another big effort, lads!!
(Take Mina, Doucouré and Calvert-Lewin off when we're 3-up!!)
197 Posted 27/12/2020 at 10:46:07
I spent a long time sticking up for him, thinking he was one of those players you would have on the pitch because he can produce a moment of magic. Admittedly I too had finally given up on him, but the last few games, he has found himself again. Probably as he's in the Number 10 position rather than a more unnatural wide or deep-lying midfield position. It's great that Carlo now has difficult decisions to make when James is back.
I too have no care for the media, Tony, especially when it comes to football. It just always intrigues me how we are played down or ignored (which is actually fine by me!). It goes back to my childhood '80s when even then, we were not considered fashionable. They so wanted Tottenham to win the league in 1985!!
198 Posted 27/12/2020 at 10:49:18
Shocked at how well James was playing from the off and how we suddenly had a new young top goal scorer. So mch in football and other sports is in the mind and perception of yourself or your team. That's why sports psychology is so big nowadays.
It always amazes me how many fans tend to overreact to a defeat or even to a win. How often in a game does your team dominate, create loads of chances, play really well... but then the other team gets a freak or lucky goal to win? How do we react?
Not many of us stay calm and say that was just bad luck or an off-day. No, no. We can't see that – had one of the many chances we created early in the game went in – then the other team could have collapsed and we'd won 5-0. Perception. Tendency to let the result dictate how we describe the game.
Imagine if we hadn't've got that goal last night. Say Brewster got a tap-in from a Pickford mistake but everything else was the same. What would this board be saying today?
Would we still be praising Davies or Mina? Would we be saying Carlo hasn't a clue playing 4 centre-backs? Would we be saying "Give Gordon more time" or "Sigurdsson is a great captain"? Would we fuck!!!
Yet, when we watch a poor game, away from home, against a side with 2 points, on a horrible stormy night, and create very little... but we win and go second, then we put back on our blue rose-tinted glasses and see it all so differently.
All I'm saying, lads, is I'm delighted with Carlo and the way we've been forced to play defensively now. First four games were exciting to watch and scoring for fun but we were conceding like mad.
I think the pace and youthful hunger from Godfrey and Holgate really compliments Keane and Mina who can both be slow if exposed. Doucouré looks a much better player now Allan is out of his way. But, if we can get our full team back and Richarlison starts scoring again, we could really finish top 4.
Happy New Year, fellow Blues.
199 Posted 27/12/2020 at 10:53:59
Because it was outside the box.
200 Posted 27/12/2020 at 10:57:27
It has opened a superb site, with views across the fields and towards the coast. It looks like an impressive edifice will be built there, but at present there is just a large, muddy excavation. It doesnt look pretty but the groundworks are essential before the new property can start to appear.
Its a bit like what Carlo is doing at Everton.
201 Posted 27/12/2020 at 11:02:38
The Man City game plan will unfortunately be the same as the Man Utd one for now until we get some big players back.
I love Carlo's mentality as much as his ability. We have missed that for decades.
202 Posted 27/12/2020 at 11:13:33
I remember Clive Tyldesley in his tape summary for our 86-87 win saying 'and with the loss against X, that made it three losses in a row' by way of 'but bounce back we surely did'. Can't remember which teams beat us, but I think the mighty Charlton might have been one. I remember some no mark for them got a hat-trick.
203 Posted 27/12/2020 at 11:19:35
I looked at it in real-time, thought 'that's a pen isn't' it?. then saw the slow mo, and I thought, "Yup. Calm down, André – that's definitely going to be given." And then, nothing.
Then, after the game, we go to the two Yorkie summarisers complaining how Sheff Utd should have been playing against ten men, they show the penalty again, and Brown "It's a tough one."
204 Posted 27/12/2020 at 11:24:44
205 Posted 27/12/2020 at 11:29:50
206 Posted 27/12/2020 at 11:31:09
I watched the replay of the game here in the morning without knowing the result and especially made it a point to focus on Davies and Gordon.
Davies had an excellent game, in my opinion, and I had him down as my MotM. He was the outball from defence, and was very calm and assured in protecting the ball – I don't recall one instance when he gave away the ball near our D.
He was the fulcrum of the midfield yesterday. One or two of his through passes to Sigurdsson or Calvert-Lewin did not come off, but I thought Sigurdsson was much more wasteful.
It was as good a defensive midfield performance as any I have seen from an Everton shirt. Do you remember any shot from Sheffield United from outside the box? And then think back to the goals that we were regularly conceding from the edge of the box – Diangana's goal for West Brom, Bissouma's goal for Brighton, Rafinha's goal for Leeds and others.
Davies played a fantastic 70 mins for us, make no mistake about it. Will he be as effective against the much more tricky Man City attackers? We will see.
Those saying Gordon did not show anything to justify knocking on Carlo's door demanding he be given a starting place:
Firstly, it is a myth that he demanded to know why he was not being selected by Carlo. Rather, the truth is that Gordon wanted to know from Carlo what he (Gordon) needed to do, to be considered for selection. Big difference.
Secondly, as others have speculated, probably Gordon was playing strictly to Carlo's instructions of providing protection to his full-back – Godfrey. And I thought as a double team, they were pretty effective in preventing easy crosses and quick break-aways down their flank.
You can see that Gordon's instinct is to cut inside, but he always checked himself and played the safer pass. I don't recall him giving away the ball in dangerous positions. Plus the abysmal playing conditions did not suit his style of wing play. I am quite sure that Carlo would have been quietly satisfied with his contribution.
Having said that, Sheffield United were quite poor – they are a hard-working side, but they desperately need to find 1 or 2 players of quality in the transfer window. I wish them well.
I quite like their manager, Chris Wilder. But how in the world they ended up paying £24 million to Liverpool for that useless Rhian Brewster beggars belief! I am more than convinced that the media helps their darlings by bigging up their ordinary players which helps them get outrageous fees for bang average players:
Dominic Solanke: £19 million
Jordan Ibe: £15 million
Rhian Brester: £24 million
I can't believe that Barca paid £142 million for Coutinho! What exactly has he achieved since he went there? I smell a scam – does anyone else feel the same?
207 Posted 27/12/2020 at 11:35:35
Godfrey's only 22 as well and may still need another year or so on little parts to his game. Iwobi just mainly whipping a nice cross in and almost there from Carlo's coaching team. If he watches De Bruyne, Baines and Digne like a box-set binge, that should give further ideas on how it's done.
Conclusion: Carlo plays young inexperienced players while also coaching them how to excel in their position.
Gordon may need another 2½ years, but will be a very good player if all he needs is just to fill out. With Nkounkou maybe needing a similar time to improve into a top pro. But Carlo will coach them into top effective players. Our young players are doing well.
Everyone has called it right that Gordon is not ready – not a criticism by anyone from the way I see it, just calling it as it is. More, that we are really invested and want to see him keep going and make it.
We can all see that Gordon can move up a few more levels, like Tom and Dom, and it's exciting to see another Academy graduate in the process of making it over the next couple of years.
208 Posted 27/12/2020 at 11:49:04
He is lucky he has stumbled onto a formation that is getting results but it won't last. He has inherited a good set of players, but has under-performed in getting a tune out of most of them.
209 Posted 27/12/2020 at 11:50:18
I think Sigurdsson is making that decision more difficult the way he is getting back to defend. The last two games he has been very energetic and digs in when we are under counter-attack. Not his biggest fan but fair play – he's fighting for his place and making a decent scrap of it.
210 Posted 27/12/2020 at 11:52:10
1. Sheffield United brought us down to their level.
2. They resorted to kicking lumps out of us for the last half an hour when we took control.
3. We were missing a lot of key players.
What character and resilience to keep going and win!
211 Posted 27/12/2020 at 11:54:39
I actually think we started too open vs Man Utd and too defensive vs Sheffield Utd.
When we opened it up yesterday, we were getting into their half more.
212 Posted 27/12/2020 at 12:00:12
Calvert-Lewin was bulldozed at one point and got nothing; he also got booked for God-knows what.
We will be second behind the "World Champions" no matter what results happen today. It sets us up for Man City who have no Jesus and a semi-fit Aguero. Let's hope at least one of our three wise men are fit.
213 Posted 27/12/2020 at 12:12:28
"I am really pleased because I found the right club, a nice club, a family club. I live in a nice area so, after one year, I can say I was lucky."
214 Posted 27/12/2020 at 12:18:26
We are the lucky ones to have a man and a manager of this calibre at our club.
215 Posted 27/12/2020 at 12:19:47
Earlier in the season, we were more attacking but that inevitably leaves you more open at the back... hence 5-2 vs West Brom and 4-2 against Brighton.
Now we are more resolute and controlled, but are winning by the odd goal. I think Dominic in particular is missing his supply chain via Digne & James.
Nice problem to have... and it will be nice to be able to have both options available.
216 Posted 27/12/2020 at 12:32:06
I'll take dour 1-0 wins but realistically know that you can't go through a season like that. A bit of bad luck, a lack of good luck, or just an off day and you're stuffed.
It's up to Carlo to find the right mix. I'm sure he's up to the job, even if he has been a bit experimental at times.
217 Posted 27/12/2020 at 12:46:53
Indeed it was Charlton Athletic who were the third of the clubs to defeat Everton in 1986-87. Scottish International (U21s) Jim Melrose scored a hat-trick, the second time he had accomplished that feat against Everton as he had also hit a hat-trick in 1982 for Coventry in the 4-2 defeat of Everton at Highfield Road. He also scored his sides consolation goal in a 2-1 defeat against Everton in the return fixture for Charlton at Goodison in March 1987.
218 Posted 27/12/2020 at 12:49:30
The transformation of this lad is unbelievable. In my opinion, he is the best target man in the Premier League. Along with the goals tally he is bound to be hunted by the top clubs in Europe.
219 Posted 27/12/2020 at 12:49:38
'If you think he played a similar game against Arsenal I can only suggest you watch the Arsenal game again.'
Maybe you should take your own counsel, Thomas.
As I do every Everton game, I already have watched the Arsenal game back. Not just edited highlights. The entire game.
I like to do so to look for patterns of play by the team and individuals. To notice subtle nuanced plays or positioning I may have missed in a fast-moving play watching live. You have the luxury of being able to freeze or re-wind the game to better analyse these things.
For your claim that I found 'strange' to be true - that 'the defence doesn't seem to trust Tom Davies' - there needs to be evidence that passing out from defence to him is deliberately avoided and only taken as a last resort. There was no evidence v Arsenal. There was no evidence yesterday v The Blades.
Pickford, Keane and Mina regularly passed to our deepest lying midfielder just beyond the 'D' of our penalty area in both games. Tom was excellent in both games in his ball retention under pressure and moving the ball on sharply forward.
Roman @ 167 in this very thread is possibly representative on how some posters regard certain players, unable or unwilling to see any good in them.
When as Roman writes he needs someone to explain to him just how Tom played well yesterday then you kinda know that no manner of explaination will change his mind.
Opinions, eh Thomas? On this one, I'll trust my own eyes not yours.
220 Posted 27/12/2020 at 12:51:44
No, they didn't.
221 Posted 27/12/2020 at 12:53:48
You VVD prediction was spot on. Just been referred to at half time Leeds v Burnley when commenting on the penalty Pope gave away. "Need consistency, when you look at Pickford on VVD etc".
Just let it go!!
222 Posted 27/12/2020 at 12:54:34
223 Posted 27/12/2020 at 13:00:43
224 Posted 27/12/2020 at 13:06:33
It wasn't convincing but it was a win that for me, made me privately believe we were going to secure our second title in 3 seasons.
225 Posted 27/12/2020 at 13:07:37
Even if outside the box, we didn't get a free-kick. At best, it is a yellow card and free-kick.
226 Posted 27/12/2020 at 13:14:23
Seamus, Legend – Absolutely! Deserves a thread of its own that.
One of my favourite memories of recent years (so ignoring the 80s) was a rare away game for me with our fabulous travelling supporters. It was only Reading away in an early round of the League Cup but we had sold out nearly 5,000 seats.
Through the turnstiles into a massive throng with no thoughts of taking their seats early or watching the warm-up. All pies and lager. And raucously singing the Sixty Grand Seamus Coleman song. Brought a tear to my eye – just like your post.
And we won!
227 Posted 27/12/2020 at 13:16:04
Luckily we didn't need it this time but many times over the years we have lost points due to ineptitude of officiating.
228 Posted 27/12/2020 at 13:23:39
Sky pundits using their crystal ball have been debating the title chances of each side, usual contenders are discussed, someone says we haven't mentioned Spurs yet, and Gabby A whomever that is asks what about Everton?
230 Posted 27/12/2020 at 13:24:30
I'm not detracting from the deserved result or performance, but the player who scored the decisive goal would not have been on the pitch in a Premier League fixture and Man Utd would have played the game with 10 men for over half of the game.
Last Wednesday was a reminder of officials getting it wrong without having the option to review a situation. Now they have started using it as a friend rather than viewing it as a threat, VAR is generally getting it right most times, even when a decision goes against us.
Somewhat contradicting my gushing over VAR, however, that was a free-kick last night. Nothing will ever be 100% perfect, right?
231 Posted 27/12/2020 at 13:26:07
Glad to see you admitting you were totally wrong about the players you claimed were not good enough. Let's hope that this time around you are not totally wrong about the manager too.
You have spent a year bleating for everyone to give the manager time to prove he can build a team. Why don't you take your own advice?
This is the third match thread running you have looked to change the mood with your embarrassingly premature "I told you so"s.
I pity you, You simply can't just enjoy the wins. If Carlo proves all of his doubters wrong and gets us qualified for Champins League football, we will simply celebrate. You will feel cheated because you will think we didn't make daft-arsed excuses in support of his cock-ups when it was going badly.
Breaking news, Brian: Nobody will care what you think if Carlo does come good and we qualify. They will be too busy planning their European trips.
Life's so unfair... innit?
232 Posted 27/12/2020 at 13:29:57
It was, wasn't it?
233 Posted 27/12/2020 at 13:31:04
This seasn, I'll take Europa.
Champions League next season. Either way, come the summer, fingers crossed we're all on Expedia and Booking.com!!
234 Posted 27/12/2020 at 13:34:49
235 Posted 27/12/2020 at 13:45:55
If he stays free of injury then in 2/3 years he will be truly formidable. Fabulous to see.
236 Posted 27/12/2020 at 13:48:37
I really think VAR and the way it is being used is ruining football.
As regards to incompetent refs, I don't know if you're watching the dickhead doing the Leeds - Burnley game?
237 Posted 27/12/2020 at 13:50:20
It's panto season, so in response to your:
'No, they didn't'
I'll echo back:
'Oh yes they did!'
238 Posted 27/12/2020 at 14:17:00
1977 FA Cup semi-final, 1984 League Cup Final, Gary McAlistair's free-kick, Don Hutchinson's "goal" and Carragher manhandling Lescott to the ground.
It has worked perfectly for Rugby for decades so I don't get the suspicion. As I said, nothing will ever be 100% perfect, but if something helps get more decisions right than wrong, I'm good with that, even if it goes against our favour.
239 Posted 27/12/2020 at 14:21:51
Taking into account your status as the Grand Dame of ToffeeWeb, I won't bother.
Using your forensic analysis of Everton games: What is the major difference Ancelotti has brought to Tom's game, leading to the very good performance from him last night?
240 Posted 27/12/2020 at 14:27:21
For me, it was obvious; cut out the silly fouls and giving the ball away.
I would also suggest that competition is playing a part. With Allan and Doucouré recruited, and likely more inbound over the next 12 months, one or two players who were hitherto in their comfort zone are now looking over their shoulders and knowing that, when they do get an opportunity, they have to grasp it rather than going through the motions.
241 Posted 27/12/2020 at 14:42:21
In fact, he's always been a forward-thinking player in his passing, by instinct, but he has been badly inconsistent and inclined to retreat into his shell.
Let us hope he can maintain this form. It would be a massive bonus for us and due reward for a young player who seems to have considerable strength of character, as others have noted.
242 Posted 27/12/2020 at 14:49:41
Great to see him looking much brighter both in mind (decision making) and physically.
Just pull those socks up, Tom! As in literally, not 'work harder'.
243 Posted 27/12/2020 at 14:57:20
I honestly thought Brian was laying on the sarcasm thickly – not literally slagging off Carlo.
Irony is difficult on here – I tried it when the moaners were in full flow against Leicester and got mistaken for a miserable arse as well.
244 Posted 27/12/2020 at 14:58:13
Earlier on in this thread, I asked the question: “When was the last time we were in 2nd place on Boxing Day?” I really expected our dyed-in-the-wool fans and experts to tell me. So was a bit surprised I got the answer “sometime in the 80s”. So I tracked it down and it was Boxing Day 1984, when we beat Sunderland. We all know how that season ended!
So we are nowhere near as good as that team but it is a truly amazing team and manager performance to sit there for at least another day. Who knows what will happen tomorrow? Maybe Carlo's best version of how to defend Italian style might blunt Man City's formidable attack or they might not. Either way, no-one could have expected us to be in 2nd place today – just as no-one could have seen us be top after 5 games. So, for me, Carlo is the best thing to happen to us in 35 years!
245 Posted 27/12/2020 at 15:04:24
247 Posted 27/12/2020 at 15:08:47
Speaking to a blue while out walking the dog, who has been selected for the West Ham game, and he thinks it will be okay. Funnily enough, he told me it's the second time he's been selected in the ballot: he also got selected for the Chelsea game.
248 Posted 27/12/2020 at 15:14:04
Strewth! Having been successful in the ballot for the Chelsea game, I continued applying for subsequent games - not really thinking there was any chance! I'll keep applying (Upper Gwladys, S143 suits me!).
249 Posted 27/12/2020 at 15:16:49
Looking forward to it and hoping both Richarlison and James will be playing.
250 Posted 27/12/2020 at 15:19:36
Unlike you, I don't make suppositions that his defenders don't trust him so don't transition the ball through him when they most evidently do.
I see zero evidence of any hesitancy by any defender in any situation that they think: "Oh! It's Tom Davies. I don't trust him to receive, retain or pass on the ball, so I'll take another option." They can't afford such potentially fatal hesitancy in the position they play.
Ergo, Tom is trusted.
To reply to your specific question, what I see with my own eyes is that Tom is basically the same player that broke into the team at 17.
I've already written on Lyndon's match thread that Blues possibly need to refrain from holding too closely to preconceived notions they have about the team, individual players, and the manager.
Tom Davies is one such player such attitudes apply to.
People still trot out the tired old line that "he is living on the reputation of that goal v Man City four years ago."
This ignores that at 18 under Koeman once he broke into the team Tom was often selected ahead of the likes of Gueye and Schneiderlin on merit, overwhelmingly won the fans and players' young player of the year award AND the goal of the season for THAT goal v City.
Subsequently, he got less game time under Allardyce and Silva (who still made him captain on occassions). Without doubt, he has had poor games and poor moments in games. You have to accept that from young players.
But what you can definitely say about Tom is he is courageous and never hides. Courageous in how he attempts to play a telling ball forward rather than always opt for the safe back or sideways pass. Courageous in how he always shows for the ball. Courageous in how he competes and never steps back from an opponent.
He has good close control and the ability to get out of tight situations, very tidy short passing which helps put Everton on the front foot. Equally, that same control lets him down at times, the ball bounces off him and his competitiveness sees him give away cheap fouls in trying to retrieve the lost ball.
As Danny mentions, when called on this season, Tom has displayed more consistent ball retention and cut down on the clumsy fouls.
Whether that is down to him maturing (people forget because he has been around so long and already played 100+ games he is still only 22), or Carlo's input, I cannot categorically say. Probably a combination of both.
As I already mentioned on this thread, it is noticeable (to me) that Tom has adopted Allan's sticky-out-butt tactic when trying to retain the ball at close quarters or getting himself between the ball and the player. A possible benefit of having better quality players at the club for young 'uns to learn from.
Tom Davies is the closest we have in the current squad to replacing Allan's role. And for the most part, when called upon this season to do so, he has performed admirably.
I trust him and his abilities. As, I'm confident in saying, does his manager and team mates.
251 Posted 27/12/2020 at 15:20:23
Covid test was negative today, so all systems go for tomorrow.
252 Posted 27/12/2020 at 15:26:09
253 Posted 27/12/2020 at 15:47:56
Rob I want you to do something, a challenge if you will, that I set my match-going nephew but he failed.
I asked him to wait for a very quiet moment in the game and then shout out very loudly something stupid that would undoubtedly be recognisable for us watching on the box.
What are you, Rob, man or mouse?
254 Posted 27/12/2020 at 15:54:40
Tom has been coached and instructed to take less touches in possession. Mostly one- and two-touch football from him last night saw him have a very good game.
You allude to it in your post, his problem has been in chewing the ball with too many touches, resulting in him being caught in possession and the ball taken off him in dangerous areas.
A vast improvement last night from Tom by not doing that.
255 Posted 27/12/2020 at 16:03:46
I read today that Sheffield United ran 5 km more than us, man for man, last night. It's not about running around, it's about using your head and footballing brain.
256 Posted 27/12/2020 at 16:08:09
Potentially a world-class centre-forward.
257 Posted 27/12/2020 at 16:11:50
We seem to take points from teams we were happy to take a draw with this season.
Is a very big ask, going into a third game so soon; however, if we can keep it tight, you just never know against Man City.
Have a feeling it will be a backs-to-the-wall game but, as long as we do not go in with the same mentality mindset as we did against Man Utd in the cup, we have a chance.
258 Posted 27/12/2020 at 16:13:21
I'm sat at the back, or near the back of the Upper Gwladys Street stand, so I doubt I would be heard anyway? Was Brent set the same challenge, as I'm sure I heard a booming voice shouting "Brian Williams is a Wanker"!!
259 Posted 27/12/2020 at 16:14:59
260 Posted 27/12/2020 at 16:34:18
Alas, poor Yorath?
261 Posted 27/12/2020 at 16:36:35
Maybe it's a function of the natural maturity process -- he's only 22 -- but like you I'm guessing it's the coaching.
262 Posted 27/12/2020 at 16:39:48
Alas, poor Yannick...
263 Posted 27/12/2020 at 16:44:21
264 Posted 27/12/2020 at 16:59:16
Did you watch last nights game?
265 Posted 27/12/2020 at 17:04:10
266 Posted 27/12/2020 at 17:08:58
267 Posted 27/12/2020 at 17:10:59
With all due respect mate he can't claim that one as it could have been any one of the 2000 that shouted that!
268 Posted 27/12/2020 at 17:16:24
269 Posted 27/12/2020 at 17:21:20
270 Posted 27/12/2020 at 17:25:09
We were 4-2-3-1 but they absolutely pegged us back.
271 Posted 27/12/2020 at 17:27:00
For instance if we have played a team in form, our players under Moshiri's reign have generally been not good enough.
That has mainly come from the notion of sexy football being a 'thing' of Moshiri's and not having enough quality to see it through.
Last nights team are good enough to beat Sheffield United, a dodgy Arsenal and most of the teams in the division from 8th down but it'd never be pretty.
Ask those same players, ie Sigurdsson, Keane, Pickford etc to beat the likes of Man U City and Lpool and its a different story of course.
I want us to win the league so if those said players couldn't get in those sides then to me they are not good enough and their level if they played all season would be lucky to finish top half, I don't think there is much doubt in that.
Put Richarlison, Allan, James and Digne back in their positions and we still wouldn't be good enough to make back to back wins by playing pretty at those 3 sides because of the lack of quality from last nights side.
Play this recent system with the returnees and surely there is a stronger chance we can finish in the top 4?
Surely we can nick wins with our quality returning and standing solid against teams?
The big question now is, are these players focused enough to park the bus in the biggest games and be confident and composed when it matters?
The -good enough or not good enough-argument all depends on what you want and if that is success, there should be hardly any arguments on which players can make that difference.
272 Posted 27/12/2020 at 17:27:28
273 Posted 27/12/2020 at 17:32:03
Second time he was caught in possesion and didnt do it again.
As someone said earlier, we all watch the game differently.
274 Posted 27/12/2020 at 17:32:39
275 Posted 27/12/2020 at 17:32:50
276 Posted 27/12/2020 at 17:38:49
We have a good few points on them now, I'm sure he will do the best he can for us, 2nd at Christmas ain't bad at all!
277 Posted 27/12/2020 at 17:49:48
Joe #279, first time since '86, isn't it? My prediction of finishing 8th is starting to look a little rickety.
278 Posted 27/12/2020 at 17:55:28
A lot of people take the goal hr scored v City as an example of his style of play.
Brilliant as it was I put that down to the exuberance of youth, think he was 18.
Thats not his game at all.
Hopefully under Carlo he will develop into a good player.
Dont forget this is a kid they called into training with the senior England squad at St Georges when he was 16.
He still has plenty of time
279 Posted 27/12/2020 at 18:04:38
Those who remember 69 -70 will recall that the wonderful Everton side grinded out many single goal wins that season.
Points come first !
280 Posted 27/12/2020 at 18:05:52
281 Posted 27/12/2020 at 18:16:17
I really don't know what to make of it all this oddball of a season could bring anything - maybe a CL spot is possible.
I'll believe it when I see it, mind
282 Posted 27/12/2020 at 18:51:27
283 Posted 27/12/2020 at 19:05:46
284 Posted 27/12/2020 at 19:10:46
285 Posted 27/12/2020 at 19:21:46
286 Posted 27/12/2020 at 19:29:20
288 Posted 27/12/2020 at 21:30:37
289 Posted 27/12/2020 at 21:48:40
One of the good signs of the current squad is our ability to play expansive football with plenty of goals, as per at the start of the season, and hard defensive football to grind out wins, as in the last four games.
290 Posted 27/12/2020 at 22:09:59
I recall Labone saying something to the effect that, if opponents wanted to play, we'd outplay them and if they wanted a war...
I'm beginning to like this current side!
291 Posted 27/12/2020 at 22:20:07
There is a video on youtube
of the 1967 Everton v Man Utd game.
When you get a chance give it a watch.
Particularly look at Harry Cattericks formation and tactics.
292 Posted 27/12/2020 at 22:20:18
293 Posted 27/12/2020 at 22:22:10
294 Posted 27/12/2020 at 22:29:21
But I can still feel that knife to the heart, Man City's last-minute winner in the FA Cup semi-final at Villa Park.
The following season, we learned to win. It's very important. The current team is cottoning on to the concept.
295 Posted 27/12/2020 at 22:36:38
A fantastic game mate.
4-3-3, years ahead of the English game.
296 Posted 27/12/2020 at 22:44:35
Bobby, you've tempted me to have a punt on your 2-0 even though I never bet on Everton. I'll put a virtual one on!!
297 Posted 27/12/2020 at 22:45:53
298 Posted 27/12/2020 at 23:18:06
Pleased to see Bernard and Gomes making positive contributions from the bench. Gordon did not make anything of his opportunity, but he'll get others – and hopefully they'll be in games in which our attacking unit is more cohesive and he has greater licence to go forward.
Eddie Dunn (21) - Calvert-Lewin was booked for petulantly punching the ball away after he had committed a foul. His frustration boiled over and the ref pounced on it.
299 Posted 27/12/2020 at 00:47:25
Jay Wood, I'll happily change my mind on Davies if I see enough evidence to do so. I was one of this fanboys early in his career but I tend to lose enthusiasm for players who stagnate, and anyone saying he hasn't been stuck for the past couple of years is either his mother, or selling a bootload of No 26 jerseys they foolishly bought in bulk four years ago.
Against Sheffield Utd he had a good game, but I honestly think the praise he's getting is patronising due to how ordinary he's been for quite a long time.
I'm not a Davies hater at all. I just think that 100+ Premier League games should produce a more impactful player.
As for tomorrow against City, I'd definitely keep the same back four, and maybe only change Gordon out for Bernard. With that back four, we may be sacrificing some attacking clout, but Man City will find it very hard to score against them.
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