Dominic Calvert-Lewin's absence was taken in stride as Ancelotti used a strikerless formation to secure all the points at Molineux
Everton returned to Premier League action this evening with a very important win for a weakened team at Molineux over one of their rivals for European qualification in the form of Wolves.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin was ruled out after sustaining a hamstring injury Richarlison was a doubt, leaving Cenk Tosun as the only fit striker. But Ancelotti has gone with no recognized strikers in a 5-5-0 formation, with both Richarlison and Tosun on the bench.
Everton got things going and tried to attack down the left. But it was cagey stuff from both sides until Godfrey overplayed a pass down the wing. But some fluid passing saw Iwobi benefit from a lovely James cross-field pass and Digne lay-back, he buried it, perhaps with the benefit of a slight deflection.
The perfect start for strikerless Everton, would this now mean parking the bus for the rest of the game? Everton's poor use of a midfield free-kick suggested that conservatism would be the watchword for the night, although Lucas Digne was happy to run at Wolves and put in crosses for them to repel.
Wolves won a corner when the ball came off Davies and, in the second phase, Ait-Nouri scampered past Digne and deliver a tremendous cross for Neves to rattle in. Game on! Wolves had established a path to goal and Fabio Silva was next to try it on, forcing a late save from Pickford.
A good one-two saw James set up Iwobi again but he telegraphed a poor shot that was easily saved. James got well forward and crossed for Calvert-Lewin... who wasn't there!
Pickford gave away a needless corner that allowed some decent pressure from the home side. Some better passing saw another Everton corner that James drove in to no avail. After a long spell of midfield cat and mouse, the Blues looked to make some decent passes count but it broke down in the Wolves area.
Digne swung over a great cross for the absent DCL that was wellied behind for a corner that Mina tried to glance in but ended up heading well over, just before half-time.
Iwobi fouled Ait-Nouri early in the second half and that led to a Wolves corner that was powered away by Keane. Doucouré then caught Neto to collect a 5th yellow card of the season that rules him out of Everton's next game, with Neto needing a lot of treatment.
The free-kick when it came saw Keane prevent a clean header and danger was averted. With little of note happening, Ancelotti decided to switch out Davies for Gomes after the hour. Holgate made a desperate lunge that earned him a yellow. After the free-kick, Neves launched a tasty volley just wide of the angle to wake Pickford up.
James got forward and could have had a shot but tried to set up Iwobi, but it was blocked for a corner. Off the second phase, a fine Keane header came at the end of a lopping Gomes cross to surely win the game for Everton.
Iwobi ran half the pitch with the ball and put in a nice cross for the absent Calvert-Lewin... Doucouré got called for one of those handballs at point-blank range, Neves, flashing his set-piece off the outside of the angle.
Hoever came close in the last 5 minutes of added time before Martin Atkinson blew time on a very fine win by The Don over Nuno Espirito Santo.
Scorers: Neves (14'); Iwobi (6'), Keane (77')
Wolverhampton Wanderers: Patricio; Semedo [Y:89'], Coady, Saiss, Ait-Nouri; Dendoncker, Neves, Moutinho (86' Vitinha); Gibbs-White (64' Hoever [Y:90+5']), Silva (78' Cutrone), Neto.
Subs not Used: Ruddy, Shabani, Richards, Kilman, Lonwijk, Corbeanu.
Everton: Pickford, Holgate [Y:68'], Keane, Mina, Godfrey, Digne, Davies (64'Gomes), Doucouré [Y:49'], Sigurdsson (76' Richarlison), Iwobi, James (86' Coleman).
Subs not Used: Olsen, Kenny, Nkounkou, Bernard, Gordon, Tosun.
Referee: Martin Atkinson
VAR: Jonathan Moss
Reader Comments (321)
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1 Posted 12/01/2021 at 19:17:29
2 Posted 12/01/2021 at 19:20:21
3 Posted 12/01/2021 at 19:20:25
4 Posted 12/01/2021 at 19:20:32
We stutter against West Ham (always going to happen, we should know by now that it doesnt work against more defensive teams), then play a decent team away from home and totally discard the system that has served us well.
What must Tosun make of this? Hes our only striker and cant get in the team.
I hope Carlo knows what hes doing, because I dont have a clue what hes doing.
5 Posted 12/01/2021 at 19:22:18
6 Posted 12/01/2021 at 19:23:11
Doesn't make much difference; scoring goals? Nah, gotta keep em out instead.
7 Posted 12/01/2021 at 19:24:11
8 Posted 12/01/2021 at 19:24:13
9 Posted 12/01/2021 at 19:26:00
10 Posted 12/01/2021 at 19:26:45
The Carlo bashing if we lose this will be intense!
11 Posted 12/01/2021 at 19:27:37
12 Posted 12/01/2021 at 19:27:43
Carlo clearly doesn't feel that Tosun is good enough and I think most of us would agree.
13 Posted 12/01/2021 at 19:28:32
14 Posted 12/01/2021 at 19:29:04
15 Posted 12/01/2021 at 19:29:23
Maybe he is going to try Godfrey up top!
Simms not even on the bench.
No strikers served Man City well in their last 2 games!
This could be spectacular or backfire big time.
16 Posted 12/01/2021 at 19:30:14
Assuming Digne is playing left attack, or one of Holgate or Godfrey is going to have a crack in center mid?
The lack of goals in this team is borderline criminal! Over the course of a season that team would stuggle for one every two games.
Hes either has a cunning plan, is sending a message to board or hes had enough of lockdown in Crosby and wants out.
Baffling. Hope Im proven wrong.
17 Posted 12/01/2021 at 19:30:57
Problem is, we also have other false numbers . quite a few of them.
Oh well. "Interesting" is the most positive comment possible.
18 Posted 12/01/2021 at 19:31:28
19 Posted 12/01/2021 at 19:31:57
20 Posted 12/01/2021 at 19:32:00
And on top of that:
Referee: Martin Atkinson
VAR: Jonathan Moss
Can't see us getting anything from this one :-/
21 Posted 12/01/2021 at 19:34:12
Whos now not playing as hes injured
22 Posted 12/01/2021 at 19:35:09
Digne must be grateful Traore hasn't even made the squad.
23 Posted 12/01/2021 at 19:35:55
24 Posted 12/01/2021 at 19:36:14
25 Posted 12/01/2021 at 19:37:41
I'm guessing injuries, returning from injury, rotating fatigued players has influenced the selection as much as anything else with Coleman, Gomes, Gordon and Tosun from Saturday's starting XI benched. Surprised at the back 5 and Digne starting. Looked off the pace to me on his return. Richy returning but only from the bench.
Carlo certainly does things his way. Gonna be an interesting watch.
26 Posted 12/01/2021 at 19:40:04
I remember that Joe, West Ham were bottom three and we were going well but Moyes showed his cowardly side by not playing any forwards.
27 Posted 12/01/2021 at 19:41:23
28 Posted 12/01/2021 at 19:42:52
29 Posted 12/01/2021 at 19:44:30
30 Posted 12/01/2021 at 19:44:31
31 Posted 12/01/2021 at 19:45:19
32 Posted 12/01/2021 at 19:46:03
Not very optimistic about the rest of the selection either.... but it cant be any worse of a display than Saturday... can it?
33 Posted 12/01/2021 at 19:46:37
34 Posted 12/01/2021 at 19:50:18
35 Posted 12/01/2021 at 19:51:00
Holgate At Rb
Iwobi and Digne providing width with Davies and Doucoure central and the other 2 providing some sort of attack.
James role might be interesting
36 Posted 12/01/2021 at 19:55:09
If Carlo pulls this off, the man is a genius.
37 Posted 12/01/2021 at 19:56:04
38 Posted 12/01/2021 at 19:56:37
39 Posted 12/01/2021 at 20:01:07
Seriously though , this is a keep it very, very tight and Mina or Keane score from a well taken free kick or corner. They will be told to try and win free kicks whenever they can , Iwobi will be told to get to the by line and win corners. Mina 30/1 , Keane 33/1 is tempting .
Have they agreed a deal for Tosun from Palace or West Brom?
40 Posted 12/01/2021 at 20:02:50
41 Posted 12/01/2021 at 20:06:54
42 Posted 12/01/2021 at 20:08:25
43 Posted 12/01/2021 at 20:08:43
44 Posted 12/01/2021 at 20:11:27
45 Posted 12/01/2021 at 20:13:55
Up and at them, Blues... or defend as though your lives depended on it.
46 Posted 12/01/2021 at 20:14:08
A win long overdue.
47 Posted 12/01/2021 at 20:15:19
48 Posted 12/01/2021 at 20:17:33
49 Posted 12/01/2021 at 20:17:52
I think we win this. I'll be surprised if it's one for the purists. But Wolves don't worry me.
50 Posted 12/01/2021 at 20:22:38
51 Posted 12/01/2021 at 20:23:53
52 Posted 12/01/2021 at 20:25:14
54 Posted 12/01/2021 at 20:34:32
55 Posted 12/01/2021 at 20:36:19
56 Posted 12/01/2021 at 20:50:59
57 Posted 12/01/2021 at 21:02:29
58 Posted 12/01/2021 at 21:02:36
Not the back five I was dreading. And Rodriguez in the central No 10/False 9 role he was made for... even dropping back to pick up the ball and put a shift in as well. Iwobi continuing his purple patch and Davies and Doucouré linking back to front well..
Sigurdsson doesn't appear to be getting much joy despite his hard work. I'd replace him with Richarlison.
Game is there to be won. Enjoyable.
59 Posted 12/01/2021 at 21:04:04
Made up with Tom Davies. Best half of football from him this season.
60 Posted 12/01/2021 at 21:06:25
I rate that Pedro Neto for Wolves.
61 Posted 12/01/2021 at 21:09:47
Didn't Alex Iwobi do well on the goal? Receiving it wide left hugging the touchline. Played inside to James. Great switch by the Colombian to Digne. Lovely first time cushioned pass by the Frenchman, finding the Nigerian who covered so much ground to take up the central position to finish with a clean one-touch volley. Very nice.
A glimpse of what we saw early season and have been missing since their injuries. The switching of play between James and Digne. Michael Keane and Tom Davies have likewise played long diagonals to Digne and Iwobi. An evident game tactic. Without Calvert-Lewin in the middle, difficult for us to make more of the good positions they are taking up.
James very difficult for Wolves to pick up. Moutinho and Neto carrying the threat for Wolves. Could go either way this.
62 Posted 12/01/2021 at 21:16:54
I'm still not convinced by Richarlison as a striker so I'd reluctantly go for Tosun. Richarlison for Digne on the hour.
63 Posted 12/01/2021 at 21:23:47
64 Posted 12/01/2021 at 21:43:16
65 Posted 12/01/2021 at 21:53:54
67 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:09:41
Keane MotM for me. God he's improved
68 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:10:20
69 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:10:25
70 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:10:37
71 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:10:53
Well ground out result and Everton can get better.. Now to regroup for Villa.
72 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:11:18
Not a bad Xmas and New Year.
73 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:12:05
74 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:12:14
75 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:12:56
76 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:13:13
77 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:13:23
78 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:14:30
Managing the game and managing the squad too.
Up to 4th!
Were really shite us! As for Carlo!
79 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:16:25
10 points above Wolves now.
80 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:18:06
If we can do that, we will maintain our league position.
82 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:18:37
If only we had Sam Allardyce, hey?
84 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:19:54
Delighted for the guy!!!
85 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:20:52
A really good performance and massive credit to Ancelotti.
86 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:21:12
Excellent, disciplined performance. I'd give a 6 to Sigurdsson, who tried hard but was clearly not any kind of striker. Iwobi was excellent, should finish his second chance but his control was impressive, carried the ball well and his passing was good too.
James probably should have an assist there but he controlled the play at times, looking close to his best again. Doucouré was energetic and covered well, but a little sloppy in possession and done by their left-back for the goal. Not quite his usual standard but solid.
Davies was excellent, as good as against Sheffield Utd. Digne was dangerous and produced a great assist; I thought he was flagging after about 65 minutes but he found his second wind.
The centre-halves were a wall, Mina's head was a magnet to any aerial ball, dominant performance. Godfrey drawn in a little tight for their goal but what an athlete he is and what potential. Every time they tried to knock it past or run at him he just ate up the yards. Poor Silva looked a beaten man near the end. Pickford was just okay, makes me nervous whenever he faces a shot from range.
Overall, impressive stuff against a team lacking form and their main striker but full of quality players. Really enjoyed the game, lots of ability and endeavour on display from both sides.
87 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:21:20
Defensively sound with Mina, and Godfrey gives not much away at left-back. I can see Digne getting a run on left midfield – why change an assist monster and someone who nails the left-back slot?
88 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:21:29
Tonight shows how much we've missed James and Digne when it comes to making chances.
Can't wait to see Dom back and getting on the end of some of those crosses.
89 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:22:10
There are a few ‘left-field' options and some time for some training sessions. Wonder if we will see the usual suspects or get a radical approach for Sunday?
90 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:22:21
Let's all enjoy it tonight lads. Regardless of your take on the manager.
Up the Blues
91 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:23:33
92 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:26:45
We attacked at every opportunity (despite having no attackers). Won the game. That's all anyone can ask.
Congratulations to Michael Keane great performance and brilliant header.
Congratuations to Carlo Ancelotti too. Difficult circumstances, but he overcame them and we were terrific value for our win.
Only downer is, I've got to go to work now. Have a bevy for me.
93 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:27:04
97 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:28:03
Special mention to Iwobi for continuing his improvement. Normally I'd put money on him messing up a finish like that but he nailed it. I still don't even know how he managed to get in to that position from where he was when he started the move!
98 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:28:29
100 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:30:03
Retreated into ourselves a bit in the second half but still had enough to beat a very good Wolves side.
101 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:30:48
102 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:31:10
103 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:31:27
Difficult to single out anyone as being head and shoulders above the rest, but also difficult singling out anyone who was particularily poor. Sigurdsson didn't excel in his role as a striker but worked hard as always. Might have a had a goal too if Iwobi hadn't gotten in the way. Solid effort from them all.
Richarlison will be back on the left with Digne behind him as soon as Calvert-Lewin is fit again. With luck, the two will find their way back to their earlier form.
104 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:32:34
The Villa game will be another big test and the line up for that is going to be interesting too.
105 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:32:59
106 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:33:52
I really enjoyed the win. But something is fundamentally wrong with the squad if the absence of four players (Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison, Allan and Coleman) is resulting in such a line-up. We played two full-backs who can't pass forward, a defensive midfielder who can't pass forward, and no striker.
It was not that we had 8 players out. We had four and the consequences in the line-up was so dramatic. Well done, Carlo, but something is wrong with the squad, Mr Brands.
107 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:34:06
So much so that I think that, by adding 2 or 3 top quality players to a fully fit squad, then we are not far off Champions League standard.
108 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:34:43
When I saw the line up the prospect of a 3-4-3 frightened me; I don't like that formation regardless of who we have available. But seems we played a 4-4-2; again not my preference in the modern game.
From what I saw, an even match but I didn't feel too threatened.
Anyway, the league position looks very healthy. As I have been saying since the hysteria of the Burnley game, we are on target.
Good result. Well done to the manager and the team.
109 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:34:53
110 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:35:07
111 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:35:39
112 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:35:56
113 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:36:16
A quiet game again from Holgate but he didn't disappoint. What great defensive performances from a set of not very strong defenders. Now why is that?
114 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:36:35
With Dom or Richie in for Siggy its potentially even better (unfair to mention Allan for Davies yet because Tom is much better next to legs lIke Doucoure). Tbh Im not sure both should actually get straight back in, so maybe Richie from the bench again in the second half.
Still think we are 2-3 short of staying where we are. but what an exciting time to be a blue. Off to bed happy.
115 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:39:14
116 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:39:54
It proved to be a very interesting game, not altogether entertaining in the 2nd half, but the Blues put in a totally committed performance and just about deserved their win.
I suspect our manager does think about the game occasionally, and it was a fascinating team selection. Fair play to Carlo, he would have been hammered on here had it backfired. His win rate in away games in 12/13 months is impressive.
We are making progress. It takes time.
117 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:39:56
Numpties, all of them. It's why none of them have a job in football. Enjoy the big slices of humble pie guys.
Great 3 points. COYB!
118 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:40:21
It kind of makes a joke out of 'Carlo only had success because he was with world class players' assumption too.
119 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:40:38
120 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:40:43
We had Sky Arena dedicated to our game, and all they have talked about since the final whistle is Man United's game and they were on Main Event, what the fuck?
121 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:41:15
The whole team worked hard for the team and the manager who justified his surprise selection and tactics with another away win. Nice to go to bed with a smile on our faces and wake up with one. A good night all round.
122 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:43:40
James; can anyone spread a switch cross field pass as good as he can?
Still liking Godfrey the more I watch him.
Digne getting back to his best. If Calvert-Lewin had played, the crosses I witnessed would have resulted in at least one more goal.
Tom Davies. Looked tidy. Dare I say, training and playing alongside the likes of James is rubbing off. He played forward a lot more and at one point I saw him do a fantastic switch play sweeping pass from right into the left channel.
But I caveat, I only saw 15 minutes either side of half time.
League table looks healthy.
123 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:43:51
124 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:44:24
125 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:45:24
I've watched lots of Wolves this season and think Neto is one of the best players outside the top teams, but we did a good job on him for most of the game.
126 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:45:54
There's so much in that statement.
127 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:46:43
128 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:47:20
129 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:48:32
130 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:49:23
We need a new right back though I think. Seamus is fine defensively for the most part but his forward forays are far from what they were. Holgate tonight didn't have a great deal to do at the back, but he looks really, really poor and frightened in possession.
131 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:50:04
132 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:51:54
What's going on with Doucouré?? Has he picked up too many yellows?
133 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:52:49
134 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:53:06
I agree Ben Godfrey looks to be a permanent fixture in the team. The industry of Davies and Doucouré allowed James to float around, find space to make his passes and set up numerous attacks on the flanks. I made Iwobi man of the match. Apart from scoring he used the ball well and offered a threat with his runs at the opposition.
With six wins our away form is the best in many years. It is frustrating not to be there to see these victories after years of really poor showings on the road.
135 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:53:27
A word on Godfrey as well. He is doing an excellent job as left-back. But his passing and crossing from there is not that great. But he is so fast and tenacious and hopefully he will turn into a fantastic central defender. The new Kompany.
136 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:53:55
Keep it up Tom. Prove me wrong. Please.
137 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:54:33
That was quality tactics tonight. And only for a little Davies lapse we had control and no danger for the majority of the game.
I like Darren Hind's comment too. 92. Shows the man in the poster. Hope your shift isn't too bad but at least it's a bit more enjoyable knowing we won.
138 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:55:08
139 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:58:07
140 Posted 12/01/2021 at 22:59:38
Rich #131, great point.
Just hearing again that Villa are pushing for Sunday's game to be postponed.
141 Posted 12/01/2021 at 23:00:17
142 Posted 12/01/2021 at 23:00:57
Now that he has picked up 5 yellows I think he is suspended for the next match. We have to wait until 19 games have been played to have all the yellows scrapped and then we start again.
143 Posted 12/01/2021 at 23:02:59
144 Posted 12/01/2021 at 23:03:37
That game was dull as dishwater and about as far from a ‘masterclass as you could get but its an important result from a patched up team, in spite of the performance.
With Godfrey and Holgate alongside two (more) centre-halves we have four players at the back who think about defence first and foremost and Im personally pleased to get back to a more resilient and stoic foundation akin to the one we had under Moyes because you cant build anything further up the pitch when your defence undermines it each week.
By the way, no ones talking about Jordan Pickford anymore either.
145 Posted 12/01/2021 at 23:05:12
146 Posted 12/01/2021 at 23:05:19
Keane MotM agreed by me, also
147 Posted 12/01/2021 at 23:07:36
148 Posted 12/01/2021 at 23:07:46
Great performance from all the team. Thought Tom Davies played his heart out in MF and news of James demise is very premature.
Pickford had a couple of heart in mouth moments and continues to be the "weakest link" but we really cant criticize this result nor performance.
149 Posted 12/01/2021 at 23:09:42
Defence was immense Mina and Keane especially. Godfrey great at the back but has trouble in attack being naturally right footed, however, Digne covered. Wish we could get that Iwobi every game.
Ancelotti has made mistakes this season but tonight was not one of them. Hopefully the anti-Ancelotti brigade will have a day off tomorrow.
150 Posted 12/01/2021 at 23:10:48
151 Posted 12/01/2021 at 23:11:25
We play with no strikers, yet score 2 goals away from home.
We have players [like Iwobi] who were being written off a few weeks ago, but now seem to show promise.
We have played some absolute dross and yet are in our best league position for several seasons.
We have a manager, who seems to make some alarming selections and tactical decisions, yet keeps winning.
As I say, I'm confused!
152 Posted 12/01/2021 at 23:12:04
As do other teams in the league with their own respective squads. But we are 4th. Surely we can be happy with that right now?
I for one will praise the manager, players and squad for being where there are at this stage of the season.
153 Posted 12/01/2021 at 23:13:05
Wolves played their part in a good game. We were better.
Three consecutive wins on the road now. Six in total for the season, bettered only by United and Leicester with seven. Ten away wins in 18 in the PL since Carlo joined us. Six wins in the last seven games in the more manic than usual Christmas/New Year fixtures in totally unprecedented times.
We're doing all right, aren't we?
154 Posted 12/01/2021 at 23:17:23
PS: he's gone to work now? With zombies presumably!
155 Posted 12/01/2021 at 23:19:08
The Duke is a big miss by his presence alone but Tom done well and looked like he had more belief in himself tonight.
I reckon same team starting at Villa bar Richarlison coming in and a Siggy dropping back..
But Everton can beat Villa, this Sunday lunch time, and can kick on.
Lets see if we have any injuries, but a good squad spirit showed tonight.
Now for Villa.
156 Posted 12/01/2021 at 23:20:29
I couldn't really fault any of our players today, and considering we didn't have a fully fit squad to choose from, especially with no striker, although I would say that Siggy was largely anonymous for the most part, but in fairness was playing in a different role.
Michael Keane was imperious in defence and orchestrating procedures from the back, plus being on the spot to net the winner from the excellent cross for Gomes, probably deservedly gets Man of the Match. Having said that it was a collective effort and all played their parts.
I did say in the preview, when all sorts of permutations were being thrust forward, and many hinting that Godfrey should make way for Digne's return, that it would be a travesty to drop him, after his sterling performances previously. I was glad that Carlo managed to accommodate both Godfrey and Digne. I will be surprised if the game at Villa goes ahead, due to their Covid isolation, but we'll see.
157 Posted 12/01/2021 at 23:20:33
158 Posted 12/01/2021 at 23:23:31
Picking up from Henrick (135), how about Michael Keane?
159 Posted 12/01/2021 at 23:24:03
The title of this article / thread literally made me LOL.
Methinks Senor Kenrick has a hidden gem with his sense of humor.
160 Posted 12/01/2021 at 23:26:22
161 Posted 12/01/2021 at 23:28:53
162 Posted 12/01/2021 at 23:30:02
163 Posted 12/01/2021 at 23:30:29
164 Posted 12/01/2021 at 23:39:59
Turns the telly on and to my delight saw that we were playing without a centre forward, and honestly then felt like we had a good chance of winning the game because I think Tosun is very limited and cant play up front by himself.
Probably saw Iwobi have his best game in a blue shirt, definitely thought it was the ever improving Michael Keanes best display, and amidst all the arguing about cowardly football, It looks like we are developing a spirit that hasnt been seen from an Everton team in years!
Also a word for Luca Digne, he was treading water at times during the second half on Saturday, but what a performance he put in tonight, in a position that requires loads of running, there is definitely a spirit developing amongst this squad🙏
165 Posted 12/01/2021 at 23:42:19
Many teams set up one way and thats it. Ancelotti is playing horses for courses
166 Posted 12/01/2021 at 23:47:13
167 Posted 12/01/2021 at 23:47:29
168 Posted 12/01/2021 at 23:47:43
That game was nailed-on for Mike Lyons.
169 Posted 12/01/2021 at 23:49:47
We used to struggle to win away - thats changed
Keane, Iwobi, Mina were inconsistent misfits - thats changed
We would struggle any time adversity struck (eg DCL being our injured would have meant a certain loss) - thats changed
And hes actually (for now) keeping us near the top end of the table!!!
Please Moshiri, please back Carlo this January to get 2-3 players including 2 goal scorers to keep us fighting for this dream
Were only 1 point behind Liverpool!!!
170 Posted 12/01/2021 at 23:50:14
At the final whistle, felt like we are fearless. Been ages since we beat a good team away and felt we had it under control.
171 Posted 12/01/2021 at 23:52:38
172 Posted 12/01/2021 at 23:56:41
173 Posted 12/01/2021 at 23:57:06
Wolves away 0
Sheffield Utd away 0
West Ham home 5
Arsenal home 0
Leicester home 0
Burnley away 1
Leeds home 3
Fulham away 4
Man Utd home 2
Newcastle away 3
174 Posted 13/01/2021 at 00:02:07
175 Posted 12/01/2021 at 00:02:19
177 Posted 13/01/2021 at 00:05:39
Always been a player to spot the angles but he needed, and still sometimes needs, to concentrate and believe in himself.
He's a massive bonus for us.
178 Posted 12/01/2021 at 00:07:28
179 Posted 13/01/2021 at 00:11:54
180 Posted 13/01/2021 at 00:14:13
182 Posted 13/01/2021 at 00:24:10
Will #171, What I like about Godfrey is his relative pace across the running spectrum, he is generally very alert and has very good instantaneous speed and a desire to tackle and be first to every ball, he reminds me a little of Martin Keown in that regard, but he is also speedy in his mid-range and distance sprints too. I would like to see Ben use his arms (and strength) a little bit more than he does as I do worry slightly when he goes on those runs of his that he might get caught, always a risk. Could see Ben working well in a 4-1-4-1 formation as our defensive holding midfielder. Time will tell but we seem to have landed a great, versatile talent.
183 Posted 13/01/2021 at 00:38:14
Unsworth, Ferguson, Ebbrell, Jeffers? Which of them played any part in tonight's match?
I have no idea what goes on at USMFF but if you do please state who last night made the difference in your opinion.
Or are you one of the clique who invest such faith in Kenwright appointing unqualified, impecunious, unambitious, yes-men former players to the coaching staff?
Happy NY btw.
184 Posted 13/01/2021 at 00:41:28
The togetherness seems strong. Tom Davies is an excellent footballer. The new buys have been sensational. Love that our most expensive signing has never been played in the role that he was bought for but does a job wherever he is asked. A true captain and gentleman.
185 Posted 13/01/2021 at 00:50:28
They showed a picture at half time of where on the field our players mostly were, aka, 'Our Shape and it was the classic Zulu crescent formation, or more prosaically, it was the old Moyes 4:6 formation, with Siggurdsen as the false...or, as one wag put it, an 'Invisible' No. 9.
If Michael or Lyndon have a hits per minute meter on these things, I bet the total on the live forum dropped right off after the 2nd goal went in.
One game at a time, ride out this dogs breakfast of a compressed season...which may yet take another enforced break...avoid losing ugly, try and turn ugly draws into ugly wins...how many of these games would we have lost under previous incumbents??...while trying to turn ugly wins into to a real pleasure to watch wins.
When in reality, No win is that bad to watch.
The Referee was awful, the comentators all slyly denigrate us, but...
Edit; and to cap it all, somebody mentioned Keane...if a little far fetchingly...in the same sentence as Labone...but not totally without foundation just at the moment.
Strange days Indeed.
186 Posted 13/01/2021 at 00:54:38
Win percentages away from home in the PL:
Ancelotti - 53%
Silva - 22%
Allardyce - 25%
Koeman - 17%
Martinez - 32%.
187 Posted 13/01/2021 at 01:14:45
We have an unbelievable manager, who has the ability to get the best out of people (Iwobi, Mina, Sigi etc - all players many had written off). He has attracted great players, Allan, Doucoure, james.
He has a very positive outlook on the game (you can hear him shouting, pass forward when centre halfs have an opportunity and don't take it).
We beat, Chelsea, Arsenal, Leicester in a tough spell - all games we would normally roll over for.
We have a strong squad, high position in the league, a new ground soon to be underway, an owner who is investing Please be positive.
this is the best Everton has been in a long time, the future is bright.
188 Posted 13/01/2021 at 01:21:12
189 Posted 13/01/2021 at 01:54:40
I read the comments on here pre-game and had to have some self-control not to chirp some posters. When I saw the lineup my only thought was "with what's available it's probably the best XI to select." Richarlison would usually be automatic but he's been useless lately, and Tosun probably would have stagnated our forward line, as would Calvert-Lewin probably. This isn't a dig at either striker, but the way they play, we probably wouldn't have scored that first goal cause we rarely have that much space in the box.
Looking at the average positions of the players, it was more of a 4-2-4 than any other formation, and a 4-4-2 defensively with James and Siggy both doing pretty well holding that shape.
The back four has to stay the same for as long as they're playing well together. Play Digne on the wing and keep Coleman as far away from the field as possible to accomodate.
190 Posted 13/01/2021 at 02:13:32
In fact, it's a strange game in that we didn't create too much, yet I was pretty happy with every individual performance. We just lacked a bit of cutting edge instead of Gylfi in the 'just try hard' striker role. I don't think we need to see that experiment again. It wasn't really a 'false 9' either.
I think James has to stay in a more central role. His best today was exceptional.
I don't know what to say about Michael Keane. He's been good all season but this just seemed like a masterclass. He won everything, was raking balls to the wing with both his right and left feet and that was a superb finish. He might be more improved than Iwobi, who I also thought was exceptional.
Presumably our midfield against Villa will be Davies plus one of Gylfi/Gomes with James ahead of them. That's weakened, but it doesn't scare me as much as it would have done before today.
A comment on Doucoure. He's a perfect fit for us. Does so much work and is now influencing further up the pitch... but am I the only one seeing the blind backwards passes he plays? There are a couple every game and it's going to cost us eventually. I'd still rather have him on the pitch, but that needs sorting out.
191 Posted 13/01/2021 at 02:17:41
It is funny how people watch the same game and come away with massively different impressions. Dull as ditchwater? Seemed like a decent competitive game to me. Wolves havent had the best season so far but I think theyve demonstrated their squad contains quality and that they are no pushovers for long enough now that you have to approach games against them with caution.
The game ebbed and flowed at times but there was a sea change at some stage in the second half when I thought we locked them down completely and I was sure we werent going to lose the game from then on.
192 Posted 13/01/2021 at 02:27:31
Sigurdsson is not a centre forward and I just don't believe this "False No9" rubbish but I suppose he plays where the Manager picks him. Holgate looked a little lost at right back but it seemed we preferred playing out through the left side and again, he can't be blamed. Digne and Godfrey both have the same problem, one can only use his left foot and the other his right. Doucoure seemed to turn up at the oddest times standing in our back four and compare his positioning against the wide player which led to their goal to that of Wolves on Digne and Godfrey.
Overall, I thought Wolves were the more impressive side but need a big striker to act as a focal point but I liked their speed of movement, the number of players they get forward and their willingness to run with the ball and take men on.
For Everton, I thought MoM was between James, Iwobi and Michael Keane, not much to pick between them.
193 Posted 13/01/2021 at 03:02:08
Very pleased for the scorers who have both really kicked on this season, despite their critics.
As I tend to think now, we're never as good or bad as our last result. But certainly if we get some decent reinforcements in then we could be really good.
194 Posted 13/01/2021 at 03:33:06
195 Posted 13/01/2021 at 05:20:19
Somebody pointed out over the weekend that results would suggest that we don't miss Allan anywhere near as much as people say we do. That we had only failed to win one game out of those he had missed. Last night was another one. Tom Davies has filled in admirably.
Tom is not a natural defensive midfield player, but such is his versatility and his willingness to do any job asked of him, a steady stream of managers have trusted him to the job they haven't dared trusted more senior players to do – that's why Gomes was on the bench last night.
While indiscipline has cost us points at Southampton, Burnley, Newcastle and at home to Leeds, Davies has stepped in at difficult venues like Leicester and Wolves and shown a maturity way beyond his years.
He has had to serve his apprenticeship playing for poor teams in the most difficult league in the world... and let's be fair here. He didn't get selected because he is the blue-eyed boy of a particular manager. He has now had half a dozen managers and despite his tender years, they have all trusted him.
By the time he is 23, Tom Davies will have played (baring injury) over 150 top-flight games. Few 23-year-olds in world football can boast that.
Davies is no Grealish going forward. He is no Ndidi going backwards either, but he is one of the most versatile young players around. A listener. A soldier, a brave servant whoever hides and he is developing a very nice habit of playing for the winning team.
We were good last night. I don't mean School-of-Science good, I mean playing-with-a-purpose good. We didn't attack relentlessly, but we did look to get forward every time we turned the ball over. Players were shrugging off the straight-jackets of Zombie football and breaking ranks. We were playing the game the way it is meant to be played and we were looking to win it.
Last night's performance was in spite of the fact that our most attacking players were absent. It made a mockery of the claim that we had to play from behind the couch in other fixtures because we had injuries.
Carlo Ancelotti does not have to win the Champions League to get his critics on board. Most of us are far easier pleased than that. He just has to try to win every game... That's all.
We didn't win last night's game because we went not to lose and got lucky. We won because we had the desire to win... right from the off.
196 Posted 13/01/2021 at 05:39:28
4 points off top spot, 1 point behind the shite, 6 points ahead of Chelsea and 9 points ahead of Arsenal. It is also frustrating that we mismanaged the games against Newcastle, Leeds and West Ham. Carlo's team selections and tactics contributed to those dire performances, as did the complacency of the team. If management and team can be 100% on it for those types of games going forward, we have a good chance of Europe.
And as Darren says, a big shout out to young Tom. He is always willing to take responsibility, looks for the progressive pass, never hides and will play any role he is asked to with commitment and courage. He is a really good pro for such a young man.
197 Posted 13/01/2021 at 05:40:13
I am happy for Tom. He's been playing the defensive role well enough. He had some errors in him, playing stray passes in key areas. But he's also very good at turning when receiving the ball, ready to attack. Hope he continues to develop.
How beautiful is the 1st goal? Those one-touch passes are just perfect! Hopefully we can see more of this stuff.
As someone has already pointed out, I'd rather have a solid defensive setup that makes us hard to beat than some very fluid attacking football. The former provides better consistency throughout the season. Until we can acquire a couple more attacking pacey wingers or right-wingbacks, I'm happy to stick with this setup.
With the current defensive line, it takes something special for the opponent to score from a corner or free-kick.
198 Posted 13/01/2021 at 06:27:07
Time after time, we have all seen Everton throw games away through fear or lack of concentration. That has hardly been a problem for a side that had massive problems seeing games out and continuing to stay solid after scoring early.
We kept shape again really well last night and those that can play a bit got forward and tried to force the play.
Small percentages are now becoming a thing in our favour and it is changing our fortunes for the good.
199 Posted 13/01/2021 at 06:28:18
Player ratings from BBC below. I pretty much agree with all of them.
There's a lot of understandable positive sentiment towards Davies on TW but, for me, he's not nearly dynamic enough and lacks top-class quality. He hardly scores, rarely provides an assist, isn't fast, not a great tackler and is far too passive on the ball.
He wasn't as poor as he has been of late last night and showed the occasional decent pass, but he was culpable for the corner that led to Wolves goal by a simple miss control of the ball when under no real pressure.
Carlo clearly thought he was a weakness when he subbed him after an hour and the upgrade of class was clear when Gomes came on, setting up our winner and looking far more dynamic than Tom.
Sadly, I don't think the lad's going to be playing at a top Premier League club for much longer.
200 Posted 13/01/2021 at 06:41:41
I thought Keane, Iwobi, James and Godfrey were excellent. Davies and Digne deserve a mention for their performances also and ol' short arms made an excellent save.
Someone above mentioned what it would be like playing with this impetus and a full squad to chose from, maybe a new right-back also, exciting prospect. Who knows what could happen if this all came together and we really clicked into gear? COYB.
201 Posted 13/01/2021 at 06:43:57
202 Posted 13/01/2021 at 06:44:38
He made one of his blundering fouls from behind early on and I could almost hear the groans coming from the Live Forum but, credit where it's due, guys, he was up for the fight.
203 Posted 13/01/2021 at 07:04:46
It's about using the right tools at the right time and, up to now, I can't think of a manager this season that has handled a squad so well?
It's not us crying for games to be called off. We didn't cry over missing 5 first teamers before Christmas, we have just got on with it and played systems to suit availability.
No knives to gunfights here. We have looked up for all the big opponents and kept going in most games.
Some of these players that have struggled for 3 and 4 years are looking like our most reliable. I can't remember having so little to moan about in a long long time?
If our 11 can improve, we will be a worry for all the big spenders that don't want us threatening them.
204 Posted 13/01/2021 at 07:17:07
James for me was a cut above yesterday, if he was passing to players with pace, we'd have torn Wolves apart. Iwobi really impressed me but there were times when James gave him the ball and you just wished he could burst past people a bit more than he does.
Sigurdsson was pretty anonymous, I thought he should have made the switch earlier. Richarlison looks rusty.
205 Posted 13/01/2021 at 07:20:31
Did you write that after watching the whole game or during it?
Not one positive point about Everton in there??
206 Posted 13/01/2021 at 07:22:09
Come on Darren, that's an unrealistic tall order for any manager!
Pleased for Tom Davies, he seems to be doing much better of late. You make a fair point about his apprenticeship being under several managers and I would add, the turbulence that has surrounded their coming and going. That could be said for most of the players mind.
As I said earlier, unfortunately I didn't get to see most of the match outside of 30 minutes either side of the interval and highlights later.
The superstitious idiot in me now dictates that I can't watch the next one in full!!
207 Posted 13/01/2021 at 07:25:02
208 Posted 13/01/2021 at 07:29:54
Long may this run continue.
209 Posted 13/01/2021 at 07:40:17
He also made some good positive passes, on the whole kept it simple and I think had one of his better games. Perhaps nothing outstanding but steady, made a nuisance of himself, buzzing around the Wolves midfield and usually available as an outlet.
Gomes came on for him and he of course offered something different which is one of the uses of a substitute. Great cross for the goal but I am sure Tom is quite capable of making those types of crosses given the opportunity.
Darren's take on his performance and of Tom, @ 195, I think is a fair assessment of Tom.
He was picked in 2015 to train with the England senior team when he was with the England U17s, has captained both club and country, so it appears a lot of people in senior management have faith in him. He's still young and has plenty to offer.
210 Posted 13/01/2021 at 07:41:45
I still think we'll see a few bumps and bruises along the way, some unexpected defeats, some unexpected wins but overall we have to be pleased for attaining 32 points after 17 games.
211 Posted 13/01/2021 at 07:56:09
You indicate that Digne and Godfrey both have the same problem, one can only use his left foot and the other his right.
Any thoughts on the right foot of James?
Admittedly, his left foot can be used to fantastic effect as we saw last night with the first goal, but as some have already pointed out, he always wants to turn to use his left foot and many teams have already worked that out and set up accordingly.
Think how much better he could be if he could use his right as well. If he could, I guess he wouldn't be at Everton. To be fair, I've also criticised Messi in the past for not being able to use his right foot. :)
Also, Andy at 199, bit harsh on Tom. He might have given away the corner that led to the goal. I'd have to watch it again, but I thougut he was a bit unlucky, more clumsy etc.
However, what I don't have to watch again is the attempt by Doucoure to defend the cross coming in and the lack of marking at the back post which left Wolves players free.
212 Posted 13/01/2021 at 08:26:02
Yes, we have lots of improvement and squad development to do, also the passing is not accurate enough compared with the best.
However, considering injuries to key players, who would have guessed at our lofty league position at this time of the season?
213 Posted 13/01/2021 at 08:26:22
I agree with most of what you say and maybe Im guilty of the behaviour Im criticising by being extreme (“dull as dishwater”) to make the point, which was; everythings not terrible when we lose and its not a ‘masterclass just because we win.
What frustrates me is when performances are overlooked because of the result. MK is a past master of throwing out four or five blue babies with the bath water if we dont get the right score line and it seems from this headline that he is equally capable of the opposite. I suppose what frustrates me most about that approach is its what we see from Sky and MOTD who show little more interest in Everton than our results against their darlings and I hope for and expect more from our own, blue-biased media.
A focus on the performance rather than the outcome, which can be as the result of a moment of bad fortune or a single individual mistake in an otherwise perfect team effort, has been one of the huge positives Ive seen from Ancelotti since he joined.
Like (and sometimes as a direct result of) the aforementioned leaky defence, failure to acknowledge performance when you get a bad result undermines incremental improvement in performance, confidence and momentum and we as fans should always, always try to look beyond the ostensible outcome of games in search of the positives if there are some.
214 Posted 13/01/2021 at 08:27:05
The table is still very bunched up. Arsenal in 11th are 3 wins behind us. Chelsea in 9th are 2 wins behind us. A long way to go yet. But lots of grounds for optimism.
215 Posted 13/01/2021 at 08:27:47
He's not a young kid anymore. As pointed out, he's played 150+ games. I guess the question is, does he have a place in the long run as a squad player in a team with Champions League aspirations? I'm suspecting not.
216 Posted 13/01/2021 at 08:33:08
You never mention Leighton Baines – is he another Kenwright yes-man?
And, as it happens, the legend Tim Cahill is regularly up at Finch Farm, looks like he's getting involved in some capacity – which, in my opinion, would be fantastic... but, of course, another yes-man.
217 Posted 13/01/2021 at 08:36:00
James has the ability to create 2-3 golden opportunities every single game. His ball last night was played in such a way that Digne had no option but to touch it first time inside. He had had the ability to pull it off and James knows he does. It's really intricate but by inviting that single touch inside from Digne wipes out two defenders. You then need an intelligent and opportunist attacker to read this and this is what Iwobi did. Fantastic. There are very few people in the modern game with the kind of creativity James has in his locker and even fewer with the technique to consistently make it happen.
The rest of the team has to be almost perfect defensively. And for the most part we have been. Leeds got us with a bit of a wonder strike, West Ham with an opportunistic rebound. Wolves with a well worked goal and an incisive touch by Ait Nouri that destroyed Doucoure and a very well executed cross. Little more we could do as Godfrey was very close to getting his head on it.
Better teams will test us in different ways defensively but that back line appears to be confident and well organised at present.
Playing a flat back four suits us. The position really suits Godfrey at left back but inevitably he will transition to centre back at some point. It is up to whoever gets a shirt back there to make it their own. Mina is producing a level of play I genuinely didn't think he was capable of and I'm delighted for him.
The cross from Andre Gomes was of undoubted quality. Again, it's a single piece of skill that wins us the game. Brilliant. He obviously has this in his locker but his ability to produce any kind of consistent performance just isn't there. It's a shame as he is an incredibly gifted player in terms of technique. One thing he can't be faulted on is the frequency with which he is in possession of the ball. It's similar to Davies I suppose, the more they are on the ball and show for it, the more chance to make an error.
I'm delighted overall.
218 Posted 13/01/2021 at 08:49:09
219 Posted 13/01/2021 at 09:13:30
I don't think I remember a player who is discussed as much as Tom Davies. He is an academy squad player who gets too much abuse and praise. Is he really that important?
Yes, he did make some very good passes – particularly in the first half – but he also misplaced a few. Those blaming him for that goal need to give their heads a serious wobble. He cut out a dangerous cross and an unfortunate ricochet sent the ball over for a corner. We then had 11 men to defend the corner. They didn't even score direct from it. It's a bit like giving Sigurdsson an assist because, if he didn't kick off, we wouldn't have scored!
Tom did okay. He is improving and may become a valuable squad member yet. But I'd rather get people's take on James.
I'm delighted to see Carlo getting almost universal approval and credit for this one. A few more performances like this and we may even see peace break out on TW.
220 Posted 13/01/2021 at 09:17:05
221 Posted 13/01/2021 at 09:23:26
222 Posted 13/01/2021 at 09:27:16
Davies is like Marmite, and there are definitely two sides to the debate about whether he's going to be good enough for Everton long-term. My own view is that, because of his honesty and his willingness to play and not hide, then this has worked against him and he's been asked to do that many different things, by that many different managers, that he hasn't had time to develop.
Football is only easy when it's easy (not often); most of the time, it's about doing the dirty work, and Tom Davies has probably had to do more dirty work than anyone, since he first broke into Everton's team.
He's doing okay, he's just doing enough, but it's just “another role” that Tom is being asked to play, and I saw signs last night that it's a role he could grow into given time.
223 Posted 13/01/2021 at 09:44:26
224 Posted 13/01/2021 at 09:50:13
Carlos got some difficult decisions ahead, particularly keeping Holgate and Godfrey happy. Both playing out of position and doing well, Godfrey particularly well, but what does the boss do when hes got a fully fit Coleman and Digne. Hes not going to disrupt Mina and Keane. I think in time Godfrey will become our right back, his searing pace is a must have across the back line, and as hes right footed he may develop into a good attacking full back as well. Holgate I suspect will become a back up player for the right back and centre halves position.
Losing Doucoure for Sunday is a major major blow, hes the sole break the lines player we have and Davies and Gomes havent got the legs to pull AV apart. Villas midfield is their strength and I suspect Carlo can only go for a solid back 9, with Rodriquez and Richardson left up to forage. So midfield Iwobi, Siggy, Davies/Gomes, Digne . So whos going to stop Grealish
225 Posted 13/01/2021 at 10:01:57
The question now for Ancelotti is setting out the team and tactics for home games.
We will fall by the way side home and away during this season but it's the manner we slip up that will be picked over, especially by the Anti Ancelotti brigade.
Some teams, such as Man City, will hog the ball even at Goodison so a bit daft going gung ho and trying to play them at their own game.
Last nights tactics were indeed a masterclass but one than cannot be acceptable every away game.
It's going to be interesting to see how Ancelotti gets our home game results as good as our away ones
226 Posted 13/01/2021 at 10:11:23
If it hadn't been for our mini slump in November we could have been top at present with clear daylight between us and the chasing pack.
I mention that last point purely because I am a little mystified by the criticism of Carlo that has appeared to gain ground in recent weeks.
With the players we've had missing through injuries and suspension, I think the manager has made the best of a difficult situation, using the limited resources at his disposal.
Like everyone else, I hope and expect us to play well and hopefully win every time we step out onto the field but then I take a large dose of realism, and I know that's never going to happen.
Finally, let's remember that Carlo has only had one transfer window so far, and we can't really complain about any of last summer's signings, so please, let's give him the time he needs, to build his own squad, and appreciate the fact that he's doing a pretty good job of getting the best out of the players he's inherited from our last couple of failed managers.
227 Posted 13/01/2021 at 10:19:00
Agreed. Digne is an excellent player. His attacking play yesterday was terrific. That stat about chances created since 2018 from full backs says it all really. Especially given that the other full backs were from teams competing for titles and scoring lots of goals during that time.
@ 223 Martin. Fair comments and Im glad that there does exist some support for Tom amongst ourselves fans. I think hes an excellent asset for our squad. Is he a tremendous player? No, but I dont think anybody claims that he is. Do we want him to be? Of course we do.
But the realists amongst us who understand the game can see what he brings to our squad. An important piece of a large jigsaw.
228 Posted 13/01/2021 at 10:23:09
I want to defend Doucouré on the Wolves goal, as a few on here have criticised him. He gets out to Ait-Nouri quickly, hoping to stop the cross, and a clever touch and forward momentum allows Ait-Nouri to get beyond him and to cross from the byeline. If Doucouré had measured his approach then Ait-Nouri would have had time and space to cross first-time - which for me would have been a real mistake. Sometimes an opponent shows a bit of skill and you have to applaud it. After Doucouré is beaten by that skill he manages to adjust and track Ait-Nouri to the byeline. I generally really like what I am seeing from Doucouré, save the odd blind backwards pass that someone further up the thread pointed out, and hes certainly brought some athleticism and muscularity to our midfield.
229 Posted 13/01/2021 at 10:27:08
230 Posted 13/01/2021 at 10:28:13
231 Posted 13/01/2021 at 10:30:26
The other point I'll make is that Carlo puts great store in a good shape and closing off passing lanes. This isn't something that leaps out when watching as a fan (Steve Ferns used to provide good analysis). But it might be why managers like him.
232 Posted 13/01/2021 at 10:39:55
I took a cheap shot yesterday.
I apologise for that.
I don't think he is anywhere near fit.
I would build a team around him long term.
Great vision and ability to play the pass he sees.
He will get intelligent runners in.
More goals to come as well from him
233 Posted 13/01/2021 at 10:47:40
I'm not Tom Davies' greatest fan but I have never questioned his desire and as a fan, as long as you see one of your team busting a gut you can't criticise. Truth be told I was impressed with him last night.
What Carlo has obviously done, which Martinez and Silva couldn't, is get our defence tight. Mina has improved in leaps and bounds, as has Keane. Credit to all the coaches for that. In Godfrey they have found a real gem. In a couple of years this guy could be the real deal and better than old Virgil across the park.
There is no better time to qualify for the CL. No team is consistent this year. We are up there, we have a chance. In Carlo we trust about 85 % :)
234 Posted 13/01/2021 at 10:49:57
235 Posted 13/01/2021 at 10:52:10
He said Rodriguez isnt a soldier, but hes got soul, and I thought it was a brilliant description, for someone who looks like he doesnt work that hard, but yet hes constantly trying to get on the ball.
“THE BALL” will always be the most Important thing on the pitch, so I love watching footballers who always want the ball, (They are the bravest players imo) especially the ones who know what theyre doing once they get it, which is definitely his forte.
I love watching Rodriguez, although he should have known more than anyone, that he was tiring last night, and he should have kept his passing more simple in the last 15 minutes of the game!
236 Posted 13/01/2021 at 10:57:20
Really think there's some on here that secretly fancy him, Christy Ring,?
Him and Tom do so much more than given credit for, plus, they're our lads,! some on here are just haters, same as on live, if you deride our own team so much, is it any wonder that the establishment get to kick our nuts in week in, week out, unity is where the strength is.
That was one of the best team performances I've seen in years.
Still people slagging our guys off!
Oh Lord its hard to be humble, when I'm perfect in every way!, or what.?
237 Posted 13/01/2021 at 11:04:54
The line that Darren used is from a Killers hit and the line is " he's got soul but he's not a soldier". I to love watching James play and I think as the weeks go by he will get fitter and have an even greater impact on this team. I have had a few tussles with Darren but he posted in fulsome praise of Carlo after the final whistle which was nice to see. I said on another thread its a long time since I have seen an Everton side with so much steel and belief.
Most of us know that there will be bumps along the road but at last we have a manager who will win us trophies and I hope he is here longer than his current contract.
238 Posted 13/01/2021 at 11:11:06
I'm thinking we need to strengthen at RB CM RW and CF.
239 Posted 13/01/2021 at 11:18:38
A brilliant line there in Julians post@233. As a fan, as long as you can see one of your team busting a gut, then you cant criticise, and thats exactly how how I see Ancelotti right now.
Hes come for the money, hes only used to managing the top players they say? So hes put his reputation on the line, hes playing a style of football, that hes never really been associated with, and hes busting a gut for Everton!
240 Posted 13/01/2021 at 11:19:25
I couldn't believe that neither of the commentators on Sky (who, I presume, were competition winners from Radio West Midlands, seeing as how they only ever focused on what Wolves were doing) didn't pick up on that.
At the risk of overlaying it, I don't think many keepers could have made that save, world class and a match winner for me.
241 Posted 13/01/2021 at 11:24:43
A lot of other players are improving as well. especially Iwobe and Davies. When we get DCL and Allan back, and James gets properly fit, I don't see why top four should be out of reach.
242 Posted 13/01/2021 at 11:25:40
I said then that a manager should manage his resources and get the best out of them, not, as a result of his philosophy, try to make staying chasers run like sprinters or tenors sing soprano.
That is what we now have in Carlo. He has taken his time. Assessed his squad. Improved it were possible. Now when there are problems with injuries he has adapted and played a 'strange' formation, but one which got the best out of the players at his disposal.
Don't get me wrong, he has made mistakes. But last night was an example of a top quality manager doing what he is paid to do.
I know we are short of quality in areas of the squad. This is a result of a succession of poor managers making poorer decisions. It will take a couple more transfer windows to correct this, But in the meantime I believe we are better than we have been for many years. And I for one will not be slagging off all and sundry after a couple of defeats, if and when they happen. Instead I will remember last night and know things are getting better.
243 Posted 13/01/2021 at 11:25:44
But to be fair he probably makes up for those flaws with his shot stopping and there are far more areas in need of attention than the keeper. (Right back, back up striker and attacking mid).
From now on Ill accept Pickford as our keeper and ease off the nit picking. He did well last night overall.
244 Posted 13/01/2021 at 11:31:01
My own view of Pickford was that he was very well protected last night, but he looked like one of those PlayStation goalies, who is always diving after the ball has already gone past him.
I thought hes looked a bit calmer since he last come back from playing for England, but he didnt look as calm last night though, and possibly because hes now got real pressure because Olsen also looks like a decent keeper?
245 Posted 13/01/2021 at 11:35:21
Moving on to the game; I'm pleased with the comments are not exactly pro Tom Davies but not the baffling bile that was on display in the live forum and other blue websites.
IMO he did a job, and Italian job at that. How many times have you seen an Italian team with a holder MF who rarely goes past the halfway line, just keep it simple. Do I think he's the best midfielder we've got? Erm no, but could be the Alan Harper of the 21st century.
But like Mark (#223) I paid attention to Tom's passes that went astray and the OTT abuse he received on the live forum, in relation to other players. Our first corner, Doucouré put a piss poor pass that almost led to a wolves counter. The forum, silent.
Another passage of play Davies misplaced a pass, wolves give it to Doucouré who gave it back to Wolves, who gave it to James who gave it back to wolves. The forum it was Davies! Davies! Davies! Nothing directed towards the other players.
As a poster said, people should give their heads a wobble when it comes to the blame game, and instead applaud the defensive solidity that Davies has played a part in.
4th in the league, 3pts off top spot, yeah life is shit being an Evertonian.
246 Posted 13/01/2021 at 11:50:04
247 Posted 13/01/2021 at 11:52:57
248 Posted 13/01/2021 at 11:56:04
249 Posted 13/01/2021 at 11:56:40
This is where a great manager, coupled with intelligent players, can come into their own: identify limitations and work around them. I have as much idea as to what goes on in the training and tactics sessions as most on here (none whatsoever) but it might be that Carlo has set the team up to mitigate some of the effects of Pickford's limitations on the basis that he is worth the occasional flap or lapse in concentration.
Well executed zonal marking from set pieces, and midfielders going all in to block or prevent the 30 yard shots that sometimes can embarrass a less than switched on keeper? Clearly Keane and Mina have stepped up with crosses into the box, and I'm always struck by how many blocks and tackles we make within 10 yards of the box.
Edit to previous post, the save in question was low to his right, of course.
250 Posted 13/01/2021 at 12:05:32
Quite a nice analogy for the magician.
251 Posted 13/01/2021 at 12:21:34
Besic has properly took the piss, Im surprised Bolasie hasnt already gone and saved us half his wages, Bernard is another massive wage that needs to be cleared, and then hopefully we can bring a couple in.
Looking at the congested fixture list, I reckon loads of teams will start blowing up in another months time, and also those clubs in Europe, are going to need every member of their bigger squads, so hopefully we sign a couple more players to keep us in the mix.
252 Posted 13/01/2021 at 12:26:19
Against Rotherham it was Tom taken off, not Gomes, when Tom was the better player. Last night, it was Tom who started the game, with Gomes dropped to the bench. It was Tom again withdrawn when playing well.
I believe this is Carlo managing his resources. He knows Tom is the nearest and best he has to substitute for the absent and injured Allan.
In that scenario, he knows he cannot expect Tom to play every minute, but wants to start him every game. He gets 3/4's of a game out of Tom then gives him a breather to keep him fresh to start the next game.
It's working out well.
Anyone flagging up the corner that Tom conceded which ultimately led to their equalising goal in the second phase of play as evidence of his poor skills are talking nonsense.
He was in position to block a dangerous ball into the penalty area. It was an unfortunate ricochet that saw the ball go out off him for the corner. Doucoure was far more culpable in the actual conceding of the goal, being far too easily mugged off and allowing the cross to come in.
It was similar on Saturday for Rotherham's goal, some making Tom culpable for that. Watch the whole play.
Some 20 yards outside the box, Tom goes in for a high-looping ball with Rotherham player. Gomes is also in proximity and goal side of the Rotherham player, but actually impedes Tom's efforts, as well as ducking out of the challenge.
On the right, the eventual goal scorer's starting position is behind (and well-covered) by both Gordon and Digne. The ball falls to a Rotherham player who runs at the Everton defence. Tom - not Gomes - is the only one reacting to the play and chases the player down. An attempted pass richochets off Keane into the air and Tom has little time to react and he heads the ball backwards into open space in our area.
Even so, there is no immediate danger. The goalscorer by now has run to the penalty spot where Digne has tracked him with Gordon nowhere to be seen. And yet, the goalscorer had time to turn, run 10 yards to retrieve the ball, turn, shoot and score. Again, the only player reacting to him and close to him is Tom.
There were others far, far more culpable in conceding that goal than Tom, but he gets dumped on.
Tom Davies is playing consistently very well at the moment. The quoted BBC player scores someone put up showing Tom as the worst rated Everton player on the night is a woeful source.
Typically, the winning team players get high ratings. The losing team players absurdly low ones. If one of the teams is one of the Sky Six, they always tend to be inflated. The ratings from the Wolves v Everton game is evidence of this.
Michael Keane was highest rated with 8.48. We had 7 other players with 7+. No one lower than 6. Wolves, by contrast, had NO player above 7. Only one player with 6+ (Neves with 6.45), 7 players with 5+, 6 players with only 4+.
Ridiculous evaluations. It was a very closely contested affair and they had many performers equal to ours.
Tom is proving once again what an asset he is to our squad.
253 Posted 13/01/2021 at 12:32:33
254 Posted 13/01/2021 at 12:34:14
255 Posted 13/01/2021 at 12:41:26
Olsen has also not faced a lot of shots, but when called upon has been steady, can only recall one flap, when he controlled the ball, then nearly got it took off him, other than that, not seen the guy flap, or had me having kittens, when a cross or corner has come in.
If you asked me who I would have at number one, for now Olsen hands down.
256 Posted 13/01/2021 at 12:44:26
Maybe it lies within the stats that they have access to at finch farm. Tom despite having a generally good engine is not as quick across the ground as many other elite midfield players.
Perhaps less so when hes covered a lot of ground during a game. Maybe Ancelotti knows when he has run his race and fresher legs are required. Especially when quick sprints to cover a lot of ground a required to either see out a result or to try and chase one
257 Posted 13/01/2021 at 12:53:32
258 Posted 13/01/2021 at 12:59:12
259 Posted 13/01/2021 at 13:10:03
That was also my immediate thought live, Tony. Watching the goal back hasn't changed my opinion. Far too easily beaten on such a soft shot.
260 Posted 13/01/2021 at 13:19:37
261 Posted 13/01/2021 at 13:22:22
So I think the dilemma being do you stick with a great shot stopper or look to replace at some point with a more all round good keeper.
262 Posted 13/01/2021 at 13:23:41
263 Posted 13/01/2021 at 13:27:35
264 Posted 13/01/2021 at 13:29:23
265 Posted 13/01/2021 at 13:35:15
My main point is that this group of players has gone from zeros to hero's, having been described as the worst squad the club has had for years, [''crap'' or words to that effect]. The manager has been referred to by some, as a man seeking a final lucrative pay off, but one good performance and result, has put a different complexion on things. There's a spring in the step and a smile on the face, but I suspect we're no different from any supporters of any club. Let's hope that the smile's are of the long lasting type.
266 Posted 13/01/2021 at 13:36:59
Whilst he can and is doing a job for us currently do you see he him as a member of a squad playing CL football? If you do, fair enough you pays your money...
Im not convinced. But of course you can say the same about Gomes, Sigurdsson, Delph, Tosun and Bernard.
267 Posted 13/01/2021 at 13:38:23
He won a big header last night on our penalty spot,against a centre half.
268 Posted 13/01/2021 at 13:40:05
'Davies headed the ball right into the attacking players path.'
He didn't nothing even closely approximate to that claim. Watch the play again.
269 Posted 13/01/2021 at 14:13:53
Regarding Tom Davies, I believe he is not yet the finished article but most certainly has the potential to make it. I refuse to believe the coaching regime at Goodison can't come up with a regimen that is designed to improve his speed and strength to help his overall game at this level.
Additionally, and this applies to all our young players, they do not appear to be getting anything like the support they should/need from the senior players in the squad during games they participate in.
I'm sure if they were playing in a team that is firing on all cylinders, with the senior professionals cajoling, helping, directing them during the the games in which they play, we'd likely witness a serious improvement in all their performances!
As others have mentioned elsewhere on ToffeeWeb, Michael Ball attended the West Ham game and was stunned that none of the Everton players could be heard on the pitch while just about all the West Ham players were talking throughout the game.
270 Posted 13/01/2021 at 14:20:15
We spend a lot of time debating Tom but the bigger issue for me is Sigurdsson. I can't think of anything he did of note last night. It concerns me that we're thinking of offering him a contract extension. As I keep saying, which other top-level team would be offering Gylfi a contract extension? He'd be a world-beater in the MLS but he's too slow for the Premier League and his reputation as a dead-ball specialist is a complete misnomer.
For the Ancelotti doubters, I still think he has massively improved several of our players (Keane, DCL, Iwobi) and surely even his biggest detractors would agree that he has done excellent business in the transfer window. Godfrey looks the best buy of the lot and I think Allan was a brilliant signing. James and Allan wouldn't be playing for us if it wasn't for the manager we have. I'd like to judge Carlo after another couple of transfer windows.
I don't think we're the finished article. We still have players who aren't good enough and we've put in a few performances this season which were woeful but we are definitely on the right track. 6 away wins by January is pretty impressive.
271 Posted 13/01/2021 at 14:25:56
I too think its harsh to try and ‘blame Davies for the two goals. Like most goals a number of players can look at their contribution and want to have done better. For instance Doucouré was beaten far too easily last night. But what seems obvious to me is that on both occasions Davies lacked some composure at a critical moment that undoubtedly contributed to the final outcome.
272 Posted 13/01/2021 at 14:34:26
Ian(#211); As above I thought James was one of our best players on the night and played some magnificent passes but didn't notice him going down the wing trying to get the ball in a position to cross with his preferred foot or being prevented by a player blocking him on one side. What exactly are you referring to?
273 Posted 13/01/2021 at 14:36:22
One thing I took from last night's game, and I don't think it's been mentioned yet, so if it has, apologies! I have always maintained that a successful side, and certainly the successful Everton sides of the past, have not just relied on whoever was up front to be the sole provider of goals. Last night we were forced into an alternative plan, and it was very refreshing to see goals come from different departments. It's always a good sign when the goals are being shared around, it keeps the opposition guessing, and confused, on who to mark. Just hope we can carry that on when DCL comes back.
274 Posted 13/01/2021 at 14:48:37
Craig (#270), these comments were posted on Lyndon's match report by Trevor Pears. I think your comments about Sig based upon yesterday's game are way out of line. He was asked to "do a job" which was to run around up front, stop Wolves playing easily out from the back, and challenge for the ball whenever it came in his direction...and it certainly did not come in his direction often from our own players, he had no supply at all.
He was not asked to be a direct replacement for DC-L so how do you expect him to perform in an unfamiliar role to which he is not suited. He did his best in a game that we won.
Please save your criticism of him for another day.
275 Posted 13/01/2021 at 14:51:01
As a side-note, the booking that Doucouré picked up was the result of a poor sequence of non-existent challenges deep in the Wolves half, firstly on Semedo, then on Neto. By the time the ball reached Neto (from what I remember) Davies had the chance to usher him in-field or make a challenge, but instead he just left a corridor inside for Neto to exploit, leaving Doucouré with no option but to take one for the team rather than let Neto go any further. It's moments like that which make me question whether Davies will ever progress to be more than a squad player.
276 Posted 13/01/2021 at 14:57:09
Just as well Carlo could fathom the formation.
He fathomed it, we got 3 points
277 Posted 13/01/2021 at 15:03:06
I've lost count of the number of times he's been ineffectual and doesn't even look bothered.
If you looked at his highlights reel for us, he'd look a good player but he has been a massive disappointment, given what we paid for him and his earnings. We should be looking to get shut not offer a contract extension.
278 Posted 13/01/2021 at 15:08:19
279 Posted 13/01/2021 at 15:16:43
280 Posted 13/01/2021 at 15:21:51
Of course we are better with a fit and firing DCL in the side. He wasnt fit.
Ancellotti had to come up with a system. He did and it worked.
281 Posted 13/01/2021 at 15:29:05
Richarlison has had a quiet season so far and although he may have had a slight knock beforehand, leaving him on the bench and giving him the last 20 minutes may have been uppermost in Carlo's mind.
Tosun has not really made a statement so far and is a goalscorer but not good enough at this level so I can see the point of not starting him.
The performance overall shows that the team does have what it takes but obviously we need to see it most games from here to the end of the season.
It helps that teams can play away and not change their game plan now that crowds are not allowed and the home team doesn't have the advantage they might get.
282 Posted 13/01/2021 at 15:29:07
Did you think when the teams were named that Sigurdsson was a lone striker, that we were playing without one, or couldn't you fathom it either?
283 Posted 13/01/2021 at 15:32:30
We have to get out of this mindset. Be ruthless when players are clinging to their past glories – just get the Director of Football to do what he's supposed to do and find talent, known or unknown.
Nothing against Baines or Coleman etc, I just want Everton to think bigger for once.
284 Posted 13/01/2021 at 15:34:20
They were not able to set up shop and found themselves in a battle to control midfield. Everton's final third play was the only game in town for Everton and this continually high pressed the Wolves defence.
Richarlison was a better sub than Tosun for his ability to break up play and get a foul against. Ancelotti's main aim in the end was to close down the game. If a further Everton score materialised, it would have been a bonus.
It was brave tactics for Ancelotti to try, which were well implemented. It makes such a difference to have a manager that knows what he is doing.
285 Posted 13/01/2021 at 15:35:09
I looked at the starting eleven and posted I thought it may have been three at the back. Wrong.
I suppose that is typical of why Carlo is the manager of a revitalised Everton and we type posts on a football forum.
286 Posted 13/01/2021 at 15:44:32
As for Mr Ancelotti's position, I did say after naming the side I thought might be put out: "I cud doo dat, gis a job, lah" – which was meant as selecting 11 players is the easiest part.
287 Posted 13/01/2021 at 15:58:09
It doesnt matter what level we play at, because we always want to win, and I used to love going in the changing rooms as an apprentice after the game, but only when the first team had won.
If they lost, there was no point because I learned nothing, but when they won, players would listen to constructive criticism, because they never felt they were being blamed for anything, which is just human nature really, and exists right across life!
The simpler Everton play, the more it looks like the players are enjoying it, and thats the key in my book, but thats not to say Im right.
288 Posted 13/01/2021 at 16:06:44
Lots of square pegs playing in round holes. No recognised striker, 4 centre backs. On the ball we tried to stay patient with Mina and Keane almost acting as playmakers. I don't recall us having 2 better passers of the ball at centre back. Off the ball the formation tightened and made it hard for Wolves to break us down.
This game could have gone either way. 2 teams with injuries trying to play and win a game of football. It just so happened we came out the right side of a close game.
The whole defence played well. Michael Keane's long passing was fantastic. The highlight a 50 yard crossfield pass with his left foot. Godfrey is the new Jagielka, his speed and attitude to defending is making him undroppable.
All of the midfielders contributed. We will miss Doucouré's physicality in the next game. You never know Holdgate could end up playing there.
At the moment team spirit looks good. We are adapting our play to suit the players available and we are winning games. The manager and players deserve credit where it is due for their flexibility.
My slight concern is that results are papering over the cracks in a squad that is short on quality. We won't have Ancelotti he for years. Brands needs to identify the talent and Moshiri needs to bank roll the manager to get more quality into the team.
289 Posted 13/01/2021 at 16:28:53
290 Posted 13/01/2021 at 16:44:12
291 Posted 13/01/2021 at 16:50:40
On bravery and working hard. James may give the impression that he isn't working hard to some because he doesn't run around pointlessly like a headless chicken or track back as much as some would like. But he works hard to be available to receive the ball and then slows the game down in his own head to look where the ball needs to be next. I say in his own head because he does that slow motion thing invisible to the eyes of you or I that only really good players can do. His hard work is done in his brain as much as it is with his feet. So much of what he does is instinctive and happens without much apparent thought.
Football in my opinion always best when it is kept simple. Particularly in the modern era, we over complicate and over analyse the game. Fifa 2000 and whatever and Sky Sports has done that to us. The first pass a player sees is more often than not the best pass. See it play it. But that's just me from my own experience. I didn't make professional level, but I played a decent standard.
There is more instinct than science in it and that is no slant on our proud school of science tag. When you do the simple things, it can look scientific when in reality it is just good players doing things that come natural to them. Beauty in its simplicity.
292 Posted 13/01/2021 at 17:02:28
The same ‘doesnt work hard enough label used to be applied along with a chorus of boos to Ross Barkley and Lukaku. Ridiculous and done by people who clearly have no understanding of the game, nor bother to look at any stats in terms of ground covered, sprints made etc.
Barkley and James to an even greater extent find space because they keep moving and they look for the space and they move to put themselves in it.
Jon Walters, Ashley Barnes etc are reactive players, not intelligent footballers. They chase the opposition. And to a large proportion of fans this is perceived as hard work and positive.
Maybe because its something they recognise and can appreciate as it doesnt take a lot of ability, just the willingness to do it.
This who can appreciate the intricacies of football realise what the more subtle and intelligent players are doing.
Someone on here and I forget who posted that Ashley Barnes was a superior player to Richarlison and we would be better off with Barnes than the Brazilian. Says it all really
293 Posted 13/01/2021 at 17:02:31
Definitely benefiting from being surrounded by a much more composed and solid defence. Coaching appears to be making him realise he needs to read the game better and anticipate (back to my let the brain do half the work vice the feet and lungs).
And Mina to me is also coming along very nicely. As you would expect from a South American, very composed in playing out from the back. Clearly rubbing off on Keane too looking at some of his recent distribution!
294 Posted 13/01/2021 at 17:11:54
If we ever want to progress, we need to part company with older players showing signs of deterioration and look for better quality.
295 Posted 13/01/2021 at 17:20:26
296 Posted 13/01/2021 at 17:26:19
I used to get so frustrated a some of the criticism labelled a Lukaku. Here we had, for the first time in decades, someone scoring 20 goals a season for Everton.
Yet we bemoaned his touch and work rate.
Forgetful that when it mattered most, he more often than not anticipated, found space and got into goal scoring positions to score goals. Personally as a striker I want that rather than his chasing a defender into the corner or tracking back because it is considered working hard.
297 Posted 13/01/2021 at 17:26:20
298 Posted 13/01/2021 at 17:28:46
To be fair I think the majority post thier honest opinion.
Of course that doesntvalways make it accurate.
I have been both critical and praising of Tom this season.
I always try to base that in the game I have just watched,not on a preconceived basis.
Tom is improving under Ancelotti and its great to see it.
299 Posted 13/01/2021 at 17:42:37
I have been quite pleased with his recent performances, as much as I have been critical of previous ones. I have questioned if he is where we want to be (not where we are now).
Tom is a good player with great ability and even better commitment. He is an Evertonian. I am pleased he is growing in confidence and acknowledge the challenges he has had that have been captured in this thread and others.
For now he has a rightful place in this squad. If we want to push on I hope he can develop to be part of that. I'll leave that there. Like Everton right now, he is work in progress.
300 Posted 13/01/2021 at 17:50:38
Sky also reporting that Caicedo is about to sign for Brighton. I think we missed out on a really good one there.
Rob #288, good post.
301 Posted 13/01/2021 at 17:52:11
302 Posted 13/01/2021 at 17:58:00
He must be quick if hes faster than Godfrey because that lad is rapid
303 Posted 13/01/2021 at 18:08:25
And I apologise for singling you out - I was just worn down with all the negativity on here - even when we win.
304 Posted 13/01/2021 at 18:08:58
You can't have a defender with no pace playing a high line and thats where he kept getting caught out.
Almost every Italian manager is strict in defence and Keane sitting deep has made his game a lot easier to manage.
Again it is playing to strengths, (something Silva stopped doing) and Mina has also stopped getting stripped in the first ten mins of every game.
Mina's concentration levels have much improved lately and the partnership has never looked better.
Pickford also I have to give credit to for sharpening his concentration in recent weeks and hes in his best spell since he came here in my own opinion.
I'm glad you lot have had a lot of wins to discuss this season too. Style or no style i'd certainly rather discuss a victory and theres nothing wrong with analysing where we can do better within that.
305 Posted 13/01/2021 at 18:11:50
To often it is passing backwards instead of having a go. Fear of losing the ball, rather than risk of scoring...
How many times have you seen an opposition player get booked in the first half vs Everton, but no one has put the pressure on and run at him to draw in a red card or create a goal as you cant be touched in the second half.
306 Posted 13/01/2021 at 18:16:12
I hope Calvert-Lewin (as quoted by Lester) is right about Branthwaite as well. I've been complaining for years that we're among the slowest clubs in the Premier League, and that pace needs to be at the top of the list of qualities for our new signings. Seems Marcel has come to the same conclusion.
307 Posted 13/01/2021 at 18:22:23
308 Posted 13/01/2021 at 18:47:34
I guess that team line up shocked Wolves even more than ToffeeWebers. I felt it gave us an edge. In my view, it was fine innovation and downright cunning. It also showed what those players are capable of. There was urgency by all accounts last night. Great result.
309 Posted 13/01/2021 at 19:00:17
310 Posted 13/01/2021 at 19:02:53
I think having a low block has in fact helped Keane, Mina & Pickford.
Most goals are scored in the penalty area or about 20 yards from goal, so this door has been locked by Carlo and the coaching team.
So Carlo ensures Keane and Mina are always very close to Pickford when we defend. Reduce going on random runs with the ball too.
Pickford doesn't have to come out often when it's played in behind the centre backs because there's no space and crosses are headed out by the two lads in front, so less decisions for him. Just focus on his biggest strength, reaction shop-stopping. All three playing to core strengths where they are exceptional, masking each others weaknesses.
Tom does a great job ensuring no-one gets to the edge of the penalty area. Tom must not stray more than 20 yards from Mina and Keane. So these four staying in situ provide the insurance policy so that other players can transition high. If we lose the ball, they know Keane, Mina and Tom will retreat to cover access to the central penalty area quickly, and the others fall back into place.
So in summary: Ensure Keane and Mina stay close to Pickford as soon as we are defending, and Davies to stay within 20 yards of the centre backs. The rest are free to play quick transitions, ideally to look for James.
That's what I've seen this season, others may see another variant to this which would be interesting to hear.
311 Posted 13/01/2021 at 20:53:22
I applaud your synopsis of the game. Three players supporting each other with Tom as the anchor man. Excellent summary and you know what we have a serious back line that is ready for all comers.
312 Posted 13/01/2021 at 21:25:21
313 Posted 13/01/2021 at 21:40:38
Villa will be a struggle and I can see possible disappointment because we'll miss Doucoure, we just aren't as good at home, they have some very good players now and they seem to be playing well.
I was looking up the definition of what a football supporter is to see if I could use it to comment on the negativity of some of our fans. This was the best.
Jason, Good points on how we have plugged the gaps.
314 Posted 13/01/2021 at 21:53:45
315 Posted 13/01/2021 at 22:09:24
316 Posted 13/01/2021 at 22:11:12
317 Posted 13/01/2021 at 22:29:29
318 Posted 13/01/2021 at 23:01:17
Re James Rodriguez. Agreed, James was one of the better passers of the ball, but he is very left-footed, doesn't do much with the right. I'm not suggesting that he goes down the wing to ping crosses over.
Just a feeling that in some games, perhaps against the so-called lesser teams, his reluctance to turn to the right means he can be a little predictable. Just my thoughts... but I still want him in the team.
319 Posted 13/01/2021 at 23:31:18
I don't like to criticise players or managers too much, they are what they are. I'm happy we are back in good form and with that comes a little luck.
Wolves appear to be in a similar phase to us after Martinez's first season: trying to become a better attacking team but they keep conceeding goals. They haven't found the right balance but have some very talented players.
Good to read Tom Davies and Michael Keane getting some positive reviews. You have to play to players strengths. Playing deeper and more compact helps our slow defensive players.
Godfrey, with great pace and defending, has been instrumental in our recent good form. He's our best defensive left-back and I feel an England call-up very soon.
In response to Calvert-Lewin not dribbling or running at pace with the ball, he can't, it's not his game. He uses his pace to run into space.
Sadly, we lack a real winger who can dribble at pace. Richarlison and Iwobi the best two options.
Richarlison is also out of form. Does a great job defensively for the team but his one opportunity last night highlights his inability and indecisiveness to take a man on and get a shot away.
This is the opposite to Digne, a great attacking defender who can pass and cross but gets done defending. Maybe they are being retrained to swap roles?
Just highlighting a few aspects of their games that I believe are poor form rather than ability.
Our game plan is simple. Give it to James, switch flanks and get forward. If it works, keep going.
320 Posted 14/01/2021 at 03:26:55
His colleague who wore the No 9 shirt was asked why he rarely headed the ball and his response was that the head was for the wearing of the hat.
Puskas and Di Steffano.
321 Posted 14/01/2021 at 07:12:22
This is our team, imagine how well they'd do without their own fans ripping them new ones anytime they dare make a mistake. They're human, that Tom fella is 22 or something... wow, imagine we had thousands tearing into us at that age, it was bad enough from the family!
322 Posted 14/01/2021 at 08:29:20
323 Posted 14/01/2021 at 10:09:31
And fortunately for us Carlo Ancelotti is clever enough to give him the freedom of the pitch. I reckon we havent seen the best of him yet. As I have said previously he is a footballer that puts a smile on my face.
324 Posted 14/01/2021 at 10:40:50
Who is the fastest player at Everton? | Fan Q&A with Dominic Calvert-Lewin #AskDCL
Really like this young team of DCL, Holgate, Davies, Gordon and seems like Godfrey and Jared slots right in the group seamlessly. Bright future.
325 Posted 14/01/2021 at 11:08:04
326 Posted 14/01/2021 at 11:16:55
I thought that when he made that tackle in the 2nd half was very reminiscent of what was a signature tackle by Colin in his hey day. I think Colin was a lot more mobile than James but there is definitely a similarity.
327 Posted 14/01/2021 at 11:22:55
328 Posted 14/01/2021 at 11:24:53
Add to that South American / French (and other) flair and we building something really good.
329 Posted 14/01/2021 at 14:52:15
330 Posted 14/01/2021 at 15:46:34
331 Posted 15/01/2021 at 00:21:10
I also saw The White Pele in his prime, but if there was a similarity with a former player, I'd prefer to say Sheedy, although we've yet to see James power in a 25-yard free-kick, it's early days.
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