This was the game that finally marked Allan's comeback from a 3-month lay-off with a hamstring injury
Everton return to Premier League action tonight when they take on Southampton at Goodison Park, with Calvert-Lewin back in the starting line-up.
But they have lost three successive home games while the Saints are winless in eight Premier League games since they beat Liverpool in early January, and have fallen from top spot in October — when they beat Everton at St Mary's — to 14th place.
With Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Allan both selected to start but the mercurial James Rodriguez and the improving Tom Davies and the consistent Seamus Coleman are all strangely not involved in the squad... but the dynamic duo of Sigurdsson and Gomes start in midfield. And there's an unprecedented slew of youngsters among the subs: Nathan Broadhead, Ryan Astley, Kyle John and Tyler Onyango all on the bench for Everton tonight.
No Theo Walcott for Southampton, where he is on loan from Everton and therefore ineligible. The visitors had much of the early play, with Everton winning the ball back but then soon losing it, and not looking particularly confident under the press, although Doucouré almost played in Calvert-Lewin. There followed the first corner of the game, to Southampton, cleared well by Calvert-Lewin.
A very neat piece of play saw Richarlison finish superbly after Sigurdsson had played him in following a bizarre double shoulder play by Calvert-Lewin; the Blues ahead in fine style.
Salisu was struggling with Calvert-Lewin's physicality, giving up a promising set-piece that Digne delivered well, Richarlison headed well and Forster saved well at the near post, all to no avail: three Everton players offside at the free-kick.
Keane gave up a corner that eventually saw Ward-Prowse fire over. Digne put in a couple of crosses that were somewhat wayward. Hogate did well to force Redmond into a foul, Digne and Sigurdsson laying a neat dummy, played in for Holgate and Keane finished it off with a point-blank header but Holgate had moved too soon: offside.
Ings then forced a foul off Holgate at the other end, Ward -Prowse curling in a very dangerous ball that Calvert-Lewin got his head on first to head behind. But Saints should have scored off the corner when Djenepo easily went past Doucouré but Pickford was positioned well to prevent the goal.
The visitors had a decent spell with some crisp passing that almost threatened the Everton goal and kept the Blues at bay until Vestergaard took down Sigurdsson for another threatening set-piece. Could the Blues stay onside? They timed it fractionally better but Richarlison needed to hurl himself at the ball if he was going to score.
Half-time finally came with the tempo of the game having slowed somewhat. But in part that reflects Everton's defensive discipline.
On the restart, the Blues soon had another set-piece chance, thanks to Calvert-Lewin getting sandwiched. But the wall deflected Sigurdsson's strike behind, with Holgate impeding Forster on the corner.
Southampton got their own free-kick but it was some ways out, Everton still defending deep and strong. Salisu still coming off the worst against a dominant Calvert-Lewin and not enjoying the treatment.
Some more pacey Everton play through the middle finally won a corner that Sigurdsson put into the danger area full of red shirts. Djenepo and Richarlison collided, Richarlison squealing and winning the free-kick, which was nicely headed on by Keane to Calvert-Lewin at the far post but just too high for him. The ball falls to Godfrey but his shot is crowded out.
Another sniper, in the shape of Bednarek, shot Richarlison in the leg this time but nothing came of it. At the other end, Salisu headed wide from a decent a Ward-Prowse before he was subbed. Everton tried to break at pace but were whistled offside again.
Holgate won a very soft free-kick wide right; Digne and Sigurdsson tried a different routine but it was defended away for a corner, not that well delivered by Digne.
Digne caught Djenepo late, Keane cleared Ward-Prowse's free-kick but the ball came back over the defence to Ings who was thankfully offside.
Some nonsense play at the back saw Keane give away a daft corner that Pickford did well to punch away. Calvert-Lewin drew another foul from Armstrong that was deemed a yellow card offence, the first of the game, and another Everton set-piece but not threatening.
Gomes returned the favour with a soft pull-back. Digne was forced to concede a corner as the Saints pressed more effectively but it only produced more confident defensive work from the Blues, who may have been sitting back a little too much? The Saints finally worked a brilliant chance for Djenepo that somehow flew wide.
Carlo Ancelotti moved to make his first sub with less than 5 minutes left, Iwobi on for Gomes after the Spaniard had just delivered the best ball of the game but the ball would not run for the Blues.
Each Saints attack looked that little bit more dangerous as they won a corner and a crazy spell saw Everton fend off three quick chances, the last a fantastic block by Pickford off Vestergaard. Richarlison was swapped out for King and 3 more minutes of added time that got stretched to 6 when Calvert-Lewin landed on Djenepo's ankle rather painfully.
Saints conjured up another even more dangerous attack that wins a corner which Pickford punched away strongly; the Blues 'hang on' ... or was it another defensive mastereclass?
Kick-off: 8pm, Monday, 1 March 2021 on Sky Sports
Everton: Pickford, Godfrey, Keane, Holgate, Digne, Doucouré, Allan, Gomes (87' Iwobi), Sigurdsson, Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison (90+1' King).
Subs not Used: Virginia, Astley, Nkounkou, John, Bernard, Onyango, Broadhead.
Southampton: Forster, Salisu (64' Tella [Y:80']), Bednarek, Vestergaard, Bertrand, Djenepo, Armstrong [Y:77'], Ward-Prowse, Redmond (88' Watts), Adams (77' N'Lundulu), Ings.
Subs not Used: McCarthy, Stephens, Ramsay, Ferry, Jankewitz, Chauke.
VAR: Jon Moss
Reader Comments (294)
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1 Posted 01/03/2021 at 19:08:12
2 Posted 01/03/2021 at 19:12:42
3 Posted 01/03/2021 at 19:15:42
And it's a back four again.
4 Posted 01/03/2021 at 19:16:14
5 Posted 01/03/2021 at 19:17:49
6 Posted 01/03/2021 at 19:18:58
start against WBA. Heard that fat twat Sam whinging about playing on Thursday prior to bottom of table clash with Barcodes. Not a peep out of Don Carlo, playing Monday and Thursday-class
7 Posted 01/03/2021 at 19:19:56
8 Posted 01/03/2021 at 19:20:32
9 Posted 01/03/2021 at 19:24:28
Hard guy to second guess, Carlo!
10 Posted 01/03/2021 at 19:25:07
11 Posted 01/03/2021 at 19:27:40
Looking at the bench and wow, somethings not right. Is this our mini pandemic?
Southampton schooled us in the reverse fixture. We couldn't get near them.
Southampton have been terrible of late, we have had a great week and..
12 Posted 01/03/2021 at 19:33:10
Just have to hope but I suspect it maybe a tough watch.
13 Posted 01/03/2021 at 19:34:35
14 Posted 01/03/2021 at 19:36:21
I hope Everton take the game to Soton, and shoot on site, but this is a must win game, to consolidate on last week.
Looking forward to the match and an Everton win, take the belief and spirit of last week.
Massive game in a testing week, which could be decisive, come the final reckoning in May.
15 Posted 01/03/2021 at 19:43:02
Eyebrow raising selection, but the Italian will have his reasons for doing so with WBA on Thursday and Chelsea next Monday.
Coleman, Davies and James not even on the bench is not evidence of them being 'dropped', but either injured or strategically rested.
I note also Olsen also doesn't make the bench, but Virginia does.
Based on recent performances and results, we'll know within 5 minutes of KO which Everton we will get and how the game will go. Lethargic or dynamic. Insipid or incisive.
We HAVE to grasp the opportunity that this game and WBA on Thursday offers us.
16 Posted 01/03/2021 at 19:43:02
17 Posted 01/03/2021 at 19:43:43
Good to see the youth on the bench as there are a quite a few games in a short time coming up. Hopefully they can perform well if they are needed.
18 Posted 01/03/2021 at 19:44:15
Slightly worried about Holgate too.
19 Posted 01/03/2021 at 19:44:34
Newcastle hadn't won in 11 and Fulham not at Goodison for god knows how long!!
Still quietly confident but I cringe when I hear that type of stuff!
20 Posted 01/03/2021 at 19:49:00
4222 tonight? Lob sided if not.
21 Posted 01/03/2021 at 19:50:06
Siggy for James is a pretty decent exchange really, when Siggy is at no10 he can be a dangerous player. Allan for Davies is good, great to have him back. Good game for Gomes to assert himself, hopefully. One of Godfrey or Holgate at right back is fine.
The bench raises eyebrows - nkounkou, virginia, broadhead, onyango, john, astly - 6 u23 players.
Broadhead is the one that sparks my interest. he is clearly 'too good' for u23 football, and should be a regular in League 1 or Championship. Could this be a Leon Osmanish type arrival? He's 22, maybe he's ready.
22 Posted 01/03/2021 at 20:00:12
I also get worried with Sigurdsson and Gomes in the same midfield, especially when there is so much combat and running to be done to win possession.
It's still a team that should be beating Southampton.
I think there is some rotation about this selection, as we play West Brom on Thursday. We'll see Seamus, Tom and James then.
23 Posted 01/03/2021 at 20:11:27
24 Posted 01/03/2021 at 20:50:44
DCL completely dominant against that defender he's on. Djenepo leaving acres of space for Digne. Surely there are goals in this.
25 Posted 01/03/2021 at 20:53:26
26 Posted 01/03/2021 at 20:57:15
If we have another gear we need to use it.
27 Posted 01/03/2021 at 20:58:49
Good work by Dom twice to win the ball for our goal. The Saints defender was clattered by his own lad, not Dom. Great ball by Siggy. Tidy step around the keeper and finish by Richy.
Extremely well worked free kick on the disallowed goal. That's been worked on. Clever, clever decoy run by Digne, then running back to surprisingly whip the ball in.
Pity Holgate was offside. That sort of play merits a goal.
Saints doing enough to keep us 'worried' as Carlo asked his players to be before the game. Definitely need a second to give us some breathing space.
Again, no one playing badly. Allan a wee bit ring rusty. Some good interceptions and passing mixed with poor passing and getting his pocket too easily pinched. Doucoure's engine still purring, but he does cough up the ball easily at times.
Strange thing to say, but Richy needs to be stronger on the ball. He is also having the ball nicked off him too easily in some situations. Gomes and Siggy doing well. Dom so strong in his hold up play.
Keep on it, Blues. We need this tonight.
28 Posted 01/03/2021 at 21:57:58
29 Posted 01/03/2021 at 21:58:32
I suppose you can say job done and a win at home against a team in the bottom half. But that was a hard watch.
30 Posted 01/03/2021 at 21:59:01
Sigurdsson kept Ward-Prowse quiet and had got another assist to his name.
Richarlison was everywhere and took his goal very well.
Pickford was very good again today. Not a lot to do, but he denied Vestergaard at the end and I thought his distribution was excellent tonight.
MotM for me was Gomes. Very tidy, beautiful range of passing and with both feet. I just wish he added a few more goals to his game!
31 Posted 01/03/2021 at 21:59:02
No-one had a really bad game but it was an odd performance.
32 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:00:36
Poor game. Southampton are a better team than their form suggests. We never really got out of second gear yet, until the very end, Jordan wasn't called upon.
Points in the bag at the business end of the season. Job done, as they say.
33 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:01:00
34 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:01:35
35 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:01:37
Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison played well, as did our defence. Hope to see more quality against West Bromto take us into the top four, or will we get another attack of altitude sickness?
36 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:01:41
37 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:01:53
Good win that. I agree with Gomes being MotM.
38 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:03:35
39 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:04:43
40 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:05:48
41 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:06:47
I'll take that in every game to the end of the season, ta very much.
Saints only threatened Pickford's goal in the last 5 minutes of the game. They were very neat and tidy, but totally lacking penetration or cutting edge.
By contrast we had far more threat on their goal, but small margins, small errors and slips at key moments didn't make more of those openings.
GREAT smothering save by Pickford at the death. I would have been mightily pissed off with Doucoure if they had scored from the corner his stupid short inside pass gifted them possession.
Big heart, big engine the lad has, but his pass selection and execution does leave a lot to be desired at times.
Now to bag the Baggies.
42 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:07:34
43 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:07:37
44 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:07:47
45 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:08:30
46 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:08:30
47 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:08:34
But for Pickford that's two points dropped.
I'll avoid the blame game but can't understand why we don't TRY to put these teams to the sword.
Conserving energy? Playing within ourselves? Playing to order?
I haven't got a clue to be honest but it doesn't make for pleasurable watching.
48 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:09:44
49 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:09:57
50 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:10:04
51 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:12:10
Bit worried about the lack of creativity but great to keep a clean sheet
I dont understand why we dont compete in midfield even when we have 4 central midfielders on the pitch
Glad we won but Im not convinced on these tactics
52 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:14:25
53 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:15:09
Everton lost control of midfield and seem to go into home mode from then on. Second half Southampton where allowed too much going forward and Everton where lucky that Southampton didn't equalise in the end. Pichfords save and Allan back , saved the day. Carlos defensive organisation was the difference.
Not all the Home Ghosts have been banished.
54 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:15:13
Hope Davies, James and Coleman are back for the next game though as we were short on any kind of attacking outlet on the right hand side of the pitch.
55 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:16:23
I thought Allan looked a bit rusty, and Id be happy to see Holgate on the bench right now.
Delighted with three points but I hope we get a bit more entertainment when were allowed back into goodison next season
56 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:17:51
Still we keep up with the pack and Id take another 13 one nil wins but probably my heart wouldnt
MOM Pickford just for the last minute save - brilliant!
57 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:19:56
The quality of football is going backwards in the league overall with the exception of the teams with the big squads.
Our only bit of quality resulted in a goal.
The Defence and goalie stood firm, midfield looked a mess from start to finish it may have been a diamond formation but with the serious lack of legs in there we got away with it today.
I take an ugly win over a well played defeat all day but my finger nails are all but stumps watching this.
Hard to pick a motm probably give it to Richarleson for his goal and energy.
58 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:20:25
59 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:24:48
60 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:25:05
As usual, we could have made things a lot easier on ourselves with an insurance goal, but to be fair, I thought we were pretty much in control throughout the second half. Southampton barely carried any sort of threat until the final moments.
61 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:25:46
Ok, so we huffed and puffed, but we werent really under pressure for the vast amount of the game. The stress seems to be coming mainly from those watching, not those playing.
62 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:27:16
He deserves to be playing. He's been in grand form.
63 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:28:14
One thing puzzling me is Carlos substitutions. They always seem to happen so late. Tonight they were made in the 86th and 89th minute. This despite Southampton making their subs and gaining control in the last 15 mins.
I would have liked to see Sigurdsson off - great pass for the goal, and then completely anonymous after that like usual. Gomes tired and he could have come off earlier also.
A win is a win. But I do feel slightly underwhelmed by that tonight.
64 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:28:49
65 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:29:20
Carragher saying we might not have the players to get to top 4 but Carlo giving us that chance.
66 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:30:20
67 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:30:42
68 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:31:08
69 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:31:11
70 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:31:24
I thought Gomes was MotM merely because he hardly ever loses the ball, hardly ever fails to take positions that frustrate passing options to our opponents but can still pass fabulously well for us.
Moving on in that vein, it's stated by "statto's" that since his Premier League debut in January 2012, Gylfi Sigurdsson (and huge credit for his sublime control and pass for the goal) has now provided 48 Premier League assists, the seventh-best haul in that time, behind Kevin de Bruyne, David Silva, Christian Eriksen, Mesut Ozil, Eden Hazard and Raheem Sterling. Did any of them play for mid-table teams though?
71 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:36:01
72 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:38:14
73 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:40:05
74 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:41:25
Tired might not be the correct description but the overall quality in the league has dropped a level with the amount of footy played in such a short space of time for most clubs with the exception of teams with large squads with established players.
I may be making this up but to me most teams are struggling with injuries due to the amount of games played in a short space of time.
It's looking like a game of attrition and churn rather than quality football or is it just us?
75 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:43:40
76 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:43:56
77 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:44:40
Shame because I thought MF was our biggest problem tonight. They put the workrate in but Siggy and Gomes were far too slow and Doucoure put his usual 110% in but was poor on the ball.
Outstanding performances by DCL and Richy who fed off scraps but put some tireless running in for the team.
I think Holgate needs Iwobi in front of him if he is to continue at RB.
Roll on West Brom.
78 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:44:59
I think you should always bring subs on. Theres always someone tiring, or not quite at it. Sometimes it can just take the sting out of a game, or change the course of a game. Weve all seen games where weve conceded late and wondered why the changes came so late. I feel we got away with it tonight. If Vestergaard had scored, everyone would have been asking questions. We let them get right back into it second half, to the point where we were hanging on. Im a Carlo fan, but I do wonder about his late subs sometimes...
79 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:45:14
So if anyone had offered 1-0 at the start, we'd have bitten their hands off.
Put an end to a woeful home record of straight defeats, put 4th in out hands, clean sheet, another goal for our fucking brilliant Brazilian.
Much needed win, Southampton are a decent team and play a tempo we usually struggle with, but we kept them at am arms length.
We were much the better team until the second disallowed goal. This gave them a boost, but they never actually turned it into real threats.
Throughout we were.the most dangerous team.
For.me, MOTM was Pickford. He made a couple of crucial saves, but his distribution was excellent. Every time the ball came him,.he passed with pace, accuracy, and without hesitation. This is a truly valuable gift in goalkeeper and today he was spot on.
80 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:46:08
Good character tonight and a real slog.
Im hopping the line up for WBA, will include some players being rested for tonights game.
WBA, Sam, will also be hell bent on getting, a result but, if Everton, can turn them over, we can build real momentum for Stamford Bridge.
Next game, and this can be the catalyst for a solid run in.
Tonight is about the result, it wasnt a classic, far from it, but theres some good arrogance and steel, being showed by the forwards, and they are learning well.
Lead from the front and get some of the basics in transition from back to midfield/ forward and its up to Everton. Thats GK and the defence line who plated tonight, Godfrey, was, immense, and if he carries this level on, could captain Everton, in the future, with some mentoring.
Still in the run in, and good to be in contention, for a European place.
Next WBA, and Sam..
81 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:46:15
The goal was almost a carbon copy of the Derby goal. Okay, so Sigurdsson isn't James and needed to let it hit the ground and take an extra touch, but similar pass. But it was made by the run of Richarlison; again.
It was good to see Allan back. Looked a bit rusty but done what he does well and broke up play a lot as well as played the invisible captain role. Made up term, but he doesn't need an armband to shout at players and tell them what to do. I'd have preferred to have split the game between him and Tom but the latter obviously wasn't available.
I thought Gomes played well but not my man of the match and I didn't like that diamond or him being on the left of it. Not his natural position but credit to him for doing a really good job.
Sigurdsson for me had a great game. That obviously doesn't go with what others are saying but I genuinely thought he put in a shift and looked like a leader on the pitch tonight as well as quality on the ball and the assist for the winning goal.
But for me man of the match goes to Dominic Calvert Lewin. Led the line like a true centre forward. Bullied their defence, made the goal and took the pressure off the team when it mattered.
82 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:46:22
"Massive for us, it's something we wanted to put right, we had good home form and have been on a tough run. We worked hard and earned the three pints. "Sometimes it's not pretty and that's what the best teams do, win the game and put in a performance we can control. "It was me and Richarlison up front together to create trouble for the two centre halves, we knew we could get in behind their high line. That's what we planned and thankfully it worked. "They are a good side, they did a job on us at their place and I took that personally. We limited their chances and had a chance to score again, the one offside, we were close to adding to the one-goal lead. The discipline we showed to keep defending is what ultimately wins you the game. "You have to believe, that's where we want to be. Our aspiration has to be top four until it's mathematically not possible."
"Sometimes it's not pretty and that's what the best teams do, win the game and put in a performance we can control.
"It was me and Richarlison up front together to create trouble for the two centre halves, we knew we could get in behind their high line. That's what we planned and thankfully it worked.
"They are a good side, they did a job on us at their place and I took that personally. We limited their chances and had a chance to score again, the one offside, we were close to adding to the one-goal lead. The discipline we showed to keep defending is what ultimately wins you the game.
"You have to believe, that's where we want to be. Our aspiration has to be top four until it's mathematically not possible."
83 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:46:36
84 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:46:49
Can you see my point though, Alan will win ball, but he needs that willing runner with it, it's not Gomes and it's not Decoure.
We get that player we'll do some damage.
85 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:47:53
If we finish in the top 4, will we care if it was ugly or not?
And it was another beautifully worked goal, another to add to the list of wonderful goals this season.
86 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:48:04
Its March 1st, the time of the year that the team that puts a run together gets over the line - no matter how the run comes together. At the mo its Man City and no one else. (maybe West Ham )
For everyone else its just about grinding out the result. And running on empty. Thats why tonight was good. Winning ugly is the difference.
Everybody else over the weekend drew ugly. (Except those over the road. They scraped a win.)
87 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:49:29
When they attacked, we had Allan and Doucoure, the other 2 were no where to be seen. Better teams will have walked through our midfield tonight.
Defence looked solid, Calvert-Lewin is looking like the complete striker, Pickford played well, Allan showed his class. Sigurdsson did well for the assist but offered nothing after. Gomes, for every good touch there are too many periods of anonymity and too many stupid fouls. We played a 4-2-2 tonight and cant afford 2 passengers.
88 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:50:13
89 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:51:00
90 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:51:15
Same again, every match, but tonight was a massive spiritual victory for a Evertonians.
91 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:54:05
This was an uncomfortable, unconvincing performance from our team. Richarlison produced the one moment of quality in the game and for that was our man of the match. Pickford came to the fore in the final minutes but the brutal truth is the players in front of him were incapable of putting this game to bed against a struggling team.
At least they stopped the rot at Goodison with a rare clean sheet and a first league win since before Christmas. The midfield, with Allan returning, was solid defensively but lacked a ball carrier to dictate play when moving forward. There is an over-dependency on Sigurdsson or James finding the killer pass to Richarlison. Teams sufficiently well organised will surely find ways and means of countering that in the games to come.
92 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:54:12
DCL and Richarlison worked very hard. So did Doucoure, who spoiled much of his labour by giving the ball away. Keane continued to excel with his deep defending. MOTM for me was Gomes but, boy, he gives away daft free kicks.
93 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:54:50
I don't believe in making subs because you should do. That's the current trend of make a change on 60 minutes because it's on the hour mark.
I'm more of the opinion make a change because it is necessary. That could be through injury or glaringly obvious the game plan isn't working. For the latter, I don't care if that is after 20 minutes, but I agree, too many modern coaches wait until the 60th minute + regardless of how bad it is going.
Tonight we didn't need to make a change.
And that is what the keeper is there for. Just because it was late on, it was still their only shot on target and we saved it.
94 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:54:55
"We have time to recover for Thursday. Allan was back after two months, we have to take care of this, it might be more difficult for him. We have to check on James, Seamus Coleman and Tom Davies for Thursday."
95 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:56:23
96 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:56:33
97 Posted 01/03/2021 at 22:58:22
Passing a ball 15 yards straight through a giant gap in a flat defence is not a hard skill to perform for a professional footballer.
Being willing to run in behind - knowing the ball may not come - over and over again, is whats hard and its why we arent half the team without Richarlison.
Wrap him up in cotton wool for the last third of the season then let him play all the international tournaments he wants and tie him down to a long contract.
98 Posted 01/03/2021 at 23:04:21
As mysterious to interpret as my favourite gesture in the whole wide world.
99 Posted 01/03/2021 at 23:05:37
Sam — rightly in my view — has a gripe against Everton. But I dont see that as a big factor on Thursday. Hes arrogant hes never been relegated. I dont think he has an extra 10 percent or some master plan thats hes held back until this point to get one over on us. I imagine theyll play their usual physical long ball game. If we lose its 100 percent on us no performing. They simply lack the quality to beat us unless we beat ourselves
100 Posted 01/03/2021 at 23:05:40
Allan was rusty but his positional play was excellent.
Keane a close call for motm for me, was a beast at both ends of the pitch.
Next win please!
101 Posted 01/03/2021 at 23:07:01
102 Posted 01/03/2021 at 23:07:12
Allan will have been working on his conditioning to get ready for tonight but nothing can prepare the body for the strain of a competitive match.
The sport scientists at Everton know his recovery is likely to take longer than three days and I expect he will be replaced in the squad by Davies on Thursday.
103 Posted 01/03/2021 at 23:07:49
104 Posted 01/03/2021 at 23:09:02
105 Posted 01/03/2021 at 23:09:16
106 Posted 01/03/2021 at 23:09:57
Ill take the same at WBA, and then for a decisive 6 pointer..
Once Upon A few Times at Chelsea...
107 Posted 01/03/2021 at 23:10:49
108 Posted 01/03/2021 at 23:11:35
109 Posted 01/03/2021 at 23:11:37
He done well and worked incredibly hard.
110 Posted 01/03/2021 at 23:13:16
111 Posted 01/03/2021 at 23:13:45
Every team is suffering from injuries, the players are tired, playing with knocks and playing a crazy amount of games in a very compressed time. There are too many games I feel like I am watching teams play in quicksand.
112 Posted 01/03/2021 at 23:15:20
If we get a second from one of those three similar free kicks then I think Southampton deflate completely. Ultimately job done with pretty much 6 or 7 performances from all.
Allan is short of match practice and will pick up with games, Doucoure has that annoying habit of panicked stabbing at the ball at times but does huge amount of work and I thought Gomes did pretty well on the ball and when defending. Siggy was not involved enough but not for want of trying. Holgate is not a wingback so that did limit us on the right and Digne is still coming back from what was a serious injury. Some individual mistakes made Southampton look more threatening than they actually were.
Great finish by Richy and Dom rattled them whenever the ball was played in his vicinity.
Really want us to step up a couple of gears and stuff West Brom on Thursday though.
113 Posted 01/03/2021 at 23:18:51
Mike. Really? Our league position now compared to this time last year (which was pre-Covid).
Sorry to be a dick, but it was actually my wife (a Villa fan) who pointed out that the clubs who seem to be doing better because of the lack of fans in the ground seem to be Everton, Villa and West Ham.
Possibly because of the live forum type anxiety of recent years that transcends from the terraces after 20 minutes?
I hate myself for saying that and know I open myself up, but worthy of debate?
114 Posted 01/03/2021 at 23:19:46
115 Posted 01/03/2021 at 23:25:36
116 Posted 01/03/2021 at 23:26:56
117 Posted 01/03/2021 at 23:30:01
118 Posted 01/03/2021 at 23:30:44
Nice to see us winning this type of game instead of dropping points.
119 Posted 01/03/2021 at 23:31:48
A more balanced team hopefully, and Id bring in James, for Gomes, or Siggy.
More brain, punch, and clinical in proportion; deliver the killer passes for DCL and Richarlison.
But happy days for a Evertonians, and a big week for all the EPL, teams, and in context, who goes where
120 Posted 01/03/2021 at 23:32:41
Thats definitely the magic, agreed however the hard part is the run. As well as the vision to identify the opportunity while others are looking at the ball, there is the timing aspect. He is about to breach the defensive line just as the ball finally drops out of the sky to Sigurdssons feet. We often give the credit to the passer for these moments where we all feel the magic when in my view its usually more about the run, and is especially more about the run in this case when the play is right under the passers nose.
Arguably though, if Richarlison doesnt believe Sigurdsson has the vision to make the pass, he doesnt make the run so theres admittedly a bit of chicken and egg.
121 Posted 01/03/2021 at 23:33:47
122 Posted 01/03/2021 at 23:36:15
123 Posted 01/03/2021 at 23:36:31
124 Posted 01/03/2021 at 23:38:25
I pointed out that other non-Evertonians highlighted that the clubs who seem to be benefiting are Villa, Everton and West Ham.
It's not my view, it's an independent family view that our fans are impatient and fickle during the match, which can transpire down onto the pitch.
I reiterate, not my view, an independent view of Evertonians. We are great fans, but not above judgement.from others that I live with on a daily basis.
125 Posted 01/03/2021 at 23:39:09
126 Posted 01/03/2021 at 23:43:28
Funniest post goes to the clown that said it was the first time we won a game when we needed to to progress up the table it wasnt, we won to go second earlier in the season
Some of you guys have forgotten what we watched and went through for a large part of last season and the one before. It doesnt happen over night!
127 Posted 01/03/2021 at 23:43:34
128 Posted 01/03/2021 at 23:44:48
129 Posted 01/03/2021 at 23:49:10
Had this scenario before, so before I start getting carried away, what is the latest ruling.
130 Posted 01/03/2021 at 23:52:52
The better away form for a lot of teams, especially against some of the top clubs, can easily be assumed to be due to less influence on the officials, and VAR may have knocked out some of the marginal calls that the favoured clubs benefited from in the past.
Less influence on officials is not exactly like losing the boost from the terraces and so you cant say it all necessarily works out the same for all clubs.
131 Posted 01/03/2021 at 23:55:51
Our next game will probably suit us more though, just from the way we have been playing away from home, so Im hoping for a better performance and another win.
132 Posted 01/03/2021 at 00:01:35
We defended well, but if these are Carlo's preferred tactics, then we need a speedier build up if Europe is to be a realistic goal. More pace, more guile please.
We have players who can score goals from free kicks, but I wish more attempts were made by players running with the ball from outside the box. Far too often we want to walk it in. A few 35 yard 'toe enders' wouldn't go amiss. Just to vary things up a little. We certainly don't test keepers from long range often enough.
133 Posted 01/03/2021 at 00:04:10
We get up for the big games but when I watch Everton v Hull (for example), Goodison is like a library. As are most Premier League stadiums a lot of the time.
As has most recently been the case, the away following generally tend to generate the atmosphere. That is at Goodison as much as any other ground; our own fantastic away support included.
134 Posted 01/03/2021 at 00:06:27
To the best of my knowledge. No country can have six teams in the CL.With the Europa league winners getting a spot [very likely Utd] and the possibility of the RS winning the CL. It could be the top three league places qualify.
City as league winners,
CL winners [regardless of league position],
Europa league winners.
It is too complicated. The bottom line. We could finish 4th and only get a Europa spot.
135 Posted 01/03/2021 at 00:12:06
136 Posted 01/03/2021 at 00:16:06
If one were to agree with the assessment that the level of play is down in the EPL, and I'm not sure I agree but will go with it, then my only response is?
When opportunity knocks, open the fucking door.
If we beat West Brom on Thursday, we're in 4th, 26 games into the season. Continuing from that, I see absolutely no one just ahead of us or just behind us I fear. Not a single team. So why not us? We are where we are because we deserve it. We defend magnificently, we have a manager who can actually manage, and we've got some damn good players. The players who aren't as talented have improved immeasurably under Carlo.
Again, why not us?
I don't care about ugly. And I didn't see ugly today. I'm in the minority and that's fine. I saw a defensively solid game, and a game where the players weren't at their best, but still managed three points.
I'd predict by Thursday night, Everton Football Club will be in 4th place and in a Champions League position. I'd add that position has been earned on merit over the course of 26 games, and we can finish there, if not higher up the table.
Now for the comment that might seem fantastical, but allow yourself to dream.
If we win games like this, when we aren't at our best, make the Champions League, and then?
Then go on to get out of the group stage in said Champions League? That's club-changing money and profile.
Dare to dream. No one can tell me that's out of reach. I watch this team lay eggs, then turn around and give massive effort to right the wrongs. I watch this team play very organized, tight, tidy, effective football. I watch this team counter with pace with dangerous classy players threatening the opposition and scare the life out of them just about every week. And most importantly, I watch other teams every week, and not a single one of them looks any better or worse than Everton, sans Man City. Not a single one.
We are on the ascendancy. We just need to actually believe in my opinion.
137 Posted 02/03/2021 at 00:19:58
We need to nail a top three spot then to be sure, as you just know if our scabby neighbours, miss the top 4 they will somehow pull something out of the bag, in the Champs league.
138 Posted 02/03/2021 at 00:23:00
Gomes and Pickford get a 7. Allan got minutes into his legs, Richy got another goal to boost the confidence.
Unless he's injured, I expect to see Rodriguez back for WBA, but who am I to out guess our Mk II Tinkerman as to who's out or in.
139 Posted 02/03/2021 at 00:24:53
If the planets all align on April 1st, the Pope dies that day, and a comet hits Hawaii, it might occur.
140 Posted 02/03/2021 at 00:25:51
141 Posted 02/03/2021 at 00:34:39
Anyway, a crap game tonight. Just shows how much we need to strengthen our MF in the summer with players who can win, the ball, retain the ball and pass the ball.
142 Posted 02/03/2021 at 00:39:04
143 Posted 02/03/2021 at 00:49:15
Considering there are quite a few other games being played this week it seems very unlikely that we'll be 4th on Thursday, even if we do win.
Anyway, let's keep picking up the points and one day when we are actually able to pass to each other for 90 minutes and put some proper tackles in well really be on our way.
144 Posted 02/03/2021 at 00:55:22
I'll bet after our game - OUR game - on Thursday we will sit 4th in the League.
I'm half tempted to say at the end of the day on Thursday we'll be 4th. I believe if Chelsea and "they" draw, we'll sit 4th all alone.
Think I have that right?
Either way, you're correct. We just need to keep picking up points.
145 Posted 02/03/2021 at 01:00:54
Other choices were there. He had the option to stay with the same formation and bring DCL in for James and Iwobi in for Coleman but reverted to type. Again... l ficking hate us playing 43... whatever. When it was 1 nil it stiffled us yet again when we could have kicked on.
So... yes 3 points. Lets hope we have the injured back soon for some guile from James. Some natural right back and (stop the press), some energy and presence from Tom Davies.
146 Posted 02/03/2021 at 01:01:54
Massive win tonight its been a positive 10 days for the club. Was worried we come up short tonight. But we got the win. Pickford won us two points, back four where solid. Midfielders can do better tbf. And Richarlison hopefully is coming back to his best. Put ourselves in a good position hopefully more wins are on the way. Starting with Thursday.
Although we did look very nervous on the ball tonight. Feels like we need to score three in order to feel comfortable let alone one or two. Clean sheets are massive and hopefully many more from now on. But need to put games to bed and take the opportunities that get handed to us.
147 Posted 02/03/2021 at 01:16:38
I keep forgetting this joker even plays for us. Gbamin and Besic seem to spring to mind more easily. You know who Im taking about right? Fabian Delph. Or is he always absent because hes a figment of my imagination who wanders into my mind twice a year?
148 Posted 02/03/2021 at 01:43:28
149 Posted 02/03/2021 at 02:05:56
Holgate had a poor game and offered nothing going forward and Southampton cut off the out ball to Digne from the start. The midfield looked as though they didn't know that each other were actually playing never mind string two or three passes together between them. If you had to name a MotM for us you could only consider Keane and Godfrey.
Hopefully we won't be training with the same swords we've been using this week and we'll have more players available for the WBA game as I can't see that lot breaking down any packed defence unless we get another lucky bounce that led to tonight's goal. At one time we had a corner and the ball was cleared about 15 metres out of the penalty area by Southampton and two passes later it was with Pickford without any pressure on our two players involved. Indeed, did we have a shot at goal, never mind on target, from outside the penalty area?
Something has to improve albeit we got the result needed.
150 Posted 02/03/2021 at 02:25:09
I thought there were some good performances.
DCL was my stand out - I haven't seen a centre half look that scared of a forward in a long time. Dom looks ready to dominate his opponents. He looked like a top level striker.
Pickford's distribution was back to where we hoped when we signed him. It was world class kind of stuff. Also made a vital save, plus the one he punched off the head of a So'ton player.
Doucoure is still what I said he was over the last few weeks (to some criticism). He's a liability at times on the ball, but he drives and never stops.
Gomes and Sigi (despite some bizarre views in this thread) pressed and used the ball well. I thought both had very good games.
And I thought Southampton played their part. They press, they compete and they play good football - it was just hard to see how they were going to score. Which must owe some credit to us because they have some decent attacking players.
That was an energy sapping performance - they ran their hearts out. A second goal would have been nice, but I'll live with the slightly nervous 1-0. It was so important to not waste last week's result.
151 Posted 02/03/2021 at 02:42:14
Do you have the inside story on Everton going to the pub after the game, I noticed you had DCL quoting. We worked hard and earned the three pints. wonder if it was three pints of lager.
On the game, it wasn't one of our best but was the sort of game that when we played poorly we usually lost, so this game was an improvement, along with the needed 3 points.
152 Posted 02/03/2021 at 04:01:30
Just shows how much we need to strengthen our MF in the summer with players who can win, the ball, retain the ball and pass the ball.
This is spot on. We need a midfield quarterback, to coin a Yank phrase. Someone who dictates play, can hold the ball, and who can distribute it. That is, without question, the missing piece in my opinion.
But until we have it, I'd argue we simply have to stomach games like today's. Carlo knows this.
Midfield diamonds cost, well, diamonds. They are few and far between. And when you find one, you've got to pray to the soccer gods they aren't selfish, chemistry-destroying pricks as well, if you splash the cash to obtain their services.
For now I'll simply enjoy this squad for what it is, and where it's fought to rise to. It's beautiful, in its ugly way, if you catch my meaning. With this squad doing what it is doing, it's important to remember that, and not demand from it what it simply can not give.
That last sentence sounds condescending as hell. I don't mean it that way. I just can't think of any other way to say it.
I'm enjoying this ride. I choose to enjoy the defensive tactics, the effort, the playing to strengths. I'm not looking for beautiful or total football. We're not there yet. We may never be there. But I'll take a squad that does what this one does, and keeps pushing its way to the top against all odds and logic.
We're no Alexandra O'Laughlin, but we've got boobs.
153 Posted 02/03/2021 at 04:51:54
Only if they finish in the top 4 or win it.
154 Posted 02/03/2021 at 07:05:56
We have to play better than last night though don't we? Ideas looked void last night and we lacked the width we needed to push Southampton back.
This summer its essential we get another midfielder in that can pass the ball and a winger with great speed.
155 Posted 02/03/2021 at 07:20:35
Hence his smiles, goals help, but he looks a happy camper.
And yes, by all means offer him a 2 year extension.
156 Posted 02/03/2021 at 07:51:39
157 Posted 02/03/2021 at 08:01:34
That link is a decent write-up from F365. They're not the site they used to be but this story, at least, isn't riddled with stats to make your head explode. It makes a good point that Everton are in a position to realisitically make the top 4, and when football websites start taking notice of "little old Everton" it means something is going well.
Points per game right now, we're 4th in the league. Like I said a few weeks ago, top 4 (or even 3) is there to grab if the players really want it.
158 Posted 02/03/2021 at 08:02:23
I saw a solid defence and two good forwards but a midfield so off the pace and so unable to keep possession that they may as well not have played. Doucoure especially passed to them as often as to us it seemed.
Three points are very welcome and I hope we are top four this weekend, but without players who can pass the ball, I cant see the top European sides losing much sleep over us.
159 Posted 02/03/2021 at 08:19:36
For English clubs it will be 4 in the CL, 2 in the EL and 1 in the new Conference Cup or whatever it's called. And nobody gets special treatment any more, ask Man Utd and Milan.
160 Posted 02/03/2021 at 08:39:04
I was critical of Doucoure a few weeks back. Games were passing him by and he was sloppily giving the ball away. People were telling me I was wrong and that he was the best player in blue.
In the last two weeks he's still given the ball away a lot, but has been immense. He's constantly moving, sweeping up in every midfield position, at times driving the team forward. And he's copping all sorts on here!
I'm not worried at all about that performance. It was a set piece from being very comfortable, while I never really felt like So'ton we're capable of scoring. Actually for most of the game they weren't capable of getting within shooting range.
I'm still where I was a few weeks back with regards to our European chances. We're not good enough for top 4. But then I'm starting to see that there might not be 4 teams that are 'good enough'. So maybe, just maybe. We know we'll have another crap spell of form at some point, but it's going to come down to which team can put together a decent run. A few wins and the top positions blow open.
161 Posted 02/03/2021 at 09:10:12
Perhaps we'll see more of King in the West Brom game with Richy taking off early for later games exp if he's scored.
Can't wait for next game.
162 Posted 02/03/2021 at 09:15:56
I don't wish to re-start the fans debate, for me it's a level playing field. The problem we have been having at Goodison is when those so called "lesser" teams come to sit compact. Even Southampton last night were interesting. I wouldn't put them in that category usually, but I was surprised at how, until later in the second half, they didn't press as they usually do. Particularly in the first half, the forwards dropped deep and allowed our defenders a free reign in our defensive 3rd. They did defend set pieces with a very high line though; risky game but in the main they pulled it off.
So to your point, although Doucoure, Allan and the much improved Tom Davies and Sigurdsson has improved our midfield, we still lack that creative spark to unlock these teams. That's been our main problem at Goodison.
Don't wish to dwell, but have to agree on Doucoure again not having his best night in possession. But he has some engine on him and keeps going / never hides.
163 Posted 02/03/2021 at 09:16:19
Points are points but this ain't pretty.
And very lucky that they (who were dreadful) didn't sneak one at the end. There'd have been plenty of "typical Everton" comments had that gone in. As it is, we're in "we'd have drawn that in previous years" territory. Small margins and all that.
164 Posted 02/03/2021 at 09:24:58
I know any game is about opinions too, but I seriously questioned all three above after reading some of the posts on this thread. Basically we were okay, but this was a game that we should have increased our dismal Goal Difference, and boosted confidence. I say dismal, that is in comparison with those against who we are vying for a seat at the Top Table.
I seem to be repeating this question all season, why is it when we score, whether it be home or away we seem to adopt the 'job done' attitude, take the foot off the gas, and invite undue pressure? We HAVE to adopt a Killer Instinct after scoring and are on top in games. I thought Allan was way below what we are used to seeing from him, but first game back from injury he gets a bye. Doucoure was his energetic self but admittedly a bit below par, but Gomes to me was woeful, not only ambling through treacle, but wearing lead boots too.
The defence did what was asked but with little threat coming from Southampton, that was pretty minimal. Although late on if it wasn't for Pickford we would have been talking about the loss of two points again, where it should have been three. The midfield again was our department of disappointment, Allan will be more up for the next game, if Tom is still out, we could have a problem Houston!
165 Posted 02/03/2021 at 09:40:20
We played with little or not width and Holgate is better and more comfortable playing on the right of a back 3 rather than as a right back. West Brom are up next on Thursday and it will probably be decided by the odd goal, hopefully, we are on the right side of the result. I doubt if it will be pretty, then again I said the same before Spurs in the Cup and turned out to be a classic.
166 Posted 02/03/2021 at 09:47:05
We are where we are, in the main, thanks to Ancellotti. Our defence is strong and improving. Our attack is good but could be even better with an improved MF.
Its in MF where we are lacking. We dont have a natural leader. We dont have a player who can control the tempo of a game. We have some good players there eg Allan, Doucoure, an ever improving Tom Davies etc...but the likes of Sigurdsson, Gomes, Iwobi etc are useful squad players at best.
We need someone who we can trust to take the heat out of games when we are under pressure, who can drive the team forward, who can lead by example. Who that is, I dont know but if we were playing a better team last night we wouldve been punished for our MF mishaps.
167 Posted 02/03/2021 at 09:57:54
I thought we should have switched it second half and brought Iwobi on, possibly for Allan or Gomes, and played 4-2-3-1 with Richarlison on the left and Iwobi on the right.
168 Posted 02/03/2021 at 10:04:08
To paraphrase a famous American election slogan, “its the midfield, stupid!”.
169 Posted 02/03/2021 at 10:05:36
If nothing else it allows Richarlison to play more centrally alongside DCL where he will score more goals.
170 Posted 02/03/2021 at 10:06:32
171 Posted 02/03/2021 at 10:11:44
I thought Pickford was in the running for MOTM along with Doucoure, who made loads of poor passes but the energy and movement he provides is huge, and was needed last night alongside the other, dead men walking midfielders, including Allan in the second half, we won and for most Bluenoses that will do, regretfully I understand that, but no one should deny it stinks to watch, absolutely reeks. I think Darren might have wrote something like that, but I cant put words in his mouth, he knows very well how to speak, whether we have won, lost or drawn, and always looked out for his posts.
172 Posted 02/03/2021 at 10:19:22
I thought they all did good things quickly followed by a really poor piece of play. the only 3 who came out of that game playing somewhere near their normal performances were Keane, Godfrey and Pickford. Gomes was probably just about the best of our midfield, Allan looked a little rusty understandably after being out for nearly 3 months, Doucoure has a great engine and probably covered more ground than most but he was very sloppy in possession. I am also a bit concerned about how easy wingers are getting past Digne, as good as he is going forward he needs to sharpen up at the back. Last night whenever he received the ball in our half he immediately passed it back to Godfrey, Keane or Pickford.
DCL has improved beyond recognition but for me he needs to improve his play 30 yards from goal, I never think he is going to collect it turn run and shoot. Maybe Carlo needs to show him some videos of Kane. But as I said he has improved a lot and if he can improve that part of his game then he will become the complete centre forward. Again last night the commentator mentioned about Richarlison going down to easily, I have to agree and yes sometimes he is his own worst enemy as in the end refs will not give him fouls when they should. I would just say to all these commentators yes by all means call it out if you think a player dives, but lets hear the same honesty when commentating on Salah and Mane.
Still if someone had said you can beat Southampton 1-0 but you wont play well we would take that all day long. And at least that stopped the poor run of home results.
173 Posted 02/03/2021 at 10:19:44
It worked last night. Wasn't great but until the final 10 minutes we weren't threatened. But, I never quite felt comfortable with Gomes on the left of that diamond, even though I thought he had a decent game.
Dave, lack of movement would explain a lot of that passing at the back. And perhaps, as I say, Southampton's unusual approach to drop off and let us have it there.
174 Posted 02/03/2021 at 10:27:29
175 Posted 02/03/2021 at 10:42:59
176 Posted 02/03/2021 at 10:56:08
177 Posted 02/03/2021 at 11:08:43
For years the call has been for each successive manger to get the "youth" involved.
Last night we had a bench full of them.
Granted, they weren't used.
However, we could have had three injuries necessitating three substitutions and I am pretty certain that Ancelotti wouldn't put players on the bench that he couldn't use if such circumstances arose, particularly in view of how important the three points were from last night's game.
So, at last we have a manger who is involving the youth, and it hardly gets a mention.
178 Posted 02/03/2021 at 11:09:35
Allan and Doucouré did their best work last night around the edge of their own area. That was just about sufficient as we were defending a lead but would not have been if we had failed to score the early goal. Barring a set piece it was hard to see where a second goal would come from last night which that has been the case in many of the home games.
Since the early wins against West Brom and Brighton we have not been able to relax in the final half hour knowing the job was done. That has meant there has been little opportunity to reduce the workload for DCL and Richarlison. I think at present we have a team which defends well when sat deep, has made itself hard to beat but lacks the personnel to dominate play through possession. We are not alone in that respect.
179 Posted 02/03/2021 at 11:12:35
WBA are struggling for survival and Fat Sam's Fireman reputation, which will be Lift Operator (going down) I suspect by the season's end. However they will fight tooth and nail to try and get something out of the game, so there can be no slackers or midfield drifters, otherwise the outcome won't be favourable. Hopefully we can employ our strongest available, dig in and make sure we get another valuable 3 points, so we face Chelsea looking down on them. Hoping for a draw RS V Chelski!
180 Posted 02/03/2021 at 11:15:11
181 Posted 02/03/2021 at 11:20:16
182 Posted 02/03/2021 at 11:34:58
183 Posted 02/03/2021 at 11:36:23
Our midfielders, with the exception of Doucouré (who was well below par last night) and the inconsistent Iwobi, never look to break the lines and run beyond. We have static midfielders who want to take the ball in a small amount of space and then survey the scene ahead. But if thats what they (Gomes, Sigurdsson, James, Allan, Delph) all want then once they receive the ball they are met with the reality that nobody ahead of them is making any runs (except Digne, Richarlison and DCL).
The other thing that is hugely frustrating - and its something that has been the case for years - is how poor a side we are when it comes to one-touch football. Southampton cut through us numerous times, playing neat and quick one-touch football, with players constantly on the move yet managing to pass to feet and understanding where their team-mates were going. I think our inability to do similar must be tied to our general lack of movement, as - player for player - Southampton cannot boast a noticeably higher level of ability. Until we start finding ways for our laconic midfielders to make interesting and incisive runs into space ahead of the ball then we are going to be watching more games like this - where the opposition move the ball in better and more progressive ways than we are capable.
184 Posted 02/03/2021 at 11:37:50
I think sometimes you have to win ugly though. Teams have done it to us this season in West Ham, Newcastle, Fulham. Sometimes you have to just try and nick a goal and win a game 1-0.
I dont think we played well last night, however they never had a shot on target until the 88th minute. So they hardly played well either. Im just happy with the three points.
Also, yet again a referee added more time on than there should of been at Goodison. 3 minutes, we wasted a minute on the sub so thats 4 minutes. Then they had an injury which makes it about 4 and a half minutes. The ref allowed around 5 and a half minutes which they had a corner in. Disgrace.
The one thing we do need in the game now is timekeepers. Someone who literally stops a stopwatch when a player is down, a goal, foul etc etc. And at the end they tell the 4th official. It should even go down to the second. And when its over, the ref blows. Just seems like refs add what they want on to the already added on time.
185 Posted 02/03/2021 at 11:39:14
186 Posted 02/03/2021 at 11:41:24
Also, Fulham played very well when they beat us at home. It was not an ugly performance at all; they outplayed us for 90 minutes.
187 Posted 02/03/2021 at 12:02:02
To be honest, I think it would have helped us if we had had Coleman at right back last night. We really struggled to create anything in the second half last night.
The balance in midfield and on the flanks is not quite there yet.
188 Posted 02/03/2021 at 12:06:21
I'd rather the clock stopped when the game does. So it always ends on 45 minutes.
There's too much making it up when it comes to stoppage time. The usual default is 2 for the first half and the token 4 for the second. Usual; granted there were 3 last night. But how long did the Ref let that go on? When the game stopped, I purposely checked the clock. Had it stopped, there were 45 seconds left. Once it resumed, 2+ minutes later and a Southampton corner, the official finally blew.
189 Posted 02/03/2021 at 12:09:10
Yeah didnt mean Fulham I meant Leeds, scraped a 1-0 against us.
Yeah, its just my thoughts. I think Carlo will of set his tactics out for the teams he will play against Southampton, West Brom and Chelsea. I think he will of picked his team and understands that if he plays the same 11 for the three games, he risks key players getting injured or re-injured.
I think hes smart and understands those three players did really well in the Derby and that they are needed for the other two games. Just my theory and Im never wrong so :p
I fancy him to leave Allan out against WBA and go for the same tactics we used against Liverpool. James, Davies and Coleman back in with three centre backs and two wings backs. But we will see.
190 Posted 02/03/2021 at 12:18:49
I think the real point though, Graeme, is we are winning and losing playing ugly far too often, and I do realise that with the weak squad Carlo has inherited, it is necessary to play like this, but not all the time, and it is very frustrating to watch the team take the lead and then go on the back foot.
I like most fans was thrilled with the fight back at Old Trafford, when we came out after half time and attacked United, scoring two quick goals to equalise and then sit back until United took the lead again, before we started attacking them again, and forcing the third goal which sent most of us into raptures, wouldnt it be lovely to see some more attacking football, instead of the “Rope a dope” football.
I bet your nerves were on edge for quite some time last night Graeme, even if at the end we got those three points, ulcer inducing football, and if we dont finish in the top four will it be worthwhile, doubt if the Europa League will be much benefit to Everton next season.
191 Posted 02/03/2021 at 12:19:24
192 Posted 02/03/2021 at 12:21:18
193 Posted 02/03/2021 at 12:37:19
A defeat last night may well have dashed any hope we had of a top 4/6 position but not necessarily so, because we could still gain wins to clinch it, but that victory could make it a bit easier. A classic example is the 1984/85 season when we lost our first two games and went on to win the League by 13 points.
194 Posted 02/03/2021 at 12:41:37
I do however agree with you that we could do with going out and winning games 2/3 nil. However, on the flip side of that you leave space in the midfield if we go all out to get a second goal. I do get it though. I would like nothing more than 2/3/4 goals for us in a game but I think we need to get to summer to see what transfers we can bring in for us to control a game in midfield. Although I love Gomes l feel he may not be the answer if Allan and Doucoure our predominantly going to be out midfield. He doesnt get enough goals or assists and is prone to not seeing a pass, although he did put a delightful ball through last night.
I think Carlo will want to bring in a sitting creative midfielder and a right winger. Me and my Dad was talking about another striker last night in the form of Danny Ings however we forgot that Moise Kean could still come back and have a role to play for us. I think he will be sold but now hes playing football again maybe Everton will be thinking ‘lets get him back and give him another go here. Who knows hey.
195 Posted 02/03/2021 at 12:55:32
I don't think I have ever seen us win so many games with such poor attacking and possessive qualities, and I've been a fan since 1962. If we make a champions league spot we will last 2 minutes in the tournament, similar to the last time, unless we strengthen considerably in midfield and attack this summer.
I am glad we are winning, and I thank Ancelotti for that, but I hope there comes a time under his management when we look like a team who can compete against not jus the best, but the mediocre teams in this league, in possession of the ball and moving it forward.
196 Posted 02/03/2021 at 13:04:46
197 Posted 02/03/2021 at 13:12:06
198 Posted 02/03/2021 at 13:12:41
You have just got to hope that this is the start of the journey and with better players acquired in the next window and the one in the summer 2022 that the product on the pitch will be more attractive.
If we are playing in the same manner in twelve months time then the project will have failed.
199 Posted 02/03/2021 at 13:19:27
I understood the reason, Andrew. I guess my point is that had the ref (or time keeper) stopped the clock when play stopped for the injured player and started it again, there were only 45 seconds left, not 2+ minutes. Just because the game was stopped for 2 or 3 minutes didn't mean there were 2 or 3 minutes of play left once it resumed, if that makes sense.
I'd have been fuming if we'd conceded at that corner as the ref seemed to wait to see the outcome rather than blow when time was up. That said, we are defending set pieces much better in the main of late.
200 Posted 02/03/2021 at 13:21:21
Calvert-Lewin, despite not scoring, showing what a handful he has become physically.
And Richarlison proving the old adage: Form is temporary class is permanent.
Not the greatest performance overall, but we gutsed it out. Three points, move on to Thursday with the advantage of some fresh legs to throw into the mix.
201 Posted 02/03/2021 at 13:28:47
Now I'm a big fan of Allan since he joined and can't wait for him to come back to full fitness. He was good last night but understandably rusty, particularly as he tired. This was interesting from the article:
"Against Southampton, he regained possession 13 times, more than any other player on the pitch. He keeps it simple, takes minimal touches and rarely overplays the ball. He looks to pass forward as much as possible".
202 Posted 02/03/2021 at 13:45:34
Before that Davies was a headless chicken, Siggy was a busted crab, Calvert-Lewin was used as a target to hit the ball to, normally out wide.
I personally thought it would take a good two to three seasons, for Carlo to move out players, hopefully bring in slightly better players, in the short term.
For me it is much better than I could have hoped for, he has brought in Allan, Doucoure,, Godfrey and James, he has got Calvert- Lewin looking like a top class striker, not just his hold up play, but his heading and getting into the danger areas has improved no end, Davies is now looking like the midfielder we hoped for, Siggy is even looking an improved player.
Throw into the mix, Richarlison and Digne, even Kean, who has looked so much better this season, Pickford as well has showed a more relaxed and solid performances, since getting back in the team, then we have the basis of a solid team, once we get a couple more pieces of the jigsaw brought in.
Make no mistake we are far from the finished article, there is no doubt we are going toe to toe, with the very best in the Premiership, it is the lesser teams we are slipping up against, that is something Carlo has to fix, but for now, I think we are in a very good place, much much better than I expected in Carlos first full year.
Players we had written off, have now found a little something, give the Manager time, to rebuild, do not be too much in a rush wanting it now, whatever we achieve this season, is a positive, we will get there, might take a season or so, but we will get there.
203 Posted 02/03/2021 at 13:58:08
204 Posted 02/03/2021 at 13:59:30
205 Posted 02/03/2021 at 14:04:16
Its global warming,part of EITC. Once we score we conserve energy not like the RS with their wasteful carbon footprint
206 Posted 02/03/2021 at 14:05:40
No one denies we'd like to see more in attack.
But when the strength of your team is in it's defenders, and defending, what would you have us do?
For years we bemoaned Bobby Brown Shoes bombing forward and not paying attention to defensive responsibilities. We're now doing that, and even though it's not overtly attacking football, we are indeed looking to get forward, especially on the counter, and score.
I honestly don't understand what many posters are expecting from this squad and manager? We are playing to ur strengths, looking to improve the squad in the future on the attacking front. All the while we're sitting damn near a CL spot.
What else is there to do? If you attempt to go for the killer goal and concede, what good does that do?
And finally, can someone out there look up how many games we've drawn or lost sitting back protecting the lead? Not too many from my recollection.
We're doing what we do well. Quite frankly, what do you want from Carlo and the players at this snapshot in time? I think Jesus could manage the squad and people would complain.
207 Posted 02/03/2021 at 14:11:15
Someone rightly pointed out that we don't play one-touch football well. We also don't shoot often enough. A few times last night we got into good positions and tried to overwork it. Richarlison was guilty in the derby of not hitting it on one occasion. The very top teams aren't afraid to shoot on sight.
I agree entirely that we need a midfielder than can dictate the play and drive us forwards more. We played a lot of passes back to the centre-halves last night.
I still think we play far too slowly in games at home. As others have said, a better team than Southampton would have punished us last night. Don't get me wrong, I was chuffed that we finally got a home win but it is a concern how easily we lost the ball last night, especially when you consider we face Man City in, arguably, the biggest game of the season for us. Concede possession like that against Pep's team and they'll rip us to shreds.
If we play with the spirit and tempo we did at Anfield then we can get top 4. If we perform like we did against Fulham and Newcastle then we've no chance.
208 Posted 02/03/2021 at 14:16:00
Can anyone comment positively on a habit we've had for years now whereby we have a corner or an attacking free kick, everyone advances into their penalty area but instead of swinging it in we pass the ball short, get pressed and about five seconds later we're passing it back to Jordan to hoof it forward hoping to get lucky in retaining it well outside their area?
It does my head in. Am I missing something?
209 Posted 02/03/2021 at 14:23:11
Saints were very 'pretty' in areas of the park where they didn't hurt us. Pickford was almost totally redundant all game.
The visitors only threatened our goal in the final 5 minutes. On 85 minutes Djenepo received the ball in space down our left, but fired wide. Then in a goalmouth scramble on the 90th minute which Jordan - not called on all game to make a save - smothered brilliantly.
Everton, by contrast, had these attacking plays into the Southampton penalty area:
* On 5 minutes, an excellent ball by Doucoure in behind the Saints' defence for DCL to run onto, only denied by an alert Foster coming out to smother the ball at Dom's feet near the penalty spot.
* Richy's excellent goal on 9 minutes from Siggy's through ball (and how anyone can be dismissive of the Iceman's contribution in that cannot appreciate skill, execution and vision).
* Richarlison's header from Siggy's free kick drawing a good save from Foster on 15 minutes (called offside).
* On 20 minutes, an excellent delivery behind the Saints defence by Gomes into the raiding DCL which again Foster had to be alert to and smother it around the penalty spot.
* The beautifully crafted Keane goal (rightly) ruled out for offside on 25 minutes.
* Richy inches away from another Siggy free kick on 36 minutes.
* On 58 minutes from a Digne free kick Keane heads across goal almost presenting DCL with a header and in the resulting scramble Godfrey's shot is desperately blocked.
* On 60 minutes from yet another deep Digne free kick, Keane flashes a powerful header from the edge of the penalty area past the Saints' post.
* On 87 minutes, a sweeping Gomes pass sets Richy away, who plays in Doucoure, who tries to pick out DCL in front of goal, the ball is blocked, as is Richy's attempted follow up to the loose ball.
Saints known threats are Ward-Prowse and Ings. What did they do last night? Ings was totally anonymous. W-P put in one dangerous free kick in the 1st half which DCL headed behind for a corner. Neither hurt us otherwise. They created one clear cut chance all night in the final 5 minutes and another from a pinball situation in our box. That was it.
Dom said post-match we knew they would play a high defensive line and we wanted to exploit that by getting in behind them. As the listed plays demonstrate, we did that throughout the game. Small margins denied us getting the second goal, which in turn could have led to the third. And the fourth.
Personally, I never felt the anxiety during the game some have expressed. Only on their two plays in the final 5 minutes. The rest of the game they simply weren't hurting us.
Jordan Pickford calls it right in his own post-match interview. The most important thing was getting the three points and keeping a clean sheet. Mission accomplished.
210 Posted 02/03/2021 at 14:34:16
"Its a sign of a good team when they are playing badly but yet they win."
This phrase has been said many times by teams winning the Premier League.
Are we not a good team?
211 Posted 02/03/2021 at 14:45:23
212 Posted 02/03/2021 at 14:59:34
You know a savvy manager will strive for two things above all else:
* Deny the opposition goal-scoring opportunities.
* Create goal scoring opportunities for ourselves and take them when they come.
There isn't a single Everton win in the league this season which I have not enjoyed. We have fully merited every single one of them by being the better team on the day by achieving the above listed objectives.
That was the case again last night.
You don't get more than 3 points for a win if it is whimsically judged as being 'more aesthetically pleasing'.
Like you, I enjoy seeing Everton being hard to beat. That alone, above all else, will give us the chance to break into one of the desired top four places.
213 Posted 02/03/2021 at 15:02:11
Unless, as was pointed out earlier, you have 2 overlapping fullbacks. But I'm still not a fan. On paper (again), the diamond leaves a gap in the middle of the park for me. I'd say that's better than the gap between the midfield and defence you and I kept having kittens over earlier in the season, but it's still a gap that can be exploited. Southampton didn't and like Jay (BRZ), I never really felt uncomfortable until near the end.
But we could and should have killed that game off earlier - by half time in my view.
214 Posted 02/03/2021 at 15:12:17
215 Posted 02/03/2021 at 15:18:02
216 Posted 02/03/2021 at 15:35:39
We once more failed to control the game. Our midfield is always rushing, stretching and panicking. We lack pace in Gomes and Siggy and Doucoure runs all game but lacks a bit of quality.
Leicester are struggling without Maddison and may slip down the table but United and Liverpool will both accrue points. Chelsea have a big squad and will also mount a credible challenge. Ourselves and West Ham just lack depth and a little bit of a midfield maestro.
Perhaps next season with one or two astute purchases, but then we will also have (hopefully) Europa League committments.
If somehow we mug Chelsea away, then I will rethink.
217 Posted 02/03/2021 at 15:38:24
But this is a new kind of "hard to beat", based less on toughness and raw hustle and more on calm professionalism. In recent years we have often looked frantic when defending a lead, but now this is a side that looks like it expects to see out a game, and I believe it's been instilled by Carlo and his coaches. Professionals like Keane and Allan project it.
Like Jay, I wasn't worried at all yesterday until the final minutes, when that kid from Mali got loose for that shot, and then Picks and Godfrey came up big in that scramble. But before that I felt we were in control throughout.
By the way, that kid, Djenepo, might be one to look into based on what he showed yesterday. His reputation in the Southampton program is that he's talented but unproductive -- sharp moves producing nothing -- but I liked what I saw. Worth an inexpensive punt, perhaps?
218 Posted 02/03/2021 at 15:42:30
Weve hopefully just sent them a similar player in Walcott, not sure we want a replacement.
I would definitely look at Saint Maximan if Newcastle got relegated in that role though. He has definite ability that could potentially be harnessed.
219 Posted 02/03/2021 at 15:46:00
220 Posted 02/03/2021 at 15:47:38
221 Posted 02/03/2021 at 15:58:23
I agree. The "hard to beat" tag was applied to two teams in the 1990s: Arsenal under Graham and Juventus. The former's highlight reel showed endless lunging last ditch tackles and bodies thrown in front of shots on the goal line. The latter's highlight reel showed Zidane and co. strolling around the pitch calmly playing out the game. Presently we are somewhere between the two.
222 Posted 02/03/2021 at 15:59:09
I can't agree that they only had chances in the last five minutes albeit what they did have weren't all actual shots and I don't have access to go back and list the number of times they were in dangerous positions and made a bit of a mess of it.
223 Posted 02/03/2021 at 16:02:00
As opposed to our neighbours who leave a RS Skidmark wherever they go.
224 Posted 02/03/2021 at 16:02:42
If we're going to spend big bucks on a potentially injury-prone young player with major attacking ability, I'd rather go after Christian Pulisic, who has been supplanted by the new buys at Chelsea.
225 Posted 02/03/2021 at 16:06:32
This season I've watched us close out games with good game management. I felt relaxed in a derby at 1 - 0 last week. I don't ever recall that, even when we were good. Last night I was relaxed.
Kendall's team at it's peak was hard to beat in a very different way as it was on the front foot a lot (but could defend when it had to). This team is difficult to beat, but in a more controlled and calmer way than we were accustomed to under Moyes (tin helmets and body armour).
I want to see us difficult to beat because we have the opposition on the ropes. I'm sure we all do. But right now, the manager is playing to the strengths of the players he has. And is changing that based on who he is playing. As I said on my post-match comment here, we can't predict him with a thin squad. Imagine when he has more to choose from, both in terms of quality and numbers. We have no chance then.
226 Posted 02/03/2021 at 16:06:52
227 Posted 02/03/2021 at 16:07:27
I agree with the comments, it was really comfortable except for the last 5 minutes. If we had held our discipline timing the runs every time we had a free kick we'd have won comfortably.
I do think we need a bit of extra quality on the ball in the middle of the park, someone better than Gomes. I like the athletic ability of Doucoure and Allan, we just need to keep the ball better.
We have the basis of a good side and if you take away those dreadful home performances against Newcastle, Leeds and Fulham we would have been top 4.
If we could be consistent we'd be dangerous. We are closer to the top 4 than I thought we would be this season, quarter finals of the cup, for me it has been a good season, frustrating at times, but good. If we can pick up a bit of extra quality and pace in the summer I think we can kick on.
228 Posted 02/03/2021 at 16:20:21
Just because an Italian manager has us playing with a defensive orientation doesn't make it catenaccio.
229 Posted 02/03/2021 at 16:23:43
230 Posted 02/03/2021 at 17:24:00
You may be right about Saint Maximan and his injury record this year. Or of course he may have just been unlucky. I remember people being worried about signing Reidy.
I just think we have upped the ante in terms of the quality of players required. Id always go for a player who has stood out in the team hes played for than one who is surplus to requirements.
231 Posted 02/03/2021 at 17:36:38
We need 4-5 more top players to be a real CL contender. Economics dictates that we're going to have to find at least some of them in the bargain bin.
232 Posted 02/03/2021 at 17:53:47
233 Posted 02/03/2021 at 18:28:33
Those 4 players mentioned may have been surplus to requirements, but surplus to requirements at clubs playing in the Champions League. For where we were, they are / were an improvement on what we had.
The next step is to make the next incomings improve on what we have now. Don't buy for the sake of it, only if it improves. But step by step, we improve the quality of player we have.
Now, just because a player is at Barcelona isn't necessarily a given that they will be world beaters, I get that and Ben Godfrey is an example. But rule of thumb, if we are shopping at Harrods instead of Asda, we should be getting a better calibre of player.
234 Posted 02/03/2021 at 18:50:38
And yes, shopping places like Barca can pay off. I think as Koeman watches Jordi Alba slow down by the month, discards Firpo and scouts expensive left back replacements elsewhere in Spain, he's wishing Digne was still on his roster.
235 Posted 02/03/2021 at 19:05:41
I don't disagree with having to take a punt on potential but it doesn't always have to be that. I mean it would be nice to pick them all up for sixty grand but sometimes you have to pay. It's about a balanced approach.
£40M would probably be value given what we would have to pay for Zaha and what we paid for Richarlison.
You may be right about St-Maximin's injury record although, to be fair, up until this season, he's not been a crock. What I would say having watched him, he's got a special talent. He would find space in a single bed with Gemma Collins.
236 Posted 02/03/2021 at 19:10:59
237 Posted 02/03/2021 at 19:14:36
Pulisic. Great shout. Theres some talent to be had from Chelsea. Although I fear that Tuchel will know him well from his time in Germany and hell get back in. If he doesnt, then he would be an unbelievable signing. He will become one hell of a player.
238 Posted 02/03/2021 at 19:19:30
My own gripe is that we struggle to create many chances when we overload our team with central midfield players. When we play with a bit of width, I personally think we look a lot more dangerous when we counter-attack.
239 Posted 02/03/2021 at 20:12:24
I understand fans saying that they are only interested in getting the 3 points, and they don't care how they get them. In Carlo they trust. So do I to a certain extent, but I know, and Carlo will know, that they are happy while Everton win, like they are, backs to the wall... until they lose playing like that. Then, the worm will turn, like it would have done if Southampton had equalised in those frantic last few minutes, and they were frantic.
A match doesn't end in the 80th, 85th, or even the 96th minute – it lasts until the ref ends the game. Roll on Thursday for another victory, no matter how!!
240 Posted 02/03/2021 at 20:12:36
I was enjoying reading your post until I read "He would find space in a single bed with Gemma Collins."
She makes me puke, no talent whatsoever, yet is seemingly always on the TV, not that I watch reality shows (nothing reality about them) but the constant adverts for the shows are enough.
Mind you, she's not alone there, how many others are stealing a living, supposedly under the guise of entertainment?
241 Posted 02/03/2021 at 20:27:01
Tony #238, the fact is our team is overloaded with too many central midfield players, and we just don't have the wide pace to counter dangerously very often. I believe Marcel and Carlo will address that problem in the summer along with a right back. WE NEED SPEED.
242 Posted 02/03/2021 at 20:27:23
It would help our goal difference but more importantly my/our nerves!!
243 Posted 02/03/2021 at 20:28:08
But the majority of us fans and more importantly I would imagine Carlo, will not be satisfied with how we won, even though sometimes you do get wins like that.
244 Posted 02/03/2021 at 20:29:45
245 Posted 02/03/2021 at 20:53:25
He will focus on getting us there via a league placing, so expect pragmatism rather than beautiful football for the rest of the season (although I really enjoyed some of the free kick routines last night - fancy, Finch Farm turning up on the pitch after all this time).
The wild card is entry to Europe by way of winning the FA Cup, and I would be surprised if he has abandoned that route. He also understands the importance of a trophy. Its a tough one, but that difficulty serves to ease the pressure.
246 Posted 02/03/2021 at 21:01:19
More positives to look forward to:
>I look at Leicester and think they have a terrible run-in without the magnificent Harvey Barnes. And the miracle that is Vardy surely can't play every 3-4 days full tilt until May? I reckon slowly but surely, Leicester might drop out of top 4 earlier this year, rather than in the last game like last year. So third is there for any team that wants to earn it.
>Historically, Italian managers won more Champions Leagues than any other nationality. And currently, we have the best one in World Football.
>I think on Thursday it will be another surprise again in terms of line up, because Ancelotti has different formations during the games, so hard to predict. Basically, were saying choose 11 in a permutation from a squad of about 20. Unlike some managers who pick 3 or 4 variations of the same team like Marco Silva (Also Moyes always played the same keeper and never willingly tried Baines as a left midfielder, Peanuts hardly ever no. 10). Carlo seems to pick some players in any 3 or 4 positions so it's like winning the lottery in terms of guessing his team sheet/formation. And I love it that the opposition will never predict the line-up and where players will stand on the pitch.
That's the genius I personally see in our World Class manager. Of course, there's a long way to go too.
But as it stands, things looking very good, and I feel we're all just watching this unravel in slow motion now to see where we finish.
Like waiting for the final Matrix or LOTR 3 to come out in the cinema to see the ending.
247 Posted 02/03/2021 at 21:04:31
Its an old debate and the majority of fans, dont know how large a majority, would prefer we would gain entry to this cup,I would prefer to make a strong challenge for the top four and one of the domestic cups, just my preference.
248 Posted 02/03/2021 at 21:16:19
Bring me the head of Jurgen Klopp!
(Warren Oates was an underrated genius)
249 Posted 02/03/2021 at 21:18:10
So even if we concentrate all our efforts to getting the best we have available to face City (taking into account too, our home form?) in the FA Cup fixture, they will be driven to set a new record and won't be easy to overcome. I sincerely hope the Footballing Gods may be with us for ninety minutes, because if we do win that game, we are as good as at Wembley, barring self made banana skins in the fixture after.
250 Posted 02/03/2021 at 21:24:15
251 Posted 02/03/2021 at 21:33:16
In the context of this, I will be happy to take scrappy 1-0 wins for the foreseeable future. We need European football and it seems to me that Carlo is pragmatically managing this Covid season.
Of course, I get unreasonably frustrated and angry after some performances. This is my new 24 hours later approach.
252 Posted 02/03/2021 at 21:35:50
I get the sentiment and you're right, an old debate, but a very good one that is very much down to preference.
I'm more on the qualify for Europe, win a trophy and build from there. If we keep waiting for and only aiming for gold, we will never get silver or bronze and just be also rans.
I appreciate that football has changed a lot, but to my own youth, we won a trophy, qualified for Europe, won a "secondary" European trophy and then the league (okay in the same season). The spoils of Champions League (as it is now called) would have followed had it not been for well documented historical events. But we (would have) got there by taking smaller steps first.
I look at Chelsea's path throughout the 90s. Their journey started then with cup wins and UEFA cup / Cup Winners Cup campaigns before Abramovic, Mourinho and the league titles flowed. Likewise City's journey. It didn't start with Champions League qualification, they progressively improved, qualified for Europe and won the odd trophy on the way to where they are now.
So for me, qualify for Europe, win a trophy. Put ourselves on the map. Only this time, build and capitalise on that to get to the promised land. We were unable to do that between 1985 - 1987 due to circumstances beyond our control. We failed to do it in 1995 because of our incompetency as a club and business.
Get a foot on the ladder first and then start to climb higher. That's just my view though!
253 Posted 02/03/2021 at 21:38:55
Warren Oates; I may have to add some more films to my watch list.
I watched a few Clint Eastwood films, and admittedly enjoyed them. My dad raved about them, so I watched a couple with him. The scenary and tense atmosphere are superb in some films (ironically like Carlo's set-ups for long defensive spells under the cosh).
Will be good to check out some Westerns again. Django was the last one I watched so maybe time to revisit the wicky-wicky-Wild-Wild-West films again.
254 Posted 02/03/2021 at 21:40:31
'The majority of us fans and more importantly I would imagine Carlo, will not be satisfied with how we won.'
Carlo was very satisfied with how we won:
'The expectation was to win and we did it with a good performance and strong teamwork, all the players contributed. I am really pleased with this. 'We started well, scored early, were very good on free kicks and had control. 'Calvert-Lewin didnt score but had a fantastic game and worked hard. 'We were really strong defensively and deserved to win. 'We defended well, not only because of Allan. He did a good job but the key point was the three strikers tried to press high. 'To have Allan at the back, we are more able to do this, Allan covers a lot of the pitch in that position. It was really important to have him back because we know how important he is for us.'
'We started well, scored early, were very good on free kicks and had control.
'Calvert-Lewin didnt score but had a fantastic game and worked hard.
'We were really strong defensively and deserved to win.
'We defended well, not only because of Allan. He did a good job but the key point was the three strikers tried to press high.
'To have Allan at the back, we are more able to do this, Allan covers a lot of the pitch in that position. It was really important to have him back because we know how important he is for us.'
And as I have already said in this thread, as I have been with ALL our (fully merited) wins this season, as a fan I too was/am satisfied.
There is a method, a purpose, to how we are playing WINNING football with a winner's mentality that has been too long lacking in Everton teams.
This, IMO, comes principally from the manager.
We did not get lucky last night. We were not hanging on at the final whistle. It was not a painful watch.
Some posters make it sound as if we are watching Billy Bingham's would-be champions in 1974-75, grinding out results but playing 'football' that offended all the senses.
We're a good team, getting better and more importantly, getting results.
255 Posted 02/03/2021 at 21:44:03
And Derek, I think that works as long as you get the specs and the cap right. But maybe it should be the pig's ass now that I think about it.
256 Posted 02/03/2021 at 21:50:06
I get the quotes you present and read / heard them myself. Carlo will obviously big the win and the players up to the press; rightly so. We won fairly comfortably despite the 1 - 0 scoreline and inevitable late pressure from Southampton in my opinion.
I guess I'm just with others that longer term both me for one, and I would suggest the manager, would rather be winning playing more convincingly than we did last night. But that doesn't distract from what I though was a pretty professional performance and great result as we head into the business end of the season.
I don't quite recall Bingham's years other than I knew of him. My first real recollection of an Everton manager were the Gordon Lee years!
257 Posted 02/03/2021 at 22:22:10
We had the title in our hands, then managed just one win in our final five games, finishing 4th 3 points behind the eventual champions Derby when it was just 2 points for a win.
Our football that season will forever be summed up for me in the scathing words of a journalist who wrote in his match report after we went to the grassless ploughed field that was Derby's Pride Park and won 1-0. Those were the days when groundsman appeared at half-time with heavy 'stompers' (like you see in cricket sometimes when the bowler wants to flatten a foothold in the crease).
'The best entertainment of a dire game was at half-time when the groundsmen came on to stomp back into place the remaining sods on the pitch.'
To describe our 'football' that year as 'attritional' is to flatter it.
258 Posted 02/03/2021 at 22:22:45
But I recognise we are in different days. European football, world football, is everything. That boat is already leaving port, the cartel has taken over the ship. If we can take a flying leap this season we may just gain a place on the cruise. And even if we do, there will be Colina-esque figures lurking in the shadows.
Carlo knows that his paymasters want to be on that European stage, even if it is in the junior tournament. It is the way to attract players, and make money. But our manager is used to dining at the top table, he will have an eye towards the Champions League.
259 Posted 02/03/2021 at 22:26:02
Im aware you cant be good every week, but Im just glad Southampton were more passive, and preferred to play in areas that are not so damaging, whereas Newcastle and Fulham, who also benefited from playing against a very narrow Everton midfield, had the nouse to utilize the space out wide and in behind, and ultimately found it easy to defeat us.
Im also aware that Ancellottis not got much speed out wide, but he doesnt fancy Bernard, Iwobi doesnt do enough to cement a regular place, and King is yet to start, so Im not sure if Carlo is going to try and sign many wide players, but who knows? Because Its hard enough guessing what team hes going to select from game to game, but also in his favour, is that hes got a terrific win percentage, considering this squad has many deficiencies.
260 Posted 02/03/2021 at 22:33:53
Probably not the same, but the 85-86 season was another one that got away too. Okay, Liverpool went on a late surge like a grand national winner but it was still ours to lose in those last few weeks.
The football wasn't atrocious that season, but it wasn't as easy on the eye for the purists as we accommodated Linekar's pace. Much more direct from the Champions of the previous season as I recall.
261 Posted 02/03/2021 at 22:42:34
It was just that Lineker was knocking the goals in, instead of shared, had we scored say ten goals less with Lineker in the team, I could agree our goals dried up that season, but we performed as well that season, Lady Luck deserted us those last couple of weeks, in both league and cup, and pains me to say our neighbours put in an unbelievable run, at the end.
Kendall came out with he didnt suit our style of play and justified himself with saying we won the league the following season, then paused and said I should have put a buy back clause in his contract, why if he didnt suit our style of play.
Like I said previously, Kendall thought he had the Barcelona job and could have been in his mind, to have him at Barcelona, if he got the job.
262 Posted 02/03/2021 at 22:46:45
It is very difficult to predict Ancelotti, which is a good thing. To my previous, imagine when he has more and better players available.
What we can't deny is what he has gotten out of this squad. It's thin on the ground, it is work in progress, it needs more quality and depth. But come Thursday he could have us sat in 4th position. In March, with a fairly decent run in on paper.
263 Posted 02/03/2021 at 22:49:53
264 Posted 02/03/2021 at 22:53:49
From football talents' point of view, when they look at teams in EPL, if they can't get in the traditional Big 6, the next tier will be us or Leicester. I think we're in top position to get the next big thing given the money, examples of success by DCL/Godfrey, and a World Class manager.
I can see that Carlo stretches the players by playing them in different positions. I know it didn't always work (Moyes era playing square pegs in round holes) but it provides the extra cover when needed.
265 Posted 02/03/2021 at 23:05:08
A great team that came unstuck and were overhauled by an impressive final sprint that coincided with our own slip ups. The reverse Oxford United moment!
But in today's context, a team that finished second, were FA Cup Runners up and should have been mixing it with Europe's elite were it not for the obvious.
266 Posted 02/03/2021 at 23:16:35
Did you mean The Baseball Ground?
267 Posted 02/03/2021 at 23:54:34
268 Posted 02/03/2021 at 00:03:58
We have quite a history of being unloved...
269 Posted 03/03/2021 at 01:19:50
We then sold Westy, Rankin, Howie, Johnson and others but signed Lawson, Belfitt, Clements, Harper and more such luminaries to try to exceed the talents of those we sold. To say it was a let-down was an understatement, especially as Paisley was leading our neighbours to world-wide fame lasting until now.
In the mid 80's we had only three years of relative success until the European ban courtesy of we-all-know-who, they again having won the European Cup in 1984 and the championship a year later, caused our squad to massively splinter.
Then we were invited with Arsenal, Man Utd, Liverpool and Spurs to form the new Premier League in 1992. We were led by a card-carrying Tory numpty who taught Kenwright all he knew. He was Sir Philip Carter, a non-entity so "successful" for our club that Kenwright later named a stand after him, as if to match the one dedicated to Howie, the true football guru.
And then the Premier League began, with Everton's self-proclaimed greatest fan mostly in charge throughout. Almost immediately football at Goodison has been played on quicksand figuratively (Mike Walker, Howard Kendall Mk 3, Walter Smith, David Moyes, Roberto Martinez, Ronald Koeman, Marco Silva, and Sam Allardyce fans, please defend their Kenwright-influenced records should you wish), decade after decade, whilst those in (and especially without) the boardroom get fat and rich at the expense of us fans.
Bitter Blue? You bet I am, but the Heysel atrocity affected every other top side too. Just why have we alone fallen off a cliff none of the other five Premier League founders have, and who the fuck has been chiefly responsible?
And why is he still influential, as chairmen must be?
270 Posted 03/03/2021 at 04:08:57
271 Posted 03/03/2021 at 08:10:01
272 Posted 03/03/2021 at 09:27:00
273 Posted 03/03/2021 at 09:41:09
274 Posted 03/03/2021 at 10:23:08
Agree with that 100% mate although we'll get pelters for thinking that way!
275 Posted 03/03/2021 at 10:37:02
276 Posted 03/03/2021 at 11:02:16
DOH! A senior moment!
I of course meant Derby's ancestral home the Baseball Ground and not their present day lodgings.
As someone who still thinks Arsenal plays at Highbury, City at Maine Road, Sunderland at Roker Park, etc, etc, I'm quite impressed with myself that I even know Derby now play at Pride Park!
277 Posted 03/03/2021 at 11:12:44
278 Posted 03/03/2021 at 11:14:45
279 Posted 03/03/2021 at 11:20:25
Yep! We all see the game differently. And I repeat, I truly did not feel any great anxiety for the entire game until the two referenced chances in the final 5 minutes, for the reasons already listed. Others expressed a similar reaction to my own. Yet others echoed your feelings. And..?
As for your views on not wishing to qualify for Europe this year, this is old ground we've kicked around before and I simply cannot, and will never, understand what I consider your (and others) warped logic on this.
In football, as in life, you cannot cherry pick your moments which is the basis of your thinking. You have to sieze the moment and opportunities as they come your way, not pass them up for some 'perfect' scenario in the future, which, of course, you have no guarantees of.
Yes, winning an actual trophy would be first on my Everton wish list. But next best is competing in Europe. Not just once every 5-10 years, but year on year. We simply haven't done that as a club.
We are currently extremely well placed to securing a top 4-6 finish. NOW! THIS SEASON! is the time to qualify for Europe.
Thereafter, it befalls to the management, the DoF, the manager and the squad to ensure we have the necessary resources to remain competitive next season in both Europe and the domestic competitions.
280 Posted 03/03/2021 at 11:39:54
281 Posted 03/03/2021 at 11:52:39
I'm no great fan of the Thursday night Sunday grind, plus starting the season about a month early doesn't help, especially in the current difficult environment, and several international tournaments too... teams like Wolves managed okay. But people keep telling me that it can attract players of the calibre we require.
On reflection I'd choose finish 4th and win the Cup!
282 Posted 03/03/2021 at 13:29:57
Regarding the Europa league cup, I doubt we will have the resources by next August to compete in both the premier league and the Europa Cup, I definitely think that the latter will seriously hamper our chase for the top four places in the premier league, another twelve months would make a great difference to our chances of getting Champions league football, where the money is, personally youve got more time than me for the wait, so why the rush!!
283 Posted 03/03/2021 at 13:39:07
284 Posted 03/03/2021 at 13:49:36
285 Posted 03/03/2021 at 14:07:15
I know all about senior moments buddy.
How football was ever played on that ground is beyond me.
I think it was Emlyn Hughes (growl !!) who once said it looked like the tide had just gone out on the pitch.
286 Posted 03/03/2021 at 14:27:48
That certainly simplifies my choice. 3rd place and the FA Cup it is!
287 Posted 03/03/2021 at 14:32:30
That was Shankly. He said he was glad they got the game finished before the tide came in.
Hughes was a stranger to irony, humour and intelligence!
288 Posted 03/03/2021 at 16:13:30
Home Burnley, Palace, Spurs, Villa, Sheff U, Wolves
Away. WBA, Chelsea, Brighton, Arsenal, West Ham, Villa, Man City
27 points gets us to 70 which I think is the absolute minimum to finishing Top 4
That probably means we cant afford no more than two more defeats and a two or three draws. Still think its a big ask.
On a positive note the City game is the week before the CL final so lets hope they get there because they will have tied the league up by then.
289 Posted 03/03/2021 at 16:27:34
I viewed something similar earlier in the season, but here's my preference in priority:
1. Champions League qualification and win the FA Cup.
2. Win the FA Cup.
3. Champions League qualification.
4. Europa League qualification (via league position).
5. Any of the above!
I so want my son (and me again) see Everton lift silverware. Like everyone, I want us in Europe. I would prefer that was the Champions League, but I'd take Europa over nothing. As I said earlier, many teams have done that, been successful and put themselves on the map before being successful in the Champions League or it's predecessor. We may well have done already but it wasn't to be.
290 Posted 03/03/2021 at 16:54:02
291 Posted 03/03/2021 at 17:10:18
The RSPCA will be up in arms, as many chimps could take offence by that. :-)
292 Posted 03/03/2021 at 17:27:16
293 Posted 03/03/2021 at 18:31:36
296 Posted 04/03/2021 at 08:15:08
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