Everton 1 - 2 Aston Villa
One of these teams still had a very outside chance of qualifying for the Champions League this season; at the very least European qualification of some description was a very real possibility. The other had little to play for apart from professional pride and Premier League prize money via league placement; nevertheless, they could quite easily have had their proverbial flip-flops on and their minds on next season.
Both were missing their best player, their most creative outlet, albeit for one the loss came just minutes before kick-off, thereby forcing a change in plans.
Perhaps most alarmingly, one of these teams is managed by a coach who was very close to losing his job this time last year but survived after avoiding relegation. The other is helmed by one of the most decorated managers in European football history who has coached at some of the biggest clubs in the game.
If you’d come to this match without knowing who fit what in the above description, you could have been forgiven for mistaking Aston Villa as being the team with the all-star manager chasing European football and Everton as the one with one foot on the beach. The difference in attitude, performance, playing style and effectiveness was that glaring.
Everton have been playing atrocious football for months now. Some of the results away from home and against the sides usually occupying the top six have been excellent but for the most part, the standard of play has been garbage. Supporters have tried to excuse it on account of the pandemic, empty stadia, compressed fixture schedules and injuries, and while they’ve all been factors to a degree, they’ve affected most teams in the Premier League to varying degrees this season. Ultimately, however, as it pertains to the presence of fans in particular, it all eventually comes down to the game of football at its purest level which has gone on without supporters in attendance, with all the same prizes of normal times up for grabs.
Manchester City have been operating at an elite level ever since they overcame their rocky start to the season while Chelsea and Manchester United have been performing well relative to the quality in their ranks. Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain played out a high-octane Champions League quarter-final the other week that was as good as anything the competition has served up even with full stadia.
For whatever reason, this squad of players over which Ancelotti presides has consistently failed to produce much that comes close to “the beautiful game” since October. Part of that is down to the personnel at the Italian’s disposal and his inability to field his strongest line-up. Again, though, that afflicts all teams from time to time and when teams struggling at the wrong end of the table with supposedly inferior players are routinely playing better attacking passing football, coming to Goodison and playing Everton off their own park, at some point the focus has to shift to the manager. Carlo Ancelotti, for all his past successes, can no longer be immune to the justified criticism of the Toffees’ abysmal home form or the passive, negative, anti-football his team has been serving up.
This team’s inability to simply pass and move the ball up the field is staggering at times. As is their lack of drive and, it seems, sheer will to grasp the carrot of European football that has been dangling in front of their faces for months now. By contrast, Villa were everything the Toffees aren’t — they played quick, front-foot attacking football; they moved, they found space, hit their front man with accuracy and regularity; and they should have been out of sight by half-time.
5-2 at the break wouldn’t have flattered Dean Smith’s men and had it not been for an inspired display by Jordan Pickford they may well have been that far ahead by that stage. The England goalkeeper made top-class saves to deny Ollie Watkins and Bertrand Traoré while Anwar El Ghazi rattled the crossbar and Ross Barkley struck the outside of the post, all in the first period.
Pickford had been left helpless in the 13th minute, however, when Mason Holgate, misguidedly selected to start again, lapsed into the depressing backward-looking trait that has infected this Everton side all season long, got caught by Watkins trying to pass back to his goalkeeper, and the Villa striker shrugged off the attempt to bring him down by slotting home.
Everton, whose attempt to display the intensity their fans have been desperate to see in home games lasted barely a minute before they reverted to the limp, pedestrian outfit they have been on so many occasions since the turn of the year, were level within six minutes via an avenue on which Ancelotti has relied heavily this season — set-pieces. Lucas Digne swung in a deep corner from the right and, having rolled Barkley expertly, Dominic Calvert-Lewin arrived at the back post to power home a header.
It was his first goal since the 13th of March but the outcome of the game, a 2-1 home defeat, would be the same… although you wonder if things might have turned out different had one of the hosts’ few moments of genuine quality paid dividends a few minutes later. Digne’s cushioned volley pass back across goal was met with a flying header by Calvert-Lewin but Emiliano Martinez in the Villa goal parried it to safety.
Frustratingly, having weathered that flurry of chances that Villa carved out in the first half and with the contest settled into a more pattern in the second, Everton just didn’t have the wherewithal to move up a level to win it. Alex Iwobi, willing as always but with precious little end product, shot wide eight minutes after the interval and Allan drilled a similarly disappointing effort off target but that was it until Calvert-Lewin sliced well off target with 11 minutes to go. With so much on the line, the lack of determination or guts from Ancelotti's players was galling.
In midfield, André Gomes, mysteriously selected again despite being pretty dreadful at Arsenal last week, offered nothing once more and was hooked in the 70th minute… again in favour of Fabian Delph who — again! — offered just as little while Tom Davies, a player who performed well alongside Allan against Tottenham recently, was left sitting on the bench. Allan himself was the only one who really looked up for the fight but without help around him, he was powerless to really influence things.
Up front, Richarlison had a horrendous game. It was his loose touch that had let Traoré in in the first half for a chance that Pickford saved well coming off his line before the retreating keeper acrobatically batted the Burkinabé’s curling effort behind for a corner. At other end of the field, he ran down blind alleys, lost possession and on the odd occasion that a really promising situation opened up in front of him to release Calvert-Lewin or Gylfi Sigurdsson, he greedily held onto it and was easily dispossessed.
Bernard came on for Iwobi and Josh King replaced Sigurdsson a little later on but Everton were out of ideas by that stage and by the time the latter change had been made, it was too late anyway. The Blues had been worryingly open at the back all game and they let Villa in far too easily with 10 minutes left where El Ghazi received the ball on the edge of the box, cut back onto his right foot and curled a shot around Pickford to make it 2-1 to the visitors.
The increasingly ridiculous notion of Everton in next season’s Champions League had effectively gone prior to kick-off with Chelsea’s comfortable win over Fulham earlier in the day but the Europa League and Conference League somehow remain achievable with five games remaining. On this form, the Blues won’t qualify for either and they don’t deserve to. Having done the hard work ojn the road and against some of the toughest teams in the division, it will be a colossal, infuriating waste of a gilt-edged opportunity.
Quite what that will do to the club’s ability to attract the players they will need to try and sustain a proper challenge next season or hold on to the likes of James remains to be seen. Ancelotti has always been regarded as the big draw for top playing talent but it’s getting to the stage where even his lofty reputation is going to start eroding if he can’t either motivate the personnel he currently has or demonstrate the ability to set his team out to play effective attacking football even when he doesn't have his best players available.
So amid that sense of futility and resignation, thoughts should turn to the close season and the resumption of Marcel Brands’s task of offloading more of the dead wood from prior regimes while also acknowledging that a few of his own acquisitions will need to be moved on if possible to make room in the squad. It’s on old chestnut, but it’s another huge summer ahead…
Reader Comments (87)
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1 Posted 02/05/2021 at 20:37:47
Everyone at the club should be reflecting on Lyndon's headline and asking why, why, why? The Everton of my era was built on Moores, Catterick and Kendall. The Everton of my son's era is built on Kenwright, Moyes, Martinez and Allardyce. A Sampson shorn indeed.
2 Posted 02/05/2021 at 21:31:37
The weirdest of seasons has brought a long awaited derby win but balanced by shite results elsewhere and the usual meek cup exits and mid table finish.
Incoming transfers remain as questionable as under previous regimes and the football is terrible.
It's all very uninspiring and though tough to admit very predictable
3 Posted 02/05/2021 at 21:56:58
46 points from a possible 78 on the road with only 36 points from a possible 81 at home.
That home form has got to be radically improved next season
whilst maintaining those results on our travels.
4 Posted 02/05/2021 at 22:03:35
The football has indeed been appalling apart from some strange aberrations. Against Tottenham 2 weeks ago when Tom Davies was paired with Allan we played as well as we have done all year. Was that the reason or was it that Tottenham were in meltdown behind the scenes?
Anyway we reverted to the turgid football soon afterwards.
What a lot of fans will not understand is the failure to do the basics. Week after week for months on end we see almost unbelievably inaccurate passing, sometimes under or overweighted, sometimes just mindless. Controlling a football which comes to a player at reasonable pace, a lot of our players cant do it.
It seems to me there needs to be a crash refresher course at Finch Farm which gets all these big shots doing the basics better. Accurate passing, controlling a football at pace, rapid closing down. We need to be working these multi millionaire billy big bollocks like squaddies trying to qualify for the SAS.
Theyve obviously got it miles too easy, get them in training for 12 hours a day. 7 am to 7pm, until they can to the basics required for a Premier League footballer.
Anyone got any better ideas?
5 Posted 02/05/2021 at 22:29:14
6 Posted 02/05/2021 at 22:31:59
Recent mismanagement of team selection, a weak bunch of misfits in midfield, aside from Allan and Doucoure., and a crybaby forward in Richarlison.
This summer will be the defining point in our current managers future, because I cannot see the owners ambitions being brought to fruition with eighty percent of this squad, which will be a colossal waste of the owner and managers time, if they persist with the same group of players.
7 Posted 02/05/2021 at 22:32:43
The greatest of chances is being spewed, and spewed as if its not really an issue, for the squad and the Everton values.
If and if... Id but these lazy facades of footballers need to get match fit, fighting fit, mentally fit, and life fit.
They are seriously damaging the name of Everton FC, and for me, as of many vintage of my time, I'm realising that as my Ma, has said for years, they dont pay, yer wages, they dont care, etc..
Reality bites.. 35 years almost of exodus in terms of winning trophies.
They were great days, and seriously will never be repeated,in the 70s, and 80s, life was different, but Everton this season, are for me on the touch of high treason, in football terms, and made worse as the best Everton away form, has been eclipsed by the worst home form for years. So its a net balance, bar a miracle of no progress in terms of trophies, but can it auger better next season?
Unless theres a major overhaul, of players, the away results this season, will be a flash in the pan. It wont happen next season.
Im no longer a prisoner of my past, its in the past, all past glories over 84 -95, years, but I have like all of us, given loads and more for this club, but its more than the Iliad and Im seeing the context of life and reality.
The last few weeks in terms of footballs future and direction is clear, and so is mine.
Everton till I die, but theres got to be a minimum level of endurance and desire, in every game, by the squad.
Now for the Lazarus of comebacks, to make Europe, to get an ounce of hope to take into next season.
No excuses, blood, sweat and tears from all the squad and to believe what it means.
But Yep, the frustration is total.
At this rate bar the miracle, attracting any potential of good stock and ability and the real footballer, is gonna be another Biblical epic.
Adapt, improvise, overcome, as we do in life, but. and if...
All enjoy the May Day and across the world, all Evertonians, take care and stay well.
“Whats Our Name?”
8 Posted 02/05/2021 at 22:38:57
Brilliant mate. The journey of all Blues of a certain age summed up perfecto!
9 Posted 02/05/2021 at 22:52:10
For years it was the agony, the worst, and then the ecstasy, and from no where Old Nick, manifested and the rest is history.
All Evertonians, know their football, but the lights are still on for this season, but are dimming by the minute, and we can all ask why..
Seriously, the economics of life, pay, time, value... Everton..
But now to beat West Ham...
10 Posted 02/05/2021 at 22:54:18
Our day will be with us soon mate.
All the best Paul
11 Posted 02/05/2021 at 23:09:13
Let's make the last month of the season an Escape to Victory campaign... for Everton!
“What's Our Name?”
12 Posted 02/05/2021 at 00:09:58
Players motivation and work rate is determined by trainers and other players. It even feeds down from higher up within the Club than that.
Of course Ancelotti wants to get into Europe, even the European Conference League, because the extra money of such a placed finish in the Premier and being in the Europe increases his power within the Club. It also would changing in Club Dynamics putting more demands on the existing structures within the Club, again increasing Ancelottis power as a Manager.
There is obviously resistance within the Club to the possibility of such a shift in power. Getting into Europe is a dirty word amongst certain quarters within Everton. They have all being doing what they want quite comfortably on excellent wages with no pressure, without getting into Europe for years.
The only one worrying and uncomfortable is the Manager as his power wanes. They might even try down tools further so as to give him even more pressure in the remaining matches.
Ancelotti is fighting back and has done the right thing in shouting from roof tops about lack of spirit and work rate. This does put pressure on the shirkers within the Club, and may enable Ancelotti to sneak his objective through getting into the European Conference League, and the change in dynamics so badly needed in the Club.
My advice is to support Ancelotti in his quest.
It is time for long overdue Change at Everton.
Another Manager would just be a missed opportunity for real necessary change within the Club.
13 Posted 03/05/2021 at 00:13:35
14 Posted 03/05/2021 at 00:46:13
We can huff, puff, swagger, bemoan the injuries, question James' calf niggle and wonder about all our past their peak sick notes.
But the fact is
David Moyes West Ham are going to finish above us this season.
And the only reason is they want it more and they're fucking having it.
Finishing 8th with Big Sam is less embarrassing than this shower of shite.
Which club in the Premier League finally got the money and and manager and still went nowhere.
Were proving everyone else right.
15 Posted 03/05/2021 at 01:51:11
I love Carlo's personality and his record is second to none on the European stage but he has really struggled here to prove anything other than mediocre.
I expect us to finish top 10 after an horrendous home run of fixture underachievement.
This was a season of opportunity and we are blowing it big time.
I do not think we will ever have this chance again. The Champions league and European Qualification was never as close to being a reality but we are throwing it away.
This group of players lack balance, fight and focus. We need Leadership, pace, fight and no little skill and cunning to break into the European places for next season. A lot of personnel need to be jettisoned and a new breed of player to come in.
16 Posted 03/05/2021 at 08:32:43
Ancelotti has juggled with what he has, but some of the decisions have been painfully bizarre. Delph, Iwobi, Holgate, should be gone and not put a jersey on again.. then there are the players who are just not good enough and those out of form, Richarlson,Gomes, Keane, Siggy, Coleman ( I know but ) and those who never seem to be fit, Allan, James, Bernard.
And we are left with NO ONE to replace any of them never mind two or three. How many times have had a bench of no bodies? (no disrespect intended, but no experience, whilst someone who does give his all, Davies, can;t get a look in. Not the most gifted player but gives his all, until we have a proper squad he is worth his weight in the squad.
I am trying hard to be pragmatic in all of this, but if it had not been for the great start to the season and the excellent football we played (remember?) I wouldn't have been so disappointed, especially with the players above who did the business then, but not now.
Ancelloti? He is like a Sunday league manager seeing who he has available 30 mins before kick-off, he is making hail mary calls on players who should not be in the team, but he must look at those on the bench and consider the gulf too much for the kids to step up. That in itself is a real issue. Are they that bad? If he had a squad of some depth I think we would be in Europe this year. Just what can he do with the squad he has?
As a manager, he carries the can, as he should, results are the bottom line, but the can was filled with crap long before he got here and he couldn't tip it all out in one go. I think he is in for the long haul, but I think he has wholesale changes and increases to the squad to consider if we are really serious.
I have a feeling we will sneak into Europe this season, but it's been painful..by now Ancelloti will know who he can use and who he can't. The question is what can the club do going forward?
17 Posted 03/05/2021 at 08:34:51
18 Posted 03/05/2021 at 08:37:16
19 Posted 03/05/2021 at 08:42:24
Delete Kouliby insert Championship centre half.
Delete Rabiot insert £50M Zaha.
Potentially lose DCL (never liked anyway) keep King.
Whilst the names may change the effect is the same, we are now going to be shopping for seconds but having to pay top dollar to convince them to sign.
20 Posted 03/05/2021 at 08:48:24
The second is the cosy nature of the club - people who are here for five minutes are proclaiming how secure they feel at Everton - Carlo included. That needs addressing - would Catterick or Kendall have allowed such complacency - Andy Gray was shipped out at the height of his powers for instance because he had done his job and Howard saw an opportunity with Lineker. Under the current regime, Gray would have had a job for life.
My question to all blues is simple - the answer probably not - how do we get rid of this mid table mentality that had pervaded us for decades as somehow being acceptable.
21 Posted 03/05/2021 at 08:56:42
Daily training sessions from now on to include a full 90 mins 11 a side game of all the first team squad. Two additional rules. 1 No passing the ball backwards and 2 No passing the ball straight back to the player who passed it to you.
Any infringement of the rules results in a 1000 pound fine for the player involved donated to EITC. That would raise a fortune based on previous games and would hit these overpaid gutless cowards where it hurts, their bank balances. Gomes would be bankrupt before the week was out.
Oh and can I be paid 6million a year.
22 Posted 03/05/2021 at 09:04:06
We need better players in virtually every position from the fullbacks (Digne great going forward but defensively he's a frightmare, while Coleman's not the future)
Then you look at our centre backs, Holgate thinks he's Beckenbauer in his head but the truth is something very different, piss weak for a central defender in my eyes.
Keane can only play in the low block and Mina who is in my view our best defender misses too many games.
Godfrey has been a revelation to be fair.
Middle of the park is just scared shitless play it safe merchants like Andre Gomes (amount of times this fella goes backwards unreal) then there's Fabian Delph the Yorkie Schneiderlin.
Sigurdsson who at least does score some goals but sadly the legs have gone now.
That leaves us with Tom Davies, a competent enough player but never going to get you further along in a top four challenge is he.
Allan who is again a decent enough player putting out the fires but he's needs help, he needs Doucoure next to him.
Alex Iwobi who's the worst ever pound for pound signing we've every made and then James who is obviously a top class player but he's made out of glass and will never offer the energy or enough games to truly make a big difference to our dynamic.
Richarlison who seems to have just stalled completely this season and he looks like a player that just doesn't want to be on the pitch too often now.
DCL the only option up front, again a competent enough striker but for me if we had a top drawer player like Lukaku here, DCL would be a squad player, as I say he's done well but the lad is limited with the type of option he offers for a striker, it's just crosses that he feeds from with little else.
We need to stop being sentimental if we are going to move this club forward ever, we need to sign a better quality of player, players that are comfortable with the ball and comfortable attacking.
23 Posted 03/05/2021 at 09:40:46
As to some other posters, do you really believe the utter garbage you write? Clearly you do because you start your post off with “I believe”.
These players “Don't want to play in Europe”... What utter shite, of course they want to play in Europe. Of course they want to win things. Of course they want to play for their countries. By not playing well for their club means none of these things happen. They will simply run down their contracts and move on elsewhere if they are not sold in the meantime.
Some players I think, (I won't say 'believe' because I don't know them personally, nor can I read their minds) probably are happy to just plod along and pick up their wages, and this is no doubt true at a lot of Premier League clubs.
Given me a right belly ache with laughter on this gloomy Bank Holiday Monday morning anyway!
24 Posted 03/05/2021 at 10:19:59
Surely one of the main problems has been inconsistent team selection. For example the centre back pairings have been all over the place. Yes we have four decent players there but surely we need to settle on two and play them together for a long run of games rather than chop and change.
Likewise the midfield- constantly changing formation and playing guys out of position is not going to help establish a pattern of play hence the constant passing square and back.
Up front Richi has had a poor season overall but again his role has been altered constantly- a team of any sort needs consistency in selection to produce consistency in performance. Yes, Carlo has a squad which is not fit for purpose but some of his decisions have been weird and none more so than leaving Tom on the bench whilst Gomes,Sigurdsson and Delph get to play.
Some say that aCarlo must be allowed another transfer window which I can accept but not to bring in old guys like Aguerro - we need strong,athletic and hungry players like Godfrey not has beens.
Im not yet in the Carlo Out camp but am by no means convinced that he has it in him to do this job. One more window should bring in realistically four new players for the first team and then he can be judged fairly.
25 Posted 03/05/2021 at 10:22:08
I'd also point out that most teams have plenty of mediocre players in their ranks; a new manager is expected to get the best out of his squad and work with what he's got - not wait five seasons until he has replaced them all in his likeness. A good chef should be able to make a tasty meal from left-overs.
As always, the truth is somewhere in the middle. Our away performances have been flattered by lack of fans and our players' corresponding relative comfort, together with a pragmatic, defensive approach to these matches and not a little luck (when you see the xG stats and see how we've had the rub of the green). The same issue - lack of fans - allows visiting teams to be more comfortable and contributes to our appalling home form; that and our clear inability to dominate with the ball when expected to. Our squad too is no worse than previous seasons when we've played a lot better on the whole - indeed we strengthened last summer. Whilst some players - DCL, Davies - have clearly improved under Carlo, others - Richarlison - have regressed. And where are the youngsters?
Carlo is not immune from criticism here. Why cannot he get more out of a team of international players when they have to take the initiative? Why do they always start so slowly? Why do he make inexplicable substitutions such as Delph on Saturday, and always so late? Why the lack of passion and energy for the "cup finals" we are now supposedly playing?
So many questions, so few answers.
26 Posted 03/05/2021 at 10:24:11
Football isnt football (in any real sense) as the home/away conundrum attests. The power of the crowd cant be underestimated. Once things have a sense of normality, we will start to see real football assert itself and we will get a true sense of where we are.
27 Posted 03/05/2021 at 10:38:30
Although I agree our squad is lacking, Im still seeing problems that other teams with similar (or lesser) quality squads dont display as much. Season after season we see other sides outside the ‘big six show more desire and a greater understanding on the pitch - passing it better, creating more chances and entertaining us more.
28 Posted 03/05/2021 at 10:50:00
29 Posted 03/05/2021 at 10:58:12
It goes deeper than the players. Of course some of them are quite willingly to have a easier life and coast through their careers earning more than enough corn. But many of them are young and having been brought up and nutured in a dreamland enviroment and are not as sceptical of the motives of those who are a charge of analysing, instructing, coaching and developing them. These backroom persons, because of the parental nature of Everton have loyalties and relationship with persons in the internal Manager of the Club. It is largely from these backroom and internal management persons that the motivation and drive inside the Club which influences the players is derived. The Manager does have some say in motivation, but this is more determined by achieving better positions in the Premiership and Competitions.
This is logical enough in that the Manager keeping his job is determined by this. The jobs of the Backroom staff is secure no matter what the outcome. Europe many of them don't want to see, because of the shift of power to the Manager and the extra accountability to him that would entail.
I know, Why does the Manager not sack the backroom staff ? The answer is that he does not have the power. This is not helped at Everton by the fact that the Director of Football is on the Board. Ancelotti only announced Backroom staffchanges, by the introduction of his own staff, two months into this season in positions mostly in Medical Searvice. Davide Ancelotti being one of the exceptions. This was six months into Anncelotti's tenure. It was Brands that created the job for Baines, according to the Chief Executive.
The reason that Ancelotti is pushing Europe is qualification increases his power and put demands on the internal Management and Backroom persons within the Club to step up changing the internal dynamics of Everton.
The Advocates of a New Manager or a wholesale changing of players are wrong IMO. Neither of these would change what is necessary. Ancelotti correctly will keep pushing for Europe and bring in a few new players in the Summer, because he knows where real change is necessary. It's not that most of the players does not want to get into Europe. It is that they are not being motivated or prepared to do so.
He may give it to till the end of next season and decide whether it is worth staying on. If he leaves be prepared for another twenty years of similar threads on ToffeeWeb, and the addition problem of Moshiri finally getting pissed off.
30 Posted 03/05/2021 at 11:06:39
I think your appraisal of our current side is spot on, we are unable to take the opportunities that we have been presented this season. When Moshiri took over I think we all thought at last cash strapped Everton can now compete with the big boys again And despite Moshiri doing his part in pumping in the best part of half a billion into the club, unfortunately we have not used that money well and we are in the same place as we were before Moshiri took over. He said a while back that when he initially invested in Everton he didn't think it would take up as much of his time as it has. I would loved to have been a fly on the wall when the decision to sack and appoint a new manager took place.
I think after his previous mistakes in appointing managers he went for a manager who had won it all, and with different teams in different countries. A very safe pair of hands and hopefully with the experience needed to take the club in the right direction. So far its been very much one step forward and one step back, how much of this is the managers fault and how much is it the players fault. I think its very much a failure by both players and manager that we haven't moved on as quickly as we had all hoped we would. While Carlo has always said he likes players to be able to play in different positions, I just wonder if the constant changing of systems and players have hampered our progress. I know we have had injuries but that's part and parcel of the game.
I am sure before the season ends Moshiri will sit down with Ancelotti and Brands to get their thoughts on what has happened this season and their plans for the coming season. I think maybe Moshiri needs to set clear goals so everyone knows exactly what he expects, he needs to see the progression, so needs to set goals that if not achieved will mean a parting of the ways. Obviously not unrealistic goals but certainly a points target and a belief that we can look forward to European football on a regular basis and I don't mean the European Conference league which isn't worth being in.
31 Posted 03/05/2021 at 11:24:33
You can change managers as often as you like and let Moshiri spend millions on hopeful and has-beens - but EFC is the culture, methods and expectations communicated at Finch Farm - and it is wholly lacking.
32 Posted 03/05/2021 at 11:36:39
33 Posted 03/05/2021 at 11:55:44
I honestly think that things are changing off the pitch, Brands wants to start fast-tracking the younger players, and Ancellotti, looks like he wants players for now.
Theyve had one transfer window (excluding the winter ones) and with most of the deadwood now out of the way, this summer should now be very interesting, but back to what you said Brian, because the difference in performance against Brighton and Tottenham, was like night and day, so who really knows whats going on behind the scenes, considering these two games were in the same week
34 Posted 03/05/2021 at 11:57:08
35 Posted 03/05/2021 at 12:19:17
Augerro and Couthiniho? I think a lot of us would say no. Id say its obvious we need pace and energy, and thats why this summer should tell us a lot.
36 Posted 03/05/2021 at 12:28:05
That hope is fading, but I'm keeping the candle burning for now. In terms of Ancelotti, big summer and big season ahead once we frustratingly limp over the line of this one.
Said on other thread Kevin, I'm not ageist. Players can play at the highest levels way into their 30s now. A second season and more settled, surrounded by other improvements to the squad and we could get more out of them.
Not for the future, I agree, but also not for a tilt this season. More for the 2 or 3 years I anticipate Ancelotti being with the club.
37 Posted 03/05/2021 at 12:31:13
38 Posted 03/05/2021 at 12:36:01
39 Posted 03/05/2021 at 12:56:13
40 Posted 03/05/2021 at 13:12:54
I think you make a valid point; however, most of our January acquisitions in recent times have left a great deal to be desired and Joshua King joins the list – albeit without the great expense of some others that Everton has purchased in that window.
Seriously though, Everton has relied on too few players when it comes to scoring goals for such a long time, what happened to the goalscoring midfielders that used to chip in with a few goals now and again???
The reliance on Dominic Calvert-Lewin to perform every week and contribute goals is a heavy burden for a relatively young striker, particularly when his team-mates don't supply him with the ammunition most of the time and his strike partner is often guilty of being greedy when he should be unconcerned about who scores so long as Everton do.
If Everton don't make Europe, which is an outside bet at best, I can see Dominic being attracted by those clubs who are regularly competing in Europe, and Everton will have to start all over again when it comes to finding a forward who can lead the line and score goals.
If Aguero arrives and Dominic leaves, I will be hopping mad about that as it will show that Everton don't really have the ambitions that many in the local media constantly tell us we have.
41 Posted 03/05/2021 at 13:15:45
I don't disagree with Christine when she says she has a feeling we may still sneak into Europe. I do too. I sincerely hope so for the sake of younger kids who have never been to Europe – not to mention the older kids like Rob Halligan, who love these trips so well.... But, as your headline suggests... I can't help feeling this was a guilt-edged opportunity. It'll be a long time before we see a season like this again.
Carlo has done some good things this season and he has been a magnificent ambassador for the club, However, the clubs above were not floundering enough that we could reel them in with a cautious approach.
We needed an SAS assault on a Champions League spot... but he didn't dare – and he didn't win.
42 Posted 03/05/2021 at 13:23:12
There for the taking but we wasted opportunity upon opportunity to take what was there for the taking.
We could still sneak in, but the hindsight will be what could have been.
44 Posted 03/05/2021 at 13:28:30
All good and reasonable points.
Doesn't it worry you when he leaves Tom Davies on the bench in favour of Gomes?
He didn't give King a single full game to at least try to prove himself.
Delph get's a game, Iwobi? Same tactics again and again.
I feel he's watching a different game to the rest of us and, against Villa, he was definitely watching a different game to Dean Smith.
His self-belief might just be overpowering his judgement.
45 Posted 03/05/2021 at 13:41:27
Maybe another transfer window will help but I can't see him switching to front-foot attacking play any time soon. But then he is a better manager than I.
46 Posted 03/05/2021 at 14:38:32
It would make a world of difference for all young Blues out there if for the first time in their lives they had some bragging rights at the end of a season.
Us older Blues are more accustomed to constant failure and the three certainties of life; death, taxes and Everton letting you down, but in terms of epic fails this truly has been an exceptional season.
47 Posted 03/05/2021 at 14:54:47
I'm doing it again. The hope thing. A gluten for punishment.
48 Posted 03/05/2021 at 15:03:21
Look at the squad, if you want to call it that, it's garbage, why are we even talking about champions league qualification. Rose tinted blue specs need removing.
This club every summer seems to juggle around in the transfer market by doing the bare minimum to get through a season. They leave positions short all over the park, and when they eventually replace that eventual position, they leave another gaping hole elsewhere either by not replacing or selling a particular player. I just don't understand what the club is trying to achieve perhaps it's just contention to stay in the league and make up the numbers.
49 Posted 03/05/2021 at 15:14:26
You are though correct. To compete, we need to build a squad, not just a decent first eleven.
50 Posted 03/05/2021 at 15:34:30
Im in the same boat , always searching for some optimism. Strange things can happen though and even after Saturdays football circus show , you cant rule out that they belatedly get their act together. (Especially if Doucoure comes back in) ..and one or two other results go our way.
51 Posted 03/05/2021 at 15:39:20
52 Posted 03/05/2021 at 15:44:26
53 Posted 03/05/2021 at 15:56:07
We dont need European games to attract players, weve got Carlo, havent we?
54 Posted 03/05/2021 at 15:59:03
55 Posted 03/05/2021 at 16:11:36
They are both the reason that the players on the pitch do not pull their tripe out every week because they put no pressure on the manager to do his job properly. They wouldn't know what to say.
Ancelotti for me is in cruise control because he is under absolutely zero pressure. He is far to knowledgeable and experienced for his bosses and they are in awe of him.
My own thoughts are that he is now so far out of touch with the modern game that he cannot teach players anything new. The players don't know their own roles properly.
He has been outdone this season by too many average managers whose teams are much less in value than ours. The football is absolutely galling to watch. I know the players are not world beaters but they are not shite either. They need a commander to lead them and not somebody who is happy walking his dog down Crosby beach after another home defeat.
Look at Dean Smith for example. He has very little experience compared to Carlo, he had his main player missing and fields what I think was an average team yet they swarmed all over us.
We don't have a leader on the pitch but not having one on the touch line is unacceptable.
That is my little rant over. I need a bit of perspective given the madness and sadness in the world today.
So keep well my fellow blues from Down Under.
56 Posted 03/05/2021 at 16:22:56
The sad thing is they'll win it.
57 Posted 03/05/2021 at 16:29:01
58 Posted 03/05/2021 at 16:36:30
We just don't have a squad to survive 4 competitions, too many sicknotes, Journeymen and golden oldies.
59 Posted 03/05/2021 at 16:39:55
60 Posted 03/05/2021 at 16:52:19
61 Posted 03/05/2021 at 16:52:31
62 Posted 03/05/2021 at 16:55:55
I have thought alot about the valid points you make after the game, adding my thoughts in posts on another thread. The only justification for the selections is that Ancelotti in setting up Everton is employing the same maxum as Big Sam, which is experience over youth. Delph was selected, because he may not give the ball away as easily as Davies. I would favour Davies rather than Delph, but have to admit Davies does lose possession on a high press. Delph IMO is the Linkman to nowhere, which may be a better fit, going for a draw. Gomes allowed himself to be pushed too deep, where he is vunerable to the High press pressure and giving stupid fouls away.
As for substitutions they where definitely delayed, as Ancelotti tried to Bank a draw. I think that Ancelotti looked at the bench and thought want little difference it would make. The substitutions where the last roll of the Dice after the goal. King has struggled arriving at Everton considerably out of shape and has been trying to catch up since. Going down to the Championship he was sponsored by Mitcheln which did not help.
Ancelotti will look at the game as a lost opportunity, because of two defensive errors.
63 Posted 03/05/2021 at 17:29:14
64 Posted 03/05/2021 at 17:32:13
I think Carlo got that wrong.
65 Posted 03/05/2021 at 17:49:07
Screaming at the top of his voice, he said: 'You shower of **** need to understand, It's not about what's in here [punching his forehead 3 times].... It's about what's in here [punching his upper chest 3 times].
Carlo should make every player watch that video 3 times, before going onto the pitch at Goodison.
66 Posted 03/05/2021 at 17:58:59
One of my current favourites is the "Mi Ciamo Francesso Totti". Recommend that. Also then one one Toni Kroos. That's an interesting one for those of us who are not obsessed with physical pace. A player who had a brain and football intelligence to get to the very highest levels.
67 Posted 03/05/2021 at 20:51:02
68 Posted 03/05/2021 at 21:16:02
69 Posted 03/05/2021 at 21:33:02
Boring 1990s Italian football. If we played like this under Allardyce the knives would be out as indeed they were. Ancelotti is getting away with it as no fans are allowed in to let their feelings be known.
The formation changes each game and it looks like the players are only told at kick off.
What was the point of getting King if we don't play him?
Letting Kean go on loan was a huge error.
We need to finish the season strong but I suspect it will be more of a whimper like last season.
70 Posted 03/05/2021 at 22:01:12
71 Posted 03/05/2021 at 22:12:04
I think our chances of Europe have gone now after this weekend's results and the fact that Manchester United won't be interested by the time they face our neighbours in their rearranged match.
72 Posted 03/05/2021 at 22:24:51
73 Posted 03/05/2021 at 22:29:12
74 Posted 03/05/2021 at 23:11:00
I tend to agree with you regarding Delph. Ancelotti seems to want to give him game time for reasons he can only explain. I can make suggests, but they are against the grain of what I really think. Delph was bought in Deadwood by Brands and Everton where ripped off.
75 Posted 03/05/2021 at 23:24:29
I cannot agree with some contributors who believe that missing out on Europe would allow us to concentrate on the Premier League next season.
Failure to qualify for Europe means another failed season in 8th position (or worse) with less prize money and less pulling power to make quality signings despite having Carlo as manager.
We are clearly not good enough to play in the Champions League (yet), but the Europa League or Conference League would provide an invaluable opportunity for our young players.
Loaning out our two best young prospects to gain regular competitive experience at Championship clubs has hardly been a success, with Gordon at Preston making just 11 starts so far and Branthwaite at Blackburn 10 (although he is injured at present).
If Carlo can attract at 3 or 4 new key signings again this summer, and Brands can clear out more deadwood, we will have a squad comfortably large enough to handle the extra games.
76 Posted 03/05/2021 at 23:36:53
You might as well join the players and put your flip-flops on, mate.
We won't win another game between now and the end of the season. There is no will to win in this side.
Just watch Arsenal and Villa overtake us as Liverpool and Spurs put some distance between us. Serial losers the majority of them.
77 Posted 04/05/2021 at 00:22:03
I would rather have the Hammers in Europe than the scummy 6.
78 Posted 04/05/2021 at 08:42:49
The manager has got to bring players he has confidence in into the club, because he clearly has no faith in a lot of his current squad, the way he sets them up. It really is awful to watch.
79 Posted 04/05/2021 at 09:28:08
The excuse that our players are shite is not a viable one anymore. They are not shite but clearly need a good commander and teacher to get them to the next level.
Ancelotti has been outdone by so many managers with average squads this season that it beggars belief he has won so many trophies. The football we play is galling and it repeats itself, week after week.
The biggest problem for me is that Moshiri and Kenwright know little about football and they are not in a position to dictate to Ancelotti but instead are in awe of him and let him just do what he wants. Ancelotti has never had such an easy job. Absolutely no pressure on him.
Going back to Moshiri. What kind of businessman buys a football club and allows the very core problem at the club to remain??? They may be good at their respective professions but know little about football and winning.
80 Posted 04/05/2021 at 22:20:35
81 Posted 04/05/2021 at 22:47:03
82 Posted 04/05/2021 at 23:04:49
Great article, Lyndon.
Our issues are:
- Mentality (This has been a problem for years.);
- Tactics (we play crap football because this is how we're set up. There's little movement off the ball because Carlo Ancelotti obviously hasn't requested it.);
- Attitude (That deparation to win. To dig teammates out. To kick the opposition. To shout at the ref. To actually do anything resembling a need to win.)
Show me a good loser and I'll show you a loser. Everton have been good gracious losers for years. We're losers.
83 Posted 05/05/2021 at 14:41:49
Go back to basics for the Hammers game and just give it a fucking good go, Blues...
Godfrey Keane Mina Nkounkou
Coleman Davies Allan Digne (totally wasted at left-back, imo)
We need European footy of any discription... COYB
84 Posted 06/05/2021 at 17:23:22
Now, all we need is for our current manager to have a similar conversion.
85 Posted 06/05/2021 at 17:52:50
86 Posted 06/05/2021 at 18:04:53
Fucked up all seasom from the first loss. He takes too lomg to corect his own errors and has now started pointing the finger at others when it should be himself. If fans were in the stands, he would kmow about it... but he is sitting pretty without that pressure.
Lucky Carlo will be given money to spend again to balance his squad. Will it be aiming for 6th to 8th again? He seemed happy enough to take losses while he juggled the formation but time is up. What a waste.
I'm more disappointed with Ancelotti than l was with Silva.
87 Posted 06/05/2021 at 18:16:02
Obviously a very lucky manager.
How he won all these trophys without knowing "his preferred formation".
88 Posted 06/05/2021 at 18:33:09
It's not Carlo's fault the players are brain-dead morons with very little football ability. I wouldn't expect my manager at work to get the blame if I couldn't do my job.
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