Another Ancelotti away masterclass as he takes Moyes to school

Calvert-Lewin secured a very well-taken goal for Everton in a good first half at the London Stadium against West Ham.

Michael Kenrick 09/05/2021 290comments  |  Jump to last

Calvert-Lewin secured a very well-taken goal for Everton in a good first half at the London Stadium against West Ham, with Carlo Ancelotti going on to inspire a fine defensive display that David Moyes would be proud of.

Abdoulaye Doucouré returns as promised... but only on the bench, where Holgate Gomes and Iwobi are rested after the dreadful loss at home to Aston Villa last weekend.

Unfortunately, James Rodriguez misses out yet again with Everton in desperate need of his creativity. Sigurdsson, who has been mixed at best, is once again burdened with that responsibility, to feed the miss-firing marksmen in Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin upfront.

Everton kicked off and guess what: Hoofed it upfield and straight out of play. Allan got some of his own treatment, getting fouled in midfield, Sigurdsson winning a corner that he delivered very well, for another corner, this one from Dine on the other side. That lead to a third, back with Sigurdsson and delivered far too deep where Calvert-Lewin could only loop it behind.

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West Ham's chance to deliver a set-piece but they went backwards, then Antonia played it behind. Calvert-Lewin headed on the goal-kick but nothing came of it. Richarlison then pirouetted with the ball, saw no passing options he like the look of, and abruptly lost possession.

A better passing move reached the West Ham area, headed away but Richarlison won a corner off the 2nd phase, but it was delivered too high with a predictable arc that Fabianski read all the way. Davies got spoken to for his clumsy foul on Soucek.

Antonio showed the danger he could create, with a ball that sliced deep into the Everton defence with Lingard just off the pace. Richarlison created a brilliant chance to run forward with the ball and play in Calvert-Lewin... but turned and played it backwards!

Godfrey showed how it could be done, timing a beautiful ball forward to Calvert-Lewin, who took a delicate touch and then swept it accurately across Fabianski and into the far side of the net, an excellent finish from just outside the 6-yard area!

West Ham applied immediate pressure that finished with Keane bundling into Antonio, no penalty. Everton's counter won a dangerous set-piece that was well delivered by Sigurdsson and well saved by Fabianski, the corner defended away.

The Hammers won a corner that Calvert-Lewin headed away from the near post before Lingard tried to whip in a difficult one under the far angle, and missed.

Everton won another corner but somehow Calvert-Lewin and Mina got in each other's way a little. Davies was on a knife-edge after one of these wild-looking sliding tackles that didn't seem to touch the feigning West Ham player.

Calvert-Lewin's header-on played Richarlison in well this time and he really should have scored with a better first strike, claiming a penalty as he tried for the ball that Fabianski had parried.

West Ham were mounting convincing-looking attacks each time; Benrahma perhaps should have made sure his header was on target as it would have beaten Pickford.

Godfrey overlapped Richarlison well and then got a nose-bleed, the only explanation for his hopeless pass in the vague direction of the expectant Calvert-Lewin. Lanzini went down injured and was replaced by Bowen before the break.

The Hammers restarted but Everton continued to look the brighter with some good forward play that didn't quite come off. When West Ham attacked, Antonio got frustrated and barged over Coleman. Creswell won a free-kick for injuring his own leg but Pickford claimed the ball as his.

A better West Ham move saw Creswell's cross intercepted but it fell to Fornals whose shot needed the block. Everton were defending in numbers and it was working... so far! The key indicator was when Everton got the ball: Would they keep possession and mount a decent attack? No.

Sure enough, with an even better move, West Ham penetrated and hit the post, Pickford so fortunate with the rebound off Bowen, who could not convert with the goal gaping. What a let-off! Holgate replaced Mina just after the hour.

Everton won a free-kick in their own half when Sigurdsson was fouled, but they squandered possession with Holgate's poor hoof upfield. Coleman was next to win possession, only to clear it with unerring accuracy to the head of a West Ham midfielder.

Allan gave up a foul and the set-piece was another opportunity for West Ham, Davies scooping the ball upfield only for it to be returned. Coleman won the ball in midfield, but desperate passing was not good enough. Richarlison got the ball and a chance to run but again he would not play in Calvert-Lewin in space to his left.

West Ham were becoming delightfully frustrated, Lingard the next to go in the referee's book. Allan stole the ball elegantly in the Everton area and released Calvert-Lewin, who did really well to play a superb ball to Coleman running in. It needed a first-time strike from an accomplished forward... which is not what it got. Then Allan went sliding in and he saw yellow.

After what seemed an age, West Ham won a corner but Everton defended the phases manfully until Davies ran into an ambush. With around 10 minutes left, King replaced a reluctant Richarlison. King got involved straight away and headed a great cross from Calvert-Lewin onto the post!

A late set-piece for West Ham was played short and Everton looked to counter but they gave it up and invited yet another Hammers attack with time running out. Coufal lashed the ball well high and wide.

Kick-off: 4:30pm, Sunday 9 May 2021 on Sky Sports

West Ham Utd: Fabianski, Cresswell (59' Fredericks), Coufal, Diop, Dawson, Fornals, Soucek [Y:72'], Benrahma (74' Yarmolenko), Lanzini (42' Bowen), Lingard [Y:74'], Antonio.
Subs not Used: Randolph, Balbuena, Ogbonna, Johnson, Odubeko, Coventry.

Everton: Pickford, Coleman (c), Keane, Mina (62' Holgate), Godfrey, Digne, Allan [Y:76'], Davies, Sigurdsson (85' Delph), Richarlison (83' King), Calvert-Lewin.
Subs not Used: Olsen, Doucouré, Iwobi, Nkounkou, Bernard, Gomes.

Referee: Stuart Atwell
VAR: Darren England

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Reader Comments (290)

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Ian Edwards
1 Posted 09/05/2021 at 15:33:24
That's 8 Defensive players. Horrible team.
Thomas Richards
2 Posted 09/05/2021 at 15:36:00
Flick the on/off button.
Brent Stephens
3 Posted 09/05/2021 at 15:36:53
Ian, who from the bench would you start instead? and instead of who?
Colin Glassar
4 Posted 09/05/2021 at 15:37:11
No live forum? That bad, eh?
Brian Williams
5 Posted 09/05/2021 at 15:38:41
Interested to know the team you'd have picked from those available.
Rob Halligan
6 Posted 09/05/2021 at 15:38:47
#1, don't Fucking watch it then.
Bill Rodgers
7 Posted 09/05/2021 at 15:39:19
If Davies is playing then Doucoré must have only one good leg or is suffering from double vision. Imagine sitting in the training room just now "Listen Tom, when you get the ball, you don't pass backwards, you don't go sidewards and you don't give it away. Nod if you understand".
Alan J Thompson
8 Posted 09/05/2021 at 15:39:24
Only one keeper on the bench. Does this mean Virginia won't be the No.2 keeper next season?
John Otway
9 Posted 09/05/2021 at 15:40:05
Colin. #4. See the big blue button at the top that that says "live forum"
Ray Said
10 Posted 09/05/2021 at 15:40:16
Colin (4), the forum link is at the top of the home page.
Andy Walker
11 Posted 09/05/2021 at 15:40:16
Yes Ian, I’d have had Holgate in for Richarlison. Way to attacking. We know if we try and attack we concede.
Barry Hesketh
12 Posted 09/05/2021 at 15:40:30
Colin @4
There is a live forum the button to access it, is at the top of the page highlighted in blue.
Dave Ganley
13 Posted 09/05/2021 at 15:40:31
That's the team he should have started with last week. 3 5 2 with Coleman and Digne providing width. We should have beaten spurs and palace with that formation if only for missing a hatful of chances. Feel more positive with this selection. Just got to hope DCL and Richy can find their scoring boots
Mark Frere
14 Posted 09/05/2021 at 15:43:00
So glad Carlo has finally dropped the worst serial underperformers in Gomes, Iwobi and Holgate. Let's see if the slightly better underperformers can do any better. Disappointed Doucouré isn't starting but, if he's not quite match-fit, we can't really complain.
Ian Edwards
15 Posted 09/05/2021 at 15:43:48
So we give up, Andy??? Is that how far this club has sunk that we are frightened of West Ham?
Colin Glassar
16 Posted 09/05/2021 at 15:45:15
Cheers lads, found it. Expecting to see Ian on there steering HMS GoodShipLollypop into rough waters.
Robert Tressell
17 Posted 09/05/2021 at 15:47:05
My gripe is why Holgate, Gomes and Iwobi one week and then Mina, Keane and Davies the next? Only Pickford, Digne, Godfrey, Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin get picked consistently. Everyone else gets rotated and often played in different positions too. No wonder the play is very disjointed.

That said, I think we can win this – possibly by sapping the life out of the game and pinching the win. To put it another way, to out-Moyes, Moyes.

Brian Williams
18 Posted 09/05/2021 at 15:47:12
Ian, he was being sarcastic. 😶
Sam Fitzsimmons
19 Posted 09/05/2021 at 15:47:34
Many ToffeeWebbers will be happy with no Gomes, Iwobi, Holgate in the starting eleven and many happy with Davies getting a start. The post-match thread should be interesting.
Brent Stephens
20 Posted 09/05/2021 at 15:47:48
Ian, you remind me of the moon - we only ever see one side of it. Maybe we can fire Rob Halligan up into your "orbit" and see if there is another side.
Neil Lawson
21 Posted 09/05/2021 at 15:49:17
That is the team Ancelotti was always going to select, save that if properly fit, Doucouré would have started in place of Davies.
Everton travel to the London Stadium to face West Ham for this Sunday afternoon fixture. Not confident, but our better performances have come from that type of defensive set-up. Delighted that Davies gets his place above the other non-performers.

The one change I would have liked, however, would have been to play the tea lady in place of Richarlison. On his current form, certain to have made a more positive contribution and to provide a better blend.

Jay Wood

22 Posted 09/05/2021 at 15:49:45
Perfectly logical selection for me given who is injured, who is returning from injury, who has performed well this season and who has been poor on recent form.

Contrary to those given to using the in-vogue buzzword of playing a high line with (allegedly) speedier, more complete centre-backs, Carlo has resorted to his best centre-back pairing this season of Keane and Mina. Two players who can pick out a pass forward, who can win headers in the penalty área and who CAN block shots.

Holgate unsurprisingly not even retained at right back with Seamus trusted there instead. Could be a flat back four, or a flexible back 4/5 Carlo has used with Godfrey making up the 3rd centre-back and Digne covering as left wing back as necessary when out of possession.

In James's absence, I am personally relieved that Carlo has gone for Sigurdsson over Gomes, rather than fit in both. With Doucouré presumably just missing out, pleased to see Tom alongside Allan.

No kids on the bench other than Nkounkou. Just players with first team experience.

Looks sound and sensible to me.

Thomas Richards
23 Posted 09/05/2021 at 15:53:00
"Contrary to those given to using the in-vogue buzzword of playing a high line with (allegedly) speedier, more complete centre-backs."

I only gave my thoughts on this as a fashion statement.

Complete nonsense.

Alan Williams
24 Posted 09/05/2021 at 15:54:10
Poor line-up. I would have started King and Doucouré instead of Davies and Sigurdsson, who are both liabilities.
Tony Everan
25 Posted 09/05/2021 at 15:55:09
It’s a pretty strong team picked, I am glad that Holgate, Gomes and Iwobi are benched. We needed to field a team that will not be outfought by West Ham and most of those in that team will fight for it.

I think it will be a very scrappy affair and we will nick it with a set piece goal, a header from Michael Keane, big Yezzer, or Dominic Calvert -Lewin.

Annika Herbert
26 Posted 09/05/2021 at 15:55:31
Davies has played well recently; he's certainly not a liability.
Joe McMahon
27 Posted 09/05/2021 at 15:55:48
Given, what he has to choose from, Carlo has certainly picked better than last week. Davies is back in, and I never thought I'd be glad he is, but he has had a fairly good season.
Kieran Kinsella
28 Posted 09/05/2021 at 15:56:19
Andy Walker lol.
Alan Williams
29 Posted 09/05/2021 at 15:58:10
Come on... Davies is shite. Goes sideways all the time, can't tackle, and gives the ball away.

Surely even a half-fit Doucouré is better than him!

Tony Everan
30 Posted 09/05/2021 at 16:00:03
Yes Jay, He’s made an impact there, which is really tough for any young player to do when they go out on loan. All credit to him.
David Cash
31 Posted 09/05/2021 at 16:00:45
I expect us to win this.

I think Carlo will do what Carlo does – win away.

And I think Davey will do what Davey does – bottle it. He"s now entering choke territory.


Michael Lynch
32 Posted 09/05/2021 at 16:04:12
Shocking lack of options in our squad, but I'd say that is a decent enough selection. I'm expecting a five-goal win for the mighty Blues; if we fail to do that, I'll be handing back my ToffeeWeb membership card.
Alan Williams
33 Posted 09/05/2021 at 16:04:21
Davies played well recently... when? I can't remember when he ever played well. Over-rated.
Jay Wood

34 Posted 09/05/2021 at 16:09:53
'Davies played well recently... when? I can't remember when he ever played well.'

Then you are an extremely poor observer of the game, Alan.

Paul Birmingham
35 Posted 09/05/2021 at 16:13:09
Let’s get the must need win, my bet comes in -12/5, and this can be the start of a good week for Everton.

Here’s to victory today for Everton.

Alan Williams
36 Posted 09/05/2021 at 16:14:59
When jay please tell me when he taken the game to other team and actually had a shot on target and I can’t remember the last time he scored poor player all round
Lennart Hylen
37 Posted 09/05/2021 at 16:17:34
The best line up we have at present. Let´s hope it is a "different" team that comes out today. COYB
Jay Wood

38 Posted 09/05/2021 at 16:20:51
You've already declared you cannot recall when Tom EVER played well Alan.

No point in engaging with someone with such an absolute opinion on a player, manager, team or tactics when Tom has most certainly played well in his most recent performances, never mind in distant memory.

Thomas Richards
39 Posted 09/05/2021 at 16:31:17
Ancelotti will achieve a club record if we win.
5 wins in London in a season
Brian Williams
40 Posted 09/05/2021 at 16:31:26
I'm going for a record breaking fifth win in London in a season and to keep with the five theme I'm going for five nil. Then I'm going to take my medication.
Derek Taylor
41 Posted 09/05/2021 at 16:34:39
Altogether the best team Carlo could have put out. Lose today and he might as well go now to seek his next pension provider!
Ciarán McGlone
42 Posted 09/05/2021 at 16:34:57
I think I might take Mr Halligan's advice.

That line-up means endless faffing around at the back.

Sean O’Hanlon
43 Posted 09/05/2021 at 16:39:15
Jay #22 - Unfortunately, first team experience doesn't count for anything at Everton - for example: Delph, Iwobi, Gomes, Holgate etc. I'd throw on Nkounkou any day of the week and give him a half-hour run out – he can't do any worse than the aforementioned.
Neil Lawson
44 Posted 09/05/2021 at 17:22:43
Proper performance so far. Sincerely hope that if it continues in a similar vein in the 2nd half that Mr A does not make changes for the sake of it and to prove his tactical nouse. Bet he will though. 😒
Jay Wood

45 Posted 09/05/2021 at 17:26:50
Good game. Everton looking far more compact today.

A clear back 3 with the two wing backs pushing up high, but Allan and Davies doing a good protection act in front of them. And not just that. Winning, carrying and playing the ball forward well, switching flanks and the line of attack.

Richy a bit more like it. Godfrey played his best pass in an Everton shirt for our goal. Great run and composure by Dom for the finish.

Preferred Lanzini to have stayed on - he was very anonymous - rather than see Bowen come on. The sub has the pace, trickery, crossing and sharpness to trouble us.

Now Blues, don't give us Mr Hyde in this second half having played Dr Jekyll in the first.

Sean O’Hanlon
46 Posted 09/05/2021 at 17:34:36
I don't care what anyone says, but Holgate didn't put a foot wrong in that first half.
Tony Abrahams
47 Posted 09/05/2021 at 17:35:41
We have got to work harder, and be cleverer, because otherwise they will exploit our three man defence.
Michael Kenrick
48 Posted 09/05/2021 at 18:25:46
Oh... such a delight!


Neil Lawson
49 Posted 09/05/2021 at 18:26:19
A proper performance. Seamus outstanding and a true leader all over the pitch. Why don't we see this level of organisation and commitment every week?
Thomas Richards
50 Posted 09/05/2021 at 18:26:44
Oh Davey Davey, Davey Davey Davey Shithouse Moyes!
Jay Wood

51 Posted 09/05/2021 at 18:26:51
Excellent selection. Excellent tactics. Excellent effort. Excellent performance.

Fully merited.

Lennart Hylen
52 Posted 09/05/2021 at 18:28:25
The "different" team appeared. 😀 COYB
Steve Brown
53 Posted 09/05/2021 at 18:30:33
Masterclass is right. Every player put a huge shift in and the manager's selection and tactics were spot on.

Tom and Allan in CM were excellent, the central three rock solid but for me Coleman was superb.

Craig Walker
54 Posted 09/05/2021 at 18:31:15
Great win. Poor game though. We dug in well but constantly surrendered possession and were very slow again. Pleased with the 3 points though.
Thomas Richards
55 Posted 09/05/2021 at 18:31:48
First time in our history we have won five games in one season in London.

No progress whatsoever.

Chris Williams
56 Posted 09/05/2021 at 18:31:49
Finished that Coleman!
Paul Birmingham
57 Posted 09/05/2021 at 18:33:19
Well earned victory today by Everton. Now to do the same at Villa.
Craig James
58 Posted 09/05/2021 at 18:34:34
Can we play away every game?

3pts and something still to play for this season.

Getting into Europe will make the difference to what level of player we bring in during the summer transfer window.

🤞 3 or 4 quality additions

Happy Sunday

Brian Williams
59 Posted 09/05/2021 at 18:34:48
A professional, controlled, though not exciting, performance.

Allan just deserved his MotM though everybody put in a good shift.

I did spot something a bit worrying though, which I've seen a couple times recently and wondered about. Calvert-Lewin had the perfect chance to put Richarlison through with only the keeper to beat and just wouldn't pass to him when the pass was obvious and straight-forward. Just wonder if it's a bit of tit for tat with Richarlison not having his passing boots on lately and not setting up Calvert-Lewin when he could or should have. Just something I've noticed lately.

Ajay Gopal
60 Posted 09/05/2021 at 18:35:10
Excellent win, everybody in a blue shirt left absolutely everything on the pitch. Most of them had run themselves to the ground.

Godfrey my MotM for his pass leading to the goal and his fantastic tackles. Holgate did well when he came on – he generally does when Ancelotti plays a back 3.

Kevin Dyer
61 Posted 09/05/2021 at 18:37:54
Excellent performance. One of the best home teams in the league with everything to play for and we limited them to only 2 real chances.
Hugh Jenkins
62 Posted 09/05/2021 at 18:38:41
West Ham's last three games are home to Brighton, home to West Brom and away to Southampton. All three opponents will be desperately looking for points.

Liverpool are away to Man Utd, West Brom and Burnley – again, all three looking for points – for different reasons.

Spurs have the easiest run on paper – home to Wolves and Villa and away to Leicester on the last day.

Joe McMahon
63 Posted 09/05/2021 at 18:39:59
Well over the line, but I just can't handle trying to defend a one-goal lead. After this tactic failing against Spurs, Palace and Villa recently, I was hoping Carlo may try to be more adventurous and also improve our goal difference. I'd like to see something of Nkounkou too.
Paul Birmingham
64 Posted 09/05/2021 at 18:40:10
Brian, agreed it's happened all season.

In my view, both of them work hard, when selected, but need to improve their decision-making around the box, as I reckon we'd have had at least another 10-14 more goals this season between them.

Robert Tressell
65 Posted 09/05/2021 at 18:40:16
There is, basically, nothing to choose between Everton, Spurs, Liverpool and West Ham. These clubs are likely to finish 5th to 8th and none deserve Champions League football. In what order they finish, who knows?

All inconsistent, all capable of cracking results and all capable of looking like a shower of shit in games they should easily win. Spurs and Liverpool are under-performing relative to the investment which is why Mourinho has been sacked. Klopp won't survive another season like this.

Colin Glassar
66 Posted 09/05/2021 at 18:40:30
Well, when Carlo gets it right (defensively), he gets it right. The forward play has to be much better. Can Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison work together? I'm not sure.

Seamus was my MotM.

Tony Abrahams
67 Posted 09/05/2021 at 18:41:04
I honestly thought the turning point was Mina getting injured because we suddenly looked a lot more secure down the sides, possibly because Holgate held his position much better than Godfrey was doing?

Another dogged away win though, only 32% possession, but the much more comfortable team!

Dale Self
68 Posted 09/05/2021 at 18:44:55
I’d say they definitely need a third party for some transactions but maybe some of that is down to the scarce set up in front The defensive shape and tempo management was what we want for this squad. We are getting there.

Gotta go get hammered Let’s just enjoy this one.

Colin Glassar
69 Posted 09/05/2021 at 18:45:04
Tony, I hope Carlo and Brands are ruthless this summer. We have guys who injure themselves when they blink!

Each player's contribution to the season should be evaluated and the injury prone need to be shipped out. We can't keep carrying these crocks.

Kevin Prytherch
70 Posted 09/05/2021 at 18:47:15
Don't be saying that Tony (67) – people will not take kindly to any form of praise for Holgate!!!

Davies proved again why the knives are no longer out for him on a constant basis.

Calvert-Lewin is the most complete striker, along with Kane, in the Premier League, not just for his goals but for his all-round play.

Still hugely frustrating that we sat on a lead for 45 minutes. On another day, they could have scored as a result and the mood on here would be totally different.

Brian Williams
71 Posted 09/05/2021 at 18:47:43
Few of the early posts on the thread look a bit silly after that. Also always wondered why a win attracts many less posts than a defeat.
Anthony A Hughes
72 Posted 09/05/2021 at 18:50:00
Any offers I'd take for Richarlison and bring in a willing selfless player who will link up with Calvert-Lewin and help the team retain possession and move forward as a unit. These two up front are like strangers.
Mark Tanton
73 Posted 09/05/2021 at 18:51:46
'Strangers'. Absolutely spot on, that. They look like they've never met.
Steve Brown
74 Posted 09/05/2021 at 18:52:58
Anthony, they both worked extremely hard but as individuals. They never feed the ball to each other when one of them is making a run.
Michael Kenrick
75 Posted 09/05/2021 at 18:54:41
Typical Moyes bullshite in his interview. No credit to Everton until forced by the interviewer. Miserable Presbyterian fucker. So glad we stuffed him and his lot.
Bill Fairfield
76 Posted 09/05/2021 at 18:55:15
Another excellent defensive display away from home. The same level of attitude at home would have seen the job done by now.
Pat Kelly
77 Posted 09/05/2021 at 18:55:16
I'm still not sure Europa Conference League would be good for us next season but this style of football might suit it.
Paul Birmingham
78 Posted 09/05/2021 at 18:55:44
Allan, Tom, Seamus, immense and the whole team worked very hard today and kept their focus on the job..

Let’s see who is available for Villa and to beat them. Let’s focus on Everton, and try and win the next game.

Steve Brown
79 Posted 09/05/2021 at 18:56:37
Moyes was won 2 from 10 against us since he left. He's a serial choker.
Raymond Fox
80 Posted 09/05/2021 at 18:57:11
Excellent win away against a 5th in the table team. Talk about unpredictable though, you couldn't make it up.
I'm trying to find a sensible explanation for the results, but have failed.

Maybe too much expectation at home and they freeze, who knows.

George Cumiskey
81 Posted 09/05/2021 at 18:57:17
I actually thought Richarlison had his best game for a long while. Calvert-Lewin won every ball in the air but we had no-one in midfield to run past him.
Thomas Richards
82 Posted 09/05/2021 at 18:57:50
Ian Edwards must have hit the off button. Conspicuous by his absence.
Colin Glassar
83 Posted 09/05/2021 at 19:00:08
Agreed, the Calvert-Lewin - Richarlison double act isn't working. Richarlison did run his socks off though today, unlike Calvert-Lewin, who I thought strolled through the game then collapsed in a heap!!

King should never play for us again. He didn't even try to impress and missed a sitter.

Graham Mockford
84 Posted 09/05/2021 at 19:00:09
Our season in a nutshell. Champions League contenders away, relegation candidates at home.

Still it's progress. On course for our best points total since Martinez's first season.

Thought Dom was great today. Scored the winner, created chances, always a handful.

Godfrey, Allan and Seamus stood out as well.

Still four players away from competing for the Top 4.

Barry Hesketh
85 Posted 09/05/2021 at 19:00:44
If I had to make a choice between Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison, Dominic would win hands down every time.

I wasn't impressed with Richarlison's reaction to being subbed, I might be wrong but it didn't look as if he acknowledged Joshua King, because he was in such a tizzy.

I do hope that Everton don't 'cash in' on Calvert-Lewin as he could be one of Everton's best players in the coming seasons. Just watched a few snippets of his post-match interviews and he comes across as a genuine type of person and doesn't have his head in the clouds like some we could mention.

I like Richarlison but his sulking is not becoming for a player who has the talent but that behaviour does raise question marks over his temperament

17 away games played, 36 points put on the board, but only 22 points taken from the same number of home games – go figure!

Colin Glassar
86 Posted 09/05/2021 at 19:05:12
Michael, and yet every time we lose, the Moyesy team swarm these threads with how great and wonderful life was under Ginge the Minge. It's like the twilight zone on here sometimes.
David Greenwood
87 Posted 09/05/2021 at 19:05:56
Now, now, Thomas @82!

I've mentioned to Ian before about him not posting when we win. He assures me he does.

I'm sure he'll be along shortly to make many posts offering his well done and congratulate Carlo on his tactical masterclass.

With as many posts as he would do if we had lost...

Neil Lawson
88 Posted 09/05/2021 at 19:06:40
The one thing that always strikes me about Richarlison is his lack of the extra yard of pace. You never see him go past a defender or outpace them when given the opportunity.

Not the world class forward he likes to think he is. Work ethic great, generally but lacking in that extra touch of class.

Colin Glassar
89 Posted 09/05/2021 at 19:08:03
Ian has to soak his carbuncles after each Everton win. It’s doubly painful for him, poor soul.
Mike Gwyer
90 Posted 09/05/2021 at 19:08:45
Steve Brown #74.

Take a look at the pass from Richarlison which led to our penalty against Liverpool at Anfield..

Bill Watson
91 Posted 09/05/2021 at 19:09:02
A great defensive performance and Pickford didn't have a shot to save albeit they hit the post as we did.

No-one had a bad game but the pick of the bunch, for me, were Davies, Allan and Godfrey.

Richarlison continues to be an enigma. He has a fantastic work ethic but rarely plays a telling pass, in crucial positions, when others are better placed.

Kieran Kinsella
92 Posted 09/05/2021 at 19:10:12
We could do with James dropping by next week because four games in 10 days will be tough so we need all hands on deck. I think the Villa game will be like this one, a tough midfield battle. Sheff Utd shouldbe easy but we can't let our players think that. Wolves in front of hopefully 10,000 happy clappers should be good. Then there's Man City.

Liverpool have an easy run-in but Spurs and West Ham look vulnerable

Paul Smith
93 Posted 09/05/2021 at 19:12:43
Well done Everton. Freaked when Holgate came on but he was solid and his no nonsense long balls are better than him fucking about with it.

Seamus was fantastic, his closing down was amazing, what will we do without him?

It's not pretty but it's effective and there's no denying we have made progress – argument over for me.

Brent Stephens
94 Posted 09/05/2021 at 19:12:56
Villa will be without Watkins (suspended). And Grealish still??
Dave Abrahams
95 Posted 09/05/2021 at 19:14:01
That was a deserved win, we fought better and pressed better with good solid performances from most of the team.

Too defensive in the second half but strangely we could have added a couple more goals in that half if players had screwed their nut. Digne was Man of the Match for me but it could have gone to three or four players and I had no grumbles over the TV MotM going to Allan.

Nice to be put into a good mood on a pleasant Sunday evening.

Annika Herbert
96 Posted 09/05/2021 at 19:16:13
Alan @ 33, if you watched the game today, you would have seen another good game from Tom Davies.
Thomas Richards
97 Posted 09/05/2021 at 19:16:28
I will change that mood, if you don't mind, Dave. Our mate hit the deck screaming on four occasions in the first 25 minutes. Doing my head in.


I thought Tom was anonymous today.

Graham Mockford
98 Posted 09/05/2021 at 19:17:07
No reason we couldn't get another 12 points but, based on this season, Sheffield Utd at home looks tough.
Colin Glassar
99 Posted 09/05/2021 at 19:17:31

James and Doucouré will be very welcome for the final stretch. Even Delph has looked steady. We will need all hands on deck.

Brent Stephens
100 Posted 09/05/2021 at 19:18:49
Annika - and from Siggy!
Paul Smith
101 Posted 09/05/2021 at 19:21:06
Carlo gave MotM to Seamus on the after-match interview, for those of you who are sensible enough to give Sky subscriptions a miss.
Barry Rathbone
102 Posted 09/05/2021 at 19:21:55
What a mad season this is with yet another against-the-odds result.

Hope Carlo Ancelotti isn't lulled into a false sense of security with this crew, they still need shifting en masse. Odd results here and there don't disguise the lack of challenge they represent. Not doing the necessary again in this window will be the signing of his own suicide note.

Fucking Moyes though... 🤣🤣

Danny Baily
103 Posted 09/05/2021 at 19:26:59
Really hoping for the Europa Conference League next season now that the Champions League is out of reach. We might actually win that one.
Dave Abrahams
104 Posted 09/05/2021 at 19:27:07
Thomas (97), yes I know but I wouldn't let him upset me on a lovely sunny night like this.

Just going for my second walk around the block, breathing the atmospheric Norris Green air. There's nothing like it, think it's full cannabis... I always come back singing.

Thomas Richards
105 Posted 09/05/2021 at 19:28:03
Good on you Dave.
Enjoy the therapeutic air.

Martin Mason
106 Posted 09/05/2021 at 19:28:39
Raymond @80,

We do well away because, without biased home fans, we are getting an equal rub of the green on ref's decisions. Most teams are finding the same.

I believe the real reason though is that away we play an unashamedly defensive game that we couldn't play at home, we play the defensive game far better than our expansive home game because our midfield is simply not good enough to get the ball quickly from defence to attack.

It is just ridiculous how well Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin do with such dreadful service. We played a back 5 until Mason came on yet we have only full-backs not wing-backs. We played much better after that and Mason played well.

Were we awful to watch? Not for me, several of the team had very good games, such as Digne, Coleman, Calvert-Lewin, Godfrey and Allan, none played badly.

Richarlison deserves not MotM but an Oscar for his scowling and tumbling. He is world class though, never ask if he is good enough for us – only will we ever be good enough for him. Great 3 pts and here's to Villa on Thursday with Doucouré and perhaps James. Davies must play too.

Will Mabon
107 Posted 09/05/2021 at 19:31:46
...takes Moyes to school".

Great!,"..takes Moyes to school".

Great!,,,1,19:30:21,,,ok,19747,05/09/2021 19:30:21,overdrive,reader,,,no 1153501,40773,toffeeweb,09/05/2021,Martin Mason,,"Kieran @92, as long as they keep the boo-boys out.

Michael Lynch
108 Posted 09/05/2021 at 19:33:30
Solid win, though we'd all be fuming if we'd allowed the Hammers to nick a point. Carlo is honest though, saying that we don't have the qualities to be a possession team. He's pretty much laid it on the line now that our main quality is "attitude", and it's also clear that he hopes to address our shortcomings in the summer so we can play more attractive football.

Gives me hope that next season we'll be watching the same doggedness in defence, but with a much better midfield and therefore a much more entertaining team.

Just hoping I get the call in the ballot tomorrow – would be great to see a game at Goodison before the end of the season.

David Pearl
109 Posted 09/05/2021 at 19:37:05
Takes Moyes to School. Hilarious... but l don't think that was even tongue-in-cheek. All year to get our home form working so this result just pisses me off, like l knew it would. We will beat Aston Villa and Sheffield Utd then blow it against Wolves before a final draw with Man City.
Thomas Richards
110 Posted 09/05/2021 at 19:37:56

"We are not a possession team."

I took the same out of the interview. Carlo can't say it in public but I would wager the conversations in private would be revealing.

Neil Lawson
111 Posted 09/05/2021 at 19:38:30
Thomas (97).

"Tom was anonymous today".

If you had turned over channels from Despicable Me 2 and watched the game properly, you would have seen Tom as clearly and as prominently as the bright yellow Minions and just as valuable to the happy ending.

Colin Glassar
112 Posted 09/05/2021 at 19:39:52
Dave, can you smell the chlorine and piss from the swimming pool? Probably well gone by now.
Bogdan Kotarlic
114 Posted 09/05/2021 at 19:47:05
Another away win for Everton. Another Calvert-Lewin decisive goal. If our form had been as good as our away form this season, we would today easily be in the Top 4. I still can`t explain why we play so badly at Goodison Park, it is simply beyond me. I know that the fans mean very much to the players at Goodison but home advantage is home advantage, even in this Covid, stadium-empty season.

Calvert-Lewin scored another important goal and he is, at least for me, the Everton Player of the Season. Allan played very well in midfield.

With three wins in the remaining three matches, we could finish as high as 5th at the end of the season and play in the Europa League next term. It would be a little miracle given our Goodison record this season.
Will Mabon
115 Posted 09/05/2021 at 19:55:21
David, not sure was it you and I the other week that said we would probably beat Arsenal and lose to Sheffield United? Anyway, today is a pleasing outcome.

I had to abandon straight after the goal with a problem and missed the game. To that point, the commentators seemed impressed with Richarlison.

Reading reports, it seems Mina made a difference.

Great goal and a (to me) relief of a result.

Matthew Williams
117 Posted 09/05/2021 at 19:55:51
Note to Carlo... same team, same formation, same commitment for the Villains on Thursday please.
Graham Mockford
119 Posted 09/05/2021 at 20:01:05
Another solid performance from Sigurdsson. He's definitely worth keeping and he's one of those players that will continue playing on into his late 30s. You can't lose pace if you never had it.
Graham Mockford
121 Posted 09/05/2021 at 20:04:27
Ian #119

All Evertonians are happy with a win and you are the same.

I may have been harsh on you in the past but you are definitely a half-empty merchant.

Ian Edwards
122 Posted 09/05/2021 at 20:05:48
I agree Graham. Although I was very positive about Tom Davies on the forum and people still had a go at me!!
Jason Li
124 Posted 09/05/2021 at 20:07:29
Very nice win.

4th still in play if Leicester get a draw or two, ridiculous as it seems.

Next two are still are winnable, an away game and then the worst team in the Premier League for a long time. James and Doucouré fit too. It's the two games after that which are anybody's guess.

Graham Mockford
125 Posted 09/05/2021 at 20:10:53

It's a forum, don't feel sorry for yourself. It's not a great look.

Davies was alright btw, he's just not good enough to be in a Top 4 side.

Dale Self
126 Posted 09/05/2021 at 20:11:01
Derek Knox
128 Posted 09/05/2021 at 20:11:42
Dave @ 104, I can't quite picture you with Dreadlocks and a Rasta Hat, smoking Jamaican Woodbines, with a Ghetto Blaster on your shoulder blasting out Bob Marley. But it's fun imagining it! :-)
Martin Mason
129 Posted 09/05/2021 at 20:12:36
Thomas @111,

Isn't it amazing that some of our fans can't see that glaring deficiency. In fact we do amazingly well for a team that can't play possession football. We manage because we have an amazing defence.

What should we do then, accumulate points by playing defensively or possibly lose every game going for it?

Graham Mockford
130 Posted 09/05/2021 at 20:15:10

I not sure anyone is saying that. We’ve scrapped a lot of points this year. I think the point is we are going to have to improve a lot creatively if we are to make progress.

Kevin Dyer
131 Posted 09/05/2021 at 20:15:23
Couldn't fault anyone today, not even Delph, though I groaned when he came on, I admit.

Allan had possibly his best game of the season, top-notch midfielder. Seamus, with the exception of being caught inside when they had their chance in the first half had a great match, showing once again that he can play wingback very well indeed, though not fullback anymore.

Richarlison's movement gave them fits and Calvert-Lewin was immense in the air. Both put in a huge shift. Gutted for King not to score, brilliant impact off the bench to create that chance.

The sort of game that Ancelotti has specialized in getting a result in this season, very tight and with things falling just on our side of the equation. West Ham cut a frustrated unit late on.

A deserved win and keeps us very much in the frame for Europa League. Hopefully Doucouré and Rodriguez will be in the mix for Villa and revenge for the reverse last time out at our gaff.

Will Mabon
132 Posted 09/05/2021 at 20:19:05
Just read some comments from Hammers fans (and others), all very impressed with our defending.
Ian Edwards
133 Posted 09/05/2021 at 20:19:51
Not feeling sorry for myself, Graham. Thanks for your interest though.
Peter Mills
135 Posted 09/05/2021 at 20:21:52
This was an excellent result, and a very hard-working performance. It seems our players are comfortable playing one way, less so when asked to take the game to the opposition. That is where we need more creativity.

Some excellent individual performances. I thought Richarlison was very good in the first half, but I agree with previous comments that there seems to be a lack of chemistry with Calvert-Lewin.

Allan played well, I also thought Tom Davies did a very good job.

Criticism of the manager is understandable given the awful home performances, but the away record is magnificent.

Mal van Schaick
136 Posted 09/05/2021 at 20:22:56
Ancelloti picked the right team and chose the right tactics, from the players available. Great defensive work and overall team work from midfield and Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin. Well done!

Let's finish with a flourish, see where we end up in the league and plan for next season.

Graham Mockford
137 Posted 09/05/2021 at 20:23:08

I've never met a poster who's more self persecuted but there you go. We are all happy tonight.

Derek Knox
138 Posted 09/05/2021 at 20:24:44
Peter @ 136,

Carlo reckoned Seamus was MotM, mind you, he did put a good shift in, as did a few others, Godfrey and Keane, and Allan deserve a mention too.

George Carroll
139 Posted 09/05/2021 at 20:30:15
I thought Mina made a big difference and Tom and Allan were superb.

Let's hope the doubters lay off the Manager and players and stay positive for the rest of a strange season.

Derek Taylor
140 Posted 09/05/2021 at 20:36:20
Well done Blues – but we can expect at least five changes for the Villa game.

Carlo will say different opponents pose different challenges, don't you know? No wonder we'll finish 8th!

Peter Mills
141 Posted 09/05/2021 at 20:38:19
Derek #139, Carlo loves Seamus, and why wouldn't he? He recognises a proper footballer when he sees one.

I thought our manager was quite animated in his interview, pumped up, not just shrugs and eyebrow athletics. It was good to see, I hope it demonstrates his commitment to the cause.

I love the guy, but can understand why others are more sceptical.

Colin Glassar
142 Posted 09/05/2021 at 20:48:00
Same here, Peter. Carlo has made loads of mistakes this season but he uses what's available to him. Next summer, pace in midfield is an absolute number one priority in the transfer market.

Ian, you were okay on the live forum today, certainly not your usual negative self. The wilting flower routine doesn't suit you.

Derek Taylor
143 Posted 09/05/2021 at 20:48:39
Peter, that may be so but it has never stopped him preferring Holgate – just for the sake of rotation.

Poor team selection is a major factor in why we will finish outside the Top 6.

Tony Everan
144 Posted 09/05/2021 at 20:54:09
A deserved win, a good battling performance to keep West Ham quiet. Great pass from Godfrey and it was a well timed run and cool finish from Calvert-Lewin which was good to see.

I like Allan and Davies in midfield together – the side looks a bit more balanced. They make life tough for the opponents. Makes me think that Doucouré could play a bit more advanced with these two covering. Could be a very effective midfield three.

Anthony A Hughes
145 Posted 09/05/2021 at 21:04:06
Some of the comments regarding player performance goes to show how far apart some of us view the game.

For me today, Davies barely touched the ball in the 2nd half and had no shots, no forward passes, nor created any chances, but ran into opponents and lost the ball. Yet some had him down as MotM.

Kieran Kinsella
146 Posted 09/05/2021 at 21:06:54
I would say (barring calamities in the next few games) that Godfrey has pretty well cemented Player of the Season. I knew very little about him before the summer but he's been a great acquisition
Oliver Molloy
147 Posted 09/05/2021 at 21:08:04
Fully expected payback and for us to win today and believe we will also gain revenge against Villa on Thursday. Good to see Calvert-Lewin score with his feet on the run.

Coleman @ 32 years old leading by example, loved the moment he called out the cheating West Ham player – "Fuck off, get up", wonder how many times he says that to Richarlison in training!

ps: Michael @ 75,
Didn't know Moyes was "Miserable Presbyterian fucker"!

Anthony A Hughes
148 Posted 09/05/2021 at 21:09:58
I agree, Kieran, although I think Calvert-Lewin will get it for his goal contribution.
Kieran Kinsella
149 Posted 09/05/2021 at 21:11:05

I'll give Seamus credit for trying to make things happen. Early on he made a great run then had to turn back as no-one was ahead of him. He ran into dead ends a few times and got crowded off the ball but he kept getting into space, demanding the ball and trying to drive forward. He was courageous and set a good example.

Joe McMahon
150 Posted 09/05/2021 at 21:11:40
Kieran, I did say Doucouré earlier, but yes you're right, it's gotta be Godfrey!
Jerome Shields
151 Posted 09/05/2021 at 21:12:18
I was traveling so had to listen on the radio.

From the start, Everton appeared to be on the front foot, and everyone was putting in a professional performance. Defence was good. Allan and Davies really worked well together. Ancelotti has been able to get them to play together.

Doucouré was good for just coming back and Calvert-Lewin took the goal well. Richarlison put a great effort into pressing and retaining possession. Both Calvert-Lewin's and Richarlison's final-third passing isn't good.

Ancelotti back on target to get a Top 6 finish. Hopefully, Everton will have a point to prove against Villa. A great result.

Moyes in the end was never going to be up to it.

Thomas Richards
152 Posted 09/05/2021 at 21:14:54

I've watched the Blues for many decades. Seamus is in my Top 10 all-time favourites.

Not the best technically, not the quickest, but just as an epitome of what can be achieved through determination and dedication.

Bill Gienapp
153 Posted 09/05/2021 at 21:16:53
Almost never miss a match, but had to miss this one because I was moving. Maybe I should miss more, if it guarantees us three points.
Peter Mills
154 Posted 09/05/2021 at 21:20:13
Oliver #148, the Seamus “Fuck off” moment was, arguably, the highlight of the match. We need the rest of the team doing that.
Robert Tressell
155 Posted 09/05/2021 at 21:28:04
Really top quality goal today – a pleasure to watch. Superb pass from Ben Godfrey – made possible by a superb run from Calvert-Lewin. If only we had a few more with their attitude and physicality.

The next 3 games are all winnable which would take us to 64 points going into the final game away to Man City. That would be a brilliant but unlikely end to the season given our inconsistency.

Brian Murray
156 Posted 09/05/2021 at 21:32:27
It's no wonder thousands of people maybe lost to football when your hear the squeals like at today's game. Can't touch them, especially these Premier League 'men'.

As for the Blues, it really looks painfully slow our progress because this group has proved it can't be trusted to step up, so a big summer ahead. Still, a wins a win. Coyb

Ian Riley
157 Posted 09/05/2021 at 21:33:15
Pickford never had to make a save. The team put in a shift today and that's the difference.
Jay Wood

158 Posted 09/05/2021 at 21:40:42
Robert, given that some have stated in this thread Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison don't play well together they should watch our goal again.

It was Richarlison's run from a central position towards the flank, taking one of the central defenders with him, that created the space for both Ben to play his excellent through ball and for Dom to bend his run into that vacated space to get clear of the other central defender to score.

That play doesn't open up without Richarlison's run.

Mike Corcoran
159 Posted 09/05/2021 at 21:41:28
Looked like OFM, the PMF, brought a spoon to the knife fight.
Thomas Richards
160 Posted 09/05/2021 at 21:48:14
A plastic one Mke
Jerome Shields
161 Posted 09/05/2021 at 21:49:22

Doucouré didn't play. Allan and Davies therefore were outstanding.

Jay #159,

That is one area where both Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison have improved a lot. Making runs to draw defenders out of position, with the aim of confusing and making space. The goal against Arsenal was a similar type of play. Playing percentage football.

Kieran Kinsella
162 Posted 09/05/2021 at 21:54:56

I remember when he was playing on loan as a winger at Blackburn. Trevor Steven pointed out his technique but said his tenacity meant he could be a great right back. He hasn’t disappointed

Tom Bowers
163 Posted 09/05/2021 at 22:08:24
Just amazing they can put in such another great shift in London to deny a resurgent Hammers team. Why is it the ''home'' games are so unrewarding?

When other results have been in Everton's favour in recent weeks, they have ''choked'' with the poor home games; otherwise, we would be firmly in the Top 4 by now.

If they don't choke again, then there are certainly points to be had in the remaining games.

Davies showed a lot of energy today but just lacks that edge in passing when it matters and the absence of Holgate was a plus.

Rob Halligan
164 Posted 09/05/2021 at 22:10:35
A good solid performance from one to eleven. Well maybe that should be from two to eleven, because Pickford had sweet Fuck-All to do.

Every player put a shift in, and our defence was immense, restricting the mighty West Ham to, erm, well, no shots on target. Defending is a very important part of the game, though some don't think so, and think we should be all-out attack.

MotM difficult to pick for me. Seamus, Godfrey, Allan and Calvert-Lewin all deserve the award. Top 6 still very much on the cards.

Roger Helm
165 Posted 09/05/2021 at 22:18:57
Great result but we would need a big recruitment in the summer to compete in two competitions.
Si Cooper
166 Posted 09/05/2021 at 22:27:26
A bit clunky but a battling performance and overall effective. Pretty much sums up Tom Davies's performance too. Come on, he wasn't right up in the same bracket as Allan today!

We do seem to struggle to keep our passing fluid and neat when in tight spaces or under real pressure. Same malaise strikes Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin. It could be blinkers whilst running with the ball but I think Richarlison does just believe he's capable of waltzing through the defence as easily as it would be to interchange a couple of passes. It is highly annoying when he ignores some great opportunities.

With Dom, I don't think it's quite the same thing. He's just more wary about making sure the pass goes as planned and loses options whilst dithering a bit instead of playing the pass at the first opportunity.

Lucas Digne was a bit luke warm today but fortunately, Seamus was red hot and so they couldn't dominate us down both flanks. Centre of the pitch was clogged up nicely which I think was our big plan to neutralise Lingard who was hardly in the game.

Don Alexander
167 Posted 09/05/2021 at 22:43:56
I still don't think our Tom brings enough to the team to warrant a regular start but I was massively impressed with one sliding tackle near the halfway line that the ref (who otherwise had a good game I thought) deemed a foul. It was anything but. It was a fantastic example of the sadly lost art of tackling.

Unfortunately it tends to get you a yellow card these days, Tom, and that's sad when you're so skilled at it.

Soren Moyer
168 Posted 09/05/2021 at 22:44:52
I just love it every time we beat a ginger Dave's team! Just glad he is gone. I think he has won only one game against us since he fooked off and that was at Goodison Park a few weeks ago.
Mike Gaynes
169 Posted 09/05/2021 at 22:47:53
Bill #154, you and me both! The movers showed up right after kickoff, and at my wife’s insistence they took all my TVs first. So I would be available for work detail. And fetching pizza for the movers.

Glad we picked up the three points!

Paul Birmingham
170 Posted 09/05/2021 at 22:51:18
Good summary, Colin, at 86, spot on.

Moyes is the same, and today for all their possession of the ball, West Ham, basically done, sfa with the ball.

How many saves did Jordan Pickford make today, in context of this game?

Brian Hennessy
172 Posted 09/05/2021 at 23:00:49
Great win and great performance from the lads.

Did anyone else think Josh King looked jaded five minutes after he came on?

Justin Doone
173 Posted 09/05/2021 at 23:03:13
Great win. Hard working and tactically a good solid performance.

I agree and disagree with many other posts but to try and simplify I'll start with the forwards.
Both work extremely hard for the team. Closing down players, channels and minimising space between themselves and midfield.

Siggy is good at this as a forward but not as a midfielder. He's gets drawn out of position to easily.
Ric can moan as long as he's putting a shift in. He looks knackered but keeps going.
His and Dom's link up play is generally poor. Both guilty of not playing simple early balls trying to run with it. That's why Siggy or James are important.

Midfield inc. wingbacks, Can I request they stay on their feet, every time they slide in free kicks are given away. All had good defensive games and very few backwards passing. Play forward with pace and momentum Seamus looks terrific. Start playing backwards putting each other under pressure and they crumble. Why Seamus didn't shoot first time I don't understanf.

Defense. Holgate had to be dropped after his needless clanger last week. Just stop playing backwards and half the mistakes are eradicated. All played well, stayed strong and deep to keeps space minimised and prevent Pickford from rushing out needlessly. Godfrey great ball.

Justin Doone
174 Posted 09/05/2021 at 23:33:25
I agree about King. He did very well at first, looking to get on the ball, create and attack. That's his game.

After initial momentum was lost his defensive work rate and positional sense was lacking.

He looked tired but I think half of it is a lack of match fitness and the rest lacking desire.

That's when you appreciate Richarlison's work rate.

But King is a good attacking player; if he was staying beyond the summer, he would try harder. He's currently playing trying not to get injured. Mentally not fully focused. But that's a management decision... still very strange.

Phil Smith
175 Posted 09/05/2021 at 23:37:38
Oliver, 148, I also loved that! MotM performance from him. He knew how important this one was. Godfrey was also immense, as was Allan. Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison ran all day and Tom also played well. In fact, I would say this was one of the best team performances of the season, considering what was at stake. Can't fuck-up now by losing at Villa.
Rob Dolby
176 Posted 09/05/2021 at 23:44:23
Good team performance, I was hoping we would play compact and hit them on the counter. Every time we try and play open football, our midfield gets overrun.

Solid spine throughout the team today. Keane and Mina, Allan and Davies, Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison

Godfrey played a pass for our goal that I didn't think he was capable of.

Seamus my MotM for his all-round effort.

Brian @173. Yep, I agree, I thought King looked unfit and unmotivated.

Kieran Kinsella
177 Posted 09/05/2021 at 23:47:34

I agree on that “foul” and at the other end of the spectrum I thought Watkins red card for Villa was also ridiculous.


Good luck with the move. Is it local or are you leaving Oregon?

Derek Thomas
178 Posted 09/05/2021 at 23:50:26
Ancelotti got the selection right and the players turned up. There is a portion of the squad who seem very happy playing KITAP1. Eight home losses (24 'kin points!) might indicate we should do it more... Imagine - 4 'terrible' boring draws at home and people are looking in the sideboard for their passports.

Reading some of the comments from West Ham supporters and they all mostly saying... conveniently ignoring (not unlike us) what could've been, as their season stutters to a finish... what a season, can't moan at that, etc.

Moyes and West Ham – made for each other.

Bill Watson
179 Posted 09/05/2021 at 00:04:16
Kieran #178,

I thought the Watkins dive was a great call by the ref. Cheating's been plaguing the game for years and has been refined into an art form by the Dark Side.

If you watch it again, you'll see Watkins is already starting to fall forward before the goalkeeper makes the slightest of slight contact.

Roger Helm
180 Posted 10/05/2021 at 00:15:01
Dominic has scored 35 goals in 76 games in the last two seasons. He had a less good record prior to that when he was played in losing teams, on the left wing, or as a lone striker, 30 m from any team-mate.

He is excellent in the air and very good at holding / link-up play. It baffles me why people here don't rate him. For me, he is one of the top strikers in the country already, at only 24.

Kieran Kinsella
182 Posted 10/05/2021 at 00:32:33

Maybe but how come it's only the likes of Watkins and Niasse who get such calls. Compared with any Salah “foul”, Watkins was positively poleaxed.

Jim Harrison
183 Posted 10/05/2021 at 00:38:23
Enjoyable game, that.

Josh King though. I have wanted to see more of him, but now I have I understand why he doesn't get on. Looks heavy. Had a good impact straight away then jogged around watching the ball.

Calvert-Lewin in the same spell ran tirelessly even after the shift he had put in.

Coleman was incredible. What a performance. He doesn't do it every week but, when he's on, it's a joy to watch. His “fuck off” to a perceived dive was a thing of beauty!

Will Mabon
184 Posted 10/05/2021 at 00:57:44
Jim, I've not watched a replay yet to fully judge but King has basically zero chance of high match fitness after his programme of recent weeks/months. He would need several games and would probably never match the fitness machine that is Calvert-Lewin.

The guy has not had a reasonable run since he arrived. Why, I don't know... but there it is. He was half a ball width from scoring with that header, and some good movement from what I've seen (early on, as you say).

It's as if the management and coaches have been disappointed with him in training - or perhaps a nagging, lingering part injury. Unexpectedly underused.

Jay Harris
185 Posted 10/05/2021 at 01:07:19
IMO Allan and Davies complement each other quite well and, considering that midfield is the soft spot in our team, I thought they did well again today.

Godfrey is immense and his pace is a joy to watch and what an assist for the goal.

Seamus does not look ready to surrender his position easily and, as an experienced head, contributes more than just a wing-back.

Pickford has looked more assured than ever recently – maybe the psychiatrist was just all he needed.

Si Cooper
186 Posted 10/05/2021 at 01:37:09
Don and Kieran, sadly I disagree with you on that tackle. Debatable about the yellow but even so it was miles away from being a fine example of the ‘art'.

The first part of him to make contact with the ball was his knee, not his foot. When they change the name of the game from football to ‘kneeball' is when I'll consider that challenge as anything other than throwing yourself at the ball.

Full marks for bravery / effort, minimal for technique!

Ed Prytherch
187 Posted 10/05/2021 at 01:50:19
Tom Davis had a good game today and he had one the last time that he started. I don't understand why he was benched for the games in between. Does Carlo rotate in order to keep everyone happy? I loved Gomes when he arrived but we seem to play better without him these days.

Godfrey was my MotM. I didn't notice him at Norwich but what a player. Just as well that I am not a scout.

Jamie Crowley
188 Posted 10/05/2021 at 03:03:54
Had to watch the game at a field near Ft Lauderdale, FL. My kid had an 11:30 a.m. KO. Everton KO here at 11:30, so I was relegated to watching on the phone.

I can't comment on the game. What I can say is after the Villa game I was all, "Fuck this."

Now, I'm like, "Here we go again, hope springs."

I just know I'll get kicked in the nuts in the end, but I still take the bait.

We win Thursday, Man U beat el poo, three games left to push to possibly heights unseen.

Hope. Kills. You.


Terry White
189 Posted 10/05/2021 at 03:08:35
Maybe he was benched because his name is Davies, not Davis, Ed (#188)
Steve Brown
190 Posted 10/05/2021 at 03:12:10
Mike @ 90, good point. I was talking about this game only, where they broke on several occasions and failed to find each other when the pass was on.

Although the goal, they worked it well. Richarlison went towards the passer to pull Diop out of position, then Calvert-Lewin made an inside dart to get ahead of Dawson. I think Richarlison is desperate for a goal, so he can try to carry the ball too far himself on occasion.

John Gorham
191 Posted 10/05/2021 at 03:19:33
Overall, a good show. I agree: Godfrey MotM.

Coleman good but, with a back three, there were caps on the right.

Annika Herbert
192 Posted 10/05/2021 at 03:34:28
Brent @100, still not sure what people see in Sigurdsson. Lots of effort but zero creativity. But we all see things differently.

Personally, I hope he is gone at the end of the season and we bring in at least one midfielder with pace and creativity. Saying that, Sigurdsson has improved over the season, just not enough to warrant another contract for me.

Mike Gaynes
193 Posted 10/05/2021 at 04:35:22
Jamie, you post a message like that and don't tell us whether your kid's team won or lost?
Terry Farrell
194 Posted 10/05/2021 at 07:00:11
It's no mystery. Carlo didn't play 3 of our 4 slow midfield players and we compete in midfield and win the game!

More of the same at Villa please

Duncan McDine
195 Posted 10/05/2021 at 07:01:12
Disclaimer: posts about miserable Presbyterian fuckers are the opinion of the individual and in no way reflect the policy of the website.
Thomas Richards
196 Posted 10/05/2021 at 07:05:54
A rather descriptive way to tar all people of the same ilk.

Untrue and unfair as well. I've even seen one of them get a round in, although it was many years ago.

Trevor Peers
197 Posted 10/05/2021 at 08:09:27
Great to see us winning away from home with such regularity, Carlo certainly knows how to set up an ultra-defensive team and grab another much-needed victory. It's not pretty but it's very effective.

Now he urgently needs to formulate an attractive winning style at home, which is his biggest challenge. Maybe with the help of a few new attacking additions in the summer window, he can achieve this, if so we may be onto something really good.

Of course some comparisons in this game inevitably focused on David Moyes, he did an important job for us in the past, so I don't get the obsessive negativity that always surfaces at the mention of his name.

Derek Knox
198 Posted 10/05/2021 at 08:10:37
Jamie C, I'm sure you can get a Nut Massage somewhere in the Sunshine State but don't tell the Mrs!

Not getting too carried away with our potential points total in the remaining few games, because of previous false hopes, and qualification for a Euro spot, which even if all good, is still dependent to a degree on other results too, and then there is that GD to haunt us. It's worth a point if good, and there is no way we can make up lost ground, and I can't see us winning any remaining games 5,6, or 7-0!

Danny O’Neill
199 Posted 10/05/2021 at 08:36:10
Thought I'd posted but maybe I didn't click.

Important result, effective and efficient performance. We're still in the mix for the European places.

Godfrey and Seamus rightfully getting the plaudits in a very good defensive performance, even though we got off with a couple, but that's football; we hit the post too.

Allan and Davies look good together. On Allan, we credit him with ball hunting, breaking play up and leadership on the field. What I also like about him is what he's shown in the last 2 wins. When he gets possession, he wants to go forward.

Ed (188), I too had not seen or heard much of Godfrey, but when we signed him, an east Anglia based, Tottenham supporting colleague was genuinely envious and told me we had a gem.

Michael K, on the hoofing it out of play from kick off, how many of us old enough to recall remember Howard Kendall's 80s team's standard diagonal into the channel from the start?!!!

Robert Tressell
200 Posted 10/05/2021 at 08:42:28
We're in a ridiculously competitive league. The top 4 has now announced itself - and in fairness these really are the 4 best sides. We're not that good yet.

Goal difference and inconsistency probably means we'll finish a place or two outside of the European places but only by a couple of points maybe.

That's progress and a platform from which to build.

However, there will be a pack of 6 other clubs with similar ideas. WHU, the RS and Spurs remain strong - Villa, Leeds and Arsenal really aren't far behind.

It will have to be a good summer to keep ahead of all of these clubs and take 5th next year, let alone overtake one of the top 4.

It also seems unlikely all 3 of the RS, Spurs and Arsenal will be as bad next year, especially when crowds return to sway the already partial referees.

Huge challenge ahead.

Danny O’Neill
201 Posted 10/05/2021 at 08:57:57
Or fall short on goal difference Robert. It will obviously be our own fault, but win our games and it looks as though we get 7th. To get higher, we need others to slip up, so really only 7th is in our hands now as I'm reading it.

Yes, big summer ahead.

Dave Abrahams
202 Posted 10/05/2021 at 09:02:11
Terry (190), back on form Terry, you’ve missed a few lately, I was getting worried about you. PS, you still forgot to give him a hundred lines!!
Thomas Richards
203 Posted 10/05/2021 at 09:14:32

The tackling machine was our most creative midfielder yesterday.

Clive Rogers
204 Posted 10/05/2021 at 09:31:17
Danny, 200, and it wasn’t just from the kick off. Kendall used to position Beagrie then Rideout on the touchline to head it on.
Eddie Dunn
205 Posted 10/05/2021 at 09:34:08
It was a very well organised defensive performance in which we countered effectively and with more clinical finishing (like Dom's goal) we could have won by a greater margin.

My only criticism is that for most of the game I feared that I would see a defensive mistake or, as time went on, an equaliser that would come too late to rectify.

I think Carlo got his subs right (for a change). Delph solidified our left flank and King (despite some moans above) brought something different and was unlucky with his header.

Moyes was a little too defensive himself(no surprise there) and his team missed Lanzini's craft after he went off and of course Rice/Noble who bring more bite to midfield.

Seamus and Godfrey(and later Holgate) did well to keep Antonio quiet and all of our lads played well.

I am though looking forward to us having a player or two who can control a game and put it to bed as this one-nil stuff is raising my already-high blood pressure.

Derek Taylor
206 Posted 10/05/2021 at 10:07:10
For all the grudging praise of Tom Davies, the chances are he won't make the side on Thursday. As a locally developed boy, he will know that Carlo has little time for the breed and tends to make his pick according to the size of fee paid for a player.

Imagine lots of changes as it doesn't do to make players feel they 'own' a place in the team for that only breeds complacency !

Ajay Gopal
207 Posted 10/05/2021 at 10:42:54
One player name prominently missing from the plaudits being handed out to our performance and result yesterday is Michael Keane. A couple of poor games and mistakes (like the ones against Spurs which saw us drop 2 precious points), and we start pining for Koulibaly or the Juventus reject or whoever else catches our fancy. But Keane was imperious yesterday - and I believe that he, Godfrey and Holgate (when he settles down and gets back his form of last season) make a very solid back 3. I also noticed that 1 of them would step forward to start an attack and then the other 2 would stay back to keep the defensive shape. Very impressive!

And on the subject of Tom Davies, some really pathetic comments at the top of the thread. I think he was under strict instructions by Carlo to not venture too far forward, so he would scamper back as soon as he crossed the halfway line. He and Allan effectively closed the midfield space for the likes of Lingard, Bowen, Soucek.

Compare that to last week against Villa when we were getting overrun and Pickford was MotM to keep the score down to 2-1 instead of 4-1 or 5-1, and then you realise the value of Tom Davies. A midfield 3 of Davies, Doucoure and Allan would be very solid, but that would mean Carlo would have to drop one of Coleman and play a back 4 or Sigurdsson and lose his dead ball delivery.

Len Hawkins
208 Posted 10/05/2021 at 10:46:49
I have to say I like the way the coaching teams calm the subs down before they go on by showing them some family photos on the tablet. You could almost sense Kevin Nolan saying "This was me n' our kid in Talacre. I'm the one with the 'I choked Linda Lovelace' Tee-shirt on."
Ajay Gopal
209 Posted 10/05/2021 at 10:52:40
Ha.. ha.. Len. But seriously, how does Kevin Nolan find a place on David Moyes's coaching staff? I still remember his cowardly tackle on Victor Anichebe that kept him out for more than a season.
Paul A Smith
210 Posted 10/05/2021 at 10:59:18
I try to only watch an hour of our games now because too many players frustrate the life out of me.

Allan looked busy and still working hard in the last minutes and Calvert Lewin took his chance well. That is exactly what I want Calvert-Lewin to add to his game and it was great to watch.

Christopher Timmins
211 Posted 10/05/2021 at 11:01:29
Eddie #206,

If by this time next year we are still relying on the same set-up to gain victories, then the project will not be going to plan. With some more quality additions during the summer, expect a more attractive product and less blood pressure issue.

Just 4 more blood pressure-induced games to go!

Danny O’Neill
212 Posted 10/05/2021 at 11:07:05
West Ham "legend" Ajay.

We shouldn't point the finger too much, we have form in that space!

Danny O’Neill
213 Posted 10/05/2021 at 11:10:47
The centre-back thing is about improving on what we have.

Keane has had an improved season since we started playing the tactics like we did yesterday.

If we want to be more expansive and get higher up the pitch as a formation, we can't rely on players like Keane. Tactics like that work on occasion but, as Christopher says, if we are relying on them continuously then it won't show further progression.

Steve Brown
214 Posted 10/05/2021 at 11:31:17
Danny, I think we have good coverage at centre-back with Holgate, Mina, Keane and Godfrey. That might change if we want to get Mina's salary off the books, but we still have young Branthwaite coming back.

Right back, central midfield and right winger still seem the priority to me – if we signed Aarons, Soumare and Pereira in the summer, I would be delighted.

Mike Corcoran
215 Posted 10/05/2021 at 11:34:38
I'll have a cheeky tenner on us beating City as they look to avoid injuries prior to the Champions League Final. A win at Villa will put us in the driving seat for 5th when Man Utd smash the reds on Thursday and can see them RS lot losing at least one more of their other remaining games to finish on 63 pts.

West Ham are going to drizzle out 63 pts, Leicester and Chelsea have an eye on the cup(s): both 68 pts, Tottenham 59 pts.

So, 3 wins and 9pts needed for 5th and 64 pts. That would be remarkable as we have generally been a shower of shite to watch since the New Year.

Rob Dolby
216 Posted 10/05/2021 at 11:41:29
Danny 214. I take your point about Keane and playing deeper but in order to play higher up the pitch we need to address issues in the midfield. Keane is benefitting from defending deeper as is our whole midfield as they can't run or have enough quality to keep the ball.

It's pretty pointless having a sluggish midfield and rapid centre backs.

Holdgate and Godfrey are still learning the game at centre back and could be a future pairing for years to come. Whereas our midfield is held together by sticking plaster players.

Martin Mason
217 Posted 10/05/2021 at 11:42:37
Ajay @208,

Tom Davies played an exceptional game yesterday doing exactly what he was tasked to do: keeping the defensive shape that enabled us to win. He had a fantastic game tackling well and pressing and didn't put a foot wrong. He should be a firm starter for Thursday. He's a credit to the club.

Gary Willock
218 Posted 10/05/2021 at 11:42:42
Steve @ 215 - think your suggested priorities are spot on. Might fancy Emerson over arrons for an ‘all Brazil’ right hand side, and a Dzeko/Giroud and a Romero on a free to give Virginia and Simms a year more on loan too.
John Boon
219 Posted 10/05/2021 at 12:11:47
First and foremost, a much more energetic display than what has been happening over the last few games. We looked focused and determined to win.

I had noticed quite a few posts suggesting that Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison do not gell as partners. While they can both play very positively and direct as individuals, statistics certainly support such a fact.

Here are some comparisons with other strikers:

Kane has 21 goals & 13 assists
Vardy, 13 goals & 9 assists
Bamford, 15 goals & 7 assists
Fernandes, 17 goals & 11 assists

Calvert-Lewin, 16 goals & 0 assists
Richarlison, 6 goals & 3 assists

This seems to clearly show that our front two are hardly working in unison. It is even more surprising that Calvert-Lewin has "0" assists all season.

This is not meant to be critical of their individual abilities. They have both played many great games, particularly Calvert-Lewin this season... but all things are not perfect.

Danny O’Neill
220 Posted 10/05/2021 at 12:12:49
I don't disagree that centre back isn't a priority and the 4 we have are pretty solid. I suspect though, one, dare I say 2 (?), might not be here next season to make way for an improvement.

Agree on the midfield Rob, although I would like to see the 3 of Davies, Doucoure and Allan together. A bit like what I think we tried to play earlier in the season but Gomes didn't really work and we kept leaving that gap between the defence and midfield.

I think the much improved Davies can sit between the back four and Allan / Doucoure, which I feel is our best midfield right now.

But that's this season. We do need another midfielder and wide player to give the midfield more dynamism for next season to get us further forward more often. But that also needs our defence to be higher. Last summer and before his resurgence, I was all for a cheeky bid to get Stones back. He's almost been playing like a midfielder recently.

Robert Workman
221 Posted 10/05/2021 at 12:39:53
In relation to possibly qualifying for European football next season, it is now a real possibility. However, if we do miss out, I believe that the result we will regret the most is the 2-2 draw with Spurs. We all know that we did enough – although not defensively – to win that game.

I believe that Spurs are the team we are most likely to overtake. Look at the difference an extra 2 points for us, and 1 less for them, would make to the table.

I am also concerned about goal difference. Perhaps we will beat Sheffield United 6-0? Oh, but we are at home...

Steve Brown
222 Posted 10/05/2021 at 12:49:56
Gary @ 219, great shout. Emerson would be a top signing, as would Giroud or Dzeko. That experience would be invaluable support for Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison.
Andrew Ellams
223 Posted 10/05/2021 at 13:00:09
So far, we have been linked with Aguero, Bale, Thomas Muller, Coutinho and Sczeszny (?). Do we really need to add Giroud and Dzeko to that list?
Robert Williams
224 Posted 10/05/2021 at 13:11:18
Mason @130,

Our goal difference says it all.

Paul A Smith
225 Posted 10/05/2021 at 13:41:46
Derek @207,

That's a wonderfully flawed post.

How was Davies picked over Gomes yesterday if the fee counts? And Doucoure?

Eddie Dunn
226 Posted 10/05/2021 at 14:14:02
Christopher, thanks...

Are you a doctor?

Martin Mason
227 Posted 10/05/2021 at 14:33:11
Robert@225 and what does it say?
David Cooper
228 Posted 10/05/2021 at 14:33:28
How I wish our beloved Blues could go into the final part of the game with more than a 1 goal lead! It is so painful to watch the last few minutes knowing that a West Ham goal would end all our expectations. But it is what it is and if 1 goal does it, so be it!

It is quite unbelievable that we can turn in such dramatically different performances game by game. Surely we have some sport psychologists who can analyze why we are so poor at home. I think Carlo has to approach these last 4 games with same line-up (plus a fit Doucouré) and not rotate even if we are playing 4 games in 12 days.

I thought Mina made a huge contribution yesterday and physically manhandled Antonio till he went off. I didn't see if he had picked up a knock or Carlo was managing his playing time. But credit to everyone, this was one of our best performances of the season.

Whatever we think about the merits of European football, it would be very satisfying to crack the Top 6 or 7.

And just for good measure, Watkins should be missing on Thursday!

Jim Harrison
229 Posted 10/05/2021 at 14:35:37
Will @185,

I get ya. But he was only on for 10 minutes or so. Don't need full match fitness for that.

I appreciate he is a different player, but he looked well out of shape.

He's a guy I have liked for a long time, and was excited to see sign.

Brian Williams
230 Posted 10/05/2021 at 15:56:50
Carlo has little time for the breed and tends to make his pick according to the size of fee paid for a player.

And yet he picked Tom yesterday?

Kieran Kinsella
231 Posted 10/05/2021 at 16:02:45

His maths must be terrible because he keeps picking Holgate and Coleman too.

Raymond Fox
232 Posted 10/05/2021 at 16:14:09
A well earned win but its been a strange season hasn't it. We will finish in a European qualifying position but I cant say I'm a fan of the comp. It's like winning the booby prize, it's a pity but thats how it seems to me.

I might be more enthusiastic if we sign another four or more top quality players the likes of Digne, Rodriguez and Godfrey. If we don't, we will fall between the two stools I'm sorry to say.

It's all down to Moshiri's finances I suppose, I'm guessing they wont be looking that rosey at the moment and the European competition will bring in some welcome dosh as a consolation.

Kevin Prytherch
233 Posted 10/05/2021 at 16:23:51
Paul 226 & Brian 231,

Davies has been repeatedly overlooked in favour of those who have either cost more money, or who are on bigger wages all season. He is also the first to be hooked in most games, regardless of performance. Pointing out one game where he started ahead of Gomes doesn't eradicate the numerous times it has happened all season.

Thomas Richards
234 Posted 10/05/2021 at 16:29:26

Tom isn't good enough to play for Top 4 team unfortunately. If that is what we are looking to challenge for next season, he won't get a start. Same goes for Holgate, Keane, Gomes, and Coleman.

Jay Wood

235 Posted 10/05/2021 at 16:39:40
Sorry Danny O'Neil, but as the lead drummer banging on a daily basis about our centre back play and Michael Keane in particular, I'm going to march to a different tune to you. To constantly claim as you do that the entire team set-up is dictated by playing Michael Keane is questionable to me.

Looking back at Carlo Ancelotti's entire tenure at Everton, at the end of last season it was very easy to identify who the Italian named in his starting XI, if fit.

That was Pickford, Sidibe preferred to Coleman, Mina, Holgate, Digne, Gomes, Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin. Holgate impressed the manager and fans so much that he (and Dom) were awarded extended and improved contracts, with many supporters calling for Holgate to be made skipper this season.

When the pandemic-interrupted season resumed, due to injuries to both Mina and Holgate, Michael Keane became a regular starter and was arguably our best player in the completion of that season.

Pre-season, Holgate injured himself again and Keane remained a fixture alongside Mina, continuing as he left off the previous season in excellent form. Carlo added to his 'go-to' men of the previous season Allan, Doucouré and James. Another new boy Godfrey started playing, covering for the injured Coleman.

Carlo's preferred XI was extremely effective, but inevitable injuries in a compact season means it could never be maintained. The backline, including Mina and Keane at centre-back, did play a higher line in that set up. Both are also good on the ball and capable of playing accurate intelligent forward passes, besides their outstanding defensive heading and blocking abilities.

They displayed that again yesterday v WHU. Yerry didn't give an inch to the muscular Antonio. Michael mopped up the rest. Not one shot on target all game. This against a team that has scored the most goals in the Premier League from corners this season, who is equal with Everton on the number of headed goals scored this season – 14.

This season, Michael is 4th in the all-comers PL list for both headed clearances and foot clearances. In the top 10 for blocks (Ben Godfrey is 5th). For the position he plays, Michael is very rarely injured. Indeed, he (possibly foolishly) hid a very serious foot injury in his first season and played through the pain. In his second season, he returned as brave as a lion after fracturing his skull at Brighton. Bravery and determination he doesn't lack.

The way you and others present it is that both Michael and Yerry are liabilities, hindering the way we play. Yes, both can be potentially exposed when faced with pace. I acknowledge Keane can get skinned either side by a clever pacy forward, but to date this season I can only recall two matches when that happened. Once in the home game v Leicester with Vardy who got beyond Michael, but nothing came of it. And once v Son in the cup tie v Spurs. Again, no goal threat resulted.

In his day job then – central defender – Michael is outstanding. To that you can add both he and Yerry carry far more of a threat in attacking plays in the opposition's penalty area as evidenced by their goals and assists than either Godfrey or Holgate.

You, like others pedalling the buzz phrase 'playing with a high line', advocate pairing Godfrey and Holgate at centre back. Now Holgate last season most definitely, for me, showed he is already capable in that position. Godfrey, for all his good performances this season, does not yet look as assured there as he has done at playing full-back.

Due to injuries to Mina and Keane, we've just seen how it works with a centre-back pairing of Godfrey and Holgate, v Arsenal and v Villa. In the Arsenal game, there was no difference in the default position of our defensive line. And the hosts were so inept there was little or no threat to repel.

Against Villa, they were shambolic, playing neither a high nor a deep line. Well they did, but never synchronized together. At times they were 15-20 yards apart in depth and simultaneously 15-25 yards apart in width. Ollie Watkins in particular exploited this. Even when 10-15 yards off him when Holgate received the ball, Watkins hunted down the Everton man to pick his pocket which, of course, on one occasion, resulted in a goal.

Both Holgate and Keane were deemed culpable for Harry Kane's brace against us in the league. I'm more forgiving. On the first goal it was a very good cross that just eluded Michael's attempted headed clearance. Mason was poor in leaving Kane unattended. The second – Michael's header ricocheted off the unsuspecting Mason into Kane's path. A 'shit happens' moment.

I don't subscribe to the opinion expressed by some that Mason is a cocky loudmouth gum-chewing wannabe without merit, when just last season many canvassed for him to be promoted to captain on both his performances and... because he is cocky and a loudmouth. A leader, confident in his own ability with an edge to his game.

The same with Michael. Without knowing about his serious foot injury until he revealed the story nearly 12 months on, Michael puzzled me in his first season in which he went from a 7-8 out of 10 player every game to a 3-4 out of 10 player who didn't merit a starting berth. Since then, he is consistently back to being a 7-8 out of 10 player every game.

We already have in situ 4 very good centre-backs at the club with their different strengths and weaknesses. We have another couple of quality teenage centre backs out on loan in Jarrad Branthwaite and Lewis Gibson (although the latter may be slipping down the pecking order). There is some genuine talent progressing well through the academy in the position.

Now you, Danny, have lobbied hard to recruit Koulibaly from Napoli. An outstanding player who Carlo will know well. Personally, I don't see signing him being as transformational to the team as you evidently do.

The defence is largely sound. The least of our problems. What we chiefly lack is pace and a playmaker. Pace does not necessarily mean pace over the ground. Speed in running. To me, it rather means having players in the team who, like other teams, can maintain a high pace in a game with rapid one-touch short passing which both moves the play forward and has the opposition chasing shadows.

For that, you need technically superior players capable of both playing and receiving such rapid-fire passing as well as showing greater positional awareness and movement.

Personally, I will be disappointed and concerned if this isn't the area of recruitment which is prioritized over and above central defence as you lobby for. That, and more quality firepower to complement and compete with Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison up front.

An improved midfield and forward options will determine our defensive setup IMO. Not the other way round, as you suggest, Danny.

Dale Self
236 Posted 10/05/2021 at 16:49:18
Good call, Ajay, Allan and Davies were both deputized to not move too far from those positions. You could see it obviously when they offered no out-passes while covered. With the three being Godfrey, Keane and Mina the ball into the next line was being used effectively. This setup still needs work on the pickup pass from those passes forward, this is where Davies and Allan can sometimes disappoint, but the assist pass from Godrey to Calvert-Lewin was a thing of beauty.

Although Digne isn't back in form the wingbacks were much more useful getting the ball out of our half. Seamus even made a good go or two of his usual tireless runs. This is a system that looks to work on the defensive side and getting out of our half. The final third play when not on counter-attack is obviously a work in progress.

Thomas Richards
237 Posted 10/05/2021 at 16:50:35

Spot on re Keane. Anyone who can't fathom the benefits of playing 15 yards up the pitch than we currently do needs to study the subject.

Danny O’Neill
238 Posted 10/05/2021 at 16:53:29
A case for the defence your honour Mr Jay Wood (BRZ)!!

I like Mina. My current preferred first choice central defence partnership is Mina and Godfrey. I'm not sure where the Holgate piece came from. Not from me. And Mina and Keane get the vote before Holgate for me.

I don't dislike Keane and have said here and elsewhere, very much improved. But he still has that moment in him with the ball floating over his head. It's not just his lack of pace, his lack of awareness and decision making sometimes. I appreciate all players get that and that he has been mostly great for most of this season.

I don't mean high line or defending from the half way line. I mean the ability to play higher up the pitch more often. When we've tried with some of our current defenders we get exposed.

I do agree. The defence is generally sound and isn't a priority over the areas of the pitch we have all mentioned. But if I had the opportunity to improve it with top drawer quality I would. But I'm not the manager, just giving opinion.

Ian Burns
239 Posted 10/05/2021 at 17:01:04
Jay BRZ - 236 - Terrific and insightful post. I enjoyed reading that.

I have felt for some time our defence only requires a Coleman replacement and, like others have said, a quality, pacey wide midfielder, plus a midfield general and help up top, is what is required for next season.

Will Mabon
240 Posted 10/05/2021 at 17:04:13
Jim, 230:

Never get the sharpness without the fitness. Something definitely hasn't gone to plan for sure. Marginal injury, I'm guessing.

Robert Tressell
241 Posted 10/05/2021 at 17:06:57
The way I see it we have 3 pretty good partners for Godfrey, albeit none perfect. The perfect partner could conceivably be Branthwaite after another season or two on loan.

Koulibaly and Demiral would probably make us better, I accept that. However, I don't see that a new and improved centre half would have made the difference in the games we've really slipped up in. The problem there is pace, energy and quality in midfield, wide and attacking positions.

And having a potent attack helps move the team up the pitch a bit anyway if a high line is what we're after. You don't necessarily need two exceptionally quick centre halves.

Thomas Richards
242 Posted 10/05/2021 at 17:10:55
Would Keane or Holgate be good enough to play for Man City? Chelsea? Man Utd? Leicester City?
Mark Murphy
243 Posted 10/05/2021 at 17:30:40
Keane? Yes.

Holgate? No.

Thomas Richards
244 Posted 10/05/2021 at 17:38:33
What centre-halves for the teams I mentioned are poorer centre-halves than Keane, Mark?
Paul A Smith
245 Posted 10/05/2021 at 17:39:59
Neither, Thomas. Keane needs to be in a system that suits him or he gets caught too high and Manchester United would have kept him if it was the case.

Holgate to any top club is way off. This last week we have heard some super ex-players and some still playing, speaking about how good a manager Ancelotti is, how detailed and dedicated he is and it doesn't resonate with his critics.

Some summer job journalist throws Holgate's name out for a big move (which didn't happen) and that is the gospel word, resulting in substance for anyone who over-rated him in the first place.

World Cup winners speaking highly of Ancelotti must be liars.

ps: I think Mina is a great Centre Half but he is unreliable for a prelonged spell in the side. He is the only regular international centre-back we have.

Kevin, I am a bit sick of these Tom Davies arguments; I find it ridiculous. Like 90% of our midfield he is not the answer to our problems, neither is he the problem but don't you think by now he should be grabbing the game by the scruff of the neck?

Look at the youngsters in the league with less experience than Davies having far more influence in games. Saka at Arsenal, for instance, puts his mark on most games; Leeds have 2 or 3 doing the same.

It's a tough job for Davies and he's a great tryer but he's not doing enough after making his debut 4 years ago.

The team is clearly not good enough; if Davies and Allan got 20 games together, they'd do okay... but I'd still want better than both.

Mark Murphy
246 Posted 10/05/2021 at 17:57:48
With the caveat that I do actually rate Keane, Thomas, I would not swap him for Zouma, David Luiz, Phil Jones, Jonny Evans, Stones or even Maguire. They're off the top of my head.

I can't think of the other centre-backs at Leicester to be honest, but all the above at least play for those teams you mention. Michael Keane is not the problem that Everton need to address - he's decent enough.

Thomas Richards
247 Posted 10/05/2021 at 18:04:49

Luiz plays for Arsenal, didnt mention them.

Zouma cant get a game. Would Keane get in before Rudiger and Christensen?

Is Phil Jones still at Utd? Dont think he has played this season if he is.

Keane a better player than Stones?
Wouldnt get many agreeing with that one Mark.

Johhny Evans is a far better player than Keane.
So is the Turkish lad who is his partner (Soyuncu?)

Paul A Smith
248 Posted 10/05/2021 at 18:07:53
Mark, Fofana at Leicester is 20 and their best centre-half, they paid £30 million for him. He'll be better than all the names you mentioned if he keeps up his form.

Him and Godfrey would be a great pairing against any side that plays on the deck more often than not. Not that we'd get him but you wouldn't see 2 fitter centre-backs.

Koulibaly would be fantastic for Godfrey. Learning from him for a couple of years and having some of the pressure taken off him.

David Hallwood
249 Posted 10/05/2021 at 18:09:49
Paul (#246)

Carlo Ancelotti is using Tom Davies as a defensive mid in the Italian mode, and therefore he doesn't grab the game by the scruff of the neck; that's for players further forward.

Makalele, Gana Kante all far, far better than Davies, but without knowing the stats I'd be astonished if they had 30 goals and the same with assists between them. To repeat, it just ain't their game.

Tony Abrahams
250 Posted 10/05/2021 at 18:11:20
He’s decent enough, but is he good enough? I thought Keane, got stronger, the longer yesterday’s game went on, and although I criticise Keane because I want better than decent, I don’t think he’s that bad when Everton concede possession.

I think we are a much better team when playing defensively, so it’s intriguing to me to see what type of players we are going to try and bring into the club this summer. When we play like yesterday it does seem that the base is already there, but when we move away from that defensive base, things change, and that’s the conundrum for Ancelotti?

Kevin Prytherch
251 Posted 10/05/2021 at 18:20:13
Paul @246,

The point was that Carlo picks players who cost more over Davies – which he routinely does.

As for the Tom Davies arguments you're sick of, when Sigurdsson, Iwobi, Gomes, Richarlison and Delph get the same amount of column space as Davies does – because they have all performed significantly worse for large parts of the season (or 3 games in Delph's case) – then the Tom Davies arguments might subside. Look at the opening posts for the bias there.

Regardless of how well others who we have signed play - Tom, and now Holgate, will always get it in the neck.

Regardless of how well Tom performs, Carlo is usually likely to start others over him and will usually sub him off first.

Don't like the arguments – change the record then.

Martin Mason
252 Posted 10/05/2021 at 18:20:56
Tom Davies isn't a defensive midfielder; he is, in his best position a deep playing midfielder and there's a difference. Yesterday he played on the left of midfield and was exceptional. He is becoming a very good player, we fans will possibly catch up in 10 years.
Robert Tressell
253 Posted 10/05/2021 at 18:27:07
Thomas, I also want better than 'decent' at centre-back. However, we have a limited budget. We won't be able to afford to replace all of the weaker links in the first 11 (let alone the crap in the second 11) this summer. So, I'd be content to live with decent centre-backs in order to avoid playing poor players in other positions.

And, we really could have a star partner for Godfrey in Branthwaite. Sticking with what we have for another season or two gives him a clear route to the first team.

Thomas Richards
254 Posted 10/05/2021 at 18:39:00
I agree, Robert.

A massive job to change the unbalanced, poor quality Ancelotti was landed with. It will take three summer windows to turn around imo.

Can you expand on what you think our limited transfer budget will be please? I hope and think we will spend a decent amount this summer.

Paul A Smith
255 Posted 10/05/2021 at 18:48:09

I don't often play the record. I know what Davies is and isn't and I don't get into trying to level his performances against players who also aren't good enough. For one reason or another we have managers that trust seasoned players over players that have never had ten good games on the run.

The game is harsh on a lot of our players because we have deficiancies were the best sides don't. Sigurdsson is a very good footballer with too many flaws and not good enough.

It's the story of our side if we want to reach the top. Some fans didn't expect us to finish near the Europa League places so they might rate players higher than I do.

Dave Hallwood, grabbing the game by the scruff of the neck is far from an attacking definition. Gareth Barry knew how to do it, Kante does, Allan trys to, Coleman has done it plenty over the years. It's about taking control and dictating where you want the ball to be.

David Pearl
256 Posted 10/05/2021 at 18:50:48
I think Allardyce might have more to grumble about the unbalanced crap squad he inherited, to finish 8th, from the work of Walsh and Koeman.

Better luck with injuries might of helped Carlo this season. Priorities must be a right back, a speedy winger that can both cross and score, and a better, quicker version of Sigurdsson or Gomes.

I'm in no hurry to get rid of too many players from our squad that plays (apart from Iwobi, obviously). More to come perhaps from Delph and Gomes... we would struggle to move them anyway. I also want to see more of Nkounkou but Carlo doesn't seem to trust him. And we have not seem enough of King either.

What I have seen enough of is the diamond midfield. Fingers crossed we stick to the 3 centre backs. For once, I was impressed with the starting positions of our wingbacks.

Thomas Richards
257 Posted 10/05/2021 at 18:52:40
"not fair the stick Tom and Mason get. He's a local lad and Mason is only a kid"

"They are both becoming whipping boys"

In a nutshell, typical of the reasons why we are not challenging the top.
Sentimental bullshit.

Robert Tressell
258 Posted 10/05/2021 at 18:58:57
Thomas, I expect we'll have a net spend of about £60m. That might mean an overall kitty of circa £100m to £115m depending on what we get for Kean. That kitty might come down quite a bit too if we pick someone up on huge wages like, for example, Aguero.

I've zero evidence to support my theory! Eternal optimists might have other ideas...

Thomas Richards
259 Posted 10/05/2021 at 19:02:01
None of us have, Robert. We are all hoping he has sufficient funds.

I think he could do a lot of damage with £100 mil plus. Time will tell, mate.

Paul A Smith
260 Posted 10/05/2021 at 19:05:35
Thomas, I do think as a whole we whip the local lads more than any others. Some have deserved a bit of stick but I remember groans and anger at Rooney giving a ball away when he was 17, and he was possibly our best player.

Goodison is one frustrated place. A lot of good reason behind it and some groans come out of passion but we do lack patience in general.

Tony Hibbert played on eggshells running down them lines at goodison. Osman took a lot of stick. I remember a fella in the Gwladys Street stand so eager for a Rodwell mistake his neck was like a swan and he almost lost his glasses when that small mistake came.

Tony Abrahams
261 Posted 10/05/2021 at 19:05:52
Do you think we will try and offload Mina, Robert? Bernard will get us a bit of money, likewise Kenny, and I’m dreaming of Brentford coming up and signing Iwobi, eternal optimist that I am,
Kieran Kinsella
262 Posted 10/05/2021 at 19:09:07
"Mason is only a kid," who turns 25 in a few months, which means he has only four years left until he is an old has-been based on ToffeeWeb criteria applied to James etc. Milk has a longer shelf life than a "mature" Everton player according to some.
Brian Harrison
263 Posted 10/05/2021 at 19:12:30
I don't know why Carlo moved away from his best centre-backpairing of Keane and Mina, and maybe playing Godfrey in a 3 at the back covers all bases. I hear some posters complain about the need to inject pace from centre-back but when I look at the top 4 teams they don't have that much pace in their centre-back pairings.

Not sure that Digne is suited to playing in front of a back 3 seems his only option going forward is to put in crosses, never see him cut inside and have a shot these days. Seems Carlo loves bringing on Delph late on in games... is this to show possible buyers he is still fit or does he misguidedly believe he can do a job for us. There is very little link up play between the front 2, ending up with both completely ignoring the other for some reason. I think if Richarlison is adamant that he wants to play in both the Copa America and the Olympics for Brazil then I think Carlo will have a decision to make, as it would mean no break for him going into an important season for Carlo.

I hope the rumours are true about us being interested in Toney. I would also like them to sign Ebreche Eze from Palace, he looks and plays like a young Zaha.

Thomas Richards
264 Posted 10/05/2021 at 19:12:55
If they are not capable of getting us Top 4 football, Paul A, I would get shut.

I don't and never have booed any player in an Everton shirt but I have no problem putting out my opinion. If anyone boos them simply because they are local or players brought through, then that is stupid.

Andrew Brookfield
265 Posted 10/05/2021 at 19:14:52
@Jay [Brz], I think you make some fair points, however I am a massive advocate of the high line defending. If you look at the RS, they have a midfield of hardworking, pressing midfielders, who's job it is to turn the ball over and give it to the front three.

Michael Keane is a brilliant deep lying centre back, if you sit deep I'm not sure there are any better, but the gap that leaves in front of him means our midfield has no chance of a high press. I love Allan, and DoucourΘ, but they are wasted if they are pressing so deep, imagine if they were doing that 20 yards further up the field with a strong defensive midfielder sitting behind them.

I'm a big fan of Mina (when fit) so I was surprised to learn this week his stats show he is actually slower than Keane, both are in the bottom 25th percentile for Premier League centre-backs. If you want to play a high line, challenge further up the pitch, ultimately both have to go.

Holgate, decent, but not the long term answer. He's too small to play alongside Godfrey, and whilst a more than decent back up, it provides the insight into why we would want a Koulibaly type player.

A new right-ack and decent centre-back would allow our previous midfield signings to really flourish.

Three tough-tackling midfielders ahead of them – Allan, Doucouré, AN Other – and suddenly we are a very dangerous attacking team, which is in direct contrast to what we are today.

In attack then you need three pacy, hardworking players, with skill. I wouldn't want to lose James, but he'd have to really earn that place; Allan St Maximin would bring something very different.

My wish list: Koulibaly, Arrons, Rabiot, St Maximin – £140M

Sell: Kean, iwobi, Mina – £80M

Paul A Smith
266 Posted 10/05/2021 at 19:23:36
Yes, Thomas, I agree we need top 4 quality. Some of these players who are not there can still be great squad players for us.

Caraboa Cup etc a big squad is needed and we wont have five 200 grand a week players on the bench so theres always places in the squad for the likes of Davies and Sigurdsson for bottom 6 games and cups.

I think what you state is vital though and the Super League blag proves where you need to be. I won't lie, I don't want to see this squad in the Europa League. Go for top four or don't bother showing any ambition.

I weigh this up all the time and its hard to find clubs of our level that can win the Europa League or have a Europa League campaign and finish top four.

It's virtually impossible for us to do the latter. Look at the Europa winners for the last 20 years. Well-built squads with well built teams and often fallers from the Champions League first phase are in the last 4 places.

Sadly, we are nowhere near the bracket of recent winners we don't have any of the quality them sides have and, although it's not impossible to win, I think our best chances of Champions League football are over 38 games with better signings than we have in the side now.

Mark Murphy
267 Posted 10/05/2021 at 19:24:49
Ahh yes, I forgot Luzie moved to Arsenal – I was just going through all the centre-halves I know. You've all got the advantage on me – I only watch our games so don't see much of other teams' centre-backs – but I see Michael Keane and I'm happy with him. He's had a good season imho.
Andrew Brookfield
268 Posted 10/05/2021 at 19:26:49
Thomas @258,

Any squad is going to have inferior players outside their first 11, neither Davis or Holgate are natural starters but they are local lads/youth who are coming in and outperforming more senior higher paid players.

How anyone can direct anger toward Davis ahead of Gomes or Delph is beyond me. I want them all to do well, but two are earning £100k and one is the local lad. Which one would you keep because, based on current form, Carlo isn't picking on salary/name.

Delph has hardly covered himself in glory since he arrived, btf I think he did well yesterday, when a sub comes on for the last 15 I want them to run and show freshness above everyone else which he did, the exact opposite of King the live forums hero.

We need quality players in reserve, and Holgate and Davies will be the envy of most clubs in that respect.

Thomas Richards
269 Posted 10/05/2021 at 19:35:56
"We need quality players in reserve, and Holgate and Davies will be the envy of most clubs in that respect."

Can we expect a large queue to form to buy them when they are relegated to the bench, Andrew?

Your statement re keeping the "local lad" is indicative of my point. Why would you keep anyone based on where they were born?

Mark M.

That's what its all about mate. Differing opinions. Long may that continue.

Andrew Brookfield
270 Posted 10/05/2021 at 20:12:56
Because local lads cost a lot less, that's the key reason. Which in turn allows investment to be placed on 1st-team players.

I'm not Holgate's biggest fan, but who would you rather have in your squad – Eric Dier or Mason Holgate? One is average and is in the England squad, the other has potential and is arguably better. I believe Dier should be backup for Spurs, but as such he'd cost twice as much as Holgate costs us.

I don't believe Darren Fletcher, Phil Neville, or Wes Brown were good enough for Man Utd to be a global dominant force – but they were good enough reserves to do a job when called upon.

All I'm saying is look where the money is spent, base your opinions of value for money, rather than judging everyone equally, and then aim your anger at those that don't represent value.

For me, Davies and Holgate would have a lot of people ahead of them before they got my ire.

Andrew Brookfield
271 Posted 10/05/2021 at 20:17:43
If you listed Holgate, Keane and Mina at £20M each, I believe Holgate would be the first to be snapped up.

If you listed Davies, Gomes, and Delph at £10m each, I believe Davies would be the first to be snapped up.

So, yes, I believe clubs would be queuing up.

Danny O’Neill
272 Posted 10/05/2021 at 20:28:38
I may have been guilty of starting this unintentionally. As Jay (BRZ) says, I do admittedly go on about it a lot!

We know our priorities, I'm just saying if you get the chance to improve in any position you do it.

And Europe or not, we need depth all over the squad, as this season has proven.

Andrew Keatley
273 Posted 10/05/2021 at 21:52:58
Martin (253) - “Yesterday he (Davies) played on the left of midfield and was exceptional. “

Exceptional? I think it might be time for a perspective check. He did nothing in the game - bad or good - that could be described as 'exceptional'. There is so much wanting him to come good amongst his supporters that an average performance results in this sort of unhelpful hyperbole.

Andrew (272) - Who knows, but I think the fact that Holgate and Davies are considerably younger would be a significant contributing factor in terms of desirability to these hypothetical suitors of yours. What would you pay for them if they were at other clubs? If Holgate was available for £20 million, then I'd consider that a good acquisition. And if we had £10 million to spend on a midfielder, then I'd probably not spend it on Tom Davies as I believe there are better players available at that price.

Paul A Smith
274 Posted 10/05/2021 at 22:28:23
Andrew, absolutely bang on there for me. It goes from one extreme to the next then we start comparing him to players that are also under performing.

The players that the club have invested in heavily are bound to start at this point because Davies is neither here nor there when comparing him to Gomes.

There is no major difference for Brands to sit down with Ancelotti and ditch players we need a bit of value on and the likes of Sigurdsson is not guaranteed to have a bad game. I can't believe some people can't see what we have got to work with at this point in our progress..

Think how much Brands and Ancelotti have to do to keep some value in a squad we desperately need to improve. Brands's job is to get us where Moshiri wants Ancelotti and the team to be and between them all it really is the business end of the season from January onwards.

Brands obviously won't pick the team but to juggle the squad he may want £10 million for Gomes. Gomes might need a certain amount of minutes to be of that value.

That is just a scratch at what their meetings may be like. Stuff we don't see and nobody can say there's a player not getting games that makes a massive difference to the value of the team.

Don Alexander
275 Posted 11/05/2021 at 01:06:19
Has anyone else noticed the absence of comment from "our Dazza"?

Not surprising I suppose given that (according to many) the MotM was his much derided "tackling-machine", Carlo-acolyte (according to Dazza), Allan.

Personally I thought Davies (Dazza's favourite) out-did Allan as a "tackling-machine" though, and all credit to him, as I said above, but Allan did far more with the ball.

I'd be grateful for his take on a well won game. Shouldn't be beyond him surely, given he's had yonks to think about it?

Or is he unwell? If so, get well soon, owd son, and get with the keyboard again.

Tony Abrahams
276 Posted 11/05/2021 at 07:35:41
I don't think Darren has been on over the weekend, Don, but hopefully he won a few quid on Everton!
Martin Mason
277 Posted 11/05/2021 at 07:57:15
Andre @274,

His pass success was 88% including 2 excellent long passes, 3 tackles out of 6, overall rating 7 out of 10 on a par with Allan. That is exceptional for me based on our woeful midfield standards and compared with the irrationally negative view that some have of him.

The stats say nothing about his positioning and discipline in keeping our very good shape and keeping West Ham out. Correct that a perception check is needed but are you sure that it's mine?

Andrew Ellams
278 Posted 11/05/2021 at 09:03:01
Andrew @ 272, yes Holgate and Davies would probably be moved on easily enough if the club wanted to go down that route but I don't think they'd attract anybody above Everton in the Premier League. The most likely suitors would be the likes of Newcastle and Palace.
Kevin Prytherch
279 Posted 11/05/2021 at 09:14:21
Reading these comments I think it’s clear exactly how much Davies and Holgate have improved in the last year...

They’ve gone from “Championship at best” to “Not top 4 material”.

Imagine what it will be next year

“They’ll never be a Ronaldo or Messi!!!”

Andrew Ellams
280 Posted 11/05/2021 at 09:20:19
Kevin, I think Holgate has actually gone backwards in his development this season. I'm not sure if that's because he missed such a big chunk of first half of the season or because he's played out of position so much but it's definitely something that needs to be addressed.
Robert Tressell
281 Posted 11/05/2021 at 09:35:42
I thought Holgate would be our 1st choice centre-back this season and in the England reckoning too. He's certainly talented. I think the injury, the signing of Godfrey and lack of a regular position has hurt him. Shame really.

I get the impression Ancelotti is giving him the rest of the season to show whether he can be a good partner for Godfrey, long term. If not, then he will probably be sold.

Tony Everan
282 Posted 11/05/2021 at 09:36:09
Anguissa from Fulham being mentioned, Leeds looking at him too. A young, strong midfielder, and maybe a decent replacement for Gomes and Delph if they were moved on somehow. Also, if Gbamin never gets back consistently. I’d like a bit more strength in depth at central midfield for when Allan and Doucoure are injured or need recovery. I don’t think we will be signing players like this though, without confirmed midfield outgoings first.

Any thoughts on this player?

Bobby Mallon
283 Posted 11/05/2021 at 09:59:33
Andrew Brookefield @266.

There lies the problem, if a player doesn't fit a fans so called team dynamic then they have to go. Why would you want to weaken our side?

Mina and kean are fine defenders. But they can't play a high line. Well they should be used for away games when we play a counter attacking game and Godfrey and A N Other play home games and the high line.

Once we have that dynamic, then the midfielders need to be able to transition from a counter attack midfield away from home to a more attacking at home. We do need to let go certain players but Keane and Mina? No. We should be adding another quick defender in the Godfrey mould. We should be adding a right-wingback like Aarons and definitely a Mason Mount type midfielder.

I would sell, if possible, Gomes, Holgate and Iwobi. I think we will have a couple of youngsters coming through who can complement those that go. Branthwaite and Onyango. Let's add to the squad – not get rid of our better players.

Thomas Richards
284 Posted 11/05/2021 at 10:05:20
Re Keane and Holgate. Neither of them will start the first game of next season. It will be Godfrey plus one.
Andrew Ellams
285 Posted 11/05/2021 at 10:05:42

Onyango is going to be out for a long time with the injury he sustained recently which could easily put his development back another year beyond that.

Matthew Williams
286 Posted 11/05/2021 at 13:31:18
It seems that some of my fellow Blues have a real downer on this new European Conference League.

Let's imagine we not only get into it but actually won it!,and just say it happened to be the final game of a certain Irish Captain we've all loved.

Seamus lifting the trophy up to the fans would go down as a beautiful Everton moment in our history... I'd be in fucking bits and am sure I wouldn't be alone neither.

Winning Cups is all that matters, folks, always was, always will be.

Bobby Mallon
287 Posted 11/05/2021 at 13:55:34
Mathew Williams well said.
Stan Schofield
288 Posted 11/05/2021 at 14:07:40
It always amuses me how fickle people's opinions can be regarding players. When a player hits really good form, he's the future, captain material and a future England regular. Then, when he hits bad form, he's suddenly shite and suitable only for the likes of West Brom.

Good form can last some time, and so can bad form. When a player performs well during good form, it's very naive to write him off and want to sell him just because he's subsequently in a period of bad form.

You have to see the bigger picture, with less of this erratic short-term assessment that changes frequently.

I know everyone is entitled to an opinion, but some opinions are simply shite.

Andrew Keatley
289 Posted 11/05/2021 at 14:49:06
Martin (278) - Can you see any contradiction by using the word "exceptional" to describe Davies and then go on to say he had an "overall rating 7 out of 10 on a par with Allan"?

Danny O’Neill
290 Posted 11/05/2021 at 15:11:12
You're right Stan, us fans are a fickle bunch. It boils down to a combination of passion, frustration and opinion.

I've been as guilty as any of writing players off and equally overrating players who didn't live up to expectation.

The problem with football is that we all have an opinion, especially in the moment, but we never really know.

That's what keeps us hooked and rightfully so.

Martin Mason
291 Posted 11/05/2021 at 17:04:17
Andrew @290,

Of course, Allan was also exceptional. The statistics can only give a guide as to how the player played in reality and I explained why in my last post. I quoted the stats only to show that he was in no way poor as many have tried to say.

Andrew Ellams
292 Posted 11/05/2021 at 17:14:34
Matthew, it's an awful idea for a competition but I will admit I would still get excited if we actually won it.

John Boon
294 Posted 11/05/2021 at 17:34:27
Danny (291),

Amusing that you admit to being fickle. Despite what any football supporter tells you how honest they are in regard to support I think everysupporter is fickle. Not only are we all fickle but we are all absolute "liars".

Proof in such comments as:

1... "I will never watch that lot again." During a lifetime of support, you have made the similar comment about 492 times.
2... "I never said he was a bad player," I just said, "I will not watch the game if he is playing."
3... "I don't care what Liverpool do."
4... "After that load of rubbish, I just don't care what Everton do!"
5... "I know far more than the Manager" – only said when we lose.
6... "The man is a tactical genius"... usually said after beating a team 1-0 despite them having 95% of the play

I admit to having been a lying "Fickler" and an Evertonian for many eons. Supporting Everton actually requires what I can only describe as "Loyal Fickleness", along with constant mood swings and delusional anxiety. Presently I am on a three day high since we beat West Ham. I hope to remain in this state at least until late Thursday. but: if we don't beat Aston Villa, it will result in a return to fickleness and I will threaten to strangle the cat and any RS who gets near me. Yes, I should have mentioned that even the mildest of supporters may become violent, well, at least until we win again.

Danny O’Neill
295 Posted 11/05/2021 at 17:57:18
Firstly John, I hope you haven't got me bang to rights in quotes following a moment of fickle frustration!!

We get frustrated, we get fickle, we get annoyed with football and Everton in particular.

But my word, we forget that very quickly when they give us those moments of joy and elation.

Danny O’Neill
296 Posted 11/05/2021 at 19:19:16
I noticed your 'strangle the cat' comment, John.

I take my dogs to the park at 6 am and talk to them about Everton whether we win or lose. They nod and agree with me; well I think they do. I find it therapeutic!

Dale Self
297 Posted 11/05/2021 at 19:36:24
I like Anguissa, Tony, but he seems an attacking midfielder who looks for his own opportunities. With Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison, we really need a midfielder who can supply from tight spaces in the center of the park or one who is a bit of an MF, if you know what I mean.

Not really similar players but I'd go Pereira (West Brom) or St Maximin (Newcastle) since Anguissa does track back well. On the other hand, it is difficult to score talent in a yo-yo team.

John Boon
299 Posted 11/05/2021 at 19:52:20
Danny, in regard to responding to losses, I lie once more. We don't have a cat. We did have one but it ran away or just vanished right after we lost at home to Fulham. It must have been in a state of anxiety as it realized that I would be irrational after such a loss.

To all cat lovers, all my cats are mythical except for the last one. It was constantly whining and I wasn't surprised when I found out it was a Liverpool supporter.

Tony Abrahams
300 Posted 12/05/2021 at 08:19:40
Keep him, John, he might just bring you more luck than all the others put together!
Brian Wilkinson
301 Posted 12/05/2021 at 14:38:40
Hope it is not the cat that invaded the pitch against Wolves John, we lost four of the next 5 games and drew the other after that, before the bad luck ran out and we then went on a winning run.

If so keep the little shit locked indoors on match days.

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