Ancelotti brands Digne red card 'a joke'

Sunday, 25 October, 2020 80comments  |  Jump to last

Carlo Ancelotti has said Everton will appeal the straight red card shown to Lucas Digne in this afternoon's match at Southampton.

Visibly frustrated after seeing his side's unbeaten start to the new season come to an unceremonious halt at St Mary's in a 2-0 defeat, the Italian branded Kevin Friend's decision — one tacitly backed by Video Assistant Referee, Simon Hooper — to send the Frenchman off as “a joke”.

Digne's dismissal comes a week after Richarlison was red-carded for an ugly challenge on Thiago Alcântara in the Merseyside derby and in the wake of a media narrative focused on the lack of repercussions for Jordan Pickford's collision with Virgil van Dijk that left the reds defender needing surgery on his knee.

Ancelotti made reference to both in his post-match interview with Sky Sports's Geoff Shreeve, saying: “The red card was a joke, it was not intentional. For sure it was not violent conduct.

“It was not a bad challenge. Maybe it was a yellow. He was running behind and he had contact with the ankle of the opponent. He did not have intention to hurt the player or use violent conduct. It was not the right decision.

“Maybe all this talk all week against Pickford, against Richarlison, affected the decision and, if that is the case, it's not right, it's not fair. We are going to appeal, for sure.”

The Blues' boss was asked if he was concerned about a lack of discipline in the Everton camp but instead he appeared to voice concern over how his side might now be treated following the furore over Van Dijk's injury.

“No, I don't think so,” Ancelotti said. “For the fact that this red card that we have to lose Digne for three games. We are worried for this season reason. We didn't complain about Richarlison. He got the red card and is out for three games but today was too much.”

Regardless of the defeat and the disappointing manner of it, Ancelotti was quick to acknowledge how strong his side's start to the new season has been.

He said that setbacks were to be expected and that how his players react will be key.

“It was not a good performance,” Ancelotti admitted, “but I know what my team did in this first period [at the start of the season]. It was amazing and now we keep going.

“I said to them, winter is coming. There are moments where you have to react well and we are going to do well again. We are still top of the table which is an unbelievable achievement for us. We have to keep going.”

On James Rodriguez, who was forced to stay on the pitch at the end despite a hamstring problem because Everton were out of substitutes, Ancelotti said:

"We have to check in the next few days. He was tired at the end and felt his muscle a little bit. I don't think it's a big problem. The game was difficult for everyone."  

Reader Comments (80)

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Dave Williams
1 Posted 25/10/2020 at 18:13:05
To me, the biggest problem is the third man in midfield. Neither Gomes nor Sigurdsson is filling it and I can't see anyone on our books who can. We are almost playing with ten men because this puts more strain on Allan and Doucouré neither of whom can keep their position and they can be outnumbered as today and last week showed. We haven't seen the best of either of these two yet and they need that third player to allow them to develop.

Until one of our right-backs is fit, we need to put a midfielder over there to provide cover and support as we all know James won't be doing that and we surely need him playing further forward anyway. Can Digne play there (if he escapes the red card) and try Nkounkou on the left?

Calvert-Lewin was totally isolated today without Richarlison and a clearly unfit James and again I can't see an obvious alternative on the books.

Some interesting problems for Carlo!

Minik Hansen
2 Posted 25/10/2020 at 18:18:57
None the less, we seem to have a great cover at left-back.

Bad day at the office tactically today, Carlo Ancellotti knows that. Not just about the players, looking forward to how Carlo bounces back from that himself.

Tony Everan
3 Posted 25/10/2020 at 18:51:06
We have James Rodriguez in the team, a playmaker and very creative player, a team needs to work like hell so this player can have moments of freedom to exploit opponents.

The midfield was weakened too much with the introduction of Iwobi and Sigurdsson at the same time. There just isn’t enough tenacity, pace or composure on the ball to relieve any pressure.

I can’t go in for criticism of these players, Carlo deserves some constructive criticism for setting up the team as he did. We never really coped from start to finish with Southampton’s energy and better passing. (Have they got 63% asthmatics too?)

Wins in the PL don’t come easy for anyone, and nine times out of ten the physical battles have to be won predominantly in midfield to earn the win. This is where we failed and Southampton won it, hands down.

If James is on the pitch we absolutely can’t have any other passengers, faux10s, or iwobbly wingers starting or being in the same team.

We need players in the team who can win the battles and wrestle control. The threat and aggression of Richarlison was sorely missed. Especially so away from home. Iwobi, Sigurdsson, Bernard, good players don’t cut the mustard for this requirement.

Gordon is a bit more direct and closer to Richarlison than any of them. Nkounkou is very inexperienced but he could offer more than those three, in terms of firing some very dangerous crosses in.

Ancelotti has some big decisions to make before the Newcastle match to put out a team who can get control of the game. Assuming Coleman, JJK and Digne are out. Team for Newcastle 3-5-2

Godfrey Mina Keane
Davies Doucoure Allan Delph Nkounkou
James Calvert-Lewin

Jim Bennings
4 Posted 25/10/2020 at 19:11:20
With having a player like James, an absolute stellar Rolls Royce of a performer it reminds me when we had Kanchelskis in the 90's, you would need two in midfield doing the dirty work, usually two from Parkinson, Horne or Ebbrell before getting him in the game.

Same goes for now, we have recently had Allan and Doucoure winning those battles then feeding James to let him do his stuff.

Today however we lost the battle because were not only sloppy on the ball but more importantly we were not aggressive enough without it, in the Premier League you don't get away with combining those two deficiencies on the same day.

The lack of movement and support up front for DCL is another debate for another day but its one of the reasons why I'd have liked to see us take a punt on Josh King, not a top top player of course he isn't, but he would have offered some support that could play across the front from left to right with Premier League experience.

Carting out the likes of Iwobi who never performs especially in wide area's, Sigurdsson who just looks bladdered after 35 minutes these days or Bernard who just doesn't make the impact he did two years ago, it's become a bit predictable.

Hopefully in January we can offload a few more and bring in at least two more that can offer more options in area's we are still lacking.

Paul Jones
5 Posted 25/10/2020 at 19:18:52
"I said to them, winter is coming."

Didn't realise Carlo was a Game of Thrones fan.

You have to find some fun somewhere on days like this...

Tony Abrahams
6 Posted 25/10/2020 at 19:37:41
Winter always sorts the men out from the boys. We have got a very smart manager, who has got to get even smarter, which isn’t easy, when his squad is just a little bit short on real quality in certain area’s, and he can’t really afford to lose certain key players, in key positions because of this, which is something we found out today.

It’s how we react is in a nutshell, but physical Everton might have to become a touch more pragmatic, to get through certain times of this season, until we can find the extra quality that’s needed to compete on a much better level every week?

Jim Bennings
7 Posted 25/10/2020 at 20:10:47
Games like today are the ones you need to learn from.

You can't always play well and display all the glitter and style, sometimes when you are half an hour in and it's just not happening for many in the team, that's when you need a unity an to almost have the mentality of

"Do you know what, this is just one of these games we get out of without losing"

Today however we didn't really have enough inner strength, defensively soft and I could almost see when that second goal went in, players slumping shoulders.

As you say in the above post Tony, it's how we react next week now, that's when you find out about the mentality.

Stephen Vincent
8 Posted 25/10/2020 at 21:36:08
Jim#4, even a Rolls-Royce needs a service occasionally. No way James should have played today, clearly a good yard off the pace offered young Godfrey no help at all and didn't touch the ball in the last 15 mins. Really strange call to play him.

Can't say I agree with Carlo coming out and saying that Luca's red was down to a backlash from the derby (even if it was) all that does is prolong the thing and keep the whole event in the spotlight.

Shaun Lyon
9 Posted 25/10/2020 at 21:46:57
Totally agree, Jim @7 – lots of things to be disappointed about today, but for me, the worst aspect by far was the attitude in the last 15-20 minutes. Players knocking the ball casually around the back as though we were the ones who were 2-0 up.

I realise to a large extent this is just a facet of the modern game, where professionalism replaces that long lost old thing – passion, but I cannot imagine if fans were present this would have been accepted.

When you are 2-0 down and time is running out, why not change things? Why not push players up, crowd the box, bang in long balls, show some sheer bloody-minded determination to just get the ball in the net, to have a go.

We looked jaded and lifeless today and I hadn't imagined we'd miss Richarlison so much... weird subs, the whole thing a grim reality check.

Vijay Nair
10 Posted 25/10/2020 at 21:50:54
Iwobi is simply ineffective on that left wing. How many times in this game did he dribble his way into trouble instead of putting the ball into the box or making a key pass? The boy Gordon is the right player to add some speed and urgency in that part of the pitch.

As for Siggy he lacks pace and just slows the play down. Bernard is wasted on that left wing and would be a better fit, in sort of a David Silva mould. No surprises that the fleeting glimpses of his brilliance in the cup games has been when he played as that attacking mid through the middle.

Sadly I feel Carlo's reticence to use him means he's on his way out as soon as a decent offer comes in, which is a mistake, considering the other options we have.

Drew O’Neall
11 Posted 25/10/2020 at 21:58:09
3 points from me:

1. Don’t bother contesting the red card after this week’s media fiasco there is next to no chance it will be rescinded.

2. You can’t play the same system without Richarlison. We don’t have another workaholic left forward and no one who can cover the ground he does therefore the replacement has to be a left midfielder not a winger and we accept we lose an attacking option but at least we don’t capitulate out of possession, lose confidence in our teammates and stop playing like we did today.

3. The red cards earned by Richarlison and Digne show a complete lack of professionalism and that petulance has had a long term affect on the team from which we may only recover after we are out of contention. Getting yourself sent off because you are frustrated in these circumstances is tantamount to desertion and I hope the perpetrators are disciplined by the club but I sincerely doubt they will be.

Ian Pilkington
12 Posted 25/10/2020 at 22:23:21
I agree with Carlo, Digne's dismissal wasn't a red card offence. Walker-Peters made it look much worse. Kevin Friend was his usual incompetent self; the yellow cards given to Bernard and Calvert-Lewin were equally ridiculous.
No excuses for a very disappointing performance today though.
Paul Kernot
13 Posted 25/10/2020 at 22:23:29
Bubble well and truly burst today. I've loved watching Everton up to now but as others have already said, Carlo has some work to do to keep us up there. If we play like that again, we'll get done by all those fast, high press teams who pack their midfield & strike on the break. Leeds, Wolves, Leicester.
Brent Stephens
14 Posted 25/10/2020 at 22:43:00
If your bubble was burst today, you over-inflated it.
Derek Knox
15 Posted 26/10/2020 at 01:36:53
Brent, in these times of bubbles, I believe the players were social distancing from each other, and the ball was treated like being the virus carrier, which they all successfully managed to avoid contact with. :-)
Phil Smith
16 Posted 26/10/2020 at 01:56:55
Today cried out for a bit of youth and tenacity in midfield. Where's Tom? Gordon should have started. Sigurdsson is a great player but he's no starter anymore.

Southampton were first to almost everything today and showed us what real teamwork looks like. Hopefully he'll learn from today coz we better not play like that when we play Leeds etc or they'll tear us a new one.

Nicholas Howard
17 Posted 26/10/2020 at 03:14:34
Opponents had started to get used to Everton playing 4-3-3 and few areas of weaknesses from playing personality.

1. Deny left-wing and right-wing crosses and Calvert-Lewin is out of the game

2. On the right wing, James must be supported by a strong right-back. In last night games, Godfrey (not a natural right-back, I sympathise with him) in this area became Southampton's focus for exploiting Everton's defence... the second goal was a classic example: a hole at right and cross to left side... goal!

3. Midfield: our engine room out of service, well, overwhelmed by quicker hard-running Southampton midfielders

4. Iwobi: his ball control is so poor sign!! Sigurdsson just disappeared in the game..

5. James unfit... should have rested him

Still, COYB get on and beat Newcastle.

Ajay Gopal
18 Posted 26/10/2020 at 03:51:40
I agree with Carlo - that was not a red card in a thousand years. Kyle Walker-Peters is a real scum bag, he conned the referee a few times. He tried to get Bernard sent off, who was on a yellow (never a yellow in the 1st place) – by trying to fake an injury just a few minutes before the Digne incident.

If you notice the red card incident, Walker-Peters rolls around banging the turf with his hand as though his foot has been severed. As soon as the red card is brandished, he jumps up and continues and runs around as before. Neymar would have been proud of that performance.

I hate players who try to con referees and they really should be punished retrospectively. Not that Kevin Friend is a saint himself, I thought he came into the game with a grim look, probably under ‘instructions' and was determined to punish any tough tackle by Everton with a card.

I strongly suspect that Ralph Hassenhutl instructed his players to pressurise the referee by exaggerating the fouls. Another incident to illustrate my point - the Calvert-Lewin yellow card towards the end of the game, he goes hard on Vestergaard, just a normal tackle that any Premier League centre-back experiences about 10 times a game, and he goes down with a scream, that I could hear on my TV.

Shameful, just shameful, and I totally agree with Carlo – yesterday was a fallout from the derby. Sure, we played shit and deserved to lose, but it could have longer-term repercussions on our season. Just very angry and pissed off with everybody today.. grrr 😡

Mark Andersson
19 Posted 26/10/2020 at 05:06:57
Carlo is right to call into question the ref and the witch hunt from last week..

It's about time we have a boss with balls...

Tim Kells
20 Posted 26/10/2020 at 06:59:32
Too many players off the pace. We seemed to lose every 50/50 and again our midfield looked over run. James didn't look fit from the start, he gave the ball away a few times in the first 10 minutes, unusually for him.

Calvert-Lewin isolated with no service. Gordon looked promising but physically looks like he could do with some bulk without losing his pace.

Lots of questions for Carlo this week. Let's hope we get the right responses.

Steve Brown
21 Posted 26/10/2020 at 07:15:56
Ridiculous red card decision – are we now expecting footballers to run/sprint looking at their feet rather than the ball?
Tony Everan
22 Posted 26/10/2020 at 08:00:43
The Southampton players were certainly milking every opportunity to exaggerate tackles and scream like a banshee at any foul.

I agree with Carlo that the red card was a joke. Digne was chasing the player down and caught the trailing leg. The reason there was no ill effects for Walker-Peters is that Digne was trying to lift his leg to avoid applying pressure in the tackle. There was no reckless or harmful force applied.

All this is in the heat of the moment, and the nuances of the situation are lost in the referee's fog and red mist that descended upon him because of last weeks shenanigans.

For me, it was a yellow card and a stern warning and this is ordinarily what would have been the outcome.

Martin Reppion
23 Posted 26/10/2020 at 08:30:03
First, we were poor. Too many loose passes and missed opportunities. But I have to agree with the majority view on the referring.

Calvert-Lewin's booking was as bad as the sending off. He put his foot up and the defender kicked it. Then the defender squeals like a stuck pig and out comes the card. For Digne's red, read Keane last season (v Burnley). Totally accidental. You can see Digne trying to avoid him once the first contact was made. He was penalised because his opponent slowed down and fell over looking for a free-kick. If this is not over-ruled then football is going to hell in a hand cart.

A real problem is the 3-match ban rule. Rugby League has a panel that reviews every red card. Punishment is made to fit the crime. It ranges from very long bans where there is violent and dangerous play to 'Red card sufficient punishment'. This is read as perhaps the ref was a bit over officious.

To be banned for 3 games because your opponent is too slow and no attempt was made to play the ball or make a tackle is ridiculous. Football needs to look at itself.

Michael Lynch
24 Posted 26/10/2020 at 08:31:04
The Digne sending off was probably a yellow at worst, but is there any point in appealing as it was checked by VAR?

Southampton deserve some praise for a good game plan, well executed. The teams were fairly evenly matched at first but, once they started to dominate us, there was only really going to be one result. Godfrey was out of position constantly and, as others have said, this was compounded by having very little cover in front of him from James. We need Coleman or Kenny back as soon as possible, and will struggle for points without a recognised right back.

It's worrying how easily beaten we were without a couple of key players, and it will be even worse now without Digne for three matches.

Tony Waring
25 Posted 26/10/2020 at 10:01:50
If Son's red card can be rescinded then so can Digne's. No question.
Karl Meighan
26 Posted 26/10/2020 at 10:08:05
Yesterday was a bad day, Southampton played well we were off the pace. Its how we respond as others have mentioned. Any away game in the Prem is going to be difficult. Lets just hope we respond at Newcastle next week and show we are a improving team.
Michael Kenrick
27 Posted 26/10/2020 at 10:14:47
The Red Echo saying we need to make our intentions known today by 1 pm if we are going to appeal Digne's red card.

I'm not convinced we will go through with this. I think perhaps Don Carlo was being a bit rash in his reaction to the 'joke' of a red card.

We already look bad enough having Digne chase after Walker-Peters like that, following an unsuccessful attempt to stop the player by clipping his leg. For him to then run at pace directly behind him, rather than attempt to get alongside him, where he had zero chance of getting any contact on the ball, and then weirdly hold up his hands before he trod on the player's Achilles... signalling seemingly that he knew what was about to happen?

To my mind, the entire sequence is sadly fully deserving of a red card for utter stupidity, as I said at the time. It looks no better on the reshowing and I think trying to step through that video with the FA panel to justify a series of really bad decisions by Digne, leading up to the foul from behind – which has been outlawed in the modern game – puts us on a hiding to nothing.

And if it is not rescinded, that makes us look even worse in the eyes of the FA, the refs, the pundits, the media...

Stan Schofield
28 Posted 26/10/2020 at 10:36:28
Michael@27: I agree. These sending offs of Digne and Richarlison are very frustrating, not from the viewpoint of correct or incorrect officiating, but from the viewpoint of our players needing to keep control and discipline. This is essential at the best of times, but if there is any bias from officials, then it's particularly important not to provide them with ammunition. Losing players by sending off is even worse of course when we've got injuries. I often think Everton are very good at shooting themselves in the foot.
Derek Knox
29 Posted 26/10/2020 at 10:59:14
Stan @ 28, good point there mate, I noticed at one point there during the match, that James almost lashed out at a Saints player, it was basically a 'handbags incident' but it only needs an eagle eyed official to interpret it differently.

Carlo and his staff want to have a word with the whole squad about how to keep your 'head when all around are losing theirs' we all know it goes on, but we are not or ever have been flavour of the month/year/decade with referees/Media.

Rob Halligan
30 Posted 26/10/2020 at 11:01:10
This might sound a bit silly, but how many times have you been walking in a crowded street, and the person behind you accidentally stands on the back of your heel because they are too close to you, or maybe been in a supermarket and someone is too close to you with their trolley and it catches your heel? To me that's all that happened here, Lucas Digne was just too close behind Walker-Peters and accidentally stood on his foot. FFS, Digne had realised he was probably too close and gave up the chase by putting his arms in the air. It would have been better if Digne had challenged and brought down Walker-Peters, as the most he would have got would have been a yellow card.

It's ironic really, against Spurs for example, they targeted Richarlison, with each player taking turns to foul him, albeit not seriously. I can't remember if any spurs player was booked in that game, but I can't recall any further repercussions for any spurs player in games played since. Van Dijk last week made his intentions clearly known, but you can get your bottom dollar he wouldn't have been booked at any stage during that game, or targeted by the officials in subsequent games had he still been available. We injure a couple of players from one of the so called big six teams and immediately the whole world turns against us.

We've been too soft for too long. Leighton Baines for example, great player that he was, was a prime example. Any injured opponent Bainesy would want to help him up, pat him on the head and ask him if he's all right? This has been going on too long and it's about time we showed a bit of steel, albeit fairly. As many have alluded too, suddenly we are seen as a major threat to the so called big six teams, although in my opinion it's a bit early in the season for that, but it seems the premier league want to put an end to this threat. The nailed on penalty shout on James totally ignored, the ridiculous sending off for Digne.

What next, well we'll see next Sunday. Can't wait to find out the referee in charge for the Newcastle game.

Tommy Carter
31 Posted 26/10/2020 at 11:17:00
It concerns me that this squad still has a performance like that within them.

It was pathetic from start to finish. Iwobi had a big chance yesterday and he blew it. That should cement his place further down the pecking order.

Godfrey showed great endeavour. He tried, hopelessly at times to make things happen. And fair play to him for displaying this attitude. He’s not a full back. That’s plain to see. But I’ve seen enough from him to make me think he should be given a start at CB alongside Keane. We just cannot keep clean sheets and I’m afraid Yerry just isn’t performing. Whereas Keane has made a solid start to the season.

That means a decision to be made at full back. And whilst I am no fan at all of JJK, I don’t believe he has the quality required, I am a fan of putting round pegs in round holes. No doubt we would be in better shape with a full back playing in that role and Godfrey’s pace and power in the middle.

Eddie Dunn
32 Posted 26/10/2020 at 11:17:52
The question I would like an answer to is why run directly behind Walker-Peters? You can't overtake him by doing that, so what is the point unless you are hoping to clip his heels? Digne was reckless and most refs looking at the double contact would have sent him off. What if those raked studs had damaged the lad's achilles ? If it had been Digne running away from Walker-Peters then I would have expected to see a deserved red card.
Players have to be more savvy especially as now this incident has perpetuated the myth that we are dirty.
Tom Bowers
33 Posted 26/10/2020 at 11:28:47
Tommy Carter you are so right.

Whilst the unbeaten run was nice it wasn't convincing save for the performances of one or two players which were a big improvement.
I know hindsight is 20/20 but when I saw RS and Soton coming up in the fixture list I sensed a possible roadblock.

A part from the point gained in the RS game it's been a lousy week with a lot of flack from the media and eslewhere about what happened.

I just seemed it had affected the approach to the Soton game and they came out cold and stayed that way.

We are starting to lose players and this is where Carlo can show his worth. He has to have them focused for the Barcodes game otherwise it could be another long afternoon. C.O.Y.B

Alex Fox
34 Posted 26/10/2020 at 11:35:11
I can't believe there's any argument about this red card...

Here's a simple test: If Alexander-Arnold or Robertson had done to Digne what Digne did Walker-Peters, would you have been calling for their sending off?

Of course you would. Quite rightly. He raked his studs down the guy's achilles. Accidental or not, it was utterly idiotic.

Digne had already had a dig at Walker-Peters, and the ref had played advantage. He then began chasing him down from behind with absolutely no hope of winning the ball. I was yelling at my TV for him to just leave Walker-Peters to the covering Allan. It showed a complete lack of in-game intelligence, and we're now an entire left flank down for the next few games.

The Calvert-Lewin yellow, on the other hand: now that really was ridiculous.

John Kavanagh
35 Posted 26/10/2020 at 11:41:31
Michael @ 27. I beg to differ. This will be a tale of two appeals. In one, a player runs after another and then deliberately hacks him down from behind, resulting in a red card unchallenged by VAR. In another a player chases after another and then unintentionally catches that player on the heel, resulting in a red card, again unchallenged by VAR.

One appeal was upheld, resulting in the red card being rescinded. The second will be heard this week. I'm not expecting any consistency from the FA, especially as the first involved Sky 6 darling Son, who is 'not that sort of player'. Whereas the second comes from a player in a team now vilified as thugs by ex RS pundits and lacky journos who seem to have the FA (and a number of Friend-ly referees) in their back pockets.

Carlo is quite right to stick up for Digne and appeal the decision. If it is not upheld, it will once again demonstrate the inherent bias of system in favour of the so called top teams.

Tony Abrahams
36 Posted 26/10/2020 at 11:41:43
Fair points for not appealing Michael K, but when he tried to stop him the first time, was it bad? because all’s I heard was a big squeal from the Southampton player, before he sprinted away from the initial challenge.

Surely if a player screams like this he’s been injured? But no he sprinted away, before going down from the second challenge, and although it was clumsy, maybe you could also argue that it was accidental?

I thought the Southampton managers assessment was quite poor, because I’d honestly be embarrassed to be a manager, and hear one of my players scream like his did from the initial challenge, but still be able to get way from Digne, with real pace, once he saw how much space was in front of him.

Kevin Molloy
37 Posted 26/10/2020 at 11:50:44
that's three very nasty straight red tackles in a week. the decision to appeal guarantees us another week at least of negative media attention. We need to be careful we don't get an unwanted reputation other clubs will be more than happy to encourage.
Ray Robinson
38 Posted 26/10/2020 at 11:54:30
Perhaps there is a happy mean? Uphold the decision because, (in my view) it was reckless but commute the sentence to a one or two match ban to allow for the unintentionality of the incident? There must be a precedent.
Tony Abrahams
39 Posted 26/10/2020 at 11:55:21
Tommy C@31, I think that’s a great assessment that you have given on Godfrey, mate.

I wouldn’t have used the word hopelessly, I’d have said he showed loads of character, because it’s not always easy in football, but the lad kept going and going, and showed an attitude which will definitely stand us in good stead in the future.

Carlo has got to get the balance right, and this might mean either Holgate or Godfrey possibly going to play in the midfield, sometime in the future?

Why? It’s an energetic game nowadays, and the physical aspect is hugh, something I think we found out to our cost yesterday, and also to a lesser extent against Liverpool the week before.

Holgate, and Godfrey are very athletic, and this is something Everton were devoid of yesterday, along with a little touch of real craft? It was still a massive improvement on some of the shite I’ve witnessed in the last few years, (imo) because although we weren’t good, at least we can pass to our own players better nowadays, at least until certain players get on the ball.

Si Cooper
40 Posted 26/10/2020 at 12:00:47
Rob, what do you mean when you say the shove on James was ‘ignored’; just that it wasn’t given or do you think it wasn’t checked by VAR? Just asking because lots of people seem to think that because there isn’t a big pause in play then VAR isn’t checking some incidents, when it is.
I’m surprised by the negative views of Digne. On multiple views I’m not seeing this ‘petulant’ attempt at an initial foul, just that Walker-Peters was quicker to the ball. Then Walker-Peters is off and Digne does his job and tries to pursue him. You just don’t run in an arc if you have maybe 25 yards from a standing start to overhaul a player who is at least as quick if not quicker even when running with the ball, you run straight, directly behind him, and hope he weaves enough in his direction at some point to give you a chance to get back on terms.
Walker-Peters didn’t bend his run unfortunately so Digne had no real chance of getting alongside him. Walker-Peters did slow up a little bit - probably looking for options; he was never going to dribble past the rest of the defence - which caused Digne to close right up behind him (because you just can’t instantaneously change direction without losing a load of momentum). Then Digne does what I would say is totally natural but others find odd; he throws up his hands and stutter-steps whilst looking down at where his feet and Walker-Peters are. That to me is how everybody would attempt to avoid running into the back of someone and trying to avoid a tangle of legs.
Others are seeing a red misted Digne charging after the lad but saying he is still ultra cool enough that when he catches up to him he is able to remember to sneakily feign surprise whilst carefully delivering a precise rake / stamp down the back of his achilles. I think people are viewing the slow motion replay and forgetting the incident happened much quicker than that.
So far all the player pundits seem to agree it was accidental contact. You can make a case that he wasn’t careful enough to avoid getting too close to Walker-Peters, but that should only make it a yellow anyway, except in the eyes of the referees who, wrongly in my opinion, have a tendency to make too many decisions based on the consequences of the contact rather than what caused it to happen.
Ray Robinson
41 Posted 26/10/2020 at 12:07:28
Si, that is an excellent post! Shows that that there are often shades of grey in any incident where there is clearly no intention. It just looks worse for Digne because he had a little nibble at the lad moments earlier. It makes it look like Digne lost his cool - which probably only Digne will know.
Eddie Dunn
42 Posted 26/10/2020 at 12:21:59
Si, and Ray- fair enough, there are always shades of grey, but the ref has only a second to decide yellow or red, the man in the VAR suite is only active if he thinks the on-field ref had made a "clear and obvious" mistake. Perhaps a third card should be and 10 minutes in the bin?
Unfortunately the only way to reduce the sentence is appeal and with the politics in football at present, the chances of a reduced ban, I would consider, are low.
Brian Harrison
43 Posted 26/10/2020 at 12:24:17
Whether the red card was right or wrong, I don't see it being overturned. These officials don't like their opinions to be challenged, as they think the VAR system means they don't have to re evaluate the situation as VAR has already backed Kevin friends decision. Watching football now is vastly different now that VAR is in full swing, we were told initially it was for clear and obvious decisions but it isn't for clear and obvious decisions its for practically every decision. When a team scores a goal on most occasions they look at the ref to see if its being reviewed, before they can celebrate. During this period were fans arent allowed into the grounds the players now scream as loud as they can to get the refs attention even if the contact is minimal. Then just to let the ref know that they are injured they also bang the floor just to accentuate the point. This has taken play acting to oscar performances, and does nothing to enhance the game, its now just about getting the opposing player booked or sent off.
Ajay Gopal
44 Posted 26/10/2020 at 12:32:49
I am really surprised at the number of TWers who agree with the red card decision. I had a look at the replay of the incident a number of times, you see the initial reaction of KWP - he turns around angrily at Digne to say "Why the hell did you do that?" and then looks at the ref reaching for a cad and then hits the deck - banging his hand several times on the floor, his face contorted in agony. After he gets the red card, he springs back up on his feet. Pathetic really, that you would want to get a fellow professional banned! Alex (34) "If Alexander-Arnold or Robertson had done to Digne what Digne did Walker-Peters, would you have been calling for their sending off?" - yes, of course, as an Everton fan. But ask yourself, do you honestly believe either of those Liverpool players would have been given a red for a similar foul? I don't.
Si Cooper
45 Posted 26/10/2020 at 13:01:12
Eddie, I would love to see VAR used in football the way that Rugby Union refs interact with their video counterparts. Before delivering the verdict / card the ref runs through what he has observed and invites his counterpart to back him up / provide a counter argument based on the increased resources available to him.
I would only use it in football for penalties and potential red cards, but for me it is far superior than a snap decision followed by the VAR ref having to say ‘I think you have made a ‘clear and obvious’ mistake.’
Brent Stephens
46 Posted 26/10/2020 at 13:18:36
Si, agree re rugby union practice. Also some good practice in cricket and rugby league. I like the protocol in cricket where, if I understand it, the umpire's decision is only overturned if there is a clear error. I think that is also supposed to be the protocol in football but reviews that last a minute or two are (clearly!) not obvious and clear incidents.
Colin Wordsworth
47 Posted 26/10/2020 at 13:37:09
I'm on the fence re the Digne sending off, but surely here has to be consistency. I agree with Mr. Ancelotti that any contentious decision was likely to go against us and it did. It could easily have been a yellow, but what really annoys me is that as a club we never complained about Robertson taking out Allan in the derby in a similar but far worse incident in the centre circle. Robertson actually lunged into the player. Was shocking.
Barry Rathbone
48 Posted 26/10/2020 at 13:37:52
Put it this way if one of our players was striding away and raked down the leg the cry would be a unanimous - "SEND THE CNUT OFF". Lord knows what was going through Digne's mind
Paul Tran
49 Posted 26/10/2020 at 13:40:05
It was Digne's body language that got him sent off, the way he starting running after the Soton player had got away from him. An appeal wouldn't necessarily consider that, more likely they would consider whether he ran into him and clipped heels, or deliberately raked his achilles.

I would appeal, for me it was a yellow at best.

The future issue is making sure players keep their discipline. That's in our control. We shouldn't be giving referees the possibility of red cards like the two we've had.

Per Stumo
50 Posted 26/10/2020 at 13:40:48
Si @40:

Totally agree. You can clearly see Digne pull back and try to get out of the way when he gets a bit too close to Walker-Peters, but to me it looked like both slipped a little and Digne ends up stepping on his leg. It's unlucky but I didn't see any malicious intent in it. Yellow for me.

Good thing we have a decent left back replacement in young Niels though. The ranks are thinning out! But we really need to sort out how we are going to play without Richarlison and Coleman. It just did not click at all against Southampton.

Rob Halligan
51 Posted 26/10/2020 at 13:45:45
Si, # 40, I know that VAR would have been checking the incident regarding the shove on James. It was as clear as day it was a blatant shove on him. Once VAR have looked at it and "decided no penalty" play continues without the need for the VAR official to tell Friend to view it on the pitch side monitor. There's one or two other teams knocking around were that penalty is given all day long.
Darren Hind
52 Posted 26/10/2020 at 14:18:19
It was a strange foul.

I think most who have played the game will have come across most fouls in their playing time. It's very rare a "new one" comes along.

This for me was a new one. Yeah I've seen plenty of tackles from a chasing player down the back of his opponents calf or ankle, especially when the fella with the ball has been cute enough to get across his path, but this one ?

I have watched it time and again and it was such a freak accident. Digne doesnt break his stride as somebody looking to foul would do. His foot is coming down quite heavily as he sprints and it lands right on the Southampton player leg near the achilles tendon. As it lands he is taken for a ride by the lads momentum and when he comes to a halt he is still on his ankle. It looks horrendous. I suspect we all winced a little. If it happened to one of ours we would be screaming for a red.

Was the tackle reckless ? Rash ? Malicious ? Clumsy ? Accidental ? You could make a pretty convincing case for all of those descriptions in a court of law...but he was always going to see red. Simply because it looked so bad.

The egg chasers will correct me if I'm wrong but I belief they have a rule which speaks about a "Duty of care" for the safety of your opponent. I don't think Digne showed enough care.

I'm not advocating we become the premier leagues Paragon of virtue. I fucking hate "nice" Everton teams, but three times in three hours of football we have had players not showing a duty of care. Making headline grabbing tackles.

Mr Ancelotti will not want his players showing overdue concern for their opponents...but he will be worried about the number of times we are needlessly giving these refs a decision to make.
He's no stranger to defending dirty play, but he will not be a happy man if he continues to have to defend stupidity

Brian Williams
53 Posted 26/10/2020 at 14:43:15
Darren, for me the very last word of your post sums up the incident for me.
Digne, IMHO, was stupid to present the officials with a chance to send him off.
The situation was made worse by the fact that Digne had already "had a go" at the lad and he made it easy for onlookers to believe he was simply having another go.
I agree it looked bad and if it looks bad then the inevitable is going to happen.
The club may well appeal the red card but I doubt it'll be rescinded.
Eddie Dunn
54 Posted 26/10/2020 at 15:12:50
Si, I watch a lot of rugby here in Wales and the Ref, miked-up talks to the TMO and eveyone can hear the conversation. Of course we can still disagree with the verdict but their thinking is made clear.
The trouble with football is that we have no idea why some decisions are flagged-up and others are not.
We should be able to hear the man in Stockley Park and what he has to say to the ref. Half of the controversy in the Liverpool game was the lack of explanation on both the big moments.
As for Digne, Darren points out that the duty of care is absent and it seems that some of our players(DCL in the last minute yesterday) don't seem to have an etye on the big picture. Richarlison's moment of madness has led to a 3 match ban, Pickford's could have been at least a pen, and now Digne. DCL trod on someone's foot -imagine if he too had seen Red! There are so many games and we have a dearth of top quality players, so, injuries aside, we simply can't afford such numbskull behaviour.
Alan Rodgers
55 Posted 26/10/2020 at 15:48:50
I think Digne is a red card and we'll be very lucky to get any change out of the FA. But I'm glad Carlo has appealed and stuck up for Digne and Pickford too.
As a club we're not a pushover anymore. The media and the establishment don't like it. Sky again wheeling out Bosnich today to castigate Digne and refer to Pickford and Richarlison yet again. He said Everton can expect to be under scrutiny now. Why has this joker suddenly appeared ?
Steavey Buckley
56 Posted 26/10/2020 at 17:43:22
Every player from now on who brings a player down from behind will have to be shown a red card instead of a yellow one, if the Digne's red card is upheld.
Derek Knox
57 Posted 26/10/2020 at 18:08:00
I think what made things worse, if that was possible, was the reaction of Walker-Peters, once he knew the referee was walking towards Digne, he started flailing around and slapping the ground as if he was in absolutely excruciating agony.

After the red card had been brandished he got up with no limp or evident signs of any lasting injury, and after going to the side of the pitch, carried on as if nothing had happened. Who's kidding who here?

Andy Crooks
58 Posted 26/10/2020 at 18:10:57
He let out an almighty squeal as well, Derek. Surely he must be embarrassed. My God it wasn't as though he had broken a fingernail.
Ray Roche
59 Posted 26/10/2020 at 18:23:10
Any player who slaps the ground in apparent 'agony' should be forced to stay off the pitch for a minimum of 10 minutes*, likewise, any player who lies prone with a 'head injury' should also be made to sit on the sidelines for 10 minutes for their own safety.

Anyone notice Bednarek lying apparently unconscious when we had the ball. (Digne was supposed to have elbowed him.) Bednarek, Lazarus-like, recovered consciousness once the ref had stopped the game and carried on. While the refs continue to allow these cheats to get away with play-acting the game will continue its downward spiral.

* Or kneecap the bastards. Give them something to whinge about.
Ray Roche, The Voice Of Reason.

Tony Everan
60 Posted 26/10/2020 at 18:31:00
Ray, I thought it was clear in the second half that Southampton had been instructed to go down, fracture the game and waste plenty of time doing so, so we couldn't get any momentum. It worked and the referee was happy as Larry to go along with it.

The irony is that they didn't need any game plan to see that match out. I don't think we would have scraped a draw even if Digne had stayed in.

Jim Jennings
61 Posted 26/10/2020 at 18:37:07
Darren Hind #52

Absolutely spot on. Post of the day.

Danny O’Neill
62 Posted 26/10/2020 at 19:01:32
It's been said above. It may not have been malicious or intentional and was no doubt just part of the momentum, but it looked awful. It was also preceded by what looked like personal intent by Digne to get back at the player - we've all been there as players right?

So agree with the above, it was stupid in the fact that he didn't actually need to hound the player; he was running towards other Everton defenders, so Digne put himself in the situation in my opinion.

Billy Roberts
63 Posted 26/10/2020 at 19:23:19
Darren Hind @52,

Good points, I have to agree. It made me wince, it looked like a bad injury was inevitable... but, luckily for the player, it didn't cause serious injury... did this stop him beating the floor in agony? The shame of being a little squealer no longer applies in our game.

I'm glad Ancelotti has come out calling the decision ridiculous, rightly or wrongly (red card), we need to start defending ourselves, getting gobby, throwing our weight around,

I don't care if that upsets pundits, opposition managers, or the press. Everton have been too subservient on and off the pitch for too long. I think a winner like Ancelotti sees this.

Danny O’Neill
64 Posted 26/10/2020 at 19:26:36
Oh, we are upsetting the pundits and the red masses, Billy.

I don't know about you, but some of my red social media friends were quite telling yesterday. To have a "SOUTHAMPTON" (yes, in capital letters) post after the second goal indicates to me that at the very least, we have gotten under their skin again.

Terry Farrell
65 Posted 26/10/2020 at 19:51:02
I'm not sure why Delph didn't start in midfield instead of Sigurdsson. He has looked decent and fitter than previous outings. He has nouse and keeps the ball. Put Gordon in for Iwobi and his pace will assist Dominic. Kenny in at right-back and we can take the Barcodes.
Derek Knox
66 Posted 26/10/2020 at 19:52:03
Ray @ 59, you failed to include: any team playing in red are exempt from such Draconian anti-cheating measures. 😜
Billy Roberts
67 Posted 26/10/2020 at 19:55:45
Danny @64,

I don't know if you were around for the 1985-86 season? We pissed quite a few teams and managers off early on that season, a big brawl at QPR was a high point.

I loved it, we didn't give a fuck, and we carried on not giving a fuck for reputations, records, pundits, the red (devil) loving press or away fans etc.

Let's kick the Hornets' nest, we never got decisions anyway, where did that get us?

Of course I want to see us win in style, but I want us to be single-minded and win ugly as well. I want us to have what it takes to stay top.

Darren Hind
68 Posted 26/10/2020 at 20:02:32
Billy Roberts.

In the words of Maurice Chavelier.

Ah Yes... I remember it well.

John Pierce
69 Posted 26/10/2020 at 20:21:01
PT. it's an excellent point. Digne had already probably got himself a yellow, with a ugly swipe seconds before. The way he tracked Walker-Peters down would have sub-consciously entered the referee's calculation. I believe, looking at it from the point of appeal, that wouldn't figure.

He landed on his calf and the lad's stride pulled him along. If he's been sent off for serious foul play, I'd expect it to be rescinded.

However, if the red card is for endangering an opponent, I wouldn't bother because he did just that. Fingers crossed.

Danny O’Neill
70 Posted 26/10/2020 at 20:39:40
Oh Billy, that was my time. I was 14 years old going on 15. Being born in 1971 I was probably the first generation that had grown up knowing nothing other than a lack of trophies and red domination.

Yes we upset the media and other teams. Remember 84-85 and how we "ruined" the anticipated and much wanted Tottenham title charge?

You hit the nail; that team could fight as well as play and had strength of character. You have to have all of those ingredients to be successful. It's not about ability alone just as it's not about desire alone. Either on its own will only get you so far as we have seen in recent years / decades.

We're showing signs that we are travelling in the right direction. There will obviously be bumps and any team, no matter how good, will lose matches. But, with the pretty much national hysteria following the derby and reaction to us losing yesterday, we are clearly bothering people again.

Carlo is right to call it out, even if we all generally agree with the decision. Nice little Everton we no longer are and that is already irritating the pundits and red-tinted media.

Billy Roberts
71 Posted 26/10/2020 at 20:54:28
Danny @70,

Well said, I'm glad you were there for the ride!! I was a year older, but at last we had something to be proud of.

How great would it be to see 14-15 year-olds today revelling in it.

Kevin Molloy
72 Posted 26/10/2020 at 21:03:09
The more I think about yesterday, the less inclined I am to make excuses. They are bang average, they scored two laughably easy goals, and then, for the next hour, we did not lay half a glove on them. Nothing, flat as a pancake.

There is a world of difference between yesterday, and the bite of our previous gamess. It was almost unwatchable, and if I hadn't been watching the Everton of the last five years, I would have been thinking "What the hell is going on?" – but we've seen this vapid surrender many times before. Southampton should have scored five yesterday.

I've been thinking on what is wrong. I would say it is the difference between tactics and strategy. I heard Carlo's son described as a tactical genius. And that sounded an immediate alarm bell. It sounded too much like Silva. Tactics for individual games can be effective, but what about when you get them wrong, or they are successfully countered.

That's when you want your strategy to be the bedrock for your performance. Your style of play. I get the feeling that, if our tactics don't work, we are a busted flush. I also don't like how, if you take one or two players out of the team, the whole system falls apart. That is the opposite of a good team.

David Pearl
73 Posted 26/10/2020 at 21:23:50
Terry 65,

l was pleased Sigurdsson started over Gomes, he deserved it. I would have also played Delph over Allan.

We know our best 11 and, when all fit, on the pitch and firing, we are a match for anyone. As it is, we are obviously carrying some injuries. You can see it in Allan and James for a start.

Carlo by now should know who he can trust so l was disappointed in our manager as much as the team... he didn't do much to show he wanted anything other than to keep the score as it was in the second half. No change of shape or tactics.

Next up, l want to see a back 3 and James, if fit, in the middle as he can't rely on Godfrey linking up with him so he has to receive the ball central.

At the moment, l trust Sigurdsson and Delph (if played in their correct positions) but l don't trust much else off the bench. Which adds further to me scratching my head as to why we let Walcott and Kean go on loan when they would have been used to better effect than those used Sunday.

Let's not go back to performances of last season. We have 1 game a week for the next while, for fuck's sake.

Brent Stephens
74 Posted 26/10/2020 at 21:32:51
John #69 isn’t the alternative violent conduct rather than endangering opponent? Though it probably amounts to the same thing.
Barry Jones
75 Posted 26/10/2020 at 22:43:12
If you look at Man City or Liverpool, every single player presses and works hard on and off the ball. We have players simply incapable of doing this, particularly Sigurdsson. You cannot compete at the top level carrying players like this.
Jay Harris
76 Posted 26/10/2020 at 00:09:55

Carlo realised he had made the wrong team selection and tactics and made changes in the second half and ultimately went 4-4-2 to counter their strange setup of 4-2-2-2.

Iwobi and James should have had a field-day against 4-2-2 but, because Godfrey was scared of getting caught out, he hardly ventured forward in support and James was not himself and doesn't do defence.

But it was the other flank where we had real problems because Iwobi couldn't keep the ball, never mind do anything with it, so Digne was left in no-man's land on frequent occasions.

Because they played so narrow, our midfield couldn't get a handle on the game either and Sigurdsson decided to have one of "those" days.

We drew the second half 0-0 and were getting better at the end but it was a bad day all round.

I am also very disappointed to hear fellow blues saying Digne "raked" his studs down Walker-Peter's ankle. He did no such thing – it was purely a coming together that happens every week in the Premier League.

Today, I noticed Lamela get away with a studs-up launch at the Burnley player which didn't even gain a foul from Michael Oliver and the TV people just washed over because it's Spurs and Mourhino. They even laughed about the fact that Mourhino has told his players they need to be absolute bastards.

And so the media bias continues...

Jim Bennings
77 Posted 27/10/2020 at 08:57:20
Jay @76,

I don't think I've ever seen Iwobi have a field day against anyone mate lol.

It's crazy but I remember him being half decent at Arsenal in some games I watched but here he just looks like a player that can't control a ball, has no end product and doesn't look like he will ever nail down a place in any one position.

I can't get my head around why certain players start their Everton careers okay and then completely spiral into the abyss. Bernard is another example, linked beautifully with Lucas Digne in his first season here under Marco Silva but, for about a year now, he's just looked like a football is completely alien to him.

Dave Abrahams
78 Posted 27/10/2020 at 09:42:05
David (73), James can’t rely on Godfrey linking up with him, maybe not, Godfrey absolutely can’t rely on James to give him any help when defending, Godfrey had a poor game in his first start and playing in a position he wasn’t used to.

Then David you say you would trust Sigurdsson if played in his correct position: you criticise a young lad playing in his first start but defend an experienced international who seldom puts a decent shift in and hides from the game.

Kevin Molloy
79 Posted 27/10/2020 at 09:56:28
your reason for why we lost though still concerns me. It shouldn't matter what set up Soton have if we are even a half decent team. And it shouldn't matter if our tactics don't' work either. if we are any good we get hold of the ball and wear them down. The alternative is that we have to have better tactics and cuter selections for each game and that seems far too flimsy a basis for success.
Bobby Mallon
80 Posted 27/10/2020 at 16:15:52
I keep mentioning this kean went because he wanted to go and Walcott went because we wanted his wages off the books simple as, let’s not look at these transfers for blame let’s look at our players now and get them firing.

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