Everton take their excellent record away from home to Old Trafford where they have only won twice in the Premier League era when they face title-chasing Manchester United this Saturday.
The Blues partially atoned for their awful display against Newcastle last week by beating Leeds United at Elland Road in midweek and they will travel along the M62 hoping to pull off another big win that would put them back into the conversation for Champions League qualification.
They will come up against a United side who smashed Southampton 9-0 on Tuesday evening to stay within three points of the Premier League summit. Granted, just like their hugely dramatised 6-1 reverse to Tottenham at the beginning of the season when they had a man sent off very early in the game, Southampton were reduced to 10 men after only two minutes and they lost Jan Bednarek in the second half after which another three goals were scored.
So, while it makes for a daunting scoreline and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men will surely take great confidence from it, it's a result that should be viewed in its proper context.
Nevertheless, as already mentioned, Everton's record in Manchester is not good and they have lost to United twice already this season, first in the League and then in the Carabao Cup, and deservedly so on both occasions. This time will hopefully be different insofar as Carlo Ancelotti's side will want to make amends for those two performances and, again, they've been flying in matches on the road in recent weeks. Indeed, they haven't lost away from home since losing at Newcastle on 1st November.
They also avoided disgracing themselves on their last two visits to Old Trafford, grinding out a creditable 1-1 draw under Duncan Ferguson last season and losing narrowly 2-1 in controversial circumstances in 2018-19. (The less said about the 4-0 drubbing suffered under Ronald Koeman in September 2017 the better.)
Perhaps the biggest question in the run-up to this fixture is what — if any — changes Ancelotti should make to the side that started at Leeds. With United's talent and movement, particularly up front, it's a game that will likely pose similar challenges to Wednesday evening, albeit with the obvious need to stifle Bruno Fernandes.
An unchanged line-up would, of course, mean no place for James Rodriguez, a notion that seems almost laughable. Alex Iwobi performed adequately at Elland Road and he would be the obvious one to make way but it would necessitate a tweak to Everton's approach given that the Nigerian is faster and better at tracking back. On the other hand, James is James and if that notorious hole on front of right-back that United exploited so successfully in November can be addressed then it would be hard to leave him on the bench again.
Everyone else has earned their place and even if Jordan Pickford had been passed fit for this one, it would have been a surprise to Robin Olsen dropped given his vital exploits against Leeds. A clean bill of health for Allan might have been a different situation, however, as he would be best suited to shackle Fernandes but this game comes too soon for the Brazilian.
Prior to their dismantling of Saints, United had won just one of four League games either side of a 3-2 win over Liverpool in the FA Cup. They were held by the reds at Anfield and by Arsenal at the Emirates a few days after Sheffield United shocked them by winning 2-1 in Manchester. They have been close to full strength in recent weeks and are expected to be again this weekend.
Kick-off: 8pm, Saturday 6 February 2021 on Sky Sports
Referee: Jon Moss
VAR: Andre Marriner
Last Time: Manchester United 1 - 1 Everton
Predicted Line-up: Olsen, Holgate, Mina, Godfrey, Digne, Doucouré, Gomes, Rodriguez, Sigurdsson, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin
Reader Comments (248)
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1 Posted 05/02/2021 at 13:30:02
It will be interesting what different looks like. Maybe either Holgate or Gordon holding and trying to overload the midfield area.
2 Posted 05/02/2021 at 14:26:48
However, water under bridges and all that, it will be interesting to see how much of Lyndon's projected team will actually start. I have been reading that Allan is very close to return, and possibly available for this match. Which beggars the question do you change (barring injuries and suspensions) a winning side?
Having said that, we were almost a Jekyll and Hyde side again against Leeds, first half dominant, and well worth the two goal lead, second half almost complacent, allowed Leeds back in, and without Olsen's heroics it could have been a different story, thankfully it wasn't. We still lack that killer instinct!
3 Posted 05/02/2021 at 14:27:04
4 Posted 05/02/2021 at 14:29:50
Midfield of Richie, Doucoure, Sigi and Digne
James playing just behind DCL
As Lyndon mentions keeping Fernandes quiet will be a key point and I think Sigi can do that.
Our away form has so far been excellent so no reason not to be confident tomorrow.
Please please keep switched on especially the opening 10 minutes of both halves. We seem to take a while to get up to speed
5 Posted 05/02/2021 at 14:34:08
I'd put Keane next to Mina, Godfrey at LB, and push Digne up to LM.
I'd actually put Rich on the bench and he can come on as an impact sub.
6 Posted 05/02/2021 at 14:35:36
A better home record requires a better attack - and possibly also the return of an intimidating crowd.
7 Posted 05/02/2021 at 14:39:49
Manchester prefer to play on the break so we will probably play that bit deeper and make things difficult for them. If Sheffield could take 3 points from their visit so can we.
8 Posted 05/02/2021 at 14:44:48
Would settle for a point largely
Wouldnt put any passengers from the start (Gomes, James, sigurdson) but not for dislike but because tomorrow we wont see much of the ball and well have to run a lot.
My team would be
Olsen; Holgate, Mina, Keane, Godfrey; Richarlison/Iwobi, Davies/Delph, Doucoure and Digne; King and Calvert Lewin.
Anyway Im pessimistic about it really. They have loads of talent everywhere (future champions for me) and Fernandes always seems to get to free spaces against us.
Allan is not ready for it Carlo said in press conference. If thats a mind game then my hopes would change. But it would sound weird.
9 Posted 05/02/2021 at 14:55:24
Everton take their excellent record away from home
Everton and excellent in the same sentence, amazing. Maybe the manager has something to do with it, because the previous few didn't.
10 Posted 05/02/2021 at 14:56:29
Personally I think he could keep his four centre backs defence with Doucoure and Gomes in front, then a three of Richie, James and King behind Dom up front. Aim to burn Utd with pace by using space behind their full backs in fast breaks. Itd be wonderful if we could really get at them and see what happens. However, Carlo could vary it so much it's almost pointless trying to predict the team.
I just hope whoever plays they turn up for the full 90. We can't afford passengers or a generally relaxed attitude. Everyone will need to be quick and sharp, or else Carlo will start shouting again!
11 Posted 05/02/2021 at 15:01:18
Solid back four and plenty of threat.
Looking forward to this one.
12 Posted 05/02/2021 at 15:03:30
13 Posted 05/02/2021 at 15:04:09
14 Posted 05/02/2021 at 15:04:28
Before the RS eroded our status and City started to dismantle theirs this was always the biggest fixture in the Northwest so our lot need to puff their chests out and not be intimidated.
I see Harry Maguire has already started the mind games by suggesting DCL is over physical. Lets hope he embarrasses the big lump of shite tomorrow.
I never thought I would say this but Gomes did so well on Wednesday I would give him a run again tomorrow and although I feel Siggy has been the subject of over the top criticism this season he should sit this one out because he does not suit a fast paced game.
I thought Godfrey looked better at LB than RB but its a tossup between Coleman and Holgate at RB.
So for me it is
Coleman Kean Mina Godfrey
Iwobi (King) Doucoure Gomes Digne
15 Posted 05/02/2021 at 15:08:11
Ancelotti while confirming Olsen starts in goal has said that he will rotate, so it will be interesting to see which team he selects. I know sometimes this season after the team has been announced some posters have critisized the selection predicting a walkover for the opposition, but quite often what seemed like a strange selection has often come up trumps. So whatever side Carlo picks I am hoping it will have the desired effect.
16 Posted 05/02/2021 at 15:13:30
We have played them twice and lost... and, if we don't change, we will lose again.
17 Posted 05/02/2021 at 15:21:46
18 Posted 05/02/2021 at 15:22:10
Not too sure on Holgate Vs Rashford... asking for a penalty and free kicks near the area. I'd prefer Godfrey on the right, Keane and Mina in the middle and Digne on the left.
Can see Davies coming in. Gomes was excellent, but does he have it in him to play again? Him, Doucoure and Sigurdsson to close space in the middle (unless Allan makes a surprise return).
Then it comes the tricky part and depends on how we set up to play. Iwobi, Richy, And DCL would provide more protection - Iwobi giving support to the righ back in tracking Rashford and Shaw. Maybe rest Richy, have James focus his link play with Digne.
Ancelotti said 'we need to try something different to the other games, or we will lose' so will be interesting to see what his plan is.
Utd have surprised a few, but as a team they are dependent on 'magic' from their star players. There is no distinct way of playing. So long as we neutralise the main players, play with discipline, we can win this.
Their defence leaves much to be desired, so DCL can certainly get a goal.
But part of me can see this finishing 0-0.
19 Posted 05/02/2021 at 15:36:38
Most teams try to do this and one or two will succeed and get a result but just look at what happened to Spurs yesterday.
They sat back, went behind and never recovered, all down to Mourinho's mismanagement of the game.
If Everton come out with a positive attitude they can surprise Manure just as The Blades did.
The midfield needs to be up for this in order to get any reward and unfortunately that is the area where we are most inconsistent.
20 Posted 05/02/2021 at 15:40:57
For the rest of the team I would like to see King included. How that is to be done is in the capable hands of Ancelotti and I rely on his choices.I do think we have to be positive and we have a genuine chance of getting something from the game. This league is so inconsistent that NO result should be too surprising.
PS Please keep OLSEN so I can watch the game without being constantly on edge watching TWITCHY PICKY.
21 Posted 05/02/2021 at 15:42:19
This group of players may never have a better chance of Champions League qualification and all the money that brings to the club to assist squad improvement. I know that every game is different and we have to set up to counter the opposition but surely these players sense what could be achieved this season just like the fanbase does? If we fail, then make sure it's not through lack of effort.
More performances like the two against Newcastle just will not do. I genuinely believe that EFC fans are the most knowledgeable in the game and whilst we appreciate the School of Science mantra we also worship our Mick Lyons, Peter Reid types. I think we now have a couple of those as well.
Apart from Man City, there is nobody else to fear in this league so let's have a go in every match and see where it takes us.
As for tomorrow, watch for the diving in and around our penalty area and get after Maguire and Lindelof and we have a good chance of victory.
22 Posted 05/02/2021 at 15:42:24
23 Posted 05/02/2021 at 15:47:50
24 Posted 05/02/2021 at 15:48:55
25 Posted 05/02/2021 at 15:51:01
26 Posted 05/02/2021 at 15:51:49
27 Posted 05/02/2021 at 15:53:53
Man Utd pass it very well and we will need a strong midfield to break up it, additionally pace on the flanks for counter-attacking that will give us a chance.
28 Posted 05/02/2021 at 16:03:37
The Southampton game was an abberation in that respect but the two red cards and dubious refereeing obviously contributed to that. I think there is a decent chance this one will end in a 0-0 bore draw.
29 Posted 05/02/2021 at 16:03:47
31 Posted 05/02/2021 at 16:08:31
32 Posted 05/02/2021 at 16:12:09
My team is:-
Godfrey, Mina, Keane, Digne
33 Posted 05/02/2021 at 16:18:54
There was magnificent history of the games where we saw Best, Charlton and Law as well as Young, Ball and Harvey over the years and then they just left us behind. I don't want to see a back four of 4 central defenders, I want to see us play really well.
The tactics may well be based on not losing rather than winning though and they have been beaten by teams going there and parking the bus. I trust the coaches to pick the best team for the day and I hope for the win.
34 Posted 05/02/2021 at 16:23:02
Personally, I think we need to have James on the pitch as his ball retention and passing ability more than make up for his lack of tracking back. Ideally he'll have a free role so that tracking back doesn't become an issue.
If I had to pick a team, it would be:
Holgate, Mina, Keane, Godfrey
Richarlison, Doucouré, Gomes, Digne
On a separate note, it's interesting how the FA have chosen to stay silent on Martial's dive despite them rescinding the red card for Bednarek. No retrospective action necessary apparently. Not even for a man that has plenty of previous.
35 Posted 05/02/2021 at 16:25:51
And that's the extent of my analysis.
36 Posted 05/02/2021 at 16:27:34
Sometimes the emotion of these occasions can have an adverse effect either through being overly pumped up or emotional. Think us when we played United at Goodison the day Howard Kendall died. I think that effect us.
Totally different scenario, but sometimes emotion can have an opposite impact on what you expect it to.
37 Posted 05/02/2021 at 16:30:49
Listening to Ancelotti he plays different players, and different formations against different opponents. I suppose that is why when his team selections are announced with a couple of players omitted from the previous game there are howls of indignation of that team will never work.
No matter who he picks there will be the usual negative comments before the start. Personally I try to keep an open mind, and try to leave it until after the game with the comments,and even then I get that involved mentally during the game my comments are sometimes incorrect.
I always wonder how many other supporters wife's say to them " I don't now why you watch them if you get that upset " or you better calm down your blood pressure is going through the roof ". Amazing, living 4'000mls away watching on a TV screen, 80yrs old and still getting as emotional when I stood on the terraces. The only benefit I have is I can go out the house and walk around the block to calm down.
Lived in Canada since 1976, shudder to think how much it's cost to go back for games, even to Europe with the help from friends. Have a Canadian Citizenship but still call Liverpool Home but always say I am going back to watch Everton.
Funny experience after I got married : my wife is Catholic and I am Church of England " after a couple of nuns came around to ask me to change my religion and failed, they sent reinforcements with a priest, he came in and said I here you will not change and I said that's rite I am staying an Evertonian. He laughed said so am I and much to my wife's disgust all we talked about was football.
38 Posted 05/02/2021 at 16:41:59
Interesting to see that Jon Moss is joing Harry Maguire to referee the match tomorrow, if anything to go by though Maguire will make most of the decisions, slab head could talk the ref into red carding Mary Poppins.
We need to just make sure we sit deep again tomorrow, give them nothing easy nothing cheap and if I was offered a point now I'd snap hands off.
39 Posted 05/02/2021 at 16:45:54
40 Posted 05/02/2021 at 16:49:16
it's a long time since we were in that position.
41 Posted 05/02/2021 at 16:58:40
Me and my wife had the same experience with the priest at St Francis Xavier, trying to persuade my wife to change her religion. My wife told him she was happy as she was, she was getting instructions off the priest as we were getting married over in a Catholic Church so I could go to communion during mass. You couldn't get communion if you didn't get married in a Catholic Church in those days.
When we were getting ready for our 50th wedding anniversary a few years ago, I suggested (jokingly) “Shall we get married over again?”
She replied, not even jokingly, “No thanks, twice has been more than enough, but thanks for asking.”
“Please yourself,” I said, “I won't be asking again.”
“Thank God for that!” she said.
She can be very hurtful at times, my wife, broke my bleedin' heart that.
42 Posted 05/02/2021 at 17:01:26
43 Posted 05/02/2021 at 17:02:55
If Carlo plays Sigurdsson and Gomes together in this one I will totally respect his judgement and recognise that I know fuck-all about football compared to him and settle back to enjoy the game.
If he doesn't play them, that's all right by me too, of course.
44 Posted 05/02/2021 at 17:05:21
46 Posted 05/02/2021 at 17:06:49
Errrr yer wha?
Did you miss out the “teen” after the four??
47 Posted 05/02/2021 at 17:07:25
48 Posted 05/02/2021 at 17:08:29
49 Posted 05/02/2021 at 17:09:09
50 Posted 05/02/2021 at 17:13:24
Opposite to you, I'm the Catholic in the family, my wife is Methodist and my mother was Church of England. I believe she got a visit from the Priest from St Christopher's in Speke pretty much instructing her that her children had to be christened Catholic and that I was to be Daniel, not Danny.
I like you am now living away; not quite Canada, London. But Liverpool is home. I think I've said this before, but I loved Kingston in Ontario. Great place.
51 Posted 05/02/2021 at 17:22:34
Trying not to go there. The debate about negativity on team selection almost caused civil war on the post Leeds thread after a very good win.
Only Evertonians! Let anyone claim they are more passionate than us!!
52 Posted 05/02/2021 at 17:33:35
Dale #39, I don't use pins for my Alex doll. I use a cigarette lighter. That's how the bastard's face got so red. And his nose has that slightly melted look. This voodoo stuff really works.
53 Posted 05/02/2021 at 17:33:48
54 Posted 05/02/2021 at 17:41:14
I expect the pace to be a bit less frantic than at Leeds so hopefully James will start. If we are serious about getting to the top four, these are the games we have to start winning.
55 Posted 05/02/2021 at 17:44:23
One of my top 5 happiest Blue moments ever. The legend of Baby At The Back Post:
56 Posted 05/02/2021 at 17:44:50
Then we have to win the physical battle against Fred and McTominay. We'll need Doucouré and Gomes on top form to win that battle. This then leaves Fernandes to deal with, and frankly I don't see anyone doing a job on him, unless he plays Holgate just in front of back 4. Fernandes just floats where he wants to, causing mayhem in last game against us. It leaves them with Greenwood or Pogba; if Greenwood, then Digne will need to be sharp, but with Richarlison's support, he'll be taken care of. If Pogba, then again a floater to deal with, somehow.
What I'm leading to is that, if we play defensively, then we have to play:
Olsen, Godfrey, Mina, Keane, Digne, Iwobi, Gomes, Doucouré, Richarlison and Holgate. This leaves space for Calvert-Lewin... ie, leave Rodriquez and Sigurdsson out. Can we score without Rodriquez? Yes, if we can just win that centre-midfield battle, we can create.
Or we go for them and drop Holgate and Gomes, replace with Rodriquez or Sigurdsson playing in the No 10 role. Rodriquez is a luxury player who can't, won't defend, or cover... brilliant when we are on top in any game, won the midfield battle and looking to create. Against a team which will come at you with pace, energy (similar to Leeds), he just can't dictate play. So sorry, James, you're out.
57 Posted 05/02/2021 at 17:47:09
Sick to death losing to these utter prima donnas!
58 Posted 05/02/2021 at 17:49:55
59 Posted 05/02/2021 at 17:56:29
Everton's defence could have been made stronger if Branthwaite was not allowed to go out on loan because he is a proven EPL centre half who already has earned Blackburn 7 points from 3 games with just one goal conceded. Last season Branthwaite played well and was MOM.
Proven players should never got out on loan they are too valuable when other players can get injured and suspended. By all means, the manager should send out players on loan who have not proven themselves enough such as Gordon, Kenny and Baningime.
60 Posted 05/02/2021 at 18:01:58
61 Posted 05/02/2021 at 18:03:03
Godfrey Mina Keane Digne
Iwobi Doucoure Gomes Richarlison
Very tight call between Gomes and Davies for the second central midfield slot. Holgate and Godfrey can be swapped if Fernandes needs sorting out, Ben is the man to do it!
62 Posted 05/02/2021 at 18:03:28
Re Branthwaite, how is he a proven EPL centre half? How many full games did he start for us? Potential yes, but proven CH, think that's stretching it a bit.
63 Posted 05/02/2021 at 18:12:23
Provided it is in the form of a Bayonet (still technically a type of knife) attached to an AK 47!
Simples! Bring it on. :-)
64 Posted 05/02/2021 at 18:16:14
And back on topic: Steavey #59, how can Branthwaite be a "proven EPL centre half" after just 4 EPL appearances, in two of which he was subbed off, and only one of which we won?
65 Posted 05/02/2021 at 18:26:10
Jesuits Dave. Very difficult
Should have gone the Friary. Fr. John hard as nails, local lad and would have understood
66 Posted 05/02/2021 at 18:26:49
I'll deffo have a little nibble there
67 Posted 05/02/2021 at 18:26:54
68 Posted 05/02/2021 at 18:33:33
69 Posted 05/02/2021 at 18:41:32
70 Posted 05/02/2021 at 18:41:40
71 Posted 05/02/2021 at 18:47:05
72 Posted 05/02/2021 at 18:47:41
Well overpriced imo.
Im taking the 5s generally available.
73 Posted 05/02/2021 at 18:55:15
Godfrey Keane Mina Digne
Doucoure Holgate* Gomes
James DCL Richarlison
* probably too soon for Allan.
Holgate is a committed, strong, tenacious player and he has a winning mentality. I want him in the team. Alternatively, I think Tom Davies has been doing Ok there.
I think James has to start ahead of Iwobi. James will not be overawed and will take the game in his stride. He could make all the difference tomorrow. Carlo could introduce Iwobi for the last 20-30 mins for him.
74 Posted 05/02/2021 at 18:57:43
I think is going to be a difficult game and the pressure will be much felt by the Red devils as they will try to repeat what happened at the last two meetings between us.
But the blues away record is quite intimidating and too scary for the Reds. I see us winning the battle if we can tame Fernandes led midfield.
Let the team remain focus and make use of all our chances.
I predict 2-1 victory for Everton.
75 Posted 05/02/2021 at 19:05:38
Genuiny intrigued to understand the viewpoint though.
76 Posted 05/02/2021 at 19:10:31
I agree, tough game tomorrow.
Like yourself I am looking forward to the game.
Its a game we can win, its a game I think we will win
77 Posted 05/02/2021 at 19:13:45
Off topic: Zidane crying for respect, Kloppy taking a cheap swipe at Pep, Mourinho pleading that spurs are doing their best...We are not in bad shape to make a run at these nervous tits.
78 Posted 05/02/2021 at 19:21:53
Hi Dave I live in Sussex New Brunswick been here since 1986 lived in
Saskatchewan before that. I have a granddaughter who lives and works in the Gravenhurst area, and hope if this pandemic allows get us to get up there in the fall, You have a true blue living near you, John Boon, He lives in the Niagara Region I don't now if you have ever been in touch. Never come across or met anyone with Everton clothing on in N.B.
79 Posted 05/02/2021 at 19:21:57
80 Posted 05/02/2021 at 19:26:29
Based on what? The idea that he should be able to play it because he's a good tackler?
Maybe we should put Mina in goal, because he's taller than Picks or Olsen and will cut out crosses better. Or Keane at striker because he can score so well with his head.
82 Posted 05/02/2021 at 19:31:33
83 Posted 05/02/2021 at 19:35:07
84 Posted 05/02/2021 at 19:37:06
85 Posted 05/02/2021 at 19:38:06
This game is tailor made for Sigurdsson in the number 10 in a 4-2-3-1. Although that would mean leaving James on the bench again.
Utd will control the game so quick counters with Richarlison, Iwobi and DCL making runs are the way forward.
4-4-2 when defending, 4-2-3-1 when attacking, centre midfield holds its position.
86 Posted 05/02/2021 at 19:38:11
Olsen seems to be much more relaxed maybe not as agile getting down quickly but definitely a steady pair of hands which is what we need against the Mancs because one daft mistake could cost us the 3 points
87 Posted 05/02/2021 at 19:45:45
I was not in the army, and missed being called up when I was 18 as I was serving an apprenticeship. The call-up finished I believe in August or September 1961 and I missed that as my 21st birthday was in October.
The closest I got to the armed forces was my apprenticeship as I was a heavy duty mechanic, and all the vehicles we repaired were military, from Land Rovers to Thorneycroft Antars that were used to tow Queen Mary trailers that carried tanks. I went to Canada on a job offer.
88 Posted 05/02/2021 at 19:46:02
Possibly switch between the two based on being in possession and having to defend
89 Posted 05/02/2021 at 19:50:33
He's never once put a word wrong about us, a model of grace and humility and a fabulous Blue.
90 Posted 05/02/2021 at 19:51:15
Would be great to win on the weekend. I was noticing some TW ers talking about SFX and tough priests etc. The Jesuits had nothing on the Christian Brothers. I went to St Edwards where it was difficult to go through a week without being battered with the strap or whatever else was at hand.. However I actually smile about it when my grandchildren complain about getting a detention. No one EVER went home and complained.
As a teen I often went to away games on my bike. Always round trips to the likes of Manchester, Blackpool, Bolton and one crazy trip to Burnley when I got stopped five times for not having lights. I was usually with other loony teenage Blues.
One more time.PLEASE WIN ON THE WEEKEND. My wife is like Bills. She has asked me to warn her when Everton are playing so she can go out for a two hour walk to escape the insanity.
91 Posted 05/02/2021 at 19:56:01
92 Posted 05/02/2021 at 19:59:15
King made the bench against Leeds and was brought on for the last 10/15. Hardly how Carlo & crew would handle a player "totally out of condition"?
93 Posted 05/02/2021 at 20:04:21
94 Posted 05/02/2021 at 20:06:00
I have to disagree with the level of punishment being harder at St Edwards.
The Ferrula (A leather strap with whalebone inserts) was the weapon of choice by the Priests at SFX and believe you me it stung like hell for hours.
We used to have a pal running the hot and cold taps in the bathroom so we could rush in for some relief.
95 Posted 05/02/2021 at 20:12:23
96 Posted 05/02/2021 at 20:21:08
Back to the game. The Leeds game was a good experience for the Utd game as I don't think their are many other team in the league, who press as hard as Leeds for 90min. Their problem is they get everyone involved and leave themselves weak at the back for counter attacks.
We have to put the same type of effort in as the Leeds game but keep it tight at the back. I have said before its great having the skills but it is wasted without the effort. Another 3pts please these sh----t pundits are already on about how great Chelsea are under new management
97 Posted 05/02/2021 at 20:25:51
It's not like I was a trouble-maker at School - far from it - but at least twice I took the rap for someone else. The teachers didn't seem interested in justice, but someone had to pay for a misdemeanour. To this day, I burn with indignation whenever I am accused of something I didn't do.
On a lighter note, I do recall that the Christian Brothers had a block of season tickets at Goodison, so they can't have been all bad. And a Guinness tanker used to arrive at the School every week, to top up the supplies!
Ah well, these days I watch Everton games here in Brazil, where I've been for the last 10 years. My better half knows when to leave the house, as I scream blue murder at the screen when Everton are playing. The thing that gets me going most recently is our inability to retain possession for more than 3 passes or 10 seconds..
98 Posted 05/02/2021 at 20:33:16
Please stop this play him in centre mid stuff. He played once there and had a good game but hes a centre half. Steve Watson got a hat trick once but he was a full back and went back to full back as fast as we could shift him.
99 Posted 05/02/2021 at 20:37:23
4-5-1 could close all the gaps around the penalty box and hit on the counter.
Sound simple? Or not? Let's see what Mr Ancelotti comes up with this time.
100 Posted 05/02/2021 at 20:41:56
if I got 4/1 I would go for it. Don't want to set up a new account, though.
101 Posted 05/02/2021 at 20:50:00
102 Posted 05/02/2021 at 20:52:21
Newcastle scored their first goal at Everton when Keane and Godfrey were missing from the line up. But when Godfrey was restored to full back against Leeds, not only did he play well but made a goal for Calvin Lewin to head home.
Branthwaite only played 4 games last season because he was only signed in January 2020 and then played when the EPL resumed in the summer because of covid. But Ancelotti had no hesitation naming him on the subs bench for a player such young. Yet, in those games he showed he is comfortable on the ball and makes defending look relatively easy. It should also pointed out, Everton have dipped into the championship to find gems most notably Tim Cahill and Lescott.
At the moment, Branthwaite is now that gem at Blackburn, who could have been used as games mount up for Everton in the next couple of months when surely both Mina and Keane will get injured, need a break or get suspended.
103 Posted 05/02/2021 at 20:56:49
105 Posted 05/02/2021 at 21:19:28
Mason Holgate's best position could very well be at centre-back; however, only a fool would break up the Keane and Mina partnership now they are doing so well.
I believe that young players need to play for them to progress and us to progress, we have lost far too much young talent in recent times by buying them and then not utilising them a great deal... think Vlasic, Barkley, Lookman, Kean etc. We could very easily have lost Mason at one point also too.
Talented young players want and expect to play; if they don't, then they will fuck off elsewhere or at least go to where they feel wanted. I want Mason in the side as things stand and want him and us to progress.
You talk about Watson and his hat-trick against Leeds, well actually this proves my point, Steve was a good footballer who again was versatile precisely because he was a good footballer. In actual fact, he was a rather average full-back because, for all his footballing nous, he lacked pace and few fullbacks excel in the more modern game in that position without pace or very strong players around them.
Watson was a footballer in much the same way as Holgate: both are or were versatile. What he was not necessarily was a nailed-on fullback. His showing upfront proved that as did his performances for Everton on the right-hand side of midfield; he did at least equally well in those other positions mentioned.
106 Posted 05/02/2021 at 21:24:17
107 Posted 05/02/2021 at 21:26:34
Steavey #102, I have no doubt at all that Branthwaite can become a top Premier League centre-back. Right now I think he's much better off playing for Rovers than sitting for us, and Carlo obviously feels that way or he wouldn't have loaned him out. We have more than adequate cover at centre-back and across the back line right now.
108 Posted 05/02/2021 at 21:39:21
Thanks for getting back to me. It's great to know there are a few blues close by! I even bumped into one up a mountain in Vancouver with his EFC bobble hat on!
If you ever feel like sharing your happiness or pain, my email is davidbcooper1952@ Gmail.com
Hope it is safe to put that information on TW.
109 Posted 05/02/2021 at 21:50:05
If teams come with a quick wide player then the right side will come down to Seamus or Holgate but Seamus whilst still a decent player has seen his best days particularly as a raiding full back.
However, Digne has shown he is an asset raiding down the left and his crosses are really good and then there is Godfrey who is a real find.
If we can only get some real steel in the midfield on a consistent basis then I think next season could be really fruitful.
They have some talent in that area and James is playing better but if they can get a Roy Keane or Peter Reid type in there then it would make a difference.
When Alan and even Gbamin get 100% fit again then we may even see a difference this season with some luck.
The addition of the experienced King is another reason the second half of the season bodes well.
The games this month will be tough to get points from apart from Fulham but there have been several surprising results elsewhere so why not a few more.
110 Posted 05/02/2021 at 22:08:09
I think part of our issue about retaining possession and always being in a sort of panic mode is that the crucial central midfield position has been compromised since Allan's injury. For that position, a team needs a lynchpin; a tough, resilient and confident footballer.
Carlo said he has considered Holgate playing there, also Godfrey before the Leicester match, but chose Davies. I would like Holgate there ahead of Davies as he is more of a fighter and more physically dominant and intimidating than Tom. I think he would add a bit of solidity and stability to the midfield.
I think Carlo has already set the precedent with this, though, and Davies will start there. I think Tom has been better this season and his overall game is improving and he's reading the game a bit better, so I won't be disappointed with his inclusion.
Anyway, next week, Allan will be back, and that will be that.
111 Posted 05/02/2021 at 22:19:41
Just make sure Godfrey is the one sweeping up. Keane and Mina the markers who go for the header or marke the man, Godfrey covering the space and danger.
112 Posted 05/02/2021 at 22:22:15
Dither, drip and dodge, as we did in the League Cup against them, and we will lose.
All in the mind, every game. That's why the so-called "negatives" are the "positives", of course. We don't smooth away the tameness with vague references to future windows and patience. We expect and demand the win and the courage, every single time.
Vacuous optimism is a charter for defeat, as we have painfully witnessed over the last several decades and beyond.
It can be done, without excuses.
113 Posted 05/02/2021 at 22:25:39
Let United hype up the press and worry about us. If we can get good deliveries in and at the right time, to this box, and flanks, and play to Evertons strengths and keep their defence turning then Everton can win.
Gonna be interesting to see the starting shape and who starts, but United have not been as good at home as they are away.
Looking forward and Everton, to get stuck in and take no crap, from United. Let them know we are their and squash their space, and counter with belief.
114 Posted 05/02/2021 at 22:33:39
I would broadly agree with all you have said but I do think the ability to retain possession (and work very hard off the ball) is very important and is not really being improved on or addressed despite having better players and what would seem to be a better manager.
I think you are right to commend Tom Davies; he has been quietly impressive at times this season and is seemingly and hopefully on an upward curve as I think he needs to be given the competition we now have in the squad.
I do feel that having a 4-1-4-1 formation could very well work well for us and could allow Mason Holgate, Allan and Doucouré to occupy the three central Midfield spots. Although Allan would be in my best starting eleven, all things being equal, I would caution against changing a winning side just to accommodate a player returning from injury after a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
I certainly do not think that either Sigurdsson or Gomes should be considered again in the defensive midfield slots assuming the 4-2-3-1 formation that Carlo often seems to favour.
115 Posted 05/02/2021 at 22:39:56
Honestly, I'm not trying to be argumentative here, I just don't see it.
116 Posted 05/02/2021 at 22:41:41
Danny O'Neill, is your judgment of Kingston, Ontario based off the strip club there or the scenery? It's one of those towns/cities I've been to a few times but remember only short flashes.
117 Posted 05/02/2021 at 22:44:57
Holgate has not, in fact, been playing very well technically, and I am a great admirer. Godfrey is a wonderful prospect but he has much to learn about his all-round game even as a defender; he has precisely no record as a premier league midfielder.
If we're going to do well tomorrow, it will not be through the medium of fantasy.
118 Posted 05/02/2021 at 22:51:14
119 Posted 05/02/2021 at 22:52:07
Did have some good socials there. Princess Street I seem too recall was where a lot of the good bars were / are.
120 Posted 05/02/2021 at 22:52:33
121 Posted 05/02/2021 at 22:54:34
Obviously, Ben has to play but, given that Man Utd are dangerous down their left-hand side, I thought it may be prudent to push Godfrey over to the right for this reason and this game as an attacking right-back for us but to hopefully also to nullify them down that left flank.
I have no issue with Godfrey playing centrally as the lad is a diamond and in my opinion, our best and most important player, and we do lack pace at the back centrally without him which is why I thought Holgate sitting as a defensive shield in front of the back four could work. I think if Godfrey is not played at right-back, then I would forget completely about any notion of James playing on the right side of midfield. Basically, we cannot have enough Ben Godfreys in the side!
I would tend to agree totally with Tony Hill #112, it is all in the mind; we have to believe we can win and take the game to Man Utd (like we did against Leeds) and work very hard throughout, particularly closing down when we do not have the ball. That includes Calvert-Lewin; if Marcus Bent can do it, then so can Dom!
122 Posted 05/02/2021 at 22:58:28
123 Posted 05/02/2021 at 23:06:22
Jarrad Branthwaite is the 2nd youngest centre-half to play for Everton in the Premier League. The youngest was Richard Dunne who made his debut in 1996 when 17 years and 3 months — who went on to have a great career.
124 Posted 05/02/2021 at 23:10:53
Yes, Fernandes is a big player for them and gets away with murder against us! I am not so sure that the same would be true if we wade into Bruno as you suggest we should... but maybe Mason could be the very man to try and at least give it a go!
I would worry about Gomes defensively (if he plays) given the seemingly endless amounts of free-kicks he gives away when trying to defend, many are far too close to our goal for my liking!
Still, if he does play, hopefully, he can continue on his positive showing against Leeds, putting that horror (sideways) pass on the edge of our box to one side of course!
125 Posted 05/02/2021 at 23:28:35
The longer it stays 0-0, the better chance we have of winning the game late on. The pressure is on them to get 3 points. I just hope Ancelotti picks the right team with enough going forwards.
126 Posted 05/02/2021 at 23:29:21
But I don't think we do that playing Holgate shielding the back four. Not if the danger is coming down their flanks. I think your other comment is right; take the game to them and peg them back on the flanks.
I think we have to be brave and go for it. Win trying to win. Lose or draw trying to win.
In honesty, it's the good problem we now have. We have 4 centre-backs that we would be comfortable with regardless of which 2 are selected. But that doesn't mean we have to find a place on the pitch for them just because they are all available.
Hopefully by the start of next season, we have the same issue with the midfield and then (dare I say) the forward line. Good teams and squads give themselves selection problems.
We have plenty of midfielders available tomorrow. No need to play a defender there, in my opinion.
127 Posted 05/02/2021 at 23:29:23
Still, if the fates are feeling kindly towards us, those fine margins will see us take the points and we are back in the mix. COYB.
128 Posted 05/02/2021 at 00:14:55
Team same as Leeds except King for Richarlison – sorry, lad, you're just not doing it.
129 Posted 05/02/2021 at 00:16:16
I liked and totally agreed with your comment about being brave and trying to win the game, whether that results in a win, loss or a draw. I very much feel too that we have to leave it all out there, precisely what we did not do against Newcastle. That performance was unforgivable in my opinion and it really cost us.
I was advocating a 4-1-4-1 formation and, given that Carlo often plays a 4-2-3-1 formation, I really do not see my formation as 'not going for it' at all; I see it as having one less defensive midfielder from the usual two and having strength and numbers a little bit further up the field.
I have seen both Mina and Keane (somewhat surprisingly) carrying the ball well out from the back; I just think that having two defensive midfield shields blocks things up rather at times and we end up playing too much dangerous tight football with very little margin for error in the wrong areas.
I feel both Mina and Keane can continue to exploit space in front of them, safe in the knowledge that Holgate would drop in for them were possession to be lost.
We could and probably will go 4-2-3-1 yet again and the '2' could very well be Gomes and Sigurdsson; that to me would be pointless; although they are both 'midfielders', they most definitely are not good, strong defensive midfielders. Sigurdsson 'hides' too often when playing in the defensive '2' and Gomes gives away too many stupid free-kicks in very dangerous areas – that much I totally agree with Mike Gaynes on!
Anyway, all the best Danny, hopefully, we will both be happy at 10:00 pm Saturday night, regardless of who plays and in what formation!
130 Posted 06/02/2021 at 00:59:13
131 Posted 06/02/2021 at 01:38:28
132 Posted 06/02/2021 at 02:27:32
We would also have a pretty strong bench with Mason, Sigurdsson, Coleman, Davies and King to bring on. As long as we can keep them at bay from scoring in the early stages, I think we have a chance of hitting them on the break. Keeping my fingers crossed for at least a draw. COYB.
133 Posted 06/02/2021 at 02:40:44
3 at the back with Iwobi and Digne as wingbacks. Doucouré with either Gomes or Davies in the middle, James in the centre in front of them, Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin up top, with King being on the bench to shake things up.
If it isn't working for James, Sigurdsson comes on.
134 Posted 06/02/2021 at 03:04:31
135 Posted 06/02/2021 at 03:14:57
Yep, I knew that, and I can't wait to see him develop. I genuinely believe that he and Godfrey are the centre-back pairing that can take us to a Champions League quarterfinal in 2023. I doubt, however, he will compete for a starting role even next season at age 19 -- I don't see any of the 4 centre-backs ahead of him leaving this summer.
I always wished we had kept Dunne and given him a better chance. My dim memory is that Walter just never trusted him and finally shipped him out around 1999, although I don't remember why. I'm sure others here will.
136 Posted 06/02/2021 at 03:57:34
Branthwaite and Godfrey will be formidable one way or the other. Both are exceptionally gifted, mentally and physically.
Apart from Rooney, Godfrey is the Everton player whom I have found most exhilarating in 50 years (I hold a special place for James but he operates on his own terms). Prior to that, I would only advance the names of Vernon, Young and Ball as having an equivalent effect.
Godfrey has a mark of potential greatness upon him and, above all, it looks as though he has no demons in his way. Jay Wood mentioned him in the same breath as Duncan Edwards and Tony Kay. There will be those who scoff but I think those comparisons are not foolish.
Easy does it, he is one-footed and has no passing game yet, but we are very lucky to see him in our colours.
Branthwaite is fascinating but is not as immediately impressive as Godfrey. He'll get there, though, in his own calm way. Delighted to see him unaffected by Warnock's nonsense.
Credit to Brands, huge credit.
137 Posted 06/02/2021 at 05:00:08
138 Posted 06/02/2021 at 05:07:54
139 Posted 06/02/2021 at 05:49:44
There is no doubt in my mind that, but for the Munich tragedy, Duncan would have dominated English and international football for generations.
140 Posted 06/02/2021 at 05:56:57
Yes, I think that may well be the team selection. The only modification would be I would like to see Keane drop off and play the old sweeper role to mop up. I think it would stymie Man Utd and as Keane is not blessed with pace, anyone getting through to him has to go through a defensive three first.
Such a change in tactics never used anymore, would frustrate Man Utd, I feel... Should be interesting but I have a good feeling about this one.
141 Posted 06/02/2021 at 06:01:58
As for Davies, I'll give him his due – he's the only one brave in possession who plays on the half-turn and at least tries a forward pass even when it gets us in trouble.
Sorry, this new Sigurdsson and Gomes love-in doesn't convince me yet. They have been anonymous for a long time. Prove me wrong.
142 Posted 06/02/2021 at 06:30:50
Tony Kay I can speak about and Ben has the same hard intent.
He looks special from any angle, doesn't he?
144 Posted 06/02/2021 at 07:19:47
I fear (as others have pointed to above) that Shaw and Rashford would tear up our right-hand side. If James plays then it must be in the floating No 10 role, we must protect ourselves down that side and James offers nothing.
Iwobi as right-wingback with 3 at the back might offer something going forward (Digne would be an outlet) and the three midfielders would have to cover, I'd play The Duke, Gomes and Davies.
145 Posted 06/02/2021 at 07:56:04
Again, I don't see this being one for the purist, but again, I think those bookies are sticking their chins out a little too far.
I suspect our odds will shrink still further and Evertonians continue to go to the well which has served them so well this season.
Biggest game since Ancelotti got here.
146 Posted 06/02/2021 at 07:56:22
Like many, I think Godfrey is great buy but he's a youngster so let's not put too much pressure on him. I'm afraid there are too many blue supporters who will quickly criticise with a mistake... and he will make them.
Keep it simple tonight and I'm confident we can beat them. 12 hours to go so it's going to be a long twichty day. Come on, Everton.
147 Posted 06/02/2021 at 08:43:36
That is some accolade for young Godfrey.
I wonder what those coaches at Sheffield and Middlesbrough make of their reject now? With his attitude to defending, speed and agility, he reminds me of a young Jagielka.
With Ancelotti saying that they have to do things differently tonight, I wouldn't be surprised to see Godfrey do a man-marking job on Fernandes.
James has to play – he is too good to sit and watch Iwobi contribute nothing.
Coleman Keane Mina Digne
Doucouré Gomes Godfrey
Rodriguez Calvert-Lewin Richarlison
148 Posted 06/02/2021 at 08:56:39
I suppose Gomes might be switched for Davies after all the running at Elland Road but expect otherwise unchanged. As for experimental defenders in midfield suggestions, I just can't see it happening.
I don't think we need to do anything too fancy, the key thing is to be compact and keep concentration.
149 Posted 06/02/2021 at 09:08:03
Without getting too carried away, Man Utd have shown, despite their expensively assembled squad, that they can be vulnerable, especially at home. Sheffield United proved that recently. I know it doesn't always work like that, but surely, if they can get a result, we can.
150 Posted 06/02/2021 at 09:12:24
151 Posted 06/02/2021 at 09:18:43
Not sure on what basis this is our biggest game since Carlo arrived? I think they're all big games.
152 Posted 06/02/2021 at 09:24:36
I agree. We need someone to play sweeper just like Franco Baresi did in the great Milan side which included our own Carlo Ancelotti.
It was so effective. Maybe someone will explain why we don't see it deployed anymore?
153 Posted 06/02/2021 at 09:37:15
154 Posted 06/02/2021 at 09:43:31
You would expect some rotation with Coleman, Keane and James rested against Leeds but who comes in and who drops out is anyone's guess.
Maybe Digne plays left mid and Richarlison on the right, and though not his best position, he will keep Shaw occupied. It will be a brave call to include James for this one as it means defensively we play with 10½ men. It will be a massive statement winning this game.
155 Posted 06/02/2021 at 09:47:57
I'd revert to the solid 4 centre-halves and push Digne into left-midield. Either Sigurdsson or James will have to miss out; my money's on Sigurdsson.
Their midfield's pretty strong so I expect they'll have most of the ball but, if we play at the tempo we started with at Leeds, then that will unsettle them and they have to play at their speed to be effective.
I fancy us to get something tonight.
156 Posted 06/02/2021 at 09:49:12
Having a lot faster centre-back to try and challenge for the 2nd ball is as close as we get to the traditional sweeper.
157 Posted 06/02/2021 at 10:01:01
It will be made all the better if my bet comes in. Being the obsessive gambler I now am since discovering betting apps, I stand to be £6 more wealthy by this evening!
158 Posted 06/02/2021 at 10:10:35
159 Posted 06/02/2021 at 10:12:03
But, as that system gets found out, we may see teams revert to deeper sweepers behind the defensive line. I loved watching Mattias Sammer as a traditional sweeper in the 1990s. What a player.
160 Posted 06/02/2021 at 10:16:22
My team for what it's worth:
Holgate Mina Godfrey Digne
Iwobi James Richarlison
Strong defence but the ability to take the game to them too! Not sure we can just defend against Man Utd at home.
161 Posted 06/02/2021 at 10:21:05
162 Posted 06/02/2021 at 10:21:08
163 Posted 06/02/2021 at 10:25:19
164 Posted 06/02/2021 at 10:26:58
The German's do have a rich history in that particular position. They've generated some great sweepers over the years.
165 Posted 06/02/2021 at 10:37:51
Your move, Red Shite!
166 Posted 06/02/2021 at 10:37:57
Personally I like the team Stephen @160 suggests, although maybe give Yerry a rest for Keane.. Bring him, Sigurdsson, King (and maybe Allan?) back in for Spurs through the week.
Come on, you blues!!
167 Posted 06/02/2021 at 10:44:30
We have already seen Godfrey and Holgate play in different positions and James has played wide right or more centrally, and Sigurdsson has played in a couple of different positions. The big advantage in doing this is it allows the manager to change a system mid-match and know the players are comfortable to do it.
I never ever try and predict what team will play but what I do know is, despite some fans having reservations over certain team selections, that whichever team or system Carlo uses he has got a lot more right than wrong.
168 Posted 06/02/2021 at 10:51:48
For me, Rodriguez has to play in a fixture like this but we need someone in midfield who is on the same wavelength as him, so Gomes gets a start for me. Actually he is a certainty – the manager said he was the best player on the pitch vs Leeds.
I like our 4 centre-backs back-four set-up but this is not the game to be sitting back. If we do, they will wear us down. I think we have to have a go at them.
At the same time, I do think Godfrey has the stamina and brains to play in front of the back four and drop back when Coleman or Digne get forward. So here Is my line up:
Coleman, Keane, Mina, Digne
Doucouré, Godfrey, Gomes
Up the Blues!!!!
Edit: Rob Dolby #147, I didn't steal your line up – honest – it was timing.
169 Posted 06/02/2021 at 10:57:30
Brian, I posted earlier wondering whether some of the playing of players in different positions in the U23s is more significant than previously and whether this is developmental? Maybe Carlo is prompting that?
170 Posted 06/02/2021 at 11:08:43
Wait, they don't need it! I will be amazed if we get even a fair match. Here's to hoping for another Don masterclass, 1-2.
171 Posted 06/02/2021 at 11:21:15
He will bring his forwards back to defend. He will employ forwards and midfield players as wingbacks. He is happy to push midfield players to full-back (Tom Davies), stick midfield players up front (Sigurdsson). Basically you play where he tells you to. It's his way or the highway. Ask Stoichkov, Zola, or even Baggio...
Those who remember him as a player will remember that, although he was slower than a week in a gaol, he could give top class performances in several different roles. He likes players who can do the same. He expects his players to be able to do more than one job.
His signings would support this. Doucouré can sit, he can play box-to-box, he can even defend. James could easily come in from the wing and play No 10. Godfrey can play anywhere across the back four... and Allan? ... well, he can tackle anywhere on the pitch. I thought his selection at Leeds was ultra-defensive, but we attacked in numbers throughout the first half.
I also read his comments about Josh King with interest. He basically said he didn't sign him for his goals alone, it was for other qualities he expects him to bring.
I hope last week's hindsight merchants don't curb the comments on today's matchday thread. I like to read all comments "positive or negative" (whatever that shite means). It's as close as we are going to get to sitting in the alehouse before the game.
One thing we know (or should know) about uncle Carlo is, just because he selects a full-back, it doesn't mean he will play at full-back. Like others, I expect Digne to be the latest example of that today...
172 Posted 06/02/2021 at 11:27:34
Apologies. I hadn't read the comments and didn't realise you had already made the point. You put it better than me too – bastard!
173 Posted 06/02/2021 at 11:30:15
The first game was – who'd have predicted it? – marred by poor officiating and, as seems to be the case more or less every week, Fernandes stayed on the pitch when he should have had a second yellow and been off.
Without getting conspiracy-theory minded, I do find it astonishing the number of times this season that Man Utd have benefited from contentious decisions, both referee-wise and VAR.
I think it's just a case of which Everton turns up tonight. If we play as we know we can, and have seen at times this season, we can certainly beat them. The other big question, as alluded to by Lyndon, is what you do about James.
Being an Evertonian often feels like being in an abusive relationship – you never quite know if you'll end the night with love and kisses or a black eye. Please send us to bed happy, Blues.
174 Posted 06/02/2021 at 11:41:41
175 Posted 06/02/2021 at 11:57:04
Thanks for the sweeper views. Its a shame that it has become a redundant position due to changing tactics. Some of the best players to have graced the game have played that role.
I suppose the role has now been taken by the defensive midfielders but somehow the sweeper always seemed to be a more cultured type of player.
Tonight I would play the team that won at Leeds and I would designate a player to man mark Fernandez. He is very dangerous and he makes them tick.
176 Posted 06/02/2021 at 12:00:47
Manure are not unbeatable and have their off days much like Everton..
If the real side of Everton show up then we have a chance providing of course DCL and Richarlison play up to snuff.
City are the thoroughbreds and it's now shining through although without De Bruyne they are not quite as effective so I reckon both games will be draws.
177 Posted 06/02/2021 at 12:01:04
Everton face a huge period after the United visit – with games against Manchester City and Liverpool scheduled only three days apart.
But Ancelotti said: “No problem for this. We have to play two games against City and Liverpool.
“Sooner or later we have to play them so it doesnt matter if both of the games are really close.
“Its an important period. In the moment physically we are good.
“We will have Allan back next week so we will have all the squad back. We can manage this period well.”
178 Posted 06/02/2021 at 12:19:26
I'm always optimistic that we play better against the big boys and I think our manager need to adopt that optimism as well today.
Put out our strongest available midfield.. Gomes, Doucoure, Iwobi, James and Richarlison.. and play further up the pitch like we did first half on Wednesday.
179 Posted 06/02/2021 at 12:20:29
What a gem we had in the 80s in Ratcliffe. He played the sweeper role whilst playing in a flat back four!
180 Posted 06/02/2021 at 12:33:28
181 Posted 06/02/2021 at 12:34:55
The drilling of players to play in different positions, in different systems and to play a different game is definitely the Italian and continental in him.
Although this contradicts many of ours' frustration at "square pegs in round holes" at times (myself included), that's how they bring through their players on many parts of the continent. They purposely rotate players around the pitch to give them experience in different positions. The theory being you never know how a player will develop both physically or technically so ensure they can adapt to a different position as their final settled one might not be what they were good at when they were 14. We have more of a tendency to shoehorn players into a specific position at a young age, so they struggle when asked to play out of position.
So rotation and asking players to do different things is just in their DNA for. Imagine what he'll be like when he has more options!
Anyway, today. Who knows?! I anticipate we will not attack them as we did Leeds (despite my "brave" shouts earlier). But then I didn't think we would go at Leeds like we did in the first half, so I'll sit back wait and see what happens!
182 Posted 06/02/2021 at 12:44:05
No back 3/5 nonsense with 3 centre backs and wing backs. Flat back 4, please. Digne is happier playing his default position. Carlo trusts the Mina-Keane combo. Godfrey continues to delight the Italian.
For that reason I foresee Godfrey at right back, Mina and Keane the centre backs, Digne left back.
To accomodate James, I don't think you can play him with Siggy and Gomes together from the start. Given that Carlo called Gomes as his personal MoTM v Leeds, AND that the Portuguese is better suited to play deeper than Siggy, I expect the Iceman to give way to James for the #10 role. Richy and Iwobi on the flanks. Doucoure at the base of midfield and DCL up front.
183 Posted 06/02/2021 at 12:48:25
Reading of the game and anticipation more important than pace for a sweeper for me. That's why I wouldn't advocate Keane for that role.
184 Posted 06/02/2021 at 12:50:23
I thought you summed up perfectly what I was trying to say, with a lot more individual analysis than I did in my post. Surely you meant to show some respect to my age so in future Mr Bastard please.
185 Posted 06/02/2021 at 12:57:53
Having said that, we cannot play worse than we have in the previous two games against this lot. And if I was a United player, I would have mentally banked the three points for today after the way the first two have gone. And after their ridiculous nine nil I think they will be a just a little bit complacent. And as such, I think we'll thrash them.
186 Posted 06/02/2021 at 13:17:43
Very interesting your analysis of the sweeper system and how it has changed. Ancelotti varies tactics and formation alot and he likes player to be adaptable to different roles.
This is essential in the Premiership where tactics that to beat a Top four side one week can unravel against a bottom three side. You are right that a sweeper system could be part of the mix as well, just to get those extra points to challenge at the top of the Premiership.
Our neighbours are not above use bottom three shut up shop tactics when they us, with a bit of bover boy as well. Then they cry for months when Everton innocently and inadvertly defend the ourselves.
It is noticable that blamely Everton for their current form is running a bit thin and the Prancing clown has lost it.
187 Posted 06/02/2021 at 13:17:48
My daughter plays football, and from aged 7 she has had to play in different positions, and not in her preferred position, this is due to the FA rules/ guidelines that players learn about all positions.
One of her friends plays for Birmingham City kids, she is 10 I think, and they are the same.
It looks like the English game is also going the same way as you mentioned how they rotate players at a young age in Europe.
188 Posted 06/02/2021 at 13:22:29
Got that off my chest, I dont know who Carlo will pick, I hope Iwobi is not one of them, I wouldnt trust him, dont know how he stayed on the field so long the other night, even “ Smile awhile” got dragged off before him, so there you go Iwobi will be selected and have a stormer, hope he does,hes had some decent games and some stinkers,how will he play tonight? Anyway we have Josh King in the squad and I think he will get some game time and hopefully use his pace and aggression to unsettle the United defence.
189 Posted 06/02/2021 at 13:34:46
They gave rest to a few players at half time and sent on a few attacking players for defensive options which was brave but paved the way for a threshing.
We had a long, hard fought battle but shown resilience and other than a couple of players we should be fresh for another battle.
The easiest way to stop Utd is put a sitter on Bruno, or Pogba if no Bruno. They both get frustrated if not involved. Siggy or Gomes to push him deeper. Then its defend the channels and crosses and quickly attack in number's like against Leeds.
We have to keep up that energy and fighting spirit we shown. Leeds are frantic, Utd attack in waves and numbers but defensively can be exposed as they come forward.
Keeping Godfrey in the side is a must and I was surprised to see him up for a corner, that we scored from, as he's or only pacey defender. No one else can catch Utds forwards on a break away.
190 Posted 06/02/2021 at 13:36:22
Unpredictable. That's Iwobi Dave. It can even be an asset on occasion. If our own players and fans don't know what he's going to do next, what chance do the opposition have?!
191 Posted 06/02/2021 at 13:38:31
192 Posted 06/02/2021 at 13:38:52
"Madrid was the time I most enjoyed but at Everton I was at my best. England is great, how they live football."
If that was his best I would hate to see his worst. Still, a good read considering the level he is playing at now Royston Drenthe: ‘People kept calling and then the animal inside comes back
193 Posted 06/02/2021 at 13:41:22
194 Posted 06/02/2021 at 14:02:27
195 Posted 06/02/2021 at 14:37:46
Eventually I believe this work will allow better cover for individual runs but also encourage coordinated runs of multiple players advancing This is what is missing from our possession game. So often the passer has limited options because players are anchored to defensive responsibilities thus the safe pass that creates no space occurs. It will take a while and at least one more speed acquisition but I believe the foundation is being laid.
196 Posted 06/02/2021 at 14:38:46
Yes and yes. Both, in my view, are just plain stupid. Drives me nuts.
197 Posted 06/02/2021 at 14:51:50
When central why doesn't anyone make a last second dash down the wing into space and create a better angle for a cross.
On corners, if Mina started making a run from outside the box towards the back post who's going to stop him without committing a clear and obvious foul?
There are many changes and tweaks we can makes to reduce risks and create more attacking options from the most simplest opportunities. Look back at Leicesters many throw-ins that we struggled to defend. PANIC!
Lastly, any news on why we didn't get a penalty for handball against Leeds?
198 Posted 06/02/2021 at 14:53:26
199 Posted 06/02/2021 at 14:54:40
Ancelotti does it very well.
Squad is evolving now.
After the summer transfer window it will be Ancelotti's team.
Watch them go then.
200 Posted 06/02/2021 at 14:57:42
It all comes down to which team comes out with serious intentions about winning.
You cannot sit back at Old Trafford, take the game to them and use your best assets to give them something to think about. They got off to a flyer against a hurting Soton team but Everton need to be disciplined and focused, something they haven't shown too often this season,
Everton need to press them hard when they are trying to play the ball out from their own half because for sure they will do the same to our defence.
201 Posted 06/02/2021 at 14:57:48
Cue the whining Varuka from WIlly Wonka and the Chocolate Factory:
But I want to go NOW!
202 Posted 06/02/2021 at 14:58:58
I don't think we should press at all. I'd give them the ball, sit deep, soak it up with the Brick Wall Back Four, and counter.
203 Posted 06/02/2021 at 15:01:54
Who is Varuka?
204 Posted 06/02/2021 at 15:04:22
Another on the list of over-hyped English prospects. Useful to have around for now but moving forward we need better.
I get we have pretty much all acknowledged it is difficult to predict the line up and Carlo will do what he does. Not so much today, but as I've said elsewhere, all fit, I'm intrigued to see a 3 of King, James & Richarlison behind DCL with Doucoure and Allan behind those 3.
205 Posted 06/02/2021 at 15:05:08
I'm also thinking it's your fault - the 1 - 0 scarf for years of low scoring negative dross.
206 Posted 06/02/2021 at 15:08:42
207 Posted 06/02/2021 at 15:11:17
We need to push further up, a dogs of war style, not giving them space, or time to settle on the ball, go at them, and try to take the game to them, hard ask, but better than allowing them the freedom of the midfield.
If we sit back, they will pick us off, have a go and see how it unfolds.
208 Posted 06/02/2021 at 15:19:34
Been over 20 years since I watched that one.
Did you say you were from Kirkby mate.
209 Posted 06/02/2021 at 15:23:24
Did we play that game with Holgate-Mina-Keane-Godfrey as the back four?
210 Posted 06/02/2021 at 15:25:48
I'd not play Gomes in this game.
He'll give away a stupid foul on the edge of our box for the jerk Fernandes to hammer home a free kick.
But I trust Carlo.
211 Posted 06/02/2021 at 15:30:22
What will be will be. Us mortals will just sit back and enjoy or be infuriated with the ride!
212 Posted 06/02/2021 at 15:33:48
This is as bigger test as any.
213 Posted 06/02/2021 at 15:35:25
Godfrey, Kean, Mina,
Iwobi, Dacorue, Gomes, Allan, Dinge
214 Posted 06/02/2021 at 15:38:01
215 Posted 06/02/2021 at 16:06:31
Either way we struggle with them and for some odd reason its gone on years. Something myself and mates have always spoken about.
Careless is probably a better description than struggle actually but we do make a meal out of a lot of throw ins.
216 Posted 06/02/2021 at 16:28:02
217 Posted 06/02/2021 at 16:35:25
218 Posted 06/02/2021 at 16:36:48
Look at that in a different way though.
He doesn't track runners so hopefully Doucoure can run off him.
We can get three points here.
219 Posted 06/02/2021 at 16:45:34
Id prefer to solidify the midfield three with either Davies or Holgate in with Doucoure and Gomez. Richie and Iwobi in wide positions
Godfrey Keane Mina Digne
Iwobi Davies Doucoure Gomes Richarlison
But one thing is sure with Ancelotti hes not fixated on a system and is prepared to be flexible
220 Posted 06/02/2021 at 16:49:52
221 Posted 06/02/2021 at 17:01:20
222 Posted 06/02/2021 at 17:07:14
4-5-1 and we get a 2-2 score draw.
223 Posted 06/02/2021 at 17:09:45
224 Posted 06/02/2021 at 17:15:30
225 Posted 06/02/2021 at 17:20:19
Their midfield has come good since Fernandes turned up and whoever we put in against them needs to nullify them. I think the calls for Holgate to be tried in midfield sprang from two points of view; we need more athleticism and bite than we get from other alternatives, and Holgate is no longer primarily necessary for a secure back four. I think that idea has lost traction with Seamus increasingly showing his age.
I think our recent performances ably demonstrate that increasingly in our squad it is more about the application than specific players. Whoever gets the nod, I just want an all-in performance. COYB.
226 Posted 06/02/2021 at 17:20:27
Your boys are pummeling England at Twickenham
227 Posted 06/02/2021 at 17:20:54
It's so quaint and old-fashioned it makes me sniffle with nostalgia for the days when you could actually win silverware and make it into the Champions League by "getting stuck in."
Harold Wilson was PM, I believe?
228 Posted 06/02/2021 at 17:23:42
229 Posted 06/02/2021 at 17:38:35
When hes on his game, Sigurdsson does get stuck in. He just seems to lose his focus during games hence the constant stretching to reach balls passed his way.
230 Posted 06/02/2021 at 17:39:29
A lad I know recommends it, as each drink goes down the braver he gets.
231 Posted 06/02/2021 at 17:46:06
It means doing what lil' ol' Leicester did in 2016, Blackburn Rovers did in 1995 and Nottingham Forest did in 1978, namely winning the league despite next to no support in the media, given the "giants" in media favour, by consistent maximum effort underpinning huge desire.
Sadly, neither of these qualities have been much seen from us in recent decades.
232 Posted 06/02/2021 at 18:01:23
I get the need for commitment and desire but get stuck in is a phrase I would rather not hear. I don't think I ever heard it on the side of the pitch in Germany or Holland.
233 Posted 06/02/2021 at 18:09:14
234 Posted 06/02/2021 at 18:14:17
235 Posted 06/02/2021 at 18:14:20
236 Posted 06/02/2021 at 18:20:04
I'd have DCL playing off the shoulder of their full back allowing him to see the angles for a run at their defence.
A win here is cheshire cat stuff and the mind frame could be hitting new levels if it can be achieved.
I've seen United get desperate at home when they've been shut out and keeping them out early is essential. Easier said than done of course.
237 Posted 06/02/2021 at 18:20:42
238 Posted 06/02/2021 at 18:23:10
239 Posted 06/02/2021 at 18:23:12
240 Posted 06/02/2021 at 18:30:08
241 Posted 06/02/2021 at 18:31:56
Variety. Lol 😆😆
242 Posted 06/02/2021 at 18:38:55
243 Posted 06/02/2021 at 18:48:03
I like your lineup and the thought process.
244 Posted 06/02/2021 at 18:48:16
245 Posted 06/02/2021 at 18:51:21
Its so sad to see the modern footballer chicken out of any physical contact and, rather than make a tackle they try and flick the ball away from an oncoming opponent. Iwobi, for me, epitomises the lack of courage in todays game.
246 Posted 06/02/2021 at 18:53:03
If the attacking Everton turn up, with Digne getting forward, and Richarlison puts a shift in, then we have a chance.
No reason we cannot compete with them, but we have to as people have said, get stuck in, deny them room and time to think.
A bit like the first half of the Leeds game will do for me.
247 Posted 06/02/2021 at 18:56:20
248 Posted 06/02/2021 at 18:58:59
249 Posted 06/02/2021 at 19:01:39
Those home losses to West Ham, Leeds and Newcastle may be a proper cause of regret.
Still as ever lets be confident we can get something tonight regardless weve only won here twice in 30 odd years
250 Posted 06/02/2021 at 19:01:43
251 Posted 06/02/2021 at 19:02:41
Why do you have your kids play sport / football? Is it because they're good enough to get paid to play? Probably not. What's the percentage of youth players who go on to get paid? Like .5%?
You have your children play to learn one of the most valuable life lessons:
EFFORT. Read, "Get stuck in!"
Before you go all "Fancy Dan" with the step-overs and Cruyff's and all that jazz-hand shite, teach them to "get stuck in".
They'll be better off in the end.
252 Posted 06/02/2021 at 19:04:39
253 Posted 06/02/2021 at 19:06:38
An argument of how interpretive dance positively affects footballers?
Fuckin' hell man! 😜
It's cold outside. Maybe I'm compensating. I dunno.
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