Ancelotti looking at another summer of upgrades

Monday, 17 May, 2021 190comments  |  Jump to most recent

Carlo Ancelotti suggests that Everton don't have the personnel to play anything other than the defensively-solid game based on direct attacking play that he has employed for much of this season.

In comments made during his post-match press conference following last night's humiliating home defeat to relegated Sheffield United, the Italian remarked that he would need to address the shortcomings of his squad through the transfer market this summer, although much will depend on whether the club is in Europe or not next season.

The Blues began the season in red-hot form, averaging three goals a game in all competitions and storming to the top of the Premier League by early October. A gruelling season has taken its toll in the meantime and seen Ancelotti's team lose their way, particularly at home where they have won just once since the turn of the year.

Injuries had been cited as a key reason for Everton's dreadful performances but with all bar Yerry Mina back in the starting XI last night from the group that made such a strong start to the campaign, the Toffees looked lost as an attacking force against the Blades and went down to a 1-0 defeat that leaves their European hopes hanging by a thread with two games left.

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“We are more comfortable when we play direct but that is not the best style of play,” Ancelotti admitted. “We are a team with defined characteristics. We are strong without the ball and direct. I think one of the technical reasons [for] this home run is this.

“We don't have players of strong personality with the ball, strong quality with the ball. When we try to build up from the back we have some more difficulties because we play slow.

“We don't have the confidence with the ball compared to the confidence that we have without the ball.

“At home we have to try and play more attacking football but it doesn't work as well as direct attacking or counter-attack in the away games.

“It is really difficult to explain but I have to find a solution for this. Maybe, for next season, we need to try and have, for sure, a better squad.

“For next season, we are going to change. We have to analyse the season. Certain aspects are really good — away we did fantastic results, at home really bad. Double face.

“We have to try to win the two games and see if we are in Europe or not. If we are, we will build a squad to be in Europe,” he added. “If we're not, we'll build a squad to be better in the Premier League.”


Reader Comments (190)

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Neil Lawson
1 Posted 17/05/2021 at 16:12:18
Why is there the need for a separation of squads between Europe and the Premier League? I can accept that to progress in Europe may require a little greater depth of numbers. However, if you are shite, as we are, then you do not need the numbers because we will be out in the early stages.

Hence, what is crucial is a squad of players who are competitive and successful in the Premier League first of all!, and who can take a proper level of performance into European games.

You can not help but conclude that Mr Ancelotti sees Europe as more important. It may help him attract certain players but I seriously question if those are necessarily the types of player that we need.

It also leads me to question his motivation to manage a team of potential under achievers and his belief that he can improve them.

It is certainly a culture shock football wise for Mr Ancelotti. He has had more than a season now yet it is hard to see just what positives have been achieved. As bad as we were yesterday, Sheffield Utd were well organised, hard working and totally committed, and tactically quite astute. Why are we not organised like that?

A good and effective manager makes the most of what he has and organises his staff to get the best out of them whilst recognising their shortcomings whilst at the same time, constantly looking for ways to improve both individually and collectively. He doesn't just recycle the same personnel in the hope that something might eventually improve.

Hence, I am less than convinced by his comments.

Alan Johnson
2 Posted 17/05/2021 at 16:13:55
Loads of fans could have told you that months ago, Carlo. What the players really need is a kick up the arse, or drop them. We would sooner see a team of fighters than pointing strollers.

Anyone notice Godfrey's effort is waning a bit? This is what happens – the bad drag the good down to their level.

Frank Crewe
3 Posted 17/05/2021 at 16:18:32
@Neil: "A good and effective manager makes the most of what he has."

So presumably, since Sheff Utd got relegated and we didn't, their manager didn't get the best out of his squad?
Kunal Desai
4 Posted 17/05/2021 at 16:28:44
Address the pace, address right back, address central midfield (creativity) address another forward who will be competitive. Not another Joshua King.

Also address the age, no over 28 year olds. That would be a start.

Danny O’Neill
5 Posted 17/05/2021 at 16:28:56
Our squad is not good enough and doesn't have depth to cope when the few good players we have are out.

That's what he is saying. And with the players we have, particularly the defenders, we have little option to sit on the edge of our own box with a huge gap between the defence and the forwards.

I've been slated for suggesting we need a better centre back who can play confidently higher up the pitch to take the game to the opposition. I'm saying it again. Liverpool's midfield is / was pretty uninspiring. But when they signed St Virgil, like it or not, it made a difference. And look at them since Jordan took him out.

Thomas Richards
6 Posted 17/05/2021 at 16:31:40
A massive turn around of players required before we can hope to challenge top 4.

Players to stay and players to go :

Pickford: stay.
Holgate: go
Keane: go
Coleman: go (sadly)
Digne: stay
Iwobi: go
Gomes: go
Allan: stay
Godfrey: stay
Delph: go
Besic: go
King: go
Richarlison: go
Bernard: go
Tosun: go
Kenny: go
Kean: go
Doucouré: stay
James: stay
Sigurdsson: stay
Davies: go
Gordon: go
Bolasie: go

Imo, the vast majority of our squad are not good enough to play Champions League football.

Danny O’Neill
7 Posted 17/05/2021 at 16:36:09
Fucking hell Thomas (I'm swearing again, last night really affected me –I will go to Church tomorrow). At that rate, I need to polish my Beckenbauers and stretch my hamstrings.
Thomas Richards
8 Posted 17/05/2021 at 16:40:06
Do you disagree, Danny?

I genuinely believe you will never see any of the players I suggested go kick a ball in a Champions League match.

Barry Hesketh
9 Posted 17/05/2021 at 16:40:57
I think this squad of players, save a select few, have become unmanageable. They seem to want to play in whichever way that they see fit; they can try when they want to but only if they want to. I can't see any difference between where we were with Koeman and today, maybe a little more defensively competent.

The players generally know that they don't have to do too much to stay in and around the first team. There's nothing from below to take their place; they are not easily replaced by new additions and there's an outside chance for one or two to move on to bigger and brighter things.

Moshiri must be coming to the conclusion that Bill sold him a pup, and I wouldn't be surprised to see him try and palm it off to some other poor sap. He may not have enough money or the patience to continue to pour money into the team and a new stadium.

Staying in the Premier League has become the height of our ambitions and the players have shown that to be the case over a number of years under a number of managers. It's probably why the club keeps the ticket prices the same each year because they wouldn't dare increase the entrance fee to watch some of the absolute rubbish we've had to endure for a very long time.

It's time to stop believing in the project, as I don't see any signs of things being significantly different from what they have been for over 25 years.

Jim Bennings
10 Posted 17/05/2021 at 16:41:06
Carlo, please beg the board to back you to the hilt and make sure that Brands has his finger in more pies than Mary Berry.

We cannot go into another season playing Dark Age football with a team that can't attack or run with any great intensity.

Somehow we need to find a complete new dynamic down the right side.

We need a more creative reliable central midfielder that can carry the ball forward – not just pass sideways and backwards like all of our present midfield options.

If I'm being honest I'd say we also need another striker to put pressure on Dominic Calvert-Lewin or even displace him if a loss of form comes; as much as he has done well, he does miss as many as he scores.

We need an astronomical summer because another season of 10th or lower surely is unacceptable.

Pat Kelly
11 Posted 17/05/2021 at 16:47:12
This is beginning to sound a lot like the garbage we got from Silva:

"We don't have the confidence with the ball compared to the confidence that we have without the ball."

"At home we have to try and play more attacking football but it doesn't work as well as direct attacking."

Is it any wonder no one seems to know what's going on?

Danny O’Neill
12 Posted 17/05/2021 at 16:47:51
In the main I'm in agreement with you, Thomas.

I'd keep Davies as part of the squad. I'm intrigued with seeing what Kean could potentially do (still young). And as frustrating as he has been and in particular last night, I'd keep Richarlison.

Other than that, it shows the state of the squad.

Kieran Kinsella
13 Posted 17/05/2021 at 16:48:05
We can go one of two ways with signings. Buy young up and comers and hope they turn out better than the last lot (Bowler etc) or buy experience.

Many on here don't want the over-28s but Inter Milan built a championship winning team of thirty-somethings. Obviously they will need a rebuild but in the mean time they have a title. I suspect, Moshiri may favor that route with the stadium on the horizon as opposed to hoping our scouts have suddenly improved.

Robert Tressell
14 Posted 17/05/2021 at 16:49:57
As experienced as he is, I don't think Ancelotti realised how hard it is to manage a dysfunctional Premier League squad with a modest budget. Unfortunately we cannot afford the kind recruitment drive that will make us truly competitive. Next year will be better, I am sure. It had better be.
Danny O’Neill
15 Posted 17/05/2021 at 16:57:41
Always a balance of experience and potential for me, Kieran. Especially if you want to achieve something relatively quickly.

Robert, I have to believe it. I just hoped we could get over the European line this year. We still might. I'm doing it again.

Dave Lynch
16 Posted 17/05/2021 at 17:03:41
Reading between the lines.

"I'm going to wield a fucking big axe".

Jay Harris
17 Posted 17/05/2021 at 17:07:10
It seems to me the players put more effort in early doors when trying to impress Ancelotti and now they have returned to their normal half-arsed efforts. As somebody said this affects the best players too because they become demotivated.

Godfrey was a shadow of the player he has been previously. If we look at it over a longer period of time and managers the players Thomas has identified for the exit door look ominously the same.

We need craft and graft but many of them have neither and apart from Calvert-Lewin and Richar;lison (when he is on form) who would you back to score a goal.

Even Digne, for all his quality with his left wand, isn't a patch on Baines. Seamus fits the bill but his legs are now showing their age.

Michael Keane shows the concentration of a goat. Although Holgate and Allan failed to block the ball into the box last night, Keane stood and let it roll past him.

If we carry on with these players and their attitude and Ancelotti's passiveness, we will be relegated next season.

A monumental change is required in personnel, desire and attitude.

Michael Lynch
18 Posted 17/05/2021 at 17:09:51
Pat @11 my thoughts exactly. “We don't have the confidence with the ball compared to the confidence that we have without the ball" is possibly the most baffling, depressing and ridiculous thing I've ever read about our baffling, depressing and ridiculous team.

These are top flight professional footballers, several of them costing, or valued at, over £50M, and all of whom earning eye-watering sums. How can a £50M player pulling in £5,000,000 a year not have confidence with the ball? What the absolute fuck is he doing playing football for a living?

It's bit like saying a consultant heart surgeon hasn't got confidence with the knife.

Kieran Kinsella
19 Posted 17/05/2021 at 17:17:00
Michael Lynch

If and when Gbamin ever plays, he's another one whose game is about chasing about rather than passing, dribbling or attacking.

Dale Self
20 Posted 17/05/2021 at 17:18:32
Alright that's a start. I would almost have preferred a name or two but okay, the generic slam it is. If we have to, Bolasie or Besic, a couple of these, I'm not concerned. The transfer market may move when the bigs shuffle their discontents but the spectrum for Premier League talent is tight with a lot of competition.
Michael Lynch
21 Posted 17/05/2021 at 17:19:12
Kieran, we might never win the Premier League, but put us in a game of tag against any club in the division and we could match the best of them.
Stephen Brown
22 Posted 17/05/2021 at 17:22:54
All the players on the go list (I agree with by the way) will not attract many/any takers! We are stuck with them!

Some of them I'm not sure we could give away?

Plus any players we'd like to sign know our owner has biggish pockets so rips us off!

Anyone who is any good, would they want to come here? I doubt it!

Joe Corgan
23 Posted 17/05/2021 at 17:28:14
Sorry, Carlo, but I'm calling bollocks on this.

We were beaten by Sheffield United last night and it's not the first time we've been turned over by a team with significantly weaker individual players.

I won't believe for a moment that a team with Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison and Rodriguez can't player quicker, attacking football. Okay, Richarlison has been dog shit most of the season but we've seen, in the past, he's capable of much better.

If it's the central midfield that's too slow to play attacking football, then Carlo has to take some responsibility for that as Allan and Doucouré we signed on his watch.

I'm not saying we don't need to strengthen – of course we do, but saying that we need to sign players in order to improve on our performances this season is utter tripe. I'm a firm believer that a good manager gets the best out of what he has and Carlo simply hasn't done that this season.

Jay Harris
24 Posted 17/05/2021 at 17:37:10

That is a reasonable argument but how do you explain the failure of Martinez, Koeman and Silva not to mention Sam Allardyce who played to the players strengths and got average results with shit football.

One of my concerns is that there is a Kenwright clique undermining any change. Now that is pure speculation and I have no evidence of that other than the constant failing of the club since Moyes left and Moshiri took over.

It is time to stop changing managers and have a single sense of purpose led by one unified team and anyone, be they chairman or youth team coach, either gets on board or is left at the station.

Thomas Richards
25 Posted 17/05/2021 at 17:38:15

Good point, mate. The contracts they are on will prove to be an obstacle to moving them on. It won't happen in one season, we have to work them out gradually.

Jim Bennings
26 Posted 17/05/2021 at 17:43:42
I always look at certain situations and try to compare the probability or likelihood of a scenario.

I sat thinking to myself: "Would Carlo Ancelotti have taken over that Leicester squad in 2015/16 and won the title"?

"Would Carlo have taken over West Ham this season and strained every last drop out of a relatively small squad"?

I'm not sure I could emphatically answer Yes on either of those.

That's not to say he's not been a great manager in the past but I'm not sure he's ever built a team from scratch or had it in his armour to gee up a bunch of average players to punch totally above their weight.

Certain managers have certain strengths and weaknesses; Carlo has strengths that many previous Everton managers have lacked but he also has weaknesses where maybe other prospered.

Jerome Shields
27 Posted 17/05/2021 at 17:55:57
This squad of players and Everton backroom staff are not loyal to Ancelotti, and have Ancelotti by the balls. They realised that, if they got into Europe, that it would give him more power and changes would inevitably result both in the squad and backroom staff, workings and personnel. The fact is, if they finish 9th or 10th they are as safe as houses regarding their positions at Everton. ToffeeWebbers can draw up lists till kingdom comes, to no avail.

I expect more pressure to be heaped on Ancelotti in the remaining games. There will be a few transfers in, but it will not be enough to change the existing culture, which is supported and maintained by the structures and management of the club and its semi-detached owner.

At the start of the season, I really did believe that Ancelotti could achieve a Top 6 finish, but I now know I completely under-estimated the extent that those who are comfortable regarding the existing culture at Everton are prepared to go to maintain it.

They don't care a fiddler's fuck about the fans, are not embarrassed by performances, no matter how they go, and are prepared to hang the manager out to dry, no matter who he is. They have missed out on a baying mob at Goodison, calling for Ancelotti's head, which they would have loved.

I use to think that there where stalwarts within the backroom staff and among the players, having long ago given up on the club management, but I now genuinely doubt them all, including Big Dunc and Coleman. Big Dunc, like Unsworth, should be looking at managerial position in the lower divisons of the Football League to build his craft, and Coleman should be long gone to a silverware-winning club, if they both wanted to get on or were of any use. No matter who is going to be brought in, they will descend to the common denominator of low-down cheats that exist within the club.

Changing the manager will not make one iota of difference. It used to be that such cheats used to gravitate to the lower divisions but, in the Premier League era, they are able to stay in the Premier League, finding a home with a mid-table club or to steal a living on contract at a higher level club beforehand. Everton in the Premier League is the premier recipient of such trash. As for coaching staff, Everton is the equivalent of a retirement home.

The whole club needs structural and personnel changes to even give a manager of Ancelotti's calbre a chance. Two weeks ago, Moshiri had a meeting in London with Kenwright, Brands and Ancelotti. Ancelotti thought he got the full backing of the club, according to his subsequent comments. In reality, the rest where actually having a laugh once he left. Note the deafing silence from that quarter.

Barry Rathbone
28 Posted 17/05/2021 at 18:03:59
The reality of the job has hit him 20 months too late.

Sorry, Carlo old buddy, old pal... but I don't think there is a single manager who has wasted that amount of time at a mid-table outfit and gone on to succeed.

Complacency and a fair degree of ineptness have done for you but we'll always be grateful for the derby.

Tom Bowers
29 Posted 17/05/2021 at 18:05:35
We knew it would take a season or so for Carlo to appraise the situation and maybe it hasn't been quite what he alone expected.

Whilst it appeared from the very first game at Spurs he had assembled a team to be capable, it soon became evident that the squad playing to that strategy and managing to eke out some decent away results just didn't have the consistency to maintain it.

Offensively they were woefully weak with only Calvert-Lewin getting a decent tally. Richarlison, James and Sigurdsson chipped in very little and with King not really being used they proved they just couldn't score goals against even the mediocre of teams.

Everton's attacks broke down far too easily in many games leaving the defense exposed as even they seemed puzzled as to the ''Carlo'' system.

We can only hope that affirmative action is taken to get this sorted before next season but Richarlison needs a rocket up his jaxy and the way to do it is to drop him for an adequate replacement. I would like Danny Ings if he wasn't injury-prone.

Neil Copeland
30 Posted 17/05/2021 at 18:11:19
A big part of the problem to me is the constant changes being made by the club and the manager.

Firstly; Martinez was at least given 3 seasons to prove himself but since then the manager's position has been like a revolving door. I am not saying it wasn't necessary at the time but we need stability. To me, it is unlikely that Carlo would take us down so let's give him time to prove himself properly.

Secondly; Carlo doesn't help himself at times. Ye,s we have suffered with injuries but he has made constant changes when, at times, in my opinion, there has been no need to do so. He needs to bring in the necessary players and then play a settled team whenever possible so that group of players can get to know each other's game and mould properly.

Joe McMahon
31 Posted 17/05/2021 at 18:28:13
What goes on at Finch Farm in training sessions, we don't know, but particularly so many are ex-Everton players you think they would work out a different strategy is required.

First-team players don't seem capable to pass forward and move.

Mal van Schaick
32 Posted 17/05/2021 at 18:33:39
Ancelotti. You are the coach, you train and decide on tactics and formations, you select the team on matchday from the squad that you have available and you give the team talk.

If the team that you select on the day, carries out your instructions, and play the way that you have trained them to do, then why is that when we are beaten at home for the umpteenth time?

So, where has this strong personality and strong quality emerged from?

Now Ancelotti says that he cannot solve the conundrum of our home and away form and he says that changes will be made for next season.

The fans know who to get rid of and who to keep, and if the owners ambitions are to be achieved, I think that there only a handful of the current squad worth keeping.

Tony Abrahams
33 Posted 17/05/2021 at 19:06:43
How many games have Everton won, when they have been the team with less possession?

How many games have Everton lost, when they have first and foremost, not just concentrated on being hard to beat?

Slag the manager by all means but surely it’s not that hard to understand what he is saying though, even if I’m certain he could have done more to rectify this very major flaw that we currently have.

George Cumiskey
34 Posted 17/05/2021 at 19:07:12
I can't believe some people want to keep Sigurdsson! Well past his sell-by date.
Gerard Carey
35 Posted 17/05/2021 at 19:16:10
I think Roberto Martinez has been giving our Carlo lessons on stating garbage. All we need now is for Carlo to come out with "The team was in a phenomenal moment."

Stop covering your own back, Carlo. You're the manager – do something about it, besides chewing gum on the sideline.

Barry Hesketh
36 Posted 17/05/2021 at 19:33:06
Tony @33

If I had a bit more time and, to be honest, the inclination, I would try and give you that information; however, you'll have to try and seek out the answer in the link below. Hope it helps:

Everton Stats

Sean O’Hanlon
37 Posted 17/05/2021 at 19:47:29
If he's looking for a summer of upgrades, I suggest he gets rid of himself, for a start.
Tony Abrahams
38 Posted 17/05/2021 at 19:48:23
Thanks, Barry, but like yourself, I'd have to be very bored to read them!

It's simple really, I'd say all our best victories this season have been when we have had less of the ball. If Ancellotti believes what he's saying, the only problem I've got is why such an experienced manager has moved away from the tactics that have given us our best results? Especially when he knows we are a much better team when we are set up to play defensively...

Neil Copeland
39 Posted 17/05/2021 at 19:52:42
Tony, because, like the rest of us, he thinks we should have more than enough quality to beat the majority of teams who have beaten us at home. I don’t think he can quite believe it either.
Andrew Clare
40 Posted 17/05/2021 at 20:04:25
Just taking last night's game as an example. Man for man, you would say that we had by far the better quality players. With that in mind ,I would say the only difference in the teams was tactics, strong mentality and motivation. Who is responsible for tactics and motivating the team? The manager!

For Ancelotti to be surprised and embarrassed by the teams performance is mystifying, to say the least, as surely it is his job to have the players psyched up and ready to go.

Kevin Molloy
41 Posted 17/05/2021 at 20:05:52
Carlo brought in three midfielders last year, and they all played last night. So I'm not buying the 'We just don't have the quality' cos like, he was playing relegated Sheffield United.

Obviously he has hit upon a winning formula away from home, but the home form is on him. He needs to fix it, and that shouldn't mean, 'We will need another hundred million'. I wouldn't trust him with it even if we had it.

It's his tactics that are wanting, not the players. I'm not saying those players are any good, but my god James Rodriguez should have enough about him to better Sheffield United over 90 minutes.

Jay Harris
42 Posted 17/05/2021 at 20:06:20

Therein lies the problem. Carlo is only the overseer. He expects the staff at Finch Farm and coaches to give him feedback on players and help him decide tactics and matchplay.

I have always had the feeling more is going on behind the scenes at Everton than we know but I do know whoever is manager is constantly undermined and players (despite what they say) are not operating as a team.

It strikes me that, when Ancelotti first came, the players were out to impress but that did not last longer than a couple of months.

Who knows... but I hope Moshiri deals with this situation and seals the exit door on the Teary One.

Brian Wilkinson
43 Posted 17/05/2021 at 20:22:02
Thomas @6,

Overall, I agree mainly with you, the two exceptions are Sigurdsson who has another year of his contract left, so a possible till then, I would not be looking to extend his contract beyond next season.

Undecided with James, no doubting his quality and, like Sheedy, you can afford that luxury player, my concern is he misses way too many games, so 50/50 on that one.

The rest spot on.

ps: Where is Calvert-Lewin on your list?

Tony Abrahams
44 Posted 17/05/2021 at 20:22:44
He's saying he won't be able to fix it without better players though, Kevin?

Seriously, Neil, you would expect us to have to much quality for these teams, but Newcastle, Fulham, Burnley and now Sheffield United have played much more constructive football than Everton at Goodison this season. So, although it was horrible to watch last night, it honestly wasn't a total shock.

The shock was the lack of guile, the lack of thought, and especially the lack of fight, and also looking like we never had a forward on the pitch during the latter part of yesterday's game, at a time when we needed goals.

Neil Copeland
45 Posted 17/05/2021 at 20:29:01
Tony, I agree. Maybe we are too complacent or arrogant or perhaps there are indeed too many who simply don't care enough.
Kevin Molloy
46 Posted 17/05/2021 at 20:31:59

That's what I don't understand. With Allan and James and Doucouré in his midfield, he is saying he doesn't have the team to take the game to a relegated Sheffield United. And I just don't get it.

Dave Abrahams
47 Posted 17/05/2021 at 20:35:13
Jerome (27),

I'm not disagreeing with your post... in fact I'm curious about how you seem to know about what goes on in and around the club. Do you know someone who works at the club?

Martin Berry
48 Posted 17/05/2021 at 20:35:32
Joe @23,

My thoughts exactly. His job is to "manage" which sadly he has not done very well.

Some Managers gain their status from managing teams where they have great resources. I fear Carlo can only manage by the cheque book.

Jerome Shields
49 Posted 17/05/2021 at 20:40:26
Jay #42,

What you got at Everton was a reverse take over, which left Kenwright still in charge of running the Club. What materalised was no change except the input of Moshiri 's money into a failed regime which was allowed to continue and will continue into the foreseeable future. Brands is part of that regime, and is responsible for some of the players who fall short of what Ancelotti considers a required profile.

Dan Nulty
50 Posted 17/05/2021 at 20:48:12
I'm at a complete loss now. The transfer market is key this summer, hopefully we can shift on the dead wood. I'm concerned at how many changes we seem to need to make.

Definitely we need a right-back and right sided front player. I think we also need a left sided front player as I just don't believe Richarlison is the answer. I wonder if he sees Kean going to PSG and scoring goals and hates it. We need a striker, I can't see Kean coming back after being at PSG.

It does concern me how many chances Calvert-Lewin is missing. He was sticking everything away first 3 months of the season.

Guess we will know more come August.

Brian Wilkinson
51 Posted 17/05/2021 at 20:54:05
I touched on this before but this fits with what I have said, we will go one match with a starting 11, let's just use Sigurdsson, Davies,Iwobi or Gomes, as examples.

We will have a starting 11, either the above mentioned will either all start, or some will be on the bench. After a certain time, most of the above players will either be taken off, if they started, or will come off the bench.

The following match, some of those that did not start, will start the next game, with those that started the previous game sat on the bench, until they get brought on.

You can say for sure that, week after week, it is normally always the same 14 players that are involved at some point each game.

Always the same subs, same end result. Now before anyone says certain players are not ready, surely at some point, he need to try some of the others, that are sat on the bench, instead of the same three every week.

Baring a forced change through injury, you can guarantee which players will be coming off, and which players will be coming on.

Why not for once try something different from the bench, throw a youngster on if needed, try one of the other subs, anything but the same old line-up and subs every week.

Tony Abrahams
52 Posted 17/05/2021 at 20:56:25
I know we won at West Ham playing a similar formation, Kevin, but we let West Ham have most of the ball, and played counter-attacking football.

Look at their goal yesterday, and only a team that are not working hard enough let a player have that much space running into the penalty area.

My own view about yesterday and most of the other games we have lost at Goodison, is that with a little shift in formation, by putting Richarlison on the wing, we would have had more width and more balance, and this would have helped the rest of the team, both in defending and attack.

Stan Schofield
53 Posted 17/05/2021 at 20:56:34
It doesn't seem to matter who the manager is, or who the players are that we sign, we always seem to have this problem whereby it's pretty much certain that us supporters will be let down. It's really the only certainty with Everton, that we will ultimately bottle things and be shite.

Personally, I'm really sick of it. It's like a kick in the stomach every season. They get your hopes up, then dash them. I can take disappointment, I'm used to it with Everton, but there's a limit to my patience.

The bottom line is, this squad is easily good enough to have performed much better this season, taking account of injuries. But it is a recurring theme, season after season. Because of that, I have no confidence that, even if we sign half-a-dozen better players in the summer, we'll do much better overall. The new players will start off great, our expectations will again be built up, but ultimately they'll fail to perform and we'll be let down yet again.

There seems to be a cultural problem at Everton, where we need a ‘trouble shooter' to go in and root out what's going on.

I've loved Everton since I was 8 (and I'm 67 now), but I'm starting to hate this club, simply because of the repeated let-downs, because of the fact that we know that they'll let us down again. Sometimes I wish Everton would just fuck off. I have to tell myself it's only a game.

The Everton I grew up with is not the same Everton that we see today. They exist in different universes.

Kevin Molloy
54 Posted 17/05/2021 at 21:05:12
Tony yes. I think basically we've had the same tactics home and away, I can sort of understand it, you can't keep changing tactics every game.

The problem is, the tactics are dreadful to watch. And I think psychologically the players don't like playing like lemons on their home turf. And a crisis of confidence results.

The bottom line is, however effective the tactics are away, the spill over into the home form is unacceptable, and so he will have to start again from scratch. Sacrifice the great away record in the hope we get a better playing style.

I mean, even when it's effective, it's a bloody awful watch. Carlo should know, he should be put on notice, that the performance for the whole season, notwithstanding the results away from home, is not nearly acceptable.

Will Mabon
55 Posted 17/05/2021 at 21:06:33
Can't argue with that, Stan.

Deep in the fabric. One or two might call it negative but hard to say it's untrue.

I could never hate Everton though. And it's not just a game!

Kieran Kinsella
56 Posted 17/05/2021 at 21:06:37
Tony & Kevin,

It seems that Carlo wants the centre-backs to take the ball off the goalie and move up pitch dribbling, and interchanging passes with the midfielders, drawing the opposition into our half and opening space for our attackers to get into theirs.

But what tends to happen is our centre-backs shirk responsibility, so Doucouré drops all the way back to the D to get the ball. The centre-backs don't move up and call for the ball, they linger back either side of him.

Because he is the man with the ball on the D, then no-one is in his spot for him to move the ball forward to. Which generally leaves just Allan hanging around in our half, and everyone else crowded around the half-way line. Inevitably we lose possession because we end up hitting it to someone on that crowded halfway line.

By way of comparison, Chelsea under Hoddle played similarly. They also had immobile centre-backs, but they had Gullitt dropping back instead of Doucuoré. Gullit would happily dribble the length of the field. He could also hit 30- and 40-yard passes over the top accurately for he strikers to run onto.

Even if Doucuoré had the ability to do that, it doesn't work because, unlike Vialli, Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin are weak, lazy and not good at dribbling, respectively. So if we go over the top, it either ends with Richarlison rolling on the floor or Calvert-Lewin trying to hold up play then losing it as there's no-one to pass it too.

Tony Abrahams
57 Posted 17/05/2021 at 21:10:28
I disagree that we have had the same tactics home and away, Kevin. I personally think we set out to protect our back four a lot better away from home, and this is also how we also secured our last three home victories, imo, against Arsenal, Chelsea and Southampton.
Will Mabon
58 Posted 17/05/2021 at 21:10:52
Interesting re. the centre-backs, Kieran.

There was plenty of that forward movement and passes early on in the season. Remember how Keane looked transformed. All gone now, some time back.

Neil Lawson
59 Posted 17/05/2021 at 21:11:49
Assuming Mr Ancelotti stays, as is likely, then we are forced to put our trust in him. He will choose the players he wants. We will probably pay a king's ransom for some of them and ridiculous salaries to boot. If that expenditure doesn't bear fruit, then either he will pack his bags or will be given the boot. We will, however, be stuck with his choices.

So, do we trust him to do what is right for our beloved club, and is he truly capable of recognising what needs to be done?

I doubt it, given the last 6-9 months, but we are very much between a very large rock and a very hard place, yet again.

Will Mabon
60 Posted 17/05/2021 at 21:16:12
Kieran" - sorry.,"Kieran" - sorry.,Turned off,,0,21:14:22,,,ok,19747,05/17/2021 21:14:22,overdrive,reader,,,no 1155598,40808,toffeeweb,17/05/2021,Kieran Kinsella,,"Will @58,

Right, makes me wonder if it's a matter of Keane's fragile confidence evaporating? Or Carlo instructing someone else, eg, Holgate (?) to get things going? Either way, it's not working.

Will Mabon
61 Posted 17/05/2021 at 21:24:10
I think the whole approach from the back line was turned too cautious from the great start to the season, Kieran. Yes, we had injuries, a worse run than we perhaps sometimes remember.

Thing is though, last night was essentially our best team. Even allowing for players carrying niggles or fitness deficits that we don't know, the whole framework seems negative and broken. Home games amplify it. Has Carlo lost his tactical bottle? It's a hard one to distill.

Tony Abrahams
62 Posted 17/05/2021 at 21:27:34
When you have got veteran Evertoniansike George McKane saying similar to what Stan has just posted, it does begin to make you wonder.

Then Jerome posts similar, talking about a reverse takeover, and without wanting to turn this anyway towards Bill Kenwright, but maybe this is a bigger part of the problem?

He obviously kept a lot of the right people sweet at Everton, to stay in charge for so long, and even if his role has diminished, he definitely still seems very close to Farhad Moshiri, who should now be making a clean break, and possibly only listening to the manager.

Dave Abrahams
63 Posted 17/05/2021 at 21:33:48
Neil (59),

Yes, got to agree with that, of the four players who came in last summer, Doucouré and Godfrey were picked by Brands, Allan and James were Carlo's choice.

I'd say Doucouré and Godfrey have proved to be better value than Allan and James and I doubt if there is much resale value on the latter two because of age and injury problems. Therefore I'd be very wary of any older players Carlo would like to bring in, if Allan and James are examples of who Carlo thinks are good value.

Tony Abrahams
64 Posted 17/05/2021 at 21:35:07
Keane doesn't sound very fragile to me, Kieran, if it's true he phoned the England manager to ask him why he'd been dropped.

He also said that Ancelotti agreed with him or words to that effect. Looking in from the outside, I'd say, if this is true, that Ancelotti is one lying bastard, and is obviously just trying to keep Michael sweet?

Kevin Molloy
65 Posted 17/05/2021 at 21:40:10
Has anyone read Michael Ball's column? If that had been written 15 years ago, there'd be murder about it. The players would be livid (even though every word is bang on). But these days, I reckon our players won't even hear about it.
Tony Abrahams
66 Posted 17/05/2021 at 21:42:29
I’ve honestly just finished reading it right this minute Kevin, and you are correct because the whole article is definitely bang on.
Bill Fairfield
67 Posted 17/05/2021 at 21:49:00
Ancelloti has no confidence in the majority of this squad; he never has had, hence the shite set-up. He admitted as much in his post-match press conference.
Will Mabon
68 Posted 17/05/2021 at 21:49:57
Kevin, I doubt many of the players go near much away from social media nowadays.

Don't do social media myself but have seen enough linked to other articles etc to see that they do get a good walloping there sometimes – for what good it does.

Barry Hesketh
69 Posted 17/05/2021 at 21:53:22
I wonder if Michael Ball will retain his column in the Echo for next season? He's been fairly critical of the players for most of this season. He certainly sees the game similar to most of us here on TW. I don't suppose he'll get a job at Finch Farm either.

As for the players, I think it's all water off a duck's back; the regular payments into their bank accounts will help them to get over any criticism a former player or fan might level at them.

Kevin Molloy
70 Posted 17/05/2021 at 21:53:58
Will, yes. This walloping though is from the local paper's resident ex-pro. I've never seen anything quite like it!
Will Mabon
71 Posted 17/05/2021 at 21:57:04
Kevin - I'm about to read it.
Will Mabon
72 Posted 17/05/2021 at 22:11:02
Well, it's rare you see ex-players go quite that far in major publications. Perhaps word will reach the players.

What difference it would make is another matter...

Kieran Kinsella
73 Posted 17/05/2021 at 22:13:21
Will & Kevin,

Funnily enough, while he doesn't follow many Everton teammates on Twitter, Digne does follow Michael Ball.

Barry Hesketh
74 Posted 17/05/2021 at 22:16:28
Kieran @74,

I think Michael is the only Ball the players recognise... Boom! Boom!

I've just seen the front page of Wednesday's Wolves programme – it has Carlo standing in front of NSNO printed in large letters – unfortunate timing given the poor results obtained at Goodsion this season.

Will Mabon
75 Posted 17/05/2021 at 22:23:24

Guess we'll be seeing Digne step it up a little, Wednesday!

Phillip Warrington
76 Posted 17/05/2021 at 22:24:58
This guy is getting paid huge sums of money because he is supposed to be a super coach and now is blaming the players because he couldn't get them motivated to beat the bottom side in the Premier League.

His answer, instead of getting the best out of what he has got, is to spend more money and higher wages for players we will be stuck with, and turn us into another Leeds United when they went belly up with a squad and wages they couldn't sustain.

Martin Mason
77 Posted 17/05/2021 at 22:29:21
Isn't it awful that, after being carried along by hope, you eventually see the dreadful reality.
James Flynn
78 Posted 17/05/2021 at 22:35:09
Every quote here is 100% dead on the money.

Picture our situation if Calvert-Lewin went down at the beginning of the season. Who'd have replaced his goals? Nobody.

I now accept that getting to 55 points was just short of a miracle. We flat can't score goals.

We need more pace and talent down the middle. We all know it.

Paul Birmingham
79 Posted 17/05/2021 at 22:39:01
Thomas @6, ditto from me plus keep Mina.
Vijay Nair
80 Posted 17/05/2021 at 22:42:21
Just sharing the link to Michael Ball's column for the ease of everyone. I also think he's got it spot on...

Everton proved themselves bottlers and what they desperately need is blindingly obvious

By the way, Thomas, you've left Mina out of of your stay/go list. Personally, I'd flog him off as his wages don't justify his return, and keep Keane (on the bench).

And Seamus needs to stay, otherwise, we'd need two right-backs! I would keep Richarlison as well.

Kieran Kinsella
81 Posted 17/05/2021 at 22:58:02

You never know; Digne tweeted the less than glowing Echo review of the Villa game.

Neil Lawson
82 Posted 17/05/2021 at 23:00:06
I would encourage you to read Michael Ball's column. It repeats and adds to much that has been written on this forum. We are all long-suffering amateur managers but we are wise enough to be able to identify so many different issues currently plaguing our team. Michael Ball is plainly one of us and could be contributing here too, but he has a wider audience. His article is well observed and well written and it is balanced.

I have no doubt that the club have a team whose responsibility includes monitoring relevant social media. They may dip sample TW from time to time and may well miss some of the more entertaining posts, but they most certainly keep an eye on the Echo etc.

Whether what they read has any impact is another question, but they will not be oblivious to the growing groundswell of opinion.

James Flynn
83 Posted 17/05/2021 at 23:11:24
Keane's fragile confidence"

Which Keane is this?

The Keane who played with an oversized boot on his damaged foot while drugged for pain without a word of complaint? All the while being ripped to shreds in here? That Keane?

Or the Keane who came back from a skull fracture and immediately started throwing his body at balls in the air so to defend with his head?

Some Evertonians in here with damn short memories.

,"Keane's fragile confidence"

Which Keane is this?

The Keane who played with an oversized boot on his damaged foot while drugged for pain without a word of complaint? All the while being ripped to shreds in here? That Keane?

Or the Keane who came back from a skull fracture and immediately started throwing his body at balls in the air so to defend with his head?

Some Evertonians in here with damn short memories.

,,,1,23:04:21,,,ok,4506,05/17/2021 23:04:21,,reader,,,no 1155632,40808,toffeeweb,17/05/2021,Brian Wilkinson,,"Anyone ever thought Michael Ball might read ToffeeWeb and took snippets from a few of the posts and think will give the papers a good story and get the Evertonians onside.

If I was you, Tony, I would be getting in touch with the Echo, for your 10%.

Seriously though, I like Michael Ball's and Neville Southall's "say it as it is" approach, hence, no jobs at Finch Farm for either.

Barry Hesketh
84 Posted 17/05/2021 at 23:24:26
Brian @85,

I think there is a strong possibility that Michael Ball does keep abreast of the fan sites etc but I also think that he believes in what he writes. He's never been shy in calling it as he sees it, and very often it does chime with the views of the fans. I don't think he has written this particular piece to grab attention as he has written a regular column for the Echo for quite a while now.

Kevin Prytherch
85 Posted 17/05/2021 at 23:26:09
Well if Ancelotti is looking for a summer of upgrades, expect anyone under the age of 23 to be sold to finance moves for 29-32 year olds on big wages who show no passion.
Ian Jones
86 Posted 17/05/2021 at 23:26:22
I'm not totally convinced by James Rodriguez.

There was a moment yesterday when one of our players, possibly Doucouré, lost the ball in the middle of the park and Rodriguez effectively watched Sheffield United attack down the middle, just left of centre. Whilst Rodriguez wasn't in a position to intercept or challenge the player involved, he made absolutely no effort to even jog back and potentially help out the defence.

I appreciate that he isn't necessarily the kind of player to defend and we probably need him further upfield to do his stuff, but just occasionally it would be great to see a little more effort from him.

It might just be a case of having the right player for us at the wrong time. I think we have had a few of those down the years... However, we'll always have his pass to Richarlison for the derby win. :)

Jerome Shields
87 Posted 17/05/2021 at 23:57:09
Kevin #66,

Michael Ball is one of the best commentators on Everton. I first noticed him as a side kick on Hesgoal and have sought out everything he writes ever since. He is bang on with his analysis.

Brian Wilkinson
88 Posted 17/05/2021 at 00:03:00
Barry @86, with you all the way, always enjoyed listening or reading, to what Michael Ball or Neville Southall had to say about Everton, always say it how it is.
Derek Thomas
89 Posted 18/05/2021 at 01:48:39
Stan @ 53; Spot on. What we have is a human nature thing, it's easier to form bad habits than good...and they're harder to break. There are many, many proverbs and sayings linked to this - for good reason, Human Nature.

The only true discipline is self discipline - it has to come from within.

The '2Rs'; bear with me if you will - Rooney and Ronaldo. Different body shapes yes (but there are plenty of very good examples of chunksters getting and staying at the top ) but for longevity the key was lack of self discipline.

Back to Human Nature, this is our down fall.
Here is an extract from a BBC sport article 'The Impossible Dream' (I've no idea about links so don't ask, but it's there now scroll down, it's a small box)

That didn’t happen, as Paul ruefully explains.

“I’d go out on the Friday when I played football for cash on Saturday and sometimes I wasn’t bothered whether we won or lost - or even if I played or was on the bench because I knew I still got my money if I didn’t come on,” he says.

"When I played with my mates for Nicosia, though, it was different. We were like a family. My attitude still wasn’t perfect - I still liked a night out before those games too - but when I played I gave 100% because it mattered more.

“I know it should have been the other way around but by the time I realised that, it was too late.”

That 1st paragraph is Us, but, as the 2nd paragraph shows, when it mattered more he gave 100%

Deep down, It doesn't matter to them - the money still goes in the bank...and there is no 2nd Nicosia paragraph to apply

Besides self (imposed) discipline, you can graft it on to players via a number of buttons to push. Fear and or Love is one, fear of letting your mates or manager down. I get the impression that the Leeds players would rather die than upset Bielsa by not trying.

But in the end it all comes down to the player individuality and players collectively.

Because, while the cheque's going in every week, ours don't really...odd times excepted...give a fuck, because nobody...especially not themselves,are pressing the buttons.

Soren Moyer
90 Posted 18/05/2021 at 02:27:59
To be honest, Carlo, I don't see any difference between the way we play away and at home!!

Home an away, I only see the same ponderous, snail pace, sideways backward passing team with no pace or intensity. Could it be we have just been lucky with away results due to a few in-our-favour VAR decisions and no crowds, Mister Carlo!?

Andrew James
91 Posted 18/05/2021 at 02:55:28
If this is Carlo trying to improve the side by position, then it's working for goalie and the back. But the midfield and attack is a shambles given we've spent a fortune on it.

I would say we have a Champions League quality defence and goalkeeper, as long as we bring in a new right-back and Digne improves. Pickford has really come of age this season with one suspecting that the inclusion of Olsen has focused his mind.

Mina, Keane and Godfrey are all very good defenders and I cannot believe Holgate is a lost cause. He was our best centre-half last season.

The issue is with our full-backs and centre-midfield. Digne hasn't really kicked on which might be because there's no Baines. Coleman similarly has nobody challenging him and is old now. We let Kenny go and, only 2 seasons ago, he was posing a threat to Seamus but now there's nobody to really play that full-back/wing-back role other than him.

In midfield, we are still backfilling due to years of mistakes in letting Barkley and Idrissa go and buying the likes of Schneiderlin, Delph and Klaassen. We also lack pace but loaned out Walcott. As frustrating as he is, he can provide chaos and works hard.

Our own coach is quoted as saying we aren't quick enough, yet we have James and Gylfi, who are slow and old, but loaned out Walcott and Kean, who are both rapid.

If we fix the midfield, we fix the attack as Calvert-Lewin will benefit from having support up the pitch. As for Richarlison, I don't have a clue. He's in much the same position as he was in previous seasons and he's just not kicked on. We will retain him for another season rather than selling him to Barca – that was all the chat last summer.

Three signings in the summer: Dele Alli, Torreira and Phillips. Bring back Kenny from Celtic and we can have a good right side. Torreira gives us the energy, Dele the ability to unlock in the final third plus aerial ability, and then Phillips can do what Gomes quite clearly hasn't.

If we offload Bernard, James and Gylfi then the books are balanced surely? Given we are likely to get a nice wedge off PSG for Kean?

Kieran Kinsella
92 Posted 18/05/2021 at 03:34:37
Andrew James,

I agree with most of what you say except that we “have a Champions League defense.” These days it's not enough just to tackle, defenders also need to be comfortable on the ball and that's where we are lacking.

Holgate isn't huge, not the quickest, not even a great tackler, but he seemed to be good at positioning and comfortable on the ball. Now he's lost that. Godfrey is alright on the ball but looks like Bobby Moore as the others are so poor.

But as a group, they're not Champions League quality – unless by that you mean good enough to squeeze by Qarabağ then come bottom of their Champions League group.

Andrew James
93 Posted 18/05/2021 at 03:49:44

I guess I mean collectively as many Champions League sides are exposed once they lose one centre-half. I think we have enough to get by, perhaps because of the talent plus the coaching. I think it's an area that could get us higher up the table next season (might not make good watching though).

I do think Holgate will come good again but his recent performances and those of Godfrey might mean a back three rather two centre-halves gets him more game time than he deserves.

Kieran Kinsella
94 Posted 18/05/2021 at 04:17:53
Andrew @95,

I agree on Holgate. He's had a very poor run but I think of the likes of John Stones, Des Walker back in the day. It's not unusual for a centre-back to have a downturn. Many on here have written Mason off but, based on what I've seen over the last 5years, I think he'll sort himself out.

Steavey Buckley
95 Posted 18/05/2021 at 04:19:47
As Everton fans lose faith in Ancelotti and his squad of players, next season does not look very promising, except to finish in the same position as this season that ends on Sunday against Man City. As a team, Everton don't pass very well and there is lack of intensity as players keep losing the ball due to their lack of skill.
Andrew Lum
96 Posted 18/05/2021 at 04:44:34
Isn't it the manager's and coaches' job to improve the players and make them play as a proper football team?

If they are not tactically aware enough, why not go 4-4-2? If they are not good enough, why not make them the fittest? At least they can press and run and compete all day, instead of flagging after an hour.

The lack of pace and movement is shocking. It's embarrassing that teams like Fulham and Brighton could play their way out, unlike us, sideways and backwards.

Leeds is an excellent example of what good coaching can achieve. Michael Ball is spot on, this is a bunch of bottlers. Bench them and play the youngsters. At least they have the hunger and desire.

Alan J Thompson
97 Posted 18/05/2021 at 05:21:37
For most of the season, nearly all postings have been that the squad isn't strong enough, how we need 4 or 5 quality players and to get rid of those players, the "deadwood", who haven't played any part as they've mostly been out on loan or ignored, and how stressful European competition, especially Europa League, would be on this slow and disinterested crew... and now, when the manager says the same thing – he gets lambasted!

Oh for a top line, well respected Manager with whom we can all agree, or has he taken orders and joined a monastery, his miracles to perform!

Andy Walker
98 Posted 18/05/2021 at 06:00:43
Ancelotti is 100% correct. Don't forget, when he was brought in, Moshiri said words to the effect that we had a squad of really good players who just needed a good coach. That was delusional denialism from our owner, who was looking for reassurance that he hadn't wasted £100s of millions on assembling a bad squad.

He had, but Ancelotti has no doubt had to slowly bring Moshiri around to accepting reality. Hopefully that process is now just about complete and we can look forward to some more quality signings in the summer.

I'm reassured by Ancelotti's comments, he's said what many of us have been saying all season. The players he's brought in: Allan, Doucouré, James, Godfrey are clearly upgrades on the likes of Davies, Delph, Bernard, Iwobi, Keane, Sigurdsson, in terms of either skill, desire or physicality.

As for the idea that, if the players are not good enough, at least a good manager could make them fitter... well, yes, but there's only so far you can go. You can't train Davies and Sigurdsson to be quick over the ground, or Bernard to be taller and bigger boned.

Danny O’Neill
100 Posted 18/05/2021 at 07:41:47
For various reasons, Everton being one of them as always, I'm feeling emotional this morning, so public health warning upfront.

He's pretty much saying what we've all been saying. Bar a few players, the squad is not good enough and needs strengthening if we want to challenge.

Did we want a winning manager to come in and wave his alleged magic wand over poo and turn it into gold? Who has ever done that? Genuinely give me an example.

Or did we want a winning manager to come in, assess the squad we have and then make recommendations to the owner as to what is needed to turn us into winners?

Manchester City didn't coach their 90s team. They bought better players. Liverpool didn't coach their recent team; they invested in better players and had the odd youngster come through, which is always a welcome bonus.

Okay, I'm being a bit liberal in putting my point across. I get it; the coach / manager should make a difference. But most often, only when they bring in their own players and team. That's when you can judge them.

Howard Kendall completely revamped the squad he inherited. It took a few attempts and his initial purchases were ropey at best. I'm surprised some feel Ancelotti's remit is to coach what he has and turn it into something it is not. To change us we need change. More change in playing staff. Change in mentality as a club.

Hopefully he is now the voice influencing Moshiri because he has played, managed and won at the very highest levels. I understand the argument he's past his best but, in any walk of life or business, you surely listen to advice based on experience from those who have done it?

If not, we can go back to Kenwright and the old boys club whispering in his ear about "plucky little Everton" and tales of old.

Serial winner or Kenwright and others (Ferguson, Unsworth etc) advising me on what's needed to challenge? Not for me. Regardless of whether he wins anything, I know who I'd take advice from to put us back on the right footing. And I mean strategically, not just because we beat Chelsea at home once.

Ancelotti will not be at Everton forever much to some's like. He may not win anything. But in his time here I hope he can at least break the acceptance of mediocracy mentality that has plagued my club for decades.

Snap out of it, Everton. Know your place in football and fucking stand up to it. That requires investment in players of the right calibre first and foremost, as our manager is suggesting.

Andrew Ellams
101 Posted 18/05/2021 at 07:56:51
So Ancelotti can see what we can all see. The problem is, if he gets his millions to revamp his squad, there are still issues:

1. We won't have European football to attract players, even Ancelotti's pulling power has limitations there.

2. If he is going to persist with this 'slow build-up from the back' nonsense, it won't matter who he brings in, the Premier League will have us for breakfast next season.

3. If he brings in too many of these 29-year-olds that have been linked in the media (I know), the club will need to start rebuilding an aging squad all over again in a couple of years.

Alan J Thompson
102 Posted 18/05/2021 at 08:09:29
Andrew (103): I suppose it could be said about almost anything but isn't that a bit of a "chicken & egg" arguement?
Andrew Ellams
103 Posted 18/05/2021 at 08:16:13
Alan, why so?

It's just a point to state expecting Ancelotti to fix things by having a magical player wish list for the summer and then throwing Moshiri's millions at it is not all that is need to fix all that is wrong at the club.

And without the bonus of European football, that wish list will be hard to meet.

Danny O’Neill
104 Posted 18/05/2021 at 08:16:18
Valid points, Andrew.

1. Exactly. Aside from the trips abroad, exactly why I was placing importance on European qualification when others view it as an inconvenience, echoing the voices of many recent English managers who view Premier League survival as success.

2. Hence the need for different players, including a centre-back.

3. Balance. Experience with potential. Too much of either won't work. For every Allan, buy a Godfrey. But bring in both.

Martin Berry
105 Posted 18/05/2021 at 08:29:32
Andrew @98,
Spot-on mate.

I have also said that we have far better players than teams who have to come to Everton, like Burnley, Newcastle, Fulham and now Sheffield Utd, who have got a result; they have been fitter and looked far more organised to get the best out of their squads.

We don't seem to have any game plan or idea, from my observations; it's very worrying. It will be interesting to see who the upgrades and scapegoats will be during the summer.

Whoever we bring in, there is a lot of work to do on fitness and organisation; otherwise, another season of the same.

Colin Glassar
106 Posted 18/05/2021 at 08:33:28
For me, Michael Ball’s column in the Liverpool Echo sums it up perfectly when he refers to us as “Bottlers”. I have nothing to add to it as I’ve been saying the same thing, not for just this season but for years now,
Andrew Ellams
107 Posted 18/05/2021 at 08:35:28
Ancelotti was quoted after Sunday's game as saying he doesn't currently have the players to make his style of play work.

Does this mean he wants players who do fit his 'slow build up from the back' style or he wants to bring in players who can play a different way? I hope it's option 2.

Thomas Richards
108 Posted 18/05/2021 at 08:51:23
Danny 102.

It will have to be a good post to beat that one to be post of the day.

Alan J Thompson
109 Posted 18/05/2021 at 08:52:09
Andrew (#105); If we don't get the better players who, I assume, will be those who have had time to show their value although they could be in the 25-28 age bracket, then we might not be challenging for Europe.

The slow build-up may have more to do with a midfield not making themselves available which could be resolved by better, quicker midfield players possibly regardless of age.

Get in the right players aged 29+ and qualify for Europe and it might make rebuilding in 2-3 years a lot easier or even see the Academy serve its purpose. It could be argued that, if we had had quality experienced players, then we might now be watching Vlasic, Lookman, Deulofeu who might have followed the path of Calvert-Lewin.

I do agree though that it might well be down to the opinions and pulling power of Mr Ancelotti and Mr Brands and while it may be easier to sign 29-year-olds, it doesn't rule out players like Digne, Godfrey, Nkounkou, Branthwaite etc – nor the likes of Gordon, Broadhead, Simms and Small.

Danny O’Neill
110 Posted 18/05/2021 at 08:57:34
That's the real issue, Colin. One word you mention; years.

Off on a tangent and this may sound controversial but it's a conversation I have with my brother very often.

Leighton Baines. Many of certain generations view him as a "legend", and Everton great. I do not doubt he is probably the best Everton left back I have personally witnessed. Yes, better than Pat van den Hauwe in my opinion. So on a footballing level, nothing but the utmost respect.

But mentality. Always in his comfort zone. Remember the rumours of him not wanting to go away with England because he got homesick?

No personal dig here, I'm just trying to bring out the mentality thing that has plagued us. I know this won't go down well with a certain generation but players like Baines and Jagielka epitomise the mentality that has beset us. It's okay to be average. It's okay to accept mediocrity because we're only Everton. Their Everton maybe but not mine.

Remember when Martinez dared to challenge Baines's position and the outrage that followed, backed up vocally by many Evertonians?

Maybe, just maybe, he was seeing what was inevitable because guess what? The next managers saw the same. Yet I would say that, admittedly amongst other things, that was a defining moment in Martinez's demise as the old boys club turned on him because Leighton was "one of our own". I don't know, but personally think that the dressing room led by Jagielka and Baines turned on him for daring to challenge the old guard.

Just as Tottenham fans claim Harry Kane. He's apparently asked to leave as I understand. We seem to obsess about ex-players. I do myself. But they are only ex-players once they've played for us.

The relevance; the squad needs changing. I've rambled a lot there about something that is very obvious and what the manager rightly calls out. We need to buy better players.

Michael Kenrick
111 Posted 18/05/2021 at 09:04:44
Martin @ 78,

I'm not sure if you're talking for yourself, for thousands of other Blues, or (in the context of the thread) for Carlo Ancelotti himself.

I know you're almost certainly being sarcastic too, but I'm taking it at face value because it underlines exactly the historical problem you seem to have had on this site in recognizing the reality people have at times painstacklingly tried to help you recognize. And yet belligerently you'd be having none of it.

One line form Michael Ball's article that caught my eye: "Sometimes I get stick for this column being so negative" – I'm curious to hear what you make of that, Martin?

Steve Brown
112 Posted 18/05/2021 at 09:17:59
Still livid after our performance on Sunday and our terrible home form.

But in an effort to rationalise my own response, I looked up the win percentages for our most recent managers;

Howard Kendall I - 54.1%
Carlo Ancelotti - 46.8%
Roberto Martinez - 42.7%
Colin Harvey - 42.6%
David Moyes - 42.1%
Ronald Koeman - 41.4%
Marco Silva - 40%
Joe Royle - 39.8%
Howard Kendall II - 38.9%
Sam Allardyce - 38.5%
Walter Smith - 31.5%
Howard Kendall III - 26.2%
Mike Walker - 17.1%.

Don't know if this makes me feel better or not, as it emphasizes the cost of our home results!

Eddie Dunn
113 Posted 18/05/2021 at 09:26:53
It is clear that many of the players have simply let things slide. They have a manager who massages egos but will be ruthless at some point. However, many of these players are on long contracts... they are financially secure for life. The only problem for such a player is losing his international status by not playing club footy regularly.

A good example is Sigurdsson. Granted he has been shuffled around the park in our underperforming midfield and he really should just rotate with James in the No 10 role as he clearly isn't cut out for box-to-box or wing play.

However, against Spurs, he was majestic, he upped his game against an old club. He was suddenly motivated to show them they were wrong to dispense with his services. Next game, he went back to his average ways.

You could look at so many of these guys and see that they try but not hard enough. Even the likes of Calvert-Lewin have achieved their international status, he is a shoo-in as Kane's deputy for the Euros, so why should he risk injury pushing himself to the limit as the team stutters its way to a mid-table finish? They are in such a comfort zone without even a reminder from the terraces to pull out the proverbial finger.

Carlo has fucked-up with some tactics and selections. However, this group of players is a strange mixture of individuals. I just don't see the team spirit compared to Leeds, Leicester and many others.

As Tony A says, a simple tweak of returning Richarlison to the left wing, bringing Digne into the game, would enable better forward options. A right-winger is high on the shopping list and someone like Kalvin Phillips to run the midfield.

At present, they all look unmotivated; perhaps Jerome is right and they couldn't give a toss about Europa League footy and don't want too many new faces to disrupt their Xbox schedules.

Derek Thomas
114 Posted 18/05/2021 at 09:30:28
Andrew @ 109; too true; football is an ever evolving rock, paper, scissors type game. The slow build up from the back has probably been rendered – unless you have the Barca team of 10-12 years ago – obsolete, in true literal and figurative Darwinian 'survival of the fittest' (and none bottlers) manner.

Too many managers – Martinez is the prime example – dogmatically stick to a 'Philosophy' (still makes me cringe a little) when he doesn't have the players to. They more or less say... there is nothing wrong with 'the philosophy' (whatever it is)... there can't be, it is 'the philosphy'. Thus, if the team isn't winning, the cure must be more 'philosophy'... and round and round they go, on to the sack or worst – like Martinez, probable relegation.

Find the system that best fits the players you have; don't try to shoehorn the players into the supposed best system.

Short version; no square pegs in round philosophical holes.

Colin Glassar
115 Posted 18/05/2021 at 09:36:06
If this embarrassing game and season leads to something positive, ie, a complete overhaul of the club from top to bottom, leading to perennial losers like Kenwright, Unsworth, the academy staff, the scouts, players like fucking Iwobi, Delph, Gomes etc... who don't give a toss... If they all go and are replaced by hard-nosed, ambitious, ruthless people, then this season will not be a complete failure.

We need to get rid of this “family club” shite who “look after our own”. When I read the Allan interview, I cringed and thought this is how players get sucked in and accept the mediocrity which comes from the top down.

EitC is great as a charity but we have to stop playing like we are a charity! Everyone who's on a bad run, cannot score, is struggling away from home etc... comes to Goodison and breaks their fucking duck!!!

If Ancellotti wants to succeed, he needs to break the mould. He needs to shatter the mindset. He needs to storm the gates.

Get rid of the Old Guard and replace them with people who want to win, no matter what. Buy defenders who cannot only defend but use the ball constructively. Midfielders who can carry the ball, make runs, and think for themselves. Two-footed players would be nice as well for a change. And forwards who don't fall over and cry and can actually shoot from inside and outside the box.

It's a huge job but, if Moshiri trusts Carlo, then let him do it.

Andrew Ellams
116 Posted 18/05/2021 at 09:39:47
Exactly, Derek.

I watched the Sheff Utd players whenever we had the ball in our own backyard on Sunday. As we passed from side to side, they lined up in 3 rows and basically shut down our forward progression when it eventually came.

The Premier League is faster and tougher than it ever was and we need to catch up to that ASAP. Klopp spotted it and the rest as they say is history over there. Solksjaer is going in that direction too, Mourinho moved Spurs backwards, away from it, and that all ended in tears.

Danny O’Neill
117 Posted 18/05/2021 at 09:40:48
Footballing head back on, Derek, you are totally on the money.

You either play the system best suited to the players you have. Or you bring in players to play the system you want to play. We have mainly been doing the former.

Obviously it's within reason; players can be asked and should expect to play out of position, hence always the need for those versatile players that are invaluable to a squad, eg, Alan Harper.

Ancelotti is calling for the need for better players for what he wants to do.

Dave Abrahams
118 Posted 18/05/2021 at 09:47:26
Regarding Michael Ball, even as a young player, he always had nous about playing football and the importance he had of playing for the Blues.

There was one game Everton were hanging on in a vital game, and Michael two or three times lashed the ball 20 yards away from the Everton goal but high into the stands to gain valuable seconds for the team to move forward and regroup; not pretty but what was needed at the time.

He was pretty cool taking penalties too, for such a young player. He started off as a centre-half but never grew so carried on in his stylish way as a left-back.

He definitely knows his football and he more than definitely knows this Everton squad, not just bottlers, fuckin' rotten bottlers, not all of them but a lot.

Rob Dolby
119 Posted 18/05/2021 at 09:50:32
Jim 26. Would Ancelotti have won the league with Leicester or got West ham to 6th this season? Errm... guess we will never know. No idea on what point you are making.

Leicester winning the league has given other teams hope that they could break through that glass ceiling, they have just done it again with their first ever FA Cup win. In part thanks to VAR but that's a rant for another day.

Derek 91. That is a good piece on the BBC. At least the lad eventually realised his mistakes. I bet Billy Kenny still hasn't a clue what an opportunity slipped through his hands.

Motivation is everything in sport. When I look at the Everton team at the start of the season, the players had more movement, will to score and chase back. The same bunch of players in the business end of the season look half-arsed and uninterested. It's a team game and it only takes a couple not to show up and that piles the pressure on the rest.

I can imagine Coleman fuming at some of the players. Lads that are blessed with more ability and getting paid fortunes strolling around whilst he is out there running his bollocks off. Recruiting talent and players with built-in motivation is the big challenge for brands and Ancelotti.

Danny 96. There are other positions in this team that need addressing before a new centre back. If we went out and bought Dias from Man City would he improve our guile, drive, speed and motivation in the midfield or forward line? He would be just as busy defending as Mina, Keane or Godfrey.

For arguments sake,we bought the new Dias. What is your next priority?

Your comparison to the shite is off the mark. Their manager over 4 years identified key areas and improved them. World record signings for a keeper and centre-back plus £50M for back up midfielders.

In an era of record transfer fees we last broke ours 3 years ago on Sigurdsson!. That in itself should paint a picture.

We have Ancelotti at the club, go out and back the manager otherwise we may as well go and get Sean Dyche and return to the bargain bin. To progress, we need to break our transfer record a few times over on quality players, to send a signal out to the existing players and other clubs.

Tony Abrahams
120 Posted 18/05/2021 at 09:50:56
I think those stats show that Ancellotti is a top manager considering the squad of players he inherited 18 months ago, Steve B.

A few angry people saying nothing, a few sensible people saying things that make us think.

We have a Champions League defence, but only when Everton defend properly from the front, but this manager is saying he needs his defenders to be sharper on the ball?

If he wants them sharper on the ball, he obviously wants us to play on the front foot, but our current defenders are reluctant to do this, because it leaves too much space down the sides and in behind.

When we play away, the gap between the defence and the midfield is minimal; when we play at home, the gap between the defence and the midfield becomes bigger, and is exploited by second-rate teams. (How easy was Sheffield's goal?)

Sometimes it seems like we've made no progression but, at other times, it feels like we've made quite a bit? So of course he's got to go and add more players, whilst hopefully getting rid of a few at the same time.

Andrew Ellams
121 Posted 18/05/2021 at 09:51:10
I can't help feeling comments about Richarlison winning the Ballon D'or or comparing Calvert-Lewin to Inzaghi have negative impacts too.

Clearly neither of those comments are true and players then start to think they're better than they are.

Dave Abrahams
122 Posted 18/05/2021 at 09:52:48
Danny (119), spot on with the importance of Alan Harper, add another one even better, Kevin Richardson.

[I made sure I spelt that correctly, not to be confused with a present Everton player.]

Tony Everan
123 Posted 18/05/2021 at 10:02:30
Brian 51, I agree that some alternatives should be explored rather than continually going down the same route. Some of the substitutions are mind-numbing in their ineffectiveness.

Nkounkou on the left wing replacing Richarlison as a sub or even starting a game to try and freshen up the approach. He has played as a left-winger so it's not alien to him, and he has fantastic crossing ability. It's got to be a more positive solution in trying to chase a game.

When was the last time anyone was truly inspired by a team selection or a substitution? With regards to really looking forward to seeing a player with burgeoning potential going full on to make an impression.

Brian Harrison
124 Posted 18/05/2021 at 10:10:33
Tony @127,

I think you make a very good point about the gap difference between the midfield and the defence at home and the way we play away. And there is the conundrum for Carlo to fix, as away we defend deep were at home the onus is on us to attack, and our lack of pace in midfield becomes a problem.

I think there has been far to many formation and player changes, to hope to get any meaningful understanding. Between now and next season Carlo has to decide which is his best 11 and which formation suits that team and stick to it barring injuries.

Hopefully we will have a few additions to the team come the start of next season. I read that we are interested in a couple of centre-backs but I think we have other areas that need fixing first. I think Keane and Mina is our best centre-back pairing, and I would convert Godfrey to right back. He has the engine to get up and down the pitch as well as the pace needed.

I know some will say but if you play Keane and Mina it dictates you cant push a high line. But correct me if I am wrong but didn't Leicester win the league with 2 similar centre-backs in Huth and Morgan. I don't think Man Utd's centre-backs are blessed with pace either.

But Carlo has to find a way to be able to get us on the front foot and what we don't have is a Foden, Mount, Grealish or Maddison players who can run from midfield and go past people carrying the ball.

I know these players don't go on trees but this is what should be Carlo's number one priority for me. I would throw young Ebreche Eze into the mix who could do that job, and he is young and eager.

Nick Page
125 Posted 18/05/2021 at 10:13:04
Colin #117. Hear hear!! Couldn't agree more.

Do you think all our new buys are straight round to Bill's for the “He gets us” training? Where they learn that Everton was a great club in the past but now it's all about not troubling the Sky 6, being nice on the pitch, never getting to a cup final, and certainly not bothering the powers that be in the Football Association or Premier League.

Chuck in the mandatory media training and we've got a brand new, “He gets us” Bill favourite. I've never seen a club turn so many players.

Tony Abrahams
126 Posted 18/05/2021 at 10:16:10
Rob @121,

I'd say you was wrong about Billy Kenny. I was actually only speaking to him the other day, and came to the conclusion that his demons grow stronger any time he can't train or go to the gym.

I thought what Derek wrote was more about human beings, comfort zones, and what's in most people's make-up.

An average player plays very well once a month, a decent player once a fortnight. A good player can play well when he feels like, but only a proper player has certain standards even when he's not playing that well, and this sums up our current squad imo.

Danny O’Neill
127 Posted 18/05/2021 at 10:18:10
Rob Dolby, very good points. What stuck out there is the 4 year thing. It didn't happen overnight and that was from a much better starting position than we were in.

Michael Ball is one of those players, Dave, that I wonder how good he could have been in a better team. Composed and gifted on the ball but, like you say, knew when he needed to defend.

Kevin Richardson. I didn't mean to leave him out. Another who was great in his versatility although I don't think he was moved around the pitch as much as Harper! It speaks volumes that he won a league title with us but couldn't claim a regular place, yet went on to be a regular for a very good Arsenal team and claimed another league title.

Luke Welch
128 Posted 18/05/2021 at 10:22:48
I think at first the owner brought Carlo in because he thought the players were there to challenge for the top 4, they just need Carlo to get them playing..

Of course, that hasn't happened and Carlo needs a complete rebuild; whether he will get the funds and has the belly for it, we will see.

Regarding the transfer purse, I think if Carlo sneaked us in Europe he would have got more to spend and replacing the current crop would have been on the cards. But as that looks like that is not going to happen Carlo will probably get a few players in will have to get the best out of what is got.

Robert Tressell
129 Posted 18/05/2021 at 10:26:19
Danny at 102.

If you can wave £500m investment at a squad full of poo, it often works. Magic wands... not so much.

Leipzig managed to buck this trend and turn a third tier squad valued at circa £10m (the year Martinez joined) into a squad valued at circa £500m through fairly restrained spending on transfers (with money being invested in scouting networks and feeder clubs instead). They are going places. We are not.

I can't think of any clubs that bought famous old crocks and suddenly shot up the league – apart from us about 35 years ago.

Danny O’Neill
130 Posted 18/05/2021 at 10:31:43
Leipzig are a good shout, Robert. Invested well in buying new players. But like you say, in relative terms although they spent, they spent well rather than massively. Sometimes it's how you invest rather than how much.

You've just reminded me of Sabitzer. I would love to see him at Everton.

Danny O’Neill
131 Posted 18/05/2021 at 10:48:04
Sorry everyone. I'm on US hours today so not technically at work until 6pm through midnight UK time, so please excuse my over-activeness on here!

Tony (128). I like that last paragraph. Great analogy. Based on your descriptions (which I agree with):

Average players: We have too many and have had too many for too long.

Decent players: We have a few and have had a few over the past years.

Good players: We have one now. I think the last one we had was Kanchelskis.

Proper players: I know what you mean here. This can be a fine line with average. You don't have to be good or decent to be a proper player. What you bring is consistency and commitment. In recent times I would highlight Phil Neville for Everton. His presence was always felt on the pitch and missed when not there. Yet he wasn't the greatest player. Lets put Tim Cahill in that category too. Excuse the language, but Milner & Henderson across the park? The 4 players I mention give you consistency yet are not what many would consider great and in an average team would be average I would argue.

Discarding the average, which is what we have too much of, every good team needs a healthy smattering of proper players supported a a few decent ones and sprinkled with one or two gems (good ones), who frustratingly will turn it on when they feel like it but be game changers when they do.

There's the blueprint!!

Neil Lawson
132 Posted 18/05/2021 at 11:09:04
My knowledge of the U23s and U1s8 is limited to what I read. Yes, they lack experience, but are none of them at least as good as the serial underachievers currently selected? What would be lost by promoting at least a couple of them?

Jaoa Virginia was excellent when given his chance by dint of circumstance. Nkonkou, by all accounts, has several terrific attributes. Gordon was touted by Ancellotti but never given a proper chance. I have no doubt there are others.

Given the level of so many of our recent performances, I wish Mr Ancelotti would explain and justify why he is so opposed to change. Wasn't he once a young player desperately craving his chance to shine and impress? The stimulus of youth and energy could make a difference but how will you ever know if you don't try?

Europe is gone, certainly if the current shower all line up again tomorrow and at the weekend, so is it such a dreadful suggestion?

Neil Lawson
134 Posted 18/05/2021 at 11:17:15
And for the avoidance of doubt, and to dodge the bullets from those of you who aim criticism from loose grammar or syntax, I am not suggesting that Virginia replace Pickford. Jordan, currently, is the only name that should be pre-printed on the teamsheet.
Tony Abrahams
135 Posted 18/05/2021 at 11:23:47
People say that we don't look fit. I disagree but understand why people say it, because one thing we very rarely look is sharp, imo.

I was also hearing the other day that there are quite a few younger players with stress fractures at Everton, which might be because the players are now getting an increased work demand, now they are getting pushed up earlier?

Rob Dolby
136 Posted 18/05/2021 at 11:26:23
Tony 128. Apologies, I was being lazy with the Billy Kenny analogy. There are examples of wasted talent at every club. It's discovering and unearthing players with motivation when the Sun is on their back and more importantly when the pressure is on that will take us forward.
Danny O’Neill
137 Posted 18/05/2021 at 11:34:42
Big difference between fitness and sharpness. Quite possible that if the training regime is now pushing the players harder than they've been used to, it will be impacting players who aren't used to it.

The danger with that, Neil, is you expose too many young players before they are ready and they get slaughtered. I'm not cautious about introducing young players into the fold, but the trend in the Sky era has been to do it too early, build them up only for them to be knocked down.

Guardiola's management of Foden has been fantastic. He just ignored the media clamour to play him every week.

Steve Brown
138 Posted 18/05/2021 at 11:51:12
Tony @ 128, that is a really good system to categorise the squad. Here is my take based on this seasons form (others will disagree):

Average player (plays well once a month) - Iwobi, Sigurdsson, Bernard, Allan, Holgate, Davies, Gomes, Delph.
Decent player (plays well once a fortnight) - Pickford, Keane, Mina, Godfrey, Calvert-Lewin, Doucouré, Richarlison.
Good player (plays well when he feels like it) - James,
Proper player (has standards even when he is not playing well) - Coleman.

Tells an interesting story. Decent defence and attack, average midfield and wide players, only one truly good player and no-one whose standards will see them through dips in form, apart from Seamus.

The reality is that talent and ability sets the level at which any team will perform over a sustained period of time, on the football team or in business. That is why the league table is properly reflects performance. New managers can give an average team a temporary boost but results always level out to match the team's talent.

Pat Kelly
139 Posted 18/05/2021 at 11:55:38
Harry Kane now strongly linked with Everton. He wants a break from football.
Derek Knox
140 Posted 18/05/2021 at 12:10:41
Steve @ 140, that's a pretty good appraisal/assessment of our current crop of Walmington Wanderers although I would say a little harsh on Private Godfrey. He rarely puts a foot wrong, except when Holgate is alongside him, and he is covering lackadaisical wishy washy passing and half hearted attempts at clearing the defence.

Plus he will only get better with more experience and players who do earn their corn alongside, and definitely one of the ones to be retained. Most of the rest, I wouldn't shed any tears over (maybe a few of joy) if they were placed in the cannon! If only they could have contracts ripped up for not meeting their side of the bargain and acting like proper footballers.

Be interesting to see once Don Carlo has a decent bag of doubloons, to see who he can make disappear and sleep with the fishes, and those who he can 'make an offer, they can't or daren't refuse'. Cue the violin music!

Moshiri must be one hell of a patient man, I know he is minted, but even so, losing the amount of money he has forked out on utter shite mostly, and we still have a team that would struggle against 'The Dog and Duck' – especially if they were all sober!

Barry Rathbone
141 Posted 18/05/2021 at 12:16:12
Noticeable no player has done the usual eulogy of how improved things are under the new manager. All I've read is Allan saying it feels like home and how he can see himself here for years. Quite terrifying given he's clearly past his best and further evidence Goodison is maintaining it's high standards as a lucrative retirement home.

I bet when Carlo is gone, players will say "We expected magic but all we got was same old same old" – certainly they're playing that way!

Danny O’Neill
142 Posted 18/05/2021 at 12:16:59
Pretty fair take Steve. I'd probably move Allan into the decent category and for his improvement this season, Davies too. But apart from that, not much disagreement from me.

Interestingly, most of those you categorise as decent still have time to get better; especially if surrounded with the players the manager is suggesting we need.

Get rid of average. Bring in more decent and proper and like parmesan cheese on pasta, sprinkle it with one or two good to make a difference.

Annika Herbert
143 Posted 18/05/2021 at 12:18:18
Thomas @ 6, keep Sigurdsson? So he can wander aimlessly through another season? If you want to have a big clear out, he should be top of the list.
Danny O’Neill
144 Posted 18/05/2021 at 12:20:28
Only until half-time, when they crack out the tinnies, Derek.
Derek Moore
145 Posted 18/05/2021 at 12:24:18
I just wanted to echo Derek Knox's comments on Godfrey. One of the few genuine consolations of this ultimately underwhelming campaign was the consistent form of that lad.

We've seen Holgate's form go to shite, Richarlisons as well (although I'm with the posters who feel he should be out on the left). So we know how quickly form can disappear.

And so hopefully I haven't cursed Godfrey or jinxed him. But his consistency has been a stand-out for me. My player of the season? Honourable mention to the slightly dodgy goalkeeper with the new haircut.

Danny O’Neill
146 Posted 18/05/2021 at 12:32:05
And he is only going to get better, Derek Moore.

The challenge for us now is what the manager is suggesting. Can we surround him with players that allow him and want him to do that at Everton or does he become the next John Stones, and before him, Joleon Lescott?

Andrew Ellams
147 Posted 18/05/2021 at 12:41:25
If the manager is willing to change his style of play, then my A list for incomings this summer would be Aarons, Demiral, Leon Bailey and Jonathan David.

I'll let Brands pick out a quick attacking midfielder because I can't think of anybody right now.

Danny O’Neill
148 Posted 18/05/2021 at 12:46:59
I'm the same Andrew. I know we need an attacking midfielder because, alongside Allan and Doucouré, I think that makes us strong. But I can't think who that is. I keep mentioning Sabitzer but, from what I've seen, part attacking midfielder, part wide player. Reminds me in some ways of Kanchelskis but less powerful and direct, more skilful.

Also, I doubt he's a realistic target for us.

People talk of Aarons and I will take their word for it. Likewise Bailey.

I still think a centre-back but I keep getting told off for that!

Barry Williams
149 Posted 18/05/2021 at 12:49:39
Andrew Ellams
150 Posted 18/05/2021 at 12:52:03
Danny, I'm with you on a centre-back, some of the chaos we've seen at the back recently has been terrifying.

There must be somebody out there who can do the job Barkley did when he was playing behind Lukaku.

Robert Tressell
151 Posted 18/05/2021 at 13:11:15
The trouble is, the squad is in such a mess, we probably need 5 first teamers. Fortunately Pickford's recovered form is such that we don't need a goalkeeper too.

Olise would be an obvious Barkley style player – a runner with tricks and goals who can play wide or central. He'd get a season to bed in too while Sigurdsson and Rodriguez share that position in the side before their contracts expire.

Henrik Lyngsie
152 Posted 18/05/2021 at 13:13:49
Danny 102 and106 very good posts.

I think it is interesting to look at what happened to Liverpool and Manchester United when they bought Van Dijk and Fernandes.

Before Van Dijk came in, I felt that Liverpool's defenders and midfielders had very limited qualities. But suddenly he galvanized the whole team and made even Henderson and Gomez look good.

Likewise with Fernandes in Man Utd. He made a lot of players look much better.

I would look at Carlo's comments in this context. I think we have 4 decent central defenders very good at defending but with less quality in playing out from the back. It is actually painful to watch them in possession – almost no matter which combination of central defenders he is playing.

In that context, maybe one really good ball-playing central defender could improve the confidence on the whole defense. If he is fast at the same time, we could play a higher line which would improve our defensive midfield as well. I am sure that some of the so-called deadwood actually would be seen as good players with the right mix.

It is the ability to identify the perfect mix you are paying a good manager for.

Derek Moore
153 Posted 18/05/2021 at 13:22:37
It's interesting looking at our numbers. Godfrey and Keane have been statistically great. James is fifth in the league for through-balls. Digne's numbers are there if he has failed the eye test once or twice.

Calvert-Lewin's and Richarlison's missed chances are probably the difference for us really. They've combined for over 25 missed big chances for us according to the numbers. Take a third or a half of those randomly and the goal difference and points probably change quite dramatically.

Interested to see what you think of the numbers, Robert. There's no obvious holes there other than being more clinical... and how do you coach that?

John Kavanagh
154 Posted 18/05/2021 at 13:48:34
It looks like Carlo is returning us to the old Walter Smith formula of getting in freebie has-beens and sick-notes, only this time we will be paying the relieved-to-get-rid clubs a big transfer wedge on top.

Unlike the retirement villages in Florida, Finch Farm will actually be paying its elderly residents top money for gracing us with their presence, plus free health care at its highly rated Fabien Delph intensive care wing. Our charitable status is fully deserved.

I can't wait for next season to see more sights like Fatty Jonathon Moss out sprinting the wheezing Allan to keep up with play, like happened on Black Sunday.

We need 10 more Godfreys in the squad, not ailing Gazzas.

Stephen Vincent
155 Posted 18/05/2021 at 14:12:34
In principal, I cannot disagree with the 'go list' #6. However, we need a squad – not just a first team – and if all the players on that list do go, we are left with the need to sign 12+ players. Some of the deadwood will need to be retained to provide backup for what will hopefully be a revamped 1st team.

I would personally keep Holgate, who less than a year ago was being talked about as a future captain. His versatility makes him a valuable keep and, if he can return to the form he showed last season and the beginning of this, who knows.

I would also keep Gomes for similar reasons. Keane is also a keep for me?

We need to stop Calvert-Lewin believing in all the hype about himself. For all his faults, he still has the 4th best chance conversion rate in the Premier League. We just need to create more chances for him.

We need to retain Coleman or Kenny as back up to a new right-back.

Without Europe, our only chance of attracting something approaching to talent is Carlo himself; I don't think he is going anywhere.

Justin Clark
156 Posted 18/05/2021 at 14:47:45
While the last several months of play and results have been extremely frustrating for Everton supporters, I think it is important not to lose sight of the big picture as it pertains to Carlo. Recency bias can cause a good deal of irrational thinking and sacking Carlo or asking what good has he done at all I think is not a productive conversation.

First, let's consider the "good" he has done.

1. Already, I believe we are 8 points better on point haul from the previous campaign.

2. Navigated through pandemic with limitations on training and other "normal" off-season and in-season routines – I realize all clubs have dealt with this, but it does not make it any less impactful.

3. Ended the Liverpool crux, and has beaten a number of the "Big 6" away, ending long streaks of futility.

4. Semi-decent cup performances – certainly improvements but not lauding this by any means, especially if NSNO is the standard.

Other Considerations:

1. I believe the January transfer window represented an opportunity for us to invest to push for Europe this season and we essentially stood pat – likely for financial reasons that are understandable, but also presented the best short-term window given our place in the table at that time to inject some talent, depth and energy for a back half campaign stretch. Obviously this did not occur and our squad has been thin and appears quite jaded at this point.

2. We have quite a number of 28- to 30-year-old players who have come from "larger clubs" and are consistently linked with those on the back end of their careers. I am not against maybe signing one to plug short-term holes and get the best of top talent and raise the profile of Everton, but it often seems we are getting players on the back end who think they are doing Everton a favor by coming here. I think the core of our team should be players that are young, talented and, with some priming by Carlo, who will be entering the prime of career.

3. Our youth set-up, for all its plaudits in the past, lacks seemingly any sort of strategy. We rarely pull up shining first teamers or sell off high potential individuals to fund other transfers, and ultimately those who we have earmarked as being next in line fade into obscurity, either through lack of opportunity or talent, and we get relatively no return on value.

For as long and rambling as that post was, the consensus is I don't think we are in a "blow it up" spot, nor is it time to change managers, but I do think some strategic investment in summer, and a warchest on hand with positions and players earmarked to invest in January if in a position to mount an attack on Top 4 is needed. And we need to identify a clear youth strategy going forward.

All is not lost, but if we are sitting in a similar mid-table mediocrity next season, some deep fundamental changes may be needed and some short-term serious pain may be required to reshape the club moving forward.

Jay Harris
157 Posted 18/05/2021 at 15:00:25
The problem with our current shit-show is it is affecting our good players, and I'm sure some of the players are playing with knocks, so it is hard to judge who will make the grade.

It is easy however to see that some players have been consistently below par and need moving on or replacing in the first 15.

My biggest criticism of the current set-up is lack of pace, commitment and goals. And at the back, a lack of cohesion and concentration.

Don Alexander
158 Posted 18/05/2021 at 16:23:00
All season, we've had to endure sideways and backwards passes across our defence, relentlessly. I suggest the reason for this is the total lack of movement in front of them.

All of our central defenders can pass accurately going forward. I've seen them do it, directly creating goals for Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison.

Our midfield, all of them, should hang their heads in shame in failing to provide opportunities to pass forwards. They all play as if wading in treacle, albeit Allan and Doucouré less so than the rest. They all display major lack of faith in themselves and those in midfield around them. If I was Calvert-Lewin or Richarlison, I'd be tearing my hair out.

Paul Jones
159 Posted 18/05/2021 at 16:28:12
I get the impression with regard to our squad we have players who believe that they are champions league quality. They obviously are not with regard to ability and definitely not with regard to attitude. With more endeavour and better attitude like Leicester maybe they could have won a domestic cup and got into the champions league. They cannot because of their lack of professionalism rather than ability.
I get the impression that there are some in our squad who would not sacrifice a long summer holidays on a good salary for early start to the next season the Europa cup would require.
My view is that part of the reason the away form is better is that the standards of personal behaviour / professionalism
are subject to far greater management and scrutiny.
The players must know that unlike others teams they are not good enough or professional enough to win the Europa League as a secondary means to achieve their ultimate goal hence the poor results.
Some will find when fans return that Goodison can be a very harsh place when the application and effort does not meet the required standard of the fans.
Brian Williams
160 Posted 18/05/2021 at 16:54:20
Our midfield, many times throughout the season, has been outplayed by what most could consider less skilful players because those "less skilful" players were younger, fitter, faster, and more hardworking.
And IMHO all we need to improve is a younger, fitter, faster, hardworking midfield.
Sigurdsson, Gomes, Allan to a certain extent, and even James, don't contribute enough I'm afraid.
James is a football genius, but being a football genius for five of ninety minutes is worth nowhere near a hard working, even if less skilful, player doing his stuff for seventy of the ninety.
Even the bottom six teams have players who take the ball in midfield and drive forward to the edge of the opposition's box and set up their forwards or shoot themselves.
We rarely do that.
Time and time again this season I've watched so called "lesser" players, players who most Evertonians would consider not good enough for us, outfight and outwork our midfield and ultimately win games for their teams.
Skill is nothing without effort and application and we lack both of those attributes and more.

Tony Waring
162 Posted 18/05/2021 at 17:37:35
Haven't read all posts but I would say that Kenwright or any of the directors have nowt to do with the football side of things in my opinion. The fact is we have a squad of well paid professionals who are not pulling their weight for 90 minutes per game. Carlo needs to remind them of that. I thought Sheffield Utd played really well the other night and guess what ? I don't remember the names of any of them so presume they are not champions leageue material or worth a second look ! They made our lot look like pensioners out for an afternoon stroll.
Colin Glassar
163 Posted 18/05/2021 at 17:44:24
Well at least Walcott is away off to Southampton on a permanent deal. Fingers crossed one or half a dozen will (but mainly Iwobi) be following him out of the door quite soon.
Winston Williamson
164 Posted 18/05/2021 at 17:48:55
“We are more comfortable when we play direct but that is not the best style of play,” Ancelotti admitted. “We are a team with defined characteristics. We are strong without the ball and direct. I think one of the technical reasons [for] this home run is this.“

I take this to mean, we can just about play compact, defensive football, but ask these players to play expansive, attacking play and we’ll get twatted, regularly.

“We don't have players of strong personality with the ball, strong quality with the ball. When we try to build up from the back we have some more difficulties because we play slow.“

Admittedly, this doesn’t take much interpretation. I take this to mean, our players don’t have the brains, ability or desire to string more than two passes together, plus they’re as slow as a fucking 70’s softporn movie.

“It is really difficult to explain but I have to find a solution for this. Maybe, for next season, we need to try and have, for sure, a better squad.“

I took this to mean, it’s really difficult to tell the truth without upsetting these softarse twats (and I could do with them at least trying to win the last two games), but if I could I’d sell 90% of them and replace the fuckers.

“We have to try to win the two games and see if we are in Europe or not. If we are, we will build a squad to be in Europe,” he added. “If we're not, we'll build a squad to be better in the Premier League.”

I took this to mean, I really need euro football to attract the standard of players I need. No euro football and I have to try to make these idiots look like premier league players again, which in case you haven’t watched EFC for a while, is a fucking difficult task.

Carlo is far from blame. His continued deployment of Iwobi, plus playing 5 at the back at home, plus not picking his most in form midfielder (Davies) have annoyed the shit out of me.

He has helped to improve DCL and Pickford seems to have matured a lot this season. Plus, Godfrey and Davies have show consistent form, but key players being injured and/or out of form seriously hasn’t helped.

Add that to the disgraceful attitude of certain players, and I cannot wait for the Goodison faithful to let these work shy fuckers have it with both barrels

Nick Page
165 Posted 18/05/2021 at 17:49:52
Amazing how ignorant people are. Kenwright & Co have presided over the worst run of form Everton have EVER had and even if he isn’t in the changing room before games influencing them (really?) he has forced his agenda and his style and his opinion on the club, and the way it’s run because HE WAS THE OWNER AND IS THE CHAIRMAN WHO BROUGHT IN AN INVESTOR. His friends all occupy major positions at the club. This INDIRECT involvement has direct implications on the playing side. Board-level/C-suite professionals influence and direct business strategy the world over. Roman Abramovic influences Chelsea’s footballing side, as do most owners. He puts his money and he DEMANDS a return (winning). It’s a simple formula. And only an idiot would overlook this. I wish it wasn’t the case but it is, sadly. And the longer it drags on the longer we’ll be on message boards arguing about it because some people just point-blank refuse to see the wood for the trees.
Paul Hewitt
166 Posted 18/05/2021 at 17:54:58
When are people going to give up on blaming everything on Kenwright. It's boring and untrue now.He sold up 5 years ago and why he may remain on the board do you really think men like Moshiri and Ushmonv would listen to anything he said?. Give it a rest will you. It's the managers and players to blame 100%.
Mike Doyle
167 Posted 18/05/2021 at 18:03:14
Colin # 166] Walcott is out of contract next month so was leaving anyway along with Bolasie and Besic - plus a raft of U23s. Olsen & King’s loans expire so one or both will be going too.
You would think that that they’ll be looking for some sort of fee for those with one year left such as Bernard and Kenny. Getting a fee for Tosun and Delph who also have 1 year left would, I expect, be tougher given their injury records.
Given that it’s Everton we are talking about here, don’t be surprised if Besic (who hasn’t played for us since Disraeli was Prime Minister) is given a contract extension.
Danny O’Neill
168 Posted 18/05/2021 at 18:03:59
I like that post Winston!

And you make a very good point about Pickford. Even throughout the course of this season, he definitely seems to have matured.

Thomas Richards
169 Posted 18/05/2021 at 18:10:17
"do you really think men like Moshiri and Ushmonv would listen to anything he said?"

Probably not Paul.
With that in mind, what role do you reckon Kenwright plays at the club?

Derek Wadeson
170 Posted 18/05/2021 at 18:14:14
Paul Hewitt #169. Its an easy outlet for frustration, someone has to be blamed. enter stage left Bill Kenwright.
Winston Williamson
171 Posted 18/05/2021 at 18:18:27
Danny, I didn’t particularly like Pickford, mainly because his erratic behaviour surpassed his undoubted ability. However, since his return he’s looked calm and positive.

If he keeps this up, we should have a very, very good keeper for the next five to seven seasons

Barry Hesketh
172 Posted 18/05/2021 at 18:22:39
Paul @169
There wouldn't be that opportunity to direct flak in the Chairman's direction if he had resigned from the board and became life president once he had sold his shares. It's been five years and if his health prevails it's likely to be another five before he relinquishes his role as Chairman.

Let's give Bill the benefit of the doubt and say that he has no input and doesn't have the power to affect any of the football matters at Everton - if that is true why does he remain the Chairman?

His fiercest critics could be forgiven for thinking that the Moshiri buy-out has merely been a re-hash of the club with additional cash.

Would a new owner honestly have appointed Denise Barrett-Baxendale as CEO without Bill's input? Would Finch Farm be so full of former players from the 'Barren' years without Bill's input? Would Duncan Ferguson have survived four managers without the input of Bill?

I'm not saying that any of those appointments are the wrong call, merely that they are strange things to happen to a multi-million-pound business when it is under new ownership.

Anyway, it's up to Carlo and Brands to sort out the playing side and it will be they who pay the price for failure whether Bill or his friends make the wrong calls.

Will Mabon
173 Posted 18/05/2021 at 18:23:37
Derek @ 156,

regarding statistics and forward play; though stats' alone are not all, some are very indicative. Consider our goals scored, and then observe that DCL is the only player in the list of 25 highest Prem. scorers to have not one assist to his name. Very telling of the efficacy and breadth of our attack.

Bill Griffiths
174 Posted 18/05/2021 at 18:31:25
I know it's nothing to do with this but Simms just scored a really good goal for Blackpool in their play off game.
Nick Page
175 Posted 18/05/2021 at 18:33:17
Paul Hewitt, “ When are people going to give up on blaming everything on Kenwright. It's boring and untrue now.He sold up 5 years ago and why he may remain on the board do you really think men like Moshiri and Ushmonv would listen to anything he said?.”

How ignorant can you get LOL.

What exactly is untrue? An opinion? And what the hell has Usmanov got to do with this? He sponsors the training ground. Are you a fantasist? Did Bill or did he not say he would only sell to an investor? Why didn’t he sell his whole stake in one go? How much has he made from his shares? Has he still been involved in transfers (he was involved in the Josh King one according to the media)? Did he lie about the Kings Dock? Did he try and move us to Kirbky? Is the football club stagnant? Is his friend the CEO? What influence does Moshiri have on a day to day basis?

Nick Page
176 Posted 18/05/2021 at 18:37:24
Thank-you Barry Hesketh for restoring my faith in the Evertonian readership on TW. All excellent points, well made, Sir.
Colin Glassar
177 Posted 18/05/2021 at 18:42:49
Barry 175, he’s presided over our worst period in history. He’s never won a trophy. Never come close to winning a trophy.

Darling David saved his skin for over a decade by squeezing water out of a stone. Once David departed, with his blessing, he was left bewildered and went for Roberto hoping he would be his new crutch to lean on and hide behind.

Once the Martinez project started to fall apart despite “what a manager!!” he found a sugar daddy to save him once more. For those who think he has no influence over Moshiri think again. He’s stuck closer to Moshiri than a dried up Johnny on a Sunday morning. He’s a Svengali who whispers and smiles behind the scenes.

Get rid of bill and his cronies and things might start to change. Until then

Thomas Richards
178 Posted 18/05/2021 at 18:46:47
What a finish from Cavani.
What a player.

Derek Knox
179 Posted 18/05/2021 at 18:46:56
Thomas @ 172, what role does Kenwright play at the Club? A bloody good question, which I don't think I have ever seen the answer to !

Mind you, he would be a perfect shoe-in for Landberger Gessler, if they ever do a new version of William Tell! 😜😂

Thomas Richards
180 Posted 18/05/2021 at 18:48:09
Dont put ideas in his head Derek.
Will Mabon
181 Posted 18/05/2021 at 18:49:46
He’s stuck closer to Moshiri than a dried up Johnny on a Sunday morning."

Thank the Lord I've just finished eating.,"He’s stuck closer to Moshiri than a dried up Johnny on a Sunday morning."

Thank the Lord I've just finished eating.,,,1,18:48:13,,,ok,19747,05/18/2021 18:48:13,overdrive,reader,,,no 1155814,40808,toffeeweb,18/05/2021,Tony Everan,,"Bill 177, The lad is doing incredibly well on this loan stint. He seems to be improving and gaining confidence. I hope he gets opportunities to shine with the first team in pre-season. He’s earned the right to be taken seriously.

Mike 170 , “Besic hasn’t played since Disraeli was Prime Minister”. The last time Besic played Edward the Confessor was calling the shots.

Paul Hewitt
182 Posted 18/05/2021 at 18:52:19
Nick @178. Talk about holding a grudge. Let it go.
Brian Williams
183 Posted 18/05/2021 at 19:04:21
And stop tellin' people they're ignorant because they don't agree with your "opinion."
Dale Self
184 Posted 18/05/2021 at 19:11:02
Advice for Barnacle Bill and any acolytes: Don't cling to the title if you're not going to take responsibility in adverse circumstances. In times like these when the chairman is defended by statements that he's not in charge of operations there is obviously no credible defense for his leadership.
Nick Page
185 Posted 18/05/2021 at 19:17:13
In my opinion they’re ignorant, Brian.
Paul Hewitt
186 Posted 18/05/2021 at 19:21:27
Well I'm blaming Peter Johnston then.
Thomas Richards
187 Posted 18/05/2021 at 19:23:05
Ive left your tickets at reception dahling.
Soren Moyer
188 Posted 18/05/2021 at 19:28:51
Not sure if anyone else has read this? Just wondering why can't OUR CLUB do the same thing ?

Dale Self
189 Posted 18/05/2021 at 19:29:39
just the kind of intellectual honesty we've come to expect.

Not at you Soren, just to be clear. and not commenting slyly on that post either.

Anthony Jones
190 Posted 18/05/2021 at 19:36:37
Says the manager that played 5 at the back and a midfield consisting of 2 workhorses.
Bill Griffiths
191 Posted 18/05/2021 at 19:44:29
He's added another now Tony
Colin Glassar
192 Posted 18/05/2021 at 20:31:18
Sorry for that, Will.
Don Alexander
193 Posted 19/05/2021 at 03:10:47
To defenders of Kenwright;

The manager, objective fans, former players and media commentators all speak of a culture of mundanity at best enveloping Everton for decades.

The only person right at the top of our club throughout that time has been Kenwright, making decisions, "arranging" things at every, sometimes dubious, level, signing and selling usually poor players and managers, and appointing to Finch Farm a plethora of unqualified completely inexperienced yes-men-to-their-core former players with no distinction whatsoever as coaches.

Apart from that he gets off scot-free to anyone still believing in tooth fairies.

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