Manchester City vs Everton

Saturday, 22 May, 2021 196comments  |  Jump to last
Match Preview

Everton go into the final match of the 2020-21 season with European football still within their grasp but in the knowledge they will probably need to pull off a surprise victory at Manchester City in order to seize it.

A place in the inaugural Europa Conference League is still possible for the Blues despite their horrendous home form that has seen them tumble from 2nd place on Boxing Day to 8th going into the last day of the season and there is a danger they could finish 10th if results elsewhere go against them.

A win on a ground where they haven't won for a decade will see them claim 7th spot and entry to European competition for the first time since Ronald Koeman's spell as manager if Tottenham don't win at Leicester. A draw for Carlo Ancelotti's side will be enough if Spurs lose and Arsenal don't beat Brighton at the Emirates.

Ancelotti will be without James Rodriguez and Seamus Coleman, for the trip to the Etihad Stadium, however. James was withdrawn from contention for Wednesday's win over Wolves, is ruled out this time because of his ongoing calf issues, and has been given permission by the club to return to Colombia to begin preparations for the Copa America.

Coleman, meanwhile, had to come off in the second half with an injury so Ancelotti will need to make changes to his right flank against the newly-crowned Champions. That will pose something of a dilemma for the Italian who will need to decide whether to deploy the five-man back line that has been in so many away games this season or continue with what has recently morphed into something more akin to 4-4-2, with Coleman playing right midfield.

In either case, Alex Iwobi or Bernard would be the most likely candidates to replace the skipper, unless Ancelotti wants to push someone like the more defensively-minded Abdoulaye Doucouré into the role and bring Tom Davies into central midfield to assist Allan. Otherwise, the line-up is likely to remain unchanged.

For City, this will be their coronation party in front of 10,000 fans but Pep Guardiola will have at least one eye on Saturday's Champions League final against Chelsea. The Spaniard has insisted that the six-day interval between the two games means that he won't need to rest his best players but, given the awesome depth of his squad, it's almost inconceivable that he won't leave out a few of his biggest names.

One player almost guaranteed to play a part is Sergio Agüero who plays his last game for the Citizens before leaving on a free transfer for Barcelona but it wouldn't be a surprise to see the likes of Kevin de Bruyne, Riyad Mahrez and Phil Foden start on the bench.

Everton will fall back on their terrific away record as they seek to slay another of their long-standing away hoodoos. The Blues have won 11 times on the road this season and a win at the Etihad would equal the club's record for away wins in a season.

What happens elsewhere will be out of their hands but with it being 11-vs-11 on the day, anything can happen and Everton simply need to treat it as a one-off cup tie and go for it, quality of the opposition be damned.

Kick-off: 4pm, Sunday 23 May 2021 on Sky Sports Premier League
Referee: Michael Oliver
VAR: Darren England
Last Time: Manchester City 2 - 1 Everton

Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Godfrey, Keane, Mina, Digne, Davies, Allan, Doucouré, Sigurdsson, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin


Reader Comments (196)

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Jim Bennings
1 Posted 22/05/2021 at 16:15:16
We haven't taken a point off Man City since August 2017, when Koeman was gaffer. Pretty much tells you that City have our number, address and colour of our undies.

They probably won't want to get any injuries tomorrow so it's up to us to go in hard and let them know we aren't just there for an invite to the party.

Ian Edwards
2 Posted 22/05/2021 at 16:18:50
Some stats for tomorrow.

1. If we lose we will likely finish 10th. Midtable when Ancelotti said Europe was the aim. That would be utter failure. Even finishing below the position when Allardyce left.

2. Worst home record in our history.

3. If we lose we will have our lowest points since the season when Martinez was sacked. Clearly worse than Koeman, Silva, Allardyce.

4. Failure to score and it will be our second lowest league goals scored total in the last 10 years.

Stats don't lie. Ancelotti has taken the club backwards playing the worst, most negative, dull, dreary, boring, park the bus football the fans have ever had to endure.

If Europe isn't achieved then Mr Ancelotti should resign after the game tomorrow. Sacked if he doesn't.

Bring back attractive, winning football to Everton.

Jim Bennings
3 Posted 22/05/2021 at 16:26:01

It's hard to argue with the stats like that.

I do think it's a bit foolish that we chased Allardyce in verbal assault chanting (something I hate turning on managers vocally) in that last home match versus Southampton in 2018.

Yet as the stats say, Allardyce took a worse team (on paper) and finished 8th.

But with Ancelotti 18 months on its another disappointing league place very much on the cards but we are apparently "heading in the right direction".

I'm not one for turning on managers not vocally and putting on a show at matches, it's been downright embarrassing to hear the stick the likes of Martinez, Silva and Allardyce have had at Goodison.

But there's no getting away from the fact is we are not really progression as a team under Ancelotti, it's a big summer and a big season for him next year.

The away record for this season should be the building platform for a better campaign next time around.

Kieran Kinsella
4 Posted 22/05/2021 at 16:28:27

“Stats don't lie” but your stat 3 is wrong. We already have 59 points, more than we had last year, more than the season prior also. So clearly not our “worst points haul since Martinez.”

On stat 1, you make a reasonable point. Finishing 10th would not be good, although the closeness of teams in 6th to 10th offers some context.

Robert Tressell
5 Posted 22/05/2021 at 16:30:17
4 very fair points, Ian. Is that right about the points & goals? We've had a few shockers since Martinez left so that would be a real low.

I did one of my little read articles about this time last season saying if we are to improve to Top 6 / Top 4 level, we need about 20 more goals (at least) at the same time as equalling our best recent defensive meanness.

If we've gone backwards in goals, that is truly pathetic – but not surprising when you look at the squad.

This is basically why I'm not fussed about a new centre-half this summer. I get that it makes the team and team shape better – but right now we're desperate for a few extra attacking options.

Thomas Richards
6 Posted 22/05/2021 at 16:32:04
Wondering if he will give Holgate a start tomorrow, put him in the shop window.
With Pep wanting to sign him, a good game from Mason may see a massive offer coming in. 😁😁
Jay Harris
7 Posted 22/05/2021 at 16:34:48

If you could offer positive solutions instead of the constant criticism of the manager, you might get a bit more respect on this site.

Jerome Shields
8 Posted 22/05/2021 at 16:35:34
Ian #2

Wikipedia List of Everton Managers: Win%Comparison.

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%.

Ancelotti Career total 61. 54%

Darren Hind
9 Posted 22/05/2021 at 16:39:13

Stats like that will only ever be countered by meaningless counter stats.

You can distort stats all you like, but there is one inescapable fact that bare stats cannot reveal or hide.

We have persistently tried to ruin the beautiful game since Carlo got here. People can excuse and argue all they want but we have all seen it with our own eyes.

We will never know if we could have qualified for the Champions League if the manager had demonstrated a little more courage... because he didn't. That's the sad bit.

Carlo will be here until at least half-way through next year. Let's hope he has learned a little more about the Premier League outside Top 4. Let's hope he realises that, without a bit of Devil... there is no way back.

Thomas Richards
10 Posted 22/05/2021 at 16:42:43
Wins at Spurs, Arsenal, Liverpool etc ruined the beautiful game?


Kieran Kinsella
11 Posted 22/05/2021 at 16:46:52
The “inescapable fact” doesn't require Houdini escapist skills at all because it is not a “fact”; it is an “opinion”.
Danny O’Neill
12 Posted 22/05/2021 at 16:48:49
Very valid points, Ian, and stats don't lie.

But in that context, we'd have sacked or demanded the resignation of Howard Kendall Mk 1 after 2 years. And many called for that at the time. I wasn't one but don't claim to be an expert at the time, just a young, very passionate Evertonian.

You could argue, rightfully so, there was more justification for it then than now, as we were in a darker place than where we are now. And it had only been just over 10 years from our last league title, let alone 26 years since a trophy. So this guy is trying to sort out a much bigger mess than back then.

Let's give the manager at least another season and see where he takes us.

Barry Rathbone
13 Posted 22/05/2021 at 16:51:17
Said it before but, if his name wasn't Carlo Ancelotti, we would be preparing to sack him.

And, as a sidebar, I see this idea that fans have to provide solutions in order to criticise has reared its ludicrous head. Rarely read such mindless drivel.

Ian Edwards
14 Posted 22/05/2021 at 16:53:06
Jay @7.

I often offer positive solutions: Team selections, tactics, subs. Sacking Ancelotti would be a positive solution.

As for respect, I quite frankly don't give an airborne copulation whether the "Don Carlo fanboy happy clappers" respect me or not.

Mike Gaynes
15 Posted 22/05/2021 at 16:54:58
Ian, your statistic #4 on goals is also a bit off. We have scored 47 league goals this season. We had 44 last season and 44 in '17-'18, so this would be third worst.

Robert #5, I remember your 20-goals commentary, and I remember thinking that 15 more was realistic with our uncreative midfield. Instead we've got 3 more so far. I never would have expected Richarlison to chalk up only 7 goals this season, and I believe I predicted 5-6 from Mina on set pieces (he has bagged only 2). And Doucoure, Bernard and Iwobi have combined for only 4, which is pretty weak.

The good news is our defense got even meaner, with only 43 given up versus 56 last season. Pickford, Mina and Keane all became better players, the arrival of Godfrey was huge, and Carlo finally fixed our issue of leaking goals on set pieces. So there's that.

But we still need 20 more goals to contend for Top 4, and they'll have to come in through the transfer window, because they ain't in the squad now.

Danny O’Neill
16 Posted 22/05/2021 at 16:56:38
No need for that last sentence Ian.

We're all Evertonians here.

You have have rightfully called out being abused. But now you are kind of abusing.

Mike Gaynes
17 Posted 22/05/2021 at 16:57:23
"Don Carlo fanboy happy clappers"

Well, there goes the old respect thing down the tubes.

Jerome Shields
18 Posted 22/05/2021 at 16:58:10
Danny #12

That's the point, the problem at Everton has developed over seasons, so it will be a process over seasons to rectify.

Players determine what is possible, as does the quality of the backroom staff. Ancelotti has had to play a style of football to suit. Of course other managers have said the same, but they hadn't a clue.

Ancelotti is doing what is needed and will change. Everton are lucky to be where they are given the commitment and quality of players they have.

Kieran Kinsella
20 Posted 22/05/2021 at 16:59:23
Barry @13,

That's football, mate. Look at Bruce Rioch – sacked by Arsenal. Had he stuck around for Vierra's arrival, maybe he'd have done as well as Wenger.

But in the absence of current success, proven winners like Carlo get the benefit of the doubt whereas the untried or proven losers do not. I think Carlo will turn it around but there are no guarantees and yeah if Ian Brantfoot was in charge right now, the knives would be out.

David Pearl
22 Posted 22/05/2021 at 17:00:07
The only stat that counts is we could well finish in 10th. Or 7th, whoopee (is that how its spelt)

Allardyce just didn't have a 'slightly' worse squad. He had Cuco Martina, Kenny and Ashley Williams in his defence.

Carlo failed because he cut off the supply line to the forwards. Oh and not giving King a single start. Why bring him in? Holgate left side centre back. A midfield 3 that left Digne pinned back and exposed.

I could go on and on. And on.

For me, he gets one more window to address the balance of the squad. And to replace the 2 attacking players he let go out on loan at the start of the season. Moshiri however probably won't have the balls to sack him... but, if fans are fully back, then he won't sit comfortably for long.

Will Mabon
23 Posted 22/05/2021 at 17:01:37
It's a strange one, Ian.

I'm very disappointed in much of the football. The home record is terrible. The away record however– not. It can't be denied that we spent much of the season as a very tough and solid unit on the road.

Any other world class manager would take that all day if offered it, however classy their squad, because it's a massive base to build on in a league such as this. That it was achieved with players that many describe as shite etc could be marked as even more impressive.

Some of the best football I ever saw was played by Everton in the '80s. For a time, no-one could hold a candle to it. Behind it all was strength, cohesion, solidity – and a lack of ego that meant no qualms about going dark when needed. Both in terms of physicality and also playing tight and methodical for the win.

The difference now is that the flair and attacking power is all but absent – and yet it was there in abundance at the start of the season. The team has somehow contrived to pull off the harder part and screw up the "easier" (or less hard) part – that of succeeding in winnable home games.

It's been odd for sure, it's not pretty, and I can't understand why Ancelotti has gone quite so negative at times. Awful. The defence though has not looked so promising for a long time; the equal of almost everyone else at the top. There's still a hope I believe that things can turn with a few changes.

A few months back when things went a little sour, I predicted (basically, guessed) a finish of 9th with 59 or 60 points. Looks pretty accurate!

I could type twice as much and not really add a great deal – it's one of the hardest seasons ever to fully summarize, which is why I recently said "The jury's still out".

There feels to be a basis here that I can't easily outline, that I believe needs another season and the recruitment and improvement that may result. Who knows? I certainly don't. Today, we are 8th in the league with 59 points. I do know we don't need another knee-jerk manager sacking just now. And anyway, there's the "Something in the fabric" still to address down the line...

Andrew Ellams
24 Posted 22/05/2021 at 17:09:15
For those who don't see Ancelotti as the future, I fear he's here until the new stadium is up and running. For those who think he's taking us places, don't hold your breath.
John Kavanagh
25 Posted 22/05/2021 at 17:10:13
I just hope we give City some semblance of a match tomorrow, but I fear that they will want to put on an exhibition match. Aguero will want to finish with a flourish. A result is still possible if Calvert-Lewin or Richarlison can sneak a goal and we hold on like grim death.

I hope that our players stay on at the end to see City presented with the trophy so that they can see what winners look like. Apart from a few, it will be the nearest they will ever get to a trophy.

To quote Brando we 'cudda been a contenda', but have fucked up this season in the uniquely Everton way. So COYB, please end this season with a pleasant surprise. 0-1 with Iwobi to score in the 94th minute. ;-)

Jerome Shields
28 Posted 22/05/2021 at 17:16:01
Andrew #24,

Ancelotti will take Everton so far but, if real success is to be achieved, you need a Winning Chairman.

Roger Helm
30 Posted 22/05/2021 at 17:48:36
When you compare our players with the squads above us, we are where we belong – upper mid-table.

As for the play, it is a results business and Carlo says when he sets up to attack, we lose... and when we defend, we do better. He says the priority for the summer is a speedy goal-scoring wide player which sounds okay to me.

We have more points than last season and we won at Anfield and Arsenal, so it's not all bad.

Simon Dalzell
31 Posted 22/05/2021 at 17:54:43
Ian (#2),

Great post. I see it exactly the same. Many on here are blinded by the manager's past of managing superstars.

Jay (7) has no right to say you're not respected generally, that's just his opinion. Baffling team selections, atrocious in game management, unwatchable, turgid football. It's Carlo's job to find the 'positive solutions', yet when people just describe the crap we have been subjected to, it is they who are asked to find the answers.

I think many could pick better teams. Constant criticism is inevitable if it is deserved.

Ian Edwards
33 Posted 22/05/2021 at 18:15:41
Thanks, Simon @31. It's clear the argument is won when there is an attempt to divert focus on to the person making the argument. Thomas Richards is a case in point above.
Kieran Kinsella
34 Posted 22/05/2021 at 18:17:07

I don't think people are blinded, I think they're referencing history to predict the future.

If you were hiring a bus driver, would you not expect a world class bus driver to do a better job than a chimpanzee? Now maybe the chimp would turn out to be a natural while the world class bus driver develops a drinking problem, cataracts and loses feeling in his hands, all of which affect his performance. But at the outset, there's a basis for believing he could do the job that's not forged through “blindness”.

Kieran Kinsella
35 Posted 22/05/2021 at 18:18:05
Ian @33,

You never acknowledged your alternative “stats” about points totals.

Brian Murray
36 Posted 22/05/2021 at 18:18:33
Jerome post 2.

Yes, success does always start from the top. Be careful – Andy Lloyd Webber's henchman will be after you on here. I've been banned already over it ha ha. Cold day in Lucifer's gaff before he goes, by the way. If only.

Brian Murray
37 Posted 22/05/2021 at 18:22:07
With the four or five good or very good central defenders we have (depends on your view and how we use them), a decent goalie plus Allan, Richarllison and Calvert-Lewin is more than enough starting point to build a team around.

It could be an exciting summer or an Everton summer... who knows?

Thomas Richards
38 Posted 22/05/2021 at 18:22:33
Why, Ian?

Because I pointed out the obvious flaw in your posting? You may recall I stood up for you at the beginning of your posting controversially. It then became obvious that your posts were intended to attract attention.

You seem to get a kick out of being spoken to in a derogatory manner? Otherwise, why would you keep posting inflammatory posts?

It goes without saying you are entitled to post whatever you see fit. I will defend that all day. Just don't come across all Shirley Temple when you get inflammatory responses.

Ajay Gopal
40 Posted 22/05/2021 at 18:25:20
I would play Iwobi in his “preferred” position, ie, just behind the striker in a 4-2-3-1 formation.

Godfrey Mina Keane Digne
Allan Davies
Sigurdsson Iwobi Richarlison

Davies for Doucouré because he seems to do well against Man City, and Doucouré was crap against Wolves. Having Godfrey will make Pep think twice about risking his stars for the Champions League Final.

Kieran Kinsella
41 Posted 22/05/2021 at 18:31:06

I think we will see the return of Gomes as opposed to Iwobi. Granted Doucouré was poor last week but surely he's better than Tom? The lad has no pace, and it's been about 5 years since his goal against them.

Alan J Thompson
43 Posted 22/05/2021 at 18:40:33
It is quite right to say that statistics don't tell the whole story, I mean, at what point this season did we look like we might fall into a relegation position?

But that couldn't be down to the manager, could it?

Duncan McDine
44 Posted 22/05/2021 at 18:50:50
Forget driving the team bus... put the chimp and the old drunk in midfield. They’d be an upgrade.
Chris Leyland
45 Posted 22/05/2021 at 18:52:16
Ian (2),

As one of your ‘stats' is actually wrong (No 3) and others are based on the outcome of a match that hasn't yet taken place, here some alternatives.

1. Win tomorrow and it's our 3rd highest points total in 12 years
2. Don't concede tomorrow and it's the fewest goals conceded in 8 years
3. We've won away at both Liverpool and Arsenal for the first time in 22 and 25 years respectively.
4. Best ever away record in Premier League history and currently best in club history (adjusted for 3 points for a win per game).
5. Regardless of the result tomorrow, it is the most away wins per games in the league's history.
6. Win tomorrow and other results go our way and we are in Europe.

As your sidekick highlights in post 9, stats can be countered and manipulated either way

Andrew McLawrence
46 Posted 22/05/2021 at 18:57:49
Statistically the average number of legs a person has is less than 2. Actually I think this might explain a lot with our current crop of players.
Mike Gaynes
47 Posted 22/05/2021 at 19:01:53
Chris #45,

Welcome to the ranks of "Don Carlo fanboy happy clappers" (Ian #14)! The open bar is to your left, the buffet to your right.

We will actually be cheering for the club when the game comes on. You can lead the "Carlo Fantastico" chant if you want.

Darren Hind
48 Posted 22/05/2021 at 19:08:51

We play our last game in 24 hours. Time to get behind the lads.

We have all summer to discuss why the manager still has us playing the ugliest football in the land.

Thomas Richards
49 Posted 22/05/2021 at 19:10:23

You reckon Holgate will start, Darren?

Or will Carlo keep him hidden in case Mason's display encourages a massive bid from Pep?

Steve Brown
50 Posted 22/05/2021 at 19:13:48
Chris, stop quoting facts! It's unacceptable.
Mark Ryan
52 Posted 22/05/2021 at 19:19:45
I disagree with the idea that we play Mason Holgate to put him "in the shop window" – that's like putting my granny in a shop front in Amsterdam. It's not gonna work because he's Championship at best.

And as for putting Iwobi back in his preferred position, where's that ? He's worse than Holgate wherever he plays.

I hope both are sold and quickly too. The idea that Pep wants him is laughable... what for? Seriously.

Thomas Richards
53 Posted 22/05/2021 at 19:24:40
Mark 52

Seriously. We were informed by a fellow ToffeeWebber that Guardiola was preparing a bid for Mason. Foolishness at its very best.

I guarantee Holgate, if he is transferred, will not be signing for a Top 6 team.

Brendan McLaughlin
54 Posted 22/05/2021 at 19:27:57
Mark #52,
Well If Wayne Rooney was strolling through De Wallen... you never know!
Jerome Shields
55 Posted 22/05/2021 at 19:30:04
Mike #15

Everton have been creating chances but, with forwards not in position, poor pass compilation in the final third, poor first touch, poor finishing, and little link-up play in the penalty area, a lot have gone begging.

We badly need a forward who is clinical to get those goals. How long has it been since a goal has come from other than the usual suspects? Richarlison's goal against Wolves was a rare set-piece goal.

Darren Hind
56 Posted 22/05/2021 at 19:40:41
It was widely reported, very widely reported, that Manchester City had been very impressed with Holgate and were preparing a bid. Thats a fact.

Carlo responded with a new 4-year offer and a massive pay rise... There's another fact.

Not sure why Carlo bothered. He has ruined him this season by playing him here, there, and everywhere and often with three other centre- halves.

Pretty sad when people have to drag the name of a player out of form as a diversionary tactic to the blistering criticism of the manager.

Holgate will be back to his best; Carlo won't. That won't stop some desperately climbing aboard the diversionary tactic by making this about Holgate.

Thomas Richards
57 Posted 22/05/2021 at 19:42:01
"It was widely reported, very widely reported, that Manchester City had been very impressed with Holgate and were preparing a bid."


"Pretty sad when people have to drag the name of a player out of form as a diversionary tactic to the blistering criticism of the manager."

Not at all; no need. I am just pointing out I think he is hopeless.

Bill Gienapp
58 Posted 22/05/2021 at 19:44:15
People seriously need to stop trotting out the "Allardyce got us to 8th" argument as if it's some sort of legitimate accomplishment.

He got us to 49 points. 49 points would be good for 12th this season. Ancelotti has us 10 points better with a match to play. And we're supposed to believe he's taking us backwards? Give me a break!

Allardyce also had an infinitely easier path to European qualification... but alas, he couldn't catch mighty Burnley down the stretch.

Allardyce didn't have a single victory of note. Not one. Let alone winning at Anfield, beating Tottenham twice, sweeping Arsenal or beating Chelsea.

Look, if you want to argue that Allardyce did the job he was brought in to do, fine. But don't pretend for one second like he didn't get enough credit, or that he and Ancelotti are interchangeable.

Ian Edwards
62 Posted 22/05/2021 at 19:57:16
The stats I referred to were stated in a national newspaper this morning. If the source material is wrong then so be it.

It doesn't alter the fact that the Manager is badly under-performing.

Thomas... I have never sought to post controversially. I just give an honest opinion.

Eddie Dunn
63 Posted 22/05/2021 at 20:00:26

It doesn't matter whether we "get behind the lads", as we won't be there and they won't be watching our Live Forum.

However, I am sure we will lose tomorrow; I just hope we show some attacking intent as we could cause them problems, particularly if Dias is rested.

We will miss Seamus as he kept Sterling quiet at our place. I think Sterling will start, as he has slipped down the pecking order and so will be extra keen to do well. Holgate will struggle to stay with him but our big problems will come when Foden enters stage left. Then it will be Goodnight Carlo.

Positive things to think about over the summer... winning at Anfield and other away wins, the two home games with Spurs and our scintillating early form in all competitions.

The downside is some of the football we have played has been truly awful. Ancelotti's tactics and subs have left me baffled. However Godfrey, Pickford, Keane and Davies have been great and Seamus has defied his age and injuries to show a great example.

Sigurdsson and James have at times produced wonderful end product and, for a while, Calvert-Lewin looked very good.

I will be waiting impatiently for us to bring in the players that Carlo thinks will improve us. Fuck the Euros.

Ian Edwards
64 Posted 22/05/2021 at 20:04:13
Bill @58.

People trot out the "Allardyce got us to 8th" to show the hypocrisy of fans making out he was a terrible manager rightly sacked whereas, the same fans worship the ground Ancelotti walks on for performing even worse.

Allardyce may not have had the win at Anfield but he also never had the most embarrassing derby defeat to Liverpool's school team.

I'm not saying we were wrong to get rid of Allardyce or that he is a superb manager, I'm just pointing out that Ancelotti is no better and fans can't realistically slaughter Big Sam while lauding Don Carlo.

Brian Murray
65 Posted 22/05/2021 at 20:16:21
Iwobi's fee and his salary, plus his ability – or lack of – mean we can't plan this summer without him. He has stay; no-one will be daft enough to take him with all that in mind.

Getting Bernard Sigurdsson, Gomes off the books might just might see us buy this winger Carlo was on about. That's a start.

Ian @64.

Seeing them shower sniggering in the stands to each other (Dalglish and Rush) during the derby defeat, I honestly thought there's no way back for Carlo after that. Obviously this club is either very realistic or very low in ambition... probably the latter for now until the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock rises above the Mersey,

Rob Halligan
67 Posted 22/05/2021 at 20:27:47
Bill #58.

Two games stand out for me during Allardyce's time as Everton manager: the away game at Arsenal when he played about nine defenders and Calvert-Lewin. The game plan was to clearly nullify the Arsenal attack, playing zombie like football, and hoping to snatch a draw. We were one down after about 5 minutes, and four down by half-time. We done great second half, managing a creditable 1-1 draw, finally losing the game 5-1.

The other game was the 1-1 draw at Anfield, courtesy of a Wayne Rooney penalty, but god knows how we managed to get away with a draw.

As to the games you mention we've won this season, do you also think Allardyce could have guided a team to a 3-3 draw at Old Trafford after being 2-0 down at half time? No, me neither. Do you think Allardyce would also have won at Leicester? No, me neither. Do you think overall Allardyce is a good manager? No, me neither.

How the fuck his West Brom team won 5-2 at Chelsea is well beyond me, but I suppose every manager has his day, and that day was clearly his.

Kevin Prytherch
69 Posted 22/05/2021 at 20:32:51
I'm glad that Holgate has regressed to “Championship at best” as the last two “Championship at best” players we had have turned out to be quite good!!!!!
Tony Everan
80 Posted 22/05/2021 at 21:38:52
It's been a weird season with the away wins and the shameful home defeats. The crowds back will reign all that in next season, even the 6,500 made a difference to our performance.

The KITAP1 away will still be used away and hopefully we will see 8+ wins next season. Also, with new attacking signings and the crowd back, our home form will be drastically improved.

So despite the completely understandable misgivings, there are reasons to be positive for next season. Give Carlo a chance, he's stabilised the club; next season it's time to push on into the Top 6 and win a cup.

Finally, the fact that we still have something to play for at the last match of the season is some sort of positive and hasn't been the norm in recent years.

David McMullen
81 Posted 22/05/2021 at 21:49:39
Ah the Manchester City preview. Or season review? Ancelotti assassination?

As someone said, we're all Evertonians. I can't pretend to have enjoyed many games this season – good results apart.

Tony (#80) calls it well. Big day tomorrow let's hope we do pull this off.

Talking of pulling it off... we're all seasoned self-abusers – we must be watching these week after week.

Stephen Brown
82 Posted 22/05/2021 at 22:16:55
James posting pictures of himself flying back to Colombia is probably not great PR! Not bothered watching his teammates tomorrow?
Brian Wilkinson
83 Posted 22/05/2021 at 22:33:47
This Summer is the big one, quite a few contracts ending; a few more next Summer.

We have been stuck with these for a good few years, time to make a clean sweep, get some out of the club.

Start the second phase of rebuilding. I agree with Carlo, we've got quite a bit of shite that he has been trying to plug the gaps with.

Now, if we bring a few players in, and our football is still the same, then I will start to doubt the guy.

Let's see what tomorrow brings.

Bobby Mallon
84 Posted 22/05/2021 at 22:58:47
Oh Darren @56, Carlo hasn't made Holgate worse; Holgate has done that. Carlo didn't make him play rubbish passes or make him make rash tackles. These players have to take responsibility for their own actions.

Yes, Carlo has made mistakes... but he's turned Calvert-Lewin into a top striker instead of a headless chicken. Made Keane a far better central defender.

You and Ian Edwards have always disliked Carlo.

Anish Dosani
85 Posted 22/05/2021 at 23:02:07
Frustrating thing is, when we played a 4-4-2 formation, we had balance and were winning games well.

Now Carlo has changed to 4-3-3 or 5-3-2, we've lost the balance, and lost lots of games.

I do not get it. If it ain't broke, don't try to fix it.

Kieran Kinsella
86 Posted 22/05/2021 at 23:11:27
Carlo hasn’t “ruined” Holgate. I’m sure with a decent dowry he can still find a respectable spouse.
Trevor Peers
87 Posted 22/05/2021 at 23:40:36
I'm indifferent to who is the Everton manager as long as he makes us a better team.

This season, Carlo has made us much worse to watch and that takes some doing following Big Sam. Okay, we beat Liverpool when they were on their worst run for a century... so what ?

Uncle Carlo needs to sign some forwards – something he neglected to do last summer – or he will go the same way as his soulmate Mourinho did at Spurs, next season.

This summer's signings will give us the answer to his fate, even before the new season starts.

David Pearl
88 Posted 22/05/2021 at 23:42:07
Well a new season offers fresh hope for certain players.

Richarlison, Iwobi, Holgate and perhaps Gomes stunk the place out. Delph couldn't get going but looked promising. Calvert-Lewin and Davies improved. Doucouré and Allan came into midfield and it looked good for a while. So does he give them another chance?

Perhaps he has to as Brands can't find new homes for them all. If l'm not mistaken, Walcott, Besic, Bolasie and Sandro are all out of contract. Oh... and Tosun.

John Keating
89 Posted 22/05/2021 at 00:01:50
“Bring back attractive winning football”

Hmm when did we have that then?

I remember a season or two around 1963... A season or two around 1970... A few under Kendall.

So let's say 7 or 8 seasons in the last 60. Not exactly non-stop entertainment.

Kieran Kinsella
90 Posted 23/05/2021 at 00:10:07

“Delph looked promising.”

Give him a few more years and he might earn a senior deal. Or a senior citizen deal.

Mike Gaynes
91 Posted 23/05/2021 at 00:38:23
Bobby #84 and Kieran #86, hahaha and amen.
Jerome Shields
92 Posted 23/05/2021 at 00:42:27
Brian #36,

Really our Chairman is in the same position, with same power, and a lot richer. He only has to give lip service to the actual owner. Everton is being run as it has always been run since the Chairman started.

A poster lately posted on ToffeeWeb that he had asked asked the Chief Executive of Man City, Why Everton where not successful? The Chief Executive said that there was no winning metality at all levels within the club. Rooney, on being transfered to Man Utd, could not get over how much they thought winning was important. It was rarely mentioned at Everton.

Ancelotti is trying to drag Everton up by the bootstraps with this mentality still firmly in place and has been facing resistance, so much so he has had to go public.

Ancelotti will improve Everton, but it is the same with any football team. A winning manager needs a winning Board and Chairman or Committee and President to win anything. This is the case at every football level.

Whilst Moshiri has got the right manager, he is not running Everton Football Club, the Chairman is. Ancelotti needed to get into European competition to shift the power in the Club. There is resistance within the club to getting into Europe to prevent this.

Holgate has never been the same since his injury. Recovery at Finch Farm may have been successful physically, but it wasn't mentality-wise.

James Flynn
93 Posted 22/05/2021 at 00:55:43
Tom Davies has every intrinsic quality for top-league football except the two critical ones: top-league athleticism and skill. He's devoid of both.

He, through no fault of his, is a ToffeeWeb Poster Boy for "He's one of us!" plucky old Everton.

If we reinforce the midfield this next window, as we should and need to, Davies will cease playing.

Holgate? If he goes, he goes. I'd keep him for a substitute. Pacey enough, he can make a pass or two.

James Flynn
94 Posted 23/05/2021 at 01:00:38
"Really, our Chairman is in the same position, with the same power and a lot richer. He only has to give lip service to the actual owner. Everton is being run as it has always been run, since the Chairman started."


He has no power whatsoever.

Don Alexander
95 Posted 23/05/2021 at 02:54:35
James Flynn,

I basically agree with your assessment of "our Tom" (and nor do I blame the lad for his innate limitations) but I'm bemused as to how you can then fail to assert the same quality of analysis regarding the conniving, evasive disaster that Kenwright has promulgated on all of us for decades.

It's hallucinatory to do so, pal!

All the best.

Alun Jones
96 Posted 23/05/2021 at 03:04:58
I think it's not quite as straight-forward as comparing records of managers in this situation. I think the reason Carlo is not getting the stick of some of his predecessors is because his pedigree gives people hope.

I certainly never felt either Sam or Marco were capable of getting Everton where we all want them to be... whereas I feel Carlo can. We haven't had a manager for a long time with his track record of winning trophies, so I think we need to give him a bit more time before pressing the reset button.

I don't see how replacing him now is going to improve our chances of success next season. We have had too much change in the managerial chair since Moyes left so I think it's time to give someone a bit longer.

Laurie Hartley
97 Posted 23/05/2021 at 04:34:49
Alum # 96 - a very well thought out and reasoned post. I agree with those sentiments.
Andy Walker
98 Posted 23/05/2021 at 05:45:39
Ian Edwards #2. ‘ Stats don't lie' - except if they are written by you. Before you start criticising our manager for incompetence, look closer to home and get your own house in order.

Your most glaring, but not only, mistake is stating that if we lose today we will have our lowest points total since Martinez was sacked. Complete and utter rubbish, Ian, and not exactly difficult to check.

You later make matters worse by stating the stats you quoted were from a newspaper, as if that's some sort of justification to explain away your own ineptitude. You lazily assumed the newspaper stats were correct and you don't possess the basic knowledge of the recent history of our club to at least think ‘those stats don't look right' and then take a minute to verify them. But then if you have an agenda, why let accuracy get in the way? An abysmal fail on your part.

Darren Hind
99 Posted 23/05/2021 at 05:48:25

I know you have a natural reaction to point the finger at just about everyone else, but I won't be drawn into the desperate sideshow created to divert criticism of your hero on this thread. It's matchday; I want to focus on my team, but I'll address your point in due time.

In fact, I plan to do a little piece about the massive improvement we've seen since Carlo's arrival. If the guys publish it, you'll have plenty of opportunity to kick the arse out of it then.

Jerome Shields
100 Posted 23/05/2021 at 06:27:42
James #94,

He has the power to stay in his position, employ the Chief Executive, control the voting at Board level, extend Brands's contract, input into player transfers and subsequent contracts, input into and maintain coaching and medical positions in the club, be the main link with Premier League Authorities, input into managerial appointments, and whether they stay, input into the value of shares by negotiating a price for his remaining shares, and dictate the structure of the club by the Shareholders Agreement with Moshiri when the club was taken over. Finally, he decided who the present major shareholder would be.

Brian Murray
101 Posted 23/05/2021 at 06:56:55
Jerome #92, James #94.

I truly believe it will be like lighting the blue touch paper when he leaves or is asked to leave. The whole club's mentality will change and one will be picked by coaches and CEO etc because they are at the top of their game.

Whether Carlo survives is up to him but he really has to at least step up and not be happy with going a goal up for starters. Maybe I have it totally wrong and it's not his team. Hope so. This summer will tell us.

Don Wright
102 Posted 23/05/2021 at 07:07:11
Let's not be negative about today's game. Man City will probably not play a full-strength team with the final next week a damn sight more important to them than a dead rubber against a team who is no threat to them.

The starting XI will by-and-large have one eye on the flip-flop or not want to get hurt with said game coming up. With our away form, now is the best time to play them.

City's fringe players are better than most other teams' starting XIs but look at who we have beaten on the road this season. Europe or not, we can end the season with a win. COYB

Danny O’Neill
103 Posted 23/05/2021 at 07:12:02
I'm ready to start looking at European destinations, Don!!

Come on Everton.

Bobby Mallon
104 Posted 23/05/2021 at 07:48:56
Darren @99,

I look forward to it. As you say, it's match day. So let's get behind team and manager.

Jerome Shields
105 Posted 23/05/2021 at 08:05:25
Brian #101,

It would be. Getting into Europe would have really helped Carlo because it would have meant a swing of power to the manger and would have upset the status quo that exists. Good luck today in trying to achieve that objective.

But I do expect Ancelotti will continue to try to build anyway. I don't think there will be no more signings than two to three at the most, but it is crucial he gets the right players, that being in Europe would have helped with.

Sigurdsson tried at the start of this year to get a contract extension, though he has another year on his contract. Things have gone quiet on that front. Hopefully 1-year extensions have finished after Baines, one of the status quo indications.

As far as I am concerned, the jury is still out on Brands, as regards who controls him. He does not come across as a stand-alone Director and is the key in the transfer process. Ancelotti needs more changes in the backroom positions but, given it took him 6 months to announce his incoming staff positions, I think it will take another year to do this.

At least this year, the away strip will be available before the start of next season. Don't expect more money to be available via the commercial front.

Ancelotti's position has been strengthened with a 46. 8% win rate. He will need to improve on that, obviously needing more clinical finishing.

I really did think that Ancelotti would have achieved a Top 6 finish, but underestimated the resistance within the Club to progress, beyond the status quo. Not achieving this was more Everton's doing than competing clubs. I doubt that anyone in the club will accept blame.

Bobby Mallon
106 Posted 23/05/2021 at 08:21:06
I am going to eat humble pie now.

I stated in another post that we are a mid-table team. Well I have just looked back at our Premier League seasons and, since 2004-05, we have finish outside the Top 8 on only 4 occasions.

We where proper rubbish until Moyes took over. From finishing 13th and below, we started finishing 8th and above.

Money has taken our fans expectations through the roof. We really are not as bad as some think. It's just other teams have spent their money more wisely.

Bill Gienapp
107 Posted 23/05/2021 at 08:37:19
Ian (64),

My point is that the Premier League table is a pointless metric without proper context. Allardyce finished 8th because it was a weak, uncompetitive season – hence why Burnley of all teams ended up 7th.

The competition this season has been far stiffer. Aston Villa, a very solid side, are guaranteed to finish outside the top 10. I'm quite confident Allardyce would have had his ass handed to him (and basically did, with West Brom).

Kim Vivian
108 Posted 23/05/2021 at 08:40:36
We seem to play better when we are expected to lose. High hopes for this afternoon. Man City frankly won't care if they win or lose so long as they stay injury free. I'll go 2-1 win.

Trouble with Holgate is he is not as good as he thinks he is, and also for some reason, since working on his "image". He was better with the shit haircut, without the eyebow thingy, and before the gum strutting. He needs to realise he is not quite the new Beckenbauer but really just a donkey with a fancy saddle.

Ian Edwards
109 Posted 23/05/2021 at 09:00:35
Andy. I hold my hands up. The stat since Martinez should have said most defeats in a season if we lose – not least points. I read the article hours earlier and had mis-remembered it when I posted. My bad.

However, my bad memory shouldn't deflect attention from a bad manager.

Steve Brown
110 Posted 23/05/2021 at 09:05:54
City players will be bricking it today in case they get injured for the Champions League Final. Let's be aggressive today and get stuck right into the, UTFT!
Neil Lawson
111 Posted 23/05/2021 at 09:28:36
I very much doubt that any player selected by Pep will be "bricking it". They would be straight out of the door. Probably would become a transfer target for Carlo.
Jerome Shields
112 Posted 23/05/2021 at 09:29:55
Ian #109

You do have valid points, but the issues at Everton are deeper and difficult to turn around. Getting a manager of Ancelotti's experience will be impossible and we would be back to the management merry-go-round of up-and-coming young managers.

Ancelotti's changes have resulted in a 46. 8% win rate. He is now a lot more aware of his players' ability and commitment and the strength and weaknesses of his backroom team. He will continue to push the limits and expose weaknesses in the team, forcing players to change and improve.

Hopefully he will get a committed and winnng performance from his players today.

Rob Halligan
114 Posted 23/05/2021 at 09:32:37

Steve doesn't mean “bricking it” because they are playing us, he means for fear of getting injured and missing the Champions League Final.

If any of their players see Ben Godfrey steaming towards them at 100 mph, they are going to think twice about going into a tackle with him and just back out.

Thomas Richards
115 Posted 23/05/2021 at 09:35:28
Ah well. Just the one game to go for us.

The doom and gloom posters can torment themselves for a few months with thoughts of relegation next season (yes, it was mentioned many times this season by some posters).

Me? I will enjoy the close season, and run up to the start of next season, safe in the knowledge this manager will get it right.

Rob Halligan
116 Posted 23/05/2021 at 09:41:08
I really hope our players do “get stuck into city” today, and theysay to them on the pitch “Fuck your Champions League Final, you're playing us today”.

Let's see one or two Man City players get “not too badly injured”, then let's see Pep at the end castigating Carlo, the way he and his backroom staff did towards Graham Potter in midweek, while Big Dunc is stood alongside him!!

Phil Williams
117 Posted 23/05/2021 at 09:50:26
Disappointing season in the main:

Terrible home results.
Beaten by teams that should easily have been put away.
Missed opportunities.
Awful football to watch at times.
Manager criticism.
Incomprehensible tactics at times.

All of the above apply to Us, Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal (and others). And before people say they don't care about the others, I'm making the point that the whole season has been weird. Man City, Chelsea and Man Utd could have been added to that list above, but they've turned it around (bigger and better squads).

I'm neither a hater nor a lover of Ancelotti, but with hoodoos banished and his signings being amongst our better players this season, I think I'll judge him next May. A trophy and Top 6 will do me!

Ian Edwards
118 Posted 23/05/2021 at 09:55:34
Thomas. You may discount relegation next season but when fans are back it's unlikely our away form will continue. Our poor home form isn't down to fans. It's due to negative tactics. If that doesn't change it could be a problem.

Incidentally, prior to kick off today, we only have two fewer defeats than Brighton.

Steve Brown
119 Posted 23/05/2021 at 09:59:53
Haha Rob, thanks for explaining to Neil!
Rob Halligan
120 Posted 23/05/2021 at 10:01:01
So when fans are back, our away form won’t be the same as this season, but our home form isn’t down to having any fans. You couldn’t make it up.

Oooops, someone did!

Paul Birmingham
121 Posted 23/05/2021 at 10:02:44
I hope, a week on from the worst home display in recent times, that Everton look forward and give this game blood, sweat and tears and play like they want to and believe they can win.

To have self-inflicted this predicament and put this to the last game and still need favourable results, Arsenal, Spurs and Leeds, is solely down to rotten home form this season.

Hopefully Leicester and Brighton can do a job, and West Brom, but Everton will never have had a better chance to have made Europe.

So not quite Death or Glory, but it's going to make for a simmering and hopefully and weather wise hot summer.

So smash into them, no mercy. Interesting to see who starts for Man City, they could put two Top 5 teams out every week.

But Everton, if they believe, can do this. Put in a proper shift in and give it their all, and that is all that is asked today.

Derek Knox
122 Posted 23/05/2021 at 10:06:11
Ian @ 118, have you got any spare rope, razor blades, paracetamol etc?

Why, because I feel suicidal when I come on here and read your posts, and your partner in morbidity (the other half of Jedward), Mr Tasker, which is why I don't come on as much, or indeed, post myself, like I used to!

The post on ToffeeWeb used to be fun, and no we didn't all agree or share the same viewpoints, that's healthy in my opinion. But recently they have taken on a new and rather unwelcoming tone, so much so, that I often question: Do we really all support the same team? Everton FC.

Steve Brown
124 Posted 23/05/2021 at 10:11:08
Ian @ 118,

You work hard to outdo yourself with your posts. As this is our second-best season ever for away results, that will end next season when fans return. As this is a really poor season for home results, that will continue when fans return. And next season, we are going to get relegated!

Your posts should come with a laughter track.

Barry Rathbone
125 Posted 23/05/2021 at 10:14:35
No matter what team City put out, they should be good enough to pass it around this limited Everton side without a tackle being made. Fully expect a training ground non-event, possibly 0-0, with the only meaningful run being Everton players dashing to the team bus to jet off to sunnier climes.

In retrospect, this was another season over when the cup interest was done – although the delusion of Top 4 remained for the slack-jawed.

Rob Halligan
126 Posted 23/05/2021 at 10:17:33
Steve, we need to invent a ToffeeWeb Clap-O-Meter! The louder the clap, the funnier the post!

Meanwhile, listening to Sky Sports News and it seems they already have Man City down for a cast iron win. City will go out on a high, want to win it for the fans, and more importantly, Aguero, who is going to come on and score a penalty in the 93rd minute.... Apparently!

Colin Glassar
127 Posted 23/05/2021 at 10:19:24
Most people are expecting a massacre, and they are probably right, but this Jekyll and Hyde Everton team are capable of causing an upset.

Doubt it though. 4-1 home win to leave us on a pathetic 0 - GD.

Ian Edwards
128 Posted 23/05/2021 at 10:27:16
My post wasn't contradictory. Our away form could be due to home teams having no fans.

Our home form is due to negative tactics and formation and would be the same with fans.

Paul A Smith
130 Posted 23/05/2021 at 10:33:24
Unbelievable to say Ancelotti has made Holgate go backwards. The lad has barely played 5 good games on the spin since hes been here.

He has never been anywhere near the England reckoning and hasn't excelled in any of the positions he has played.

It's beyond stupid to over-rate a player that has mostly played in teams struggling for form and then say a manager has ruined him.

If you were to list all the right-backs for England's next game, where would he be?

If you were to name all the centre-halves, where would he be? Even on form.

I can't work out where the hype comes from but again I think it's shocking standards from fans demanding so called better things for Everton.

I don't think any manager on earth picks him, even ahead of a fit Keane and Mina.

Jonathan Tasker
131 Posted 23/05/2021 at 10:34:45
As the other half of Jedward, I can only reiterate: Carlo Out.

He's an old has-been taking the piss. He should never have been appointed in the first place.

Sticking with him is a pointless exercise. Another complete waste of a season.

Steve Brown
132 Posted 23/05/2021 at 10:36:47
Rob @ 126, glad it's all sorted. We can call off the game then.
Colin Glassar
135 Posted 23/05/2021 at 10:39:41
Ian 128, very convenient argument for you. Either way, you win. 🙄🙄
Steve Brown
136 Posted 23/05/2021 at 10:40:08
Jonathan, you seem to be a bit ageist in your posts?

How old are you by the way?

Darren Hind
137 Posted 23/05/2021 at 10:42:35

Some superb posts all season complaining about the lack of quality so readily accepted by the group of people on here all the time.

As Evertonians, it is our duty to reject shite, whether it's from the Chairman, the owner, or indeed the manager. However, we have done that, from the final whistle of our last game right through to the next matchday. Let's get behind the lads before and during the game.

Eddie quite rightly points out that it doesn't matter because they can't hear us... but if we can't get behind the lads on matchday, when can we?

I've gone with the heart instead of the head today. Never the best of ideas when you are placing your bet, but I've taken 6/1 for a Royal Blue victory.

Man City are a very good team, occasionally a brilliant one, but there are a few reasons why they may not be firing on all cylinders today and we need to be ready to pounce if their focus drops.

Steve Brown
138 Posted 23/05/2021 at 10:47:21
Don't think we should reject shite - that would be a bit harsh. Just laugh at it.
Barry Robson
139 Posted 23/05/2021 at 10:48:44
Phil Williams @117.

Very accurate assessment of our season and the season of others. Like you, I will judge Carlo this time next year. UTFT

Barry Hesketh
140 Posted 23/05/2021 at 10:49:36
Top 4 optimism wasn't only for the slack-jawed amongst us, it was a tantalisingly achievable objective. Nobody could have foreseen our unbelievably poor home form at the turn of the year.

Following the victory at Sheffield United, Everton were 2nd in the table going into 2021. Victory at the Hawthorns in early March took us up to 5th in the table but, following the defeat by Chelsea and compounded by the defeat at home to Burnley, the wheels have fallen off and a season that looked to promise so much has ended with a whimper.

I fully expect a defeat today, because we're playing Man City and because this team isn't likely to score more than we concede against them.

Wherever Everton end up in the table, it will be justified as the table doesn't lie – the opportunity was alive for at least a Europa League place only a few months ago but, due to poor attitude, bad tactics, or just having players that aren't up to it, this season can be viewed as a failure.

Paul A Smith
144 Posted 23/05/2021 at 11:00:03
Ian is definately right about one thing. The lack of quality stinks. That has been on going and while Moshiri has given managers money to spend, I am not afraid to say a lot has come from the quality he sold.

In todays markets and the state of the balance in fairness, it would take us years to replace Lukaku. In terms of ambition it was poorly thought through.

I have banged on about this before but an ambitious club would not sell their best forward to the side that finishes one place above them.

That is rotten and has a terrible knock on effect. It wreaks of weakness and Lukaku should have been sent abroad.

Man U would never make a rival stronger. Look what it done to Arsenal when Van Persie went to them.

The bigger picture is far more important than this weeks tactics when a man has been brought it to change the structure of what winning mentality is about.

Its a massive job for any manager to change the mentality of a club, team, player that thinks Man United are uncatchable.

Danny O’Neill
145 Posted 23/05/2021 at 11:00:51
I'm with the heart today as well. As always.

Barry, totally, the league will not lie. We've dropped points we shouldn't have. We've picked up points we didn't expect to. But it generally balances out.

For me, the thinness of the squad that concerned me has impacted us.

But, I said I'd pass judgement when the season was over. It's not yet!!

George McKane
146 Posted 23/05/2021 at 11:07:27
A very "old" Evertonian qualifies for Europe. I am 72 years old - older than Mr.Ancelotti - - Jonathan and I guess a lot older than you. I am a thinker and developer and performer of "theatre" with young people - - devising from nothing. I have stood against the "template" style of "youth theatre" as proposed and forwarded by The EU Youth Programme. This week I have been asked to work for 3 weeks in Vienna - -home of Rapid ( not Hardware) Vienna - - I have been asked to work with over 20 young people from across the world to devise a "new" performance piece. Very excited - -as an "oldie" - - Everton In Europe (no offence to anyone under 72 years old - - I am sure you kids can take it.)
Mike Kehoe
147 Posted 23/05/2021 at 11:13:04
I have faith that an attacking right winger will offer another dimension as we have been so predictable and consequently easy to nullify as every opposition knows we are little threat when Digne is contained. With the available options of iwobi or Bernard it is hard to build much of a prosecution.
Additionally, I feel the careful use of statistics could draw close comparisons with a Ferrari and an Austin Allegro if so desired. Frustrating, for sure, because the team has shit the bed at home so many times, but the away form, I feel, is clear evidence of a progress that holds great promise going forward.
When considering his influence on player’s development, DCL’s progress should be scrutinised along with Pickford, who seems to have matured significantly and lost the arrogance and posturing that would accompany regular horrific blunders. I don’t think these have been coincidences.
Seasons usually finish in January or February around here.
I struggle to understand the vitriol.
Brian Harrison
148 Posted 23/05/2021 at 11:13:47
It will be interesting to see which side Man City put out today, with the Champions league next on their horizon. Although Pep has such a talented squad whichever side he puts out will be a good one. Seeing as we need 3 points to have any chance of European football next season, then this isn't a game in which to adopt our normal away approach. With Seamus out then surely Godfrey plays right back, and even more so if city play Sterling.

We need to adopt a Joe Royle dogs of war approach and be in their faces from minute one. Even those not likely to be picked in a starting place for their Champions league final will want to avoid any knocks so they can be part of the squad. I am by the way not advocating we go out and kick everything that moves but just let them know we arent there to let them weave their pretty patterns and we will be very combative. I realize that even adopting this attitude we may still lose but it will at least make me feel better if we are in their faces from the off.

Barry Robson
149 Posted 23/05/2021 at 11:15:09
We cant possibly win today as there will be home fans. Apparently we only have great away form due to no home fans at the grounds. However our poor home form has nothing to do with no home fans it's just the fault of Ancelotti. What brilliant logic.
Ian Edwards
150 Posted 23/05/2021 at 11:15:29
Let's hope Italy winning the Eurovision puts a spring in Ancelotti's step.

There's no truth in the rumour that towards the end of the voting Ancelotti tried to replace the lead singer with Fabian Delph.

Barry Rathbone
151 Posted 23/05/2021 at 11:16:04
Barry 140

"Nobody could have foreseen our unbelievably poor home form at the turn of the year"


The signs were there aplenty. Others have highlighted how we were scraping wins rather than dominating regally. The type of footy we played was not convincing but therein lies the nub of the issue, too many don't (or maybe don't understand) what is in front of their eyes.

Mathematically we were in with a shout but footy games aren't decided with a calculator. In reality we always mid table

Eddie Dunn
152 Posted 23/05/2021 at 11:20:06
Carlo has said for some weeks that it will go down to the final game. He is right but I always looked at our final fixture- even when we had two games in hand on some of the others and I thought that it wouldn't be the best place to go needing points.
I don't subscribe to the nonesensical theory that City's players will have their minds on the Champ's League final.
There will be a few hoping to force thmselves into that Final squad and others hoping to ensure a starting berth.
Then there's the home crowd to impress, the departing Aguero to reward, oh and the big problem is that they can all pass to each other while we can just hoof it back to them.
Will Carlo prove me wrong and mastermind another away win? Who knows, but this team has let us all down at every juncture that could have given us Euro Football, so why should they pull it out of the fire now?
I live in hope but I just think they are a different class, and just like in the cup, we can keep them out for 70 mins or so but then they can bring on the cavalry, when we can bring on Gomes and King.
Derek Wadeson
153 Posted 23/05/2021 at 11:24:02
Today maybe an idea to rest all the certain starters for their countries in the forthcoming international competitions as they may do what we are assuming the City players will do and go easy.
Barry Hesketh
154 Posted 23/05/2021 at 11:30:16
Barry, I'm not saying that we were world-beaters going into 2021, but we were definitely in a position to push on, only a home defeat to Leeds prior to Christmas was an unexpected Premier League home defeat. Whilst we didn't perform fantastically well against Chelsea and Arsenal at home, we got the job done and took six points from those games.

Never in my wildest strangest nightmares did I believe that we would lose to Newcastle, Fulham, Burnley, and Sheffield United at Goodison. Nor did I expect Everton to take only 9 points from 12 home league games since the turn of the year. Obviously, those results completely derailed our hopes and aspirations and that's the reason quite a few are hopping mad with the manager.

Robert Williams
155 Posted 23/05/2021 at 11:34:42
What a boring Effin thread!!

Reading George McKane's 146 CV I reckon he would be ideal to replace the present incumbent should he decide to vacate his very lucrative post.

Laurie Hartley
156 Posted 23/05/2021 at 11:43:05
Ian # 128 - I am having trouble getting my head round this:

My post wasn't contradictory. Our away form could be due to home teams having no fans.
Our home form is due to negative tactics and formation and would be the same with fans.

Is that one of those Zen koans - like you know “if a tree falls in the forest does anybody hear?”

Jimmy Hogan
157 Posted 23/05/2021 at 11:50:12
I fancy Leicester to beat Tottenham, but I can't see Arsenal slipping up at home to Brighton. I think we will need the win.
Kevin Molloy
158 Posted 23/05/2021 at 11:56:43
Barry 151
I have to agree. We've perfected the art of stealing 0-1 wins away from home through a tight eight men behind the ball extravaganza, but the moment we are asked to play actual football the whole thing falls apart.
That our football this season has been worse than the Big Fella is surely not open to question. And so when Carlo says as he has today that it's been a good season, we're on track and that we will challenge for the league next season, I am forced to conclude that he either has at least six world class hush hush signings already in the bag for next season, or he doesn't give a bollocks.
Richard O Shea
159 Posted 23/05/2021 at 12:00:56
I think we need to be realistic: the job at Everton is a long-term project; the club was in a mess before Ancelotti came in, with the constant change of managers and having not won a trophy in 26 years and in only one final in that time. The last thing we need is another change in manager.

Ancelotti has proven in the past he won't bottle big games like Moyes did. I just hope he will be given the players he needs by the board and he should be able to get us back to winning trophies again.

Neil Lawson
160 Posted 23/05/2021 at 12:01:30
"Bricking it". Very scared or very nervous.
I imagine that Fernandinho is currently stuck to his toilet seat and fearful of missing his appointment pre match with his therapist for fear that he may be tackled by Glyfi.
Life can be full of risk and disappointments, but if one thing is certain, it is that if any of the City players don't perform as required or pull out of a single tackle, they sure as hell will not be in the starting line up next Saturday. It is to do, in part at least, with management.
Perhaps there is a queue currently forming outside of Pep's office. " Boss, feeling a bit fatigued today. My hamstring is a touch tight. Best leave me out so I am 100% next Saturday "
If anyone has difficulty understanding my post then please ask Rob to explain it for you. 😄😁
Paul Birmingham
161 Posted 23/05/2021 at 12:08:33
Darren is the spirit and I’m going with blind faith and hope, on them, odds to etch some positives from an Everton win today.
Steve Brown
162 Posted 23/05/2021 at 12:08:35
Neil, you've had it explained to you a few times, but you still seem to be struggling. Maybe we should use pictures?
Barry Rathbone
163 Posted 23/05/2021 at 12:09:08
Barry 154

The problem is that the nature of footy forums is to veer toward the optimistic – after all, they are essentially echo chambers of the broadly similar, hence frothing vitriol aimed at any not falling in line: see Ian Edwards and Darren Hind.

After the initial purple patch, the signs stood out like a sore thumb to me that the usual 7th to 12th finish was our destiny. (I think I actually posted as such.) Being a very ordinary fellow I imagine others spotted exactly the same.

My point is: don't mistake internet blather as representative of widespread Evertonia opinion.

Steve Brown
164 Posted 23/05/2021 at 12:11:38
@ 150, zinger! Queue the laughter track!
Neil Lawson
165 Posted 23/05/2021 at 12:12:42
Awaiting the new Mr Men book. "Mr Bricker". Certain that will help me.
Jay Wood

166 Posted 23/05/2021 at 12:14:25
Such is City's strength in depth, they could select a starting XI and bench today which doesn't include any of their likely Champions League Final XI.

More, if that City 'second string' could be magically transplanted to play for Everton next season, we would be Top 4 challengers.

That is the measure of the task we face.

Steve Brown
167 Posted 23/05/2021 at 12:15:30
George @146, great post. You are a role model for us all.

This 'he's too old' line is an utter disgrace. Tasker should be embarrassed making such ageist posts.

Barry Hesketh
168 Posted 23/05/2021 at 12:19:45
Err... Okay, Barry, I'll be more circumspect in the future.

I still think that nobody – and I mean nobody – could have predicted the home form in 2021, no matter who they listened to, no matter what they believed to be the quality of the team.

I've been following Everton for 50 years so I know what can happen, but again, with or without internet blather, I retain my opinion that Everton had a great opportunity going into 2021.

I'll look out for your musings early next season; then I can prepare myself for the joy or the sadness whichever your sage advice will offer. ToffeeWeb – a forum that veers towards the optimistic? – that'll be the day!

Brian Murray
169 Posted 23/05/2021 at 12:36:51
George @164.

I think Ronnie Goodlass missed a trick not asking you to eulogise over the great man himself: Alan Ball in Ball of Fire.

I'm a slight critic of that play: not enough made of his actual quote and thoughts in the derby where he bagged a brace. "There's nowhere I'd rather be" ... or words to that effect. Bit too much of the World Cup instead, but I suppose personally that was his finest hour.

Anyway, kidda, enjoy the summer. Don't read too much into today because I know I'm not. Coyb.

ps: With your background, I'm surprised the Teary One hasn't invited you on a bender with the Arteta money. 💰👌

Tony McNulty
170 Posted 23/05/2021 at 12:37:55
I have read of former players who have spoken to opposing players before a forthcoming final. They would say things like: “Better keep away from me if you want to play in next week's final”

I am sure no current player of ours would ever stoop to such tactics... Pity.

Barry Robson
171 Posted 23/05/2021 at 12:39:17
Man City's players might have one eye on the Champions League Final today. I just hope our players haven't got both eyes on their holidays...

Fucking have a go, Everton.

Thomas Richards
173 Posted 23/05/2021 at 12:42:59
At the start of the season, given the poor quality of the squad he inherited, I had us down for around 8th position with less points than we have achieved.

Next season, I expect Top 6 given the signings to come in. Season after, I expect us to strongly challenge the Top 4.

Paul Davies
174 Posted 23/05/2021 at 12:53:10
A little light reading before today's football extravaganza... True facts:–

1. In the 1400s, a law was set forth in England that a man was allowed to beat his wife with a stick no thicker than his thumb. Hence we have 'the rule of thumb.'

2. Many years ago, in Scotland, a new game was invented. It was ruled 'Gentlemen Only... Ladies Forbidden'... and thus the word GOLF entered into the English language.

3. Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history:
Spades - King David,
Hearts - Charlemagne,
Clubs - Alexander the Great,
Diamonds - Julius Caesar

4. In Shakespeare's time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes. When you pulled on the ropes the mattress tightened, making the bed firmer to sleep on. Hence the phrase... 'Goodnight, sleep tight.'

5. It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that, for a month after the wedding, the bride's father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the honey month, which we know today as the honeymoon.

6. At the end of the 2020-21 season, Liverpool supporters said they had the best team ever to grace the Premier League; hence the phrase ‘deluded twat'.

The End.

George McKane
175 Posted 23/05/2021 at 12:58:23
Thank you all - my post was not in anger but just a bit of fun - - but ageism is silly.

MK asked me about SALTO Training a few weeks ago and I said I would not do it. I have refused for several years to participate in such theatre work (it's dull and boring and repetitive) and believed in non-template explorative theatre with experience and knowledge behind it.

I stuck to my guns -- my beliefs. I will be off to Vienna for 23 weeks making theatre in August - - believe in something and stick it out if you truly trust yourself... I do!

Best Cosmic wishes To All Blues Everywhere.

Thomas Richards
176 Posted 23/05/2021 at 12:58:30
Wonderful post, Paul.

George, keep on moving, keep on grooving.

Age is just a number.

Tom Harvey
177 Posted 23/05/2021 at 13:03:16
This will be an interesting game, us the minnows desperately trying to force our entry into the Europa second chance/losers league and them the 'Cream' playing in the grand final for the greatest prize in world football.

I can't see why Siteh shouldn't play with reckless abandon today and that thought doesn't fill me with joy. Last game in front of their home fans with a good few of their players wanting to catch Peps eye, this will be a game where our new found defensive prowess could be tested.

Or those Siteh players might be wrapping themselves in cotton wool for next Saturday, what do I know?

Bernard Dooley
178 Posted 23/05/2021 at 13:07:12
Paul # 174;
Made me laugh; any of it true ?
Jason Li
179 Posted 23/05/2021 at 13:09:14
Paul Davies - great post, still smiling.

I'd take Steve Bruce over Big Sam.

Recruitment is marginally more important than tactics. Why? If City lost Pep as the manager and had an inexperienced amateur as a manager for the season, then the players will keep City hunting for top 4 minimum - because the players recruited have the ability and mentality and adaptability to make constant winning decisions and actions.

Carlo has shown this season an ability to change tactics to fit a team of years of bad recruitment. He has no joy in the performances himself as he can only work with what he has. Look at his past teams with fast attacking players that were innovative and crowd pleasers too.

Steve Bruce brought in St. Maximin, Callum Wilson and Willock on loan. Yes some dross as well, but he's got better at his recruitment.

Moyes is better than Big Sam - easily evident this seasons recruitment decisions from him and his recruitment team.

Big Sam hasn't shown anything great in a few years.

Carlo - well... let's compare Carlos last 4 first team signings verses Big Sam's last 4.

Jonathan Tasker
180 Posted 23/05/2021 at 13:12:25
I'm 62.
Sam Hoare
183 Posted 23/05/2021 at 13:13:51
I was not the biggest fan of appointing Ancelotti, though I saw the sense in trying the most expereinced 'winner' that we could bring in at the time.

I've not been a massive fan of his this season, the football has been poor, some of the lineups have been baffling and rarely have his in-game changes been beneficial.

But he does seem to have us improving. Just about. Currently his points percentage (this surprised me) is actually 3rd for post war managers: Link And this despite inheriting a fairly mediocre squad, at best.

It's been a deeply frustrating season. But perhaps mainly because we started it so well and have thrown away a very promising position.

I don't have a huge amount of faith that Carlo can turn this dirge football into an entertaining spectacle that also sees us get into the Top 6 next season. But we are certainly no worse than we were before he got here and if we keep improving then I will be somewhat content.

Ray Roche
184 Posted 23/05/2021 at 13:16:40
Bernard @178,

Only the last one.

Jonathan Tasker
186 Posted 23/05/2021 at 13:19:20
George McKane, Great posts.

In the context of ageism, I think Carlo is at the end of his career in management. He probably couldn't believe what Everton were offering him and his son.

I think he represents very bad value for money. The football this season has mostly been appalling and the season overall has been a massive disappointment.

I'm not expecting to it end with Everton being in Europe. And I'm fully expecting Liverpool to squeeze into a Champions League place.

Thomas Richards
188 Posted 23/05/2021 at 13:20:00
Ancelotti or Bruce?

Give me a minute

George McKane
189 Posted 23/05/2021 at 13:20:45
But still looking like 22 JT - - I really do believe in age is irrelevant if you are reasonably well and fit - take care Jonathan - - you may get the call soon - -be ready for EFC.
Jason Li
190 Posted 23/05/2021 at 13:26:59
Thomas @ 188, yes it wasn't clear.

The post was to add another way of analysing Big Sam verses Carlo as the main sub-thread on here.

I brought in Steve Bruce and Moyes in my post as to show that not just tactics, but the recruitment side is really important. My personal opinion but I don't rate Big Sam recently for recruitment, so he is definitely nowhere near Carlo in terms of managing a team and making transfer decisions that determine the season ahead.

If Big Sam was brave enough to join a club for 3 seasons and put his reputation on the line and sign 3-4 players a season and show us his own team he built, then I'll be more than happy to give a big thumbs up if it looks good.

Mick O'Malley
191 Posted 23/05/2021 at 13:31:11
Come on, Blues – we can still salvage something, let's hope Man City aren't quite at it with an eye on the Champions League final and we can step it up and continue our excellent away form.

A big ask but at least we've got something to hope for on the last day of the season, instead of our usual dead rubber. COYBs!

Colin Glassar
192 Posted 23/05/2021 at 13:31:38
Jason Li, while I agree with many of the points you make, referencing Big Sam and Steve Bruce with Everton, made me feel quite queezy and light-headed.
Christine Foster
193 Posted 23/05/2021 at 13:33:19
Paul, brilliant post, I was well suckered for the last one... haven't laughed so much for ages... tears rolling!
Danny O’Neill
194 Posted 23/05/2021 at 13:36:07
Paul @174, you had me hooked with all the historical references and then got me with the punchline at the end.

I almost spat out some of my early afternoon tipple. Almost.


Jason Li
195 Posted 23/05/2021 at 13:36:21
Colin, I agree, neither should come near. I still can't believe people still fawn over Big Sam. But opinions should be heard, as I might learn something about Big Sam that people who think the world him of may know about, that I didn't.

Colin, keep Iwobi on the bench and wrapped in cotton wool? At least, if a transfer bid came in, if he's fully fit, he can't fail the fitness test. Or could he?

Dave Abrahams
196 Posted 23/05/2021 at 13:41:21
Paul (174), nice to have a good belly laugh in these trying times, brilliant.
Jerome Shields
197 Posted 23/05/2021 at 13:45:59

That is about right. Ancelotti is playing a percentages game with a mediocre squad. The money isn't there for wholesale change and. Ancelotti is taking a long terms view and making do and mend, with rigid formations being the order of the day.

Ian Edwards
198 Posted 23/05/2021 at 13:47:13
188 Bruce definitely. He has done better with the players at his disposal than Ancelotti has with ours.
Ashley Roberts
199 Posted 23/05/2021 at 13:48:35
I think the point here is we all expected Ancelotti with his amazing pedigree and experience in winning major titles, would turn us into a top 4 team overnight. It has not happened and I think it will be very tough for him unless we can break the bank to bring in some world class players. Other than James we don’t have any world class players and unfortunately he spends most of his time crocked. I don’t think Ancelotti has ever taken a bunch of average players and made them world beaters. I like most have been bitterly disappointed with this season and having been a supporter for over 50 years I think this has been one of the worst as after the first few games the expectations were high and then it all just fizzled out. For me we need some flair and speed in midfield and we need another striker desperately. It’s no for Europe for me and it’s all about bringing in some good quick players who know where the net is. The back line is strong and so that is definitely something to build upon. There are numerous midfielders who can go as they are slow and pretty much useless as far as I am concerned other than maybe Foucoure and Allen.
Steve Carse
200 Posted 23/05/2021 at 13:52:39
Mike (147), fully agree over the need for a right winger. If we'd have got one in the January window we'd already have qualified for a European slot and would today be spending our time sat on the toilet in advance of a top 4 qualifier shoot out.
As Barry (140) says, at the start of the year CL qualification was an achievable objective. It certainly was not just a pie in the sky hope. Whatever the factors behind our limited transfer activity the failure to acquire a quality winger such as Zaha is why we've missed out.
Thomas Richards
201 Posted 23/05/2021 at 13:54:47
"I think the point here is we all expected Ancelotti with his amazing pedigree and experience in winning major titles, would turn us into a top 4 team overnight"

Not one Evertonian I know expected top 4 this season

Danny O’Neill
202 Posted 23/05/2021 at 13:54:50
Beg to differ on that one Ian to be honest and not having a go at you, just differing opinion. Not if you talk to Newcastle fans and I have some very good friends who are. They do not have a good opinion of him despite the equally bad feeling they have to the owner and the circumstances he's been operating in.

Let's be honest Steve Bruce is not where we want to be. I shudder at the thought. For me, he's one of that batch of English managers who are slowly dying out. They made a living on promoting failure or at best existence as success and pulled the supporters into believing it too. And then kept getting recycled around Premier League or decent jobs because their Sky cronies backed them.

Anyway, onto today and the match thread. We're going to win and sneak Europe right?

George McKane
203 Posted 23/05/2021 at 13:56:40
I would be sad if Ancelotti was at the end of his career through his attitude and thinking as you say Jonathan - - quite sad - - I am always thinking, reading, watching, studying, gambling about art and culture - - I work with young people and most are quite conservative in regards to the arts -- like what you are told and do not question the establishment - - its worse than the pre 60's - - they all think I am quite mad but respect my knowledge and experience - - that's what I meant about ageism - - I am still fighting against mediocrity and am non-cooperative with drivel. Up The Blues. Take care all you Blues.
Colin Glassar
204 Posted 23/05/2021 at 13:58:58
Ian Edwards if Rainhill was still functioning
Karl Masters
205 Posted 23/05/2021 at 13:59:13
Steve Bruce? Sometimes the stupidity of things I read on here is beyond belief.

Ask any Newcastle fan about their cup exit to Brentford this season

Dave Lynch
206 Posted 23/05/2021 at 14:00:47
I have to respectfully disagree mate.
IMO we need a solid creative midfield pair who can actually take control of a game and dictate the pace.

Along with a clinical goal scorer in the mould of Cavani.

Rob Halligan
207 Posted 23/05/2021 at 14:02:25
Trying to predict a Pep team in the middle of the season is difficult enough. Trying to predict a Pep team for a pointless last game of the season for them anyway, is nigh on impossible. Barring any injuries today, or in training the next few days, Pep will already know his team for the CL final next Saturday. I think the likes of Scott Carson will be in goal today, Bernard Mendy, Nathan Ake, John Stones, Fernandinho, Sterling, Torres, Rodrigo and Aguero will form the basis of city's team today. Pep will probably throw in one or two unknowns, but the likes of De Bruyne, Mahrez, Gundogan, Bernardo Silva, Ederson, Diaz and Walker will not be risked.

Having said all that I will probably be way off the mark, but I would be very surprised if Pep put out his strongest team possible today.

Thomas Richards
208 Posted 23/05/2021 at 14:02:27
This says it all about age for me.

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Mike Connolly
209 Posted 23/05/2021 at 14:05:06
I don't think you can blame any of the mangers that have been in since Moyes. Its the players. The manager buys players who appear to be playing well at their clubs. they come here and like covid mutate into shite. If you look back even as far as Walter we are playing the exact style. If we had the greatest manager in the world it would end up the same. something deep in the club needs eradicating and Iwish I knew what it was. As for today, think well have to hide behind the sofa. Playing the champions last game must be ideal for Sky we normally end up the wiping boys. I remember Tony Adams taking the piss when he scored against us when Arsenal knocked in 4.
Rick Tarleton
210 Posted 23/05/2021 at 14:06:18
The trouble with quoting Dylan Thomas on old age was that he died at forty and knew nothing about it. On the other hand that sounds fairly sensible on this site.
Rob Halligan
211 Posted 23/05/2021 at 14:06:34
Colin # 204. I think Ashworth is still up and running, and new patients are being admitted all the time!!
Danny O’Neill
212 Posted 23/05/2021 at 14:07:21
With you on most of that Ashley. You are right, there was expectation but the reality is, it was going to take a couple of turns of the wheel to sort this squad out.

I get your context but not the worst I've seen. Sounds like you have a bit (only a bit!!) of seniority on me but I can't look past some of the dross we were served up in the 90s and early 2000s personally.

Win. Europe!!

Danny O’Neill
213 Posted 23/05/2021 at 14:12:15
I just hope he doesn't do what he done in the cup Rob. Got bored after 75 minutes and told Mahrez and De Bruyne to go and get their shin pads on!
Robert Tressell
214 Posted 23/05/2021 at 14:12:25
Mike @209. The common theme with all of these managers is a significantly lower budget than the most successful clubs. The players we buy are not world beaters. Kanchelskis is the only player we have bought in the Premier League era who was a star at the top of his game. Moshiri has been generous and steadied the ship but his investment is very modest compared with the money pumped into the richest clubs and their playing staff for the last few decades.
Brent Stephens
215 Posted 23/05/2021 at 14:12:53
Ian #198 Bruce?!! Seriously?! I see even your best mate hasn't come on yet to say "Great post, Ian".
Michael Lynch
216 Posted 23/05/2021 at 14:14:35
This season really doesn't count for anything in my opinion. The fans weren't there. The Shite lost six on the bounce at home, including losing to us. We won loads of away games but got beaten by shit teams at home. It was a nonsense season. Football is nothing without the fans, and the last 14 months have proved that true.

As a season, it passed the time watching every game on telly, but it should be struck from the record books as far as I'm concerned.

Personally, I think we've been close to unwatchable in most games this season. Utterly devoid of intensity, intelligence, creativity, and passion. Even if we'd been allowed into the ground, we should have got a refund on our season ticket. And the results are neither here nor there, good or bad, in such a non-season.

We didn't get relegated, we didn't win anything, so we live to fight again.

I just hope we are better to watch next season.

Rob Halligan
217 Posted 23/05/2021 at 14:15:37
See some have been on the loopy juice early today!! Steve "Fucking" Bruce. 👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏
Luke Welch
218 Posted 23/05/2021 at 14:16:07
Readying some of the posts on Tottenham threads is quite sobering. There seems to be quite a few fans on there banding about Potters name for their next manager.

Let that sink in, we have Carlo; they want Potter.

Ian Edwards
219 Posted 23/05/2021 at 14:18:00
Brent 215. If Ancelotti has struggled with our players how do you think he would have done with Newcastle's. Not as well as Bruce has.
Soren Moyer
220 Posted 23/05/2021 at 14:18:29
Ya baby!!! He is living the life lol.


Rob Halligan
221 Posted 23/05/2021 at 14:18:47
Stop it, Luke. We'll have some bloke called Steve Cooper from Swansea being thrown into the mix again.
Bobby Mallon
222 Posted 23/05/2021 at 14:20:50
This season, Sigurdsson has scored more goals than the whole of Liverpool's midfield... 6; he also has more assists than all of them put together. He has also secured 37% of our 59 points. We would be 17th without them.
Rob Halligan
223 Posted 23/05/2021 at 14:21:12
Is that economy or first class, Soren? 😁😁😁
Thomas Richards
224 Posted 23/05/2021 at 14:21:31

Have a read of a classic love poem from a man to a woman written by Oscar Wilde.

Like Dylan, he probably had to use his imagination.

Brent Stephens
225 Posted 23/05/2021 at 14:23:08
Ian #219 "If Ancelotti has struggled with our players how do you think he would have done with Newcastle's. Not as well as Bruce has."

Bruce versus Ancelotti. Italy must be all ears! "Ancelotti? Who that?" they must be saying.

Luke Welch
226 Posted 23/05/2021 at 14:23:59
I think it comes down to this, Carlo said he can't get much more out of this team in an attacking sense- So we either trust his judgment of believe there is a much better players in Bernard and iwobi and Carlo just can't seem to tap into.

Gave me some perspective at least 😆

Danny O’Neill
227 Posted 23/05/2021 at 14:24:43
He's been much improved this season, Bobby. Played in his best position he has been a real asset. The Tottenham cup game was the best example.
Dale Self
228 Posted 23/05/2021 at 14:29:11
On the last desperate day of the season let’s all remember figures don't lie but liars will figure.
Ian Edwards
229 Posted 23/05/2021 at 14:39:28
Brent 225. Ancelotti has always managed Champions League players until Everton. He has struggled. Can you imagine the horrific shambles if he went even lower and managed Newcastle? They'd have to put a parental warning out before Match of the Day.
Dale Self
237 Posted 23/05/2021 at 14:58:01
Problem is they don't read the offerings from Tressell and others or they wouldn't dig those holes. Some coaches get more from pedestrian players using methods that don't get taken up with the same spirit when applied to international-class players.
Steve Brown
238 Posted 23/05/2021 at 15:00:04
Come folks, don't be too hard. It's probably a cry for help!
Brent Stephens
239 Posted 23/05/2021 at 15:00:37
As much chance as Steve Bruce, Rob!
Brian Wilkinson
240 Posted 23/05/2021 at 15:05:05
Like I have said before Ian, I know Carlo is not the top of your xmas list and I have sat watching these past few weeks, but now I have to say something.

We all know he was left with a lot of bang average players, he has been here a year, and in that time he made four signings, Godfrey, Doucoure, Allan and James, each one of those have been a big improvement of the players we had plugging the gaps there.

The football I agree has not been pretty, but until he can address the problem areas, by bringing in better class players, he has to work with what he has been dealt with.

Again I will ask, do you think Lewis Hamilton would win a Grand Prix, if his Car was a Reliant Robin, there lies the answer, you are expecting Carlo to perform miracles, with some bange average players.

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