Everton 3 - 1 Southampton
Everton’s 2021-22 Premier League campaign kicked off with the visit of Southampton as Rafael Benitez took charge of his first competitive match at Goodison Park in front of a full house and produced a magnificent comeback win.
With a whole raft of Everton's players — including some of the best ones on their books — missing for a mixture of reasons, Benitez was unable to call upon the services of Rodriguez, Kean, Gomes, Gbamin, Godfrey and Sigurdsson.
But at least it was an opportunity for Benitez to chose players he fully trusts in new signings, Gray and Townsend, who both need to demonstrate to the Everton fanbase at least that they can deliver end-product at this level in the Premier League.
So no real surprises and limited inspiration — unless Richarlison would decide to show everyone why he is a Gold Medal Olympic winner! Nine players on the bench: some youngish players, but only one goalie! Yea, Rafa!
For the visitors today, former Everton player, Theo Walcott, starts.
With fans finally back in attendance after 18 months of a horrible pandemic, only possible through the work of brilliant scientists who created highly effective vaccines in record time, Goodison Park was in fine form as Referee Andy Madeley got things under way at 3 pm on a Saturday afternoon.
Southampton were up for the pressing game from the off and it was all very tight, especially when Everton wanted to move forward... and they would end up going backwards all too often. A Calvert-Lewin cross was deflected back for Allan to run onto and fire at goal. A Southampton free-kick wide left was heavily glanced behind by Armstrong.
The diagonal play to Richarlison that James Rodriguez could deposit on a sixpence was wasted three times by other players, easily intersected each time. Gray did fashion a good cross but Calvert-Lewin popped it off the top of his head rather than directing it with his neck muscles.
Everton had to pay full attention when Southampton attacked, the defense hopefully less shakey than it had been the previous weekend at Old Trafford. Allan slid right through Adams, getting only a stern word from Madeley.
Stevens cleared out Richarlison as he expected an easier passage forward with the ball. A long pass finally fell for Richarlison for him to overlap but he launched his cross too far ahead of the incoming Calvert-Lewin. At the other end, Coleman gifted the ball to Djinepo who was allowed to run right in to the byeline but surrendered the pull-back.
Richarlson was upended by Ward-Prose and the free-kick led to a great cross whipped in by Townsend but again, but no blue shirts in front of the defenders to benefit from it. A dreadful mistake by Keane, showing complete incompetence, and he was mugged; Adam Armstrong got free, firing home with consummate ease into the top corner. What an utterly shameful shambolic goal to give up!
The goal further enlivened The Saints, who were first to every contested ball as Everton struggled to present something approaching a response. But we know from previous occasions that showing spirit when going behind is anathema to most of these players. It remained to be seen if Benitez has been able to change that mentality...
Richarlison did his best to forge a path in but was blocked and then basically dived over the penalty box line and was shown a yellow card for his trouble. Romeu took out Richarlison again and this time he got a free-kick — way back in the Everton half. But it led to a foul on Calvert-Lewin (well won by the Everton man) in a dangerous position, where Everton have been painfully reluctant to take such opportunities... and so it proved with Digne's poor effort into the wall.
Another nice cross came in from Townsend to Calvert-Lewin, bouncing off the top of his head and behind. More nervey nonsense at the back ensued with Everton determined to live as dangerously as possible, but Ward-Prowse's corner was cleared effectively by Allan, before The Saints came right back. Townsend's next cross was absolutely shocking.
Another poor miskick at the back and Southampton were in like Flynn, lashing a shot that Pickford had to save. Everton basically showing no idea how to counter the physicality and speed of thought that was condemning their efforts to repeated failure as half-time approached.
Townsend whipped in a fine corner but McCarthy got his glove to it and Everton were repelled again with no reward. They played out the single minute of added time with yet another weak surrender of possession that was at least redeemed, if briefly, and the whistle came to a round of well-deserved boos from plenty of the faithful. Totally uninspiring.
Calvert-Lewin kicked off the second half and Richarlison won a corner but Digne could not beat the first defender. Another corner and Townsend returned the ball to Richarlison, who poked it rather cleverly into the roof of the net! Fantastic finish to put Everton suddenly right back in the game!
There was a free-kick to defend that caused mild panic at the back but Everton cleared well to win another couple of corners. They should have had a second when Richarllison dummied Digne's cross for Keane to strike but Ward-Crowse was across him instantly to block his goalbound shot. But much better intensity after what must have been a storm of broken teacups from Rafa in the break.
Better flow saw Townsend with another cross from the right but its trajectory and the positioning of players were rather haphazard at best. Gray got a tasty cross in from the left but Calvert-Lewin picked the wrong side of the defender, who gave away another corner.
Southampton weathered the 15-minute storm to win a corner that Pickford had to claw away from under his bar. Then more silly arses trying to play out from the back, Pickford panic-clearing into touch. But Allan got free and Gray crossed into McCarthy's hands with Calvert-Lewin again the wrong side of the action.
Everton could not repel The Saints, who came back for another corner, Pickford having to improvise again. They won another disputed corner that Pickford caught this time. Townsend was fouled but McCarthy could watch it all the way and set up another Saints attack that was only thwarted by some narrow margins.
Saints kept attacking in droves as Everton lost the inspiration, another corner given up, defended by Richarlison, who then did a nice nutmeg and drew the foul. Townsend then got a free-kick wide right but the delivery was poor, behind the line of Everton attackers. Townsend was then replaced by Iwobi but the pattern was maintained: another corner for James Ward-Prowse that came to nought.
A rubbish pass by Keane drew plenty of opprobrium from the crowd as Everton seemed to be slowly sinking back into the bad ways of the first half. A nice ball fell for Iwobi but there were opposing players threatening his space and he backed off. Then a nice cross came right to Iwobi and he just wailed at it as only he can.But then the moment of the match from Abdoulaye Doucouré, simply fabulous. It came from a very smartly taken free-kick that Doucouré touched out to Coleman, and his cross was flicked back by Iwobi a little awkwardly to Dooucouré who trapped the ball, spun around 360°, and then fired it exquisitely to absolute perfection into the top corner, just evading McCarthy.
With Hassenhuttl making changes, Richarlison and Iwobi combined on the right and Richarlison delivered a cross that could only be converted with a diving header close in, and that's exactly what Calvert-Lewin produced this time, overpowering McCarthy for it to trickle over the goalline!
With the pressure off, Calvert-Lewin then got a dropping ball to pivot onto but he couldn't quite emulate Doucouré, firing well wide. A free-kick for Ward-Prowse won another corner off Calvert-Lewin. Iwobi was then gifted by Richarlison with a great free run and a fabulous chance for glory but he finished as only he can — with an utterly dreadful powder-puff pass to the keeper.
Richarlison came off a minute before the end (good move by Rafa!) to milk plenty of applause for his all-conquering exploits, which had turned this match on its head after an absolutely attrocious first half.
Scorers: Richarlison (47'), Doucouré (76'), Calvert-Lewin (81'); Armstrong (22').
Everton: Pickford, Coleman, Holgate, Keane, Digne, Allan, Doucoure [Y], Townsend (70' Iwobi), Gray (83' Mina), Richarlison [Y:] (89' Gordon), Calvert-Lewin.
Subs: Begovic, Kenny, Delph, Davies, Branthwaite, Broadhead.
Southampton: McCarthy, Stephens, Romeu (80' Diallo), Ward-Prowse, Armstrong, Adams, Perraud (83' Redmond), Djenepo, Livramento, Salisu, Walcott (80' Tella).
Subs: Forster, Walker-Peters, Armstrong, Elyounoussi, Bednarek, Valery.
Referee: Andy Madley
VAR: Darren England
Reader Comments (359)
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1 Posted 14/08/2021 at 14:02:44
3 Posted 14/08/2021 at 14:13:27
Let's hope the new winged wonders work out.
4 Posted 14/08/2021 at 14:15:07
Just hope the fans don't let us down and turn against Rafa on Day One.
5 Posted 14/08/2021 at 14:15:11
Really disappointed to not see Gbamin on the bench as well.
DCL, Rich, Gray (who's going to be a good player for us), Allan, Doucoure, Digne -- there's plenty of talent on that pitch to come away with 3 points.
Good luck Rafa. We're behind you. If you start losing I'll personally call for the fanbase to eat you alive, so start winning today please.
6 Posted 14/08/2021 at 14:15:17
Sigurdsson and Kean missing. Neither of which suit high tempo football.
Wide players hopefully with high work rates.
Fast, energetic centre forwards.
7 Posted 14/08/2021 at 14:15:58
Almost just like old times, hurry up 3pm.
8 Posted 14/08/2021 at 14:19:08
9 Posted 14/08/2021 at 14:20:44
10 Posted 14/08/2021 at 14:29:09
11 Posted 14/08/2021 at 14:29:55
Cheers... yeah, I'll have another large one!
12 Posted 14/08/2021 at 14:35:10
13 Posted 14/08/2021 at 14:40:59
14 Posted 14/08/2021 at 14:41:48
Despite the doom and gloom and the negative style of play we are invariably going to see from Benitez, this is a reasonable opener for him. The Saints are equally in the shit but we are at home.
Think we will have too much up front despite our poor midfield.
Please god, I hope we win.
15 Posted 14/08/2021 at 14:43:37
I'll get me coat.
16 Posted 14/08/2021 at 14:46:21
Also... Soton midfield duo will overwhelm our pairs of Allan (too slow I'm afraid) and Doucouré (a shadow of last season's fit Doucouré). Hope for the best! COYB
17 Posted 14/08/2021 at 14:50:06
Good to see you up for our first proper game of the season. All will be revealed.
Surprised at Godfrey. I'm sure he was training with the squad on Thursday.
18 Posted 14/08/2021 at 14:53:36
19 Posted 14/08/2021 at 14:54:44
Go get em boys.
20 Posted 14/08/2021 at 14:58:50
That's a potent front four in the line up.
21 Posted 14/08/2021 at 15:12:35
22 Posted 14/08/2021 at 15:24:42
23 Posted 14/08/2021 at 15:25:17
24 Posted 14/08/2021 at 15:25:44
25 Posted 14/08/2021 at 15:31:44
26 Posted 14/08/2021 at 15:34:05
Also a symptom of our team. We're a 'get it wide early' side with two blockers in centre mid. You're not going to get given options.
But then if we're a direct team. Just play it direct!
27 Posted 14/08/2021 at 15:38:07
28 Posted 14/08/2021 at 15:39:03
There's no pretence of passing or creative football in this lineup. It's big man, little man up top with wingers. We're setup to go direct. So go direct.
29 Posted 14/08/2021 at 15:42:12
30 Posted 14/08/2021 at 15:46:20
31 Posted 14/08/2021 at 15:47:26
Before that, it was an even and entertaining contest between two average sides.
Keane... well... he's always got that in him and Holgate thinks he's better than he is. Not a pairing many Evertonians would have chosen.
If we lose this, I fear for a recovery for this manager.
Something special needed second half.
32 Posted 14/08/2021 at 15:50:46
Utterly abysmal from Benitez and Everton so far.
33 Posted 14/08/2021 at 15:55:56
Our backline is horrific. If Mina can play he needs to replace Keane, who has carried on straight from the City match end of last season and is showcasing all the reasons that he should have been offloaded this summer. Holgate has only been slightly better.
We look leggy and slow in midfield. Allan is as poor as in the Millionarios match - I was hoping he'd pick up with match fitness but he still looks a yard slow and a booking waiting to happen. Doucoure is still technically a mediocre player but even he seems slow now, particularly his first step.
Couple of half chances for DCL but he was on his heels both times and looks off it.
No real options off the bench to change this game, unsurprisingly so it is time for Rafa to show his mettle and get that team out there with belief and composure 2nd half.
Worrying to hear the boos rain down as the whistle went. These are an average outfit that will be down the bottom of the table, we NEED to win this game, no excuses.
34 Posted 14/08/2021 at 15:56:21
The midfield while not creating anything did look to be getting forward in support of each other and the front two who again didn't seem to know what each other were supposed to do other than Richarlison was staying wide left.
I hate to say it but it does need that occasional stroke of genius from midfield and perhaps Richarlison to be brought more central.
Otherwise not much has been seen to recommend either team.
35 Posted 14/08/2021 at 15:56:44
Mina and Godfrey are so much better than Keane and Holgate, but our manager chose the worst pair of DFC.
Nobody in our midfielders is able to pass the ball, so no chance to create goal situations.
We depend to score from crosses to DCL or a geniality from Richarlison.
two of our best player (rodriguez and kean) are not even considered in the squad.
Those kind of thing are the typical things of a relegation team. Today my prediction is Everton 0 Southampton 3.
36 Posted 14/08/2021 at 15:58:31
37 Posted 14/08/2021 at 15:58:55
38 Posted 14/08/2021 at 16:00:17
39 Posted 14/08/2021 at 16:00:25
40 Posted 14/08/2021 at 16:00:55
I wonder if the board can see it.
41 Posted 14/08/2021 at 16:01:33
Neither centre back covering themselves with glory. Not much coming through midfield. Everton playing very direct pinging balls out to either flank.
Interesting that Gray and Townsend are doubling up on the right flank. Some of our crossing has been good and with Richy and Dom attack those balls you can see it potentially carries a threat.
But the midfield is lacking a craftsman. I wonder where they all are..?
42 Posted 14/08/2021 at 16:02:15
Maybe we will get a head of steam up and start peppering them with crosses. That's the hope and that's the full extent of the hope. The team simply isn't setup to do anything else.
It's like going back 30 years.
43 Posted 14/08/2021 at 16:04:09
It means comfortable survival without the angst of unfulfilled ambition – a bit like the Moyes era so many long for.
44 Posted 14/08/2021 at 16:05:05
45 Posted 14/08/2021 at 16:05:34
46 Posted 14/08/2021 at 16:43:21
That could've turned nasty.
47 Posted 14/08/2021 at 16:53:06
48 Posted 14/08/2021 at 16:56:35
In less happy news, Allan was absolutely shocking. Really really poor. Thankfully his no-show of an appearance didn't cost us, but watching him jog about aimlessly, get in his team-mates way, take up poor positions, and get turned so easily by the opposition... I found it hard to watch and I hope the video analysts can lay bare just how that sort of performance just does not cut it.
Keane did well to bounce back from his laughably bad pocket-pinching by Che Adams, and Southampton didn't have too many clear-cut chances, so I thought the back four did all right, even if Livramento and Djenepo were nuisances for large portions of the game.
Special praise for Doucouré, who more than made up for Allan being rubbish - and Richarlison, who worked hard and made the telling contributions in the game. When he's good he's irreplaceable.
49 Posted 14/08/2021 at 16:57:33
50 Posted 14/08/2021 at 16:58:02
51 Posted 14/08/2021 at 16:58:36
Every goal came from that avenue. I've no idea why we were pretending to be a ball playing team in the first half. No it's not fashionable, but it's worth having a go.
If your centre backs are crap on the ball, tell them to get rid of it ASAP. Pump it at our centre forward or over their full backs' heads.
We'll scare teams playing like that. It's not got a high ceiling, but it's better to watch than the pointless crap we've been served before.
52 Posted 14/08/2021 at 17:01:18
53 Posted 14/08/2021 at 17:02:37
54 Posted 14/08/2021 at 17:03:17
I thought there some good performances- Alan and Doucoure both good, and obviously Richarlison. Gray good too. Onwards and upwards.
55 Posted 14/08/2021 at 17:03:45
56 Posted 14/08/2021 at 17:03:48
57 Posted 14/08/2021 at 17:04:49
58 Posted 14/08/2021 at 17:06:20
Keane needs time which he is not going get. Can see Godfrey playing and Keane as stop gap. Rafa won't want Keane pushing up to get caught out.
59 Posted 14/08/2021 at 17:06:57
60 Posted 14/08/2021 at 17:07:17
Simply great execution!
61 Posted 14/08/2021 at 17:07:36
Thought Richarlison was inspired, grew as the game went on, magnificent performance.
Doucoure, looking sluggish first half dragged himself into the match and dominated midfield in the second period. True box-to-box effort and just behind Richy as motm candidate.
The defence looked steadier against what was - in truth - a poor Saints attack. Digne far move involved, getting forward in support. Allan improved from a poor first 45 but hopefully will get better and sharper with game time. JP had a good match and played his part in getting the defence going.
Gray and Townsend, good debuts and more to come from both.
Have to give a shout out to Iwobi. I'm his strongest critic but he was a game-changer today. Neat touches, clever passing and an impact off the bench. Now we need to see consistency and we may just have a player.
3 points and a rocking Goodison, first obstacle dodged for Benitez and let's carry this momentum forward into a sequence of winnable matches.
Feeling great to be a Blue today fellas, not gonna lie!
62 Posted 14/08/2021 at 17:07:38
We did play some old fashioned wing play which I enjoyed and I also thought that we saw what Iwobi can do.
I'm not sure it is downside but Southampton might have a bit of a struggle (which I envisaged for us) if they are to survive this season but we beat what was in front of us.
63 Posted 14/08/2021 at 17:08:04
Good win for the first game of the season.
64 Posted 14/08/2021 at 17:09:52
Nice prediction lol.
65 Posted 14/08/2021 at 17:10:59
Pleased with that result!
Well done the boys and well done Rafa
66 Posted 14/08/2021 at 17:12:04
68 Posted 14/08/2021 at 17:12:25
69 Posted 14/08/2021 at 17:12:45
Richarlison. Who cares if he doesnt smile. Lad.
DCL. I like him, but he needs players around him to do create the chances. Hopefully Kean will do one and fee up some cash to bring in an alternative attacker to compliment/provide an alternative to Dom.
70 Posted 14/08/2021 at 17:14:51
Iwobi was excellent when he came on in the second half. But Richy was absolutely top drawer.
71 Posted 14/08/2021 at 17:16:20
35 Posted 14/08/2021 at 15:56:44
No chance to avoid relegation this year. Good bye Premier League!.
If you wanted proof of the absolutely stupid shit people say, look no further.
72 Posted 14/08/2021 at 17:20:49
Forgot to salute Calvert-Lewin's brilliant diving header, not quite Andy Gray quality but it was hip height and looked simply beautiful, not too mention brave.
Considering our squad was missing quite a few players that would have been in contention due to isolation that was a good result. Really pleased with the character on show after we looked the same old wobbly Everton after shipping a beyond soft goal.
Replace Keane and Holgate with Mina and Godfrey as soon as possible, and get a new right back in because it was a battling display from Seamus but he was running on empty late on.
Not sure how this season will go without significant reinforcements before the end of the month but great to see a reaction from the manager, whom I'm sure was animated in the dressing room, such was the sea-change from a clueless and passive last 25m in the first half. Much better than Silva sticking out his bottom lip on the sideline or Ancelotti looking nonplussed by what he was watching
73 Posted 14/08/2021 at 17:23:50
We still looked shaky at the back and someone should have told Rafa that Keane and Holgate can't play together, but overall I'm happy with much of what I saw. Townsend and Gray look very astute signings that give us a lot more balance. We just need to make sure we bring in a RB. I'd be happy with Dalot or Trippier on loan.
P.S looked like Raffa's message to Doucoure worked....What a goal!
74 Posted 14/08/2021 at 17:25:07
75 Posted 14/08/2021 at 17:26:35
Second half much better. We mostly prevailed on heart and grit, and I'm not sure we would have pulled it off in an empty Goodison, but all three goals were excellent, with Doucoure's obviously the pick of the bunch (I thought 15 minutes from time was a bit early to do the rip-off-the-shirt celebration, but it's the season opener in front of a packed house - I'll allow it).
Thought Gray started really brightly then faded a bit, while Townsend's delivery lived up to the hype, even though nothing came of it.
A come-from-behind victory in Rafa's first match in charge. Silva didn't manage that in a season-and-a-half.
Also more than a little gratifying to see us get the three points while Leeds, the resident darling at the end of last season, got completely dismantled by United, and Villa, who everyone was fawning over as the "winners of the transfer window," fell flat on their face against Watford of all teams.
Christobal (35) - I was fuming too, but this is why it's generally better not to post at halftime, LOL.
76 Posted 14/08/2021 at 17:26:42
I've said this before but Sevilla a couple of years ago with the immobile and slow Benega pulling their strings were an excellent team and showed that if you surround a gifted playmaker with energy and pace then good things can happen. I don't see any reason why we couldn't use Rodriguez the same way. Every time I watched Sevilla I don't recall Benega closing down or breaking into a run at all. I'm not joking when I say James contributed twice as much as him defensively.
78 Posted 14/08/2021 at 17:30:11
79 Posted 14/08/2021 at 17:30:17
Rafa may have some moves with this squad given the production from Townsend and Gray. And that cross to Calvert-Lewin and that whole sequence was Everton as fuck. Get down, Rafa!
80 Posted 14/08/2021 at 17:30:54
We have a rangy big lunged unit in the middle alongside a little terrier. They're decent attributes to have as long as you don't ask them to be something they're not.
In the first half we had Keane and Holgate playing out, and Allan and Doucoure trying to come and receive the ball short. That suits precisely none of them. Nor the players further up the field who want the ball out in front of them.
I could actually enjoy watching us play the way we did in the second half. Remains to be seen how quickly an improved level of opposition nullifies it.
81 Posted 14/08/2021 at 17:36:21
A good win but, there are many issues for Rafa to sort.
82 Posted 14/08/2021 at 17:38:46
Saints were decent, but their solitary threat in the 2nd half was from Ward-Prowse's corner, comfortably dealt with by Pickford or his defenders.
Yes, Djenepo looked threatening backing Coleman up into his own penalty area, but if he got beyond him, Keane stepped across to make the block.
We created many more genuine openings and all 3 goals were merited for different qualities.
Richy alert to the ball coming back into the six yard box for the first. Quick free kick, good interplay between Doucoure and Iwobi and a cracking finish for the second. Outstanding work in the build up by Richy, plus his cross for Dom's strikers' instinct diving header.
Gray, Townsend, Digne and Richarlison were putting in decent to excellent crosses all game.
With Richarlison's and DCL'S late returns to Finch Farm they will not be fully tuned into Gray and Townsend yet, so potential for much improvement and more end product in that regard. The balance was better after the break with Gray switched left rather than double up with Townsend as they did in the first half.
No great craft and guile in midfield, but there was a plan and compactness that worked, which is all you can ask for. Winning tactics.
Toss up between Richarlison and Doucoure for me as to our MoTM.
Perhaps we won't be in a relegation scrap after all, eh?
83 Posted 14/08/2021 at 17:40:01
84 Posted 14/08/2021 at 17:49:13
I still switched off at 2-1 fearing we would do the usual – but no!! We scored a third.
85 Posted 14/08/2021 at 17:56:36
Holgate and Keane are too soft and slow. Looks like Keane is still in a huff after not being selected for England, where better players try harder to prove their manager wrong.
Doucouré was okay, better as the game went on – like most.
Townsend and Coleman did well. Iwobi not too bad either! Not looking for him to beat players every time, just use pace and early passes to get in behind the defence.
Now to watch the Dubs beat Mayo in the All-Ireland semi-finals. Come on, you boys in blue!
86 Posted 14/08/2021 at 17:57:23
Calvert-Lewin is attacking the near post at last.
87 Posted 14/08/2021 at 17:57:57
88 Posted 14/08/2021 at 18:01:07
We are fans, we're not emotionally neutered.
It's not big and it's not clever.
89 Posted 14/08/2021 at 18:05:47
Keane and Holgate recovered from a nightmare first half... Ended up looking like a decent partnership.
Iwobi made complete cheshire cats of me and all around me who cat-called his introduction – serves us right. "I always knew there was a player in there" was the mantra... after the game! We really are shameless at times.
Doucouré will be better for Rafa than he was for Carlo after being told to get forward... often.
They predictably queued up to get down Seamus's wing. He stuck to his guns... predictably.
The football may not have been the purest, but Rafa somehow conjured up a passion that I for one didn't see coming at half-time; Goodison liked what it saw.
It was lovely to depart a happy ground. High Fives, smiles, and back slapping... We should do this more often!
90 Posted 14/08/2021 at 18:07:36
91 Posted 14/08/2021 at 18:09:41
Great start by Rafa. He showed the difference of a manager getting on the touchline, geeing the players up.
Oustanding play by Richarlison who demonstrated his importance to this team.
Doucouré had his best game for a long time.
Seamus and Digne looked very solid.
Good debuts from Gray and Townsend, making a mockery of what we paid previously for the likes of Walcott, Tosun and Iwobi.
The only negative being Keane showing a total lack of concentration or confidence.
92 Posted 14/08/2021 at 18:14:41
We played forward more than I can remember and in bigger numbers, quicker than I remember, and more direct. We actually looked like we wanted to win and were interested. We actually crossed the ball into the box. Manager made changes at half-time, we came from behind and won. Everton don't do that!
Very positive day at the Old Lady.
93 Posted 14/08/2021 at 18:16:56
At the back end of last season (March or April, was it?) his injury did coincide with us losing that midfield battle in a few games when he was consistently steady up to then.
Hard to debate with our latest world class manager so far. Having a proper winger on the right as well.
Roll on the transfer window for more good news and more squad improvements – out and in.
94 Posted 14/08/2021 at 18:18:21
Well done, Rafa, for sorting out the mess at half-time. We have a weak squad but we do have a reasonable 11 when fit and not knackered. This season is about survival.
95 Posted 14/08/2021 at 18:19:00
Nice to see some good crosses coming over from Gray and Townsend, Hopefully once Calvert-Lewin gets tuned in to them, he will benefit with a few headed goals.
Richarlson looked up for it even after all the recent games and travelling he has done. Just need to get the defence sorted and settled and all of the players back.
Well done, Blues and Rafa.
96 Posted 14/08/2021 at 18:22:00
I have never seen a group turn so quick on a team and manager after only 45 minutes of play.
Let's be honest, Rafa has been left without a pot to piss in, back to the sell-to-buy. What I have seen for the first time in a while, is a manager who is vocal on the touchline, is prepared to make changes, not sit back on a lead.
Make no mistake, in time, Rafa will weed the slackers out, he will ensure there are no passengers on the pitch, and will not make the mistake of playing players on reputation: if they do not pull their weight, they will be dropped.
Give the guy time and he will sort our sorry mess out.
Great start to the season, well done Everton, and well done the fans at the match who got behind and stuck by the team.
97 Posted 14/08/2021 at 18:24:26
Generally encouraging, we are going to be much more direct and that will suit Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison in particular.
Also, it's easy to see why James is not really suited to that style of play.
99 Posted 14/08/2021 at 18:29:45
100 Posted 14/08/2021 at 18:34:29
Let's see how far work – and what appears to be a more direct style – takes us.
101 Posted 14/08/2021 at 18:35:30
I agree with some here that there is no reason why we can't play with Rodriguez. We started last season when he was the main flair player. A limited team, one that is prepared to run and play hard, can certainly afford to play with one flair player.
102 Posted 14/08/2021 at 18:37:28
I just love comments like the above.
103 Posted 14/08/2021 at 18:37:49
104 Posted 14/08/2021 at 18:39:10
He was also very vocal and animated on the line which made a nice change. I wasn't impressed by his appointment, but I was impressed by him today... and I'm not getting carried away after one game either.
Thought Allan was pretty poor throughout, misplaced passes, getting in the way of his teammates. Holgate won't last long under this manager either.
105 Posted 14/08/2021 at 18:44:37
Honestly though, I have to say – many of you don't rate Holgate and he has earned that for the most part from last season, but how some of you are roping him in for blame on their goal is ludicrous.
But he is a young player with some skill and some bite so making him a fall guy makes you all just seem like Negative Nancies!! There I said it!!
106 Posted 14/08/2021 at 18:51:39
107 Posted 14/08/2021 at 18:52:29
What the fuck was Keane doing???
108 Posted 14/08/2021 at 18:54:47
More important was the energy, confidence and attitude change second half. I hope Godfrey and Mina get a chance together soon.
Also, l thought Townsend played the James role so l fail to see again why Rafa wants shut of the classiest player we have?
My MotM has to be Richarlison. Let's hope he doesn't suffer a burn-out because his all round play, scoring, assisting, chasing.... All good.
Well done, Rafa..
109 Posted 14/08/2021 at 19:03:38
I had one right idiot just behind me moaning at the top of his voice throughout – why do people like this go to the match?! He went down at half time, missed the equaliser at the start of the 2nd half, and even then he spent the next 20 minutes doing more complaining… only to start supporting us when we were 3-1 up!!
It's clear we still need to work on constructing attacks. First half, we had limited ideas. There was no link-up between the full-backs and wingers on either side of the pitch. And the goal we conceded was dreadful.
Credit to Rafa for switching it second half. Gray did well with his pace going down the line from the left-wing, and Richarlison was much better playing as a striker. And we defended much better second half, like a proper team.
Lots of positives… but lots to work on. We needed to get off to a good start today, and we did.
110 Posted 14/08/2021 at 19:07:02
He had a keeper-esque awful blunder at the worst part of the pitch.
He's not a bad defender, and he played, I thought, very well in the second half.
What more can you ask of a player? Make a terrible play, get up, dust yourself off, and get back to it. Michael Keane did that today in my opinion.
If you give me a choice between Keane and Holgate, I take Keane every single time. He's generally a very solid defender. I, for one, will give him a pass for today's blunder. He was bailed out wonderfully by his teammates, and he responded well to his gaff.
111 Posted 14/08/2021 at 19:08:03
Seamus (6) – wish they all had his heart
Keane (2) – 6 in second half, –4 in first!
Holgate (6) – better than Keane.
Digne (7) – great second half
Gray (7) – pace and guile.
Doucouré (8) – let him loose.
Allan (6) – worked hard.
Townsend (6) – left-footed right winger, handy
Calvert-Lewin (6) - good goal.
Richarlison (9) – he's Brazilian!!
Overall, the way we come back is really encouraging. We've been lacking heart for 2 years. Can't start like that, though, and mistakes like Keane's have got to stop.
112 Posted 14/08/2021 at 19:13:21
Football is shite. We will carry on with the same 6 clubs winning everything, year-in and year-out. Can you imagine if the Red Shite had not got us banned from Europe, we would be flying high. Unfortunately things never happened that way.
Yes, today we won... but, without player investment, it will be another season finishing mid-table.
113 Posted 14/08/2021 at 19:13:27
For as long as I can remember, conceding the first goal has been the kiss of death for Everton performances, which is an indication of poor motivation and lack of confidence. The best managers (Mancini vs Southgate?) can take a side which has played poorly in the first half, change players and formation and inspire a different second half, and it would appear this is what Benitez has done.
An Everton team which can come out fighting in the second half will be something new and, I hope, be much better.
114 Posted 14/08/2021 at 19:15:08
Also, as a few on here have pointed out, it is nice having a manager that gets busy on the touchline, for a change.
Finally, a word for Danny O'Neill, if he happens to read this: your round trip was well worth it! Get back safely to the smoke. I'm sure you even won't mind your better half's shopping spree!
115 Posted 14/08/2021 at 19:22:19
I have to disagree on Keane. He is a seasoned international, not a raw kid, and the reason I won't give him a pass is that he has these brain-farts far too reliably for a centre-back. He knows you don't stand on the ball when you are the last line of defence.
Other than that, all positive vibes today.Solid performance all round even from the unchosen one.
116 Posted 14/08/2021 at 19:42:04
I strolled up to Goodison with my son and 7-year-old grandson, thinking of my Grandad and Dad with whom I first visited the ground in the early '60s. Getting in was easy, then it was fond “Hello's” to many match-day acquaintances. The stadium didn't look like it had been tarted up, given that work has started at Bramley-Moore Dock, I assume little money will now be spent on The Old Lady.
There was a very nice tribute on the screens to those lost, the crowd were up for it, Z-Cars came on, Sr Benitez was applauded generously.
I didn't think we were atrocious in the first half; we were okayish, and tentative. The concession of an awful goal could have killed us, but it didn't. We are desperate for a commanding centre-half to partner Godfrey, I have little faith in Keane, Mina or Holgate. Allan was poor.
The early goal in the 2nd half was crucial, and we played some good stuff. Doucouré was excellent, Seamus was very good, Iwobi did pretty well when he came on. Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin playing in the middle looked promising.
Happy faces at the end. It was great to see a happy Goodison Park.
117 Posted 14/08/2021 at 19:44:48
118 Posted 14/08/2021 at 19:52:53
Firstly hello mate, hope you are well!
I think Keane played very well in the second half. Your point about him making errors too often is a fair opinion. I think a lot of what Keane does well goes largely unnoticed. He's not a "sexy" centre-back. He's a big fella, not fast, and he defends.
I appreciate him. And looking at the centre-backs we presently have, he is easily in our top 3 and therefore, due to a long season, will be called upon often.
Let's hope he's Mr Unappreciated and defends, and doesn't repeat today's gaff too often.
119 Posted 14/08/2021 at 19:54:10
Also glad to see Iwobi got some well deserved praise instead of the 'all climb on the bandwagon' shit he usually gets.
As for Keane, find me a player who doesn't make a mistake, they don't exist.
Benitez is just the sort of 'all hands on deck' manager we need at this time. I'm not expecting fireworks but he'll get the best out of what we have. Today, we got some much-needed confidence all round.
120 Posted 14/08/2021 at 19:59:46
122 Posted 14/08/2021 at 20:11:09
Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin both scored, Doucouré also, and maybe these three players could be those who will carry us through the season.
Southampton is a good team and this win is important. It will give us a massive boost and also Benitez will get even more credit from the Everton fans.
Once again, a good win and a very nice day for the Evertonians.
123 Posted 14/08/2021 at 20:13:29
I'm so pleased he got a good reception from the crowd. If this thing clicks, we could be on the verge of finally getting things right. He's top notch. He's done that tinker job at half-time now so many times with a 3-goal second-half turnaround.
Suddenly, the season looks bright.
124 Posted 14/08/2021 at 20:14:23
That is a very good summary of the day.
125 Posted 14/08/2021 at 20:14:30
I was told Godfrey was playing so, when I saw Holgate, my heart sank. He didn't disappoint. A headless chicken again. No composure and spreads panic throughout. How he plays before Mina is one for Arthur C Clarke...
One poor team and one very poor team. If that's Premier League football... well.
Today highlighted how urgently we need quality. We did as well as we could with the players that were available, but I have little confidence for the following weeks with this bunch.
Looks like Southampton could be fellow relegation candidates, so maybe this was a vital 6-pointer.
126 Posted 14/08/2021 at 20:16:39
Better to forget the first half. Benitez must have done something right at half-time because the second "serving" was far sweeter. It is far too early to make predictions but perhaps we may get some of the team playing up to their true ability.
I think Ancelotti had lost the manager - player relationships. Hopefully a new manager is given a fair chance to get the best out of what he has got. We still need more creativity in midfield. Plenty of activity in the middle but that is never a realistic substitute for the genius who can turn a half-chance into a goal.
All defenders make mistakes that can be disastrous enough to give the opposition a gift goal. Unfortunately we seem to do it far too often. I am as nervous as a bag of trapped mice when Kean and Holgate are the defensive back pair. Mina and Godfrey please, for the next game.
127 Posted 14/08/2021 at 20:16:51
And, to cap it all, Rafa was my Man of the Match for some astute tactical tweaks and 90 minutes of passion on the touchline.
What a great start to the season!
128 Posted 14/08/2021 at 20:24:03
I thought Southampton were a decent side. Strong at the back, quick to get stuck into us, and dangerous when coming at us. Thought we were doing okay until Keane made a howler of a mistake and then we began to visibly lose heart. Even so, Richarlison, Gray and Townsend looked lively.
In the 2nd half, Gray and Townsend attacked on the wings with Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin (who I thought had been well handled by the Southampton defence in the 1st half) giving them a lot of trouble down the middle. I was glad for Iwobi, thought he done well. Shame about his shot but it was a brilliant run that got him the chance anyway.
All-in-all, we got better as the game went on. The two lads who cost £1½M between them, looked very lively, did a lot of work, and put in some really good crosses; Gray looks dangerous on the ball as well. All good goals, well created.
Top marks to Rafa... and to us supporters!
129 Posted 14/08/2021 at 20:25:53
130 Posted 14/08/2021 at 20:26:14
I read all the messages from families to their loved ones, including one paying tribute to a great Blue getting buried on Monday, good job I knew about him. Goodnight, God Bless, John Drew, you loved Everton more than me.
You would have been very happy with that result, seen all the faults and appreciated the good points (quite a few) and would have roared with joy as we came from behind to win this game.
Still poor passing aplenty and we went off the boil after a decent start but picked ourselves up with a couple of astute changes and sent us all home, not ecstatic but a bit more than reasonably happy.
It will do for starters and possibly two or three new strong players to come in before the deadline closure will give us more assurance that the season will not be as bleak as some seem to think it will be.
131 Posted 14/08/2021 at 20:28:52
132 Posted 14/08/2021 at 20:29:20
Playing more direct, with plenty of delivery into the box, is an improvement on the tippy-tappy shit we've been served up since Moyes.
Not convinced on Allan tbh. Whilst Holgate and Keane underlines that they're both fucking dreadful. Whoever bought and sanctioned Michael Keane's transfer needs sectioning. He's just awful.
133 Posted 14/08/2021 at 20:29:40
Regarding the game today, I thought that we were on the back foot for the first 10 minutes or so, but picked up a little, creating a couple of goal scoring chances from low crosses. However, the goal conceded by the defensive error handed the impetus to Southampton. Sitting in the Park End and my eyesight growing slowly worse as time goes by, I will have to wait for 'Match of the Day' for clarification.
At half-time, things didn't look so bright, but you may be sick of reading that I believe, 'anything can happen in a game of football', and it came true today. I left Goodison today with a smile on my face and a spring in my step, I know that there are some who complain that there isn't enough entertainment in the game, but I suspect there are many more who regard favourable results as more important. The ideal is that we watch entertaining games which end in victory, but I'm afraid point-earning results are the be-all and end-all at the end of the day.
134 Posted 14/08/2021 at 20:33:23
I thought Benitez did well adjusting things at half-time. It was very noticeable and worked well, so good on him for that.
It was a bit disappointing at half-time with a few boos. Some dickhead was slagging Benitez off from before the kick-off! Still moaning at full-time! Unbelievable.
Good to see Doucouré playing further forward.
Long season ahead but maybe a bit more patience required from all. Attacking midfielder and right-back and we'll be okay!
135 Posted 14/08/2021 at 20:35:55
Yes, we needed the win and, for most fans, it was a sweet confidence booster, particularly having gone behind. In addition, we are seeing a manager involved and actively participating in the game and, along with his changes at half-time, contributing enormously to the result.
Southampton may well go down but we won't although it won't be much more than mid-table. Cheer up: 40 points, here we come!
136 Posted 14/08/2021 at 20:37:58
“Michael Keane is easily in the top 3 of our centre backs!”
Weve only got four!
Hahahaha tickled me that well in mate.
137 Posted 14/08/2021 at 20:38:03
It was a different side second half, even Iwobi did well!
138 Posted 14/08/2021 at 20:40:17
139 Posted 14/08/2021 at 20:41:40
I thought it was very encouraging to see the crosses delivered from the new lads on the wings. We needed something from the game and that in my opinion is a weak Southampton team. I thought the fitness and physicality of our team was perhaps the biggest difference in getting the 3 points.
Obviously, I think we can all do without another match with Holgate and Keane as a pairing. It has been tried and, like the Spurs match last year, they appear to lack a collective focus. Communication seems to be absent. It may come down to their individual abilities, but both have looked much more solid alongside Mina.
140 Posted 14/08/2021 at 20:43:10
Also, the bench. Looking at the 6 players out isolating, realistically some of them would be starting and most would make up the bench.
I think it's time Keane is dumped, ideally out of the club but certainly from the starting 11. Mina and Godfrey must be our central pairing going forward. Ideally we would bring a centre-back in and let Keane or Holgate go. Keane has been suffering from a lack of confidence since the day we signed him. He's just not for me. He's a bag of nerves and a disaster waiting to happen. He's also too slow. I hope Benitez has quickly learned this.
On a lighter note. I thought from an attacking perspective, we look like we will score goals and cause any team problems. We now have pace in Gray and Townsend and Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin will always score goals. It's refreshing to see so many crosses raining in to the box. Must've been more in that game that there was all of last season combined!!!!
I like the look of Doucouré in his proper Watford position and he should be played higher and he is capable of being a source of goals from midfield. I'd fear for Allan if Gbamin finds his feet. He still looks a little slow for this league. Very capable footballer but the games often seem too fast for him. Gbamin seems a lot more physically suited to the pace of the league but his ability to stay fit will determine that. We'll see anyway.
I'm hoping the window brings us what we need because a couple of injuries to key players (god forbid) and we'd be in trouble.
Lastly, special mention to Rafa for seeing what was needed and sorting it. Dunno what he did or said at half-time but it worked.
141 Posted 14/08/2021 at 20:44:00
A determination, grit, belief, some great play and skill, in the second half.
The mistake for their goal is a potential in every game and Holgate and Keane, - “Near and Miss', in terms of risk assessment terms at work, don't install any hope and reliance in myself and perhaps other Evertonians and the players.
But a great come back and Leeds up next. Richarlison and Gray to shreed the Leeds defence, and secure a good away win.
Good confidence booster, and well done Rafa, and the verciferous Everton crowd, helping finish off a stubborn Southampton.
Forget the rest, it's about Everton; let them worry about us.
142 Posted 14/08/2021 at 20:46:21
143 Posted 14/08/2021 at 20:48:02
I'm with Jamie #119 on Keane. Yes, he's limited on pace, but he's intelligent, strong, can pass the ball well, and has shown great courage and commitment even through difficult times. Nobody has ever accused him of being lazy or not giving his all for the shirt. Today was the first monumentally stupid thing I've ever seen him do, and everybody's entitled to one of those.
Charles #114, like most here I didn't want Rafa, but I gotta say it's been years since I've since an Everton side explode out of the locker room for the second half the way we did today. We earned a goal and four corner kicks in the first five minutes. Rafa clearly did some skin-peeling of these guys at the half, something that they've so often needed but didn't get in recent seasons. Plus the Iwobi sub, which drew universal groans on the Forum, worked great. So here's to the FSW for a proper first day on the job.
Finally, Dave #130 and John Sr., I was thinking of you both today while watching the game from halfway around the world. Glad you were there and you BOTH came home with springy steps.
144 Posted 14/08/2021 at 20:48:50
By the looks of things, we're going very direct this season. Keane's long ball distribution is one of the best at the club (possibly will be the best when James leaves). We will be seeing a ton of those long diagonal passes like we did today out to the left wing.
145 Posted 14/08/2021 at 20:48:56
Keane may have had a dreadful game, but has frequently been a good choice. Holgate is struggling and has been for some time.
Keane and Godfrey would, to me, be the best partnership.
146 Posted 14/08/2021 at 20:52:18
First competitive game for the coach: 3 points, 3 goals, and a decent welcome. For me, a fine start. Had the score stayed at 0-1, I reckon we would already have hit 500 posts on here...
Danny O'Neill, our new lucky charm. Hope you are home to enjoy MotD, Danny.
147 Posted 14/08/2021 at 20:53:13
Holgate was poor again today, and to me, he is the clear 4th choice.
148 Posted 14/08/2021 at 21:04:31
He recovered well after his mistake, he made several headed clearances in the second half from corners and made a great tackle when their left winger cut in and put Coleman on his arse. I thought him and Holgate were strong second half. I don't recall their strikers having a shot?
Let's be fair with criticism. If players turn it around after a mistake, let's be fair and give them credit for doing so. I'm not saying Holgate and Keane are world beaters, but they played well second half. The whole team did.
149 Posted 14/08/2021 at 21:11:52
It's kind of you to be thinking of Dave and I, but I trust you won't be offended when I say that you were never on my mind. Because, as I have stated on this site once or twice, when Everton are playing at home, my world is 120 yards long and 75 yards wide. I am oblivious to anything that may be going on in the real world, and I think that applies to all followers of the 'Beautiful Game'.
I intend to stay around long enough to share that bottle of Guinness with you and the other friends I have made, "Fellow ToffeeWebbers" wishing you and your family best wishes.
150 Posted 14/08/2021 at 21:24:05
Went to the Roscoe Head instead. Great beer and plenty of Evertonians.
On the way home, popped my head through the door of the Fly where I was now welcomed with open arms – game over, pub empty – fuck ‘em.
151 Posted 14/08/2021 at 21:35:10
152 Posted 14/08/2021 at 21:37:53
I have been ridiculed on this site by saying the players are not machines that can be programmed, but that's what some fans are demanding. I often use the example of Calvert-Lewin smashing in a 30-yard screamer, the consensus of opinion is that no goalkeeper in the world would stop that, but if the opposing centre-forward scored exactly the same goal, the cries of Keane should have closed him down, or Pickford was too far off his line.
What it amounts to is that it's okay for the opposition to make mistakes, but woe betide the Everton player who does so.
153 Posted 14/08/2021 at 21:38:10
We are going to make mistakes! New methods being implemented! Rafa will as well with tactics as he gets to know the players!!
All I have asked for is more desire for the shirt! Not a bad start!
154 Posted 14/08/2021 at 21:51:02
I expected us to win today, but what the fuck was Keane doing? That was so poor from an experienced centre-half, and Holgate's attempted challenge wasn't up to much either – both of them way too slow.
I thought Southampton were much more "up for it" in the first half. Our midfield, particularly Allan, looked like headless chickens and, in some instances, we were quite poor all over the pitch.
The second half got off to a flyer and gave the team the confidence to push on, roared on by the crowd from what I could hear.
Very happy with the 3 points but lots of work to be done. If this had been a Top 6 side today, I reckon we would have been in trouble... time will tell. COYB.
155 Posted 14/08/2021 at 22:03:20
You're exactly right. I'm reading here by some ‘experts' that Keane should be dumped out of the club!! For fuck's safe, get a grip! Mistakes happen. Keane could have gone under today after that horror show of a goal he gave away – great finish by their lad by the way.
But I thought our whole team didn't give them a sniff second half all over the pitch. Keane dusted himself off and produced a decent performance after his mistake. Why does there always have to be a whipping boy, even when we win 3-1? I will never understand it.
156 Posted 14/08/2021 at 22:07:37
You're spot on. It's this ‘perfection' attitude that puts so much pressure on our players and strangles the creativity
We should be winning because of our fans, not despite them.
157 Posted 14/08/2021 at 22:10:06
Bit long ball today. Plenty of crosses but lacking Rodriguez's guile. Let's see how we do next game.
158 Posted 14/08/2021 at 22:14:34
159 Posted 14/08/2021 at 22:17:18
I called Keane all the names under the sun for that cock-up. I also called Dominic for letting their two centre-halves bully him.
Keane, I don't rate as a top centre-half; but he didn't fold and worked hard for the team; and 5 minutes after I'd said Dom hadn't got into the game... he scored! I think it's time I remembered they're our players!
I agree with you that our manager and our team tore into them in the second half and you could see confidence flowing through them. It's counter-productive getting on our own players' backs.
So I'll slap my wrist for calling out our own players and desist in the future; but pour myself a bottle of Abbot for admitting it.
160 Posted 14/08/2021 at 22:40:27
161 Posted 14/08/2021 at 22:41:08
Disagree about Keane... I'd pick Mina and Godfrey, personally, and I didn't see Keane 'recover well' until after our goals. Thought he looked nervous and made a couple more bad mistakes as a result... but overall a great day and a very satisfying result.
I hope Danny O'Neill had a great day back up north.
162 Posted 14/08/2021 at 22:46:59
I hate criticising players, but Keane is not good enough imo, because it's impossible for us to go and really play on the front foot when he's in our lineup. Playing on the front foot is so very important, and is why I think we need to go and sign a commanding central defender, which will also go and help to let Ben Godfrey develop naturally.
163 Posted 14/08/2021 at 22:51:56
As we know, Keane is a very good penalty box defender in a team defending deep. In that role, he had a decent second half. Outside his own area, he is suspect with his decision-making and lack of agility on the turn.
Otherwise, I thought it was a decent team performance. It was most certainly not a dreadful start. We began the game in positive fashion with some good work by Gray and Townsend in the opening 20 minutes. The opening goal disorientated the team for 20 minutes but at least they did not crumble.
After half-time, we outplayed the opposition with quick passing and movement in front of a solid defence. I thought Doucouré, with his driving runs, tackling, passing and covering was outstanding before he scored. His goal cemented a Man of the Match rating as far as I was concerned.
Richarlison's energy throughout the game plus a well-taken goal and a cross for the final score suggested perhaps that participation in an Olympic tournament is not the worst preparation for a new season.
I was in a small minority who thought Benitez was the best qualified candidate for the job. There is much to do to improve the squad as individuals and as a unit. It will take time but today offered evidence that Benitez is up to – and as important – up for the task.
164 Posted 14/08/2021 at 22:54:36
He was a damn lucky fella we had an empty stadium last season.
Already under Rafa we seem more direct and willing to go for a win.
I was 50:50 with Rafa but (whisper it quietly) I think it could prove to be a masterstroke. Anyone who can get a tune out of our first 11 deserves a chance.
165 Posted 14/08/2021 at 22:55:42
166 Posted 14/08/2021 at 22:59:07
I agree entirely with your comments, I would only add that Iwobi played very well when he came on, credit where it's due.
167 Posted 14/08/2021 at 23:21:49
Got to give credit to the manager for changing formation in the 2nd half. Matching their 4-4-2 turned the game on its head.
Doucouré was my MotM, he looks a different player running forward with the ball.
2 centre-backs looked shaky all game. At 0-1, Keane and Holgate looked awful. At 3-1, Keane is pinging passes about effortlessly. I like Keane for being an honest defender that throws himself into battle but, if we continue playing a higher line, I can see him getting dropped sharpish.
It was good being back in the ground, I enjoyed the atmosphere and seeing familiar faces though I also felt that I was taking part in a mass social experiment. I just hope that there aren't massive spikes in Covid as a result of fans being allowed back in.
Benitez got a warmish reception, no more, no less. The only way he can keep the fans on his side is to keep winning.
168 Posted 14/08/2021 at 23:32:09
During the match, though, they're our players playing for our club. I don't think it does any good at all to criticise them during the match, if they're pulling their tripes out.
They pulled their tripes out today and we, the supporters responded. It was a great atmosphere, especially in the second half.
169 Posted 14/08/2021 at 23:37:46
It's those pearls of wisdom I drop so often that really make the posts shine!
Point being, Keane is going to get time on the pitch, and I'm not ready to run the fella up the pole for that awful blunder. He's played some solid stuff at the back for long stretches for Everton over the years, played on a terribly injured foot, if my memory serves, and I can never, ever fault his effort. I like the kid, and if he screws up terribly, as long as it doesn't become commonplace, he's okay by me.
But his error was awful. Like completely "What the fuck are you doing?" awful! I move on. He's not a serial poor player by any stretch. He doesn't shit out, and he doesn't give up / not try.
Cheers. Look for more pearls throughout the season. I promise I won't disappoint! 😜
170 Posted 14/08/2021 at 23:47:37
Mason Holgate is standing too close to Keane, then loses concentration and places his thumb squarely up his ass, and then puts in a terrible tackle knowing he's the last man defending!
It's an awful effort to protect his centre-back partner. Terrible.
Watch again @ 2:05 and see for yourself.
Yes, Keane is at fault. But he got zero help from Holgate. Terrible anticipation and effort where a quality centre-back should step up and save the day.
171 Posted 14/08/2021 at 23:50:09
I said to my son before kick-off, watch ToffeeWeb implode with "Benitez is shit" if we go 1-0 down and watch nobody say well done to him if we actually win. I'm glad to see that some people have done the decent thing and making positive comments and giving him credit when it is due.
If we are to support this team, let's give the manager and the players some credit, at what is a very difficult time for the club, when the team tries to play with passion, as it did today.
172 Posted 14/08/2021 at 23:53:32
Leeds will be a tough game but I believe Benitez will get the team in the mode to give their all.
Today, the crowd were superb, and the whole squad showed more directness and positive forward play across the whole game than in any match last season.
Early days and we know not to get carried away.
All Evertonians enjoy this day and here's to many more good days this season.
Feck the rest.
What's Our Name?
173 Posted 14/08/2021 at 00:01:26
Yes! “Anyone who gets a tune out of our first 11 deserves a chance.”
I will just add that this squad is maybe a bit above average barely because of Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison. If we list those two, we are in a world of hurt. We are not Europe quality, we are top 10 at best.
I will support Rafa because he's the manager and I believe he actually cares about the club.
174 Posted 14/08/2021 at 00:08:48
Lots of positives. Richarlison looking the most match fit funnily enough. We seem to be playing to our goal scoring strengths, as in get the ball in early. Encouraging signs from Rafa and l really enjoyed the energy.
175 Posted 15/08/2021 at 00:21:53
176 Posted 15/08/2021 at 00:26:03
Off the top of my head, I can think of two blunders last season. Hammering the ball against Holgate in the Spurs cup match, and his attempted dribble through the Man City midfield in the disastrous season finale.
Keane is a solid option if a team plans to sit back and repel crosses all game, such as he did at Burnley. Anything more progressive and he's a liability. Slow and turns like the Titanic. Also commonly misjudges floated deep crosses, weirdly (see Spurs FA cup 1st Kane goal for what I mean). Passive and not a leader.
Amazed a few posters still clinging on to the theory that we will be battling relegation, or can aspire to mid-table at best. Granted, Southampton are relegation candidates this season imo, but we won handily today, posting the highest xG stat of any team so far, and completely turned that game around at half-time. Other then Keane's gift, they created very little. And we were missing several players that would have been options today.
177 Posted 15/08/2021 at 00:27:40
Yes, it was great to be back after so long but I found it a bit alarming that virtually nobody was wearing a mask. It was the same on the football bus back to town but a bit better on the train.
178 Posted 15/08/2021 at 00:43:34
What we witnessed in the first half was terrible. A team with limited ability and movement being shown up for their weaknesses. People claiming it was just an individual mistake followed by a tactical masterclass are missing the point. The first half was crap. That remains the case.
In the second half, we saw a team playing to its strengths. Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison want the ball in the box early. Townsend and Gray want it in front of them early. Doucouré and Allan prefer combat to tiki-taka, the centre-backs are happy playing it direct rather than finding passes, the full-backs want to follow up the pitch.
Pickford will have an easier time being asked to go direct than the pressure he's been put under by being asked to recycle possession. I'll guarantee fewer keeper errors with that style.
The difference was stark. I'm happy enough with a direct style. And it was a pretty unashamed direct style.
But we also need to see where that will take us because that kind of football has its limits – that's the reason that the top teams don't just go direct and win the second ball.
We'll also need to find some squad strength playing at that tempo. Benitez has talked about improving fitness. They'll need it.
179 Posted 14/08/2021 at 00:43:38
As you well know, we are not the same age. Because I am 1 year younger, I have always gone by the old adage to "Respect Your Elders". Actually, I do respect your thoughts and points of view because they are very similar to mine in most things regarding Everton.
Your perspective of today's game was exactly as I saw the game. You had the joy of seeing the game live and you left with a jaunty step, which is always provided when Everton win. I watched from my Canadian living room with my offspring, also rabid Evertonians. I also left my house elated shouting to a deaf back yard "We Won!!!"
However, regarding your post (152), I would like to respectfully disagree. You have sensibly adapted to not being overly critical of Everton players. I am not so forgiving, particularly when I see handsomely paid footballers not putting forth an honest effort. Effort was not a factor today.
Mistakes will always happen so I am not too critical of Keane's "howler". However, every Evertonian does have their own point of view and ToffeeWeb is one of the few ways I can express my feelings. I have never liked the Keane - Holgate combination and I need to put forward my feelings in print.
But that is still not the reason for my response to your post (152). You indicated that Evertonians can be very harsh on any player in Blue who makes a mistake. They can even shout and scream and direct their venom towards the player. You said that, if an opponent makes the same mistake, they don't do anything.
Really John, the reason is very simple for me: I just don't care what the team we are playing against do. I don't care how many mistakes their left-back makes. Actually... the more, the better! I don't say "Oh what a bad pass" by their centre-back. I just smile and hope he keeps on doing it. But if Keane or any Everton player does what he did today, my natural response is unprintable, as is my description of him.
That is not because I actually hate him. I don't. But because he is playing for Everton, I can feel only what my mind and body tell me to feel and, at that moment of insanity, that is how I felt... Honestly!!!
By the end of the game, I had forgiven him, mainly because we won. I feel I know how every Everton player played but, for Southampton players, all I know is that they wore striped shirts and I don't give a monkey's uncle how any of them played. I will care if one of them transfers to Everton but, if they do, they had better not do a Keane!!!
John and I communicate on a regular basis so I just hope he does not take this as a lack of respect for my slightly elder elder. Any response accepted, although by now John McFarlane Snr should be in bed dreaming of Everton. Or having a nightmare about The Keane Man!
180 Posted 15/08/2021 at 00:49:51
181 Posted 15/08/2021 at 01:11:57
Credit to the manager and players to come back and win that game after a really awful first half. I thought Calvert-Lewin was bang average but that goal was as excellent and very brave.
Doucouré has the energy to get up and down the pitch and he is far more useful in the opposition half than our own so hats off to him for a great goal.
We put a few crosses into the danger zone and that's encouraging from the new boys.
Confidence is everything so let's hope this win lifts the players and fans alike. I am happy to be proved wrong as I didn't see that win coming at half-time.
182 Posted 15/08/2021 at 01:26:33
Yep, and I can think of a couple additional mistakes last season and a second one today that nobody noticed because it didn't cost anything. All defenders make mistakes, and Keane is no exception. But this is the first one I've ever seen, in nearly 150 games for us, that was simply rank inattention, brain lock, a complete howler.
I won't crucify him for it. He'll never dazzle us with greatness, but Everton has no braver, more honest, more committed, more professional player than Michael Keane.
Now let's hope Rafa has learned the dangers of the Keane & Holgate combo and will consign Holgate to his appropriate seat at the end of the bench.
183 Posted 15/08/2021 at 01:36:03
Many are slating Keane and Co but I think our real problem is in midfield and has been for some time. Often they don't make themselves available as an outlet, when a defender has the ball, and we saw the result, today. Our collective midfield seldom dominate or control a game which is why we had such a poor record in overcoming deficits.
I'm one of Iwobi's biggest critics but he did well when he came on and, with a little more composure, would have got on the score sheet.
Overall, some very encouraging signs. A lot quicker moving up the pitch and I really liked the first-time crosses. Once Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison realise the ball will actually be delivered, they'll start making more runs.
A special day for me as Sandra, my late wife, was on the Tribute screen. It's one of the things which makes our club a bit special!
184 Posted 15/08/2021 at 01:41:43
185 Posted 15/08/2021 at 01:47:42
186 Posted 15/08/2021 at 01:54:54
On the other hand, we're all aware of his limitations, and that's not going to change. He's never going to look fully comfortable playing in the more progressive style we aspire to, which has always been the main issue with him, big picture.
187 Posted 15/08/2021 at 01:55:47
Kudos to whoever that fellow was Doucoure ran over to. Doucoure is a big boy and that fellow just grabbed him and lifted him off the ground.
188 Posted 15/08/2021 at 01:57:20
They both started in what used to be termed 'typical cup-tie fashion', but slowed down a bit after 20mins as the new season novelty wore off. Keane got the ball but with nobody really open to pass to...Holgate being too close, went into indecisive panic mode and got his feet mixed up and we were down a goal.
Least said about the rest of the half the better, we couldn't really have complained if we went in 2 down - but we didnt.
The Squire obviously did more than blow on his half time,Bovril at HT, but what ever he did worked...that in its self is a first.
The rest as thry say is history
We were better with 2 men centrally, from what we've seen of Gray, Townsend and Bergovic, it was up to now, £1.7M well spent.
Next week we have to face the recently arse smacked Leeds, who will no doubt be out to make amends. Never an easy task going there for some reason.
All things considered, it could...and has been, a lot worse. A decent platform to build on - if we can...if there is anything to build with.
189 Posted 15/08/2021 at 02:06:19
Some RS teleclappers dominate the comments section on Everton articles in the Red Echo so it wouldn't surprise me, one bit, if they spend the rest of their time on the Everton website.
They must live really sad, unfulfilled, lives.
190 Posted 15/08/2021 at 03:10:04
Reidy is only in his mid sixties so still relatively young but to me he doesn't look very well. Hopefully I'm wrong on that.
On the other hand, Big Joe Royle was in the crowd looking as fresh as a daisy.
I would love to have players of their ilk in our team today.
191 Posted 15/08/2021 at 03:13:53
I think you are talking about Keane, who is a defender, and not Kean, who is a forward. I do wish we could spell correctly the names of our players.
192 Posted 15/08/2021 at 03:23:42
Brilliant. It's a wonderful gesture to pay homage to your late wife.
I'll be at Mass tomorrow, and I'll throw one up to the Big Man for her.
Great stuff man. Bless her.
It warms my heart when I read stuff like this on TW. Doesn't matter if you're religious or an atheist, nice remembrance, and ergo, my best to you, Bill.
193 Posted 15/08/2021 at 03:53:07
The combination with Holgate is not the right one though, as they both lack that little bit of confidence and composure.
194 Posted 15/08/2021 at 04:37:44
195 Posted 15/08/2021 at 05:08:12
My (179) post, with my despicable spelling, does show that we all have our weaknesses. Mine is my spelling, while Keane's is merely playing football. Terry, do you have any faults? Have you ever considered becoming a Preecher, a Preeest, a Vickeeer or a Teechar?
198 Posted 15/08/2021 at 06:35:00
Caveat; I'm not great at assessing Everton at the best of times, let alone when I'm watching in the flesh, so this is just a raw "how I saw it" from the Upper Bullens. I haven't even seen the highlights yet. Credit Michael for being able to write almost seemingly live!
Let's get the negatives (if you want to call them that) out of the way. Michael Keane has worried me since we signed him. Please, Mr Benitez, don't play him and Holgate together again unless we have no other options.
Mistake aside for their goal, he almost cost us another before half-time with a typical Michael Keane moment. Ball drifted overhead, has the "Oh shit" moment, but isn't quite quick enough on the recovery side. He needs to read the game better.
In honesty, a dreary first half that was only separated by the mistake in my opinion. I also thought our problem at right back is something teams will target unless we sort it. Southampton certainly tried yesterday. There was a period in the second half where they were seemingly continuously probing that flank and winning a lot of corners on that side.
Talk about a game of two halves. Whatever the manager said at half-time worked. I'm guessing one thing he said was to tell the centre-backs to stop being scared of a football. Also, we seemed to have Richarlison playing more central second half. I still don't know if we went 4-4-2 or we had Richarlison playing in the No 10 role. But it worked.
Doucouré was awesome. Close call between him and Richarlison for Man of the Match but I'll tip Doucouré and not just for the goal. His energy and forward running was immense.
Credit to Richarlison. Many criticise his attitude, but a young player having just come back from an international tournament and not had a break in 2 years putting a shift like that is has to be commended.
Allan done a very good but unassuming job of breaking things up. Once again, the unofficial captain. Constantly talking and what I liked is something "nice little Everton" has missed; a flea in the officials' ear. Who I thought was biased. I need to watch the Richarlison yellow again. I'm convinced there was contact as the Southampton pack targeted him on one of many occasions.
I also have to give Jordan Pickford credit. Although in the first half, he smashed it aimlessly, I think he too was lacking confidence in his centre-backs. He looks much more mature and calm. Much more commanding.
Townsend and Gray gave us an outlet and much-needed pace and I have to say, Iwobi made a difference when he came on!
Anyway, what a day. Benitez in a blue suit stating "the majority of them know I like to fight" when asked about the Everton fans.
Dogs need walking and I haven't looked at how much I spent let alone what the wife spent in compensation. This might not look pretty.
Football hey. Leeds thumped, Arsenal embarrassed and Villa beaten. It's one game and let's not get carried away, but before kick-off yesterday, they were clubs predicted to be miles ahead of us!!
199 Posted 15/08/2021 at 06:42:01
Thanks for that, Jamie. We were both. Sandra was a RC who was married to an atheist. I appreciate your intention, at Mass, as I'm sure she would have done.
All the best to you, too!
200 Posted 15/08/2021 at 07:19:53
It wasn't just that mistake yesterday by the way. Or over his time at the club. He's 28 and not going to get much better than what he is.
Credit the crowd yesterday. Common these days for crowds to turn early if things aren't going well. Goodison didn't.
201 Posted 15/08/2021 at 07:36:48
Thanks for the report, Danny and others on here who got to the game; for those of you who are able to enjoy it, I am really pleased for you. Some (who shall not be named) simply cannot seem to enjoy anything and instead bitch and moan even when we are winning!
I think some of the comments on here towards Michael Keane are disrespectful, he might not be our most talented player but he has put in some real shifts for us; he is not prone to making those mistakes and is a solid team player.
That said, it's interesting how both he and Holgate have over the past few seasons (though not last season in the case of Mason) had spells of really good form for us, now both seem like our 3rd and 4th choice centre-backs. Don't forget that many were calling Mason a future England centre back 2 seasons ago.
It might be too soon but could we promote young Branthwaite and take some £££ for one of Keane or Holgate? It would be a way of getting around FFP. Now before I am slated for that, I am not suggesting Jarad play every game but, as 4th choice, he could get some valuable minutes and experience in Everton's first team. He didn't let us down before, he is also very fast and I rate him highly.
We still need some signings, it will be very interesting to watch the rest of the transfer window with potential sales of James, Kean and maybe Tosun. If we can't get rid of Cenk and Rafa likes 4-4-2, maybe this could be the season we see something from him? He can't play on his own, that's for sure.
We aren't going to be spending a lot (a new right-back at least, please, Marcel!) so, in this respect, Rafa may well end up being an inspired choice to steady this ship. Ha, ha, what a fickle bunch we are! Agree with a comment above that credit must be given where it is due and Rafa has started his tenure by showing experience and the courage to make changes.
Could Gray end up being the bargain of the season? Seems like he is going to get lots of opportunities to play, maybe Goodison is the place where he finally settles and reaches the potential many saw in him for years. Happy Blue here – COYB!
202 Posted 15/08/2021 at 07:42:47
203 Posted 15/08/2021 at 07:43:22
A mention too for Gbamin, I really feel for this guy, I don't know if we will ever see him but wouldn't it be so great if he could stay fit and beast that midfield!
204 Posted 15/08/2021 at 07:44:20
As you say, I do believe the crowd can really lift the side especially as like yesterday, going behind to a brainfart in defence with a gifted goal, but the lad took it well, and they could have had another but for Pickford's keeping. Second half was more apparent, now whether that was the crowd, Rafa's words or the players' embarrassment, or a combination of all three, is a matter of conjecture.
Although Leeds were pasted by Man Utd, I don't think they will be an easy game away at Elland Road next. Our second half performance equivalent will be needed for starters, then possibly up it for the second half again. Looking forward to it all the same, and great to be back to 'normality'.
205 Posted 15/08/2021 at 08:00:30
206 Posted 15/08/2021 at 08:04:53
£1.5M for both wingers is a steal. The speed and directness is brilliant.
207 Posted 15/08/2021 at 08:06:18
Carlo defended in numbers, not quality. We simply did not allow players up the pitch. There were always insurance policies around to sweep up errors like Keane's yesterday. Expect more of that if Rafa is going to ask his attackers to attack and his defenders to defend.
Keane can pick out players at a distance if given time on the ball, but he is not the same player when he is being harassed. His short game isn't up to it. He'll adapt to the changed landscape.
Quite why Holgate is being held responsible in any way for the goal is beyond me. I wonder if people making these comments have played the game? In the old days, defenders in his position would have just hacked the forward down once he had got there first and knocked the ball past him but, if you do that today, you end up playing with 10 men. He was simply run over by the bus he had been thrown under.
We were shaky right across the back four in the first half yesterday, with all our defenders making poor choices. It was the first game of the season, remember, and the crowded house they played in last season was a little emptier... But everyone of them improved and we defended excellently in the second half.
I thought it was clear that Southampton were targeting Seamus throughout the second half. They were clearly testing his ability to still "do it" but, in the face of some of the game's best movement and trickery, our boy was defiance personified... even ended up taking the game to them.
I'm made up. Our midfield were playing a good 5 yards higher than we were for most of last season. Townsend, Richarlison and later even Iwobi looked to test their full-backs on more than one occasion, and young Gray had me on the edge of my seat with his impressive change of pace – I look forward to more of that.
Hopefully Keane will adapt to life outside his own area. Hopefully Rafa can knock the cockiness out of Holgate which he has demonstrated since the moment he was given a fat contract. Hopefully Godfrey will come back and be as imposing as he was last season.
Hopefully we will win 3-1 every week and the biggest concern we have is a few early mistakes from the centre-backs.
Flaws? Yeah, there was loads, all over the pitch. The footy wasn't quite School of Science, but we showed a passion and an intent to win the game yesterday. Given my pre-match reservations, I would have snatched your hand off if you had offered me this before the game.
208 Posted 15/08/2021 at 08:17:44
I wish someone could have coached reading the game into him when he was younger. I always use Carragher as an example. He made up for lack of pace by reading the game and anticipating.
I'm not going to dwell on it and it's nothing I haven't said before. He's a good player, I just wouldn't play him and Holgate together.
I still haven't watched back, but the diving header from Calvert-Lewin was excellent and I suppose you could say Andy Gray like. But for me, it was Richarlison's role in the build-up that made me purr like a kitten. A great take, quick play out to the flank, positive running to receive the return, and a first time cross that put it on a plate for Dominic.
As I said, torn between him and Doucouré yesterday, but Richarlison showed his quality in spades.
209 Posted 15/08/2021 at 08:26:14
It was encouraging to see us on the front foot second half. Although the same personnel in the centre, the midfield just looked different.
Yes, as mentioned above, they were hitting our right channel and right-back a lot in the second half. I was in that corner of the ground and was seeing it right in front of me.
Pleased with the day. Pleased with the result. Pleased with the performance in the context of first game of the season. Pleased, but not getting carried away!
210 Posted 15/08/2021 at 08:40:03
211 Posted 15/08/2021 at 08:49:42
Although that cheesy "Sweet Caroline" intro has got me off to a bad start. They've ruined one of my favourite Apres Ski songs as I will now associate it with the England football team!
I know they're only highlights, but it might put some of my interpretation of yesterday into perspective.
212 Posted 15/08/2021 at 08:57:15
213 Posted 15/08/2021 at 09:07:42
214 Posted 15/08/2021 at 09:10:25
215 Posted 15/08/2021 at 09:13:18
Re: MotD, that's why I always record it and watch it Sunday morning. I never watch "those", I fast-forward to the matches I want to watch and Everton's game.
Good start to the season, let's see but always keep the "posso waves".
216 Posted 15/08/2021 at 09:18:15
I'd sell any two of Keane, Holgate or Mina and replace them with Koubilaly (promoting Jarrad to fourth choice). A new right-back and we'd have a very strong defence.
Our midfield with quick passes and movement suits the players we have. Gbamin as first-choice central defensive midfielder, with Allan as his backup. Doucouré playing as a box-to-box midfielder. I'd be happy if Gomes was moved on, but I think he would flourish more in this new system than that static role Carlo asked him to play.
I'd love to keep James, and have him and Gray competing for the No 10 spot, behind a No 9 of either Calvert-Lewin or Richarlison. In that respect, we wouldn't need any more strikers and any money brought in for Kean could be reinvested in defence.
Southampton are a poor poor team, and I don't think we should get too excited about the win, but you can only beat what's in front of you and great to get back to winning ways at Goodison Park.
Well done, Rafa... we'll done, Iwobi, UTFT.
217 Posted 15/08/2021 at 09:19:04
218 Posted 15/08/2021 at 09:25:04
3 points aside, the win and the manner, coming back after a poor start, means the anti-Benitez brigade stays at home for now. This alone is our biggest threat this season imo.
There will always be a hardcore minority against Benitez, even if we do a Leicester, but this win and hopefully continued progress will make that minority very small and increasingly irrelevant.
It's only the first game and lots of work to do but I'm over the moon we've started with a decent home win. We've gotten lucky with a relatively easy start so hopefully we can put more points on the board before the first international break.
10-12 points from the first 6 games would be excellent. (I hope Richarlison gets some rest at some point otherwise he's only going to have half a season….)
One game at a time but a happy Sunday to all Blues.
219 Posted 15/08/2021 at 09:29:52
Yes Keane made a 'dreadful' mistake, but hey it happens in football.
Let's now look at the positives for a change:
- the team won under Benitez in the Premier League for the first time.
- the crowds were back.
- we scored 3 goals (one of them incredible); and
- they came from behind to win handsomely!
Honestly, I think we've all been used to so much negativity, especially on TW. Is the glass half-empty or half-full? I know where I will be this season with Everton FC.
220 Posted 15/08/2021 at 09:30:00
One thing I noticed because of where I was sat was the reception Theo Walcott got and also his appreciation to the Everton fans.
Not the most popular during his time here, but very telling that he stayed behind on the pitch with the Everton players and ran towards the temporary away team changing room long after the rest of the Southampton team had left the pitch.
He got a really nice reception from that corner of the Bullens and the Park End and returned the gesture.
221 Posted 15/08/2021 at 09:35:37
Its a new season under a new regime. Time for all of us to press reset and leave prior baggage behind us, including TW.
222 Posted 15/08/2021 at 09:40:27
Credit to Benitez. Made switches and clearly got the message across to the players. Did or said something to spark them into action. Playing on the front foot, with aggression and pace is contagious, on and off the pitch.
We did those basics well and that gives our talent space to do their stuff.
Doucouré was immense yesterday. He minded the centre-backs when they went to pieces in the first half, covered for the woefully off-pace Allan. If Gbamin can stay fit, he may be a better option.
Best thing (apart from it sealing my acca!) is that, because it's Benitez in charge, we'll get less of the hyperbole after a thrilling win.
A good start. A blueprint. Can he get them to produce that energy, pace & aggression consistently?
223 Posted 15/08/2021 at 09:40:54
I think it's important not to get too carried away, we are a work in progress and it's early days. Next week will be tougher but the signs are there we are on the right track. A bit of unity is needed whilst we are in the formation stage of a new Everton era because it's a certainty it's not going to be plain sailing. Progress and success is going to be gradual rather than instant, this concept has to be accepted by the fanbase if we are going overall in the right direction.
Well done to the manager and the players for coming back from a nasty, potentially demoralising, goal down to win. They showed the character and identity that are prerequisite for a real Everton team. The future for us looks a bit brighter this morning, and who knows, there's maybe still one or two important signings to come to strengthen us further.
224 Posted 15/08/2021 at 09:42:21
225 Posted 15/08/2021 at 09:44:05
How many times have Aston Villa, Newcastle, Fulham, Bournemouth, Southampton and Sheffield United done the same thing to Everton over this past seasons?
This performance is a good sign for Everton accumulating points in the coming season. . . It will be interesting to see how Everton's away play stands up, starting with Leeds next week.
226 Posted 15/08/2021 at 09:45:58
John Boon @179 – loved that post, a mirror on my own mind.
227 Posted 15/08/2021 at 09:48:02
It will be interesting to see how we play against the better teams but that set-up saw us back to being the Everton the crowd wants to see.
Not surprising that Richarlison was match fit but hope he can keep that up. I'm sure Allan will have better games, l wish people wouldn't write him off so soon. With the 5 to return, the squad isn't looking so shabby, although we are relying heavily on Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin.
228 Posted 15/08/2021 at 09:49:48
229 Posted 15/08/2021 at 09:57:56
Last season, we struggled to gain a home win; today, we got one. We came from behind to win. We scored 3 goals and conceded 1. Reasons to be joyful. COYB
230 Posted 15/08/2021 at 10:00:05
Benitez showed his coaching acumen. He changed Keane and Holgate's positions at half-time. Played Doucouré further forward after Ancelotti wasted him last season. Iwobi did an assist. The team rallied well and overturned a half-time deficit for the first time in 6 years.
Onwards and upwards.
231 Posted 15/08/2021 at 10:05:53
I still think I have a bit of the happy juice in me after a long day yesterday. Only one cure. Brunch and get myself to the local to watch today's football.
Considering the pre-season trepidation. I'm feeling positive about this season. I always do, but I have a hunch about this one.
As I said yesterday morning at 8 am-ish, when I was on the train outside Wembley Stadium. We're going to Wembley, so tell yer Ma!!!
I said I wouldn't get carried away. Sorry!!
232 Posted 15/08/2021 at 10:12:05
233 Posted 15/08/2021 at 10:14:51
Keane was generally effective last season because in most of the matches we sat with a deep backline and when he doesn't have to worry about space behind him (see: the lofted crosses that he is prone to misjudging, as Danny has mentioned several times) or being turned, then he is a good defender. If we are planning to play like that, then he'll be fine. If we intend to set up further up the pitch, he is and will continue to be a liability.
He isn't going to get faster or more agile or improve other aspects of his game; he is the finished article. It's my opinion that he should be sold, if this is possible.
You mention one error that cost a goal yesterday, although correctly acknowledging that he did cock up a couple more times but, due to the quality of the opposition, we were able to come back and win. Against a better team, he'd have cost us 2 or 3 points and to drop points in the first game of the season, with another 37 opportunities to do so, would fatally undermine our chances of securing European qualification, which has to be the aim.
Keane is a brave, generally solid defender, but very much a system player and, if we are not going to play that system, then he is not going to have a good season. I'm sure Karius is a good guy and a decent player but Klopp ruthlessly replaced him after his disaster of a Champions League final. This is why they win stuff and we don't. Being a decent all-around guy and committed Everton player doesn't mean he should be starting for us; if he can be upgraded, then this needs to happen if we are to progress.
I agree with Darren, how Holgate – the current whipping boy in the team – was blamed for Keane's mistake is mystifying.
I am not putting the boot into Keane. Every player can make an error, but some are suggesting the "lack of options" in midfield as vindication and that is an argument but can't recall the same excuses being offered for "gum-chewing, arrogant vaudeville villain" Holgate against Villa last season. There has to be balance and consistency in critiquing players, or it's a total waste of time. In both cases, if an immediate pass is not on and you are being closed down, go direct. Keane is 28 and has played hundreds of games at high level.
234 Posted 15/08/2021 at 10:15:22
But what I didn't realise yesterday was Seamus Coleman's cute lobbed pass into Iwobi before setting up Doucouré for the second.
Seamus Sheedy. Those who know will remember the home match and lobbed pass to Adrian Heath in the 86-87 championship season!!
235 Posted 15/08/2021 at 10:28:30
He was the best player in his school team. He dominated his local league. He started attracting attention and one of the biggest clubs in the world snapped him up. Surrounded by the best talents in his age group, he stood out enough to be offered a deal. No shame in not breaking through, but he was good enough to earn a move to a decent a Premier League club where he excelled and earned a big money move as well as international caps.
Crap? No, he's not. You don't achieve what he's achieved without having qualities. The key is playing to his strengths.
For comparison, is he as good as Robert Huth or Wes Morgan? Those guys won the league, doing things that suited them down to the ground.
Keane's main weakness is finding a short pass under pressure. Incredibly, that's what we've asked him to do for much of his Everton career.
If my manager asked me to do something I wasn't suited to, I'd question his ability to manage. And I do the same for those who have expected Keane to play out like Beckenbauer.
236 Posted 15/08/2021 at 10:31:46
What odds did you get for the acca?
I`ve always been a bit of a happy clapper. Very easily pleased. Give me passion, a desire to win and love of playing for the Everton shirt and I`m in.
237 Posted 15/08/2021 at 10:41:04
To be fair to our club, it's a shame that some people's response to a call for memoriam is to look for a chance to take the piss. A bit of respect wouldn't go amiss.
238 Posted 15/08/2021 at 10:44:10
How many of these ultra critics attend matches and thus see the whole picture, I know not, but I bet it ain't the majority!
239 Posted 15/08/2021 at 10:47:52
I really think that the dreadful Ancelotti episode, the search for a new manager, and Paul's articles on the financial weaknesses at the club have really been an education and I believe that there's been a very good increase in the quality of posts. Of course there's still some ridiculous negativity and expectations but there's hope even for them.
I'm pleased with how the club has managed the disaster of the last year and that we may yet be surprised by a couple of quality and good-value buys. It needs the very big transfers to go ahead and start knocking over the dominoes that will be our buys – and these may be on the last day.
240 Posted 15/08/2021 at 10:56:35
241 Posted 15/08/2021 at 10:57:16
You'd think that the people who put the video together might have checked the images first. However, I doubt that many people, especially the younger ones who are likely to have put the video together, have any idea who Anne Frank is!
242 Posted 15/08/2021 at 10:57:17
I've got passion, desire and would love to play for Everton.
We need a mix of quality players too.
Not all players have all the above ingredients. What you need is a balance across the team.
If we can reproduce the 2nd half performance for more games this season than not. We'll be in the mix for Europe.
243 Posted 15/08/2021 at 11:01:18
As to the game itself, I thought performance was better than many others did - Doucouré was MotM by a country mile for me. Atmosphere created by fans was fantastic and, as Calvert-Lewin has since said, gave the players a great lift.
244 Posted 15/08/2021 at 11:02:34
I think in the first half, besides Keane's mistake, we were not good at all – miscontrolling the ball a lot, not a lot of movement, and just couldn't see where a goal was coming from.
But the whole thing changed a couple of minutes into the 2nd half when Richarlison scored. You could see the confidence spread through the team and, with Goodison in full volume. When Doucouré scored a brilliant goal, then there was no way back for Southampton. And when Calvert-Lewin met Richarlison's brilliant cross, it was full celebratory mood all around Goodison.
My Son reminded me we have only 2 more opening games of the season left at Goodison; yes, it will soon be time to leave the Old Lady and move to Bramley-Moore Dock.
Getting back to the game, I thought we played far too many long balls and gave away possession too easily. Thank God Richarlison came straight here from his success at the Olympics, he was a class above everyone else in a blue shirt. Doucouré had a very good second half but thought he lost possession far too often in the first half to be a contender for MotM.
Keane also had an excellent second half – it would have been very easy for him to hide after his mistake but he didn't. Even Iwobi looked half-decent when he came on, Although the change of positions helped in the second half, I don't remember Holgate winning any of his aerial duels which is crucial for a centre-back.
Just a mention for Djenepo of Southampton, this kid looks like a real find, he went past our defenders on numerous occasions and did it with either foot, definitely one to watch. But despite my thoughts about our manager, it was a good win and he is to take some of the credit for the victory.
I would just say to those saying how nice to win at home, we did actually start last season very well at home and away – have they forgotten we were celebrating being top of the league for a week or two? So let's not try and rewrite history just because it doesn't suit our narrative.
245 Posted 15/08/2021 at 11:04:07
246 Posted 15/08/2021 at 11:09:25
We can't rely on wing play and set pieces all season. We eventually overcame a poor Saints side, we'll be cruelly exposed against better teams. It's going to be a long, painful season.
247 Posted 15/08/2021 at 11:47:36
Did anyone stay right 'til the death and see all the players off the pitch?
If you didn't you missed Benitez have a quiet, friendly, word with Iwobi before slapping him on the face.
It was really funny because Iwobi had a look of wtf on his face for about a second!
I reckon it went. "Well played Alex you did well, but (slap) don't fuck up a golden chance like that one you had again"!
248 Posted 15/08/2021 at 11:53:44
Ernie, l missed the Fay Knews one. A few weeks ago l thought Rafa coming in was just that. I now think he could be just what we need... even if it still makes me laugh looking at his face in the match program.
249 Posted 15/08/2021 at 11:54:29
We need the talisman in the midfield. A Peter Reid type who wins the ball, drives forward and makes things happen, Despite what we have nobody is
up to the task. I thought Gomes was the one but it wasn't to be.
Wins are good even against the likes of Soton but we still need so much improvement. Yesterday a draw was on the cards with 15 minutes left which would have made us all miserable.
250 Posted 15/08/2021 at 11:59:55
Some of them are overrated, have an off day, lose their form, carry an injury. None of them are shite.
251 Posted 15/08/2021 at 12:28:05
252 Posted 15/08/2021 at 12:33:02
253 Posted 15/08/2021 at 12:35:31
254 Posted 15/08/2021 at 12:38:39
255 Posted 15/08/2021 at 12:42:58
Anyone who considers the two of them to be a potential good partnership watches a different game to me.
256 Posted 15/08/2021 at 12:44:20
257 Posted 15/08/2021 at 12:46:52
What a striker he was.
258 Posted 15/08/2021 at 12:48:48
Of course, I can see the arguments about the defensive side of his game...
259 Posted 15/08/2021 at 12:53:23
Holgate way too slow to react to Keane's fuck up - doesn't matter if you have played the game or not, his attempt to bail his partner out was quite pathetic as was some of his other play.
You can bet your life Benitez will be telling Keane do that again and I will haul you off.
I agree with you regards Holgate cockiness and hope you are correct that Benitez can sort it out..
One thing I would like to know from you and those who were at the game, what was Ferguson reactions to our goals etc, and the general vibe with him and Benitez ?
260 Posted 15/08/2021 at 12:54:51
261 Posted 15/08/2021 at 12:58:14
We won't make the top 4. We're just not good enough, but let's see how far we can go.
262 Posted 15/08/2021 at 13:01:48
I cant remember the last time we came from behind and scored 3 goals, it feels good.
I'll be watching the rest of the season with my expectations being a 9th-ish finishing team though, I think thats just about where we are at as we stand.
I want James and Kean gone along with 1 or 2 other surplus players.
I would keep the much maligned Iwobi, Gomes and Holgate
Gbamin who could be anything if he can stay fit, but thats the big if.
There will be no doubt be a few incomings, I doubt they will be too expensive though, but who knows we might be suprised!
263 Posted 15/08/2021 at 13:05:16
Football loses a genuine World Class Legend.
264 Posted 15/08/2021 at 13:05:41
For years ater He used to listen every time the "greatest ever footballer" argument would surface.
"Der Bomber would not get involved in arguments with world class players " He would say "He simply settled them"
RIP Gerd Muller. Greatest finisher of all time ? He was up there wasnt he ?
265 Posted 15/08/2021 at 13:12:54
If we had shown a similar response as yesterday in only a couple of the games against "poor" opposition that we capitulated to at Goodison, we would have been sat in the Euro spots
266 Posted 15/08/2021 at 13:14:12
267 Posted 15/08/2021 at 13:20:00
Just watching that little explosion of joy after Doucouré's goal was just beautiful to watch, with fans getting on the pitch to join in the celebrations.
More of the same please this season and I will be the first person to apologize to Mr Benitez on these hallowed pages for all my negative comments about his appointment.
268 Posted 15/08/2021 at 13:26:32
Brian 244. Djenepo is a real handful, looks like he is improving. Sarr looked very sharp for Watford too. I'd take either to improve the strength in depth for our attack. Both still only 23 I think. If Moise Kean gets sold, it's possible we could bang in an offer to Southampton or Watford for one of these forwards.
269 Posted 15/08/2021 at 13:28:10
But – tongue-in-cheek – what did he ever do for Bayern and Germany except score goals?
Shades of the James argument? Surround a Müller or James with other class players and you can ignore their other obvious "weaknesses".
270 Posted 15/08/2021 at 13:29:49
Whos coming in?
I see us being saddled with James and Kean. Who wants them?
Gomes may well get a move back to Portugal.
Hopefully Gbamin is one of the 5 self isolating, and be available for Leeds, hes as good as a new signing.
To the anti-Iwobi brigade, hes going nowhere. Impact sub, like yesterday for me.
Nobody in for Delph, so a squad player if and when fit.
There are others who wont be moved on, unless we give them away!
Im not and never have been anti Rafa. Give him the chance he deserves, you doubters may well be surprised, and have to eat your words!
271 Posted 15/08/2021 at 13:33:54
This is ToffeeWeb the supporters' outlet; we are not Everton FC's website where everything good is printed and nothing bad ever happens, give me ToffeeWeb every single time.
I was happy yesterday where happiness ruled, mostly, and I was content to just leave it like that, but those who had a moan were just pointing out some things that happened and commenting on it. I'll be doing the same in future weeks when we're good, bad or indifferent.
272 Posted 15/08/2021 at 13:36:37
273 Posted 15/08/2021 at 13:41:07
Keane had a poor game but, despite this and his obvious flaws, still seems to me to be our best defender.
Very impressed with Doucouré in the second half in particular, and with Richarlison's commitment.
Great to be back in such an eventually great atmosphere! Onwards Blues!
274 Posted 15/08/2021 at 13:47:36
275 Posted 15/08/2021 at 13:48:06
Richarlison is to be commended for his first goal as he was the only player who reacted to the header from Townsend.
Benitez needs recognition for seeing the problem in the first half by making the alterations in the formations for the second half.
As well as Coleman played, I believe that a quicker right-back is needed as their left wing created a lot of problems that could have been worse if he wasn't such a glory hunter for a goal.
There were still a number of mistakes made during the game, excluding the obvious one, that I noticed Benitez turning around to one of the other coaches and demonstrating to him, that I took as "Take notes, we will go over this in the next training session".
Overall it was a decent performance, but it was the first game so I enjoyed it, as so did the crowd that showed what has been missing since the restrictions started.
Southampton played okay with the problems they have had losing key players, so I expect games to get a little harder as the season continues, and wonder if there will be any changes when the 5 in isolation return.
I think after watching the first game, so it is too early to predict, but I don't think we are in as bad a shape for this season as quite a number of supporters were expecting.
276 Posted 15/08/2021 at 13:49:25
277 Posted 15/08/2021 at 13:53:29
We got away with it a lot last season, sitting back after being ahead, but it's not fun. Did we win any games by more than 1 goal last season after the first few weeks?
Anyway, it was nice to see us so positive, so forceful, and playing without that same fear as last year.
Getting that 3rd goal rather than sitting on the edge of our own box for the last 20 minutes. Well done, boys!
278 Posted 15/08/2021 at 13:56:35
279 Posted 15/08/2021 at 14:05:36
280 Posted 15/08/2021 at 14:08:53
281 Posted 15/08/2021 at 14:10:34
Jimmy knocked them in, then a little wave acknowledging the goal, then getting ready to score his next one. No hysterics, like today's players, you'd think they had discovered the wheel or some other thing that no-one had ever seen before, silly so and so's.
It's Sunday, I try not to swear on Sundays.
282 Posted 15/08/2021 at 14:10:41
That was a classy, polished and moving compilation. A near 4 minute double column scrolling list of the many Blues that were taken in the last year or so. Tastefully set to the violin strings and a playing of Z-Cars and Grand Ole Team.
Excellent work by the club.
A stark reminder of the number of empty seats at Goodison from those taken. The empty chair at the family kitchen table. The favourite comfy chair in the parlour no longer occupied. The vacant bar stool at the local pub.
What kind of mind would corrupt that memorial by submitting false names and images? 'Don't take it all so seriously, Just 'aving a larf, like.'
I really hope whoever were the authors of this jolly jape can be traced, outed and shamed.
283 Posted 15/08/2021 at 14:14:19
Seriously boys and girls, what was he meant to do? Cut Armstrong in half and leave us with ten men? Just think how that would have ended for our new manager's first game in charge... 🤔
Michael Keane is a big fart. I have lost count of how many centre-forwards bully him year-in & and year-out. He got away with absolute murder last season playing in empty grounds and this was emphasised all the more yesterday once the volume was cranked up for the last 30 minutes of the first half. He went to pieces and looked like an acid casualty from Woodstock. His relief on hearing the half-time whistle was so obvious.
When men were men, eh, Michael.
On a more positive note, a decent home debut for Gray, particularly in the second half.
284 Posted 15/08/2021 at 14:17:54
Scroll down and play the embedded Everton Twitter video to view it.
The previous video is on the club site, an 8-minute video with individual personalised bios on some of those taken.
[I had both windows open simultaneously and copy-pasted the wrong one.]
285 Posted 15/08/2021 at 14:18:00
When was this list shown, I missed it, was it half time? I was gabbing away to a mate if it was.
Before the game, they showed individual greetings etc and I saw all of those.
The list of those who passed was the one I wanted to see, at least two of those would have been on that list, my mate of over seventy years, Michael Eugene Brownless and Ronnie Cleary, both lifelong Bluenoses.
286 Posted 15/08/2021 at 14:25:12
My 2nd post shows the very, VERY long list of those taken. It's from Everton's Twitter account. Names appear in alphabetic order, so you should be able to pick out any mates you know who are no longer with us. It's a simple, but beautifully crafted tribute.
The first video I linked is on the club site, 8 minutes showing images and short bios and messages from family and friends to those who passed.
287 Posted 15/08/2021 at 14:34:50
After Doucouré's screamer of a goal, he was mobbed by a couple of fans. As one of them was dragged back into the Lower Bullens, Seamus noticed the fan had dropped his phone, picked it up and legged after him to make sure he got it back!
What a fucking legend of an Evertonian, I hope he stays at the club forever.
288 Posted 15/08/2021 at 14:40:08
Yes, I noticed that. I didn't know what it was that Seamus gave him but, as you say, he was running after him and shouting to him before he caught up to him and gave him the object.
What a down-to-earth man Coleman is, a massive difference to a lot of today's players, including one who played yesterday, but that is for another day.
289 Posted 15/08/2021 at 14:40:10
I mentioned earlier Benitez giving Iwobi a friendly slap on the face.
Another one was Seamus chasing one of the supporters who ran on the pitch to celebrate Doucouré's goal. Not to throw him off the pitch or anything but to give him back his mobile phone that had dropped out of his pocket as he jumped up and down. That sums up Seamus to a "Tee".
290 Posted 15/08/2021 at 14:42:36
There is no point imposing draconian "hanging is too good " measures on the fools. Just perhaps, if they can be traced, putting up their names. Belittling is the greatest deterrent in the world. Even Sociopaths are frightened if humiliation.
Gerd Muller, the greatest goal hanger of all time. There is no such role today. The much-ridiculed Brazilian, Fred, was the last of them. In my view, a perfect example of that defunct role.
291 Posted 15/08/2021 at 14:44:24
I used Calvert-Lewin, and Keane as examples, I should have been more explicit, and said 'striker and defender', of any team. It's a natural reaction for fans to express joy or disappointment, it's not confined to Everton fans.
I feel that the human factor is not taken into consideration, better players than Keane have made the same mistakes, and I don't believe they do it on purpose.
In closing, I would like to repeat, it's not confined to Everton fans, it's experienced by every fan of every team. It's the vilification of players that I don't understand. "After all, we all make mistakes".
292 Posted 15/08/2021 at 14:54:52
Der Bomber. Whenever I'm in a conversation about the importance of goalscorers to any football team, he's the man I refer to.
You knew. They knew. He did, he always did.
RIP, Herr Muller.
293 Posted 15/08/2021 at 15:09:24
I supported them in the ‘74 World Cup final to my eternal regret because I thought Holland would win the next one with Cruyff. It was not to be so, sorry Holland.
294 Posted 15/08/2021 at 15:23:56
295 Posted 15/08/2021 at 15:24:23
All seems so obvious...Now
296 Posted 15/08/2021 at 15:50:33
By the looks of Arrons's performance yesterday (according to a Norwich fan I know who attended their game) we may well end up spending our pennies more wisely.
297 Posted 15/08/2021 at 16:11:50
I think the pairing at Centre Back will be Godfrey and Holgate. Not only does Keane prefer play in front of him , but so does Mina. Both dread pace and having to defend on the turn. They both suited the passing round the back of Ancelotti and space and time. Under Benitez it's going to receive and positive pass forward immediately. I know many have doubts about Holgate , but he is better at this than either Keane or Mina. . Godfrey is the best.
Appeared on BBC Sport website prior to the game, that he had a knee problem and would not be playing. Seemed to get lost after that with Benitez's presser, which seemed to put absent players down to Covid isolation. Rodriguez later confirmed he was not available for selection due to Covid Isolation.
Communications could be better.
Loved the use of the word 'relentless' as well. All great Everton teams were relentless.
298 Posted 15/08/2021 at 16:27:44
Very encouraging start yesterday, not world beating stuff but much better than the second half of last season. As others have posted, so refreshing to see desire and commitment plus a fitter looking team than of late. I was impressed by Gray's attitude, he never seems to give up on an apparent lost cause – great to see.
I was disappointed with Allan who shows a lot of desire but seems slow and not really in touch with the game. If Gbamin proves his fitness, I can see Allan being moved to the bench.
Michael Keane looks like a player who suffers with a lack of confidence when things go wrong. Last season, I thought he was excellent but we played deep; hopefully he just needs time to adapt to the higher line and his confidence returns as a result.
I think we need options in the middle of the park though, an attacking midfield player would help us. If we rely solely upon crossing the ball in, teams will find a way to counter it.
Overall, though plenty to be optimistic about and hoping that Rafa and Marcel Brands have one or two rabbits lined up.
299 Posted 15/08/2021 at 17:21:05
But I always remember Gerd Muller and my dad's admiration of him. I've just looked at the BBC write-up. 68 goals in 62 appearances for Germany including a winning goal in a World Cup Final. And 574 goals for Bayern Munich in 15 years.
Outstanding contribution to the beautiful game, sir. Take your place in footballing heaven.
300 Posted 15/08/2021 at 17:40:29
Listed at 5'-9", which was a lie by at least 2 inches, he would commit everything, risk anything, to score. And he never seemed to miss. Even at age 35, playing in the US, he was unstoppable -- that's where I saw him in person.
The ultimate winner, yet a tragic story as well... stricken with early Alzheimer's while still in his 60s, perhaps brought on by years of post-retirement alcoholism. He left us with so many memories... which he himself had lost long before his death.
301 Posted 15/08/2021 at 17:46:28
That said, my old Dad used to eulogise Ferenc Puskás, 523 club games – 509 goals, 85 caps and 84 goals. They don't make 'em like that anymore!
302 Posted 15/08/2021 at 18:40:50
303 Posted 14/08/2021 at 19:25:53
The question I often ask myself is why the players never start as they mean to go on? Why do they need a kick up the ass at half-time to get started? Chalk and cheese were those two halves yesterday. I'm sure I wasn't the only one thinking at half-time "Here we go again!"
It won't take a lot for us to fall in love with this team, or coach again, just show us that passion and desire in the second half! That should do the trick.
As for Gerd Müller. I remember as a kid watching the World Cup in 1974. The blaring of those German horns. That was truly another era. RIP, der Bomber.
304 Posted 15/08/2021 at 19:44:26
Keane's faux pas yesterday was mind boggling but I guarantee you that was a lesson well learned as was the attempt to walk the ball through the ManCity midfield last term. Luckily it didn't prove costly this time. Last year it would have.
Onward and upward blues!
305 Posted 15/08/2021 at 20:24:31
I responded to your post, you may care to read it.
Hi Dave , The list was shown prior to the kick-off and again during the half-time interval. I concentrated on the names and saw one that could be a lad I played football with some time ago. I will need to contact his family to see if they nominated him.
Josh asked me why there was a photo of Anne Franks? I shrugged it off but it appears that there was a photo of her. I can only imagine that he must have learned of her during a school lesson.
306 Posted 15/08/2021 at 21:07:20
How would he fit in the Premier League? I actually think he would have been the greatest goal scorer we have ever seen.
Just that. No more.
307 Posted 15/08/2021 at 21:22:18
308 Posted 15/08/2021 at 21:47:21
They make have just taken a beating but 'styles make fights'. We may need a different style against Leeds.
309 Posted 15/08/2021 at 21:59:26
What ever one thinks of Benitez, and I was a doubter, I would not have Ancelotti back here in a million years. Imagine that spineless dinosaur with this squad. Can't wait to see Madrid fuck the coward out.
310 Posted 15/08/2021 at 22:04:48
311 Posted 15/08/2021 at 22:38:41
312 Posted 15/08/2021 at 22:52:14
Doucoure had a stormer and unlike some I thought Allan went about his business very well. I don't think Gomes or Davies will get a start while those two are fit.
Richarlison is a cracking player – enough said.
Ray Robinson # 273 – I agree with you about Livramento, their 18-year-old right-back – he looks top class. I just can't figure out why Chelsea would let a talent like that go.
All-in-all, a great start to the season.
313 Posted 15/08/2021 at 23:06:42
The amount of times he rolled the ball into the net amidst a flurry of defenders appeared like luck but it wasn't it was down to his glue-like adherence to the ground gained from his immovable stance. It give a micro second to weigh things up that others just didn't have and as a result he would gently knock the ball past the keeper into the net.
Could head them in, blast goals from all angles and had a fantastic first touch with great awareness and vision, he really wasa one off. Only Romario from Brazil came near although Aguerro deserves an honourable mention.
RIP der bomber the greatest goal scorer of all time.
314 Posted 15/08/2021 at 23:17:29
We may be right or wrong about predicting how Benitez will be. However with just one match there seems to be far more unity throughout the "Blue" community. We have suffered for too long and the last few months of last season were miserable.
I am a naive dyed in the wool Evertonian who does try to look on the bright side. I have seen the very 'best' in the '60s and '80s and the very worst (1952). I don't know why but I do have a feeling that we may be on the up and up. This may be illogical, idiotic etc. We do not have the greatest players right now, but we do have some good ones.
I was horrified initially about the Benitez appointment. I have now put that aside and he may be the best piece of sliced bread to come our way in some time. I just feel things will happen. I hope this feeling lasts more than a week. My wife told me that I think I know everything! So I could be right once more.
315 Posted 15/08/2021 at 23:46:32
316 Posted 15/08/2021 at 00:17:47
I hope your hopes bear fruit, genuinely, but Benitez will put himself on a par with Brian Clough as a fabulous manager if he can even get close to Ol' Big 'Ead's successes at Derby and Forest (and in their own minds, their fans consider themselves identical to us and Liverpool as arch rivals) with the largely mundane squad of overpaid, over-contracted, couldn't-care-less, usually visibly unfit players our boardroom has made available to him.
I admire your optimism but, having just officially become an OAP (I was 3 years from birth in '52), I'm still traumatised by the dashing of any hope I've ever had for trophy success year-after-year, decade-after-decade, under the present chairman's still ongoing machinations.
But if he's by now only a mere puppet for a dubious, incompetent or unknown owner(s), what power does he now have to for once improve the club rather than continue to (largely successfully given the length of his tenure) pull the wool over the eyes of a desperate fan-base?
317 Posted 16/08/2021 at 01:29:59
The handful of fans that jumped on the pitch to celebrate with Doucouré, will they incur some type of disciplinary action?
I believe there's cameras all over the place. Will they identify those individuals who jumped over the "barrier" to celebrate with him?
I hope not, but was wondering. If someone could shine a little light on that, I'd be appreciative.
318 Posted 16/08/2021 at 01:39:38
Go to 8:56 of this link. As the players are moving towards Calvert-Lewinto celebrate, Michael Keane comes into the "circle" of celebration and starts talking. You can clearly see Digne, and to my eyes it looks like a lot of other players, listen to Michael Keane and whatever he's saying. He's telling them all something, and they all listen. Digne even starts nodding in agreement.
Michael Keane had something to say to his teammates, and they took notice.
That's leadership, people.
319 Posted 16/08/2021 at 01:40:37
Leeds away will be tough. Even Huddersfield away won't be an easy game. We definitely need some more reinforcements – right-back, attacking midfielder, and a backup striker. Let's hope that gets sorted in the next 2 weeks.
320 Posted 16/08/2021 at 08:56:54
"Video unavailable' The uploader has not made this video available in your country"
unless it's just because I live on Romney Marsh! :-)
321 Posted 16/08/2021 at 09:20:05
So Chelsea have let that right-back leave and he's only 18 years of age, Laurie? Have to look at him a few times, but I was asking the people around me his name, and also saying we need to get at him, to see if he could defend, with the same composure that he shows when he's got the ball at his feet.
If he can then he is going to be a top level footballer, so he's definitely one to keep an eye on now, and so is Chelsea's academy, because they do seem to be producing a lot of very good young footballers nowadays.
322 Posted 16/08/2021 at 09:52:12
323 Posted 16/08/2021 at 10:52:10
What I think, is that Rafa Benitez will drum this into our players, week in and week out. I think he''ll be telling them that "in this league you have to earn those wins, in fact you have to earn every point." If we find that a match is easy, then that's a bonus, not a given.
I didn't think Southampton were a poor side or "relegation fodder" as several called them. I thought they had a good side and liked the look of a number of them.
Their defenders looked a no nonsense bunch of players and whoever that tall lad was on their right hand side, looked a special player, waltzing through our players like a proper winger..classy. Their left winger was a little dynamo as well. Why they Ings go, I wouldn't know but their centre forward looked handy as well.
I think the difference with Rafa at the helm, he is instilling already into our players, that you have to compete for every ball, you have to work and you have to work as a team! I think that showed on Saturday. Last season we would likely had lost that home match, like we lost so many.
Even in this first competitve game under Rafa, we came from behind and took the game to them. We'll lose games but I don't think there'll be to many where we just give them away, like we've done for years
324 Posted 16/08/2021 at 10:55:32
And for the 1st half of the 21st Century, we'll there's 29 still to go, but Messi and Ronaldo are in the club house with good scores on the board.
325 Posted 16/08/2021 at 10:59:53
I haven't checked out the stats by the way, so the statto police can feel free to nab me!!
Just names of top strikers that sprung to mind.
326 Posted 16/08/2021 at 12:12:54
327 Posted 16/08/2021 at 12:21:13
Best finisher Ive seen. Not spectacular, just passed the ball into the net.
328 Posted 16/08/2021 at 12:30:45
Greavsie was a tremendous finisher but, in today's game, how much space would he get and opportunities for that matter?
In the modern game, so much of it is spent with long periods of possession before it gets to strikers who are usually double marked when it does.
Shearer was probably the best striker of the modern era.
329 Posted 16/08/2021 at 12:51:33
But put that ball in behind, and his pace and finishing ability got you goals. Dare I say and not just because of the Leicester link, an 80s version of Vardy? Probably not as aggressive as Vardy I would say.
330 Posted 16/08/2021 at 14:01:23
Dave Abrahams and I have, once or twice discussed the merits of Jimmy Greaves, a joy to behold, with a positional sense that can't be coached. The sad part is that in our early days television coverage was little or non-existent, today's fans can view games that take place all over the globe.
But, to be truthful, I wouldn't swap my formative days as a follower of the 'Beautiful Game', even though I have to rely on my feeble memory to see the likes of Tom Finney, Wilf Mannion, Len Shackleton, Raich Carter, Stanley Matthews etc.
331 Posted 16/08/2021 at 15:23:31
332 Posted 16/08/2021 at 15:34:20
John Willie Parker was a bit before my time but I do know that Roy Vernon compared himself very favourably with Greaves and Law when it came to putting the ball in the net!
333 Posted 16/08/2021 at 15:50:56
Its a different game imo now though, a lot of teams play for possession, or getting into little areas to set their patterns up, and this can become so very boring to watch.
334 Posted 16/08/2021 at 16:50:48
Yes, he looked good going forward. But he is a young right back, not a winger, so how good is he defensively at this age? Aarons and Lamptey look good going forward on YouTube but both would appear to have serious defensive deficiencies. The first job of a "full back" in my view is to defend.
And second half Gray showed him a clean pair of heels. Livramento is young and will doubtless learn and improve as he gets more experienced.
335 Posted 16/08/2021 at 17:08:55
I thought Livramento did well defending too as he was constantly up against Richy, Digne and Gray.
It restores my faith in good recruitment rather than expensive recruitment.
336 Posted 16/08/2021 at 17:12:33
Hibbert is an example of a classic small club full back. A good defender, blocks crosses etc but really poor on the ball.
With players like Hibbert you're forced to defend because you can't attack and the opposition knows it.
Since I dream of us being a big club, I'd love to have an Aarons or Livramento at the club. Let the opposition defend while we have the ball and ask the questions.
337 Posted 16/08/2021 at 17:25:45
Terry likes his fullbacks to first and foremost defend, Robert is the opposite and wants them to attack, citing a perfect example in Tony Hibbert, (remember Villarreal when we had them on the rack, and they just kept channeling us out wide so we would pass the ball to Hibbert?)
Jay talks about good recruitment over expensive recruitment, and I will go for good coaching over methodical coaching, because the way that Southampton player had so much composure on the ball, it wasnt a surprise to hear hed been brought up going through the Chelsea academy.
338 Posted 16/08/2021 at 17:43:32
339 Posted 16/08/2021 at 17:48:46
Seriously though I thought that right back was so relaxed, comfortable and composed on the ball, and was shocked that Chelsea have let him go so young, but they are a club that do seem to have developed a very good production line for young players, over the last three or four years, and they all look very, very comfortable in possession of the football.
340 Posted 16/08/2021 at 17:51:48
I remember seeing Johan Cruyff ask a flummoxed Alan Hansen what is the best way to defend.
Hansen rambled his way through an answer until interrupted by Cruyff who said the best way to defend is to have the ball. The opposition cannot score if you have the ball.
It's a bit romantic and easier said than done, but the best "defender" can be the biggest defensive liability in the team.
341 Posted 16/08/2021 at 17:59:16
342 Posted 16/08/2021 at 18:21:39
How will a young Ben Godfrey improve, when he has got to negate his best assets by defending deep? Lose the man hes marking because hes defending deep and the chances are that the other team will score, but if he loses his man forty yards from goal, the chances are he will get back because of his fantastic recover?
This is why I think its imperative that Godfrey is given the right type of partner now, because if hes allowed to defend by playing to his strengths, I personally think it would improve our team massively.
343 Posted 16/08/2021 at 18:38:20
Danny has been saying for a while a good partner for Godfrey is a priority. That partner needs to be tall, mobile and good on the ball. I think Ancelotti wanted Bremer from Torino (after being priced out of buying Koulibaly).
Personally, I think a big club focusses on how it scores goals and relies on a potent attack to peg the opposition back, thus relieving pressure on an often ropey defence. Since we score abysmally few goals, I think that is where our immediate priorities lie. Without getting all Kevin Keegan about it, it would also make us more entertaining.
However, since the team is so mediocre and poorly assembled, you could make a good case for saying the attack, the midfield or defence is the priority.
344 Posted 16/08/2021 at 18:41:24
David (331),John Willie Parker was a good poacher and a provider for many goals, particularly to Dave Hickson with little flicks of his head nodding the ball down to Davie, but alas nowhere in the same class as Jimmy Greaves was an excellent footballer as well as a special goalscorer, and hed find space today to score plenty of goals even against the best defences that cram the defensive zones now.
345 Posted 16/08/2021 at 19:00:33
Add the "total football" concept to make it 5 debates and now youve added Ben Godffrey thats six.
For what sits worth I think Ben has terrific pace and concentration which is basically Michael Keane's problem because he has neither and could well be a liability against Leeds for that reason.
Holgate seems to have lost the plot since his injury last year and has gone from one of the most promising to the worst CB on our books. I have high hopes for young Brandthwaite whose only flaw is his lack of experience IMO.
Yerry MIna is just Yerry, brilliant at his best but prone to the occasional gaffe.
It has become obvious that Keane and Holgate are in total disarray when playing together so for me our first choice pairing should be Godfrey and Mina.
They aslo complement our current MF better as they enable them to push further up the pitch.
346 Posted 16/08/2021 at 19:01:59
347 Posted 16/08/2021 at 19:04:26
If Moise Kean leaves🤞then I think we will need another forward, but Benitez might go for a wide player who can come in from the sides, and push Richarlison, into a similar position that worked so well for us on Saturday?
Then we need another midfield player, unless Gbamin can come in and stay fit, and another right back, not forgetting to see if our young French fullback is adequate cover for Luca Digne, on the other side!!
348 Posted 16/08/2021 at 19:09:43
We need a stable back three or four that is reliable in order to progress to the level we all want.
Offensively we looked better with the new options although it took a while to get the ball in the net.
Midfield could be a lot better although Doucoure played very well gets started but I would like to see what Gbamin has to offer after finally getting some starts.
349 Posted 16/08/2021 at 19:12:53
350 Posted 16/08/2021 at 19:18:01
351 Posted 16/08/2021 at 19:24:54
You correctly say Holgate lacks concentration and is way to careless with his passing, but then suggest a player with these basic faults should play in midfield. What makes you think he would eradicate these faults playing in a different position, and why you would even want to find a place in the team for him I find really strange. Apart from the odd game he has always shown the faults you yourself highlight, I think he hasn't improved since he first came into the team.
352 Posted 16/08/2021 at 19:27:24
He seems far too laid back and lethargic over the last 12 months.
MAybe he needs a good kick up the arse because he has the potential to be a very good footballer.
353 Posted 16/08/2021 at 19:29:52
It could easily have been seen as leaving a bit on Armstrong in my opinion.
Why do I think this, I just think Holgate is a little bit Pickfordish, always capable of a moment of madness.
354 Posted 16/08/2021 at 19:34:20
Hi Martin  Roy Vernon and John willie Parker were alike in some things, but I think that Roy Vernon was more industrious and probably scored more spectacular goals, but a goal is a goal at the end of the day.
Hi Tony  I agree entirely with your opinion regarding what I term as the pass and 'don't go', knocking the ball around in midfield may appear pretty to some, but I think that the majority of us would like to see a more direct approach. A lot of fans seem to think that a long ball is to be compared to kick and rush, but nothing could be further from the truth, one well delivered pass can beat five men, my feeling is that a long ball as long as it's a good ball is ok with me.
355 Posted 16/08/2021 at 19:57:19
356 Posted 16/08/2021 at 20:11:07
I've been boring everyone since January about the centre back Robert, but a key position for me. We need to have defenders who are comfortable playing higher up the pitch. That is not the high line and doesn't dismiss the need for them to defend. It means they are comfortable coming out with the ball, which in turn pushes the midfield further forward when we have possession and leaves the strikers less isolated as Dominic has often found himself because our defenders are scared to leave the edge of our box and the midfield equally frightened of venturing 10 yards from them.
Hey, I'm still in positive mood!!
357 Posted 16/08/2021 at 20:22:25
358 Posted 16/08/2021 at 20:33:07
I thought it was strange when Ferguson picked Holgate in midfield, but he looked better in that role than hes looked when playing either fullback or centre back, although I honestly wouldnt be surprised if Everton tried to offload Holgate, if they can start doing some business in this transfer window. I cant see Villa coming in for him though Brian!
359 Posted 16/08/2021 at 20:41:50
360 Posted 16/08/2021 at 23:20:28
He was a special footballer Jimmy.
361 Posted 16/08/2021 at 23:36:15
Thanks for the heads up! It's the NBC highlights, so probably only viewable if your IP is in the USA.
Oh well. I tried.
362 Posted 16/08/2021 at 00:06:19
In addition our midfield has for yonks also been depressingly lacking in pace and that all means, as others say, we're stretched beyond belief in terms of readily supporting whatever poor sap/s been in our forward line.
On a more positive note DCL in an interview a year or so ago admitted, ruefully he said, that only Ben and Jarrad were quicker than him in a race. Maybe those at USMFF need to explore this?
363 Posted 16/08/2021 at 00:08:39
But on par with Saturday a great base to build on. Some of the first time passes, and general offensive press, were the key to the goals.
The last manager stifled the nature of offensive football, at EFC,
I recall a goal the last manager scored when he played for Milan v Real, in 1989, and won 5-0. It was at the time one of those greatest games of the time. But he was lucky to be in a world class team. The Gary Neville of his era.
Its haunted him, as a manager, and he deployed the worst boring football Goodison has seen in its history, in my view, and was the traditional 2 forward and six reverse gears cowardly manager.
Everton swerved the bullet with the last manager and perhaps the succession plan from a legal perspective has seen the board level change, announced today.
Onwards Evertonians, “Whats Our Name?”
Leeds, and to victory!
364 Posted 17/08/2021 at 01:02:06
Goodness, how devoid of the simplest, basic observation can a person be?
Roberto's first two seasons we had pace EVERYWHERE on the pitch. Maybe, Barry didn't have straight-ahead pace. Maybe. Always seemed to be where where the ball was, though. Anywhere else on the pitch, our boys moved fast.
The problem was, and remains in retrospect, Roberto and his coaching staff were horseshit. A shameful waste of a talented side.
But, those Martinez sides "lacking in pace" can only come from someone who watched them with his back turned.
Just a few years ago.
365 Posted 17/08/2021 at 14:59:14
Laurie (360) no need for apologies, this has been a very long thread, knowing your age I realise you saw Jimmy Greaves, and once you saw Greavsie you never ever forgot him. I hope you are keeping well Laurie, in Australia, you promised to buy me a pint when you come over, that in my diary Laurie, in large print!!
366 Posted 18/08/2021 at 12:46:39
I am keeping well thanks and I haven't forgotten:
There were some good inside forwards knocking around in those days.
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