They'll Cancel it Before We Ever Win it

An Evertonian of any pedigree knows there was nothing shocking about this result which sees the club out of the League Cup before autumn has really even begun.

Lyndon Lloyd 21/09/2021 46comments  |  Jump to last
QPR 2 - 2 Everton [8-7 on pens]

An Evertonian of any pedigree knows there was nothing shocking about this result which sees the club out of the League Cup before autumn has officially begun. Everton have never won this competition and it’s highly unlikely they ever will; not just because the Carabao Cup is under threat from the burgeoning international calendar and calls for the fixture list in England to be pared down but also because the perennial down-playing of the tournament by playing weakened sides means that successive Everton managers are always playing with fire.

Rafael Benitez was the latest to get burned, the first since Marco Silva oversaw a home draw with Southampton and also saw his team eliminated on penalties in the third round three years ago.

The rationale for making wholesale changes is well-established, of course. It’s an opportunity to rest your stars and give some game time and a chance to impress for fringe or younger players against the calibre of opposition that Everton should be beating regardless of which mix of the first-team squad is out there.

In this particular instance, Benitez’s impulse to rest some key players was justifiably strong. He was already without Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison and Seamus Coleman (although none of them played in the previous round at Huddersfield) and could ill afford losing any more ahead of Premier League matches against Norwich and Manchester United. As it is, he might have to be without Lucas Digne depending on the extent of the injury that forced him off this evening.

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The bigger inquest really surrounds the paucity of Everton's squad and the disastrous recruitment decisions that have left the squad so shallow in terms of quality. But whenever you make wholesale changes, you leave yourself wide open to the danger of being picked off by a lower-division side and on this occasion it came at the hands of Queens Park Rangers and the lottery of a penalty shoot-out.

Still, given that six of the 11 that started this evening were in the line-up at Huddersfield in the previous round, where his charges still squeaked through despite going down to 10 men in the second half, the Spaniard might have expected better than the dreadful fare Everton served up for much of this contest.

He was let down badly, particularly by the centre-half pairing of Ben Godfrey and Mason Holgate who struggled to cope with veteran striker Charlie Austin before improving in the second half and a limp midfield duo of André Gomes and Tom Davies that contributed to QPR enjoying, at one stage, 70% of the ball… against a Premier League team!

He hooked Gomes and introduced both Abdoulaye Doucouré and Demarai Gray but there was never enough cohesiveness or penetration about the team to enable either to fashion or score a winner… although the Frenchman probably should have been awarded a penalty in the 74th minute when he appeared to be tripped in the box.

If Benitez was relying on a repeat of the Huddersfield tie, the early knockings might have given him comfort. Andros Townsend, who would end up head-and-shoulders the best Everton player on the pitch, offered some signs of things to come from him when he fizzed a dangerous ball across the QPR box in the seventh minute but there were no takes in black jerseys in the middle.

And more great work by Townsend six minutes later ended with the mercurial Alex Iwobi centring for Anthony Gordon and the youngster forced the first save of the match from Dieng, a strong one-handed stop down to his right.

Unfortunately, the porous nature of Everton’s below-strength midfield and right flank, where Jonjoe Kenny offered little resistance, was underscored on QPR’s first meaningful attack. Chris Willock twice made a mug of Davies before finding Ilias Chair who in turn knocked it to Sam McCallum and when Asmir Begovic could only palm his cross straight to Austin, the striker simply nodded into the empty net to make it 1-0.

After two dreadful attempts from outside the box by Gomes, Iwobi really should have put the Blues ahead a minute before Digne eventually did after an awful error by a Rangers defender who presented the Nigerian with a one-on-one situation with the goalkeeper, albeit with a square pass and certain goal available to his left. Iwobi went for goal himself but was denied by an excellent save with his leg by Dieng.

The keeper was powerless to stop Digne from evening things up, though, when QPR’s offside trap was marginally sprung by a delicious ball over the top by Townsend that picked out the run of the Frenchman who calmly side-footed it home first-time.

Parity lasted just four minutes, however, as Everton’s soft centre was exploited again. This time it was Chair who swung the ball in from the Rs’ left and Austin capitalised on the yard’s worth of space afforded by Godfrey by rising above him and glancing a header inside the far post.

Two minutes later, Willock tested Begovic with a low shot as QPR threatened to embarrass the visitors but Everton made it to the break at only 2-1 down.

And with their manager’s half-time team talk no doubt ringing in their ears, they got the early goal they needed once the second period resumed. Gomes scuffed a corner to the near post, Holgate managed to knock it across into the melée in front of goal where Townsend converted from close range to make it 2-2.

That should have provided the platform from which Everton went on to win the game but they lacked the requisite cutting edge or drive in midfield even after the substitutes had been introduced. Salomon Rondon had toiled fruitlessly up front without really getting the measure of the centre-halves deployed against him and he scooped his best chance over with an ugly left-footed effort.

Doucouré, meanwhile, had a strong case for a penalty waved away 15 minutes from the end by referee Kevin Friend while Michael Keane, on as a late replacement for Digne who had picked up an ankle knock, missed a great chance to win it in the 80th minute when he pounded a corner over the crossbar with his head from a couple of yards out.

Once it had gone to penalties, Everton’s League Cup curse took over, manifesting itself in the worst spot-kick of the shoot-out from Davies who invited Dieng to save it at full-stretch and set Dunne up to be the hero with QPR’s eighth successful kick.

Gary Lineker quipped before the last round that the Carabao Cup is where a bunch of teams enter a competition and Manchester City win it at the end and there is more than element of truth about the futility of this tournament where teams like Everton are concerned.

By the same token, though, every round you progress narrows your odds and for a club like Everton, trophy-less for what will be 27 years by the time the finals of the domestic cups come around next spring, can you ever not put your best foot forward in every round and do everything possible to win a piece of silverware?

It seems as though where that question is concerned, appeasing fringe players and the Premier League are bigger priorities and the longer that mentality persists, the more slender Everton’s chances will be in one of only two competitions they actually have a realistic shot at in a given season. The 3,000 fans who packed the away end on a Tuesday night deserve much, much better.

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Derek Knox
1 Posted 22/09/2021 at 06:09:17
Sad but true, Lyndon, or seemingly so. It almost beggars belief, like I said on the post-match thread, that peripheral players who get a chance, and in a Cup, to not only hopefully progress to the next round, but also to impress the manager for future games in the Premier League should the injury situation not improve.

No, they run round, and I am flattering them there with saying 'running', like headless chickens, looking very inferior to their Championship opponents. What is up with them?

Ah, I think I've got it: they are on too much money and long-term contracts and they know they will get paid whether they play well or not.

Disgrace, the sooner the likes of Gomes, Holgate and Davies are booted up the arse and out of the door, the better.

Paul Hewitt
2 Posted 22/09/2021 at 07:05:16
What surprises me is people are surprised we lost.
Eddie Hughes
3 Posted 22/09/2021 at 07:11:34
Gutted we are out of this competition, our best chance for a trophy. I don't blame Rafa at all but most of that team should be ashamed to pick up their wages.

No excuse having key players out – we should have more than enough in reserve to beat any Championship team. Really does highlight how poor we are outside our first XI. Rafa's got to be backed big time in January.

Now onto Norwich – a team who hasn't won yet this season; you can write the newspaper headlines now... I'm nervous about that game. COYB.

Ken Kneale
4 Posted 22/09/2021 at 07:31:26
Good report as ever, Lyndon – if there is a positive in any of this, the manager is learning early and hard that what tools he has been given to do his job are either worn out or not fit for purpose in most positions outside of a small number.

I do not envy Mr Benitez's options for this game: whichever way he had jumped had potential consequences, either for the game itself, or further down the line. I personally believe he was right to try and rest for the weekend game and beyond certain of the players.

But, as Derek outlines, once and for all, some players need to be shown the door – they are not good enough, never have been good enough, and never will be good enough to put Everton back where we belong.

Jerome Shields
5 Posted 22/09/2021 at 07:59:48
I hadn't been able to watch the whole game, except the last 10 minutes and Davies's weak penalty. But, from dropping in on ToffeeWeb and highlights, Lyndon's article seems to give a description of the facts and reasons.

As I said on ToffeeWeb at half-time, I was not surprised after the first-half display at Huddersfield and didn't think that there was enough on the bench to turn it around. They did a bit better than expected.

The accumulative inability of Medical Services to keep players fit and recovered, poor recruitment, and a half-arsed transfer policy, including the Summer window (recent example: James), and youth development that left two available over 2 years, one not 100% fit and no back-up at left-back, have now resulted in the chickens coming home to roost.

Any manager would have difficulty fielding a sufficient strength team, with an off-pitch regime that reeks of lack of competence.

As I said earlier, I missed the game. I was having a meal, but got a glimpse through an open door of Liverpool beating Norwich with quite a few unknown faces. I am not looking forward to Saturday.

Jay Evans
6 Posted 22/09/2021 at 08:32:57
Lots of criticism for the players, justifiably so, but let's have it right – you pick your strongest team to star... always – and that is on the manager.

Leaving Gray, Doucouré and Allan on the bench was stupid… and as for some of the imposters that took their places, words fail me – almost!

Jonjoe Kenny, God love him, is a footballing simpleton who is just not good enough and never will be. Ditto Tom Davies. His penalty summed up him up really – powderpuff. Enough now, Tom, enough. And take your skateboard with you.

Rondon and Begovic look like exactly what they are, players who haven't kicked a ball competitively for years. And as for Iwobi, Jesus wept… just give it up, lad.

Positives? An improvement from Digne, which was needed after Villa, and another energetic display from Townsend.

Saturday now takes on even greater importance, particularly for Mr Benitez.

Neil Cremin
7 Posted 22/09/2021 at 08:43:02
What has happened to Godfrey?

When he came in first playing right-back, I thought he had poor positional sense. At centre-half, he seemed to blossom but I think he needs a centre-half who has aerial power.

I hope Rafa can get the best out of him again.

Danny O’Neill
8 Posted 22/09/2021 at 09:31:07
I mentioned to Tony Abrahams earlier in the week about this competition and Derek Knox this morning.

It's become personal since 1977. No matter how good or bad we've been, this always happens. QPR 2021 joins a long list, including Grimsby in 1985.

That was a shocking corner from Gomes. Unless it was from the training ground?!!

Jerome Shields
9 Posted 22/09/2021 at 09:39:07
Maybe Gordon may benefit for what appears to have been a good display.
Tony Everan
10 Posted 22/09/2021 at 09:49:55
An excellent opportunity for Gomes, Iwobi, Davies, Holgate, Gordon and Kenny to ram home that they should be starting matches. Rondon is leaden footed and not match fit. Begovic is ring rusty, I was wondering whether Virginia would have been better.

The quality of passing, the long ball accuracy was dire for the most part, how can that be excused? The basics of the game were not being executed and that is shameful for these highly paid supposedly elite footballers.

The manager will fully now know that many of his squad players are just not good enough to keep us competitive in the Premier League. Some more big earners come to the end of their contracts in June, thank god.

But then there are others, like the incredibly disappointing Gomes and Iwobi, that still have almost 3 years to run, on major money too. Brands has to try and move them on so we can give some room for better incoming players and / or one or two promising young lads from the U23s.

Any positives? Townsend and Gordon did okay; we looked much better for Doucouré and Gray coming on. Get the A-listers fit and we still have a decent first eleven.

Geoff Williams
11 Posted 22/09/2021 at 10:04:33
Yet another disappointing performance. I am at a loss to understand why Benitez fielded the team he did if he was taking the competition seriously.

The match confirmed what some have suspected:

1. Begovic is well past his sell-by date. Not good enough even as a backup goalie.

2. Holgate and Godfrey will never make a centre-back partnership as neither is dominant in the air.

3. Iwobi, despite numerous opportunities, always fails to deliver. I don't care how good he is in training – his performances on the field are evidence that he isn't good enough.

4. Rondon should be nowhere near the first team until his fitness level improves substantially.

5. Gomes, Davies and Kenny were destined to fail and bear the brunt of the criticism for failure. Benitez obviously doesn't trust them as they have had very little game time.

My faith in Benitez is rapidly evaporating. He seems to be as tactically astute as the previous charlatan.

Michael Lynch
12 Posted 22/09/2021 at 10:43:52
Rafa's a master tactician, so I wouldn't be surprised if he tweaked it a bit on Saturday and tried Rondon in goal and Begovic up front. Can't be any worse than last night.
Bernard Dooley
13 Posted 22/09/2021 at 11:09:33
Some Premier League teams bring in their second choice strikers and are rewarded; safely through to the next round of the League Cup... whilst us??? We revert to type in this competition, resulting in less-than-glorious ignominy. Sigh.

By the way, not that it would have made much difference, but can anyone remind me of the current fitness situation of Jean-Philippe Gbamin?

Danny O’Neill
14 Posted 22/09/2021 at 11:14:09
As I was distracted, for those who saw on TV / online, did we have a shout for a penalty second half? I thought so at the time, but the players didn't seem to complain too much.
Tony Everan
15 Posted 22/09/2021 at 11:37:19
Danny, from my dodgy memory, Doucoure won the ball but was not in control of it, then the defender definitely caught him. I think it was a penalty and on another day and another ref it would have been given. It was one of those ones you sometimes don’t seem to get away from home. (unless it is the RS or Man Utd that is).

Bernard , Gbamin’s latest one is a thigh injury out for two to three weeks.

Barry Hesketh
16 Posted 22/09/2021 at 11:43:51
Tony @15
I've just watched it on the OS 90 minute coverage, and you rarely see those sort given, I think the QPR player did clip Doucoure's heel but more accidental than intentional for me.
Mark Andrews
17 Posted 22/09/2021 at 11:52:57
Marcel Brands has been at the club since 2018. Our squad is paper thin and lacking in quality and we've spent £500M to get to this state. He's rewarded for this sorry state of affairs with a place on the board.

He's not the messiah, he's a very naughty boy.

Bernard Dooley
18 Posted 22/09/2021 at 12:15:12
Tony Everan #15, thanks for update re
Chris Leyland
19 Posted 22/09/2021 at 12:56:37
The problem with not starting Rondon until he’s fully match for is who do you start instead given test our usual front two are out injured? Do you try Gray down the middle?
Jamal Hassim
20 Posted 22/09/2021 at 13:03:16
Was at the match. Embarrassed as an Evertonian at the lack of desire from 90% of our players on the pitch. Gordon and Townsend were the exception and almost brought tears to my eyes from their efforts to turn the tide. The lack of desire and fight from the rest was galling to see, and I felt sad for our fans who made the journey to West London. Totally understood where the Manager was coming from with his selection (although I felt he should have given Simms some game time Rondon was beyond atrocious) but you would have thought that those who were selected would have wanted to use this opportunity to make a case for themselves! I've said time and time again the lack of a winning mentality and accountability, and mediocrity permeates the club like a cancer and obviously translates to the pitch. The wait for us as fans for a team to give 100% every time they are on field goes on, let alone hope for any silverware.
Danny O’Neill
21 Posted 22/09/2021 at 13:09:39
Pick ourselves up for Norwich and beyond. Fans and players.

Pickford, Coleman, Doucoure, Allan, Calvert-Lewin & Richarlison.

6 starters out and we're a different prospect.

I know they won't all be back for Norwich but just putting it into perspective for myself more than anything.

Tom Bowers
22 Posted 22/09/2021 at 13:18:47
Why people are reacting in the way they are about going out of the 'Mickey Mouse'' cup is beyond me.

Sure it would be nice to avoid defeat in every game but that ain't gonna happen.

This ''competition'' was devised purely as a money grabbing racket supposedly to help the lower league clubs and the top clubs couldn't give a toss, hence the weakened team selections until they get to the semis or final.

Everton played as well as they could considering the dross team they started with against a spirited Rangers side.

Gordon's poor finish early on set the tone although he played quite well as did Townsend but most of the rest were poor.

Andrew Ellams
23 Posted 22/09/2021 at 13:28:49
Tom, it's a bit difficult to say the top clubs don't give a toss when City have won it 4 years on the bounce and 11 out of the last 13 seasons it was won by the teams that finished top 4 last year.
Barry Rathbone
24 Posted 22/09/2021 at 13:30:26
I give Benitez a pass on this one the changes appear injury forced rather than the usual tactical cowardice of Moyes etc. Not that it matters 50% of ambition has once again sank at the first genuine challenge.

Only thing left is to kid ourselves the FA cup will be different 🤣🤣🤣

Paul Jones
25 Posted 22/09/2021 at 15:19:49
Given the teams we allegedly aspire to match can field more youthful understudy players and win comfortably then last nights result illustrates the paucity of the squad.
Given the lack of squad depth should have picked a "Catterick style league cup team". I was disappointed with approach reminded me of the "Moyes era" resting players for the next game and then bringing them on to chase a game you ultimately loose, so the primary objective not achieved.
In the absence of a quality squad or promising young players, If you had a strong first eleven then that is what you would pick and put the game to bed then rest players.
The concern is that we do not have a strong enough first team squad to be competitive in the league and domestic cup competitions nor the abundance quality young players to be back up.
I cannot see any of our younger players being sold for 20 million plus to the likes of Bournemouth or Sheffield United but suspect come January we will be fishing in the back waters of Arsenal, City and United again whilst our own "sprats" move on to Fleetwood, Grimsby and the like.
I get the impression that Iwobi was bought at great expense to feature in the pre-season merchandise catalogue because cannot think of any other practical use that has been served.
Tony Abrahams
26 Posted 22/09/2021 at 15:32:37
It also reminded me of the David Moyes era Paul, and for the first time in my life it didn’t even bother me that much about Everton going out of a cup.

I heard it was Marcel Brands who signed Iwobi for around £30 million before wages, but he only came to this major decision after spending the last few hours of the transfer window in one of his nation’s coffee-shops.

Andy Crooks
27 Posted 22/09/2021 at 15:35:31
I have defended Iwobi, argued that he has been played out of position, said that he is a confidence player who will get better, looked for signs and found them.
Now, well, I'm not so sure. I think he might not be much good or, have talent that we will rarely see. not the best buy we have ever made. I am confident about that! Had he come from our academy I would suggest that he would currently be on loan at Morecambe.
John Raftery
28 Posted 22/09/2021 at 15:56:34
Which players were rested last night? Allan, who looked knackered after an hour at Villa, Doucouré who came on for the final half hour, Gray who came on for the final twenty minutes, Keane who came on for the final ten minutes and Mina who many argue ‘always has a mistake in him’.

All the players who came in either have substantial Premier League experience or have been regarded by fans as having the potential to develop into top players. Godfrey and Holgate have been suggested as a long term central defensive partnership. Last night’s performance from them renders that suggestion redundant at least for the immediate future.

This is a competition we had no realistic prospect of winning. Better to get knocked out now than have the burden of additional fixtures with a squad lacking the depth of quality required. Previous managers have been criticised for not giving more opportunities for our younger players. For me there is huge disappointment that the younger players, Kenny, Holgate and Davies have failed to train on as they reach their middle twenties.

It is also a concern that Godfrey has returned this season looking very laboured compared with the star in the making we thought we had seen last season. I hope he won’t turn out to be another one season wonder. Anthony Gordon has plenty of pace, makes promising runs but there remains a disturbing lack of a tangible end product in terms of goals or assists. Too early to write him off perhaps, but…..?

From the manager’s point of view if he can’t rely on these players against a Championship team, when can he rely on them? And what is the point of them being there?

Ian Bennett
29 Posted 22/09/2021 at 15:58:48
I saw the team and knew we'd get beat. Going out on penalties the typical kick in the guts the blues give you.

I can't blame the manager. A very weak squad compounded by injuries to key players.

What did we learn? Begovic is poor, we lack cover at full back, Iwobi and Co lack bottle, and we have nothing coming through in attacking sense. £500m up the wall, and we are weaker now than when Moyes was in the bargain bin for Naismith, Straq and Drenthe...

Eddie Dunn
30 Posted 22/09/2021 at 16:06:43
Danny -I watched the whole game on Hesgoal, it was a decent stream and Doucoure seemed to be kicked from behind or tripped. They showed a replay which seemed to confirm the contact. No commentary (which was nice) but of course no VAR, or I think we would have had the pen. Mind you Digne was close to being offside for the his goal.
It's my birthday today and we are having a few friends round for a bit of a shindig, luckily none of them follow football!
I play footy on Sunday and two of my mates are avid QPR fans. I expect a right roasting from them...and rightly so!
Moshiri is a bit like that twit Fernandez, who I recall wasted a tonne of dosh on them.
Paul Tran
31 Posted 22/09/2021 at 16:22:18
This is just so simple.

We're here because we've recruited poorly. Business-wise, largely the same management team as the failing business Moshiri inherited. Kenwright thought we just needed 'money', as many said on here. A rich badly-run business just wastes more money.

On that basis, we have recruited managers haphazardly, given them too much money to waste haphazardly, then put in a DOF who seems to slip between the cracks.

On the pitch, we've recruited talented players, seemingly because they're talented, with no thought of how they fit what we need or fit any kind of structure. No thought of whther they'd pysically or mentally fit into English football. We pay them high salaries that prevent their sale.

Moshiri has been a dreadful high-stakes gambler. The successful gamblers I know are thinkers who learn from their mistakes. In the last year we have recruited better - there's a sense of us buying players for a reason. We've certainly brought in a manager for specific reasons that I agree with.

It's all about what we do from now. It has to start with a demand for success from the top. That mindset that runs through all aspects of the club. Success or walk. There's much talk about City's money, but my experience there shows that their club-wide mindset makes a huge difference. I don't see that in Everton - the happy bumble along club that thinks success happens by accident, that seems to protect staff rather than demand better.

I accept we may have to see contracts run out and unproductive players leave before we get decent progress on the pitch. I don't accept the complete inertia from the board and its apparent unwillingness to tackle a club/business drifting like a boat hoping to find a port.

Mick O'Malley
32 Posted 22/09/2021 at 16:30:33
Tom I’d sooner win the league cup than finish 7th/8th,. The Wembley visits in the 80s stick in my memory, finishing 7th doesn’t , also try telling the magnificent supporters that travelled to London on a Tuesday night at great expense that the League Cup doesn’t matter
Kenny Smith
33 Posted 22/09/2021 at 16:35:34
Last night was poor but just underlines our shocking strength in depth. Benitez left out the better fit players available and did a similar thing with the RS if memory serves me right when he didn’t take the league cup seriously and they went out early over a couple years. Unfortunately for him we are desperate for a trophy and he doesn’t have the time he was afforded over there for obvious reasons. Having said that I don’t blame him to be honest. The squad is made up of deadwood and expensive flops that are worth nothing now bar the first XI and it’s no surprise we went out. All I know is that nothing but 3 points against Norwich won’t be good enough
Jay Harris
34 Posted 22/09/2021 at 16:43:49
Some very appropriate comments particularly about the way the club is being run but that team last night should have done far better.

For me Godfrey was at fault for both goals. The first one he was skinned and unable to prevent the ball coming in and the second he allowed Austin to edge him out of the way for a free header. He has either totally lost confidence or Covid has destroyed him but he is a million miles from last season.

Begovic looks very limp for a keeper and did nothing for the penalty shoot out that suggests he gives a hoot.

Rondon looks as if he left his energy in China and surely Simms would offer far more.

That aside we had far more chances to score and if it had been anyone but Iwobi he would have buried that one on one with their goalie.

Christine said on another thread we lack a number 10 without James and given our Icelanders predicament but I would argue we lack a number 1 to 11 on the basis of last night.

Joe McMahon
35 Posted 22/09/2021 at 17:03:41
The manager has to think of the weekend game, with so little quality available. It's shambolic the failures of the Academy set up doesn't produce PL quality players. We all remember Liverpools Academy team beating us.

What does that big lump Unsworth and the rest of them do? Surely there needs to be goals/a strategy. Too bloody cosy in the Everton f'ing family!

Rennie Smith
36 Posted 22/09/2021 at 17:14:40
I thought after a while I'd calm down but I'm still incensed that Iwobi completely bottled the pens and put everyone in front of him, I bet he would of let Begovic go before him. What an absolute shithouse.
Rennie Smith
37 Posted 22/09/2021 at 17:14:40
I thought after a while I'd calm down but I'm still incensed that Iwobi completely bottled the pens and put everyone in front of him, I bet he would of let Begovic go before him. What an absolute shithouse.
Jon Wit
38 Posted 22/09/2021 at 17:17:52
Well, Rodriguez just left so I guess we have some more wages to give out but I hope they don't go on more Begovic / Rondon type filler - we need a right-back - which has been obvious for quite some time.
Ken Kneale
39 Posted 22/09/2021 at 17:41:57
Paul – good comments as ever.

Kenwright ran us to the ground with a dysfunctional model and then finally found a buyer who he convinced it was just a matter of money.

Just imagine John Moores in that situation – I would love to see him give a critique on Kenwright. He was a hard and ruthless business operator who, even when underwriting a debt for the club, always made sure we had the means and wherewithal to repay.

I have an idea to generate some more off the wage bill – get rid of Marcel Brands; I cannot see what he has added to the club in his tenure. I suppose he is adding to the local economy by purchasing the odd coffee now and then... but a Director of Football, he is not.

Bobby Mallon
40 Posted 22/09/2021 at 18:01:07
Ian Bennet @29,

We are a Premier League team that has spent £500 million in 5 years on players and you say we had injuries. For fuck's sake, it was QPR, who by the way left out 6 players. It's a total fucking disgrace.

I'm sick of hearing the same excuses; it's not good enough. Yes, we should be beating QPR every week.

Darryl Ritchie
41 Posted 22/09/2021 at 19:18:13
Our Championship squad lost to another Championship squad. Evenly matched, given the players we fielded.

It was a tossup game.

Danny O’Neill
42 Posted 22/09/2021 at 20:23:08
Firstly Eddie, best wishes on your birthday and enjoy the occasion. Secondly, good luck for Sunday. Once I'd cleared the stadium and most of the Everton fans had gone to their coaches or headed to Euston, living in West London, I had to travel home surrounded by jubilant QPR fans. Not as bad as Chelsea, but salt in the wounds nonetheless!

I'd take this trophy all day and wish we'd go strong to get through then rest players once the game is won. My first trip to Wembley was the 1984 Milk (League) Cup Final. Magical experience despite the 0 - 0 result and losing the replay at Maine Road. I've never dismissed this competition or any other.

But we were back less than 2 months later to lift the FA Cup. Forget magical, that was ecstasy that I can't really describe.

Don't dismiss silverware of any kind. Once you nearly touch it and then taste it you'll want more. It's addictive. Or should be.

Will be.

Rick Tarleton
43 Posted 23/09/2021 at 06:28:35
When we ask fringe players to step up for cup competitions, we naively expect that they'll grab this rare opportunity and play like demons. In reality, they seem to often find that the pace of the game is beyond them, they haven't played 90 minutes at first team level for a while, and the game actually seems to go on around them and thay seem totally peripheral.

Only when Roy Race and Blackie were playing do wonder displays occur; in reality, most of our fringe players miss the bus and we lose to second- or even third-tier opposition. Without Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin, our attacking strength is severely limited.

Ben Godfrey has been capped by England and has pace and many attributes, but he is no more consistent than any of our other central defenders and certainly cannot marshall the defence.

Maybe next year but, at 75, I am thinking that this is silverware that I will never see in our trophy cabinet.

Mick Roberts
44 Posted 23/09/2021 at 07:52:54
And once again, the dealings of Brands over the past years come home to roost.

Get shut of him before anyone else.

Mick O'Malley
45 Posted 23/09/2021 at 08:07:31
Danny, my thoughts exactly.

I remember the Milk Cup Final well – it was pissing down; we deserved to win that day... we should have had a penalty for handball.

I was gutted we lost the replay, my first of many visits to Wembley, and watching them win the FA Cup 2 months later is still my favourite Everton memory.

It was addictive going to Wembley, I was a teenager then but I can remember every visit to Wembley in the '80s and early '90s including the Simod & Zenith Data System cups and Charity Shields, it was a regular occurrence.

Rob Hooton
46 Posted 23/09/2021 at 08:22:47
I had to sit with the QPR fans in the family stand behind the other goal as it was the only way I could get tickets and take my dad and son.

The only positives of the evening were that my son loved the atmosphere and wants to go to more games (after not being interested in football up to now) and that it was great to see so many kids and their dads going bonkers when they won – QPR have been through some tough times and they were a decent lot in the family stand and I had to laugh at our awful (and inevitable) display.
My son commented that Iwobi seemed to disappear at half-time – he's got his card marked already! Other notes:

Wayne Rooney is a better keeper than Begovic.
Holgate and Godfrey are an awful League One standard centre-back pairing.
Gomes can't shoot or take corners. Or run or tackle.
Kenny is a nothing player.
Townsend was the best player on the pitch.

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