Lucas Digne plays despite coming off with an ankle knock during the cup defeat to QPR last Tuesday
Everton 2 - 0 Norwich City
Everton's developing injury crisis at least had some good news ahead of today's Premier League game against Norwich City, with Lucas Digne back in training along with goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.
Lucas Digne has been training over the past few days after the Frenchman was withdrawn from the Carabao Cup tie at Queens Park Rangers on Tuesday with an ankle complaint but he is deemed fit enough to play at left-back.
Digne is joined by Jordan Pickford who has also been able to train this week after missing the last two games with a shoulder injury. However, Coleman, Gomes, Gbamin, Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin are all out injured and do not make this game.
Salomon Rondon, who had a shockingly poor game at Loftus Road, is named once again in the starting line-up, preferred to younger players who have come through the Academy in Simms and Dobbin — none of whom were in the U23s squad for their defeat to Manchester United last night.
Demarai Gray, Andros Townsend, and Alex Iwobi all start, with Anthony Gordon and Tom Davies returned to the bench. Jonjoe Kenny did not impress in the cup defeat with Ben Godfrey deputizing today for Coleman. Kieran Dowell was on the bench for Norwich.
It was a lovely autumn day for football, 3 pm on a Saturday at a packed Goodison Park, with Norwich, looking more like flamingoes than canneries, getting things underway. It was pretty cagey stuff for the first few minutes until Digne dug out a decent cross but Rondon was whistled for a foul but at least it was all being played in the visitors' half.
Everton got an early corner but Townsend could not beat the first defender. A great ball from Keane out to Townsend won another corner that was well whipped in. Townsend then swung in a great cross but Rondon's run at it was well blocked as the tempo of the game flagged quite a bit, with nothing of note going on.
Everton were perhaps trying to over-elaborate their little triangles, especially down the left, and going nowhere in a hurry. There was a lame sort-of shot on goal from Iwobi... no, it was more like a backpass. Townsend was able to cleverly steal a ball from the very lively Williams but when it came back to him, Townsend's shot was pretty lame too. 20 minutes of 'pragmatic' boredom so far...
Some momentary excitement when Gray whipped in a teasing cross... so much so that no-one could profit from it. Half-way through a pretty poor meaningless boring first half. Kabak went on a good run but forgot to shoot at Pickford's goal.
Allan seemed to be fouled by Kabak in the area but David Coote wasn't interested. Lee Mason looked at the VAR... time after time after time... and Coote eventually decided that yes, it was a penalty for Everton. Andros Townsend stepped up while Krull tried to put him off, and scored sweetly.
Iwobi just about fed Gray and his shot was put behind but the corner was really poor again. Digne set up a half-chance for Rondon but he turned like the proverbial cruise liner... which is not at all, and any chance was gone. The drab and uninspiring football carried on toward the break with Everton relaxing and Norwich thinking they could level the score, Normann's shot requiring a save from Pickford.
Everton resumed with no real sign that the pace of the game would be elevated very much above a Salomon Rondon trot. But Rondon did steal the ball and set up Iwobi for a shot from distance that would dribble feebly well wide of Krull's goal.
Townsend, with a nice turn, looked to fire it a little closer but still off target. Iwobi did really well to get the ball out to Godfrey who returned it with interest and Iwobi was just utterly pathetic, he made no attempt to challenge and (god forbid) score.
At the other end, Pukkki looked like he might beat mina but then Normann lashed a shot goalwards that Pickford had to push over. But nothing from the corner.
Norwich realized that they could up the tempo and push Everton back, Digne getting booked and really, how on earth did Gibson not score for Norwich from the excellent delivery off the free-kick?Everton continued to live a little dangerously, Rondon rather unfairly called for a strange challenge on Normann, setting up a tasty free-kick to test Pickford. But Normann skied it over the wall and the bar.
Kabak clipped Gray but escaped a second yellow. A well-delivered free-kick from Digne almost brought the second goal that the increasingly nervous fans were keen on seeing.
Williams went on another great run, out-pacing Godfrey who needed help from Mina. A decent corner from Norwich but they did not attack it. Norwich were looking more and more adventurous without creating a real chance. But it would only take one...
Norwich made changes and continued to take the game to Everton, winning a corner that was worked around until Gray went marauding to relieve the pressure, until Doucouré lost the ball. But Everton then won a corner and looked to be at least facing the right way.
Tzoilis put an excellent cross in again and still no takers on either side as it went right through Pickford's 6-yard area, as his shoulder played up on him again, needing treatment. Norwich had a free-kick for handball by Digne but contrived to totally waste it as Gordon replaced Townsend.
Everton suddenly decided they were in a game, Allan stealing the ball in midfield, feeding Gray for a nice jinking run, and he set up Abdoulaye Doucouré for the coup de grace, an excellent finish through Krull.
So, Everton comfortable, 10 minutes left... time of Simms or Dobbin to replace Rondon? No; Davies to replace Gray. Gordon tried to dribble away from Williams and came close to winning the entertaining footrace until the Man Utd loanee fouled the Everton man.
Davies again saw the whites of the goalposts but chose to evade them as only he can. Godfrey got in for a third from close range but Krull denied him. Lewis Dobbin then came on for a couple of minutes, replacing Alex Iwobi, for his senior debut.
Scorers: Townsend (pen:29'), Doucouré (77')
Everton: Pickford, Godfrey, Keane, Mina, Digne [Y:56'], Allan, Doucoure, Townsend (76' Gordon [Y:90+2']), Gray (83' Davies), Iwobi (89' Dobbin), Rondon.
Subs not Used: Begovic, Lonergan, Kenny, Holgate, Branthwaite, Simms.
Norwich City: Krul; Aarons, Kabak [Y:54'] (69' Rashica), Hanley, Gibson, Williams [Y:84'] (86' Giannoulis); Lees-Melou [Y:80'], Normann (69' Tzolis), McLean; Sargent, Pukki.
Subs not Used: Gunn, Rupp, Gilmour, Dowell, Idah, Omabamidele.
Referee: David Coote
VAR: Lee Mason
Reader Comments (243)
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1 Posted 25/09/2021 at 14:07:10
2 Posted 25/09/2021 at 14:09:57
Will be interesting to see how Aaron's performs for Norwich
3 Posted 25/09/2021 at 14:17:36
Surely we must win after all this!
If anyone is planning on travelling up the M5/M6- don't!!!
Probably our best team at the moment- hoping to see one of the young strikers get some meaningful time.
4 Posted 25/09/2021 at 14:17:36
Surely we must win after all this!
If anyone is planning on travelling up the M5/M6- don't!!!
Probably our best team at the moment- hoping to see one of the young strikers get some meaningful time.
5 Posted 25/09/2021 at 14:18:52
6 Posted 25/09/2021 at 14:27:16
7 Posted 25/09/2021 at 14:36:22
8 Posted 25/09/2021 at 14:36:45
Gordon should have his chance instead of Iwobi and personally I would have given Sims or Dobbin a run out instead of Rondon.
But we need the 3 points so lets hope the lads are up for it.
9 Posted 25/09/2021 at 14:40:11
10 Posted 25/09/2021 at 14:41:47
11 Posted 25/09/2021 at 14:44:48
12 Posted 25/09/2021 at 14:44:59
Oh dear. 2 pensioner goalkeepers and a bunch of kids.
At least we're playing the team that comes to the premier League to lose games. oh Jesus.
13 Posted 25/09/2021 at 14:46:52
Dave. The midfield is indeed light, Iwobi has more lives than a bag of cats, probably because of his fee. Hopefully he can justify his selection today and in this game he can come to the fore.
14 Posted 25/09/2021 at 14:49:04
15 Posted 25/09/2021 at 14:50:55
Hope I'm wrong but I fear its going to be a struggle.
16 Posted 25/09/2021 at 14:52:23
17 Posted 25/09/2021 at 14:52:58
18 Posted 25/09/2021 at 14:58:39
19 Posted 25/09/2021 at 15:01:16
20 Posted 25/09/2021 at 15:01:33
he's on his way out soon.
Come on Blues!!!!!
21 Posted 25/09/2021 at 15:02:52
22 Posted 25/09/2021 at 15:07:19
23 Posted 25/09/2021 at 15:25:22
24 Posted 25/09/2021 at 15:35:34
25 Posted 25/09/2021 at 15:46:51
26 Posted 25/09/2021 at 15:47:04
27 Posted 25/09/2021 at 15:48:39
28 Posted 25/09/2021 at 15:53:16
Some nice football in passages. Not really being challenged by Norwich at all. I can't figure out the visitors' tactics. Barely passing the ball forward from their back line.
Nailed on penalty, eventually given.
Given the injury list, take a win any way it comes.
Doucoure playing very well. Nice to see.
29 Posted 25/09/2021 at 15:53:38
30 Posted 25/09/2021 at 15:54:01
31 Posted 25/09/2021 at 16:00:31
As for the penalty, it may well have been within today's rules but I'd have been disappointed to see it given at the other end as there seemed little intent and the ball had gone out of playing range.
We really do need somebody more effective as striker, anybody know if either of the kids on the bench are possessed of lightening pace but, as both were supposed to be injured, I doubt they will do much better although it could be a case of doing any worse.
32 Posted 25/09/2021 at 16:22:20
33 Posted 25/09/2021 at 17:04:05
I'll take it.
34 Posted 25/09/2021 at 17:04:28
35 Posted 25/09/2021 at 17:09:48
Ian and his daughter got a win on their visit to Goodison. . . Brought Everton the luck needed.
36 Posted 25/09/2021 at 17:10:11
Iwobi is not a good footballer. Of all the money wasted over the last 5 years, he is top of the pile. Somebody, somewhere at Arsenal is pissing himself at the amount of money we gave them for him.
We got lazy at 1-0 and let them back in around the 65 to 75 minutes mark but they weren't good enough to capitalize on it. Doucouré is everywhere. How fit is that boy? Allan was assured in central midfield but the cupboard is bare after them. Digne and Godfrey need to up their games also.
37 Posted 25/09/2021 at 17:16:54
The game was always going to be a struggle with important players missing.
Hate to see what it will be like on here when we start losing!
38 Posted 25/09/2021 at 17:18:51
39 Posted 25/09/2021 at 17:22:04
Norwich were utterly punchless, but did manage to fizz a few dangerous crosses in. A more clinical side might have punished us.
God bless Rondon, but that dude is an absolute statue. Maybe he'll become more handy when he's match fit, but I'd drop him below Tosun in the pecking order as soon as he's fit.
Iwobi does some nice enough stuff on the ball, but he's utterly unincisive (is that even a word?) around the box, particularly in comparison to the likes of Gray and Townsend. Gray's assist was nicely executed and he continues to look our most dangerous player.
It hasn't always been pretty, but I think most people would have taken four wins, a loss and a draw from our first six at the start of the campaign. I also have a feeling that road win against Brighton is going to look a lot more impressive by season's end.
40 Posted 25/09/2021 at 17:25:16
41 Posted 25/09/2021 at 17:28:11
As I said, not a very good game to watch and I doubt if I will watch it over again. But 3 points playing poorly is better than no points playing great.
Congratulations to Benitez for taking this job on, as today it's shown how difficult it is trying to make a silk purse from a pig's ear, or so my wife says.
42 Posted 25/09/2021 at 17:28:13
Digne much better too!
43 Posted 25/09/2021 at 17:28:59
44 Posted 25/09/2021 at 17:33:57
Rondon will get better/sharper (low bar) and Godfrey is clearly not back to his best yet. But 13 points from 6 is a pretty good start to the season, better than I expected.
45 Posted 25/09/2021 at 17:58:37
46 Posted 25/09/2021 at 18:02:30
A hard-earned win – I will happily take that any day of the week.
47 Posted 25/09/2021 at 18:08:34
This squad really is no better than those of previous decades but they seem capable of effort and don't collapse at the first sign of trouble as per Carlo and other incompetents.
Not that it impacts on us being filed as "mid table drones" vulnerable to annihilation by any "up for it" monied crew.
But, picking up points hither and thither dampens the "Benitez war" which, unfettered, could lead to another populist managerial change and maybe Moshiri decamping.
48 Posted 25/09/2021 at 18:15:12
We won with a patched-up team and Rondon, who hasn't played for 4 months, got a much-needed 90-minute run out. Take the positives, boys and girls!
49 Posted 25/09/2021 at 18:17:26
Secondly, Digne (already in the book) jumps and handles the ball – why no second yellow? His hands were nowhere near his face.
Other than that, the score I predicted. A poor game, low quality but an excellent result. We would all surely have taken this total at this point in time.
Boy, do we need Richarlison and especially Calvert-Lewin back in the team. Also, fingers crossed that Pickford hasn't inflamed that shoulder, as the sight of Begovic at Old Trafford is not something I want to see.
50 Posted 25/09/2021 at 18:28:22
First time we have won our opening three home games since 1989.
Gray and Townsend continue to impress and look absolute steals.
Doucouré, now he's liberated, looking a proper box-to-box midfielder.
Sure the squad is paper thin and we have much bigger tests to come.
As for Rondon, for fuck's sake, give him a chance. He's had a handful of games, he may turn out to be a dud but the reaction in these parts is frankly pathetic.
51 Posted 25/09/2021 at 18:33:36
Thanks for a bit of common sense concerning Rondon. If Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison were fit, the lad would be coming on for 20 minutes or so. He's playing and starting because there is nobody else to do the job at the moment.
A few would start with Simms who hasn't played for over four months after an injury at the end of last season, or Dobbin a 17-year-old with plenty of potential but nowhere near ready to start a game in the Premier League.
Rondon, apparently, didn't have a good game, but we won, admittedly against a poor team in poor form... then some start worrying about the game next week. Just enjoy today's win.
52 Posted 25/09/2021 at 18:35:49
Somehow, they just don't get to the intensity level to see off some of these teams at an early stage and the defence always gives me the jitters when the opposition has the ball.
Norwich are piss poor and will go back down, which doesn't say much for Everton – even with key forwards missing.
Townsend and Gray have really shone given that they came for virtually nothing and Doucouré is also doing well.
Alan is good with the ball but is a little hasty in his tackling which shows up his lack of good speed trying to chase a player.
Iwobi just isn't at the races and Gbamin may as well be put down. A pity about Rodriguez who promised so much but delivered very little.
The penalty was a sure thing but sometimes those incidents are not given and it wouldn't have been in pre-VAR days.
Needless to say, next week will be a real test –especially as Man Utd will be still smarting after today but Aston Villa are an improving team despite letting Grealish go.
53 Posted 25/09/2021 at 18:36:42
It appears that Everton are not allowed to let opponents have any shots, any possession or create chances.
That was a solid home win against the type of opponents we lost to last season at home despite the "Hollywood" manager who proved he couldn't coach average players. Luckily for him he has gone back to La Liga with the poorest Barcelona side in living memory with another blame deflecting fraud at the helm.
Benitez has started solidly. His bargain-basement signings have brought energy, pace and a goal threat. Not to mention effort. I actually enjoyed our performances on the whole because I know what we are but we seem to have a little bit of the integrity we lost creeping back in. Evidenced by Allan's 30-yard sprint to win the ball back in his own half.
Gray was blowing when he came off because he'd left it all out there.
I'm just taking it one game at a time and enjoying the league form as long as it lasts.
It is a results business. However, there are some who live in a Utopia where we should be playing flowing football and blowing away all comers. I honestly do not know where that comes from based on the last 30-odd years!
54 Posted 25/09/2021 at 18:38:17
On a side note – how did Aarons look for Norwich at right back?
55 Posted 25/09/2021 at 18:41:39
On to Man Utd, a completely different proposition, just enjoy 3 points today.
56 Posted 25/09/2021 at 18:41:42
Solid enough performance – Gray, Townsend & Doucoure stepping up us a real positive.
57 Posted 25/09/2021 at 18:46:48
We are missing three important players in Calvert-Lewin Richarlison and Coleman so, to my mind, any win at the moment is a good one.
It was ugly, disjointed, scrappy for the most part but the second goal was good, simple football executed perfectly. Loved it.
Against better teams, we will need more bite and intensity in midfield. With the current options available, Davies deployed there with Allan and Doucouré.
I would like to see Gbamin as part of that midfield three to see what he can do, that midfield role is wide open for him to fill his boots, but will that ever happen?
As for the centre-forward, Rondon must be given some breathing space to get fit, Benitez is getting matches into him to get him closer. He said on Friday that he did not expect to be selecting him yet.
Of course we are missing Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison. When both are back, we will be a hell of a lot stronger.
58 Posted 25/09/2021 at 18:50:01
Yeah, I assume Dobbin came on when he did because Rafa thinks he's not ready yet but wanted to give the lad a reward for his hard work and show him what he can be part of if he keeps working hard. A simple bit of good old-fashioned man-management.
59 Posted 25/09/2021 at 19:11:03
Norwich were so poor, it was unbelievable. I thought Gordon and Dobbin did well when they came on, which was a positive for me. Oh, and the clean sheet.
On to the next game against an under-pressure manager – if only we had more players fit, I feel we could stick it to Man Utd.
60 Posted 25/09/2021 at 19:15:12
I said before the game I'd take a win and I didn't care how we got it. We got it and I am one happy chappy. Onto the next with Mr Benitez doing a very good job with a god awful squad.
61 Posted 25/09/2021 at 19:19:43
62 Posted 25/09/2021 at 19:20:02
As for the Rondon teasing, lighten up, people. If you can't have a laugh once in a while, what's the point?
64 Posted 25/09/2021 at 19:29:42
I'm sorry but I cannot say one positive thing about Rondon. Simply too slow and past it. Dobbin looked bright enough and lively.
65 Posted 25/09/2021 at 19:32:51
66 Posted 25/09/2021 at 19:35:46
If I put my mind to it, I reckon I would struggle to count on two hands the Premier League games where we have dominated opponents and won games at a canter in the Premier League era. Even when we have been in and around the Top 6.
67 Posted 25/09/2021 at 19:40:35
I don't really get the moody posts. I'd far rather we won in that way, than dominated but lost.
It's a shame Simms is just coming back from injury. Rondon, although clearly unfit, still makes defenders think or know their in a game. His lack of trying to bust a gut to get into a goal scoring position is frustrating though.
Anyway, 3 points with a pragmatic performance where we largely sat in second gear.
68 Posted 25/09/2021 at 19:41:52
69 Posted 25/09/2021 at 19:46:29
Good to get points on the board. Benitez is doing a decent job so far with an average squad.
Rondon looked like a half-fit Brett Angell.
70 Posted 25/09/2021 at 19:47:10
We played Norwich, a Premier League team! We have injuries! Am I missing something?
It will never please everyone but we responded well from Wednesday. Let's enjoy the Saturday evening. We are trying to rebuild, clear the squad, and get our finances in order!
Wait for it – poor Bill Kenwright will be blamed for the win today!
71 Posted 25/09/2021 at 19:48:32
72 Posted 25/09/2021 at 19:48:43
73 Posted 25/09/2021 at 19:59:10
I'm sorry but if Everton FC cannot have a better number nine available for first-team duties, than Rondon, even accounting for injuries, there is something majorly wrong. I can't imagine any other major club having Rondon in their starting line-up, if he isn't fit he shouldn't be leading the line for the team, if he is fit - no words!
He smiles a lot, he fouls a lot and that's about it. Everton made far harder work of getting the points today than they should have done, for large parts it took on the guise of an end-of-season or pre-season game. Happy with the points, happy with one or two decent performances but overall disappointed there wasn't a bit more oomph from our team.
A far more difficult task awaits next week where a wounded United will test our mettle to the limit, but who knows we might nick something.
74 Posted 25/09/2021 at 19:59:56
75 Posted 25/09/2021 at 20:00:48
76 Posted 25/09/2021 at 20:03:00
We still need a lot of recruitment to get a squad able to cope with a whole season though. We will have a better idea where we are when we face the top teams.
77 Posted 25/09/2021 at 20:04:29
I can't make it tonight, but I will try my best to make the next, Derek Knox!! Well done, mate.
Remember, you are all top Evertonians!!! As if I need to remind you!!
78 Posted 25/09/2021 at 20:20:25
But, we kept a clean sheet and got the 3 points. We done the job.
Great to meet up in person with some of the gang at The Bramley Moore. Massive thanks to Tony for helping with the tickets. I owe you big time and will repay the favour.
Kudos to myself, Derek and Andy as well as the countless other Evertonians around us for enduring a real-life Live Forum bloke just behind us for most of the match!!
Now to meet those Kopites on their reverse trip when I get to Euston.
79 Posted 25/09/2021 at 20:35:05
80 Posted 25/09/2021 at 20:38:11
81 Posted 25/09/2021 at 20:43:49
A solid start to the season, now for some really tough games, at least this team are showing fight and determination.
Doucouré has an amazing engine, he seems to be enjoying the license to get forward. He also has physicality and is an important asset.
82 Posted 25/09/2021 at 20:46:46
3 more points. They all count.
83 Posted 25/09/2021 at 20:48:23
I'll take a win all day if I'm honest... but the footy could be better.
84 Posted 25/09/2021 at 20:55:07
85 Posted 25/09/2021 at 21:02:11
Norwich did not allow us to get in behind them much which stifled the likes of Gray but other players stepped up to get the job done. Doucouré and Allan made the difference.
86 Posted 25/09/2021 at 21:17:40
Doucouré was excellent, Townsend is showing leadership. Mina, not my favourite, had a good game. Pickford provided presence.
The best moment of the match for me was the cross Gray played into the 6-yard box around 20 minutes. It needed attacking, and Iwobi and Rondon failed to do so. It was right in front of me, as was the Digne “handball” in the 2nd half – to me, it clearly hit his body, to my pal next to me, it was handball. Not easy for a referee.
It was a pleasure to meet the guys at The Bramley Moore, very best wishes to Dave Abrahams who was unable to make it.
87 Posted 25/09/2021 at 21:23:11
That's why I don't come on here that often. There's a lot of negative posters... even when there are clear positives to comment on. Always more comments when we lose... it's kinda sad to see.
Anyways, nice to get back to winning ways with two very big players missing. Dourcouré has been massive for us this season. Mina was class again. First-choice centre-back for me.
Nice to be up and about the top of the Premier League. UTFT
89 Posted 25/09/2021 at 21:33:43
I walked all the way to Great Homer Street without seeing one and ended up getting a 53 bus!
Eventually arrived at the Fly in the Loaf in time to celebrate a great comeback by plucky little Brentford.
90 Posted 25/09/2021 at 21:43:02
If you have a train ticket, the bus is free by showing your train ticket. There was about 12 buses lined up, waiting to transport fans back into the town centre. Much easier than trying to get a taxi.
I was going to go The Bramley Moore pub after the game but, like you say, trying to get a taxi is a nightmare, so I jumped the bus into town instead.
91 Posted 25/09/2021 at 22:05:40
Not a classic, today, but the 3 points will do very nicely, thank you.
Good to meet up with some of the guys in The Bramley Moore pub.
92 Posted 25/09/2021 at 22:08:34
May need to scroll down to view the video post 'We are creating a good team spirit.'
Interesting comments on Ben Godfrey, where he could play him determined by the opposition, the conversations he has with him and confirming what some have expressed, that he is still recovering from his bout of Covid and is operating at around 70%, with room to improve.
93 Posted 25/09/2021 at 23:19:33
Did I see Benitez come out to tentatively applaud the supporters today? And did the support have a mixed but generally good response back?
He likes us. I think we could like him. In a weird kind of way!!
94 Posted 25/09/2021 at 23:37:39
95 Posted 25/09/2021 at 00:10:31
I think the siren is great. Mind you, I've never been a lover of the Z-Cars tune!
96 Posted 26/09/2021 at 00:43:21
We will never change Z-Cars, but I would not mind a one-off derby special of the siren, then Bad Moon Rising blasting out at our neighbours.
97 Posted 26/09/2021 at 01:10:48
Personally, I think we have the crowd to sing and we don't need the club blasting out tracks at half-time or after Z-Cars to make us sing. I think it stinks of small club caught in a time warp, but that might just be me.
Great we got three points today, but the performance was particularly worrying. Our lack of possession is fine against good teams, but to not be controlling the game against QPR or Norwich suggests either a lack of faith or lack of talent in the players we have out there.
Our first goal was lucky; had that luck gone the other way and Norwich had scored first, I'm not convinced we'd have come back to win. I don't blame Benitez, but I'm worried we're an extremely poor team.
98 Posted 26/09/2021 at 02:08:20
99 Posted 26/09/2021 at 02:13:39
However some are at least making a better fist of it now, especially with the new additions doing well.
You take a top-class goalkeeper, a right-back, and both attackers out of any team and they will struggle. To put in perspective, our neighbours without Allison, Robertson, Salah and Mane would struggle, and they have a deeper squad to bring in players to cover, same with Man City or Chelsea. We do not even have the luxury of those clubs, where we could at least bring in decent cover.
So yes, we may have been lucky today, we may have been a little sloppy here and there, but apart from Rondon, who looked shot after 50 mins, and Godfrey playing on his unfavourable right side, I thought the team put a shift in today; quite a lot of play and go moves, some came off some did not. Once we get the two attackers back, we will look a more balanced team.
We all know there are still a few not good enough, who we need to shift on, but with hardly spending last summer, for once, we have not gone out and paid over-inflated prices for players and we're doing it the right way.
It is the same old "give it time" etc, but I actually think we have finally found the right manager, who will shift on the slackers. We just need a bit of luck on the injury front, because our starting 11 is a very decent team.
On a final note, Doucouré was outstanding today. What might have been missed by some fans, was his sheer joy of saluting the Main Stand, then turning to the Park Stand, before finally facing the Bullens Road Stand, arms aloft to rouse the fans and a smile wider than the Mersey, that guy loves Everton Football Club.
100 Posted 26/09/2021 at 03:41:49
101 Posted 26/09/2021 at 04:18:21
I think Doucoure is finally being allowed to play the way he did at Watford until Pearson came along. Carlo used him as a destroyer but he's got goals in him and Rafa is letting him off the leash.
Likewise I think Townsend suffered at Palace because in a poor team Roy went ultra defensive. He kept his place cause he puts in a shift but he didn't have the freedom to attack. Consequently his stats for goals and assists suffered. Rafa is letting him off the leash too — especially with Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison out and we are seeing the benefit.
102 Posted 26/09/2021 at 06:18:44
Norwich were dire. They are nailed on certainties to go back down again this season and I think they came along at exactly the right time us. We needed a confidence-boosting three points before we take on the Mancs. Job done.
I have given up hope of seeing an Everton team play good football when Mina and Keane play. Their phobia of leaving any part of the pitch between themselves and Pickford kills us as a unit. The whole team suffers.
I Watched Allan very closely yesterday and if Tom Davies had missed as many tackles or was left sitting on his arse as often as he was yesterday, he would have been murdered on this thread... of that I have no doubt.
I'm giving Allan a pass though. He has proved he can play, but he, or whoever else is asked to play in that role, will suffer more than most by presence of the Mina - Keane partnership.
With Rondon blowing out of his arse trying to get back and the lighthouse family reluctant to come out and play, we were often playing with 40 yards between last to first. We were (once again) asking him to cover more ground than his legs are capable of covering. He doesnt help himself at times but, in this set up, he is chasing balls he has no earthly hope of getting to.
Rondon offered nothing, but again, a plea of mitigating circumstances could be made for him. He is certainly not one of natures natural athletes and is going to take some time to come to the boil... Tough decision for the manager next time out. Does he persevere? Or does he give one of the lads a chance to go out and make a name for himself?
Three points which I think we will all happily accept, but we have to be sharper and more compact next time out.
103 Posted 26/09/2021 at 08:27:16
A team that lack craft need to play quick imo, but it's hard when the centre-forward is nowhere near fit, and our very deep defensive line makes the middle of the pitch way too big, but hard work is so important, and I don't think the players can be faulted for this right now.
104 Posted 26/09/2021 at 08:54:00
I'd agree with Darren, we were not dire. In line with my initial thoughts, we were not convincing. But not dire.
First half, I thought we occasionally played some decent link-up play, but there was just no end-product. I guess with Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison, we'd have had more options for the midfield to aim for. But only 2 players out and that's pretty much our first 11. Okay, you could add Coleman, but we're not getting every game out of him.
I don't think I felt threatened, but I did have the feeling of inevitability in the 2nd half when Norwich had a spell. In reflection, they played some tidy stuff and had a lot of possession without really achieving anything. They are not a good side; reminded a bit of a later Martinez Everton with lesser players. Playing to the coaches philosophy regardless, but not really achieving much.
I thought Pickford brought a bit of reassurance back to the team. It shows how much his game has matured.
Mina was a contender for Man of the Match. But that itself is worrying given who we were playing. But keep up that level of performance and put him alongside Godfrey. That's my preferred 2 with what we've got. Although you then have a young pairing; I always like a bit of experience in there.
Most regulars here know I've been harping on about a new experienced centre-back for ages. Our oldest and most experienced is Michael Keane. I'll move on. On Godfrey, he looks out of sorts. I don't know if it's a bit of second season syndrome creeping in or he is still working his way back from illness, but hopefully it's temporary.
I thought Allan had a really good game. He broke things up, won the ball back and tidied things up. Involved in both goals just as at Brighton. It was his harrying that led to the 2nd goal when we needed it. Although Demarai Gray played a key part too. Good midfield pressing and recycling of the ball all around.
For those who like effort and commitment, you couldn't fault Allan. My concern was noticing, on more than one occasion, him leaning with his hands on his knees, hanging out his arse. A player I'd loved to have had at 26 because he won't have the legs for a full season.
Doucouré: what an engine. His energy and drive is what we've missed for too long and he's now adding goals. Great classic across-the-goal finish. A highlight in a rather tepid affair. And in Demarai Gray, we have a young exciting player with potential to grow. And one who plays football with a smile on his face.
I'm in the "give Rondon a chance" club. Yes, he looked static and many around me were questioning what he actually does. I could understand that on yesterday's and the QPR performances. But let's remember what he was brought in for. Cover. No way did the manager or the player expect him to be playing 90 minutes this early in the season.
Final mention has to go to the bloke I mentioned sat behind me. I'm used to those who seemingly spend their money to pick up on every fault at the first chance and constantly criticise the team for 90+ minutes. That is their entitlement or choice. I thought about it once or twice but refrained, as did the other sensible supporters around me. One snapped when he made a pretty homophobic remark about Tom Davies. Whoever you are, unnecessary, irrelevant to his footballing ability and just plain out of order. As were most of his rants throughout the match, to be honest.
Anyway, the important thing is we got the 3 points and we're closer to European qualification!
105 Posted 26/09/2021 at 08:56:43
Otherwise, yesterday may end up most significant for the debut of Dobbin. Very pleased for him.
106 Posted 26/09/2021 at 10:26:32
Interesting that, after 6 games, we have the same points total and goal difference as last season. Also good to see us win a league game without Richarlison, not sure that would have happened last season.
Not really enough time on the pitch to assess young Dobbin. Although he was a bit off the pace initially, he didn't seem fazed and soon got up to speed. It would be good to see him given longer, at least 30 minutes, next time out.
Derek Knox, really sorry I couldn't make it to The Bramley Moore, work commitments meant I had to choose between Goodison Park and the get-together. Obviously too close to call but Goodison Park just edged it. Hope it went well and look forward to the next one.
107 Posted 26/09/2021 at 11:00:13
Two quick points. Firstly, I couldn't understand why Rafa played Iwobi wide left, if he's anything (and we can have a discussion if he is anything) he is by his own admission a No 10, whereas Gray is better out wide.
Secondly, some posters have mentioned our paper-thin squad, when in fact, apart from no cover for the full-backs (which is crazy), the squad is okay. The problem seems to be that Finch Farm was built on an old Indian burial site which has cursed us. In the years I've been following Everton, I can't recall a season where every player was injured (like last season), and not just for a couple of games, sometimes for months on end, and this season is shaping as 2020-21 Part II.
We've got 6/7 centre-midfielders, two of them haven't played 5 games between them in 2 seasons, one of them was done by Son and hasn't been the same since, Tom Davies splits opinion; oh and a certain former Swansea player, who isn't training with the kids but is apparently playing with them.
In addition, there are very few clubs that could cope with 2 frontline strikers out and the 3rd striker 30% fit. Even Chelsea would struggle with no Lukaku & Havertz and a 30% fit Timo Werner.
Taken all of this into consideration, I'm surprised anyone is moaning! But this is ToffeeWeb after all. There's been calls to play Dobbin & Simms but I can envisage what would happen. The calls to play them would be deafening, and the first mishit pass or missed sitter, it would be, “Kid's shite” “Championship quality” “worst player I've seen in a blue shirt” We have been here before.
So we'll just have to tough it out, stop slagging off a player who is patently not match fit, and take the points when we can until the curse is lifted.
108 Posted 26/09/2021 at 11:26:33
The claim that he had a hand in our second goal while Gray played his part "too" gave me a good laugh too. Allan was in the clear and couldn't get away from his man. He was tackled and lost possession. Gray picked up the pieces, took the ball on, then put Doucouré in to score a great goal. Gray didn't just play a key part "too". He was the sole creator of the chance.
109 Posted 26/09/2021 at 11:30:27
So far this season, we've gone in 1 - 0 down at half-time against Southampton and conceded a relatively late goal against Burnley. To come back in both to win 3 - 1. And although we lost on penalties, came back twice against QPR.
Fasten your seatbelt, Andrew, as we're going to see a lot more of this. We only show quality in fleeting glimpses (eg, the 6-minute spurt against Burnley). But mostly this team and this season will be about working hard and grinding out results.
Not my preference, but that's where we are.
110 Posted 26/09/2021 at 12:00:05
Daren, he doesn't get away without; you highlighted it in your post at 102 and again in post 106.
111 Posted 26/09/2021 at 12:12:32
112 Posted 26/09/2021 at 12:43:21
Allan played well yesterday in my opinion. I gave it a watch back and it is still his initial pressing that changes the situation. Gray is involved, assists in winning back possession in the first phase and then picks up the ball from the second phase before feeding Doucouré.
Neither are solely responsible. Allan starts it with good proactive, front foot pressing, But it is excellent "hunt in packs" midfield play from both players. All 3 if you include Doucouré.
We all see it different and we all have different views on players, but we're debating a positive here.
113 Posted 26/09/2021 at 12:46:47
This wasn't vintage by any stretch but, if winning ugly is the way for now, so be it.
My only surprise with regard to Rafa is why he left Rondon on so long. Give Simms and/or Dobbin 20 minutes to harass and chase! On to the theatre of moaners next week.
114 Posted 26/09/2021 at 12:51:27
Some of us are capable of seeing the good and bad in a player's performance – whether we have a particular fondness or distaste for said player. It can get very tedious when others habitually only seem capable of seeing the positives or negatives, depending on their long-standing position on said player.
The idea that you (of all people on here) are trying to argue for a more balanced critique of player performance flies in the face of your longstanding preference for academy graduates over anyone that Ancelotti signed – seemingly based solely on that classification. Very good of you to give Allan a “pass” though.
I think the term is “entrenched”.
115 Posted 26/09/2021 at 13:00:18
Personally, I'm quite happy leaving the ground in a relaxed mood, not full of stress and anxiety due to Everton making hard work of playing against a team we should, and now are, beating.
We also have to take into account injuries. Any team would struggle without their two main strikers and captain.
Personally, I thought Doucoure and Allan were superb in the midfield, especially as they were against superior numbers. If either of those two get injured, we will miss them badly. Ben Godfrey looks like he is still struggling for fitness. He seems lethargic compared to his normal self. Hopefully that will come sooner rather than later.
I was also surprised that Iwobi was out on the wing. When I saw the team sheet, I assumed he was in the No 10 role and Gray out on the flank but was surprised that Gray played as another striker, albeit slightly behind Rondon.
Special mention for Townsend; I thought he put his heart and soul into the game yet again. I admit I had doubts about his signing but so far, I'm more than happy to eat humble pie. Long may it continue.
The only drawback from yesterday is the defence. Every time there is a cross into the box, it seems to send panic into the players. We really need to work on that.
Overall though, a comfortable afternoon and it was nice to walk out with a feeling of job done.
116 Posted 26/09/2021 at 13:20:10
As for him having a good game ?. I`d hate to see him having a bad one . . He was getting such a schooling from Normann until the Norwegian did his hammy.
I've never once expressed a preference for academy players. Thats an exceptionally stupid statement. I want them to succeed. thats for sure, because it saves our club millions.But I want the best players, but I want them all to be treated the same way. I have repeatedly called for patience when academy boys have had to step in for "million dollar" superstars. Thats because I recognise the stupidity of abusing them... Some hope fo it happening tough.
The superstar can make a complete cheshire cat of himself (see Allan yesterday), but woe betide the academy boy who plays a stray pass... The idea that Davies gets away with it because he is local is some sort of sick joke.
BTW I posted on another thread praising Allan for his good work. winning the penalty...That because I call it as I see it. I don't do favourites. I do winners. If any player does well I will praise him. Balance !
Brian. Yes I did mention it because if I didnt, we would have been 113 posts in and nobody would have mentioned it. Why is that ? it was easily the most embarrassing challenges I've seen for years can you imagine if that was Holgate or JJK ? They're still bleating about a foul Davis committed on the half way line against Newcasle two seasons ago.
Entrenched ? Too fucken right they're entrenched
117 Posted 26/09/2021 at 13:24:28
Hi to Dave Abrahams, you've let me down, Dave. I was hoping that you and I could boast a 100% attendance at the get-togethers, I hope that you will be well enough to make it for the next one. The only way I can describe the Bramley Moore is to refer to it as a country pub on the Dock Road, the perfect place to discuss current affairs, and an ideal place for reminiscing. You were missed, Dave, so get yourself better in time for the next episode. John.
118 Posted 26/09/2021 at 13:25:17
Anyone who doesn't know the story about Dia, YouTube or Google it.
119 Posted 26/09/2021 at 13:32:33
That said, I agree with you on the broader point of needing to be careful about criticising the younger players, because it must be difficult for a young player to have much impact in games where the team overall and the more senior players aren't performing well.
I also agree with you about Davies. The only ones on this site who mention him being a local boy are those who criticise him! I can't recall anyone defending him doing so on the basis that he's local. The local thing is a complete invention by some of those who wish to criticise him.
I thought the game was generally controlled by us, and the win was comfortable. There's no point in busting a gut in a game if it's unnecessary, especially when there are injuries and there's added impetus for no more injuries.
120 Posted 26/09/2021 at 13:35:12
I agree with you, Darren, we shouldn't (and I don't) have a preference for where a player comes from – be that from Liverpool, another part of the UK, abroad or the academy. We just want good players playing with desire and commitment to back up their ability.
And although we'll all have favourites (natural) as well as those who grate us (natural), we should praise all and criticise all based on performance. But that will always come down to how we see it. And most often, we all see the same game differently. That's football, right?
I think collectively most of us saw the overall game similarly yesterday. We're just talking about interpretation of an individual player's performance.
121 Posted 26/09/2021 at 13:45:15
It was an absolute pleasure to meet in person with you and the rest of the crew.
I didn't expect the kind gesture from Derek Knox but wore it home. Not realising I hadn't cut the label off! The only songs on the platform at Euston were Everton ones. Brilliant!
Derek, let me know how that collection is going.
122 Posted 26/09/2021 at 13:58:42
They break up opposition play very well;, if they lose the ball, they seek to retrieve it straight away and succeed a lot of the time. I think we are so much better with both in the team.
123 Posted 26/09/2021 at 14:02:51
I think the ref let two blatant yellows go on the Norwich side in cynical attempts to prevent counter-attacks on Gray and Doucouré.
124 Posted 26/09/2021 at 14:15:15
After reading your comment on Allan, I sat back and thought, how can someone have a different outcome, on a performance on the same player?
Then I saw Danny's post, which seemed to have a similar viewpoint as the performance I saw.
I cannot disagree that there was the odd stray pass but, from what I saw, he broke up so many attacks, winning tackle after tackle, he was everywhere, although he's not got the legs of Doucouré, he still managed to get in the danger area, to draw the penalty.
Quite a few had a decent game; Mina certainly did. However, with Godfrey, I will stick by my other posts of Godfrey not suited to playing on the right-hand side. I have yet to see him play a good game, out on the right.
Overall, I thought Allan and Doucouré had decent games yesterday.
That is what makes this site so good, how opinions can be split, people see things different, no right or wrong, but interesting how differing viewpoints are seen and made.
125 Posted 26/09/2021 at 14:16:31
Sorry, but I won't be drinking the Hind Kool-Aid; your prolific posting history lays bare where your personal bias consistently lies, and whatever balance you may like to claim you provide is thoroughly undone by that history.
But do let me know where to catch you in pantomime this Christmas as it would be fun to see you doing your thing live.
126 Posted 26/09/2021 at 14:22:20
127 Posted 26/09/2021 at 14:42:26
Yes, sorry about that, but I missed yesterday's and the Burnley game so that tells you that I wasn't well enough to go. Glad you could make it and meet up with some lovely people, you've had your own set-backs regarding your health in the last 12 months so I say well done on getting there yesterday, especially after seeing another home victory to brighten your day.
I hope to see you at the next meeting along with all the other ToffeeWebbers who come to meet up.
128 Posted 26/09/2021 at 14:50:42
It's fairly simple. Having defended his boy Davies to the hilt for what seems ever, despite the fact to most impartial watchers that he will never be a top-quality Premier League midfield player and probably will end up at a Championship club, he frames his comments about Allan in some desperate attempt to keep his position going.
Most Evertonians can see Allan provides something to the team that is required. He may lack some technical ability but he does the ugly stuff and puts in the hard yards. We haven't got another player in the squad currently who can do that nearly so effectively.
129 Posted 26/09/2021 at 14:51:23
130 Posted 26/09/2021 at 14:54:50
I haven't seen anything special from Rondon, but I don't think your colourful description of him is warranted.
I remember when Everton signed Roy Vernon in February 1960, he made his debut against Wolves who had just returned from a defeat in the European Cup to Barcelona. My first impression of Vernon in the 2-0 defeat was, "Why have we bought this scraggy underweight forward"?
He went on to score 6 goals in the next 4 games. I'm not suggesting that Rondon should be compared to Vernon; what I am pointing out is the fact that players deserve a reasonable amount of time before they can be written off as failures, certainly longer than the short time Rondon's been with the club.
131 Posted 26/09/2021 at 15:00:56
If it means anything to you, I agree that Allan did break up lots of Norwich's play. I just think he sold himself very badly on a couple of occasions and his passing was generally poor. I think there is a tendency to big up and exaggerate his performances on this site by people who thought and said we had signed the "Brazilian Peter Reid". It's a kind of face-saving exercise.
He did win the penalty and I'm not sure we would have gone on to win it if he hadn't. So, although I didn't see any creativity in his play, he played a very big part in the result...
Hope that's a good compromise.
132 Posted 26/09/2021 at 15:10:03
I was being sincere when I said that you were missed, and I fully understand that it must have been something serious to prevent you from attending. I felt isolated being [as some describe], an 'Old Fart'. As I wrote in my last post, get well soon, because there's safety in numbers.
133 Posted 26/09/2021 at 15:23:33
Yes no problem. See you at future meetings, glad you enjoyed the venue.
134 Posted 26/09/2021 at 15:37:50
I don't think we have anyone in our squad who couldn't improve on more than one aspect of their game. Some need to improve on all aspects!
We both know only too well by reading and posting on here that no two people see the games or performances the same. As you say, it's all about opinion mate. I mean, I'm sure there are posters who think Iwobi is a superstar. 😳
135 Posted 26/09/2021 at 15:38:28
And would a little Mott the Hoople be a problem?
136 Posted 26/09/2021 at 15:39:57
I never said Tom Davies would make a top player, but make no apologies for defending him or any other academy player against bile from people like you. Not today. not ever.
You showed your true colours when gloating when one of your own academy players missed a penalty the other night on the Live Forum. No disappointment, just glee.
I would love to hear why calling Allan for repeatedly sliding in like a primary school boy constitutes "framing him"... Did you not watch the game? He got no help from me. It was all his own work.
Take a look at how far he slides past Normann, count the yards. I have never seen anything like it from a professional footballer. You say nothing.
You make me laugh.
137 Posted 26/09/2021 at 15:43:58
I don't think you would have enjoyed The Bramley Moore, the roar that went up from the group (your son included) when Brentford's goals went in was dreadfully unsporting!
138 Posted 26/09/2021 at 15:44:56
"Time warp". Let's throw it all out then – the honours, trophies, all the history. After all, anything post-millenium is of course "Old school... analogue..."
139 Posted 26/09/2021 at 15:46:29
I totally agree. I cant imagine going the game and not hearing Z-Cars. makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Always has and always will.
140 Posted 26/09/2021 at 15:51:26
I'm sure there are probably a few closeted Per Krøldrup fans on here too. Takes all sorts...
141 Posted 26/09/2021 at 16:02:44
I think I might have raised my glass to the Brentford goals along with your good self, especially the third one!!
Peter, thanks for your earlier post.
142 Posted 26/09/2021 at 16:03:27
And sadly hounded by the Goodison crowd towards the end.
143 Posted 26/09/2021 at 16:04:35
144 Posted 26/09/2021 at 16:12:48
145 Posted 26/09/2021 at 16:14:11
146 Posted 26/09/2021 at 16:14:33
Godfrey looks like he's still got a load of virus in his system, at times he looked like he was running through treacle.
Iwobi – all I can say in his favour is that at least he keeps himself fit.
But, a win is a win, clean sheet too. And Doucouré, Gray and Townsend were excellent.
147 Posted 26/09/2021 at 16:30:03
There are from where I live, Hereford.
148 Posted 26/09/2021 at 16:39:46
“I never said Tom Davies would make a top player”
Do me a favour, the internet keeps receipts. First two I found, I'm sure there is a veritable treasure trove.
"Rhino did a superb job of polishing this diamond and his bullish insistence that the kid was good enough to play has proven spot on."
"I said earlier that I always knew Tom Davies would prove the poor judges wrong, but he has started to exceed the expectations of even his biggest supporters. He may not be content to be just an ordinary swan. Looks to me as if he is hell-bent on becoming a very fine one indeed."
Tom Davies was an academy player, he's now a fully signed-on professional who won't make the grade. He got the same reaction as any player who took a piss-poor penalty which saw us knocked out of a cup competition.
As for Allan I'm pretty sure most are happier when he plays.
149 Posted 26/09/2021 at 16:53:33
Could never figure out if 'My Coo Ca Choo' was about a Scottish bovine animal that still had most of its teeth, or one of those sixties lyrics that didn't mean a lot at all! 🐮🤔🤦♂️
150 Posted 26/09/2021 at 17:16:30
If so, who would you replace him with?
152 Posted 26/09/2021 at 17:30:13
Hi John. I agree by giving players a chance but Rondon has been around the houses, unlike Vernon. Rondon's anticipation when the ball comes into the box is zero, never won one ball in the air – that's not all about how fit you are.
I hope you prove me wrong, John.
153 Posted 26/09/2021 at 17:45:18
154 Posted 26/09/2021 at 17:45:31
Truly staggering record. He's made 50 starts in the last 3 seasons, he's clearly not considered first choice and the inevitable fact is he will be playing somewhere else ie in the Championship or for some team fighting relegation in the not too distant future.
I was never a particularly vocal critic as he had to develop. It's as clear as the nose on your face he's not done that. But thanks for the education, thanks for the Blur but let me give you a little Shakespeare.
"The lady doth protest too much, methinks."
155 Posted 26/09/2021 at 17:55:27
Since you brought up appearances, can you honestly name a worse player who's played the same or more games than Davies? He's crept ahead of Anichebe now who at least had some match-winning performances.
156 Posted 26/09/2021 at 17:57:03
I would start Allan, I think he can do a very similar job to the one Mark Noble has been doing at West Ham for years. That doesn't make him immune to criticism.
157 Posted 26/09/2021 at 17:57:07
158 Posted 26/09/2021 at 17:58:36
Good meeting everyone again, at The Bramley Moore pub after the game. It must have been their busiest night for years! I did ask the land-lady to consider getting some decent beers in before our next meeting. They have lots of fizzy pop type imitation lagers but no real ale. I had to settle for John Smith's.
There was some sort of rave happening in a warehouse, just behind the pub, and I did think of making a night of it but then remembered my bus/train pass is only valid up until midnight!!
Just a word of warning for anyone commenting on the player we don't name. No charges have yet been brought and, if none are, anyone making allegations/insinuations on here, or anywhere else, could be leaving themselves wide open to defamation litigation.
159 Posted 26/09/2021 at 18:05:15
Has there been anyone on here casting aspersions with regard to Sigurdsson?
Haven't noticed any myself.
160 Posted 26/09/2021 at 18:06:13
161 Posted 26/09/2021 at 18:26:06
On the subject of Mina, I think he's one of those players who's a touch loopy.
When the teams came out for the second half, he fist-bumped Daniel Farke, which made me laugh at the time.
You're right though, he had a good game.
162 Posted 26/09/2021 at 18:29:22
Anyway, the match. There is, for me, a monumental difference between being at the match and watching on TV. I am so pleased to be there that critical facilities go out the window. (I thought the ref had a blinder!)
I cannot see how Norwich will win a game, they are truly awful. I thought we were fine. Mina, for me, was Man of the Match. If we have any semblance of quality, it is him. I thought Iwobi was good, (sorry, Derek, and anyone else at The Bramley Moore). He offers what little guile we have. Townsend and Gray are diamonds.
Rondon? I said to the lads after the game that he reminds me of one of the heavyweights who came out of retirement after James Douglas beat Mike Tyson. Right down to the elasticated shorts. I know he is not match-fit, but you don't get match-fit by ambling round like he does. Tom came on and was a burst of energy; our striker was just, well cumbersome.
Finally, Danny made a good point about the guy behind us. It was just utterly lamentable. I have heard supporters give players stick, but this was special. Relentless abuse of every player. He was called out about his homophobia but his use of the word "retard" was just bad. I rarely get to games so I don't know what passes as okay. However, his pals and those around him seemed to regard him as a "character".
Anyway, we won and it was brilliant!
163 Posted 26/09/2021 at 18:32:16
It is all about opinions. A lad behind me advocated Godfrey being subbed at HT because "he's been shite."
What team changes a full back when you are winning and been under no pressure whatsoever from their front line, God only knows. However, he has his views, I have mine.
Personally, I think Mina is our most effective centre-half at this time.
164 Posted 26/09/2021 at 18:37:35
Fabio Silva has called Mina the most annoying player in the league to play against.
“He's Colombian, so I think it's part of his culture to try to get into your head; play mind games; say things to provoke you.”
Hopefully he's getting ready to wind up Ronaldo and Co.
165 Posted 26/09/2021 at 19:02:24
What I don't understand is how Darren seems to judge a player is good or not because of the amount of appearances. Andy O'Brien has 280 appearances in the Premier League and he was shite. He played so many times because there was no-one else available to play at Newcastle and Bolton. I'd argue that is why Tom has played so many games for us over the last 3 seasons.
Like so many Everton academy prospects, they seem to burst into the first team, look great for 12 months, then suddenly become bog average.
The reality is the only 2 teams linked with Tom in the last few seasons have been Southampton and Newcastle. That tells you how he is viewed in the Premier League. If he isn't good enough for Top 6 sides, then he shouldn't be good enough for our aspirations.
I hope he rediscovers his early promise; I've not seen any evidence of it. Too inconsistent unfortunately so far.
Hopefully Rafa can put some confidence in him. Worked wonders with the likes of Townsend and Gray.
166 Posted 26/09/2021 at 19:20:01
Most of the criticism comes when they have a bad game, but it is difficult for a player to come on from the bench and be an instant success.
We do not seem to have many youngsters coming up through the ranks as some of the top teams do, but I blame this on the change of managers who want to play in a different style and the teams below the first team are playing in the style of whoever coaches them.
This could change if we keep Benitez, as he wants all teams from the youngest to the first team to play in the same style and commitment so it becomes easier for a player to move up to the next level.
With Davies, I seem to remember him against one of the poorer defending teams, I believe it was Man City, showing what his capabilities are.
167 Posted 26/09/2021 at 19:25:56
The rumours were that Benitez wanted to swap Davies for Longstaff, so not a good start for Tom, who has been kicked from pillar to post (everyone playing him a bit differently in a mostly struggling team) by four different managers, and then a fifth comes in and tries to get rid of him before he'd kicked a ball?
I personally think we are going to need Davies over the coming months, so I hope he can find some confidence, which he does seem to be lacking right now.
168 Posted 26/09/2021 at 19:27:11
Players like Davies care and have some good games too. Probably never quite first choice but better local youth than a Delph or Martina to provide depth in the squad.
169 Posted 26/09/2021 at 19:32:38
I never saw him win one header or tackle yesterday, fairly.
His face was priceless everytime we made a sub, he had a look of please let it be number 33 on the board,
By the time he gets match fit, Calvert-Lewin will be back.
170 Posted 26/09/2021 at 20:04:26
171 Posted 26/09/2021 at 20:57:46
172 Posted 26/09/2021 at 21:06:21
173 Posted 26/09/2021 at 21:57:39
174 Posted 26/09/2021 at 22:01:48
Rewind 12 months and two years and 32 years, well done Everton FC.
Grit and results, and QPR, aside, well done Rafa and you show you care.
Early days, and apologies for missing BMD, as I have been working away, the last couple of weeks, and the Family comes first.
Like supporting Everton, make the best of every day, and the appetite to get back, to consistency continues, but I'm seeing a vein, early days with Rafa and the coaches, - better elan, spirit, and emotion, than the last couple of Everton managers.
But all matters Everton, proud of the start and at least theres a level of spirit and team desire, which under the last manager was almost expelled from the squad.
Back to the next game.
Some days, down there in the past, great days, and some hammerings, but Rafa, will have a plan, and seeing at what Villa done, Everton, can do the same.
Ellis Simms in the squad?
If hes fit, its his day to make?
176 Posted 26/09/2021 at 01:58:18
If he can continue in making mostly duds into semi-effective players, and achieving results along the way he is good for me!
179 Posted 27/09/2021 at 09:32:05
180 Posted 27/09/2021 at 09:57:25
181 Posted 27/09/2021 at 10:03:54
Bill @166. I've said that repeatedly about Klopp's Liverpool. It's a system throughout the club and consistent coaching of the style and requirements. It makes it easier for young players to step up as they understand it.
To Tony's point about Davies and Kenny. As young players, they've not had stability and consistency. I think Davies has developed well and benefited from having players like Allan around him. I'd like to keep him as part of the squad. More than ever, it's a squad game now. But if what we're reading is true, maybe he's not in this manager's plans and if so, it's better for him to move on. I'm sure he'd be gutted, but he has to think of his career.
183 Posted 27/09/2021 at 10:13:05
As far as I can see, Darren said that Allan did some things well but also made a few errors that, if they were made by Davies, would be met with unjustly heavy criticism. He also said that anyone would struggle in that position when we defend as deep as we do with Mina and Keane in the team.
All very true.
185 Posted 27/09/2021 at 12:29:11
Will Gbamin play again? If not, would you rather be Delph or Davies play?
Let's back him to get back to his form as we do not have money to bring another midfielder in.
186 Posted 27/09/2021 at 12:36:18
I agree he provides cover at the moment and fair dos for him wanting to stay when he was offered a route out in the summer. I do suspect that, after his ‘staggering' appearance record, he's yet to show he's got the quality that is required. As he enters the final year of his contract next season, I would not be surprised to see him move on in the summer.
187 Posted 27/09/2021 at 13:03:25
Five permanent managers since 2016 has impacted the planned development path of our young players, as well as leading to an unbalanced and overpaid squad. Hate to say it, but I am impressed by how seamlessly young players at Liverpool slot into the first team line-up. That is down to stability and a defined style of play that all their teams follow.
Tom Davies has been a successful Academy graduate by any assessment. He has averaged 25 league appearances over the last 5 years and every manager has picked him. He might not a future England midfielder, but frankly I don't care about that in the slightest. His versatility and acumen has probably cost him, as he can adapt to multiple roles. But he would be the midfielder I would retain for that reason.
There is no doubt that the Academy players, as Darren says, have been judged more harshly on occasion than the senior pros we have suffered over the last 5 years. Williams, Miralles, Schneiderlin, Funes Mori, Delph and the Nameless One - to name but a few - have stole a living from Everton but received less stick.
189 Posted 27/09/2021 at 16:46:54
Long term crocks who rarely play are the club's bad risk gambles in most cases not paying off. You can see why, when having invested heavily in a player and bound by contracts and no resale value, what are the club's supposed to do? Run down the contract is the only option.
All clubs in elite leagues are constrained to operate like this; Everton is not the only one. The real thieves and stealers of money have been the four previous managers... and again, the Club agreed to their contacts.
190 Posted 27/09/2021 at 17:22:29
191 Posted 27/09/2021 at 17:50:01
Probably the fact that he's done fuck-all in the last 4½ years despite, as you point out, averaging a decent number of games for the club. Some of the other players that came in at least did something, somewhere else, giving them a higher value in the average person's eyes. Tom Davies has only got his Everton career – which has been shit, to say the least.
192 Posted 27/09/2021 at 18:04:09
193 Posted 27/09/2021 at 18:23:28
194 Posted 27/09/2021 at 18:36:26
Changing managers and DoFs from one style to another and not having players to build around. If the shape and style was there, younger players could come in on a sound base. Perhaps now though, having trimmed down the squad, we will have the space to at least give these players a go and in a specific role.
I don't like Benitez but he is much more suited to the role than our last manager. We will finish higher than last season but be more aware of what we are. The test will come when he gets money to spend and if they can improve us. I'd like to know what he thinks he can achieve with a small club such as ours.
195 Posted 27/09/2021 at 18:55:11
196 Posted 27/09/2021 at 18:57:37
In any skills contest between he and Niasse, Angell and Bernie Wright, he'd finish fifth. He is being gifted a living by his old mate!
197 Posted 27/09/2021 at 20:03:18
198 Posted 27/09/2021 at 20:22:04
I had thought Raffa was too wise to prolong the nonsense that our club has become but I was obviously giving him too much credit!
199 Posted 27/09/2021 at 20:29:42
Why don't you put that credit in Benitez's bank for a few weeks and see how Rafa and Rondon turn out. Benitez, I still think, is the best manager we could have appointed in the summer out of those who were available and wanted to manage the club.
You must admit, surely Derek, that the Everton job is a very difficult one, the way the club have been run and the squad that has been left for any manager to turn around.
200 Posted 27/09/2021 at 20:30:58
A cousin said he watched the Norwich game on hesgoal and thought he saw Townsend going over to acknowledge Joel Ward, the Palace player, there with a youngster?
I have my doubts but anyone have any idea?
201 Posted 27/09/2021 at 20:42:57
I criticize the signing, not the player.
202 Posted 27/09/2021 at 20:46:15
203 Posted 27/09/2021 at 20:54:09
204 Posted 27/09/2021 at 20:59:25
I was getting told off a man, who used to watch Newcastle on a regular basis, that it took Rondon 3 months to get up to speed when he played for the Geordies. If this is the case, I think it's a desperate signing. I understood what Michael Ball said about him keeping two central defenders back but the man is clearly off the pace in arguably the fastest league in the world.
205 Posted 27/09/2021 at 21:01:41
He comes out competitive in ONE category but even that's deceptive. Osman did 471 crosses in 352 games. Tom has 48 in 132 Games. So Osman was getting more than a cross per game, Tom gets one in every three. Leon had a good cross in about a third of his games, Tom has a good cross in about 8% of his games. So the one area his stats look OK, his numbers in that category are beyond negligible.
For now, we can't afford any better so we keep him as a squad player out of desperation. But the fact remains, he is a poor player based on every metric (not to mention he is the slowest player based on stats now that James has gone) so people need to stop drawing attention to him and bigging him up. Let him quietly pick up his paycheck for as long as desperation allows but don't pretend he is better than anyone else we've had in the last 10 years as he simply isn't.
206 Posted 27/09/2021 at 21:01:55
I think that is a very wise comment all round on the situation – look at Spurs if we want to see other potential 'available' managers. It is early days and anything could happen but, on current performance, Rafa Benitez has gotten most of what anyone could out of the tools he has to work with.
The next few player acquisitions, whenever they arrive, should give us a broader view of his direction and also who is most influential between him and the Director of Football – I have more faith in the manager after seeing Brands's performance at the club.
207 Posted 27/09/2021 at 21:07:13
208 Posted 27/09/2021 at 21:17:43
209 Posted 27/09/2021 at 21:28:34
210 Posted 27/09/2021 at 21:28:45
I'm deeply grateful for the compliment... which shows you how desperate I am for compliments.
I must disagree with the term "off the pace". It implies that he had any pace to begin with.
211 Posted 27/09/2021 at 21:34:29
212 Posted 27/09/2021 at 21:39:29
He's not been allowed to be a Director of Football in the sense I interpret the role and I acknowledge there will be different interpretations.
From the onset he had interference in what is supposed to be his job based on the direction he receives. Owner, Chairman, the merry-go-round of Managers; they've all given mixed direction and interfered in the transfer policy (if we can call it that). And with the last and current managers, he's working with "alpha" managers who want it their way with their players. He isn't fully empowered in the sense I understand the DoF position. If you implement it, you go full-on, don't half-bake it.
To counter my defence, I can only assume he:
a. Genuinely likes being at Everton
b. Enjoys his new-found board status
c. Likes the money
d. All of the above
Because, if I was him and from a purely professional basis, I'd have walked by now.
Evertonian though? That is a cringeworthy comment. I think arse-kissing is another term for it!!!
213 Posted 27/09/2021 at 21:43:57
214 Posted 27/09/2021 at 21:46:33
215 Posted 27/09/2021 at 21:48:53
216 Posted 27/09/2021 at 21:54:40
Mike G, often foals around on the Live Forum, but I won't nag him about it!
217 Posted 27/09/2021 at 22:00:47
Maybe given the complex nepotism structures built up at Finch Farm over the last 30 years, the manager needs a loyalty card in and around the place – who could blame him?
218 Posted 27/09/2021 at 22:12:46
219 Posted 27/09/2021 at 22:18:20
220 Posted 28/09/2021 at 09:01:16
Spot on. Why is he still here?
Steve Walsh and Koeman started the free-spending era. Marcel Brands has had his hands tied, with the merry-go-round of managers wanting their own players brought in:
Marco Silva, least said the better, with the exception of Richarlison. Big Sam made a couple of signings, Walcott in particular, allowed to leave on a free!!! Carlo brought his entourage with him, and looking in from the outside, bypassed Brands by phoning players personally, what does that say about the role of DoF?
£500m in the Moshiri era, and we have stagnated, and now FFP has tied our hands even further. What part did Brands and others play in negotiating James wages?
So back to my original point. Why is Brands still here? His perceived reputation should have clubs queuing up to take him on!
221 Posted 28/09/2021 at 09:30:32
However, there's not a lot of clarity about what his job actually is.
We (I include myself in this) often see him as a kind of glorified super-scout but I don't think this is really accurate at all.
It's probably more accurate to see him as:
- someone who negotiates the deals / secures the signings the manager wants
- someone tasked with restructuring the scouting network and academy
In this respect he has made progress and could even have done an excellent job. Could take years to assess one way or another - especially for the mere fans like us on the outside looking in.
What role he has in actually selecting the transfer targets and determining transfer strategy I've no idea.
It seems like he is one of the influential voices but doesn't have the final say. Maybe it would be better if he did.
222 Posted 28/09/2021 at 10:21:40
223 Posted 28/09/2021 at 10:26:46
224 Posted 28/09/2021 at 10:36:49
225 Posted 28/09/2021 at 10:48:00
226 Posted 28/09/2021 at 11:01:10
We can't say, Nicholas - otherwise he'd no longer be the unspoken one!
227 Posted 28/09/2021 at 11:15:39
So Moshiri seems committed to the role of having a DOF without having a clear idea of what he wanted from his DOF, again it just highlights how little he understands the football world. So is it any wonder fans are questioning the role of Marcel Brands as nobody seems to know what his role is and sadly that includes the owner. I think if I had spent the best part of £450 million and watched the club go backwards I would be questioning my decision making. But I think for both Moshiri and Usmanov as long as we stay in the Premier league to protect their investment which with a new stadium and probably new hotel they will make their investment back and some when they sell the club.
So yes we can ask what does the DOF do, but the real question is what are Moshiri/Usmanov doing to help this club challenge for honours, because so far to me this is just another project to their extensive portfolio. Were if they were to get some success then that would be a bonus, but we should have known when Moshiri complained after a year in charge that he only expected the ownership of Everton to take up about 5% of his time, that should have set alarm bells off.
228 Posted 28/09/2021 at 11:20:43
Seamus Coleman: 5ft 10
Leighton Baines: 5ft 7
Lucas Digne: 5ft 10
Thierry (very) Small: 5ft 9
Even across the park:
Robertson: 5ft 10
Alexander-Arnold: 5ft 9
There was a match years ago against Portsmouth when they targeted our small fullbacks with diagonals with success, but providing we play on the front foot and use them accordingly, I don't care how big or small they are!
It's like midfielders. Probably the best English midfielder of his generation in my opinion, was the not particularly speedy, 5ft 6 Paul Scholes.
Calma Danny as they say in Italy.
229 Posted 28/09/2021 at 11:22:52
As Brent says we still cant mention his name but just to give you a small clue, the player who cant be mentioned hasn't kicked a ball for us this season, while being virtually an ever present last year and he isn't injured. He also captained the club on a number of occasions last season.
230 Posted 28/09/2021 at 11:37:34
Negatives: we still start way too slowly and we lack real drive and belief at times. We now travel to Man Utd next Saturday for the first live game with the world watching, then again if Villa can go there and win!...
231 Posted 28/09/2021 at 11:52:04
Bobby Collins, 5' 0"
Alan Ball 5' 0"
Lionel Messi 4' 11"
Diamonds are always smaller than bricks.
232 Posted 28/09/2021 at 11:59:46
233 Posted 28/09/2021 at 12:06:50
Performances, however, are not great but that may change when all are fully fit again as I think Rafa is more into his job than Ancelotti ever was.
The signing of Gray and Townsend was a master stroke although Rondon still has to step up.
Big, big test coming up, however.
234 Posted 28/09/2021 at 12:29:00
235 Posted 28/09/2021 at 13:02:43
I have been pleased by pleased with Benitez ability to get the work and effort out of the players. He has also kept going in spite of the errors of Mina and Digne and has developed a good core of four players as the spine of the team. This has been founded on his hands-on approach, with loyal team lieutenants at Finch Farm and keeping going with some below-par players who needed game time.
He has managed to produce a good performance after the dreaded international break and got a rebound result after a defeat.
What has been exposed is the inadequacies of certain players to fit into his plan for Everton. Iowbi does fit in, though his left foot is a problem. Davies is not on the page and Rodriguez never was.
I do think that he does still have a fight on his hands. Brands is part of the comfy culture of Everton joining Usworth and other ex-players. This is an unproductive core that is difficult for Benitez to circumnavigate, as he has done with training, by his hands-on approach.
Rondom will improve. . . He has better positional sense, always attacking the near post, more than Calvert-Lewin, match-fitness still being needed.
236 Posted 28/09/2021 at 13:05:12
Or maybe we leave it to Bill?
237 Posted 28/09/2021 at 13:08:03
Don't take too much offence please: have you been out of the country for a few months? Or up into space? :)
238 Posted 28/09/2021 at 13:08:39
Changing the subject quickly, I see we are trying to bring in Luka Jovic on loan, in January. Now we are talking, that guy certainly knows where the net is, with either foot, or head.
Might be hard pushed if Rondon gets out of his "dragging a tree strapped behind him while running in treacle" mode.
239 Posted 28/09/2021 at 13:23:02
If you are referring to a DOF, it depends on who it is.
Walsh really was a football scout for Leicester and brought some good players there but that's all he was: a scout.
Brands was a different choice, he had a say in how the Dutch club he was with were run and he looked after all aspects of the club, including transfers. I thought he was a good choice when he came... but he now seems to have found a nice comfy spot at the club without doing anything in particular to change anything different to the way we were.
His latest “signing” is a foreign Academy coach from Fleetwood!! Not sure how he is helping Benitez to change the culture at Everton and Finch Farm that has prevailed there for too long.
240 Posted 28/09/2021 at 13:25:20
You are right of course and a lot of us have been saying the same for a few years now. I guess our current state was inevitable.
How do you spend millions on players, plus wages... plus wage contributions when they have a different shirt on? 3 years of that for Sando. No buyer.
We can't blame Brands for the purchase of Sandro. Or for Bolasie (when all along it was the younger Zaha we should have gone for). Many head-scratching decisions.
We are not even back to square one yet. There's still Tosun. Also of course the unfortunate Sigurdsson situation. Looking at our squad, there is Pickford, Gray, Holgate, Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison that will sell for more than we got them for. Signings like Lescott, Stones and Lukaku seem a distant memory... or notion, to actually make money on player sales?
As we go forward, who will or can we sell? And can we have any bit of confidence we can use any money we bring in to buy the right players? I don't mind part-time fillers like Townsend (as good a character as he has been) but younger players that can be given the time and opportunity to make the next step themselves yet make the contribution we need.
That brings me back to Brands. What kind of relationship does he have with agents?
The game seems very corrupt to me and l'm waiting to see when the wheels will fall off or if they will. Is it his relationship with agents that prevented a fee for so many of the players that have recently left us? We must be millions up from last season with all the players to have left. No real fees to talk about but saved wages add up alarmingly. Off the top of my head, it's around £400-£500 thousand a week saved. That plus whatever for Bernard means we are £10-£15M better off by the time January comes along.
Sounds good. But how much better should it be? Why did it take so long to get those players off our books when they obviously had no future here?
Too many questions... l could go on and on. Which l did. (But it could be worse.)
241 Posted 28/09/2021 at 13:30:52
The unnamed player is Sigurdsson – presently under investigation by the authorities regarding an allegation.
242 Posted 28/09/2021 at 13:41:20
I agree with everything you say about Walsh, one half of the first decision that Moshiri got disastrously wrong, along with Koeman, that we're still paying for.
Just maybe, Dave, Rafa is helping Brands with changing the culture, whereas he's been a lone voice up to now.
We don't know of course, but I keep coming back to the several months it took for Brands to sign his contract, after it was announced as a done deal in February. There must have been some debate about the nature and parameters of what the job should be, and what he required.
But I ask again, as it comes up time and again, in a Football Club, what is wrong with having a Football Director on the Board? As a principle rather than being about personalities.
243 Posted 28/09/2021 at 13:42:45
Lionel Messi: 4ft-11in.
Alan Ball: 5ft-0in.
Get out of town, not even close.
244 Posted 28/09/2021 at 13:46:07
Messi is 5'-7", and Alan Ball was 5'-6".
I think Bobby Collins was about 5'-3" or 5'-4".
All diminutive players, no argument, but why embellish their heights for extra effect?
245 Posted 28/09/2021 at 13:50:12
246 Posted 28/09/2021 at 14:00:52
248 Posted 28/09/2021 at 17:14:50
249 Posted 28/09/2021 at 18:26:23
250 Posted 28/09/2021 at 18:37:49
251 Posted 29/09/2021 at 14:34:06
Derek's put a lot of effort into the collection and also the ToffeeWeb get togethers.
So if you pledged to support the charity please do it, and if you didn't then do it anyway.
252 Posted 01/10/2021 at 18:17:56
253 Posted 01/10/2021 at 18:59:35
Let's get it to a grand and I will gladly top it up.
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