Open revolt against failing Benitez looms following yet another sorry defeat

Lyndon Lloyd 12/12/2021 122comments  |  Jump to last

If Farhad Moshiri, in his increasingly questionable wisdom, hoped that the appointment of Rafael Benitez might buy some stability at Goodison Park after five tumultuous years then he has been sorely mistaken. His Everton project, so laden with ambition and optimism at the outset, is in chaos right now with an ever-growing rift developing between his regime and the supporters.

At the heart of it is his decision to hire Benitez just four years after the insult of Sam Allardyce; another arranged marriage foisted on an unwilling and powerless fanbase and one rushing headlong towards another expensive divorce. It’s unlikely to be this week — the Monaco-based billionaire’s ego might keep his finger off the trigger for a while longer — but you feel there is an inevitability about it while performances and results like this continue.

André Gomes might have been a timely introduction in the second half of Monday’s rousing victory over Arsenal but few were under any illusions that a horrendous run of results, the club’s worst in 22 years, was arrested by anything other than the viscerally raw passion of the Goodison crowd and the individual brilliance of Demarai Gray and Richarlison.

Without any of those factors at Selhurst Park this afternoon — Gray was game and had a couple of opportunities to repeat his heroics from outside the penalty area but failed to unduly test Vitor Guaita in the Crystal Palace goal and Richarlison was dragged off disconsolately before an hour had elapsed — Everton reverted to the passive, reactive, turgid outfit they were at Brentford a fortnight ago and have been, in truth, in almost every first half you can recall under Benitez.

The Blues have conceded the first goal in 12 of their 16 Premier League games this season and have, not surprisingly, won more points from losing positions than any other this season. It’s not hard to see why — they seem to need the urgency of going a goal behind to belatedly spark some intensity in their play which is no way to approach life in England’s top flight.

Today their almost comical inability to consistently defend set-pieces saw to it that they were 2-0 down and effectively beaten before Salomon Rondon, a controversial introduction to the fray in place of Richarlison just a few minutes earlier, had had a chance to even take the temperature of the game.

Somewhat perversely, given the derision that greeted Benitez’s choice of substitution, the Venezuelan finally scored his first Everton goal but his tap-in was barely consolation on a day when Conor Gallagher stole the show with two goals and a man-of-the-match display for the Eagles and the toxicity of chants aimed at the away dugout reached new levels.

The news that Lucas Digne had not travelled with the squad strengthened the belief that the Frenchman has fallen out badly with the manager but it was compounded by the loss to injury of Allan who picked up a knock on Monday and wasn’t able to train fully on Friday.

Still, Benitez finally opted for a three-man midfield, albeit one without a genuine holding man, with Gomes and Fabian Delph playing alongside Abdoulaye Doucouré but even then it didn’t last much beyond 20 minutes before it lapsed back into a two with Gomes told to push forward. The out-of-form Andros Townsend was preferred to Anthony Gordon on his return to his old stomping ground while Ben Godfrey continued at left-back as Mason Holgate partnered Michael Keane in central defence.

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The early signs weren’t good for the Blues who looked nothing like the front-foot, determined outfit they had been in the second half against the Gunners. Instead, it was all Palace. Where Benitez has bemoaned that he doesn’t have the personnel to institute a possession game at Everton, Patrick Vieira has got a collection of inferior players playing some fairly attractive and effective football which would have resulted in them taking an early lead had it not been for Jordan Pickford who made a smart save with his foot to deny Andre Ayew his first goal in more than a year.

Gallagher then fired narrowly over and Pickford saved from Wilfried Zaha as Palace continued to exploit all the room Everton were giving them in the final third of the field.

Gray briefly came to life in the 16th minute when, following some tidy football against the touchline, he tested Guaita with a low shot and then repeated the feat just past the hour mark with the same result but, in between, the hosts had seen an effort by Marc Guehi deflect wide after the visitors failed to clear a corner.

Perhaps the best effort from Everton came 13 minutes before the half-time interval when Godfrey, the epitome of the drive and desire that was missing from the Toffees’ collective display, powered down the left and crossed low but Gomes’s volleyed shot was too close to the keeper who made the save.

Despite their torpor, Everton were heading to the interval level before Gray pressed the self-destruct button. In trying to knock the ball back to Seamus Coleman to clear, the winger handed it straight to Ayew who cut it back to the unmarked Gallagher to sweep it past Pickford.

Whatever Benitez said in the dressing room at the break appeared to have very little effect as there wasn’t much improvement from the Toffees and it was Palace who might have scored again when Zaha picked Gallagher out with a 50th-minute cross from the left but his header dropped narrowly wide of the back post.

Five minutes later, Ayew scooped a clever ball into Gallagher’s path and he rattled a shot into the side-netting as the Eagles continued to threaten while Benitez undercut his options going forward at the other end with the withdrawal of Richarlison.

The Brazilian had been troubled by a knock to his calf in the first half but looked to have run it off successfully by the second period. Nevertheless, the way Everton were playing, he having a particularly unproductive afternoon. He wasn’t alone, however; Townsend was equally ineffective but remained on the field while Delph and Richarlison were sacrificed for Gordon and Rondon.

Richarlison’s reaction said it all and the response from the travelling fans spoke even louder as they broke into chants in support of their Talisman and the most derogatory ones yet aimed at Benitez and his Liverpool connections.

Within four minutes, Palace were 2-0 up. Once again, Benitez’s defence failed to deal with a corner and James Tomkins was on hand to score his first goal in two years to effectively put the contest past the sorry Blues.

A rare foray into the box by Doucouré ended with his shot deflecting kindly into Rondon’s path and the substitute just had to bundle the loose ball home from close range to give Everton hope with 20 minutes to go.

With better finishing, Benitez’s players might have spared him the criticism that will no doubt carry forward to Thursday’s trip to Chelsea but after more excellent work by Godfrey down the left and Rondon’s lay-off, Townsend fired a shot into a defender with Gordon open to his right.

Then Gordon himself found open grass to surge into and drove all the way into the Palace box but his low shot searching out the bottom corner was saved superbly by Guaita.

In between, Christian Benteke had almost found Ayew with a centre from the byline but Everton’s misery was completed in stoppage time following another pair of blunders by their own players, both of them experienced pros. Coleman tried to blast a free-kick near his own corner flag into an opposition player in order to make a point but instead gave it straight to Palace. The ball rebounded to Gomes on the edge of the area but he couldn’t retain it and Gallagher profited, lining up a shot from 18 yards that he whipped impressively into the top corner to make it 3-1. The seal set on another miserable afternoon for the Evertonians who made the 500-mile round-trip from Merseyside for no reward.

If you’re going to set out to be passive, pragmatic and defensively-minded away from home with an eye on playing counter-attacking football, you have to be compact, disciplined and defend properly. You also have to be able to attack effectively in transition. Too often today (and for most of the campaign, really) Everton were none of those things and by the time they were making inroads into Palace’s defence — an hour too late — they were already 2-0 down.

That inability to start games strong — any game, it seems — is a criticism that can be levelled at the players for only so long before it’s symptomatic of an unadventurous, uninspiring manager employing archaic tactics and bringing none of the attributes expected of him to the table. The problem for Benitez is there doesn’t appear to be any introspection or desire to change; it’s never his fault so there’s no accountability.

He defended his decision to take Richarlison off by saying that “it was obvious he was not at the level we were expecting [because of his calf]. He wasn’t doing much in the second half,” but neither was anyone else up to that point which left the Brazilian isolated. It was clear that Richarlison felt he could carry on playing but only he and the medical staff will know the extent of his injury and how much of a risk it would have been to keep him on and take the disappointing Townsend off instead.

Regardless, the player wasn’t happy with being withdrawn and Benitez complained that “it wasn't helping with the arms,” a reference to Richarlison’s reaction to the decision. Time will tell how he reacts but with Digne already being ostracised, it doesn’t bode well for the dressing room if the manager is losing another player.

What’s worse, of course, is that he is clearly losing the tolerance and patience of the fans which, once lost, usually means it's curtains for the head coach. With the danger of getting sucked into the bottom three still looming in the background and Everton undeniably in relegation form, that’s the last thing the club needs. How bad will results have to get – how toxic will the atmosphere among supporters have to get – before Moshiri acts?

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Roy Johnstone
1 Posted 13/12/2021 at 07:51:45
It wasn't helping with Benitez shaking his head, never mind Richy's arms. Richy wants to play, and even if he wasn't having a great game (with little or no service), Palace were sticking two men on him every time he came near the ball. Taking him off gave them an extra attacking option.

Regardless of the general state of the club at the moment, the buck stops with the manager. And he is currently setting us up like a tactical dinosaur. Open revolt is right. Going to the Leicester game with my lad. Fully expecting a totally toxic atmosphere that can only be solved when the shadow of Rafa is removed from this once great club.

Frank Sheppard
2 Posted 13/12/2021 at 08:31:37
Protecting him from injury makes sense. Useful smokescreen for Rafa, hiding the fact that his tactics have produced our worst run of results for 20 odd years, which is really saying something, when you think of Silva, Allardyce and Koeman.

Some things are rotten in the heart of Everton; it shows and really stinks.

Jordan Wood
3 Posted 13/12/2021 at 08:32:56
Another appointment that should never have been made, by an owner who should never have been making them. What a mess Moshiri has got us into.

All his appointments have been disasters, stopping the club making any progress and preventing any chance at continuity at the very least. If Rafa goes, it's back to square one. Again.

If only he'd allowed Brands to do his job from the very beginning. Ten Hag, Potter, Gaultier, maybe Gallagher would have been in blue yesterday?

Oh well, Benitez it is.

Jon Wit
4 Posted 13/12/2021 at 09:17:47
It's interesting just how often this happens - manager gets stubborn then flogs their dead horse tactics / favourite players until they lose their job.

It's a shame, pragmatically Benitez should have the experience to manage the situation but he just seems to be stuck.

What's he trying to prove ? Because he's not doing a great job of it.

Perhaps he is just focused on getting control instead of being pragmatic like Ancelotti was.

Regardless, relegation form when you are effectively just missing DCL and Mina is poor.

Rennie Smith
5 Posted 13/12/2021 at 09:25:28
Oh well Benitez it isn't Jordan@3.
I can't listen to this kopite anymore, it's always someone else's fault...mistakes blah blah...didn't take chances blah blah. I thought we'd hit the bottom appointing Fat Sam but this is a new low.

You've just come off a rousing late win, you're playing a team low on confidence after 3 straight defeats, what do you do? Sit back, low block with zero positive intention. I honestly think if we were top of the league he'd still play the same way. It must be horrible playing in his teams with all the positivity literally beaten out of them. It's no wonder Digne kicked off. They are basically told to defend, defend, defend and maybe you might get one half-chance to score. For a player, how demoralising is that?

As for for pulling Richy off, I'd take a quarter fit Richy for a fully fit (joke?) Rondon. He says he wasn't effective, how can he be effective if he never sees that ball? A lone striker in a Benitez team, that is the original thankless task.

Go..go...go...but the stubborn get won't of course.

Steve Brown
6 Posted 13/12/2021 at 09:29:02
Jon @ 4, I remember Martinez berating Baines for speaking the truth in one interview about the lack of team cohesiveness, while pandering to Lukaku when he demanded a move during every international break.

That went well for him! The fans displayed a banner starting their support for Bainsey and it was adios for Roberto. Now Digne isn't within a 100 miles in terms of popularity as Leighton, however there are parallels with the different treatment of Digne and Richarlison.

Regardless of whether Benitez thought that Digne's outburst was out of order or not, it was on the training pitch. In high performing clubs, those challenging conversations must happen every week. Dropping Digne for two games and considering his sale in January when we have no cover is simply stupid management.

Kenny Smith
7 Posted 13/12/2021 at 09:30:52
I ll give him the Chelsea and Leicester game and he’s gone. The atmosphere will be horrendous on Sunday no matter what happens on Thursday and that will surely have to be that. Disgraceful appointment for lots of reasons. I think everyone knew it would end up this way except the man with the money. Moshiri needs to surround himself with knowledgeable and progressive footballing people as soon as possible or we’ll go the way of Leeds, spending a generation in the championship.
My worry is that Moshiri will keep him into the new year and now Brands has gone Benitez will sell the crown jewels in the January window and then we’re really fucked. He’s got to go.
Mal van Schaick
8 Posted 13/12/2021 at 09:32:06
It can’t all be blamed on Benitez. The systemic dismantling of our club, lands on the shoulders of the board and their appointments, and in particular their strategy on transfers.

Whoever, brought in Delph, and the other rubbish are to blame for our situation.

We have to get on with it! From a good win against Arsenal to a flailing defeat at Palace. It’s time to stick together, try and get some points on the table and grind the season out,for yet another review in the summer.

Derek Thomas
9 Posted 13/12/2021 at 09:54:16
Jon Wit @ 4; So true, Martinez was the same, he had his 'Philosophy' and reasoned that if it wasn't working then the only cure is More of the 'kin Philosophy because the first dose obviously wasn't enough...erm, no, it's not working because it's flawed.

All he had to do ffs, was add a few drops of 'Philosophy additive' to the Moyes machine, then take the hand brake off and watch it go.

But Benitez has form for shite 1st halfs...even though anybody who starts Kewell in a CL Final deserves all he gets...I wonder who the manager was that sat back on 0-3 up and let him get lucky...nah, it's gone, it'll come to me - some bluffer anyway.

I could - just - live with the ex rs, FSW, small club stuff. But lets face it he took the barcodes down, Bruce matched him in the "I'm just as shite as a guy who won the CL and had already took a Big Pension in a Small China League stakes".

But Moshiri continues to have his Monty Burns moments...I hear Baldrick (first name Sod Off!) is suing him for bringing Cunning Plans into disrepute.

Fuck knows where we go from here?

Down is the probable answer, the only question is - How far?...and How Quickly?

Brian Harrison
10 Posted 13/12/2021 at 09:56:33
I have always said you cant keep changing managers, but in this case I don't think there is any option. Even our loyal away fan base turned on him yesterday, and when they turn against the manager then there is no way back. Some defending Benitez say nobody could do any better with this squad of players, well I suggest they have a look at the league table from this time last year when we were in the top 4.

He has always created division wherever he has gone, at Liverpool and Newcastle he got away with that divisive approach because he was attacking the owners of these clubs who were detested by their fans. But here he has already caused division amongst the players. I am sure that Digne isn't the only player who can see the style and tactics are not helping, and you can probably add Richarlison to that growing band after yesterday. I found many of his decisions really puzzling, I was pleased he went with a 3 in midfield, but surely Doucoure should have been the most forward of the 3 not Gomes. He took off Delph who up to that point was our most effective midfield player, yet left Gomes on for the full 90 minutes despite it being his first outing of the season.
We were playing against a side who had lost the previous 4 league games, but allowed them to get to the halfway line unchallenged, I bet they couldn't believe their luck. Only after we had gone 2 goals behind did we show any ambition, and you could see in that period what a poor side Palace are, and had we played on the front foot from the start we may have got something out of the game.
While Townsend always puts in a shift, when you have a left footed player playing wide right then he is always wanting to come back onto his left side before crossing the ball which takes all the impetus out of the move. As Gordon showed when he came on we looked more of a threat. Obviously Coleman and Gray really cocked up for their first goal, and again Godfrey was to blame for not defending a dead ball situation, something he has been guilty of on many occasions.

So will dumb and dumber stick with Benitez or will they appoint someone who will at the very least unite the fans and players which isn't the case at present. Lose to Chelsea on Thursday then come the home game against Leicester then the fans will make it impossible for you to stick with Benitez

Chris Leyland
11 Posted 13/12/2021 at 09:59:52
Benitez should be gone. The worst run of results for 20 years says enough when you consider the dross we’ve had to suffer over that period.

He is tactically inflexible and the team are poorly organised and set up, yet he seems incapable or unwilling to change anything. His insistence on bizzare substitutions and keeping his ineffectual favourites on for the whole game - see Rondon earlier in the season and Townsend yesterday is shameful. He badly needed to generate some good will among a sceptical fan base but his arrogant insistence on his way or the highway have drained that goodwill dry.

He is trying to play compact,
counter-attacking football but he is failing miserably as the results clearly demonstrate as his system is leaving massive gaps between the defence and midfield.

We are wide open and making error after error. Yes, the players have to shoulder their fair share of the blame but they are playing a system that doesn’t work and their sloppiness is a reflection of how badly they are managed.

The Burnley and Newcastle games after Christmas are massive for us. We nee to give ourselves the maximum chance of winning and that is increased by getting rid and cutting our losses on the wrong appointment sooner rather than later.

John Pickles
14 Posted 13/12/2021 at 10:28:17
If we're going to sack a manager every time they fail to produce a competitive team with zero transfer money in the Premier League, then we are going to be be sacking a lot of managers. I'll bet all top managers will be queueing up to take this job, you think this is bad, just wait 'til we have Joey Barton in the dugout.
Dave Abrahams
15 Posted 13/12/2021 at 10:30:33
Well Digne was dropped after a long run of poor performances and Godfrey has come in and had two very good games, MOTM for a lot of fans yesterday, although he had a hand in causing Palace’s second goal, Digne never made a mistake all season ( sarcasism). Richarlison had a very poor game yesterday, not helped by the lack of service was one reason, thenRonson and Gordon came on and we started attacking seriously for the first time in the game,Rondon made a good chance for Doucoure who should have done better but Rondon finished the move off with a goal, which has been derided by some, yet a goal is a goal whether from three feet or thirty yards, he then set up another good chance which was wasted.

At the end of the day mistakes, really stupid mistakes and casual marking by Everton players cost Everton this game, so yes some blame on the manager and quite a lot on the players, who in quite a few cases are simply not good enough and Benitez inherited them, mistakes by other managers, and, if unfortunately Benitez is sacrificed, the new manager will face the same problems with the same players.

Rob Halligan
16 Posted 13/12/2021 at 10:30:51
People’s opinions are just that, opinions, there are no wrongs or no rights, just someone’s opinion.

In my opinion, Benitez was totally the wrong choice as manager, something Moshiri definitely got wrong. It only needed something like the horrendous run we are currently on, or players falling out with the manager, for the vast majority of fans to turn on him. This situation is certainly dividing fans in the ground as well. Not long after the substitution of Richarlison, and probably after the second goal, there was a fracas between fans not far from us, and I doubt very much they were arguing over a dropped fiver. It’s even getting arguments between me and one of the lads I’ve been going the away games for years. He’s blaming everyone except Benitez and Kenwright, with Moshiri taking the brunt of his criticism. Now correct me if I’m wrong, but how can you blame someone who has ploughed over half a billion pounds into the playing squad, granted we have recouped a few hundred million back through sales. People say Moshiri knows nothing about football, that’s why he appointed DOF’s Steve Walsh and Marcel Brands, people who are supposed to know something about football, and people Moshiri put his trust in with his money. As, I think it was Stephen Vincent said on another thread, Sheikh Monsour knew nothing about football when he eventually took over Man City, so he hired the right people to clear out everything and start afresh. This is something Moshiri clearly needs to do.

In my opinion, and it’s only my opinion, Moshiri is no way to blame, other than appointing Benitez, and this is were I think Kenwright got it right in advising Moshiri not to appoint Benitez, but in no way am I in support of Kenwright. The man is a parasite. We all know the alleged story of him wanting more money and to remain as chairman when it was alleged Monsour wanted to buy the club. Moshiri should have forced, made or asked Kenwright to step down as chairman once he took total control of the club.

Finally, back to Benitez. I understand there are mitigating circumstances for the playing side, ie, injuries, but this is were a manager is supposed to earn his corn. He’s the one who’s supposed to be able to adjust to cover injuries, although it’s a lot harder when it’s your better players who are injured, but FFS, why won’t he give one or two of the kids a go. Some of his seasoned pros are failing miserably, so try kids who will at least put the effort, commitment and desire in, kids who will leave everything out on the pitch after ninety minutes. Looking at Benitez on tv this morning when he made the Richarlison substitution and he had that look of “Everyone’s against me”, with a shrug of the shoulders and the curling up of the mouth. I was watching Benitez during the second half, and he appeared to be sitting down more than standing in the technical area, barking out instructions. Is this the sign of a man accepting defeat in his quest to succeed at Everton? Once we get hammered at Chelsea, that will be it, there will be no way back for him, Moshiri has to accept he was wrong with appointing Benitez and pull the trigger.

Adrian Evans
17 Posted 13/12/2021 at 10:35:34
Benitez asked for a Goodison crowd, loud, bonkers behind players, him.

Goes to Palace and sits back, slips back to whats caused us the problems in our terrible run.

Past it, no idea how to change tactics, HAVE A GO!!!
Why the hell did he allow us to give them the ball, come on to us.Why sit back play passive football.Only a matter of minutes until we make a mistake gift them.We done it all season.

Why not Rondon up front, Richarlison.
Give them problems in their third.He was fit, play him.

We would have had a couple of goals in us.
Get beat having a go away from home.

Rafa only three games from the sack now.Kenwright told Moshiri its down to you.
The fans wont wait until the end of Jan with 15/16 games left.

Benitiz keeps saying we will have a better second half.
The way the fixtures look.

We will be in the bottom 3/4 with 5 maybe 6 wins.

Cant see Goodison accepting that.

The team,crowd beat Arsenal not Benitez.

Get him out of the place.

If and I accept if we lose to Chelsea,Leicester, Burnley we are in a terrible situation.
Dont let Benitez sell Digne, Richarlison to raise funds.

For Gods Sake Moshiri, get big Sam in 🙄🙄🙄

Secure our Premier League status with the 18 games Benitiez will have left you.

Few managers have the methods, ability with the crap squads(performing squads, players he is handed).

I don't want to go to Plymouth Argyle to play a league match.

Anybody offering odds on a win in the next three.

Of course we could win 2 if not 3 its football.
But odds.???

Jim Hourigan
18 Posted 13/12/2021 at 10:43:57
"If you always do what you've always done you'll always get what you've always got" is the common quote, and how so very true with Benitez.

No flexibility in his thinking about how to approach the game, the old mantra of keep the crowd quiet for the first 25 mins just does not cut it in the modern game. During his period goal kicks and defenders lumped it forward and second balls were fought for providing respite and encouragement in equal measures. Now all teams play out from the back and retain possession hence any team that sits back and cedes possession will be under constant pressure, and with our shower of poor 'footballing' defenders the inevitable goal against is just a matter of time.

He is a dinosaur and belongs in the past and should rapidly go there. I believed we couldn't afford yet another managerial change and despite all my reservations felt we needed stability over parochialism and hence went along with Moshri. But its his football tactics, the results they lead to and his defensive mindset that clearly points to the need for change.

He never had a long term future at the club but the longer he is allowed to stay the deeper our troubles will be, the mocking 'agent Benitez' just has too much resonance now.

Rob Halligan
19 Posted 13/12/2021 at 10:44:31
Sorry Adrian, but if Moshiri brings Allardyce back then that truly will be the end. I honestly believe fans will show their disgust with their feet, and stay away from Goodison, in their thousands. He would be the last person anyone would want to see in the dugout. Besides, he no longer warrants the title of “Fireman Sam” as he no longer can boast of never being relegated. It will be like the proverbial London bus, not one for ages then three come along at once.
Rennie Smith
20 Posted 13/12/2021 at 10:54:50
Sorry Dave@15 I'm not having that. Bring Rondon on, if you must, but leave Richy there with him FFS. And all this is a reaction, why not be positive from the kick-off, why wait until your losing before doing something about it?

You say "yes some blame on the manager and quite a lot on the players, who in quite a few cases are simply not good enough and Benitez inherited them". Ok let me ask this question, do you think Palace have better players? Do you think Brentford or Wolves have better players?

What's the big difference? The way they're setup, the way they are trained, the way they are told to go out there and do a job. That's the difference.

John Davies
21 Posted 13/12/2021 at 11:07:04
I agree with those who say it cannot all be blamed on Benitez. But the guy is clearly an arrogant, stubborn, intransigent manager whose dated tactics are failing badly – and yet he serves up the same tripe over and over again come mealtime.

We all know he has been handed down a crap bag of spanners to work with (and by God, the majority of those spanners need binning) but he doesn't come close to getting the best possible out of them and he insists on using the really rubbish ones, time and again, instead of trying out a couple of the newer ones.

His mantra is most definitely one of "my way or the highway". He has no affinity whatsoever and has made no attempt to build any sort of relationship with the fans. I'm not suggesting for one second that he allows a fan base to pick the team, before anyone jumps on me for that. I'm pointing out that no-one warms to a guy who makes no effort to warm to them.

And, in my opinion, he clearly has no liking for the football club that now pays him so handsomely. His demeanour suggests that managing Everton is something he doesn't really want to be doing but it's very convenient in its location and the money's decent so he'll have some of that.

I cannot agree with the argument "Who else do we get in? Who would be better?" I don't have the answer to that. I wish I did. But that is pretty much irrelevant in my eyes. He's currently doing such a bad job that he surely cannot be left to steer us into oblivion, "sanctioned" by an owner who couldn't organise a piss-up in a brewery.

All the above is as nice as I can bring myself to be about a man who, in my opinion, should never have been allowed anywhere near our football club in the first place. Bye-bye, Mr Benitez. Please.

Jay Wood
[BRZ]

22 Posted 13/12/2021 at 11:13:27
Sport inspires.

Before our game yesterday, I watched the concluding race of the winner-takes-all Grand Prix season. A gladiatorial battle between two modern-day charioteers going wheel to wheel. Inspirational. Engrossing.

It highlighted in the cruelest way how the race is never run and won until the final curve. Until the final whistle blows. Until stumps are drawn.

Nothing and no-one at Everton inspires at the moment. Owner. Club board. Manager. Players.

Yes, we can be thankful to Farhad Moshiri for the millions he has invested in managerial appointments, player purchases and in his pursuit of the new stadium build at BMD.

No, we cannot be thankful that he has not empowered his DoF appointments and given them absolute autonomy to oversee footballing matters. The style of play. Managerial appointments. Player recruitment.

Having taken the easier decision to sacrifice Brands last week, the only senior footballing man in a position of power to influence all the above is Rafa Benitez. That is becoming a growing concern. So much power and influence invested in one single man who currently is failing.

The club intends to undertake 'a strategic review of the football structure to inform the best model for the Club to proceed with in the long-term.'

All the noises coming out of the club is that this will be conducted internally by those already at the club, rather than a neutral external review.

The latter would look at things with a naked eye and identify the problems and solutions. The former will be inclined to turn a blind eye as a means of self-preservation.

Unless and until there is a deep cleansing of the Augean stables that is Everton Football Club, we will remain trapped in this eternal cycle of mediocrity.

Fran Mitchell
23 Posted 13/12/2021 at 11:15:50
Our problems are deep and they are numerous. Benitez is one of them. He was not the right man for the job 5 months ago, and he remains the wrong man for the job today.

Moshiri, I feel, will stubbornly keep him in the job, and, I feel, give him the transfer window. This could hamper us further as it will mean another 2/3 players joining this conglomerate of past managerial mistakes.

It is clear that we need a manager with a long term vision. We need a manager on the up (even if the manager views us as a stepping stone).

Football has moved on – Benitez is a manager, like Mourinho, who uses negative tactics and believes football success is about 'authority' and 'discipline'. And not about tactics, pace, innovation and good coaching.

Jesse Marsch, recently lost his job at Leipzig, but is still a highly regarded coach mentored by Rangnick.

Ralf Hasenhüttl, despite some issues, has worked good work with very little at Southampton. They have a much poorer squad of players but play a better game than we currently do.

Paulo Fonseca is also available, different in philosophy with more focus on possession, won everything at Shaktar and did well at Roma (they're in a much worse situation despite much investment with the out-dated Mourinho at the helm).

All possible options for us to look at that would be huge improvements on Benitez.

The longer we take, the more damaging it will be.

John Kavanagh
24 Posted 13/12/2021 at 11:49:11
We are the footballing version of Mel Brook's The Producers. Ageing theatrical impressario (Kenwright) with 20 odd years of epic fails calls in an accountant (Moshiri). They cobble up a scheme to fleece investors (Usmanov) by putting on the worst show in history that is guaranteed to fail. They get the worst script (zombie football and zonal marking), director (Rafa) and cast (Rondon + too many others to mention) money can buy and simply await the inevitable bad reviews and foreclosure. Money laundering on an epic scale.

Unfortunately, unlike in the movie, there will be no surprise smash hit and no one will end up asking 'Where did we go right?'. This Kenwright/Moshiri production will definitely bomb and the audience at yesterday's 'performance' has had enough.

All together now -
Springtime for Rafa and Ev-er-ton,
Winter for RS and Mancs

Phillip Warrington
25 Posted 13/12/2021 at 12:18:42
God help us against Chelsea... this could turn into a real belting – especially if they score early.
Dave Abrahams
26 Posted 13/12/2021 at 12:26:37
Ronnie (20), yes, we definitely should have been attacking from the start> I did mention that we never started attacking until Rondon and Gordon came on... and yes, leaving Richarlison on with Rondon would have make sense.

I think nearly every team in the Premier League have better central midfield players than Everton and that has been a problem for the last two or three seasons. Only Doucouré looks ready to play for 90 minutes every week and he didn't look 100% fit yesterday. Gomes, Delph and Allan struggle to last the game out and mostly fail.

As for the other club's players being as good as Everton's players, I'm not sure but they all play like they are physically and mentally stronger than most in the Everton squad.

Maybe a better manager than Benitez could come in and replace him? But I doubt if the very best of them could get a better tune out of this squad. Like Benitez keeps indicating, we will be better in the New Year with the introduction of some new players to strengthen this very weak squad which has failed quite a few Everton managers. I hope he is correct.

Jerome Shields
27 Posted 13/12/2021 at 12:33:38
I just wish I was supporting a Football Club that would concentrate on the Football.
Bill Fairfield
28 Posted 13/12/2021 at 12:59:11
There will be no improvement on the field of play while Moshiri owns our club. The man is totally clueless in all things football. For gods sake man sell up and go.
Howard Sykes
29 Posted 13/12/2021 at 13:58:34
Unfortunately, if Moshiri takes his money and walks, the club, owing him most of the money that was frittered away, will likely go into administration.
Rick Tarleton
30 Posted 13/12/2021 at 14:14:08
We get to that cliched definition of madness when you keep doing the same thing, but expect a different result. Benitez has one style and one style only. It doesn't matter to him if the players do not suit his style, that's the way his teams play and that is it.

If he stays, we will be in the relegation mix and we will escape relegation, not through his technical acumen, but because Norwich, Newcastle and Burnley have even worse problems than us.

He must go before the next transfer window; he cannot be put in charge of recruitment as well as tactics and management of the team.

Please, we need a new manager – not Mourinho, for God's sake who is another cut from the same cloth. Someone who can unite the squad, and give them some enthusiasm. Someone who can tailor his style to the strengths of the squad. I don't know who this saviour will be, but the Fat Spanish Waiter is not that man.

Tony Abrahams
31 Posted 13/12/2021 at 14:17:25
Post 11, 15 & 16, all make loads of good points imo, and like Rob says, it’s usually just about our own opinion, but these are such contrasting posts, and yet they all make loads of sense.
Barry Rathbone
32 Posted 13/12/2021 at 14:30:44
It's like people have the memories of a goldfish we were en route to crapsville under Carlo and most of the others who spent a few bob. Removal of rescue funds just created the ultimate poison chalice which Benitez thinks he can sort. But as usual fans won't give him a decent chance.

Our fans are no different to any others we have as many entitled knee jerkers as any other club. We get what we deserve.

Dave Abrahams
33 Posted 13/12/2021 at 14:34:37
Rennie (20), just noticed I had you down as Ronnie in my reply to your post, just posting now to apologise and had to correct my post because that bleedin' wordchecker put you down as Ronnie twice before he left it alone, so I failed to check that error earlier today my mistake.

Michael, that word checker, must be your brother or cousin, he's playing on you mate or taking the piss out of me. Not good enough either way, sack him Michael or I'll have to put this in the hands of my solicitor.

Derek Moore
34 Posted 13/12/2021 at 14:47:19
Having been allowed to play his role in getting us into our present mess, the Benitez question then becomes rather more prosaic: Is he the man to get us out of the soup? Hmmmmm....

The depth of anger following the most recent shambles surprised me, I'll readily admit. Moshiri faces some very difficult and important choices in the very near future. What are the chances he makes the correct ones? Just as easy to answer as the first question I posed.

It can't get any worse. Oh, ho-hum... it's Tuchel's ruthless Chelsea outfit up next? My mistake, it can get worse. But for Benitez, and perhaps even the club's sake itself, it simply mustn't.

I don't know how or even if there's any way he can do it, but nothing short of a positive result on Thursday will be enough to halt the supporter discontent. A dismissive belting and it could be dugout Dunc by New Year.

Happy Holidays!

Dale Self
35 Posted 13/12/2021 at 14:47:35
We are so Richard Lewis.

Lyndon, thoughtful takedown of all involved in this debacle. I'd quibble about Rondon's one-two or some of the Benitez stuff (it was a kitano setup that went bad with Gray's assist). Overall, an unassailable take on a dour situation.

Is there anything Rafa could say at this point? Losing the away fans is serious indeed. Just the look of the whole crowd letting your side have some must have undone the nerves of a player or two. Ultimately it's not my call from this far away, but I definitely feel that, just so you know.

Not going down. Home games will be crucial. Better days, gentlemen, at some point, better days.

And oh yeah… 'turgid' was nice to read – and Rob, that was heavy, very heavy.

Niall McIlhone
36 Posted 13/12/2021 at 14:58:15
John @24,

That's a highly amusing comparison with Mel Brook's classic. I think, however, Springtime For Rafa ain't going to happen. Lyndon's title ("open revolt") extract is a pointer to the inevitability of all this coming to an end, possibly before they take the field against Leicester if Everton lose heavily at Chelsea.

I was one of those who was pleased at seeing Rafa Bentitez's appointment, it seemed logical to me, and I had hoped that the early-season form would be a prelude to better things. The reality is though that the players don't seem to be comfortable with his set-up, and he has already started to make comments about his squad's lack of tactical and technical abilities, and tendency to make critical errors.

I guess it's hard to know where the truth lies, but I expect Everton will continue to stonewall the fans, and the anger will come to a tumult in one of the home games.

Dave Lynch
37 Posted 13/12/2021 at 15:04:24
I actually fear for his safety.
Its no secret where he lives and let's face it, we have out fare share of brain dead idiots.
Mark Dunford
38 Posted 13/12/2021 at 15:06:20
We need competence and stability above everything. Benitez is yesterday's man and offers neither. Wrong appointment for so many reasons. His ability to fall out with people he needs on his side seems endless. Not many shed tears over James but he has been followed by Brands and Benitez now seems to be putting Digne and possibly Richarlison in window for January' sales window.

Universal hostility and derision in the crowd when Richarlison was taken off yesterday. I felt sorry for Rondon who hardly even acknowledged his goal and didn't even glance at the supporters.

It reminded me of a game we saw at Wembley when Spuds hammered Everton - our team was all over the place; players shouting at each other, no organisation, nothing. These are coaching issues. This isn't going to end well - I just hope it ends quickly.

Worst scenario - Moshiri goes for another star name. The man has invested a a fortune but seems inconsistently clueless when it comes to football and incapable of taking advice. An inverse Midas touch.

Brent Stephens
39 Posted 13/12/2021 at 15:09:42
In the middle of a dire run of results, the key decision-maker decides to ditch the DoF model, and to hand all the keys to the Goodison castle to the coach. In the middle of a dire run, he had to have confidence in the robustness of that model should results continue to be problematic.

So either the key decision-maker sticks with his convictions (and Rafa); or he realises after one loss, just one loss, that maybe it wasn't the right decision. Is he really going to fold that quickly?

Tom Harvey
40 Posted 13/12/2021 at 15:15:34
Hello Mark,

I agree after Benitez goes we've still got Moshiri, this guy is a Mr Bean, things aren't going to become miraculously better overnight.

They could though become much worse if his next managerial choice is similar to one of his on field buys - the outstanding Iwobi!

Jim Bennings
41 Posted 13/12/2021 at 15:58:21
I think the trend at Everton now is irreversible.

The shite has been allowed to stain for so long now at this club that it will no longer wash out.

Moshiri, heart in the right place, head buried in quick sand.

Every managerial appointment he's made has gone absolutely tits up and sadly this one looks probably weeks maybe even days away from another big payoff costing the club more.

The players are absolutely rank awful though, let's not get away from stating the obvious.

You don't need a manager to coach you to be able to pass a ball and move into space, or know that you need to press and work hard when not in possession, if you do then I would like to know how they passed as professional footballers.

Coleman yesterday, a 33 year old experienced Captain, absolutely brain-dead.

Gomes, Portugal international yet looks like he's running with treacle on his soles.

The defence yesterday, Ben Godfrey, simply falling asleep on the one duty that he had to do which was stay close to James Tomkin's, he failed and we went 2-0 down.

The manager is failing, he's overly cautious, he's very defensive and frankly it's becoming annoying.

But the players have failed now under how many bosses?

It's starting to become too much of a coincidence?

It's errors on every part, manager, chairman, owner, players, coaches.

As I say, the club is too far rotten.

Dale Rose
42 Posted 13/12/2021 at 16:28:06
So many managers with different ideas and styles. The team on their day can beat anyone. They are just totally inconsistent. If Benitiz is sacked we will look utterly stupid.

If we can pick up a couple of good players in January at the right money and stabilise things, we might be alright. Then try and build in the summer.

Mike Gaynes
43 Posted 13/12/2021 at 16:39:40
Rob #16 and John #21, excellent and sensible posts, but I cannot agree with your mutual conclusion.

Two reasons:

1. Sacking a manager less than halfway through his first season smacks of sheer panic. Establishing organizational stability is at least partly about perception. Certainly changes are needed, but no decent top executive or manager is going to come to work for an owner who freaks out when things go sour for a couple of months. From Moshiri's perspective, changing managers is a bad idea for his long-term vision of a club that will have a shiny new stadium in 2024.

2. The issue isn't just sacking Benitez, it's replacing him. And there is nobody -- absolutely nobody -- out there in the world that I would want coming in to manage this club right now. Leave out the fantasies about our buying Graham Potter or some other successfully employed manager out of his contract with his current club, because there's no way in hell that's gonna happen. We have a choice of the unemployed -- Lampard, Favre, Villas-Boas, Nuno, Farke, Gracia, Fonseca. (And, God forbid, Fat Sam.) Which of them would inspire confidence in a prompt turnaround? To me, none. Which would be guaranteed to get this weak lineup to play better? To me, none. Which would be embraced by the Everton faithful as long-term solutions? To me, none.

(There are also Zidane, Valverde and Setien out there, but none of them would be the least bit interested in Everton.)

Sometimes when you've pushed too much money into the pot on bad cards, it's time to stop raising the bet in hopes of catching a miracle ace on the last turn. You play what you've been dealt and wait for better cards.

And you certainly don't panic and shove all in.

Tony Everan
44 Posted 13/12/2021 at 16:45:23
Who would take 17th place now if it was offered?

That’s what this season has become, a mission for 40 points. As Jim above and others have put it the blame can be apportioned throughout the club. The manager is certainly culpable, but the players are not performing yet again.

The repeated schoolboy mistakes are just soul destroying. This and defending set pieces is yet again a constant burden on the club’s ability to get wins. We haven’t got the points in the he bank to play experiments, we need solutions to problems right now. The manager may be right to bang on about hybrid zonal or whatever is called, but if the players are incapable of executing it there just has to be change. The horse has been flogged to death.

The owner is an accountant so shouldn’t be making football decisions on a hunch or whatever. I’m not so sure he makes the big decisions anyway.

The Chairman, it all been said, why is he still here?

One more thing, I’m tearing my hair out (what’s left of it ) about the fact that we can’t take a decent corner or free kick. Is it really that hard to whip in a rapid curling ball over he first defender and into the danger zone ?

The ‘player with no name’ delivered one or two, but you have to go back to Andy Hinchcliffe (when I had lovely hair) to get the feeling like we were going to score from every corner or a wide free kick.

Martin Mason
45 Posted 13/12/2021 at 17:03:11
One thing that we need to accept is that we are in serious trouble. Relegation is a distinct possibility based on current form. It has happened before to clubs too big to go down. Best ground in the championship? the club deserves it for its gross incompetence, the fans don't as always.
Ed Prytherch
46 Posted 13/12/2021 at 17:24:08
How can anyone expect the players to be fully focused and committed if they think that the coach has his head up his arse? That is why Martinez lost Distan, Baines and co. Maybe younger players who have yet to work under a good coach will keep on giving 100% but the ones who know better will play like Coleman, Digne and others.
Christine Foster
47 Posted 13/12/2021 at 18:06:19
There is an old football adage that simple says a team should play to its strengths. Clearly Benitez never got to that page in the manual. This team, this squad, cannot defend, they are incompetent for a whole variety of reasons, ability, age, awareness, whatever, it's not there. So why force a team to play this way? If you score more goals that the opposition you win. If you slavishly stick to a dogma which cannot be achieved by the players you have then you are finished. Football should be played on the front foot with the objective of winning. The objective of not losing means you have lost before the ball is kicked. You cannot give the game and possession to teams and expect to win, it might work occasionally but as an ethos it doesn't work. How many teams have been made to look like Brazil by the way we play? Palace knocked the ball around all over the pitch, men ran off each other, made space, looked forward, made us look like a Sunday league side up against a second division outfit.
Fans are not stupid. They know we don't have the defensive qualities to play the way Benitez wants, they know anyway that even with good defensive players, it's not the way they want to see the team play.
The club has painted itself into a corner in the Last Chance Saloon by appointing Benitez. It was a gamble that's not paying off. We could well be in the muck by Christmas, unless a leopard changes his spots, no, I don't think so.
Tony Abrahams
48 Posted 13/12/2021 at 18:06:24
I read that when Benitez was criticising his Chelsea players after losing an fa cup semifinal, John Terry, turned around and told the manager, they lost because of him.

You keep stopping the training, giving us minor details, instead of just letting us train with intensity, was what his captain allegedly told the manager, and Benitez, swiftly called a meeting for the next morning.

I don’t know how true this is, but the article went on to say this meeting changed Chelsea’s season, and they went on to win the Europa cup, and also qualify for the Champions lge, through their league position, which begs the question of why Luca Digne, is the only player that has been left out the squad?

Tom Harvey
49 Posted 13/12/2021 at 18:15:47
It worries me that we are only capable of playing aggressive football when we're cornered like a wounded animal. There's no adrenaline flowing in them, no 'up 'n' at em'. I'm clueless if this is Benitez doing/tactics or they really are just a flaccid bunch?

We are now only two players from our best team and there seems to be the attitude we'll be allright when they return. DCL is no Aguero, he's an athletic hard working poacher, but not much more. What are we expecting from him? He had a good run last season, but it was a strange season, most teams were off the pace. This season I feel defenses will have a better measure of him. Having spent nearly half a season out when he comes back he will also need more than a few games to find form again.

Mina is decent defender, but no Maldini, hel'll help us and give us attacking options at set pieces, but there's only so much we can expect especially with his injury record.

This really is a precarious position we find ourselves in.

Barry Hesketh
50 Posted 13/12/2021 at 18:24:15
The last ten games of last season under Carlo, which many admitted was a pretty poor end to the season, however, his team secured Thirteen points compared to our current run of five points from the last ten games.

CRYSTAL PALACE D

BRIGHTON D

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR D

Arsenal W

ASTON VILLA L

WEST HAM UNITED w

ASTON VILLA D

SHEFFIELD UNITED L

WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS w

MANCHESTER CITY L

Benitez's last ten games

MANCHESTER UNITED d

WEST HAM UNITED L

WATFORD L

WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS L

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR d

MANCHESTER CITY L

BRENTFORD L

LIVERPOOL L

Arsenal W

CRYSTAL PALACE L

Peter Neilson
51 Posted 13/12/2021 at 18:29:03
Tony (44) can I add throw ins to your corners and free kicks. It’s obvious from the players reactions that no thought has been given to them and we go through some free form ineptitude to, at best, get it back to Pickford. Meanwhile other teams have throw in coaches.
Karen Mason
52 Posted 13/12/2021 at 18:39:18
I know that many fans believe that all or most of the current players are not good enough. After all, they have 'out-lived' a fair few managers, with little changing. I believe that our players are no better or worse than most of the Prem league teams apart from the top 3. So why have all the managers failed so far? I don't know the answer, but wonder??? . I wonder if, after the Koeman transfer catastrophe, Silva was perhaps the right manager at the wrong time? The thing that seems to be a common denominator with the managers (apart from Silva), is that they all seem to have defend deep, defend deep, defend deep, as their overall philosophy. Would we be better with a manager who encourages being on the front foot, pressing higher up the pitch, especially against teams who we should be going to to toe with? None of the managers we have employed so far have an attacking, motivating approach. Is this why we are going through managers like Watford or Chelsea and why they have all failed? With Benitez, Allardyce & Ancelloti, it's not just the loses, it's the manner of the defeats & negative style that seems to be the common factor. Should our next manager be a complete change, to someone with a more attacking, pressing philosophy?
Darren Hind
53 Posted 13/12/2021 at 18:43:17
Rob @16

Disturbing post. but keep your chin up lad

People like you. Our away following, is probably the clubs biggest asset. They are the most patient and loyal in football. Heaven knows they have deserved better down the years, but still they remain loyal. It's cause for concern when they turn on each other.

I've only seen it happen once before. Years ago at Lisbon airport when a large group rounded on Davey Moyes. They came very close to blows. Moyes had his supporters who objected to the rage and anger directed at him. All the way home Evertonians were screaming at each other. Like you now. I got home thinking. that he couldnt survive that night.

Dont write Rafa off though. Often circumstances and other factors intervene to save managers. Moyes struggled for a while, but in the second half of the season with Man United. Chelsea and Man City coming to town, Goodison went into bear pit mode and as you know we went on a run and we beat the three of them.

The faithful have a long history for putting their differences with a manager to one side when the chips are down - Just ask Mike Walker

Do I think Rafa can save us from the drop ? No, but the faithful will. Better teams than this current Everton team have been relegated, but they did not have the benefit of these wonderful passionate fans to pull them over the line.

I have no problem at all with people hammering a manager on a website - Not that I would do it meself like

Terry Farrell
54 Posted 13/12/2021 at 20:13:34
Mike agree with your assessment.
What bothers me though are the rumours that we are in for Winks and Ramsey in the Jan transfer window. Surely not! Both sick notes and both not first choice at their clubs. If true when will we learn. Let's see more younger players who have something to prove like Gray and Godfrey. Dont know if he's Prem standard but Broadhead has established himself in the first 11 at Sunderland is quick clever and scoring regularly. Got to be worth a second look?
Jay Harris
55 Posted 13/12/2021 at 20:21:48
Good post Darren.

I know we are all hurting and especially chomping at the bit for a change in fortune.

None of us now the real goings on at GP and FF so we don't know if its disharmony at board level, or the manager, or the coaches, or the players and dare I say it or the crowd.

I believe the fans have been so long suffering now the frustration is about to burst the banks of the Mersey but that is the opposite of what the manager or the players need right now.

We will all disagree about selection and tactics and constantly do but the only thing that matters right now is results and points.

We cant change the players, the board will not change themselves, the hangers on will hang on longer and the only question is do we bail on Rafa and give big Dunc a ride until the end of the season. That in itself is very high rick. As we have already seen with these players they can raise their game for short periods but cannot sustain it.

Personally I would hold off until the January window. Get a couple of Todd Cantwell's in MF, get a couple of decent fullbacks and a goalscorer, mostly on loan depending on player sales and then see if its the tactics or the players.

Graeme Beresford
56 Posted 13/12/2021 at 20:37:36
When Rafa first joined the club I figured, unlike many others, that giving him support was the right thing to do. I was a fan of Carlo, yes I understood we lost some really bad games however I always thought we looked hard to beat and we didn’t ship a lot of goals. Rafa wouldn’t of been my first choice but I appreciated that Morishi wanted an experienced Premier League manager. I figured I would give him all of my support. Part of me always thought a younger, upcoming manager would be the better idea for the long term, but we wanted to win something and we want Europe so I get why Rafa had been hired.

What started off okay has quickly gone sour. I think the majority of Everton fans weren’t happy with the appointment of Rafa, mostly due to his Liverpool ties, however I do think we have all given him our support, and we have been well and truly let down. It is simply not acceptable to look back at the Arsenal game and think ‘well we won that one so’. We have to face facts. They almost went 2-1 up when they hit the post, we scored a 92 minute screamer, which was our 3rd shot on target in 90 minutes and also Arsenal had a glorious chance to nick a point at the death. We played well in this game, forward attacking football for around half an hour. The game is 90 minutes long and we simply do not perform for this period of time.

Tactically I have found Rafa to be inept. This is not ten years ago. You can’t expect to play possession, counter attacking football in every game, against every opponent. It just has not worked. We aren’t quick enough to counter attack and we don’t have the quickly to keep possession and create chances such as a Liverpool or Manchester City. We have one of the best crosses of the ball in the league in Digne whom has been frozen out of the team. It’s all a bit strange. Why isn’t Digne being played and more importantly why isn’t he being told to bomb forward, overlap, and cross the ball at every opportunity, it’s mystifying. Tierney did it against us at Goodison for the Gunners’ first goal, it was class.

It’s clear now that Coleman is starting to make mistakes that are leading to goals. The derby game, and today. Coleman unfortunately can’t get forward like he used to, however why not play Digne and utalise Godfrey in the right back position. Rafa seems set on his players and his tactics and that’s it. There’s no change week in week out, other than players coming in for injured players. It really is poor and it seems to me now that the players have lost faith.

Brands has gone, others have gone, yet we have just been beaten 3-1 by Palace, who are on such a poor run of form. Yet again, we have to go a goal down to start to play. However today, we had to go 2 goals down to start to play. It’s just not good enough. I don’t believe for a second that we don’t have enough quality players. But it would seem, unlike Carlo, Rafa doesn’t have the ability to keep a clean sheet and nick a
1-0 win. I do think we have been unlucky. A clear penalty against Brentford not given, a decision for a foul on Coleman today before they scored from their corner, not given. I mean we could even be picky and say their third goal shouldn’t of counted as Coleman has kicked the ball with their player less than ten yards away and the ball was rolling, therefore regardless it should of been brought back. However, we can’t let these incidents cover up the facts, which is we simply are not good enough over 90 minutes to win football matches. We are conceding stupid goals from silly mistakes but we aren’t doing anything worthwhile going forward. Where is the tactics? It’s all over the place.

The players don’t seem to be performing under Rafa. I know we have been unlucky with injury’s but when players come in who want to fight for places he can’t seem to motivate anyone to do a job. What substitute has changed a game this season? You could argue Gomes against Arsenal, yet Gomes kept his place today and made us all realise how poor his is. When is Iwobi going to do anything worthwhile in an Everton shirt? When will Keane be dropped and Branthwaite be given a chance? When will Simms, Onyango or Dobbin be given a game in place of others who just don’t perform for us? These are all questions Rafa has to answer.

Rafa has to start working on defending corners. Yet again today we concede from another. When is he going to realise this is a problem. I don’t have the exact figures but I believe it’s around ten goals we have already shipped from corners, we have big strong players, this cannot be an issue other than what the players are being told to us and who to mark. It’s an absolute shambles.

Rafa needed to continue on from the win at Arsenal yet that performance was just not good enough, yet again. I never wanted to really say these words publicly but I am now Rafa out. He has added nothing to Everton and we have become a complete embarrassment. We lose at Chelsea and Leicester then we are in a relegation fight. We need someone with passion, someone with some grit and gile, dare I say it, we need Duncan Ferguson. We need someone who will enstill what playing for Everton is all about, you run, you tackle, you work hard, you come off that pitch absolutely knackered and knowing you have given you’re all. We want someone running down the touch line when we score, we want someone who goes over to the fans at the end pumping their fist and showing that fight that we all want. Rafa has none of this. Giving a pathetic wave every now and again is just not filling anyone with anything other than doubt that only red runs through his veins.

Oh and a side note, he was so quick to want to get rid of James Rodrigues. I’m telling you what he is exactly what we are missing right now. Someone who can get the ball and spread the play and someone who can score some goals. Great decision that was. What’s next Digne? Richarlison? Calvert Lewin? If anything has been proven in this league it’s that you have to keep your best players as they are just too invaluable to replace. Lukaku style, we still haven’t replaced him, Stones style, we still haven’t replaced him.

All in all it’s just one thing after another. I don’t think Rafa has done anything to assure any Evertonian he’s the man to lead us. Tactics, team selections, substitutions, excuses, they all seem wrong. And maybe this has just all been a big cock up from the start.

Sean Kelly
57 Posted 13/12/2021 at 21:13:15
Please god spare us from Ramsey. We don’t need another crock.
Last week billy bullshit was calling a meeting at finch farm. Was that just to rid us of brands or to divert our attention away from him. We lived in hope after last Monday that we could fight our way out of this shit. What has changed for the better? NOTHING.
We are up to our nostrils in shit. I’m finished with this mind numbing and depressing shit. On top of all the stress of COVID we have to endure deceit, false dawns, a corrupt bunch of playing and non playing staff that steal a wage from our club. The only way this club will survive is by dropping down a division and the resulting heave against those that brought us there. Moshiri can have his bmd which will be an expensive car park.
I for one will no longer accept that achieving mediocrity is a major success. I’ve supported this club since 5 years old I’m now 64. I may not be as passionate about this club as others. Geography has denied me the opportunity to see my teams as often as I wished. I haven’t been to goodison since Martinez first season. I don’t recognise this club anymore and can’t relate to it. I’m old school and believe in trust and loyalty. Unfortunately I don’t possess either with regard to this club. This club has denied me any football enjoyment for over 30 years. I will leave it to more learned fans to infill the reasons why and the names of those responsible.
To those loyal fans especially the away fans who I was amongst on many occasions to salute you. Some here say you can never leave this club as it’s in your blood. Maybe that’s true but I feel I need a transfusion.
I will return to this club when I see a leader emerge. I fear that may not be for some time. To those that may criticise me for deserting a sinking ship I say this ship has been holed for over 30 years I could have jumped then. I have supported this club through more bad times than good.
All the best to yee all. Cheers
Mike Gaynes
58 Posted 13/12/2021 at 21:17:38
Darren #53, great post.

Terry #54, split decision on that one. Agree wholeheartedly on Ramsey, but Winks? A talented 25-year-old with a spotty record? Not first choice and a whole lot to prove?

That's exactly what Gray was four months ago when he came over from Leverkusen... and before that when he left Leicester.

Perhaps Winks -- same age, same level of Prem experience, same flashes of talent and frustrating inconsistency -- is just the kind of player we should take a chance on.

Terry Farrell
59 Posted 13/12/2021 at 21:31:05
Mike,

Winks is injury-prone and one-paced, though. Gray is rapid.

Eddie Dunn
60 Posted 13/12/2021 at 21:31:23
I wonder if Rafa is here because the club fear a points deduction and he is here to prepare us to bounce straight back?

Sell Digne, Mina and Richarlison to raise funds and, with the parachute payment, come up lean, mean and hungry.

For all we know, the club may have been warned of such a fate.

Ian Riley
61 Posted 13/12/2021 at 21:59:57
Only one man can get the maximum out of this squad: David Moyes!

I know, I see the eyes and, under your breath, "For fuck's sake, Riley, play another record!" I want a manager to kick some arses here. Mean something for the shirt and fans! I would rather be awful and shite to watch but working for the shirt.

Why would Moyes come home? We need him and now! There is no other choice now! This squad needs someone to tell it straight!! These players have got off lightly! We can't defend, no structure, and open as a garden gate!

Those thinking relegation might make things better? No!! No!! It may take a lifetime to return! Championship football is a lottery big-time!!

David Moyes is not the manager that left! More experienced, tactically aware and still an eye for a bargain! We need him back!!

Alexander Murphy
62 Posted 13/12/2021 at 22:54:32
I'll confess, openly in ToffeeWeb. I fuckin hate Moyes. I do.

The bloody snake arsed us about saying that he was looking at his contract for 18 months, and more, then the shithouse waltzed up the M62.

Would I have the Ginger Tosser back? Shove that plate of Heston Blumenthal Utterly Humble Pie my way, then keep them coming. I'll scofff the lot, Yours, Santa's, Krippen's, Goebbels's, Jesus, Mary & The Poor Wee Donkey's.

I've brought Me own spoon.

Tom Harvey
63 Posted 13/12/2021 at 23:01:48
The Moyesiah has risen!

He is amongst us once more!

Rejoice!!! Rejoice!!!

Brian Murray
64 Posted 13/12/2021 at 23:13:40
Tom.

Buttons would be blubbing at the mere thought of it.

I've had enough losers. Kenwright Out.

James Head
65 Posted 13/12/2021 at 23:17:41
Not even mentioning the Chelsea game as defeat is inevitable but, if we lose at home on Sunday to Leicester, then Benitez – please stop with the affectionate "Rafa" – will be gone.

No, I don't know who we get to replace him... maybe Jimmy Martin could do a better job.

Crisis? What Crisis?

Barry Jones
66 Posted 13/12/2021 at 23:48:27
I can't recall watching an Everton game where I felt so much despair before. We were dreadful, and I honestly believe we will be relegated as I cannot see a worse team than us in the Premier League.

When Rafa took off Richarlison and brought on Rondon, I almost screamed. Richie was having an off-day, but he can turn a game in a second. He was also commanding attention from their back four. Our only hope was some sort of miracle from a counter-attack, and who better than Richarlison to provide this?

I am beginning to think Benitez is inept and way too stubborn, with his Digne punishment. This season is not about his ego. I am lost as to what the answer is, as I don't think there is one with this set of players and manager.

I watched Will Hughes, who had a cracking game. Why can't we pick up genuine and talented players like him (at a reasonable price) and not the dross we have spent millions on?

Danny O’Neill
67 Posted 13/12/2021 at 00:07:04
Barry, no excuses for the manager in the context of the entire match and tactics, but I said to my son after 30 minutes or so when I saw Richarlson first pull up, he needs to come off.

Players don't want to – never want to – but he was ineffective because of the injury. It shows more at that level and there's a season to think of, not one match.

In terms of feeling despair, I know we all have opinions and feel different at different times, but for me the 4-0 thumping at Arsenal's old Highbury stadium in 1998 was when I have probably felt at my lowest Everton ebb.

Knowing we were going into a relegation decider on the back of that submissive display even beat the feeling in 1994.

It's December. Lots of games and points to be won and lost. I sometimes I think us fans forget how bad we have actually been over the past few decades.

It's far from over just yet.

Ian Horan
68 Posted 14/12/2021 at 01:05:25
No denying we are in a total mess.

Moshiri needs to tell Benitez that it's loan signings only in January and none of our better players (Digne, Richarlison etc) are to be sold until the summer.

The manager needs telling "Prove you are up to the job with Plan B, C and D. Sadly, in the games against Man City, Liverpool and Chelsea, play all the squad players even younger players; target the supposed winnable games as cup games but play your best 11."

It's going to be painful but something radical must happen. As a Blue, I want Everton to be competing with every team but the sad reality is we're shite.

Brentford, Norwich, Burnley, Newcastle (x2), Watford, Leeds, Southampton, Villa are all games we must win!! If we can't then we deserve to go down.

Reset in the summer with a proper recruitment strategy under a new board. I would also target a replacement manager.

Everton need to become ruffled and clear-out the old boys network and this "They get Everton" mentality. Sign young athletic footballers who can trap, pass and tackle, who understand the need to move around the pitch fast and stay alert for 95+ minutes.

I have never considered turning my back on Everton in all my 58 years but, by Christ, I am very close to it!!!

Mike Gaynes
69 Posted 14/12/2021 at 01:32:39
Terry #59, Winks was injury prone early in his career. According to Transfermarkt, since August 2019 he has missed only two games due to injury. He hasn't been playing much because of coaches' decisions, not knocks.

Not saying he'd work out as well as Gray -- just pointing out that nobody here wanted Gray, but at 25 he has seen the light. Maybe Winks would be worth that gamble.

Derek Moore
70 Posted 14/12/2021 at 02:07:41
It must be said, playing predominantly counter-attack with this group of players is bordering on criminal.

The best counter-attacking teams can absorb frequent and extended spells of pressure without the ball. The wisdom of, effectively, inviting teams onto you with a defense as fragile and error-riddled as ours can be assessed quite accurately by a look at our recent results or a glance at the Premier League table.

I can also intellectually see the point a few posters here are making whilst disagreeing with it entirely regarding Benitez's continued tenure: "Successful clubs don't run through managers at this rate" – this line of thinking goes.

"We can't keep sacking managers, we must eventually just settle on one and stick with him for it's what successful clubs seem to do."

Of course, the flipside of this is also true. Successful clubs don't appoint a series of disastrous choices as manager. Successful clubs don't appoint a fellow who then loses 7 league games in 8 less than halfway through his first season.

There was even a badly muddled and confused analogy about cards somewhere up there:

"Sometimes when you've pushed too much money into the pot on bad cards, it's time to stop raising the bet in hopes of catching a miracle ace on the last turn. You play what you've been dealt and wait for better cards. And you certainly don't panic and shove all in."

Playing what you've been dealt when you can't win is the road to ruin playing poker. If you've a busted flush or straight you should almost certainly fold it straight away, and conserve your resources for future hands.

Plenty labeling Benitez a busted flush already. Playing the figurative Benitez until the figurative river is folly compounded on folly.

A losing hand is no more or less than that – whether you fold it and lose nothing or take it to the final turn and put your house on it. The only questions remaining then become very straightforward. Along the lines of: "How much do we want to lose and how quickly can we lose it?"

Laurie Hartley
71 Posted 14/12/2021 at 04:43:54
Eddie #60 – pack it in, mate... I feel bad enough already.

Mick O'Malley
72 Posted 14/12/2021 at 06:00:37
Dale @42,

Who cares if we look stupid? – it's better than finishing in the Bottom 3 or having to watch this turgid football that our tactical genius is serving up. He needs to be gone now, he is splitting the club apart, a truly horrible devious man.

Benitez Out!

Jerome Shields
73 Posted 14/12/2021 at 10:05:02
Barry #50,

Ancelotti put that down to a lack of work and effort. He got no response when he went public to say so, as other lower-table clubs passed Everton on the table, and European Football seemed a disincentive.

It is just happening earlier this season as Benitez called for an improvement in all departments. In other words, more work and effort.

No Manager would send out a team to play as Everton did against Palace. It is not down to tactics, it is down to the players who are implementing the tactics. Defensively due to constant errors and poor technique in midfield, with Palace only having to mark Gray. This is the result of the familiar Finch Farm downing of tools.

The problem is the players that Ancelotti had are still with us and in enough numbers to drag the team down to the familiar Everton level. They will not be held accountable and will do the same with the next manager, after a bit of a rally once the present manager is gone.

Robert Williams
74 Posted 14/12/2021 at 10:08:51
D Lynch – With a name like yours, what are you suggesting?

'I actually fear for his safety. It's no secret where he lives and, let's face it, we have our fair share of brain-dead idiots.'

Derek Cowell
75 Posted 14/12/2021 at 10:09:08
Can all our players catch Covid before Thursday?
Derek Cowell
76 Posted 14/12/2021 at 10:28:19
Sunday Times sport section last week had a long article featuring Anthony Barry. He is a scouser who was on our books til 18 and played for Fleetwood and Forest Green Rovers. Retired early due to injury and is now 35.

He did his coaching badges with Lampard and other bigger names and came top in everything. His thesis on set-pieces was actually published. Lampard took him to Chelsea and he has so impressed Teuchel that he lets Barry organise all set-piece training. Chelsea have improved at both ends under his training.

Barry apparently studied 16,000 Premier League throw-ins for his thesis and formulated new systems for them, challenging the previously coached methods. The article touted Barry as having a great future as a coach. He has apparently turned down good offers to remain at Chelsea and learn from Teuchel.

One for the future? I'd get him now just for corners!!

Len Hawkins
77 Posted 14/12/2021 at 11:52:43
I know – let's ask Kenwright "How would Everton do it?"

Sunday 12 December 2021 – the day that one sport was wrecked and the day that one club died.

Formula 1 had me feeling sick to my stomach after a Dutch bloke who drives like an unlicenced 14-year-old was handed the World Championship on a plate by imbeciles. That was followed by a football match where one team accepted an early Christmas present from probably the worst team in the Premier League, who gave them the ball at every opportunity, led by a "manager" who is absolutely clueless – like the bloke who employed him.

Newcastle were a club whose owner wouldn't spend a penny, managed by our hero now at Everton – a club where the owner must be the son of Viv Nicholson who can't stop spending; the result looks like it is going to be the same.

I was reading an item from Alan Myers who suggests getting Rooney and Big Dunc together after running the Werthers Original chewing failure out of the club back over the Mersey.

Certainly, if nothing else, the word 'passion' would be their motto and the players would know exactly where they stand if not pulling their weight, which, in the case of Iwobi, pulling the skin off a rice pudding would be a start.

It is almost getting to the point where the R-word seems inevitable and, after being unthinkable for 70 years, it is not now.

Adrian Evans
78 Posted 14/12/2021 at 11:55:48
If – and it's an if until the 94+ minutes or the end of each game – we lose the next 4, then Benitez can't remain. The worst record of any manager almost or actually in the Premier League era. We have sacked 'em for less.

A judgement has to be made on 20 games and if it's from mid-September until 30 December, he should be gone before we play Newcastle.

How on earth can he be good enough? The players all know he isn't, we know he isn't. Forget injuries, he has had enough games, plenty of time to coach out mistakes. Enough time to deliver tactics with the players he has. Some of the games he has lost were thrown away with the wrong tactics.

I can say I could take Duncan, Unsworth, the U18 staff. Some ex-players, Kevin Sheedy, loads. Player-manager Allan, Seamus Coleman. More points than Rafa. Some fans with coaching experience. More points than Rafa. Fact: he will be the worst manager by Xmas, New Year in our history. Possibly. Probably on form.

So 5 games won, 4 to go. End 5 wins – if it's 9 won, I'll shut up forever. 4 more defeats, what then?

Empty stadium. That seems all that Moshiri will take notice of. Dire

John Kavanagh
79 Posted 14/12/2021 at 12:05:56
Derek @76. Thanks for the info. Barry should be someone who would be of interest to our DoF. Oh wait, we haven't got one because the Generalisimo is in charge of everything now.

We are the worst team I've seen when it comes to throw ins. The mantra seems to be to surrender possession and give the ball to opponents asap. No one really moves or seeks space. We used to be decent at free kicks and corners, even with a limited squad. We are now simply dreadful, both in defence and attack. The points picked up or lost through set pieces can make all the difference in a relegation fight.

Danny O’Neill
80 Posted 14/12/2021 at 12:30:59
John K, there was a throw in against Palace at some point in the game (it's kind of all a blur). We were roughly in line with the edge of their 18 yard box.

I literally looked away for a second to mutter something to my son. When I looked back, the Palace defence were in comfortable possession. We must have generously thrown it straight back to them.

Adrian Evans
81 Posted 14/12/2021 at 13:01:10
The way this management thing works in RAfa's situation.
Come in, this wont take long.

Win at Chelsea you definately keep ya job for Leicester.Lose Duncan will be in charge for Leicester, we will have a chat Fri.

Win at home, if you only got a point or Dunc is taking us to Burnley.
Go to Burnley and get a point or three Rafa if your still in charge.

Win at home to Newcastle if you don't get beat at Burnley.
So its up to you to get the results,points to keep ya job,Convince the players to put it all in for you and themselves.

If not it ends on the days we say, collect your £12million from the office.
We thank you for your service.

Iam simply laying out whats supposed to happen, does happen with 10,11,loses out of 13,14games.
The Norwich lad won at 5pm sacked at 5.30 same day.

Well done Delia, give ya club a chance, the next manager a fighting chance to turn it around.


Just saying whats supposed to happen with a record that Rafa could have by next Sun.

We will see.

Len Hawkins
82 Posted 14/12/2021 at 13:03:13
Danny similarly there was a throw between our area and the half way line I took my eyes of the game for literally a second when I looke up Palace were on the attack is there ANYTHING this bunch can do other than steal their wages.
Lee Courtliff
83 Posted 14/12/2021 at 13:07:23
I remember that throw-in. I'd taken my eyes off the game for a split second and couldn't believe we'd lost possession by the time I looked back!

Quite impressive, in a sense.

Tony Abrahams
84 Posted 14/12/2021 at 13:12:15
The two free kicks that Demari Gray took just before halftime had me shaking my head in frustration Danny.

Everton players were all out wide on the right side of the area waiting for the kick, and it looked like the Palace players had also gone wide, to match up.

A quick free kick to someone with the speed and fast feet of Gray, could have really exposed them, but we chose to hit two diagonal balls into the box without any real conviction whatsoever.

Players are getting paid 70-100 grand a week to hit non league balls, why can’t we just put the fucking ball down and play, sometimes?

Tom Harvey
85 Posted 14/12/2021 at 13:20:51
Jerome Shields @ 73

Yes, the players will never admit they're at fault, I'm not sure if it's an organised group denial or not, but I suspect there's a 'circle the wagons' attitude every manager we've had has come up against.

Derek Cowell @ 75

The way they're playing I thought they already had Covid or sleeping sickness? We could do what the Dark Side do, break out the inhalers and caffiene pills? I'm not sure even Methamphetamine would get our players to run around with the same intensity as their opponents.

Adrian Evans @ 78

Empty stadium?
No chance, our fan base does not understand the concept of tough love. Sacrificing just one game out of a lifetime of season tickets is beyond them. It's like trying to herd cats.

Dan Johnson
86 Posted 14/12/2021 at 13:25:06
If Benitez is sacked, who replaces him, people say give it to Duncan, but we need a few players in January, would players come here for a temporary manager, no manager will get any consistency out of this squad, plain and simple, they are just not good enough, and keep making the same mistakes, you finish in a league in the position you deserve, unless this squad is improved, we all know where we will finish up, god help us.
Danny O’Neill
87 Posted 14/12/2021 at 13:34:27
Goes back to the point you always rightly point out and what I imagine keeps you restless, or waking up with cold sweats in the night Tony.

We don't have enough players comfortable with the ball. Too many fear having it so revert to tossing it about like a hot potato.

Ken Kneale
88 Posted 14/12/2021 at 13:38:35
Tony - with your playing background you must be shaking your head sufficient for brain injury - be careful.

This is a long-standing problem with Everton over many years - it is greatly exacerbated currently due to the relatively low technical ability many of the first team have and whatever coaching and training goes on in the week at FF - combine the two together and we have wasted opportunities every game to overcome some of the technical and footballing deficiencies by clinical delivery of the ball in crucial areas - as you say - this is basic stuff at any level of football

I am genuinely fearful for this season with the playing stock so low and the clear politics being played out in the various corridors of power

Barry Hesketh
89 Posted 14/12/2021 at 13:40:32
I don't know about anybody else, but it is the consistency of performances and results that has me very worried.
Danny O’Neill
90 Posted 14/12/2021 at 13:47:27
I'm not normally a huge fan of the January window Ken. Generally, the better players aren't available and prices seem to get inflated for what is. No research, just a gut feeling.

But this one is important and will define our season more than I can remember in my view. If we can get 7 points before the New Year (feasible) and then go into the Brighton home game on the 2nd January with a bit more confidence and win, we'll be on 27 points.

With some clever trading (it will be, not incoming only), we should stumble through the season, win the FA Cup and regroup in the summer.

Jerome Shields
91 Posted 14/12/2021 at 13:47:47
Tom#85

Circle the Wagons is about right.

Benitz selection of who he brings in Jan is crucial. There will be a big push to have him gone before then, as players try to lend a hand, as they have thoughts of staying in contention, In the back of their most minds. .

So what does he go for. It will have to be players that work with his loyal lieutenants in the squad and are loyal to Benitez. He also needs pace. So this would be older professional players. Ramsey is a Benitez type player and Wicks seems a goo prospect. But he also needs a versatile defend, so that he can drop a few underperformers.

He also would need to strengthen the people he has brought in at Finch Farm with support.

Brands was being used as a block on Benitez. It is a good job he is gone.

Barry Jones
92 Posted 14/12/2021 at 13:47:54
Tony #84, I agree about the quality of delivery with set pieces. As you pointed out, its both technical quality and decision making that is poor. How often do we see a corner or a cross never making it past the first defender? When we get into good positions, which is not too often at the moment, we need to exercise that extra level of concentration and composure to capitalize on these moments.
Tony Abrahams
93 Posted 14/12/2021 at 13:58:33
I loved playing football Ken, but I’m also aware of how physically demanding the game can be, so it’s for that reason that I try not to be so critical.

I look back at my first ever manager, more fondly than anyone else I ever came across in football, and simply because he encouraged me to play.

Most coaches don’t add anything to your game, so I suppose you’ve got to do that for yourself, but Demari Gray won us the game on Monday night, with his willingness to run at and commit defenders, and I don’t think you can blame confidence on his part, for why he never demanded a short pass, and drove towards the Crystal Palace goal?

Football is dead easy from the sidelines, it’s probably the easiest game in the world, but even when you take the simple stuff out of the equation, it always boils down to how much confidence a player has got in himself, and when things aren’t going well, how much confidence your teammates and your manager have got in you?

Tony Abrahams
94 Posted 14/12/2021 at 14:05:01
Football amazes me every time I watch it Barry, and corners not making it past the first man, definitely gets on my nerves more than anything else, especially when I witness it more than once in the same game.

You have always got to assume that the man taking the kick might not get enough height on the ball imo, and so putting a player in front of everyone at the near post, can often turn a very poor corner kick into a goal?

Ken Kneale
95 Posted 14/12/2021 at 14:17:06
Danny - if you can arrange that I will sign up for it now
Geoff Williams
96 Posted 14/12/2021 at 14:17:53
I don't know who is the answer to Everton's predicament but I do know Banitez isn't. I cannot think of anything positive amount his time at Everton other than the signing of Gray.
Dan Johnson
97 Posted 14/12/2021 at 14:27:32
Tony @94,

You are so right, we are talking about the basics.

These players are experienced pros, they can't even do the simple things, pass and move etc, and our throw-ins are a farce, we almost all of the time, give the ball straight back to the opposition, yet they keep doing the same things every week.

It shows me the mentality they have; no wonder we are a mess.

Adrian Evans
98 Posted 14/12/2021 at 14:32:53
Oh God help me.

But I come back to the manager who dug us out the mire last time.

Big Sam has the methods,skill set with Red Sam to dig us out the shit.

Hate him, despise him loath him.Less than Benitez by a million miles NOW!!After what Benitez has done to us.

I just know Sam would stand a bloody good chance of getting us half way up and safe.

He gave us some good monents if fans would admit it.
He never gave me experiences like Watford,Brentford,Palace.

He aint in a job??

He has a decent record from a terrible start and another crap bunch.
Yep he might have made a few bad signings, well Tosun??

Anyway we not in any position to be picky.

Anyone coming in will take weeks.

Sam could come in and get this lot in shape,not difficult.

Long term, thats another conversation.

But if Sam does us a Huge Favour, we owe him.

I cant trust anyone else who aint been in the scraps Sams been in.

Is it pretty, No, is it effective yep.

Do we need the points yep.

Get Ross back, at least he runs around.

No point is talking ourselves to a stand still.

Get on the way to 42points and more.

Then we can look at it.

Will he come.

Maybe, hes gotta be some sort of masochist, seems to like the challenge.

Hey Ho.Chelsea 2/4/6. us 1 maybe. Ronalu 3.

Act now,in the next week.At least tell Benitez its points, lots of points at home.Minimum of draws away.

Or else.

Cant stand much more of this after 60years.

Tony Abrahams
99 Posted 14/12/2021 at 14:43:34
I personally think we are like kids at throw-ins Dan. Honestly, I’m no football coach, but if I went on to the training pitch whilst Coleman was taking a throw-in, the only way we wouldn’t retain possession, is if people didn’t want the ball, which probably explains a lot, unfortunately!

Jerome Shields
100 Posted 14/12/2021 at 21:32:19
Tony#99

I noticed during the Palace game how slow Everton throw ins where, with no players keen to make themselves available for the ball.

Everton's set pieces have gone to pieces. The ball in is woeful , except for the Townsend Cross for Richarlison. He overhit the next one in the Arsenal game , which is the norm.

Tony Hill
101 Posted 14/12/2021 at 21:39:22
At least we're not Leeds.
Tony Hill
102 Posted 14/12/2021 at 21:40:40
Great, attacking, open and attractive side though they are.
Ron Marr
103 Posted 14/12/2021 at 21:44:33
In 1998 Bolton were relegated instead of Everton on goal difference, same point total and goals scored but they conceded five more goals.
Dave Abrahams
104 Posted 14/12/2021 at 21:45:01
Danny (90) I love the way you support our team, your optimism and always trying to look on the bright side, gives me a lift and I share some of it in as much as I think we will improve in the New Year and improve out points tally before then. I hope you get the tickets you need for the Chelsea game, best of luck.
Tony Hill
105 Posted 14/12/2021 at 21:52:06
Well said again, Dave @104. Sunday was infuriating but we need to keep as calm as we can. This is a crucial phase.
Brent Stephens
106 Posted 14/12/2021 at 21:56:12
Yes, well said Dave #104.

Danny, don't pay over the odds for any Chelsea tickets!

Tony Abrahams
107 Posted 14/12/2021 at 22:00:42
With the goal-line technology of today, then Bolton would have beat Everton, very early on, that season Ron, but because the game finished 0-0, it probably kept Everton in the top league.
Rob Halligan
108 Posted 14/12/2021 at 22:36:56
Tony, do you not think a foul would have been given against Neville Southall in that incident? It looked a clear foul to me and I was at the other end of the pitch.

Obviously I'm talking as if VAR was in existence back then. Surely a VAR official would have ruled the goal out for a foul?

Ron Marr
109 Posted 14/12/2021 at 22:37:07
Tony A.

Sure Everton got some breaks in 1994 and 1998. This year, goal difference may be a decider again. Leeds conceding 7 goals was good news.

Barry Hesketh
110 Posted 14/12/2021 at 22:49:42
Rob @
That's the way I remembered the incident too, confirmed by match reports in the TW history section.

After 53 mins a Sellars corner was headed towards goal by Taggart and on the line Blake clashed with Southall. The ball was kicked away by Phelan, and even though replays showed the ball had crossed the line the ref waved play on. Amid frantic appeals from both sets of players, Bolton for the goal and Everton for the foul on Southall, the ball was cleared. This proved to be the major talking point of the match with replays clearly showing that Southall was fouled and the ball crossed the line.

Blake thought he had put Bolton in front during a frantic spell of pressure at the start of the second half, the Welsh striker getting the better of Southall in a battle to reach a Gerry Taggart header to the far post. Bolton claimed with some justification that the ball crossed the line before Terry Phelan hacked it clear; Everton could argue with equal conviction that their goalkeeper was unfairly impeded.

Danny O’Neill
111 Posted 14/12/2021 at 23:03:05
Dave Abrahams,

I'm a self-confessed addict and fool when it comes to Everton. But that's why we keep believing... right?

As Tony has said, there are generations that remember Everton as a club built to win. One day, that's coming back and I intend to be there when it does. And more than that, I'll be more emotional and pleased for the lost generation(s), like my youngest brother and my son.

I'm good for Thursday courtesy of the very kind Brent. When I saw your post yesterday, I just know a couple of other London-based exiled Blues who could have been interested.

Brent, you know me well already!! Thanks for Sunday; really appreciated. See you at the next one; drinks on me of course!

Svein-Roger Jensen
112 Posted 14/12/2021 at 23:35:21
Everton's problems run deep. An owner with no patience – a board with no excellence – a team with no spine – and a manager with no soul.
Christine Foster
113 Posted 14/12/2021 at 23:53:41
Tired of looking backwards because looking forwards fills me with dread. Looking backwards is just history that we never learnt from.

Looks like Tosun and Rondon on Thursday night; if that don't fill your boots with lead, nothing will!

Gordon and Gray wide, launching balls in every 5 minutes (when we get the ball). Midfield of Allan, Doucouré, and Digne has to be back. I doubt Mina will be...

I'm not looking forward to it but it's Everton... probably win 2-0.

Ian Horan
114 Posted 15/12/2021 at 00:31:57
Svein, your post almost nails Everton for me, just to further underline a Chairman with no conscience and no self-awareness.
Stephen Vincent
115 Posted 15/12/2021 at 01:13:08
Christine, you could have said it's Everton up until this season. Now it's just some screwed up dystopian nightmare on every level and it is doing my head in.
Laurie Hartley
116 Posted 15/12/2021 at 03:42:49
I have reluctantly tried to back Benitez since his appointment and I feel I still may have to because I don't see any viable alternative at the moment.

Having said that, my heart is telling me that the club we love needs a revolutionary leader brought in. Someone whose methods and ideas the players, coaching staff, medical team and fans will buy into. I think it would help if it was an ex-footballer who had played at a high level.

But that of course would require Moshiri to roll the dice again – would he be game enough to do that? The way things are shaping up, his hand may be forced.

The other question is who would want to take it on? Yes – we most definitely are in a dogfight.

Tony Graham
117 Posted 15/12/2021 at 07:54:59
Wayne Rooney being lined up to take over if Rafa is sacked...
Dave Abrahams
118 Posted 15/12/2021 at 09:19:48
Danny (111), I'm made up you got fixed up, nice one, Brent. It was my granddaughter, Danny, who replied to your text; if it had been me, we would have still been texting each other!!

I hope we have something to cheer us up tomorrow night but, at the end of the day, or season, it's all well that ends well.

Tony Abrahams
119 Posted 15/12/2021 at 10:27:28
If VAR was around then, Rob, it probably would have been Jonathan Moss's father in the studio mate!

I can't remember the foul, but I can remember seeing the ball go over the line, sitting in the same area of the ground as your good self, and my biggest memory of that night was being back home in Liverpool 30 minutes after the final whistle, after staying until the end.

There's no way I could do that nowadays with all those yellow speed restriction cameras all over the motorway. This type of VAR is probably an even bigger curse!

Tony Abrahams
120 Posted 15/12/2021 at 10:34:22
Christine's opening line takes me to Laurie's case for a top ex-player; with Everton being in such disarray, then maybe it is going to be Wayne Rooney to be manager number 8 for the irreplaceable Duncan Ferguson.
Rob Halligan
121 Posted 15/12/2021 at 10:39:31
Tony, you were home 30 minutes after the final whistle; when did you leave, 30 minutes before the final whistle? 😄😄😄

It was Bolton's first home game in their new stadium, and all roads around the stadium were absolutely gridlocked. We made the error of parking in the car park right outside the stadium, and it took what seemed an eternity just to get out of that!

Robert Tressell
122 Posted 15/12/2021 at 11:06:58
Lyndon – a couple of points:

1. There was no ambition and optimism upon the appointment of Benitez. It was always going to be a crap, difficult season – which is why he seemed to be the only person interested in the job. We've come off the back of 12th and 10th place finishes and worryingly huge losses mean we cannot spend.

2. Player for player on Sunday, it's debatable whether Palace had inferior players. At the very least, their options from the bench were definitely better than ours.

Laurie, to your point: we do definitely need an inspirational leader and that is not conservative, pragmatic, dull Benitez. But these sorts of people are attracted to well-run clubs which share their vision. Everton has no clear vision at all and is organised (if it is organised at all) for turmoil and mediocrity. There's a lot to sort out before a change of manager will do anything other than a brief spike in enthusiasm.

Mike Crosby
123 Posted 15/12/2021 at 20:16:29
What open revolt?

Seems like too many fans are quick to blast Benitez these days. Get behind the manager as well as behind the team.

Tony Abrahams
125 Posted 15/12/2021 at 20:59:28
Funny Rob, I also parked right outside, but I was a lot cheekier in my younger days, and we just ran back to our very fast bus, told one of the stewards to get out of the way and stop the crowd, and off we went! (Definitely first out👍)

I miss not going to the away games, I’m patiently waiting for my youngest, to get into going the game, but he’s playing football every Saturday, and I’m the only one around to take him, because his mum is going to watch her older son playing football for Morecombe under 18’s every Saturday, although I don’t think I’m missing much at the minute.

You don’t have to be Einstein to manage a football team Ian, and I wouldn’t mind being called thick, if it gave me a football brain like Rooney.

I’m not sure what he’s like on the other side of the fence, but one thing that really impressed me about Rooney, during Derby’s last game of last season, was how calm he was when they went behind, in a must not lose game.

I don’t think a stupid person would be able to remain so calm at such a time, and when his team got back into the game, he still remained very relaxed on the sidelines.

Again, I don’t know a lot about this side of Wayne Rooney, but he always seems to be one of the lads, and also probably doesn’t feel the need to have to prove himself, so maybe he would be a better number two working on the training ground, whilst Duncan Ferguson, might be more suited to being the number one?


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