When the players start going through the motions…

Paul Traill 09/01/2022 38comments  |  Jump to last
Hull City 2 - 3 Everton [AET]
Back in 2005 and 2006, when I was young and fresh out of university, I moved to Hull for work. So, when we were drawn against the Tigers in the FA Cup 3rd Round, I decided I was definitely due to attend. Dan was supposed to join us but, in the end, couldn’t make it, and so a good friend, Adam, stepped in as a last-minute replacement. He opted to drive too which was mighty convenient.

What wasn’t convenient was the accident immediately upon entering the M62 which closed off two lanes. In the bigger picture, it's of course important that everyone was okay following the accident, and it was not exactly a problem for us because we set off in plenty of time. After that, it was a clear run all the way up along the M62, and we eventually arrived at the hotel a little before 3 pm.

With plenty of time still until kick-off, we headed for a few beers, first at The King Edward, and then The Masters Bar where a few Evertonians were congregated, nearly all of which blew up at exactly 4:31 pm when the team news beeped onto everyone’s phones. Salomon Rondon playing from the start and five at the back again. Everyone continually bemused by our manager.

We then took the 20-odd minute walk to the MKM Stadium in the chill of the East Humber air. Once there, we found our way into the stadium and to our seats quickly enough, and arrived in time for a funky pyrotechnic display as the teams took to the field.

Everton lined up with the five defenders, Seamus Coleman this time at right centre-back with Jonjoe Kenny given another opportunity following a decent outing against Brighton. André Gomes also featured and Vitalii Mykolenko debuted.

Glancing through the Hull City team, I didn’t recognise many players other than George Honeyman who was a promising young player at Sunderland a few years ago, and Tom Huddlestone on the substitutes bench, who later entered the fray and was probably the best player out there. Kevin Friend officiated, Everton attacking the opposite end to us in the first half.

And we were a goal down in less than a minute of it. From our own kick-off, we conceded a free-kick which was put into the box pretty routinely and Tyler Smith willfully headed in. It was very poor defending and synonymous with the sort of easy goals we have been giving up of late. It didn’t take long then for the Evertonians to begin singing “Fat Spanish Waiter” and “You’re getting sacked in the morning” in Rafa Benitez's direction. Alas, that was not the case.

What followed was an atrocious 20 minutes or so. We’ve seen this before from our players when they’ve given up on their manager. They begin to go through the motions and do the bare minimum effort. We saw it under Roberto Martinez and Marco Silva, and now we’re seeing it under Rafa Benitez. He’ll be gone soon. When the players start going through the motions, there’s only ever one result.

Our equalising goal was frustrating in that it highlighted this. With our players largely going through the motions, they – or at least Demarai Gray and Anthony Gordon – clicked into life all of a sudden and created a very good goal with a nice one-two which was then finished by Demarai. It shows they can do it.

Assuming the screens downstairs would be showing the match, we went down for a beer on 30 minutes; however, instead of showing the game, they had Sky Sports News on and so we could watch people on mute talking about the game. With the match being shown live on terrestrial television, this was baffling.

We ended up watching the rest of the half on my phone downstairs, but were too late to see Andre Gomes’s goal which was headed in following a nice cross from Jonjoe Kenny. Though the goalkeeper should definitely have saved it, not for the last time in the evening.

Back in for the second half and Everton did in fact get their finger out and did produce quite a concerted spell of pressure in the first 15 minutes of the second half, though we failed to convert this superiority into what probably would have been a settling third goal.

Grant McCann’s response was to make a treble substitution, one of which was Tom Huddlestone, who changed the game for Hull City. They soon got a grip of the game again. Rafa Benitez’s response was to take off one of our better players in Anthony Gordon, and 5 minutes later, we were pegged back courtesy of a fine distance strike from substitute Ryan Longman.

Despite around 20 minutes still to play, Everton failed to, or ever really look like they were going to, score a goal to wrap the game up in 90 minutes. Hull City were full value for the draw and were marshalled superbly in defence by Richard Smallwood, and George Honeyman also excelled.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Premier League team take a small punt on him, while Tom Huddlestone used all his nous to keep moving Hull City forward, and Tom Eaves lead the line well throughout. It’s a shame for them that there are no replays currently as they certainly deserved one.

As it was, we plundered a win in extra time when a hit-and-hope strike from substitute Andros Townsend was ‘handled’ woefully by Nathan Baxter to provide us an advantage. And we have Asmir Begovic to thank for a quite brilliant reflex save in the dying minutes to prevent what would have been, let’s face it, penalty shoot-out misery at the MKM Stadium.

We trundled away after the game, and after originally getting completely lost finally found our way to a place I used to enjoy frequenting called Princess Avenue, before continuing into the city centre for an enjoyable evening on the beers.

We’re in the hat. I’ll be surprised if Rafa Benitez is still in the job to oversee our 4th Round tie against Brentford. It’s a shame we now won’t get to Goodison Park for the Leicester City match on Tuesday evening, though I’d say it's a bit of a godsend for Rafa Benitez that we aren’t. There can be no excuses for failing to beat Norwich City on Saturday. Lose that and he’s dust.

Player ratings

Asmir Begovic: Had a good game. He dealt with most crosses quite well and made some very important saves, not least at the end. 7

Vitaliy Mykolenko: I thought he did quite well on debut. Steady if not spectacular. He didn’t do a lot wrong and seems an agile player who does the basics well. Best of luck to him. 6

Ben Godfrey: Not great. 5

Michael Keane: I often find myself sticking up for Michael Keane, not least because – unlike some of his teammates – the effort is always there. And that was the case again last night. 6

Seamus Coleman: With a game expected on Tuesday, it seemed an ideal opportunity to give Seamus a rest, but maybe Rafa Benitez felt he needed his leadership in there. Either way, he did okay and didn’t let Everton down. 6

Jonjoe Kenny: It seems popular to think Jonjoe isn’t good enough, though most times I see him I think he does okay. No, he’s not a great player, but he’s okay and I don’t think he deserves the negative opinion of him most of the time. However, last night, despite a good involvement for our second goal, I thought he had a poor game and, under the stress of an angry away end, he lost composure and was then rightly substituted for Abdoulaye Doucouré. 4

Allan: All our players had to do last night was turn up and do the basics right. That would likely have been enough to navigate a safe passage into the 4th Round. Few did… but fair play to Allan who was tigerish throughout and didn’t stop battling until the end. Nothing spectacular, but he did what he was supposed to. My Man of the Match. 7

André Gomes: He mostly had a good game. He used the ball intelligently and chipped in with a goal. His header wasn’t great and should have been kept out, but it was a good accelerated run into the box which got him there. A good effort. 7

Demarai Gray: He made a very good contribution for our goal and kept their full-back honest. Rafa Benitez is lucky there is no game on Tuesday as, given Demarai could barely even walk by the end of this game, he’d have surely been doubtful. 7

Anthony Gordon: He was having a good game and was one of our better players but, probably with an eye on the game versus Leicester City, he was taken off. Madness. 7

Solomon Rondon: He was pretty hapless throughout really. Goodness knows why he lasted almost 2 hours when we had Lewis Dobbin and Cenk Tosun available. 3

Andros Townsend (for Anthony Gordon): As with Allan, he did the basic right. Nothing spectacular, but he did what he had to. He got lucky with the goal but we’ll take it! 6

Abdoulaye Doucouré (for Jonjoe Kenny): He is another one that is currently going through the motions. 5

Jean-Philippe Gbamin (for André Gomes): If the plan was to put him in the shop window given he is surplus to requirements, it didn’t work. Poor. 3

Lewis Dobbin (for Demarai Gray): Looks a good player and I look forward to watching his development from wherever he ends up. He probably wants out of this circus and who can blame him? He was lively and probably what we needed at that stage of the game. 6

Cenk Tosun (for Solomon Rondon): He got involved quickly. It's probably not unfair to say he did more in his 5 minutes than Solomon did in almost 2 hours. 6

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Reader Comments (38)

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Steve Carse
1 Posted 10/01/2022 at 12:15:40
Paul, your comparative rating of Gomes and Gbamin is interesting and just shows how different eyes sees different things when applied to watching football. Gomes did indeed have one of his less sluggish games and generally was tidy and willing to take possession of the ball. But I have to say that I was taken somewhat pleasantly by surprise by what my eyes saw was a very decent contribution from Gbamin. He covered the ground required, made a couple of forceful runs through the midfield, and played a number of perfectly weighted passes to the wide men. Doesn't sound much I know but compared to previous appearances it did give hope that he might have a role to play looking ahead over the rest of this pitiful season.
Dave Abrahams
2 Posted 10/01/2022 at 12:18:44
The players are going through the motions and you want Benitez sacked!!
John Zapa
3 Posted 10/01/2022 at 12:31:29
As long as a few points are picked up here and there, Benitez will not get sacked, staying up probably needs less than 30 points this season, Benitez has a free hand and pass to do as he sees fit this season. No amount of protest or wishing otherwise will change this, its probably best to accept him as some disgusting medicine that needed to be taken to get better.
Niall McIlhone
4 Posted 10/01/2022 at 12:58:11
Thanks for your report, Paul, and whilst I can understand the huge frustration, we also know that things can change quickly in football. The manager's decisions are baffling to many of us at this time, but then, he's dealing with a largely rag-bag crew at the moment. I personally feel that once Richalison and DCL are back, and with (hopefully)improved form from Doucoure, we can grind out some results and build co nfidence.I hope you and your pals enjoy the remaining "away days" Paul, there is nothing worse than having to endure a long trip home after an abject effort by our players, I get that.
John Raftery
5 Posted 10/01/2022 at 13:15:43
Paul, your narrative about the players going through the motions is not matched by your ratings and assessments for the majority of them. I agree that Allan was our man of the match and the performances of Begovic, Mykolenko, Keane, Coleman, Gomes, Gray, Gordon and Townsend suggested to me that there was no shortage of commitment. We can criticise Kenny and Rondon for a lack of ability but not for lack of effort. Rondon in particular is incredibly slow and clumsy but from what I see he is doing his best.

I will be very surprised if Benitez isn’t still in charge for the fourth round tie. He does however need to start delivering an early, sustained improvement in performances and results. One of the problems he needs to address concerns the shape of the team. We make the pitch far too big with the back three sitting too deep and the front three pressing too far up the field. The 3-4-3 works reasonably well when we have possession. Out of possession with the current personnel it leaves us vulnerable. The wing backs are not only unable to close off the midfield but are also left exposed by routine long balls played into the channels.

Another obvious issue is the way we routinely present the opposition with a goal start. Misplaced passes in the first minute of games undermine confidence and create anxiety among players and fans. Making sure their first touch of the ball is a good one is something which should be second nature to professional players. Some of them need to be reminded of that.

Finally fans chanting abuse about the team manager pre-match and during the match does nothing for team morale but encourages the opposition. Every manager I can recall from Carey onwards has had vehement criticism. Even during our 1969/70 championship season there were some saying they had had enough of Catterick after a third round cup defeat at Sheffield United. Fortunately social media did not exist in those days to lend credence to tired and emotional complaints.

Benjamin Dyke
6 Posted 10/01/2022 at 14:04:39
The motions the players went through were actually encouraging to me in the main, but we are poor defensively, both individually and collectively.

Keane, even though he had an okay game, will never be either a beast or a Van Dijk who dominates in the air and on the floor. Godfrey also played ok but we seem soft. They both made great forward runs but don't inspire confidence in anticipating and nullifying attacks.

We seem to let all teams, whoever they are, be the best version of themselves. I've no idea what the solution is, but Rafa had better find one soon.

Barry Rathbone
7 Posted 10/01/2022 at 14:22:59
I don't think they're going through the motions. The scandalous periods at the end of the Walter Smith and Martinez days are how players go through the motions.

The issue is we have a very moderate squad barely capable of scraping enough points to avoid relegation with a cup exit almost guaranteed.

As we plod into the now familiar routine of nothingness, we will continue to demonstrate the point until Benitez can effect wholesale change. Only then can we judge him.

Mick O'Malley
8 Posted 10/01/2022 at 14:46:03
It does show that we all see the game differently cos I thought Allan was totally anonymous until the last 10 minutes of normal time and improved in extra time, for me Demarai Grey was the standout and Gordon not far behind him. Benitez is doing Coleman no favours at all playing him in different positions week after week, Paul I’m with you wanting Benitez gone but it looks like he’ll cling on for a bit longer but he has to address that defence as it is unacceptable to concede the first goal against for the 14 th time this season and to another set piece which has also happened umpteen times this season, Begovic pulled off two cracking saves and punched a couple of corners clear and didn’t stand a chance with the 2 conceded, I also thought the new lad was ok and it’s far to soon to say he’s not up to much which I’ve seen posted on the match day thread, the main thing is we are through a potential banana skin and we really should beat Brentford at home in 4th round, the fans deserve a good cup run so I hope Benitez takes the F.A cup seriously. COYBS!
Barry Ferguson
9 Posted 10/01/2022 at 14:48:45
Barry -

Benitez is serving up shit as bad (I’d argue “worse than”) as anything Martinez or Smith served up.

Until his house was violated, and his daughter and family fled the country, Carlo had the squad comfortably at the right end of the table.

Rafa has added 7 players so far and spent twice as much as the entire hull team (who just had 52% possession against us) cost.

He’s a dinosaur, divisive, fat, kopite pleb and it’s embarrassing there are still people making excuses for him. Gray and Townsend have done well, but no better than the James/Dignes/Keans might have done if this tit hadn’t ran them out.

Worst run since 1999. Battered by Villa, Watford and a shit United. Knocked out by QPR…….he’s pallersyce, although that’d be unfair on Sam, who at least taught us to defend and attack set pieces.

Nick Page
10 Posted 10/01/2022 at 14:51:43
Benjamin #6, agreed. We’ve been soft as shite for years, even under Moyes. The RS used to delight in it. It’s all part of Kenwrights teary museum philosophy, which has failed miserably in the dog eat dog world of premier league football. It’s percolates down to the playing and coaching staff all the way from the top. We’ve been done by referees, VAR, the media, and other clubs more than anyone else and we continue to just roll over and take it. We’re quiet on the pitch and never complain. Look at the way the Red Echo treats us!! All this considered when Everton Football Club is exactly the opposite and the fans want to see competitive football and blood and thunder - that’s our philosophy, that’s what we want. That’s what Howard gave us, Brian Labone, Dave Watson, Duncan but teary Bill has absolutely killed it. It’s terrible and it needs to change but it won’t change until the parasites are marched out of the club.
Shane Kind
11 Posted 10/01/2022 at 14:52:51
I feel that there are players who are willing to put a shift in, whether there are enough of them or those individuals can keep consistently doing it against the environment they find themselves in, I don't know.

But, I do wonder, when watching them, if it is a case of them being set up wrong from the start, or whether they are nervous little lambs, or the manager is trying to put square pegs in round holes.

What I do know is that watching Everton is hard work and can very easily grind you down. I think I lasted all of 45 seconds against Hull before I was effing and blinding!

Jerome Shields
12 Posted 10/01/2022 at 15:01:26
Interesting Paul, you thought players were going through the motions. I expected that the performances before Xmas would only change with the introduction of new players, returns from injuries, and young players.

It's because of the attitude at Finch Farm that Benitez has to stay. He has taken on this attitude early and will need till the end of the season to break the back of it. The lack of tracking back, poor shape, and below-par performances have been the end of too many managers at Everton. They are trying it on earlier this season.

They may not want the extra games of the FA Cup and won't want a backlog of fixtures to play into March. No wonder Ancelotti could not enthuse them for the European Conference League.

Tom Bowers
13 Posted 10/01/2022 at 15:17:39
It was a Jekyll & Hyde performance much like many of the games since August. It would be easy to say that things will get better when Mina, DCL and Richie are all fully fit and the two new fullbacks settle in but the inconsistency especially in midfield is the main problem.

When they have possession, unless it is Gray or Townsend charging forward they don't seem to be creative.
Sacrificing an attacking midfielder for an extra back four player is so negative.

Everton need a much stronger midfield to get control of games like the top teams do.

Far too often, opposing sides, even the weaker ones get down to Everton's penalty area too easily, too often and exploit Everton's shaky set-up.

Until Rafa sorts that out (if he ever does) then getting results will continue to be a struggle.

Peter Neilson
14 Posted 10/01/2022 at 15:39:08
Benitez and/or the players have a novel way of pressing the opposition in their own half. Sometimes one, sometimes a few do it but never consistently throughout a match. Looks like they’re making it up as they go along. No idea what the plan is. Think Benitez said at the start of the season any pressing would be out wide. Don’t see this consistently either. Then end up with our largely ineffectual midfield scampering back to protect our porous defence in the manner of the Keystone Cops. Also most of the players look uncomfortable with the ball. The number of errors in passing is astounding.
Gordon and Gray at least give us a shot of creativity. The rest of of it is similar fare to that served up by Allardyce.

Then again if we still can’t defend a set piece maybe everything else is beyond them.

Jerome Shields
15 Posted 10/01/2022 at 15:49:54
I do think that Doucoure and Townsend coming back from injury would have wanted to be careful and Seamus is getting his place on shear enthusiasm and effort, which maybe in short supply in some quarters at Finch Farm at the moment. I am prepared to include Michael Keane along with him on Paul Traill's observations.

Mina maybe simply on his usual winter break with no enthusiasm to be part of the present offering. He could be missing his photogenic mate Donachie or has the longest hamstring injury in history. Recovery alone for two weeks in South America was not much help.

Jack Convery
16 Posted 10/01/2022 at 15:56:15
Going through the motions - isn't that what sewermen do ? Though being knee deep in sh*t is something us blues are used to. So maybe you are spot on.
Jay Harris
17 Posted 10/01/2022 at 16:05:44
Like many I did not want Benitez but I don't hate him and I feel some of the sentiment being shown to him is disgraceful.

Whtether we like a manager or not he is Everton at the moment and this wave of anto sentiment does the club and the players harm.

We have to put into context the amount of injuries to our best players and the fact that the squad he inherited was already weakened by the Iceman's situation.

It takes time to build a good team just ask Klopp who struggled across the way for the first two years so we have to be patient and get behind the team at least until there is some stability then take a view on an alternative route.

IMO now is not the time to turn on the manager and/or the players.

Bill Fairfield
18 Posted 10/01/2022 at 17:07:12
There’s been a lot of poor performances this season, but I haven’t seen any game when the team where going through the motions. As for Rondon I thought he was involved in a few moves in the first half that lead to chances, including the second goal. Seems Rondon has become the mallet to bash the manager with.
Neil Halliwell
19 Posted 10/01/2022 at 17:22:09
I get tired of reading about Benitez not being welcome. When are these Evertonians going to get real. Who could we get as a better manager at this stage ? These supporters are in cuckoo land. Benitez brought Gray and Townsend thank God. London cost nothing so stop bleating and give Benitez a chance to change the squad he inherited.
Tom Bowers
20 Posted 10/01/2022 at 17:33:07
It was a Jekyll & Hyde performance much like many of the games since August. It would be easy to say that things will get better when Mina, DCL and Richie are all fully fit and the two new fullbacks settle in but the inconsistency especially in midfield is the main problem.

When they have possession, unless it is Gray or Townsend charging forward they don't seem to be creative.
Sacrificing an attacking midfielder for an extra back four player is so negative.

Everton need a much stronger midfield to get control of games like the top teams do.

Far too often, opposing sides, even the weaker ones get down to Everton's penalty area too easily, too often and exploit Everton's shaky set-up.

Until Rafa sorts that out (if he ever does) then getting results will continue to be a struggle.

Barry Hesketh
21 Posted 10/01/2022 at 17:37:05
I sometimes get tired, of people posting, how they get tired, of people, posting things with which they disagree. It's a forum for football fans to express their views, not some world peace negotiations or incredibly life-threatening situation which needs resolving.

Everton would have little trouble in filling the vacancy should it become available, the money on offer would attract quite a few applicants, whether they would be better or worse than the current boss is open for debate.

This cloud cuckoo land must be full of Evertonians and TW posters because so many of us appear to reside there, I wonder if I could rent a nicer apartment a bit closer to the centre?

Chill Neil it's only a game of football and a distraction from the real world

Dale Self
22 Posted 10/01/2022 at 17:39:46
I tried but the 'Alas' line was irritating. If I may add, Arsenal lost to a team 10 or so places above Hull for comparison. It was a cup match not Waterloo.
Rob Halligan
23 Posted 10/01/2022 at 17:46:28
Neil # 19. What's london got to do with anything?
Ed Fitzgerald
24 Posted 10/01/2022 at 17:49:44
Hi Neil

Greetings from cloud cuckoo land. I think Benitez’s tactics are naive, antiquated and unsuccessful. I think his man management skills are antagonistic and provoke discord within dressing rooms. Maybe ask any of the following shite footballers Alonso, Torres, Ramos or Ronaldo about his management style so his treatment of Digne isn’t a surprise.

Perhaps you are comfortable with 3 points from 36 and the first ever home defeats by Watford and Brighton allied to clueless tactics employed at Palace, Brentford and Wolves??? I’m not and not least when this joker is pocketing 6 million year.

His increasingly bizarre media appearances are laden with excuses and it’s no wonder our brilliant travelling support are sick of him.

Rob Halligan
25 Posted 10/01/2022 at 17:51:21
Paul, you say in your report that the shot by Townsend was "Hit and Hope". Isn't any shot from about twenty five yards out "Hit and Hope"?

If you don't buy a ticket you won't win the raffle.

Brent Stephens
26 Posted 10/01/2022 at 17:51:27
Rob - a capital signing, I guess - Rondon?
Paul Traill
27 Posted 10/01/2022 at 17:57:25
Rob #25 - yes fair point, you're dead right.
Des Farren
28 Posted 10/01/2022 at 18:34:50
No mention of the 2/3 penalty shouts or the 3/4 excellent goal chances created in 1st half? Ah but then you were in the bar for a period during the game.
Nicholas Ryan
29 Posted 10/01/2022 at 18:41:30
Shane [11] "... watching Everton is hard work...'. So far, that is by some distance, the understatement of the 21st Century!
Barry Ferguson
30 Posted 10/01/2022 at 18:45:54
Benitez apologists with the same old tired and pathetic excuses.

Excuse 1: We must get behind the team
Truth: anyone who goes the game will know the fans have done exactly that, until it became utterly untenable. Patience is not unlimited when you can see the destructive path.

Excuse 2: Rondons not that bad
Truth: get the fuck out of here you utter weirdo.

Excuse 3: We couldn’t get another manager
Truth: Every team in premier league, Europe and the world attracts managers. The idea there is a scarcity is simply spin doctoring.

Excuse 4: working with limited budgets
Truth: OK, this is fair so far, although he’s been allowed to bring in 7 players in half a season. Time will tell on latest two, but first 5 have helped us to worst run since 1999. Not convinced we are any NET better of because of it, and the fact the budget constraints are here to stay makes his lack of use of kids even more horrifying.

Excuse 5: he’s had injuries
Truth: yep, so has EVERY club this year. It’s part of football. If his cover (Rondon) hadn’t been so shit this may still be a point.

Excuse 6: we need root and branch reform, and he’s stubborn and aggressive enough to do it
Truth: zero evidence he’s ever done it anywhere other than maybe Valencia (20 years ago?). He’s been ran out of every club since for causing division since, and it’s odds on he will be here too. How low can he go.

Excuse 7: he has his players network and is like a DOF and manager in one.
Truth: there are farrrrr more aquillani’s in his CV than there are Aimars.

Probably just stop there. As with most issues these days, people won’t listen, they’ll just lock in…..Benitez for me is the worst mistake the board have made. It’s going to get a lot worse until he goes.

Dale Self
31 Posted 10/01/2022 at 18:53:23
You should attribute those quotes Barry. I don't recall anyone making those particularly vapid statements. Straw man anyone?
Danny O’Neill
32 Posted 10/01/2022 at 18:56:24
Thanks Paul, my memories of Hull are brief and vague, clouded by my hangovers as I got off the North Sea ferry on my way home on leave from Germany on a few occasions.

It is funny how we all see it. I was with Steve on the other thread, I thought Gbamin done alright when he came on. I agree with Gray followed by Gordon and also, Allan was up there.

I had the debate with my brother about Townsend's goal. He was in the camp it should have been saved, but he always says that. I thought the pace and swerve on the ball caught the keeper out. Small margins, but the flight of the ball beat him by the all important inch or two in my opinion.

Derek Moore
33 Posted 10/01/2022 at 19:01:28
I thought the way Townsend shifted his feet just moved the keeper enough, and the swerve on the ball did the rest.

My lad and my neutral mate Greg both thought that needed to be stopped.

Interesting how differently we see it indeed.

Read the sentiments or minor variations Barry cites on here many many times Dale Self. No "straw man" for me, I'd rather play the ball not the man in these sorts of debates all day anyway.

Ironically if anyone could be accused of straw man tactics it should actually be... you!

Kevin Prytherch
34 Posted 10/01/2022 at 21:13:15
Can't agree with the ratings here. Gray and Gordon were easily the best players, far better than Gomes and Allan who were overrun for large parts of the game.

Kenny was at least equal to Mykolenko. Gbamin was definitely not the worst on the pitch by a mile, he made some good touches and covered a lot of ground, but did seem to be out of position a few times (Allan anyone?).

Bill Gienapp
35 Posted 11/01/2022 at 02:02:29
I've seen a wide range of opinions re: Gbamin and how he looked in this match.
Phillip Warrington
36 Posted 11/01/2022 at 05:58:53
The trouble is we have old hacks who, every now and again, give a shit and turn up, but, most of the time, go through the motions, because they don't care, win or lose, they are getting paid 30% - 40% more than they would at any other club.

Then we have a bunch of young guns who know they are as good as the players they are supposed to be studying, and getting more disillusioned with there pathway to the first team. Benitez says they're too young but fuck most of the top teams play 18- to 21-year-olds if they are the best player for that position.

How Rondon is better than Lewis Dobbin at this stage of his career is defying logic. Be interesting to see if Jarrad Branthwaite plays in the next game…

Christopher Timmins
37 Posted 11/01/2022 at 09:12:51

As always I enjoyed the pre and post match elements of your report, however, your report on the game and your subsequent ratings do not tie. Gomes on the same rating as Gray and Gordon, I can't have that. Our mid field was only ok and if it were not for our goalkeeper, and the two boys up top we would be out of the Cup. Rondon did not deserve a 3.

Next weekend fixtures, assuming all game go ahead, may determine the manager's position for the rest of the season.
If we beat Norwich I cannot see any change for the remainder of the season.

Phil Teece
38 Posted 11/01/2022 at 21:25:11
John @ 5...

Strongly agree with your comments and especially your final paragraph. This sort of abusive stuff doesn't help anyone, least of all those on the field.

I too recall the anti-Catterick brigade and a decade earlier the same negative stuff in Carey's time. It was corrosive then; now, in the social media age, it can only be totally destructive of club morale and thus a major boost to opposition teams.

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