No bounce for Ferguson as Everton are outplayed

Michael Kenrick 22/01/2022 445comments  |  Jump to last

Allan started on the bench but came on in the second half
Everton 0 - 1 Aston Villa

Duncan Ferguson's return to the dugout as caretaker manager got Everton playing a bit better but they were ultimately outplayed by a more tenacious Aston Villa at Goodison Park.

For his first line-up, Ferguson picks a strong and sensible team, five changes to the one that began last weekend's defeat at Norwich City. Jonjoe Kenny, Mason Holgate, Yerry Mina, Andros Townsend and Richarlison come into the starting line-up.

Keane, Allan, Coleman, and Gordon were perhaps surprisingly dropped to the bench with youngsters Dobbin and Onyango named.

No Branthwaite, Mylenko or Patterson in the squad. Delph and Davies are out injured. And as a loan player, El Ghazi is ineligible for selection against his parent club.

For the visitors, Lucas Digne starts along with Coutinho.

As the stadium filled before kick-off, a plane flew over trailing a banner that read: "22 YEARS OF FAILURE BILL @TIME2GOBILL".

A fine entrance for Duncan Ferguson, unfortunately drowned out by the tannoy playing Forever Everton far too loud! Aston Villa kicked off and soon lost possession, Richarlison drawing the first free-kick.

Watkins almost beat Mina and Pickford to a long hoofball. Gomes won the ball well and started a run but then lost it. Holgate did well defending down the left but Everton's forward balls were erratic, with little to get the crowd going, other than Mina blocking Digne and winning a free-kick.

It was the aggression of Villa, however, that really got the crowd going as the visitors tackled like tigers and forced a free-kick in the middle that Luiz fired inches over Pickford's bar.

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The tempo of the game was high but it was causing plenty of errors on both sides. Everton did get into the Villa area but it was very messy and too easily thwarted.

Most of Villa's attacks were coming down their left, through Digne. Buendia got sight of goal and fired low, forcing a save from Pickford. Everton responded with an attack but no strike on goal. A much better passing move saw Doucouré play the final pass just too far away from Calvert-Lewin, who was struggling to get into the game.

Kenny put in a good pass that Townsend flicked on to Calvert-Lewin but he couldn't control the ball. Gray went on a good run but finished with a misstep-over that fooled himself and ended up over the byeline.

Buendia wriggled free again but shot well wide this time. Everton won the first corner but it spun away from goal off Mina. At the other end, Villa broke ahead with an advantage, 3 on 2, but Mina stood firm to deny Coutinho, a critical moment.

Townsend looked to make a penetrating run down the right wing but ended up beating himself as things were just not quite working for the boys in Blue. Cash burst forward and caused havoc, Godfrey across well to deny him at the expense of a corner that needed clearing and that set up Doucouré for a fantastic 2-on-1 chance but his ball to Richarlison was atrociously bad, meat and drink for Martinez to advance and clear.

Mings threw Richarlison to the ground off the ball, but nothing in it, said Pawson, Richarlison then winning a corner. Buendia and Mina had a set-to that needed a long lecture from Pawson. Townsend finally delivered it well but not to an Everton head and they had to work hard to win a second phase. Another cross in by Townsend was met by Mings.

Richarlison tried to up the pace by winning the ball off Luiz but his shirt was pulled by the Everton man. McGinn then ran into Godfrey's elbow, and came off worst.

A brilliant Villa ball over the top was taken well by Watkins and his shot forced just wide by Pickford's flailing body-save. Things got a bit more antsy between McGinn and Richarlison but it wasn't really helping the football.

A mistake by Mings gave Everton another corner, with Watkins heading it away. At the other end, the best move from Villa, Watkins with an open header (yards offside though!) but Pickford made a fantastic save with his foot showing brilliant anticipation.

Gomes fouled Ramsey for the first yellow card of the game, and a dangerous free-kick in added time. Villa worked it well, Pickford having to tip over Coutinho's header before the corner which was superbly delivered by Digne and finished off by Buendia, a looping header with Pickford stretching to fingertip it over Townsend's head on the line and into the Everton net. Bottles thrown from the crowd hit the Villa players as they celebrated.

Everton had been lacking in confidence in almost everything they did and there was a sad inevitability about the goal when it finally came, while the Blues, despite plenty of bluster, had mustered not one single attempt on the Villa goal throughout the entire half.

The game restarted with Everton kicking off but they were soon exposed and Watkins crossed into space when it could easily have been the second goal. But Everton won a free kick 25 yards out, Gray clipping it off the wall. Townsend's corner looped over to Calvert-Lewin who could not do anything with his header.

Calvert-Lewin got a card for hardly touching Watkins as they jumped for an aerial ball. Gomes went off for Allan. Then Gordon came on for Townsend. But the workrate of the Villa players was denying Everton space at every turn.

Gordon's first contribution was an excellent first-time cross that Richarlison should have got on target at least. Ramsey ran at the Everton defence, Gordon pushing him into Mina who was penalized for the free-kick and shown an unnecessary yellow card. Ages later, Coutinho curled the free-kick over the bar.

Richarlison almost got behind the Villa defence but Cash was there to block. Gordon's corner was headed to the far post by Godfrey then back across by Calvert-Lewin and finally at goal by Godfrey, but blocked on the line by Mings. Everton were at least finally pressing into the Villa area, and the crowd responded.

Duncan's final change: Onyango on for Doucouré, who may have been crocked. A brilliant cross in by Gordon should have been buried by Calvert-Lewin but he waited to watch the defender miss the ball and his attempted finish was poor in the circumstances. From the corner, Mina's header flew inches wide. Martinez was booked for time-wasting.

The tall Onyango got his head to a cross and won a corner but it was very congested in front of Villa's goal. Mina should have done better with a header at the far post but it was well off target. Martinez was booked for timewasting as the crowd went ballistic at his antics.

Cash was booked for holding back Richarlison but Gordon's ball in wasn't good enough. A long throw won a corner that a Gordon again launched into the Villa area, cleared to Gray but his shot was launched skywards.

Allan was next in Pawson's bulging book after trying to take a quick free-kick, then giving the referee a piece of his mind when his efforts were countered. Godfrey then clattered Luiz and he also went in the book.

Everton were given another chance to strike from a dangerous free-kick near the D, Gordon firing it in low through the crowd but Martinez has the measure of it.

Another aglimmer from a late corner deep into 5 minutes of added time but Everton's record from set-pieces is abysmal and this does not change, despite Pickford coming up to attend. Gordon hits it long. Mina heads the ball back across the face of goal, but Calvert-Lewin is once again AWOL and that was pretty much it.

Everton had tried everything but could still not get very close to troubling Martinez in the Villa goal. Where Everton were supposed to come out and play like tigers, it was Steven Gerrard's Villa players who had showed them how to do it.

Scorer: Buendia (45+3')

Everton: Pickford, Kenny, Holgate, Mina [Y:58'], Godfrey [Y:83'], Townsend (56' Gordon), Gomes [Y:45+2'] (51' Allan [Y:82']), Doucoure (65' Onyango), Gray, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin [Y:50'].
Subs not Used: Begovic, Keane, Coleman, Gbamin, Rondon, Dobbin.

Aston Villa: Martinez [Y:69'], Cash [Y:75'], Konsa, Mings [Y:85'], Digne, McGinn, Douglas Luiz, Ramsey, Buendia (90+1' Hause), Watkins (79' Ings [Y:90+3']), Coutinho (74' Chukwuemeka).
Subs not Used: Olsen, Targett, Sanson, Young, Kesler, Iroegbunam.

Referee: Craig Pawson
VAR: John Brooks

Attendance: 38,203

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Reader Comments (445)

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Brian Murray
1 Posted 22/01/2022 at 11:20:05
Slow boat back to China for Rondon.

Play the game, not the occasion – these ain’t all that. Coyb

Danny O’Neill
2 Posted 22/01/2022 at 11:36:36
Looks like a 4-4-2 with Richarlison up front with Calvert-Lewin. Unless he's playing number 10 in a 4-2-3-1. Or will Gray play there with Richarlison out wide? Either way, 2 in midfield.

Interesting choice of Kenny and Godfrey as fullbacks.

Glad to see Mina starting.

Christy Ring
3 Posted 22/01/2022 at 11:40:15
I worry about our 2-man midfield, but it shows what Duncan thinks of our new full-backs – not even in the squad!
John Daley
4 Posted 22/01/2022 at 11:40:50
Chris Williams
5 Posted 22/01/2022 at 11:41:22
Who’s captain?


Jay Wood

6 Posted 22/01/2022 at 11:41:38
I remember Duncan reflecting on his stint as caretaker manager last time out answering the question what has he learnt about himself in management:

"That I can make big decisions."

He's done that with his selection today in selecting the back four that he has.

Tough on Anthony Gordon.

Now go out there and twat 'em!

John Graham
7 Posted 22/01/2022 at 11:44:30
Quite a few changes. Two new fullbacks not even in the squad. Let's hope he gets a positive reaction from the players.

Holgate and Kenny start; we need both of them to have a good game as this could be the weak point.


Andy Walker
8 Posted 22/01/2022 at 11:45:03
Holgate and Kenny. That’s risky.
Steve Shave
9 Posted 22/01/2022 at 11:45:37
Looking at it again I think it's 4-2-3-1, not 4-3-3, playing behind Calvert-Lewin? I worry about Gomes and Doucouré but hopefully they will be supercharged. I don't think it's 4-4-2.

Hard on Gordon, as you say, Jay, he has been immense and I expect him to get minutes today. What would be interesting is if one of the two central midfielders need to come off and Allan isn't ready, does he go Gbamin or Onyango?

I too am surprised by some of the decisions here but we must trust. Let's lay off Holgate, don't forget he played some lovely football under Dunc last time.

Sam Fitzsimmons
10 Posted 22/01/2022 at 11:46:48
Interesting match day line up. Mykolenko and Patterson absent. It looks a feisty starting eleven that you would expect to get stuck in from get go.
Ciarán McGlone
11 Posted 22/01/2022 at 11:47:53
Finally.. one we can enjoy.

Decent line up. Interesting that Benitez new purchases are absent.

Dave Williams
12 Posted 22/01/2022 at 11:49:35
A feisty selection with Mina a great choice as skipper. These lads will all give everything and won't be overawed by the occasion, hence possibly the omission of the new full-backs.
Tony Everan
13 Posted 22/01/2022 at 11:51:14
John #4 Thanks for the link ….I hope Dunc knows about this !

Great quote from the big man;

“I will do everything to ensure that come full-time, you are bouncing out of this ground, standing tall and proud to call yourself an Evertonian."

Come on you Blue boys !

Ernie Baywood
14 Posted 22/01/2022 at 11:54:50
Not selecting Mykolenko is a big call. I questioned earlier in the week whether Duncan would pick him and what that might mean for Vitaliy. Poor lad might find himself signing and then immediately out of favour.

Honestly. I would have put Godfrey there too.

Tom Bowers
15 Posted 22/01/2022 at 11:57:08
This is as good a team to start as anything else.
He has gone for a little more zip with the back four although they can still be error prone far too often.

It's hard to muster up any confidence these days after the awful run of results but at least there can be no more injury excuses and no more Rafa baiting.

Villa not doing that well either but can still play a bit but many teams have been allowed to play as they please against Everton even Hull City.

Let's just hope Big Dunc. has them in a different mindset.

Danny O’Neill
16 Posted 22/01/2022 at 12:02:17
Captain Mina lead the line.

Jonjoe, show us you are going to compete with the up and coming Patterson and remain at the club you love as much as I do.

Allan; nail Coutinho. Put him in your pocket.

Doucoure & Richie, get close to Calvert-Lewin.

Demarai and Andros, a couple of goals please. If it's not asking too much, one of your spectaculars to cap it off!

Duncan; square up to and intimidate your opposite number in the technical area. No head butts, but take no shit.

Let's do this.

Mark Murphy
17 Posted 22/01/2022 at 12:07:51
Allan is on the bench Danny. It would be some stretch to nail Coutinho from there.
David Price
18 Posted 22/01/2022 at 12:08:37
Oh god !!! Hes trusting Holgate the guy is championship at best.
Leaving Gordon out is crazy!!!

Love you Dunc but let's hope you've got this right


Danny O’Neill
19 Posted 22/01/2022 at 12:11:09
Seen Mark. Gomes and Doucoure. I hope it is a 4-2-3-1 then.
Philip Bunting
20 Posted 22/01/2022 at 12:17:40
Glad to see Coleman dropped as a complete liability now and too many short hospital passes. Gordon, again I still think this lad is a little weak, weak on the shot and weak offering defensive support, needs to work that out of his game. Patterson I would have on the Bench otherwise my only concern is Gomes lack of pace. Otherwise good selection Dunc COYB
Mike Price
21 Posted 22/01/2022 at 12:19:57
The new fullbacks omitted is a worry. Not so much Patterson who I think will be a success but Mykolenko has looked well short of even the basics, and that’s accounting for the new country, new club factors.
Gavin Johnson
22 Posted 22/01/2022 at 12:20:48
I hope it's not a conventional 4-4-2 and Richie drops back slightly so more like a 4-2-3-1 to give Gomes and Doucoure a little more protection. I would have played Patterson over Kenny but I'm glad Dunc's bombed Keane out of the first XI. That lad has been at fault in so many goals this season
Fran Mitchell
23 Posted 22/01/2022 at 12:21:13
4-4-2 is outdated. Get overrun in midfield far too easily, and Ramsey, McGinn an Luiz is a midfield with a bit of everything.

Doucouré and Gomes not gonna have much of the ball.

Hopefully the players as fans are fired up and we have the intensity to win this. We have talent in Gray, Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison to win the game but the need for another midfielder is stark.

Oliver Molloy
24 Posted 22/01/2022 at 12:21:48
He has picked players that he obviously feels will run through a brick wall for him.

I wouldn't have had Kenny in at right-back, but maybe he feels the local boy in front of a big home crowd can do the business and make his mark if you get me!

Risky, but he's the manager.

Desparate to win this.

Michael Fox
25 Posted 22/01/2022 at 12:22:07
I don't like this line up, very nervous.
Andrew Keatley
26 Posted 22/01/2022 at 12:28:35
Looks like a very flat back four. I wouldn't expect either full-back to get much beyond the halfway line at any point.

This is going to be fascinating. Ferguson might just be going all out on Townsend and Gray crossing the ball to DCL and Richarlison.

I'm expecting Richarlison to play as a third central midfielder when we're out of possession.

Raymond Fox
27 Posted 22/01/2022 at 12:28:45
I hope I'm wrong but I fear the worst.
Phil Smith
28 Posted 22/01/2022 at 12:34:51
Did you see that handshake between Dunc and Slippy? No love lost there! Lol.
No Gordon? Gomes has gotta really step up today.
Mike Allison
29 Posted 22/01/2022 at 12:39:22
Anyone know anything about the two new full-backs?

Very worried if they're just considered not good enough.

Kieran Kinsella
30 Posted 22/01/2022 at 12:43:57
Money well spent on the new fullbacks then. More deadwood...
Mark Ryan
31 Posted 22/01/2022 at 13:02:47
Both new fullbacks missing. Wow ! that's a big 2 fingers to Benitez.
Phil Smith
32 Posted 22/01/2022 at 13:03:20
Doucoure just isn’t right at the moment. Can’t pass and choosing the wrong options.
James Kirrane
33 Posted 22/01/2022 at 13:09:12
Anyone got a good stream please? Much appreciated.
Alex Gray
34 Posted 22/01/2022 at 13:20:10
Reminds me of an old school Merseyside derby this. We've got the effort no doubt but very little quality. Villa seem a lot more composed.

Lucas Digne assist – who didn't see that coming???

Ciarán McGlone
35 Posted 22/01/2022 at 13:23:53
Plenty of effort but the 4-4-2 isn't working. Big holes in midfield. Nobody marking for the goal was criminal.

Green shoots.

Fans throwing stuff need a good boot up the hole. Don't really understand the reaction Digne is getting.

Ernie Baywood
36 Posted 22/01/2022 at 13:24:54
Richarlison and DCL the first line of defence.

Lots of effort. But can we manage a shot?

Sadly we look so far below in quality. Need to find a way to use Gray more effectively and I suspect that's going to 3 mids so he can be a bit more free to move around.

Jay Wood

37 Posted 22/01/2022 at 13:25:55
Oh. Dear.

No Brave New World this, is it?

A terrible goal to concede on the stroke of half-time.

The ball is no friend of this Everton team. If we string 3-4 passes together that counts as a success.

Nothing in that first half to suggest we can claw this back.

Desperate times, these.

Danny O’Neill
38 Posted 22/01/2022 at 13:25:57
4-4-2 is dated and out of date.

We are being overrun by a team only slightly ahead of us in the league before today.

Gaping holes in midfield.

Fran Mitchell
39 Posted 22/01/2022 at 13:26:03
Started with good intensity as expected. But no composure on the ball and slowly and surely Villa took control of the game. Them taking the lead was coming, and another goal from a corner.

4-4-2 is just outdated and too easily overran in the modern age. At the top level, we need more than fire in the belly.

The players are too easily marked and pressed, and whe out of possession, there is to much space for the opposition.

Gomes is just too slow, a defensive liability and his passing isn't great. Get Allan on, and with Onyango or Gordon (as a no10) fr Townsend.

Zero chances made Doucoure spurning the best opportunity with a poor pass when 2 on 1.

Much improvement needed.

Andrew Keatley
40 Posted 22/01/2022 at 13:26:12
It pains me to say this but Calvert-Lewin is just not contributing anything – and didn't offer much against Norwich either. The threat Watkins poses in behind us has been a feature of the first half, while Calvert-Lewin is giving Villa nothing at all to worry about.

Looks like he is going to need a few weeks and maybe even longer to get back to anything like his best form and fitness.

I cannot see it happening but I'd be happy to see Ferguson shuffle the pack and take Calvert-Lewin off and bring Gordon on to play off Richarlison.

Paul Smith
41 Posted 22/01/2022 at 13:27:06
Green Shoots? It was rubbish. Holgate couldn't complete a pass. Not one shot near their goal. Bring on Gordon, Allan and Coleman. Take off the hard men and add some quality.
Alan J Thompson
42 Posted 22/01/2022 at 13:28:27
It was a lot more livelier start than we've seen for a while and the players seem to helping each other out by "hunting" in packs and especially in midfield while they also got in position to take a pass.

Mina was a tower in defence and so much so you hardly noticed Holgate's errors. We didn't create any chances of note but it all was spoiled by Richarlison not going with Buendia's run. So far, the intent and effort is there but we must start making scoring chances.

Again we have a referee who seems a bit slow on the whistle and a couple of times I thought he was waiting for VAR.

Fran Mitchell
43 Posted 22/01/2022 at 13:31:49
Andrew, we've barely held the ball beyond the half-way line. Nothing for Calvert-Lewin to run on to. No crosses to attack. He's a centre-forward, when the ball hardly gets past the center circle, what do you expect him to do?

Our issue lies with the midfield and an absolute lack of composure and ideas when when we have the ball.

Kieran Kinsella
44 Posted 22/01/2022 at 13:35:41
Darren argued on here the other day that Dunc is tactically astute and not just a chest thumper. This must be all part of the big man’s master plan. He needs to rip up the script at half time and change the formation at a minimum.
Andrew Keatley
45 Posted 22/01/2022 at 13:36:03
Fran (43)

Calvert-Lewin is a shadow of his former self right now. It's a standard form and fitness issue. He is slow of movement and of thought, and while I appreciate that the service to him is not there, then we can either persist or bring on a player who at least has the potential to create something himself. Hence Gordon.

Phil Smith
46 Posted 22/01/2022 at 13:42:24
Get Dom off. Useless since he came back into the side. Get Allan in midfield to shackle Buendia. Get Doucoure off for Gordon.

Brought wrong man off there. Gomes has been winning balls and making forward passes. Doucouré has done nuttin'.

Jerome Shields
47 Posted 22/01/2022 at 13:48:36
Expected better.
Andrew Keatley
48 Posted 22/01/2022 at 13:55:17
Come on Tyler lad.
Alex Gray
49 Posted 22/01/2022 at 14:20:09
Ran around like headless chickens. Villa happy to give us set pieces since we don't really threaten with them. How Carlo got this team top half for so long is beyond me. Truly awful.
Phil Smith
50 Posted 22/01/2022 at 14:26:20
Better but still shit. Well and truly in a fight to stay up we are.
Ciarán McGlone
51 Posted 22/01/2022 at 14:27:31
An enjoyable loss (I know, I know). Much more quality second half and effort throughout. Unlucky not to get anything from the game.

If we play like that for the rest of the season, we'll be grand.

Definite green shoots.

Kieran Kinsella
52 Posted 22/01/2022 at 14:28:29
Dead cat twitch.
Lee Courtliff
53 Posted 22/01/2022 at 14:29:03
Why do we persist with 2 in midfield? It must be us that are missing something because the managers are obsessed with it.

At least we gave it some in the second half.

Danny Baily
54 Posted 22/01/2022 at 14:29:42
Surely people are taking the likelihood of relegation seriously now. These lads just aren't good enough. Sickening feeling. Even that win against Arsenal felt like a 3rd Round giant- killing.
Ernie Baywood
55 Posted 22/01/2022 at 14:30:40
This is looking very ominous.

How demoralising is it watching the quality of their left back when we've got Gordon and Kenny in the full-back positions.

Simon Dalzell
56 Posted 22/01/2022 at 14:31:01
We desperately needed new players to have an immediate effect given our perilous position. We spend £36 million on 2 players on top of the half a billion squandered recently, and they're not even in the squad. Complete shambles.
Andy Walker
57 Posted 22/01/2022 at 14:31:57
I don't know about the ‘Everton can't win' headline, more Everton can't even draw.

It's a team with a set of players who know how to lose. Week-in & week-out they find a way.

A set of players who aren't remotely good enough.

Relegation is what they deserve.

Kieran Kinsella
58 Posted 22/01/2022 at 14:31:58
Three new signings already dropped from the match day squad after two games. We drop the in form Gordon. We put Gomes in a two man midfield. Dunc is not the answer but there may be no answer with the chairman and these players
Andy Mead
59 Posted 22/01/2022 at 14:33:11
We are in the shit. Never looked like scoring. I really think we are going down as it currently looks like we need 3 teams to be worse than us for us to stay up.
Fran Mitchell
60 Posted 22/01/2022 at 14:33:42
Absolute lack of quality. No ideas. We had spirit and commitment and desire. just had no idea what to do.

Poor. Very, very poor.

4-4-2 doesn't work. It's a busted flush of a system.

Our defending of corners bites us again.

Very dark days. Very worrying indeed. Big changes needed, in management, players and style of play. It doesn't fit the players, we need to play to the strengths of Gordon, Gray, and Richarlison. Currently they have to hustle and bustle. We need a midfield that lets these guys play and make chances.

Not good enough. Ferguson isn't the answer.

Mark Ryan
61 Posted 22/01/2022 at 14:34:50
If Duncan continues to play Kenny and Holgate, he'll relegate us. We can all see that Anthony Gordon is our form player but he benches him.

Staggered by his starting 11, truly questionable choices. We can all see Gordon is our form player, why can't Duncan ??

Jay Wood

62 Posted 22/01/2022 at 14:36:49
What a truly dreadful game of football. Particularly from Everton.

Pass back to Pickford. Lump it forward.

Our 'big' players were very small today.

Only Anthony Gordon when he came on attempted anything resembling proper football in a blue shirt. It looks a mistake that he was dropped.

Make no mistake. We are in a fight to retain our Premier League status. Whoever gets the gig should have one objective and one objective only: get us six wins in the final 18 Premier League games. A mid-30s points total will be enough to avoid relegation this season.

Chest thumping alone is not going to do it.

Michael Williams
63 Posted 22/01/2022 at 14:37:49
Looked like early 1980s football to me.
David Hallwood
64 Posted 22/01/2022 at 14:38:42
Never looked like scoring Andy(#59) really?
Danny Broderick
65 Posted 22/01/2022 at 14:39:04
I was surprised we started with a 2 man centre mid, and no Anthony Gordon. 2nd half was much better. But if Rafa had picked that team, he’d have got dog’s abuse.
Dale Self
66 Posted 22/01/2022 at 14:39:18
Not really a dead cat splat but it must be said that it looked a lot like what the last two managers have presented. You don't need to specialize in factor analysis to figure that out.
Steve Brown
67 Posted 22/01/2022 at 14:40:09
Benitez lost 9 games in 13 and was still getting support. Duncan tries to lift the team off the floor and loses 1 game, yet gets criticism.

Do me a favour.

He will recognise that his starting line-up wasn't right, but he changed things and it got a bit better. A lot of effort but we just lack quality.

Ernie Baywood
68 Posted 22/01/2022 at 14:40:35
Well, we had a go and created some chances. Disappointing that we couldn't get anything it of it.

But at least we can look forward to...

Hang on... we're the worst team in the league on extended form, we're in the relegation mix, we can't spend much due to FFP, and even if we could we don't have people in any of the positions required to recruit the players we need.

Dark days.

Dave Williams
69 Posted 22/01/2022 at 14:41:52
Very disappointing but much better than recently. The midfield is the main problem and Allan improved it considerably. Doucouré is no passer and Gomes did okay but Townsend was ineffective and we didn't use Gray enough.

They dealt with Dom and Richarlison very well. Our defence was better and Holgate did okay. Gordon was good.

Dunc now has a couple of weeks to work with them before the cup game. I just hope he is allowed to buy a midfielder who can create, or we get one in on loan.

We are very close to the relegation zone but looked better today albeit understandably lacking in confidence. We have to start winning quickly, to state the obvious!!

Fran Mitchell
70 Posted 22/01/2022 at 14:42:06
The omission of the 2 new full backs is worrying.

Keane is woeful and had to be dropped. But Holgate looks woeful. Godfrey should be there in the middle but we sold our left-back (who was excellent for Villa today).

The midfield is desperate. No creative spark. Gomes is just poor.

How I miss James Rodriguez.

Kunal Desai
71 Posted 22/01/2022 at 14:42:25
Sack the board! Kenwright and Co, it's time to go.
Tony Everan
72 Posted 22/01/2022 at 14:43:43
Thought we deserved a draw there at least.

There was plenty of effort but not enough guile, until Anthony Gordon came on for Townsend that is. Anthony showed a bit of class that was missing. Richie could have scored from his first cross. Calvert-Lewin should have buried his second beauty of a cross. We would have at least drew the game and maybe would have had the momentum to win.

We need a tenacious midfield enforcer, to play with Allan and Doucouré, as Gomes is still a bit too slow. Address that now in January and we'll be okay.

Stephen Brown
73 Posted 22/01/2022 at 14:45:56
We are just lucky there are some other dreadful teams out there too. That gives us a chance of staying up.

Got to hope Norwich, Newcastle, Burnley and Watford lose all their expected games.

Awful place to be! But only real hope. 4 more wins might be enough for us?

Alan J Thompson
74 Posted 22/01/2022 at 14:50:00
If effort is all that is needed to get us out of this mess then we will be alright but for me a bit more guile is needed. Calvert-Lewin is a long way off his best and I'm not sure Onyango was the best substitution while Mina was very good and Kenny and Gordon showed well. A far better second half with some chances without anything being crafted.

Again, another poor display of refereeing especially Mina getting booked when it looked as though it was he who had been fouled. And will somebody explain to the linesman that the whole of the ball has to be out. And what exactly is VAR supposed to intercede on when it is not something obviously wrong?

At least that display gives a little more hope than anything Benitez came up with.

Michael Lynch
76 Posted 22/01/2022 at 14:51:34
Terrible route one shite football. If we can’t beat that horrible villa team we really are doomed.

Utter misery week in week out, and our fans throwing bottles doesn’t help.

James Kirrane
77 Posted 22/01/2022 at 14:51:47
Plenty of effort, but very little cutting edge.All is not lost. Some decent players. All we need is a bit of luck.
Frank Crewe
79 Posted 22/01/2022 at 14:53:49
Plenty of effort but it was like watching schoolboy football. Hit it long and chase after it. If Benitez had picked that side and formation, the outrage would have been heard on the moon. Gray, our top scorer and Gordan need to be nearer the goal. So we should be playing 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3. The fact is 4-4-2 went out with spats on shoes.

Well the Duncasaurous has had his one game as manager. Hopefully, by the time we play again, we will have a new manager with more up to date tactics. My first suggestion: make the Duncasaurous extinct at Goodison Park.

Roman Sidey
80 Posted 22/01/2022 at 14:56:57
Just as rubbish as you could have predicted. But all is well, the manager knows what it means to play for Everton.
Joe McMahon
81 Posted 22/01/2022 at 14:57:12
Fran, when James was here for his 200k a week he didn't start that many games. What we are seeing is decades of the Everton Way. The People's Club is shambolic. I want Lampard (if he will come), no to Duncan and Rooney.
Ajay Gopal
82 Posted 22/01/2022 at 14:57:20
Gordon did more in the 40 mins he was on the pitch than the rest of them together. Just no cohesion, composure. Gray, Richarlison, DCL, all very selfish players - want to go for glory. The 1st half belonged to Villa and they deserved the lead. The second half, Everton had more than 10 shots, but very few in goal, just lacking in quality.
Bill Gall
83 Posted 22/01/2022 at 14:59:35
The cries to sack the board should start once we get to safety. No one on the board or the owner pick the team or the tactics. We need some one to organize the team and not just rely on effort. Effort may get you a point but we need skill to get three. TheRE were 3/4 players with the skill we need, Gray, Gordon, Richarlison and when he gets match fit DCL. The rest are work horses, we definitely need a skillful mifielder.
You cant blame the players today for lack of effort and they mostly kept their shape.
Bill Gall
84 Posted 22/01/2022 at 14:59:47
The cries to sack the board should start once we get to safety. No one on the board or the owner pick the team or the tactics. We need some one to organize the team and not just rely on effort. Effort may get you a point but we need skill to get three. TheRE were 3/4 players with the skill we need, Gray, Gordon, Richarlison and when he gets match fit DCL. The rest are work horses, we definitely need a skillful mifielder.
You cant blame the players today for lack of effort and they mostly kept their shape.
Tony Hill
85 Posted 22/01/2022 at 15:03:44
Alan @74 no it really doesn’t.
Tony Twist
86 Posted 22/01/2022 at 15:05:15
Too much emphasis on bounce, spirit, passion from the manager, before the match, got me worried so I am not surprised by the result. It is going to take lot more from Dunc to turn it around. He should know that, all these players he should know inside out, he needs to find a successful way of playing and quickly. Not very good at defending, not very good at attack. Clueless club regarding footballing matters and ultimately that could be our downfall. We have got to be one of the favourites to go down. There is always an excuse like; once we get Mina back, once we get DCL back, once we play Newcastle we will win again. It is a shambles, big Sam would be pushed to put this side straight. Hope I am wrong regarding relegation, hopefully the big man makes me eat my words and comes up with the goods but I am not confident.
Anthony Murphy
87 Posted 22/01/2022 at 15:05:44
Very concerned now. The club is so fragmented on and off the pitch.
Phil Smith
88 Posted 22/01/2022 at 15:07:40
4-5-1 for me next match with Dom on the bench and Allan, Gomes and another in the middle (Townsend, maybe). Only Dom and the Duke were shite today.
Barry Rathbone
89 Posted 22/01/2022 at 15:08:23
Our fate is all down to luck now.

These players have been brutally exposed with a loss to division whipping boys, Norwich, followed by a home defeat against Villa. Smacks of the end of the Walter Smith era except Walter had some hard nosed grafters who could batten down the hatches when asked. Moyes tapped into such potential and we comfortably avoided the drop.

Nothing like that exists in this squad. The dreadful realisation is dawning that no matter who comes in not a single grafter or leader wears the royal blue. We either get the requisite points by outplaying teams or go down. The capacity to battle is non existent - grim indeed

Paul Smith
90 Posted 22/01/2022 at 15:08:45
Awful game and awful selection. Madness. Five years he’s had as a coach at Everton and he leaves Allan and Gordon on the bench and plays Kenny. Nuts. No wonder they don’t want to give him the job full time, he’s not good enough.

Two weeks to get a new man in; let’s make it soon so he has some time to get to know the team before Newcastle.

Shocked at that team selection still.

Mark Ryan
91 Posted 22/01/2022 at 15:11:26
Lampard will sort the midfield. He knows how modern-day football needs to be played. He'd give Gordon full games. He's no mug.

Lampard for me and if that means letting Duncan go and become a manager elsewhere, so be it.

Derek Moore
92 Posted 22/01/2022 at 15:13:27
To be honest, I saw a team low on confidence drop a game that more often than not they take something from there.

Mina was rusty, Doucoure was dreadful really, and the full-back (non-)selections are another worthy cudgel to beat the "Everton brains trust" with.

But the commitment, energy, and desire was there for all to see. Those three qualities, in addition to the little bit of talent we still possess, and a relegation battle just appears out of the question to me. At least this season.

I'm not happy with the result either, but I was more interested in how the players responded to Benitez departure than anything else really. And they put in a shift out there, they responded and gave it a real shake.

With two games in hand, five points above the bottom three and a decent break now to put some basic footballing processes in place, this is not the time for histrionics and faux football elitism. It's time to be realistic and get what we can from the remainder of this league season before we go again.

I'm even beginning to think Danny O'Neill and his FA Cup dream is not utterly ridiculous after all!

But I urge all Evertonians to try and relax. Take a breath. For the rest of this season at least, we're going to be okay.

Christy Ring
93 Posted 22/01/2022 at 15:14:32
I'd still back Lampard, and hopefully he'll bring in Gilmour. We need him before our next game. I thought Dunc should have went with 3 in midfield.

I know Gomes was poor but he can't play in a two-man midfield. Allan, Coleman and Gordon should have started, Kenny was very poor.

George Cumiskey
94 Posted 22/01/2022 at 15:19:32
Terrible terrible team selection. If this game proves anything, it's Kenny and Holgate plus Gomes and sadly Doucouré aren't up to scratch, and Calvert-Lewin looks like he's decided to go.

Two in midfield overrun again.

Kieran Kinsella
95 Posted 22/01/2022 at 15:19:35
Steve Brown,

I could get making mistakes with selection if he had walked in off the street. But Ferguson has been here for years and surely like all of us has seen for himself that a two-man midfield doesn't work – much less one with Gomes.

Moreover, Gordon has been the one bright spark lately, with even Gray not quite at his best, and yet he drops him. Those two decisions in my view were costly today as the second half suggests we could have got more had we started with that line-up.

At this level, it's not enough to just say "Kenny has a heart of gold so that will overcome the quality of Digne and Coutinho." There are hundreds of high-quality players in this league who have a heart of gold in addition to talent.

Surely he could have given Patterson a role of the dice? After all, he is just 20 with "good potential", while Kenny is closer to 30 than 20 and surely past the "he's a good kid, let's give him a chance, maybe he will come good" stage.

Kieran Byrne
96 Posted 22/01/2022 at 15:20:07
I thought that there was really nothing in that game, it's a tough one to lose but when you're on a lousy run, you need a break or two to get out of it.

At least the back line played a lot better than it has for 2 months (at least).

I agree that we need to change up the 4-4-2 to maybe a 4-5-1, I'd put Richarlison & Gordon on the wings & have Gray at the top of the 3 in the middle. Calvert-Lewin just needs these next 2 weeks to get his fitness & timing back.

It's got to turn around soon, COYB

Mark Andrews
97 Posted 22/01/2022 at 15:21:24
Are there 3 worse teams in the league than us?

We need someone at the helm with some tactical ability, I was shocked when I saw the line-up, it was patently wrong.

Why do we persist with a system that keeps failing? Play players in their positions! Play 3 in the middle of the park with Doucoure the advanced player of the 3! Jeez, why can't they see this?

Calvert-Lewin was way off the pace, our new signings don't make the bench. If Benitez had done this, he'd have been panned and rightly so.

We're 3 points ahead of Norwich.

Chris Corn
98 Posted 22/01/2022 at 15:24:15
He set up a defence not to concede. Once we did, there was no other clue. Just played out the same as all we've seen before.
Michael Williams
99 Posted 22/01/2022 at 15:25:17
Really, isn't this what we expected when Ferguson was named? Bench anyone he thought wasn't playing hard enough, do some tub-thumping, get a bunch of guys out grafting around the field and playing a 4-4-2. This is exactly what he did the last time he managed us.

Duncan Ferguson is the manager that was asked for and he is the manager we deserve.

Raymond Fox
100 Posted 22/01/2022 at 15:26:26
They have all played their heart out, but we needed a little bit of luck in their box. Why was there not this level of effort before, though?

It still comes down to player quality in the end and we are lacking someone to command the midfield.

I thought Kenny looked the part, Doucouré and Richarlison ran themselves to a standstill, they all did to be fair. Gordon has what it takes to progress.

I still think we will have enough if we don't get too many injuries, but I must confess I'm getting a little more worried. What we don't want at this time is another manager changing everything around again.

Anyone else think that the club is cursed, it sure feels like it.

Paul Smith
101 Posted 22/01/2022 at 15:29:07
Still shocked that more people aren’t calling out that ridiculous team selection. Five years he’s had and he gives us that. Least he got the drinks in though hey. Well I don’t fuckin drink and if we get relegated I will be sick. Not relaxed just angry.
John Boon
102 Posted 22/01/2022 at 15:30:03
All of the posts on here are completely accurate and echo the frustrations of over 20 years of bad management. There are some players who should never even get on the teamsheet. There are some who are so obvious that I am not going to even bother naming them.

An accurate start would be to agree with Mark Allen (61). Most of the other suggestions will depend on personal preference based on how you view the game.

Nobody excelled as even the best were not much more than mediocre. For all those who suggest we "may" be in a relegation fight, you are deluding yourselves. We are in a relegation fight and have been since our equally deluded "Board" decided to "rent" Benitez for a few dreadful months to bring us to this desperate level.

I wish I was as wise as those supporters who think we should already get rid of Ferguson. As much as he doesn't seem to know what to do, which he has already announced himself, who on earth could take over this team and be successful?

I will never give up supporting Everton but I really have to give up suggesting any solutions to solve the problems. If our own coach has already decided that he is not the man for the job and consequently does not know what to do, how can anybody else put us on the right track?

Confused ever more!!!

Andrew Merrick
103 Posted 22/01/2022 at 15:34:55
Dunc's first roll of the dice... 3 questionable starters for me: Kenny, Holgate and Gomes.

Kenny did the basics okay but not on the front foot. Holgate did okay, better than I expected. Gomes was poor, misplacing passes and after the yellow card need hooking.

Allan and Gordon transformed the game, must start those boys if fit.

Calvert-Lewin is so rusty, Doucouré might be crocked now too.

Two weeks to sort out a functional squad and save our season, oh and Premier League status!

Eddie Dunn
104 Posted 22/01/2022 at 15:35:22
Villa came and fought fire with fire. If our lads thought that effort alone would be enough, then Villa under St Stevie of Me showed them that quality is also needed.

Trust Digne to get the assist. He has been off-colour for us for a long time. A good example of a guy who was coasting along.

Calvert-Lewin had a poor first half but did improve second half. Richarlison was my biggest disapointment. He cut a frustrated figure.

The game was lost on a set play but control was ceded by a shocking decision to play two in midfield. Has Duncan had his eyes closed on the bench this season?

Small margins, but we have to hope this lot can continue to try this hard and that they can prevail against other teams less resilient than Villa.

The pain continues.

Kieran Kinsella
105 Posted 22/01/2022 at 15:38:57
We are currently on course for 36 points which currently would be enough although our points per game is going in the wrong direction. If we are relegated, we can cash in on the 3 or 4 saleable assets; a lot of deadwood will be out of contract.

Maybe Gray and Gordon can dominate in the Championship and get us back sharpish.

Brian Williams
106 Posted 22/01/2022 at 15:39:45
Paul #101.

What line-up would you have gone with, mate?

Paul Jones
107 Posted 22/01/2022 at 15:39:48
There was commitment and energy but very little finesse. It was not surprising that the one goal came from a set-piece, from a player that lost that job at Everton. The defence looked better organised otherwise.

I assumed from the post-match interview with Ferguson that Allan did not start because had recently suffered with Covid so hopefully fit enough to start in the next game.

In future, I think it would be best if Calvert-Lewin defended corners in the position of Richarlison as he is better in the air and would be more difficult to beat as a defender for an injury-time corner when there is virtually no time left to counter-attack.

Dave Williams
110 Posted 22/01/2022 at 15:40:31
Kieran #95,

Kenny is 24 years old – no youngster now but closer to 20 than 30. I thought he did okay today. Mina looked rusty but improved as the game went on and Holgate was okay apart from a couple of stray passes.

I didn't think we were outplayed as the heading to the thread suggests. Villa unfortunately were as up for the game as we were and the extra man in midfield was the difference in the first half. We were much better with Allan and Gordon and my main query with the team selection was including Townsend over Gordon.

Duncan has had 4 days training the players as a manager and needs a bit of slack. On another day, we might have buried a couple of those second-half chances. Calvert-Lewin is still very rusty and Doucouré is clearly not fully fit.

Our position is a big worry but to slag off the manager after 4 days and one game is a bit rich.

Stephen Brown
112 Posted 22/01/2022 at 15:40:48
We desperately need some skill, vision and guile particularly in and around the No10 position.

Not ideal and I’m sure I’ll be shot down but it might have to be Barkley on loan? Who else would come? Barkley for all his obvious faults still has some vision and skill.

4-4-2 is certainly not the answer we can all see it!

Another thing we need is a settled back 4!

Gary Willock
113 Posted 22/01/2022 at 15:42:07
How the hell is 24 “closer to 30 than 20”?

Utterly bizarre comment, and Kenny played well today. There was improvement in every player, just the sum of the parts isn't right yet. We're badly lacking a left-foot full-back. If Mykolenko isn't injured, then we must bring one in over next 10 days.

A DCM and/or AM should be considered life or death signing too.

The manager side is now utterly irrelevant. Every option is a massive gamble… stick with what we know.

Tony Heron
114 Posted 22/01/2022 at 15:42:51
Frank @ 79,

I thought exactly the same re schoolboy football, ie, get the ball and kick it as far forward as you can. To clarify though, that would be under-7s; those older would probably have played their way through our midfield.

Have to say that Gomes, despite the criticism, was the only one trying to pick a pass.

Very disappointed re the bottle throwing and baffling to hear that the club has launched an investigation to find the person responsible. What about those around the idiot? Why didn't they identify who threw it, to the stewards?

I remember after Kennedy was assinated, there was a minute silence before the game, broken by a knobhead shouting out. Those around him waited for the 1-minute silence to end then grabbed the guy responsible, threw him to the front to be handed over to the police, who frog-marched him out of the ground to much applause.

Ray Robinson
115 Posted 22/01/2022 at 15:43:16
I know Coleman is past his best but he still offers more than Kenny who continues to play safety-first football, offering absolutely nothing going forward.

I know Keane is having a bad patch too but he's still way better than Holgate. And why weren't Allan and Gordon on from the start?

Benitez made some strange selections but Duncan fared no better. If this isn't a relegation fight, then I don't know what is.

Jerome Shields
116 Posted 22/01/2022 at 15:43:22
Really got it wrong. Though the effort was there. There is an underlying lack of quality by some players.

Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison fell far short, Gray was contained. Gomes and Holgate were poor. I thought Kenny played okay. Allan and Gordon should have been on from the start.

I really feel the below par individual player performances was players not being able to catch up for previous uncommitted effort and work since the first international break, in one week of training.

I still think they will avoid relegation, but wonder how many will be looking away in the Summer.

Christy Ring
117 Posted 22/01/2022 at 15:48:38
It shows how poor we are at board level that they allow Benitez to sell Digne and sack him two days later. Unbelievable. What's the chances they'll cock-up the next appointment.
Kieran Kinsella
118 Posted 22/01/2022 at 15:49:59

Sorry I thought he was 25 already but naturally six weeks more of being 24 still qualifies him as "one for the future."

Dave Lynch
119 Posted 22/01/2022 at 15:50:43
For those saying there are 3 worse teams than us in the Premier League... well, on current form, there isn't.

We are woeful.

Kieran Kinsella
120 Posted 22/01/2022 at 15:52:27
Christy Ring,

You hit the nail on the head right there. We have had a succession of new managers blaming prior bosses for bad signings but I don't recall us signing three players before and then immediately sacking the boss.

If there was an idea that Rafa might go (which presumably there was as even Everton surely wouldn't base managerial decisions on a single match,) then they should have held off on transfers for a week or two before deciding definitively whether to stick or twist.

Mike Hayes
121 Posted 22/01/2022 at 15:57:11
Just had a Twitter feed forwarded – Goodison Park: Kenwright being sang at by fans: "If you love the club, let it go!" It wasn't long enough to see a full reply from him but grinning like that doesn't help.

We definitely need to pile the pressure on him and the board after that debacle. It's criminal to let it drag on for another 27 years.

Robert Tressell
122 Posted 22/01/2022 at 15:57:32
The game raises lots of questions:

- will we be able to bring in a couple of much needed reinforcements?

- what is going on with our new full backs?

- why did we back the manager over Brands and then sack the manager?

- why did we back the manager over Digne and then sack the manager?

- why do we keep persisting with a 2 man midfield despite being outmanouevred repeatedly by poor sides?

- why did Benitez keep playing Rondon?

Very disappointing result but there was some sense of us being a better shape and working harder.

But the way this squad has been assembled is criminal.

It'll be close but I expect we'll have a bit more than 3 other clubs this season.

Danny Baily
123 Posted 22/01/2022 at 16:00:56
Let's be clear. There are no worse teams in this league. None.
Brian Murray
124 Posted 22/01/2022 at 16:02:43
Mike @121.

Same as you, I couldn't quite hear his response to the question: "Stand down, you must know deep down you are not fit to be our chairman." His smirking didn't help the situation and when Brands was faced with the same heated questions, at least he knew to walk away. This fella's rhino skin may be a problem unless a miracle happens and the owner wakes up.

Clive Rogers
125 Posted 22/01/2022 at 16:04:16
Dunc can't pick players he hasn't got and we just haven't got good enough central-midfield players. Gomes is far too slow and Doucouré on and off.

Townsend and Kenny were poor also and Calvert-Lewin has not picked up where he left off yet, has done nothing for three games. Richarlison also wasn't on his game.

Gordon was the bright spark when he came on. There was plenty of effort but we are just not good enough.

Anthony Murphy
126 Posted 22/01/2022 at 16:04:21
A player who can link midfield to attack is needed. Lack of creativity is a real concern as the hard work/commitment is there. Problem for us is that all those around us will work hard and show commitment too.
Ed Prytherch
127 Posted 22/01/2022 at 16:06:11
I don't get the criticism of any of our defenders today.

Pickford had just one good save to make and that was from an offside player. Micheal Keane mistakes have been directly responsible for 7 goals conceded this season and yet some people want him in for Holgate. What on earth did Holgate and Kenny do wrong?

Our defence has been very shakey of late and today it was much better. We failed to win today because we failed to score goals.

I think that our main problems today were lack of creativity in midfield and a rusty center forward. The first one is hard to fix since we sold James and probably cannot sign anyone with no permanent manager and no DOF, thanks, Agent Benitez.

Hopefully Calvert-Lewin will get up to speed in the coming weeks or Richarlison plays centre-forward.

Mike Hughes
128 Posted 22/01/2022 at 16:06:44
There may be teams with less points than us.
But, currently, I don’t think there are 3 worse teams than us.
Two of the teams below us - Watford and Norwich have beaten us.

I was not hopeful at all from the moment I saw the team selection today. Gordon on the bench???

Everton is a club that has lost its identity / direction from top to bottom.
If we survive, it will be by the skin of our teeth.
After that, change HAS to come if we are to progress at all.

We need MAJOR, life-saving surgery. A club of our stature with no trophy for 27 years is like a zombie.
It walks, it certainly talks - but has it got a pulse? It certainly stinks the place out quite frequently.
Where to begin?

Very, very concerned.

Jerome Shields
129 Posted 22/01/2022 at 16:08:26
Calvert-Lewin never had twickle toes.
Paul Smith
130 Posted 22/01/2022 at 16:11:20
Brian @106,

Have a look at post #41. I would have started with those 3. Coleman or Mykolenko who I actually think has something but wasn't even named in the squad, instead of the dreadful Holgate and Kenny.

Allan for Gomes and Gordon a deffo starter with Calvert-Lewin on the bench and Townsend starting along with Gray and Richarlison.

A 4-5-1 with Gordon supporting the midfield more and Gray and Townsend on the flanks or a 4-2-3-1 to be more exact but leaves the midfield exposed when attacking.

Michael Boardman
131 Posted 22/01/2022 at 16:11:52
Well said, Christy #117.

Faith was put in Benitez in that Brands and Digne had to go... then they sack Benitez within the hour.

The UK Government are doing a better job of looking more cohesive, strategic and well run that this shit shower of a club.

I'm an Evertonian, and always will be, but Jesus, I've had more organised runs after a beer, kebab and curry session than what I'm seeing from this club over the last couple of years.

Denis Hignett
132 Posted 22/01/2022 at 16:18:19
Villa had us worked out. Snuff out Gray and we offered nothing. Cash did a number on him.

We did look a lot better when Gordon came on. If we can stop conceding goals from set-pieces, we will be okay.

Robert Tressell
133 Posted 22/01/2022 at 16:19:16
I don't want to see Gomes ever again. Just despair at how little he offers.
Paul Smith
134 Posted 22/01/2022 at 16:20:42
Off to meditate. Later all.
Peter Dodds
135 Posted 22/01/2022 at 16:21:16
I still think the players can play to their strengths with a few simple changes - square pegs in square holes.

Play a 3 man midfield with a sitter (not Allan, who wanders everywhere and is better further up the pitch alongside Doucoure). Gbamin in the short term, which is his natural position even if he is off the pace a bit. If we could, I’d swap Allan for a more creative, technical, athletic player on loan.

Then a 3 man forward line with DCL in the middle, Gordon right and Gray on the left. Clearly the elephant in the room here - or not on the pitch - is Richy. Decent as he is (though far from great) I just don’t think he fits with the rest of the team, and whenever he plays, one of the others doesn’t. If we could get £60m for him in the summer and get in two new good players I’d be happy.

Gary Willock
136 Posted 22/01/2022 at 16:26:20
Kieran 25-30 generally peak for players, and many play into 33-35. Writing him off at “6 weeks before being closer to 30 than 20” is just strange. Better bet than Coleman for competition and eventually backup for Patterson.
Andy Walker
137 Posted 22/01/2022 at 16:27:10
We really have managed to cobble together a squad full of losers. Week-in & week-out, loss after loss. Doesn't matter who the manager is when he's only got that lot to pick from.

£40M spent on fullbacks by a club heavily restricted by FFP and then neither of them in the squad today. Just about sums up the gross mismanagement, actually no better word is incompetence, of Moshiri.

Raymond Fox
138 Posted 22/01/2022 at 16:31:39
Nobody had a bad game; in the end, they weren't good enough to get a point. A few times we had a chance to score but fluffed them.

Re the idiot that threw the bottle, I saw a cigarette lighter plus other items that were thrown, it wasn't just one disgraceful specimen.

Peter Neilson
139 Posted 22/01/2022 at 16:31:49
Went to the game in a very positive mood came back the opposite.

Gordon made a difference but really low quality all over the pitch; names have been mentioned above. Lack of midfield creativity is a killer as it results in the one-dimensional effort we see. Bring Erikssen in on loan.

To be fair to Ferguson, he's picked up Benitez's squad (only kidding). Seriously hope this doesn't convince Moshiri we need someone right this minute and we live to regret one of the names in the pot last week. Stick with Ferguson.

Newcastle becomes even more important.

Mike Hayes
140 Posted 22/01/2022 at 16:32:09

He was heard to say we've had good times – must have meant the '60s '80s and 1995. 27 years of mediocrity; he needs to stand down and sit and count his millions.

He said about 5 years ago he was stepping down. Then again, he said the Kings Dock money was ring-fenced.

Kieran Kinsella
141 Posted 22/01/2022 at 16:32:58
Andy Walker,

Losers is right. They don't get into the team on merit, they get in because, after being dropped, someone else proves to be even worse, eg, Keane and Holgate.

It's a race to the bottom and this bunch of losers (bar 3 or 4 who are decent) are on Easy Street, banging on about how puzzling it is that our "great players" keep losing.

I can see now, come May, Everton players saying: "Yeah it's a bit of a head-scratcher that we've been relegated because we have such great players."

Pete Jeffries
142 Posted 22/01/2022 at 16:34:54
A proverbial game of two halves: Villa the first; us the second. But there was no fluidity between the back to the front line and little back-up until Gordon came on.

Desperate long balls from Pickford are not the answer but, with no real fast quality link-up from Doucuré or Gomes, both easily out-played and out-numbered in the middle. For me, it's that slowness and lack of quality on the ball that highlights our weaknesses.

Onyango looks like another Iwobi with the game bypassing him. Every match is going to be a close battle from now on with this squad of players.

Who is left at the end of the season remains to be seen. Our best players, Pickford, Gray, Gordon, Calvert-Lewin Godfrey, Richarlison and a fit Mina are worth keeping to build a better team. But, if they leave, we're in even bigger trouble. If that's possible.

Kim Vivian
143 Posted 22/01/2022 at 16:41:25
I have been one of his biggets critics but would it be fair, on the evidence of what we're witnessing with this squad, to say we're badly missing sssh you know who?
Johan Elmgren
144 Posted 22/01/2022 at 16:47:03
I don't have a problem with us playing 4-4-2 now because I don't think Dunc has the tactical accumen to play more "sophisticated" formations and football. He will keep it simple, and try go win games by commitment and determination. That's fine with me as long as we get the points required to stave off relegation. Then we can focus on playing "nice" footie when we have appointed a tactical genius (here's hoping...) when we're safe.

However I don't like it when managers put square pegs in round holes... We need to play a LB in leftback-position. Putting Godfrey there was hampering our attacking play immensely. We cause no threat at all down the left, when we have two right-footed players there. Godfrey is a good player with great engine and he does the defending well in that position, but the team looks totally unbalanced when we play a right-footer there and our attackingplay suffers. I'd play Myko there and put Godfrey on the right, because there he could be a real offensive threat, with his energy and pace.

I thought the players showed effort today, and that is what we need to depend upon when Dunc is in charge. I don't see a tactical genius there, his setup and gameplan are simple and the only way we will pick up points with him in the dugout is by showing commitment and determination. I think with a win, confidence will start to grow and we will lift ourselves away from the relegationmire. Hopefully it will come already next game in the cup against Brentford, and then we can approach Newcastle with the boost of a win in our backs...

We must remember that we have been in a deep, deep hole, and change won't happen overnight... Patience, it will turn...

Mick O'Malley
145 Posted 22/01/2022 at 16:47:46
See the gobshite who threw the bottle was identified and arrested, good cos we can do without those headlines, we already have enough to contend with so we don’t need muppets throwing objects at players and bringing more negativity to the club
Kieran Kinsella
146 Posted 22/01/2022 at 16:49:40

He took a while to find as the only clue the police were given was that the suspect had no bottle. Apparently they wasted a lot of time interviewing suspects in the dressing room.

Brent Stephens
147 Posted 22/01/2022 at 16:50:37
First game in for the new fella and I didn't see anything to jump up and down about. Not sure I saw any greater effort though we were more on the front foot from the start.

Baffling team selection. Gomes was a liability. Holgate really does worry me. JJ Kenny not quite as bad as a few have made out but not a great game.

Anthony Gordon - well played, lad.

Mark Ryan
148 Posted 22/01/2022 at 16:50:49
Gomes gets picked because he used to be class. He's fucking rubbish Dunc. Don't pick him. Holgate is utter wank Dunc, don't pick him. JJK is Championship at best, don't pick him. Seamus is past it, glad he was benched. Keane is garbage. Don't select any of the above EVER again. If Delph recovers, don't pick him. It's not difficult Duncan. Don't select our shittest players. Gomes, Delph, Coleman, Keane, Holgate, JJK should never play for us again. They are no longer good enough. Holgate has NEVER been good enough ffs wake up and smell the coffee !!!!!
Pat Kelly
149 Posted 22/01/2022 at 16:51:49
Disorganised, lacking quality and no longer looking like a PL side. Maybe a new manager can bring a spark otherwise we're going down.
Clive Rogers
150 Posted 22/01/2022 at 16:53:41
Kenwright is saying we have had some good times!!!! You couldn’t make it up.
Soren Moyer
151 Posted 22/01/2022 at 17:05:58
At this rate we will be in deep shit after the game at the barcodws bwcause I can't see us getting anything from that game.
Let go, if you love the club. Link
Tony Twist
152 Posted 22/01/2022 at 17:08:06
Time for Big Sam which basically sums up this embarassing excuse of a club that has a team that has forgotten how to play football let alone how to win a match. Newcastle have won today and no matter how bad they have been all season, are more fancied to over run us than us moving away from them up the table. I feel as though we are going down without any fight, just a whimper. It's a team of pampered footballers, the majority of them, ain't really that bothered.
Kieran Kinsella
153 Posted 22/01/2022 at 17:08:33

I see Bill is following Marcel's lead by answering a question with a question. "How would that help?" em, how long have you got Bill?

Kevin Prytherch
154 Posted 22/01/2022 at 17:09:42

We all agree that Keane shouldn’t be playing, but then we complain that Holgate is.

We all agree that Coleman shouldn’t be playing, then we complain when Kenny plays.

Most of us agree that Godfrey plays better at full back, then we complain when he does.

Allan was a doubt for the game, so he only makes the bench, leaving us with Doucoure, Gomes and Gbamin as our only fit senior midfielders, then we complain when 2 out of the 3 fit players are selected.

The worrying part is that we’ve spent £25 million plus on 2 full backs who couldn’t make the squad, although I do believe that today was probably not the match for two youngsters not accustomed to the English game.

I understand why Townsend started, he should, in theory, provide better protection to Kenny and keep a solid defensive line.

If we didn’t select Keane, Coleman, Kenny, Holgate and Gomes as some are suggesting, who does that leave us with? Face facts, due to the squad some of them have to start and the ones that did didn’t seem to play any worse than any others.

There seemed to be enough in the second half to believe that we are in a better direction than under Benitez. I am prepared to give Ferguson a few games at least.

Dave Abrahams
155 Posted 22/01/2022 at 17:10:23
Duncan came in and picked a team he thought would add some fighting spirit, well they played better than in the last couple of months but Villa were well prepared for the fight and fought better and with a lot more aggression than The Blues.

Centre midfield was again a big part of why we lost, but what are you gonna do when you haven’t a very strong midfield, with Gomes far too slow and weak in that position, Allan not properly fit after the virus and a young lad, nowhere near ready to play in a team lacking confidence, preferred to Gbamin.

Mina came in and was made captain but never looked like he was the main point of the defence and was like a cat on a hot tin roof at times and I thought Holgate was much better today, Jonjoe played well I thought and we created two or three decent chances but DCL and Richarlison didn’t have the composure to finish them off.

Before the game walking to the round along Gwladys St. and turning into Bullens Rd. you could sense the nerves and tension on fans faces, not many smiles around, going home on the bus it was like sitting in a forty six seater funeral car, you could hear a pin drop, sorry Idon’t like using that word at the moment!!

In the next couple of weeks before the next game a lot of thought and a lot more action is needed to strengthen the team and getting the others to add a bit more fight, it is definitely needed.

Clive Rogers
156 Posted 22/01/2022 at 17:12:50
So now we know. When Kenwright is told he and the board must stand down he says “how would that help”.
Mark Ryan
157 Posted 22/01/2022 at 17:21:36
Kevin @ 155 it's simple. You don't play Gomes, you don't play Holgate, you bench Seamus, you bench Keane. That leaves the 2 new full backs SHOULD be played. Dobbin should get a game. The common denominator for us being shit is that the managers keep picking our shit players. Holgate, Gomes, JJK and Keane are not good enough. USE OTHER FUCKING PLAYERS.Its not difficult.
Soren Moyer
158 Posted 22/01/2022 at 17:22:08
Kieran. The man will not let go of the club unless we are bankrupt!
John Keating
159 Posted 22/01/2022 at 17:23:19
So are there 3 worse teams than us?
Well the table says yes but my eyes say no.
Norwich 2 out of 2 wins
Newcastle win today
Burnley who have been there many times before still have games in hand
Watford have more bottle

I really thought we would get the bounce today especially with a full squad but never expected that starting 11. In fact I think there wasn't one in the ale house who did!

First half we were abysmal. Only when Allan and Gordon did we improve and take the game to a very poor Villa team.

We did have chances. Mina 2 and DCL, who is well off the pace just now.

In town during the week even my old RS mates thought we'd get this one done but really we could have played all night and not scored.
I truly believe we really are in the shit and I don't know how we get out of this one

Gary Jones
160 Posted 22/01/2022 at 17:24:04
This site is hard work sometimes, but comments like “ Onyango looks like another Iwobi with the game bypassing him” is just another level of utter stupidity entirely.

We really are struggling to play with 2 in the middle, even when it’s part of a 442. Gomes, Doucoure and Allan have all looked poor there for most of the year, because they are all players who want to get forward first of all.

Carlo came closest to fixing it at the start of last year, telling Doucoure and Allan to “sit”, and playing Gomes in front in a kind of number 8 and/or number 10 role. Whilst they won’t like it, I think that’s what we need to get back to.

Tell them two to sit, and play Gomes in front of them, somewhere between a 4231 and a 433. At least until/unless we can find a genuine DCM to do the sitting, and allow the other 2 others to attack.

It’s going to mean sacrificing two of Gordon, Gray, Richie and Townsend. Or maybe DCL dropping for Richie up top. But with 55 min subs and a bit of rotation I don’t see an issue. We also desperately need a LB, if Mykolenko is not good enough to be it yet, then get another one ASAP.

Really don’t give a shit about the cup now, everything needs to be about surviving. Let’s see Myko and Patterson against Brentford, and a return to 4231….

Patterson Godfrey Branthwaite Mykolenko
Doucoure Allan
Gray Gomes Richie

…..assuming we don’t sign anyone of course, because if I was Moshiri I’d be getting the wallet out and finding a way.

Tom Harvey
161 Posted 22/01/2022 at 17:24:09
Kieran Kinsella @ 120

It stinks of Moshiri having decided that he was going to keep Benitez no matter what, then panicking after Norwich and being persuaded to get rid by BK.

Our owner is an absolute Mr Bean at this football business.

Raymond Fox
162 Posted 22/01/2022 at 17:28:09
Theres 18 games left yet, a lot depends who beats who at bottom when they play one another.
We seem to do better against teams at the top, work that one out.
A few decent players brought in on loan would seem to be the best plan, things are getting serious now.
Danny Baily
163 Posted 22/01/2022 at 17:33:21
Can't see us picking up the points we need to stay up. We held on to Benitez for too long and allowed him to weaken the squad in January.

We have some decent individuals in the squad but it's poorly balanced and the mix of characters isn't right.

You never know, though. Four or five wins should do it, and that's not beyond the realms of possibility. We just need more than a bit of luck.

Tony Hill
164 Posted 22/01/2022 at 17:33:44
There is a smell of death about the place. There wasn't, in truth, much conviction in the crowd today. If we carry on like that, I think we will indeed be relegated.

I have no idea what the answer is, but if we do go down then I think we will sink further. This is an absolutely crucial point in the entire history of the club and there is a sense that we are all just letting it slip by.

We need to appoint someone before Newcastle, that is no slight on Duncan but it recognises that we can't afford to wait a few games to see if it all pans out. That was not encouraging at all today despite the views of some here that it showed improvement. I didn't see that.

As to who the someone might be, again I have no idea. Desperate times, though, mean desperate measures. Drifting on in the complacent Kenwright way will see the end of us as a top level team for a long time.

Soren Moyer
165 Posted 22/01/2022 at 17:33:50
At least they made it also clear to our saviour that we didn't want Martinez either.
Brent Stephens
166 Posted 22/01/2022 at 17:34:24
Gary #161 "This site is hard work sometimes, but comments like “ Onyango looks like another Iwobi with the game bypassing him” is just another level of utter stupidity entirely."

Not sure I'd use the word "utter"! Yes, so little first team experience to be able to draw that conclusion. Let's not forget it's not that long ago he returned to the U23s after a broken leg.

Andrew Bentley
167 Posted 22/01/2022 at 17:34:43
The problem with no manager (and no plan) in place, is who makes the decision on hiring? Who decides what we need to get us out of trouble? The right characters to bring in etc.

We’ve already seen Moshiri sign El Ghazi on loan, so are we leaving it to the owner to make the decision on the playing staff.

We need a manager in ASAP who comes in with some identified targets and a plan already. 9 days till the end of the month. Let’s be honest this has got desperation written all over it!

As a player, why would you sign for a club where you don’t know who you are going to play for?

Can’t imagine we will bring any players in before the end of Jan so whoever comes in has to make do with the existing squad. Shambles

Tony Abrahams
168 Posted 22/01/2022 at 17:34:52
What would that change? is why this self-centered deluded jinx, who has got very rich through his association with Everton, has got to go.

The football, was what I expected, and although I thought we defended much better, two against three, in the middle of the park, just gave us to much work to do, and also made us depend more and more route-one, the longer the game went on.

We are all experts on the sidelines, but a little tweak to 4-5-1, might/definitely would have suited us more, especially once Gordon came on, meaning we then had three players on the pitch, who can run with the ball or get down the sides, instead of just going high and long every time.

Darren Hind
169 Posted 22/01/2022 at 17:35:45
Disappointed that the familiar tactic of giving it back to Pickford to hoof it down the park was still very much in evidence. I was kinda hoping Ferguson would knock that on the head, but as soon as it became apparent that Doucoure and Gomes were no match for a more mobile Villa pairing. The game plan seemed to be to by pass the midfield.

Lost to an ugly but ultra competitive Villa team who were well drilled in the dark arts. They'll finish comfortably top half.


You are spot on about the criticism of Holgate and Kenny, Its as if people decide what the are going to say before the match even kicks off. As you say, we defended well today and both of them were better than wooden Yerry by some distance. He spent the afternoon running under long balls after completely losing the flight of them. If he had been playing for Villa, our long ball game would have seen us home.

To read some of these posts you'd think two came through the under 23`s and the other one was South American

Ian Edwards
170 Posted 22/01/2022 at 17:36:31
If one good thing came out that game it's that Ferguson won't get the job. His team selection was poor and the tactics in the first half were awful.

Kenny, Holgate and Gomes shouldn't have started. Gordon shoud have played instead of Townsend.

We expected an up and at them attitude from the start and it wasn't there. The midfield was too deep. The forwards were isolated. There was no link play between the two. It was crying out for another forward on and Richarlison dropping deeper and being the link man.

No shots in the first half and the showing in that half was as bad as anything under Benitez.

The team is crying out for an experienced Prem manager that knows the players, the league and opposition. Who that is, is certainly not Waynetta or Ferguson.

The fans need to be less snobby in who they want. A Dyche or someone like him might just be the answer.

It is a fact that the only Manager under Moshiri who left the Club in a better position than when he arrived is Allardyce. Fact.

I'm not saying we should give it to him but that we need to get back to basics and putting a Hollywood Manager in charge of this team has failed more than once.

Brian Murray
171 Posted 22/01/2022 at 17:37:32
Brent. Be careful you are not saying onyango is still recovering from a broken leg in six months time like some still cling to over Gomes. I haven’t seen enough of the lad so hope he’s a level above that waste of space.
Brent Stephens
172 Posted 22/01/2022 at 17:42:41
Brian #172 "Brent. Be careful you are not saying onyango is still recovering from a broken leg in six months time like some still cling to over Gomes."

Haha! Yes, I won't be saying that, Brian! I do hope, though, that he starts to get more reasonable game time to bring him on. I thought he'd been playing really well at U23 before that broken leg, a very good prospect. And a very mild mannered guy to talk to.

Kieran Kinsella
173 Posted 22/01/2022 at 17:42:46
Dave Abrahams

From your early memories was it this bad the prior two times we got relegated?

Ajay Gopal
174 Posted 22/01/2022 at 17:42:58
I agree with Ed (127). We lost today because of our poor midfield and forward play (except Gordon). The defence was pretty solid except for some heart in mouth moments caused by Mina. Holgate tried some cross field passes that didn’t come off but defensively he mopped everything up. Villa had 2 or 3 chances in the first half because Buendia was able to waltz through our midfield. The goal was the result of a good corner by Digne (who never failed to beat the 1st man when he took our corners this season). I thought the booing of him whenever he got the ball was pretty pathetic. I thought the Goodison crowd would applaud him when the 1st time he touched the ball, but all I could hear was boos. Pretty cringeworthy! Having said that, I thought it was pretty embarrassing seeing Digne and Buendia make such a big deal about a plastic bottle. I didn’t know 1 plastic bottle could take down 2 people! Pathetic!

What a wonderful player Gordon is turning out to be! Such poise, determination and courage. The only complaint I have about him is that he takes a very poor corner from the right. I have counted today as the 3rd time in the last few games that he has swung the ball out from the corner. Not good, young fella!

We are in a bad position, but we need to get our new manager in quickly. Hope they make the right decision- Niko Kovac for me. Plus we need to sign a creative midfielder before the window closes. Someone mentioned Barkley earlier - I would take that! He has a point to prove and would probably give his all in a relegation fight.

And lastly, I would urge all Evertonians wherever you are, please stay united and calm. We have a better class of players that most teams. We just need a couple of results to turn the corner, The team and the individual players especially need our support. Let us keep aside our egos aside and do everything we can to help the team.

Andy Crooks
175 Posted 22/01/2022 at 17:51:26
Well, the big bounce didn't really happen but there was effort and some passion. Which is extremely worrying because it suggests that the problem lies in having players who are not good enough.

We are the worst team in the Premier League. I wouldn't back us to beat any team in the Championship. Confidence shot to pieces and a shortlist of possible new managers that is bizarre and uninspiring.

Go to Southampton and pay whatever it costs to steal another manager from them.

Chris Leyland
176 Posted 22/01/2022 at 17:52:21
Ian Edwards,

I agree with a lot of what you've said about today's game, and with you that we need an experienced Premier League manager, but I disagree that Allardyce left the club in a better state than he found it. He saddled the club with Tosun and Walcott on big contracts and £45M wasted in transfer fees.

Paul Hewitt
177 Posted 22/01/2022 at 17:55:48
The 3 teams being relegated are coming from Burnley, Norwich, Newcastle, Watford, Everton and Leeds. Are we better than 3 of them?
Ciarán McGlone
178 Posted 22/01/2022 at 17:56:12
It seems that a lot of people have predetermined their position on Ferguson and will fit their analysis to that narrative.

That was chalk and cheese compared to the shite we've seen over the last 3 months.

The team selection wasn't idiotic either. Kenny has performed reasonable well recently and Holgate was the only alternative to the walking disaster that is Keane. Neither of them had a bad game yet we have people on here complaining about their selection.. and even suggesting playing some untried kid who hasn't even been getting on at Rangers.

Should've been a 4-5-1, but that was head and shoulders over the Benitez dross.

Andy Walker
179 Posted 22/01/2022 at 17:58:37
And to cap off a shit day, EFC in the early evening ITV national news headlines reporting on the wankers who threw bottles at the Villa players.
Tony Abrahams
180 Posted 22/01/2022 at 18:00:17
Sorry for going on about my pet hate, but Townsend took three corners in the first half, that were played in with pace, but also flat enough to be flicked-on at the near post, if only we put a man there, instead of them being cleared unchallenged.

Digne hit a similar corner, it looked like Richarlison was going to meet it in a similar way that Villa had defended our corners, but then a front post runner gets a little flick on the ball, and that’s ended up being the only difference between the teams.

Pat Kelly
181 Posted 22/01/2022 at 18:00:20
Ajay, it's nice to see a positive post but I don't agree "We have a better class of players than most teams". Maybe most teams in the Football League… but not the Premier League.

Our current position is a true reflection of where we currently rate in relation to the others in the Premier League. But we're getting worse – not better.

And as for Barkley giving his all in a relegation fight, maybe he would… but then he has very little to give.

Tony Hill
182 Posted 22/01/2022 at 18:01:55
Ciaran @178, agendas play both ways. It was not head and shoulders above anything. We were very poor and, if we pretend to the contrary, we will compound our problems.
Clive Rogers
183 Posted 22/01/2022 at 18:02:50
Kenwright is not bothered about success. His only concern is remaining in the limelight as chairman.

Moshiri can send out emails asserting his commitment, but it is his football knowledge and judgement that are the problem.

This show will run and run. Another 27 years probably.

David Pearl
184 Posted 22/01/2022 at 18:04:36
We should look at the positives.

We didn't lose because of any 1 player, nor because of the midfield. We lost because we fluffed our chances.

Keep Duncan, he did well. Made his subs early and went for it. I'm sure if Doucouré didn't have to go off, then Coleman would have come on.

Could have scored a few. If we play a bit better in the final third, we will start picking up points.

Ciarán McGlone
185 Posted 22/01/2022 at 18:05:58

You vehemently wanted to keep Benitez .

Kieran Kinsella
186 Posted 22/01/2022 at 18:06:15

"some untried kid who hasn't even been getting on at Rangers."

First off, he's not a "kid" he is a grown ass man. A legal adult who could fight in the army, get married, have kids, vote etc. Secondly, we just signed him for a lot of money so given that we know the shortcomings of Kenny and Coleman, why not give him a go?

Colin Glassar
187 Posted 22/01/2022 at 18:06:32
Hopefully this will take some of the weight of expectation off Duncan's shoulders. If we'd have won, he'd have been called the messiah and offered a 10-year contract by teary-eyed Bill.

Losing means a return to reality. Duncan can motivate a team to leave everything on the pitch, like he did today but, does he have the technical savvy to outwit more experienced (or sly) managers? Only time will tell.

Today was a lot better than in recent months but,with key players (Calvert-Lewin, Mina, Richarlison) showing a bit of rust and others (Kenny, Holgate, Gomes) not good enough, it's going to be a long, hard slog to safety.

Peter Carpenter
188 Posted 22/01/2022 at 18:07:41
This team is already relegated. Apart from the major defects in personnel, it simply doesn't have the fight to get out of it. Lose the next two league games and we will be in a death spiral which will see us down before the last game at Arsenal. Kenwright and Moshiri will preside over the end of 68 years in the top flight.

Today demonstrated why Duncan Ferguson cannot be part of the solution; poor selection, best recent player left out (he was still our best player in only 40 minutes on the pitch), no ideas, no change of tactics – just pointless long balls.
Any hope? There's still 18 games to go. A new manager must come in now and be allowed to pick his own assistant. Oh, and get Jesse Lingard before the Saudi Barcodes do.

Ciarán McGlone
189 Posted 22/01/2022 at 18:09:24
We've signed plenty of players for a lot of money and most have been shite. Hardly a cogent argument for dropping Kenny when he's been playing reasonably well.

Tony Hill
190 Posted 22/01/2022 at 18:09:53
Ciaran @185, I did and still think he would be better placed than anyone else on offer to preserve us from relegation. I recognised in the end that the players and most fans hated him so he had to go.

We've got rid of everyone and now there's no-one left.

Danny Baily
191 Posted 22/01/2022 at 18:11:59
Peter 188, summed it up. Today was massive, and it didn't go our way. Hard to escape the feeling that this side is already relegated.
Ciarán McGlone
192 Posted 22/01/2022 at 18:12:32
I guess that makes your analysis fairly suspect then.

He went because he was shite.

Tony Everan
193 Posted 22/01/2022 at 18:12:45
The board need to be more proactive. We are sleepwalking into a disaster.

This is no time for lively boardroom debate and endless interviews. Action is needed now to save our club.

1) Get a new manager in now, short term, then review, to take us up to June; whoever you choose, just get it done. The players will want to some sort of stability so they can focus on their jobs.

2) Just as important as (1): Get a tough, best quality available midfielder in this week that the new manager wants and agrees to, to work in a midfield three with Allan and Doucouré. The club must have a list of potential names.

Get it done this week and we will have a far better chance of turning this situation around.

Pat Kelly
194 Posted 22/01/2022 at 18:15:54
Today is the last time Ferguson will be in charge. At least until we sack the next manager. But It's time for Ferguson to move on. He's been part of what has failed for so long. A fixture not a fixer.
Tony Hill
195 Posted 22/01/2022 at 18:16:40
Ciaran, ah the incisive analysis for which you are famed.
Bill Fairfield
196 Posted 22/01/2022 at 18:22:25
Unlucky to get beat today, we'll probably be unlucky to go down as well.

That letter from the owner just sums him up, full of confidence in the board of directors that have brought us to this. Moshiri must have signed a contract with Kenwright that leaves him as chairman till we get to the new stadium, so Blue Bill can say, "Look at me, look what I've delivered for you." Absolutely pathetic what's going on.

Well done, Duncan, for trying your best today.

Steavey Buckley
197 Posted 22/01/2022 at 18:23:09
Everton have just spent £28 million on 2 full-backs who were not good enough to make the bench. The £28 million could have been better spent on a centre-half or a midfielder. But why did Moshiri allow Benitez to spend the £28 million if he was considering sacking him?
Raymond Fox
198 Posted 22/01/2022 at 18:24:19
Paul 177, you can throw Crystal Palace and Brentford into that list, they will be down there come the end of the season.
Kieran Kinsella
199 Posted 22/01/2022 at 18:25:45

Let's get Mike Walker back since it's better to stick with a proven failure than to give someone new a chance.

Jack Convery
200 Posted 22/01/2022 at 18:25:52
Dedicated to Billy Boy

Cheers Bill.

Colin Glassar
201 Posted 22/01/2022 at 18:26:12
As long as Billy bullshitter has a smile on his fat gob all is well. According to him, sacking the board (ie, him) will achieve nothing and we should settle for “the good times” we've apparently had over the years.

Manager or no manager, while this man is at the helm, we are in serious trouble.

I'm referring to the scenes outside of the ground.

Robert Williams
202 Posted 22/01/2022 at 18:26:34
Who do we know that has Kenwright's ear, someone who could speak to him, someone he would listen to? Someone that would tell him the bitter truth about the shite we are in and that he is the problem? Someone that would tell him the game's up?

In short, someone that would tell him to fuck off from our club?

Ciarán McGlone
203 Posted 22/01/2022 at 18:28:57
"Let's get Mike Walker back since it's better to stick with a proven failure than to give someone new a chance."

If that's the level of debate, then I'm out.

Robert Williams
204 Posted 22/01/2022 at 18:31:37
Still talk of trying to get Potter onboard. However, in the meantime, perhaps Del Boy Trotter could take the reins – could do no worse than what we have now.
Jack Convery
205 Posted 22/01/2022 at 18:33:55
Guinness Book of World Records - New Entry.

Sticking Plaster bought for £100M.

Kenwright the great negotiator pays £16M for a Rangers reserve, that Dunc and Baines don't think is good enough yet.

Owner sacks manager 2 days after selling a full-back.

We are doomed… Doomed, I tell ye!!!

Derek Taylor
206 Posted 22/01/2022 at 18:34:02
I was happy with the team selected, particularly as the recently signed full-backs are reportedly shite. I was also happy with the much improved effort.

Open up the recruitment process for managers to include anybody who has gained promotion for teams to the Premier League excluding all who have been employed and sacked previously!

We are going down – believe me.

Brian Murray
207 Posted 22/01/2022 at 18:34:53
Raymond @187.

The usual blue mindset there are three worse teams well this safety in numbers mentality might not be enough this year.

Newcastle play some good stuff all season from what I have seen now they getting a cutting edge. Brentford have nothing to lose and will fight to the death. That's something we shy away from after a week or so.

Watford just out five past us so no one tell me we are better than these teams.

As for the chairman you heard his answer today over 27 years of mediocrity. "We have had good times." Jeez, I must of blinked. No wonder him and glass ceiling Moyes got on so well as West Ham are finding out.

John Raftery
208 Posted 22/01/2022 at 18:37:24
I could not see much difference today compared with previous performances. The team showed plenty of spirit as they have in the vast majority of games this season. Quality and confidence were lacking as they have been in the majority of games since October.

The vulnerability at corners continues to haunt us as it has all season. Whoever the manager is, progress will prove impossible until we tighten up the defensive organisation and register a few clean sheets.

Villa are unbeaten against us since their return to the Premier League in 2019; six games from which they have four wins and two draws. We have been outplayed in all those games. Our problems have not emerged overnight.

We had only two corners to defend today yet conceded from one. The crowd cheered loudly, as we generally do, when we win a corner. That is a triumph of hope over experience because we very rarely make any of them count.

Worryingly Calvert-Lewin looks well below full match fitness while Doucouré is clearly struggling with whichever injury issues he is dealing with.

That a club in such dire straits decides to spend £30M on two full backs, neither of whom played today, suggests a real confusion in regard to priorities. Building for the future is all well and good but yet again we find ourselves needing an urgent injection of experience and craft to lift us out of the mire.

Would any intelligent manager want this job at present, other than for the money?

Brian Murray
209 Posted 22/01/2022 at 18:38:00
Robert @202,

If Moshiri won't, maybe Jenny his partner will... but she would have to make a right song and dance about it. No pun intended.

Clive Rogers
210 Posted 22/01/2022 at 18:51:03
Brian, Robert, that won’t work, he is too thick skinned. He is not bothered about Everton FC, just about himself. He is impossible to persuade. I’m afraid it is till death do us part.
Andy Riley
211 Posted 22/01/2022 at 18:51:37
Ridiculous as it may seem, maybe we need to take Big Sam up on his offer to help?
Tony Abrahams
212 Posted 22/01/2022 at 18:52:31
If Ferguson and Baines don't think Patterson is ready, and Benitez never played him either, was he signed because Brands had scouted him, even though the board had just sacked Brands?

This is what is running Everton, and has been since Moshiri came into the club, and it's going to take us down eventually unless real changes are made inside our club.

What will that achieve? Unreal, but I'd expect nothing less from a man, who professes to be a great Evertonian, but is obviously not concerned about our present predicament, or the fact that Everton, haven't won a sausage since the horrible phoney bastard first got his mittens into our once-great club.

Chris Jenkins
213 Posted 22/01/2022 at 18:52:39
Another defeat at home, a very sad way to commemorate the 115th anniversary of Dixie Dean's birth.

Criticism of Duncan Ferguson is, to my mind, completely unjustified as, according to a number of commentators, it was definitely an improved performance compared to the dross served up under Benitez's management. Duncan is not a magician for goodness sake!!

Indeed, it is extremely difficult to understand why Benitez in his final days as manager was allowed to spend the best part of £30M on two players who didn't feature today – and to make matters worse, was enabled to sell the player who provided the assist for Villa to score.

It's still not too late to try and entice David Moyes back and to hopefully avoid relegation !!

Sam Hoare
214 Posted 22/01/2022 at 18:52:49
I feel sorry for the fans there today. Sounded like they gave everything to try and will the players to victory. (Not including the idiot who threw a bottle obviously!)

Such support will need to continue. I suspect we may be in for a proper relegation battle this year. The mismanagement of this club has been appalling and though I think we may survive this year the drop will eventually come until we sort ourselves out. There are more and more clubs being properly run in our league and the one below.

We will either adapt or die (metaphorically speaking).

Bill Fairfield
215 Posted 22/01/2022 at 18:53:25
All relegated teams try their best, but they go down anyway because they're just not good enough.

Moshiri Out! Kenwright Out!

Tom Harvey
216 Posted 22/01/2022 at 18:53:32
Chris Leyland @ 176

"...but I disagree that Allardyce left the club in a better state that he found it. He saddled the club with Tosun and Walcott on big contracts and £45M wasted in transfer fees."

Allardyce made the comment (or words to the effect) at the time, that "Tuson was the best the club could find for the money". This suggest it was down to the DoF (or Kenwright or Moshiri?) and at the time I do remember Allardyce not being too enthusiatic about him. I don't believe Tosun was not an Allardyce buy.

Walcott? Now then, there's every chance just like Iwobi (Arsenal connection) Moshiri had a lot to do with this, I can't be certain but just like above I'll give Allardyce a pass on this.

Allardyce has been savaged on this site for doing the job he was employed to do and that was save us.

Martin Mason
217 Posted 22/01/2022 at 18:55:29
We're going down again
We're going down again
We're going down, down, down, down, down again

Duncan the sacrificial lamb and his EFC fundamentalist back room staff and board seem to be guiding us to oblivion. They were never going to make us a real Premier League club and the massive promise of Moshiri's money has proven to be fool's gold without the massive reforms needed to get us out of the small club mentality in which we've been mired for so long.

Those reforms have to come or relegation will be immediate or delayed until next year. The management issue is an irrelevancy. Everton's problems are far deeper.

Mike Gaynes
218 Posted 22/01/2022 at 18:56:14
I said it before the game and I'll say it again. Any lineup without our best player for the last 5 games is the wrong lineup.

Anthony Gordon should have played 90 minutes. He could have been part of a front three, wing in a 5-man midfield, or just outside in the 4-4-2 with Townsend, a fine defender, in the middle instead of Gomes. But he belonged on the pitch.

Also, Buendia's goal was sheer luck. Only the second headed goal of his life. He'll never duplicate the placement of that one for the rest of his career.

And it would likely have been cleared by Godfrey had Pickford not gotten his fingers to it. Just terrible luck all around, no blame to anybody.

Craig Walker
219 Posted 22/01/2022 at 18:57:45
We're not good enough with the ball, unfortunately. Too pedestrian. If Richarlison, Gray and Calvert-Lewin are not at the top of their game, we create nothing.

Why do we always have midfield players who can't score goals? The commitment was there today and Gordon was a big positive. Not a fan of Holgate or Kenny. Gomes is awful when we don't have the ball.

I just want this sorry season to end and I'd snap anyone's hands off for finishing 4th from bottom. Big problems.

Shaun Laycock
220 Posted 22/01/2022 at 19:01:13
I hate to say it but today's fare was pretty poor. Long ball footy, 4-4-2, it was a throwback but not a successful one.

Yes, the effort was there, and we had a couple of chances, but still outnumbered in the centre. Weird selection at full-backs too.

Tony Twist
221 Posted 22/01/2022 at 19:01:13
I know this will rile a few people but Moshiri needs to be getting his finger out and move heaven and earth and get in a proven Director of Football.

That DoF should then view the players, the strengths and weaknesses, define how to use the players and then get a coach that has what it takes to get wins with those players and then he can start work on most of those players Monday morning!

With no-one in the club with any degree of knowledge on footballing matters, a DoF is essential. Oh and if Mosh is reading this I do not mean get Kia or whatever his name is in, you idiot.

Clive Rogers
222 Posted 22/01/2022 at 19:01:25
Mike, 218,

Townsend was awful today and was rightly subbed. He is a finished Palace cast-off.

Peter Jansson
223 Posted 22/01/2022 at 19:05:56
I am sorry, guys, but our club makes absolutely no sense. This is beyond useless. I am getting sick of putting my engergy into following a bunch of amateurs. Sorry guys. Maybe that is why I today use more time on watching Swedish bandy instead of english football.

How come our old manager got rid of Digne and his left hand (Duncan Ferguson) does not even include the new player to fit his role on the bench? Did they not discuss together of whom to buy to fill the role of Digne? They did not communicate at all? What is the problem here?

Mykolenko should have been playing. Why the fuck else did we buy him? There must be someone else other than Rafa Benitez that believed in this guy.

Godfrey does have a good heart and defend well, but he is not a full back. He is simply not good enough going forward.

How come Moshiri let Digne go if Rafa Benitez was so close to getting sacked? You cannot let people that are about to get sacked the ability to make cruisal decisions (selling Digne and get Mykolenko in).

I get the impression that Digne left because of Rafa. And Rafa gets kicked out 2 days after he leaves!?? What the fuck is this kind of management?

Then now, when Duncan does not play Mykolenko, this whole affair looks pretty weird. We don't really look like the smartes guys in the market... rather the opposite, sorry about that.

Why did we just kick out Rafa Benitez if we seemingly do not have a plan at all? Today did not look an inch better than under Benitez and the managers talked about I doubt will improve anything.

They really had Roberto Martinez on the table!?? Listen to that! The most useless manager in Everton history I think. He rode Moyes's work for a year and then it collapsed. What a joke.

Tony Hill
224 Posted 22/01/2022 at 19:06:27
Mike @218,

Agreed about the goal and the lack of luck. It's that last bit which worries me, among other things. Sides in relegation difficulty lose luck; of course, it's more subtle than that but it's a big indicator.

Eddie Dunn
225 Posted 22/01/2022 at 19:09:19
Mike, it was Townsend on the line – not Godfrey.

If Pickford had not taken a step to the left, he would have tipped it over... one of the pitfalls of not being a giant.

Peter Carpenter
226 Posted 22/01/2022 at 19:09:30
Mykolenko and Patterson, the Moise Keans of Duncan second spell?
Mike Gaynes
227 Posted 22/01/2022 at 19:10:06
I don't think he's finished, Clive. He was poor today, still recovering from the long layoff, but better than Gomes. Doucouré likewise played poorly today, and I don't think he or Townsend is fully healthy.

Eddie, thanks for the correction. Yes, Townsend would have headed clear pretty easily.

Tony Hill
228 Posted 22/01/2022 at 19:13:58
Andy @211,

I don't think it's ridiculous at all. We are in dire straits, the getting of points is all that matters. He could be given a short contract or simply invited to work with Duncan.

We must survive.

Andrew Hight
229 Posted 22/01/2022 at 19:16:11
Worst team in the league. Deserve relegation. Well documented terrible recruitment, unbalanced squad, no playing style, formations and line-ups change all the time with no consistency. The luck has finally run out.
Derek Knox
230 Posted 22/01/2022 at 19:19:00
Andy @ 211,

In John McEnroe style: "You Cannot Be Serious?"

Scott Robinson
231 Posted 22/01/2022 at 19:19:00
Peter @223.

Totally agree, it is totally bizarre what has happened with Digne and Benitez then getting fired.

Richarlison's comments in the Echo said it all. The players have not performed. Is it going to get any better before the end of the season?

Oliver Molloy
232 Posted 22/01/2022 at 19:22:43
I don't know what to make of the performance today. I was surprised with Ferguson starting Kenny and dropping the in-form Gordon - I think when Gordon came on proved Ferguson got that call wrong, unless he was nursing an injury Gordon should have started.

Calvert Lewin looks rusty and clearly needs games. This team is lacking confidence and honest to God, I don't know where the next win will come from, we are in a relegation battle for sure.

In my opinion Ferguson is not the man, but we could see him remain in charge certainly, because I truly believe a lot of managers will or would turn down any approach.

More than anything what has pissed me off today is the fucking idiot bottle thrower who just provided ammunition to the likes of fuckers Gerrard, Mings and Co to make snide comments about the game, the club and Evertonians.

I hope whoever is guilty is banned from the ground for life.

Eddie Dunn
233 Posted 22/01/2022 at 19:22:45
The problem we had was that Stevie Me got his troops fired-up. They are unlikely to mount a European challenge and unlikely to be sucked down to our level but he managed to get them so stoked that it was like a Derby match in the first half.

Our lot thought that if they put in a shift, then the game would take care of itself. Villa had other ideas, as will the Geordies and the the others in the relegation scrap.

The situation reminds me of last season, when we had games in hand on those around us and we could have sneaked into Europe. The games in hand slipped by as we went on a barren run.

We are hamstrung. Ferguson should not have ruled himself out of the job long term – now the players think he will be back laying cones. They should have been thinking that they need to impress him long term.

The other problems are, Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison are not up to speed. Hopefully they will start producing soon. Doucoure looks like he will need a break (and he hasn't looked fully fit since returning.

Townsend also came back too early. Then add to this Gomes and his lack of pace and the lack of cover with Davies out too.

Ironically, the much-maligned Sigurdsson has been sorely missed. He can pass, he can take dead balls and he scores goals. For all of the critics on here, with James going to boot, Gylfi is a big loss. The lack of creativity in the middle has hampered us all season.

All-in-all, Ferguson has got plenty to think about.

Mark Ryan
234 Posted 22/01/2022 at 19:28:29
Get Lampard in and let's break this EFC hoodoo. Duncan can stay if Lampard wants him but should not simply hang around because Kenwright says so. Get Lampard in and let's have a root-and-branch clear-out. Appoint him now.
Alex Gray
235 Posted 22/01/2022 at 19:32:39
For me its as clear as daylight that its the centre of the park where we're inadequate. Gomes, Allan and Doucouré are awful on the ball. Doucoure can drive forward so offers something. Allan tackles then gives it away and needs to be replaced by a defensive midfielder who can tackle and set up an attack and Gomes cant attack or defend and has never recovered from that injury.

Then we need a third midfielder who can link up with the attack. After that we need another centre back who is basically Mina but never injured.

That just improves the starting eleven. Gomes, Gbamin, Delph, Holgate, Kenny, Iwobi, Tosun, Rondon, Coleman are no longer effective starting or coming off the bench so don't add anything to the team or squad.

We need half a first team and an entirely new bench to be a consistent team and that's without injuries. That's around 8-9 players which shows the dire straits we're in.

A manager can be world class but they won't make bad players into world beaters. Looking back, as much as I hate the snake, Carlo got the very best out of this shower.

Paul Hewitt
236 Posted 22/01/2022 at 19:33:18
Mark @234.

Hopefully he can get Loftus-Cheek on loan.

Michael Williams
237 Posted 22/01/2022 at 19:35:51
So many people here:

"Why did we sell Digne because of a falling out with Rafa then get rid of Rafa a few days later?"

Because most of the fans were screaming for Rafa's head including 90% of the people here that's why. The board could not take the pressure. Simple really.

Yes, the board is incompetent, we need a plan and a complete clear-out and we need this club professionally run.

Eddie Dunn
238 Posted 22/01/2022 at 19:35:57

Gomes was no better before his injury. He just looked nice on the ball, and given time and space, he looks classy.

This kind of blood and thunder game is not his thang.

Gary Jones
239 Posted 22/01/2022 at 19:39:21
If there's zero chance of prising Potter away, how about considering prising Ralph Hasenhüttl instead?
Bill Fairfield
240 Posted 22/01/2022 at 19:40:32
Surely there is someone with half a brain that can buy our club and replace the brainless owner we have now.
Alex Gray
241 Posted 22/01/2022 at 19:41:01

Agreed he was never a blood and thunder type of player but, before the injury, he was certainly sharper and has lost a yard or two of pace sadly.

He had quite a few games when he controlled the tempo and ran the midfield and now just gets ran past and I could've swore he used to be a reliable passer of the ball! Either way needs to be replaced.

Jerome Shields
242 Posted 22/01/2022 at 19:42:50
Tony #212

I think you are right. The week before Benitez got the sack, it was reported that Moshiri wanted Coutinho, but Benitez refused to have him. I am wondering if that was the tipping point for Moshiri's overnight evaporation of support for Benitez.

Dave Abrahams
243 Posted 22/01/2022 at 19:43:13
Kieran (173),

Good on you for trying to bring a bit of humour to this thread. The first time Everton were relegated was in 1930, I think. I'm getting on a bit, Kieran, but 1930!!

Eddie Dunn
244 Posted 22/01/2022 at 19:46:39
Alex, yes but we are so short of midfielders right now.
Michael Lynch
245 Posted 22/01/2022 at 19:49:45
I'm surprised so many on here think today was an improvement on the Rafa era. The only difference I could see was the most long-ball football in a top flight game since the days of Wimbledon's Crazy Gang.

I was disappointed Duncan didn't start with Gordon, and surprised we didn't try a three in midfield. I also would have played Seamus over Kenny. Seamus is a leader and, even past his prime, is still one of our better footballers.

Not sure why we played two up-top either. Calvert-Lewin is miles off match sharpness and Richarlison cut an increasingly frustrated figure as the game wore on.

The problem might be that Duncan is still naively assuming what he sees in training is what he's going to see on match-day. As fans, all we see is matchday so perhaps we have a clearer view of what isn't working.

So, in summary, have a ballot amongst the fans and put one of us in charge. Couldn't be any worse than what we saw today

Generally a massive let-down today, and it meant the fans never really got the chance to create a bear-pit atmosphere.

Danny O’Neill
246 Posted 22/01/2022 at 19:52:38
Apologies, I haven't yet been through the posts, so this is just my raw take.

A pretty average match between 2 average teams. I didn't feel particularly threatened, but we didn't threaten them. As a defender, I could over analyse their goal, but in fairness, good movement and a deft touch from the Villa player. Ironically, had Jordan not instinctively gone for it (understandable – not a criticism), I think Townsend is clearing it off the line.

As soon as the team was announced, I expressed my concerns and within 5 minutes it was clear to see, we had gaping holes in the midfield. You win and lose games in midfield. That has never changed. What has is that in the modern game, you can't play a 4-4-2. Had that been a better opposition, we'd have been torn a new one.

Do not play with 2 in the middle with this current squad.

I'm off to catch up on the Russia-Ukraine crisis.

Until tomorrow morning. Or maybe later this evening.

Newcastle and Leeds matches are crucial now.

Brentford gives us some hope of having something to look forward to.

Ian Bennett
247 Posted 22/01/2022 at 19:54:48
All to do.

Defence is jittery, Doucoure looks injured again, and Calvert-Lewin looks way off it.

We'd best get some talent in quickly on loan, as the bottom teams are winning and we are in free fall.

Jerome Shields
248 Posted 22/01/2022 at 19:54:52
Digne actually played better than he has for this past two years at Everton. Glad at 29 he is gone and Everton got top dollar for him. He was not prepared to put the same effort in at Everton.
Peter Jansson
249 Posted 22/01/2022 at 19:54:53
Michael #237,

So you are saying that we are the problem? The supporters? Well, you might be right. It is easy to come in and scream your senses away when you are angry. Maybe we as a supporter base are too toxic? It is actually a thing I have been thinking about lately (myself included).

I am actually not so sure it was a smart move to kick Rafa out the door. Actually, it might have been completely the wrong thing to do. By no means, I wanted to have him sacked 10 days ago... but was it so smart to sack him really?

To be honest, he did not really get a chance to prove himself. Kicking him out might just speed up the downward fall...

Maybe Rafa was right playing Rondon lately. Calvert-Lewin has not looked like a sharp upgrade recently. He is simply not in shape yet.

Selling Digne – actually, I think this was a good move. Could we just play Mykolenko please so we can see what he is made of? I mean, we all here can see our limits. It was not Rafa's fault we are where we are.

To be honest, I think our players have tried to fight in many games this season. But we have not been good enough.

Should we get Rafa back? :-)

Peter Carpenter
250 Posted 22/01/2022 at 19:55:45
Agreed Michael (245). This was no better than under Rafa.
Mike Hayes
251 Posted 22/01/2022 at 19:57:40
To all who saw and have yet to see the “interview” the fans gave Kenwright, he's a showman and a lousy actor. All he's doing is combining them together and making a right show of himself for every Everton fan to see and the rest of the footballing world.

The national media needs to get hold of them and show just how laughable he is and what a joke we have been for 27 feckin years!

Ian Edwards
252 Posted 22/01/2022 at 20:01:34
Mike 251. Regardless of the rights or wrongs of Kenwright's involvement in the club.. all I saw was dreadful bullying of an old man. It reflects terribly on the club.
Danny O’Neill
253 Posted 22/01/2022 at 20:03:41
Or playing in a better team, Jerome?

Effort is something I wouldn't have accused Digne of lacking.

Form, yes. But then that could be labelled at just about every single one of our players.

Tony Hill
254 Posted 22/01/2022 at 20:04:10
Jerome @248, and delighted to celebrate his assist and to rub it in and then to appear as though he had been poleaxed (no excuse for the tit who threw the bottle).

Digne is a horrible rat and we are well shut. Benitez's fault, mind.

Kieran Kinsella
255 Posted 22/01/2022 at 20:06:52

Chavs? Didn't see any violence, no bad language, and nobody on the film said they lived in government housing. So perhaps you saw the director's cut?

Soren Moyer
256 Posted 22/01/2022 at 20:07:10
We cannot go for an already employed Premier League manager now. Fact. We should do what Man Utd done, ie, get an interim manager, eg, Lucien Favre (unemployed), and reward him with a longer contract if his job was satisfactory at the end of the season.

Right now, we can't afford to waste time by looking for a DoF. It can wait. We should act now before it's too late.

Geoff Williams
257 Posted 22/01/2022 at 20:07:11
Until 11:30 this morning, I was firmly in the 'give the job to Ferguson' camp… but he doesn't seem to have learnt anything from the experiences of the previous managers.

All the best performances have occurred when Everton have played three in midfield so when Allan, Gomes and Doucourè are fit and available, then they should play.

Playing a completely untried back four was a mistake in such a crucial match.

Gordon and Gray have been the best of a poor bunch of late and should be the first two names on the team sheet.

Calvert-Lewin is clearly off the pace at the moment and needs to be handled better if he is to become a prolific goalscorer once again.

Niall McIlhone
258 Posted 22/01/2022 at 20:07:44
Danny #246,

Indeed, the FA Cup tie is now something of a “free hit” for whosoever is manager, and I would like to see a bold approach with the two new full-backs, plus Branthwaite, Gordon and Dobbin all starting. What's there to lose, as it may give us a taste of what the young ‘uns can do?

I very much doubt it though, we don't tend to think out of the box.

Also, amidst all the (understandable) gloom, it is notable that Brentford are only 3 points ahead of us, having played 3 games more. We simply have to get 2 wins from the 3 key matches against Newcastle, Leeds and Brentford and we then give ourselves a chance of staying up. Lose two of the three, and we are toast.

Mike Gaynes
259 Posted 22/01/2022 at 20:08:59
Alex #241, you must have a better memory than I do of Gomes's contributions. I have no recollection of the "quite a few games when he controlled the tempo and ran the midfield." Nor do I recall him ever having that extra step of pace that he has supposedly lost.

His best impacts have been off the bench late in games. At one point, he subbed in and won us a couple in a row with crucial crosses. Unfortunately, we have not used him that way recently. We keep starting him. Uselessly.

Chris Jenkins
260 Posted 22/01/2022 at 20:09:29
Ian @252,

Absolutely correct – inexcusable behaviour by a bunch of mindless clowns.

He is not anywhere near the villain he is made out to be. Yes, of course he's made mistakes – haven't we all!! The continuous stream of venom against him in these columns is unacceptable.

Brian Murray
261 Posted 22/01/2022 at 20:10:36
Ian @252.

Kenwright was asked by the group to come and talk closer so they could engage in a conversation, instead of shouting and chanting their feelings. Give him his due, he did and his answer summed up his and the club's mindset.

We apparently have had good times... Sorry, I blinked, mate. He's clinging onto opening the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock, no matter what league or state we are in. He needs to be stopped.

Brian Mahoney
262 Posted 22/01/2022 at 20:13:08
I've been going home and away for 50 years and can honestly say this bunch of losers are taking us down.

Calvert-Lewin more interested in his fashion career than scoring goals. Kane would never have missed that sitter.

Really disillusioned with our club at the moment.

Brian Murray
263 Posted 22/01/2022 at 20:13:59
Chris. If you want to see thuggish behaviour, have a look at a team's coach getting written off by bricks etc, luckily not blinding a kid or adult, not a million miles away. Use your eyes.
Danny O’Neill
264 Posted 22/01/2022 at 20:22:36
Brian, not sure if it was was the same engagement but my brother told me that Kenwright told a supporter there have been good times in the last 27 years.

The supporter told Bill that the last time we won a trophy, he couldn't legally drink... and he is 42.

Colin Glassar
265 Posted 22/01/2022 at 20:23:19
The fans have every right to question Kenwright. There was no pushing or shoving. No swearing or insults. No hint of violence or threat of etc… so what's the problem? People have a right to demonstrate (despite the Tory government) still in this country.

So if the blue Buddha can't take the heat, he should get out of the kitchen (or boardroom).

Tony Hill
266 Posted 22/01/2022 at 20:23:43
He's a self-serving narcissist, Chris @260, who has drained this club. I have no doubt he believes his stories. He relies on good people like you.
Christy Ring
267 Posted 22/01/2022 at 20:25:20
Doucoure not playing well since his injury, there's no way a two-man midfield would suit him because he's great going forward and Gomes is a ball-player. It was the same against Norwich and didn't work; they need Allan behind them in a three-man midfield, bad mistake by Duncan in my opinion.

I hope Lampard is given the job before the window closes and brings in Gilmour, who would bring bite and pace to midfield.

Jay Wood

268 Posted 22/01/2022 at 20:25:53
For those clinging to the belief that there are 3 worst teams in the PL than Everton at the moment so we won't be relegated, look away now.

Transfermarkt has a very useful form table tool. You can select a starting matchday week and a finishing matchday week to see the form table for the entire league between those two periods

For example, this weekend is matchday 23. Selecting matchday 1 (opening day of the season) as the starting week and matchday 23 as the finishing week, you will of course see the actual full season table.

I looked at every form table for every matchday since matchday 5, with matchday 23 as the finishing week. I chose matchday 5 because, after gathering 10 points from our opening four fixtures, it was our first defeat of the season. The 3-0 loss at Villa.

Now whilst Covid-19 postponements impact on the standings, it is now only marginal. Only three teams (Spurs and Leicester with 19 and Burnley with 17) have played less than the 20 games Everton has.

So a form table from matchday 5 to matchday 23 covers a maximum of 19 games played; matchday 6-23 18 games; matchday 7-23 17 games; etc, etc, diminishing by one each matchday.

The following shows:
MD = Matchday
Pos = Everton's position in that form table
Pts = Everton's points return in that form table block:

MD Pos Pts
5 20 9
6 19 9
7 20 9
8 20 5
9 20 5
10 19 5
11 18 5
12 19 4
13 18 4
14 18 4
15 18 4
16 19 1
17 18 1
18 19 0
19 19 0
20 19 0

Across all those different form tables, we sit consistently in the bottom three. When we haven't occupied rock bottom last, the only two teams below us have been Watford and Burnley.

Since gleaning 10 points from our opening four games, we have gathered just another 9 from our next 16 games. Nine points out of a possible 48.

In the form table, game 5-23 in which we sit rock bottom on 9 points:

* Burnley are on 10 points (even having played 3 games less than us)
* Watford 2 points better off, same number of games played as Everton
* Newcastle 5 points better off, one more game played
* Norwich 7 points better off, two more games played

Sorry. But the long-term (and ongoing) data is damning.

We are one of the worst three teams in the league, if not the worst.

We are deep in it.

Bill Gall
269 Posted 22/01/2022 at 20:27:52
Love supporters saying shouldn't have played this player and that player, and sell about 5/6 more. The problem is we have no one to replace them that doesn't receive the same amount of criticism.

I don't think leaving Duncan Ferguson in charge until the end of the season will work unless he changes, as this line-up today was no different than I have seen from Benitez. The exception was he managed to get more effort from the players. But you need skill and effort to win games.

I believe it was Alex Ferguson with Man Utd that said you can have 1 sometimes 2 players not playing to form and still win; our problem is we have more than 2.

As supporters, it is easy to criticize, normally after a game, but I don't believe Ferguson working with different managers has a plan of his own, just copying from previous managers. We need a new manager in now to give him time to coach a team in his own way, and realize who he has to build a team to finish mid-table.

We have nearly 2 weeks before we face Newcastle who, like Norwich can smell blood, and a team of triers without skill is going to struggle.

Kieran Kinsella
270 Posted 22/01/2022 at 20:28:59

Inexcusable? Mindless? They sung “If you love this club, let go” – albeit they lacked tone and they didn't have a strong lead singer. But that was it.

Considering the money they spend on matches year after year and the lies and pipe dreams they've been sold, I really didn't think they stepped over the line.

Put it like this, Bill has sacked employees for poor performance. Sacked = unemployed. But that's not as bad as some singing that he should resign from his job?

Brian Murray
271 Posted 22/01/2022 at 20:34:48
Danny O'Neill. Your dream and thousands more is to somehow win six games to win the cup. I'd settle for six games. Period.

Maybe harsh but I think we have exorcised the myth of Dunc today. He's admitted himself he's not ready or maybe never will be probably. Time for Potter. No more hogwash, more Hogwarts (sorry, had a bev, dulls the pain).

Mike Price
272 Posted 22/01/2022 at 20:35:26
I can’t believe we’ve come to this but I would actually be relieved if we got Big Sam in for 6 months. We need to go all out defence and nick one or we are dead. Urgently need a few quality loans, no matter the cost.
Martin Mason
273 Posted 22/01/2022 at 20:42:10
I'm sorry for you, Duncan, because you're the final scapegoat shouldering the blame of a pyramid of incompetence over many years now. Go find yourself a decent club where you can grow your management skills and perhaps be successful. You're wasted at this cesspit of a football club.
Peter Neilson
274 Posted 22/01/2022 at 20:44:04
I watched the clip, expecting from a couple of the comments that there had been a terrible confrontation. There was no such thing.

A bit of chanting and then, to be fair to Kenwright, he briefly engaged with the supporters. At the same time a supporter, can be clearly heard asking for quiet to let him speak. There was nothing inexcusable in their behaviour.

Paul Birmingham
275 Posted 22/01/2022 at 20:46:10
The strongest smelling salts and a lot stronger are needed by the management and coaching as the battle for Premier League survival is well and truly on.

Lessons learnt from last week, to a degree, but how Gomes started today and neither of the new full-backs were in the squad is baffling unless they were crocked.

But old failings were there to see and sadly Villa weren't great, but Everton didn't seem to target Mings enough and have enough guile today apart from moments in the second half.

I do think, if the equaliser had been scored, Everton would have won.

Getting 7 league wins looks unlikely but today the final bit of luck and quality finishing wasn't there, and effort alone without skill and composure doesn't win too many games.

Beat Brentford and a 6 pointer with the Skunks.

It's going to be a Cup Final, every game, but Everton must fight to the death, to stay up.

Sick to the back teeth and all are saying and feeling the pain on TW today.

Jeff Armstrong
276 Posted 22/01/2022 at 20:49:46
Mike #259,

Spot on about Gomes, his most meaningful contributions have come from the bench in the last 30 minutes of games. Why he started today is a mystery. Allan is no great shakes but even half-fit he offers more than André Gomes.

Coleman, although way past his best, would surely have offered more going forward than the nervous Kenny (the crowd got to him).

Finally, Godfrey is no left-back, his left foot is for standing on only. Absolutely useless going forward or crossing. Mykolenko would have offered more on that side for me.

Villa were nothing special and that's points we could have gained that have gone west because of team selection. Oh and Holgate shouldn't play before Keane, Branthwaite or Godfrey in the centre of defence, imo.

Danny O’Neill
277 Posted 22/01/2022 at 20:53:24
Brian, I'd had more than a few by full time!!

Brentford next. Then Newcastle & Leeds.

Why do we do it to ourselves?

Julian Exshaw
278 Posted 22/01/2022 at 20:54:10
There are very many more Evertonians on here who know far more about the ins and outs of the board, Kenwright, Moshiri et al than I do. I don't tend to look at the 'political' side of things at Everton Football Club.

That being said, I found the videos of the scenes outside the ground (posted on social media) hard to look at. I totally get the anger and frustration aimed at Kenwright but a part of me saw him as just being a helpless and lost 76 year old who had no answers for anything and it was frankly awkward viewing.

I would at least credit him for coming out and meeting the fans.

Peter Carpenter
279 Posted 22/01/2022 at 20:54:17
Club falling apart...
Andy Crooks
280 Posted 22/01/2022 at 20:59:19
For fuck's sake, Jay, I thought my Saturday night couldn't get worse!! But you are spot on. I wouldn't have £100 on us at even money to beat a League Two team. I believe the Southampton coach, if he can be bought, is our best hope.

This is a perfect storm of incompetence, mismanagement and ineptitude, the like of which I have never witnessed in football. The people running this club have been criminal in their smug, self-serving, utterly poisonous neglect.

If ever an old man deserved to answer for his lies and deceit, it is the shameless charlatan Bill Kenwright.

Martin Mason
281 Posted 22/01/2022 at 21:00:07
Duncan isn't the answer, whatever the question is. He's stealing wages at Everton.
Tony Hill
282 Posted 22/01/2022 at 21:01:06
Julian @278,

Writing as an old man myself, we are not dealing here with a pensioner being mugged at Aldi. Kenwright has bled us for millions and is taking us to the brink of relegation.

Kieran Kinsella
283 Posted 22/01/2022 at 21:02:06
Financially, we may as well stick with what we have and hope. None of the manager candidates have the Midas touch.

Come May, we will be paying off another sacked boss as our income plummets if we are relegated. We wasted the Digne money so we can't buy anyone else.

Tom Harvey
284 Posted 22/01/2022 at 21:04:35
Jay Wood @268

That matchday, position and points table is truly hard to believe when you see it laid out like it is, but nevertheless there it is!

I was of the opinion that we shouldn't panic and we'll have enough to stay up, today though proved just being "up for it" is not enough, there has to be some organisation and guile.

The thing is there's no easy games – it's a pure fight for survival, our players don't seem to have the ability to adapt or play a possession game as a team, we're too one-dimensional.

I'm now worried.

Rob Halligan
285 Posted 22/01/2022 at 21:04:39
Martin, if Duncan is stealing wages at Everton, then at least he’s giving it to the fans. He threw a few grand behind the bars at both The Winslow and The Brick prior to today’s game.
Ian Edwards
286 Posted 22/01/2022 at 21:05:52
ESPN reporting we have made contact with Jesse Marsch.
Christy Ring
287 Posted 22/01/2022 at 21:10:08
Martin #281,

Total bitterness, he turned it around before Ancelotti was installed, unreal.

Peter Carpenter
288 Posted 22/01/2022 at 21:15:44
Ian (286),

Make it a double Jesse: Lingard as well.

Ciarán McGlone
289 Posted 22/01/2022 at 21:15:50
The man has had one game in charge, for Christ's sake.
Tom Harvey
290 Posted 22/01/2022 at 21:19:21
Brian Murray @ 271

Why would Potter come to us? Let's put aside his current contractual obligations and suppose he was free to come, why would he want to?

A colossal payday, much greater than Don Carlo? It would take that for him to leave his stable position to come to our basket case relegation club. Moshiri will be loathe to pay silly money again for another manager.

If he waits untill the end of the season, there will be offers for him and I'd be surprised if Man Utd weren't looking at him.

Potter ain't going to happen.

Mike Price
291 Posted 22/01/2022 at 21:20:08
I hope we've got relegation clauses in all the players' contracts, that might provide a hint of motivation but I doubt the clueless clowns ever thought to do that.

Moshiri is going all in, and now needs to finish the stadium in order to sell up and back out. If we go down, someone could pick up a serious bargain.

He must be panicking because most of us are and it's his money on the line.

Kieran Kinsella
292 Posted 22/01/2022 at 21:25:05
Jesse? I'd rather Tony Marsh. Another freak-show hybrid between Bob Bradley and Christian Gross. Sacked after a Rafa style stint at Leipzig. A few months of experience in a major league. For fuck's sake, Ian Brantfoot is more qualified.
Dave Abrahams
293 Posted 22/01/2022 at 21:27:26
Julian (278),

He didn't come out to meet the fans, he came out to get in his car and the fans confronted him and behaved in an orderly fashion with two policeman guarding him. But he couldn't answer some of the questions put to him and just shrugged his shoulders, kept his mouth shut, and waited for the next one to talk to him, again in a controlled way, before he got in his car and was driven away.

That's me looking at the video. I stayed behind after the game in The Upper Bullens stand looking around and seeing how many fans had stayed behind; not many in my stand, about 30 in The Stanley Park end, about 50 to 75 in the Main Stand, maybe 400 congregated in the Gwladys Street end, all of them I imagine as sick as most of us are at the serious plight the club is in.

I honestly have never believed Kenwright loves the club as most of us do. I don't think he has been a life-long supporter as he claims, or he would have acted a lot better with his care and attention of the club and not let it get into the precarious position it is now in.

How could he let it get into this state if he truly loved the club?

Tony Abrahams
294 Posted 22/01/2022 at 21:38:07
Stefan Effenberg recently described Jesse Marsch as a coach who tries to win 5-3, Ian, so I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing.

I'm actually wondering if Moshiri has got a clause in his Everton contract that says he can get rid of the man who has given us plenty of happy times, if we get relegated?

Or is he actually being genuine, stating that everything at the club is fine, and all's we need are a few decent results?

Ian Riley
295 Posted 22/01/2022 at 21:53:32
Who ever comes in as manager must be given time. Actually, it's become mind-numbing over the past five years. Nose diving to this situation.

Those blaming Mr Kenwright look again. Managers have come and gone at our call! We have moaned, shouted sack the manager and they have done it.

Yes, should have done better but we must live in the here and now. Does Duncan want to be the manager to relegate us or be our saviour? A new voice in the changing room? Player recruitment has been our biggest downfall but we must get on with it.

Again like previous posts, I have mentioned Big Sam for 6 months! This is a crisis situation and experience is required. Potter won't come because relegation is a possibility and we won't forgive; sacked by June and relegation on your CV. We have to appoint a manager next week or stay with Duncan and see it out.

We all must stick together now! Not the time to lay blame! Pointless! The team need us and the players need to be professional and try harder! Let's be the 12th man. It's not over!

Rob Halligan
296 Posted 22/01/2022 at 21:55:21
Got to clutch every possible straw we can find, and looking at the next few fixtures, I can't see any team below us overtaking us in the next few games…..

Norwich have Palace (H), Man City (H), Liverpool (A), and Southampton (A).

Newcastle… Everton (H), Villa (H), West Ham (A), Brentford (A).

Watford… Burnley (A), West Ham (A), Brighton (H), Villa (A), Man Utd (A).

Burnley… Watford (H), Man Utd (H), Liverpool (H), Brighton (A), Palace (A).

Right now, I would take a draw against Newcastle and hopefully a win against Leeds, just to give us some breathing space. After Leeds, we've got Southampton away followed by Man City at home.

Now then, where's those straws?

Will Mabon
297 Posted 22/01/2022 at 22:15:19
Martin @ 281;

How is he not the answer, but also "Wasted at this cesspit of a football club"?

Brian Murray
298 Posted 22/01/2022 at 22:20:25
Tom @290.

Just a cry in the dark over Potter. I don't pretend to know the answers to get us safe – that's why we pay millions to people who do. Supposedly.

Kenwright Out.

Ian Edwards
299 Posted 22/01/2022 at 22:48:35
Rob 296.

You can also add Brentford. We are 4 points behind them but we have 3 games in hand.

Rob Halligan
300 Posted 22/01/2022 at 22:58:36
Ian, I didn’t look at them because people say they would rather have points in the bag, rather than games in hand, but yes their next few fixtures look tricky. Man City (A), Palace (H), Arsenal (A), followed by Newcastle (H) and Norwich (A).

We just need a slice of luck from somewhere, and I still firmly believe we will be ok, but it’s going to be mighty close and too much nail biting for my liking.

Gavin Johnson
301 Posted 22/01/2022 at 22:59:46
It's an absolute imperative that we bring in a midfielder on loan before the end of the transfer window.

Overall, I don't think the squad is that bad to be honest, but we're abysmal in midfield. Last season we had the Icelandic player and James to link up play. Now we don't have any No 10 and just have 2 good midfielders in Allan and Doucouré. Outside of that, we have nothing. Gomes, Gbamin and Delph can't be counted on for anything and aren't up to the standard.

For me, we have to bring in Ross Barkley. The kids a shithouse but he's the kind of player we need, and probably the only one we have any chance of getting now.

Tony Hill
302 Posted 22/01/2022 at 23:05:03
Gavin @301,

You are absolutely right. I recall the impact of Cambiasso for Leicester, in his mid-thirties, when Pearson's side was struggling.

Barkley or anyone who has that ability you describe. Crucial for us.

Paul Birmingham
303 Posted 22/01/2022 at 23:07:36
If a Talisman player, can be brought in or a current player can carry the can like Kevin Campbell did, when he came on loan in 1999 with a decisive impact, kept Everton up, then that would be great.

But there's a few games in hand. Skunks and Leicester at home and the Skunks away, but the chances have got to be taken.

I'd say that there's a poor conversion ratio this season in terms of chances in the box with 8 yards or less from goal from both sides and front of the goal.

Today was a chance, and Everton lost.

But next time out, Everton must win the game.

Ron Marr
304 Posted 22/01/2022 at 23:19:33
1 win in 14 it's getting worse every week. I'm sure Moshiri is getting nervous about his investment; as Jay (BRZ) pointed out this is relegation form and things look bleak.

As much as I like Dunc I'd be surprised if he was offered the job. I'd also be surprised if they hired Rooney or Lampard. I think Moshiri will go with a more experienced manager.

The new manager needs to come in as soon as possible. I don't care if they win ugly as long as Everton's Premier League status is maintained. No doubt they'll have a reset in the summer.

Jerome Shields
305 Posted 22/01/2022 at 23:21:17
Jay #268,

Pretty damming stats. I really did think that they would be able to rally. But watching the game I was struck by how far of the pace of the Premier League for this stage of the season that Everton are. I even think that Duncan also got a shock. Since the first International break I don't think this squad has in the main put in enough work and effort.

There was no way that one week's intense training under Duncan was going to make up the deficit. It didn't. Duncan now has the difficult job of bringing this squad up to spec over weeks of training, which will be difficult to do.

The other question I have is that, as Assistant Manager under Benitez, was Duncan not aware of this? Prior to the game, there where a lot of commentators querying why professional footballers need encouragement to run.

I now think we are going into a relegation battle and Jay's stats confirm it.

Tom Harvey
306 Posted 22/01/2022 at 23:34:56
Brian Murray @ 298,

" I don't pretend to know the answers to get us safe – that's why we pay millions to people who do. Supposedly."

You've hit the nail on the head, that's just the problem, there are people at our club who do pretend they know what to do: Kenwright, Moshiri and Lil Miss Dynamite.

Don't worry about not having the answers (neither do I), being a realist is a good starting point to solve our problems. The above trio will never admit they're clueless, but you've honestly admitted you haven't got the answers, which is a realistic start. I'd rather have you calling the shots than that lot.

Ian Horan
307 Posted 22/01/2022 at 23:51:59
Having taken a few weeks away from ToffeeWeb, after today I come to the conclusion we are being relegated this season.

Calvert-Lewin is not a natural goal scorer, the creativity of Digne, James and Gylfi is no longer there. Last season I think it was something like James 6 goals 7 assists, Gylfi 8 goals 8 or 9 assists and Digne 4 or 5 assists. That's an incredible amount of goals or assists stripped out of the team.

Calvert-Lewin is no Kane and Calvert-Lewin only scored in and around the 6-yard box; the elephant in the room is who is going to create the chances for Dom. People are sighting the games the bottom 4 teams have coming up!! I can't see us winning any of our next 3 games.

The Barcodes will have signed more players before we play them. Our run in is shocking through April May. And we still have all the top teams to play.

Paul Birmingham
308 Posted 23/01/2022 at 00:14:25
This will be the Great Escape!

I'll be praying daily for the miracle as, the facts don't lie, and from the lack of team shape, spirit, belief, chemistry etc, and the miss-mash of this season, and Everton, must get a winning ID, and soon, versus Brentford and then to beat the Toon, Skunks, Barcodes, who are cash rich enabled.

But surely the stakes are so high, the Everton board must now see, hear and tell the state of all matters Everton.

The clock waits for no team, and history, is history.

Sadly there is no time machine to bring back the spirits of the past, as this squad doesn't seem to have the stomach for a fight for more than a quarter of the minutes in any game, and to take ownership on the pitch.

I wish the next game was Tuesday, but let's hope the team gets up and ready to beat Brentford.

Pete Clarke
309 Posted 22/01/2022 at 00:15:05
Potter has already said more truth about our club without even meaning to.

“The reality is I'm at a really good football club that helped me. I'm not here because I'm that good, it's because I'm at a good club and have good support.

"I have people that allow me to do my job, that give me support, give me trust and these things are important, there's an organization at the club."

Why would he come to a club whose owner and board are at odds with each other, totally unprofessional and disorganized.

We are in free fall as a club and Moshiri has had his focus on the stadium rather than the football club. He has made way too many errors to be trusted in running this club.

He may well have thrown money at the club but that's akin to giving your 5-year-old kid £100.00 and sending them to get the weekly shopping.

There is no structure, no strategy and no plan because the board are happy just to be existing and have little skill in how to improve things. Credit to the supporters yesterday for getting the point across and I hope they keep it up game after game.

On the football side of things, I think Calvert-Lewin is an average centre-forward who was built up beyond his skill set. He was poor yesterday and hardly won a thing in the air by jumping way too soon and missing the ball completely. This is a trait of his by the way. He should have got on the end of that beautiful ball from Gordon.

Richarlison was also off it yesterday and looked clumsy. His effort is always there, of course. Gray started off really well then faded. Townsend was average which is disappointing after his early-season promise. Gordon was top class when he came on and, if he keeps his progress up, then I see a leader in him.

Overall, we should have at least got a point from a game that we had some good chances in and we're not overly threatened by Villa.

Points are what matters from here on so let's hope Duncan can come up with something in the next 3 games because March will be a very difficult month for us.

Ed Prytherch
310 Posted 23/01/2022 at 00:33:50
I agree with those who question bringing in Patterson and Mykolenko. I don't doubt that they are talented young players and we may well have paid the real market value for them and, if we were in a comfortable position, then they might be good investments. But we are skint.

Our big need is in central midfield and an experienced player with the the talent to make a difference will not come cheap. So we blow what little we have to spend on a couple of players who may make a difference next season.

We have got so many things wrong and Kenwright either does not get it or he is in denial and Moshiri does not know his arse from his elbow when it comes to football.

To paraphrase PJ O'Rourke, a little luck is necessary in life but only a fool trusts it. It looks like we have no choice now.

Don Alexander
311 Posted 22/01/2022 at 00:48:40
My scorn of all things Kenwright, including Moshiri and the ex-player basket-cases he's long employed at Finch Farm as coaches, for fuck's sake, has been spelt out for years.

Some of us though seem to have a hard-on when they eulogise Kenwright's Finch armF acolytes whilst attempting at the same time to beast Kenwright himself. That's a big part of our problem and a big part of Kenwright's survival strategy. He depends on dopes, but at least he pays his Finch Farm dopes a very acceptable salary, so none of them ever bugger off to improve.

Ferguson, although odious to me on a personal and, erm, "professional" level, is as reliable in stemming successive seasons of rot as a welder would have been in mending the broken skin of the airship Hindenburg.

Complacent greedy managers will now be queuing from Goodison to Gateshead to "rescue" our club from relegation, having long since realised, as the rest of that breed have, that Everton makes millionaires of duffers, Kenwright being by far the chief benefactor, for the square root of fuck-all success or viable hope.

A so-called very private (shady?) man using a very useless CEO to issue meaningless platitudes of commitment to very gullible fans, as they evidently see us all, will never cut it whilst endlessly employing his very useless chairman... to prevent relegation.

Perhaps Moshiri needs to take a trip on match-days to Derby, Sunderland, Bolton to get a glimpse of where the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock might just be going under his current regime???

Ian Riley
312 Posted 23/01/2022 at 00:52:12
I get Duncan doesn't want to put young lads (new signings) in the firing line and went for experience. However, when senior players defend that corner that led to the goal today, you have to question hunger and desire. Forget the board, management, the players are not doing their jobs. We had chances, do your job! Score!

The first half of matches we are slow and on the back foot and look of surprise at each other when we go behind. The players must take responsibility as well.

The next two league games will decide what league we are in next season. Villa are not that good but we give the opposition the initiative. Hard work starts from the front and sorry our strikers don't work the opposition back four hard enough.

Today, and in previous matches, the players are not doing their jobs, leading to errors. Work harder from the first minute! It must happen! It's up to the players now to save us!

Colin Malone
313 Posted 23/01/2022 at 00:53:09
Big Dunc. Fuck Off.

Nothing personal. Just strictly business.

Derek Moore
314 Posted 22/01/2022 at 01:00:44
It seems somebody only just discovered the form table I see. That made me chuckle a bit. For the "insights" contained were about as revelatory as being told Jeff Bezos has a lot of money. Or that February follows January in the Gregorian calendar. Is this collective mass hysteria???

Why 1 win in 13 seemed to, apparently, escape so many posters' notice, and 1 win in 14 has so many of the same posters now assured of our imminent demise, is intriguing to me. But it seems I missed the few minutes when the doomsday kool-aid got handed out around here so I have to be extremely blunt when I respond.

I've banged on about it again and again. The governance, off-field processes and structures, and the executive leadership of this club are an unsolicited comedy act. There is, quite simply, no prospect of any on-field success until a fair to large portion of that changes. None whatsoever.

If you don't plant seeds in spring, then you can hardly complain about having no crops to harvest in the autumn. Everton have not done any of the groundwork necessary to deserve anything other than the situation we're in now. Rudderless, leaderless, listless, hopeless.

The muddled thinking that passes for boardroom "leadership" has never been more blindingly obvious. Robert Tressell made some of the more cogent points in relation to this in post #122. Kenwright may have produced his finest panto yet. The current Everton story is Shakespearean levels of farce and tragedy rolled into a weekly 90-minute Premier League encounter.

With those issues cited – and the disappointing inability of anyone in a leadership position at the club to pivot, take responsibility, be accountable or otherwise change the narrative – ultimate failure is assured. We're doomed as a football club because nobody in power knows sweet fuck-all about running a successful football club.

Yet I have absolutely no doubt that relegation is not going to happen this season. Why is this, you may ask...?

Having seen the club sack the DoF – because he was the biggest problem – only to see the club then sack the manager a mere six weeks later – because actually he was the biggest problem – you can imagine what is running through the mind of our first team players.

They'll know that they've signed contracts that bind them to an asylum masquerading as a football club. A crazy zone of chancers, absent ownership, wasted resources, and awful managerial hirings.

Having seen the entire football leadership dispatched in a matter of weeks with no replacements lined up, with no Plan B in existence (let alone being put into operation), and Digne serving as a tangible example of the benefits of getting off the boat before it sinks totally – with all of that taken into account, the reaction of the players on the pitch yesterday was remarkable.

And for once, remarkable in a good way. So many on here have blasted this bunch of players as shithouses or worse, as having downed tools on the job, as it were, to achieve the end of a manager... or three... or six.

I tuned in yesterday to watch the reaction of the players and, for the first time that I can think of this season, they passed the test. They turned up and gave it everything, played with energy and commitment, and they gave Villa a torrid second half that really should have yielded something tangible from the game.

I was most concerned that, in light of all of the circumstances I've noted, that the players themselves might have decided to work to rule, to quit whilst still drawing a pay cheque.

I remember a very expensively assembled Tony Fernandes QPR side playing as if their relegation was mathematically confirmed... in December. They were mercenaries and heartless cowards.

I was most concerned that our own playing squad consisted of a similar bunch with a similar mindset. Those fears, for me, have been allayed.

These players want to get us out of the shit we're in. There are of course other variables – injuries, the bounce of the ball, tactical missteps – that will play a role in our ultimate league finish this season. Things under our control and things that are not.

But the players want to get us out of the shit, and they're entirely good enough to do it as well. That they retain that desire in light of the farcical organizational background they operate in is no small thing. In fact… it's absolutely huge.

Which is why my advice to Evertonians is to try and relax. To take a breath. This season at least, it's going to be fine.

Ed Prytherch
315 Posted 23/01/2022 at 01:14:36
Colin #313,

Did one of your mates try to rob his house?

Si Cooper
316 Posted 23/01/2022 at 01:51:17
The result was terrible but the performance wasn't. I think if we'd got to half-time without conceding (a freakishly perfect finish from what was a half-chance at best) then we could easily have have won that game (crowd on side, a bit more composure with those chances).

Doesn't change the fact that there is a mountain to climb to avoid relegation this season (I haven't felt we were actually in danger of that for many a year).

I don't think it's unreasonable to think the new full-backs will need a little bedding in as they've been uprooted and joined a totally new league; I'd bet that Digne, for instance, has hardly had to change his routine in comparison.

Likewise, I'm not surprised that Anthony Gordon didn't start. Doesn't matter that he is personally playing well – those who were selected in his position are more senior and have also proven they can deliver on their day, so it wasn't like Iwobi had been selected ahead of him.

Calvert-Lewin needs more games to get back into form, unfortunately, and keeping him on the bench won't change that.

Some players have been blasted who I thought had generally good games. I think that is the result colouring people's overall perspective. Unfortunately at this moment (and for the foreseeable future), the results of our fixtures will be the only thing that counts for most of us.

Kieran Kinsella
317 Posted 23/01/2022 at 01:59:42

You're one of the level-headed people on here so I'll try to put my own panic on hold and take heed of your more balanced view.

Christine Foster
318 Posted 23/01/2022 at 02:05:31
Right now there is nothing Moshiri, Kenwright or the board can do about our plight. They are culpable because of their actions prior to this point that have meant we are in this situation.

They can buy a player here or there, but one player does not make a team, and this team is short of two or three players to get it out of the hole its in. Ferguson may well get a bounce but you don't get much out of players, some of whom should not be there.

We have players injured, players out of form and players not good enough. On a normal week, the strength in depth would cover, but there is little to be had.

Fergusion is going to have to be inventive, look at the squad again, see who he could use even if he normally wouldn't bother. Tosun for half a game is better than Rondon, anyday of the week, and Calvert-Lewin is clearly off the pace, or Dobbin...

Heads will drop and momentum lost if he keeps with the tried and tested and, in many cases, failed. Right now, how we got here is not the focus; how we get out of here is. Once safe though...

Darren Hind
319 Posted 23/01/2022 at 02:22:02
Extraordinary thread in someways... but in others infinitely predictable.

Martin Mason confusing himself as usual first by telling us Big Dunc is "wasted at this cesspit of a club"... Only to comeback to sail with what he believes is the prevailing wind to tell us he is "stealing a living"... 15 minutes later.

The fella with the pathological hatred for Evertonians pops in to give us his now daily frothing mouthed attack on every Evertonian at the club – I know Kopites who hate Evertonians less than he does.

Of course, we'd already had the absolute banker when Jay appeared with his snapshots and stats to show us how badly things are – apparently, it's no longer enough to take a quick glance at the Premier League table.

I can't believe there arent more people lining up to hammer Ferguson. So what if these players have had 3 years of being forced to play cowardly anti-football by managers who have stated publicly that they are not good enough to play. The big fella has had two whole days in charge to turn them all into ball-playing winners. He failed... The Bastard!!!

We were edged out by an ultra-competitive Villa. We lost to a header which was intended as a flick-on, but ended up in the net. We lost to a Villa side who wasted much of the second half using every trick in the book and we lost because we squandered all of our chances.

All I can say is those who didn't see an improved attitude from the confidence-shredded players, or a better team spirit, must have been watching on the radio. Those who don't see light at the end of the tunnel need to turn their balaclavas round the right way.

The "experts" who have by-passed the panic and gone straight to the hysteria button will get generous odds and a very warm welcome down Betfred as they queue up to put their life savings on Everton being relegated.... There's a very good reason for that.

Jack Convery
320 Posted 23/01/2022 at 02:30:12
We desperately need a proper arl arse as a defensive midfielder. A bit left-field, I know, but why not test out Palace for Luka Milivojević. He's everything we haven't got right now. He's no longer a first choice at Palace but he may just be what we need right now. It's desperate I know but these are desperate times.
Mark Wilson
322 Posted 23/01/2022 at 02:39:30
All this talk of the players we need to sign before the deadline. We are apparently £50-£60M over the Premier League Financial Sustainability Rules / FFP etc. we are, again apparently, operating to a budget set by the Zpl since the middle of 2021.

We are not signing any more players unless it's a loan deal or we have raised money from several sales. We must sell one of the main assets ie Pickford, Richarlison or Calvert-Lewin. Nobody else can raise enough funds to (a) satisfy the accountants and (b) leave half for a couple of purchases.

I think we'd get £65M for Richarlison, or £50M for Pickford but I really don't think we can expect much more than £45M for Calvert-Lewin. It's got to happen in the summer so why not do it now if a buyer can be found. The club will face a desolate future if relegated. I cannot see us coming back quickly. Gamble now to stay up.

We are in a huge fight and many will look at Norwich and Newcastle and see improvement whilst we get worse and worse amidst chaotic scenes at all levels within the club. I genuinely don't see the point of a new long-term manager now, he would drown trying to get to know the crap he's inherited and there's no time for getting up to speed.

It really has caught us up, hasn't it? 25 years of rubbish management and rubbish ownership… but all that sand moved in to fill a dock.

Kieran Kinsella
323 Posted 23/01/2022 at 03:00:39
Colin @313,

Not necessarily disagreeing with your suggestion but wondering about your priorities. If we are showing people the door, I'd have Kenwright and 20 plus players, ahead of Dunc on the list of urgently needed departures. He's somewhere down the list just about level with Colin Chong and Begovic.

Don Alexander
324 Posted 23/01/2022 at 03:26:51

Yer man Ferguson has been at Finch Farm every day of his well-paid subservient-to-Kenwright career, for way more than a few years. With such deep insight, he picked the team and tactics that lost. I expected it but was dismayed, again, by such a rank performance.

You, when you deem it convenient to your point of view, hugely lambast Kenwright, like so many of us, unless it comes to any x-player coach the wanker has appointed. Kenwright takes comfort from such opinions. In his mind, they justify his presence as chairman. You're helping him.

None of his ex-player coaches have achieved anything notable in years and the media quotes eulogising them from young naive tyros are to be expected. Even young naive tyros know enough to not piss on their chips by criticising coaches hugely embedded in the club by the chairman you, like me, rightly deride as a total waste of space.

The fat bastard controls their contracts, you see, and that's all of them, by the way, playing and working at Finch Farm.

But, in this modern day, if you feel deeper feelings than mere football for your fabled "Dunc", "Unsy", "Ebbers" et al, that's fine by me, but please try not to present your intimate feelings as footballing credibility. To do so is absurd.

Derek Knox
325 Posted 23/01/2022 at 03:27:32
Darren @ 319,

I didn't actually go to the match today unfortunately, but I did watch every minute via the TV Coverage. I have to agree with you that I saw a lot more commitment for the most part; however, I did not agree with the starting line-up. I understand that Dunc probably thought he could impact the game with his choices.

However, it was with the best intentions I believe, which narrowly backfired, and I also truly believe Buendia's wonder goal, was as you suggested a 'cross that got lucky, and found the net instead' was the main difference.

Holgate and Gomes have never really done it for me, the former more of a liability and too casual and almost arrogant in the skills he thinks he possesses. Gomes can pull off the odd moment, or pass of brilliance, and then fades, thinking "I've done my bit" – well, I presume that is the case, and the amount of times he is subbed, would bear that out.

The midfield today was weak, and Allan's introduction proved that, and why Gordon wasn't on from the start is like the Riddle of The Sphinx, or the Enigma Code. Calvert-Lewin has not seemed anything like the player we knew before injury, so is it the effects of the injury, and lack of match fitness, or something else?

Too many naysayers on here are predicting the worse, and although we are perilously close to the unmentionable, I still believe we will be narrowly safe come the final day.

I'm sure Duncan was disappointed today, but may also have learned a little more about what, and who, he has at his disposal. He has a couple of weeks to put that right at any rate.

Steve Brown
326 Posted 23/01/2022 at 03:33:16
That game was decided by very small margins against a very competitive Villa side. Overall, I thought that the second half was an improvement on what we have been forced to watch in the last 3 months.

We had 15 attempts on goal in the second half, 4 of them good opportunities to score. We created better chances than them and there was a lot more impetus in the last 45 minutes.

Of course, It doesn't help when you have just sold them one of your better players and spent the money on two young full backs who won't be ready for the first team for quite a while. Which other club would do that?!

But, given the lack of confidence in the team, we have to focus firstly on being harder to beat. The back four were solid, but were we exposed in front of them and we simply need to add another midfielder in there is so much space in front of our defence.

Tony A as ever makes a very sensible point. Play 4-5-1 that can convert to 4-3-3 on the break and stick with that until we have stabilised.

As for criticising Duncan? He got more of a tune out of this squad in a few days than Benitez has in 3 months. Give him time to work with the squad.

Kieran Kinsella
327 Posted 23/01/2022 at 03:49:00

We had the same number of shots (15) versus Watford when we lost 2-5, and we had more shots on target in recent defeats to Brighton, Norwich and Palace.

I honestly thought today was just the same fate that's been served up all season. Pensive first half, fall behind then improved second half but ultimately a loss.

I think the blue-tinted glasses caused some to perceive something better because we expected the Dunc effect but the stats and the score suggest otherwise.

Steve Brown
328 Posted 23/01/2022 at 04:07:56
Kieran, I thought it was better.

The Brighton, Norwich and Palace games were embarrassing shit shows. Yesterday wasn't.

Paul Smith
329 Posted 23/01/2022 at 04:27:44
Duncan out – he's shite. That line-up was terrible and he's part of the problem.
Mike Gaynes
330 Posted 23/01/2022 at 05:03:15

"...two young full backs who won't be ready for the first team for quite a while."

According to whom? Benitez thought one was ready and the other was worthy of the bench. And a lot of Scottish Blues feel Patterson is ready as well.

They were left in the stands today by Duncan Ferguson.

The same Duncan Ferguson who started Glacier Gomes and left out Anthony Gordon, who once he finally got on the pitch was again our best player for like the fourth straight game.

The same Duncan Ferguson whose sophisticated attack strategy of Pump-It-Long-And-Pray produced exactly one shot on goal -- at home -- against a club that previously couldn't keep a clean sheet in a Chinese laundry.

Let's not jump to conclusions about those two kids based on one man's judgement. Especially that one.

Kieran Kinsella
331 Posted 23/01/2022 at 05:16:07

I saw your post yesterday reacting to suggestions Gordon wouldn't start and I didn't respond because I thought “obviously he will” …but little do I know.

I'll admit I like Townsend — work rate and leadership. But Gordon has come on leaps and bounds in both production and leadership despite his young age. To me, his omission was baffling and yet Darren — defender of the academy — is giving Dunc a free pass.

Steve Brown
332 Posted 23/01/2022 at 05:45:54
According to me, Mike.

And it's not a long-term judgement on their potential to become great buys.

Patterson has not featured in the team by either manager, while Mykolenko had two very poor games and was rightly dropped. I don't blame the boys and I am very hopeful they will eventually come good. They need to be bedded into the squad and developed properly. It was particularly unfair to Mykolenko to play him immediately after signing him.

But, the logical thinking process of our previous manager was gone by that point. To be honest, Mike, criticising Duncan so heavily after 3 months of backing Benitez is not a good look.

Darren Hind
333 Posted 23/01/2022 at 06:19:53
Don Alexander,

Don't try to make out you are talking about football. For you, this is a hatred, pure and simple. You hate these Evertonians despite the relative pittance they earn, because you see them as being guilty by association to Kenwright. Numerous people have tried to educate you but your fingers are rammed down your lug-holes.

If, as you say, Kewright controls the contracts, then he has controlled the contracts of the managers, their hangers-on and the players who have squandered the £600M and brought this club to its knees.

Yet, you have never said a word against the mercenaries. You have only ever happy-clapped them. You save all your vindictiveness for those left to pick up the pieces. You are like one of those fuckwits who throw bricks at the fire brigade.

Spare me the claim that you are doing this in the name of football because many of your posts don't even mention the game. You've been coming on here for years and nobody will know your opinion about anything. I suspect you don't even watch the games. You never, ever talk about them.

If and when Kenwright finally disappears, so will you. You will probably be the only one who misses him. You will have nothing else to talk about... Your locker will be empty.

Darren Hind
334 Posted 23/01/2022 at 06:40:59
Who give Dunc a free pass?

I would have started Gordon too, but he went for the more experienced Townsend. Clearly didn't work but the relentless slide down the table did not come about because of one selection.

People arguing about full-backs they have never seen play a decent game sound pathetic. Especially when the two who played full-back had solid games.

Everton have been rolling the ball back to Pickford to launch long since we signed him from Sunderland. The only time it didn't infuriate the crowd was when there was no crowd...

It makes me laugh out loud to hear Mike Gaynes, who turned a blind eye to this all the way through Carlo's and Rafa's tenures, suddenly express outraged because the guy who took over for a couple of days could'nt break a habit that has been instilled into the players for years.

As Steve rightly points out, it's not a good look. Neither is wanting the fire brigade to fail as they try to put out the fire.

Derek Moore
335 Posted 23/01/2022 at 06:49:44
I find it interesting, Darren, that the people who were not listened to about Benitez, and have subsequently been shown to be entirely 100% correct, are still not getting listened to now!

At least Steve Ferns, bless him, had the decency to go and follow cycling or whatever after he was shown to be entirely wrong on Magic Marco.

Either Steve wasn't much of an Evertonian after all, or he realised the old credibility had been shot to bits perhaps permanently. But he didn't hang around to offer more hopeful, optimistic but utterly awful takes. For so many others here, though, the penny never seems to drop though.

Nobody gets everything right, of course, but some of the posters here have got previous for being wrong like the current form table reads for us, and yet! They still clamber up to shout down the rest of us... the rest of us who actually get things right more often than not. And some of us significantly better than that.

It's a bizarre phenomenon. We'll see where we finish at the end of the season, of course, but rest assured I've lumped on plenty of spare nicker on us to beat the drop and I expect to collect on it.

The reason so many here don't have the courage of their convictions is their convictions deserve no courage. And deep down – actually, only shallow depth down – they know it.

Colin Metcalfe
336 Posted 23/01/2022 at 07:25:55

Is that the same Marco Silva who is absolutely caning every team in The Championship?

Perhaps with hindsight, the club should have shown a bit of patience because he clearly knows how to get a team playing, and Steve knows this but, for reasons unknown, it went a bit pear-shaped in that second season.

John Zapa
337 Posted 23/01/2022 at 07:26:18
The new right-back, signed for £12M despite not doing much in the last year… and being valued at £6M the year before – Transfermarkt has his current value at €3M.

He is a record sale by Rangers, he has done very little in the last year, nobody else was competing to sign him. Why would the club pay such crazy money for him?

Who is behind his signing? I don't believe Benitez is as he was actively being chased well before Benitez joined. He isn't a Brands signing as he joined after his departure.

Then who chose to sign him? The Chairman? Owner?

Something really stinks about this signing.

Mick O'Malley
338 Posted 23/01/2022 at 07:28:13
I don't know what people expected Ferguson to do after 4 days of having the squad.

Have a go at our non-scoring forwards, one needs it set up on a plate and the other is yet to break the 13 goals in a season barrier. They both should have scored yesterday.

Yet, when a defender makes a mistake, they get slaughtered. We also get no goals from midfield or assists, so it's no wonder we are losing games hand over fist. We need more goals in the team and a bit of guile in midfield.

Danny O’Neill
339 Posted 23/01/2022 at 07:52:01
To reiterate, that felt like a close match, settled by a single goal. The advantage was being overpowered in midfield and the formation. Enough said on that; we all know it and saw it.

Some bemoan the defending, I thought it as good movement by the forward and, as mentioned, lucky really. It was intended to be a flick-on and if Pickford hadn't instinctively gone for it, we clear it off the line. His hand takes it off Townsend's waiting head. Not a slant on Pickford, you would expect the keeper to go for that. Maybe a stronger shout from Andros, but that's being hyper-critical.

The Pickford kicking thing has been a feature of his game since we signed him. I've long compared him to a Rugby Union player who punts for territory gain. Put it into touch, move up the pitch. I don't think you'll see Jordan play for a Pep team.

Digne showed us the delivery he can deliver yesterday. The delivery Calvert-Lewin missed. Calvert-Lewin being the target Digne missed.

Yes, he was off-form in an off-form team, but there can sometimes be other factors. I'm still in the sorry we sold him camp, but needs must I guess.

Whatever we do or are doing manager wise, Duncan has stepped forward for now. He got a reaction, but not the result; that's football. The next match is more important (states the obvious). In some ways I hope that is still Duncan. He's not the long-term answer, but I want the club for once to implement a plan and a strategy rather than a knee-jerk reaction. Install not just someone, but a footballing structure and let them get on with it. And not panic at the first sight of a few bad results. Although that is linked to getting it right in the first place. This is why I feel a caretaker until the summer is the best short-term approach.

Oh, and restructure the board. I'll be on that Kenwright thread shortly.

Jack Convery
340 Posted 23/01/2022 at 07:52:18
Message to Duncan:

Duncan, get in touch with Don Carlo, your best mate, and ask him for Antonio Blanco on loan for the rest of the season. He's 21 plays midfield. He's also the captain of Real Madrid's second string. He's played 5 times for the first team and has 1 full cap for Spain already.

We need fresh legs in midfield and he'll learn more playing on our first team and than in their second string. Also give Viera a ring and ask about Luka Milivojevic on loan. He's just the arl arse we need in midfield and a leader too.

As for today, forget it. It's gone now.

Good luck for the rest of your time in charge.

Alan J Thompson
341 Posted 23/01/2022 at 08:00:47
I did say before the game that, if the midfield was to be strengthened,d then it would mean choosing only one of Gray or Gordon to play wide. But to then play Townsend wide rather than more in the middle made little sense although the back four played higher up the pitch.

To play both Gray and Gordon we perhaps need to play three at the back with two wing halves and only one of Richarlison or Calvert-Lewin and, while at least one of them is not yet up to full fitness, I would prefer they both play which just leaves playing Gray or Gordon more centrally in midfield.

In the meantime, could Everton help the manager by bringing to the League's attention the deliberate targeting and barging in the back of certain players while the ball isn't within playing distance as Referees seem oblivious to it.

Also, could those proposing that the new manager sort out the Boardroom problems note that that will never happen. There are only three men who can do that and involves one resigning, an owner forcing changes, and the third man is whoever buys out Moshiri. Otherwise, the new manager's priority is coaching the first team.

The only other alternative maybe Danny (#246) getting Putin to put in and force the abandonment of the season, I mean, we are owed a couple in those circumstances. Like the manager's position, almost any port in a storm, a matter of life and death... well, we all know the finish of that little nugget, but knowing our luck it will be as we slip into the bottom three while having games in hand.

Conor McCourt
342 Posted 23/01/2022 at 08:29:44
Despite being very optimistic throughout the week, I have to admit I was really disappointed with Dunc's approach to the game and the alarm bells began ringing for me when I heard his press conference and his view of what was required.

When Big Dunc came in last time, the job he did was nothing short of miraculous. In reality, under Silva, we were playing some really decent stuff but were in total free fall and arguably in a more vulnerable position then than now.

Silva's mistake was that he continued to try and be ideological rather than be pragmatic to get a few points on the board and we found numerous ways to lose games from the jaws of victory with our soft centre.

Dunc was everything Silva wasn't by bringing passion, energy, simplicity and character which was perfect for the task in hand. He also seemed to play to Richarlison's and Calvert-Lewin's strengths which was a feature of his success – a tactical acumen that would bode well for now I thought.

Yesterday, I felt Big Dunc totally missed what was needed in this situation. His reverence to Ancelotti seems to have manifested on his game plan and what we saw was a mere continuity from what we had seen under Carlo and Rafa.

Previously, IMO, there had been nothing wrong with the character and effort of the players but what has been instilled for the last 2 years is a culture of fear, conservatism and that our players are only good enough to play spoiling tactics and nick one.

This time, we need a coach, someone to make the players believe they are good enough, to take the game to the opposition and to play to the strengths of our excellent forward players.

Martinez would have been perfect and would have been a breath of fresh air had we got him despite the objections of many. He is exactly what we need in our current predicament to make the players believe.

This game saw nothing work for Ferguso:

He wanted Dogs of War but opted for Gomes. Bad call
He played 4-4-2. Bad call
He preferred the dreadful Townsend over the excellent Gordon. Bad call.

Only his inclusion of Holgate over Keane worked on the day, with Mason being excellent defensively despite some dodgy distribution which permeated through the whole team.

Duncan hadn't long to work with the players but we once again looked like strangers; clearly not his fault, but there was no sign that he identified the problem – let alone made attempts to redress it. Very worrying indeed.

Mike Gaynes
343 Posted 23/01/2022 at 08:39:10
Kieran #331,

I believe Gray, Townsend and Gordon should all be in our best 11. I'll leave it to the manager to figure out the alignment that would make that possible.

But there's gotta be a way. A starting line-up that includes Gomes, Kenny and Holgate but omits Gordon just makes no sense to me.

Steve #332,

Don't play those games. I didn't "back" Benitez. I was openly opposed to his hiring. I did point out some of the good things he did, which is only fair. I also hit him on the stuff he screwed up.

I did predict he wouldn't be sacked, and still think he wouldn't have if we had won at Norwich. And I did repeatedly question who would replace him, and still do.

But none of that constitutes "backing" him. So don't make shit up. (As Darren so habitually does.)

And for the record, I don't think Mykolenko had a poor game at Norwich at all, unlike the Hull game. Outside of the one ridiculous brain cramp right after half-time, I thought he played solidly in his Premier League debut -- way, way better than Coleman or Keane, and certainly as well as Digne had been playing for the last month and a half.

But everybody's entitled to their own opinion on that. (I have no opinion on Patterson, since I've never seen him play.)

Sam Hoare
344 Posted 23/01/2022 at 08:50:40
Duncan is not just a fireman; he is someone who has been paid by the arsonists and watched the flames spreading around him. Of course I'm not suggesting that he was necessarily in a position to stop this but he has first-hand experience of the players, the systems, the tactics used over the last 4 awful years.

This is not something I expect him (or anyone else) to be able to remedy overnight; though I was surprised that he went 4-4-2 with Gomes in the middle which he has seen fail so many times before.

To my eyes, there was an improved commitment and defensive organisation yesterday, which will help us, but we looked limited with the ball, especially in the first half.

It's a massive ask to expect anyone to get anything out of these players and, after the desire shown yesterday, I wouldn't be against Ferguson getting some more time. For people who care for such things, the xG for yesterday was 1.24 vs 0.86 which was one of the few matches in the last 10 or so that we have outscored our opponents and implies we were pretty unlucky.

Does Ferguson have the tactical nous and footballing brain to go with his clear ability to impassion the players and crowd? I'm not sure we know yet. But even Lazarus might struggle to raise this bunch to the levels that might merit their pay checks.

Steve Shave
345 Posted 23/01/2022 at 09:02:05
I felt really deflated by the result yesterday. Pre-match, I warned on here we needed to not hold the Big Dunc vs Chelsea match too much in our minds, I feared it would create too much expectation on Dunc and the players. Different game, different times.

I had my fears when I saw the line-up, some odd decisions but then who has really picked themselves this season? It's easy to sit here and say he got Kenny and Townsend wrong, they were both poor, of course. So much endeavour and fight in the team but they played like strangers, so low on confidence.

Allan and Gordon were excellent when they came on. I am so impressed by young Anthony, he really seems to embody what us the supporters need. We could have a real baller on our hands here, lads, what better place to flourish than with us in the Championship? (Sorry, low blow, I'm not sure I even mean that!)

I thought Holgate did quite well defensively too. I won't pick out his distribution because they all passed badly. Gomes not quite as bad as everyone makes out. Doucouré's form has been shocking for weeks. We really need the man we saw at the beginning of the season back asap because it's in the middle of the park we are losing these games. Richarlison played well but Calvert-Lewin didn't really play off him, way off the pace still.

I was really impressed with Villa, credit where it's due. Slippy G has them playing, he is going to become a top manager, I fear. They came here and matched our intensity, which if you think about it, is pretty impressive in a Goodison bear-pit. Cash was outstanding (the right-back we should have signed 2 years ago for buttons) and I love McGinn.

So, we are in the shit, this is real, a relegation fight with a team that can't pass to each other, no manager, lower-placed teams picking up points, a ridiculous board and fan unrest. Who would want this job?

Favre and Kovac (both of whom I would like) would surely turn their backs; Wayne should morally stick with his crew till the bitter end of the season; and Dunc is afraid of it. What a mess.

We have to somehow unite, get behind the fight and, for goodness sake, sign a central midfielder on loan, preferably one who can win the ball back and pass it to a team mate.

Daniel A Johnson
346 Posted 23/01/2022 at 09:04:10
Like everyone, I was gutted yesterday; we are genuinely in trouble. But let's also face facts: Ferguson has had 4 days to work with a team on its knees confidence-wise.

Yesterday showed an improvement in attitude and application but our lack of quality was not helped by a still unfit Calvert-Lewin and a patched-up defence and creaking midfield meant we came up short.

What next, I don't know. I feel the need to hide behind the sofa until the season is over. The season has spiralled into a nightmare with the spectre of relegation very real.

Eddie Dunn
347 Posted 23/01/2022 at 09:06:16
On the subject of Pickford hoofing it long. I think he had seen (or Ferguson had) that we were outnumbered in midfield and thus tried to bypass it.

In fairness it seemed to work as Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison got a bit more involved.

This team struggled because our usual method is going down the flanks to put in crosses for Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin. Digne and Cash defended well. Lucas having his best game in two years.

With hindsight we could have played three in midfield but I suppose Duncan looked at his options and decided that Allan was coming back from Covid and shouldn't be risked for the whole game, Onyango is inexperienced, and Gbamin made of glass.

If Doucoure has a serious injury, we are really in the mire.

On the positive side, Gordon is looking better every game, Gray continues to impress and Holgate played really well despite a couple of misshit crossfield passes. Godfrey worked his socks off as usual. Calvert-Lewin got better as the game went on, surely him and Richarlison will start to get goals soon.

One win and 3 points will be just the tonic we need. Then things will look a lot better.

Mike Price
348 Posted 23/01/2022 at 09:07:56
We all loved Duncan the player, even though he wasted most of his ability.

He went to live in Spain, bankrupted himself and came back as a bit of a charity case and was given a job coaching. Somehow he's stuck around and ended up a very well paid employee, largely because of his ‘legend', but he's more of a kit man than a manager.

He's a supporter really, putting money behind the bar is nice but so small time, and listening to his pressers was embarrassing… he said, “know what I mean”, every 5 seconds. Intelligent managers don't do that in the Premier League.
He was an old fashioned player and he's outdated as a coach. Effort should be a given, skill and tactics win games.

It's not his fault, he's doing his best. I like him and I feel sorry he's been put in such a terrible situation.

Jeff Armstrong
349 Posted 23/01/2022 at 09:15:52
Wow, Mike @348,

I wouldn't want to get on the wrong side of you if that's your analysis of someone you like.

Graham Mockford
350 Posted 23/01/2022 at 09:23:20
Surely Ferguson is only a temporary thing until a manager is appointed. Let's not forget he was part of the problem that got us into this position in the first place.

If yesterday is anything to go on, his go to is long ball and hope something happens. Not surprising really, it's what he made his own footballing career doing.

Of course he's not the real problem, it runs much deeper than that as we all know. But hoping he could be the solution is some stretch.

Danny O’Neill
351 Posted 23/01/2022 at 09:31:40
Fair and balanced assessment, Eddie @347.

I thought both Gordon and Allan added more to our game when they came on. Allan is the closest thing to a midfield general we have, but we have him in his twighlight and don't play him in a midfield 2.

Conor @342. I agree and disagree. More passion? Yes, absolutely, but that only get's you so far.

The reality is that we don't need a magician or a motivator to miraculously get a tune out of what we've got. We need better players. I've been saying that for the best part of several years. And a different board to support the owner. Separate discussion but linked.

The manager position is the wrong target for the long-term. But yes, short-term let's limp over the line with this bunch of misfits and that will require motivation and passion. But that alone is not the long-term solution. Nor has it been for 27 years.

Eddie Dunn
352 Posted 23/01/2022 at 09:34:41
Mike @348,

Not being articulate in front of a TV camera is not a litmus test of intelligence. There are many sportsmen and women involved in coaching, management and even broadcasting who have similar ways of speaking. Many will have had some coaching on dealing with the media.

To suggest that Ferguson is thick and has no understanding of some of football's technical side is insulting and snobbish. I bet you wouldn't say that to his face.

Rob Halligan
353 Posted 23/01/2022 at 09:38:12
Danny #339.

I enjoy reading most of your posts, which are mostly very sensible, but come on mate, this part of your post… ”Not a slant on Pickford, you would expect the keeper to go for that. Maybe a stronger shout from Andros, but that's being hyper-critical”.

Would you really expect a ball flying towards the goal, from a header from a corner, and a defender on the line screaming at his goalie to leave it so that the defender can clear it?

Me thinks you've had too much loopy juice, Danny.

Mark Ryan
354 Posted 23/01/2022 at 09:48:12
Mike Price @348,

You are spot on 100% and everyone should be able to see that. We need a modern day, articulate thinker. We do not need a fan of the club as our manager.

Get Lampard, get Thomas Frank and do it soon.

Martin Mason
355 Posted 23/01/2022 at 09:52:57
Digne played exceptionally well yesterday. My conclusion? He hasn't been off-form for 18 months but coached by idiots.
Danny O’Neill
356 Posted 23/01/2022 at 10:05:49
Possibly, Rob. That's what my final sentence should have read being hyper critical. I missed the edit.

There is no way that the keeper isn't going for that one.

Fluke of a goal, but I give credit to the delivery of the ball and the movement of the player credited for the goal.

Mike Price
357 Posted 23/01/2022 at 10:07:56
Eddie #352,

I'm sure Duncan could beat most of us in a fight, he'd batter Gerrard too, but unfortunately that isn't the skill set required for an elite Premier League manager.

Jason Li
358 Posted 23/01/2022 at 10:18:16
The manager in the dugout in the next cup game might be gettable, he's done alright on the recruitment side and knows how to get a promotion to the Premier League, and doing quite decent in the league.

Why didn't we just give Carlo the forward he wanted last Christmas to make a difference off the bench? Like a Sliding Doors moment.

Raymond Fox
359 Posted 23/01/2022 at 10:39:09
We didn't have a clue in the first half, but the hoofing upfield in the second almost paid off. Fans may not like it but we don't seem to have the skill to pass it around the opposition. If it's a case of needs must, I haven't a problem with it.

We still have games in hand, points in hand or both with the teams around us; I also expect Brentford and Crystal Palace to be dragged into the dogfight.

One way and another, I think we will survive. I'm not being complacent – we are in a mess and we do need some reinforcements, the best loanees we can get our hands on would fit the bill.

Ajay Gopal
360 Posted 23/01/2022 at 10:41:36
Martin (355), did you see Digne getting dispossessed on the edge of our penalty area which led to probably our best chance of the match?

If Doucouré had a bit more pace and confidence in that 2 on 1 situation, we would have scored.

All those pining for Digne seem to have forgotten just how bad he had become towards the end of his career with Everton. Benitez is not mad to get into a petty quarrel with an important player – he saw that Digne's performance had dropped off significantly – repeatedly being out of position as cross after cross rained in from his side, or that he kept giving away corners or free-kicks in dangerous situations, yellow cards, even a red card last season.

Duncan did not get much wrong in his team selection – perhaps he could have started with Gordon instead of Townsend, but you could understand why he chose to start with Townsend – good goals and assists, and his long-range efforts always keep the opposing defences honest.

And it is not like Dunc gave Gordon only 10 minutes to try to change the match, he brought in Gordon less than 10 minutes into the 2nd half. And I think he got his full-back selections also correct under the circumstances. It was too emotional a game to bring on 2 new young fuull-backs.

I don't think Godfrey and Kenny did too much wrong defensively. We gave away only 2 corners, of which Villa were fortunate to score from 1. I didn't see Cash or Digne or any of their wingers raining in crosses. Mina had a couple of brain-fart moments which put Pickford under pressure and Holgate tried some adventurous cross-field passes which didn't come off because his team mates were not used to that. Apart from that, the defence looked very solid.

The midfield is where we are seriously, seriously lacking. Do we now have 1 senior, fit mid-fielder at Everton?

Doucouré – went off injured
Allan – just recovering from Covid
Gomes – just too slow to start a game now, has never recovered from his injury
Davies - injured
Gbamin – will probably never become a Premier League player
Delph – nothing to say
Onyango – give him a break, he is just a kid

We need to get in 2 midfield players before the window closes. Some of the suggestions are really good – for example, Milivojevic, Barkley, maybe Van de Beek or Ramsey. These are all realistic options and they will make a big difference to our chances of survival.

Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison had poor games yesterday, they should have taken at least one of their chances. Even Mina – he had a couple of free headers that he sent wide.

Overall, I think Duncan did a far better job of the resources he had at his disposal given the short time for preparation than his predecessors. If the board strengthens his hand with a couple of midfield signings (did I mention that before?), I am convinced that he and Bainesy will guide us to safety.

(I know this contradicts my immediate post-match post where I called for Niko Kovac as my preferred managerial choice, but I would be fine with Dunc continuing as Everton manager until the end of season.)

James Marshall
361 Posted 23/01/2022 at 11:00:49
We should be trying our absolute hardest to sign Aaron Ramsey – he's the best and most realistic option for us in my view.

Another player slightly on the way down I'll admit, but we're Everton not PSG. We have to take what we can get and right now, he's the best we can hope for.

Ramsey would really help to sort out our lethargic team and bolster the midfield. Maybe Van de Beek as well, although unlikely he'd leave Man Utd to come to our museum.

Clive Rogers
362 Posted 23/01/2022 at 11:42:06
James @361,

Ramsey is 31 and past his best. He has turned down several moves as he wants to maintain his salary of £190k per week. It's not going to happen.

Frank Crewe
363 Posted 23/01/2022 at 11:53:53
I doubt Man Utd would loan us Van de Beek as they are using him as cover. Ramsey is injury prone. We don't need another Delph taking up space in the physio's room. Not to mention his salary would be enormous. Barkley is a more realistic option. There is a reasonable chance to get him on loan with an option to buy.

But if we don't have a proper full-time manager next week, we won't have a chance to get anyone.

Personally, I've had enough of St Duncan. He has been at the club during all the last 9 years of failure. Managers have come and gone and he has been happy to sit next to all of them rather than take on the job himself. Yet he is always excluded from the criticism that flies in the direction of everyone else at the club. Seems to me he should be carrying his share of the blame.

Anyone who picked the side and 4-4-2 long-ball tactics we played against Villa should not be managing Everton at this crucial period. Takes more than a badge tattoo and dishing out free beer to manage a successful club.

Raymond Fox
364 Posted 23/01/2022 at 12:03:59
The one area where we have failed the most, forget managers, is finding and signing players who have turned out to be good enough and worth the money. It's not easy for us because the very best only want to sign for Champions League sides.

What is left is past their best players from the top sides and up and coming young players. We need one or two very shrewd scouts who can spot talent early in players. Easier said than done, I know, and that too is a very competitive area. If we don't, though, we are never going to get anywhere.

Christy Ring
365 Posted 23/01/2022 at 12:06:47
I still can't understand why Duncan would play Doucouré and Gomes in a two man midfield, Benitez did it against Norwich and it didn't work.

Neither can tackle, one is a ball player, the other a box-to-box midfielder. Play Allan in a 3-man midfield, and we'd be a lot more potent.

Gary Jones
366 Posted 23/01/2022 at 12:17:22
Good post, Ajay,

I agree with most of what you say, albeit I disagree with the new lads being shielded. I think they both should have made the bench ahead of Rondon, Coleman or Keane. If Gordon and Onyango are old enough, so are they.

The point you make about the midfield is absolutely critical, we really need at least 1, ideally 2 good additions here somehow in the next week.

Whilst it hurts my pride, and makes me angry, the stage is set for the greedy bastard to come back in. If he gives his absolute all, and pulls us out of the shit then everything can be forgiven. A real defensive midfielder is desperately needed too.

If Mykolenko isn't the answer at left-back, then that needs sorting too. We really are in dire shit.

Ian Edwards
367 Posted 23/01/2022 at 12:23:56
Ferguson's substitutions were basically fixing some of the ridiculous team selections. We need a new manager before Saturday. New manager bounce needed urgently.
Gary Jones
368 Posted 23/01/2022 at 12:43:16
What would your starting 11 have been, Ian?
Jay Wood

369 Posted 23/01/2022 at 12:55:08
Goodness. The vanity. The self-aggrandizing by some posters in this thread. Or rather, two particular posters.

Promoting themselves as the only truly discerning fans, with omniscient powers all others lack. Concluding that any (perfectly legitimate) concerns about the performance and result yesterday are personal attacks on Duncan Ferguson.

What nonsense.

For me yesterday, there were no encouraging 'green shoots' that things are going to get better. No greater spirit or effort from the team than seen under Benitez.

Other than away to Palace, there has been no lack of application by the team all season. What has been lacking is guile. Style. A plan, with discernible tactics and strategies.

It was more of the same yesterday.

Now clearly Goodison was up for it yesterday. The crowd was very raucous at kick-off, but I need match-goers help here. Watching the game remotely it was my impression that – unlike Duncan's managerial baptism two years ago v Chelsea when there was a solid wall of sound ringing around the ground all game – the crowd was subdued for long periods yeserday. A sure sign of unease at how the game was being played out. Was that the impression for those at the game?

Duncan himself said, whilst praising their effort, the players had stage fright in the first half and we offered little as an attacking force.

Someone above wrote that we had 15 shots in the second half. Anyone care to list them from memory? That gives the impression that we had Villa constantly under siege. We didn't. They comfortably defended their penalty area all game.

Benitez's recruitment was intended to provide wide men to provide the crosses for Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison to attack. Duncan went with the same selection yesterday, only not once did our wide men or supporting full backs get beyond the Villa back line to put in dangerous pull backs or crosses. The best we managed were a couple of crosses from deep and wide which carried little threat.

Villa are a very ordinary team. Before yesterday they had lost 7 of 10 games on the road, keeping a clean sheet in only 2 of them.They didn't have to do anything extraordinary to beat us.

They passed the ball from back to front better than us. They retained the ball better than us. They managed the game situation better than us. I would be a very happy Blue if we played like Villa did yesterday to seal five ugly 1-0 wins between now and the end of the season to secure our Premier League safety.

We, by contrast, rarely played more than 3-4 consecutive passes together before turning over possession.

Again for me, we produced only three good footballing moments all game:

* Jordan Pickford's fantastic reflex save on 44 minutes from Watkins's header. As it proved, Watkins was offside anyway
* The Anthony Gordon move in which he made an excellent one-touch pass into Richarlison, ran beyond his defender to collect the return ball to hit a superb first-time cross into Calvert-Lewin(the ball bouncing awkwardly in front of him to prevent Dom from getting cleaner contact)
* Allan winning the ball mid-way in his own half and weaving through a number of Villa players, only to be hunted down before releasing the ball half-way into the Villa half

That's it.

On the team selection and formation, it wasn't radically different from what Benitez has been playing and selecting.

There have been calls from some quarters to pair Mina and Holgate together to enable us to play a higher defensive line and have more pace in defence. Both played yesterday. The defensive line was not higher. Greater pace in those positions was not a factor.

There have been calls to have a minimum of three in central midfield, not two. Duncan stuck with two and at times – particularly in the first half – Villa, Buendia especially, waltzed through us.

In attack, as already mentioned, our wide men didn't get into advanced enough positions to provide the bullets into the penalty area for Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison.

Nobody had an out-and-out stinker. But nobody had an outstanding game. We didn't get the hoped for new manager bounce, as Michael's headline states. It was very much 'more of the same' we have seen all season.

My individual assessment:

Pickford - unlinke Rob Halligan, I'm not going to criticize him on the goal for (possibly) taking it off Townsend clearing it on the line. Most keepers would have instinctively tried to save that.

That the manager was happy for Pickford to pump long balls forward – not from dead ball situations, but open play – no less than FOURTEEN TIMES in the second half alone – is worrying.

Darren's claim that "Everton have been rolling the ball back to Pickford to launch long since we signed him from Sunderland" is patently false.

Pickford hasn't done it to that degree even this season under Benitez. He certainly wasn't encouraged to do it under Silva or Ancelotti. Or has Darren forgotten his oft-spoken exasperation at Pickford and Everton playing the ball out from the back under those managers?

Kenny – a very solid game. A possible Everton MtM candidate. Early doors he was having to deal with the twin threat of both Coutinho and Digne down his flank with little support, but nothing got past him. Sound in the tackle as always. Tidy in his distribution, including some very incisive through balls around the Villa penalty area. Supported whoever his wideman was in front of him very well.

Godfrey – offered little or nothing beyond the half way line in supporting attacks. Had one (typical) straight line power run that come to nothing. Tidy enough in defence.

Mina – got badly caught out by over-the-top high balls three times. Close to scoring with one header. Should have done better with another. Like Godfrey, tidy enough in defence.

Holgate – like Godfrey and Mina, tidy in his defensive work. Three poor crossfield passes. Lost out twice in tackles you would expect him to win, but fortunately nothing came of them.

Doucouré – really, really poor pass on the breakaway chance with Richy. Otherwise, he did a reasonable job winning the ball in midfield, without offering much offensively.

Gomes – possibly our poorest performer on the day. 2-3 times over hitting a simple ball to give back possession. I'm hard-pressed to think of another top league player who is so incompetent when contesting the ball in close contact. Be that in possession himself, or challenging an opponent in possession.

There is a technique to both shielding and tackling for the ball which does not incur a foul against you. Gomes, for such a big and (allegedly) skilful man, simply ain't got it.

All four forward players, Townsend, Gray, Richarlion and Calvert-Lewin – all very peripheral all game.

Gordon – showed more in his time on the pitch than the previous four mentioned players did all game. Duncan was wrong to drop him.

Allan – mostly neat and tidy in his work, as he usually is.

Onyango – did okay. It befalls to others more senior, not him, to be the game-changer. An incredibly stupid and unfair comment by one poster above to liken him to Iwobi based on this game alone.

Overall, the effort was there. No worse, no better, than it has been all season. The biggest disappointment and concern for me is that none of our 'big' players stepped up to be 'the man' on the day. Even knowing the importance of the game.

We need them to do so. Now.

As for Duncan, no 'Brave New World' this. There was no evidence from the touchline or on the pitch that anything was tweaked or changed tactically in game to change a losing position to a drawing or winning position. Unless continuing to allow Pickford to lump it up field 14 times in the second half without reprimand counts.

As Duncan himself said, we need wins. Now.

Bobby Thomas
370 Posted 23/01/2022 at 12:58:55
Interesting headline. By any stretch of the imagination, we were not outplayed.

Very tight game. Thought we deserved a point.

Dave Abrahams
371 Posted 23/01/2022 at 13:00:28
I didn't think Villa were that much better than us but what they had first and foremost was a manager who fully understands football. Duncan brought mostly passion and used it to get the crowd and the players into a mood of let's “give our all for 90 minutes” except there was no plan to go with it. After 20-odd minutes or so plenty of the crowd realised that and the roars became muted to a large degree.

Gerard brought loads of football nous and more importantly he brought three or four players who were snidey auld arses in slowing the game down and breaking up the play by any means they could, especially after they took the lead. I'd be a hypocrite if I didn't say “I wish we had them snides on our team”; I don't think we have any.

When it came to the subs Gordon and Allan improved the play but, when Duncan brought on Onyango, I really couldn't believe that. I'm not blaming the young lad, but he was out of his depth there, contributed nothing, the game was too soon for him. Gbamin for 20 minutes surely would have provided better, or even Colman to gee them up and provide some energy to the team. Maybe Dobbin with his pace going on the wing with Gray moving inside. To be honest, we had two or three chances which were not exploited but, in the last 15 minutes I don't think we looked like scoring.

It's back to whoever comes in and takes over with the new manager and his back up team taking over. To be fair to Duncan yesterday, all he had was two fellow coaches with no experience at first-team level.

Jerome Shields
372 Posted 23/01/2022 at 13:02:06
Ajay #360

I did see Digne getting dispossessed, but still think he played better than the last 2 years at Everton. Everton did well getting the fee for him at 29 that they got.

Also, I seen Moyes being interviewed before the Man Utd game. He said, "There are not many teams that find themselves above Man Utd in the table when they play them at Old Trafford. "

I said to myself that he will bottle it. He did. I knew instinctively, seeing him do it many times before.

In the Top 4 with 3 points to cement West Ham's position. Now out of the Top 4 as Moyes finds himself above his glass ceiling.

Peter Carpenter
374 Posted 23/01/2022 at 13:11:01
Whatever happens, it needs to happen now. Indecision is only going to make things worse. A

new management team by the end of the week (meaning goodbye to Duncan) or Ferguson until the end of the season.

Only then will we have some clarity and can build on that and get a sense of purpose amongst the players. Wait any longer and we could be in a death spiral that we won't get out of.

It just needs a board with a plan, unity, an understanding of the seriousness of the situation and some modern ideas.

Oh, shit – it's worse than I thought.

Shaun Laycock
376 Posted 23/01/2022 at 13:19:01
Jay - pretty spot on analysis. We were poor. I saw poor selection, poor tactics & poor subs. It speaks volumes that our best player was Gordon. Worrying times... especially since the Barcodes won.
Ian Edwards
379 Posted 23/01/2022 at 13:25:04
Gary @368

My starting team (4-2-1-3) would have been:

Coleman Keane Mina Godfrey
Allan Doucouré
Gordon Calvert-Lewin Dobbin

Eddie Dunn
380 Posted 23/01/2022 at 13:34:39
To sum up yesterday's game, they controlled midfield but we still created a few chances and could easily have had a couple of headed goals.

A draw would not have been undeserved. And consequently all of this hand-wringing would not have been necessary.

Tony Hill
381 Posted 23/01/2022 at 13:34:53
Jay @369,

Yes, the crowd was quiet for long periods of the game. People were trying to keep things going both in the Street End and in the Park End where I sit, but it just didn't happen I'm afraid.

It's a pattern in most games now. An early rush and then it fizzles out. People are weary and fearful.

Gary Jones
383 Posted 23/01/2022 at 13:40:35
Ian -

Coleman and Keane have been gash all season, and cost numerous goals.

The pairing of Keane and Mina is perhaps the slowest back 2 in the league.

Godfrey is a centre-back with no left foot.

I doubt Richie has played the 8/10 role you're putting him in in his life.

And dropping Gray for Dobbin is brave but would be the worst decision of all.

Talk about ‘those in glass houses….'. Duncan's team had holes, but it's a lot better than the one you've just picked.

Ian Edwards
384 Posted 23/01/2022 at 13:48:38
Gary @383,

The role for Richarlison is linking the midfield and forwards which was lacking throughout the game. He is capable of doing that.

I still believe Coleman is better than Kenny and Keane is better than Holgate. I put Godfrey on the left as we didnt have a fit left-back. Mykolenko had a knock.

Gary Jones
385 Posted 23/01/2022 at 13:58:00
Any link to Mykolenko being injured? If so, I'll concede that one. Your other point about needing someone to link the midfield and attack is pretty spot on too… however, using Richarlison there was is as daft as the Fat kopite putting the over-the-hill Coleman at left-wingback.

Coleman should have retired 2 years ago, and Keane is like a poor man's Harry Maguire, he'd be behind every centre-nback we've got (including Holgate, Godfrey, Mina and Branthwaite) in my book.

Dobbin over Gray is again a bit bizarre. On 70 minutes maybe.

Brent Stephens
386 Posted 23/01/2022 at 13:59:26
Dave #371, I love watching the U23s and U18s and love / hope to see young lads come through to sit on the first team bench and then get more and more minutes. Like you, though, I was really surprised to see Onyango being brought on. (Did I misread his face? He looked scared to me, unlike his boat race playing for the U23s or even on the first team bench). Too much too soon. Poor judgement.

As you say, Duncan brought passion but not the nous or snide of Gerrard. As others have said, wouldn't mind a bit of that snide in our manager and our players. I just don't see the ability in the squad to give me confidence that the passion will lead to results.

Jeff Armstrong
387 Posted 23/01/2022 at 14:05:12
The booing of Digne firstly shocked and then stifled a lot of the crowd yesterday, around me there was a lot of ‘What the fuck’s going on rather than trying to rouse the team.

By 20 minutes, the atmosphere was just like any other game.

Bill Gall
388 Posted 23/01/2022 at 14:26:57
Jay Wood

Good analysis of the game.

I wrote yesterday that Ferguson picked a team yesterday no different from what Benitez has picked before, and I believe we should get a new manager in as quickly as possible as I don't think Duncan has a plan of his own, he will just be copying style and tactics from previous managers he has worked with.

Who knows he may change, but in the position we are in, we need a manager to bring in fresh ideas, not someone who I don't think wants the responsibility of a manager in the Premier League.

My worries are loosing players in this transfer window especially Richarlison. When he played for Watford and when we bought him he was most effective coming in from the left wing, since we are know playing Gray out there, Richarlison does not seem to be as dangerous as a center forward or as a dual centre-forward. I don't know what formation you can use to get the best from both players but it seems we are wasting 1 man to promote another.

We need a new manager who doesn't now these players, and is not afraid of reputations and is in tune with the modern game with fresh ideas, Ferguson is a good temporary manager but I don't think he will make a full-time manager without more experience at maybe a lower level.

Rob Halligan
389 Posted 23/01/2022 at 14:32:02
Ian # 384.

From what I have been told, Mykolenko did not have a knock.

My mates lad was one of those who stayed behind in the park end stand to protest, while we went for a pint. My mates lad said Mykolenko came walking out across the pitch to the corner which leads to the players car park, carrying his kit bag and wearing a track suit. There was no sign of any limp.

Of course, that's not to say Mykolenko did not have a knock, but I just think Duncan did not fancy playing him in that game yesterday.

Christopher Timmins
391 Posted 23/01/2022 at 14:38:33
Expectations pre kick off were way out of line. 5 points from 12 games tells it's own story. Playing a team who are better than us a 1 - 0 was not unexpected. Calvert-Lewin and Mina will take a number of games to regain sharpness given the length of their injuries.

The week ahead is vital as we must acquire a midfielder. Not sure who will make that call but it needs to be done.

Doucouré is out for a period and we must acquire more pace and invention in that sector. Maybe we need 2 in?

I would be sticking with the current management team until the end of the season, a huge risk to bring in a new manager unless you are thinking of a short time hire like big Sam.

A bad couple of days for the owner and the board. The letter from the owner and Kenwright's comments yesterday just went to show how out of touch they both are. However, the idea of bringing back Martínez tops everything.

The bottle-throwing incident was an embarrassment and a zero-tolerance policy needs to be implemented.

We need to show patience and stay calm. There are some contributors who would change the manager after every game!

Brent Stephens
393 Posted 23/01/2022 at 14:40:34
Yes, good analysis, Jay. As ever.
Derek Wadeson
394 Posted 23/01/2022 at 14:49:42
For only the second time in my life yesterday, I was ashamed to be an Evertonian. The first years ago at the old Filbert Street, when all the Everton fans could do was bait the Leicester fans with racist songs. It stopped me going to away games.

Yesterday, the bottles thrown from Gwladys Street and the Bullens Road did it for me. I sit in the Lower Bullens as a season ticket holder. I was one of the people applauding Luca Digne as he came over to take the corner, some people around and behind me booed him. Okay each to his own. Villa scored and bottles were thrown and so called supporters laughed and cheered when Villa players hit the deck.

I am 68 next month and now sit in the Lower Bullens as that was the stand I grew up in with my dad taking me as a child. I swopped from the Upper Gwladys as a tribute to my dad and for all the memories in our last few seasons at Goodison. As a second World War soldier, he would of been disgusted.

Colin Malone
395 Posted 23/01/2022 at 14:56:34

The Big Fella has been at Everton for long enough to know it ain't working up top with Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison. So why not change to a 4-5-1? But, we persisted in the 4-4-2 formation without success.

In my opinion, we missed Coleman. Kenny is an old fashioned right-back, without the ability to go forward.

Soren Moyer
396 Posted 23/01/2022 at 14:57:22
Get a Director of Football in place ASAP before the transfer window gets shut, for fuck's sake! What is this useless board waiting for!!!?
Dale Self
399 Posted 23/01/2022 at 15:07:29
That looks a bit happy clappy there ol’ chappy. It is the same pile, deal with it and stop finding one thing to challenge abd then hang on like it was a Gorgeous George toe hold.
Will Mabon
400 Posted 23/01/2022 at 15:19:43
"An early rush and then it fizzles out... People are weary and fearful. "

Sad really, Tony. I think the bear pit thing has been civilized out of existence. Different times. I know there are foul-mouthed twats scattered around as ever but the vast majority are quiet and non-offensive now.

Paul Swan
401 Posted 23/01/2022 at 15:23:30
I think for me the crowd were expecting more from Ferguson yesterday and if we would have started at a higher intensity, it might have been different.

Even playing the habitual underperformers Holgate and Kenny you thought maybe he sees them as being able to inject some aggression into the team. What soon became obvious however was that they just dragged the team down to a lower level of technical ability and the crowd then just realised slowly but surely it was more of the same.

I don't agree that they had sound games. Holgate in particular just constantly turned over possession and in one case lost possession in a dangerous position we were lucky not to concede from.

However, for me, they were no worse than Gomes, Townsend and even Doucoure. As for the booing and goading of Digne, I wonder who the #27 shirt number and red boots were really aimed at?

Tony Hill
402 Posted 23/01/2022 at 15:26:18
Yes, I think that's part of it, Will, embarrassment at being thought "loud".
Don Alexander
404 Posted 23/01/2022 at 15:40:28
Dazza (#333), for the record, I don't hate Ferguson or any ex-player. I'm getting close to hating Kenwright though.

The ex-players signed up by Kenwright when he was 100% in control, and those he's signed up when only 95% in control, are mediocre at their jobs as far as I'm concerned. The evidence is from my eyes, watching what we both agree is usually turgid football season after season, decade after decade.

I resented Ferguson financially taking us to the cleaners by skiving rather than playing for us. I despise cowardly thugs. I don't think he appeases any football enthusiast but he sure as hell appeases you as the ex-player happy-clapper par excellence, regardless of results.

Lastly, how do you square your oft expressed denigration of Kenwright with your adoration of so many of his appointees at Finch Farm? It's bizarre.

Raymond Fox
406 Posted 23/01/2022 at 16:03:12
For all the doom merchants in the thread you can get 5/1 for us to go down, I think your throwing your money away though.

My old man always used to have a few quid on the opposition to ease the pain just in case we lost.

Brent Stephens
407 Posted 23/01/2022 at 16:17:50
Jay #405 - I think the answer to your last para might be in what somebody has said in the past when we were under the management of Ancelotti etc - i.e. everything is down to the manager - he coaches them, he picks them, he devises the tactics. You'll probably remember that one.
John Raftery
408 Posted 23/01/2022 at 16:22:27
Jerome (372) You are joking, I assume. From what I saw of the highlights West Ham were chasing three points right up to the last minute when their players, not Moyes, forgot how to defend.

As for the 'glass ceiling' comment, I would settle for a feel of that instead of the crumbling foundations underneath our club.

I agree with you about Digne.

Danny O’Neill
410 Posted 23/01/2022 at 16:46:21
On the snide thought, absolutely.

Gerrard's smug grin and look in the eyes at the Park End as he walked off at half time was a show of confidence.

On paper, two evenly matched teams. The difference was the motivation. And not just pure passion; most of us can or could do that. But footballing knowledge.

Mike Gaynes
411 Posted 23/01/2022 at 16:57:28
Ian #384, where did you hear that Mykolenko had a knock?

Personally I have no problem with Dunc starting Godfrey at left-back... when Digne was benched by Benitez, I thought Godfrey was an immediate improvement, wrongfooted or not. But I was surprised not to see Mykolenko even make the bench. A knock would certainly explain that.

Rob Halligan
412 Posted 23/01/2022 at 17:00:39
Jay # 369.

I can't work out whether you agree or disagree with my view on the Villa goal. In no way was I blaming Pickford for the goal.

What I was saying in reply to an earlier post by Danny, was that no goalkeeper should leave a ball just because he receives a shout from a defender on the line, who may, or may not, have a better chance of clearing the ball.

Stuart Sharp
413 Posted 23/01/2022 at 17:00:57
I find myself in the slightly terrifying position of agreeing with some of what both Darren and Jay say. I may need a lie down.

But Kenny as possible MotM? Wow, I know we all see the game differently, but that's flawed me. I thought Kenny was garbage. I was equally worried about Holgate when I saw the team sheet, but at least he defended ok even if his passing was poor.

My own view is that Ferguson got some fighting spirit out of us, and I for one saw some improvement in effort. But there was little change in quality because Ferguson isn't a miracle worker.

And dropping Gordon was weird... I'd say Gordon and Gray have been our only undroppable players in recent weeks.

Worrying times, but still a way to go before I really panic.

Tony Hill
416 Posted 23/01/2022 at 17:04:46
Danny @410,

Gerrard was looking right at our part of the Park End when he sauntered off. He overdid the Liam Gallagher roll but it was the action of a winner.

I thought to myself, as I swore at him and flicked the Vs, that he was showing the difference between us and them (and I don't mean Villa, of course).

Soren Moyer
418 Posted 23/01/2022 at 17:12:28
Kenny was really awful! Here are a few opinions on his performance: Link
Peter Neilson
421 Posted 23/01/2022 at 17:24:50
Add Gomes to the list of worst players on the park. He delivers next to nothing in a stylish way. He epitomises the weakness of our midfield and the way we've wasted money over the past 6 years.
Steavey Buckley
422 Posted 23/01/2022 at 17:28:22
Ferguson's team selection yesterday was no improvement on Benitez's selection against Norwich last week. Yesterday, no Gordon, no Allan and no Keane.

Keane plays a lot better when Mina plays alongside him and offers height at corner-kicks and free-kicks. Holgate at right back does offer more defensive cover than both Kenny and Coleman. Allan would have offered more midfield support than Gomes in the first half when Villa were in the ascendency.

Tony Everan
424 Posted 23/01/2022 at 17:41:50
Doucouré confirmed as a groin injury, no news on how long he's out for. Hopefully he's back for the Newcastle match. Also a necessity for another midfielder to be signed before then. Preferably two as Davies, Delph are out, Gbamin is not trusted and Gomes just never brings enough to the table, energy-wise or creativity.

Not doing this business puts us at more serious risk than we need to be. I hope there is some wriggle room left to address it financially. This should have been priority no1 for January, not a left-back fiasco, a right-back with future potential or another winger.

Now there's 8 days left to sort it out.

Paul Tran
425 Posted 23/01/2022 at 17:48:40
I'd have played Gordon from the start. Mykolenko was injured. El Ghazi couldn't play against his parent club.

Did anybody expect that side to suddenly turn into a good one?

More effort and energy yesterday. The defence was generally better organised, bar the goal. Mina & Calvert-Lewin were both rusty and will improve with games. The players lacked a bit of confidence and looked, frankly, in need of a break, which neither came, nor was created.

I remember a few years back. We'd been stuffed 5-1 at Southampton. I immediately phoned a few bookies and got 1/1 that we'd stay up. I seriously lamped on and collected early. Today the best you can get in 1/7.

The same level of application, and fitter players, will keep us up.

Summer is another story.

Kieran Kinsella
427 Posted 23/01/2022 at 17:56:24

Who's going to sign one? Dunc says “other people” handle transfers. And he hasn't heard anything about any.

If anything, Moshiri will have Kia Jorabchorian or whatever his name is stick us with some stiffs based on his needs and not ours.

Sam Hoare
428 Posted 23/01/2022 at 18:00:08
Tony, yes. Central midfield is a real problem, and probably has been for a long time.

Not the easiest problem to fix in January.

I'm not convinced that the likes of Barkley, Milijovecic or Ramsay are the answers; though the latter might offer something if he could stay fit (unlikely).

I see Villa are apparently bidding for Bentacur from Juventus. Not my favourite but was a highly rated player whose lost direction and confidence somewhat. Could be the next Pienaar? He's certainly an upgrade on Gomes.

I also quite like John Buckley at Blackburn; high energy player who likes a tackle and is pretty quick across the ground. But he's also good on the ball and has clocked 6 assists this season. Very interesting young player though wouldn't be cheap mid season.

A fast moving central midfielder who can move the ball and make a few tackles would help us no end. Was jealous of Villa having Jacob Ramsey yesterday.

Mike Gaynes
432 Posted 23/01/2022 at 18:20:37
Paul #425, agreed.

I thought the backline was exceptionally well-organized yesterday, and it had to be, because Kenny, Holgate and Godfrey were completely ineffectual with their passing.

That's to be expected with the scattershot Holgate (who, it should be said, was inch-perfect on every backpass to Pickford), but Kenny is usually a good passer and Godfrey generally carries the ball well. They all turned the ball over repeatedly.

However, Holgate and Mina covered each other well in the middle, and no blame to anybody on the goal. You can't mark everybody, and the guy to leave uncovered is the guy 10 yards out who had scored exactly one headed goal in his entire life before yesterday. If Buendia takes 100 similar headers in training tomorrow, he'll never put one in the same spot again.

Tony Everan
434 Posted 23/01/2022 at 18:32:41
Kieran, hopefully the ‘other people’ are on to it. I’m not 100% confident they are fully aware of the importance though with all the other issues clouding what is a real and present danger.

Sam The Blackburn midfielder John Buckley, I haven’t watched him. But he sounds like he has the qualities we should be looking for. The breakout players in the Championship are often expensive but can be the real deal and transition can often be easier to the PL than for an overseas player, expect even from a lesser league.

In fact it would be a good strategy and money well spent to have a coach whose sole job is to appraise breakout Championship talent.

A midfield player who really caught my eye was James Garner the 20 year old on loan from Man U, he’s at Forest. I think this lad will make the step up to the PL, we were rumoured to be interested a few weeks ago.

We need to get some quality and energy into our central midfield so these type of players we need to really looking at closely.

Christy Ring
435 Posted 23/01/2022 at 18:46:35
I still think Gilmour would be a great addition.
Brian Harrison
436 Posted 23/01/2022 at 19:11:08
I think to expect Ferguson with 4 training sessions to turn this team around was expecting to much, second half we were the better team and on another day may well have got something from the game. Confidence is low when you are on the run we are on and sometimes you need a little bit of luck which never seems to happen to teams that are struggling.

I hear many posters say it doesnt matter who the manager is no manager is going to do anything with these players. I would just remind some that Ancelotti had this team in 5th place this time last season, and although finished the season poorly, still nowhere near relegation and with the 3rd best win rate of all Everton managers. But for some posters his overly defensive tactics were denigrated, maybe being the clever coach he is realised you couldn't play open and attacking football with this team, so made them hard to beat. Wouldn't we love a team that was hard to beat this season.

Some say we need to start winning games, I think we would be better trying to make sure we don't lose first. As keeping a clean sheet seems impossible at present. Listening to different press guys they seem to think things will move quickly on the appointment of a new manager, they are saying they believe Lampard is to get a second interview and they also think Rooney will be interviewed. But with a week off then an Fa Cup tie the following week before an away game at Newcastle a few days after, then if they arent going to give Duncan till the end of the season then please make sure you make the right appointment. Out of Lampard and Rooney I would just pick Lampard seeing he has managed a Premier League side and for the large part of managing Chelsea he had done OK.

Tom Harvey
437 Posted 23/01/2022 at 19:18:46
Will Mabon @ 400

" "An early rush and then it fizzles out... People are weary and fearful. "

Sad really, Tony. I think the bear pit thing has been civilized out of existence. Different times. I know there are foul-mouthed tw*ts scattered around as ever but the vast majority are quiet and non-offensive now. "

Will, if you look at the demographics within the stadium, you're just as likely to be sitting next to a granny as a young lad in a singing mood.

During the HK 80's the majority were males and it was so easy to get a song going and keep it going. It's all a bit pipe and slippers now.

The working class man used to have a few jars and release his pressure valve at the game with a bit of shouting, now many will go the doctors and get on the Prozac or maybe self medicate with something that "floats" them to another place.

It's a different world.

Will Mabon
438 Posted 23/01/2022 at 22:15:19
Tom, true.

All gone quieter now. Street End, stands... everywhere.

Progress, apparently.

Andy Crooks
439 Posted 23/01/2022 at 22:25:44
Just saw the news and the reaction of the Villa " men" to the " bottle", that was chucked at them. No excuse for the fool who chucked it. What is more worrying is the fact that the reaction of the Villa " men" confirmed that it was a fucking hand grenade. How did it get into the ground. Thanks be to God that the Villa " men" were able to get up and carry on being utter dicks.
If I were one of the Villa " men" hit by the shrapnel I would avoid going out in public this week to avoid being laughed at. Shame? They have no notion of it.
Brendan McLaughlin
440 Posted 23/01/2022 at 22:32:36
Andy #439
Be fair...when a fizzy water bottle explodes it gets everywhere. Probably did some serious damage to a few fake tans.
Neil Copeland
441 Posted 23/01/2022 at 22:34:04
Andy, I thought the same thing. Players have no shame, trying to get opponents booked or sent off is in the same type of shithousery. What happened to players acting like men?
Rob Halligan
442 Posted 23/01/2022 at 22:38:05
One of the items thrown was one of those large hot dogs, still in the wrapper. Tomato ketchup would have gone everywhere. Surprised one of them didn’t get up screaming “I’m bleeding, I’m bleeding “.
Neil Copeland
443 Posted 23/01/2022 at 22:42:03
I only ever played at Sunday League level (Huyton and District) and if anybody had ever got remotely close to those antics they would have got their head kicked in.
Will Mabon
444 Posted 23/01/2022 at 22:47:46
Someone was pretty angry there. No way I'm wasting one of those hot dogs.
Rob Halligan
445 Posted 23/01/2022 at 22:50:47
Will, those things are usually mad hot. He probably threw it in the air, being too hot to handle, and it ended up on the pitch. I remember a few years back, getting a meat pie at old Trafford at half time, and it was that hot it was nearly full time before I finished it.
Brian Wilkinson
446 Posted 23/01/2022 at 22:51:19
Not the first time it has happened with the bottle, same happened in the Goodison Derby, was all fun by those launching them, until Allison kicked one off the pitch but ended up going in the crowd, uproar kicked in when the fans were stunned and wanted Allison put in the stocks, deported from the Country, and banned from football for life, after being put in the Tower of London.

Always thought it was a daft idea, to allow those plastic bottles, into the ground, nothing to them them when empty, but would not fancy one hitting me on the head from 10 yards out.

Same as when John Holmes first auditioned his tackle with the same outcome, could take someone’s eyes out with that.

Tom Harvey
447 Posted 23/01/2022 at 22:52:44
I was in the Gwladys right behind Grobbelaar's goal one derby a load of horse shit come flying over my head and over the goal to hit the clown himself, he turned around looked at it, looked at us, chuckled and carried on.

Kids were scooping up shit into crisp bags and putting them in their pockets, and once inside the ground emptying it into the Sayers steak pie tin foil trays they'd picked up of the ground and chucking them at poor Brucie.

If this was today he'd have hit the floor and played dead.

Brian Wilkinson
448 Posted 23/01/2022 at 22:53:35
Rob, my older brother went to the Bolton semi final league cup at Burden Park in 1977, and half a ham shank bone was launched into the away end.
Rob Halligan
449 Posted 23/01/2022 at 23:04:09
Seeing as this is a thread about Duncan Ferguson, I see Bingo has been copying Duncan’s generosity, and handing out free beer to RS fans today.

Must have cost him a fortune, those three bottles! Minge bag!!

Brian Wilkinson
450 Posted 24/01/2022 at 00:40:18
Rob, I heard it was Klopp that handed money over to help the local fans, with a scouse passport only.

He is still waiting for the landlord to return his change, from a tenner.

David Currie
451 Posted 24/01/2022 at 01:02:38
Digne was one one of the Villa players pretending to get hit and fall to the ground! Amazed he was able to carry on playing.
Steve Ferns
452 Posted 24/01/2022 at 02:41:23
Derek, still around and still a season ticket holder. Just use Twitter more than here. And Marco is proving me right. Just wait and see what he does next season.

Seems like we've hired another Portuguese. The extremely fiery Pereira. He seemed better 8 years ago. Dunno why he's suddenly a better proposition now, maybe it's because we are that desperate.

Pereira ain't in my top 5. But he isn't a bad manager. He's won 4 league titles. He was assistant to villas boas at Porto. He came in as villas boas left for Chelsea and managed James. Porto started selling all their players and should have imposed. They didn't because of Pereira's management and he delivered league titles in both of his seasons there. His first two seasons as a manager. They lost just one of 60 league games in that time. He's not Marco Silva and conceded only 0.5 goals per league game.

He's a pragmatic manager who adjusts his tactics to his players. He favoured 4-2-3-1 at Porto and that was de rigour back then. He used mostly 3-4-3 at Fenerbahçe in his last stint.

Not too sure about him after Porto but he took over from Michel who struggled so much after inheriting Marco Silva's Olympaicos and was sacked in second in January. Pereira delivered the double and left.

He didn't win anything in two stints In Turkey. But plenty of Turks were talking on Twitter spaces tonight giving glowing reviews. China is an unknown but he won the league there, breaking a monopoly. He also had a reputed world best salary, but I'll take that with a pinch of salt. He used Everton links to help him negotiate it.

What would he bring if reports are true? Well pragmatism as said above. A fiery temperament. He's an absolute nutcase. That cannot be stressed enough. He's animated like no one you've seen before on touchline.

Watch the YouTube where he turns round and tells a Fenerbahçe fan to do one whilst managing the team. He often celebrates like a fan on the touchline when big goals are scored.

He fell out with superiors in Saudi Arabia and there's press conferences (in English) of him arguing with the club official when being told what he can and can't talk to the press about. He clearly won't take shit off anyone. Not the players, not the board, not the press and not the fans. He's utterly ruthless.

But for me, he's too fiery. I'd rather watch him manage someone else and laugh at him. I'd prefer him as Newcastle under Ashley. That would have been comedy gold.

His links to Kia Joorabchian are concerning. That man has far too much influence at this club and it appears like he's the de facto DoF now.

But when you look at the other candidates and you know what Pereira is like, what he's actually won, and that he can handle pressure, he can make big calls, that he has balls of steel and it seems to be a choice between him and relative novices, I think maybe. Maybe this guy can light a rocket and shake this club up.

Maybe he can fire the players up and get more from them. Maybe he can chase the deadwood out of the club. Maybe he is the best we can get out of the mediocre names we are considering.

Derek Moore
453 Posted 24/01/2022 at 02:58:07
Fair enough Steve. With your gift for brevity, Twitter is probably a better platform for you anyway.

What Silva does now, next year or next decade "proves" nothing though. He was the wrong man for this club, and for many reasons that had nothing at all to do with his ability as a tactician or manager. He was never going to succeed here. And he didn't.

Thanks for the update and stay well.

Steve Ferns
454 Posted 24/01/2022 at 03:17:05
I'm doing very well thanks Derek, albeit would prefer not to be up late working and still in for 9. I hope you're good too.

As for Silva, I'm expecting major trophies won. Not just the Championship. He's still very young and improving.

I think he'd have done much better in his second season if he had not lost two key players in Gueye and Zouma and had only replaced one, that player being Gbamin, who we all know is made of glass. Had he not had those issues, he'd still be in a job and Everton wouldn't be in the almighty mess they are currently in.

Derek Moore
455 Posted 24/01/2022 at 03:23:16
I respect your take Steve, but I disagree with virtually all of it. (I'm open minded on the trophies thing, but somewhat doubtful though)

Silva was never the problem here, and therefore he could never be the solution either. The club is set up for systematic failure. Alex Ferguson or Howard Kendall in their prime would not be able to overcome the disastrous off field governance the club operates under. That's my take on it.

Conor McCourt
456 Posted 24/01/2022 at 07:11:26
I find it unbelievable that posters who continually praised Ancelotti last season as we limped to a poor tenth splitting two championship squads are now trying to re-write history. The pretence that because we have struggled this season with a manager who has continually left clubs with their lowest placing for some time has somehow meant that Ancelotti was a success. What total bollocks.

Ancelotti at the start of the season was given a war chest that only Koeman received with a seventy million kitty and a free transfer taking up a reported 200 grand a week. His early season form was the result of this impact from new signings, some favourable fixtures and confidence that winning and a favourable league position brings. He had Dominic, Ricky, Lucas, James, and Yerry all largely fit. He had key important options like Siggy, Tom and Andre also available.

Benitez has been a disaster, the worst manager I can remember but he has not had the same circumstances that Carlo had last season. Ancelotti had us in free fall the last few months and had he faced a summer with no kitty and without three key players there is no doubt that slide would have continued.

This stat that Carlo's advocates present that he is our third best manager is also a completely skewed one as most managers leave after results make their position untenable. Ancelotti left before that had happened. Do a direct comparison between Martinez first year and a half and Carlo's and you will see the latter as not that impressive.

Don't forget Silva had us eighth, Koeman seventh and Martinez fifth yet Carlos fan club somehow see tenth in a season as an achievement. This in a season where the top clubs were unusually vulnerable and with the games played essentially on a neutral venue there was never a greater opportunity to win so many points and qualify for Europe.

Calvert Lewin had already amassed eleven goals by the half way point last season, the key to many of those early season victories. In the five games under Ancelotti Dominic missed we won one only once.

Steve@452- great to hear from you, your posts have been missed. I was thinking of you only the other day as I put up a piece on ToffeeWebbers and you came to mind for a little gag about a "Silva lining". Yes your man is blowing up that Championship and one of the most impressive teams will be winners for some years.

Danny O’Neill
457 Posted 24/01/2022 at 07:37:07
Fair points Conor. It's why I largely try to steer away from stats, even in this increasingly data driven world. We can all adjust stats based on inclusion and time frame to fit a point of view.

Anyway, former managers are exactly that and almost irrelevant to me in terms of the team. We move forward and don't look back (in anger).

I wanted to pick up on your (and others') point about Silva. Only time will tell, but take him as an individual out of the occasion, Everton need to choose carefully and stick with the plan. That's been our problem at managerial / DoF level. Interference and knee jerking.

On Silva, let's see. I actually thought / think he is a good coach. Would have operated well under an empowered DoF.

But then given his record at Watford and Hull, is he one of those who fairs well at that level bouncing between Championship and lower echelons of the Premier League.

I won't print the next thought that came into my head, but I think most can write it for me right now!!

Alan J Thompson
458 Posted 24/01/2022 at 09:53:32
Conor(#456); Let's just say he was far less of a failure then.
Paul Cherrington
459 Posted 24/01/2022 at 12:25:02
My observations for Saturday's game against Villa:

1) Improved performance from the side - more intensity, more passion, more tackles and more fight. Looked better organised and more balanced too.

2) not getting at least a point was very disappointing. we need to start picking them up again. Big Dunc still the man for the job though and should be given proper chance to make his mark.

3) we need to sort out the problems opponents Number 10's give us by dropping into space between our defence and midfield. it is one of the major reasons we have been so poor. need to have at least 1 midfield player sitting in that space to fill it.

4) we need to not only stop conceding from set pieces but also start scoring from them too. key source of goals either way and we must get better at them.

I think if we fix 3 and 4 plus keep the big man in charge to motivate the players into performing, we'll be ok. so, what's the solution?

I would go with a 4-1-3-2 system and bypass our midfield altogether to some extent. we simply do not have the players to either play out from the back or play through midfield. most of them lose the ball under pressure, make poor passes and generally are bad at keeping possession.

If I were manager, I would have the 'bash brothers' of DCL and Rondon as the 2 up top and just get crosses into them/go long everytime we had chance. I would have Gordon and Townsend as the wider 2 of the midfield 3 behind them and tell them to just stick it in the mixer every chance they had. same with the fullbacks - let 1 go forward at a time if is on their side and just stick it in asap. tell DCL and Rondon to get into the box and get ready when they see the ball go wide.

I'd have Doucouré as the central player of the 3 behind the 2 up front and tell him to back them up when we're attacking and come into the box late to pick up scraps/pick up loose balls on the edge of the area. all 3 midfielders behind DCL/Rondon to get back into shape and help when out of possession. plus get 1 of the forwards to drop in to make up the numbers too.

Allan to sit in in front of our back 4 and not to move much. kick anything that moves, stop counter-attacks and protect our defence. and give the ball quick and simple to the 3 in front of him or long to the boys up front if nothing is on.

We are at a stage when pretty football is not the main concern. We need to start winning. Get two big lads up front, get the ball into them every chance you get, back them up with a late runner from midfield, stay compact, stop trying to play pretty football when we can't and lets start giving teams something new to think about.

Will Mabon
460 Posted 24/01/2022 at 15:09:55
Rob @ 445, been there! Those pies welcome in a harsh winter but can burn the enamel off yer teeth.
Andy Crooks
461 Posted 24/01/2022 at 18:02:50
Steve Ferns, so good to see you back on. Haven't heard from you in ages. You were right about Silva. Spot on. Also,as we discussed, spot on about the wrong doing at Anfield. Keep posting Steve. Hope to get over soon to see my old mate DK. If you are up for it, how about a beer with a few of us.
Tony Abrahams
462 Posted 24/01/2022 at 18:29:47
He would normally sound like exactly what we need, but I’m hearing rumours that Duncan Ferguson told Moshiri, that Patterson isn’t ready and Mykolenko is a dud, and although Joorabchian wasn’t agent to either of these two players, it’s concerning that they’ve both ended up at Everton, when the team has been desperate for ready made players, such is our perilous position right now.
Kieran Kinsella
463 Posted 24/01/2022 at 18:43:18
Tony Abrahams

When Mykolenko joined I read an interview with him saying "No one could believe it when Everton offered 22 million for me." It troubled me at the time because if he was being modest he'd have said "I couldn't believe it," but when he said "no one could,"I started thinking back to old Niasse.

Darren Hind
464 Posted 24/01/2022 at 18:50:20
Absolutely Conor.

Carlo and his entourage cost us around 22m in wages. Around 65m was spent on transfers then there was wages for the players he used his pulling power to bring in.

I make that well over 100m quid he cost us. Whether you believe The facts, stats or the evidence of your eyes. You cannot deny the slide and decline started on his watch - we could barely buy a win in his last dozen games. To add insult to injury he served up the most cowardly football imaginable. Then snuck out the back door.

When it comes to weighing up the worst pound for pound Everton manager of all time. You'd struggle to find credible opposition to Carlo...

Kieran Kinsella
465 Posted 24/01/2022 at 19:13:42

Doucoure was a Brands signing who'd been after since Silva first came. Carlo didn't know anything about Godfrey until he arrived as he said himself. So you can't blame him for those signings among that 65 million figure you quote.

Also for all your hysterics about the "busted flush" ruining this club. On Saturday the only player in the entire squad who was a Carlo signing (signed by him at his direction not by someone else while he happened to be at the club) was Allan. Everyone else was here before, developed by Unsie or brought in since. So any negative effect of winning at Anfield or Elland Road with "Cowardly tactics" was just a blip in their careers in an 18 month timeframe when they crossed paths with Carlo. Was the trauma of playing under Carlo enough forget the likes of Coleman, Holgate, Doucoure, Keane etc enough to make them forget all the wonderful things they learnt under fully working flushes?

Dale Self
466 Posted 24/01/2022 at 19:21:21
Well of course he'd struggle. That's called anchored beliefs. Whether you believe facts, stats or some shit another poster spewed out you must blame Carlo for our present malaise.
Mike Gaynes
467 Posted 24/01/2022 at 19:43:17
Kieran #463, do you remember where you read that? Never saw that one. But keep in mind the kid doesn't speak English, so any quotes you read from him are translations from Ukrainian. Also I don't think his fee was 22 million, was it?
Kieran Kinsella
468 Posted 24/01/2022 at 23:56:56
Mike it was quoted in the times in response to his team receiving a record fee (I guess 17 million quid not 22). This was his response;

"Nobody expected it, including the members of my family.

“When it happened, my parents refused to believe that it was happening and it was for real. That’s how unprepared we were for this good news and now I am basically living in a dream.”

Brendan McLaughlin
469 Posted 25/01/2022 at 00:13:54
Kieran #468
I read that as you see it differently?
Kieran Kinsella
470 Posted 25/01/2022 at 00:29:01

It's words on a page with no tone and as Mike said translated but I interpreted it as people his parents included not thinking this was on the cards for him which is surprising if he's really good.

Brendan McLaughlin
471 Posted 25/01/2022 at 00:38:35
Kieran #470
Modest but very supportive parents as well?
Don Alexander
472 Posted 25/01/2022 at 00:38:49
Folks, why anyone sane credits our Dazza with significance is quite beyond me. Yes, in his opinion, above, Ancelotti is now the SOLE cause of our woes but at the time they were here he repeatedly lambasted Martinez, Koeman, Silva, Allardyce, Ancelotti and Benitez too.

He also said he found enough evidence in the six games they "managed" between them to lavishly extol the virtues of his poster-boys "Unsy" and "Dunc" though. What insight?

And bear in mind that our Dazza, for years at least as disparaging of Kenwright as I am, has never once answered the question I've repeatedly asked of him, namely, what credit does he accord Kenwright for appointing his two poster-boys to Finch Farm?

The fact is Dazza, that we have an owner/s-boardroom so inept that any manager on the planet is bound to fail (and get very rich very quickly in the process by the way).

So many previously competent players have shown mundanity as soon as they sign for us. It's obvious - but let's blame Ancelotti alone eh?

Bizarre (again), and lazy!

Kieran Kinsella
473 Posted 25/01/2022 at 01:29:05


Conor McCourt
474 Posted 25/01/2022 at 06:56:34
Danny I mainly agree with you with that Silva is an excellent coach and there is no question he was the 'unlucky' manager both with some dreadful decisions that went against him and the spine of his team being dismantled.

I slightly disagree with your assessment that he is only a certain level manager. I think the job he did at Hull was really decent. When he took over they were absolute certainties to go down and they used up so much energy getting into a fighting chance that they ultimately failed in getting over the line. Had he been manager that entire season there is no doubt they would have stayed up.

In his first season here he improved players enormously with Ghana taking his form to a new level, Digne defending like I'd never seen before, Zouma fulfilling his initial potential at Chelsea, Richarlison and Siggy on fire and even Keane did ok playing in a high line though helped by the Chelsea man.

The reason however I doubt he was the man was because he seemed to lack the persona for the job. For me he is a poor mans Arteta, he doesn't have that ruthless streak. When we were struggling Siggy completely downed tools and yet the team was set up for him. It took an age for Silva to drop him and put him straight back in the team when he finally did something in a short cameo. He seemed to be excellent when things are going right but a rabbit in headlights when faced with adversity. His teams seem to go through long winning runs but also long losing runs.

It's funny Danny I think rather than sacking him he should have been demoted. Learning passion, leadership and playing to the Goodison Crowd under Ferguson and the tactical nous, art of defending and man management he would have learned from Ancelotti. We may have had a decent manager on our hands.

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