Renewed hope amid the Blue smoke as Chelsea are vanquished at Goodison

Lyndon Lloyd 01/05/2022 58comments  |  Jump to last
Everton 1 - 0 Chelsea

This emotional, tortuous, often agonising and occasionally thrilling season feels like it will never end but it will conclude in three weeks’ time with Everton’s fate decided one way or the other. If this grand old team manages to complete its escape from the jaws of relegation and the possible catastrophe that would come with it, this match and its potentially iconic images and moments will go down in Goodison Park folklore.

So, too, will Richarlison and Jordan Pickford whose heroics at either end of the pitch gave the Blues the edge they needed to eke out a 1-0 victory over the reigning European Champions, one that brought them to within two points of Burnley and Leeds United above them in the table and kept survival in the hands of Frank Lampard and his players.

Everton’s unforgivably parlous position is down, in large part, to costly defeats to four of the sides around them in the Bottom 6 of the Premier League but their bid for salvation has been bolstered by important points collected against teams towards the other end of the table — four against Manchester United, three so far against Arsenal and now four from Chelsea. With more testicular fortitude from the match officials, they would have at least been given the chance to pick up a couple more from the top two via the penalty spot as well.

The Goodison derby aside, the bigger occasions have brought better things out of this Everton side and they will have received all the adrenaline they needed by an unprecedented show of support from their indefatigable supporters who packed the streets around Goodison Park, thick with blue smoke, to welcome the team coach long before kick-off.

An atmosphere that somehow surpassed the one that greeted Leeds Utd here in February and Newcastle Utd in mid-March carried through into the ground, continued right the way through almost 100 fraught minutes, and lingered long after the final whistle had blown was rewarded with a home win and three almost indescribably precious points.

Burnley’s win over Watford 24 hours earlier may have instilled a premature sense of fatalism among many Evertonians on social media but to a man, woman and child, the fans that attended today brought their lungs, voices and fighting spirit to the Old Lady to help drag the players over the line once more.

It was a backs-to-the-wall, all-for-the-cause performance that was short on flair and possession — Lampard’s side have averaged just 25% possession over the last three games — but one typified by Anthony Gordon’s running, Seamus Coleman’s scowl-faced tenacity, Yerry Mina’s hilarious shit-housery and Richarlison’s willingness to run himself into the ground.

The Brazilian’s commitment to chase lost causes and hassle Chelsea’s much-lauded defence was, obviously, key to Everton’s victory, as was the kind of clinical finish that eluded him against Leicester before he bobbled in that stoppage-time equaliser. Today, he forced the first error to lead to a goal in Cesar Azpilicueta’s career and it set the platform on which the entire Toffees team could set out their stall to defend.

And defend that lead they certainly did, dropping into Lampard’s astutely-selected back five when they didn’t have the ball, with another bank of four ahead of that to compress the space and deny Chelsea the room on which they thrive to operate.

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And on the few occasions that Thomas Tuchel’s men did manage to fashion clear openings, Pickford was there channelling Neville Southall to preserve an absolutely vital clean sheet. Depending on how this season pans out, two stops in the space of a minute will go down in the annals as being match-winners in their own right — the first a near-miraculous stop from Azpilicueta after the England No 1 had scrambled from one side of his goal to the other once Mason Mount’s half-volley had hit both uprights, and the second a brave, point-blank block that he took full in the face to deny Antonio Rüdiger.

Spurred on by the deafening crowd, Everton harried and pressed Chelsea in the early stages and won an early free-kick that Gordon fired disappointingly off target before Mount curled a shot inches over at the other end.

Facing the club where he became a playing legend, Lampard had mirrored Chelsea's formation with a back three of his own as Mina returned alongside Mason Holgate and Coleman while Alex Iwobi and Vitalii Mykolenko lined up as wing-backs. Fabian Delph was restored to central midfield as Abdoulaye Doucouré kept his place and Allan started on the bench.

The visitors dominated the ball but were largely kept in check by their hosts and chances created were fairly even in the first half. Mina had an 11th-minute penalty claim waved away and Gordon bounced a left-foot shot wide before things got increasingly tetchy late in the half. Coleman's excellent recovering tackle prevented Timo Werner from threatening while Doucouré had a shot charged down for Everton.

The second period had barely begun before Everton made the breakthrough. Richarlison and Gray had led the press and the pair combined to hassle Azpilicueta just outside his own penalty area. The Brazilian blocked the Spaniard's attempted pass out, Gray knocked the loose ball back to him and Richarlison stroked it past Edouard Mendy and into the far corner.

As they did against Newcastle and Manchester United, the Blues and their baying faithful now had something to hold onto but they had a golden chance to double the lead almost straight away. Gordon slipped a pass inside to Gray who laid it on for Doucouré and when the midfielder picked out Mykolenko's run, the Ukrainian was in with a clear opening but he sliced a left-foot shot past the left upright.

While that stung Chelsea into greater adventure going forward, they couldn't find a way past Pickford. Mount's shot in the 59th minute smacked off one post, glanced the other as it flashed across Everton's goal where Azpilicueta was free to rattle it back on target.

Pickford had got back to his feet superbly, though, and made an incredible stop at his near post where Mina knocked it behind for a corner. That set-piece ended at the feet of Rüdiger but the goalkeeper threw himself in the way to charge it down as Everton's goal survived.

A shove on Gray in the opposite box went unpunished following a check by Video Assistant Referee, John Brooks. Rüdiger sent a speculative effort sailing over and Kai Havertz headed wide but Pickford wasn't tested again until Ruben Loftus-Cheek strode forward and unloaded from 25 yards but the keeper batted it over.

Richarlison hobbled off for Salomon Rondon with 10 minutes of normal time left but it was Gray who came close to making the points safe in the 85th minute. Allan, a substitute himself for Delph who was playing on a yellow card, linked up with Doucouré who found Gray but his attempted curler flew a whisker over the crossbar.

And Gordon forced a late save from Mendy as he scampered away down the left before the fourth official's board went up with an unwelcome tally of 7 added minutes.

The Blues held firm, though, as Pickford got down low to push away Kovacic's shot in a crowder Everton box while Rondon and sub Dele Alli almost forced the ball home at the other end before referee Kevin Friend finally blew the whistle to the relief of the fraught Goodison faithful.

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Phil Smith
2 Posted 01/05/2022 at 18:26:51
What a great picture that is of Richarlison.
Steve Shave
7 Posted 01/05/2022 at 18:49:41
I will bet my mortgage Richarlison will get a ban for this. We just don't get any slack.

Great photo but silly from our Brazillian.

Paul Kossoff
8 Posted 01/05/2022 at 18:54:06
Great win for us.

Apparently Everton are investigating their own player, stupidly drawing attention to it. Premier League next, three-game ban anyone?

John Chambers
9 Posted 01/05/2022 at 18:54:20
Bit of a contrast in attitude between everyone in Goodison Road and the ground and all those keyboard warriors I read when I got home saying Lampard had picked the wrong team, we weren't up for it etc.

Great result, great support from everyone in the ground, great effort from the team. That is the way we may beat the drop, not slagging them off.

Neil Copeland
10 Posted 01/05/2022 at 18:54:27
Richarlison was trying to help clear the pitch, there was no malicious intent whatsoever. It would be a complete mockery if he was to receive anything other than a slap on the wrist.

No doubt the media will elevate it to St Virgil levels.

Nick White
11 Posted 01/05/2022 at 19:02:41
Paul, I actually think it's a good move from the club. Nip it in the bud without the need for FA intervention. The papers are already trying to make something of it so helps shut them up by showing we are taking it seriously. Behind the scenes probably a handshake for Richarlison!
Keith Slinger
12 Posted 01/05/2022 at 19:14:16
Apparently, Richarlison threw it into an empty part of the ground, what is so wrong with that?
Derek Knox
13 Posted 01/05/2022 at 19:58:50
Didn't go today, but watched every minute, the atmosphere seemed electric and no doubt played a massive part, as commented by Seamus on his interview.

Now why, when it's backs to the wall almost, can they produce a performance like that ? Although I was precariously on eggshells while it remained at 1-0, we managed to pull it off and secure the most valuable 3 points. The possession stats again were almost embarrassing in favour of the visitors, but the result is what matters at the end of the day.

Play like a Washing Machine Cycle for the remaining 5 games, Load, Wash, Rinse, Spin and Repeat ! Let's hope the 'Tide' has turned, and if we play like 'Ariel' spirits and we can 'Surf' over the finishing line, that will be 'Bosch'. :-)

Neil Copeland
14 Posted 01/05/2022 at 20:07:57
Derek, on good form I see 😄. The atmosphere was fantastic (again), to hear 30,000 plus booming out a Grand Old Team and Spirit of the Blues at the end was really emotional and a truly wonderful feeling. Not quite at Bayern levels but very close. We have fabulous support and today the players fully deserved it.

I hope we can out-fox Leicester next week and sting Watford the following midweek.

John McFarlane Snr
15 Posted 01/05/2022 at 20:43:54
Hi John [10],

I echo your sentiments completely, it appears to me that there is a section of our 'supporters' who regularly tell us that Everton are crap or words to that effect, and when the team produces a spirited performance against top-class opposition, these 'supporters' are still dissatisfied.

From my 'spec' in the Park End Stand, I witnessed a first class effort from every Everton player. Although I believe that anything can happen in a football match, I must confess that I attended today's game hoping for the best but fearing the worst.

In our current situation, the result is more important than the performance, and I'm delighted with the outcome of both the result and performance. I would be ecstatic if it was repeated in the remaining five games.

Bill Fairfield
16 Posted 01/05/2022 at 21:35:10
Fantastic support from our fans today. Brilliant atmosphere. Great win. The team have given themselves a chance to beat the drop. How can we go down with support like that?
Mal van Schaick
17 Posted 01/05/2022 at 21:42:49
Who cares about 22% possession when we came way with a great win. It shows that this passing crap doesn't always win games.

Great support and an inspiring win, with Pickford and Richarlison the stand-out performers in a great team performance.

Richarlison's photo should be on tee-shirts and on sale.

Stephen Williams
18 Posted 01/05/2022 at 22:24:39
John and Mal,
Don’t take any notice of the naysayers. Just ignore them as I do. I got lambasted on here for having the temerity of saying that we would beat the mighty Leeds (who I expect will go down instead of us). Despite our very comfortable win, there were still too many who wanted to undermine our efforts.
Great performance by the fans today, so much so that the players ran faster, tackled more and stayed stronger. That was no coincidence. The atmosphere was as good as I’ve witnessed it - including Bayern.
The players showed they care. For now it’s irrelevant what’s gone before. That can be unpicked in the summer. The only thing that matters is the here and now. And quite frankly, the naysayers have no part to play for here on in. They should stick to this forum and stay away from the game - but most probably already do.
Kieran Kinsella
19 Posted 01/05/2022 at 22:26:06
Lampards best move was questioning the bollocks of players. He was asked a question about players wilting under pressure from the fans and as he said you can flip that and say do they have the guts. A succession of manager, pundits and some on ToffeeWeb have blamed the fans for causing player anxiety and we’ve let people ride along getting a Pat on the back like babies. In the last several games Lampard seems to have settled on those (injury permitting) who do have the fight. The fans have responded positively and it’s a symbiotic relationship. VDB was on the bench when last fit, Keane on the bench today, Gomes was in bench exile till he got injured, DCL stayed on the bench today. No mystery that all the aforementioned have been picked out as line fluffers this season.
Kieran Kinsella
20 Posted 01/05/2022 at 22:26:22
Lampards best move was questioning the bollocks of players. He was asked a question about players wilting under pressure from the fans and as he said you can flip that and say do they have the guts. A succession of manager, pundits and some on ToffeeWeb have blamed the fans for causing player anxiety and we’ve let people ride along getting a Pat on the back like babies. In the last several games Lampard seems to have settled on those (injury permitting) who do have the fight. The fans have responded positively and it’s a symbiotic relationship. VDB was on the bench when last fit, Keane on the bench today, Gomes was in bench exile till he got injured, DCL stayed on the bench today. No mystery that all the aforementioned have been picked out as line fluffers this season.
Ben King
21 Posted 02/05/2022 at 00:19:20
Brilliant win

Well done the fans….you brought it home today

But the players have started turning up. Well done lads. What a (much needed) win

Dale Self
22 Posted 02/05/2022 at 00:30:00
Good words Rob and thanks to James Hughes for the pregame atmosphere report. That helped immensely. Fuck possession stats just stop giving the ball away in dangerous areas and when we are unbalanced in back

The defensive pressure is better timed for this group now. Pressuring in tandem and not overpursuing just breaking up play until a turnover can be forced. It will be interesting how they commit to offence setups while trying to keep the defensive plans intact. Some definite positives and some colossal character from the fans first and the the players.

Rob Dolby
23 Posted 02/05/2022 at 00:58:27
Apologies to any overseas fans or fans that couldn't get there today but there are times as a fan whilst attending the game that evoke butterflies in the stomach to the hairs standing up on your neck that the TV just cannot replicate.

Today had the lot, I had tears of pride and joy at the genuine awe of being privileged enough to being in the company of passionate fellow blues. A fantastic atmosphere that makes you understand why we love the game and the blues.

Today gives us a fighting chance of staying up. We have to keep the same level of effort into the remaining games.

The picture of Richarleson with the flare is iconic.

What a top day. Coyb.

Kieran Kinsella
24 Posted 02/05/2022 at 01:04:15
Rob Dolby

I get it mate. I’ve been there. Sadly today I was watching alone in Kansas. I think that’s also why there’s the discrepancy on the forum versus Goodison. When you’re alone your fears can overtake you. When there are 40,000 around you there’s that infective no indomitable spirit

Dale Self
25 Posted 02/05/2022 at 01:31:40
Yeah good stuff Rob Dolby.

One more thing, I know no one asked but Tim Howard makes some atrocious wardrobe choices. That shitty pattern didnt even lineup at the seams. You make decent money Tim, come on.

Jamie Crowley
26 Posted 02/05/2022 at 02:52:30
Rob -

As one who's never even been to Goodison, you don't need to apologize. The place was electric, it was clearly obvious on the TV, and being there would have been overwhelmingly surreal, emotional, and any other descriptor you can drum up. There's absolutely no way on earth you could conjure up the electricity in that stadium you had today in person. No way. Super happy you were there and enjoyed it. The fans were stupendous.

And I just have to say one more thing - can we please talk about that save?

That was the most incredible save I've ever seen. Ever. There is nothing that even comes close, and I truly do not believe I will ever see a save that matches Pickford's ever again.

When you look at the replay that was shown from behind the goal, half of Pickford's body was outside the goal frame to the right. How in the hell he ever sprung up that quick after diving to his right completely extended on the ground, and got over to his left to stop the rebound off the double post shot I will never know. I've rewatched it multiple times and I'm still in awe.

It was a save the likes you won't see for another 25 to 50 years replicated. It was absolutely god-like and amazing. Insane save. I honestly feel honored to have seen such sublime athleticism on a field of sport.

Incredible.

Mike Gaynes
27 Posted 02/05/2022 at 03:06:58
Rob #24, great post. Believe me, the intensity of Goodison traveled halfway around the world with a great deal of impact. And you're right, that photo is epic.

Jamie #27, save of the year, no doubt. I commented on another thread that there aren't five keepers in the world capable of that.

Jamie Crowley
28 Posted 02/05/2022 at 03:26:07
Mike -

I think it's one of the most incredible things I've ever seen in sport.


Derek Moore
29 Posted 02/05/2022 at 03:38:29
Just so grateful for the three points.

Richarlison and JP are not only among the most talented players in this squad but they are two of the most committed as well. Was delighted to see both of them not only perform near somewhere near their best but inspire and drag their team mates to a priceless victory. Coleman was also outstanding. To have the teams few leaders all pulling in the same direction makes an enormous difference to our group, and we saw just that against Chelsea.

A committed and largely disciplined Everton win.

Such fine margins in this game and our season. Evertonians have been calling out for a hero for weeks and months now. But perhaps it was a mistake to think it would come in the form of a 21st century Super Kevin Campbell? Jordan Pickford certainly threw his hat into the argument with that performance. And I feel if Mina stays on the pitch then we're immeasurably better defensively. It's on, it's really on. COYB.

Derek Moore
30 Posted 02/05/2022 at 03:38:52
Just so grateful for the three points.

Richarlison and JP are not only among the most talented players in this squad but they are two of the most committed as well. Was delighted to see both of them not only perform near somewhere near their best but inspire and drag their team mates to a priceless victory. Coleman was also outstanding. To have the teams few leaders all pulling in the same direction makes an enormous difference to our group, and we saw just that against Chelsea.

A committed and largely disciplined Everton win.

Such fine margins in this game and our season. Evertonians have been calling out for a hero for weeks and months now. But perhaps it was a mistake to think it would come in the form of a 21st century Super Kevin Campbell? Jordan Pickford certainly threw his hat into the argument with that performance. And I feel if Mina stays on the pitch then we're immeasurably better defensively. It's on, it's really on. COYB.

Pete Clarke
31 Posted 02/05/2022 at 03:45:37
A few weeks ago I would have said that 35 points would be the safety line. Now with Burnley finding form and us battling away it could be 42 points and right down to the wire.
Amazing effort yesterday to keep our hopes up and a special mention to Jordan Pickford because I’m one of many who think he’s a scatterbrain at times but he became a man of men yesterday. Big Nev was in his body somewhere.
Kieran Kinsella
32 Posted 02/05/2022 at 04:35:35
Jamie Crowley

For Goodison, imagine Fenway Park with four times the fan engagement and a sport that’s not boring as shit

Kieran Kinsella
33 Posted 02/05/2022 at 04:39:06
Pete Clarke

A month ago the trajectory was that 32 points would be enough. I wonder if our win will take the wind out of Burnley? Four wins in five they probably thought they were safe. Can they really turn it into 6 from 7 to hit 40? I doubt it. That’s championship winning form.

Pete Clarke
34 Posted 02/05/2022 at 05:08:30
Let’s hope that Burnley go back to ‘Championship’ form and end up there 😁

As much as we battled away and got the win yesterday we need to start taking more of the chances we get. Gray should have scored and late on we let made a fumble with Rondon and Alli. Definitely miss an out and out goal scorer.
How much better does it feel today with the knowledge that there’s life left in the battle to be safe ? 😎
Paul Kernot
35 Posted 02/05/2022 at 05:55:28
Wow. Rob #24. My missus thinks I'm mad, screaming at the telly and, same as you, crying over a football game on the other side of the world. I'm sure I'm not alone in this but I switch between wanting it to go on and on, and not wanting to watch because every time they got in our box I was scared to death. That save by Jordan was unreal. If it isn't save of the season there's something wrong.
Christine Foster
36 Posted 02/05/2022 at 06:00:39
Have to say what a brilliant iconic photo of Richarlison. He should frame that and put it on his wall.. better still blow it up to life size and put it up at Finch Farm, paint it on the stand outside Goodison..its THAT good.
Alan J Thompson
37 Posted 02/05/2022 at 06:40:18
The Referee saw Richarlison pick up the flare, or whatever it was, and took no action. VAR do not seem to have reviewed the matter so must concur that the Referee had not made any clear and obvious error.
So, does this mean that the FA questioning the matter are now bringing the game into disrepute, I mean, the rules and penalties are dispensed in a fair and equitable manner, are they not?
Steve Brown
38 Posted 02/05/2022 at 06:50:05
I always thought we had to target the winnable games, which made the Burnley result away so tough to take.

But since then, we have beaten Man U and Chelsea, drawn with Leicester and given the shite a tough battle. But, we must win one of our away games and get a point from another.

Then we can go into the two home games with confidence.

Dave Lynch
39 Posted 02/05/2022 at 07:50:58
Just a word on "that" save.

Big Nev would have held that🤣🤣

Danny O’Neill
40 Posted 02/05/2022 at 08:07:49
I know we we have to move on for the sake of the club and our future success, but when the Grand Old Lady of English football rocks like that, it cannot be competed with. I hope we bottle that and take it to Bramley Moore Dock.

We will, because it came from those who have always been there and always will be. The supporters. We will be there long after owners, managers and players.

I think yesterday the Everton players finally realised what this club means to us. I think Chelsea's players and arrogant supporters got intimidated.

They didn't sell out by the way. I will point that out when I head to the pub this afternoon.

David Hallwood
41 Posted 02/05/2022 at 11:12:43
Great read as ever, Lyndon, you have a consistency that is sadly lacking from the team! Although Richarlison and Pickford takes the headlines and rightly so, the recent performances of Mykolenko cannot go unmentioned.

From his 'rabbit in the headlights' start and also we must factor in what's happening back home (sadly a lot of Everton fans didn't), he's put in top quality performances against two of the top three sides. I thought he was excellent yesterday as he was up against Salah.

On to Lampard. He's showing himself to be a flexible coach as he's gone from 'my philosophy' to a pragmatic don't concede at all costs approach. I hope he takes that to Leicester, because although they're not in the same universe as the top three, they have a better squad than ours, and of course we have the worst away record in the Premier League.

Let's hope the players perform like yesterday, run their bollocks off, because Leicester will either have one eye on a final or the deckchair, and won't fancy being run ragged.

In fact, we need this approach for the remaining games; it comes to something that you're hoping the game against Arsenal will be a dead rubber.

If, and at the moment it's just an if, we survive, the constructive dismantling of an underperforming squad should begin the day after.

John Crook
42 Posted 02/05/2022 at 11:42:40
I have never ever seen Goodison Park (before, during and after) like that. Truly magical atmospheric scenes. Just imagine if every single game was like that. How many games would Everton lose if the atmosphere was like that? The answer is not many at all.

Well that atmosphere has to be the blueprint and minimum level going forward. Does not matter if it's a derby or a league cup game against Walsall. Everton quite clearly has the best '12th man' when it's truly fired up.

And when it's truly fired up, the other 11 men are giving 110% for 99 minutes, which at the end of the day, is all we want. Now for a change of fortune on the road!

Brent Stephens
43 Posted 02/05/2022 at 12:20:31
Did Frank have a deliberate ploy in getting Gordon to stay close to Rudiger with Gray staying close to Azpilicueta, so neither could advance down the wings when they had the ball?

So the ball ends up going into a compacted midfield. Less space for Chelsea to play in, and less ground for our midfield to cover. Excellent.

Bernard Dooley
44 Posted 02/05/2022 at 13:05:37
Just watched that save by Gordon Banks from the Pele header, and like so many others, have always regarded his save as the greatest I have ever seen on TV.

Now I think I have to revisit that view having seen that Pickford save. It was just incredible, both for the ground he covered and the save itself. His speed and agility to get off the floor and across his goal was breathtaking to watch. And his "face save" wasn't bad either!

(Best save I've seen live was Gordon West's away to Wolves diving upwards to his right and holding the ball just below the angle of post and bar!)

Jamie Crowley
45 Posted 02/05/2022 at 14:26:01
David Lynch @ 41 - Brilliant post / comment.

Christine @ 37 - The pic is just fantastic of Richarlison. It's already my 12 year old's (13 years old on Saturday) is Home Screen pic on his phone. Great picture.

Since I posted last night, I've seen video of the crowd welcoming the bus on Goodison Road. Holy shit man. Had I not known what it was I was watching, I'd have guessed it was a riot or war zone video - all the blue smoke, a bazillion cops with some on horseback, etc. That was crazy, awesome, and frankly looked a bit terrifying. If I were a player in that bus, I would have absolutely been affected by that.

Bill Rodgers
46 Posted 02/05/2022 at 15:09:08
The difference between Saturday and the rest of the season (not to mention the last 5 years) is that players wanted to win.

So let's get it straight: the difference between Everton and the top teams is not Kenwright, Moshiri, the manager, any manager, money. "the board", biased referees or any other imaginary bogeymen. The difference is that top teams want to win every week but Everton teams only show that commitment when they are staring disaster in the face.

Unless and until Finch Farm changes and creates that commitment as standard, refuses to accept anything less, then Everton will be doomed to the same old mediocrity.

Relegation would be an absolute disaster for this great club – not least because I doubt it has the resolve to bounce back for many years.

So, if we escape by a point or two, then we must remember what this feels like and refuse to accept half-hearted players, feeble excuses and, most of all, coaches who are there on sentiment alone. And the job of this forum is not to play around with empty excuses but to insist on total commitment as standard.

Jerome Shields
47 Posted 02/05/2022 at 16:34:36
No intented malice, and no one affected just clears the pitch.
Mark Taylor
48 Posted 02/05/2022 at 17:16:42
As a 'naysayer' I thought I should respond to some of the earlier posters. The fact is, we have been crap for most of the season. For much of it, there has been an absence of intensity, even effort. That is why we are where we are in the table. We have lost to dire teams like Norwich and Watford.

It seems to me the players have now finally woken up to the reality of what this means to us all and the catastrophe that relegation would bring and the ever increasing likelihood of that eventuality as Burnley keep winning. The last couple of games have brought about a sea change in approach. Now everyone gets stuck in, runs like hell, stand up for each other without a second thought and makes sure we are also in the ref's ear. We are no longer soft and nice, an easy touch. That is what in my view has made a difference and I don't think it is outside the possibility that fans dissatisfaction has provoked this response. Good to see Franck getting passionate too. Passion is not long term replacement for skill and ingenuity but in our position, it goes a long way in the short term and is the minimum requirement from our fans.

As for the game, while Liverpool battered us somewhat and a point may have been fortunate, I don't think that was the case on Saturday. Who cares about only having 22% possession if the side with 78% do little more than pass it around at the back and in midfield for most of that time. Yes Pickford made two blinding saves, the first especially will live long in the memory, but the score predictor had us winning 2-1, which was about right for me on the chances created. Use that 22% in a positive aggressive way and you can be the side that deserves to win, and we did deserve that on Saturday. We need to continue this high intensity approach, including against the 'lesser' teams we are supposed to beat (but often don't) and we might just scrape ourselves clear of the ultimate humiliation.

Andy Crooks
50 Posted 02/05/2022 at 18:21:36
Kieran@ 24 good post and really spot on. There is no doubt that taking in the game alone gives a different perspective and multiplies the anxiety. In the added time, honest to God, I was going to ring Derek Knox for some distraction and support. He's made of sterner stuff than me!
David Currie
52 Posted 02/05/2022 at 18:21:50
Pete 31, Think we need to aim high on the points tally as I can see Burnley finish on 43 and Leeds on 41. We need to go for 42 pts, 3 wins and one draw. We have relied on other teams losing for too long and we need to do what Burnley has just done and win 3 straight games. We really need to beat Leicester on Sunday, Burnley will beat Villa as that Horrible sod at Villa will want us down.

Danny 40, Great post as usual, have never rated their support they have won 20 trophys since RA and sit in 14th place in percentage of having their ground full.

Andy Crooks
53 Posted 02/05/2022 at 18:21:55
Kieran@ 24 good post and really spot on. There is no doubt that taking in the game alone gives a different perspective and multiplies the anxiety. In the added time, honest to God, I was going to ring Derek Knox for some distraction and support. He's made of sterner stuff than me!
Brian Wilkinson
54 Posted 02/05/2022 at 20:06:46
I had the same thought, Danny, about the Old Lady and moving to Bramley-Moore Dock, but if you look at the new stadium, it looks so much like the inside of Goodison, but bigger and no obstructed views.

You then look at the one tier massive home end, behind the goal and an additional 12,000 Evertonians allowed in the bigger stadium, this stadium could be even louder than the Old Lady. Only time will tell. If we design it right and keep the fans close to the pitch.

Frank Mackenzie
55 Posted 02/05/2022 at 20:31:14
Rob @23 - your comment hit the nail on the head. I felt the same way. The walk across Stanley Park and the first glimpses of The Grand Old Lady started to choke me up and then getting to Goodison Road to be met by thousands of fellow blues nearly finished me off! We do pride and passion like no others I’ve seen before. From the Top Balcony, where I was sat, and right the way around the ground there was support - and I mean real support. You could sense that it really, truly helped the players.

When I was last at Goodison it was for the Villa defeat and I can only describe it then as muted and - dare I say - bordering on toxic. Yesterday was a world away from that, right from the warm-up through to Frank applauding the Gwladys Street, the noise did not stop.

When we move to BMD the spirit of Goodison Park needs to move there too. Those at the game yesterday will know what we can do - we can carry that pride, noise and passion. Hopefully the players see our efforts and match us. They just need to give us something to cheer - a tackle, a block, a run or show some endeavour- show us they care and what it means to play for our Club.

Jamie @ 26 - Pickford had a blinder yesterday - unfortunately for us we didn’t see the save as it was obscured by one of the uprights in the main stand!! Had to wait for MOTD - as you say nothing short of brilliant.

Bernie Quinn
56 Posted 02/05/2022 at 23:46:45
I have followed the Club since 1946 and I am soooo proud of being an Evertonian. As a kid, I have been called up onto the pitch at Goodison, with others, to help the ground staff in winter to sweep away snow to get the game started and been given sweets from Dame Toffee for doing so. So I'm sorry everyone but The Grand Old Lady will always be 'Home' and I am not looking forward to the move to the new ground.
Ben King
57 Posted 02/05/2022 at 23:48:32
Gosh, doesn't it make a difference when the players put in a performance to make you proud of them?!!

Now to get the right tactics, commitment and better quality v Leicester… We need at least a point but ideally 3.

Paul Birmingham
58 Posted 03/05/2022 at 00:08:43
“Whats Our Name?”

UTFT!

Paul Kernot
59 Posted 03/05/2022 at 07:37:41
I would have loved Mykolenko's shot to have gone in. As the commentator said, the pressure got to him and who could blame him but wouldn't it have just put the icing on the day?
Bernie Quinn
60 Posted 03/05/2022 at 08:01:49
By the way – does Dame Toffee in her blue outfit still walk round the pitch before kickoff with her basket of sweets? I wonder if she will cross over to the new stadium?
Jerome Shields
61 Posted 03/05/2022 at 10:29:06
The fact that they successfully implemented that defensive style of play away at Anfield and worked on it for the Chelsea game could mean Leciester will hopefully find they are playing against a different Everton than the last meeting. Another away fixture.

Ian Nulty
62 Posted 03/05/2022 at 10:30:17
I am sure we expect a number of our better-paid international players to move on in the close season, whether we survive or are relegated. The economics at the club appear so dire currently, it appears nailed on that major changes will occur in personnel.

Can I put my two penn'orth in and suggest some able replacements for at least three players who could fall into that category? I should be interested to hear other readers' take on my suggestions.

1. Richarlison - A favourite of mine but surely inevitable that he will move to another level given he is a current Brazilian international and would also wish to continue playing at the highest league level domestically. Should that happen, then my suggested replacement would be Adama Traore (ex-Wolves and now on loan at Barcelona and if what we read in the press, is unlikely to be rubberstamped as a permanent fixture at the Nou Camp). On his day, a wonderful dribbler of the ball and plenty of skills and similarities to Richarlison.

2. Jordan Pickford - Similar reasons to above but, if we go down and he moves on, and knowing there are a couple of youngsters in the wings, the Huddersfield stopper, Lee Nichols, of whom I have seen a lot lately on Sky and is well thought of by their pundits, looks a very capable replacement. The Terriers of course have booked their place in the playoffs so, if all goes well for them, I expect him to remain in Yorkshire.

3. Dominic Calvert-Lewin - Such a disappointing season for him particularly after the highs of the previous one. For more than one reason or other (we know what!), maybe a change of scenery would be best for him. The Coventry forward, Viktor Gykores, has scored a lot of goals for the Sky Blues this season and looks a player with great potential. Very potent in and around the penalty area (watch the videos) and a Swedish International to boot!

Anyway, purely personal observations which our newly crowned Director of Football would probably pull to pieces but it's good to speculate...

ps: I haven't heard from my namesake Dan lately. Are you still out there, fellow Blue??

Robert Tressell
63 Posted 03/05/2022 at 11:52:15
Ian # 62. I waste my time looking into players and, for what it's worth, I wouldn't be looking at Traore in particular.

Traore is 26, has only 1 goal in 38 this season and has been overtaken at Wolves by more technical players. He would be very expensive for a player with little end product - who has probably already peaked and will now deteriorate in value despite being on a high wage.

The past 5 years shows us we absolutely cannot afford to sign expensive players with high wages and deteriorating resale value, because it robs us of the chance to reinvest and grow.

Gyokeres might be a good suggestion along with Piroe and Brereton-Diaz (the latter of whom would be free). The Championship is a good place to look for talent. Personally though I'd be looking abroad for a striker of greater talent - albeit someone who might need more time to develop.

In contrast, the Premier League is by far the worst value market for players in the world. You may find value in those struggling to break through like Broja, Gilmour and Ampadu at Chelsea, players like Sarr from relegated clubs or someone like Tarkowski on a free. Otherwise avoid.

Clive Rogers
64 Posted 03/05/2022 at 12:41:13
Robert, 63, agree, we don’t want any more players who hardly ever score a goal. Iwobi and Gomes are two too many.
John O'Brien
65 Posted 03/05/2022 at 12:50:42
I think its going to take 3 wins out of our 5 remaining games to stay up so we are going to have to win away somewhere, Watford would appear to be the best bet and we will need to win our 2 home games, again won't be easy.

Everyone is thinking about us, Leeds and Burnley for the last slot but looking at the fixtures Soton and Brentford aren't yet out of this.

Soton and Brentford have each got 3 games left, they are both on 40 points but if either of them lose their 3 remaining games and we do win 3 out of 5 then we get to 41.

They play each other and we need either of them to win that game.

Soton then play the RS and then Leicester away last game.

Brentford after Soton, play us and then Leeds at home last game.

I just don't see us staying up with 38 points by winning our 2 home games, hope I'm wrong but if we can get to 41 then I think we will stay up and I think that is achievable.


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