Like most Premier League sides, Everton were handed their annual away defeat to Manchester City this weekend. A sobering 3-0 scoreline, continuing a run of six games now without a win. Everton though, haven’t won at Manchester City since December 2010. Their recent overall record against the current Premier League champions is poor, to say the least. Losing each of the last eight fixtures against them in the league and only managing one victory over them in the last 8 years, a 4-0 thrashing courtesy of ‘that’ Tom Davies goal at Goodison Park in January 2017.
The last we saw of Carlo Ancelotti in Everton colours was scurrying away from the Etihad Stadium after last season’s final day 5-0 capitulation. Everton ended the season in 10th, Manchester City finished in top spot and clinched the title for the fifth time in the last 10 years. The difference between the two clubs, in every aspect, could not be much starker.
Manchester City were once the sky-blue equivalent of their Merseyside counterparts. The second team in the city, in the shadow of their more successful red neighbours. In much the same situation as Everton have found themselves for too many years now. Then came the Commonwealth Games to Manchester, a new stadium, and new multi-billionaire owners, and any comparison between them and Everton soon disappeared. City now have the upper hand over Manchester United whilst Everton have fallen even further behind their Merseyside rivals. With the Goodison derby match on the horizon, the situation is looking bleak.
Indeed, looking at the fixture list over the next month and the treatment room at Finch Farm, it would appear that things could get a lot worse before they get better. As well as that derby match, between now and Christmas, Everton face Brentford (a), Arsenal (h), Crystal Palace (a), Chelsea (a) and Leicester City (h). An extremely tricky set of fixtures at any time but, if the current injury list continues, some have suggested Everton could be sat in or around the relegation zone at Christmas.
To rub salt into the wounds, Everton lost another player to injury against Manchester City with Demarai Gray pulling up early in the game with what appeared to be a groin strain. Add to that Richarlison picked up a one-game suspension with his fifth yellow card of the season. Everton could therefore go into their next fixture missing first-choice players Yeri Mina, Abdoulaye Doucouré, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Richarison and Demarai Gray, along with squad players Andre Gomes, Tom Davies and Mason Holgate also still unavailable. A significant factor in any expectations.
Such is the situation, if we could click our fingers and transport ourselves to Christmas Day, I’m sure most of us Evertonians would do so.
If, and this is a big 'if', Everton can manage to get through to the New Year without hitting the panic button, then things should begin to look somewhat brighter. The January transfer window should offer the chance to bring in one or two additions, those missing from injuries should have recovered, and the fixture list looks much kinder than pre-Christmas. Everton do not play any of the current Top 8 in the Premier League between Christmas Day and the end of February.
The one major issue in this timeline is the current manager, Rafa Benitez. Due to his previous employment, he will no doubt be given less leeway than most other Everton managers. The reasons outlined should create a sense of togetherness at the club. Supporters, players, and coaching staff should all come together in adversity and drag us through this tricky period. And if perhaps this was last season, and the once adored Signor Ancelotti was in charge, this would surely be the case. However, he is not, having turned his back on the club at the first opportunity.
Maybe though, if those who claim to love the club as much as they say they do were to try and forget who Benitez’s previous employer was and remember what the adoration of our last manager brought us, Evertonians could come together and support the team through this tricky period. The New Year brings hope of a turnaround in fortune; however, there is a long way to go before then. There are therefore two choices at this point: hound the manager out during December… or support the team through into the New Year. Which one will we choose?
Reader Comments (81)
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1 Posted 22/11/2021 at 20:45:24
Also, having a go at Carlo is rather careless at the point where it seems obvious that he was able to do more with less. That is an empirical observation, not hyperbole. Count em up, subtract Gray and Townsend and look at the results and style (okay, okay) of play. We really need to focus on the front office as we attempt to lay blame. The present manager is doing all that is possible with the hand he was dealt.
2 Posted 23/11/2021 at 08:14:54
I wasn't Ancelotti's biggest fan but he had got the defence playing well; this dickhead has got us conceding from set-pieces – we've conceded the 2nd most set-piece goals in the Premier League, and he has also lumbered us with that pudding Rondon – whom he insists is training well and contributing!
I can't wait to see the back of Benitez; we need someone the whole fan base can get behind – not a divisive shithouse like Benitez. Who that is – god knows… but, if Benitez is going to bore us with this defensive shite, we might as well have kept Allardyce!
3 Posted 23/11/2021 at 08:55:24
The man is Spanish, I very much doubt he cuddled up underneath a Liverpool duvet as a 10-year-old any more than he did an Everton one.
He is a football manager, that is his job; I would imagine he does his best for whichever team he is managing at the time.
4 Posted 23/11/2021 at 09:21:18
Benitez started the season well, although we didn't play any of the better teams, and then lost his only two real forwards, the only midfielder that could play for a better team, and arguably his best central defender, although I'd say the other one that's had to play, despite struggling with long Covid, has the potential to be our best player in that position.
Ancelotti, whose away record was unbelievable, only really got points by playing a certain way, and I'm really not sure any manager in the world could do much better with our present squad whilst so many players are injured.
5 Posted 23/11/2021 at 09:52:39
For the next 5 weeks, it is going to be a Dogs of War situation: fight, aggression, long balls, a packed midfield, headed or scrambled goals from corners and free-kicks. It's going to be dirty, disgusting and ugly Sam Allardyce football. Points by whatever means.
Gradually, when players come back from injury, and with the addition of two or three reinforcements, we will stabilise. From January onwards, we will resume a more normal service and cement our expected mid-table 8th to 12th position.
Next season, with further investment and squad adjustments, has got to be better.
6 Posted 23/11/2021 at 09:52:54
I agree with Tony (#4) on this: Quite apart from the issues with the injury crisis – which is arguably the worst Everton have had for a long time – exactly who is out there (apart from Allardyce) who might come in to the Premier League and get a tune out of this ragbag squad?
Am I deluded in thinking that the manager is the least of our concerns right now? The responses to Paul the Esk's cogent analysis of the club's structural problems leads us much more to the dysfunction higher up, and most respondents seem to agree with Paul on this? I won't expand, because Paul the Esk sets out the complex problems much more lucidly than I can.
The national press would love to run this trope about our fans hounding Benitez out of his job, mainly because he is ex-RS and we cannot get over the "small club" jibe. Better to hunker down, support those in blue shirts, and hope for some lucky points in the 3 weeks until Doucouré returns, and hopefully Calvert-Lewin not long after.
Finally, I'd like to make the point that Nkounkou's loan should be terminated forthwith, and he be made available on the bench; Digne looks lost right now, we need back-up at left-back and should not be relying on Godfrey, who is getting better at centre-back as he recovers.
7 Posted 23/11/2021 at 13:25:27
We had one shot on Sunday, he gave up in the League Cup, we have been subjected to Rondon, and if you think him being Ex Red Shite doesn't matter, wait til the kopites are ramming it down our throats after our annual derby disaster.
The man is a relic. I don't recall too many clubs beating down his door to bring him back from China – only our clueless owner was interested in him.
I am gutted he is our manager. I'd take Allardyce every day of the week over this gobshite.
8 Posted 23/11/2021 at 13:53:04
I've also heard rumours that Allardyce told Moshiri that Everton needed to move certain members of the backroom staff on, and because he was close to Duncan Ferguson, this might just sound like I'm bashing the academy again.
9 Posted 23/11/2021 at 14:20:37
Apart from managing clubs to the playoffs, I don't think Big Sam had any major cup success and I'm certain he hasn't had the Burnley gig – yet!
I can't remember if Burnley has won the League Cup; if they have, it must have been in the very early days.
10 Posted 23/11/2021 at 14:34:54
11 Posted 23/11/2021 at 15:21:27
Obviously Liverpool and Chelsea are top notch but the rest are run-of-the-mill Premier League opponents no better or worse than anyone else.
Who would you prefer to play instead of newly promoted out-of-form Brentford? Or flat-track bullying mentally fragile Arsenal? Or nosediving Leicester? Or bubble-waiting-to-pop Palace?
It's not like there are four other teams out there that are so obviously weaker than these. Even Norwich have won two in a row.
12 Posted 23/11/2021 at 15:24:57
I saw the look I am referring to on the face of Reece James of Chelsea on MotD on Saturday night. Until our beloved Everton can assemble a squad with that attitude and skill, we will never challenge in the Premier League.
This is going to be a long haul; I hope to see it come to fruition. COYB.
13 Posted 23/11/2021 at 15:41:21
Ordinarily, those fixtures wouldn't be so concerning, but our lack of bite up front is the worry as all of the sides we will encounter in the next month or so are able to score goals.
Brentford will be a test because of the injury situation; Arsenal will likely not play as poorly as they did last weekend.
Palace is always a tricky trip, but we have a decent record at Selhurst Park. Leicester City at Goodison has become a bit of a difficult fixture for Everton in recent times.
Obviously, if a number of our absentees return in good form, we may not be in crisis mode come Boxing Day; let's hope that is the case.
14 Posted 23/11/2021 at 16:35:46
It seems to me (apart from Mina who was injured due to his Columbian efforts) that most of our injuries are midfield and forwards who we have expected to work harder.
I believe we will not see any improvement between now and January, apart from a few scraped points here and there, but I hope that the club will pull out all the stops to get the reinforcements we need.
15 Posted 23/11/2021 at 16:55:59
Rafa's already talking about the second half of the season like he's pretty much written off the next few games. Sadly, he's probably right and I would suggest that our job, as fans, is to not get on the backs of our players. The last thing they need is lack of confidence to add to their lack of talent, energy, and intelligence.
Things can only get better in the New Year... and if they don't then we're going down. We have to get behind the team, even when they're shit.
16 Posted 23/11/2021 at 17:53:10
I think it was Maurice Chevalier who, when asked how he felt on approaching his 70th birthday, replied: "I don't like it, until I think of the alternative."
Along with many others (and I assume you), I really, really, really did not want Benitez. However, given where we are (and to which end of the table I fear we might soon be heading), I'd rather have him at the helm than Lardicio and Sammy Lee again. Would they be able to turn this lot around with little or no cash available?
You may prove me wrong, but I can't think of too many other alternatives with any sort of a track record squeezing out points when cash is tight and you are stuck with a sub-optimal, injury-hit squad.
17 Posted 24/11/2021 at 03:36:48
In my opinion, if the Brentford game is lost, along with a humiliation in the derby, it will be near the end for Benitez
18 Posted 24/11/2021 at 08:43:11
One will give in and take it on the chin; we're Everton after all. I'm shitting it too. I think this will be the game that turns fans from the “get behind them” support we seen against Spurs to complete anger and frustration.
It's the make or break game for Rafa (and others too) – especially if there isn't a win at Brentford.
20 Posted 24/11/2021 at 09:55:04
I suspect your post has arrived on the wrong thread... no matter, I find your declarations hard to fathom as you write things as if they are fact, but when fully examined, they are nothing short of somebody making up stuff to fit a particular agenda.
There is a big push to get rid of Benitez.
There are elements in Everton who see Benitez as a threat and will not be helping him in the coming months.
If you could provide a little proof to substantiate your often wild claims, it would help to give your posts something more than rumour based on hearsay based on nothing more than an overactive imagination.
Nevertheless, your posts do provide food for thought, even if they are too close to conspiracy theory territory.
21 Posted 24/11/2021 at 09:57:33
Changing the set pieces from a system that worked well, stubbornness in playing a clearly unfit Rondon and Godfrey, hounding James out of the club, refusing to see that a 2 man midfield wasn't working until forced into it.
I don't want him sacked as I believe that all managers need at least 3 seasons unless things are going seriously wrong, but he does need to improve already.
If we get to the New Year and aren't in a relegation fight, I would use the second half of the season to see what the current set of youth players are like. Give Simms, Dobbin, Onyango and Branthwaite some serious playing time.
They'll either prove to be good assets or will increase their sell on value. We can't sit there and watch another load of talented kids stagnate in the U23s because we don't give them a chance at the highest level.
22 Posted 24/11/2021 at 10:24:26
Out wide, does he go with Gordon on the right, Dobbin on the left? Or does he pick Iwobi?
Keane Mina Godfrey
Coleman Doucouré Allan Digne
Gordon Simms Dobbin
Probably not, but I am struggling to put Iwobi or Rondon into the side, as they offer very little almost non-existent goal threat, bravery or energy. They are easy to play against.
The problem is the kids are inexperienced and we don't really know how they will respond to the pressure. Perhaps now the stars have aligned though, due to injuries, suspension and totally unconvincing alternatives. The time has now come to chuck them into the deep end and see if they can swim.
I can feel a song coming on:
It's now or never
Come, hold me tight
Kiss me, my darling (Ooh)
Be mine tonight
Tomorrow will be too late (Ah, ah, ah)
It's now or never (Ooh)
My love won't wait
23 Posted 24/11/2021 at 10:33:03
I enjoy your posts, usually, because they are balanced and make a lot of sense to me and you have put the pros and cons of your team selection when we play Brentford at the weekend... but Tony, would you honestly start the game with that team?
24 Posted 24/11/2021 at 10:37:09
They might just go with Simms ahead of Rondon. Unfortunately, Rondon is just so immobile it's rendered him completely ineffective.
If it is Simms, I hope the crowd is patient and doesn't instantly write him off as Championship at best if he's anonymous (which he might well be especially if we play poorly).
25 Posted 24/11/2021 at 11:54:44
Regards the team, probably not... but, at the same time, I can't immediately think of a miles better alternative. I strongly suspect Benitez will go for experience and try to be as compact as possible – a 4-4-1-1?
The approach will be to stifle, frustrate and poach a goal and another from a set-piece via Keane's or Mina's head. Benitez will see this as the best way to get a point or three on the board and, although it sticks in the throat, he's probably right.
Either way, I'm not my usual optimistic self. My "glass half-full" is down to the dead shithouse flies and warm beer bit.
26 Posted 24/11/2021 at 12:14:24
I think Benitez will go for it the way you suggest he will, and at the moment, because of injuries and suspensions, I think that is the only way because every point is valuable and vital.
Do we have enough players with the fight, energy and commitment to even play this too defensive way?
I think a lot of genuine Everton fans are feeling the way you describe yourself in your last line. I hope the squad bucks us all up at the weekend.
27 Posted 24/11/2021 at 12:56:14
Where is the committement to support the manager? Poorly prepared, poorly funded and poor performances.
28 Posted 24/11/2021 at 13:01:08
I despised Allardyce, but we knew what we we're getting with him. I honestly cannot see Benitez doing anything here, we need a manager we can all get behind, like the first Kendall spell I remember as a 13-year-old – that first game against Birmingham, the whole ground was buzzing – or when Royle took over just before the derby victory.
I know it's hard to find someone we can all get behind but how the hell Moshiri thought Benitez was the answer was beyond me. Oh well... it is what it is, I suppose... but it's so fucking depressing being a Blue sometimes.
29 Posted 24/11/2021 at 13:03:25
30 Posted 24/11/2021 at 13:48:56
31 Posted 24/11/2021 at 14:02:03
“Let not any one pacify his conscience by the delusion that he can do no harm if he takes no part, and forms no opinion. Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing. He is not a good man who, without a protest, allows wrong to be committed in his name, and with the means which he helps to supply, because he will not trouble himself to use his mind on the subject.” – John Stuart Mill
32 Posted 24/11/2021 at 14:15:24
I'm hoping that Usmanov and Moshiri provide the backing for Benitez and keep him in charge as manager for the foreseeable future and more of the present staff and some of the boardroom go the way of Donachie the fitness coach, that will be plenty of evidence for me.
33 Posted 24/11/2021 at 15:02:49
And what are you personally doing to effect a 'regime change' you call for, other than quoting a 19th Century philosopher on a footy forum..?
34 Posted 24/11/2021 at 17:08:55
I am genuinely surprised that Rafa has not had more of a positive impact than he has. He has done nothing at all to address the sorts of defensive and other problems you have correctly raised in your posts.
Or maybe some of these players are even poorer than we thought. I would rather have a pantomime horse than Iwobi, for instance.
Time will soon tell if Rafa is past his use by date. I am beginning to think that he was brought in 100% because of what they knew in the summer about FFP and the state we were in.
Depressing, as you say. No-one should be ready to head for the garage with the shotgun and the half a bottle of whisky just yet though.
35 Posted 24/11/2021 at 17:48:58
Gomes, for example, might be classy on the ball and have a history with Barcelona – but really is probably no better than players like Milovojevic at Palace. And possibly less suited to Prem football.
Iwobi has talent but after a few false dawns now looks finished here (I get the impression he's had it with the club and needs to leave to regain some purpose and confidence).
I could go on. But the point is we have a very mediocre squad which relies on some pretty poor players when injuries hit.
So Benitez hasn't improved things as much as we'd hope but being realistic I'm no longer expecting serious improvement before a new phase of squad building is complete.
This season is about bedding in youngsters (Gordon, Branthwaite and one or two others) and bringing a couple in, in January.
Summer may then involve an overhaul – and, once that is done, I think expectations can fairly be raised.
36 Posted 24/11/2021 at 18:02:20
The lack of a sustained system has contributed significantly to the players' decline. Roles and tendencies that would be worked out over a season or two have been entirely disrupted by rotations necessary due to injuries. Add to that the stresses of a small squad that forced us to play upcoming talent out of position.
As we take toll of the damage, let's consider the frustration of well-meaning players that have lost considerable confidence due to these systemic problems. Yes, a few were simply folding like a taco at times but overall the shocking decline in performance is down to too many changes and no sustained system.
37 Posted 24/11/2021 at 18:10:59
Give the man a chance, for fuck's sake, we have lost James's goal or assist contributions (I think it was 12), Sigurdsson (I think it was 13), Richarlison's and Calvert-Lewin's goals for the last 8 games. So in which Harry Potter like world are we going to magic up those goals and win matches? Reality needs to become your friend!!!!!!!
38 Posted 24/11/2021 at 18:39:16
A few, like Holgate and Iwobi, have played about 4 positions each and neither know from one week to the next whether or where they will be playing, in what formation and with what players alongside them. What a mess.
The other issue, and understandably people aren't going there, is how much we're missing Sigurdsson – who scored and created goals consistently. He may not have been everyone's cup of tea but he had end product. The club has lost circa 13 goal contributions in his absence.
There are so many problems at the club dating back many years in some cases. It won't be fixed by any manager in one season, especially one with only £1.7M to spend.
39 Posted 24/11/2021 at 18:39:52
Every club in the Premier League don't want to be Everton right now. Everton are the least likely club to win on Saturday. The fault for Everton's failures has to be always with the manager, whoever he is, because he chooses the team and is responsible for the results.
40 Posted 24/11/2021 at 18:41:33
That said, I do agree, right now, it is a case of riding the storm and seeing this through until the end of December. There's still a lot of season to play and points to be won.
Without insider knowledge, I am also minded to believe that the manager has been trying to increase the tempo, the intensity and the fitness levels. It's just that it has broken the players we have; the players he was largely dealt with. I don't think that's a negative on the manager; he's trying. It's the mentality and fragility of the group he has inherited.
41 Posted 24/11/2021 at 18:43:41
The boy can't stay in limbo-land too long, he needs to be properly blooded or to go on loan. He needs some competitive action to develop. To do nothing is doing him and his talent a disservice.
Him and Godfrey are still very young for centre-backs but we should be looking at nurturing and creating a great partnership between the two. It has all the potential to be a long-term bedrock foundation for the club.
The reticence at the moment has to be Branthwaite's ability to be strong enough physically, challenging top class Premier League attackers. This important core strength will continue to improve and I'm really looking forward to seeing if this partnership is given an opportunity to prove itself.
42 Posted 24/11/2021 at 18:43:59
You are right: Everton will definitely not win on Saturday. I will even give 1000/1... as Everton play on Sunday this week!!!!
43 Posted 24/11/2021 at 18:48:35
44 Posted 24/11/2021 at 18:55:42
The club is in crisis, and I don't think Moshiri has uttered a word to us fans in years, which is a disgrace really when you think about his open letter to the Arsenal board/fans when he was trying to get a say in how their club was being run.
It could also be argued that Benitez was having a very positive impact until injuries struck, although I'm aware the fixtures were not the hardest at the beginning of this season.
45 Posted 24/11/2021 at 18:59:10
I'll take a 2021 version of the 1983 Christmas if they give me a 2022 version of the finish to that season.
To the title of the thread; things may get worse but then they may get better, just when you can't see where it's coming from.
46 Posted 24/11/2021 at 19:08:18
47 Posted 24/11/2021 at 19:15:17
The Everton midfield does not exist and it is a toss-up between Tosun and Rondon who is the worst striker in the league. But can you name me any club right now in the Premier League who want to be like Everton? The answer is None – including the bottom 3 clubs.
48 Posted 24/11/2021 at 19:18:56
"The fault for Everton's failures has to be always with the manager, whoever he is, because he chooses the team and is responsible for the results."
The person who chooses others, who fail, is the one at fault?
So whoever chooses Benitez is at fault?
49 Posted 24/11/2021 at 19:26:05
50 Posted 24/11/2021 at 19:27:35
51 Posted 24/11/2021 at 19:28:42
52 Posted 24/11/2021 at 19:37:15
He didn't become a billionaire by surrounding himself with idiots. He's obviously used to trusting and empowering those in key positions to run his business with minimal interference.
Unfortunately, he didn't check out the CVs of those he empowered and gave an open cheque book to at Goodison.
Take ownership, Mr Moshiri. Get your people in and have them run this the way you want it run.
53 Posted 24/11/2021 at 19:39:14
I'm sure you are right; however, it all hinges on Moshiri deciding things need to change and taking action. Unless he does, the cosy, undemanding, jobs-for-the-boys culture will continue to roll on.
The one I can't decide on is Brands. Other posters have commented that he seems a highly respected figure within the game but, without knowing what he actually does here, it's difficult to know.
54 Posted 24/11/2021 at 19:41:23
Our current manager is not the problem.
55 Posted 24/11/2021 at 19:50:42
56 Posted 24/11/2021 at 20:02:52
Don't suggest O'Neill's Bull!
57 Posted 24/11/2021 at 20:09:48
I certainly would, but that's because I want presents!
58 Posted 24/11/2021 at 20:15:46
59 Posted 24/11/2021 at 20:34:49
Steavey #45, I think it's the defence that fails to give Pickford confidence, look at his form for England with better players in front of him.
60 Posted 24/11/2021 at 20:48:25
Even the Everton fans have no confidence in Pickford when it comes to corners and free-kicks, as the opposition looks for free headers on Pickford's goal.
61 Posted 24/11/2021 at 20:54:42
The manager always carries the can for any side that fails to win matches.
62 Posted 24/11/2021 at 21:02:27
If Rafa Benitez goes, and l don't think he will, l'd go for Bilic.
63 Posted 24/11/2021 at 21:29:45
64 Posted 24/11/2021 at 21:40:01
During the previous International break, Benitez confronted the rest and recovery regime that prevailed. The resulting resistance manifested itself in the following two games. This was even after, on the Friday, Benitez's 'Improve in all Departments' speech, prior to the Watford game.
Benitez was clearly not happy with preparations and the response he got in that game convinced him he had to act. The Head of Medical Services was sacked and we got a committed Everton against Spurs.
But, prior to that game, Benitez admitted he was not certain of what the January transfer budget would be.
Another International break and another unfit Everton. Some effort was put in by some players, but preparations had been weak.
Now, we have a really under-pressure Benitez in the run-up to Xmas, not knowing what transfer budget he has, and an injury list that could have some players on it who are not in a hurry to play.
It is end-of-season Blues in November that has gotten rid of managers, the exception being Silva. There are elements in Everton who see Benitez as a threat and will not be helping him in the coming months.
Support Benitez to Save Everton.
65 Posted 24/11/2021 at 21:44:36
If enough people let Moshiri know he will have to act. And that anger shouldn't be placed on the manager's doorstep as it's another easy out for Kenwright and his mob of sycophants.
Incidentally, I'm watching the excellent City v PSG game…. and I was wondering how many ex-City players are employed by the club in staffing and coaching roles? And I wonder how many City fans care?
66 Posted 24/11/2021 at 21:56:38
Is it their first touch, is it their movement, is it their awareness, or is it all the above combined with a great physical desire to never stop running?
I loved watching Guardiola, during the first half, when City, were not getting quite tight enough. He was pulling faces at someone, giving an expression that looked like it was asking, “Are you lot fucking kidding me” then he started pushing his hands together in a forward motion, because this Manchester City team are always about playing on the front foot. A fantastic football team, who know the value of hard fucking work.
I've heard a similar story, Jerome, and it's the reason I was prepared to accept Rafa Benitez in the first place.
67 Posted 24/11/2021 at 22:10:51
World class managers? World class players or 2 of the richest owners on the planet buying the most expensive players? Probably all 3.
In our case, we haven't got any of the 3 attributes above, and when we do get a world class player, they are soon sold off.
The least we can expect out of the Blues is hard work. How many of our players walk off every game leaving everything on the pitch? Not many.
68 Posted 24/11/2021 at 22:16:45
69 Posted 24/11/2021 at 22:22:58
It's all that combined, as you say.
Look at Bernardo Silva… 5-ft 8-in at a push, 65 kg? He's everywhere, tackling, hustling, intercepting. Great feet, and quick of mind… but he's definitely better under Pep (who is an absolute nutter / genius) surrounded by a team bred to win and not accept defeat.
Rooney said something similar in an interview when he was at Man Utd and they lost and he asked them all where they were going out and then got a bollocking about accepting defeat… which he said was fine at Everton. And that's what Kenwright et al has overseen.
John Moores must be turning in his fucking grave. It's all about breeding a winning mentality and not accepting defeat… and learning from defeats and setbacks.
Throughout our “storied” history we haven't learnt, and we have also been unlucky (two World Wars and the Heysel ban)…. but the last 25 years have been fucking depressing to the point where I just can't be arsed anymore. It's awful.
City used to say they were cursed and someone put a hex on Maine Rd. And then Sheikh Mansour swept in fresh from Bill's rebuff because he wanted to keep control of his train set. Remember, only Bill could sell Everton to anyone. And what would Everton do in this situation? It's so so so fucking bad, it's untrue.
70 Posted 24/11/2021 at 23:16:25
You are right: Man City are a hardworking team and they will have worked very hard on the training ground. To play on the front foot like that is the result of hardwork and the results are good play. Even when they do not have possession, they work hard. An industrious side like that gets the breaks. I do think that Chelsea have the edge though.
The whole Everton set-up is just coasting along, it is an absolute disgrace.
Rob, they are not fit enough before they get on the pitch. . . never mind put that extra effort on it. We used to get effort in two out of every three games; now it is one in three.
71 Posted 24/11/2021 at 23:51:30
You might not be able to out-box the other guy, but you can try to outwork him.
Make a virtue out of a necessity. Embrace being the underdog, go full-on dogs of war, a wall of 4 at the back, 4-4-2, KITAP1, work your bollocks off.
Which is more likely? Benitez preaching it or the players buying into it?
72 Posted 25/11/2021 at 07:46:41
73 Posted 25/11/2021 at 08:30:04
Ancelotti's pug-ugly football produced an incredible amount of points away from Goodison but, every time he went 4-4-2 at home, I thought we were getting outplayed by some of the poorer teams in the division.
74 Posted 25/11/2021 at 09:19:54
Everton is rife with players like this who have worked their way into a long contract and they will do enough to look after the contract. They are not unduly concerned about League position or even in some cases playing.
At Everton, individuals or a group are dragging their heels right across 'all departments'. That is the problem that Benitez is trying to address at the moment and he is not getting the reaction he should be.
To a certain extent, Benitez had the feet taken from under him by not having backup in various positions. It is not just injury that is the problem, it is the absence of competition. This gives power to the players and those that look after their training, fitness and injury problems.
Why were key players loaned out? Why have Everton got not back-up for right- and left-back? Why is there still (after years) no replacement for Lukaku? Why was the Head of Medical Services sacked? Why does the Manager not know his January Transfer budget?
Some players are part of the problem. Coleman is determined to play on at Club and International Level. He played two Internationals in the week prior to the Man City game. What would be his attitude to an understudy or replacement? Would he welcome the mention of bringing either in? Is he looking to get a position like Baines?
Mina is always injured after International duty with hamstrings. At least 2 weeks of his recovery was spent abroad. The way to prevent hamstrings is hard training.
Delph, when he lost the ball outside the penalty area in the Man City game, went down as if injured, but had to get up because the play was that far past him. There are probably other players swinging the lead and getting help to do so during training and by Medical Services. Those who are not playing get this mythical status of new powers, which they did not have when playing, increasing value and reported transfer interest. Why play?
They tried it on with most managers, including Ancelotti; do we really think they would not try it on with Benitez? Benitez is trying to get improvement in all departments and the Head of Medical Services has been sacked. What do you think the reaction to that has been in the games since the International break?
75 Posted 25/11/2021 at 10:20:36
As for the paltry £1.7 million he has had to spend, this was never going to be able to bring about the changes he is looking for. But Benitez is a shrewd operator and he will have known the financial situation well before he signed his contract, and he will also know how long those financial constraints will go on.
He has brought in new members to his backroom staff, a new Assistant Manager, a Sports Scientist, and a new Fitness Coach, but all these people were with him at some point at Newcastle and that hardly turned out very successful.
I read yesterday that Lewis Dobbin is out of contract this summer and Everton haven't spoken to him for months about a new contract. I have only seen glimpses of Dobbin so I can't comment on whether he deserves a new contract or not. But, if he is not in the long-term plans of the club, then why has he been given a place on the subs bench for the first team? Surely if he has no future here, some other young player would have warranted a place on the bench?
I also noticed, despite his sub appearances for the first team, after the U23s game the other night, Unsworth said that both Simms and Branthwaite are first-team players – but no mention of Dobbin who, unlike the other two, has at least had some minutes on the pitch for the first team this season.
Why also has Nkounkou been sent out on loan with no other natural left-back in the squad to back up Digne? You have to ask who is monitoring the progression of our young players. Like many, I read last year that Everton had recruited a scout or scouts to look for talented young players from South America... Brilliant, as many talented players have come from that part of the world, but does anybody know if we have actually had any kids coming from there since the appointment of these scouts?
76 Posted 26/11/2021 at 12:07:26
Seven of your rambling and barely coherent posts on this thread already and the familiar issues with lack of proof or evidence for your statements about what goes on behind the scenes.
We need a full explanation of how you come to know what you claim as facts, or please include an admission that you are making it all up, as your own 'interpretation' of what is out there for any of us to read.
78 Posted 26/11/2021 at 13:44:48
79 Posted 26/11/2021 at 17:08:50
Think Jerome would be better beginning his posts with "Once upon a time "
80 Posted 26/11/2021 at 19:09:04
81 Posted 26/11/2021 at 19:47:28
I go on about my disdain for Finch Farm, as many others do, and whilst I realise former players may be saying it mischievously I really think we have to take account of what former players have said when moving to their next club, Vlasic and Walcott in particular, namely that the new training regimes were making them physically fitter.
That said, there's always gonna be some of us who seem to want written statements, copies of club documents or whatever before they'll vary their own opinion I suppose.
82 Posted 26/11/2021 at 00:44:24
I don't think anyone on TW ever actually asks for proof or evidence when someone simply states their opinion on a particular subject. However when a poster makes fairly sensational claims it's only natural that others will ask them to clarify the basis on which they are making those claims.
Off the top of my head Jerome has recently claimed that there is already an "anti-Rafa" bloc working within EFC, that some players have downed tools in response to Donachie's departure, that the whole footballing side clock's off during international breaks, that the boardroom comprises two camps consistently at loggerheads... I could go on. Surely, it's not unreasonable for others to ask on what basis Jerome is making these not insignificant claims.
Jerome recently strayed into commenting on two matters that could (at least to some extent) be "fact-checked". One of these involved the bizzare suggestion that he had been vindicated when he predicted against popular opinion at the time that Manchester City would not win the Premiership ...last season!!!
83 Posted 27/11/2021 at 02:23:30
To me Jerome is merely stating his opinion. I agree with his stance on the unfitness in mind and/or body of our team. It boils my blood too.
Given that we're now into our sixth manager in the five years since Mysterious Mosh bought in, and that's overlooking the "reigns" of the two FF leeches, I think Jerome might just have a point when it comes to absurdly well-paid bog-standard players downing tools on the basis of self-preservation whilst on the contracts of their lives, and TW shows Jerome and I are not the only ones to think so, in less explicit terms.
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