10-man Everton scrape past Huddersfield

Tuesday, 24 August, 2021 224comments  |  Jump to last
Huddersfield 1 - 2 Everton

Everton are into the third round of the Carabao Cup but they were pushed all the way by Championship side Huddersfield Town, particularly after Moise Kean was harshly sent off just before the hour mark.

Alex Iwobi had set the Blues on their way to what appeared as though it might be a routine victory with a goal midway through the first half, especially when Kean thought he had doubled the lead only for his goal to be chalked off for offside but poor set-piece defending allowed the Terriers back into on the stroke of half-time.

Kean's dismissal for an altercation just moments after the hosts had a goal disallowed for a perceived infringement seemed to signal an ominous turn of the contest in Huddersfield's favour but Andros Townsend struck 11 minutes from time to send Everton through.

Rafael Benitez made a raft of changes to his line-up, handing opportunities to a number of players who have been fringe members of the first team so far.

Kean was given striking responsibilities in the absence of Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison, neither of whom were in the squad, while Asmir Begovic made his competitive debut for the club and Jean-Philippe Gbamin made his first start in an Everton jersey for two years.

Jarrad Branthwaite also made the team for the first time in 12 months following an ankle injury and then a loan spell at Blackburn while Niels Nkounkou got a chance to shine in the competition in which he did so well last season. Ben Godfrey travelled but was not included in the 18-man squad.

Everton carried all the early threat and came close to opening the scoring inside five minutes. Kean cut out a poor back-pass by Thomas and advanced to the Huddersfield box but fired disappointingly wide.

A minute later, Iwobi drove forward and fed Nkounkou who crossed low to the near post where Kean slid in to stab it goalwards but Lee Nicholls got down to make a one-handed save to keep it out.

Two more interceptions of sloppy Terriers passes in their own half threatened to let the visitors in but Townsend dragged an ill-advised and poor shot wide before Kean dribbled into a forest of legs in the area and his chance was lost.

A great ball by Jonjoe Kenny then found Davies free in space in the 19th minute but Nkounkou lashed his cross high over the bar. However, Benitez's men only had to wait another seven minutes before they took the lead.

Davies again found himself in oceans of space between defenders from Townsend's knock-on and this time he had time to push the ball in behind for Iwobi who made no mistake with an emphatic finish past the keeper.

Two minutes after that, a storming run by Nkounkou ended with him prodding the ball through for Kean and another one-on-one situation with Nicholls but the referee blew for a very, very tight offside ruling just as the Italian hammered the ball home for what he thought would be the goal that opened his account for the season.

At the other end, Daniel Sinani really should have levelled for the home side in the 34th minute, though, when Thomas got behind the Blues' defence down the right flank and crossed but while Begovic parried Sinani's first-time effort, he pushed it straight back to the forward who blazed over with the goal at his mercy.

Nkounkou had another sight of goal six minutes before the break when he ghosted in at the back post to meet a deep cross but couldn't keep it down and it flew well over off his shin.

Huddersfield grew in confidence, though, and after Frazer Campbell had shot narrowly wide after dispossessing Gbamin, the Terriers eventually got their equaliser after Sinani's curling effort had been headed wide by Holgate.

The resulting corner was whipped in where Tom Lees lost Michael Keane and rose unchallenged to head home just before half-time.

Buoyed by that goal, Huddersfield began the second half well with the all-too-often sloppy Gbamin losing the ball cheaply in the opposition half and the hosts counter-attacking where Sinani dragged a shot across goal and wide.

The same player then bounced a searching cross just wide a few minutes later before the game turned somewhat chaotic.

Huddersfield appeared to have taken the lead off another poorly-defended set-piece after Begovic had tipped Holmes's curling effort over but Pearson's "goal" was wiped out, harshly in retrospect, by referee Matt Donohue's whistle for a supposed foul by Campbell.

Three minutes later, Kean reacted badly to a barge by Holmes and was, ridiculously, sent off while his opponent was only booked for a tête-à-tête in the centre circle.

Benitez had already withdrawn Branthwaite in favour of André Gomes and the Spaniard then took Davies off for Lucas Digne and later introduced Demarai Gray for Nkounkou as Everton chased a winner to avoid a penalty shootout.

They did indeed take the lead again in the 79th minute thanks to a wonderfully-worked goal. Gomes and Digne exchanged passes on the left before the former picked up a return pass from Iwobi, drove to the byline and fired in a low cross where Townsend was lurking in front of the defender to sweep the ball high into the net.

Gray had a chance in stoppage time to put the result beyond doubt but Nicholls beat away his shot from a tight angle.

Ultimately, it was a much closer-run thing than it needed to be for Everton, with almost none of the players on show from the start, apart from Iwobi, coming out of the match with much credit.

Townsend atoned for what was a pretty ineffective display with the crucial second goal, Nkounkou was lively going forward but often didn't impress in his own half and none of the more senior defenders in the side — Keane, Holgate and Kenny — ripped up any trees against inferior opposition.

In midfield, Davies had an up-and-down game but at least weighed in with an assist but Gbamin betrayed two years of rust with a ponderous performance littered with errors while, up front, Kean, despite a fine finish for what should have been his first goal of the season, showed once more how ill-suited he is to the role of lone striker and how his temperament has the potential to hold him back.

Still, despite the obvious concerns over the squad's depth that the performance raised, the important thing was that Everton lived to fight another day and ensured that their name will be in the hat for the draw for the next round.

Man of the Match: Alex Iwobi

 

Reader Comments (224)

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Pat Kelly
1 Posted 24/08/2021 at 18:54:19
Not sure Rafa wants this cup
Chris Williams
2 Posted 24/08/2021 at 18:58:07
343?
Will Mabon
3 Posted 24/08/2021 at 18:58:26
Not many seem to nowadays, Pat. You'd like to think that line-up could do the job though.
Mal van Schaick
4 Posted 24/08/2021 at 19:03:21
Give a Rafa a chance to see what we have in reserve and possibilities of first team chances. Interesting game, maybe a banana skin?
Tony Everan
5 Posted 24/08/2021 at 19:06:45
Team shape anyone? Wing backs?
Benn Chambers
6 Posted 24/08/2021 at 19:07:40
That defence is terrifying. Kenny Holgate and Keane in the same defence? Christ. Recipe for disaster that.

I don’t think Rafa is arsed about the league cup then. Not having Richarlison and DCL on the bench is also a massive risk. He loses this and the fans who never wanted him in the first place, will be right on his back. Brave or naive? We’ll see.

I’ll hope for the best but I now expect the worst having seen the defence. Absolutely horrific having Keane Holgate and Kenny together.

Only consolation to that defence is that I get to see Gbamin, Nkounkou and how Branthwaite does.

Where is Godfrey ffs ?

Brian Wilkinson
7 Posted 24/08/2021 at 19:10:22
Kin hell Keane and Holgate starting together.
Jay Wood
[BRZ]

8 Posted 24/08/2021 at 19:13:33
Chris, it looks to me like a flexible back five with Holgate, Keane and Branthwaite the three central defenders and Kenny and Nkounkou the wing backs with licence to get forward in support of the midfield and forwards. They did it to great effect away to Fleetwood last season.

I would hope Davies and Gbamin are well stoked to be starting with something to prove before the manager.

Interesting that Iwobi gets a start again ahead of Gomes who is possibly still behind on fitness from (presumably...) being one of those isolating from Covid, or he is way down Rafa's pecking order and the clubs is looking to move him on before this transfer window closes.

It will also be interesting to view how 'enthused' Moise Kean is to be playing at Huddersfield on a Tuesday night.

Missed the Leeds-Everton game due to being in a rural wifi dead zone, so looking forward to this.

Pat Kelly
9 Posted 24/08/2021 at 19:14:32
Agreed Will but it looks a bit thrown together
Clive Rogers
10 Posted 24/08/2021 at 19:15:06
BBC has the formation as 4-2-3-1
Ed Prytherch
11 Posted 24/08/2021 at 19:15:09
Huddersfield have made 6 changes from their starting eleven that won on Saturday so it looks Like Rafa is not the only manager resting players.
Brian Wilkinson
12 Posted 24/08/2021 at 19:15:36
Should have had Calvert-Lewin on the bench, hardly got any game time for England, sharpen up on his finishing.
Brian Harrison
13 Posted 24/08/2021 at 19:18:37
Some good news the Premier league clubs have unanimously agreed that no players will be released to play for countries in the red list, so Richarlison wont be flying to Brazil next week.
Alex Gray
14 Posted 24/08/2021 at 19:18:54
Calvert Lewins been playing with an Injury Brian, it was probably smart to rest him tonight to be fair.

The defence terrifies me but ahead of that I feel pretty comfortable. Surprised Gordon doesn’t make the bench though.

Robert Tressell
15 Posted 24/08/2021 at 19:23:01
The personnel looks more suited to 5221 but we'll see. Actually delighted to see Kean, Nkounkou, Gbamin, Kenny and Branthwaite start. I hope they all make the most of the opportunity.

Kean must be relishing the chance to show his stuff at the John Smiths Stadium after his exploits with Neymar in the Champions League last season.

Tony Everan
16 Posted 24/08/2021 at 19:27:30
Robert, He will be bitter.
Pat Kelly
17 Posted 24/08/2021 at 19:28:18
Apparently Huddersfield are in for Kean and want to get a good look at him
Jay Wood
[BRZ]

18 Posted 24/08/2021 at 19:32:53
Just about to post the same thing, Brian @ 13.

Breaking news story on the BBC.

PL Clubs Will Not Release International Players to Red Listed Countries

This will now give Richy a MUCH needed break. All the more so that, due to the South America Covid situation, a block of WC qualifying games earlier this year was completely postponed. They have two fixtures to catch up on and in the upcoming international break Brazil - like all regional international teams - are scheduled to play not the usual TWO international games, but THREE! Away to Chile on Thursday 2 September, home to Argentina Sunday the 5th, home to Peru Thursday 9th, with Everton due to play Burnley at home on Monday 13th.

Colombia and Mina (+ James..?) face a similar schedule. Two away games to Bolivia and Paraguary, then home to Chile.

Knackering.

Nicolas Piñon
19 Posted 24/08/2021 at 19:35:26
Hi Evertonians! Kind of an off topic..., but Does anyone know if on the internet there’s any stream that shows the game later? Busy working still for a couple of hours won’t be able to see it live.. :-(
Thanks in advance for any help!
COYB!!
Jay Wood
[BRZ]

20 Posted 24/08/2021 at 19:41:48
Hola Nicolas. ¿Cómo estás?

How was Messi's move to PSG received in Argentina?

I've got this very good live link for the game now. Later, I don't know.

Huddersfield v Everton

The club now shows the entire game on the club site a day or two after the event if you have the membership, but I don't know if that is for cup games as well as the PL games.

¡Buena suerte hermano!

Tom Bowers
21 Posted 24/08/2021 at 19:43:52
We lost a cup game against RS reserves early in Ancellotti's reign so why are some fans giving Rafa stick already when this game hasn't started yet ?
Christy Ring
22 Posted 24/08/2021 at 19:54:33
Good to see a good few of the players back, don't know what's happening with Godfrey, and Rodriguez is probably finished?
Bill Gienapp
23 Posted 24/08/2021 at 19:55:59
I'm satisfied with that lineup. Great opportunity for a number of players, such as Gbamin, Nkounkou, Branthwaite, Kean, etc... Richarlison needs to be rested and Calvert-Lewin isn't 100%, so it's frankly better that neither is involved.

Honestly, there's no good answer in terms of how best to approach these Cup ties. We played mostly full-strength lineups last season and Allan ended up getting hurt, which proved a significant setback.

Alex Gray
24 Posted 24/08/2021 at 20:17:01
Got to feel for Kean. Perfectly good goal chalked off by awful British officiating once again.
Simon Dalzell
25 Posted 24/08/2021 at 20:42:22
Agreed Alex. Bit of a sickener that. Clearly onside. Made worse by the equaliser.
Benn Chambers
26 Posted 24/08/2021 at 20:42:26
I’m genuinely starting to wonder if Jonjoe Kenny won a competition to play for us for a year. We need a right back desperately.

Townsend very sloppy. Davies anonymous and sloppy. Nkounkou is giving their winger and rightback, nightmares.

The goal conceded was the result of inviting pressure on to us through not controlling the midfield. We don’t need 3 at the back, we need 3 in the middle. How Keane 6’3, Branthwaite 6’5 and Holgate 6’1 allow someone a free header like that is awful. There’s not a leader or a dominant aggressive defender amongst Holgate Keane or Kenny. We need Mina on as well I’d say.

We need a 2 centre backs off, Mina on to dominate and get Gray out wide and put Iwobi in the 10.

We’re not playing well at all but Huddersfield are abysmal and they’re there for the taking, even with our starting 11.

Michael Kenrick
27 Posted 24/08/2021 at 21:12:27
Moise Kean straight red for a nothing reaction after he felt he was shoved off the ball, pushing and handbags. Stupid... but probably not a red.
Michael Kenrick
28 Posted 24/08/2021 at 21:35:20
Everton extremely lucky to have that second Huddersfield goal ruled out. There was really nothing wrong with it. Okay, a very minor block by Campbell on Begovic as the corner kick was being taken but it was nothing.
Will Mabon
29 Posted 24/08/2021 at 21:44:06
Michael, agree but maybe makes up for the non-offside, so about square.
Alex Gray
30 Posted 24/08/2021 at 21:44:13
Got to laugh how poor the officiating standard in this country is. Kean’s goal was onside, don’t think it was a red either and their second goal should have stood too.
Danny Broderick
31 Posted 24/08/2021 at 21:46:19
Terrible goal we conceded. In a nutshell, zonal marking.

Benn,

In my book, it doesn’t matter how big your centre halves are. Ours were more than big enough tonight, like you said. But if you let a striker run and jump, he’s often going to win that header against a static defender. Our goalkeeper was kept on the goal line by the presence of their striker also.

I couldn’t see anything wrong with the one they had disallowed either.

Why do managers persist with this bloody zonal marking? Man to man marking. Put a man on each post. Oh, and leave someone on the halfway line for when it gets cleared.

We are back to the days of bringing everyone back for corners and zonal marking. FFS!!

Chris Williams
32 Posted 24/08/2021 at 21:47:47
Messy game. Lousy officiating. Iwobi looked injured at the end. Gbamin was rusty. Davies looked pretty good.

Spreading the goals around

Next round now.

Brian Williams
33 Posted 24/08/2021 at 21:49:09
Some talking points there for sure.
Two perfectly good goals disallowed and a sending off that should never have happened.
And we scrape through where once we'd have crumbled and gone out embarrassingly.
Not pretty but a few questions answered.
Craig Walker
34 Posted 24/08/2021 at 21:49:36
Pleased that we're through but there are a few worrying signs. We have some decent players, when they're all fit but my heart is in my mouth at every set-piece conceded (as usual) and some of the fringe players looked shaky tonight. Keane and Holgate continue to worry me.
Steve Cotton
35 Posted 24/08/2021 at 21:50:23
Gbamin looked really poor tonight, lost the ball in dangerous areas numerous times.

Without Calvert-Lewin, we didn't win one header up front all night...

We couldn't have complained if we lost.

Peter Warren
36 Posted 24/08/2021 at 21:51:00
Agree Danny
Phil Wood
37 Posted 24/08/2021 at 21:51:25
Reserves win 2 1. We know we need to sort the central defence out. On to the next round.
Ernie Baywood
38 Posted 24/08/2021 at 21:51:48
I disagree Michael, I think it's 100% a red for Kean.

Yes he gets clipped/bumped by the Huddersfield player after he played the ball, but he then runs after the opponent, bumps him, then goes head to head with him, and then raises his hands.

And all within about 2 metres of the referee.

Silly boy.

Andrew Keatley
39 Posted 24/08/2021 at 21:54:50
Michael (28) - I thought it was the striker in front of Begovic who the assistant must have deemed to be in an offside position (which he was) and obstructing the view of Begovic (which he might have been).

Agree that the Moise Kean red card looked harsh; Thomas (the Huddersfield #16) was trying to get our players in trouble all night, including a ridiculous claim that Tom Davies deliberately struck him in the face. Delighted that his histrionics ultimately failed. COYB!

Darren Hind
40 Posted 24/08/2021 at 21:57:26
Seen worse games. It had a bit of edge and controversy and officiating left a fair bit to be desired.

I think Rafa will consider that job done...So will I

Jay Wood
[BRZ]

41 Posted 24/08/2021 at 21:57:31
Well, I for one enjoyed that for a variety of reasons.

We were well on top and in control for most of the first half and with VAR would probably have been comfortably 2-0 up with Kean's lovely goal following Nkounkou's storming run.

It was poor and frustrating to concede from a corner to a bread and butter cross to the centre of our six yard box. I wonder if the absence of Dom and Richy and their clearing headers at the near post influenced that?

It was nearly the same again in the 2nd half from what looked a perfectly legitimate 2nd goal for the Town. On replay Campbell does make contact on Begovic, but was also stood in front of him in an offside position from the header. My match commentary says the 4th official explained it was for the foul, not any offside interfering with play.

Did Moise's reaction really merit a red? Fair do's to the ref. He couldn't have been much closer to the incident, but it was more a barge than a lashing out of arms or fists. AND the free kick was awarded to us.

Thomas, who provoked Kean, was a bit of a snide having earlier gone down as if his nose was spread across his face when Tom Davies barely breathed on him.

Rafa's changes were all proactive, even when reduced to 10 men. Going to a flat back four and reinforcing midfield AND still looking to win the game rather than hold what he had.

All the subs made a positive contribution, never more so when all combining to create Townsend's winning goal.

A fine gritty win under challenging circumstances.

Well played the manager and the team.

Andrew Keatley
42 Posted 24/08/2021 at 21:59:57
Also, the disallowed Moise Kean goal looked a tad harsh but do we actually know that the assistant referee got it wrong? Lots on here and on the forum seemed to think he was clearly onside but I think it must have only been by an inch or two if he was.
Geoff Lambert
43 Posted 24/08/2021 at 22:00:39
Not exactly a Dirk Kuyt moment then Ernie??
David Pearl
44 Posted 24/08/2021 at 22:00:44
Andrew, exactly. Clearly offside and obstruction. Easy call
Gary Smith
45 Posted 24/08/2021 at 22:02:25
Glass half-empty:

- made hard work of it as always
- preventable goals.
- Kean is a pleb
- Keane not great again
- Their goal was a goal

Glass half-full:

- we won against the tide (Rafa?)
- Kean should have had 2-0 and we'd have gone on to 4-5 easy
- Townsend, Iwobi, Gray
- Gbamin 90
- Gomes looks like he wants a place again.
- good runout for the wider squad

All-in-all, I'm buzzing. As much as my heart says no, I may actually be able to warm to Rafa if we keep fighting like this.

Ernie Baywood
46 Posted 24/08/2021 at 22:03:22
No we don't Andrew. Funny how quickly we've adapted to some elements of VAR. It felt strange not to be able to review it.

As for the Huddersfield disallowed goal, the linesman put his flag up. Campbell was directly in front of Begovic, directly in line with the header, and the ball went within about a foot of his head on it's way to goal. That's offside.

Dave Lynch
47 Posted 24/08/2021 at 22:04:52
Not arsed about the schematic.

We're through, job done. I'll take that all day.

Next!!!!

Jerome Shields
48 Posted 24/08/2021 at 22:05:56
I mssed the full match, got snippets during the evening. Just glad they got through. Will give fringe players a run out.

No Rodriguez so he must be in the window. Kean getting sent off isn't good. Let frustration get the better of him. Really needs to knuckle down and get silly notions out of his head. Davies and Iowbi played well, hope the latter is okay.

Gbamin, who needed time, now needs game time. Still hoping he comes good. . . but expectations are not reality.

Phillip Warrington
49 Posted 24/08/2021 at 22:10:25
We got lucky against a team struggling in the Championship and who also rested 6 first team players. When will Everton managers realize cups are probably the only chance we have of winning something and stop changing the whole team for a cup game? We are not good enough... maybe 3 or 4. It also shows Everton's reserve players would be lucky to cut it in the Championship
Clive Rogers
50 Posted 24/08/2021 at 22:12:08
That performance tells us that the squad is not good enough which we already knew.
Paul Birmingham
51 Posted 24/08/2021 at 22:12:18
A win is a win, and Everton had to stay together tonight in the second half. I'd say they stuck to the challenge better with 10 men. The result is what counts but plenty of positives and improvements to be made.

Fair play to Rafa, and this Everton teams has shown more belief and grit and positivity in a few games so far, than in the previous managers time in charge.

A bit of luck and some good dealing, and hopefully a few incoming players and a few going the other way.

Good night for Everton, and the same again at Brighton.

David Pearl
52 Posted 24/08/2021 at 22:14:01
MoM: Rafa haha Benitez for his subs and formation change. Didn't see us scoring but made by Gomes and good run by Townsend, who got a lot of satisfaction by scoring the winner.

Kean not really a red but he made the ref have a decision to make. Will he knuckle down and show a desire to play for us or will he sulk and keep everything crossed for a move?

If PSG sell Mbappé, they will have change enough to either buy him or Ronaldo. Tough call...

John Malone
53 Posted 24/08/2021 at 22:16:04
Jerome 48, can you tell what makes you think Iwobi played well?

Apart from finishing his chance for our first goal, which Davies put on a plate for him, what else did he do what makes you say he played well?

Gray was on for 10 mins and looked more of a goal theat for me!

Pat Kelly
54 Posted 24/08/2021 at 22:16:06
That game could've gone either way.

I question Rafa's commitment to this cup. He could've fielded a stronger side but chose to gamble because it's just the League Cup. Luckily the gamble paid off. We won't win the Premier League, so why prioritise that?

Jay Harris
55 Posted 24/08/2021 at 22:17:45
Those posters who described most of these players as Championsip standard is flattering them.

The only good thing about tonight was the result.

Michael Keane loses his concentration totally for the 3rd game in a row and the rest of the team were a shambles.

Only Moise Kean looked half arsed and he got himself sent off for a petulant reaction.

Our passing was woeful and our shape was very poor.

My first big disappointment under the overweight foreign caterer.

David Pearl
56 Posted 24/08/2021 at 22:25:08
Pat, he prioritised their fitness and wellbeing. We have started well so let's keep it going. Plus he got to see more of his squad in action. He had to rest Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin surely.
Paul Swan
57 Posted 24/08/2021 at 22:26:56
Keane is just a bag of nerves and Holgate is extremely poor alongside him.

I have to give Benitez a lot of credit for getting the result tonight because his substitutions were positive and spot on. We needed to get back on the front foot after Kean was stupidly sent off and we eventually did.

Question marks all over the pitch but I think Benitez's ability to change what was going on on the field should be applauded.

Kevin Molloy
58 Posted 24/08/2021 at 22:27:24
Jay,

We get a winner away from home with 10 men (our second string) and this is your first disappointment?

Jeez.

Stuart Sharp
59 Posted 24/08/2021 at 22:37:44
I thought we were shite. I think Benitez overestimated our B team, but fair play – his subs and tactical changes helped. Kean was stupid but I thought it was handbags and not a red... I haven't quite given up on him. He took his (perfectly valid) goal well. Gray again caught the eye, even in a cameo. Let's hope he can be consistent.
Pat Kelly
60 Posted 24/08/2021 at 22:39:14
David #56, he could've rested them against Brighton. That's my point. That's the priority he chose.
Bill Gienapp
61 Posted 24/08/2021 at 22:40:31
As I commented on a few other threads, it's surprising how much the start of the Benitez era reminds me of the start of the Silva one. Not what I would have expected, but here we are.

Like Silva, he's earning plaudits for playing direct, attacking football, even though we look vulnerable defensively... with the old zonal marking demons even rearing their ugly head again. On the other hand, we seem to have more mental toughness under Rafa, and he has a better grasp on things tactically, which are both causes for optimism.

Kean's Everton tenure is starting to feel a bit cursed. Some will say a lot of it is his own doing, but having a perfectly good goal disallowed, then getting hit with a soft red is a pretty unfortunate combination.

John Malone
62 Posted 24/08/2021 at 22:41:40
Jay 55,

Get a grip, mate – he played a weakened team that still should've been good enough to beat them and made the right changes to get us the win when necessary.

Moise Kean buried his offside goal well but, that apart, did absolutely nothing.

Turn it in with the negativity, looking for any excuse to have a go at Rafa, his subs and changes have just won us the game with 10 men.

The time to moan is when we get beat, mate.

Christy Ring
63 Posted 24/08/2021 at 22:42:27
Jay #55,

A bit over the top considering seven players started their first game of the season, and give Benitez a chance instead of insulting him.

Joe O'Brien
64 Posted 24/08/2021 at 22:43:19
Kevin @58,

I echo everything you said there. Made 9 changes and down to 10 men... but still managed to get the win.

Into the hat is all that matters.

Craig James
65 Posted 24/08/2021 at 22:44:45
Imho, not a red for Kean. As Jay said above, that Thomas was a bit of a snide character.

Only caught the 2nd half but, based on that, Rafa will now have an idea about the 2nd string or lack of depth and quality on that showing.

Keane needs to be dropped and or sold as we need to play a slightly higher line and he is having a nightmare at the moment.

Thought Digne and Gomes done well when they came on and Gray may well be a very shrewd signing indeed.

All in all reinforcements are needed, we can all play fantasy football but right-back, quick dominant centre-back, pacy winger-cum-striker needed.

Let's see what the next week brings; hopefully 3 more points and few ins and outs.

Paul Birmingham
66 Posted 24/08/2021 at 22:45:34
For fuck's sake, this season will take true grit and belief.

The smelling salts have been out since the last manager left, and there's a sense of reality and belief that hasn't been seen for a long time at Everton.

Good substitutions and improved game management. Not a classic but a win's a win, despite the bulk of the team tonight not taking the opportunity to stake a claim for a squad place for Brighton.

Now to beat Brighton.

Brian Wilkinson
67 Posted 24/08/2021 at 22:46:39
Has anyone seen Nkounkou play a bad game yet?

Surely in the long run, his position will be left side of midfield, rather than left-back.

John Boon
68 Posted 24/08/2021 at 22:51:15
I don't think there was too much to get excited about. These type of early round cup games can never be taken too seriously, although it was good to win. It was a chance to see some of the players who did not take part in the first two Premier League games.

I don't think any of them took their chance to shine and prove that they should be in the first-team squad. Still way too early in the season to make any definitive statements, but centre-back is a very obvious problem, as demonstrated in all three games.

Ciarán McGlone
69 Posted 24/08/2021 at 22:56:47
Gbamin fits right into that team... sloppy and average.
Bill Gall
70 Posted 24/08/2021 at 23:00:55
I don't know why the commentator on my stream thought that their 2nd goal should have been allowed; he had the help of replays that showed a Huddersfield player in an offside position blocking the Everton keeper's view.

Overall, I thought the game showed the same problem we had last season with a poor squad. We need a right-back as Kenny is never going to replace Coleman, who is getting past his best. We also need a quality midfielder and, if we can't get one, James may be used but I don't think he will, so we will be weak in this area.

This game, with the knowledge we have about the financial position we are, in shows the job Benitez has is not going to be easy, so any win is a good result – no matter how we struggle to get it.

Today, the only ones that showed they will be okay as subs to the first 11 were the keeper and Nkounkou.

Ben King
71 Posted 24/08/2021 at 23:05:49
Great to win.

I'm warming to Rafa...

Andy Crooks
72 Posted 24/08/2021 at 23:09:24
I am glad Ancelotti has gone; I wanted him gone well before he did the decent thing and snuck off like a rat.

Glad Benitez is here; I didn't want him when he snuck in. It's like the end of an acid trip turned sour and we have the right man in place to ensure we don't do anything mad again.

I think Benitez is the right man at the right time. I just wish the League Cup mattered to him. It's the way to our hearts.

John Boon
73 Posted 24/08/2021 at 23:17:28
Bill Gall (70).

Totally agree with all your observations. Kenny is very similar to all the younger players who have been introduced over the past two seasons. They have been given chances to show their ability and, while they may be very "nice" lads, none of them have proved to have more than average ability.

Coleman is still the best right back we have at the present time. We need a Foden or a Mount to make any significant impact on the team.

Dale Self
74 Posted 24/08/2021 at 23:17:30
This team has solid potential as long as we can keep the negativity going on TW. Finding ways to win is a skill in and of itself.
Tom Bowers
75 Posted 24/08/2021 at 23:17:39
It was the kind of performance you would expect from a makeshift team of some benchwarmers and youngsters.

They played well in shifts but poor passing by Everton kept Huddersfield thinking they could win.

It should have been all over but for an awful offside call by the linesman and of course that buoyed the home team who punished us.

Another bad official call could have been curtains for the Blues but to their credit they kept going with ten men when the home team seemed to play for penalties.

Sorry to see it but the likes of Davies and Kenny have not improved their games and Gbamin looked busy but rusty.

These are always difficult games when you don't start the strongest eleven as the nine changes made us look all at sea at times especially in our own third of the pitch.

Still, another win for Rafa.

Christy Ring
76 Posted 24/08/2021 at 23:21:21
Ciaran #69,

Gbamin's first full game in two years, and you've already written him off.

Ciarán McGlone
77 Posted 24/08/2021 at 23:29:54
Yip. Seen nothing from him before or after his injuries to show he's a decent player.

Reserving judgement is a matter of infinite hope.

John Hughes
78 Posted 24/08/2021 at 23:41:28
Jay Harris. Re: “………….overweight foreign caterer”. Embarrassing comment, grow up, Lad.
Jonathan Oppenheimer
79 Posted 24/08/2021 at 00:00:22
It was certainly difficult to watch us struggle against Huddersfield but, as others have said, it's hard to expect much more with this group of players playing together, especially so early in the season. We're just nowhere near being able to replace Doucoure, Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison, and — dare I say it — Gray.

So let's take the positives, with Iwobi continuing to produce — with both the goal but also the pass to Gomes to set up the other goal — Townswend coming through in the end, Gomes and Digne coming on to save the day, and Gray putting in a tidy shift.

The less said about Moise Kean, the better, despite the nice finish that was pulled out. It's a shame that he clearly doesn't want to be here.

Referee weighing in here: There's no way anyone can tell if Kean was offside from the television angle. It was clearly close but a good chance he was clearly off if the assistant referee is in a good position.

As for the half-time goal and the one ruled offside, they were both offside, whether people like the rule or not. The actual goal was more egregious and should've been an easy call for the striker getting in Begovic's way and being way off.

The one ruled off is actually not the assistant referee's call to make; he simply says the guy was off and the referee decides whether it affected Begovic's line of sight or ability to save it.

What's amazing to me is that no Everton player knew the rule enough to even argue, but with VAR both are easy offside calls — even if both probably go in without the player in an offside position.

Feeling good about Rafa and the team. Let's hope Iwobi isn't out for too long. Also looked like Gray might be limping a bit at the end, sure hope not. Let's take down Brighton before the break. UTFT!

Lester Yip
80 Posted 24/08/2021 at 00:00:49
Let Mina gives Kean a lesson in training. Yerry has his own way to get under the skin of the opponent strikers to rile them up. Kean will benefit from the de-sensitization training.

Agree current zonal marking setup against set-pieces keep letting up goal. Benitez needs adapt quickly.

Peter Mills
81 Posted 24/08/2021 at 00:03:09
I decided to go to an FA Cup match instead, where Marine won a very tough replay against Workington, 2-1 after extra time.

I had a chat with one of the Workington players after the match and sympathised with him having to make the long drive home, he said he only had to go to Manchester, the killer was having to drive to Workington for training and home games!

I followed our game at Huddersfield on the Live Forum, which is not easy when you don’t know what’s going on. Sounds like it was a mixed bag, but we’re in the draw.

Oliver Molloy
82 Posted 25/08/2021 at 00:51:58
Every Everton win is a good win as far as I'm concerned.

COYB.

Gavin Johnson
83 Posted 25/08/2021 at 01:25:11
Feel gutted for Kean. It was a great finish.
Dave Abrahams
84 Posted 25/08/2021 at 02:13:32
I fell asleep waiting for the match to start. Woke up thinking we had gone in at half-time leading 1-0; we hadn't.

Fell asleep again and it was 1-1 when I awoke.

Then ToffeeWeb went on the blink, searched for the score and found we were leading 2-1 with a goal from Townsend and it stayed that way with about 10 minutes of added-on time,

Sometimes I'm grateful for small mercies. This was one of them. Not great, apparently, but it will do me for now.

Phil Smith
85 Posted 25/08/2021 at 04:13:27
So far in 3 games, that's Doucouré, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin, Gray, Townsend and Iwobi all scoring. And Kean had a perfectly good one chalked off tonight. All of our attacking options firing thus far.

Pretty impressive stuff. Even Tom and Gomes getting assists tonight. What's going on in midfield? What a turnaround from last season! More of the same, please. Do we even need James?

Nicholas Ryan
86 Posted 25/08/2021 at 04:52:05
We won.... just in case anyone was wondering!
Nicolas Piñon
87 Posted 25/08/2021 at 05:25:00
Thanks for the help, Jay! I finally made myself an official member at the official site and could see the full game finally... jeje.

Messi's move to PSG? Pretty well, I believe he'll benefit greatly from it. And people here were quite fed up with Barcelona's board and ways of running the club so, although quite shocking and nostalgic as it sounds, seeing him in a new super team is a breath of fresh air for many.

Happy with our result today. Important win in odd circumstances above all. COYB!!

Darren Hind
88 Posted 25/08/2021 at 07:10:36
Lester,

Mina costs us goal after goal with his grim determination to get involved in handbags. Take a look at the second goal Leeds scored on Saturday for the latest example. 1 game = 1 clanger. There are plenty of people who could teach Kean a few things, but I don't think Mina is one of them.

I have been one of Keane's biggest critics this season, but I'm not sure how he can be blamed for that goal. He was simply doing his job. Zonal marking is deeply flawed. When a group have ditched man-marking and trained all week marking space, defenders are not doing their jobs if they go with the runners.

Zonal marking cost Silva his job. His inability to make it work sapped all the confidence out of the players who just knew we were in trouble every time we faced a corner. Everything else went to pieces. Rafa either needs to do a much better job at it, or go man for man... Otherwise, he will go the same way as Silva.

It's the preferred way of most of the top coaches but you've gorra get it right.

Danny O’Neill
89 Posted 25/08/2021 at 07:11:20
I didn't get to see this one. Was out with the wife watching Villa. You have to get credits in the bank so to speak!!

I'll watch the highlights and then comment more.

Before I do, just touching on Brian's (@67) comment about Nkounkou. Was it just me and my circle of Evertonian friends at the time, but remember when we couldn't figure about whether Coleman was a right back or right midfielder?

Maybe gives us options for wing back or just a modern full back?

Neil Cremin
90 Posted 25/08/2021 at 07:11:25
One aspect of the game that nobody commented is the conceding of soft goals from set-pieces.

Yes, Keane was asleep but I would seriously question the goalkeeper's role. Begovic, for a lad of his size, should be commanding the 6-yard box.

I constantly complain about Jordan Pickford's ability to do same but I did expect Begovic to be better. Yes, he did make good saves but we already have a good shot-stopper.

Steve Shave
91 Posted 25/08/2021 at 07:24:56
Neil – Begovic doesn't have to be better than Pickford, he has to provide competent back-up, which he does.

Ciaran – having a pop at Gbamin seems really harsh. The guy has been through injury hell, he needs minutes.

Robert Tressell
92 Posted 25/08/2021 at 07:46:20
We won a game that could have been a banana skin. Could have been comfortable too if we had a bit of luck with the Kean offside call.

Agree with you, Darren, that zonal marking is a problem we need to solve, either by getting much better at it or by ditching it altogether.

Anthony Jones
93 Posted 25/08/2021 at 07:47:43
Post-match, the manager looked genuinely pleased. He clearly cares. He seems to care more than the permanently nonchalant Ancelotti.

He said himself that the fans will be okay with him if the team works hard and wins games.

I think he was correct.

Andrew Ellams
94 Posted 25/08/2021 at 07:48:03
Can't help thinking that we should be more worried about how the Real Madrid bid for Mbappe is going to pan out, rather than if a win with a second-string team was up to scratch or not.
Jerome Shields
95 Posted 25/08/2021 at 08:10:22
John #53

I wasn't able to watch the game, only getting snippets throughout the evening. Seemed that Iowbi (on commentary and reports) was involved, got a good goal and comments seemed to confirm this. I also was hoping he was continuing on a good display in the previous two games, but I am concerned he is now injured.

I haven't seen highlights yet, but you have a different view having watched the game. By most accounts, the reports must have been trying to make a game of it.

Robert Tressell
96 Posted 25/08/2021 at 08:10:25
Completely agree, Andrew # 94.
Joe McMahon
97 Posted 25/08/2021 at 08:13:29
Jay @55 what the hell are you on about? With a limited squad things are going okay at the moment. As for the comment RE Rafas size, have we not all grown up from days of the playground.
Chris Locke
98 Posted 25/08/2021 at 08:18:52
Andrew @94,

If Real Madrid have £137M to spend on a player, I'd be very surprised. They will know if Mbappé wants to join them and will surely wait a year and get him for nothing.

If I'm wrong and it happens and PSG come sniffing round Richarlison, then it's going to cost them the best part of £100M to get him.

Now I definitely do not want Richarlison to leave but a huge fee would soften the blow and, if invested wisely, could really help the team. I appreciate that's a big 'if' based on our transfer record over the past 5 years… but we can but live in hope.

Denis Richardson
99 Posted 24/08/2021 at 08:22:01
Not fussed about the performance personally as a lot of the players would have been rusty. Cup game so all that matters is we’re through and no injuries (hopefully).

Can look forward to the weekend now.

Danny O’Neill
100 Posted 25/08/2021 at 08:22:05
Okay, had a look at the highlights and appreciate this doesn't paint the full picture. Thoughts:

Iwobi looked good in a more central role.

What a strike and finish from Kean even though it was ruled out. Depending what happens this week, I'd be happy to have him in support of Calvert-Lewin.

Nkounkou looks like a fine understudy to Digne, and one for the future, which is what he was bought for.

Static defending for the Huddersfield goal. I'm not going to name names but one player should have dealt with that comfortably.

On zonal defending, I could have an entire separate debate on that, and I'd probably be of the opposite view from many. I know why teams want to do it. Theoretically, and if you get it right, it is the best way to defend because the defending team dictates where it wants to be and controls the situation. But it requires concentration of the highest order, organisation, and taking responsibility for your zone. That's the problem with it, not the system or concept. If you man-mark, the attacking team dictates and can pull the defence out of position to create a situation of their choosing. My view, I appreciate others won't agree.

A conundrum. Man-marking is what most are comfortable with. But get zonal marking right and the defence is in control.

Put into the context of rotating the team to field what was pretty much a second string and literally throwing players together, it's never going to look fluid or pretty. They will be like strangers dancing on a dance floor. We're through, full stop. ('Period' for our US cousins.) We're in the hat. Next please.

Brian Murray
101 Posted 25/08/2021 at 08:31:04
Chris.

Naively or not, we have took Richarlison's word that he will stay after we let him jaunt wherever he wanted this summer. No way we have a Plan B or Plan C for it with a week left. Got to stay strong and hold firm, even if we get a big bid.

Sam Hoare
102 Posted 25/08/2021 at 08:39:12
Chris @98 Fabrizio Romano (one of the most reliable internet ITKs) said last nights that Real Madrid HAVE bid €160M for Mbappé, but PSG have not accepted.

It looks like this move may possibly happen this week, especially if Mbappé pushes for it. Though we've no idea if Richarlison would be high up their list. Not the ideal time to sell him though his stock is reasonably high after Olympics and Copa America showing. £85M would get Richarliosn in a Covid market, you'd think, and that would be very useful for us in terms of FFP. With money like that, we could buy 60 Demarai Grays!

Tony Abrahams
103 Posted 25/08/2021 at 08:39:19
I thought not replacing Gueye, and especially Zouma, cost Silva his job, Darren. Just when I thought we were on the right lines finishing the season with 8 clean sheets out of 11. I've never understood how zonal marking works if I'm being honest, and neither do the players, or at least the ones who don't attack the football aggressively, which is how I saw their equalizer last night.
Andrew Ellams
104 Posted 25/08/2021 at 08:42:26
We can only hope Madrid are playing games with PSG knowing that if there bid isn't accepted this week they will get their man without a transfer fee next summer.
Ian Hollingworth
105 Posted 25/08/2021 at 08:46:15
Zonal marking is flawed as it assumes each defender is equal in terms of defending and heading ability.

Opposition teams just need to work out who in the zone is the weakest in the air and then put their best attacking header of the ball in that zone and place the ball there.

Granted that is not always possible but when it happens the zonal defence is in trouble.

Tony Abrahams
106 Posted 25/08/2021 at 08:49:32
Anthony @93,

I woke up to a text off my oldest son, who never really misses a game. It was basically saying that he's really happy with the way Benitez is constantly coaching the team whilst the game is going on. He says it makes a big change from Ancellotti's time in charge.

Danny O’Neill
107 Posted 25/08/2021 at 08:55:42
Like I say, Ian, it's a dilemma. Man-marking risks getting pulled out of shape. The idea of zonal is to keep your defensive shape.

Ultimately, both rely on what Tony says; take responsibility for your man or your zone and aggressively attack the ball. Not jump from a standing position. I'm not naming names!

On Benitez; I've seen so many clips and pictures now and, even in his short time, I have noted how hands-on he seems in terms of the coaching. There was a picture this week of him stood lecturing Richarlison fact to face, with the Brazilian listening intently.

Rob Halligan
108 Posted 25/08/2021 at 09:00:32
I would like to point out to you all on here something I heard that was disgusting last night, from a small group of Everton fans prior to kick off.

We got into the ground just before 7pm. It's only a small concourse for away fans at Huddersfield, with two refreshment bars. We got a pint and moved away, near to where there is the usual group of Everton fans who normally throw beer in the air whilst singing. I'm sure anyone on here who has been to any away game will have seen this. They are normally a small group of fans in their teens or early twenties.

Anyway, one particular chant, obviously a new one was "We're gonna have a party when Ancelotti dies".

Now, whatever we all think of Ancelotti, love him or hate him, particularly for what he did, this was an absolutely disgusting chant aimed at him. I doubt any of this group will be reading this, but if you are, I hope that you feel really proud of yourselves this morning for singing such an obscene and disgusting chant aimed at Ancelotti.

Rant over!!

Craig Walker
109 Posted 25/08/2021 at 09:09:21
Quick question on the North and South split in this competition. Was that purely for this round or will we be drawn against another team from the northern section in the next round? Is this regional split to reduce travelling etc because of COVID?

Rob. Unfortunately, we have our idiotic fans as well. It's embarrassing but I suppose every club has them. I'm always proud to be an Evertonian but I've met a few dicks down the years whose views I don't agree with and comments like that about Ancelotti are repulsive.

Ian Burns
110 Posted 25/08/2021 at 09:12:45
Danny 100,

I know you don't wish to name the offending defender for Huddersfield's goal last evening but I think it was Brian Murray who made me laugh out loud, when he said this particular player was so dozy he would be the last to realise his kecks were on fire!

Second string thrown together, playing a third of the game with 10 men, and we are in the hat – that will do nicely.

Jim Burns
111 Posted 25/08/2021 at 09:13:04
Hi Rob,

I was there and heard exactly the same thing. This group of mainly lads in their teens are, as you say, regulars and I agree with your sentiments. We always steer well clear with my young grandson.

Overall, the atmosphere and support from the Blues last night was excellent – even during the ‘patchy' bits.

Tony Abrahams
112 Posted 25/08/2021 at 09:16:58
I can’t believe that song Rob, because they should be now acknowledging that he never had the stomach for the fight, and be very happy that he’s no longer in charge.

Danny@107, I think the best way to get through to anyone is by speaking face to face, one to one, because even if you don’t agree with what they are saying, by talking personally this usually generates a mutual feeling of respect, and can also be the only time you can gain someone’s full attention.

So I’d expect loads of one to one’s between Benitez and his defenders over the next few weeks, because defending set-pieces is a must.

Brian Harrison
113 Posted 25/08/2021 at 09:17:51
Rob

Reading that this morning is really disappointing, these morons probably think that's really funny. Whatever anyone's opinion of Carlo Ancelotti, unlike these morons he was a class act. Yes, he left the club and I am sure at some point in the future we may find out why he left so suddenly after only saying weeks before he wanted to be here when we moved into Bramley-Moore Dock.

Jim Burns
114 Posted 25/08/2021 at 09:21:02
Re Richarlison to PSG rumour - I’ve read yesterday that PSG could have Ronaldo in their sights as a replacement - if true it would be a good fit and right up his street.
Ian Burns
115 Posted 25/08/2021 at 09:37:38
Rob and my namesake Jim - it’s a pity nobody caught those rats singing that abusive song on their phone. The video could have been sent to the club and those offenders banned from the club for life.
Brent Stephens
116 Posted 25/08/2021 at 09:40:51
Rob, yes disgusting in the extreme. Beer and youth combination.

Your leg looked pretty sore last night. I noticed you sat down during one spell of the game so I guess it was getting to you (or the football was).

Danny O’Neill
117 Posted 25/08/2021 at 09:41:43
Are they the ones who used to sing the Ross Barkley song at half time Rob?

No need to get nasty in my opinion, especially talking about the death of someone.

I've said it about England fans, but I've never understood the logic of throwing beer around.

Maybe it's my humble beginnings, but my aim is always to not spill a drop of my hard earned and increasingly expensive drink if I get caught with a drink in my hand when we score!!

Like any walk of life Tony, football is no different. You manage and coach a team, but you have to spend time managing and coaching individuals to get the best out of them so they better contribute to the team.

Ian, I still won't say it, but keks on fire. Very apt!

Ernie Baywood
118 Posted 25/08/2021 at 09:53:07
Throwing beer is what people do when they've been taught how to celebrate by viral YouTube clips.

I honestly couldn't tell you how I celebrate a goal. It's not something I ever planned.

I know I ended up a few rows away a few times so it must have been good!

Rob Halligan
119 Posted 25/08/2021 at 09:53:58
Brent, it's really painful and throbbing like mad this morning. Bloody horse fly bites!! No chance of walking the dog today.

Danny, I assume you mean "We've got a diamond called Ross Barkley" song? I guess that group have now grown a bit older and the next generation have moved in.

Chris Leyland
120 Posted 25/08/2021 at 10:06:33
Rob, that song was being sung at Goodison last week too. I heard it in the concourse before the game and from a small group in the Gwladys Street during the match.

Bill Watson
121 Posted 25/08/2021 at 10:07:58
Sam #102

Sixty Grays?

I reckon it's already a done deal as I noticed that at Leeds and Huddersfield the club used THREE team coaches!

Brian Harrison
122 Posted 25/08/2021 at 10:09:58
I didn't watch the game last night but, speaking to a few who did, they said we weren't great but being in the hat for the next round is the most important.

I see Tom Davies only got 65 minutes. The guy from the Echo thought he was having a good game and unlucky to be subbed. Things not looking good for Tom at the moment.

I see some papers are suggesting that West Ham may go after our ex-player Vlasic as it looks like Lingard is staying at Man Utd. Only 6 days left before the window closes, time is running out... it will be interesting to see who is still here come 1 September. Nothing in the papers about James or Kean moving.

Chris Leyland
123 Posted 25/08/2021 at 10:11:32
Rob - be careful with the horsefly bite. I once left one on my arm until it was red and throbbing and had spread. I went to the GP who sent me straight to hospital, where I was immediately admitted and had to stay in for over a week on an antibiotic drip. The doctor told me it was cellulitis and if I'd left it much longer, an amputation might have been a possibility!
George McKane
124 Posted 25/08/2021 at 10:14:29
Morning Happy Blues - - good win - - on the next step to Wembley - - non-EFC related but I thought some of you may be interested - - as you have shown in the past with my Yellow House work - - here is a clip from The Liverpool Echo Live from yesterday - - all good fun - - Link
Cosmic Blue Waves - - George
Rob Halligan
125 Posted 25/08/2021 at 10:23:02
Cheers Chris, that's really cheered me up!!

Seriously though, I've called the surgery this morning, and had to send pictures to them. Just had a call back from the doctor who will put me on a course of antibiotics. Usually clears up after a few days, which I hope is the case this time round as I'm off to Tenerife next week.

Derek Taylor
126 Posted 25/08/2021 at 10:24:01
Rafa obviously needed to see his 'fringe' players in action whilst we all know most of them are a mile away from the standard required to be on the 'fringe'of regular Premier League football.

It's after games like this that most level-headed observers realise that talk of Everton making 'top six' is laughable, given the group is still a dozen players away from being a sound top notch squad.

Meanwhile, we have got to get used to being 'mid-table' and 'potless' until BMD is completed and The Russian can re-commence his zany transfer funding. Or not.

Kevin Prytherch
127 Posted 25/08/2021 at 10:38:22
I couldn’t get to see the game yesterday. How did the following players play?
Kenny
Nkounkou
Branthwaite
Davies
Gbamin
Kean (pre-sending off)
Barry Hesketh
128 Posted 25/08/2021 at 10:46:34
Kevin @127,

I didn't manage to see the game either, but Everton's official site is once again showing the full game and you can access it, if you're a season ticket holder or a member. A useful addition to the site for those who haven't seen a particular game.

Ian Burns
129 Posted 25/08/2021 at 10:52:34
Kenny - ordinary;
Nkounkou - looked good going forward;
Branthwaite - looked solid enough;
Davies - played well up to being taken off;
Gbamin - looked rusty but remember his long lay off has to be taken into consideration.
Kean - started off looking lively but slowly looked to be disinterested. If his goal had counted, I wonder if that might have given him the lift he needed.
Brent Stephens
130 Posted 25/08/2021 at 10:54:22
Kevin #127 - last night was no great shakes all round. I think rating players is very subjective (though some say they know what they see!) but with that in mind...

Kenny was ok-ish.

Nkounkou was ok-ish. Good going forward but defensively iffy, especially early on. Credit to him as his position was switched several times: wing-back when we started with a back three of Holgate, Keane and Branthwaite, then to LB when we switched to a back 4; then left of midfield when Digne came on.

Branthwaite was ok-ish. Again, early on made a number of defensive errors.

Davies was ok-ish.

Gbamin was ok-ish. I really want this guy to be a big part player in midfield so I was "seeing" good bits in his play - getting into good positions and anticipating, winning some balls, shielding the ball in possession, getting safe passes away. Subjective, see.

Kean was ok-ish. As with Gbamin, I've really wanted this guy to be a big part player. Great disallowed goal but his first touch still disappoints.

All-in-all ok-ish?

Michael Nisbet
131 Posted 25/08/2021 at 10:59:22
Just my opinions, but:

Kenny - Was average enough. Got forward well on occasion, but didn't do all that much.

Nkounkou - Started really brightly. Had the beating of his man every time, and his delivery is good. Didn't seem to have enough confidence to keep doing it though, and faded out of the game.

Branthwaite - Looked decent, but quite nervy I thought. I can definitely see a good player in him, but still raw.

Davies - Started well, and a good assist for Iwobi's goal, but for all his effort, he doesn't help us control the midfield. Maybe that's a case of the team having changed so much though.

Gbamin - Looked very rusty. He had some moments where he looked great on the ball, but he gave it away a lot! Looks way off the pace, but I'm sure that's just a symptom of having had next to no games in 3 years. I'm still confident he'll be a very good player for us.

Kean - I thought he played very well. Was always in and around the box. Had one effort flash wide of the post, another saved brilliantly, and a superb strike contentiously ruled out for offside. Never a red card as far as I could see. Possibly a yellow, but he didn't do much other than square up to the guy.

Townsend - I thought he was quite poor. His delivery was atrocious. He took a few inswinging corners and free-kicks, all of them way off the mark. He made a good run for his goal, and a neat finish, but other than that he was well below par.

Mike Keating
132 Posted 25/08/2021 at 11:23:20
Cheer up ToffeeWebers, clickbait champions of bollocks, The Boot Room, claim we are 'drooling' over the performance of Andre Gomes this morning - they'll be crowning him as a 'midfield beast' next!
John Raftery
133 Posted 25/08/2021 at 12:17:52
After the final whistle I noted Benitez with his arm around Alex Iwobi, then applauding the player and drawing the fans’ attention to his contribution on the night. No player worked harder. His goal and use of the ball were excellent. If Benitez thought he was man of the match I am not one to disagree. Townsend also showed grit and took his goal well. Tom Davies was effective for the hour he was on the pitch.

As for the rest too many of them demonstrated a rustiness through lack of recent competitive action. It was pleasing to see Gbamin complete a full game but he will need time and games to reach the level required in the Premier League. Nkounkou is not ready for the first team but might in time develop into a decent wing back. Kenny looks destined for another loan move or a sale if we somehow manage to recruit a right back in the next six days. Aside from his red card Moise Kean demonstrated he is not a centre forward. I will be surprised if he is still with us this time next week but who will take him?

The game exposed how thin the squad is below the first choice players. When injuries and suspensions kick in we will struggle no matter how skilled the manager is in juggling his resources. The majority of Premier League teams and some of the top Championship teams would have easily beaten last night’s starting eleven. As it was a poor Huddersfield side gave us more than enough problems to reinforce our concerns about the depth of the squad.

Danny Broderick
134 Posted 25/08/2021 at 12:26:23
There are 2 problems with zonal marking in my opinion.

The first one is that you have to use blockers to stop the opposition's main threat getting a run and jump. Your blockers are not your best headers of the ball, as they are marking the key zones. However, this was exposed at Man Utd when we had Lucas Digne blocking Harry Maguire. The ball didn't go to a key zone, it went to Maguire's head, and Lucas Digne was no match for him. So if the ball doesn't go where your big men are, you can be in trouble.

The other problem is if the blockers don't manage to stop the opposition strikers from getting a run and jump. It doesn't matter how proactive the defenders are in their zones. If they have a 2/3 yard run up before they jump, and the striker has a 7/8 yard run up, the striker has an advantage.

Some managers try a blend of both zonal and man to man. They basically do zonal marking but mark the opposition's key men. I've never been convinced by it myself. With man-to-man marking, we know who is supposed to be marking who. And the defenders get the same run and jump as the strikers, they just need to get to the ball first.

I hope we are not going to be a soft touch from set pieces again this year…

Tom Bowers
135 Posted 25/08/2021 at 12:49:38
Everton got the job done with the team that was sent out and down to ten men. Let's face it any game at a Championship ground ain't easy.

Taking in to account everything so far we have to admit that the attack has somewhat more to offer with Townsend and Gray. The Kean scenario is dubious but he was very unlucky not to have a goal after only three minutes when somehow the keeper got a hand to his goal bound effort.

The defence will be better as long as the Holgate - Keane partnership doesn't get used too often.

Danny O’Neill
136 Posted 25/08/2021 at 12:53:22
I'll maintain my defence (no pun intended), that theoretically, zonal allows the defence to control its own destiny. It just requires a lot of practice, concentration and taking of responsibility.

Whatever way you skin it, if players don't do their job, be it track the man or defend their zone the outcome will be the same.

Regardless of man marking or zonal, Michael Keane (I've cracked and named him), watched and jumped from a static position. Either way, be on your toes, anticipate and attack the ball. Defensively or offensive; zonal or man for man.

Neil Cremin
137 Posted 25/08/2021 at 13:03:43
Steve,

That's my point. From what I saw last night, I was disappointed with what I saw even if he is only a backup.

Darren Hind
138 Posted 25/08/2021 at 13:32:46
Only two problems with zonal marking? I can think of several off the top of my head.

I posted an article on here a few years back talking about Zonal Marking. I have been at many coaching sessions where efforts to introduce it ended up in total confusion. One session being taken by the late Justin Edinburgh ended up with everyone involved rolling around the floor... and this guy knew his stuff.

The idea of attacking the ball isn't quite in keeping with the concept. Defenders seeing the flight of a ball only have to take 2-3 steps towards it and they are charging into a team-mates zone, often clattering into him.

To make zonal marking work, you need intelligent defenders and they have to be physically built to do it. Remember when yard dogs like Benteke would target Bainsey or Seamus knowing, if the delivery is right, they would murder them in the air? A good delivery to a tall man against a short man virtually guarantees a knock-back from the far post or a flick-on from the near. Worse still, a direct header on goal.

Your defenders have to be able to improvise. (Keane?) They need to be disciplined. (Mina?) And their concentration needs to be spot-on. (Holgate?)

If they are not physically up to the aerial battle (Seamus, Davies, Allan, Gomes, Digne), you are asking for trouble. Don't do it, Rafa. Like Silva before you. You don't have the players to do it.

I think I may have told this one on here before: George Graham turned up at one of these sessions. He spoke for about 20 minutes and everyone hung on to his every word. When asked Did he ask his fabled back four to mark zonally? He told us that he told them to Fuck Off when they asked him how he wanted them to defend set-pieces.

"You're the defenders! It's not rocket science defending set-pieces. You can send the ball anywhere. The attacker has to get it between the posts. all you need to do is show more desire than him.

"You make up your minds which way you want to defend, but don't ever dare come back into my dressing room and tell me the opponent showed more desire than you."

Tommy Carter
139 Posted 25/08/2021 at 13:52:22
Interesting times indeed.

I am just beginning to develop the slightest of interest as I have to be honest, the Benitez appointment has been a real turn off for me.

I like to consider myself open-minded and fair but this has been really difficult. However, I think I am beginning a process of looking beyond the obvious.

Last night was a progression into the next round and that's it. Gbamin I feel can only be judged when he's had a 6-month period injury-free and a run of games. There are so many intricacies involved in the recovery from these injuries and he must have serious trust issues with his body now. That alone will take significant experience to overcome.

The attitude he has shown to get back to first team contention yet again must be commended. The guy obviously has a strong mentality, and this is a trait often vacant in recent Everton teams.

As for some of the others, clearly we are awaiting a suitor for Moise Kean. A shame that this didn't work out, but it hasn't and at least we will recoup the fee we paid. Time for all concerned to move on.

If we could reinvest that money somehow then we should prioritise a right-back and a forward player.

This will provide opportunity for Anthony Gordon and Jonjoe Kenny to move on from the club. Which they both should do if they have any ambition about them.

Jim Burns
140 Posted 25/08/2021 at 14:29:24
Ian @115 - a few were filming it on their phones mainly within the group. Assuming their mindset (I use the term lightly) is self-publicity on YouTube or whatever, they shouldn't be difficult to see.

Truth is nothing will be done – but there is less excuse if they are doing it at home games though.

I once called out one of ‘our own' for racially abusing Sterling during a derby at Anfield and reported it to a Steward. Nothing was done other than shrugged shoulders. The abuse I then got from the racist dick's mates meant me and my daughter had to leave and she's never been to a derby since.

The authorities talk a lot and run publicity campaigns but not much actually changes, apart from the odd individual arrest and banning order.

John McFarlane Snr
141 Posted 25/08/2021 at 14:33:06
Hi all, I learned many years ago that, in a knock-out competition, the result is all-important. In the event of victory, performances may well improve... but, in the case of defeat, it's the end of the road.

Hi Rob [108],

I share your disgust at the vile singing at last night's game. It's a long time since I regularly attended away games, but I can't recall anything that resembles what goes on now. I may be considered old-fashioned but I call managers by their names, for example David Moyes, Sam Allardyce, and Rafa Benitez. I also can't remember booing an opposing team or player, and I certainly haven't booed Everton or any of their players. It's true that I have expressed frustration and disappointment at times, too many in recent seasons.

HI George [124], keep up the good work, and I look forward to meeting up with you again, in the Bramley Moore on September 25th.

David Pearl
142 Posted 25/08/2021 at 14:53:13
George 124, great work you're doing.

John 141, l try to live by the same standards. Although l did say fat spanish waiter... but l will take that back and back our new manager. Plus he seems to be trying to get the best out of all individual players and l like the effort

Newcastle fans, who don't seem to like us very much, have been sharing that video around social media since the first home game. Not a good look is it.

Mike Gaynes
143 Posted 25/08/2021 at 15:02:35
There is only one problem with zonal marking on corners.

It doesn't work.

It is a freaking disaster waiting to happen.

It drove me crazy when Roberto did it. It drove me crazy when Silva did it. And it drove me crazy yesterday.

Mark your man. Put a good physical thump on him and then go to the ball.

As you lot would say, simples.

John Raftery
144 Posted 25/08/2021 at 15:10:50
Hi Rob (108) Unfortunately we have a minority, but sizeable number, of low grade brats who some might call supporters and others would call gob-shites. Nothing surprises me any more about their behaviour or the offensive stuff they come out with. They are a disgrace to the club and the rest of us.

Another chant I heard at half-time in the concourse area was directed at the local police; something along the lines of ‘Watch the cops, murderers’. No prejudicial labelling there then! This chant was led by a middle aged man not a teenager proving that maturity does not necessarily come with age.

See you at Brighton!

Mike Gaynes
145 Posted 25/08/2021 at 15:16:16
Michael #131, I generally agree with your assessments, but I was much more impressed with Gbamin than you were, or most here I think.

When you've played 11 minutes in two years, you aren't just rusty, you're fossilized. But he had some great confident touches, moved really well and wasn't in any hurry to get rid of the ball when he had it. Yes, he made some bad passes, but Townsend made more and worse. I'm really excited about Gbamin. He's really Gbonna Gbe Gbood.

And as dazzled as we all were by Nkounkou's explosive skills on the ball, we also saw why he doesn't play much. He's absolutely clueless about defensive positioning, the worst I've seen since Seamus' early days. He uses his speed well to recover, but he's constantly recovering, and at this point he's a long way from a Prem-quality defender. That said, with some good teaching he could be a star in a year, as Seamus was after a year in the Moyes Defensive Academy curriculum.

Mike Gaynes
146 Posted 25/08/2021 at 15:24:56
From the Echo:

Gbamin jumped into the crowd as the away end was still filling up during the warm-up and received a huge ovation from those already in the stand.

Some fans have reported that, in fact, the midfielder hit someone with a ball during the warm-up - before making his way into the stand to give his shirt to the supporter affected.

Regardless he returned to the pitch with a big smile on his face, and hopefully that much was the same when he left the ground after a solid 90 minutes.

Peter Warren
147 Posted 25/08/2021 at 15:43:13
Talking about Zonal defending and George Graham, heard Adam’s say that Bould used to attack the near post and if went over his head would be his job to clear it.

I am finding Keane’s performance frustrating given he is a good header of the ball and best defender at it in our squad. You never know what’s going on behind the scenes but he needs to get mentally tougher - seems like his mistake against Southampton has made him a bag of nerves since.

Ian Bennett
148 Posted 25/08/2021 at 15:49:58
Seamus benefitted so much from that Blackpool loan. Nkounkou would benefit from a good club prepared to play him on a regular basis for sure.

His pace is unbelievable when he turns it on.

David Pearl
149 Posted 25/08/2021 at 16:19:52
Peter, l don't think you can blame zonal marking if your centre back doesn't own the middle of our goal. Remember Keane heading the ball into Holgate for the ball to drop to Kane vs Spurs last season. One of two errors in the same game. It's crept into his game a lack of concentration and second guessing himself. He has to be vocal and strong but he isn't and needs dropping for a few.

Ian, l don't think it helped him playing as a wing back either as he was a bit isolated. I didn't like how static and deep the back 3 were either.

Chris Leyland
150 Posted 25/08/2021 at 16:22:07
If zonal marking is so disasterous, why do so many professional managers want to use it? I’m not being facetious or saying it’s great but I’m genuinely confused as to why they persist with it?
John McFarlane Snr
151 Posted 25/08/2021 at 16:23:06
Hi Mike [143],

I agree with your view on zonal marking at corner kicks; if, as some claim, it's done properly, then there would be no goals scored. Marking space seems a high risk to me, and man-to-man marking gets my vote every time.

Another thing I find frustrating is the withdrawal of all ten outfield players to defend corners. I feel that leaving the fastest player upfield would require two men to mark him. As it is, by dragging everybody back, a clearance is generally snapped up by the opposition, inviting another attack to be launched. But, then again, I'm just an old man with an old-fashioned outlook on football.

Danny O’Neill
152 Posted 25/08/2021 at 16:26:12
Sorry all, I'm going to be stubborn on my stance on the concept of zonal marking. Note I'm talking concept, not execution.

But I'll give on you shouldn't do it if you don't have the players to employ it. We don't. And if you do deploy it, it's not as simplistic as lining up the defensive 4 and then the midfield 4 in front of them by virtue of who is on the pitch in certain positions. Like I said, probably an entire different discussion. For it to work, it needs practice, concentration and good organisation. Above all, taking responsibility. But then so does man marking.

Regardless, however you defend, players have to be lively, alert, on their toes, judge the flight of the ball and yes, come to meet it, not be jumping from a stand still position or caught with it going over their head. Judgement & decisive decision making however you decide to set up defensively or from an attacking perspective.

On the chanting, I could go holier than though, but I grew up in the 70s and 80s. Whilst I deplore that type of thing, lets not forget back in the day some of the vile chanting from the Gwladys Street about Munich and "Everton are . "

I'll stop there. No place for it, but sadly not new. No place for it. Let's not deny it, but let's be glad it is mostly gone.

Tommy Carter
153 Posted 25/08/2021 at 16:42:14
@143. Makes me laugh how fans think the physical and aggressive side of the game is so easy and that anyone could jump off the terrace and start winning headers.

The game is so fast and physical that any mere mortal who stepped onto a field with these giant mesomorphs, who are rapid, carrying huge amounts of muscle mass and hardly any body fat, would simply be obliterated in an instant.

These players, mostly, are throwing everything at every ball. And at astonishing pace. It is very fine margins and what May look to your average person as acres of space would in the midst of the action be absolute microseconds of reaction time.

The higher the level the more intelligent and incisive these attacking players are. It makes me cringe how an idiot in the terrace, with a red face, shouting angrily at a football pitch thinks that they would have the guts and ability to do what the majority of these players get right most of the time.

Can they do their jobs better? Of course and that’s what they must strive for.

Mike Gaynes
154 Posted 25/08/2021 at 16:51:51
Chris #150, zonal marking is popular because "pick" plays have become common -- attackers block off or grab a defender, allowing another attacker a free run at the ball. Ideally zonal marking prevents this by enabling instant switches, and when properly practiced and executed, zonal marking is a superior system in many ways.

The problem is, it requires lots of practice, excellent communication and quick decisions, so it works only with a backline that has practiced and played together extensively. We rotate center backs almost every game and have munchkins at fullback, so it's a doomed system for us. I'm hoping Rafa has recognized that by now. Roberto and Silva never did.

David #149, that was Holgate's error in my view, not Keane's. Assuming Keane called for the ball, it's Holgate's job to get out of the way. He just backed right into Keane's path.

Darren Hind
155 Posted 25/08/2021 at 16:57:08
Coaches persist in it because if you have the correct personnel to do it, it is a very effective way of defending a set-piece.

Many Europeans and South Americans grow up with it. Brits tend to struggle because it is against everything that has been taught to them. They are taught to pick a man and mark him.

I've noticed a marked change in recent years, maybe because we have so many foreign coaches here, They want their players to adapt to this system because they know no other way.

You need the personnel to do it effectively. You can give your players the very best instructions, but you can't instruct them to grow a few inches.

I suspect Kean was caught between 2-3 stools last night. He was trying to cover the far post and the center of the goal. Compensate?

It's simply false to say he took off from a standing position; he took at least four strides to get to that ball. The problem was that the Huddersfield centre-back had the luxury of stealing the march on him. He only had one job to do.

Dale Self
156 Posted 25/08/2021 at 16:58:05
Nice Tommy and Rob above. With current results I'm not willing to give that oxygen anymore. Some people get stuck.
David Pearl
157 Posted 25/08/2021 at 17:24:38
Mike, l don't know. In any case he headed it sideways and not out. We are all trying to find excuses for him lately. Like when Digne dove in for the ball at Leeds and he was caught flat footed. For the most part last season he played to a high standard so l'm not writing him off.

Zonal marking aint rocket science, many teams us it and use it well. The players have to be switched on. They are pro athletes, extremely fit and practice every day. Although by Townsends corners yesterday you wouldn't think it.

Darren Hind
158 Posted 25/08/2021 at 17:37:57
"Assuming Keane called for the ball" hahaha

He was never getting there in a million years and he knew it.

The lengths people will go to, to blame Holgate for goals conceded always makes me smile. I chuckled when people tried to blame him for the Southampton goal, but this one made me laugh out loud.

Mason; played two, Won two.

Mike Gaynes
159 Posted 25/08/2021 at 17:50:39
David #157, no, it was a wide-open easy header, not a clearance, and Keane was simply nodding it down to an equally wide-open Siggy -- until Holgate brainlessly backed into him and jumped up, completely blocking it. Keane literally had nowhere to head the ball except straight up or backwards.

With Keane alone and unchallenged for the header, Holgate had one job and one job only... stay the hell out of the way. I'd been souring on Holgate for a long time, and that finished him off for me.

Not excusing Keane's errors -- but that was most definitely not one of them.

Darren #158, still haven't learned to read, eh? David and I are discussing the Spurs game in April, not yesterday's goal or Southampton. Get a clue.

Stan Schofield
160 Posted 25/08/2021 at 17:52:57
Zonal marking, like who the manager happens to be, is simply another diversion. Zonal marking, like man-to-man marking, works consistently when you have the players who can execute it consistently. But we haven’t, and so we can’t.
Roger Helm
161 Posted 25/08/2021 at 17:55:55
Good post, Tommy @153,

We forget how fast and physical the game is these days. You can see the difference from foreign leagues and from recordings of games in the past.

A lot of players are built like light heavyweight boxers and can run like sprinters. This is where, over the years, Everton have been a bit lacking, but hopefully the new regime will improve this aspect.

Darren Hind
162 Posted 25/08/2021 at 18:12:29
I know you were Mike.

Keane was not getting there and ended up stooping and heading it straight into Holgates back. Thats why I dont think he called he for it. He thought he Mason would win it

You - true to form - want to blame Holgate months later for something he had no chance of avoiding. Oh sorry I was forgetting. You heard the call from over there

You are a funny man Mike. infinitely predictable but funny.

Brian Murray
163 Posted 25/08/2021 at 18:14:57
If this manager doesn't get four points out the derby games, he can have his car in zonal parking. At the wrong side of Stanley Park. Joking aside, we are awkward and, as Shearer says, relentless and that will do for now especially if Gomes and iwobi keep showing up. Coyb. Feels good to be a blue. Well, I do anyway.
Tom Richards
164 Posted 25/08/2021 at 18:18:53
Does anyone have any knowledge of Michael Keane's eyesight? Has anyone read anything on this?

I have watched him, dozens of times, not react to a long pass until the ball is almost on top of him.

Tony Abrahams
165 Posted 25/08/2021 at 18:25:12
Even in my darkest footballing hours I'm glad I'm an Evertonian, Brian, but sometimes I wish that the players on the pitch had as much heart, fight, desire, and pride in the royal blue jersey that the people who pay to watch have. That's got to be the aim, if we ever want to see a successful Everton team once again.

It does look like the players are having a good go right now. That's always something to build on, but we do need to do a bit of business before the window shuts, or pray we get no injuries.

Mike Gaynes
166 Posted 25/08/2021 at 18:27:27
Right, Darren. Keane moving forwards and bending to knock the ball down to Sigurdsson was totally at fault. Holgate jumping 5 yards backwards, missing the ball by a foot and blocking Keane's header, was blameless. He only appears to look like a clueless clown, totally unaware of what's behind him and gifting a game-tying goal to Kane.

Thanks for clarifying that what we all thought we saw was deceiving:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8aUS0RiIRTA

Obviously, Keane should have instantly re-routed his header around the truck that was backing into him. As always, I appreciate your expertise.

Darren Hind
167 Posted 25/08/2021 at 18:36:49
Yep

Holgate was doing what any defender in the world worth his salt would do. Straining every sinew to get there.

But if you heard the call It must have been his mistake :)

Jay Harris
168 Posted 25/08/2021 at 18:40:17
To me it doesnt matter whether its zonal or man to man marking, each player has a job to do and specifically last night Keane was too busy watching the corner taker while the Huddersfield player ran past him and left him totally flatfooted.

Michael Keane is a good footballer and capable of far beter but in 3 games this season he has looked like a little boy lost and whereas he used to be in with a chance of scoring for us from corners, he has not shown at all this season.

So, for me, Keane has to be taken out of the spotlight for a few games. Holgate played much better last night amid the dross around him and he also showed up well when paired with Mina a couple of years ago although I prefer Godfrey/ Holgate ongoing.

Neil Copeland
169 Posted 25/08/2021 at 18:41:29
Tony #165, spot on. It’s good to see a manager that shows he cares from the touch line and, for the moment at least, it is having the desired impact on the players. We also look fitter than we have under previous managers.

Early days but a decent start, as you say, we need players if we are to maintain the momentum and have a decent season.

Tony Abrahams
170 Posted 25/08/2021 at 18:48:32
Michael Keane would be a much better player if he could sort his feet out to go and play on the front foot (sometimes playing on the front foot, doesn't mean you can't drop off).

Calvert-Lewin will become a much better finisher when he sorts his feet out!

Matthew Williams
171 Posted 25/08/2021 at 18:49:15
Not a good game for the auld blood pressure like, but so pleased we got through in the end.

As for Kean... soft lad, he could've cost us dear.

Onwards to the south coast, Blue Boys... let's do 'em.

Robert Tressell
172 Posted 25/08/2021 at 19:01:35
Brian # 163, I'm quite pleased for us to be awkward opposition and relentless. Goals from a variety of sources too, even without Rodriguez and Sigurdsson.

Obviously need more quality in the side but a good start.

Danny O’Neill
173 Posted 25/08/2021 at 19:02:55
Darren @155, my point. It works if you have the players who understand it and can execute it. Very valid point about Brits not being familiar or comfortable with it. We're not brought up with it. Players and fans alike.

Interesting though, but outside of set pieces, in my experience of playing German football, in open play, they are total annoying shits for man marking and literally following you around the pitch!

Brian @163 & Tony @165; it's us fans that make us Everton. Brighton on Saturday, I have my ticket for Burnley and then we have Norwich on 25th September.

None of this is yet declared to Mrs Danny, but I can feel the suspicion bearing down on me. I haven't mentioned Burnley as that is the day after we get back from a weekend trip to Berlin and I don't yet want to ruin my Birthday weekend. Norwich isn't even on the agenda, although I think she suspects something. I'm rubbish at hiding all things Everton!

She has pledged to match me spend for spend each time I go to watch Everton now that I'm more able to. By the end of September, that could be edging towards £3K in total cost already. It could be an expensive season. Especially considering I have to factor in Wembley!!

Back to the football. Agree, we are in a near similar position to last year. Good team if all fit, but lightweight squad if hit by inevitable injuries. We need reinforcements and still better players.

Jay Harris
174 Posted 25/08/2021 at 19:07:47
Tony,

I don't feel its his feet I think he just loses focus and then his head goes walkabout.

John Keating
175 Posted 25/08/2021 at 19:15:43
Defensively, we were a shambles last night.

Nkounkou going forward is good but primarily he really needs to switch on when defending.

God only knows what Keane and Holgate are up to?

Gbamin, well, until he gets games under his belt, it's difficult to say but last night he was well short.

In any cup competition, the outcome is to get through whatever way you can and last night we proved it just!

I think it just proves, as per the last few years, unless we have our best 11 on the pitch, against anyone, we will struggle.

Danny Broderick
176 Posted 25/08/2021 at 19:20:24
I’m sorry but zonal marking remains flawed even if you have the personnel. If you give Tim Cahill and run and jump at the ball, he will beat most centre halves to the ball.

It will always be more effective if you put a man on him who can try to impede his run and block him every inch of the way, rather than having defenders marking space.

I can’t help thinking that this zonal marking was brought in from Europe, where teams traditionally didn’t attack the ball aerially like we do in England.

Tony Abrahams
177 Posted 25/08/2021 at 19:22:23
Fair enough, Jay, but the incident Mike and Darren are talking about is just one time I can think about where Keane could have taken a step back and volleyed the ball to safety, rather than stooping low to head a ball inside his own box, which should only be done if you are putting the ball behind for a corner, imo.

I think Keane is very heavy on his feet, and can't change his movements because of this. Some people who were at the game said Michael was unlucky with the way the ball ricocheted at Leeds; I personally think he plants his feet into the ground way too heavily, and then becomes rooted to the spot because of this.

Jay Harris
178 Posted 25/08/2021 at 19:37:47
Good point Tony but I always relate wooden feet with a wooden head. LOL
Graham Mockford
179 Posted 25/08/2021 at 19:42:34
Very few teams don't mark zonally these days. The last team to win the Premier League man to man were Leicester.

It's about execution regardless of which system you use, and of course there isn't only one form of zonal marking. It's a broad term for a number of different defensive set-ups that can be employed.

But there is a bit of a jumpers for goalposts flavour to this particular debate.

Danny O’Neill
180 Posted 25/08/2021 at 19:45:19
But a Cahill only gets on the end of his run of the ball if the defender doesn't take responsibility for his zone Danny B.

And he only gets on the end of his run if he loses his marker.

The theory behind zonal is that the defending team calls the shots and dictates. If you get it right. Many try but don't.

Man marking is traditional and what we understand in this country, but the opposition can pull you out of shape.

Tony, I think we've laboured the discussion on Keane. It's not just what you say about his heavy feet, which contributes to his turning circle, it's his concentration, anticipation and reading of the game. At 28, he's currently our oldest and most experienced centre back. As an experienced centre back, he should be a leader. He's not looking like either.

Danny O’Neill
181 Posted 25/08/2021 at 19:48:49
I dislike Sky Sports and unfortunately our own Kevin Cambell is commenting.

Calling tonight a "must win" game for Arteta.

I get he's probably the favourite for the early chop, but come on. We're 2 games in and this is the League Cup!!

Dale Self
182 Posted 25/08/2021 at 19:49:15
Jay and Tony, it has seemed like poor ol' Kawliga was our central defender on more than a few occasions.

And a note on Arteta, you know it's bad when the grauniad won't put up an MBM for a London club cup match.

David Pearl
183 Posted 25/08/2021 at 19:57:51
Arteta needs more time to bed in his signings they don't half have a lot of players. Load of good young ones too, so opportunity there this season if he gets it right.

Norwich have a horrendous opening few fixtures. I'm glad they are back though so l can listen to their manager talk.

Brent Stephens
184 Posted 25/08/2021 at 20:06:57
Graham #179 "jumpers for goalposts".

I see what you did there (presumably intended!).

Paul Tran
185 Posted 25/08/2021 at 20:07:16
Doesn't matter what form of marking you use, defenders need the ability to concentrate and have some awareness. And all too often, ours have neither.
Danny O’Neill
186 Posted 25/08/2021 at 20:07:32
It's ridiculous David. Driven by the media, we (the collective we) are baying for managerial blood by October. Or September now as the case seems to be.

3 years? We don't give managers 3 months these days.

I've spent a lot of time in Germany, but Farke most definitely has the most stereotypical German accent I've ever heard David!!

Kevin Prytherch
187 Posted 25/08/2021 at 20:14:11
Going back to the Spurs game, I have to side with Darren here.

The first goal, Keane takes it off Holgates head by getting something on the ball.

The second goal, Holgate does what any Centre Back is taught, if you can’t get to the ball then you jump anyway to put the striker behind you off. He didn’t touch the ball and Keane watched it all the way into his head. Keane should have been anticipating Holgate to miss the ball and be connecting behind him. Both (although the first was unlucky) were more down to Keane than Holgate.

Keane is a brilliant defender on the edge of his own box and He suits about 15-20 games well, but if we have ambition and want to move forward then Godfrey and Holgate should be the pairing against every team we expect to beat.

Peter Mills
188 Posted 25/08/2021 at 20:21:19
There was an interesting tactic in the game I attended last night. For the last 5 minutes of extra time, with his team 2-1 down, the losing goalkeeper moved up the pitch.

Not just up front for corners, but as an extra man in midfield, permanently. It was very entertaining.

David Pearl
189 Posted 25/08/2021 at 20:32:13
Danny, that accent is stereotypical? It doesn't look like that noise should be coming from his head.

Back to Keane and for that Spurs goal if he was aware of what was around him he would not have panicked and darted over to the ball the way he did. I don't know whats affecting him. Maybe pressure to make the England squad? I don't think it would have been such a bad idea to have made him captain.

Danny O’Neill
190 Posted 25/08/2021 at 20:41:07
Without being critical of Keane on a personal basis, he is the player he is, so I don't think it's a case of what's affecting him, he's just a certain type of centre back at a certain level. No more, no less.

A lack of pace isn't a crime and can be compensated for. If you have footballing intelligence, anticipation and an ability to read the game.

Michael is a good honest player. Just not good enough for where I want Everton to be. Both in terms of on the pitch and the league table.

John Boon
191 Posted 25/08/2021 at 21:11:05
Danny (190)...completely baffled by your first paragraph
Mike Gaynes
192 Posted 25/08/2021 at 21:20:06
Kev #187, you and Darren have an interestingly contrasting view for two people who agree.

You bring up the first goal. What you describe as taking the ball "off Holgate's head" is exactly what Darren describes on the second goal as "doing what any defender in the world worth his salt would do. Straining every sinew to get there." In other words, Keane leaps and gets his head on the ball, and it's a bad play. Holgate leaps and misses it completely, but it's a good play. Ohhhhh-kaaay.

Now specifically on the second goal, let's forget about the fact that Holgate never gets close to reaching the ball -- he's half a head shy -- or clearly had no idea his teammate is behind him because he hasn't bothered to look. Just do me a favor and freeze the video at the exact moment Keane heads the ball down towards Siggy. The flying-backwards Holgate is now maybe two feet in front of him. A fraction of a second later he literally bangs into Keane like a little old lady backing a Buick into a parking space without looking in the mirror. Where the heck was Keane supposed to put the ball? Even if he had time to adjust, which he didn't, he'd have two choices -- to the left over the end line for a corner, or to the right into the center of the box.

Sorry, but there is no way to portray Holgate's backing into his teammate and blocking his easy pass as anything but sheer brain-deadness. Not for the first time, and sure as hell not for the last.

Moving on.

Kevin Prytherch
193 Posted 25/08/2021 at 21:30:54
Mike, for the first goal, that’s why I summarised it as unlucky as Keane did everything he could but didn’t get enough on the ball.

Both, ultimately, came down to a lack of communication. However I would put Keane more at fault for both, with the first being more Keanes fault due to a massive slice of bad luck.

Andy Crooks
194 Posted 25/08/2021 at 21:44:24
Could I make a comment on zonal marking?
What the fuck does it mean? Honest to God what? It reminds me of monterism. I used to nod sagely when it was mentioned, without having the first fucking clue what it meant.
Why not man mark? It worked for Alf Ramsay. At least you know what lazy fucker was scratching his arse while Wally Brand stuck another one in the net.
Joe McMahon
195 Posted 25/08/2021 at 21:46:37
Nowhere else to put this, but some under fire managers are getting good results tonight. It's a goal-fest.
Bobby Mallon
196 Posted 25/08/2021 at 22:08:19
Rob 125: I feel your pain. 6 yrs ago I was bitten on the ankles by horse fly’s playing golf in Plymouth. My god a week later I couldn’t walk. Was put on antibiotics. The worst part for me was the itching I ripped holes in my skin it drove me mad. Then I read on inter web to put ice packs on the bites it worked wonders. Good luck
Rob Halligan
197 Posted 25/08/2021 at 22:12:24
Cheers Bobby, I’ll try the ice. Will cool my leg down as it is really hot. My bites are around the calf area, but I’ve had bites on the ankles, and as you say, they are really painful. You can’t walk as the throbbing is that intense.

By the way, I’ve never seen horse flys playing golf. 😂😂😂

Barry Hesketh
198 Posted 25/08/2021 at 22:26:58
Rob, You've been 'rewarded' with a trip to London as QPR host Everton in the next round of the league cup.
Rob Halligan
199 Posted 25/08/2021 at 22:30:46
Yeah Barry, just watched the draw. Another late night. QPR isn’t too bad in terms of location. Not far from the end of the M40 if I remember rightly.
John Raftery
200 Posted 25/08/2021 at 22:39:08
Could have been worse. Time we won away in London in this competition. We have lost at Chelsea, Fulham and Brentford in the last ten years or so.
Rob Halligan
201 Posted 25/08/2021 at 22:43:18
John, all west London clubs, as are QPR! ☹️☹️☹️
Darren Hind
202 Posted 26/08/2021 at 03:59:08
You get funnier by the post Mike.

The player who was born with eyes in the back of his head hasnt been born yet. That ball had a lot of topspin on it. Holgate did his utmost to get to it. Keane was further back and could see the bigger picture. He could see the ball was coming down fast he could see Holgate wasnt getting there. He could see how close He and Holgate where going to end up to each other if he charged into him. It was (in any football language) His responsibility to deal with the situation.
The guy who sees the bigger picture takes control.

I suspect it is your desire to blame Holgate that made you to hear Keane's call - months after the event...From over the USA.

There is a very strange desire to find a culprit for every goal we concede. but having watch over a thousands of games, played, manged/coached too many games to put a figure on. I have learned one thing above all else. Shit happens on a football pitch.
Holgate did nothing wrong for that Goal, no matter how hard you try to make it so. Thats what people are trying to explain to you. Keane was caught in two minds but didnt commit the crime of the century. A renowned predator was lurking. That may have panicked him for all we know. Unfortunately it fell perfectly for Kane and he did what he does.

Instead of hammering Keane for the Huddersfield goal. How about we say what really happened ?
How about we say this was one of those occasions where zonal marking had it flaws exposed.
How about we say; This was a great delivery and a an unstoppable header ?
How about we gracefully give credit to the opponent instead of making stuff up like Keane jumped from a standing position ?
Once we start doing that. We start to understand how this footy lark works.

Kieran Kinsella
203 Posted 26/08/2021 at 05:52:04
202 sounds a lot like an apologist, acolyte, sycophant of Holgate.
Danny O’Neill
204 Posted 26/08/2021 at 06:09:43
I feel I owe you an explanation John Boon for my cryptic writing!!

It echoes a previous sentiment that we know what we're getting with Michael Keane. And at 28, I'd say he's done most, if not all, of his development.

QPR. Convenient for me if I manage to get a ticket. Not keen on the area around their ground. I was there several years ago (probably more) to watch an FA Cup fixture. I think we lost, but a young John Lundstram stood out for me that night.

Darren Hind
205 Posted 26/08/2021 at 06:36:40
Kieran Kinsella

You are embarrassing yourself again.

You were as wrong as wrong can be about Ancelotti with your constant happy clapping and angry attacks on those who tried to educate you. Get over it.

Oh and you may want to let the memory of you claiming that you have had a 30 year love affair with Sheffield Wednesday because a West Ham player once caught the ball as Goodison, before you try to come on with smart arsed one liners

Actually. You have just helped me realise something...I'm begining to understand why a couple posters come on here and very carefully avoid actually talking about the game

Neil Cremin
206 Posted 26/08/2021 at 07:41:25
Darren
Just add to add a little fuel to fire. One concern for me on set pieces whether zonal or man to man is the role of Bergovic. He made good saves but never got sense he had any command of 6 yard area. From what I saw on Tuesday, I wasn’t impressed. Maybe that’s why Rafa got Lonergan as backup for backup.
Ray Smith
207 Posted 26/08/2021 at 07:48:03
Rob 108

I’m going to the Brighton game on Saturday and if I see them I’ll listen to what they are singing, and without getting too involved and without getting wet from flying beer, show my displeasure.
However, at 70 my heart says sort them out, but my head says don’t be silly grandad! Would have done years ago though.
Should be a good game, both teams unbeaten. I fancy us to nick it 😃

John McFarlane Snr
208 Posted 26/08/2021 at 17:09:17
Hi Darren [202]

I quite like your last paragraph. For years, I have held the belief that anything can happen in a game of football. In my opinion, little credit is given to opponents in the goal-scoring stakes, there are times when goals conceded are to be treated with a degree of admiration.

I have been mocked on this site for expressing the view that footballers are not machines that can be programmed, and I cannot understand how anyone who has been watching football for a minimum of a single season, can't see that. There may be some who are sick and tired of me saying that, but I'm equally sick and tired of players being made scapegoats, they don't make mistake on purpose, and don't deserve the treatment they receive. A comment of "He's not good enough" would suffice.

If you're available for the get-together at the Bramley Moore on September 25th I would really like to meet you; you never know, I might even like you.

James MacGlashan
209 Posted 26/08/2021 at 17:49:47
Rob H (119).

As was mentioned after your 119 post, it could well turn into cellulitis. Not nice and if not treated can lead to a serious operation. See images on the interweb. When I had it I had to go to A&E and had to have intravenous meds. Please keep an eye on it and see a doc.

Rob Halligan
210 Posted 26/08/2021 at 18:06:32
James, I spoke to our doctors yesterday and was asked to send pictures on my phone to them. I then got a call from one of the GP’s, who after a brief discussion, prescribed a course of Flucloxacillin tablets, which contain penicillin. These tablets are really powerful and make you feel drowsy, but they are already doing the job as my legs feel much easier today.
Dale Self
211 Posted 26/08/2021 at 18:17:51
Admirable and brave John Sr. especially the part that you might like who you would like to meet. Classic.

And on your invitee, I've stayed a bit quiet on the Carlo thing lately while some have had their little revisionist rants but I'm quite willing to revisit those good times if it continues to get stirred up. We may accidentally be in a better place so it would be good to get clean and get with Rafa rather than reignite the wrath of the discontented.

Danny O’Neill
212 Posted 26/08/2021 at 18:37:43
Footballers are not robots, John Senior. Football is a game of mistakes. It doesn't mean we can't criticise and moan about them, but it never needs to get personal. I make mistakes in work.

Looking forward to the 25th. I'll be 9 days past my 50th then, have watched Everton win and be looking towards the site of our new home.

And I reckon most on here in the flesh would get on and like each other despite the passionate debates. They only happen because we are passionate about the same common love in our life!

Do they serve a good wine in the Bramley-Moore? I went off beer years ago!!

Bill Gall
213 Posted 26/08/2021 at 18:38:56
Rob # 210

You and a number of other supporters seem to attend a number of away games, I wonder if you know my nephew J Blaine? He attends most away games, even in Europe.

Dave Abrahams
214 Posted 26/08/2021 at 18:45:49
Bill (213),

Everton had a striker, J Blaine on their books in the distant past, is this the same fella?

John McFarlane Snr
215 Posted 26/08/2021 at 18:49:25
Hi Dale [211], Although there are some things that we disagree on, Darren has always treated me with respect. I can't say that about everyone on this site. Words can be misinterpreted in the written form, and I'm quite sure that having a convivial chat in the Bramley-Moore will help me to get to know the real Darren, one way or another.
Brent Stephens
216 Posted 26/08/2021 at 18:51:30
Dale #211 "Admirable and brave John Sr. especially the part that you might like who you would like to meet. Classic."

Yes, that sting in the tail!

Dale Self
217 Posted 26/08/2021 at 19:38:00
I'm not having a go at Darren in particular there. It's the revisionism without ever covering the obvious that doesn't sit well with me. If anyone can divine the true Darren from the river of Guinness, it would be you. Keep it going.

Oh yeah, Go Pacos and come on Red Imps of Gibraltar!

John McFarlane Snr
218 Posted 26/08/2021 at 19:44:31
Hi Danny [212],

Your first paragraph, if I'm reading it right, reinforces my view on the type of criticism that some players are subjected to. The 'abuse baton' that Gylfi Sigurdsson and Alex Iwobi held has been handed over to Michael Keane and Mason Holgate. I'm not suggesting that all criticism is abusive but I find some of it neither constructive nor justifiable.

Hi Brent [216],

Another example of how the written word can be misinterpreted, my last few words were tongue-in-cheek, and I feel sure that Darren will understand that, apologies to him if he doesn't.

Bogdan Kotarlic
219 Posted 26/08/2021 at 20:29:14
A good win for us. Although the League Cup is now considered as a not important competition at all, I would like us to win it. It would mean a lot to me, a trophy, after all, is a trophy.

I would also like us to do well in the FA Cup. I understand that for most fans the Cups are of no importance at all but it is always nice when you win a trophy.
Darren Hind
220 Posted 26/08/2021 at 20:40:35
I feel like I'm watching Mr Brownlow offering an explanation to Uriah Heap.

Johnny Mac

I have a family engagement on the 25th, but I only live 10 walk from the Bramley Moore, so I'm hoping to pop in for an hour or so to put a few names to a few faces.

Bill Gall
221 Posted 26/08/2021 at 20:45:21
Dave #214,

No that is not the same John Blaine. My nephew is a member of the Everton Shareholders Association, and I can't remember him playing football.

Andy Crooks
222 Posted 26/08/2021 at 20:55:22
Darren, I will look forward to meeting you. Maybe we will be top of the league then.

I rarely bet on Everton and I think the Brighton game is such a tough call. However, I believe that a victory will buy Rafa huge breathing space.

Also, I think he put a result here ahead of win at Huddersfield. Brighton are committed to front foot tactics; we... err, really aren't. I think we will win well. Minus a goal, Everton to win.

Bill Gall
223 Posted 26/08/2021 at 22:30:37
My wife just yelled at me for spelling the name, J Blain, wrong (@221) – I added an e on the end. Have to claim a senior moment problem as I seem to be doing it often.
Rob Halligan
224 Posted 26/08/2021 at 22:56:12
Bill, Blain or Blaine, neither means nothing to me. Though I might recognise his face it it were pointed out to me?

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