Richarlison is expected to be back in the matchday squad after recovering from a knee injury
Updated Depleted Everton are at home again this weekend as they entertain recently-promoted Watford and bid to get back to winning ways.
The Blues kept themselves in the Premier League's top five with a win over Norwich and a draw at Manchester United prior to the international break but last weekend's defeat to West Ham dropped them to eighth place and brought into sharp relief the injury problems plaguing Rafael Benitez's squad.
While Seamus Coleman was a welcome returnee at right back, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison were missing once more and their absence was keenly felt as the Hammers grabbed a 1-0 victory thanks to Angelo Ogbonna's second-half header.
Richarlison returned to full training this week and is expected to be in the matchday squad for Saturday's game, most likely as a lone striker, but Calvert-Lewin faces a few more weeks on the sidelines and Everton were rocked by the news that Abdoulaye Doucouré has suffered a foot fracture and Yerry Mina is ruled out with a hamstring complaint.
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The Frenchman has been an absolutely vital cog in Benitez's midfield, enjoying his more expansive role under the Spaniard and he will leave a hole in the side that will be difficult to fill.
André Gomes and Fabian Delph, two potential deputies, have been struggling with injuries of their own, as has Jean-Philppe Gbamin who was an unused substitute in the last two matches but it remains to be seen whether his manager feels he is sufficiently match-fit to start.
That leaves Tom Davies as the man who might be charged with sitting in for Doucouré. The 23-year-old hasn't been named in a starting XI since his disappointing outing in the Carabao Cup at QPR last month.
Regardless of who starts in Doucouré's place, it will necessitate a tactical shift to compensate for the loss of the Frenchman's dynamism and legs. While Gbamin has the potential to match Doucouré's all-action profile, he has still only made one Premier League start for Everton since arriving at the club more than two years ago and has not been able to prove he can make it through a 90-minute Premier League contest since recovering from a succession if serious injuries.
At the back, Yerry Mina was expected to be available after sitting out the defeat to West Ham due to his late arrival back from international duty with Colombia but he is being withheld as a precaution after he "felt" his hamstring in training. Out wide, Anthony Gordon could be preferred to Alex Iwobi who gave a poor performance last time out.
Watford come into the weekend sitting in 14th place with seven points from eight games, six more than struggling Norwich and two less than the altogether more impressive Brentford who are currently 10th.
While the Hornets began the season with a rousing victory over Aston Villa at Vicarage Road, their only other win this season has come against Norwich and, perhaps unsurprisingly, given how often they change coaches, they have already sacked their manager.
Xisco Muñoz was summarily dismissed after Watford lost at Leeds in a game that ended 1-0 to the Yorkshire side but which could have been much more on the basis of how poorly the Hornets played. His replacement, Claudio Ranieri, underwent a baptism by fire against Liverpool last weekend in his first game in charge, seeing his new charges torn apart by Liverpool and losing 5-0.
The Italian has called on the Watford players to show him a reaction when they travel to Goodison Park but Benitez will be hoping that even with his injury troubles, Everton will have plenty to overcome an opposition that has, in recent games, looked well short of Premier League quality.
Kick-off: 3pm, Saturday 23 October, 2021
Referee: Graham Scott
VAR: Martin Atkinson
Last Time: Everton 1 - 0 Watford
Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Coleman,
Mina Godfrey, Keane, Digne, Allan, Davies, Townsend, Gordon, Gray, Richarlison
Reader Comments (142)
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1 Posted 22/10/2021 at 05:54:04
2 Posted 22/10/2021 at 06:19:38
A five-man midfield where only one player cost over £2m
3 Posted 22/10/2021 at 06:40:07
4 Posted 22/10/2021 at 07:13:00
5 Posted 22/10/2021 at 07:37:36
It was criminal not giving the likes of Vlasic or Klaassen a 10- or 12-game run, but playing Schneiderlin was okay.
We had Wayne Rooney who I think scored 12 goals, why was he got rid of? What an influential player he could have been. We have had good players at this club but they were other managers players who had different ideas and tactics.
6 Posted 22/10/2021 at 07:40:20
I agree totally.
7 Posted 22/10/2021 at 08:09:46
8 Posted 22/10/2021 at 08:29:50
Makes you wonder with our almost threadbare choices of players, it almost beggars belief that players who have not played recently can be injured, and apparently unavailable. What are they made of – glass or marshmallow?
9 Posted 22/10/2021 at 09:07:03
It will be last week with Davies in for Doucoure and maybe Mina and Richarlison in for Godfrey and Iwobi.
10 Posted 22/10/2021 at 09:38:04
Then the Doucouré replacement issue. All options are a gamble: Gbamin has has little competitive football for donkey's years, while Tom Davies still struggles to stamp his authority as a central midfielder when handed an opportunity.
I wonder if Tyler Onyango could leap ahead of both of them given a chance… but he probably needs more matches under his belt after injury. I'd say there was an opening there for him if he can bash Benitez's door down demanding a chance.
How about pushing Seamus into midfield for some tenacity and having Godfrey at right-back, being helped defensively but still having some pace there? A front two of Gray combining with Richarlison.
Godfrey Keane Mina Digne
Coleman Davies Allan Townsend
Prediction: Everton 3 Watford 0
11 Posted 22/10/2021 at 09:39:23
12 Posted 22/10/2021 at 09:48:59
And as part of that, I think Davies needs some serious game time.
13 Posted 22/10/2021 at 09:52:17
Seems likely Davies will step in for Doucouré because no-one else is properly fit.
I'm desperately hoping Gordon will start to impose himself on games too. I see him in the vein of Mason Mount. Worth persevering with.
But we may need someone – even Holgate – to step into midfield if they're kicking lumps out of us.
14 Posted 22/10/2021 at 09:52:55
Gordon deserves a game in place of Iwobi and Richarlison is a given to replace the willing but woefully short of match sharpness Rondon.
I'd love to see Onyango play but I think he will be on the bench and is more likely to get a game in a few weeks time when Doucouré will still be out but Onyango will be much fitter.
Coleman Mina Keane Digne
Townsend Gray Gordon
2-0 to us!
15 Posted 22/10/2021 at 09:59:31
Ranieri is no mug; he and Watford will not get a better chance against a top-half team than Everton at the moment, although Rafa will do a better job at keeping our heads up.
Home advantage – we should shade it (although Z-Cars will make them feel at home). I can see maybe 2-1 or 1-0.
16 Posted 22/10/2021 at 10:09:34
17 Posted 22/10/2021 at 10:09:46
18 Posted 22/10/2021 at 10:29:07
19 Posted 22/10/2021 at 10:39:50
We should be looking to beat the likes of Watford comfortably, not be sitting back and trying to nick a win. If we want to actually dominate teams, then we can't defend deep, we need to compress space, turn over possession in Watford's half and not let them out.
We can't do this with Keane in the team, we defend too deep and are always vulnerable on the counter due to his lack of pace. Keane would be my first choice defender against teams we look to hit on the counter, but not against teams we should be dominating.
Also, without Doucouré's work rate, I don't know whether we need 3 in midfield to compensate. Might be a game for Gomes to be sat in front of Davies and Allan. He'd have less defensive responsibility, but would still be there for numbers to make sure we don't get overrun.
20 Posted 22/10/2021 at 10:42:46
I can only guess at how many keepers and kids there will be on the bench but I'd like to see, at some stage, Dobbin given a run alongside Richarlison – but I doubt this manager will take a defender or midfielder off to try it.
21 Posted 22/10/2021 at 10:56:23
22 Posted 22/10/2021 at 11:09:45
23 Posted 22/10/2021 at 11:16:50
I'm struggling to find the right words to describe Evertons condition.
As others have mentioned, what exactly is wrong with these 3 players ? And then we have the mystery of Tosun.
For all the criticism Tom Davies gets at least the lad stays fit and available.
24 Posted 22/10/2021 at 11:35:22
We have a solid base, Pickford, good back four and Allan biting legs.
In front of this we have two wide men ripping up trees.
There is a case that whoever fills the remaining 3 places should have the time and space to express themselves.
Richarlison is a no brainer if fit, even if just for the first hour.
Davies or Gbamin will have time to find their feet and whoever of Gordon, iwobi or one of the other 'kids' plays, they should be told to go out and enjoy it.
Use the bench and have faith in the up and coming if any of the starters isn't performing.
If you can't find out about your players against a woeful Watford team when do you try them out?
Not against Manchester Citeh of Chelsea for sure.
Come on Rafa. Go against type and hit this lot hard.
25 Posted 22/10/2021 at 12:01:01
26 Posted 22/10/2021 at 12:02:32
27 Posted 22/10/2021 at 12:19:03
28 Posted 22/10/2021 at 13:03:10
Josh King never got the chances Rondon is getting, week in, week out.
Agree very poor Watford team, but we are down to the bare bones as well, Sarr is an interesting player for them, that we will have to keep a tight hold of.
Just hope Richarlison starts, Tom Davies at least now has players like Gray and Townsend he can lay balls off to,should Davies start.
It is when Watford have posession and coming at us that worries me.
29 Posted 22/10/2021 at 13:03:14
I must have told you a million times not to exaggerate. :-)
30 Posted 22/10/2021 at 13:08:48
31 Posted 22/10/2021 at 13:21:26
32 Posted 22/10/2021 at 13:31:01
Alex Iwobi is one of the most promising talents in world football and we are lucky to have him at Arsenal. He looks to be a player with exceptional touch, skill, and link-up play while also being a homegrown Gooner. But I think his constant selection in big games just exemplifies Arsene's want for attractive football over actually winning games. Iwobi's actual goal and defensive contributions are poor for a player that seems like almost an automatic option on the left wing when Alexis is played as a striker. We have been terrorized on the wings by teams with attacking fullbacks such as City, Everton, and Bayern away (3 games where Iwobi all started on the left wing).. Asking a 20 year old wide playmaker playing in his second full season in a demanding league such as the PL to track back and be an offensive catalyst for over 30 games already this season is just asking too much. TL;DR Although Iwobi is an amazing attacking talent, he doesnt score or defend his position. Arsene had better options to use in big games but chose to ask too much of a 20 year old.
TL;DR Although Iwobi is an amazing attacking talent, he doesnt score or defend his position. Arsene had better options to use in big games but chose to ask too much of a 20 year old.
33 Posted 22/10/2021 at 13:32:36
Get's worse every week!
34 Posted 22/10/2021 at 13:36:29
35 Posted 22/10/2021 at 13:40:05
36 Posted 22/10/2021 at 13:48:08
37 Posted 22/10/2021 at 14:06:12
But Rafa did say that the only doubt with Richarlison was his match fitness, so I'd be surprised to see the Brazilian lasting the full 90 tomorrow. Maybe if we're three up, Dobbin gets 20 minutes?
38 Posted 22/10/2021 at 14:30:13
39 Posted 22/10/2021 at 14:32:05
40 Posted 22/10/2021 at 14:34:45
Holgate Godfrey Keane
Townsend Rich Gray
41 Posted 22/10/2021 at 14:41:46
Yeah I saw Rafa asked about Gbamin and he referred to him as being "a body." Not exactly a ringing endorsement.
42 Posted 22/10/2021 at 14:50:33
43 Posted 22/10/2021 at 14:57:39
We will make mimimal changes l suspect.
Coleman Godfrey Keane Digne
Townsend Gray Richarlison
You know it. Gray and Richy can change around but its consistancy in our managers preferred selection and tactics.
Also could see Gomes or Delph in the second half. Who knows on Gbamin.
44 Posted 22/10/2021 at 15:03:36
If we win then it will ok, next. If we draw or lose Although handicaped by a paper thin neglected squad, not Rafa's fault at all, the disaffection will be aimed squarely at him. This will certainly have a negative effect on the mindset on the pitch and in the stands. Rafa must not dig in again and stand by waiting for the not working plan to work. I think this game will tell if he really and truly understands what it takes to raise the Old Lady to her feet. It seemed to too pensive last time. COYB.
45 Posted 22/10/2021 at 15:05:57
Plan A would have been a return to Blackpool to sharpen up at Championship level before a proper shot at the Prem.
He tends to be a slow starter when he goes up a level but then, takes off. However, each step up gets harder and harder.
Fully fit and with a pre-season behind him, he would probably offer more than Rondon does now. However he's not fully fit and didn't have a pre-season.
I'd absolutely love to see him do well but suspect he's best having a few cameos and then going on loan in Jan to pick up where he left off with Blackpool.
46 Posted 22/10/2021 at 15:08:26
I'd have Iwobi nowhere near the first team and I don't give a damn how well he performs in training. A player who has reached the dizzying heights of bang average a couple of times in 80+ appearances has had more than enough chances. Time to give Gordon the opportunities that Iwobi has spectacularly wasted. I'd have Dobbin ahead of Rondon as well.
In midfield Davies now needs to grab the opportunity offered by Doucoure's injury with both hands and can get some confidence back.
I am very concerned about Raffa's comments on the DCL injury though, where he said 5/6 weeks 'and then we'll see'. DCL's quad injury seems to be following the same path as Gbamin's? DCL is our biggest asset so no expense should be spared on getting the very best specialist advice available.
47 Posted 22/10/2021 at 15:18:12
Pickford, Coleman, Keane, Godfrey, Digne, Allan, Davies, Townsend, Iwobi, Gray, Richarlison.
48 Posted 22/10/2021 at 15:23:02
49 Posted 22/10/2021 at 15:33:59
The Blues boss mentioned that he has increased options in that area of the pitch thanks to the return from injury of Richarlison, but believes that Dobbin will be closer to more minutes in "easy" games.
Benitez told his pre-match press conference: "Let me make a joke, it's around two metres closer to the touchline, so he's [Dobbin] very close! "But no I'm really pleased with him. He's training really well, he's doing well.
When asked if he considered that[Wayford] an "easy" match, the manager responded: "Yeah, it's an easy game, he [Dobbin] has more chances for sure."
50 Posted 22/10/2021 at 15:35:12
Losing Mina, Doucoure and DCL is massive obviously, our 3 best players this season along with Gray and Townsend.
Watford are mediocre but Ranieri should have them playing deep and looking to break. The same style we struggled against with Burnley. Could be a grim game.
51 Posted 22/10/2021 at 15:50:05
After last weeks disaster against the other shower Ranieri is looking for a response against Everton reserves.
I just hope our best players can swing this one for us.
An error prone Pickford
An injury ravaged Coleman
An errant Michael Keane
A Covid ridden Godfrey
A not fully fit Digne
The great white hope Andros
Peter Reid in the form of Allan
"Championship" Tom Davies
Alex I wobble
A not match Fit Richy
The effervescent Demari Gray
The inexperienced Gordon
2 stone handicapped Rondon
A half fit Gomes
A "Cant be arsed" Holgate
A chomping at the bit Dobbins
Fills you with confidence doesnt it.
Sorry to be so glass half full but I am flabbergasted at the state Everton Football club find themselves in.
My only hope is that Rafa can get them through this with 3 points. Now when could we have expected to be saying that in our rich history.
52 Posted 22/10/2021 at 16:08:36
53 Posted 22/10/2021 at 16:11:03
54 Posted 22/10/2021 at 16:13:31
55 Posted 22/10/2021 at 16:16:33
Mina and Keane is and has been our best pairing.
Time to really dig in tomorrow.
56 Posted 22/10/2021 at 16:33:47
He's been great this season.
57 Posted 22/10/2021 at 16:36:56
He thinks Rondon will be fitter, how long does it take to get a player match fit, in our case months it seems. After last week I thought maybe Gordon may start ahead of Iwobi but I have this nagging doubt that he will start tomorrow.
But in all his games for us I have never come away from a game thinking he looks a decent player, my opinion is he looks like a rabbit in the headlights when he gets the ball. Now you can understand that from a young player who hasnt played much but Iwobi has played lots of games in the Premier league for us and Arsenal. I also think he doesn't like the physical side of the game as he always manages to get to an opponent just after he has cleared the ball so he doesnt have to tackle him.
I am sure Ranieri will be looking for a response from last weeks mauling, and with the changes that we will have to make, then maybe they believe they can get something from this game. I think most of our fans will be looking for us to start more positively than we did against West Ham, because we cant afford to give Watford any breathing space. Get at them from minute 1 and give the fans something to cheer, unlike last week were for the first 20 minutes we hardly had the ball in the West Ham half.
58 Posted 22/10/2021 at 16:37:18
He doesn't learn does he? you'd have thought he'd be careful about being dismissive after his "small club," comments. Personally, for a team that finished tenth, lost it's two most creative players and is currently experiencing an injury crisis I don't think any game is "easy," as QPR showed.
59 Posted 22/10/2021 at 16:39:00
60 Posted 22/10/2021 at 16:54:27
I think he has been a lot better this season but he still makes me as nervous as hell when the ball comes into the area and his catching leaves a lot to be desired case in point conceding a corner to West Ham last week.
I think I am getting Friday afternoon wobbles because I felt this game was a banker but with all the injuries I am not confident.
61 Posted 22/10/2021 at 17:05:07
What should he do ? Should he stick with some of the tried and not to be trusted players he's used or go with young blood ? Chicken and the egg ! You'll never get match experience unless you play.
Everton have surprised us and in reality given us a bit of false hope with the way he's got them playing. Really I don't suppose many expected us to be where we are.
I've never understood the reasoning behind putting a player on for 10 minutes you don't get time to warm up.
We'll never find out what they can do unless they play. Gordon et al need to play to develop, With the threadbare squad we have and it being two months to the transfer window now might be the time to give it a go.
Stick or bust ?
Deli Alli seams to be having a nightmare at Spurs, I wonder if Rafa could change him about and get him back on track ? Thought ?
62 Posted 22/10/2021 at 17:22:18
I wouldn't mess with Dele Alli. He's struggled under four managers now if you include Southgate. He reminds me of Nigel Clough, Nigel Callaghan or Jack Wilshere (sans injuries) in that he was excellent for a while but suddenly just turned crap and never found his way back.
63 Posted 22/10/2021 at 17:27:08
Doucouré is not replaceable by any single player we currently have. Davies is 'proven' but, to be blunt, proven to be not all that good. However, Gomes is probably not quite ready and we have to wonder if Gbamin ever will be. I've now pretty much given up hope of ever seeing whatever it was we bought, especially after the recent drink-driving prosecution. Rafa describes him as 'a body', so presumably only useful as training fodder. So Davies it will be.
The only other decision is between Iwobi and Gordon. It is surely time for the latter to be given a run but I can't see Rafa making 3 changes. It should still be good enough against one of the division's feeblest teams but probably only just. Sod's law says King scores.
64 Posted 22/10/2021 at 17:29:59
I agree. He seems to have an attitude problem. Lingard is a much better prospect but also has a suspect attitude. I don't want this kid from Newcastle either.
Pity we didn't hang on to Beningame and build him up gradually.
65 Posted 22/10/2021 at 17:37:01
You say absolutely amazing, where were all these mentioning King last season?
Can you honestly say King was given a run of games like Rondon has had, to prove himself?
This is what King had to say, when we decided not to keep him on, have to say I agree with the guy, never had a proper chance.
"Everton fans are not the only ones who hold a feeling of betrayal towards Carlo Ancelotti after he left to rejoin Real Madrid.
King believes he was sold a move to the Toffees under false pretences after the Italian apparently promised the striker he would be starting games.
However, his stint at the club has been a frustrating one for the Norway international, with all 11 of his appearances coming from the bench late on."
Like I say, if I had the choice of having King or Rondon, I would certainly pick King.
Neither would move us on to the next level, but at least King would have bought a bit of pace and makeshift as a stand-in striker, until we get our front two back from injury.
66 Posted 22/10/2021 at 17:40:08
67 Posted 22/10/2021 at 17:49:48
68 Posted 22/10/2021 at 18:04:28
I agree I'm not mad keen on it with our players but it's Hobson's choice with who we have.
69 Posted 22/10/2021 at 18:04:58
If not I will be heading the Crown side of Lime street, after the game, if any others are heading to town, or catching a train, fancies a couple in there or any other pub close to station.
70 Posted 22/10/2021 at 18:12:14
71 Posted 22/10/2021 at 18:13:33
Jay #60, Pickford isn't 6'5", and there was no way in the world he was going to catch that ball against a powerful challenger with a running start. I was thoroughly pleased that he tipped it out for a corner instead of punching it blindly back into the field of play, as some here advocated, or tapping it off the crossbar as he did at Anfield. In my book he rates zero blame for the goal.
I am not at all confident about this game either, but on Jordan's form, if we lose it won't be on a keeper blunder. He has made every save this season and has matured in all aspects.
Kev #67, heartily agree. Hopefully Rafa has already seen what 3-in-the-back looks like with this team, and won't want to see it again.
72 Posted 22/10/2021 at 18:14:30
I agree on the run up until Christmas, and we have some real tough matches in that spell. If it's a 95th minute, ball rebounds off Rondon's backside winner I'll take it.
73 Posted 22/10/2021 at 18:18:24
We on the other hand have watched Man City, Chelsea, Leicester and West Ham go past us as a force in the game, and are now wondering if we can beat Watford, hoping we can achieve a mid-table finish.
Other than the stability of the Moyes years, it is a steady downward drift of missed opportunities, wasted hundreds of millions, and appalling appointments and recruitment.
The only constant in these years is the chairman. Although we now have a decent manager and hope of money to spend when we recover from the madness of the last few years, I doubt much will really improve till BK goes.
74 Posted 22/10/2021 at 18:19:33
because it is true,
and with his premier league experience he should say that, nothing else.
If youre Watford coming up here,thats your team talk done for you.
75 Posted 22/10/2021 at 18:33:10
Well he did call us a small club so calling Watford an easy game isn't a surprise. Maybe he is dipping his toe in the water and is looking for a future job opportunity.
76 Posted 22/10/2021 at 18:39:42
I can see it now “new Watford manager explains easy quip.” “I didnt mean they were easy to beat I meant its an easy game because the rules of football are very simple.”
77 Posted 22/10/2021 at 18:49:34
If either Godfrey or Holgate pushed forward into that holding midfield role when we dont have the ball / are defending, they would allow Allan and Davies to work on turning possession over. The wing backs would be back in defence in a 4-3-3 formation.
When attacking / in possession, Godfrey or Holgate would drop back into a defensive 3 to allow cover for the full backs to push up.
Ambitious? They are professional footballers so why not?
78 Posted 22/10/2021 at 19:02:55
They didn't even look interested last week. If Iwobi and Rondon play,then Benitez deserves everything he will get,which is nothing,the same you get from them. Townshend and Grey have done more in 4 months for EFC than Iwobi, Gomes, Delph and Gbamin combined in 3 year's! Proper attitude, that's the difference.
Play Richarlison and Gordon from the start and Holgate in front. Davies isn't good enough to play in front because he can't play quick enough and gets knocked off the ball too easy unfortunately, he is more suited further up the pitch but he isn't starting in front of Grey anytime soon.
This lot should be on their way back down the M6 by 5 o'clock after being hammered, no easy games my arse!
79 Posted 22/10/2021 at 19:07:27
80 Posted 22/10/2021 at 19:31:20
Hindsight is a wonderful thing, we did not know we would lose our two main strikers, but with Kean going out onloan, surely we could have given King a year or so contract, as cover if nothing else, rather than not bothering, then bringing Rondon in, instead.
Out of form out of fitness and out of gas you say for King.
Rondon must look like Dixie Dean in training.
81 Posted 22/10/2021 at 19:35:31
Also, seeing it's Watford we're talking about, I'd rather have got Deeney before both Rondon and King, at least he has something of the night about him.
82 Posted 22/10/2021 at 19:53:42
November and early December are likely going to be a rough ride, what with a much stiffer schedule, with Doucouré and Calvert-Lewin out (Mina too? Let's hope not)... so three points tomorrow would be most welcome.
This will be our most favorable matchup for a while, with Wolves looking semi-resurgent at the moment.
83 Posted 22/10/2021 at 20:30:46
I would like to see a front 3 of Gray, Richarlison and Townsend. The midfield is the weakness. It seems a choice of Allan, Davies with either Holgate or …?
I don't know what the problem is with Gbamin as he has been on the bench for the last couple of games and if it is a lack of match fitness, you don't get match fitness sitting on the bench.
I may be wrong as I have not mentioned our secret weapons, Rondon and Iwobi, but I will not be astonished if the manager does not play a defensive game.
84 Posted 22/10/2021 at 20:33:09
Its all about attitude and desire and which team wants this game most.
This is a massive test and bearing the squad depth at Rafas disposal, its gonna be as tough a period as I can remember.
Mina being injured, it seems is a nap, every four games or close to, and hes injured, which is a shame as just as theres signs of stability, injuries strike, in fairness to Mina, across the whole squad.
So a win by hook or crook tomorrow, will be a good result with the players out.
85 Posted 22/10/2021 at 20:49:34
Plays like Nellie Dean on Matchday!
86 Posted 22/10/2021 at 21:01:43
Thanks for the info. The one I don't see though is him training so I assume he is injured again or is just doing gym work.
87 Posted 22/10/2021 at 21:02:26
"Don't worry, boss, it's only Everton… generous as fuck they are!!!!!"
88 Posted 22/10/2021 at 22:29:45
89 Posted 22/10/2021 at 22:46:35
90 Posted 22/10/2021 at 23:00:02
91 Posted 22/10/2021 at 23:11:26
92 Posted 22/10/2021 at 23:18:02
93 Posted 22/10/2021 at 23:37:10
A 32-year-old striker who has been in China for 2 or 3 years and a stint in Russia (remember Niasse). West Brom and one of the worst Newcastle teams since the pre-90s.
Or a 32-year-old who has played for Udinese, Barcelona, Arsenal, Manchester United and Inter?
I know you can't always judge a player on which clubs they've played for. Let's use Richarlison as an example if you're not an Evertonian.
But give me a choice (if we even had one), I know which way the dogs are pointing.
94 Posted 22/10/2021 at 00:08:24
If Rondon does not score or play an 'energetic determined to win' game (like his very first game for us) then he will be subbed at half-time, Richarlison moves to centre and Gordon comes on.
I think Davies will start ahead of Gbamin for 75 minutes because Gbamin is still an unknown quantity for most of us.
Team: Pickford, Coleman, Godfrey, Keane, Digne, Allan, Davies (75), Richarlison, Gray (83), Townsend, Rondon (45).
Subs: Begovic, Holgate, Gbamin (75), Gordon (45), Dobbin (83).
Gray may be subbed because he needs a rest but we need him to play a lot of this game.
Also, Watford may be putting the barriers up because they want a point so we need fast and cutting play.
95 Posted 23/10/2021 at 00:55:24
Sorry mate I cant agree. I was a big fan of Sanchez four or five years ago but his last year at Arsenal and his time at Utd were dreadful. At Inter he was on the bench half time and is now unwanted. Hes on James wages plus some and is 32. Cant see it myself.
96 Posted 23/10/2021 at 06:18:42
97 Posted 23/10/2021 at 06:55:53
Ticket going if anyone fancies going today. I can email the print off ticket this morning.
I don't want anything for it, so going free.
My son and his mate are representing the O'Neill clan today and making a night of it, so I'll be swapping notes live!
98 Posted 23/10/2021 at 07:44:02
99 Posted 23/10/2021 at 07:59:47
Iwobi... I just don't understand it. He looks physically like a footballer but, using last week as an example, with his first pass he gave the ball away and proceeded to do that on numerous occasions, even when he was moved to his favoured central position. He also offered nothing in attack or defence.
However, he started over Gordon (who for me still looks too lightweight). Rafa (who I'm beginning to like more and more – see his comments yesterday about improving every department) then defended him after the game.
Is Rafa under pressure to play him because of his price tag or does he really think there's a player in there? Because I can't see one.
100 Posted 23/10/2021 at 08:00:20
I'm not saying we should sign Sanchez, I'm just saying he's on the radar, via the BBC rumour page. Same age as Rondon, so would he be an upgrade on Rondon at the same price... ie, Free!
101 Posted 23/10/2021 at 08:01:47
It'd be nice to think that Gbamin was fully fit and raring to go and step into Doucouré's shoes. There again, it'd be nice to win the Pools! As for Rondon, I think he was bought as the cheapest option available who could get us through to January (or maybe even May!) as a squad member, not as a first-choice centre-forward.
I haven't seen much to think he's an automatic starter; but there again, I'm not expecting him to do much other than fill in until we get a better option available. What I am sure of, is booing is going to do our team's confidence the world of good!
It seems fairly obvious to me that, if the manager thought that either Dobbin or Simms were ready to fill in a gap, should either Richarlison or Calvert-Lewin get injured, he'd have picked one to replace either. Seeing that, up to now, he hasn't, then they're not ready.
I think Iwobi has brilliant skill, he just doesn't seem to know what to do with it, so I hope he lets Anthony Gordon start. So today, I'll be made up if we get a really jammy win by Rondo falling over and heading the ball in, or a wonder goal from Andros in the last minute... any way – as long as we get a bit of luck and it turns into the winning goal for us.
102 Posted 23/10/2021 at 08:30:10
If we do get caught on the counter, they do have pace which is the only worry today.
Richarlison - in a 10
Rondon - dobbin to come on
103 Posted 23/10/2021 at 08:39:25
105 Posted 23/10/2021 at 09:05:22
There is a player in there but not mentally. He gave the ball away 3 times in a row and let the ball go through his legs when it would have been easier to score. He then got moved towards the end of the first half more central and he did improve. Just not enough.
I think it's a combination of confidence, grit and desire that he lacks. Surely he is on his last legs now. His career is petering, does he realise this? He's had long enough.
106 Posted 23/10/2021 at 09:18:56
107 Posted 23/10/2021 at 09:21:00
108 Posted 23/10/2021 at 09:38:27
Davies will come in for Doucoure and hopfully we could start at a high tempo and score first.
We could really do with a morale-boosting victory.
109 Posted 23/10/2021 at 09:47:01
110 Posted 23/10/2021 at 09:58:23
Pickford, Coleman, Keane, Godfrey, Digne. Allan, Davies, Townsend, Gray, Gordon, Richarlison.
Should be good enough for a convincing 3- or 4-0 victory!
112 Posted 23/10/2021 at 10:43:58
Lot of that going around seemingly and, Sod's Law being what it is, I got the sore throat on Thursday evening and the symptoms you highlight followed and got worse, so I'm an absentee as well.
I've always considered "a cold" to be a slight annoyance but this one has got me feeling really rough (imagines the calls of "fanny" throughout TW).
113 Posted 23/10/2021 at 10:48:56
114 Posted 23/10/2021 at 10:52:27
Had Mina stayed onside or Davies scored himself away to Man Utd, we would now be 4th and feelings could have been very different.
Instead, I come on to read all the doom and gloom despite a few of our best players out injured for the last few games. How quick are we to hit the panic button and even call a half-empty glass, half-full? 😂
Yes, we got off to a great start and Rafa has us playing like a proper team again. There are always gonna be ups and downs but, if we start to doubt so quickly and get on the players' and manager's backs so quickly, we add to that fear factor.
Richarlison coming back is huge and will add even more pace and running ability. Let's stop whinging and get behind the team. We had enough chances to win last week but you have days like that.
Heads and chins up, chests out and three handy points today. We could be 4th by 5pm so let's stop being so fucking negative, folks.
115 Posted 23/10/2021 at 10:54:55
Ah thaaaangyouuuuu! 😄
116 Posted 23/10/2021 at 10:55:06
I'll take the medicine Duncan. Not much of a spell adjustment from my name to get to that!!
My brother took the ticket.
Team-wise, I'm still going with Lyndon's prediction but I'd be interested if Gbamin is available. Maybe bring him on when it's 2 - 0 and the game is won.
117 Posted 23/10/2021 at 10:56:16
Have you had a Covid test?
Anyway. I digress from today's game. With the Under-23 team beaten again and lying second from bottom of their league, and no talent coming through, it's time for Rafa to bring in his own coaches. Every top club are introducing on the ground ball playing youngsters, Who have we brought through in the last 8 years? Gordon... Davies. Get it sorted, Rafa & Brands.
118 Posted 23/10/2021 at 10:58:01
Up the Blues!!!
119 Posted 23/10/2021 at 11:09:18
Subs: Begovic, Godfrey, Davies, Dobbin, Richarlison, child #1, child #2.
Godfrey has serious fitness problems. Richarlison shouldnt be risked over 90 minutes. Onyango cant be any worse than Tom Davies so give him a go.
As long as Iwobi is nowhere near the ground we have a chance.
120 Posted 23/10/2021 at 11:13:33
121 Posted 23/10/2021 at 11:17:07
122 Posted 23/10/2021 at 11:18:06
123 Posted 23/10/2021 at 11:18:42
What a strange, upside-down world, when I'm defending something Rafa said.
124 Posted 23/10/2021 at 11:32:37
Another deathly quiet GP won't exactly inspire either, fast becoming the Goodison Graveyard, its been so quiet.
125 Posted 23/10/2021 at 11:48:59
Bet that got you out of your pjs.
Anyway lets see what happens, a nice win for us and a drink in the Crown after the match.
Anyway up to now Bill is a maybe for the Crown, I will certainly be in after the game, so if you are up for it Steve and Jim, and anyone else, then see you all in the Crown laters, we can scrap the trinity statue, best heading straight for the buses, before the traffic starts up again.
Get well soon Danny.
126 Posted 23/10/2021 at 12:01:02
Anyway, back to today. Good luck today Blues, whether at Goodison or following from afar.
127 Posted 23/10/2021 at 12:07:46
Can't make The Crown, got family and friends (some going to GP for the first time) over so will be spending the evening at the Crown Plaza at the old airport. But if god spares me, see you after the Spurs game.
128 Posted 23/10/2021 at 12:14:21
I am going for 3-1 today, just have a feeling we will start slow again, then a couple of quick-fire goals, followed by Watford clawing one back, before a Sheedy response finish to kill the fight-back off.
129 Posted 23/10/2021 at 12:19:12
Brian and any others I will call in the Crown after the game.
I hope Gordon plays instead of Iwobi.
Guess we'll have to put up with Rondon starting, maybe Dobbin will get on for a bit longer later in the game.
130 Posted 23/10/2021 at 12:24:29
131 Posted 23/10/2021 at 12:25:26
Agree with Danny, (get well mate, Everton needs you), give him 20mins if the game is safe.
Colin, Onyango played 80 mins against Arsenal last night, can't see him being on the bench let alone start.
132 Posted 23/10/2021 at 12:28:41
133 Posted 23/10/2021 at 12:38:49
Everton have never lost a home game to Watford in any competition; it reads Won 13 Drew 2.
134 Posted 23/10/2021 at 13:04:16
Just passing through Huyton now on the train... I think Maggie May just boarded train, Steve! :-)
135 Posted 23/10/2021 at 13:14:04
As for this lurgy that's knocking about, it does seem to be a strong version of a cold. I've had it since I had the flu jab last Friday and, being a hard Kirkdale lad, I've made do with just two Lemsips a day.
Brian,. I'll come down next week all being well; but must get home for me second Lemsip. I hope you and Bill have a pleasant couple of jars this evening, celebrating our win.
Brian Furey (114), Good post and well said.
136 Posted 23/10/2021 at 13:19:06
Mind you, we whacked them (was it 4-1 or 4-0) when we won the league in the 62-63 season. same score will just be perfect!
137 Posted 23/10/2021 at 13:24:11
138 Posted 23/10/2021 at 13:37:01
Brian don't forget to send me Jim and your Mobile Numbers for the Spurs game aperitifs and apres ski libations.
139 Posted 23/10/2021 at 13:38:31
Win today. Has to be a win.
140 Posted 23/10/2021 at 13:44:05
141 Posted 23/10/2021 at 13:44:21
142 Posted 23/10/2021 at 13:52:13
143 Posted 23/10/2021 at 13:57:53
144 Posted 23/10/2021 at 13:59:32
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