Abdoulaye Doucouré could return from injury to provide a massive boost to Everton's midfield on Sunday
Everton head to the Capital on Sunday for a fixture that has assumed enormous importance given the team's poor run of results that extended to no wins in six games with last weekend's defeat at Manchester City.
The Blues go into the weekend sitting in 11th place, eight points off fourth place and only six above the bottom three with a run of difficult fixtures between now and Christmas that continues away at Brentforf.
There could be a glimmer of good news on the injury front, however. The sight of Abdoulaye Doucouré in training in images released by the club from Finch Farm has offered hope that he could play some part.
The French midfielder has been absent for the last few games with a fractured metatarsal and has been a huge miss in the centre of the Blues' midfield as the team's winless run extended to seven matches with last Sunday's defeat at Manchester City.
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This weekend's visit to London to face the newly-promoted Bees was looking to be a daunting one given Doucouré's potential absence and amid suggestions that Allan's preparations were being hampered by a knock picked up at the Etihad.
However, it seems as though Doucouré could be fit enough to play a role on Sunday but whether that is from the start or off the bench remains to be seen.
Meanwhile, concerns over the severity of Demarai Gray's injury eased this past week even if Rafael Benitez sounded doubtful that he would be available as soon as Sunday.
The winger had to come off having played just a quarter of an hour against City but the adductor problem he sustained is not as serious as first feared. He has taken part in light training sessions over the past few days but Benitez was not able to say whether he will be able to face Brentford.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin was back in light training as well away from the group and, like Yerry Mina, this weekend will come too soon for him to make a long-awaited return but there is hope that both could be back in the fold soon.
In the meantime, the team has been undercut further by Richarlison's absence. The Brazilian serves a one-match suspension this weekend after picking up his fifth booking of the season at the Etihad Stadium and it leaves the very real possibility that Salomon Rondon will be in the starting line-up again in his absence.
Struggling for fitness and looking well below the level required since arriving from China over the summer, the Venezuelan striker is few Evertonians' choice to lead the line but with Gray doubtful and Benitez having discounted the prospect of Ellis Simms — and, by extension, Lewis Dobbin — starting, the only other alternative is Cenk Tosun.
Tosun hasn't had a look-in since recovering from his latest serious knee injury but you would imagine that there is a strong chance of him seeing some action this weekend given the paucity of available options.
Brentford have injury concerns of their own in that David Martin, Kristoff Ajer, Joshua Dasilva and Julian Jeanvier are ruled out both Mads Sorensen and Mathias Jorgensen will undergo late fitness tests but joint-top scorer Yoane Wissa is back and their other two goal threats, Ivan Toney and Marcus Forss continue to be fit and available.
Thomas Frank's side laid down a marker for how the fearless way in which they were going to approach their first season in the Premier League following their promotion from the Championship when they beat Arsenal convincingly on the opening day and rallied impressively against Liverpool to draw 3-3 in a game that exemplified not only their never-say-die spirit but also their propensity to cause teams problems by going direct.
Both qualities should concern Benitez as he prepares for this one. Everton have proved to be as susceptible to crosses and set-pieces as they have to being carved open on the deck and the prospect of Brentford slinging balls into the box in the manner they did against Jürgen Klopp's reds is not a comforting one.
Yet, if there is a precedent that should comfort Blues fans it's the fact that former bottom club Norwich went to the Brentford Community Stadium before the international break and won 2-1 in what proved to Daniel Farke's last match in charge.
For Everton, the task will once again be to keep things tight at the back, organised defending dead-ball situations and to find some way of threatening Brentford's defence without the likes of Richarlison and Gray in the side. Doucouré's presence will certainly help in that regard if he can start but there will never be a better time for Rondon to finally get off the mark or, perhaps, one of the younger players to become a hero.
With the Merseyside derby looming and then successive games against Arsenal, Crystal Palace and Chelsea to come, another defeat would only deepen the gloom and ratchet up fears that the Toffees' depleted squad could get sucked into a scrap at the wrong end of the table by the time 2022 rolls around.
A win, by contrast, could set them up nicely for the visit of Liverpool by vaulting them back into the top half and injecting some badly-needed optimism while the manager waits on more key players to return from injury.
Kick-off: 2pm Sunday, 28 November 2021
Referee: Darren England
VAR: Jonathon Moss
Last Time: Brentford 1 - 0 Everton (October 1953)
Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Coleman, Keane, Godfrey, Digne, Delph, Doucouré, Townsend, Gordon, Iwobi, Rondon
Reader Comments (215)
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1 Posted 26/11/2021 at 17:41:46
2 Posted 26/11/2021 at 17:46:55
3 Posted 26/11/2021 at 18:16:30
Brentford are going to start full on 100mph in this game so the boys will have to be pretty close to 100% fit to deal with the fast and physical game expected.
4 Posted 26/11/2021 at 18:25:02
5 Posted 26/11/2021 at 18:38:57
Then, as I mentioned elsewhere, Rodriguez, Bernard and Sigurdsson.
A seriously depleted team from an already thin squad in comparison to even last season.
Blame the manager(s)? No. Victims of serial mismanagement of the transfer "strategy" that has mis-served them.
Ancelotti had to try and make do with what he had. Benitez trying to fathom out what to do with what he's got.
A good first 11 when all fit and firing. A poor squad in terms of anything resembling depth. Our depth is as shallow as a summer stream.
6 Posted 26/11/2021 at 19:09:02
7 Posted 26/11/2021 at 19:12:14
8 Posted 26/11/2021 at 19:13:26
I had to share that one, had me in stitches.
9 Posted 26/11/2021 at 19:33:06
10 Posted 26/11/2021 at 19:33:09
Based on Doucouré's time at Everton, it takes him a few seasons to get up to speed.
11 Posted 26/11/2021 at 19:35:06
I thought Brentford v Everton was on Sky at 2 pm and that BT cover the Saturday Lunchtime game or have I got that totally wrong?
12 Posted 26/11/2021 at 19:39:01
13 Posted 26/11/2021 at 19:57:33
14 Posted 26/11/2021 at 19:57:57
I think Barry and John are right it will be on SKY, possibly on BT as well? Or am I reading the BT advert wrongly?
15 Posted 26/11/2021 at 20:24:54
16 Posted 26/11/2021 at 20:30:13
17 Posted 26/11/2021 at 20:38:20
Better show it against Brentford as they have had some decent results. Just ask Klopp. Better to go down fighting rather than with a whimper, like last week.
18 Posted 26/11/2021 at 20:46:21
19 Posted 26/11/2021 at 21:14:23
20 Posted 26/11/2021 at 22:07:15
Well it was interesting to me anyway...
Doucoure can't start for me. Down to the bones but let's hope they are all mainly fit for next weekend. I'd take a no-score draw on Sunday.
21 Posted 26/11/2021 at 22:18:42
Benitez is obviously the right man for us and we must not make our usual error of taking the short view. He's entirely unsentimental and doesn't give a fuck about our history or the posturing frauds who run the club. Allardyce was the same but no-one gave him a chance, of course.
Rafa's already told us how it's going to pan out this season and he's right: it's going to be a reverse of last year's shambles where Carlo Iscariot left some time around March/April. We're set for an excellent 2022. We must hold our nerve even if (which I doubt) the next several games are disasters too.
We played some cracking stuff earlier on – that Townsend goal against the Mancs was beautiful and the golden spell against Burnley was a neurological shock. Leeds and Brighton away were deeply encouraging.
Hold your fucking nerve; the Tottenham game was a Goodison joy, you could feel the electricity running through you in the Park End against those Tory twats.
My favourite film quote, or one of them, from the Shawshank Redemption, is: "Geology is the study of pressure and time". I think Benitez is a geologist and we fans had better tie ourselves in. I don't think we're talking millennia, but let's settle ourselves and be hard-minded and patient.
Read Carragher's views on Benitez; we have a hard bastard in charge at last; he's starting the grubby, messy task of righting the ship. There will be pain and suffering, there already is. But he's the prescription.
Someone recently – forgive me, I can't remember who – said that we should back Benitez and save Everton. Very fucking true.
22 Posted 26/11/2021 at 23:00:25
Desperate, simple-minded stuff, born of sentimentality and a ludicrous failure to recognise the truth of the last 50 years.
23 Posted 26/11/2021 at 23:16:38
Benitez needs backing and the help of the fans through this period of no summer investment, exacerbated by terrible luck with injuries to core players.
Right now the club needs unity. If we lose, then try to be positive that we will work even harder to put it right.
We need to stop shying away from taking responsibility as a club. Tough times need to be faced down by everybody – players, manager and fans. We need to work through it as a club and as a unified force.
We can't keep running away from the real problems that exist. No manager is going to wave a magic wand and fix Everton overnight. Like him or not, he's been hired explicitly by the owner of the club. He's put in his team and he is in the process of making changes to various departments. All designed to haul the club out of the never-ending and ever-deepening rut of mediocrity.
He will need to strengthen the squad in January and spend some significant money in the summer, he will need to get injured players back,
Most of all, he will need backing by us fans whilst he is putting the effort in to try and get us back to competing at the top of the league.
24 Posted 26/11/2021 at 23:26:47
Like this weather front, Everton will ride these storms, and this for the club has got to be a stake in the ground to start rebuilding the core of the club in every aspect.
25 Posted 26/11/2021 at 23:33:45
26 Posted 26/11/2021 at 23:41:57
However, in the link below it seems as if the board and the owner are as one and they will back Benitez as much as they can and will give him as much time as they can to repair the damage done prior to his arrival.
If Benitez can persuade his players that he is here for the long run and that his word is law, perhaps, many of them will react in a positive way and the fans can get behind the team. The next few months will reveal all.
27 Posted 26/11/2021 at 23:58:03
We do influence the board, I think, as Liverpool fans showed when they dismissed the chancers, Gillette and Hicks. Protest works if it is tough and confident.
Accepting the writ of Kenwright must stop right now. The same applies to Moshiri et al if they continue to fail. Everton fans are lazy moaners and too compliant.
Anyway, backing this manager against vested interests is absolutely crucial if we want to resurrect ourselves.
28 Posted 26/11/2021 at 00:05:37
Doesn't mean we can't chase our own dickheads out of town.
29 Posted 27/11/2021 at 00:13:27
I notice that the Arsenal game hasn't sold out yet!!!!
30 Posted 27/11/2021 at 00:22:03
As for Benitez, I'm well past caring about his kopite past and agree we should back him as a best bet until we enter the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock.
Only thing I'd like someone to shed light on is what is this insistence with Rondon and now Tosun??? Is it a personal message or attack on the board... because it can't be a footballing decision surely?
We still don't and may never know if the likes of Onyango, Simms and Dobbin can transform us. Same as the Rodriguez transfer: injury-prone or not, now that was personal. Point being he's putting EFC second if that is the case.
32 Posted 27/11/2021 at 01:08:28
If he is starting the 'grubby, messy job of righting the ship', then he needs to do better. A defence that was the best at defending set-pieces is now 18th, there has been no discernible gameplan or organisation.
In that electric game v Spurs, we had 2 shots on target and our abject performance featured 1 shot on target and 23% possession. His substitutions have often been illogical and his attempts to justify the selection of Rondon are the sort of thing that costs their credibility with fans – once lost, it is rarely regained.
Most Blues are fair-minded and give managers a chance, but recent performances are completely unacceptable from the manager and the team. I still support giving Benitez a chance because he was handed a hospital pass when he took the job, has spent no money and suffered injuries. But reading posts like yours is beginning to make me change my mind. He needs to improve the results, and he'd better do it soon or he will be gone.
33 Posted 27/11/2021 at 03:16:49
I doubt Moshiri or Kenwright would risk it.
35 Posted 27/11/2021 at 06:38:24
Yes. Very balanced posts.
I for one was very concerned about the appointment, but he is here now and he is the manager. If there is one thing we've learned over the past few years, it is to put a stop to the manager revolving door.
Just my observations and opinion, but as many have said, he has been dealt a shitty hand, even though he knew what he was walking into. Credit to him for that; maybe that makes him more determined to succeed?
It's going to take time to turn this ship around and I appreciate that's not what a lot of us want to hear. His detractors won't like it, but the "magician" reference above gives a degree of credit to Ancelotti's statement towards the end of last season.
Maybe Benitez is now encountering the same sort of resistance from a group of players who simply don't have a winning mentality and aren't good enough collectively, having led an easy life for too long? To the title of the other thread; it could get worse before this is sorted out and it gets better. Strap in and try to enjoy the bumpy ride!! Starting tomorrow.
Just one minor pick-up. Torys? If you've been to White Hart Lane, it's hardly Tory heartland. London itself is a predominantly Labour city. Where I live is surreal. Boris Johnson is the MP for Uxbridge with neighbouring Hayes (a very deprived area) served by no other than Comrade McDonnell. They're basically neighbours!! Diversity my friend!
36 Posted 27/11/2021 at 06:52:15
We can't let go of lwobi for 2½ more years. Under our manager, we let go of the ball. A lot.
Can't say l'm looking forward to our next few games. Even if we have injuries, it's no excuse for the tactics. They just have no confidence or are under instruction not to leave our own half of the pitch. These are Allardyce tactics.
I still can't understand why, if the plan all along was to only give Allardyce 6 months, then why give him £50M to spend on Walcott and Tosun???
As for Benitez. He's getting paid a lo, to do the second-best job in the world. Shouldn't he be better? The fact even that Ancelotti took a 50% pay cut to leave us, and took over £20M in wages in his short time with us.
And Moshiri is an accountant?
37 Posted 27/11/2021 at 07:21:32
My one worry with Rafa is Rondon. Also gutted that Gbamin isn't forcing his way into this midfield in the current injury state. Says it all.
Despite the fact we need points I'd rather save Doucouré and Gray for Wednesday
38 Posted 27/11/2021 at 07:38:32
I wish it was on BT because I can record from there. The way I watch Sky (via Now TV) I'll have to wait for MotD2, but will surreptitiously be following via the LF tomorrow... Should be the usual bloodbath!
39 Posted 27/11/2021 at 07:41:22
40 Posted 27/11/2021 at 07:41:49
41 Posted 27/11/2021 at 07:48:22
But, I wonder if the manager would rather gamble because with a stronger team, he has more chance of getting 3 points tomorrow than he does on Wednesday regardless of what team he puts out?
I feel unclean for saying that, but it may be the reality of where we are right now. Targeted games.
And yes, you / we should go out with the mentality of winning every game.
42 Posted 27/11/2021 at 08:00:53
He may have been chased out of every club he's been at (apart from one he went down with) within 1-2 years. He may play horrendous negative defensive football that cedes possession to lower teams, and doesn't even try to beat the bigger ones. He may detest youth and much prefer the older journeymen boys. He may enforce a set-piece zonal marking routine that took us from one of the best to second worst in 6 months……
But, he's the best we can get (I know, all the other clubs having managers is just a mirage) and, the sooner we get back to mid-table mediocrity of the Moyes years, the comfier I'll feel in my slippers of a night!!
For fuck's sake…
43 Posted 27/11/2021 at 08:05:11
I will try to stay positive, we have had a terrible run of bad luck with injuries, hopefully 2022 will see us turn things around.
It's not Rafa's fault and we should get off his back and support the team.
A new right-back and a midfielder in January alongside the return of Calvert-Lewin, Mina, Doucouré and Richarlison should see a drastic change in performances.
44 Posted 27/11/2021 at 08:36:29
Only problem is that this waiter's idea of a stronger team is including Rondon and or Tosun – wastes of space – instead of being brave and finding out at least if Dobbin, Onyango, Simms, even Warrington can transform us even in the short term until we get the likes of Gbamin (jeez!) back.
He's either terrified of youth or just a bad judge of a player. Or stubborn and is sending a threat / message to the board that he can't work with these morons. Whatever it is, he's making us yet again a laughing stock with his selections. That's before Iwobi gets a mention.
The online protest and hopefully banners are gathering momentum over Dreamcoat Dick and his cronies behind the scenes. Every cloud eh.
45 Posted 27/11/2021 at 08:40:38
I doubt your dogs will avoid eye contact with you until these two games are at least out the way. It's a mountain. It's ridgeback mountain even.
46 Posted 27/11/2021 at 09:11:48
Sunday is a huge match because, if we lose, I fear the following tough run of fixtures may go badly and we may well end up uncomfortably close to the relegation battle. Much will depend on how quickly Mina, Calvert-Lewin and Doucouré can return to full fitness and form.
Injury disasters aside, I still expect us to finish around mid-table; whether that's 7th-10th or 11th-14th will depend on Benitez's ability to get the best out of these players and tighten us up at set-pieces, which has been a problem all season.
47 Posted 27/11/2021 at 09:17:52
Rafa has to admit that he has brought in a terrible player, and needs to stop playing him.
I agree totally with the Tonys – we are in a bad situation, need all the luck that's going, but we have to support our team, and surely things will turn...
48 Posted 27/11/2021 at 09:18:55
Unlike some here, I can understand why Benitez would go with Rondon or Tosun over Simms in the starting XI. Rondon was a bad buy, yes... but he is the only available senior centre-forward we have now. Simms or Dobbin can come in late to try and get at tiring defenders. My predicted XI:
Coleman Keane Godfrey Digne
Doucouré Allan Delph
Townsend Rondon Gordon
With Iwobi, Simms and Dobbin to replace Doucoure, Rondon and Gordon in the 2nd half.
I would absolutely love it if Gordon and Rondon get their first goals for Everton.
49 Posted 27/11/2021 at 09:22:21
I agree, we have to find a way of coming together, remember the "Dogs of War." Let's face it, we are in a mess, with a poor team playing for a club which has been mismanaged for years. We have to find some green shoots from somewhere.
We have tried the quick-fix solutions with disastrous consequences and, for the moment, our best and only option is hard work and backs to the wall. A first goal for Rondon, 100% effort, and no further injuries would be a wonderful start.
50 Posted 27/11/2021 at 09:27:42
This was always going to be a crap season. Benitez inherited a 10th / 12th placed squad and got £1.7M to improve it. He's since lost a circa 13-goal contribution player in bizarre circumstances and had a run of injuries to our very few good players.
Okay, Rondon is crap – but he was a free transfer who wasn't really expected to play much. Simms and Onyango are both feeling their way back from injury and the latter is not exactly imposing himself on U23 games right now. It's tragic that we've got such a poor squad but there's no easy fix.
Sam's right, our finish will be anywhere between 7th and 14th and will depend on injuries and what we can buy in January.
51 Posted 27/11/2021 at 09:47:42
Cliff Britton was the first Everton manager I was aware of and Harry Catterick the very best manager. Kendall had bad times during his second and third spells and Joe Royle chucked it in. All the rest (bar Carey) have been dodgy appointments and got the sack. It's just a question of when rather than if !
52 Posted 27/11/2021 at 09:57:54
He may have had a small pot, but instead of using scarce wages looking at exciting young players on loan (like Bobby at least did well), he bought 5 players in with average age of 32. Instead of Kean and James, we now have Rondon and Iwobi back in.
All teams have injuries, but most of them (including Man City, Liverpool and Chelsea) fill in the gaps with youth. The Fat Spanish Waiter would rather just burst their bubbles and keep selecting perennial under-performers (and those with zero future here) instead.
Net result is the worst run since 2005… and that record's likely to go in the next few weeks too.
So, keep happy clapping the negative manager. Ignore the fact even Kendall lost what he had later in his career (Rafa lost it a long time back) and hoping that somehow not changing anything will magically correct itself.
53 Posted 27/11/2021 at 10:17:35
* Make that the last two decades.
54 Posted 27/11/2021 at 10:21:40
With Liverpool next week, the manager may give Doucouré an extra few days in the hope he may help stop it becoming too embarrassing!
55 Posted 27/11/2021 at 10:30:16
56 Posted 27/11/2021 at 10:33:32
The average age stat is meaningless because it's skewed by two reserve goalies, the older of whom will probably never play. As for Rondon, what other free transfer striker was realistically up for grabs?
I'm not especially thrilled with the look of the side and have long despaired of a short-termist (and generally shit) transfer strategy – and Benitez has certainly made mistakes too, but the reason we have a poor side dates back years.
57 Posted 27/11/2021 at 10:34:47
What a cracking post and quite inspiring going back to the good times earlier in the season.
I just hope Rafa gives the young strikers a chance and at some point Gbamin will have to be given a final run out to see if there is anything left in him or not.
We need to win this and, if we go out and fight like hell, we might just grab a goal and do it.
I would go three at the back with Branthwaite included to counter their long-ball game.
58 Posted 27/11/2021 at 10:39:13
I think we are in a Catch-22 situation: we know we can't keep changing managers but, if we do start to slip nearer the relegation zone, how long will our long-suffering fans react if this happens?
We all accept that Benitez has had a tough deal with having so little to spend, but he will have known before he signed the contract how FFP would impact the club. What he couldn't know was how unlucky he would be with injuries. I didn't want him but we need him to succeed as the other prospect is too hard to contemplate.
But he has to shoulder some of the blame over our results during the last few weeks; his substitutions have left many scratching their heads, and his stubbornness (which he is famous for) in playing an unfit Rondon didn't do the player any favours. So while a lot has been out of Benítez's control, he hasn't managed the things under his control as well as he could have.
I think, apart from a 15-minute spell against Burnley, we have struggled to impose ourselves on teams – even those lower in the Premier League than ourselves. When he signed, Benitez said he understood the type of football Scousers liked to watch; well, apart from that 15 minutes against Burnley, he certainly hasn't delivered on that front.
A poster earlier mentioned Joe Royle's "Dogs of War" approach; I think Benitez would benefit from using that approach – especially till the injuries to key players clear up. I think most Evertonians will back him if they see our side trying to win games and getting stuck in, but they won't if we sit back and relinquish half the pitch to the opposition.
61 Posted 27/11/2021 at 10:46:40
Man City and Chelsea don't fill the gaps. They have strength in depth, combined with starting to see the benefits of investing in their academies. Young players sent out on loan and managed appropriately; introduced when ready into already very good teams.
The dilemma we have, because of years of transfer mismanagement, is to take potentially good young players straight from the Finch Farm training pitches and throw them into a struggling team against a backdrop of negativity. Not exactly a good place for young players to establish themselves.
Brian, the dogs just look at me with concern and sympathy right now. Funnily enough, the boy takes his Kennel Club name from an African mountain! And he is literally a 3-ft tall, 52-kg mountain!!!
62 Posted 27/11/2021 at 10:55:10
He signed one player under 30, and even he's closer to that than he is 20. The two keepers simply weren't needed, and take up wages we apparently can't afford.
Striker-wise, I'd rather he'd put an arm round Kean personally but, even without that, I'd rather the kids get a chance than spunk another £40k a week on Rondon. The likes of Brereton Diaz from the Championship would be worth the £5M extra to add options.
63 Posted 27/11/2021 at 10:56:40
And Jonathon Moss on VAR; our friend!
64 Posted 27/11/2021 at 11:13:02
You're right also about Man City and Chelsea youth being better – so why not try to loan them and give them a platform whilst we get our own system together? They could easily afford the “oldies” Rafa prefers to add depth, but they know it's a wise model to give balance to youth. Not only does it save money, it actually tells the next generation they can go there and get a go. A badge we used to have… and desperately need back.
65 Posted 27/11/2021 at 11:31:03
66 Posted 27/11/2021 at 11:46:41
I wasn't in favour of Benitez but you'd have to say, this isn't really his fault, the Rondon/King debacle excluded. We have the squad depth of a puddle. If Duke isn't fit, what's the option? Gbamin again?
Basically I think this has got defeat written all over it with such a lacklustre team. I'm hoping this means we surprise and get an unlikely victory. Maybe the Bees initial energy and enthusiasm will wane, as it often does for newly promoted teams
67 Posted 27/11/2021 at 11:51:55
That potential line up epitomises the mismanagement of the squad. Delph (enough said) and a less than 100%, rushed back Doucoure holding the midfield together?
Iwobi looked even more confused than Iwobi when he came on against City. It was like he'd ended up on a football pitch and didn't understand why or what he had to do.
And Digne seems to be getting skinned a lot down that left side recently. Also, with their height, he should be under strict instruction to shadow and jockey. I don't like to say it, but avoid tackling as much as possible. He's been giving away a lot of free kicks in dangerous positions of late.
As for Rondon. I have no words that haven't already been said.
It makes me sad that I'm talking in this way as we face Brentford. Yes, Brentford. However, it's the closest Premier League ground to me, so let's get optimistic again. 4 points from the next 2 games. Knowing Everton, we'll do it arse about face. Draw tomorrow and miraculously sneak a win midweek is my prediction.
Off to take my medicines.
68 Posted 27/11/2021 at 11:56:54
Looking forward to the game and seeing the new stadium. But we must win.
69 Posted 27/11/2021 at 11:56:55
Looking forward to the game and seeing the new stadium. But we must win.
70 Posted 27/11/2021 at 11:57:32
71 Posted 27/11/2021 at 12:00:29
72 Posted 27/11/2021 at 12:08:45
75 Posted 27/11/2021 at 12:26:03
I understand the Benitez critics. But I think he'll do it for us and we have to be realistic about the club and the mess it's got itself into. The mistake is to think that the solution is to keep sacking managers until someone arrives to make it all better. It hasn't been better for a very long time indeed.
We need to hold fast.
76 Posted 27/11/2021 at 12:37:35
We are in a mess at the moment player wise, I'm hoping for something out of the game but I'm fearing the worst.
I think in the long term we are destined to stagger on like we have for the last 20+ years.
Why, because we cant sign the very best players or keep any top players we produce, its as simple as that.
Apologies for repeating myself again, but to keep changing the manager wont solve our problem.
77 Posted 27/11/2021 at 12:39:15
I was never supportive of Rafa's appointment. His style for me is out of date and negative. But we play, or attempt to play, a more direct style than in recent years and while defensive, there is an atte,mpt to attack with purpose However, we lost the fulcrum of this attacking play: Calvert-Lewin, then we lost the engine behind the counter-attacks in Doucoure.
These two losses are immense. Doucoure's energy and charges from the middle pushed the team forward, put the opposition on the back foot, and opened up space for Grey and Townsend out wide. It's no surprise that their influence diminished when Doucoure got injured.
DCL was the poacher, the man to target with crosses, who is quick and aggressive and will keep the opposition defence deep (and thus the whole team deeper). Without him, the oppositon have easily stifled our attack. Rondon has no pace, so no worries in the opposition playing a higher line, amd Richy just isn't a centre-forward (much as he'd like to be one) but an inside-forward.
Add to that the loss of our best central defender and with Godfrey being a shadow of his pre-covid self, a lack of squad depth, and the loss of James's goals and assists and Sigurdsson's goals, it is no surprise that we are struggling.
It is not acceptable, but for change to occur, it must first occur at the top.
Brands must be held accountable. Either he's been usurped in his job, or he's inept, but what he was supposed to bring when he arrived: focus on signing young talented players from the continent and lower leagues and rennovating the academy system, is something that has been completely neglected. In the meantime we've seen other clubs do exactly that and progress.
Kenwright is a charlatan, but I do not believe he is the culprit, I don't believe he holds any significant influence or power over the real footballing decisions.
Moshiri, well we don't know. He's invested a great deal, but he interferes more than he should. Koeman, Ancelotti, and now Rafa are signs of a man too easily influenced by fancy CVs and with a rather simplistic approach to team construction.
This is what Brands is supposed to be there for, the man between owner and manager, the man who looks to implementing long-term strategy. The manager will always be about the short-term.
A manager is always 6 games from the sack, is always aware that to survive more than 18 months is a rarity. That is why a manager will always go for a 29/30 year old ahead of a 18/19 year old. Its a game of percentages.
For young players to get a consistent chance, it has to be part of a long-term strategy, it has to be part of a job describtion that managers agree to before accepting a job.
This is where our failure lies. There is a lack of strategy, and each manager has been left to do what he sees fit to prolong his position and the results are ever-increasingly conservative and regressive.
78 Posted 27/11/2021 at 12:54:22
79 Posted 27/11/2021 at 13:01:45
It was that chant from the West Ham supporters on the train from Euston to Lime Street that sparked a reaction from me.
Probably ill advised given I was outnumbered about 50 to 1!! But as it turned out, we ended up having a good conversation and got a taxi to the Saddle with them!!
80 Posted 27/11/2021 at 13:09:56
And whilst Townsend isn't in the age bracket I'd ideally like our signings to be in, he has in fairness been excellent - and this season would be a lot worse without him.
There's a chance of some decent signings in January precisely because the sale of Rodriguez (after the UK window closed) and loan of Kean (a player many thought was abysmal and clearly wanted out) frees up money.
I'd love things to be different, but we're saddled with a thin, mediocre squad because of what came before Benitez - not because he wasted £1.7m.
81 Posted 27/11/2021 at 13:30:25
Try this and not get emotional or passionate about Everton. Quite possibly the ultimate Evertonian ever. Boyhood fan. 16 year old debutant. Player, coach and manger.
And humble with it. This is Everton. Let's go tomorrow boys. I will if you will!!
82 Posted 27/11/2021 at 13:33:07
83 Posted 27/11/2021 at 13:34:40
We're a patched-up team that's low on confidence, key players out, no style of play, defend first throughout a game, never brave enough over 90 minutes, live on Sky again, playing in the Smoke against a newly promoted team that just go balls out and who have Toney up front for them.
It doesn't bode well for us Blues sadly, not ideal going into a derby too!... sigh.
84 Posted 27/11/2021 at 13:49:12
Tomorrow, we are without Richarlison because he was booked last week just seconds after the referee missed a blatant foul on an Everton attacker from which the ball broke to a defender whom Richarlison then brought down.
My point is that we are getting shafted by referees both on the field and in the VAR booth.
We are also seeing the game ruined by tweaks to its laws which make for confusion. Don't get me started on the current offside law.
The game needs to get back to what it was intended to be: a simple, enjoyable affair which players and spectators alike can understand. We had the farcial handball law under which a defender accidentally handling wasn't a foul but an attacker being struck by the ball on his arm was a foul even if he was lying on the floor not intentionally playing the ball.
Is it that the governing bodies' employ as 'law makers' and they feel they have to be seen to do something?
85 Posted 27/11/2021 at 14:09:48
86 Posted 27/11/2021 at 14:17:47
Can Everton beat Brentford tomorrow? But with who? There are no Everton strikers worth mentioning. The defence with Pickford, Coleman, Keane, Godfrey, Digne let in goals.
So tomorrow against Brentford will be another difficult match with Brentford the obvious favourites to win the match.
87 Posted 27/11/2021 at 14:40:48
We won 4-1 after extra time with Dave Hickson scoring a couple, I think. He was sent off in the first game along with Willie Duff the Charlton goalkeeper but those days they were allowed to,play in the replays, maybe suspended later on, not sure.
88 Posted 27/11/2021 at 14:43:45
89 Posted 27/11/2021 at 14:45:55
Any DoF who was involved in signing either of those two should be dismissed or, if he was not involved and has any professional pride, resign.
I don't think Doucoure will be risked from the start tomorrow - more likely he will come on for Delph midway second half (assuming the contest isn't effectively over by then).
Simms or Dobbin simply have to be used before use of the bag o' shite Rondon has handed Brentford the three points.
Praying for some stroke of luck tomorrow that will deliver us a result, like Gordon opening his account.
90 Posted 27/11/2021 at 14:55:54
Robert, see Steves post @21. Moise Kean was abysmal, but still twice the player Rondons been so far. At least he was an age were he was likely to get better not worse.
We were apparently in for Diaz, so must have had some wriggle room, certainly enough to put the £10m for Brereton on the table. If money was that tight we couldnt, maybe selling Digne (and allowing Nkounkou and Small - latter would likely have stayed in this scenario) to compete for the LB slot. Money for Digne would have paid for new striker and a new right back.
Also need to stop hiding behind the “but Townsend and Grey are good buys” rubbish. Yes, they look like much better value than recent times, but 3 goals and 2 assists each is hardly Messi. Both have been in a side thats took us on worst run since 2005 (and maybe longer soon).
The football he plays is shit. No young kids will come here knowing hes in charge of first team, and if we give him another 2 windows the average age of the first team may well break records too. He is the latest mistake in a long list of them.
91 Posted 27/11/2021 at 15:17:59
92 Posted 27/11/2021 at 15:34:14
Come on blue boys.
93 Posted 27/11/2021 at 15:37:09
94 Posted 27/11/2021 at 15:44:35
I don't know what was said at his interview but I would imagine he either asked or was told what the situation is regarding transfers and who held what areas of responsibility and most particularly the DoF's role. I also think that if he is trying to change more things than the first team's performances on the park that he is more likely to further disrupt things. Some may say that might not be a bad thing but I doubt that it is in his remit.
95 Posted 27/11/2021 at 15:58:50
96 Posted 27/11/2021 at 16:05:17
97 Posted 27/11/2021 at 16:13:15
98 Posted 27/11/2021 at 16:25:34
I have a feeling we will get more from the next 3 games that we are currently anticipating, though blind optimism reigns supreme.
99 Posted 27/11/2021 at 16:58:30
It seems to me that this club is a basket case and the role in the club of Director of Football has not worked up to now. We've spent half a billion pounds or more and have ended up trying to scratch a Premier League team out of a squad that has too many players in that no-one wants to buy. Nor can we send them out on loan unless we pay the wages (or part of them).
We have burst the limit of the FFP and the other manacle by over a £100 Million or more. (I think it's £150 million but can't say for sure.) We've managed to do all that and ended up needing major surgery, not a sticking plaster.
I think Benitez has been tasked to bring this club round and it's a massive massive task. Where he can't decide, is the Boardroom, but can report back to the two men who matter, what he believes is going wrong (and has done so since Kenwright took control).
I find some of the criticisms of Benitez unbelievable, or are some so keen of their version of "Manager of the Month!" that they want to see him go; now!
Rondon was chosen, in my view, because we are financially broke, as far as transfers go, or hasn't that sunk in yet with some? Rondon or Tosun, or the kids? That's it! That's what we've got.
This isn't about opposing those who criticise, but I've read posts that appear to be wishing Benitez gone now. To me, that isn't criticism – it's a wish. The criticisms don't appear to recognise just how much in the mire we are, both financially and player-wise. If you look at many of the players that Benitez signed in his time at Anfield, and look at the players we signed, I think it shows he can pick a player.
The little money we had (and some are talking about why didn't we splash £10 mill or so) seems to me well spent with Gray and Townsend coming in.
The situation we find ourselves in now could have been massively worse if he hadn't brought those two players in. What was it? Less than £2million.
The quicker we get behind the manager and the quicker we get rid of Kenwright and his cronies, then we might start on the road out of the mire.
100 Posted 27/11/2021 at 17:26:45
Spot on with your post, Jim.
We have to roll our sleeves up and put in a huge shift tomorrow and get the 3 points to give us a massive boost, especially with the tough fixtures coming up.
I hope Doucouré is fit to start and Simms should be given a chance as he can't be any worse than Rondon, as Tosun can't play as a lone striker.
We need 11 players giving 100% which means Benitez can't start Iwobi.
101 Posted 27/11/2021 at 17:36:57
How he thinks Rondon is a player is anyone's guess. He is here so we don't get relegated but, if he keeps playing Rondon and Iwobi, that is what will happen.
I can't stress enough how bad our Dede has become since he turned up. He needs to dispense with his zonal shite and stop defending so deep. I can't remember the last time I actually looked forward to a game.
102 Posted 27/11/2021 at 17:52:39
It was so refreshing to see the ex-Spurs midfielder calling out the quartet of lazy arses at Spurs in their midweek European game. Be nice to see the likes of Osman saying "Get rid of Iwobi, get rid of Delph" but of course he won't. Too many people keeping their counsel.
Let's hope for a gritty game tomorrow and 3 points. Rafa needs time to build. He's basically starting again and it's going to take time.
Would have been nice to have seen Rangnick when they went looking for Koeman instead.
103 Posted 27/11/2021 at 18:01:05
Unless we as fans break the club's ethos of "We don't need a plan, we've got good Blues running things" then this relic is finished as a competing football team. These maggots need rooting out and dismissing. I want winners running Everton, and I couldn't care less who they are or what past affiliations they've had. The performances on the pitch are the pre-requisite, anything else is secondary.
Everton is a hive for lazy, disloyal, disrespectful, work-shy wasters who thrive because of the ethos generated by cronyism this past 25 years.
I don't give a damn about a new stadium, shiny and new, and a shit team to play in it. Whilst all the time the bullshit ways will continue behind the scenes and the complete disrespect to fans will continue.
If you want real change and a competitive Everton back, take the club from them by boycotting the place for a few weeks. Moshiri and his backers will feel the wrath of the Sky-run Premier League and come running to us for the reasons why a boycott has been deployed – then the fans can demand the removal of the old boys' brigade once and for all.
Everton are in the mire with FFP and need the Sky revenue more than ever, the gravy train would be put in danger of withdrawal and or points deductions which could relegate the club. There is no way in this world Moshiri would let that happen before his investment and capital returns on properties, old and new / to be built, are able to be sold off at massive profit.
He couldn't sell up now because he's put too much in and so that's where you have him over a barrel. If he sold now, he would get rinsed. I don't blame the guy personally, but he has overseen a shit show and taken advice from the old boys' brigade instead of telling them to bugger off.
He's been had a bit by a Master of Cronyism. Not our problem as the supporters, we just want a team to be proud of.
104 Posted 27/11/2021 at 18:25:33
You assert “The criticisms don't appear to recognise just how much in the mire we are, both financially and player wise” - which is just utterly blind.
I (and most other anti-Rafa fans) know exactly the mire we are…..its WHY I think hes the latest in a long line of mistakes. The ONLY way out is the Lille/RB/Dortmund model…….we need to attract youth, and give youth a chance. Sell for more that we buy. The FSW is the antithesis of the kind of manager we need right now.
You claim we are broke, then justify adding Rondons £30-£40k a week to the bill. You claim Townsend and Grey are saviours, yet theyve played nearly every minute of the worst run since 2005.
You, and other Rafa fans yearn for stability and are happy to accept Journeymen players and horrendous football to get it. I am not. I want a plan. A vision. I want to gamble…..and if it means we go down because of it, then so be it - we are heading there with your model anyway. Villa, City and others had to suffer it. I want an identity, and a project I can believe in, not players playing to limit how much we get thumped by.
You wont get it, you wont accept it, youll just cling to the life raft. People stay in loveless marriages for years for the same reason. Its in some of our nature. But dont assume someone is stupid just because they want a control freak, defensive, never really was ex-kopite out of the club.
105 Posted 27/11/2021 at 18:44:40
106 Posted 27/11/2021 at 18:48:25
I've just read that we are the only team in the top 4 divisions who are on the longest run without some sort of trophy or promotion or any sort of glory, we just meander along playing shit football, it's so depressing.
I'm 52 so I've seen us win but god almighty, it's 27 years and now we've got to suffer Paelladyce as our manager, when will it end?
I see the RS are warmed up for Wednesday...
107 Posted 27/11/2021 at 18:48:29
Brands should be targeting another replacement manager now. I totally agree with your post but suspect after 5 years that Moshiri isn't the right owner to implement a sea change at the club.
The new ground should make us more saleable. I just hope we aren't a basket case like Sunderland when it is completed.
108 Posted 27/11/2021 at 18:51:32
By the way, I'm not a Rafa fan. I'm an Evertonian,
Rafa is the manager, so I back him. I thought the name gives us a clue... Supporter! I happen to think that Rafa is the best manager we've had by far, since 2015, and before. I think we're lucky that he didn't go to Newcastle.
By the way, I didn't say that Townsend and Gray were our saviours. I said we'd be in the mire even worse if he hadn't brought them in.
So you're an anti-Rafa fan, then. Says a lot.
109 Posted 27/11/2021 at 19:01:17
He has been here for 6 months and hit the perfect storm of having a poor squad, plus long-term injuries to the more influential players, and a suspension to another player who could have been more used to cover injuries, than what has been used.
It seems to me that Benitez has to work with a DoF, but I can't see that the DoF can say what his style of play should be. The only relationship I can see between them is, Benitez tells him what position he wants a player for, and Brands searches for who is available, agrees with Benitez, and starts negotiating.
I understand having players not in the squad being coached to playing in the same style as the first team, to be able to step up when injuries and suspensions set in, but until the first team is finishing higher and strengthened, I can see why Benitez is reluctant to use some of the young players that during his short spell at the club, he only sees them in their relevant league games or training sessions, or has to rely on the word of another coach.
It is rare to get a young player in his first game to stand out, unless he is exceptional, and even to play well, he has to have top players around him, and that is where they are failed at Everton.
The major problem at Everton is with the changing of managers, Brands replacing Walsh during this period, decisions being made over his head until we have got to a stage where we have to, as they say, bite the bullet and sort the club out from top to bottom. But start with the first team, stop interference from other people, including the owner, and let the people who were employed, do what they were employed to do.
It is hard becoming organized in an unorganized environment, but I doubt very much if Moshiri became a billionaire by being disorganized and hopefully he can sort the disorganization at the top.
110 Posted 27/11/2021 at 19:27:53
Real trouble if 3 points are not taken!!!!
111 Posted 27/11/2021 at 19:43:12
112 Posted 27/11/2021 at 19:48:42
If you can't see where the fault lies by now, I don't think much of your logic.
113 Posted 27/11/2021 at 19:49:26
115 Posted 27/11/2021 at 20:31:50
116 Posted 27/11/2021 at 20:33:44
You glance at the situation one way and see a guy that came in and got BMD off the ground, tried to get his ideal manager and DOF and backed every one of them, till now, to the tune of an outlay of £500m. You could say he did his bit.
You glance at it from another way, and from the fans view, from looking at the table, looking at the squad, calculating all those players we have bought for millions then let go for FREE. We even paid half their wages to get them to run down their contracts for 2 or 3 years because they were so bad that nobody would pay a penny for them.
This is what we are left with. It's clear we need a different strategy.
Fingers crossed we get some players back for Wednesday. I don't care so much for tomorrow, l just don't want to be embarrassed any further or l will have to turn my phone off till the weekend.
Anceloti showed last season how to set up to beat them and l hope we will go into the game with a plan.
Tomorrow, whatever. He can try the kids but pretty sure he won't. Gordon is more or less a waste of space bar a couple touches. Same lwobi. Rondon pfff. So even if he does, l can't see any of the kids making the grade. Perhaps Simms if he improves having come back from injury. Also perhaps Branthwaite.
Once injuries hit last season it took Anceloti a few games to get a plan B before he stopped caring. This time around we've curled up in a ball and played dead. We either need to play 3 at the back and try to get Digne forward into crossing positions. Or, we play a third central mid and try to control the ball. Or a third option of course is that we camp out on the edge of our own box and touch the ball once every 5 or 10 minutes. Rafa out, Bagpuss could do a better job.
117 Posted 27/11/2021 at 20:43:53
“I happen to think that Rafa is the best manager we've had by far, since 2015” is the most comical post I've seen. We are on the worst run since 2005 for fuck's sake! It's likely to best that record soon too.
I've already told you my solution, but you have your mind closed. It's to implement the model of RB Leipzig, Lille, Dortmund and Ajax, focused on getting the best young players. That needs the right manager. Villa (I know, I'll spit), Brighton, Crystal Palace, Arsenal all have the managers that will own the next decade. We have the one who owned 2 decades ago.
It's hard to debate such closed minds, but at least try to listen and understand what's already said.
118 Posted 27/11/2021 at 20:48:04
And yes, I am anti-Rafa. I promised to give him the first 10 games and I did. He achieved what I expected – divided fan base and biggest failure for 16 years.
119 Posted 27/11/2021 at 20:59:17
Do you honestly think the present managers of Villa, Brighton, Arsenal and Crystal Palace would do any better than Benitez with the present injury-ridden, threadbare squad that Everton have got at the moment? Can you see them improving when the injury list gets better and with some signings and loans in January?
120 Posted 27/11/2021 at 21:01:27
To compare their situation with ours is a very unfair comparison.
121 Posted 27/11/2021 at 21:01:37
I do certainly agree that when we're likely to have a decent kitty in summer (due to various sales) then it's an opportunity to get a proper strategy in place, largely revolving around youth acquisition and player development. If we'd done that 5 years ago, instead of wasting money on the most expensive average players around, then we'd be in a much healthier place now.
I really didn't like the appointment of Benitez either, by the way, but changed my mind when I realised that the money had run out.
There's no quick fix to our predicament. Even Newcastle are going to find that and they have pretty much unlimited spending power.
122 Posted 27/11/2021 at 21:09:16
123 Posted 27/11/2021 at 21:11:25
You are absolutely spot on that they don't have to. However, they aren't stupid, and understand that the right business model is a blend of buy and develop. If they didn't play them, they wouldn't attract the next generation.
124 Posted 27/11/2021 at 21:15:18
125 Posted 27/11/2021 at 21:27:11
I mean, sure, we might struggle to identify or attract the right young players, and so we might end up with a bunch of young players that flatter to deceive and then fail to gain the sell-on value that we need. And sure that might mean we struggle even more to gain ground in the league, and maybe without enough older players well struggle to deal with demands of the Premier League and need to go down to the Championship in order to rebuild. But its worth the risk as the Championship is famously a league where a very young squad often thrives.
I hear what the doubters are saying, but Ive thought about this and if Moshiri had listened to me when Koeman was here then our front three tomorrow would be Haaland, Mbappe and Isak. I mean, yes, I am cherrypicking those 3 from the hundreds of players that I heard about online while reading articles with titles like ‘The 100 Best Players Under 18 That You Need To Know About, and yes the vast majority of those players have not made any impression at senior level yet and probably never will, and yes Im talking absolute simplistic nonsense that doesnt really stand up to any scrutiny but I just reckon itll work because I have decided to wilfully underestimate how hard player recruitment is.
126 Posted 27/11/2021 at 21:31:26
In our history we have never been the underdogs against the like of Brentford. Better manager, better players,better supporters. Forget the fear, we will thump them.
127 Posted 27/11/2021 at 21:32:09
The thing is about playing the kids, if that's your strategy, you need to have a set up that will encourage them with good players around them.
The way I see it, Keane, Mina, perhaps Digne are poor defenders, Seamus is reaching the end and we don't really have a midfield two, without Doucouré and Allan, We haven't wingers except Gray and Townsend, maybe young Gordon can make it, lets wait and see,,
I can't see the future but I think Benitez wants to show he can turn this club round. I think the difference between him and Ancelloti, is Ancellotti done a runner because he saw how shite we were and scooted.
I assume you want Benitez out. If so, then what?
128 Posted 27/11/2021 at 21:39:57
129 Posted 27/11/2021 at 21:40:11
130 Posted 27/11/2021 at 21:41:20
While you're at it you should do us in a double to beat Brentford and the redshite. That pays over 23/1.
You can thank me later.
131 Posted 27/11/2021 at 21:43:55
Youre entitled to your point of view but your last sentence was out of order
132 Posted 27/11/2021 at 21:53:37
133 Posted 27/11/2021 at 21:53:43
134 Posted 27/11/2021 at 21:55:21
135 Posted 27/11/2021 at 22:00:11
Injuries have crippled the team as a force and the spirit has waned.
How can Rafa halt the slide if at all.
This game and the RS game could be a death knell for Rafa despite the injury excuses.
We weren't expected to get anything from City but Palace did and I suppose we hoped for a miracle but Palace didn't have the injury problems.
Without our attack force we wanted the defence to be strong but quite honestly they have all been shaky since and including that awful Watford game.
Richarlison has not been a force this season thanks to injury but he let the team down last week with his stupid booking.
I think we need a strong defensive performance tomorrow to get anything and it goes without saying next week too against RS.
136 Posted 27/11/2021 at 22:00:57
We'll see better football this season and better results with players coming back. Look at the club and the team honestly, see them for what they are, for what our inept boards and largely uninspiring players have made of it all over decades.
And then don't pretend that it can be fixed by closing your eyes and wishing hard enough.
137 Posted 27/11/2021 at 22:03:40
138 Posted 27/11/2021 at 22:10:40
Even the current benchmark of City and Chelsea, you're talking ones and twos. Maybe threes. And as much as it pains me to say, Pep put that young lad in the mix last week because it was Everton. He wouldn't have risked him against a Chelsea or Liverpool. He actually looked a decent player by the way.
There will always be those with an agenda with the incumbent manager. Always has been. Remember the "Kendall must go" leaflets?? I wonder if those who bayed for blood in the winter of 83 were cheering and celebrating come May 84, claiming "I knew he'd come good"?
Tomorrow we go to Brentford. I'll have my opinion before and after. But for the 90 + minutes, they're my Everton. My Everton and I will stand there willing them on, whoever has the privilege to wear the royal blue shirt I only got to wear at a trial at Bellefield. I'll be kicking every ball and touching every blade of grass myself. In my own head of course. When I'm in the zone, it matters not who the manager is or who the players are. It's just Everton.
139 Posted 27/11/2021 at 22:14:41
Even though really, there is commonality of opinion if you read between the lines.
140 Posted 27/11/2021 at 22:19:25
What's out of order is condescending posts effectively saying that we should just not bother trying and aim for a safety-first approach instead.
141 Posted 27/11/2021 at 22:20:19
142 Posted 27/11/2021 at 22:22:19
143 Posted 27/11/2021 at 22:23:40
It was Benitez's decision to replace Kean with Rondon. Benitez's task was to find a top striker to fill in for Dominic and his choice is costing us badly.
Benitez brought in Gray who began brightly but he is essentially a replacement for James because Benitez didn't want the player. I'm not convinced the club wanted the player out and this is another costly mistake by Rafa.
Townsend in my opinion has been dramatically overhyped and is mediocre at best.
Why was Nkounkou allowed to leave? Had he been around Digne could have been an option further forward.
The sign of a decent manager is his ability to improve players. Only Doucouré has improved and that is largely because he was misused by the previous incumbent. The likes of Keane, Godfrey, Digne and Richarlison are performing poorly under this regime.
Why are there so many injuries? Is the presumption of bad luck a fair one or is there a problem with Benitez's methods?
Benitez's job is to get the best out of the resources available to him and he is failing. Certain arguments in terms of spending and key absences are valid but this is a time where Benitez needs to set up his team to eke out a few points. The football has been dreadful and, even though we are set up to be defensive, we are actually poorly organised.
There are numerous squads worse than ours, including Brighton's, but these are being better managed with players performing to the top of their levels.
144 Posted 27/11/2021 at 22:23:56
I said in my post why we will beat them. Just imagine you support Liverpool (yes, Paul, too horrible to contemplate, but bear with me), would you remotely, even very remotely, contemplate losing to Brentford! No, you wouldn't. Why should we?
Just to add, Rondon 2021, is possibly the worst player I have ever seen in my life. I, bad back and all, could start, get sent off, and reduce us to the 10 men that would offer more than that fat fucking useless chancer. He is as useless as Martinez and that is the biggest insult I can throw at anyone.
145 Posted 27/11/2021 at 22:25:50
Tomorrow, we all want a win. So, until Monday or Thursday, when I hope (but don't believe) I'll be proven wrong, peace out. Coyb.
146 Posted 27/11/2021 at 22:28:39
147 Posted 27/11/2021 at 22:28:42
148 Posted 27/11/2021 at 22:30:53
How on earth is that enough of a base to decide that he's a busted flush?
We are becoming a very odd set of supporters. Born of frustration, but very odd even so.
149 Posted 27/11/2021 at 22:34:23
A reality check on where we are? Maybe. Acceptance – I don't think so.
Back to who is attacking fellow fans for having an opinion that differs from ones own?
150 Posted 27/11/2021 at 22:40:29
Ay, he's had all these years and look what he comes up with.
"The sign of a decent manager is his ability to improve players."
Yes, again. All this time and he's done nothing with this squad.
"There are numerous squads worse than ours, including Brighton's, but these are being better managed with players performing to the top of their levels."
Let's see what it's like at the end of the season.
151 Posted 27/11/2021 at 22:42:48
He points out that the incompetence of Moshiri and the boardroom has effectively driven the club into a financial wall regarding net spending money, for ages.
I can't believe anyone at all in football has respect for the way we're run or the few people responsible. I believe we're a laughing stock in that closed world, but it's from within that closed world that we need to find a way to even modest prosperity.
Rafa Benitez will have known this just as he became a fully fledged manager in the late 90s. We were badly failing even then at everything we fans aspire to. Makes you wonder why the top banana responsible at the time for such a demise has been entrusted with the club's tiller ever since Moshiri and whoever else bought so many shares.
Benitez will have known about the money situation but I suspect he's now finding his definition of the word "commitment" is a world away from the owner's, boardroom and large sections of the "we get Everton, obviously, Mr Kenwright" Finch Farm coaching, medical /and scouting staff.
152 Posted 27/11/2021 at 22:44:44
153 Posted 27/11/2021 at 23:19:17
'[Jim's post] is the most comical post I've seen.
Dunno about that. There's some pretty keen competition for that title.
You might want to read back through your own posts first for starters.
154 Posted 27/11/2021 at 23:21:59
Unless Benitez is preaching, effort, hard work, commitment, etc and sets his meagre resources up to reflect that – and the players respond and buy into it – nobody will be fleecing the bookies.
1-2 to us in a tight finish... then double down on it and do Liverpool too.
155 Posted 27/11/2021 at 23:46:33
You get a decent feel for where you realistically are after the Christmas period, but even then you never really know. The season ends in May.
A season is a marathon, not a sprint as they say. It's a modern trait to judge, sack and declare the season over by October / November, fuelled by the Sky TV hysteria driven agenda.
I'm not looking beyond Brentford tomorrow!!
156 Posted 27/11/2021 at 23:50:57
Benitez, knows that he could be hung high, but there's a long way to go this season.
Inheriting a squad with no strength in depth, and a squad that's almost permanently got 3-4 of the spine missing through injury, means any season is transition.
I agree that the subs and playing zonal is numbing at times, but there's a reality about the real state of affairs at Everton. Let's see if the tide is turned at Brentford.
This season is resonating with darker seasons in the past. Let's hope in 2022, the injury crisis improves and there's some good loan deals in the January window.
Now to beat Brentford.
157 Posted 27/11/2021 at 23:51:34
The opposition tomorrow are a Championship side – end of! The quality we have should allow us to win by two goals. If we lose, it's down to us not matching the effort. Really it is as simple as that!!
Not Rafa, not Bill, not the Director of Football… but effort will be the reason!! These players need to put in a shift to win.
I can't have excuses for lack of desire, fight and commitment. Top teams have this and we are compared to the opposition tomorrow. If we fail to win it, will be the players' fault. Players need to be professional and work hard and quality will win!! The odds are based on form and which Everton side turn up. Currently, the odds are correct on form but not on quality.
Safe Journey all!!
158 Posted 28/11/2021 at 00:50:59
Please briefly address your transfer market strategies under the FFP constraints. Also set out how much you paid Rafa to agree leaving with 3 years left on contract. And if you could tell us how turning over the manager position will help the fans put some heat on Moshiri for extra super bonus points.
I understand this could take a while but, if you could just get that chat started, it should be some solid gold entertainment…
159 Posted 28/11/2021 at 01:21:59
My solution is Rafa stops with the zonal marking and the picking of Iwobi and Rondon. That's a start. He then gives you a chance – that's my solution. Stop playing boring negative football!
160 Posted 28/11/2021 at 01:49:16
Benitez, like every failed manager in Premier League history, knows he'll receive a(nother) millionaire pay-off if he gets the boot. Only the fans suffer.
So, how highly does he now price his own professional and personal reputation as he enters into conflict with the floozies who appointed him?
Will he endure to impose his vision, welcomely successful to Everton fans of the past 30 fucking years as that might be, or will he soon just "Harrumph" as a result of owner and boardroom ineptitude and ride out to his sunset of an even more fabulous extension for his mansion in Caldy, fabulous houses for his family, mega-gifts all round etc etc et-fucking-cetera?
And all the while, some TW geniuses will still be posting comment on mere "transition" etc etc, et-fucking-cetera, as the club crumbles to zilch under the present owner.
To me, we probably have an owner who might be a wanker but we definitely have too many employees who doff their cap to Kenwright's vision of himself and in that process definitively identify themselves, like him, as leeches.
Fire the self-serving fuckers, Moshiri, and appoint people of talent.
161 Posted 28/11/2021 at 01:56:09
Whatever your opinion of Benitez – mine is that he needs to improve considerably – the next 3 games are critical for him. Lose them and he will face a streak of 6 loses in 7 games. That gets managers sacked.
Conor @ 143, good to hear from you again.
162 Posted 28/11/2021 at 02:44:28
With the greatest respect, genuinely, fans focusing on such small-time margins is music to the ears of the dolt owner and boardroom. It merely focusses attention on the manager – leaving them scot-free, and that's avoiding everything that really matters.
163 Posted 28/11/2021 at 04:52:42
I agree the wider governance and running of the club is the fundamental issue – there are other articles focussed on these questions. But this is a results business and Benitez cannot get to the end of the next 3 games with 3 more defeats.
164 Posted 28/11/2021 at 05:34:34
What is a problem is probably what landed the man we now have: transfer restrictions. Making the job even more difficult is the number of injuries and absences at present and, to me, doing the totally unacceptable that we did at Man City, which was not try to win but to lose by less.
Yes, we do need a complete restructure of management, top to bottom, Boardroom to Bootroom – but I don't see a manager who hasn't yet got his priority right, team performance, sticking his new oar in as being anything more than adding to the disruption.
We need a new desk for the new owner with the encryption, "The Buck Stops Here!" rather than the current, "Be quick, you've got 5%".
165 Posted 28/11/2021 at 06:00:12
166 Posted 28/11/2021 at 08:09:58
As with previous failed managers, Benitez has the job of keeping us in the top flight, until next season or the financial situation allows him to build his own team with more money and better quality players.
We have to break the cycle of ‘making do' and get back to the drawing board and build a team worthy of the owner's commitment and befitting of a new stadium.
167 Posted 28/11/2021 at 08:29:09
Moreover, what really troubles me is the absence of real fight, grit and organisation on the pitch. A top manager gets the best out of the resources available. Ultimately they may not be sufficient to better the opposition, but at least they give blood trying to be. That is just not happening.
On a separate note, my sons and I bumped into Michael Keane on the beach in Cornwall on 13 November. He told us Yerry would be fit for Man City, possibly Doucouré too. Not quite sure what to make of that!
Lose today and the harbingers of doom will really start to gather. Regrettably, I will be amongst them.
168 Posted 28/11/2021 at 09:00:40
I check ToffeeWeb about 5 times a day now down from my average 100!
I see a stadium announcement and I cringe! Is it a political tactic?
I see us linked with players and my reaction is we will probably be terrible!
I don't have a hero in the team. Obviously respect Seamus, quite like Dom but nothing like I felt for Dunc, Cahill, Reidy, Sheedy et al.
None of the players' interviews are interesting interviews.
There's no apparent plan at the top while loads of clubs seem to be motoring on!
Sorry to be so negative but it's hard to take! Only a win today can save me now... 😂
169 Posted 28/11/2021 at 09:23:28
Is Rafa our head coach as we have a Director of Football? If so, recruitment is taken out of his hands. If Rafa is sacked, then I don't totally blame him as this is a repeated theme at our club and shows more deeper problems.
This club cannot be relegated!!! The Championship doesn't care about history or fan base. Our squad couldn't and won't cope with the style and number of games to sustain a real challenge.
170 Posted 28/11/2021 at 09:28:47
I hope chants and banners are left until the Arsenal game after we already have gotten 6 points. I'll just check that little green fella is okay at the bottom of the garden as well.
171 Posted 28/11/2021 at 09:31:17
173 Posted 28/11/2021 at 10:11:01
So it was Benitez's choice to get rid of Kean and replace him with Rondon... and it was Benitez's task to find a top striker to fill in for Calvert-Lewin — your words.
Kean didn't want to be here. Everton sent him on loan for the loan fee and to get his wages off the bill. How was Benitez supposed to get a top striker in to fill in for Dominic without using money that has dried up for now?
You are convinced Everton wanted to keep James but it was Benitez who wanted him out? It looked like he wanted to leave Everton and Everton were happy to get his wages off the bill. Only Ancelotti wanted James before he came here, no other club were interested in signing him and there was no stampede to snap him up in the summer before he went to Dubai, where he has continued his route back to Colombia to end his football days there.
Just a couple of points I disagree with in your post; there were more but those will do for now.
175 Posted 28/11/2021 at 10:19:41
If we're going to play conceding possession and territory, we will lose more than we win – especially since the ex-Kopite hero has us conceding goals galore with his version of zonal marking.
176 Posted 28/11/2021 at 10:26:52
“We have to break the cycle of ‘making do' and get back to the drawing board and build a team worthy of the owner's commitment and befitting of a new stadium.”. I like that idea.
I watched the full 90 minutes of Newcastle v Brentford. Brentford cannot defend crosses or set- pieces. Richarlison and Gray are out so we haven't got anyone to run at, or through them. Like it or not, there is only one way to go, in my opinion – high balls into the box.
Off to the bomb shelter in the back yard. Up the Blues!!!
177 Posted 28/11/2021 at 10:36:09
It's your fault, Rafa Benitez.
For fuck's sake, give the man a chance, he hasn't got a pot to piss in. Unbelievable.
178 Posted 28/11/2021 at 10:42:42
179 Posted 28/11/2021 at 10:45:50
We can't carry on like this. The chairman and more or less everyone else under him are not fit to run a modern football club. We are slowly getting worse year on year regardless of the money spent.
Benitez will get sacked at some point. Under Moshiri managers are lasting 18 months.
We have fallen out of the top 10 bracket. We are competing with Brighton, Southampton, Watford for players. I believe we should be churning through free transfers until a few of them are proven good enough. Our current lack of strategy has got us into this mess.
A few fans suggesting changing to a more cold numbers and youth based strategy has you putting up the Ffp card.
Being risk averse indicates that you are willing to ride out the current mess whilst hiding behind Ffp.
Ffp has been hanging over us since Josh king landed last January. In that time from Moshiri to the average fan we knew that we didn't have a pot to piss in.
The dof did nothing about it! The new manager brought in 5 more or less free transfers. We know we lack for cover all over the park. The dof has done nothing. The academy is not producing enough talent to meet premiership standards.
There are lots of people at the club taking the piss out of Moshiri. Taking their money and not even trying to make the club better. From Kenwright downwards they aren't arsed about anything other than lining their own pockets.
No innovation, no passion and a massive lack of ambition.
Naturally I am a risk averse person in my everyday life. Though as a football fan I am the direct opposite. You don't win anything at any sport being risk averse.
We have to dare to believe that we can start challenging again otherwise what's the point.
181 Posted 28/11/2021 at 10:50:09
182 Posted 28/11/2021 at 10:50:28
Until then just expect mediocrity.
183 Posted 28/11/2021 at 10:57:43
How much of a chance should we give this failed kopite?
184 Posted 28/11/2021 at 11:00:05
The spending, the managerial appointments and player recruitment reflect a disfunctional club.
I personally have nothing against Rafa (apart from him persisting with Rondon)and hope he can survive the season with our rag-bag squad.
However, even a morale-boosting win at Brentford will only afford a temporary reprieve as the derby looms.
The team have shown that they are capable of playing good football -the draw at Man U and the win at Brighton, coupled with the home wins over Southampton and Burnley are evidence enough.
The key to our plight is Doucoure. When he is fit and well, he dominates the midfield and Allan or Davies can benefit.
We all know that DCL is irreplaceable. Richie can't do that job and Rondon is two years over his own hill.
So a defence that has a zonal problem has to survive with a threadbare midfield in front of it and nobody capable of hold-up play to relieve pressure.
DCL will take a few weeks to get up to speed even when he does return.
Last season Ancelotti realised our shortcomings and managed to galvanise us away from home and the two new recruits are suited to counter-attacking football.
This team should be able to do what they did last season.
Confidence looks low amongst the players.
My worry is that this group with just a few new faces have not been able to build on their great start last term and good start this.
The loss of DCL or Richie and a thin squad are excuses, but it seems to me that other mambers of the team are looking to use this an an excuse for a lack of effort and determination.
I honestly think that half of our team cannot be motivated. They are going through the motions and lack professional pride. They may not like the coach's methods, but of course, we have seen them down tools before.
185 Posted 28/11/2021 at 11:04:35
186 Posted 28/11/2021 at 11:06:57
We a a small average squad I'd rather wait a few more weeks to have everyone fully fit than start risking further injury problems.
In this cold weather, pulled muscles and tweaks are inevitable so please go cautiously, the busy winter schedule is upon us.
Looking at positives, Rondon could be a big help defensively from set pieces.
Our players especially our defender's should be up for the battle to keep themselves warm.
Although we have not won for several games, I've been encouraged that we have created and had chances even against man c.
Bringing fight, spirit, shooting boots and luck I'm hoping for 3 points.
On the less positive, I'm nervous about Pickford.
187 Posted 28/11/2021 at 11:12:37
188 Posted 28/11/2021 at 11:23:21
189 Posted 28/11/2021 at 11:25:07
That is the model we need to get back to. If it involves loaning the best kids from the big teams, then so be it. We need a manager who will play them (number one - of many - reasons I dislike FSW). Other young talent will see we are THE club where theyll get a go, and maybe we can sign instead of loan.
Might even be worth looking at Wolves model, where super agents acting almost like a director of football…..albeit this needs some serious governance controls to work (which I wouldnt trust us as capable of).
Manager wise, given Rangnicks getting snapped up by United, Id take a leaf out of Arsenal, Crystal Palace, Villa, etc. book and go with young, hungry ex players now managers. Lampard, Parker, Pirlo perhaps. Or maybe people like Fonseca, Schmidt, Amorim could be attracted. Id even give Duncan a proper go ahead of the has-been FSW.
People will say its “too risky”, but I believe Rafa is as big a risk as any of it. He could do as much damage as Koeman did. We need an identity, and his defensive journeymen one isnt the one we need.
190 Posted 28/11/2021 at 11:28:41
191 Posted 28/11/2021 at 11:35:23
192 Posted 28/11/2021 at 11:39:16
Thanks for calling me Kid, put a spring in my step today, maybe the team will put a bigger spring in my step later on!!
193 Posted 28/11/2021 at 11:41:01
I don't think Benitez will still be in charge come August but if he doesn't drag the team out of this mess very soon he may not even see season out. As for who will replace him I have no idea but whoever it is will have a massive job keeping this club in the Premier League.
194 Posted 28/11/2021 at 11:41:23
195 Posted 28/11/2021 at 11:44:46
Back to the title of the thread. Brentford v Everton.
On my way, making the shortest trip I can make to a Premier League stadium. It beats Watford by 1.5 miles.
I have no idea what to expect, but travel in hope and anticipation as always.
See you there blues. 3 points please.
196 Posted 28/11/2021 at 11:47:54
197 Posted 28/11/2021 at 11:50:38
198 Posted 28/11/2021 at 11:50:48
199 Posted 28/11/2021 at 11:50:57
I hope to break my London curse as we always seem to lose when I get to see Everton locally, including Brentford beating us on penalties in the cup last time we played!
I don't have high hopes given our current run but have everything crossed for a win today.
200 Posted 28/11/2021 at 11:54:23
201 Posted 28/11/2021 at 11:55:15
202 Posted 28/11/2021 at 11:57:33
I've no issue with a manager being controlling. It's better than a player or an owner running the show.
Look at Utd falling apart with a nice but inept manager and too many big name egos.
Different horses for different courses but no one is bigger than the club. Every successful team needs a bit of time and luck.
I and the majority of Everton fans didn't want Rafa. But he's a good experienced manager.
He knows what a big successful club looks like. He knows what a quality player and strong squad can achieve. He knows we are not there but can help guide us in the right direction.
Sad but true. We are a mid-table, inconsistent, small squad that lacks quality all over the pitch.
All managers and clubs have success and failure in transfers but on average Rafas signings, like Carlos, has improved the 1st team.
A few more good signings, (we all know what we need) and some luck will help us improve our consistency and league placings.
203 Posted 28/11/2021 at 11:58:56
Who's that aimed at Gary? I'm not being dismissive and haven't coined the phrase "best we can get", nor do I think that, let alone "cling" to it. Apologies if I'm being defensive.
I'm not sure I've seen that other than in your posts to be honest, but happy to be called out.
Anyway. Its matchday, positive vibes.
204 Posted 28/11/2021 at 12:00:02
205 Posted 28/11/2021 at 12:03:38
It's interesting though Justin. I said at the time, if you split the TW poll 4 categories into 2, it was roughly a Brexit style 50-50 split, probably weighted in favour of no.
Pleased and not bothered (passive)
Disappointed (me) and foaming at the mouth.
If you box it like that, it was fairly even.
206 Posted 28/11/2021 at 12:06:55
Its snowing outside and I'm writing my letter to Santa sat next to an open log fire.
Merry Christmas all, hic-up!
207 Posted 28/11/2021 at 12:07:14
208 Posted 28/11/2021 at 12:08:38
209 Posted 28/11/2021 at 12:13:30
We all know we have a poor, slow squad in general and that the money we had has been frittered away on duds, it is going to be a long time before we are in a position to compete at the top end unfortunately.
210 Posted 28/11/2021 at 12:17:27
Three Goals with Rondon being one of the scorers, even if Santa got your letter by electronic means (well it is 2021) doubt whether he could deliver such an early Xmas Gift ! 🎅🤔😜
211 Posted 28/11/2021 at 12:20:42
212 Posted 28/11/2021 at 12:23:59
Just got 6-1 on Rondon to score anytime.
Well worth a punt.
All £1 of it!!
213 Posted 28/11/2021 at 12:26:44
214 Posted 28/11/2021 at 12:30:41
215 Posted 28/11/2021 at 12:45:06
216 Posted 28/11/2021 at 12:45:35
I had some faith in our manager initially, if not in terms of offering a more attractive brand of football then certainly in terms of consistency and results. As we hit the current run of results and performances I comforted myself with the belief that his management and tactical approach would at least prevent a relegation battle. After all, at Newcastle in 2015/6 he produced an exceptional run-in, winning 12 pts from his last 6 games (though Everton's final day defeat at Sunderland meant that it was Sunderland who stayed up - at Newcastle's expense). But I fear that he's dealing with a different mentality of player at Everton. There is undoubtedly some talent on the books but spirit, pride and fight (and perhaps add to these an absence of 'connection' with the Club) are not there as the required accompanying qualities. And from the outside it's difficult to detect if Benitez's own personality lends itself to instilling such virtues in the squad.
217 Posted 28/11/2021 at 12:48:28
Suppose pre-match preparation is essential!
218 Posted 28/11/2021 at 12:48:42
I'd go for broke and go on the offensive, sod being defensive, if we get beat so be it.
I don't know what players are made of nowadays but too many seem to get injured, I'm beginning to think they are overtrained or just soft.
219 Posted 28/11/2021 at 12:49:54
220 Posted 28/11/2021 at 12:54:55
Oh wait a minute, we are talking Rondon here ! That should do the trick, slag a player off, and he will do the opposite. Well I hope so.
221 Posted 28/11/2021 at 12:55:08
10 mins to team news. What will the great tactical genius come up with this time? I know he's only on half of what the last guy was on so our expectations shouldn't be that high l guess.
Brentford have been on a bad run too. Coyblues – 3 points!
222 Posted 28/11/2021 at 12:58:16
Unfortunately, they have been right the last few games !
223 Posted 28/11/2021 at 12:58:27
224 Posted 28/11/2021 at 12:59:25
There are no easy games in the Prem. although the moneybags at Chelski, City and RS give them a huge advantage over the rest.
One only has to look at the goal difference of those three compared to the rest and we are still in November !!
Nothing much will change with the chasing 17 teams as they will always be fighting an uphill battle except maybe at Old Trafford.
We can but hope that we can scrape a win today even if it is ugly.
225 Posted 28/11/2021 at 13:38:17
Its not the managers fault, its not even the players fault. We have not enough quality to withstand even a little run of the mill misfortune. With what our manager has to pick from today we would be vulnerable against even championship sides.
Hopefully the lesson we will have learned by our institutionally enforced poverty will in the last transfer window will have a positive effect of introducing some sanity and logic in our future squad building.
What is happening now is the same as what happened last season and the lessons that need to be learned are….. 1. A good team will always be brought to its knees by a lack of strength in the overall squad. 2. Nervousness in any of your central defenders is a total plague and is fatal.
Drop Keane, Rondon and Iwobi and play Branthwaite, Simms and Dobbin.
Hopefully, with luck a win today.
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