Richarlison news deals Everton another big injury blow

Tuesday, 14 December, 2021 143comments  |  Jump to last

Everton have been gripped by another injury crisis with the news that Richarlison faces "weeks" on the sidelines with a calf injury while Andros Townsend is ruled out of Thursday's game at Chelsea and Seamus Coleman is a serious doubt.

While he waits on Dominic Calvert-Lewin to return from a significant thigh injury, manager Rafael Benitez was hoping that the worst of his selection problems were behind him.

However, it transpires that the issue that prompted the Spaniard to withdraw Richarlison almost an hour into Sunday's defeat at Crystal Palace was worse than even the player realised.

The Brazilian was visibly upset at being substituted but scans have revealed a muscle tear that will keep him sidelined for "a number of weeks," according to the club's medical staff.

Townsend, meanwhile, sustained a small fracture in his foot and he will see a specialist later this week to determine how long he will be out of action.

Coleman reportedly suffered bone bruising and soft tissue damage late in the game at Selhurst Park and will be assessed before Benitez selects the squad to travel down to Stamford Bridge.

Article continues below video content

Allan missed the Palace match with an adductor problem, Tom Davies has been missing for the past few games with an injury of his own and Yerry Mina faces an as-yet undetermined spell out, all of which comes as the club gears up for the busiest part of the fixture calendar.


Reader Comments (143)

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Richard Lyons
1 Posted 14/12/2021 at 17:34:34
I don't suppose this will make that much difference, Chelsea are going to thrash us regardless of who is injured.

I wish I could feel more positive...

Rob Halligan
3 Posted 14/12/2021 at 17:45:35
Richard, it makes a hell of a difference. We are going to be without these players, certainly Richarlison and Townsend, for a few weeks now, when we have games that we should be looking at winning. We need DCL back as soon as bloody possible. It never rains but it pours. 😠😠😠😠
Mike Gaynes
4 Posted 14/12/2021 at 17:47:16
Geez, whattya know. Turns out Benitez, who was ripped up one side and down the other on the Forum and the postgame threads for taking Richarlison off, was absolutely right to do so. Of course, he will now be ripped up one side and down the other for leaving him on too long.

Grim news about these three new injuries. Townsend's foot problem explains why his movement and performance dropped off the past couple of games.

Time for Gordon, Kenny and perhaps one of the youngsters to step up. Chelsea may be a grim experience, but we have a bunch of winnable games starting on Boxing Day and the reserves will have to help us get those points.

Michael Kenrick
5 Posted 14/12/2021 at 17:47:35
This is the story that Bobble bloke came out with on Twatter at about 2 pm. The club put up an official story at around 5 pm.

Paul the Esk spent a lot of time some months ago going on about "controlling the narrative"... I'm just curious how someone with inside information is able to repeatedly leak it on Twatter hours before the club deems it a fit and proper time to let the plebs know.

Apparently, the same source leaks the team line-ups before the sanctioned time of 1 hour ahead of kick-off.

Dan Johnson
6 Posted 14/12/2021 at 17:49:25
Whether you like Benitez or not, he has had shocking luck with injuries, I wish we could buy 22 points.
Mike Gaynes
7 Posted 14/12/2021 at 17:51:02
Michael, it's because this club's entire communications system is amateurish to the point of embarrassment. Plains tribes were more effective with smoke signals.
Jay Harris
8 Posted 14/12/2021 at 17:56:11
The players seem to be like china dolls.

We used to have a really good head of PR a few years ago. Can't remember his name but he is no longer there.

Bring Billy Butler back!!

Will Mabon
9 Posted 14/12/2021 at 17:58:54
Cue the '70s Mud song.

"It'll be lonely this Christmas,
Lonely and cold "

Thursday is frightening.

John Raftery
10 Posted 14/12/2021 at 17:59:06
These won’t be the last of the injuries this month, unfortunately. It will be the opportunity for one or two of the young players to show us what they are made of.
Will Mabon
11 Posted 14/12/2021 at 18:00:44
John, that's what I call optimism.
Fran Mitchell
12 Posted 14/12/2021 at 18:01:45
Nothing to worry about.

Godfrey at right back, Delph at left back.

Iwobi on the right. Rondon up top.

Champion's League here we come.

Will Mabon
13 Posted 14/12/2021 at 18:03:05
Fran, now that's what I call delusion.
Will Mabon
14 Posted 14/12/2021 at 18:04:59

"This is the story that Bobble bloke came out with on Twatter at about 2 pm. The club put up an official story at around 5 pm."

I think somebody is asking to get "Disappeared".

Alex Gray
15 Posted 14/12/2021 at 18:08:59
So currently Coleman, Mina, Digne, Allan, Davies, Townsend, Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin all injured (bar Digne) during the period with the most games.

This is beyond a joke now. Bar Michael Keane, Iwobi and Gordon, I'm now certain our entire squad has been injured and we're not even halfway through the season.

Gary Smith
16 Posted 14/12/2021 at 18:09:34
Richie will again be a huge miss, Seamus has been utterly shocking for weeks, and Townsend has been average at best since September.

Would be ace to see some youngsters step in and get their chance, but we all know it’ll be Kenny, Gordon and Rondon who FSW will bring in. He’ll have to fight his Iwobi urge, but I think even he’s had enough of him.

Assuming they’re fit: what I’d like to see at Chelsea:

Godfrey Keane Branthwaite
Kenny Allan Doucoure Digne
Gordon Gray

What we’ll likely see:

Kenny Holgate Keane Godfrey
Gordon Allan Doucoure Gray
Rondon Tosun

John Raftery
17 Posted 14/12/2021 at 18:12:23
We could do with an outbreak of Covid among the squad. Any volunteers?
Andrew Bentley
18 Posted 14/12/2021 at 18:13:19
Mike @4,

It says the injury on Townsend came in the Crystal Palace match from a tackle with one of their players, so it won't have affected him in previous games.

He has been quiet for the last few games (agreed) but probably because he needs resting to gee him back up again and realise his spot is not a god-given right each match.

Sadly his name is on the teamsheet each week as Rafa won't play anyone else, so there is no competition, so the general Everton malaise kicks in again.

Surely now if Coleman is out, this is a chance to bring Digne back in and either move Godfrey to the right or switch Holgate out there and put Godfrey back in at centre-back.

Christy Ring
19 Posted 14/12/2021 at 18:15:01
Mike #4,

The bottom line: he knew at half-time he had a calf injury, he should have been off on medical advice – how do you run off a calf muscle injury?

Kieran Kinsella
20 Posted 14/12/2021 at 18:15:16
The injury "crisis" is only a crisis because we have a crisis in terms of talent.

If you ignore the names and look at the positions: striker, striker, right-back, right-midfield, centre-back, centre-midfield, then in terms of subs and reserves on paper we have two international strikers, a right-back, an international who can play right-midfield, another who plays centre-midfield, and we have four fit centre-backs.

Any normal club then you'd say "great no problem." But when you add the names of the aforementioned Tosun, Rondon, Kenny, Iwobi, Gbamin, Holgate, Keane, Godfrey and Branthwaite, the story changes.

Other teams endure 10 or 12 players out and survive. We have 2 or 3 out and the sky is falling simply because our squad is so weak. Of the injured, only 3 are usually good when fit. Even if our best 11 was fit every week, we'd still have four or five with obvious deficiencies and detractors.

Kieran Kinsella
21 Posted 14/12/2021 at 18:18:24
Gary @16,

"Would be ace to see some youngsters step in and get their chance, but we all know it'll be Kenny, Gordon and Rondon who FSW will bring in."

And yet your favored team as listed also includes Kenny and Gordon? So you're saying he got 2 out of 3?

Kunal Desai
22 Posted 14/12/2021 at 18:18:50
We'll get anahilated at Chelsea and I expect we'll get beat by Leicester. Need to just somehow dig out 17 more points.
Rob Halligan
23 Posted 14/12/2021 at 18:22:13
Just stick the U23s out on Thursday night. Why risk more injuries in a game we will more than likely lose anyway?

Chelsea will be viewed as a "free hit" anyway, so take the defeat and save what we've got left for the games coming up that can be seen as winnable.

Shane Corcoran
24 Posted 14/12/2021 at 18:22:30
No big deal other than up front as far as starting eleven goes.

Townsend has been poor and Seamus needs a break.

Not long til the sales.

Gary Smith
25 Posted 14/12/2021 at 18:24:31
Kieran - why miss the fact I also included Simms and Branthwaite in the 11 too. Is it deliberate or daft?
John Raftery
26 Posted 14/12/2021 at 18:26:14
Rob (23) Agreed.
Kieran Kinsella
27 Posted 14/12/2021 at 18:28:37

Not at all I just wondered why you cited two players as being the ones Rafa would predictably pick and then said you would pick them yourself. Why mention them at all? Just say "he should pick Simms and Branthwaite," if that's what you want.

And then when Simms isn't picked, as seems likely based on his form for the Under-23s, you can wax lyrical after the Chelsea game about how we coulda, shoulda won if only Simms had played instead of Rondon.

Dennis Stevens
28 Posted 14/12/2021 at 18:29:19
Digne to get the armband??
Paul Birmingham
29 Posted 14/12/2021 at 18:29:33
Jeez, you can't write it, but we must try and transcend the difficult situation, somehow, but it's another chastening triple kick in the nuts.

Let's see what formation starts, but I can't see Chelsea holding back and they will go for the kill early doors.

Pickford to be Captain, but who else in the players available has the personality and fight and leadership qualities to be captain?

Accepting the wrath of many, I'll opt for Ben Godfrey as captain vs Chelsea.

Kieran Kinsella
30 Posted 14/12/2021 at 18:32:17
Rob @23

I remember Mick McCarthy doing that once at Wolves versus Man Utd. He got crucified, yet somehow no-one had a problem all the times Man Utd put out weakened teams as it served their own greater good.

Personally, I wouldn't do that because, aside from anything else, goal difference could be a factor. Boring and painful as it might be, 0-3 loss featuring the usual suspects would be better than an 8-0 involving the kids.

Moreover, aside from maybe Pickford and Doucouré, who is there presently fit to get injured that would make much of a difference?

Gary Smith
31 Posted 14/12/2021 at 18:33:52
Kieran - hilarious you think you can tell me how to structure my posts, just because in your haste to happy clap the fat kopite, you didn't read it properly. I've clearly stated I wanted Simms and Branthwaite in too, it is there in black and white.

Maybe if he actually gave them a go, he'd remove my coulda, shoulda eh, instead of persisting with the utterly shite and slow Rondon once again… whose form would be just as shite if he too were banished without hope to the kids teams.

Michael Lynch
32 Posted 14/12/2021 at 18:34:00
Yes, definitely "rotate" what is hilariously known as our "squad" at this point. We'd get fuck all from Chelsea even with a first-choice team, so concentrate on Leicester, Burnley and particularly Newcastle. If we can pick up 4 or 5 points from those games, we're in a decent position to avoid a relegation battle.

Line-up at Chelsea:

Kenny Keane Branthwaite Digne
Holgate Gomes Onyango
Gordon Simms Iwobi

Barry Hesketh
33 Posted 14/12/2021 at 18:35:24
Assuming that Everton don't bring in any players until Monday 3 January, because that would be the first working day of the New Year, and unless there are postponements involving Everton prior to that, there will only be 17 Premier League fixtures to play, following that first Monday.

Somehow Benitez has to eke out some points this side of the window: I don't know how he's going to do that but it's imperative that he does.

Dwight D Eisenhower said, "I would rather have a lucky general than a smart general... They win battles and they make me lucky." Is Benitez either of those things? I do hope he gets lucky soon and proves that he was correct with his assertion that we'll be better in the latter parts of the season..

Bill Gienapp
34 Posted 14/12/2021 at 18:38:06
Pretty sure I heard, heading into this season, that we'd never actually won a game that Richarlison missed (whether through injury or suspension). Well, we did end up beating Norwich City without him, but it's still a fairly grim statistic.
Brian Wilkinson
35 Posted 14/12/2021 at 18:41:48
If Richarlison knew he had an injury and the manager said "We will give you some minutes in the second half and, if needed, you will be coming off," then he made Rafa look a right clown with his strop at coming off.

Is it any wonder every man and his dog were scratching their heads at the substitution and had a pop at the manager? Richarlison sulking certainly did not help.

Sometimes we just do not know the reasoning. Much as I like Richarlison, he certainly threw his manager under the bus with his strop.

So let us look again, first few games we performed well with a full team; since then, we have had Calvert-Lewin, Doucouré, Richarlison, Pickford, Godfrey, Mina, Coleman, Digne (earlier in the season), Allan, Gomes, plenty others I will have missed, all out for weeks... months through injury.

Them moaning Red Shites could not cope with just Virgil out, yet we have had almost our strongest 11 out for large parts of the season; is it any wonder we are struggling?

Our luck has been awful, ever since that bleeding Black Cat strolled onto the pitch. [Tongue firmly in cheek.]

Tony Abrahams
36 Posted 14/12/2021 at 18:48:13
Kieran @20,

That's what years of mismanagement have done to Everton Football Club, mate.

It's so very clear to see, and yet David Unsworth was calling Brands "a proper Evertonian" and then Kenwright said,"it only took him about one spin of Z-Cars to agree a new deal."

Unfuckingbelievable – this club has been getting mismanaged for years, and the ones who are kidding the life out of us – people with incredibly cushy numbers – are getting away with murder, whilst they try and feed us absolute bollocks.

Joe McMahon
37 Posted 14/12/2021 at 18:49:57
Mike is correct, Benitez was pelted about taking Richarlison off against his wishes. On this occasion, he was right.

Well, maybe Simms might get a chance now and Coleman is now too costly (unfortunately).

Brian Wilkinson
39 Posted 14/12/2021 at 18:53:48
Tony @36,

And the very people you are referring to and rightly so are now considering to hold meetings, with the new ESSG, you could not make it up.

New group, "Erm, we want some of the board members removed.." "Meeting closed, see you all in 6 months where we will arrange some tea, chocolate digestives and a heart-warming story of how Bill had to fend off all comers for his uncle Cyril's Licquorice All-Sorts, on a cold afternoon in the Boys Pen."

For fuck's sake, what will it take to get him out of our club?

Tom Bowers
40 Posted 14/12/2021 at 18:57:27
Shit happens and Everton have had more than their fair share and it's still happening.

Would it be a mistake starting some youngsters now as I am sure results couldn't be any worse?

Sure we are not expected to beat the likes of Liverpool, Man City, Man Utd or Chelsea but crushing defeats against Watford and Palace are cause for alarm despite the injuries.

Everton have had no real target man since Calvert-Lewin got crocked and, with only second-raters like Rondon and Tosun to choose from, they have floundered.

Only Demarai Gray has been able to achieve anything in an attacking sense so the question is, what the hell is going to happen now with this latest news?

Another sure-fire debacle is on the cards for the next game unless Chelsea have a couple sent off early... and even then we would struggle.

Most of us can see all the problems and I am sure Rafa can too but he will stick to his guns with certain players and his way of playing. It may get worse before serious management action changes things.

Mike Gaynes
41 Posted 14/12/2021 at 18:58:40
Christy #19, beats me, I wasn't there. I assume the training staff knew he had a knock but didn't know it was a tear. Clearly he didn't think he was seriously injured when he came off so angry.

Kieran #20, spot on again. You are posting exceptionally well today. PEDs no doubt. (Posting Enhancing Drugs.)

Andrew #18, thanks for catching that. Personally, I'm not surprised that Townsend's performance has retreated recently. That's the history of his career -- he is unable to maintain top performance consistently -- and the reason I was less than enthused about his signing. He's certainly been a big plus for us, but expecting him to remain at his early-season levels may have been over-optimistic.

Tony Abrahams
42 Posted 14/12/2021 at 19:02:13
No, Brian, they don't even make it up, because it's how they seem to genuinely operate. It's only when they open their mouths, do you begin to realize how fucking easy they must think it is once they say the right things, and that's why you never hear from them when things are going badly.

You can kid most of the people most of the time, and when that fails, just have enough people in front of you, so you can throw one of them under the bus.

Jay Wood

43 Posted 14/12/2021 at 19:05:03
Well, quite a few are likely to get their wish and see untried academy players thrown into the fray, so stretched are our resources.

In other news, anyone got the low-down on this lad?

Dynamo Kyiv Defender Everton Move Imminent

Robert? Sam?

Ray Robinson
44 Posted 14/12/2021 at 19:06:34
Right now, I'm as annoyed with Richarlison for throwing Benitez under a bus with his strop as I am with the manager himself. Shit happens but this was dung that needn't have been flung.
Brian Wilkinson
45 Posted 14/12/2021 at 19:10:08
Agreed, Ray, which I also touched on, with my earlier post.
Mick O'Malley
46 Posted 14/12/2021 at 19:14:59
It's Benitez... he's a fucking jinx.
Mike Gaynes
47 Posted 14/12/2021 at 19:15:19
Soren #38 and Jay #43, that signing would be a coup.

Rumored to be a target of Man Utd and all the top Serie A clubs. I've only seen him once, against Bayern last month in a snowstorm, but my impression was a baby-faced kid with searing pace.

Coman is one of the fastest players in the world, and this kid stayed with him stride-for-stride, although Coman did score in the game.

Eddie Dunn
48 Posted 14/12/2021 at 19:16:30
I said on another thread that Rafa took him off due to his calf and only offered to leave him on, to keep him quiet, due to his importance to the team, and his tendency to sulk.

The prat (Richarlison) knew he was injured so should have not come back out; in fact, he got that knock halfway through the half and possibly should have gone down and seen a medic.

As for Coleman, he got a stamp and went down but, in his honesty, he jumped back up to prevent the lad getting a card. Pity more players don't react like him. Unlike that rat Ayew.

Gordon will get more game time, so him and Gray with Iwobi as back-up will have to do.

Seamus has been patchy (some poor mistakes but also some excellent bits of play). Got to give him a pass because he gives100%.

These latest injuries actually swing things in Rafa's favour now the narrative is clearly about his crap hand that's been dealt.

Best thing we can hope for is a Covid outbreak at Finch Farm.

Barry Hesketh
49 Posted 14/12/2021 at 19:16:37
Playing Devil's advocate for a moment, what if Richarlison's calf isn't as bad as is being described but the manager has probably fairly, laid into him for his reaction on Sunday?

It might suit both parties to have Richarlison out of the team before the window opens and the manager can use the funds from Richarlison's sale to refurbish the squad.

Nothing at Everton is black and white – not even the mints.

Niall McIlhone
53 Posted 14/12/2021 at 19:25:34
Surely we have reached the juncture where the loan arrangement for Neils Nkounkou is called in, and he returns in January? We need him, irrespective of whether the manager is going to pick Digne or not.

We also need our walking wounded (or “match fit” players) to show character over the coming weeks.

I hope our away fans will support the team vociferously at Chelsea from the start to give them at least a bit of a fillip to square up to that formidable Chelsea team.

Brent Stephens
54 Posted 14/12/2021 at 19:26:37
Barry "what if Richarlison's calf isn't as bad as is being described".

Richie hasn't got a farm, has he? Could be a ruse to deceive Chelsea.

Kieran Kinsella
55 Posted 14/12/2021 at 19:38:18
Danny Donachie posted on Twitter a few hours ago:

"So common in our culture. Why are we as a society choosing this type of leader? (then he quotes)

"Extreme controlling personalities have the potential to cause severe disruption to an organization and lasting harm to individuals in it. Healthy, functioning teams rely on a diversity of talent and this can be undermined by a leader who doesn't like varying views and repeatedly hires people who think like them."

Then he posted a picture of himself and James Rodriguez. His pinned Tweet meanwhile is talking about how great David Moyes is.

The soap opera continues.

Michael Pennington
56 Posted 14/12/2021 at 19:39:24
This man Rafa is making me the most worried I have been for my club in watching Everton for over 50 years. As he likes to say, let's look at the facts:

He's got the worst losing record of any manager for many years. He sacked the head medical man because he wouldn't rush Calvert-Lewin back. He gets the DoF sacked... Who is next? Probably Duncan.

He will not be happy till he runs the club from top to bottom. He's a dinosaur and a coward that can't have anyone with different ideas that differ with his. Injuries have had an effect on the team but 1 win in 10 (make that 11 after Thursday) – you can't blame all that on injuries.

If I could meet Moshiri I'd get on my knees and beg him to sack this fraud before it's too late. UTFT

Barry Hesketh
57 Posted 14/12/2021 at 19:40:42
Kieran @55

The problem is that we seem to have more than one character of that type at the club.

Kieran Kinsella
58 Posted 14/12/2021 at 19:57:29

You're right. But I would like to see the various factions stop hanging their dirty laundry in public. Michael mentioned the leaks to "The Bobble" earlier.

Yes, guilty as charged, I read these stories and gossip. But really, it's pretty juvenile way for all of these grown adults to conduct their business with comments like "It's just the players?" to a fan, passive-aggressive tweets from the ex physio, Rafa going on about reviewing departments or Digne, Kenwrights leak to "The Bobbie" that he wants Rafa out, Farhad texting Jim White, DBB leaking that she is looking for a new job, the whole drama around the firing and rehiring of Dan Meis.

It's not very professional.

Brian Wilkinson
59 Posted 14/12/2021 at 20:12:04
Kieran, could The Bobble be the one and only Bill, with a different account?
Michael Kenrick
60 Posted 14/12/2021 at 20:14:11
Nice summary, Kieran @58,

Reading that makes me think we are perhaps seeing the new era of openness and transparency from the club. At least that's perhaps what they think it should look like...

Tony Abrahams
61 Posted 14/12/2021 at 20:20:33
A lot of us have been calling Everton the cosy club for a very long time now, Kieran, so what Donachie has posted might even have a lot of personal home truths in it.

We are talking about a club that once existed to win though, and if people are getting upset, this is something they just mustn't really understand because they haven't known the old Everton.

Benitez got absolutely destroyed every time he sat in the dugout at Chelsea because of the arrogance he showed towards them whilst in charge of Liverpool, but you know what the little belligerent Spanish bastard did? Something the cosy club haven't done since 199-fucking-5.

Robert Tressell
62 Posted 14/12/2021 at 20:20:44
Help me, Iwobi-Wan-Kenobi. You're my only hope.
Roger Helm
63 Posted 14/12/2021 at 20:24:29
You wouldn’t think it possible to ruin a football club by investing £500 million, would you?
Duncan McDine
64 Posted 14/12/2021 at 20:29:30
Agree Mike (3)… but if you thought the ripping he got on ToffeeWeb was bad, you should've been at the game.

Rafa must have skin as thick as a Rhino (and I don't mean Unsie)… the abuse he got from 90% of the crowd was horrendous.

Ian Horan
65 Posted 14/12/2021 at 20:38:06
Could the tsunami of injuries we are suffering be as a result of Benitez's attempts to get the squad fitter and the recent boast by Benitez the players have run more in games than at any time in the last 4 years!!!!

It's sickening being a blue at the minute, and possibly more evidence of how easy it's been at Finch Farm for years.

I believe we have reached the eye of a perfect storm that will result in our relegation. I think we are about to reap what has been sown over the past 20-odd years.

Mike Gaynes
66 Posted 14/12/2021 at 20:51:26
Michael #56

"He sacked the head medical man because he wouldn't rush Calvert-Lewin back. He gets the DoF sacked..."

Got an inside source at the club for those headline news items?

Or are you just making them up?

Shaun Laycock
67 Posted 14/12/2021 at 20:52:21
Hiding to nothing on this one. My team would be:

Holgate Keane Godfrey
Kenny Doucouré Gomes Digne (c)
Gordon Tosun Gray

3-4-3 attacking
5-4-1 defending

Subs: whoever is left...

Christy Ring
68 Posted 14/12/2021 at 20:56:29
Gary#16 Benteke should have seen red for his challenge on Seamus, instead the ref played on and they scored. If you think Seamus has been shocking for weeks, you can single out his mistake against Salah, but kept his man Mane very quiet, where does that leave the rest of the team.
Steavey Buckley
69 Posted 14/12/2021 at 21:06:52
The situation with injuries has gone from bad to further bad news. I am at a loss what happens next. Everton at this point must have the worst squad of players in the EPL to choose from. Yet, Everton's next game is against Chelsea.

But Everton have a defence that can't defend against corners and set pieces. Against Chelsea, Everton will have little or no chance of stopping Chelsea from scoring.

Upfront, Everton have now lost Richarlison and Townsend. Yet, Everton fans are serious in believing Tosun can replace Richarlison. In a football comedy and sketch, Tosun can replace a major attacking threat, but not against Chelsea in a serious game of football.

Danny O’Neill
70 Posted 14/12/2021 at 21:09:31
Definitely Christy @68. And then to rub salt in the wounds, he gets the free kick that ultimately led to the 3rd goal. And, if you looked closely, leaving in afters on that coming together too.

Not that it mattered in overall performance and deserving of the result, but with a 1 goal margin, no matter how bad you've played, you're still in it.

I've no idea what I'll see on Thursday, so I'm not second guessing. I'll just find a decent pub as close as I can to the away fan exclusion zone as I can trick myself upto and "prepare" myself.

Christy Ring
71 Posted 14/12/2021 at 21:15:02
Three more injuries for Thursday night, if Benitez doesn't include Digne in the squad, he's definitely not putting the club first in my opinion.
Robert Tressell
72 Posted 14/12/2021 at 21:21:35
I'd have said the Mykolenko rumours are surprising. He's been linked with a move away from Kiev for a while - to Champions League clubs like Man Utd and esp. Inter so he's definitely got something. Fast, strong, good on the ball, likes a tackle. Not unlike a younger model of Digne. Definitely a high calibre player though.

Also he's contracted till 2025 so would not be cheap. £20m maybe.

Weirdly this is more of a Brands type signing than a Benitez type signing. I'd expect one of a number of cheaper Spanish left backs, ahead of this guy.

Jerome Shields
73 Posted 14/12/2021 at 21:26:09
Benitez was right to take Richarlison off, making Richarlison's attitude now look stupid. Digne will be back with a point to prove and Quite frankly after Coleman's performances in the last three games he would not be missed. Gofrey would be alot better at right back.

It looks like Iowbi will return and Gordon will get a start. Hopefully Allan will replace Gomes who is better as a sub.

Darryl Ritchie
74 Posted 14/12/2021 at 21:29:12
We're doomed!!!!
Pat Kelly
75 Posted 14/12/2021 at 21:55:46
I hope Dunc hasn't walked. We might need him up front on Thursday.
Brian Wilkinson
76 Posted 14/12/2021 at 22:01:08
Danny@70, I reckon Chelsea will knock more goals in than pints you knock back on Thursday mate.

I try to be positive but even I cannot see anything other than a damn good thrashing.

Tom Harvey
77 Posted 14/12/2021 at 22:01:55
Looking ahead, that Burnley game could force Mr Bean to make a decision about Benitez.

I have to say I don't fancy Big Sam back at the helm.

Dave White
78 Posted 14/12/2021 at 22:03:56
Roger #63 ha ha! Nailed it!

I will be getting drunk before this one and having zero expectations. We’ll be lucky to get nil.

Sad, sad times.

FFS we may as well blood some youngsters hadn’t we?

Phil Gardner
79 Posted 14/12/2021 at 22:11:53
An Omicron outbreak won’t save us…this squad doesn’t have the technical ability to pass it to each other.
Phil Gardner
80 Posted 14/12/2021 at 22:17:25
Barry @33…if Eisenhower said it he was paraphrasing Napoleon Bonaparte 150 years earlier…🤷🏼
Nick Page
81 Posted 14/12/2021 at 22:20:18
It will get much worse before it gets better. We need to get rid of the board before Benitez and bring some proper managers in who understand football, and business… rather than having a Chairman who's an actor and a CEO who is at best a politically astute social climber.

For fuck's sake, this a fucking football club... start acting like one!!!

Barry Hesketh
82 Posted 14/12/2021 at 22:27:30
“Give me lucky generals.”

This is another quote that is often attributed to Napoleon, but there is no evidence to suggest he ever said the words. If he did, then as an avid amateur historian he probably based them on something Cardinal Mazarin, chief minister of France in the 17th Century, said.

Mazarin had noted that one must not ask of a general “Est-il habile?” (“Is he skillful?”), but rather “Est-il heureux?” (“Is he lucky?”)

Christy Ring
83 Posted 14/12/2021 at 22:29:03
Jerome #73,

You love slating Seamus, but if you think we're better off without him, and should bring Iwobi back into the team, enough said.

Kevin Campbell reckons Benitez has fallen out with Digne, Richarlison and Allan and wants to sell them in January. He's lost the plot.

Phil Smith
84 Posted 14/12/2021 at 23:41:27
Robert (62), hahahahaha
Mike Gaynes
85 Posted 15/12/2021 at 00:21:06
Christy #83,

I'd say it's Campbell who's lost the plot. He's the schmuck who thought Tarkowski's chainsaw tackle on Richarlison's knee was just fine. Richarlison missed five games with that injury.

Michael Fox
86 Posted 15/12/2021 at 00:22:00
Lads, this is all too negative. Thursday night, bring it on, the less we have to choose from, the better. Bring me a diet of worms, and I'll eat them alive.
Jerome Shields
87 Posted 15/12/2021 at 00:47:51
Christy #83,

Seamus has caused 5 goals to be scored against Everton in his past three games. Mostly through error, one due to a lack of pace. On other threads, I have given details.

Everton would be better with a player who is not prone to errors at the moment. No team in the Premier League can afford to ship 5 goals and it would have made a big difference to Everton if they hadn't in these three games.

Iowbi plays a different position and he may be the only one available to play that position. His limitations are that he is totally a right-side player, so will never pass the right-back and cross. On his right side, he isn't that hot either, but at least he is a bit more comfortable and the necessary luck might happen.

I don't think that Benitez has fallen out with any of them. . . I think he is taking football decisions, but such is the atmosphere at Finch Farm that they think they can act-up when they don't like the decisions he makes.

Jerome Shields
88 Posted 15/12/2021 at 00:58:48
Christy #83,

It may be also the case that Seamus does not want to play, because he knows that he has cost Everton himself.

John Boon
89 Posted 15/12/2021 at 01:17:50
When things are going as bad as they are now, I see a significant drop in posts. This is understandable because, when times are tough, people usually "just give up". It is so easy to celebrate a victory and revel in the heroics of a magnificent team. Far harder to support a bunch of losers, which we are right now.

I am a Blue Blue Blue Evertonian and always will be, but the present situation is as dire as any time I have known since I started seriously supporting them before we were eventually relegated in 1951.

This is much worse because relegation prior to the Premier League was not so devastating. Teams often came back and seemed to have a new lease of life.

Today, mainly because money is a factor, relegation usually condemns a club to years of mediocrity. Everton should never have to be "mediocre", but our history is all in the past and we just cannot afford to be relegated.

Today, there is far too much dissension in the club which has seriously filtered to the supporters and caused a rift even among fans. We have to get behind the team. We have to stop having such negative views by deciding we have lost before we even play.

I disagree with so much that has happened over the last 5 years. I am not satisfied by the present manager but there are far bigger problems than Benitez.

I am sick of always having to "hope" for the next season, but that seems to be what it is. So I promise to get behind whatever team goes out onto the field. I accept that I may be disappointed but, for this pathetic season, I just have one wish: "not to be relegated". Sad but, for at least Season 2021-22, it is the best I can expect. Whatever happens, I will always be an Evertonian. I don't have any choice.

Mike Gaynes
90 Posted 15/12/2021 at 02:30:46
John #89,

I respectfully disagree about people giving up. I think the drop-off in posts at times like these is due much more to the relentlessly negative tone on the board. Reading other people's venting, raging, whining and slagging just isn't much fun after a while, and when TW is like this, we tend to move on to more pleasant pastimes.

But I don't think anybody is abandoning their support.

Alan J Thompson
91 Posted 15/12/2021 at 03:00:45
Let's just hope he won't be out any longer than Digne.
Gerry Killen
92 Posted 15/12/2021 at 03:10:12
John Boon @89, thanks, mate, a lovely post.

Exactly how I feel, I was so upset to see our great travelling fans fighting amongst themselves when Richalison was hauled off – for what we now know as a deep-seated muscle injury – and booing and cursing Rondon for replacing him. The man was only bought as a squad player – who was to know how our injury problems would unfold that forced him into the spotlight as a striker?

Give him his due, he has lost a lot of weight and finally got a goal. Rafa knows what players are ready and who is not; to include a young player into a team which are playing poorly would be detrimental to his future development.

There's no more like Rooney in the locker – it would be great if there was.

Cheers, COYB

Kieran Kinsella
93 Posted 15/12/2021 at 03:51:32
John & Mike,

Personally I think the drop off has to do with coalescing. ToffeeWeb is vibrant when posters have diverging views. I think right now most people are on the same page: Kenwright is rotten, Moshiri is incompetent; players are crap. What's there to argue about?

Bill Watson
94 Posted 15/12/2021 at 04:55:25
Jay #8

You're probably thinking of Alan Myers, a Blue through and through. I think he had a disagreement with Boys Pen Bill, or the CEO, and walked.

Laurie Hartley
95 Posted 15/12/2021 at 05:08:20
Michael # 86 - Good post that. We go again Thursday.

I actually watched Chelsea vs Leeds – Leeds were unlucky to be beaten and yet they had 7 put past them last night. Funny old game, football.

Ancelotti sorted out the set-piece and clean-sheet problem by playing 4 centre-halves across the back. I think we could do worse than that against Chelsea.

My team for the dogfight:

Holgate, Keane, Branthwaite, Godfrey
Gordon, Doucouré, Allan, Gomes, Gray

I seriously hope Allan is fit because we seriously need what he brings to the side at the moment.

We can resume hostilities over the board and manager after the game.

Michael Pennington
96 Posted 15/12/2021 at 07:13:49
Mike #66,

Yes, 2 actually, but it didn't come from them. If you get in the ground earlier, you will find Duncan not involved with any of the warm-up.

If Rafa is still here after January, Duncan won't be. You might agree with Rafa but I don't. We won't get relegated but we will be a Newcastle.

Christy Ring
97 Posted 15/12/2021 at 07:27:34
Jerome #87,

Seamus has caused 5 goals in the last three games? You may learn how to count, so Gray's pass was Seamus's fault, and because Tierney got a ricochet and our two centre-backs ball watching, that's his fault? And Godfrey ball-watching when Tompkins scored, that's his fault as well? Wow!

Phil Gardner
98 Posted 15/12/2021 at 08:08:50
If Benitez has ‘fallen out' with Digne, Richarlison and Allan and wants to flog them, then let him… it looks like it's his ball now and, if them three aren't onside, then they can piss off as far as I'm concerned.

Let Benitez do his job; we can all agree that this club needs shaking to its foundations so the owner has appeared to have given Rafa carte blanche… let him get on with it then.

As an aside, this injury news certainly paints Richarlison in a very poor light and shows that Benitez was quite correct regarding his substitution. The theatrics and petulance from Richarlison were disgraceful and turned fans (waiting to be turned) against the manager. That is unhealthy right now.

Barry Hesketh… there are plenty of historians who attach that saying to Napoleon. One thing's for sure – it wasn't Eisenhower's!

Steven Astley
99 Posted 15/12/2021 at 08:09:06
Shame we don't have a Steve Watson type to fill in upfront!
Darren Hind
100 Posted 15/12/2021 at 08:17:04
There's a drop off in posts???

By end of play today, I expect the two matchday threads alone to pass the 700 post marker... you rarely get that when we win.

What is missing is the number of articles submitted by posters.

Mike G,

You have superior writing skills... Let's be 'avin' you!!!

Derek Knox
101 Posted 15/12/2021 at 09:06:51

"There's a drop off in posts???"

You could be guilty of that too mate, haven't seen you on here as regular as normal.

But you are right, like I said a while back TW'ers love to moan, but are very reluctant to praise. Mind you, being the Devil's Advocate, there hasn't been a lot to praise apart from the attitude and result for the Arsenal Game. Almost reminiscent of the Bayern Munich atmosphere in Goodison Park (second half)!

We had a proper team and characters then, though, didn't we?

Jon Wit
102 Posted 15/12/2021 at 09:09:51
Nice change of narrative.

You could almost forget Benitez's dreadful tactics against both Brentford and Palace.

With Richarlison being the main reason that we won a game in the last 10, this isn't great news.

Take a look at the form table, fellas, we are bottom for the last 10.

By all means, support the manager… but don't deify him – it's a shocking run of results.

Bobby Mallon
103 Posted 15/12/2021 at 09:26:47
Look, let me put this out there. The fans at the Palace game were not angry (I know I wasn't) with Richarlison coming off – they were angry with Rondon coming on.

Now, yes, he scored… but he's been bloody awful and the reason the team where awful was because Benitz went there to Palace to get a draw. Absolutely not good enough.

I have said it many times it's time to bring in 1 or 2 young attacking players and fucking go for it. I would rather we got beat 3-1 having a go…

Andrew Bentley
104 Posted 15/12/2021 at 09:50:35
Spot on, Bobby @103. All of us can accept being beaten, but we can't accept not trying to win.

This defensive mindset is not working so let the team go and out and attack and bring on some youth and fresh energy. Do you know what? They may not be good enough... but the current model and players aren't anyway, so give it a try.

We are losing anyway so may as well try something different.

Rob Halligan
105 Posted 15/12/2021 at 09:59:27
John # 89. I don't think the fans are giving up at all. TW contributors represent such a very small percentage of Everton support, in fact a mere drop in the Pacific Ocean. Chelsea tickets sold out last week I think. A Thursday night game in London four days after another away game in London. Burnley has already sold out, and no doubt before the week is out, Hull city in the cup will also be sold out.

Everton Football Club is in the blood, it's an addiction, it's something that me, you, and everybody else cannot “Just give up”. There have been a few people on here over the last year or two saying “That's it, I've had enough, I'm packing this club in”. These, to me anyway, aren't real fans at all, they are just attention seekers, almost as if they are begging the club and other TW contributors to ask them to reconsider their actions. If they want to go, just let them go.

If Everton, god forbid, got relegated, then relegated again and again, we would still be selling out home and away games, such is the magnificent support this club has. We are going through one hell of a bad patch – which club doesn't – but we will come out the other end stronger. We have to believe this.

I don't think we will be in a relegation scrap come the end of the season. I didn't want Benitez as manager in the summer, and I certainly don't want him here now but, for the sake of the club, I hope he succeeds that's assuming of course, that Moshiri doesn't pull the trigger any time soon.

Now is the time, more than ever, that the club needs our support. Come the end of the season we will be fine, with the FA Cup nicely tucked away in the trophy cabinet.

See you at Chelsea.


James Newcombe
106 Posted 15/12/2021 at 10:11:37
Can this season get any worse?

Wakes up in May

Yes. Yes, it can.

Andy Walker
107 Posted 15/12/2021 at 10:54:53
Papers reporting that we're talking to Rooney. Would be a great shout as he's got Championship experience. Thank God Moshiri blocked Kenwright's move to get Moyes back.
Bill Fairfield
108 Posted 15/12/2021 at 11:05:45
Moshiri is the problem at our club. Six years of getting it wrong is long enough. Why doesn't he admit to himself he's out of his depth owning a football club? If he had the calibre of people running his business that run our club, he'd be bankrupt in no time.
David Hallwood
109 Posted 15/12/2021 at 11:15:47
What has this club done to deserve this? Run over 1,000 cats? Snubbed 1,000 gypsies selling good luck charms? Built Finch Farm on ground sacred to the Lakotas?

Injuries are part and parcel of football but, in all the years watching football, I cannot recall 2 seasons like last season and this one.

This is yet another season where I can't wait for it to end. The injury crisis is horrendous but it's about time that the players did the basics right and if you can't win then don't lose.

I watched the Palace game again, yes I'm into weird kinky S&M games. We got what we deserved; absolutely feck-all. But all 3 goals came as a result of schoolboy errors. What were Gray, Godfrey and Coleman thinking of?

Add to that Coleman's error vs Liverpool when we were still in the game – it would've had Sir raging at the Year 8 B side.

At the moment, we've got all the ugly football of Ancelotti with none of the points. Worrying times.

Andy Walker
110 Posted 15/12/2021 at 11:16:56
Totally agree, Bill, he's a billionaire who unfortunately is not very good at all at running a football club.

Setting out an initial strategy of appointing a DoF. Then appointing multiple managers who'd never previously worked, and didn't want to work, under a DoF structure.

Then ditches the DoF model, puts all his trust in one man, a former Liverpool manager, then a few weeks later starts talking to Wayne Rooney to replace him.

How Moshiri ever made his money is beyond me, he appears to lurch from one strategy to another and repeatedly makes bad calls.

Ajay Gopal
111 Posted 15/12/2021 at 11:27:13
Gary (16),

I wholeheartedly agree with your team selection with one exception – Rondon to start for me, with Simms coming on as a substitute. Why would you want to drop a player who has just scored his 1st goal for the club?

Kenny Godfrey Keane Branthwaite Digne
Doucouré Allan
Gordon Rondon Gray

Chelsea are a bit vulnerable at the moment but, if we pack the defence and midfield, and stay in the game for a long enough time, we could maybe, just maybe, get something out of the game.

Brian (35) – exactly right.

I do not like any Everton player openly disagreeing with other colleagues or the manager – it does not matter if Richarlison was injured or not. If the manager thinks that he needs to be replaced, he should accept that decision and not act like a spoilt child.

I love Richy as a player but sometimes his behaviour is ugly – remember the penalty incident earlier this season when the ball had to be snatched away from his hands? He could have costed us a precious 2 points that day. Luckily, Calvert-Lewin kept his cool and blasted the penalty in.

Our manager is going through a tough time and players adding to the pressure do Everton Football Club no favours.

Barry Rathbone
112 Posted 15/12/2021 at 11:40:19
John Boon 89, I think you sum it rather well.

It goes without saying that Everton will remain "our" club but, in an age when informed decision-making and self-analysis are prominent, the idea of inflicting one's own mental anguish by continually supporting a rotting carcase seems increasingly naff – mindless almost.

I have the excuse of blaming my forebears, the old Jesuit saying "Give me the boy and I will give you the man" springs to mind – they must be spinning in their graves right now.

But why some have volunteered for anguish by supporting this club in it's Premier League guise is one of life's great mysteries. A good subject for a psychiatrists' convention, methinks.

Andrew Clare
113 Posted 15/12/2021 at 11:54:36
Andy 110, Re: Your last paragraph.

He is probably very good at laundry.

Stan Schofield
114 Posted 15/12/2021 at 11:59:22
John @89 and Barry @112:

I don't think any Evertonian gives up so to speak. We have no choice: once you're a supporter, it's in your blood. You cannot help being pained at poor performances, nor elated at good ones.

All we can do is ‘self-management', to try to handle disappointment and expectations, and to try to manage annoyance at shallow commentary from the likes of the media and some supporters of other clubs.

We can reduce how much we watch, which is what I've done (because I got fed up watching shite a while ago), but it's difficult or impossible to go beyond that.

Andy Walker
115 Posted 15/12/2021 at 12:48:55
Andrew 113 ;)
Jerome Shields
116 Posted 15/12/2021 at 13:08:26
Christy #97,

Seamus without pressure attempted to pass the ball across his own backline to Gray. A cardinal rule of defending broken. It would have given Jack Charlton a heart attack.

He was caught out of position and was skinned by the Arsenal winger, whose cross got eventually to Tierney. Most Arsenal attacks were down the left for that reason, to exploit a weakness.

Crystal Palace were the same. T ompkins was untracked and unmarked on the back post and had time for two touches. This is the area that the right-back should cover zonally and be marking-up at a corner. Tompkins last scored last Xmas. Godfrey done as instructed.

I know that Seamus has been loyal and gives 100%, but the Premier League is an unforgiving place if you are not at your best. It's professional football teams you are up against and they are out to, and will work hard to, exploit weaknesses.

Adrian Evans
117 Posted 15/12/2021 at 13:35:11
It's everywhere: Wayne Rooney in talks.

Well, any owner or board in the mess we are in, under the pressure we are under, will be talking to others. Bonkers not to have a contingency plan.

Rafa has gotta be told: "You've been unlucky with injuries. But you've had the games (Watford, Brentford, Palace, a few others) to be 9 points better, in a safe mid-table position. You're not a good enough coach anymore to do it. The pressure you're now under is of your own making, son."

"27 points up 25 and we could have lived with you, the owner. Now, lose tomorrow and Sunday and the owner knows he has lost the crowd, you lost the squad."

So, are we, the fans, prepared to accept Duncan on his own? Maybe Tim Cahill alongside him. Duncan and an assistant???

If we go down, then we go down fighting and accept we haven't been good enough. Or a big gamble: Duncan and Wayne – joint managers??? Novel!!!

Or Wayne as No 2 – he won't come. Will Dunc be Wayne's No 2? Do we ask for what a majority will live with, even with a chance of relegation?

Sounds like some critical decisions to be made in this next week or two.

Keep Mourinho out of here.

The fans, Goodison will, must have a say, a voice in who we support for the rest of the season.

It's got to be Duncan, but he will inherit a broken, injured, weakened squad. What would he be allowed to do???

5 days until a change if we lose 2; at the outside, 2 weeks. What do we think? We have been shafted by an ex-Red manager.

Rob Dolby
118 Posted 15/12/2021 at 13:35:22

We are all entitled to our own opinion but you are way off the mark with a few of points above.

Coleman tried to clear the ball; it went to Gray, who then messed up. He didn't try and pass across his box. I would say in every Premier League game played over the last 5 years, the most common pass is between the two centre-backs. Jack Charlton would indeed be spinning!

Arsenal scored a well-worked goal, it happens, it doesn't mean there is a mistake. Ødegaard could have scored a hat-trick on the night with his movement, that's what quality players do.

Coleman had a good game against Zaha. He was fouled in the run-up to their 2nd, got clobbered by Benteke – which should have resulted in a red via VAR then he took a quick free-kick with a moving ball which the ref should have stopped play for.

He isn't responsible for not putting players on the back post at corners... See how you can spin both arguments?

We all know he is past his best. Is it his fault the manager keeps playing him?

We have bigger problems than cover for right-back.

Mark Taylor
119 Posted 15/12/2021 at 13:37:25
Now that we have lost two more of our better players (which isn't saying that much), the silver lining is that we really have nothing to lose. The bookies have us 15-1 to win – astonishing in a two-horse race.

The pressure is on Chelsea here big time, they desperately need to win to keep pace with Man City and their fans will see this game as a banker. Could they panic?

Maybe it's time to throw caution to the winds a bit. We keep giving players like Branthwaite and Simms extended contracts. Let's see what they offer. I appreciate Simms in particular is raw, but can he truly be worse than Rondon? Why waste money on him if he is? Gordon, Simms and Gray as an attacking 3 and hope that we can catch them on the break.

Barry Jones
120 Posted 15/12/2021 at 13:47:01
So Richarlison has a scan and has a tear in the calf muscle. Then why on earth was he sulking and waving his arms when being substituted? He surely must have felt something was wrong physically.

I criticised Benitez for the substitution at the time, but now I have to defend him and agree with him in saying that Richarlison waving his arms around was not helpful to anyone. What a stupid and damaging reaction.

Eddie Dunn
121 Posted 15/12/2021 at 13:49:14
Rob, good points of course but nicey Seamus didn't make enough of a fuss at the assault by Benteke. Decent bloke that he is, he jumped back to his feet to prevent the Belgian getting a card. Later, Ayew rolled around as if electricuted after a slight brush.

Perhaps Seamus should have been more cynical and tried to get VAR to look at his incident, as it was likely that it was the contact that has now put him out for a spell.

In a couple of games recently our lads have failed to bring attention to possible penalties or fouls. Then we see other teams like Liverpool, Chelsea et al questioning refs at every decision. Indeed, Henderson seems to ref most of their games.

Another good example was Tarkovsky on Richarlison. Not even a foul. No cards. VAR could have given a straight red. Richarlison was out for a few weeks.

We should have had a pile of angry players demanding a VAR check.

Jerome Shields
122 Posted 15/12/2021 at 13:49:38
Rob #118,

As you say, everyone is entitled to their opinion. Mine is borne from what I was coached as being good football practice.

Jack Ledwidge
123 Posted 15/12/2021 at 13:52:56
There is no doubt we are at a very low point. No trophy in 27 years, countless millions squandered and a very much under achieving academy. A Gallactico manager that walks away, boardroom unrest, aging players on young superstar wages.

FPP rules like a noose around our neck. Enter Benitez. Love him or loath him, he entered the fray with a squad that at best would probably finish 8th or 9th. Decimated by injuries and a club that needs a full shake up from top to bottom. I do have a degree of sympathy towards him.

Was he my choice – No. What I do admire, however, is he seems to have a backbone that so many charlatans involved with us have lacked.

I'm not saying he is the answer but we've changed so many managers to little avail. Let us get behind him in the absence of some other miracle cure. Everton have had a pretty abysmal last number of years so I say don't judge a new manager 5 months into his tenure.

Martin Mason
124 Posted 15/12/2021 at 13:56:32
Rooney to manage Everton. First the board go mad and then the fans catch it.
Brian Wilkinson
125 Posted 15/12/2021 at 14:05:24

If I pop to my local bookies and have a punt on Everton at 15-1 to beat Chelsea away, I am in danger of missing the Leicester game on Sunday with being carried away with the men in white coats.

We can all say Leeds gave them a game last weekend but, when you look how we folded against Watford, Brentford, Liverpool, along with other games, then you look at how Chelsea have been dominating games this season, I just cannot see anything other than a drubbing mate.

There is trying not to be negative, but at the same time being honest, we would have struggled with a fully fit 11 against Chelsea, let alone a team ravaged with injuries and low in confidence. If the same set-up, sit back, pack the defence and midfield, then only a matter of time before the floodgates open.

So apologies if my post seems rather negative.

Adrian Evans
126 Posted 15/12/2021 at 14:18:43
Wayne passed all his badges with flying clours. At the same time as doing his SATs.

With the garbage he was dealt at Derby by the owner, pressure of a 21-points deduction. Coaching young lads, having to throw them on. I don't think there is a player in the world who could talk to Simms, Branthwaite, Dobbin etc like Wayne.

Problem is, fans don't stop and think about Wayne Rooney. We sold him as he was way too good a player to stay with us. The man is football.

Remember that Rafa is a Spanish Sunday League footballer. Wayne Rooney played for a decent manager here, then arguably the best manager in the world. How many years???

Duncan has been alongside, Moyes, Martinez, et al – the best, Farhad and Bill told us. So he's had a flipping good apprenticeship, at what cost. Football man, Everton man.

Wayne, well make your own minds up.

We've supposedly got world class footballers paid shit-loads. When they step on that field, they've got to deliver, think, and change stuff a bit, react if they need to. But it's playing away that suits this squad, the team ya put on the field.

Wayne is a genius footballer. Not trying to be a brain surgeon, or rocket scientist. He would have got more than 18 points by now. Duncan too. At least 25... maybe 27 or 30. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

The only options we've got: Stick or Twist. An unknown to the club. Duncan game by game, permission to buy, loan-to-buy in January.

Duncan, Wayne, joint... why not? Get safe then sort it. In house. Wayne, see if Dunc will do assistant.

I wanna know any other ideas!!! I am a Sam for safety man, but would he come? Then accept the bullet again? Bad choice.

Mess, mess, mess, mess, mess... I just wanna be in the Premier League next season, and in a new stadium next year.

I don't want Rafa at any price now. I got behind him on Monday... And then he did that.

Tony Gavin
127 Posted 15/12/2021 at 14:26:15
What a mess the Toffees are in. I'm sort of accepting relegation now; if we carry on the way we are, we are done for. 4 points from 30 is nailed on relegation form and I don't see any way out.

I never wanted Rafa, he's done exactly what he has with every other club he's managed, split the board, upset players, played atrocious football, and never takes any blame.

After Arsenal, he was grinning like we'd won the league. Every defeat is never his fault.

I'm 40 and had a lifetime of utter shite with Everton. My son is 8 and starting to follow us more. I genuinely feel sorry for him. We'll never win the league, never win a European trophy. We may win a cup at some point but not anytime soon.

It's a curse being a Blue at times.

Tony Abrahams
128 Posted 15/12/2021 at 14:38:16
The problem is that fans don't stop and think, so we sold Wayne Rooney because he was too good for us? So that was the only reason?

Was there no other factors in this appalling decision, Adrian, because a few little things did start coming out in the wash, not so long ago?

Bill Hawker
129 Posted 15/12/2021 at 14:40:59
Looks like Rafa was right after all in pulling him off. That's not good ammunition for the "Rafa Out" brigade.
Frank Crewe
130 Posted 15/12/2021 at 14:44:00
I see Aguero has announced his retirement. We should sign him. Over the hill. Exorbitant wages. Permacrocked. But he would be free and sell lots of shirts. Right up our street end.
Johan Elmgren
131 Posted 15/12/2021 at 14:46:23
Well, FSW might have been right on that occasion, Bill... but it doesn't weigh up the total cluelessness in other departments. That incident isn't the reason why we have picked up 5 points in 30...

FSW Out Now!

Paul Chaloner
132 Posted 15/12/2021 at 14:49:00
I suppose this is what you get when you play football all around the year with little or no break. Then you have a manager who, despite being short of players, decides to pick arguments with some of the fit ones.

Wait and see. We are short of players but we will be waiting for transfer action on the last day of January. Depressing and very worrying.

Brendan McLaughlin
133 Posted 15/12/2021 at 14:54:34
Digne apparently not available for selection on Thursday due to "illness"... cue more FSW tirades!
Adrian Evans
134 Posted 15/12/2021 at 15:02:06
Tony @128.

Purely on a football basis, too good, great money he went on to do what he did. Issues in the personal lives of managers etc shouldn't really deter us from making football decisions. It's rewarded us with success in the past.

Could it be that Rooney could be better than Gerrard? Why did he take McAllister to Rangers, bring him down to Villa? We are in a really difficult position. But if Benitez gets beat or hammered tomorrow, what does anyone think the atmospher will be like? Two flipping ex-Liverpool managers giving it to us at Goodison Park, folks. You couldnt write the script.

So he gets beat tomorrow... at the very least, stay at home and give the game to Big Duncan please. Two Shite managers sending us nosediving to the bottom 3.

Ideas on a postcard to Mr Moshiri. How much does he think we can or will put up with? Has anybody thought that through? Benitez in one dugout, Rogers in the other. 0-5, thanks Rafa, job done, mate. Leaving us precisely Where!!

Duncan, Wayne, Bill anyone but Benitez by Sunday please. He's done enough damage, showed us he has gone. Director of Football for him, I think.

Mark Taylor
135 Posted 15/12/2021 at 15:35:25
Brian @125,

No, you're not being unduly negative. Looked at rationally, we have no chance. Believe me, I'm a bucket half-full man by nature, so I see that, it's hard to imagine anything other than a beating.

Just that sport has a habit of throwing up the near impossible, at the unlikeliest of times, and that would be now. That is all I'm clinging to. I grant you it's not much.

Brian Wilkinson
136 Posted 15/12/2021 at 15:37:54
Some tactics have been questionable, even subs, but you cannot deny, no manager has had to come in as manager with so many injuries throughout this season and such a poor squad.

Every other manager has had money to buy; Rafa, because of past spendings, has spent just £1.7 Million.

He has to work with the players that have been handed to him. Strange really... Rafa could be a week away from the sack, or 16 Days away from the transfer window reopening and strengthening the squad.

It really is a make-or-break couple of weeks, but I will finish by asking who you would rate as our best player this season so far? And at a guess, I would say Benitez's signing, Demarai Gray will be high up on the list.

John Boon
137 Posted 15/12/2021 at 15:50:01
I had indicated in a post (@89) that I felt that there had been a decline in posts during these difficult times for our club. I may have been wrong statistically but it was just a sense that people were less reluctant to post when so much is negative.

I will apologise for using the term "given up". I did not in any way want to give the impression that fans had given up on Everton. I did suggest that fans are just tired of stating the obvious in print, "At the present time, we are a poor team with multiple problems."

Many of you negated the possibiliy that posters had declined by posting. Great!!! – that shows, to some extent, that there are those who may be disappointed by results but are still willing to give their point of view. More important... nobody is wrong in what they see as the problems with Everton. That is always their honest point of view.

However, what is wrong is that nobody in the club seems to have any sensible ideas on how to put a wandering ship in rough seas in the right direction. I am sad more than plain angry. Anger never solves anything. We need "clever minds" to get together to avoid the unthinkable "relegation".

I reitterate what I said before. Relegation in this day and age is the worst thing that could happen. And as pathetic as it is it seems to be, our major goal, for this dreadful season, should be to avoid it.

Among posters, there are very few that have "given up" on supporting Everton. We just have to get behind them, whoever is in charge, and hope that things improve. Foul-mouthed rants about everything to do with Everton may make you feel better and are quite understandable, but they are not cures. Just much-needed medicine for a frustrated mind and soul.

Tony Abrahams
138 Posted 15/12/2021 at 15:52:16
I agree that he was brilliant when he played for Everton, Adrian, which is exactly why the deal to sell him so cheaply was badly wrong.

Kenwright was fucked, Trevor Birch, told him that if “he” was to survive, he was going to have to sell his main asset, and this was obviously more important to the skint owner, who chose to stay in charge, rather than let Everton keep Rooney, which probably would have also helped Kenwright sell the club, IMO, Adrian.

Issues on personal lives shouldn't stop us making football decisions is exactly how the skint owner got away with another disastrous decision imo, especially when Evertonians say he was too good for us.

Brian Wilkinson
139 Posted 15/12/2021 at 15:59:10
So I will continue and say, what was so different when Dunc was in charge and every manager that has come in?

The players raised their game for every single new Manager for a few weeks, yes even Benitez got results at the start of the season, only one games stands out, being the Arsenal game, what was different in that game and every new manager coming in?

For me on every occasion, the fans have got right behind the team, never gave up when going a goal down to Arsenal whether that brought confidence in the players, I just do not know.

All I do know is now more than anything, we have to unite as supporters, we need to try and do our bit, take a leaf out of Leeds the other night, their fans were brilliant, never gave up. We on the other hand are fighting among ourselves, booing, arguing among ourselves, fan base split.

We need to try and get a togetherness; even in our darkest day against Wimbledon, the fans got behind the team. They need us more than ever now, if we can do our bit for 90 mins, then at least we have done our bit.

But rest assured, rightly or wrongly, booing is not going to help these players.

Rob Dolby
140 Posted 15/12/2021 at 16:13:36
Jerome, as a kid I remember watching Jack Charlton's footy coaching Saturday morning on TV and the recent documentary about him was a quality watch for any football fan.

His methods for Ireland were light-years away from top teams though the one thing he had that was better than most of his opponents was team spirit. Those lads would run through a brick wall for Charlton.

Team spirit is often overlooked in the modern game as we are looking at top talented footballers and marvelling at their ability. Even our squad is littered with full internationals that have ability. They just don't seem to have any drive or desire to back each other up.

Clive Rogers
141 Posted 15/12/2021 at 16:18:15

The fans have been quite clear as to where they think the blame lies and have shown it by chanting “sack the board” and by the 27 minute walk out.

The fans lifted the players against Arsenal for the last 20 minutes to achieve a most unlikely victory. As you say, booing wouldn't help.

Christy Ring
142 Posted 15/12/2021 at 16:19:06
Tony #138

I agree 100%. Kenwright got rid of Gregg, brought his own gang in, never put a penny into the club, ran it into the ground.

We were heading into administration, and Kenwright said Newcastle Utd offered £20M+ for Rooney, which was a bluff to make Man Utd offer bigger money to sign him. After that, he sold off Finch Farm, the merchandise contract, and any asset we had.

Mike Gaynes
143 Posted 15/12/2021 at 16:27:52
Barry #120, you're right that Richarlison's reaction was unjustified and threw Benitez under the bus in public, but I would contest your belief that he knew he had a significant injury. Many professional athletes take great pride in their warrior attitude of playing through anything when a game is on the line -- I see it often in the US NFL -- and it's my guess that with the adrenaline and frustration pumping, Richarlison didn't consider the knock serious enough to come off.

David #109, let's not forget that, preceding all the injuries, a lineup mainstay was suddenly deleted from the club for a truly horrifying reason. No question, this is the worst of times.

Brian #136 & #139, agreed.

John #137, thanks for the clarification.

Adrian Evans
144 Posted 15/12/2021 at 16:41:05
If Benitez is in charge on Sunday, it will be one ex-RS manager in our dugout, one ex-RS manager in the opposition.
0-5 94 mins or so later, shake of hands, well done Rafa, job done mate???

God knows what the atmospher will be like if thats allowed to happen lads.

Us nosediving to the Bottom 3, Benitez blaming injuries for not securing at least 27 points by now. Everybody elses fault.

Lose tomorrow at Chelsea, for god's sake please don't leave him in charge for Sunday so the above happens.

If a decision cant be made, just ask big Dunc to manage the game until it's sorted.

Two ex RS managers giving it to us. I wanna scream.

Mike Gaynes
145 Posted 15/12/2021 at 16:48:26
From The Fiver:

Everton striker Richarlison has admitted manager Rafael Benitez was right to substitute him in the defeat at Crystal Palace. “It was frustrating … but Rafa did the right thing,” he chirped. “I wasn’t able to play at my maximum capacity because of the issue with my calf and if I stayed on I would have done more damage.”

Ken Kneale
146 Posted 15/12/2021 at 17:37:53
Tony & Christy – even after the passage of time, a remembrance of such facts really rankles and rightly so. That man should never have been allowed to remain in post for so long under his own steam nor by the new owner.

Like a lot of points in Everton's history where fate played a hand, such as the outbreak of World War "with a fine team", "that week" in 1971, Catterick's prolonged illness, the 1977 FA Cup semi-final goal and Heysel, Rooney's sale is still a hard memory, principally as unlike the others mentioned, it was entirely avoidable if Kenwright had acted in the interest of Everton and not the interest of Bill Kenwright.

Ashley Roberts
147 Posted 15/12/2021 at 21:34:46
Let's get real guys, there is no chance Rooney will be managing Everton anytime soon. Benitez has got the job long term and we just have to pray he can keep us up. No tall order with the thinnest squad in the league and bar the strongest 11 possibly the worst squad in the league regarding quality in depth.

While we should never throw in the towel, tomorrow has to be about taking some chances and seeing what the likes of Simms and Branthwaite can do for us. Let's get real: Simms must be just as good as Rondon; if he isn't, he needs to be shipped out quickly. The same goes for Branthwaite.

It is an ideal opportunity with both Digne and Coleman likely missing. Benitez obviously doesn't fancy Kenny and so why play him before Branthwaite?

We know what Rondon is capable of so why not give Simms a shot for at least 60 minutes? Common, Benitez, show some backbone and try something new!!

Bobby Mallon
148 Posted 15/12/2021 at 06:39:43
Brian Wilkinson @139.

The difference with the games that you say the fans got behind the team was the players put a shift in.

There is always a starting point and against Arsenal it was Godfrey's tackle on the half-way line. It was immense whole hearted 50/50 that he won that was the start and I bet that happened in all the other games.

The reason the fans' backs were up at Palace was because there was none of that; we were second to everything and let a young lad run the show (he's very good mind).
All fans want is bloody effort.

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