Gordon: We have to fight our way out of trouble

Sunday, 13 March, 2022 25comments  |  Jump to last

Anthony Gordon says Everton's players need to start consistently applying the game-plan from Frank Lampard his coaching staff on the field and show the character to put together a run of results that will lift them clear of relegation danger in the coming weeks.

The 21-year-old Scouser has become the embodiment on the pitch of the spirit and anguish expressed on Goodison Park's terraces during the Toffees' abysmal season and he spoke with the national print media ahead of today's Premier League clash with Wolves.

Everton have won just twice in the Premier League since September and currently have their worst points tally after 25 matches in the club's entire history when adjusted to three points for a win but with at least two games in hand on all the clubs around them, their fate is in their hands.

Last Monday's 5-0 defeat to Spurs was a shocking wake-up call but Gordon believes the talent and the determination is there to drag the club out of danger.

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“Tottenham was the lowest I've felt all season. It was probably one of the lowest I've felt in my career,” Gordon said in The Telegraph. “It's not the sort of thing a team of this calibre should experience.

“In this league, with its physicality, if you fight first you give yourself a chance. Without any fight or aggression when you start games, you have no chance. We need to fight for ourselves and the club. We have said it too many times and keep making the same mistakes.

“We have no time for that any more. Look at the table and where we are. It is our fault we are there.

“We've had plenty of meetings looking back over games over the past couple of weeks. We knew where we were going wrong and we were putting them right, but then a week later we undo them all again. The good teams don't make the same mistakes twice.”

In the age of social media and at a time when player salaries are higher than ever, it's easy for a narrative to take hold that the players don't care as much as the fans about the danger of relegation but Gordon pushed back strongly against that notion.

Gordon , who is adamant that Everton won't go down, insists that it's clear at Finch Farm that the Blues' beleaguered stars are very much affected by the poor results and are determined to put things right.

“I can totally understand why people might think we don't care. But football is our life,” the winger explained. “We give everything to it. If you look at it from that perspective, for a player not to care is a stupid way of thinking.

“We are here day in, day out. We eat and sleep it. Everyone here cares. From knowing them personally — being around the lads and having a good relationship with them — I really believe that.

“I know we can do it. If we just get certain things right then all the worry will disappear. Look, it's a difficult period. But tough times bring out the best in people.

“There's no, 'Oh we can rest now because we won a few games at home'. We haven't got that choice. It's got to be top performance after top performance and, again, that takes character and togetherness within the team.

“Not many teams have the fanbase we have,” Gordon continued in The Guardian. “So when you experience games at Goodison the atmosphere is incredible. It gives players a massive boost.

"It is like that all over the league but even more so with us because of the massive fanbase. Away from home I put it down to us having a tough season, the squad has lost confidence over time, and it can be tough to go away without confidence."


Reader Comments (25)

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Brian Murray
1 Posted 13/03/2022 at 05:25:03
Suppose it was Anthony’s turn this week. Top coaches plan and adapt depending on the opposition not Rafa style stubbornness. Want to see more of this from the coaches. Head down again tunnel vision is just suicidal. Stating the obvious I know but a boring low block until the summer if we have no pace at the back. Then the cull can start
Danny O’Neill
2 Posted 13/03/2022 at 05:50:52
Stating the obvious, but I'm not going to slate Anthony. He's doing the media job expected of players.

He's been one of the few to be able to hold his head high in the knowledge he's given everything he can. But one man doesn't make a team click.

I distinctly remember the look of near distraught on his face at Brentford. It was no comfort to the fans at the time, but he felt that as much as every one of us.

Fix it starting today Anthony and Everton.

Dave Evans
3 Posted 13/03/2022 at 05:55:02
It may or may not have been Anthony's turn but he's speaking from the heart. Before anything, we need physical commitment and aggression on the pitch. Even teams with far more technical ability than ours know you lose without it.
Mike Gaynes
4 Posted 13/03/2022 at 06:32:25
Nobody has been a better example to his teammates than the youngest Blue in the starting lineup. There's an armband waiting for this young man someday.
Terry Hughes
5 Posted 13/03/2022 at 07:16:25
The trouble is there is zero fight in any of them bar Gordon but even he isn’t good enough. Can’t beat his man, not fast enough with no end product. I hope to be proved wrong before the season is out but unfortunately I won’t be.
Danny O’Neill
6 Posted 13/03/2022 at 07:23:02
Harsh that Terry.

He can beat a man and has a good change of pace that enables him to that (not to be confused with blistering pace). He also has good delivery so should be on set pieces more.

Other teams are taking note. On Monday, Tottenham marshalled him well, showing him inside to nullify his threat.

To my previous, one player doesn't make a team, no matter how good they are or can be.

Jerome Shields
7 Posted 13/03/2022 at 08:01:36
Lampard is talking about not falling into the trap of taking recent Goodison form for granted and Gordon is wheeled out to state the obvious. He is one of the only player's who could have been wheeled out that most would believe.

The biggest problem in the run in is the attitude of the players and those that are preparing them. Frank is just confirming what we all already know is a problem.

They really have to knuckle down. The pile up of fixtures in January due to Covid means a demanding run in to the end of the season. Not a strong part of the season normally for Everton teams. They have went into holiday mode from March on in previous seasons, including last season.

I would rather have points than games in hand with this team.

Danny Baily
8 Posted 13/03/2022 at 08:07:24
Gordon being the first me on the team sheet regardless of the opposition is part of the problem.

A promising player, who's quick off the mark with a few tricks up his sleeve. Great to have in the squad but kills a lot of passages of play with poor decision making and delivery.

Steve Shave
9 Posted 13/03/2022 at 08:12:31
I love Gordon, I think we have a real player on our hands but he is not there yet, he is showing consistency though which is the sign of true quality. I agree with a comment above that him being (deservedly) the first name on the team sheet is highly indicative of our problem.

That said, I love his spirit and that mixture of grace and guile that he shows, I thought he was going to be another academy dud after that loan to Preston, so hats off to you, sir.

Mal van Schaick
10 Posted 13/03/2022 at 08:49:20
I can't fault Gordon for effort, and he has shown he can score goals. Today is about playing together as a team, joined-up play and creativity with full effort from those on the pitch.

Wolves were gifted a couple of goals against Watford, we can't afford any stupid mistakes, especially from Pickford and defending set pieces and corners.

We have to be first to any loose ball, and play at the same tempo when we beat Leeds.

My team:- Pickford, Coleman, Keane, Godfrey, Mykolenko, Doucouré, Allan, Gordon, Gray, Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison.

Dave Abrahams
11 Posted 13/03/2022 at 08:49:39
Dave (3),

I go along with that notion. Anthony really believes what he is saying because he is a Scouser and an Evertonian.

Jonjoe Kenny and Tom Davies will almost certainly think like that – it's the remaining players from all over the world who have no real affinity to Everton FC and us fans, who we have to hope find the necessary fight to keep us in the premier league in every game home and away.

They've failed miserably up to now; let's see if Frank can get them to up their game starting today. I'm going today, willing them to run their plums off and fight for every ball and play like men.

Tony Abrahams
12 Posted 13/03/2022 at 08:50:45
Talk is cheap, but sometimes you can feel that it's coming from the heart and, in that respect, Anthony has spoken very well. He makes it sound like it's a confidence thing, which makes me feel that some players just need taking out of the squad because of how fragile they become the minute something goes wrong.

A schizophrenic squad, we have definitely got some good players, but if we can't stay compact or defend properly, then you have to look at changing the personnel “eventually”.

Joe McMahon
13 Posted 13/03/2022 at 09:01:56
To quote a line from the fantastic film Stir Crazy. "No Shit"
Kim Vivian
14 Posted 13/03/2022 at 09:27:09
There speaks a future captain of the club.

You don't have to be the best player on the pitch to be captain (although he is at present) but an attitude, and words, like that will transfer to the squad.

COYB and get in, AG

Dave Williams
15 Posted 13/03/2022 at 10:00:13
Terry must be watching a different player to the one I see. Gordon is doing well in a poorly performing team and will look much better again with a better team around him.

He has the pace to get away from his man, he has the ability to beat several players in a run towards goal whilst admittedly his final ball/ shooting needs to improve.

I wish we had nine others like him because we wouldn't then be fretting about relegation.

Tony Everan
16 Posted 13/03/2022 at 10:03:01
The crime here is that it’s young Anthony who is setting the standards and playing the best football. This exceptional young lad should be getting nurtured and gradually introduced not trying to rally the senior players. Those seniors now need to step it up and take charge of this situation.

His work rate and determination remind me of DCL a few years ago when he was a similar age. Taking on the responsibility and atoning for manifold catastrophic failure elsewhere.

To criticise Gordon and currently DCL is an unwarranted short term and knee jerk reaction. These players are fighters and have given their all. DCL was used way too much as a 20, 21 year old but put his heart and body on the line for the club. Now it’s payback time from the fans, we have to support him now that he is returning from nine months of injuries. He deserves it, needs it and he will come good again.

COYB ! play as a team, a unified fighting force and get us a win by any means necessary.

Si Pulford
17 Posted 13/03/2022 at 10:05:03
Mal (10) not being funny or trying to be confrontational but what have you seen from Mykolenko to include him in your 11? I've been shocked when watching him. He can't get forward, can't defend and looks nervous at all times. I cannot believe that Benitez sanctioned the two full-back signings after turning down Livramenro and Dumfries and selling Digne.

Kenny is a poor right-back but still walks in at left-back over Mykolenko who it would appear that we've wasted over £20 million on when we are absolutely skint. The mind boggles.

Danny Baily
18 Posted 13/03/2022 at 10:14:04
I've said before, we can't afford to give Mykolenko minutes in our current position, and certainly not from the start. We can use preseason to put him in the shop window.
Michael Connelly
19 Posted 13/03/2022 at 11:11:33
Anthony, tell your manager to stop hanging his players out to dry away from home with suicidal tactics, which would automatically give us a chance of picking up more points.
David Midgley
20 Posted 13/03/2022 at 11:53:04
On other threads people have commented about the poor tactics employed against Spurs. We have a management team. Why didn't one of them say "Frank, this isn't working"?

What's the point of an assistant manager? Eddie Howe has an assistant and is constantly talking to him and assessing the situation throughout the game.

Anthony Gordon is a good athletic and skilful player who is constantly improving. Yes, he does sometimes make poor decisions... when I look back to when I was 21, I would have done a lot different. Hindsight is wonderful.

A pity some of the others didn't have his drive, commitment and enthusiasm.

Geoff Lambert
21 Posted 13/03/2022 at 12:16:56
If we are advocating that Jonjoe Kenny is our best choice at left-back, then we are going down.
Tom Bowers
22 Posted 13/03/2022 at 12:29:51
The problems are obvious to us all including Lampard.
The biggest problem of all is the team as a whole are a level below most of the others.

We have struggled against almost every other team all season.

We have had the basis of this squad under the care of, Martinez, Silva, Koeman, Allardyce, Ancellotti and Benitez since the departure of Moyes and not one has been able to make them competitive with the rest and this season has seen them at their worst.

Yes, there have been some good wins along the way but generally a lot of mediocre performances even with strong starting elevens.

The signings of many players unable to secure starting places elsewhere is a no-brainer. These players start well in their first few games and then go into la-la land and I am not referring to Gray or Townsend.

The chips are down and we now have play with what we have.

You cannot make a silk purse out of a sow's ear but Frank has to do his best to bet us out of this mess.

Dale Self
23 Posted 13/03/2022 at 12:32:29
The kid’s got steel. I hope he takes control and gives the rext the inspiration needed
Si Pulford
24 Posted 13/03/2022 at 13:01:48
Geoff (21) who would you play at LB? Personally if for I’d play Godfrey. However out of the fit options we have the fact that Kenny walks in is a damning assessment of the current squad and recruitment policy. I can’t understand anyone who thinks Mykolenko is the answer in a new league in a relegation battle? He’s looked out of his depth in every performance so far and I’m not for a second writing him off and he may need time to settle but for over 20 million pound we needed players for right now and he isn’t that.
David Currie
25 Posted 13/03/2022 at 21:38:37
Our best back four when all fit is:

Right-back: Holgate
Centre-backs: Mina and Keane
Left-back: Godfrey.

So, with Mina injured, I would go with Branthwaite.

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