Another away-day collapse ends Wembley dream

Sunday, 20 March, 2022 72comments  |  Jump to last
Crystal Palace 4 - 0 Everton

Everton lost Andros Townsend to what looks to be a serious injury, the latest disruption to a positive start around the quarter-hour mark in a game

Everton suffered the latest in a season full of embarrassments away from home as they were thrashed 4-0 by Crystal Palace and dumped out of the FA Cup at the quarter-final stage at Selhurst Park.

Yet again it was a case of a strong start giving way to the concession of the opening goal, this time from all-too-familiar failings defending set-pieces, as Patrick Vieira's side scored completely against the run of play after 25 minutes, doubled their lead eight minutes later, and didn't look back as the visitors folded.

Frank Lampard threw Dominic Calvert-Lewin on for the second half but apart from an excellent effort by Demarai Gray that narrowly missed and a couple of dangerous balls into the six-yard box by the winger, Everton never looked like scoring after the break.

With Allan suspended and mindful of the fact that the Blues' last visit to the Capital had ended in a 5-0 drubbing by Tottenham, Frank Lampard reverted to a three-man central defence with Seamus Coleman and Jonjoe Kenny as wingbacks and André Gomes recalled to central midfield. Andros Townsend started wide on the right of Richarlison as Calvert-Lewin was once again among the substitutes.

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Everton made a terrific start to the game, pressing Palace relentlessly in the opening stages and having a chance with less than a minute on the clock after Richarlison had been fouled but Michael Keane couldn't guide a scuffed left-foot shot on target and the ball just eluded Ben Godfrey at the post.

Richarlison had a shout for a penalty when he pounced on a poor first touch by Guehi but replays showed the defender had got a toe to the ball making his recovery tackle before the Brazilian lashed a wayward shot into the stand and headed a corner over the bar after Townsend had been fouled in a dangerous area.

Townsend's afternoon — and, almost certainly, his season — was ended shortly afterwards, however, when he went down clutching his leg after planting his leg awkwardly near the touchline challenging for the ball. He eschewed the option of a stretcher, preferring to be helped around the perimeter of the pitch, but the suspicion is that he has suffered a serious knee ligament injury.

The former Eagle was replaced by Gray and it wasn't until 20 minutes had elapsed that the hosts had their first shot when Michael Olise tested Jordan Pickford who had been passed fit following illness and Asmir Begovic being the latest Everton player to be struck down by the virus that has been working its way through the camp.

Five minutes later, though, Everton's ongoing problems defending corners resurfaced. A whipped, in-swinging corner from the Palace right had been dealt with well by Pickford but the second set-piece was delivered to the edge of the six-yard box where Marc Guehi arrived unmarked to power home a header.

Gomes fired a speculative effort a couple of yards wide at one end but Everton were opened up too easily again at the other in the 33rd minute when Cheikhou Kouyate was allowed to get to the byline and cross for Wilfried Zaha but the winger swept his first-time shot wide.

Richarlison had what ended up being the Toffees' best chance five minutes before half-time when latched onto Coleman's smart ball over the top but his improvised effort with the outside of his boot was too close to Jack Butland in the Palace goal and he made the save.

A minute later, it was, effectively, game over thanks to utterly woeful defending, albeit after a clear handball by Zaha on the touchline. Eberechi Eze played Zaha in easily behind Coleman down the home side's left flank, neither Abdoulaye Doucouré nor Andre Gomes tracked their runners and when the cross came in, Jean-Philippe Mateta arrived unmarked to sweep it past Pickford first-time.

Only a brilliant saving tackle from Coleman denied the French striker a second in first-half stoppage time but it would only be a matter of time before the Eagles added to the score.

Lampard tried to change the pattern of the game by withdrawing Jonjoe Kenny at the break, somewhat curiously moving Anthony Gordon to left wing-back and introducing Calvert-Lewin but, as has so often been the case this season, Everton struggled to move the ball up the pitch unless it went long.

Gray missed the far post by inches with an impressive snap-shot midway through the second period as Everton tried to find a way through and the winger combined with Richarlison with 20 minutes to go only for his low cross to end up in Butland's arms but Zaha could and probably should have made it 3-0 12 minutes from the end.

The Ivorian had been played into acres of space in front of goal as the Blues chased the game but he dallied before shooting and Mason Holgate blocked his eventual effort away.

Zaha would get his goal a minute later, though, when Olise popped up in space himself and tried to bend one into the top corner. The ball seemed to come off his standing leg, however, spun onto the post and with Everton's players rooted to the spot, Zaha tucked the rebound in from the angle.

Gray finished off a rare move of quality from Lampard's men with eight minutes to go and all that was left was for Palace to complete the rout, this time with Conor Gallagher forcing a superb save from Pickford but, unfortunately, the keeper's parry fell to substitute Will Hughes and he despatched the rebound into the net.

So, the question of whether a continuing FA Cup run would be a help or hindrance to Everton's quest to avoid relegation from the Premier League was rendered moot by yet another big set-back on the road, a result that means the Blues have conceded seven goals on this ground alone this season, nine in their last two visits to London and they must return to the Capital in a fortnight's time time to face West Ham.

Lampard will, no doubt, welcome the international break to try and refocus his charges but the fact that the likes of Richarlison, Doucouré and Gordon will be away on duty for their countries and, therefore, not able to rest will be a cause for concern.

The biggest worry, though, is Everton's continued failings in defence where mistakes and an openness stemming from midfield are routinely undermining their efforts to start matches on the front foot. It's an issue that will need attention before the Premier League resumes and especially in the crucial away games at Burnley and Watford to come.

 

Reader Comments (72)

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Rick Tarleton
1 Posted 20/03/2022 at 17:10:07
To be honest,I wasn't that bothered about the result, but losing nil - four away is never acceptable. That first twenty minutes when we huffed and we puffed and couldn't even blow down a house of straw, epitomised our season so far. As did the miskick that led to their third goal.
More importantly Gordon (and Gomes which doesn't honestly matter) got a yellow card which will lead to his missing a match.
On away days this team, especially the defence is simply appalling.
Neil Lawson
2 Posted 20/03/2022 at 17:38:38
10 promising minutes followed by 80 minutes of pathetic dross and somewhat mystifying tactics.

Only Coleman gets any credit, and only just.

This team is going directly to the Championship and won't even pass Go.

Frank Sheppard
3 Posted 20/03/2022 at 17:50:43
Struggling to see any positives here. Such a lack of quality, and lots of mistakes, and an inability to defend crosses and corners.

Different manager, same problems.

Jim Bennings
4 Posted 20/03/2022 at 18:25:21
I'm past really caring anymore about this current crop of wage robbers.

Not too bothered we have been binned out because Chelsea would have torn us a new arsehole at Wembley, no way has this Everton side got the bollox to upset a big fish in a Semi-Final at Wembley.

The galling thing is how piss-weak we are mentally, honestly, they are like Under-10 school kids, so easy knock out of rythmn, so flakey and so easily emotionally hurt.

The defence and goalkeeper have never and will never instill confidence in me. Pickford is too erratic and always seems on edge whilst I'm not even gonna bother talking about the defence.

The nonexistent midfield, the hapless Andre Gomes who is almost comedy funny these days at his pretence that he's a football player.

Doucouré, is this fella meant to bring athletism to our team? Really? Because I think even Gareth Barry at 35 was more athletic, only difference is Barry was an excellent reader of the game and passer.

If we think building a team around midfielders that can't pass or shoot is going to move the club forward, then maybe even the fans are deluded.

Anthony Gordon starts games well but I've just watched Phil Foden, a similar age to Gordon, and I see a genuinely top class player with end-product. Gordon does not have end-product and basically we need that and we need it now.

If Gordon wants to move on to the next level he'll most likely need to leave Everton FC.

Richarlison, fuck me, what a mediocre footballer. Yes, he tries, he works hard... but he is so poor with the ball for a Brazilian and he's nowhere near the player he was in his first two seasons. If a good offer comes in for him, I reckon I'd listen to it all day long.

Same with the other waste of space, Calvert-Lewin, overhyped player with limited technical abilities if ever I've seen one.

What a truly shite team we have garnered here for £460 million in a few years.

Mark Andrews
5 Posted 20/03/2022 at 19:29:36
In 4 decades of following Everton, I've seen some dross, but this team is by far the worst, which is weird, considering they're the best paid and most expensively assembled.

Between them, I don't think they could muster a single backbone, they shatter under the slightest setback. We're Championship-bound with these bunch of sub-par chancers.

We jumped at the chance of Moshiri and his money; he's killed us with abject performance as majority shareholder. Error followed error, chopping and changing managers, now we're lumbered with FFP and a ragtag group of several managers' players.

Dark days ahead, buckle up, it won't be pleasant.

Brian Murray
6 Posted 20/03/2022 at 19:35:37
I don't know how long the likes of Gomes stayed on and I don't really care. He epitomises Everton the modern day efc. If we stay up, the board really need to be replaced now, not in the future. Sad times.
Nick Dermott
7 Posted 20/03/2022 at 19:38:19
Depressing although not unexpected in any way. Palace strolled to a 4-0 win. Yes, they got the rub of the green but it was so so easy for them.

There are a number of players at this club who shouldn't play again; they aren't good enough and simply don't care! I mean no malice but it is time we call them out:

Gomes – how is it that any of our managers feel that he is worthy of a place? It's not the injury – he just looks like he doesn't care. He's clumsy and offers very little offensively.

Holgate – Possibly the worst defender in the Premier League. Can't read a game. Regularly out of position and his distribution is pathetic.

Then there are those who are struggling massively to find any kind of form. Doucouré was awful today. Probably the worst performance I have seen from him.

Keane – I do feel he cares but is helpless to improve the situation. Surely he needs to go in the summer.

I thought Coleman was one of the few good players today but he is clearly struggling and cannot be playing next season. Why at 3-0 did Patterson not get a game?

Why are we trying to play with width when there are no crosses going into the box and we lack and real presence to put them away even if they did?

Why aren't we packing the midfield? Playing through the middle? All we do by playing with width is isolate our players and make it easy for the opposition.

I think Lampard has struggled to understand where these players are at. If you must play players like Holgate, then put him in midfield.

David Beck
8 Posted 20/03/2022 at 20:00:32
Today is not the darkest day but it is coming! The sheer lack of giving a damn by our players is criminal. 11 games left in the league and c 11 points needed for safety. With this shower, we are going down!

The fixtures left are:

Watford (A)
West Ham United (A)
Burnley (A)
Manchester United (H)
Leicester City (H)
Crystal Palace (H)
Liverpool (A)
Chelsea (H)
Leicester City (A)
Brentford (H)
Arsenal (A).

I just don't see where 1 point is coming from – never mind 11!! Been an Everton fan since the late 70s and have never seen our side capitulate so badly and so often. They truly are a disgrace. I am embarrassed to be an Everton fan!!

Anthony Murphy
9 Posted 20/03/2022 at 20:06:48
We need to revert back to playing without the ball away from home – next two away games, just park the bus, keep our shape and try and hit them on the counter.

For the next two games, Frank needs to find a midfielder from somewhere – no Allan... and Gomes is more than a liability.

Peter Neilson
10 Posted 20/03/2022 at 20:14:48
Just back from the game and Nick (7) has already highlighted the three worst amongst the rest of the crap.

Doucouré is completely lost without Allan but, to be fair, he's often lost with him.

Holgate shocking, what a long and sad decline from a brief period when he looked like a player.

And Gomes, can't tackle, pass, shoot, create, head, mark or link up. Should be nowhere near the team.

First 20 minutes, we weren't too bad but really had to score then as there's so little fight in the team, especially away. Also so little understanding between the players.What the fuck goes on at training is anyone's guess.

Concentrate on the league now, it's going to need the 12th man of Goodison to save us.

John Raftery
12 Posted 20/03/2022 at 20:38:51
In our away matches, teams generally don't need to work very hard to score against us. On the other hand, we usually have to work very hard to score against them. Mostly we fail.

Teams of average ability know that if they stay patient they will create chances in open play or at set pieces against our porous defence. Equally we lack the quality to create many chances either in open play or at set pieces. Our delivery at corners is usually pathetic.

As a consequence we are now languishing in 17th place in the Premier League table. Despite the late win on Thursday, our trajectory is entirely in the wrong direction. As a unit, the players do not have the quality required to be effective at this level.

In short, we are crap.

Barry Hesketh
13 Posted 20/03/2022 at 20:56:03
It's just so easy for opponents when Everton travel to their grounds, they allow us to have the ball, knowing full well we won't or at least very rarely score, then they hit us with the sucker punch from a free-kick or a corner.

Even on the rare occasions that we do manage to score first away, it doesn't take too long for the home team to equalise, no matter which personnel are chosen or what formation the manager uses. It's the weakest minded, least professional and least proud bunch of Everton players we've ever had.

If I was in charge, I'd rip up several contracts during the International break and tell them to sue for the monies owed; that, of course, won't happen... but the temptation for somebody to do that, must be very real.

Mike Keating
14 Posted 20/03/2022 at 21:23:56
“Another away-day collapse ends Wembley dream”
Fuck me it would be a Nightmare if we’d made it with this shower of underperforming shitbags.
Apart from the tackle which earned him a yellow card, Gomes didn’t manage one to win the ball.
Doucoure not much better.
Humiliating
Jim Bennings
15 Posted 20/03/2022 at 21:31:31
ps: It was probably the shittest performance from a 4-0 winning team I can remember, ever.

Palace really weren't that good because they didn't have to be.

It wasn't a hiding because we weren't outplayed by a great team, we ourselves were just completely abject.

Phil Smith
16 Posted 20/03/2022 at 21:52:34
We have to win those home games against Leicester, Palace and Brentford. Hope to get at least draws against Chelsea and Man Utd and get something away to Watford and Burnley away to stay up.

We won't get anything away to Arsenal, West Ham and Liverpool. Lose the next 3 games away, though, and we're screwed. Watford is massive. Newcastle gave us hope, but it's the hope that kills you...

Ian Bennett
17 Posted 20/03/2022 at 21:54:16
Gomes, like a vast number, needs paying up and fucking off. We would get more from kids...
Barry Hesketh
18 Posted 20/03/2022 at 22:01:01
Lampard: "The job's to stay up, that's the reality of it. That's not me saying that was anywhere near the message today. The players performed at 70% today, 70% throughout, and that's not good enough."

More like 30% Frank! The players will believe that 70% is a good effort!

Barry Hesketh
19 Posted 20/03/2022 at 22:05:27
Steavey Buckley
20 Posted 20/03/2022 at 22:18:00
The brutal survival truth, not to risk important players in an FA Cup run that only adds to the problems of trying to remain in the Premier League. Andros Townsend probably out for the rest of the season.

So not only was it bad losing 4-0, it got worse losing a player who is important playing from the start or during a game from the subs' bench.

Benitez spent £30 million on 2 players to replace Digne. But where are the 2 players today? Sitting on the subs bench getting no experience of playing against Premier League opposition.

It's the same with Lampard, he buys a midfield player for up to £40 million, he also starts from the subs' bench when not cup-tied. Everton managers past and present are just misusing resources that can only be spent once.

Jonathan Tasker
21 Posted 20/03/2022 at 22:30:38
I wish people would stop referring to Alli as a £40M player.

He was a free transfer. It will cost £10 million if he plays 20 matches.

I've already said I'll come off here if that happens. It won't.

Jack Convery
22 Posted 21/03/2022 at 03:04:50
I think the most important person when we go away is the bus driver. He must be told to park it up in front of the goal we are defending. Then we might have a chance.

However, we can't do that, can we?

So play this lot in a 4-5-1 away from home

Pickford or Begovic

Coleman, Keane Branthwaite, Kenny or Mykolenko
Gordon, Holgate, Allan, Godfrey, Richarlson,
Calvert-Lewin or Rondon whoever is fittest.

That gives us 7 defenders, Allows Allan to go hunting the ball, which is what he is best at, as Holgate and Godfrey sit. Occasionally Godfrey can go on one of his lung-bursting runs straight at the opposition and create space for others. The formation also gives us plenty of height at free-kicks. Whilst Allan is suspended, use either Van de Beek or Doucouré but not Gomes – he's finished. I know he's not the only one but we need to use what we have in some other positions.

At home 4-4-1 1

Pickford or Begovic

Coleman, Keane, Branthwaite Godfrey
Iwobi, Holgate, Allan, Richarlson
Gordon
Calvert-Lewin

With 11 games to go, we need 10 points. We can do this – can't we?

Mark Rankin
23 Posted 21/03/2022 at 07:03:35
I think those saying the Everton players don't care are wrong.

The worrying thing is, as they showed on Thursday, they do care but are either mentally shot or simply not good enough for the task at hand.

Whilst there are flaws throughout the team, it is the flaky, shaky defence that is the foundation for our demise.

Jim Bennings
24 Posted 21/03/2022 at 07:26:31
Mark

They don't look good enough and frankly they certainly aren't mentally strong enough.

The problem is a lack of hard-nosed winners.

We've got Seamus Coleman as Captain but at 33 years of age he's won absolutely zero in his entire career (not his fault I know)

Imagine a Roy Keane in our team, a serial winner demanding performances?

Players we had under Moyes like Tim Cahill and Lee Carsley etc, they weren't winners in terms of trophies but they were hard competitors.

We don't even have hard competitors these days, let alone serial winners.

Phillip Warrington
25 Posted 21/03/2022 at 07:58:26
These days, you can't say 'Everton' and 'success' in the same sentence. Apart from Richarlison, Gordon, Pickford, and Gray, the rest of the team should be off-loaded.

They have proved game after game they are mentally weak and lack any traces of footballing ability, but thanks to the morons who did the deals to sign these players, it will be near impossible thanks to the more-than-generous wages these charlatans are on.

The one thing that really fucks me is this: What happened to the team that started the season? I mean, they were on fire... then it all went to shit.

Justin Doone
26 Posted 21/03/2022 at 10:00:32
If we all accept the players are not good enough, (and I think, with 2 or 3 exceptions, we do), our best team if everyone is available is unknown. That's a lack of player quality and a lack of consistency in the same / best starting 11.

Added to the above, we have had 3 managers in the last 12 months that all play different styles of football, a different approach to training and different expectations of what players should do in and out of possession.

Given all that, there are many excuses why we are where we are. But that doesn't matter.

What does matter is making the most of what you have. Given the poor players and form over the last few years, it's about getting back to basics. Stay solid and compact at the back. Make use of the pace we now have in forward positions. Get crosses and players in the box quickly.

Frank is questioning himself and the players. That shows his inexperience and what a huge risk it is to appoint a rookie manager who wants to transform players and playing style in a few weeks.

Frank talked about how well Newcastle setup and their good tactics. It shows how naive he is. His team got outplayed by Newcastle twice. It shows he learnt nothing about how to set-up and counter from the first game.

I hate losing but getting beat by the top teams, the 'Top 6' happens. If we get beat but show some fight and continue to create chances and carry a goal threat, I can accept a loss against any team.

Getting outplayed, conceding all manner of goals without a fight, without scoring, without creating chances is not acceptable.

From an attacking sense, we don't create many chances and fewer 'good' chances against average Premier League teams. We struggled to create against a non-league team!

The Rafa choice was always wrong. But in Gray and Townsend, he brought in two very good players. We were creating chances and looked dangerous going forward. Defensively, we were a shambles.

Frank hasn't solved the defensive frailties but more worryingly has blunted our attacks.

It's like we are trying to sail the Titanic to its original destination when it's obvious a change of priorities is long overdue.

Tony Abrahams
27 Posted 21/03/2022 at 12:06:06
Benitez said you can't buy character in John Lewis, then went and signed Mykolenko, Patterson and El Ghazi.

I don't believe he asked for any of these players, and it just shows how much Everton have been getting mismanaged in the transfer market since we first appointed a DOF.

You could argue we have been sleepwalking towards relegation, such has been our gross negligence in the transfer market, especially the January window, when we never really signed one player for the here and now.

Jim Bennings
28 Posted 21/03/2022 at 12:33:14
I don't think El Ghazi was a Benitez signing, I agree, it had Moshiri & Joorabchian all over it.

I also think Mykolenko was a panic buy after the fallout with Lucas Digne.

Patterson is probably one for the future; after seeing Seamus Coleman these days, let us hope that future is quite soon, however.

I think we need to put all of them up for sale this summer and see if there are any realistic offers. Perhaps some maniac club will pay £7 million for Keane or Holgate. A few million from Porto for Gomes?

At the moment, I think we'll struggle to get much more than the £50 million we paid for Richarlison four years ago, has he considerably pushed on since 2018? I think the answer is no.

I'm looking at fans rave about Richarlison, saying he's this and that, but contrast him to players at top sides, he's nowhere near for example as good as Son at Tottenham.

Calvert-Lewin, I'd listen to anything around £35 million, again another player that doesn't possess irreplaceable talents, we could have got more in the last year from a battering ram like Mitrovic than watching Calvert-Lewin fail to control a ball and fluff chances.

It's time to stop being sentimental with these players now, look at the table, look at the results, they aren't good enough and aren't hard enough to fight.

Steavey Buckley
29 Posted 21/03/2022 at 12:35:41
Jonathan Tasker #21,

Do you expect Dele Alli to be sitting on the subs' bench for the next 4 years, still attracting payments to Spurs for up to £40 million, because he will be on a 4-year contract whether he plays or not?

Robert Tressell
30 Posted 21/03/2022 at 12:51:52
Steavey #29,

I'm not sure any of us quite know how the Dele Alli deal works. But, if he's a flop, it does seem as though we'd have to pay his wages (as I think you're saying) even if we don't pay Spurs much of a fee.

So it was basically Spurs foregoing a fee to get his wages off their books (not unlike what Real Madrid did with Rodriguez).

So it's sort of a good deal for us, but it's also a hefty wage to pay for many years if it goes wrong.

It's currently not looking promising but you never know.

Christine Foster
31 Posted 21/03/2022 at 13:10:53
When Gordon first came on the scene, I had my doubts. He looked like a boy trying to play a man's game. I was wrong, he wears his heart on his sleeve and his skill, passion and effort have all improved substantially as the season has gone on.

I wish I could say the same for any other player we have but I can't – quite the opposite, their slide into oblivion is bringing the fear of relegation into a very unwelcome reality.

I said a couple of times in her eI would cheer the team and encourage, as unity of support is vital to get us over the line. Against Newcastle, the supporters were superb; again against Palace, 4,000 raucous in voice, supported the team with everything they could. In return, they got a disgraceful lack of effort, of caring, of what it means to every single blue.

In short, the vast majority don't deserve to wear the shirt. They don't trust fellow players in the team, give up too easily but apart from that they are just not good enough. Their only consistency has been to give up rather than fight. There are resigned to going down. That is simply disgraceful.

I said a couple of months ago, that the whole back four should be dropped, We have badly missed Mina, we have over-played Coleman, wanted to play the younger, hungry players. Midfield is a disaster, on a good day, how few there are, Allan and Doucoure can be very good but separated they are woeful.

Calvert-Lewin either gets fit or gets out of the way. Christ, at this point in time, I would rather the effort of Rondon!

I will give credit to Lampard, not his fault this group have no moral fibre, but how much buttering up will there be left before he swings around and plays the kids? Can it be much worse?

James Marshall
32 Posted 21/03/2022 at 13:33:50
I'll be staggered if we stay up now. Our performances in the league and Cup are shambolic, pitiful and naive at best. I really like Frank Lampard as a human being, but as a manager, I still can't work out whether he's doing okay or completely useless.

Unfortunately,, at the moment, it feels like the latter. Is that the players' fault? It seems like we've managed to assemble a team full of misfits if you ask me – that and one glaring anomaly, namely our defence.

The modern game is dictated by full-backs, both in attack and defence and ours are useless. We play Coleman who is too old and can't get up & down anymore, then we play a right-back at left-back so he's wrong-footed and messes up the balance. I pretty firmly believe this is the crux of our problems.

Losing Digne has been a huge loss for us. Huge.

Derek Powell
33 Posted 21/03/2022 at 17:02:38
Just another manager playing the same players and expecting a different tune. No fight, no leadership, no balls.
Jim Bennings
34 Posted 21/03/2022 at 17:24:48
Derek

I agree, but that's exactly why I don't want this keep changing managers every 6 months.

I don't want a new fella coming in thinking it's worth "taking a look at the current squad" because honestly there's no need, he would take 2 months to realise he's working with shitbag players.

Dennis Stevens
35 Posted 21/03/2022 at 17:31:57
Aye, Jim, whatever fate befalls us this season, I'd hope the Board will stick with Lampard and let him use the summer to make some changes to the squad - very cheap ones, of course!
Michael Lynch
36 Posted 21/03/2022 at 17:48:41
After the break, we have three games in six days. Whatever personnel Frank chooses, surely we need to be playing a low block at West Ham to try and nick a nil-nil.

We then go to Burnley for the 6-pointer on the Wednesday, and need to dominate them. Burnley have more winnable games than us in the run-in, so we have to get something there.

Finally, on the Saturday early afternoon, it should be another low block against Man Utd, and hit them on the break.

I expect us to lose all three, to be honest, but if we can hold the Hammers – bearing in mind they'll have the Europa quarter-final first leg on their minds – beat Burnley, and take a point from the Man Utd home game, I'd be ecstatic.

I'm not sure how our threadbare squad can cope with three big games in less than a week though.

Jeff Armstrong
37 Posted 21/03/2022 at 17:50:17
James #32,

I tend to fall into the second analysis, anyone who thinks Kenny might do a job at left wing-back, falls into the completely useless category.

Not fair on Kenny either.

Bill Gall
38 Posted 21/03/2022 at 17:55:31
I think Lampard believed he new what he was coming into when he signed, and now he realizes it is worse than what he thought. It is no use firing him for someone else, and I believe we would not have a problem in signing another manager who could see a hefty sum for 6 months work.

Let's see if he can change things, after calling the players out. Even if he can just avoid relegation that will be sufficient, and get rid of some of these lazy players. But that will be difficult in itself as who will buy them for what the club will want.

Palace were the better team in the area that counted and that was the midfield (again!) as Gallagher controlled it, as he does in most games. They must be sick they were drawn against Chelsea as he will be ineligible.

Some people on here have often questioned why we don't have a sports psychiatrist. I don't know if we do, but somehow we have to get it out of the players' heads that we are defeated as soon as the opposition scores.

Allan Board
39 Posted 21/03/2022 at 18:02:54
Training should be fun tomorrow after Frank's comments concerning 'have you the bollucks to play?".

I can answer that for you, Frank: No, they haven't, mate.

About time a coach called these for what they are. Just don't expect to be Everton manager for much longer though. Bill and Dunc will see to that.

They should be agreeing with him and back him 100%. Fuck 'em, Frank, and play the kids until the end, pal.

Dennis Stevens
40 Posted 21/03/2022 at 18:04:27
I think some of our players would benefit from the careful application of a cattle prod!
Colin Glassar
41 Posted 21/03/2022 at 18:06:57
Dennis, I think a week working in a sports direct sweatshop for min wage would be more fitting, and effective.
Tony Abrahams
42 Posted 21/03/2022 at 18:07:55
Jim@28, I can still remember Richarlison’s debut against Wolves, and the thing that stood out about the kid that day, was his calmness and composure, especially the way he scored his second goal. I look at him now, he works very hard, probably doesn’t get the rub of the green from referees, because of a tendency for going down easy, but he’s lost his composure, and once you lose that, everything becomes ten times harder. Richarlison needs to get back playing on the wing imo.

Brent Stephens
43 Posted 21/03/2022 at 18:15:29
Tony #42 "Richarlison needs to get back playing on the wing imo."

Tony, we're so short pf reasonably decent players that I don't find it easy to say with certainty who should play elsewhere in the team - but I agree entirely with you about Richie.

I saw Richie winning nothing in the air against the CP centre back (same old story); it was easy pickings for that guy. Get DCL up there to win knock-downs for Richie to chase.

And no more three-at-the-back.

Barry Hesketh
44 Posted 21/03/2022 at 18:17:24
Allan @39
Most of the players will have joined up with their respective international teams, straight after the game, they will probably have read or heard Frank's comments on the way and will quickly forget them. I don't know whether there is a downturn in results prior to International breaks or lord help us, it's following the International breaks.

Frank isn't blameless in the poor results he's had so far, but I'm a little surprised that the media seem to be after him so early in his Everton career.

Tony Abrahams
45 Posted 21/03/2022 at 18:29:00
Three at the back is hard to watch Brent, especially when you’re looking at wingbacks, who just don’t suit the formation, mate.

I genuinely think if we played seven at the back, we would still be defending way to deep and still conceding the middle of the park. (Because not enough of our defenders are prepared to play higher) It’s very, very painful to watch Everton getting overrun in the midfield every single game, and hard to fathom considering Frank Lampard played a lot of his very successful Chelsea career in a five man midfield?

Going back to having so few good players, I wonder if the manager is pandering to our Brazilian because of this? But that’s what happens when things get this bad, we begin to become a bit desperate and clutch at straws, but that’s probably because some of us probably feel we could make this Everton team a lot more competitive? There I go again…

Paul Smith
46 Posted 21/03/2022 at 18:29:09
I love the ‘play the kids' line as the answer to all our ills. Every year we hear it and it never happens. The only time was Chelsea away on 16 December and we played well, although Chelsea missed a few that night.

It'll take more than a couple of dropped players to salvage the season. The club is so badly run with total nepotism throughout. Even the kits are shite and have been for years. No answers just anger and frustration.

Danny O’Neill
47 Posted 21/03/2022 at 18:36:04
Brent, Tony, Richarlison is definitely better cutting in from the side. A traditional winger? No. But as an attacking wide player, he is much more effective. If we had the right players, 4-2-3-1 would suit him down to the ground.

I know a lot tend to think he goes down too easily. I would counter that in saying quick players often only need to feel the slightest of touches to knock them off-balance and, because they are moving at pace, the fall looks all that more spectacular, in my opinion. Andy Johnson suffered from it, and once opposition managers (Mourinho) spoke out about it, the officials were convinced he was a diver who went down too easy. He wasn't. He was a lightweight quick player, but an honest one. Just like Richarlison.

The only other position I feel he can play is Number 10, but agree, he is wasted and ineffective as the main striker. We'd have given Palace more problems and had more shape with Rondon. Big shout, I know.

Brent Stephens
48 Posted 21/03/2022 at 18:41:16
Tony, I think in a couple of games we've started with a back 3 and later switched to a back 4. There's a team I know (no names, no pack drills) who seem to play 4-3-3 come what may.

Changes have been forced on us because of injuries and suspensions – but perhaps all the more reason to keep to a settled shape, so the players can train to that, play to that, and not have to continually adjust to shifting shapes.

Clive Rogers
49 Posted 21/03/2022 at 18:42:21
With regards to Richarlison, it was a big mistake to allow him to play two tournaments in the summer. It meant he has not had a full summer break for 3 years. He looks burnt out and going through the motions.
Peter Neilson
50 Posted 21/03/2022 at 19:02:49
Clive (49), I like Richarlison for his work rate alone and haven't noticed this has lessened. I don't think he can lead a line but why do it when he doesn't have those skills? However, the number of offsides and his finishing are down to him. I still think, in a decent team, he'd be a good player.
Bernie Quinn
51 Posted 21/03/2022 at 19:13:27
Against Palace. the Toffees ran around the pitch like headless chickens. I have no faith in Pickford or the back four. Can't understand why Frank doesn't give the youngsters a run out. If we are going to be relegated, at least we would go down fighting.
Brent Stephens
52 Posted 21/03/2022 at 19:23:38
Danny #47 - perhaps Calvert-Lewin and Rondon at different times in the game. Start with one, with orders to run himself into the ground having been told that he'll be replaced part-way into the game?

Peter #50, Richarlison's slowness in getting back onside infuriates me. Playing wide of Calvert-Lewin or Rondon would, I think, mean that he's more likely to be positioned in a slightly less advanced position than the striker, ready for the knock-down.

Had breakfast in 'Spoons, Croydon, on Sunday, surrounded by Palace fans. I felt so isolated, especially when they took the other 3 chairs from my table, and then the tables around me. I felt as isolated as our lone striker.

Peter Neilson
53 Posted 21/03/2022 at 19:35:03
Brent, I completely agree about the offsides and his ideal position. What I don't understand is why, when we all know that, is he still played that way?

God knows, maybe it's akin to thinking there's a midfield player in Gomes? Both defy all empirical evidence.

David Currie
54 Posted 21/03/2022 at 19:43:44
It was always going to be a tough game after just 2 days rest and Palace having 5/6 days to prepare.

I don't and never can understand why at corners we don't have a man on each post. Their first goal would not have gone in had we done that. I have been a full time youth coach for over 25 years and all my teams defend every corner with a player on both posts.

Regarding Everton that should be a given as we are weak at defending set-pieces; we would also have got a 0-0 at home to Villa.

Alex Short
55 Posted 21/03/2022 at 20:02:18
I'd play Begovic, he seems more confident when coming for crosses. I think the defence would feel better with him in goal.

We need Calvert-Lewin on the front post as Richarlison hasn't headed clear for the last 2 goals conceded from crosses.

Just for the record, the ref on Thursday was the same one who was the VAR for Palace v Liverpool – their first goal should have been disallowed for offside, and that joke of a pen when Jota fouled the goalie.

Mike Doyle
56 Posted 21/03/2022 at 20:16:10
Danny #47,

Assuming you were there, what was the atmosphere like in the away section yesterday? Difficult to tell on TV.

I usually look for Rob Halligan's thoughts on this, but I've not spotted him on the forum today. Hope he's okay (after yesterday's tiring round trip) and preparing for the trip to West Ham.

Gaute Lie
57 Posted 21/03/2022 at 20:22:44
If this team survives in the Premier League this season... I've never seen a poorer Everton team.

David Moyes made a team. None of his successors have done the same, IMO.

Bill Gall
58 Posted 21/03/2022 at 20:27:21
In regards to Richarlison asking to play a #9 like he does for Brazil.

Sorry, Everton do not have the skillful players like Brazil, Everton are playing you on the wing as you are more effective on the wing in their team than as an out-and-out #9.

Brent Stephens
59 Posted 21/03/2022 at 20:31:23
Mike #56,

The away section was full of anticipation at first, especially after the decent start.

Once we'd gone two behind, and apart from two guys behind me who gave it non-stop criticism, the fans were pretty much resigned to our fate, relatively meekly.

Jeff Armstrong
60 Posted 21/03/2022 at 21:01:24
Why do we not have players on the posts for corners?

Why do we not leave someone up front when defending corners?

Why do we rush our own free-kicks and do nothing with the ball except go backwards?

Why, when we have possession, do we knock it about a bit across the back, give it back to Pickford, who then either kicks it out, or launches it so our possession then becomes a 50/50 lottery ball... that we never win?

Why don't we do the coaching basics, with so many coaches at Finch Farm?

Brian Wilkinson
61 Posted 21/03/2022 at 21:33:42
Alex, I was doing the same way of thinking but found it hard to give a fair reflection, due to the last two Begovic games being at Goodison.

Going off those two games, the defence did seem a little more relaxed, even when we went down to 10 men in one of the games. So food for thought if the defenders are indeed more relaxed without Pickford behind them.

No doubt we need the defence sorted and new additions there, but you could be on to something regarding the backline.

Another thing I mentioned a few seasons ago is, with every new manager, the players have performed for the honeymoon period, so we know they have the ability there. So is it down to being in their heads, a psychological problem? Or they just cannot be arsed, "I'm still picking up a wage each week" attitude? If it is psychological, no amount of coaching, one-to-ones, is going to fix the issue.

On a different matter, I have been very impressed with Anthony Gordon, we all have. He gives everything on the pitch; however, in the last few games, he has started to fall into the Richarlison mode, going down and making it look like he has a bad injury. We need to nip this in the bud early doors, he is better than that.

Going forward, I think the home games will just about save us. That then leaves the question: Will the same happen next season? Will we be as lucky next time round of not needing anywhere near 40 points?

Once our season has been decided, then and only then, we all need to join together and send a strong message to the board: we cannot sit back and allow this to happen again.

Alex Short
62 Posted 21/03/2022 at 22:20:34
I agree, Brian, on Gordon starting to do the fake injury and free fall dive after a push, as you say, similar to Richarlison. I just hope the referees don't label him as such now, stopping us from getting penalties.

I'm worried about him getting burnt out, and they always seem to target him in the first half of games, Shelvey's tackle was a straight red and an example of targeting a young talent.

We are lacking creativity and would like to see him in the Number 10 role; he has a shot on him too, I think he is wasted on the wing.

Home support required for this team as against Newcastle. After 55 years of going to Goodison, this team needs all the help it can get.

Barry Hesketh
63 Posted 21/03/2022 at 23:08:49
I'm always torn on the issue of Everton players making the most of a foul; on the one hand, like many, I was brought up on the Corinthian attitude, but modern football isn't like that anymore. Even defenders have become adept at holding their heads as if they had been shot, they get the game stopped, or nick a foul and regain possession.

I would argue that Richarlison and now Gordon take a battering each and every game, from some really brutal challenges, so if they do make the most of a challenge, there is good reason for it.

I'm not in favour of doing a Mane or a Salah and going down as soon as somebody breathes on them, but it has become an acceptable dark art of the modern game and it earns plenty of points.

It's up to the officials to eradicate the brutal challenges and when they've done that, they can start to enforce a more rigorous attempt to cut out the fake foul claims by booking more players more often and not giving some teams lots of penalties and others none for similar offences.

Mike Corcoran
64 Posted 21/03/2022 at 00:10:49
Teams ¾ full of Nyarkoleptics… we look increasingly doomed.

Whoever's left at Finch Farm in this break needs to be coached into battle ready shape for the war ahead. God help us but it looks like we could be down.

David Currie
65 Posted 22/03/2022 at 01:22:34
When Mina comes back, we should go with a back four of Holgate, Mina, Keane and Godfrey – they all did well as a unit last season.
Bernie Quinn
66 Posted 22/03/2022 at 02:52:58
If the worst happens and we go down, it won't be the worst thing in the world.

There were plenty of happy memories back in the early '50s. The semi-final against Bolton when Dave Hickson, with his head bandaged up, played a hero's game. The last game in the 2nd Division, travelling to Bury and seeing Evertonians driving a tractor along the East Lancs road, determined to get to the match - and once we realised we were back in the 1st Division, seeing the Dark Side pass us as they were relegated! Always Look on the Bright Side...!

Kieran Kinsella
67 Posted 22/03/2022 at 03:21:30
Bernie

I get your point but any sentence mentioning Bury FC doesn't exactly fill one with hope. On the plus side, as a “big club” the last time three of the self-proclaimed “Big 6” got relegated (Man Utd, Spurs and Chelsea) they all bounced back the next season. The last “big” club to go down and stay down longer was Liverpool.

Bernie Quinn
68 Posted 22/03/2022 at 03:52:26
Kieran - why aren't you in bed? I just thought there was too much 'doom and gloom' from everyone. Cheer up, Guys... it could be worse – like supporting Bury!!! Or dare I say - The RS!!
Jack Convery
69 Posted 22/03/2022 at 08:19:27
Come the summer, whoever is in charge as manager will have a rebuilding job on his hands working with the DOF and it appears without any money - No sh*t Sherlock !. So EFC will have to sell. Who are the saleable assets ?

After we stay up I expect Richarlson and DCL to ask for a transfer. The price must be £100m plus for the pair of them. No cheap deals no performance related shite - £100m plus or no deal.

Goalkeepers.
Pickford - if we get a decent offer ie £30m plus let him go. We should replace him with Sam Johnstone from WBA, who will be out of contract in June. No fee, just wages etc. Robin Olsen will have a year left on his contract at Roma if Villa don't take up the option to buy. He may be an option too. Nominal fee as his contract ends in June 2023.
Begovic stays. Renew contract.
Lonergan - released.
Virginia - out of contract. Release. ( Has played just 7 games in Portugal ).
Seamus Coleman - retirement.
Yerry Mina - he's too injury prone and despite him being our best defender he will have to go. £20m plus.
Mason Holgate - his contract runs until June 2025, Given his wages I can't see him leaving.
Michael Keane - his contract runs until June 2025. Given his wages I can't see him leaving.
Ben Godfrey - likewise, his contract runs until June 2025. Given his wages I can't see him leaving.
JJ Kenny - out of contract. Would likely stay if we are relegated.
Nkounkou - will have a year left on his contract. Offer a 1 year extension.
Branthwaite, Mylolenko and Patterson will stay.

Midfield.
Allan - he will have a year on his contract. Sell. £15m plus.
Doucoure - he will have a year on his contract. Sell £18m plus.
Davies - Sell. £12m plus.
Gomes - his contract ends in June 2024. If he can't be sold. Loan out.
Gbamin - his contract ends in June 2024. If he can't be sold. Loan out.
Delph - out of contract. ( I want his agent to represent me ). release.
Townsend - contract ends June 2023, Given his likely injury he will be staying, whatever happens.
El Ghazi - goes back to Villa.
Iwobi.- contract runs until 2024. Can't see him going anywhere.
Van de Beek - back to Manu.
Deli Ali - contract runs until 2024. I doubt he will leave. I doubt he will get 20 games either, unless he has an amazing change of attitude. ( Which I doubt ).
His contract runs until 2024. Joke.
Onyango - stays.
Strikers
Tosun - released.
Gray - stays
Gordon - stays.
Rondon - contract runs until 2023 with an option for a further year. Sell for a nominal fee.
Kean - sell. Scored 5 goals in 32 appearances for Juventus. £20m

So thats approx £180m - £200m ( or am I being too optimistic? ) in, with maybe another £20m if we can flog Gomes / Gbamin and that's a big IF.

The squad left is, without in comings and on the proviso we stay up

Goalkeeper
Begovic

Defence
Holgate
Keane
Godfey
Mylenko
Branthwaite
Patterson
Nkounkou
add Kenny stays if we are relegated.
Would Holgate, Keane and Godfrey go if we go down ? On those wages ? Possibly Godfrey would as the Bar Codes can afford to pay him more then we do. The other two ? I can't see them leaving as who will pay them more ?

Midfield
Townsend
Iwobi
Onyango
Davies to stay if we are relegated.

Attack
Gray
Gordon
Rondon to stay if we are relegated.

Others
Tyrer, GK.
Welch, D.
Astley, D.
Whitaker,M.
Price, M.
Dobbin, A.

So thats 13 first teamers to stay plus 6 kids. If we stay up.
If we go down 15 first teamers plus the 6 kids.
Whichever way you look at it. We will need at least 5 new signings and some of those kids to come good asap.

Our first pre season line up could look like this
Begovic,
Patterson Keane Branthwaite Nkounkou
Iwobi, Onyango, Whitaker, Gordon
Gray, Dobbin.

Subs Tyrer, Keane, Mylolenko, Price, Deli Alli.

Just think, which ever division we are in, we are likely to start next season with Holgate and / or Keane in defence. Will this nightmare ever end ?

Jack Convery
70 Posted 22/03/2022 at 08:19:27
Come the summer, whoever is in charge as manager will have a rebuilding job on his hands working with the DOF and it appears without any money - No sh*t Sherlock !. So EFC will have to sell. Who are the saleable assets ?

After we stay up I expect Richarlson and DCL to ask for a transfer. The price must be £100m plus for the pair of them. No cheap deals no performance related shite - £100m plus or no deal.

Goalkeepers.
Pickford - if we get a decent offer ie £30m plus let him go. We should replace him with Sam Johnstone from WBA, who will be out of contract in June. No fee, just wages etc. Robin Olsen will have a year left on his contract at Roma if Villa don't take up the option to buy. He may be an option too. Nominal fee as his contract ends in June 2023.
Begovic stays. Renew contract.
Lonergan - released.
Virginia - out of contract. Release. ( Has played just 7 games in Portugal ).
Seamus Coleman - retirement.
Yerry Mina - he's too injury prone and despite him being our best defender he will have to go. £20m plus.
Mason Holgate - his contract runs until June 2025, Given his wages I can't see him leaving.
Michael Keane - his contract runs until June 2025. Given his wages I can't see him leaving.
Ben Godfrey - likewise, his contract runs until June 2025. Given his wages I can't see him leaving.
JJ Kenny - out of contract. Would likely stay if we are relegated.
Nkounkou - will have a year left on his contract. Offer a 1 year extension.
Branthwaite, Mylolenko and Patterson will stay.

Midfield.
Allan - he will have a year on his contract. Sell. £15m plus.
Doucoure - he will have a year on his contract. Sell £18m plus.
Davies - Sell. £12m plus.
Gomes - his contract ends in June 2024. If he can't be sold. Loan out.
Gbamin - his contract ends in June 2024. If he can't be sold. Loan out.
Delph - out of contract. ( I want his agent to represent me ). release.
Townsend - contract ends June 2023, Given his likely injury he will be staying, whatever happens.
El Ghazi - goes back to Villa.
Iwobi.- contract runs until 2024. Can't see him going anywhere.
Van de Beek - back to Manu.
Deli Ali - contract runs until 2024. I doubt he will leave. I doubt he will get 20 games either, unless he has an amazing change of attitude. ( Which I doubt ).
His contract runs until 2024. Joke.
Onyango - stays.
Strikers
Tosun - released.
Gray - stays
Gordon - stays.
Rondon - contract runs until 2023 with an option for a further year. Sell for a nominal fee.
Kean - sell. Scored 5 goals in 32 appearances for Juventus. £20m

So thats approx £180m - £200m ( or am I being too optimistic? ) in, with maybe another £20m if we can flog Gomes / Gbamin and that's a big IF.

The squad left is, without in comings and on the proviso we stay up

Goalkeeper
Begovic

Defence
Holgate
Keane
Godfey
Mylenko
Branthwaite
Patterson
Nkounkou
add Kenny stays if we are relegated.
Would Holgate, Keane and Godfrey go if we go down ? On those wages ? Possibly Godfrey would as the Bar Codes can afford to pay him more then we do. The other two ? I can't see them leaving as who will pay them more ?

Midfield
Townsend
Iwobi
Onyango
Davies to stay if we are relegated.

Attack
Gray
Gordon
Rondon to stay if we are relegated.

Others
Tyrer, GK.
Welch, D.
Astley, D.
Whitaker,M.
Price, M.
Dobbin, A.

So thats 13 first teamers to stay plus 6 kids. If we stay up.
If we go down 15 first teamers plus the 6 kids.
Whichever way you look at it. We will need at least 5 new signings and some of those kids to come good asap.

Our first pre season line up could look like this
Begovic,
Patterson Keane Branthwaite Nkounkou
Iwobi, Onyango, Whitaker, Gordon
Gray, Dobbin.

Subs Tyrer, Keane, Mylolenko, Price, Deli Alli.

Just think, which ever division we are in, we are likely to start next season with Holgate and / or Keane in defence. Will this nightmare ever end ?

Justin Doone
71 Posted 22/03/2022 at 10:00:16
I don't blame him for the loss, but I was very disappointed in Grays performance after coming on for Townsend.

He had one shot of note but never got into the game or pressed and harried the Palace players.

Does he only know how to play on the left? Maybe Frank should have switched him but Frank made some poor decisions all game.

Gerry Killen
72 Posted 23/03/2022 at 08:43:32
The one thing that has hurt EVERTON the most in my opinion is paying too much in the first place, then giving them 5 year contracts / I would limit new players to a maximum 3 year deal, take it or leave it, surely the Club will not go on making the same mistakes next Season am I dreaming ? COYB
Jim Bennings
73 Posted 23/03/2022 at 09:52:09
Gerry 72

Definitely dreaming mate lol.

This club rewards failure better than any of them,it wouldn't shock me if new contracts are dished out to the likes of Holgate, Keane and Gomes.

The fact that we all thought Sigurdsson was bad last season and bemoaned James Rodriguez lack of hunger... deary me, we have missed their creativity and goals this season.

When do we get goals from central midfielder's these days?

Everton must be the only team in the league that don't possess a central midfielder that can, to coin an old phrase "twat a ball".

Townsend has gone now too cutting in from the wing, it's gonna get even worse.


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