Patterson in action for Scotland

Friday, 25 March, 2022 112comments  |  Jump to last
Everton's Nathan Patterson, one of two young full-backs signed in January just before the sacking of Rafa Benitez, has found it hard to get a game for Everton but was a starter for Scotland in their 1-1 draw with Poland last night.

Everton signed Patterson from Glasgow Rangers in a deal that could ultimately be worth £16M. The 20-year-old signed a 5½-year contract so arguably has plenty of time to force his way into the first-team.

But Frank Lampard has largely remained faithful to Everton captain Seamus Coleman who continues to play every game in that right-back position despite being frequently and embarrassingly skinned by younger faster players.  

Reader Comments (112)

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Tony Everan
1 Posted 24/03/2022 at 20:36:27
Patterson started for Scotland. I haven't seen most of the first half but just involved in an attack. A nice flick-on and a one-two ending in a very good cross from our lad. Anyone been watching him, how has he played?
Tony Everan
2 Posted 24/03/2022 at 20:51:31
The half-time highlights showed him making a really powerful run from the right, coming inside and going past a couple of players into the box. Just needed a better shot to finish it off. Strong and determined play.
Andrew Strickland
3 Posted 24/03/2022 at 20:51:59
Patterson has played very well. Had a great run near the beginning of the game, but didn’t finish very well. God knows why he can’t get a game in our defence.
Tony Abrahams
4 Posted 24/03/2022 at 20:56:33
Patterson looked like he could get the ball down and play quickly in his only outing for Everton, so far, but he’s been deemed not ready by three Everton managers already, even though he gets a game for his country.
Peter Carpenter
5 Posted 24/03/2022 at 21:00:04
Craig Levin on Patterson:

"I really like when Scotland come down the right. Nathan Patterson has got the better of his opposite man, we just need to keep feeding him the ball. He's had two shots, a couple of crosses, and been very effective. His attacking skills are probably the best part of his game. In a game with wingbacks where you're trying to attack down the sides, he's very, very useful."

Peter Mills
6 Posted 24/03/2022 at 21:31:18
Patterson looked a decent attacking full-back for 45 minutes against Boreham Wood, but we saw no evidence of his defensive capabilities.

I'm no footballing coach, but I would wager it is easier to teach defensive capability and discipline than it is to introduce flair to a player.

I'm happy to be contradicted if any ex-players or coaches disagree?

Dale Self
7 Posted 24/03/2022 at 21:53:31
Update: I still don't like the guy. He's no Gareth Bale.

Good for Wales! Wales Fuck Ie!

Matthew Williams
8 Posted 24/03/2022 at 22:01:21
Maybe we should just buy Welsh lads... got heart and real fucking bottle!

I'm already dreading the Hammer's game.

Michael Lynch
9 Posted 24/03/2022 at 22:06:42
I don't want to put a downer on the Patterson lad, but Nkounkou looked great going forward too. I think the problem was that he couldn't defend, which really is a problem for a defender.

I wonder if we might see Patterson going out on loan at some point? He's very young after all.

Robert Tressell
10 Posted 24/03/2022 at 22:21:31
Patterson's biggest problem with Everton is that his defensive unit doesn't know how to defend.

He is talented.

John Keating
11 Posted 24/03/2022 at 22:56:11
Patterson was MotM.

Contrary to what some think, he is good defensively.

Paul Birmingham
12 Posted 24/03/2022 at 23:00:33
For me, Patterson could still be a defender but in a balanced line; Everton hasn't had such luxury for years arguably the last decent defence in Martinez's first season.

But he has skill, and I know from Scottish workmates that he's been a winger and midfielder in his career to date with good skill and pace.

Tall for right-back, so why not hone his proven attributes to their best use for Everton?

It's crazy the club defaults to buying and loaning players when the club is at a critical position in its history and the duo of full-backs brought in, and the loan deal for the winger, don't get a sniff of playing.

The more you learn about Everton, and in my case, the less we know in terms of the club strategy.

There's none, in my view, and now it looks increasingly Everton will get whacked over Moise Kean's transfer, to add more scorn to the pressure pot.

There's clearly no paralegals or scouting due diligence overseeing any Everton business or transfer deals, based on the way the last last 7 years have gone.

Ross Barkley and Ross Jack, playing and coaching, will be back soon.

No joking but, as supporters, we are living on sweet fuck-all of genuine aspirations and hope from the Everton board.

Farhad, I hope is well and able, but he is under the microscope. I hope the absence at games in the very darkest hours in modern times will not mean the club is gonna be totally ran into oblivion, over night, in context.

There's not much come out in the last few weeks on the ground works for the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock so, as we all know, as Evertonians, make the best of every day.

Looking forward to West Ham, and there's a good chance of an upset, and an Everton win, against the old manager Moyes.

Dave Carruthers
13 Posted 25/03/2022 at 08:27:56
Just watched some highlights and Patterson was excellent. Just what is going on that he can get nowhere near our shambles of a defence???

Much as I love Seamus, Patterson, from what I have seen, is certainly far more capable of playing wingback, and certainly looks far better than Jonjoe Kenny.

We paid ~£15M for him, he looks very good, yet does not get selected. You wonder if there is some instruction from higher up going on?

After all, Rafa did buy him, and maybe that's the issue? Either way, he feels like he would be a breath of fresh air and we just need anything that's different for the West Ham game coming up.

Ajay Gopal
14 Posted 25/03/2022 at 08:29:38
The BBC had him as their MoTM. He can do a job this season as a right-winger, I think. He is pretty athletic and had good pace and crossing ability as well as a decent shot on goal.

Him and Gordon on opposite flanks ahead of more defensive-minded full backs in Holgate and Godfrey. Midfield of Doucouré and Van de Beek and Calvert-Lewin up front with Richarlison just playing off him.

Holgate Keane Branthwaite Godfrey
Patterson Doucouré Van de Beek Gordon

Surely this team should be enough to see off the likes of Burnley, Newcastle, Leicester, Watford, Brentford, etc and maybe spring a surprise or two against the better teams.

Two other Scottish players I would like us to have next season would be:

Billy Gilmour – maybe with the present mayhem at Chelsea, Lampard can sneak this lad out the back door, and...

John McGinn – this guy won't come cheap, especially with that bastard Gerrard as manager of Aston Villa. But he is exactly the type of player we need in the middle of the park – a real battler, a leader and also a midfielder of no mean skill.

Dave Carruthers
15 Posted 25/03/2022 at 08:37:30
Agree with your Gilmour comment, Ajay. Either of those lads would put our midfielders to shame – albeit I would include Allan in any team going forward. He's one of the few willing to scrap.

That team generally has far greater solidarity to it, though no Holgate, please. For all his injury history, a fit Mina will make a huge difference at the back.

Sam Hoare
16 Posted 25/03/2022 at 09:06:54
I can only assume that Lampard thinks that Patterson would be a liability defensively (something we have enough of already!) and that a tight relegation fight may not be the arena in which to introduce him. But sometimes fortune favours the brave and Coleman, whilst always giving his best, is not getting any younger.

I expect we'll be seeing a great deal more of Patterson next season, hopefully not in the Championship!!

Gilmour is a very tidy player but I think he is someone who will rely on good movement around him which is maybe why he has not shone in a poor Norwich team. He would not come cheap but, in our current state, I don't know if he's totally what we need, though I wouldn't say no to a loan.

Ajay Gopal
17 Posted 25/03/2022 at 09:33:54
Dave, Holgate was excellent against Newcastle – he was part of the back 5 that kept a rare clean sheet.

Agreed that he has also been a part of defences that have been tonked this season, but Lampard seems to trust him. And he is a better centre-back than Godfrey, IMO, whose best position at the moment seems to be at left-back.

Forget Mina, he ain't coming back this season – and maybe never in an Everton shirt. However good a player he may be (and frankly, I don't rate him as highly as some here do).

He is very disruptive to the team in the sense that he comes and plays a few games and gets injured, and then the manager is left struggling to find a centre-back combination that works well, and then this guy comes back partially fit, and the whole cycle starts again.

I would rather have a reliable player with half his ability but with the right commitment and attitude and who is consistently available most of the season.

Tony Everan
18 Posted 25/03/2022 at 09:42:07
Sam, Gilmour and Connor Gallagher, two very good Chelsea loan players.

Out of the two I'd go all in for Gallagher. All action midfielder, tackles, fights, closes down, an attitude, can get forward and score.

Gilmour looks very good too but maybe brings a little bit less to the table.

I would think, in normal circumstances it's unlikely, but the Frank Lampard connection could open the door a fraction to it being realistic.

Paul Hewitt
19 Posted 25/03/2022 at 09:42:38
A one-legged Patterson is better than any other option we have at right-back.
Bobby Mallon
20 Posted 25/03/2022 at 09:43:34
Ajay @14,

At what point is Holgate better than Coleman, for fuck's sake? Same old, same "Let's play players out of position"... Jesus!

Just play Patterson, Godfrey, Branthwaite, Mykolenko and let's just get on with it. All young athletes who will run through a brick wall.

Then midfield must be Gordon, Doucouré Van de Beek Onyango (or another hungry centre-midfielder from Under-23s).

Richarlison with Calvert-Lewin up-top. 4-3-3 when attacking, 4-5-1 defending – that team will save us from relegation. Frank, just play it.

Ray Roche
21 Posted 25/03/2022 at 10:28:43
Bobby @29,

You say “Onyango (or another hungry centre-midfielder from Under-23s)” as if there's a queue of them.

I'm no expert on the U23s but I don't recall any of our regular posters who view the U23 side going overboard on our centre-mid players, certainly not to the extent of ousting Allan from the starting line-up.

The highly-rated Baningime is doing well at Hearts but couldn't force his way into the first team. Dowell, U20 World Cup winner, likewise... so I'd be interested to hear who is ready for our relegation scrap, in your opinion.

No sarcasm intended – I'm not au fait with the younger teams.

Brent Stephens
22 Posted 25/03/2022 at 10:52:31
Ray, as a regular U23 watcher, I'd be concerned at the thought of starting any of our U23 midfield players in the first team.

Price, Onyango, Warrington (currently on loan at Tranmere). I like them all but settling into the first-team normally takes time unless we're talking about an exceptional talent such as Rooney (and we have nobody like that at the moment).

But we don't have time to see if a youngster can settle in (look how long it took Anthony Gordon). And a bad experience such as having several howlers in a side being thrashed could destroy a lad.

Fight with what we've got, in a settled formation, that has three battlers in midfield and Richarlison feeding off Calvert-Lewin.

Eddie Dunn
23 Posted 25/03/2022 at 11:44:08
Bobby @20,

I totally agree about the defence, play Mykolenko and Patterson with Branthwaite and Godfrey in the middle. If they let a couple in, then what's new, but the team will have more pace and hunger.

As other's have stated, Lampard has tried everyone else in various positions, so why not play people in their proper positions?

I'm behind Frank but his formations and selections have surprised me. I hope he learns quickly because at present he has made as many blunders as our two centre-halves.

Roger Helm
24 Posted 25/03/2022 at 11:45:29
Patterson, Mykolenko, Kean – why do we spend millions on players not good enough for the team? Why not save up and buy one player who is good enough?

The last time we did it was Lukaku, who took up a whole window's budget, and that worked out okay.

Kevin Prytherch
25 Posted 25/03/2022 at 11:54:51

Sigurdsson, Schneiderlin, Bolasie, Klaassen, Gomes etc. Spending big on players does not guarantee success, only recruiting the right players does.

I'd hazard a guess that the 3 you mention will generate significantly more in transfer fees due to their age and potential than them on my list.

Andy Finigan
26 Posted 25/03/2022 at 12:00:05
It's seems that Patterson at least has more pace and better crossing than Coleman and talking about pace I know it's not ideal but could we not use Lewis Dobbin as an attacking midfielder in the currant sircumstances!
Ray Roche
27 Posted 25/03/2022 at 12:10:09
Thanks Brent,@22, that’s pretty much how I imagined it, no young player is getting the rave reviews Rooney or even Dowell got when they were young. I’ve never been an advocate of ‘throwing the kids in’ because they can’t do any worse’. Er…they can, they can get us relegated and ruin a promising young career.
Dave Abrahams
28 Posted 25/03/2022 at 12:48:25
Ray (27), no disrespect and I understand your point but I would rather take a chance on Patterson in midfield than the Dutch lad we got on loan from Man Utd. I've seen Patterson battle for Scotland, not last night's game, when he played full-back not midfield.

As Brent says (22), we need three battlers in midfield. I presume he meant centre-midfield. I don't think we have got three battling centre-midfielders, especially in the next two games with Allan missing.

I think Patterson is worth trying there along with another young fast player at centre-back, Branthwaite, who tried to stir his fellow defenders at Spurs.

I don't have to tell you, Ray, we are literally fighting for our place to stay in the Premier League. If we go down, it will be a long time before we play there again.

Tony Abrahams
29 Posted 25/03/2022 at 13:07:22
I’d take a chance on Isaac Price, even if I’m not sure he’s ready, simply because the kid is full of energy, and energy in midfield, is something that is badly lacking with this Everton team right now.
Peter Carpenter
30 Posted 25/03/2022 at 13:22:37
Going down the 'bollocks' route is risky. Criticising players in public could lead to them downing tools but, as many of them hardly ever pick up the tools in the first place, what is there to lose? Presumably Frank did it to provoke a reaction in enough of them to make a difference. Let's hope so.

Either way, he can hardly keep picking the same players. Surely there will be chances for others as well as those who are determined to show they have got the bollocks.

Hopefully that means chances for Branthwaite, Patterson (seems to be ideal if he wants to keep playing with wingbacks), Rondon (if Calvert-Lewin can't get himself into games), Iwobi (who has shown bollocks in recent games), maybe even Delph!

Imagine that Delph rises from the treatment table to secure his place in Everton history. And Dele Alli needs to play, otherwise what was the point?

Tony Everan
31 Posted 25/03/2022 at 13:41:27
Hopefully when Frank talks about seeing some bollocks from the players next week he doesn’t provide them with loose fitting boxer shorts instead of the sporty Y-fronts.
Steavey Buckley
32 Posted 25/03/2022 at 13:48:18
Patterson is either not ready or not good enough to replace Coleman who has played poorly away from home. It is only Everton, it appears, who can spend 30 million on 2 full backs, and not one is good enough, at a time, when Everton are falling to pieces at the back.
Danny O’Neill
33 Posted 25/03/2022 at 14:50:51
Good balanced view Brent, from someone who watches the young players frequently.

I think too many make the assumption that playing well for the U23s automatically means they would step into the first team seamlessly. It's never been the case. An academy can only really hope to have ones or twos come through as established first team players. United aside, it's always been that way and even they have only really done it on occasion if we're talking en-masse.

Just like the central league before it, the current U23s is a totally different level. You will spot the Rooney types who are ready early on, but they are few and far between. Most need time to develop.

Like you, I don't see anyone in our U23s ready to step in right now on a regular basis. Certainly not dropped into a relegation fight. I love watching Lewis Warrington and hope he develops. I want to see him closer to the first team, but there is a difference between that and having him in the first team week in week out if that makes sense?

Not from you Brent, but whilst I get the sentiment of others, this whole "young and hungry" phrase is becoming as nauseous as the "happy clappers" phrase aimed at some fans for other reasons.

It's not about being young and hungry. It's about being good enough as well as having desire and commitment on top of ability, regardless of age.

Danny O’Neill
34 Posted 25/03/2022 at 15:16:32
I'd challenge that Steavey. Not good enough or not ready just yet? Investment in the future versus immediately ready? I thought we like investing in youth. They are young players who might (emphasis on might, as every signing is a gamble) be the basis of building for the future. Not necessarily an instant fit for today or even West Ham away next week.

Specific to Patterson, we are in danger of judging a player we haven't even seen play for Everton yet.

Paul Cherrington
35 Posted 25/03/2022 at 15:20:57
I think why people are asking for us to at least try some of the younger players is to do something different and see if that works. If we just keep playing the same old players in slightly different formations, nothing will improve - we will get the same results we have seen all season and go down.

I think there is nothing to lose by binning some of the more 'experienced' pros who can't be bothered to do their jobs properly and letting some of the younger lads with desire/energy have a go. What is the worst that can happen? Yeah, we could get beat most games, ship goals, look a laughing stock and drop down the table? But then, we're doing that anyway with the more experienced players in situ.

At least Price, Onyango etc... might be able to not get caught in possession constantly and actually pass to another Everton player (unlike Doucoure), not be too slow to keep up (unlike Allan) and not be lazy/disinterested (unlike Gomes) for example. Who knows, Dobbin might also be able to actually receive the ball without falling over or losing it instantly most times (unlike Richarlison).

As for Patterson, we have got to give him a go. I know international football is not always the highest standard but if he can get a game for Scotland, he must be better than an ageing Coleman or a bang average Kenny. Our defence is so bad that he cannot possibly make it any worse.

Fortune favours the brave!

Brent Stephens
36 Posted 25/03/2022 at 15:24:31
Danny it’s interesting that young Warrington who we both probably see as having the best chance of eventually coming through is playing well but several divisions below the Prem. it’s a mighty big leap.
Bill Gall
37 Posted 25/03/2022 at 15:42:54
I think it is more dangerous in bringing in a young defensive player than an attacking player. Defensive mistakes are more serious as there may be no one to back you up for it, an attacking player has players behind him. The one advantage you may have is the opposition may try to exploit this area leaving space somewhere else.
International football is different from regular team football as the coaching and tactics are set up different, plus the opposition change players often that are unknown.
The position Everton are in they have to play for points, win or draw and they need experience to do that. Coleman is the better defensive player, and needs some one ahead of him to carry the ball up higher on the pitch.
Patterson may turn out to be a really good signing as the modern type of fullback, but his defensive qualities may need improving as most comments are on his attacking abilities.
As other comments have said we don't have a young player with the abilities of a Rooney yet, otherwise they would have been selected before, so we have got to rely on the players that the manager thinks are capable of getting us clear.
Fighting against possible relegation is no time for experimenting unless the manager believes some of the younger players are capable of improving the team.
Gary Jones
38 Posted 25/03/2022 at 15:47:17
Bill, you’d have a point IF those “experienced players” hadn’t themselves shipped in 9 goals in just two away matches. Wtf you worrying about - it being 10?
Mark Ryan
39 Posted 25/03/2022 at 16:12:50
I could understand the change by Frank at half time against Boreham Wood. It wasn't to bench Patterson it was about the team having nothing going forward. He played Rondon that night like he normally plays Richarlison. So Richy comes on and the dynamic up front changes the game. Patterson looked decent that first half. He has a bright future with us
Roger Helm
40 Posted 25/03/2022 at 16:20:26
Kevin 25 I agree that they are good prospects for the future and we may well make a profit, but what we needed just now was someone who could come straight into the team and help us out of the mess we are in.
Dale Self
41 Posted 25/03/2022 at 16:23:22
Well we don't really have the kind of players that can cover and help the lad out back there do we? Perhaps an unfair excuse but if we didn't have the CBs with the terminal jitters he would probably be settling in more obviously. Having said that I think he will make good and will be a stronger player mentally as he fights his way into form. Support him, he's one of us and will come good.
Christy Ring
42 Posted 25/03/2022 at 17:15:58
He's a young player, needs time to progress and be an influence next season, hopefully in the Premiership. Nothing against the lad, all the comments how he should be playing in the first team, after playing 60min's for Scotland in a 'friendly'. Why wasn't he picked by Rangers, he only played 6 times? What galls me, Benitez sold Digne, bought two young unestablished players for £30m, never played Patterson by the way, instead of buying two players who were good enough to play, and fight for there place this season, not in the future.
Tony Abrahams
43 Posted 25/03/2022 at 17:20:58
What galls me is that people say Benitez sacked Brands and then bought these players, when all the evidence points elsewhere imo.
Rob Dolby
44 Posted 25/03/2022 at 18:08:12
He is a young lad that should be coached into playing a position for the blues. Right-back, centre-half, centre-mid. The raw ingredients are there, let's see what the coaches can do.

We spent £30M on two full-backs deemed not ready. Full-backs should come from within the club if good coaching is in place.

We discarded a reject striker and winger then, a couple of years later, buy two of the best defenders in the club's history in Baines and Jagielka. The talent is there if the coaches are.

I'd also totally disagree that Coleman gets skinned by the opposition. Each to their own but Coleman at nil-nil v Newcastle made ground on Fraser made the block and jumped up to clear the ball. Only Godfrey could do that in our current set-up.

It's easy to kick a man whilst he is down, isn't it.

Bill Gall
45 Posted 25/03/2022 at 18:10:20
Gary #38,

What I would worry about is a young prospect would have his confidence destroyed. Now we all say Coleman is too slow yet this is the player who managed to run back and put in a tackle to save another goal from Palace.

If you believe we should play the younger players at this time, that is your opinion. But I believe there is a time and place to bring in younger players and the time is not now.

Take Gordon, for instance. Playing on the wing or midfield, he is proving that he has the skill and effort and dedication to be in this team. But he was in the team before we reached this critical stage of the season, and we will expect more goals and assists than this next season.

Like I say, and it may only be my opinion, young players need time when they are in a team to get used to the tactics and players around them to reach their full potential. I believe this is the wrong time to bring Patterson in unless it is in a less defensive position.

And another point. Those experienced players still managed to keep a clean sheet with 10 men against an in-form team.

Danny O’Neill
46 Posted 25/03/2022 at 18:22:00
Tony, it points to what has been going on for years mate. Neither Brands or Benitez appear to have their name on those transfers in my view.

Continued interference from high at multiple level and then setting up the latest fall guys to protect the pig's trough when failure sets in. Never learning lessons and letting football people deal with football matters and giving them time to do it based on their own decisions.

I'm starting to sound negative but I'm not a negative person. I suppose reality has hit me. But come April 3rd, I'll watch Everton beat United at Goodison.

Nick Page
47 Posted 25/03/2022 at 18:33:02
Danny/Tony - if you’ve never read Colin’s piece please do. It’s excellent; in-fact I would go as far as to say it’s the seminal piece on the Big Actor/EFC mis-marriage.

I just wish he’d do an update as it was written over 11 years ago now (wow!) and the parasite is still sucking the life out of us. As the piece shows, the damage was done well before Moshiri pitched up to fund the train set, a point missed by many of the forums and in the stands. And the deeper his tendrils get into the life and soul of this great club the further we are from being saved. Horrible narcissistic old bastard.

Tony Abrahams
48 Posted 25/03/2022 at 18:47:01
Thanks Nick, if that was written by Colin Fitzpatrick, then he was one of the main reasons, why I was drawn to ToffeeWeb all those years ago, mate.

I'm sure I remember him arguing with Martin M on these pages one day, and getting exasperated. But when it came to Bill our saviour, Colin was telling everyone how bad he was for Everton years ago.

Steavey Buckley
49 Posted 25/03/2022 at 19:43:02
Danny O'Neill #34,

"I'd challenge that, Steavey. Not good enough or not ready just yet? Investment in the future versus immediately ready, I thought we like investing in youth."

Everton's transfer needs at the last transfer window were to keep Everton in the Premier League, not to plan for next season in the Championship. Because the last transfer window is not helping Everton at the moment staying in the Premier League.

Dave Abrahams
50 Posted 25/03/2022 at 19:48:29
Bill (37), maybe it's about who the young player is.

Colin Harvey became a special player for Everton but he wasn't when he made his debut for Everton, aged 18, in the San Siro Stadium against Inter Milan in the European Cup.

Colin had a hard time proving himself a regular with the Blues, he took a lot of stick off plenty of fans.

Alan Whittle came into the Championship winning team and couldn't stop scoring goals in the last third of that season at a very young age. Who knew how well they would perform until they were given the chance?

None of us know how good, bad or indifferent Nathan Patterson is, none of us, because he hasn't been given the chance; 60 minutes in an U23s game and 45 minutes against a non-league team proved nothing either way.

The stakes are high if he gets a chance: our staying in the Premier League. He could be another Colin Harvey or Alan Whittle.

On the other hand, he could be one of Moyes's signing Pistone who was given a sheep's heart as a Christmas present from his team mates at Newcastle Utd. There's two or three present Everton players who could have received one of those... I doubt if Patterson will turn out to be one of them.

Danny O’Neill
51 Posted 25/03/2022 at 19:59:38
Every transfer is a risk and a gamble.

Every youth player promoted to the first team is a risk and a gamble.

It's a bit like the manager taking the credit when his substitutions come off. When they do, it was planned and genius. When they don't, he was flawed.

You can't predict, Steavey. Well, I can't anyway. For every time we get to say "told you so", whether that be positive or negative, I guarantee there will be 10 or more when we got it wrong in our predictions about players.

Peter Neilson
52 Posted 25/03/2022 at 20:07:02
Nick (47) thanks for posting the article. Coming up to 12 years on and sadly Colin's piece is even more relevant today in understanding the damage Bill Kenwright continues to wreak.
Danny O’Neill
53 Posted 25/03/2022 at 20:30:41
Very telling piece from Colin at a time when most of us were hiding behind what we thought was a team on the brink of doing something, Nick.

I'm a convert. There is a rot / rat in the club that needs cleansing out.

Everton will always have my unreserved and birthright support. Those charged with running them on my and our behalf will not get that privilege.

Unless I manage to get a ticket for West Ham, I'll see some of you for a drink in East London. Failing that, Manchester United home. Don't let me down, Everton.

Gary Jones
54 Posted 25/03/2022 at 20:34:43
Bill @ 45,

So rather than “upset the confidence” of a youngster, you'd rather stick with the utter failures getting battered every week and heading us towards the Championship instead?

It's the kind of ‘progressive' attitude that leads to such weak-willed players later on… no backbone whatsoever because they were wrapped in cotton wool.

Christy Ring
55 Posted 25/03/2022 at 20:50:43
Tony #43,

What galls me, you say Benitez had nothing to do with bringing the two players in and Benitez being sacked... I totally disagree.

And who started the whole ball rolling, getting rid of Digne? Benitez.

Jeff Armstrong
56 Posted 25/03/2022 at 21:20:04
This time next year I fear we’ll be saying, why didn’t we pick Patterson last season? He’s doing really well, he might’ve help to keep us up.

Hindsight, …(whatever happened to him?) before it’s happened …

Brent Stephens
57 Posted 25/03/2022 at 21:31:57
Anthony Gordon scores a lovely goal for the U23s.
Danny O’Neill
58 Posted 25/03/2022 at 21:33:07
Christy, the more I look at it, the more I see our managers being slated as an easy option to aportion blame.

Several of them can't all be wrong. Especially when theybare all different in approach. Something else is fundamentally wrong.

On Benitez, he fits into the Allardyce category of managers that I wish had never been associated with Everton.

But in his defence, like many before him, once in the seat, he realised he was running against the wind of those who allegedly run the club.

Until we have real change, the Everton DoF, Manager or coach positions are poison chalices.

Let's hope Lampard can change the mentality. But it takes more than a first team coach to do that. Change is required top to bottom.

Hopefully it's not too late. Change the culture. Change the mentality.

Bill Gall
59 Posted 25/03/2022 at 21:34:56
Dave (#50), both players you mention had players behind them to back them up. My opinion is that, if Patterson makes a mistake, and as other people are saying, he will have no one to help him.

So he will suffer the same abuse as the rest, as you said about C olin Harvey, plus the team Harvey played in at that time, were not as poor as today's.

Gary (#54), 1 man will not make a difference, so what use is it putting Patterson in at full-back in a team that, as you eloquently put it, are utter failures who get battered every week and are driving us towards the Championship?

And I also mentioned he could be brought in in a less defensive position, I never said he should not play.

Dave Abrahams
60 Posted 25/03/2022 at 22:05:54
Bill (59), If Nathan is putting a shift in and having a go the crowd will direct their criticism on those who are not, they will realise the lad is doing his best as they recognise Anthony Gordon is doing now. There isn't much end product, at the moment, from Anthony, but that is more on the players around him.

Some fans will always criticise, but the majority of Everton fans can recognise when a player is putting the effort in and will back them full-time and vice versa, let the shirkers know how they feel about them.

Nathan might not turn out to be the player we want him to be; having seen him fight for Scotland, I doubt very much it will be for lack of bottle and effort.

Danny O’Neill
61 Posted 25/03/2022 at 22:07:57
Brent, what's he doing playing for the U23s?
Brent Stephens
62 Posted 25/03/2022 at 22:17:55
Haha, Danny! More fool me. Can I try again? U21s?!
Gary Jones
63 Posted 25/03/2022 at 22:32:42
Bill, I'm suggesting change. After the last 19 games, my mind boggles for anyone not suggesting change. You're correct that one man alone isn't enough to change the full picture, but it may add 10% to the team overall. Personally, I'd also give Branthwaite and Mykolenko an extended run too, and give Dobbin and Price some minutes too.

Maybe the sum of all that is 20% improvement, and maybe that is enough to get us the 10-12 points we need to stay up. Sticking our fingers in our ears and hoping Coleman suddenly feels 28 again, and Holgate suddenly becomes Stones just leaves 0%… and that's certain relegation.

Jeff Armstrong
64 Posted 25/03/2022 at 22:54:15
Brent, #62, so to elaborate on Danny's question, what the fuck is he doing playing for the U21s?
Brent Stephens
65 Posted 25/03/2022 at 22:56:51
Jeff, yes, I’m sure we see him being in the right form for the England first team.
Jeff Armstrong
66 Posted 25/03/2022 at 23:01:44
Ahh, England Under-21s, sorry forgot about them, tbh giving myself a break from EFC angst and footie in general (until now), enjoying an Everton break, and really needed it.
Bill Gall
67 Posted 25/03/2022 at 23:26:35
Gary, read my last sentence. It says I never said he should not play.
Andrew Keatley
68 Posted 25/03/2022 at 23:35:46
Gary (63) - I can understand the call for Dobbin to get minutes - especially late on in games when his pace and direct running can cause problems - but from what I have seen Isaac Price is nowhere near ready for the first team. I know we are desperately short in central midfield but I’d be much happier to see Tyler Onyango given a chance to impress.
Nick Page
69 Posted 25/03/2022 at 23:57:10
It doesn't matter who you bring in, be it manager or player; and we've all seen many supposed good pros turn to absolute shite in an Everton jersey. Do you know why? Have you played the game? Because I guarantee you that the culture of the club from its boardroom down is reflected on the pitch.

You can't have an apathetic board and win lots of trophies. Similarly, if you have an ambitious board, you're likely to see results, whatever division. As ambition is fulfilled and divisions are climbed or trophies are won, the only limiting factor is ability, which is determined largely by access to capital.

At Everton, we have a terrible board who think they are great; however, they completely lack, in abundance, any direction or professionalism becasue they are not fit for the job – one is an actor who has a theatre company, and the CEO is basically a public sector education and charity stalwart which is fine but they aren't real C-suite people. We therefore lack completely, either professionally or academically:

1. Strategy – what is Everton in the Premier League and where should it be? How do we play? Does this attract fans? How do we capitalise on this? Does it make money? Why do we hire players? Are they saleable assets? Do they have intangible value (like Rodriguez, who we threw away)?

2. Finance – neither the chairman nor the CEO have much financial competence. They aren't accountants nor are they bankers or asset managers. This has been demonstrated on many occasions (see Blue Union meeting with Bill for reference). The club completely lacks a Profit & Loss balance for a supposed wannabe Top 6 side. Or one that wants to compete in Europe. You can compete with less money, but you have to be clever. We aren't and I see no sign of this changing. How much debt will we have after building the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock, if it's ever completed? Will we have points deducted for FFP breaches? Don't expect the club to be forthcoming on this.

3. Marketing – similarly, the club has failed on almost every opportunity it's been given to increase revenues via, eg, kit sales, sponsorship deals etc but we are absolutely woeful – again ref similar clubs around us and Spurs for the closest example (Spurs!!! Jeez!). So we fail again. Although we do make nice videos but that won't keep us solvent.

4. Playing – What is Everton's style and philosophy? Who determines this? Who buys the players? Who says so? Why? For a relatively poor club, why are we so incompetent when others can use technology (eg, Brentford) and easily surpass us?

5. Governance – literally the worst club in the entire football pyramid. Why is it so bad? Why do we keep fans in the dark? But it's been like that for years. My old man used to say we fiddled the gates in the '80s… I don't know why he said it but he always did, every match. 85 v QPR, I was stood on my seat in the Top Balcony ‘cos they let everyone in but there was only 50k on the official gate. Utter bollocks. So this has kind of kind carried on, possibly. I used to go to Mordor with my Mum's side who were mates with Ian Callaghan – hated it but never heard this sort of shite. They turned up, expected to win, won and then fucked off. Was very boring IMO, borderline arrogant. But they still do it. And the players do it to.

6. Results (all of the above added up) – pathetic. Have been for years. Comes from the top down. Same as any business. You employ poor people to run a company and it will fail, eventually. It's capitalism. I understand capitalism and I've spent over 20 years in it and studying it, in global banks and hedge funds, in New York and London. I know how it works, intimately. It's really quite simple, especially when you're in a privileged position. I wasn't but I fought my way in, and got in through sheer determination – not nepotism but I still worked with the old school tie bunch. They're not stupid but they get a leg up. Everton had a leg up but they've got lazy under Kenwright because he's a buffoon and a bluffer and if our club was a publically listed entity there would be a shareholder revolt.

And all that said, I'd happily help this club, my club, for nothing. But that will never happen because they're too arrogant to admit their mistakes. This club will be relegated and those that couldn't see it years ago, the ones that happy clapped as we fell further down the pecking order under his lies and deceit, as the media laughed at us in their droves and we fell off the back pages, the usual mindless ignorant twats, some of whom still occupy these great fan pages, will reap what they sow. So so sad. And so so preventable.

Thanks Bill.

Steve Brown
70 Posted 26/03/2022 at 01:08:19
Christy/Tony A, the latest article in The Athletic states that Patterson was an agreed target by Brands and Benitez in the summer who we missed out on because Rangers rejected our bids. Then Kenwright negotiated the deal in January.

The disastrous decision to sell Digne in January was all Benitez, however the decision to replace him with Mykolenko? Well, no-one seems to be owing that piece of genius.

Regardless of blame, we made the following decisions while deep in the relegation mire:

1) We signed Patterson in January who won't figure this season
2) We are left with an ageing Coleman whose legs are going.
3) We signed Mykolenko who shouldn't figure this season.
4) We sold French international Digne to our nearest rivals.
5) We are now left with shifting Godfrey to left-back which means Keane plays, or watching Jonjoe Kenny try to pass down the left touchline with the outside of his right foot.

Finally, there seems to be a sub-text on threads to claim that Benitez is unfairly blamed and hard done by. He was a fucking disaster, a power-hungry, incompetent, egotistical tool who managed to persuade Moshiri that his coaching acumen wasn't in fact out of the land that time forgot. The reason he was in China was because that was the level of his complete inability.

Only a club as dysfunctional as Everton could have given so much power to someone who was so terrible at his job and delivered such disastrous results.

Mark Andersson
71 Posted 26/03/2022 at 05:50:37
Nic Page 69

What a great read.. sad but painfully true...

At 61, I was fortunate to have witnessed the '80s. I worked with an older guy in the late 80s who told me how he remembers the days when the RS were a nothing club on the same level as Tranmere Rovers. So in my lifetime, I will have witnessed the reverse if we go down...

The fans should have revolted against Billy Liar a long time ago... so you're right what you sow you reap.

The perfect shit storm has hit this season.. Rafa appointment... injuries, corrupt VAR and refs shite, no bollocks players..

And I'm a glass half full guy..

Even if we stay up the same shite will prevail... it's no wonder Carlo jumped ship...

Mike Gaynes
72 Posted 26/03/2022 at 07:21:45
Steve #70, "disastrous" decision? Not in my book. Digne was a once-fine player who hadn't been close to peak performance since his 2020 injury. He hadn't created a goal in a year, couldn't put a set piece on target and was repeatedly guilty of not closing down on opposing crosses. We got a great price for him and two potentially fine young players out of that money -- both of whom I would bet will most definitely figure before the season is over.

Meantime, Digne hasn't exactly burned the house down at Villa, where he's now out with a long-term injury. Here's a press review of his performance in a 3-0 win at Leeds:

Having missed the Southampton game, left-back Lucas Digne was put straight back in by Gerrard but couldn’t deliver the same sort of strong performance as some of his teammates did.

In 90 minutes, the Frenchman had 77 touches of the ball but only completed 35 passes, misplacing six crosses and one long ball, losing possession of the ball on 18 occasions in total.

He also failed to complete any of the three dribbles he attempted.

From a defensive point of view, the former Everton figure made no tackles throughout the game and lost 82% of the duels he was involved in.

An out-of-position Godfrey was an immediate improvement on the departed Digne. It was Godfrey's injury that hurt us, not the Digne deal.

Jim Harrison
73 Posted 26/03/2022 at 07:46:57
Screw it! Stick him in. Can’t be worse than those already playing.

Let’s face it, Holgate, Keane, JJK and Coleman have no Everton futures. Let’s play the young lads we brought in so at least they get match practice for next season, be that in the PL or championship!!

Eddie Dunn
74 Posted 26/03/2022 at 07:47:30
Steve- I'm afraid that Mike nails it, you are remembering a Digne of three years ago. I was happy to see him go. He was in a rut, couldn't defend, was caught out of position many times and as Mike says, failed dismally to get to his man when defending crosses.
His assists had dried-up and he was taken off free-kick duty.
He was of enough value to help balance our books and offset the purchase of two young lads, both of whom, will prove to be good investments.
Steve Shave
75 Posted 26/03/2022 at 08:18:37
Eddie 74 I'm with you on that point about Digne. Most on here just used the situation as a platform for outrage and an opportunity to moan. Personally I thought he had been dogshit for 18 months for us. There was apparently an attitude problem (though we will never know the true story of what happened with Rafa) and we got good coin for him.

For ONCE Everton made money from a player they'd had good service from for a number of years and sold on at the right time. We should always be looking towards that model. The use of that money is much more open to debate in my subjective opinion. Who the hell sanctioned that splurge on Patterson and Mykolenko? I still hold high hopes for both but if neither are ready and they were Rafa's signing that really says all you need to know about the running of the club.

I am with others who think that we should next season play a back four of Patterson, Godfrey, Brainthwaite and Mykolenko and coach the crap out of them. They are all high potential players and this has to be our model from now on due to FFP. Both the young full backs are full internationals FFS, yes playing them might be a little risky right at this moment but next season they need to get the experience.

Robert Tressell
76 Posted 26/03/2022 at 08:24:12
I think there's so much hatred of Benitez that he's held responsible for everything bad about this season.

Personally, I think we'd be comfortably in mid-table with Benitez but for the bizarre Sigurdsson situation and the long-term injury to Calvert-Lewin.

Peter Neilson
77 Posted 26/03/2022 at 08:44:36
If there was a right time to sell Digne it was after and not before the Villa game. Typical, his only assist of the season.
Jason Li
78 Posted 26/03/2022 at 08:54:42
Mike @ 72

Spot on regarding Digne.

When we look at Foden at City it took about 3 years to integrate him, DCL took about 3 years, Seamus went on loan and came back and was on the bench for a while, Jags was in and out the team and changed positions.

And we know the team wearing red take time integrating players like Curtis Jones plus the one's they've bought in the last few years, and we all want young players to come in like Gordon.

If this is the right strategy, then we need to naturally give Patterson and Mykelenko 2-3 seasons to bed in. Although, they might not take 3 seasons to bed in as they look like they have the physical attributes already.

Plus I've noticed Godfrey is very good a left back because he can't lose his man like at centre back when a cross comes in for a header (compared to Mina who is well trained on dealing with crosses), and is better at tracking a man with the ball on the ground.

One of the main problems is not following Carlos low block formula against fast attacking teams, with a number six so there's no gap between the goalie/centre backs/number six. A world class manager showed us how to get clean sheets and we've totally torn up the tactics book when we need it the most.

I think bringing these players with great futures is not the problem at all, and we need to do more of this.

Phil Wood
79 Posted 26/03/2022 at 08:55:44
Just give him a bloody chance.

We are crap already. How much more crap can we get?

Danny O’Neill
80 Posted 26/03/2022 at 09:04:11
Robert, I am increasingly and repeatedly of the opinion that you could put me in as manager of Everton and I would fair no better or worse than the last several incumbents. The manager position is not the problem. I was vocal in my disappointment of the appointment of Benitez and my poor dogs had a terrible summer as the rumours circulated.

Not quite foaming at the mouth, but I was not happy with it.

But, and I know this won't sit well with some, I don't put the blame on him or previous managers. The problems at Everton are deep rooted and sit at a much higher level than the dugout. Keep blaming and sacking manager after manager and we will get nowhere. The manager position at Everton has become a safety blanket and sacrificial lamb for those who are responsible for the current situation/

Ray Smith
81 Posted 26/03/2022 at 09:12:50
Danny 80
Your last paragraph is spot on 👍
Robert Tressell
82 Posted 26/03/2022 at 09:21:53
Danny I completely agree (and voted for your appointment when Silva was sacked - with Sam Hoare as chief scout and Paul the Esk as FD).

Only a very few managers really move the dial for more than a season or two. Most league finishes more or less match the level of investment into the squad.

Managers like Potter, Lage etc are good - but a really taking the credit for a well run club.

Put them in charge of a badly run club like Everton and we might find they're not so hot after all.

Mike Doyle
83 Posted 26/03/2022 at 09:43:11
Nick # 69 ] Great post. Given the tone of your comments can I assume you doubt the claim made by a member of our board (and reported by Phil McNulty last year) that when another Premier League club faced a problem they ask “What would Everton do – they always get it right?”
Winston Williamson
84 Posted 26/03/2022 at 10:01:10
To me, the manager’s job at Everton has become something more to do with control.

Over the years, we Evertonians have had our will beaten down by an owner, now chairman, striving for utter control. We fans have been hapless and unable to influence the higher echelons of the club, but we can control the manager position, to an extent.

Some crave a manager strong willed enough or influential enough to exhibit the maximum control possible over the people we cannot influence at all. When they fail to do so, the pitchforks come out (imo most likely an element of subconscious projection). Imo

99% of Evertonians know the real problem at this club. It’s the only premier league club being run like a corner shop, littered with amateurs at the top levels.

As our frustrations grow with the owner and board, we turn on the managers, as in reality there is no influential way we can turn our frustrations on the real culprits.

I’m personally counting down the days until Kenwright is too old, or not physically fit enough to hold his position. Hopefully the damage will not be irreparable. Sounds harsh, but I’ve long since realised my contempt, frustrations and will mean nothing and can influence nothing. We have absolutely no hope of achieving anything of note until he’s unable to carry on.

Once gone, I’d imagine we’ll see a gradual change within the club, as his enablers leave the confines of comfort he affords them. Then and only then, will we see the real possibilities for the changes we all desire

Danny O’Neill
85 Posted 26/03/2022 at 10:24:22
When I listened to my Grandfather and Father, Everton were once a forward thinking club.

I know this may sound ridiculous to many, but the Chelsea and Manchester City of our day. The Mersey Milloinaires, backed by Sir John Moores who took no prisoners in his will for success (before my time by the way).

Small things, but the first club to have undersoil pitch heating. Despite the monstrosity I see it as now, the first club to have a 3 tiered stand (Top Balcony).

Then come the late 80s / early 90, we started jogging on the spot. Which is effectively walking backwards as those around you walk forwards. We rested on our laurels. We were always going going to be Everton and that was enough. NO!

All is not lost. Get over the line this season but then restructure this great club of ours.

See you at United home and, if I'm fortunate enough to get a ticket (yes fortunate and privileged), West Ham away. Either way, I'll meet a few of you there to be part of the atmosphere and day out.

It breaks my heart to consider where we are right now, but I am the eternal optimist.

Minik Hansen
86 Posted 26/03/2022 at 11:43:58
In other news, Gbamin had minutes under his belt, his current club played a friendly against Nogood-something, winning two nil.
Colin Malone
87 Posted 26/03/2022 at 13:37:01

Until we can get top, top wingers at the club, as it was when you played at Chelsea (eg, Robben), your team formation is dire.

Regarding Patterson, he'd walk into the Celtic team, no problem. He ain't a winger or a midfielder.

Get it fucking right, Frank, because, no doubt about it, you're in the last chance saloon.

Derek Knox
88 Posted 26/03/2022 at 15:04:32
I too am somewhat bewildered, as a Scot I was flicking between Scotland's game (friendly) and the Wales qualifier but mostly with eyes on Scotland. I thought Patterson was outstanding as was McGinn and Billy Gilmour, and Ryan Christie too.

Why he can't get into the Everton first team? Is it because they are playing so well, they don't need someone with pace who is more than capable of supplying decent crosses? Thought not!

Alex Gray
89 Posted 26/03/2022 at 16:36:02
To be fair my only thought about why we’re not throwing Patterson in is that we’ve done the same to many of our previous youngsters and it’s ruined them. Moyes integrated youngsters when we were winning not in a relegation battle. Not saying it’s right or wrong but how you introduce a player can make or break them. I honestly remember Tom Davies being a bright talent until he was thrown in prematurely and got his confidence smashed to pieces.

My guess is that Lampard is trying to go for experience and whilst Seamus has been dire, he is literally our only player at the back that can somewhat resemble a leader.

Shane Corcoran
90 Posted 26/03/2022 at 16:49:24
Wrong thread I know but I see Delph back in training. Whisper it but I think we need him.

Couldn’t see Mina. He’s hardly away with Colombia?

Derek Knox
91 Posted 26/03/2022 at 17:23:48
Shane, no need to whisper, I think most of us realise Delph is a decent player when fit. It's the ' fit ' part that most are pissed off with, he very rarely lasts ninety minutes without sustaining some injury or another, then that's him for what seems like half a season out !

No disputing when he is on the pitch, he is a valuable addition, but those when's are once every Blue Moon !

Bill Gall
92 Posted 26/03/2022 at 17:33:12
Another off topic for race fans L;Hamilton knocked out of qualifying for the Saudi grand pre in 15th position. How come they are racing after a missile attack. Do not see the reason for Pickford to play in a friendly surely an other keeper should be given a chance.
Will Mabon
93 Posted 26/03/2022 at 17:44:14
Bill, my personal view aside, I found this "Amusing", taken from the BBC Sport website:

"BBC Sport has learned that a significant number of drivers had concerns about the safety of the event following the attack. But eventually they were convinced to go ahead and race after being given further information by bosses.

Part of this information involved the possible consequences of not racing, such as how easily teams and drivers would be able to leave the country if the race did not happen."

Nothing like a classic old fashioned, thinly-veiled threat to get the job done. PC? Not in this town, Pal.

Mike Gaynes
94 Posted 26/03/2022 at 17:49:29
Danny #80, nailed it.

Minik #86, that was actually Gbamin's 6th consecutive full game for CSKA, and they've won all 6 to turn their season around.

David Pearl
95 Posted 26/03/2022 at 19:22:49
Minik 86, was it against Nogood Everton?

What a season this has become but the writing was on the wall a few years ago when we started having to offload a whole host of expensive players on loans whilst paying half their wages.

Michael Keane belongs on the list of confidence players and I don't think he has been the same since he lost his England place.

Derek has pointed it out but we really need the experience of Delph for the remainder of the season. Can he put together a run of games when we need him the most?

Gbamin... what might have been! Ditto Sandro, Bolasie and many many more. Time to buy young and let Frank have a go (that's if we stay up of course... and he isn't sacked in the meantime).

John Keating
97 Posted 26/03/2022 at 21:45:14
There's obviously an issue at training at Finch Farm where Lampard doesn't rate Patterson to start, and that's fair enough as he's the manager.

A few posters have questioned Patterson's acquisition. We have to remember that at Rangers he was a young lad competing with Tavenier, not only the Club captain but a player who, week-in & week-out, was MotM and a prolific scorer.

Rangers tried to play Patterson whenever they could, usually out of position. Regardless, this lad has bags of potential and, if given a decent run, will produce the goods.

Of course he will make mistakes and he has a lot to learn but look at the regular players we have had so far this season, could he be any worse?

I understand playing Coleman as he's the only one showing any commitment, even though he's been found out a few times. Kenny is a local lad who will always give 100% and will never let us down, played in his right position.

Unless Patterson is really shite during the week at Finch Farm, Lampard really has to give this lad a chance. He's played 45 minutes for the first team and was as good as anyone in that period.

He really is as good defensively and, in a 3-5-2 which Lampard looks at, would be perfect as an attacking wingback going forward and slotting in when defending as a 5.

If Lampard doesn't rate him, then get rid next season but, if he doesn't give him a couple of games, we'll never know.

Robert Tressell
98 Posted 26/03/2022 at 22:22:40
John # 97. I'd be really surprised if Lampard doesn't rate Patterson. I strongly expect the reality is that they recognise he's a talent but worry about blooding him into a horrible defensive unit during a relegation battle. It possibly does make sense right now to go with experience (albeit underwhelming experience) and save Patterson for next season.

Personally I think the best thing to do right now is to play a very deep line of Coleman or Holgate, Keane, Branthwaite and Godfrey.

Hopefully Patterson and Mykolenko will come good next season alongside a central defensive pairing that doesn't include Keane or Holgate.

Danny O’Neill
99 Posted 26/03/2022 at 00:07:12
That's a very good assessment Robert, as always.

Blooding young players, especially defenders, into a struggling team, puts them on a hiding to nothing. Both Patterson and Mykolenko are 20 and 22 respectively. One has come from a lesser league, but then look where our current established right-back came from and he didn't gel instantly. The left-back is in a foreign country, doesn't speak the language and his nation is in the midst of a savage war and invasion. Context.

Alongside Godfrey (24) and Branthwaite (19), that is a very young defence, but hopefully one brimming with future potential.

What I feel we are missing is the experienced centre back to bring them on. No Jagielka, no Alan Stubbs, no Davie Weir, no Dave Watson. Our experience lies with the 29-year-old Michael Keane and he is no leader. With Allan out at present, we don't have a captain. And sorry to be harsh on Coleman, but he's not a captain for me.

Let's give these boys time. I'm no Mystic Meg, but the future could be bright.

Kieran Byrne
100 Posted 27/03/2022 at 05:34:13
Robert @#98,

If that twat Keane is anywhere near the pitch, we'll be relegated. He is the worst centre-half in the Premier League and would be lucky to get a game in the Championship.

Every other Everton player gets rumoured for a move but that useless lump, he's the Kenwright of the playing staff, we can't get rid of the useless fucker.

I agree about bringing Branthwaite in and ideally I'd want him partnered with Godfrey, with Holgate backing them up, but Godfrey hasn't exactly filled anyone with confidence playing in the middle of the back 4... waiting for Mina to get back soon!

We've got to play with speed and confidence as, with speed, you can correct a mistake, a misplaced pass; we are to slow to do that now. Go with the kids!! This back line is embarrassing and picking the same isn't an option anymore – they're bottlers.

We've got to play the new boys at full-backs, we should have done it 4 to 6 weeks ago to get them blooded in so that they would have been settled in already, as doing the same old same old has got us where we are.

Brian Murray
101 Posted 27/03/2022 at 08:13:37
Branthwaite should've been in instead of Keane at least 6 weeks ago, maybe saving valuable points. If he has been injured all that time and beyond, well, give Frank a walkover over that one. Doesn't excuse the Coleman fiasco though.
Paul Birmingham
102 Posted 27/03/2022 at 09:47:02
Interesting debate regards Patterson. He’s played upfront and on the wing during his career, he has some talent.

If and where h3 gets played at Everton remains to be seen.

Jags on his return was initially a midfielder but Moyes adapted him to CB, and whilst no great Captain on the pitch as a leader, he formed som good CB partnerships, in eras when the squads had more guts and belief.

I hope that Patterson gets a chance but over to Frank and his team to decide, if, how, where and when..

The games, are running down, but there’s enough games to beat the likes of Burnley, Watford away, United, Brentford and Leicester at home.

Even stick one on Moyes next week.

But, in context of hearts and minds, this squad don’t show they have don’t show consistently, and very rarely for a full match.

Danny O’Neill
103 Posted 27/03/2022 at 09:59:21
Interesting point on Jagielka Paul Birmingham.

He was a centre back who we believed could play holding midfield. I wouldn't say that Moyes converted him, but yes, we signed him on the basis he could do both. I would say Moyes tried him once (maybe twice) and realised that he could do that in the second tier for Sheffield United, but no way for Everton in the top tier. He wasn't that good a footballer.

I remember Moyes trying Stubbs in that role at the FA Cup match at Goodison against Norwich years ago. It lasted about 5 minutes!!

It's why I raise an eyebrow when people talk of trying Mason Holgate or Godfrey in a similar role.

It smacks of trying to find a position for a player rather than playing players in their natural position.

Full backs are different as you can play them as a classic full back or a wing back. Some even as centre back; Tony Hibbert, had he been a few inches taller, would have been a better centre back than he was a right back. He actually would have been a very good traditional sweeper in my opinion. Kevin Ratcliffe started life as a left back before converting to centre back.

Very rarely do you get a player who ends up being truly versatile. I would say Alan Harper and Phil Neville fall into that category. Most other players, you're just trying to make them fit an unnatural position.

Paul Birmingham
104 Posted 27/03/2022 at 11:07:59
Danny good points, and agreed.

Alan Harper, Kevin Richardson, Phil Neville, were the most versatile players Everton’s had in the last 40 years.

Brian Harrison
105 Posted 27/03/2022 at 11:14:41
I think, when I hear people saying he is 'versatile', I tend to think what you really mean is a decent player who can play in a number of positions, just not good enough to command a regular place. I also think sometimes managers tinker with certain players – another reason why players are often classed as 'versatile'.

I think the only true versatile player I have ever seen was John Charles who was world class as a centre-forward and a centre-half.

Paul Cherrington
106 Posted 28/03/2022 at 12:27:07
I really cannot get my head around not changing what we know isn't working (i.e. the experienced players like Coleman, Keane, Holgate etc...) because what we try instead might not work. There's no logic to that from my perspective.

If we try playing different people, like Patterson, Branthwaite, Price, Onyango etc... they will either do as badly as the usual suspects have done all season or they might do better and save us from relegation. Either way, there is no risk attached.

Let's be honest - if we keep playing the same experienced players who have been terrible all season, they are not going to suddenly improve overnight and start winning games. Coleman, for example, is done – he has been shocking all year so far in general and will not suddenly start playing better because we all keep our fingers crossed for him.

It's madness not to change things up and try something else. We all say the young players need to experience real football and playing in proper games – how do they do that if you never actually play them?

Minik Hansen
107 Posted 28/03/2022 at 14:43:20
Mike #94 I’m fairly a bit late to answer your post, didn’t know there’ve been so many games in these circumstances!
Glad to see it’s been his 6th game, and had one goal to his name along the way!

David #95 Nogood Everton close enough.. but it was against Novgorod, no-go rot?

Gary Jones
108 Posted 30/03/2022 at 12:47:07
If Franks going with 3/5 at the back, it's an absolute no brainer to get this boy in now as the RWB. Leave him there for a proper run, because he's at least as good as Coleman and Kenny right now in all but having a gob. Where he appears to surpass is in the final 3rd and that's 100% what is needed for right-wingback.

Personally though, I'd go with a back 4 similar to Carlo's emergency one last year, telling them to defend first and foremost and adding height across the team for set-pieces at both ends.

Thinking now a 4-5-1 for me against the ginger one:

Holgate Keane Branthwaite Godfrey
Gordon Van de Beek Delph Iwobi Richarlison

Let Iwobi and Van de Beek take turns getting forward to join Richarlison, Gordon and Calvert-Lewin in a 4-2-3-1 attack and get Delph to sit and be “the mouth” without Coleman and Kenny in the team.

Minik Hansen
109 Posted 31/03/2022 at 15:38:43
Gary, your proposition seems good and makes sense on paper.. Though we’ve been lacking an extra central midfielder when there’ve been only two in the middle. I say we’d have to go with 3 in the middle, put Richy on the left and bring in Gomes or Iwobi behind the striker or Dele Alli, just make sure there are 3. So it’s 4-3-3 as others have mentioned.
Simon Dalzell
110 Posted 01/04/2022 at 00:22:15
I thought Patterson was playing well when he was taken off at half-time. I was okay with Lampard's appointment. I've been alarmed by what I've seen from him.
Don Alexander
111 Posted 01/04/2022 at 01:57:55
Brian (#105) John Charles was just before my time but I used to work with an ex-Bury 1950's pro named Derek Maddox. He told me John Charles was by far the best player he ever encountered, Duncan Edwards, Finney and Matthews aside.

Mention of Leeds (where Charles excelled) forces me to remember Paul Madeley, a fabulous player in any position at all, perhaps to his cost in the very successful team Leeds were in his prime.

No idea what he was like in goal but in every other position he was accomplished and then some.

I don't know of any other such a versatile player, but I hope others among us can come up with names please.

Tony Abrahams
112 Posted 01/04/2022 at 09:06:47
Not the worst bad side, Gary, and I would definitely agree with any formation that can stop the big circle between our defenders and our midfielders.

Everton don't seem to draw many games but I'd take a point right now.

Justin Doone
113 Posted 04/04/2022 at 11:02:46
Patterson has the physical attributes to be a top class attaching full back. But his positioning and defensive awareness is lacking.

He needs games to develop this and the mentality. I would have involved him more in the first team as Seamus and JJK have struggled at times and JJKs general crossing (which us one of his strengths) has been poor.

He could be our secret weapon against Burnley.

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