It’s been eight years since Everton last failed to register a win in any of their opening three Premier League matches. That season, under Roberto Martinez, the Blues struggled to poke their head above 10th place and eventually finished 11th; the year before, when they also took four games before coming up with a victory, they almost ended up in the Champions League.

Of course, in 2013, Romelu Lukaku was still to arrive before the transfer deadline and this year Everton are in even more desperate need of someone capable of putting the ball in the back of the net on a regular basis. There are 11 days left of the current window but eight points have already slipped away as that urgent need up front remains unaddressed.

Today against Nottingham Forest, Everton at least began the game with a recognised centre-forward on the pitch, even if most supporters agree that Salomon Rondon shouldn’t really be near the starting XI. The Venezuelan provided a much-needed focal point at times and had one chance that narrowly missed Dean Henderson’s right-hand post but he lasted just 57 minutes before Frank Lampard reverted to the winger-heavy formation that had failed to pick up anything against Chelsea and Aston Villa in the opening two games.

Demarai Gray would provide some crucial cutting edge and composure late on to grab a draw but question marks linger over the manager’s adherence to a 3-4-3 formation and the decision to withdraw Tom Davies rather than leave the midfielder on in a 4-4-2 that would have afforded Alex Iwobi more license to drive forward and provided raw home debutant Amadou Onana some stability alongside him.

From that tactical perspective, this match didn’t reflect well on Lampard whose side rather lost their cohesion in the middle after Davies went off and Forest were able to exploit the space, especially following the introduction off their bench of Morgan Gibbs-White.

Onana again had a madcap few minutes after he was introduced. The gangly Belgian had marked his first appearance with a mistake in midfield that yielded a goal for Aston Villa last weekend and he got himself into trouble within minutes of coming on again when he picked up a yellow card for a bizarre rugby-style tackle on Lewis O’Brien.

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After that he largely disappeared, apart from an ambitious but wayward shot from distance while Everton were forced to frantically chase the game in the closing stages and, to a degree, Jordan Pickford’s sublime link-up with Gray for the 88th-minute equaliser papered over some glaring cracks.

Lampard would have been comforted by the fact that Everton had started the game well, with a dangerous early free-kick from Gray flashing past three blue jerseys in front of Henderson and Tom Davies missing the target when well placed after 10 minutes.

Anthony Gordon, largely the hosts’ most dangerous player on the day until Gray scored apart from Iwobi behind him who was excellent on his 100th appearance for the club, had a 25-yard attempt parried away a few minutes later before Gray himself had a tame effort saved by the keeper.

Forest started coming into the game midway through the first half, however, after Everton’s initial fire had been extinguished and Nico Williams warmed Pickford’s hands with a strong drive.

Then, after an uncharacteristic mistake by the out-of-sorts James Tarkowski, Taiwo Awoniyi had a chance but shot weakly and Pickford was able to claim it and Orel Mangala was similarly unable to really test the Blues’ keeper from a similar distance.

At the other end, Gordon and Gray both had further sights of goal from just outside the box but both despatched efforts into the Park End.

Rondon had toiled up front but at least offered a focal point at times and when Davies fed him with a neat pass early in the second half, the Venezuelan turned his marker and fizzed a shot inches wide of the post from the edge of the box.

Perhaps due to concerns over his fitness, Rondon was withdrawn along with Davies five minutes later, a double change that saw Dwight McNeil and Onana enter the fray for what was the latter’s home debut.

Meanwhile, Everton occasionally threatened, first when a Gray free-kick tested Henderson at his near post and required the keeper to push the ball away to safety and then when the busy Alex Iwobi and Gray combined with the latter forcing another save, this time a one-hander to palm the ball behind.

Back at the Park End, Yates’s shot took a heavy deflection off Coady and, thankfully, bounced wide with Pickford wrong-footed and Williams drilled an effort narrowly past the far post as the visitors threatened.

Then, after Gordon’s lame effort had been easily gathered at one end, Forest scored at the other. Pickford got down to parry Yates’s strong shot but it fell to Johnson and the Welsh forward calmly picked his spot to stroke it into the opposite corner of the goal.

A goalmouth melée in which Gray, Gordon and McNeil all had shots blocked by a thicket of red shirts seemed to sum up the way Everton’s afternoon was doomed to end but a moment of inspiration from Pickford set Gray up to plunder a point whereupon the former Leicester man made no mistake with excellent touch and a cool finish.

There was still time for a late charge for all three points after Yates had belted a first-time shot over for Forest but Gordon had one more shot from the angle stopped, Iwobi whipped a shot onto the roof of the net and Gordon almost capitalised on a mistake by Joe Worral but the ball wouldn’t come down quickly enough for him to beat Henderson who had come to the edge of his area to make the block.

It’s still early days, the window is still open, but it’s hard not to feel uneasy even at this stage about Everton’s prospects for the season, particularly if they aren’t able to add more quality to the side before the deadline.

There were flashes of the kind of side they can be but, as was the case so many times last season, once their early intensity waned and the opposition were able to gain a foothold in the contest, you were left with the feeling that it was anyone’s game rather than Everton, at Goodison, having the upper hand.

That may change once Dominic Calvert-Lewin is fit again and, hopefully, striking reinforcements have through the door but it feels like the campaign is going to be another nervous slog unless Lampard is able to fashion a more potent, fluid and self-confident team from the players at his disposal.

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Reader Comments (64)

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Roy Johnstone
1 Posted 20/08/2022 at 21:12:00
I'll disagree slightly on this one Lyndon. Yes, toothless, but should have scored 3 times in the first half regardless. Rondon. Tom Davies - Spot on. Lost a bit of control at that point. Worried at the lack of control Onana, McNeil and throughout the game Tarkowski showed. But, Forest were poor and we were better throughout with no cutting edge. That is 2 points dropped against a side that offered next to nothing.

Far from good but far away from Forest who crapped themselves every time we came forward. To hear cooper say they should have won is optimistic delusion. Any team with some kind of striker will annihilate them.

Even without a striker we should have nailed them. Look at the ridiculously poor defending for Gray's goal. Positives- Gray, Iwobi and Coady. Negatives- Tarkowski, Rondon, and Patterson from the hour mark.

Clive Rogers
2 Posted 20/08/2022 at 21:26:09
Roy, if we should have scored 3 times in the first half but missed them, I think that means we are, er toothless. Without a striker we are toothless also.
Dean Williams
3 Posted 20/08/2022 at 21:28:20
I'm on the fence with McNeil. Reminds me of the nameless one. Great left foot but zero pace.

Onano reminds me of a newborn calf, looks like he's struggling to stay on his feet.

Dean Williams
4 Posted 20/08/2022 at 21:30:25
I've a feeling once we start scoring the goals may flow. Looks like a confidence thing.
Colin Glassar
5 Posted 20/08/2022 at 21:35:42
We are gummy, Clive. I agree Dean. Get a striker and the goals will come.
Brian Murray
6 Posted 20/08/2022 at 21:47:32
If we insist on this "We will be alright when Calvert-Lewin is fit", it will get us into more trouble. He for a start can't stay fit and can't create for himself.

Start planning for life without him instead of clinging to people who won't even be here, soon as.

Geoff Lambert
7 Posted 20/08/2022 at 21:51:57
Would have been on 5 points with a decent finisher from the start.

Moussa Dembélé would be a good choice. IMO.

Jerome Shields
8 Posted 20/08/2022 at 22:07:15
My reading of the game is different. Rondon allowed Everton to have shape that allowed space for midfield and wingers. This worked well for most of the first half and should have yielded results, but the finishing ability of players in attacking positions is poor. This has long been the case. Tarkowski was a weak link for most of the first half and better teams would have punished Everton.

In the second half, Frank, encouraged by the first half, reverted to his previous formation subbing Rondon. Everton then lost their shape and space in midfield and found themselves up against a higher defensive line. Onano found himself deep and under pressure when he came on and Everton were pushed back to a deeper defensive line of five.

The other weakness of this is that both Gordon and McNeil are not able to hold a position on the defensive line or turn a defender. They play in front of the defence depending on runs for one-twos to get into attack space. Once up against a high defensive line, they a compacted in midfield are forced out wide to receive the ball. Gibbs-White is a far better attacking player than Gordon, and McNeil is pure lightweight and lacking in initiative. His breakaway pass in the second half was woeful.

I now don't believe that just a new centre-forward will add enough to Everton attack, they need players who can threaten to beat defenders.

As for Pickford, he regularly on saving on his right side parries the ball into that danger zone. He even did it prior to the goal. Unlike the goal, he was lucky there was not incoming attacker.

Gray's goal, like Richarlison's so many times last season, was a Get Out Of Jail goal, based on individual skill.

John Raftery
9 Posted 20/08/2022 at 22:10:30
Fans are prone to be as over-excited by new arrivals as they are critical of them. McNeil won plaudits after his cameo in the friendly against Dinamo Kyiv. Now he is being written off by some after three admittedly hesitant performances.

Onana was last weekend's great new hope after 10 minutes at Villa. Today's half-hour exposed the rawness of a young recruit, new to the country, new to the Premier League, and new to the club. He will need time to settle.

It was a relief to win a point. We had lost seven of our last ten home matches against promoted teams. If Forest were poor, which I would question, we have made a habit of making poor teams look good in recent years.

Once again the 3-4-3 with the current personnel left us vulnerable out of possession. Having settled into the game after the opening twenty minutes, Forest were able to play through our lines far too easily. I agree with Lyndon that keeping Tom Davies on the pitch and switching to a 4-4-2 or even a 3-5-2 would have afforded us more control.

Will Mabon
10 Posted 20/08/2022 at 22:22:13
John, the more games pass, the more inclined I am to think that between Lampard and Thelwell, we will likely never see four at the back.

I can understand people having their philosophy and their plans & goals - but it seems that sometimes this means they won't be flexible when circumstance seems to almost beg for it.

Bill Fairfield
11 Posted 20/08/2022 at 22:28:32
Think we’ve got to give the manager and his coaching staff a chance to put a decent squad together and get their ideas over.It’s far too early in the season for panic. Desperately need a goal scorer. Hopefully be sorted before the end of the window
Kieran Kinsella
12 Posted 20/08/2022 at 22:51:42
My worry is this situation at the club reminds me of the Howard Kendall II team in that we played some nice football but, as he always seemed to say, "We're two or three players away from a good team."

He never got those, left, and things felt apart under Mike Walker. We need a Lukaku-like transfer window – otherwise, history could repeat itself...

John Raftery
13 Posted 20/08/2022 at 23:16:24
Will (10), I agree pragmatism is required when circumstances dictate.

A 3-4-3 is fine if you have the right players. With a workaholic defensive midfielder such as Gueye and a strike force up front, it could be made to work for us.

Frank seems to be a manager who will not change his formation until the situation becomes desperate. By then, as at Villa last week, it is often too late.

Jerome Shields
17 Posted 20/08/2022 at 23:51:18
Just seen MotD and Frank's after-match interview. He looked terrible.
Will Mabon
18 Posted 21/08/2022 at 00:13:44
Neil - getting hard to know who's being serious!
Jay Harris
19 Posted 21/08/2022 at 00:19:12
I thought we played decent football and, with a couple of goalscorers, we should be okay... but are we going to get them?

I also think we need to beef the midfield up and stop this 3 centre-backs nonsense. It doesn't make us any more secure and deprives us of a more forward player.

I can't believe Allan wouldn't have made a better fist of it than McNeil and I would have taken Tarkowski (who had a very shaky day today) off and left Tom Davies on.

Jim Bennings
29 Posted 21/08/2022 at 07:57:27
Only desperate Everton fans would even be thinking of playing a defensive midfielder that's about 5'-8" and hasn't even signed for us yet, in the heart of defence... lmfao.

Gana will NOT be the answer at centre-half, end of discussion.

Until we learn to close teams down more and defend from the front, then we could have Maldini and the Chiellini sitting in our defence, it would still concede. Our fullbacks don't get tight enough either to stop things.

My biggest worry is when I look at the fixtures, I can't see a single win between now and October.

I'm concerned "Fire Without Warning" Farhad will strike again and sack Lampard only to go down the same old road that we know every crack in the pavement, and give Duncan Ferguson the job.

Danny O’Neill
30 Posted 21/08/2022 at 08:01:20
Reading Lyndon's opening paragraphs put it into perspective. No panic just yet. But getting attacking options and a bit more experience and steel in midfield needs to be the priority this week.

I too am not a huge fan of 3-4-3, not with the players we have. That can be said for any formation, but personally, if it's 3 at the back, I'd rather be 3-5-2 to mitigate being overrun in midfield.

I thought the substitutions disrupted our shape. But then that comes back to the elephant in the room. We took a striker off but had no striker to bring on.

Paul Birmingham
31 Posted 21/08/2022 at 08:17:24
I'll make some sacrificial offerings to the Oracle at Delphi, over a few beers and Ouzos, for the signing of a couple of strikers this week.

Joking aside, Everton, need them now. I sense Calvert-Lewin has had the worst run of luck with injuries he could wish for, and he gets back chomping at the bit, and injury free, looks forward not backwards, and is on fire. Rise to the challenge hopefully of competition for the strikers role at Everton.

Overall really from yesterday, for me, the shape, cohesion, reliability, knowing what your playing colleagues will do next will come happen, over the next few games. It has to.

Improve on corners, deadfalls and make every opportunity count, and keep the opponents thinking.

But this season a solid unit with backbone and mentality, is needed ASAP to starting getting some victories, and avoid the potential for being stuck in the mud at the bottom of the Premier League.

Hope eternal.

David Bromwell
32 Posted 21/08/2022 at 08:43:10
I think the five-man back line needs tweaking. At present, Tarkowski is playing on the left-hand side and I don't think he looks too comfortable, whereas Coady is playing almost as a sweeper with no one to mark.

It's a system that suits Holgate who looks comfortable and is playing well, but the other two are prone to giving the ball away or being caught in possession. In addition, neither of the full-backs are seeing enough of the ball to warrant their role as wingbacks.

It all seems very much safety-first but, whilst recognising that both Tarkowski and Coady are good players, all three current centre-backs favour their right-hand side when they are receiving or defending.

Maybe they will work it out but currently with these players the system is flawed.

Eddie Dunn
33 Posted 21/08/2022 at 08:53:11
I couldn't watch the game but caught the highlights on YouTube. It looked an exciting game with space all over the park.

I am sure that Rondon helps the shape of the team but anybody thinking Calvert-Lewin will be our saviour is delusional. Even if he comes back on time, he will be rusty – and we all saw how crap he looked last season after his long lay-off. Then he might break down again.

We need one, perhaps two strikers in pronto.

Tony Everan
34 Posted 21/08/2022 at 10:15:29
Not having a decent quality forward to stand in for Calvert-Lewin has cost us a draw against Chelsea and Aston Villa and a win yesterday. I don't like the 3-4-3 either, or playing 3-5-2 without forwards who suit it.

Saying that, despite the systems, we have shown that with even one quality goalscorer in the side things can get better. We were told to ‘judge us at end of the window' and there is still time.

But it's also fair to pass judgement on unnecessarily lost points due to not having a quality back up. As things stand, I am remaining patient for the sole reason that I'd rather get the right man in late than a panic buy that becomes a long term problem.

Judgement day approaches . The slightly odd one minute to midnight bid for Gibbs-White shows that there is some ammunition left to get a quality player in .

Brian Harrison
35 Posted 21/08/2022 at 10:24:38
When you think that we have spent in excess of £500 million over the last 6 years, and for most of that time Calvert-Lewin has been our first-choice striker.

The problem with that is, if he is fit, he knows he starts, and where there is no competition, that breeds complacency. To be honest, I think Calvert-Lewin is vastly over-rated – I think Ancelotti was well aware of his limitations by telling him to stay in and around the penalty area and not to take a second touch. I don't believe that, if he had played in all 3 games, the results would have been different.

So, if they do sell Gordon – and I hope they don't – then spend it all on a top-quality striker that will mean, when Calvert-Lewin is fit, he will have to compete for the striker's role.

Andy Meighan
36 Posted 21/08/2022 at 11:05:53
Jerome 8. Great Post.

While I'm definitely no lover of Rondon, you're right in saying that we lost our shape once he went off. Strange decision that by Frank.

Also, I'm not Davies's biggest fan but thought he was playing very well. Iwobi and Gray were the two standouts for me and the latter showed his form of early last season. Iwobi just continues to amaze me with his workrate it's like we've signed a different player to the one we bought. Credit to Frank for that transformation.

As for Gordon, I thought he was shocking, the number of times he gave the ball away was shocking, and his head looked elsewhere. I missed the chance at the end as I left the ground bang on 90 minutes and still haven't seen it yet. Haven't seen MotD so not sure if they showed it.

We need 1 if not 2 strikers in and quick. Otherwise, it's going to be a struggle.

Allan Board
37 Posted 21/08/2022 at 11:06:37
It is mostly ignored that, in a game of footy, there are 2 teams on the pitch! All fans moan about is their own team's short-comings, which I understand, of course. But let's give the opposition credit, and acknowledge that sometimes, at points in a game, they are better than you.

I keep repeating myself ad nauseum, but just watch Everton play, in or out of possession, and there is no balance to the team and players do not or will not just simply play and cover their part of the pitch. The team plays this chase around after players or the ball, often being reactive when you should be proactive.

Be in position early, there is too much wandering around for me and then mad dashes to cover lost causes, thus putting you in an even more poor starting position. It's the same in possession too. This is a coaching issue, which will only be resolved in training, and over time. If Everton keep sacking manager's then the cycle starts all over again and you are back to Square One.

Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole always had excellent positional sense when they played, so they will know it's vital. Teams they played in all had balance and structure, and were successful. Unfortunately, as Everton supporters, we are all going to have to bite the bullet and be patient – flirting with the Bottom 6 is again a possibility and a striker this week is a prerequisite.

But this "hire and fire", turnover of players has to stop and some stability put into this team. If these players are not good enough, then you will be relegated, but coaches must be allowed time to set up, coach and ingrain the core attributes of balance, solidity and football intelligence or this horrible, depleting, destroying culture will continue to dominate Everton FC.

Time to put our faith in the coaching staff and go long-term with a plan.

Scott Robinson
38 Posted 21/08/2022 at 11:45:43
Alan @37, I totally agree. The hiring and firing of manager cycle of EFC has got to stop. That means sticking by Lampard, even when the times get tough.

It also means the fans having patience too. The previous gratification for instant results has seen the back of managers.

Look at Silva at Fulham. He's not a bad manager, had the backing of Brands, yet he was fired on the back of temporary results. Is that any way to run a multi-million pound business?

Rick Tarleton
39 Posted 21/08/2022 at 11:48:25
I listened to the game on the radio while watching my grandson play cricket, then watched Match of the Day.

Everton were at home against fairly mediocre opposition, yet the rescued point came from an excellent pass (blind punt?) by Pickford and one of those moments that make Gray so infuriating, when his intrinsic skill simply makes you gasp. He's got a brilliant skill set, but hasn't the resilience or nous to always make it possible to use it.

Their goal was the result of Pickford's push out. A corner is always preferable to pushing a ball forwards.

Calvert-Lewin still has 2 or 3 weeks according to the radio before he'll be playing. He also needs to get up to match speed as soon as he can, which may not be instantly.

My gosh, Gordon does work his socks off, but when you add his goals and assists, they don't actually add up to a £50 million player. It's a conundrum: sell a fan favourite with latent ability to fund the purchase of a striker or wait and hope that Calvert-Lewin hits the ground running and stays fit all season.

Ray Roche
40 Posted 21/08/2022 at 12:17:46
Andy Meighan @36

Andy, Gordon was playing well until he got booked after 20 minutes. At that point, his game deteriorated, he was scared of getting a red card from Marriner. Our performance also deteriorated then and we allowed Forest back into the game.

I thought that we were the better side, created the better chances and should have won. I don't need to explain why we didn't, and why we'll struggle until that problem is addressed.

Raymond Fox
41 Posted 21/08/2022 at 12:19:17
As a team, we are ordinary with the exception of one or two. They're decent pros, but we don't really threaten the opposition enough. That's not quite right: we do threaten, but we don't put the ball in the net enough.

As everyone else has posted, we need one or two goal scorers pronto, and a really creative midfielder please. Easier said than done at this late stage though.

We have our defence sorted, even though our two young full-backs who I like, are nevertheless pretty inexperienced.

Ben King
42 Posted 21/08/2022 at 14:41:35
I believe in Frank... but if he keeps persisting with 5-4-1 (which is what it was), then he'll lose me soon.

The full-backs weren't high enough to be considered part of the midfield 4 and same goes for Gray and Gordon: they were too deep to suggest we had 3 forwards. That's why we had very few out-balls.

It's maddening and frustrating that we still haven't replaced Richarlison and we needed another striker even before he left.

Basically we're no good at transfers: we can't plan well enough for departures, and we can't seem to nail the players we need. I accept Tarkowski is a good addition but I don't agree we should play 5 at the back so I don't know why anyone(Coady, McNeil, Onana) was signed before a striker.

We should be on 5 points at least; instead, we have 1. We should have bought Dennis or Cornet. I note Chelsea are 2 down to Leeds – we could have beaten them. Villa's only points are against us… the management at Everton is awful. It's pathetic and could see us in major trouble again!!!

The administration at Everton is scandalous and negligent. I'm so angry at how incompetent they are...

Michael Jones
43 Posted 21/08/2022 at 14:49:49
Is Moise Kean still available?
Will Mabon
44 Posted 21/08/2022 at 14:57:34
Michael, yes, but the club already has ball boys.
Jerome Shields
45 Posted 21/08/2022 at 16:51:59
Andy #36,

Great to hear from someone who was actually there. IMO, Frank's idea of a forward is a token centre forward and attacks based on runs from midfield.

The problem is, if you don't have players who are comfortable on a defender's shoulder and with the ability to turn a defender, the team has no shape and is compacted into the midfield. Play is then pushed to the wings and it is easier for the defence to organise.

Everton then were up against a packed defence when they eventually got forward depending on the loss balls. Everton, even before Frank, had the players for his system. So chances Iike the one you missed are fleeting and it is luck if the player can finish.

Both Gordon and McNeil are not comfortable on a defender's shoulder and challenging to attack.
Defenders love attackers who want to play in front of them. Both Gordon and McNeil are being asked to play in a system that doesn't suit them. In Gordon's case, for a Club that appears not to want him.

As suggested, his yellow card did not help.

Michael Williams
46 Posted 21/08/2022 at 17:13:58
John #9 - "Fans are prone to be as over-excited by new arrivals as they are critical of them. McNeil won plaudits after his cameo in the friendly against Dinamo Kyiv. Now he is being written off by some after three admittedly hesitant performances."

I wrote him off the moment we got him. Same with Tarkovsky - although he may end up better than Keane but that is a very low bar.

David West
47 Posted 21/08/2022 at 19:53:14
I didn't see most of the first half as I'm away for the weekend but sneaked the second half while the kids were playing outside.

People and managers talk a lot about shape and balance. Well, even with Rondon as the focal point, the shape and balance looked better.

I think Frank has to be braver now. Playing 5-2-3 is negatively impacting Gordon and Gray. Playing wingbacks when our best attacking options are our wingers is not working for us.

I know Frank got burned with results when he first arrived but I think Patterson, Mykolenko, Gray, Gordon & McNeil would all benefit from 4-4-1-1 or 4-4-2, with Gray more central than Gordon as he's better off the shoulder of defenders and finishes better too.

With Gray, Gordon or McNeil wide on the wings, it creates more opportunity. If the opposition is looking after Gray and Gordon, it gives Mykolenko and Patterson the space.

Counter that with Gray and Gordon more central and the opposition only have to care of the wingbacks and you lose your width.

I know Calvert-Lewin is out. But he is not the answer to all our problems. He won't make opportunities, he will take some but we need to get the whole midfield further up the pitch to be a threat.

Get Brereton Diaz from Blackburn and one more, I think the squad has potential.

David West
48 Posted 21/08/2022 at 20:18:11
Brian @35,

I've been saying that for a while, we don't need back-up for Calvert-Lewin, we need competition someone to push him. I still think his best game for us was the Chelsea win when Ferguson was in charge. He was unplayable that day.

But sadly, like Ferguson, he seems to only do it when he feels like it. Yes, he will score goals but if he put them performances in like that day every week, he'd be a 30-goal striker, not 15 to 20 at best.

If his starting place is under threat, maybe it will kick him on, maybe he will leave.... but, as Brian says, the lack of competition breeds complacency,

Look at Doucouré, he's known he was starting every match if he was fit because our midfield has been so shite. He's not been performing to his maximum, because there has been no pressure to.

Two strikers a must for me.

Brian Murray
49 Posted 21/08/2022 at 20:26:41
Ray @40,

If Gordon's play deteriorated after 20 mins because of a card, he should be nowhere near a professional Premier League club. If true, talk about weak mentality…

Ray Roche
50 Posted 21/08/2022 at 20:56:04
No Barry, possibly fear of being red carded and letting the team down. I was never anywhere near a Premier League standard so I can't speak from experience. Maybe you have the mental strength to continue unaffected by 39000 fans screeching at you for letting them down but I probably….definitely…couldn't. I'd wet my kecks if my cat gave me a dirty look.

And not to mention the verbal assassination players would receive from all the world class coaches, strikers, defenders etc that haunt ToffeeWeb and generously educate the rest of us with their boundless knowledge of football, systems, formations, injury recovery times, in fact everything relating to football. Christ knows what they're doing pissing about on ToffeeWeb, sat in their pants scratching their bollocks when they should be at Finch Farm dragging us, single handed, up the table.
What were you like at 20?

I was a bit of a tit to be honest.
Still am. Especially with some red wine inside me😁

Not referring to you in any of the above of course.

Steve Little
70 Posted 22/08/2022 at 09:38:01
I'm not saying we don't need a striker but just as importantly we need some flair and creativity in midfield.

We played with a striker on Saturday but I don't recall him missing lots of chances. If we don't create chances then it doesn't matter who is up front.

(And Frank, please don't tell me we created 19 chances. Long-range shots that barely trouble the keeper are not chances.)

I suppose the Richarlison money has already been spent on McNeil and Onana. Let's hope they settle quickly as neither looked the part on Saturday.

Rennie Smith
71 Posted 22/08/2022 at 11:48:20
The patience levels of the modern football fan are astounding. We bring in a couple of players and some are getting dug out already.

It's going to take a while for Onana to get used to the Premier League, he's going to make mistakes.

I didn't think Tarkowski had such a bad game as most are making out. I think our defending the set-piece has improved dramatically, I don't shit meself every corner, so let's appreciate that.

And as for McNeil, get off the lad's back, he'll be okay once settled in.

Tony Shelby
72 Posted 22/08/2022 at 11:57:33
Moshiri: "Judge us at the end of the transfer window."

Tick-tock. Tick-tock.

Raymond Fox
73 Posted 22/08/2022 at 12:46:46
What about Gbamin, he never gets a look in.

Sure he had a bad injury, but whoever signed him for us must have thought he could play well.

It doesnt look like Frank rates him much.

How we could have got it wrong time after time is ridiculous.

I was ridiculed for supporting Martinez for so long, but if he had been given the money that has been wasted since we wouldnt be in this fine mess.

Ian Bennett
74 Posted 22/08/2022 at 12:59:20
I've never really seen a player come back and hit top levels in a major league after 2 years away Ray.

Mr Gaynes thinks differently, but I don't think many exist. 12 months away is hard enough, and they usually come back a lesser player.

His body will be out of condition to play at that level, plus assuming his injuries will allow him to play at an elite level.

I would move him on for a nominal fee. I doubt we will regret it.

Raymond Fox
75 Posted 22/08/2022 at 13:10:04
You're no doubt correct, Ian, he does seem injury-prone.

He's a hefty lad who probably takes a while to get up to speed.

Tom Bowers
76 Posted 22/08/2022 at 13:41:44
Obviously we are all disappointed yet again at being unable to win.

Everton are toothless let's be honest.
Making chances and not having a class finisher is always going to be a problem unless something happens before the window shuts.

Even last season was a big problem as Richie and DCL both missed a lot of games but even with them it was a struggle.

The Barcodes were a revelation yesterday and have made astute acquisitions since Eddie Howe came in so why not Everton.

There was a time when I thought Everton may have tried to get Eddie Howe and Saint Maximan when he looked like he wanted to leave last year but it wasn't to be and just look how he is playing now.

I despair at the way Everton are being run these days and the apathy from the board. Too many deadbeats getting well paid.

Okay they don't have the big money to splash out like City and RS but good management helps make teams like Brighton, Newcastle and Brentford more than a match in this league which sadly the Blues are not yet.

Joe McMahon
77 Posted 22/08/2022 at 13:57:07
Tom@75, well said Sir! It's a pitiful state isn't it. I'm also discussed with Greame Sharp, just another puppet of the club. Many ex players would not sit on this board (even though I'm sure it pays), as they know how the fans are treated and feel.
Nick Page
78 Posted 22/08/2022 at 14:05:44
Tom - this club has been run badly for years and years and not just these days. The eternal parasite sucking the lifeblood out of Everton is the key reason. Him and his cronies can’t go quick enough. He’s an absolute monster and answerable to no one such is his arrogance. We ALL need to get behind the efforts to rid ourselves of this cancer but so many remain completely blind and apathetic

And in the meanwhile WE NEED A FUCKING STRIKER you clowns

Andrew Clare
79 Posted 22/08/2022 at 14:31:49
We are one deadly striker away from having a good season. The question is will we sign him? If we could sign a solid midfielder too then anything is possible.
Do it, just do it Everton.
Brian Murray
80 Posted 22/08/2022 at 14:46:23

I assume your tongue firmly in your cheek with the 'deadly' claim. Runs a lot deeper than recruitment but I get your point – we just want to stay up by the looks of it. Big question: how do we start a season in September?

Phillip Warrington
81 Posted 22/08/2022 at 14:50:30
I really don't get the thinking of this club at the moment.

Our good years always seem to include having great strikers scoring a minimum of 20 league goals a season. I don't think we have had one since Lukaku, and still this board and manager don't get it.

Bill Gall
82 Posted 22/08/2022 at 15:35:01

Yes we need a striker, so do other clubs, and the type of striker we need that can get 15 to 20 goals a season don't come cheap. The only way we can come up with that type of finance is to sell.

We can not compete financially with other clubs, especially Newcastle, whose owners have £100 billion more than our owner.

Let's be honest about looking for a striker. Before the season started, our main concern was bringing in someone to replace Richarlison, strengthen the midfield and the back defensive line, and move other players on.

Everton were mentioned as looking for another striker before the season started and that was most probably as a back-up to Calvert-Lewin and to replace Rondon. No-one expected to lose their main striker 2 days before the season started and then lose two of their central defenders for long periods after the first game.

Eddie Howe was hired when Benitez was still Evetron manager, and was backed by the richest owners in the league with practically a full January transfer window to work. Lampard was hired 1 day before the window closed. Last season, Saint-Maximin had 1 good game out of 6.

Everton today appears for once to be set up correctly with Thelwell and Lampard. One finding the type of players the manager wants, going over it with the manager, settling on a player they can get, and starting the negotiations,

Kenwright's position in this is to make sure the finance will be available, the contracts are in line with FA regulations, and sign them. He has been known to talk to the player and if there is one person in the club who can bring in a player by just talking to him, it is Kenwright .

Note, I am not praising Kenwright for previous actions just how I believe the new set-up is.

Kevin Molloy
83 Posted 22/08/2022 at 16:29:14
I'm surprised there isn't more angst at how we've started the season.

Right from the first game of preseason we've been flat as a pancake. We've taken one point from three teams that other sides are brushing aside with ease.

People are talking about how badly Aton Villa and Chelsea are playing and yet both beat us without breaking sweat. Before we know it, we will be 8 or 9 points behind our rivals in another wretched relegation fight.

If you look at Lampard's demeanour in the interviews after our three games, he looks defensive and already behind the 8-ball. And we look set to replace our two most important players with Onana, McNeil, Broja and Gilmour.

This is no time for steady as she goes, we are already in deep shit.

Robert Tressell
84 Posted 22/08/2022 at 16:29:44
Bill, no player who is ready to score 15 to 20 goals will join Everton. They are out of our league.

We are looking at players like Adams and Guirassy who may score about 8 – and will not improve.

I am keener on the likes of Broja – who are also likely to score about 8, given a full season, but who could develop into a 15- to 20-goal player. That makes much more sense to me.

If we keep buying average stopgaps we'll never have a 15- to 20-goal-a-season player.

Clive Rogers
85 Posted 22/08/2022 at 16:38:10
Bill, 82, I am not that impressed with the new set up. We have signed 5 players and are a worse team than last season. Some of those 5 are just not good enough.
Clive Rogers
86 Posted 22/08/2022 at 17:03:26
Nick, 78, you are right but there is no sign of him going. We could have another 10 or 15 years of him. He’s got Moshiri completely hoodwinked somehow. He doesn’t even turn up for games now, leaves it to Kenwright.
Ray Roche
87 Posted 22/08/2022 at 17:06:55
Sasa Kalajdžić in advanced talks with Wolves. There’ll be no fucker left.
Derek Taylor
88 Posted 22/08/2022 at 18:52:13
If I were Thelwell – thank gawd I'm not – I'd be scouring the Championship for a striker rather than chasing Premier League failures and stupidly priced overseas players.

Frank said on Friday that he was not overly concerned that they had failed to bag a striker. Well, he bloody well should be! Although if I was in for a massive pay-off as he is, I'd probably care less than I do as a mere supporter!

Derek Taylor
89 Posted 22/08/2022 at 18:52:16
If I were Thelwell -thank gawd I'm not - I'd be scouring the Championship for a striker rather than chasing Premier failures and stupidly priced overseas players.

Frank said on Friday that he was not overly concerned that they had failed to bag a striker. Well he bloody well should be ! Although if I was in for a massive pay-off as he is, I'd probably care less than I do as a mere supporter !

Robert Tressell
91 Posted 22/08/2022 at 19:10:45
Derek # 87 to 89 inclusive, in fairness they are looking at Championship strikers in Gyorekes, Brereton-Diaz and Jebbison. It's probably only Piroe that we've not been linked with who looks the right sort of standard.
Ray Smith
92 Posted 22/08/2022 at 20:52:56
Can somebody tell me what on earth is going on?

Linked to this and that player, can’t offload players, other then on loan, with an option to buy, which never happens.

After 58yrs an Evertonian I despair. Surely something has too happen positively!!!

Bernie Quinn
93 Posted 22/08/2022 at 22:17:04
Well after the completion of the 3rd round, I am optimistic - and confident that there are at least 5 teams who are presently worse than us. As for a Striker - With tongue in cheek I would suggest we stop searching and save a few million pounds. I can see 3 of our players who can comfortably be a false No 9, at least for the short term.
In Frank I trust.
Danny O’Neill
94 Posted 22/08/2022 at 22:23:44
We go through tomorrow night Bernie. One step closer to Wembley.
Bernie Quinn
95 Posted 22/08/2022 at 22:42:45
Hi Danny @94 - Hope I'm not a jinx here but am expecting a comfortable win and a good run-out for our young-uns.
I can't imagine you making that trip as you did mention you were travelling overseas. But I will join you in spirit at the match and wish you a safe and enjoyable trip.
Peter Hodgson
96 Posted 24/08/2022 at 11:31:54
Brian @ 6

I believe,as you obviously do, that there are two problems that must be addressed and sorted pdq.

Where the belief that once DCL comes back everything will, all of a sudden, be sorted and we will be alright, I don't know. And that thought is nonsense anyway and should be dismissed as it is false.

Even if he gets, and stays fit, he isn't going to score sufficient goals to keep us out of trouble and Rondon isn't going to be any help there either.

Our burning need is for a goal scorer to compete with DCL NOT a back up to him. When will this light bulb moment sink in?

I have listened to Lampard and Thelwell and heard nothing from them recognising that it is urgent and BK hasn't said a word either which is all is probably understandable given that showing your hand to the opposition is not recommended. I get that but it is no consolation. Action is concrete and shows what has been done so get on with it chaps.

I still think that this need is as yet unappreciated by those who are doing the buying and selling and we might end up with nothing at all. The clock is ticking. We need the Chelsea Gordon money to enable a suitable striker to be bought (FFP) so we need to get on with that too and we could lose that one if we hang around as time is not on our side now.

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