Fulham 0 - 0 Everton

Everton fashioned some pretty decent chances in a very lively first half, and should have been ahead, only to shrink back into what had to be a very effective defensive shell as Fulham threw everything bar the kitchen sink at them after the break to try and get the win.

Much has been made of the selection dilemmas facing Frank Lampard, who stuck with Seamus Coleman at right back to maintain an unchanged starting line-up for the third game in a row. Nathan Patterson returns to the squad after missing the last five games through injury with Salamon Rondon making way for him on the 9-man bench.

Everton, in all-yellow strip, got things underway and looked to push forward, Gordon pressing. Calvert-Lewin picked up a good forward ball from Iwobi and evaded his marker to almost lay it back for an early chance. Mykolenko tried to cross but it was cleared and Willian led Fulham's first attack, headed wide. 

Pickford's huge clearance bounced for Gordon but Robinson was across to block for a corner. Gray had a great strike off the second phase, forcing a tremendous save from Leno. Really lively start by Everton!

Fulham had more of the play, Willian spinning and lashing in a shot that Pickford brilliantly tipped over the bar. Mitrovic's header also needed a fine save by Pickford. The third Fulham corner set up Reed for a distant shot that also needed another decent Pickford save.  

Everton lost possession in midfield and Robinson won a corner off Coleman that Calvert-Lewin had to head off the line. Mykolenko tried to feed  Calvert-Lewin but it was overhit. Another long ball from the back gave Gray something to chase but it came through to Leno. The game settled down a little after a frenetic first 15 minutes. 

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Gray got the ball wide left and put in the perfect cross for Calvert-Lewin to convert... only he didn't – not getting his body into the right position, the ball grazing off his shin. What a chance that should have been! Next opportunity and Gray shot weakly straight to Leno. 

Mitrovic trod on Gana's ankle, getting an early yellow, albeit pretty accidental. Very painful for Gana, however. But some debate followed, Lampard asking why it wasn't a red card. Fulham mounted a dangerous attack that had to be defended by Coady stretching to scoop it over the bar for a corner, from which Ream shot well wide. 

Onana and Gordon tried to get things moving in midfield but possession was lost. This kept happening in midfield, Gana the next to suffer in the press and Tarkowski had to rescue things with a block behind for Fulham's seventh corner.

Finally, Everton got forward and won a corner, taken by Gray very poorly, not beating the first man. But in the next phase, a cross dropped for Coady and he could only sidefoot it tamely to Leno. Iwobi fed Gray wide left and he eventually got in a fair cross but it was cleared and Fulham attacked again.

Onana was adjudged to have fouled, giving up a dangerous free-kick that Calvert-Lewin headed clear but a cross came back in for Ream to head inches wide. Tarkowski and Cordova-Reid wrestled each other to the ground off the ball. The VAR said no issue. 

A great ball in to Calvert-Lewin wasn't really controlled; Gray going the wrong way for his layoff. Mykolenko stopped an attack and overlapped with Gray, for Iwobi to ultimately force a corner. Gray swung a perfect cross in to Tarkowski who headed with great purpose and power directly at Leno, while the goal around him gapped yawningly. 

Everton then worked the ball well to Gordon who saw fame looming but he rashly lashed it over the Fulham goal instead of bursting the roof of the net. Fulham responded with another attack that brought out some incredible defending from Onana. 

Gordon had the chance for a perfectly weighted forward pass to play in Calvert-Lewin but he again overhit it horribly and the chance was not only gone, it led to another Fulham drive, this time down their left, needing more stiff defending from Everton to keep the score 0-0 at half-time.  

Fulham restarted and Willian thought he was fouled when Gana just touched the ball away from him as he got his foot stuck in the turf. No penalty. Fulham worked it well for Pereira to set up Mitrovic for a header that flew over Pickford's goal. 

Iwobi played a great crossfield ball to Gray but he had wandered offside. Robinson was given too much space to advance and it needed Mykolenko to clear. Everton looked to break with a good run from Gordon but Calvert-Lewin had gone too far beyond his cross. Fulham responded, Willian forcing a brilliant save off his deflected shot. From the corner, Fulham looked really threatening and Everton had to really defend well. 

Everton won possession but Onna showed too much to Palhinha, who cleared. Everton tried to work it from the throw-in but Gordon lost it under pressure and another fine contest ensued in midfield to try and gain advantage, Gray was fouled by Cordova-Reid. It came to Calvert-Lewin who shaped to shoot but was denied before the offside flag went up very late.  

Some excellent work by Mykolenko was rewarded with some good refereeing that saw Cordova-Reid booked. From the free-kick, Tarkowski headed down for Onana to spin around and shoot just wide. Fulham moved it up quickly through Robinson and Mitrovic smacked his volley a long way wide. 

More great stuff in midfield saw Palhinha get the better of Onana and the ball dropped for Mitrovic who fairly lashed it high over the Everton bar. Time for some changes from Frank Lampard after Onana caught the back of Andreas's leg. More solid defending of the free kick was required.

Everton came under serious pressure but the defending was of the highest quality, Calvert-Lewin giving up a foul that led to yet another full-blown Fulham attack against a solid and robust Everton defence. Patterson was forced to give up a corner but Everton could not clear it convincingly. 

Everton finally got the ball forward through Iwobi but Calvert-Lewin had again strayed well offside as he skipped past Leno before the flag finally went up. When Everton did get the ball again, Iwobi played it straight out in front of Gray as they struggled to take advantage of any possession. 

More pressure but Everton broke with Gordon getting a nice chance to make a great run forward but talk about no end-product... oh goodness. At least it relieved the pressure but Everton were offside yet again, as Gray was replaced by McNeil. Everton came close to actually building an attack but it again fizzled out at Gordon. 

Fulham built their attack much more convincingly, the final shot deflected behind for yet another Fulham corner, Pickford putting it behind. Everton looked to break but Gordon was well tackled and Willian's shot had to be smothered by Pickford. 

Fulham surged forward again, and Mitrovic just could not get his foot around the ball, Everton saved again. But  their midfield play was slow and negative, inviting Fulham to press, and it was really poor from Pickford, booting the ball shamefully into touch, as is now his MO when pressure threatens. 

Robinson was invited to cross dangerously again and Tarkowski had to dive bravely to head behind off Mitrovic's knee. Willian danced in brilliantly and it was Garner who had to clear this time. Fulham will be livid if they don't win this game...

Another intense spell of Fulham pressure, more fantastic defending from Everton, another dangerous corner testing Pickford who batted it clear. Maupay replaced Gordon. 

Wilson looked to beat Mykolenko illegally to stop yet another Fulham attack. The free-kick was aimed for Calvert-Lewin but he couldn't win it. Still Everton had some rare forward possession only to send it back to Pickford for a hoof upfield that saw possession lost again. 

The rapid tempo of the game extended into 3 minutes of added time, Mitrovic getting another chance to shoot, again smacking it high over the Everton bar. Everton had possession but again it went back to Pickford, whose chip saw possession lost again! Why, why, why???

One last push forward for Fulham, but Pickford was out quickly to smother.  The ball hoofed up to Calvert-Lewin was again not won by him and then he was again flagged offside... again. The full-time whistle finally came, and this will be considered a good result for Everton, who reverted into a bit of a defensive shell in the second half. A good point on balance, as Fulham will rue this one. 

Fulham: Leno, Kebano (67' Wilson), Reed, Diop, Mitrovic [Y:24'], Ream, De Cordova-Reid [Y:59'] (76' Tete), Pereira (76' Cairney), Willian, João Palhinha, Robinson.
Subs: Rodak, Duffy, James, Vinícius, Tosin, Harris.

Everton:   Pickford,  Coleman (64' Patterson) , Tarkowski, Coady, Mykolenko, Iwobi, Gana (65' Garner)., Onana, Gordon (86' Maupay), Gray (75' McNeil), Calvert-Lewin.
Subs: Begovic, Holgate, Keane, Doucoure, Davies.

Referee: John Brooks
VAR: Darren England

Reader Comments (222)

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Michael Kenrick
1 Posted 29/10/2022 at 16:40:04
From what I'm reading in The Guardian, Simon Hooper is not the VAR for this one, as stated in the Match Preview; however, they say he is the Fourth Official at Craven Cottage.
Danny O’Neill
2 Posted 29/10/2022 at 16:59:20
In the grpund and ready. Let's go and do this Everton. The travelling fans are here in numbers. They've turned up. Over to you.
Brian Murray
3 Posted 29/10/2022 at 17:26:35
If Coleman’s rolling back the years was last week then Patterson on at half time.
Simon Dalzell
4 Posted 29/10/2022 at 17:58:41
Shocking challenge by Mitrovich. Definite red card.
Craig Walker
5 Posted 29/10/2022 at 17:59:53
I wish we’d cut out this playing the ball back to Pickford in his 6 yard box. It just invites pressure.
Brian Murray
6 Posted 29/10/2022 at 18:02:14
Craig. We scored from doing it last week but yes sooner or later will come unstuck against better pressing
Christy Ring
7 Posted 29/10/2022 at 18:02:32
Fulham left back overlapping on the left, two against Coleman, Gordon should be doing more.
Colin Malone
8 Posted 29/10/2022 at 18:16:56
Gordon terrible again.
Alan J Thompson
9 Posted 29/10/2022 at 18:24:53
We started with the long ball bypassing midfield and it nearly paid off a couple of times as Fulham didn't seem too good at defending it but we weren't as good as we should have been finishing it, indeed, we had 6 or 7 very reasonable chances in that half.

There seemed to be something different about our pressing from last week and whether that was because we weren't doing it so far up the pitch or with as many men or if Fulham are better at playing it out than Palace were. Our defence also seemed to sit a lot deeper and spent a lot of time on the edge of our penalty box.

Oh and that Antonee Robinson certainly has some legs on him, one that got away.

And I couldn't help comparing that the Mitrojvic(?) yellow with the VAR review that got Allan sent off last(?) season, there really does need to be some consistency.

Tony Abrahams
10 Posted 29/10/2022 at 18:25:07
I think Gordon has got a goal in him today, but I think that about a few players, and hope it’s not just wishful thinking. Fulham aren’t bad, but the game is there to be won, so come on Everton, step-up and go and get the three points.
Oliver Molloy
11 Posted 29/10/2022 at 18:30:28
First half, just too slow and pedestrian, even so we should be in front.
Two massive chances missed, lets hope we don't regret those from Calvert Lewin and Tarkowski.
We need to be quicker.
Danny O’Neill
12 Posted 29/10/2022 at 18:37:25
I managed to get served at half time. Good job as I was palpttating. Great couple of saves from Jordon
George Cumiskey
13 Posted 29/10/2022 at 18:41:02
Gordon shocking
Christy Ring
14 Posted 29/10/2022 at 18:42:21
Gordon and Gray not doing enough
Kieran Kinsella
15 Posted 29/10/2022 at 18:44:16
Thought first half was pretty good. Lots of attacking intent.
Danny O’Neill
16 Posted 29/10/2022 at 18:45:22
Good banter with the Fulham supporters on the concourse under the stand. Not quite the open end it used to be but you all mingle at the same place for drinks.

Young blues in fine voice. I'm trying to hold it together

Colin Malone
17 Posted 29/10/2022 at 18:58:48
Get a fucking grip Lampard. Get Gordon off.
George Cumiskey
18 Posted 29/10/2022 at 19:04:21
Can't fucking believe Gordon still on ??
Pete Hughes
19 Posted 29/10/2022 at 19:08:13
Gordon has been absolutely atrocious!
Colin Malone
20 Posted 29/10/2022 at 19:09:08
He offers nothing, going forward or defensively.
What are you watching Lampard?
George Cumiskey
21 Posted 29/10/2022 at 19:14:37
Gordon the worst player on the pitch by a country mile !
Danny Baily
22 Posted 29/10/2022 at 19:22:15
Solid point on the road!
George Cumiskey
23 Posted 29/10/2022 at 19:22:52
Good point terrible second half performance and I'll be shocked if Gordon is in the next squad never mind the team !
Brian Murray
24 Posted 29/10/2022 at 19:23:48
A good few suggesting a high scoring game. No way with tarky and coady at the back
Joe Digney
25 Posted 29/10/2022 at 19:25:46
Can we swap managers?…
Michael Kenrick
26 Posted 29/10/2022 at 19:25:57
My goodness... 24 shots to 9. What's the xG bullshit for this one?

Fulham really should have been able to fashion a goal but they didn't really come close.

Brilliant Everton defence but absolutely useless in attack.

Michael Lynch
27 Posted 29/10/2022 at 19:26:06
Fulham were impressive apart from their finishing.

The difference between Willian and Gordon/Gray tells you everything about where we are struggling.

Good, if a bit lucky, point.

Brian Murray
28 Posted 29/10/2022 at 19:26:27
Chelsea have probably gone ex-directory after watching that display from Gordon.
Stephen Smyth
29 Posted 29/10/2022 at 19:27:15
A point at least but the performance was shocking, Gray, Gordon, Iwobi and Calvert-Lewin were anonymous.

Big shout out to Mykolenko my MotM (apart from Willian!).

Brian Hennessy
30 Posted 29/10/2022 at 19:28:04
A good point in the end. Terrible second half from us. Delighted to see Frank make early substitutions and can't argue with any of the changes he made even though they didn't make much of an impact.

Tony Hill
31 Posted 29/10/2022 at 19:28:35
A decent point but a deeply negative performance. I don't like to watch Everton sides not wanting to win the game and, in the second half, we were only trying not to lose.

Some good defensive performances but I thought overall that we were disappointing, especially after the boost of last week.

John Keating
32 Posted 29/10/2022 at 19:32:59
Absolutely brilliant defensively though can't say the same when we had fantastic chances in the first half.

Love Gana but how many times did he lose possession?

All-in-all a good credible point.

Well done to the 4 at the back.

Oliver Molloy
33 Posted 29/10/2022 at 19:35:30
One shot on target is just fucking diabolical, Gray and Gordon just fail to deliver time and time again.

We gave up too many chances today so thank fuck Mitrovic had an off day, - ten shots none on target he had.

People will say – avoided defeat, clean sheet and a point gained – true... but truly awful also.

Jim Bennings
34 Posted 29/10/2022 at 19:36:13
A point at Craven Cottage is a good result, and that will be the case for any visiting team this season because Marco Silva has developed a good top flight outfit there.

Our defence is as solid as you can get, all we really need is some finesse up front and in the attack which hopefully can come as time goes by and the next transfer window.

Alan J Thompson
36 Posted 29/10/2022 at 19:38:19
To say that the second half was a disappointment would be an understatement.

We seemed to revert to everyone back, no high press or energy, and too many thinking they'd done their bit in the first half – particularly Gordon.

Is there something in some mythical coaching manual that says you must make substitutions around the 60th minute as those we made seemed to throw everything right off, substitutions for their own sake?

There was too much fiddling around at the back as Gordon was hiding, Gray had gone off, McNeil was not showing for anything and we'd even abandoned the long ball over the top.

Onana's yellow card seemed to be for an accidental coming together and was most unwarranted. My MotM, a quietly efficient performance from Mykolenko.

Disappointed we didn't come out in the second half to win.

Sam Hoare
37 Posted 29/10/2022 at 19:39:41
I would have taken a point away at a Top 10 team.

We were really, really poor with the ball in the second half. Sloppy and imprecise with Gray and especially Gordon as the main culprits. If Thelwell could find a more consistent and threatening winger in January, that would be great.

Dave Abrahams
38 Posted 29/10/2022 at 19:41:01
Tarkowski, Coady, Pickford for his saves, not for his kicking, and Mylolenko, just edges MotM for me. He kept us in this game and, along with Fulham's poor finishing, helped us to steal a point.

Maybe Gana had to go off because he was doing the work of two men and might have been knackered while his partner in midfield Onano ambled along as usual and did next to nothing but stayed on, he might be one for the future but he's very poor at present.

As for some of the others, they are making mistakes 7-year-olds would be ashamed of. Garner should have been on long before Lampard made the call and yet Gordon lasted longer than he should have and Onana completed the game.

Another half with no shots on target; they are all mounting up, Frank.

Robert Tressell
39 Posted 29/10/2022 at 19:42:57
Felt like a game we would have lost last season. Fulham, in fairness, were pretty dangerous and you can see how they've picked up points. You can also see how they've shipped goals.

We could have won, certainly should have scored – but the same goes for them.

Probably a point gained, even if it's disappointing not to leave with all 3.

Frank Fearns
40 Posted 29/10/2022 at 19:43:20
Started well and then lost the plot. Defence good but we do have the best two central defenders despite some stupid comment about them last week. Gordon claim for 100k per week has gone to his head and he's way out of touch. The rest just couldn't get momentum. Never got the second ball or bounce of the ball. Exquisite passing in training does not match the real thing on matchday and that is an area desperately needs sorting. I'd have Willian and Betrovich in our team at the drop of a hat.
Christine Foster
41 Posted 29/10/2022 at 19:43:45
Have to say, Gordon gave Robinson was given the freedom of the pitch by Gordon today, not once in the whole game did he track back or even attempt to pick him up. He deserved to be pulled off before half time he was that bad. The amount of pressure he put the team under was disgraceful and could easily have ended in a bad defeat. Where ever Gordon was, he was not at Craven Cottage today. After that performance he needs to be pulled aside and shown why he is not the 100k a week player he thinks he is. As good as he was last week, today was polar opposite.
Great defensive display, good saves by Pickford, Fulham played well, loads of shots bÿ them but blocks were brilliant. In the 2nd half we didn't create enough. But a hard earned point...
Alan J Thompson
42 Posted 29/10/2022 at 19:45:24
Oh, and I meant to add, another fine performance from Pickford and for me there is little doubt he is not only England's finest but the best in the Premier League.
Matthew Williams
43 Posted 29/10/2022 at 19:45:35
We didn't give it any attacking threat in the second half, which was very disappointing... but it's another away-day point, I suppose.

I see the lad Yates scored the winner for Blackpool earlier on... I hope our Scouts were at the game, as we need goals badly and this lad might prove to be the answer!?

Kunal Desai
44 Posted 29/10/2022 at 19:47:46
That was turgid. The second-half performance was horrendous; however, not often we can say that and get away with a point. Will gladly take it.

Need to get to Jan and hopefully Lampard can work his magic in the transfer window. Forward and wide areas need freshening up. We are totally bereft of any creativity. One or two cheap/loan options and then re-evaluate in the summer and focus on the bulk of our transfer spend in those areas.

Gray should be no more than a squad player.

Trevor Peers
45 Posted 29/10/2022 at 19:48:34
Good point. We defended excellently.

That was about it; we all know what's needed, goals! But will we get them?

The second half was absolute torture, we gave the ball away at will, which is unforgivable, lacked any creativity and we were lucky to get the point.

Thankfully we look a different proposition at home so we should be okay for this season.

Bill Gienapp
46 Posted 29/10/2022 at 19:58:07
Solid point, on the road, under the circumstances, I thought.

Yes, we're not great in attack, and being shut out in three of our last four isn't great, but it is what it is. You can see the platform we're building through the defense and midfield. Attacking reinforcements will come, we just need to pick up as many points as we can along the way.

The only reason there's cause to feel any stress is the table being so congested... and no obvious duds like Norwich City in the mix this season.

James Garner's looked consistently bright coming off the bench. I'd love to see what he could do with a full match, though I'm not sure who'd make way.

Great to see Patterson back in action, though it always feels a bit risky to bring in a defender cold in the second half. There were a few moments where he didn't look quite up to speed, but thankfully no damage done.

Duncan McDine
47 Posted 29/10/2022 at 19:58:15
Promising first half, on the front foot. Calvert-Lewin should've scored from the excellent ball in from the left.

We really went into our shell, as MK described in the second half ,which was disappointing.

Onana, Pickford, Coady and Tarky were all very decent for the majority of the game, but Mykolenko was the stand-out performer for us.

I don't think the rest of the team will be all that pleased with their game today, but a point away from home is never the end of the world.

Paul Birmingham
48 Posted 29/10/2022 at 19:59:24
Feck, a good point, and I think defensively Everton earned their luck.

I hope back at Finch Farm next week they practise every day on cross conversion from Demarai.

It was Groundhog Day at Goodison last season, continuing this season at Goodison and away.

But Calvert-Lewin is inching his way back to full match fitness. Give him the benefit of the doubt, and watch Gert Muller, Bettega, Rossi and Leawandofski, amongst others for clinical in-the-box finishing.

Overall a good point against a decent team, but offensively today, bar the odd move in every 15 minutes of the game Everton, for me lacked belief and conviction.

The final ball, and shooting. I hope this stage fright at shooting disappears soon.

But great to see Patterson back and hopefully the balance of the team will improve with more scoring opportunities created in the next few games.

But if you don't take your chances, you don't win games. Everton must work on this, as for me there's a lack of ownership and belief in taking the clinical initiative just outside and inside the box.

But a well-earned point. This time last season, I'm sure this would have been a game lost.


Michael Kenrick
49 Posted 29/10/2022 at 20:01:55
Fulham manager Marco Silva to BBC Sport:

"It's difficult to believe, really. We did almost everything well. Everton played a direct game, we knew that, and they created some moments but we are always on the front foot.

"I am proud of my players, we didn't win the game but we played at a very good level. We have to put the ball in the net and on a normal evening we score more than one goal with these chances.

"Jordan Pickford and their defenders deserve credit, they block everything but we did everything to win. In football we have days like this. It's the first game at home we have not scored, our philosophy and desire is right.

"Mitro will score next time."

Ah... the philosophy. I miss that. We need a philosophy.

Tony Hill
50 Posted 29/10/2022 at 20:03:16
In fairness to Lampard, he is suitably sober about that effort in his comments. Rightly so.
Ben King
51 Posted 29/10/2022 at 20:03:45
Positives: point away from home and solid defence.

Negatives: the attack was terrible. Gordon was appalling. His possession giveaways put us under so much pressure and ruined the few attacks we had.

Calvert-Lewin: bad miss and injury from the post (real or imagined) seemed to impact his performance.

The midfield (aside from Iwobi) had zero creativity.

2nd half was so boring, so turgid: if we can go backwards or forwards we always select backwards.

How boring to watch but obviously a point away from home is valuable. Problem is that we could easily have lost that match whereas the game was there for the taking. We made great chances in the 1st half and then didn't bother in the 2nd.

So annoying.

Ian Edwards
52 Posted 29/10/2022 at 20:05:19
Too often we passed backwards due to no one in space forward. Playing one up front is too negative for me.

Gordon doesn't track back. Gueye just loses possession. Gray is often anonymous.

I'd play Maupay and Calvert-Lewin in a 4-4-2. Garner or Davies for Gueye.

Christy Ring
53 Posted 29/10/2022 at 20:07:05
Joe #25 Swap Managers?

You must have a short memory, Silva totally lost the plot, we were in free fall, his last 2 games, lost 2-0 at home to bottom team Norwich, and 5-2 to our horrible neighbours.

Gordon was the worst player on the pitch, when he went down after losing the ball, and didn't bother his arse to get up, he should have been substituted then, and Gray wasn't far behind him.

Gladly take the point, and I don't know what more Frank could have done with his substitutions.

Paul Smith
54 Posted 29/10/2022 at 20:11:06
I think the stats reflect the game for once. One shot and 3 touches in Fulham's box all game.

Mykolenko the stand out; Gordon couldn't do anything right; Iwobi good again and Calvert-Lewin missing with his timing.

Great defensively and nothing going forward 2nd half. Take the point and move on.

Brent Stephens
55 Posted 29/10/2022 at 20:12:28

"Playing one up front is too negative for me."

Yes, don't ya just hate negativity?

Tony Everan
56 Posted 29/10/2022 at 20:16:00
Positives. Point away from home against a team in good form is acceptable. Our defence was strong, Pickford was very good and he needed to be. I thought Mykolenko battled very well and it is a massive positive to see Patterson back and looking fit.

Attacking we were poor, I think Gordon could do with a rest for a game to try and reset. I still think we need to replace Richarlison's threat, we desperately need that extra quality up front. It's the difference between winning matches like tonight and scraping draws.

Danny O’Neill
57 Posted 29/10/2022 at 20:18:48
I'll diagnose this in more detail in the morning.

Right now I'm having a drink while the queue goes down at Putney Bridge Station on my way home.

The poor lady next to me had to keep sitting down and covering her face as she couldn't bear to watch. I have to admit, I was close to joining her a few times as those barrages of corners came in.

I'll get home at a decent time unlike many of that magnificent travelling support as always. Start to finish. Excellent and still going in the 8 Bells.

Initial thoughts, we gave away too much in midfield and were not really a threat up front.

But the defenders were immense.

I don't know the name of coach who came over at the end and stood with the supporters, but I went and shook his hand and told him to pass on my regards to the defence and PIckford for tonight. For what that's worth. He gave me a smile and a back pat.

Good to see John albeit briefly due to M6 woes. Shame I didn't catch Rob.

Next time. We took a point home. Been to that ground so many times on the end of a 1 - 0. defeat.

Ernie Baywood
58 Posted 29/10/2022 at 20:19:14
Defence and keeper well played. Beyond that, it was very poor.

I lost count of how many times we were looking to play out and we only had one of our midfield 3 looking for the ball. Onana and Gueye just became more obstacles for the defenders to pass around.

Something's not right with Gordon. He's been off colour lately but that was outright terrible. He couldn't even be bothered having a run with the ball.

The same problem persists. It was there in the run of defeats away from home and it was there in our wins too. We lack quality in the midfield. Gueye sits in that defensive role but he's negative with almost every pass.

Onana, well, I still can't really place what he's about – he's certainly not attempting to be an attacking force though he looks capable of it.

I really think it's time to see Garner in there. Take a bit of a chance and see if we can create anything.

Good to see Patterson back. He'll improve us immediately.

David Hayes
59 Posted 29/10/2022 at 20:25:24
Expectations beyond reality, or just an ingrained desire to wallow in misery no matter what! Find a whipping boy or just see "Poor or Shocking" continuosly in every team performance. Ignore all else – it's posting Poor or Shocking repeatedly that is really all there is. Turgid reading and poor use of words. Shocking effort on a forum.

Good point, when not fully firing is an incremental progression which will result in a more consistent points accumulation in the long term. Pickford once again ensuring a result.

Richard Nelson
60 Posted 29/10/2022 at 20:31:06
Onana wants to "Gee" himself up..instead of the Fans...just ambles around, when he's not at walking pace.!
David West
61 Posted 29/10/2022 at 20:42:13
Not the result we wanted. We can sum it up in 8 words though if you want to look for positives.

We would have lost this game last season!

Frank as an attacking goal-scoring midfield player must be able to see our problems. No fluidity, no interplay between the front 3, no midfield players getting beyond the striker, and barely any quality for Calvert-Lewin to feed off.

Is it time for 4-1-4-1? 4-4-2? We can't expect the defence to play as well as they have tonight, week-in & week-out, with no respite.

The changes had no real impact. Could we give McNeil a start and hope Gray or Gordon have more impact coming on?

The games we have lost are not what will determine our league position; it's these games against Fulham & Palace etc. We are so much more solid, that it's so frustrating we can't create more.

Look at Willian, ran that game for them, he's what we are missing – a true creative player.

Roll on January!!

Paul Birmingham
62 Posted 29/10/2022 at 20:47:09
All players have dips in any season, even the greatest, but the measures and level of critiques intensifies, when margins are fine, and stakes are high.

I think Anthony Gordon, can be a very good footballer, but some humble pie, and back to basics, is needed.

Tonight for me he tried but was off it, in timing, passing shooting, and not doing his defensive duties.

But I also think the midfield is out of balance, and it’s now a good chance to start Garner, in place of Onana, or Idrissa. A tough decision for Frank, and his staff.

For the talent they have, there’s too many basic mistakes, and much of Everton’s offensive moves tonight, stoped with their poor decision making, passing but also Anthony Gordon, was equally as guilty of the same mistakes.

But this is Everton in transition, and hopefully soon, the consistency and balance can be found for a full 95 minute performance every week.

But great respect to Evertons Goal Keeper and defence, whom were immense, and self less, in playing for the shirt.

I’ll take that, but soon for the whole Team, to make that level of focus and commitment.

Tony Hill
63 Posted 29/10/2022 at 20:47:46
We're obviously a long way from being a good side and, in that perspective, games like today are to be expected. It's a tough watch though and surely we would all love to see more attacking intent.

It is extraordinary how this type of performance away from home has dogged us now for years. A strange torpor falls upon us.

Tony Abrahams
64 Posted 29/10/2022 at 20:55:27
Definitely agree that we would have lost that game last season.

But until we become braver, a lot more positive, and also better with the football, then we have got to be happy with a point.

Paul Birmingham
65 Posted 29/10/2022 at 21:11:56
Tony H, & Tony A, spot on, and in the inertia to over come, and development of this squad, it’s hopefully another step up the learning ladder. The players will learn. About themselves and the squad. All for one and One for All, hopefully will kick in very soon.

Another must win next Saturday at Goodison Park.

Jeff Armstrong
66 Posted 29/10/2022 at 21:15:46
Frank has made us hard to beat, that's obvious and thats the defence sorted, the midfield is getting there and is a proper work in progress,

Now the attack, that will come as the season progresses. Calvert-Lewin is finding match fitness as each game comes. Gray is the finished article, good moments, infuriating moments, that's why he's here £1.75million? Still good business for me atm.

Gordon… if an offer comes in January from Skunks or Chelsea, I would definitely sell him, I don't think he's going to be a top player.

Maupay.. his record speaks for itself, but still early days. We need at least one other striker in January, which is what? 4 games away?

We'll will be fine this season.

Peter Mills
68 Posted 29/10/2022 at 21:23:56
I'm pleased with the hard-earned point, something we most definitely would not have gained last season. Another one on the scoreboard.

We were okay in an even first half, poor in the second. I'm surprised at those criticising Frank's substitutions, it looked to me like he was going for the win.

When we were kicking the ball out of play in the last few minutes instead of moving it towards Calvert-Lewin and Maupay, it felt like watching kids' football.

It's hard to reconcile that we have certain players performing like infants. But, speaking relatively to the likes of Man City, that's what we are. And that's what the manager has to work with, and improve.

Take the point. Move on.

Dave Abrahams
69 Posted 29/10/2022 at 21:42:11
Tony (64) there is no way we would have lost that game last season, Fulham weren’t even in the same division as us, no harm being happy with the point as long as you admit we were definitely second best to a Fulham team that threw the game away.

It’s very hard to expect to win a game when four or five players were either having an off day, not concentrating or even worse not fully commmitted and the team going on the back foot, again, for most of the second half didn’t help.

Tony Abrahams
70 Posted 29/10/2022 at 21:55:02
My attitude to football is that it should be about taking the game to the opposition and trying to express yourself Dave, but I’m happy with the point because our goalkeeper and defenders, constantly put their bodies on the line.
Dave Abrahams
71 Posted 29/10/2022 at 22:06:00
Tony (70),fair enough Tony but there are eleven players in a team not five or six.

Anyway I bet you were thrilled with young Adam Mayor today, coming on and getting the equaliser for Morecambe.

Phil Friedman
72 Posted 29/10/2022 at 22:08:35
Can we please sell Gordon in January if someone is nuts enough to offer decent money?
Peter Mills
73 Posted 29/10/2022 at 22:13:31
Dave, #69,

Come on, you know we weren't talking about Fulham, of course they were in the Championship. But equivalent games like Villa, Palace, Wolves, Brentford and Burnley that we lost, pathetically, last season.

We are improving. Gradually. It's very hard to draw a game when, as you correctly point out, we have four or five players who, for whatever reason, are performing under-par. But we did. That's good. Not great. Just good.

Another step along the road. All the best, Dave.

Tony Abrahams
74 Posted 29/10/2022 at 22:17:06
I've just posted that on another thread Dave, and although it was probably a bit lucky, it earned his team a point, and this was probably something they didn't deserve either.

Being honest and trying not to sound biased, I don't think his team deserved anything today, but Adam's contribution was very impressive, just like the players you mentioned for Everton's was, in your earliest post on this thread.

I even agreed with your MotM, Dave, because I thought Mykolenko defended brilliantly today.

John Kavanagh
75 Posted 29/10/2022 at 22:18:31
I think this was a good point and another clean sheet. Frank has gone about things in the traditional way – building from the back. We will improve as Onana and Gana readjust to the pace of the Premier League and Garner gets more game time.

We now have a squad good enough to keep us in the top flight, which couldn't be said last season with any confidence.

As for those whingeing about the performance, it's not like we've just lost to the two bottom clubs on the bounce is it?

Anyway, we are still on course to go into the break with 20 points and in the top half of the table. And above the whining pumpkin headed Halloween ghouls next door with any luck.

Steve Griffiths
76 Posted 29/10/2022 at 22:33:01
Well that was a hard watch, we are poor away from the Old Lady.

Competent first half and web could have gone in two-up (Calvert-Lewin and Tarkowski), equally we could have gone in two down, but thanks to Jordan we didn't. Second half was massively disappointing, we didn't compete in midfield & lacked composure on the ball.

We were also toothless upfront, especially out wide were the lack of quality and delivery was very evident. How Anthony Gordon stayed on the pitch as long as he did was baffling. I think Frank's subs were correct however I'd have withdrawn Gordon before Gray.

Anthony imo is vastly overrated by many, he lacks presence, is to easily knocked off the ball & his delivery is very, very poor. I do not believe he is a wide player, however I'm not sure what his best position is either, possibly a 10 in a 4-4-2?

Big credit to the two centre-halves and goalkeeper who were immense and the left-back, who I thought just shaded MotM, especially for his second-half performance, securing a point. On to Leicester Saturday for yet another must win home game.

Jeff Armstrong
77 Posted 29/10/2022 at 22:53:30
Steve @75,

I really don't think Gordon is vastly overrated on here, if you read the thread and indeed the Live Forum, I think you will find Anthony is rated about right… below average.

In fact I can only think of 3 people that actually rate Gordon:

Anthony himself (this week's twitter interview was embarrassing);
And some unknown scout at Chelsea who's never heard of Ryan Brewster, Jack Rodwell, Ross Barkley, Ryan Kent, Harry Wilson, etc etc etc.

Colin Glassar
78 Posted 29/10/2022 at 23:17:21
Nothing much to add to that, Steve 75. Decentish first half but then lost our way after the break. We stopped pressing, our passing was poor and we went deeper and deeper. I don't know if this was how it was planned or it's our now legendary lack of confidence.

Anyway, for the time being, we are a mid-table team and will be for a while. Onwards and upwards. Mykolenko my MotM.

John Raftery
79 Posted 29/10/2022 at 23:28:38
Very happy with a hard earned point. We have won only two away games in 14 months and lost too many to count. Turning some of those defeats into draws with improved defensive strength was among the early priorities for this season. We are achieving that.

Fulham are no mugs. Not many teams will keep clean sheets there. In a great performance by the lads at the back Mykolenko was Man of the Match for us. He dealt with De Cordova-Reid's pace and trickery very well.

As for our attacking play, after a bright start we lacked quality and consistency today. Certainly in away games the deployment of two wide players, one of them well out of sorts, feels like a luxury we cannot afford at present.

McNeil would be a better option than Gordon based on recent form while Garner must be very close to earning his first start.

Mark Murphy
80 Posted 29/10/2022 at 23:29:29
Just got home (I live darn sarf)…

“Action packed”??

I must've been at another game. A good day out spoiled by a game of footy is how I'd describe that. We need to grow some bollocks - Fulham are shite!

Still, my son woke me on the train with the score from Greyskull - it cheered me up no end! UTFT

Ian Edwards
81 Posted 29/10/2022 at 23:30:22
Brent 55.

I suggested the formation which has resulted in 11 goals all season is too negative and you feel it's more important than the team’s failings to have a snide little dig at me as you quite often do. Rent-free Brent.

Jeff Armstrong
82 Posted 29/10/2022 at 23:36:46
Ian, 80, I’m hearing that boring phrase’ living in my headspace… rent free” more and more lately,

It’s so lame and weasley,…..

Ian Bennett
83 Posted 29/10/2022 at 23:41:42
If Gordon's agent is still chasing £100k per week, he needs to watch the lad again.

I think he's got promise, but he is way off from being worth big bucks, playing Champions League or dominating a match. There were at least two Fulham players way ahead of him.

Solid effort, but we definitely need more fire power.

David West
84 Posted 29/10/2022 at 23:58:56
Tony 64 I agree. We can't expect miracles. Compared to what we had to out up with last year it's positive.

But there will come a point where Gordon & Gray need to justify being selected, week-in & week-out.

Is Gray doing anything McNeil couldn't?

Gordon has some grace as he's scored goals, but their general play and link-up is not really giving us what's needed.

A formation tweak maybe what's needed.

I think a 4-1-4-1 could work well, give Gana a rest, bring in McNeil.

Jay Harris
85 Posted 30/10/2022 at 00:24:13
Onana's comment that players don't want to get injured before the World Cup was certainly true in his case. That's the worst performance he has put in since he's been here. The only international that performed for us today was Pickford closely followed by Mykolenko.

The media are at it again with Sky saying Fulham had 24 shots while failing to mention only 6 were on target to our 4. They also claim Fulham should have had 2 penalties.

I thought we played well first half but then reverted to type second half and dropped deep inviting then onto us.

Frank has to sort this mentality out out go 4-4-2 away from home and drop the 2 wingers.

My highlight of the day was Klopp face when Leeds scored the winner late on.

Tom Bowers
86 Posted 30/10/2022 at 00:30:15
A great point earned against a difficult team.

How petty Marco Silva was at dropping two points when he thought he would put one over on us for firing him.

Well done Pickford and Co. Defense really coming good again.

Brian Murray
87 Posted 30/10/2022 at 00:30:37
Impressive in-game management by Frank with his timing and choice of subs, imo. Keep it up, mate.

Needs a better choice in January if none of the kids can step up yet.

Barry Rathbone
88 Posted 30/10/2022 at 00:34:47
Good point no matter how laboured

Fulham are in our peer group these are the clubs we need to wrest points from to survive it's as simple as that.

The limitations are obvious with inconsistent to very limited players throughout the squad Frank hasn't the luxury of a Plan B bench to call upon so it's a case of scraping along as best we can.

He's doing that very competently.

Paul Kossoff
89 Posted 30/10/2022 at 00:41:24
“Mitrovic trod on Gana's ankle, getting an early yellow, albeit pretty accidental”???

Seriously! Take another look at it in slow motion, even a static shot. The ball is not moving when the Fulham player makes a direct aim for Gueye’s shin. By the time the ball has gone, Mitrovic’s boot is on Gueye's leg.

We don't get anything given as Frank said. When blues are defending dirty play, no wonder. How do you know it wasn't intentional?

Ed Prytherch
90 Posted 30/10/2022 at 00:45:45
Jay 84 - Fuck the media. People who watch the game know what they saw. Same with politics. People are smart to enough to see what is going on without self righteous pundits telling them what to think.
Paul Kossoff
91 Posted 30/10/2022 at 00:48:10
Jay 84, "My highlight of the day was Klops face when Leeds scored the winner late on." You get five stars for observation of the day!⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐👮
Roman Sidey
92 Posted 30/10/2022 at 00:52:22
Probably been mentioned, but in the 2nd half Gordon lost possession about 35 yards out because he wasn't paying attention. Fulham were already shooting inside the 18-yard box by the time he got back to his feet. Absolutely disgusting from a player trying to negotiate £100k/week.

And to think the club could have had £40M+ for him just 2 months ago...

Bernie Quinn
93 Posted 30/10/2022 at 01:43:51
Enjoyed watching the game though we certainly faded in the 2nd half.

Certainly no complaints with our defence. Felt it would be unfair for Fulham to lose, and likewise with us, so a draw I feel was a good result.

If the other teams in the Premier League heard a strange sound, it is the growl of the Everton Tiger, awakening from its slumber! We are coming!! My prophesy is that in 2 years we will be a regular in the Top 6.

"In Frank I Trust" (Didn't hear you Scream, Christine!)

Steve Brown
94 Posted 30/10/2022 at 02:01:12
That wasn’t a good display, apart from the defence. Based on their performances, Onana and Gordon deserve to be benched next week.

We only have one game against a top 6 side between now and the start of February, so hopefully we can make steady progress up the table.

And look on the bright side, ‘creashead’ has been sacked and Klopp looks like he has swallowed a turd every weekend.

Derek Knox
95 Posted 30/10/2022 at 05:39:23
Kudos to all who travelled down there, they we far more vocal than the Fulham lot, it sounded, if you closed your eyes, that we were the home side. Pity yet again that the team didn't match that. However, it was a hard-fought game as predicted, too many of ours like Gordon and Onana not 100% committed with the former demanding £100k/week?

Like Popeye used to say "Who does this guy think he is?"

We are a couple of creative scoring players short, so hopefully January may see a couple of arrivals. I see we have been linked with Daniel Podence of Wolves who will be in his last year of contract and has asked for a move, he has certainly impressed with what I have seen of him for a smallish guy. Still think we made two massive blunders, when talking of smallish players, in not going for Leandro Trossard and Jarrod Bowen who we could both have had for £7M each a couple of seasons back.

Let's go out with a bang against Leicester City before the World Cup break.

Bob Parrington
96 Posted 30/10/2022 at 06:11:15
David West @ 61.

Yes, previously we would have lost this game. Our fan expectations are starting to grow, which is a good sign. However, we shouldn't get ahead of ourselves.

Away game against a team that is playing really well with a former Blues manager at the helm. And we could have won it.

Look at Leeds vs the RS. Under the pump for most of the game but had the run of the ball at the right time.

MotM for me was clearly Mykolenko, who is continuously improving, with the help from Coady and Tarkowski. Pickford was again excellent. Gordon had a poor game - possibly our worst player on the day. But, y'know, shit happens.

IMO, 0-0 was a decent result for us.

Joe McMahon
97 Posted 30/10/2022 at 06:41:04
Steve @93, not sure why anything related to Liverpool is relevant here, I'm more concerned about our lack of goals (still after many years) and Gordon (who we should have sold).

The day then we finish above them and actually win something (like they do regularly) is the time to be cocky.

Danny O’Neill
98 Posted 30/10/2022 at 06:55:03
I haven't watched it back yet, but there seems to be a similar consensus amongst the majority.

Bright start and a solid defensive performance against an in-form team who I didn't realise have scored more than anyone in the league other than Man City, Arsenal & Tottenham after reading the BBC match report.

Hard to pick a stand out player, but I'll go with Mykolenko. As is often, the first player over to the supporters at the end to make some young supporter's night by handing out his shirt. No nonsense defending when his team was under pressure.

Once again, you can see the influence of Coady and Tarkowski straight from the warm-up. Lead by example. Seamus looked like he was back to being the age of his squad number and Jordan was excellent.

One thing not commented on here or elsewhere was the "goal". We put the ball in the back of the net right? Or had I been transported to another world momentarily and imagined it? I suppose it must have been nailed on offside as not many complained.

I didn't really get a good view of the tackle on Gueye but thought he was seriously hurt at the time as he didn't move much. Frank seems incensed and angry about it.

I'm not going to batter Anthony Gordon. After last week's seeming comeback performance, he was off sorts again. Maybe he needs a rest. For a young player, he's played a lot of football these past 18 months or so. Onana will come good. I just wish he'd stay on his feet more often, as sooner or later, he'll mistime one of those and it will cost us and him.

I have to say that the new stand Fulham has built looks really smart even though hardly anyone was in it. But Craven Cottage still retains that certain charm. The cottage in the corner kind of reminds me of us having St Luke's at Goodison. I noticed they don't have the mixed neutral section any more, and seating wise, it's now segregated. Although both sets of supporters can still mingle and chat on the open concourse, which I like.

I still don't know the name of that coach who's hand I shook at the end. I hope he passed on my words of praise to the defence. They got us the point.

Danny O’Neill
99 Posted 30/10/2022 at 07:03:56
I don't like that strip by the way.

Amber shirt and socks with blue shorts for me.

We looked like Chelsea in the 2009 Cup Final.

Brian Williams
100 Posted 30/10/2022 at 07:13:40
I think the game may have swung our way had the officials had the balls to make the correct decision and give Mitrovic a deserved red card for his "tackle" on Gueye.

Even Souness felt, and stated, it should have been red.

The VAR has the facility to slow down the action and review these incidents so it just goes to show how shit the VAR can be.

Laurie Hartley
101 Posted 30/10/2022 at 07:20:12
I thought we deserved our point today. We now have a defence that knows how to defend and that is something that I find very satisfying. How many corners have we defended successfully this season - it's a lot!

I promised not to pick any teams after the Palace result but I think there is an argument for playing both Garner and Vinagre (in tandem with Mykolenko) in the next game.

On the Mitrovic tackle - same sort of lunge that Van Dijk inflicted on Onana in the derby. It was a red card all day long – it had leg-breaking potential.

Derek Thomas
102 Posted 30/10/2022 at 07:24:10
I too would like to see Garner in for Gana and, if Onana is hanging back for the World Cup, he needs a good arse-kicking. I would put Doucoure in.
Tony Hill
103 Posted 30/10/2022 at 07:36:00
I thought that was Mykolenko's best defensive performance for us. He's sharpened up considerably in his last two after several poor games.

After the initial disappointment of watching such a weak second-half, I'm content with the point and with the recognition, noted by Frank post-match, that this is just the beginning.

As someone else has noted, though, it's horribly close in the lower section of the table. We don't want to be slipping up against an improving Leicester and an awkward Bournemouth.

Tony Abrahams
104 Posted 30/10/2022 at 07:55:28
My own opinion, Laurie, is that now Patterson is back, Lampard might be thinking about playing a 3-5-2 formation once again.

If it's not broke don't try and fix it, is what some people will say, especially because Vinagre is also unproven at this level, but we just aren't getting enough out of our wide players imo. We will see…

Steavey Buckley
105 Posted 30/10/2022 at 07:56:47
Everton were poor in midfield against Fulham and only looked sharper when Gana was replaced by Garner and Onana took over Gana's deeper position in midfield.

Gana can interrupt the passage play of the opposition but he does not really turn defence into attack with forward runs and accurate passing. And Onana looks lost by himself in midfield.

Colin Glassar
106 Posted 30/10/2022 at 08:02:08
In defence of Gordon and Gray they are two young players who have had to shoulder a lot of pressure being our only two (regularly) fit forwards. Under different circumstances, they would have been rotated on a more regular basis.

Both lads have bags of talent and are quick. Their decision-making, final pass, awareness etc… is often poor. Now that Calvert-Lewin is back and McNeil is getting up to speed, these two lads will have the chance to start forming a better understanding.

Talking of forwards, we need better options than Rondon and Maupay in January. Both are sub-standard to what we require in this cutthroat league.

As for Onana, great young player who also needs to be protected and nurtured. Garner should start the next game with Onana benched. Same goes for Patterson and Seamus.

Steve Brown
107 Posted 30/10/2022 at 08:09:00
Joe @ 96, only gloat about the redshite when we actually win something and finish above them?

Sorry not willing to wait another decade to take the piss out of them! We take our pleasures where we can.

James Byrne
108 Posted 30/10/2022 at 08:16:26
That was by far the worst game for Gordon to date. The lad needs to be benched for a while to take the pressure off him and to work on his game.

Whatever Frank and his team have done to bring Iwobi back to life, please start doing the same with Gordon.

Tony Everan
109 Posted 30/10/2022 at 08:24:37
I'd like now to see Garner included from the start. Stick with a back four now Patterson is back, lose a winger and bring Garner in. Iwobi then freed up to attack and as well as pressing without the ball.

Patterson Coady Tarkowski Mykolenko
Garner Gana Onana
Iwobi Calvert-Lewin Gray

Iwobi is a key player… give him a free role, to come inside, shoot or pass through the defence, to attack wider and cross, to feed Patterson to attack the line, to feed Garner to supply his wicked delivery in from deeper. Without the ball, he is still encouraged to press relentlessly.

It's possible we can get some more control of a game without forfeiting our current level of threat. Especially so away from home.

Terry Farrell
110 Posted 30/10/2022 at 08:32:54
Tony, that's a good shout. Alex was superb yesterday covering every blade of grass and quality on the ball. Jordan outstanding. Defence solid.

Gordon needs to remember why he is in the team and what his job is. Robinson beat him up all day and showed what many of us said on here years ago to be true! What a player he is!

Decent point though.

Tony Hill
111 Posted 30/10/2022 at 08:37:25
The encouraging thing is that you can sense the pieces starting to come together. We're testing and shaping the team and I don't feel that we're just drifting along and hoping for the best.

It's hard to sit, support and wait – once again – but that's what we must do. I was particularly pleased with Lampard's interview after the game. He has no illusions at all.

Dave Cashen
112 Posted 30/10/2022 at 08:38:36
Sorry, but I just don't get all this admiration of our central defensive partnership.

Two fine stoppers, for sure, but there is far more to defending in top flight football than putting backs to the wall in your own box and repeatedly throwing your body in to block shots. There is a responsibility to the rest of the team.

Their unwillingness to push the team up the pitch (and it is their job) means we have players who are far better in the opposition half, being forced to play virtually all the match in their own.

These two will continue to take the p!audits. That's mainly down to Evertonians becoming accustomed to collapses, but there has to be a happy medium. This is a team game and, unless our centre-halves start to concentrate on the team instead of their own performances, you will not see the best of 5-6 of the other players. Forwards and creative players need to play in the opposition half.

I'll take this point but, if Frank wants us to continue to play the game in our own half, we can't possibly get to where we want to be.

Tony Abrahams
113 Posted 30/10/2022 at 08:42:23
Our other two midfielders don't stop running, but it's the fella who doesn't work as hard that is looking lost, because he's by himself, Steavey?

Interesting that mate, and maybe another reason why our system doesn't look quite right, although some might argue it's because the very talented Onana keeps drifting in and out of the game?

It might be an option, Tony, but none of the midfielders you mentioned will really want to go and play out wide.

Trevor Peers
114 Posted 30/10/2022 at 08:42:35
Frank has to learn the art of rotation. Gordon, Gray and Onana obviously needed some rest, for whatever reason, as they were all totally ineffective yesterday. We managed to get away with it this time.

Our squad is pretty thin so Lampard doesn't have too much room for manoeuvre but a couple of changes here and there in midfield and down the flanks would've freshened things up and given us a much better chance of a victory. This should be all part of a good manager's blueprint and Frank has to realise that.

Danny O’Neill
115 Posted 30/10/2022 at 09:03:43
It's a good point, Dave @111, and a point I've been going on about the past few seasons. In fact, many seasons. Getting higher up the pitch. And that starts at the back.

I'm just commenting on what I saw yesterday.

I don't think we have the centre-backs to do that, which is why I was crying out for one about 2 years ago.

I would credit Fulham yesterday. They had us on the ropes at times by doing exactly what you say. They played on the front foot.

Dave Abrahams
116 Posted 30/10/2022 at 09:04:58
Peter (72)

Your points are taken on board. Yes, I realise we are at the start of our long journey back to being a big team again and you have to have the proper luggage to be really prepared.

It's patently obvious we are at least two or three cases short at the moment and maybe I will have to be more patient but, if three or four players are off-key in one game, it becomes very hard for me to accept that.

Anyway, Peter, best wishes, I hope your grandchildren kept up their form from last week and won their games.

Eddie Dunn
117 Posted 30/10/2022 at 09:29:29
Some reflections on yesterday.

Frank improved the timings of his subs but was still a little slow in making them.
Onana is trying to avoid injury and showed little ambition (perhaps playing to instruction).

Gordon failed to cover the runs and, when Seamus was sacrificed, Patterson was exposed to an even greater degree due to Gordon's dereliction of duty. Gray does the same thing every week. Starts well and fades.

Mykolenko had a tremendous game, as did Tarkowski and of course Pickford.

However, let's not pretend. Fulham outplayed and out-thought us and should have won handsomely. We still fail to create enough and lack clinical finishing.
Surely it is time to start McNeil and Maupay up with Calvert-Lewin.

And finally, Garner makes the midfield tick over better than Gana or Onana. I know we are a work in progress but we are leaning too heavily on what is becoming an impressive back line.

Dave Lynch
118 Posted 30/10/2022 at 09:35:58
Tony @110 has it spot on.

Frank has had one window and already we are more difficult to beat. Another couple of windows and we will be a very different team again. It's a process we will have to bear with after years of mismanagement and poor signings.

Unlike "Trigger-Happy FC" (aka Chelsea) we do not have the resources to blow on players who may or may not perform in the Premier League. Patience is the key.

Robert Tressell
119 Posted 30/10/2022 at 09:56:12
Eddie #116,

I agree with a lot of that. I completely disagree that Fulham should have won handsomely, however.

We created and should have scored a couple of goals. I think a draw was a fair result. But 2-2 would have been a fairer reflection.

Also, Mitrovic should absolutely have seen red. That was a very late tread on the ankle and players normally get sent off for that (or at least ours do).

Otherwise, I think we should continue to applaud our deep, robust defenders as they help get us up the table and make us hard to beat. At the same time, we can acknowledge that they prevent us from playing an expansive game higher up the pitch. Frank has the balance absolutely correct right now.

The team will evolve – and maybe Branthwaite and Godfrey and even Welch will help us next season.

Ray Roche
120 Posted 30/10/2022 at 10:04:14
I agree with some of your sentiments Eddie but ‘ Fulham outplayed and out-thought us and should have won handsomely.’ But it’s a case of should’ve, could’ve, would’ve didn’t. We ‘should’ve’ been two up after ten minutes but we weren’t. Fulham are the fourth highest scorers in the Premier but our excellent defensive performance kept them out. Frank is on the right track, making us more solid and, given time and money, will improve the rest of the team.
I’d also like Garner to start ahead of Onana who, as you say, might have his mind on the World Cup.
Pat Kelly
121 Posted 30/10/2022 at 10:04:30
11 goals in 13 games. 5 in which we didn't score. The drought will continue until the forward line gets some quality. Maybe next season. This one's going nowhere.
Brian Harrison
122 Posted 30/10/2022 at 10:09:40
Dave Cashen @111,

I absolutely agree that, while both Coady and Tarkowski are no-nonsense defenders, because of their lack of pace, they prevent us playing 10 yards further up the pitch.

Also just worth noting that, despite the dogged defending by Coady and Tarkowski when we played Spurs, Harry Kane had 31 touches in the opposition half – way more than he has had before or since – and yesterday Mitrovic had 10 attempts on goal.

I thought last week was a new beginning and, after 10 minutes, I thought they are carrying on where they left off last week. But in the 2nd half, we reverted to how we have played since Frank arrived with maybe a couple of exceptions.

Our lack of attacking intent was quite evident in the 2nd half, and this is against a newly promoted side who were basically the same group who got promotion from the Championship.

I know some posters are taking comfort in the fact that we may have lost this game if it had been last season, but let's be perfectly honest: if Fulham had taken their chances, we would have lost, so more to do with Fulham's failings than our improvement which resulted in a draw.

I can't really believe that we as a fanbase are accepting that watching Everton away is a pleasurable experience where we always seem to be hanging on for grim death for most of the second period in games.

Also, I am embarrassed that Onana wants the fans to erupt because he wins a throw-in deep in our half. Maybe if he had more impact on games instead of strolling round the pitch, the fans would be on their feet more.

I thinks it's time maybe to give him a rest and play Doucouré in that role – at least he would get forward more than Onana does which will help our shot-shy forwards.

For me the defence was solid but plays too deep; apart from Iwobi, the midfield plays too deep when in possession, and the front 3 aren't good enough individually or collectively.

Mick Fallon
123 Posted 30/10/2022 at 10:12:31
Great point, Dave Lynch.

Most repeated comment: "We would have lost that game last season." Lampard has identified our biggest problem from last season – flakiness, that has definitely improved.

The forward players are pretty ineffective as our midfielders will not push on and, although not creating too much, we are not conceding many; I'll take that all day long at the moment.

The next transfer window, we'll see more attack-minded midfield and forward players, I hope. Slowly slowly catchy monkey. He has a big mess to clean up!

Rob Halligan
124 Posted 30/10/2022 at 10:16:05
God knows how Gana Gueye walked out of Craven Cottage rather than carried out on a stretcher. Having just seen the incident, (couldn't really tell what had happened at the time), that is a red card all day long.

What is it with the VAR and challenges either by us or against us? The Allan yellow card against Newcastle last season, upgraded to a red card by the VAR despite the referee not going for a second look at the pitch side monitor. It was a cynical challenge, yes, but not dangerous and definitely did not prevent a clear run on goal.

Then we had the crude challenge by Shelvey on Anthony Gordon up at Newcastle. Clear red but only given a yellow, did the VAR even look at it?

Jordan Ayew again on Anthony Gordon in that Palace game. Another clear red, minutes before he scored their second goal. Could have been one fatal decision that one.

This season, we've had the challenge by Van Dicjk, stamping on Onana with a clear over-the-top challenge. Another definite red but apparently a yellow was sufficient.

Finally yesterday, with the challenge by Mitrovic on Gueye. Yet another dangerous over-the-top challenge, deemed by the referee and the VAR to only warrant a yellow card. Malicious or not, intent or not, mistimed or not, these have all been challenges on our players which could have easily put them out for months.

Overall though, quite happy with the point and probably a fair result. Jordan Pickford again showing why he will start as England's Number One in about 3 weeks time. A mate of mine yesterday said Pope is a far better goalie than Pickford. I just laughed at him.

As many have said, Mykolenko was outstanding in a very solid looking back four. I think it will be harsh on Seamus to leave him out, but there is no such thing as sentiment in football and Patterson will soon return as he was also outstanding prior to his injury.

Anthony Gordon needs a few games on the bench. He stunk the place out yesterday. Same mate of mine said there was never any talk of Chelsea wanting him in any way shape or form in the summer. Again, I just laughed.

I wonder if Potter has the same thinking as Tuchel did regards Gordon, or has that ship finally said into the distance? Whatever, but Anthony is not playing like someone deserving of £10k per week, let alone £100k.

Was a tiring day yesterday, not helped by the fact it took us over 6.5 hours to get to Fulham, mainly due to a major accident on the M6, which added an extra 90 minutes to our journey.

We arrived at Craven Cottage about 5 pm and managed to down three pints in the time allowed before the bars inside the ground shut… that's how you get served, Danny, who unfortunately I failed to meet up with again… One day, mate!!

One more home game before two arduous journeys down to Bournemouth in the space of four days. At least the club have decided to reimburse all travelling fans for the cup game the price of the match ticket.

Christopher Timmins
125 Posted 30/10/2022 at 10:16:37
Eddie #116,

Spot on with Mykolenko, the guy just loves to defend and stop the opponents from scoring. Along with Tarkowki, Coady and Coleman or Patterson we have one of the best defensive back fours in the Premier League.

Spot on with Gordon, their left-back was able to overlap at will.

Fulham were the better team and should have won, they are no mugs and sit in 7th spot this morning.

We are improving, but are nowhere near the finished article. The kid from Belgium, like all kids, will lack consistency but hopefully with the passage of time that will come.

McNeil should start next Saturday, he provides better delivery than either Gordon or Gray.

We won't be looking over our shoulder next April!

John Williams
126 Posted 30/10/2022 at 10:20:30
If you cannot win the game, make sure you don t lose it – all the top teams
follow that rule. 4 points from the last 6 and two clean sheets.

Having said that, two or three players had very poor games. Especially Gordon, who should have made way much earlier in the game.

Still not sure about Onana, is he better than Doucouré or Davies, the jury is still out.

All afternoon, the danger kept coming via Robinson and Willian on that wing and
I think Frank should have been more positive in stopping those attacks.

We need results to keep us safe in the Premier League, then we can build from there. Let's face it, we are not going to win trophies with the current squad of players.

You have to walk before you can run.

Danny O’Neill
127 Posted 30/10/2022 at 10:28:48
Okay, watched the highlights now. It's funny how they can change the perception of a game, as it's not how I saw it. Tense and on the hook but stood our ground and held out.

We had our chances in the first half and could have been ahead on a couple of occasions. I remember that one when the 2 players missed the double sitter. Calvert-Lewin should absolutely do better and Gordon should be braver as the second player following up. He's got to take one on the goal post to get to that.

That league is tight and closer than I can remember at this stage of the season. We're 2 points off Liverpool and 3 points off the Bottom 3. But let's not get carried away with the league table just now. We're only 5 off last night's opponents, who rightly and proudly sit in 7th at the moment. A lot of the season to go, a lot to play for.

Keep picking up the points. Last season, my son rightfully pointed out that we didn't turn enough losses into draws. If we had done, we'd never have been in the situation we found ourselves in.

Now, we've become hard to beat, we need to convert some of these draws into wins. We seem to have stopped the rot, now for the next step. But it's going to take time. Let's get to this annoying World Cup break and the next window and move to the next phase.

Red all day for me, by the way, having now seen it. Someone from the referee's union explain this claim that it wasn't a deliberate stamp so that's why it was yellow. It was late and dangerous and could have seriously injured the player. I really don't get it.

I still don't like that strip.

Robert Tressell
128 Posted 30/10/2022 at 10:38:00
Might be fair to mention that Lampard seemed to favour a 5-2-2-1 formation at the start of the season – and may well have been expecting to play higher up the pitch with Godfrey's electric pace compensating for Tarkowski and Coady.

As it happens, this deep 4-3-3 / 4-2-3-1 is a good compact defensive shape. Personally it's a relief even if it makes the attack very disjointed and general play a bit boring. Perhaps with Garner in for Onana, we will have a more consistent, reliable central trio which allows the front 3 to stay higher up the pitch.

Adding just one very high-quality attacking talent to this team could make a big difference. Probably not something for January – but next summer. We don't need another 8 new players, just a couple.

Roger Helm
129 Posted 30/10/2022 at 10:39:29
Always disappointing not to win but a clean sheet away to a good side is not to be sneezed at. Frank is spot on to sort out the defence and make us hard to beat before playing champagne football.

And what is the news about RS - I think their manager has taken his family back to Germany in disgust as someone told me the Klopps went back last night.

I'll get my coat …

Stu Darlington
130 Posted 30/10/2022 at 10:39:36
Gordon was pretty awful yesterday. Okay, I'm being generous, he wasn't that good.

I can't make up my mind what's wrong with the lad. He doesn't seem able to get up and down the pitch – is it lack of stamina or desire? Either way, he leaves other players exposed.

I wish he had Iwobi's engine and attitude. I think he would benefit from starting the next couple of games on the bench to get his head right.

On the plus side, I'd give Garner a start and maybe leave Gana on the bench for a few games.

Just saying like.

Steve Brown
131 Posted 30/10/2022 at 10:43:47
Tarkowski and Coady are right for this current Everton squad. We concede a high percentage of crosses into our area and chances created in the box, therefore these two are the right profile for what we need at the moment.

Playing a high defensive line is not an end in itself, as it depends on the tactical set-up of the team. Conte plays a deep defensive line and counter-attacks, as does Ancelotti. We can play a deeper line and still press high with an energetic midfield, as we did against Palace. Where we failed yesterday was the poor quality of our offensive play.

The wide players are one-dimensional, loose in possession and inconsisent. That is what needs fixing in January.

Peter Hodgson
132 Posted 30/10/2022 at 10:45:38
It was difficult to watch. I don't like games like that. We were horrible and were extremely lucky to come away with anything.

Was that an improvement on last season? I don't think so and would be prepared to have an argument with anyone who said so.

Inconsistency, it's our middle name so we should be used to it by now, but it is still so difficult to accept and understand.

Good job that they were rubbish too because, looking at the stats, we should have got a hiding. I was amazed that Willian wasn't "looked after" properly because he was the only Fulham player who looked capable of hurting us.

We got away with one yesterday – let it be a lesson.

And can I ask if Gordon is still asking for a whopping pay rise? I hope not after that.

Derek Knox
133 Posted 30/10/2022 at 10:49:21
Rob @ 124, good to see you back mate, you have been pissed, sorry missed ! :-)
Danny Baily
134 Posted 30/10/2022 at 11:00:03
Peter @132,

Definitely an improvement on last season. We're not conceding many, and it's helped us pick up points at Leeds, Brentford and Fulham where we'd have been comfortably beaten last season.

A few draws would have made all the difference last season. 7 wins to go. Leicester at home is one we should be targeting for 3 points.

Martin Mason
135 Posted 30/10/2022 at 11:03:18
Well played and very good result from a banana skin game. Small steps are the way to achieve sustainable improvement and we are doing it.
Raymond Fox
136 Posted 30/10/2022 at 11:03:46
The defence is still working well, there's only 4 other clubs with an equal or better record of goals conceded in the Premier League.

Fulham had scored 22 goals up to the game, so I think, all-in-all, I'd regard it as a point gained rather than points lost.

Pickford is showing his worth and has made some brilliant saves since the season began.

We need to start scoring more goals though and I think we will if we can keep our first-choice players fit.

It's tight towards the bottom of the Premier League table but I believe we will be safe enough... but it's not a given.

Ajay Gopal
137 Posted 30/10/2022 at 11:22:54
I think people are being harsh on Gordon - yes he had a poor game, but that lad Antonee Robinson and Willian were tearing up that right side of ours including Coleman and Patterson when he came on. Lampard should have seen what was happening and bolted the door that side. That is why Mykolenko's performance was so impressive - he dealt effectively with Decordova-Reid and Perreira. Coleman and Gordon did a good job against Palace's Zaha and Mitchell last week, let us not forget. At the end of the day, we kept a clean sheet albeit with a little bit of luck no doubt.
Tony Abrahams
138 Posted 30/10/2022 at 12:06:29
He’s not the best in the air because he fails to get any power into his headed clearances, but his positional sense is very, very good, and this is why I can envisage Mykolenko playing on the left side of a three central defenders formation, in time to come?
Danny O’Neill
139 Posted 30/10/2022 at 12:21:44
I'd agree with that Tony.

In my experience of playing a back 3, you have one player who attacks the ball, the other centre backs are marking or sweeping. Very fluid. That's in open play. Set pieces, you mark men or space.

And you need very hard-working wingbacks to make a 3 at the back to work and give the defenders options to play out. And a good number 6 who wants to come and receive the ball short and make space behind. As well as cover either on the flanks or for the centre-backs if they have to go there when defending.

Okay, I didn't play at the highest standard, but a good standard. That was my experience and we were successful. Six league titles in eight seasons. Concurrently, 5 cups in a row.

To your point, I too can see Mykolenko being part of a back 3. But in my opinion, it has to be 3-5-2, not this 3-4-3 thing, which frightens me.

Tony Hill
140 Posted 30/10/2022 at 12:24:21
I think what we all want to see is a team playing away from home without nerves. The ball always seems to bounce off us, our passing is edgy and inaccurate, we rarely seem comfortable in possession and can't wait to get rid of it.

I understand that we're finding our way back to being competitive but these are things which ought to come naturally to professionals. We've been like this for a long time and you can count in single figures the number of confident away games over years under different managers. Why is that?

Bill Gall
141 Posted 30/10/2022 at 12:51:01
I watched the game again last night and so without the tension and nervousness of watching it live; Everton played well. The defense was strong and the forwards had chances that they could and should have done better with.

Silva saying they should have won just because they had most shots and corners. Most of the corners were not from goal attempts apart from a couple of saves that the outstanding Pickford dealt with, and most of Mitrovic's attempts (when he wasn't stamping on Gana's ankle that deserved a red) were either yards wide or way too high to cause a problem.

The penalty claim replay showed that Gana touched the ball before Willian fell over from the tackle.

Fulham are a good side and, as the home team, had most of the possession that was at times conceded by some Everton players too easily, especially in the midfield area, but they failed to take advantage of it.

It wasn't that Fulham failed to take advantage of their possession stats – it was Everton as a team that earned a valuable away point.

Robert Williams
142 Posted 30/10/2022 at 12:52:09
Rather late coming to the thread but my impression watching the game was that Gordon should have been subbed much earlier – he was poor. His showing yesterday confirmed my thinking towards the back end of last season that he is anything from a finished product.

This leads me to thinking that Lampard is not only being asked to manage the team – he is also under orders to preserve Gordon's price in the market, by giving him playing time and hoping that he shows promise that others will see and come back with that £60M offer.

Watching Lampard's comments after the match, I now firmly believe that he knows that Gordon is not one for the Everton he envisages.

So I think we shall continue to see Frank struggling with Gordon until the New Year and then cash in his chips.

Danny O’Neill
143 Posted 30/10/2022 at 13:14:01
Tony Hill @140,

I'm usually more of a studious fan when in the ground. I don't really join in with the singing and try to watch the football. I don't really watch who is on the ball. I'm more focussed on where it might be going next.

But to your point, in that second half last night, I was screaming at us to keep the ball. Look after the football. We were very wasteful in midfield.

Bill @141. Bang on mate. Should have, could have. So could we have. If you don't score, you don't win. Fulham didn't. We didn't. So it was a draw. I don't buy this if they had took their chances we'd have lost. If we'd have taken ours, we could have won. An away point against an in form team with a clean sheet. Not the worst of results.

Onto Leicester and 3 points. Goodbye Brenda.

Tony Abrahams
144 Posted 30/10/2022 at 13:18:08
I just want to see us playing with fluidity, Danny, that's what I really want to see from us, mate.
Rob Halligan
145 Posted 30/10/2022 at 13:27:17
Bill #141.

As Danny says, games aren't won just because you have more shots and corners. Maybe Fulham aren't as good as Silva thinks they are in that case.

Ashley Roberts
146 Posted 30/10/2022 at 13:29:48
Defensively, another good team effort. I have been a bit of a critic of Mykolenko but he was awesome against Fulham. Nothing got past him.

For me, Southgate cannot do much better than picking Coady and Tarkowski as his central-defender pairing. Both are playing so much better than Dier, Maguire and Mings. In addition, they know how to play with Pickford and with his ball distribution, it is like having a team of 12 outfield players.

For me, the midfield pairing of Gana and Onana play too deep leaving Calvert-Lewin pretty much isolated. If you watched Fulham yesterday, Mitrovic always had players close by to lay it back to, creating the triangles. We don't have that yet and, until the midfield can join attack quickly, that won't happen.

Still, Rome wasn't built in a day and we have to be a little patient. In reality, getting a point a Craven Cottage was awesome. I don't think many clubs will do that this season.

Bill Watson
147 Posted 30/10/2022 at 13:35:41
Just resurfaced after a nightmare trip. Our coach left Goodison at 10:30 am and by 12:30 we'd covered 30 miles and were somewhere around Sandbach!!

Anyway, we made it (just) in time and could well have been two up by half-time. Equally we could easily have been two down. It was that sort of game.

Once again, our final pass was poor, as were most dead ball situations. The solution may well be James Garner. He's looked decent when he's come on and can see, and make, a pass, can tackle, and is very mobile.

I'd like to see him start v Leicester.

David Hallwood
148 Posted 30/10/2022 at 13:37:34
We are seeing a pattern emerging: when we play teams around or below us, we are a match and sometimes more than a match for them. We struggle against teams above us, sometimes not registering a single shot on target.

We are where we are, in that we are (hopefully) a mid-table team, until we bring in some quality up top.

On another point; I thought Willian was MotM by a country mile, in fact I'd go as far to say it's the best individual performance I've seen in any of our games.

It would be beneficial for Lampard to sit Gray and Gordon down and play a tape of the game on a loop highlighting Willian's decision-making when he's in possession, and his running and movement out of possession, and how he finds space in a congested area of the field.

Come January, if we get a player (or better still, players) anywhere near the quality of Willian, I will be ecstatic.

Rick Tarleton
149 Posted 30/10/2022 at 13:38:45
Lampard got what he asked for. His tactics, his formation, his selections suggested that he wanted to hold on for a point, in particular for a nil-nil draw. He got it thanks to Pickford and the back four, a defensively set-up midfield, and hope that we might occasionally threaten on the break. All of the above worked.

Whether this is how we want to see Everton play is another matter. No-one can fault the efforts of the players, but the School of Science it certainly is not. It does hark back to the Dogs of War and is certainly a lot better than last season's meagre gruel and it may be the best we can do with the current squad and in the current circumstances, but continuing the food metaphor, it isn't even good pub grub and certainly not Michelin-starred fare.

Rob Halligan
150 Posted 30/10/2022 at 13:54:16
Bill #147.

Regarding the official coaches for away games, I, like you, was also on them (coach 2) and we were saying after clearing the accident on the M6 that the coaches should leave a lot earlier than the scheduled time. Who actually decides the departure time, the club or Eavesway?

My mate thinks it's the club, but how can someone there decide on the departure time, given they probably don't know how long these trips actually are? Also do they not think that what happened yesterday could easily happen again?

It also happened going to Spurs last season, when we were stuck on the M6 and we didn't move for about 90 minutes.

I'm on the coach for both Bournemouth games, but for the league game it leaves at 8:30 am, a mere 6.5 hours before kick-off. If what happened yesterday, happens for Bournemouth, then we would probably not get there until half-time. An awful long way to go for only half a match.

These scheduled departure times really need to be looked at.

Dave Lynch
151 Posted 30/10/2022 at 14:04:32

Give us a break! "School of Science"..."Dogs of War"?

They where different eras and arguably it's a totally different game. The School of Science would be thrashed in today's game, much fitter players who are athletes. Dogs of War would end up with no-one on the fucking pitch.

Embrace what we have, a young manager who knows the modern game and is building for the future.

Terry Farrell
152 Posted 30/10/2022 at 14:14:14

I was in the neutral Putney end next to our fans and there were plenty of blues around me.

Love the pubs in Fulham before and after the game.

Colin Malone
153 Posted 30/10/2022 at 14:15:45
Anthony Gordon is a nightmare for defenders. Unfortunately its our own defenders.

One question to Lampard: Why did you not take him off sooner? A top coach would have dragged him off at half-time. So why did Lampard leave him on?

How long before Andros Townsend is fit?

Joe McMahon
154 Posted 30/10/2022 at 14:26:11
I'm with Dave @151, School of Science was a lifetime ago. I'm 53 and was just about born. Can we please move on from the bloody '60s.

The obsession with the past needs to be somehow turned to looking to the future in a stadium for fit for progress (hopefully).

Mark Taylor
155 Posted 30/10/2022 at 14:30:54
He may not offer that much going forward but Mykolenko was our best defender and MotM. Good for him, can't be easy for him in these terrible days of war.

Pickford does what he does. Great shot stopper, best in the league and probably one of the world's best. Not so good at bossing his 6-yard box and when will people spot the fact that, despite the reputation to the contrary, his distribution is outright amateurish. But only he and Mykolenko would get a 7 out of 10.

Not much more than mediocre for the rest of them.

Gordon can't seem to string decent games together so he can go whistle for his £100k a week.

Gray as usual starts well and fades. Maybe just take him off at half-time?

I think Gana is still trying to get used to the higher pace of the Premier League versus Ligue.

Calvert-Lewin is still clearly some way off match-sharp.

Even Iwobi was below par but still the only midfielder actually trying to create.

Like others, my jury is out on Onana. Reminds me of Pogba, often not in a good way but, unlike seemingly everyone else here, I actually saw more of what he might be capable of in constructive play. Not much but slightly more than previously.

I guess we are where are, it's not as though we have much in the way of options. Maybe Garner but not seen enough of him yet to be sure and I'm aware there is a tendency to overrate players when they first come in.

At least it was an away point and we didn't get too many of those last season...

Dave Abrahams
156 Posted 30/10/2022 at 14:40:36
No matter what age you are, you want to watch attacking football that transfers the ball quickly from defence to attack with shots or headers on the end of them.

Watching Everton go from one end of the pitch to the other is slower than an 11 o'clock mass and more boring, with hardly any end product – never mind a goal. The way Frank is building for the future, I doubt I will see any productive endings!!

Martin Mason
157 Posted 30/10/2022 at 15:08:41
Ashley @146,

Good summary and observations.

Rick Tarleton
158 Posted 30/10/2022 at 15:28:25
History is bunk. Football, the rise of the right. Just ignore the past and you'll understand everything.

Dave and Joe, football is essentially trivial, but your attitude is terrifying.

Jay Harris
159 Posted 30/10/2022 at 15:35:37
One aspect of our game that bugs me is Gana getting caught on the ball so much.

My problem is not with Gana but the lack of movement around him looking for the ball. Only Iwobi ever shows for the ball. Gray and Gordon are static and Calvert-Lewin only looks for a ball over the top to run onto.

I'm still of the opinion we should go 4-4-2 and 4-2-2-2 away from home and do away with the wingers who neither create nor score goals and are not much help defensively.

Danny O’Neill
160 Posted 30/10/2022 at 15:41:02
It's a great day out, Terry.

You pretty much nail it, Dave Abrahams.

Joe, I'm 51 so we're similar. I love reflection but agree on moving on.

We're marching to BMD and those young supporters last night believe. So I will too.

Rob Hooton
161 Posted 30/10/2022 at 15:45:58
I thought the first half was decent and we looked like we had a chance of winning the match, but we were pretty woeful second half as an attacking force.

Defence get a combined MotM for that one, including Pickford. Mykolenko had a very good match and put a few cracking balls into the box.

Still pretty pleased with a point though, we had an off-day and didn't get beat.

The final third of the pitch is of particular concern, hopefully Gray and Gordon can improve as the season progresses – and McNeil too!

Tony Hill
162 Posted 30/10/2022 at 15:51:25
Jay @159, our lack of intelligent movement is another perennial problem. Baffling.
Mike Gaynes
163 Posted 30/10/2022 at 16:00:47
David #148, agreed.

Willian was exceptional and there are lessons for our players in his performance. Credit also to Fulham for their much-ridiculed signing of him. At 34, his career was over, done, toast.

His move from Chelsea to Arsenal had flopped, and his return to Brazilian football had been a catastrophe. Yet he scored a game-winner last week and was scintillating yesterday.

Dave #156,

Frank has been building for 9 months, and much of that time was a salvage operation and trash removal. We are starting to see exactly what you want to see -- the quick moves from back to front happened several times yesterday, and I noted them on the Forum.

But we will need to be patient. It took Arteta 3 years to get the Arsenal club he wanted, and he was starting with more talent than Frank. Give it time.

Mark #155,

The only comparison between Onana and Pogba is height. They are completely different players. But you're right, Onana showed some quick progressive passing yesterday that he has not displayed previously.

Bill Gall
164 Posted 30/10/2022 at 16:09:45
We do not have the quality yet to play open attacking football. After last season's escape from relegation, there had to be improvements. Most supporters I think were looking this season for a 10th to 12th place finish with a good cup run, and at the moment this looks promising.

The defense definitely needed strengthening and unfortunately for some regulars through injuries, and fortunate for Everton, we have now got two tough experienced central-defenders with two young full-backs.

The midfield was strengthened with a new young midfielder and an older more experienced defensive midfielder plus a couple of forwards, all from the money from the Richarlison sale and not exceeding the FFP rules.

Yesterday showed Everton's strengths and weaknesses, improvements in some areas and areas that need improving that mostly can be improved if finances are available. Yesterday's result, keeping a clean sheet with the additional point earned, we were the only team with 0 goals against that didn't lose.

It is difficult after picking a team you believe will get you a positive result during practice during the week, and when you play and one or two are not playing well, you change the players hoping that the replacements play better. Changes that are made have to improve the team – not the individual.

Tom Bowers
165 Posted 30/10/2022 at 16:12:40
Without getting into paragraphs of good points and bad points, it has to be said that, given Everton's weakness on offense and lack of quality options in that department, it will fall on the defense to get the points in upcoming games until new strikers are welcomed.

Pickford is now proving to his detractors that he is one of the World's best and the back four is hard to create clear chances against.

Keep up the good work, guys.

Dave Abrahams
166 Posted 30/10/2022 at 16:41:09
Mike (163),

I think Mr Thelwell is doing a lot of the building-up of new players and getting rid of most of the very poor buys of the recent past. Yes, I can see some improvement, mostly in defending.

Yesterday, the first half was okay, we could have had a couple of goals. Fulham could have had more. We never had an effort on target in the second half and defended desperately to hold on to a point – the game lasts for 90 minutes not 45.

Like I said in a previous post, it's hard in my case to be patient when four players are playing very poorly, with two of them passengers and the other two doing their best but their best is not good enough. Then biting your cuticles down to the bone while waiting for the final whistle.

Mike Gaynes
167 Posted 30/10/2022 at 16:59:07
Dave #166, yep, there's a long way to go, mate. And it's stressful and frustrating at times. But I see the progress.

The ten-pass sequence last week from Pickford's hand to the back of the net never would have happened six or seven months ago.

There was another one yesterday, a nine-pass, end-to-end daisy chain of passes featuring all three midfielders, ending with a poor low cross from Gordon on the right. Forgotten immediately, of course, because the move produced nothing, but just that burst of cohesiveness was good to see.

I don't see any passengers, BTW... I know you don't like Onana much, but he's our leading tackler.

And great point about Thelwell, with obviously his acquisitions of Tarkowski and Coady topping his resume right now. Insane statistic for you: Tarkowski has blocked 30 shots this season. Nobody else in the entire league has more than 15. What a committed defender that guy is.

Bill Watson
168 Posted 30/10/2022 at 17:14:49
Rob #150.

I'm on Coach 1 because I can't afford Eddie's numerous lottery tickets and Andy makes a brilliant cuppa!

I don't really have an issue with the leaving times as I've never actually been late for a game on the coach.

Previously my late wife and I booked self-drive mini breaks for the Bournemouth games so this will be my first trip by coach.

Dave Abrahams
169 Posted 30/10/2022 at 17:26:52
Mike (167),

Yes, I see some progress, the defenders brought in, good job we've got them; the way we are set up to play, especially in away games.

If you can see some of the team's good points, you surely can see the passengers. They were not hard to spot yesterday, one has been consistent for quite a while.

You are correct about Onana. I love what he does a few times in the game, then he goes missing for minutes on end. He goes to ground far too much with his tackling, especially when he tackles from behind. He got booked for one last week.

He was a passenger for me yesterday. While Gana got stick off some, he was constantly probing and looking for movement from other players so he could pass to them while his fellow midfielder was mostly static.

Yes, he's young and new to the English game so will take time to adjust. While he's adjusting, I'd give Garner as much time as him – he played most of last season with Nottm Forest in a very tough league.

As for stats, Mike I don't take an awful lot of notice of them, but my eyes tell me a lot about players. If Onana is our leading tackler as you say, imagine how many he would make if he played for the full 90 minutes instead of ambling about the field for a lot of the time.

Allan Board
170 Posted 30/10/2022 at 17:46:34
Good point at, traditionally, a bad away ground for Everton. I can see the improvement, and happy that it is gradual rather than too artificially quick. Boom and bust.

There will be some high points, some low points and quite a few games like yesterday's.

This has needed doing for 20-odd years; if Frank can sustain this over a couple more seasons, then we will all be laughing.

Boring? Possibly, but absolutely the right plan to put Everton back on the map. Once teams fear playing us, then the flowing football will come. We are already a pain in the arse to play against, just continuity, bit more belief and a couple of scorers to get.

I don't want Coady or Tarkowski going to Qatar, they will be ruined for the season when they come back. Southgate is a loser and won't use them. Better off training at Everton.

It'll come good.

Rob Halligan
171 Posted 30/10/2022 at 17:59:04
Bill # 168. In that case, Bill, prepare yourself for a very long and tiring trip.

Little bit off-topic, but despite Bournemouth only having a capacity of around 11500, it's a nightmare of a place to get away from if you travel by coach.

Tony Hill
172 Posted 30/10/2022 at 18:02:52
Allan @170, it's the couple of scorers who will be the acid test for Thelwell and for the prospects of this team. We haven't managed to find any for 5-6 years.
Colin Malone
173 Posted 30/10/2022 at 18:07:34
Jay # 159.

I agree. Lack of movement / effort from players puts pressure on other players, ie, Gana holding on to the ball too long.

Lampard's Chelsea formation does not suit Gana or Onana unless we get a Robben and a Pedro in the side. Until such time, it needs a formation change.

Steve Shave
174 Posted 30/10/2022 at 18:21:31
Mike @167 completely agree, there are real signs of improvement. There was another passage of play yesterday which you didn't refer to where Maupay lost it in the end but prior to that we were pinging it around nicely.

To the naysayers I urge you to just hold last season in mind, we would have all taken signs of progress, a tight ship and a mid-table finish at the beginning of the season.

I don't get the Onana bashing, he was a 7/10 yesterday, nothing spectacular and yes he drifted in and out. Short memories are forgetting his MotM performance last week. He needs this season to adapt, let's get behind him.

Of far greater concern for me are our wide options. Gray and Gordon, for all their endeavour, the end product is sparse. A pacy trickster is needed.

Hoping we can shift Yerry Mina and maybe Andros Townsend (as much as I like the guy) in January to free up some funds.

Oliver Molloy
175 Posted 30/10/2022 at 22:07:05
For me the Mitrovic challenge was definitely late but not a red, he got the benefit of doubt, but here's the thing.

If that had been most teams, their players would have been going fucking mad and in the ref’s face, that would undoubtedly have made a difference to both the ref and the VAR team.

If that had been the other way about with Gana on Mitrovic, I would bet he would have been off.

Barry Jones
176 Posted 31/10/2022 at 01:58:10
I have to agree with most of the posters regarding Gray and Gordon. I feel that they are both too lightweight and we turn the ball over way too often up front and in midfield. Gordon was particularly poor against Fulham and should have been yanked at half-time.

I have read that we are interested in signing Daniel Podence in January. I think he would be a good acquisition.

Mike Gaynes
177 Posted 31/10/2022 at 03:11:02
Steve #174, I'll be sad to see Mina go in January, but we all know that story.

I do not, however, want us to sell Townsend (unlikely anyway until his knee is proven healed) because, if healthy, he's the short-term solution to the Gray/Gordon problem.

He hasn't their pace or skills, but if there's one thing Townsend can produce, it's end product. He has the best shot in the club and had scored our three best goals last season until those final frantic weeks.

The Burnley blast was breathtaking -- Premier League Goal of the Month, if I recall -- and the counterattack equalizer at Old Trafford was simply gorgeous. He's also superb defensively. Definitely keep him until summer.

Lester Yip
178 Posted 31/10/2022 at 06:13:33
On Gray and Gordon, they tried too hard to beat their man when sometimes a simple give-and-go is all it requires.

But I did notice Gray tried to put crosses in. I've seen Gray did put in a few of those teasing crosses in that just require someone for a touch. But somehow we just don't have that someone to convert them.

For McNeil, he has been putting those crosses in early for Chris Wood at Burnley. Now with Calvert-Lewin playing again, I'd like to see more of that.

Steve Brown
179 Posted 31/10/2022 at 06:33:17
Dave A,

Some of our offensive movement and interchanges in the Palace game were the best I'd seen in a long-time. But they were completely absent in the second half and we defaulted to stubborn defence.

If Frank had a bit more confidence in the offensive tactics, we could have converted two away draws into wins. I think he is being over-pragmatic, but I guess he would point to the inconsistency and how vulnerable we still are in the transitions.

Terry Farrell
180 Posted 31/10/2022 at 07:22:35

Podence is skilful but inconsistent and too small, mate.

Avoid. He would be Bernard Mk II.

Laurie Hartley
181 Posted 31/10/2022 at 07:48:40
I am not calling for the dropping of Gray or Gordon but I do wonder if we are ever going to see Vinagre start on the left? If his cameo against Dynamo in the pre-season friendly is anything to go by, he can get behind a defence and put a quality cross in.

I also wonder if McNeil playing on the right wing could turn inside (like Rodriguez used to) and play a cross-field ball to the left side of the pitch?

Having said that, I don't think our manager is likely to experiment any time soon – I think he has his starting 11 and will stick with it.

Mark Murphy
182 Posted 31/10/2022 at 08:40:28
Oliver at 175,

I agree but we did that last week in the Palace game and look where that got us! Yellow cards and a club fine. I hope the players haven't been told to tone it down but I'm guessing they have.

Dave Cashen
183 Posted 31/10/2022 at 08:59:14
I, for one, will be delighted to see the back of Yerry Mina. What a disastrous signing he has been.

Yeah, I know all about his stats, but I also watch the games and know how misleading they are. For example: the stats will tell you he started at Leicester last season and we won, but he very nearly got us relegated that night, luckily he sprained a socd the stout defending of the much maligned, but massively improved Keane (again) and whimped out (again).

It was the goals, the assists anne and Holgate which pulled us back from the brink last season. While they both struggled on through pain and injury, Mina offered nothing to the fight.

Mina is a player who refuses to play through pain. A player who, in the eyes of some, seems to improve with every game he doesn't play. A player who let us down on the rare occasions when he deemed to make himself available during that traumatic run-in.

Mina will have cost this club around £60M in transfer fees and wages. Come the day of reckoning when all things are considered, he will have few rivals when the decision is taken as to who was the worst signing in the club's history.

It's not normally my way to hammer individuals like this but, on a thread where people are coming on 2-3-4 times, not to comment on the game, but to hammer our youngest player, I find it difficult reading posters are sorry to see the balsa wood man go.

Gordon had a poor game on Saturday. That happens to young players all the time. But It's worth pointing out that, while Mina sits in the stands earning over £6M a year for smiling a lot. Our youngest player took and often symbolised the fight against the drop all over the country last season.

While our lowest-paid first-team regular is our leading scorer, our highest-paid player hangs around, squeezing every last pound out of the ridiculous contract he was given.

In my opinion we'd have gone down without Gordon last season. That would have cost the club tens of millions. A figure we may have not recovered from. Those calling him a greedy bastard (without hearing a single comment from him) would do well to remind themselves of the figures posted on TW recently. £10k a week is a fortune to the man in the street, but it still makes Gordon one of the lowest paid players in the Premier League.

"Make him earn it"???

Lee Robinson
184 Posted 31/10/2022 at 09:23:02
As many have said, a good point on the road, defensively outstanding. First half performance wasn't bad and created some decent chances.

I think it's time to start using Stanley Mills as an option. I thought him on for Gordon on Saturday on the right would have been useful if we had him on the bench. The lad is scoring every week at the moment for U21s; he looks ready.

I'm still frustrated by Gana. I've mentioned before I don't personally see the player others do. He always seems to take an extra touch, holds on to it too long. gets caught, chooses the wrong pass, or is never there to pick it up off the defenders. I think he can be much much better for us.

Lee Robinson
185 Posted 31/10/2022 at 09:38:18
Also why do we concede so many corners? This goes back to under Rafa and Carlo too. You can guarantee an onslaught of 3 or 4 corners in a row most games and we regularly concede over 7 per game for any gamblers out there.

Also, every corner against seems to be a perfect delivery, whilst ours are slow, high and easily cleared.

Danny O’Neill
186 Posted 31/10/2022 at 09:38:50
I'm trying to escape an audit so I'm even more active than my usual self this morning and have time until the US come online as I work for a US business unit. Apologies for pepper-spraying the forum.

Spot on comments about Anthony Gordon, Dave. He's a young, developing player who is a bit off form right now compared to the high standards and progression he achieved last season. It's form; he's shown the talent and he's going to get better. Same as Onana; 21 years old and learning his trade. Be patient and let them learn.

Mina has been really disappointing. A very good defender and a character in the dressing room. I haven't even checked (again) but for a centre-back, not even that old.

It reminds me a bit of Louis Saha. Now there was a talent if he'd have wanted it more. But wasn't it once reported that, if he didn't feel 100% fit, he wouldn't play? He wouldn't play?? So his call??? Not if the management, coaching and medical staff who may have thought he could?

I obviously don't know but I wonder how much of that there is with Mina. And I like him as a player and character. Sorry to revert to my Army background, but we used to call that malingering or refusing to soldier and it was a chargeable offence.

Sorry, went a bit extreme there.

So, it's been a real letdown with Mina. Anthony Gordon will come good. Just get him focussed on his football again, maybe give him a rest and get his head away from the alleged Chelsea rumours and supposed £100k a week wages, speculations that none of us really know if they are true. He's our player for now at the very least.

Brian Harrison
187 Posted 31/10/2022 at 10:01:09
Guardiola is a terrific coach who buys very gifted and highly technical players, all are very comfortable with the ball at their feet, so they can play this lovely passing out from the back.

But most teams don't have players with that technical ability, and watching a lot of the games at the weekend practically every team tried to pass the ball out from the back and most got into trouble doing it.

The Man Utd game highlighted this problem Utd were passing around their own box and West Ham closed them down and Martinez inside his 6-yard box passed it straight to Bowen on the penalty spot and luckily for Utd he failed to score.

I understand the theory of keeping possession but, other than Man City, most sides adopt the Chuckle Brothers routine between the centre-backs: me to you you to me, then they either pass it back to the keeper who launches it upfield or, after 5 or 6 passes between the centre-backs, one of them launches it upfield, so completely destroys the argument of wanting to keep possession and not give the ball away.

I am not saying we should launch it from goal kicks, or the first defender to get the ball should hit it long, but surely to make it so obvious that you are going to pass to one of your centre-backs inside the 6-yard box every time is asking for trouble.

We also have in Calvert-Lewin a forward who is excellent in the air yet, whenever we do try and hit him from a goal kick, neither the wide players nor our most forward midfield player ever runs past him gambling that, if he wins the header and flicks it on they will be in on goal with just the keeper to beat.

Can we just mix it up how we play out from goal kicks?

Jon Harding
188 Posted 31/10/2022 at 10:15:36
I agree with most on here that we were fortunate to get a point on Saturday and that Gordon and Gray were pretty poor.

However, it can't be easy to be those two in a 4-3-3 formation. They're picked predominantly as attackers with, I presume, the instructions to get out wide and put crosses in for Dom. However, they also seem to be expected to get tight to Dom and support him up front.

At the same time, they're needed to track back to help the central midfielders out whilst also supporting the full-backs. Coleman and then Patterson were left exposed in two-on-ones many a time at the Cottage; less so Mykolenko on the left.

Gordon and Gray (and McNeil) will always struggle to be all things to all people at all times. Perhaps the issues lie as much in the coaching and team set-up as in individual performances?

Dave Abrahams
189 Posted 31/10/2022 at 10:20:06
Dave (183), very good post.

In a nutshell, Mina makes me sick just thinking how he uses Everton FC. I know and knew plenty of genuine characters, Mina isn't like any of them. I also know and knew plenty of con-men; I'd put Mina in that bracket.

Anthony Gordon is having a hard time over the last couple of months. He honestly looks and acts like he is exhausted. He didn't look like he wasn't trying, to me, on Saturday and in the previous few games. It seemed to me he was genuinely knackered after every run he did and it was an effort for him to get into the action.

Now the club should know better than me if there is something wrong physically with him but he just doesn't look right to me. I said the other week that I thought he had played too much football since last January for Everton and the England U21s without enough rest. He most definitely isn't doing himself justice with his performances and needs taking out of the team for his own good, physically and mentally.

That isn't meant in any way as having a go at Anthony but he is better than his recent performances, and that includes the Crystal Palace game. He is still only a potentially very good player, but at the moment he doesn't look able to give of his best.

Rob Dolby
190 Posted 31/10/2022 at 12:10:49
Jon 188. I agree with your analysis. We are asking too much from Gordon and Gray. We are setting up like Spurs, Liverpool or Man Utd without their quality.

We have improved and are more solid with Onana and Gana but there is too much emphasis on Gray and Gordon producing the goods. The balance isn't right.

If we dropped Iwobi for Garner, our midfield 3 could cover the wide players more but why would we drop our most productive player?

Lampard has to try and get more attacking threat from the side whilst remaining solid.

In the space of one transfer window, our midfield has gone from being the slowest and worst in the league to being solid with players competing for places.

Maybe going more narrow in the middle with playing Garner or Doucoure instead of a winger may help?

We have Maupay, McNeil, Mills and Rondon as our attacking options off the bench. It's pretty obvious where we need to strengthen, isn't it?

Raymond Fox
191 Posted 31/10/2022 at 13:49:54
I totally agree, Brian @187, it seems to be viewed as a crime to play more direct sometimes.

The object is to win games, trying to mimic the same type of play that superior players can manage is just playing into the Top 6 sides' hands.

Obviously we all want to play like Man City, but you're kidding yourself if you think you can do it as well with players that are inferior.

I'm not advocating humping it up the field all the time but just mix it in there sometimes.

Dave Abrahams
192 Posted 31/10/2022 at 14:26:11
Raymond (191)

I watched some of the Forest v Liverpool and Liverpool v Leeds games and saw two bottom-of-the-table sides defend with relish and contest the midfield areas as well as attacking, not constantly, with real intent in both halves of the games. The managers and the teams both let Liverpool know they were in a game and they could have lost the games but tried to win and did so by attacking.

No need for anyone to tell me that we tried in both halves to win the game v Liverpool at Goodison Park and we could have done so. We could have lost as well but we were at least, at times, trying to win.

Attack is the best form of defence, not all the time but some of the time; there is no way a team can win if they don't attack.

David Currie
193 Posted 31/10/2022 at 18:53:59
Dave 183,

Great post and think most fans will agree with you.

Mike Gaynes
194 Posted 01/11/2022 at 03:08:54
I don't.
Michael McCabe
195 Posted 01/11/2022 at 05:52:35
Can someone please tell me why we played in an all-yellow strip? It's not like there was a clash of colours.

You would think the team would want to play in the normal blue strip.

Ajay Gopal
196 Posted 01/11/2022 at 07:15:55
Terrific post, Dave (183).

You said a lot of things that need saying about Mina, and which I and few others have mentioned in the past but perhaps not as eloquently as you.

I just don't see why people are still enamoured of this guy. He disrupted our last season much more by being in and out of the team than if he had never been available all through the season. He is a good defender when fit, but that is a bit like saying Van Dijk would have been a good defender for Everton – all hypothetical and useless.

When you think of all the terrible luck that Everton have had with injuries – Delph, Gbamin, Mina, and the strange situation last season with our most expensive signing ever (Sigurdsson), we really must consider ourselves very, very lucky that we survived the drop.

We are now seeing a team that more closely resembles all the good qualities of a Moyes team – assembled for relatively low outlay: players who want to play for the manager, fans and each other, resilient and hard to break down, and flashes of upcoming young talent.

I believe that Lampard needs to rotate the midfield and the front players a bit more. I would like to see Davies, Garner and Doucouré given more playing time, and Gordon and Gray rested occasionally.

We actually have a decent squad now, and one or two key additions especially in the creative attacking area in the January transfer window would make us more competitive.

Steve Shave
197 Posted 01/11/2022 at 08:01:46
Dave and Ajay, good posts regarding Mina. Agree 100%, whilst it's not his fault he's on the wages he is (we'd all have some of that, eh?) his legs are made of biscuits.

I hope we can ship him out in January on a free. I am hoping that Rondon will follow... Perhaps also Townsend, not because I have anything against him, in fact I like him, but because he is unlikely to get many minutes and we might actually get a small fee for him.

Hopefully these savings could allow us to buy an attacker to push the others.

Christine Foster
198 Posted 01/11/2022 at 08:07:25

I actually think Townsend is worth more to this team than Gordon or Gray; his set ball play is better, his goal threat is greater, and he crosses a ball – something Gordon or Gray struggle to do.

He doesn't go missing either!

Bob Parrington
199 Posted 01/11/2022 at 08:12:41
I would echo the comments of Dave Cashen (#183) about Yerry Mina. Well made, Dave.

As regards James Garner, I'm not sure as I haven't seen enough of him. The little I have seen leaves me unimpressed but this might be unfair. Risk giving him a start, Frank, to see what he can do!

Bill Griffiths
200 Posted 01/11/2022 at 09:07:36
I agree with your comments (at #198), Christine.

Personally, I would give McNeill a run of games instead of Gordon or Gray as I feel he can interact and combine more with his team mates than either of the other two who can't seem to do so.

Ajay Gopal
201 Posted 01/11/2022 at 11:50:19
Yes, Bill (200),

McNeil in place of either Gordon or Gray would add a bit of a different element to our attack and I don't think he is any worse defensively than both of them. He also has a wicked long-range shot (remember the one he got against us a couple of seasons ago?) and he and Iwobi seem to have a good understanding.

A front 4 of Calvert-Lewin, Iwobi, Gray or Gordon and McNeill can be a decent unit.

Mike Gaynes
202 Posted 01/11/2022 at 14:22:57
It's cheap and easy for "fans" to accuse a player of being a coward or a malingerer or a fraud, gobbling money from the club when he's injured.

I don't believe most Everton fans feel that way about Mina.

Ed Prytherch
203 Posted 01/11/2022 at 14:50:04
Slaven Bilic was known to many Everton fans as the malingerer and I think that we finally paid him to leave.

It is easy to see why Yerry Mina is put in the same category. None of us knows the true state of his fitness but his record is suspicious.

Do we ever see players on low salaries with this kind of track record?

Robert Tressell
204 Posted 01/11/2022 at 15:22:27
Ed #203,

Yes, low earners get persistent injuries too. See Besic for example.

I'm like Mike, I don't really get the animosity to Mina (and Calvert-Lewin) over their injuries. I've heard no off-the-field issues like drugs, drink, gambling etc and no concerns about training either.

Danny O’Neill
205 Posted 01/11/2022 at 15:32:23
I did apologise for my extremism, Mike!!! Excuse my outburst, it was more aimed at what I read about Saha.

I just suspect (don't know) that, as soon as Mina feels anything, that's him done. In comparison, and I am not suggesting he was on the same level, I remember watching Besic continuing to chase a ball when his hamstring had clearly gone big time. Credit for the commitment, but he probably made his injury worse and prolonged his time out by doing that.

As always, it's a balance. In this case, between playing through the pain barrier if you can, but also knowing and being honest so you're not a liability. Only the players and medical staff really know.

I think there's a lot of frustration in that we are never likely to see the best out of Mina and he does seem popular in the dressing room from the footage I've seen. There's a great shot of him in the tunnel with Tony Bellew and what I assume is his son after that Palace match.

Bilic is another interesting reference, Ed. Another very good centre-back who we didn't see enough of. I think I remember reading an article not long after that quoted it being Everton's last throw of the dice at being a big club. That article, if I could find it, is where I remember it not being the transfer fee that kills you, it's the wages. Another disappointment as I really liked Bilic too.

Anyway, the article was wrong. We remain a big club, we are a big club and we're going to be bigger in the near future.

We've been managed badly and slipped into mediocrity. Somehow we didn't suffer the fate of Manchester City, Chelsea, Newcastle, Aston Villa or Leeds over the years. Somehow, I hope we "suffer" the more recent fate of the former two in the not-too-distant future.

Mike Gaynes
206 Posted 01/11/2022 at 16:00:56
Ed, I didn't know that about Bilic. But then again I only saw him play two or three games for Everton. They weren't on TV much here in '98.

Danny, what I saw from Mina going off this last time was complete anguish. To me, it looked like he was desperate to continue and was almost literally pulled off.

I've never seen anything from him on the pitch except total commitment and passion, and I think both his apparent popularity in the club and his managers' eagerness to pick him at every opportunity speak to his character.

Larry O'Hara
207 Posted 01/11/2022 at 16:15:05
Re Mina, I can only say that, whenever I have seen the team get off the coach outside Goodison, he has always engaged with the crowd and exhibited a great warrior-like demeanour. And on the pitch, sheer class.
Dave Abrahams
208 Posted 01/11/2022 at 16:25:58
Mike (206),

The last time Mina went off was against Chelsea in the first game of the season. If I'm correct, the ball had gone out of play, Mina was standing up, he hadn't been tackled, he never went down.

Then, all of a sudden, he went down, the trainer came on, had a look at him for a couple of minutes, then the substitute got stripped and ready to come on.

Mina then started indicating and moving about that he was ready to get back on the field after it was obvious to most fans on The Bullens Road side of the pitch that the substitution was completed. He then walked round the pitch along Park End and into the player's entrance.

He hasn't been since – unless you go into the dressing rooms and see what a marvellous character he is.

Brendan McLaughlin
209 Posted 01/11/2022 at 16:54:15
Larry #207,

You meant "sheer glass"... didn't you?

Dale Self
210 Posted 01/11/2022 at 17:06:17
Tee hee, you gotta admit that was good.
Mike Gaynes
211 Posted 01/11/2022 at 18:15:09
Dave, I have the game on DVR and just watched that moment again, and that's not what happened, but you're welcome to your own recollections.
Brian Hennessy
212 Posted 01/11/2022 at 18:27:57
We will never know the real truth about Mina – if he is just injury-prone or if he just has a low pain threshold.

I think we all would agree that he is a decent player but, after missing so many games, he frustrates the hell out of all of us.

Hopefully we can get a half-decent offer in January and can get his wages off the books. History tells us he is not suddenly going to become someone we can rely on to remain fit.

Dave Cashen
213 Posted 01/11/2022 at 19:41:42
I don't know how Townsend can be deemed a greater goal threat than Gordon or Gray. They both scored more goals than him last season.

I remember reading when Townsend signed that he had scored just two goals in his previous two seasons at Palace (in over 60 games). He did get three for us last season, but Gordon has already got that many.

I like Townsend as a player, I'm not knocking him, but he faced the same difficulties as Iwobi. McNeil, Gordon and Gray… what chance has a wide man got of supplying an end product? They have nobody to cross to. No team in the league gets fewer bodies in the opponent's area from open play than we do.

Until we start playing in the opponent's half and getting more than one player into the box, there will not be a consistent "End product". Not from anybody.

No "End product" is not the problem. It is merely a symptom. Give them players (plural) in the box to aim for. Defenders must love playing against us...

Danny O’Neill
214 Posted 01/11/2022 at 19:50:07
Gordon, Gray or Townsend. The issue is those players like to either run at players and try it themselves or cut in and take the shot. Often both.

Sometimes, when it comes off, it's fantastic. Gray's goals, Anthony's brilliant touches and early finishes this season. Townsend's screamer against Burnley last season.

But they are all few and far between. They are not natural wide players. I'll have to revert to the older community; they are more inside-forwards. Or am I off the mark there? I don't mind being called wrong.

Dave Cashen
215 Posted 01/11/2022 at 20:10:57

There's very good reason why those players are forced to go it alone. Next time you are at the game, take a look at the opponent's box when any of them get the ball. Count the number of Everton players in there, or trying to get in there. It won't take you long.

These players generally have three choices when they receive the ball. Turn around and play it back; go it alone; or try to get round the back and cross to the invisible man.

I said on another thread that Dave Thomas would struggle to create in this team.

As far as I'm concerned we either address this problem of we spend the rest of this season bleating about the symptom

Dave Abrahams
216 Posted 01/11/2022 at 20:21:13
Mike (211)

Yes, and you are welcome to whatever you saw on DVR, whatever that is. My recollections lasted a lot longer than a moment and I followed the whole incident from my seat in The Upper Bullens Road stand from the moment the ball went out of play to the actor going through his phoney and pretentious act of wanting to stay on. Same as when he packed it in at Newcastle last season.

You like him and think he is a very good player and a tremendous character. I think he is slightly better than Michael Keane and a con-man who we will be well rid of, financially and otherwise, the second we get shut of him.

Danny O’Neill
217 Posted 01/11/2022 at 20:21:48
That's a valid point, Dave, and one many of us have called out when the criticism of backwards and sideways passing has come up over the years.

If the midfield or defence look up and don't see options or runners, what are they supposed to do?

We've fixed the defence, the midfield is in progress.

Give them something to aim for.

Mike Gaynes
218 Posted 01/11/2022 at 21:16:24
Dave #213,

Townsend scored more goals in fewer minutes in all competitions than Gray or Gordon last season, and remember he played many fewer games. Overall, he scored a goal every 259 minutes on the pitch, versus 450 for Gray and 673 for Gordon, so no contest there.

But what I was actually talking about was shooting ability. Townsend scored three goals that were absolute screamers, goals that nobody else in the club was capable of. So yes, from any perspective, I considered him a greater goal threat. Obviously, we have no idea if that's still true until his injury fully heals.

On another topic, you and Danny are absolutely right about the lack of forward runs into the box ahead of the ball. I'm hoping a fully fit Calvert-Lewin solves part of that problem, but the lack of opposite-wing runs into the box for crosses from one side or the other is concerning and frustrating. We'll continue to see stranded forwards on the ball as long as a guy like Onana is more likely to get on the end of a far-post cross than Gray.

Dave #216, apologies, DVR stands for Digital Video Recorder. I save some games on there off my satellite feed. I just watched the Mina injury incident again today and I believe he was injured in minute 67, leaping for a cross in front of Havertz. When he came down, he grabbed immediately for his right calf. The incident at the touchline, where he turned and pulled up, happened 2 minutes later. The tight camera angle clearly caught him refusing to come off. Frank overruled him.

Dave Cashen
219 Posted 01/11/2022 at 22:02:33
Dress the figures any way you want, Mike. Townsend is not the goal threat you make him out to be. Three goals in 50 appearances for Spurs; 13 goals in 168 appearances for Palace.

Goals are different than almost anything else. Quantity trumps quality all day long. As the old adage goes: Being a scorer of great goals does not make you a great scorer of goals.

Being generous to Townsend, he has averaged about 3 goals a season in a career that stretches back more than a decade. I expect Gray, Gordon and McNeil to spend the rest of their careers topping that.

I like Townsend and want to see him make a full recovery, He still has stuff to offer, but I don't think Erling Haaland will see him as a challenger for the Golden Boot award.

Dave Abrahams
220 Posted 01/11/2022 at 22:22:26
Mike (218)

The trainer only came onto the field when he was standing on the touchline, standing up straight, nobody touched him. He made moves to stay on after the sub had stripped and was ready to come onto the field, and he looked okay when he started his act of wanting to stay on the pitch. He seemed to be walking alright as well when he made that long walk back to the players' entrance.

What was the injury (?) classed as? It was nearly 3 months ago, about £1M in wages, and still no sign of him coming back. I think that's a blessing in disguise!!

Mike Gaynes
221 Posted 01/11/2022 at 23:33:32
Dave #219,

I hadn't heard that adage before. I always learn something new on this site.

Townsend is 31 and just had major knee surgery, so I have no doubt you're right that Gray, Gordon and possibly McNeil will outstrip him (although McNeil's career so far of 9 goals in 147 Premier League appearances shows no indication of that).

However, come April, when we're tied against Spurs in the 87th minute and somebody is stepping into a potential game-winner from 25 yards, I know which of those four I will want it to be.

Steve Brown
222 Posted 02/11/2022 at 00:27:12
Mina suffered a calf injury in the Chelsea game. My guess is that he had an issue before the game and then broke down.

To infer anything else into the situation is frankly silly.

Christine Foster
223 Posted 02/11/2022 at 07:49:34

I learnt long ago that there are two distinct elements to the club I and so many of us love. The business, commercial and running of the club, and secondly, the playing staff, management and recruitment. Then as now, I supported the latter, not the former.

Sadly they stuffed up the running of the club so badly, it eventually saw us almost relegated and struggled to compete.

Many on here want to lay the blame at manager’s feet, recruitment or tactics. Truth is, they are a result of who recruited the players, the multitude of managers, and the waste of a once-in-a-generation investment.

We are left with a disinterested owner looking for a way to clawback his investment and secure funding for the stadium, a chairman who should no longer be involved with the running of the club, a manager trying to build a team, and fans who desperately support the team, but not the way the club is run.

So Don, I hear you, I understand exactly where you are coming from, but I will always try to support those in blue on the pitch without considering why they are there. That's another discussion, one you and I and anyone else have a right to raise or object to.

No-one here loves Moshiri or Kenwright. Moshiri gets a get out of jail card because he is funding the stadium, Kenwright, however, does not.

Dave Abrahams
224 Posted 02/11/2022 at 09:02:21
Steve (222),

Well, I'll bow down to your guess, that must be the answer to Mina's continual problems. He's had umpteen since he was fostered on us for £28M and £6M a year in wages.

I've heard he will definitely be back shortly before Christmas, Kenwright is hiring him for the Christmas pantomime “Jack and the Beanstalk”

Yogi, sorry Yerri, is playing the part of the Beanstalk. My guess, for what it's worth, is he will pull out after a week or so with Dry Rot or Dutch Elm Disease!!

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