Everton 0 - 2 Aston Villa

This weekend's visit of Aston Villa proved to be another massive relegation battle in Everton's quest to stay in the Premier League with Sean Dyche's fourth game in charge.

No Calvert-Lewin or Townsend today, with Patterson and Garner still not considered fit enough to play any part as Sean Dyche names the following side with Simms replaced by Maupay in the starting line-up.

Maupay kicked off with Everton playing toward the Park End. Onana stepped into the back of Douglas Luiz, although not even a free-kick but, two minutes later, Onana is shown a very early yellow card after the VAR has a word in Mr Taylor's shell-like. 

Everton pressed upfield but didn't really create a direct attack but Villa came forward for McGinn to lash his shot over Pickford's goal. 

A great ball forward from McNeil was held up well by Maupay until McNeil overlapped and crossed in well for Iwobi in a great position in front of goal... surely he would score. No. He didn't connect properly.

A Villa ball over the top beat Coady and was controlled well by Watkins coming in behind him he looked to score one-on-one but Pickford came out well to challenge and the ball came off him for a corner. Villa had a strong spell of pressure from the corner but the Everton defence held firm. 

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Villa smelt blood and continued to work the ball around, Onana catching Bailey for a dangerous free-kick. Lucas Digne curled it over after much deliberation. 

Everton finally got forward again, McNeil digging out a cross that went straight to Martinez. He repeated the move with the same result.  Everton did well stopping Villa playing out from the back and Mykolenko tried to find McNeil again. He should have had a corner as the defender kicked the ball behind but of course Mr Taylor thought otherwise and this clear and obvious error did not warrant a word from the VAR. 

Villa were controlling the ball well enough, content to fart about with it at the back. Everton did force a turnover but McNeil's ball from deep was wasted. However, there was some really good pressure until Doucourer felt a defender's shirt and was deemed to have committed a foul. 

The crowd were getting more and more annoyed as a throw-in was taken quickly and then called back by Mr Taylor. McNeil then had to fight for and eventually win a free-kick. It was taken quickly to Mykolenko and his cross in forced a corner that was well contested by Doucoure. 

A laboured 'charge' by Doucoure saw Onana and then Iwbiy unable to fashion as shot, eventually getting a corner that Iwobi delivered very well to Maupay, his header going wide, inches in front of Coady at the far post. 

McNeil had another fantastic battle with Cash, incredibly getting in his cross at the end of it but again no-one in a blue shirt could get any traction on the ball for a decent shot at goal.

Coleman brilliantly intercepted brilliantly and Iwobi got the ball over to McNeil but Mykolenko put in a superb cross this time for Onana whose great header was miraculously saved by Martinez. 

It was an action-packed game with Everton mounting repeated attacks but Villa's tight defence rendering space at a considerable premium, while always looking dangerous on the break – a well-known Everton weakness. 

McNeil again conjured another excellent cross that the static Douccoure allowed to bounce off him and behind for a goal kick. Some really stupid Everton defending allowed Villa to press the ball and that was fortunately averted until Maupay fired in a low midfield ball straight to Ramsey. 

Villa won a free-kick wide left that was cleared by Coleman but it came back in for Gana to clear. A ball over the top caught Onana offside. More great work by McNeil on Cash was maddeningly called a foul. 

Another good forward ball from Iwobi found McNeil ad he fed Maupay who wanted an extra touch and Martinez read his undisguised shot with ease.

A hugely competitive game full of very tight play, zealous defending, and seriously poor refereeing ended with McGinn deemed to have dragged down Onana just outside the Villa box. McNeil took it but his feeble shot into the four-man wall was a real let-down. 

The match resumed, not quite at the same frenetic pace. Everton seemed to be winning the midfield until an easy turnover allowed Ramsey to charge forward and shoot wide.

Everton tried to build slowly, probing for opening until McNeil almost controlled a good ball over the top that saw some good pressing, met with equally staunch Villa defending Another very deep ball again picked out McNeil.

Bailey body charged Gana and Tayleor really didn't want to give it, but he had to, McNeil punting it in, Iwobi smacking a rebound wide only for it to hit a prone defender and bounce across goal where Maupay had to score but Ings cleared it right off the line. Madness!

Everton maintained some excellent forward pressure but could not force the killer opportunity. And then of course Villa countered, Digne easily beating Iwobi to cross for Watkins, whose excellent downward header was pawed onto the post in a magnificent save by Pickford, with Coady cleaning up on the line behind him. What a let-off. 

Villa pressed again after three changes and Gana made a fair tackle on McGinn getting the ball but McGinn fees something and collapses for a soft penalty that Taylor was desperate to give without waiting for the VAR. Watkins drove it high past Pickford from the spot. 

Everton resumed their attacks with a cross that Doucoure drove wide. Iwobi played a great cross for Maupay who spun backwards and lost the ball right in front of goal! More good work from McNeil but Watkins again got free and Coady needed to stop him. 70 minutes and finally a sub from Dyche. 

Everton continued manfully to try and find more roots to goal, Mykolenko cut down right in the corner of the area by Kamara. Immediately Maupay set up Gray who feebly passed it into a defender instead of lashing it into the goal.

Villa mounted a rare attack, Gana being fouled by Konsa stepping across him, deemed a foul by the Everton man. Watkins was allowed to get forward and give Pickford's gloves a warming.

Doucore was approached by Buendia and caught the Villa man inadvertently with his elbow as he played away, the Everton man said to have fouled and then getting a ridiculous yellow card for his protestations. 

Simms, cold off the bench, really should have got his first touch on target but it flew well off target after good work by Doucoure to set him up for the strike right in front of goal. Villa got forward and Luiz wellied one over from distance. 

Gray crossed from the right but it screwed off Ramsey and into Martinez's hands. Villa advanced and Buendia made it look far too easy to beat England's No 1 at the near post. 

Everton had tried everything within their severely limited playbook to score, and failed. Two sucker punches from Villa had found the net.  Everton got a corner that Tarkowski could only head over from beyond the far post. 

Everton laboured through the last minutes knowing the game and the points were lost. Gray punted in a free-kick straight to Martinez. The high press on Villa playing out yielded nothing.  Gray punted another free-kick straight to Martinez. A corner failed to threaten and the game just petered out to a very disappointing end that sees Everton drop back into the Bottom 3.

Everton: Pickford, Coleman, Coady, Tarkowski, Mykolenko, Onana [Y:2'] (82' Davies), Gana, Doucoure [Y:76'], Iwobi (70' Gray), McNeil, Maupay (76' Simms)

Subs not Used: Begovic, Holgate, Mina, Keane, Godfrey, Vinagre.

Aston Villa: Martinez [Y:77'], Cash, Konsa, Mings, Digne (61' Buendía), McGinn, Luiz, Kamara, Ramsey, Bailey (61' Moreno), Watkins.

Subs not Used: Sinisalo, Zych, Traoré, Chambers, Young, Durán, Dendocnker.


Reader Comments (392)

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Jerome Shields
1 Posted 25/02/2023 at 14:10:31
As expected.
Peter Warren
2 Posted 25/02/2023 at 14:21:17
? Simms not replaced he started on bench last week. COYB.
Alan J Thompson
3 Posted 25/02/2023 at 14:26:34
The same wealth of strikers and we'll all have our own opinion of who should be first on the pitch and what effect it might have, and not only on our opponents.
David Hayes
4 Posted 25/02/2023 at 14:31:23
Anyone have any idea why Gray doesn't start since Gordon went?
Fran Mitchell
5 Posted 25/02/2023 at 14:38:07
Grey quite simply doesn'y really fit into Dyche style of play. He doesn't really cross, his set-pieces have generally been woeful. He looks to bring the ball inside and play short passes. Our plan at the moment is more direct crosses from the wings, which suits McNeill more than Grey.

If Grey was to have a role, it'd be as a lone frontman using his pace, but hardly his best position. So expect he'll continue as an impact sub when required, and possibly be sold on in the summer to raise funds.

Really need one of our attacking players to score today, we can't keep relying on our defenders.

But this will be a tough game, Villa have a good, albeit inconsistent, team and a very good manager. Many attacking players who can make a difference.

So we need to keep it solid.

Can see this being a 1-1 draw.

Neil Lawson
6 Posted 25/02/2023 at 14:39:38
David (4). I think it's because the manager sees McNeill as a better fit to his system. That is not intended to be smartarse. Many of us may prefer Gray to be onthe pitch, but in current circumstances we have to have faith in Dyche. Another win today and no one would disagree. Let's just hope he has got it right, but traditionally, Villa are the sort of tem that we struggle against. It is not going to be pretty.
Peter Hodgson
7 Posted 25/02/2023 at 15:50:44
We have got to believe in Dyche. There is no alternative. I am not critical of Dyche by the way. I just hope it works for us and I believe we chose our Manager correctly in the cicumstances.
Ernie Baywood
8 Posted 25/02/2023 at 15:52:56
Can't argue with the effort. Just missing someone who can put the ball away.

Same as it ever was. Even if it is a particularly impressive effort today.

If we had a striker then Dwight McNeil would probably look brilliant doing basics.

Alan J Thompson
9 Posted 25/02/2023 at 15:56:36
It was good to see Mina acknowledge and hug Digne while waiting to come out and Digne looked as though he really appreciated it.

Onana's booking was a bit of a farce and the Ref didn't even give a free kick while he did nothing for other fouls that were far worse even if not worthy of a yellow card either.

Iwobi should have scored in the 7th minute but what is wrong with our lot that they don't seem to have the slightest idea of how to burst the net. And then McNeil and Maupay on the break, could you pick two worse to be in that position and if we continue to put high crosses into the box then get Simms on to give their defence something more than Onana to think about.

And it seems Doucoure hasn't done enough at Finch Farm to improve his shooting never mind scoring ability, he does only have two legs, doesn't he, as something seems to be getting in his way.

Neil Tyrrell
10 Posted 25/02/2023 at 15:59:01
Can't help but wonder if Gray would have buried that Maupay chance first time instead of taking the extra touch.

Don't understand the boos for Digne, he challenged Benitez and we got a decent fee for him.

First half was a good watch, I'm going with a Mykolenko screamer for another 1-0 win.

Jerome Shields
11 Posted 25/02/2023 at 15:59:08
Okay first half. McNeil playing well. Maupay nowhere. Have to be careful in the first part of the next half, because that is when Aston Villa push up, as they usually do.
Joseph Walsh
12 Posted 25/02/2023 at 16:44:14
Amongst all their other well documented disasters, the board's negligence to not sign a striker has relegated us.
Ernie Baywood
13 Posted 25/02/2023 at 16:46:20
Such a huge gap in quality.

No surprises, nothing out of the ordinary. We just don't score goals. It was true under Lampard and it's true under Dyche. It would be true under any manager in the world.

Michael McFarlane
14 Posted 25/02/2023 at 16:53:13
No goalscoring striker = no goals = no win.

Maupey is totally useless - weak, couldn't finish his dinner, can't even stay on his feet.

£100M in from Richarlison and Gordon, none spent.

We all know it so why don't the board?

At least Dyche has got us organised and putting in a shift, more on the front foot... but without goals, it counts for nothing.

Michael Kenrick
15 Posted 25/02/2023 at 16:53:32
Well, that was a real, massive, potentially fatal disappointment.
Neil Tyrrell
16 Posted 25/02/2023 at 16:58:34
Lack of finishing laid bare yet again. Maupay looks like he could play another hundred games and never score, wonder if Dyche will persist with him after that?

Shitty day all around with Leeds and West Ham both winning. The mountain just got that much steeper.

Tony Everan
17 Posted 25/02/2023 at 16:59:22
No goalscorer to attack any crosses or to finish any half chances. No real pressure for their Centre Backs. It's all too comfortable for the opposition defenders.

It's been costing us points all season and again today the same.

They've bet the ranch on Calvert-Lewin being fit (a) in the summer then (b) in January. Totally incompetent and potentially catastrophic way to run a football club.

Steve Brown
18 Posted 25/02/2023 at 16:59:41

We played well until the penalty. Maupay is dogshit, Gana a moron and Coady played that goal like he had his feet tied together.

Thelwell and the board have a lot to answer for, not signing a forward in January was CRIMINAL.

Danny Baily
19 Posted 25/02/2023 at 16:59:50
I think that's that. We couldn't afford to put a foot wrong in the remaining 'winnable' games, and we have done today.
George Cumiskey
20 Posted 25/02/2023 at 17:02:38
Dyche go to take a lot of the blame for me, picking Maupay to start then not taking him off at half time when he was garbage then waiting till it's too late to make subs, typical Everton Lampard did the same every match.
Joe McMahon
21 Posted 25/02/2023 at 17:03:24
And that my friends is that. The only team in teh PL that doesn't do goals, and haven't for many years.

This team will not get out of the Championship.

Ian Edwards
22 Posted 25/02/2023 at 17:03:46
There is no point playing Maupay on his own or Simms on his own. Neither are good enough to play without support. Play both of them and sacrifice one of the Stooges in midfield. Idrissa Nyarko, Doucoure or Onana.
Robert Tressell
23 Posted 25/02/2023 at 17:04:02
Dyche has us playing much better. We obviously lack the forward we need though. Simms must be given a go ahead of Maupay now. It was never going to be plain sailing though so no need to despair. Still plenty to play for
Mick Davies
24 Posted 25/02/2023 at 17:05:17
Only one person to blame for the state the club is in
Alan J Thompson
25 Posted 25/02/2023 at 17:06:24
Another poor game between two not very good sides aided by another display of piss poor English refereeing.

We didn't go behind thanks to Pickford and Tarkowski being awake but I didn't think that was a penalty as Gana seemed to get a light touch on the ball and the Villa man fell over, again with barely any contact. Then as with penalties, do they do any homework, Pickford moves before it is kicked making it simple for the taker. I also thought that the tackle or whatever it was on McNeil was more worthy than the penalty they were given.

And again, Doucoure, who I didn't think had much of a game, was booked/carded for a foul on a man who was stood behind him, ridiculous. In fact all three yellow cards were poor decisions.

It's up to Dyche to sort out but we can't keep playing Maupay. Yes, he hassles and puts in effort but there's nothing else there. I wouldn't suggest we had anyone who you could say was our MotM but I was surprised that Onana was subbed before Doucoure, was it an injury?

Back to the drawing board but do we have any options?

Phillip Warrington
26 Posted 25/02/2023 at 17:07:41
Christ… Maupay should never start a game again,.

Doucoure… I don't understand the hype, the most uncoordinated player I've seen and gives possession away more than he retains it.

Rob Jones
27 Posted 25/02/2023 at 17:07:57
The defeat is on Thelwell and the board, for failing to bring in a striker.

We should have won it handsomely.

Frank Crewe
28 Posted 25/02/2023 at 17:08:00
Same old same old. We have two thirds of a side. We have a decent defence and midfield but zero attack. If we had just one or two players who knew how to score a few goals we wouldn't be in this mess. But we don't so we are. I also doubt twingy Lewin will change that situation much.
Dave Lynch
29 Posted 25/02/2023 at 17:10:11
That fucking hurt us...badly.
Must be odds on for the drop now.
Ian Edwards
30 Posted 25/02/2023 at 17:13:12
Frank 28. We have a terrible midfield. It doesn't score, create or assist or protect the Defence.
George Cumiskey
31 Posted 25/02/2023 at 17:13:53
Good night Vienna, say so long to the premiership.
Sam Hoare
32 Posted 25/02/2023 at 17:15:05
Decent performance though a poor result. With a fit DCL I think we may have won that comfortably.

Maupay is poor but not convinced Simms is much better. Coady is poor and Mina (and possibly Keane) is definitely better. Get Coady out of the team.

Will be a battle right up to the final week I think but we were a touch unfortunate today. Hope DCL can get back soon.

Barry Jones
33 Posted 25/02/2023 at 17:15:09
Everton, Bournemouth, and Southampton in the bottom three and I think that is the way it will be at the end of the season. The other teams around us are better than us. We could be out there all day and not even look close to scoring a goal.

McNeil and Doucoure worked hard. Gana is a liability. Coady absolutely left for dead by Buendia. What was Mykolenko thinking when he ducked to give Watkins a free header? Great save by Pickford. Dave Abrahams, I see what you mean about Iwobi not making any tackles.

My false hope has evaporated

Rob Jones
34 Posted 25/02/2023 at 17:15:45
If we survive, Calvert-Lewin has to be sold. Relying on him has destroyed us. It's not even his fault.

We played really well today. It's actually what hurts. I'd be happier if we'd been shit.

Nottingham Forest away now becomes must win.

Joe McMahon
35 Posted 25/02/2023 at 17:16:28
Frank@28, we don't have decnt midfield at all. The defence ain't brilliant either. We have an awful sqaud, it's even worse than Kendal Mk III era.

The awful Paul Jwel Derby team have the lowest PL goals sored record, we need to score another 4 just to beat that. Good Times, I don't think so.

Sam a fit DCL? he's not Salah or Rashford et al, he's someone that needs the ball 6 yards from goal, I don't feel it would save us even if fit.

Steve Brown
36 Posted 25/02/2023 at 17:17:15
We are 5 points off 12th with 14 games left. Stop being so defeatist.

Dyche has improved the team. However, we need DCL back.

Bill Gall
37 Posted 25/02/2023 at 17:19:14
Well another defeat that the tone was set in the first 2 min. The main problem reared its ugly head again and that was the lack of a " Striker ", we have to hope that DCL somehow gets his injury fixed or his head whatever it is, as there is no lack of effort or chances from crosses going in.

Villa are not a poor side by any means and loosing their last 3 games was not really a true performance of the season and this showed in this game as they have scorer,s not a scorer but scorer,s.

S.Dyche has at least got some organization and fight in the team and whether it is to late we may not find out until later but my own opinion is that it may be close but favorable.

I suppose we will get the usual cries of Sack certain people, but my main gripe over that, is it that person sunning himself on his yacht in Monaco who is the major problem for letting it happen.

Alan McGuffog
38 Posted 25/02/2023 at 17:19:44
Surely Man U must have had an injury prone striker in the treatment room that we could have blown £40 million on in January ?
Barry Jones
39 Posted 25/02/2023 at 17:20:22
And Anthony Taylor was dreadful
Christy Ring
40 Posted 25/02/2023 at 17:26:08
Calvert-Lewin is back in training, need him back next Sunday, we're totally toothless without him.I know we keep harping on about it, but how could Thilwell and the board sell Gordon for £45m, and 4 days to bring in a striker, do NOTHING.

Pete Clarke
41 Posted 25/02/2023 at 17:30:19
That was a reality check if ever I've seen one.

Maupay is worse than Rondon and Doucouré is shocking. Iwobi and Gana were also crap so there's 3 of the midfield and your lone striker who offered little but running around.

West Han have just dragged Forest back into the mix so that's the only positive from today but quite clearly without goals we are fooked.

Calvert-Lewin is no great striker but he's all we have so time to get some painkillers into him and get him on the pitch.
Jim Bennings
42 Posted 25/02/2023 at 17:30:46
Calvert-Lewin back in training?

I'm sorry if this makes me laugh but are people still relying on this lad?

He'll play one game (if he doesn't break down in training) and then go missing for another four weeks.

The negligence in signing quality attacking players going right back to last summer is bordering on a criminal investigation.

Kunal Desai
43 Posted 25/02/2023 at 17:33:42
If we reflect and look back at the four fixtures in the month of Feb prior to Dyce taking over, we probably would have all taken 6 points from 12 (switching Arsenal for Villa) results around.

Gana doesn't make that challenge and give away a pen we win that. Plenty of twist and turns still to come.

Jeff Armstrong
44 Posted 25/02/2023 at 17:34:09
Don’t know if anyone else has mentioned it, but Tom Cannon scored the winner today, should never have loaned him out, another option off the bench.
Jim Bennings
45 Posted 25/02/2023 at 17:34:33
We can slag off Lampard for certain things when he was a manager but I can probably understand why he wanted to shove the likes of Doucoure up his own arse.

As someone pointed out in a post on this threat, most uncoordinated player I've ever seen.

But then again we have three central midfielders that are all the balls worst enemy and two wide players that aren't even good enough to flatter to deceive, in McNeil and Iwobi.

Jerome Shields
46 Posted 25/02/2023 at 17:35:12
As soon as Colman had to make a Professional foul to prevent Aston Villa exploiting the space behind a stationary midfield and a deep defensive line the writely was on the wall. The homework had not been done on Aston Villa and their begining of the second half spurt.Subs too late.Aston Villa had already exploited the fact that their was no threat in the forward line.
Danny Baily
47 Posted 25/02/2023 at 17:35:21
Steve 36, a minimum of 5 wins from the remaining fixtures is way too much to expect from this side. It is over, and it has been over for weeks. Time to adjust to it.
John Pickles
48 Posted 25/02/2023 at 17:38:35
Another point dropped, we should have easily drawn that 0-0.
Jack Convery
49 Posted 25/02/2023 at 17:40:58
We have 2 avenues to score - set pieces, particularly the corner to the far post - which nearly worked again and should have according to Stubbs on the radio, The other avenue is an individual piece of inspiration / brilliance i.e. Coleman v Leeds, Gray v City, Not a lot there. The bread and butter goals are off our menu and that's what's killing us right now and Dyche has to find a way to overcome this deficiency or we will go down. One thing we could do is go two up front. However that weakens us elsewhere on the pitch. Quite a conundrum.

I would like to see Godfrey come back in soon in place of Coady.

Buendia was a Villa sub who changed the game, A player better than anything we have in midfield. Makes you think.

Sam Hoare
50 Posted 25/02/2023 at 17:41:34
Joe@35; a fit DCL puts away at least one of the chances that fell to Onana/Doucoure/Simms/Maupay today. No doubt. We don’t need Salah or Rashford, we just need a physical striker who is good in the air and can finish a bit.

The big doubt is whether he’ll ever be “fit” again. Certainly such an eventuality cannot be relied upon.

Ian Edwards
51 Posted 25/02/2023 at 17:42:11
That was never a pen but let's face it... the more Gueye plays the more likely we are to go down.
Paul Smith
52 Posted 25/02/2023 at 17:46:18
Why are we firing crosses into the box for a diminutive shite striker who can’t score whilst our top scorer is on the bench ? So many great crosses from McNeil with no one near them. Madness.
Steve Brown
53 Posted 25/02/2023 at 17:48:24
Danny, you have been touting that 'we are already relegated' line for months.

Perhaps take a day off, as you are seeming to enjoy it a little bit too much?

Time to adjust to relegation when we are 5 points off mid table? You can but the rest of us will continue supporting the team.

Jim Bennings
54 Posted 25/02/2023 at 17:48:34
I'll stand by my prediction of 33 points.

2 more wins and 6 draws.

I can't see any more than that realistically.

Whether that is enough to keep us up who knows but I just can't see this team having enough in the tank for more than 33 points.

Dave Lynch
55 Posted 25/02/2023 at 17:54:31
The problem being if we don't get at least 4 points from our next 3 matches we'll be cast adrift.
Anthony Murphy
56 Posted 25/02/2023 at 17:55:12
4 more wins for me, but sadly I think we’ll need one of those last game of the season. My prediction is we will face an already relegated Bournemouth and will need a win to survive.
Denis Richardson
57 Posted 25/02/2023 at 17:59:43
14 games left and if we can beat the league leaders at home anything’s possible.

Shit result today and next game very tough but enough games to stay up.

John Wignall
58 Posted 25/02/2023 at 18:00:42
Lampard and dyche had the same problem no goals in the team plus very poor quality of players to pick from joke of a.club god help us for the rest of the season
Danny Baily
59 Posted 25/02/2023 at 18:08:47
Steve, our situation is what it is. I'd love for a few suprise wins to give us hope.
Neville Wellings
60 Posted 25/02/2023 at 18:10:29
Previous relegation battles '94 Wimbledon and '98 Coventry sort of crept up on us. This battle we've known since last season. Why have we not got a striker? Probably as we had previously bought Moise Kean, Niasse (at least he tried) Walcott, Tosun, Rondon and now Maupay odds on we would have bought another dud, so nothing happened. Simms is not the answer he reminded me of Joe Royle's debut. I was at that match at Blackpool and Royle was useless but then Royle was 16 and Simms is 22. Just about given up on DCL whether the problem is above or below the neck. The only thing that will keep us up is a hell of a lot of luck and that's in short supply.
Tony Hill
62 Posted 25/02/2023 at 18:23:58
I think (hope) it's still going to be tight but today really emphasised our lack of goal threat. I came away feeling very worried.

The crowd made a difference in the first-half when we got behind them and Villa visibly wilted. But, as so often, momentum on and off the field was not sustained.

I was going to say that the Forest game next week is massive - but every game is massive now.

Ray Jacques
63 Posted 25/02/2023 at 18:27:11
The unexplainable failure to recruit a centre forward over the past 12 months will result in relegation.
Today was typical. Its all on the directors and the stooge of a director of football.
What did Lee Harvey Oswald say " I'm just a patsy", meaning fall guy.
See Ings scored more today than Maupay in the whole season to date.
Ray Roche
64 Posted 25/02/2023 at 18:31:04
The board knew months ago that Gordon wanted to leave, and along with the £60m from Richarlison, we had £105m with which to bring in a forward. We bought Maupay and McNeil. McNeil will come good, but Maupay isn’t good enough. There was no serious intention to spend that Gordon money, if there were we would have someone lined up to bring in as soon as Gordon went, that, and Headlock Gate, which may well have turned potential signings away, is the reason we find ourselves a royally stuffed. Kenwright has been a cancer in this club for years, looking after himself regardless of the effects on the club. There’s yer problem guv!
Michael Boardman
65 Posted 25/02/2023 at 18:31:14
5 wins needed for me, but can't see where these will come from. 4 wins and 3 draws? Same thing, so 15 points, just to have a chance

We need to start planning how to spend the Pickford money oh and the Gordon / Arteta money

Tom Bowers
66 Posted 25/02/2023 at 18:32:11
No good crying over spilt milk I suppose but that transfer of Richarlison has come back to haunt us big time.

Total negativity from the powers to be in getting in an adequate replacement is killing us even if DCL was fit and playing.

Having no options on offense makes it extremely difficult to score goals and it needs a team to be very solid defensively to get points which we have not been. We can't even get draws against crap like Villa and Wolves.

Okay, we stole a couple of wins recently but Everton always find a way to bite you in the arse.

Not much chance of getting anything at the Emirates unless the Gunners have a couple sent off early on and even then we would be hard pushed to get anything with this bunch.

Game, set and match ?

Bill Gall
67 Posted 25/02/2023 at 18:36:11
Did VAR look at the penalty as from other views Gueye got his foot to the ball first
Jeff Armstrong
68 Posted 25/02/2023 at 18:36:21
Just saw video on twatter, Gana gets the ball, disgraceful decision not going to VAR.

Dyche needs to mix it up a bit, Garner, Mina, Mills need to come in.

Recall Cannon

Allan Board
69 Posted 25/02/2023 at 18:40:40
If you don't take yer chances -you won't win a game end of. Long way to go yet,but that result really doesn't do Everton any favours. 14 games to go and Everton need 16 to 20 points. Forget other teams results, this team has taken only 21 points from 24 games.
Dyche will make the best of it,and make us slightly better-but if DCL isn't back in this team Wednesday for Arsenal and stays in it till the end of the season we will be fortunate to get another 15 points or so.
It's not like this useless club didn't know he's injury plagued though did they?
Need to stick height up front NOW.
The goals for has been a steady decline since Lukaku left in,what 2017? Every year,tick tock- only Ancelloti recognised this- these present day coaches talk too much shit and can't see what's on the end of their nose nowadays.
Maupey is garbage on his own- stick Simms up there with him now and go 442.
Tony Everan
70 Posted 25/02/2023 at 18:41:33
Looked like he got a slight bit of the ball on the replay to me , VAR didn’t see it ? It was a massive decision. The game turned on that moment.
Tony Hill
71 Posted 25/02/2023 at 18:42:45
Forest and Leeds are the ones we have to keep in the mire with us. On that basis, next weekend's game is indeed of particular importance (if we sneak anything at the Emirates it will be an extraordinary bonus).

The problem for Forest is that they've already had a second wind and it blew out very quickly. They also share a wretched goal difference with Bournemouth.

We have to hold our nerve. We did make chances today so it wasn't all bad.

I continue to think that Dyche has what is needed - just.

I agree, meanwhile, with Steve @53, we must stop writing ourselves off; that will be music to our enemies' ears.

Tony Everan
72 Posted 25/02/2023 at 18:43:50
This seems to be he official line ;

“VAR did check the incident - and agreed with on-field referee Anthony Taylor’s decision. It was felt that Gueye went to ground and took the man first before the ball.

Chris Kavanagh was on VAR duty at Stockley Park.”

Mark Ryan
73 Posted 25/02/2023 at 18:44:00
We, the fans, are beginning to sound like a stuck record
" why didn't they sign a striker?"
We should have signed a striker !
It's the boards fault we didn't sign a striker !
If we had a striker blah blah fucking blah !!
Why the fuck is every other post stating the bleeding obvious
We all know we needed a new striker.
We need to all accept that we didn't get one.
Let's leave that one firmly at the boards doorstep and move on
Dyche has to find the answer.
Demari up front ?
Simms and Demari ?
Dyche knows he is up shit creek without a paddle. He alone needs to resolve the striker conundrum but we need to just leave the blame with the board and find a fix from within the group we have.
Let's desist from repeatedly writing
" we should have bought a striker"
We all know that
Michael Boardman
74 Posted 25/02/2023 at 18:44:37
Villa at home and we're looking at a VAR decision?
Eddie Dunn
75 Posted 25/02/2023 at 18:45:20
VAR checks all goal or pen decisions and from one angle it looked like Gana got to it but from behind the goal he clearly missed the ball. A daft attempt in any case. He had another irritating game. He has no strength, can't pass and makes Davies look dynamic.
The big mistake was not to start Simm...McNel getting hs crosses in to little ole Maupay. Just silly. The only way Maupay should be played in in a two with a big man...not Doucoure, who is merely an athlete and can't play football.
Ray Jacques
76 Posted 25/02/2023 at 18:46:37
Mark, 73, stop talking shite.
There isn't an answer, because we didn't sign a striker!!!!!!!!!!!
Jeff Armstrong
77 Posted 25/02/2023 at 18:47:06
Spot on Mark 73, the comments are not very enlightening are they!

Pete Neilson
78 Posted 25/02/2023 at 18:47:08
Reasonable performance completely let down by lack of goal threat. What’s new there. Ref was shockingly poor from Onana yellow onwards. A good ref doesn’t want to show a card that early.

If Iwobi plays he has to be central, why does this have to be learnt all over again? McNeil our best player IMO. Maupay what is he good for? Doucoure, besides being pound for pound one of our worst signings of the Moshiri era, simply panics when he gets in the area.

Jonathan Oppenheimer
79 Posted 25/02/2023 at 18:48:33
Quite simply, we’re not good enough. We played pretty well up until the penalty, aside from scoring a goal, which we all know has been our downfall this year.

We’re certainly not out of it, but it’s getting more and more difficult to have hope. I think the big question going forward is whether Dyche decides to make any big changes. One could easily make the argument for replacing any of Gueye, Coady, Doucoure, Iwobi, Coleman or Maupay. If Garner and Patterson are healthy, do they play? I think they have to. I think the sooner we play Godfrey or Mina in place of Coady the better. I want Gray on the field if only because he’s our best chance from open play. We can all argue about the quality of Davies, but at this point I’d rather go down with him playing than Gueye. And the miracle needed will likely be if DCL gets fit for Forest and stays healthy.

Dyche gives me hope. Other than that, I think we need to hope there’s a God and he’s a Blue and wants my first trip to Goodison next year to be for a Premier League match.

Jeff Armstrong
80 Posted 25/02/2023 at 18:49:10
Kavannah the melt on VAR, says it all.
Colin Glassar
81 Posted 25/02/2023 at 18:49:53
Not surprised by the result in the least. I’d say nearly all the teams in the prem have better players than we do and at least 17 have better managers as well.

Dyche has his favourites who will start every game, on or out of form so I can’t understand why some see him as some sort of genius.

You can’t make a silk purse out of a pigs ear.

Alec Gaston
82 Posted 25/02/2023 at 18:53:41
We will be relegated if we persist with Coady
Tony Hill
83 Posted 25/02/2023 at 18:54:27
By the way, full credit to McNeil who gave it everything. I wish he'd had a right foot when put in by Iwobi but he otherwise did very well and gave Cash all kinds of trouble in the first-half before he got a bit shut down in the second.
Alan McGuffog
84 Posted 25/02/2023 at 18:57:49
Rudiger goes down like hes been shot. Man sent off and he's back on his feet.
The beautiful game ? My feckin arse
Jeff Armstrong
85 Posted 25/02/2023 at 18:58:20
Coady needs replacing by Mina
Doucoure by Garner
Iwobi by Gray
Maupey by DCL (when fit)
Dave Abrahams
86 Posted 25/02/2023 at 18:59:23
I thought that Everton were as good if not better than Villa but everyone knows were we fail, putting the ball away, some of the chances missed though, in every game, should have been put away.

Good on the fans who think, like me, we are far from finished in the fight to stay up, the most disappointing part of todays game was that Colman’s effort and endeavour wasn’t reproduced by some of the other players and the lack of confidence in other players is disheartening.

Seamus my MOTM again today with McNeill, Tarkowsky not far behind and a mention for Pickford with that terrific save until Burnley got that decision for the penalty which turned the game their way. When your down the decisions of the referee’s seem to keep you down and Lady Luck looks the other way.

Joe McMahon
87 Posted 25/02/2023 at 18:59:50
Colin@81, neither can I. As you know I see a fair bit of Burnley as my wife's a fan, he's okay with a certain type of player and brand of football. But we don't have 6"3 strikers who can head and shoot. If in the Championship somehow we will need at least 2 of those, and using Gana sparingly.

I'm not sure how much of the first team would be in demand by PL teams if relegated. Pickford?

Speaking of Burnley, Kompany will be alerting PL teams, but I think he'll stay another season.

Barry Rathbone
88 Posted 25/02/2023 at 19:03:57
Obviously we'll keep at it till mathematically down but the squad IS simply dreadful - arguably the worst in the division - and despite our previous luck in relegation scraps you can't keep going to the same well.

Since control of the Moshiri/Usmanov axis kicked in the decisions at this club have been monumentally bad far beyond the uncompetitive M.O. of the previous regime. Top dollar for crap players, knee jerk manager changes and the madness of building a new stadium without sorting the team first.

This calamitous club deserves to be relegated

Anthony Murphy
89 Posted 25/02/2023 at 19:05:26
Dyche can’t play without a big target man. Not blaming him - he’s picking up a mess and doing a decent job. In fact, if it happens, staying up will be down to him. But, his approach is based on a traditional target man and without one, we have no plan B. He’ll need a complete rethink and will need to drop his usual target man approach or we will go down. Crossing the ball to Maupay isn’t going to work. He’s a 10 goal a season striker normally so let’s play to his strengths
Shane Corcoran
90 Posted 25/02/2023 at 19:09:20
Colin, four games in and I think possibly only the centre forward changed in that time.

So do you reckon Dyche has ten favourites or who are these players that won’t be dropped?

Andy Crooks
91 Posted 25/02/2023 at 19:11:05
Playing ok with spirit and losing a bit unluckily is the road to relegation because it is morale sapping. I think Leeds, Bournemouth and Southampton are about as poor as we are. We will be very lucky to get out of this.
Big positive today is that Kenwright and his toady Sharp were not there.
Andy Finigan
92 Posted 25/02/2023 at 19:12:10
Jef 85, I think we saw why Gray isn't getting a game show poney who can't beat the first man with his cross.The other two players are viable options though.

I think we were a wee bit unlucky today and looked the side who maybe wanted it more and its again down to fractions.

I don't know what hold Villa have on us but every ball in there box, rickershays and blocks all went there way.

Because of our effort and determination I don't feel to dismayed and feel things will improve especially our luck.

Michael McFarlane
93 Posted 25/02/2023 at 19:13:21
Dyche's style of play needs a target man. Simms must play. Let's build his confidence until DCL is fit and then he'll be ready when DCL gets injured again.
Maupey offers nothing, stop playing him

Play Gray - he can create and finish (the rest can't)

Replace Coady with Mina (much better defender); Myko with Godfrey (more pace and aggression); Doucs with Garner (far less clumsy and has vision)

Dyche needs to make changes and create some competition... lest the current inert set will get worse with complacency

It's all there to fight for - I predict we'll stay up by the skin of our teeth again

Jeff Armstrong
94 Posted 25/02/2023 at 19:19:11
Dyche should make a few changes v Arsenal, its a free hit, but it might give him options for the Forest game, Mina, Godfrey, Garner,Gray, Simms to start
Recall Cannon for a bench option.
Mal van Schaick
95 Posted 25/02/2023 at 19:20:41
We should have won that game based upon the first half performance alone, but yet again our weakness in finishing cost us dearly, and Gana stupidly gave away a penalty.

Dyche is another talking the talk, but we need to walk the walk. I can’t seeing us getting anything from the Arsenal game, and we need all the points from the Forest game next weekend.

Paul Smith
96 Posted 25/02/2023 at 19:25:48
Good post Michael at 93. Gray is our quickest player and top scorer, he should be playing. Doucoure is gash, as is Maupay. Dyche doesn’t have the time for trial and error, he needs to get the team right from now on. A draw at Arsenal but we a cracking result.,
Tony Hill
97 Posted 25/02/2023 at 19:29:30
Who dished out the crippling contracts and directed player recruitment, Barry @88? That's the key question. I'm not sure I know the complete answer but I doubt that it was Moshiri/Usmanov to any significant extent.

I think the damage was done when we all got carried away with Moshiri's cash and Koeman, Walsh and Bill pissed it up the wall. There have been other errors, some serious ones, but that disastrous early episode was when the disease really took hold.

We had the money but we never had the astute people to make proper use of it. Indeed, we had the opposite: self-serving poseurs who thought they'd won the lottery (as indeed they had) and could do as they chose. One of those disastrous people is still defiantly in place, accompanied by his dim, corporate minion and looking to make himself the martyr.

Not Moshiri/Usmanov to blame, save that they failed to exclude from the outset the man who believes that He Is Everton. And they recruited the indolent, arrogant fucker Koeman - but most of us thought that was a good idea.

Anyway, let's try to keep our gaze on the future.

Paul Armstrong
98 Posted 25/02/2023 at 19:32:35
Michael #93 A crumb of positivity!
Ray Robinson
99 Posted 25/02/2023 at 19:36:47
Can’t disagree with Michael and Jeff re freshening up the team but please let’s stop talking about recalling loan players. The automatic right to recall a player is not allowed outside a transfer window. So forget Cannon.
Raymond Fox
100 Posted 25/02/2023 at 19:37:54
It's hard to fancy us to beat anyone, how can you win if you can't score?

It's still tight at the bottom but it's getting difficult to fancy us to escape this mess.

Jeff Armstrong
101 Posted 25/02/2023 at 19:40:36
Ah thanks Ray 99, I should have known that.
Barry Rathbone
102 Posted 25/02/2023 at 19:41:52
Tony Hill @97,

As you admit you don't know the answer to your baseline question, so how can you come to such a dogmatic conclusion?

I understand lashing out mentality rules on these boards but it is NOT fact — it is pure conjecture. The only real facts are, since the Moshiri and Usmanov era kicked in, we've turned to mush… and we're more likely on the road to the Championship than ever before.

Tony Hill
103 Posted 25/02/2023 at 19:44:37
Raymond @100,

I know what you mean but we've just beaten Arsenal and Leeds with defenders' goals. Can we stagger home on that basis? No.

There is a very notable midfield goal deficit, as well as our striker deficiency, and this has been rather overlooked.

Rob Dolby
104 Posted 25/02/2023 at 19:45:46
Barring the first 15 mins, I thought we had their measure but as usual just couldn't score.

McNeil with a great run, good first touch, should have just thrown his right leg at the ball instead the chance had gone.

Maupay had 3 half-decent chances and blew them all.

Doucoure runs into the box then falls over the ball waiting for movement in front of him.

Tarkowski had all day to pass it back to Pickford but ended up turning and putting the ball out. Nobody marks Buendia and his first touch sets up a cast-iron penalty. Buendia with a similar half-chance to our players but turns Coady inside out and calmly knocks it past Pickford for the 2nd.

We just haven't got the quality. Dyche has to realise Iwobi can only play in the centre and that Gray is our best attacker.

Special mention for the ref. He had a terrible game. I could list loads of his mistakes but can't be arsed.

Massive week coming up.

Jeff Armstrong
105 Posted 25/02/2023 at 19:49:24
Rob, it wasn't a cast-iron penalty.

Gana gets the ball.

Michael McFarlane
106 Posted 25/02/2023 at 19:52:12
Paul #98... agreed... we'll need the crumbs to keep us going

Cannon should never have gone out on loan... the lad's an instinctive striker who knows where the net is. I thought he did better in his recent brief cameo roles than either Maupay or Simms.

I never thought I'd utter these words... even Rondon might have made a difference today, given what was McNeil's best display by far (far from perfect but much better).

What's up with Doucoure... I like his endeavour but he's the footballing equivalent of Manuel from Fawlty Towers at the moment.

Jerome Shields
107 Posted 25/02/2023 at 19:54:49
I know there is a lack of goal threat, but Aston Villa had too much space to play into in front of the Everton defence. When Aston Villa have played Everton, they have exploited this every time they play Everton, particularly in the second half. They did the same today.
Andy Meighan
108 Posted 25/02/2023 at 19:59:55
While at the game, I thought that was a nailed-on penalty. Having seen it again, he definitely wins the ball.

That bastard Taylor hates us, but booing him when his name got called before a ball was kicked was idiotic. I said to the lad next to me, "We're deffo getting nothing off this clown now today." And so it came to pass.

Raymond Fox
109 Posted 25/02/2023 at 20:02:20
Tony 103, you're right about our midfield lack of goals.
When you look at the size of the goals, you would think they could bang one in occasionally.

Hope springs eternal; if I was religious, I think I would light a candle or two, I still might try it.

Stuart Sharp
110 Posted 25/02/2023 at 20:04:35
I like Dyche and he gives me a bit of hope, but I said before, during and after the game, that starting Maupay as our lone striker was baffling.

McNeil, in my view our best player for the 2nd game running, put in loads of crosses... not all great ones, but put a half-decent striker in and we probably win. We were the better team for much of it. McNeil was playing with confidence, taking one touch then crossing.

I would personally play Gray instead of Iwobi on the other flank, but maybe the work rate is the deal-breaker. Anyway, gutted.

Kieran Kinsella
111 Posted 25/02/2023 at 20:06:38
We have to be perfect to get a result due to lack of scoring options. That means a clean sheet and 100 percent conversion rate if Tarkowski or anyone gets a chance from a corner.

We can carry on as we are and hope for 5 perfect 1-0 wins. It could happen but it will be a nail-biter.

I'd prefer Sean to figure out a way of including Gray without disrupting his game plan. Not easy to do but he's our best goal threat.

Beyond that, we've the Hail Mary of the injured players, Calvert-Lewin, Townsend and Garner making a creative impact.

I couldn't watch the game today but, while the score is disappointing, it's not hugely surprising. We are where we are for a reason. After 3 wins in 19, getting 3 in 4 was always unlikely. We just have to dust ourselves off, keep the faith, and move into the next one.

Ian Bennett
112 Posted 25/02/2023 at 20:07:10
Taking off Iwobi and keeping on Gana was baffling for me. I like Gana, but it was a poor game again from him.
John Catto
113 Posted 25/02/2023 at 20:10:51
I have been a follower on ToffeeWeb for some years but generally don't make comments.

What worries me when you look at the remaining fixtures is I see a return of 10-12 points, which is not enough. There are some really difficult fixtures left.

The change of Manager should've been before Christmas. I'm hoping for a miracle but we don't score enough.

Jim Bennings
114 Posted 25/02/2023 at 20:10:59
If I was Dyche, I would take Wednesday night as the opportunity to change things up a little.

Bring Godfrey in for Mykolenko, bring Mina in for Coady and, if Patterson is fit, bring him in for Coleman and give the old legs a break.

Maybe even try something if Patterson isn't fit, put Godfrey right-back, McNeil left-back (think he's better defensively than attacking) and Demarai Gray on the left wing.

I just think we need to try some alternative things as it's not totally working in key areas.

Sacrifice a midfielder and pair Simms with Maupay.

Just try something to give us a goal or two.

Kieran Kinsella
115 Posted 25/02/2023 at 20:16:04
John Catto

Your concern is entirely rational and logical. But you know how football is. Often times the teams that avoid relegation are the ones who get surprise wins. Remember Leicester under Pearson won the last four? West Brom similar under Robson.

I've seen Norwich more than once look safe and sleep walk into relegation at the 11th hour. So with only two teams below us, every game looks hard and I'm sure they will be. But football turns up surprises sometimes.

Ian Edwards
116 Posted 25/02/2023 at 20:26:20
Dyche needs to:

1 Play two up front: Simms and Maupay if Calvert-Lewin is not fit.
2. Mina for Coady
3. Remove Idrissa Nyarko for the 2nd striker
4. Vinagre for Mykolenko
5. Gray for Iwobi

John Catto
117 Posted 25/02/2023 at 20:28:31
Kieran Kinsella,

Fingers crossed — you're right. I think Dyche is the best shot we have.

Rob Dolby
118 Posted 25/02/2023 at 20:34:33
Jeff. 105. I haven't seen replays of the penalty. I sit in the Park End and it looked a penalty all day long.

Taylor had an awful game. Giving free kicks to their players for diving and even a yellow to Doucoure for just playing football. Shirt drags and multiple fouls from Villa resulted in no cards.

We all know how the VAR works in this country, it's a tool to back up the already inept referees. It's certainly not improving the game.

Robert Williams
119 Posted 25/02/2023 at 20:37:16
I was going to make a comment, and then I thought 'Nah fuck it'
Christy Ring
120 Posted 25/02/2023 at 20:42:36
Tony #97,

Spot on with your assessment. We still have average players here now on massive money that Koeman & Co signed, and the other players he signed were sold for a fraction they were bought for, and we had to pay up their contracts as well. We are paying for it now.

Paul Birmingham
121 Posted 25/02/2023 at 20:43:33
Well with Ings having gone to West Ham, that was one jinx less today.

Good spirits and so a slow start and Everton got a grip, but in my view timid in front of goal, no-one taking ownership to take the chance at the right time.

Least said about the clown of a referee, who was his usual. He was hypnotised from the kick-off by Villa's theatricals and their blatant time-wasting from all their players, epitomised by their goalkeeper, who thankfully was booked but far too late in the game, imho.

So on another day the game could have been wrapped up by half-time. Still plenty to take in to the Arsenal, and the same as at Man City.

Massive games in a big week. Everton can't take a hit and lose x3 games in 8 days. I'm confident we can take some points this next week at Arsenal and Forest.

A reality check, if you don't take your chances or want to take ownership to take the chance, you'll get punished, as Everton found out today.

But plenty of games to win, and can be won.


Jim Bennings
122 Posted 25/02/2023 at 20:44:48

No chance we'll see Vinagre in a blue shirt again, another absolute waste of a signing that probably nobody knew who signed him.

Godfrey would offer more athletism at left back (or right-back) depending on Patterson being fit (another crock?).

I don't think Godfrey is an amazing defender but he excelled at full-back when Carlo was here, didn't he?

I just watch Mykolenko and I can't see anything in him that gets me going at all, a semi-competent defender but that is about it.

We need to get that whole team further up the pitch, that means getting more pace in the side right now.

Jeff Armstrong
123 Posted 25/02/2023 at 20:58:44
Rob 118, from where I sit, it looks a pen, but a video on twitter proves he gets the ball first. The VAR should tell that twat Taylor to look at it again as he's made a clear and obvious error.

The rest of Taylor's performance was also a disgrace, he doesn't blow for a foul by Onana or waves play on, but as soon as Onana goes to see how Luis is, he books him! For what?

For a foul he didn't even give, that's what!

Taylor has a clear longstanding dislike of EFC, I believe its cos he's a Manc and doesn't want to be obvious by being biased against LFC, it's bias in plain sight by a scouse-hating Manc.

Paranoia? I don't think so.

We played against 11 v 12 today wiith Onana muted by a ridiculous early booking.

Phil Wood
124 Posted 25/02/2023 at 21:03:31
To all those "we are already relegated" merchants – just sod off. You are not needed here.

We put in a good performance today and played against a good Villa side and a biased preening referee. We had chances in the first half that should have won the match and may do on another day.

There are combinations that Sean Dyche can still try such as starting with Simms or / and Gray upfront. Godfrey back etc and maybe the return of Calvert-Lewin.

Sean Dyche has made a difference and has not just changed players every game for change sake, trying to build a unit.
Villa were lucky today and brought their own ref. Other teams won't be as lucky.

Keep the faith and keep giving your great support to the team.

Tony Hill
125 Posted 25/02/2023 at 21:05:19
Phil @124, amen.
Matt Byrne
126 Posted 25/02/2023 at 21:10:25
You are spot on, Phil (124).

Well said, sir!

Jim Wilson
127 Posted 25/02/2023 at 21:12:12
Well said Phil @ 124

One of our biggest problems is the officials.

A penalty we would never have been given and the telltale of a deliberate biased referee when he books our influential midfielder, for nothing, early on, taking the edge off his game. It turns a game right there.

We had the same problem last season so when are our asleep-at-the-wheel board going to act to stop this outrageous behaviour?

Mike Doyle
128 Posted 25/02/2023 at 21:15:55
How we could have done with a January signing like Danny Ings – another couple today against Forest, I see. Seems a long time since we as a team scored twice in a game.
Tony Hill
129 Posted 25/02/2023 at 21:17:52
Barry @102,

Your conclusion seems to be that Moshiri and Usmanov are to blame for the club's decline because they took over the club and that is a fact.

Yes, I think I grasp the force of that logic.

Paul Smith
130 Posted 25/02/2023 at 21:19:17
Can't believe it's all "the officials' fault" firm are out tonight. It must have hurt, that one. Villa scored 2 and one of them was a cracking goal.

I wish we had a Watkins or a Buendia in our ranks – players we should have in abundance with all the money we've spent. The fault is firmly with our recruitment, not Anthony Taylor.

Jeff Armstrong
131 Posted 25/02/2023 at 21:27:55
So Paul 130, what did you think of Taylor today?

Are the officials top notch and don't make massive mistakes that influence results?

I think it's not unreasonable to have a level playing field and quality officials in elite sport.

We don't have that, and it should, and will be highlighted by “the firm”.

Tony Hill
132 Posted 25/02/2023 at 21:28:35
Sorry, I should have spelled out the syllogism:

Moshiri & Usmanov took over the club, there has been a decline, Moshiri & Usmanov are to blame.

Or, possibly, 1 and 2 above, and we are not entitled to comment further.

Paul Smith
133 Posted 25/02/2023 at 21:35:32
Jeff, he never scored against us, mate. Or missed a header from close range to put us one up. We never had a goal ruled out with a blatant VAR fuck-up at Stockley Park.

FWIW Leon Osman was commentating and said it was a pen, I think he got the ball, a clear & obvious error? I'm not convinced. We didn't do enough to win – Villa were far more clinical. That's on us not the officials.

Andy Crooks
134 Posted 25/02/2023 at 21:36:27
Ian Edwards, you're on to something there.
Bill Gall
135 Posted 25/02/2023 at 21:39:41
We all are aware that we need a striker but is that just the problem?

Today, if we set the team up 4-3-3 with the back 4 as defense, it still leaves 6 players with none of them having what you would call a goal-scoring background, and that indicates we are only set up for a striker to score.

Today on a number of occasions there were 3 of our midfielders in and around the goal area but only 1 real attempt at goal.

I understand that a decent striker should increase our goal-scoring attempts but we should be getting goals from other players – not having 10 men rely on 1 player.

Paul Hewitt
136 Posted 25/02/2023 at 21:44:47
Phil @124.

You do realise we're in the Bottom 3 at the moment, we also don't have a striker that scores goals?

Now I'm not saying we are deffo down, but I can understand some fans giving up hope. The team have hardly given us any in the last 2 seasons.

Paul Birmingham
137 Posted 25/02/2023 at 22:05:11
All knew the form of the referee and he was consistent, as he is.

A disappointing day for Evertonians, as any defeat is, but it was not a dire day at Goodison Park.

But no one's blaming him for the defeat, which was self-inflicted by poor defending, and by a reluctance to take ownership and finish good chances made.

It's a lesson to be learned but, for Arsenal, Everton must regroup and play to their strengths and grind out a result.

Jeez also there's many games, suspensions and twisted decisions, which will impact all clubs in this League; I think this season will go to the wire.

1998, let's hope not, but any from 12th down, could go.

But I think Everton have to get ahead of West Ham, Leeds, Wolves and Forest. I see them as our key opponents.

We beat West Ham, and Leeds and drew away v Leeds, and must reverse away v Wolves and beat Forest.

Loads to improve on but it's winnable, with belief, luck and guts.


Paul Birmingham
138 Posted 25/02/2023 at 22:08:51
Phil, @124, well said, there’s a long way to go, in this season.


Tony Hill
139 Posted 25/02/2023 at 22:16:15
Taylor booked Onana and Doucoure for fuck all, was consistently behind the play and indulged Villa's deliberate "injury" breaks when things were getting difficult for them. That last point was particularly important in the context of the game.

A dreadful refereeing performance. But he's bald and from Manchester, so that's ok.

Andy Crooks
140 Posted 25/02/2023 at 22:16:50
Phil @124, I agree,but... as weeks go by, other teams get lucky, we continue to be"unlucky", we miss chances, we miss chances again, there comes a tipping point. Paul Hewitt makes a good point; there is not an infinite supply of hope. We fit the profile of relegation, in fact we stink of it.
MOTD avoided once again.
The custodians of the club have overseen the assembly of an utterly lamentable squad of second rate triers. We can escape but we are relying on us being the slightly less shit of the shit. Tough days ahead but we can do it..

Paul Birmingham
141 Posted 25/02/2023 at 22:24:01
Ian@116, some good ideas, and Id go with 2 & 4, from your suggestions based on today’s match,

Another day, Everton would have won, but the confidence corner must be turned this week, in terms of scoring goals.

It’s kinetic in terms of making steady progress away from the bottom 5 teams.

There’s time to train and games to play and win, but let’s not have another 1998.

NB for me from the Main Stand, TB, it wasn’t a penalty, and only on seeing a reply, post game on my phone, I believe Gaye got the ball first and McGinn, went down in time honoured style.

I am seriously loosing faith in football, due tonVAR, and rank poor officials.

Today’s official were like Duck Soup..

But Everton, are still in a battle, but they can win this battle to stay up.


Christy Ring
142 Posted 25/02/2023 at 22:26:16
How can a board look at every team around us bring in players, and we with our ONE striker who is injured, not sign anyone, how incompetent and arrogant are they, unbelievable.
Fran Mitchell
143 Posted 25/02/2023 at 22:27:26
very worrying set of fixtures. Arsenal away, Forest away, the Brentford home. that is conceivably another 3 defeats and if so,...well that could be curtains.

big 2 weeks. hopefully 4 points, but anything less than 2 and we're done for.

Ian Riley
144 Posted 25/02/2023 at 22:30:12
In all honesty we are down! It's my coping mechanism if the reality happens in may. Let's look at it from last season. The planning and player purchase has made us worse. Yes worse! We are relying on top six form with no strikers. You can't get lucky season after season. Lessons not learnt and sadly it won't come as a shock if championship football comes this August.

I'm comfortable that Sean dyche is our manager and probably our best signing in two years and he must stay on if championship comes calling. Good news is we still have hope and a chance, small but possible! The Everton family must be exhausted by it all but keep the faith!

John Charles
145 Posted 25/02/2023 at 22:38:44
Very poor referee but we lost because we can’t score.
Onana definitely affected by early booking
Mykolenko panics whenever he goes forward
Doucoure has a melt down
No one will take shot.
We played well in parts - McNeill most improved.Iwobi absolutely awful.
From my seat in the Park End nailed on pen.
DCLs absences - not saying his fault - is what will send us down if we go.
Kieran Kinsella
146 Posted 25/02/2023 at 22:45:28
Oddly quiet thread after a defeat dropped us into the relegation zone: half the posts blaming the ref most of the rest saying we are down. Absent are the usual “sack the manager” and he’s “not fit to wear the shirt.” I’m guessing it’s because most realize there’s no easy answers with this team and bar a few tweaks such as Ian’s idea (funny his post being practical is one of the more positive) all we can do is hope.
Mike Price
147 Posted 25/02/2023 at 22:46:36
Mykolenko has always looked like he won a competition, you couldn’t give him away. Iwobi is shockingly bad and if anyone even thinks of giving him a new contract we deserve what we’ll get.

That result today was a real panic inducer. It feels different this time.

Jerome Shields
148 Posted 25/02/2023 at 22:49:20
You can talk about poor playets,no forwards,poor refereeing, penalties till the cows come home, but it is not going to get Everton valuable points.Something has to be done regarding defensive plannng, for stages in the game when Everton are not going to be in possession and not dominant. Teams being able to play through midfield into space is always going to put the Everton defence under pressure,and slip up and errors will occur. When players because of lack of pace, as Everton Central Defender do, they going to sit deeper inviting pressure.

Aston Villa just waiting till the second have to exploit this weakness.I predicted it before the game, since in every game except on their first game against Everton after being promoted from the Championship, they have done exactly the same.

I hoped Dyche would have provided more defensive cover for that space, particularly at the start of the second half.I also hoped that he would have brought on Subs earlier, since Aston Villa had the measure of Everton s attack and w ere confident enough to push forward.If there had been early changes it would have upset their game plan.Which they had been working on all week.It went 109% to plan for them.

Dyche did neither and the Everton team, poor as they are paid for it.They should have come away from that game with a point aleast

Ernie Baywood
149 Posted 25/02/2023 at 22:52:44
I remain unconvinced by the Dyche appointment. Nothing against his ability, but what did we actually gain?

We were the lowest scoring team in the league with a respectable(ish) defensive record. We appointed a man known for keeping it tight. We're still exactly what we were even if we do have a bit more endeavour.

In fact, we've traded our only occasional goal threat in Grey in exchange for that endeavour.

Working hard matters. But scoring goals is absolutely vital.

What's the plan? I know what I'd try but I've been watching this team for a long time. The manager needs to find these things out... and we don't really have time for that.

Jeff Armstrong
150 Posted 25/02/2023 at 22:53:24
“Mykelenko panics when he goes forwards”
He also panics when the ball comes his way defensively, he is an awful player, Vinagre must be terrible in training, Godfrey needs a go at LB, limited, but surely better than our current incumbent.
Jeff Armstrong
151 Posted 25/02/2023 at 22:57:51
Dyche bashers starting to come out of the woodwork, what exactly do you want now?

Another sacking?

Get back under your stone.

Barry Jones
152 Posted 25/02/2023 at 22:58:08
Keiran, you are right about this thread. There is an air of hopelessness and despair. Must be time for a drink.
Barry Jones
153 Posted 25/02/2023 at 22:59:54
Watched the Fulham game last night. What a player Antonee Robinson is. Why did we let him go?
Brendan McLaughlin
154 Posted 25/02/2023 at 23:00:43
Ernie #149

We've gained a better manager...one who just might save us. We may have appointed him too late but we have at least improved our chances of survival.

Mike Gaynes
155 Posted 25/02/2023 at 23:07:14
Come on, Jeff, really?

Mykolenko is totally solid defensively. Certainly an improvement on his predecessor, whom we saw today.

But Barry is right, Antonee Robinson is a whole lot better, and letting him go for two million was sheer, unadulterated idiocy.

Peter Mills
156 Posted 25/02/2023 at 23:09:52
It’s going to be like this for the rest of the season, some good results, some bad.

I had this one down this morning as a “must not lose”, but lose we did. My head says we are in very big trouble, one of the 3 worst teams in the league. My heart says we can pull out of this situation, then my head kicks in again and recognises that we are lacking that bit of class that can turn a game, we are too dependent on a restricted game plan of scoring from a set piece and hanging on.

Crumbs of comfort? My Leeds-supporting pal thinks they are going down. My Nottingham Forest- supporting taxi driver last night thinks they are doomed because they have a weak squad! Apparently they are down to their last two fit centre backs.

As for today, we were ok, but Mr Dyche needs to change something up front because Maupay is bringing nothing to the party. McNeil tried very hard, and his ball control is exceptional, but he lacks that extra half yard of pace, and a right foot. He was up against a good full back.

Onana was restricted after 2 minutes due to a highly dubious yellow card - I thought VAR was not to be used to investigate potential yellow cards, but it must have done so as the referee didn’t even award a foul? And surely the penalty was worthy of a review? Mr Taylor’s performance only assists the case of those who claim the game is corrupt. (Having said that, I understood why he blew for the quickly-taken throw in, there were 2 balls on the pitch).

There is a tough week ahead, a point from each game would be a good return, but even that would not particularly help our league position.

Jeff Armstrong
157 Posted 25/02/2023 at 23:22:18
Sorry, Mike, but Mykolenko is pretty poor in most things he does.

Letting Robinson go was a disgrace, he was decent when he left, certainly good enough as a successor to Digne. He was 20 when he left, his kick-on is no surprise.

I think we only got £1 million for him… Brands has a lot to answer for on Antonee Robinson but all the focus is on incoming signings — what about the one we let go?

Colin Malone
158 Posted 25/02/2023 at 23:26:28
Players behind the forward, ie, McNeil, are going to ask: "Why work my arse off when there is nothing at the end of it?"

My analogy is today. The headlights weren't working but Dyche decided to change the brakes. Which fucked everything up.

Paul Birmingham
159 Posted 25/02/2023 at 23:30:42
Peter @156, well said, and agreed.

It's frustrating today, but hope eternal.


Kieran Kinsella
160 Posted 25/02/2023 at 23:32:22

I feel conflicted about your remarks on Dyche. Earlier, Colin Glassar says there are 17 better managers than him.

Now Colin isn't exactly all sunshine and rainbows but he is pretty astute. I remember when we were getting carried away under Carlo, he maintained we'd finish between 10th and 12th. He was correct as often he is.

Your comments on Dyche imply you think he can get more from this team, ergo, you're an optimist so that gives me hope. Conversely, if you and Colin are right about Dyche, but you're wrong that another manager could do better, then I'm staring into the abyss.

Therefore, even though you're technically more positive than me, I'm going to disagree with you based on my more extreme negative-positive equilibrium in which Sean is my last hope.

Paul Birmingham
161 Posted 25/02/2023 at 23:33:39
Never a penalty.

Dave Lynch
162 Posted 25/02/2023 at 23:48:52
Doesn't matter how positive "we" get, it's what happens on the field that matters.

Other teams above us only have to match our results, not better them, we are in deep shit make no mistake about that.

I know... like me, a lot of fans will have poured over our remaining fixtures, I cannot for the life of me see any more than 7-10 points tops from what we have left.

I'm genuinely scared, sad, angry and convinced next season will see us in the Championship.

It's been coming for some time, tbh, and this board will have a lot to answer for when it does. Then again, when have they ever admitted culpability for anything?

Jeff Armstrong
163 Posted 25/02/2023 at 23:49:14
Kieran, I think you're getting carried away on Colin's astuteness, I don't think he watches all of our games (just a hunch).

Colin, correct me if I'm wrong.

Laurie Hartley
164 Posted 25/02/2023 at 23:51:50
Michael #106,

Getting rid of Rondon was another huge error of judgement by the powers that be. He is exactly what Dyche needs. Water under the bridge.

Paul Birmingham
165 Posted 25/02/2023 at 23:56:05
For me, Mykolenko has a great heart but, in terms of football decision-making, it's a rare event in matches this season.

I'd say every game he's done some great tackles – mainly, good passes often, and too many poor passes, and much reckless waste-of-space passing and opportunity is wasted. But Vitalii isn't the worst player, and he has a heart.

Leadership in that back four and the whole team is now key. All players take ownership and play for the Everton shirt, every minute of every game, this season and henceforth.


Jeff Armstrong
166 Posted 25/02/2023 at 23:58:26
I maintain Coady needs dropping for Mina, with Tarkowski moving to the right side.
Kieran Kinsella
167 Posted 25/02/2023 at 23:59:06

Come on, mate! I'm already low now you're questioning my unwavering faith in Glassardamus. Next, you'll be telling me that Howard Kendal Mk II's team wasn't a striker short of a Championship-winning team.

Ernie Baywood
168 Posted 25/02/2023 at 00:00:56

You might remember I made similar comments in January prior to his appointment. My point back then was that the players weren't shirking – they simply weren't good enough and a new manager was very unlikely to change that.

We needed to sign a striker (I know, and practically everyone knows) and a midfielder with a forward gear. That was what we needed to even have a chance.

I don't think a new manager was ever any kind of solution in isolation. But appointing a manager who didn't exactly have a history of being able to address the key problem with this team made it more likely that this wasn't the right move.

Signing Dyche was akin to us signing another defender and arguing that, if we could concede less, then we'd have more chance of winning. It's true, but it's not what was really needed.

In the meantime, our new era under Dyche is almost exactly the same as what went before. Decent effort, we don't concede freely, minimal threat. It's the same shit with a slightly different smell. It's what we were against the last 4 teams we've played (including Liverpool - I can't understand anyone complaining about that performance when it was completely standard) and it's what we've been for quite some time now.

I don't blame Dyche for the performances. I do hold some contempt for him accepting the role during the last week of the window. He had leverage at that point and took the salary regardless. He's complicit in those events.

Brendan @154, I don't see it at all. Do we score goals now? How has appointing Dyche improved our chances of survival?

Christy Ring
169 Posted 25/02/2023 at 00:02:47
No problem with Dyche, but Mina, Gray, Godfrey and Garner, even Davies have to come in.
John Raftery
170 Posted 25/02/2023 at 00:07:06
I said yesterday we should be wary of Villa. This was a typical Unai Emery team performance. They dug in under pressure, frustrated the opposition and seized their opportunities when they arose.

Overall, this was not a bad performance from our team. In some ways the attacking play was better than in the two recent victories. Once we conceded, however, there was no way back.

I thought Mr Taylor was terrible. The penalty decision was correct but some of his other calls were poor, for example awarding a free kick against Doucouré for a fair challenge on Mings.

Some of the play-acting from Villa players, notably Douglas Luiz and Buendía in the first quarter of an hour was pathetic. Taylor fell for it.

Jeff Armstrong
171 Posted 26/02/2023 at 00:10:33
Ernie @168,

When you put it that way, you're quite correct. It's just that we don't want to believe it.

We're hoping that Dyche can change it, but I suppose it's inevitable that this group of players will take us down – no matter who is managing.

But most of us will not accept it until it's mathematical.

Danny Baily
172 Posted 26/02/2023 at 00:13:28
Relegation is not the end of the world.
Paul Birmingham
173 Posted 26/02/2023 at 00:15:04
Seriously, there's no justifiable call today for the Last Rights for this football season, for Everton.

Everton and all teams have at least 13-14 matches to play. So, until it's all done, it's not done, and at the end of this seaso Everton will still be there. Fans and all support will help and make it happen.

No more down the Banks, without a proof. Miles of football, for Everton, to win, lose or draw, but to stay up in this season, is our Aim.


Soren Moyer
174 Posted 25/02/2023 at 00:16:32
Lol. Love the hyper optimism of some fans. Still x amount of games to go and we'll be alright!!!

This team is fucking shite of the highest order! It wouldn't matter if we had 100 games left as we cannot score even if our lives depended on it!

Maupay is another dud we added to the pile of shite we already had! Gueye and Iwobi are useless. On top of that, we have 2 of the slowest central defender in the top 2 divisions.

At this point, I would play Keane instead of one of the Coady or Tarkowski, as he has goals in him.

Jeff Armstrong
175 Posted 26/02/2023 at 00:22:06
Tarkowski has goals in him: winner v Arsenal, hit the post v Liverpool, should have scored today. For me, it's Tarkowski and Mina against Arsenal – Coady is average at best.

When teams get relegated, the cherry pickers come to town, Onana maybe, Pickford possibly, but we are in the Bottom 3 tonight because our players are shite, nobody will be cherry-picking Mykolenko, Tarkowski, Coady, Gana, Doucoure or any of the others who played today and last week and the week before… we are where we are because of these players.

Paul Birmingham
176 Posted 26/02/2023 at 00:24:10
Soren, respected you say, how you see it, the game each week.

C'est la vie.


Simon Dalzell
177 Posted 26/02/2023 at 00:32:11
I'm seething. I just watched Gyökeres score again for Coventry.

Total dereliction of duty. Fuck Off, Thelwell etc. End of.

Soren Moyer
178 Posted 26/02/2023 at 00:33:57

Mina would be way better than Coady to play alongside Tarkowski, but we seem to forget he is made of glass!


I believe we went down after the Bournemouth game and our board's reluctance to replace Lampard before the World Cup Finals. Not to mention not addressing the striker issue.

So yes, I believe we are going down this season because we cannot even win our easy games at home coupled with the fact that we are pretty awful away!

Bill Gall
179 Posted 26/02/2023 at 00:42:34
Never mind a striker who was the last midfielder to score a goal!
Don Alexander
180 Posted 26/02/2023 at 01:01:14
The fact of the matter is that those in the boardroom/, Monaco, or wherever else have shown total ineptitude in running our club for 8 years, and 20 beforehand, before our Kenwright-proclaimed saviour, Moshiri, trusted the bogus bastard to lead us to new heights.

Having plunged us into transfer penury for next season and the season afterwards, minimum, despite having squandered hundreds of £millions in doing so, we are, observably, the least potent team in the Premier League. Every other team knows this.

Every other team also knows we're short of pace, heart, skill, venom and fitness. I'm sure Dyche knows this too. It's been going downwards for decades. It can't be solved in weeks.

I hope, beyond hope, that we avoid relegation.

That said, I implore us all to daily protest against those in charge of the club, whilst doing our damndest to give all our hearts and minds etc etc to the team on the pitch every damned match.

What the hell have we honest fans done to deserve such a dilemma?

Bob Parrington
181 Posted 26/02/2023 at 01:18:49
As soon as I saw who was refereeing the game, I thought, "Oh shit, this is not a good omen."

He took only a few seconds to confirm these feeling when he gave Onana a yellow card for what was a foul (not given) but was not a yellow-card offence.

Kieran Kinsella
182 Posted 26/02/2023 at 02:42:23

I agree with the first four names you mention. I can't comment on the fifth as I made a lenten vow to abstain from mentioning him.

Phil Lewis
183 Posted 26/02/2023 at 02:58:31
It's getting harder with every game to know where the goals are going to come from. A look at our fixture list spells doom and disaster. Set-pieces seem our only hope of scoring at present. For this reason alone, Mina should be selected.

I also believe Dyche should play a 4-4-2 formation. Perm any two from Maupay, Gray and Simms up front. We have to win games; draws serve us no purpose, given our league placing.

I hate to say this and obviously I hope I'm wrong, but I fear that continuing injury problems may well be bringing a premature end to Calvert-Lewin's career. Without him, we do not have a player capable of being an effective lone striker. The board should hang their heads in shame for not recruiting an adequate replacement striker in the last window.

I want to see us go at teams, as we did today, regardless of the opposition. Employ attack as the best form of defence. It may well prove our only option. Let's face it, every other combination has ended in failure, so for me, two up front is the last throw of the dice. Go for it before survival becomes beyond our reach.

I applauded our combined effort today. The players gave their all. For their penalty, I believe Gueye played the ball and connected with it. His momentum was bound to carry him through. It was a harsh decision. The cards for Onana and Doucouré were nonsensical.

All is far from lost but, as Einstein once said, "A definition of insanity, is repeating the same action and expecting a different result." (Or words to that effect.)

I hope that Sean Dyche is aware of this when he pens his next teamsheet and selects its formation.

Steve Brown
184 Posted 26/02/2023 at 04:00:22
I think most fans will be gutted about the result, as the game was winnable.

My reflections:

1) The press was effective and well organised.
2) The switch to the left side worked well in the first half – I could finally see why we signed McNeil.
3) Maupay should not start another game.
4) Gray must play on the right side.
5) Bring Godfrey in at left-back.
6) Pray daily.

Pete Clarke
185 Posted 26/02/2023 at 04:05:43
It's no use looking back at what caused all this or banging on about the players not being up to it. Most of us us can see this is a very poor team and a very badly run club. We may all soon go into meltdown on all of this once our fate is sealed.

Maupay is one of the worst strikers I have seen at Goodison. It is a tough gig being a lone striker but he lacks a decent first touch and has no instinct to attack the 6-yard box.

Our midfield are all pretty average at playing proper football and even worse on their goal return so no wonder we are in trouble.

Yesterday was a must-not-lose game really and, in truth, we didn't deserve any more than a draw. I look at the upcoming Forest game as being a must-win to drag ourselves up the table whilst pulling Forest deeper into the mix. A draw is no good to us.

Arsenal are currently battling for their points so there may be a slight chance of a point but what is important is not getting hammered.

In the meantime, Sean Dyche needs to make a change up top and, with a bit of luck, he may have Garner, Calvert-Lewin and Townsend available to change things up for the run-in.

Desperate times indeed.
Kieran Kinsella
186 Posted 26/02/2023 at 04:44:21

Sad thing is that, even if we beat Forest, we will still be below them unless we beat Arsenal in the interim. My go-to is that Howard Kendall Mk III had the worst team ever.

But in truth would Don Hutchison or Duncan Ferguson improve this team? I think the answer is yes.

Jimmy Cooper
187 Posted 26/02/2023 at 04:48:11
There's one idea about the striker crisis that I've seen mentioned only rarely on TW. That's using one our many redundant defenders as an emergency striker? One of Godfrey, Holgate, Mina or Keane? Plenty of tall timber there to latch onto Dyche-style crosses. And they wouldn't get bullied like Maupay.

Over the years, it's been done at different clubs and at different levels, usually in an emergency. Some defenders have even gone on to have successful careers up front, eg, Chris Sutton and our very own Fred Pickering (both England internationals). Sandy Brown did it on occasion too.

It couldn't be a worse idea than persisting with Maupay on his own when it's painfully obvious it doesn't work. Desperate times etc.

Ernie Baywood
188 Posted 26/02/2023 at 05:13:28
Personally, as I've said before, I can't see any possible formation for this collection other than wing-backs using McNeil and Iwobi (and occasionally Coleman).

It improves the quality in the side by a little bit (by dropping Mykolenko, who I'd love to be a better footballer, but he isn't) while maintaining 3 in midfield which is crucial given they're all fairly useless and need the numbers.

And it increases our attacking threat purely by virtue of having two players up front who aren't good enough instead of just one.

We might concede a few more but we might score a goal. Just imagine that!

Martin Mason
189 Posted 26/02/2023 at 05:36:04
Well, we're on the run-in now sprinting hard to the finish line.

Jesus, who put that cliff there???

Martin Mason
190 Posted 26/02/2023 at 06:00:20
Jimmy @187

I saw Sandy play twice at Number 9 – one season at Man Utd and Southampton. God forbid that we ever see a repeat of that disaster. He was worse than totally hopeless.

Jimmy Cooper
191 Posted 26/02/2023 at 06:41:45
And Fred Pickering, Martin? He was a bit of a carthorse too, but strong and reasonably effective.
Roger Helm
192 Posted 26/02/2023 at 07:00:44
How soon until we hear the phrase “until it’s mathematically impossible…”
Laurie Hartley
193 Posted 26/02/2023 at 07:36:27
After watching the game, I am hoping Dyche will drop Maupay and Iwobi, and replace them with Simms and Gray. Stick to his game plan – balls out wide and bang them into the box.

If that isn't working switch McNeil and Gray so they can cut inside and get a shot away.

Steve Brown
194 Posted 26/02/2023 at 07:47:48
Leeds next 5 games are Fulham (A), Chelsea (A), Brighton (H), Wolves (A) and Arsenal (A).

Bournemouth - Arsenal (A), Liverpool (H), Villa (A), Fulham (H) and Brighton (H).

Soton - Leicester (H), Man U (A), Brentford (H), Spurs (H), West Ham (A).

I can’t see them getting many points from that lot.

Derek Thomas
195 Posted 26/02/2023 at 07:58:51
We're a club in relegation form, these clubs get bad bounces and bad referees' decisions. We might sneak across the line in a 4- or 5-way photo – but you wouldn't bet your house on it.

Pickering, like Malcolm MacDonald, was converted early in his career. Mina and Keane – John Charles they ain't by a very long chalk. They're not even as good as Marshall and Lyons was better than him and Gabriel was better than both.

Eddie Dunn
196 Posted 26/02/2023 at 08:06:26
This result was no surprise to me. Aston Villa ran Arsenal close in a thrilling game last week and a weird deflection and a last-minute break distorted the scoreline.

I expected them to open us up and was impressed at how we resticted them for long periods. It is clear that the plan was, as usual, to score from a set-piece – and we almost did.

Our players just panic when they get near goal. Doucoure had a couple of worthy runs and then lost control of his legs. Even Gray hit a tame shot worthy of the Women's Super League late-on.

We have to stop whinging on here. We are in a scrap with the likes of Forest, Leeds, Bournemouth etc and we will all suffer ups and down. It doesn't matter if we are facing Bournemouth or Man City, they are all tough games. Who would have predicted that we would beat Arsenal?

So let's not despair – the team showed up and fought. We lack quality. We all knew that but at least we look fitter and ready to work. Now we need Simms to get more minutes and hope that our broken striker heals.

Plenty more twists and turns to come. If Lampard had stayed, we would have had zero points from the four games.

Paul Hewitt
197 Posted 26/02/2023 at 08:13:52
Danny @172.


Jerome Shields
198 Posted 26/02/2023 at 08:21:35
I do think that Dyche was the best manager that Everton could get, and I'm glad that he got the job, but he was not aware of Aston Villa's tactics, particularly in the second half, and was unprepared for them.

As soon as I saw Seamus Colman on 51 minutes commit a professional foul to prevent an Aston Villa player coming through to attack the right middle of the Everton defence with space beyond, I knew that Dyche had missed the point. It was shortly after that that Pickford saved off the post and Coady cleared off the line.

Seamus doing his best covering a gaping hole in front of the defence. The midfield was stationary and the defence deep. After that, Aston Villa just kept passing the ball into that space which was picked up by untracked Aston Villa runners.

Cover was needed in front of the defence to compensate for an Everton defence that was always going to default to being deep. Gana was the only one in midfield who was attempting to cover that space. He is not as good as he was and is frankly overwhelmed trying to.

Aston Villa have always successfully set up shop against Everton in the first half and equally successfully exploited the above weakness in the second half. Everton substitutions are always too late in the second half. After Villa gets the scores they want, they set up shop again and counter-attack and beat Everton. All too easy for Villa, straight off the training ground.

Agree with Mike regarding Antonee Robinson.

Jim Lloyd
199 Posted 26/02/2023 at 08:37:39
Good post, Eddie.

We did scrap, we caused them enough problems to have won, but we didn't take the chances we made.

When it's said that we are in relegation form, I don't agree. They are a good side, a better team than us; but we run them very close and could have got a worthy draw or even won.

This wasn't like the Liverpool game, where the Old Everton turned up and we turned over. We fought well, made chances and have had got beaten. I look at the tackle that Gana made and I thought it was irresponsible, or at the very least, extremely risky, and we paid for it,

Their second goal? That feller took it well. He left our defence and, at a sharp angle, smacked it well and it was an excellent goal.

We've suffered from not having a goalscorer; but it's time now that's our enemy… time to get Calvert-Lewin, Mina, Patterson, Godfrey, Townsend and Garner fit to give, Sean Dyche some options in players and choice in tactics and strategy.

We're playing alright. Some of our players, we know have got limitations but, except for the Anfield game, no team we've played, since Sean Dyche became our manager, have looked certain to beat us.

It is all to play for and we're doing okay and Eddie's last sentence is spot on.

We still fight; and we can escape the drop yet.

Dave Abrahams
200 Posted 26/02/2023 at 08:46:17
Martin (190),

Maybe you never saw him in the derby game at Goodison when Sandy playing upfront scored the third goal in a 3-1 win.

Tony Everan
201 Posted 26/02/2023 at 08:48:24
Neal Maupay: 5ft-7in … 1 goal & 0 assists in 17 games this season.

Ellis Simms: 6ft-3in … 7 goals & 2 assists in 17 games this season for Sunderland.

Ellis needs to improve his aerial ability but, out of the two, he should be starting if we are playing a lone striker. He's got some height, strength and physicality to at least try to force a mistake from a defender or retain possession. He's got a shot and a goal in him from around the box which we've been missing. Would he have buried one of those good half-chances yesterday?

I think we have to give Ellis Simms his opportunities now, back him, for better or for worse. It's a big chance for him to step it up and prove himself.

Maupay is trying but it's a waste of time, he needs to be deployed as a nuisance sub or playing off Ellis as a second striker in a different formation.

Sean Dyche will be rethinking options after yesterday.

Another player who has to come into the reckoning is James Garner. Another player who has a shot and can come up with a goal or an assist.

Kim Vivian
202 Posted 26/02/2023 at 08:54:46
As my link died just into the second half I bit the bullet and watched MOTD this morning. Just looking at the stats they put up for us yesterday:

Touches in opp. box - 44

Crosses - 35

Shots - 15

Shots on target - 5


and ... Goals - 0

Overall, with the exception of the bottom one that is encouraging - and should not be reflecting a 0-2 defeat. It speaks absolute volumes really.

Maupay is totally worse than useless in my opinion, certainly in this set up. I honestly don't think it would have been worse if we had played with 10 men without him.

Simms absolutely has to be starting surely.

Dave Abrahams
203 Posted 26/02/2023 at 09:01:37
I didn't think Onana was affected by getting an early yellow card – he always plays like he did yesterday.

The Arsenal game was a rare committed performance from him; I'm not impressed by his half-measure games, he continues to amble around and go missing from games.

Eddie Dunn
204 Posted 26/02/2023 at 09:02:28
Just another quick point: most teams can now keep the fast tempo by the introduction of all five subs. We made three. Our bench is threadbare.
Alan McGuffog
205 Posted 26/02/2023 at 09:04:29
What is the point of Ellis Simms?

Come to think of it... what's the point of our academy?

Kim Vivian
207 Posted 26/02/2023 at 09:20:33
Re 202 - I should have added, in the absence of DCL or a.n.other (thinking free agents, here, if we can find a suitable suspect).
Alan McGuffog
208 Posted 26/02/2023 at 09:21:38
Sandy Brown was a true unsung hero. So bloody ironic that probably the only time the MotD cameras were allowed in in 1969-70 was against that lot and we all remember what happened. That seemed to be what he is remembered for. Although a full back he weighed in with a goal or two and had one hell of a shot. Think he scored against a Spanish team in Cup Winners Cup.
I liked Sandy
Jerome Shields
209 Posted 26/02/2023 at 09:23:11
Agree Maupay offers little other than effort. I even feel that Calvert Lewin may just offer a little more.But Simms has more aptitude to do the right things technically and is a greater threat.He was brought on too late after the damage of a inept attacking display had been done.

Aston Villa subs where a full ten minutes before that, as Villa made a tactical change to exploit the gaping space between Everton's defence and midfield.This change was possible because less defending was necessary by them.Dyche did not respond or anticipate Villa's tactical change.The Villa players came out after half time geared up to test this weakness, which became apparent in the first 5 minutes of the second half.

Tony Abrahams
210 Posted 26/02/2023 at 09:35:47
I can’t comment on a game I never went to, but my very critical son, told me after the game that Everton played okay and didn’t deserve to lose yesterday.

We did lose though, a debatable penalty isn’t a surprise when Anthony Taylor is refereeing, but when a team has such limited striking options, then staying in the game is rule number one, and we obviously lost this once Watkins scored from the spot.

Six points from twelve, is a lot better than five points from thirty six, but unless we get a much fitter version of DCL back, then it’s obvious we are going to struggle, even with those pretty impressive stats, (in comparison to what had been going on previously) that Kim, has posted@202.

Andrew Bentley
211 Posted 26/02/2023 at 09:36:34
We have to do something different upfront in the absence of being able to get DCL on the pitch.

For whatever reason, Dyche doesn’t see Simms as a viable option to start matches and thinks Maupay is better. Not working when we are firing crosses in to try and hit a target man who’s tiny!

So either start Simms, or we have to roll the dice and maybe push Doucoure upfront and slot in another midfielder behind. We could also try Onana - we need someone to get on the end of these crosses if that’s the style we are going to play. Maybe when Garner is actually back and available we may see him in MF and 1 of Doucoure or Onana pushed up. Can’t be worse than trying to watch Maupay impact a game.

Or revolutionary as this may seem, start with both Maupay and Simms upfront and change the formation.

Either way, doing the same thing every match and hoping for a different outcome is not going to work

Danny O’Neill
212 Posted 26/02/2023 at 09:45:37
Your son sums it up pretty well Tony.

We played okay.

Finally on a train home. Listening to some nearby United fans that jumped on at Crewe and Stafford. They seem more interested in ranting about Scousers (well them) and Klopp being on his way out.

They are going to Wembley for a final. Honestly.

Trevor Peers
213 Posted 26/02/2023 at 09:46:25
We played as well as we could with this woefully weakened squad available to Dyche, it nearly worked, if we had scored first I think we would of won this game. Our striking options are a disgrace.

Kenwright's disastrous influence of years and years of miss management and dragging his heels in the transfer market is the reason why we are here now. Only hard work and spirit can drag us out of this mess, we have a fighters chance of avoiding the drop, it's between ourselves Leeds and Forest as to who will go down.

Almost certainly if we had acted sooner and sacked Lampard before the World Cup, and brought in two strikers in the transfer window, we could of avoided the situation we are now in. That's history, we can only pray for a miracle now to survive the drop. KENWRIGHT OUT!

Derek Knox
214 Posted 26/02/2023 at 09:50:24
Absolutely deflated again after having spirits lifted, from that performance, as many have already said Villa intrinsically were no better than we were, but with one difference, they had players who could score. I am still behind Dyche by the way, but he needs his legs slapping for a) his team selection (although limited, b) his lateness of substitutions again, then the wrong ones at that (unless the players subbed was to keep uninjured till Wednesday).

It was evident to all in the ground, apart from having the worst official possible, that although we got to half-time on level terms, change was needed, Maupay although he does try, is not the answer up front as a lone striker, in fact the only way he should be employed is alongside Simms or (Oh, we have no-one else and we all know why). Doucoure was again dreadful, and should be binned, I was hoping to see a fit again Garner come on, but no, he brought Pancake Tuesday Davies (what a tosser) on for Onana.

I still believe that Simms will come good but he needs more time not coming on with 10 to 15 minutes to go and expected to get two or three goals. Too much pressure on the lad who is new to the Premiership but certainly is no stranger to scoring, in the absence (God knows how long) of Calvert Lewin he has to be given more pitch time either as a lone (not ideal) striker but definitely more effective than Maupay.

I see young Tom Cannon got the winner for Preston yesterday, more lunacy from those who are allegedly running the Club, we have virtually no strikers and they must have known we weren't going to get any either, and they loan out our promising youngsters, who are all hitting the net regularly albeit at a lower level, while we are struggling. To rub salt into the wound they are staying away, because Goodison is so toxic and dangerous for their own safety, unbelievable almost.

Jim Lloyd
215 Posted 26/02/2023 at 09:53:25
I agree about Onana, didn't think he deserved the booking, but I think it was a lot of money for him and he doesn't seem worth it to me.
By the way, I remember another great goal Sandy scored. A brilliant header right in front of us in the Glwadys St. Against Liverpool as well, but unfortunately it was for them:) I can laugh about it now, but then...tears a plenty!
Pete Jeffries
216 Posted 26/02/2023 at 10:02:25
Jimmy 191 - Fred Pickering was anything but a carthorse - did you see him play ?
I did.
He scored a hat trick for Blackburn against us at Goodison when Rovers were top of the league.
Catterick broke the bank to sign him.
He scored a hat trick for us v Forest on his debut.
After that Blackburn got relegated.
Another hat trick on his England debut.
Then vital goals in the 66 cup run until his knee injury ruined his career.
A total of 97 goals for us.
He was a great centre forward for us so please give the man, now deceased, some respect where its due
Michael Connelly
217 Posted 26/02/2023 at 10:07:45
Andrew, #211

Couple of comments on your post:

''Either way, doing the same thing every match and hoping for a different outcome is not going to work''

Well, we've had 2 wins and 2 losses since Dyche has come in, so that's different outcomes, surely?

As for putting Doucoure up front, have you not seen his finishing prowess over the last few games?

Mike Doyle
218 Posted 26/02/2023 at 10:14:23
Alan 208] Another of Sandy Brown’s rare goals was in the penalty shootout vs Borussia Moenchengladbach. Very well hit too. It’s on YouTube.
Jeff Armstrong
219 Posted 26/02/2023 at 10:15:02
Doucoure is our current jigsaw, remember Stuart Barlow’s nickname?
Goes to pieces in the box.
Matt Henderson
220 Posted 26/02/2023 at 10:15:05
The way some criticise Dyche’s selections and use of subs you would think we have prolific goal
scorers waiting in the wings and he isn’t utilising them. We haven’t got any goal scorers up front or in the midfield anywhere in the squad, just look at the players stats over many seasons! The lack of goal scorers is so severe that yesterday I was wondering who would take a penalty for us if we were to get one and I was thinking it might actually be Pickford!

Dyche has nothing to play with across the squad and we all know who that’s on. My view is our only hope is to try and be as solid as possible defensively and hope to nick goals here and there which is what he is doing. It’s not the best strategy for staying up but given the limitations of the squad it is our only one unfortunately.

Christopher Timmins
221 Posted 26/02/2023 at 10:18:53
I am not terribly shocked by the result given our lack of firepower. The first goal is going to be vital in all our games to the end of the season as we will struggle when chasing a game. Once we can keep it tight we are in with a shout against most teams and where we hit the front we will most of them.

Arsenal up next, we can look no further than that. I am sure the manager will have the boys well focused for that assignment.

Still in a much better place than we were before we kicked off against Arsenal three weeks ago.

Danny O’Neill
222 Posted 26/02/2023 at 10:19:46
One other thing, I didn't like was the booing of Digne.

From what I know, it's hardly like he forced a move and was sold by the club / manager at the time.

I don't remember him doing a Lescott.

Phil Lewis
223 Posted 26/02/2023 at 10:21:40
Aside from Simms, do we not have any young strikers coming through the ranks? The old Central League was a place where young players got to regularly play with more experienced players in order to develop their skills and fans could see every other week how their talents were developing. What a pity it is no longer in existence.
Talk on here of throwing a defender up front, really is clutching at straws. Our forward players currently fall over their feet in sight of goal, imagine the pantomime playing our defenders there from the start. I don't see one of them capable of the challenge.
Fred Pickering and Chris Sutton mentioned earlier were very good all round footballers. We don't have one of those in our ranks. In the late 60's former centre forwards such as Bobby Charlton and Ian St John were pushed into deep lying midfield roles to great effect. Old heads dictating play. After Pickering was transferred from us to Birmingham they played him in that role and he was a revelation, playing some of the best football of his career. 'Big Fred' was anything but the 'carthorse' he was described as earlier on here.
Brian Harrison
224 Posted 26/02/2023 at 10:22:23
We as a club have relied on having DCL as our only striker for the past 5 years, apart from Richarlison playing there sometimes. DCL through injury wasn't available for large parts of last season and sadly just before this season started picked up another injury that has kept him out of most games this season. Richarlison last season along with Pickford and the brilliant fans kept us up, but again the lack of goals was obvious.

So having witnessed all of this Lampard decided that even though we had sold last seasons top goal scorer, he would totally rely on DCL as our only striker. Yes we still had Rondon on the books, but Lampard had already decided he wasn't up to the job but never replaced him. Lampard lets not forget signed Ali but realized to late that Spurs were right all along and Ali was shipped out to Besiktas. So what does Lampard do in the summer having lost Richarlison, he signs 4 non goal scoring midfield players 2 slow CBs and a left back we have hardly seen, but NO striker.

Now I accept he couldn't know DCL would breakdown days before the season started but he chose to play Gordon and Gray as the main striker for 4 weeks before signing Maupay days before the window closed. Now even Brighton fans were saying he isn't a goal scorer, they said he needs 4 good chances to score 1.

So Sean Dyche has been left with us relying on Maupay or a lad that had been on loan to Sunderland and Lampard only recalled him because he had left himself so short of strikers. Everton football Club renowned for World class centre forwards and this is what we have been reduced too. Yes this owner and board are complicit in everything that has lead to us being where we are but our DOF and Lampard are even more culpable. So I hope all those who were on here posting right up to his sacking that we should keep him are as bad as this board.

Brian Hennessy
225 Posted 26/02/2023 at 10:24:07
Can't believe I'm saying this but maybe we should have kept Rondon. Could he really have been any worse than Maupay?
Martin Mason
226 Posted 26/02/2023 at 10:26:34
Dave@200 Sorry, didn't see the game or didn't remember it

Jimmy@191 Liked Pickering very much

Dave Williams
227 Posted 26/02/2023 at 10:32:10
I don’t see how anyone can suggest Vinagre as an option- has anyone actually seen him play?
Godfrey is the obvious choice to play at left back- as someone said earlier he played his best games there under Carlo and his pace might allow us to play further up the pitch. Coady talks a great game but you can see why Wolves let him go. I wouldn’t waste money on buying him as we have plenty of CBs and we need pace there. Play Mina with Tarks and give Branthwaite his chance next season rather than keep Coady.
Garner and Patterson will inject some youth and pace into our play and Simms must be given a chance against Forest.
A word for the much maligned McNeil- he is starting to show what he can do.
Keep the faith everyone- there is still everything to play for and it looks like it will be tight all the way.
Michael Kenrick
228 Posted 26/02/2023 at 10:35:58
What is all this ridiculous retrospective nonsense about Antonee Robinson?

Yes, we didn't play him when we might have... but that's what Everton managers have consistently done for at least 30 years: not played promising youngsters.

But back to Robinson. He had a nominal £1M value when we sold him… nearly 5 years ago. Two years later, he moved to Fulham for £3.5M, reflecting another couple of years of slow improvement.

Another 3 years of progressive improvement has seen his value increase to £10M while still at Fulham. The much-touted move to AC Milan never happened.

Yes, shock horror, the player has improved since he was with us. But was the decision to let him go – all those years ago – really that cataclysmic?

Yes, he's a nice tidy player but is that enough to justify why this particular old myth keeps getting resurrected?

Dave Abrahams
229 Posted 26/02/2023 at 10:49:09
Martin (226),

You must not have seen the game, Martin – otherwise, you would have remembered Sandy scoring a good headed goal in a derby game because you remembered those two bad games he played very well!!

Tony Abrahams
230 Posted 26/02/2023 at 10:50:29
Managers change but a few things don’t change with regards the personal. It’s like we have a 14-15 man squad at best because the different managers seem to be reluctant to play any more players than this. Another thing is that subs are usually brought on to influence or change the flow of the game, but we don’t have many players who can do this in our squad.

I’d like to see Mina playing, hopefully soon Patterson will replace Coleman, although I’m not sure about this because Seamus is one of the few players to wear his heart on his sleeve. I can understand why Grey isn’t playing out wide, although this will be a contentious decision to a lot of supporters.

I’d personally play Demari, ahead of two industrious midfielders, or even up front, but other than this, there’s just not that many options open to Dyche right now imo, except swapping Maupay for Simms.

Playing the two of them together doesn’t make any sense to me, because I think we would get overrun in midfield if we tried to play this way, and I’m also hopeful we will soon see a fitter, stronger, and more confident DCL, returning, and this could make a lot of difference to how we play?

Ian Edwards
231 Posted 26/02/2023 at 10:52:41
Dave 227. We've seen Vinagre play many times for Wolves. How often have we seen Godfrey plsy LB.
Jeff Armstrong
232 Posted 26/02/2023 at 10:56:19
Ian 231,

What was Vinagre like for Wolves? I don't remember him, tbh.

Ian Edwards
233 Posted 26/02/2023 at 11:02:34
My over-riding opinion is that Maupay isn't good enough to play up-front on his own and that Simms isn't good enough to play up-front on his own.

The only answer if Calvert-Lewin isn't fit is to play both of them together and to get the ball forward and get bodies around them.

We'll be one player light in midfield so might have to go long to bypass it.

Neil Carter
234 Posted 26/02/2023 at 11:06:57
Mina for Maupay-proper target man for Dyche’s style.
Chris Leyland
235 Posted 26/02/2023 at 11:11:32
Some observations from yesterday:

What’s the point of playing Maupay as a lone strike and hoofing balls up to him against defenders about a foot taller?

McNeil played well first half but not one player made a near post run for a single cross he put in.

Doucoure played well I thought. He did a couple of bursts forward and one brilliant recovery run to win the ball back on the edge of our box 2nd half.

The ref was either incompetent or bent. The bookings are like there is some betting ring having a accumulator on a booking in the 5 mins (Onana) and Doucoure to get booked (second half when he did nothing wrong).

Idrissa won the ball for the pen but in real time from where I was sitting I did think it was a pen at first but see above re: Ref.

What’s the point of VAR?

Gray on his game is probably our most potent weapon but he is obviously sulking about being left out and was just going through the motions today when he came on. I watched the subs doing their half time routine with the coach and when they were called over to start it all the others went straight across and did the routine whereas he just walked slowly over and joined in 2 mins later and did it half arsed.

Steve Brown
236 Posted 26/02/2023 at 11:28:41
Godfrey played left back for a good chunk of the 20-21 season. He made 12 appearances there, when our backline was Holgate Mina Keane Godfrey.

Ian, your head must have been spinning about Carlo too much to notice.

Steve Brown
237 Posted 26/02/2023 at 11:37:52
My team for Arsenal, subject to fitness:

Patterson Mina Tarkowski Godfrey
Onana Gueye Garner
Gray Simms McNeil

Danny O’Neill
238 Posted 26/02/2023 at 11:46:11

I'm not even home yet after yesterday. That's another story, which I have sub.itted an article about

I look forward to the Emirates on Wednesday evening. I can't think about teams, formations or anything else.

I'm just going with the laws of average. At some point I won't see us get battered at Arsenal (story of my experience there) and we will get something.

Martin Mason
239 Posted 26/02/2023 at 11:51:09
Dave@229 You're correct of course. Had I seen it I'd have remembered it. It was 66-67 season though and I couldn't always get to the games then and could never get tickets for Anfield games. I had nothing against Sandy btw. He actually scored about 8 goals if I read right. What a player.
Nick Strong
240 Posted 26/02/2023 at 12:01:40
Steve 236
I think that Mykolenko had a good match got some good crosses in the box and defended well.
The problem is there is not enough of the team trying to get on the end of them.
Not enough movement either Iwobi and McNeil got past there fullbacks but there was no one running in to space.
Should have won this match and would be going to arsenal with confidence.
I don’t think Godfrey would improve things at all. Just need to drop Maupay stick sims in, the big lad would suit the tactics that dyche is trying to deploy.
Ian Edwards
241 Posted 26/02/2023 at 12:06:49
Just saw an interesting stat.

In the Prem this season there have been 29 games in which a team has had more than 44 touches in opposition's box. 28 of those teams have won. Only one has lost. That was us yesterday.

Ian Edwards
242 Posted 26/02/2023 at 12:10:04
Steve 236. You are probably right.

For Arsenal we should just play 451 and try and battle out a draw.

Next week I would play:

Coleman Tarkowski Mina Vinagre
Gray Onana Doucoure McNeil
Simms Maupay.

Fran Mitchell
243 Posted 26/02/2023 at 12:15:50
the two Danny Ings goals that set West Ham up to their 4-0 win. Not a chance any of our players would have scored.

That's the difference signing a goal scorer can make.

He was available. 15 million, he had had success previously with Dyche. Why didn't we go for him?

With Ings, we would have won yesterday.

Eddie Dunn
244 Posted 26/02/2023 at 12:17:48
Chris- I also noticed that Grey looked half-arsed.
Not the right attitude at all.
He should have been chomping at the bit to get on, and when that chance came his way, his powder-puff shot would have had his coaches thinking that they were justified in leaving him out.

Terry Farrell
245 Posted 26/02/2023 at 12:18:14
Michael with respect you are talking garbage about Robinson. He will play for a top 6 club soon. He has an engine to die for starred in the world cup and never gets taken to the cleaners by anyone. His AC Milan transfer fell through because he had a knee injury when he had his medical. I saw him at 19 in and U23 derby match and he was the best player on the pitch by a mile. Broke my heart that we let him go and it made no sense to me. On another note haven't sat in the Park end for a few years but once Villa scored the 2nd goal about 1 in 4 fans buggered off! There was still 10minutes to go + injury time. Thought it was disgraceful.
Tony Everan
246 Posted 26/02/2023 at 12:19:32
Ian, interesting that, it is because we have no one to anticipate any crosses or loose balls in the box , or to manufacture a bit of space and fire a shot in with venom. No natural predator who kills without thinking.

The other 28 instances they will have a goalscorer or midfield who can burst the net given half a chance.

Mike Corcoran
247 Posted 26/02/2023 at 12:20:24
Someone bandied a rumour at my kids match in Tranmere yesterday morning that DCL was finished due to a groin tear sustained on England duty and that Everton were suing the FA for compo. Hope that’s not true, can’t understand why the lad gets bashed for being out injured beyond his control. He’s no Lineker but the balls from wide into the box yesterday would have suited him fine. Maupay does a lot of running but has no 6 yd box nous, criminal that we have no-one at the club to do the job. In fact the only players attempting to attack a cross are Tark and Onana. So get them up there.
Dave Abrahams
248 Posted 26/02/2023 at 12:22:39
Eddie (244), I noticed that as well, Mina was worse, he looked like he’d just out of bed, or does he always run like that.
Phil Lewis
249 Posted 26/02/2023 at 12:30:33
Fran #243
So very true mate.
Tony Hill
250 Posted 26/02/2023 at 12:35:17
Terry@245, I’m afraid I understand fans leaving (I did not). It is out of frustration caused by years of games like yesterday’s. The hard truth is that we were beaten at 1-0, never mind 2-0.
Tony Hill
251 Posted 26/02/2023 at 12:36:07
Terry@245, I’m afraid I understand fans leaving (I did not). It is out of frustration caused by years of games like yesterday’s. The hard truth is that we were beaten at 1-0, never mind 2-0.
Jeff Armstrong
252 Posted 26/02/2023 at 12:36:45
Terry 245, Robinson has been linked with Man City this week, as you say great engine and should have succeeded Bainsey.
Eddie Dunn
253 Posted 26/02/2023 at 12:37:27
Dave he does run funny!

Mike @247, just watch Dyche's post match interview. At the end a journo asks if DCL has any chance for Arsenal and Sean just said "I doubt it".
The way he said it made me think that Domenic is miles away from returning. We certainly are not privvy to what is really happening.
How could they say he was touch and go for Liverpool(or was it Leeds) only a couple of weeks back, and now despite supposedly training on grass again, be so far away that the idea is discounted immediately?

Will Mabon
254 Posted 26/02/2023 at 12:38:07
Ian @ 241,

yet further confirmation from another angle of what we already know.

It's criminal. Yesterday was essentially perfect proof of the effects of the recent mismanagement of this club. A very achievable win turned into a loss by having no goal scorers.


Johan Elmgren
255 Posted 26/02/2023 at 12:40:03
I thought we played really well. We pressed high and really caused them problems in their build-up play. We were aggressive all over the pitch and limiting them to very few opportunities. This is a game of small margins, and we could easily have been leading going into the last half-hour of the game, but a clumpsy challenge by Gana put us back. The challange which many thought Gana caught the ball, but with this ref it was always going to be a pen. He's never gives us anything in the 50-50 decisions. Much like all the refs by the way.

Our main problem is obviously the attack and scoring. I though we created enough to win the game, but once we went 1-0 down it was always going to be a tough ask, with that problem in mind. Maupay unfortunately isn't good enough and I think Dyche should start Simms until DCL is fit. He's not the nuisance Maupay is, but he's better in the box and has a knack for scoring goals. We need goals now. Another change I think Dyche should make is Gray on for Doucoure. Doucoure, although he has an engine, doesn't contribute much when we have the ball. He often loses out on possession which stops our attacking momentum.

I would play:

------------------ Pickford---------------

Coleman Coady Tarkowski Myko


Gray-----Onana---- Iwobi--- McNeil


with Gray and McNeil alternating on left and right wings. Onana box-to-box and moving up behind Simms in the box when attacking, and put in crosses. Both are big lads and will cause problems.

Otherwise if we keep on playing with this attitude and energy, I think we will be safe. We were a real handful, and if those small margins had gone our way, we could have won. AV is a real bogey-team and I wasn't expecting much before the game. I actually though we shook them more than I would have guessed beforehand. Come on now, let's get behind the team and be positive.

Jimmy Cooper
256 Posted 26/02/2023 at 12:44:07
My apologies to Pete @216 and Phil @223 for calling Fred Pickering a carthorse. It was a bit harsh, I agree. I think I was always critical of him because he came after Alex Young and he did not match up. Who could, you may ask. Fred was pretty good really, and compared to what we've got now he was brilliant.

I used to like Sandy Brown though. He was tough and unpretentious. He had a mighty shot that he often tried from long distance. They were usually straight and fast, but his elevation control was limited, usually making for perfect rugby conversions.

Brian Wilkinson
257 Posted 26/02/2023 at 12:51:23
This is the way I have seen it and just my own personal views, many May disagree.

Over the years I have been saying play Iwobi in his favoured more central position, you will not get him winning a lot of the balls, but he can pick out a pass and links up play better, his only downfall is Dyche wants to play Gueye, Onana and Daucoure as his midfielders, which is now pushing Iwobi back out wide.

There lies the problem in midfield, apart from the occasional header from Onana, none of the three look like they have goals in them, none of them look like they could rifle a 20 yarder chance that falls to them, they can all put a tackle in, but we need more support for the goals we need.

When McNeil was getting a bashing week after week, I kept saying McNeil needs to be played on the left side, since Dyche has come in and switched McNeil to his favoured left flank, you can see the huge difference already.

Maupay gets a lot of bashing, the guy runs his nuts off every game, but he is not and never will be a loan striker, he needs someone alongside him, he either starts as a loan striker, or he comes off the bench when we take our other striker off.

Surely a little tweak of starting both Simms and Maupay has got to be given a thought, it leaves us a little short on the bench granted, but if we can get the early goals, we have enough options elsewhere to see out the win.

Our big mistake was not bringing Danny Ings in when we had a chance in January, he will pick up half chances we have been creating and put them away, not getting a striker in will cost us big time, but there is nothing we can do now, we have to go with what we have, and hope and pray we can get at least 8 games out of Calvert- Lewin, before the season ends.

That’s where we are at, but a couple of tweaks and bravery might just get us out of this situation we are in.

We simply have to try something different, and going for the two forwards starting could be the answer.

Paul Tran
258 Posted 26/02/2023 at 13:00:48
Time for cool heads, on and off the pitch.

We played well yesterday. Lots of chances, no-one to finish them. Our long-term policy of avoiding players who can score goals is costing us right now. If they waited changing managers because of the cost, I bet they're more worried now.

I suspect last summer's transfer activity was based on DCL staying fit and the previous regime organising the team. He hadsn't, they didn't.

We have to score first. First goal was a poor one from our defence, second was a good breakaway and sharp, clinical finish.

It's in our hands. Seven erratic teams capable of beating/losing to anyone. Seven teams' fans looking at fixture lists with concerns. All about hanging in there and nicking points. Might be the lowest points total to stay up this season.

Barry Hesketh
259 Posted 26/02/2023 at 13:14:54
For a large part of the game, Everton were the better side, but that persistent Achilles heel of a team lacking in goalscorers will I'm afraid be the undoing of the club. What would we give for a Lukaku, or even a Saha in the present team?

Yesterday, perhaps for the first time, Dyche realised that he didn't have enough material to work with, forced to turn to Gray, who he doesn't seem to rate as a 'team player'. Unfortunately, Gray like him or loathe him is the only current player who can create a chance by himself.

I also agree that Iwobi on the flank is far less of an influence than Iwobi in the centre midfield. Onana, Gueye and Docoure don't complement each other at all and surely having Gray on the wings with Iwobi instead of Doucoure in the middle would be more useful, particularly at Goodison.

Emirates on Wednesday will likely see nothing put on the points board, and then a trip to the City ground next Sunday, which Everton will have to get something from, because we can't keep losing those away games as a matter of habit.

Tony Abrahams
260 Posted 26/02/2023 at 13:17:33
Tony @246,

Or probably because we don't get enough bodies into the box? This might not have been true about yesterday, I wasn't there, so I don't know, but we haven't got many goalscorers in our team, so not enough players getting into the box with real conviction maybe?

I think the 4-5-1 system suits a limited team but the one thing about having only one striker is that this can leave at least one central defender free to second-guess the cross unless you get enough bodies running forward from deep or players coming very late into the box.

Paul Tran
261 Posted 26/02/2023 at 13:22:33
You've nailed it, Tony. The only conviction in the box is when Tarkowski rises for set-pieces.

The one time Onana got it spot-on, the keeper made a very good save. Nobody in open play looks like they expect to score.

Geoff Williams
262 Posted 26/02/2023 at 13:29:51
I have had time to reflect on yesterday's performance and would like to make some personal observations:

Other than a lot of huff and puff, what contribution does Maupay make to the team? His ability to score is non-existent and he does not hold the ball up to enable others to join him up front, nor does he offer any aerial threat.

Iwobi doesn't score or create chances for others. He rarely makes a tackle or wins an aerial duel. He very occasionally makes a great pass but, more often than not, he gives the ball away. His attempts at dribbling often take him down blind alleys. For a winger, he simply doesn't cross the ball enough.

I'm not convinced by Coady. He is slow on the turn and is often caught out by quicker forwards. Surprisingly for an International centre-back, he isn't particularly good in the air.

Premier League football may be too high a standard for Simms but we will never know if he is limited to 10-minute cameo appearances.

If Dyche persists with his recent team selections, then goals are going to be hard to come by, so he either has to blood youngsters like Mills, or be creative in his thinking and think outside the box.

Anthony Hawkins
263 Posted 26/02/2023 at 14:16:17
I think we're all thinking and hoping the same. We're hoping the manager uncovers a gem in the ranks, like Rooney. I'm not seeing one at the moment. I suspect Dyche hopes Calvert-Lewin will come good and provide that inspiration. In reality, Calvert-Lewin needs time to become match fit and that opportunity is dwindling with each passing game.

I think we'll survive but only by the skin of our teeth. The summer has to be one of realism and 100% need to get a new striker – even if Calvert-Lewin stays. The hopes and dreams of the club are too heavy for any one single player, especially one with fitness challenges.

Pete Jeffries
264 Posted 26/02/2023 at 14:20:10
Jimmy 191 - Fred Pickering was anything but a carthorse - did you see him play ?
I did.
He scored a hat trick for Blackburn against us at Goodison when Rovers were top of the league.
Catterick broke the bank to sign him.
He scored a hat trick for us v Forest on his debut.
After that Blackburn got relegated.
Another hat trick on his England debut.
Then vital goals in the 66 cup run until his knee injury ruined his career.
A total of 97 goals for us.
He was a great centre forward for us so please give the man, now deceased, some respect where its due
Bill Gall
265 Posted 26/02/2023 at 14:21:47
Can we all stop going on about no striker and why didn't the club do something about it? As I said earlier, that is not the only problem, we have no-one else in midfield who can score with a couple of wingers who may get 1 goal in every 8/9 games.

Counting Iwobi, Doucoure, Onana and Gueye when was the last time any of them scored? Are we just set up for a missing striker. McNiel is being used to just put in crosses – why aren't there more players in the box instead of a forward that can't win headers?

Alan J Thompson
266 Posted 26/02/2023 at 15:01:56
It has been said before that people see games in very different ways but as for who cleared off the line after Pickford had knocked it on to the post I'd just like to say, Coady is No.30 and Tarkowski No.2, unless of course I missed a second such clearance.
Derek Knox
267 Posted 26/02/2023 at 15:05:53
Bill @ 265, agree about the striker dearth, and we all know why that is, but what beggars belief almost is that out of all the players we do have, only Demarai Gray, is anywhere near consistent enough to be able to grab a goal or two, yet yesterday was the first time he has been used albeit as a very late sub. Of course we don't know what goes on at Finch Farm, but as far as I know, he hasn't been injured.
Roger Helm
268 Posted 26/02/2023 at 15:10:04
I'm a bit puzzled by Simms. He has scored goals in all the leagues he has played in – how can the managers be so sure he won't in the Premier League, given the chance?

Are we missing something? I'm hoping he may turn out to be a Kevin Campbell.

David Hallwood
269 Posted 26/02/2023 at 15:38:46
I'll say this til I'm blue in the face, but neither Maupay nor Simms are lone strikers, so why bother? Currently, Maupay is a waste of a shirt, but he's scored goals in the Premier League as a second striker so, for me, Dyche has to realise what he has and hasn't got and tailor the team accordingly.

I'm not the biggest fan of 3-5-2, but looking a the squad it seems the most logical way of playing; either that or using Gray as a false No 9.

For the Arsenal game, I'd play Godfrey, Mina & Tarkowski with Coleman & McNeil as wingbacks, the 3 in midfield with Iwobi possibly replacing Doucouré, and Maupay and Simms up top, or even Gray.

For me, there's got to be places for Godfrey and Mina. Although injury-prone, Mina is our best defender by a country mile.

Paul Tran
270 Posted 26/02/2023 at 15:39:59

I've been going on about this since Moshiri showed up. Go through the midfielders we bought in the last 6 years. How many of them score goals? That's as big a problem as the lack of strikers.

Tony Abrahams
271 Posted 26/02/2023 at 15:54:57
I watched Lewis Warrington yesterday, and he his miles off being a Premier League player right now imo, although he is playing in a limited side, so I might be being a little unfair to the kid. If Warrington is already out on loan, it's possible people at Everton think he's ahead of Price and Mills, because these two aren't getting the experience of playing in what I would term 'real football'.

Mills has aggression and also a goal in his game, so I'd be considering playing the kid if I was Dyche, but I'm also guessing really because I haven't seen enough of him to know if he's anywhere near ready.

Playing out wide in a Dyche team will require a lot of discipline and, if you can't do the dirty work, then my guess is that he simply won't play you. Iwobi does loads of running but sometimes you've got to tackle. But at least he's shown a discipline that he simply never had under Lampard so maybe he might play him inside because he might create more than any of our other central midfield players.

Peter Mills
272 Posted 26/02/2023 at 16:20:02
Roger #268,

I believe Ellis has taken a little time (5 or 6 games) to settle into the teams at Blackpool and Sunderland, then performed pretty well and scored a few goals.

I guess the problem for the manager is whether he can afford that settling-in period. Given the paucity of options, the lack of threat from a lone Maupay, and the jeopardy we are in, it may be worth rolling the dice.

Robert Tressell
273 Posted 26/02/2023 at 16:33:14
Tony # 271,

I think the only way Warrington will get first-team appearances for Everton is if we go down. He's much the same sort of standard as Baningime, Walsh etc. Good footballer, not knocking him but he's only a year younger than Onana. He'd need to look like Xavi in the third tier if, at 20, he's likely to get into a Premier League side.

The lack of any international recognition is a big indicator for him and Mills. Price too – he has elected for Northen Ireland but has only 1 cap for their U21s.

Shea Charles (Man City) and Conor Bradley (Liverpool) have gone straight into the Northern Ireland senior squad at the same age.

Unfortunately, only Ishe Samuels-Smith looks like he has a good chance of being a Premier League first team regular out of the whole academy.

Mark Ryan
274 Posted 26/02/2023 at 16:33:39
If he can't fit Demarai Gray into his first 1XI he should bin Maupay (1 goal in 26 games) and play Demarai up top. He knows where the back of the net is.
Kieran Kinsella
275 Posted 26/02/2023 at 16:35:19
Robert or Tony,

What's going on with Charlie Whitaker? About 18 months ago, he seemed highly rated but I haven't heard much of him since…

Matthew Williams
276 Posted 26/02/2023 at 16:35:49
If we wanted a real nark (like Maupay) who scores goals,we should have got Morelos at Rangers.

I mentioned on the live thread we should bring back Dobbin from his loan spell at Derby County... lively player that loves getting forward and could prove useful for us... we desperately need some goals NOW.

Robert Tressell
277 Posted 26/02/2023 at 16:39:38
Matthew, Dobbin has 2 goals in 30 appearances in the Third Tier. He seems like a very unlikely source of goals in the Premier League.

Kieran, Whitaker is a nice player at U21s but also has no England youth international recognition. Plays the game right – but the U21s is a very poor standard of football. His chances of making it with us are extremely slim, I'd have thought.

Christy Ring
278 Posted 26/02/2023 at 16:57:15
Iwobi is totally lost on the wing, maybe play him as the attacking midfielder in place of Doucoure, probably his best position, but his biggest Achilles Heel: he has no physical presence, and maybe it's just me, but he'll run to close down a player, and slow up when he gets near him.
Dale Self
279 Posted 26/02/2023 at 17:00:18
Thanks, Robert and Tony, for the Warrington update. I thought he had exceptional vision with position awareness on offence and just needed to build up some strength. Bummed to hear that he is stalling – especially since I thought he was a year younger.
Matthew Williams
280 Posted 26/02/2023 at 17:02:56

In our current situation, I would try every fucking thing available to us in order to turn the tide for us because, at the moment, we're just treading water.

We won't get nowt at Arsenal like, but the Forest game is now a must-win!

Danny Baily
281 Posted 26/02/2023 at 17:13:52
A win at Forest would drag them right into it, which is pretty much our only hope now. With the way we set up, we might even get something at Arsenal. But it's hard to see where the goals are coming from.

Such a shame about yesterday. A must-win looking at the remaining fixtures, and a win would have changed the narrative around the club.

Robert Tressell
282 Posted 26/02/2023 at 17:26:01
Matthew #280.

The frustration is how few minutes Simms got. Maupay was poor but was unlucky that Mings cleared his best effort and his header was wide. On another day, they could've had 2.

Simms hopefully will get the nod next time, possibly as a double act with either Gray or Maupay.

Unfortunately chucking kids in isn't the answer. At one point there were lots of calls for Tom Cannon but he's got only 1 in 7 for Preston.

Unfortunately it's not like we have Jeffers, Ball, Rodwell and Barkley coming through.

Barry Rathbone
283 Posted 26/02/2023 at 17:58:27
The problem for Dyche is he needs to do something radically different because attempting recognisable football has killed all previous managerial monkeys bar Allardyce (his was a fan-inspired dismissal despite his relative success). It will undoubtedly kill him if the points don't come immediately (and they won't if the delusion persists). He must recognise the only viable option in a squad bereft of creativity is to lump it to a big guy.

It doesn't matter who the lampost is we just need a physical presence to occupy centre backs and leave our midfield to do what it does best — sit tight and do fuck-all creatively.

Include Demari and McNeil because they can control a ball and bin non-footballers Gana and Doucouré.

With one up front supported by two (Demarai and Dwight) and seven lumping it forward whilst predominantly shoring things up at the back, we will comfortably survive.

Tony Abrahams
284 Posted 26/02/2023 at 18:05:33
I'm not sure he's stalling, Dale, because he's a young boy playing in men's football, and this is definitely not easy, imo. He hasn't got a great deal to “play with” either, so it's definitely a learning curve with a difference for young Lewis.

I always think that kids need a full season, so it will be interesting to see how Warrington looks after the summer when he has had a rest. Rest is so important, because after a physically demanding season, then young players often change after a few weeks' rest, and can come back so much stronger, and ready to push on to another level.

I still have hopes for both Mills and Price, Robert, but again I haven't seen enough of them to really back my argument up. I also like watching Whitaker, who reminds me of Adrian Heath for some reason but I think the kid must be injured yet again.

My stepson doesn't give praise lightly (possibly because he thinks I'm quick to praise others, but he takes a bit of stick off me) but when he played against Everton's Under-21s earlier in the season, even he agreed with me when I said Charlie Whitaker was a good player!

Robert Tressell
285 Posted 26/02/2023 at 18:19:17
Barry # 287,

Dyche is well aware of this but (as I know you know) has no Target Man other than Calvert-Lewin. Maupay and Simms both have serious weaknesses as a target man. The occasional suggestion of using Keane or Mina as a centre-forward is, in my view, plain daft. However, I can see the logic of going 5-4-1 and playing for corners to 3 big centre-backs.

Tony, I think we have so few of any real quality coming through the academy, our eyes light up at players who resemble past stars. Whitaker does play like Heath. In the same way Anthony Evans played like Trevor Steven. And in the same way Dowell played like Sheedy. The style is similar, it's just all being performed at a much, much lower standard.

It's not me judging that standard alone. It's all verified by those who select England etc youth sides – and they are generally overlooking our kids for those at other clubs.

Matthew Williams
286 Posted 26/02/2023 at 18:27:03

You're sadly right about young players coming through right now. Maybe the lad Simms will be the answer but he must have decent support, either a strike partner or a midfielder bustin' a bollock to get up alongside him.

I'm still hopeful something will click into place and we can pull away from the danger zone and be safe for another season... but improvements must be made throughout our beloved club, from top to bottom!

Tony Abrahams
287 Posted 26/02/2023 at 18:42:18
I think the more recent coaching at Everton seems to produce methodical rather than exciting footballers, Robert, in the sense that it never looks like the Everton kids are taught to really enjoy the football.

I wouldn't be concerned about producing international players at that level, Robert, because our last batch of Under-20 World Cup winners have badly underachieved imo, although maybe I was possibly expecting too much.

Darren Hind
288 Posted 26/02/2023 at 19:34:11
Been saying all season that if we do not break up these two center backs. They will do something the much maligned Keane, Holgate or Mina have never done. They will get us relegated. They are both really poor players

Tarkowski's touch when giving away the throw in which lead to the opening goal was not one of a professional footballer and having watched the second goal several times I still cant belief what I am watching. When Buendia squared up Coady. Tarkowski should have done what any decent center half would have done and filled in behind. Instead He (And Gana) confront the Villa man too. One touch with the right foot took all three of our defenders out of the game and then Bang with the left foot.... Truly Mindless defending.. Alehouse defenders would have a bit more savy.

Maupay worries me to death. I understand Dyche persevering with him in the hope that a goal may spark a good run of form. That often happens with strikers...But at what point does he give up on him ?

As for Gana and Doucoure. I cannot believe the shite performances they continue to get away with. Tom Davies is better than the pair of them Mind you, my Mrs would do a better job than those two.

Much work for Dyche and so little time to do it...But if we are going to survive he simply has to shuffle the pack.

Yesterday`s team goes down

Joe McMahon
289 Posted 26/02/2023 at 20:06:04

I agree and even I think it time Tom Davies started in the middle. We need to see Garner soon also, matches are running out.

Sam Hoare
290 Posted 26/02/2023 at 20:06:56
I watched the game back and honestly I don't think we did a huge amount wrong. Felt like we controlled the match for decent periods against a well drilled Villa and all that was missing was the (well-documented) lack of finishing (or finisher).

I don't think we need to make drastic changes and are playing better than we have for most of the season (Palace aside).

Saw an interesting stat saying in the Premier League this season, only 29 times has a side recorded 44+ touches in the opponent's box, and only once in any of those 29 times did that side lose. Us yesterday.

Very frustrating but evidence that we are at least getting into good positions (we're also creating some decent chances); if we go down the failure to find a goalscorer to replace Richarlison (or Gordon) will be a massive factor.

Stuart Sharp
291 Posted 26/02/2023 at 20:07:50

I'm coming round to your way of thinking about the centre-backs, but it would be a risk to change both. I agree about Tarkowski making poor judgement for the 2nd goal, but I still rate him over the subs. Plus he's currently our biggest goal threat! Mina for Coady makes sense until the inevitable injury.

I also thought Doucoure played better, even if only by his own standards. He showed fight, which we're going to need. It's Gana that does my head in at the moment. As for the striking options, I think it's a rare case of something most TWers agree on.

Paul Hewitt
292 Posted 26/02/2023 at 20:13:01
Darren @292.

It's the fact this team can't score goals that will get us relegated, not the centre-backs.

Roger Helm
293 Posted 26/02/2023 at 20:23:17
When I played Subbuteo as a kid the usual formation was 7-0-3, perhaps we should give it a go.
Paul Armstrong
294 Posted 26/02/2023 at 20:29:09
I would love to think we can stay up but I cannot see it. 100%
Paul Armstrong
295 Posted 26/02/2023 at 20:43:49
I would to see Kenwright come on here and say something. Even if only to remind us of the 'good times'.
Tony Everan
296 Posted 26/02/2023 at 21:05:31
A wee nugget of good news, Jarrad Branthwaite got another 90mins for PSV today in their 3-1 win over the fifth placed team Twente. Hopefully one of the Dutch posters will kindly give us an update of his performance.
Andrew Bentley
297 Posted 26/02/2023 at 21:10:43
Michael @217,

Yes, I have seen his prowess. I've also witnessed first-hand the finishing abilities of Maupay & Ellis Simms too - that's my point. We don't have any strikers, bar Calvert-Lewin, who can hit a barn door and, until we can get him on the pitch, then we need to try something different.

The outcome I was referring to was to have someone playing upfront who can ideally score, but in the absence of doing that, win some headers or knock-ons, win some set pieces/free kicks to allow our free-scoring centre-backs to score.

Maupay and Simms seem incapable of any of these right now so why not roll the dice on someone else in the squad. If not Doucoure, then throw someone else up there.

Tony Hill
298 Posted 26/02/2023 at 21:30:29
This is where Dyche earns his considerable salary. We are at par for now because of our unexpected win against Arsenal. We need to beat Forest and we can take some comfort from our tendency to do well against the better teams.

Our last two fixtures, away to Wolves and at home to Bournemouth (the next time we play our fellow relegation candidates – though Leicester could get embroiled), may be decisive. It won't be boring.

Robert Tressell
299 Posted 26/02/2023 at 21:34:18
Tony # 291, I don't think the U20 World Cup winning group underachieved.

Connolly, Kenny, Dowell, Lookman and Calvert-Lewin probably all found their level. Calvert-Lewin in many respects has overachieved because Solanke was the star striker at that level. Dowell had the talent but not the application (and there are dozens like that). Kenny had the application but not the top-level talent. Lookman is doing very well for himself now in Italy.

I think, say, Man Utd or Man City would consider that a pretty unremarkable group. They have that sort of quality coming through all the time. They're after a good few notches above that though – like Palmer, Lewis, McAtee, Harwood-Bellis etc at City. Unfortunately Whitaker, Warrington, Onyango etc aren't anywhere near that league.

Robert Tressell
300 Posted 26/02/2023 at 21:40:41
Sam # 294,

Good comments and an interesting statistic too. Based on play we did enough to win, were unlucky not to draw and really didn't deserve to be beaten. Fine margins and luck.

I'd like Simms and Gray to get more minutes. I'd like Coady to make way for someone else. But on the whole Dyche is doing the right things and yesterday was an almost inevitable bump in the road.

Tony Abrahams
301 Posted 26/02/2023 at 21:43:16
You can say that everyone finds their level, Robert, but it's what it could have been, that is what I was meaning, mate. The Under-20 World Cup winners should have the world at their feet, imo, but it's so difficult trying to make it in the ultra physical Premier League.

Especially for our young players, who had to play under so many different managers, who either didn't seem that interested, or didn't stay long enough to bring many young players through.

Derek Knox
302 Posted 27/02/2023 at 00:34:46
Oh Hello Dazza, @ 292, " As for Gana and Doucoure. I cannot believe the shite performances they continue to get away with. Tom Davies is better than the pair of them Mind you, my Mrs would do a better job than those two."

What are you on Magic Mushrooms, Crack or some other hallucinatory and mind distorting cocktail ? Heard it all now Pancake Tuesday Davies, aka, Harpo Marx and Bette Davies, wage thief since that goal against City nearly 6 years ago. " Strewth ", as they say down under ! As much use as a Cup Holder on a Jump Jockey's Saddle !

I have a friend in the Drug Rehabilitation Program Dazza, who I think can possibly help you, he is good, but I think you could be one challenge too far ! :-)

Neil Tyrrell
303 Posted 27/02/2023 at 00:57:30
I agree with Darren that the CBs need breaking up, I'd keep Tarkowski in and replace Coady with Mina for 20 minutes or however long he can last this time. Would also consider Holgate (he did well when called upon early this season) and Godfrey, the strongest we've looked defensively in recent years was when Carlo had them at left and right back.

Of course our completely impotent attack is the real problem, granted he doesn't have a shitload of options but I can't see how Dyche can persist with Maupay, he never looks like scoring. Whatever his issues with Gray, at least he knows where the net is and was our only semi-useful looking player in the derby. I'm at a loss as to how to slot him in but he's our biggest scoring threat and as such he needs to be on the pitch for 90 minutes, not 10.

Davies for any of our midfield is basically a wash, hate to say it but they're all shit. Doucoure has looked exceptionally useless the last couple of weeks though, so I'm good with anyone replacing him.

Derek Knox
304 Posted 27/02/2023 at 01:12:41
Dazza @ 292,

I will give you Doucoure by the way, being a bit like Tom Davies, not worth a blow on the Ragman's Trumpet!

As for the other Jackanory shit? :-)

Don Alexander
305 Posted 27/02/2023 at 02:47:48
Derek, our Dazza, when he stops blaming Carlo alone for our predicament (as he did last month), and when he stops suggesting Tom Davies, a player even he last month described as our saviour whilst also being, in his words, "not a good player" (and I agree with him on that) is as guilty as anyone from continually commenting on players, managers, systems whilst failing, as many of us sadly do, to realise that our collective focus should always be entirely directed on the tossers allegedly owning and running the club from the so-called boardroom.

To do otherwise is akin to passengers on the Titanic posting on the cabins, crew, food, recreation, whatever after the ship hit the iceberg.

John Hall
306 Posted 27/02/2023 at 03:57:40
Christy @278,

Good shout. Has anyone ever seen Iwobi put in a full-blooded tackle? Never seems to get a foot in and all too often holds off after closing down the space between him and whoever he is tracking.

An utter coward with the balls of a sparrow. I see a so-called footballer who can't head a ball, can't go past a man, one who continually passes the ball backwards and who covers acres of space making blind useless runs which usually have no end-product.

Plenty of others have their faults but backing out of challenges in a match indicates a tiny heart. Luca was not renowned for his power in a challenge but must have been licking his lips on Saturday knowing he was up against a feint-hearted chicken running around building his match stats without ever getting involved in the hard yards. Bluffer !!

Darren Hind
307 Posted 27/02/2023 at 06:08:18

The midfield players who have featured so regularly throughout this disastrous season have not only failed individually and collectively to protect the back four. They have simultaneously failed to support the attack.... In virtually every game.

With the much vaunted Onana and Gana in the team we are averaging less than a point a game. We are in the drop zone and if we don't change and/or improve. We WILL be in the championship next season You do understand that...Dont you ???

I don't advocate Tom Davies as some sort of "saviour" - As someone who repeatedly distorts my posts claims. What I do say is that he is better than the players like Doucoure who are taking us down.. We need every little bit of improvement on offer.

When I look around various websites and even on this thread I see a growing number of people now calling for Davies too. Are they all on "hallucinatory mind bending cocktails" ???...I suspect not a single one of them thinks TD has suddenly turned into Michel Platini. They just want Everton to get out of trouble. They do not care about your fixation.

The record books demonstrate That Everton lose far less frequently with TD in the side than they do when he isn't. You can argue and make hilarious comments about "Bette" or "Harpo" until you are blue in the face, but you wont change official records.

Joe 293

I never really know when a player is available these days. It used to be that they were simply decared fit, or not.. But I agree. Garner has to be in the side as soon as he is ready. We cant go on like this.

Eddie Dunn
308 Posted 27/02/2023 at 07:54:11
Got to agree with Darren. Gana is costing us. His lack of strength and stamina lead him to half-arsed tackles like the pen(doesn't matter if he got a tickle on the ball) it was a daft attampt which gave the dumb ref the chance to stick it to us.
Doucoure went on a couple of surprising runs, leaving everyone in his wake until it dawned on him that he now had to shoot and shit his pants.
The lad is just an athlete, has not an ounce of football intelligence and is nothing more than a nuisance.
Coady gets away with murder. His talking must be top class because he does little else.
Tarks mat be awkward but he wins everything in the air in our box and is a threat up top.
I would try Mina or Holgate instead.
I am hoping that we see Garner soon.
Dyche is trying to keep as settled as side as possible and I suspect he will park the bus at Arsenal.
I would like him to play 4-4-2 but maybe we will have to wait until we are desperate.
Mark Ryan
309 Posted 27/02/2023 at 09:45:29
I had to laugh reading the Football Gossip column this morning which said

"Everton are keeping tabs on Coventry striker Viktor Gyokeres"

It actually made me laugh because as I read it I thought "I bet we're not"

Our recruitment is so shockingly bad that I thought " no we won't be, because right now if anybody else came in for him we'd lose out.

It's so sad but so very true.

What does Kevin Thelwell do each day when he is at work?

Eat at a Gregs beefy bake, coffee, do a crossword, look at the clock, another brew, look at the clock, go home.

Must be soul destroying for him

Let's hope Dyche is having a re-think about who could get the goals for us


Jerome Shields
310 Posted 27/02/2023 at 10:06:30

I agree with the Centre Backs needing broken up.They reinforce each others needs to fall deep.You will never see that attempt to encourage the pushing up of the defensive line.Cover from the midfield is negligible and gaps are obvious. They also need to provide more of a threat through the centre,.Predominant wing play is easy to set up shop against. Everton's final third play has never been good enough with below average pass completion.This is not helped by a predominate tendency of forwards put effort into deep engaged, rather than get into positive attacking positions.

As for Villa being a bogey team. They have had the same game plan against Everton, since after their initial encounter after promotion.Scoring on queue in the second with a intial goals and then counter attacking goals.

The plan is framed and on a wall at Aston Villa.It even is called the Everton plan: how to defeat Everton.

Joe McMahon
311 Posted 27/02/2023 at 10:34:38
Mark@309, the problem for Thelwell was seen on the last day of the transfer window scramble. Players are either turning Everton down or going to any other club that bids, such as Forrest and Southampton, and the one who changed his mind for Spurs. The club can't offer the kind of money in wages that was paid to the likes of Rooney, James and Mina. Everton are not attractive anymore.

Probably why from the fire sale at Burnley we didn't get the ones worth having (Mee, Pope and Cornet), and got the ones we ended up with. And this is from relegated team.

This also underlines with so many players that have been in relegated teams (Inc Pickford). Do we expect to stay up, particularly as we don't score goals?

Lee Robinson
312 Posted 27/02/2023 at 10:35:37
I'm getting tired of this week to week witch hunting of players. One week everyone is complaining why we haven't signed Coady yet, next week he needs dropping, "Mina is our best defender","Godfrey needs to come in", "Coleman is finished", "Tarkowski is too slow". Same players who didn't put a foot wrong against Arsenal and Leeds.

For me the defence aren't the problem at all, it's probably our strongest area of the side. As I have said previously the midfield and strikers cannot hold on to the ball for long enough and carelessly give it away leaving us vulnerable on the counter.

My biggest frustration is that week in week out this group of players seem to break down any form of advantage or attacking play by doing the simple things very badly. Every pass to another player is usually over hit, played backwards, to the wrong foot of the player. It is never the right weighted pass played perfectly for a first time shot or cross, it's the basics and we end up treating the ball like a hot potato.

Dave Abrahams
313 Posted 27/02/2023 at 10:37:11
Nobody has mentioned the role McGinn played for Villa on Saturday as a midfield player,he rarely went back into defence but played from the halfway line attacking Everton’s defence, he was in acres of space and while Doucoure and Onana concentrated on Villa’s method of playing out from their six yard area and stayed around Villa’s penalty area, Gana was left on his own to defend the midfield and McGinn used the space to put Villa on the attack, McNeill noticed this and came inside to try and stop McGinn a few times while still defending the touch line.

This happened throughout the game with nobody given the job of curtailing McGinn, he caused the ultimate damage to Everton, first by getting the penalty and I think he had a hand in the second goal, just amazing he was allowed so much room from start to finish of the game.

Denis Hignett
314 Posted 27/02/2023 at 10:44:37
Two teams on Saturday.
One sold star player (Grealish) for £100m and spent the money buying players like Buendia and Bailey.
The other sold two star players for £100m and did not spend the money.
Joe McMahon
315 Posted 27/02/2023 at 11:01:51
Dave @313, that's a very good point. Emery and team did their homework.
Mike Price
316 Posted 27/02/2023 at 11:22:19
John #306 Bang on about Iwobi, he’s the ultimate fraud, a waste of space. If we give him a new contract it will prove that we never, ever learn, despite constantly changing managers.
Danny O’Neill
317 Posted 27/02/2023 at 11:30:18
Been saying for a while Dave that McGinn is a very underrated player.

I rate him.

Played under Stubbs at Hibernian and won a trophy.

Sam Hoare
318 Posted 27/02/2023 at 11:35:54
So to recap this thread, we should basic drop…everyone? Except Pickford perhaps? Get real, Dyches options are limited and other than Coady perhaps and injured players he’s using the best from his limited selection.

Oh, and those always keen to jump onto the Iwobi out bandwagon just remember that he has 6 assists, the same as the WHOLE REST OF THE SQUAD PUT TOGETHER. He’s literally the only player we have creating chances regularly. We have trouble enough scoring without dropping him. Also for those convinced he never makes tackles he actually makes more statistically per game than anyone except Gueye, Onana and Patterson. In my eyes he’s probably player of the season for us alongside Pickford so far, though admittedly a low bar.

Brent Stephens
319 Posted 27/02/2023 at 12:14:48
Sam #318 - largely agree. Calls to "try" this player or "try" that player implicitly acknowledge that "trying" x or y player would be a gamble; and in fact would be upsetting what is becoming a settled side (I sense that one of our problems over recent seasons has been the lack of a settled first XI, with a different team almost every week).
Dave Abrahams
320 Posted 27/02/2023 at 12:24:02
Danny (317), Alan Stubbs urged Everton to sign McGinn but nobody at Everton reacted, he went to Villa for £3M, weigh that against some of the midfielders we have signed for between five and ten times as much each.

Some clubs ask, What would Everton do? There’s one thing they do consistently and who does the negotiations? Yes him, now known as the Artful Dodger for the way he supports the club.

Sam (318)Owobi, “ He ACTUALLY makes more tackles statistically per game than anyone except Gueye, Onana (?) and Patterson, what does a statistical tackle consist of Sam? If I ever needed proof that statistics need avoiding you have just given me one good reason Sam, and let me say truthfully I always look forward to your posts because they are well balanced, informative and well worth reading.

Iwobi might steal the ball from an opponent he very rarely puts his body behind a tackle, if ever, he is a bluff merchant, he’s in the team because of a lack of good midfield players, Why was he taken off along with Onana on Saturday? Possibly Dyche is seeing his lack of fight.

Pete Neilson
321 Posted 27/02/2023 at 12:31:38
Brent I get the point of a settled side but must admit I’d not hesitate in gambling on dropping Maupay (as a lone striker) and Doucoure.

Christy Ring
322 Posted 27/02/2023 at 12:48:32
I'd definitely play Mina instead of Coady, and if Seamus is playing Wednesday night, there's no way he should start on
Sunday. It seems Patterson had a bit of a setback, for a young footballer, he's very injury prone. Hope Garner can make Sunday's game as well. I'd play Davies ahead of Doucoure at Arsenal.
Sam@318 I don't know where you got your stats regarding Iwobi's tackling? I have yet to see him make a tackle, as for his assists, I'm guessing you included the pass to Coleman against Leeds as an assist??
Raymond Fox
323 Posted 27/02/2023 at 12:59:29
We were the best side for long periods of the game but couldn't get the ball in the net once more.

Many games come down to small margins like the ball on the line and the Onana header onto the crossbar. Their penalty was a whisker away from not being one, but it is what it is you get nothing for hard lines.

Will we stay up, I'm on the fence on that one, I'd sooner have points in hand than behind, playing catch up is not where you want to be.

Sam Hoare
324 Posted 27/02/2023 at 13:06:08
Dave/Christy. I get my tackle per match stats and assists from whoscored (https://www.whoscored.com/Teams/31/Show/England-Everton)

He's also in the top 20 for tackle stats on PL website (https://www.premierleague.com/stats/top/players/total_tackle)

A 'tackle' doesn't have to mean it's a full blooded sliding tackle, in fact many good defenders have said that if you are making such a tackle it means you've made a mistake! Nicking the ball away is just as useful and less likely to get yourself injured. I think some people honestly don't see the work Iwobi does, maybe because they've already made up their mind on him. That is where (appropriate) stats can be useful. Though he's not really a winger, so may not fit into Dyche's plans moving forwards.

Dave Abrahams
325 Posted 27/02/2023 at 13:19:29
Sam (324) Sam I never mentioned a sliding tackle, anything likely to not hurt yourself situs Iwobi down to the ground,I see miles of aimless running by Iwobi, seeing pulling out of tackles, see him running thirty and forty yards and reaching his opponent and doing nothing constantly, gives them a stare now and again and that’s it more than enough to make my mind up on him.

Are there any names of the people who supply these stats, do they get paid? Do coaches actually use these stats, or clubs when they are buying players?

The best manager we ever had, IMO, always went and had a look at players he was interested in buying, used his eyes but wisely listened to the fans, in the crowd, who supported the team the player was playing for, that told him plenty.

Christy Ring
326 Posted 27/02/2023 at 13:46:18
Dave#325 Dave do you honestly think Iwobi would make a sliding tackle, and get his togs all dirty. As you say he's a great man for sprinting to close down a player, but never actually reaches the opponent or put a block in, and going to the Emirates on Wednesday night, when we'll be on the back foot, he's definitely not what we need.
Brian Williams
327 Posted 27/02/2023 at 13:59:39
I've just checked out that stats site and it has Iwobi ahead of Gueye in the number of tackles made.

That tells me enough to know that the statement "stats don't lie" is a load of magumba!

Dave has got Iwobi spot on. In fact if I hadn't seen Dave's name on it I'd have thought I posted it myself.

This isn't a case of me not seeing what Iwobi does because I specifically watch him to see if I'm being unfair to him.

His sprint towards the opposing player with the ball before stopping just short is his signature move.

Michael Kenrick
328 Posted 27/02/2023 at 14:00:20
Kieran, Robert, Tony...

I'm a bit worried about Whitaker. He was going great guns earlier in the season but he was subbed off back in November against Southampton after he was the victim of a very heavy collision that might have done his knee in... and has not played a game since, so out with a pretty significant injury, I suspect.

Sean McAllister is another who was getting mentioned in despatches but he disappeared after being subbed against Man City at the end of October. At least he sort of came back at the weekend, playing his first football in 4 months, but withdrawn at half-time in the 5-0 mauling by City.

Einar Iversen and Luke Butterfield both came back for two or three games mid-season after suffering long-term injuries. Ominously, neither have missed a bunch more games so can't be quite right.

The only good news on the U21s injury front has been Liam Higgins, who has gradually worked his way back into the starting XI after being out for many months. But I'm sure he's a long way off any step-up.

Ray Robinson
329 Posted 27/02/2023 at 14:13:51
Dave, Christy and Brian, I totally agree with you on Iwobi. He rarely if ever puts a tackle, stops short of the man with the ball, runs around like a schoolkid in the playground, rarely takes a man on and seldom scores. No doubt the stats prove he provides assists. He even got one for Coleman’s bolt from the blue but really? That goal was made and finished by Coleman alone.

In short, he occupies a place in the team but contributes little. I’d drop him for the Arsenal game when we’re going to need 10 outfielders who contribute.

Steve Brown
330 Posted 27/02/2023 at 14:25:18
Ray, how can you say Iwobi doesn’t contribute?

As Sam points out, he has contributed more assists for goals than the rest of the squad combined. Dave and I debated this, so I won’t go round it again.

This side needs goals.

We have enough average players running round it circles trying to tackle their own shadows.

Sam Hoare
331 Posted 27/02/2023 at 14:26:17
Dave @325, stats get used extensively by the clubs exactly because they cut through people's biases and set patterns of thinking. All high level clubs nowadays will have dedicated statiticians who use much more complicated analyses than the websites i've used.

All good managers and scouts are going to go beyond the stats and have a good look at any potential players. But particularly with players you know well or have strong opinions on, sometimes the eyes will see what they want/expect to see.

Unless Iwobi has paid someone to manipulate all the many stats websites out there in his favour then it is pretty clear that he is doing more than many on here credit him with!

Here's another one that shows how well he is doing: Link

If he is not contributing then please do tell me who is?!!

Steve Brown
332 Posted 27/02/2023 at 14:31:22
Having said that, I just realised I dropped from my preferred line-up for Arsenal in my post earlier.

Here is the right line-up.

Patterson (or Coleman) Mina Tarkowski Godfrey
Gueye Garner
Gray Simms McNeil

Dave Abrahams
333 Posted 27/02/2023 at 14:51:16
Sam (331)Re your bottom line, we’ve got quite a few poor quality players but nearly all of them contribute physically more than Iwobi, he’s much more of a shirker than a worker, he’s never kidded me after his first few games at the club, anybody’s eyes can be fooled initially but once you see the faults continually you know your eyes are not deceiving you.

Even Ben Turpin ( silent movie star with cross eyes) would have seen through Iwobi if he had been a football fan!!

Jerome Shields
334 Posted 27/02/2023 at 14:54:35
Maginn and Maddison are similar type midfield player, playing from the midfield into the space provided by Everton. Every time Everton play against the teams they play for they both have a absolute field day at the start of the first half.
Barry Jones
335 Posted 27/02/2023 at 14:59:47
Maybe McGinn was inspired by Dyche's coat. Talking about midfielders, they brought on Buendia and he ripped us apart for the second goal. We don't have a single midfield player that has the capacity to take someone on at speed and take a shot, or even have the desire to get into the box in the first place. Alan Ball, where are you?
Duncan McDine
336 Posted 27/02/2023 at 15:01:14
Alex Iwobi is a likeable fella, so many of us have been desperate for him to do well… but unfortunately he has been largely ineffective in his Everton career (apart from a handful of games when Frank gave him some love). He seems like a positive character and doesn’t seem to be the big time Charlie, but that said, he’s just not aggressive or confident enough to be a good player. Any club trying to build a decent team would not buy Alex Iwobi.
Tony Abrahams
337 Posted 27/02/2023 at 15:01:55
Interesting post Sam, with some informative information. Alex Iwobi, creating 34 chances from open play is absolutely massive, but also very hard to believe, imo.

I’ve been thinking about the charts or stats that all clubs allegedly use, and can’t help thinking, why are some clubs a lot better than others when it comes to scouting?

It’s really interesting, imo, I was getting told that a certain club sent someone to watch my stepson, and the report that came back was that he needs to be quicker. Honestly, I’m only bringing this on these pages to debate, because the kid in question, can probably do the 100 metres in around 11 seconds.

He’s a young kid who plays to instruction’s, and when I watch him, I sometimes think he’s not getting in the box, because he’s doing that much defensive work, but sometimes I also think he’s not breaking his neck enough, to get into the opposition box. I brought this up with him the other day, and after asking him does he not bust a gut to get into the box, because he doesn’t trust his teammates enough, he replied ‘sometimes yes’ and if it breaks down, I’m expected to be back in a defensive position.

The person who was getting told that he wasn’t quick enough, told the man in question, that he should be checking his staff, to see who sent in the report, and queried if he had even watched him play, because a sprint coach told him in the summer, how quick the kid is.

Sorry for going on and boring people, but maybe the man had watched him and also identified that he wasn’t getting into the opposition’s box enough, and just put it down to him not being quick enough.

It does show to me how important having meticulous scouts, really is, and certain clubs are definitely benefiting more than others because of this?

Ray Robinson
338 Posted 27/02/2023 at 15:06:55
Sam, you raise an excellent point about stats being used to counteract personal biases and Steve, the stats would probably negate the value of my opinion. I freely admit that I have a real downer on the lad but it’s not that I want to pick on him particularly. Clearly Iwobi does contribute something. So, I will modify my viewpoint and offer the opinion that, given the lad’s undoubted ball skills and his excellent lung capacity, he is far and away the most underachieving member of the squad. The one thing stats won’t reveal are the negative aspects of the game -I.e. the effects on the team of not properly closing down, failure to play the ball at the right time. I think he flatters to deceive and is the most infuriating of players.

For a forward thinking player, a return of 6 or 7 goals since he arrived at the club is not acceptable. He can do so much more! It’s maddening!

Eddie Dunn
339 Posted 27/02/2023 at 15:11:30
I want Iwobi to do more. I want him to get into the box and shoot. Invariably I see him make a few yards, try to nutmeg the defender(who reads it and counter attacks). The lad is fit and runs around a lot. He looks intimidated and has the look of a scared rabbit.
These stats that Sam mentions, I wonder how they constitute a tackle? I am very suspicious of these things and anyone who listens to "More or less" on Radio 4 will tell you that the way that they are calculated and interpreted is open to wide margins of inaccuracy.
If you watch the game, even on tv, you can see who puts int tackles and who shits out. Iwobi shits out.
Sam Hoare
340 Posted 27/02/2023 at 15:17:28
Dave@333, I might press you to be more specific. What do you mean by contributing physically?

Iwobi is also near top of the charts for the amount of ground covered in our team (and in the whole league) so I don't think there can be any doubt that he works harder than most. He's up there for yards run, tackles, pressing, chances created; admittedly he's no goalscorer but if he was that as well I really don't think he'd be playing for us!

Dare I say you may be having a bit of a Turbin?! (only joking of course- I always enjoy your contributions but in Iwobi's case I do think it's possible your judgement is very set and perhaps there is nothing anyone could show you which would change your mind?)

Sam Hoare
341 Posted 27/02/2023 at 15:22:47
Tony@337, that's very interesting and a good example perhaps of how the eye cannot always be relied upon to judge these things. If your nephew can do 100m in 11 seconds then he is definitely quick, though top speed and acceleration can be quite different things (anyone remember Michael Keane closing down Adama Traore 2 seasons ago?!).

Good scouts are using a combination of complicated statistical anaylsis and a well trained eye; possible the one who watched your nephew had neither.

Ed Prytherch
342 Posted 27/02/2023 at 15:28:41
Iwobi is not being helped by being played in a wide right role and he is more effective in the middle, at least when we are in possession. I can see why Dyche wants Onana and Gana in the middle but in games where we are likely to have a good amount of possession Iwobi playing in the middle with them is more likely to create goals.
Dave Abrahams
343 Posted 27/02/2023 at 15:42:39
Sam (340), I think all of Iwobi’s critics acknowledge he runs miles and miles, more than most of the other players but it is mostly aimless running with no purpose at the end of the runs, it amazes me that you don’t see this, along with his pressing and tackling he doesn’t really do either, he runs at opponents and stops before he gets to them and doesn’t make any contact, as for chances created McNeill made a few on Saturday but nobody attacked the box including but not surprisingly Iwobi, in fact he did get to one very good chance and panicked and mistimed his effort and glided it gently into the goalies hands.

No Sam I most definitely don’t prejudge him, like Brian Williams and Ray Robinson say I don’t want to be picking on him, applauded one very good cross field pass in the first half by Iwobi, but there is one thing that could change my mind and that is if Iwobi himself shaped up, got stuck in and enjoyed the game more, he treats the ball like a hot potato, doesn’t relax and let the ball do some of his running.

Maybe Sam you see Iwobi do a lot of things that he doesn’t actually do.

Christy Ring
344 Posted 27/02/2023 at 16:03:42
Ed#342 Ed he looked more effective when Lampard played him there, he can't be anyworse than Doucoure going forward, what concerns me, he has a great engine, but he can't wait to get rid of the ball, won't take players on, considering he's supposed to be the most skilful player at the club and has no physical presence whatsoever.
Sam@340 I don't care what the stats say, there's no way 'he's up there for tackles and pressing', he doesn't tackle, and if pressing is running up to a player and stopping a yard away, maybe that's it. He did get a yellow for throwing the ball away.
Sam Hoare
345 Posted 27/02/2023 at 16:08:14
Dave, clearly we are seeing different things. Which is where I think statistics (which in theory should be unbiased) come in.

Long ago I recognised that my feelings for certain players (usually those I either loved or hated) strongly impacted the way I viewed their performances. That's when I became interested in statistics as a more objective measure. Of course statistics can be and often are used badly, and some producers of those statistics are more reliable than others. But when you have multiple different providers showing multiple ways in which a player is contributing then it may be time to question your own judgements as I did mine. Though of course some people just won't accept statistics as valid (usually because it shows something they disagree with).

Iwobi will always divide our fans because he doesn't throw himself into tackles like some do and he seldom scores. But he's undeniably a hard worker and our most creative player by a long, long way; that alone should mean he deserves his place in the team more than some others.

Rob Dolby
346 Posted 27/02/2023 at 16:14:04
Let's face it the squad and team is bare of quality.

Buendia showed 2 pieces of quality which won villa the game. Before he came on we where the stronger team.

Iwobi has proven that if played centrally he can create and impact the game. I agree with Dave's appraisal of Iwobi but also think that if played centrally he will create stuff.

Doucoure is in the team for his physique so play him right mid.

Drop Maupay and play Gray as we all know Gray has a goal in him.

I think that's as good as we are going to get.

We are in big trouble this year.

Ray Robinson
347 Posted 27/02/2023 at 16:22:29
Sam, I couldn’t put it better than Eddie, Dave and Christy before me. I see Iwobi run 50 yards to stand a yard off a player. If that counts in the running and tackling stats, then I prefer to trust my own eyes. I once read that Scott Parker had the best passing stats - yes, all 5 yards sideways and backwards. There’s stats and there’s stats.

As Ed says, try him as a supporting role up front in the middle if he starts at all.

Sam Hoare
348 Posted 27/02/2023 at 16:36:27
Ray, it definitely counts in the running stats!

Stats have advanced a fair bit since Scott Parker and nowadays he would probably have great stats for pass completions but poor stats for chance creation or progressive passes or deep completions or such stuff.

I agree Iwobi's much better in the middle but as you pointed out earlier he's not much of a goal threat. He's wasted on the wing for the most part but I suspect Dyche may keep playing him there a he works harder than Gray and loses the ball a lot less often; though Gray is much more likely to get a goal and that is an increasingly pressing issue.

Henrik Lyngsie
349 Posted 27/02/2023 at 16:42:22
On Iwobi I agree with Dave, Ray, Christy and others. Iwobi is really the type of player I would hate as a teammate.

Sam would you expect any team to be after Iwobi in the transfer market based on his good stats. Or wouldn’t the money ball team have far more advanced stats for their quantitative analysis and combining it with som qualitative analysis in terms of scouting inputs. I simply could not see a money ball team like Brentford ever be interested in a player like Iwobi.

I do acknowledge that beggars can not be choosers so we are not flooded with alternatives. However, I noticed that Dyche substituted Iwobi after his poor performance on Saturday. And Iwobi seemed even more nervous than usual. So I think Dyche had a word with Iwobi before the match and that he somehow has seen enough. I would expect another solution for right wing next time. And I certainly can’t see Dyche playing Iwobi in the midfield.

Tony Abrahams
350 Posted 27/02/2023 at 16:43:12
Sam@341, the man who was told this actually questioned if the scout had actually attended the game. I’m not sure, it’s easier for me because I study this player more than anyone else, and even if I also think it’s easy to see if someone has real pace, and this kid does eat the ground up, he tends to be reactive rather than proactive, and it’s possibly the scout in question, was only looking at his offensive game.

Closer to home, I know one ex member of the Everton coaching staff, was fuming when he was at the club because he thought there was way to much statistical analysis, with people watching games on television, with not enough people attending a game in person.

Being involved in professional football is just a job for a lot of people, and I’d definitely argue that there’s a lot more average people than good people involved?

Christy Ring
351 Posted 27/02/2023 at 16:45:25
Just watched Dyche's press conference, Calvert-Lewin is 'progressing', end of discussion. I'm not very optimistic he'll be available for Sunday, was 50/50 for the derby two weeks ago, something not adding up, Garner not fit enough, and I give up on Patterson. He was very positive about Wednesday night, but he has to change the back four and midfield in my opinion. If I'm not mistaken, he's started the same 10 player in his first 4 games.
Ray Robinson
352 Posted 27/02/2023 at 16:52:25
Sam, I’m usually not anti stats by the way but if running aimlessly around counts in the stats, then they should come up with an “effective” running stat! I personally wouldn’t play Iwobi on Wednesday as I think Gray, despite his own limitations, has to be included for, as you pointed out, his extra goal threat.
Barry Hesketh
353 Posted 27/02/2023 at 16:55:54
Those who have pointed out Iwobi's flaws, are in the main correct, I myself posted, a good while ago, about his 'trick' of running after opponents in various parts of the pitch and yet more often than not, failing to get in a tackle or a block on the ball, because the opponent had already despatched the ball to a team-mate before Iwobi had arrived.

I watched Chelsea yesterday at Spurs and they are a collection of Iwobi's, more interested in their personal stats than the outcome of the game itself. I said when Iwobi was in the running for a contract extension that I wouldn't want him to be here for longer than necessary.

The fact that he is our most creative says more about the current squad than it does about Iwobi's skills. I like Iwobi, the person, because he has worked hard and he has improved in the last twelve or so months but not enough to give me the confidence that he will alter Everton's current demise, he's really part of the problem and not the solution.

Tony Abrahams
354 Posted 27/02/2023 at 16:58:36
I hated watching Iwobi, playing in the middle, under Lampard, because I used to think he made it so easy for the opposition. He wasn’t alone, the mixed messages had Iwobi, sprinting forward, leaving big gaps for opponents to easily exploit, and our defenders dropping deeper, and deeper, which gave the opposition even more space.

Do stats measure stuff like this, or is this where good scouting comes in?

Tony Everan
355 Posted 27/02/2023 at 17:00:07
There are some fair criticism about Iwobi and others, but on Saturday we were the best team until the hour mark. I think the match stats said we had ten shots to their three at that point . We just need to work out how to score some good half chances that we create. There were at least three or four that needed the ruthless treatment.

I can’t see dropping Iwobi making any difference, we just need someone to score. With DCL still out, Ellis Simms has to be given a proper chance. In midfield Garner for Gana has to be considered. In defence Mina for Coady, Mina is a quality player, and talking of stats when he starts we do much better than when he doesn’t.

Tony Abrahams
356 Posted 27/02/2023 at 17:04:24
I think this is what a lot of Evertonians are saying right now Tony. Swap Coady, for Mina, although I think whoever plays on Wednesday, is in for a very hard night.
Sam Hoare
357 Posted 27/02/2023 at 17:13:27
Henrik@349 I would imagine Iwobi is exactly the sort of player that Brentford or Atlanta would love, because his stats and underlying performance is so much better than the public perception of him (as this thread demonstrates!) The trouble is that we paid an inflated fee and wages for him so he now makes no sense financially for teams like them (a shame really as I think he could be really good in a team that uses him properly-which we have only really done fleetingly under Lampard)

Anyway think i've bored everyone enough on Iwobi! Suffice to say i think he does not get the credit that he deserves and if he is one of the the main problems despite covering the most ground, creating the most chances and putting in close to the most tackles then i can't wait to see what the others can do without him!!

Tony Everan
358 Posted 27/02/2023 at 17:15:54
Yes Tony, very difficult but not impossible.

There’s KITAP1 but Everton can coin a new acronym KITAPOFAC.

Keep it tight and pinch one from a corner, because it’s looking the only way at the moment.

Tony Abrahams
359 Posted 27/02/2023 at 17:28:20
It’s a funny old game Tony, and we have definitely done better against the top two, rather than agathe bottom teams recently🤞
Bill Gall
360 Posted 27/02/2023 at 17:46:01
There seems a lot of comments on Iwobi both on his actual games and a lot on his stats. Yes he runs a lot is always willing to help but as a midfielder or forward there is 1 thing he cant do and that is score, and surely with the time he spends on the ball that is the least you should expect from him.
As I have said before we are struggling because of DCL's injury, but surly we must have another plan to score goals without him instead of cheering for corners, and hoping a defender can score from one.
I believe that Moupay came in to score goals but he hasn't, so why is he still being picked ? Do they believe he will suddenly come good, or are they not willing, as it seems, to give someone else a chance. ?
All players try their hardest when picked, so why are they continuously being picked when playing poor, it seems there is never any plan B, even though plan A is not working.

Pete Neilson
361 Posted 27/02/2023 at 17:57:22
Two goals from open play since October.

Dyche will need to be Gandalf to conjure up goals from this squad.

Mark Ryan
362 Posted 27/02/2023 at 18:51:48
Pete @ 361. That's a sign. Gandalf the Grey. He needs to play Demari Grey up top.
Danny Baily
363 Posted 27/02/2023 at 18:55:54
Gray up top is an excellent shout. We'll need an outlet tomorrow. There's a chance we could pull off a shock.
Brian Harrison
364 Posted 27/02/2023 at 19:00:19
Sean Dyche still not able to give an update as to when he thinks DCL will be fit to play, yet gave updates on both Garner and Patterson. Strange as after a very encouraging display against Arsenal, Dyche said he was taken off as a precaution. Then days before the next game which was the derby Dyche asked about if DCL would play said it was touch and go.
Then he said he was going to look at all aspects of DCL, from the car he drives to what food he eats, I guess he and the staff are still monitoring those aspects.

But I am unclear as to what the nature is of his latest injury is, I know he has had problems with his quad and his back, and a hamstring injury. But we were told over a week ago that the scans on his hamstring showed nothing. So nobody is saying what the injury is or when the physios think he will be clear of whatever the injury is. In his interview before the Villa game, Sean Dyche said he thinks that when this injury clears it will happen quickly and he will be back playing.
I am afraid with our lack of options up front, then every game DCL misses it makes it harder to see where the goals will come from.

No 2 people are alike but last season Richarlison played a lot of the time carrying an injury, but seems DCL is not prepared to play through the pain barrier. I agree no player should be asked to play when injured, but if the scans show nothing it seems there is something else that is stopping DCL playing just seems he is the only person who knows what that is.

Pete Neilson
365 Posted 27/02/2023 at 19:06:11
Mark (362) I’d be happy with Gray up front. Let Maupay have some R&R in The Shire.
Ernie Baywood
366 Posted 27/02/2023 at 19:33:22
All this talk of stats. And Dyche loves telling us that he's all over the stats.

If that's the case, then why is he overlooking the key stat? We're the worst goalscorers in the league and we've just sold our joint top league goalscorer.

Think back to Joe Royle. He found the thing that players were good at and he played to it. He made poor players great by letting them play to their strengths.

Far from benching Gray, he should be telling him he's vital and the most important person at the club. Put him in the areas of the pitch where he can have the most impact. That probably means letting him go wherever he wants. Likewise the stats say Iwobi should be playing further forward. He's far from great, but he's what we've got in a creative sense.

Instead he's doing what he's always done. Keep it tight and swing in crosses. The problem with that is that it doesn't work without a striker in the box.

We're exactly as pointless as we've been for months. It's just a slightly different version of pointless.

I don't blame Dyche. He's exactly what he's always been, despite his claims to the contrary. We're getting what we paid for. It just isn't what we needed.

Pete Jeffries
367 Posted 27/02/2023 at 19:34:41
Jimmy 256 - Re your last comment, Fred Pickering coming AFTER Alex Young ?
Sorry but you know nothing about our history.
Are you a Birmingham city fan..
Fred played from 1964 to 1967 when sold to Birmingham after his big injury.
And the Golden Vision between 1960 to 1968.
Both played regularly for three years in the same team.
Plus famously in the1966 cup winning run with Fred at no 9 and Alex at no 8.
Fred also scored in the 2-0 quarter final second reply v Man City then got injured so missed out on Wembley where we true blues all know Mike Trebilcock did the damage.
Are you getting mixed up with big young Joe Royle who Harry Catterick picked to replace Alex in19.
We all have our opinions Jimmy but get your facts right first.
I rest my case once and for all.
Tony Abrahams
368 Posted 27/02/2023 at 19:46:21
It’s funny Eddie, because I think Dyche, in his approach has been very similar to Joe Royle, except Royle had Ferguson, and so far Dyche has only really had Maupay, or Simms.
Joe McMahon
369 Posted 27/02/2023 at 19:55:13
Tony, he also had Limpar and a better defence.
Robert Tressell
370 Posted 27/02/2023 at 20:04:41
There isn't a formation or a set of players we can use where suddenly the goals will flow. Swapping Maupay for Gray may have made a difference although the latter is a short and fairly lightweight winger more than a striker - and despite talent he blows hot and cold. Perhaps Simms on sooner would have worked. It's possible, but it's not as though Dyche is being pig-headed overlooking an obvious player as some managers do. We're talking here about swapping in and out a few options with various glaring flaws.
Iain Johnston
371 Posted 27/02/2023 at 20:07:35
Statistics are like lamp posts. They're great to lean on and shed a little light, nothing more.

Soon we'll have tables flash up on screen like Baseball. For RBI - Runs Batted In we'll have BTI - Balls Thrown In.

It's pointless and meaningless.

I remember Martinez waxing lyrical about our stats, passing & possession, all up there over 70% telling the world how delighted he was...after we'd lost 1-0 at Chelsea... the final score is the only stat that actually means anything.

Today Dyche was talking about how as a collective the group are more organised and improved at the back.

Really? Our goal difference is worse than it was... in 4 games we've scored two goals and conceded 4, now there's a stat he doesn't seem to want to discuss.

We scored a set piece corner against Arsenal and a Coleman beauty as rare as rocking horse shite against Leeds.

We don't have a single fit midfielder or forward who has any type of historical reputation for being a goal poacher far less a goal scorer.

Tony Abrahams
372 Posted 27/02/2023 at 20:43:12
The most important stat is definitely points Iain. Dyche has six from twelve, Lampard got us five from thirty six, and this is the reason why we are in such an horrendous position.

The board never sacked Lampard, until the transfer window was nearly over, and I would guess they also knew they were going to sell Anthony Gordon, but also left this as late as possible, because they didn’t want to spend anymore money?

We have sacked six managers since Moshiri came on board, and lost another manager, when he realized the type of amateurs he was working with, imo. We have also had three directors of football, and two caretaker managers.

We have slowly got progressively worse, and have possibly also had every different type of manager imaginable, over the last six years.

We interviewed two completely polar opposite managers, when the job became vacant once again in January.

One manager gave the ultimate insult to our squad of players, and whoever had helped to assemble them, if it’s true he said he would only take the job if he could manage the under 21 team until the summer?

I think under normal circumstances that anyone is entitled to criticize the manager, but if Dyche keeps us up, then I think most people will feel he has achieved a minor-miracle, or maybe I’m just being very dramatic.

Two goals from open play, in the last however many games tells its own story, but anyone who watches Everton on a regular basis, doesn’t need any stats, to know why we don’t score many goals, and this unfortunately leads us back to the dereliction of duty, by “our very inept board”.

Barry Hesketh
373 Posted 27/02/2023 at 20:55:59
Iain @371,

A very selective view of the stats by your good self isn't it? The four games prior to Dyche's arrival Everton scored three and conceded nine with only one point won.

As Tony above notes, it took Lampard's team a dozen games to gain five points following their win at St Mary's in October.

If Everton don't survive, it is that bleak run between Southampton away and Dyche's arrival that will have contributed most to our demise.

If somehow Dyche can keep the team getting the odd win in two, he might succeed in keeping Everton in the Premier League. Whatever happens, it's going to be an uncomfortable ride for us all.

Christy Ring
374 Posted 27/02/2023 at 20:56:29
Looking at the stats that I see, we have one striker upfront, we have a midfield who don't score goals and offer nothing going forward.

Sam said Iwobi is our most creative player by far; since Dyche came in, McNeil is our most creative player, and as Michael Ball said in his column today, not once did Iwobi try to take on Digne, but couldn't wait to get rid of the ball when in possession.

Whatever about the formation away to Arsenal, Gray and Mina should start ahead of Coady and Iwobi. If Calvert-Lewin isn't available for Sunday, Forest are down to 2 centre-backs, so play Maupay and Simms together – both are isolated on their own.

Ernie Baywood
375 Posted 27/02/2023 at 21:17:13
Tony, yes, Royle had Ferguson. He also had Rideout, Limpar, Hinchcliffe... none of these had excelled in the previous system. Though we can accept Ferguson was a pretty new addition.

Playing the same style as Royle isn't a good thing when you don't have those players. Royle chose that style because of the players he had. Just look at Hinchcliffe – he didn't become a better player, he was just told to do the one thing he was good at. And it took him to a trophy and the national team.

I can't quite see how Dyche is trying to address the key issue this side has. How are we going to score goals? His approach so far has been to drop Gray in favour of harder workers.

We know that Maupay can score a few goals. He's done it before in this league. So he's now played up front on his own doing the things he can't do. We know Gray can score. But he's on the bench.
We know the rest are not capable of contributing goals based on their history. They play. We know we don't have a big man in the box, and he's got McNeil swinging in crosses.

None of it makes any sense.

It's not like Dyche is squandering an array of talent. And I've already said that the failure to buy a striker will likely relegate us regardless of who the manager is.

But we're going down without a fight. The effort, the press... They're all a front. If we're not trying to address the goalscoring issues, then it's just window-dressing to make us think we had a go.

In this season's Premier League, we probably don't need to become great in front of goal – we just need to give ourselves some kind of chance. In our situation, that means doing something. Anything. At present we're doing nothing. One little fella up front with McNeil knocking in crosses. It's not even a plan.

Derek Thomas
376 Posted 27/02/2023 at 21:19:54
I hope Dyche pulls this off. All we can do is take it… One Game at a Time, but stay up or go down, for good or ill, it will be sorted by the end of May.

The next problems will be:

A) Not - where ever we end up - repeating the last two seasons
B) Getting back up.

Does anybody think our collective of Baldricks have even a hint of a cunning plan to sort this?

Therein lies the real trouble. They couldn't... as they say over here... run a sausage sizzle.

Pete Jeffries
377 Posted 27/02/2023 at 21:28:54
Jimmy 256 - Re your last comment, Fred Pickering coming AFTER Alex Young ?
Sorry but you know nothing about our history.
Are you a Birmingham city fan..
Fred played from 1964 to 1967 when sold to Birmingham after his big injury.
And the Golden Vision between 1960 to 1968.
Both played regularly for three years in the same team.
Plus famously in the1966 cup winning run with Fred at no 9 and Alex at no 8.
Fred also scored in the 2-0 quarter final second reply v Man City then got injured so missed out on Wembley where we true blues all know Mike Trebilcock did the damage.
Are you getting mixed up with big young Joe Royle who Harry Catterick picked to replace Alex.
We all have our opinions Jimmy but get your facts right first.
I rest my case once and for all.
Tony Abrahams
378 Posted 27/02/2023 at 21:33:24
I think it's already a much better plan than what was in place previously, Ernie, but I also agree and think Demarai Grey, should be in the team.

It's early days, but I think that, if we can get Calvert-Lewin fit, then the system that we have been playing will suddenly become more potent. But I'm prepared to give Dyche a chance (I believe that anyone would deserve a chance after coming into our disgracefully dysfunctional football club) and I've also got a very firm belief that he will eventually prove people wrong with regards to the football he will get us playing.

I'm not saying he will but I will be very, very disappointed in him if he doesn't because he started his career in a total football environment and because he's not stupid. I don't think it's something he will ever have forgotten. We will see.

Chris Gould
379 Posted 27/02/2023 at 21:41:56
Dyche is counting on Calvert-Lewin being fit for the last 12-13 games. The team are clearly training and playing in the style that will suit Dom. Of course, with him not in the team it's a bit toothless and means we are relying on being tight at the back and set pieces.

However, when Dom returns the team will be ready to continue getting the balls in the box, and finally have someone to put them in the net. The boys just need to keep at it, and we all need to hope that Dom gets fit and stays fit. Survival is dependent on it.

Tony Abrahams
380 Posted 27/02/2023 at 21:53:25
That’s what a lot of successful people tend to do Chris, although this doesn’t make a lot of sense at times, which is something I think Ernie, is pointing out.

I made up my mind that Royle was a limited manager, the day I read Willie Donachie’s programme notes, explaining that they don’t have a settled system, and prefer to use horses for courses, depending on the opposition.

My own view is that the harder you work on your strengths the more successful you will become, and think playing the game through your opponent, should rarely be at the forefront of your thoughts.

You have obviously got to respect them, but not so it stops you concentrating on yourselves?

Robert Tressell
381 Posted 27/02/2023 at 22:13:34
Ernie # 375, I'm torn.

You make a number of good points and there's a case for, say, Gray and Iwobi either side of Maupay higher up the pitch – a bit more like how he (sometimes) operated at Brighton.

But then equally we created decent chances against Villa and were unlucky not to win, let alone lose, could have had about 4 against Leeds and quite a few against Arsenal too.

I come back to the point that there isn't a better option out there; just a different bad one.

Hence, we were never likely to go on a winning streak. We were underperforming under Lampard but not by much. We really do have a rubbish team, especially in attack.

I would like to see Dyche use Gray and Simms more. Hopefully the return of Garner and Godfrey can add something too.

Peter Mills
382 Posted 27/02/2023 at 22:25:44
Much talk about McNeil and Gray. A pal of mine, watching from 3,000 miles away, asked a very simple question on Saturday night which had occurred to me during the game.

Given that crosses had proved fruitless for 80 minutes, why didn't McNeil get moved to the right and Gray to the left, so they could cut in and take shots?

Tony Everan
383 Posted 27/02/2023 at 22:32:19
Considering Sean Dyche likes height and physical presence up front it's quite surprising that Ellis Simms isn't the default choice. Maybe he's not seeing enough quality in training to go with him?

Sticking with Maupay isn't an option either. Gray's been tried through the middle and gets swamped.

So it's Calvert-Lewin or bust? Or is there some other temporary solutions out there? Use the 6ft-5in Onana as a target man with Gray or Maupay playing off him? It would at least give centre-backs something to think about for a change.

Anyway, I'm getting a headache, it's like trying to finish a jigsaw with a piece missing.

Laurie Hartley
384 Posted 27/02/2023 at 23:26:48
Peter # 382 - your friend is very astute.
Andy Crooks
385 Posted 27/02/2023 at 23:36:37
Danny @363, someone has swapped our medication. You have clearly got hold of my optimism tablets and someone has given me your pessimism suppositories ( while I was sleeping, may I add)
Eddie Dunn
386 Posted 28/02/2023 at 07:55:06
Tony E, Onana could play as a target man but we need him in midfield.
Dyche, it seems has had a good look at the squad and decided that a settled team is key to grinding-out enough results and let's face it, Lampard got a dreadfull return from his variations.
Apart from Coady's odd mistake and our fairly ordinary midfield and no threat up top, we are doing okay!
So far Dyche has got us 6 points from 12. If we win at Forest but lose to Arsenal then we will all be satisfied.
We all have a tendency to think that a guy on the bench will do better than a guy who has had a poor game. However, we have all seen our second choices have awful games too.
There is no easy fix because the squad lacks quality. Despite what Sean says, we need a few players to make this side mid-table. How many of our lads would get into that Villa side? I would think none of them.
There is the big problem.
DCL is the big miss and until that kid gets fit then Dyche has to find another way. I do worry that he has given-up on Domenic and the lad has a mental, not just physical, problem.
My hope is that Simms gets a goal and his confidence grows. A scuffed grubber in off the defender's arse will do.
Jerome Shields
387 Posted 28/02/2023 at 08:57:28

Villa set up shop to prevent attacks through the centre and force Everton to the wings.Wing play is easier to defend against, especially when you have Maupay who is short and puts his effort into harrying deep rather than getting into a receiving attacking position.Calvert Lewin is also weak at getting into a receiving attacking position.They both never attack the near post.Villa would have been well prepared to stop both McNeill and Gray coming inside all day long.Villa did ride their luck a bit, but their goalkeeper was up to any limited Everton shots.

Sam Hoare
388 Posted 28/02/2023 at 09:22:50

I agree with you, I think there's a danger we throw the baby out with the bathwater. Our performance against Villa was actually pretty decent and we controlled large portions of the match, getting into their box frequently (45+ touches in opponents box is in top 30 for all league performances this season) and creating a few decent chances.

I think if we played that match the same way again 10 times we'd only lose 1 of them.

Whatever system or team we play is not going to suddenly turn one of our players into a natural goalscorer so I think we have to just hope that a setup that sees us mostly creating more/better chances than our opponents is our best shot. It wasn't long ago under Lampard that teams were creating chances at will against us whilst we struggled to even get into their box.

Perhaps playing Gray gives us a slightly better goalscorer in the team but if he loses the ball more frequently and allows our opponents to counter often then it may work out much worse for the team. It's a tricky balance.

Robert Tressell
389 Posted 28/02/2023 at 10:06:51
Yes Sam 388, lurching from one system / formation / style / personnel was one of the undoings of Lampard. The team will not be perfect by any stretch but will benefit from getting into a good rhythm. We're creating chances - on other days we'll get the luck of the draw - and I think that remarkable stat shows just how unlucky we were against Villa

Peter Mills
390 Posted 28/02/2023 at 10:44:34
Jerome, I take your point, but at any level of football, if something hasn’t worked for most of the match and you are losing, it’s worth trying something else.
Jerome Shields
391 Posted 28/02/2023 at 10:45:20

Good point. Both McNeill and Gray coming inside are high risk for losing the ball.They are not aggressive enough to retain possession and are both easily bullied into taking the easier wing option, aleast they look better crossing.

Actually Seamus Coleman is better at coming inside than both of them, even has a trademark jink and confront style that unsettles his marker. He is also comfortable going right or left and aggressive at retaining possession, but the years are against him. But sometimes he manages to defy even that.

Mark Ryan
392 Posted 28/02/2023 at 21:43:30
DCL recovering !!
Seems well hacked off in his presser when asked how he is
Eddie Dunn
393 Posted 01/03/2023 at 07:02:25
Mark- I bet you that Dyche is furious with him but has to accept the medical advice.
Jimmy Cooper
394 Posted 01/03/2023 at 12:35:26
Pete (216, 264, 367 & 377).

Starting with 367 &377, you objected (with some vitriol) to me saying that Fred Pickering came after Alex Young. However you destroyed your own position when you quoted the dates of their spells at Everton - Young started in 1960, Pickering in 1964. Seems clear enough to me. Pickering came after Young (even though they overlapped).

You said I should get my facts right. Was there anything else I got "wrong"?

You said I know nothing about Everton's history. I would never claim to know all of it, or much at all really. Nor would I claim that what I remember is absolutely correctly. You must be about the same age as me, so you would know what I mean.

In my teens I got to watch Hearts several times a year in Edinburgh. In particular I was a big fan of Alex Young and George Thompson - Alex for his skill and artistry; George because I played left back at the time and loved to try and copy this his techniques (especially the old-fashioned long pass down the touchline past the fullback for Johnny Morrisey or Derek Temple to run onto). When Young and Thompson came to Everton in 1960 I was 14. I started watching them at Goodison and became hooked with the team.

So yes Pete, I did see Pickering play, but I always preferred Young - hence my remarks in 191. I also saw Joe Royle start at Everton as a 16-year old.

Both Royle and Pickering scored more goals than Young, but neither had his magic. He was on a different level. He epitomised The School of Science, and it really meant something in those days. Young was the shining light.

Pete, you said twice, at the end of 367 and 377 that you "rest your case once and for all". I hope it's true, if only for you to chill out a bit. I don't know why you got so narked with my humble post about putting a tall defender in at centre forward (still no takers on that one). Nor can I understand why you were so abusive and mean-spirited. At our age we should try to be a bit civilised and grown up about these things.

This 'exchange of ideas' has been only my second time on TW, although I've logged on and read it every day for many years. I've seen many great ideas and analyses on here, but also many stupid ones. Takes all sorts obviously. I hope I'll find a different reaction if I ever post again.

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