Chelsea 2 - 2 Everton

Everton face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, hoping to end their longest away hoodoo of the Premier League era and maintain the gap between themselves and the relegation zone.

No Dominic Calvert-Lewin for the seventh consecutive game since early February.  Gray and McNeil play upfront with support from Iwobi in an unchanged line-up.

The home side got the game underway, with Everton looking pretty in their away kit. Iwobi looked to have the measure of Chillwell on the overlap but gave the ball back to him and it set up a shot for Enzo that was blocked. 

But Chelsea got a free-kick in the next phase, Chillwell putting in a good ball that Keane headed behind for an early Chelsea corner. It was cleared to Koavcic who volleyed wide. Everton got their own central free-kick but did nothing with it.

Pulisic tried to run through but was stopped. Everton needed to defend in solid lines, the ball not running their way. Felix needed a solid block by Tarkowski for another corner that Havertz headed high and wide. 

Everton were not doing themselves any favours when they did get the ball, losing it almost immediately. Godfrey did well to draw a foul from Havertz. Chelsea slowed it right down, trying to draw Everton out. Everton tried to get forward but had not done so in the first 15 minutes until McNeil had a wayward effort from 35 yards.

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Everton moved well up the field only to lose possession and were wide open but managed to get the ball back off Chelsea to stop a very dangerous counter. Havertz then had a pop from the edge of the area before Chelsea tried to get in close with Pickford picking the ball off Felix's toes. 

An Everton free-kick created a quarter-chance for McNeil on the far post but the ball was soon right back up the other end in another threatening Chelsea attack that was eventually put over the Everton goal. Onana bundled into Koulibaly, claiming a foul but was ignored by the ref.

Some desperate Everton defending was needed after Gana made a terrible challenge on Pulisic as Chelsea piled on the pressure but were having difficulty cutting through the resolute Everton defence. 

Everton came forward to press the Chelsea defence playing out but Doucoure gave up a free-kick. Onana did well to release Gray but they played it back and Tarkowski lost it, letting Chelsea build a quick attack with Felix shooting at Pickford.

Badiashalle barged into Gray to give away a very generous free-kick, Gray wasted straight into the very close wall, Pulisic taking the ball in his face. 

Chelsea resumed control of the ball after Godfrey had lost it for a throw-in but Pulicic's cross was easy for Pickford. McNeil got a chance to run forward but showed too much of the ball to Koulibaly. 

A good cross in from Coleman would not quite bounce for the visitors but they at least got some more rare touches in the Chelsea penalty area before the ball was back up the other end as 3 minutes of added time were shown. 

McNeil was forced to lunge at Enzo in a failed attempt to win the ball, giving up a dangerous free-kick that was worked with precision all around the Everton area except toward the goal. And Everton survived the late onslaught to go in with a very precious and hard-earned clean sheet.

Abdoulaye Doucoure had the honour of kicking off the second half, the Pinks pressing Chelsea high up the field without success. James was left open to cross in for an early corner that Chilwell played in low. From the second corner, Onana had the chance to break but stalled his run and the chance was gone.

Pickford had to punch out a direct header from Havertz that was fortunately not returned with interest. Gray went on a good run but could not produce. But the goal finally came at the other end, Chilwell's hard low cross was played out by Keane straight to Felix who screwed a shot just wide of Pickford and in off the post. 

Everton tried to respond, Iwobi's cross bouncing off Keane, but Chelsea broke, fortunately offside as Pulisic hammered the ball home. Iwobi was was taken out by Koulibaly, giving Gray a brilliant chance to deliver a fine ball that Keane glanced away from Coleman coming in at the far post.

Everton played up a little more, Enzo fouling Gray but not called and Chelsea surged forward, Kovacic seeing his shot deflected behind. Gray did well to get forward and tried to force a mistake from Keepa. 

Everton won a corner, Everton's big men so close to the ball, Onana getting very high but not making enough contact as it went behind for another corner, and this one was headed in first by Tarkowski then on by Doucoure despite being cleared from behind the line, as signalled by the ref and his magic watch. Everton level.  

Everton continued to give Chelesea a decent test until Godfrey gifted them the ball and they surged forward to threaten Pickford. It was going quite well until Godfrey and Tarkowski contrived to floor James for a very soft penalty that Havertz eventually converted after fruitless VAR investigations. 

Onana took a sniper shot to the face as Simms replaced Gueye with barely 10 minutes left to rescue a point.  McNeil worked his way forward and powered a low shot across goal but out wide.

Gallagher beat four men but was stopped as Mykolenko replaced Coleman. Simms tried to shoot after a turnover but his effort was blocked.  Everton continued to fight for everything as Chelsea broke up the game with a series of substitutions. 

But Simms thought better of things, he picked up a nice ball from Doucoure and drove in from the left, brushing aside Koulibaly and powering a splendid shot in off Keepa to equalize in fine style. 

Chelsea piled forward but Onana stood very tall to stop Havertz but Chelsea came back to win a corner that had to be cleared. Everton needed to do some more defending and could not get the ball away, McNeil was called for a foul wide right on James. 

The free-kick was poor but still Everton could not get it away, the ball finally going behind off Havertz, but Chelsea given the corner anyway. That one was headed behind and the next was met with the final whistle and a decent point for the Pinks. Everton celebrated like it was that long-lost Stamford Bridge win!

Chelsea: Keepa, Badiashalle, Enzo , Kovacic (81' Loftus-Cheek), Pulisic (62' Gallagher), Felix (87' Chukwuemeka), Chilwell, James [Y:76'], Koulibaly [Y:56'], Havertz, Fofana (87' Chalobah). 

Subs not Used: Bettinelli, Kante, Mudryk, Madueke, Cucurella.

Everton: Pickford, Coleman (83' Mykolenko), Keane, Tarkowski, Godfrey, Gana [Y:28'] (79' Simms), Doucoure, Onana, Iwobi, McNeil [Y:45+1'], Gray.

Subs not Used: Begovic, Holgate, Mina, Maupay, Davies, Coady, Garner.



Reader Comments (229)

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Michael Kenrick
1 Posted 18/03/2023 at 16:38:43
Eeek... Fresh approach to cleaning out the opposition – Colgate listed among the subs on the Offical Website!

Substitutes: Begovic, Colgate, Mina, Mykolenko, Maupay, Davies, Coady, Garner, Simms.

Jerome Shields
2 Posted 18/03/2023 at 17:13:53
As expected, Dyche will be looking for improved performances.
Dennis Stevens
3 Posted 18/03/2023 at 17:20:13
That's dental, Michael!
Rahul Gandhi
4 Posted 18/03/2023 at 17:54:39
I think we will all be interested until the first goal goes in...
Michael Kenrick
5 Posted 18/03/2023 at 18:24:24
I see they got the Steradent out and fixed it, Dennis!
Ernie Baywood
6 Posted 18/03/2023 at 18:25:30
Can't complain with the effort but that's not usually the issue.

Despite their dominance, Chelsea look a bit made for us. Everything for them is central and a bit lightweight and they look vulnerable on the break. Unfortunately we (and particularly Onana) slow things down when we finally get the ball.

Tough to not make a mistake when you're constantly defending without offering anything to scare the opposition.

Craig Walker
7 Posted 18/03/2023 at 18:29:55
Decent effort first half but how many times this season have we not come out after half-time?

Onana has to do more. He keeps playing it straight back to where it just came. McNeil has done well so far, I think. One thing that we are terrible at is throw-ins. We just continually give the ball away from throw-ins.

I would take a draw today. That would be an excellent result. I will continue to watch from behind the sofa.

Simon Dalzell
8 Posted 18/03/2023 at 18:43:46
Game over. Cowardly 'effort'.
Jerome Shields
9 Posted 18/03/2023 at 18:45:14
Everton have played well.Chelsea style of play suits the defence.Expected a bit more from Onana.Hope Gray gets more into the game second half.Gana yellow card was a soft one.
Ernie Baywood
10 Posted 18/03/2023 at 19:27:26
Well who would have expected that? Great moment for Simms... he was positive, aggressive and got his reward. Great goal!

Fair play to Dyche too. Went two up front and it made the difference.

Feels like a huge point.

Simon Dalzell
11 Posted 18/03/2023 at 19:30:34
A lot of us thought Simms should have played more often. Hopefully he gets more of a chance now. This should do his confidence a world of good. Pace , strength, ability to score. We have no one else like that. Two up front the way to go against the lower teams.
Nick Page
12 Posted 18/03/2023 at 19:30:58
Fucking get the fuck in. Tried hard and battled the whole game. Well done blues 💙
Colin Glassar
13 Posted 18/03/2023 at 19:32:09
I’m now starting to believe we can do this. Great 2nd half performance.
Dave Lynch
14 Posted 18/03/2023 at 19:33:20
Massive result.

Get the fuck in there, Blues!!!

Kieran Kinsella
15 Posted 18/03/2023 at 19:35:01
Sensed we'd get a point even when we were down twice. There was just a renewed energy and desire about the team. Better work rate, braver on the ball.

Brilliant moment for Simms. Thought Gray worked tirelessly, nice moments from Onana. Penalty apart, the defense were solid. Great vocal support from the away fans too. Good job all around.

Neil Lawson
16 Posted 18/03/2023 at 19:36:07
Not sure I can cope with this. I am a wreck.

You roll from despair and misery to incredible excitement and then back up and down again.

Thrilled for Everton. Thrilled for Simms. We are not great. We may be average at best. But at least we are organised and fighting and committed and playing as a team.

There is real hope. Just hope my heart and blood pressure is up to it.

Andy Meighan
17 Posted 18/03/2023 at 19:36:38
Well deserved the point. I thought we were really positive 2nd half.

Coming from behind twice — great stuff.

Alan Johnson
18 Posted 18/03/2023 at 19:38:14
Feels like a win. The Pinks were defiant till the end. Great goal from Simms.
Nick Page
19 Posted 18/03/2023 at 19:39:29
With this kind of hard work, hopefully the luck will change. Definitely more competitive, much better shape in the team. Players look like they know where they should and shouldn’t be.
Brian Hennessy
20 Posted 18/03/2023 at 19:41:33
That feels like a win.

Massive point and a huge moment in the career of Ellis Simms. We may have just found ourselves a centre-forward. The strength to shrug off Koulibaly and composure to take his goal. To go behind twice away from home and come back shows something we have not seen before from these players.

Hats off to Dyche and all the players but especially to all those travelling Everton fans.

Mike Gaynes
21 Posted 18/03/2023 at 19:43:31
You guys aren't gonna believe this, but it's true...

I was on the phone with my Brentford friend from California when we went behind 1-0. He was full of condolences, but I said straight out we'd come back for a 1-1 draw with a late goal by Simms off the bench. Even though he'd never scored before. I was just sure. And it happened, just for 2-2 instead of 1-1.

Wish I'd known how to get a bet down on it.

Paul Birmingham
22 Posted 18/03/2023 at 19:52:26
Fabulous effort and performance, a well deserved point. Great character by Everton.

It's not often Koulibaly gets out-powered in the box.

Great composure by Ellis Simms from a slick move.

Great night for Everton, and celebrate.

Safe passage to those travelling back from Chelsea.

Nb Is McNeil with his booking, now on a suspension ?

Christy Ring
23 Posted 18/03/2023 at 19:53:14
A massive point, and huge confidence boost for the club and Simms.

Double celebration for me with us winning the grand slam today as well. Buzzing.

Ajay Gopal
24 Posted 18/03/2023 at 19:53:58
What a great result! Terrific debut goal by Simms, he is surprisingly fast - all credit to Dyche for the substitutions. Really disappointed with Ben Godfrey’s performance. When Myko came on as LB, he showed what a real LB can offer. The 2nd goal was started from his vision to pick the right pass to Doucoure who did really well to lay it off to Simms. Doucoure undoubtedly MOTM with a goal and an assist. Simms and Mykolenko for Iwobi and Godfrey would strengthen the team. McNeil and Gray on opposite flanks would trouble most defences. Iwobi can come on as a substitute. Onana should be doing more, or am I missing his contribution from the TV view? Pickford has been great for us, but the statistic that the commentator mentioned just stunned me: Pickford has not saved a penalty for Everton in over 5 years!

A special mention to our fabulous fans - the players genuinely seemed delighted with the fan’s’ reaction at the end. Great stuff!

Mark Ryan
25 Posted 18/03/2023 at 19:54:03
Would Sean Syche have ever got a sniff of the managers job at Everton if we weren't up shit creek without a paddle ? No, and why not ? Because he's not glamorous enough for Kenwright. Not star billing !!!

Well Mr K, have I got news for you. He's done more for this bunch of misfits than the 5 managers before him. He deserves every applause he gets. They are still crap but he's got them doing all the right things. The attitude is spot on, the effort spot on, the plan, spot on. Well done Sean Dyche and btw if Iwobi is stalling on signing a new deal, let him stall pal

Garry Martin
26 Posted 18/03/2023 at 19:54:19
"In Dyche we trust" — he's doing a brilliant job.

On a weekly basis, he's learning what players we've got and making them work their socks off.

His tactics and team selections have made him a great fit for Everton FC, long may he continue.


Michael Kenrick
27 Posted 18/03/2023 at 19:57:02
That was a really difficult game to get anything from. Chelsea looked far superior at times in the first half especially, and it was a tribute to Everton's defensive resolution (and probably a big slice of luck) that it was goalless at the break.

The first Chelsea goal was really, really tough, Keane having to block the ball out and Felix getting very lucky with his shot, in off the post. The Everton goal from the corner was classic, Tarkowski the key to winning the first ball, and Doucoure just brilliant to take it away from Keepa.

The penalty was simply a disaster but what a fabulous response from Simms, again fed by a crucial ball from Doucoure. But his brush-off of Koulibaly will go down in the annals of football as how to beat a defender and power through to score. Absolutely fantastic stuff!

And I know this goes against the grain but I'm going to say it: Sky's coverage of this, especially the after-match analysis, was superb, with intense positivity and enthusiasm for what Everton are striving for, and a brilliant interview with Sean Dyche. There, I've said it. I mean it's nearly 8 pm and they have only talked about Everton — nothing about so-called "Sky Darlings" Chelsea.

Kieran Kinsella
28 Posted 18/03/2023 at 20:04:12
Conte has gone off the deep end attacking the owner and Spurs players so they may be in complete turmoil when they play us.

Christy. For the first time in several years, I was able to watch the Six Nations this year. Ireland have been great from the get-go. My family in Wexford are celebrating. You may hear them all the way in Laois.

On Simms, it's obvious from his loan spells he can finish. Much better shot than Maupay and more power than Calvert-Lewin. His weakness has been his all-around play and using his height and strength to his advantage. He showed his strength today. Hopefully that gives him a boost and he can knock in a few more.

Ed Prytherch
29 Posted 18/03/2023 at 20:04:49
Calvert-Lewin's delayed comeback does not look so dramatic now, in fact he might find it hard getting back into the starting eleven.

Dyche has really surprised me. We produce better attacking play while stiffening up the defence and without bringing in new players. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

Will Mabon
30 Posted 18/03/2023 at 20:06:01
Conte has torn his players two new arseholes each in his post-match summary.

That can go one of two ways – hopefully in our favour.

Michael, surprising to hear Drury acknowledge Everton and Simms at the end there, because he was fully in his usual mode during the match.

George Cumiskey
31 Posted 18/03/2023 at 20:06:57
Iwobi nearly cost us this game, he always gives the ball away, surely he's gotta be dropped ?
Will Mabon
32 Posted 18/03/2023 at 20:07:13
Kieran - snap.
Tom Bowers
33 Posted 18/03/2023 at 20:07:46
A great result to go along with several other results today.

Yes, we have to agree the team has a few flaws but Dyche is seemingly getting a much better attitude from the players now which is getting results.

Oddly enough, after throwing away points at Forest late on, it looked as if they were going to do it again today around the same time of the game but Simms showed remarkable coolness and confidence to get the equalizer after a sublime pass from Doucoure.

Let's all hope they can lay one on Spurs in a couple of weeks who blew the game at Southampton today.

Shane Pamplin
34 Posted 18/03/2023 at 20:09:31
We should have won that. Proud of the boys. Dyche is making me a believer. COYB💙💙
Kunal Desai
35 Posted 18/03/2023 at 20:11:28
I was confident of getting a point from Chelsea all along even when we went 1-0 and 2-1 down. Their defence is very suspect.

Doucoure is transformed under Dyche. He's turning into the Doucoure from Watford days. Yet another superb performance by him and the layoff to put Simms in was sublime.

Bring on Spurs in 2 weeks time under the Goodison lights.

Barry Hesketh
36 Posted 18/03/2023 at 20:16:58
Great and welcome point, very good goal for Simms, let's hope it's the first of many this season. Those of a nervous disposition should find a small Island without communication in order to avoid the rest of this season, as it's going to get very very tense for so many fans of so many clubs.

I wish Spurs had won today, for our own reasons first and foremost, but if we are their first opponents after the international break, they are going to be up and ready at Goodison after Conte's tongue-lashing, therefore we'll have to have one of those very special atmospheres under the lights and hope we can get three very important points.

I can't ever remember the bottom half of the league being so tight, and I hope we earn our points sooner rather than later – but I suppose as long as we get enough of them, it doesn't really matter does it?

Joe McMahon
37 Posted 18/03/2023 at 20:17:53
So pleased for Ellis, and a good point away from home. There seems to be belief in the squad and Sean has to take some credit.
Jerome Shields
38 Posted 18/03/2023 at 20:18:49
Dyche has gradually progressed the team. This was an improvement in the previous performances. The same old error-prone players brought Everton down, but they were able to fight back.

Simms looked an aware player when he played previously. I actually thought he was better than Calvert-Lewin in this area. Today, he has got a valuable goal and it will do his confidence no end of good. As someone said on the Live Forum; 'We have a striker'.

The away fans were fantastic.

Mal van Schaick
39 Posted 18/03/2023 at 20:19:22
Great result and it could have been 3 points if the dubious penalty was not awarded against us.

I can't fault the effort and we are looking more solid and progressive under Dyche.

Stuart Sharp
40 Posted 18/03/2023 at 20:19:25
A great result. A fair result. And a result which would be hard to imagine under previous managers.

Twice from behind away to Chelsea? Brilliant.

I agree that Doucoure is getting back to his best. And Iwobi continues to do my head in, but that shouldn't be a discussion for today.

Made up for Simms. Let's hope he always comes on ahead of Maupay. I don't think he's done much wrong whenever he's come on. The derby is not the match to judge him in. Everyone was pish that day.

Tony Everan
41 Posted 18/03/2023 at 20:19:26
This is the difference, you never felt we were out of the match when we were trailing. The boys battled hard and took the chance that came along, great to see the organisation and fight.

Buzzing for Ellis Simms, great goal powering past Koulibaily? Then a shot with pace, hard and low, too much for the keeper. Brilliant stuff! Keep it up, lads, loving it!

Terry Farrell
42 Posted 18/03/2023 at 20:20:51
Best away fans bar none.

I said a while ago that Simms could be the answer. Maybe Dyche has worked him hard in training and now thinks he's ready.

Shrugged off Koulibaly like he was drunk and then a great finish. Doucoure, great through-ball.

Feels like we won the league but it's only a point away. Shows how far we have to travel but I still believe! xxxx

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
43 Posted 18/03/2023 at 20:22:34
Mark #25. Wrong target. You are slagging off the guy who made Moyes manager and then Martinez who had just got his team relegated.

The guy who wants the Hollywood managers is Moshiri. Don't mind you having a go at Kenwright – but please not for something of which he is not guilty.

Mike Gaynes
44 Posted 18/03/2023 at 20:24:15
Kieran #28, if Conte's even still their manager... he criticized ownership too.

Dyche on the postgame interview, praising Simms' pace and power and the spirit of the club, and talking about how he pressed the players at HT to have a mental commitment to pushing forward and attacking. Says there's still work to be done but it's another step in the right direction.

More on Simms, who came to him last week and asked what he need to improve, and one of them was playing tougher and stronger:

"You know playing tougher is different today, but you can still get the body language and intent to play, and I thought his drive showed that quite clearly, the energy, the will, fighting off the center half as well as using his pace, but then the clarity to stay calm and then finish under the keeper... I was really pleased with that."

It really was a brilliant moment and the burst of speed was as dazzling -- and unexpected -- as his obvious confidence. He was sure he was gonna score. Wow.

Raymond Fox
45 Posted 18/03/2023 at 20:25:39
A precious point gained, well done, boys.

I see your back with your positivity, George!

Fran Mitchell
46 Posted 18/03/2023 at 20:29:41
Cometh the hour, cometh the man.

Well done, Ellis Simms. Here's to the start of a great goalscoring career.

A brilliant 'striker's goal'.

There is much we could talk about from today's game, but the only thing that deserves attention is that. A young striker, written off by many, getting his first goal in the Premier League against a team that spent £600 million in the time that he has gone from Mackem to Toffee.

And what a brilliant goal it was.

Ellis Simms. Premier League Striker.

Kevin Molloy
47 Posted 18/03/2023 at 20:30:18
Just seen that goal from the kid!

Holy shit! — Did he really just do a 'see you later' to Koulibaly?

I think he did!

Mike Gaynes
48 Posted 18/03/2023 at 20:31:20
Mal #39, the only thing dubious about that penalty was whether Godfrey or Tark committed it. They both fouled him. One after the other. Clearly. Obviously.

Terry #42, amen. I could hear them singing throughout the game. Splendid performance.

Raymond #45, haha!

Fran #46, amen, and it wasn't just us partisan Evertonians who feel that was. On Univision, where the Spanish commentary is supposedly impartial, while the play-by-play guy was describing Simms breaking in, the color guy in the background was screaming "YEEEAH! YEEAH!!" like a madman. They loved that moment.

Dave Abrahams
49 Posted 18/03/2023 at 20:35:17
This was a result to savour, a goal behind twice but we never threw in the towel.

The team spirit kept us going and Ellis Simms did the main job he is good at, with the ball in front of him and heading for the goal; he kept his composure and got his heavy shot on target and into the net.

With the right service, he'll get a few more like that and keep getting the points for us. That we battled and got a point was a tonic for me tonight and the confidence is getting stronger with each game and that's enough for me tonight to comment on.

Denis Richardson
50 Posted 18/03/2023 at 20:43:58
I would have taken a point pre-game so very pleased we got a result. Point away to Chelsea and coming from behind twice is a great result.

Every point is massive at this stage and this will build confidence. Great moment for Simms as well.

Players can take a well-earned rest now. Still really tight but we can definitely do this. Couple of wins at home and a couple of draws pretty much does it.

Paul Tran
51 Posted 18/03/2023 at 20:44:36
Mike, at the time, I thought they'd left it for each other. Tarkowski more or less admitted it in an after-match interview.

Mike Connolly
52 Posted 18/03/2023 at 21:00:23
Was Kenwhright at this game?
Christine Foster
53 Posted 18/03/2023 at 21:00:54
Didn't expect anything from that game, watching the first 20 mins we were all over the place, second to every ball.. no fizz.. but as slick as Chelsea seemed, the Everton defence were superb, no way through. It was a change of tactics from the manager and I think it sort of got Chelsea, the past 3/4 games we have started hard and fast and struggled when we ran out of steam, this time we compressed and kept going, second half was much much better..
On the good side, a point that was brilliantly worked for, Ellis Simms, so pleased for the lad, first goal and he has just displaced Maupay as first choice striker. The live forum was giving him heaps but he did what it says on the tin..brilliant.
On the flip side, Iwobi.. hells bells, when he tracks back, he marks space, never players and never tackles, he gives the ball away every time, then stops.. rigid. On the balance of stuff his attributes are far outweighed by his stuff ups.. as for another contract, its reported he wants to see how the season pans out before he signs a new contract, well, I think its time to move him on while we can get reasonable money for him. Is he a asset or a liability? Good days and horror ones.. today was not his best.
But today, it was a team point, well deserved and keeps us above the drop zone. Well done Blues!
Mike Gaynes
54 Posted 18/03/2023 at 21:16:23
Paul #51, Tark was certainly discussing it with Godfrey INTENSELY as the pen was being reviewed.

Christine #53, at this point Iwobi does what nobody else does. That's pass the ball forwards and move it forwards on the dribble, every time. He attacks reflexively. There's no one in the side who does that. We need to find somebody else to take that role, and then yes, it'll be time to take advantage of his maximum value right now, and sell. At this point, however, despite his faults he's irreplaceable.

Colin Glassar
55 Posted 18/03/2023 at 21:20:39
Nothing really to add to most of the above.

One or two observations; I’m not sure if Mykolenko or Godfrey are the answer at leftback. Patterson coming back will give us more options in an attacking sense as will DCL. Garner is an exciting prospect and could help us in the run in with his passing ability.

And please, get rid of Iwobi and Maupay asap.

Great result and effort shown by most of the lads.

Dean Williams
56 Posted 18/03/2023 at 21:21:12
Hopefully this puts shitty maupay firmly at the back of the queue. I've campaigned for simms since his return. Just leave him in and he will get a few goals for us.
Danny O’Neill
57 Posted 18/03/2023 at 21:28:51
I am on my way home.

I am so happy.

The team never gave in and came back twice.

The supporters never gave in or stopped believing.

When I eventually get home I don't think I will sleep too much tonight. I'm running on adrenalin.

The travelling blues deserve a medal. Each and every one of us.

Even when we were behind twice, it felt like we had taken over Stamford Bridge. The noise levels seemed unbelievable.

I will reflect and comment more coherently tomorrow. Right now I'm tired and on my way home from an emotionally exhausting evening.

Spirit. Forever

I hope those watching heard us. Loud, blue and proud. Every single one of us.

Tony Abrahams
58 Posted 18/03/2023 at 21:32:38
Small margins, I thought Reece James, was playing for that penalty - twice, but I know very little about refereeing, although I’m definitely waiting to see who is the first pundit in the media, to point out that Doucoure’s arm was offside!

I could only watch the last 30 minutes, but it’s clear to see that we are developing a real spirit, and when you’ve got a striker with both the speed and power that Ellis Simms showed at the death, then things might finally be beginning to look up.

The most fragile team in the league, has started finding a little bit of togetherness and this is also beginning to help us find that little bit of mental toughness.

Bill Gienapp
59 Posted 18/03/2023 at 21:47:15
What a moment for Simms, and that was no scrappy goal either. It was downright Lukaku-esque – powering past Koulibaly and then confidently drilling it home. Those are also exactly the sort of chances Calvert-Lewin tends to make a mess of, though he obviously compensates with superiority in other areas.

Barry (36) - I'm not so sure, the general feeling seems to be that Conte's had enough and was committing managerial seppuku with that rant. Many fans are calling for him to be sacked, saying there's no coming back after basically insulting the entire club. Either way, it feels like Spurs are in a fair bit of turmoil. We might be catching them at exactly the right moment (knock on wood).

Stuart Sharp
60 Posted 18/03/2023 at 21:48:28
Danny #57,

Were you wearing a Schalke top today?

Yes, the crowd noise definitely came across. For example, we could hear 'Fuck the Tories' loud and clear!

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
61 Posted 18/03/2023 at 21:53:30
Nick - agree. 2 League wins, the last is nearer to the 19th century than today.
One trophy in the 22 years since Levy took over. Almost as bad as Kenwright.
Nick Page
62 Posted 18/03/2023 at 21:54:36
“Fuck the Tories”

OMG. I thought this was an Everton site. I’m sick of seeing this nobhead shite.

If you think the current political elite are in any way different and that one will offer you salvation over the other you’re a complete idiot. Go and educate yourselves and start by reading Carol Quigley. It might just set you free from the herd.

Robert Williams
63 Posted 18/03/2023 at 21:56:30
Did not see the game - will watch on MOD - irrespective of the way the players have improved I feel I must acknowledge the massive part Shaun Dyche is playing in the regeneration of Everton Football Club - the nearly dead giant is being brought back to health step by step - slowly but surely.
Thanks Shaun.
Geoff Cadman
64 Posted 18/03/2023 at 21:57:21
Phil # 43 agree with your reply to Mark #25. I agree Kenwright needs to go but to be fair he wanted to bring in Dyche after Koeman was sacked.
Barry Jones
65 Posted 18/03/2023 at 22:01:14
Brilliant goal by Simms. The way he brushed off Koulibaly was magical. He has impressed each time he has come on, surely he deserves a start. I think I would consider dropping Iwobi and using Gray wide.

I am still unsure about Onana. I don't understand Dyche's logic for not playing Garner, saying he has no prem experience. While neither did Simms, or Onana before he arrived. The only way he will get it is by playing. He looked useful in the games he has played.

Graham Mockford
66 Posted 18/03/2023 at 22:03:01
The obvious differences are the out of possession work rate and the 4-5-1 formation which is making us more resilient. That is translating into a little more confidence.

I think 12 points from the last 10 games will just be enough.

Barry Hesketh
67 Posted 18/03/2023 at 22:04:01
Geoff @65
Where and when did Kenwright state that he was in favour of bringing in Dyche? I can't remember any statement by Kenwright on who he preferred to manage Everton at any given time, until the person had arrived at the club - or in Dyche's case the complete public silence from the owner, Chairman and board that has greeted the current boss.

As it happens Dyche is doing a good job of instilling his methods and helping to create a team of sorts from what looked a hapless, ramshackle bunch not that long ago.

Terry Farrell
68 Posted 18/03/2023 at 22:06:00
Mike G completely agree re iwobi he does far more positive things than negative and works his socks off
I thought instinctively that James was off. If he was on then Godfrey was wrong side big time. Why didn't we see the Var lines?
Jim Wilson
69 Posted 18/03/2023 at 22:07:52
Nick @ 63

Massive difference between Labour and the Tories actually.

Labour tries to govern for everyone and does want some kind of fairness. Admittedly they don't get everything right.

But the Tories are only concerned about themselves and the rich and are happy to lie their heads off. And they are propped up by the lying right wing media.
They just don't care.

Labour started the Health service for everyone the Tories would love to end it.

Oceans of difference!

Michael Lynch
70 Posted 18/03/2023 at 22:11:01
Agree with Danny @57. That was the first away match I’ve managed to get to this season and the noise was incredible.

Great fighting spirit in the second half and a deserved point

Christy Ring
71 Posted 18/03/2023 at 22:13:33
Kieran #28 My son's partner is from Gorey! Still buzzing and looking forward to MOTD to watch again. Dyche has really instilled confidence and mentality into the players. Delighted for Simms, and no one can criticise Sean's substitutions.
Sam Hoare
72 Posted 18/03/2023 at 22:19:18
Great performance, great result.

People seem very bullish about Garner! I like him but he’ll do well to have as good a career as I suspect Onana has ahead of him.

I’m not sure we need to change anything at the moment. We’re playing well, creating chances and getting good results. Keep that up and we’ll stay in this division. Simms took his goal very well today but at this stage I think he is more useful in cameos.

Sean Dyche doing a really superb job so far. Hope he/they can keep it up. I’ve said it before but I think he may prove the most popular manager we’ve had in a long time.

Nick Page
73 Posted 18/03/2023 at 22:19:22
Jim - you’re a captured “idiot”. Sorry if that offends you. They’re ALL the same. Completely and utterly. In fact neither actually represent capitalism nor socialism. Greed and power have taken absolute control so unless you are prepared to unshackle yourself from the lies and hyperbole you will remain ignorant to the reality and what is actually going on. Maybe it’s time. Fuck them all.

“The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies, one, perhaps, of the Right and the other of the Left, is a foolish idea acceptable only to doctrinaire and academic thinkers. Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can “throw the rascals out” at any election without leading to any profound or extensive shifts in policy.”
Carroll Quigley, Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time

Robert Tressell
74 Posted 18/03/2023 at 22:19:43
We are coming together as a team. Takes a lot to come back twice. Smashing goal by Simms - Haaland would have been proud of the touch, pace, strength and finish. Maybe time for him to start believing in himself and using his physicality. He's always had the finish. An excellent point.
Stuart Sharp
75 Posted 18/03/2023 at 22:24:14
Nick #63
I was just commenting on what I heard coming through the TV speaker. Yes, it's an Everton site. And so yes, I think a comment on Everton chants is reasonable. I wasn't being political. As it happens, I totally disagree with your response, and I certainly don't need a stranger telling me to get educated, but neither of those things are really relevant because I was just responding to Danny asking whether the fans could be heard.
Jim Wilson
76 Posted 18/03/2023 at 22:27:34
Sorry Nick you are the idiot.
This is an Everton site but I can't let you get away with nonesense.

Labour is not perfect but should never be compared with virtually a fascist party.

Be happy with Evertons performance and stay away from politics that you clearly know nothing about.

Geoff Cadman
77 Posted 18/03/2023 at 22:28:14
Barry # 68 it was widely reported at the time that he was Kenwrights choice,
David West
78 Posted 18/03/2023 at 22:35:40
The big difference since Dyche has been here is a mentality. Positivity goes a long way in sport, and I feel he has a way of concentrating on the positive attributes of each and every player.

Doucouré looked finished under Frank.
Mcneil giving his all and dyche getting so much more out of him.
Coleman continues to epitomise what it is to be our captain.

Is this the breakthrough in formation? I thought we looked threatening when simms came on, I know we were chasing the game but him and gray up front could be an option. Definitely an option at 60mins if we need a goal.

This relagation scrap is going to be nervous. But points at Chelsea and against arsenal prove you can't right us off yet

The way the league is now with 10 teams all in the mix to go down is this what future seasons will be like with the big 6-7 teams never out the top spots and the rest just all scrapping to stay up ?
Its the well run clubs like Brighton, Brentford who have lifted themselves above the scrap that show its not just how much is spent.

Michael Lynch
79 Posted 18/03/2023 at 22:44:47
Nick Page
80 Posted 18/03/2023 at 22:44:50
Thanks Jim. By calling a major political party in the United Kingdom, “fascists” you have proved your own ignorance. Well done 👏

Mike Price
81 Posted 18/03/2023 at 22:46:27
Very important point and I loved Dyche having a dig at the referee for doing his best to help Chelsea. It’s about time we had someone to bite back and fight our corner.

Just watched the game back and Iwobi, who I’ve always thought a terrible footballer, was beyond bad. He’s a space filler, utterly useless, he’s poor at everything and I’m just praying Dyche does not sanction his new contract. You sign players that other teams would want, not players that no one would pay a fee for, especially on his joke salary. Get rid!!

Nick Page
82 Posted 18/03/2023 at 22:46:54
Anyway fuck politics they’re all twats, which was my point. There is a glimmer of hope appearing at the end of a log dark tunnel.


Kevin Molloy
83 Posted 18/03/2023 at 22:50:16
don't mind Dion Dublin, but my word, the bbc is just swimming in twats. who cares what Ashley Williams thinks about the price of fish. A nothing player, a charm free zone 'We don't wanna see that,. But we do wanna see that!'
Nick Page
84 Posted 18/03/2023 at 22:54:19
Exactly Mike @82 - this is what we’ve missed for 20+ years! We’re Everton. How did it ever come to pass that we just rolled over and got trampled on by the nouveau riche/Sky6 etc? That’s Kenwrights Everton and he was more concerned about keeping his mates in the directors box happy than Evertonians.

Everton Are The Gear

Barry Hesketh
85 Posted 18/03/2023 at 22:57:12
David @79
The way the league is now with 10 teams all in the mix to go down is this what future seasons will be like with the big 6-7 teams never out the top spots and the rest just all scrapping to stay up ?
I think that's the way things are heading, Brighton and Brentford are doing very well this season, but can they stay ahead of the pack for any significant length of time?

We may well end up seeing a situation where even the current European qualifying contenders are unable to compete with the state-owned clubs, and everyone outside of the top four will be concerned about their place in the division. Any club paying huge fees and wages will be taking a massive gamble if it goes pear-shaped, as we know all too well.

Kieran Kinsella
86 Posted 18/03/2023 at 23:00:25

Gorey really? That’s where my family are from going back at least to my Great Grandad born 1864. Small world!

Derek Thomas
87 Posted 18/03/2023 at 23:24:43
Doucoure was my 'Man otM' and Godfrey had a bit of a' Mare otM'

If we do go down it won't be for lack of On field Organisation or Effort, more due to our well documented Offield Sins and Omissions.

Godfrey Vs Myklenko and Onana Vs Garner, I get the feeling that Dyche tots up the Top Trump points - both good and bad - for both and decides the tie by going with the 'Good BigUn' over the 'Good LittleUn'.

If Lukaku or Haarland score that it's rave reports. If he can bully a supposed class player in Koubilay like that on a semi-regular basis, he has a future.

10 teams over 4 pts ; This Roller-coaster could go down to the last game.

I've always been hooked since before Carey took his Taxi and going to the Australian game Vs Celtic Re-Hooked me, so I made a decision to come over for the last game...the only condition was I had to bring the Missus and throw in a European tour and a week on a Greek Island to get it approved...and you lot think Levy is a tough negotiator.

Trevor Peers
88 Posted 18/03/2023 at 23:41:11
All down to the manager, in Dyche for once we have chosen wisely.

Football is all about organisation and motivation, Dyche has provided both and, lo and behold, a previous set of weak hopeless sheep have become a decent team who are extremely hard to beat.

The mind boggles at the thought of what might be achieved if Dyche is given enough money to buy players with extra quality, but first we have a relegation battle to contend with as obviously this is by no means over yet, but the signs are looking a lot better, COYB.

Danny O’Neill
89 Posted 18/03/2023 at 23:44:38
As a pretty impartial and cenral political person, I smile at the "fuck the tories" chants.

For those attending or travelling with opposition supporters, it is often in retaliation to outdated jibes at us.

You know the classics.

Sign on.

We pay your benefits.

Often from people who come from council estates in London not too disimilar from Speke.

If you give it, you have to take it back. I always challenge it and I've never taken a benefit in my life — unlike many London people I bump into on a daily basis.

Roger Helm
90 Posted 18/03/2023 at 23:49:27
Delighted for Simms, as I said before, he has scored in every league he has played in. He should have been given his chance before now.

Jim Wilson, if you really believe that the present Government is “virtually fascist”, then you must be woefully unaware of what was happening in the last century.

As Godwin's Law has it, when you are reduced to comparing your opponent to Hitler or the Nazis, then you have lost the argument. It makes me angry when the sufferings and deaths of millions is trivialised in this way.

Ben King
91 Posted 18/03/2023 at 23:49:30
Brilliant result and superb equaliser. It wasn't even a chance. That's the kind of goal we've been missing from a finisher.

Really hope Simms can show some Premier League quality and get another 4-5 this season to help keep us up.

Dyche deserves a statue if he keeps us up.

Neil Tyrrell
92 Posted 18/03/2023 at 23:57:41
Bill G @60 beat me to it, Ellis Simms powering past Koulibaly reminded me of Lukaku's best Everton goal. From the same side too.

Nothing compared to our amazing traveling fans, but I missed the first half because the pub we went to was showing rugby, we walked around for an hour in the freezing cold and finally the 15th place we checked had it on. Missed the first half entirely. Saw all the goals anyway.

Incredible fight from the, errr, Pinks to come back from behind twice. Best moment on the telecast was when they showed the away fans going mental after Doucoure's goal. Was right there with all of you.

The way I saw it, Reece James felt a tap on the side of his foot from Godfrey and was a foot in the air before Tarkowski got near him. He's a diving piece of shit. He even looked embarrassed when they showed him afterwards. Fuck him.

Jim Burns
93 Posted 18/03/2023 at 00:00:22
Nick Page - your reaction@ 63 to a fairly innocuous comment regarding the crowd noise seems overly aggressive and insulting.

Taking a condescending swipe at fellow Evertonians' intelligence and head shape seems strange on a day when we were all simply enjoying the sense of collective relief.

I'm educated enough to realise that chant was aimed at a large section of the ‘nouveau riche' West London fan base who had no doubt revelled in their view of jobless scouse bastards.

Lighten up, mate – it's been a good day – especially for those who scraped the cash and time to be there and help get our result.

Peter Mills
95 Posted 18/03/2023 at 00:11:10
It's been quite a day.

9:00 am kick-off for grandson Charlie, his team got a deserved 1-1 draw with a late equaliser .

11:15 am for grandson Sam, very unfortunate to lose 1-0 to a cracking goal.

On to Marine at 3:00 pm for a tremendous 3-0 victory over FC United of Manchester.

Stayed behind at College Road to watch our game on telly, a very determined display, top marks to the manager for pushing the players to a vital point.

Things got a bit heated amongst the watching audience which was predominantly Blue, but not exclusively so. Could have turned nasty but ended up quite funny.

Football – bloody hell.

Danny O’Neill
96 Posted 19/03/2023 at 00:15:48
It has been a great day, Jim. I don't think I will sleep much tonight as I am still buzzing.

I will reflect more tomorrow as the emotions are still running high from being in that stadium.

It's Sunday, so expect War and Peace from Danny tomorrow.

Get in, Blue Boys! Get in, those tremendous supporters who refused to give in.

Rob Hooton
97 Posted 18/03/2023 at 00:16:01
Great result, absolutely loved that!

My dad and I were on the half/way line with the Chelsea fans (sat on our hands respecting our mate’s season tickets) wishing we were with the impressive faithful – you sang and chanted magnificently throughout the match and roared the team on – Everton fans were my MotM. We bounced in our seats to Spirit of the Blues and you made our day.

It was brilliant to meet Danny and Des (hope I've got your name right mate, I know you read here) and others for beers before and after the match, icing on the cake of a cracking day.

Simms obviously deserves more game time, potentially just as Calvert-Lewin is coming back which could ease the pressure on him.

Certainly feels like Dyche is doing very well thus far, long may it continue. We're on a tough run of matches where any point is a bonus and this gives everyone confidence that we could be okay.

Andy Meighan
98 Posted 19/03/2023 at 00:23:09
Mike @54.

You don't really honestly believe that Iwobi is irreplaceable, do you? I've never seen a footballer in my life who flatters to deceive the way he does. He's so ordinary, it's untrue.

I believe he's weighing up his options before signing a new contract. Weigh up all he likes – I doubt any Premier League side or La Liga or Serie A side in the Top 6 of their respective leagues would take him.

Iwobi has been at Everton 4 years now and had about 15 good games. £34 million for that! Thanks but no thanks.

John Raftery
99 Posted 18/03/2023 at 00:23:35
It was only a point but it felt like a huge point. Game by game, we can see the progress being made all around the pitch. It started with basic organisation and players understanding their roles especially out of possession.

From that has flowed a greater clarity about our attacking play. The painful messing around with slow build-up play has gone. Players now perform believing there is a purpose to what they are being asked to do and the runs they are being asked to make. For all this, Sean Dyche and his staff deserve enormous credit.

I can't see the manager making many, if any, changes until we are out of danger. I think he will stick with the extra man in midfield to ensure we stay in games, only using substitutes in the final 20 minutes when fresh legs are required.

Eight weeks ago, we looked dead and buried. We are not out of trouble but we now have some momentum behind us.

Dale Self
100 Posted 19/03/2023 at 00:24:21
Roger Godwin’s Law is that as a thread approaches 1000 posts the probability that an idiot mentions Nazis adymptotically runs to 1. I share your sentiment that hysterics are loser tactics.

Back to football eh?

I liked the advanced role for Doucoure. He is much better clear of the midfield crowd and was fantastic as the pressure provider from the top. Several times his anticipation forced a hurried Chelsea response that killed the move forward. We wont be facing many teams that can spray the ball across field like them so this looked promising.

Gray is also becoming a player that requires two defenders. Positionally he is getting smarter about how to receive the ball so he can quickly turn to face the defender. He was not doing that weeks ago. This and his ability to freeze the defender will get us forward with looks rather soon. Duke and Onana just need to know where to position as Iwobi or McNeil run through.

It is getting there and the ones on the bench will be rotating in smartly so we wont wilt late. UTFT! Away fans brilliant as always! I think I saw a close up of Onana saying fuckin hell to himself while smiling at the crowd chanting to him.

Dale Self
101 Posted 19/03/2023 at 00:34:46
Nick, I actually bothered to go and read that. Go get a drink man, that simply cannot register a direct response. Read more from other sources.
Jim Burns
102 Posted 19/03/2023 at 00:43:49
Strap in folks - four massive
‘ 6 pointers ‘ left - Palace, Leicester, Wolves and Bournemouth.
Striking while the iron’s hot against Spurs under the Old Ladies’ lights and our destiny is definitely back in our hands.
Dare we believe?
Bill Gall
103 Posted 19/03/2023 at 00:44:35
With all the hype going on over these last few games, I wondered why the last manager played this team as a bunch of individuals, and another manager comes in and shows that this is just a team game. Is it just what I believe, experience over learning?

Sean Dyche and his staff deserve all the accolades in turning a bunch of experienced players into a team who believe in themselves, and don't let their heads go down when a goal behind.

It has not been easy, as a couple of previous games have shown, but the last 3 games have shown progress is being made and today was a prime example. Not every player will play a good game but, as a team, that can be overcome.

Once again, congratulations to our away supporters, I think we would be fighting in the Top 4 if our Owner and Board had 10% of your enthusiasm… big difference is you can definitely be heard.

Mark Murphy
104 Posted 19/03/2023 at 00:51:53
A draw that felt like a glorious victory. Our away fans are the best in the league. It's like being on good drugs being amongst them.

Thoroughly enjoyed the whole day but apart from the warmth of our family Chelsea away is the most poisonous, nasty and cuntish away game of the season. They are horrible.

Jamie Crowley
105 Posted 19/03/2023 at 00:53:24
The Simms goal made the kid look very "Lukaku-esque". That burst of speed and massive show of strength reminded me of a young Lukaku before he got Johnny Big Britches and stopped hustling.

Great result, great point.

I've said this two times previously today, but I still can't get over the table. Four points separates 12th from 20th. This run in is going to have a ton of twists and turns.


Jamie Crowley
106 Posted 19/03/2023 at 00:58:59
I just read a few of the previous comments and it appears Bill and some others also saw the Lukaku-like similarities with Simms!

Sorry I missed those, clearly I agree!

Barry Jones
107 Posted 19/03/2023 at 01:02:25
Guys, I understand that at times it is difficult not to respond to a provocative post, but I think we need to strive to keep political opinion out of TW.
Mark Murphy
108 Posted 19/03/2023 at 01:06:16
So funny being asked by a bouncer in the White Horse, Parsons Green, to turn my jacket inside out as it's a home pub!

More Evertonians and Paddies in there than locals! UTFT and FTT!!

Dale Self
109 Posted 19/03/2023 at 01:12:14
Mark, I like how you manage to get drinks at the most sensitive bars away from home. Didn’t you get run out of another just for calling out some obnoxious homer not too long ago?
Rob Halligan
110 Posted 19/03/2023 at 01:15:07
Just back home from another long and tiring day, but well worth the trip. A draw that felt like a victory at the end, with players celebrating with the fans.

A draw was the least we deserved, and with only the Leeds result not going the way we hoped, another small step towards safety, albeit we are still only 2 points above the Bottom 3, with a far inferior goal difference.

Like I said last weekend, I think we can, and will, finish on around the 42- or 43-point mark, well safe from the bottom three.

There is a belief throughout the team now, who fought and battled for every ball, backed by, without doubt, the best fans in the country. I was with Danny prior to kick off, and the atmosphere down on the concourse was just out of this world, which was carried on upto the seats and throughout the match.

We will beat Spurs next match, of that I have no doubt, followed by a draw at Man Utd. Sean Dyche is doing a remarkable job, and will surely deserve the £3M bonus for keeping us up.

The final season at the Grand Old Lady will be spent in the Premier League before she closes her doors for the final time!

MotM for me, Gana Gueye and also Doucoure, and also the 3000 blues who out sung the home crowd all match!

Now I'm off to bed cos I am bloody knackered!

Kieran Kinsella
111 Posted 19/03/2023 at 01:16:43
Couple nice thoughts after watching highlights.

1. Outmuscled Koulibaly. A phrase you seldom hear!

2. Recently Dave Abrahams talked about Simms not looking ready on what I think was his debut? V Chelsea under Carlo. The loan system has worked for once.

3. David Brooks made his first Bournemouth appearance since having cancer. Not an Everton player but a player I’d have liked us to sign before that disease threatened his career and life. Delighted for him and his family he’s had a remarkable recovery.

James Flynn
112 Posted 19/03/2023 at 01:17:59
Mykolenko's pass into Doucoure made Simms's goal possible.

Good on Ellis. He's done the same thing everywhere he's played.

Today, he started doing the same in the big leagues for us and, hopefully, will continue doing so.

And Mykolenko too. That was a perfect pass he dropped onto Doucouré's foot.

Kieran Kinsella
113 Posted 19/03/2023 at 01:23:22

Great post mate

Barry Jones
114 Posted 19/03/2023 at 01:27:35
Mark, the White Horse on Parsons Green is a great pub. I hope you enjoyed it.
Kieran Kinsella
115 Posted 19/03/2023 at 01:40:08
Lastly, the last three games we do not look like a relegation team.

We look like Joe Royle’s Dogs of War!


Bob Parrington
116 Posted 19/03/2023 at 01:54:06
Simm's goal. It wasn't so much the way he brushed off the defender, it was more the 'who that defender is'.

If he can do this to Koulibaly, he should be able to do this to just about any defender.

Great goal! – and valuable point.

Martin Mason
117 Posted 19/03/2023 at 02:46:14
Very interesting now. We're still in the relegation battle but it's any 3 from 9 teams now. We have the points but have played a game more so there's a trade-off still. I personally prefer the points as in the end we may stay up by one point.

What I like about our position is that we have some momentum and are improving and that is critical. Sean Dyche may just have been the man for the moment but what if we stay up?

As far as I can see, we'd just kick the same old Everton can into next season. Last season, we stayed up but we didn't resolve the real problems.

Don Alexander
118 Posted 19/03/2023 at 02:58:05
Good to see a professional performance away at a mid-table team who've also visibly squandered a few hundred £million signing players a world away from top four quality, Koulibaly being a case in point, amongst more than a few others.

Our Ellis took his goal with aplomb. He's just months younger than that man Haaland though and I just hope for his and our sake that he at last starts to impose himself on defences, as he did today, the way the blond zombie-lookalike has done for years.

We're still in a world of shit courtesy of those in charge of our club but at least there's now a feasibility to contemplating mere survival.

Steve Brown
119 Posted 19/03/2023 at 03:25:22
Great result, shows you what organisation, motivation and bravery can do for you!

Completely disagree with Mike G.

Reece James bought that penalty. He planted his trailing foot in front to Godfrey and fell into Tarkowski. Coleman's disallowed penalty was clearer last week.

Think refs are a bit confused. Chelsea are 10th, they don't need to be given Sky 6 decisions any more.

Steve Brown
120 Posted 19/03/2023 at 03:36:58
Hopefully, this is a case of a club finding a manager who understands the style of play the fans appreciate and a manager getting the chance he deserves with a bigger club.

Either way, great job so far, Sean. Keep it up.

Mike Gaynes
121 Posted 19/03/2023 at 04:26:40
Rob #111, pretty sure I spotted you in the Everton away section on TV. No mistaking that lighttower! Glad you had a great day out.

Pete #96, hope the pasta was as good as the day.

Steve #120, none of that happened, but even if it had, whether he "bought it" or not is totally irrelevant. There's nothing in the rule book against buying it, or luring an opponent into it. Contact was clear. There was no dive and no fake. It was the most obvious penalty imaginable, which is why there wasn't a word of protest.

And if the pen hadn't happened, the game would likely have ended 1-1 and we wouldn't have enjoyed that glorious moment from Ellis.

Kieran Kinsella
122 Posted 19/03/2023 at 04:49:22

To your point, I think it was Jesus of Nazareth who said “better a bird in hand than two in the bush”.

A point or two may not seem a lot but, with 9 teams averaging less than a point a game, I'm not confident the games in hand of our opponents will yield 1 point – much less 3.


Derek Knox
123 Posted 19/03/2023 at 05:18:55
At long last Dyche has seen sense and used Ellis Simms in the role he knows, and has proved so in the past, albeit at Championship Level and below. As far as I know the goals are the same size in the Premiership, but possibly better protected.

Surely he has to keep the position now. Imagine Maupay in the same position outmuscling Koulibaly, well I can't even envisage it, no matter how hard I try.

When the game was nearing the end, I thought “Here we go… Maupay and Dogshit Davies will come on and Chelsea will get another.”

That goal by Simms will boost team confidence too, now we have almost buried a 30-year-old Hoodoo, but above all instil confidence in the lad himself, as well as the rest of the Premier League, saying "Hello? Everton now have someone who can score goals… different approach needed."

Pity again another International Break, just when we are gaining confidence and momentum, and more importantly gaining valuable survival points.

Jonathan Oppenheimer
124 Posted 19/03/2023 at 05:37:24
It's 10 hours later and I'm still buzzing. I haven't celebrated a goal like I did when Simms scored all year.

I scared my daughter upstairs and my 7-year-old allowed me to squeeze him as I ran around the room, while making clear he knows I'm a lunatic.

I then stood and sang with the away fans from my basement in America, clapping and screaming like I was at Stamford Bridge. All for a draw. Damn I love this club and what they've grown into this season.

A couple others mentioned it, but something has changed these last few weeks that I'm actually no longer hiding behind the couch all match. I was confident we'd see things out against Brentford and I always thought we had a chance today.

It wasn't always pretty, and it will continue not to be, but stay up and none of it matters.

As to the penalty, as Mike G. said, it was clear as day. Godfrey turned off, lost James, then lost awareness of his position.

Sure, James was looking for it, but as a defender you have to be smarter. Godfrey still doesn't look match fit to me, and I hope Mykolenko comes back in for him — despite his own limitations.

I defended Iwobi last week and I'll continue this week by noting that he's still playing out of position. Frank didn't show us much tactically, but he did make clear that Iwobi is best in the center of the pitch.

Lastly, kudos to Doucoure for showing what he's capable of since Dyche arrived. Like many of our players, he has limitations, but his strengths are huge for us right now.

And hats off to Ellis Simms. He made Koulibaly look old and slow, and clearly he wasn't ready for that burst he showed. Nor were any of us, but it was a thing of beauty.

Alan J Thompson
125 Posted 19/03/2023 at 05:59:38
I've just finished watching for the first time Optus' freeze frame to freeze frame coverage and haven't read any comments but a real tospy-turvy game.

For the first 30 odd minutes you'd have been overly generous if you had said that we were just making up the numbers. I don't know what the Gana booking/yellow was about but the Ref seemed to point to his mic as if to indicate it was a VAR decision but where were they when the Chelsea defender twice hit players late from behind, most notably on Gray. If they are to interfere in this way then it has to involve all incidents. I'd actually wish they stayed out of such things unless requested by the on-field Ref.

Both goals could and should have been stopped. The first, the defence – as it quite often does – just kept backing off while not actually marking any Chelsea players who were remarkable for their absence and then a tame clearance to the scorer who was about 10 metres from Iwobi who made no effort at any time to get to him and then a weak shot goes between Tarkowski's legs.

For the second, you have to ask what does Godfrey offer other than pace, not just for giving away a soft penalty but several time Tarkowski was yelling out to him where he should be positioned, I just don't see how some think he's a better left-back than Mykolenko.

And then, just when you think it's all over, a striker scores a striker's goal. A lovely move inside Koulibaly and a finish, Simms certainly moves into positions defenders don't like, making a metre or two of room for himself on their blind side.

To finish, it was a game that at times I thought they had thrown away and others when I wondered why we hadn't been playing this more positive football before rather than after we go behind.

A point like that earlier in the season we would not have expected and probably not after going behind each time in this game. I just hope we are not becoming today's Coventry, Fulham or Southampton and just fighting to stay up year after year.

Steve Brown
126 Posted 19/03/2023 at 06:58:50
Mike @ 122, haha all of that happened. I have watched it back a few times.

James plants his trailing leg across In Godfrey’s path to get the contact then topples before the contact is even made.

He did a nice job of it, so fair play. But, VAR should spot such things, and would do if they weren’t petrified of making big calls against so called larger sides.

Sean Roe
127 Posted 19/03/2023 at 08:24:55
Sean Dyche is doing what Sean Dyche was always going to do, getting a below-average set of players to squeeze everything they have out of every match. We can't ask for or expect more than that regardless of where we end up come the end of the season.

We have finally got the right man for job.

Dave Abrahams
128 Posted 19/03/2023 at 08:28:27
Jonathan (124),

As you brought Iwobi up, if you can watch the game again, have a look at Iwobi in the 33rd.minute with Chelsea on the attack.

Chelsea never scored but Iwobi's defensive work showed him up for what he is. I noticed the time purposely because it told me what I already knew and have watched him do, or not do, hundreds of times – and over ten times today.

Jonathan, you are defending a loser and all credit to Sean Dyche for the wonderful teamwork and togetherness he is doing with the team. Imagine how much better it would be if he had eleven men working together instead of nine. Yes, Iwobi and the invisible man are the two not putting the work in.

Neil Copeland
129 Posted 19/03/2023 at 08:38:47
First things first, it was great to meet up with Danny and Des at half time, always a pleasure.

I travelled down by coach with my daughter and staying in Maidenhead. A great day out yesterday with the best supporters in the world who simply refused to give in. My daughter commented about how quiet the home support was, we continued to out-sing them after going behind twice.

As for the “Fuck the Tories” chant, it's simply a taunt or banter and is probably more acceptable than “Chelsea rent boys”.

The team responded brilliantly to the support and Sean Dyche has found a way of making us a threat. I thought at Arsenal away we were showing much better up until they scored and that game seems to have triggered something.

The Ellis Simms goal reminded me of Lukaku's goal at the Etihad a few years ago when Stekelenburg saved 2 penalties and we drew 1-1, I was there too. Not sure if Ellis will start games yet or be used more as a super sub; nice dilemma to have in our position.

It looks like we may be going into the Spurs game with 2 strikers available. Luxury hey?

Hoarse after yesterday but very happy with a hard fought and well earned point. All I could hear outside the stadium were Evertonians singing on their way home and to the pub.

We can do this.


Jeff Armstrong
130 Posted 19/03/2023 at 08:45:31
I am loving what Sean Dyche is doing at the moment and last night was a great result and team performance, but I do think he will eventually come unstuck if he persists in keeping players in the starting XI come what may.

Mykelenko, not my favourite, but left-footed and a better left-back than Godfrey. Iwobi, decent stats with assists but what are his stats for pass completion and tackles won?

I think Simms down the middle with Gray for Iwobi would be a decent tinker against Spurs, but I think Sean will pick the same starting XI.

Robert Tressell
131 Posted 19/03/2023 at 08:56:12
Derek @123,

I've been very eager to see Simms too. Unlike a few recent managers, I'm inclined to trust Dyche's timing and use of Maupay and Gray so far.

Simms may have needed some conditioning from Dyche first to help make sure his appearances boosted his confidence rather than undermined it.

Whatever the case, we now astonishingly have goal threats emerging from open play in Gray, Doucoure and Simms and we're making and taking chances.

Steve Carter
132 Posted 19/03/2023 at 08:57:13
Lol, Mark Murphy [108].

The White Horse. A sloaney pony pub if ever there was. Have sunk a few there (they even have the South Australian Coopers Ale) on my visits to the UK. “The Winslow” it ain't.

Lee Courtliff
133 Posted 19/03/2023 at 09:45:27
Nice to see someone giving Mykolenko credit for his part in the goal. It was an excellent pass when he could have easily just lumped it down the pitch.

The first-time ball from Doucouré was equally impressive, shows what confidence can do to a player. And the finish was superb, that burst of pace to leave the defender helpless was just beautiful to watch, as it was finally us doing it to the opposition. For a change!

Andy Meighan
134 Posted 19/03/2023 at 10:28:22
Great goal from Simms, but let's not get carried away yet. There'll be some who are expecting him to repeat it every game now, it's not going to happen. He still looks a bit raw but it'll come.

Also, I'm glad someone mentioned Mykolenko's part in the goal, fantastic pass into Doucouré.

Brian Harrison
135 Posted 19/03/2023 at 10:32:54
I thought we might get something from the game but, for long parts of the game, that looked unlikely. Even though we were second-best, I always felt we could get something.

Sean Dyche and his coaches deserve a lot of credit in the shape and mental approach they have brought to our game.
I was delighted for Simms; when he received the ball, there was still a lot to do but he brushed past their centre-back and hit the target.

I also think it's worth mentioning in the build-up to the goal, that Mykolenko played a lovely ball to Doucoure and his well-placed pass gave Simms the chance to score.

While Gray put in a shift, to have someone who has played as the main striker most of his time, showed how important that was, as the position he took up to receive Doucouré's pass, was excellent and to show his strength as well as his calm finish. Certainly he will have given Sean Dyche plenty to think about for the game against Spurs.

I was pleased to see Mykolenko come on. For me, Godfrey is a liability and their penalty was because he didn't take responsibility in clearing the ball and left Tarkowski in a position where he had to try and challenge for the ball.

Godfrey's positional sense is appalling for a Premier League defender, he is always reactive rather than proactive.

Also how we are producing these results with Onana in midfield is truly amazing – for most of the game, he goes missing and apart from one good defensive tackle I failed to see what else he did.

Yes, his height allows him to be a threat from dead ball situations but compared to the work that Gana and Doucouré do he should be ashamed.

To think Lampard couldn't find a place for Doucouré who under Dyche has become a completely different player.

I am sure like every fan who is supporting any of the teams in the relegation battle, every loss for one of the other clubs is cheered. So I can well imagine how us getting a draw in the last minutes of the game will be a sickener for those supporting any of our relegation rivals, as I would imagine most of them had us down to losing this game.

Sean Dyche might not be able to keep us safe – although I think he will. but from having no hope before he arrived, we now have hope and no little belief. Just a pity this change wasn't made before the World Cup.

Paul Tran
136 Posted 19/03/2023 at 10:49:24
Football is, like much in life, a simple game where you get the basics consistently right, then build from there.

For years, we have had managers, directors of football, directors, and an owner who have steadfastly ignored this.

Because of their appalling ownership, we are in a position where they have been forced to appoint a manager who does recognise this, talking unspectacular sense and getting the improvements he suggested would happen.

As a result, we look fitter, better organised, interested in scoring goals, and look like a proper team with a sense of purpose.

Every team has a good patch during a season. We're due one, and I think it's starting.

Let's keep this run going,.. We'll need to!

Dave Abrahams
137 Posted 19/03/2023 at 12:01:53
Robert (74),

Good points about Ellis Simms starting to believe in himself and using his physicality more. He has always seemed quiet in nature, even when scoring goals coming through Everton's academy teams, and for Blackpool, Hearts and Sunderland.

Possibly Dyche is slowly getting into Ellis's head how much better he can be by using those qualities as well as his natural ability of putting the ball in the net. He amazed me yesterday with that goal and I bet his teammates were amazed and delighted as well.

Andrew Oxton
138 Posted 19/03/2023 at 12:15:02
I hate going to London, can't stand the place. Avoid it at all costs.

My lad managed to get a couple of away tickets from a contact on Instagram and wanted me to go with him, so instead of our usual 6-hour trip to Goodison, we drove the 40-odd miles in 2 hours up into the smoke.

We got into the stadium early, shared a few beers, and spent the next few hours with some of the finest people on the planet. I don't know who I was hugging and kissing when Simms scored, but I know there were a lot of them!

I'll always remember when my old man took me to Goodison for the first time and I'll always remember when I took the boy to Goodison for the first time. Now the boy is taking me!

Great day out, best away supporters by miles. Loved it.

Jonathan Oppenheimer
139 Posted 19/03/2023 at 12:47:41
Dave (128),

I've learned a lot since really following a team as closely as I have Everton. First off, I don't know that we help our team by calling players 'losers', but I won't get bogged down in that fight.

A few thoughts on how I've tried to change my view of players when I'm getting frustrated by their play:

1) When they're played out of position, it makes a huge difference, and the players will often tell us where they're best. It doesn't mean they shouldn't try to adapt but it makes them look far less good when it happens.

Case in point: Doucouré given more room to play forward, Iwobi right now, and Godfrey, who looked lost at times, being asked to play outside back instead of in the middle.

Sure, your response will be that Iwobi still shirks a tackle and doesn't play good defense, and I'd acknowledge both and say that he's playing, as Mike Gaynes has pointed out, because he's our best at finding a positive pass and because of his ability to run forever, even if not always to the right place.

2) Players need time to bed in with a new team, new coach, new playing style. We're so quick to criticize players before they're comfortable playing in a certain way or until they understand what's being asked of them. Which leads me to…

3) Players need a run of games to show what they're capable of. Doucouré is a good example of this now, but also in the past. I think this is true of Davies, who is not a world beater, but has shown himself much better on the ball when he plays or starts consistently, which he has not had the opportunity to do in some time.

Calvert-Lewin has also shown this in the past, such that the stick he gets his first game or two back, especially before he's match fit, is unfair and misplaced. I think Demarai Gray and McNeil are also showing this now.

Players in many ways are who they are, and in many ways they need to be played in the right position, given a chance to fail and learn, and benefit from managers who understand them and motivate them in the right way.

I guess as fans we don't have the patience, because we want results, but the bigger thing for me is we often don't know the game well enough or see the complexities that play into a player's performance.

And I'm not sure how we can call a guy a loser who was our best player for long stretches of the past year. But sure, go ahead and keep doing it.

Tony Abrahams
140 Posted 19/03/2023 at 13:03:18
Of course we will just kick the same old Everton can, Martin @117, unless there is change at the very top of our club.

I was out on Friday and spoke to a few knowledgeable Evertonians. I said I believe Dyche will get us playing good football and every single one of them said they don't mind the way we have begun to play lately under Dyche.

Dale Self
141 Posted 19/03/2023 at 13:15:09
Good stuff, Alan.

And Robert @131, I believe that also explains Gray's early absence. He put Maupay out there in the rough while Gray and then Simms were properly trained for the position.

Danny O’Neill
142 Posted 19/03/2023 at 13:19:22
He's no Sam Allardyce. Despite his reputation, we are playing some decent football but, at the same time, working hard and mostly being difficult to beat with a change of mentality.

Early days, but the players are responding. You can visibly see it.

Ed Prytherch
143 Posted 19/03/2023 at 13:30:29
Jonathan 139,

Everything you write is true but in a squad players must be able to come on for the last 30 minutes and make a difference.

Think Cole Palmer at Man City.

Jonathan Oppenheimer
144 Posted 19/03/2023 at 13:39:44
Ed @143,

I completely agree, and hopefully in time we strengthen our bench. It's also easier to build up confidence when you do get out there when you're not playing for Everton. Hopefully that comes in time too.

Dave Abrahams
145 Posted 19/03/2023 at 13:42:42
Jonathon (139), to be honest I wrote an earlier post on this thread about how happy I was with the result yesterday never mentioned anything negative about the performance because we fought hard to get a deserved point and what was enough for me because every point is valuable in the position we are in.

Jonathon you brought Iwobi back into the argument and I only saw the same game as you on TV, and I thought he was very poor, to put it mildly, and continues to shirk tackles throughout the game, as for him going forward and passing the ball forward he goes sidewards and backwards and running into trouble losing the ball or giving it away far more often than he makes positive moves, by the way Jonathon bringing other fans point of view doesn’t make your argument right, notice I haven’t brought any negative views of other fans about Iwobi on my posts.

Jonathon I’ve worked with shirkers, not connected with football, and let them know what I think about them, they are losers because they want and expect their fellow workers to do their graft for them.

As for playing out of position you are still getting the same wages, you are in the team and so should still your very best and do you think Iwobi never shirked the tackles when he played centre midfield? No he didn’t and he never had a lot of discipline playing there either, leaving huge gaps there which were well exploited by the opposition.

Calling players losers won’t help the players, he never hears me anyway but if I met him and his playing style came up I’d let him know, by the way he was told early in his Everton career by people working in Finch Farm that the fans would take to him a lot better if he got stuck in a bit more, I don’t think he’s taken any notice of that advice.

Finally I’ve got plenty of patience with players who give their all for the team like McCourt, Colman and Tarkowski to name three but I’ve absolutely none for players like Iwobi and the invisible man who came to life, again, after the final whistle had gone.
Best wishes Jonathon, from your mate Dave and that is said genuinely.

Jamie Crowley
146 Posted 19/03/2023 at 13:46:51
Danny @142 -

SD has never, ever been an Allardyce. I mentioned when he was announced as manager that I was thrilled. And that's because I watched a ton of his Burnley games as my wife is a massive Burnley fan.

I used to laugh when they said Dyche played defensive, negative football. Clearly anyone saying that never watched Burnley.

Yes, it is defensive first footy, but it's not park the bus, boring AF stuff. There's massive priority on shape, but again Dyche teams can move the ball, attack, etc.

I really think he is the perfect man for the job and will be with Everton for quite a long time.

David West
147 Posted 19/03/2023 at 13:47:50
The thing I liked about Simms goal having watched a few times now, is not just how he breezed psst the so called world class defender but the way he celebrated. He believes he's good enough, his reaction to scoring was a bit like, yeah and what? I know I can do that, didn't you belive.

He seems to have that arrogance that the top strikers have. They say the first goal is the hardest so let's Hope for a flood now.

Couple of other things to take from the game too. The mental toughness we are building.

Under Frank can anyone say we would of had the " bollocks" to get back in this game, twice ?

They never rolled over, never give up, kept to the plan & got what we deserved.

I'm one who praised iwobi for his performances last year, but he's not a winger. His performances have been nowhere near when played in the centre. He is probably our best option there at the moment.

How about Godfrey right back.

Push Coleman up to right mid.

Mykolenko back at left back???

Christy Ring
148 Posted 19/03/2023 at 13:55:32
Looking at Iwobi's stats from yesterday's game, he lost possession 21 times, made just 10 passes and lost 6 defensive duels, so nothing's changed…
Ed Prytherch
149 Posted 19/03/2023 at 13:57:27
Iwobi is far from being a complete footballer but, to me, he has the best "vision" of any of our current players.

He is no James Rodriguez in terms of striking the ball but he tackles at least as good as him and he sees the pass.

Mark Ryan
150 Posted 19/03/2023 at 14:08:41
Phil Roberts @ 43,

I'll adjust my post and I partially accept you slapping me on the wrist but, if it is only Moshiri we can thank for always going for the Hollywood managerial appointments, then we must surely thank the Chairman of our club for sitting on his hands and allowing every one of those managers to come in and waste millions on crap players.

If it's only Moshiri to blame for all of our managerial appointments and shit player acquisitions, what exactly does Kenwright do apart from seemingly, the square root of nothing??

I can't accept that I have the wrong target, not wholly anyway.

Tony Abrahams
151 Posted 19/03/2023 at 14:11:00
I'm happy with yesterday and, without wanting to get involved in the Iwobi argument to much, I often read that he's made the most assists that have resulted in Everton scoring.

I thought both Godfrey and Tarakowski got kidded for yesterday's penalty, but look who gave the ball away initially. He lost it and got it back, only to lose it again, and for some reason, I instinctively shouted at my television, here's danger.

I think Everton get punished often when Iwobi doesn't protect the ball well enough, often with a careless pass after doing some good work initially and this is why I thought danger even though Chelsea still had a lot of work to do to create that very debatable penalty.

Only debatable to me but football needs a revamp of its rules and laws simply because the game is played at a frightening pace these days and I believe this sometimes enables the cheats to prosper.

Paul Tran
152 Posted 19/03/2023 at 14:19:21
You're right, Tony. Poor concentration and decision-making often let Iwobi down. I suspect he's picked because he can create and make stuff happen, but he doesn't half give the ball away in bad areas.

I can't see him getting another contract off us, especially if Dyche stays as manager.

Tony Abrahams
153 Posted 19/03/2023 at 14:30:23
I can, Paul, because he's a sellable asset, and he can also be a decent squad player because of his versatility.

Steve Stone was a central midfield player who crafted a very good career for himself by moving out to play in a wider position and I'm wondering if he could help Iwobi do something similar?

Iwobi playing more central was one of our biggest problems under Lampard, imo (and this is saying something now we can see how many problems we had!) simply because he lacks discipline.

Stone never lacked heart or discipline although it would be stretching things to expect him to get Iwobi flying into tackles. Just learning him honest defensive discipline and getting him to relax on the ball would be enough to turn Iwobi into a much better all-round footballer.

Steve Brown
154 Posted 19/03/2023 at 14:30:51
Here are Iwobi's stats this season:

Appearances: 28

Completed pass accuracy: 80%

Shots per match: 1.23

Shooting accuracy: 36%

Goals: 1

Assists: 7

Crosses: 70

Tackles: 56

Interceptions: 18

Clearances: 23

Headed clearances: 8.

He definitely isn't a natural defender or a tackler for sure, and he needs to convert more chances.

He is predominantly an attacking midfielder if anything. I don't see him as a wide player.

Every manager from Ancelotti has continued to pick him – including Dyche.

Robert Tressell
157 Posted 19/03/2023 at 15:23:25
Iwobi would look better in a high-pressing team with good movement and other technical players. He's not a winger, his game isn't about crosses. He's a one-touch, two-touch, pass-and-move type. But managers pick him because he does work hard and he does create.

Next season we need someone better suited to that right-wing / right-midfield position but he's probably the best we have now for that role.

John Raftery
158 Posted 19/03/2023 at 15:23:42
Jamie (@146),

Your last sentence sums up exactly how I feel.

Michael Williams
159 Posted 19/03/2023 at 15:26:51
Iwobi is not near as bad as people are saying. He's tied for 14th with Rodri among others for number of tackles by a midfielder. He makes many of his tackles by tracking back and winning back the ball.

As for who is costing us goals, there is a stat for that called "Errors Leading to Goals".

Gueye is 2nd in the league at 3.
Pickford tied for 3rd with 2.
Coady tied for 7th with 1.

I do agree Iwobi loses possession too much and could use a little more end product. However, he is tied for 5th in the league with Odegaard, Bruno Fernandes and James Maddison for Assists.

Mike Price
160 Posted 19/03/2023 at 16:15:28
Just read that Iwobi gave the ball away a staggering 21 times yesterday. If you've recorded the game, watch it again and concentrate on him, it's shocking how bad he is at every aspect of the game.

He is not an asset on massive wages, he's a liability because you couldn't get anyone to take him for free while paying his salary. Another Dele Alli situation.

He set an incredibly low bar for himself; when he cleared it for a handful of games, people thought he was our most improved player! Are we really that desperate and success-starved.

Terrible player, an absolute waste of space – no matter what position he plays. Arsenal fans I know are still laughing in disbelief at the fact they actually got money for him.

Steve Brown
161 Posted 19/03/2023 at 16:44:36
I agree that giving the ball away 21 times away in a game is poor, especially for a completed pass accuracy of 80% this season.

It would be great to see the sourcre for the numbers if Christy can share them.

Ed Prytherch
162 Posted 19/03/2023 at 16:49:52
The total number of assists by Everton players this season is 16 and Iwobi has 6 of them. Dyche sees that.
James Hughes
163 Posted 19/03/2023 at 16:56:02
So Iwobi is clearly rubbish. I just don't quite get how he has been involved in a third of our goals this season. Because he is gash – am I right?

We have scored 22; I wobi 1 goal & 7 assists

For the Chavs' second goal, he gave the ball away on the half-way line. At the time, there were 9 players behind the ball. Yet it is his fault we conceded a penalty? I don't get the logic.

Iwobi 'gave' the ball away 21 times yesterday. Isn't that what happens when you hit a forward pass and a defender intercepts the ball?

We paid Arsenal far too much money for him, That is not his fault. What I have seen is a player who has put in yards and yards closing down and harrying and who gives 100%.

He may not be the best but he tries, IMO.

Mike Price
164 Posted 19/03/2023 at 17:04:13
What is it with all these statisticians...

Lies, damn lies and statistics!!

You can see with your own eyes if someone is good or bad. Players can exchange 20 simple passes between each other from 5 yards to boost pass completion, Iwobi got an assist for a punt forward when Coleman hit a freak goal.

He's rubbish and no one is interested in buying him. If we give him a new contract, it will be a big mistake.

Peter Carpenter
165 Posted 19/03/2023 at 17:12:34

What about his pass for the goal against Brentford? Instinctive, first-time pass to Doucouré who shovelled it on to McNeil and got the assist. I don't think anyone else in our team would have played that pass.

If he's rubbish, he's still ahead of most of our players.

Frank Fearns
166 Posted 19/03/2023 at 17:21:40
All this debate about Iwobi.

I agree with Brian @135 concerning Onana – just what does he do? I purposely watched him yesterday – his movement and his passing. His positioning as I've said before is poor – he is often behind an opposition player thus negating any possibility of a pass. When he does receive a ball, he either passes backwards or sideways with little distance. Simple. No effort, no thought and certainly no creativity.

Yes, sometimes Iwobi seems to run round like a headless chicken but he puts the yards in and is not afraid to run with the ball and take on the opposition.

Yesterday, Gana and Doucouré were excellent. If Onana was operating at half of their level, it would make a massive difference to the midfield. Yes, he is young and on a learning curve and some see lots of potential but I don't think we can afford at this stage to let him develop when we're in the middle of a relegation battle.

We do need some creativity, ie, creating space, feeding the forwards and tackling back. I see none of that but I'd love him to prove me wrong.

Derek Knox
167 Posted 19/03/2023 at 17:37:57
Jamie C, totally agree regarding Dyche. I am a convert now – not that I was anti his appointment before, he only puzzled me with his insistence on continually playing Maupay as a lone striker when it was even clear to the Goodison Cat that it wasn't working.

Coupled with the other issue, he continually used that Gravy Train Stowaway as a sub, with Garner and Simms sitting on the bench, with other more capable players too.

He has dined out on that goal he scored against Man City 6 years ago, and done absolutely nothing but flatter to deceive, and how he has had contract renewals is beyond me.

Smacks of that Fat Maggot Kenwright getting involved again.

Mike Price
168 Posted 19/03/2023 at 18:06:42
Peter #166,

Sorry but even a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and then.

I agree that the fact he plays is a shocking indictment on our squad and recruitment but we all knew that already.

Brian Wilkinson
169 Posted 19/03/2023 at 19:10:23
The McNeil problem was easy to solve play him on his favoured left side which has worked wonders since the switch.

The problem we have now is Dyche sees our midfield of Guaye, Onana and Doucouré, which is now pushing Iwobi back out wide where he is less effective.

Iwobi needs to play in a more central position where he can pick passes out.

I can see the problem with the other midfielders better at tackling than Iwobi, but at the same time, Iwobi can pick a key pass out and link up better when he sits in the middle.

When Koulibaly played at Goodison earlier this season, to see him in the flesh, he is built like a truck; the way Simms shrugged him off was a feat in itself, let alone the finish.

Some little tweaks here and there in the set-up, and we will be fine.

Graham Mockford
170 Posted 19/03/2023 at 19:14:39
I'd be breaking the bank for Ferguson from Brighton. Take £30M for Calvert-Lewin and offer them £70M.

The kid is going to be special!

Barry Hesketh
171 Posted 19/03/2023 at 19:22:30
Graham @170,

It just shows that there are good to very good young players around, it's just a matter of finding them.

Unfortunately, I don't think he'd leave Brighton to come to Everton, but he will leave to join a club that competes for trophies… but if he's savvy, he'll stay with the Seagulls for a couple of seasons yet.

Dave Abrahams
172 Posted 19/03/2023 at 19:22:55
Peter (165),

Go back a little further to how Iwobi got that ball versus Brentford: Gray challenged one of their defenders and the ball finished up with Iwobi.

Iwobi wouldn't have tackled the Brentford defender with the same toughness as Gray, not in a million years. He wouldn't have gone near enough to him in the first place.

Mark Ryan
173 Posted 19/03/2023 at 19:33:12
Just seen the post-match interview with Tarkowski and Simms, what a decent lad Ellis seems to be. Great to see Tarkowski straight talking about keeping the focus. Great interview.
Dave Brierley
174 Posted 19/03/2023 at 19:43:50
Iwobi is what coaches used to call a 'distraction player' when I played and coached.

He runs everywhere, often getting in the way of his own players and constantly giving up possession, but he, for a high portion of the 90+ minutes, distracts the opposition allowing more gifted and disciplined players to create. Our problem is we have too few players who can take advantage of this opportunity.

I guess Sean will weigh up his benefit against his deficiencies before renewing. The jury's still out for me but I think there's probably better out there for a lot less dosh.

Tony Abrahams
175 Posted 19/03/2023 at 19:53:13
I was just saying what I felt at the time, James@163. Of course we had men behind the ball but I just wish Iwobi could be braver and protect the ball in these situations a lot better.

A lot of stats are crazy imo. Iwobi got an assist for Seamus Coleman's beauty the other week but never got one for Dwight McNeil's first last week.

Doucouré will have got the assist for McNeil's goal (Iwobi's speed of both thought and pass was the decisive part of the move, imo) and he will have also got one for the Simms's goal last night, plus he's also scored similar headed goals, in our last two away games (2 goals & 2 assists in 3 games!)

I don't mind any footballer giving the ball away, especially if he's trying to make things happen, but I hate careless passes that go astray because a player hasn't put in enough concentration and I hate players who lose the ball because they don't protect it enough by using their body.

Another one of Iwobi's stats that will be very high is the amount of ground he covers in most games but I personally believe some of this running lacks discipline and often leaves other players exposed.

I can see his good bits but also believe he lacks confidence, he lacks discipline, and he lacks both the desire and the real belief. A player with his engine should be made to realize this because he could be so much better.

Tony Abrahams
176 Posted 19/03/2023 at 20:05:56
He looks special this kid Ferguson, Graham. I was watching Charlton Athletic the other night and they had a kid up front who is 19 years of age. The kid was 6ft 5in, gave a very honest and experienced central defender a very hard time, scored a good goal, and I see he scored another for Charlton yesterday.

Miles Leaburn, son of Carl Leaburn, who has also played for Charlton, was a proper handful. Not Ferguson quality, but his size and strength, would test any central defender, and I think he’s now on ten league goals for a below mid table, league club, at 19 years of age.

There’s plenty of young talent in these lower leagues, so this is hopefully where Everton are looking, because it’s stood us in good stead over the last ten/fifteen years, and probably better than any other market, in which we have been operating?

Steve Shave
177 Posted 19/03/2023 at 20:18:07
I haven't read any of the above comments as I have been away on a stag weekend. Too old for all that really but survived without my liver packing in!

We had it in Southampton and went to the Saints - Spurs game, fantastic game of footie. Southampton look fairly decent to me and pushed the ball around nicely at times. I'd say they made Spurs look average but I think Spurs did that all by themselves. They really are nothing more than a counter-attacking team and we should be able to soak that threat at home, no reason why we can't win it. I now understand what the term 'Spursy' means.

We were in the pub after the game to watch the Everton match. Whilst my recall is somewhat hazy, I was proud of the boys going for it in the second half. Absolutely made up for Ellis Simms and I cut a lone figure in the pub leaping around in the 89th minute. I'm starting to believe we can get ourselves out of this mess.

Well done, Dyche. I'd like to see what he could do with a bit of money to spend. Further to some comments made yesterday by Sam, Robert and Tony, I agree a forward (Gyökeres for me) and a wide player (Ndiaye from Sheffield Utd) plus Alex Scott in central midfield to replace Davies who will go to Rangers on a free, I suspect (given comments made by Beale the other week).

We can sell Keane and Holgate and keep Branthwaite and I'd give Doucouré a 1-year extension if we stay up. I'm undecided on Iwobi, it'll take big wages to tempt him to sign; we could always sell him later but there is a chance his form could drop off a cliff again.

Let's keep it up, Blues, beat Spurs and I'll really start to believe. Lampard to Palace please and Spurs to hold onto Conte for another week.

Christine Foster
178 Posted 19/03/2023 at 20:41:58
I find it hard to defend (that actually could be his motto) Iwobi because, when you base your tactics on being tight as a team, defending as a team, each player has to put a defensive shift in; otherwise, there is a crack in the defence.

So it is with Iwobi. Defensively, he is next to useless, in fact, I cannot remember the last tackle he made or which match it was in. When losing possession, as he does repeatedly, he stops, does not track with any conviction, if he does at all. He is the elephant in the room defensively.

Flip the other way and he is the only bit of creativity we have in midfield, Gana, is a destroyer, Onana… well, to be honest, I am not sure what he is yet. Doucoure the disrupter... Iwobi is like an annoying fly buzzing around the opposition half, the occasional pass that splits them apart and creates a goal cannot be dismissed.

But on balance. as a manager, Dyche has to use what he has; Iwobi has the ability to open a defence, the trade-off is his shortcomings.

Once again though, this is Everton; when it comes to creative players, we as fans hammer them because they don't run their bollocks off chasing shadows, putting tackles in, and then, and only then, scoring a worldie goal or making three defence-splitting passes.

Someone mentioned James, the best creative player we have had for decades, full of class, but not on ToffeeWeb, who to a man believed the crap the club about cost of wages, the manager (Benitez) regarding his worth to the team, (of course it was personal)… Iwobi was not fit to tie his laces.

We have lacked a No 10 since James was pushed out the door. It is a glaring fuck-up by the club and we are trying to fit Iwobi into the No 10 role when, even on a pure creative basis – nothing to do with his non-existent defensive qualities – he is not good enough… but, at the moment, he is all we have.

It's another reason we are where we are. Another reason the recruitment of this club was and still is flawed; no centre-forward, no No 10, both failures to replace, has put this club into danger.

David Currie
179 Posted 19/03/2023 at 20:58:00
Ferguson was scouted and wanted very heavily by Liverpool but the reason he did not go was he wanted to play in the first team at an early age. At Liverpool, he felt like he would have to wait much longer.

He, like Sancho, Bellingham and other young players, resisted the temptation to sign for bigger clubs in order to get their careers moving by playing first team football. Good on all of them.

Don Alexander
180 Posted 19/03/2023 at 00:15:30
It's probably an age thing when it comes to assessing Iwobi and therefore, speaking as a guy who was brought up to appreciate the likes of the Golden Trinity (and appreciating them was no effort at all!), and then Reid/Bracewell, he dismays me despite all of his running to allegedly defend, by hardly ever actually reaching the player he's in pursuit of. He is Ross Barkley incarnate in that because it's always visibly so deliberate, and as Christine Foster says, that is a weakness our opponents see and exploit, despite his very modest performances when not having to defend.

And that, in a nutshell, is why we as a club are again in a relegation dogfight.

And those at Finch Farm for way too many decades have propounded this ridiculous Stats-Are-Everything mantra above all else.

Iwobi is nowhere close to a player challenging for a smidgeon of European credibility.

The fact that those of a different opinion cite regarding his allegedly excellent "assists" stats is modern-day bollox to me because anyone with an IQ greater than an amoeba's knows that the last player to touch the ball before it goes to the scorer is almost always entirely dependent on the performance of his colleagues before he even got the chance for the "killer" (or more likely speculative) "assist".

As some old bugger once said, "There are lies, damned lies, and statistics".

Remember David Batty? An English international who said he hated playing football but had no qualms about playing a pass from which his team-mate had no chance to advance the club's cause in any given match. When asked why he made such passes he said, "Stats will show I made an accurate pass, whatever the recipient did when he received it has fuck all to with me!"

That's the cynical, self-serving, disloyal way of way too many in football, for decades by now.

Peter Carpenter
181 Posted 20/03/2023 at 00:50:32
On stats, there was a time when Jack Rodwell was near the top of the pass completion chart (a totally useless invention). It failed to show that most of his passes involved receiving from full back, passing to centre back, receiving from centre back passing to full back, repeat. Never a risk-taking pass among them. Iwobi does play those passes, although we have few players on the wavelength needed to get on the end of them. Perhaps Simms might be one who can do that.

Assists are also a deceptive stat. As someone has already said, the real assist for McNeil's goal is Iwobi's pass not Doucoure's.

I agree that 10 would be his best position but that looks like a luxury right now. I would love to see what Garner can do in Dyche team.

I'm enjoying the Dyche era so far. The man talks more sense than all the last 6 managers put together.

Lester Yip
182 Posted 20/03/2023 at 00:55:51
It's so good to see the team fights back twice with a goal down when away. We've been lacking such fighting spirit and self-belief for a long time. Last time is when Ancelotti was around and we had a better away stats than at home but that was Covid period.

Great goal from Simms. He controls with his left and just put with his right when in stride and at the perfect timing when Koulibaly was closing in. Slick! And a good compose finish too! He might not be the energetic presser, but looks like a promising young striker who know where the goal is. Hope to see him plays more.

Players form goes up and down in a season. Not long ago everyone says Iwobi was the new found man under Lampard both attacking and defending well. Suddenly he's shit again yet he plays every week by all managers? In terms of carrying the ball from deep in a counter attack move, (comparing with McNeil, Gray and Gordon), I think he makes the least error (running into blind alley etc) and able to pick a good pass in those situation.

Looking forward to beat Spurs at home. Can't wait.

Jamie Crowley
183 Posted 20/03/2023 at 01:20:21

The common denominator here with Iwobe is where he's playing.

He's been far less effective (you might say shit) out wide. When played centrally, he's looked very good in the main in my opinion.

He's out there, in a position he doesn't shine in, running his socks off. He's not my cup of tea, but I'm not going to slaughter him and call him shit because I truly believe he's trying, out of position, and we need him when he produces with those assists.

Can we improve in the future out wide on the right? Sure. But right now, let's just get behind the kid, take the good, ignore the bad, and stay up.

Negativity has it's time and place. We're in a relegation battle. It's not the time or place.

Now, give it a day or two, and I'll post some stark-raving rant about how some guy is shit. Fickle and preachy, great combo!

Christine Foster
184 Posted 20/03/2023 at 01:46:30
Jamie, Fickle and Peachy, is that a new police detective series on TV in the US?

A while back, I said I wouldn't have a go at any of the players because we are in deep poo-poo and we need to be positive and support the team… Well, I tried real hard – that's all I can say.

I agree with you that Iwobi out wide is not the lads best position and he should be used as a No 10 if anywhere. But out wide he is neither a winger, a forward, nor a half-back assisting the full-back.

It makes the defence lopsided and it’s no surprise that, when he is in front of Coleman, teams target play down that side... a double whammy and unfair on Seamus!

The fact he is the only midfielder or forward with any creativity and playing out of position makes no sense. It’s obvious Dyche doesn't want to break up the Gana, Doucoure, Onana triangle but it makes you think who he is going to sacrifice to the subs bench once Calvert-Lewin is actually fit?

Jamie Sweet
185 Posted 20/03/2023 at 02:40:12
Iwobi was excellent under Lampard playing centrally. He is definitely a confidence player who has said himself that he plays better and with more freedom when he knows the crowd are behind him.

Sadly, the longer he stays playing out wide struggling to positively impact games, the less patience the fans are going to have with him (as demonstrated by some of the above comments).

I think Dyche either needs to find a place for him in the middle, or stick him on the bench ready to come on once one of the midfield three have run themselves into the ground.

The obvious change would be to start Simms or Calvert-Lewin up top with McNeil and Gray as your wide men.

Jamie Crowley
186 Posted 20/03/2023 at 05:12:29
Jamie Sweet -

Spot on.

Christine -

Firstly, this is world-wide perfect timing I think? I'm about to hit the sheets in 'Merica while you rise and shine down under. But we're both awake at the same time which doesn't happen too often!

You say, "it makes you think who he is going to sacrifice to the subs bench once Calvert-Lewin is actually fit?"

I've got news for you, Christine. I don't think Calvert-Lewin is in Dyche's plans. He's off in the summer I'll bet.

And insofar as Iwobe out wide and that current midfield triangle, Dyche clearly likes Doucoure. And he has delivered. He wanted to play more forward and didn't get the chance to do so until Dyche arrived. Dyche gave him the chance, and Doucoure has delivered - he's played very well.

I don't see Iwobe getting back in a central role under Dyche.

There's two players who's Blue future I'm not big on presently – Calvert-Lewin and Iwobi. Calvert-Lewin isn't a Dyche player and I think Simms will eventually be the man. Iwobi is the jigsaw piece that simply doesn't fit. Hence, stick him out wide and appreciate the assists while waiting to improve in that area of the pitch.

We'll see. I could be wrong.

Robert Tressell
187 Posted 20/03/2023 at 07:13:13
I'd be surprised if Calvert-Lewin isn't in Dyche's plans Jamie. Given his attributes, he's very much what you might expect Dyche to look for in a striker (and he played very well against Arsenal despite being rusty).

And nice though the goal from Simms was, he's still an unknown quantity that Dyche has been using very sparingly.

It seems more likely to me that Dyche has Calvert-Lewin in his plans but will do what has been needed for many years – and bring in one or two more forward options to share the load with Calvert-Lewin.

Jerome Shields
188 Posted 20/03/2023 at 07:30:52
Jamie #187,

I think you are right regarding Dyche in the case of Calvert-Lewin and Iowbi. Dyche we now know will have gone through the stats on both of these players with a fine-toothed comb, as he has with all the players. Doucoure has the better stats for his role within Dyche's plans, as has Simms. But more importantly, they actually deliver on the pitch in the role Dyche assigns them.

Dyche also has the patience under pressure to stick to his plan and work with players to fulfil the role he requires of them in the team. Iowbi will continue to be played out wide when Doucouré is available and Calvert-Lewin will be fighting to get on the bench.

Derek Knox
189 Posted 20/03/2023 at 07:56:23
Don @ 108,

You hit the nail on the head again there, with this stats obsession, they hardly ever reflect the picture of a game, assuming you hadn't watched it, and again, as you say, people seem to be obsessed with them these days.

Jamie C, & Christine, Fickle and Peachy, the modern day version of Statsky and Crutch (well, they have aged a bit), that made me not only spill my tea, but fall off my chair too, something that very rarely happens these days. Oops, there we go with Stats again (almost).

Regarding Iwobi, the price we paid for him for his end product, is ridiculous, who sanctioned that? Colin G called him out ages ago and I feel he is being proved right, although his continuous running and creating chances has vastly improved.

I'm afraid Onana is seemingly slipping into a similar vein. When we are fighting for survival, we need 11 men manning the pumps, providing the ammo to the front line, and God forbid, someone who can actually fire a gun.

Although I think we may have temporarily solved that conundrum with Ellis Simms (at long last) if Dyche will continue to play him, and not sparingly coming on as a sub for Mophead.

Tony Abrahams
190 Posted 20/03/2023 at 08:20:12
No disrespect but, if Iwobi really was excellent playing centrally under Lampard, then thank god Lampard is no longer our manager.

I thought Iwobi had a few decent games but excellent players do a lot more than I've ever seen Iwobi do. No wonder we were going out of this league without a murmur? But now Dyche has began to instill real discipline, it's no surprise to me that people are beginning to question Alex Iwobi once again.

He's got enough of the tools to be a good player in a good team but he's got to look into himself, relax and become braver; it's dead easy this football, for us couch-potatoes!

Derek Knox
191 Posted 20/03/2023 at 08:43:04
Tony A,

You are no couch potato. Been there, done it, and even got a T-shirt, albeit a Forest one. For all Alex Iwobi's running and dynamo stamina, his end product and tackling are non-existent (well, the tackling is) which could almost be overlooked, If he was a prolific goal-scorer, but sadly he scores once every Preston Guild when there is a Blue Moon overhead.

If you could graft his athleticism into a tackling, and scoring, midfielder we would then have a serious player on our hands, who would make his fee seem like a snip. Also have read, more than once, that he is eying a move elsewhere soon, could be agent-talk to get a new contract, or testing the water, or simply clickbait by some bored journo who has no shit to stir.

Assuming we survive this season again, and dare I say it, the signs are looking good, with Dyche at the helm, I just hope he is given access to decent funding, to mould the team into his desired choice. We do need a hell of a clear-out and not only the Boardroom, we have a plethora of players who have had it too easy. Gravy Train Stowaways like Dogshit Davies, looks the part but produces zilch.

Danny O’Neill
192 Posted 20/03/2023 at 08:52:28
I think you make a very pertinent point about Iwobi, Tony.

I often cite him as confusing himself as much as he sometimes confuses the opposition. He is another frustrating player that falls into the category of not being able to achieve consistency.

I doubt we'll ever get crunching tackles out of him as it's not his nature. But to your point, if he could relax and calm himself, it would help his decision-making, which is an important part of the game.

That ability to relax and be comfortable with the ball can be difficult for a lot of footballers. You could see the difference between our players and Chelsea's on Saturday. I'm not saying we were afraid and at times we done well. But we were also playing a lot of blind passes with hot potatoes, without looking up on many occasions that just gave it back to a team who were comfortable with the football.

He isn't or ever will be a great player. But he can be a better player.

Jerome Shields
193 Posted 20/03/2023 at 09:21:46
Iowbi is a footballer who is into the niceties of football, going forward, joining up play, and providing assists without pressure. He has no recovery mentality in his game and is poor at tackling. He has loads of energy.

Under Lampard, he played what he believes was his best position, a wandering Angus role were he could go where he liked following the play.

He did well in this role under Lampard who had no tactical awareness regarding plugging the gaps once possession was lost attacking, or recognised the risk involved.

This is where Iowbi is weak; under Frank, it was not recognised as being a problem with the inevitable results. After losing possession against Chelsea, which ended in a goal, he is going to be talked to by Dyche and more care demanded of him in his current role.

It will be clear to him that he won't be getting a more central role. I think he will be replaced in the Summer.

Where are his current contract negotiations at?

Joe McMahon
194 Posted 20/03/2023 at 09:30:28
I have a question for you fab Evertonians out there, if I may.

As we all know, Everton are a team that are given a lot of penalties against them. So my question is, when was the last time Jordan Pickford saved one?

The last I remember was September 2018, I think it was against Fulham.

Dave Abrahams
195 Posted 20/03/2023 at 09:48:48
Iwobi played centre-midfield for Lampard[ Everton won 3 games in 20.

Iwobi plays wide under Dyche; Everton have won 3 games in 8.

Some fans say Iwobi should play central; some fans say Iwobi is not good enough wherever he plays.

As always, it's just opinions. Managers make decisions.
Up to now, I think Dyche has made better decisions than Lampard.

Steve Brown
196 Posted 20/03/2023 at 09:48:53
Football clubs rely massively on statistical teams to inform their decision-making on recruitment and team selection. That doesn't negate the judgement managers and coaches make during the game, but it gives them an objective basis to support what they see.

And reading ToffeeWeb every week, you can see why it's essential. The same players get slaughtered by the same posters, regardless of the performance they put in – pure confirmation bias.

Iwobi frustrates me, but he is technically good, looks for a progressive pass, creates chances, and works really hard (maybe not always to the best effect, but it depends where he plays). Any midfielder can avoid giving the ball away if all he does is play lateral and backwards balls. Just look at Schneiderlin.

Iwobi is not a wide player, for sure. He should be played behind the striker, in my opinion. But, in a side with zero creativity and flair, he will not be dropped by Dyche.

Robert Tressell
197 Posted 20/03/2023 at 09:55:37
In truth, I think most of our midfield players are hit-and-miss. Gray, Iwobi, McNeil, Doucoure, Onana, Gueye etc. All got strengths but also serious weaknesses.

Iwobi stands out as being better for Lampard than he is for Dyche. All the others have come on under Dyche.

The system of getting the ball into the box quickly now suits McNeil who looked hopeless under Lampard. Iwobi plays more intricate football and might fit in somewhere like Fulham.

For the time being he is doing his job as best he can – and we probably don't have anyone better for that position (which is presumably why Dyche keeps selecting him).

James Hughes
198 Posted 20/03/2023 at 09:56:30
Dave #195,

Re: your earlier post about Iwobi defending. I went and rewatched the game and at the 33-minute mark, I saw what you meant.

He wasn't just in a different postcode from the rest of the defence he was on his own planet.

Danny O’Neill
199 Posted 20/03/2023 at 10:00:07
I'm not sure, Joe. But he has made some unbelievable saves from open play, including on Saturday. He's a shot-stopper, but I wish he could come off that line out of the 6-yard box a bit more often.

And when he parries, I do wish he would get it away from the danger area more often. But he was one of those who kept us in it last season and is doing so this one.

Jerome, that's an interesting point. Now I never liked to over-coach players. Young players in particular, as it makes the game complicated for them and confuses them. Football can be a simple game and just try to get them to relax and enjoy it.

Obviously passion, commitment and desire come into it, but don't go too far that way. Fulham lost their heads yesterday and had 3 red cards in about 2 minutes.

Balance and keep your head in my opinion.

But there are basics. Everyone will have an opinion, but if I was to give mine, the two most basics are that when you have possession, stretch the pitch, make it big, and create space, even if you don't receive the ball. Work hard for the team, not just yourself.

When you lose possession, close ranks, get behind the ball and be compact. Go and close the ball when you need to and don't create space for the opposition.

I think the point you are making is that Iwobi often still plays like a 10-year-old. Ball watching, following the ball and lacking positional awareness when play breaks down. I don't want to be too harsh, because he has shown glimmers and works incredibly hard.

I just wouldn't play him out wide. Certainly not in front of Seamus, who must need oxygen tanks after putting those shifts in at his age when he is frequently exposed and left on his own.

Brian Harrison
200 Posted 20/03/2023 at 10:06:18
I have said for a long while Iwobi isn't good enough either central or out wide. But there is a player who is far worse and gets little criticism on here except by a few, and that's Onana.

I understand he is young and settling into a new league and a new country, and that has affected a lot of players that have played in the Premier League. Henry at Arsenal took over 12 months to finally come to terms with playing in the Premier League.

But I am really struggling to see what this lad is good at, he jogs around the pitch, he ain't great defensively and other than corners hardly gets in the opponent's box.

When he receives the ball, he always takes the easy option of passing back or square. I understand he played under Lampard who encouraged that style.

Mark Murphy
201 Posted 20/03/2023 at 10:38:12
I'm pretty sure it was the same occasion that I noticed at the game when Iwobi just watched and made no attempt to contribute. He does it a lot.

He also made a mess of a high pass just before that, that for the allegedly “most skilful footballer in training” was shocking.

I don't think it's a form thing with him either – he seems to be playing five-a-side style footy in an eleven-a-side team. Just rushed!


Frank Fearns
202 Posted 20/03/2023 at 10:58:48
Brian @200.

Totally agree re Onana, as I've said in previous posts. Of course there are flaws in Iwobi, as in most players, but in Onana's case, I'm still trying to see what he offers.

Am I missing something?

Joe McMahon
203 Posted 20/03/2023 at 11:09:34
Danny @199,

I'm not finding fault with him, just wondering what his percentage penalty saves is, as for an unknown reason it seems better for England.

We are all slightly happier Blues at the moment, so I'm not putting a downer on things.

Tony Everan
204 Posted 20/03/2023 at 11:11:50
Amongst all he criticism, it has to be remembered that it is a team game and the team is doing relatively well. Wins, draws, goals and points are being gathered and fought for.

With regard to Iwobi, the criticism is fair but the deficiencies in our creativity mean that he arguably just about offers more than he takes away. 1 goal in 28 games is diabolical for an attacking midfielder; his 7assists are why he's retaining his place.

He has by far the most goal contributions of the side but defensively, more often than not, he looks disengaged and seems to temporarily switch off. I ask myself: if this player played for Crystal Palace, would I be begging the club to sign him?

James Garner had 4 goals and 8 assists last season, which is more than either Iwobi or Onana is bringing to the table. The time could well be coming when we see Garner getting a start ahead of Onana.

With regard to Iwobi, Ellis Simms is now a factor to be considered. In the same formation, Ellis could start up front, with Gray shifted to Iwobi's wide right midfield position.

Dyche likes stability in the team, definitely the formation, but one or maybe two changes could be on the cards soon and could strengthen us too.

Tony Abrahams
205 Posted 20/03/2023 at 11:31:18
Jerome @193. This post explains why we were sinking without a trace under Frank Lampard.

I liked Frank although I thought he should have gone after the Bournemouth game. I simply couldn't understand how he got another game after Brighton humiliated us at Goodison Park.

Brighton laughed at Everton because we had no tactical awareness and players just constantly kept breaking rank and following the ball. (It only needs one player to do this, and this is all Brighton kept waiting for!)

I thought Brentford played in a very similar fashion during the second half at Goodison last week. Everton were desperately hanging on, the players had a much better defensive shape, and a lot more discipline; this helped us beat a good team that was in very good form.

Discipline is boring but it's so important because it makes things so much harder for your opponents. Thankfully, Dyche and his back room staff, have started giving us discipline!

Brian H, surely you must have noticed Onana's cheerleading skills!

Danny O’Neill
206 Posted 20/03/2023 at 12:04:45
I know you're not, Joe. You're just giving opinion and having the discussion.

We're going to all be having a lot of it over the next fortnight as we've got an irritating international break before we get our Everton back.

Robert Tressell
207 Posted 20/03/2023 at 12:09:17
With Onana, I think everyone needs to reserve judgement. He's barely any older than Lewis Warrington and is someone courted by Champions League sides for good reason.

It can take a little while to settle at the best of times – more so given what a mess we've been.

Joe McMahon
208 Posted 20/03/2023 at 12:19:44
You are not kidding, Danny.

I know – an international break when we have some momentum, we could do with playing Spurs now while they're on meltdown. However, I think we will be ready for them and hopefully Ellis with a spring in his step.

Mark Ryan
209 Posted 20/03/2023 at 12:26:06
Joe @ 194, ha ha, good post!

When Chelsea were awarded the penalty, I knew it would go in. I turned to my mate and said "He never saves 'em."

He looked quizzical. I said "He's never saved any!!"

Clearly I'm exaggerating… but "For fuck's sake, Jordan, do the opposite of what you're planning to do – you just might save one!"

Dave Abrahams
210 Posted 20/03/2023 at 12:33:08
Robert (207),

No disrespect, just asking why Onana is being courted by Champion League sides for good reason: who are these sides and what is the good reason?

I've seen him play one good game versus Arsenal but can't see what he is offering the team now, what should I be looking for that you can see?

I don't moan for the sake of moaning but I ask the fans next to me in the match the same question; they just smile and shrug their shoulders. Maybe they think I'm stupid for not knowing the answer when it is so obvious, but I really don't know what I'm missing.

Lee Courtliff
211 Posted 20/03/2023 at 12:37:01
Pickford saved penalties against Palace and Newcastle in the 2018-19 season under Silva. I can't think of any more off the top of my head.
Dale Self
212 Posted 20/03/2023 at 12:52:24
So what I'm seeing is a few having a go at Onana (Dave A gets a pass) and Pickford. I'm also noticing that these same critics were quite happy to express that Dyche had various deficiencies well before the results could settle that. To avoid a brouhaha, I will simply offer this: you were wrong then; you are wrong now.

Onana will improve with Doucoure or a second striker in front. And some are joking about his Everton spirit as though he needs attention… nice. After a victory, no less… very nice.

Jerome Shields
213 Posted 20/03/2023 at 12:57:23
Tony #205,

It makes you wonder about Frank as a midfielder. He was one of the best of his generation but other players must have been doing the defending, thinking and grafting; he did not have a clue. He was good going forward, could keep possession and could finish.

Unlike Iowbi, he did not follow the ball about. Even when a ball breaks loose, Iowbi looks unprepared, even looks worse when he loses possession, just running after the ball, trying to get around players to get at the ball.

Frank had an open attacking style of football in which he tried to get the players up to spec by a drill-type training.

Paul Clements had a folder of play plans. He use to flick through it with any sub that was brought on. I reckon the subs never heard a word he said. Obviously there was no tactical change – just stick to the plan.

As you say, it was a break-ranks offensive plan. Just get back in numbers and defend deep. This was the case time and time again and Frank still hasn't worked out what went wrong.

I was beginning to think that Dyche only now is getting the mindset changed regarding substitutions. Frank's substitution where late and rarely had any impact, expected to fit into the drill.

In the last two games, Dyche has changed the mentality of the substitutions and they seem to know what their role is and are a lot more effective.

Maybe drill was a substitute for discipline. I never liked the players' committee that Frank set up for dealing with grievances. Only certain unnamed players were on it. I suspect Mina was on it. I think it tells a lot about discipline as part of Frank's leadership.

I also liked Frank and hoped it would all work out… but, without discipline, it was never going to.

Eric Haworth
214 Posted 20/03/2023 at 13:24:52
Dave #195, Robert #197, Danny #199, Brian #200, all make valid points and are only a few of the exhaustive debates and analyses we've all had on these two, particularly Iwobi.

However, one clear thing that it demonstrates is the fact that, for once, we're all agreed (which is rare) that their current contribution to our cause is woefully lacking for whatever reason and we're not a side that has the luxury of carrying two “passengers”.

Both Gray and McNeil have also had their critics for similar failings, and I'm one of them. But in what I've seen of late, both have taken it on and stepped up to the plate.

Who would've thought that Gray could take on the lone central striker role? But fair play to him, he's taken it on, including centre-backs coming right through back of him, which happened more than should've been allowed by the officials on Saturday, but he just got on with it, putting in full shifts and good performances.

Likewise, McNiel tracking back, covering and doubling up with Godfrey and putting challenges in? Agreed, some of them might've been mistimed and in dangerous areas, but can't have it all ways?

Where I'm going with all of this is this is a “professional” game, and they should be performing accordingly. It's a given that they should possess a degree of talent in some capacity or they shouldn't be here. What should follow is that talent is then harnessed within a professional and disciplined structure.

However, what we've seen to date is a club that's been run like a “hobby” or some amateur theatre show, and over time this has cascaded down to what we've been seeing on the pitch. Commencing with the appointment of Señor Martinez and the complete loss of any structure or discipline.

Like him or not, what we're now seeing under Sean Dyche is an attempted return to what we lost, and that's hopefully talented “professional” footballers being required (for a change) to behave as professionals and operate as such in a disciplined capacity within an organised structure. Which presumably is the difference between the requirements of professionals over amateurs doing it as a hobby.

If unlikely candidates like Gray and McNiel can start putting shifts and “proper” challenges in like “true professionals” and fully contributing to digging us out of this mess that they and various managers, appointed by this board, have put us in, then it's about time we refrained from making excuses for the likes of Iwobi and Onana. Because neither currently seem able to operate as professionals, functioning within the roles and structure that have been assigned to them.

I think it's already been proposed that if Simms is capable of repeating anything like the way he led the line for his cameo on Saturday, then this might solve the Iwobi conundrum by moving Gray wide, because his new found discipline and work ethic may relieve some of the pressure that's been loaded on Seamus through Iwobi's indiscipline?

Furthermore, if Garner is now fit and anything like the player the Forest fans were lauding online, then he would appear to be a shoo-in to replace the equally ineffective and indisciplined Onana? Just depends on what Sean Dyche sees in training, because unfortunately it doesn't look like Tom Davies is up to it…

Dale Self
215 Posted 20/03/2023 at 13:26:08
And with that, I will add my take that all this criticism of Onana is ultimately a criticism of Lampard's inability to get something from him.

Dyche will get something but Onana's current form is due to Everton factors and instability, not his aptitude or ability.

Anthony Hawkins
216 Posted 20/03/2023 at 13:49:17
Picking up on the question of 'would we be looking at X player if they played for Fulham?… Let's take Zaha at Palace as an example.

He looks brilliant at Palace and was on plenty of teams' watch lists. His move to Man Utd was fleeting and then back to Palace as he wasn't deemed good enough.

This is where it's always a bit of a challenge when identifying players as they may shine brightly under certain circumstances but fade into non-existence in others. There was a time we'd want Zaha at Everton but, since he didn't seem able to step it up at Man Utd, is he too comfortable at Palace?

Pickford – he's an awesome shot-stopper but I have long had concerns over his coordination and communication with the back four. We're definitely better with him in the team as he keeps us in games – and that's the important thing.

Robert Tressell
217 Posted 20/03/2023 at 13:57:15
Dave @210. Interest from Arsenal, Chelsea and Juve. Why? Performances for Lille and Belgium and glimpses for an awful disorganised Everton side.

He also has exceptional stats for aerial battles won in defensive midfield – thereby compensating for any centre-backs who pass well but are weak in the air.

It is very easy to buy average players who will settle straight in and give you years of average service. If you want someone of more refined talent, and who turns up to a complete mess at his age, then you have to have a bit of patience.

Dave Abrahams
218 Posted 20/03/2023 at 14:17:43
Robert (217),

I saw him in the World Cup for Belgium, he looked the same as he does now for Everton. Interest from Arsenal, Chelsea and Juve… well, I've seen some paper talk about Chelsea being interested but, if the scouts from those clubs are still watching him, I imagine they will want a lot more than glimpses of this ability.

You mention he has exceptional stats for his heading ability. Well, apart from the headed goal he scored earlier this year, I don't think he is very good heading the ball, from what I've seen.

Were there any more clubs interested in him (apart from Everton) when we signed him? He must have been known by quite a few seeing how he was a Belgium international.

Or was it the case that Lille snatched the hands off Everton when £30M was offered? It seems a huge sum of money for what talent I've seen him show.

Thanks for the reply, Robert. I concede you know more about the international scene than I do and maybe you have seen him show this talent for Lille and Belgium. I'll try to be more patient and maybe Onana's ability will get to me.

Tony Abrahams
219 Posted 20/03/2023 at 14:37:18
I think Everton will make money on Onana, Dave, but hopefully, after his first season in England, he will become a much better all-round player.

Young players at other clubs would definitely be taken out the firing line, every so often, but we have a threadbare squad, with not many other players, seemingly being fancied?

I expect Garner will play soon, and I expect Tom Davies will also soon be off. I was reading a report about Branthwaite, and it was saying how he hopes Everton find a bit of stability under Dyche because this is something young players need. This made me begin to imagine how Tom Davies must feel.

Unsworth, Koeman, Allardyce, Silva, Ferguson, Ancelotti, Benitez (who came in and tried to sell him before he got injured and missed a full season), Lampard and now Dyche.

He's played for nine different managers since he made his Everton debut, and he still won't be 25 until the end of June. This is an absolutely incredible stat, which highlights the basket case of a club we became.

Davies will follow Kenny; another very promising young footballer will leave Everton on a free transfer because they just never got a proper opportunity to kick on, because of the way Everton have operated for years.

It was Dyche who tried to sign Kenny 3 years ago, but Brands wanted more than the alleged £6 million that Burnley were willing to pay, and Everton sent him on loan to Celtic instead.

Peter Gorman
220 Posted 20/03/2023 at 14:39:31

Weren't West Ham supposed to be signing him before he rocked up to Goodison for his photoshoot?

I think he has been underwhelming so far but who in the team hasn't been this season? For me, he has shown he has all the qualities to be class for us, just not nearly often enough and not consistently enough.

But he is young yet; hopefully Dyche will get the best out of him because he could be a beast, as he showed in the win over Arsenal.

Tony Abrahams
221 Posted 20/03/2023 at 15:03:31
It was interesting that Dyche spoke to Onana after the Arsenal game and told him he was thinking of getting Stefan Defour to speak to him about the harsh nature of the Premier League – how you have got to dig in and do the dirty work if you're to become a successful midfielder in this country.

Dithering Dave, allegedly, wasn't sure if Onana was ready. I think he's been proven at least partly right; I also believe Everton will make a few quid – maybe even as soon as this summer…

Robert Tressell
222 Posted 20/03/2023 at 15:13:24
Dave, not disagreeing with anything you've seen of him in an Everton shirt. He's been very patchy. Just adding two penneth.

In fairness to Onana, you'd have assumed De Bruyne was rubbish based on his World Cup showing for Belgium. And it's his defensive heading ability that has exceptional stats (Top 10 in the world for those age under 25).

Lots more to come from him hopefully if he works hard and we handle him right.

Dave Abrahams
223 Posted 20/03/2023 at 15:21:43
Robert (222),

Yes, fair enough, let's not prolong the debate and maybe your last line will turn out to be true.

Mike Gaynes
224 Posted 20/03/2023 at 16:47:31
David #147, I noticed that too. Most young players would go halfway bonkers with their first Premier League goal, especially a late equalizer like that. Simms barely broke a smile... like "Hey, this is my job, people, whazzup?" Loved it.

Mike #164, Iwobi's pass to Coleman wasn't a punt, it was a perfectly weighted pass over the top of a player moving directly away from him. Easy to overhit. Iwobi got it right. Likewise, the pass Peter mentions at #165. So no, he's not a great player, but he does try passes that nobody else will, and sometimes they come off.

Christine #184, you're not wrong about Alex -- he doesn't tackle or win the ball -- but he's not completely useless. Nobody works harder to get back goal-side when the ball is lost, and just being there in position has value. Godfrey could take a lesson from Iwobi on that kind of hustle.

Mike Gaynes
225 Posted 20/03/2023 at 17:11:35
Robert and Dave, great debate on Onana. And you're both right. His talent is undeniable. So is his inconsistency.

I come down on the plus side. He has touched some very high levels in a few games this season, especially early on, and I think he's definitely worth the wait for his development.

Michael Connelly
226 Posted 20/03/2023 at 17:28:22
Couple of comments:

1) One thing that I have noticed since Dyche has taken over is that players are not getting injured (touches wood). Aside from Calvert-Lewin, who he is nursing at the moment, don't think we've lost anyone to an injury in 8 games.

2) Few comments on another page regarding Havertz's penalty technique not being fair, and that surely he is stopping during his run-up. If you look at the slo-mo replays, his movement is continuous; just that he slows down before he kicks it. Every credit to him for coming up with a technique that keepers are finding difficult to deal with.

Eric Haworth
227 Posted 20/03/2023 at 17:29:53
It's such a shame that Ellis's brilliant goal has been overshadowed by the Iwobi and Onana show.

Doucoure's subtle layoff of a difficult ball to him was superb, as he layed it just at the right pace into Simms path and the way he was able to take it in his stride, just brushing aside, Lukaku-like, one of the best centre-backs in world football, before clinically slotting it past Kepa the keeper, was simply a joy to behold.

So-called pundits have said that the keeper could and should have done better, but that can be said about at least half the goals scored, and is simply churlish. But even if Kepa had got a hand to it, it would hardly have mattered. Because something which has surprisingly gone under the radar is the presence of both Doucoure and Gray breaking their necks to be first on hand following up to put it in. This is a rarity as far as we're concerned, and something to be applauded as another example of Sean Dyche's professional influence, and long may it continue.

Mike Price
228 Posted 20/03/2023 at 17:30:44
Mike #224,

Your opinion, I disagree. It was a simple pass into space which led to a one-in-a-million goal.

He doesn't work particularly hard to get back; he shuffles around the pitch almost getting back, almost stopping a cross, almost making a tackle and never beating a fullback at the other end.

My opinion, and a lot of others seem to agree, is that he's not fit for purpose and should not be given another overpriced contract.

Peter Hodgson
229 Posted 20/03/2023 at 18:51:45
A very pleasant surprise was Simms's goal. I didn't expect it as I didn't think he had it in him at that level. He took it well and now he has shown himself (and everyone else) that he is capable, I hope he goes on and chips in with a few more before the end of the season as we badly need them.

Come on now, Ellis, and show all and sundry that it is there and you can do it in the Premier League.

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
231 Posted 20/03/2023 at 19:09:45
Eric, my call as well. If he saved it, we still would have scored.

I see a similarity of Onana (which sounds like what I used to say when my dad's mum wouldn't let me get my own way - Oh Nana!) and Fellaini. 21-year-old Belgian, 6 foot plus midfielder and already in the national team.

It might take some time but Fellaini got there in the end (13 bookings in the first season) so I am prepared to wait.

Paul Cherrington
232 Posted 21/03/2023 at 08:58:14
Decent result away from home at Chelsea and could be a valuable point come season end.

Really pleased for Simms too – surely he needs to get a run of games now, as he obviously has the talent to score at Premier League level.

Maupay got god knows how many chances to prove himself, so I think Simms should get the same too, At least he knows where the goal is!

Hans Fyhrqvist
233 Posted 21/03/2023 at 16:52:13
Yes, it was a great and hard-earned point for Everton, after having seen Chelsea dominating so much possession and the Toffees having to come back twice.

As for the upcoming away games, I hope that we could approach them with more positive tactics when it comes to going forward. If you are only sitting back, you will invite trouble.

So we should be even more braver and at least a bit more attack-minded and still hopefully being able to keep our shape and discipline when defending. It´s self-evident that, when you fall behind, you must attack. But why wait for this? Be proactive!

We have had some vitally important home wins lately but, at the same time,, our recent games have shown how much we have missed Dominic Calvert-Lewin up front. We really need in our play a big target man.

Demarai Gray as a player is more a technical winger than an out-and-out striker. So it was great to see how Ellis Simms scored our second equaliser at Stamford Bridge, sprinting with pace and power past Koulibaly and finishing well.

I think Simms can now be an alternative for Calvert-Lewin, if his absence continues, as our centre-forward and target man, in our forthcoming games. Simms is big and powerful, good in the air, and surely he can hold the ball up, for others to join the attack.

Fingers crossed Calvert-Lewin will be fit and available for our remaining games. Then Sean Dyche and his coaching staff will have a welcome striker selection "headache" and a much stronger bench!

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