Everton 1 - 1 Tottenham

It won’t have the distinction of effectively deciding the destination of a Premier League title or even carry the status of match winner but Michael Keane chose the perfect moment to channel Vincent Kompany by striding forward, picking a gap in the opposition defence and smashing home a “worldie” in the later stages of a game. And it might prove to be invaluable in the context of the relegation battle come the end of the season.

It was a moment of atonement for a player who was involved in so many of the key moments of this pulsating and occasionally fractious contest and who looked destined to be framed, if not as a dual villain of the piece alongside Abdoulaye Doucouré then as a large contributory factor in what would have been a damaging defeat until he produced a moment of magic at the death.

It was Keane’s moment of clumsiness in an otherwise decent performance that had gifted Harry Kane the chance to put Tottenham ahead with 22 minutes to go and, seemingly, on their way to three points given that Doucouré’s unforgivable red card 10 minutes earlier had reduced Everton to 10 men.

Given the difference in quality, much of it underscored in the final third where decision-making continues to blight the Toffees, Sean Dyche’s side were already playing at full tilt and a battle over a quarter of the game playing a man down appeared to be a tall order.

This is a side increasingly cut in Dyche’s image, though — gritty, determined and indefatigable — and they refused to give in. Indeed, Lucas Moura’s own dismissal two minutes from the end of the regulation 90 might have been immaterial in the result because Keane’s magnificent goal owed everything to opportunism and, perhaps surprisingly for such an understated character, a healthy dose of self-confidence.

His Exocet missile that flew past the hapless Hugo Lloris with 89 minutes on the clock was as brilliant as it was unexpected and it blew the roof off the Grand Old Lady as a anxiety, frustration, angst and indignation turned instantly to elation and a sense of retribution.

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Not that Everton could have had many complaints about the nature of Doucouré’s dismissal, even if Kane had needlessly instigated the fracas and then flopped to the floor in embarrassing fashion to embellish the incident, ensuring that his every touch from thereon out would be greeted with a chorus of boos from the home faithful.

There could no defence for Doucouré lashing out at the England striker and catching him in the face and the resulting red card was as obvious as it was justified by the current rules. The Mali international’s absence may prove costly in the three games to come but you sense that Dyche will find an answer, as he has had to for a number of the problems he inherited from Frank Lampard. James Garner, on the back of his cameo off the bench, offers an immediate option.

Once more, Dyche named an unchanged line-up and with the Goodison crowd playing their part with another intimidating atmosphere under the lights, the Blues set their stall out with a high-energy pressing game and moments of attacking intensity that almost yielded an opener inside the first half.

Demarai Gray curled just wide after lovely work by Alex Iwobi, Keane chested the ball down following a low free-kick and hammered a crisp volley that cleared the bar in the 10th minute and Ben Godfrey saw a snapshot off Amadou Onana’s smart back-heel deflect wide off Eric Dier in the 24th.

Doucouré spurned the best chance of the lot, though, when Alex Iwobi picked him out unmarked in the middle with a cross from the right but the Mali international headed well over.

Tottenham had been finding success hitting the channels and switching the ball to the flanks trying to find Ivan Perisic and Pedro Porro in space and the latter forced Jordan Pickford into emergency action with an out-stretched foot as he flashed a dangerous ball across the six-yard box in only the fifth minute.

Four minutes later, Iwobi was dispossessed on the halfway line and though James Tarkowski cleaned out Oliver Skipp with a crunching tackle on the edge of his penalty area, the ball broke to Kane who thought he had scored only for Keane to block his effort as it was heading past Pickford into the net.

Kane missed with a header in uncharacteristic fashion with a quarter of an hour gone, Perisic finding him with another pin-point cross from the left and Dwight McNeil hooked clear in front of goal with Porro looking to pounce before, late in the half, Lloris made a routine stop from Onana’s low drive and Pickford denied Son Hueng-Min superbly but the offside flag rendered his save moot.

What was arguably Everton’s best opening of the match to that point came two minutes after the restart when Onana intercepted Dier’s attempt to play out for the back and Gueye found himself with an option to his left and right. Instead, the Senegal international opted to go it alone and balooned a dreadful effort into the Gwladys Street.

Onana’s attempt to place a shot from the edge of the box from Demarai Gray’s lay-off was also foiled by the goalkeeper but any momentum that the Toffees were trying to build was destroyed in the 58th minute when Kane and Doucouré kicked out at each other by the touchline, followed by flailing arms, a hand to the face, and an unavoidable red card for the Everton man.

Despite Iwobi having a chance that he lashed disappointingly wide a few minutes later, the visitors began to take advantage of the extra man with more probing moves into the Everton box, one of which saw the ball teased to the back post where Perisic nodded it back into the path of Cristian Romero.

The oblivious Keane went to stab the ball clear, tripping the Argentine and leaving Coote with no choice but to award a spot-kick that Kane customarily despatched into the bottom corner to maintain a scoring record of almost a goal a game against Everton.

Roared on by a crowd that refused to give up, Everton kept fighting, however, and Gray tested Lloris with a decent shot from the angle before Gueye drove one that was sneaking under the crossbar until the Frenchman batted it over his bar for a corner. Keane muscled his way to meet the set-piece at the back post but couldn’t get enough power on it to force it home.

Dyche then moved to freshen up a side that had run itself ragged for the cause by withdrawing Gray in favour of Ellis Simms in the 76th minute and then swapped Tom Davies and Garner for Onana and Gueye in the 83rd.

Everton were given a late fillip when Moura was given his marching orders for an ugly, shin-high tackle on Keane to even up the personnel in the 88th minute. And then, shaking off the pain, Keane picked his spot and grabbed the moment from fully 25 yards out to make it 1-1.

Both sides had shots crucially deflected wide of goal in stoppage time, one from Tarkowski and one from Dejan Kulusevski but it finished all square with the Toffees once again feeling more buoyant than their London opponents thanks to a late leveller.

Dyche never seems to miss an opportunity to talk about mentality when it comes to his Everton and it’s little wonder, as anyone who witnessed those pathetic collapses against Bournemouth, Wolves, Brighton, Southampton and West Ham can speak to how weak the Blues were in the waning weeks of his predecessor’s tenure.

It felt prior to the moment when the red mist descended for Doucouré that the Blues had the edge, if not in quality then desire and backing from the crowd. Tottenham could have had few complaints if the hosts had gone on to win but, having found themselves in such a hole in fairly short order, it’s to Everton’s enormous credit that they managed to claw back a point that lifts them back out of the relegation zone.

It was another example of the psychological toughness and spirit that the new manager has imbued in this team and, provided it continues, will serve as a vital weapon in the coming weeks as a difficult schedule to close out the campaign grinds on.

Victory may have eluded them in a precious home game but Dyche’s Toffees keep improving and keep picking up points.

Reader Comments (72)

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Paul Kernot
1 Posted 04/04/2023 at 02:59:27
Doucoure has had something of a rebirth under Dyche. His energy & drive will be missed next week however, it does mean we'll see a new midfield trio. Is it time for Garner to eventually show us why we bought him or will it be Davies?

As many of us will have, I thought we were getting nothing from today after they scored but hell has Dyche got them believing. Our fitness levels look massively improved since our new manager arrived. I think that has contributed a lot in terms of our improvement.

David Currie
2 Posted 04/04/2023 at 03:04:35
Doucoure let the team down tonight as before the red card I thought we were the better team. Silly of him to get involved and Dyche will be livid with him. Great fight to come back and a wonderful goal from Keane and a pity we could not get a winner. The last 2 games we have scored goals in the 90th minutes which speaks volume to the players and management team. More belief and higher fitness levels.
Lee Courtliff
3 Posted 04/04/2023 at 07:46:53
Surely now he plays Simms up front with Dimi just off him or wide, with Iwobi moving central.

Saying that, I am keen to see Garner get some minutes as I think he could be a very good player for us. Maybe him in midfield and we move Onana further up...shades of Fellaini under Moyes!

Steve Shave
4 Posted 04/04/2023 at 08:06:25
Proud of the boys last night, great fight and determination. The way we pressed high with 10 men and fought for every ball was fantastic, the subs came on and got stuck in too.

I wish we had got Dyche before Benitez. I am not adverse to this football we play, it's simple but effective and the players fight for him.

Kane is a shithouse and Spurs are a horrible club I've decided.

Bill Gienapp
5 Posted 04/04/2023 at 10:25:47
Doucoure's dismissal feels like the perfect opportunity for Garner, but I have a sneaking suspicion Dyche may favor Tom Davies.
Steve Shave
6 Posted 04/04/2023 at 10:40:48
I hope not Bill, Garner has so much more potentially in his locker and needs a run of games. I thought Tom did ok when he came on last night though.
Bill Gienapp
7 Posted 04/04/2023 at 11:14:06
I agree Steve, I think Garner offers the sort of creativity we've been sorely lacking for most of this season. I'd love to see him get a run of games and think he would have gotten a big increase in minutes after the World Cup if he hadn't gotten hurt.
Ajay Gopal
8 Posted 04/04/2023 at 13:54:08
I did not watch the game on TV yesterday, but by most accounts Onana had an anonymous game. I would play Tom and Garner in place of Doucoure & Onana, but that would probably rob us of physicality in the centre of the pitch. My guess is that Simms will start up front, with Iwobi moved centrally to take up Doucoure's position and Gray playing from the wings. Davies and Garner to come on as subs, maybe we will see Dominic also play a few minutes?

I am actually disappointed that we did not take full points against Chelsea and Tottenham. Both these teams (and Man United coming up) were at a particularly vulnerable time, and with a more ruthless finisher, we should have seen them off. But, yes, we are where we are for a reason, and at least, Sean Dyche is getting the maximum out of this team, so all credit to him, even if we were to go down.

Jonathan Tugwood
9 Posted 04/04/2023 at 18:05:18
I’m sorry to admit I turned off after Kane’s penalty, convinced we’d get nothing from the game, but obviously underestimated the team’s resilience under Dyche and the effect of the Goodison crowd right to the death. How many points would a Dyche team have got from those Bournemouth, Wolves, Brighton, Southampton and West Ham games? Infuriating.
Lyndon Lloyd
10 Posted 04/04/2023 at 18:10:02
Ajay, Onana was far from anonymous. He was as integral to everything we did in midfield as anyone else and if he could put his foot through an accurate shot more, he might have troubled Lloris on a couple of occasions.

I felt he was far too passive in the final games under Lampard but he’s been good under Dyche.

David West
11 Posted 04/04/2023 at 19:00:01
Lyndon I agree on Onana.

The midfield 3 has a nice balance when all 3 are playing well. It's when one of them isn't, then the dynamic kind of fails. I thought the 3 of them played well, Doucouré especially up until he lost his head. There was only one winner up to that point in my eyes.

Under previous mangers we would have folded at the red card, lost shape, composure and belief. Yet, we seemed to realise they were there to get at. We believed, kept composure and once they got their red, believed we could get the goal.

Even when the subs came on, it usually signals a loss of momentum, but it gave us the energy required. Simms especially I thought caught the eye with his hold up play.

Look what players showing effort and desire does to the atmosphere. Teams, good teams can't handle it, rushes them into making bad decisions and the team get what they deserve.

Paul Kernot
12 Posted 04/04/2023 at 22:50:45
David #11. Three days on and I just saw Villa do exactly the same to Leicester.1-1 in the 89th minute. Villa put on 3 subs in the 85th minute, hassled the hell out Leicester's back line causing one panicked pass, straight to one of the Villa subs who curled it into the top corner. How I'd love to see anyone at Everton who can finish like that.
Jerome Shields
13 Posted 04/04/2023 at 23:08:02

I agree Onana has improved with more Dyche coaching and helped by the.mentoring that
Dyche said he would set up for him. There is evidence of Dyche's attend to detail all over the pitch, with Stats to prove it.

Dave Abrahams
14 Posted 05/04/2023 at 00:48:23
Lyndon (10), I agree with Ajay Onana was the same he has been in nearly every game he has played, except the Arsenal home game, missing in large parts of the game, integral ? He should give most of his wages to Gueye and Doucoure they are carrying him, most of his passing is sideways and backwards and those two shots he had at goal from twenty yard were pathetic I’ve seen stronger back passes from defenders, he was substituted once again, quite a few times now in the last few games, we will miss the energy that Doucoure provides in the three games he will miss, there is no way Onana will give the team anything like the energy that Gueye and Doucoure supply the team with no matter where he plays unless Everton need a cheer leader, got to admit he’s not bad at that.
Alan J Thompson
15 Posted 05/04/2023 at 03:45:24
I doubt Mr Dyche would do it as we are away to a team in the top 6 and does seem to have a reluctance to change but I'd consider dropping Gana and bringing in both Garner and Davies although I think we have to soon find a start for Simms who in his short appearances seems to be showing he may be the real deal. Interesting problems.
Kieran Kinsella
16 Posted 05/04/2023 at 04:23:37

Sorry but I can’t see a reason to start Davies unless everyone on ToffeeWeb, the under 14 team, and the Crankies rule themselves out.

Tony Abrahams
17 Posted 05/04/2023 at 05:58:16
I don’t know why Dyche, would feel the need to get Stefan Defour to talk to Onana, Dave, when he’s got people like you sitting in a house about two kilometers away from Goodison Pk, who could give him the same advice, in good old plain scouse, English!

John Keating
18 Posted 05/04/2023 at 07:43:01
After recent results and our still perilous position, makes you wonder if we kept Frank here just a bit too long
Mick Roberts
19 Posted 05/04/2023 at 08:12:47
Should be moulding simms as our main striker get what we can for sick note dcl and get a replacement who can actually run onto the pitch without breaking his fingernails
Brian Harrison
20 Posted 05/04/2023 at 10:11:06
I think I must be missing something as there are some posters Lyndon included who reckon that Onana is integral to how we play. I have watched him closely since he arrived and apart from 45 minutes against Arsenal I have seen nothing from him, that makes me think he is integral to our play.
Doucoure is playing like a man possessed under Dyche and Gana still puts in more tackles than most in the team, he is also top of the Premier league for interceptions.
I posted after the Spurs game I genuinely wish I could write something positive about Onana. I don't know if anyone on the site can produce a heat map of Onana in any game other than the Arsenal game and show me how he is integral to this team.
He is 6ft 4ins with that frame he should be dominating midfield, not going missing for large sections of the game. He also just jogs about the pitch, shows no urgency. I know he is young and playing in a new league and probably at a different tempo than he is used to. But surely by know if he is as good as many claim shouldn't he at least have picked up our best player in 1 game.

Look nothing would give me greater pleasure than come on here and say I was totally wrong and we have a real player on our hands, but so far I haven't seen anything to suggest that will happen.

Danny O’Neill
21 Posted 05/04/2023 at 10:21:29
He's still got a lot of developing to do Brian, but is still young and learning.

Gueye just get's on with what he does and yes, Doucoure is coming good again.

He was pivotal against Chelsea and was playing very well last night until his rush of blood that led to Kane going down like he'd been hit by a tranquillising dart.

Brian Harrison
22 Posted 05/04/2023 at 10:29:35

I did mention his age in my post and I well remember Arsenal fans saying something similar in Thierry Henrys first season. So yes I am all for giving young players time, but this jogging around the pitch, you expect young players to be guilty of trying to do things at 100mph, certainly cant level that against Onana.
Just going back to the original post I know many don't like Keane but for me he offers more than Coady, he has goals in him and since he has come back into the side he has an assist and a wonder goal. Also his goal started the comeback against Palace.

Yes he is predominantly here for his defensive work But I think he and Tarkowski kept both Kane and Son very quiet, also against Chelsea they restricted them to very little.

David West
23 Posted 05/04/2023 at 10:43:00
I think onana has played a lot of games for a young lad, first season in the league in a struggling side too. Let's not forget he is 21 ! He's younger than simms & garner. And people talk about blooding them 2 in slowly, Onana is Playing every game.

I believe next season the lad will benefit so much from the experience of this year. Let's just hope we are not giving him the experience and the tools for us to just sell him in the summer, when more tough decisions will need to be made to balance the books.

If garner is the player some say ( I haven't seen enough to judge ) that's 2 midfield players young, hungry and talented. Add simms, Branthwaite, mcneil, Mills, cannon there's some quality young players there.

Dave Abrahams
24 Posted 05/04/2023 at 10:55:13
David (23), yes it’s his first season and in a struggling side but we paid £30M for him, so I’d expect to see someone with special talent for that money, I haven’t seen anything to get excited about and David we need that talent urgently now not next season.

Could anybody on ToffeeWeb tell me what he is supposed to be doing or what he brings to the team, I honestly can’t see what his role is in the team, possibly he is there to point out to the other players how to use the ball when they get it because he does an awful lot of pointing this way and that way, like a policeman on traffic duty.

Tony Everan
25 Posted 05/04/2023 at 11:22:56
Onana is far from the finished article, he has plenty of developing and learning still ahead. He’s come from the more languid French league to the Premier League, to a team that was in utter turmoil under Lampard. In the main he has knuckled down and been an almost ever present. This is despite earlier on being hacked down on numerous occasions. He’s got a resilience about him.

He can receive a pass and has the technique to control and keep the ball. He has that ability and strength to turn and create a bit of space for himself and open up the pitch ahead. His passing has been mostly crisp, at a strong pace and accurate. Dyche will like the height and physicality. I like his youthful exuberance, it radiates energy to he team. He has a positivity about him that is infectious.

Sean Dyche is the ultimate pragmatist, if he thought he was not contributing enough he would be out like Maupay, Coady, Mykolenko. I think he has been an important cog in the wheel in our better midfield displays.

I am seeing enough in him to think he is going in the right direction and will improve a lot over the next few years.

The issue for Everton is we need finished articles now so any developing younger players get over-criticised when they inevitably show they are not that. In reality we need a balance of finished article, mature players and young developing stars. We are not far off having a good mix at the moment and need to embrace the upsides a bit more.

Tony Abrahams
26 Posted 05/04/2023 at 12:08:52
The schizophrenic in me thinks we are actually not that far away from being a good team Tony?!

Of course we need more quality in certain areas, but we are beginning to play nice and sensible football, with players beginning to move another yard, which makes the pass easier and also gives the man receiving the ball a little bit of time.

Nothing fancy but very effective, and any team that can be competitive whilst playing without a genuine centre forward, is doing a lot right in my book.

Very early days, but I can even see a little bit of method, coming into our play, so I just hope it’s something we can develop, and gives us something to build on🤞

Larry O'Hara
27 Posted 05/04/2023 at 12:16:26
I have long thought that one of our problems for a number of years is that we were just not fit enough. That Dyche has addressed this is not only clear on the pitch but referenced in Keane’s Sunday Times interview where he specifically refers to Dyche’s exercise regime. And having watched some of Dyches coaching videos last year, he clearly has an acute understanding of the game. Whatever happens we have to keep him as manager….
Dave Abrahams
28 Posted 05/04/2023 at 12:19:00
Tony (25), I’d love to see that Onana you describe in your second paragraph he would really inspire the team, most of his passes are sideways and backwards, he rarely gets the team moving forward at a pace, he slows them down, he hit Gueye with one of those those crisp passes the other night, when he had plenty of time, and put Spurs on the attack instead of Everton, got caught dawdling on the ball unaware of the Spurs player coming in behind him, lost the ball and Spurs were on the attack again, he lumbers back into defence instead of racing back, goes missing for large parts of the game. As for his positivity being infectious I find him embarrassing with him urging the crowd to up the cheering when he has done little to help the team himself, and what did he think the supporters were doing for most of the match if they were’nt roaring their voices out all night.

I absolutely guarantee I spend more energy watching, cheering, jumping up and down at Everton’s matches as well screaming with frustration and anger at Onana’s inept performances, whatever he does in the future I hope it is a lot better than what he has done up to now, and the game lasts ninety minutes or more not the thirty minutes or less than he puts in.

Martin Reppion
29 Posted 05/04/2023 at 12:29:59
On Onana, I too get frustrated by his failings, poor finishing, delaying too long to pass and occasional similarities to a headless chicken.
BUT, I love his commitment, drive and willingness to keep going even when things aren't working for him.
He clearly is a talent. A diamond in the rough at the moment. But he is OUR diamond. Because of his physicality he demands attention from the opposition, something which the likes of Gomes didn't. He remains a threat and I am confident all that effort will be rewarded.
I also like what I've seen of Garner. My Manc friends all rated him. I'd love to see him play on Saturday. A winning goal and kissing the badge in front of the Stretford End would be icing on the cake. He battles, but adds creativity with a range of passing and shot. I would certainly be looking to play him in place of Doucoure for the next 3 games.
The 3 match ban incidentally, takes Doucoure past Eid, so he misses the games during the rest of Ramadan. I am convinced that his fitness was affected on Monday by his fasting. He had looked knackered before he was sent off.
Brian Hennessy
30 Posted 05/04/2023 at 12:44:47
Dyche has in my opinion done an outstanding job since he took over a team that was drained of confidence and a club with a dysfunctional board.

if he can keep us up, I think he will keep us comfortably in the top half of the table next season, even without any new signings (which may be the case if we like it or not).

Imagine what he could do if we had a functioning Board and an owner with half a brain.

Mike Doyle
31 Posted 05/04/2023 at 13:07:47
Dave 24 & Tony 25] I think we would all like to see a bit more/a lot more from Onana. However I'm happy to trust Dyche's view that he merits inclusion.
David West
32 Posted 05/04/2023 at 13:27:45
Dave he's not the finished article. Show me a 21yo that is ? But he does contribute.
If you look up his stats mate he's above the media darling Cassimerio for tackles 13th in league &
In top 20 for aerial battles won.
His passing definitely needs improvement. Stats don't tell the whole story but they show his contribution. His not going to get better sitting on the bench.

I'd like to see garner come in and push onana into the dacoure role further forward.

Dave Abrahams
33 Posted 05/04/2023 at 13:45:22
David (32), I don’t expect him to be the finished article, I expect him to contribute a lot more than he does, plenty of 21 year olds do a lot more than Onana provides at the moment, he does very little over the ninety minutes.

As for stats David I take very little notice if any when stats are produced, I use my eyes they tell me a lot more than any stats could. Those who say he is going to be a very good player in the future could very well be proved right but I repeat what he does in the future does nothing to help Everton FC right now, this season is when I want him to be an asset to the club, the future is about the unknown.

I watch him when he hasn’t got the ball ambling and wandering about doing nothing, try that it might tell you something of the player that stats will never reveal.

Brian Harrison
34 Posted 05/04/2023 at 13:51:22
David 32

You ask Dave to name a 21 year old that is the finished article, try 19 year old Jude Bellingham, I agree he is an exception but you asked the question.

You also say Onana is in the top 20 of aerial battles won, he is 6ft 4ins so I would expect him to win most of his aerial battles.

We paid £33 million for him and at this moment in time I don't see a player of anywhere near that price. Look I would love next season for Onana to be what we all hope he will be, but to say I have been disappointed in him so far would be an under statement. I know some posters have suggested that Dyche selects him every week so he must be happy with him. But Garner is only just getting back from injury so Dyche chose between Onana and Davies.

Dave Abrahams
35 Posted 05/04/2023 at 13:57:46
Mike (31),Fair enough Mike but we don’t know what Sean Dyche thinks about the situation, let’s be honest there isn’t an awful lot centre midfielders he can pick from and like Iwobi, Onana is getting picked because there isn’t anyone better at the moment and with the loss of Doucoure he will stay in the side for now, if he gives 25% of Doucoure ‘s energy that will be a big improvement on what he is giving now, and if he was 25% as good as he thinks he is that would also be a massive bonus to the team.
Brian Williams
36 Posted 05/04/2023 at 13:59:39
I watch him when he hasn’t got the ball ambling and wandering about doing nothing
Dave, I know we usually agree on players so it's no surprise I agree with you about Onana.
In fact I mentioned his "ambling and wandering" to my young mate Adam in the top balcony on Monday.
Neither of us could work out whether he's meant to be playing as an attacking midfielder or a defensive midfielder.
It's a shame too because I can see enough to know that the lad's got skill to spare, he just doesn't seem to be putting that skill to "enough" use.
If it clicks with him we "will" have an outstanding player on our hands, probably for as long as it takes BPB to sell him on the cheap.
Dave Abrahams
37 Posted 05/04/2023 at 14:09:35
Brian (36) Yes Brian I understand your last two sentences because when I watch and study Onana it seems to me he just doesn’t know the game enough, it seems to confuse him and what he is supposed to do, as you say if it clicks with him we might have an outstanding player on our hands. Mind you he is only 21!! What the fuck has he been learning about football for the last ten years?
Michael Lynch
38 Posted 05/04/2023 at 14:11:19
Onana does little wrong, he's tidy with the ball, and his tackling is decent. But there can be no doubt that his best attribute is his enthusiasm.

I suggest Dyche swaps him out for Garner, and instead has Onana in a Toffee Lady suit, running up and down the touchline with some pompoms, geeing up the crowd. He might be a £33m midfielder, but I reckon he's a £75m cheerleader.

Robert Tressell
39 Posted 05/04/2023 at 14:12:20
There aren't many players as young as Onana who turn up in the Premier League and hit the ground running. Especially when shoved into a shambolic side.

Some people aren't half impatient - and would seem to prefer the likes of Doucoure and his talentless athleticism. More players like Doucoure will keep us rooted in the lower half of the table. Keeping faith with players of talent will see us back into he running for Europe.

We did overpay for Onana but it was a structured deal with fairly limited initial outlay (because we're skint).

David West
40 Posted 05/04/2023 at 14:17:48
Onanas price of 33m is not that much in today's market. Not for a bright young Belgian international. We woukd get more than our money back for him.

I did say stats don't tell the whole story but you asked what he contributes. Stats can tell you what he contributes if not easily visible.
It's probably why Dyche continues to use him, between him, Gana & Doucouré it's a good balance. We all want more from him ofcourse he's got more to give but I'd just be patient and we could see a really top midfield player.

Brian. Bellingham is the exception. He's also valued over 100m. You can't say oh you're 6"4 you should win all aerial battles, the people he's battling are 6"too. Doucourés not small he's not up that list.
Let's let him develop or do we want Davis instead ?

Danny O’Neill
41 Posted 05/04/2023 at 14:28:30
The case for the defence:

He's 21. He is still developing. He can and I think will become a very good player. The potential is there and his attitude is spot on. He gives us a physical presence.

The concerns:

He needs to find consistency. Although he generally times them to precision, I worry about him going to ground too quickly with that tackle with the outside foot. Hopefully you know what I mean. He comes in with the outside boot when an inside left foot would be better. Just a personal thing. Sooner or later he will give something away.

I know we don't have time right now, but he could be a future star for us.

I'm not sure what else is on the shelf.

James Garner is, himself, only 22 years old and only played 2 games for Manchester United before being shipped out on loan to Watford and Forest.

The much maligned Tom Davies hasn't seemed fancied by several managers, which may not be all of his fault.

Having thought about it, with Doucoure out, I could see Iwobi going central behind Simms with Gray moving wide.

Dave Abrahams
42 Posted 05/04/2023 at 14:29:45
Robert (39) Doucoure’s energy will be sorely missed over the next three games and his talentless athleticism has helped us gain two points in the last two away games with his two goals, he is what we need now to keep us in the premier league which is vital to the club now, Europe Robert? You really are looking into the future there mate.

He cost £30M or more no matter when you have to pay for it.

Dale Self
43 Posted 05/04/2023 at 14:32:42
It is good that you two showed up. I was about ro get excited and would have risked a yellow card.

I’m taking another angle on Onana’s form. He os likely being instructed to focus on his positional responsibilities. Anchored to that he is a young footballer who is not able to immediately translate his game into rhe Premier League. He tried to impose himself in the early going and has not figured out how to use his body in possession and when to push forward effectively.

As the system produces regular options he will no doubt find them For now he is trying to settle into a defensive parnership with Gana to protect the back line. That is working. At his age the shifting responsibilities modseason jas probably undermined confidence. And by the way dude has to avoid getting kicked or headbutted which can complicate things.

Dave Abrahams
44 Posted 05/04/2023 at 14:45:52
David (40),

Well, you will get a lot more, in the future, if you buy an antique article and put it away in a drawer, because Onana is not helping Everton's cause now with his performances. As for stats, they might impress fans if they read Onana made 200 passes in a game without revealing 180 were backward and sideways passes of less than 10 yards each.

Michael (38),

Onana might do little wrong, how much does he do that is right? That's when he decides to come back into the game after going missing for large parts of the match.

As for his enthusiasm, how often does he show that while the ball is on the pitch? I know he shows it after the match finishes, he's the top man for it then… Means nothing to me after the game, to be honest, I want it during the game where it counts.

David West
45 Posted 05/04/2023 at 15:06:49
I'd say he's part of the team. The team that's doing a lot better.

If he was doing as bad as you say, Dave, I'm sure we wouldn't have seen the improvement that the team has shown.

Dave Evans
46 Posted 05/04/2023 at 15:07:10
Apart from Pickford, Onana is the only player we have that the clubs fighting for the biggest leagues in Europe are interested in.

At the end of the season, the sun in the skies over Goodison will be dimmed by those clubs circling for him.

Here's an idea. Let's add to the narrative of a young player in his first season being crap. Kenwright and Co can sell him, bank the money, and we can move on to the next target. McNeil anyone?

Steve Brown
47 Posted 05/04/2023 at 15:18:32
Dave Evans, stop making so much sense.

The same narrative was played out for Richarlison. He eventually brought a £60 million fee to the club after 5 years of tireless contribution.

Robert Tressell
48 Posted 05/04/2023 at 15:19:43
Dave @ 42.

The talentless athleticism has gained us points, yes, but it's also part of the reason we're continually in relegation fights. If Onana was over-priced, then Doucouré surely even more so (partly because he's offered little for his £20M price tag and wages and is now worth half of that at best).

And if we nurture players of talent like Onana (and hopefully Branthwaite), then we genuinely could get into Europe in the next season or two. Depends a bit on finances of course but I can see a Dyche led Everton doing at least as well as Villa and Brentford next season. Why not?

Eric Haworth
49 Posted 05/04/2023 at 15:54:09
On the Onana debate, there appear to be more sides than a megadon (well not quite but know what I mean) and I have an element of agreement with many but, for me, it's a case of the wrong place at the wrong time, and at this point in time, given our current predicament I must say I find myself in the Dave Abrahams camp.

I too prefer to trust my own eyesight in terms of what I see on the park, and what I currently see is a “cheerleader” – nothing more. He contributes very little to our current cause, either going forward or defending. He ambles around the midfield contributing very little.

In fact, on Monday night, I witnessed, on more than one occasion, Spurs players running past him on counter-attacks, with no urgency on his part to get back, and both Gana and Doucoure having to run past him to close Spurs players down, again on more than one occasion.

I also witnessed Garner contributing more in his 10-minute cameo at the end, than Onana in the previous 80 minutes.

There's more than enough criticism circulating at the moment for both him and Iwobi, with some justification, but we fans will forgive an awful lot for nothing more than sheer “application”.

I think Iwobi is being cut some slack by fans at the moment for nothing more than his application. Whereas Onana is drawing far more criticism, because this very basic of requirements is missing from his game, and given our current crisis, we can't afford passengers.

He may ultimately turn out to be the player that many predict, and I think we all hope that he does, but the here and now is what matters, and he's clearly not delivering anything near enough of what we need now, because we're already getting behind the team and don't need a “cheerleader”.

Dave Abrahams
50 Posted 05/04/2023 at 16:03:10
Robert (48),

At the present time, with Doucouré under Dyche, I much prefer Doucouré to Onana. He offers much more over 90 minutes than Onana produces and he will be missed much more, imo, than Onana in those three games.

Strangely enough, with those two off the field against Spurs and with Davies and Garner on, we got the equaliser and came close to winning the game.

I obviously hope you are correct and we get into Europe in the next two seasons. As for Everton doing as well as Brentford and Villa next season, you ask why not? I think the present state of the three squads answers that.

Dave Abrahams
51 Posted 05/04/2023 at 16:14:24
Dave Evans (46),

McNeil as a target for criticism? I think he's had more than enough earlier in the season when Lampard never gave him a real chance. Anyone who has a go at him now would have to be considered as being harsh in their judgement.

He has given a lot of fans a chance to change their opinion of him and played a lot better under a manager who knows and trusts in him and counts him as a real player. He's another player who would be missed if he wasn't playing at the moment.

Bill Gall
52 Posted 05/04/2023 at 16:20:13
If not for a rush of blood to his head that got him sent off, Doucouré would have not caused a problem in the set-up that Dyche has started to use successfully.

It is difficult to replace him in that position and so far comments are naming at least 3 different players to replace him.

I don't think the manager will want to alter his system by bringing in a player and moving one of his regulars to a different position to accommodate him. Unless they have one of the younger players who could step in, I think he will use Davies.

Garner got a good reputation at Nottm Forest, but not seeing him play, I am not sure what his defensive qualities are. Davies is not strictly a defender but has been used as a sub in games where we played more defensive to gain a result and has trained more with the present squad.

I don't think Dyche is a risk taker and will not want to make changes in the tactics as the next game will be more defensive, don't discount Patterson being considered as he likes to get up-field and has the pace to get back.

Geoff Trenner
53 Posted 05/04/2023 at 16:22:36
Eric @49.

Excuse my ignorance, but what is a megadon and how many sides has it got?

Alan J Thompson
54 Posted 05/04/2023 at 16:25:44
There's something about Onana that I like. His movement is intelligent and seems when we lose possession to move into the same areas which must be at the manager's behest.

His control is immediate and he tends to pass the ball to those in space with time, albeit it is not always forward, and like good midfielders, he arrives late in the opponent's box which works well when we don't have a big focal striker and with Doucouré getting forward.

He also adds height at set pieces which, with Keane and Tarkowski, must give opposition defences a lot of problems, not to mention he does try shots when the occasion arises. If he ever gets long-term into a decent, talented midfield (and I don't mean the occasional international), then he will truly blossom. For us, it may be best to leave any judgement until next season, assuming we are still playing in the top level.

Although I would agree, we do seem to have paid top dollar, which is hardly his fault.

Martin Mason
55 Posted 05/04/2023 at 16:26:33
We do have a world class player but only one and that is Pickford.
Eric Haworth
56 Posted 05/04/2023 at 16:29:52
Geoff #53,

Hahaha, a slight exaggeration of a lot on my part, Geoff, it's a million.

John McFarlane Snr
57 Posted 05/04/2023 at 16:46:36
Hi Dave, [50] and many others,

I too think that Onana contributes less than his team-mates, but I think that the criticism should be aimed in Sean Dyche's direction. He must be aware of Onana's apparent lack of commitment but considers him to be the best selection on the day. I appreciate that we are all entitled to voice our opinions but, as you no doubt know, we can all watch the same match but see a different game.

On a different tack, I'm looking forward to the next Bramley Moore get-together where we can discuss all things Everton.

Danny O’Neill
58 Posted 05/04/2023 at 16:51:16
World class is reserved for a select few, Martin, and is a much-overused thrown-about term.

In goalkeeping terms and in my memorable lifetime:

Peter Shilton.
Possibly Ray Clemence – underaged I thought.
Peter Schmeichel
Manuel Neuer
Gianluigi Buffon

I've missed a few and older generations can add a couple.

Jordan Pickford has matured and turned into a great keeper. But I wouldn't go as far as 'world class'.

David West
59 Posted 05/04/2023 at 16:57:03
No Southall on that list?

How very dare you!!!

Geoff Lambert
60 Posted 05/04/2023 at 16:58:52
Danny #58 – and you think Big Nev wasn't??
Geoff Lambert
61 Posted 05/04/2023 at 17:00:10
Outraged David Haha
Hans Fyhrqvist
62 Posted 05/04/2023 at 17:03:35
Lyndon´s match report was very balanced, as always.

It was a pulsating game from start to finish. Everton played with passion and high intensity throughout, even with 10 v 11. The Goodison crowd helped, too. Besides the players, the fans were magnificent.

From our players, who all put in a great shift, I would still, in a positive manner, single out Dwight McNeil and Alex Iwobi. They really ran their socks off all evening. And yes, McNeil has got pace, too!

Abdoulaye Doucoure, who has been very good lately, turned out to be a villain this time. And Michael Keane from villain to hero.

As Lyndon also remarked, Keane was very badly tackled by Lucas Moura on his right foot a few minutes before he unleashed with that same foot a spectacular screamer which earned us a really deserved point.

And the "real" Harry of the evening was the little and brave boy Harry, who is one of Jordan Pickford´s biggest fans!

It was also great to see that Mike Lyons attended the game and was so well received. Of course our fans, the elder ones especially, still love Lyons, a player with a lion´s heart and a tower of strength throughout the 1970s in our central defence, and played also occasionally as our centre-forward. What a coincidence that Michael Keane performed both those acts in this match!

Dave Abrahams
63 Posted 05/04/2023 at 17:05:58
John (57), nice to hear from you, hope you are keeping okay, how is Josh doing, I hope he is fit after his bad injury last year.

Yes we all have our own opinions about players and I did say at @(35) that Dyche might be picking Onana because there is nobody better at the moment. Let's hope whoever is selected on Saturday keeps this small run of undefeated games going and another point, at least, is gained.

John McFarlane Snr
64 Posted 05/04/2023 at 17:12:31
Hi Danny [58],

I think you have committed a Cardinal Sin by not mentioning Neville Southall, I would also add Gordon Banks to the list. I could name one or two I have seen from 1948 to the present day, but I don't want to bore you.

I also had the pleasure of seeing Lev Yashin at Goodison Park in the 1966 World Cup.

Danny O’Neill
65 Posted 05/04/2023 at 17:15:28
Okay, I'll go to confession and beg forgiveness.

Of course Neville Southall, who I share a birthday with, is on that list.

Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned.

David Bromwell
66 Posted 05/04/2023 at 17:30:54
Re Saturdays coming selection issue, I feel certain the manager will want to keep the same shape and system and, in my view, we will see Tom Davies playing in the Doucouré roll. I am not sure that this is what I would do but then I have never been a Premier League manager.

I just hope that, if this is the case, Tom plays to his best and doesn't feel that he has to leave his foot in for every challenge. One of the really good things about the game on Monday night is that all the substitutes played their part and,with Patterson and maybe Calvert-Lewin to come, things are looking better.

John McFarlane Snr
67 Posted 05/04/2023 at 17:42:36
Hi Dave [63],

I have not posted for a while because I thought there were too many pessimistic views being expressed. We were told that Everton would be relegated before Christmas, and here we are in April and still surviving.

Josh is playing again, he's 18 now and taking driving lessons, he has been attending away games with his mates, our roles have been reversed, he now looks after me.

Hi Danny [65],

You will have to do a penance of attending three Liverpool home games.

Danny O’Neill
68 Posted 05/04/2023 at 17:55:45
That's harsh John Senior.

I go to The Arkles out of respect for my Grandad on my trips up. That's bad enough!

I am not optimistic of getting a ticket for Old Trafford, but if I do, I will take my optimism with me. I could go with a few United mates; they sit near the away fans, but I'd rather not even though I've known one of them for 30 years and we routinely talk and meet up.

Failing that, if you're going to Fulham home, a few of us are planning to meet up. Be good to see you and great to hear from you again.

Dave Abrahams
69 Posted 05/04/2023 at 18:10:24
John (64),

Yes, Lev Yashin one of my favourite ‘keepers just by reading about him and watching some of his saves from newsreels. The Russian was certainly up there as one of the best and possibly was the bravest goalie of all time, the way he threw himself at the feet of oncoming strikers, or maybe the maddest.

Tony Everan
70 Posted 05/04/2023 at 18:13:42
Tony A, back at #26,

I think also that we are not too far away from becoming a good team. Just that focal point is missing, again on Monday put a fit and in form Calvert-Lewin into that team and we win that match, possibly with a bit to spare.

You say about a bit of method coming into our play, it sounds daft to go over the top about that but it's a really massive thing. The lads are understanding what's required of them and are executing what they are training for all week.

Teams are finding us very tough to play against. We're making chances too also, the first time in many years I am getting excited when we get a corner! How many tight matches are won with a good, practiced set-piece?

A tough match on Saturday but even that one I know we are going there to fight for it. I wouldn't be surprised if we come home with something, that sentiment says a lot.

Bill Gall
71 Posted 05/04/2023 at 18:17:11
John #67,

Nice to hear from you. That penance you have given Danny, 3 Liverpool home games is harsh, nearly worse than a life sentience.

Tony Abrahams
72 Posted 05/04/2023 at 19:00:04
I came out of Goodison Park the other night, happy, smiling, and engaging with Evertonians who mostly had similar thoughts about how we were preparing for The Championship after the last night match we played at our ground, Tony.

I think the method is in the fitness. Sharper players get sharper minds and it's that little extra movement I was talking about that is helping us make it a little bit harder for the opposition and a little bit easier for ourselves.

It's a long road but, when I walked out of the Brighton game around the 85th minute, going along County Road felt like walking inside a very dark tunnel but on Monday night it felt like the clock had been moved forward hours.

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