First train out of Lime Street. 

After a day scurrying around London for meetings in Kensington and close to Tower Bridge, work let me leave an hour early. I'm not sure if that was out of sympathy or concern. Maybe both. I got to Goodison just in time to experience the atmosphere, which was electric in the beginning until we had the stuffing knocked out of us. Unusually, I was in the Park End. I have to admit, despite being our newest stand, I'm not fond of it. I've always thought we built that on the cheap and it has a plastic feel to it. I hope the club consider that in the design of Bramley Moore.

I stayed until the bitter end as I always do and watched the team off the pitch. I met with Brian in the Winslow for a catch up and to receive my usual lecture on how soft I am! But I can take that from Mr Murray and he knows deep down I share many of his views.

Just before the match I watched a young fan, maybe 14 years old, walk over and touch the ball on the statue of Dixie Dean with his hand before heading to take his seat. A gesture of good luck and hope maybe. It made me smile, but equally sad in reflection.

Those poor young supporters.

I think everyone saw a similar game. You couldn't knock the effort and for half an hour I thought we would get something. There wasn't much between the two teams considering the respective league positions. Similar to when we played Tottenham.

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Newcastle did what so many teams have been doing against us. They stretched the pitch wide, particularly down our right hand side. I think 3 of the goals came from there. It would have been 4 had the 5th not been ruled offside.

I was talking with a few Newcastle supporters justifiably crowing about the result afterwards. One of them was initially quite vocal in his dislike of Everton, but I turned him around. They mentioned their left sided player beating about 6 of ours for one of the goals. I corrected them. The player beat 3 players 3 times before pulling it back. It was almost like a more direct Peter Beagrie with an end product. They complained about wooden seats and posts, which triggered me about them sticking us up in the sky, which they acknowledged is apparently against Premier League guidelines as away supporters should be offered allocation close to the pitch?

They have players who can finish. That was the difference. Our well-known nemesis.

Briefly on individual performances, as it is difficult when you are still raw after a crushing defeat at such an important part of our run in. I thought that McNeil looked bright on occasions. Gueye was industrious and tidy. I think that summed us up. Tidy but ineffective.

Pickford made two great saves that kept the score down. He took an inevitable verbal battering from the Newcastle supporters, which sparked the odd reaction from the Sunderland boy. Tarkowski was trying to run the defence on his own again. I don't want to hammer Godfrey as he got hammered enough and was hung out to dry for too long. But he looked like a lost boy; a rabbit in the headlights.

We could see it, Newcastle could see it. Why didn't the manager see it?

But blaming another manager for having to use the tools he has been given, just like his predecessors isn't the reason we are in this situation. Most know where that finger points.

Also, the tactic of pumping high balls into Calvert-Lewin marked by two giant centre backs was futile. Dominic cut a forlorn figure for large parts of the game. I didn't have the right view to see the offside, but my brother texted me to say it was incredibly tight and marginal. If that had stood, it is a different outcome. But it didn't.

Mykolenko was hit and miss. Some crunching tackles that roused the crowd and then some awful attempts at distribution. I though Onana had an okay if somewhat unspectacular game. Doucoure done a Doucoure. 50/50. Sometimes great and energetic only to ruin it with sloppy play and giving possession away. 

We are in the trenches and have to come out fighting. Right now, we still have points to play for and can pull ourselves up. We have Leicester, Brighton, Wolves and Bournemouth. Who says we can't get something out of City? We beat Arsenal.

We have to believe. I still believe. The team has to believe.

Thousands will be hitting the road again on Monday with belief. Those players owe us. A huge understatement, but they do.

Next stop Leicester.

Reader Comments (28)

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John Raftery
1 Posted 28/04/2023 at 21:02:12
Thanks, Danny.

It will be remarkable if we do come back from last night's defeat. Of course, stranger things have happened but the team has been incapable all season of capitalising on periods when we are on top. Opponents have grasped that, if they can see off our early pressure, the pitch will open up for them in the way you describe.

As I have said elsewhere, I hope now with expectations of survival very low, the players can play with a more composed approach. That they are so uptight at both ends of the pitch is unsurprising given there has only been one game in the last 18 months (Crystal Palace 3-0) in which they have not been chasing lost causes or desperately clinging on to a narrow lead.

Kieran Kinsella
2 Posted 28/04/2023 at 21:20:12

Newcastle fans have a bizarre hatred of Everton fans. When Gordon went there, it all kicked off on Twitter with Newcastle fans citing their long-running rivalries with Sunderland and Everton (?).

A lot of bewildered Toffees were like "What rivalry?" I mean we're not close geographically, we've never been good when they're good and vice versa, or bad when they're bad. I can't think of any momentous games between us.

I do recall Cottee getting a hat-trick to ruin Mirandinha's debut, and us beating them to ruin Shearer's debut so maybe in their minds that means we're rivals? I don't know…

Larry O'Hara
3 Posted 28/04/2023 at 22:41:08
I dislike Newcastle fans because they are almost a carbon copy of RS fans: arrogant ignorant entitled whining gobshites.

No problem at all with Sunderland or Boro…

Chris Leyland
4 Posted 28/04/2023 at 22:43:19
Larry agree 100%. The plastic, plastic Kopites
Kieran Kinsella
5 Posted 28/04/2023 at 23:00:11

I don’t like em either but don’t see them as “rivals”

Allen Rodgers
6 Posted 28/04/2023 at 23:04:01
A couple of barcodes were gloating about us going to the Championship so I said 'what's like you've not long come from there ? ' No answer was the reply.
Neil Copeland
7 Posted 29/04/2023 at 12:21:12
Danny, a fair reflection I would say, always enjoy your posts, thanks. It’s far from over although, as always, we make everything so difficult for ourselves. Dyche needs to find a way of lifting the players and getting a win at Leicester would be a good start. Like you. I remain optimistic and refuse to give in.

See you at Leicester!

Ps, in respect of Newcastle supporters, I like to remind them that Sunderland have won the league more times and more recently than they have. Everton have won it more times since their win than they have won in total. Big club my arse, they are the Spurs of the north.

Michael Lynch
8 Posted 29/04/2023 at 12:35:44
If it wasn't for their bizarre bitterness against us, I;d wish the Barcodes well. Okay, also they're owned by a murderous regime sportwashing their ill-gotten gains, but I guess we're not ones to talk. Oh yes, and their annoying bellies-out neanderthal dickheads in the away end, but apart from all that...

On the plus side, we rinsed them for Anthony Gordon who probably won't even get a place on the bench next season when they've spend another £200m on players.

Anyway, putting all that aside, it was a thoroughly miserable evening. Best thing about it was the fireworks before kick off and the gallows humour around me in the Upper Bullens, as usual.

We're not dead yet, but the undertakers are definitely on stand-by. If Brentford and Bournemouth do us a favour, we could leapfrog Leicester, Forest and Leeds with a win on Monday.

But then if my uncle had tits he'd be my auntie.

Ernie Baywood
9 Posted 29/04/2023 at 12:57:27
I still think we will stay up. Purely because I think Leeds and Forest will finish terribly rather than us turning on any kind of form.

I'll be watching the Forest game today. It occurs to me that I might actually enjoy watching that match with some hope of the team I'm cheering for threatening the opposition goal.

The other thing that occurred to me is what I'm hoping for as an Evertonian. I've always assumed I wanted us to be the best in the country or the best in Europe. But it's been a long time since it's been about that, hasn't it? We don't compete with the top sides in this league. Would it be that terrible to be supporting us in the Championship?

Maybe I'm underestimating the Championship but there's some appeal to winning a few games. To being a big club in that league. We might play some relatively fun and entertaining football. Maybe we'll have a chance of finding and signing a player who could make a difference. Or maybe even bringing someone through from the youth ranks.

Obviously I want us to win games and stay in the Premier League. But if it's just for more of this, then it's hardly worth it.

Lynn Maher
10 Posted 29/04/2023 at 13:30:34
Agree totally about first half, Danny. I kept saying to my husband, "This is all we ask. Actually making a go of it." And then unfortunately we reverted to our usual self. I am still keeping the faith, it just gets a bit harder as each match goes by.

On the Newcastle fans, I had to laugh when they started singing, "We're going to Italy!" I took one look at their beer bellies on show and said to my friend who sits in front, the Italian fashion police won't even let that lot off the plane!

Rob Halligan
11 Posted 29/04/2023 at 13:31:18
Neil #7,

Dominic King in the Daily Mail (on another thread) said that Everton being relegated would be the biggest club to be relegated in the Premier League era, and the biggest club since Man Utd went down in the early seventies.

The fact that the likes of the Skunks, Asoton Villa barely got a murmur shows nobody was arsed when they went down. Remember when Spurs went down, nobody gave a toss… Skunks and Spurs… big clubs, my arse!

John Keating
12 Posted 29/04/2023 at 13:37:58

Unfortunately, King is right. A disaster of epic proportions and the fucking media would love it!

There'll be hours of TV programmes made about it. Lower league clubs will be sold out and taking us on as their Cup Finals.

Mind you, without doubt the worst thing that'll happen is these arseholes at home who haven't been to Anfield since the '70s.

Dennis Stevens
13 Posted 29/04/2023 at 13:38:06
I think that's true, Rob. Rather like the sensation that was Villa's drop into the 3rd Division in the '70s.
Neil Copeland
14 Posted 29/04/2023 at 13:39:44
Rob 12, spot on mate, and people say we are deluded!
Paul Hewitt
15 Posted 29/04/2023 at 13:46:36
I'm sure – if we go down – the Premier League will survive.
Dennis Stevens
16 Posted 29/04/2023 at 14:00:51
If we get relegated, then next season: Netflix series!
Kevin Molloy
17 Posted 29/04/2023 at 14:09:42
I must admit, after the game, I thought 'This is it'. Having calmed down a bit and had another look at the table, we are clearly not there yet. It's just that the scoreline looks horrific.

I think there's a few things to bear in mind: Dyche's teams historically, once they concede the first goal, do have a tendency to go on to concede another couple. It doesn't necessarily mean we've suddenly got a lot worse. The first goal is key.

The loss of Seamus Coleman has been seismic. We were doing just fine til we lost him. If we get him back, and are tight again, then it's game on.

Newcastle are currently an excellent side, it's no disgrace to get beat by them in an emphatic manner – askTottingham.

So I think Monday is vital. But even then, if we get beat, it's still not over. Look at the table. It's going to be nip and tuck all the way.

Chris Leyland
18 Posted 29/04/2023 at 14:21:23
Kevin, I agree. I was inconsolable after coming out the ground on Thursday but I’ve calmed down and looked at the table and we aren’t dead yet.

In fact, last season we got 7 points from the last 5 games with won2, drawn 1 lost 2. That included 4 points away from home including an unexpected win at Leicester.

If we can repeat that same points total from the last 5 games this year then I think we will survive.

It’s going to take the right tactics and selections, all the players to concentrate and perform for the full game each week and a some luck going our way but we can still do it.

All is not lost.

Paul Kossoff
19 Posted 29/04/2023 at 15:59:19
Danny, I wouldn't bother going, Forest are winning. Five points clear of us now.

Bastard Brentford are on the beach.

Paul Kossoff
20 Posted 29/04/2023 at 16:43:48
Brentford just scored! Hope springs eternal.

Alan J Thompson
21 Posted 29/04/2023 at 16:46:49
I'm sorry but I can't agree that the manager is "just using the tools he's been given", if anything it's the opposite.

Godfrey has not been playing well for a while but the manager will not use Patterson. Then there is the matter of replacing some of the midfield with Maupay and then Simms, who was supposed to create chances for them, the long ball, which you say was futilely pumped into Calvert-Lewin.

The manager has to bear some of the responsibility which reportedly, if we avoid relegation, will be worth 3.5M to him.

Chris Jenkins
22 Posted 29/04/2023 at 16:56:34
Brentford's second goal may yet be our saviour.
Christy Ring
24 Posted 29/04/2023 at 17:36:55
Dyche needs to take the finger out and play Patterson if Coleman isn't fit, and play Mina, forget the Burnley collection, conceded 7 goals in the last 2 games, and play Gray instead of Iwobi, at least he'll attack the fullback.

I see where Gomes scored 2 for Lille today!

Danny O’Neill
25 Posted 29/04/2023 at 20:31:10
We are still in this fight.

I know its irrelevant but Schalke got a win today and are back in the fight.

We're not gone yet.

Mark Murphy
26 Posted 30/04/2023 at 20:21:03
Newcastle are just a shit club who’ve suddenly found some money. Fuck them!
Dave Williams
27 Posted 30/04/2023 at 20:29:35
A win tomorrow will make us feel better- a defeat is unthinkable. Tomorrow is a day for men with some backbone and a determination to win. Anyone who doesn’t fancy it needs to tell the manager and stand aside. The real men will relish the tension and the challenge. I don’t think we have eleven players who fit the bill but I’d start with Mina, Seamus if fit and Coady as their confidence won’t have been damaged by our appalling run of late.
Young Garner must play as should Gray against his former team. DCL and McNeil should be ok leaving three places available.
Volunteers please step forward!
Ps. Great report again Danny
Danny O’Neill
28 Posted 01/05/2023 at 08:06:27
Paul Hewitt @15.

The top flight of English Football, which existed before the current top flight of English Football, survived when Everton were relegated in the 50s, waited until Liverpool were promoted in the 60s. When United were relegated in the 70s. When Tottenham, Newcastle and Aston Villa were relegated.

I don't get your point.

Mark Murphy
29 Posted 01/05/2023 at 14:00:49
Danny - rearrange the following, apt in your case, and you’ll find an omen!
3 pinots!

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