Everton 1 - 4 Newcastle United

Everton’s beleaguered fans went to the well of passion and emotion once more tonight in a desperate attempt to inspire this team to a badly-needed victory. For 27-odd minutes, it looked and felt as though the raucous coach welcome and then the bear-pit atmosphere inside Goodison Park might work as the spirit and commitment that had seen leaders Arsenal vanquished in Sean Dyche’s first game in charge was rekindled.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin, absent since that memorable day at Goodison Park in early February, was back in the starting XI along with Abdoulaye Doucouré, who had missed three games through suspension, and Amadou Onana, whose groin complaint had sidelined him for the previous two, and there was an air of defiant optimism inside this famous old stadium. It would be emphatically extinguished on a deeply distressing night under the lights in L4.

Calvert-Lewin would have the ball in the net and, on an evening of precious few chances and a general paucity of quality on the ball from the home side, carried the greatest threat for Everton but it was at the other of the field that a pathetic lack of quality contributed to a lopsided scoreline and the Blues’ second 4-1 home defeat of the calendar year.

Unfortunately, a key figure from the win over the Gunners was missing in the form of Captain Seamus Coleman who had kept Gabriel Martinelli in his pocket and helped suffocate Mikel Arteta’s much-vaunted attack. In the return fixture, it was Ben Godfrey charged with stemming that flow in the second half and he was brutally exposed as the Gunners steam-rolled their way to a 4-0 win.

Godfrey was deployed as an uncomfortable right-back against Fulham where, again, he looked all at sea; at Crystal Palace it was Mason Holgate who floundered out of his natural position in the absence of Coleman and ended up being sent off. All the while, the only other natural right-back on the books with any experience, Nathan Patterson, got the sum total of 35 minutes since returning from injury four games ago.

Incredibly, for a man of Dyche’s experience and supposed defensive acumen, the lesson wasn’t learned and Godfrey was thrown to the proverbial lions again this evening where he was chewed up and spat out by the likes of Joelinton and Joe Willock; by the time Alexander Isak had come on to have some fun of his own on the way to teeing up Jacob Murphy for the Magpies’ fourth, it was just cruel on the former Norwich City defender. For that, the manager has to take full responsibility, as well as a vow not to repeat the same mistake at Leicester on Monday, a fixture that could well decide whether Everton remain a Premier League outfit beyond this season.

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Godfrey was the most glaring but he wasn’t the only weakness on a night that exposed a multitude of them while simultaneously exemplifying how quickly and effectively sound recruitment can transform a football club. What Farhad Moshiri tried to do in three years, Newcastle’s ownership is on course to achieve in just the 18 months since Eddie Howe came on board and turned a directionless rabble in very real danger of demotion into a cohesive, winning side.

If the Magpies’ reversal of fortunes offered hope that Everton might belatedly begin to arrest their own decline, the initial signs in this game were good as the Toffees chased, harried and hassled the Newcastle's defence and tried to pepper Nick Pope's goal with shots from the edge of the box and beyond.

Alex Iwobi curled an early shot wide from 20 yards, Dwight McNeil saw a couple of speculative efforts from further out safely gathered and Idrissa Gueye also shot straight at the keeper before driving a direct free-kick over the crossbar.

Calvert-Lewin, meanwhile, was played in nicely but eschewed a first-time shot, tried to turn Fabian Schär and ended up being muscled off the ball as he tried to fire it past Pope.

Newcastle were unbowed, though, matched Everton physically and bided their time before starting to dismantle the home defence with targeted balls to their left flank where Godfrey was giving Joelinton the freedom of that area of the pitch.

And in the 28th minute, against the run of play, the Blues were easily carved open. The makeshift right-back was once again caught playing far too narrow, was turned easily by the Brazilian whose strong shot was parried by Jordan Pickford. Unfortunately, it took a crucial deflection off James Tarkowski, fell to Callum Wilson in front of goal and the striker reacted quickly to prod it home from a central position.

A promising chance from a corner went begging as the game moved into first-half stoppage time and Michael Keane did well to get across his man to the hear post but his touch was too heavy. Then, McNeil threaded a beautiful pass for Calvert-Lewin to race away and beat Pope one-on-one but his celebrations were cut short by the linesman's flag and confirmation from VAR Chris Kavanagh that he had been fractionally offside.

Only one goal down, Everton were still in with a chance of getting something from the game in the second half but it required a good deal more creativity and production in the final third than had been on show in the first, where crosses were frequently overhit or hit the first defender and Pickford's punts downfield were as partially accurate as often as they were aimless.

Another warning signing of what was to come came within a minute of the restart when Godfrey was caught out again and only a brilliant saving block by Tarkowski prevented Willock from doubling Newcastle's lead.

Dyche's men were, on the whole, poor on the ball and frequently let themselves down with suspect decision-making, to the point where it was hard to see where an equaliser might come from, particularly as the manager delayed making any changes from the bench until it was far too late.

Their one clear chance fell again to Calvert-Lewin after Iwobi had shrugged off the attentions of Matt Targett but Pope beat the striker's shot away while, at the other end, Sean Longstaff went close when he smashed the ball into the side-netting from an acute angle.

It took a wonderful save at full stretch from Pickford to deny Willock with 20 minutes to go but while Dyche once again delayed making any changes, the floodgates would open just two minutes later when Godfrey allowed the same player to waltz along the byline and clip the ball across the six-yard box for Joelinton to nod home from close range.

2-0 became 3-0 just three minutes later as Godfrey and Keane stood off Wilson outside the box and he sized up an effort that curled into the top corner beyond Pickford's despairing fingers.

Dyche had already replaced Onana with Neal Maupay by this point and when the Frenchman won a corner on the right, McNeil reduced the arrears to two goals when his delivery eluded everyone in the area and swerved inside the far post but any hope of an almost impossible comeback evaporated straight from kick-off.

This time Isak was allowed to tie three Blue shirts into knots as he danced along the byline, with Gueye, Keane and Godfrey practically ushering him towards goal in one of the most embarrassing instances of defensive play in living memory, and his prodded centre was turned in by the unmarked Murphy.

Schär thought he had made further mockery of the shambles in front of him when he drilled home a fifth late on but Dan Burn was adjudged to have been offside in the build-up and the goal was ruled out. By that point, Goodison Park that was nearly empty by full-time and the prospect of one more dent in Everton’s goal difference barely registered. The way things are going, it won’t matter.

With Everton being so poor on the road — they’ve won just three matches away from Goodison Park in almost two complete seasons — the team’s form at home in front of the “12th man” was supposed to be where salvation lies. After tonight’s debacle, just two home fixtures remain and one of them is against the machine that is Manchester City. There is a vain hope that the Blues could, perhaps, repeat their achievement at the Etihad on New Year’s Eve and grind out a draw but this feels like a very different defence now, one altogether more porous and fragile.

Now, if survival is somehow to be achieved, Dyche and his team have to do it on the road and then return to Goodison to face Bournemouth, a side that themselves looked doomed not long ago, on the final day hoping that they’re not already mathematically down. Monday’s clash with Leicester really has taken on "cup final" proportions for both clubs. Realistically, Everton have to win, hope results elsewhere go their way and still get something from the trips to Wolves and Brighton.

Just a few games into Dyche’s tenure, it looked as though the Blues would comfortably have enough to stay up; now, they look like they need a miracle.

Reader Comments (49)

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Bill Fairfield
1 Posted 28/04/2023 at 08:24:05
Done,finished,gone. The mental weakness is there for all to see. A miracle of gigantic proportions is required.Goodison will hold its last premier league game ever v Bournemouth.
David Vaughan
2 Posted 28/04/2023 at 08:32:31
If we win at Leicester, we have a chance. On last night's display by terrified individuals, too scared to shoot and who crumple like paper when put under pressure, do we have a chance of beating The Foxes? No. We are gone.
Gareth Williams
3 Posted 28/04/2023 at 08:41:58
We are going down this season the players are just not good enough
Frank Sheppard
4 Posted 28/04/2023 at 08:42:45
I have got a horrible feeling that we are going to be swapping places with …………… Burnley.
As for Monday night, Miracle needed - our away record is far worse than their poor home record
John Keating
5 Posted 28/04/2023 at 08:50:51
As seen last night the saviour of last season, the 12th man, is not only making less of an impact on this shower but also realising the game might finally be up.

A few weeks ago many thought our home fixtures would see us safe.
Recently, well it would be ok because we’ll get 3 points against Fulham for sure and a point against Newcastle
Now we’re down to a “Cup Final” on Monday.
Brighton and City will really up for it.
Unfortunately gravity is persistant and only goes in one direction for us

David Bromwell
6 Posted 28/04/2023 at 09:12:59
Recovering from covid so had to watch last nights match on TV. It seemed clear from the start that we were all effort and no quality, and sadly that's how it continued with only Calvert Lewin putting in an acceptable performance.

But the most worrying thing for me was the game plan from the Manager, who now seems to make major errors at every game. To begin Ben Godfrey should not be playing at the moment, it's clear to me that he has lost his confidence and how he stayed on the pitch I have no idea. He should certainly have gone after loosing his man for the first goal. At half time it was clear that we had no one to either pass or hold up the ball and some sort of change with Garner on for Onana had to be worth a punt.

But as now seems usual, the Manager did nothing and only started tinkering when the game was well and truly lost, and his eventual changes were just embarrassing. Clearly he has inherited an unbalanced squad, and he has to revert to a system which uses the players at his disposal and if that has to be a 5 man defence using wing backs then so be it.

He also needs to pinch the one good idea that Lampard left which was to use I Iwobi in the centre where he can bring a modicum of craft. Currently we are clearly the worst team in the Premiership, and we have failed at very opportunity to save ourselves. As of today the manager, his staff and the players look doomed, we were comprehensively out fought and out played last night God only knows where we go from here.

Mark Andrews
7 Posted 28/04/2023 at 09:13:47
Are people still kidding themselves that this rag-tag collection of ne'r-do-wells are going to keep our failed club in the top flight?
If you are, you'll have to ask yourself why. What is it you're seeing in this team that can't defend and can't score that the rest of us aren't seeing, or is it just blind hope?
The team are in for a great reset at best and administration at worst. The oligarchs front man, apparently an accountant by profession, (yes, hilarious I know) has played FIFA with our club and is about to turn off the game and walk away from the ruins.
The only positive I can take from our inevitable demise is that we won't have to watch the expensively assembled squad, masquerading as top flight pros, wearing the royal blue anymore. The club is rotten, top to bottom. If Moshiri has any decency, he'll sell. If the new owners have any wisdom, they'll remove the board and purge the club.
Brace yourselves, the next few years will be the most trying in the the memory of any living blue.
PL fit and proper person test? What a joke. There's a reason why Arsenal didn't want Usmanov and Moshiri anywhere near their board. We were so desperate for success we prostituted ourselves to the first sugar daddy who came along and it's killed us.
Nice work Bill. Still think you and the board have done a great job?
Kevin Prytherch
8 Posted 28/04/2023 at 09:18:40
Defensively, that was one of the worst performances I’ve seen.

1st goal, 4 Everton players are drawn into Joelinton - Godfrey gets skinned, Iwobi is prancing about behind him, Gueye comes across to do nothing and Tarks is drawn out to cover. When he shoots, Keane moves forward to try and block the shot meaning that when Pickford saves it - there are 5 Everton players the wrong side of the ball and only Mykolenko the right side. Newcastle had 3 players the right side of the ball.

Same with the second, Godfrey, Iwobi and Gueye do the exact same thing, Keane gets drawn out to cover and Tarks moves towards the front post. The chipped ball goes past them all and there’s a load of Newcastle players waiting with just Mykolenko on the line.

And again with the 4th. Gueye moves over to do nothing, Godfrey skinned, Iwobi doesn’t even try to get back, this time Doucoure charges into the middle of nowhere and Keane also gets skinned. By the time Isak crosses the ball Tarks has had to close him down and there are 5 Newcastle players against 2 Everton players - two of the Newcastle players are behind both Mykolenko and McNeil.

I coach an U12’s girls football team and I wouldn’t be happy if so many of them
We’re drawn to the ball that easily - this is the Premier league.

For all 3 of them goals Gueye shouldn’t have been where he was. Either Onana or Doucoure should have been tracking runners from midfield. Iwobi should have at least attempted a tackle and Godfrey should do better on them all. Under no circumstances should any team in the premier league be left in a situation where, from a short cross or shot, 5 defenders are the wrong side of the ball. It shouldn’t happen once - it happened 3 times.

To say that was schoolboy is an insult to schoolboys.

Iwobi, Gueye and Godfrey all need to go for the next game, all 3 were responsible for 3 of their goals.

Tony Everan
9 Posted 28/04/2023 at 09:20:42
Leicester is the last chance saloon, a win and we are off the canvas, bloodied but still ready to fight and land a few punches.

There has to be some changes though,

no1 is it is suicidal to play Godfrey at right-back. Seamus must come back for us to have the best chance.

no2 Keane is a brave defender but has no poise or class, and can’t read the game, serious consideration to be given to putting Mina in there, although he’s leaving he’s the best CB at the club. Stats show we win more matches with him in the team.

no3 Iwobi isn’t brave enough a player for this situation, he should be replaced by Gray, who himself needs to up his game.

Other calls; Mykolenko is very, very ordinary at left back but just keeps his place, as the alternative Godfrey looks shot to pieces after getting totally minced at right back.

Onana did just ok last night, but Garner did slightly better when given his opportunity. I’d be tempted to start Garner ahead of him.

The biggest issue out of them all is right back so we need to pray that our captain is fit, if so we have a chance.

COYBLUES! Leicester have been inconsistent and poor in many matches, they’ll be terrified of defeat too, give them nothing. Fight for it!

Nigel Munford
10 Posted 28/04/2023 at 09:34:35
If Seamus isn’t fit it has to be Patterson at right back.
Kevin Naylor
11 Posted 28/04/2023 at 10:17:33
Team it should be for Monday, Pickford, Tarks, Coady, Coleman/Pattison, Myko, Garner, Onana, Gray, Doucouré, McNeil, DCL.
Team our brain dead manager will probably pick,
Pickford, Tarks, Keane, Coleman/Godfrey, Myko, Iwobi, Onana, Doucoure, Gana, McNeil, DCL.
You don't need a crystal ball to know what he will do.
Rick Tarleton
12 Posted 28/04/2023 at 10:28:49
I don't particularly rate Patterson, I feel that he is very good supporting the attack, but not defensively as savvy as I'd like, nevertheless, he is a right back, which Godfrey manifestly is not, and quite why he is totally ignored by Dyche is a mystery and an enigma. Mykolenko is little better, he seems pemanently to be a yard behind play. Nkounkou is away on loan, yet in his first season he had one or two games, particularly the Lincoln game when he looked promising.
Maupay is far too lightweight to play up on his own, but in the old pattern of twin strikers, he might be able to play off Calvert-Lewin or Simms. Gueye is a spent force and he ought not to be our dead ball specialist.
I've said this so often, I saw one Everton game in the old second division in the promotion season and I fear that as I approach 77, that Everton will be back there next season and I fear they will stay there for a few years while the club sorts itself out on and off the field. Kenwright's connection to Everton has been as inadequate as Charles I's contribution to English history, an unmitigated disaster.
My son ( we live in Rutland and Leicester) has got a connection who has got him a seat at the King Power. I hope he's got the nerve for it, but I fear the worst.
I'm not sure survival per se is anymore desirable at the moment given the squad we have and the financial constraints we have, I can't see anything better than this next season if we stay up.
A sad, sad end to the Kenwright /Moshiri ownership.
Martin Mason
13 Posted 28/04/2023 at 10:29:56
After the Golden Vision years, relegation with a donkey journeyman like Dyche as manager is a real fall from grace.
Dave Lynch
14 Posted 28/04/2023 at 10:45:28
Wrong manager for the wrong club.

If/when we go down this fella is going to fill the team with journeyman yard dogs, its what he does.
He has no footballing acumen whatsoever, look at Burnley now under a manager who knows how football is played.
Dyche is a dinosaur in the mould of Allardyce and Warnock. Villa employ Emery, we get Dyche, the table does not lie.
Please god Kenwright and his cronies go, otherwise we will end up with Moyes or Rooney if Dyche gets the bullet.
These are dark days.

Andy Crooks
15 Posted 28/04/2023 at 10:46:39
It's blind hope, Mark. Only that can expect this bunch of players who couldn't form a backbone between them, to suddenly show that they care. However, there's nothing left but hope.We are depending on hired hands who will desert like rats if/ when we are relegated, and that is heartbreaking.

What hurts most is the joy this brings to every other club in the league, because we are hated. Had all our enemies combined to hatch a plan to destroy us they couldn't have done it better than Kenwright. It is corruption and ineptitude to an incomprehensible degree.

We fight on, hoping that Dyche can turn donkeys into lions. It will require a miracle.

Rennie Smith
16 Posted 28/04/2023 at 10:51:55
Let's face it, none of us probably expected to get anything off the barcodes in the form they're in, but it looked like we might get something out of the game early on. But it's the same old story, plenty of harassing, winning the ball in good areas but totally clueless on what to do with it in the final third. Aimless crosses into DCL outnumbered in the box, weak 25-yarders against a quality keeper in desperation. Then all it needs is a bit of quality against piss-poor defenders and we're 1-0 down. Game over.

It says something when the people slagging off Seamus for the last 2 years are desperate for him to return. Dyche clearly doesn't fancy Patterson for some reason, but how many chances does Godfrey get? It looks like he's given up.

I still believe, that will never stop until it's mathematically impossible, but the biggest worry is that it looks like most of the crowd have given up. I stayed till the end last night, like some glutton for punishment, but me and the lad were sitting in a virtually empty stadium, it was weird. We kept the b'stards up last season, but I think we're exhausted, so they're on their own.

David Vaughan
17 Posted 28/04/2023 at 11:26:47
Rennie @16 Totally agree with your take on last night. Like you we stayed to the end (never left early in 58 years, home or away). You're absolutely right, the fans are exhausted. I am. We are.

As I said yesterday pre match, I won't boo if we get beaten, I won't celebrate if we win. There'll be no standing on stadium roofing, fist punching the clouds when we stay up on the last home game (again). Not this year, not again.

It's not the being beaten, it's how we're too petrified to play, too fragile to fight. It takes something really special to play football this badly. Something extra, some other reason that for one this long-suffering fan cannot fathom.

So after last night I've accepted we're done for this season. Down. Our very last season (is it???) will see Goodison Park hosting lower league football. And after so many years in the top flight of English football, we don't have a club, a culture or the personnel (from boardroom to players) to not just climb straight back up, but to prevent us from going straight on down to League One.

My fears are that deep and that convinced.

My only plea now to Everton the institution - go on, prove me wrong, call me out for being a negative doom merchant, a gloom-laden naysayer. I will heartily punch the very heavens for that.

Or (more likely) go now. And make your parting shot a true gesture, to put OUR club above ALL ELSE. Sell to professionals who will show more heart in seeing their investment succeed than we have witnessed coming out of L4 for the past 30+ years.

Barry Rathbone
18 Posted 28/04/2023 at 11:54:47
Proof positive that all the pyros and chest thumping in the world won't make an ounce of difference against focussed teams with better players.
Neil Carter
19 Posted 28/04/2023 at 12:01:22
The club do not deserve us fans and we do not deserve such incompetent owner and leadership-it’s beyond repair now-sell and do it quickly-let’s finalise this miserable situation-get the divorce lawyers in and get it done
Tony Abrahams
20 Posted 28/04/2023 at 12:14:17
I know what you’re saying Barry, but what is the point of what you’re saying mate?

Are you just highlighting something that is obvious, or are you suggesting the fans should just stop trying because the players aren’t good enough?

Frank Sheppard
21 Posted 28/04/2023 at 12:26:26
BBC has an interesting/scary piece/info on their website-
Six of Everton's starting line-up in the defeat to Newcastle have been relegated before - Jordan Pickford, Ben Godfrey, Michael Keane, James Tarkowski, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Dwight McNeil.
Ray Jacques
22 Posted 28/04/2023 at 12:42:31
Oh well Frank in two weeks they can write another article saying all eleven of the starting line up have been relegated!!!!!
Bill Fairfield
23 Posted 28/04/2023 at 12:44:14
The fan’s will support this club to the end of the Earth. It’s an extremely emotional time for everyone at the moment. What’s happening to our club is heartbreaking. Just wish I could wake up and it was all a nightmare.
Derek Powell
24 Posted 28/04/2023 at 12:50:41
Just another manager playing the same players in the same formation expecting a different outcome no fight no idea no tactics no leadership no fuckin clue, if we go down we wont come back up the clubs vile at the top I pity all those toffees yet to be born I look at my grandsons tears and pity him, what have they done to our great club
John Burns
25 Posted 28/04/2023 at 12:54:52
Tony 20. The fans will never give up. It’s not in our DNA. Battered and bloodied as they are, they will continue to shout, scream and try to inject life into a near corpse.
Rob Baker
26 Posted 28/04/2023 at 13:14:18
Monday is shoot-or-go-bust time. I made some predictions ages ago and hoped I'd be wrong, but I've mostly been right. I had Leics away as a draw based on abysmal away form. That result will not be enough.
Barry Rathbone
27 Posted 28/04/2023 at 13:15:25
Tony 20

I'm getting at the commonly iterated view that a call to arms will make a difference against better teams who are on their game - it doesn't.

Why do I say it?

Because, in my opinion, delusion among our fans (which this "atmosphere thing" is an example of) has added greatly to the mess. The chasing of Allardyce before having the benefit of a summer window probably the most insidious.

I predicted during the Dyche honey moon period that as soon as straight line progression faltered the fickle boys would be out in force and they are.

It's not that Evertonians are any worse than other fans it's just that we're no different despite musings to the contrary.

Jem Bir
28 Posted 28/04/2023 at 13:23:11
Look, the reality is that we need seven points from the last five games to be safe.

We will beat Leicester, and we will likely cobble together a point at Wolves or Brighton.

That leaves Bournemouth on the last day, and we will beat them.


John Raftery
29 Posted 28/04/2023 at 13:28:00
Once Newcastle scored the opening goal they simply outclassed us in every part of the field. There was no lack of effort from our players but the limitations of individuals and of our systems were exposed continually in a truly demoralising second half.

Our problems go well beyond the abilities of individual players. The team as a unit cannot consistently attack teams with genuine hope of gaining an early advantage. Teams like Newcastle and Fulham and Villa and Brighton and Leicester have come to Goodison, absorbed what early pressure we can muster and then attacked the gaping holes in our defensive lines.

Despite their best physical output the players now look riddled with anxiety and tension. Their lack of quality combined with a drop in belief has turned them into cannon fodder for teams in the top half of the table. The early suggestions of increased fitness under Dyche’s regime now look like so much hot air. The truth is losing teams will always look unfit. Winning teams play with a freedom, something our players have not experienced in two seasons.

Our issues on the right side of the defence encapsulate the issues with the whole squad. We have had problems on that flank for the last two years whenever Seamus has been unavailable. Patterson is relatively comfortable at wing back but not as one of a back four. Holgate and Godfrey, if they are anything, are right sided central defenders in a back three. Coady is more familiar playing as one of back three. These four players have been signed or developed under previous managers which is in part why we are where we are. It’s a shambles.

My one hope, very likely a forlorn one, is that with relegation almost certain our players will rediscover some of the joy of the game and play with more freedom in what remains of this miserable season.

Mark Murphy
30 Posted 28/04/2023 at 13:45:25
Frank it’s actually 7.
Gana Gueye went down with Villa.
Charles Brewer
31 Posted 28/04/2023 at 14:04:04
Military operations run on four levels, tactical, strategic, logistic and political.

If we apply this stratification to Everton we can get one perspective on where things are failing.

Tactically - this group of players can't pass or shoot or dribble or cross or defend. Pickford is excellent, but then he gets lots of practice.

Strategically - the team appears to go out with a plan which has not bothered to consider what the opposition is likely to do and to have a formation which will be effective against the assets and anticipated approach of the other team. Strategic substitutions, which are a planned method of changing a failing approach, never, ever, occur.

Logistically - this is providing the right players from purchasing, youth training, and making sure the players are fit and well trained in a manner that they are effective when it comes to the match. These factors have proven absolutely absent since Moyes left. The players bought have been almost uniformly terrible and of exceptionally low quality, not a single decent player has emerged from the youth programme (even the best, the inept and disloyal Gordon was flogged of as soon as possible).

Politically - the club has managed to turn itself into the target of the corrupt EPL/UEFA cartel and to alienate a few clubs with genuinely suspicious activities (Burnley?), while failing to make any allies in the press or within the management of other teams.

Basically, this enterprise has been run in the most incompetent manner possible and resemble something like the Home Office or Foreign Office in considering itself a superior organisation when in fact it is a laughing stock festooned with failure and ineptitude.


David West
32 Posted 28/04/2023 at 14:17:25
I've struggled to even look at any reports, tv, media and barely looked at my phone since last night.

Goodison was up for it and looked like it was having the desired effect on the players. The more the crowd are having to exert themselves on the team the less effect its had on the team. Its nothing special if needed every game. The players should be embarrassed.

Surely the tactic should have been stay in the game, keep the crowd buoyant and try and win the game.
Its OK players coming out all guns blazing, but if after 20mins they are spent, isn't that a bad tactic ? You can do that if you have a player to create decent opportunities or score while you are on top, we don't.
Newcastle knew it, just soaked up the early storm and then stepped up and took a tiring team apart.

It's still not over yet, but I've been saying that since there was 10 games left, then 7, now 5.
Leicester is the one, win it. Its shit or bust now.. do something different we continue to play the same formation same tactics every week even tho its not working. Its the actual definition of madness !!!

Eddie Dunn
33 Posted 28/04/2023 at 15:23:33
I know Dyche has failed to make changes early enough and like Lampard he is rarely proactive. I think he has been disgusted at how pathetic our lads are. He has said that the plan set in place went to pieces in the Fulham game and again last night.

The group of players are showing not only that they cannot play Lampard's possession-based game but also Dyche's power game. They lack either basic skills or bottle.

Iwobi is a good example of a young athlete with decent ball skills and ability. He lacks bottle, fight and intelligence. He just doesn't know when to stick or twist.

Onana is a great big beast of a man but is in his football kindergarden. Gana is a shadow of that tacking machine of five years ago.

I could go on but it is clear that this lot are just not very good at football.

Carlo had to revert to counter-attacking because we didn't have the tools to play possession footy and that was when we still had the likes of Richarlison, James and Sigurdsson.

If we are to pull off an unlikely win at the King Power, then I think that Coady needs to return in a back five. Coleman (if fit) or Patterson as wing-back, Mykolenko on the left with Tarkowski and Keane alongside Connor.

The midfield I would keep it tight with Garner, Doucoure, Onana with Gray in the o 10 role behind Calvert-Lewin.

I'm pretty sure that Dyche will stick with the same line-up as before with Coleman coming in and possibly Gray for Iwobi.
Obviously it is highly unlikely that we will win there, but we live in hope.

John Raftery
34 Posted 28/04/2023 at 16:04:49
David (32) You are right.

Sometimes it is better to set up to contain the opposition. For a team of very limited ability defence can be the best form of attack. I know that goes against our normal instincts but it is the pragmatic option used by managers prepared to accept the limitations of their players and acknowledge the strengths of opponents.

Of our recent managers, only Ancelotti felt able to do that and even he got it wrong in home fixtures towards the end of his tenure. It is a surprise to me that, given their previous experience, both Benitez and now Dyche have failed to adopt a more pragmatic approach focused on staying in games.

John Keating
35 Posted 28/04/2023 at 16:15:33
Now I know we are fucked!

My mates who are RS – who I was born and brought up with, would do, and have done everything for me as I have done for them, and have never, ever, said anything detrimental to me about my team – are now taking the piss!

Even when I've started off about the team and the Club, they've always diplomatically changed the subject or steered it away to when we all went to see Vernon, Young, Yeats etc in the early sixties.

Game over.

Another thing that pisses me off are all the arsehole newspaper footy writers finally slagging off Kenwright and the Board! If the bastards would have given us more column inches when we wanted them to during our Blue Union days, rather than either fully supporting Kenwright or just ignoring the situation, we may not be where we are today. Because, let's be honest he was as big a lying shithouse those days as he is today.

I was thinking of us clinching the league against Fulham in 63 before the recent Fulham game. Look where we've landed.

Michael Fisher
36 Posted 28/04/2023 at 16:22:01
Trust in youth. Do not use players out of position. Find a genuine goal scorer, a game changer to make it happen. Ban predicable play.

Discover a young future captain to learn from Coleman. Recruit a genuine set-piece specialist. Perhaps unfair but Dyche is not for the future.

Sell the club and let genuine quality CEO build a board for great management of the club to generate income and fund a team worthy of the badge.

Nathan Ford
37 Posted 28/04/2023 at 16:37:40
Looks like we're getting relegated with a whimper. We can't defend and can't score. Try something different on Monday at Leicester as it can't get any worse.

GK - Pickford
RWB - Coleman or Patterson
LWB - McNeil
CB - Tarkowski
CB - Mina
CB - Coady or Keane
CM - Iwobi
CM - Garner
CM - Onana or Gueye or Doucoure
CF - Calvert-Lewin
CF - Simms

A bit more creativity in midfield with one defensive midfielder. Get the wing backs up whipping crosses in with 2 physical strikers. We're the lowest scores in the Premier League so what's to lose in trying something different? I'd fancy a goal on a set-piece with that team as well.

David Bromwell
38 Posted 28/04/2023 at 16:58:24
Yes Nathan, that's the best possible 11 and it's basically the team that Dyche should have reverted to for the second half yesterday.
Jay Harris
39 Posted 28/04/2023 at 17:27:40
Nathan, I have to disagree.

We do not do well with 3 centre-backs and we are already struggling at full-back on both flanks.

We have done better when we beef up the midfield and play anyone other than Holgate or Godfrey at full-back.

I would give Stanley Mills a run out in front of Seamus if he is fit and Garner deserves a place too.

Tom Edwards
40 Posted 28/04/2023 at 17:33:11
Even if by some weird freakish miracle we survive, what's the betting that the Independent Commission finds us guilty of severe breaches of P&S Rules and simply deduct enough points for us to finish bottom?

I personally don't think they will need to, as we fucked ourselves well and truly at the Fulham game. For me, that was when I knew we were gone.

I have been a fan for almost 60 years, a season ticket holder for a lot of them. I have been lucky enough to see us champions and cup winners. Probably the best team in Europe in the mid-'80s.

I honestly never thought I would see us anywhere except the top flight, but I am going to witness my beloved club in a lower league. I am heartbroken. My late dad was a true blue. I am glad he is not around to witness this shambles.

Tony Abrahams
41 Posted 28/04/2023 at 20:49:56
So you are basically saying that the fans who are trying to create a great atmosphere are just adding to the delusion, Barry?
Dave Abrahams
42 Posted 28/04/2023 at 21:02:43
I'd be happy if Sean Dyche had a look at the posts from John (29) and David (32); he might possibly agree with their point of view and review the way he has set up the team to play in the last few games.

Watching last night, it was obvious we couldn't sustain the way we were playing for 90 minutes or more. Nobody attempted to slow the game down, put their foot on the ball and calm down, draw men out, wait for some movement from their teammates.

Apart from McNeil, none of the players seem to enjoy holding the ball, or go looking for it, or even make a move to find space and be in a position to receive the ball, simple and easy to play.

Last night, it was mostly slapdash football, get rid of the ball as quickly as possible with no thought to the consequences of where the ball was going to finish up.

The players simply don't want the ball and are not enjoying playing; too tense, relax it's the best and easiest game to play. Fear makes it harder, fear of playing football is hard to believe. Most of us would play for nothing, just the sheer joy of having a game.

Thanks for your posts, John and David, and the common sense in both of them.

Tony Everan
43 Posted 28/04/2023 at 21:22:28
Dave, I remember the fleeting contributions towards he end of last season from Fabian Delph. We were in shock at a midfielder who could actually do what you have just said. He had the ability to calm things down, but a second of time with perfect control, look up, play a good percentage pass.

Don't get me wrong – I'm not pining for him; he only plays one in ten games! But having a quality fit midfield player who can do it changes the way a team plays. Garner may grow into it, hopefully.

One more thing about last night, when Newcastle were firing balls forward, their players always made it stick, by powerfully, physically shielding and a bit of control skill. It's a primary battleground, the building blocks for winning games. Eddie Howe obviously works on this diligently in training.

The ball then ends up in the final third, an attack can be built. Time and time again, our defenders couldn't stop it happening. Even long-ball headers were won far too many times by the Newcastle player, often guided to a teammate too, adding insult to injury. We have to toughen up and make sure this can't happen.

Tony Abrahams
44 Posted 28/04/2023 at 21:36:50
I've slaughtered Michael Keane since he arrived at Everton, Tony, and watching him last night, it was very easy for me to understand why.

Aggressive centre-forwards need to be absolutely smashed in certain areas of the pitch, especially in games that are as important as last night's.

I saw Michael Keane pass up this opportunity at least a couple of times; when this happens, then those big centre-forwards grow in confidence because they know they have only got to concentrate on the ball.

David West
45 Posted 28/04/2023 at 22:18:24
John 42 & Dave 42.

Yes come out with a purpose, with a tempo & desire to get on the front foot in the game. To be fair it's what we all would have wanted & expected, but if you get no joy then you need a plan B.

Newcastle have beaten better teams than us easily, we were never just going to blow them away in 20mins. How when we struggle to score in every game ? Trying to stay tight and nick one on the counter was our best option and best use of our energy.

The 3 in midfield is supposed to make us solid. We are not.

If we had a creative centre midfielder it may work. We don't.

If we had 2 effective wide players who are capable of getting forward to support the isolated striker it would help We haven't.

We need something else, be it a Mills coming in, or Simms with DCL, or Gray & DCL as a 2 up front, 5 at the back something.

Dyche should get some slack from us imo. He's no Ancelotti, we never expected him to be. But even Carlo would struggle with the bare bones of a team we've been left with.

The thing is, the squad is so thin everyone of them last night will probably know they are playing against Leicester, they have no worries about their place in the team.

To be fair,Dyche doesn't have too many options.

Doing the same again should not be an option.

Dale Self
46 Posted 28/04/2023 at 22:28:41
Nice Jem Bir 28! Keeping in mind what Bill 1 and David 2 pointed out about mental weakness I thought DCL and McNeil did not exhibit any fear. DCL had difficulty getting space but did strike the ball well a couple of times. McNeil fluffed a shot from the D early but otherwise showed some guts on the ball. Doucoure was returning but had several chances to put Iwobi or DCL through and just wilted on the decision. A third offensive influence is needed to keep play from getting stranded. Possibly this is why we are so forward without pulling back like Dave A mentions above

All I fucking know is I saw enough to rule out them folding like tacos. They’ve had some really shit luck so who knows? I’m in for another round of suffering. UTFT!

Tony Everan
47 Posted 28/04/2023 at 22:33:01
Tony 44, Couldn’t have put it better, It winds me up, Keane is a big lad and should be dominating average centre forwards. He hasn’t got any of the necessary dark arts of defending in his locker, he’s a nice boy defender. He seems to accept the CF/Forward will win the possession.

What’s more an impartial referee always expects the defender win the ball and the CF to be crushed out of it and more often than not will wave play on. I don’t want Keane to start on Monday.

Paul Birmingham
49 Posted 28/04/2023 at 00:10:24
Dale, and Jem, Tony A, and Tony E, agreed, and the fight goes on till it’s not possible, by the maths.

Right now it’s very possible, subject to Everton, scoring, holding play, looking after the ball, using the ball, and defending well, but also hoping Leeds, Leicester, Forest all loose their games, to positive impact Everton's survival, in the EPL. It’s a massive month, but Everton's future, is at stake.

Dyche, surely must get the Dirty Dozem, Street, tricks instilled, and should have had these mentality qualities, instilled to his Team.

Some times, this season, and last season, being honest, under Rafa, Lampard and Dyche, the Team, have supported each other like a make shift team, on holiday, abroad, total strangers.

That’s bugged me for ages. Why don’t they play and die for the Everton shirt, on the field of play?

Everton, are still in the fight, and Leicester, is the pivotal game, Everton must win.


Peter Hodgson
51 Posted 01/05/2023 at 18:03:33
Dave @ 14

If (when) we we are relegated, filling the team with yard dogs may be the exact thing we need to do. It could prove a decisive move by Dyche.

Attractive football will fly out of the window in favour of a desperate need for dull but inspiring, at the same time wins. No namby, mamby players needed. I'm told it is a hard division. In the circumstances, he might be good at that in the Championship. He has had practice there before and done well twice.

Whatever happens, it is going to be a difficult 2023-24 season. What that?

Oh yeah. And so say All Of Us!!

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