Leicester City 2 - 2 Everton

They call it the King Power. It's pretty unassuming and unimpressive.

Another long day. And no, that is not a boast. It just was.

I got to Leicester in good time for yet another night fixture in the past several weeks. Is this intentional?

As is customary with me, I started talking to a Leicester supporter whose mother had grown up near St Ambrose before they moved to Leicester where he grew up. But he had an obvious soft spot for Everton as his mother was an Evertonian.

Into the stadium and the Travelling Blue Army, as always, were tremendous. Noisy, loud and proud, combatting the irritating drum-beating Italian-style Ultras… pretend Crystal Palace supporters sprung to mind. Same songs, different words.

Spirit, Marching, Forever belting out over them and their annoying rattle things.

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1878, The Originals. We are Everton and don't impersonate anyone else.

I've often been a critic of Michael Keane, it is well-documented. Last night, he seemed half asleep or maybe the floodlights were causing him problems. I don't know, but he continuously worried me and once more, Tarkowski was having to try to do it on his own, which inevitably will draw mistakes.

Gueye, despite his critics, was doing what it says on the Gueye tin. I'll be honest, I couldn't figure out who was playing in midfield with him. 34 years old yet covers so much ground. Unspectacular but priceless in breaking up play in the situation we are in. He might make mistakes, but he doesn't hide.

Having been fuming with Iwobi and discussing him at length at half-time to those who would listen, I then end up embracing the supporter, who I hadn't met before, sat next to me when Iwobi pulls one out of the bag not long after half-time. A strange and unpredictable game is football.

I don't know if Pickford meant that penalty save or it just fell kindly. I didn't care and I think it was Mykolenko who smashed it into the sky or Row Z afterwards. Have it. At that point,I was still trying my best to breathe calmly. In fact… to just breathe.

As soon as Coleman went down, we knew it was serious. That lad doesn't go down easy and I could tell by Jordan Pickford's reaction. It was actually Jordan that was signalling to the bench and the officials straight away. Sadly, depending on what it is, that might be the end of Seamus as an Everton player.

It didn't replicate last season's visit to that soulless shell of a stadium and we didn't get the win, but importantly, we didn't lose and the atmosphere generated by a trodden fanbase was something to behold. How dare they demonise us, but that's another argument. We are focused on our team and that was apparent in spades last night as we willed them on, even when we went behind.

We are still in touch and that performance will have done a lot for confidence as we approach the next few critical games.

We showed spirit and fight, both in the stands and on the pitch. I still worry about the manager's reluctance to change things. He seems very one-dimensional. We've become accustomed to the usual 60-minute changes over the years, but this one seems reluctant to change and if he does, it is forced through injury or is left to the 80th minute.

I caught the last train back from Leicester to St Pancras and then navigated the tube home. Back in for about 2:15 am to be woken by the dogs at 5:30 am as ever. A long day.

Another late kick-off at Brighton away. Not so bad for me, although still a long trip. But for those travelling from Merseyside, a 17:30 kick-off on the south coast and having to navigate the M25 is going to be a long one. But they will be there. Sold out.

Not out of the woods yet, but we can see the blue fields beyond the trees.

We can do this. Believe.

Reader Comments (52)

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Andy Crooks
1 Posted 02/05/2023 at 16:39:12
Brilliant, Danny. Well done to you and every Blue who went, who always go. Raised my spirits big time. We are still alive.
Dennis Stevens
2 Posted 02/05/2023 at 17:10:49
Totally illogically, I have a an odd feeling that we may get something on the South Coast. By which I mean a result of some kind, not one of those STDs!
Christopher Timmins
3 Posted 02/05/2023 at 17:16:05
We certainly can do it Danny particularly with a fitter DCL on board.

We don't make things easy for ourselves.

Brighton on Monday, I will settle for the result in the corresponding fixture last season.

John Raftery
4 Posted 02/05/2023 at 17:21:54
Danny, thanks once again for the report after your long day on the rail tracks. Following the mauling on Thursday this was a very good recovery of form and belief. It was very frustrating not to come away with all three points. We certainly could not have asked for more in terms of effort. If last night’s starting eleven had been in place for half the games this season I believe we would be higher up the league by several places. Without question the player who made the most difference last night was DCL despite his glaring miss.

Dyche has his critics among more than a few of the fans. I too was puzzled last night as to why he resisted introducing fresh legs for the last twenty minutes. Yet a return of one point per game since he took over is considerably better than our form over the previous sixteen months. The fact he is having to work with players not all of them of his choosing, suggests to me that some of the criticism is overdone and premature.

Defensively the team often looks like an accident waiting to happen. I have lost count of how many goals we have conceded this season after losing or gifting possession in midfield. Examples include Iwobi v Man Utd in October, Gana v Brighton, Gana at Arsenal, Doucouré at Forest Iwobi at Chelsea and Gray v Fulham. I would hope more time spent with players on the training ground would not only reduce the mistakes but also help mitigate the consequences.

We now face two really tough games. In both of them defensive discipline in all parts of the field will be important. In that regard treasuring possession will be a key element. Quite possibly a draw at Brighton would lift us out of the bottom three. It is not a game we need to chase.

Jerome Shields
5 Posted 02/05/2023 at 17:22:04
I think Dyche thinking is the same as a poor man's Ancelotti.The player are not technical enough, so you have to play the same system every game and hope to limit player errors as much as you can, knowing this is a chance you have to take.

Well done Danny.

Martin Mason
6 Posted 02/05/2023 at 17:23:03
Well done Danny, perhaps see you at Brighton. Only 20 miles for me.
Peter Mills
7 Posted 02/05/2023 at 17:49:19
Danny, how did James Garner play? Watching on TV he didn’t seem to do a lot apart from being neat and tidy.

Did he add much to the midfield balance and shape?

Steve Croston
8 Posted 02/05/2023 at 17:54:44
I thought Garner had a good game, a solid 7 out of 10. His passing, both long and shirt, is good and he made some crucial interventions. Definitely not Cleverley Mk2 as he has been touted by some. I'm definitely warming to him and think we look more composed than with Onana.
Dale Self
9 Posted 02/05/2023 at 17:58:50
I’ll let Danny answer but I cannot resist a quick glowing review. It was maybe not as much his particular performance but how it enhanced possession. His positional awareness kept the ball from being stranded by a dribble often enough to deem crucial. Put in a leg or two as well.
Mark Murphy
10 Posted 02/05/2023 at 18:00:19
For a few years I honestly thought it was the Kung Pao stadium!
Anyway, being quite local I usually shun Brighton on a bank holiday but cannot wait for this one. I’ve got a feeling…..
Andrew Bentley
11 Posted 02/05/2023 at 18:00:41
Was scratching my head and trying to calm my son down who was getting angrier and angrier by the second at the lack of subs yesterday.

Both of us felt that Onana on for Gana would have offered us more energy for the last 20 at least in the middle and also with Gana being on a yellow there was a risk he could get a second one as he was covering for everyone.

Also, can't believe Dyche didn't put Gray on for Iwobi or even Doucoure for the last 20 as well as Leicester were there for the taking. Big Dom upfront was keeping them well occupied and Gray's pace running at them could have caused havoc.

Apart from that, just wish we'd had that level of intensity and performance weeks ago as we wouldn't be in the mire like we are now if we had! Oh and agree on Keane - still got to think that Mina is a better option and if he breaks down then put Keane on

Dale Self
12 Posted 02/05/2023 at 18:05:11
Agreed on not subbing Iwobi for Gray but that second goal makes it debatable.
Dave Williams
13 Posted 02/05/2023 at 18:05:41
I only saw it on TV but Garner looks a decent player to me. Neat, passes well, can and does tackle hard and he will improve with more games. He reminds me of Paul Bracewell.
Danny- how many miles do you clock up in a season- you and the rest of the away fans are phenomenal!
I have a feeling we might do ok at Brighton if we sit tight and play on the break. DCL has made a huge difference!
Tony Everan
14 Posted 02/05/2023 at 18:09:55
I thought Garner did pretty well, considering he hasn’t had a proper run of games to get into a rhythm. He looked focused and has a good amount of aggression, so that any opponent will know they are not dealing with a pushover.

In possession he was always head up and looking for the forward pass and didn’t give away possession too much as far as I could see. He seemed secure in possession and wasn’t treating the ball like a hot potato like some of our lads do. As a result the midfield seemed a little more settled than with Onana in the same formation.

He tired towards the end of the game but the stamina will come the more he plays. I think Steve’s 7/10 rating is fair, it’s early days yet, we need to see more but a promising start.

Dave Abrahams
15 Posted 02/05/2023 at 18:10:17
I don’t know how you do it Danny but you seem to thrive on watching the Blues and enjoying meeting supporters of us and the opposition, I hope you and the rest of those long suffering travelling fans get what we all want at the end of the season.

If you bump into Martin (Mason) do me a favour Danny buy him whatever he wants and me or Tony will fix you up next time you are in Liverpool, thanks in advance.

Danny O’Neill
16 Posted 02/05/2023 at 18:17:47
Obviously it's all a bit opinionated based.

The encouraging thing is that Garner looks comfortable on the football.

But players like him need runners in front of them.

Options, to play forward to.

Garner is a good good player and young, so can develop. Local lad as well.

Dave Abrahams
17 Posted 02/05/2023 at 18:19:16
Tony (14) that seems a very good estimation of how James Garner is shaping up, he likes the ball and knows what to do with it, pity he missed those few months out injured but I think he will get better the more he plays.
Jay Harris
18 Posted 02/05/2023 at 18:21:37
Danny your enthusiasm and dedication knows no bounds and is a credit to you.

Agree with you totally on Keane. Many of us have criticised his lack of concentration and speed for years and he has been responsible for some howlers.

I do think however that we harp on the mistakes rather than the good things we do and for me to come away from the King Power with that performance makes me more confident we can beat the drop.

I would have dragged Iwobi off at half time for Gray ( who is the only real goalscorer after DCL) but just shows what I know as he bangs the equaliser in.

I get the impression that Dyche knows the squad is poor but is doing his best to build confidence and use a group of players who will adhere to his plan and give him 90 minutes.

It will be interesting to see who he picks for Brighton and how he approaches that game tactically.

Danny O’Neill
19 Posted 02/05/2023 at 18:46:26
Dave Abrahams, we do it through belief and love.

I have spoken to Martin. I didn't get to meet him at the last one, but I am sure we we will

See you at the next one Dave. Although Brighton is next!

Joe McMahon
20 Posted 02/05/2023 at 19:03:41
Danny this club doesn't deserve supporters like you, they never pay you back with success/silverware (known as Good Times).

Our next game is Monday night again also!

Paul Traill
21 Posted 02/05/2023 at 19:19:32
Nice one Danny. Keep the faith!
Brian Harrison
22 Posted 02/05/2023 at 19:27:49

Great piece and you and the rest of the guys who never miss an away game have our gratitude. You could clearly hear our fans throughout the whole game. I look you was asking why no subs, but after the match I thought who would I have brought on and more importantly who do I take off. Garner demonstrated what a good player he is, after the first half I would have subbed Iwobi but he redeemed himself in the 2nd half, Doucoure put in a shift and a lot of what Gana does goes unnoticed. So yes I felt we did need fresh legs, but can you imagine the stick Dyche would have got if he had made subs and we had lost.

Phil Wood
23 Posted 02/05/2023 at 19:55:25
Keep up your great support Danny.
Well done Mate!
Robert Tressell
24 Posted 02/05/2023 at 20:11:43
Jay # 18, that's probably the best observation I've seen about the game last night.

One of the many criticisms I had of Lampard this time last year was the constant changing of personnel. No one could get in a rhythm or form partnerships with teammates. We improved when he made more consistent selections.

Dyche, boring and frustrating though it is, is showing faith in a core group. As you say, that might well be to boost the confidence of a fragile bunch and help them get in that rhythm.

Bringing in a player in Mina's situation now (injured all season and leaving next month) seems daft to me - even if he possibly is the best CB of a bad bunch when fully fit.

The fact is that there isn't some combination of players or formation or whatever that will have us rocketing up the table. With the crap hand Dyche was given when he took over, it always looked as though we'd do well if we still had a chance of the final day.

I certainly haven't given up hope yet. We might only need 4 or 5 more points. Stranger things have happened.

Tony Abrahams
25 Posted 02/05/2023 at 20:22:45
The only reason that Everton is still a special club, is because of the support they receive from their absolutely fanatical fans.

Those phoney’s across the park, try and give our exasperated supporters stick for booing, and this has also been reflected at times with similar suggestions coming from the sycophantic media, but anyone who is prepared to tell the whole truth, would say that Everton have possibly got the best away support in The whole of England?

I’d have taken a point before the game, and I’d have bit your hands off for a point when Leicester got their penalty, especially after how well we played during that first half. If Leicester would have scored it’s possible we would have capitulated, and they would now be four points ahead of us, instead a solitary point.

The performance gave me hope but I was in bed an hour after the game, unlike our fanatical supporters who still had to travel home from Leicester, and wouldn’t have got to bed until a similar time to Danny.

Life has changed for me, but I’m slowly getting my life back, and one day soon I hope to start traveling with the fastest moving light infantry, this country has got to offer, once again!!

Peter Mills
26 Posted 02/05/2023 at 21:00:02
Thanks for the comments on James Garner.
Bob Parrington
27 Posted 03/05/2023 at 00:38:26
Was driving through Gundagai on the way to Sydney and couldn't watch the game live. Thankfully, could watch the game later due to Optus Sport recordings.

Well, firstly, thanks, Danny! … and all those supporters who went to King Power.

Wanted the win but main positive was the way we kept at them all the way to the end of the game and could have won.

If Pickford had dived either way on the penalty, the ponsy Maddison spot kick would have still gone in. So, good on ya Jordan. Well taken penalty by Calvert-Lewin and beautifully taken goal by Iwobi.

Their keeper played an outstanding game. I think this performance can give us a glimmer oh hope!

Pete Clarke
28 Posted 03/05/2023 at 02:47:02
Great report, Danny.

You supporters remind me of a family I knew in Sparrow Hall (Fazakerley) many years ago.

Mrs Connor run the local newsagent and I went in there one morning at 6 am to pick my newspaper up before heading to Stanlow oil refinery. She and her son had been to watch Everton Reserves play down at Ipswich the night before and she'd only been back an hour or so. The main reason they went to watch the reserves was because Peter Reid and physco Pat were making the long-awaited return from injury. They very rarely missed a game anywhere.

Our supporters have and always will be the backbone of this club and you all deserve club medals.

Bob #27, I was only trying to learn ‘Along the road to Gundagai’ on guitar last night.

How ironic that I read your post just now. How's things over East and can you drop in at Wagga Wagga and ask Philip Lowe to stop putting the interest rates up?

Kieran Kinsella
29 Posted 03/05/2023 at 03:47:24

I admire the likes of you Brent, Neil and Rob going to these away games and hoping against hope. At this point, the positivity of our away fans is probably our greatest strength. So keep at it and ignore posts from miserable old gits like me.

Danny O’Neill
30 Posted 03/05/2023 at 06:30:44
Some great comments on this thread. Thank you. I don't do it for any reason other than to share experience.

I am no bigger an Evertonian than any other. I'm the emotional optimistic fool.

The person to my left about to have a break down that I put an arm around. The person to my right screaming "shite Everton". The wise supporter behind me telling me everything will be okay. Stay calm. The young supporters who somehow keep going. So many emotions.

Obviously I am stereotyping various types. But it doesn't matter. We are all Evertonians. Every single one of us. And we all want the same thing.

I get told off most weeks by dedicated supporters who love Everton just as much as I do. That includes close family.

I won't ignore you Kieran. Or anyone else. I respect every Everton supporter's view on Everton. It is my club and has been since I was born. But it is our club. All of ours.

We are all there on Monday. In person, in spirit. Near and far. Wherever supporters are watching from, we are there.

They are not taking me down without a fight.

Mark Murphy
31 Posted 03/05/2023 at 07:22:32
I think I'd be in the “only goes for the ale” stereotype Danny but I love the aways and meeting good Blues like yourself.

Monday is a local game for me so I'm not “boasting” about going but looking forward to it immensely - they serve Harvey's Sussex Bitter at the ground - yay!

Everybody's favourite grumpy get, Martin, will be with me so I'll make sure you meet him this time. I've got his ticket here and he's front row so them lads with the black flag won't be able to spoil his view this time.

That and the win should cheer him up and maybe even Martin will realise we're NOT going down! UTFT!

Bob Parrington
32 Posted 03/05/2023 at 07:35:54
Pete #28, Great song.

Actually, we're watching our grandson play footee here in Sydney on Sunday morning and then staying in Wagga Wagga on Sunday night, leaving the 10-hour drive to Adelaide on Monday.

Great pub opposite the hotel – The Farmers Home. I think Philip Lowe stuck this one in yesterday before he gets removed from office!

James Hughes
33 Posted 03/05/2023 at 07:54:19
Danny, nice article, and if Avanti did loyalty points, you would be quids in.

In regards to Pickfords penalty save, he had a crib sheet on his water bottle which gave clues as to where to go. Maddison was 60% middle of the goal

Martin Mason
34 Posted 03/05/2023 at 10:21:48
If you look at Lyndon's article, Time to Stand Up and Fight, Everton, I reckon that the picture is at Palace the other week down in the corner of the Everton stand. I recognise the black banner, the wonderful fans standing on my seat and many of the faces around me.

Not me though. Must have been when they knocked me over and were standing on me. UTFT

Mark Murphy
35 Posted 03/05/2023 at 14:57:34
Same people, same flag – maybe, Martin, but that photo is at Goodison.

See you Monday.


Stephen Vincent
36 Posted 03/05/2023 at 15:32:19
'Not out of the woods yet, but we can see the blue fields beyond the trees'.

Unfortunately, Danny, I am very much concerned that it is just Brighton and Man City hiding in the bushes.

Another great piece, enjoying the series, you are starting to rival Michael Portillo.

Danny O’Neill
37 Posted 03/05/2023 at 16:16:32
Stephen, I am as concerned as you. I am genuinely struggling to sleep.

But I can't for one minute go to Brighton on Monday thinking for one minute we will be beaten 3 - 0 as I believe some on here have suggested.

And we can get something against Man City.

Anything is possible.

Paul Hewitt
38 Posted 04/05/2023 at 07:13:40
When I can't sleep because of a football team. That's when I know it's time too pack it in.
Danny O’Neill
39 Posted 04/05/2023 at 07:44:31
It's never ever time to give in.

Speak for yourself and your opinions Paul. I will for mine.

Happy to be challenged. Happy to debate.

Pack it in? Never ever.

Paul Hewitt
40 Posted 04/05/2023 at 07:53:58
Sorry if I offended, Danny. I simply meant me personally.
Martin Mason
41 Posted 04/05/2023 at 08:30:52
Brighton are a good side and we aren't and we don't normally play well there but we are improving with Calvert-Lewin back.

Coleman was a bad loss but we have a chance of getting a result and for me a draw would be a good result. I can't even think about a loss.

Bob Parrington
42 Posted 04/05/2023 at 08:39:01
We are all what we are. I started to follow Everton in 1953. My best mate was a red. Over the years we went to some blue and some red games together. Never tempted to change colour, my sons, daughter (married to a Red *that was difficult to take*), grandsons etc are all Blues fans.

Like you, Danny, I will never give in. Been to so many away games as well as the home games while I lived in various parts of England. Rotterdam then back to Wembley was my Swan song before moving to Oz.

Paul, I can understand, as it has been a difficult few years. We all know we need a clear-out, starting with the board. Just did this with a company I chair. Every director replaced. Massive difference, from total failure to success over 2 years. With football it cannot be any different. Really bad for at least 2 years. Clear out the board. This doesn't have to include the investors (usually).

But stick with us. We still have hope!!

I believe we will survive by the skin of our necks this season. Then, Mosh will take on board some additional investors and the board will be sacked. Maybe a separate business will be Everton in the Community but completely 'separate'.

Mal van Schaick
43 Posted 04/05/2023 at 08:45:36
You can see that the passion and effort is in the team, and got a result of sorts, that helps our cause. The same application against Brighton on Monday, and with our momentum building, I can see us getting all three points.
Bob Parrington
44 Posted 04/05/2023 at 08:47:19
Well said Mal. You might well be right. My feeling, too!
Gary Brown
45 Posted 04/05/2023 at 08:49:29
We've got to try and get results against Brighton and/or Man City.

Leeds have chances of points against West Ham and Spurs. We have to go into those two last games above them (and hopefully one of Leicester and Forest too).

On paper we have the better last two games, but we've fallen so far, I don't think many are expecting us to do it.

Andy Crooks
46 Posted 04/05/2023 at 09:42:15
I know the feeling, Danny.

I woke this morning (very early) and there's a break of about 10 seconds before the Everton knot tightens in the stomach.

Danny O’Neill
47 Posted 04/05/2023 at 11:24:15
No offense taken, Paul. Never will be.

Keep going – and we all do in our own way.

John Pendleton
48 Posted 04/05/2023 at 19:20:03
Andy (45)

Ten seconds? Luxury!

Jeff Spiers
50 Posted 05/05/2023 at 11:51:39
I remember that Wimbledon game. Had to get out of the house. Said to the bride want to go for a drive. Ended up in Blackpool. 2 1 down. Dont know why but stood on the sea wall.Ready to jump into the sea. Ironically tide was out! Everton stop doing this to the fans. 3 2 up. No jumping up and down, relief more like it. Fast forward to now. Still feel fucking sick. Wife thinks I should grow up
Mark Andersson
51 Posted 06/05/2023 at 15:39:02
Danny 30.. your words drew me in every single sentiment so true about Evertoinians.. then the reality kicked in.. of only the players today had the passion and pride that the support do...
Robin Emmerson
52 Posted 08/05/2023 at 10:21:45
I will be watching from behind the sofa in Gloucestershire tonight, hoping against hope that when I go up against City I won't be watching history written for the wrong reason. Still we turn up because we care. Unfortunately I lost my brother three weeks ago, he wasn't an Evertonian but one thing he did say to me:
"It's a disgrace that Everton are in the situation they are now" For an opposition supporter to say that shows we can't all be wrong about the culprits for this unforgiveable carnage.
Still we've got what we've got and the team has to step up to the plate for the fantastic supporters we have and then when the dust settles either way, sort out the "Deadwood and Parasites" and move forward. It will be slow and sometimes painful but we will, we're not going out of business because we are Everton not fair weather Red Mancs, Kopites and Chelski, the likes of which don't even watch on Sky because they're "not going to win anything."
We can do it but I think we're going to need 3 wins out of the 4 left. I'm going with this bit of advice from an old work colleague and hoping I can practise what I'm preaching - "An entire sea of water can’t sink a ship unless it gets inside. Similarly, the negativity of the world can’t put you down unless you let it get inside you."
Everton, you never shone so brightly!
Jeff Spiers
53 Posted 08/05/2023 at 12:38:22
Robin. Sorry about your brother. puts every thing in perspective. 1 nil win tonight mate

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