Everton 1 - 0 Bournemouth

It was the longest 43 minutes of our lives. 33 of the remaining minutes of the regulation 90 plus another 10 for substitutions, a delay for treatment to Jordan Pickford and unbridled celebrations for the goal that ultimately secured a 70th consecutive season of top-flight football for Everton Football Club.

43 minutes to see if the Blues could do what they had managed on only one other occasion at Goodison Park all season and score a second goal to practically remove all doubt. Or 43 nerve-shredding minutes to endure as the players gutted their way through Bournemouth’s attempts to play villain of the piece.

In the end, Abdoulaye Doucouré’s 20-yard rocket would be just enough. Leeds, with their inferior goal difference and air of defeatism having yet failed to win under bloviating emergency hire Sam Allardyce, needed a miracle; for Everton, Leicester City, with a six-goal advantage and plenty of talent in their ranks, were always the bigger danger.

As the Foxes increased their lead over West Ham 90-odd miles away at the King Power Stadium, so grew the implications of a goal by the Cherries who had not travelled up from the south coast to merely make up the numbers. Gary O’Neil clearly had no intention of losing a fourth match on the spin and his introduction of, first, Kieffer Moore and, then, Jaidon Anthony (who scored in each of the games against Everton at the Vitality Stadium last November) was proof enough.

It was hardly an onslaught or siege by Bournemouth during those seemingly endless added minutes but as balls were hoisted into the Blues’ box late on, varying degrees of fear flitted through hearts of anguished Evertonians before a moment of panic gripped the Grand Old Lady as substitute Matías Viña hammered a volley goal-wards in the fifth minute of stoppage time… only for Jordan Pickford to push it away with one final act of preservation in this most stressful of seasons.

With the final whistle just moments away in Leicester, a goal for the Cherries at that stage of the game would surely have sent Everton down.

Article continues below video content

As they have been for much of Dyche’s tenure so far, the Blues were up against it from the outset in terms of available players. Once again, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, rightly regarded as being vital to the team’s survival, had been ruled out, along with Vitalii Mykolenko which left the manager without his main striker and all of his senior full-backs.

For the first time since he took over from Frank Lampard, Dyche employed a back three, with Conor Coady and James Tarkowski playing alongside Yerry Mina on his swan song — a sensible move that beefed up central defence while allowing Dwight McNeil greater license to get forward than had been the case at Wolves last week where he had started at left-back.

The boss was aided by another terrific outing from James Garner who, playing out of position, put in arguably the standout performance on the day ahead of Idrissa Gueye, displaying composure, grit and intelligent use of the ball at crucial junctures. The 22-year-old came close to opening his account for Everton as well in first-half stoppage time but was foiled by a smart one-handed save by Mark Travers in the Bournemouth goal.

If the weakened starting XI didn’t portend potential doom, it was compounded by the fact that Bournemouth won the toss and forced the hosts to kick towards the Gwladys Street End in the first half.

Nevertheless, Everton began the game on the front foot but took a quarter of an hour to threaten the visitors' goal with the first of the few clear-cut openings of the contest. Demarai Gray, leading the line in place of Calvert-Lewin, won a corner on the right and when it was cleared to him outside the box, he drilled a shot that faded away from the target.

Everton's best chance of the first half fell to Gueye who was played in superbly by Amadou Onana but Travers tipped his rising effort over the crossbar and the goalkeeper had to be alert a few minutes later to push away another strong effort from the Senegalese international.

Doucouré bounced a shot wide from distance at one end but an error by Tarkowski almost condemned the Blues to a half-time deficit. The centre-half was dispossessed in a dangerous area but Mina got back to get a crucial touch on Dominic Solanke's shot to divert it behind while at the other end, Garner's curling effort was heading for the top corner but Travers batted it behind.

At the halfway stage, Evertonians were pondering the uncomfortable reality that, as things stood, their club was were heading out of the top flight. Leicester were ahead of West Ham thanks to Harvey Barnes’s goal but the Blues had another 45 minutes to make the breakthrough and then see out the clean sheet.

That breakthrough should have come just six minutes after the restart but Gray failed with a gilt-edged chance from close range. The ball was nodded into his path by Illia Zabarnyi in the six-yard box and he just had to deliver an emphatic finish but, perhaps put off contact from an approaching defender, miscued his header and Travers pushed it off the line and it was prodded behind to safety.

Six minutes after that, though, Doucouré imprinted his name indelibly on Goodison folklore alongside Barry Horne, Graham Stuart and Gareth Farrelly with a stunning 20-yard strike. Gueye's floated ball was initially cleared by Viña with his first touch and when it fell to Doucouré he smashed it home with such velocity that Travers barely moved.

The Old Lady erupted as one in elation before the hosts dug in to try and both defend the lead, and pad it if they could, but O'Neil's introduction of Moore threatened to add unwanted drama to the occasion.

The Welsh international's added height caused havoc at times and it was his knock-down that fell to Solanke in the box but Pickford made a decisive intervention, batting the ball off the striker's toes and apparently dislocating a finger in the process, while Mina finished the job by clearing his lines.

Everton's best moments in the closing stages came in transition as the Cherries tried to force home an equaliser and Gray wasted one great opportunity when he slipped trying to test the keeper from the angle before he was replaced by Ellis Simms.

The industrious Alex Iwobi had a shot deflected inches wide of the far post and Tarkowski headed over following a corner while Goodison held its collective breath at the other end as substitute Viña lined up that crisp volley that Pickford safely beat away.

Anguished Evertonians bayed for the final whistle as a couple of late free-kicks gave the visitors chances to heave the ball into the box but Everton's back line held before referee Stuart Attwell finally blew for full-time.

It’s not hyperbolic to say that this grand old club looked doomed in January when Lampard was finally sacked. With no support in the way of new attacking signings in the final days of the winter transfer window and cursed by ill fortune on the injury front, Dyche had a Herculean task on his hands to keep the Blues in the division.

There were question marks over some of his decisions and he only managed to win five of the 18 games he oversaw (fewer than many predicted he would need to guarantee safety) but he just about found a way to keep Everton up by hook or by crook.

The Toffees’ survival is also testament to the players who appeared at times to be lost but who never gave up the fight or their commitment to supporters who turned out in sold out numbers at Goodison Park and up and down the land.

Crucially in the final reckoning, just like last season, Everton were saved by the passion, faith and devotion of a fanbase that refused to bow to the dire fate that the actions of those charged with the stewardship of the club — absent once again on this most important of occasions — threatened to bring about.

Where rival clubs failed to muster the collective defiance and will, the power of the spirit that courses through this wonderful old institution and which is embodied within the storied brick, metal girders and wooden timbers of Goodison Park has proved too powerful to be extinguished.

For the quintessential top-flight club, finishing 17th this time around is cause not for celebration but relief. A true sleeping giant of the English game is not going under but lives to fight another day. However, real, extensive change has to now happen to ensure that we can truly ensure that Everton FC isn’t ever in the position of potentially fighting for its very existence again.

Reader Comments (52)

Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer ()

Ian Pilkington
1 Posted 28/05/2023 at 23:25:38
After the longest ever 30-odd minutes at Goodison Park I could only feel relief rather than euphoria at the final whistle. The atmosphere on the walk back to Kirkdale Station was surprisingly subdued. This must never be allowed to happen again.

MSP may provide investment for Moshiri but worryingly they are not big players and we need a new start with a complete takeover.

Dave Abrahams
2 Posted 28/05/2023 at 23:50:25
I roared like a lunatic when we scored, spent the rest of the game pent up with suppressed nerves and anxiety, then looked to the sky and said a silent prayer for our deliverance from relegation.

Walking to the bus stop, I reflected on the brilliant performance of James Garner, the non-stop efforts of Gueye, the solid games from Mina, Coady and Tarkowski along with McNeil, that brilliant save from Pickford near the end and the fantastic goal from Doucouré that won us the game.

I also realised we were lucky to stay up. Dyche coming in saved us but, most of all, three clubs performed worse than us and prevented us from going down. If Lampard had been sacked sooner, then I believe Dyche would have gathered enough points to save us from all this worry. That worry will return next season if there are no changes in the people who run the club.

James O'Connell
3 Posted 28/05/2023 at 00:04:52
With Coventry not coming up, I hope we go for Gyökeres.
Paul Kernot
4 Posted 29/05/2023 at 00:20:21
Firstly Lyndon, thank you for another great season of articles. You are my go-to post-game.

Surely now Moshiri has to wake the hell up and, if he isn't being bought out very soon, start to rebuild this mess immediately, starting with: we all know who.

Ian Black
5 Posted 29/05/2023 at 00:47:51
This wasn't like last season. After the Palace game, I was euphoric. It was like putting two fingers up to the system. We defied the odds and came good in the end.

This season, it was like, why are we here? There are so many reasons, signposted again and again and again. We didn't survive despite the odds, we survived because we didn't care about the odds and just carried on regardless.

Not buying a striker in January was criminal. Big reset is needed.

We are still a Premier League club and don't have to say we are in a lower division than Luton Town.

The over-riding feeling, both during and after the match, is numbness. Numb to the situation and numb to what happens next.

We need some hope for next season, hope that this will never happen again, hope that a rebuild will start (again). Hope that we have a team to be proud of.

My big hope for next season is that, going into the last game, I don't feel numb. Come on, Moshiri, sort your shit out and let's not have to endure this agony ever again.

Adam Fenlon
6 Posted 29/05/2023 at 02:27:00
Echoing Paul Kernot, thanks again Lyndon for the great reports and analysis after each match.

While they all put in a shift, I'm again grateful for the amazing composure of Jordan Pickford in the closing stages. Knowing that a fumble or lapse of concentration would doom us and lead to him being forever blamed for our demise, he didn't put a foot wrong. Not bad for a supposedly unreliable keeper with dinosaur arms!

Derek Powell
7 Posted 29/05/2023 at 05:41:41
We kept believing!
Frank Sheppard
8 Posted 29/05/2023 at 06:04:11
Well said, relief not celebration.

This was our worst season in our Premier League history, and worst in the top flight since returning in the early '50s. Lots of new records, all of them terrible.

Dyche definitely did enough, and changed the mentality enough to get us just over the line.

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
9 Posted 29/05/2023 at 06:12:58
So, if Moshiri is going to sort this out, what is he going to do?
Replace Dyche – a seventh manager in (plus two caretaker) his 7 years as owner?

Replace the board – which he has largely appointed – and what influence do they have in our team? They ain't got the money to invest and those who did sold their shares to Moshiri.

And so Moshiri has to admit he has made a huge error in appointing the board members he has, he has to find a number of new members and then what do we want them to do? Improve the income in the club so we can buy new players. That is about it. If it comes to new talent coming from the academy, then that will take years.

Much as we want to lay the blame at the door of the board, it is Moshiri who is the problem. The toxicity started after Ancellotti left and Benitez was appointed – and whose decision was that?

Unlike, I suspect, a fair number on here, I really hope West Ham Utd win the Europa Conference League Final. Moyes took a few of years of boring, don't get beat, get to 40 points football but, after 2007, we were never out of the Top 8 and the quality of the football improved.

We can moan that he lacked the adventure to gamble on making the breakthrough to Top 4 but would I rather have Everton of 2008-2013 or the Everton of today? That is a pretty dumb question.

And in those dark early years of Moyes, each season came good in the end and we had enough points to not worry by mid-March at the latest. And despite all the early years wobbles, the Chairman stuck by him and gave him time.

Same chairman, different way of operating (sack at first sign of trouble) – who is the difference? Moshiri is the problem.

Gary Brown
10 Posted 29/05/2023 at 07:27:44
I really want to see us break habits of a lifetime and act quickly in transfer market.

We desperately need cover at fullback, right midfield and centre-forward, so I'd personally try quickly now for:

Tino Livramento – £10M
Ché Adams – £15M
Viltor Gyökeres – £15M
Luke Thomas – £10M
Adama Traore – Free

That's a lot of holes filled for the Gordon money alone. With Branthwaite, Cannon and (hopefully) Warrington coming in to add depth too, hopefully we can focus on moving on Holgate, Godfrey, Keane, Gomes, Dele Alli, Gbamin, Maupay etc. somehow.

If we're lucky that'll give us enough space to add real quality – maybe a Beto type signing too. After the last 2 years, really want to see a change in how we work. Acting early and decisive would be a good sign.

Steve Shave
11 Posted 29/05/2023 at 07:37:12

Yesterday, I prayed to the footballing Gods, my prayers were answered. One more chance to build something, to correct wrongs, to get things right. We have been very fortunate. Lampard was taking us down, no doubt. Please give credit to Sean Dyche who was operating with his strong hand tied behind his back.

Next season we need to build around a core group of good younger players. Branthwaite (a must) and Tarkowski to form our starting centre-back slots. Patterson needs more time and I would give Seamus a reduced, 1-year extension. Left-back is an important position, I think someone to push Mykolenko all the way.

Garner, Doucoure (who has been good under Dyche) and McNeil. If we have to let someone go, I think the sacrificial lamb will be Pickford. I hope we get top dollar, replace sensibly and can reinvest.

We will need a couple of good loans. We will need to spend some money because I predict a transfer ban in October and a fine.

The youngsters with true potential will need space to develop, Warrington and Cannon spring to mind. I think we should offer Simms as a makeweight in the Gyökeres deal to give us a leg up over Brentford.

Danny O’Neill
12 Posted 29/05/2023 at 07:47:40
Lyndon, I said on Michael's report that manager, players and supporters were abandoned back in January. So we just got on with it in dire circumstances and a lack of leadership from the top. We collectively just done enough to do it on our own.

It was interesting hearing Dyche's words. Unlike many a predecessor, including Lampard after the Palace match last season, no praise for the Chairman and support of the board (what support?), he spoke frankly and realistically.

Allen Rodgers
13 Posted 29/05/2023 at 08:12:53
As others have said, it's a different feeling to last season's escape. It's sweet and sour. Difficult to explain this to my neighbour, a non-Evertonian.

"Thought you'd be jumping for joy," said he.

"Well, not really. Just relief."

Things have to change and right soon.

Rick Tarleton
14 Posted 29/05/2023 at 08:18:27
I don't honestly believe we totally deserved to escape, but the tears that rolled down my cheeks at the final whistle told of my emotional commitment.

I watched the last 20 minutes parading up and down, I couldn't sit still. I thought Garner, Pickford Mina and Tarkowski all played like heroes.

I read people suggesting who we should sign, who we're allowed to sign is more the question and who we can afford to keep. We are in a financial mire and next season could be very similar to this because of our economics.

Will Pickford and Onana be with us come August? The mess in the Boardroom is the first priority before we can begin to sort out the mess on the field.

John Burns
15 Posted 29/05/2023 at 08:28:50
Phil (9) makes some very good points about David Moyes's tenure. But it shows how our ambitions have been thwarted though for longing for 7th-place consistency. But I'd accept that in a heartbeat rather than going through yesterday again.

Thanks again Lyndon for your report and for your and Michael's editorialship. With Michael's unedited primeval screaming and barbed analysis and your elegant velvet prose, it makes you a perfectly balanced odd couple. Thanks to you both.

Colin Glassar
16 Posted 29/05/2023 at 08:29:19
I've got a weird, empty feeling today. Chuffed to bits, obviously, about staying up but I feel drained after another awful, insipid season.

Hats off to the fans. The real heroes who got us over the line once again. The look of despair on their faces at half-time was a damning indictment of the board and their incompetence. How far have they allowed us to fall.

It'll take a few days to get over this semi-traumatic day but we now need to start planning for the future. The announce of the board's resignation today will be a good start.

Rich Evans
17 Posted 29/05/2023 at 08:33:58
Horrible day until the 101st minute. Relief but not celebration for me, hopefully a clear out at the top and some sensible squad changes to begin (as previously said) another re-build.

I had to laugh this morning though – I was walking the dog in the local park about 8 am when a cigarette end came over the fence from someone's back garden and landed on the path in front of us, landing alongside the dozen or so other fresh fag ends on the path (at least two of which were still smoking).

I saw the top of a fella's head walking back and forth behind the fence and it clicked immediately…

I shouted, “You alright, mate?”, to which he replied “Me head's in the shed, mate.”

“Evertonian?” I enquired, kind of knowing the answer already. “Yeah, mate”.

Roy Johnstone
18 Posted 29/05/2023 at 08:38:55
I share the thoughts of most posters here. Relief. We can't sell this as a victory.

I'd like to see Dyche get some backing now, from a new board. With him, we had a chance and took it.

On Victor Gyökeres, having seen him in the flesh on Saturday, I would be worried by his poor first touch. Good running onto balls but he would struggle to trap a bag of sand.

Laurie Hartley
19 Posted 29/05/2023 at 08:55:39
Great report, Lyndon.

This is my favourite section:-
"Where rival clubs failed to muster the collective defiance and will, the power of the spirit that courses through this wonderful old institution and which is embodied within the storied brick, metal girders and wooden timbers of Goodison Park has proved too powerful to be extinguished."

Yes indeed – they can't kill us.

Watching the game on Optus Sport, I have to say yet again that I am very proud to be an Evertonian. The old and the young fellas but most of all the kids and the mad women really get my heart pounding and bring a tear to my eyes. Their loyalty and passion is priceless.

Squad depth is our real problem. These players are good enough with Dyche coaching them to achieve mid-table next season. We all know where we need to strengthen.

Lastly, I will be really sorry to see Yerry Mina leave. He is our best centre-half and a leader.

Dale Rose
20 Posted 29/05/2023 at 08:56:19
With a competent centre-forward yesterday, we would have been safe at half-time.

Garner, Iwobi and Tarkowski were the men yesterday.

Tony Everan
21 Posted 29/05/2023 at 09:01:36
No celebration today, just enduring relief.

My biggest fear is that Moshiri does nothing to change the year upon year incompetence at boardroom level. He thinks that a tweak here and there and buying a striker is all that is needed.

He couldn't be more wrong, a club without unity from top to bottom is set up to fail. Change had got to happen fast now as stability is desperately needed. Pre-season starts in about 6 weeks and that is where solid foundations are built from.

Kevin Thelwell and Sean Dyche need a transfer window which is coherent and fulfills a strategy. It is beyond comprehension that a club like Everton can play most of its games without a recognised striker. This is not a short term issue it is outright negligence over many years.

Martin Mason
22 Posted 29/05/2023 at 09:02:15
Good write up, Lyndon, and congratulations to team and fans for overcoming such massive adversity to eventually stay up.

The hard work starts now.

Danny O’Neill
23 Posted 29/05/2023 at 09:09:41
Very articulate point, Phil @9, apart from the use of the word "dumb question".

I get your point about rather having the Moyes team of that period versus what we have seen up and down the country these past seasons. That is a fair shout in the heat of the current moment.

But I could extend that debate to say I'd rather have Howard Kendall's Everton of the mid-'80s than the Everton of the '90s who, yes won a trophy, but escaped relegation on the last day twice. Or that '80s team who won 2 league titles and narrowly missed a 3rd to the one we have today.

For me, and admittedly in hindsight, as I initially knew what Moyes had to do, the Moyes years symbolised the onset of lowering expectation. Be happy with your lot. Plucky little Everton. When I look back, he and Kenwright were a match made in heaven. Supress the masses and take away their belief.

Fortunately that hasn't happened. You only have to be in those grounds all over the country to see that in the young supporters, who won't stop believing. They certainly keep me going.

I don't care what Moyes does with West Ham. We are not West Ham. We are Everton. 9 times League Champions. That is our baseline and mantle. That is how I measure our club.

Despite the barren years, no one will ever tell me and thousands of others different.

Ben King
24 Posted 29/05/2023 at 09:10:15
Let's be clear: in January, we were destined to finish bottom. Not just relegated but bottom.

Then Dyche came in and was offered literally zero support from his employers. Given a weaker squad than Frank had (as we sold Gordon who was a forward and our top goalscorer) and obviously no fit recognisable strikers.

And somehow, Dyche has made a silk purse from a sow's ear!!! Somehow, he's gained points and made us a threat and won enough points to stave off relegation.

He deserves enormous credit for what he's achieved this season. Obviously many of us will say he overused the ineffective Maupay and could have played Mina sooner but he's not going to get every decision right.

And look at the bench yesterday: 2 goalkeepers, 2 kids who have never played before, the ineffective Maupay, the as yet unproven Simms and the dizzying talents of Holgate and Keane. He's performed a miracle!!

I'd actually offer Mina a 2-year deal and risk the inevitable injuries he'll get. It'd save a transfer fee elsewhere.

We have to build around Garner. Our only true footballers are Garner, McNeil, Iwobi and Patterson. The rest are athletes. And we need players with guile, a footballing brain and skill.

And then the tricky forward areas: do we have money to spend? Are we currently compliant with P&S Rules?? All of this is opaque to us fans. We just don't know.

But we have to stick with Dyche for 2 or 3 seasons if only to gain some much-needed stability, reset and breathe and then aspire to greater things. Remember, he did get Burnley into Europe so it's not kissing ambition goodbye. Instead, it's back to a proper organised, pragmatic footballing approach. I much prefer that to Frank and Rafa…

Martin Mason
25 Posted 29/05/2023 at 09:19:04
Well said, Ben.
Ian Bennett
29 Posted 29/05/2023 at 09:26:29
Now that we are safe, the obvious question is how do we stop the cycle of being in trouble over the last 2 seasons?

Under Dyche, I do think he will create a team that is hard to beat, get Goodison involved, and have a team that gives everything. A reset of going back to basics if you like – but it will need more quality in the final third.

The squad is clearly short, but now I'd expect intelligent signings to build a team that is workmanlike, but safe. Cheap physical players and good loans.

The club has to get value on a Saturday as well. The injury situation has to be addressed. We can't carry on with players where they're earning £100k, but playing one in three. And a lob-sided squad of 7 odd centre-backs.

1. Onana
2. Mina
3. Mykolenko
4. Vinagre
5. Keane
6. Holgate
7. Begovic
8. Lonergan
9. Davies
10. Townsend
11. Maupay
12. Gomes
13. Alli
14. Gbamin
15. Virginia
16. Nkounkou

That's 16 players that need shifting, that are contributing not a lot to our club on game day. If we can get rid of these, and bring in some key pieces at left-back, upfront, back-up keeper, and right midfield.

There are players out there. They don't all have to be £20-30M plus.

Chris Leyland
30 Posted 29/05/2023 at 09:29:52
Well said, Ben. I said on another thread yesterday that Dyche's points-per-game record since he took replicated over a full season would have seen us comfortably mid-table.

He managed this despite not really having a striker or any goal scorer anywhere else on the pitch.

He wasn't able to sign anyone when he took over and had to use the same squad that had managed 15 points in 21 games.

He joined a club in the midst of a civil war with a dysfunctional boardroom.

He's lost 4 full-backs to injury plus the stand-in full-back in Godfrey.

He's had to have 2 keepers and a load of kids on the bench a lot of the time.

Despite all this, he managed to eke out 5 wins and we lost 7 games since he came in. 6 of those 7 losses were against 6 of the final top 7 teams. The other was Fulham at home. He made us competitive and difficult to beat when playing the teams outside that top group.

He deserves enormous credit for what he achieved with the cards he was dealt.

Sean Turtle
31 Posted 29/05/2023 at 09:31:31
I take your point, Ian, but I'm not sure who is going to want purchase many of them.

I'm in the camp of seeing a real player in Onana, though I realise he may not want to stay next season. I also think Townsend is worth keeping, but bar that, I'd be happy to see the rest leave.

I did think, while under Ancelloti, that Holgate could turn into a top-class player, but that ship sailed a while ago. And I was ecstatic when we signed Gomes permanently, I think he's a class man, and a good player – but the Son injury did for him.

Sean Turtle
32 Posted 29/05/2023 at 09:34:04
My real fear is that the P& S Rules mean we're already hamstrung. I think you'd need 3 or 4 windows to rebalance the squad.

And the threat of a points deduction next season seems very real, so we might need to finish (in terms of points) in the top half to absorb any penalty.

Brian Harrison
33 Posted 29/05/2023 at 09:42:58

As a team and a club, we are light years away from the side Howard Kendall put together. I would humbly suggest that we start by having realistic ideas of what we want next season.

We will do well if we manage to finish in the top half and, with how Brentford and Brighton are evolving, that's no given.

And wasn't Dyches demeanour a marked difference to Lampard's dancing on the roof of the stand to having avoided relegation. Instead, he said this isn't something to celebrate a club like Everton avoiding relegation.

He spoke about how broken – or 'cracked' as he put it – this club has become. While this owner and this board are here, even with Dyches determination, it will be impossible to change the culture.

Just a brief word on the game. I don't think I have stood up so much at a game, as did the majority in the ground.

Despite the disaster this season has been, I think in young Garner we have found a gem; no wonder Paul Scholes said he was one of the best midfield players he had seen at Man Utd for a long time and was gutted he left. Playing in an unfamiliar role, he was brilliant.

Mina has been our best centre-back – just a shame about his fitness record. Great goal from Doucouré – a man who couldn't get into Lampard's team and was sent to train on his own.

Sean Dyche should be given the time and funds he needs to rebuild this club and under him the minimum requirement will be maximum effort which we have seen very little of before Dyche arrived.

Finally to all those idiots who ran on the pitch with the CCTV they should be able to be identified and fined. I felt sorry that Mina wasn't allowed to say goodbye to the fans and Dyche couldn't be applauded for keeping the team in the Premier League.

Mike Doyle
34 Posted 29/05/2023 at 09:45:36
Sean #32,

I fear you are correct. The money that will may come in from Blythe and MSP appears to be destined for the stadium build.

I'm guessing, therefore, that any new spending can only be funded by sales or that recent EFC favourite – free transfers.

I hope Paul the Esk will cover this on his next Talking The Blues podcast (once he has sobered up from yesterday).

Ian Bennett
35 Posted 29/05/2023 at 09:52:59
Onana will be a player, mate, in time, but if we have limited money he will be sold.

I think he will want a top club, and will have top clubs looking at him. It will be a mutual parting of the ways. Another good player that we'd prefer to keep, but sacrificed to cover the duff garbage we've spaffed a fortune on.

Townsend isn't going to make a huge amount of difference £. He's out of contract, not on big wages – but a bad injury for a player at the end of his career… I think he's done.

David Bromwell
36 Posted 29/05/2023 at 10:10:12
Time for reflection and praise for the manager who I think is the main reason we are still in the Premier League.

Like many others, I have been critical of his selections, substitutions and style of play. But now when you consider just what the scale of his job entailed, he has proved himself, with his staff and methods and he has achieved the impossible.

So thank you, Sean, we now need to learn how to love you, and you us, and with some luck and importantly a new board with depth and experience – we may just have a partnership made in heaven.

James Lawton
37 Posted 29/05/2023 at 12:57:31
Why do we big up other clubs, yet are able to find so many things to criticise with our own?

I keep reading how wonderful Brighton, Brentford, and others are, but the fact is they are not. True, they are doing well at present, and it seems to many that are going to carry on in that vein. In my view, they will only go one way, and that is down the table.

Bournemouth – finished 3 points above us.
Wolves – manager throwing his toys out of his pram because of lack of investment (try being the manager of Everton, sunshine).
Nottm Forest – Will 30 new signings be enough for you, Mr Cooper? (Everton signed who?).

Others basking in the glory of qualifying for European football by finishing in the Top 7 (laughable).

Everton in recent times have lost their main sponsor, been deserted by owner and board, had unprecedented injuries (Godfrey – broken leg after 10 minutes of the season!). Many of these injuries have been to key players.

Please don't give any thought to these other clubs, they are all irrelevant to Everton. Not one of them would have survived the trials of Everton. Good grief, Leicester, who played in Europe last season, Champions 5 years ago, sold many of their good players, and fell through the trap door.

In my opinion, Sean Dyche has performed a miracle keeping Everton where they belong, and he deserves great credit, willing to come to the club with its current disharmony, and giving us all another opportunity to get back to where we belong.

There is only one team in football that I care about, and that is Everton – not remotely interested in the others. They only exist so we can beat them. I will enjoy the Summer, and am very positive about the future.

Danny O’Neill
38 Posted 29/05/2023 at 12:59:25
I know, Brian.

Despite my emotional and overly optimistic ramblings, I am occasionally realistic.

I know where we are.

But my bar is what I grew up with. Both on what I was educated on (tales of the '60s), and what I witnessed in the '80s.

I can't accept mediocrity. Doing what we need to do to dig ourselves out of a hole, I can tolerate for a period.vBut I have my standards and ambition for Everton and that is to compete.

Man City and Chelsea fans decades ago would never have dreamed they would be where they are or have been now. Why can't we?

If we want to go down the scale, Brighton in Europe having been on the brink and without a stadium to play in. Villa having been relegated 3 times in my lifetime back in Europe.

Newcastle have been relegated at least 3 times in my lifetime, twice recently; now in the Champions League. And they've done that quickly from being on the brink of another relegation. Anything is possible.

I believe. I always will. But my bar is higher than the Kenwright-Moyes partnership years.

I'm sure yours are as well, Brian. You always talk sense and realism. I'm the optimistic fool. Give me a day to sober up and come down and I'll be talking about European qualification.

Martin Mason
39 Posted 29/05/2023 at 13:18:27
I have always thought of Dyche as a bargain basement manager of little real skill but I give him massive credit for turning us around and keeping us up.

He could also be just the man we need to develop the club using homegrown and low-cost talent which, in the absence of money, has to be our future.

Mid-table next season? I think that would be exceptional.

Nick Page
40 Posted 29/05/2023 at 13:23:40
Agreed Martin. Dyche deserves a good go at the job.

We need massive changes in every department starting at the top. And we need it quickly.

Brian Harrison
41 Posted 29/05/2023 at 15:00:22

I would never want you to lose that fantastic optimism which you always have when talking all things Everton.

I have been very lucky to have seen all the glory years under Catterick and Kendall and Joe Royle's FA Cup win.

All I was saying is let's not put unrealistic targets on what Dyche has to acquire. He is absolutely the right manager for us right now, and I believe he will change the mindset of this club in the next couple of seasons.

The main thing is, now that we have got Premier League football, then it's time for Moshiri and the board to leave and let people who want to drive this club forward with Dyche in charge to take over.

I don't want Moshiri to spend another minute owning this club; as has been shown, putting money in alone is not the answer. Time for Moshiri & Usmanov to take what they can get and leave and let more committed owners take control.

Martin Mason
42 Posted 29/05/2023 at 18:43:40
The problem for all clubs now is that new owners and investors have no interest in or commitment to the club at all but in how much of the fantastic income available they can bleed off for themselves.
Danny O’Neill
43 Posted 30/05/2023 at 00:19:30
I totally agree Brian.

I was using parallels in my expectations for Everton.

Like you, I've witnessed success, which gives me huge respect for those young supporters who have fed of scraps of hope.

There is short-term realism, but it doesn't stop the long-term expectation.

And things can turn quickly. Look at Newcastle.

We will get there.

Bob Parrington
44 Posted 30/05/2023 at 08:37:05
Got up at 1am to watch it on Optus. Glad I did but the heart was beating so fast afterwards there was no chance for more sleep. Ne'er mind, would have been worse if we lost.

Most of the comments on here are spot on IMO. Time for change and quick time. No hanging around, wasting good time. The CEO has to be decisive. She runs the business. Can be a vote of no confidence in her pushed by other board members. The Chairman should retire before he's kicked out.

If there's new money coming in, the deal needs to be settled this week and the board structure altered accordingly.

Personally, I hope Sean Dyche is not pushed out. IMO he has done a lot for the club and deserves a chance to build on what he has done with a properly balanced squad of players.

Gary @ 10 is on the right track. There should be a good number of decent players on the market as not all the not all of the Leeds, Leicester and Southampton team players are useless.

Maddison in MF would do. Also did ant of you see the goals scored by Sulimani ??? (Don't know how to spell it) of So'ton vs the RS?

Enjoy your summer break guys and Gals (winter for us down under). Onward and upward! COYB.

Bob Parrington
45 Posted 30/05/2023 at 08:45:19
Sorry, I missed at least one important thing. I'm sure we can all Thank Lyndon and Michael for their great coverage, which sparks the conversations. ToffeWeb is truly something special.

Also, excellent reports from Paul, the Esk and others, not to miss out Danny O'Neill, wearing his heart on his sleeve always, for his newsy match day memories.

Mal van Schaick
46 Posted 30/05/2023 at 12:50:29
It was a bit nail biting watching Everton and following other results, the managers team selection and tactics made sure that we were solid enough defensively and I too thought Garner was the M.O.M.

Ben is spot on with his analysis and Ian#29 I agree with your outs bar Keane, all the others can go.

I would like to see some immediate response from the board aimed towards Dyche, with regard to where the club is financially and under what restraints that Everton are operating. Dyche himself has laid bare in his interviews, what direction he thinks that the club need to go in, for us to make the necessary progress to improve matters on the pitch.

What all of us don’t want to see is dithering and inactivity by the board. No plan to make that progress and when decisions are made, I want to hear from Dyche. He is the one who is stamping his authority on what we need. He is the one that the fans will trust. If he is not supported or given the tools to do the job, I fear he may walk. What would that say about the owner and the board?

Neil Tyrrell
47 Posted 30/05/2023 at 19:03:40

Watched this "from every angle" video of Doucoure's goal of the season a few times in a row now, it's brilliant!

Dale Self
48 Posted 30/05/2023 at 19:18:23
Oh yeah, I thought Onana missed the point blank header not Gray.

Yes what Ben said. The distinction between athletes and artists is nice. I don’t know the market but Picks and Onana could get prices worth a look. From that we should be able to reload at RB and LB. A more aggressive LB and a more defensive RB would work.

Then obviously a stopper and striker are the key acquisitions. Striker could be a loaner but the CDM is somewhat a search for the new captain. If it works out in the market.

Brent Stephens
49 Posted 30/05/2023 at 19:25:37

At about 2 min 34sec, after we've just scored, the crowd shot includes a young lad in two-tone grey top who just seems insensitive to it, biting his fingernail! What The Fuck!

Danny O’Neill
50 Posted 30/05/2023 at 19:34:12
Brent, I also noted those crutches.

I'm convinced they are the ones I've seen in quite a few grounds this season!!

Ed Prytherch
51 Posted 30/05/2023 at 19:40:19
Does anyone seriously believe that Maddison would come to Everton? He will be getting paid £100k+/week and playing Champions League football next season. Same for Barnes, Tielemans, etc.
Neil Tyrrell
52 Posted 30/05/2023 at 19:43:30
Made me watch it again Brent, not that it took much arm twisting. Probably had popcorn husks stuck in his teeth or something, that really can be annoying but fingernails ain't getting them out!

The crowd shots are euphoric, I love the dedicated Dyche camera too. Doesn't even raise a fist for a £3.5 million goal, just a quick sip of water and back to work.

John McFarlane Snr
53 Posted 30/05/2023 at 20:10:13
Hi Danny [43],

I was exactly like yourself in my younger days, travelling all over the place following Everton; however, age and ailments have eaten away at my enthusiasm.

It's known by many that Michael Kenrick and I don't see eye to eye on this site, but I have attempted to re-read his match report in which he took umbrage at some who had decided that Everton were doomed to be relegated early in the season. Unfortunately I haven't been able to find the thread, but I would like to place it on record that I agree 100% with his views, which he delivered in a more colourful way than I could have done.

I have always believed that anything is possible in a football match and I will always look for a bright light, and will only accept relegation if the required points can't be achieved by the number of games remaining. I have little respect for "wannabe managers or clairvoyants" but accept that it takes all kinds to make this site as interesting as it is.

Danny O’Neill
54 Posted 30/05/2023 at 20:37:28
Here you go John.


It's been an exhausting season, sleeping on trains and not through excessive drinking. Sheer long days and emotional tiredness. Leaving early, getting home late. You and thousands of others know the sketch.

I was at Chelsea and Brighton, which were memorable. Warped to say that in a season like this.

But I commented on the latest podcast earlier that, bizarrely, Wolves was the moment for me with Mina's goal 30 seconds from the end of the 99th minute.

It kept our destiny in our hands. Win at Goodison and we are safe. As you say, anything is possible in a game of football.

Top-flight football for Goodison's swan song, then onto the new Everton Stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock.

In the Premier League.

Lev Vellene
55 Posted 30/05/2023 at 22:27:47
I really, really hate waiting for the hammer to drop!

I know Lyndon will have a very good one for us very soon, but I sort of want it as soon as possible...

Come on, we've vented! Now, give us something to consider! :)

Add Your Comments

In order to post a comment, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.

» Log in now

Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and Talking Points submissions across the site.

How to get rid of these ads and support TW

© ToffeeWeb