Everton 0 - 1 Fulham

Despite the frustration of the result, in hindsight and after a much-needed night's sleep, it wasn't that bad. We created and had the chances but couldn't convert. Defence will get you so far, but you are always testing the law of averages with those tactics. We did test that rule of thumb and got punished in what was otherwise a close game. I think we'll have to get used to it under this manager. There will be a lot of these that may go either way. It reminds me of the Moyes years. Keep it tight and nick one? 

Another long day. Up at 5am, out with the hounds and then off into London. Although delays on the Metropolitan Line caused me to be slightly delayed and I arrived at Lime Street later than I had planned. 

The train was quiet, a few Fulham supporters sat next to me. A father and son, with the son sleeping all the way with his face planted on the table. It was like he was being dragged to the match. I hope his trip back was better. Quite a few travelling Blues also, talking of past glories and missed chances of times gone by. That was to ironically be a theme of the forthcoming match. 

A catch up at The Harlech Castle with a few, meet with Tony, then off the ground with his two lads. Although I had to take the inevitable diversion to the Goodison Supper Bar as they headed in. I had been pre-warned, but there were different people serving. I felt like part of my teenage years had been taken away from me. I was still able to get my usual, although it didn't feel the same. First World problems, I guess. I just made Z-Cars as I headed up the stairs and took my seat next to Michael. 

On the match and performances. I thought Patterson looked steady. I didn't like that Garner seemed to be playing in a wider position. Stick him in front of the defence in what we now call the Number 6 role. I'm not saying he's Peter Reid, but that has to be the best position for him in my opinion. Ashley Williams Young could prove to be an astute experienced signing. 

Doucouré didn't seem to be getting as forward as often, which made him so effective towards the end of last season, although he did miss a gilt-edged chance when he did on one occasion.

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We defended well for most of the game but I got very concerned that our midfield was again wide open. Also, how wide apart our centre-backs were on occasions? By all means, stretch the pitch when in possession, but go compact when we don't have possession; otherwise, it's mind the gap and, quite often, I could see their centre-forward sat right in that gap from my viewpoint.

I've defended Onana, and he may have potential, but he needs to stop being anonymous for large parts of the game. With the right focus and attitude, he can have more of an impact on the game and realise his potential. Yesterday, not for the first time, he went missing and left Idrissa with too much to do on his own, especially with Garner seemingly in a wider position. 

I thought we scored a legitimate goal and was confused at the decision. I'm not even going to watch it back. The keeper makes a mistake climbing over Tarkowski and drops the ball in my view. The ref blew it straight away without even thinking about it.

Pickford was hardly challenged throughout the match and their keeper had one of those days. Yes, we can be harsh on Maupay and also Doucoure for missing a number of sitters. I was at the time. But Leno got to everything yesterday and couldn't be beaten. We've had those moments these past couple of seasons with Jordan. If I am being impartial, Leno was Man of the Match and gave them the points. Apart from him, we'd have won that.

In general, a scrappy game between two average sides and one in which we had most of the chances.

The goal was self-inflicted. We put ourselves under pressure unnecessarily and were caught out of shape on the backfoot and opened ourselves up to make it easy for Fulham. I could see it happening as the situation unfolded very quickly. Until then, I didn't think they had a goal in them.

For an opener against Fulham, I thought the crowd done their bit once they got going. It was a bit quiet in the streets during the build-up. Subdued almost.

We know we still need change off the pitch but, on the pitch, this manager needs to make changes sooner when Plan A isn't coming off. I thought it had 0 - 0 all over it even though we should have and could easily have won that. I suppose in his defence, what are the options to change things? But he does seem very hesitant and leaves it late. Very late.

As always, I stayed until all the players had left the pitch. Several of them came over and to be fair, despite a few boos, they got a decent reception from those who had remained. 

Anyway, always a pleasure visiting the home city, catching up with people. Massive thanks to Tony – your boys are a credit to you and your brother a very knowledgeable studier of football to sit next to.

The couple next to us were great. I don't know their names, but as he got more and more agitated, his wife was telling him to calm down and grow up. He finally decided he'd had enough and told her he was going to The Brick with about 10 or 15 minutes to go! Great people though and I spoke to both throughout the match.

Customary trip to the Arkles. A chat with the Barman (Evertonian) and my usual request for him to take down all of those red scarfs, greeted with a smile. A chat to a polite couple from London in their Liverpool shirts who had been on a visit to Lucifer's Den. I swung past Bramley-Moore Dock on the way back as I hadn't made it before the match. The new stadium is looking majestic.

Travelling back on the train, especially after a match against a London club, can be an interesting place, especially when we've lost. Most were fine and I was sat sharing a table with a few young Fulham supporters. Then another barges past and takes offence to the fact I was wearing a Germany top (I just put it on, no reason).

He started giving me an English Defence League style barrage about me being a Scouse Adolf Hitler and calling Liverpool (the city) a shithole. I "calmed him down" and told him where to go, reminding him that he's probably on his way back to some relatively affluent area like Putney. Absolute dick amongst an otherwise very sociable crowd. 

5 am start, 11 pm finish, but always worth it. It's one game. There are 37 more to play for. Without stating the obvious, convert the chances we are creating and we'll be fine. Maybe even compete.  

Aston Villa sold out, I can't make Wolves, and Sheffield United is already sold out. I guess it's Doncaster on a Wednesday night. 

We're going to be okay.

Reader Comments (55)

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David Cooper
1 Posted 13/08/2023 at 2023/08/13 : 15:48:32

It’s a sign of how desperate I feel that I write this after only one game of the 2023-24 season. Normally I would wait for at least 4 or 5 games before making a judgement. But after yesterday, I don’t think anyone at Everton can see what we are missing. 

We have now played 39 games without a goal scorer. The definition of madness is keep doing the same thing and expecting different outcomes. Then it confirms that there is a “madness acceptance” at Goodison Park and I dread the thought that Sean Dyche has caught this state of mind. I really hope not as he is no football fool. 

There’s no point in keeping doing the same thing, ie, playing Maupay, waiting for Calvert-Lewin, hoping that Chermiti is the answer to our prayers. We need to generate a decent amount of money within Profitability and Sustainability limits to buy a £30 million-plus goalscorer.

To do that, we have only one or two saleable assets that can generate that amount of money – Pickford or Onana. I ask the question: Which of those two regularly make a difference to the result? It’s Jordan Pickford.

So that leaves Amadou Onana, who had a good game yesterday but didn’t really make a difference. So I would look to sell him to whoever wants him for as much money as possible. Don’t wait – do it this week… but this Everton and we know that won’t happen. But, with 37 games to go, even with Calvert-Lewin playing (injury permitting), we are already in the proverbial shit.

I really don’t think we would think this as a bad move if we were able to get in someone who could put the ball in the back of the net. Would we miss Onana? Yes, we might complain that we are now a “selling club” but who really gives a shit?


Alex Gray
2 Posted 13/08/2023 at 15:49:59
Good article.

I find the criticism of Onana a bit baffling to be honest. He faded second half without a doubt but I thought first half everything good that we did came through him.

He's by far the best passer in our midfield and turned defence into attack really well. He also created some of our best chances.

David Cooper
3 Posted 13/08/2023 at 16:03:12
My post was not a criticism of Onana!

At a different time and place, he would become top midfielder with physique, skill and speed. The key words are “will become”. We need now!

Alex Gray
4 Posted 13/08/2023 at 16:10:35
My post was aimed at the article saying he went missing, David, not you, mate!
Jim Bennings
5 Posted 13/08/2023 at 17:03:07
Aye, goals win games, every club knows that apart from us.

We can't blame bad luck for Doucoure missing a guilt edged sitter or Patterson not being able to slot into an empty net when the goalkeeper is on the floor flailing, it's bad finishing not bad luck.

If we'd had Lukaku of 2015-17 playing for us then we'd have won that game 4-0.

When you sit there and pretend that Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who hasn't been able to play 6 games on the spin since Carlo Ancelotti was here, will all of a sudden be fit for the rigours of the Premier League, then you might as well just throw the towel in.

Michael Lynch
6 Posted 13/08/2023 at 20:51:55
It was an entertaining enough game, but nobody in the Premier League had more chances against them than Fulham last season, so the fact that we created a lot is pretty irrelevant – every team will do the same against Fulham.

Three points dropped, a bad start, and we badly missed McNeil. Leno was Fulham's best player, but Doucoure and Patterson should both have scored. I particularly worry about Patterson – I'd much rather play Seamus when he's fit, or Garner like we did at the end of last season.

Ashley Young was good, as was Iwobi in the first half. That lung-busting run down the left was sensational, and deserved to end in a goal.

Tough times ahead, but we knew that would be the case.

John Raftery
7 Posted 13/08/2023 at 21:45:37
Thanks for the report, Danny, on yet another long day with frustration and disappointment at the centre of it.

I thought Young gave a composed performance at left-back. In contrast Patterson was anything but composed. Supposedly his ability as an attacking full-back made him an obvious long-term replacement for the sadly missed Seamus.

We have yet to see an assist or a goal. His crossing is generally poor. Defensively he looks unconvincing in the tackle and wayward in his positioning. At present his best attribute is his ability in the air in wide attacking areas where he can link effectively with Garner.

Garner himself showed some deft touches but seems unable to complete a 90-minute stint in midfield. In my mind, he might at present be better used in a right-back berth.

While Gana was his usually workaholic self in the midfield, Onana flitted in and out of the game, playing some excellent passes but then disappearing from view. He is another for whom goal scoring must become part of his skill set if he is to fulfil his ambition to be a top player.

Iwobi looked our most potent attacker but as we know his goal tally is well below that expected of an attacking midfielder. Doucouré's early miss rather set the tone for the afternoon. He is one of several players in our team for whom time to think about his next action can prove an embarrassment. Maupay is another.

As always in the Premier League, it is important not to permit one loss becoming the start of a run of consecutive defeats, especially at the beginning of a season. Our next opponents, Aston Villa, will doubtless feel likewise after their thrashing at Newcastle.

Rob Dolby
8 Posted 13/08/2023 at 22:20:09
One that got away, we got mugged by an average Fulham team.

Danny, You must encounter some right iffy away fans returning back to the smoke.

We looked threatening in transition, especially in the first half. Once we went a goal down, we haven't got enough quality to break teams down.

The jury is out on Patterson. I haven't seen anything attacking or defensively from him to suggest he is a long-term replacement for Coleman.

We can't afford to sell anyone with the lack of depth in the current squad. Gray going will be a blow, he isn't a world beater but is a threat, which is more than can be said for most of the squad.

Garner should start every game. Full-back, righ-mid or centre-mid, the lad looks class. I would have taken Gana off before him yesterday.

Cannon also needed to come on. He needs a run in the team, we know Maupay's limitations.

The Arkles used to be my local years ago, long before they destroyed it with all the shite paraphernalia. World famous, my arse.

Jerome Shields
9 Posted 13/08/2023 at 22:21:18
Maupay had chances. I just think he is too slow. He either has to make sure or rush.

Thanks for the report, Danny, I really enjoyed it. Unfortunate to come across a scumbag, probably has the hard life he deserves. You will be free for a while having got your quota.

Dennis Stevens
10 Posted 13/08/2023 at 22:52:00
Nice match report, Danny. I look forward to reading more as the season unfolds.
Neil Tyrrell
11 Posted 13/08/2023 at 22:56:17
Long day for you to come home frustrated in the end, thanks for taking the time to write it up. These match day reports that include the pre- and post-match are a blessing for me being overseas, it's great to get a sense of the whole experience.

But Ashley Williams? Are you trying to give me nightmares Danny? Just teasing, maybe you can edit that typo.

Mike Gaynes
12 Posted 13/08/2023 at 22:59:27
Great report, Danny. Make sure I get to meet you when I come over in September.

On a positive note that may turn the season around, Chris Wright of ESPN Toe Poke has ranked Everton's kit the 4th best in the Premier League. (I'm glad that I'll be buying a respected fashion statement.) The RS are 11th.

Neil Tyrrell
13 Posted 13/08/2023 at 23:20:41
Mike G, bit of a sidetrack on the thread but who was 1,2, and 3?

Noticed Chelsea and Forest both wearing kits with no ugly sponsor logo this weekend, nice throwback.

Paul Kossoff
14 Posted 14/08/2023 at 00:17:10
Danny, thanks for the report, always a great read on your match days. Ignore the prats, they don't have a good day out unless they upset someone.
Mick O'Malley
15 Posted 14/08/2023 at 08:09:34
Alex Gray @ 2 absolutely spot on, I’m sick to death of defending the lad, he’s a kid, he’s going be a cracking player, Fucking Doucouré was absolutely shite on Saturday and Gana but we’d sooner hammer the young ones, I’ll be gutted if we sold him, sooner get shut if Doucouré who missed an absolute sitter on Saturday, a constant let down who contributes absolutely fuckall except energy and misplaced passes
Kim Vivian
16 Posted 14/08/2023 at 08:18:29
Just to endorse Alex at post no. 2. Onana first half stats:

100% pass accuracy
18 touches
15/15 passes completed
3/3 long balls completed
3 key passes
2 big chances created

Brilliant half. MotM at that point. Stats provided by @statmandave @Everton_Extra.

Christine Foster
17 Posted 14/08/2023 at 08:22:58
Great report Danny, I looked forward to the first game as always, in belief we can win and win well. Deflated after seeing the team sheet, felt we had not learnt a lesson. Frankly surprised as we started well, Doucoure not converting when he should have, Maupay, who actually looked sharp, still cannot convert and has surely emphasized the reality that however hard he tries, he is not a lone target man, it's destroying us and him.

We need a few things to go right otherwise confidence will dive and it will be that much harder as we go on. It is a catastrophic failure not to have a seasoned striker and who cares if it's a one season striker? There is no point building for a future if it's going to be in the championship, so bite the bullet and get cover, a target man.

For me, Dyche got this badly wrong. Garner was 20 yards behind the goal scorer, he is not a wide player. Onana and Doucoure, pick one, not both. The hole in the centre of midfield is scary. Neither creates enough..Iwobi needs to be in the middle... if anywhere.

There was an air of inevitability about it all, Keane.. no.. Patterson cannot make my mind up about him.. Young is an astute signing, Harrison too..the young lad Chemati has great skill, but is he ready for the Premier league?

I feel as though we are only half a team, with a manager only half as good as we would like. But in reality, he is exactly what we need right now. I think there are several players still to go, Holgate, Keane, Gray with question marks over Iwobi, Onana, Maupay and Cannon.

Make no mistake, this is a sodding difficult time for supporters made worse by the total dereliction of duty by the chairman and owner, scapegoating the board was inevitable, but we are only a couple of months away from the independent commission, how long will it sit? How long will it be before a decision? How long before investment or sale is back on the table. We are still a club in trouble, but Dyche needs wins and he needs to change.

David Bromwell
18 Posted 14/08/2023 at 08:23:20
I find our ' kick and rush ' style of football difficult to watch and I think it contributed to the many missed chances. In nearly every instance when our players had a chance to shoot they rushed and snatched at their shot giving the goalkeeper every chance to make a save.

Were we playing a better team than Fulham on Saturday we would have lost. So the omens are not good. Midfield needs to be sorted, and obviously we need a striker who can score. But with the clock running down on the transfer window, no money and players to off load our options are very limited. Not a good start to the season !

Ray Roche
19 Posted 14/08/2023 at 08:28:29
“ Were we playing a better team than Fulham on Saturday we would have lost”

David. We did lose.🤦🏼‍♂️

Rob Dolby
20 Posted 14/08/2023 at 08:54:08
Mick 15 Doucoure is in the team for his energy. It suits Dyche's way of playing.

He played a big part in us staying up last season when given a run in the team. His goal v Bournemouth was probably worth 100m to the club and saved us from spiralling out of control. He isn't the best on the ball but like everyone else in the squad we need to replace them before selling. The squad is weak enough.

Raymond Fox
21 Posted 14/08/2023 at 09:00:28
The only thing wrong with Sats. performance was we didnt take our chances. Some you win some you lose, its small margins.

Play like that every week with DCL or somebody similar up top and we will be well up the table.

Keane and Gray both had a hand in or scored vital goals that kept us up for the last two seasons.

Dyche wont sell Keane, Gray either wants to leave or Dyche doesnt see him in his style of play, I'll be sorry to lose him.

We are trying to sign a centre forward type but they have to want to come here also which I suspect is the reason they havnt snared one yet.

The African Cup is a bummer, its going to rip the middle of our team out, we are a little threadbare anyway without that happening.

Then theres the complication of some players contracts being run down, who would want to control a club.

Danny O’Neill
22 Posted 14/08/2023 at 09:01:04
We're on our own again Christine. It is shameful when you see a packed Goodison and sold out matches into September. Kids with hope. Middle aged fools like me with hope. Older supporters with determination. They are not taking the expectation away from us. Never.

I don't expect anything off them given how they have treated us, but at least show some respect and listen to us because we care deeply. The first cut is the deepest as the song goes.

Just communicate with us. We are not naive enough to know we make the decisions. But we have followed this club through everything all of our lives and will do for the rest of our lives. Long before they were here. Long after they are gone.

For us it is a marriage. Through better or worse as the traditional wedding vow goes. For them we are a commodity. A cash cow. Although we have been so badly run, they haven't managed to capitalise on the potential that is Everton Football Club.

I'm not saying us mortals will call the shots, but listen, communicate and maybe, just maybe, they will learn from those who know the club best. Those loyal supporters. Sorry to get dramatic on a Monday morning, but as a studier of history, right now, they are reminding me of the last days of Hitler's regime and a bunker mentality and ignoring what is happening around them.

I forgot to mention, I invited a travelling blue from the Midlands into my taxi. Once again, I found a Kopite driver. Every time. If it's not away supporters on the train, it's Kopite taxi drivers from Lime Street. Plenty of good humour and banter though! He actually wished us well. Devil's curse!

Apologies for the mistake Neil, I didn't want to worry anyone about Ashley Williams. Fortunately the editors have already corrected me.

Paul Birmingham
23 Posted 14/08/2023 at 09:29:07
Thanks Danny for an honest assessment.

It's the first game and plenty of positives to take away.

The obvious lack of a killer striker, and some descision making cost Everton.

But I hope v Villa there's a positive reaction and who knows, a few more deals may be edging to completion.


But there's a reality and the fight to succeed is

Tony Abrahams
24 Posted 14/08/2023 at 09:34:51
The fella’s name is Carl, Danny, he’s funny, he gets up after about twenty five minutes and goes downstairs for a bevy, then gets up with about twenty minutes left and says see you next week, I’m going the Brick. I love winding his son up every time he goes the shop, telling him to get me a bar of chocolate. The kids deadpan stare is brilliant!

I’ll definitely miss the companionship inside Goodison, although it’s not very often that I agree with my older brother when talking about Everton though. Maybe I don’t criticize players, for not being good enough, just as long as they work hard, whereas he will just say they are fuckin shite, but I’m not going into that ground until there is change at the top, even though I love going to Goodison Pk.

I went to work for a few hours after the game and met one Evertonian, who was from Belfast. I hope my passionate speech stirred him because he said he goes to every home and away game from Ireland, doesn’t miss, loves the blues, but he told me he his close to becoming a broken man, with regards Everton.

This man told me he spends over £15 thousand a year, watching Everton, and sometimes I don’t think certain people inside the club, realise how lucky they are to have such fantastic and dedicated fans?

Kenwright’s seat being empty doesn’t sit pretty with me either, especially when he’s got the temerity to turn up at away grounds, whilst continuing to perpetrate a myth that he helped to invent.

What an absolute fraud the man is. Seemingly adored by the people who he has helped to look after, but no longer loved by the people he once kidded. Has it always been about yourself, Mr Kenwright?

Jim Lloyd
25 Posted 14/08/2023 at 09:43:46
Hello Danny, well done for writing a good report of your day's adventure. Hope I didn't bend your ear too much on the glory of the Sixties team! We've had two great teams in my time of watching the Blues; and we built on neither. So when we look at this last Board, they weren't the only ones who let Everton down. I agree with most of your comments on the game and glad you calmed that knobhead down!

That effin referee! I'm sure he blew the whistle for a foul because it was us! Tarkie just stood there and the goalie climbed on his back. If they are going to allow more referee decisions to stand without recourse to VAR, then this referee is too pompous to use it when it's needed then var isn't doing it's job due to the ref.

Deflated, going home as we made enough clear chances to to have scored between two and five. I think the criticism of the manager is a bit unfair except he could have put Dobbin on earlier, to replace Maupe, who I think had a decent game, excep for not putting one of his chances away, though I think their goalie had something to do with that, he was excellent. It doesn't look like it's ever going to happen for poor Maupe. Thus the urgent, (Vital) need for a goalscorer.

I think more than anything, I saw how easily our midfield and defence were split wide open for their goal yesterday. Hardly any of our players were in their position. Keane was marking no one, neither Mitrovitch, or the player behind him. Patterson run across the goal to try and mark the lad who Mitrovitch passed to. Garner hadn't tracked back to mark the lad who eventually scored who had no one near him and could have laid down and blew it in!, Doucouré and Onana were somewhere round the left wing near the half way line.

I thought Doucouré, who does this too often for me, missed a golden opportunity when he had a player free on either side of him and ran it into the goalie. We had players free, either side of him inside their six yard box near enough and he elects to run it into their goalie...schoolboyish. Patterson misses and equally clear chance. So we could have been 3 or 4 up without them scoring and the need for someone like a Vardy, is vital.

The problem is that we don't have the money (well, I think that's the problem!) to go out and buy one to do the most critical job of all that we need. I don't know if we've got that lad Harrison yet, but I hope we have as he looks a proper player, and Young seems a good fit as left back, and along with the other players he's brought in we've improved the squad...except for a player we need most...

So if I'm right, we'll have to sell some player/s to enable us to get the man in who can do the job of goalscorer.

I think we also need someone who is a ready made right full back because I don't think Patterson is ready for the first team yet and Seamus, well, can he last a season?...hopefully.So who do we sell. Well Onana is the most saleable asset, (except maybe for Pickford.) Yes, he probably is a star for the future. But we're in the mire now and what position do we need filling the most, and who will raise sufficient money for us to fill that post, and possibly allow the management some leeway to fill other posts. If Iwobi has not signed a contract then, would it be better to get some money for him now, rather than let him run his contract down. Is Gana Gueye off to SauDi, as one paper reports?

So all in all, our management team have a lot of problems to solve with little or no money without selling; and hopefully seeing off those getting loads of money for just sitting on the bench

I think the players we have brought in and hopefully, Harrison, are a good start.

I don't think we will see the major recruitment we want and need until theres a tinkle of coinage in the till, from a sale or two. So we;ve got another two weeks or so, probably until the last few days of the window, before I'll start feeling postive about this season again!

Dave Abrahams
26 Posted 14/08/2023 at 10:02:46
Sorry your day had you going home with a loss Danny but there was a lot you enjoyed during your stay in Liverpool.

I thought, like you, we deserved to win with the many chances scorned that should have given us a two or three goal victory.

The squad is not completed yet, more to come and some to go, Dominic hopefully ready to come in and stay in.

Kim(16), stats ? Pity they don’t show how many times players go missing, never mind your eyes will tell you, I don’t know where you sit at Goodison but from my view in The Upper Bullens Road stand Onana went missing as often as usually does for long periods of the game the game, what is his job, he doesn’t get into the opposition penalty area very often nor does he defend in our penalty area very much.

I can see his potential but he doesn’t use it very often and has to absolutely be involved in the game a lot more than he does.

He played in most games last season, what did he provide in them, one goal, how many assists? In the Derby game at Anfield he was substituted after a poor game, as for his age the MOTM in that game was an 18 year old Liverpool centre midfield player playing in his first season of premier league football.

How is Onana a value to the team now? Not in the future,now. If he becomes the player some on here say he will undoubtfully become and try to tell me and other fans they told us he would become I’lltell he wasn’t very good or much use to Everton while he was here,unless of course he starts putting in performances that provide goals and maybe score one or two himself.

I haven’t even mentioned his heading ability, for such a tall player he’s very effective there either is he?Or am I not seeing how good he is there?

Mal van Schaick
27 Posted 14/08/2023 at 10:06:04
A good appraisal of the game Danny. I am not going to make any comparisons from last season, it’s time to look forward not back.

It wasn't an ideal start losing our first game at home and having our pockets picked by Fulham.

The players put the effort in, and I agree with others that Onana faded and has the potential to be our midfield dynamo.

The number of chances we missed obviously cost us the game, but the goalkeeper incident where we scored, should have stood. Even Mike Dean thought that the misjudgment by the goalkeeper, was his fault alone,and it was perfectly good goal.

I think that season Dyche knows what is required regarding recruitment and tactics and with a few weeks to go in the transfer window, we will strengthen we’re it matters. Bring on Villa.

Geoff Lambert
28 Posted 14/08/2023 at 10:11:15
I think Akpom might have been worth a punt at £10 million, he is a poacher and very good in the air. Looks like he is off to Ajax now.
Andy Crooks
29 Posted 14/08/2023 at 10:16:28
Great report, Danny. Thanks to Tony I've sat beside Carl a few times. Top bloke. I remember him telling me, in spine chilling tones, to be careful alone in Liverpool at night as I could end up like " a young wildebeast separated from the herd"!
Brian Harrison
30 Posted 14/08/2023 at 10:34:36

You are amazing, hardly miss a game home or away and, apart from the London game,s it must cost you a fortune in rail fares – never mind the time away from home.

I can't agree with you over Patterson; he and Godfrey always look like rabbits in the headlights when in possession. He went missing for their goal and Willian had him on toast, he must have been delighted he didn't come out for the 2nd half.

I have never been impressed with Onana, I can't think of an Everton midfield player who goes missing as much as he does, and it's not just the Fulham game – its all of them.

Yes, he did make 2 nice passes, one that Doucoure should have converted. But if you are playing central midfield you have to be the driving force not go missing for large chunks of the game. I could well imagine if he had played with the likes of Bobby Collins, Tony Kay or latterly Peter Reid they would have let him know pretty quickly that he needed to do a lot more.

As your post says, goals win games and, for a couple of seasons, we have really struggled in that department. I know many say if we create the same number of chances in other games, then we will convert more than we did on Saturday.

But the reason that we only scored 34 goals last season is this squad lacks goalscorers. Iwobi puts in a real shift but his goal return is awful, and none of our midfield players don't shoot never mind score – that includes Onana, Garner and Gana; Doucouré scores every Preston Guild.

That leaves us with McNeil, last season's top scorer with 7 – yes, unbelievably… 7 – that says everything you need to know about why this team has struggled for the last 2 seasons.

What have we done to remedy this problem? Signed a full-back and a winger who isn't known for his goal scoring. Yet are prepared to go into another season with our main striker with an appalling injury record.

Jim Lloyd
31 Posted 14/08/2023 at 10:36:40
Dave, from my seat in the Upper Bullens, I agree with you. At the minute, I think Onana thinks he's a greater player than he is. He might well become a great player in a great team; but at the moment, if a team rates him that highly, we might well get £40-£50 million for him. That would allow our management to get the two or three effective players we need,

I think he is a luxury that at this time, and I think we need a younger Gueye or Peter Reid type (preferably who can shoot!) and who realises he has to cover our penalty area and get up to the oppositions as well. In such an important position, I think we need a dominating midfielder now and we need the best goalscorer we can get, that money might allow us to do so.

ps: Brian, you're spot on. Bobby Collins or Tony Kay would be tearing strips off him every match, let alone Jimmy Gabriel!

Tony Abrahams
32 Posted 14/08/2023 at 11:33:14
I think it's the players who think they are better than they actually are, that usually don't end up filling their potential, Jim.

With it only taking a second to score a goal, then some forwards might get away with not always concentrating and being in the game. But it's different for every other player, and this collective lack of concentration cost Everton when too many players switched off just before Fulham scored.

I think Dyche would sell Onana if a good enough offer comes in. We will see, just as long as it's not a last-minute deal that doesn't give us enough time to spend some much needed money on replacements.

Christine Foster
33 Posted 14/08/2023 at 11:35:09
I took to YouTube the other night, watching the season highlights from 1971.

What struck me was the brutality of the tackling, Leeds especially... frankly how the hell players made the game the following week, I will never know.

Back to the Premier League... it was awful for the exact opposite: players diving, feigning injury, no tackling... We have reached a game that resembles 5-a-side, two-touch, no contact. It's skilful and fast but no longer a contest.

In the past, teams would counter skill with endeavor, or force... now? No chance – it's gone too far the other way. Teams no longer can level a playing field. Money buys skill; endeavour is no longer enough.

Which brings me back to our club... the skill gulf is immense, how do we compete?

Rob Halligan
34 Posted 14/08/2023 at 11:47:18
No surprise to hear Dermot Gallagher on Ref Watch on SSN saying it was the correct decision to rule out Keane's goal on Saturday. Not for the “Ghost foul” by Tarkowski, but because Keane was offside!!

Unbelievable, considering Keane was onside when the cross came in, and also the Fulham goalkeeper was the last player to touch the ball before Keane put it away.

Jim Lloyd
35 Posted 14/08/2023 at 11:53:35
Agree with you Tony, on both points. And if Onana is that good, then one of the rich clubs will buy him for £40-£50 million. I looked at a replay of the match;only basically a couple of goal incidents but it was the siege we laid down on their goal around the 70th minute and the moves leading up to our goal.

I think I counted our ten outfield players in our half but hardly any were in position to combat their moves. I mentioned it in my first post, that Doucouré and Onana were somewhere round the half way line towards our left hand side, and Garner was walking back but far to late to catch up to their scorer. Keane, left the middle and was stood in no mans land, half way between Mitrovitch and the lad who passed the ball from Mitrovitch to the Goalscorer.

It was a good move by them and well executed, but their goalscorer could have sat down and had a cuppa before he scored as Patterson was trying to get to the other side of the goal.

So most of our players were out of the game and I'd have thought the central midfielders were vital in organising the players and they were nowhere to be seen in the centre.

Thats how it looked to me and I think your Dad said it and I agree, we need a midfield General. Onana doesn't do it nor does Doucouré. I know I've gone on about just one goal, but that won them the game.

Rennie Smith
36 Posted 14/08/2023 at 12:02:00
After the first 15 minutes, I knew that if I sat in my seat watching until it was dark, we still wouldn't have scored. I said to my lad, we need an open goal or it to go in off someone's arse. We got 2 open goals, Patterson still couldn't score and when Keane did it was wrongly ruled out.

I saw a comment before about Maupay's problem is not having someone like Trossard in support. He could have Messi in support and that 2-legged stool couldn't find the net.

I'm actually starting to feel a bit sorry for the lad being put in a position he's clearly not qualified for. I wouldn't mind if he was a bit of a nasty shit, snapping into defenders all the time, but he doesn't even do that. Has anyone checked to see if he's related to Brett Angell?

The first half-an-hour was embarrassingly poor, we couldn't string 3 passes together. But in that time we had 4 or 5 great chances. We had more of the ball in the second half, but don't create as much. Work that one out? It's the same story: pass-pass-pass… shit, what do I do now? Chip it into the corner and hope for the best.

Talking of chipping it, can someone in training please teach this lot to whip a cross in with pace and a low trajectory? How many corners does Iwobi need to take where it floats in aimlessly like a kebab being lobbed across Bold Street before someone says "Leave it out"?

Tony Abrahams
37 Posted 14/08/2023 at 12:06:13
I believe that, without the controversy, Sky TV would slowly begin to lose a lot of viewers because I believe controversy definitely helps football with regards to it being a television sport.

If Dermot Gallagher agreed with most other people and thought Everton were robbed of a goal, then it's not suddenly going to help give us a precious point, so the only point for having him give everyone his opinion is to keep people talking about the game.

Tom Bowers
38 Posted 14/08/2023 at 12:10:48
Scoring goals is always the key and grabbing the first one even better when it is near the last 15 minutes.

Yes, I agree Everton are likely to be in a lot of games like this, even against the likes of Fulham. There are no easy marks in the Premier League so get used to it.

We cannot say if Chermiti, Harrison or Danjuma will make a big difference, but we are all hoping they will, and quickly.

Christine Foster
39 Posted 14/08/2023 at 12:17:08
Controversy is Sky's lifeblood, Tony; without it, half the fan sites would disappear!

Wind up merchants, has-beens and wannabes... the worst thing is they have a captured audience.

Somewhere along the line, the Sky bubble will burst. A breakaway Super League in Europe makes the Premier League second tier, lesser value to the paying public.

We can't go back to how it was but surely the future has peaked?

Rennie Smith
40 Posted 14/08/2023 at 12:20:18
Rob @34,

Keane was offside because the keeper was ahead of him and only 1 player was between Keane and the goal, and the ball came off Tarkowski's hand last.

All very technical, but I suppose he is correct. To be fair, he did say it wasn't a foul and the ref shouldn't have blown before the goal was scored, let the VAR sort it out.

Barry Hesketh
41 Posted 14/08/2023 at 12:28:51
Rennie @40,

My eyes aren't quite as good as they were, but watching the highlights on Everton OS, I thought there were two Fulham players between Keane and the goal, not including the keeper.

Anyway it's gone now, another one to add to the ever growing number of 50-50, 60-40 decisions that tend to go against Everton, strangely mostly at Goodison.

Ian Bennett
42 Posted 14/08/2023 at 12:53:12
It's not clear the ball actually went forward either.

It would be highly unusual for Dermot Gallagher to support his referee cronies.

Rennie Smith
43 Posted 14/08/2023 at 12:56:03
I didn't even think of offiside when it happened, it's close but watching it back Keane is just ahead of the second defender. But as you say, who cares, we should have been out of sight before it happened.

I also saw a few negative comments on Patterson for their goal. I said to my lad at the time why is he virtually in the left-back position when they score? But watching it back, he had no choice but to come across because the centre-backs had gone missing and it was down to Garner not tracking back that the lad was left in so much space at the back post.

Ajay Gopal
44 Posted 14/08/2023 at 13:04:09
Tony (32) and Jim (35),

I heard that Man Utd are waiting for our valuation of Onana. I would like him to stay, because I think everyone can see that he is developing rapidly, and I have little doubt that, if he progresses along in the same way, and stays largely injury free, he will become a top midfielder, and we could expect to see a valuation in the £60-80 million range next summer.

But, our need is now, and if Thelwell can structure a deal with Scott McTominay coming in exchange plus some £10-15 million in cash, then that would be a great piece of business for us. McTominay and Garner playing as a midfield pair, allowing the likes of McNeil, Iwobi, Danjuma, Doucoure, Harrison (and hopefully, Dele Alli) to play in support of Calvert-Lewin, Chermiti and hopefully 1 of Ekitike, Beto or even Che Adams would make us quite competitive.

McNeil Iwobi Harrison
McTominay Garner
Young Tarkowski Keane Patterson

With Danjuma, Chermiti, Che Adams, Dobbin, Gana, Doucoure, Mykolenko, Branthwaite on the bench, would do fine for me.

Joe McMahon
45 Posted 14/08/2023 at 13:13:51
Harrison is being given number 11. That was Demarais number. Seems cold treatment to be honest for Demarai Gray.
Danny O’Neill
46 Posted 14/08/2023 at 15:49:12
I had to respond to a few.

Tony, Carl was great. His wife even better. Never argue with a Scouse woman is what I was told and it's true! Off to the Brick he went with his tail between his legs having being given a few lectures!

Jim, I'll never tire from the tales and stories. It's what I was brought up on and keeps us going. My son and youngest brother have to endure it from me now about the 80s.

Brian & Tony, I dread to think of the cost but I don't look at it or care about it. I think the wife does. Well, I know she does as we have those conversations often. "How much do you spend on Everton?" is often the question. I change the subject, but she's no fool.

Dave, always a privilege to visit the homeland. Hopefully catch you at the next one.

Andy & Mike G, make sure you let me know so we can meet up.

Brian, I've said before, it's going to be emotional leaving Goodison and the time is coming. My West Midlands relatives who support Liverpool were up last week and visited Goodison, sending a photo by Dixie's statue. Nice touch.

Tony, even if I have to stand outside, you are going to Goodison before we move.

Our club, not his or theirs.

Rob Halligan
47 Posted 14/08/2023 at 18:26:15
I can't really tell if the keeper drops the ball against Tarkowski or not, but having looked at, and freezing the picture at the point the keeper drops the ball, it looks like the Fulham No 31 and the goalkeepers left leg, which is in mid air, but at a right angle to his body, and pointing towards the goal, are playing Keane onside.

As some say, the referee should have let play continue and then let the VAR decide whether Keane is offside or not? But for me, he definitely looks onside.

Mike Doyle
48 Posted 14/08/2023 at 18:47:16
Just had a look on Wikipedia for strikers who have played for Everton since I started watching them in the early 70s, considered poor by most supporters I know.

I've looked at Rod Belfit, Bernie Wright, Alan Bailey, Mick Ferguson, John Spencer (I'm sure they're a few more).
Aside from John Spencer, who didn't score in his 9 appearances, all others had a better scoring rate than Neal Maupay's 1 in 30.

Happy to be corrected if anyone can identify a poorer performance.

Barry Hesketh
49 Posted 14/08/2023 at 18:58:49
Rod Belfitt and Alan Biley, I assume you mean, Mike. I think we have a pretty terrible record of buying strikers compared to most other established Premier League clubs.

Admittedly, Maupay stands out as being very unfortunate to:
a) Be playing in a team that doesn't suit him
b) Be so low on confidence that the harder he tries, the more that seems to go against him.

No player deserves some of the despicable messages that he has been sent at the weekend and no player should have their family come into that type of ugly messaging on social media.

Everton and Neal Maupay are right to point out abhorrent online abuse

Brian Denton
50 Posted 14/08/2023 at 19:05:36
Mike Doyle (48),

Mickey Walsh, Gordon Lee's big signing from Blackpool only scored 1 league goal in God knows how many appearances. I saw it too – away at Villa.

Alan McGuffog
51 Posted 14/08/2023 at 19:07:25
It was not enough that Belfitt was hopeless...but we sent David Johnson the other way. My mate at University supported the Tractor Boys and he couldn't believe it
Alan McGuffog
52 Posted 14/08/2023 at 19:07:29
It was not enough that Belfitt was hopeless... but we sent David Johnson the other way. My mate at University supported the Tractor Boys and he couldn't believe it.
Mike Doyle
53 Posted 14/08/2023 at 19:41:47
Brian #50,

According to Wiki, Mickey Walsh scored 1 in 21 appearances for us…. Abysmal – but it appears that we've seen worse!

Barry #49,

Yes, I meant Alan Biley. I agree, nobody deserves any type of abuse. Also, I agree that the team set-up doesn't suit Neal Maupay – which makes the decision to buy him even more of a mystery as it didn't suit him then either.

Kim Vivian
54 Posted 14/08/2023 at 19:43:42
I think Maupay will get a pretty good welcome at home vs Wolves on the 26th – and indeed at Villa (assuming he plays either or both) after the abuse. Be ironic if that support changes his mind set when he realises the cretins are a small small minority, however hurtful it is, and he suddenly starts to produce.

On the other hand, I might get a proposition from Susannah Reid before then.

Rick Tarleton
55 Posted 15/08/2023 at 13:15:40
Both Everton and Wolves carried on exactly as they were last season. They both ought to have won and both were the victims of very dubious refereeing decisions regarding penalties.

Ours was a more serious defeat as we were at home and against allegedly weaker opposition. I hope Villa were traumatised by their defeat at Newcastle, but even then we'll need one of our 30-yard screamers to actually score a goal.

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