Everton 1 - 1 Crystal Palace

Everton are back at Goodison Park under the lights for the televised Monday night game where they will take on new rivals in the bid to beat the drop in the form of Crystal Palace.

The Eagles arrive on the back of losing their venerable old manager, Roy Hodgson, who has just stepped down. Oliver Glsner has been appointed as his replacement but assistants Ray Lewington and Paddy McCarthy have been given the responsibility of managing the side this evening.

On the field, Crystal Palace forwards Michael Olise and Eberechi Eze are ruled out along with Cheick Doucouré, a significant miss in central midfield, while Marc Guehi is also sidelined and Will Hughes is a big doubt.

While Everton welcome back Abdoulaye Doucoure, whose ability to effect goals has been sorely missed in the 10 games where he was absent. Harrison makes way, joining Onana on the bench.

Another massive crowd was inside Goodison Park to see the visitors kick off, with some long balls to give the goalkeepers a feel of the ball. Palace tried to mount the first attack, the second phase winning a corner off a vital Trakowski intervention, but that was cleared.  

McNeil crossed in from deep and Calvert-Lewin almost got the ball back to Doucoure but they were crowded out. Mykolenko then found Calvert-Lewin with a good pass that saw him moving away from goal to keep possession. A deep ball from Tarkowski won Everton corner, Garner delivering it well enough but to a Palace head, followed by Edourad on the next ball in. 

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A Palace free-kick had to be defended, Doucoure intercepting but McNeil had stood on Munoz's foot. A Branthwaite slip allowed Palace to play in Edouard who shot low at Pickford's feet. An Everton free-kick was easily dealt with and Everton's defence looked a little too open again on the counter but Mateta was offside.

A Pickford hoof was just too long for Calvert-Lewin. Another found McNeil and came back to Dououre but he could only shoot wide. Doucore should have found Young but his key outball pass was intercepted, but the eventual Palace foray was easily contained. However, Branthwaite's hoof from deep went straight through to Johnstone. 

Everton tried some more cultured football before the long outball to try and find Mykolenko also failed. Another deep forward ball was meant for McNeil but came off Anderson to Johnstone. If this was the game plan, it wasn't working yet. 

Another hoof ball aimed at Calvert-Lewin was easily managed by Andersen. McNeil got an early nall and delivered a peach of a cross, the kind of service  that Calvert-Lewin, who was in exactly the right position for once, would surely bury… but no, it cannoned off his head and behind. 

AN Everton free-kick saw a smart change of strategy, with a low ground ball to Calvert-Lewin drawing a poor foul by Lerma, just outside the Palace penalty area. Garner spooned it poorly high over the wall, the strikers, and the bar. 

Doucoure tried a very clever flick forward that caught Calvert-Lewin completely by surprise and what might have been a brilliant chance... wasn't.  But Mykolenko then put in a great cross with 3 Everton players under it, Young fluffing his lines this time. 

Palace came forward, Gana giving away a foul wide left that was delivered in well, with three more phases before Pickford could clear until Warton was fouled by Young. Everton looked to build on the ground with no way forward, and Pickford's hoof saw Young foul Mitchell trying to win the advance ball. 

Palace put in by far their most dangerous move but Lerma scooped the cutback well off target. Another deep free-kick by Pickford was dealt with again, Everton winning back possession but seriously unable to get forward by keeping the ball down.  

Two close encounters in midfield were waived on by Paul Tierney, leading to a set of Palace corners, the second cleared brilliantly by Young on the line. Calvert-Lewin won the cleared ball but could not get it to Mcneil. However, the tempo was upped significantly as Palace surged forward but could not fashion a chance despite a couple of attempts. 

Calvert-Lewin wanted a free-kick but he was backing into his marker as the game became more open in the minutes before half-time. Pickford shanked a tight clearance into touch. A freekick in the added minute summed up the half — overhit and wasted. 

And the game restarted as if it had never stopped, the kick-off back to Pickford, hoofed upfield and defended away. Young was judged to have fouled Mitchell but a Palace foul was seen in the Everton area. Young then fouled Andersen. 

Calvert-Lewin got on the end of another Pickford hoof but there was no-one else with him to head it to. McNeil tried to do something different when he collected a hoofed ball and came back to gain space but put too much on his forward pass. There was zero indication that the second half would be any better than the poor first half. 

Passing football almost broke out before Young was played a hospital pass. It really was abysmal fayre overall and the Goodison crowd were not at all happy. 

Calvert-Lewin had a run at the wing and Garner took a shot that was deflected behind. A poor mistake by Tarkowski et Mitchell in but Pickford was able to tackle him well. 

Everton were now getting stalled in midfield and Palace were able to get forward and win a corner that almost fell for them. Godfrey showed some good work to win the ball back in midfield but Everton still could not get the ball into the Palace area, good forward possession getting driven back. 

A free-kick was another chance for something from Garner and Mykolenko's second ball volley was tremendous but blocked away. The hour-mark... what about a sub or two, Sean?

Garner was robbed but did really well to recover, feeding Godfrey who ran the length of the field but McNeil could only win a corner. A fantastic Tarkowski header was somehow saved and teh follow-up bounced agonisingly by the far post, Doucoure unable to get any power on his shot that bobbled up with McNeil trying a diving header on the line before the ball was cleared. 

Dyche made the changes but immediately Jordan Ayew got the ball down and Mateta made no mistake with a tremendous strike to stun every Evertonian watching this unfold.  

Everton tried to respond, but there was no sign they were going to get anything from the difficult Palace defence. A deep Harrison cross dealt with well by Johnstone as Beto replaced Doucoure. Everton tried to penetrate with intricate passing that ultimately failed.  Crosses in were consistently repelled. 

Another Pickford hoof was taken in the air by Johnstone who fell awkwardly. Palace went forward to win a corner that needed defending, McNeil getting forward but not before the Palace defence had locked in place. 

EVeretom ponderously tried to build again, McNefinally getting in a decent cross to Calvert-Lewin but he was behind the defender, and still got his head to it, only to direct it the wrong side of the post. 

Everton got forward again, only to be frustrated until it fell to garner, who his his shot into the ground and it was well saved by Johnstone. But from the corner, Onana at the back of the pack looked like a rugby player in a line-out, towering over everyone to head down and into the Palace goal. Brilliant! 

Could Everton get forward again and actually win this? Now it seemed possible, Ahmad fouling McNeil, whose free-kick was headed over by Tarkowski with Onana better positioned behind him. 

Place rang more changes to break Everton's tempo. Onan tried to drive Beto and Calvert-Lewin forward but they were thwarted. Ayew tried to cause trouble at the other end as we entered he last minute of normal time with 6 minutes added on. 

Harrison delivered a fantastic cross out of nothing, over Calvert-Lewin and cleared before it reached Beto. Another Palace foul and another Everton free-kick but this one was taken short. Everton piled on the pressure but could not fashion a chance and were almost exposed on a Branthwaite back-pass. 

Lerma cynically blocked out Harrison and Palace worked their way forward to eat up more time in the corner, in front of their fans, before Paul Tierney finally blew for time. 

Everton: Pickford, Godfrey, Tarkowski, Branthwaite, Mykolenko, Gana (66' Onana), Garner, Young (66' Harrison), Doucoure (72' Beto), McNeil, Calvert-Lewin.

Subs: Virginia, Lonergan, Patterson, Keane, Chermiti, Dobbin. 

Crystal Palace: Johnstone, Munoz, Ward, Andersen, Richards, Mitchell, Lerma  [Y:90+4'], Wharton, Ayew [Y:89'], Mateta, Edouard (72' Ahamada).

Subs: Henderson, Tomkins, Franca, Clyne, Riedewald, Ozoh, Umeh, Raymond.


Reader Comments (362)

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Pete Little
1 Posted 19/02/2024 at 17:45:25
First ever post on ToffeeWeb from me having followed the chat for a long time.

Lifelong blue aged 64 despite living in Leeds for the last 45 years! COYB, big performance tonight, 3 points…

Oh, and few back off the Premier League wouldn't go amiss.

Raymond Fox
2 Posted 19/02/2024 at 18:30:05
I didn't think Dyche would risk Doucoure, I thought he would not be on the team sheet at all.

I think we are a better team with him playing, but I thought Dyche always seems reluctant to play them if they are not 100%.

Stephen Davies
3 Posted 19/02/2024 at 18:45:07
Doucoure is playing!
Will Mabon
4 Posted 19/02/2024 at 19:03:29
As Doucoure is playing, I think we must be realistic in our expectations.
Colin Glassar
5 Posted 19/02/2024 at 19:04:03
Throwing Doucoure in is asking for trouble imo. I hope he’s fully fit.
Andrew Keatley
6 Posted 19/02/2024 at 19:07:07
No Eze, no Olise, no Schlupp, no Guehi, no Cheick Doucouré, and no manager.

If we cannot beat that Palace team at home with what is essentially our own first-choice XI, then it'll be very hard to swallow.

Pat Kelly
7 Posted 19/02/2024 at 19:21:51
Welcome Pete Little. Did you bring your boots ?
Robert Tressell
8 Posted 19/02/2024 at 19:23:14
Two big physical sides lacking any real quality. Would have been nice to have had the £25m that Palace spent in January (Wharton and Munoz) but we should still have enough. Energy and commitment please + a bit of quality on the ball from Young and McNeil COYB
Rob Hooton
9 Posted 19/02/2024 at 19:45:17
I'm surprised that both Harrison and Onana are on the bench, but at least it gives us options to change the game. I thought Onana played well when he came on last week, his passing and movement superior to anything else from us on the night (or was I dreaming?).

Great to see Doucouré back, hope he can help Dominic find his scoring boots.

Neil Tyrrell
10 Posted 19/02/2024 at 19:45:36
Seamus not even on the bench?
Bill Gall
11 Posted 19/02/2024 at 19:45:39
A good strong side and a reasonable sub bench, that is if Dyche decides to use any before the 83rd minute.
John Wignall
12 Posted 19/02/2024 at 20:49:25
Lack of quality all over the pitch.

Ball like a hot potato.

Pete Hughes
13 Posted 19/02/2024 at 20:51:14
Appalling 'display' so far…
John Wignall
14 Posted 19/02/2024 at 20:57:21
Feel sorry for Calvert-Lewin. The service is awful, we must have the two slowest wingers in the game.
Ajay Timothy
15 Posted 19/02/2024 at 21:02:14
Every time I watch and say it can't get worse, it does.
Soren Moyer
16 Posted 19/02/2024 at 21:02:58
Oh dear!
Christine Foster
17 Posted 19/02/2024 at 21:04:32
Both Young and McNeil are off the pace...
Colin Metcalfe
18 Posted 19/02/2024 at 21:05:08
We are absolutely crap to watch!

Dycheball at its best

Joe McMahon
19 Posted 19/02/2024 at 21:11:43
Awful isn't it, embarrassing yet again. And as usual the only relevant word in our outdated moto is. Nil.
Rob Jones
20 Posted 19/02/2024 at 21:37:00
I'm utterly fucking despondent. I hate being an Everton fan. Twenty-eight years of supporting this fucking abomination of a club, and we've never won a God damn thing.

Naturally, we've equalised...

Simon Dalzell
21 Posted 19/02/2024 at 21:56:23
Surely Harrison and Onana should have started. Young is crap. Said that before kick-off, not just hindsight. At least put them on at half-time.

Not keen on Dyche at all.

Michael Kenrick
22 Posted 19/02/2024 at 21:57:05
That was painful... but hey, we're safe!

If only…

Joe McMahon
23 Posted 19/02/2024 at 21:57:26
Rob#20, but at least its "The People's Club".
Ted Donnelly
24 Posted 19/02/2024 at 21:57:51
What a load of utter shite!!!

Mykolenko and Godfrey were the best of a twat of a bunch. The Chuckle Brothers up front were fuckin useless!

Colin Metcalfe
25 Posted 19/02/2024 at 21:58:09
I wish I could say that was one of the worst matches I have witnessed this season but no – that was the worst match I have seen this season.

Absolute dog shite served up by Dyche & Co yet again.

Dave Cashen
26 Posted 19/02/2024 at 21:58:14
I wonder if any of the statos know how many times we lumped it aimlessly forward?

Painful, painful watch. Every player looks like they are desperate to play, but none of them have the confidence to actually do it.

Jerome Shields
27 Posted 19/02/2024 at 22:00:27
Very poor performance, we could have lost that game with complacency.

Good goal from Onana, which was needed. How a team can play like that in such an important game is pathetic.

Neil Lawson
28 Posted 19/02/2024 at 22:01:12
The manager picks the team. The manager sets the tactics. I really am losing patience with Dyche.

We were playing a team who are bang average but he just seems so intent not to lose rather than to go out to win.

We are such a poor team. We may scrape another year in the top flight but, quite honestly, I am not sure I can face up to yet another year of dross.

Kieran Kinsella
29 Posted 19/02/2024 at 22:02:14
I logged in to the Live Forum but had to leave because of all the histrionics. Worst ever Everton side. Worst performance by any club in all divisions. Palace's manager, who hasn't even managed one game yet, is better than Dyche. All the players are crap. Sack Dyche…

Clearly we don't have great players but “Dycheball” based on turd polishing would have us on 30 points and 12th were it not for the deduction that had nothing to do with him or most of the current players.

There's a lot to be angry and disappointed about but I'm not sure sacking Dyche or lambasting the players is top of the solutions list.

Danny Baily
30 Posted 19/02/2024 at 22:02:26
It's not a point rescued. It's 3 dropped in the context of the relegation battle.

Wins are the currency. Wins. We had one gift wrapped this evening and still couldn't take it.

Awful, awful stuff going forward. No positives to take from my perspective.

Given the noises coming out from the appeal, this pivotal week in the club's history is seemingly going against us.

Dave Lynch
31 Posted 19/02/2024 at 22:03:03
Tarkowski, Mykolenko and Godfrey played excellent.

The rest were shite, or made to look shite by the tactics of a proven shite manager.

Lee Courtliff
32 Posted 19/02/2024 at 22:03:48
I'm not even bothered that we got an equaliser, that was an awful performance and the selection of Young on the right fuckin wing was unforgivable!!

Dyche should have had us fired up from the start but instead he surrendered the initiative with his negative selection.

Young should be a squad player and no more.

Jake Lucas
33 Posted 19/02/2024 at 22:04:24
That was a horrific 90 minutes from 2 awful teams. None of that was enjoyable.

We seem completely incapable of scoring from open play, I never saw any urgency tonight, even after conceding. It's either sideways, backwards, or a 50-yard hoof… zzzzzz

Christine Foster
34 Posted 19/02/2024 at 22:05:13
God, that was poor… another point, yes, but dire defending, no creativity, a couple of crosses, both Young and McNeil were poor. I hope to god we get some points back.

We should have had Dobbin on for McNeil early on. Garner… jeez, just not happening. Good goal from Onana, good work by Calvert-Lewin but lacking the confidence needed to finish a couple of good chances, just not creating enough to damage teams but we are not taking players on or winning second balls.

Doucoure had an effort but, like Calvert-Lewin, he was feeding on scraps. Poor game, glad of the point, but we really shouldn't have dropped two.

Mike Iddon
35 Posted 19/02/2024 at 22:06:43
Jesus, people slagging Dyche, if we hadn't lost the 10 points, we'd be on 30 points!

The reason we're not is not down to the players and manager. Support the fucking team instead of moaning all the time, for fuck's sake!

Frank Fearns
36 Posted 19/02/2024 at 22:07:30
Neil. We are a bang average team. In fact we weren't as good as that tonight. Both poor sides.

Everton's tactics were really useless and I just don't understand why Pickford just keeps hoofing aimless balls.

Ted Donnelly
37 Posted 19/02/2024 at 22:08:09
What a load of utter shite!!!

Mykolenko and Godfrey were the best of a twat of a bunch. The Chuckle Brothers up front were fuckin useless!

Tom Bowers
38 Posted 19/02/2024 at 22:08:35
Disappointing yet again. How many more times have we said that this season and will say again?

He cannot play a 40-year-old in midfield but he does.
Palace, despite missing key attackers, were up for this, not much but more so than Everton.

No surprise they grabbed the lead but once again a late equalizer keeps us on the edge of doom.

It looks like a straight dogfight between us and Luton.

We are so woeful attacking-wise it's awful to watch.

Mike Iddon
39 Posted 19/02/2024 at 22:08:45
Sorry Keiran#29, you posted exactly what I thought and did!

Agree entirely.

Steve Cotton
40 Posted 19/02/2024 at 22:10:10
Tarkowski should have scored, Calvert-Lewin had 3 chances, Garner sliced one from 12 yards out, Doucoure at the back post should have scored... yes, we were shit but it could have been 5.

Let's move on...

Neil Lawson
41 Posted 19/02/2024 at 22:10:44
Obviously, Mike Iddon was watching a different game and a different team to the rest of us.

It's one thing to set up against the top teams to thwart them and to aim for a point. It's quite another when you are playing at your own level and haven't the courage or nouse to set up to win.

And yes, the selection of Young crystallises the argument so clearly.

Rob Jones
42 Posted 19/02/2024 at 22:11:12
Kieran, I didn't do a lot of moaning, but I do apologise for my part.
Philip Bunting
43 Posted 19/02/2024 at 22:12:17
Where has the team gone that twated Newcastle and Chelsea in the same week? And went on a 4-game winning streak...?
George Cumiskey
44 Posted 19/02/2024 at 22:14:49
Shocking performance and I don't think that one point is going to save us to be honest. I think we will need the whole 10 points back.
Mike Iddon
45 Posted 19/02/2024 at 22:15:10
Neil Lawson,

I refer you to Steve Cotton's post.

Poor finishing let us down: it should easily have been 3-1.

Joe McMahon
46 Posted 19/02/2024 at 22:15:59
As I said on the forum, it's got to the stage where I'm just indifferent now, season after season and so few goals.

The current Everton manager seems just so stuck in his ways. Maybe Forest and Luton deserve their chance. Everton's brand if football is embarrassing.

Many will disagree but, after years, it's how I feel. Watching Everton is painful. Kenwright did the damage for me. Grand Old Team!

Christine Foster
47 Posted 19/02/2024 at 22:16:27
The intent was lacking, safety first, back pass and sideways all night long. We should have gone for it. As it was, we were lucky not to lose. Palace had two kicked off the line, Pickford only had one save to make and didn't.

If you are going to hoofball up to the centre-forward, you have to win the flick-on or the second ball at least. If you win the second ball, you have to attack it and create the chance. We kept going backwards… or gave it away.

Mike Price
48 Posted 19/02/2024 at 22:16:34
Whoever sanctioned the signing of Beto for that fee needs to be sacked.
Dyche is a busted flush unfortunately, zero entertainment, just abysmal with no hope or signs of any plan.
Neil Tyrrell
49 Posted 19/02/2024 at 22:17:02
None of the teams below Spurs in the table are what you would call "good" this season, the divide is getting bigger than ever. 2 very limited teams playing (or trying to play) very limited football today. Wasn't an enjoyable watch.

Onana showed that heading it between the posts is the way to go, hopefully some of our other players take note. Dyche taking some stick but it's not like he has a bench full of world beaters. We all wanted 3 points today but 1 at a time might be the best we can manage. Strap in and keep the faith. COYB

Frank Sheppard
50 Posted 19/02/2024 at 22:17:50
Dismal and disappointing.

It's the kind of game we need to win. Didn't create real chances until the last 20 minutes. Dull and not good enough.

Nick Page
51 Posted 19/02/2024 at 22:21:25
Watched that shite tonight and Luton yesterday. Now Luton are an abomination of a football team but they put us to shame in their work ethic and pride, they have a right good go and get the crowd behind them. Most of all they have a purpose.

Everton, on the other hand, look absolutely clueless, listless and bereft of ideas. Depressing because actually there are some decent players in this squad.

George Cumiskey
52 Posted 19/02/2024 at 22:23:59
Spot on, Christine.
Richard Nelson
53 Posted 19/02/2024 at 22:24:54
Sergeant Major Dyche is so stubborn... kept the pedestrians
on for 65 minutes... different energy with Harrison & Onana!
Oliver Molloy
54 Posted 19/02/2024 at 22:25:34
Given how important the match was, I don't know how anyone can defend the performance tonight – bang average to say the least.

Fucking awful first half – this team without the leadership and total commitment of Tarkowski would be bottom of the table.
Worse to come? Probably.

The panel has made their decision – the reason they never released it before tonight's game doesn't fill me that it's going to be good!

No points coming back and we will get a fine for the second charge and that will be their way of being "fair".

Danny O’Neill
55 Posted 19/02/2024 at 22:26:30
Poor game and a tough watch.

Emotional. We clawed a point.

I don't really have anything else to offer right now.

I'll sleep on it on the way home tonight and comment tomorrow.

Johan Elmgren
56 Posted 19/02/2024 at 22:27:56
On Saturday, I'm gonna paint a wall and watch it dry... It will be much more interesting and rewarding than watching this dross...
Frank Wolfe
57 Posted 19/02/2024 at 22:28:30
I'm not sure why anyone is surprised with how the game went tonight. We've had the same scenario play out at home many times under different managers for the last few years.

Our home form is dismal – just look at the stats. We are particularly poor against so-called "weaker" teams who sit back. We cannot break them down, the crowd gets frustrated, we get nervous and they score on the break.

Unfortunately, we don't have the creativity in the team to break teams down. In particular, we haven't had a proper No 10 since Gylfi Sigurdsson disappeared and we don't have the luxury of buying one.

If we want to win at home, it will have to be ugly and will require patience from the team and crowd.

Iain Crawford
58 Posted 19/02/2024 at 22:29:33
The team was set up not to lose, and hopefully grab a win from a set-piece. So the main objective of this conservative, defensive and unadventurous set-up was met, but dear me, this was a shocker.

At home when the onus is on us to break down a team, we really struggle. No creativity from midfield to pick the crafted pass, or cross, into the box.

Secondly, no pace or threat from wide positions, no one to beat a man or run behind the defender to get a dangerous reverse cross in from the byline. These crosses are the bread and butter for strikers.

Until we have two players who can do this essential creative work, especially at home, it's more of the same unfortunately.

However, I think we've got just enough to scrape to safety yet again… as long as we get a minimum of 4 points returned.

Clive Rogers
59 Posted 19/02/2024 at 22:32:00
Picking Young was just ridiculous. He is completely finished, surprise, surprise. He has done nothing all season really. If he is picked again after that performance, Dyche should be sacked.

Not that I blame Young as it was ridiculous signing a 38-year-old. Compare his performance with Wharton's for Palace at 20 years old.

Tom Bowers
60 Posted 19/02/2024 at 22:32:05
Everton looked second-best right from the off – Why?

Should they not have been up for this against a below-strength Palace? They should have conceded very early when Palace split them open but escaped. McNeil was very lucky not to be red-carded.

It just looked like another horrible day at the office and, when Palace did score, it looked as if it was their turn to win but then Everton did show some mettle to get something from the game.

But the question (as it always seems to be) is why do they only shake themselves up when adversity strikes?

As I said earlier during the game, they lack a leader in the middle of the park. The passing and tackling is way off and opposing teams (even poor ones) just find it too easy to get to our back 4 (or 5).

Russell Smith
61 Posted 19/02/2024 at 22:33:21
We are a poor team who are currently playing with zero confidence but that is partly because of the pressure of trying to get out of the Bottom 3. If we hadn't had the 10 points deducted, the players would be playing with more freedom.

Calvert-Lewin would not be covering every blade of grass trying to make something out of balls lumped forward and would be more likely to score. It is difficult to watch but we have to keep behind the players as our frustration gets carried onto the pitch.

Pete Jeffries
62 Posted 19/02/2024 at 22:34:16
Agree with Ian.

With Young and Gueye, we were playing with 9 men from the start, both useless.

Danny O’Neill
63 Posted 19/02/2024 at 22:37:30
Look, it wasn't great.

We didn't lose.

Oliver Molloy
64 Posted 19/02/2024 at 22:41:22
I think I just heard Dyche say Calvert-Lewin was getting stronger by the week and he was getting into key areas.

Really don't know what to say to that!

Toney over at Brentford was out for 8 months, is only back four games and has already scored four goals in five games… Calvert-Lewin has scored three in 20 odd!

Colin Glassar
65 Posted 19/02/2024 at 22:44:46
Absolutely horrible game. Horrendous football. Piss poor tactics (hoofball ffs). Non-existent passing ability. No cohesion, composure or nouse.

Wtf do they do during the week cos it doesn't look like they practice together.

I said it on the live forum and I'll say it here, if we move to BMD I hope to Christ that Dyche isn't leading us out onto that football cathedral

Derek Thomas
66 Posted 19/02/2024 at 22:48:25
10pts. returned (as if; 2 if we're lucky, 4 or 5 is a mega bonus) sees us on 30pts and low mid table, but right now we're playing like the borderline / GD, 20 pts. relegation team we are

Like it or not we're in a 6(?) team race to avoid 18th.

Harrison made a difference when he came on, Onana did nothing but score the goal so just scrapes a pass mark, was that last bit written in an Ironic/sarcastic font?...you pays your money etc.

And perhaps Dyche will be thinking...I knew there was a reason I didn't make 60 minute Subs.

At the end Palace were hitting it to the corner flag to hold on to a point...and we were hitting it to the corner flag because we had no fucking idea?? Again, you pays your money.

But full marks for not giving up.

Phil Friedman
67 Posted 19/02/2024 at 22:48:45
I don't understand the hating on Dyche on this site. Look at the complete shite he was to choose from: 2 strikers who can't put a ball in the ocean; Ashley Young, who should be in a wheelchair, starting as a winger of all things; McNeil, who was born with only a left foot; not a single midfield player who can pick a pass; and Garner on dead ball kicks.

It's amazing we haven't been relegated already, although I fear we will be, regardless of how many points we do or don't get back.

Ernie Baywood
68 Posted 19/02/2024 at 22:49:06
It's conservatism upon conservatism. What that means is that you very rarely get completely exposed, but you very rarely do anything worthwhile either. And you certainly don't improve.

We don't drop like a stone. We circle. It's going to take a bit longer, with fewer disasters, but it's just a circuitous route to the drop. We will get relegated at some point. Along the way, there will be self-praise by those who stopped us from dropping faster.

How about showing some balls?

Bill Gall
69 Posted 19/02/2024 at 22:53:17
I said it before the points deduction is just hiding a poor team and tactics. We were on 14 points before the deduction in 12 games; we have only achieved 16 pts in 13 games since the reduction.

This is Burnley Mk 2, and unless we get something from the points reduction, I am seriously starting to get worried over relegation. Today was the game to put the extra effort in to get a positive result and they didn't.

I don't like Michael Owen as a match reporter but he is quite correct in saying Everton have no creativity. Everton are relying too much on set plays that may be difficult to defend, but surely they practice other methods to create chances.

It is not wrong to rely on some points back, the team earned them, but since then, you just don't know what you are going to get from this team.

Watch a training video and you get quick passing and shooting from all angles, game day it has to be a perfect pass or a shot from the perfect position.

The problem lies at the manager's door and I was one who said he has to be given time and should be able to get us out of this mess. But the problem that has started is he only has one method of creating a scoring chance.

John Keating
70 Posted 19/02/2024 at 22:54:17
Poo performance.

Douc well off the pace after being out so long.
Better after Onana and Harrison came on.
I really thought we'd get 3 points tonight.

One thing for sure: we really need every single point of the 10 back.

Ernie Baywood
71 Posted 19/02/2024 at 22:55:28
Phil, we all know Young shouldn't be in that position. So why can Dyche not be criticised for it?

He's playing him in a role that, in theory, should be part-midfielder, part-attacker. But Young can't do that - if he commits forward, he can't get back. And he's getting selected precisely because he offers some defensive cover. It's a terrible decision all in the name of defence...

And we are defensively good. It's just that we're also offensively dreadful. How is that problem being addressed? I see nothing.

Barry Rathbone
72 Posted 19/02/2024 at 22:58:03
Another precious point keeps us in the fight which is all we can ask for given the squad and circumstances. No one will fancy playing us given our survival record if still alive for the last 3 games.

Forget style we don't have the players to play anything but rudimentary togger — it's just about hanging on and praying.

Bill Fairfield
73 Posted 19/02/2024 at 23:01:35
Do they practice those tactics in training?

Sunday league football at its worst. God that was bad.

Sean O’Hanlon
74 Posted 19/02/2024 at 23:03:59
It really is dreadful to watch. So-called professional footballers? Absolute rubbish. Young playing down the right wing – what is going on with Dyche?

Calvert-Lewin has lost it. How many sitters did he miss today? Get rid. Stick any of the young lads on. How many opportunities do we give him?

Andy Meighan
75 Posted 19/02/2024 at 23:04:02
Are people on here still actually defending this dinosaur of a manager?

Can someone please tell me what the tactics were tonight cos honestly I'm at a loss to explain them?

Everyone sitting around me could see Young, McNeil and Garner were having a nightmare, and not for the first time in months but stubborn arse left his love child and Jimmy G (please) on.

3 home wins all season yes 3 and by the time West Ham rock up for the latest draw, we will be in March.

That is one absolutely disgusting statistic, with or without the points deduction.

And please stop going on about the points deduction talking nonsense like well we'd have 30 points if we hadn't etc, well the truth is we got hammered because the way them amateurs in the boardroom ran the club for years.

Personally I don't think we'll get any back and even if we do does anyone honestly think we will win another home game? I don't because, when we've got to force the issue, we haven't got a clue.

The man's tactics are an absolute insult to paying supporters who have to sit through shit performances every week.

That tonight was an embarrassment and we honestly didn't deserve anything. Anyone defending this Dark Age manager
– think again, because our home form is going to relegate us.

Dyche out.

Sam Hoare
76 Posted 19/02/2024 at 23:19:56
Turgid performance. And a pretty uninspiring result.

I think tonight showed the secondary damages of the points deduction and if we'd have been on 28 points this would have been a low-stress affair — I reckon we'd have won rather than an edgy 6-pointer that we drew.

Yes, he had a bad night tonight but I think the Dyche Out Brigade (DOB?) are maybe forgetting that, without the points deduction (which is clearly not his fault) we'd be on 30 points and in 12th, which would be a very decent performance with this pretty mediocre and thin squad.

Having said that, we badly need to remember how to win. Not sure we can survive through scrappy draws alone (though they can help).

Andy Riley
77 Posted 19/02/2024 at 23:20:13
For me, it was summed up by Lewis Dobbin about to be introduced just before the equaliser, only to promptly be told to sit down once we'd scored.

That suggested to me that in the Sean Dyche game plan he was happy with a point. He's the expert really and, come the end of the season, that point may be important. However, a terrible watch.

Sean Kearns
78 Posted 19/02/2024 at 23:22:32
We are 12th!!**… Why the fuck are people complaining?!

Every draw has to be a point gained imo because if a team drew every single match they would get 38 points and stay up.

We are 12th, people!! Do we not remember the dark days of the last 2 years??? Jesus Christ, give it a rest. We are doing boss this season, all things considered!!

How was it a terrible watch? We create chances and it's entertaining... we used to go 4-5 games in a row without even one shot at goal under Frank the Wank. We are clearly better than the teams around us and have plenty of games left.

Mike Price
79 Posted 19/02/2024 at 23:28:18
Andy #75,

I've joined the Dyche out camp. I can never, ever envisage him producing a team that is enjoyable to watch.

He talks a good game but only values size and endeavour, that's why we have zero skill or creativity anywhere in the squad.

People saying his hands are tied, well he sanctioned the signings of the two 6'-4" ‘strikers' from Portugal that can't even control a ball for £35 million in the summer.

Meanwhile, Brighton are picking up skilful, pacy wingers that score goals and go straight into the first team for £6 million!

Phil Friedman
80 Posted 19/02/2024 at 23:33:07
Ernie, I think there's a difference between criticism and the vitriol that I see being dumped on Dyche. Lord knows I don't think he's the perfect manager.

But Harrison has played 1500+ minutes across 20 games, plus cups. Everyone needs to be rested once in a while. So Dyche looks down the bench for someone to sub in for Young, and what does he see besides Harrison? Dobbin? Chermiti?

Maybe he thinks Young can help hold the score to nil-nil, then throw on Harrison for the last 1/3 when Palace are gasping for air. And I think it was the right decision today — maybe not every day, but it worked (somewhat) today.

The problem is, when he looked at the squad for starters, Young was about all he had. They've given him almost nothing, and said “win with these”, which is impossible.

Paul Birmingham
81 Posted 19/02/2024 at 23:33:23
Taking the point and having the belief to recover from a goal down. Character… but Everton's use of the ball tonight was often loose. Dead balls were very wasteful.

The game time this season is running down. But too much tension and fear tonight. Good to see Doucoure back but the aim of the game is to score goals.

Hopefully a turning point, and cut loose at Brighton.

Tarkowski is a Colossus, today's version of Dave Watson, thank God.


Andy Meighan
82 Posted 19/02/2024 at 23:40:55
No Sam, I'm not forgetting the points deduction… who is?

But the cold harsh truth is we have had them deducted because of pure and utter mismanagement over the years, nothing else.

It's horrible… but we are just above the relegation zone – so we will have to deal with it.

As I've stated, 3 home wins all season: abysmal – and turgid performances in said season at home: Luton, Fulham, Wolves etc.

Just seen Dyche's post-match interview, spouting the usual bile he's been talking all season. The man hasn't got a clue.

Surely there's a manager out there somewhere who can get us playing the right way, playing football joined up passing getting on the front foot from kick-off and, most of all, scoring goals!!! — 7 in our last 12 is pretty fucking dismal and when was the last time we actually scored from open play.

He's got no Plan B so, if Plan A fails, we're in trouble – and can someone tell me what McNeil and Garner have to do to be dropped or at least brought off when playing shit???

Oh yes, I want him gone alright because, believe me, if it's not this season, it'll definitely be the next because Dark Age Sean is not the man to move this club on with his ultra-cautious tactics.

Sam Hoare
83 Posted 19/02/2024 at 23:55:50
Sean @78,

I agree with lots of this. It may not be beautiful football but we've been a lot worse very recently. Even when off it, we seem to create opportunities and Doucoure, Tarkowski, Calvert-Lewin and Garner all had decent chances tonight.

Finishing those chances continues to be our biggest issue.

Lester Yip
84 Posted 19/02/2024 at 23:57:32
How many chances does Calvert-Lewin have to miss to get a goal?

Can we give Beto a chance?

Ed Prytherch
85 Posted 19/02/2024 at 00:04:44
It is likely to be like this for the remainder of the season so we had better get used to it.

I feel sorry for the season ticket holders.

Les Callan
86 Posted 20/02/2024 at 00:14:16
Pete @ 62.

Gueye was our best player.

Ridiculous substitution.

Phil Lewis
87 Posted 19/02/2024 at 00:22:44
Dire, dreadful, demoralising.

Hardly anyone came out with credit. Doucoure was way off the pace, as was Young, who could at least use his age as an excuse. Harrison injected some energy coming off the bench, but so much of his passing goes astray.

There is simply no controlled build-up to our play. It's all frantic huff and puff plus long hopeful balls, which more often than not only succeed in giving the opposition possession.

Surely given our threadbare squad, Gomes must be returned to the side once fit. He is probably the only player on the books with any guile and creative vision. Although admittedly, he has disappointed often enough to have reservations about him finding any effective consistency.

The management team need a rapid rethink after tonight's performance. If Messrs Dyche and Woan seriously believe these tactics will be sufficient for Premier League survival come May, then they are in for a disastrously rude awakening.

Dave Abrahams
88 Posted 19/02/2024 at 00:24:09
Beyond description, that first half – nobody wanted the ball except Pickford to welly the ball down the pitch, obviously playing to instructions, he's our schemer.

Paul (81) gets it for me with “Too much fear and tension tonight. Some people saying Gana had a poor game, a couple of his shots and passes were poor. He's like that every game but he also is not afraid to press, tackle and intercept passes and give the ball to his teammates, so his plusses outweigh his poor rates of play.

We had our best spell of the game after the hour mark with two good efforts stopped on the line and the crowd had come to life, God knows how after the drivel we were watching, but then Dyche stopped that pressing to introduce two subs and Palace scored immediately the game restarted with Onana and Branthwaite slow to react to Palace's attack.

It gets harder and harder to watch this type of football but Dyche has very limited players to try and alter this negative football. Surely he has to try and attack a lot more than this? We can do it, showed it in that spell before Palace scored and after we got the equaliser, so why not sooner?

On to the rest of the week and those points we get back should raise our spirits and put a spring in Dyche's thoughts and plans and give a boost to the players for the final third of the season.

Stuart Sharp
89 Posted 20/02/2024 at 00:33:32
Only just in and not read all the comments.

But really, people criticising Gana? Our best player today. Baffling sub.

Billy Bradshaw
90 Posted 20/02/2024 at 00:40:43
Danny @63, I thought you were going to sleep?
Jim Wilson
91 Posted 20/02/2024 at 00:44:20
Stuart @ 89,

Thank you for some sanity. He was easily our best player. Onana comes on for him and immediately helps Palace score.

Some people are either liars or thick.

James Byrne
92 Posted 20/02/2024 at 00:48:16
What a poor, miserable performance that was. I reckon any other team in the Premier League would have relished that game tonight against a depleted Palace side. But not us, oh no… we prefer to make it look like hard fucking work as always.

At the end of the day, it's about quality, and what wins games and what gets games won, is player quality in key areas of the pitch.

Young and Gueye. Zero quality and should not be in this league end of. Doucouré, he was knackered after 30 minutes! How does that work at this level of football for returning players?

Calvert-Lewin had multiple options to score but produced nothing. When you see the subs and fringe players watching the game sitting there laughing their heads off, it makes you wonder who they are laughing at!!

Colin Malone
93 Posted 20/02/2024 at 00:58:59
Have we the players to play possession football? Definitely.
Have we a manager who can coach possession football? Definitely not.

Dyche is a survival manager, always will be, with his hoofball tactics. We have the players. We need the coach.


Mark Murphy
94 Posted 20/02/2024 at 01:06:10
I'm in the safe warm bosom of my room in the Adelphi with just the mad bloke with the axe trying to break through my door as a distraction… Think his name's Johnny??

Anyway, shite end to a great weekend.

Tarkowski was good, Godfrey was good, Gana was good and should not have been subbed, and Calvert-Lewin was very good but in the wrong position.

Fair result, which is worrying. We now have fewer “winnable” games to harvest points.

I was very disappointed with Garner tonight and, btw, forget Beto….

Now we have to batter Brighton again… easy peasy!!!

Don Alexander
95 Posted 20/02/2024 at 01:15:26
A point!

That's a gain in the rats-in-a-bag scenario into which we've been plunged for many years by Moshiri and his multi-millionaire-at-fans'-expense "guru" Kenwright, before and during him.

I've never spent a minute watching rats fight in a bag but, at the risk of inspiring some sick bastard televising it, I can only imagine it'd be as chronic as watching matches between teams at the arse end of the Premier League.

It's shite – period, but next to no blame should be attributed to the hapless manager-of-any-given-moment in the last 30 soul-destroying years.

They, like us genuine fans, have all been massively sabotaged by endless corrupt incompetence at the top. To say the least.

Next season?

A new (but unpaid-for) allegedly state-of-the-art stadium the capacity of which will be second only to the only other one in our great city? A take-over by a very dodgy US (as in "useless" – to say the least) organisation? A venal Premier League "authority" (allied by a similarly venal Red-dominated media)?

Realistic grounds for a mere hint of optimism are welcome.

Alan J Thompson
96 Posted 20/02/2024 at 02:40:21
I've just finished watching the replay and have not read any reports or comments above.

My first thought on seeing the line-up was, where's the midfield and what is Young's role supposed to be? And sure enough, the first half was not much more than hoofball.

At one stage in the half, it was said that Pickford had had 35 touches and only two other Everton players had had more – one, it was said, being Tarkowski.

A few times, McNeil would take off down the wing and would be cut off by three Palace players so would cut inside and across but, with nobody to pass to, would play it back to Mykolenko or Branthwaite, then usually back to Pickford, which later seemed to be square to Pickford.

When Onana did come on, I was surprised that Gana went off and it seemed a straight swap, Onana playing defensive midfield but he did, as usual, get into positions to take a pass.

When Palace scored, I thought that would be it for the game but we might then have won it from set pieces. First Onana's goal and then Tarkowski should have scored and, if he had left it Onana, he would have had a second.

I just didn't agree with the original team selection, which again seemed to be on the defensive side, albeit we had enough chances to have scored three or four without playing any remarkably good football.

Jay Harris
97 Posted 20/02/2024 at 03:03:50
Only a few players came out of this game with credit.

Tarkowski, Gana, Mykolenko and Calvert-Lewin worked their balls off.

Young should have never been in a lineup which was going for 3 points.

McNeil hasn't been the same player since his injury and Doucoure laboured in trying to get match fit.

I have to say Sean Dyche has had a lot of backing but he needs to get us back on the front foot with around 20 points required in 13 games – subject to Premier League interference, of course.

Lester Yip
98 Posted 20/02/2024 at 03:05:10
I don't mind hoof ball if it creates opportunity. And it did.

The same old: we can't convert those chances.

Kieran Kinsella
99 Posted 20/02/2024 at 03:06:43
Colin Glassar, who's pretty level-headed, and a few others are taking about Dyche's limitations long term.

But right now we are day-to-day. There is no long-term. We read every day we may be in administration, bankrupt, relegated. The aesthetics of our football is hardly a concern.

If and when we get to that point that it is, I don't know. I think Dyche may be able to step up but I thought the same about Joe Royle. And Joe did through happenstance with Kanchelskis and Speed when Dunc was in the nick but, as soon as Dunc was back, it was dire route one. Similar story with Royle at Man City.

Given that Dyche had the same Watford grooming at Brenda and Warburton I do suspect he has a bit more wherewithal than Joe. But who knows?

Anyway, for right now, frustrating as it is given our finances, our threadbare squad, and the lack of quality in the team, I still think Sean is the best man for the job in the circumstances.

Derek Knox
100 Posted 20/02/2024 at 06:48:21
That was dire, and devoid of any creative play whatsoever. The last 3 matches I have been to have all been the same, so not a matter of happenstance. Palace were poor themselves, but almost (down to a bare bones team) better than us.

If it wasn't for Tarkowski and Branthwaite, we could have come away defeated again. I thought Calvert-Lewin was good up front but too wide most of the time, and no-one supporting him. I was convinced we would have got 3 points but that's Everton for you!

Paul Hewitt
101 Posted 20/02/2024 at 07:06:13
We need the appeal and takeover sorted this week, no excuses. It's affecting the performances on the pitch. The players are a bag of nerves.
Danny Baily
102 Posted 20/02/2024 at 07:14:56
Derek, Branthwaite had one of his off nights last night.

I agree we need a playmaker. Most likely candidates are Gomes or Dele. The latter will soon be an option as we run out of games (and there's no risk of incurring a fee). Both are a roll of the dice, but we're getting to that point now.

Anyway, today could be the day.

Ian Bennett
103 Posted 20/02/2024 at 07:27:56
I was there last night, and just felt with their 3 strikers who can all score on the pitch, we'd be in trouble.

The game was really cagey, with both teams fearful of conceding the first. My question is: Why start with 10 men? Ashley Young contributes nothing more than giving away continual cheap free kicks. He's been a great player down the years, but now he offers nothing.

It's clear that Young is only playing as we have no right-wing option in the whole squad. We know we've had a problem at right-back for a long time, so having someone decent in front of that position would be vital. Instead, we have an entire right-hand side not fit for purpose.

Not that the left-hand side was much better either. Mykolenko stayed at home most of the game, and McNeil had a poor game in terms of passes or just disappeared inside, offering his team nothing.

A hard watch last night. The crowd were up for it last night, but Dyche played with the handbrake on and the team offered absolutely nothing.

Two points dropped in one of the favourable fixtures, it's going to come down to the PSR charges. The irony is that those charges are likely to send us into administration.

Nurse, help.

Niall McIlhone
104 Posted 20/02/2024 at 07:46:31
Had Everton converted just one more of the clear chances that they created in the second half, I expect we would all be in a far better place this morning.

Truth is, we are just a very limited team, hoping – but not expecting – to win games. Ah well… by this weekend, we should know if we are a mid table team, or mired in another scrap.

I have no doubt that any award of more than, say, 3 points returned will provide a massive uplift to the team and the manager, here's hoping.

As for the look of the team, Garner was very poor last night, by his standards: I feel that he probably needs a rest at the weekend. Gana and Onana should play in the central midfield berth with Onana having a bit more freedom to get up the pitch.

Aside from his goal, I felt he brought some much-needed energy last night, and should have been introduced earlier for Jimmy Garner.

Mark Ryan
105 Posted 20/02/2024 at 07:50:47
Sadly, we have a manager who is not getting the best out of our players.

The TV cameras caught the Everton bench giggling like school kids after Garner's weak free-kick that seemed to clear the Park End stand and they look to me as though they are not up for this dogfight.

Dyche talks the talk and is doing a good job under horrific circumstances off the field and you would want him in the trenches with you but this team needs a lift and he, I fear, is going to sleepwalk us into the Championship.

Tony Abrahams
106 Posted 20/02/2024 at 07:52:59
I agree with everything Ian has just said; I left the ground last night thinking Everton had played in a way too conservative manner.

I was surprised when Gueye was subbed because I thought he worked harder than anyone but Onana was more controlled and made us play with more width, or was this because we ended up playing in a 4-4-2 system?

Everyone can see the problem is a lack of creativity, but it's also obvious we need more from both wings. This isn't easy when both full-backs constantly stay at home because our wide-men lack pace.

Christy Ring
107 Posted 20/02/2024 at 07:56:38
Very disappointing performance.

Is Calvert-Lewin supposed to collect his own flick-ons? Absolutely no support whatsoever, midfield no creativity whatsoever. Dobbin should have started beside Calvert-Lewin.

Our only playmaker who can pass through the middle is Gomes. I would have loved the free transferred Barkley who is orchestrating everything for Luton.

Ernie Baywood
108 Posted 20/02/2024 at 07:56:46
I'm trying to think how I'll feel when this decision finally gets announced.

I'll feel more comfortable if we were to suddenly have more points, but I really don't think we'll go down regardless. We're crap, but there are 3 worse.

I doubt I'll feel 'happy' if we get points back. I'm watching absolute shite; what is there to be happy about?

Honestly, I'm a bit sick of Everton and I'm sure others feel similarly.

Kim Vivian
110 Posted 20/02/2024 at 08:14:12
"...I'm so disenchanted with football these days I have lost track of virtually everything that is happening with other clubs. Little interest in other results bar those immediately relevant to us. Very little to get upbeat about Everton, and just hoping for a rip-roaring performance and result tonight to change things up. Christ, anything could happen..."

I posted that on the Live Forum last night and seriously did hope for something to spark me up. This morning, I am just numb with boredom and acceptance that it's going to be some time before I can feel upbeat about Everton or the general state of football. So sad...

Whether the point we gained or the two that Palace dropped last night prove to be most relevant to our fight for Premier League survival remains to be seen, but Jesus wept — these are dire times.

I simply can't comment sensibly about last night other than to say I love (and thank you) Onana.

Love him while we have him.

Robert Tressell
111 Posted 20/02/2024 at 08:21:45
Without the points deduction, we are 12th, 1 draw, 3 wins and a good goal difference clear of the drop.

With the points deduction, we are still clear of the relegation zone (although it's incredibly tight).

Clearly we have a very low-quality side. Even a weakened Palace could field a side certainly no worse than ours yesterday.

Although I would like to see more of Dobbin, there is every possibility that we would have lost that game. People will say it can't get worse but it really can.

It's a shame that Patterson and Harrison are not being used on our very crap right flank, mind you. And I would like to see Beto and, when he's fit, Danjuma get more minutes.

Dyche needs to figure out how to make us less one-dimensional in attack… but again, with better finishing, we could have had 3 goals. Doucoure missing the clearest sitter.

Phillip Warrington
112 Posted 20/02/2024 at 08:31:12
It just going to have to be Calvert-Lewin or Beto to start a scoring run; once that happens, I think we will be fine. We do create a lot of chances, once you have a forward firing, it breeds so much confidence in the team and takes pressure by creating a threat the opposition have to worry about.

Our defensive structure is okay with Tarkowski, Branthwaite and Pickford, add the 10 points on and people would be saying we're having a reasonable season.

It's weird – a club famous for its Number 9s – we are so hopeless at finishing and shooting.

Colin Glassar
113 Posted 20/02/2024 at 08:34:48
I thought it couldn't get any worse after last night… then I watched the post match comments of Dyche this morning. Heavens above, the man is delusional. Hasn't he heard of the ‘new manager bump syndrome'?

It looks like he was caught by surprise with the effort and tactics employed by Palace. He often looks clueless on the touchline as though he's new to the game, hence his refusal to have a Plan B or the opportune use of subs etc…

I still believe Dyche will keep us up through sheer bloody mindedness and dogged determination but his style of football makes Big Sam's look like a combo of Guardiola, Michels and Zagallo in comparison.

What turgid, pointless, zombie like tosh was that? Kick it high upfield like a bunch of 8-year-olds and hope for the best? In the field of evolution we are definitely regressing as a (football) species.

Saying all that, I expect us to beat Brighton now.

George Stuart
114 Posted 20/02/2024 at 08:44:27
Okay. Sad as that was, to cheer ourselves up, remember we should be on 30 points and 12th place.

Not looking forward to a gap year but, if it is to come, it was forced upon us.

David Bromwell
115 Posted 20/02/2024 at 08:46:00
There's so much wrong with the whole Club, it's really difficult to see how and when things might improve, and perhaps worryingly will they ever?

During these last few years, the support by us the fans has been nothing short of brilliant, when the only thing we have been able to celebrate is that we have avoided relegation.

Politicians often talk about the 'green shoots' of recovery; well, if truth be known, we haven't got any sign that anything is going to change anytime soon and we are in for yet more of the same.

Perhaps we could just do one thing please, just stop, or vary even, the endless hoofball to Calvert-Lewin. It simply does not work, it's terrible to watch, and for a club which promotes itself as playing 'beautiful football' it's embarrassing.

Oh, and yes last night was just dreadful, lots of others have explained why. Maybe we will get some better news today?

Paul Hewitt
116 Posted 20/02/2024 at 08:49:19
One thing last night that sums Dyche up. Dobbin was on the sidelines ready to come on when we were 1-0 down. We got the corner and scored the equaliser. What did Dyche do?

Send on Dobbin who's quick and direct to win the game? No — he told him to sit down. Hold on to the draw. Depressing.

John Keating
117 Posted 20/02/2024 at 08:51:55
I hear what Dyche and the players say but in my opinion the points deduction has to be playing on their minds. It's certainly playing on the supporters'.

The atmosphere is so tense and at times both febrile and antagonistic to the management, team and fellow supporters. I doubt it would be so bad had we been sitting mid-table with this charge not hanging over us.

The delay in announcing the appeal, again in my opinion, is political. I reckon had we had the positive result from the appeal that we should have our recent draws would have been wins, the team playing with far more confidence.

Mind you, if you were a member of the "independent" commission on a no doubt massive dayrate and expense account, you'd want to drag it out.

Regardless of the appeal result, pressure on the Premier League and Masters should be maintained.

Eddie Dunn
118 Posted 20/02/2024 at 08:55:57
Mike Iddon @45, you think we could have won that 3-1. What about two goal-line clearances and a couple of dreadful misses from Palace? We were dreadfull and it was down to Dyche.

It is true that we should be on 30 points but let's be frank. If we were mid-table on 30 points, many would be complaining at our lack of quality. The football is terrible. This lot are capable of much more.

Dyche decided to play Young in front of Godfrey. They played together 20 years ago and Sean must be confusing those days with now. Young's inclusion ruined the chance to get any crosses in from our right.

The midfield must have been told to keep it tight and none of them got near Calvert-Lewin to lend a hand. McNeil was kept on the whole game (again) despite never beating his man. He did provide the corner for the equaliser but that was his only product.

Dobbin would surely have improved things. Doucoure should have been hooked at halftime.
The positives were Onana taking the game by the scruff of the neck and Godfrey's run in the second half.

Remember just how poor Palace are, without three of their best and they frankly deserved a win. This was our chance to put daylight between us and Luton and drag Palace into the mix.

Paul Hewitt
119 Posted 20/02/2024 at 09:00:21
Maybe Dyche knows how many points we will get back, and was happy with the point?
Michael Fox
120 Posted 20/02/2024 at 09:10:43
I was at the match last night and think a lot of tension spilled onto the pitch from the crowd and just made things worse. We need to support the team better than that.
Christopher Timmins
121 Posted 20/02/2024 at 09:18:55
Last night just showed yet again how poor we are with the ball. We sold Richarlison and Gordon in order to survive. They had to be sold due to the incompetence of Kenwright & Co. You don't offload over £100 million in talent and become a better team.

We are hard to beat and well organised and that should be sufficient to keep us in the Premier League unless the sins of Kenwright and Co prove to great to overcome.

The quality of a lot of teams from West Ham downwards is moderate enough. The gap between the better teams in the top half and us is enormous and will not be narrowed until our finances are sorted.

Given the lack of talent in the squad Dyche is still the best man for the job at this point in time.

Steve Brown
122 Posted 20/02/2024 at 09:37:34
Palace have won 2 league games since the start of October, so I thought Dyche's game plan was far too cautious last night regardless of the "new manager factor:. They were also missing Eze and Olise.

Dyche could have told the fullbacks to push higher and got Doucoure closer to DC, but he seemed too satisfied with a draw for me. As someone else pointed out, telling Dobbin to sit back down after we equalised was negative,

I also think the uncertainty of the appeal against the points deduction is creating tension on and off the pitch. Once we know what the score is, players and fans can move forward with a clear sense of what we need to do.

But sack Dyche? We are in an existential crisis with no active owners, a stalled takeover, facing potential bankruptcy and or relegation with a poor quality squad. I don't think removing the one stabilising factor at the club - Dyche - is a sensible move. He is the right man for the right club at the right time.

Beyond that, it is up to him to show he can develop the team over time to do more than they are currently able to show. Personally, I don't care what the football is like right now though. The Jogo Bonito will have to wait.

Brian Harrison
123 Posted 20/02/2024 at 09:40:46
What an awful game played by 2 sides who have zero ambition, and either wouldn't look out of place in the Championship. I am getting more and more frustrated by Dyche and his tactics, its 3 passes across the back 4 then a long ball forward for DCL to hold up or flick on to nobody. I would go as far as to say I think we played better football under the dinosaur Allardyce, and I didnt think any Everton manager could be worse. There was certainly a nervousness inside Goodison last night and the players did nothing to dispel those nerves. I understand Everton football club is a basket case of a club to work for at the moment, and under Dyche the players heads don't go down after conceding a goal like they did under Lampard and they do seem a bit fitter. But there has to be more to coaching a Premier league club than that, we very rarely see any of our midfield players running past our forwards, no one plays one twos around the box, no simple give and go. Our whole game is long ball based and if we do get near the oppositions box its play it wide and chip it into the box in the hope someone gets his head on it.

McNeil hasn't been the same player since he has come back from injury, and every time he received the ball out wide he invariably passed it backwards, yes he can deliver an excellent ball but they are becoming fewer and fewer as the games go by. I think he is the only player who I have seen who runs faster with the ball than without it. I couldnt believe it when Dyche took Gana Gueye off and left James Garner on, again only Dyche can explain that one. Also he at last got Dobbin stripped and ready to come on then sat him down when we equalized, Why?. I really feel sorry for Dobbin, he must look at Ashley Young or Harrison and think I carry more of a goal threat than these 2 yet doesnt get any game time. Seems Dyche isn't a great advocate of giving any of our youngsters a chance.

To top it all when I got back from the match I watched a repeat of Dyches interview with Sky, were he said they obviously had the new manager in the stands, so what they also had their 2 best players missing. Dyche also said its harder when you are expected to win games, and then said the crowd here expect a lot. I didnt think I would ever hear an Everton manager talk so much nonsense as Dyche does, he talks about details and noise, but completely ignores our lack of ability to do the simple things well, thats what he is here to do coach the players not give out sound bites.

Finally will he tell Jordan Pickford he is a goal keeper not a central defender, he seems to take all free kicks right up to the halfway line, and spends most of his time 30 yards from goal.

Jerome Shields
124 Posted 20/02/2024 at 09:43:20
When Everton have a chance to progress up the table, they always put in a performance like that.It did not help that they were set up deep giving Palace space.Hopefully they have got that turgid display out of their system and play with more intensity in the next game.They needed that lucky point provided by Onana's great header.
Sam Hoare
125 Posted 20/02/2024 at 09:44:59
Last night we had 63% of the possesion which is our second most all season after the Luton debacle.

Our 3rd most is a long way off on 54%.

We are really not used to having the ball and have very few coherent plans of what to do with it.

I watched the match again this morning and found it very depressing and frustrating. Dyche must have known we would have more of the ball and yet left out Harrison who is one of our best creators. It would also have been a much better match for Patterson, who can offer something on the ball unlike Godfrey at right back.

Bad team selection for this match and then to compound it an unwillingness to change and adapt despite a woeful first half.

I've supported Dyche overall and the job that he has done. His consistency of selection has made us stronger overall but there are times where his inflexibility and preference for favourites is really defying the needs of the match at hand.

It's beginning to look like a shootout between us and Luton for that 3rd relegation spot. They have a tough run coming up but then end the season at home to us and Fulham. Disappointing to be in this spot again, we wouldn't be if not for the points deduction, but we cannot rely on scrappy draws alone. Dyche needs to find some wins and fast.

Pete Clarke
126 Posted 20/02/2024 at 09:47:12
We may have the odd brilliant game here and there ( ala Brighton last season ) but we are generally piss poor at football due to the bang average players and a dinosaur manager. Not helped by years of absolute ineptitude by our owners and board of course but how the hell do some of these players make it through academies and end up on mini fortune wages ??
DCL may have worked his bollox off but he’s a very poor striker. He had two headers put on a plate for him last night and just lets us down. Garner should also have burst the net too.
Unbelievable how so many blues turn up to watch and they get that rubbish for their hard earned money.
Positives are that we didn’t get beaten and are out of the bottom 3 but that’s grasping at straws given our plight right now.
Ian Burns
127 Posted 20/02/2024 at 09:54:17
Ernie 108 - what 3 teams are worst than us? Sheff Utd and maybe Burnley? Leicester, Leeds, Southampton and even possibly Ipswich are better than us, so we need three out of that lot to go up in case we have to face them next season.

Last night was turgid at best. John Keating at 117 is spot on when he says the points deduction must be playing on the minds of the team and coaching staff.

For the first time last night I felt we would struggle in the Championship as that was as bad as I have seen in many a day.

I am so glad I saw us in the ‘60’s and ‘80’s!

Derek Knox
128 Posted 20/02/2024 at 09:59:27
Michael, I was there too and wasn't too aware of any 'tension' amongst the fans, 'anticipation' yes, as per usual, that we would not only be entertained, but witness a victory. All the ducks had lined up, so a victory was not only expected, but almost taken for granted, given that Palace had off-field problems, No manager, and a bare bones team on it.

I have heard fellow supporters saying this before or something like it. We, the fans, are there to support and encourage, Yes. BUT, only if the effort is being applied on the field, so I can't go along with the most loyal fans I know being blamed for the deficiencies of the players on the day !

Andrew Ellams
129 Posted 20/02/2024 at 10:00:47
Surely last night was the end of the road for Calvert-Lewin.

We're told his strength is from balls into the box, half our goals are from set pieces into the box and he's managed 3 all season.

Geoff Lambert
130 Posted 20/02/2024 at 10:14:59
Andrew #129

The pro Donkey brigade have been a bit quiet for the last 18 games. Not even Championship level. And it looks like we have bought another Blackpool beach companion for him.

No goals from our front men is going to take this once great club of ours down. Shocking team selection for Palace at home as well.

Sam Hoare
131 Posted 20/02/2024 at 10:27:40
I'll be the 'pro-donkey brigade' (who needs enemies with supporters like ours, eh?)

Obviously Calvert-Lewin is in a dire run of goalscoring form, he's low on confidence and would be expecting to put away more chances. But neither of the chances last night were that simple, the first I think he'll be disappointed with but the second was very hard considering the height of the ball and defender right in front of him.

I thought he actually had one of his best games in a while last night and winning 17 headers is the most of any player in the Premier League since 2021.

It was a dominant display, but as usual he is isolated and feeding off scraps.

He should have more goals this season and I'm sure he'll be beating himself up about that but his all round game has been solid and he is our best bet for linking play in such a direct system.

In past seasons he has shown himself to be a decent (though never excellent) finisher and though I wouldn't be opposed to seeing Beto given a start or two, I still believe that once DCL gets one we may see confidence return and a few more follow.

Anthony Dove
132 Posted 20/02/2024 at 10:31:43
Absolutely dreadful performance. We are so bad at the moment we can only hope to get results off the field. We were never in the game until Palace scored and
decided to hold what they had.

As we have no pace apart from Mykolenko, to play Young
instead of Dobbin was unbelievable. Actually Young is quicker than Harrison or McNeil buts that's another story.
Pushing Mykolenko forward in the last 20 minutes
made a difference. Calvert-Lewin is shot and we don't have a
replacement in spite of spending £35 million. Pickford added to the general feeling of panic by thinking he was a third centre-back.

Wharton looked a cracking prospect. Surely we could have
managed some sort of a deal there.

Geoff Lambert
133 Posted 20/02/2024 at 10:34:58
He might come good just in time for our run out against Bristol City Sam. Get your head out of the sand with no quality up front we are heading down. And does anyone think them bastards are going to give us any points back? not a chance.
Rennie Smith
134 Posted 20/02/2024 at 10:36:28
Michael#120 of course we're nervous in the stands, watching that shite would put the most laidback person on edge. We're nervous because it's a game that if we win pulls Palace closer and into the mire, and right from the off it was just abysmal, it wasn't even route one, more like route zero.

Dyche, don't even attempt to start on us in the stands "the crowd expect a lot". We've kept this shower in the PL recently, we've given everything to push them over the line and we're exhausted. We expect someone to be able to make a 20 yard pass, to have at least some idea what they're doing when playing forward, I don't think that's "a lot"

Mark Ryan
135 Posted 20/02/2024 at 10:38:10
Who is currently running the club. Who is in charge ? Do we even know ? Why are they not demanding an answer to the Appeal. Come out and demand a resolution. Typical of Everton to go so quiet. Get on the front foot, get the answer, take the medicine and get on with it ffs
Ian Wilkins
136 Posted 20/02/2024 at 10:50:15
Paul @119,
Interesting thought re Dyche and point deduction. I honestly don’t believe he has any idea what’s coming, but the team set up, game plan, failure to change things at half time ( when we obviously had to) led you that way.
We really needed the 3 points last night and that set up and game plan was truly awful, maybe unforgivable in our circumstances.
Please don’t give us us ‘ high Goodison expectations’, that’s not fair, the fans have been brilliant. We deserve a lot better than was served up last night.
I’ve been watching since 1970, I’ve never seen us play such poor football. Gordon Lee, Billy Bingham etc, we’ve never been so lacking in quality.
Sam Hoare
137 Posted 20/02/2024 at 10:51:13
Geoff@133, rather than saying 'get your head out of the sand' why don't you actually try and contend any of the points I made.

No I don't think we'll get any points back and yes I think we'll be in a relegation tussle but I think we'll survive. My bet is you predicted we'd go down last season and the one before?

Kevin Edward
138 Posted 20/02/2024 at 10:53:43
I think the drag factor of the last two seasons and the points deduction is really now starting to bite.

It’s not surprising that there’s a fear of losing, and at Goodison it just seems to be amplified and nerves are getting shredded.

The quality we have on show is poor, and very poor on converting chances. Oh the difference it would make if we scored first in games.

The team might do better away from home, less pressure?

But the difference between winning and drawing is huge, we can be unbeaten and draw three games, and get snuffed out by one Luton win.

I’ll give huge credit to anyone in this team who can step up and provide the goals to get us up the table, the manager is trying to grind out the results to keep us up by one point it seems.

Mark Murphy
139 Posted 20/02/2024 at 10:56:22
I’m in a foul mood! Just spilled a whole cappuccino over the only pair of jeans I’ve got on me and have to sit on a train for four hours with toothache and memories of THAT shite in my head!
I’m joining up with the PDB AND the ADB at the same time. DCL had a very good game last night doing what this manager has tasked him to do. For all those saying “well yeah, but look at the tools Dyche has at his disposal” - he has DCL available and if he played him right he would have more goals. One of the tools he has available is Young. There are better tools available but Dyche doesn’t use them as he’s being too negative. I KNOW he’s all we can get at the moment so I can’t comply with Paul’s (quite reasonable) request that I name an alternative but that shouldn’t remove him from any criticism. He’s also got assistants who should be able to do more when it’s obvious plan A (or THE plan as far as I can see) isn’t working. Get Patterson back in and instruct Myko, McNeil, Dobbin and Patterson /Seamus, to put cross after cross in for Dom and he’ll convert. Young was a good footballer but he’s not good enough for the prem now and Beto???? He’s not as good as Rondon!!
I said I was in a bad mood!
Andrew Ellams
140 Posted 20/02/2024 at 11:03:19
Sam, if we don't get any points back then I think it's game over and I'll be shocked if DCL scores more than 2 more goals this season.
Brian Williams
141 Posted 20/02/2024 at 11:07:56
I purposely haven't read too many earlier posts but my guess is that DCL will be getting pelters.

That's DCL who had one clear cut chance and one maybe two half chances.

That's DCL who for the best part of 70 minutes was tasked with not only winning the first ball but then having to win his own knock downs and headers because there was no other Everton player anywhere fucking near him.

Compare the role he had to play with Mateta who chested the ball down to Ayew who was supporting him and who went on to score a very good goal.

For those who are just slagging and blaming DCL then I have to say you know absolutely fuck all about football you really don't.

I purposely focused on DCL more than I would at last nights game and what he was tasked to do he did well for the most part.

He "could" have scored just as Haaland "could" have scored three at the weekend but he didn't but if you can't see what's wrong with our setup and formation then read my ealrier opinion.

Sam Hoare
142 Posted 20/02/2024 at 11:09:42
Andrew, it's certainly not game over. But yes it will be tight. So far this season we have got more more points per game than Luton, if we continue to do that we will be safe.

As for DCL I'll happily make a bet to charity with you that if he stays fit for 90% of the matches he'll score more than 2 more goals this season. Up for it?

Mike Owen
143 Posted 20/02/2024 at 11:13:26
Regards the crowd last night, I thought it was interesting. No great vocal support. I recall very little in the way of chanting/singing until we scored. But, despite a disappointing performance, there was very little in the way of negativity or booing and I saw relatively few people leaving before full-time.

As others have said, I think everyone is waiting for the appeal verdict and the tension is weighing very heavily.

As for scoring goals, I am a big supporter of DCL but I'd rest him, possibly not on Saturday though as he had a good game at Brighton last season and that could give him good vibes.

But I think the best natural finisher we have in the squad is quite possibly Michael Keane and I'd be giving him plenty of game-time upfront.

Danny O’Neill
144 Posted 20/02/2024 at 11:17:17
Having travelled from the south east of England to watch that Mark, you are entitled to feel aggrieved with what we were subject to last night.

A lot of us have given the manager time and patience in the circumstances.

But sometimes he needs to change it.

I'm not talking players as we are wafer thin. But when the tactics aren't working, change it.

We got away with a point last night but mostly played into a poor Palace team's hands for a lot of the game.

Ian Wilkins
145 Posted 20/02/2024 at 11:19:29
On the DCL debate, I thought he had a good game last night. Led the line, chased his own headers, unlucky not to get on the scoresheet.
Name me any forward who would score with this service…
Who recruited Beto ( worse than Brett Angel? Worse than Rondon). And Chermiti ( not what we need right now).
Even when low on confidence there are no alternatives, simple as….
Peter Mills
146 Posted 20/02/2024 at 11:29:00
Possibly the only thing worse than being at Goodison last night would be watching the match on telly in a pub with bad beer and a sound system playing mostly AC/DC and Meatloaf at 738 decibels, sitting next to a rs.

Such was my lot. I came away clinging to the consolation that we had rescued a point.

We all knew it was going to be a very tough season, and so it is proving. It’s a fight for our very survival.

James Brand
147 Posted 20/02/2024 at 11:44:51
Slightly off topic, I live in Sydney now and am travelling back in April and would like some tix for:
Chelsea (Away)
Forest (Home)
Brentford (Home)
I used to get my tix off an absolute gentleman named Howard who I believed ran the supporters club in Oswestry (?)...but that was 5 years ago...
Anyone have any ideas?
Christopher Timmins
148 Posted 20/02/2024 at 12:42:11
Rondon and Beto mentioned in the same sentence, how depressing is that!

John Keating
149 Posted 20/02/2024 at 12:46:50
I mentioned in my post 117 that regardless of the spin from Dyche, Club and players the 10 point deduction has to be affecting the team.

I see both in The Guardian and Echo, Garner admits it is affecting him personally. If he is affected then has to be the others are

This 10 point deduction, as I mentioned, has to be affecting our play and results.

The deduction should NOT have been put in place until all appeals had been heard. Whatever that decision then it should have been implemented at that time.
Deducting points the minute the initial decision was made has put us in a false position and pressurised everyone involved in Everton Football Club.
The PL are a disgrace. Masters and his lackeys should be put to the sword asap

Brian Williams
150 Posted 20/02/2024 at 12:59:53
It just goes to show how something totally unrelated to football can put things in perspective.

An old guy has just walked out of one of the radiotherapy treatment rooms in CCC Liverpool, and rung the bell. The whole waiting area applauded. 😁

Alan McGuffog
151 Posted 20/02/2024 at 13:03:08
Good stuff Brian...does he have a pair of boots ?
Brian Williams
152 Posted 20/02/2024 at 13:05:56
Alan. He had a red shirt on sooooo........I DID clap him though. 😱
Ray Jacques
153 Posted 20/02/2024 at 13:11:01
Turgid last night, I was bored.
DCL got service for once but missed his chances on the headers which was poor.

He is on edge and nervy and will continue to be so until he finally scores. The same feeling appears to run through the team whilst awaiting the results of the appeal. After the initial bounce after the deduction in November when they developed a siege mentality, we have reverted to type.
Hopefully once the verdict is announced (good or bad) they can have a clear focus on what is needed to stay up.

I don't see how the uncertainty cannot affect the players despite what the manager says.

Just give the fucking verdict so we can move on

Geoff Lambert
154 Posted 20/02/2024 at 13:18:09
Sam #138
Ok lets have a go.
you said"Obviously Calvert-Lewin is in a dire run of goalscoring form" Agree with that no goals in 18 games is dire.
"I thought he actually had one of his best games in a while last night and winning 17 headers is the most of any player in the Premier League since 2021.
If your happy with that great but how many reached one of our players or was on target?
"It was a dominant display, but as usual he is isolated and feeding off scraps. How many chances has he fluffed this season as usual nearley all of them.
"He should have more goals this season and I'm sure he'll be beating himself up about that but his all round game has been solid and he is our best bet for linking play in such a direct system.
Who does he link up with? can you tell me how many assists he has had in the time he has been at the club or how many goals from outside the box?
"In past seasons he has shown himself to be a decent (though never excellent) finisher "I agree with you but that is why he is still with us and not with any of the teams above us in the premier league. You have to laugh at some posters comparing his misses with Haaland.
Just my oppinion Sam and I appreciate yours to.
Keith Gleave
155 Posted 20/02/2024 at 13:18:11
It was an atrocious watch. With Young playing in an advanced role it gave Godfrey no out ball, as he hasnt got the brain to find space or pace. So until Harrison came on there was no threat from the right. This meant they could defend the left more easily.
Because of this we played hoof ball from the back, commonplace this season. People go on about DCL and lack of goals but where is the quality of supply for him or Beto. It would appear we are not interested in open play scoring, only from set plays.
i try to be a positive person but if we carry on in this vein we will be down
Brian Williams
156 Posted 20/02/2024 at 13:22:16
If all youve taken from my post is comparing his misses with Haaland's then you've missed the point completely. Not for the first time. 😁
Kim Vivian
157 Posted 20/02/2024 at 13:28:32
All credit to DCL for his 17 headed duals statistic but to me it just epitomises our limited tactics. I imagine that was also the most duals any player has actually had since 2021 with balls just getting lumped up to him. Most (all) other teams are trying other avenues to create chances.

This situation is simply dire. I have no passion whatsoever for the game right now.

Dave Abrahams
158 Posted 20/02/2024 at 13:32:26
I’m glad some fans are coming to the defence of DCL, I never thought to praise him for his efforts last night because I thought it was obvious to most he had a good game without a lot of help from a lot of the other players——-yes he missed a good chance in the second half but playing and striving mostly on his own with a plan that is easily read by every opposing team now, no variation with the best method we have of scoring now, corners, yes we’ve got one of the highest rates of scoring from corners, yet every single one is the same, no outs wingers away from the ‘keeper, no short corners to entice defenders out of the goalmouth, no ball played to edge of the penalty area for a free shot at the goal, nothing but the corner played straight into the crowded six yard area hoping the ‘keeper misses it, like last night, and one of our players anticipates it and gets it home, again like last night.

Brian (151), Does that mean the old guy is on the way to recovery? I hope so. By the way how are you doing yourself mate? I hope you are ringing that bell soon Brian if it means you are on the mend. Best wishes mate.

Christy Ring
159 Posted 20/02/2024 at 13:33:11
We all have different views of last night and previous games, but in my opinion we play a totally defensive formation, with DCL totally isolated upfront. Our wingers have no pace, no creativity in midfield, and hitting long balls up to Calvert-Lewin, with 3 centre half's beside him. He's playing defensive duties, clearing from corners in our penalty area, running down the channels, and then expecting him to win his own flick on's. He should be around the penalty area, with plenty of support, but Dyche doesn't play like that, that's why we create so few chances. DCL had 1 good chance last night, where he put a bullet header over the crossbar, he put another header straight down to Garner, the keeper saved and we scored from the corner. He's playing off scraps, look at the chances Haaland missed against Chelsea, but he gets so many chances it's easy to forget.

Of all the supposedly chances he missed last night

Danny O’Neill
160 Posted 20/02/2024 at 13:40:04
He is totally isolated Dave.

I think it was you who said he's being bombarded with long balls and trying to run onto his own flick ons.

Could have done better last night and should have scored, but it's football.

I was just glad we got the point in the end.

Cold night at Goodison, but that late goal warmed me up.

Barry Rathbone
161 Posted 20/02/2024 at 13:44:19
Dcl is just a very limited player.

For a striker to miss the target from 10 yds out when powering on to a cross is just bad technique. His one on one miss against Villa was just bad technique. Compare and contrast the ease of Hojland rounding the luton keeper and slotting from an identical one on one and the difference in transfer valuation is clear.

Dan Parker
162 Posted 20/02/2024 at 13:48:52
Maupay couldn’t hit a barn door with a banjo, everyone writes him off as uselsss etc, very little patience. Guy leaves plays in a system that supports forwards and bags a load of goals. It’s not DCL alone, jumping on his back helps no-one other than having a good moan which people are entitled to of course. The only reason we are where we are is Moshiri and Richard Masters.
Danny O’Neill
163 Posted 20/02/2024 at 13:51:35
I'll have to defend him, Barry.

Yes, he missed an absolute sitter last night, but that's football.

He's on his own up there and last night, no link-up play from midfield for a lot of the time.

I can't knock his effort or commitment.

He is a decent player. Not a great, but good. He needs the players around him to step up. He can't do it on his own.

Allan Board
164 Posted 20/02/2024 at 14:22:32
It's not great. Defence is good- one of the best in the division. The trade off is awful scoring capability- only 2 teams have scored fewer goals. If Luton keep outscoring Everton, as they are currently, they will finish above us- because their goals gives them a chance to win matches. Everton are firstly set up not to lose- so taking into consideration how rubbish they are at scoring- expect lots of draws,which are irrelevant now because we need to win 5 or 6 games fucking quickly or we are going to be relegated. Forget the "10points bollucks "- you clutch at straws long enough you end up empty handed. Dyche needs to move the whole team 15 yards further up the pitch,so dcl has company - what is it with these coaches? Palace are garbage without their missing players- and should have been beaten easily,no bloody excuses-
Dyche should've been furious after that,but I reckon he is happy to get a point! Is it one win in 10 now?(stand to corrected) How much longer does everyone at Everton bloody football club expect the fans to stay with this shit? Apart from 18 months- it has been an absolute joke standard of football- but with all the clichéd excuses thrown in,for 10 YEARS. This is pure drudgery, it is not enjoyable or even hopeful, just tick tock until the inevitable happens. There is definitely a "siege mentality " going on at Everton- but not the type we expect- it's the mentality of "oh well, we tried our best for a bit- but then it got all too hard to keep doing that so fuck it - next pay day please and transfer!"
Dyche needs to hold his nerve,be brave, forget his CV and go for it in games. If it still goes wrong, so be it- I wouldn't hold him responsible.
This feels like the season defining final decline to me. And please don't mention the "10 points"- they are not coming back to us- the owners cheated and have been sanctioned- but, there is still 10 other shit teams in that league which Everton should be beating regularly. Stop feeling sorry for yourselves Everton and show some balls out on the pitch,and firstly from the manager and his staff. I won't hold my breath though. I have donned my tin hat!!
Dave Cashen
165 Posted 20/02/2024 at 14:24:33
Brian @142 Good post

Although I don't believe DCL's critics know nothing about football.

I would, however seriously question whether some of them have played at a competitive level.

Haarland is the best, but he gave everyone a perfect example of what a sitter looks like on Sunday. He missed (a few times) when unmarked. DCL did not have that luxury.

C-L`s first effort was a result of excellent work. Yes the build up was good and the cross was a peach but "on his head" ? Really ? Take another look. He runs twenty yards at full speed get between two determined defenders and murders his marker in the air. It wasnt his best header, but "sitter" ? WTF ?...Few strikers would have even got on the end of that, let alone score.

The second "sitter" was barely even a chance. The defender used all his strength to make sure he coudn't get the clean header. The only contact he could get was with the left side of his head - from a left wing cross. probably the most difficult type of header to direct

Calvert Lewin has become the go-to culprit with a section of our fans. Every single effort he has is deemed to be a sitter. Unfortunate, but that's how it goes.

I watched on sky last night while keeping tabs on the live forum. It was a surreal experience. Whilst Calvert-Lewin's work was drawing warm applause from the crowd. it was attracting dogs abuse on the live forum.

Despite the lamentable hoof ball. He single handedly occupied three central defenders last night showing great control and combativeness.

For me he was comfortably our best player.

Danny O’Neill
166 Posted 20/02/2024 at 14:30:36
He played well Dave in a poor game.

He was unlucky. That's football and the life of a striker. He just needs a couple to go in and some support.

His work rate is not in question.

But continuously being asked to combat the land of the giants on his own is unfair on him.

Hopefully, he can turn it around against Brighton.

I know I can say this to you. Remember Andy Gray!

Joe McMahon
167 Posted 20/02/2024 at 14:34:51
It won't happen, but I feel our squad (the few that get picked) need to have a sit down/meeting or meal out with Dyche and the coaching team, to let the players have their say on what's not working and why. DCL needs more support and the midfield need to push up further and support with crosses and foward passes. I don't know what the hell they practice at Finch Farm, but it's not working and hasn't done for many years.
Andy Crooks
168 Posted 20/02/2024 at 14:45:01
" The pro donkey brigade". What a fucking poisonous attack on an Everton player and fellow Evertonians. Utterly vile and shameless.
Lynn Maher
169 Posted 20/02/2024 at 14:50:41
Decided not to post last night when I got back in from the match.
Not just because I was disappointed with the poor performance, but also had to endure listening to talkDrivel, with Jason Cundy. He basically said what many think. No one else will care if Everton get relegated. Our play is boring.
Unfortunately I couldn’t argue with that.
Sam Hoare
170 Posted 20/02/2024 at 15:07:34
Geoff@154 Thanks for engaging.

I was happy with his success in the air last night. As for whether his headers reached anyone he had a pass success rate of 71%, which is really good for a lone CF who is isolated. Mateta by contrast had 63%. Haaland had 75% at the weekend.

You asked who does he link up with and how many assists does he have? He has about 1-2 assist per season; which is not alot but is not disimilar to other target men in the league. Chris Wood at Forest has only 1 so far and Adebayo at Luton has none. Solanke has 3 so far.

I don't think Calvert-Lewin is a gifted player creatively. His passing and vision are fine. But also you have to recognise that it's very hard to create when you have so few people around you and especially so few people running beyond you. Who he links up is an issue for him because neither Mcneill or Harrison is fast and neither are running behind DCL. This makes it tough for him as its often only Doucoure who is anywhere near him, but even he is seldom running beyond defenses. We severely lack pace in this team!

Perhaps link-up is the wrong phrase because that's not really well. It's almost more like rugby. Calvert-Lewin winning headers allows us to get up the pitch, it helps us win corners, throw ins and free kicks. And like it or not that is our best way of scoring under Dyche.

I don't think DCL is in the same league as Haaland. But neither is he is a donkey. In a team that wants to play long ball, direct football he is one of our best bets. He wins around 5.4 aerial duels per 90 minutes which is the highest of any player in the league, bettered only by Simon McBurnie. Beto is on 3.4.

Yes. He has missed more chances this season than ever before which is deeply frustrating for all of us. But strikers go through hot and cold spells. He will improve. And in the meantime his all round game is solid and perfectly suited to the way Dyche wants to play.

Jay Evans
171 Posted 20/02/2024 at 15:07:43
Paul 116, yes that was depressing and we all knew it was going to happen.

Unfortunately that wasn’t the most depressing thing from last night. How about Ben Godfrey sprinting to get off the pitch only to realise it was Palace who were making a substitution.

Or my own personal favourite, … not one of our players having the kahunas to take the ball out of Mateta’s hands after we equalised. Not one.

Branthwaite made a half hearted effort and then gave up. Beto ditto. I know Mateta is a big lad but we’ve got some big lads as well and clearly no one fancied it.

He just strolled back to the halfway line in his own time, running the clock down and taking the sting out of the game.

Altar Boys FC.

After you Sir. No I insist, after you.

Dale Self
172 Posted 20/02/2024 at 15:13:57
Playing Young in front of Godfrey only made sense in defence. As Keith 155 points out this left our only forward push on the left and McNeil is struggling. Doucoure cannot create on his own and there you are, no service possible to DCL.

All suggestions I’ve read above weren’t there until late. Myko can’t push upfield without a lot of support. Garner needed to drop deeper and work through from the back line. He was the only one who could lay a pass and his positioning did not allow him to operate offensively.

I see this as a bad performance from an eleven that has not played together for a while. That and the obvious nervy atmosphere left them with the opening twenty minutes to do something. The early chances did not test the keeper to get the crowd in the game. If Duke or DCL had forced a keeper save we may have started up. When it faded Dyche settled for attrition thinking DCL may nick one.

On other hand it could be the end of the world and time to freak the fuck out. Have at it

Rennie Smith
173 Posted 20/02/2024 at 15:18:29
You're right Sam, DCL is not a donkey, he's probably a decent horse that's being asked to run in the Grand National by Dyche at the moment. We know he can score goals and someone said earlier on (sorry can't remember who), when he did score goals Carlo basically said to him, you stay in the shoulder of the last man within the width of the box, push their line back and have the first-time finish always in your mind. Dyche wants the team to be compact, no gaps between the lines, hard to beat blah blah blah. We're like a giant fat slug slowly moving up and down the pitch. I'd like to ask Dyche what DCL's first priority was last night, because I don't think he'd answer to score, it would be more like just battle for scraps and hope for the best. Obviously he'd phrase in boring, media-friendly speak about spirit, belief and that shit.

As players, do you think they enjoy playing this way?

Geoff Lambert
174 Posted 20/02/2024 at 15:24:35
The pro donkey brigade". What a fucking poisonous attack on an Everton player and fellow Evertonians. Utterly vile and shameless.
Bloody hell Brenda pull them knickers up Haha.
David West
175 Posted 20/02/2024 at 15:34:27
Key moments in seasons to take the pressure off a bit, we always blow it.
They delt pretty well with most stuff hoofed up for 60 mins.
We never look good against a side that want us to have the ball. We don't have the craft, endeavour, vision or bollocks to play through even the most fragile teams like Palace.

I'm still behind Dyche he's working against a backdrop of constant negativity, however even if we were in 12th with all our points, I'm guessing we would still have the same reaction to such a poor display.
It was a big chance for 3 points missed.

This wasn't really how we gained the points earlier in the season to get to 12th, we were aggressive, pressing high, working the ball to the wings and getting bodies in and around dacoure & DCL.
So why have we regressed to just hoofing it?.

Colin Malone
176 Posted 20/02/2024 at 15:36:51
As I said in a previous thread, the comment by Dyche on camera, when he said, Jacks [ Harrison] off the work was very good.
He was awful with the ball.
That's Dyche's type of footballer, sweat before guile. That's where I will cut a bit of slack with James Garner, he had a bad game. Maybe it was because, our main playmaker was Pickford, hoof balling to a lonesome striker, with three defenders around him.
Jay Harris
177 Posted 20/02/2024 at 15:39:04
The most worrying thing for me is the lack of goals from open play and yes a lot of that is down to tactics and confidence.

Before the game Dyche had proclaimed that he told the players to play on the front foot well I have to say to him sitting on the edge of your own penalty box with your keeper botting 70 yards balls in the air is not playing on the front foot.

It is good that we get goals from set pieces but you wont win enough games if you don't score from open play.

BY my reckoning as things stand we need around 20 points from 13 games. Unless we have a total revolution in playing style that is not going to happen.

Stephen Brown
178 Posted 20/02/2024 at 15:52:14
When Ayew scored the goal, my 9 year old turned to me and said ‘ Dad I don’t really want to support Everton anymore’
‘ We never win! It’s not a lot of fun’

It was like a dagger through the heart but do I spare him ? I’ve been dreading these words !

He said later I’m only joking Dad so not to hurt my feelings but I know he’s not ! So sad that a 9 year old cannot just enjoy the game !

I’ll get Howard’s Way out again later to hopefully save the situation.

So depressing!

Peter Quinn
179 Posted 20/02/2024 at 15:52:19

The big worry is the inability to take chances and missing sitters like last night. This has potentially cost us more points than the points deduction itself.
The stats tell the story. This season, we have had 346 shots, which is 9th best in the PL. We have scored 27 goals, which is 18th best in the PL. The majority have come from set pieces. Our goals to shots ratio is by far the worse in the Premier League. Unfortunately, we don't have anyone up front who can be relied on to find the target regularly.
Brian Williams
180 Posted 20/02/2024 at 15:57:05
Peter. Which were the "sitters" last night?

Jay#177. You think we need 40 points to stay up?

Jamie Crowley
181 Posted 20/02/2024 at 16:00:53
I was driving home fro GA yesterday and watched on the phone. Far too intently ripping down I-16 around 77 mph.

That was maybe the most turgid football I've seen from Everton in years. Just awful frankly. Wayward passes, second to the ball far too frequently, missing chances and honestly not creating enough of them for my liking.

I really couldn't understand why Ashley Young played on the wing. Made zero sense to me for a home game.

Dominic needs to find a goal desperately.

And something that really set my blood to boil was James Garner taking the free kick in the first half when McNeil, as a lefty, clearly should have taken it. That was brain dead.

I suppose a point is a point and we're out of the relegation zone for the time being, with 4-5 games coming up against winnable opposition. But we're polishing a turd here because we were abjectly awful yesterday.

Improvement is needed, and needed fast.

Brian Wilkinson
182 Posted 20/02/2024 at 16:01:10
Even our bench were laughing at Garners woeful free kick, I thought it was ideal for McNeil to rap his left foot round it but for whatever reasons lately others seems to take the free kicks instead of McNeil, the ones where, you can go straight for goal, not the ones crossed in.

Scrapped the bottom of the barrel a few months back when Gueye even took one, for me McNeil is our best set piece option for a pop at curling it over the wall.

Dale Self
183 Posted 20/02/2024 at 16:04:12
Please consider this which is not intended to be inflammatory. Many are stating that our football is a Dyche preference of style. That seems to miss the main point of our struggle.

Look at Barkley and Maupay turning it around in other settings. Our core set of players had their collective confidence dismantled and then shattered by previous managers. Some of that was exposure of weaknesses in a difficult league and some due to putting players in difficult situations. This later aspect is what Dyche is trying to minimize while he rebuilds players like Godfrey.

It’s fine to speculate on giving it a go and not being so work focused. The art comes from confidence. The confidence has never been stable under Dyche but it has damn sure been more present.

John Raftery
184 Posted 20/02/2024 at 16:04:30
Our poor form at home against average to mediocre teams stretches back to Ancelotti’s time. Teams like Fulham and Wolves, even when not in the best of form themselves, have come to Goodison and regularly walked away with victories. We still struggle to create many quality chances. Sure, we get the ball into the box regularly but even when the ball reaches one of our attackers conversion of crosses requires precise first time finishing by foot or head.

At present the option of carrying the ball at pace for any distance and delivering effective passes or shots in the final third is not within the reach of any midfielders in our squad. The nearest we had to that sort of skill set was Iwobi and before him probably Barkley. Hence our play has become too predictable. It’s a good thing our corners and long set pieces have become such a potent weapon despite their predictability.

Andy Crooks
185 Posted 20/02/2024 at 16:05:42
Geoff @ 174, what can I say. When one is faced with such scathing wit it's time to bow out defeated. Haha. Holy fuck I'm taking a red neck on your behalf.
Raymond Fox
186 Posted 20/02/2024 at 16:11:04
We cant score from open play, its not that suprising we sold three that might have Richarlison, Gordon and Gray to get some cash in.

The manager is operating with one hand tied behind his back, we are behind the black ball all through the club.

It is hardly conducive to taking risks, its no wonder the football is safty first.

The 10pt deduction is not Dyche fault, he turned us round and kept us up last season and as has already been mentioned we should be 12th and 30pts.

Mike Gaynes
187 Posted 20/02/2024 at 16:13:13
James Garner is quoted in the Guardian today as admitting the commission appeal is weighing on his mind, and presumably others, as they wait to find out where they really stand.

“Me personally, it plays on my mind. Without the 10-point deduction we would be much higher in the league table so, whenever that comes in, I will be waiting.”

Perfectly understandable, and something most fans clearly aren't taking into account. Garner says our backing is critical:

“I can understand the fans’ frustrations but there is so long to go and we need the fans to be supporting us and not booing us. That is important going forward. It is a long season and there are a lot of teams down there fighting, but you could see in the last 20 minutes we are still going until the end and creating chances. I understand the frustration because I am frustrated myself. It is another game that got away from us that we should be looking to win.”

Yeah, this team is under-talented and playing like crap at the moment, but maybe we should all take into account that they're playing uphill into the wind against the PL and the commission in addition to the opponents on the pitch. The relentless slagging of Dyche and DCL and whoever else is supposedly at fault in the moment just misses the point.

Jamie Crowley
188 Posted 20/02/2024 at 16:14:34
Insofar as Geoff's "Pro Donkey Brigade" comment, I realize it's a cultural thing with the English / Irish to not rip the snot out of your own players and fellow fans.

It's a bit different here in the USA, where we'll skewer players who's attitude is shit, or who woefully underperform, while seriously "getting into it" with fellow fans who call out other fans.

I don't begrudge anyone slinging poo out of frustration after yesterday's game. Maybe one might think, "should I hit 'return'" prior to actually doing so and posting, but to vent is human.

We were really poor in my opinion. If someone needs to call out players or the squad in a straightforward and rough fashion, hell do it now. Why not?

If we keep producing performances like yesterday, we're in heaps of trouble. So donkey this, donkey that? Well, calling it out as you see it surely isn't terrible, especially after being subjected to such dire football.

Donkey? Nah. Shite being described as 'donkey'? Probably accurate in an honest moment. Donkey Evertonians? No. Not a chance.


We can't continue with these levels of performance and expect to survive. Donkey ain't too far off the mark yesterday!

John McFarlane Snr
189 Posted 20/02/2024 at 16:17:23
Hi Andy [168] I think that you know me well enough to agree that I never criticise individual players, as I believe that teams win or lose as a group.

I often wonder if some 'ToffeeWeb Members' have ever kicked a ball? I have on more than 'once or twice', posted on this outlet that 'Players don't play badly on purpose', and when Everton lose or play badly, I get as disappointed as anyone.

Like yourself I think that describing professional footballers as "Pro Donkey Brigade" is an insult, it's also my belief that anyone who earns his wage as a professional footballer can play better than the majority of their critics.

I can't wait for you to come across to the 'Bramley Moore' again where we can discuss football and share a few bottles of Guinness.

Brian Wilkinson
190 Posted 20/02/2024 at 16:20:20
One question I would ask is, just before we scored, Dobbin was stripped and ready to come on and try and rescue a point.

So I was baffled why he then told him to sit down, instead of still making the sub, to push for a winner, why not make the sub?

Billy Shears
191 Posted 20/02/2024 at 16:39:12
I think complacency has set in and the side needs shaking up a tad, some players need taking out and some need to start on the subs bench.

Some of our players must feel like they're entitled to start… well, they're fucking not! Players must now start to earn the right or last night's bitterly disappointing result will just continue and, with games running out and with teams around us playing okay, we could be in real trouble.

My team for Brighton away (4-3-2-1):

Coleman Godfrey Branthwaite Mykolenko
Garner Doucoure Harrison
McNeil Dobbin

Dave Abrahams
192 Posted 20/02/2024 at 16:46:14
Brian (190),

I think a lot of us who were waiting for Dobbin were disappointed he never came on, I looked at the screen in the ground, it was the 81st minute and said to the fella next to me “Dobbin is coming on for his usual few minutes” then nothing happened.

I like McNeil but he is having a hard time at the moment on and off the field so Dobbin could have replaced him and used his speed.

Rob Dolby
193 Posted 20/02/2024 at 16:48:13
Billy, are you serious with that team?

Just for fun, please explain why you would drop Pickford and Tarkowski.

Brian Wilkinson
194 Posted 20/02/2024 at 16:50:00
I am surprised with your lineup Billy, both McNeil and Harrison look like they could do with the impact of coming off the bench.

I would look at those two dropping out bringing in Dobbin on the right side not sure who to push out on the left though.

Kieran Kinsella
195 Posted 20/02/2024 at 16:57:32
Mike Gaynes,

I agree. It is bound to have an impact especially as there is a chance that we will incur another deduction before the season is out.

We've seen lots of teams in relegation battles throw the towel in. For example Ben Foster said half the Watford team were looking into transfers and trying to avoid injury from about halfway through the last season they were in the Premier League. All things considered, our players have shown a positive attitude.

On top of all of that, you have Young pushing 40, Doucoure barely recovered from injury, McNeil dealing with off-field family issues, a couple of strikers new to the team, league and country, no real options off the bench to freshen things up.

I have always been happy to point out persistent weak links who have a bad attitude (eg, Nyarko, Schneiderlin, Mirallas) or are incapable (eg, Davies, Holgate) but I think this lot are generally doing their best, all things considered.

Jay Harris
196 Posted 20/02/2024 at 16:58:36
Brian #180,

I do think we need 40 points to be safe.

Luton and Forest are winning games and, although it looks like Burnley and Sheff Utd are gone, they are only 7 points off us and Luton at the moment.

Luton have a game in hand but it's against Liverpool tomorrow so it's one game I hope Liverpool win.

Liam Mogan
197 Posted 20/02/2024 at 17:15:25
I don't actually think fans at all British clubs consistently slag their players off. I've been to a couple of Championship games recently and, despite their sides being poor and not playing well, I heard no abuse of their own players.

The opposition and the ref, yes. There was frustration but it never got near the 'You're fucking shit, you lad' territory. Each to their own and we all pay our money etc but I don't believe it has any positive impact.

James Garner's comments today show that the players do feel it. I, like some other posters, do wonder if a lot of people have ever kicked a ball in any form of competitive football.

From my perspective, these players are giving everything. There is unfortunately a lack of real quality in the squad. No amount of tactical tweaking or bringing Dobbin on will get around that.

Rob Halligan
198 Posted 20/02/2024 at 17:21:55
Jay # 196…

Luton's game in hand is actually Bournemouth away, the game that was originally abandoned when their captain Tom Lockyear collapsed on the pitch.

This game has now been pencilled in for Wednesday 13 March. I think the game against Liverpool tomorrow night was scheduled for this coming weekend, but brought forward due to the Carabao Cup Final.

Stu Darlington
199 Posted 20/02/2024 at 17:29:59
Another dreadful,turgid home performance,listless,aimless,negative football,very unlikely to have supporters begging for more.
The point I’d like to make is that this is not the first home performance like this in the last few seasons,we have had too many of them for comfort under successive managers,so it can’t be all down to Dyche,as he wasn’t here for the majority of them.There is heavy criticism of him by some contributors on this thread arguably with some justification,after all the manager is responsible for team selection,formation,game planning,substitutions making the tea at halftime and probably a host of other things we are unaware of.
I have no idea why we can be so bad at home sometimes.
Does the expectation of the home supporters weigh too heavily on the team?Do we go out with a negative “ we must not lose” mentality rather than”let’s go and get the win”?Do visiting teams set up so defensively we don’t have the quality to break them down?Are we as supporters part of the problem as players are expecting us to get on their backs if they make a mistake?
By way of contrast why can we play so much better for the most part,away from home?we can be competitive,positive and look a match for anyone at times and yet when we get back home!!! I’m beginning to think they are getting a bit of boot money from Rob Halligan,Danny O’Neil,and the other away stalwarts!
It can’t be caused by one manager,it’s gone on too long.
If anyone has any suggestions as to what the problem (s) is/are I’d be interested to hear.
Just thought I’d ask like,to change the narrative away from criticism of the manager and individual players which gets a bit repetitive after a time.Nurse! Time for my medication I think!
Pete Little
200 Posted 20/02/2024 at 17:41:51
So disappointed last night. For some reason, I was optimistic, wrongly assuming 3 points as a given with maybe another couple or so from the Premier League.

A complete lack of incisiveness in the final third plus a lack of midfield creativity. Things need to start going our way. Quickly!

Brian Williams
201 Posted 20/02/2024 at 17:42:10
Dave @158.

Thanks mate. Two more goes and I ring the bell. I'll still be glowing at our next night match.

Just to explain to those who didn't quite get my reference to Haaland (I may have not posted it as clearly as I'd have liked).

Haaland missed three (I think) real absolute sitters in a recent game, may have been against Chelsea.

However, he is undoubtedly one of the best strikers in the world, supported and supplied by some of the best players in the world.

He very often doesn't touch the ball for the first 30 minutes of a game so, when he's not scoring, you could say that he's basically doing nowt.

But others from his team score, and score regularly, so when he misses three sitters in a game, it usually doesn't matter.

Is he a donkey for missing three sitters in a game?

Obviously not, he's human (yet to be properly ascertained) and shows that even one of the best strikers in the world can miss many many chances even when surrounded and fed by KDB, Foden, et al.

Calvert-Lewin has been feeding off scraps for ages. If people can't see what value he added last night, then I maintain that they know fuck all about football.

Basically, if Dave Abrahams, who's forgotten more about football than I'll ever know, can see my point, along with others who I know know their football, then that will basically do for me.


David West
202 Posted 20/02/2024 at 17:54:25
If we were to get all 10 points back, does anyone think the team will play better?

Will we start being able to pass it better?

Start crafting goals through decent football? Calvert-Lewin suddenly start banging 25-yarders in?

Obviously not. Yes, the pressure is building due to the deduction, but we are likely to be in a scrap till the end of the season, points back or not!!!

The reality is we would not be happy with a performance like yesterday, if we were 3rd, 1st or 20th.

Kieran Kinsella
203 Posted 20/02/2024 at 18:44:43
Mark Ryan,

Maybe it is more complex:

We reject the basis of your appeal and have decided the initial punishment was insufficient so we are raising the deduction to 12 points.

Mike Gaynes
204 Posted 20/02/2024 at 18:51:04
Kieran #195, you touch on a key point that I wanted to make as well. The one thing that warms my heart about this team is the constancy of the effort and professionalism.

There are no prima donnas throwing up their arms when they lose the ball. There are no divers or whiners. There are no dumbasses making recurrent 4th grade mistakes. There's nobody who won't try to get the ball back or track back to cover with maximum effort.

You're right, the lazy asses and turds and brain-dead morons we've sometimes had to tolerate in the past are gone. (Did you see Holgate pull that pointless legbreaker on Sunday??) When this team fails, it's because of a lack of talent, or tired legs, or because pushing that rock up that hill in every game just wears on your soul.

But it's never, ever because of a lack of heart. The manager and his men all have heart in full measure. And that's what gets me through 90+ minutes of difficult-to-watch football every week.

Will Mabon
205 Posted 20/02/2024 at 18:55:36
"The reality is we would not be happy with a performance like yesterday, if we were 3rd, 1st or 20th."


Mike Gaynes
207 Posted 20/02/2024 at 18:57:23
David #202, perhaps not, but we'd feel better just from not having the fear and uncertainty of a possible relegation, on top of all the uncertainty about the ownership.

And yes, I do believe the team would play better if not weighed down by all this incredible off-the-field pressure. The team that won four straight with clean sheets in December is still there somewhere, and I think we will see it again when all this shit is resolved.

Jay Harris
208 Posted 20/02/2024 at 18:57:26
Rob #198,

Thanks for pointing that out but I was merely pointing out that subject to Liverpool beating them, we would be level on points and games with 13 left to play, so not as bad as it looked a week ago.

Barry Rathbone
209 Posted 20/02/2024 at 18:58:07
Stu 199,

Does the expectation of the home supporters weigh too heavily on the team?

Yes and always has done.

The flip side is, if the team gets it right, they're treated as gods.

Rob Halligan
210 Posted 20/02/2024 at 19:02:14
Yeah, Jay, I see where you’re coming from.
Dave Abrahams
211 Posted 20/02/2024 at 19:05:25
Stu (199),

I think the crowd start the game ready to applaud anything that is fairly decent but, after a few minutes, the crowd can sense which way the game is going and become quieter rather than showing what they are thinking verbally.

One early loud moan was when Tarkowski hit a terrible pass too long and hard and it went straight to their ‘keeper. At the end of the first half, there was some booing which the players would have heard.

Mostly though the comments of the fans going past me for a drink or whatever were talking about what a pathetic performance it was by the Blues and hoping that Dyche would shake them up in his interval talk and possibly change one of the players.

The game continued as it had ended the first half, dreadfully drab and plenty more of the hoof ball. Then we had a good 5-minute spell when we created two or three good chances and the play was better and more rapid going forward and the crowd erupted and cheered the players and the team on, we looked a different team.

Then Dyche brought his two substitutes on, stopping the brief flow of the game to Everton — and Palace scored their goal and the crowd went silent again and the thoughts, most probably were, “We've fucked this up — again!”

Then we scored and the crowd erupted again believing, like me, “We're fuckin' back, we'll get this” but we huffed and puffed and Palace had the sense to start spoiling the game by breaking it up with players going down for nothing, the ‘keeper play acting, and unfortunately this is part and parcel of today's game and accepted. We'd cheer if it was to our advantage.

I was up and out of my seat when the final whistle went so don't know what the reaction of the crowd was.

Talking in the bus stop after the game with various fellas I've got to know, it was disappointment but at least glad we got one point and Palace dropped two.

Colin Malone
212 Posted 20/02/2024 at 19:08:56
As I said in a previous thread, the comment by Dyche on camera, when he said, Jack's [Harrison] off-the-the ball workrate was very good. He was awful with the ball.

That's Dyche's type of footballer, sweat before guile. That's where I will cut a bit of slack with James Garner, he had a bad game. Maybe it was because, our main playmaker was Pickford, hoofballing to a lonesome striker, with three defenders around him.

We miss Doucoure? OMG. That's how bad it is. Another whose workrate, off the ball, is good but, as a Number 10? No way.

Eddie Dunn
213 Posted 20/02/2024 at 19:12:39
Mike, that's a fair observation and, despite his few faults, Dyche has instilled professionalism and fitness in his group.
He knows that even draws mount up and the teams that go down will be those that lose.

One thing that did get my goat, especially as we were either behind or chasing the winner, was Godfrey's dumb-ass walking along the touchline on throw-ins, to gain a few yards, despite being warned several times by the officials.

I like his fight, but it confirmed to me that the lights are all on – but there's no-one home.

Peter Mills
214 Posted 20/02/2024 at 19:15:18
I've been away for a few days, so missed being at Goodison, having to watch the game on screen

I've used the free time to finish Steve and Lyndon's excellent “Unofficial Everton Timeline” book. I commend it to everyone, although the “health warnings” issued around it are very valid.

It's an extremely difficult, depressing read, listing tale after tale of folly, ineptitude and stupidity. It seems the only people who have gained, most of them hugely, are the conmen managers and players who have milked the cash cow dry.

Now, we have a manager and his staff who have brought a degree of stability to the tumult, and a group of players who are displaying resilience and determination, if not eye-pleasing skills. It's all we've got, and we have to support them.

Brian Harrison
215 Posted 20/02/2024 at 19:33:01
Despite being here for a while, I don't think Sean Dyche has any idea what makes Evertonians tick. I don't think we have started many games on the front foot, instead letting the opposition settle into the game. We should have pressed from minute one and put them under pressure all over the park, show some ambition.

Someone posted that our last 8 goals have come from corners or free-kicks, what a terrible indictment of the way this manager sets us up. Just to be clear, I have never booed a player or the team and, whatever the score, I have never left a match early. But I do take exception to James Garner saying the team needs cheers not boos.

Well, I suggest that to say that to what are the most loyal fans is an insult. They sell out home and away and the support over the last 3 seasons has been the best I can remember.

He probably earns more in a week than most fans paying to watch earn in 2 years. But sometimes they need help from the players on the pitch to create something anything to get excited about, which hasn't happened often in the last 3 years.

I don't know how Garner stayed on the pitch for 90 minutes as he was very average and has been for a few weeks, so I would suggest he looks in the mirror before telling fans what he expects from them.

As the only decent President America have had in my lifetime said, "Ask not what my Country can do for me but ask what I can do for my Country." I would respectfully suggest Garner should reflect on those wise words.

I see Dyche, when asked about Young playing wide right, said it was to freshen things up, so bringing on a 38-year-old to play wide right was to freshen things up? Maybe if he had selected Dobbin to play wide-right, we could have believed he was freshening things up.

Danny O’Neill
216 Posted 20/02/2024 at 20:44:50
Very well summarised, Dave Abrahams and Brian Williams.

It is a two-way relationship. They will respond to us. We will respond to them.

In the main, Goodison was very subdued bordering on getting angry for large parts.

There will be 3,000 Evertonians in the away end behind the goal at Brighton at the weekend.

Many will have made very long journeys and not get home until some ridiculous hour the next morning.

Don't let them down. Show up. Because they will.

Loud and proud.

Christine Foster
217 Posted 20/02/2024 at 20:48:22
The very thing that people admire about Dyche is also the very reason he will never gain the confidence or respect of Everton supporters. He has brought organisation and defensive structure to the team but it lacks the creativity and balance to turn that stoic defence into attack.

It's the way Dyche organises and sets the team up. If you are in any doubt, read this analysis of Burnley in 2019 and substitute the word Burnley for Everton, you will see what l mean:

Burnley's style of play is now unique among Premier League teams

The problem is of course, Burnley fans in the main thought the sun shone from Dyches nether regions because he found a way that they could compete, irrespective of style.

Therein lies the heart of the issue, we are not Burnley, we appreciate joined-up football, creative play, winning – it's the very heart of this club. Dyche has turned Everton into Burnley.

I admire what he has done but I hate him for it too. It may well be what we needed but not what we wanted and hence why, at some point soon, if we ever reach a stable club status, then Dyche will be thanked and moved on.

The frustration of watching dreadful football, seeing good players selling themselves short or seeing the better players sold, is not all down to Dyche, it is the situation we find ourselves in. The sooner we are out of it the better.

Graham Mockford
218 Posted 20/02/2024 at 21:32:27
Critisicing Dyche is beyond ridiculous.

He's getting the most out of a squad that lacks creativity. He would be 11 points clear of relegation without the points deduction.

He has no ability to bring players in,. Our best outcome is another season we avoid relegation.

If we do, we might have to sell assets to reshape the team...

None of these players I would want to lose but I would sell Pickford, Onana and Calvert-Lewin.

Use the £120M to try and reshape the team, assuming we could spend it all.

Flekken, Barkley and Archer might be a play.

Dave Ganley
219 Posted 20/02/2024 at 21:37:05
Some of the latest comments, Christine, Brian and Dave A, are far more rational than I am capable of making at the moment but encapsulate what most blues are thinking.

Coming out of the game last night, the overriding thought was just be thankful we ended up with a point. The football on offer though was quite depressing. Its a huge sign of how low the bar is now that some think it was gutsy. It wasn't, it was horrible ale House football. As Christine rightly points out, we will never accept that style and we are definitely not Burnley. It is apparent that the fans are the only ones with any standards left. I didn't boo last night but totally understand why others did. What was on offer just wasn't acceptable. We hated Allardyce for reducing our club to that standard and its no different to what we are burdened with now. The match going crowd are desperate for something to get behind and cheer, last night was not it!! Players coming out complaining about it may be better served by proving us wrong and actually giving us hope that we may get out of this mess as opposed to mind numbing football that plays to not get beat instead of trying to actually win a game of football. Never has our motto been so far away from what is displayed on the pitch

Bobby Mallon
220 Posted 20/02/2024 at 21:43:12
David Moyes's last season we finished 6th – a place above the shite.

Then 5th, 11th, 11th, 7th, 8th, 8th, 12th 10th. Benetiz fucked us over.

Tony Abrahams
221 Posted 20/02/2024 at 21:53:15
Benitez was given about £2 million to spend, made a decent start and then lost Richarlison, Mina, Doucouré and DCL, to injury.

Then when Everton sacked Brands and were just about to sack Benitez, somebody signed Patterson and Mykolenko, and a player who wasn’t used from Aston Villa, before Lampard came in and the club signed Deli Ali.

No wonder we have struggled with the P&S laws.

Ian Pilkington
222 Posted 20/02/2024 at 21:59:01
Didn’t the sale of Digne to Villa pay for Myko and Patterson?
Tony Abrahams
223 Posted 20/02/2024 at 22:01:29
I think so Ian, but that wasn’t my point, which was more about the rudderless/reckless way we were getting run by the people, who didn’t appear to have a real grasp on things, behind the scenes.

Jerome Shields
224 Posted 20/02/2024 at 22:22:27
It seems to be becoming the consensus in the Football World that Everton will get a two or three point deduction.
Brian Williams
225 Posted 20/02/2024 at 22:25:24
That's that gobshite Carraghers opinion. I wouldnt say it was the consensus of the football world by any stretch of the imagination. Merely his opinion regurgitated ad nauseam all over the fucking shite media. Don't fall for it, ignore it.

It's the same old story, say something enough times and people will begin to believe it. Nobody has a clue outside those who'll make the decision.

Danny O’Neill
226 Posted 20/02/2024 at 23:08:55
Then we get two or three points or more back starting on Saturday.

Those supporters aren't travelling expecting to lose. They go expecting to win and with belief that we can.

All the manager and team can do right now is take care of things on the pitch.

We then take West Ham at home. Who says we can't get something at Old Trafford? And then Lucifer's Den.

We can do this.

Brian Wilkinson
227 Posted 20/02/2024 at 00:08:26
Simon Jordan harping on about if someone goes to jail and offends again the second punishment is bigger.

What part of the second charge is in regards of the same season we have already been punished for is he not getting?

Regardless of it being a rolling 3-year rollover, they have already been punished for that season, that's like sending someone to prison and saying “If you reoffend in a three year period, you will be punished… oh, by the 3 year rolling prison sentence, you offended in 2023, as it is now 2025, we are going to punish you for you offending in 2023.”

“But your honour, I have already served my sentence for that first offence,”

“Doesn't matter, it's in a 3-year rolling period, so you have to be punished again!” — It would not stand in any court of law.

No matter what happens with the first punishment, they surely cannot then punish you again for that particular season again, when you have already been punished.

Mike Gaynes
228 Posted 20/02/2024 at 00:09:12
Christine #217,

"...he will never gain the confidence or respect of Everton supporters."

Perhaps you should rephrase with "...some Everton supporters" or "...this Everton supporter".

He already has the confidence and respect of this particular Everton supporter -- I respect him greatly for the courage he has incorporated into his slender squad -- and I believe I'm in the majority.

Derek Knox
229 Posted 20/02/2024 at 00:18:06
Christine, more or less, spot on as usual; however, being the Devil's Advocate here, he did keep Burnley up as a fairly competitive unit, with little or no money.

Again, he has taken the reins at EFC and again been told from the off, there is little or no money available!

His tactics may not be what we would like to witness ideally but, taking that into account, the shit show before, and the hand he has been dealt, I think he is the best man for the present job.

Christine Foster
230 Posted 21/02/2024 at 02:01:52
Mike, Derek,

As I said, I admire Dyche for what he has done because without it we were stuffed. Not his fault by any means, I respect him for that.

But do I think he is the manager to build a successful team? It's like asking if David Moyes had a bottomless purse how would he play?

He is doing a job, pretty well for where we are, but it has a time limit.

Ernie Baywood
231 Posted 21/02/2024 at 02:12:48
I don't see courage, Mike Gaynes. I see a lot of hard work off the ball and not much of note when we get it.

I can live with agricultural football. It can be pretty effective and even exciting. I'm certainly no football snob who thinks we're too good to play direct.

But courage is exactly what I think we're lacking. It would take courage to commit players forward, or to gamble on creating something, or just to make some kind of change to what we're currently doing.

There's no point asking for a change in manager now. We're in a relegation fight – if we were to go looking for a short-term answer we'd probably come up with a list that included Sean Dyche.

But I do believe that we are going backwards under Dyche.

In the year or so he's been with us the football has gradually deteriorated from direct to aimless. We're now at the point where it looks like we really don't consider the ball to be necessary for much of our gameplan. Just keep punting it out until we somehow get a corner or a free kick and then see if we can do something from there.

I have a real feeling that Dyche will be looking at the Sheffield Utd game and seeing it as a real chance to keep a clean sheet.

Christine Foster
232 Posted 21/02/2024 at 02:22:15
Mike, I get your perspective, but "this supporter" wants and expects that, as soon as this dreadful phase of the Everton FC story is behind us (in the main due to Dyche), we will be looking for improvement and better players and tactics, challenging for silverware, Europe and at the very least playing better football.

The link I posted was in part a tactical analysis of Burnley in 2019. It could read as an identical analysis of how we currently play. That's what he does admirably, but it's not what we want, just what we need, for now.

(ps: It's dreadful not because of Dyche!)

Kieran Kinsella
233 Posted 21/02/2024 at 02:41:19

You're getting ahead of yourself. There may not be a future for Everton. So why moan about the man trying to keep our heads above water now?

If we survive on and off the pitch, we can hypothesize about the way forward later. But right now we have the team and manager we have, an absent owner, potentially lethal debts and a further penalty hanging over us.

All we can do is support the people in role and hope we still are in business next season.

Thomas Roberts
234 Posted 21/02/2024 at 02:45:46
I'm back home from Dallas for a couple of weeks for family reasons and managed to snag a ticket for Palace. Honestly, it was forced on me by great friends who thought I'd enjoy it. Like most, I've been going to Goodison for a long time –1970-71 may be my first game.

Even walking up to the ground, I felt no enthusiasm or passion for what was a genuine 6-pointer. The saving grace of EFC is the new stadium. Kenwrihgt and his old boy's network of ex-player coaches and his desire to hold the reins for as long as possible has destroyed the club.

Like many said have said before me, I genuinely feel sorry for the younger generation who have never seen us lift a trophy and probably never will for another 30 years.

I personally won't miss Goodison – it's a dump. The magnificent fans have kept Everton up for the past 2 seasons and hopefully will do again but endless shouts of "Get it forward" when there is isn't a pass on doesn't help.

No lack of effort under Dyche but total lack of quality or tactical acumen? As a player, they probably prefer to play on the road.

The good times were so long ago that our fathers and grandfathers have long since gone. We all have favorite memories of Goodison but we should have moved years ago. Still the best fans in the world who deserve better!!!

Rob Dolby
235 Posted 21/02/2024 at 02:56:27
Christine, in various above you mention Dyche as if he is a one-trick pony.

I reckon, if he keeps us safe this season, that he is our best manager since Royle.

The guy has never had money to play with but within 12 months has us punching above our weight. Give him time and money and he will improve us.

We endured 11 years of Moyes but Dyche is being labelled as a one-trick pony after 12 months in the most oppressive and restrictive time in our history. Take the rose-coloured glasses off and smell the coffee, we are in a mess and Dyche can lead us out of it.

I am a Dyche fan and believe, if we escape this mess, then he is the best-placed manager to move us forward.

The School of Science died with Brian Labone and Allan Ball. Times change – we need to get behind this manager or risk losing it all.

Christine Foster
236 Posted 21/02/2024 at 03:45:12

Seriously? Best manager since Joe Royle?
School of Science died with Brian Labone and Alan Ball?

I have never said Dyche is a one-trick pony, what I pointed to is the analysis of how Burnley played in the seasons before they were relegated. Not my analysis, Sky Sports (see link). What I said was that the tactics used then and now are pretty much identical.

I aspire that we will be so much better than that but understand where we are and how we got there. I understand Dyche and his tactics, even why they are needed, but I don't like them.

If it works, then great! But it's short term. Looking further ahead (sorry, Kieran', I know) then those tactics are not the ones supporters want to see (hence the silence, then the booing at half-time!!)

We are where we are, in a hole not of Dyche's making; he is tasked with getting us clear and he is our best shot at that but the tactics he employs (see link) are not inspirational or aspirational.

To get us competing for Europe and (god in heaven) winning silverware, different approaches are need. Right now, that's not even on the radar, but we are living with it because it's what is needed, not what we want.

Jay Harris
237 Posted 21/02/2024 at 03:58:39
I understand Christine's point and her feelings.

However, as someone who called Burnley an "Alehouse" team under Dyche, I have to confess he has massively improved the team despite losing Calvert-Lewin and Doucoure for long periods and seeing Gordon, Richarlison and Iwobi sold from a threadbare squad.

It is only since the second PSR charge came that confidence and determination have evaporated amongst the squad combined with injuries, suspensions and officials having a downer on us.

My only criticism is his team selections leave a bit to be desired and sometimes with hindsight I'm sure he would change the tactics but we have to back him and this squad to the hilt until we can get better.

Laurie Hartley
238 Posted 21/02/2024 at 04:05:22
I've resisted posting until now giving myself time to digest what was on display on Monday night.

My assessment: we have very little attacking prowess or goal threat but we do defend quite well and have plenty of fight in us.

That may be just enough to keep us up provided we accumulate at least one more point than Luton over the next 13 games.

Having watched the four teams immediately above us, Forest, Palace, Brentford, and Bournemouth, I can't see us out-performing any of them from now till the end of the season. The simple reason for that opinion is because they each have more goal threat than us.

Goals win games – you get 3 points for win and 1 for a draw.

In the current situation, I think a change of manager would be pointless so we have to stick with Dyche. No manager I know of could get more out of these players than him.

Jay Harris
239 Posted 21/02/2024 at 05:01:09
Just looked at the remaining fixtures and I reckon we will get1 3 to 16 points from remaining games plus or minus whatever happens with the corrupt society and Luton to get 10 to 13 points.

The killer is away at Luton in May where, because I reckon we owe them one, we will get at least a draw.

Unless Forest get a big points deduction, I can't see them in the running and, apart from Brentford and Palace, the others only need a few points to be safe.

So here we are again and I hope we give the Premier League the bifters when it comes to Man City and Chelsea.

Steve Brown
240 Posted 21/02/2024 at 05:11:14
We have spent £32 million in transfer fees during the 2 windows since Dyche took over (Beto and Chermiti). But very little of that cost hit the financial books in the last transfer window and neither has significantly improved the team.

In the same 2 windows, we received £109 million in transfer fees from player sales. Until our financial situation changes, it is frankly irrelevant whether Sean Dyche is the man for the long-term.

As Kieran says, we are facing an existential threat to our existence as a club. If he gets this squad of players to the end of the season with premier league status intact, then he will have played a blinder.

Build him a statue at BMD if he pulls this off.

Laurie Hartley
241 Posted 21/02/2024 at 07:15:51
Steve # 240 - I would have to agree - don’t know about a statue though.
Danny Baily
242 Posted 21/02/2024 at 07:29:14

Surely today will be the day.

Ian Jones
243 Posted 21/02/2024 at 07:50:17
Brian @ 227

Re your comments...

'Regardless of it being a rolling three year rollover, they have already been punished for that season '


'No matter what happens with the first punishment, they surely cannot then punish you again for that particular season again, when you have already been punished.'

Whilst I can't argue with your logic in portraying our potential rolling punishment with that of a prison sentence, football is a completely different animal. A law unto themselves. Hopefully, regulations will come in to change a lot about football.

But those are the current rules. We knew about it at the time and need to accept it.

As for the reasoning behind it, and mitigating reasons allowing further wriggle room available to lessen the punishment, that's a different story. I guess we'll find out soon.

Jason Li
244 Posted 21/02/2024 at 07:59:11
The defence is performing as good as a top four team (goals against). So a very good platform for every week.

Next step in the summer are exciting players like right wingers such as Kanchelskis, Robben or Pires.

Bringing in one or two players who are fantastic on the ball and are finishers in the summer would transform the attacking side of the team. I don't see a need for a massive overhaul.

In the meantime, if Young isn't going to put the ball in, then it would be good to see Harrison get on earlier in games.

(But not for Calvert-Lewin to have to win a header towards goal just inside the penalty box. Just a ridiculous place to put the ball into. If he is too far out, then float it to the penalty spot and see if he can beat every one to a one-touch finish.)

Allan Board
245 Posted 21/02/2024 at 08:05:14
Under Moyes, it was similarly frustrating because he 'nearly’ got us to be successful. It was ultimately just failure at the final hurdle!

However, let's be honest – his teams would ruin any of ours from the last 10 years. His teams scored 50 plus goals most seasons (and more); this one will struggle to get 40.

Discuss it all you like and call Dyche what you like – if Everton don't start scoring more goals, which is his job to achieve, by the way, we are going down.

This team needs to be 15 yards further up the pitch, so Calvert-Lewin has company, or this will not change.

Shit or bust scenario already – don't try to tell me that any of us are happy praying other teams lose every week to keep us safe – that's not worth consideration for me. You win because YOU make it happen.

Mike Gaynes
246 Posted 21/02/2024 at 08:36:11

I understand your ongoing point, but I think we agree more than disagree on Dyche. Right now, I couldn't care less whether he's the manager for the future, to take a good team higher with more attractive football. We are years away from being a good team, and from the debate being relevant.

To me, all that matters... ALL that matters... is that we stay in the Premier League this season and next. I don't care how dismal, dire and demoralizing the footy is, just as long as it produces enough points that we're playing Man City and Liverpool in our new stadium instead of Millwall or Preston. And I don't think there's a better manager in England to get us those scrubby, grinding points than Dyche.

If we're still in the Premier League in August of 2025, I'll fly back over to throw flowers at the man's feet. Even if he's getting the sack for such ugly football.

Mike Gaynes
248 Posted 21/02/2024 at 08:40:46
Allan #245, we don't have either the midfield ball control or the backline pace for that tactic.

If Dyche moves this team 15 yards further up the pitch, the traveling Blues will be following the club to Plymouth, Stoke, Swansea and Cardiff next season.

Fortunately, we can be absolutely certain he won't do that.

Frank Fearns
249 Posted 21/02/2024 at 08:54:42
Mike Gaynes,

I couldn't agree with you more. The old adage of making a silk purse etc springs to mind. We all want a silk purse but we ain't going to get one.

Look at the bunch of mercenary managers we've had who walked away with millions to reward their rubbish tactics. They had a few decent players as well. We are rock bottom and we've got a manager who needs supporting rather than knocking.

Danny O’Neill
250 Posted 21/02/2024 at 09:01:11

I shout at them most weeks for the tactics and endless long punts.

But the realist in me knows we just have to get results, no matter how we do it.

The football can come later. Just get the points, Everton.

John Hall
251 Posted 21/02/2024 at 09:08:17
Mike @246,

We won't be on the same flight but will certainly share the cost of the flowers with you and celebrate with a beer or two in the Bramley Moore pub.

Dave Abrahams
252 Posted 21/02/2024 at 09:18:22
We were rubbish on Monday night but, even with the frustration and anger at the performance, I think a lot of us knew that there was no other way really that Dyche could get this team to play, except with one or two basic changes of style and a proper fit team.

Doucoure wasn't match fit, McNeil is going through a bad period on and off the field but he will come again, he is a professional and team player.

I might have upset a few fans on here in January when I said I wasn't bothered about the FA Cup results, all that mattered to me was the Premier League results and staying in the top tier. I meant it then and even more so now.

Like one fan said on here the other day, “I don't care about the performances, it's the result that matters.” I think that's what most of us think and, if we had snatched the winner the other night, we all would be celebrating and not criticising the performance.

It will be like for the rest of the season even when we get some points back, which we will, at least 5… which is not enough, or even fair, but will have to do.

Mark Murphy
253 Posted 21/02/2024 at 09:24:28
We win more away than home because we're a counter-attacking team. When other teams let us have the ball, as Palace did the other night (62%), we don't have the nous to use it.

Dyche needs to work on a Plan B or we'll continue to lose or draw home games.

Allan Board
254 Posted 21/02/2024 at 09:27:32
I take your point, Mike and Danny; however, this type of discussion has been aired on here for years. Just get enough points to stay up etc – doesn't matter about the style for now etc etc.

This is never an acceptable scenario or excuse for Everton Football Club. At what point is the penny going to finally drop and we all realise that acceptance of mediocrity is criminally negative and corrosive, ending in complete failure?

This trench mentality has to be driven out of EFC for good, and replaced with positivity and a new footballing brand enforced into this club.

My fear is that nothing will change if relegation is just staved off again, and seen as some sort of achievement! Next season will be just the same, and even into a new stadium for 2025-26, the ethos won't be any different. I am sick of accepting mediocrity for my team – it's absolutely scandalous that it's deemed good enough for Everton to just avoid relegation.

Sometimes, for real change, you have to make sacrifices and take big gambles in this life. I know it's only football, there are far more important issues in this world today, but without risk there is never any reward, in whatever we undertake.

Just go for it! — Or, when relegation happens, you are gonna regret not going for it!!!

Brian Williams
255 Posted 21/02/2024 at 09:35:46
Forest, Newcastle, Chelsea, Burnley.

Anyone remember those four wins on the bounce.

Were we playing turgid and shit football in those four games ?

Was Dyche clueless then?

We CAN and HAVE played decent football, but a manager doesn't go from being able to get a team playing like we did during that spell to being clueless.

I'm sure he didn't suddenly run out of ideas after that decent run.

It seems more and more on here just need someone to blame, someone to vent at.

If it's not Dyche, it's DCL.

It's not either of those mentioned that are clueless.


I am sick of accepting mediocrity for my team- it's absolutely scandalous that it's deemed good enough for Everton to just avoid relegation.

it's NOT deemed good enough by anyone I know who supports Everton, never has been and never will be but it's WHERE WE ARE and no amount of wishful thinking will change anything anytime soon.

We'd all love to "go for it" but unfortunately that's just not a realistic ambition in our present (and for some time) predicament.

Survival is the ONLY consideration at this time.

Dave Abrahams
256 Posted 21/02/2024 at 09:40:27
Allan(254) Allan there is a whole lot of truth in what you say but this season and for the next two or three seasons we are fighting for the existence of Everton football club, it really is that desperate, we have to fight for that, it’s true there are more important things in life than football but to a lot of us Everton do matter it’s been a big part of our lives since we were born and to other fans who learned about us later but are just as passionate as us.
Scott Robinson
257 Posted 21/02/2024 at 09:41:15
Well said Brian @252. People have short memories. Every team goes through its ups and downs. Some manage better than others. If it weren't for the deduction, we'd be sitting tight in 12th. Lest that be said.
Danny O’Neill
258 Posted 21/02/2024 at 09:42:35
I think you've mistaken my mentality Allan and many of those I attend the match with.

I go into every match wanting to win. Every season thinking we can qualify for Europe.

Having been brought up on the stories of the 60s, witnessed the 70s and then seen Everton win two league titles (nearly three in a row), an FA Cup and European trophy.

I know my standards and expectation for Everton Football Club.

But right here and now, I am a realist. For those of us in attendance on Monday, it was dreadful.

But we will be there again on Saturday and expect a win.

I'm a dreamer but at the same time a realist as to where we are right now and what we need to do and can do in the situation we are in.

Right now, we need the points on the pitch and those back from those corrupt robbing gets who took the ones we earned from us.

Everton forever. Better times will come.

Brian Harrison
259 Posted 21/02/2024 at 10:06:41
We rightly castigated Kenwright for overseeing our longest spell without a trophy, but now defend a manager who hasnt won a league game since the 16th of December away at Burnley. The football is probably the worst I have seen from any Everton side I have ever watched, our last 8 goals have have come from Corners or free kicks, not 1 from open play. Even the ones who defend Dyche say the football isn't great his team selection raises questions and his substitutions are always to late to change the game, and these are the people defending him. The other cry is nobody else would get this team playing better, well I beg to differ I have heard for months that both Arsenal and Barcelona are after Onana, wasnt that long ago Gueye was playing alongside Mbappe and Messi at PSG we have got the best young CB in England. We have the current England keeper, a striker who was understudy to Harry Kane for England a couple of seasons back, also in Coleman and Mykolenko 2 very good fullbacks, and in Doucoure a number 10 who has a very good strike rate.
Paul Birmingham
260 Posted 21/02/2024 at 10:28:05
In view of Everton FC, whether we like it or not, is in jepeordy in matters of any take over of the club and on the football side. Both impacting adversely tge psyche of the club.

Everton played very well immediately following the 11/23 points deduction, and should have beaten United, but didn't take their chances.

Wolves was the stand out off day, since then, and Monday night was a very poor night and performance.

Most know and can smell the buzz, adrenalin, and tension and nerves as you get within a mile of the ground, on match days.

But with so much at stake right now, Everton must prioritise and get the points in the bag, on the basis, it could be the case, there's no points deduction coming by the end of this month.

However if there us a reduction, they will be a help but the fight for fairness and transparency must go on, as there will be a further battle again before theend of this season.

That this farce situation exists, is baffling in terns of timing and fairness. I hope Evertons KC, has got Masters and his cronies, encased on legal arguments that they can't escape from.

Evertons squad is thin and in any football team, are any level you can get away carrying one player who is having a stinker, in a match.

On Monday night there was half the team having a stinker.

It does happen but not that often.

If DCL, gets one in of his backside v Brighton, he will get his spirit and soul back.
The lad is on a bad run in terms of goals, but hopefully soon he will score.

Closing ranks and sticking together now as a club and as Evertonians, is needed now more than ever in the clubs history.

Ride these Richter scale storms, and there will be a new beginning and a better place.

The unknowns, and lack of communication fron the EPL and Everton FC, warrants the frustrations.

But Doucouré is back, and hopefully v Brighton, the whole squad will.play as one team. No player will be getting carried.

Sort out the freekicks in range and work the keeper. You could see the lack of belief in Garner but hopefully Brighton will be a good place to get back on track.


Brian Williams
261 Posted 21/02/2024 at 10:29:39
Bit of a difference between our longest spell without a trophy and not having won since December 16th.
Agree about all the players you mention Brian but unfortunately they're not enough to get us the results week in week out as is proved and obvious from recent results.
Rennie Smith
262 Posted 21/02/2024 at 10:45:53
Brian#255 you're right that Dyche hasn't become clueless overnight, but I think he's now dealing with a limited squad that is running on empty, mentally and physically. So when you're in a rut you have to at least try something different, you can't keep banging the same drum hoping for a different result. As the famous saying goes, insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. We all know what the team will be on Saturday, we all know how they'll play, how easy is that for an opposing manager?

I'm not saying change completely, I'm not that naïve, but we're back sleep-walking and something needs to wake us up before it's too late

Mike Owen
263 Posted 21/02/2024 at 10:49:12
Yes, we played well in those four wins on the bounce and arguably even better at Tottenham when we lost 2-1. Danjuma hitting the bar just before the final whistle was a sickener. A few days earlier, we'd had that penalty shootout defeat to Fulham.

They were cruel blows to take and came towards the end of a heavy period for our small squad of 10 games in 40 days (Nov 26 to Jan 4).

Since then, quite a few players have looked jaded.

After Man Utd away on March 9th, we probably won't have a game for three weeks (if Liverpool reach FA Cup 6th Round).

Hopefully, from March 30th, we'll have a fit and refreshed squad for the last 10 games.

Brian Williams
264 Posted 21/02/2024 at 10:55:00
Closing ranks and sticking together now as a club and as Evertonians, is needed now more than ever in the clubs history.

Amen to that mate!

Paul Birmingham
265 Posted 21/02/2024 at 11:04:50
Spot on Brian and Brian. There's plenty of positives that can be built on.


Christy Ring
266 Posted 21/02/2024 at 12:20:42
I see where a journalist was talking about the criticism of Calvert-Lewin. He praised him, saying he won 17 headers in attack, 85%, the most anyone had since May '21.

The only problem he had was he had to chase after his own headers, with no support.

He also won all his defensive duties so, instead of criticising him constantly, try and look at his overall game.

Paul Hewitt
267 Posted 21/02/2024 at 12:54:30
When did Calvert-Lewin become immune to criticism?

I've seen plenty of players on this site slaughtered because of poor form, eg, Barkley, Keane, Pickford. But for some, a striker that has gone 18 games without a goal is fine.

And don't tell me he's had no service, he'd had chances in them 18 games and missed them all, some really good chances.

And this isn't personal: Dom seems a very decent lad. But he's just not doing it at the moment.

Edward Rogers
268 Posted 21/02/2024 at 13:13:58
No one is saying Calvert-Lewin should be "immune to criticism", no player should be.

What doesn't help is when it gets personal, why people need to comment on what he does or doesn't do in his private life is beyond me.

Yes, his "drought" is a big concern but, had his goal stood against Spurs (no fault of his) or Harrison hadn't got the merest of touches again v Spurs, there would be no talk of a drought and maybe his confidence would have returned?

Danny O’Neill
269 Posted 21/02/2024 at 13:31:26
No player is immune to to criticism.

I will judge a player on an individual performance.

I've watched Dominic many times this season and past ones. His effort and commitment is undeniable. As Dave Abrahams said, he is unsupported and chasing his own flick-ons. He is isolated and up there on his own without a midfield.

Hopefully, once Doucoure gets game time and gains fitness, and McNeil gets back to his best after his injury, he will have runners off him and suppliers.

Andy Crooks
270 Posted 21/02/2024 at 13:40:48
Paul @ 267,

Calvert-Lewin is absolutely not immune to criticism and you have made, in the past, some reasoned analysis. That is what the site, in my view, is about.

To me, he lacks composure at times and often snatches at chances. Both faults can be addressed and would be if he goes to a better team.

However, we bought him cheap and could sell him at a very decent profit. He puts in monumental effort and does 100% what our coach asks.

He is not beyond criticism at all. What he, and every Everton player should be beyond, is personal, ill-informed, half-witted bile. It's on this thread.

Danny O’Neill
271 Posted 21/02/2024 at 13:53:43
Andy, if you don't have it, my number is 0796 600 7546.

Totally agree with what you're saying.

When are you next over?

Ray Jacques
272 Posted 21/02/2024 at 14:09:26
I don't understand why Calvert-Lewin cannot be criticised for his current form. No goal in 18 games and he has missed numerous chances, some pretty simple.

The lad just needs to get a goal somehow and he will be up and running again.

His effort levels are 100% but his current performance (he is paid to score goals) is at 0%, so he should be criticised; however, not insulted or vilified.

Jerome Shields
273 Posted 21/02/2024 at 14:19:41
Dyche will have played a blinder, as the team will have had, when Everton survive in the Premier League at the end of this season.

Whilst players including Garner may feel under pressure because of the points deduction, they have to get on with the job. Poor performances by the players and manager are inevitable given the circumstances, but we don't need them going public on it. It is what it is.

I don't think that Beto and Chermiti were bad buys, they have both shown potential and will prove themselves by the end of the season.

The consensus within football is that Everton will get a 2- or 3-point reduction in their point' deduction. This would seem to be about right, given that the Premier League have referred Everton to a second commission, which another points deduction is possible and they have to maintain the credibility of their sanctions process. You also have the Nottingham Forest situation in the mix.

I would prefer if they got 4 points back. There is no way that the 10 points will be wiped. I think that Everton can survive with a total points deduction of 12 points. They won't end up with a total 13 points deduction, think of the headlines.14 points at a push. No respite till the last seconds of this season for Evertonians if that is the case.

Yes, it is terrible to play and watch football under these circumstances, but Everton will survive. As for the Ownership issues, it will continue to play out, with Moshiri having to underwrite funds required, under the Profitability and Sustainability Rules.

Brian Williams
274 Posted 21/02/2024 at 14:20:32
Ray, your last paragraph is spot on.

I've no problem with him being criticised but some of the criticism is just idiotic.

Brian Williams
275 Posted 21/02/2024 at 14:21:38
Jerome @273.

The consensus within football is that Everton will get a 2- or 3-point reduction in their points deduction.

There you go again, Jerome…

Brian Williams
276 Posted 21/02/2024 at 14:34:16
Damn, hit the send button by mistake.

Jerome the "consensus etc" just isn't true.

It stemmed from one spitting pundit and has been widely shared on many quality (arghh!) media sites with different twists to make l it look like new news.

That's not the consensus within football, no matter how you sell it.

Brian Wilkinson
277 Posted 21/02/2024 at 14:45:31
Still no news on either the takeover or the appeal.

This has planted a thought in my head and possibly overthinking the matter, it would be nice to hear from posters if they have had the same thought.

The Premier League are trying to push through a new deal this week and trying to arrange an Emergency meeting with the 20 clubs, before the independent regulator has a chance to come in.

Now if Everton get an unfavourable verdict, would this then mean other clubs being hesitant on signing a new deal with the Premier League?

So, by delaying Everton's outcome, they can get deals signed by the rest of the Premier League clubs before our outcome.

Just a thought.

Christy Ring
278 Posted 21/02/2024 at 14:56:31
I agree, no player is immune to criticism, but it's mostly abuse Calvert-Lewin gets, being called a donkey and the horrific comments because of his dress sense, is a lot more than 'criticism'.
Eddie Dunn
279 Posted 21/02/2024 at 15:08:50
On Calvert-Lewin, I have watched every game and in fairness, he has ran hard, won headers, been isolated and had a few chances that on another day would have nestled in the net. Then there was the "goal" at Spurs which was wiped off and his "goal" at Goodison that brushed Harrison's shirt and was awarded to the winger.

Then at home to Villa, Martinez stuck out a foot and pulled off a very good save.

Dominic is playing well and is streets ahead of anyone else in the squad. The midfield have failed to support him, we play without a proper Number 10, there are hardly any little give-and-goes on the edge of the box and McNeil hasn't put a cross in from open play for weeks.

It is no coincidence that Maupay failed so dismally in our team, yet has 5 or 6 goals to his name at Brentford. It's our style.

Brian Williams
280 Posted 21/02/2024 at 15:32:42
Brian #277,

Isn't the emergency meeting and new deal simply to agree the amount of money that goes to the EFL?

Brian Wilkinson
281 Posted 21/02/2024 at 16:00:46
It is, Brian, but also towards future Premier League, by signing this they have the backing of the clubs for so many years, which will stop independent regulators thrashing anything out.

What other reason would the Premier League be in such a rush to call an Emergency meeting? They want it done before March, before the independent regulator is discussed in Parliament, House of Commons, early March.

Tom Bowers
282 Posted 21/02/2024 at 16:15:00
I agree it's hard to criticize Dyche given a lot of the dross he has to play with and the financial running of the club.

Yes, he is human and makes mistakes but sometimes you have to roll the dice when things are desperate.

We all have opinions about certain players and who should be in the starting XI but he will stick with his choice and keep or lose his job on those choices.

We have every chance of staying out of the Bottom 3 and there are games we probably will lose before we can win again.

Brighton away will be tough as they are doing well of late but the Luton game to come may be the most important of all in the final analysis.

They need some confidence early in games to take the pressure off instead of nervousness which seems to be part of their psyche right now.

Is there a hypnotherapist we can hire?

Brian Williams
283 Posted 21/02/2024 at 16:21:38
Brian #281.

Thanks for that info, mate.

Andy Meighan
284 Posted 21/02/2024 at 17:18:54
Brian Williams @255.

We haven't won a league game since we beat Burnley at Turf Moor — we have won 3, yes, 3 league games at home all season.

We have scored 7 goals in our last 12 league games and I think the last goal we scored from open play was in the 3-1 Man City home defeat.

So I'd say yes, Dyche and his coaching staff deserve every bit of criticism coming their way.

As for Garner saying the points deduction is affecting us, absolute nonsense; if we were to go down, he'd be off like a shot first chance he had.

No, lad, the only people who it's affecting is us long-suffering paying customers.

Brian Wilkinson
285 Posted 21/02/2024 at 17:50:48
Brian, I could be completely wrong, mate, but it seems fishy that the Premier League are trying to rush through an emergency meeting with Premier League clubs to get a deal over the line before March, why such a panic and urgency from the Premier League?

The only reason I can come up with is they are scared of the meeting in March that might bring an independent regulator in.

Ray Said
286 Posted 21/02/2024 at 18:00:13
When Calvert-Lewin drops towards our players to get his head on the long ball we invariably launch, no-one runs off him towards the opponent's goal. Instead, our players nearly all drop deeper with Calvert-Lewin.

That one simple fix would make us more threatening and make some use of the plenty of times he wins the ball. Too many of our players face our goal instead of the other team's goal.

Brian Wilkinson
287 Posted 21/02/2024 at 18:13:51
Ray, stick Michael Keane just behind him, most likely player to get us a goal or two.
David West
288 Posted 21/02/2024 at 18:24:40
Mike @207.

Yes we won 4 on the bounce, but that was after the deduction. We are still in that position, nothing has changed concerning the deduction, so I don't buy that it's affecting the performance.

It suits people to say "Oh, we are playing shite because of the deduction hanging over us" but same people will say we got the 4 wins on the bounce because we rallied against the deduction. So we can't have it both ways!!!

Mike, even if we get points back, we are still going to be in a battle to stay up. It's not going to keep us up alone, the players need to perform better, Dyche needs to find some results because the form we are in is not good.

Geoff Lambert
289 Posted 21/02/2024 at 18:42:29
Wow, all the Calvert-Lewin admirers really having a hissy fit on here.

I called him a donkey, seen a lot worse on here about other players and even about Everton supporters on here for having a go at an underperforming player,is that so vile and such a hate crime for the narcissists on here?

Calm down, calm down.

Brian Williams
290 Posted 21/02/2024 at 19:18:34
Brian #285.

I've given up trying to make sense of any of it mate.

Just as I've given up on trying to make sense of posts where the poster uses words they obviously don't know the meaning of. 🤣

Dale Self
291 Posted 21/02/2024 at 19:20:42
Hey Jamie, perhaps the bookies have. The odds:
Blades and Burnley - down
Luton -140
Forest -225
Everton -275
Palace -400
Andy Crooks
292 Posted 21/02/2024 at 19:46:25
@289, Narcissists? God almighty just stop or someone will have a proper hissy fit about crimes against the English language
Robert Tressell
293 Posted 21/02/2024 at 21:21:24
It's all so easy to fix isn't it:

- have a go because goals win games

- play Keane at centre forward

- play someone from the academy (last season Simms / Cannon, now Dobbin)

- replace the manager with Kompany or Potter (last season) or Edwards (this season)

Or... keep the defence tight, hold your nerve and stay out of the bottom 3 despite being robbed of 1/3rd of your points.

Rob Halligan
294 Posted 21/02/2024 at 21:22:35

Let’s hope Dyche doesn’t read some of the tactical experts' opinions on here.

Paul Ferry
295 Posted 21/02/2024 at 21:26:06
Jeez, Rob, Robert Tressell wants Ian Edwards to be our manager.
Will Mabon
296 Posted 21/02/2024 at 21:27:54
"Or... keep the defence tight, hold your nerve and stay out of the bottom 3 despite being robbed of 1/3rd of your points."

Robert, agree, at Anfield or similar. At home to a weakened Palace, not so much – there's a balance. One win = three not-losings.

Simon Dalzell
297 Posted 21/02/2024 at 21:34:58
Rob. Maybe he should.

Dyche is Atrocious. Picked the wrong team again v Palace. Failed to make subs in time. So negative. 'Dinosaur' is a word often used on here for him. Fitting.

Brian Williams
298 Posted 21/02/2024 at 21:48:51

What team would you have picked?

Rob Halligan
299 Posted 21/02/2024 at 21:49:21
This squad has rightly earned 30 points, which would leave us comfortably in 12th position, and under normal circumstances probably only another two wins and two draws from safety.

As has been said, it's not the players' fault they've been deducted what they've rightly earned, and as James Garner has said, it's certainly affecting him, and no doubt a few more of the squad.

Right now, how we line up, in what formation or whatever, if we can't win games then just make sure don't lose it. Dyche may not be the greatest tactician in the league, he's certainly no Pep or Bingo, but he's made us difficult to beat. Man City had to earn both their wins against us recently. It was only the Wolves game away where he got it all wrong. If Rob Edwards wants to go all kamikaze then let him.

Robert Tressell
300 Posted 21/02/2024 at 22:11:39
Personally, I would like to see Patterson at right-back and more minutes for Beto, Danjuma and possibly Dobbin.

And I would like to see better, constructive football. If we had our 30 points and kept playing this way, I'd be disappointed with Dyche.

Last night I was disappointed. But I can understand why we didn't play a higher line and go for it because even a weakened Palace side were evenly matched player for player and had a much faster, mobile three-pronged attack. We could have gone for it and lost 0-2.

Frank Thomas
302 Posted 20/02/2024 at 22:18:23
The tactics against Palace were just unthought out and stupid and could lose Dyche credibility with the players and certainly with the fans.

Hoof it up to Calvert-Lewin, with Palace having a 5-man defence that just gave the ball back to the opposition and another wave came back at us.

It was silly because Young could not get past their defenders. With a 5-man back line, the winger always faces two closely knitted defenders. Hence it was only a matter of time before they would score so Dyche had to change the team. Ironically, practically Onana's first touch was to kick the ball to Ayew and they then scored.

However it was still mainly hoofball until Godfrey got so pissed-off that he took off with the ball past the half-way line, pulling opposition players to him and allowing the wingers some space. That gave our players heart and the strengthened right wing were able to stretch the defence, ironically creating space for Calvert-Lewin in the centre.

What is also crazy is that our midfield working together got us on the run to the many points we picked up before we hit a bad patch.

I think we have a good team that with the right tactics and a prolific finisher we could be a European playing team.

Two striking statistics were mentioned on Sky after Palace scored.

The first is that Dyche's team last won a game after conceding the first goal 28 matches ago; and much more importantly Calvert-Lewin's conversation rate is less than 6.5%. So, if he has scored 3 goals, he has had 46 chances to score!

When Leicester won the league, Vardy scored 16 goals and 10 assists with a conversation rate of >18%.

We also have the lowest conversation rate for shots of 5.4% in the league.

Premier League: Chance Conversion Rate – TransferMarkt

Maybe we should play Calvert-Lewin as the key assist and allow Beto and/or Dobbin to be the front player?

Si Cooper
303 Posted 22/02/2024 at 00:43:05
“When Calvert-Lewin drops towards our players to get his head on the long ball we invariably launch, no-one runs off him towards the opponent's goal. Instead, our players nearly all drop deeper with Calvert-Lewin.”

“Hoof it up to Calvert-Lewin, with Palace having a 5-man defence that just gave the ball back to the opposition and another wave came back at us.”

I've finally got round to watching the whole game again and if people believe that the scenarios described above are a fair representation of the majority of the game then they must be closing their eyes for long periods.

I see ‘hoofball' has become word of the month but how we play isn't what I'd exactly call ‘hoofball'.

You have to play to your strengths and try to obviate your weaknesses. Our weaknesses include some fairly lightweight midfielders and too many very slow wide players. Our strengths include a valiant and hard-working frontman with a prodigious leap and a goalkeeper and central defenders who are capable (if not guaranteed) of hitting a decent lofted ball.

Palace had a very simple game plan: keep it very compacted and narrow out of possession to make it nigh on impossible to play it through on the ground, and transition very quickly with mobile wide players when they got possession.

We just played what was in front of us but the passes just weren't generally good enough, although some of our crosses really deserved better attempts off them. Ashley Young isn't the answer but none of the alternatives are producing the goods either.

Classic ‘hoofball' was exactly what Palace used for their goal although it still required a top-class, out-of-nowhere strike. Apologies if someone else has already called it but it looks like 2 Palace players were goalside of our defenders when the goalie hoofed the free-kick forward, one of whom was Edouard who then got the flick-on for Mateta to contest, with the ball eventually getting deflected to Ayew for his speculative but spectacular effort.

Why no assistant's flag? How far back can the VAR go in what was surely linked passages of play? There was only one angle shown, and only very briefly, that shows where their players were when the goalie kicked it. I couldn't tell how any of our players could clearly be playing either of theirs onside.

Mind you, nobody seemed to be making a point of it to the ref after they scored.

It was poor fayre, with too many players largely anonymous for too long in the game, but the idea that we are playing some ultra-conservative, one-dimensional, simply hit -and-hope style of football seems too harsh on the manager to me.

Sean Kearns
304 Posted 22/02/2024 at 01:28:43
We've been absolutely dogshite for the last 2-3 seasons, clutching at straws and literally praying for results. We stayed up last season by a single fucking goal!! Do we not remember the trauma!!!

But most of you still whole-heartedly believe that we should just sweep aside Crystal Palace and be entitled to a home win! They had 11 players auditioning for a new manager and we showed resilience once again.

Under The fat Spanish waiter or Frank, we would have crumbled at 0-1 and definitely lost. Every team in the Premier League is good and a point against anybody home or away is huge. It's always a point gained because, if a team drew all 38 games, they would stay up with 38 points…

I have a genuine question for everyone here. Would you rather win one game then lose the next two. Or draw 3 in a row?

I would rather draw 3 in a row all day…. I don't get the arrogance or ignorance on here sometimes and it's embarrassing.

Do any of you really expect Palace at home to be a given just yet!!!Anyone upset because we didn't get an easy 2-0 win is deluded. Get Real!…

UTFT – we are 12th, we are creating chances and keeping it tight. I for one have no problems with this season's form. We are bloody 12th and should be getting nosebleeds, not moaning about comeback draws!!! What more do people want? It's bonkers reading some of the comments.

Danny Baily
305 Posted 22/02/2024 at 07:45:22
Sean 298, Monday was a winnable game, and wins are the currency in a relegation battle. You need around 10 to stay up, and more if you're handed a hefty points deduction.

Given the context, it was a must-win. And we drew. We were favourites (a rare occurrence for us), and we couldn't get the win. To boot, it was an awful performance, and we never looked liked getting the win. People are rightly frustrated about this.

Ian Jones
306 Posted 22/02/2024 at 08:05:17

We technically stayed up by 2 points but appreciate your point about the single goal.

As for your point about 38 draws, I've often said that we should at least be looking to win half our matches giving us 57 points. A few draws and the rest losses would take us into the early 60s points wise, and no doubt into some European competition.

Laurie Hartley
307 Posted 22/02/2024 at 10:03:28
Sean # 305 - I would take the win - as long as we won the fourth.

Monday night's result was great for Palace.

If we had won we would be 2 points behind them and breathing down their necks. Instead they remain 5 points clear of us.

Their next two games: Burnley (H), Spurs (A).
Our next two: Brighton (A), West Ham (H).

What a difference a win would have made to the squad and the fans going into those two games.

C'est la vie.

Paul Hewitt
308 Posted 22/02/2024 at 10:33:58
Interesting relegation odds: We're 4/1. Luton 4/5.

That is a big difference considering we are on the same points.

Tony Abrahams
309 Posted 22/02/2024 at 10:39:18
He’s not a patch on Don Corleone, this Big Uzbek, unless there is no bad news to be given.

I was gonna say that this decision is definitely affecting Everton, more than any other club Brian, but after looking at those odds, just posted by Paul, then maybe this is behind Luton’s gung-ho approach? if that is how Luton actually played.

Barry Williams
310 Posted 22/02/2024 at 11:05:25
Yes - the game wasn't the best - the performance wasn't the best and I can understand any paying punter being a little bit peeved - but onto Dyche and the bigger picture.

1.He has had no real money to spend.

2. Everton are not an attractive club to come to at the moment - so players in general would swerve them for both on and off the field issues

3. The most creative Everton players have all been sold or left.

4. Injuries - a lot of them.

Calvert-Lewin was in and out (mostly out) for 2 years - he is not the same player (yet) pre-injury.

Doucoure - top scorer, out for a significant time.

Coleman - out injured

Young - Out injured

Godfrey - injured, long covid

Gueye - AFCON, during a mad busy time

Gomes - injured again - and adds that bit of midfield creativity so needed

McNeil - still not the same player pre injury etc.

Danjuma - adds that bit of extra spark

and probably more that I have missed out on.

5. The squad is a Frankensteinesque ensemble.

Dyche has had me frustrated at times for a number of reasons that other posters have mentioned - subs, favourite players, being too defensive at home etc.

But he and his coaching team managed Calvert - Lewin's injury well, made Doucoure so much more effective than he previously was (left out in the cold), Got Mykolenko up to a real good standard, introduced Brathwaite and has the defence sorted out - 3rd best in the league I think without checking.

Everton stayed up last season courtesy of a last gasp 1-0 win (I know no one needs reminding) - without the 10 points deduction -as you all know, we'd be 12th. That alone in the space of a year is a remarkable achievement.

The 10 points deduction, as some have said, must impinge heavily on the players and club as a whole regardless of what is said. The timing of it, the lack of clarity and the dragging out of the appeal - all of it destabilizers and all of it feels almost deliberately badly timed.

On top of this is the virtual media blackout and support - so obvious it is now laid bare to even the most cynical of those who think that Evertonians are paranoid.

Paranoid - Not 1 penalty this season, despite conceding (the last time I checked) the most. That is not a stylistic phenomenon for me - we have seen blatant penalties not given (blatant in today's game) and incredibly soft ones going against. Stick to the formula.

Red cards for nothing, perfectly good goals disallowed and generally not getting the rub of the green.

I did a lot of kickboxing/fight sports refereeing in the past. I feel I am able to distance myself from bias (many times I have shouted at Everton players going over too easy - a real pet hate of mine) - friends who I have refereed will attest to my fairhandedness.

Although I only watch Everton games these days from home (and no other games as the sport has gradually been ruined on most fronts for me) - it is obvious that Everton seldom get the rub of the green in matches. No conspiracy theory here - just what I see and digest.

Given all that - Dyche has done an exceptional job so far in my opinion.

Ian Wilkins
311 Posted 22/02/2024 at 12:35:02
Can't disagree with most of your points there, Barry, except to say that Monday's game, in the context of where we stand today, plus a potential further points deduction, was a must-win.

If we have a go, don't get the rub of the green etc, then fair enough. But to set up at home against a managerless relegation rival, missing their best players, in a negative passive way. Then not to change it when it clearly wasn't working.

It was not a "safety at all costs" evening. We must get some wins, especially at home against those down there with us. There are games we will do well to get anything from (Man Utd away, Liverpool etc), this fell into the category of "be positive and go for the win from kick-off". We didn't, I hope it doesn't haunt us.

Dyche has a poor hand, I agree… but sometimes he just doesn't help himself. We won't keep escaping on the last day of the season.

Barry Williams
312 Posted 22/02/2024 at 13:24:53
Ian Wilkins - 311

I could imagine those at the match were a bit peeved with the line-up - essentially 2 holding midfielders, a centre back at right back and a right back on the wing/right midfield (He is a right back these days in my opinion), so yeah - I 100% get what you are saying.

Nothing wrong with these players individually, but wrong at home in that particular set-up against that particular team - I can see what that wound people up. I am trying to look at the big picture here, but yes - I agree with you on what you have said.

Brian Wilkinson
313 Posted 22/02/2024 at 13:33:03
It's mad how we accept the football setup and we all say he has a tough hand, but then I look at Sam A record, his style of play was similar, but he played a style to try and grind out results, the playing was poor on the eye but some of the results were effective.

To be fair he got us an 8th place finish, you could then compare his Tosun signing, to Dyche Beto signing, when you put them together there is hardly any difference to both Managers, yet one gets slated to high heaven, even resorting to some calling him big and gravy tits, absolutely disgusting that fans can put a name to our Manager at the time.

Some think with the players we had for both Managers, they would wave a magic wand and get the team stroking the ball round like Man City, we haven't got the players to do that.

A lot more games before the end of the season are going to be bad on the eye, but we need to come up with some ugly wins, and we need to find away of scoring more goals from open play than set pieces.

Going to be a rough ride, strap yourselves in.

Duncan McDine
314 Posted 22/02/2024 at 14:02:49
I never realised that Sam Allardyce was known as Gravy-Tits... I always referred to him as 'chip-shop-curry-sauce-washed-down-with-a-pint-of-wine-tits'. A mouthful, I'll admit.

Brian, I agree that Dyche has us playing equally ugly football, but he's just not as dislikeable as GT.

Nigel - surely we'll be put out of our misery before too long?

Brian Wilkinson
315 Posted 22/02/2024 at 14:31:26
Another rule they could change Tom is from a corner kick, the whole of the ball has be be inside the semi circle, without the ball touching the semi circle, like corners used to be.

Which leads me to another question, from watching Everton through the seventies and Eighties we always kicked off the same way ball tapped to one of our players than a big hoof towards the left side of the paddock, near where the away fans sit now, can anyone recall one instance where that plan paid off :-)

Bobby Mallon
316 Posted 22/02/2024 at 14:43:24
Sean Kearns 304, if it was win v red shite or Arsenal away or any of the top 6 away then yes 1 win 2 defeats for me
Jamie Crowley
317 Posted 22/02/2024 at 14:58:02

I think a manager - any manager but Dyche would be perfect for this - should instruct his players when they are brutally held and grabbed during a corner they should punch the clutching, grabbing, and cheating offender in the gut as hard as possible.

Now, that's not very gentlemanly admittedly. But I'm as serious as a heart attack. You have to bring attention to this dark art that is definably cheating. What better way to defend yourself from the clutching than to lash out? The entire world will see the replay and will think it not the worst thing as what the fuck are you supposed to do? Allow the cheating opposition to wrestle you to the ground?

If you're going to get grabbed and illegally taken out of play, do something about it. Make the ref give you the red card, and all of soccer (football) will be asking, "Ya, but what about the fella wrestling another player to the ground? What's his punishment? How does he get off scot-free?"

You'd cause a cacophony of noise around the subject and it would have to be addressed.

Alan McGuffog
318 Posted 22/02/2024 at 15:14:16
Brian..that boils my piss for two reasons. It proves that footballers are, sadly, pathological cheats. They do it in front of the bloody linesman who, of course, does nowt.

The other thing is the sheer arrogance of these players who think that they are so good with the ball that placing it outside the quadrant actually improves the effectiveness.

Geoff Lambert
319 Posted 22/02/2024 at 18:11:50
Frank #302,

"Calvert-Lewin's conversation rate is less than 6.5%. So, if he has scored 3 goals, he has had 46 chances to score! "

That can't be correct you would be better taking heed of the ToffeeWeb gurus than bloody statistics.

Derek Knox
320 Posted 23/02/2024 at 05:39:00
Totally off subject here, but I have been asked by another TW member to put up a post about the little Steamship I Volunteer on. I am not a Member of Facebook, but there is a really good one on there too apparently.

All I can do for now, is post this link but hope to do something in more depth in the future. https://www.thedanny.co.uk/full-history

It's a fascinating story and the fact it was so close to being scrapped, but rescued by Dan Cross and bought for £1.00, when you see it today, and the photos of it's various stages of refurbishment is little short of amazing.

Thanks for looking, and sorry Eds, only way I could think of doing it, without doing a big post, which I may do later !

John Keating
321 Posted 23/02/2024 at 06:43:53

A fantastic project and a credit to everyone involved.

I was skipper on the tugs for a number of years and we've lost so many fantastic boats to scrap so great to see The Danny preserved. Well done!

Jerome Shields
322 Posted 22/02/2024 at 08:07:57

Unfortunately Frank's Stats are correct.On top of that is poor positional play.

His assessment of the tactics is not far off the mark either, but does not take account of below power performances from players who sit deep and don't get involved or guilty of sloppy play.Something that has caused Everton Managers angst for years Dyche has managed to reduce the amount of errors though and has managed to change players attitude enough to managed to make comebacks possible .

Thanhfully we only get such play once in every three matches, so the players will be more committed against Brighton and being away from home suits Dyche 's tactics better as Brighton are unlikely to play 5 at the back.

Dave Cashen
323 Posted 23/02/2024 at 08:57:43
It does make me laugh when people put up stats they cearly don't understand. Not to support the team, but to put a vindictive boot into one of our players and try to score a cheap point against fellow Evertonians.

Not through any fault of his own. DCL has had two perfectly legitimate goals disallowed. If they stood. His stats would read around 11% conversion rate.

To explain to the stato's; These stats are based on chances. Not just easy chances. They include every chance. That's why City only have around a 10% conversion.

DCL's chances are often efforts other players would not have even got to. He gets very few easy chances - Unlike the likes of Haarland and Nunez

I've come to expect that newspaper journos, Talk sport and Sky sports programs will distort stats in order to portray our club in an even worse light. They are generally RS. What I don't understand is Evertonian`s gleefully ceasing upon these idiotic figures in order to score a cheap point.

I thought it was a little harsh when somebody on here recently said those hammering C-L at every opportunity didn`t know anything about football, but there are some on here who seem absolutely hellbent on proving him right.

Danny O’Neill
324 Posted 23/02/2024 at 09:03:46
I don't like stats Dave.

They aren't reflective of the match or a players effort.

Dominic works his bollocks off, often on his own.

It's not his fault he's left up there on his own.

Paul Hewitt
325 Posted 23/02/2024 at 09:08:46
I've got a stat. Zero goals in 18 games.
Dave Cashen
326 Posted 23/02/2024 at 09:10:45
Yep Paul

You were one of the people I had in mind

Paul Hewitt
327 Posted 23/02/2024 at 09:16:10
Dave, if you find the acceptable that's fine. Me, nah. Strikers score goals. If they don't, there not doing there job.
Dave Cashen
328 Posted 23/02/2024 at 09:34:59

The majority of people who have watched Everton games this season realise we don't actually play with a striker. we play with a target man.

If we asked Jordan Pickford to play along Tarkowski woud you be hammering him for the number of goals he conceded ?

You saw DCL bury his chances against Spurs, but rather than rage against the decisions, you delight in them in. It gives you the opportunity to bring up his stats every day.

Knock yourself.

Barry Rathbone
329 Posted 23/02/2024 at 09:36:27
I know it won't change people's minds about Calvert-Lewin one jot but if you watch the replay of him missing the target from that header against Luton, his technique is abysmal.

As ever, the ball comes off him rather than being directed — it's the same flaw that dogs his shooting.

Annoyingly both heading and ball striking are 2 things that can be improved on the training ground, Lord knows what he must be doing not to resolve these simple faults.

Paul Hewitt
330 Posted 23/02/2024 at 09:44:59
For one, I don't delight in them stats one bit, silly thing to say.

If I'm honest, I blame Dyche more than Dom. He's clearly not playing to Dom's strengths. But I don't know another club's fanbase whose striker had gone so long without a goal and they would be happy.

I really hope he can score tomorrow and we get the 3 points. That would delight me.

Brent Stephens
331 Posted 23/02/2024 at 09:46:55
Paul #327,

Expecting Calvert-Lewin to get a pile of goals when he's being asked to come deep, come wide, win and retain the ball on his own, is almost like asking Pickford to not concede any goals while asking him to play in the full-back position and with no defence in front of him.

Okay, a bit overstated but so is the criticism of Calvert-Lewin.

Brian Williams
332 Posted 23/02/2024 at 10:02:55
Dave #323.

I thought it was a little harsh when somebody on here recently said those hammering Calvert-Lewin at every opportunity didn't know anything about football.

Thanks for being gentle with me! "a little harsh"

Dave Cashen
333 Posted 23/02/2024 at 10:06:02

I don't think you will find an Evertonian (anywhere) who is happy that Calvert-Lewin hasn't scored more.

You will however, find thousands and thousands of Evertonians who understand what they are watching and are unhappy because we are not actually playing with a striker.

It's the manager's preferred way of getting us out of the shit. You either back it or you don't.

Brian Harrison
334 Posted 23/02/2024 at 10:11:31
Stats can only tell us so much and there are more things to take into account to assess a player's value to a team. Equally, you can't ignore stats and, in the case of strikers, they are mainly judged on goals scored.

The first thing that's talked about when the discussion of strikers arises, it's always their goals-per-game ratio that's talked about.

I don't think anybody can question Dominic's work rate and, as many have said, maybe he is being asked to do to much, although I think, now Doucoure is back, hopefully he can lighten the load on Calvert-Lewin's work rate.

Like all players, confidence plays a large part in how they perform and I am sure Calvert-Lewin is lacking a bit of confidence right now. But I am sure a goal will change that and what can't be argued is we need Calvert-Lewin back scoring on a regular basis to help us, especially given our points deduction.

Brian Williams
335 Posted 23/02/2024 at 10:13:43
Calvert-Lewin won 17 aerial duels during the game against Palace, more than another player in a match in the Premier League since 2021, I think it was.

Paul Birmingham
337 Posted 23/02/2024 at 10:24:22
Let's forget Palace, and all energies focus on beating Brighton.

They're a good team but are beatable and Everton, can beat them.

I reckon Everton will turn up and with some luck get a win tomorrow.


John Keating
338 Posted 23/02/2024 at 10:27:48
Stats mean nothing. Only thing that counts is the ball in the net more than the opposition.

If we looked at stats, Alex Young would never have played in our team. Jimmy Greaves would never have got a game for Spurs or England. Even Lukaku would have been a doubt for us.

How much would we give for any of them being in our team today? Statistically, a lot!!!!!!!!

Tony Abrahams
339 Posted 23/02/2024 at 10:44:55
He put one on a plate for Garner, Brian, but the kid badly scuffed his shot, although getting it on target definitely helped matters because I'm sure we scored from the resulting corner?

Football is crazy though because my initial thoughts after Onana scored were that, if you can jump that high, kid, you should have scored a lot more headed goals!

Maybe he will get another one tomorrow, along with a very long-awaited penalty, but with Dominic's confidence at an all-time low in front of goal, my worry is who's going to take the penalty kick!?

Brian Harrison
340 Posted 23/02/2024 at 10:50:07
John @338,

Your post is a wind-up obviously.

Alex Young scored 77 goals in 228 appearances for Everton and the setups were completely different to today's. I think if memory serves me correctly – and I am sure Dave Abrahams will correct me if I am wrong – but in our 1962-63 league title winning year, he and Roy Vernon scored 20 league goals each.

Lukaku scored 68 goals in 135 games.

Then you mentioned the greatest goalscorer I have ever seen: Jimmy Greaves, whose goals per game are unbelievable. Jimmy started at Chelsea where his stats were 124 goals in 157 games. Then 220 goals in 321 games for Spurs, 44 goals in 57 goals for England.

And you reckon none would have been picked for their respective clubs? Hahahahahahahahaha.

Brian Williams
341 Posted 23/02/2024 at 11:00:03
I do believe John was using a touch of irony there mate. ;-)
Danny O’Neill
342 Posted 23/02/2024 at 11:28:00
Dominic to get the winner tomorrow.

He actually scored at Goodison recently only to have it chalked off because it came off Harrison's knee or toenail or something. It was going in either way because of Dominic.

Yes, not without his faults and he isn't Harry Kane. But for those who watch him regularly, his effort and commitment is undeniable. Often asked to do it on his own.

John Keating
343 Posted 23/02/2024 at 11:31:09
Brian 341, Thanks, Brian

My point really was about all this shite about stats. How many hundred miles covered in a game? xG - still don't know what that means. Possession, passes made, passes completed, touches in the box… Never-ending shite, to be honest.

We need a goalscorer and, if we based things on stats, none of the players I named would have got a game today!

Glad you saw my point – unlike our other Brian!

Brian Harrison
344 Posted 23/02/2024 at 11:49:31
John @343,

Sorry I missed the irony in your post, thanks Brian for pointing that out.

I did wonder why John would include the greatest goal-scorer I have ever seen in his post, I should have twigged then.

Christine Foster
345 Posted 23/02/2024 at 11:58:41
I have really stopped hoping we get any deducted points back. Because of that we need to focus on winning every single game, starting tomorrow (my today, but who is splitting hairs!)

We need to amass every single point we can because, if there is no points deduction, it follows we will be done a second time with at least another 6 points because, as indicated, they're the rules.

Every point is vital and Dyche I am sure knows that, or at least I hope so!

Which brings me on to the cost and impact this sanction, and any other on top will have.

Financially it's ruinous. If we lose 10 points or 6/7 places, at £3M a place, that's circa £20M alone, or about 10% of our income, which perversely will cause us to lose more money and possibly invoke further sanctions.

Then there are the continuing loans, which because of our lower income due to lower league places, means higher debt, sale of assets (players), and inability to buy, which means our ability to compete is diminished and is likely to be that way for a number of seasons. It will impact commercially on any deals as we will possibly lose some TV veiwing monies at the bottom of the table.

Quality players won't want to come to the club because it's a fight, salaries are lower, and it's a club in crisis.

Ownership. Just make the bloody call. The devil or the deep blue Mersey.

Yes, I know I am not a bundle of laughs but all of the above is exactly why. The incompetence got us to this point, but the vindictiveness of the Premier League could finish us. All to protect us from going bust?

So, Dyche, get them fired up, all our futures depend on it, first don't lose, but know when to gamble.

Brent Stephens
346 Posted 23/02/2024 at 12:05:30
Danny #342

"Dominic ... actually scored at Goodison recently only to have it chalked off because it came off Harrison's knee or toenail or something. It was going in either way because of Dominic."

Yes, and I guess that would have made a small but significant impact on Dom's confidence (and some fans' criticism of him). Harrison, cut yer toenails!

John Keating
347 Posted 23/02/2024 at 13:55:12
Brian 343,

No problem mate! Just a bit of a pisstake on this stat nonsense!

My hero's was Alex, absolutely close to Vernon

As you say, Greaves was unbelievable but I doubt he ever left the penalty area! A goal machine!

These days with academies etc they'd never even been signed because they're not over 6 foot!

Looking back at what we've lost…

Bobby Collins was a midget so would have never even been considered these days regardless of his ability.

Bloody Catterick, think about it, got rid of Collins, Vernon, Ball because of whatever????

We slag players off, the latest is Calvert-Lewin because we have to have whipping boys, even Temple and Husband got it!!

Stats, shite. A team is a team and a team win things but, at the end of the day, we need someone to stick it in the net.

Ray Roche
348 Posted 23/02/2024 at 14:45:19
John @343,

Yes, the stats business is getting confusing and also muddying the water. The ten players with the most passes this season are almost all central defenders. Only Billy Gilmore and Pascal Gross, both midfielders, aren't. Why?

Because they pass the ball back and forward to each other numerous times before giving it to someone else to, Heaven forbid, play the ball forward!

Possession is the same, passing back to each other makes possession stats look great, but you've not got more than 20 yards from your own goal.

The only stats that really matter are:- Goals for. Goals against… xG? What the Fuck?

Michael Kenrick
349 Posted 23/02/2024 at 14:59:40
Well done, Barry @329, for having the balls to call that out amidst the barrage of brainwashing on here.

Calvert-Lewin's technique has been atrocious and I call it out every time. The idea that he's not getting any service is complete and utter bollocks.

He's just become virtually useless in front of goal. He was never brilliant but at least he he could somehow get the ball moving on target and past the keeper. Now, he seems to have lost that almost completely.

Saying he's low on confidence is just a cop-out when it's his technique, positioning, timing and decision-making that are all wrong.

Robert Tressell
350 Posted 23/02/2024 at 15:21:44
Michael, these are all fair points. Calvert-Lewin is having a difficult season and there are weaknesses in his technique.

However, that is pretty much the case for everyone in this talentless side apart from Pickford, Onana and Branthwaite – and each of them have other weaknesses.

For some reason, Calvert-Lewin gets a massively disproportionate amount of stick compared to talentless athletes like Gueye and (the man Calvert-Lewin creates goalscoring space for) Doucoure.

And despite the weaknesses he clearly would have a better goal return if there was more talent around him and better service – like Bernard, Sigurdsson, Rodriguez, Richarlison and crosses from the likes of Digne and Sidibe.

At a club like Villa, Brighton or West Ham, he'd be fine. Luton too probably because they get a lot of bodies into the box with players like Adebayo, Morris and Woodrow.

I think defenders of Calvert-Lewin (like me) are prepared to acknowledge what he does bring to the table – in a team where the safety-first tactics necessitated by our lack of ability an pace require him to be a battering ram designed to force set-pieces.

So by all means have a go at Calvert-Lewin but don't forget to also lambast the 2/3rds of our squad who are a lot worse than he is.

Craig Harrison
351 Posted 23/02/2024 at 15:29:11
It's not just Calvert-Lewin, its all Dyche strikers. At Burnley, the top scorer in the Premier League only managed around 10 goals a season and played most of the games. It's the way he plays.
John Keating
352 Posted 23/02/2024 at 15:40:39
Ray 348

Agree, Ray, only thing that counts is goals. Scoring more than the opposition gives you points; all the rest is shit.

I remember when Gomes had just arrived. We played a draw I think in an evening game against Newcastle Utd. Loads were raving about him, I couldn't understand why? He was a Portuguese Ray Wilkins! Every ball was either sideways or back.

Mind you, compared to the rest of the team, the girls probably thought he was good-looking?

Joe McMahon
353 Posted 23/02/2024 at 15:46:11
Craig #351,

I'm not particularly a Sean Dyche fan, but I do feel it's more of an Everton thing. The Moyes season of 4th, it was done with 1-nils and Marcus Bent. It was awful to watch.

As we know, there have been so few Everton strikers over the decades even that have notched over 20 league goals in a season, only Yakubu and Lukaku in the entire PL era, 32 years!

What was awful to watch with the Burnley Dyche years was the ball constantly being hoofed over the top of the midfield to Barnes, Wood et al.

Sean Mitchell
354 Posted 23/02/2024 at 15:52:28
Why am I always trying to read the comments from the bottom and hoofed back towards the top, midread?

Must be an Everton thing.

Dave Cashen
355 Posted 23/02/2024 at 16:32:43
A quick look at Calvert-Lewin's 50 goals on YouTube will prove (even to those in denial) that he has scored 20 Premier League goals with his head. None of the current Premier League forwards match that.

Despite carrying long-term injuries for the past two seasons, he is on course to become one of the most prolific headers of a ball in Premier League history. At 26 he only has to maintain his current rate of headed goals to go past Les Ferdinand, Dwight York. Duncan Ferguson, Tim Cahill. Teddy Sherringham, and Olivier Giroud. A slight improvement or an avoidance of injury could also see him go past Alan Shearer.

I think it's probably time to give up debating Calvert-Lewin when those determined to find fault with everything he does claim he has poor heading technique and it is a "fault" he should be correcting in training.

Brian Williams

Permission to come aboard?

Kieran Kinsella
356 Posted 23/02/2024 at 16:49:40
I wonder if Calvert-Lewin's heading has got worse since that Scottish bloke who used to lay the cones out left? Calvert-Lewin publicly said he had worked with him on his heading. Now he's gone, maybe there is no one there to help him train.

And as seems obvious based on his shooting with his feet, he isn't a natural finisher by any means.

Ray Roche
357 Posted 23/02/2024 at 16:50:35
Maybe if Dyche had a look at the goals Calvert-Lewin scored in his two best scoring seasons he would see the best way to get Dom back on the goal trail?

Ancellotti knew, just copy him. Easy innit?

Eric Haworth
358 Posted 23/02/2024 at 17:49:54
Not sure what this obsession is with Calvert-Lewin? The guy's not a natural finisher and never has been since the day we picked him up as a youngster from Sheffield Utd – and he never will be.

But that doesn't make him a bad player, as the two aren't mutually exclusive, and definitely don't justify the abuse he suffers in these pages.

I'm neither pro or anti, and he's definitely not the greatest striker we've ever had, and he's by no means our best player, but there again, he's by no means the worst either, so why is he the target?

I'm not a great believer in statistics as they never tell the full story. But in Calvert-Lewin's case, his goalscoring record is there for all to see, and it has very little to do with Sean Dyche's or his style.

Over the past 10 years, Calvert-Lewin's average over that period up to the current day works out to 5.4 goals per season. So even the most biased anti-Dyche blues can't suggest the other 9 years are anything at all to do with him, as he's only been here just over a year?

Interestingly enough, Calvert-Lewin's best career return to date was 13 & 16 in a brief spell between 2019-2021, principally under Carlo Ancelotti. Who very quickly recognised Calvert-Lewin's limitations as a striker.

In his typically diplomatic man-management style, he didn't dwell on Calvert-Lewin's limitations, also recognising his mental fragility, but switched the focus to “one-touch” finishing, using Inzaghi as his example, which can't have done Calvert-Lewin's confidence any harm.

This was because, like all of us who watch him week-in and week-out, Carlo saw that the more time Calvert-Lewin has to think in front of goal, the less likely he is to score.

You put him through on goal, one-on-one with the keeper, and he has neither the speed of thought, composure or technique to consistently beat the keeper, he's simply just not one of those players. Hence the switch by Carlo to positioning him in an area between the posts with instructions to those around him to get the ball into that area and this was the start of his one-touch finishing spell.

However, both before and after this brief spell, he's been used principally as a target man, holding up the ball allowing the team to get out, running the channels and putting in a real shift, which he does remarkably well.

But that's been reflected in his overall goal return in the past 10 years and even prior to this at Sheffield Utd. Using him in this way means there's got to be more of a contribution from the likes of McNiel, Harrison, Doucoure, Onana, Garner, etc.

Although that's not to say this absolves Calvert-Lewin from weighing in with his share, or missing the recent “sitters”, which have become a bit of a theme, even with his headers, although I suspect this is more to do with a confidence issue, although I would still maintain that this current team performs better with him in it!

Robert Tressell
359 Posted 23/02/2024 at 19:10:10
Eric, really good post.

Ray #357, unfortunately, if we are to return to Ancelotti's tactics (that Eric also notes were successful), Dyche will need replacements for Ancelotti's players, especially Digne, Sidibe, Sigurdsson, and Richarlison – but also decent technical footballers like Bernard, Gomes, Iwobi and Allan.

Tony Abrahams
360 Posted 23/02/2024 at 19:29:27
I'm pretty sure that Calvert-Lewin scored more goals in the period that Ancelloti had us playing a bit of decent flowing football.

And I'm also pretty sure this was probably the only period in his Everton career that he wasn't being asked to be a workhorse (often an isolated workhorse) for the rest of the team.

Andy Crooks
361 Posted 23/02/2024 at 22:00:27
Michael@ 349, you are the best on the spot analysist of football I have ever read. Your in time reports remind me of the proper journalists who wrote the half time reports on the fifth edition of the Belfast Telegraph back in the sixties.
On the spot, on the button.
This is why I think you are wrong about DCL, you, by the nature of your task, hit the commitment button. Surely reflection must tell you that it is beyond reason that DCL does not work on this in training, that there is another reason which us entirely to do with the nature of the scuffable chances his role gives him.
Barry, you are a remarkably level headed and fearless analysist on this site, but you are off the mark here.
Frank Thomas
362 Posted 23/02/2024 at 22:25:14
Sorry Dave I could not reply to your post (323). I have been away for a relatives funeral.

In my post (302) I provided a link to the overall shooting stats for the team and the stated stats for DCL's conversation rate.

I have not measured the stats on the team"s overall shooting performance or the conversation performance of DCL.

These stats on both are the times DCL or players have actually touched the ball and either not controlled it, or not directed it properly resulting in no goal.

Yes it does take wild swings into the total as well.

I have never seen but would like to see how many times DCL has actually hit the target from 1) headers or 2) shots. It is meaningless to mention or try and count disallowed goals because they do not count for chances or shots. This what Ancelotti was trying to tell him, place not power.

Yes you are correct at this point in time if he scored another 2 or 3 goals he would increase his conversation rate but if he stays at 3 goals for the next 13 games 2 things will happen his conversation rate will drop and so will we into the lower league. Vardy scored 15 goals with 10 assists in the year Leicester won the league with about 75 to 80 chances over the 38 games. I am not praising Vardy or slanting DCL just stating hard facts.

Now if you look at the shots taken by the whole team we are 3rd in the league for the number of shots. Behind Liverpool and Arsenal. Remind me where they are in the league.

What are stats for and what use are they? They are useful to indicate to the manager what he should be correcting or implementing in training. Dyche grated me in a press conference when his response to 'Is DCL doing something extra in trying?" the answer was no. Why is he and the other players not doing 1 to 2 hours a day constructive target practice?

As for Harlan, he missed a header from a few yards out straight over the centre of the bar last week every one was saying how did he missed that well if you recorded the Spurs game you can see DCL do the almost identical thing in that game was DCL unlucky?

The lad needs training practice not just patience.

Tiger Woods, David Beckham and others got better by practicing perfect. This what Dyche should be doing.

I suggest reading Practice Perfect: 42 Rules for Getting Better at Getting Better

I think Michael (349) has hit the nail the head.

Ray Roche
363 Posted 23/02/2024 at 22:37:24
Robert @359
Yes Robert, I can see the point you're making, that we miss players with vision and the ability to hit a killer pass, however, Sigurdsson, Bernard, Iwobi and Gomes (still) were given a dogs abuse at different times here at Goodison, and Mcniel and Myko are both capable of putting in a decent cross but I still think that the simple comment from Ancelloti, 'Get the ball into the six yard box' will give DCL a chance to score. Chasing after his own flick on's doesn't give the lad a chance. And as for career stats, he was played wide for a long time before he was played in a more central position. When he was played as a penalty box striker his goals for increased emphatically.
Dave Cashen
364 Posted 24/02/2024 at 09:09:30
Frank @362,

First of all condolences on the recent death of your relative.

To be honest, Frank, I thought I was done with this Calvert-Lewin debate. I thought he was getting murdered by many, but it is increasingly apparent (at least on these pages) that it is the same people coming back time and again to quote his goal scoring stats and claiming every effort (no matter how good) is a sitter. And yes, I do feel they are delighting in doing it. They surely know the rest of us are already aware of his drought.

Your post is slightly different. It's a bit more measured than the usual "He's shite", but I do believe you are are allowing stats to blind you to the facts.

I agree with you, it is meaningless to count disallowed goals, because, well... they don't count. However, it is really relevant in this debate. The claim by those gloating about his figures is that he keeps missing. Clearly that is not the case. If those two goals are not chalked off, the stats you present would look completely different. Remember, these were legitimate goals and he buried them both.

On Haaland, I don't know if you watched the game or not, but he didnt just miss one chance — he missed three in that game alone. I've seen him miss six open goals in the last month, all far easier than the "chances" Calvert-Lewin missed against Spurs. Haaland just smiles because another chance will be along in 10 minutes.

The reason I don't trust the stats you present, Frank, are: A) They don't measure how easy or difficult the chances are; and B) as with all stats, they are very selective. The fact that you go back to Vardy's incredible season nearly 9 years to demonstrate the contrast would bear that out. Nobody has gotten near that conversion rate since.

I don't believe Michael nails this at all. The fact that he is basically supporting Barry's rather naive suggestion that there is a fault in Calvert-Lewin's heading technique that could be resolved in training tells me they are homing in on one example without giving any thought at all to the fact that he is one of the best headers of a ball in the world.

Barring injury, he is going to be statistically, visually, and factually one of the best headers of a ball in the history of the Premier League. The suggestion that he isn't already working his socks off on his technique in training is, for me at least, absurd.

I'll pass on the book you suggested, Frank. I've read a few like it. Whist I agree perfection is achievable in some sports, I have yet to see the perfect footballer.

Anyway, I really am all Calvert-Lewin'd out now Frank. I want to talk about all the other players too – yes, we do have other players, but I will leave you with one point. If David Beckham was striving for perfection, he fell desperately short. He did strike a wonderful ball, I don't think anyone could argue about that, but the rest of his game was absolutely Swiss cheese.

Brian Williams
365 Posted 24/02/2024 at 09:21:29
What Dave said, and what Andy said, and what Tony said.

I'll say no more (lips sealed emoji).

Mark Murphy
366 Posted 24/02/2024 at 09:45:15
A Calvert-Lewin goal today will make me almost as happy as a win!

Come on, Dom!!!

Geoff Lambert
367 Posted 24/02/2024 at 10:43:22
Mark #366,

Yes on both counts, please. We need points from our remaining games because I don't think the smug bastards at the Premier League will give us anything.

Fuck them –we can do it without them. COYB CO DCL.

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