19/02/2024 65comments  |  Jump to last
Everton 1 - 1 Palace

Everton salvaged a point from an important relegation "six-pointer" when Amadou Onana powered home an 84th-minute equaliser that cancelled out Jordan Ayew's impressive effort scored 18 minutes earlier.

Onana had been withheld by Sean Dyche from what was an alarmingly defensive starting XI but was introduced along with Jack Harrison in a double change that at least injected some life into what had been a turgid performance from the Toffees to that point.

Injury-ravaged and playing without a full-time manager following Roy Hodgson's decision to step down as head coach due to his recent illness, Crystal Palace took the lead within seconds of Dyche's substitutions but, having unwittingly set Ayew up for his goal, Onana eventually made the breakthrough from a corner just when it looked as though Everton were going to go down to another miserable home defeat.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin had two great chances to end his long scoring drought and Abdoulaye Doucouré somehow failed to turn a loose ball into an open net but, overall, it was a concerning evening for the Goodison faithful on many counts.

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With Onana assumed to be fit and Doucouré finally back from injury, much was expected from the supporters of Dyche's team but they were served up 45 minutes of abject fare by both sides in a first half that was desperately short on quality.

With Seamus Coleman absent from the squad, Dyche had persisted with Ashley Young as a makeshift but ultimately ineffective right-winger and retained Ben Godfrey at right-back but the set-up yielded a procession of long balls pumped forward in the direction of Calvert-Lewin and precious little by way of joined-up football.

Indeed, for all their problems, Palace looked the more likely to make the breakthrough in the early going as James Tarkowski was forced to stretch to divert Tyreek Mitchell's low cross to prevent it reaching Jean-Philippe Mateta in the six-yard box and Odsonne Edouard might have done better than shoot straight at Jordan Pickford.

Prior to that, Idrissa Gueye had had a shot from distance charged down but Doucouré had the first genuine sight of goal for the hosts when he cracked a volley off Joel Ward's miscued clearance a yard or so wide with quarter of an hour gone.

In the 23rd minute, a lovely touch by Doucouré freed Dwight McNeil to cross from the left but Calvert-Lewin was off target with a decent headed chance before the pendulum swung back in the visitors' favour for the remainder of the half.

A wide-open Daniel Muñoz elected not to shoot and teed Edouard up instead but the striker slashed a poor effort into the Gwladys Street End before Chris Richards twice went close from corners.

His first header deflected off Tarkowski's thigh and from the second dead-ball delivery, the defender connected at the far post but Young hacked it off the goal-line to deny the Eagles their first set-piece goal of the season.

Everton's display in the first 45 minutes cried out for changes at the break but Dyche persisted with his one-dimensional and toothless starting XI for a further 20 minutes into the second period.

A rare, decent move 10 minutes after the restart saw Calvert-Lewin charge down the left touchline and the ball was eventually worked to James Garner but, just as he'd done with a direct free-kick opportunity just before the interval, he spooned over.

At the other end, Pickford came haring off his line to charge Mitchell down and put the ball out for a throw and Edouard despatched an over-head kick attempt into the Park End but things looked like might finally go Everton's way shortly afterwards.

A Garner free-kick from the right was cleared only as far as Vitalii Mykolenko whose goal-bound volley was stopped by Ward on the hour mark. Four minutes later, Godfrey counter-attacked with purpose, McNeil's cross was diverted behind and, from the resulting corner, Tarkowski prompted Sam Johnstone into a parrying save, Gueye rattled the loose ball across goal to Doucouré at the back post where it seemed to sit up perfectly for the Frenchman to stab home  but he failed to get decent purchase on it and it was smuggled away.

Two minutes after that, Goodison was stunned into silence when Ayew broke the deadlock. Mateta did well to hold off the attentions of Jarrad Branthwaite long enough to prompt Onana into prodding the ball to into Ayew's path and the Ghanaian took one touch before smashing a crisp shot across Pickford and inside the far post.

It was a frighteningly rare moment of quality in a match contested by two poor teams but, combined with changes from Dyche, it at least spurred the Blues into greater action from the perspective of their attack which was altered further 18 minutes from the end when Beto replaced Doucouré.

Another good McNeil delivery from the left picked out Calvert-Lewin but, again, he planted his header wide and a really good chance opened up for Garner soon afterwards but he bounced his shot too close to the keeper who pushed the effort away with both gloves.

The ensuing corner brought the leveller for Everton, however. McNeil swung it in left-footed from the right and Onana rose above a forest of bodies at the back stick to head home emphatically.

Sadly, it did not prove to be the catalyst for a late winner, even after the fourth official's board went up to signal six extra minutes, almost all of which ebbed away as Palace forced a series of throw-ins in Everton's half to wind down the clock.

Tarkowski had the best chance when he unexpectedly met an 87th-minute free-kick and couldn't keep his header down while Beto steered a Mykolenko cross just wide with a stooping header in stoppage time.

Without a win or even a goal scored from open play in the Premier League since 16 December, these are increasingly concerning times for Evertonians as they await the verdict from the independent hearing into the club's appeal against the 10-point deduction handed down to them in November.

This evening's draw may have lifted the Blues out of the bottom three on goal difference but anyone who has watched Luton Town in recent weeks and compared them with Dyche's aimless and toothless outfit would not be betting on Everton to finish above the Hatters this season, despite the fact that Everton have a favourable run of home games still ahead of them.

More worrying is that all the dropped points since the 2-0 win at Burnley in December mean that a refusal by the League to hand any of those deducted points back and any futher sanction would spell almost certain relegation.

Dyche has consistently maintained that he and his players can't be distracted by the number of points that may be added or taken away from Everton and that they need to keep their focus on what they can control  – matters on the pitch.

But Everton's performances have been steadily regressing since the turn of the year, with an ever-apparent lack of cohesion and purpose in their play, not helped by an ultra-safe approach from the manager that favours experience and extra defensive options on the field over youth and dynamism, even against a struggling opponent like Crystal Palace.

This evening against Palace was Sunday League level in its one-dimensionality at times and Evertonians are entitled to expect more than sheer effort, running and an emphasis on ramming the ball home from set-pieces. They're also entitled to expect more for their hard-earned money than three home Premier League wins all season. Dyche and his staff have to do much better; the club's survival may yet depend on it.


Reader Comments (65)

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Paul Kossoff
1 Posted 19/02/2024 at 23:59:03
Defend that one, Dyche lovers! You can't, can you???

I said before kick-off that he would put out a defensive side, and he did. Crystal Palace struggling, without key players, and manager resigning… surely anyone other than a PE teacher would go for it, but no, Mr Nick it couldn't.

Wonder, Dom, what's that now, 18, 19 without a goal and still not dropped? Oh but he holds the ball up well, and those flicks. I hope to God that we get some points back because this bunch of overpaid bums won't get enough to keep us up. Looking forward to Dyche leading us out at Bramley-Moore Dock in the Championship to a half-empty stadium… wanna bet?

Carlos Nunes
2 Posted 19/02/2024 at 00:00:50
I can't believe how ineffective Godfrey and Young were on the right-hand side. One can't pass (Godfrey) and the other can't run. At least Harrison was able to get some crosses in when he came on.

We really need to get the points deduction sorted out and finish the season strong.

Jim Wilson
3 Posted 20/02/2024 at 00:33:19
The headline for this thread clearly needs to be changed, Onana came on and helped Palace score but to his credit he then equalised,

Get it right Lyndon.

Tom Bowers
4 Posted 20/02/2024 at 00:59:30
Given the lack of scoring ability and Dyche's starting formation, I have to wonder if he can save us now.

Drawn games won't do it and Calvert-Lewin is losing confidence which is leaving us with a struggle in every game.

We will need other teams to help us in order to get out of this mess and sadly we all hope RS beat Luton.

Ernie Baywood
5 Posted 20/02/2024 at 02:23:21
I have an opinion to give us the option to increase the quality (particularly attacking) in the team.

It doesn't really matter what it is – because we'll all have one.

But what is Dyche trying? We're now playing a right back in attack so we can defend with even greater numbers. We're going backwards.

Dyche is literally going backwards.

Bill Hawker
6 Posted 20/02/2024 at 02:50:37
At least Dyche saw it wasn't working and made changes earlier than he normally does. Usually he waits until minute 80.
Jonathan Oppenheimer
7 Posted 20/02/2024 at 03:15:07
That was painful. We are just too slow and not dynamic enough and can't score.

The positives are that Doucoure is back and gave us a little bit of hope at times, Calvert-Lewin had two crosses put on his head by McNeil, we fought back for the tie and could've won it, and yes, the substitutions were made early enough.

At this point, though, if Onana is healthy, he has to start over Gana, who always has a mistake in him. Whatever people think of Harrison, starting Young over him is just criminal. And while I get the Dyche criticism for how hard it is to watch us these days, the reality is we lack anybody who seems to have any magic.

At least Dobbin and Danjuma have some pace, but Dobbin can't get on the pitch. Gomes or Dele would be nice to have to come on for Doucoure, but that's not happening with their injuries.

The hope now has to be that Doucoure stays healthy and starts to bring us goals or assists sometime soon. Or maybe the hope is just that we get 5 points back and don't lose those points down the line. Either way, things are not looking good.

A point is better than none right now, but it's just painful to see a squad so devoid of top quality outside of Branthwaite and Pickford. Let's hope our fortunes change soon.

Mark Andersson
8 Posted 20/02/2024 at 05:07:53
That's all it is Johnnathan HOPE
Darrel Pugh
9 Posted 20/02/2024 at 07:07:03
Is Dyche effectively saying that Everton will never attempt to play a game where they attack any opposition with any ambition and consistency in the Premier League ever?

Defend for 90 minutes solid in 38 games and hope to score from a header at a corner, as long as you haven't conceded more than 1?

We've got to demand more than that from an Everton manager — just because things are tough, why should we lose our entire identity within football?

Phil Wood
10 Posted 20/02/2024 at 07:52:46
I feel like the overlong crucifixion process being played out by that bastard Masters and his cronies has sucked the energy out of our football club.

A sadistic and bitter campaign that has and is taking its toll. The stress is palpable for team and fans. The fans just don't deserve this.

Neil Lawson
11 Posted 20/02/2024 at 08:02:11
The words that stand out in this excellent report "Over defensive, aimless and toothless ".

We all should have slept a little bit more soundly in our beds last night with 3 points and Palace dragged right into the mire and with the hope of more points imminently. But no.

Let's set up and select in order to make sure we don't lose (we nearly did) and let's be utter dross in front of our wonderful supporters.

Paul Jamieson
12 Posted 20/02/2024 at 08:21:18
Let us be honest: we are now Burnley just prior to when they sacked him.

Without any points being returned to us, I genuinely fear we are down because Luton looked a whole lot more potent than us going forward on Sunday.

I'm 65 years old and my heart is breaking watching this car crash of a club slowly being dragged headlong towards the Championship. I very much doubt Dyche is the answer now and I'm usually so positive – it's the hope that kills you, eh?

Christine Foster
13 Posted 20/02/2024 at 08:47:54
It's like a game of stick or twist... if you never take the gamble, the chances of winning slowly evaporate.

Dyche has to get points on the table. He has to put some faith in the defence and set up to attack. It means benching Young, putting Coleman as a wide midfielder for the early crosses, playing two up front, using Dobbin and Gomes.

Combinations of the above, attack, win the second ball, go forward. I know you cannot do that against the Top 4, but the bottom half you can. Last night was a tactical fuck-up. We almost lost because we were afraid of losing.

I can never forgive sitting back against anyone at Goodison, every team or player will tell you how difficult the place is when it is rocking... yet we set up not to win but try not to lose.

We have limited options, but we are not good enough to allow the opposition time and space to play, we cannot hold out for 100 minutes. We have to attack, score then defend... not the other way round. Look around you, Dyche 40,000 scousers can't all be wrong!!!

Sam Callister
14 Posted 20/02/2024 at 08:59:32
Long ball up to Calvert-Lewin, knocked on to the wing, cross, miss, repeat…

There are half-decent footballers in that squad, it's criminal we surrender all possession, hope to ride the pressure, and then hoof it long.

Plan B is to bring on Beto and repeat the above.


Mal van Schaick
15 Posted 20/02/2024 at 09:04:57
There was definitely a lack of quality from both teams, in a poor ‘ Sunday League' type of game.

Why Dyche played Young when we have better on the bench is beyond me? Patterson should have played! Gana, played like the Wild/Mad Mouse at Blackpool funfair. Twisting turning, running aimlessly around with little or no impact on the game.

I could see the intent of being on the front foot, but the lack of a defence-splitting ball or decent cross didn't help our cause. TV commentators alluded to Pickford receiving the ball 36 times in the first half alone. What's that all about?

Aside from the game being a poor spectacle, the starting players looked stale, and perhaps the starting eleven need a shake-up for the Brighton game, or else I can foresee another wretched team performance.

Mike Doyle
16 Posted 20/02/2024 at 09:32:27
Mal (15) unfortunately "being on the front foot" meant wellying the ball up the pitch at every opportunity in the hope (presumably) that something might happen.

Palace are hardly a great side, but they had enough players with nous to deal with that Sunday league tactic.

Dave Cashen
17 Posted 20/02/2024 at 09:33:08
A fair assessment again Lyndon.

The contrast between the way Rob Edwards and Sean Dyche are approaching this fight for survival is there for all to see.

While Edwards approach often borders on Gung Ho. Our boy thinks our best chance is by adopting the "Give them fuck all" method.

The pressure on Dyche is so much greater than the managers around him. While there is no shame in going down with Luton. Nobody wants to be the guy who gets the once mighty Everton relegated.

There are no "Dyche lovers" - Pathetic statement. Just a section of the fan base who understand just how poisoned the chalice he has picked up is.

I havent been around throughout our entire history, I don't subscribe to conspiracy theory's either, but, with events on and off the field going so badly against us at the moment, this has to be Everton FC's darkest hour to date.

Those incredibly observant fans who have noticed our "football" is ugly. Riddled with fear and doubt can take their insightful bows. Well done you.

The rest of us recognise how utterly worthless I-told-you-so's are in our current situation. Especially when directed at Fellow blues. They understand the gravity of this struggle.

So. We fight, we bite, we gouge. We get down in the mud. We do whatever it takes to claw our way out of this, because if we don't. We are accepting that Everton FC can never be a force again.

Thankfully not many Blues are ready to give up just yet.

Charles Brewer
18 Posted 20/02/2024 at 09:35:17
Last night was one of the worst football matches I have ever seen. It was played by two teams whose collective lack of talent and creativity would disgraced an Under 15 school fourth eleven. Even Branthwaite is starting to look as if he’s finally learned “the Everton way”.

A player like Duncan McKenzie, James Rodriguez or Messi would have given his team the inventiveness for his team to have scored ten. Everton have got exactly one moderately creative player on the books, Gomes. He often gets blotted out of games, he’s not a powerful lump like Doucoure, he’s not a heroic dish-it-out / take-it-like-a-man rock like Tarkowski, he’s a player with more vision and ability to spot the killer pass than the entire rest of the payrolll.

So when the team is playing a bunch of talentless clods whose entire tactic is to swarm around the ball, you
Want a game changer. Like Gomes. He might fail he might be obliterated, but at least we won’t see an entire match of hoof-it-to-the -non-scoring DCL who will get shoved off the ball by one of three goons sent to do nothing else.

Dave Williams
19 Posted 20/02/2024 at 09:35:28
I have always defended Dyche but that was absolutely dreadful. Young has no pace and if Harrison is jaded then play Dobbin and challenge the lad to show he can do it.
Godfrey is improving and looks much fitter. I’m no fan of Beto who looks like a slightly better version of Niasse to me but give him or Chemitti a few starts with Dom on the bench. As everyone says above we need wins and last night we knew in advance that they were missing their three best players and were surely there for the taking.
If Dyche seriously sees 38 year old Ashley Young as a first team midfielder then we really are back to 1972-3 with the poorest team in living memory!
Craig Walker
20 Posted 20/02/2024 at 11:18:01
We go gung-ho, we get picked apart. People on TW, me included, then say that we don't even have the basics of defending and the characteristic of being hard to beat. We keep it tight, play dull, defensive football, grind out draws and we should be more attacking. I loved Martinez's football but it was kamikaze football that got found out. Carlo's football was exciting for a few months but then descending into KITAP1. I vaccilate from wanting us to be adventurous and attacking to not wanting us to get beat. I'm just fed up of the downwards spiral now. We have no creativity. No goal threat. Goodision is like a mausoleum and we've committed to playing out another full season. The atmosphere is flat because the football is dull. At least we are defensively more solid but it's like whack-a-rat: we fix one area of the team to the detriment of another.

The main thing I'd question is the signing of players like Beto and Chermiti. Are these seriously the best option for a cash-strapped club like ours? Surely there are players in the lower leagues who would be cheaper alternatives and offer more than those two. But we never learn do we? We've had Steve Walsh and Marcel Brands and we still sign journeymen footballers, on big wages, off the back of a few YouTube highlights. Why can clubs like Brighton and Brentford find players that nobody has heard of and fashion a decent team with a defined playing style?

I'm reading Lyndon's book at the moment and the list of players that are mentioned just brings it home how badly we have been run. Niasse, Tosun, Walcott, Sandro, Klaasen, Cleverley, Martina, etc. etc.

Only Bramley Moore Dock offers any kind of hope.

Mark Boullé
21 Posted 20/02/2024 at 11:45:30
I can't get to GP much but I'm planning on a game in April. At this rate, I'll be bringing a good book with me into the ground...

That was soooo turgid. I was watching with my 8 year old Godson, whom I'm trying to persuade to be a Bluenose, but there was nothing for him to get excited about. His Dad is a Man Yoo fan, he'll be going that way I fear.

What is so frustrating is that there are talented players out there. That one brief explosion of good football, where the ball was played on the floor into Doucoure, who flicked it out to McNeill on the run, who whipped a delicious first time cross onto the head of a striker who, sadly, has forgotten how to head the ball between the posts, was as good a move as you'll see.

But we didn't repeat anything like that, not once. Which leads me to think they must be under instruction not to take any kind of risks whatsoever.

Robert Tressell
22 Posted 20/02/2024 at 11:56:23
Craig I think those comments sum up how most most of us feel. It's so desperately disappointing to see our team continue to ve so shit, knowing really that there isn't an easy fix.

One thing I might say though is that Beto and Chermiti only cist us £1.8m together in this fonancial year. So that explains entirely why a cash strapped club bought these players

Danny Baily
23 Posted 20/02/2024 at 11:56:44
Midday release for the appeal verdict?
Craig Walker
24 Posted 20/02/2024 at 12:07:02
Robert. Good point but I reckon Cannon and Simms would have offered more and would command less wages, I'd imagine.
Tom Bowers
25 Posted 20/02/2024 at 12:35:57
I don't think any player is playing badly it is just that they cannot play as a tightly knit unit the way they could play under Moyes although sorta boring.

Now we all know that can be down to the quality of the players or the coaching but one thing for sure is that many other teams around us are getting too much room in our half of the field.

I believe that they start off every game nervous and tense which is natural given the facts of the situation. Having ten points stolen when you have earned them on the field is deflating and I am sure
psychologically is affecting them in every game.

They, at least showed some mettle to the end of last two home games salvaging precious points and did well at City for 70 minutes.

Early on yesterday there were some miscommunications between players which allowed Palace possession when they shouldn't have and that buoyed them.

Anyway the goal difference may be vital down at the bottom so let's hope other scores go in our favor.

Rennie Smith
26 Posted 20/02/2024 at 12:38:19
Reported on BBC "Gareth Southgate is monitoring Everton midfielder James Garner before next month's friendlies against Brazil and Belgium." - for what role, bus driver?

Alright that's a bit harsh, I think there is a player in there, but right now any creativity he has is being either stamped on by Dyche or the lad is knackered. Did anyone else think that last free-kick we had right at the death was from a similar position Gray swung in a peach of a ball for DCL to head in the winner in that monumental game v Palace in 2022. I thought this is fate, here comes the winner. What happened? Garner sort of tried to drill a straight ball into the box and failed miserably, just about summed it all up. We're maybe worse than 2022, and we all know how close that was.

Brian Williams
27 Posted 20/02/2024 at 12:38:38
Raymond Fox
28 Posted 20/02/2024 at 12:58:05
We are reckoned to play too defensive, but Palace still scored first.

He's playing our best midfield but what do they create, not very much. Thats our biggest weakness, with a moderate midfield your going to get a moderate performance.

We should be in actual fact in 12th and comfortable, which is no mean feat from where we started the season considering we had to sell 2 or3 of our best players and goalscorers.

Theres only the top 3 clubs who have conceeded less goals, admittedly theres only the bottom 2 that have scored less.

Nevertheless as I say we should still be in 12th.

If we expect results and pretty football we need some better players.

Kevin Molloy
29 Posted 20/02/2024 at 13:03:46
it's tiredness. We've not been able to properly invest in this team for five years, and so we have a tiny squad of oldies, and others who are asked to run a marathon every game. they can do it, but the freshness goes. there are no easy games in this league, and we are still very difficult to beat. I'm just grateful we aren't losing games. I think it will turn, I think DCL will eventually score and then he'll get a few. Also having Nana and Doucoure back will make a big difference.
Rob Dolby
30 Posted 20/02/2024 at 13:19:22
Dyche must put points on the board is the common theme. He already has got us 30! His job is to keep us fighting, I don't care how ugly it looks.

Generally 40 is the safety point per season. Given the 10 point deduction we now have to put 50 on the board though realistically 45 will probably do it.

We had near misses in the last 2 seasons without a points deduction. We have had to continually weaken the squad for the past 3 seasons to satisfy the league. None of which is Dyche's fault.

It's not pretty and I want us to play as attacking and free flowing as the next fan but given the squad and it's limitations I think Dyche is over achieving.

Disappointing to only get a point but the team keep fighting and don't give up.

Robert Tressell
31 Posted 20/02/2024 at 13:25:40
Craig, Cannon has 2 in 10 for the best attacking outfit in the Championship by a mile. Simms has 6 in 33 for Coventry. It's very difficult to say these would have been a better bet than Beto and Chermiti.

I'm going to go off on one now so bear with me; this isn't directed at you! It's more for perspective generally.

The reality is that we had to buy a player like Beto over summer - a big strong, mobile centre forward with a bit of experience in a major league. That's because there was no knowing whether DCL could stay fit or not. So at £0m in year one, Beto was a pretty decent deal - albeit not one who was ever going to get more than about 8 goals in a full Premier League season.

We couldn't rely on Simms or Cannon to be a 38 game striker for us in the Premier League. That would have been madness. So both would be relegated to third choice or possibly fourth choice given the (also sensible) loan of Danjuma.

As it happens DCL has stayed fit and so Beto (like Danjuma) has hardly got a look in. The same would have been true for Cannon and Simms. So we took some pretty good money for the pair of them.

Chermiti has not been bought for this season. He's been bought because he's a very good prospect. A sensible sort of move that we keep enviously praising Brighton for. We only had to shell out £1.8m too so it was decent money (albeit we pay up to £9m more if he makes it).

Sad as it is, we can't really judge our transfer activity without taking account of just how difficult the financials are for Thelwell and Dyche. I've made the point elsewhere but Crystal Palace have invested £250m more than us in their squad in the past three years.

That is why the football is rubbish; it is because the standard of the playing staff (especially in attacking wide positions / number 10) is very poor relative to the opposition. By my reckoning, only Pickford, Tarkowski, Branthwaite and DCL would definitely have started in last night's weakened Palace side.

Paul Hewitt
32 Posted 20/02/2024 at 13:32:21
Anyone having a go at Beto, please go and watch games when he was at Udinese. He is a shadow of the player he was there. And it's all down to tactics.
Mark Murphy
33 Posted 20/02/2024 at 13:34:55
I’m not contesting that but if Crystal Palace, with their smaller and shiter than ours stadium and smaller crowds have spent £250million more than us over the last three seasons how is it that it’s us that’s broken FFP and how did they avoid that?
Danny O’Neill
34 Posted 20/02/2024 at 13:41:35
They've all been at it Mark.

Can of worms opened.

In my opinion, they wipe the slate or they have to go after just about every club.

Robert Tressell
35 Posted 20/02/2024 at 13:52:00
Mark # 33. Good question!

Paul # 32, Beto looks okay on highlights reels but he's a 10-goal-a-season man in a weak Serie A – and he's clumsy.

Described as playing with his feet on upside down by some Udinese fans. He was bought for his physical attributes and experience and price tag. Not his quality or goals.

Ged Simpson
36 Posted 20/02/2024 at 14:04:53
What scares me and depresses me is we escape relegation, get a few points back and boss gets new contract for that. Horses for courses? Him maybe for this but not future.

Wonder if new place putting too much pressure all through club staff and false dreams...see it daily at work. Dream of cool gig increasingly!

Understand boss but give us some hope!

Paul Tran
37 Posted 20/02/2024 at 14:10:13
Because PSR isn't just about how much you spend on players. Palace have a good youth system, bring players through and sell them. It could be argued that we have started to do the same, having recently sold Gordon, Simms and Cannon.

Our PSR issues stem from the earlier Moshiri years of haphazardly buying ineffective players on high fees, high wages and long contracts.

The likes of Brighton and Brentford have recruitment processes in place that are thought-through, proactive and rigorous. Our process, for managers and players, is reactive.

It's been exacerbated by our owner and chairman operating without paying attention to PSR, or thinking they can get away with it.

That's why Thelwell & Dyche's buying criteria is first, what deals can we construct, then, who can we bring in on these terms. That's why Beto and Chemtiti were brought in, rather than the Championship strikers who's clubs wouldn't take such terms seriously.

I've been watching Everton since 1970. I can't remember a manager having to operate on such terms and having a 10-point deduction.

And I have seen far, far worse teams than this one.

Edward Rogers
38 Posted 20/02/2024 at 14:13:01
If anyone thinks Beto is the answer, they have definitely not understood the question. I wish he was, but he is not a premier league player by any stretch.
Joe McMahon
39 Posted 20/02/2024 at 14:19:07
Lyndon, I'm concerned about what you stated, " Everton have a favourable run of home games". Like last night, Luton twice, Wolves and Fulham nothing can be taken for granted.

My wife is a Claret and last night reminded me of most of the Dyche years spent at Turf Moor watching aimless punts to Ashley Barnes, Chris Wood and others. There was no point in having any midfield players on the pitch. It's as anti football as it gets, and yet again embarrasing for us long suffering Evertonians.

Also who the hell to advising Pickford just to boot the ball upfield, thats what we did when I started playing football at school in the 70s!

Peter Hodgson
40 Posted 20/02/2024 at 14:45:58
To sum up then. We were bloody dire and it didn't look, at any stage, that we would get even an equalizer.

If this goes on we will be lucky to escape again this season unless Dyche changes his tactics, whatever they are.

John Raftery
41 Posted 20/02/2024 at 16:11:30
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.

Rob Jones
43 Posted 20/02/2024 at 18:38:22
"Defend that, Dyche lovers."

1) Nobody has tried to,
2) Nobody can, and
3) Everton and its fanbase suffering seems to serve the purpose of proving you right.

Do you realise how fucking petty you sound?

Craig Walker
44 Posted 20/02/2024 at 19:54:13
Robert. You argue your point well about Simms and Cannon. I picked bad examples there and I think you're right about those two.

The point I was making though is that why can't our scouting system unearth gems like other, so-called smaller clubs do? Why isn't our youth set-up not bringing through better players who are ready for the first team? We change the manager but the same problems persist.

What I've seen of Chermiti, he doesn't look like he is the answer. I know that's harsh but I haven't seen anything to think there's a player there.

Sometimes I get a feeling very early on that someone isn't gonna be good enough. I had it for Niasse when he came on at Old Trafford and looked like he'd never kicked a ball, falling over it.

John Raftery,

Spot on. Our home form nosedived in that COVID season when, bizarrely, the away form was incredible, for us. We seem to get up for the bigger games but got turned over by the likes of Fulham, Wolves, Southampton etc.

Rob. Agree totally. Sick of people on TW point-scoring and almost revelling in a manager failing. Dyche is doing a decent job with a really limited group, having spent bugger all. At least he's given us some fight.

I wish we were a swashbuckling, attack-minded team but we're overloaded with slow players with no creativity or guile and no real goal threat. I don't think Guardiola could solve all our problems.

Paul Kossoff
45 Posted 21/02/2024 at 13:58:50
Has anyone heard the rumours that the Everton - Liverpool game would played as last game of the season?

Reason: the FA Cup game between Liverpool and Southampton, if they win that, the sixth round would clash with the derby game and the cup game would take priority.

Surely the police would say No; riots and God knows what. If we are not safe by then, the twats would win the Premier League and relegate us. They can't hate us that much, or do they?

Paul Hewitt
46 Posted 21/02/2024 at 14:04:24
Paul, look at it positively. We stay up and stop Liverpool winning the Premier League.
Iain Latchford
47 Posted 21/02/2024 at 14:06:33
Yes, I have heard this, Paul. Apparently there are only two slots where the game can be played. One is in April and the other is the last week of the season.

As you say, there is a potential nightmare scenario. Even if we were safe, them winning the league at Goodison would be bad enough.

Sky would love the drama, and it's them who call the shots as we know.

We would have to be safe on the penultimate weekend (Sheffield Utd at home), as our last two games would be Liverpool mid-week and then Arsenal (a) on the last day.

Paul Hewitt
48 Posted 21/02/2024 at 14:16:22

I'm pretty sure the police wouldn't allow it to be the last game of the season.

Iain Latchford
49 Posted 21/02/2024 at 14:23:35
It wouldn't be the last game. It would be played mid-week prior to the last game, like when we played Palace.
Henrik Lyngsie
50 Posted 21/02/2024 at 15:10:32

I was so careless to actually buy a ticket and am supposed to travel over from Copenhagen. Would you know the date(s) of the slot in April?

Alan McGuffog
51 Posted 21/02/2024 at 15:23:34
If it were to be the game that gives them the league then don't, for God's sake, give them any tickets. We couldnt get into the brown stuff any deeper could we ? And anyone selling their ticket to one of them for £100s to be banned for life
Alan McGuffog
52 Posted 21/02/2024 at 15:23:43
If it were to be the game that gives them the league then don't, for God's sake, give them any tickets. We couldn't get into the brown stuff any deeper, could we?

And anyone selling their ticket to one of them for £100s to be banned for life.

Iain Latchford
53 Posted 21/02/2024 at 15:25:42
Henrik, it will depend how Liverpool get on in the Europa League. Quarter finals are 11 & 18 April. Semi-Finals are 2 & 9 May. That would leave Tuesday or Wednesday, 23 or 24 April as a potential slot for the derby.
Mike Owen
54 Posted 21/02/2024 at 15:38:34
If Liverpool get to the FA Cup 6th Round, most likely date for the derby would be Tuesday or Wednesday, 23 or 24 April, I reckon.

That assumes though that they make it to the Europa League round that is played over two legs, April 11 and 18.

That won't be known until March 14 when they have played in previous Europa round.

If knocked out, there's a possibility of derby being 9/10 April or 16/17 April.

Please check all that, in case of an oversight on my part.

Klopp may not want 23/24 April because they have away games in London the weekends before and after then, which could give them three consecutive aways. To be fair, that's not ideal. But they do have an annual income that is triple ours.

Intelligent scheduling of TV fixtures for April would help. But intelligence and the Premier League????

Paul Kossoff
55 Posted 21/02/2024 at 17:10:48
If the game is played last day and we are safe, then someone should make flags and banners for us saying, we have won our Premier League status, that puts a positive slant on the game.

Any ideas on other banners we could make, celebrating our hopefully, Premier slot.

Alan McGuffog
56 Posted 21/02/2024 at 17:52:26
Paul @37. I'm genuinely interested. What side do you consider worse than this?

I'd always thought the early '80s side to be abysmal. But I'd back them against this shower.

Joe McMahon
57 Posted 21/02/2024 at 18:12:59
Alan, unfortunately the Kendall Mk III team I feel was worse than early '80s.

TBH, possibly though even better than the Moshiri and Kenwright version we have now.

Eric Haworth
58 Posted 21/02/2024 at 18:29:12
Joe #57,

I'll trump you Kendall Mk III with his first season collection of Jim Arnold, Mick Walsh, Glen Keeley, Billy Wright, Mickey Thomas, Mick Ferguson, Alan Bailey, Alan Ainscow… I'll have to stop there, I'm coming over all euphoric.

Mind you, this lot eventually gave way to Kevin Ratcliffe, Gary Stevens, Neville Southall, Graham Sharp, Peter Reid, et al, and the rest, as they say, is embedded in our history & DNA. COYB

Dale Self
59 Posted 21/02/2024 at 18:38:56
This discussion of how bad the team is lacks depth. It sounds like you are just looking at results and perhaps style while missing the financial angle.

These players are not bad, rather they face upgraded opponents every six months while getting little recruited support. At a point where we could sign a few, we had to focus on possible goal contribution since Calvert-Lewin was iffy.

It has been well cited how other teams have outspent us. The question is really about slandering some decent players doing their best in an incredibly unbalanced and terribly light squad.

Joe McMahon
60 Posted 21/02/2024 at 19:14:09

I know I'm on my own but I liked Alan Biley. But I was only 11 and liked his hairstyle.

Paul Tran
61 Posted 21/02/2024 at 19:18:20
Alan #56.

The worst Everton team I've seen was the debacle under Mike Walker. I'm convinced he'd have relegated us, which takes me onto Lampard, who again, would have taken us down.

Kendall Mk 3 and Mk 2 were worse than this team. My early Everton memories of the early 1970s consisted of drab, aimless disappointing games with thrown cushions and an abundance of swearing.

I've seen drab aimless football from every Everton Manager in my lifetime. Kendall and Royle were the exceptions that won trophies.

Lee gave us two cracking seasons, Moyes gave us one great season when we finished 6th and lost unluckily to Fiorentina (better than the 4th place season in my view).

None of them inherited both an unbalanced scorer-shy squad and budget restrictions that Dyche took on. And he's still lifted us from Bottom 3 to midtable, based on results.

Ancelotti had a better squad and money to spend, ended the season playing awful football, got us to 10th and told us he wasn't a magician.

The Palace performance was awful. The bigger picture tells me something else.

Alec Gaston
62 Posted 21/02/2024 at 21:29:41
Football is terrible, I agree, and they look nervous, but worst team? Not a chance.

They are doing great under the massive pressure the points deduction has brought – take 10 points off any other team up to as high as Fulham and they would be in a worse position.

Get behind the team – it's not their fault the points were deducted.

Alec Gaston
63 Posted 21/02/2024 at 22:04:21
I would also point out that Burnley, Sheffield Utd, Brentford, Forest, Palace and Luton have lost 3 of their last 5 games and we have lost only once.
James Lauwervine
64 Posted 22/02/2024 at 10:41:56
The picture annoys me. I don't think I'll ever forgive him for that idiotic penalty.
Rob Jones
65 Posted 22/02/2024 at 17:33:48
James, it was an idiotic mistake, in a Carabao Cup match. Get over it.

His goals so far this season have been worth enough points to keep us in the hunt. We were all annoyed at the time. But it's time to move on, for fuck's sake.

James Lauwervine
66 Posted 23/02/2024 at 10:45:15
I still haven't moved on from the 85-86 season, so I won't get over it quite yet, thanks.

The team worked extremely hard to get to a point where we could win that match and actually get to a cup semi-final and he fucked it up by trying to make the moment about him.

It also happened to be a turning point where our good form went out the window. I like the guy really but that picture still pisses me off. He's 6ft-4in and he scored a header from a corner, it's hardly a 'wow' moment.

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