Mission Creep – From Top Six to Forty Points

Dave Wraggs 31/10/2017 45comments  |  Jump to last

Less than eighteen months into what was widely regarded as being a three-year ‘project’, the man responsible for Everton’s ‘bright new dawn’ on the field has departed, much to the relief of the clear majority of Evertonians.

I for one was never totally convinced by Ronald Koeman, partly due to the fact that I have several mates who are Southampton fans, (who incidentally, were more irked by the manner of his departure than by his departure per se), and partly because I disliked his arrogance and couldn’t fathom where his inflated self-confidence came from.

An average managerial career has seen him lift just the Copa Del Rey and the Portuguese Charity Shield for teams outside of the Netherlands and on that basis, expecting him to be the catalyst for the anticipated improvements was perhaps a touch romantic. Undoubtedly one of the best defenders of his generation, Koeman serves as walking proof that on-field footballing ability doesn’t necessarily cross the whitewash into the dugout.


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His infuriating insistence on referring to the Blues as ‘Everton’ and not ‘we’ served as ongoing confirmation that his tenure was only temporary and did little to endear him to our fanbase, but his increasing tetchiness in his final interviews gave an insight into the pressure starting to tell.

The appointment of David Unsworth in his second stint in the caretaker role was met with the general approval of our fans, but just two games into Unsworth’s stewardship and the enormity of the challenge facing the club is becoming ever-clearer. The new-manager impetus that many hoped for and some expected, has thus far failed to materialise and the alarming sparsity of our squad has become even more apparent, with prospects and kids being expected to perform the roles of the seasoned pro’s who have collectively failed to perform and Unsworth’s own managerial naivety has served to exacerbate an increasingly desperate situation.

Unsworth's decision to go away to Leicester and go toe-to-toe, against a team that recently won the Premier League by executing the counter-attack game to perfection, was a poor one, as he recognised himself by withdrawing two wide players when 0-2 down half time, in an evident attempt to make the team more compact.

Unsworth’s teams have, to me, smacked more of a manager wishing to make a statement on the status quo as opposed to changing it for the better. The inclusion of the younger and home-grown members of the squad at the expense of their more experienced teammates is more than a hint of pandering and a is big, metaphorical two fingers at the previous regime and the omission of Nicola Vlasic from the Leicester squad has got the conspiracy theorists on overtime.

Jonjoe Kenny has seemingly snatched the right back berth from the much-maligned Cuco Martina, yet Koeman’s early preference to playing the Curacao international seems to me to becoming increasingly justified with Kenny looking like a great prospect but some way from being the finished article.

What then of Tom Davies, the blue-eyed boy that can seemingly do no wrong in the eyes of our fans? Here to me, is a player that is cut an amount of slack that Ross Barkley can only dream about. A young man with a fantastic, if not particularly quick engine, but with a lightweight frame, positional ill-discipline and bang average distribution that do not suggest he is anything like the long-term solution to our current midfield woes. Call that a lack of form, or call it something deeper – either way he is not currently the answer and based on what I’ve seen for the past 12 months or so, will likely never be.

Dominic Calvert Lewin and Beni Baningime are also good prospects, but they should be honing their games in the relatively meaningless world of the Premier League 2 and shouldn’t be exposed to the cut and thrust of a Premier League relegation battle.

We’ve also been hugely let down by some of the more experienced players; Gylfi Sigurdsson has been anonymous and the biggest single disappointment for me, and Morgan Schneiderlin is a shadow of the player he was last season. Ashley Williams has been, well, Ashley Williams, and old Father Time is sitting heavy on the shoulders of Leighton Baines and Phil Jagielka. Wayne Rooney drags us out of shape with his constant dropping deep for the ball and his frequent misplaced passes are hugely frustrating.

Responsibility for the club’s current plight should be shared. Koeman’s failings are well documented and our Director of Football, Steve Walsh, who seems to operate with the luxury of an undefined role, doesn’t emerge with any credit. Collectively though, it is the Board who must take responsibility. It is they who make managerial appointments. It is they who sanction the incoming and outgoing transfer dealings. It is they who gave the thumbs up to the sale of Lukaku and the release of Kone and Valencia (neither of whom are ‘the answer’, but both are experienced forwards), it is the Board that failed to secure the services of anything resembling a replacement and it is the Board who are duty-bound to see that the club’s best interests are being served at all times.

The darkest winter months could well define the club’s future, and the unthinkable, but now distinctly possible threat of relegation, would surely scupper the dream that we have all been sold over the past eighteen months or so, and for this reason a level of leadership previously unseen at the club is now an absolute necessity.

The appointment of our next Manager will not only define the immediate future, but will also map our direction over the next few seasons and herein lies a problem.

Names such as Thomas Tuchel and Carlo Ancelotti have been thrown into the hat, but both of those have a very high stock and there remains the distinct possibility that neither would feel the need to join a club sliding towards a relegation trap door, choosing instead to bide their time and take a job with a club that is challenging for honours. Whether we can attract a higher-profile Manager will perhaps depend on the selling abilities of Messrs Moshiri and Kenwright and will give the latter the opportunity to prove his notion that ‘No one can sell the club better than me’.

The more likely appointment for me, is one of either Sean Dyche or Sam Allardyce, both of whom are known for their sound organisational capabilities, but neither for playing the expansive attacking game so yearned for by the Goodison faithful. The sad reality is that consideration of playing style is not currently an option and the poor management of transfer policy over the past twelve months or so has forced us into a position where that forty-point target must be the sole short-term aim and the decision as to which new Manager is most likely to achieve this, has become the panacea of our short-term future.

It is often said that our off-field leadership leaves a lot to be desired, but now, more than ever, that leadership needs to show a level of decisiveness that has previously been conspicuous in its absence. This one’s yours, Farhad. Our future depends on it.

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Reader Comments (45)

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Will Mabon
1 Posted 31/10/2017 at 19:14:51
I never liked or wanted Koeman either, Dave. Many felt the same.

There is no easy answer to this. One of the biggest problems left in Koeman's wake is the total deflation of team spirit and belief. This is one of the most vital elements to repair, I believe. Without it, all else fails.

A month under Unsworth could go a long way to repairing this. Simple, positive coaching of the basics, without bad feeling and a grumpy bastard around. I tend to think the upheaval of a new manager right now gives no advantage over what Unsworth can achieve in the coming weeks.

We don't need to panic yet, and make a wrong or compromised choice. Anyone but Bungy would be on a contract of some duration, and that would need to be the most suitable candidate possible. Otherwise, we perhaps constrict ourselves further.

We can turn to Fireman Sam only if we absolutely have to. Maybe they could meet him in a pub and slip the dosh under the table, for that authentic "Feel".

Jack Convery
2 Posted 31/10/2017 at 19:14:57
32 points from 28 games - a tall order indeed. By my reckoning given our start we will get to 30 if we carry on playing as we are now. 10 wins 2 draws and 16 defeats would get us there. The first win has to be over Palace as I cannot see us getting more than a draw v Watford and that's me being optimistic!

I can see Cleverley even now scoring at the Gwladys St End. We have to start getting clean sheets and given our current crop of defenders that's going to be difficult, We need to play 2 banks of four, with two quickies up top out of Lookman, Vlasic, Niasse, and Calvert-Lewin. The players have got to show the stomach for a fight.

Given the experiences at Anfield and the Emirates over the past few seasons do they have fight in them? There has certainly been a lack of fight and pride over the past 2/3 seasons, so it is a real concern for me.

I very much doubt we will get a name manager but that it will likely be Dyche or god forbid Allardyce. If Kenwright goes for Moyes I will be finished with EFC until Kenwright leaves.

Get an experienced guy in soonest and given the options and rumours it looks like Dyche - so do it before Watford - PLEASE.

Phil Walling
3 Posted 31/10/2017 at 19:51:03
Farhad having made a right mess of his first appointment seems to be leaving this one to his junior partner.

Kenwright prides himself on spotting talent in the lower echelons so will, no doubt, go for Dyche. Last month it would have been Howe but his stock has suffered as this year's Bournemouth are so bad they even lost to Everton !

This is bad news for true blue Unsie who had only to challk up a couple of wins to get the gig but, sadly, has failed to inspire.

The truth, of course, is that far too many of the players available are either past their best or were never much good when they were at that best. Only a masochist would want to know !

Rick Tarleton
5 Posted 31/10/2017 at 20:06:24
Being of the glass is always nine tenths empty school of Everton fans and having watched Everton over sixty years, I actually saw one game in the old Second Division, I feel at the moment suitably depressed. I have seen some great managers: Catterick and Kendall Mark 1. Some awful managers: Walker , Lee, Smith, Martinez and Koeman and some very boring managers of which Moyes is the obvious example.

I feel at the moment someone like Dyche or possibly Wagner is what we need. A pragmatic type who can fashion a team to make the most of limited resources. There's a chance Dyche (or Wagner) could do that job in the short term, but develop into a more expansive style when they had got the team organised and safe. I'd prefer the two I've mentioned to Pulis or Allardyce who have no chance of developing to be anything more than what they have been for twenty years.

I'm no expert, but the calls for Ancelotti and Tuchel seem romantic in the extreme, these are not managers used to fighting relegation battles. They are managers of top teams who are used to buying the players they need and I'm not sure how viable that approach is now, after Koeman spent £100 million on three number 10s.

As I say I'm no expert, last time round I wanted Jaap Stam and we can all see what a success he's made at Reading. But I do believe that Dyche has the experience to get Everton organised, perhaps get the best out of Keane whose confidence looks shattered by having had to play in a back three with two old men and inadequate wing-backs and persuade Mee to come here and renew his partnership with Keane.

David Unsworth is an excellent bringer-on of young talent, I'm not sure he's equipped to get Sigurdsson motivated or to drop Rooney permanently to the bench. Klaassen looks a lost cause to me and Schneiderlin is a shadow of a once good player and it'll be a test of whoever's made manager to get these players motivated enough to perform adequately for the rest of this season.

The other task of whoever is our manager is to make sure Ross Barkley gets integrated back into the team. he remains our most talented and could play ahuge part in our survival battle.

Jay Harris
6 Posted 31/10/2017 at 20:31:53
A very good post Dave pointing out the flaws in our makeup.

Although I wanted Emry not Koeman I was happy enough to see Koeman get appointed but once he turned the sourface on just like Moyes in his last couple of season he needed gone asap.

I get the feeling there is a bit of a power struggle going on between Moshiri and Kenwright who did not sit by each other at Leicester similat to Paul Gregg when he found out what a clown Kenwright was in running the club.

The club will always be mediocre while Kenwright has any influence.

The players certainly look affected by something this season as things were tightened up considerably last season and the loss of Lukaku is not the only reason we are struggling.

I personally do not think Unsy is "big" enough to handle the personalities in the club and I think Moshiri is right to think of a nut and bolts rebuilding of the club.

I would hope that Unsy is capable of getting us to safety this season while we take a long hard look at who can lead us to the promised land.

I don't really want Dyche who has had 5 years at Burnley managing average players and only recently getting respectable if unspectacular results.

We need an instant magician from the top table so over to you Farhad to get that mojo working.

Jon Withey
7 Posted 31/10/2017 at 21:47:59
For all his faults I always thought it was harsh to compare Allardyce to Pulis - he had some great footballers at Bolton in the end including Okocha, Djorkaeff and Campo.

Dyche had Michael Keane.

He managed to sort out messes at 3 prem clubs full of overpaid, overrated players heading towards the drop-zone - sound familiar ?

If the question is simply who can we get to keep us up and then competitive then Allardyce is a reasonable choice.

He was daft not to try Leicester really, they have a better squad.

Keith Monaghan
8 Posted 31/10/2017 at 22:00:24
At present are PL record is P10 (H5 A5) Pts 8
By 31/12/2017 P21 (H10 A11) Pts 8+?
We need around 30 pts from our remaining 28 games - our record suggests that'll be difficult to achieve, with our current squad.
I don't know how many pts we'll have.

We're in deep mire!
They'll be no significant returns from injury by 31/12.
If we're lucky, we'll have 20 pts by 31/12, meaning we need another
18 or so from 17 games - I doubt if we'll we able to attract the right calibre (ability & character) of player to give us the boost we'll need.
We need to prepare ourselves for the worst - rebuilding in the Ch'ship may not be as disastrous as some of us imagine - look at Newcastle.
We need KENWRIGHT & his baggage (e.g. Ferguson, Jeffers, Ebbrell, Baxter & Rooney OUT) so we can build a decent future, not cling to the past.

I'd rather stick with Unsworth than throw a load of money on a short-term fix - if he shows he's not up to it by the end of the season, get a new one in then for next season.

Andy Riley
9 Posted 31/10/2017 at 22:19:42
I’m not trying to be revisionist but sometimes I think Gordon Lee is unfairly denigrated. We did have some great teams playing attractive football in the Latchford / Dave Thomas era and had some decent top four finishes. What would we give for that now?
Jack Convery
10 Posted 31/10/2017 at 23:51:23
I agree something is rotten at Goodison. There are 2 camps - Kenwrights mob - his old boys and the older members of the squad. Then there is the Moshiri / Koeman side - his backroom staff and the new players. The new players are now in complete limbo. They must be thinking WTF have we got ourselves into. Maybe Kenwright thinks Moshiri is no longer what he thought he was when he brought him to the club. After all he has not exactly put his money where his mouth is. All player purchases appear to me to have been made with money received from player sales. Barkley suddenly saying no at the 11th hour, appears to me to be the result of inside information i.e. Koeman will be gone soon, just hold on til its sorted. I believe Barkley will sign a new contract, not long after the new manager is appointed. The fact we did not replace Lukaku, get a cover left back or left footed central defender fall for me under the influence of BK. Also the fact that Unsworth, BKs pick, has marginalised the Koeman signings including Vlasic, who has been one of our better players. Moshiri picked Koeman and it has been reported on here several times that BK didn't get on with him and to be fair neither did most of the players. Which players didn't get on with him - Mirallas, possibly Lennon, Jags who he dropped, McCarthy, Robles, Baines maybe, given his performances, to name a few. If there was all this friction its no wonder players like Williams, Gueye and Schneiderlin for instance have had problems and as a result there form has suffered. It all says to me that the new manager has a job and a half on his hands. Not just to get the team playing but to get the whole club pulling in the same direction. If he can't we are well and truly ( insert own wording - mine starts with an F ).
Douglas McClenaghan
11 Posted 01/11/2017 at 07:14:03
Yes Andy, Lee does not deserve the reputation he has. A third and fourth in the league IIRC, and I reckon that interminable League Cup final hurt our chances. As you indicate, Lee had some great players and some memorable results. The Andy King derby for instance; can you imagine any of today's lot, let alone the whole team, putting in that kind of performance? Even against today's half-arsed RS, not the powerhouse they were at the time. I'd watch Lee's Everton over this lot any day of the week.
Neil Cremin
12 Posted 01/11/2017 at 07:19:50
Great and insightful post. Our biggest problems IMO are: We do not have a team spirit. It is very much disjointed and I would not like to be in the trenches with this lot. This is a result of Koemanns managment style where is cold shouldered too many players. With his team selection I had thought Unsy was trying to identify the fighters in the squad, now I hope he is not going down the same road as Koemann with Vlasic, Siggy and Sneids. Our second main problem is we have too many players who give away the ball, very few retainers of possession which immediately puts pressure on our back four/five. Finally out back line has always been a problem for Everton where we consistently failed to build up a mix of youth and experience. I know that Moyes is much maligned in these threads but he created a tight boring team who gave away very little and won many games 1-0. We need someone who will sort out these problems now. I will handle boring for now just to get out of the dogfight. Dreams of expansive football (ala Martinez 1st season) is for dreamers.
Stephen Brown
13 Posted 01/11/2017 at 07:31:55
In the short term we just need a manager or the senior players to pull it all together and get the team organised!

Simply we have better players than at least 8 of the other teams in the league despite the unbalanced look!

England’s best young keeper, current England Centre half, Wales and Ireland’s captains , Man Utd and England’s highest ever scorer, Iceland’s euro hero, 5 of England’s u20 squad, Ajax’s captain from last years Europa run!! Whoever is the manager ,the players need to have a good look at themselves! They are playing for their reputations and their futures!
Senior players should call a behind closed doors, warts and all meeting and get it organised themselves!!

Rick Tarleton
14 Posted 01/11/2017 at 07:52:24
It's irrelevant at the moment, but Gordon Lee preferred Jim Pearson to Duncan Mckenzie. Need I say more.
Will Mabon
15 Posted 01/11/2017 at 08:00:30
Rick, that strange period in much of the 70s when many flair players were automatically considered a dangerous luxury that couldn't be risked - even when they were the best player in the team! We were not the only ones at it, became a bit of a trend at the time. Crazy.

Poor McKenzie was reduced to throwing golf balls down the pitch... remember that?

Mike Kehoe
16 Posted 01/11/2017 at 08:44:18
It's sad but so typically Everton that such powerful early season optimism has become the reality of needing to turn to the likes of Allardice, Dyche or Moyes. It still seems incredible that Koeman has managed to fashion such dog shit from the silk purse he was handed in the transfer kitty many previous managers could only dream of. Calls from many for the appointment of Ancellotti and Tuchel must have been brief distractions from TOWIE, the star/sun or Hollyoaks as any fool could see such glittering names would not risk their reputation on a survival project that could well end in tears. It is disappointing that some are speculating the post is beyond Unsworth after only two games and with an obvious improvement in performance. However, the consequences of relegation are catastrophic so the safe hands of a seasoned manager are sadly an urgent requirement.
It's a little like the Tory's: they promise you the earth and end up selling you water. Everton promise you champions league and end up chasing after Allardice.
Silver lining could be that he has a good record against the shite and they loathe him.
Alasdair Mackay
17 Posted 01/11/2017 at 08:45:37
I don't disagree with any of the individual points in the OP, but I think the level of doom and gloom is overstated and in danger of becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.

What Unsworth and the players need right now is stability and confidence and we, the fans, have a responsibility to get behind them and be a part of that rebuilding process.

The negative strides they all took as individuals under Koeman were stark and shocking, but the vast majority are good players and coveted by top clubs.

We have a plethora of very talented youngsters, England's record goalscorer as our top scorer in the league and the future England goalkeeper between the sticks.

There IS an alarming lack of balance to the squad, but the cancer has been cut out and we are on the long road to recovery. Let's celebrate that and give those with our destiny in their hands feel the confidence they need to propel us upwards!

Jer Kiernan
18 Posted 01/11/2017 at 10:05:45
@Keith #8
"rebuilding in the Ch'ship may not be as disastrous as some of us imagine "
I know you are probably being pragmatic but this would for me be a new depth and also assumes we will bounce back ,,this is a great club with great history and has one of the proudest claims in world football of performing in the top flight.

We need to do whatever it takes to avoid the drop at ALL costs, Should it happen we may find it very hard to come back from the abyss , This would be blot on this great clubs history

Rob Dolby
19 Posted 01/11/2017 at 10:45:00
With hindsight we all now know the failings and why we are in this mess. We now need to find a way out of it, Unsworth has a squad of player who are all generally out of form, too young or injured.

The first priority is to make us hard to beat a lesson that Unsworth should have learnt at Leicester. Fill the team with players who will graft and have a max of 2 players who can create or score with pace.

Rooney has to play along with either Calvert-Lewin, Niasse, Mirallas. The rest of the team have to work their socks off.

The game tomorrow night should be where he tries to get this system to work, anything other than that and we may as well bring in Big Sam after the international break.

Charles Barrow
20 Posted 01/11/2017 at 11:56:21
The problem for Unsworth is that the new 'name' players have no idea who he is and so probably do not respect him - made worse by his understandable decision to bench most of them. Unsworth will have that problem unless the team he picks suddenly jells and starts winning games - then they'll come on board. But if he loses again I think its curtains for him. On the new manager - please God will the owners do their homework whoever they pick. Koeman seems to have been picked as he was flavour of the month and he didn't want to come - which made him even more enticing for Moshiri. After 50 years of watching the blues I'm very worried! Old creaky defence; loads of midfielders, most out of form; little in attack - Christ does that read relegation?? No - but low mid table for us I fear.
Denis Richardson
21 Posted 01/11/2017 at 13:41:07
There is a silver lining, 36 points should be enough to stay up so there's 4 points saved.

Joking aside, we do have a decent squad, obviously missing a decent striker and a LB. However, these two holes alone are no excuse for where we are now. Something has felt off since the start of this season and I'm sure the lack of a striker, left sided defender and signing Rooney all played a part. Something's gone on behind closed doors in the summer which has meant this season was a write off before a ball was even kicked. The decent results against crap teams at the start was a false dawn. Things just got worse over the last few weeks leading to the inevitable.

However, we are where we are now and have to move on. The many senior players in the squad need to take a long hard look in the mirror as they are as culpable as RK and the board. Many of them have international caps and are playing without any aggression or passion. On paper have a decent first team, even with the injuries. You could also play Mirallas as a striker, which is where he played in Greece (and was top scorer) before coming to us. Baton down the hatches in the league with a 532 or 352 and play Lookman so we have some pace. Get Sigurdsson in the middle and give him the ball with runners to pass to. Rooney is not the answer. Drops too deep, slows things down and misplaces passes. With the current fit players I'd try this against Watford

Holgate Jagielka Williams
Martina Geuye Sigurdsson, Scheiderlin, Lookman
Mirallas, DCL

Martina crosses well and Lookman and Mirallas would give us pace and width. Just go back to basics. Chase down the ball, stay tight, keep shape and give the guy on the ball something to pass to. Crowd out the midfield, stifle the opposition and squeeze out some points.

We need more aggression and players willing to bust a gut to get a result. They all need a massive size 10 up the back side.

We'll lose against Lyon, then we can focus on Watford.

Clive Rogers
22 Posted 01/11/2017 at 18:37:34
Dennis 21, that is pretty much a Koeman three at the back, with two defensive mids team apart from Lookman. Unsworth is quickly discovering that we don’t have the players to pick a strong team. The back four are mostly past it, the midfield no creativity, no striker, and no decent wide men.
Steve Ferns
23 Posted 01/11/2017 at 18:45:42
@21 Please understand how the modern back three works. The back three you have gone for are all out and out defenders. There is no one to bring the ball forward. This means the need for a defensive midfielder who then plays so deep it becomes a back four anyway, but this time devoid of fullbacks.

If we want to play a modern back three, then we should try to utilise Schneiderlin as a central defender. His job would be to sweep up in behind and really limit his defensive duties to those we would expect from playing in front of the defence. His real job would be to bring the ball out of defence. He would be getting the ball facing forwards for the most part and so can either stride forward to find the pass or hit it long quickly to launch an attack.

Without this player, the modern back three simply does not work. See Luiz for Chelsea or Toby Alderwield for Spurs.

Arild Andersen
24 Posted 01/11/2017 at 19:38:31
For what it's worth, I'll go with this:
GK: Pickford - only automatic choice at the moment
Back 4: Kenny/Martina, Jagielka, Williams, Baines. Not great, but it's what we got, maybe Holgate in for Williams.
Mid: Lookman/Lennon, Beni, Sigurdsson, Gana, Vlasic. Maybe Schneiderlin for Beni if Lookman is used.
Up front: Mirallas
I think it's time to try Kev up front. He's played there for Olympiakos, he has speed and is a decent finisher, more likely to score than most of our players.

Room for Rooney, Klaassen and Calvert-Lewin on the bench.

Jack Convery
25 Posted 01/11/2017 at 20:22:31
If Barkley leaves, we willl have lost a spine that other teams would kill for. Lukaku, Barkley and Stones. Less than £150m by my reckoning and all in their prime. EFC - Typical.
Dick Fearon
26 Posted 01/11/2017 at 21:13:16
Unsworth is another to fail to correct a basic fault in the teams style. It could even be that he and other assistant coaches have indoctrinated our youngsters into thinking possession is more important than scoring goals.
How often do we see one of our defenders under no pressure and with 9 teammates in advanced positions pass back to our keeper.

Steve Ferns
27 Posted 01/11/2017 at 21:18:43
That's not the manager's fault Dick. Teams are doing that up and down the country. That comes down to the players being cowardly and being scared to take responsibility.

Just look at the stick Barkley used to get for trying to make things happen. They feel it's safer to just tap is sideways or backwards and let someone else take responsibility. That's the players hiding on the pitch. All the manager can do is try to give them confidence and pick players who are confident and will not hide.

Jack Convery
28 Posted 01/11/2017 at 21:44:48
The modern way of playing drives me nuts. Get the fn ball up the field and put pressure on the opposition. You don't score goals playing keep ball. Shots on goal, crosses, forward passes - short and long, players movement, one touch at pace. Thats how you beat teams. I reckon the kids of today are over coached. Possession is everything is the modern mantra. No its GOALS GOALS GOALS thats is what matters and believe it or not it always has. The game was invented so two teams could go at eachother and whoever scored the most won - SIMPLES !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Mick Conalty
29 Posted 01/11/2017 at 21:47:13
Dick#26 Just get all the players into a darkened room
and put on the filmed Everton games from 1970 &
1984 to show them how it is done, for that matter put the manager and board in there as well. When they come out I would expect to see them hanging there heads in shame.
Football is a simple game, unfortunately we seem to have players and staff who simply do not have a clue.
Tom Bowers
30 Posted 01/11/2017 at 22:12:06
Jack #28 I totally agree. The game is mostly pathetic to watch these days. Keeping possession is now drummed into players and they are zombie like in what they do.
So much of the entertainment aspect of the game went out the window years ago with the 4-5-1 and 5-4-1 formations. Now the ''centre forward'' has to run like a dog all game long and if he doesn't score then he gets lambasted. The wing-backs now have to be extra full-backs. Very few teams have the skill levels to be able to create more offensive menace. The present day paying customers have been brought up on it and may not be as critical.
Too much sideways and backwards passing is infuriating and Everton are worse than most at it, very slow and rarely breaking into the opponents third where it really matters.
It's likely Jags will be out tomorrow along with Rooney and Baines so what kind of defense will they put up ?
Jack Convery
31 Posted 01/11/2017 at 22:18:57
Rom - cheers for that, Was beginning to think it was only me. Forget Lyon the EL has gone. Best to put an understrength team out and drill the defence all week for Watford.
Dick Fearon
32 Posted 01/11/2017 at 23:09:37
Part of the problem and no less equal is that the advanced players do not work hard enough or in some cases lack imagination enough to create passing opportunities.
DCL is a perfect example of Tom's forward @30, who runs like a dog for the entire game but for zero end result.
Is there no one on the coaching panel that can take that lad in hand and teach him some genuine predatory skill.
Brian Porter
34 Posted 02/11/2017 at 00:10:40
Rob Dolby #19, Niasse can't play because Clueless Koeman didn't include him in the European squad. Just another example of the clueless one's idiotic decision making.
Jason Wilkinson
35 Posted 02/11/2017 at 00:31:49
81% of Everton fans want this £13.5M man to play against Lyon"

What shit journalism!!! 99% of us know Koeman left him out of the euro squad.,"81% of Everton fans want this £13.5M man to play against Lyon"

What shit journalism!!! 99% of us know Koeman left him out of the euro squad.,,,1,00:15:27,,,ok,20170,11/02/2017 00:15:27,jaywilk,reader,, 866377,35749,toffeeweb,02/11/2017,Jim Potter,jimpotter9@btinternet.com,"Nuno Espirito Santo?"

Sounds like a prayer.

Just not the answer to ours.,"Nuno Espirito Santo?"

Sounds like a prayer.

Just not the answer to ours.,,,1,00:25:47,,,ok,2595,11/02/2017 00:25:47,BlueJim,reader,, 866378,35750,toffeeweb,02/11/2017,Charlie Lloyd,cclloyd@live.co.uk,Are Feeney and Baningime eligible to play in the Europa League?

,Are Feeney and Baningime eligible to play in the Europa League?

,,,1,00:29:51,,,ok,18460,11/02/2017 00:29:51,CCL,reader,, 866379,35745,toffeeweb,02/11/2017,Don Alexander,donfraser1983@hotmail.co.uk,"Well said Brian (#308). Moshiri, or whomever he entrusted with recruitment, royally fucked us up in the summer. I'm not defending Koeman but he was right on the money in wanting the other centre-back, left-back and centre-forward(s) we all see are now needed. Signing three other no. 10's? Madness.

In January he has to spend on three such players, four if he wants centre-forward security, minimum, even if Bolasie, Seamus and Funes-Mori are fully fit again. Personally I won't be bothered if he finances a little of it by selling most or all of the following; Stekelenburg, Martina, Williams, Besic, McCarthy, Mirallas and Lennon.

Don Alexander
36 Posted 02/11/2017 at 00:47:51
Several of us have rightly pointed out the robotic nature of possession for possession's sake. it's numbingly boring to watch unless it's taking place in and around the opposition's penalty area, not ours. When opponents do it to us in and around our area, as is increasingly the case, it's horrible.

A couple of years back one of Unsy's players was interviewed after a good run of games (can't remember his name but he was a full back I think). I remember me and a few others stating our concern when the lad only revelled about how pleased Unsy was about the high percentage he'd achieved in ball retention. He said bugger all about anything else, just his high percentage of ball retention.


Colin Metcalfe
37 Posted 02/11/2017 at 00:56:46
I am struggling to get over the stick Unsy is getting to try and go "toe to toe " against Leicester, they are not champions and they struggled last season and this season they aren't much better surely he had ever right to have a go at them ?
Leicester basically defend about 20 yards out and are happy for the opposition to have the ball for long periods , you can't send over crosses because they have good centerbacks so you have to get behind them with wingers , for me he got right however the team couldn't quite execute the game plan and so at 2-0 it was a case of plan B which saw us have much more control in the middle of the park but unfortunately we were completely ineffective.
Rahman Talib
38 Posted 02/11/2017 at 05:26:55





Everton is a rigid and tight team at the back and whenever we have people like Walker and Smith tried to meddle with it we falter.


Plus Moyes lacked only a high quality STRIKER

James Watts
39 Posted 02/11/2017 at 06:13:32
Rahman. I think I can speak for the majority of Everton fans.


He did a decent job in the time he was here previously but his time has been and gone. So no matter how much you shout it's not going to happen. And if it did, you'd probably shouting inside Goodison with about 20 other people.

Will Mabon
40 Posted 02/11/2017 at 07:02:49
Who's this "Moyes" people are talking about?
Chris Jenkins
41 Posted 02/11/2017 at 18:19:02
Rahman, I agree totally with you about bringing David Moyes back. I believe that, without him , we would have almost certainly have been relegated during our years of penury.

The focus now surely has to be getting out of the current shambolic position and ensuring Premiership survival. Moshiri cannot be relied upon to stay if the worst happens and we are relegated this season. The prospect of Championship football, without the largest individual shareholder's financial resources to bounce straight back, could become reality.

When Moyes was first appointed we were in a similarly precarious
position and yet with very little financial muscle he was able to create a reasonably successful team.

Given the opportunity again I feel Moyes would almost certainly ensure our survival and put in place the building blocks to create a top four team.

Denis Richardson
42 Posted 02/11/2017 at 18:52:43
Steve 23 - many thanks for your wise words and I bow down to your footballing wisdom. Please accept my humble gratitude that you took time off from for your hectic professional footballing schedule to sprinkle some deep and meaningful words in my direction.

Would you be so kind as to email me your Uefa coaching badges (A, B and pro license if you don't mind) so I can pin them to my ceiling and stare at them wistfully when I go to bed?

Whilst being a mere footy mortal next to your godlike tactical nous, I would point out that the 3 CBs I chose were chosen because they are erm, the only ones we actually have fit. (Martina is already a RWB in my line up). Additionally I wanted a line up that didn't include a certain L.Baines given I felt his 3ft 4inch stature might find it a struggle in a back 3 (although I'm sure this would be a ridiculously minor matter for your footballing prowess to overcome).

If memory serves me well, I believe we played a back 3 on a number of occasions last season which included some/all the above named defenders. We also happened to finish 7th so presume (I may of course be wrong) that it didn't back fire too badly.

Again, I can only offer my deepest and most profound appreciativeness for your time and trouble in casting some rays of wisdom to us mere plebs on TW.

(Please do get back to me on those coaching badges.)

Laurie Hartley
43 Posted 03/11/2017 at 07:12:39
David - a good post which for me sums up the situation and offers a solution, which thankfully, while being unpalatable for many of my fellow blue noses, offers a short term solution that does not include a formation.

This is a man management issue. Moshiri has to find and appoint the right man manager for the battle we are facing.

Dick Fearon
44 Posted 03/11/2017 at 11:56:55
Denis @ 42, your sarcastic remarks about Steve @ 23 is uncalled for. Like the rest of us he is concerned about the parlous position we have drifted into. Steve offered a solution is just one of thousands put forward by other posters.
Steve's suggestion may well be unworkable but it is no better or worse than what has been aready tried.

Mark Stone
45 Posted 05/11/2017 at 11:14:41
Whatever you think about Moyes, it is abundantly clear we were a better and more consistent side when he was manager compared with the few years before he arrived, and during the few years since he left.

All over this forum people were calling for his head. Apparently it was only Moyes, under whom we finished 'best of the rest' for about 6 years on the bounce, that was stopping us from breaking through the glass ceiling. People wanted a more fashionable manager . like a Martinez, a Koeman or a Bilic to take us to the next level. Well, what top managers they've all turned out to be, hey? Reminds me of Newcastle and West Ham fans, wanting rid of managers who produce good results relative to their financial situation because they want someone more fashionable, despite the fact they end up just slipping down the league table because what really gets results in the PL, outside the big money six, is building from a solid defence and doing the basics well.

Right now I'd take a Moyes or a Big Sam in a heartbeat. Before you go shouting down about who should or shouldn't be coming in to take over, ask yourself who you were asking for in 2013 and 2016. You might realise, you haven't got a clue.

Simon Jones
46 Posted 09/11/2017 at 10:03:18
Does anyone think that the return of Bolasie & Coleman will make a big difference and an energetic Barkley with a point to prove might save our season? Bolasie adds creativity and some pace (given he's back to where he was), Coleman is, well, Coleman and we all know what he's capable of and Barkley *could* be a genius if his head is right.

Or am I clutching at straws?

Paul Mackie
47 Posted 09/11/2017 at 10:15:07
I think you're correct Simon. For all the stick that Barkley (sometimes rightly) gets, he's by far our most creative midfielder. He can be anonymous for 89 minutes but then he'll do some crazy flick and someone is through on goal. Who else do we have who can do similar? Davies maybe? Rooney if he actually plays where he's supposed to?

As for Coleman, he's a huge miss and it's no coincidence that we've been shite without him. Not just his footballing contribution but his leadership on the pitch. He's one of the few players out there at the moment who genuinely seem to give a shit about the club.

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