The Everton FC Attitude Problem

Everton have the quality in the squad to get out of trouble. What will determine whether we do so or not is the attitude that the players demonstrate when they pull on that blue shirt (regardless of which ground they’re playing at) between now and the end of the season

Colin D Ellis 30/03/2022 40comments  |  Jump to last

In 2016, Sunderland – having been bottom of the league for most of the season û went on a 10-game unbeaten run to not only secure another season in the Premier League but also to condemn their arch-rivals Newcastle to relegation. The manager at the time, Sam Allardyce, didn't credit the systems he brought in, or the tactics, structures or formations for the turnaround; instead, he said “…the attitude of the players, who absorbed the pressure and delivered a performance like that, got us out of trouble. That’s what’s happened over the last 10 games.”

The team that Allardyce’s Sunderland beat 3-0 to secure their safety on that day? Roberto Martinez’s Everton. By contrast, and in his press conference following the game, he refused to publicly question the attitude of the players and was condemned for being weak and out of touch with reality.

Current boss Frank Lampard took a different approach after the Crystal Palace defeat 10 days ago, publicly asking whether his team had “…the bollocks to play?”

I would never advise any manager to denounce the attitude of the team in public, not least because you’re tarring everyone with the same brush. Anthony Gordon absolutely has the bollocks. That said, it’s hard to know what else Lampard could have done. He’s now witnessing first-hand the Jekyll-and-Hyde performances we’ve been watching for years now and, rather than continue to ‘butter’ the players up (his words), he went with the hard truth approach instead.

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As Carl Roper said on the Blue Room Extra podcast last week, the players can either see this as a criticism or a challenge. And what will determine that, is their attitude.

Mentality, character, backbone, bollocks… all words to describe this thing called attitude. But what is it and how is it demonstrated?

Attitude – in the context of any kind of job – is the cornerstone of professionalism, regardless of how old you are or what you’re employed to do. You can be the most talented individual in the world but, unless you have the attitude to match it, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll reach your full potential. As the saying goes, ‘talent will only get you so far’.

Similarly, you can lack talent but, through your attitude, reach heights of performance that no-one ever thought possible. It’s your attitude that is ‘determined to prove people wrong’.

Attitude is, by definition, ‘a settled way of thinking about something’. And in the case of the Everton men’s team (and to a lesser degree, the women’s team, who are also on their own wretched run of form) it’s how the players think about their jobs as footballers, specifically for Everton FC, in the predicament that we’re in right now.

Having a positive attitude is a demonstration that you’re prepared to show up, put a shift in, work hard and do the absolute best that you can in order to contribute to the team that you’re part of (both on and off the pitch). It shows itself in many different ways; here are some examples:

  • Being on time to training, listening to the coaches and working hard to improve your game
  • Sticking to the things you worked on in training on match days
  • How respectful you are to those around you
  • Tracking back and covering when the opposition have possession
  • Being honest with your teammates on the pitch and reminding each other of your roles and responsibilities
  • Keeping your head – and helping those around you – if you go a goal down
  • Not reacting poorly to beimg substituted
  • Celebrating with your teammates when you score a goal or prevent one from being scored
  • The appreciation you show for those who support you
  • How willingly you engage with the fans and community at large
  • What you do or say in the press and on social media
  • How ethically you behave when a potential transfer is mooted

Being the best that you can be, also involves getting it wrong from time to time; everyone makes mistakes. The attitude that you show in these moments is a key determinant of how resilient you are and how quickly you’re able to learn, demonstrate humility and use the knowledge to improve.

And this is made easier if the attitude of those around you is one of empathy and encouragement. When everyone has the same positive attitude, it leads to a collective growth mindset, where the team believe that anything – including beating West Ham away this weekend – is possible. However, the opposite is also true.

As the team mindset is a collection of the attitudes of the players, it will only take one bad apple to spoil the fruit bowl. When just one player doesn’t bring 100% professionalism to their job, it has the potential to change the attitude of those around them. It shouldn’t be that way, but it is.

Remember that time in work when you delivered on your promises, but your teammate didn’t? How did that make you feel? Angry, right? And then how bad was it when the manager did nothing about it? I know from my own experiences, the actions of colleagues turned good days into bad days and I found myself wondering why I was bothering.

This is what happens when you read or hear about players being demoted within the squad. It’s most often a result of their attitude and the manager has to act accordingly to safeguard the culture and the mindset of the team.

Ensuring that the players have the right attitude, however, is not only the responsibility of the manager and the coaches, but also of the other players in the squad too, and this is where it appears that Everton are sadly lacking.

When you hear the manager say ‘our heads went down’, this is what he’s referring to. The mindset shifted - as a result of one or two attitudes - from ‘we can win this!’ to ‘we’re doomed’.

That was noticeable when Andros Townsend went off injured midway through the first half of the Crystal Palace game. The attitude shifted, mistakes were made and there was seemingly no-one on the park to turn this around. I could barely watch the second half as I knew that we were beaten as soon as we came out of the dressing room.

It’s been written many times before about our lack of leadership on the pitch. Most of us yearn for a Peter Reid or Tim Cahill type player to grab the team and the game by the scruff of the neck and instil a sense of urgency, passion and commitment to the cause. Seamus Coleman is often cited as the player – given his length of time with the club and his experience – that best embodies this, but when you take him out of the equation, who’s left? Ben Godfrey? Anthony Gordon? Jordan Pickford? All young lads looking to influence more seasoned professionals who should know better.

Leadership comes in many forms and it’s incumbent on every player to step up and show leadership throughout the game. We had this in spades in the ’80s and the players drove each other to success. From Andy Gray throwing himself at literally every ball in the penalty box, to the incredible work ethic of Neville Southall (and his willing understudies) and the unsung heroes such as Kevin Richardson and Alan Harper, who would come into the team and demonstrate what it meant to be a committed Everton player and to give 100% every single time, despite not getting the game time their attitude deserved. The attitude of the players was the reason that we won trophies, not just the talent.

Everton have the quality in the squad to go on a similar run to that which Sunderland had in 2016 and get out of trouble. What will determine whether we do so or not is the attitude that the players demonstrate when they pull on that blue shirt (regardless of which ground they’re playing at) between now and the end of the season.

The manager can get them ready for games, rebuild the team culture, and play a system that will play to the strengths of the squad and give them the best chance to beat the opposition. However, attitude is a personal choice that the players have to make and it’s the biggest decision they’ll make, every day of the week between now and the end of the season.


Colin D Ellis is a best-selling author on workplace culture and works with organisations around the world to help them create high-performing teams. Prior to leaving the UK for better weather, he had a season ticket in the Paddock (which his Dad still has) for more years than he can remember. You can find out more about him at

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Reader Comments (40)

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Barry Hesketh
1 Posted 30/03/2022 at 14:50:15
The fact that Anthony Gordon's attitude sticks out a mile is a sad indictment of most of his fellow team-mates and this is the root cause of Everton's on field tribulations. In a recent interview Gordon said he was ribbed because he had become a 'fans favourite' by his fellow pros, interpreted in a positive way that could be construed as a bit of banter, in a negative way it could be seen as "know your place, young man!"

For the next two months, Everton's fate lies at the feet of the current squad, let's all hope they respond in a positive manner to Lampard's rebukes, if they don't and go into ultra-sulk mode, we are doomed to the drop.

Tony Abrahams
2 Posted 30/03/2022 at 15:10:07
I think if you asked a professional footballer to read all this Colin, then I’m certain very few of them would, unless they wanted to start trying to pick holes in what you’ve just written?

One sentence was enough for me though mate, and sums up, why our present squad are struggling so badly, and even had their new manager, questioning their bravery. “Being honest with your teammates out on the pitch and reminding each other of your roles and responsibilities” = enough said!

Clive Rogers
3 Posted 30/03/2022 at 15:31:52
I like Lampard and rate him as a potential top manager and agree with what he said about the players, but the worst attitude on the pitch that I have seen recently is that of Dele Alli. In his recent appearances, he just doesn't look interested and seems to be ambling about, going through the motions, seemingly not really wanting the ball at all. He had been accused of this for some time at Spurs and he and his Rolls-Royce should not have been brought to the club.
Dan Kemp
4 Posted 30/03/2022 at 15:53:22
The fact that Anthony Gordon's attitude sticks out is because he actually cares. He's an Evertonian. That's why bringing in more youngsters like Dobbin might be the answer - players with something to prove, who care about the club. Rondon, Alli, Gomes - what do they care if we get relegated? They get paid regardless.

Of course, the dilemma is if you bring in youngsters it's tantamount to burning your bridges with your club's seasoned professionals. It seems like Lampard may have done that with his comments anyway.

Mike Gaynes
5 Posted 30/03/2022 at 15:54:14
Of all our injury problems, none has hurt us more than that of Yerry Mina. He does a better job than anyone else in the club of keeping his teammates together and accountable on the pitch. We have missed that even more than his footballing ability.
Eddie Dunn
6 Posted 30/03/2022 at 16:42:01
The effort at home compared to away games since Lampard took the helm underlines the problem. The players fear the wrath of 36,000 home fans at Goodison but, on their travels, they feel less obligated to the hardy few thousand that follow the team. On quite a few occasions, most of the players have been too scared to go over to thank the fans.

This group lack leadership and, as soon as something goes wrong, like conceding first or Townsend's injury, the belief drains out of them. They live in a bubble of comfort and wealth. The ones who know they will be leaving for bigger things don't have to kill themselves for the shirt; the ones who know they will be released have no investment in the club's future.

Therefore it has been the new signings (Townsend & Gray along with Rondon) who have tried their best. The kids like Gordon, Branthwaite and Dobbin have also given their all. Then the is Van de Beek who has reason to show Man Utd he is worth keeping, who tries hard.

Then there is the enigma that is Dele Alli, capable of much but lacking motivation or ambition, and the baffling loanee, El Ghazi. A guy who has not had a look-in. It's a motley crew.

Danny O’Neill
7 Posted 30/03/2022 at 17:12:47
I'd agree with that Mike Gaynes. Mina has been a big miss. And we also miss Allan when he's out.

So although I admire Anthony Gordon's progression this season and have praised him on many occasion, you don't have to be an Evertonian to care and play for Everton. You have to have the desire to play and the will to win on top of the ability. And most of these players have ability. They lack mentality.

Sorry to bang on about my military days, but to touch on a point made above. When you go to places, as much as a patriot I am, you aren't thinking Queen and country. It's about your mates around you and looking after each other. Fighting for each other.

Same thing applies to a football pitch. You look after each other. Win together, lose together but in it for each other and together.

Niall McIlhone
8 Posted 30/03/2022 at 18:12:54
An interesting article, Colin, thank you; like Danny, I agree with the mention Mike Gaynes made of Yerry Mina when considering the impact upon the team when he is out injured, which is pretty much all the time.

You might think senior pros such as Delph, Gomes or Keane would assume the mantle but, as Danny observes, only Allan, Gordon and (in my book) Richalison appear to offer hunger and intent in their play… but we are basically a very fragile team.

What is very clear is that the traditional bond between fans and players – which was even in evidence in the mid '90s when we were also relegation candidates – is now hanging by a thin thread. These players have to spend the remaining weeks sorting out their mental attitudes; otherwise, they will lead this club to oblivion.

Mike Gaynes
9 Posted 30/03/2022 at 19:42:21
Eddie, Danny & Niall, the problem is that even personal fire doesn't necessarily confer leadership or inspiration.

I've never seen players who burned hotter competitively than Tim Cahill, Leighton Baines or Seamus Coleman, but none has had the indefinable... something... that makes a man a leader, someone who can inspire his teammates to follow him into hell.

We've seen it twice in recent years, both in aging veterans acquired from elsewhere -- Gareth Barry and Phil Neville. But the current Everton is bereft of it, and unless Lampard can confer it himself or find it somewhere in his squad, our ceiling of improvement is very low indeed.

Eddie Dunn
10 Posted 30/03/2022 at 19:59:52

I think we saw a bit of it in Begovic. I know it is fairly unthinkable to swap Pickford, who has largely been in good form for two seasons, but I did see a calm authority from the big man in the Newcastle game.

If Delph could stay fit he could lead, and Allan too when back from his ban. It is worrying that there are so few candidates.

Christine Foster
11 Posted 30/03/2022 at 20:28:46
Colin, excellent article, how one approaches everything in life is shaped by the attitude you present. You are judged on it, valued on it, shaped by it... take pride in self-worth because of it.

Teams have attitude, a collective one born out of the culture, self-belief and belonging. When applied to the club, it's hard to find such collective focus that will give a uniform sense of purpose.

For me, it's not just about having the "right attitude" – it's having passion and pride in what you do.

Like attitude, passion is love of what you do, where you do it, and is the mirror image of attitude, you need passion which indeed drives attitude.

You can be inspired by passion but it walks hand-in-hand with attitude. One without the other becomes an unfulfilled potential.

This club lacks players with attitude who display little passion, it is a fatal flaw in the team's make-up that, until players have it once more, they will give in when the going gets tough.

Throughout my professional career (yes, I had a good one!) I hired people who had passion, loved what they did, it was infectious. Attitude is the result of passion, as I used to say, if you haven't got the passion, don't get up in the morning. Passion, attitude and skill, the perfect combination, having people who look for that combination make great teams. Clearly, we haven't.

Barry Rathbone
12 Posted 30/03/2022 at 21:08:56
Too much over-analysis of a very simple problem – we just don't develop or buy good players.

Good players don't have an issue with attitude, they don't hide, terrified of howls of derision at their miscontrol or inability to hit a cow's arse with a banjo.

Good teams have good players – it really is that simple.

Dale Self
13 Posted 30/03/2022 at 21:14:11
Yes, good effort Colin. If only the players had the steel that the fans have to faithfully support this club. Not going down but damn it is a rough ride.
Mike Gaynes
14 Posted 30/03/2022 at 00:12:41
Eddie #10, I'm afraid you were dreaming. Begovic isn't a leader. Staying calm isn't leadership. The guy is 34 and has never worn a captain's armband to the best of my knowledge.

Allan is a fiery player who sets a good example, but not a player that other players follow.

Delph was once that kind of player -- he was Villa's captain and unquestioned leader around 2015 or so -- but you can't lead if you can't play.

I looked it up not long ago... in a 13-year Prem career at Villa, City and Everton, Delph has made just 199 appearances. He has missed nearly 150 games (and counting) because of injuries. That's staggering.

Ben King
15 Posted 31/03/2022 at 00:45:38
Great article.

I've seen it said before but one's attitude determines their altitude.

Right now, for us, that's down.

What's heartening is that Lampard has said that if players don't want to fight then they won't play… I pray that he's as good as his word. His Everton management career may depend on it.

We have 11 games and probably need 12 points. That's just over a point a game or 3 win and 3 draws (and 5 defeats). With a good set up and player mentality, then that's achievable.

Depends how badly the group collectively want it.

Brilliant, brilliant article.

Don Alexander
16 Posted 31/03/2022 at 01:20:45
Mike Gaynes @ #9 rightly goes on about "leadership" but the fact of the matter is that ever since Kenwright grabbed the reins in the late 1990s good players we sign arrive at Finch Farm full of their genuine worth only to see within days (excluding the many who foresaw it) that they've just signed up for a club where commitment and leadership is defunct.

The Moshiri years have merely but massively shown that perpetual gross incompetence at the top always drains a previously fertile land of the core sustenance to even begin to sustain basic existence, never mind profit.

Eddie Dunn
17 Posted 31/03/2022 at 07:16:52
Mike, Delph's record is shocking, his body clearly hasn't been built to stand the rigours of football, week-in & week-out. Sadly Mina (your guy) suffers similarly.

Begovic might not have worn the armband, but leaders aren't always loud, and many teams have several players who "lead". Back in the '80s, look at the leaders that our team had. Southall, Ratcliffe, Reid, Gray etc.

Brian Murray
18 Posted 31/03/2022 at 07:46:11
Don @16.

That's precisely why Southall is banned or at least not welcome at Goodison as he demands the club aim for the top with professional people which makes them very uncomfortable in their little world.

Unlike the usual ex-players that obviously can't say too much because they are still on the payroll. Thanks to bleeding heart bollox who employs whether they are the best or not.

Kunal Desai
19 Posted 31/03/2022 at 08:02:05
Many of these players have won the lottery being employed at Everton. They will never get a lengthy contract and be paid an obscene salary anywhere after they leave the club. They are comfortable and on Easy Street, no motivation for them as they know contracts will have to be paid up in full should they be terminated. It's a win-win situation for them.

The owner has created a culture and shot himself in the foot, bringing to the club players without any desire or motivation other than crossing the Is and dotting the Ts on over-incentivised contracts.

Bill Rodgers
20 Posted 31/03/2022 at 08:08:16
The attitude of Everton players has been consistently wrong for at least a decade. It cannot stem from the manager – it is an indictment of the coaching regime in place at Finch Farm. The dinosaurs are still there.
Danny O’Neill
21 Posted 31/03/2022 at 09:22:31
Barry @12, I don't like to be the "told you so" guy, but for those who listened to my bleatings last season, it was simple. We need more better players!! The manager wasn't the problem then. He isn't now.

Mike @14. We agree on many things. I don't know if Begovic is a leader or not. I'll disagree with you slightly though on this occasion. In my experience, a cool head and remaining calm under pressure is a good leadership trait. It installs confidence in those around you.

Shouting and screaming is for Sergeant Majors / Drill Sergeants at basic training level. It serves a purpose for a period, but ultimately people follow because they believe. Power through influence and conviction rather than shouting and beating people into submission usually gets people to perform in situations they otherwise wouldn't. That will lead to revolt. The ability to motivate comes in different forms.

Sorry. I went deep. I'm Sandhurst trained, albeit for 4 weeks on my "knife, fork and spoon" course where they trained us mortals raised from the ranks to be gentlemen!!!

Sean Roe
22 Posted 31/03/2022 at 09:54:17
Professional sports people are usually at the top of their profession, the Premier League being the pinnacle of football, for very good reasons.

Obviously having the talent in the first place but equal to that is the drive and ambition and setting themselves the highest personal standards – ''Nil satis nisi optimum''.

Whatever happened to our squad, how did they get to the top of their profession?

Larry O'Hara
23 Posted 31/03/2022 at 09:59:35
Very interesting discussion here. The only thing I would add is Lampard (who I support) should blood a couple of youngsters (only) next game: two out of Dobbin Branthwaite and Patterson. West Ham are certainly not unbeatable but we need a few more out there with the passion and belief of Gordon and Richarlisson. Indeed, for me I’d play Patterson and try Richarlisson as Captain. And agree with all the positive words about Mina: the one game I have been able to watch (the Villa home game sadly) I rated highly his calmness, distribution and supportive words to team-mates
Finn Taylor
24 Posted 31/03/2022 at 10:16:33
The above is an excellent article, as was Mr Ellis previous.

I had some dealings with the club a few years ago, over a period of time, so I got to know a very little bit about what goes on.

What disappointed me, was there was an internal ennui, a defeating ethos of 'we don't compete' – there seemed to be no drive to succeed, or actually want to try too. Internally, they seemed happy to 'make the numbers up' in the Premier League, happy to tread water. Now, I wondered why this attitude was so prevalent? There seemed no urgency to change it.

Paul Cherrington
25 Posted 31/03/2022 at 10:27:46
Yeah, I think trying to get some new blood into the team is wise – especially if Lampard has decided a fair few of the senior players who have been there all season are not for him. Patterson is surely a must for starters – he has got to be worth a go.

Richarlison has got to be played on the left wing too for me – I know he looks good for Brazil up front but he doesn't usually for us when played there.

Mina is an interesting problem for us. There is no doubt that he is a decent player and a positive presence on the pitch, as people say. But the constant chopping and changing at centre-back due to his regular injuries makes it hard to get stability or a settled partnership in the middle of our defence.

Is it better to try to form a long-term partnership between two others who stay fit usually, for the good of the team? Not that there are any candidates who stand out at the minute, apart from Branthwaite!

Brian Harrison
26 Posted 31/03/2022 at 10:32:55
I know some challenged Lampard over calling out if the players had the bollocks to play the way he wanted, but I think he had tried putting an arm round them and, in his words, buttering up their confidence, and that hasn't worked. So I think he was running out of ideas in how to get this group functioning and especially away from home.

I am a fan of Lampard but he knows these remaining games are just as important to him as they are to Everton; should Everton get relegated, it may be a stain on his managerial career that he may never recover from.

Should Everton get relegated, then he will have to shoulder some of the blame; some will say despite having two excellent Chelsea players on loan at Derby, he still failed to get them promotion.

The critics will also say, despite getting Chelsea to a Cup Final and into the Champions League, he failed to follow up after a very promising start: at Xmas were top of the Premier League and top of their Champions League group. But a run of I think 1 win in 8 was his undoing and He was replaced with Tuchel who went on to win the Champions League.

Having played with great players and having managed great players, he must be at a loss to see such an unmotivated group as we have here. The criticism he received at Chelsea was they were too open at times and that is certainly something that this group have been accused of under his leadership.

But it's a poison chalice to manage this club with this group of players, although he must have been aware of this before he signed. Mina missing is massive for this group as the stats show we win more games with Mina in the side; also to lose Allan for 3 games hasn't helped.

I think what can be laid at Frank's door is Dele Alli who so far has delivered very little, and yes he hasn't played much. But when you consider how pleased Frank was to get him signed, I can only conclude that he is showing very little to encourage Frank to start him. Now if Alli doesn't make many appearances and we go down, this will be the biggest question aimed at Frank.

Plus how do you offload a player who is showing nothing? And the massive downside is we have to pay Spurs a lot of money once he has played 20 games. Maybe they would have to practically give him away in the summer – yet more money we haven't got going down the drain.

Niall McIlhone
27 Posted 31/03/2022 at 10:42:40
We are all floating round the same spheres of debate in response to Colin's cracking piece, and I don't disagree with much of what is being said, but I think Barry (#12) has batted this one out of the field? The players are not good enough, and we have basically been recruiting duds for at least 5 years, so we are in a very bad place, and deserve to be there.

Barry's conclusion then leads me to ponder, just why the club have ended up on this path? Some players have failed or are faltering due to serious injury, or Covid (Delph, Calvert-Lewin, Gomes, Mina, Godfrey, Coleman, Davies). Then we have those with evident talent but whose attitude or mindset appears flawed (eg, Holgate, Pickford(?), Alli, Gomes, & Delph again!)

Then we have the slightly baffling signings and squad players who just don't appear to be needed in this relegation fight (e,g Alli again, Mykolenko, El Ghazi, Tosun) and finally, the enigma that was Gylfi Sigurdsson, who will lose this club the best part of £50 million with no likely resale fee?

My goodness, with all this baggage, any top sports team would struggle! It saddens me to say this but, for the first time in 60 years supporting Everton, I would have absolutely no problem if we jettisoned the first team entire squad and started again, with gracious thanks to the likes of Calvert-Lewin, Richalison, and Allan all of whom I believe will be moved on.

Sorry, that really does sound a bit extreme, maybe persevere with some of the youngsters, but only if we can bring in leaders with "attitude".

Robert Tressell
28 Posted 31/03/2022 at 12:07:00
Barry # 12, Niall # 29 - lot of truth in this. But to me it runs a bit deeper than we've bought the wrong players (which is true).

I think we have persistently bought the wrong profile of player for the club.

Look at the players bought by currently well run clubs such as Wolves, Brighton, Leicester, Palace and West Ham.

They are generally younger players on an upward trajectory, bought at relatively low cost from markets which offer very good value (France, Portugal, Belgium, Czech Republic, Scotland and the Championship).

We are buying players who have already peaked at a level below top 6 standard - who then deteriorate in both form and value leaving our squad saddled with a poor player, high wage bill and no sale proceeds to reinvest in improvements.

Personally I don't think we should be spending more than about £20m on any player and our focus should be a mix of:

- Moyes style 23 to 26 year olds capable of forming a stable first XI competing in the top half again; and

- Martinez style 18 to 22 year olds of very high potential to develop over a couple of seasons and help us up into the top 6 or thereabouts

Dave Abrahams
29 Posted 31/03/2022 at 13:10:04
No manager in the world can get a tune out of this present Everton squad without the cooperation of the players themselves.

Pride, passion and belief in your ability are necessary in that cooperation; unfortunately, none of those three necessities seem to exist in too many of these players, they just turn up and seem to play as individuals, not as a team, and teamwork is as essential as pride, passion and belief in their ability.

Surely there is one player in the squad who has the strength and sense to call for a squad meeting to discuss ways to get the club out of this predicament we are in; has there been meetings of this sort? If there hasn't, which seems likely, then there should have been and that is when we can all see that the players are as worried and care about Everton FC as we, the supporters do. Then we could start having consistent performances for the rest of the season to prove it, showing the passion, pride and belief that we have.

It really is up to the players; the manager and coaches can only prime them – it is up to the players to fire us up, there is certainly nobody in the boardroom to save this club of ours.

Jerome Shields
30 Posted 31/03/2022 at 13:44:11
Good article on attitude.The players attitude is determined by the attitude at the training ground on the training pitches, fitness rooms and Medical Services.Anyone they come in contact with in these areas.Even what they see coming from internal management.It's a bit late to start to develop the right attitude on the pitch on match day.

Everton strike me as a side that lack determination.You will plenty of badge kissing, hand jesters, running about , coming over to fans after the match and wheeled out 'have to do better', 'we need to fight', 'we have to stand up and be counted'.Everton are good at this as if persistence is the name of the game.

The difference between determination and persistence is that with determination you have to put in work and effort to adapt and improve, with persistence you turn up with a attitude playing to the gallery, but without the thoughtful work and effort put in to actually impact on the team.In others words go through the motions.( Tony Abrahams did a article on his observations of players during the Wolves game.He described them as being actors.)

The team was not prepared and the players had not put the preparation in.After 22 minutes of running about at breakneck speed which resulted in injury to a aged player, that is what was exposed.Bullshit not determination.That is one thing they are consistent at.

Brian Harrison
31 Posted 31/03/2022 at 14:09:35
Dave @29,

As always, bang on the money. At the end of the day, it's down to the players.

You ask: Do the players care as much as we do? Sadly, most do not, Dave. They are all on mouth-watering sums of money and know that, even if Everton go down, there is nothing in their contracts that allows Everton to reduce their salaries.

So, either way, their lifestyles won't alter a jot; they will either be sold and the buying club will have to match what they are getting at Everton or they will refuse to leave. Just like Tosun, Delph, Bolasie, Besic, they all stay to the last day of their contracts as they know no other club will pay them anything like the money they get from Everton.

I think even if we hopefully avoid the drop, we will have to sell our better players, as we have lived beyond our means for too long under Moshiri and that can't go on.

I hope we stay up for us long-suffering fans who definitely don't deserve the anguish that will bring, and with this club, there is no guarantee of a swift return.

Only Everton could acquire a billionaire owner, with an even richer billionaire sponsor, only for it to all go pear-shaped. How could any of us believe that, within 6 years of Moshir i & Usmanov coming on board and throwing in excess of £600 million at the club, we would be in severe relegation trouble???

Kieran Kinsella
32 Posted 31/03/2022 at 14:19:45
Martinez sewed the seeds of this attitude issue with his hyperbole. Since he came we’ve had a decade of players constantly talking about how great they are despite results. You don’t hear other strugglers saying “we lost again but we have great players.” Even great teams have players eg Lukaku heck even this year Ronaldo who say or their bosses say they need to improve. But at Everton “we have great players people just ignore the results”
Paul Birmingham
33 Posted 31/03/2022 at 14:20:50
All considered and hand on heart, does any one of us really know where Everton FC is going and what the future is going to be?

The Uefa and Premier League rules on governance and Financial Fair Play in terms of compliance, regulation, a code of financial conduct, would it seem on face value to have been overseen by the Everton board for at least the last 10 years and longer.

I've no idea on the business and commercial side, where Everton is or will go, but taking the football side of Everton FC as my most important interest in Everton FC, the massive grey cloud of uncertainty and confusion is not moving soon.

The most important season in the club's recent history is running to its conclusion. Let's hope that starting Sunday, Everton can start their recovery plan to stay in the Premier League.

That would be something but the bigger picture in view of healthy sustainability and commercial growth and success linked to results on the Park, looks very concerning. It would be good for the soul if the club was more open and honest with its business development plans, but that side of Everton, will I doubt ever come out.

The club can't carry on taking the concerns of Everton supporters for granted. Hope eternal, UTFT!

Michael Lynch
34 Posted 31/03/2022 at 14:32:56
I agree with those saying we've bought the wrong players and the wrong kind of players. Teams that do well identify the players who will improve their system, and work well within that system. We seem to just try to buy based on a player's perceived ability, no matter what his position or whether he's a good fit, and if we can't get that player, we panic and buy whoever is available.

The squad is neither good enough, nor athletic enough, nor motivated enough to keep us up. Any two of those three and we'd be fine. One, we'd have a chance. But we have none of those attributes. We have a manager with no experience in this kind of situation - either as a player or a coach - and an owner who has money but no brain.

Perhaps in the Championship we'll be able to have a re-set at player, board and management levels, introduce this elusive "culture" that I keep reading about, and come back stronger.

Jay Harris
35 Posted 31/03/2022 at 15:10:55
I have always said that players do not play badly deliberately (unless they are trying to get rid of the manager of course) and this team is very low on confidence and has a fragile mentality to begin with.

One point I would like to make is Pickford constantly berating his defenders even when he is the one causing the problem. Now thats ok if you have characters like Allan or Coleman who will tell him to piss off but when you have such weak characters as Keane and Holgate for example they then treat the ball like a hot potato and do not show for the ball.

As someone said we have recruited players on an individual basis not a considered team plan.

I just hope we survive this season and Thelwell and Lampard are allowed to build a squad of their choosing and Kenwright and Moshiri do not interfere.

Matthew Williams
36 Posted 31/03/2022 at 15:38:53
I wonder if most of our so-called players know the Latin meaning on our club motto?

A good article, btw, let's see if our lads show some real bollocks on Sunday at 2pm!

I'm not hopeful like... sigh

Peter Jansson
37 Posted 31/03/2022 at 22:32:06
Someone said that Richarlison should be captain. I think he could be captain if he stops roll around on the ground, like he does every game. That does not look good.

Also, he needs to look a little more happy. He looks angry all the time. If he also could look glad sometimes to share team players up and not roll on the ground so much I think he could be a great captain.

Mike Gaynes
38 Posted 31/03/2022 at 22:40:48
Brian #26...

"I think what can be laid at Frank's door is Dele Alli who so far has delivered very little..."

I disagree. Alli has been given a chance by Lampard to revive his career and deploy his talent, at virtually no financial risk to the club.

The fact that he has failed to take advantage of that opportunity is entirely due to the player himself. Lampard bears zero responsibility in my view.

Stu Darlington
39 Posted 31/03/2022 at 22:44:08
An interesting debate on here about the importance to the team of a collective positive mental attitude, but I would just like to add how destructive an individual's negative attitude can be to the group dynamics in the dressing room.

I played club sport for many years and have come across a number of individuals who have completely destroyed the atmosphere in the dressing room. They were often good players but with many personality problems.

Among the most common were: arrogance, believing they were better than they were, criticising team mates, never accepting responsibility, cruel sense of humour but couldn't take a joke themselves – just generally up themselves.

This all too often caused splits and cliques to develop which spilt over into poor performances on the pitch

Not saying this is a problem at Everton but just highlighting that attitude can be negative as well as positive.

I agree with Mike Gaynes point @5 above re Mina, but would go a little further by saying Allan and Doucoure playing well in front of him, feeding Gordon and Gray to release Richarlison seems a pretty good set up to me.

The biggest disappointment to me has been Doucouré’s recent form. Get him playing well and attacking from midfield – that would make a big difference to our team performances.

Jerome Shields
40 Posted 31/03/2022 at 23:54:03
I would describe Everton's attitude going into the Wolves game as death or glory. Once glory did not materialise, we got death. After 22 minutes, the Everton Fans could not warm it up, no matter how hard they tried.

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