This is Everton

In a cauldron of noise, banners and flags, the Blues' players rose to the occasion to beat Leeds United in convincing fashion at Goodison Park

Lyndon Lloyd 12/02/2022 59comments  |  Jump to last
Everton 3 - 0 Leeds United

Everton’s post-1980s history may have been mostly barren but Goodison Park has nonetheless witnessed some truly memorable occasions in that time — the quarter-final victory over Newcastle on the way to the 1995 FA Cup triumph, the vital win over Manchester United under David Moyes to press the Blues’ Champions League qualification hopes 10 years later, impressive home triumphs over United and Arsenal during Roberto Martinez’s first season in charge, and the 4-0 thumping of Manchester City under Ronald Koeman, for examples.

In terms of sheer visceral emotion and roof-raising atmosphere, however, many have come in the face of adversity; when Everton’s players have needed the unbridled, raucous passion of their fans and the famous Goodison “bear pit” to help drag them over the line. The 4-4 draw against Liverpool in the FA Cup in 1991 required that the Toffees come back from a goal down four times; Duncan Ferguson’s first goal in that famous derby came at a very low ebb for the club, as did his first win as a caretaker manager 25 years later; another famous night under the lights against Fiorentina began with the team 2-0 down from the first leg in Italy; and the two skin-of-our-teeth scrapes against relegation in 1994 and 1998 were achieved with the Goodison roar behind them.

It’s proof positive that when the chips are down, Evertonians rally around their side. Though there were still 17 games to play and 51 points still on offer coming into this fixture against Leeds, there was a feeling that Everton could be sent into a death spiral of shattered confidence and a horrible losing habit if they were to be beaten again this afternoon. Their fantastic fans brought their flags, their banners and their voices and the players responded in spades to ease the immediate threat of relegation battle with a magnificent victory.

This was smatterings of desperation, exasperation and trepidation and helpings of determination, inspiration and motivation all channeled into a super-charged, high-octane performance played out against a deafening Goodison Park atmosphere. This was the Arsenal home game of two months ago cranked up to 11; individual brilliance from that evening augmented by a front-to-back display of unity, cohesion and maximum effort. This was irrepressible front-foot dynamism, high-press intensity and final-third productivity. This was Everton.

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After Tuesday evening’s potential honeymoon ender at St James’s Park and the onset of genuine fear that the Blues could sucked into the bottom three as their terrible Premier League form extended to one win in 15, Frank Lampard needed a big performance.

His selection, which left Dele Alli on the bench, dropped Alex Iwobi into the starting XI for only his eighth League start and his first since mid-December, and deployed Jonjoe Kenny as an emergency left-back was bold but paid off handsomely as the players, in the manager’s own words, “delivered”.

There were stories of redemption written through this pulsating victory. Iwobi was terrific throughout, tracking back and harrying Leeds players out of their stride in the press, giving and going with team-mates and generally putting in arguably his best performance yet in a Blue jersey.

Kenny, a player on whom the club had seemingly given up, his continued presence at Everton only due to a lack of willing suitors, was stellar operating out of position on the left side of defence; to the point where Raphinha, a man looking for this fourth goal in as many games against Everton, had been rendered so peripheral that he had to be substituted at half time. The Cruyff turn that Kenny executed down by the Leeds penalty area was just further proof that the hometown boy wasn't phased by the weight of the occasion or his unfamiliar role.

In the centre of a defence stripped of arguably its two best members, two players who have had their critics this season rose to the occasion. Michael Keane turned in a rock solid defensive display and stepped into Yerry Mina’s set-piece scoring role at the other end. Mason Holgate, at fault for Newcastle’s equaliser on Tuesday, was composed and assured.

Donny van de Beek, meanwhile, was imperious in the double-pivot alongside Allan, turning in a full-debut display that makes his treatment at Manchester United over the past 18 months utterly mystifying. Coming deep to collect the ball, an integral part of the press and provider of a “pre-assist” for Everton’s opening goal, the Dutchman made an instant impression.

At the last, the much-maligned Salomon Rondon almost buried one of the goals of the season but was denied by an excellent reaction save by Illya Meslier off a quite brilliant cross from fellow substitute Dele.

Then there was Seamus Coleman, the long-serving captain who appeared to be at a loss somewhat at the club’s latest bout of chaos and whom many questioned could handle a third game in the space of a week. The Irishman rolled back the years with a swashbuckling display that was epitomised by some committed defensive work at the back and a tenacious 10th-minute diving header to get the ball rolling on a memorable afternoon.

It was a fine move, too, coming nine minutes after the returning Dominic Calvert-Lewin had played the irrepressible Anthony Gordon in but the 20-year-old had waited just a fraction too long to pull the trigger with a clear sight of goal and Luke Ayling got enough on the ball to take the sting out of the shot.

Coleman began a neat passing exchange that saw Gordon touch a lovely ball inside two defenders for Van de Beek and when Calvert-Lewin couldn't quite divert the Dutchman's low cross home under pressure from a defender, the ball sat up invitingly for the skipper to crash it home with a lunging header ahead of Mateusz Klich on the goal line. The importance of the goal, what it meant to him and the catharsis of the moment was etched on his face as he wheeled away towards the Main Stand in clenched-fist celebration.

Leeds had been swamped in the early going but Rodrigo almost had them level out of nowhere in the 18th minute when he thumped a dipping half-volley off Jordan Pickford'a crossbar from 30 yards out.

Five minutes later, however, Everton doubled their lead. Richarlison's determination won them a corner on the right and some clear work on the training ground paid dividends. Gordon swung the set-piece in beautifully as a conga line of blue shirts prepared for its delivery and Keane battled his way to meet it with an unstoppable header.

Gordon tested Illan Meslier with a low shot and Iwobi curled an effort of his own just wide and Richarlison was denied by an excellent last-ditch block from Hjelder before Calvert-Lewin latched onto a wonderful pass from Iwobi and forced a one-handed stop from the goalkeeper as kept up their Everton's impetus into the break.

Again Rodrigo might have set the home crowd on edge in first-half stoppage time when he rattled the bar a second time with a wicked shot but it remained 2-0 at the interval.

Unable to maintain the furious pace of the first 45 minutes, the Toffees, understandably, sat off a little in the second half and focused on containing their opponents which they did with aplomb for long stretches. The remarkable powers of recovery that Leeds displayed at Villa Park on Wednesday were suffocated by Everton and the Yorkshiremen were restricted to one wayward Dan James effort and a rising Rodrigo shot that was never going to trouble Pickford's goal.

Instead, while Marcelo Bielsa's side failed to register a shot on target all game, it was the hosts who wrapped up the scoring when Allan laid the ball off to Richarlison, he danced along the 18-yard line and fired a low shot that crept inside the far post via Gordon’s heel, with the goal ultimately awarded to the young winger who had again been superb throughout.

Lampard's men would have put the icing on the cake in injury time were it not for Meslier. Dele whipped the ball behind the Leeds defence towards the penalty spot and Rondon met it almost perfectly on the volley but the keeper pulled off an outstanding one-handed save to divert it over the bar.

With relief having already poured off the stands following the killer third goal, the final whistle was met with jubilation and full-throated renditions of “Grand Old Team” and “Spirit of the Blues” as the players and their new manager milked the applause of a top-class display and massively important victory.

It moved Everton to within a point of today’s opponents but, more importantly, put some distance between themselves and the bottom three. More importantly, it underlined just how much potential is in this group and what it can achieve with a healthy dose of belief, both in themselves and from the coaching staff. For the first time in eight years, an Everton side had more than 20 shots on goal and put 10 on target.

Lampard reiterated that he is just getting started and the Blues aren’t out of the woods yet but if ever they needed to prove that they are too good to go down, today was the day. Indeed, with a more inspiring figure in charge together with a team of forward-thinking coaches and more results like this, Everton can start looking forward to a brighter future rather than nervously over their shoulders and they can do it having reclaimed a lot of their identity as a club.

Man of the Match: The 12th Man

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Reader Comments (59)

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Jack Convery
1 Posted 13/02/2022 at 03:58:23
Well said, Lyndon. Today they were heroes one and all – manager, coaches, players and fans. Here's to more performances like this one. COYBs.
James Kirrane
2 Posted 13/02/2022 at 04:45:42
A very enjoyable game.

Anthony Gordon – this lad is turning into some player. Donny Van de Beek hardly played at Man Utd but, when he did, I was always impressed. He was terrific yesterday. And I have never seen Holgate and Keane looking so composed?

Let's make Goodison a fortress and continue playing in the same fashion. We are on the tails of Leeds and Brentford. Things are looking far more positive today.

Steve Hopkins
3 Posted 13/02/2022 at 06:21:34
What a revelation Iwobi was. Gordon was excellent again but we've come to expect that from him recently. But Iwobi showed what a succession of managers must have been seeing in training for years. Fingers crossed that he can keep it up, he's rightfully received a lot of criticism but there's clearly a good player in there.
Mal van Schaick
4 Posted 13/02/2022 at 07:29:14
Very good appraisal of a good day for all Evertonians.

Credit to the manager for his team selection and tactics. Credit to the players for their outstanding effort, and credit to the fans for having Goodson rocking.

If Lampard can continue to get Everton to play like this, week-in and week-out, then it would finally end the barren run of a host of poor managers and take us at last on the journey we have all been dreaming of.

Of course it's early days, and our season may already be mediocre due to managerial failings, but let's continue with a flourish and gain our best finishing position.

John Boon
5 Posted 13/02/2022 at 08:07:51
Great report and so true in every aspect to the point that anything I might have to say about the actual game would be reduntant. Today, it does feel that Lampard has been able to unite all Evertonians. It was by far the best performance in a long time – and a great hand for such outstanding crowd support. The team gave us something to cheer about and we are still cheering.
Robert Tressell
6 Posted 13/02/2022 at 08:14:52
It felt a lot like that Duncan Ferguson moment yesterday, Lyndon, that's a good call.

The difference between now and past occasions of real adversity is just how much quality we have. This might be as talented a squad (not just first XI) as we've ever had in the Premier League.

The home form will keep pushing us up the table. The away form will be patchy but we'll pick up points.

If the referee / VAR hadn't robbed us of a win at St James' Park, we'd now be 14th and just a point behind Leicester.

No complacency but the players and fans can start to enjoy the football again.

Stephen Brown
7 Posted 13/02/2022 at 08:20:16
Absolutely delighted for everyone! A happy Saturday again!

3 or 4 more wins like this then start planning for a bright future.

Can Frank do a Joe Royle in the cup too?!

Martin Mason
8 Posted 13/02/2022 at 08:39:57
That is going to be a very hard act to follow and we must be prepared for disappointments and more ups and downs. I also believe that there is a ceiling that this squad won't be able to get through in terms of winning tricky games away from home but what a great start for the new manager.

Congratulations to Alex Iwobi and Jonjoe Kenny both were magnificent. Leeds were disastrously poor though; why their manager is rated so highly I don't know.

David Bromwell
9 Posted 13/02/2022 at 08:41:23
Yes, Lyndon, I love your selection for man of the match. We all know that Goodison Park can be a difficult place for visiting teams and yesterday we certainly made it difficult for Leeds.

Like many, I went to the game full of trepidation but it turned out to be a wonderful afternoon with every Everton player including substitutes playing their part. And how much more enjoyable it is when the crowd are in full voice and humour.

Let's keep it going because, in Frank and his support team, we appear to have last got people who can organise the players and get the very best out of them.

Lee Courtliff
10 Posted 13/02/2022 at 08:45:46
That Cruyff Turn from Jonjoe Kenny had me shouting out loud. Brilliant to see.

I was only watching on a stream but even then you could feel the atmosphere in the ground. It was simply superb stuff.

The cross from Dele was sublime and the volley deserved a goal, top marks to the keeper though.

Southampton have just picked up 4 points away from home to Spurs and Man Utd, they're on a good run but we all know the Football Gods move in mysterious ways and I've always preferred playing a team who've picked up a few points recently rather than a side who are on a losing run.

We need at least a point next week then another Bear-Pit occasion against Man City the week after.

Brian Murray
11 Posted 13/02/2022 at 08:55:06
The one big difference in this manager to all we have had is his interaction with his coaches right through the game. He obviously trusts them and listens to get all the help he can. He's still learning his trade but he has top people around him.

Not sure where that leaves Dunc. Case in point: Ashley Cole obviously working with the full-backs now look how that's turning out. Early days, I know, but proud to be a Blue this morning.

Michael McFarlane
12 Posted 13/02/2022 at 09:14:25
Spot on, Lyndon.

We're not going down and we're going to win the cup!

Tony Everan
13 Posted 13/02/2022 at 09:15:11
Lyndon, I sometimes wonder if you can remember how to write uplifting reports. This one summed it all up, what a great day and performance from the whole set up.

It was a team playing for each other and the manager. The crowd was part of it all. What successful clubs need is unity. We harnessed it yesterday and reaped the harvest, absolutely fabulous to see.

What I am interested in ow that the dust has settled is a progressive and sustainable improvement. The big thing at the moment is that, with the new found unity at the club, we can really start to build from solid foundations.

Frank Lampard and his super coaching team have brought us real new hope. The training methods are working, the set-piece intelligence is working. The ideology is getting through loud and clear.

On a par, or maybe even more importantly, is the quiet psychology that Frank is gently using to change the way our players are approaching the game mentally.

Iwobi's performance yesterday showed he has responded to the manager and the coaching staffs advice and belief in him. Other players are being handled just as well from this aspect. It's a hugely important, and often below-the-radar attribute, that changes perspectives and performances.

Finally Seamus Coleman, one or two posters earlier in the week talked about "Who would you want with you in the trenches?" Seamus would come top of the TW trenches poll. I think Frank described him as “What a man” now he has got to know him from close up. Not many would disagree with that.

He may be advancing in years, a tad slower, and be ready soon to play a supporting role as right-back but he is, and has been, a lionheart for Everton.

Peter Mills
14 Posted 13/02/2022 at 10:06:48
Just a small point. Jonjoe Kenny and Mason Holgate both played tackles and interceptions into touch a couple of times.

It seems like someone has had a quiet word in their ears about the first rule of defending – “If in doubt, put it out”. I was pleased to see it.

Danny O’Neill
15 Posted 13/02/2022 at 10:53:12
There is ability in this Everton squad. It's a light squad, but there is ability and in fairness, we have added to it in the last window.

As a fan base and as a squad, we've had our confidence and belief knocked out of us.

Hopefully that's what this manager will install. He's a winner. He knows what it takes to win.

I said before the match, go toe-to-toe, when many were predicting the apocalypse.

We went toe-to-toe and rinsed them. Will it happen every week? Not yet. But you can see what they manager is trying to achieve and install.

This time Everton, let him do it.

Rick Tarleton
16 Posted 13/02/2022 at 11:25:44
The Alli/ Rondon moment was sensational and young Gordon is turning into some player. Well done Everton and a word of praise for Keane, Sky's statistics tell us that he is near the top of their list for interceptions and it was good to see him scoring and getting acknowledgement from the faithful.
Ajay Gopal
17 Posted 13/02/2022 at 11:27:44
A very eloquent report from Lyndon as usual. I completely agree with LL's choice of the MotM - the 12th man. I saw the replay of the game on Disney+Hotstar here in India today (after following the game on the Live Forum & BBC yesterday), and it was one of the most enjoyable 90 minutes I have spent in a long time. The atmosphere felt electric - I wish I could have been there.

And the players... what a performance from every one of them.

DCL held up the ball well and won a lot of important headers, but you can see he is still rusty.
Richarlison - what a lion hearted player he is. He appears to sulk, but he just leaves everything out on the pitch.
Iwobi - my MotM - I think Lampard gave him a free role - he was here, there and everywhere. Must have covered every blade of grass. If he can just keep up that level of energy and commitment, he may the most amazing turn around story in Everton history.
Gordon - what a player we have on our hands! You can just him growing in confidence and ability game by game. May he have a long and distinguished career with Everton.
Allan - he did his job quietly but effectively. I think he and DvB worked very well together in the middle. He provided the assist once again for the Richarlison/Gordon goal.
Donny - terrific, hard working performance by this guy. You can see the quality that he possesses. Plus a very impressive work rate.
Kenny - the oft dismissed player put in a masterful performance as a make shift left back. His performance would put Digne to shame.
Keane - he was just imperious today and that is what is frustrating. Why can't he play like that every week?
Holgate - the much abused CB put in a majestic performance. His tackling was spot on and no nonsense. Just like Iwobi, is there hope for him? I have always prayed for him to come good.
Coleman - nothing to say that has not been said before. A true Captain's performance.
Pickford - didn't have much to do today, but his kicking was quite assured.

Very promising displays from Dele Alli, El Ghazi and Rondon. When we have Gray and Doucoure fit, Lampard will have a real selection headache.

Leeds were poor today, but also perhaps a bit unlucky that two of Rodrigo's shots hit the goal frame. Everton needed that little bit of luck, and to play like that against a Leeds side that had performed magnificently last week is very, very creditable indeed. I want Leeds to stay up (along with us, of course) - they play really good football under one of the great tacticians of the game.

I am not getting carried away, hopefully this is just the beginning of the revival of our great football club. There is a lot of work to be done by Lampard and his staff and players. The lesson for the players - work hard and you will more often than not reap the rewards. Lesson for us fans - leave behind the negativity and get behind the team for 90 minutes, and we will be part of something beautiful. Come On You Blues!

Andrew Cunningham
18 Posted 13/02/2022 at 12:31:27
Great performance, but I thought Rodrigo had acres of space and wasn't closed down for his shots. If either or both had gone in, I still think we would have won. The 12th man were brilliant and I think the look on Seamus's face says it all. Once again A Fucking Cracking Performance. :)
Barry Cowling
20 Posted 13/02/2022 at 13:19:50
I don't know about the players but I was knackered after watching the first half. Organised chaos, we were excellent to a man.

Really pleased by Iwobi's performance, and I wasn't surprised to see him on the team sheet, would have been great if Rondon scored to cap it off.

But I have seen criticism for Allan on here which I must admit to being astonished by as, for the first time in months, he didn't have to do the work of 2 men. He even seemed like he had gained a lot more pace.

If he stays next season, he has to be captain, the way he organised things and his tenacity was great to watch. But Van de Beek is absolute quality, even Holgate was assured, and Richarlison was an inspiration to them all.

So, well done to Lampard and no doubt Clement had a lot to do with it, and quite probably Cole. Next couple of games look tricky and we can ill-afford to lose them both. It looks like our home form is going to be crucial.

Barry Hesketh
21 Posted 13/02/2022 at 13:23:22
Yesterday provided a return to what Everton FC should always be, and unfortunately hasn't been much in evidence for far too long. It's only one performance and one good result, but having the players battling out on the pitch and backed by a fanatical support is the recipe for brighter times ahead.

We can nit-pick as much as we want about individual moments or players not being perfect for all of the match, but Frank Lampard has made Everton look like a team again, will they be able to maintain that standard for the rest of the season, we will have to wait and see, but if the players continue to work hard for each other and use the ball as confidently as they did yesterday, we should see the club climb to safety sooner rather than later.

I thoroughly enjoyed everything about yesterday's match and that hasn't been the case for many a long month, I just hope that the team can follow it up next week and for the weeks ahead, things certainly look a lot brighter today than they did on Wednesday morning.

Stan Schofield
22 Posted 13/02/2022 at 13:41:08
Lyndon, that is a fantastic report, your writing here is inspirational and uplifting, and commensurate with the quality that the team and crowd showed yesterday.

What a great performance all-round. And the look on Seamus’ face after scoring that goal says everything about that man.

Don Alexander
23 Posted 13/02/2022 at 13:46:39
Just felt like saying my MoTM was the little-seen "NIL". Hope he gets a few more appearances this year!

Congrats to Frank and his team on a heart-warming performance. Amateurs in the club need to stay outta their hair.

Tony Hill
24 Posted 13/02/2022 at 13:54:01
Stan @22,

Coleman showed his skills and courage yesterday but he also showed his captaincy strength – not something I've seen before in quite the same way. Others have remarked on his words to Iwobi, that was a fine moment.

Gordon remarks on how good a full-back and captain he is.

I've written him off, as many have, but he looked sharp and fit yesterday. He's been a fine servant.

Incidentally, is it true that Gordon is eligible for Ireland? I've seen it mentioned somewhere today.

Michael Lynch
25 Posted 13/02/2022 at 13:55:56
I'm still buzzing from that. For me, that was one of the great Goodison occasions – the noise was fantastic, as was the effort from the team, and the result itself. After so much pain, the release seemed even sweeter.

We, the fans, have got to bring that to every home match for the rest of the season. I've seen a few reports saying that the crowd were raised by the team yesterday, but for me it was the other way round.

The fans were roaring from minute 1 – and booing every Leeds touch – and, for the whole of the first half in particular, the team and the crowd seemed in perfect harmony.

Lampard has indeed unified the fan base in a very short time. A few more weeks of this and we'll be back where we need to be – looking up, not down.

Ray Robinson
26 Posted 13/02/2022 at 14:02:07
There's no better place to be than Goodison when it's rocking. We need some more high octane performances like this before I'll start breathing easily but well done to the team - a superb battling performance.

By the way Lyndon, small point, we beat City 4-0!

Peter Neilson
27 Posted 13/02/2022 at 14:09:58
It was a cracking atmosphere yesterday and, as Michael noted, added to it was the booing of every Leeds touch. A welcome element of hostility towards the visiting team. Hope it continues.
Tony Hill
28 Posted 13/02/2022 at 14:33:13
Ajay @17, I hope you will be able to get over to Goodison some day. Support for us in Asia is important and we need to raise our profile. Ditto Africa. We're creaking into action in the US but our international marketing (and scouting) leaves a huge amount to be desired.
Brian Williams
29 Posted 13/02/2022 at 14:34:25
I have to say I don't go for the booing every time the opposition has the ball. That shower of shite across the park do that and it shows their lack of class, and we're not guilty of that, IMHO.
Brian Murray
30 Posted 13/02/2022 at 14:39:07
Brian. Booing is one thing... bricking an away-team coach (twice) is another.
Barry Rathbone
31 Posted 13/02/2022 at 14:52:21
Loved the result, the day, the fans and transformation of much maligned players but as always our unofficial motto of " beware the light of false dawns" will keep me curmudgeonly circumspect.
Brent Stephens
32 Posted 13/02/2022 at 15:05:08
Who'd have thought that such performances could have been squeezed out of so many players all at once: Coleman (supposedly past it); Keane (supposedly Championship at best); Holgate (supposedly not as good as he thinks): JJK (supposedly should have been moved on ages ago); Allan (supposedly too slow); Iwobi (supposedly a waste of god-knows-how-much money).

I guess I shouldn't have made all those suppositions previously!

Loved us pressing high up the pitch. Loved us passing forwards, quickly, instead of the constant turning back. And so pleased for Gordon - he looked devastated from the crowd reaction immediately after defeat at home a few weeks ago. Loved him at U23 level; thought he had been playing conservatively for the first team (having been told to?) for most of his appearances until relatively recently, when his form has hit the roof.

Nicholas Ryan
33 Posted 13/02/2022 at 15:18:41
At last.... a man with a plan!!
David Pearl
34 Posted 13/02/2022 at 15:21:31
Pleased that maybe people can now begin to see that Beneathus threw an unfit Rondon under the bus. He is looking much better. You can compare his situation to DCL who is much younger and is still himself finding his match fitness.

Iwobi. Let's not go overboard. He did okay. He ran a bit and lasted 90 minutes. Effing Wow. No goals or assists yesterday and never looked like scoring. I still think he is holding back. He could do much better... so l am still pissed at him and will remain so till we see better. Take Delli for example who came off the bench and looked real sharp. How many players do we have that could make that space with one touch and swing in that ball for Rondon. I could do it, sure. But then l'd get thrown out the ground for pitch invasion.

Jay Wood

35 Posted 13/02/2022 at 15:37:04
Brent, there is so much to praise about Anthony Gordon this season.

Even early season in a struggling side there were signs that he was getting to grips with being a PL footballer.

He was still getting easily knocked off the ball then, but not any more! Without bulking up, not only is he riding rugged challenges on him better, time and again he is winning the ball back for his team. We have scored goals from some of Anthony's turnovers.

Increasingly he is assuming more and more dead ball duties and helping deliver goals with assists.

Some have commented he is not 'fast'. I debate that. What he has is a great change of pace in a one-on-one situation.

Many a time for the first team I wanted him to show what he did for the academy teams. Knock it past the man in front of him and burn him off. He did it at least once yesterday which almost led to a goal. It is something he is increasingly doing now for the first team.

He can also run at pace with the ball at his feet. Where others stutter, he glides, seldom coughing up the ball with a stumble.

He has quick feet, mind and eye to play in some killer one touch balls in behind a defence. He did it yesterday on the Coleman goal. He combined in a similar way with Gray for the latter's goal in the Hull cup game.

Both in the Newcastle game and Leeds yesterday, I thought he combined well with vd Beek in particular in little one-twos and give-and-goes they shared. That implies a smart footballer to me.

Where Anthony needs to sharpen up is to be both more clinical and composed in his finishing. Dom presented him with a golden opportunity in the opening two minutes. A good striker would have scored from that.

He is going to walk away with the Young Player of the Year Award this season. And given the competition, he might just double up as the Player of the season, too.

A crackerjack of a player.

Brent Stephens
36 Posted 13/02/2022 at 15:55:08
Jay, that's a more complete analysis of Gordon. Wouldn't disagree with a word of that. He took a bit of a battering at Newcastle but didn't let that worry him.
Mike Gaynes
37 Posted 13/02/2022 at 16:03:21
Superb report, Lyndon. Isn't it great to be able to write about a top performance?

Pete #14, good observation, and the one time Mason did try to play a clever pass out of the back, he handed it directly to Leeds. He didn't do it again.

Barry #20, I think Donny deserves partial credit for that. As he has often shown with Doucoure, Allan is a fine player in combination with an active, quality partner, and he had that yesterday with Donny.

Brent #32, agreed.

David #34, Iwobi was better than okay. He seemed to win every 50-50 and never gave the ball away once he won it. He'll never score much but he did have that elegant assist against Brentford. His improvement is palpable.

Jay #35, excellent analysis. Gordon was my MOTM yesterday and his confidence is revelatory, and elevating. I never thought he'd be much more than a squad player, but he has become a full-fledged star. There isn't much to give Benitez credit for, but Anthony's emergence goes to the plus side of his ledger.

Paul Tran
38 Posted 13/02/2022 at 18:41:24
Competence. A manager who talks plain English. with a good dollop of emotional intelligence. Coaches who are proven winners who know what they're doing. Fans that made a raucous noise and were the 12th man.

We can debate all day about whether they'll be able to get this squad to perform like they did yesterday consistently. We'll find that out, but I'd argue that better, younger players are more like to join Lampard than Ferguson or Kia's man. Good coaching and good habits drilled into the players is what will instill confidence and belief.

You don't know about anyone in any walk of life until things hit the fan. I'm confident that after taking a very indirect route, our board may have inadvertently found a competent manager and coaching team at last. Team being the operative word.

I'd wager it was Barrett-Baxendale, Cahill and Sharp (and maybe the fan protest) that persuaded Moshiri to turn away from Kia's man.

Bit different to 1984, but I'm starting to wonder whether this will be 2022's Kevin Brock moment?

I'm hoping.

Gerry Western
39 Posted 13/02/2022 at 19:03:22
Great article, Lyndon. Wonderful performance yesterday.

Real shame Van de Beek couldn't be signed on a permanent contract, he seems to have everything in his locker. Reads the game really well, his anticipation and ability to pick out a pass with ease whilst under pressure was a joy to watch, together with his work-rate, makes him an exceptional player.

I thought Iwobi raised his game, deserves the plaudits; however, to justify the fee we paid, I feel he needs to perform to this level consistently and still needs to improve upon his final ball. This performance will have done wonders for his confidence.

Gordon's ceaseless energy and running at the opposition was infectious and he seemed to feed off the creativity and quick delivery from Van de Beek, that partnership affords us real hope going forward.

Richarlison managed to drag the Leeds defence all over the place, creating space and opportunities for others. He's sometimes accused of being selfish but I feel that side of his game isn't always appreciated, he never gives up.

I thought Jonjoe Kenny would be a huge risk at left-back; however, he excelled and put in a real performance. Sadly, consistency is his greatest failing – if only he could produce such form on a regular basis.

Totally agree, the fans were exceptional, songs and huge roars of encouragement coming from all sides of the ground. Gone were the long spells of silence we've become accustomed to followed by the groans at every misplaced pass. At times, it felt like different sections of the ground were competing to voice their support. Hopefully a new dawn.

Jerome Shields
40 Posted 13/02/2022 at 19:35:48
Moshiri might have selected the nutter, but the Board who wanted Martinez intially and only jumped on the fan selection bandwagon for Lampard, having intially not favoured him, were looking to get control for them back, rather than the interests of the club.

It was the fans who selected Lampard in the interests of the club. . . I don't believe a word of Sharp's Golf Club leaked muttering. He's just trying to justify his position and remuneration as a Bill Kenwright yes-man.

Christopher Nicholls
41 Posted 13/02/2022 at 20:22:10
Utterly joyous team performance. Not a whiff of KITANO. I fully believe the team's intensity and energy made Leeds seem poor.

We also had a number of very good players missing and there is more to come from both Donny and Dele.

There is more to come from this team.

Danny O’Neill
42 Posted 13/02/2022 at 20:33:02
Very good point David Pearl.

Absolute peach of a cross from Alli and Rondon does everything right, in terms of movement into the space, anticipation and connection. A great save denies a great move and a 4th goal.

Stay on the front foot, Everton.

We have more players to do it now.

Oliver Molloy
43 Posted 13/02/2022 at 20:42:44
I've heard Tim Cahill told Moshiri to hire the man " who would get Everton and Evertonians " or else !

For me it wasn't rocket science - Lampard was certainly the the most realistic candidate of the three, ( Rooney was never a serious option for now in my opinion ).
The Portuguese guy would have have been another expensive pay day and I don't think Ferguson is the man to lead Everton.
I said on another thread that Lampard and the coaches he has brought in to the club as part of his team might just be a good fit - let's all hope so.

Frank McGregor
44 Posted 13/02/2022 at 21:37:32
An excellent article Lyndon, must admit I was scared to look up the match recording here in Canada.

I first looked at the recording at the 35 minute mark and could not believe the score.

Hopefully we can get a result at Southampton, even a draw will help.
Brian Murray
45 Posted 13/02/2022 at 22:13:01
Oliver. Maybe but if an understatement in my opinion these top notch coaches to help frank has gave us a club within a club meaning they are so professional and know their trade that it puts the hierarchy to shame but I won’t go into that as we all already know. Another Kevin brock moment hopefully this is not his alter ego again. Coyb
John Raftery
46 Posted 13/02/2022 at 23:13:14
Selecting the 12th man as man of the match is a very good call. Players almost always play better when they know they have the crowd’s support. Just as some our players need to be more consistent so does the performance of the 12th man.
John Keating
47 Posted 13/02/2022 at 23:48:43
Thought JJK was great yesterday considering he hardly plays, played out of position and has had it known he’s surplus to requirements
It’s not always about skill but about heart and determination and as a local lad and a Blue he has them in abundance

Holgate also deserves praise
What a difference when he realised he’s no Beckenbauer and to just do the basics
Get the ball and move it on quickly, no farting about with extra touches and dribbling. Just defend

Gordon is getting better every week. DCL played really well considering he’s been out so long. Iwobi another deserving a mention.

Good as the result was we need consistancy and more of the same starting next week at Southampton

Mark Taylor
48 Posted 14/02/2022 at 01:00:18
What I find encouraging about Lampard is the calibre of people he has brought with him. Joe Edwards, Clement and Cole are a step up from what we've had before and it shows Lampard's self confidence to want to have such high quality people around him.

I don't know where this leaves Ferguson. He seemed very detached from the rest of the coaching team, so much so it made me wonder if this was one the the old guard on the board's conditions, to keep Dunc employed, a case of misplaced loyalty to their favourite. I don't personally rate Ferguson, I think Frank's assistants have more capability than he has, but it's sad to see him just being a hanger on. Surely if he has any ambition, he should try his luck managing in the lower leagues and try to prove me and others wrong?

Kieran Kinsella
49 Posted 14/02/2022 at 02:34:17

By all accounts Frank asked Dunc to stay on which makes sense if as has been said he’s popular with players. I suspect is a transitory move and once Frank’s established Dunc will fly the coop. In other words rather than being a victim Dunc is doing us a favor

Laurie Hartley
50 Posted 14/02/2022 at 02:49:57
Yes Lyndon your article sums us up and this sentence in particular:-

The importance of the goal, what it meant to him and the catharsis of the moment was etched on his face as he wheeled away towards the Main Stand in clenched-fist celebration.

Call me an old suck if you like but when I saw that expression on his face I wept tears of joy.

That's what this club does to you.

If we could bottle what Seamus has in his heart and make everyone drink it before they pull the shirt on we wouldn't loose many games.

Shame on me for suggesting he was past it. He will decide when the time has come.

Don Alexander
51 Posted 14/02/2022 at 03:29:51
Mark, Ferguson as a player never gave a shit for whichever team he played for. Check out the verbatim accounts of his first first-team manager the inestimable, at the time, Jim McLean, all the way through to "our" Joe Royle (and everyone in between) who put him on the bench in the '95 Cup Final in favour of the far more professional Paul Rideout, describing him as "the legend who has it all to do to justify it" (to paraphrase).

Retiring as a millionaire he then continued to show zero interest in football by emigrating to Majorca where he quickly became bankrupt.

He then went back to the biggest sap in Everton's history, Kenwright, and by him was employed, devoid of qualifications, as a coach!

He's never even tried to "progress" his career elsewhere. He is Kenwright-Everton-Billshit personified.

If Lampard on arrival consented to him remaining cos he allegedly "got" the players all well and good up to a point. That said, Lampard brought in three eminently better qualified coaches of his own choice and thus far (only three games admittedly) they seem to be doing pretty well.

One of us today somewhere queried whether Ferguson would pitch in for the newly vacant Aberdeen managership. In your dreams! That'd mean showing faith in yourself as any sort of professional coach in a far lesser league despite being way too long in that supposed role for a Premier League team, and being willing to be 100% personally judged on results in the way lesser league.

Ferguson by his choices and comments agrees with me, he's in no way up to a football-man's top job, and now three new coaches and their manager have reduced his role to what, again?

Major pigeon-feeder extraordinary is all that matters to him is what.

And some call him "Legend"?!!

David Bromwell
52 Posted 14/02/2022 at 08:11:46
Well said Don, I well remember Duncan's playing career, yes there was the odd game when he was a real danger but too often he was an embarrassment. When he returned to the club he apparently offered his services and was initially unpaid, which is clearly to be admired. However, that was a long time ago and he has subsequently been very well paid for a job that we would all love, and for the most part he has had no obvious responsibility.

It's good that the club looks after it's ex players, but we should not be run as a charity and if Duncan has any management aspirations his time to move on is well overdue.

Eddie Dunn
53 Posted 14/02/2022 at 08:23:00
Don & Davidperhaps Duncan is wrongly entitled a "legend" at Everton.
However I would counter that there is nothing wrong with a lack of ambition. Perhaps Ferguson has reached the limits or either his ability or his ambition and maybe he can see that being a manager is not worth the hassle.
In my opinion these are not reasons to denigrate him.
We can't all be generals, the army needs officers and ranks too.
John Maxwell
54 Posted 14/02/2022 at 09:05:41
Typical Everton will probably lose against Southampton and City... Everton that... !

It was a great Everton day on Saturday, sadly we have only seen a few in many years of waiting. You can probably count them with two hands.

Also how many more games will we have at Goodison like this ?

One of the best ones I remember was Fiorentina and I was watching on TV.

Kevin Prytherch
55 Posted 14/02/2022 at 09:14:24
“He then went back to the biggest sap in Everton's history, Kenwright, and by him was employed, devoid of qualifications, as a coach!”

We know you don't like Kenwright, but wasn't it well documented at the time that he actually went back to Moyes, worked at the academy for free whilst taking his coaching badges,then got offered a job later on merit? Very little to do with Kenwright.

Danny O’Neill
56 Posted 14/02/2022 at 09:23:45
No John @54.

We beat Southampton and get a point against Man City.

Knowing Everton, we'll do it the other way around as Lampard knows how to play the big games.

Either way, 4 points.

Christopher Nicholls
57 Posted 14/02/2022 at 16:34:57
I'm looking forward to the next game. Finally we have a manager that is using our attacking talent and the defence doesn't have to defend for 90 mins. One reason there have been 'so many' errors in defence is the amount of pressure they have been under with previous set ups.
I find you achieve very little when you start with a lack of adventure.
Bill Hawker
58 Posted 14/02/2022 at 16:42:05
Lyndon, what a well written and concise article. I don't think anyone could have put it better than that.

Instead of being the team that was pressed all over the pitch, we did the pressing. Instead of sloppy, mistimed passing, we were precise all over the pitch. Instead of conceding on set pieces, we defended them smartly and scored off of one.

You hit the nail on the head, THIS is Everton.

Although every player played great, I want to single out one Alex Iwobi. From the off, he was on a mission. He didn't give one inch and caused them all sorts of problems. Yeah, several of his shots were blocked but I'd rather he shoot (you never know, deflection, mistake, etc ) than not shoot. He harassed, harried, and ran until he had no more in the tank.

What match for him !!! Class that Coleman immediately went up to him and gave him the recognition he so rightly deserved for arguably his best match ever in a Blue shirt.

Frank is right, confidence is key. If he can get these players' confidence up, we'll no longer be the easy three points but the "uh oh, we've got Everton next."

Long may it continue.

Martin Mason
59 Posted 14/02/2022 at 19:05:30
I've been down to see the Southampton game several times over the years and always been really disappointed. They are playing quite well so this game will be really difficult as all of these long away games seem to be for us.

This game will be a true reflection of where we're at and I would be really pleased with a battling point. We could produce the shock of the season against Man City.

Don @51 You can't coach in the EPL without FA qualifications. Apologies if I'm wrong on that but I don't think so.

Brian Murray
60 Posted 16/02/2022 at 08:47:46
Ferguson really needs to move on and prove himself and stop hiding behind his saviour in the boardroom. These new coaches are exposing him and for his own pride and dignity as an Everton legend (I use that term loosely – he’s not on the same planet as Sharpy).

Having said that, there is a place for passion and love for the club, as Seamus showed the last game. It will be interesting his next step.

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