Crap Marks All Round

by   |   01/02/2022  22 Comments  [Jump to last]

As we move in to 2022 and with the season more or less at the half-way stage (postponements notwithstanding), how have we performed? If I'm the one giving marks out of 10 for the first half of the season, the results are incredibly gloomy.

The Players

Jordon Pickford 7

One of the bright spots in the first half of the season. Pickford has matured as a goalkeeper over the last 12 months and is really becoming a mainstay of the team. Still tends to punch when he can catch on occasions but a good first half of the season.

Asmir Begović ½

Well past his sell-by date, yet some Blues thought he would be a good back-up goalkeeper… absurd! The more absurd when you think we sent João Virgínia out on loan to the Portuguese Champions where he would hardly ever get a game. Begovic has played two games, both in the Carabao Cup. His performance in both ties surely must have shown the ones who thought he was a good back-up the error of their ways. A snail could have got down quicker to the QPR penalties in the calamitous penalty shoot-out. A disastrous signing. Let’s hope he is not given any run-out in the FA Cup!!

Seamus Coleman 3

Our captain has been on an ever-quickening decline since he came back from his leg break. Age has also caught up to him. The first half of the season has shown that Coleman is now nothing more than a back-up option at best. But his predicament is all down to the criminal irresponsibility of not signing a replacement a couple of seasons ago. Hopefully this problem will be solved in January.

Lucas Digne –10

One of the most over-rated players at the club. One good season, and then a steady decline thereon in, which quickened following his nightmare performance at Millwall in 2019. He has never been very good at his actual main job of defending, and this season he has also been awful going forward. He has also seemingly lost the ability to even put in a good cross.

Following his bust-up with Benitez, he has shown total contempt for the club and basically gone on strike for the last few weeks. No player – good or, in Digne’s case, decidedly average – is bigger than the club. He has crossed the line of no return to add to his inept performances. So, he gets a 10 but on the minus side. Our left-back, as the song goes, is “Certainly not magic”. Should be shipped out asap in January.

Jonjoe Kenny

Kenny really should have been moved on long ago as he is not up to even being an understudy right-back. He has started three games this season and performed well both at Huddersfield in the Carabao Cup and especially away at Chelsea. But he was awful as part of the pathetic performance at Queens Park Rangers which takes his mark down.

Niels Nkounkou 2 for Everton (5 for Standard Liege)

He's only played one game at Huddersfield where he was good going forward but dreadful when it came to actually defending. He wanted to go out on loan and is now at Standard Liege for the season.

Nkounkou really needs to work on the defensive side of his game. I have watched him a couple of times for Standard and the same problem is persisting. Let’s hope the penny drops for him in the second half of the season in Belgium… but I have my doubts.

Yerry Mina 5

Mina has been, when fit, easily the best central defender so far this season. But therein lies the problem: He is incredibly injury prone and has not been able to stay fit for more than half a season since he joined the club. So, although he has performed well so far, he has missed too many games to get anything above a 5.

A question mark really hangs over Mina. If he can’t stay fit, then the club has a big decision on whether to try and cash in and move him on, probably in the Summer.

Michael Keane 4

It was a horrendous start to the season from Keane who made mistake after mistake. he picked up during November and was especially good away at Chelsea in December. But he is no better than an average player. It has been said Keane is a confidence player. What use is that when we are in a hole?

Ben Godfrey 4

After signing from Norwich City, Godfrey was the one success from last season. But in the first half of this season, he has been shown up at centre-half.

It was well documented that he suffered badly from Covid-19 in the Summer and was still overcoming the after-effects early on in the season. This was said to be a reason for his poor performances. If that was so, why did we play him? Surely, he should not have appeared anywhere near the first team until he had fully recovered from his long bout of Covid.

He has been getting back to his best over the last few games of the year. His speed is back and he has deputised at left back admirably. But overall, a poor first half of the season.

Mason Holgate

There is a player somewhere in Holgate. Will we ever see it again is questionable? It seems Benitez does not rate him highly and maybe it is time for Holgate to rediscover the player he could be by moving on. He has not performed at all this season except in two good performances away at Brighton and Chelsea.

Jarrad Branthwaite 5

Still only 19, Branthwaite does look like he has a real chance of making it with Everton. Recovering from a bad injury while on loan at Blackburn Rovers last season, he has made two full starts this season. Incredibly shaky at Huddersfield Town in the Carabao Cup, he was outstanding at Chelsea in December, and scoring the equaliser to boot.

Abdoulaye Doucouré 6

He has got forward more so far this season. One of the things Benitez has got right is allowing him to get forward more than Carlo, the so-called “Magnifico”, ever did. He has scored a couple of goals and been one of the better performers in the first half of the season. But the blight of injury which has plagued the team so far this season has also hampered Doucouré.


The Brazilian started off in the first few games really well in tandem with Doucouré. But that early form soon evaporated. Along with a few games missed through injury, he has been decidedly below par.

Tom Davies 2

Whatever happened to the player that first burst onto the scene during the arrogant Koeman’s first season? I still can’t work out what sort of midfielder Davies is, and I don’t think anyone can, except to say that he has never progressed from his early breakthrough, but has just regressed. Another one hit by the injury plague so far this season; when he has been on the pitch, he has been awful.

Andre Gomes 5

Another player who flattered to deceive in his first season with the Blues. He has seemingly been haunted by injury throughout his time at the club and really should be moved on in the Summer. But, when he has been played so far this season, especially when coming on as a substitute, he has performed okay and a couple of times quite well. He changed the game when he came on against Arsenal.

Fabian Delph 4

A player who thinks he is much better than the average player he is. Appalling injury record and should never have been signed. Injured for most of the first part of the season but, on the few occasions he has played, has been poor.

Jean-Philippe Gbamin 0

Nothing much to say about the unlucky Gbamin injury-wise. We all know his record since he joined. Two absolutely disastrous starts at Huddersfield Town and Wolves all add up to a zero.

Tyler Onyango 4

Admittedly he's only had a few minutes in a few matches so it's hard to give a proper mark. I can’t really give him much more than a 4 as he's had so little time on the pitch. But he has done nothing wrong in those few minutes he has had.

Alex Iwobi ½

Iwobi seems to take more stick than most. Needs to move on for his own good. If we can move him on in January we really should do. He will have a great African Cup of Nations, as he always turns into a different player when playing for Nigeria compared to when playing for the blues. But he did – ha-ha – at least win the club’s November goal of the month!!!

Andros Townsend 4

A bang-average player picked up on a free in the Summer after being released by Crystal Palace. He will work hard whenever he is on the pitch, but it seems he put in his usual 4 or 5 good games a season during August and September and has now reverted to his mean. Would we have missed him if we had never signed him? No, we would not.

Antony Gordon

Gordon gas a chance of becoming a player produced by our misfunctioning academy. He has grown throughput the first half of the season and had some very good games over the last few months.

Demarai Gray 7

Along with Jordan Pickford, he was the best player in the first half of the season. I think this was the last roll of the dice for him to reach his potential. At around £1.5M, it was definitely worth the gamble by Everton and has so far paid off. Let’s hope he continues in the same vein of form in the second half of the season.

Richarlison 6

Injury has hit Richarlison, like a lot of the squad, in the first half of the season. Has been good in some games and decidedly average in others. Easily one of the best players at the club, it is to be hoped he stays fit and puts in a great second half of the season, before he inevitably leaves in the Summer.

Elis Simms 4

Hard to judge on such limited time on he pitch but did start at Chelsea where he was isolated for basically the whole game. I saw a lot of Simms when he was playing for the Under-23s and a couple of times when on loan at Blackpool. For me, he will never be better than a Championship player.

Lewis Dobbin

Another from the academy who has shown potential. And like Onyango and Simms, hard to give a mark on such limited playing time. Having seen him in that limited time and for the Under-23s, I will say he is light-years ahead of Ellis Simms. Very quick and he outshone Simms easily when he replaced him in the Chelsea game. His contract is up in the Summer and he has yet to sign a new one. Maybe he has got his head screwed on right!!

Dominic Calvert-Lewin 6

Another player blighted by injury in the first half of the season. Actually, I don’t think he was fully fit at any point since the season started. When he has played, he has scored and looked dangerous.

Cenk Tosun 0

A few minutes is all he has had but we all know he is not good enough. He should if possible be shipped out in January.

Solomon Rondon 0

Basically, brought in, probably as the ears in the dressing room for Benitez. Never more than an average Premier League player, he had been winding his career down in China as age caught up with him. He has shown nothing when he has played so far this season. Even I could have scored the one goal he has got at Crystal Palace.


Niels Nkounkou played at Huddersfield before leaving on loan so he has been dealt with above.

Moise Kean 6 (At Juventus)

How we could have done with Kean in the first half of the season! Now on a 2-year loan at Juventus. Mainly comes on as a substitute for Morata but has started a number of games and has scored goals. But he's been mishandled from day one by the club.

Joao Virginia 4 (At Sporting Club de Portugal)

A promising young goalkeeper who is much better than the two back-ups of Begovic and Lonergan, who the club brought in while sending him out on loan. This is an absolute disgrace of a loan and totally nonsensical. One would think the club would at least bring in a back-up keeper who was actually better than Virginia if they were sending him out on loan. Then you would think they would source a club where he would get game time. So what do we do? We send him to the Portuguese Champions, where he has hardly played, and will hardly play! Absolute mess.

Rafa Benitez ½

The elephant in the room directing things from the dugout. Should never have been appointed, not just because of his past across the park, but because he is a manager who lives in the past and has an irrelevance in the modern game. His one-dimensional football got a few early results before teams worked us out and a nightmare followed. Can’t see much better than midtable at best in the 2nd half of the season with him in charge. With him and Moshiri now in cahoots there is only one way we are going and it’s not upwards.

The Board 0

We all know the arguments for the removal of the board, which laughably now consists of just three members, with a Chief Executive out of her depth and a Chairman who has been there far, far too long.

Farhad Moshiri -10

An even bigger elephant in the room is the majority shareholder. Yes, he can give us the new bauble down on the docks, but what good is that if he is turning the club into the RMS Titanic heading for the iceberg at every move he makes? Just part of his his rap sheet is:

  • One disastrous manager choice after another.
  • Spending the club into financial oblivion.
  • Ignores the supporters with contempt and communicates through Jim white on TalkSport and Sky.
  • Meddles in transfers.
  • Listens to no-one but himself and any agent who has his ear.

Moshiri, as I always say, is the biggest obstacle at the club. The man is a disaster. That is where the 27 years campaign is wrong. Instead of living in the fantasy world that the Football Manager playing majority owner will actually change and listen to supporters, it should instead be calling for him to sell up and get out of the club.


The first half of the season has gone, as the marks suggest, and as I anticipated, terribly. Will Everton make a vast improvement in the second half of the season? Not in my opinion.

Half the squad are not good enough and we have an out-of-date manager intent on turning us into the Newcastle United of his Saint James's Park days. More frightening, is he is now in full control of the club, with the backing of the clueless majority owner. Benitez and the Monaco clown are in charge of transfers after the ousting of Marcel Brands.

Expect late twenties early thirties so-called experienced players to arrive at Goodison, probably with questionable fitness records to boot. Money providing, we do get the two full-back options we are linked with. But make no mistake: Patterson and Mykolenko are in no way Benitez picks. They will be, if the Blues get the deals done, the last gift of the departed Marcel Brands.

We are heading nowhere in the second half of the season.

back Return to Talking Points index  :  Add your Comments »

Reader Comments (22)

Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer

Michael Kenrick
1 Posted 02/01/2022 at 12:25:29
A very sour and down-in-the-mouth analysis of just about everyone there, Martin. Marks of minus 10 are just a wee bit silly, but you gave so many zeroes and ½-marks, which are also a bit silly.

Then again, I suppose everyone has been poor at one time or another during what became a miserable first half-season. Thanks for bursting the New Year bubble and making us all feel miserable again.

John Raftery
2 Posted 02/01/2022 at 23:41:43
A load of crap!
Shane Corcoran
3 Posted 02/01/2022 at 23:59:14
I stopped reading after Digne.

What is it that he’s done since he got dropped? Seriously, I’m not really paying that much attention so maybe I missed something.

Just had a quick skim. Tyler has “done nothing wrong” but gets a 4.

At least you didn’t mention the RS or Sky.

Kieran Kinsella
4 Posted 03/01/2022 at 00:07:18

Enough of your happy clappy crap, ½ for Iwobi?

But seriously, I don't buy this Digne shit. Rafa said publicly “We have to sell to buy and know the right time to sell good players.” Then, the very next week, he dropped Digne.

Presumably Digne wasn't happy about it and now Rafa is citing his attitude as the reason for his exclusion. But he literally told us a sacrifice would be made and dropped Digne to spark the reaction.

It's a bit like Bin Laden launching attacks then saying “See! They're bombing Afghanistan – that's why we did it.”

Digne was our top assist provider last season. And was well regarded the whole time he was here, albeit many of us said he hadn't been as good the last year or so. But “as good” versus Gomes, Iwobi etc who've always been crap. So your minus 10 is a joke.

Phil Gardner
5 Posted 03/01/2022 at 08:49:39
Thanks for the post, which I did read, Martin. Some of which I agreed with and some I didn't, but it's your opinion and time that you put into the post.

John (2) – perhaps you should elaborate or do you feel ‘load of crap' is as articulate as you can get? I know we are all down in the dumps right now but that kind of reply is cheap and you're better than this mate.

Happy New Year to all Blues…

Stan Schofield
6 Posted 03/01/2022 at 11:57:56
A random number generator would have produced more meaningful marks. Pointless (apart from the daft points) exercise.
Steve Brown
7 Posted 03/01/2022 at 12:18:23
Agree Kieran, the manoeuvres around Digne smell well off to me.

What has amazed me is that so many have fallen for the “attitude” bullshit. That regarding a player whose attitude has not been questioned once by managers or fans since he joined us in 2018.

He was one player we signed who, to my mind, actually bought into building something at Everton.

Just shows that you cannot speak up to the Giant Ego, no matter how much he is fucking up. What sort of culture is that?

Stan Schofield
8 Posted 03/01/2022 at 12:47:42
Benitez was unprofessional with his public remarks about Rodriguez (like Koeman was with Barkley), and he’s doing similarly with Digne. Rodriguez gone, perhaps Digne next. Then who else?

Man-management at its very worst from a typical egotistical politician trying to hide his own incompetence. But apart from that he’s a great guy is ‘raffa’.

But looking at root causes, the board at Everton is ultimately at fault in allowing incompetents like Koeman and Benitez to get away with this kind of thing. But then football management does appear a lot like career politics, in that failure is rewarded.

Ralph Basnett
9 Posted 03/01/2022 at 16:39:34
A waste of your time writing and foolishly for us a waste of time reading, how old are you?
Barry Rathbone
10 Posted 03/01/2022 at 17:18:28
Digne, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin, Townsend and Gray (possibly Pickford) are reasonable Premier League players; the rest are either sick notes, past it or wrestle with rather than control a football. So the general gist of players being borderline relegation monkeys is bang on.

Stripping out Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison and Digne from the first team is a void of nearly a third of the outfield; add in Mina and others flitting in and out and we're going into games on a wing and a prayer. I just can't see how changing the manager changes this?

Stan Schofield
11 Posted 03/01/2022 at 19:30:08

Yes, the problems you list are largely independent of the manager of the moment. However, these problems have been here for some time, but the current manager is performing considerably less well than the previous incumbents.

The so-called ‘project' was to get us competing at the top. Previous managers' tenures were limited because all they did was maintain us in midtable. But the current manager is doing worse than that so far, so replacing him has a fair probability of stabilising the back-to-midtable mediocrity, which is better than what we're seeing under the current one.

Stan Schofield
12 Posted 03/01/2022 at 19:32:25
Barry 10: Changing the manager won't change the root problem of midtable mediocrity, but it could stop us being so shite and losing so many games, and being relegation candidates.
Darren Hind
13 Posted 05/01/2022 at 22:10:45
So no silver bullet then Martin ?

Straight for the machine gun and mow them all down.

Your scores made me smile a bit, but I do like your Plymouth

Alan McGuffog
14 Posted 10/01/2022 at 09:58:33
Begonia did rather well on Saturday I thought. Especially the save that saw us keep our lead
Alan McGuffog
15 Posted 10/01/2022 at 10:01:33
Ha ha...not me honest. Begonia ? Didn't he start out at Hyde Rangers ?
Peter Carpenter
16 Posted 10/01/2022 at 10:10:34
With Tim Flowers as coach...
Tony Mace
17 Posted 10/01/2022 at 10:17:01
Yes Begonia did stem their flow
Brent Stephens
18 Posted 10/01/2022 at 10:19:49
Fancied a move to Montrose.

But not Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

Dave Abrahams
19 Posted 10/01/2022 at 10:31:47
Martin, I don’t think that was a very good or honest post, you even got the date wrong when you posted it, or was that you Michael or that drunken’ word checker!!
Martin Mason
20 Posted 10/01/2022 at 10:41:45
I'm sure that there must be some primary school level courses that the author could attend to learn something about the game. I thought for a while that it was an attempt at humour but, no, although it's certainly a joke.
Tony Mace
21 Posted 10/01/2022 at 11:55:51
Alan @ 14

Begonia couldn’t have done much with their first goal as it was a bit of a Lupin header

Peter Carpenter
22 Posted 10/01/2022 at 12:02:51
Sack Flowers and get Pep Gladioli in.

Add Your Comments

In order to post a comment, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.

» Log in now

Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and Talking Points submissions across the site.

About these ads

© ToffeeWeb