On 8 May 2020, I wrote my first ToffeeWeb article called “Goals for and Against”.  It attracted about 3 comments. If you were not part of the select readership, then I’ll briefly recap.

It concluded that we had a pretty average squad and, in particular, we were scoring far too few goals to break past the 8th position in the Premier League glass ceiling we’d hit upon.  Investment was needed in the squad generally, but we should be pushing that investment into goals, as the priority above all else. 

The squad had issues in all areas, but we needed to focus on the attack first and foremost.  That is what a big club would do.  A big club aims to win matches through its goal-scorers and goal-creators.  This is also counter-intuitively a defensive thing to do too – because opposition sides are more reserved against teams with genuine goal threat.  Being good in attack forces the opposition to defend.

Needless to say, we haven’t really done anything constructive in recruitment in the past 2½ years (much longer in reality).  Unsurprisingly, I suppose, we find ourselves now in a complete mess.

T he Richarlison money has been spent on some good, reliable players and a couple with genuine promise too, but an already low-scoring side has been robbed of goals.  In the past 2½ years, we have lost Richarlison, Rodriguez, Sigurdsson and, to injury, Calvert-Lewin.  That represents about 45 goals each season.

We have replaced them with Maupay.  He represents about 8 goals (and in a better structured, well-functioning team, too).  Gray, McNeil and Gordon add a few goals too – but sadly none of them look likely to hit double figures.

It has got to the point where the opposition of almost whatever standard has nothing to fear from an Everton attack.

I usually call for careful, patient squad-building and low transfer fees as a way to manage budgets and risks inherent in the transfer market.  When I wrote my original article, I was hoping we would do just that, adding talent to a decent squad with a view to getting us through that 8th-place glass ceiling.

However, we are past all that.

It is as simple as this: unless we invest properly in an attack capable of scoring goals, we will be relegated sooner rather than later.  Unfortunately, there is a good chance it will be this season.  It doesn’t matter whether Lampard is in charge or (fancifully) Tuchel or Pochettino or (more realistically) Dyche.  The manager is not the issue.  We will be relegated because you cannot win football matches if you do not score goals. 

This is essentially why Wolves, despite still having a decent group of players, have also hit rock bottom.  They had a threat with Jiminez but he is injured.  They have a long-term successor in Fabio Silva but he is developing out in Belgium.  They have bought a replacement threat in Kalajzdic but he is also injured.  Like us, they have other issues – but that lack of goals is the real reason they’re looking destined too for relegation this season.

At the moment, our team appears to be set up to score from crosses designed for the well-moisturised bonce of Calvert-Lewin. Logically, therefore, we need someone to step in and do a similar sort of job for us.  Maupay is not an especially good player, and he’s certainly not a target man. 

A few years ago, Allardyce identified that relegation-bound West Bromwich Albion needed someone like that and brought in Mbaye Diagne.  This journeyman striker looked pretty good combining with clever Brazilian playmaker Matheus Perreira and they nearly stayed up.  However, ultimately WBA did not stay up.  And even if they had managed it, they would have been in trouble the following season too.  

So really, if we want to stay up this season and avoid even worrying about it next season, we need to buy someone who is genuinely good.  Players like Ivan Toney and Tammy Abraham (who get touted as solutions quite a lot) are now well out of our reach, but we could probably tempt Porto into selling us Evanilson for about £40(+)M.  This is a chunky fee – but (easy to say since it’s not my money) it will be worth it to preserve our Premier League status and to protect the value of Moshiri’s considerable investment.

There are, of course, other options beyond just Evanilson.  He’s just someone who leaps out as a good option. 

Ultimately, Lampard and Thelwell overestimated this squad – and failed to plan for the likely or known absence of Calvert-Lewin – which killed us last season too.  They have another chance to make good on this after the World Cup.  Hopefully they make it count.

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Phillip Warrington
1 Posted 14/11/2022 at 08:41:36
Good points Robert,

But I have no trust in Frank and believe he would only bring in another Maupay. We have needed a top class striker, after we sold Lukaku. We have not had a 20-goal-a-season striker since.

But it’s like the board have said “No, that's bullshit – we will try and buy every other player but a top class striker.”

Frank has brought in players and they have been average; there is a reason why Chelsea got rid of him so quickly and apparently he was the second-worst manager in their Premier League history.

We don't need a nice person, we need a ‘no bullshit’ manager who can improve our players and have faith in our youth players. "None of this equals Frank".

Kevin Prytherch
2 Posted 14/11/2022 at 09:33:19
I don't even think we're set up to get Calvert-Lewin goals. Gray and Gordon don't cross the ball enough and McNeil looks well off the pace. The only regular starter we've got at the moment who puts a half-decent ball into the box is Patterson.

Rafa (as much as I despise him) recognised this when he brought Townsend in; hopefully he'll be back soon. We also have Vinagre as an option on the left. If he sticks with Gray and Gordon, I feel he should sacrifice Mykolenko if we are to stand a better chance of scoring.

Rob Halligan
3 Posted 14/11/2022 at 09:49:55

I find it very hard to believe that Chelsea thought Lampard to be their second-worst ever manager in Premier League history.

He finished 4th and got to the FA Cup Final in his first, and only full season. In his second season, they were top of the league going into the New Year, before a run of five defeats in eight games got him the bullet. That Chelsea team went on to win the Champions League that season.

I would love to know who Chelsea consider their worst-ever Premier League manager?

Sean Roe
4 Posted 14/11/2022 at 10:05:55
There is no reasonable excuse for signing three defensive midfielders, two of which have no Premier League experience.

Surely Lampard and his staff must've been told ''you have x amount of money to spend, use it wisely'' or something similar. They knew Richarlison was on his way and they knew Calvert-Lewin was heading down the Yerry Mina and Fabian Delph route of spending more time on the injury table than playing.

Our recruitment strategy has not improved one single bit. The best part of ~£70 million wasted again.

Tony Everan
5 Posted 14/11/2022 at 11:20:42
Robert, You've excelled yourself, 5 replies already! I was one of the three I think last time.

Stripped of Lukaku's goals – not replaced

Stripped of Richarlison's goals – not replaced

All our bets were on Calvert-Lewin staying fit – not been fully fit for 18 months.

And the team has been designed around Calvert-Lewin – Gray, Gordon, McNeil are there primarily to provide for him.

Maupay, £15M, may do just okay playing off a ball-winning striker but, in our situation, he was the wrong choice of player. We should have had someone who can bring a bit of what Calvert-Lewin can bring, Strong, able to receive and shield the ball, good in the air. The best we could get.

Then the system we have constructed doesn't fall flat on its face when Calvert-Lewin is out. If they were relying on the Venezuelan goal machine to do this, then we may as well give up.

McNeil, £20M, was also a dubious signing; he's young enough to come good but we need penetration at the moment. No good spending that kind of money when it doesn't materially improve the first team. Would the promotion of Dobbin or Mills have fulfilled what McNeil is bringing? They may have risen to the challenge and been better, it's not such a high bar.

Our forward line as it is is not good enough. Gray, Maupay, Gordon, McNeil – not one of them would I call an average Premier League forward. At the same time, any one of those four could well improve exponentially playing with much better quality forward players.

So, for that reason, we need two forwards on 1 January 2023. Two who will be starters, plus one of the aforementioned players.

I bow to your superior knowledge on players we may get. But the type of player I want is a goalscoring front-man, good in the air and has the ability and strength to hold and shield passes from defence and midfield. Think Lukaku.

Then a wider forward with goals, aggression and pace, a direct player, unafraid to take the defender on, every time. Think Richarlison. (Kudus may have brought some of this; tough luck, that one!)

Anthony Gordon, in this better attacking environment, may come right back to life and start enjoying football again. Don't write him off.

Without these two forwards, we are relegation fodder. Also, any manager, Frank or whoever, will need them. I've been impressed with Frank's personality and media presentation. He's a great person.

Much less so with regards his core job as a tactical football manager. I feel that most other managers are one step ahead of him with regard to team set-ups and game management. He looks mentally vacant on how to change things when necessary.

Some people are natural managers and, with added experience, become successful managers. I'm not convinced Frank has got this natural ability. For me, he is a world-class footballer but struggling as a manager, maybe even worse than Gerrard was.

If Frank stays, I'll support him and live in hope he improves. If he goes, can we trust the board to appoint the right man? And would the right man be interested anyway? Especially with our current limited finances…

It's a great club, the best support in the league, and a great challenge, so I think there will always be interest.

It's as fanciful as Robert says but would any Everton fan not welcome Pochettino with open arms if he was up for it, and set on building a team for the new Everton Stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock?

Dave Abrahams
6 Posted 14/11/2022 at 12:07:10
I think a lot of fans are losing confidence in Frank because he is just playing the same style throughout the season.

It was a different attacking style vs Palace and we got a welcome victory. Then he reverted back to a holding game vs Fulham. Leicester was a shambles with most players not knowing how they were meant to play. And in the last two games, we were embarrassing, with two different teams all over the place.

Frank and his coaching team have 6 weeks or so to work out a new system to play in, try a few players in different roles, the ones they are playing in now are not suiting them.

Try Vinagre in front of Mylolenko for one, he might get some crosses in, and Gray on the right-hand side might do the same. Obviously they might not work but neither is the present system, so nothing ventured, nothing gained.

John Kavanagh
7 Posted 14/11/2022 at 12:27:48
I've always maintained we should have kept Simms in the squad as cover until January and then arrange a loan. Whatever his shortcomings or lack of experience, he at least knows where the goal is.

The less experienced Cannon showed in 15 minutes on Saturday how having a proper forward in the side can make a difference. If only Cannon and Mills had been given 30 minutes last Saturday, then we might at least have shown some fight.

I'm afraid that relying on transfers in January to turn things round is wishful thinking. We'd only end up with another Tosun, Walcott or Maupay.

Jon Harding
8 Posted 14/11/2022 at 12:31:23
Good stuff, Robert.

A clean sheet might get us a point; goals could get us 3.

I started to fear the worst when we let our two best young "reserve" strikers both go out on season-long loans back in the summer – with no Calvert-Lewin back-up in place. Please don't mention Rondon to me!

The 4-3-3 ain't working, that's for sure. Maybe the 4 part but certainly not the 3-3.
I was a big Frank fan but now I won't be too bothered if he's replaced. 11 goals in 15 league matches is usually P45 time.

That will be more club money wasted on a managerial pay-off, cash that might have been spent on some decent attacking players.

I look forward to your Groundhog 3 article around about Easter.

Phillip Warrington
9 Posted 14/11/2022 at 12:53:20
Rob @3,

I just got the info from the BBC Football website. I have never followed Chelsea or their results. But hey, if you think Frank has got us playing football and winning games, or trust him to spend the last say £50M we've got, then my fault for not doing a bit more research.

Bill Fairfield
10 Posted 14/11/2022 at 12:53:55
So the rumblings of sacking yet another manager have begun. It truly is Groundhog Day.

With the constant of having the same failures at board level, once again doing the hiring and firing, there seems no end to the suffering our fans have to endure.

Dave Harvey
12 Posted 14/11/2022 at 13:18:00
All of the current players must know how to play football. Whatever the manager says, you know how to win a match from when you are young.

They are just not good enough, but you need a great scouting network to find hidden gems or pay a lot of money for proven quality players.

Jay Harris
13 Posted 14/11/2022 at 14:09:42
Robert, you are right to highlight this as our main issue.

Lack of goals was evident long before Lampard. Even when Sigurdsson. Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison were knocking them in, we all identified that we had never trully replaced Mirallas, Lukaku and Deulofeu – and to think all three took brutal stick from some supporters.

I like Frank but I don't rate him highly as a coach because I believe us amateurs are seeing different options that he is not.

I have advocated going 4-4-3 or 4-2-2-2 away from home all season but he seems so set in his ways, like Martinez and Silva before him.

To be fair, we know he was pissed when we failed to get a goalscorer in in the last window but I'm guessing he also approved the acquisition of Maupay and McNeil that used up valuable funds.

When I looked at Bournemouth, with 2 dogs in Solanke and Kiefer Moore, and think to myself they are exactly what we need now, I cringe and start to question whatever happened to NSNO???

Jim Wilson
14 Posted 14/11/2022 at 14:19:25
As usual, a very well-thought-out article.

I think we need to sign at least two forwards without any doubt because injuries will always be around the corner.

Hopefully, a big or biggish signing and then a promising youngster or two.

Talking of which, why the hell did we let Dobbin and Simms go out on loan before we had plenty of forward cover? Ridiculous and once again shows the stupidity of this club.

I also would like a playmaker for midfield. I do not think Onana is the answer to our midfield problems and would prefer Garner and, yes, Davies!

Rick Tarleton
15 Posted 14/11/2022 at 14:37:54
Kevin (2) is absolutely right, we aren't set up to provide for Calvert-Lewin. All our wingers are selected (or prefer) to play on the wrong side as this increases their chances of cutting inside and scoring themselves.

In addition, Maupay needs a proper play-maker (or Number 10 call him what you will), to slide a pass through and support him. He too doesn't get the setup he needs. I've no great hopes of Maupay, but Everton haven't even tried to provide him with a suitable setup.

Would it be worth playing them together as twin strikers and getting rid of one winger or even be really daring, one of the two defensive midfielders?

Lampard is constantly trying not to lose. He's become the new Moyes, the Moyes of his last 3 years when negativity dominated his thinking.

I don't want to change managers again. We've had managers who've managed Real Madrid, Barcelona and the at one time the country ranked Number 1 (Belgium). Silva seems to be doing a decent job at Fulham, yet none of these people have significantly improved Everton.

The institutional formation of Kenwright and Moshiri have an awful lot to answer for. It's over 20 years since I penned my first article criticising Kenwright, that was in the days when Tony Marsh was vocalising cogently what was wrong and few people really took any notice. I'm afraid nothing has changed in over two decades.

Derek Wadeson
16 Posted 14/11/2022 at 14:45:48
Jay Harris @13 — is Pickford in midfield or upfront in your 4-4-3 system???

It was only a few weeks ago we were praising Lampard and Thelwell. We have 6 weeks to sort things out on the training ground, only four players at the World Cup and at least two likely to be back home after the quarter-finals,

Wolves on Boxing Day, at this moment the most likely 0-0 you will get all season.

Danny O’Neill
17 Posted 14/11/2022 at 15:19:45
Onana is 21. Garner is 21. McNeil is 22. We have two very young full-backs who look full of potential, marshalled by two experienced war horses.

For those who have continuously screamed to play the kids, let's not crucify these young players before they've started and be patient with them. It isn't their fault the club has royally messed things up for 30 years or so. You're aiming at the wrong targets.

As much as I hate the phrase, I thought many like "young and hungry". I guess for some, that's only if it somehow miraculously comes out of Finch Farm rather than what we've recruited.

I personally don't care where they come from. Only one-third of the Holy Trinity came from the city of Liverpool. Technically, none of the 84-85 first 11 came from within the city boundaries. I think Peter Reid was closest, but for those who cherish those boundaries, he was technically from Knowsley.

If they represent Everton, they get my holistic support. And criticism when due, but always support. We have an increasingly younger team and squad shaping up. Once again, work in progress. But there is potential despite hitting the odd speed bump along the way. Give it and these young players time and stop panicking.

Ian Hollingworth
18 Posted 14/11/2022 at 15:21:35
Everton's apparent gamble to rely on Calvert-Lewin getting fit has seriously backfired.
However, as pointed out earlier above, the lack of goals and quality in attack has been a problem for a considerable amount of time.

Everton's hope it all clicks strategy is obviously flawed and why we are shit and have been for years. The managers always get the blame and yet nothing changes that much regardless of who is the manager.

Kenwright and the board do need replacing with professional people in the football business. We do need to recruit better quality players. Whoever the manager is needs to set us up to try and win games.

Will any of this happen or are we just destined to forever go round and round on the never-ending miserable merry-go-round?

Jay Harris
19 Posted 14/11/2022 at 15:23:26
Well spotted, Derek, I thought we would have more chance with 12 players on the pitch. For the avoidance of doubt, it should have read 4-4-2.

I certainly wasn't praising Lampard, Thelwell or Kenwright 6 weeks ago and a lot of other supporters weren't either.

Many supporters were complaining about the lack of an incoming striker.

Rob Halligan
20 Posted 14/11/2022 at 16:08:20
Philip #9.

It would have helped if you had posted those links along with your original post, which would have helped me, and maybe others understand why Chelsea considered Lampard their second-worst manager in the Premier League era.

Just to say… ”there is a reason why Chelsea got rid of him so quickly and apparently he was the second-worst manager in their Premier League history” doesn't really tell me the reasons behind why they sacked him.

Looking at those stats by the way, and it seems his average points-per-game in the season he was sacked was 1.53; only Mourinho was worse, with an average of 1.06, but again only in the season he was sacked.

Lampard's overall average was 1.67, from a total of 57 games, with a win percentage of 49%. Not too bad I guess for someone taking charge of their first Premier League club, and Chelsea to boot. I guess Chelsea have far higher expectations than us, plus we all know how ruthless Abramovich could be.

By the way, with an average of 1.67 points per game, over a full season, would see any club finish on around 63 or 64 points, and possibly an outside chance of European football. Even when Lampard was sacked, his average at 1.53 over the full season would see a club finish on 58 points. Comfortably above any threat of relegation.

Mark Murphy
22 Posted 14/11/2022 at 16:20:50
"There is no reasonable excuse for signing three defensive midfielders,"

Especially when they don't seem to understand the concept of "defensive", Sean.

Someone on the forum said it on Saturday – they are just not protecting our back four.

Personally, I still don't understand how Gueye is an upgrade on Allan.

Dale Self
23 Posted 14/11/2022 at 16:55:04
If Moise Kean had been in our squad last season, we go down. End of.
Kevin Edward
24 Posted 14/11/2022 at 16:57:26
Absolutely spot on, Robert. Goals change games and win games.

As Frank hasn't been fired yet, then he may have one last chance to address this in the January window. It's going to be a mess, but one decent signing of an 'in-form' player can make a big impact. Needless to say that we haven't had one of those for a long long time, could also turn on bringing one or two youngsters through.

I wonder if this is by far the worst group of players for application and attitude that he's ever worked with as a player or manager? He looks bewildered that some of them are top professional footballers and that so many in the squad can be so poor all at the same time.

Team selection for Boxing Day will probably define where we'll finish in May.

Barry Rathbone
25 Posted 14/11/2022 at 17:42:10
The problem is, you cannot "build" a team – managers simply don't get the time these days.

For what seems an eternity every summer, posts pile up here and elsewhere echoing to the sound of "clearout". But it never happens. The season starts with facsimiles of deadwood from previous years and the results reflect it.

If I was recruiting a manager, my first question would be "Have you seen our players and in your opinion how many need to go?". Those saying say 80% would go on the shortlist. Anyone who could answer "How would you replace them with very little money" would get the job.

I suspect neither of these questions, or similar, were put to Frank.

David Currie
26 Posted 14/11/2022 at 18:47:09
One striker Lampard should be looking at is Tammy Abraham; he is not scoring as many as last season and maybe Roma would consider selling him.

Frank will have worked with him at Chelsea and he is at a decent age 25. Big strong and mobile with a decent scoring record.

Gary Johnson
27 Posted 14/11/2022 at 19:11:05
Not a bad call that, David Currie, although I'd rather it not be Frank doing the coaching.

I think the club needs to pretend it's buying defensive players or Number 10s and buy at least 3. Two of Gyökeres, Sarr, Moffi, Diaz, etc too please.

Andy Crooks
28 Posted 14/11/2022 at 21:10:17

Whilst we have two centre-backs defending with last-ditch blocks and who have no inclination, ability or, apparently instruction from the coach to play a higher line, along with Onana and Gana, for whom creativity and a telling pass are beyond them, then no striker you can name will help us.

We are set up – the same story for 20 years, by the way – to keep it tight and nick one. This is the road to relegation because we will stop keeping it tight. Last-ditch defending wins cup ties, it never, ever saves poor teams and coaches over time.

We don't need Dyche or Allardyce or – fuck me, please, no – Martinez. We need a coach who can lose the fear. It could be Frank Lampard if he can only find some belief in his team.

Robert Tressell
29 Posted 14/11/2022 at 21:33:18
Being optimistic, we are linked with quite a few attacking players:

- Kamada
- Brereton Diaz
- Podence
- Fatawu
- Noa Lang

Kamada would be good although he can be hit-and-miss. He's free soon too I think. Same for Brereton Diaz. Neither are quite what we need but they both offer us better than what we've got at low cost.

If we got them I think we'd have just enough to stay up. Honestly though I think Brereton Diaz and Maupay are options rather than a proper first-choice striker.

Unfortunately, I don't think we can possibly sign Tammy Abraham.

Phillip Warrington
30 Posted 15/11/2022 at 04:54:04
Rob @20,

Sorry, bud, but after 55 years of supporting Everton, the last 5 years have been like a never-ending nightmare. Everything that seems sensible to everybody else doesn't to whoever is manager or the board.

I see now we are going the same way with Frank. He has bought in players so people can't say he was stuck with only the squad he inherited; he has had time to work with players and they are still making the same basic mistakes.

Considering he had such a good dead-ball delivery, why are they so useless at dead-ball deliveries?

Every time a youth player shows promise after getting a run out in the first team, why does he loan them out instead showing them belief and giving them more game time? Christ, they can't be any worse then some of the senior players!

I'm just so fucking pissed at the club I love and wait all week to watch. Ever since Moshiri took over the club, we seem to be on a ridiculous downward spiral.

We used to sign players because they could see we were knocking on the door. Now, we get reserve fringe players or relegated players.

Hey, Rob, I would love more than anything in the world to be proven wrong but I cannot see Frank as the manager Everton need. If we had a world-class squad and the only thing Frank had to worry about was formation and tactics, then maybe… but we need someone who can actually coach the players to become better footballers.

Frank Fearns
31 Posted 15/11/2022 at 06:56:09
Danny O @ 17.

I admire your passion and belief in the young lads you've highlighted bu,t to be blunt "we ain't got the time". I believe in developing youngsters but not throwing them to the lions in the arena of the Premier League and a few are getting ripped apart!

I haven't got any answers, unfortunately. Some go on about changing formations but, without quality and experienced players, it won't make the slightest difference. Some go on about sacking the manager, but we've had more managers than I can count in recent times and none have made a jot of difference.

After 67 years of following Everton through thick and thin, I am saddened to see the shambolic state we're in but hope by whatever means we can get out of this mess.

Also, Danny, concerning your 'boundarism' comment, Peter Reid is from Huyton along with many other quality midfielders – one or two, dare I say, played for the darker side of the city. All from good scouse stock shipped out from the "town" after the war when thousands of houses were destroyed.

Danny O’Neill
32 Posted 15/11/2022 at 08:02:33
I probably haven't explained myself too well, Frank. I suppose I was just trying to make a point.

Many call to give the kids a chance, but they focus on those in the Academy. The fact is, we have a lot of young players on that pitch already, so it's not like we're not doing that. I maybe should have articulated it better.

On the boundaries, I posted in the Echo years ago, pre-internet days, and in actual print, about the need for Liverpool (the city) to embrace the region and absorb Knowsley and the southern part of Sefton in an extended City.

My family comes from Speke and Garston. I lived in Woolton. I could literally walk 200 m, cross the road, and be in Halewood. Technically not in Liverpool despite having an L26 postcode in comparison to my L25 one.

Likewise, if you walk about 50 m north of Kirkdale station, cross at the lights and drift into Sefton without even realising it, you are technically not in the city of Liverpool.

Halewood, Huyton, Kirkby, Bootle, Litherland, Aintree, Crosby or Bootle. Technically they are not part of the city of Liverpool because of imaginary political boundaries and different coloured wheelie bins and street signs.

But to me they are. The extended City. All part of the Scouse culture and nation.

I know we have this Liverpool City Region concept now, but we are about 40 years behind the Greater Manchester concept and even more behind the concept of joining up the London Boroughs. Manchester, through embracing their region, has become the defacto 2nd city of the UK from a business perspective.

Second City of the British Empire.

Robert Tressell
33 Posted 15/11/2022 at 08:16:10
Andy # 21, it is a vicious circle. We are set up to keep it tight and nick one. But we don't have the players to do it another way.

Add Richarlison, Lukaku and Sigurdsson to this side and concerns about a deep defence start to wane.

Yes, we need faster more mobile centre-backs to get us higher up the pitch. Yes, we need better quality in midfield (although have patience with Onana and Garner) – but we're desperately short of quality and numbers in forward positions.

Martinez managed (for one season) to break the curse of playing not to lose. He did that through tactical tweaks etc. But he really did it because Lukaku, Deulofeu, Barkley and our full-backs actually gave us an attacking threat. We couldn't have done it with Radzinski up front and Stracqualursi on the bench – that's where we are now… maybe worse.

Henrik Lyngsie
38 Posted 17/11/2022 at 17:52:45
Andy 28 and Robert.

I agree a lot with Andy. Football is very complex and I don't think our problem is just a striker. In fact, I doubt that Harry Kane would get 10 goals in a season in our current state.

As Andy points out, our central defence is very poor on the ball, our defensive midfielder very poor in his passing, Onana is still struggling. So our build-up play is almost embarrassing.

At the same time we have the least creative offensive midfield and wingers. Iwobi, Gray and Gordon are not creating much.

Gordon has been very poor this season, but I still have high hopes for him. He is still very young and was very good last season. I still believe he will have an end product one day.

For me, Gray is a completely lost case. Obviously he is good on the ball, fast and skilful. But his decision-making is so poor and hence his end-product is almost zero.

I know Iwobi was slaughtered for two seasons and now he seems to be the darling of all Evertonians and beyond criticism. I do recognise his improvement and his effort. But for me he is still a very average offensive midfielder with very little end product.

For me his decision-making on the last third is poor. He seems to get so easily stressed in decisive moments. He has improved slightly, but he should not be compared to Gana Gueye or other defensive midfielders, but to Maddison, Zaha, Buendia etc.

The issue is that Iwobi is such a good passer in the middle of the field, but very average on the last third. And although he is running a lot, his defensive abilities are so limited that he requires two midfielders behind him. So we have ended up with a midfield of Gueye, Onana and Iwobi that seems very dysfunctional.

For me, the really weird thing is that Lampard wants to play it out from the back, as most modern managers. And then, in the summer, we buy Tarkowski, Coady and Gueye who are really poor at this part of the game. Hence we end up playing Allardyce football. And if we want to play Allardyce football why not bring in the maestro himself to do it?

I sincerely don't hope that we will need that but I find us so tactically confused and do not buy in to the idea that just buying a striker should solve anything.

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How to get rid of these ads and support TW

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