The Newcastle game was always going to be a very difficult one. My feeling was a draw would have been a great result.

It was yet another game that came along at totally the wrong time. They had just hammered Spurs and they were on a tremendous high.

Yet another close decision went against us and, if Dominic Calvert-Lewin was wearing a red shirt, the goal would have stood (I don't trust for one minute the line the VAR put across the pitch).

And yet again Dyche sent out a team that, in my opinion, was nowhere near the best for three reasons:

  1. If Seamus Coleman isn't fit, he must play Nathan Patterson. He is a right-back who knows how to defend and knows how to get up and down the right flank and support the midfield and forwards. Playing central defenders at right-back is folly and only causes problems for the defence, as we have seen in the last three games.

  2. Once again, the midfield did not look like it could cope with the opponents midfield. I did not want Onana brought back into the team and wanted Garner in there as he has been one of our best players in the last couple of games. I do not think there is any value in playing Onana ahead of Garner.

    Article continues below video content

    Onana is drifting around and not doing anything like enough to influence a game (I'm not sure he wants to be there either). We need players who will fight for the cause and Garner has shown enough in his two games to have kept his place. He is also our best passer of a ball which will be exactly what we need against Leicester City.

    In my opinion, Onana was a very poor signing. All the money we spent on him when we needed a forward and it would have made so much more sense to keep Allan for one more year.

  3. The centre of defence has been found out big time in the last four games. Two slow and slow-on-the-turn central defenders together is always going to be exposed by quick and tricky forwards so a decision needs to be made on who to leave out and who to bring in.

People at the club need to remind Dyche how badly our weak midfield did in the home game against Leicester City… and how ineffective Onana was. Yes, Gueye's distribution lets him down at times but his tackling is so important to the team. He just needs someone he can count on with him.

Leicester City completely outplayed our midfield at home and it will happen again if this area of the team is not addressed properly. We must have five across the middle of the park. We need Gueye and Garner to play deep and put massive shifts in, full of fight and effort, something Dyche must instill into them pre-match. Complemented by Doucouré having the freedom to run all over the place in front of them.

Once again, I think we are playing a team at the wrong time. Leicester are starting to get their act together and for us to win is a tall order. We must have our best line-up and every player must be in the right frame of mind on Monday. It is a must-not-lose game but, if the manager does all the right things, we can win it. Every good decision can work wonders to improve a team performance.

I wanted Sean Dyche to come in after rank Lampard. I thought he would tighten up the defence, make the midfield stronger, get the basics right, and make us hard to beat. I think he did this, he did okay. But, since the Spurs game, it's all gone off the rails.

When Doucouré got sent off, alarm bells did ring but I thought surely Dyche will manage this okay. He will bring in Garner alongside Gueye and let the ineffective Onana have the Doucouré free role which might get the best out of him. The team might actually gain something by having Garner in the team, with his good passing and shot. I actually thought Old Trafford was the perfect place to bring him into the team.

But, as we all know, Dyche didn't make the one simple change. He changed the whole system and we lost what we had… and the team hasn't been the same since. Despite a decent result at Crystal Palace, we have completely lost our way against Fulham and Newcastle Utd.

We know Leicester City will come out fighting; we know they can play good football; we know they have some good players; and we know their form has picked up.

Surely Dyche must know the same. He must see our defensive weaknesses and our midfield frailty and he must know he needs to remedy this with a couple of changes. Hopefully Seamus Coleman is fit but, if he's not, it has to be Patterson at right-back.

Two other suggestions:

James Maddison is Leicester's big danger. Man-to-man him with either Gueye or Garner, or even Godfrey (as a rehearsal for Haaland too) and make it 10 v 10.

Put Martin Sherif on the bench! He is young but he is a goalscorer and, if things get desperate, bring him on for 10 minutes. You never know, he might actually score!

It's on you, Sean Dyche. It's on you to get us out of this mess. And we can if you make the right decisions. It doesn't make you look weak to admit you have made mistakes. This is not about you. The only thing that matters is the team.

Make the right changes, get all the players motivated, do something that is inspirational. Take players aside and say the right things to make them realise this is their moment to show what they can do. Just five games for them to excel in. 

Do it, Mr Dyche. Turn the team's fortunes around and we will get right behind you and each and every one of the players!



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Martin Mason
1 Posted 29/04/2023 at 17:32:39
It doesn't matter who is manager really. A football club is run from the top down not the bottom up.
Steve Brown
2 Posted 29/04/2023 at 17:40:18
Svein-Roger, Dyche has picked teams for defensive solidity and failed.

We need goals now, therefore Patterson (or Coleman), Mina, Gray and Simms all play. Simms should play off Calvert-Lewin as a second striker.

If we are going down, let’s do it with a bang rather than a whimper.

Svein-Roger Jensen
3 Posted 29/04/2023 at 17:44:12
Steve, agree! Let's hope Dyche hears us.
Allan Board
4 Posted 29/04/2023 at 17:51:50
Dyche has lost the plot, I'm afraid.

Bringing his mate Keane back into the team was a massive mistake. Coady was and is a much better long-term, solution.

Keane is a bloody liability and always has been – go check how many goals Everton have conceded with the twat as our "kingpin" defender. He unsettles the whole back 5- but he's a nice lad so that's okay!

Dyche dumped Coady after Coady called out some of our wankers and he panicked. Games v Forest, Fulham, Spurs would have been very different with Coady at centre-back.

Dyche's treatment of Simms is awful and Patterson must have leprosy because, if he's not deemed better than Godfrey, then this manager really does need to go to Specsavers!!

Dyche has had the games to turn this round easily and blown it through tinkering, the nugget. I don't want him in charge next season in any eventuality.

Win on Monday night or it's Championship football next season.

Get out Kenwright and take your shithouse Board with you.

Martin Mason
5 Posted 29/04/2023 at 17:59:47

Dyche is an incompetent donkey whose knowledge of football wouldn't fill the back of a postage stamp. The lowest point in Everton's history was his appointment.

Dave Lynch
6 Posted 29/04/2023 at 18:05:33
Dyche, as I've stated before several times, is a dinosaur.

He's at his level in the lower leagues and shouldn't be near a Premier League club.

Chris Leyland
7 Posted 29/04/2023 at 18:38:40
Martin, stop talking nonsense – a club that has allowed Kenwright to be in charge and run the club down over a quarter of a century whilst enriching himself in the process.

A chairman who has sold every promising and performing player as soon as anyone comes a-knocking, and a club that appointed Rafa Benitez as its manager in recent memory cannot count appointing Sean Dyche as manager as the lowest point in our history.

Martin Mason
8 Posted 29/04/2023 at 18:49:55
Chris, appointing Dyche the Donkey was for me the lowest point, including Kenwright. It was our total collapse in standards. Btw, stop talking nonsense.
Paul Kossoff
9 Posted 29/04/2023 at 19:07:55
Even if we beat the Foxes, the next game is Brighton away, who just thrashed Wolves 6-0. The same day, Forest have Southampton at home while the Foxes are away to Fulham who won't do us any favours and will probably lie down as if on the beach already.

Then we would have to beat Wolves and Bournemouth to possibly beat the drop because we won't get anything against Man City. Will Everton get four wins from the next five games? Pigs will fly over our new stadium if they do, and sadly pigs don't fly.

David Currie
10 Posted 29/04/2023 at 19:25:55
Brighton and Man City are not winnable games; Leicester have more quality in their midfield and forward positions, so we have our work cut out to get a result there. Wolves and Bournemouth have beaten us 3 times between them this season and again they have more quality than us.

Dyche bringing on Maupay instead of Gray the other night was just pathetic and not taking off Godfrey for Paterson. He needs to play Paterson if Coleman is not available and give Garner, Mina and Gray a start on Monday night.

Too late now but our winnable games since Dyche took over were Forest and Fulham and we got one point!

Colin Glassar
11 Posted 29/04/2023 at 19:27:30
How many more lifelines are we going to squander and, do we deserve any more?

Realistically, we could get 8 points from our last five games and end up on 36 points which could be enough. But can anyone trust this manager and players to fight for their lives after what we've seen recently? I'm not sure.

The spectre of relegation is starting to really sink in now. Initially, I brushed it off but now having to watch us play Huddersfield and Luton makes me feel sick to the stomach.

Colin Glassar
12 Posted 29/04/2023 at 19:30:21
Why is it, when I think of Sean Dyche, I see Ian Dowie?

It's messed up.

Nick Page
13 Posted 29/04/2023 at 19:30:43
Best centre half in the club: Mina.
Second best centre half in the club: Coady.
Best attacking midfielder in the club: Gray.
Best full-back in the club: Patterson.

Play them, Dyche… you fat fucking ginger fuckwit!

Jeezus wept. Talk about stubborn.

Nick Page
14 Posted 29/04/2023 at 19:32:30
And can I add that Godfrey is a left-sided centre-half, not a right-back.

I thought these fuckers knew about football?

Chris Leyland
15 Posted 29/04/2023 at 19:37:27
Martin, each to their own.

It's clear that Dyche is the outcome of Kenwright's sustained mismanagement of the club over a 25-year period and that Kenwrigh is the worst thing to ever happen to the club and the lowest point in our history is the period he's been running the club.

Most people can recognise cause and effect but there's none so blind as those that will not see.

Raymond Fox
16 Posted 29/04/2023 at 19:53:27
I get it, so its another managers fault.

Hell fire, we've gone through managers like there's no tomorrow to no avail. Dyche will have forgotten more about football than any 'expert' on here. He sees them in training, he knows if their carrying injuries etc, but you know better? Give over!

The players have had all season to show how good they are and have failed miserably.
Can they beat Leicester? Well, anything's possible and I certainly hope so, but you would have to say, as of now, it looks unlikely.

The other teams are trying their best to save us but we keep falling flat on our faces.

Paul Hewitt
17 Posted 29/04/2023 at 19:54:28
The simple thing is the players simply are not good enough to keep us up. They lack heart and fight, they have a cowardly streak running through each and everyone of them. So it doesn't matter how other teams do, we ain't good enough to help ourselves.
Oliver Molloy
18 Posted 29/04/2023 at 20:00:15
I've changed my mind again.

The great escape part two is definitely on – we can survive by the skin of our teeth! I agree with the author, changes need to be made to the team.

Coleman could be back, hopefully Calvert-Lewin will be fit, and I would start Gray and Simms – we need more up front.

Don't agree regards Onana, he's a big lad for us in the box. Fuck the football, get balls into their box and see how we do. It's a risk of course, but I would rather we go for it other than sit back and hope for a break.

No matter what team Dyche picks, every single player on the pitch (as limited as they all are) need to fight and scrap for the points – this is our chance and these players owe Evertonians big time.

All the pundits have tipped a Leicester win – fuck it right up them all. 3 points for the Toffees!!!

Dave Lynch
19 Posted 29/04/2023 at 20:04:53
Raymond... if he's forgotten more about football, then explain to me why he plays a mediocre centre-half at right-back? Whilst having a fit genuine right-back on the bench?

Also, why he plays a centre-half that is constantly making glaring errors whilst having a much better one on the bench?

I'm not playing the blame game: Dyche is what he is... out of his depth, his managerial career bears that out, he's won nothing and has been a firefighter all his career.

It's what we deserve, by the way, so I've no axe to grind with him; he's just not a very good manager.

Dale Self
20 Posted 29/04/2023 at 20:12:26
Marty baby, get a drink man. If you think your ad hominems are making a valid point,you are making an ass of yourself.

There are some valid criticisms that could be made although we don't know the fitness and injury details. You aren't doing that – you are simply sticking one in Dyche because youre pissy about Frank being such a failure.

It's Frank's hole we are digging out of… Frank Lampard, the glory tory.

Kevin Molloy
21 Posted 29/04/2023 at 20:19:02
If Kean,e Godfrey and Maupay get game time on Monday, and we get beat, I'd sack Dyche on the spot and hand the last five games to Allardyce.
Soren Moyer
22 Posted 29/04/2023 at 20:21:42
Watching Barca v Betis game, its amazing how their central defenders score with headers from open play!!! Not from free-kicks or corners. From open play when attacking! Why can't we do that!?

By the way, I think Dyche has gone senile. How could he play a 5ft-7in Maupay as the lone striker and long ball target man against Fulham!?

Andy Crooks
23 Posted 29/04/2023 at 20:24:09
Martin, you can't help yourself, just when you're becoming good sensible Martin, you throw that beaut in.
Dale Self
24 Posted 29/04/2023 at 20:26:34
And by the way, Frank did try virtually every variation of the offensive focused setup with no return. So what are you banging on about defensive setups? Isn't it down to personnel?

I admit selecting Godfrey was tough to take but the assumption that Patterson was ready is not known, it is speculation. You may be blaming Dyche for what any other managers might have done.

Jerome Shields
25 Posted 29/04/2023 at 21:17:07
I do think there are twists and turns in this relegation battle. Dyche is not going to do the widespread changes Jim suggests. He will have to address the Godfrey situation and that will be the height of it.

When I looked at the team news for the Newcastle game, it told me that Dyche was not for serious change. He selected the same players with Godfrey at right-back. In the second half, the team failed to maintain shape and Newcastle came out one up as a result as usual because of Everton's errors.

But there will be some unexpected results, both by Everton and the other threatened teams.

Brent Stephens
27 Posted 29/04/2023 at 22:07:57
"If Keane, Godfrey and Maupay get game time on Monday, and we get beat, I'd sack Dyche on the spot and hand the last five games to Allardyce."

Setting aside for the moment the time to negotiate a deal with a potential new manager, do we really think Allardyce's preferred set-up (personnel and tactics) would immediately be transplanted into the current corpse? How many games left to engineer that?

Barry Hesketh
28 Posted 29/04/2023 at 22:14:57
Fail to win on Monday, and I think that will be the end for Everton – a draw won't be enough in the grand scheme of things.

I do wonder why Dyche changed everything at Old Trafford, was it at the behest of the owner? Or some other interfering busy-body trying to 'market' the club, rather than being practical and trying to gain a very important point?

Since then the players have started to behave like they did in the last knockings of the Lampard era and all the other failed 'managers' who have been here since Ancelotti left.

Danny Baily
29 Posted 29/04/2023 at 22:21:36
There's one winnable game left, against Bournemouth.
John Charles
30 Posted 29/04/2023 at 22:29:04
As long as he doesn't play Coady – dropped for a reason and the reason is he's crap. Mina is a much better option; Patterson if Coleman is still out.

Gray instead of Iwobi; Garner instead of… well, any of the midfield. No way we are winning 4 games but it is the end if we don't beat Leicester.

Barry Rathbone
31 Posted 29/04/2023 at 22:36:24
I can't believe anyone still thinks we will win a single game given recent evidence – let alone the possibility of 4. It's all very very strange...
Tom Bowers
32 Posted 29/04/2023 at 22:57:34
That Forest result throws up a lifeline (yet again).

Yes it's is hard to believe that they can win any further games this season and we all know they will get hammered by Man City.

Offensively we have been a disaster all season and now the defence has become just as defunct.

I just don't feel confident about any starting eleven that Dyche puts out and just think we are on a wing and a prayer in every game.

They seem to start off well in every game but it doesn't last. As soon as the opposition realize we have nothing to scare them with, they push extra men forward, bypassing our weak midfielders, and put us to the sword.

I have never witnessed such an inept squad of players representing Everton Football Club in all of my 60 years of supporting them.

Since Moyes went, they have had a series of competent, experienced managers who have somehow failed miserably to get this great club back on track and now they seem doomed unless one or two miracles happen.

Soren Moyer
33 Posted 29/04/2023 at 23:49:39
It has to be a Coady & Mina pairing for centre-back from now on. This team is clearly in need of a leader on the pitch, so the obvious choice for me will be Coady.

Mina is a pacier and better player than Keane, so he should be playing too.

Bench Maupay, Godfrey and Iwobi. All 3 are useless players, running about like headless chickens with no real contribution.

Do this and we might have a chance!

Ian Riley
34 Posted 29/04/2023 at 23:50:43
Barry #31,

People are in process of grieving over what might come. Either acceptance, bargaining or denial relegation might happen. Anger if results don't go our way if reality is confirmed. Frustration of manager after manager has struggled to get consistency. Recruitment of Championship level players and sale of Premier League quality. It will catch up with you and end in relegation.

Under Bill Kenwright. Premier League status was an achievement for me. I was happy. I knew our limitations and David Moyes over-achieved and brought success. Not all liked him but I felt safe that, in his hands, we would stay up.
Too many managers and average players have left us very fearful of relegation. Also when we might return to top-flight football if the worst happens?

Dyche and the players know the task ahead. Nothing is impossible with hard work. We still have a chance!

Jim Wilson
35 Posted 29/04/2023 at 00:09:10
Barry Hesketh @28,

"I do wonder why Dyche changed everything at Old Trafford, was it at the behest of the owner? Or some other interfering busy-body trying to 'market' the club, rather than being practical and trying to gain a very important point? Since then, the players have started to behave like they did in the last knockings of the Lampard era."

Something has been nagging at me, something doesn't sit right.

24 March: Premier League announce they have referred Everton to an independent commission.

3 April: Everton draw v Spurs and Doucouré gets sent off for a slight brush of hand on Kane's face..

8 April: Dyche drastically changes his tactics v Man Utd.

I'm not dwelling on Doucoures sending off but just compare his offence to Manes in the Anfield Derby last season.

But I was furious over the Premier League's timing over their announcement that we were being referred to an independent commission. We had been doing okay and, at a crucial point in the season, they fire this torpedo right through our club. It was disgraceful timing, to say the least.

Did it influence someone at the club to say we need to try and win extra points? Did it affect the manager and players?

The announcement without any doubt should have been left until the end of the season, especially in view of our situation. There is something suspicious about it and it links up with all the dodgy VAR decisions we have had over the last 2 years.

Super League formation? No problem, token fine. Blatant handball? No problem.

Colin Glassar
36 Posted 30/04/2023 at 00:17:37
90 years ago today (yesterday), Everton were winning the FA Cup against Man City. Dixie Dean lifted the cup as captain. He must be spinning in his grave.
Jim Wilson
37 Posted 30/04/2023 at 00:17:39
Steve Brown @ 2

"We need goals now, therefore Patterson (or Coleman), Mina, Gray and Simms all play. Simms should play off Calvert-Lewin as a second striker."

There is definitely merits to this. Just go for it. Absolutely on board if it goes pear-shaped over the next 3 games!

Matt Traynor
38 Posted 30/04/2023 at 00:21:56
Everton has apparently asked the Premier League for permission to play the final game behind closed doors, in the eventuality that relegation is already confirmed.

(Heard this reported on Times Radio)

Barry Hesketh
39 Posted 30/04/2023 at 00:26:30
Matt @38,

I'd be surprised if that was actually true – but this is the Everton board we are talking about.

I did see that some Everton fans on other sites had called for Goodison to be empty, as a protest, if the worst happened and was confirmed before the final game.

On both counts, I hope that Goodison is bouncing on 28 May.

Pete Clarke
40 Posted 30/04/2023 at 03:34:13
That rumour may have been started by Kenwright himself because, if there are no fans in the stadium, then he can attend free of abuse and allow his tears to flow at the end. Fits the scene for the horrible excuse of a man.

We are going to need goals against Leicester so it's no use sitting back. Dyche has to change it up otherwise I don't want him leading us anymore. Hand the reigns to Seamus and let him try and get the players going.

What a fucking mess.
Matt Smith
41 Posted 30/04/2023 at 04:39:17
Whatever happened to Townsend? Another example of a player we could use right now.
Alan J Thompson
42 Posted 30/04/2023 at 07:25:53
I have said before that I was not enamoured by Dyche's appointment but at one stage it looked like he had found a system for picking up points, and then changed it.

Some have said that his team selection is because he sees them at training but we don't play training games against other Premier League sides and training should not take priority over that seen in actual matches.

If a player has several poor games, which will have been noticed by future opponents, then he should be replaced, and if your only available or optional right-back, Patterson, is not ready, then why is he on the bench?

I don't normally go in for trying to second-guess the manager's team selection but I do think Patterson has to come in at right back, and maybe Mina for Keane.

Dyche may be thinking Godfrey as the most likely to match Vardy's pace but I hope not. Maybe a midfield of Doucouré, Gana, Garner and Onana with Simms and Calvert-Lewin up front.

But then I wonder if this is unfair on McNeil, if there should be wide players to feed two big strikers, and if the midfield, with help on one side from Simms and Calvert-Lewin can also effectively cover the wingback positions.

It does mean the midfield covering, working a lot harder, creating something, and also being able to handle a long crossfield ball. But then, nobody offered me a bonus of £3.5M if I kept us up.

Joe McMahon
43 Posted 30/04/2023 at 08:02:26
Sean Dyche was an easy and uninspiring appoinment, from our atrocious board. He was sacked mid-April, then who was left of the coaching staff and Ben Mee won more games from the 8 games remaining than they had done in the previous 29. The sacked trio of Woan, Stone and Dyche are now at Everton.

Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood scored 4 Premier League goals between them last season. Fans would be screaming for Matej Vydra (who could play and scored 21 league goals in the Championship when Lampard was at Derby). Dyche would bring him on at 80 mins. Sounds familiar, doesn't it?

I hope I'm wrong but I see us finishing the season 2nd bottom. Whatever happens next season, we won't be going up with this trio headed by Dyche.

There is a reason why not one club made an enquiry in 9 months for Sean Dyche, no wonder the trio jumped at the chance; staying up is not gonna happen.

Eric Myles
44 Posted 30/04/2023 at 08:06:10
"Yes, it is hard to believe that they can win any further games this season and we all know they will get hammered by Man City."

Tom #32, do you mean Forest or us?

Trevor Peers
45 Posted 30/04/2023 at 08:06:32
Interesting and thought-provoking post, Jim! I thoroughly agree with all of it.

When I look at what the remarkable Roy Hodgson has achieved at Palace, somehow transforming a team that couldn't buy a goal and suffering 12 straight defeats, into a free-scoring outfit that has won 4 out of 6 with only 1defeat. I have to ask myself how the hell did he do that? That's the kind of form we would have to produce to stay in the Premier League.

In Dyche, do we have the right man to produce such a dramatic transformation? He started off well but, as you and many others have pointed out, he changed tack at Old Trafford and we've never recovered.

Our only slim hope is that Dyche reverts back to the tactics that served us well when he first arrived, and pray that will be enough.

Sam Hoare
46 Posted 30/04/2023 at 08:18:08
I was pretty pro Dyche. The list of alternatives was not that inspiring and Dyche seemed a manager who could at least organise us and make us hard to beat.

And for the first few matches, it seemed a good fit. We were organised and pressed well. Creating chances and looking tight at the back.

But that all seemed to go wrong fairly quickly and now we are seeing the worst side of Dyche which is inflexibility and possible lack of imagination.

Having said that the alternatives he has are not fantastic. Patterson was decent early in the season but positionally he is quite poor and (in theory!) Godfrey should be a much better defender in 1 on 1 situations.

If you're Dyche and you're playing a tight system hoping to scratch a 1-0 win then I can understand opting for the solid option. Except Godfrey has not been solid, and has played possibly worse than anyone this last month.

Individual mistakes and form is a difficult thing for a manager to fix.

Patterson (or Coleman) will surely have to come in for Leicester. It will be a tough match in which they will almost certainly have more of the ball and more of the chances.

Why Yerry Mina has had no game time at all, I fail to understand. He's our best centre-back and a threat at set-pieces. But expect Dyche to stick with Tarkowski and Keane.

Keeping the same team can be a strength if there are signs of recovery, of things working. But currently this lot are getting worse rather than better.

I'd probably take a draw on Monday. As I would happily in the following 2 matches. Could we beat Bournemouth and/or Wolves once their seasons are over? Probably not… but it's our best shot.

Michael Lynch
47 Posted 30/04/2023 at 08:18:12
I think we have more chance of getting a point off Man City than Brighton, so we will probably need wins at Leicester and Wolves, and then beat Bournemouth at Goodison to stand a chance of survival.

The first of those games is the hardest. Problem is that, whatever Dyche says or does, if we lose to Leicester, the game is probably up and we'll struggle to pick up another point, as team spirit will be broken by losses on the bounce to Newcastle, Leicester, Man City and Brighton,

One of the biggest games in our history tomorrow.

Robert Tressell
48 Posted 30/04/2023 at 08:38:34
There is an alternate reality where Dyche played Patterson, Garner and Mina but got the same set of results.

ToffeeWeb bemoan the idiocy of playing 3 physically fragile players just back from injury. Comments would point out how well Holgate played at right-back under Ancelotti – noting now is not the time to risk the erratic Patterson when points are up for grabs.

People would point out the stupidity of playing Mina ahead of Keane – because he's obviously playing at 50% to avoid injury and preserve his chance of moving to a decent new club in the summer.

And why oh why is Dyche playing Garner (only just back from long-term injury) ahead of Onana when we all plainly see we need height to contest set-pieces.

Unfortunately, there isn't a simple fix to our present predicament. Personally, I would play Patterson and Garner as you suggest, Jim, but there are pros and cons. It's not all upside.

Dyche will be well aware of all of this – and the fact that we still have a chance. The main thing is to play with the right attitude and intensity against Leicester City – and also to get some luck.

Peter Carpenter
49 Posted 30/04/2023 at 08:53:54
Robert, most sensible post of the day, so far.
Steve Brown
50 Posted 30/04/2023 at 09:07:35
I watched Brighton v Wolves yesterday - and Wolves are definitely beatable.

Martin Mason
51 Posted 30/04/2023 at 09:09:50
Chris@15, you are full of bile and yet you are agreeing with every word that I said. What is wrong with you?
Dave Abrahams
52 Posted 30/04/2023 at 09:18:11
Robert (48),

I agree with most of your post except to say that while you think Dyche will be aware of all this, he has recently played with two in the central midfield after getting most of his success at Everton with three players there.

Then he took Onana off, which didn't bother me, from central midfield v Newcastle and replaced him with a striker, leaving the midfield wide open and Newcastle promptly took advantage and scored their third goal.

I was happy with Dyche when he first came but the last few games he has got me worried and thinking: Is he up to the job? I hope he proves me wrong and gets the necessary points to keep us up.

I believe they are there with the correct selection, fight and attitude together with someone to put their foot on the ball and calm them down, maybe McNeil us that man in the centre of midfield controlling the game.

Bill Piscass
53 Posted 30/04/2023 at 09:39:49
I don't expect Dyche to change anything, Godfrey has been stinking out that position for a while now. Just do a search on Godfrey. I think he was taken in by Bielsa stating speed at the back was required.

Another alarming worrying statement was when Dyche said "I let the players criticise each other and just listened." This suggested he doesn't have a clue with tactics and has ran out of ideas.

I feel that Everton have brought in a Sunday League manager with limited tactical knowledge. What we needed was an up-and-coming manager who could instill belief. The players look full of fear, this is what happens when you are constantly told to make sure you all do defensive stuff.

I don't see any attacking confidence in this team. By the way, the shooting from the edge of the box was embarrassing against Newcastle.

Andrew McLawrence
54 Posted 30/04/2023 at 09:46:43
I would put Dyche into the same camp of Sigurdsson, Alli, Townsend, Gomes, Rondon, Maupay, Keane, Walcott, Schneiderlin, and many many others.

Failed entities given a last pay-day in the Everton retirement home for serial wasters and talentless flopsters.

Mick O'Malley
55 Posted 30/04/2023 at 09:47:01
Martin Mason, I'm with you regarding Dyche.

I am actually embarrassed that we had to turn to a fella that no one would touch with a bargepole for 9 months while the likes of Villa got Emery and Wolves (who were below us at the time) got Lopetegui.

Both of these sides, along with Bournemouth, have now got themselves safe while we hang on by our fingertips, a very uninspiring manager.

Robert Tressell
56 Posted 30/04/2023 at 09:54:43
Dave, I agree that we will almost always be better served with a 3 in midfield.

However, it wasn't completely daft to get a couple of strikers on the pitch when we needed a goal.

The difficulty is that there is absolutely no margin for error with any of these decisions.

Bill Piscass
57 Posted 30/04/2023 at 10:01:13
When everyone suggested Dyche would keep you up, I started to get worried. The same as when Frank was unveiled as an up-and-coming young manager.

The reality is some managers who fail the first season but keep the team in a mid-table position are not all failures. Ancelotti, Martinez etc.

We were expecting instant results and, as everyone seen with Arteta at Arsenal, this is not always the case. So when Everton get a manager, the credentials required are:

They need to purchase cheap players that show potential.
They need to establish a certain technical passing style.
They have to look technically able to trap a football and pass.
They have to have quality to be able to take on and run with ball and dribble.

Football is not that difficult – you just have to work as a team, one gets the ball, 2 or 3 make themselves available for a pass and then you practice moving up the field as a team.

You can switch the play, but you have to practice doing that, and footballers need to be comfortable doing this.

The main problem with us, we don't have that central out ball in midfield. The guy whom collects it looks around passes it out to the wings for quality crosses.

Chris Leyland
58 Posted 30/04/2023 at 10:03:05
Martin, my bile can’t hold a candle to your pomposity and self-righteousness.
Christine Foster
59 Posted 30/04/2023 at 10:05:25
You could bring in Pep, Ancelloti, in fact anyone that is available, would it make a difference? No, not one bit... because after several managers, not one of them, bar Ancelotti, managed to get them playing as a team.

Half-way through his spell, he knew he was fucked because he knew we didn't have enough quality on the pitch. He left because he was astute enough to realize it.

Benitez, Lampard, Dyche... not one made a difference, neither will anyone until a clearout has been done.

We cannot rebuild a team of such poor quality, we have fallen that low, and fight relegation. Hard work, not silver bullets will be needed to stay up.

Paul Tran
60 Posted 30/04/2023 at 10:10:01
Dyche came in, tightened up the team, had us in the opposition box more, with more shots.

We've spent seven years not buying goalscoring players, so little wonder those changes didn't turn into goals.

Doucouré got himself sent off, Onana got injured. Unless there are two physically imposing midfielders in our squad that I don't know about, I'm not surprised he 'changed the system'.

What has changed is the mentality of the squad. It looked good; now, it's back to the previous surrendering. It improved, then reverted under Dyche's watch. It's the main thing that will keep us up, it's down to him to get it back.

Grant Rorrison
61 Posted 30/04/2023 at 10:30:40
Yeah, but we've got a goal-scorer and he wont play him. Gray should start every game from now until the end of the season along with Calvert-Lewin and McNeil.

He also needs to stop picking Godfrey and just give Patterson a chance assuming Coleman isn't fit. I'd bring Mina back in too but that won't happen.

Bill Piscass
62 Posted 30/04/2023 at 10:32:48
Drop Iwobi and put in someone whom can hold up the ball and not lose it. The amount of times he has lost the ball and not been able to retrieve his mistakes is ridiculous now. You have to have players on the pitch that are comfortable in retaining it and passing it.

They need Garner in midfield just behind Calvert-Lewin;
then Gray and McNeil on either wing for crosses; 3 at the back: Coady, Tarkowski and Mina; 2 wing backs with pace, Patterson being one – he used to get forward a lot.

Deal with Maddison and Harvey Barnes. Drop the negative "keep it tight" stuff and go at them. Cautious with 1 up front to start with.

Clive Rogers
63 Posted 30/04/2023 at 10:38:41
Mick, 55, have you never listened to Peter Kay?

Who has a bargepole nowadays? Even people with a barge don't have a bargepole, they have an engine on the back.

Bill Piscass
64 Posted 30/04/2023 at 10:49:27
If anyone knows or can get this message out please do.

Neil Maupay: Try the toe poke and stop trying to score the perfect goal. It's like you take 10 seconds to think about scoring the perfect goal. Stop thinking before you shoot.

All Players: Long-range shots from the penalty area edge. When you slam the ball from outside the area, slice it more, aim for the corner of the goals.

Mark Murphy
65 Posted 30/04/2023 at 10:55:14
Jim - good points but Martin Sherif is 15. He’d have to be remarkably mature for his age to cope with the first team at the moment.
Andrew Clare
66 Posted 30/04/2023 at 10:57:18
'Who do you support?' I was asked a while ago. 'Everton'. I replied. 'Why do you support them, they are terrible'.
Well we all know why. We love the club, no true fan changes their allegiance just because their club is going through bad times.
Realistically though the person who asked the question was right.
We are terrible, awful to watch, hardly ever win, the board spending hundreds of millions of pounds on dodgy transfers, managers being hired and fired left right and centre. What an utter shambles.
Everton will always be in my heart but I just can't see us winning another game this season.
We need a massive clear out in the summer - the board, the manager and the players - everyone.
Bill Piscass
67 Posted 30/04/2023 at 11:03:29
Tactics for Leicester away.

Get hold of Maddison, Nullify Barnes.

Put loads of pressure on Boubakary Soumaré in Midfield. He has many mistakes in him under pressure.

Vardy has lost some of his pace and gets caught offside a lot. Keep a tight line at the back, this seems easier with 3 at the back than four.

Jim Wilson
68 Posted 30/04/2023 at 11:08:41
Mark @65

Martin Sherif was born June 2006 so doesn't that make him nearly 17?

Rooney and James Vaughan did it at that age so I see no reason why Martin Sherif couldn't. Give him a chance we have nothing to lose!

Kevin Molloy
69 Posted 30/04/2023 at 11:13:21
West Ham had four stuck past them by the team we got a good point from just last week. We haven;'t suddenly become shocking, there is no reason why we can't go to Leicester and get a result. And if we got 3 points, I'd fancy us as favourites to beat the drop. It all hinges on whether we can at some point manage to get the ball into the fucking net. Unlike the teams we've played recently, Leicester are no great shakes at the back, I think we'll get something.
Dave Lynch
70 Posted 30/04/2023 at 11:23:29
4 winnable games...don't make me laugh.
Pep could put his backroom staff out and beat our lot.
They'll want the title sewn up ASAP so will put us to the sword by half time.
Paul Tran
71 Posted 30/04/2023 at 11:26:22
Andrew #66, that's nothing new. I got asked/told that regularly when I walked into Portsmouth Poly. in 1983!
Iain Johnston
72 Posted 30/04/2023 at 11:32:53
Bring in Mina and Patterson... why, What difference would it make at the back and what difference would it make going forward? Performances weren't exactly better when they played and Mina wants a month off when he loses an eyelash.

Our problem is we don't score and that alone will sink us.

Leeds stayed up by 3 points last season even though they conceded 79 - 26 more than Burnley. Why? Because they managed over 40 goals and that seems to be common denominator to survival.

It's the goals for column which is the issue not the goals against. We've conceded less than the so called 'basket case' club - Spurs and they're 5th.

We've sunk so low that fans now actually believe Gray is a goal scorer, his stats are actually worse this season even though he's had more minutes on the pitch.

The opposition know that when DCL is fit simply mark him out of the game and we're buggered.

Grant Rorrison
73 Posted 30/04/2023 at 11:39:46
Iain 72. Yeah, well Bournemouth have got 10 less goals than Leeds this season. (both conceded 63) and yet they've won 3 more games than them and have 6 more points. Most people think Bournemouth will win today also.

By our standards Gray IS a goal-scorer. As is ANY player that has found the back of the net more than once!

Ian Bennett
74 Posted 30/04/2023 at 11:41:50
I would bring in Patterson and Mina for the last games of the season.

You've no chance playing Godfrey or Keane. Heres something to look forward to for next season.





David Bromwell
75 Posted 30/04/2023 at 12:00:10
For tomorrows game we have two potential problems which need the Managers urgent attention, he has to sort out the right back position and he has to select someone who can match Vardy for pace. So it's Coleman or Patterson at fullback please, and a change in central defence, which could be a straight swop with Mina in or perhaps more likely Coady returning as a three man central defence. Once he has sorted out these two areas he has to find away of making our attack more potent which means getting somebody, not Doucour'e please, getting close to Calvert Lewin.

And finally please use the players on the bench if some one is booked, Holgate, getting roasted, Godfrey as to my mind failure to act in these circumstances has cost us in our last two matches. Tomorrows match is winnable but only if we can put in a performance for the full 90 minutes.

John Williams
76 Posted 30/04/2023 at 12:05:44
I would bring in Mina because,
1/.he is a better defender and he can score or cause bother
in the opponents box ie corners, free kicks.
2/ he may get injured, so what, we can throw on another defender.
Why has Coady been side lined ?
On Monday night, stop Maddison playing and you take the threat out of Leicester. He controlled the game at Goodison
getting in between the defence and midfield.
Man marker required ie Godfrey similat to the Haaland job.
If you cannot win the game, don t lose it.
Kevin Molloy
77 Posted 30/04/2023 at 12:06:09
I just looked at that table again, and if Forest had hung on for another 5 minutes yesterday, they'd have been 8 points ahead of us now.

Given that they were one of my 3 bankers, that is slightly disconcerting with 5 games to go.

Mark Murphy
78 Posted 30/04/2023 at 12:16:24
Kevin, 8 points?? Are you sure??? Unless I’m missing something they’re on 30 and we’re on 28 with a game in hand? IF we win tomorrow we go above them, Leicester and Leeds?
Kevin Molloy
79 Posted 30/04/2023 at 12:22:04
Here is the table on the Beeb, Mark:

Brighton hit six & Brentford beat Forest

It would not surprise me in the slightest if they've got it wrong though.

Stephen Davies
80 Posted 30/04/2023 at 12:22:21
John #76,

When Mina plays, the win rate is 40% when not playing drops to 20%.

Danny Baily
81 Posted 30/04/2023 at 12:27:54
I'd go with a very similar line up to the one that was... Well, competitive(-ish) a few weeks back.

Calvert-Lewin up top, flanked by Gray and McNeil. Onana, Doucouré and Gueye in the middle. Coleman, Tarkowski (or Mina), Keane and Godfrey at the back.

Sit deep, cool it with the Iwobi style closing down in their half, and wait to hit them on the counter.

Win this and we're still in it.

Brian Harrison
82 Posted 30/04/2023 at 12:37:04
Look, I am all for a bit of optimism, and by God we need some from somewhere, but the suggestion that we can win 4 of our games is delusional.

We have scored 25 goals – the lowest in the Premier League – and we have only won 6 games all season; to suggest, with a few tweaks to team selection, we can transform our season…? No.

This team individually and collectively are poor players and it's not just a blip; we were here last season, hoping escaping relegation would be the catalyst for change; it wasn't.

Whoever thought that replacing Richarlison with Maupay was going to get the job done, and adding not 1 but 4 midfield players who fear going into the opponent's box as a black hole, was another way to offset Richarlison's goals is unbelievable.

I was lucky enough to be at the Leicester game last season when we came away with all 3 points, and I said at the time I have watched us win all sorts of trophies from 1962 onwards but that display from the fans, not the players that day was incredible.

I spoke to some Leicester fans after that game and they said they had never seen away support like it. I read yesterday 98% of us have renewed our season tickets and they reckon the 2% that haven't is probably down to sadly some Blues having passed on.

Yet I hear muppets like Keown criticizing some fans for leaving early against Newcastle. These supporters have had to put up with a lot over the last couple of seasons, including a board and owner who don't even turn up to games.

Maybe Keown should do his homework and look at the real culprits here and it certainly isn't our magnificent fans who have had to watch some of the worst football we have seen in decades –given the dross we have had to watch at times, that's saying something.

Sorry for the rant, I got a bit carried away.

Kevin Molloy
83 Posted 30/04/2023 at 12:47:58

I think I've had open an old BBC page that had factored in a win for Forest. I've just refreshed the page and Forest's three points have disappeared (thankfully).

Dave Abrahams
84 Posted 30/04/2023 at 13:07:45
Brian (82), don't apologise for an open and truthful post.

By the way, Brian, Keown showed his loyalty to Arsenal, Aston Villa and Everton when it suited him and his pocket. We pay from our own pockets year after year and prove our loyalty to one club, whether it suits us or not.

Bob Carlton
85 Posted 30/04/2023 at 14:03:41
Brian (82) is 100% correct.

Optimism is great but when you look at our midfield then realism is depressing.

Iwobi - 1 goal in 33 games
Onana - 1 goal in 27 games
Doucoure - 2 goals in 12 games
Gray - 4 goals in 26 games
McNeil - 5 goals in 23 games
Gueye - 0 goals in 27 games

Whatever combination of midfielders are selected (normally 5 out of the 6 above) they are no threat to the opposition.
Unfortunately, tweaking the formation makes no difference.

James Hughes
86 Posted 30/04/2023 at 14:07:10
Brian #82 a great post sir. I am still delusional as I can't contemplate the R word yet.

And totally agree with you on Maupay and whoever thought he was a good option wants sacking. I regularly lie there in the early hours and think Why, just WHY, did we sign him??

Not having an adequate forward for the season was not acceptable. It is also fairly obvious that we were lied to during the window when we were told they were looking for a striker. The result of the accounts were known and we couldn't afford to spend anything.

Mark Murphy
87 Posted 30/04/2023 at 14:16:32
Phew Kevin, I'm glad that for the first time in my life I'm right!

8 points would have been the end. I think though, even if they had won, it would have been 5 points, not 8?


John Connor
88 Posted 30/04/2023 at 20:36:35
Two wins and a draw will do it I think. Looking at the fixtures for the teams around us I can see survival being at around 35/36 points. I know we are rubbish at the moment, but then so are most of the teams around us. Leeds look as if they wont get another point and Forest might pick up 3 at Southampton and that's it for them. We obviously need a couple of wins and if we do then I can see Premiership football for us next year, but a total reboot and rethink for the long term is required, from the board down.
Andy Crooks
89 Posted 30/04/2023 at 20:57:59
James@86, whoever signed Maupay has no right to be allowed outdoors unsupervised.
Soren Moyer
90 Posted 01/05/2023 at 00:40:06
Looking at the remaining fixtures for the teams around us, to me, we need 5or 6 more points to survive. And that's the bare minimum points tally.
Anything less and we are fooked!

Leeds Utd's remaining fixtures:

Manchester City – A – May 7
Newcastle – H – May 13
West Ham – A – May 20
Tottenham – H – May 28

Nottingham Forest's remaining fixtures:

Southampton – H – May 8
Chelsea – A – May 13
Arsenal – H – May 20
Crystal Palace – A – May 28

Leicester's remaining fixtures:

Everton – H – May 1
Fulham – A – May 8
Liverpool – H – May 13
Newcastle – A – May 20
West Ham – H – May 28

Southampton's remaining fixtures:

Nottingham Forest – A – May 8
Fulham – H – May 13
Brighton – A – May 20
Liverpool – H – May 28

West Ham's remaining fixtures:

Manchester City – A – May 3
Manchester United – H – May 7
Brentford – A – May 13
Leeds – H – May 20
Leicester – A – May 28

Robin Emmerson
91 Posted 01/05/2023 at 14:53:48
I will be watching from behind the sofa in Gloucestershire tonight, hoping against hope that when I go up against City I won't be watching history written for the wrong reason. Still we turn up because we care. Unfortunately I lost my brother two weeks ago, he wasn't an Evertonian but one thing he did say to me:
"It's a disgrace that Everton are in the situation they are now" For an opposition supporter to say that shows we can't all be wrong about the culprits for this unforgiveable carnage.
Still we've got what we've got and the team has to step up to the plate for the fantastic supporters we have and then when the dust settles either way, sort out the "Deadwood and Parasites" and move forward. It will be slow and sometimes painful but we will, we're not going out of business because we are Everton not fair weather Mancs, Kopites and Chelski, the likes of which don't even watch on Sky because they're "not going to win anything."
We can do it but I think we're going to need 3 wins out of the 5 left. I'm going with this bit of advice from an old work colleague and hoping I can practise what I'm preaching - "An entire sea of water can’t sink a ship unless it gets inside. Similarly, the negativity of the world can’t put you down unless you let it get inside you."

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