Everton 1 - 0 West Ham

No one really wanted to put too much emphasis on one match but with an international break coming and an always tricky away game at Southampton looming on the other side of it, Everton really needed to win today.

Another draw wouldn’t have been catastrophic, of course, but to have completed a fifth of the season without picking up a victory would have been an unsettling return for the Blues in view of last season’s close call with relegation.

As it is, they battled their way to a 1-0 victory, reversing the scoreline from the corresponding fixture last season on the back of Neal Maupay’s first goal for the club. And what a lovely goal it was, a perfectly-placed drive from just inside the box following a neat first touch from the impressive Alex Iwobi’s pass.

Everton didn’t get much change from referee Michael Oliver but their luck held once more — an opposition player struck the post for the seventh time in four games but the ball again stayed out — and though there was a couple of other scares late on, they largely held today’s visitors at arm’s length, with the defensive quartet of Nathan Patterson, Vitalii Mykolenko, James Tarkowski and, newly-installed as deputy captain, Conor Coady excelling when it mattered in the closing stages.

The landmark of picking up the first three points of the season might end up being significant but this wasn’t a performance that will live long in the memory. Everton managed just two shots on target in the 90 minutes, both coming early in the second half and their forward play was often let down by the final ball but Lampard will be all too aware of the calibre of the opposition and he will point to just well David Moyes’s back line dealt with most of what the Blues threw at it.

Indeed, while Maupay led the line well and even won a couple of aerial duels you’d have thought he had no right to win, Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s absence from the side was noticeable as Everton crosses, mostly from the right flank were repelled by the likes of Kurt Zouma and Thilo Kehrer in the heart of the Hammers’ defence.

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At other times, though, Lampard’s men adapted accordingly and it was their relentless press that opened up opportunities for them in the early going, even if none of them were gilt-edged scoring ones. Too often, a lack of movement along the forward line and options for the pass in the final third let them down… until it all came together in the 53rd minute for Maupay to rap home the winner.

Idrissa Gueye came into the starting XI for his first start since returning from Paris Saint-Germain and formed part of a midfield three that helped cancel the visitors out in what was an even first half short on goalmouth incident.

Coady came close to turning a Bowen cross into his own net in the eighth minute but did well to knock it behind after Mykolenko had allowed the winger to out-muscle him near the byline and neither side managed an effort on target until the stroke of half time when Begovic comfortably caught a header from Zouma.

West Ham had the first chance of the second period when Pablo Fornals got to the byline and centred for Bowen but he swept a first-time effort narrowly over before the lively Demarai Gray drove in from the left flank and forced the first save from Lukas Fabianski with a low shot.

The former Leicester man was involved in the goal shortly afterwards, however, as he knocked a neat pass inside to Alex Iwobi, he picked Maupay out on the edge of the penalty area and having gathered the ball with a tidy first touch, he fired a crisp shot wide of Fabianski and inside the near post to hand Everton the lead.

Moyes’s side responded immediately and Michail Antonio’s header from Bowen’s cross was caught and Tarkowski got a vital block in to deny Bowen what would have been a goal-bound effort while, at the other end, Gray put two teasing balls across the face of goal that just eluded Maupay in the middle.

West Ham would force 14 corners over the course of the game but really only came to scoring off one of them when Tomas Soucek glanced a header a foot wide of the far post.

The Londoners came even closer a few minutes later when Everton were caught trying to play their way out of their own half, Gueye lost the ball and Said Benrahma advanced towards goal before curling an effort around Begovic who watched it bounce off the inside of his right-hand post and fly across goal before being cleared.

Anthony Gordon had had his quietest game for quite a while so it was no surprise when he made way for Dwight McNeil with a quarter of an hour to go and Gray was replaced by Abdoulaye Doucouré a few minutes later but not before he had jinked his way along the 18-yard line and fed Iwobi whose curling shot just cleared the bar by a few inches.

Begovic pushed Cornet’s shot behind after Declan Rice had played him in with six minutes to go and the former Burnley man almost wrapped his foot around the ball after both Tarkowski and Coady had mis-judged the flight of a long ball down the centre and Patterson got a crucial touch that ensured it up in the side-netting.

Finally, Begovic had to tip a sliced Bowen cross over in stoppage time and Tarkowski did well to twice get his head on the ball from the resulting corner as the Toffees held out to claim three points that lift them away from the bottom three.

Despite West Ham’s own slow start to the campaign, this was never going to be an easy game and it was as tight as many were expecting. Less open than the recent contests against Leeds and Liverpool, for example, there were fewer opportunities for Everton in transition and more often than not, the passing lanes between the lines around the edge of the opposition box were closed off.

But as Lampard remarked afterwards, “there’s a good feeling about the place” and a growing sense that the manager is building something sustainable at Goodison Park now, especially with such sound defensive foundations now in place.

The Blues still haven’t scored more than once in a game so far this season and it looks as though goals will continue to be hard to come by, at least until Calvert-Lewin comes back into the side, but the graft, the solidity and the character is there to suggest that the club can start looking upwards rather than over their shoulders this season.

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Reader Comments (57)

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Drew O’Neall
1 Posted 18/09/2022 at 17:51:20
Good summary. I'm not sure it was hard fought; Everton were in control of midfield throughout just failed to present a threat in the final third.

What a difference from last season, having a solid defence and an industrious engine room, makes.

I didn't see the possession stats but if we didn't keep passing to them, they'd have had close to none!

It seemed like the sort of game in which to introduce Garner or, if we were going to keep pumping crosses in, Calvert-Lewin but I'll trust the Boss because he can see what's happening on the training ground.

We're heading in the right direction, as we all knew prior to today, and at last we got our just desserts.

Neil Halliwell
2 Posted 18/09/2022 at 19:29:48
Very pleased today.

Pleased too that Frank was wearing a suit and looked professional. Steven Gerrard put him to shame when we played Villa.

Tony Sullivan
3 Posted 18/09/2022 at 19:49:17
Thank you for a more balanced report.
Joe Scott
4 Posted 18/09/2022 at 20:05:22
Great goal from Mr Maupay, instinctive and clinical. He deserves a song (to the tune of “Yesterday” by The Beatles):

Neal Maupay
Now my troubles are so far away
I know you're going to score today
Oh I believe in Neal Maupay.

Sam Fitzsimmons
5 Posted 18/09/2022 at 20:26:54
Neil, couldn't agree more. Maybe if Frank had choosen to wear a suit when we played Villa we might have won that game. Hopefully he'll wear a suit in the future and we can continue to climb the table.
Peter Mills
6 Posted 18/09/2022 at 20:41:35
I’m beginning to like this team.
Tony Everan
7 Posted 18/09/2022 at 20:43:19
Excellent win, three points were just what was needed before the international break. I think now we are a fit Calvert-Lewin away from being a top eight challenging side and with a good competitive shout in the cup competitions.

We are starting to look like a proper, organised football team again. For the first time in a long time, teams will not look forward to playing us.

Trevor Powell
8 Posted 18/09/2022 at 20:50:51
Good to see that dumbpundit Chris Sutton, who has taken over from biased Lawrenson at the BBC, got the result wrong again. Please don't let him predict us winning in the future!!
Steve Hopkins
9 Posted 18/09/2022 at 21:08:38
First time in a long time where I haven't wanted to swap an opposition's midfield for ours – or defence, for that matter!
Drew O’Neall
10 Posted 18/09/2022 at 21:13:12
Trevor - I can’t stand him. He makes scathing, ‘controversial’ remarks with impunity but they are nearly always baseless and without the benefit of any insight beyond noticing the scoreline or watching the highlights.
Paul Birmingham
11 Posted 18/09/2022 at 21:32:45
Great result, performance and building a very good team ethic, and playing like a proper team – good signs for this season.

Well earned victory and every player played for the shirt.

Now for the international break.

Trevor Powell
12 Posted 18/09/2022 at 22:22:37
Drew@13 I agree with you, just another rent-a-gob at the BBC!
Lee Courtliff
13 Posted 18/09/2022 at 22:31:23
We're onto something here. That reaction after a narrow 1 nil win against a team that isn't our local rival, when we're only 7 games into the season isn't 'normal'.

There's some kind of connection between Frank and us that I haven't seen or felt since the Great Joe Royle took over in '94!

We're onto something...long may it continue. And Alex Iwobi is fuckin' brilliant.

Dupont Koo
14 Posted 18/09/2022 at 22:56:47
We were lucky that:

- Gana's turnover in our own half only led to Benrahma shooting against the post.

- Communication breakdown between Patterson and Gordon only led to them yelling at each other at the ensuing corner (just like one of those happened between a winger and a full-back at a Sunday League Game).

- Despite being a lively Speed Demon, Demarai Gray continues to be Jekyll & Hyde with the ball on his feet.

- Tarkowski and Coady mis-judged one of the long balls and almost allowed Cornet's first opportunity to become a bigger threat, if not for Patterson's intervention.

- The 2nd Cornet opportunity was almost like our Midfield & Back 4 went asleep together after West Ham's goal kick: acres of spaces for Cornet to have a semi 1-on-1 that was well punched away by Begovic.

Despite all of these, glad that we got our win of the season and hopefully the down time coming up would allow Frank & the coaching staff to sharpen the lads up.

James Flynn
15 Posted 19/09/2022 at 00:15:30
Brent (11) - Ok Thank you.

Be interesting to see what the Team looks like around game 19, when they've developed cohesion on the pitch, in training, and in the locker room.

Pete Gunby
16 Posted 19/09/2022 at 01:47:21
You should look at the entire game, Dupont. We also could have scored if our forwards were a bit more ambitious and attacked Gray’s, Peterson’s and Gordon’s crosses.
Paul Kernot
17 Posted 19/09/2022 at 04:50:32
Lee #16. Agreed. Iwobi was an easy choice for MotM and it's becoming a regular thing now he can trust the unit behind him.

Frank & his team will know there's still plenty of work to do. Misplaced passes & giving up possession so cheaply has to cost us eventually but it will improve.

We certainly dominated the middle for the most part. Finally, 13 corners & no goal. That is a hell of an improvement.

Kris Boner
18 Posted 19/09/2022 at 07:03:09
To manage and mitigate the midfield of Rice and Soucek last season would have required a stellar performance. Yesterday felt distinctly more like a routine one.

A massive difference there before we even start talking about the defence.

Rick Tarleton
19 Posted 19/09/2022 at 11:41:35
When a player is playing well, he wants the ball, and that was Iwobi. He made himself available; off the ball, he moved into a position so that a pass was there for the player with the ball.

I never ever imagined I'd say or write Iwobi was Man of the Match. He was immense and has improved under Lampard a 100%.

Stu Darlington
20 Posted 19/09/2022 at 15:22:24
Like Peter above, I'm beginning to like this team.
I'm still not seeing where the goals are coming from but a couple more additions up front could solve that situation, and then we could once again be a team to reckon with.

As Frank says, there's a good atmosphere about the place.
I'm beginning to look forward to the rest of this season.
Hope that hasn't jinxed them!

David West
21 Posted 19/09/2022 at 15:36:19
Dupont @17,

I notice no positives on your list? You can pick holes in most performances, this was about the result and building momentum.

Things you didn't mention:

Another clean sheet
6 Matches without defeat
Maupay scoring
Same back 4 for 3 matches
Winning without key players
A solid midfield 3

5 of yesterday's team weren't even with us a couple of months ago, it's a big overhaul. We are not playing like Man City but, compared to what Frank inherited, this is a massive improvement, imo.

As Lyndon says, a lack of movement and fluidity from the front 3 is our issue now, as better teams will be harder to break down and we may struggle.

Calvert-Lewin will help but he isn't creative. The midfield and wingers will have to make his chances for him. At least we have some options moving forward.

Ian Hollingworth
22 Posted 19/09/2022 at 15:38:39
Time to be positive, fellow blues. We are witnessing a very poor team transforming into what could be a very good team.
The new acquisitions have on the whole been fantastic.

Yes, we need to fix the goal threat but overall this is a massive improvement on the last few seasons. We have a lot to feel optimistic about so let's just get behind the boys and enjoy the ride.

Jay Harris
23 Posted 19/09/2022 at 15:44:10
For the first time in a long time, we are beginning to look solid defensively and keeping clean sheets.

This takes the pressure off needing to score more goals, something which we have a lot of work to do on.

I see Garner and Calvert-Lewin helping in this regard, as will a fully fit Doucoure and a fully flying Onana.

Still can't understand how Oliver managed to give us three yellows and West Ham one.

Raymond Fox
24 Posted 19/09/2022 at 15:52:39
'There's a good feeling about the place'

The players are not daft – they can see that we have the basis of a very good side taking shape. Dodge injuries and add a couple of the right players in January and I think we can sit back and enjoy the season.

We have plenty of decent players in midfield and defence who can't get a game at the moment. Townsend is not that far off returning, also a player I like, Godfrey, will not be that long in making a return.

Saying that, though, there's going to have to be injuries to the players who are first picks before they can get anywhere near the team.

Mark Taylor
25 Posted 19/09/2022 at 17:16:20
I guess people see games differently. They had more of the chances, especially at the end, and we could have lost. Certainly were were a little fortunate to draw. It was not a great game in terms of quality overall.

I'm afraid I struggle to see, so far at least, why people rave about Onana. He looked ponderous on the ball, slow moving, like a cross between Doucoure and Pogba on one of his bad days. At least he looks committed to the cause and presumably he'll improve when he gets a bit more confidence and settles in.

Not that there were no positives. Iwobi continues to amaze me. He must surely now be worth more than we paid for him. Gana has slotted back in nicely. There is quite a player in Gray if Frank can find a way of doing 'an Iwobi' on him.

The defence is dour but looking more cohesive as a unit, except I think Patterson is a little slow to get out to cut crosses, but at least once, that was because Gordon had let the runner go. Maupay may not be a top EPL goal scorer but there are only 3 of those, and his was a well-taken goal. He does at least play at true EPL level, which Rondon doesn't.

It's not great but it is definitely better than it has been in our darker moments these past couple of years. I think Hasselbank on Sky had it about right. He said, you can see Frank is building something and it is easy to spot. More energy, pressing, playing for the shirt, more solidity. I think the formation helps.

Frank will know he is nowhere near as yet where he wants to be and there will be pratfalls along the way but he's started the journey and the process. I hope he gets enough decent results to buy himself the time it's going to need.

Mike Gaynes
26 Posted 19/09/2022 at 17:27:32
Dupont #17 and David #24, good balance in your two posts, and you're both right. It's true we are much more solid in the back and midfield, but it's also true that we're riding our luck with the goalposts. We now have four points more than we would have if shots off our uprights had caromed differently. Luck matters too.

Mark #28, I see Onana as anything but ponderous. He has tremendous pace and quickness for a man his size, and like Fellaini a few years ago he is impossible to keep the ball away from. It's true there is zero creativity to his passing, but whether that's a lack of skill or just a conservative mindset will be determined over time. However, I love his intensity and commitment and I see possible greatness there. And I completely agree with your perspective on Lampard.

Will Mabon
27 Posted 19/09/2022 at 18:06:56
I think Onana still has some fitness to gain. Maintaining high-paced work is generally harder the bigger and heavier you are, particularly in the Premier League.

He obviously has the power but has taken little recovery breaks here and there – noticed again yesterday, him doing the bend forward and breathe thing at stoppages a couple of times. More to come there I believe.

John Raftery
28 Posted 19/09/2022 at 18:10:10
We have stopped losing. For me, that is a vital early step in turning things around. The recruitment since January has enabled Lampard to field a solid, dependable team containing players with energy, passion, pace and passing ability. The team also has several leaders with years of experience of this league. They have brought know-how to a club which for far too long had been a soft touch.

We are not the finished article, far from it. There is however a sense of direction which is so welcome after the scattergun years.

Tony Everan
29 Posted 19/09/2022 at 18:13:02
A little aside about Iwobi. I've seen him lose the ball twice, that I remember, in about six matches. Once at Fleetwood, once yesterday. Both times I noticed how furious he was with himself.

I see a player who is really pushing himself not only physically but demanding more focus and being tuned in mentally. Frank after he arrived had a few one to ones with Alex that have helped him no end.

Huge credit goes to both of them for the improvement and even more so for the consistency.

Tom Bowers
30 Posted 19/09/2022 at 18:19:48
Most of us realize that there isn't an easy game in the Premier League and with so many gifted coaches who do their homework, all games will be cat and mouse.

The Hammers game wasn't cut and dried given our great performance against RS and the Hammers who were active in mid-week but seemed just as keen to get the result.

Any win is welcome even if it is 1-0 but the overall performance of the team is a lot better these days compared to most of last season.

Frank has got very capable defenders and amazingly only Brighton have conceded fewer goals.

Of course you have to ride your luck sometimes but it is good to see we are getting some when needed.

This game could have swung either way and scoring first was a big plus for the Blues.

With a few coming back from injury things should only get better but I don't want to speak too soon.

There is still a lot to iron out but I am optimistic we have turned the corner since the first two games.

Will Mabon
31 Posted 19/09/2022 at 18:28:13
Tom, this feels like a team again.

There have been times over recent years when wins felt like a surprise, and seemed to cause more frustration as a contrast with the spiritless, lost feel of the dross in between.

There really has been little cohesion for a long time, just soulless, perfunctory offerings for too long.

Much as we are struggling to score, we can see tangible reasons for it, which will improve soon. The rest is much better. A basis to build on is back, at last.

David West
32 Posted 19/09/2022 at 18:29:33
Mike 29

I think the problem isn't with Onana's passing I believe it's the lack of movement in front of the midfielders. Iwobi can see a pass, I belive Onana can too.

I think it's just about the team gelling. As I've said, it will take time for basically a full new defence & midfield, plus Maupay is new, to all get it together.

But Mike isn't it a massive turnaround to be looking at players and a team thinking they can and will get better? Rather than the previous years, when we had players going backwards in their careers?

We actually have players that have a desire to improve. Patterson, Mykolenko, Onana, Gordon, all with years ahead to improve. Add to that the Gana, Tarkowski and Coady and the blend is looking good.

We have won yesterday without Godfrey, Pickford, Calvert-Lewin, Allan, Townsend, who imo would have an impact over the course of a season.

If this season is about consolidation and building a base to go forward from, I'm optimistic for the future under Frank.

John McFarlane Snr
33 Posted 19/09/2022 at 18:36:49
Hi Dupont [17] regarding the incidents you refer to, the turn-over of possession by Gana Gueye, the altercation between Gordon and Patterson, which I think must have happened at the Gwladys Street End, because I sit at the Park End and didn't witness it, or maybe I blinked. You also say that Coady and Tarkowski misjudged a long ball which could have led to a goal.

There is a simple explanation for all of those incidents: they are human, and anyone who has kicked a ball either at amateur or professional level has been guilty of the same sin.

Mike Gaynes
34 Posted 19/09/2022 at 18:41:29
Tony #32, great observation, and I've also observed that he's not afraid to try the cutting through-pass over and over again. He doesn't hesitate, he just tries it.

David #35, yes, it is a massive turnaround and it feels really good! With regards to Onana's passing, I've yet to see him look up as Gana and Iowbi do.

The scouting report on him from Lille was that, although aggressive on the dribble and running to goal, he was an extremely conservative passer, short one-touch stuff, no through balls or long diagonal passes in his quiver.

That's what I have observed in his first few games here. He's 21 and has only 60 senior games, and being able to look up and pick a killer pass is an acquired skill. Gana had to learn it. Let's see how Onana matures in that area.

Brian Murray
35 Posted 19/09/2022 at 18:41:56
I will be as succinct as I can.

Bollox if Gordon can't or won't get us to the next level, same with Gray or Iwobi.

This league is unforgiving. Give Garner a run and strengthen in January or until there is no Prima Donna bullshit (Gordon). We can't afford to hold back Everton Utopia.

Mark Taylor
36 Posted 19/09/2022 at 18:49:45
Mike 29, I guess that's why I said at the start, people can and do see different things.

To be clear, I'm far from writing him off. Too many people and clubs have been tracking him for that. There must be some serious talent there. But I've not seen it.

As you say, low creativity (zero might be too harsh) and if he's quick, I didn't see it, he lopes around. Compared to Iwobi, who constantly finds space, he doesn't.

You mention Fellaini and there is something about him in that regard, obviously the physique, but I also saw second half him playing a Fellaini-type role, further up the pitch, winning headers etc. But we all know Fellaini's shortcomings in midfield and how he slowed our transition.

I have to believe there is more to Onana than that, if only because he comes with a serious reputation. With luck, we will see it blossom. As you say, he seems to have a good attitude.

Peter Mills
37 Posted 19/09/2022 at 18:51:54
Mark #28 and others – as my dear old Dad, a great Evertonian, would have said, “Foundations are never attractive”.
Brian Murray
40 Posted 19/09/2022 at 18:56:13
Sorry, Danny O'Neill, but the days of a player making an impact or a living on one foot (Brady, Sheedy etc) are long gone.

Dwight McNeil has to do what Ryan Giggs or even George Best did and at least against a brick wall or with a trainer get better and better with the other foot. Just saying.

Mike Gaynes
41 Posted 19/09/2022 at 19:51:02
Pete #40, that's a great line.

Mark #39, the quickness I mentioned in Onana is in 4-5 yards. He seems to be out of position for an interception or tackle, and the next second he's made it and won the ball. He's got 17 tackles and 7 interceptions in less than 400 minutes, which is really impressive. He has quick feet on the end of those loooong legs. I just hope Gana can teach him not to leave those feet quite so often.

By the way, did you know Patterson is second in the Premier League in tackles? That's impressive.

Lee Robinson
42 Posted 19/09/2022 at 19:51:15
It feels like something big is brewing, as many have said, the feeling around the place is positive, the players are likeable and I wouldn't swap them for anyone. It feels good to be a blue at the minute, you can see what we're trying to do and we have a base of a very good team who can compete with most.

It was a good tough game for the midfield and defense to get under their belt. We were sloppy at times but that's understandable.

One thing which I hope we can build on is goals and attacking threat. Mykolenko can improve going forward, Iwobi with his shooting and Gordon and Gray need to be more clinical to get us up to that next level.

I have confidence in the coaching staff and, as this side evolves, that can happen. Most players under this coaching staff have improved in one way or another.

Special mentions for Maupay who led the line like a top-class Premier League forward. I enjoyed the way he also dropped into midfield to add an extra man when needed, a very fluid performance all round.

And of course Iwobi who is a huge fan favourite and I'm all for it, looks like a really nice fella and deserves the adoration.

Neil Copeland
43 Posted 19/09/2022 at 20:15:35
The one thing that really stands out for me is the connection between the players, manager (and I include his coaching team) and supporters. We feel like one big team all pulling in the same direction. Is it me or is there less heckling from the fans?

Onana seems to really get it, he stood in front of the Park End at one point yesterday to rally the support and then found time to applaud the raucous response.

We have a team of players who are playing for each other, the manager and the fans. There is a wave of self-belief that we need to ride and maintain.

Looking much, much more positive.


Mark Taylor
44 Posted 19/09/2022 at 20:24:39
Mike 44,

Been very impressed with Patterson. Far from the finished article but he is still so young. I think he has what it takes at this level.

Wishful thinking perhaps but at £5M for starters, maybe a modern-day Coleman? Spiky character as well for a young guy.

David West
45 Posted 19/09/2022 at 22:11:11
Peter @40 What a sentence!

It's like a skyscraper, the most important parts are deep underground, parts one can't see, the foundations. Yet they are the hardest and most complex part of any building project.

Building a team is no different. It's what some previous managers failed to grasp. Trying to play nice football with a shite defence, is like trying to build a skyscraper in the sand.

A wise man, your father.

David West
46 Posted 19/09/2022 at 22:22:18
Mike, it's fair comment on Onana. I'm hoping he could add that to his game as a young lad. I may be wrong and he ends up being the natural successor to Gana in a couple of years.

I was under the impression he was box-to-box and could supply the front men. It's something we will enjoy developing over the next few years.

Laurie Hartley
47 Posted 19/09/2022 at 22:51:14
I think we just about deserved that win. I also like the fact that we seem to have defended an awful lot of corners without conceding this season.

Things are looking up.

Danny O’Neill
48 Posted 20/09/2022 at 08:16:20
Some good points here.

Yes, there is, for the first time in several seasons, a plan and strategy with regards to recruitment. So well done Everton and the current management team.

It's started at the back. Two young full-backs full of potential alongside two experienced centre-backs who direct and lead as well as defend. When all fit, I don't see Keane, Holgate or Mina getting a starting berth if those 2 are fit except for rotation and (hopefully not) injury.

A good call on giving Coady the captain's arm band. If I may, I'd like to have my "told you so" moment. I called Coady out 2 years or so ago as someone we should have looked at!!

Also despite the financial restrictions, managing to sort out the midfield with a blend of young potential and an experienced player with Champion's League experience who has played with some of Europe's (if not the World's) best players.

Alongside a considerably improved player that many had written off. I won't have my 2nd "told you so" moment, as I too was undecided on Iwobi. But along with the minority here, I did often say that I could see a player there.

Yes, next step is to add to the forward options. But so far, this team and squad seems to be taking shape.

On the West Ham match, one thing about the crosses and delivery. On more than a few occasions, we had players waiting to connect, Onana in particular. I just observed that West Ham were very good at defending set-pieces. Credit to the opposition where due. We defended equally as well though. Close match between 2 closely matched teams. That says a lot after last season.

Gerry Quinn
49 Posted 20/09/2022 at 08:18:36
It will be very interesting next week (27th) watching Ukraine v Scotland when Vitaliy Mykolenko takes on Nathan Patterson...
Tony Abrahams
50 Posted 20/09/2022 at 08:28:01
Anyone else notice that Onana only seems to be able to tackle with one leg? I'm not knocking him, the way he slides and then stretches to take the ball off his opponent so cleanly is a fantastic skill, but he overstretched coming in to win a ball during the second half.

Although he was alright to carry on, I'd be worrying about him getting a serious knee injury in the future, if his clean tackle, ends up becoming a block tackle, when most of his body strength will be on the wrong side.

Stu Darlington
51 Posted 20/09/2022 at 09:00:45
I thought the same thing when we signed him, Tony.

From the clips I'd seen of him, his tackling technique made me think he was likely to pick up injuries, particularly in this league which is more physical than he is used to. Also, I think he is liable to pick up cards, unless he times it just right.

Both of these can cause problems for the squad if they lead to him missing crucial games. Hopefully coaching and experience can channel his energy without losing any of his effectiveness.

Brian Harrison
52 Posted 20/09/2022 at 09:52:45
There is no doubt the 3 points was massive, our first win and with an international break coming it has lifted fans and players. I don't think it was a great performance but Sunday the points were more important than the performance.

Although not having his best game I was surprised Lampard made Gordon his first substitution, I thought it would have been Onana as the game seemed to be passing him by. Obviously it will take the lad a while to get used to the pace of the Premier League which I am sure he will.

I still have the same concern with this team as I had last season: we don't look like a side that is capable of scoring a lot of goals. We look okay till we get within 10 yards of the opponent's box and then seem to run out of ideas.

When we do attack, you very rarely see any of our midfield players in the opponent's box, and I have yet to see any of our midfielders run past our strikers. Despite having a fair amount of possession I think, other than the goal, I can only remember another shot on target when Fabianski saved from Gray.

The one thing I hoped that Lampard would introduce was more attacking options but so far that hasn't been the case.

Danny O’Neill
53 Posted 20/09/2022 at 12:23:36
This relates to the view on tackling with the outside of the boot rather than the instep. I always feel uncomfortable watching players use that technique. Maybe I've become old fashioned.
Ray Jacques
54 Posted 20/09/2022 at 17:03:16
I am the biggest pessimist in the world when it comes to Everton. This goes with the disappointments and let-downs experienced over the years.

However, I see green shoots in this team. Defence looks solid and we at last have a couple of leaders and organisers on the pitch coupled with young hungry players.

Some players such as Iwobi and Mykolenko are actually showing signs of improvement. Usually players at Everton start okay and regress. Something going right at last.

Derek Taylor
55 Posted 20/09/2022 at 18:34:36
We have suffered so much shite over the Moshiri years that I have vowed never more to pick holes in any performance from which we gain points.

Unlike so many on here, I know feck all about the game at Premier League level, only ever having played in the Anfield Junior League or whatever it was called in the '50s!!

Tony Everan
56 Posted 20/09/2022 at 21:54:38
Branthwaite getting good reviews, even scoring in PSVs win at the weekend.


Danny O’Neill
57 Posted 20/09/2022 at 22:33:46
I got that link this morning from a fellow member of the site.

As I said to Chris (thank you by the way, Chris!), it was always going to be a great chance for him in my opinion. With Mina seemingly on his way out and not being able to stay fit (shame), let's see him come home a more experienced player to complement our now much stronger-looking defensive options.

Ian Hollingworth
58 Posted 21/09/2022 at 01:12:14
As a fan of Mina, I have to say that he is not in the same league as Coady and Tarkowski who are exactly the kind of defenders we have been crying out for. Those two have made a massive difference to our team.

Tarkowski reminds me of Pat van den Hauwe, the way he is always first there protecting our players at any incident, and we have not had anybody like that since the legend that is Psycho Pat.

Jay Harris
59 Posted 21/09/2022 at 01:56:13
I think the criticism of Onana, although objective, is way too premature.

He was adjusting to a new role on Sunday due to Gana Gueye's arrival and IMO he was carrying a knock or two.

Once that MF gets settled watch him go.

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