Southampton 1 - 2 Everton

Premier League action returns this weekend with Everton travelling to the South coast to take on Southampton at St Mary’s Stadium.

Nathan Patterson joins the long-term injured (Godfrey, Mina, Holgate, Townsend) on the sidelines but Jordan Pickford returns after his thigh problem cleared up. Still no sign of Dominic Calvert-Lewin, whose season has yet to get started as his return to match action continues to be managed very conservatively. Seamus Coleman steps back in to replace Patterson and reclaim the captain's armband. 

Anthony Gordon is only on the bench after missing training yesterday, with Dwight McNeil starting in his place. 

Southampton kicked off in the balmy sunshine, but it was Iwobi who made the first real move, cutting down the left and swinging in a decent cross to the far post that was not converted by Onana or Gray. 

Gueye tried to build down the left as well but Gray was tuned to a different channel. Mykolenko was beaten by Armstrong who set up a threatening moment. 

Gueye was cut down by Maitland-Niles who got an early yellow for his poor tackle. Gray's effort just clipped the top of a Southampton head in the wall but no VAR intervention for the clear and obvious error of awarding a goal-kick. 

Article continues below video content

Some nice play by Maupay, Mykolenko and Iwobi ended with the Nigerian overhitting his ballooned cross. But Everton's build-up play got better, Gray's cross winning a corner that he put in far too low.

Gray did well to switch over and disrupt The Saints game but Coleman could not keep possession allowing Saints to come forward and Walker-Peters to swing his shot wide of Pickford's goal.  

Gueye got himself dispossessed but then made amends by winning it back but things had gone all scrappy again. McNeil was too slow to reach a long diagonal from Trakowski and again the home side could build until a brilliant intervention from Gueye, the subsequent move leading to another Everton corner. This delivery was higher but still cleared.  but 

Larios cynically took out Gray from behind but no yellow card given. 

Coleman picked out Maupay who was being grappled by the defender. NcNeil then fouled Ward-Peters but that wasn't given either. 

Demarai Gray went on a nice run only to drive it straight at Bazunu, allowing Sants to counter and shoot wide.  

Gueye and Onana got the ball forward really well and Gray looked like he could do something with it but again nothing from it. Gray was well involved but again he just launched a ball wide to no one. 

Everton were getting an awful lot of the ball and moving it really well at some points... until they got to the Saints penalty box. Another example, McNeil picking up a great ball in acres of space on the right and then what? Nothing. Just nothing. 

McNeil did slightly better to dribble on and get a corner that he delivered a lot better than Gray. But Onana was so surprised,  it just hit him on the head. Another great cross to the far post and Gry just with a lazy header to nobody. 

Southampton got past Onana, who went to ground, and it needed defending but Everton then went upfield reasonably fast again only for it to fall apart, again!

Everton put together another sweeping attack down the right and crossed to the far post but Maupay, falling backwards, could only head it straight to Bazunu. Southampton then tried their had but could not get past Pickford. 

McNeil won another corner with a poor cross that was deflected behind. Gray delivered it better but Tarkowski could not direct it on goal. Coleman forced the next corner, on the right, where McNeil had taken over from Gray. The keeper dropped the ball but no Blue shirt could poke it home. 

If the Everton players had any idea how to score a goal, they would have been streets ahead at the break. But they clearly don't and a frustrating half finished predictably goalless.

Everton kicked off the second half but it was scrappy again as Iwobi gave the ball away. Coleman had to stop Adams from heading in at the expense of a Southampton corner that was defended clear.

But in another Saints attack, Aribo was given too much space to drive his shot under Pickford for a somewhat undeserved lead. Time surely to get Gordon on the pitch. 

 But from a free-kick wide left, Onana headed the ball back for an instinctive finish from close range by Conor Coady. 

At the other end, Tarkowski with a horrendous giveaway saw bodies flying to stop Southanpton going ahead again 

But Everton then went forward and McNeil suddenly looked like Christiano Ronaldo as he brought down Iwobi's cross and hammered into the net from a narrow angle. Finally, Everton ahead!

Everton surged forward again and Coleman laid one on a plate for Onana, who looked completely out of place at centre-forward and fell over trying to head it wide. 

Southampton made changes and came forward in waves, Everton's defence repelling most of it, Pickford saving a direct header. But they kept pressing forward, and when Everton did break, they completely messes it up. 

Another Saints attack saw a great Perraud chest-down and volley whistle wide. More Saints attacks pinned Everton back until Iwobi was fouled.  

Everton tried to keep control of the game but found it difficult as Saints subs had increased the temp significantly.  Bit Gray did get through yet was unable to lift his shot over Bazunu and was probably offside auyway. 

Everton were getting pushed back again and again but Adam Armstrong could not get his foot over the ball. Then Pickford pulled off a tremendous save from Armstrong as Lampard reacted late with his subs, as ever. 

Another Saints corner and Walker-Peters was given time to tee up a feirce shot that Pickford saved. 

Gueye had to commit a foul and it was given as another corner, but Everton are now much improved in the defence thereof. Yet another corner, Pickford had to pat behind. The next one defended in the messiest of ways, Gordon a little sleepy, letting Saints get the ball back again. 

Maupay had been doing his best all game to rile up Kotchap. But it meant being called for fouls.  But it was Guueye who saw yellow, he had had a difficult game, and committed for him quite a few fouls. 

Coleman did well to get right behind Ward-Prowse's attempt from the resulting free-kick. Steven Armstrong went in on Iwob with his studs showing. No punishment. 

Everton were forced back, Lampard breaking things up with another round of changes, Rondon on for Maupay;  Doucouré for Gray.

Everton kept falling back, living very dangerously, the game getting disrupted with stoppages as it entered 6 minutes of added time. 

A Saints free-kick was delivered well to the far post where Caleta-Car thankfully could not keep his shot down. Rondon at the other end tried a speculative shot to burn up some more time, then Adams got past Tarkowski only for Pickford to collect his shot.

Into the 97th minute and Gordon won an important free-kick that was the final kick of the game, an excellent win on the road for the increasingly confident Blues. 

Southampton: Bazunu, Walker-Peters, Kotchap, Caleta-Car, Larios  (60' Perraud), Ward-Prowse, Maitland-Niles [Y:7'], (67' Edozie), Mara (60' A Armstrong), Aribo, S Armstrong (89' Elyounoussi), Adams.

Subs not Used: McCarthy, Djenepo, Salisu, Diallo, Walcott.

Everton:  Pickford, Coleman, Tarkowski, Coady, Mykolenko, Onana (74' Davies), Gana, Iwobi, McNeil (74' Gordon), Maupay (89' Rondon), Gray (90+1' Doucoure).

Subs not Used: Begovic, Keane, Vinagre, Garner, John.

Reader Comments (180)

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

Mark Andrews
1 Posted 01/10/2022 at 14:19:46
If DCL is this fragile I really hope Thelwell is concentrating on a centre forward for Christmas.
Will Mabon
2 Posted 01/10/2022 at 14:25:38
We're gradually sliding back into our usual injury-compromised state. Becoming the norm, happens on the back of every good run or improvement.
Dean Williams
3 Posted 01/10/2022 at 14:27:29
Any one know of any good apps for the game.
Tony Everan
4 Posted 01/10/2022 at 14:33:45
They will attack Coleman, they’ll see him as a possible weak link, big test for him. Defence has been better though and that organisation will help him. I’m liking the midfield, good balance and workrate. Iwobi needs to keep up the good work today his input will be crucial.
I can see it being a tight affair, with us pinching one again like against West Ham. Saints 0 Toffees 1.


Tom Bowers
5 Posted 01/10/2022 at 14:36:57
Today is a good test to see if we are really turning the corner.

Soton usually play well against us no matter how crap a team they have out and our offence is still quite lightweight so that we have to have a lot of good work on the defensive side of things.

Tony Hill
6 Posted 01/10/2022 at 14:37:30
There'll be ups and downs but the overall direction is sound. I think we all feel that.
Ed Fitzgerald
7 Posted 01/10/2022 at 14:44:31
Any links for the game?
Drew O’Neall
8 Posted 01/10/2022 at 14:44:32
Hope Gana gives Coleman plenty of protection today for his first game back. Southampton have a rapid left winger but I’m very happy with Coleman as our second choice right back. He’s never let us down.
Ciarán McGlone
9 Posted 01/10/2022 at 14:53:03
Astounded by the selection of Gordon over McNeill. The latter is a hard worker but the former has a moment of quality at any stage and gets people off their seats.

Hopefully McNeill will take the chance.. otherwise the team picks itself.

Looking forward to this.

Will Mabon
10 Posted 01/10/2022 at 14:53:27
Ed, check LF.

Anthony A Hughes
11 Posted 01/10/2022 at 15:06:22
Gordon unwell apparently
Ben King
12 Posted 01/10/2022 at 15:12:03
What’s the new issue with DCL?

I thought he was left out v West Ham to get fully fit (including the international break).

Feels like there’s something we’re not being told and that’s irritating

Ernie Baywood
13 Posted 01/10/2022 at 15:43:43
I think I've seen enough of McNeill today. Halftime switch needed. Southampton are poor... we just need to take advantage.
Ciarán McGlone
14 Posted 01/10/2022 at 15:48:06
Sloppy, verging on pathetic.

McNeill and Gray being the worst offenders. At least we know Gray can produce but McNeill is as one dimensional as they come.

Not much offensive options either. A sick Gordon must be better than McNeill.

George Cumiskey
15 Posted 01/10/2022 at 15:49:04
McNeil absolutely shocking
Michael Lynch
16 Posted 01/10/2022 at 15:50:32
McNeil has indeed been very poor, Gray frustrating - some lovely stuff and some brainless stuff - but overall we’re dominating.

Midfield three absolute class, but we have to score otherwise I can see a Soton smash and grab

Jim Bennings
17 Posted 01/10/2022 at 15:50:50
Kept it tight, working really hard, good shape.

Unfortunately our lack of end product is letting us down not for the first time and a lack of a centre forward.

It's a game we can still win though.

A draw not disastrous but when you look at Southampton you can't help but feel this game is there for us to win.

Jim Bennings
18 Posted 01/10/2022 at 15:53:31
McNeil is reminding me of that period James McFadden went through between October 2003 and early 2005.

He looks so one footed and actually quite ponderous and slow for a wide player.

McFadden did spring to life though with some majestic goals albeit fittingly.

Alan J Thompson
19 Posted 01/10/2022 at 15:57:08
Again, trying to watch on Optus bloody awful service, it's bad enough they've given away 10 million customers personal details. However, from what I could gather we looked the better side and had a couple of half chances as it all seems to come to an end on the edge of the penalty area. Again we don't look too good when the opposition breaks albeit they aren't doing much with it. Maybe if we had another striker to replace McNeil who again doesn't look up for it but we have to find a better edge in attack.
Ernie Baywood
20 Posted 01/10/2022 at 16:07:19
Well that's about right. Two options going forward and we pass straight to the Southampton player.

Not sure we've got two in us.

Ernie Baywood
21 Posted 01/10/2022 at 16:11:12
Not sure I could have been more wrong!
Ciarán McGlone
22 Posted 01/10/2022 at 16:12:03
All is forgiven. Get in McNeill.
Michael Lynch
23 Posted 01/10/2022 at 16:14:13
Ha! Ernie I was going to say that post didn’t age well!
Michael Lynch
24 Posted 01/10/2022 at 16:58:39
I thought we were dreadful second half, but a win is a win.

Even Iwobi was giving the ball away time after time. I'm not actually sure who had a good game for us. Coady perhaps, Tarkowski?

We looked sloppy and slow a lot of the time. But 3 points and the Red Shite only drew at home, so GET IN!

Jim Bennings
25 Posted 01/10/2022 at 16:59:09
Huge win that!

Not very often we manage back-to-back victories and only our second win away this year, and at a place which hasn't always been our happy hunting ground.

Starting to build momentum now this team under Frank.

Ernie Baywood
26 Posted 01/10/2022 at 16:59:21
Very strange game. We looked the better side but both teams were frustratingly bad with the ball.

Then we tried to desperately to hold onto the one-goal lead when we looked well capable of scoring to end the contest.

Win is all that matters.

Alan J Thompson
27 Posted 01/10/2022 at 17:00:49
The result is pleasing but the performance leaves a lot to be desired.

While Pickford's time wasting is annoying, he did save us a couple of times and, while you could see the intent on the substitutions, they seemed to prove more disruptive than anything else. We certainly seemed to miss Patterson.

Oh, and a special word for the most inept display of refereeing so far this season.

Ciarán McGlone
29 Posted 01/10/2022 at 17:03:24
Somewhat unconvincing in the end. Retreating into defensive, hoof it away mode.

However, it's a much-needed win, so I'll leave it at that.

Denis Richardson
30 Posted 01/10/2022 at 17:03:33
Didn't manage to catch the game so can't offer anything constructive but very pleased with the result. Any win on the road is a great result and that makes it back-to-back wins and undefeated in 6.

I've still got my doubts about Lampard but credit where it's due. Luck or no luck, 10 points from the last 6 games is a good haul, especially given the start to the season.

Also very good to get the 3 points here as next 3 games are going to be a lot tougher.

Kevin Molloy
31 Posted 01/10/2022 at 17:03:51
What on earth were Wolves thinking? Our captain, loan to buy for £10 million?


For once we get a bit of luck. If we'd picked up our centre-backs last year rather than this, we'd have been laying out £70 million.

Simon Dalzell
32 Posted 01/10/2022 at 17:04:50
Great win,i mprovement will come.

Just listened to Coady interview. He's a top bloke and player. Excellent finish, and has a real goal sense. McNeil also a fine finish. Onana did really well with his assist header.

Tony Hill
33 Posted 01/10/2022 at 17:05:01
When things start to turn for you, good results come from average perfomances. Coady for me is the main man. Him and his mate Mr Tarkowski. They have brought the steel.

Wonderful. Let's enjoy our weekend. Closing in on 4th, of course, just as we planned.

Steve Brown
34 Posted 01/10/2022 at 17:07:46
Text book away performance and now unbeaten in 7 games. Imagine if we had a bit more quality in attack?

Wasn't pretty but I don't care.

Jeff Armstrong
35 Posted 01/10/2022 at 17:09:42
Bring on Man Utd next week, let's do them like we normally do at Goodison.
Robert Tressell
36 Posted 01/10/2022 at 17:10:18
Only Pickford, Coleman and Iwobi have been here more than a year or so. 6 of the players have only just turned up. It is going to be disjointed. Don't worry too much about the performance. It'll come.

That is a very good 3 points at a place we typically lose.

Barry Rathbone
37 Posted 01/10/2022 at 17:14:13
Terrific news getting a win on the road plus I've got a big bag of Jelly Tots festooned with blackcurrant ones.

Heaven will be made of such weekends,

Brian Wilkinson
38 Posted 01/10/2022 at 17:14:22
We have played 8 games and already McNeil is hung drawn and quartered, ffs give the guy a chance.

Adrian Heath and Iwobi, now McNeil, bit of patience needed.

Ray Roche
39 Posted 01/10/2022 at 17:16:35
Only City have conceded fewer goals than us.
Fran Mitchell
40 Posted 01/10/2022 at 17:18:37
Very important win.

Again, last season we'd have lost 2/3-nil after the setback of going behind. That we turned it around so quickly is testament to our improvement.

But very much a work in progress.

The main issue, still, is that we are very unable to take control of games. After going 2-1 up, we looked like we could get another and Southampton were there for the taking. We almost did with Onana, but then Southampton regrouped, made some changes and took the initiative.

The final 25 minutes was all Southampton, and what we really need to do was get the ball and keep it for sustained periods, pass and move, work in triangles and simply take the sting out of the game. But this is something we fail at.

Time and again, we win the ball back, but time and again, we give it away after 1-2 passes, which pushed us further and further back.

This is our biggest weakness at the moment. Ability to hold on to the ball and control the tempo.

Simon Dalzell
41 Posted 01/10/2022 at 17:20:05
Perfect assessment, Fran.
Garry Martin
42 Posted 01/10/2022 at 17:20:05
Well done, blueboys!
Raymond Fox
43 Posted 01/10/2022 at 17:21:01
We are hard to score against so your always in with a chance whoever you play.
I didn't fancy us to win today thought maybe a draw, but a great result again.
Very happy to be proved wrong, makes for a pleasent weekend.
Tony Shelby
44 Posted 01/10/2022 at 17:21:46

Says it all, despite the negativity from some of the muppets on here.

Steve Brown
45 Posted 01/10/2022 at 17:21:49
We're learning Fran, give it time.

Gana was a bit looser than usual, which is why we struggled to control midfield. But it was a very resilient performance, so well done to the lads.

John Keating
46 Posted 01/10/2022 at 17:22:13
Every game, there are signs of improvement in play and in confidence.
In the past, we would have folded in the last 20 minutes of that type of game. With Tarkowski and Coady it's totally different.

A fully deserved win.

Had a striker been on the pitch, we'd have been well away with the points. Mind you, Onana's missed header was shocking, striker or not.

Well done everyone, especially our magnificent support! Another crucial 3 points – a quarter of the 40 – a good push, top half finish and build for next season.

Calvert-Lewin's absence is a worry for both us and him personally. Sod the World Cup squad – he needs to be fully fit for us.

Barry Williams
47 Posted 01/10/2022 at 17:24:51
Unbeaten in 6 league games – all our midfield were on international duty, I think – that may have explained the ball getting given away a bit more than usual.

Coleman back for his first game in an age, and he looked good. 1st time for this defence to play together, and the forward line too, I think. So, considering that… 3 points away – excellent!

And two first-time goal scorers for the club as well.

Tony Hill
48 Posted 01/10/2022 at 17:26:48
Fucking hell, Barry @37, steady on lad those are unexplored territories of delight.

Calm down and have some black tar.

Anthony A Hughes
49 Posted 01/10/2022 at 17:30:51
The Coady - Tarkowski combination is the steel that this team is being built on
So good to have a partnership that isn't crocked every other week, à la "glass legs" Mina.
Sean Roe
50 Posted 01/10/2022 at 17:33:54
We would have lost that last season.

Not a great second half but again — we would have lost that last season.

James O'Connell
51 Posted 01/10/2022 at 17:33:55
Same time last season, if we went a goal down, we would have lost.

Clearly, we need more attacking options but you have to say the players we have got in so far have all added value and this team now has some metal about it.

Coady could turn out to be the bargain of the decade considering how much money this club has wasted on players in the last few years. I think we are one decent striker signing away from a Top 8 side.

George Cumiskey
52 Posted 01/10/2022 at 17:34:29
Seamus MotM for me — first game this season and he was excellent.
Paul Kossoff
53 Posted 01/10/2022 at 17:41:10
A win is a win, you don't have to tell that to the red shites. You never hear them complaining when they get a lucky or ugly win.

I'll take ugly lucky wins all season and not complain about them. Coyb👮👮

Rob Halligan
54 Posted 01/10/2022 at 17:43:45
Long journey home, but who gives a fook!!

Took over 6 hours to get down here, though that was mainly due to the train strike, mainly because the traffic coming off the motorway into Southampton was almost at a standstill, due to the increase in the amount of cars I guess.

Away end was bouncing at the end, and it was amazing to see all the backroom staff standing on the halfway line watching. Got to be the best fans, home or away, anywhere in the world. That pint in the Fiveways when we get back will be most welcome.

Brian Wilkinson
55 Posted 01/10/2022 at 17:47:36
Made up for you Rob and Danny, have one for me.
Tony Hill
56 Posted 01/10/2022 at 17:47:52
Safe home, Rob@54, and enjoy the ale. You are right, of course, about our support.
Jeff Armstrong
57 Posted 01/10/2022 at 17:47:55
Fran, 40, that’s what happens when Tom Davies comes on, his ball retention is shocking as a sub, his best games are when he starts.
Chris Corn
58 Posted 01/10/2022 at 17:51:22
Rob Halligan, good luck with getting the Fiveways for lasties 🤣 safe journey 👍
Danny O’Neill
59 Posted 01/10/2022 at 17:53:11
Going to have to calm myself. Back in Yates's in Southampton before heading for the coach.

Emotional. I'll be back when I've gathered my thoughts.

Outstanding reception for the players at the end. Gueye and Onana dancing with the fans. Sheer quality. Well done, travelling Blues. Well done, Everton.

Bill Gienapp
60 Posted 01/10/2022 at 17:53:23
Jumped onto the Live Forum after-the-fact to check out the comments over the five-minute frame in which we went down 1-0, then went up 2-1. They certainly didn't disappoint, LOL.
Tony Abrahams
61 Posted 01/10/2022 at 18:06:36
Definitely agree that this was a game we would have lost last season, especially after going behind, but there is definitely a lot more spirit now, with a lot of it coming from our two central defenders.

Good and bad from most players, Coleman got stronger, as did McNeil, who hopefully gains a bit of the confidence he is clearly lacking after scoring the winning goal.

I was hoping to see Garner near the end, especially because I thought Iwobi tired rapidly, but we have got some good players now, and winning games definitely breeds confidence.

Robert Tressell
62 Posted 01/10/2022 at 18:12:52
Barry # 37. Good news about the Jelly Tots. Quite why bother with flavours other than blackcurrant and orange is beyond me. Who in their right minds actually likes lemon or lime flavour.

Ray # 39. That's a very encouraging stat.

Tony # 44. That is a very good run.

Genuinely optimistic for this season. I really hope Lampard puts a big emphasis on the cups.

Matthew Williams
63 Posted 01/10/2022 at 18:13:48
A much-needed away win, what pleased me most was how quickly we not only found the equaliser but what proved to be the winning goal too.

We just need to keep picking up the points before the World Cup begins... COYB

Jerome Shields
64 Posted 01/10/2022 at 18:15:48
Great result.
Colin Glassar
65 Posted 01/10/2022 at 18:16:01
We looked like the international break was going to knock us out of our stride. Very rusty and disjointed performance but we got through it.

Gana my MotM. What a difference he's made to our midfield.

Tony Hill
66 Posted 01/10/2022 at 18:17:56
I think Garner is going to be a serious player for us, Tony, @61. I agree Alex got weary for the first time in a long time – not surprising given his schedule, and I would have liked to have seen James.

What a cracking win, though. The "feeling" has changed; I no longer assume that we're going to lose if we concede. Instead, I carefully anticipate that we're going to win.

That's a massive shift. We have the right manager at the right time with a core of the right sort of players. Halle-fucking-lujah.

Will Mabon
67 Posted 01/10/2022 at 18:18:49
Matthew, was just reminded in Lyndon's report – only the second away win under Lampard. Let's hope that trend starts to change now.

Again today, we simply saw a football team of players that look like they train together, which has not been the case in recent years.

Mike Allison
68 Posted 01/10/2022 at 18:18:51
In un-Star Wars style, I had a good feeling about this one. Didn't want to say it until afterwards of course.

I think we've got a great chance of making it three next week if the Goodison crowd can do its thing again despite the odd kick-off time.

Frank's got us back to our ‘recent traditional' strengths of being hard-working, hard to beat and playing as a team.

I'm convinced the next two signings will be creative attackers as well. I think the decision makers know what's needed, it's just a case of whether the right players are available in January or if we have to wait until next summer.

Will Mabon
69 Posted 01/10/2022 at 18:24:43
Tony @ 61,

Iwobi did indeed tire, was almost out of the game for 15 minutes but sort of came back alive a bit. Probably reflects the effort he's putting in so far this season. Ran all over the place first half.

Christine Foster
70 Posted 01/10/2022 at 18:36:15
A win is a win, we'll done Blues! Not the best game but neither team really looked sharp.

For me, we were all over the place and didn't put our foot on the ball but McNeil's strike was excellent, best thing he did all afternoon.

Everyone just looked off, nothing clicked and it looked like one of those games that could have been a boring draw but for about 10 mins we raised it, got the goals, won the game.

3 points, equal with the other lot, that made me smile...

Tony Hill
71 Posted 01/10/2022 at 18:36:33
And that cross, right at the start, Will @69.

I'm just so pleased with them all. I know it wasn't stylish but I can, at long last, relate to the team and the management, Thelwell (though not to the Board) – and that makes me quite emotional, actually, even at my age.

They're trying for us, really trying, and that means everything for now.

Tony Abrahams
72 Posted 01/10/2022 at 18:44:31
The biggest difference for me today, was that even though we were not great, it is a lot less exasperating to watch. Maybe it’s because I can see players working a lot harder?
Tony Hill
73 Posted 01/10/2022 at 18:51:18
What a finish that was from McNeil.

Have a great night and a great Sunday, everyone.

Steve Daniells
74 Posted 01/10/2022 at 18:51:30
How many times over the years have we gone into an international break with some momentum and then for it to fall away?

Far from the best we've played this year, but we controlled the first half despite some really sloppy play. Iwobi misplaced more passes today than he's done all season combined, but he still had moments of class.

Pickford again great, the back four was fine with Seamus in there. Defending for their goal was poor but what a response! Even though it was backs to the wall for the last 20 minutes, I never really felt like we'd concede.

Credit to Frank for making the subs, which most people on the Live Forum agreed with. Like others, I am curious to see how and when Garner fits in.

Three points in the bag, unbeaten in 6 in the league and ¼ of the way to 40 points! Let's keep it rolling, Blue Boys!

Will Mabon
75 Posted 01/10/2022 at 18:52:40
Commitment and spirit, a performance, give that and most else is forgiven.

Really enjoyed it save for a bit of the old surrender stuff later on, but that will improve. A lot of effort went into the first half.

Bring on United.

Steve Shave
76 Posted 01/10/2022 at 18:53:30
An excellent result, I am chuffed to bits.

I was at this fixture last season for my first game ever together with Blues fans (thanks to Duncan McDine for that, I hope you enjoyed today Duncan!), it was a depressing spectacle.

The difference between today and then is huge, not necessarily in quality but in steely determination, graft and a sense that we look solid even when not playing well and inviting pressure.

As others have said above, we would have lost this one on the road last season, lots of huff and puff until the first goal went in and then we tended to give up last season. Not anymore, thanks to Frank and the team.

I continue to hold a growing sense of hope and optimism; if we finish mid-table and continue to show progress, I'd be happy. We need a striker, I'd go all in for Gapko who can play anywhere up front.

Big shout out to the away support who sounded in good voice. Also to Seamus for putting in a solid display. Lot's for Frank and the team to unpick and work on this week as we looked sloppy at times, made mistakes, and invited them onto us too much.

Dave Abrahams
77 Posted 01/10/2022 at 18:55:43
What's great, apart from the result, is this thread. Everybody is happy because, while most agree it wasn't a brilliant performance, a lot of us can see a big difference in attitude, work rate and working for each other.

A coming together of team and fans, just let it carry on. I never saw any of the game but loved the score.

Will Mabon
78 Posted 01/10/2022 at 19:04:32
Ray @ 39:

And only us and Man City unbeaten in the last six games.

Barry Williams
79 Posted 01/10/2022 at 19:11:34
A win after an international break in which quite a few of the team were active in – plus 6 of the starters today only joined the club this season – plus Coleman coming back after a long time out…

there were bound to be some misplaced balls (as the director said to the actress etc), and players not being on the same wavelength - but they won with 2 decent goals and some good movement at times

The 2nd best defensive record in the league, with players to come back and a team that don't roll around clutching various parts of their anatomies when being brushed by an opposition's fringe.

Also, a full contingent on the subs bench – and we are yet to see Garner, or Vinagre (properly) too.

I like this Everton thus far.

Brent Stephens
80 Posted 01/10/2022 at 19:17:05
Rob #54.

I drove in from Portsmouth today and the traffic was as bad as usual. Hate it.

Ian Bennett
81 Posted 01/10/2022 at 19:20:13
Good win and 3 points.

I am not going to worry myself over Europe etc, just enjoy the performances and the improvement.

Duncan McDine
82 Posted 01/10/2022 at 19:29:50
Just leaving Southampton feeling very merry and not just from the booze.

Steve Shave – that was awful last time round, but what a day today!

Colm Kavanah – just had a lovely chat with your boy and his lass… great people, and what commitment to travel all the way from Ireland.

Take care, Blues

Oliver Molloy
83 Posted 01/10/2022 at 19:39:14
Over the moon with 3 points, we can only get better - right?
Bill Gall
85 Posted 01/10/2022 at 19:56:38
The thing I enjoyed today was the short crisp passing that you see in the training videos, that the players seem to be getting more comfortable with.

We really should have had a couple of goals in the first half, but the 2 we got in the second were well taken. I still think Lampard could have used our bench a little earlier as, for once, we had a strong bench that were capable of changing a game around.

But a win away from home makes a great change and increases the confidence in the squad. There are always players who can be called MotM but, with the effort today, I think we can call the Team MotM as the forwards got the points and the defense kept them.

John Raftery
86 Posted 01/10/2022 at 20:25:43
This was only our second away win in 13 months. That fact alone made it special. The team has many better players than last autumn; a whole new defence, two new players in midfield and new options in attack.

Above all, the players are playing as a team. The new players have brought greater athleticism, a greater physical presence and at long last we can move the ball and players around the park with much greater pace. They are all helping each other out in all areas of the play which is great to see.

The missing ingredient today was mainly composure in the final third. Too often we gave away possession with an over-hasty pass or a run into a cul-de-sac. Possibly Garner will help improve that aspect of our play.

I had Coady as our Man of the Match. He galvanised the team for the fight back and of course was on hand for the vital equaliser.

It was wonderful to see all the players including those substituted plus Lampard celebrate in front of the away section after the final whistle. Nobody is getting carried away but there is plenty to be happy about.

Tony Everan
87 Posted 01/10/2022 at 20:28:17
Another three points, what's not to like? Played well for an hour, a much better team than Southampton for that period. On that evidence, we were deserved winners.

It was a bit ragged for the last half-hour but we held on quite well, I've seen worse pressure. We will learn from that and progress.

A great win at a difficult ground for us, and the margin of victory would have been more comfortable with a quality goalscorer.

This is a different Everton now, and when Calvert-Lewin returns fully fit we go up a gear too. Feeling more positive than I have for many years that we are building a proper, competitive football team.

Paul Birmingham
88 Posted 01/10/2022 at 20:31:38
Great result, and weekend.

What a mindset change in Everton! Fair play to Frank and his Team, and Thelwell.

Everton are starting to play and act like a good football team, and nice to stick one on Southampton.

Next week will be a test, but hopefully with no injuries from today, Everton can maintain their form, and beat Man Utd.

Great spirit, and loads of hope.

Nick White
89 Posted 01/10/2022 at 20:50:15
Great win today! Looking forward to watching the highlights later.

Performance improvement will come with the confidence of winning combined with the many new players settling in properly. Keep it tight like this and we will hopefully go far in the cups. Reminds me a lot of the Dogs of War season!

Don Alexander
90 Posted 01/10/2022 at 21:07:01
To me the performance was "professional" and accordingly welcome.

If Lampard and Thelwell can somehow at last instil "professionalism" into Moshiri and his board's world-wide ridiculed behaviour, they'll be worthy of a statue.

If they can't, and even if they can, there'll be a long queue of top clubs wanting to sign them on.

Jim Gore
94 Posted 01/10/2022 at 21:31:03
Level on points with the RS...

Frank's getting us going again!

Graham Mockford
95 Posted 01/10/2022 at 21:35:02
Lampard has created resilience and character into what was a basket case of a side. This feels like a season of consolidation and something around 55 points and top 8 would for me represent genuine progress.

The challenge will be to add real attacking creativity into the team which is definitely missing. That could well involve cashing in on Anthony Gordon and signing two quality attacking options.

Christy Ring
96 Posted 01/10/2022 at 21:36:37
Thrilled with our win today, don't forget our midfield were away on international duty and looked a bit jaded, and the few who didn't want Coleman to start, it was like, he was never away!
Peter Mills
97 Posted 01/10/2022 at 21:43:04
Another reinforcing rod placed into the foundations.
Jay Harris
98 Posted 01/10/2022 at 22:01:20
I really enjoyed the major improvement in passing and determination today but I still get irritated about the fact we only make real effort when we go behind and when we go ahead we sit back like it’s the Alamo we’re defending.
Tony Abrahams
100 Posted 01/10/2022 at 22:05:42
I thought Coleman was very poor in the first half, Christy.

But the lad is full of character, and was possibly our best player during the last 30 minutes, once he had got rid of the cobwebs and got himself up to speed.

John Reynolds
101 Posted 01/10/2022 at 23:01:04
We’ll finish above at least one of Liverpool & Chelsea this season.

Seamus Coleman is a colossus.

Mark Murphy
102 Posted 01/10/2022 at 23:25:49
Just got home (I only live 2 hours from St Mary's) absolutely delighted!

We look like a unit but Coady and Tarkowski are an awesome defensive wall and their roars of defiance when they headed balls clear of the box was inspirational! Love this team! UTFT

Tom Bowers
103 Posted 01/10/2022 at 23:29:03
With a few injured and going down a goal, this was indeed a new Everton that we are seeing under Frank.

The defence is doing a much better job than last season and, although we are still dodging a few bullets, it has to be said that they are playing with a better attitude and can only get better as the season progresses.

Sure they will lose a game now and then but they are a much harder team to beat than last season.

After the first two losing games, they have knuckled down and shown a lot of grit in the trenches.

The next game against Man Utd will be tough (as they all are) but Man Utd have a big one tomorrow, then have to travel to Cyprus on Thursday, so that should be in Everton's favour.

Andy Kay
105 Posted 01/10/2022 at 23:57:23
When are our "fans" going to give some players a break?

If ever there is an example of patience and support leading to quality performances, it is the turnaround from Alex Iwobi. Yet McNeil, Davies, Gray become the whipping boys each week, and yet despite some sub-par performances from a Gordon or a "when fit" Godfrey, they get a free ride because they're "fan favourites".

McNeil is finding his feet at a new club at 22 years old. Just like Mykolenko was doing in February (one fan's opinion of him after a couple of games was "he's total dogshit") Mykolenko is now first choice and improving.

Although McNeil has not pulled up any trees yet, he's just scored the winner in a vital away win to keep momentum going.

Is James Garner going to be the "target" if he doesn't start welI? If you want to a have a go at players, save your vitriol for wasters who had stolen a living from the club without giving anything back, like Delph, Tosun, etc.

Get behind these kids and who knows, just like when Adrian Heath had a rocky start as a youngster and went on to being a serial winner, maybe McNeil can do the same.

Brian Wilkinson
106 Posted 01/10/2022 at 00:00:09
Even after the first few games of the season, a lot of us left those games feeling optimistic. Hard to explain but you could see what was coming and how the team was shaping up.

It was only a matter of time before these players got results going their way. Even early doors, it was a huge loss not having a centre-forward to put away the chances we were creating. It makes you think where we would be with a fit Calvert-Lewin.

Then you look at how the defence and midfield has been more solid, how Iwobi has turned it around on the field… in time, McNeil will turn it around, the guy is still only 22 years old – plenty of time for Frank and the coaches to work on his play.

From some of my Man Utd mates, they reckon we've landed a very good player in Garner. So, when you have your main striker out, your right back out, and the likes of Gordon, Doucouré, and Garner on the bench, it shows how far we have come since last season. We will only get stronger and stronger, get players back, and a bit of Lady Luck on the injury front.

This group of players are heading in the right direction.

As Thunderclap Newman once sang, there is definitely something in the air, and the revolution's here.

I lost my sense of smell when I was 9 but even I can smell something good about to happen.

Ernie Baywood
107 Posted 02/10/2022 at 00:23:27
Andy @105,

I don't think there's anything wrong with having an opinion on players. It's not like we're booing him on the pitch.

McNeil, very good goal aside, was particularly poor yesterday. He meekly surrendered the ball in good positions time and again. He's had a poor start to his Everton career and to this point we're a worse team when he plays. What do you want me to say?

I'm thrilled with Iwobi but you don't usually get over 2 years to find your feet. Iwobi's turnaround is a massive outlier. McNeil will need to improve quickly.

For what it's worth, Mykolenko has improved but I'm still not sure he's got the quality we need. He's limited on the ball for a modern left-back. The guy's got guts though and that will do for now.

Neil Copeland
108 Posted 02/10/2022 at 00:27:35
Not long back from the game, journey there wasn't bad really but the one back took forever. Worth it though.

It wasn't a great performance or game but it was a very professional and disciplined performance.

I love the way that our players all help and support each other and get in the ref's face when they feel wrongly done to, I also love the fact that we no longer seem to panic when going a goal down.

Seems like a world apart from last season's struggles and we may even be in the fight for a place in Europe if the improvement continues.

For me, Conor Coady was MotM, what a difference he and Tarkowski make to the defence. I thought Seamus struggled in the first half but had a very good second half. Pickford is a fantastic keeper and, on current form, must be in the top 5 in the world. Maupay seems to get better each game, he is like a wasp on steroids.

We have the makings of a very good team – with the emphasis on 'team' as opposed to a bunch of overpaid highly gifted players that do not put in the required effort. They all play for each other and, once the understanding improves, we will be a force to be reckoned with.

Enjoying a glass of Talisker tonight feeling very chuffed and even more optimistic. It's great to be looking forward to every game knowing the boys will give everything.


Mike Gaynes
109 Posted 02/10/2022 at 00:41:08
Congrats to all you traveling Blues. Your voices came through my monitor loud and clear. You raised the team. Well done, folks.
Simon Dalzell
110 Posted 02/10/2022 at 00:48:56
Great win. We need a striker desperately. Let's hope the fragile Calvert-Lewin can get a run of games. We have zero in the final third. Maupay bang average.
Danny O’Neill
111 Posted 02/10/2022 at 01:03:43
I'm just home after a long day. Not as long as those travelling masses who made the journey from Merseyside and elsewhere, but a long day. Worth every single minute and second of it.

Breakfast in the posh Spoons at Baker Street before heading to Waterloo to catch the train.

We found Yates's and it was brimming with Evertonians. But also a smattering of home fans. Nice that fans can mingle.

The match. Not the best, but we got the result. I thought we were particularly careless and gave away possession a lot in the second half. But if I look at it, we are continuing to improve and have a lot more resilience about us. We don't collapse at the first sign of trouble, as we often did last season.

Coady and Tarkowski commanding at the back again. I wish Pickford would come out of that 6-yard box more often, although to his credit, he punched well from some of the very good deliveries that Ward-Prowse put into our box. And that boy can deliver a cross from dead-ball situations.

Mykolenko is showing consistency and, although the legs are clearly going, Seamus didn't let us down. Maupay put in a hell of a shift. He gave their Land of the Giants centre-backs something to think about and kept them occupied. That helped the team.

Let's give McNeil some slack. The lad is clearly a bit lost and trying to settle into new surroundings and a new team. He didn't do a lot wrong today and I personally saw effort and hard work, as I did throughout the team, even if it wasn't a vintage performance. There were mistakes, but that's football. What I liked was that we were trying to play some very nice joined-up football and not scared to make mistakes.

I had another no-breathing moment as our goal got peppered at least 4 times. But bodies on the line, blocks and sheer luck. Then we go up the other end and score. Ecstasy and joy seconds after a near nervous breakdown.

That clock on the scoreboard at the opposite end seemed to be on pause. I had to take a break and go and take a walk up and down the concourse for 5 minutes or so to see if it helped move it on.

And guess what. I didn't get served at half-time.

Back to Yates's to watch West Ham v Wolves and Evertonians still singing at 8 pm. Although becoming more incoherent, you could still figure the words out.

Gueye was our best player. A close second for me was Gray.

But Man of the Match? No contest. The Evertonians. Unbelievable.

Mykolenko, as is quite normal, was first over but then the team in unity came to receive the adoration. When we see effort and hard work, they'll deservedly get the praise. They did today.

Gueye and Onana dancing and singing with the fans to Spirit of the Blues. Iwobi joining them. The entire coaching staff watching all lined up from the half-way line letting the players have their moment with the supporters. Although Frank couldn't resist coming over! A united fan base united with its club and its team.

We got the result. We had a great day out. Time for bed.

Pete Clarke
112 Posted 02/10/2022 at 01:14:10
Some worrying signs on show today, especially in the second half.

What was the idea of packing every one of our players in the 6-yard box and leaving them to play a short corner or ball to the edge of the box??

Also, I did not enjoy those last 15 minutes in which we allowed them space inside the box and we also could not put two passes together to relieve the pressure. Really maddening game to watch.

In amongst all of that mad game, though, we are certainly a team that battles away, with Coady and Tarkowski being our leaders. Seamus gave everything as ever, Iwobi was excellent in the first half, and Gana seems to be settling in despite his old habit of passing to the opposition.

McNeil has some lovely touches and yet can look lightweight. That cracker of a goal will do him no harm. Gray can look great in parts but also a very frustrating player to watch. Needs to learn that he can't go it alone all of the time.

Maupay was very isolated, especially in the second half, although he made a proper nuisance of himself to keep their defenders busy.

All-in-all, it has to be said that a win can often mask some deficiencies in our play but the 3 points are what matters for us all and especially those traveling Blues. The beer is easier to drink after win – that's for sure.

Bernie Quinn
113 Posted 02/10/2022 at 01:54:38
Unfortunately, through illness, I missed the game, though the result was better than any medicine. Enjoyed reading all the reports and comments, but rather mystified that quite a number of posters were less than impressed with McNeil.

Reading the match report on Sky Sports, he scored 8/10 and named Man of the Match!! Why is he disliked by some ToffeeWebbers?

Kieran Kinsella
114 Posted 02/10/2022 at 04:07:31

I thought McNeil played alright but getting a goal gives him extra brownie points in my book.

For some reason, it seems we always have to have one player to criticize. With Iwobi having improved, Davies, Keane and Holgate not playing, it seems McNeil has filled that spot. While he's got room for improvement, he's not bad.

Also, I love the fact now we can bring on Doucouré as a sub. A year ago, he was a starter and our sub was Gomes. That's a drastic improvement in a short time. Thelwell has done what Brands never could, shifting the highly paid non-performers.

Ernie Baywood
115 Posted 02/10/2022 at 04:28:57
Bernie, it's all opinions... and they're entirely subjective.

That said, if Sky named him Man of the Match, I'd struggle to make a case for their credibility. Gana, Coady, Iwobi, Pickford all had a much clearer case.

Goals win games. We lack goalscorers. He seems to have a bit of quality in that left foot and he scored a very good goal. So I can make a case for McNeil having an impact.

But he struggled big time on the ball. He seems to get caught mid-thought when he's in possession, and doesn't have the pace or strength to hold onto the ball when pressured. Very underwhelming so far.

He's not a whipping boy. He's just not playing very well.

Mike Gaynes
116 Posted 02/10/2022 at 06:19:42
Ernie, I'm surprised you'd have Gana and Iwobi on your list. Gana was at fault for the goal (although he had a good game otherwise) and I thought this was Alex's weakest effort of the season, no doubt due to fatigue after his labors for Nigeria.

Coady, Coleman and Pickford would be my top 3, with a special mention for Onana and his aggression, attacking every ball.

Laurie Hartley
117 Posted 02/10/2022 at 06:57:46
I thought we just about deserved the 3 points. Credit to Southampton, I thought they battled really hard for the ball and kept at it right to the end. But Lady Luck was on our side again which makes a pleasant change from the past couple of years. I'll take it.

Two very noticeable differences about this Everton; we don't concede from corners and we don't fold under pressure. IMO, that has to be down to Coady and Tarkowski.

Danny O’Neill
118 Posted 02/10/2022 at 07:08:17
I can't explain the McNeil thing, Bernie. He had an improved game yesterday and I saw signs he can be good for us.

He gave away possession, but then so did many others. He scored a great goal and was often a threat as we moved forward.

Still settling, so I'm going to give him time. Will he be automatic first choice? Maybe / probably not. But that's the idea of having a squad.

Tarkowski seems to win just about everything in the air. On Gray, one thing I've noticed is his touch. Especially taking high balls down from the air. Talk about taking it down on a sixpence.

George Stuart
119 Posted 02/10/2022 at 07:08:55
I don't think my heart can take many more like this?
Bill Watson
120 Posted 02/10/2022 at 07:11:43
We absolutely bossed the first half and would have been out of sight if the final ball had been better. As it was, for all our dominance, we only tested the goalkeeper twice; one a weak shot from Gray and the other a header from I don't remember who.

I'd just remarked how well Gueye was playing when he gave the ball away and we were a goal down! Overall, McNeil was poor and was constantly losing the ball when in possession. I'd have hooked him at half-time but then he goes and scores a cracker. Maybe that's why I'm on the terrace and not in the dugout!

It was one of those games where it was difficult to pick a Man of the Match but they all stood up when it became a backs-to-the-wall last 15 minutes. Overall, a great team effort and such a change to recent seasons when we just rolled over after conceding.

Like Danny, I also thought the clock was faulty and on 84 minutes took the opportunity to visit the gents during a break in play. I came back 5 minutes later and the clock was only showing 85!

Alan J Thompson
121 Posted 02/10/2022 at 07:15:01
Other than his goal, I was not overly impressed by McNeil but that is mostly because I don't find it is obvious what and where he is supposed to be?

Once that is settled, maybe he, like me, may be happier but, with Patterson and Mykolenko, Gordon and Gray – not to mention Townsend – there is a lot of competition for those wide positions and, indeed, we need that many, if we were to play two strikers.

Danny O’Neill
122 Posted 02/10/2022 at 08:17:31
We all call it as we see it, Alan @121. In our detailed post-match analysis (we'd give that BBC panel a run for its money), I mentioned to my brother and son that I wasn't sure who was playing where in the midfield apart from Onana and Gueye.

Iwobi, Gray and McNeil seemed literally all over the pitch... It worked!

Just looking back. I thought Onana had scored the equaliser. I didn't realise it was a precision pass with the head onto the foot of Coady. Not a misplaced attempt at goal!!!!

Tony Abrahams
123 Posted 02/10/2022 at 08:53:46
Some absolute dickhead (sorry Michael!) has said for years that it's impossible to get a united fan base, Danny! He's probably right in his literal way, but I enjoyed reading your post mate.

I was more than a little envious when reading about your breakfast in the Baker Street Spoons! I always go for an omelette, and much prefer the “London caffs” but it sounds like every member of the travelling blue army, had a ball yesterday, singing “We Shall Not Be Moved!”🙏

Barry Williams
124 Posted 02/10/2022 at 09:12:16
Just a point on McNeil – he scored today, and put Gray in one-on-one with the keeper. So, besides his goal, he almost had an assist.

New to the side, not many starts, and 22 years old. Pre-season: 2 goals in 1 game, so a wee bit of patience, methinks. There is obviously a player in there – hence why he was bought – and thus far, the recruitment this season has been pretty impressive.

Andy Crooks
126 Posted 02/10/2022 at 09:21:35
Pete @97,

I'm enjoying your developing analogy. I reckon by the end of the season the landscape gardeners will have finished and Frank will be ordering soft furnishings over the summer.

Mark Murphy
127 Posted 02/10/2022 at 09:23:14
Some people on here need more patience and realise that we're not Pep's Barcelona side and the players are not perfect machines.

I went the game yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. We're beginning to look like a bloody good team. I certainly was happy clapping at the end!


Ciarán McGlone
128 Posted 02/10/2022 at 09:34:42
Some people on here need to realise that this is a match day thread for commenting on... er... the match – that we are all (mostly) watching.

Danny O’Neill
129 Posted 02/10/2022 at 09:44:00
I do have to mention Pickford again and another breath-stopping moment.

I don't know if anyone else noticed, but for a split second and almost right in front of me, I thought he was about to have another Anfield moment.

This time, he got it the right side of the crossbar.

It's a great little find, Tony, for those who visit London.

Allan Board
130 Posted 02/10/2022 at 09:51:03
Very happy for Frank, the fans and the players. To become a decent team, you have to stop conceding so many goals – become resolute and be together – and everyone works hard for the team's benefit.

This is what I am seeing. The patterns of play will come later, because that comes from training, and at this level of ability, it is the coaches' responsibility to imprint this. I believe the coach set-up is good enough to do this, with enough experience and youth in its ranks.

Let's not forget football evolves and, for years, Everton have been left behind.

I really appreciate the nark in the side now – that's from the manager and the staff. Now teams will start to expect a tough day, not just on the pitch, but psychologically too.

Stick with it, back them and, in 12 to 18 months time, Everton could just start to upset the agenda.
Enjoy your days blues.

Tony Abrahams
131 Posted 02/10/2022 at 09:52:17
Sound, Danny, I think it's just London in general that always makes me think about life. I do need to start travelling again, so it was nice reading about your day yesterday, because nothing beats being on the road with Everton, especially when they win.

I agree with you about Pickford. He played well, but sometimes I wish he would come out and command a little bit more of his area, and especially now, because he's got two central defenders in front of him, who between themselves are very committed, and vocal.

Michael Kenrick
132 Posted 02/10/2022 at 09:53:56
Bernie at @113,

A lot to unpack there. Your observation suggests a number of interesting things.

Firstly, the pre-eminence of Sky TV and their assessment of Everton players' worth in Premier League games... I just wonder if that is something you would really want to put your trust in?

And your question comes on the back of having not actually watched the game yourself, which some might think would compromise your position just a little when critiquing the comments and opinions of others who did actually watch the game.

As one of that latter group, I can confirm what Ernie said @107 – that McNeil was extremely poor throughout most of the game, but that he had one moment of absolute brilliance when he struck that ball first time with tremendous but immaculately controlled force and unerring precision to score what would become the winning goal – the primary cause for such unbridled delight expressed by the fans in attendance.

I would suggest that it is this incredible snippet, perhaps a 3-second clip out of at least 5,400 seconds of play, that might be having a rather disproportionate influence on the folks at Sky who are providing this judgement you cited.

Personally, I don't subscribe to the Man of the Match epithet, never have. Nor giving marks out of 10 for each player – as if this was some ice-skating contest we were judging. But by any comparative reference point, I think it is fair to say that McNeil has been very poor whenever he has played for Everton since his arrival.

Now, does that mean he is disliked by some ToffeeWebbers as you claim? No – it means they can see and have noted that he's not been playing very well.

But, just to be clear once again: He scored a brilliant winning goal for us yesterday. In a sense, that trumps everything. But in reality, it cannot reverse the fact of his poor play for us apart from the goal.

However, diverse opinions are only to be expected from a subset of fans who have never been 'united' in their vastly differing opinions on all things related to Everton. Some find that hard to accept (and resort to name-calling) but it is often demonstrated by the wide range of comments we see on ToffeeWeb threads.

Rob Halligan
133 Posted 02/10/2022 at 10:02:03
A very long and tiring day, which began at 6:15 am yesterday morning when the alarm went off, and ended at 1:45 am this morning after I'd watched the Sky football highlights of the game.

Spending 12 hours on a coach, 6 there and 6 back, is not my idea of fun, but worth every second after a good result. Good job those Eavesway coach drivers know their way around Southampton docks, otherwise I reckon we might have missed the kick-off.

For anyone who doesn't know, Eavesway transport a lot of northwest passengers down to the cruise terminal at Southampton, and there were two humongous cruise liners in dock. Made ours the other week look like the Mersey ferry!!

Pickford was again outstanding. We deffo need to tell Man Utd to do one, if and when they come knocking with an offer for him. The back four again looking solid, apart from one misplaced pass out by Tarkowski not long after our first goal, but determined defending keeping the ball out.

As Danny says earlier, the midfield seemed to be all over the pitch, covering every blade of grass. Iwobi has been totally transformed under Frank, and was literally on his knees towards the end.

Onana and Idrissa Gana are forming a lethal partnership in midfield. Onana is going to be one hell of a player, and it's easy to see why he is being targeted by the opposition to try and put him out the game.

Maupay is like that fly that keeps buzzing around your head, an annoying little shit, but our annoying little shit. I can see a few penalties coming our way this season if he keeps annoying opposing defenders.

Very hard to pick a Man of the Match, so I will give it to us, the fans. A sold-out away end, on the day of a train strike, and one of our longest away journeys. It was brilliant at the end with players, especially Onana and Gana Gueye joining in the celebrations, singing “Spirit of the Blues”, whilst all the backroom staff stood and watched on the halfway line. Would love to know what they were saying at that moment?

Anyway, made that first pint in the Fiveways at 10:50 pm last night all the more enjoyable!!

Andrew Bentley
134 Posted 02/10/2022 at 10:08:18
Great result (a win AWAY!!!!) and good to see the determination and commitment from the players. Absolutely no doubt Frank's got them playing for their shirts and there are now good options in almost every position so competition for places keeps everyone on their toes.

Got to ask if anyone knows why Calvert-Lewin wasn't even on the bench again? Is there another injury we don't know about as he isn't going to be able to get match fitness (which we were told he's lacking) without playing.

I'm sick of Rondon being our only centre-forward option from the bench.

Michael Kenrick
135 Posted 02/10/2022 at 10:36:54
Danny, @111 – glad you had such a great day!

You say "not scared to make mistakes" as if that's a virtue.

Sorry but goals against are often linked directly to those mistakes. Lampard and Cole have done a brilliant job of massively reducing mistakes at the back, thanks to your heroes Coady and Tarkowski.

Gana had a pretty tough game for him, but that can be the unfortunate consequence of making a crucial mistake. Although, on balance, as you say, everyone made plenty of mistakes all over the pitch. So it does become a little one-eyed when we pick on the one mistake that leads to a goal against.

It's the flipside of making McNeil MotM because he scored the winning goal!

Joe Digney
136 Posted 02/10/2022 at 10:58:31
I haven't had the chance to read all threads comments yet so sorry if I repeat others.

It wasn't the easiest watch (mainly because I had to make do with watching on my phone while being dragged round the shops by the Mrs) but we got the job done, imo we lose that last season quite comfortably.

Most exciting thing for me is it can only get better. Add more attacking quality in January to an already solid base and I think there's deffo room to go up a gear. Onwards and upwards.

ps: Absolutely made up for McNeil – that goal will do his confidence a world of good, as shown by his Instagram post after the match.

Laurie Hartley
137 Posted 02/10/2022 at 11:04:01
Forgot to mention - that foul by Armstrong on Iwobi in the 85 minute was very dangerous - another potential leg breaker. Should have been a red card. He will be a sore lad tonight.
Dave Cashen
138 Posted 02/10/2022 at 11:25:29
Southampton fans were very angry and critical of their goalie for the winner. Having just seen it again, I can see why. Really poor for a keeper to be beaten at his near post from that angle. I'm sure many on here would have kept that out. Do I care? Do I fuck.

McNeil has struggled big time since he got here. He struggled again yesterday, but he went home with the certain knowledge that his goal won the match.

If this lad is to spend the rest of his career in the top flight, he needs to start believing he belongs there. If it takes a goalkeeping error or two to help him to believe, I'll take them.

We need all our players playing to their full potential.
I haven't liked Saints fans since Highbury '84 (not one to bear a grudge though) so it was particularly pleasing to hear them so upset — Bonus!!!

Danny O’Neill
139 Posted 02/10/2022 at 11:41:14
Fair point, Michael. I guess I should have used different language. Rather than not afraid to make mistakes, the players are playing with less fear of the football. That is breeding confidence. Confidence breeds better performances. Better performances will bring results.

No better example than Iwobi. As Dave says, he just needs that confidence and belief. I think he's got the right management and coaching staff around him to give him that. Rewind 18 months about Iwobi. There's a player in there.

McNeil just needs to settle and gain his confidence. Again, opinions will differ, but from my view, he doesn't hide and always shows for the ball regardless of how many groans there are from the stands. Despite the Sean Dyche love-in, Burnley to Everton is a massive step up for a 22-year-old player.

Martin Mason
140 Posted 02/10/2022 at 11:50:13
Wonderful day out watching Everton yesterday, thanks to my companions and Greg for bringing a ticket down from Warrington.

I have nothing bad to say about Everton, they were fantastic and coming back from undeservedly being one down was incredible. A couple of good buys next window and this team could really go places.

If I had to pick our best player, it has to be Coady, a great performance, a goal and commitment like I haven't seen in years.

Tony Abrahams
141 Posted 02/10/2022 at 12:13:25
Nice one, Michael, I thought I'd got away with my little bit of mischievous impudence for a minute there, mate!

I totally agree with you about McNeil, who looks to be struggling because of his lack of pace. But confidence is massive in football, and the other thing in Dwight's favour (at least to me) is that he didn't hide and kept plugging away. This is the only way any player is going to turn his form around, IMO.

I said last night that it was a lot less exasperating watching Everton now, and because we are still making stupid mistakes, and are still very careless with the football at times, then I'm certain it's because our players now keep plugging away.

Mark Murphy
142 Posted 02/10/2022 at 12:21:03
To be fair to McNeil, there were times when he had few options as Seamus (quite rightly) was being conservative in his forward runs. I think Patterson would have overlapped a lot more and could form a good partnership with McNeil in the future.
John Boswell
143 Posted 02/10/2022 at 12:31:09
This fixture is a good indication of our progress this season.

Only our 4th win at Southampton this century. ✅
We won after conceding the first goal. ✅
We won away from home. ✅
We scored 2 goals in a match for the first time this season. ✅

All positive markers and this team will improve as they get to know each other better. Plus we have Calvert-Lewin to return from injury. Reasons to be optimistic, COYB

Tony Mace
144 Posted 02/10/2022 at 12:35:52
I don't think it was a case of Gana giving the ball away for their goal. Onana should have been aware of what was a good pass rather than running blindly towards goal.

Good atmosphere...
Great result...


James Hughes
145 Posted 02/10/2022 at 12:37:01
Agreed John. Plus a side playing six new players and still settling down.

Now showing some grit and fight.


Tom Bowers
146 Posted 02/10/2022 at 12:49:56
Mistakes will be made but they can be rectified and the Gana giveaway should have been corrected before Aribo could get an easy shot at goal.

The defence was amiss on that occasion.

Bouncing right back as they did showed the new character of this team which you must attribute to Lampshade.

Gana still looks like he needs to adjust to the pace of the Prem. after a stint in the slower French League but he worked hard.

The height of Onana is a real plus and when DCL returns it can only make Everton a bigger danger at set pieces.

Raymond Fox
147 Posted 02/10/2022 at 12:56:12
Its about time we had some feelgood, because we have been subjected to one setback after another.
We look more like a team now, undoubtable our defence is our ace in the hole,
but its also pleasing that the new boys have scored vital goals.

We are getting that little bit of good fortune that you always need to get the right results so I'm not getting too excited just yet. Before anyone jumps on me with 'you make your own luck' yes I agree, but with the proviso 'not entirely'.

Frank and his crew have undoubtably fashioned the squad for the better without throwing a lot of money at it and deserve plenty of praise.

Colin Malone
148 Posted 02/10/2022 at 13:11:40
Well done blues. Pickford and the centre backs great but over worked.Midfield will get better. Our big problem is nothing up front and that means more pressure on the rest of the team. Sort that problem and I think we will be flying.
Again. Well done Blue Boys.
Barry Jones
149 Posted 02/10/2022 at 13:28:56
George Cum. Get off McNeill's back. You are talking rubbish.
Brian Murray
150 Posted 02/10/2022 at 13:39:39
Dwight mcsheeds, Belter, keep it up mate
Brian Murray
151 Posted 02/10/2022 at 13:53:10
Rob post 133. Hope the cruise liners down there will be less or a thing of the past if or when we take this great bmd venture even further with the council and investors so world cruisers can dock here. Them mushys have had things their own way too long. Plus their facilities and night life no comparison to ours for the customers.
Danny O’Neill
152 Posted 02/10/2022 at 13:56:33
Don't send me down memory lane Brian. It was a cracker though.

One of those that as soon as it left his foot, you knew the net was bulging.

The keeper's union can call me out here, but I think it's often too easy to say a keeper shouldn't be beaten at the front post. Especially with the hindsight benefit of action replays and slow motion analysis.

In real time, the pace on the shot had the keeper beaten before he'd even thought about trying to save it. Take your chance early as they coach. Speed of mind can often beat speed of feet.

Mark Andersson
153 Posted 02/10/2022 at 14:06:10
Happy blues on here... makes a pleasant change.
Nick Page
155 Posted 02/10/2022 at 14:55:55
Great win yesterday. Delighted. Two goals. Away win. Coming from behind.

Dixie Dean's record at risk with Haaland. Absolutely unreal.

Paul Kossoff
156 Posted 02/10/2022 at 15:48:23
Everton have the best defence in the Premier League today. Man City have conceded 8, sorry 9, we have conceded 7. 👮👮👮
Bill Gall
157 Posted 02/10/2022 at 17:06:16
Brian # 151,

You are already getting world class cruises into Liverpool. The cruise line MSC had their flagship, the MSC Virtuosa docked there last year and that holds over 6,000 passengers. Because of Covid restrictions, the passenger list was only 1,000 but I am sure that that will increase after Covid restrictions are lifted.

Christy Ring
158 Posted 02/10/2022 at 17:58:46
McNeill has had a slow start, but his goal yesterday will definitely be a confidence booster, and hopefully take the pressure off him.

Watching the Leeds game, their players are as vicious and cynical as their fans.

Bill Gall
159 Posted 02/10/2022 at 18:06:13
The Leeds players are taking the expression, they shall not pass, a little over the top
Martin Mason
160 Posted 02/10/2022 at 19:06:51

I've sailed into Liverpool too in my Hunter 27. Only two of us onboard though.

Tony Hill
161 Posted 02/10/2022 at 20:21:55
Christy @158, Leeds is still the most unpleasant club in the land (I am mindful of Millwall) with appalling, boneheaded fans. We should all be praying for their relegation though I fear they are going to stink the place out for a while yet.
Jay Harris
162 Posted 02/10/2022 at 20:29:04
Still it was good that Creasehead didn't get the win.
Tony Hill
163 Posted 02/10/2022 at 20:45:10
Indeed, Jay, even Leeds are less vile than Stevie who is the very soul of the RS.
Bernie Quinn
164 Posted 02/10/2022 at 21:15:27
Michael at 132 - Thank you for that explanation Michael, it was appreciated. I didn't want to miss the game but being ill at 2 am was no fun, believe me!

I wasn't trying to be critical of the posts re McNeil, just wondered why Sky saw it differently. I see BBC Sport didn't rate McNeil very highly either, so I should have realised how poor Sky are with their reporting.

In conclusion, may I just mention that I do enjoy the posts on TW and always so impressed in the research you put into all your comments. Thanks Michael.

Brian Wilkinson
165 Posted 02/10/2022 at 22:28:31
Give Frank and co time and they will have McNeil working on his weaker foot, for now though enjoy his decent foot, the rest will follow in time.
Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
166 Posted 02/10/2022 at 22:47:19
And please remember McNeil is only 22. He is only 15 months older than Anthony Gordon and his development has been overseen by Sean Dyche.

Question will be: How much of an earful will next week's opposition get from their manager this week?

Brian Wilkinson
167 Posted 02/10/2022 at 23:24:01
On another note, our defence has the best record now in the Premier League this season, thanks to Man Utd’s three goals.
Paul Birmingham
168 Posted 02/10/2022 at 00:09:02
Let's take all the positives from this result and build on.

This Everton team have great potential and the management team are grafting to make this be realised.

Very pleasing start to this season, all in, and Everton are in to fight for every point.

The mindset, the belief, the work rate being shown is a joy to behold.

Massive fixtures the next month, but keep this up and fear no one, why should we..

Get Calvert-Lewinsky fit again and boost the squad numbers – good times ahead.

Genuine hope for the first time in decades, as Everton are now playing as a solid, tough team to beat.


Terry Farrell
169 Posted 03/10/2022 at 06:31:51
Great win Saturday. Even if it was ugly, we dug in and showed the desire to hold on. Special mention to Frank and our fantastic away support.

See Rondon is refusing to accept the chance to move before tomorrow's deadline and will fight for his place! Delusional. As usual he contributed zero and his stupid foul in added on time nearly cost us 2 points.

Their lad should have buried it. I never single out players for criticism but I draw the line at him – keep him off the pitch!

Paul Cherrington
170 Posted 03/10/2022 at 13:59:15
Great win by the lads yesterday and nice to see it coming away from home too.

Lampard is doing a very good job – not least because he is the first manager we have had in a while who signs decent players in the transfer market and actually buys players to address weak areas in the team and squad. He has also made us a lot tougher, more determined and more resilient than I have seen an Everton side for a while. Great work.

Special mention also to Coady. Why Wolves let him leave on loan, I will never know… but he is superb for us. He is not only proven quality at the back but a real leader.

Adding people like him and Tarkowski is what has made us much harder to play against and more organised. Good communicator too and not afraid to let rip at teammates when needs be!

Dave Cashen
171 Posted 03/10/2022 at 14:39:53

I've been around long enough to know you will give an opinion on every point raised, on every thread, but you don't half talk some drivel, mate.

The keepers’ union won't bother calling you out because you don't seem to even know how the goal was scored, A bit like the first one.

You accuse others of talking with the benefit of hindsight and replays but, even with the benefit of hindsight, you still don't know how McNeil scored.

The "keepers’ union" don't say a keeper shouldn't be beaten at his near post from that angle just to hear themselves talk. They say it because they know, if the keeper covers the near post, the ball will hit him and that it will take something very very special to go across him into the other corner.

The Southampton keeper made a very basic error by leaving that gap. This was not, as you claim, an early first-time shot. McNeil took a touch and steadied himself. His shot was powerful and accurate and he deserves great credit for taking advantage of the keeper’s poor positioning.

But why not just be pleased with the goal and the win instead of offering a superior opinion by dismissing others as "using the benefit of hindsight. And replays" If anything Is "easy to say", it's claiming you knew it was in as soon as it left his boot. Even though you were at the wrong angle. You thought he hit it early and you were at least 120 yards away down the other end.

Great strike and, as I said earlier, it will do McNiel's confidence no harm at all. But, if Jordan Pickford let's than in, he is getting absolutely slaughtered on here.

Dale Self
172 Posted 03/10/2022 at 17:11:54
Dwight McNeil is making good on that fee, isn't he?

It will take some time for him to find his comfort in a forward position, remember he played left-midfield tight for Burnley and usually floated out into space in the opponent's end. What Frank is expecting him to do is a level above his Burnley responsibilities and it will take some adjustment.

I believe he will produce attempts on goal with occasional turnovers declining as he finds some regular linkups. Not going to curse him early but I see a little Hutchison in his play and I think his cleverness will be a valuable complement to Iwobi's playmaker role.

Overall, this is turning out to be a very solid team and we've already seen some players get into form. We likely will not experience the chemistry problems we've had with other squads and there is enough leadership in the locker room that we could make a run if a couple of players get into temporary silly form on the upside.

Every contribution at the margin matters in the early stages and McNeil deserves credit for making it happen here. I think he continues on to impress, we'll find out.

Martin Mason
173 Posted 03/10/2022 at 17:22:05
Dale, first chance for me to see him Saturday. His goal was impressive, and his set-piece kicks were very good, but he looks short of pace.

He may be a lot better with Patterson back as Seamus wasn't getting forward so well to support him. He could be very good, but pace is everything now.

Danny Baily
174 Posted 03/10/2022 at 17:36:06
Don't want to write him off too early, but I can see McNeil being a player we struggle to move on in the near future. Let's hope Lampard and Thelwell have a plan to get the best out of him.
Danny O’Neill
175 Posted 03/10/2022 at 17:49:33
Sorry for my drivel, Dave. I thought about not replying as I obviously annoy people with my persistence, but I like your views and comments so thought I would. And that's genuine by the way.

If I've come across as seeming to suggest I have a superior opinion, then it's not through intent or thinking I know better than anyone else. Not my style and I certainly don't. I apologise.

I was absolutely ecstatic when that went in and made up with the win. Just like we all were.

Paul Washington
176 Posted 03/10/2022 at 18:26:14
On Dwight McNeil,

A few decades ago, a young lad made the switch from Burnley to us for a hefty fee. At first ,'Tricky Trev' struggled, then him and the rest of the team clicked and we know the rest.

Now I'm not saying Dwight is gonna be the next Tricky Trev, but let's give him a chance.

Will Mabon
177 Posted 03/10/2022 at 19:01:34
Paul @ 170:

Re. Coady. From opinion I've read and heard since Lage's sacking, what I know about Coady's role at Wolves, and what we know of him as a character here, from our position on the outside as fans...

I get the idea there was a kind of "I'm in charge" vibe behind his leaving Wolves on loan.

Dave Lynch
178 Posted 03/10/2022 at 19:02:22
Whether it was a lucky win or not, poor Southampton performance or not... we won the fucking game!!

12 months ago we were toast in games like that, Frank has built solidarity and a winning mentality at the club and for that we should be grateful.

Poncy tic a tac footy can wait for me, hard work and a get about them mentality is going to make sure we don't go through what we did last season.

Me... I'm embracing it.

Brent Stephens
179 Posted 03/10/2022 at 19:12:03
That, for me, wasn't about Southampton not playing well, per se. It was about our improved defence and midfield not allowing them to play as well as they have in recent years at their place.

We stifled their possible creativity. Not glamorous. Effective and fruitful.

Will Mabon
180 Posted 03/10/2022 at 19:22:35
I agree with that, Brent.

They didn't get near us in the first half. They played mostly only when we let them – which was for too much of the second half, sadly.

I also didn't find our play all industrial. Some of the passing was so much improved; faster, sharper, more accurate. Good movement too. Was getting bored with seeing the same old drills on video from Finch Farm but it seems to be working!

The attack and forward play is the big miss for now.

Brent Stephens
181 Posted 03/10/2022 at 19:28:26

Will, our goals conceded are up there with the best so far this season. Just one very decent forward addition would make more than one-eleventh of an improvement.

Will Mabon
182 Posted 03/10/2022 at 19:33:08
Brent, not just up there with the best - the best :-)
Brent Stephens
183 Posted 03/10/2022 at 19:36:20
I didn't want to crow too much, Will! Those corners we defend now…
Mark Taylor
184 Posted 03/10/2022 at 19:52:00
I think at least half the fault for their lies lies with Onana, not Gueye. The latter did not look around to receive what wasn't that bad a pass and then was lethargic in chasing back. In the end, he was closest to their scorer and would have been in a place to tackle had he run back more energetically.

I don't think either McNeil or Onana have been pulling up trees so far but as others have said, you have to give them time to settle and there is enough about Onana to imagine he could develop into a key player. Less convinced about McNeil but I think he could be a useful squad player.

At the moment, you would pick Gray ahead of him – just because he poses a much bigger danger with his pace and trickery. I just hope he doesn't fade like last season.

Bill Watson
185 Posted 03/10/2022 at 21:14:28
Rob #133

Do you normally get the same number Eavesway coach? I'm on 1.

Paul Cherrington
196 Posted 04/10/2022 at 11:12:50
Thanks, Will @177 for the info. Always hard to know for sure if you're on the outside as you say but that wouldn't surprise me.

When you see who Wolves have been playing there instead of him, it's a crazy decision by them. But great news for us as I think Coady has been arguably the biggest factor in our improvement so far this season.

Brian Murray
197 Posted 04/10/2022 at 13:10:53
Demarai Gray.

Champions League ability, Championship decision making. He has to be told to beat the man and then whip it in instead of checking back. Maupay or whoever will benefit instead of having to half guess if the ball is coming or not.

Mark Murphy
198 Posted 04/10/2022 at 13:19:05
Pretty sure I was sat behind Owen Teale at the game. Anyone know if he’s a blue? If it weren’t him it was his twin!
Brian Wilkinson
199 Posted 04/10/2022 at 20:26:12
No Mark, he is a Man Utd fan mate, might be sat behind him this Sunday though. :-)

Add Your Comments

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

» Log in now

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

How to get rid of these ads and support TW

© ToffeeWeb