Manchester United 2 - 0 Everton

Everton travel to Old Trafford on Saturday to take on Manchester United in the lunchtime kick-off, with Elllis Simms in the starting line-up.

Abdoulaye Doucouré starts his 3-match suspension for slapping Harry Kane. 

A lovely bright sunshiny Spring day at the so-called Theatre of Dreams, with Sean Dyche and his charges looking to disturb the slumbers of the locals. 

The home side kicked the game off, Everton all in Royal Blue. An early chance for Ellis Simms was blocked away from him as he swung a boot at Iwobi's cross. At the other end, Sabitzer was quick to turn and shoot, deflected behind for an early corner. Rashford's attempted shot well blocked.  

Tarkowski gave away another early corner, played short until McTominay skied his effort. An excellent Everton move resulted, with Godfrey winning Everton's first corner in by Iwobi, intercepted by Rashford as Man Utd broke at pace, Fernandes drifting in a ball for Pickford to claim.

But Rashofor looked to have beaten Keane only to fire straight at Pickford. Then a tremendous cross that Pickford punched onto Rashford and behind.

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Coleman drew a free kick off Sancho that was superbly delivered by Gray but headed behind. End to end as Rashford got a great pass from Fernades but Iwobi was across brilliantly to stop his shot.  From the corner, Anthony hit the post and Wan Bissaka, with an open goal, shot outside the far post. 

More determined Man Utd pressure won another corner, worked short until Malacia belted it high and wide. Godrfey tried to release McNeil but he couldn't keep the ball in play. Sancho then collapsed at the merest touch of Coleman behind him. Mcneil then played his pass for Simms too hard and straight out. 

Malacia went in on Gray for another free-kick opportunity but it was defended away. Gray played a clever ball crossfield to McNeil and looked like his cross t Sims was well smackable but Wan-Bissaka blocked it. Coleman then set up Simms for a fabulous chance but he took his eye off the ball and scuffed his shot horribly across the face of goal with only De Gea to beat!

A fast Man Utd break saw Sanco floor two Blues before Sabitzer shoot at PickfordAnthony got free behind the Everton line and went for goal but Pickford stopped it superbly. Iwobi and Gray tried to counter, Maguire rugby tacking Gray to the grround but not even reviewed by the VAR, given as a corner!  Gray delivered this one a fraction too far.

From the clearance, Godfrey was beaten again, Antony getting in for another shot only for a superb recovery tackle from Godfrey. But Man Utd got forward again, Focring another superb save from Pickford.    

Another brilliant Man Utd ball over the top found Rashford but Pickford was out brilliantly to totally block any shot chance for the England forward. The xG should be around 6-3 at this point but still goalless!

Another fluid Man Utd move got into the Everton goal area, put behind by Keane. From the second phase, Gray blocked another goal-bound shot. Another slick Man Utd move saw Fernandes fire over. 

More forward play from Man Utd got to be too intricate and was defended until Sabitzer got on the end oaf another good move but the fired the difficult shot over. 

Finally, though, determined work from Rashford could not be halted and he set up McTominay who made it look far too easy to beat Pickford at the near post. 

Everton had done so well to keep them out to this point but there was a relentless inevitability about the succession chances Man Utd had created.  The Blues needed to settle but it was the Red Devils who kept surging forward, Rashord again well in n Pickford, who saved his shot well despite him being flagged offside. 

At the other end, Gray worked up a shot that was blocked away. and Man Utd again looked to break with the Blues defence reforming, Wan-Bissaka's shot deflected behind for a corner that Onana cleared. 

Everton got a chance to get forward but could not fashion a chance as the first half. Simms did well iin midfied but was far too slow getting forward and the cross was wasted. But Anothony yet again got around Godfrey and lashed another shot that Pickford had to save before a corner ended the half. 

Godfrey paid the price for his lackadaisical defending, Mykolenko on in his stead. But it was Man Utd pressure again from the restart. Everton did not make good use of the forward balls they had early on in the half as the pace of the game dropped. 

Gray was fouled wide left but Tarkowski's looping header was no threat. With little on note happening, Sean Dyche decided for an early switch (for him): Davies and Garner on for Onana Gana.

Everton tried some ponderous ball play from midfield but it was slow and went nowhere. McTominay kicked Cloeman while he was on the ground, red card offence? But of course, nothing from the VAR.

Gary put in the free-kick, Coleman swung in a decent cross to Simss in the crowd. Then the ball dropped but Simms shot well off target, however, it was blocked back and Iwobi's better shot was deflected behind.

The corner was well-competed, with Garner's shot blocked for a corner and it was worked around until lost. Man Utd surged forward, Fernandes heading and Pickford pushing it over the bar. 

Everton, in comparison, were just far too slow and laborious to get forward, with less than a quarter of the match now left, as Maupay replaced Simms. Rashford got forward, but Davies got in late to upset his shot. 

But Coleman made a horrendous error, letting a straight-forward ball slip under his foot with Rashfrod behind him and in like a flash, Martial finishing with ease.

Tom Davies did well to win the ball back in midfield and Gray should have done a helluva lot better with his poor effort that failed to trouble De Gea. 

Man Utd looked to lock things down but, when Everton did win an easy ball, Iwobi lost it again immediately. When they did get some more ball, it ended with Coleman firing at De Gea. 

Davies went in clumsily over the ball on Fred and from the free-kick Fernandes got behind Mykolenko and could have headed a third. Fernandes was gifted another shot for Pickford to save. But the goals Everton needed looked further away than ever as the last minutes played out. 

Patterson returned for his first game in 3 months since that knee injury, replacing Coleman who took a knock. 

Manchester United: De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Martinez, Malacia, McTominay, Sabitzer (76' Fred), Fernandes, Antony (60' Martial), Sancho (76' Eriksen), Rashford (81' Weghorst).

Subs: Butland, Dalot, Lindelof, Varane, Pellistri.

Everton: Pickford, Coleman (87' Patterson), Keane, Tarkowski, Godfrey (46' Mykolenko), Gana (60' Garner), Onana (60' Davies), Iwobi, McNeil, Gray, Simms (70' Maupay).

Subs: Begovic, Holgate, Mina,, Coady.

Reader Comments (269)

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Andrew Keatley
1 Posted 08/04/2023 at 11:36:10
Dyche plumps for Simms to start. The Man Utd side looks a strange blend of individuals. I really think we can get a result today.
Mike Corcoran
2 Posted 08/04/2023 at 11:36:32
I think Iwobi will be on the right with Gray feeding off Simms in the centre?
Dale Self
3 Posted 08/04/2023 at 11:37:55
Can Gray protect Coleman and can Iwobi stay compact without solo-pressing? I like what it says about Dyche’s belief in the team.
Robert Williams
4 Posted 08/04/2023 at 11:39:32
Let's hope we have a set-up for an up-set!!

Kim Vivian
5 Posted 08/04/2023 at 11:40:35
Team on the face of it, given our options, looks okay to me even if a little untried for any length of time.

Tough ask for Simms – Liverpool, then this to start, but wishing him all the best. Confidence will be up after that strike against Chelsea, but a tough game all the same. Maybe 2-2, and another valuable point.

Ernie Baywood
6 Posted 08/04/2023 at 11:42:08
Will be interesting to see where Gray and Iwobi line up. If we're going down this path I'd prefer to see Simms supported in attack with Gray.

It's an attacking move. I'm quite surprised.

Jerome Shields
7 Posted 08/04/2023 at 11:49:11
Simms starting.Few seen that coming.'A have a go ' then.
James Hughes
8 Posted 08/04/2023 at 11:54:10
Simms against Maguire could be a good battle COYB
Tony Everan
9 Posted 08/04/2023 at 11:55:32
So is that Simms up top then Gray being the link between him and midfield ?

It’s a positive move bringing Simms in. He looked a bit leaner and fitter than I’ve ever seen him in the training vid so he will hopefully cause Man Utd’s defence a few problems today.


Jeff Armstrong
10 Posted 08/04/2023 at 12:01:17
BBC have Gray wide right and Iwobi inside.
Fran Mitchell
11 Posted 08/04/2023 at 12:04:26
I feel it will be more like a 4-4-1-1 with Grey behind Simms.

cannot see Iwobi moving inside.

Danny O’Neill
12 Posted 08/04/2023 at 12:12:21
In we go blues.

Those in the stadium, those watching at home, those following at some ridiculous hour overseas.

A unified blue wall. Here we go.

Speak to you on my way home.

Enjoy the ride!

Christopher Timmins
13 Posted 08/04/2023 at 12:13:56
A big day for Simms, we must ensure that he does not get isolated. Iwobi to play wide right with Gray playing closest to Simms. We can get something from this game!

Dave Abrahams
14 Posted 08/04/2023 at 12:27:57
Danny (11), there used to be a supporter of the year at one time, if it was still going you’d be my nomination, best of luck to you today along with those thousands of brilliant fans watching with you and Bluenoses all over the world who will be watching, listening, hoping and praying that we get something from this game and continue the fight to safety. COYB.
Pete Hughes
15 Posted 08/04/2023 at 12:58:31
How we are not 3 or 4 down here is a mystery?
Ernie Baywood
16 Posted 08/04/2023 at 13:09:13
Strange that we can't defend and can't hang a decent cross in. What's happened to us? They were the only things we could do.
Dave Abrahams
17 Posted 08/04/2023 at 13:10:22
The centre ofmidfield is wide open because Onana is doing nothing still lumbering around marking nobody, Gana is on his own there.
Simon Dalzell
18 Posted 08/04/2023 at 13:12:31
Missing Duke. This is dreadful.
Ernie Baywood
19 Posted 08/04/2023 at 13:19:29
Disgraceful by Godfrey on so many occasions. He's fast asleep when United get the ball. You'd think by now he'd have figured out that he needs to watch Antony. Instead he's watching the game.

I reckon he may get dragged.

Jerome Shields
20 Posted 08/04/2023 at 13:21:44
McTomnay the in form Striker was let run on to a incoming ball, getting in front of two Everton Defenders, on the near post.Basic everything that.
Dave Abrahams
21 Posted 08/04/2023 at 13:23:10
Good report by Michael as usual, I think he mentioned every Everton player except Onana for the simple reason the lad is doing fuck all except watching the game pass him by.
Simon Dalzell
22 Posted 08/04/2023 at 13:26:34
Onana stood still for goal. He's lazy at times.
Fran Mitchell
23 Posted 08/04/2023 at 13:27:11
Doucoure isna big miss in the middle. Messing up the whole defensive organisation.

But Simms could/should have scored, and I fail to see how Maguire not making any attempt to get the ball and merely barging Grey to the ground is not a penalty? it's a foul anywhere else on the pitch, it's a clear penalty.

Godfrey has been woeful. Not sure how we go about this. Really think we need another midfielder on the pitch, but can't be hooking Simms as he is a goal threat.

Michael Kenrick
24 Posted 08/04/2023 at 13:28:26
Such a pity Simms didn't bury that. The old Everton malaise resurfaces after Keane's object lesson in laces through the ball. Why sidefoot from there?
Christine Foster
25 Posted 08/04/2023 at 13:28:39
I don't know how it's still 1 nil, except Pickford has kept it down, but frankly we look second to everything, out of position, they are walking through us.

Dyche had better come up with something because the ball over the top is killing us. Godfrey is 10 yards off his man all the time, once again it is the long diagonals, drop it over the full back, it's painful.

Hanging by a thread.

Alan J Thompson
26 Posted 08/04/2023 at 13:31:07
Let's be honest, if not for Pickford we could be 6 or 7 down now. They look like they know what they are doing and are a lot quicker than we are. Godfrey is being shown up as having nothing when up against someone with as much pace as he has and Gana looks totally out of his depth, no pace. no positioning an no idea creatively.

Again for the goal we have defenders just dropping back all the time otherwise the scorer should have been played offside.

And when we get forward and wide there seems to be no thought of at least putting a cross over, just fiddle before giving the ball away. I thought we could have had a penalty about 20 or 25th minute when Gray was held back but forgot we are up against one of the never happened sides.

The one sad point is that Simms could have given us the lead but now seems to have developed the Finch Farm speciality of being frightened to put his boot through the ball.

Can't see us getting anything out of this other than keeping our goal difference almost respectable.

Brian Wilkinson
27 Posted 08/04/2023 at 13:39:25
I think I am part to blame for the goal, I was screaming "Do not give United a free kick on the edge of the box by lunging in!"

Sorry guys and lasses.

Simon Dalzell
28 Posted 08/04/2023 at 13:43:02
I would say SOLELY to blame Brian. You never learn. This was my main worry before kick off.
Colin Malone
29 Posted 08/04/2023 at 13:49:16
Took our best player off, Gana.
Pete Hughes
30 Posted 08/04/2023 at 13:58:24
Colin Malone...

Gana our best player?

Remember Jordon Pickford?

Paul Curwen
31 Posted 08/04/2023 at 14:14:01
Not been on here for a while... but am I the only one not wearing Iwobi tinted glasses?

So many mistakes, he is almost always scared to put a foot in. Not the only one making mistakes agreed but fuck off, Iwobi!!!

Colin Malone
32 Posted 08/04/2023 at 14:17:51
Why the fuck has Gana Gueye been taken off? For Davies, for fuck's sake.
John Atkinson
33 Posted 08/04/2023 at 14:18:21
Totally agree with Paul (31).

Iwobi is fucking useless. How the fuck can the manager keep picking him. Can' t pass, shoot or tackle. How much? Arsenal were pissing themselves when they got rid.

Andrew Merrick
34 Posted 08/04/2023 at 14:18:41
Lick our wounds today.

Crack on next week.

This squad ain't quitting on the back of a bad day...

Fran Mitchell
35 Posted 08/04/2023 at 14:23:15
poor performance, first half we could have scored but it left us far too open and Utd could have had 6.

passing was way below standard, Utd played well, but every time we had the ball we gifted it back to them, got to be better than this.

Bobby Mallon
36 Posted 08/04/2023 at 14:25:46
Valiant fucking disgraceful tactics playing such a high line at old Trafford. We need points.
Ernie Baywood
37 Posted 08/04/2023 at 14:26:25
Completely outplayed but disappointing that the goals were self inflicted.

In truth we could have taken a morale sapping hiding today.

Oh well, the big games for us are still coming.

Colin Malone
38 Posted 08/04/2023 at 14:31:26
Lampard really fucked us up.
Tony Everan
39 Posted 08/04/2023 at 14:34:12
We were outplayed today and could have been much worse if it wasn't for Pickford being outstanding.

It was a step too far replacing the mainly midfielder Doucoure with the mainly attacker Gray. I thought we were on the back foot throughout and possibly a better call would have been to have a more solid midfield and play Gray up top on his own. Maybe the same formation as has been decent recently, but simply with Garner for Doucoure.

Man Utd have so many quality attacking players it probably wouldn't have made much difference, especially on their wide open pitch. Ten Haag's tactics of switching play and exposing our full-backs worked well.

Need to forget this now and move on, get a win next week.

Alan J Thompson
40 Posted 08/04/2023 at 14:34:43
We were totally outplayed. They formed triangles and had men spare – we just had a man with the ball and maybe another in an equally bad position.

Why you would bother bringing on Maupay is beyond me and if you thought Simms did little then you would have had difficulty knowing Maupay was on other than his number was on the subs board. We seemed to miss Doucouré getting forward as we got few if any players into their penalty area and nobody that gave them anything to worry about.

As for the second goal, again, Coleman made an error that let the Man Utd player in but had he been holding the line then he was offside. When will we wake up to it!
I thought this was one of
the better refereeing displays of our season but similar to Kane last week why was McTominay not booked for twice kneeing a player?

All-in-all, we deserved everything we got from this game and the best I can say is that our goal difference could, perhaps should, be a lot worse. The almost bubble has burst.

Neil Tyrrell
41 Posted 08/04/2023 at 14:38:28
Big gulf in quality between us and Man Utd, outclassed all over the pitch today except for in goal or it would have been much worse than 2.

Better chances to win coming up.

Jamie Crowley
42 Posted 08/04/2023 at 14:38:51
8 games left and we need at least 10 points I'd bet.

Fulham, Palace, Newcastle, Leicester, Brighton, Man City, Wolves, Bournemouth.

9 points from Fulham, Palace and Leicester would be lovely.

Today, I had very little confidence – tough game on the road, coming off a great effort with one less day of rest.

I have a lot of confidence we can beat Fulham at home. Hopefully that gets a ball rolling and we actually drag Palace down officially into the Relegation Battle Royale.

It's all getting a bit ass-pucker for me now.

George Cumiskey
43 Posted 08/04/2023 at 14:40:26
Taking Gana off was a mistake for me, and Iwobi and McNeil were completely useless as was Onana.

Seamus played really well apart from that terrible mistake.

David Hallwood
44 Posted 08/04/2023 at 14:40:50
Regulation win for the Mancs, but I couldn't understand why, in the first half, when we were getting done by that ball over the top, we didn't drop back 10 yards?

But it highlights the gap between the two sides; how many of our players would get in the Man Utd squad and how many of theirs would get into ours.

Answer none and all of them.

Mark Murphy
45 Posted 08/04/2023 at 14:46:30
I only saw the second half but, looking to next season, I would be happy if just the back five that finished this game are still in our matchday squad. Maybe Garner as I've not seen enough of him. Simms maybe as a bench option. Cash in on Onana already.

We're just a poor team relying on spirit when faced with decent teams. I'm not despondent – I expected to lose today – but we are where we are on merit, not by bad luck. It's a poor squad.

Joe McMahon
46 Posted 08/04/2023 at 14:52:37
Colin, it started with Koeman. Ancelotti also played a hand with ludicrous contracts such as his own and James's.

I'll say it again: we should have stabalised with Big Sam being here longer.

Robert Tressell
47 Posted 08/04/2023 at 14:53:07
Fairly straightforward. We were beaten by a much, much better team.

Ten Hag has Man Utd playing as well as they have in the past decade since Ferguson retired. We couldn't cope with it. I don't think there's a huge inquest into what we could / should have done. Points were available through either luck or Man Utd having an off day. We got neither. As it is, we've lost without unduly harming our goal difference.

Some of today's poor performers still have much to contribute to us staying up. We move on.

Brian Wilkinson
48 Posted 08/04/2023 at 14:58:18
I know a lot are slating Onana but it must be tough playing a game without being able to take on fluid, due to Ramadan. Let's see what Onana offers after it ends.
Bill Gall
49 Posted 08/04/2023 at 14:58:22
Well, the first 10 minutes showed what the rest of the game was going to be like and unfortunately Dyche did not have the squad to compete with it.

The positives we can take from the game is the Goal Difference is going to count in staying up or going down, and we kept the score respectable, plus another strong display from Pickford.

Oliver Molloy
51 Posted 08/04/2023 at 15:00:49
I would have been surprised if we had got anything today.

Also not surprised that McTominay did not get even a yellow card.

Mike Connolly
52 Posted 08/04/2023 at 15:01:49
Gana – Man of the Match?!?!

You've got to be joking – he was as bad as Onana and Godfrey. James Garner done more in 10 minutes than the other two.

MotM has got to be Pickford.

Barry Rathbone
53 Posted 08/04/2023 at 15:05:13
Playing teams with better players "at it" will end in defeat 99 times out of a hundred no matter how hard working the group.

This was a write-off from the get-go unless Man Utd didn't bother showing but of course the sneaky petunias did. On the plus side, we avoided a hammering meaning goal difference is still retrievable and confidence not unduly affected.

Only two more write-offs remain – Man City and Newcastle Utd – so the league we start in next season is very much in our hands (points deduction notwithstanding). Not good but not disastrous.

Martin Mason
54 Posted 08/04/2023 at 15:05:54
That definitely put us in our place and we are in the right place I think. No bad luck, no anti-Everton refereeing — just a very, very poor side.
Dave Williams
55 Posted 08/04/2023 at 15:08:26
We won't go down because we lost away to the third-best team in the Premier League.

We will go down because we drop points to Fulham, Bournemouth and Newcastle. Win those three and we should be okay with maybe an away win or couple of away draws to be sure.

We are a poor squad which is why we are in trouble. Onana is not giving enough, Ben Godfrey is struggling and we need of course a fit Calvert-Lewin. We will only pick up points if everyone is playing well and we had too many today who weren't allowed to by a top side.

Let's move on!!

Mike Connolly
56 Posted 08/04/2023 at 15:17:54
When did Ramadam start? Because most of the games he's played have been low energy.
Dave Abrahams
57 Posted 08/04/2023 at 15:19:00
Brian (48),

I wish you could blame Ramadan for Onana's very poor performance but he has been producing these displays all season to be honest; the lad simply hasn't shown anything to demonstrate why we paid such an extravagant price for this player, he offers next to nothing going forward or defending, but apart from Pickford the whole team played a lot worse than they have been recently.

We can play better than this and will do to get the points needed to stay up.

Paul Birmingham
58 Posted 08/04/2023 at 15:33:12
No complaints from me. When you don't turn up and compete, you don't earn the right to play.

Simms shot aside, too timid, and Jordan Pickford saved us from a very heavy defeat.

We go again v Fulham which is a must-win, and hopefully results go Everton's way today.

Disappointing day to say the least but there's a big battle ahead which Everton can winto stay in the League.

Christy Ring
59 Posted 08/04/2023 at 15:41:13
We didn't deserve anything today, a poor performance all around apart from Pickford.

Definitely missed Doucouré in midfield, maybe Garner or Davies would have been a better option in midfield, as Iwobi and Gray offer no physicality with Onana offering little.

We badly need Calvert-Lewin available.

Barry Hesketh
60 Posted 08/04/2023 at 15:41:16
I suppose a few of us were hoping that we might get a point at Old Trafford; however, we should all have known better.

I think we've missed two opportunities to win games under Dyche, the game at Forest and last Monday's draw with Spurs. We understand that we are down where we are for a reason, but that doesn't excuse non-performance in any game anywhere.

If we are to win away again this season, it's better to do it at the teams around us, like Wolves, Palace and Leicester, but the Fulham game on Saturday has become all important and we simply must win it.

It could go down to the final two games of the season, but we have to win a game or two to make that happen. It's tough being a blue at the best of times, but this next few weeks will truly test our resolve.

Kunal Desai
61 Posted 08/04/2023 at 15:41:59
Lucky to get away with a 2-0 defeat. 3 more wins or 2 wins and 3 draws will be fine for us.

I think we now have a good run of games to take points through to end of the season and that includes Man City at home who may have one eye on the semi-final of the Champions League.

Barry Rathbone
62 Posted 08/04/2023 at 15:43:21
When we signed Onana, not knowing anything about him, I did the usual and checked the show reel to see if he can play or is just another athlete – it's the latter.

Now that's not as big a problem as it first appears footballers who can play have virtually vanished from the game most can't trap a bag of cement these days and wrestle with rather than control a ball. The unopposed inheritor of the Messi/Ronaldo crown, Mbappe, is an athlete first and foremost his sprinting prowess being what sets him aside

So, in the land of the blind where the one-eyed man is king, Onana is effectively a prince and therefore valuable as a saleable asset which, in all honesty, is all we are interested in this summer. Might be best to keep the truth of his performances on the down low whilst other clubs seem to be buying the hype – we need the cash pronto.

Jim Wilson
63 Posted 08/04/2023 at 15:58:05
I don't know what Dyche was thinking.

Garner in for Doucouré and Onana given the Doucouré role was the simple change to make.

If we had kept to the tried and trusted we might have won the midfield battle and kept things even or nicked a goal.

Maybe Dyche underestimated Man Utd but Old Trafford is not the place to tinker with the proven formation. He better have it sorted for next week. And a strong midfield is essential.

Mark Murphy
64 Posted 08/04/2023 at 16:17:06
I agree, Jim.

I was flummoxed when I saw Dyche had changed the system. We find one that works and then change it because of one missing cog?

On saying that, how many more games will Iwobi get based on that graphic of him running all over the pitch last season? He can't tackle, his decision-making is shocking, and he runs into blind alleys. I get that he's skilful but he's five-a-side skilful!

But it's not just individuals – our squad is Bottom 6. I'm 100% for giving Sean Dyche the chance that, in hindsight, Allardyce should indeed have been given. There, I've said it!

Jim Bennings
65 Posted 08/04/2023 at 16:18:03
Dyche doesn't have anything to choose from, much like Lampard; he's got nothing in this squad that makes a difference, that's why I'd seriously, desperate as it sounds, stick Michael Keane up front, and just see what happens.

The midfield all season is where our problems have cost us, the lack of goals we have known about for a good few years but there's no creativity or nous in that midfield whatsoever.

Garner for me, if he's fit, should finish the season now, at least he looks half calm and capable on the ball which is not something you can say of Gana, Iwobi or Onana.

Desperate times and we can only hope that next Saturday our need is greater than Fulham's and we eradicate anymore self-destruct errors which have plagued the season for us.

Tony Abrahams
66 Posted 08/04/2023 at 16:21:42
I couldn't believe we played with only two central midfield players on that big massive Old Trafford pitch, especially because Onana is still coming to terms with the hard physical graft that is required in England.

Gueye was the bigger disappointment for me today because he's our most experienced outfield player and his use of the ball during the first half was very poor. He did improve after the break and was playing as well as anyone when he got hooked but I think the game was already away from us even at this stage.

The gulf in class was huge and this was amplified when you realize Iwobi is meant to be our biggest creative player according to the stats.

A free-hit but you don't get nothing away from home without being horrible and hard to play against –especially when we have got such little creativity in the team. I agree the well coached Man Utd were at it today and, even though I thought we played right into their hands, they did show teams how to play against a very narrow defence and could have been four or five up by half-time.

We need Calvert-Lewin — I believe this team could even become a mid-table side if he was fit but without him it's going to be a real struggle until the end.

John Raftery
67 Posted 08/04/2023 at 16:22:30
Jim (63),

Agreed. We need the extra man in midfield. Today was like watching a Lampard team. Wide open without the ball and too slow and predictable with the ball.

Jim Bennings
68 Posted 08/04/2023 at 16:31:18
Tony @66,

I'd forget Calvert-Lewin now, mate, as bad as it sounds, I know he's had loads of stick for his life choice etc etc and I'm not going down that road.

I mean, for 2 years now he's not featured hardly and I doubt if we are all honest with ourselves that next season will greatly differ because the problems just seem so ongoing that any physical exertion is killing his body and preventing any competitive nature.

We should have been ruthless last summer and looked at Calvert-Lewin as a squad player and signed two first-choice strikers and had Calvert-Lewin as a third choice, if he's fit then fine but don't expect anything.

We've brought it on ourselves sadly.

Martin Mason
69 Posted 08/04/2023 at 16:33:34
It's not a matter of how many of our players would have been good enough for Man Utd's team today. That is none… but Ten Hag may disagree over Pickford and Coleman.

Think about this: who in that dreadful squad would you have in any selection of players that you'd be happy with in our team for the start of next season? The same two for me and that is all. What has happened to what were some seemingly good buys?

Pickford is the best goalie in the world — we'd be in the Championship already without him.

Stuart Sharp
70 Posted 08/04/2023 at 16:34:18
Well I don't mind admitting that I was okay with the starting line-up, though I was hoping Iwobi would be central. Before long, I was hoping he'd be hooked.

And once it became clear Onana was having another stinker, I was desperate to see Garner. I was also desperate for us to stop playing such a high line – they created so many chances from long balls.

We didn't deserve anything, but we were still in it until the Coleman mistake. Not a match to get too down about – there are more key games ahead.

Colin Malone
71 Posted 08/04/2023 at 16:39:35
Gana was the only one in midfield doing his job. As soon as he went off, we were ripped apart. He wasn't just doing his own job, he was doing Onana's.

Iwobi doing well, then give it straight back to them. As I've said, he is limited because of his 10 to 2 feet. That might sound daft but he constantly gives the ball away.

Ian Riley
72 Posted 08/04/2023 at 16:50:13
You can't make errors against a top 4 club. We helped United today. Today was a bonus if we got something. Realistically our survival is on a knife edge. Too many teams have something to play for. That's our problem! Any more slip-ups and it could be all over.

I said when Dyche came in, we have a manager to get us out of the Championship. Staying up would be a title win. Going down will not be a shock. Still have a chance!!!

Looks like Frank has put another nail in our coffin! Cheers, Frank, for everything!

Jerome Shields
73 Posted 08/04/2023 at 17:03:03
Dyche changed the system and might've got away with it but for the usual defensive lack of awareness and of course the proverbial error.
Brian Wilkinson
74 Posted 08/04/2023 at 17:06:33
Should have sent Maupay to Preston, and kept hold of Cannon.

No matter what we think of Calvert-Lewin, we simply have to risk him for the Fulham game and beyond. Once the season ends, all being well still in top-flight football, go all out to bring two top-class strikers in.

Calvert-Lewin will be the messiah in a couple of weeks, and all the name-callers will be kissing his backside, watch this space.

Christy Ring
75 Posted 08/04/2023 at 17:09:28
Just watched the spurs game, Stuart Attwell an absolute disgrace, he rode Brighton. Should have had 2 definite penalties.

Spurs should have had Perisic and Romero sent off, and 2 goals ruled out by the VAR, and Kane rolling around again twice, unbelievable.

Matt Henderson
76 Posted 08/04/2023 at 17:10:04
Dyche should never have changed the system. With Doucouré out, it should've been same system but with Garner. Changing the system disrupts more positions than just the absence of Doucouré.

On the bright side, after that tough run of games, we are above the Bottom 3 and we got away with an absolute battering to our goal difference today.

We have to beat Fulham next week.

Jerome Shields
77 Posted 08/04/2023 at 17:10:37
Brian #74,

I agree. Cannon could even link up with Simms. The may have had an understanding. Something that Maupay lacks in abundance.

Jack Convery
78 Posted 08/04/2023 at 17:11:10
A weekend when we play, lose and stay out of the Bottom 3 – thankful for small mercies.

Cheers, Villa.

Ajay Gopal
79 Posted 08/04/2023 at 17:14:09
Two players who don't deserve to be in the starting XI are Onana and Godfrey. Mykolenko, Garner and Davies for those 2 and Simms, who I think is better coming off the bench.

McNeil Garner Gueye Davies Iwobi
Mykolenko Tarkowski Keane Coleman

This is a solid enough team until Doucoure and hopefully, Dominic are back.

And as expected, Lampard loses at Wolves - one of the worst managers at Everton in the long list of poor managers.

Ed Prytherch
80 Posted 08/04/2023 at 17:18:27
It was strange that Dyche chose this game to try two up front. We were simply over run in midfield.

Simms looks better coming off the bench for the last 15 - 20 minutes.

Ray Jacques
81 Posted 08/04/2023 at 17:21:13
If Leeds win tomorrow, there will be a 3-point gap between us and the team above (Bournemouth, who are a better side than us).

Nottm Forest have a horrific run of games coming up, looks like it could be between us and Leicester who survives.

Fulham next week is a must-win.

David Bromwell
82 Posted 08/04/2023 at 17:28:04
Pickford aside, this was a poor performance today. However, a quick look at our bench full of central defenders illustrates how few options we have available.

Whilst the team overall were poor today, in part I think that was due to the manager's initial game plan which made us short in midfield.

However, there were also a number of players who performed poorly, notably Godfrey, Onana, Iwobi, McNeil and Maupay. The rest I thought were okay, given their various limitations.

We will need to play a lot better than this if we are to stay in the Premier League.

For his part, I hope Doucouré was fined for his silly sending off, and Calvert-Lewin is on the team sheet for the remainder of the season, and Garner starts next week.

John Charles
83 Posted 08/04/2023 at 17:28:40
I felt sorry for Gueye, only one in midfield.

I hate the fact that Calvert-Lewin might come back as a hero but, if he had played at all, we wouldn't be in the position of needing a hero.

If he is willing – I am not convinced – we need to risk him against Fulham. If we don't win that, it is over.

Barry Hesketh
84 Posted 08/04/2023 at 17:32:08
After playing a whole raft of their relegation rivals in recent weeks, Everton had the opportunity to get points on the board early against a Manchester United side busy fighting on four fronts but instead fell to an all-too-predictable 2-0 defeat at Old Trafford. so Chris Beesley says in his match report for today's game at Old Trafford.

Spurs, Chelsea, Arsenal (x2), Villa, Liverpool, Brentford, Forest and Leeds, yup! that is a whole raft of relegation rivals isn't it?

David West
85 Posted 08/04/2023 at 17:37:49
Today, they looked tired. I don't know if it was the Tottenham game or the early start, but I expected more energy.

I don't know if Dyche wanted to force them wide and hope we could deal with the crosses, but the tactics didn't work today. Simms was too isolated, no one really ran in front of him the way Doucouré has been getting forward.

Gray needs to deliver the ball without all the stepovers, he's definitely better through the middle with the goal to run at instead of the byline.

It could have been embarrassing if not for Pickford. I think the Gana & Onana were took off to give them a rest as it didn't look like we were getting anything .
This game's gone, next 2 are huge now. No one seems to want to drag themselves out of this relegation battle but 6 points from the next 2 would go a long way for us.

Jerome Shields
86 Posted 08/04/2023 at 17:40:22
McTominay should have been sent off for kneeing Seamus. It was pure petulance in his part.
David West
87 Posted 08/04/2023 at 17:45:55
John @83,

Win lose or draw against Fulham, I won't be giving up till that fat lady is singing... why would we give up when there's even a small chance? And the chance isn't even that small – we are well capable of staying up!!

We'd have gone down last season with that attitude!! And in '98 and '94!!

We don't give up, lad!!!

Joe McMahon
88 Posted 08/04/2023 at 17:49:37
Ray #81, I fully agree.

It's 3 out of the Bottom 4. The others will pull away. I don't want to come back and haunt us – Wolves injury time winner and surrendering the lead twice at Forest.

I don't want to dwell on Bournemouth results as they are a better team.

Grimm, isn't it.

John Atkins
89 Posted 08/04/2023 at 17:52:19
Don't agree it's 3 from 4 … Leeds, Palace and Bournemouth still very much in it.
Danny O’Neill
90 Posted 08/04/2023 at 18:02:09
I'll reflect more tomorrow.

Horrible journey up because of engineering works.

London to Leicester. Leicester to Nuneaton. Then Nuneaton to Manchester.

Same deal on the way back only delayed an hour at least due to an emergency ahead. I hope the person is okay.

Sat amongst the home supporters and with a few Man Utd friends in United pubs after the match.

Tough day.

But we go to Goodison on Saturday.

Tony Everan
91 Posted 08/04/2023 at 18:02:21

Rashford also looked like he put an intentional elbow into the face of McNeil. I only watched it as it happened because there wasn't a replay, but I'm sure Rashford meant it.

McNeil toughed it out, someone like, Harry Kane would have been down and writhing getting the VAR to have a look.

John Charles
92 Posted 08/04/2023 at 18:05:13
David, not giving up but bloody hard if we don't win.
Danny Baily
93 Posted 08/04/2023 at 18:12:48
Looks like it's down to five teams: the current Bottom 4 and Bournemouth.
Tony Abrahams
94 Posted 08/04/2023 at 18:24:35
Jim @68,

I won't just forget about Calvert-Lewin because I think we badly need him mate. He's been injured a very long time, but not for as long as the club has been totally mismanaged into the ground.

I believe if Dominic doesn't get fit, then this total mismanagement could possibly lead us into the Championship.

Chris Leyland
95 Posted 08/04/2023 at 18:32:34
Danny - there are lots of twists and turns still to come starting with Leeds v Palace tomorrow. If either team lost it then they are
still right in it too.
Ian Edwards
96 Posted 08/04/2023 at 18:54:37
Posters are a bit negative re teams directly above us. They all have hard games next week and all will remain in the mix.
Ian Riley
97 Posted 08/04/2023 at 19:04:18
One big positive is Frank has gone! We would be gone and over the hill by now!
Robert Tressell
98 Posted 08/04/2023 at 19:09:11
I agree, Ian. No need to be defeatist. We're going into the next round of games in decent form and everyone in the Bottom 12 is in this battle with us.

I don't think Dyche or the squad will feel demoralised by the result today. It's just one of those things.

Contrast that with how Leicester must be feeling right now...

Nick Page
99 Posted 08/04/2023 at 19:12:12
Christy @75

I fucking hate Spuds nearly as much as the shite. They're an absolutely diabolical club. Haven't won a league title since 1961 and the media go on and on about them like they're laden with trophies.

Last major honour – FA Cup in 91. Must be the only team in the Champions League who've never won the domestic competition. Embarrassing.

But what that snide Levy has done is keep them relevant by hook or by crook – usually with the help of the PL and dire decisions – unlike uncle Bill who's managed us the opposite way. Anyway, rant over.

I didn't see the game today as was travelling. Sounds like we never turned up and they did as the Sky 6 always do with us. And that bag of shite Martial got his obligatory goal against us. Incredible.

We need points and we need the likes of Bournemouth to start running out of luck. Anyway, it's all by the by cos unless something drastic changes, we'll be here again next year.

Fuck off, Kenwright.


Jeff Armstrong
100 Posted 08/04/2023 at 19:17:05
Don't get the Garner shouts, he's distinctly average.

Brian 74, agree about Cannon, he would be an option right now.

Paul Hewitt
101 Posted 08/04/2023 at 19:26:12
Think it's safe to say Southampton are gone. So it's just another 2…
Chris Leyland
102 Posted 08/04/2023 at 19:32:15
Robert – our ‘good' form is 1 win in the last 7 games.

Whilst we are certainly an improved outfit since Dyche took over, our form isn't exactly pulling up trees. We will need to significantly improve and get at least 3 wins, possibly 4 to stay up. Are they possible or likely from 8 games?

David West
103 Posted 08/04/2023 at 19:55:11
John 89... spot on, it's wide open. Lots of points to play for, twists and turns to unfold. Who would have thought when Frank was here we would be 2 points above Leicester and they would be 19th now??

Ian 96, Rob 98 exactly!! We all knew there would be setbacks. How we deal with the setbacks is vital now. The two coming games will tell us a lot.

John 92, yeah we've lost. It's hard another weekend looking at other teams, coming fixtures others fixtures. But I belive we wouldn't have had a chance if we'd kept Frank so we have more than a chance now.

People saying Cannon shouldn't be on loan we need him, no it's Calvert-Lewin we need. We have Simms and he's shown the step up is not an easy one to make.

The yards the team have run lately, we were bound to have a setback when the sqaud is so thin!

Keep believing, lads!! What's the alternative??

Colin Malone
104 Posted 08/04/2023 at 19:55:39
Where are all Unsworth young players, while he was here for 8 years? Employed by Kenwright. Sacks Sheedy, who won trophies with the Under-18s.

Okay, it's changed now, no more of Kenwright's jobs for the boys.

I know I'm digressing but I'm angry that we haven't got a better squad because of 8 wasted years because of Kenwright.

David West
105 Posted 08/04/2023 at 20:01:37

We have just sold an academy graduate for £45M, so not all bad, mate.

Simms, Mills, Cannon and few others on the fringe of things too.

Paul Tran
106 Posted 08/04/2023 at 20:10:23
36 points will do us, I think. That's nine points from eight games. I think we can do that. Very tight though, I think we'll drop and gain unexpected points and do just enough.
Svein-Roger Jensen
107 Posted 08/04/2023 at 20:29:29
Saints scored one now and that leaves us bottom on goals
Jerome Shields
108 Posted 08/04/2023 at 20:30:26
Tony #91,

Didn't see that one, but normal form for Oliver to turn a blind eye.

Tony Everan
109 Posted 08/04/2023 at 20:34:47
Four games in 16 days coming up, Fulham next week looks the most winnable but we'll have to play way better than today even against the lesser opponents.

I think Dyche will change it back to his more orthodox 4-5-1 that grinds out wins and is a much meaner team. But even then we will need to pass it better, we were sloppy today and there's no excuse for that.

Also we can't afford any more giveaway mistakes as we don't score freely to compensate.

Eight points from those four games will go a long way to securing safety. If we stick to our system that works, we can do it.

Tony Abrahams
110 Posted 08/04/2023 at 20:37:04
Oliver never booked anyone today, and although I don't like the man, and feel that Maguire's body check could have been a penalty (because I've seen him award loads – for less, down the years), I definitely thought it was one of his better performances.
Derek Knox
111 Posted 08/04/2023 at 20:53:22
Not the result, or performance for that matter, that we needed, or expected. I was pretty confident if we started with the same attitude as against Spurs, we could at least have grabbed a draw. Scant consolation that we weren't 'mullered', largely down to Pickford heroics, but a rare mistake from Seamus gifted them their second.

Tony A, I kind of thought, or rather hoped we may have got a penalty from Carthorse Maguire's antics inside the box, but the chances of that were slimmer than a Rizzla Paper. Almost makes Fulham a must-win game now, just to keep pace with others at the bottom.

Jack Convery
112 Posted 08/04/2023 at 21:02:34
Playing the same players, week-in and week-out, is becoming a problem. Some looked goosed today.

The paucity of quality in the squad must be concerning Dyche. The bench is hardly inspiring. Let's hope we can get 3 points versus Fulham. It's a must now.

Sam Hoare
113 Posted 08/04/2023 at 21:09:02
A bad day at the office but the relegation battle will go down to the wire and no team is out of it till they've got 37/38 points on the board.

But we need a win. Fulham will be no pushovers for certain and we will miss Doucouré as we did today. But I have a feeling we might see Calvert-Lewin back soon. Whether he'll be fit enough to make a positive impact, I've no idea… but hopefully so.

Dyche has improved us but we've had a really tough run of games. Fulham, Palace and Leicester are the next 3. I'd say we need an absolute minimum of 4 points from those but ideally 6 or 7 (though I wouldn't say no to 9!). It's gonna be a nail-biter.

Joe McMahon
114 Posted 08/04/2023 at 21:12:59
Sam, I think we need 7 from those 3 games and yes we have to start winning.
Tony Everan
115 Posted 08/04/2023 at 21:31:23
Sam, Newcastle at home before the Leicester game.
Kunal Desai
116 Posted 08/04/2023 at 21:34:23
Sam next 3 are Fulham, Palace and Newcastle. 5/6 points for those 3 fixtures.
Pete Jeffries
117 Posted 08/04/2023 at 21:53:25
Is it too much to ask for 11 highly paid players in a blue shirt to pass a ball around a small field of grass and actually hit the target at one end in a space of 90 minutes??
Trevor Peers
118 Posted 08/04/2023 at 22:02:43
It's very difficult to actually contribute anything new or relevant to Everton's plight these days, but considering the squad we have and having had the lamentable Lampard on board for nearly a full year, I think we have done remarkably well since Dyche took over.

To get a result today, we would have had to be playing a Man Utd team with little to play for, which was the complete opposite, they are chasing a Champions League place so they were always going to put in a massive shift today in their own stadium.

The relegation battle is obviously still finely balanced. I think that Wolves and West Ham will be involved despite their victories today. There is still a way to go and it could go right to the last matches of the season for us unfortunately.

We just have to grin and bear it until it's over and hope we survive. Surely then some drastic changes will be made at boardroom level, otherwise we will be back here again next season, god forbid.

Jay Evans
119 Posted 08/04/2023 at 22:15:39
Ben Godfrey is absolutely crud.
Mark Murphy
120 Posted 08/04/2023 at 22:29:42
Ben Godfrey is a good player in a bad patch of form.
They all have them.
He’ll come good.
Derek Thomas
121 Posted 08/04/2023 at 22:31:18
Jeff @ 100;

Garner's Distinctly Average' is, at the moment, better than that big galoot Onana.

Talking of big galoots, Godfrey had another less than 'Distincly Average' day... not for the first time either.

Simms didn't have much to work with and looks what he might turn out to be, a bit... in the style of a Lukaku-lite... one dimensional — Okay when it comes off, like Chelsea.

I think Dyche pushed the back line up a bit too far to compress the midfield a bit — compensating for the missing Doucouré?

If it all goes down to Goal Difference, then thank Pickford — MotM.

Jeff Armstrong
122 Posted 08/04/2023 at 22:44:28
I feel a bit sorry for Godfrey, he doesn't have a left foot but he is constantly shoved out there because Mykolenko is shite and Ben is quick.

He's been here 3 or 4 seasons now and nobody knows his best position. I think we bought him as a right-side centre-back but he's probably only played there 5 times.

I think he's going to be one of those utility players who is not considered to be great anywhere, but he'll have a career in and around the Premier League and Championship as per his last few years but will never be considered as a really good player.

Onana has been really disappointing., I believe Dyche is getting a bit fed up with him now and we will see him benched when Doucouré is back.

Colin Malone
123 Posted 08/04/2023 at 23:38:07
David #105.

So you think it's a success over 8 years?

Simms — Cannot control a ball.
Gordon — hit and run merchant. No close control whatsoever.

Typical Unsworth players. As the saying goes, in the Godfather, "It's not personal, just strictly business."

What I'm saying is, under Bill Kenwright, it was who was up Kenwright's arse. I really believe that.

Frank Thomas
124 Posted 09/04/2023 at 00:28:59
Todays defeat started with Simms from minute one. When Gray is in that position, he hurries and presses and forces careless passes or at the very least it does not give the opposition time to place great cross field passes. Simms sat back then Gray did and eventually everybody did. You all press or it is a waste of time if only a few players press. So eventually nobody pressed.

In the same week that Tiger Woods hits the flag on the green, three Everton players fail to hit the target in two games, they are Doucouré, Gana and Simms.

As for Calvert-Lewin, he will suddenly be fit for at least the last three games; otherwise, Arsenal or Man Utd will not make a bid for him. His fitness battles remind me of the Man Utd player we bought; Sir Alex Ferguson was convinced his 'injuries' were in his mind.

Simms needs to realise he needs to be proactive; otherwise, he is showing the same meaningless movement as Rondon. With that kind of performance, he will undoubtedly follow Rondon out of the club. I hope, regardless of our situation, that Dyce remains in charge next season; he will be very careful with his spending and will get rid of players if he feels they are not trying.

What does Dyche say? "The minimum requirement is maximum effort." Clearly Simms did not do that today.

Simms has 8 games to impress before Calvert-Lewin, Cannon and Dobbin return.

To quote another great manager: "Defence starts with the striker".

Paul Birmingham
125 Posted 08/04/2023 at 02:06:14
I clocked Howard's Way on the box tonight, by pure chance. A nice bonus ball for this Easter weekend. All-in-all, I'm praying it's a sign from the Gods.

Definitely this Everton squad can't stay up but they must not forget their club identity and what it means. Today was as good as a no-show. Next week, show no mercy and beat Fulham. Beating Fulham is what counts.


Paul Birmingham
126 Posted 09/04/2023 at 02:12:15
Sorry, I didn't mean to write, "Everton can't stay up" – I typed in "Everton can stay up". It's the poxy iPad default.

My humble apologies.

Laurie Hartley
127 Posted 09/04/2023 at 02:52:09
Amazing we were still in it up until their second goal.

Left back is in my opinion a specialist position requiring a left-footed player. All the best Everton left-backs have been left-footed. That is why Mykolenko should start there every time.

I am a Ben Godfrey fan, he has some qualities that I really like but playing him at left-back is setting him up for failure. Personally, I think he could be turned into a box-to-box midfielder.

I thought Dave Abrahams was a bit premature in his assessment of Onana but it looks like you were right, Dave. He is looking more and more like a show pony to me. At this stage, I would swap him out for Davies without hesitation. If we can sell him for a profit in the summer, I would (and buy Richarlison back off Spurs).

I noticed that Dyche finally decided it would be a good idea to switch Gray to the right and McNeil to the left. They both can cut in and shoot with their preferred foot. For that reason, I think Dyche will have to persist with Simms in the centre.

Last but not least – drop Iwobi and replace him with Garner.

Coleman, Keane, Tarkowski, Mykolenko
McNeill, Gana, Garner, Davies, Gray

ps: McTominay knees Coleman twice while he was on the deck and Rashford elbows McNeil in the mouth – not even a yellow card in sight! Say no more…

Mike Gaynes
128 Posted 09/04/2023 at 04:44:59
Jeff #100, Garner has just played his first 36 minutes after 5 months out injured, and you've already decided he's "distinctly average"???

Give me strength, Lawd.

Also, Cannon wouldn't be an option if he had stayed with us. Lampard wouldn't have used him. Dyche wouldn't have used him. He has slowly developed over 1200 tough minutes at Preston -- remember, he didn't score in his first seven games there, even briefly lost his starting job. He survived that long dry spell and grew into the game.

Never would have had that chance with us.

Derek Knox
129 Posted 09/04/2023 at 05:17:58
Laurie, totally agree with getting Garner to play a much more involved role from the start, but come on Davies? What a waste of space he is!

He looks the part, like Grealish, socks half down etc, but that's about as far as it goes… He's been a wage thief, and gravy train stowaway since that goal against Man City 6 years ago. Yes, that long. Another who has had a few (equivalent) Lottery Wins without even buying a Ticket.

Strewth, Bruce! He's not called Dogshit Davies or Harpo Marx (brother of Skid) or Bette Davies for nothing. :-)

Ajay Gopal
130 Posted 09/04/2023 at 06:02:46
Come on, Derek, tell us what you really think of Tom Davies!

But seriously, I don't get the abuse that he gets from some posters here. I get it that some players trigger a very negative reaction among some fans for irrational reasons (for me, it is Mina and to an extent, Godfrey and Onana) but I cannot get why Tom sparks such rage.

In my eyes, he has performed quite decently whenever called upon. I believe he is capable of more, but he has never been played consistently by any manager – mainly because (again my opinion) there have been more sexy name options – Schneiderlin, Gomes, Delph, Gbamin, Allan, Doucouré, Onana, etc – most of whom have let down the club more spectacularly than Tom Davies.

Alan J Thompson
131 Posted 09/04/2023 at 06:54:00
Well said, Ajay. The other week he got it for not scoring for Wales and I didn't see yesterday, or any other recent sub appearances, that he has caused us to concede goals and, while he hasn't put any away, he has been in position to score on a couple of occasions but given how many goals we've scored this season, who hasn't?

I haven't seen that Everton have offered him a new contract as his current one, I think, expires at this season's end but it won't be him that breaks the bank but somebody will blame him for our position this season.

Laurie Hartley
132 Posted 09/04/2023 at 07:38:38
Derek # 129 - just looking at our current options in midfield and in my view in our current situation Davies offers more than Onana. Onana is probably more talented but Davies is more committed from what I saw yesterday.

Derek Knox
133 Posted 09/04/2023 at 08:09:52
Alan J, Wales ?

He 's not even Welsh, hence not scoring for them ! Despite his surname sounding eligible, although he would be better suited to work on a sheep farm than than kick a sheep's inflated bladder on a football pitch. :-)

Alan McGuffog
134 Posted 09/04/2023 at 08:20:46
Dogshit Davies ? Wasn't there a TV detective called that ?
David Bromwell
135 Posted 09/04/2023 at 08:23:28
I cannot understand the Tom Davies conundrum. To start Dyche made a big thing when he came about the players wearing shin pads when they are training, seems sensible and most would agree. But then Davies does what he always does comes on with his socks at half mass looking like he has got ready in a rush, why ? I believe he has some skills, he has quick feet, he can pass and is brave. Ok he cannot shoot, and lacks speed but he never lacks effort. He also seems to want to impress, but is frequently guilty of giving away silly fouls when all that is required is for him to play to his strengths.

So if he wants a career at Everton after this season the answer is simple, pull your socks up, stop the silly fouls and concentrate on winning the ball and passing it to someone in a blue shirt. It's got to be largely in his own hands, but the Manager can play his part too. We desperately the Tom Davies who showed great promise to rediscover those skills by next week if not he doesn't deserve to be on the team sheet.

Martin Mason
136 Posted 09/04/2023 at 08:35:04
I hope that Davies finds a decent club and leaves. He deserves a club with a decent fan base.
Andy Finigan
137 Posted 09/04/2023 at 08:57:57
I must say it feels pretty miserable to be an Evertonian this Sunday morning.

All the good work done recently feels like it has gone.

Nevermind a win next week and we will be feeling a whole lot better. Up the blues.
Phil Wood
138 Posted 09/04/2023 at 08:59:56
Some of the comments here about Tom Davies are a disgrace.
The lad has always tried his best but if this isn't good enough then just say it.
The people posting these comments are just idiots. Why can't you just stick with saying players are below standard, not good enough, shouldn't be in the team etc?
Pathetic support. Do you understand that word support as in supporter? Go and look it up in a dictionary.
Dave Abrahams
139 Posted 09/04/2023 at 09:03:33
Talking about yesterdays game hardly any of the players stood out except for the obvious one but those picking out Tom Davies should have had a go at a lot of the others before they got to Tom, he wasn’t nearly as poor as some players who never raised their game and unfortunately Sean Dyche started the rot with his formation, the team was open down the middle from the start, It looked like one of Lampard’s selections and the team actually improved, slightly, when Garner and Tom came on.

Let’s be honest the central midfield players are not full of brilliant or even competent performers and I think most of thought Doucoure would be a big miss, his energy and Gueye’s are vital to this team and Gueye was fighting a losing battle on his own yesterday, the invisible man really was invisible yesterday, but they all had a bad day along with Dyche, hopefully we will be a team again versus Fulham.

Kevin Molloy
140 Posted 09/04/2023 at 09:10:26
impressive to see Chelsea are already starting to absorb Lampard's ideas and he's only just through the door. Cos that really was the only shock yesterday, it's inevitable that the bottom 4 will start to cut away from the rest. We were always up against it yesterday, especially once the first goal went in. But we've had a defeat and are still outside the zone. We will beat Fulham next week and continue to scramble to safety.
Mike Connolly
141 Posted 09/04/2023 at 09:31:17
Replacement next matches for me
Mina for keano
Holgate for Godfrey/ mykelenco
Kean for Simms
Patterson for an injured Coleman
Jerome Shields
142 Posted 09/04/2023 at 09:33:36
49 percent of Man U attacks on the right wing. Main Culprits Godfrey not at the races( Thought pace was his asset) and Onana in no man's land all game, no really knowibg what he was doing.Dyche sighting basic covering of high balls and through passes by Everton not to be up to standard.Thas what I got from Motd this morning.So for Dyche a fall down on stats.

Doucoure may be out, but Onana and Godfrey need to improve or be dropped for the next game.

Tony Abrahams
143 Posted 09/04/2023 at 09:39:42
Laurie @132, some people would rather see what they perceive to be a good player giving effort in patches, than an average honest player trying.
James Newcombe
144 Posted 09/04/2023 at 09:40:40
Totally agree Phil. Gueye and Onana in particular have stunk the midfield out for a while, I rather play Tom than either of those.
Brendan McLaughlin
145 Posted 09/04/2023 at 09:44:46
Kevin #140

Fulham on a poor run of form and looking toothless following Mitrovic's ban coming to Goodison next week...storyline almost writes itself.

All of the other relegation candidates have very difficult matches next week so a real opportunity for Everton.

Joe McMahon
146 Posted 09/04/2023 at 09:46:20
So frustrating, DOF failures, not one central midfielder that can drive forward or an actual goalscoring striker. Mosh has been a disaster and we know who chose him.
Chris Leyland
147 Posted 09/04/2023 at 09:47:36
James I agree re Onana but not Gueye who has basically had to do his job and Onana’s on top to allow Onana time to concentrate on what he does best - waving his arms frantically to get the crowd up after we win a throw in
Laurie Hartley
148 Posted 09/04/2023 at 09:59:09
Tony # 143 - when I saw Onana sail past Odegaard on our left wing and into their penalty box in the Arsenal game I thought - “we have got some player here” - maybe Arteta was similarly impressed. But we are in a dogfight and only 100% effort at all times is the minimum requirement. At least we know we will get that from Tom Davies.
Brian Harrison
149 Posted 09/04/2023 at 10:06:29
Their ball retention, their passing and movement off the ball was in a different league to what we are able to produce. I feel sorry for Dyche as he has been left with a team that is devoid of goals, no regular striker, our midfield don't score so how he has done what he has done so far is brilliant. He was brave yesterday playing Simms up top with Gray just behind, but Ellis was against England's current CB, but still found a bit of space and maybe should have done better with the one chance we had.
We have just had back to back games with 2 top 4 teams, so these weren't easy games to get anything from.
The plus is we aren't in the bottom 3 and have a possible winnable home game next. I think our survival might go down to our last game of the season. Its going to be very tense the remaining games, but with our fantastic support lets hope we can survive.
Julian Exshaw
150 Posted 09/04/2023 at 10:11:51
After the high of Monday's late equaliser,this was a distinct low and by far the worst we have played under Dyche. Can it all be put down to Doucoure's absence? There was no energy whatsoever from midfield, no plan that I could see. Dyche has done really well so far on limited resources but this was one to forget.
Tony Abrahams
151 Posted 09/04/2023 at 10:33:46
I looked at McTominay, yesterday Laurie, and thought that he’s a player who has probably had a lot of similar stick to Tom Davies, over the years? I think United have now got a manager, who demands hard work, and I think that people are starting to appreciate how hard this kid works for them. (Fuck the superstars, who often flatter to deceive - because to be successful - it’s all about hard fucking work)

What’s that got to do with Tom Davies? A kid who has been pushed from pillar to post and back again, and hasn’t been allowed to develop because he’s been playing for the most dysfunctional club in the country for years.

Davies might not be good enough for where we want to be, but I believe once he finds stability, he will prove to be a very good player for some team, because he’s not scared of hard work. He lacks a yard of pace, he doesn’t lack much else, except he’s playing for a fan base that have also been kicked from pillar to post, watching this kid struggling for the same reason. Just my opinion, I might be wrong.

Brian Harrison
152 Posted 09/04/2023 at 10:38:09
I think if I was Sean Dyche I would sit down with DCL and say look we have tried not to rush you back till you feel ready. But we have 8 games left to try and secure Premier league football for this club, and with the financial constraints it might be a long time before we come back up. So I would like you to make yourself available for these games, and I know it will probably take 2 or 3 to get up to speed, but without a recognised striker ie you then its going to be very difficult.

Now some may say you cant blackmail a player like that, but I would remind everyone that the club is paying Dom in excess of £100,000 per week. The club need him to play even if it gives him a few niggles.

James Marshall
153 Posted 09/04/2023 at 10:51:05
We changed an unbeaten side and played a Utd side that are close to unbeatable at home. We've won there once in 31 years so it was a bit of a free hit in a sense.

Other results were a mixed bag but we're still 17th amazingly.

The first half was ridiculous, and Godfrey was well out of his depth. We played way too high a line and it could easily have been about 5-0 at half time had it not been for Pickford.

Losing away to Utd won't relegate us, and all the teams around us have to play each other which could be good for us too. There'll be upcoming weeks where we win and the other relegation candidates lose so I'm not too fussed about yesterday.

Utd are better than us. A lot better than us, in fact so it was no disgrace to lose 2-0 and our players were still full of running towards the end.

Onana flatters to deceive and basically switches off defensively when the oppo has the ball. He's headless and has very little defensive nouse. I'm actually starting to wonder what he does for the team other than a bit of cheerleading, lots of lying on the floor waving his arms about like he's taken sniper-fire, and occasionally making a last ditch tackle.

What does he offer with the ball? The system Dyche plays seems to suit Doucoure and his idiocy could go so far as to cost us our place in the league if our midfield performance yesterday was anything to go by. Lets hope it was a one-off and the next 2 games without him don't go the same way.

Christopher Timmins
154 Posted 09/04/2023 at 10:51:25
Yesterday will not define our season but next weekend will certainly have a bearing on whether we beat the drop.

I was very surprised how we set up, a bit like Lampard's set up away to Spurs last season, playing such a high line was folly and that's not something I associate with our manager.

I am sure Sean will have learnt from the experience, Michael Keane cannot survive in a team that plays a high line. Ben Godfrey was similarly exposed and we have to accept at this stage that as a defender he is very limited. His judgement is truly suspect.

The Fulham game is an ideal opportunity to put three points on the board and move a little closer to safety.

I have to hold my hand up re Bournemouth, as of now they are the team at the foot of the table that shows most attacking intent and penatration.

One positive from yesterday, Pickford was fantastic!

Christopher Timmins
155 Posted 09/04/2023 at 10:54:56
With regards to DCL, he must come into the reckoning in the next game or so or he will have little or no impact on our survival hopes between now and the end of the season. He will need three or four games to get up to speed and there are only eight games to go.

One final, final thing, The Duke was a loss yesterday!

Tony Abrahams
156 Posted 09/04/2023 at 10:56:37
The rumours abound are that Dominic is suffering mentally Brian, but the most recent pictures coming out of Finch Farm, apparently show him smiling, so hopefully he’s beginning to feel a lot better in himself?

Everyone has their own opinions, and mine has always been that DCL, has always worked very hard for his team, so trying to get back up to speed after a very serious injury, and constantly trying to play with the little niggles that anyone would suffer from, after so long out of the game, might have been taking its toll on him? (THIS WOULDN’T HAVE BEEN A PROBLEM IF WE HAD MORE FORWARDS, LIKE A TOP CLUB SHOULD)

All guesswork, but when Dyche said that they were trying to get Dominic close to the physical stats he was producing before he got injured, then hopefully he’s getting very close to these now, especially when you consider that our manager said he wasn’t far away, when he arrived at the club.

My hope is that Dyche’s approach has earned him the total respect of Dominic, and he will now go and repay his manager in the best way possible!!

Ian Edwards
157 Posted 09/04/2023 at 11:04:25
136 Martin... I agree. Davies gives 100% and tries to get the ball forward. Gueye and Onana are not worth a place.
Brian Williams
158 Posted 09/04/2023 at 11:18:02
Tony. Rumours, yes, that's exactly what they are and they're totally unsubstantiated (I suppose as all rumours are).

I don't think some understand the level of physical fitness premier league footballers have to attain and maintain.

It's not like Sunday league where we all played with knocks etc.

In particular the players that rely on speed and twisting and turning need to be fully fit.

They're like Formula 1 cars, if they're a couple of percent off they're useless.

Now maybe with some "niggles" some players can still perform to an acceptable level but depending on the type of injury/s that might just NOT be possible.

I've seen on here for years that some just need to blame somebody and need to take out their frustrations and disappointment on somebody, a lot of the time very unfairly.

Tony, you know more than most on here that if you're a player you WANT to play, you're desperate to play, unless there's something actually preventing you from doing so.

The fact that nobody on here knows the full story of why DCL can't play leads to all sorts of weird and wonderful theories, a lot of them downright nasty.

That side of ToffeeWeb is one that's led to a good few either leaving the site for good or taking a leave/s of absence.

I refuse to pile on to DCL simply because I don't know the facts. I'm not going to take out our predicament on a single player because it makes me feel better, and also because if/when the facts come out I may well look like a right c**t for some of the shite I may have come out with.........and some have come out with some shite that's for sure.

Tony Everan
159 Posted 09/04/2023 at 11:37:31
It looks to me that they are trying to get some proper fitness into him before he is reintroduced. It’s one thing being fit and another having the robustness and resilience needed. This time they are going the extra mile to try and make his comeback stick and not break down again.

With regards the mental side I would say that the long road of recovery has been a difficult one to take. All that work to get healthy then back to square one again on numerous occasions. The sheer frustration it all would leave anyone scraping the barrel for some more energy and motivation to keep on trying.

I’m not biased at all, but the best thing in the world that I can ever imagine, is being Everton’s centre forward and scoring goals that help win games. It’s the ultimate dream and life long fantasy. I’m sure Dominic can’t wait to get back into that role permanently.

Tony Abrahams
160 Posted 09/04/2023 at 11:38:49
My favourite line out of any song I’ve ever heard, comes from Fleetwood Mac, when they sing that “players only love you - when they’re playing” Brian. Every player worth his salt wants to play football, mate, and nobody won’t be able to convince me that in private, Dominic mustn’t look back at those scenes that his beautiful diving header created against Palace, on a regular basis.

Nobody would be able to convince me that he doesn’t love playing for Everton either, but imagine being the only decent centre forward, at a club, that doesn’t have any other decent centre forwards, (no disrespect to Simms or Maupay, but they are either not ready or will never be able to lead the line single handedly, the way Dominic can) and are having to constantly try and play when you just don’t feel right?

Not on top of your game, and you will hear things about our centre forward (yourself) wearing nickers & bra’s, and getting slaughtered by all and sundry, simply because the football club you play for has been desperately mismanaged for years, and they haven’t even got one other player who can take your place adequately. (Something that has gone on for years)

I love Everton, I think I’d die for Everton, but if I was getting slaughtered for playing, when I was struggling and wasn’t quite right, then it would break my heart, and the only way it could be rectified is by getting one hundred percent fit.

That would be my feelings, and until/unless you get a manager who is prepared to stop you from hiding from nothing, by taking you out the firing line, and allowing you to concentrate on getting yourself totally right, then I don’t know any other way, how a player could totally recover?

I keep saying it Brian, but hopefully Dyche is going to reep the rewards, even if I’m also just guessing, mate!

Ian Edwards
161 Posted 09/04/2023 at 11:51:05
I think if we use Simms it must be as a Sub. It's no coincidence that the worst performances under Dyche have been Liverpool and United when Simms started both. He was isolated, didn't hold the ball up, no one got close enough to him for any knock downs or lay offs and he just wasn't in the game apart from one golden chance.

Davies needs to come in and protect the Defence. Iwobi is frustrating. He continually loses possession either trying to dribble or a loose pass.

One win in the last 7 is a concern and if we don't beat Fulham then Palace away is absolutely huge.

Derek Knox
162 Posted 09/04/2023 at 11:53:30
Martin @ 136, " I hope that Davies finds a decent club and leaves. He deserves a club with a decent fan base."

Totally agree, and I suspect many on here, hope you will follow him too ! :-)

James Hughes
163 Posted 09/04/2023 at 12:05:15
Brain #158,

Very good post and very true. Some of the abuse players get based on nothing but biased opinion is ridiculous.

Calvert-Lewin has put the hard work in for this club over the years and has earnt his paypacket.

Some of the asinine comments about what he wears just shows a lack of maturity. Society moaned about Teddy Boys, Punk Rockers, New Romantics beacuse it was a change from the norm. Calvert-Lewin is doing nothing wrong he is just dressing different from the norm and some can't handle it.

Chris Leyland
164 Posted 09/04/2023 at 12:11:33
Ian, I'd say Arsenal 4 Everton 0 was Dyche's worst result and performance and Simms wasn't starting in that.

Yesterday wasn't because Simms started, it was because the shape of the team was wrong. We should have played a 3rd central midfielder to replace Doucouré and compressed the space that way.

Instead, we pushed the defence up to try to close the space and this just invited balls over the top for the likes of Rashford and their other speedy players to thrive as our slow central defence were forced to turn backwards and chase quicker players.

Godfrey is the quick one but playing a right-footed centre-back at left-back in that system was madness too. Hopefully Dyche has learnt from his mistake yesterday and plays a more compact side for the rest of the season.

Robert Tressell
165 Posted 09/04/2023 at 12:11:47
It really wouldn't surprise me if the likes of Onana, Davies, Godfrey, Iwobi, Holgate, Maupay and other unloved players have an important part to play in the next few games.

Although we're struggling for wins, we're picking up points at a much better rate than most others around us.

Christine Foster
166 Posted 09/04/2023 at 12:25:03
It's Easter Sunday evening, the leg of lamb has been devoured, kids gone home and my head turns once more to the game.

I have been at a low ebb most of the day because we weren't at the races – never mind Old Trafford. We were just not there mentally, and never first to a ball or even second to it.

It was painful to watch: no high energy and some dreadful marking especially in the first half. How it stayed at 1-0l was down to Pickford.

The back four to a man were poor, very poor, we sorely missed Doucouré, Garner when he came on was up for it, but by then it was far too late.

I worry that the ineptitude of this display is our baseline and not just a bad day at the office. The motivation, energy and drive were non-existent, it was a team of dead men walking. I hope Dyche tares a few strips of them.

That's not to say we were anywhere near Man Utd in terms of individual ability, but endeavour can compensate to a point.

We need a moral boost and I think, hope, that bringing Calvert-Lewin back into the team will be a huge lift – God knows we need it. Each game has to have a plan to win it, not just parking the bus and hoping for a breakaway.

If we had taken the couple of chances we had, it would have been a different headline, but for that to happen we need a dedicated striker.

If we succumb to it all and go down, the responsibility is solely on the club. (Sorry, Darren H if your listening in.) We need to operate at our players' peak every game to stand a chance. We didn't yesterday... winning is now everything.

Jerome Shields
167 Posted 09/04/2023 at 12:27:19
Chris #164,

That's a good explanation of what actually happened and the reasons why.

David West
168 Posted 09/04/2023 at 12:27:57
I agree with some on here about Davies getting over-the-top criticism.

When you think of millions and millions we've spent on midfield players while Tom's been here at the club, I'd say not many have been much better than him. Sigurdsson, Gana, James… maybe Doucouré but only recently has he been playing well.

We've spunked £100s of millions on midfielders that have come and gone and Tom's still there trying his hardest.
Yes, he's not world-class and lacks pace but, as a sqaud member, he's done a job.

Some will write off Onana and Garner too, when these are still young developing players that need patience.

Tony Abrahams
169 Posted 09/04/2023 at 12:30:59
Ian @161,

I didn't think Simms was isolated yesterday. I thought he kept getting the wrong side of their defenders, and didn't do enough to get to the ball first.

I thought he kept allowing Man Utd's defenders to keep picking up our clearances, because he was always too far ahead of the ball, and should have been dropping deeper and competing, instead of just allowing this to happen.

We all see a different game.

Brian Williams
170 Posted 09/04/2023 at 12:32:20
Tony #160.

Agree 100%, mate.

Jerome Shields
171 Posted 09/04/2023 at 12:38:15

49% of Man Utd attacks were on the right wing, suggesting they identified the weakness you pointed out. In previous games, opposition attacks were predominately down the left wing.

Paul Smith
173 Posted 09/04/2023 at 12:39:18
Goin toe to toe with Man Utd at their gaff took some balls but made for an entertaining first half. We faced more shots in the first half than any other team this season, speaks to our gaps and their ruthless transition. A recipe for madness and totally on the manager.

Dyche ould have been well within his rights to change it after the first 20 minutes, and probably should have and admitted his original fuck-up. Martinez is slow but skilful and strong and Godfrey pushed up, making up the ground when needed; again, madness and I take it he was not following instructions; otherwise, he wouldn't have been hooked, surely?

We never get anything at Old Trafford so forget it and move on. Next week will be a real test of where we are under Dyche.

David West
174 Posted 09/04/2023 at 12:42:10
On Calvert-Lewin, Dyche is handling it right.

He could make all the difference if gets a few games. Wouldn't it be demoralising to the player, fans and team if like Lampard did he kept saying he might be fit for the next game, or 1 week, 2 weeks, putting more pressure on and then having to say no he's not ready or "It's going to take longer". That would feel like setbacks when it's not if he was never fit!

A few games with a fully fit Calvert-Lewin will be better for us than a handful of half-arsed performances from the lad because he's not fully fit!!

Tony Abrahams
175 Posted 09/04/2023 at 12:45:50
When asked yesterday, Dyche said he was about 33 miles away from being fit. So hopefully Dominic was training at Finch Farm, which is what our manager's sarcastic reply seemed to insinuate…
Mark Murphy
176 Posted 09/04/2023 at 13:23:18
Mike Connoly “Kean for Simms”?
Is that an option??
Christy Ring
177 Posted 09/04/2023 at 13:29:26
I'd start Davies and Garner against Fulham, don't understand the abuse Davies is getting, did our midfield not improve when they came on yesterday? As for Iwobi, how many times in every game does he constantly lose possession, we need passion and effort now, not someone running around in circles offering nothing, you get 100% commitment from Davies in my opinion.
Brian Wilkinson
178 Posted 09/04/2023 at 13:39:40
Going to be be a strange one Saturday, crowd are going to be right up for it, but at the same time, being played on the Hillsboro anniversary.

Now I hate the Red shite as much as the next person, but with being of the older generation, It still never fails to bring back that awful event and unhappy memories.

I have no doubt whatsoever that Evertonians will stand strong alongside the enemy for that Day, we always do it with class, show our respect, then hopefully pick up three points on Saturday.

Christy Ring
179 Posted 09/04/2023 at 13:51:09
I see where Howard Webb has apologised to Brighton over Attwell and VAR yesterday. I commented about Attwell’s performance yesterday, an absolute disgrace, should be demoted.
David Bromwell
180 Posted 09/04/2023 at 14:01:10
Re young Simms, the Manager should get him to watch a couple of videos of Ian Rush. Great player scored loads of goals but worked his socks off defending from the front.
Brian Wilkinson
181 Posted 09/04/2023 at 14:03:28
Apart from the obvious over the parks song, is there a more annoying song than the we all love Leeds, we all love Leeds song.

Anyway back to the main topic, yesterdays game has gone, three points a must Saturday.

Rob Halligan
182 Posted 09/04/2023 at 14:12:56
Christy, I’m getting pretty pissed off with all these apologies by the PGMOL. How about they start doing something about it………what I don’t know, but even demoting a referee to the championship is no big deal, as I’m sure they still receive the same wages as if they were still refereeing a premier league game.
Soren Moyer
183 Posted 09/04/2023 at 14:15:00
How did we manage to assemble a team full of so called "pro-footballers" who are genuinely useless, slow, without footballing intelligence, without passing ability and with no pride at all!!?
And on long term contracts with high wages too!
Paul Hewitt
184 Posted 09/04/2023 at 14:20:02
Brian@178. I don't think that lot worry about playing on the anniversary of heysel. They don't even acknowledge it.
Dale Self
185 Posted 09/04/2023 at 14:31:59
Pail Smith 173 very good take on the game. My feeling is that Dyche knew Duke was essential for the usual system and decided to switch up. I think it was a gamble that he knew odds were against. Utd seldom give up points from a winning position so maybe that played onto that as well.

Agreed that it is a result we can look past given the recent form on defence. Carry on.

Alan J Thompson
186 Posted 09/04/2023 at 15:42:53
Derek (#133);

That's right, he isn't and I'll bet you're not a careers adviser either.

Derek Knox
187 Posted 09/04/2023 at 18:15:44
Alan J, No you are right, not a Careers Advisor, but I do know enough and have witnessed enough on numerous occasions, that the Trades Descriptions Act definitely comes into question in the Tom Davies Case. Professional Footballer ? - My Arse !

The only professional part is picking up money on false pretences on a regular basis, in all fairness to Tom, the would be ' Sheep Hand ', he is not alone !

Silence of the Shams !

David Currie
188 Posted 09/04/2023 at 19:17:22
Paul 184,
Last year they celebrated on the streets on the Heysel anniversary after winning the cup. They don't care but want sympathy for Hillsborough!
Mike Connolly
189 Posted 09/04/2023 at 19:22:21
Apparently keane is the best finisher at the club in training. we have seen him score a couple of beauties Palace and spurs. he is also better than we have in the air. I would deffo give him ago. Don't forget Sutton was a centre back before teaming up with shearer. Mina coming in for him would not weaken our defence
Barry Hesketh
190 Posted 09/04/2023 at 19:30:51
Mike @189
I think Dyche toyed with the idea of shoving Keane upfront prior to his scoring the equaliser against Spurs, not sure if Dyche was joking or not, but could he be any worse than what we currently have?
Mike Connolly
191 Posted 09/04/2023 at 20:11:26
You never know Barry. I hope Dyche goes through with it this time. more importantly we need a win Saturday.
Mark Murphy
192 Posted 09/04/2023 at 20:15:12
Mike, sorry, I thought you meant Moise Kean. (I’ve checked since posting and realise he’s been sold so my apologies).
Don’t agree with throwing Keane up top. The team and formation should be the one that worked v Chelsea and Spurs - just put Davies in for Doucoure with a flea in his ear and the chance to resurrect his career with us, his boyhood club. Until DCL is fit.
Mike Connolly
193 Posted 09/04/2023 at 20:29:07
Mark just watch if Michael Keane gets a chance up front you'll forget moise kean ever excisted. fingers crossed
Pete Jeffries
194 Posted 09/04/2023 at 20:55:39
Paul S 173
Just a correction - we drew 1-1 at OT last season.
Townsend scored, we had a VAR goal overturned and ironically Ben Godfrey was man of the match at left back
Dave Abrahams
195 Posted 09/04/2023 at 21:04:50
According to Alex Iwobi they have regular shooting practices andMichael iKeane is supposedly the best among them, it makes you wonder why Iwobi and most of the others rarely shoot from outside the box,Iwobi scored a very good goal against United earlier in the season, he had a chance in the second half yesterday but tried to pass the ball instead and made a rick of that along with about ten more attempted passes.
Dave Abrahams
196 Posted 09/04/2023 at 21:10:26
Christy (179), Christy, that the third apology Brighton have received this season after referees made poor and wrong decisions against them, one of them being against Liverpool in the FA cup, fortunately Brighton won that game, the other one was in the 1-1 draw versus Crystal Pal. cost them two points and gave Palace a point they shouldn’t have got.
Mark Murphy
197 Posted 09/04/2023 at 21:25:58
Mike, as a massive Mick Lyons fan ( I have a signed photo of his goal v Leeds - thanks Becky) I reckon he could emulate the great man BUT if Dyche hadnt tinkered with the tried and tested on Saturday I reckon we’d have battled a point. Gray up top with Garner at 10 and onana and Guaye in the two behind.
Derek Knox
198 Posted 09/04/2023 at 22:47:24
Mark @ 197, Mick Lyons was a great Centre Half and Evertonian, would run through a brick wall for the Club, total respect for him from me too. Don't make them like him any more, what a pity ! Used to see him regularly in Lark Lane (South Liverpool, Aigburth) he used to go to Maranto's Restaurant and Bar. He went to Australia coaching if I remember correctly.
Bobby Mallon
199 Posted 10/04/2023 at 06:31:16
Mark Murphy @197,

I agree.

Bobby Mallon
200 Posted 10/04/2023 at 06:51:46
The only good thing to come out of the Palace game. At least four of them got long goal droughts off their backs… phew!
Phil Lewis
201 Posted 10/04/2023 at 07:26:00
Mention of Mick Lyons brings back happy memories from my teenage years. I knew Mike (as he was known by us back then) very well. He was a Croxteth lad and attended De La Salle grammar school. I'm originally from Kirkdale and my mate Phil Murray, who was in Mike's class at school introduced us. We all knocked about together as teenagers, cutting our teeth on the local youth club dance floors. Mike was a supreme athlete as a boy and an immensely likeable lad. As a sixteen year old, he was playing centre forward for Lobster FC in the Liverpool Sunday League, when spotted and signed by Everton.
As a kid, when you were 6-0 down on a 'freezing wet n windy Wednesday afternoon' and just wanted to go home for your tea, Mike's never say die attitude shone through. A true blue, those same Trojan attributes, which he later epitomised so well, serving EFC for so many years after.
I'm greatly saddened to hear of his recent problems with dementia. But knowing Mike I'm certain he will face his condition in his own sunny indomitable style. I'm still in touch with his old classmate Phil Murray. We were speaking fondly of memories of Mike recently. I don't know how long he's here from Australia for, but If anybody reads this and is able to put us in touch, then two of his old mates from his youth would dearly love to meet up with him to share old times.
Jerome Shields
202 Posted 10/04/2023 at 08:14:00
There is no way Michael Keane will be playing as a forward, other than as in support. He does not have the pace and would be easily marked out of games.

The advantage Davies has over Onana is that he is more experienced and hopefully has improved in keeping possession under Dyche. Onana still needs more training in marking up and awareness but, like all Everton players, is under the pressure of time in a relegation battle.

Simms is in the same situation. His first two starts have been in a Merseyside derby at Anfield and at Old Trafford an hour away. Well that is what it seems like when you travel there, which would be a derby game anywhere else.

This game has been the first statistical setback for Dyche. He will have learn't a lot about it. He himself said there was a fall down on basics and other analysis done has confirmed him as right.

On MotD, on hearing Dyche’s analysis, the pundits said they could not add to his correct analysis and showed clips as examples of what he was talking about. So that is a good start going into the next game – the manager knows where the problem lies and where he got it wrong himself.

Danny Baily
203 Posted 10/04/2023 at 08:26:46
It's interesting that Simms has gotten the nod on two occasions in which we were highly unlikely to pick up points.

I reckon we'll see Davies in the Doucouré role against Fulham, with Gray back up top.

Jeff Armstrong
204 Posted 10/04/2023 at 09:22:44
Phil, 201, I think his daughter has a twitter page, pretty simple to join and post on her feed, Mike meeting old school friends might be the kind of thing that would help with his dementia issues.
Phil Lewis
205 Posted 10/04/2023 at 10:52:05
Thanks for that Jeff. I'll look into it.
I agree with you regarding his dementia issues, that exact thought crossed my mind.
Tony Abrahams
206 Posted 10/04/2023 at 11:09:15
Thanks for the information Phil. A 16 year old kid playing up front for The Lobster, whilst 7&8 year olds now get on coaches to go and play for Everton academy.

They don’t make them like they used to, especially when you realize that these academies are actually taking natural aggression out of these young children.

I hope you get to meet your old mate Phil, because knowing the type of person Mike Lyons is, I’m sure it would make his day. He’s a very genuine nice man, but you don’t need me to tell you that.

Mike Doyle
207 Posted 10/04/2023 at 11:45:43
Phil #201] As an athlete Mike Lyons was a decent cross country runner. If I recall it correctly at his Mum’s house in Croxteth there was a photo of him as a runner when at De La Salle. In those days he had the physique of a Kenyan distance runner.
Christine Foster
208 Posted 10/04/2023 at 12:04:11
As much as I was thrilled at Keanes strike, I admit to still feeling a little off with him at the back. He has a turning circle like the Titanic and the ball over the top has been the problem for years, a pacy forward and we are stuffed..which brings me to the second point, Spurs did it and then so did United, the long diagonal ball over the full backs, they obviously think we are vulnerable with Seamus or Godfrey as they pul in too tight leaving the back door open. We cannot double up in time and neither Gray, Iwobi or McNeil (although he is the best of the three at trying) can cover the full back to cover. We either play deeper with 5 or wider and push them forward. We are being exploited too easily..
Brian Wilkinson
209 Posted 10/04/2023 at 12:25:04
I commented last week about how Michael Keane had his eye on the ball against Spurs, and the Spurs player came from Keane's blindside and put his foot between Keane's foot and the ball to win the penalty.

Seems the same incident happened in the Spurs game against Brighton, almost identical and yes you guessed it, no penalty awarded to Brighton.

So on that basis, the official has got it wrong on one of those decisions, it is either two penalties or none.

In my opinion, both players played to get a penalty, if you are about to kick a ball, and some player puts his foot there, what else can a player do but kick the other player's foot?

David West
211 Posted 10/04/2023 at 12:54:32
Brian @209,

The officials seem to just give the least controversial decisions lately. The VARs or the on-field refs just want the least controversy.

Take Maguire's rugby tackle on gray on Saturday, he has 2 hands round him holding him back, he even grabs his shorts. If that was Rashford at the other end, it would be a nailed-on penalty and probably a red card for stopping a goal scoring opportunity. The VAR didn't even look at it!!!

But it's less controversial to not give Everton a penalty because the media won't blow it up like if it was Man Utd, Arsenal, Man City or Liverpool. It's just a joke how they favour the big clubs.

Jim Wilson
212 Posted 10/04/2023 at 13:03:26
David @ 211 - Absolutely spot on mate.

The club does not kick up enough fuss about this. Decisions change matches. We would have beaten Spurs if not for the Doucoure sending-off. And if Doucoure had a red shirt on, like Mane in last season's derby no action would have been taken.

One of the reasons Anfield and Old Trafford are graveyard grounds for us is because we are given nothing while they get everything.

Brian Wilkinson
213 Posted 10/04/2023 at 13:16:50
I was watching the BT Goals Update on Saturday afternoon and not sure if it was Robbie Savage who was talking to one of the former refs who was watching games on his monitor... Savage said "Surely the VAR has to look into that or get involved?"

The guy he was talking to said we are advised to give them some weeks but not the following week, now I am not sure what he meant because the subject got quickly changed, but from what I could read into it, was saying the VAR can only get involved some of the time and other times keep out of it.

Surely that is the whole point of the VAR, not to pick and choose, but step in every time they feel they need to.

Bill Gall
214 Posted 10/04/2023 at 13:45:02
Phil #201,

Hi, nice to read your report. People never believed me when I said Mick Lyons played for the Lobster, but I seen him. I ran a team in the Sunday League, the Norgreen, and was friends with T Gannon and H Scott and was also on the League Management Committee.

The Lobster had another well-known player who played for them J O'Leary, I think that is how you spell his name. We had a young player who was on Everton's books around that time N Whitehead. My Wife and her family lived in Portlemouth Road.

Derek Thomas
215 Posted 10/04/2023 at 14:02:29
Brian @ 213;

Not the first time I've heard something along those lines, different teams, different 'Rules of Engagement'
Or in some teams' cases, 'Rules of Disengagement'.

Brian Wilkinson
216 Posted 10/04/2023 at 14:03:21
After bumping into John Mcfarlene Snr after the Spurs game does anyone know if another meet up has been arranged before the end of the season? I may have missed the date scheduled if so.
Derek Knox
217 Posted 10/04/2023 at 14:21:47
Brian @ 216, I hope to be able to arrange a meeting at Bramley Moore, but not set a date yet, have to check on fixtures etc, and TV coverage. However Andy Crooks is over for the Fulham game and is staying with me in Chester. Peter Moore is also travelling up from Worcester and staying over for one night. We are all getting a lift from Neil Copeland. Due to Parking limitations we will park near to Jim Lloyd's house.

Danny O'Neill is coming up from London too, so hoping to see everyone pre-match in the Harlech Castle (County Road opp KFC), handy for most including Jim Lloyd, think Stephen Vincent may come also, and anyone else who wants to put in an appearance for an impromptu ' Get Together ' will be more than welcome, but don't expect me to get the Ale in, well I might if I get a win on the Donkeys. :-)

Peter Moore
218 Posted 10/04/2023 at 14:53:45
Del @ 217, The Donkeys better get a result for you and us all mate, we are in the relegation mire!
No, luckily the Dyche Meister seems to have turned misfiring donkeys to finer equinesque analogies, at home at least, may we hurdle the Fulham Fence with aplomb and win at a canter.
Up the Toffees and looking forward to Saturday and being in the company of such fine long suffering evertonians for whom real footballing joy is long overdue as we have been circling the drain while flittering hundreds of millions in recent years. You could not make it up. Onwards and upwards please lord from this perilous position. COYB.
Brian Wilkinson
219 Posted 10/04/2023 at 16:12:13
Cheers Derek, will see you in there Saturday.
John McFarlane Snr
220 Posted 10/04/2023 at 16:49:37
Hi Derek, [217] I have just checked the fixture list, and we are playing Manchester City on Sunday 14th of May [a 2-0'Clock, kick off]. It's obviously a televised game so there shouldn't be a problem regarding fixture interference.
Derek Knox
221 Posted 10/04/2023 at 17:44:35
John @ 220, Thanks for that John I will try and set the wheels in motion for that date. I know you will attend as you have never missed one, and an example to a lot of younger Members. I was very disappointed at the turn-out for the last one.

It didn't clash with any other event as far as I know, John Hall had come over all the way from the Philippines, hence the reason that date was chosen, as he had previously expressed a desire to meet as many Evertonians as possible. (?)

I appreciate that at present, it is not the easiest place to get to to, as there are no buses on that route yet. The nearest Train Station is Sandhills which requires about a 15 minute walk to Bramley Moore. There was little or no excuse last time either, as Tony Abrahams had kindly offered along with Neil Copeland to ferry anyone who wanted to go down from Goodison Park.

They even offered to make two trips if there were too many wanting to go down. So, there was no excuse at all last time, for anyone not being able to get there. The Bar Staff at the Bramley, are only too willing to phone a Taxi for anyone wanting to leave, to catch a Train or other Transport at the end of the evening, so come on folks ' heads up for the next one ' !

Brian Wilkinson
222 Posted 10/04/2023 at 17:53:32
Another goal for Tom Cannon today.
Neil Copeland
223 Posted 10/04/2023 at 18:05:34
Derek, count me in mate for May 14th and hopefully I can stay longer this time. Same offer applies to anyone needing a lift.

Looking forward to meeting up again for the Fulham game. Not seen Andy since the TW meeting at The Excelsior a couple of seasons ago. Sounds like there will be a few at The Harlech and looking forward to seeing everyone.

Back to the game against Manure, I can’t really criticise the team selection because that is line up I wanted to see. It shows how much work Doucoure does by the way we were torn to pieces. Both goals were disappointing ones to concede but overall I would say we got away with 2-0, it could have been seriously embarrassing.

I think Dyche will have learned from the game and fully expect to see Davies or Garner come in in place of Simms who, I agree with others, looks better as an impact sub for now.

Hopefully Seamus will be fit, I know he made an error for the second goal (very unfortunate slip IMO) but he has been brilliant. Also, Patterson doesn’t look ready yet which is no surprise given his lack of game time.

The other issue is Godfrey, how many times is he going to be caught out of position before the penny drops? His pace seems to be returning as exemplified by his cracking recovery tackle on Antony (I think). He makes me so nervous though. Problem is that Mykolenko appears to have lost form and confidence (looked better on Saturday than of late though).

So, a few dilemmas to sort out. Maybe DCL will be fit and give us s bit more bite up front…..

Peter Moore
224 Posted 10/04/2023 at 21:49:40
I agree with those thoughts Neil. I too wanted Simms on from the start and try and get at United rather than play on the back foot. We were shown up as distant second best on the day for sure and Pickford being on form kept the score down for sure.
The comment at the end about DCL coming back. We desperately hope so don't we, but it seems a persistent forlorn hope.
I was shocked we failed to get Viktor Gyokeres over the line in January, I seriously worry we will rue that January window abject failure come May.

Neil Copeland
225 Posted 10/04/2023 at 21:59:59
Peter, looking friars to meeting again at the Fulham game.

My comment regarding DCL was intended as being more than a little sarcastic, I too think it may be forlorn.

Agree also in respect of the lad from Coventry I thought that would have been straight forward really. But, I think the financial situation tells us the real reason why we didn’t sign him.

John McFarlane Snr
226 Posted 10/04/2023 at 22:34:59
Hi Derek [217] What time will you be in the Harlech on Saturday? I normally arrive at the ground an hour before kick-off, but I can change my routine to attend the get-together.
Peter Moore
227 Posted 10/04/2023 at 23:44:36
I guess you are right Neil. I just worry our absence of attacking cutting edge will send us down ultimately. The risk seemed so great and so obvious in January I would rather the club paid the money, got him in, stayed in the Premier League and fight the case as a Premier league club.

I think Dyche is doing and has done as well as could have reasonably been expected. Despite that, given the remaining fixtures and the state we are in, its proper touch and go whether we can hang on by our finger nails to our top flight status.

Andy McGuffog
228 Posted 10/04/2023 at 23:47:33
Bill. Norman Whitehead was a very tricky winger - a graduate of 'Pop' McKays school of science at Ranworth Square Primary, which also produced Joe Royle, Kenny Mulhearn (Man City League Champion winner) and Steve Coppell. Whitehead did play professionally for Rochdale when they were in the Football League.
Dave Williams
229 Posted 11/04/2023 at 00:08:12
See you in the Harlech chaps!!
Derek Knox
230 Posted 11/04/2023 at 07:26:05
Hi John @226, I am travelling with Neil Copeland Peter Moore and Andy Crooks, but I expect (traffic permitting) we should arrive about 12.45 and be in the Harlech Castle for about 13.00. It will be a pleasure to see you again John as always, just hope I still have your amazing loyalty to the Club, Team, and all things Everton when I reach your age. Bravo Sir !
Brian Wilkinson
231 Posted 11/04/2023 at 13:46:19
I still think it would be great if someone could knock out some ToffeeWeb little badges.

How much easier would that make it, if your in a random pub, and spot the badge on another person, even on none match Day.

Bill Griffiths
232 Posted 11/04/2023 at 14:16:17
See you guys in The Harlech. Good idea about the badge Bri.
Barry Hesketh
233 Posted 11/04/2023 at 14:58:54
A quick search for bespoke badges, produced the following, unfortunately it doesn't give an estimated cost, but it does say that a minimum of 25 badges need to be ordered.
11 Cannon Grove
KT22 9LG
United Kingdom

Design Your own Pin Badges

Brian Wilkinson
234 Posted 11/04/2023 at 15:06:51
That’s great that Barry, sure we could knock out over 25 badges.

Any chance of a poll Ed’s to see how many would have a badge.

Derek Knox
235 Posted 11/04/2023 at 15:10:44
Barry, not sure if there are TW Badges, as I have never seen them if there are, I would be tempted to Contact Lyndon or Michael to ascertain if such badges exist, and if not suggest a post inviting Members to express an interest. I am pretty sure there would be more than 25 which would satisfy order criteria. It's just the logistics of paying and distribution which would best be done through TW but to the Company themselves. Each person places his or her Order and Pays via Debit/Credit Card and supplies address/delivery details.
Dave Williams
236 Posted 11/04/2023 at 15:12:21
Great idea!
Brian Wilkinson
237 Posted 11/04/2023 at 15:15:29
Yes good idea Derek.

Anyway on to Saturday, my train gets in lime street around 12.10, so if any others fancy a swift drink in the North western Wetherspoons whatever it’s called who are catching the train in to Liverpool see you in there, before I head off for the bus and the Harlech pub, for around 1

Danny O’Neill
238 Posted 11/04/2023 at 15:27:09
North Western is always first port of call Brian!
John McFarlane Snr
239 Posted 11/04/2023 at 15:34:57
Hi Derek [230] I normally travel by train and arrive at the ground an hour before the kick off, but I can come in by bus and can meet you at the Harlech for 1-00pm.

Hi Brian [231] your idea of badges is excellent, I feel sure that there will be someone who ''knows someone'' and I think that we can rustle up the money to make the idea become reality.

I hope that you can forgive me if I 'Blow my own trumpet', by saying that the first get-together was a result of my seven week stay in Southport Hospital [ five nil by mouth] which led to the invitation in July 2018, to express my appreciation to all who posted their kind regards, relayed to me by my daughter Nicki.

The get-together took place in the Central Hotel on the day of the World Cup Final, my [80th birthday], and it's true to say that from 12-noon to 7-pm friendships were cemented and have lasted. At the gathering were, Dave Abrahams, Tony Abrahams, Steve Fearns, Bill Griffiths, George McKane, Gerard McKean, Peter Mills, and Myself. One final 'Blow on the trumpet', I'm the only ever-present.

Hi Bill, [232] I believe you traveled from North Wales to attend the get-together that day, something that was much appreciated. I hope to see you in the Harlech on Saturday.

Brian Wilkinson
240 Posted 11/04/2023 at 15:47:40
I think it was the trumpet I heard against Spurs, when I turned around and spotted you John.

Joking aside though John, I was unaware of the earlier meet ups and only cottoned onto them last season, after meeting Steve, Jim, Derek, Bill, Jim and Danny in the crown.

It was a great idea by yourself John and certainly worthy of a big Pat on the back.

It’s always good when we have a meet up and always a pleasure to bump into you John.

Looking forward to the Harlech on Saturday and after tipping Keane to score against Spurs, McNeil against Brentford, I am going for the hatrick and going for Calvert-Lewin to make a suprise return and score.

Danny O’Neill
241 Posted 11/04/2023 at 15:48:16
Great to hear from you John Senior.

It will be better to see you and the others you mention, who have become friends through the life and soul that connects us regardless of who we are or where we come from.

Dave Abrahams
242 Posted 11/04/2023 at 16:21:17
Andy (228), Norman Whitehead player for Skemersdale in the FA amateur cup final versus Bishop Auckland, I think, they drew 3-3 at Wembley and lost the replay at Maine Road, I think Steve Heighway played on the other wing for Skemersdale before he joined Liverpool.
Brian Wilkinson
243 Posted 11/04/2023 at 16:23:47
I touched on this a year or so ago in regards to Niels Nkounkou, I never saw him as a left back, more of a left sided midfielder and often suggested Everton trying him out as a left sided midfielder.

Looking at his stats out on loan, he has played 12 games, scored 4 goals and 7 assists so far, with a 40 yarder goal in his last game.

Whether we keep the player or not I still think Nkounkou will make an excellent left sided midfielder rather than a left back.

Robert Tressell
244 Posted 11/04/2023 at 16:30:46
You're right Brian, Nkounkou is not a left back. He is a poor man's Gareth Bale. Very hard to know how far he can go but I do expect him to leave this summer.
Derek Knox
245 Posted 11/04/2023 at 17:53:44
John @ 239, all this trumpet blowing has left me with a ringing in my ears ! Look forward to seeing everybody again and putting a face to others I haven't met yet ! 💙💙
Tony Everan
246 Posted 11/04/2023 at 18:02:55
Brian, Robert, someone’s going to take a punt on him, maybe even a bottom half PL club, or a better European club , and play him as a left sided midfielder. It’s hard to predict how his career is going to progress when he steps up again, but he does have a very sweet left foot that can put some excellent crosses in. He’d maybe be competing with McNeill if he came back?
Bill Gall
247 Posted 11/04/2023 at 19:06:41
Dave # 242 Andy #228
I new Norman better than most as he played for me for 2 yrs. The owner of Skemersdale had to get permission from me for him to play for them.

One of our players Dad, with a reporter from the Express got Norman's release from Everton as they would only play him and not often in the (B) Team.

Norman was his own worst enemy, he played a trial game at Nottingham and they wanted to sign him but when they found out he was on Everton;s books they got him out of Nottingham a hell of a lot quicker than they did Robin Hood.

I am not sure how Rochdale heard about him but apparently 1 of their coaches Lived in Liverpool someone said Scarisbrick road but I am not sure about that, and I took him up to Rochdale where he played for their reserves that night, and after that they signed him.

The replay at Maine road for Skemersdale, I was amazed that he played as on the TUES or WED before it he showed us his foot, and it had cuts and bruises over it and he had someone else's shoe on as he couldn't get his on.

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
248 Posted 11/04/2023 at 19:10:55
So where does Niels Nkounkou fit in this league table of Full Backs who made great Left Sided midfielders - 1st, 2nd or 3rd?

Gareth Bale
Andy Hinchcliffe

Dave Abrahams
249 Posted 11/04/2023 at 19:17:33
Bill (247),

Norman was a good mate of my cousin and my cousin went to PNE with him for a trial game when Alan Ball's dad was manager there, my cousin done some laughing over Ball's dad, said he was a real character.

Dale Self
250 Posted 11/04/2023 at 19:22:38
Bill 247,

Good Stuff, man. Write something up about those times. I'm sure more than a few would enjoy the read.

Danny O’Neill
251 Posted 11/04/2023 at 19:50:58
Genuine interesting discussion on Nkounkou, who is still only 22.

We've had a few like this over the years who we don't really know what their best position is before we've shoehorned them.

More recent examples: Godfrey and Holgate. I don't know where they fit. Mykolenko could be a left-sided centre-back in a back 3.

Going back, didn't we have concerns over Baines's defensive qualities initially and tried Seamus out as a right-sided midfielder?

Back further, if the ageing memory still serves me, didn't Ratcliffe start as a left-back before moving central?

I know most players eventually settle on a position, but let them develop and feel where they are best placed.

Only rarely do you get a Milner. I feel sick for saying that, so I will redeem myself with Alan Harper. It's rare to get players who can practically play in most positions.

Dale Self
252 Posted 11/04/2023 at 19:55:08
Phil, Robert and Brian, ignore if I’m off but didn’t Gnabry start out as a fullback? And would he make the list?
Jim Wilson
253 Posted 11/04/2023 at 2023/04/11 : 21:21:52

I was very surprised to see Sean Dyche choose only 2 centre midfielders, against Utd, in the absence of Doucoure. Leaving Gueye and Onana on their own to win the midfield battle at a place like Old Trafford was a mistake.

I think most people thought bringing in Garner for Doucoure was the obvious thing to do and I hope Dyche now realises this error and plays Garner against Fulham.

Yes, having Gray and Simms in the team together gives us more attacking options but if you don't have an effective midfield they will not see enough of the ball to cause problems.

If Dyche is going to revert to 4-4-2 from 4-5-1 Gueye needs a reliable passer with him and Onana is not that, he is too unreliable. Better to have Gueye with Garner and then decide whether to give Onana or Davies the Doucoure role or go with Gray.

I don't like making too many changes to a team but one thing I would like Sean Dyche to consider is bringing in Patterson at right back and moving Seamus to the right flank of the midfield.

I think this would make the right side defensively stronger and I actually think it would give us a greater attacking threat down the right too. Both Patterson and Coleman are dangerous going forward and Seamus wouldn't have the problem of getting up and down the pitch as much. But his influence would still be there in a better position.

It would also release Iwobi to play in his best position, where Doucoure has been playing.

It is getting very worrying now, we need a few wins, and anything we can do to give us more attacking options should be considered without, weakening our midfield too much.

If DCL is fit or close it is time to play him. It is time to ask him to fight for the club. Play him for 60 minutes and then bring on Simms or Gray or both, but keep Gueye and Garner together in midfield.

There are nearly 40,000 Evertonians who pay good money to support the team and thousands more who would like to. If DCL can't see this and think he now has to do everything he can to help the team there is something very wrong.

If we could beat Fulham it will be massive, if we don't the trap door starts to open.

And if we can beat Fulham I would consider a formation of 460 against Palace with Gray Davies and/or Onana making runs into the box. Palace will not be easy as no game is now. But I'd like to think we could pinch a 1.0.

I'm tempted to say I would take 6 points from the next 4 games, and 6 from the 4 after that but I have no idea if that would be enough.

We have to aim to get at least above Leeds. I can see Leicester suddenly coming up with a good run of form but Southampton and Forest are definitely going to fight on. Bournemouth keep picking up wins as do Wolves.

So we must fight on no matter what and hope it's the other teams that pick up the injuries, suspensions, bad refereeing and bad luck.

The madness of this club is obvious. First we send Simms on loan when we could have done with him, then we bring him back only to send Tom Cannon on loan. Unbelievable.

In view of this I think Dyche should have players like Sherif, Okoronkwo, Mills on the bench. I cannot see how it would do any harm to give them 10 minutes or so in a game. James Vaughan did it why not some of the youngsters we have now.

They would be itching to play and would give their all. It's desperate times and we should try anything we can that might just change a game.

All I can say to the supporters is:

Keep up your fantastic support

Keep off the pitch no matter what happens

Keep the faith and no matter how the dice fall this season and next season one day it will all come good.


Danny O’Neill
254 Posted 11/04/2023 at 21:26:02

I keep saying and will say, no matter how many people shout at me, 4-4-2 is going to hurt you in the modern game.

The midfield will get overrun.

No point having two forwards if you aren't controlling the ball in midfield to supply them.

I know we all have different views on the game. I watched Everton win titles and trophies playing 4-4-2. But that was then, not now.

Brian Wilkinson
255 Posted 11/04/2023 at 21:30:38
Dale, I can throw another name into the debate, Paul Warhurst started as a centre half and ended up as a striker for Sheff Weds.

Just a little off subject, there was talk of a meet up on the 14th May, I cannot see the date being changed again but if City advance in the champs league, I am pretty sure the Champs league game is scheduled for the following midweek.

It could work in our favour, if City advance and have one eye on the following midweek game.

Brian Wilkinson
256 Posted 11/04/2023 at 21:39:15
Both fixtures are scheduled for Tuesday 16th May for the second leg of the semi finals.

Do not book your train ticket just yet Danny. :-)

Robert Tressell
257 Posted 11/04/2023 at 21:46:14
I'm fairly sure the experiment with 442 / 4411 is over. The lesson of the past few years is that we need 3 bodies in centre mid otherwise we can't compete.
Jim Wilson
258 Posted 11/04/2023 at 21:49:25
Danny @ 254 - I agree. While Doucoure is out it is coming up with the best replacement. The simplest one is bringing in Garner and giving Onana the Doucoure role.
Mark Murphy
259 Posted 11/04/2023 at 22:15:36
Godfrey is a right sided centre back who can play right back. IF we’re playing him on the left or in midfield it’s because we’re shite in those positions. By his age a player should be a specialist in his strongest position. Don’t put square shapes in round holes. And Michael Keane is NOT a striker.
Our best fit and on form eleven is:
Patterson Coady Tarkowski Myko
O’Nana Gueye Doucoure
Gray DCL McNeil.
In my opinion.
Mark Murphy
260 Posted 11/04/2023 at 22:24:53
And with our current availability down to suspensions, form and fitness it’s
Patterson Keane Tarks Myko
Garner Gueye Davies
Gray Simms McNeil.
In my opinion.
Brian Wilkinson
261 Posted 11/04/2023 at 22:39:01
Now this is interesting, the 5.30 slot on Saturday 13th May has been kept open for a match to be televised.

If City reach the semi final, then the second leg will be the following Tuesday, now the plot thickens as it is the Eurovision contest in Liverpool Sat 13th May.

I would not be suprised if our game gets moved again to Saturday 13th.

Derek Knox
262 Posted 11/04/2023 at 02:49:05
Brian, that makes organising a TW Get Together a bit of a conundrum, unless I just make it flexible and say whatever day the Match is on v Man City, meet in the BM Pub, before for those who won't have Tickets, and the rest to join later. That way we are covered, of course assuming it will be televised, and I will get in touch with the Manager at BM and relay that information.

The Future's Bright, The Future's Blue ! 💙💙👍

Eric Myles
263 Posted 12/04/2023 at 06:45:44
On the subject of badges, my daughter frequently buys "merch" from one of her US Utubers websites that is shipped worldwide from China.

So it's quite possible if Michael and Lyndon get their commercial act together that they could do a deal with a company and make some money into the bargain. I wouldn't begrudge them making a few Bob from "merch" and they could expand into caps and T-shirts if there's demand.

Brian Wilkinson
264 Posted 12/04/2023 at 11:05:55
It is worth thinking about, Derek, if Man City get through to a semi final, and the second leg due to be played 2 days after our match, not saying they will, but you just never know if they would move ours back a day, to give City enough rest time, I am only assuming though, Derek.

I would be very suprised if City play Sunday, then only have 1 day to recover and train for a semi-final.

Brian Wilkinson
265 Posted 12/04/2023 at 12:46:19
Just one final question in regards to Bill loving the club.

Has no one asked the question, while he and the board are staying away, why have they not donated their seats to Everton in the Community for supporters who may be struggling financially?

Or donate them to their fan club?

There you go, Martin… email Bill and see if he will sort you a couple of seats out, for the Fulham game. You may have to go in a ballot of 4 though to be drawn out.

Danny O’Neill
266 Posted 12/04/2023 at 12:58:59
A couple of pertinent points there Brian.

I always said, we should never have been made to play Man Utd in the FA Cup Final only 3 days after the European Cup Winner's Cup Final in Rotterdam.

The FA should have rescheduled once they knew we were going to Rotterdam.

Regarding the vacant board seats. I've been calling that since their self-decided absence. There are enough Everton supporters out there that either can't get or can't afford to get tickets.

Sold out as usual for Saturday, apart from empty seats in the Directors Box and those no doubt in the away section.

Brian Wilkinson
267 Posted 12/04/2023 at 13:08:02
I was praying for rain for the Man Utd Cup Final; instead, we got a hot Saturday afternoon; the weather and extra time did us big time that day.

I could not agree more, Danny, had we got an extra day or so, I have no doubt we would have landed the treble. Man Utd did not play us off the pitch, fatigue beat us in the end.

Tony Abrahams
268 Posted 12/04/2023 at 13:13:17
Only genuine Evertonians give their seat to someone else when they know they can't make the game, Danny.
Tony Abrahams
269 Posted 12/04/2023 at 13:53:09
I believe there are contradictions in everything, Brian. Ican remember listening to Sharp agreeing with a caller on the radio who was saying players are never tired when they're winning.

I was at an Everton dinner the following week and Sharp was one of the guests so I went over to his table and asked him about that Man Utd cup final.

“Why do you think we lost against a team we had beat twice that season and they only had 10men, Graeme?” I asked…

"We were absolutely knackered," he replied.

“I know” I said, “So why didn't you tell that horrible red bastard that on the radio last week?”

He shook his head and laughed but I was fuming because I knew the Liverpudlian and he's another one of that crowd – the crowd that are never wrong!

Brian Wilkinson
270 Posted 12/04/2023 at 13:54:10
Lady Luck was against us that Day Danny, Peter Reid’s shot that hit Gidmans studs and deflected the shot onto the post, Andy Gray missing a great chance second half, Bryan Robson heading an Everton corner onto his own crossbar, Peter Reid clean through but hacked down.

Then Psycho Pat for whatever reason not making Whiteside go on the outside of him with his weaker foot.

We had 2 that hit the woodwork and went to safety, they had one that hit the woodwork but went in.

But it was as clear as Day you could see the players were shattered even against ten.

Brent Stephens
271 Posted 12/04/2023 at 14:15:18
Tony #268 - very good!!
John McFarlane Snr
272 Posted 13/04/2023 at 16:32:45
Hi |Derek [245] I trust that you have recovered from the ''Ringing in your ears'', it took me 4 years and 9 months in deciding to remind 'ToffeeWebers' of the reason for the invitation to the inaugural get-together.
Although it may have taken a little longer than anticipated, I believe that it will lead to greater attendances, especially when we move to the Bramley Moore Stadium.
I was delighted when Dave Abrahams, Tony Abrahams, Steve Fearns, Bill Griffiths, George McKane, Gerard McKean, and Peter Mills, helped me celebrate my 80th birthday.
I look forward to sharing your company on Saturday, and meeting new 'Friends'

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