Everton perform better in win at Blackpool

24/07/2022 139comments  |  Jump to last
Blackpool 2 - 4 Everton
Everton performed better in the third of four pre-season friendlies, beating Blackpool at Bloomfield Road this afternoon with goals from Mykolenko, Davies and Dele (two).

The Blues last played Blackpool in a pre-season friendly just 2 years ago, when Carlo Ancelotti's men scraped a second-half goal to secure a 3-3 draw. But goals this afternoon from Everton may be at a premium as they have failed to score so far away from the training fields since returning from their close-season break.

Indeed, it hasn't been just goals that have been missing from Everton's previous two games on their US tour last week, with poor performances all over the field despite the hard work the players claim to have been doing under the inspiration of manager Frank Lampard.

Hopefully a brighter performance with greater application and concentration will be evident this afternoon, jet-lag notwithstanding!

For those who can't make it to the Lancashire resort, the match will be streamed live via Everton's website for registered members.

Article continues below video content

Nathan Patterson starts despite rumours that he is to be offered on loan to Championship clubs. Rondon leads the line in place of Calvert-Lewin, who along with Demarai Gray are withdrawn "as a precaution". Gomes, Townsend and Coleman are out injured.

They face a trio of former Everton Academy players in Callum Connolly, Luke Garbutt and Josh Bowler, who start for Blackpool, with Shayne Lavery amongst the subs.

The home side got things going but Everton spent a long of time trying and largely failing to play out from the back. But it got a bit spicey when Mina and Madine went chest to chest in a rather early spell of handbags.

But an amazingly fine piece of football saw Paterson overlap and exchange with Gordon before putting a tremendous cross over to Mykolenko who half-volleyed the ball across goal and in at the far post.

Everton were 2-up after 10 minutes, a good header from Tom Davies off a pinpoint cross from Rondon on the right, after he made acres of space for himself behind the Blackpool defence.

Everton were trying to play forward, an excellent first-tine cross from Patterson on the run but Dele in the area could not connect with it.

Dele tried to run at the Blackpool back line and seemed to have found a way through his pass to Rondonwas easily blocked.

Tarkowski put a wonderful ball over the top to Rondon but he was too hesitant and obviously wanted to pass before his tame shot was blocked behind.

But Everton gave up a soft goal after Pickford parried skyward a shot from Bowler bounced up for Madine who missed it initially before nodding it over the line.

The only changes at half-time were Keane and Holgate replacing Mina and Godfrey as Rondon restarted the match. A good move down the right saw Paterson scoop a great ball forward from Patterson, Holgate crossed in, Rondon shot, the keeper parried, Mykolenko pushed the ball back in front of goal and Dele was there to finish this time from 1 yard out.

But a simple corner at the other end, taken by Garbutt and glanced in off the top of Connolly's head beat everyone.

Another Blackpool corner came out to Bowler who lashed in a scorcher that was heading straight to the top corner but Pickford batted it away with a fine save.

On the hour mark, Iwobi replaced Rondon, with Dele and Gordon playing as a forward three.

Tarkowski launched another brilliant ball but t needed some work before the ball was played in to him by Patterson and he turned it artfully past defender and keeeper at the near posts for a fine 4th Everton goal.

But Tarkowski was made a right chump by Carey in defence, losing the ball and then fouling his assailant, Gomes-style, for a soft free-kick that Garbutt fired just over Pickford's goal.

Davies had done well enough to score and be involved before he was replaced by Allan. And for the final 10 minutes, four youngsters were brought on in a very rare move by Lampard, followed by Dobbin replacing Dele Alli for the last 5 minutes.

They saw the game out with a more respectable scoreline and more application shown than in general on the US Tour. Swarms of kids running on at the end... pitch invasion?

Blackpool: Grimshaw, Connolly, Keogh (69' J Moore), Williams (60' Thorniley), Garbutt (84' Apter), Virtue (65' Dougall), Carey, Fiorini, Bowler, Anderson (76' Yates), Madine (76' Lavery).
Subs not Used: Maxwell, S Moore, Dale, Hamilton, Lubala.

Everton: Pickford, Patterson (80' Mills), Tarkowski (80' Welch), Mina (46' Keane), Godfrey (46' Holgate), Mykolenko, Doucoure (80' Price), Davies (72' Allan), Gordon (80' Warrington), Rondon (60' Iwobi), Dele Alli [Y:54'] (85'Dobbin).
Subs not Used: Crellin, Leban, Nkounkou, Simms.


Reader Comments (139)

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Ian Jones
1 Posted 24/07/2022 at
Good luck to the team and the fans who hopefully don't have to endure another poor showing.
Brian Murray
2 Posted 24/07/2022 at
Are the Tangerines in the Championship or League One? Hope it's not a regular occurrence playing these.

We need to see if Patterson is ready; otherwise, we really going to struggle. I don't fancy a Seamus war cry for 9 months.

David Hallwood
3 Posted 24/07/2022 at
I've just googled Everton transfer news and my feed crashed. A metaphor?
Mike Hayes
4 Posted 24/07/2022 at
Any links or covered on radio?
Michael Kenrick
5 Posted 24/07/2022 at
Blackpool are in the Championship, Brian. I shoulda mentioned that in the intro but just typing the word brings me out in a cold sweat.

I wonder if that young goal-hungry protégé of ours, Ellis Simms, will get a run-out against his old loan club? The lad went all the way to Yankeeland yet didn't get a sniff. Perhaps Frank doesn't rate him. But then I think we know he doesn't really rate any of this rabble.

Pat Kelly
6 Posted 24/07/2022 at
An opportunity to pit ourselves against a professional outfit we aspire to being some day.
Jim Bennings
7 Posted 24/07/2022 at
I liked Blackpool when they were in the Premier League, what year was it 2010?

Added colour and a carefree playing style that could only be admired.

Anyway on to today's game, should be interesting to see just how our players approach this.

Attitude and application now with the season so close by is an absolute necessity because I'd guess by this point Frank Lampard is feeling bemused by the current goings on.

Nick White
8 Posted 24/07/2022 at
I'm hoping we will see the likely 1st choice starting 11 and formation today with a big improvement over the USA tour performances.

On a side note, we are only playing 4 pre-season games. That seems very low, I think; surely more are needed to build match fitness?

Brian Murray
9 Posted 24/07/2022 at
Vaguely remember being very young going there, I think Alan Ball's first season. I remember the low stand roofs either side of a big kop with advertising on them. I'm reliably informed a landlord was locked in his cellar as my dad and about 20 helped themselves to brown ale. Different times eh.
Derek Knox
10 Posted 24/07/2022 at
Pat @ 6, at least we have plenty experience on the Roller Coaster, but rarely getting to the high bits. Maybe that's the Good Times that Kenwright keeps referring to!
Tony Hill
11 Posted 24/07/2022 at
Is Calvert-Lewin injured?
Ed Prytherch
12 Posted 24/07/2022 at
Four ex-Everton players at Blackpool - Lavery, Bowler, Connolly & Garbut. Bowler was very good for them last season.
Tony Hill
13 Posted 24/07/2022 at
Or going to Newcastle?
Gerard Carey
14 Posted 24/07/2022 at
We played Blackpool in the FA Cup in 2012, beat them 2-0. Guess who scored!!!!??? Royston Drenthe and The Stracq!!!!!!.

And we thought things were bad then... 🙄🙄🙄🙄!!!.

Nick White
15 Posted 24/07/2022 at
Apparently Calvert-Lewin and Gray both out as a precaution…
Sean Roe
16 Posted 24/07/2022 at
Should be interesting, this is the level we are competing at unless we play as a team and with a bit of passion, which should be the minimum requirement anyway.
Michael Kenrick
17 Posted 24/07/2022 at
And Gbamin. No mention of him. Our ace DCM, the big hope for the season... Where's he buggered off to?
Will Mabon
18 Posted 24/07/2022 at
Mike @ 4

Info will probably appear on the live forum.

Brian Murray
19 Posted 24/07/2022 at
Ed @12.

No mention of Micky Walsh and that other bum, Alan Ball. 😬😂

Kevin Molloy
20 Posted 24/07/2022 at
Boody hell – I didn't know Blackpool were in the Championship. Jeez, it's another walloping isn't it!
Tony Dunn
21 Posted 24/07/2022 at
I was just saying to my darling wife what a great day out this would be, few bevies in the sunshine, pie n chips with the lads, good game of footy, Everton victory of course, laughing at the Blackpool firm trying it on, few more bevies, fish n chips and train home.

Then I realised it wasn't the '80s anymore, the ale will be crap, food too deep fried and shite, we'll be lucky to score and it's probably raining too.

Will Mabon
22 Posted 24/07/2022 at
Some big players being saved for Friday...

Bill Watson
23 Posted 24/07/2022 at
Does anyone else have a problem getting the official EFC feed?

I get an email saying all I have to do is log on and then access the feed. When I do it says I must be a registered member (which I am) and to log on.

Kevin Molloy
24 Posted 24/07/2022 at
At least we're playing five at the back, so Blackpool know we won't go down without a fight.
Jim Lloyd
25 Posted 24/07/2022 at
Good post, Mike (5) especially the first sentence!

I hope Davies can start producing the form he first showed, then I wouldn't be quite so worried as I am! I like the look of Tarkowski, Mina and Godfrey together.

Rondon playing at least gives a target and he looks much fitter; and I'd like to see some of the young lads get a go, as well.

Ciarán McGlone
27 Posted 24/07/2022 at
Another back 5... against a Championship side.

Never Learn.

Christy Ring
28 Posted 24/07/2022 at
No mention of Gbamin, did well last week, is he injured again? Two weeks to Chelsea and no replacement for Richarlison yet...
Jim Lloyd
29 Posted 24/07/2022 at
Same's just happened to me, Bill. Maybe because they don't usually start the radio link til the match starts, might be the same with the telly.
Barry Hesketh
30 Posted 24/07/2022 at
I've just this minute logged onto the Everton site, clicked on "How To watch..." and the stream is up and running.

Good turnout by the Evertonians - yet again.

Jim Lloyd
31 Posted 24/07/2022 at
Yep, mine's now a picture of Bloomfield Road, with a big camera in the front, so "any minute now!" fingers crossed.
Frank Crewe
32 Posted 24/07/2022 at
On youtube
Ian McAvoy
33 Posted 24/07/2022 at
The official Everton page feed is iffy (again). When will their digital content people get their act together?
Ciarán McGlone
34 Posted 24/07/2022 at
What are we learning from playing Rondon? The guy is an utter plank.

As for Dele Alli – get rid. He has zero interest.

Patterson doesn't look too bad to me.

Michael Barrett
35 Posted 24/07/2022 at
We will need Tom and Gordon for the Championship, so you guys lay off them.
Alan J Thompson
36 Posted 24/07/2022 at
One full-back crossing for the other full-back to score. We could try Moyes's no striker line-up, or perhaps we have with Rondon starting. Surely Simms and Dobbin have to come on in the second half but, with just a fortnight until the season starts, you have to question saving your main strikers.
Annika Herbert
37 Posted 24/07/2022 at
Michael @35,

If you are implying Gordon is only Championship level, then I despair. When we do have a genius quality player progress through the ranks, the TW know-it-alls appear to slate them.

No wonder we can never keep our best young players when they get such backing.

Tony Twist
38 Posted 24/07/2022 at
That scoreline flatters us. If that is the best that Lampard and his crew can do then they might as well piss off. Keystone cops of a football team, no structure, headless chickens, no midfield, nothing up front and the defence is just embarrassing.

Obviously taking it really really easy in training, just doing the fun stuff. We are literary lambs to the slaughter. First full match watch in a while and to be honest I was appalled. People just aren't doing their jobs.

David Bromwell
39 Posted 24/07/2022 at
Well we won, but certainly not a brilliant performance. I really hope that some of the youngsters will come through as we look very short of numbers.

For me, the worst aspect of the game was, with three centre-backs, will still conceded goals too easily. Tarkowski looked comfortable but sorry to see he is right-footed, again, so we now have five centre backs and they are all right-footed.

So against quick forwards we will struggle... no, sorry, we will concede loads of goals. Not good and no better than last season which is understandable given that we are largely using the same players.

Mark Ryan
40 Posted 24/07/2022 at
Ciaran @ 34, sorry can't agree. Had some quality touches today and apart from looking about as fit as Gemma Collins, there is still a player there.
Rob Dolby
41 Posted 24/07/2022 at
Watched the game. Thought Patterson did well, 2 assists and defended okay when called upon.

I don't like 5 at the back with our defenders. I don't think it suits any of them.

Any idea what position we can get the best out of Dele?

Why did we sell Bowler? He looks like he could play at a higher level.

More questions than answers but at least we scored a few and got a win.

Pat Kelly
42 Posted 24/07/2022 at
Savour the win. Could be a while till the next.
Kevin Prytherch
43 Posted 24/07/2022 at
Both goals came from errors - Pickford mistake and static zonal marking - so from that viewpoint the defence did its job. Other than the last 15-20 minutes Blackpool didn't really have a chance of note. I thought they looked much more comfortable in the first half.

Patterson got forward we'll as did Mykolenko, although Mykolenko was caught out by Bowler a couple of times.

Didn't notice Davies that much, but the midfield looked instantly worse when he went off.

Iwobi looked lively and, as much as his final ball irritates me, he covers a lot of ground.

Gordon had a quiet game, Rondon made some good runs - but I think this is about his level.

Dele could be a gem this season. His work rate is questionable – there were a couple of occasions he was just yards from the ball but stood there – but when he's on the ball, you can see he has class. He's also a narky player, which we need more of. He was in the right place for both of his goals and hopefully those two goals are what he needs. If he can arrive in those positions all season he'll be in double figures and worth every penny. We'll also have the added advantage of opposition defences having one eye on Dele, which will free up space for Calvert-Lewin.

Overall - 2 poor goals to concede, an individual mistake again and shocking zonal marking and we didn't create that much - but we scored 4. Pre-season, but much better than the last 2 games.

Dave Williams
44 Posted 24/07/2022 at
Very entertaining game and I thought we played pretty well albeit two poor goals conceded.

Tarkowski and Doucoure the pick with a good game too from Patterson. Tom did fine and Rondon was okay too. Dele will benefit from two goals and will make a huge difference if he can regain his form.

Much better and my stream worked very well.

Kieran Kinsella
46 Posted 24/07/2022 at

I think five at the back is more about covering the deficiencies in midfield than because it suits the defenders. They are crap whether there is 4 or 5 at the back whereas the wing backs help the inept midfield so one area of the field isn't as crap as it otherwise would be.

Raymond Fox
47 Posted 24/07/2022 at
I don't think young Patterson's going anywhere, looks good enough to me.

Dele could be our best player if he gets and stays fit.

We'll be okay provided we strengthen up and get 2 or 3 good reinforcements.

I think we will, but they're not that easy to find.

Jim Lloyd
48 Posted 24/07/2022 at
I'll have to watch it on the Everton site, when they show it later. Couldn't get it to work on the EFC Stream. Said I had to log in... which I had done!
Ian Bennett
49 Posted 24/07/2022 at
A noticeable drop off in defensive confidence with Keane & Holgate coming on. They've got to be moved on.
Barry Hesketh
50 Posted 24/07/2022 at
If we end up relying on Dele Alli to be our saviour, lord help us. Like Gazza and Wayne in his second stint at Everton, Alli is over the hill/ Unless he somehow gets himself fit and raring to go, he shouldn't make it past the transfer window at Goodison.

I thought Rondon did much better today than he has in the past, but as usual we have to see what he'll be like against Premier League opponents.

Ian Riley
51 Posted 24/07/2022 at
Only see positives!

One being we know we can play at this level!

Tom Bowers
52 Posted 24/07/2022 at
We will concede lots of goals because we cannot keep good possession and keep the opposition in their own half.

That was the problem last season and nothing has changed.

The players we use across the middle are average at best and inconsistent. Added to that we have no real goalscorers so things do not look good once again. Boo-Hoo!!!

Ciarán McGlone
53 Posted 24/07/2022 at
Dele Alli may have talent, but that's fairly useless if you've no real interest in using it. It's obvious to anyone watching him that he just cannot be fucking arsed.

We can't afford passengers in midfield, especially with this obsession with 5 at the back. We need graft and he certainly doesn't offer any. Get rid.

Paul Birmingham
54 Posted 24/07/2022 at
A win is a win, it's a friendly, and some positives. Hopefully the squad can build on the positives, and learn from the same mistakes of last season and the previous season.

Rondon has lost some ballast, so let's see how the squad responds the next couple of weeks.

Barry Jones
55 Posted 24/07/2022 at
Kevin #43.

I always enjoy your posts as they are rational and well thought out. I agree with you about Dele Alli. He could be a top player this season. He needs games under his belt to get his match fitness to where it needs to be, so I hope Frank perseveres with him.

Everyone focussed on the miss in Minnesota but the timing and positioning of the run was impeccable. If he continues to do that all season, he will be a valuable asset.

Rob Dolby
56 Posted 24/07/2022 at
Ciaran @53,

Dele has that languid body language. He may look uninterested but scored a couple and looks a lot fitter than last season.

I would be very surprised if he was sold in this transfer window after only just getting him in January.

The challenge for Lampard is finding a role for him in the team. He needs to play as he can score goals.

David Cooper
59 Posted 24/07/2022 at
I have been trying to find the fine print of Dele's transfer! I think we all know we have to pay something after he appears in 20 games. I just hope this does not include “friendlies”!

It is very hard to read Frank's position on Dele. I'm pretty sure he will play some part of the match on Friday. Frank must be giving him every chance to prove that he is worth paying some cash for him. £10 million after 20 matches and the other £30M to be paid when?

Personally having watched him closely today, despite scoring 2 goals and giving Connolly a good whack, I don't think he has the defensive nouse that we are going to need from every player... and then there is the money. If we haven't got a pot to piss in, £10M is a lot of money.

No Calvert-Lewin today, is Frank thinking of playing Dele up front? Why no Calvert-Lewin? Possibly injured? Possibly on his way to Newcastle!

I have heard it said that selling Richarlison was a double whammy. Good for FFP and did it go into the BMD black hole? Anything is possible with the board that we have!

I don't think Moshiri takes a piss before asking Usmanov and he has told him to get the fuck out and get his money back. Neither have any concern about EFC.

All this after we win!

Steve Carse
60 Posted 24/07/2022 at
Today was a total waste of time – little interest shown in using the game to look at the youngsters, no experiments with different tactics, and even no use in improving fitness levels so slow was the pace and so low was the intensity.

After just 90 minutes more of this, we face Chelsea – heaven help us.

Robert Tressell
63 Posted 24/07/2022 at
Very boring low quality match so couldn't be bothered watching all of it. From what I did see:

- Tarkowski has a decent range of long passing (a few nice diagonals and a through ball too).

- Patterson is a good footballer and has a good engine. He'll surely come good at some point.

- Mykolenko is really good

- Alli is classy on the ball and can score / create goals

- 3 at the back allowed our wing backs to push very high


- 3 at the back still doesn't work otherwise though. The back three are just not good enough on the ball. Consequently, the midfield constantly seems a man down.

- Even against a not very aggressive Blackpool press, we struggled to get the ball out of defence and into midfield

- We still look weak at set-pieces

- Our central midfield of Davies and Doucoure was not good, Gordon very quiet also.

To finish on Alli, I don't know if he's not arsed or just expecting other players to do their jobs properly - especially the other midfielders.

Mark Taylor
66 Posted 24/07/2022 at
The problem with Dele is we are on borrowed time. When he hits 20 games, we part with £10M+ we don't really have plus I gather his salary goes up. That leaves, by my calculations, precious little left from the £15M net we got from selling Richarlison balanced against our FFP shortfall. Not much time left to make this big call.

At the end of this year, we are also counting on Juve to cough up €25M+ for Moise Kean but, given he's been a flop there, not sure we can rely on that arriving.

A win is a win, hope it's not too long a wait till the next one and that we can find some Premier League clubs whose defence is as open as Blackpool's...

Kevin Molloy
67 Posted 24/07/2022 at
We weren't great but that went a lot better than I thought it would. We won't be good, but we may just have enough to stay up this season. If we can keep Mina fit, you would have to say that, other than right-back, we now have a good defence and goalie.

Also, we do seem to have the odd goal in us. It's the midfield where it all comes undone, it's like we've thought "We're not strong in midfield, so let's just ignore it and concentrate on the rest".

Neil Copeland
68 Posted 24/07/2022 at
Just back from the game.

I thought we did okay, the game was effectively over after 10 minutes and we never looked like losing. Blackpool really struggled in the first half and only a daft goal gave them any hope.

The general performance was much better than the last 2 games without being at the level we will need.

I struggle to understand why Rondon is getting game time, much prefer to see Simms and/or Dobbin. Or, for that matter Broadhead.

Nathan Patterson played well, his crosses are good and I would have him taking corners and free-kicks if he makes the starting eleven.

Dele is a strange one because at times he looks totally disinterested but then comes up with a well-timed run or nice piece of skill. He looks to be improving with each game to me, though.

We looked a bit laboured in the second half until Iwobi came on and added some energy.

I thought Gordon was fouled in the middle of the park, the ref thought otherwise and the resulting break from Blackpool led to the corner for their second goal.

It's always difficult to take much from these games however, there was definite improvement which is encouraging although still plenty to do.

Colin Malone
69 Posted 24/07/2022 at
No creativity in midfield whatsoever. To me, Gordon is a squad player. We miss Townsend, that how bad it is. In coaching terms, nothing has changed.
Bill Watson
70 Posted 24/07/2022 at
Jim #48,

I've had exactly the same issue for all three games. It takes you around in a continuous circle. I've even tried logging out and then back in but to no avail. I'm just glad I'm not paying. It really isn't good enough for a Premier League club.

You can usually get a link to a decent stream on the ToffeeWeb Live Forum.

As for the game itself, we are still pitifully weak in midfield. There's very little joined-up play and the usual ploy is to play it long or pass to the other side. If we can sort midfield, it will solve a lot of other issues in the side.

Neil Copeland
71 Posted 24/07/2022 at
Does anyone know why Gbamin wasn’t in the squad?
Charles Brewer
72 Posted 24/07/2022 at
I've only seen the highlights on the club site – ie, about 90 seconds of play – but I was struck by two things.

First, Alli appeared to be doing what Calvert-Lewin did under Ancelotti - getting inside the goal area and making a bloody nuisance of himself and knocking in good crosses.

Second, Patterson and Mykolenko look as though they can be a pair of highly effective wingers, and having two such players will negate the usual tactic played against Everton of saturation defending against the one effective winger.

I have been extremely critical of Alli in his attitude, fitness and all-round application but, if Frank Lampard has found a way of getting him to play where he starts scoring regularly and generally messing with defences, he'll be worth his weight in gold – and I'm sure his motivation won't be any kind of issue!

I'm not sure Calvert-Lewin's ever coming back having had his head turned by whatever agent / other club / media garbage / modelling has got to him, and as a replacement, today's Alli would make an excellent replacement for the best of Ancelotti's Calvert-Lewin.

Gary Jones
73 Posted 24/07/2022 at
Gordon is not a squad player!!!

The problem is that ‘nice guy Frank' has blown smoke up his arse and told him he's a No 10. Tell him to stay on the wing, pressure the full-back and get a cross in, and we'll have a player. Carry on as we are, and its Ross 2.0...

Alex Gray
74 Posted 24/07/2022 at
I don't understand the Alli bashing today – the lad scored two. He'll do just fine for us behind the striker... if – and it's a big 'if' – we get a midfield that can create through the middle.

He plays off the striker and doesn't suit pressing – everyone knows that – but, whilst he's not the player he was, he is still one of our better players, sadly.

Weird game today. At least we scored. Defence is exposed due to no midfield and there's no creativity in it so it doesn't really function. All the goals came from crosses but, if that doesn't work, we're in trouble.

Robert Tressell
75 Posted 24/07/2022 at
Neil # 71, I hate to say it but Gbamin is surely done as a Premier League player and, presumably, he wasn't in the squad because he's being prepared for a loan to a weaker league.

To comments from other posters...

Rondon is presumably being given minutes to get him fit for the deputy striker role again - with Simms heading for another (probably necessary) developmental loan.

Dobbin I'd like to see more of.

The central midfield I'd like to see less of.

Steve Hogan
76 Posted 24/07/2022 at
I sat right behind the Everton bench all of the game. Gomes was not with the squad, nor was Calvert-Lewin. Seamus sat with Andros Townsend who had a massive bag of ice on his knee the whole game, and a massive scar from his recent operation. Strange one that, he was never in the playing squad, but the ice... maybe a physio can enlighten me?

Thoughts and observations on the game?

If fit, Mina will start alongside Tarkowski versus Chelsea, the latter's range of long ball passing was impressive. As soon as Mina went off, we reverted to type and conceded a goal from a corner.

Midfield remains a concern, I watched Tom Davies the whole time he was on, and when he showed for the ball, he passed it back every time to an Everton player, never attempted to turn and run forward with it.

Will he ever cut the mustard for us? I'm beginning to doubt it; he's no longer a young lad making his way in the game.

Biggest disappointment, was Anthony Gordon, he failed to make any impression at all, and his crossing was awful.

Allan came on as a late sub, and I'm sorry, but he's past it now, the legs have gone, totally unsuited for the fast pace of the Premier League.

With 2 weeks to go, we're in desperate need of quality personnel in midfield and in attack.

Don't let the scoreline fool you, Blackpool were very average. This Everton team will struggle to score goals.

At the moment, we're in for a long hard season, unless things change remarkably on the transfer front.

Joe McMahon
77 Posted 24/07/2022 at
I really am concerned. Davies in midfield Calvert-Lewin when playing can only score from a few yards out, if at all. And I just don't see the hype about Gordon. Yes, he can run, but that's it.

A comment in this thread about Davies passing backwards. Does anyone remember the draw at Old Trafford when he passed to Mina in an offside position late in the game. Even MotD highlighted why did he not shoot. We could have got 3 points, but instead 1.

Mike Gaynes
79 Posted 24/07/2022 at
Steve #76, safe to assume Townsend's ice bag was because he had just completed a therapy/rehab session. He will likely be going through 2-3 of these intense sessions every day, and ice is a constant to prevent swelling and reduce inflammation and pain.
Neil Copeland
80 Posted 24/07/2022 at
Robert #75, thanks. He was one of the few bright points from the USA tour I thought but your presumption would make sense. And particularly so if he hasn't picked up a knock.

Rondon was better than usual today but surely we can do better. I think I read somewhere that Frank wants to send Dobbin out on loan with the only concern being our lack of depth if that happens. Assuming that does happen late in the window and both Simms and Broadhead are loaned or sold, then I can't see Dele going anywhere soon.

We continue to be linked with Broja which I cannot see as realistic unless either Calvert-Lewin is sold or we get the Moise Kean money. The former seems more likely, I would say at the moment.

As others have said, our midfield is a mess. Lewis Warrington looks promising and hopefully we will see more of him as the new season progresses but there is little else to look forward to in the middle. At least 2 solid hard-working midfielders required with one being an enforcer and the other a creator.

Peter Mills
81 Posted 24/07/2022 at
I had an enjoyable afternoon at the match with my son, who had his 2 lads (aged 6 and 7) making their away debuts.

We were welcomed into the Bloomfield Club for a couple of pints, and the policing and stewarding at the ground was pleasantly low-key. There was a fine turn-out of Everton fans who were in good form.

It looks to me as though the Godfrey, Mina, Tarkowski trio will be Frank's preferred defence, allowing the two full backs to push up, as they did very much today. Patterson looked a bit anxious early on, but he was much happier when galloping forward. If he can master the defensive side of his game he could become a very popular player.

Tarkowski looked solid, and his passing was good. Ben Godfrey looked comfortable on the right.

The two early goals settled things down to a degree, and even prompted an outbreak of “We're gonna win the League” followed by “We shall not be moved”.

Unfortunately, as others have said above, things started to break down when we tried to play through midfield, which was pedestrian to say the least.

Blackpool's first goal arrived when their own midfield suddenly moved up through the gears very swiftly and left our lads standing. The ensuing shot at goal was seemingly well saved by Pickford, but instead of deflecting the ball away from goal he inexplicably parried it into the air from where it was nodded in. It was a strange goal.

The change of defenders at half-time brought about predictable worries. A corner for Blackpool inevitably resulted in a free header - shocking, but not surprising. Ok, we scored goals either side of it, but we simply cannot afford such sloppiness.

Dele Alli is an enigma. He has got some excellent skill, but drifts out of the game. I was unimpressed with his behaviour that led to his booking, others enjoyed seeing him dish out some retribution. He was in the right place to score twice.

Rondon tried, but the summer break has not added finesse to his limited repertoire. Iwobi also ran around.

There was a good-natured pitch invasion of mostly young kids at the end. I enjoy seeing the exuberance, but I think it will have to stop or we will be punished.

A good day out, but nothing was at stake. Every team in the Premier League is much better than Blackpool, and unless 3 or 4 quality reinforcements are brought in, which seems most unlikely, it's going to be a long, difficult season.

Sam Hoare
82 Posted 24/07/2022 at
It's gonna be a slog and I think some on here have too high expectations. We are not good. 14th, 15th or 16th is probably par for us this season. May go a bit better if we start well and the new players gel quickly. May be relegation trouble if we take some punishment and/or get similar injury problems to last season.

I'd be very surprised if there are no new players within next few weeks.

I expect:
A number 6: Gilmour (on loan) or Winks
A versatile forward: Broja, Dennis, or Cornet
An attacking midfielder: Gibbs-White or Barkley?!
A centre-back if we can sell Holgate, Keane or Mina: Colwill or Becao.

I reckon 3 or 4 more players in and hopefully they are the right ones. Many gaps.

Tony Abrahams
83 Posted 24/07/2022 at
Reading that report, Peter, it does feel like we might finally be beginning to sort out our defence, if everyone stays fit.

We need midfielders, but Iwobi, Gray, and Gordon can float around, and all of them could also possibly play as a forward midfielder, which is something Alli can also do.

So it just leaves a defensive midfielder, a box-to-box midfielder, and a centre-forward to hopefully all come in!

Soren Moyer
84 Posted 24/07/2022 at
Yes, we did win a friendly at last! But this team and the tactics ain't looking good! We are in for another thumping (Minnesota style) by Chelsea.
Mike Gaynes
85 Posted 24/07/2022 at
Great match and social report, Pete. Glad you and the grandsons had a fun day out and saw a victory. Hope your faucets are running again.
Paul Birmingham
86 Posted 24/07/2022 at
Well said, Sam, let's hope so, but it's going to be a hellish season all considered, as it looks right now.
Jay Harris
87 Posted 24/07/2022 at
I thought we looked much better in this one but Blackpool hardly broke sweat.

Another Pickford howler with the usual set-piece screwup ensured we would not keep a clean sheet and our fragility is worrying, particularly when we are pressed, which Blackpool did very little of.

I don't know what's going on with Calvert-Lewin but Dele Alli may be our main source of goals this season.

I thought Tom Davies did okay today but it's the lack of movement in front of him and the fact we sit so deep that worries me.

Ian Jones
88 Posted 24/07/2022 at
Just a gentle reminder to those who think we are unlikely to get much out of the Chelsea game.

I think we have beaten Chelsea in approximately 9 out of the last 12 home matches.

Bobby Mallon
89 Posted 24/07/2022 at
Why is Rondon still on our books, for fuck's sake? That lad is useless. I don't care if he runs about, he's shite!

I can't believe Frank even has him around the place. Oumar Niasse is a far better striker and didn't even get a locker.

Dave Abrahams
90 Posted 24/07/2022 at
We've known for the last two seasons that centre-midfield is a massive problem for Everton. Two good signings there would dictate a lot of the way we play, without these signings we are in big trouble. Everyone can see how poor we are there and the opposition in the premier league will take advantage like they did last season.

Dele Alli creates another problem, when/ if he reaches twenty league games we have to pay Spurs £10M, can we afford to take the risk that he will get fitter and continue to improve? Even when he doesn't play, he costs £100, 000 per week.

He had good moments today plus two goals but must be in the game more than he was today, still a big question mark over this complex transfer with all the good points going Spurs way.

The lad from Burnley will do me. I think he would be much better if we played with just two centre-backs.

I don't think Patterson will be going on loan – he looks like he will get better the more he plays in the team, like the lad from Ukraine has done.

I think Frank Lampard has an unenviable task trying to get players in and getting them ready to perform in 2 weeks. If he gets them before the end of the transfer window, it will help but obviously take longer to get them to gel together. We can only wish him the best of luck with the team he's got to help him.

Steve Hogan
91 Posted 24/07/2022 at
Thanks Mike (79) for the medical advice with Townsend. Peter (81), I agree with you, the mini pitch invasion at the end, could have turned nasty, if the Blackpool fans had decided to do likewise.

I really don't get it, I saw grown men carrying their 3-year-old kids onto the pitch, and others, imploring their children to 'run' on for autographs.

Are these people really thick, particularly after what happened at the end of last season at Goodison???

The answer is probably Yes!!!

Peter Mills
92 Posted 24/07/2022 at
Tony #83 – “if everyone stays fit”. There's the rub. My nephew was chatting with Yerry Mina 3-4 weeks ago, he declared he is in the best shape of his life. That may mean we will have him until the end of August.

I agree with you and Sam #82 about the types of player we need. But we are rooting around the bargain basement, and the sort of names with whom we have been associated will not improve us massively. It's going to be tough this season, that's how it is.

Philip Bunting
93 Posted 24/07/2022 at
One thing I don't like – friendly or not – is the reaction when we concede a goal. Drop heads, turn around, and meander back to position.

They should look annoyed, they should be challenging each other as to who or why that just happened, bollocking each other so they learn from it. Who was at fault for that etc... That's what winners do... Doing nothing is what losers do... it needs to change.

I want to see winners from start to finish. As an example, Pickford conceding that goal, his mistake, yes he looked annoyed with himself – glad to see that – but the defence need to push him to stop the theatrics, keep it simple.

Same on the other foot, that header from the corner for their 2nd goal, Pickford needs to bollocking the defence, and so on...

The body language of the midfield needs to improve, it's not aggressive, sharp, quick, or incisive... very mundane. We need to get nasty with ourselves and on the pitch.

Eddie Dunn
95 Posted 24/07/2022 at

Rondon did well and actually linked-up much better than Calvert-Lewin can. And Niasse was nowhere near as average as Rondon.

Derek Thomas
96 Posted 24/07/2022 at
Is Alli worth the money they want? Even if he is, I'm not sure we have the £10M to pay the first instalment? And as for the reputed £40M – no chance.

Will the real Dele Alli please stand up!

Still, a win's a win and with Tuchel saying the same as Frank after a 0-4 vs Arsenal, maybe it's Arteta has them ahead of the pack, fired up fitness-wise for what is essentially a 3-month mini-season... it's not a marathon this year it's 'only' a 5000-m.

David Hallwood
97 Posted 24/07/2022 at
I think it's fairly obvious that we're in the same position financially as we were this time last season, so I'm not expecting a marquee signing anytime soon. In fact, I'm not even expecting a 50% off 2-person tent type signing.

So Frank will have to make the proverbial silk purse. It looks like 3 or 5 at the back is nailed on, the difference I would like is to play 3 in midfield with 2 up top. In midfield I'd play Doucouré, Iwobi & Delli, it's up front that the cupboard is bare.

Perhaps he could persuade Pulisic to come here on a loan deal. Apparently he wants to leave Chelsea to get game time. Perhaps our backroom/scouting staff could extract their fingers out of their collective arses and try to get some up-and-coming players from God knows where.

But it maybe a case of more out before more in. Gomes, Allan and sadly Gbamin and even more sadly Tom Davies need to move on over the next season. Strangely enough, a couple of really good inspired signing could really turn the club around. Who and where those signings are is above my pay grade

Brian Wilkinson
98 Posted 24/07/2022 at
Not enough there to fill me with confidence for next season.

We should find out a bit more after the Kiev game, but unless we get some in, we are in deep shit. I still think one of either Gordon or Calvert-Lewin will be sold, before the window shuts, then it is a case of who do we bring in?

If we are really in trouble being able to buy players, then I hope we use the Kiev game to give Stanley Mills, Warrington, Dobbin or Simms a longer run out. We may need these, sooner rather than later.

As for the second goal we conceded, that was some corner Garbutt whipped in at pace; up there with Hinchliffe, that corner.

Alex Parr
99 Posted 24/07/2022 at
I thought we were okay today... only okay though. Nothing much more to add to what's been said already, apart from...

It fucking really winds me up, idiot kids being encouraged by idiot parents to run onto the fucking pitch after shirts.

It was bad enough recently with the shit signs each game, kids sat around like tramps with shite cardboard signs begging for shirts. Now it's run onto the pitch to pester their 'stars' for shirts, all the while hollered on by morons.

The pitch invasion at the end of the game against Palace was acceptable, the one mid-game was a disgrace. As is celebrating a friendly win against Blackpool by legging it onto the pitch like scrounging little scruffs.

I fucking hope it does not happen against Kyiv and I honestly think we are still under the radar for this shit. In a season where we may well struggle for points, is it really worth risking more points to say "I got Mason Holgate's shirt against Blackpool" like one little cretin appeared to...?

Phil Lewis
100 Posted 25/07/2022 at
Giving the Captain's armband to Pickford is almost as big a joke as the man himself. How can someone with his suspect temperament ever be considered as leadership material?

I'm sick of saying it on here, season after season. But here goes one last time: Pickford is a liability who continues to make unforgivable errors. While he remains at the club, we will struggle and needlessly lose games.

It is no wonder the players immediately in front of him have shattered nerves as a result of his erratic antics. A goalkeeper's job is to martial his defence in a composed manner. Pickford is incapable of such a feat.

What on Earth were those young lads supposed to achieve in the final 10 minutes today when brought on as substitutes? They surely should have been afforded a full half at least.

Central Midfield is a crisis area for our team right now. Doucoure and Davies stroll through matches like passive observers. Alli is simply a waste of space. Replacements are urgently needed. The youngsters should be blooded immediately.

I hear rumours of possible signings in the shape of Billy Gilmour and Ross Barkley from Chelsea. Gilmour looked good a couple of years back, but struggled out on loan last term with doomed Norwich.

If Barkley comes back it will be back to negative mediocrity. We have that dubious commodity in abundance at present. Why add to it?

The signings of a quality centre midfielder and a proven striker seems essential to our survival. Failure to do so will undoubtedly see exactly the same relegation battle develop as last season. This time, we may not be as lucky.

Annika Herbert
101 Posted 25/07/2022 at
Pickford is a liability? So who would you suggest we start in goal, Phil? Not that clown Bungles Begovic surely?

Each to their own opinion but Pickford is far from being a liability in my opinion. We undoubtedly need to add some quality to the squad but a goalkeeper should be right at the bottom of the list of requirements needed.

Dupont Koo
102 Posted 25/07/2022 at
Still conceding a set piece goal (the 1st one) and having defenders (Godfrey & Mina) dreaming around on the 2nd one after Pickford has done his part, but still better make these mistakes in a friendly than a formal game.

Premier League defenses wouldn't let someone with no pace like Rondon break the offside trap and have so much space to wreak havoc, but I'm glad to see Rondon appeared to be fitter and had better movement.

Fingers crossed also that Dele's confidence remains on an upward trajectory after the brace. For fuck's sake, we need more playing time for Patterson instead of loaning him away, as suggested by the latest rumour!

Darryl Ritchie
103 Posted 25/07/2022 at
I haven't read all of the posts, but the “Everton perform better” headline is a bit of a no-brainer. Pretty bloody impossible to perform worse.
Ed Prytherch
104 Posted 25/07/2022 at
Dupont 102 - Mina was subbed at half time. He was not on the field for their second goal. Rondon was defending the near post.
Bernie Quinn
105 Posted 25/07/2022 at
Now that I've had time to think - perhaps things are not as desperate as I first thought. If those Numpties upstairs stop interfering, I think Frank and his coaches could build a respectable team.

Already there is a good defence of Pickford, Patterson, Tarkowski, Mykolenko. In front of them there are players like Iwobi, Doucouré, Gordon, Gray, Calvert-Lewin, and a host of young talented players such as Dobbin, Simms, Warrington, and more, leaving out Rondon – and the Abbott & Costello pair of Holgate and Keane.

So perhaps we shouldn't give up all hope just yet. If Frank can just bring in a couple of good loans or freebies, then we may start looking up the table to 10th or 12th place this season.

Jerome Shields
106 Posted 25/07/2022 at
Seems to have been a good performance. Tarkowski looks a good addition. Patterson and Alli gave a good account of themselves. Mykolenko is consistent in his play. One of Everton’s better transfers.
Jerome Shields
107 Posted 25/07/2022 at
Didn't like the goal conceded from the corner.
Danny O’Neill
108 Posted 25/07/2022 at
A bit harsh that, Phil. Two goals and the second-half turnaround performance might just be signs that Alli is maybe beginning to find his mojo again?

And I think you're talking about Jordan Pickford 2½ years ago. You'll never completely change his temperament or character, but he has definitely calmed and matured in that time period. I'd still like him out of his 6-yard box a bit more, commanding the area, but his saves pretty much kept us in the Premier League last season.

But, I don't think anyone disagrees with you on the point we need reinforcements. And soon. Last week in fact.

Christine Foster
109 Posted 25/07/2022 at
I watched the last hour because I didn't wake up in time, not much joined up football and I think it was a means to get sharpness rather than play fabulous football... but a few observations.

Blackpool played like a team, organized and each knowing their positions... we, on the other hand looked like a team without organization, structure or cohesion. Like we didn't know each other..

No one looked like a rock, that worries me. I think that's why half the team consistently go missing, no one player steps up and marshalls the team to counter the opposition.

You need a manager on the sidelines, yes, but you need a captain to organize, bollock, chat or inspire on the pitch. I think that's the problem.

Robert Tressell
111 Posted 25/07/2022 at
Christine #109,

I got the same impression. Obviously it's pre-season but this group has had so many changes of formation and changes of personnel that I don't think anyone other than Pickford, Mina and Mykolenko are used to the role they play. Interesting that these are our consistent better performers.

Lampard needs to cut out the chopping and changing once the season gets underway.

Jerome Shields
112 Posted 25/07/2022 at
The training route, apparently the same week-in & week-out, does not seem to be transferring to the match play. I take it that the aim is players knowing their positions, cohesion with other players in the team, and being organised as a unit going forward or defending.

But then Frank does not think in terms of formations and a player like Iowbi, whose best position seems to be everywhere, is playing better for Frank than any other manager. Even the midfield is not definitive. It is more a blend of three players.

I think it may be going to be difficult defining Everton's play under Frank.

Jerome Shields
113 Posted 25/07/2022 at
“I'm more about principles than whether it's a back three or back four. It's more about the balance of how we want to play. I want speed in the game, to move things quickly. Hardworking and pressing, whether it's high or in a block. ”

Frank Lampard.

Martin Mason
114 Posted 25/07/2022 at
Is it really hard to find positivity in a good away win after such a heavy defeat where a player who has to get better produces the goods with 2 goals?

I totally despair at times and not always about the club and team. Great win in the circumstances and hopefully this is just the start of better things.

George Cumiskey
115 Posted 25/07/2022 at
I went yesterday. Although we were in command most of the game, we still gave enough chances to score more goals.

Christine is right about a leader; Allan took on that role when he came on. But definitely we need 3 or 4 new and better players.

Nick Page
116 Posted 25/07/2022 at
From the BBC:

“Mykolenko & Patterson impress for Toffees

Blackpool 2-4 Everton

Summer signing Nathan Patterson and fellow full-back Vitalii Mykolenko got among the goals and assists for Everton.”

Summer signing! This is how little the media knows or cares about Everton and how little work the club does in addressing such things. It's pathetic.

Joe McMahon
117 Posted 25/07/2022 at
Nick, I fully agree, but the club has had 30 years on and off the pitch to address this.

Unfortunately, because of this, we are a nothing club to everyone apart from Everton supporters.

Brian Harrison
118 Posted 25/07/2022 at
While pre-season is about getting players fit for the coming season, surely it's also about playing a settled formation, so even if personnel change during games, they should all know their positional play.

I think Lampard has to take some of the blame for the lack of cohesion by flip-flopping from 3 at the back to 5 at the back to 4 at the back. Our players are not the most technical and I think the constant changing of formation doesn't help anyone. All the top managers stick to one system and don't change from week to week.

While we have to remember it was only Blackpool we beat, a win is always very welcome to a side that struggles to score goals. I know when we lost to Arsenal Lampard commented that it was our first pre-season game while it was Arsenal's 3rd.

So maybe whoever decided our pre-season schedule should not have had us fly to America with all the time that takes and instead arranged more games around Europe.

The last thing this club needs is to get off to a bad start to the new season, and if players haven't had enough game time then that falls squarely on the manager's shoulders.

Dave Williams
119 Posted 25/07/2022 at
Brian #118,

Very sensible post! I made the same point last year about playing Man Utd in pre-season, ie. why play a top team who are likely to beat us when we are just trying to build fitness and get match sharp? Surely getting stuffed by a top team will only damage confidence.

Obviously a game where we win too easily, like the 22-0 debacle a few years ago, is of no great use but some more like yesterday would be ideal.

Hopefully Friday evening will be a competitive but even enough game which will build on the improvements we saw yesterday.

Jerome Shields
120 Posted 25/07/2022 at
I think that Frank is aware he needs more characters in the team, leaders.

"You want good people. Selfish characters can be the downfall of any team. James Tarkowski is a well-spoken leader and straight away gives off a professional tone. Character in the dressing room is huge and the main attribute for me. "

Frank Lampard.

Tony Savage
122 Posted 25/07/2022 at
How come we let Josh Bowler go, with a sweet left foot like that? Another one not given his chance. I think Frank needs more time watching the so-called weaker sides. Coyb.
Dave Abrahams
123 Posted 25/07/2022 at
Tony (122),

Josh could look very good at times and lots of times he played for himself going on mazy runs beating two or players but running into dead ends. He has matured since moving to Blackpool and was their Player of the Season, I think, so there is a good player there.

I don't know how consistent he is but he was certainly much better in the second half when Blackpool decided to attack more and yesterday's performances he looked a better player than Anthony Gordon but that was just one game.

He cost money from QPR but never progressed at the Blues and I think he went on a free. Time waits for no man, he lost his chance at Everton. Maybe he will continue to improve at Blackpool and playing in the Championship get noticed more and move on to the Premier League.

Robert Tressell
124 Posted 25/07/2022 at
Jerome, my view is that there's a time for fluidity in formation etc and it's not now. Our current, generally limited players need to find a good rhythm and get their confidence back with a set style and formation.

We're currently a team that is less than the sum of its parts and that's down to a lot of chopping and changing and no partnerships or relationships on the pitch.

Sean Roe
125 Posted 25/07/2022 at
We should be used to this: make no effort for a few games, Frank or the fans get on their backs, play well for a game, rinse and repeat!

On a brighter note, I thought Patterson looked good, albeit against a lower Championship / upper League One side.

What to do with Dele? In some ways, I wish he hadn't scored the goals as the decision as to whether to splash out some money on him isn't such an easy one to make. He really could go either way from here.

We definitely need a defensive midfielder ASAP.

Jerome Shields
126 Posted 25/07/2022 at
Robert #124,

I agree with you. But during the relegation dogfight, Frank kept playing an open attacking style of football with the defence pushing up in support. Members of the defence hated it. He did change to five at the back, but the right and left back were more wing backs pushing up in support. Of course all the failings of a team that was 'less than the sum of its parts' were clearly exposed.

I think Frank is just picking up where he left off last season. He may get in the players to cover players who are not up to his demands, and continuing with repetitive blueprint training may enable players to get up to speed and reduce errors. But it will be a bit of a roller coaster performance-wise with our usual suspects.

The lower half teams of the Premier League had Everton well sussed last season as far as rigid tactics was concerned. Set up shop first half. Second half, push up into midfield, pushing the Everton back four deep. Their spiritual home.

Though Blackpool looked more organised, they where beaten 4-2.

Brent Stephens
127 Posted 25/07/2022 at
I see Chelsea lost 4-0 to Arsenal in a pre-season friendly. Tuchel says they're not ready for the Everton game and need more signings. All sounds so familiar?
Danny O’Neill
128 Posted 25/07/2022 at
Exactly, Brent. I try not to read into results pre-season but do look at performances. That said, most teams generally rotate players to give them game time so it can be difficult to gauge.

Interesting to read Lampard's comments on Tarkowski and dressing room characters. It makes sense of his comments on Seamus at the end of last season.

Jay Harris
129 Posted 25/07/2022 at
My biggest concern is Frank's insistence on playing it out from the back.

Our movement up front is abysmal and there is only Tarkowski who can manage to play a decent pass.

Our passing and movement is a disgrace for a Premier League side and, while I don't want to be too negative after a much-improved performance, I still believe, if we don't get some midfield and forward reinforcements in, we will get some spankings which will destroy any confidence this squad has.

Top teams are moving towards a high press as we slumber into a low block.

Very worrying for me despite beating the mighty Blackpool.

Jamie Crowley
130 Posted 25/07/2022 at
I think I'd start the season like this:

Patterson Mina Tarkowsi Mykolenko
Gordon Alli Iwobe Gray

Subs: Doucoure, Begovic, Godfrey, Coleman, pick a midfielder

That line-up isn't terrible, but it still scares me if there's injury woes, which there almost always are.

I'd also stick with 4 at the back, and I'd not change the line-up often! These comments about chop and change have merit. Stick with the system, stick with 11 to 14 players all season. There's 38 games, for fuck's sake! The League Cup can – and this pains me because I want to win that damn Mickey Mouse Cup – go to hell this season. Tackle the FA Cup in January when we know if we're decidedly mid-table or down near the bottom and adjust your approach accordingly.

Good luck, Frank, we're all counting on you.

Jamie Crowley
131 Posted 25/07/2022 at
This thing about Dele Alli is simple.

He's incredibly talented. In fact, he's got more talent than any other player in the squad.

He's prone to bouts of laziness and becoming disinterested. It's up to Frank to keep him focused.

Alli will not be the guy busting a gut, running around the pitch like a madman, closing down, etc. But he will place himself in terrific positions on the pitch 10 seconds before anyone else realizes what's going on.

He'll frustrate the life out of me. But he's our most talented player in my opinion.

He's our Dimitar Berbatov.

Colin Malone
132 Posted 25/07/2022 at
Jamie #131.

You can add Gordon and Gray to your quote about busting a gut.

It's coming to fruition, the bad structure of the club, on the academy, where it was jobs for the old boys, ie, Unsworth. No-one has come through the ranks.

Billy Roberts
133 Posted 25/07/2022 at
Colin @132

Where did Gordon come from?

Ian Riley
134 Posted 25/07/2022 at
Our work rate must improve.
Our fitness must improve.
Please Frank stop playing from the back. It's encouraging pressure on us. Simply, we don't have the quality to go through teams.

It's going to be a battle but with three signings of more and playing to our strengths mid table is possible. Frank your methods need reviewing or October your be gone. Your stubbornness in staying with your principles and conceeding goals leads to one outcome. Managers who can adapt methods to get positive results with the players they have stay in the game for many years and have success.

Colin Malone
135 Posted 25/07/2022 at
Billy #133.

Over the last 8 years, we have brought Gordon and Davies through and, by the way, both are very limited. It's a disgrace that no talent has come through.

Billy Roberts
136 Posted 25/07/2022 at
Okay, Colin,

So when you said 'none' – you meant two actually?

You also don't rate Gordon and he doesn't put much effort in? Is that right?

Paul Kossoff
137 Posted 25/07/2022 at
"Davies had done well enough to score and be involved before he was replaced by Allan?"

Apart from his goal, all that Davies did well was to move crab-like and point to where the ball should be passed because he either wasn't bothered or not skilled enough to do it himself. If Davies is one of our first eleven this season, then we have had it.

If Blackpool had some luck, this game would have been 4-4. Still the free headers in the box from corners.

Dele Alli plays like a man with a grievance and Gordon is hyped to the max; he's good but not that good. We need two or three class buys to see us safe this season. Why are we waiting?

Phil Lewis
138 Posted 26/07/2022 at
I desperately want Gordon to succeed but, in all truth, the lad is a Championship player at best. He is all legs, huff and puff. Unfortunately without possessing the tactical awareness and vision that would turn his undoubted effort into clinical assists.

His finishing is poor. He burst into the side demonstrating terrific energy when all around him were flagging. That's what made him stand out last season. The crowd were desperate for someone other than Richarlison to actually look like they cared. That's why they took him to heart.

But if you scrutinise his performances, for all of his backtracking, passion and desire, the end product overall has been meagre in goal terms. I'm sure I'll take stick here, but if someone came in with a decent offer now, I'd personally snatch their hands off.

Kieran Kinsella
139 Posted 26/07/2022 at
Phil Lewis,

It's interesting. I remember Luke Chadwick at Man Utd getting a lot of praise in his first season, then he sort of petered out.

Aaron Ramsey was younger but made a decent start then he struggled and was a victim of the boo boys but, a year or two later, he was one of the best in the Premier League.

Gordon could be another Cadamarteri but, even if his end product is lacking,he did improve dramatically last year. I'm hoping he continues on that trajectory but no doubt the boo boys will turn on him if he has a mediocre spell.

Brian Murray
140 Posted 26/07/2022 at
The two full-backs and Tarkowski look the part to me. Then ahead of them it looks like Gbamin can't stay fit so we will never know about him. After that, is anyone's guess who is going to step up.

We need Chelsea to sign a forward to force their hand over Broja.

Danny O’Neill
141 Posted 26/07/2022 at
A bit harsh on Gordon there, Phil, in my opinion.

He did sort a few aspects of his game and progressed nicely last season. He has a way to go, like you say, end product and getting more shots away are probably the main areas.

We'll also probably need to be mindful of the dip that young players suffer after having a good season on the trajectory of continuous progression.

There is more to his game than what you say. He's not the quickest, but he has good feet, good control and beats players by his change of pace. I know he's slight and gets knocked easily but, to me, it speaks volumes that opposition teams started to target him last season as they viewed him a threat.

Phil Lewis
142 Posted 26/07/2022 at
Danny #141
It wasn't my intention to be hard on him Danny. As I stated I wish him well and hope he succeeds. There are several who deserve much harsher criticism before him and he certainly couldn't be faulted for effort.
Its just that from what I've seen of the boy so far, the fans expectations and the media attention far exceed his actual ability. I certainly hope the lad proves my fears wrong and he isn't just another 'flash in the pan'. To Kieran#139 I've never been a 'boo-boy' and would never criticise a player unduly if he is giving his all for the team.
At the highest level, unfortunately effort alone is not enough.
Tony Abrahams
143 Posted 26/07/2022 at
I get what you’re saying about Gordon, Phil, and I said something similar when I heard Newcastle might be interested, but only because of the ridiculous financial mess, we currently find ourselves in.

People have slaughtered Benitez, but one thing he definitely seemed to make Anthony Gordon realize, is that to become a top level footballer, you have also got to learn how to do the ugly side of the game.

Gordon did learn, his defensive work rate and positional play, both improved dramatically, (except when he was shattered, but still kept on, because Lampard seemed to prefer Anthony’s discipline over Demari Gray?) but when this happens, sometimes it can initially take away some of the better parts of your game? (Usually the things you normally do the most naturally, maybe?)

He definitely surprised Alexander-Arnold at Anfield, how that wasn’t a foul, I’ll never know, and when he did the same thing to Matip, he should have been awarded a penalty kick. “It’s this type of aggressive running, that I personally think, he’s got to keep adding to his game, especially if he finds himself playing inside a bit more this season”?

Brian Wilkinson
144 Posted 26/07/2022 at
Not sure where to post this, so will tag it on here.

I got in touch with Everton, and they have confirmed that the Soccerbuses as they call them, will be running as normal for the Kiev game, into and out of Liverpool and Sandhills, starting 2 hours before kick-off, and running up to 1 hour afterwards.

Danny O’Neill
145 Posted 26/07/2022 at
I thought you gave a fair assessment based on your own observations, Phil.

He had a good season in what was a difficult season, let alone for a young player, but is far from the finished article.

The difference for an Everton youngster stepping up in comparison to a Liverpool youngster is like stepping into the fire as opposed to walking down Easy Street.

Are they any better? I don't think so. But they step into a settled environment they have been prepared for, surrounded by better players, relaxed in the knowledge they don't have to change the world.

Whereas ours step into the cauldron of pressure, with the weight of expectation on their shoulders because the majority of the senior players have been failing.

I have hopes for Gordon. I'm old and wise enough to have seen them come and go. But if he can play his game, he bothers the opposition. Just put him in a team with better players.

Brent Stephens
146 Posted 26/07/2022 at
Brian W #144 - good man re your post on the Soccerbuses.
Ed Prytherch
147 Posted 26/07/2022 at
Josh Bowler was arguably the most creative player on the field and we let him go for free. He seemed to have little future with us with James, Sigurdsson and Richarlison in the team. How things have changed in the past year.
Colin Malone
148 Posted 26/07/2022 at
Billy # 136.
Yes Billy, that's right.
I watch Richarlison, he leaves everything on the pitch with his running back helping out in midfield.
I watch Gordon and Gray cantering back, when we need players behind the ball, helping the defence and midfield.

It might be a different story if we had a Arjen Robben or a Kanchelskis, who would scare the shit out of the opposition and that's the formation Frank wants to play. He has not got the players to play that formation.

Jim Lloyd
149 Posted 26/07/2022 at
Ed, When I saw Josh Bowler in that final at Goodison, I thought he was our most effective forward player. Maybe he wanted to go.
Billy Roberts
150 Posted 26/07/2022 at
Colin @148

Fair enough. This season will be a big one for Gordon... we will see.

Wouldn't we will all love a Robben or Kanchelskis...?

Joe McMahon
151 Posted 26/07/2022 at
Billy @150,

Yes, we would! That's a very high standard to aim for.

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