Holgate adds to Lampard's injury concerns

27/08/2022 28comments  |  Jump to last

Mason Holgate looks set for a spell on the sidelines after injuring his knee in the second half of today’s 1-1 draw with Brentford.

The defender was forced off with 22 minutes to go after being caught clearing the ball by Yoane Wissa and he will undergo scans back at Finch Farm to assess the extent of any damage.

Frank Lampard says that the early prognosis is that Holgate could be out for a few weeks which will deprive him of yet another centre-half following Ben Godfrey’s leg fracture on the opening day and will almost certainly end any speculation linking Michael Keane with a move away from Goodison Park this week.

Keane has been the subject of uncorroborated talk linking him with a loan move to Nottingham Forest but will now be needed by Everton who only have three fit and available first-team centre-backs with Jarrad Branthwaite on loan at PSV Eindhoven.

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“He’s opened up his knee and felt some pain so we are going to scan it in the next day or so,” Lampard said of Holgate after the match at the Gtech Community Stadium.

“The feeling is it will be weeks, maximum, we hope, but may take him out of the next couple of games.

“I don’t want to jump the gun too much on that but hopefully it’s not a really bad injury.”


Reader Comments (28)

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Andy Mack
1 Posted 27/08/2022 at 19:32:19
Bad news for Holgate, he's done alright so far.

Looking for a silver lining, maybe we won't have enough defenders to play five for a while and be forced to revert to four.

Give it a go Lampard, we're terrible with a back 5.

Kieran Kinsella
2 Posted 27/08/2022 at 19:36:00

Lol I was just thinking the very same thing.

Paul Jones
3 Posted 27/08/2022 at 20:01:54
What pisses me off here is that Forest – who've bought more than a team full of players – come to us asking to loan Keane to them as if they're some dodgy Turkish club who have already shafted us over Alli and Gbamin. In two words... fuck off!
Brian Murray
4 Posted 27/08/2022 at 20:10:04
Looking another inspired Simms-like move, letting Branthwaite go... now Keane having to be given another go.
Robert Tressell
5 Posted 27/08/2022 at 20:20:28
Holgate has been quietly improving. Like with Iwobi, it might just come from a run of games in a position that suits him. Frustrating to lose him: 3 centre-backs missing already.

I wonder if Mykolenko will get moved inside as the third (left) centre-back and Vinagre brought in as left-wingback. That might even offer better balance generally.

Of course we could move to a back 4, which probably suits everyone better, but seems unlikely.

Jim Bennings
6 Posted 27/08/2022 at 21:02:59
4 games in and already it's a traditional Everton season.
Sam Hoare
7 Posted 27/08/2022 at 21:07:14
If it's true that Gana and Garner are close to arrive then surely there has to be a plan to play 4-3-3?!

That being said I'm not sure either Tarkowski or Coady are that well suited to playing in a centre-back pair.

Kieran Kinsella
8 Posted 27/08/2022 at 21:25:57

I think a back four would also suit Mykolenko better.

Sam Hoare
9 Posted 27/08/2022 at 21:45:49
Kieran, definitely. Though would suit Patterson worse I suspect.
Don Alexander
10 Posted 27/08/2022 at 21:51:31
Jim (#6), who the hell realistically expected anything else given the depths of ineptitude and profligacy those football nonentities still allegedly in charge have exhibited for the past 6 years, and decades prior?

Tony Abrahams
11 Posted 27/08/2022 at 22:13:53
I think what Robert suggests would bring a better balance to our back three, but hope that Sam is correct and we start playing 4-3-3, or maybe a 4-5-1.

Didn't watch any of today's game, but the most disappointing thing about watching the Forest game, was that I still thought we were defending at least 10 yards too deep, and leaving too much space in midfield, whilst expecting just two players, to try and cover such a big area of space.

Three central defenders already injured after only four games, does seem very hard to comprehend, incredible really, but this is a position that hasn't had settled players in, for years.

Denis Richardson
12 Posted 27/08/2022 at 22:37:00
Just as it was looking like we'd get Keane off the books this season, I presume he'll now need to stay and we'll have one or more of the injured centre-backs back in a month or so.

Mykolenko at left-side centre-back with Vinagre playing wingback seems like a logical fix in the interim, I don't think we can look at a back 4 with Tarkowski and Coady in the middle.

Does beg the general question: If Thelwell and Lampard were looking to play a back 5, why on earth did we sign Tarkowski? A guy who's been playing in a back 4 in the Premier League for the last 6 seasons, longer if counting time in the Championship.

In fact, I'm not sure how much experience he had, prior to Everton, of ever playing in a back 5? Did they just think he'd adapt immediately, especially playing on the left side?

Jerome Shields
13 Posted 27/08/2022 at 22:38:24
Tony #11

It was the same problem today defending too deep. Combined with a lack of tactical change in the second half just exasperated the too-deep problem. The back five is defending too deep and inviting pressure on midfield which results in pinning the defenders back into such positions.

I don't even think you would have to watch the match to work that out. Snips and previous performances would paint the picture for you.

Keane will come in for Holgate and we might get a back 4, since Keane plays so deep, he might as well be in the stands.

David Bromwell
14 Posted 27/08/2022 at 22:59:15
Very much agree with Dennis at 12.

Of the current back five, Holgate has looked the most comfortable. Frank and Co need to sort this mess out and quick, as it is very much one of their creation.

Andrew Keatley
15 Posted 27/08/2022 at 23:00:20
Sam (7),

I doubt 4-3-3 has as much chance of being used as the 5-3-2 that Wolves have used for the last few seasons. Playing 3 central midfielders doesn't automatically mean you have to revert out of a back 3, and if we can find a good combination (like Dendoncker, Neves and Moutinho have often managed at Wolves) then it could allow us to play in a very different way.

We've not managed to make the back 3 work particularly well yet, but I think that if those better central midfield options do arrive then it will give a better platform to see if our centre-backs and wing-backs are properly comfortable with the system.

Coleman is regaining fitness and is probably ready to compete for a place in the starting XI, and I suspect Lampard will bring him in to play as the right of the 3 centre-backs in place of Holgate.

Rob Dolby
17 Posted 27/08/2022 at 23:44:10
Shame Holgate has picked up this injury. he has really taken to the 3rd centre-back role well.

Jerome 13,

Do you not think one of the reasons we defend deep is that the midfield is generally overrun which pushes the defenders back? It would be suicidal for the 3 centre-backs to be pushing on when there isn't much pace between the 3 of them.

I wouldn't be surprised if Coleman came in and played as a centre-back rather than play Keane or Mykolenko there.

Alan J Thompson
18 Posted 28/08/2022 at 06:41:04
My only doubt about moving Mykolenko more central is that he tends to hang a yard (metre) or two behind the rest of the line. He's done it several times and yesterday it looked like he was the man keeping Brentford's scorer onside.

It might only take a word to correct but my problem with a back three (five?) is that leaves us with wing-halves and three wingers so that we get forward wide (when not playing the long wellie, sorry, ball over the top) but nobody to cross to.

I noticed 2 or 3 times yesterday that players got that stride past their full-back, looked to cross in stride, then stopped as they saw nobody in the box. Lampard might not think any of the kids are up to it yet but three wingers just isn't working.

Jerome Shields
20 Posted 28/08/2022 at 08:18:38
Rob #17,

Whilst being 10 yards too deep is a defensive problem, the pushing back of the defensive line due to an overrun midfield is not. The problem is an inconsistent high press and allowing or surrendering space in midfield. If you are prepared to give territory to the opposition, you enable them to provide more support to their attack and allow them to pressure your defence more.

Lampard or those advising him have no understanding of the importance of maintaining shape. ie, keeping the opposition pinned in their own half, allowing support to get forward enough to provide opportunities for forward play.

Poor pass completion, getting turned over in possession, and long balls just add to the problem.

They actually don't understand the role of a centre-forward in maintaining shape either.

The problem of lack of centre-back pace is that the centre-backs feel they need to stay deep. It only takes one to do this. This creates space between the midfield going forward and the defence which the opposition to exploit. It also causes the midfield to play deep also. With inconsistent pressure on the opposition defensive line, they can push the defensive line up into midfield, where it is a lot easier and unpressured to defend. Like a Sunday kick about.

Everton can make poor teams look good by the amount of space they surrender to them, particularly in the second half.

The lack of forward threat and poor finishing adds to the opposition's confidence to push the defensive line forward.

Actually there is a danger of a centre-forward, no matter who they are, being left isolated.

Frank is going to have to get his tactics sorted out. He might end up glad of the early break in November. I assume there will be no international break in October meaning more match practise rather than depending on Finch Farm.

It may be that the World Cup break will save Frank because, in a normal season, he would be gone by Xmas with the current implementation of tactics. He really will be forced into changes in September.

As for the goal conceded, that was down to woeful defending on a individual basis.

Anthony Hawkins
21 Posted 28/08/2022 at 10:24:33
I'm hoping for an Alex Ferguson-inspired moment where Frank Lampard accidentally finds a winning team.
Andrew Keatley
23 Posted 28/08/2022 at 11:13:09
Jerome (20),

Do you really think that Lampard and his team of people who have been employed in football throughout their careers, as players and then as coaches, “have no understanding of the importance of maintaining shape”? I suspect the exact opposite is probably true.

As far as I can tell, the problems that we have are not so much about understanding and are more about application. Personnel tends to dictate how aggressively you can apply a system and working out the best way to utilise the strengths of players without completely exposing their weaknesses is a tough equation to solve. It's easy to say “the problem is an inconsistent high press and allowing or surrendering space in midfield” but things are rarely that simple.

If there is a simple problem to be identified – and that is stopping Lampard et al from realising the changes that you wish to see – then I'd suggest it is that the players that we currently have are not equipped to successfully play in the manner in which you wish to see.

It's a bit like an average golfer trying to drive the green on a par 4 just because he saw DeChambeau manage it. You have to play with the tools you have and not have your head turned by the tools other teams or players have.

Geoff Williams
24 Posted 28/08/2022 at 16:27:42
Disappointed to hear of Holgate's injury but I hope it forces Lampard to give up with 5 at the back.
Trevor Cotterell
25 Posted 28/08/2022 at 17:07:17
Andrew #23 ,

Exactly what I was going to say! Seriously, Three quarters pf TW seems to be full of people that seem to know more about professional football than one of the world's best pros of recent years. Sorry if I'm talking out of turn here but sometimes I despair.

For months (years?) most of TW has wanted rid of X, Y, Z and P, Q, R, S for good measure too. We get rid of most of them. Then TW moans that we shouldn't have. TW wants new players. Now. At the same time bemoaning our hasty decisions.

We've got into the shit over a number of years, with bad decisions, but constantly changing managers who each have their own ideas is never going to get things better, so we're just gonna have to give it time.

I'd love it to be faster, but you don't turn the ship that is Everton that quickly. Personally, I'm seeing some green shoots out there, and some belief. We need more, decent, players and I have to believe that Lampard knows more about professional football than I do, and I suspect pretty much everyone on here.

Plus he sees these people every day, we don't. Do we seriously think he's stupid? Get behind him, trust he knows what he's doing within the huge constraints he no doubt has (you can't buy a player just because you want him - takes two to tango, takes three (at least) to agree a transfer and everyone else doesn't necessarily have to fall in with our dictates.

We've had more changes in the squad this time than many recently and for me that's good. We've started to see improvements with some of those still here – Iwobi, especially, Holgate too but gelling a team takes time.

I still think there's a good player in Tom Davies waiting to get out. Can we try and get off their backs?

Have faith! I have (for 58 years so far) and things will turn around even if not immediately. (Yeah, my fingers are crossed!)

Tony Hill
26 Posted 28/08/2022 at 17:13:58
Trevor @25,

Exactly the same could have been saying of any manager we've had in recent memory. They were all professionals who presumably knew more about their players than the poor saps on here. And yet, none of them has succeeded. Why is that, do you think?

Keep the faith, though.

Kim Vivian
27 Posted 28/08/2022 at 19:37:17
Aaahhh...the penny's finally dropped for me, or been given a nudge if I'm honest.

I now understand that our recent problems are down to employing managers and coaches who have no understanding of the importance of maintaining shape, nor the importance of a centre-forward in that.

Nothing to do with the players and clearly – in the current hierarchy – Frank is just going to have to sort himself out.

I can stop racking my brains now that's been made crystal...

Jerome, I've read many (probably not all) your posts and seen some salient points made, but my advice to you is to occasionally proof read your own posts, try to put yourself in the shoes of a third person reading them and see what you think.

Bill Gienapp
28 Posted 28/08/2022 at 19:43:15
As others have said, if Lampard plans to persist with five at the back, I just pray he plans to shift Mykolenko and start Vinagre (who's looked very good in attack from his brief time off the bench), rather than playing Keane.
Jeff Armstrong
29 Posted 28/08/2022 at 20:09:47
Trevor #25 good sensible post.

Imagine if the internet was around when a young, relatively inexperienced manager called Howard Kendall was struggling in the winter of 1984, our history would be even more barren!

Jerome Shields
30 Posted 29/08/2022 at 04:47:18
Andrew #23,

I have stated before that Gordon, Gray and McNeil are ill-equipped to lead the line and prefer to play their football in front of the defence. None of them are on the shoulder of the defender trying to turn them.

The absence of a centre-forward does not help them. But this is the preferred attacking formation of the manager.

Frank wants to play through the defence from a midfield base, but with players wanting to play in front of the defence, the space for such play is compacted by the opposition being able to push the defensive line up, because they are unchallenged.

So not spotting this and trying to have unsuitable players play such a system does raise questions. More questions then arise when tactics are not changed in the second half of the game to counter the problem.

The problem was obvious and the solution could have been drawn from the previous game against Forest. Rondon started and Everton played further forward. Then was subbed and Everton reverted to the way Frank wanted them to play, which moved Everton's formation back 10 yards.

A get-out-of-jail goal saved the day. If the tactics had have been reversed for the Brentford game, with Rondon coming on earlier in the second half as a centre-forward (I did state on this forum at half-time that this was required), Everton would have won.

That is why I think that Frank & Co do not understand the importance of shape. I do not believe a back 5 is intentional. Frank has stated he is not interested in a back this or that. The intention is that there are three centre-backs with the two full-backs playing further forward in support of midfield.

But because of the above oversights, they are both under pressure to play deeper. Mykolenko and Patterson can even find themselves in a no-man's land – neither forward nor back. If they find themselves caught out, as they both have done, they just stay back.

Add to this the tendency for the Everton defensive line to go deep and pressure is just being invited. Coady has a tendency to sweep deep (as Tony Abrahams pointed out), which seems to upset our play.

Maybe Frank can get suitable players in, but there is potential for Frank to be found out as not knowing what he is doing. I just hope it works out and Frank addresses the above issues.

On the performance up to the goal, the effort and work of the team can not be faulted but the tactics the players then fell back on were inadequate and were not changed by the manager until far too late.

Kim #27

I take your point and Tony Abrahams has made similar. But English is not my strong point and I have a tendency to over-complicate and find I have to post again to clarify my point. I know I should proof read more, but I spend too much time on Toffeeweb as it is.

Steavey Buckley
32 Posted 29/08/2022 at 17:42:38
Everton need to bring in another centre half for cover. If Everton get further weakened at the back, Everton cannot win any matches.

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