Everton vs Crystal Palace

21/10/2022 76comments  |  Jump to last
Match Preview

Everton return home to Goodison Park after two difficult away fixtures to host Crystal Palace as they look to arrest a three-game losing streak.

The stakes aren’t as desperate as they were the last time the Eagles were in L4 on that dramatic night back in May when Frank Lampard’s side triumphed against the odds from 2-0 down at the break, but the need for a response from the players in terms of attacking output is urgent nonetheless.

That the Blues have failed to register a shot on target in successive games and haven’t scored in almost 4½ hours of football has been the topic of much discussion in the aftermath of Wednesday’s reverse at the hands of Newcastle United and Evertonian eyes will be pealed for the team sheet at 2pm on Saturday and then the shape of the side an hour later to see what — if any — changes the manager might make in terms of personnel or formation.

Lampard should be under no illusions that something has to change. His men dominated possession for a decent chunk of the second half at St James’s Park and failed to carve out anything other than a Demarai Gray cross that came too fast for Alex Iwobi to bring under his spell in front of goal.

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Dominic Calvert-Lewin started for the first time this season but, like Neal Maupay at Tottenham four days previously, he ploughed a mostly lonely furrow up front, with the supply lines from midfield and the flanks almost non-existent.

There is a case to be made for one or all of Dwight McNeil, James Garner and Abdoulaye Doucouré to come into the starting XI but much will depend on the manager’s willingness to break up his midfield three, drop the out-of-form Anthony Gordon or mix up his formation to either go with a back five or, perhaps, temporarily push Iwobi out wide.

It’s also possible that three games in a week will be too much for Seamus Coleman, in which case Mason Holgate could get a run-out at right-back where he will need to cope with the likes of Wilfried Zaha, but other changes to the back line are unlikely.

Palace come into the weekend three points and four places better off than Everton having come from behind to beat struggling Wolves at Selhurst Park on Tuesday evening. That followed a goalless draw at Leicester, another narrow home win over Leeds and defeat to Chelsea.

They will be without Nathaniel Clyne, Christopher Richards, James McArthur and goalkeeper Jack Butland and both Will Hughes and Nathan Ferguson are rated as doubtful.

Though Conor Gallagher, one of Everton’s chief tormentors in the League and Cup games against the Eagles in South London last season, is no longer in his side, Patrick Vieira still has a talented side boasting exciting young forward players in Michael Olise and Eberechi Eze.

Together with Zaha, both players have the potential to hurt Everton but with James Tarkowski and Conor Coady building a solid partnership in a defence that leaks few goals, Lampard will be confident that if he can keep the visitors quiet at one end, he need only inspire the right level of intensity and drive from his charges at the other to ignite his forward line.

Kick-off: 3pm, Saturday 22 October 2022
Last Time: Everton 3 -2 Crystal Palace

Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Coleman, Coady, Tarkowski, Mykolenko, Gueye, Onana, Iwobi, McNeil, Gray, Calvert-Lewin


Reader Comments (76)

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Kunal Desai
1 Posted 21/10/2022 at 08:21:11
I think we'll do well to get a point out of this (given that we have managed 2 shots on target in 3 games).

Palace have picked up some form of late and lost to the top two and a last-gasp defeat to Chelsea. If they go one up, that'll be curtains for us.

Sean Roe
2 Posted 21/10/2022 at 08:55:40
Everton 2 v 0 Palace


Holgate Coady Tarkowski Vinagre
Iwobi Onana Garner
Gordon Calvert-Lewin Maupay

Tony Graham
3 Posted 21/10/2022 at 09:24:43
Truss. Gerrard, Lampard...
Colin Glassar
4 Posted 21/10/2022 at 09:33:11
Are you saying Gerrard is a Tory, Tony? Apparently Lampard is. A team of Tories could be:


Manager - Gove

A bunch of clowns who'd probably give us a run for our money.

Kunal Desai
5 Posted 21/10/2022 at 10:37:00
I'd add Kenwright to that list. That charlatan laughing at Evertonians season upon season for lining his pockets and making the fans look like absolute mugs.

The footballing version of Boris Johnson.

Chris Williams
6 Posted 21/10/2022 at 10:48:16

No left-sided players?

Lee Courtliff
7 Posted 21/10/2022 at 11:25:28
If we're chasing the game late on, then I'd like to see Vinagre given a chance.

I'm a fan of Mykolenko and he is a very good defender, but, he's offered nothing going forward lately. And even when he makes the overlap we either ignore his run or play the ball directly into his feet so he loses all the momentum of his run!

We're due a win so I'll go 2-1 Everton.

Brian Hennessy
8 Posted 21/10/2022 at 11:41:36
Time to try Calvert-Lewin and Maupay up front together. I would play McNeil as he is the only player we have that can cross a ball.

Gordon and Gray on the bench based on their recent performances.

A massive game for us.

Steavey Buckley
9 Posted 21/10/2022 at 11:42:34
Doucoure should come in for Gueye against Palace because he provides much-needed power and pace.

Everton could adopt a 3-5-2 to provide more support from midfield:

Holgate Tarkowski Coady
Gordon Iwobi Doucoure Onana Mykolenko
Calvert-Lewin Maupay

Christopher Timmins
10 Posted 21/10/2022 at 11:45:41
It's not an easy watch at the moment but Calvert-Lewin needs a run of games to get back to the levels of the 2020-21 season.

The back 4 is not a problem and should be kept intact until Patterson returns. The first job of a defender is to stop the opposition from scoring.

McNeil to start and provide the ammunition for Calvert-Lewin to win the game for us.

Brian Harrison
11 Posted 21/10/2022 at 12:43:42
I would like to see us play whichever front 3 he plays to be much closer together, which would allow us to have some inter-passing between the front 3. This would also allow the room for our full-backs to attack the space wide, as our front 3 are playing much narrower create that space wide.

At present, we have Gray and Gordon playing very wide and are tightly marked so, when they do receive the ball, they are closely marked and quite often the only option for them is to pass back or square.

I also think we should encourage whoever plays on either side of the holding midfield player to play further up-field when we are in possession. Again this will create the ability for close passing between the forwards and the midfield, and allow us to keep possession better than we do now.

The most noticeable difference between us and the good teams is how compact they are going forward, which allows them to get 4 or 5 players in the box. Very often when we attack, we have only 1 player in the opponent's box, which severely limits our options.

Dennis Stevens
12 Posted 21/10/2022 at 13:15:58
Surely, we should adopt the Chrimbo-tree formation – all our fixtures are like Chrimbo come early for the opposition!
Neil Lawson
13 Posted 21/10/2022 at 17:00:34
We have been toothless with so few chances being created. We need to move the game further up the field (if that makes sense). The difficulty is just how to achieve that?

The defence picks itself. I really like Gana but the other Garner should start in his place as he is more creative and forward-thinking. Calvert-Lewin must have service and not be isolated.

I await the abuse, but Iwobi to sit out. He has worked really hard but it's all been a bit "pretty" and the end result has been somewhat lacking (one great goal excepted).

One winger playing as such (Gray or McNeil) and one player close to Calvert-Lewin. Potentially Maupay albeit he has been struggling.

Gordon needs a rest and may be more effective off the bench.

A game we have to try to win as opposed to not lose. Be a bit braver, Frank.

Tony Abrahams
14 Posted 21/10/2022 at 18:00:12
Only a change of system will allow us to get more players forward, whilst making us more compact.

Iwobi going running after the ball was helping create space for Newcastle the other night, and although I'm not sure if we have the right personnel to play with wingbacks right now, this currently seems the only system that might tighten us up the spine of our team, whilst helping us gain another forward.

It's all about opinions, I know, but our three midfielders are definitely on different pages right now, and we are getting no joined-up play out wide either because our full-backs are not complementing our wider players (who appear quite rigid) with no overlapping movements at all.

They're energetic scrappers in the midfield, all helping each other out, wouldn't half make a difference, because our midfielders are currently just drifting in and out of the game.

Brian Wilkinson
15 Posted 21/10/2022 at 19:02:12
I would bring Doucoure and Garner in for this game, and start both Maupay and Calvert-Lewin as well.

I would bench Gordon, Gray and Gueye and go at them, instead of feeding off scraps and hoping for a goal.

Time to be a bit more attack-minded.

Jay Harris
16 Posted 21/10/2022 at 19:03:42
I thought we should have gone 4-2-2 or 4-4-2 in the last 2 games because I am concerned that our wingers are totally ineffective. Can't defend, can't score goals, and zero creativity for others.

However, with Palace playing down the wings, I think we need to stick with 4-3-3 for this one and give Iwobi a rest to allow a more steely Garner to beef up the midfield. I would also start with Doucoure and bring Onana on second half for Gueye or Doucoure.

Time to make the players start competing for their places.

Craig Walker
17 Posted 21/10/2022 at 19:18:27
This equivalent weekend last season was the 2-5 debacle against Watford.

Let's hope we get 3 points because 4 defeats on the run would put me in a similar mood to last year. Hope the fans can get the atmosphere back.

Brendan McLaughlin
18 Posted 21/10/2022 at 19:42:37
Jay #16

We played as if we went 4-2-2

Dale Self
19 Posted 21/10/2022 at 19:44:35
I think we need to bring in Garner to help Iwobi and McNeil to supply DCL. 442 and up the damn intensity. Where's Pat with the tactics sheet? I think twat' em is the technical term I'm looking for.
Oliver Molloy
20 Posted 21/10/2022 at 20:10:43
"The stakes aren’t as desperate as they were the last time the Eagles were in L4 "

Yeah, lets hope Lampard doesn't put it ie that in his pre match team talk.
This match is absolutely just as massive Lyndon, win it and it will restore some badly needed confidence - lose it and it will cause more unrest!

Tony Everan
21 Posted 21/10/2022 at 20:39:36
I agree Oliver, the forthcoming World a cup break is a ticking time bomb for managers with trigger happy owners. This match is of huge importance to steady the ship and build some momentum again.

Team wise it’s time to be make changes and be more ruthless with underperforming players. There’s alternatives, give them a chance.

Holgate Coady Tarkowski Mykolenko
Onana Gana Iwobi Garner
Maupay. DCL

Iwobi given licence to attack from midfield

Clive Rogers
22 Posted 21/10/2022 at 21:15:11
Colin, #4, you’ve picked all right wingers.
Jay Harris
23 Posted 21/10/2022 at 21:31:43
LOL, Brendan.
Laurie Hartley
24 Posted 21/10/2022 at 22:34:53
I am one of the fortunate ones who started going to the game at the beginning of the sixties but I am fairly sure we are not going to be playing “School of Science” football anytime soon.

All I am interested in this season is getting results. With the present squad, we should be playing Route One football – we actually have the players to do that.

Coady, Tarkowski, Mykolenko,
Doucoure, Garner, Gana, Onana, Vinagre
Maupay, Calvert-Lewin

And put Rondon on the bench, Frank.

Ashley Roberts
25 Posted 21/10/2022 at 23:01:16
Laurie#24. I like the formation and agree with the back 3 but cannot agree with the 5 midfielders. I cannot believe you have not included Iwobi?? For me he has to be one of the first names in the starting 11. I would also drop Gana. So I would bring in Iwobi and McNeil for Gana and Vinegra. This would give us a much more attacking unit but could be susceptible to Zaha out wide. Gordon is out of form and so should be given a rest. I think having Gray to come on also provides a different option. I think now is the time to try something different as the last 3 games have shown we are just coming up short.
Ciarán McGlone
26 Posted 21/10/2022 at 23:22:36
Our downturn in fortune coincided with Lampard fucking about with Iwobi. Play him beside Gana where he was most effective and bench Onana who has been our worst performer of the 3. Garner can take that spot and see if he can offer anything different.

I'd love to send Gordon and Gray camping for a couple of weeks... but they're the only realistic options. Maupay is terrible and McNeil is bang average.

Let's not pretend we'll all of a sudden start firing loads of crosses in from the wing if he plays...

Will Mabon
27 Posted 21/10/2022 at 23:38:17

I didn't watch enough of Burnley last season to know, but I wonder how McNeil was even getting into position to make these reputed crosses.

Paul Kossoff
28 Posted 21/10/2022 at 23:38:47
"There is a case to be made for Dwight McNeil."

Seriously??? If we have to rely on him, how poor are Gray and Gordon?

He is next to useless. Mind you, next to the previously named, I suppose he's in good company.

Kieran Kinsella
29 Posted 21/10/2022 at 23:51:45
I have watched Palace quite a bit this season. I'd say their performances have generally been better than the results.

I'd be worried about Seamus up against Zaha so, for that reason, I'd bring in Holgate. The other lads should be able to marshall Eze.

But midfield I'd try something different, Garner and or Doucouré? The latter is faster than Onana and a better finisher.

Garner, based on snippets, seems more comfortable on the ball so might offer more creatively.

The other night, Wolves had lots of pressure but no goal threat except an unfit striker who kept getting caught offside. Sound familiar? And ultimately Palace made them pay despite not playing brilliantly.

I think we need to throw caution to the wind a bit and go for the win instead of the KITANO.

David Pugh
30 Posted 21/10/2022 at 23:55:02
Dwight McNeil had the third highest number of crosses into the penalty area last season. One assist all season doesn't sound good, but it was not his fault the donkeys up front for Burnley could not put any of those crosses into the back of the net.

Let's see what happens when Calvert-Lewin starts playing with him. He thrives on crosses, so hopefully McNeil's “assists” will improve.

Will Mabon
31 Posted 22/10/2022 at 00:12:56
David, that's the mystery - such a high number of crosses according to the stats. I guess he left them in the Lancashire hills.
Andy Crooks
32 Posted 22/10/2022 at 00:16:23
What has it come to that we fear Crystal fucking Palace???

If Frank doesn't send the team out to get stuck right into them, be fearless, and treat them as bang average, then he should join Gerrard.

The show at Newcastle was inept with some of our players rolling about like diving cheats. Any player who falls, bangs the ground, raises his arm, in a "I've just suffered a career ending injury", should, instead of having a magic sponge applied, should be fucking tazered.

Paul Birmingham
33 Posted 22/10/2022 at 00:24:14
Must win v Palace, to start the recovery phase for this season.

Tough days for all and for Everton, but a win is must.

And rebuild the faith and belief to win every game.


Derek Thomas
34 Posted 22/10/2022 at 00:24:30
Re McNeil; Burnley - who sold their big target man Long to Newcastle - or Everton, whose target man is mostly MIA; fire in the best crosses in the world, if nobody is on the end of them – no possibility of any assists.

Push up only 4 or 5 yards. Cut the bungie that ties Iwobi to Gana, use it to tie Gana to the goalpost so that it stops him going more than 5 yards into their half... If he won't listen, drop him.

Play 4-1-3-2.

Will Mabon
35 Posted 22/10/2022 at 00:43:09
Andy, hear, hear.

in the multi-faceted complexity of discussion that is modern-day football, the obvious is so often bypassed.

Oh for a simple battle, of seeing the team just go out and mix it up a bit without fear.

Kieran Kinsella
36 Posted 22/10/2022 at 00:46:33

To your point, I remember one game where Pele was kicked to High Heaven and stretchered off. But, instead of feeling sorry for himself, he came back on and scored a scissor-kick winner.

Then Sylvester Stallone saved a penalty and he wasn't even a footballer. These lot need to toughen up.

Sean Roe
40 Posted 22/10/2022 at 05:50:57
We will be fine this season. We were never going to be ripping up doors against the likes of Spurs and Man Utd, although I thought we would do better against Newcastle Utd, I must admit.

We will get more chances against the teams we play over the coming games and we will score a few goals. We are harder to score against and we don't cave in when we go behind anymore.

I really believe we have enough to keep our nostrils above the sea of shit this season.

Derek Knox
41 Posted 22/10/2022 at 08:57:38
Kieran @ 36, The Great Escape?

That was last season when we played these at Goodison Park, but totally agree the same attitude and commitment is needed today – as if our survival, and Lampard's, depended on it!

Tony Abrahams
42 Posted 22/10/2022 at 09:23:00
I like that formation, Laurie, but I'm not sure about Doucouré playing as a wingback, mate?

We do need to change because Zaha, and the other very talented kid, Eze, will just drift into the space that currently exists in the middle of our team, and this will cause problems. They both possess skill and pace, so you wouldn't want them running at our defenders with the ball at their feet.

Trevor Peers
43 Posted 22/10/2022 at 09:29:44
Frank needs to make changes in midfield and up front if we have any chance of being able to score the goals needed to beat a good Palace team. Playing Gordon,Gray and Calvert- Lewin just doesn't work.

Gordon and Gray are too similar, they simply put thier heads down in possession and don't have the gumption or ability to score very often or look up and cross the ball when the situation is screaming out for it.

I've never been one for picking the team but it's pretty obvious we lack creativity in midfield and the way Frank sets the forward line up is not going to be enough to get the goals we need. It's a conundrum he needs to sort out, starting today, otherwise it could cost him his job.

Danny O’Neill
44 Posted 22/10/2022 at 09:34:27
We should never fear anyone on our own turf, Andy. Especially Crystal Palace.

Kieran, I'd love to know how many takes it took to get that penalty save from Rocky!! Isn't he an Evertonian?

A less dramatic and more modest win than the corresponding fixture last season will do nicely.

Tony Hill
45 Posted 22/10/2022 at 09:38:38
Tony @42,

They have Olise as well who is very gifted. We cannot afford another directionless performance or we will be soundly beaten. I hope to see a transformation today from manager and team.

Christopher Timmins
46 Posted 22/10/2022 at 09:39:50
This is the start of a run of fixtures that should see us close to 20 points come the World Cup break.
Rob Dolby
47 Posted 22/10/2022 at 09:48:31
Laurie 24. I am made up that you witnessed the 60s and the Mersey millionaires but let's face it the game in the 60s or even the 80s is barely the same game as is being played now.

The current team that is so derided would beat both the 60s and 80s teams convincingly. School of science and Howard's Way.

The game has progressed,
everything about the current game is better. Pitches, players, tactics, ability, speed, technique, physio, diet, fitness etc etc. The rules have made for better technical footballers rather than getting kicked up in the air.

Kieran 36. Most enjoyable post I have read on here this week. That could have been written for the Viz, Fantastic.

Nearly time for the game. Fingers crossed that we compete and start creating some chances. Can't beat a 3pm kick off.


Steavey Buckley
48 Posted 22/10/2022 at 10:01:38
Footballing skills have declined enormously in England since the 1960s because far less boys are now playing football regularly, especially, on pitches where dog owners would be reluctant to walk their dogs. So there is a clamor for locally established players at silly transfer fees so force many clubs to look overseas where Brexit has damaged the prospect of bringing a player in from the EU if he is not playing regularly for his country of origin. So the idea of putting a cap on players wages will only deter players from playing in the premier league.
Brian Harrison
49 Posted 22/10/2022 at 10:05:41
Rob 47

I can only guess you are not old enough to have seen the 60s or the 80s team, otherwise I don't think you would have made the statement that this current side would beat both of those sides. You rightly say a lot has changed over the years but in your list of things that have improved you listed ability, I don't believe for one minute the players playing now have more ability in fact I would say in the main they are less talented.

Anyway back to todays game, lets hope that we get the all important 3 points. I thought it was interesting in Franks press conference yesterday, he stressed the need to get players in and around DCL and I definitely think that needs to happen. Far to many games this season our striker has looked isolated. I think Palace are a decent side and they have some good attacking players in Zaha, Eze and Eloise, so we will have to make sure we defend well and limit their goal scoring chances.

Raymond Fox
50 Posted 22/10/2022 at 10:10:53
They have scored 12 goals and conceded 13 in 10 games compared with our 8 and 12 in11, so it will be a difficult game.
Nevertheless I just have a feeling we will win today but obviously we must score, I would guess 2 or more goals if we are to.

Its a home game and Frank needs to be more bold and play more on the front foot I think he needs to take a chance and stick Garner in there.

Lets get the ball in their box for a change, I don't care how we do it theres always a chance of a goal when its bouncing about in there.

Dean Adams
51 Posted 22/10/2022 at 10:12:35
Gavin Pugh 30.
Regarding McNeil and his crosses, I’d like to see how many goals came from a flick-on from those crosses. Sometimes football is more than just who scored and who got the last touch.
Expectations always seem to run wild on TW. DCL is only just getting up to speed. It takes time for players to settle. I will worry when DCL has no goals from 10 starts. I still think Franck is improving us overall, just need to be patient.
Ajay Gopal
52 Posted 22/10/2022 at 10:24:20
3-5-2 for me:

Holgate Coady Tarkowski
Davies Garner Gana Doucoure Vinagre
Iwobi DCL

This XI has enough solidity as well as creativity to cause Crystal Palace a lot of problems. With Gray, McNeill, Maupay, Gordon, Onana available to come off the bench to try and change things.

Lampard has to try something different and put some pressure on the Crystal Palace goal early on, otherwise I can foresee the Goodison Park crowd getting restless.

Rob Dolby
53 Posted 22/10/2022 at 10:40:21
Brian 49. I went to almost all home and away games in the mid 80s. We where the best footballing team in the land during that period but we couldn't match today's athletes. You only have to watch back footage from bygone eras to see the massive difference now.

Dixie is the club legend arguably the best goal scorer in the football league, Would he score 60 goals in the current league?

Fran Mitchell
54 Posted 22/10/2022 at 10:43:35
Worry about the pace of Palace, Zaha, Eze, Edouard, Olise, Ayew all have pace and that is what Coleman, Tarkowski, and Coady all lack. So Holgate coming in, at either right back, or into a back 3 might make sense. Otherwise we could be penned back.

Would like to see Garner get a chance from the start, maybe for Onana who is very raw and so much football in quick succession for a young lad, new to the league could take its toll.

Doucoure also can provide something different, with directness and pace in the middle - but his biggest weakness is passing, and that has been our achilles heel these last few games.

We need to be able to get hold of the ball, and keep hold of it for sustained periods of time and dominate the game.

Maybe go to 4-4-2 with Iwobi on the right to support Coleman/Holgate against Zaha. McNeil on the left to provide the crosses, and Maupay and DCL up top with Gana and Garner in the middle.

or 3-5-2, with Iwobi as wing-back, Doucoure, Garner and Gana in the middle and Maupay/Grey and DCL up top.

If we continue with 4-3-3, there has to be a change. I wonder is Maupay can pay as an inside-forward, while not the quickest, has is good on the ball. And then one of McNeil/Gordon/Grey on the other flank. With Gana, Garner, Iwobi in the middle.

Changing system is difficult ask when such a short space between games, so I expect Lampard will continue with 4-3-3.

Andrew Clare
55 Posted 22/10/2022 at 10:54:01
A tough game today. Palace are a well-organised team under Viera. They are very dangerous on the break so it's important that we don't concede and end up chasing the game.

Regardless of our sentiments for Lampard, he will be under enormous pressure if the next 2 or 3 results are bad. I agree that the defence is much better but, if we can't score goals, we aren't going to win games.

A striker is essential in the January window.

Brian Murray
56 Posted 22/10/2022 at 10:57:27
Rob post 53.

A class player like Dean would've obviously been as fit as the modern footballer and I'm sure he'd be a big threat. Obviously the offside rule was bit ropey them days... but class is class.

Brian Harrison
57 Posted 22/10/2022 at 11:05:31
The stats show under Frank we don't score many goals, so if we are to change that sta,t then we are going to have to change our style of play. Playing the same way will only produce the same outcome, which is a team that struggles to create or score goals.

I am really hoping that Frank does change things today and we show more attacking intent than we have in many games this season. I am sure if clubs with probably inferior squads than ours, like Fulham, Brentford and Brighton, can manage more wins than us, then we have to be doing something wrong.

Danny O’Neill
58 Posted 22/10/2022 at 11:34:33
Steavey @48, don't start me. I'm trying to stay focussed on today!!!

We can have that debate later and I'll get my often used scratched record out to bore you and many others!!!

Steavey Buckley
59 Posted 22/10/2022 at 11:39:43

I was just responding to another fan's comment about the present state of football, because Everton fans have more faith in transfers of players from clubs (no matter how far away) than concentrating on homegrown players from Everton.

Danny O’Neill
60 Posted 22/10/2022 at 11:46:23
I'm with you, Steavey. It's a combination of both and always has been. But we definitely don't tap into, nurture, mentor, coach and develop what is literally on our doorstep as much as we could. Providing we set the conditions for those young players.

It's matchday. I don't want to go off on one of my rants.

Laurie Hartley
61 Posted 22/10/2022 at 11:47:11

One thing you can rely on from Doucoure – he'll get up and down the pitch all day and he is physical. We aren't going to win games with guile in midfield – that's why he is my pick over Iwobi.

Rob, I wish Vernon and Young were starting up top for us today. 😉

David Hallwood
62 Posted 22/10/2022 at 11:56:56
Right put the tin helmet on and prepare for INCOMING! (as they scream in war films)

My team would be 3-5-2 even though I hate the system, but needs must. Pickford, Coady, Tarkowski, Holgate if fit or Coleman, wing backs Iwobi and McNeil, Gana, Garner & Onana, Maupay and Calvert-Lewin.

Reasons: Coleman gives us very little going forward and Miko has been poor. Although I don't want to move Iwobi he can do a job there, McNeil as everyone is saying can provide the crosses. Garner looks comfortable on the ball, and if Onana continues with his Bambi On Ice impression, replace him with Doucouré, but either way he'd be the furthest forward of the 3.

In an ideal world, Maupay would be 3rd or 4th choice striker, but we are where we are. But he can't lead the line on his own, he's a feed off the knock-downs, run into space type striker.

Put Gray and Gordon on the bench, because they've been awful. A couple of weeks ago on the forum, I stated that Gordon was playing with a titty lip since the transfer window, much to the bewilderment of our American cousins, and I'll stand by that assessment as the drop-off in his performances since he was denied the 'dream move' is startling.

Poorly advised or poor attitude? You decide, but all he's good for at the moment is diving, getting booked, and doing Cryuff turns spinning out of play. The two of them are a liability at present.

Dave Abrahams
63 Posted 22/10/2022 at 11:58:32
Kieran (36), Sylvester Stallone was a better footballer than he was an actor!!
Alan McGuffog
64 Posted 22/10/2022 at 12:01:04
Laurie...I'd settle for Brett Angell and Mikel Madar
Christy Ring
65 Posted 22/10/2022 at 12:11:05
I don't want to see a back 5 today, and totally disagree with Iwobi as a wingback, he was completely lost when put there against Spurs, and he doesn't know how to tackle.

Play 4-4-2 with Calvert-Lewin and Maupay upfront, we're playing Palace at home not Man City. Just looking at the Palace squad, why isn't Doucoure suspended, he got his 5th yellow against Wolves?

Fran Mitchell
66 Posted 22/10/2022 at 12:15:09
Brian, the stats show that we havn't scored many goals since 2021.

I read in The Guardian that, since we won on Boxing Day 2020 (when we went to 2nd in the Premier League under Ancelotti), we have scored just 70 goals in 72 games.

Lampard must find a way to resolve this, but the problem is one of his making, it is something he has inherited. Ancelotti was suffering with this at the end of his last season, Benitez couldn't resolve it, Ferguson as interim couldn't, and now Lampard is struggling.

Basically, since James's fitness curtailed his involvement, we have been desperate at creating opportunities for our attackers.

Take away the anomolies that are players like Haaland and Benzema, most good strikers need 3/4 chances to score a goal. A good strike rate, for most good strikers, is 1 goal in 3 games.

So essentially, they need 2 goalscoring chances created every game to score 1 in 3. As it stands, Everton strikers get 1 chance every 3 games. And we have only one at any time on the pitch.

Gordon, Grey and McNeil really need to step up and offer more in an attacking sense. But on top of that, the biggest problem is chance creation.

We just don't create. The main reason for this is when we have the ball, we rush our passes, and give the ball away. The inability to put together a sequence of play, patient, with 5+ passes is stark. This has been a problem for years.

Only when we had James in full flight, where he would often receive the ball from defence or Allan, he would pass and recieve the ball back, pass to Digne, and Digne would cross to Richarlison or Calvert-Lewin and a goal would come out of it, did we ever look like we had a plan with possession of the ball.

Now our players look devoid of a plan. Get the ball and run with it, hope to find some space and try to pass only for the teammate to not be on the same wavelength, or for the pass to be rushed/poorly executed and the ball lost.

The loss of Patterson has also been huge. He helped open up the pitch with his overlapping and runs down the right. Without the attacking full-back, we are constantly pushed inside where it is crowded when we have the ball and too easily pressed.

Mykolenko just doesn't offer than on the left, and Coleman on the right is just, unfortunately, too slow and past his sell-by date.

4-3-3 really depends on marauding full-backs, and dynamic inside forwards. Without them, it's too narrow, too predictable, too easy to defend.

Peter Carpenter
67 Posted 22/10/2022 at 12:25:39
How about playing two strikers playing together as a pair and working off each other?

Okay, sorry, stupid idea.

Barry Rathbone
68 Posted 22/10/2022 at 12:45:51
We need to recognise the limitations of going for a defensive midfield without an ounce of creativity and simply lump it forward as fast and as often as possible in the hope something happens.

It's simple, pacey and doesn't require cerebral thinking from limited players. We'll win more than we lose following the Wimbledon / Liverpool playbook.

Gary Johnson
69 Posted 22/10/2022 at 12:49:31
Stick to 4-3-3 for the next 3-4 games. It worked in the second half against Newcastle, albeit we all know how blunt that was.

Maybe just tweak with the front 3, more of a 1-2 with two of the midfield 3 getting up to create a 3-2 when in attack. I think “4 lines” is what's needed rather than a very rigid 4-3-3 / 4-5-1 that we seem stuck to.

Coleman Coady Tarkowski Mykolenko
Garner Gana Onana
Maupay Calvert-Lewin

Bob Parrington
70 Posted 22/10/2022 at 13:01:20
Fran @66,

I was recently awarded best coach in 40 years at a club I coached in the early 90s but I reckon, from reading your post, you would beat me hands down these days.

You make a thorough analysis. Good on ya mate!

One thing I think is missing is the striker - soulmate pairing in our team. I'd like to see if Calvert-Lewin and Maupay can work together like Kane and Son at Spurs.

Otherwise, I'd likely sell Calvert-Lewin and buy a couple of more basic, ruthless strikers and see what works. Calvert-Lewin has a finesse but doesn't have the rugged ruthlessness IMO.

Once Richarlison was sold, I was hoping Calvert-Lewin would go too. We need at least 2 strikers working unselfishly together. Remember the days of Pickering & Co??

Andy Walker
71 Posted 22/10/2022 at 13:04:48
Anyone heard Frank referencing pundits who are saying he might be sacked before Christmas and how they're wrong as he won't be? No thought not. He's strangely gone quite on the subject.

If he doesn't get sacked pre-Christmas, he might get some confidence back and call them out again, just like he did before the Man Utd game.

Derek Thomas
72 Posted 22/10/2022 at 13:09:16
Peter @ 67; Nah mate, it'll never catch on.
Will Mabon
73 Posted 22/10/2022 at 13:26:53
Quite honestly, Andy, the sacking speculations get a bit much. Media are on a hair trigger for any opportunity to construe a couple of bad results as the end. Unproductive.

I also don't think it's automatically the job of a manager to address what pundits say either.

Paul Smith
74 Posted 22/10/2022 at 13:31:18
Lampard is by no means blameless but he’s had a poor hand to play. We’re just not that good but I expect us to beat Palace today and stay clear of danger.
Will Mabon
75 Posted 22/10/2022 at 13:40:36
Paul, accepting that missing Patterson is a tangible problem (didn't think we'd be saying that 6 months back), this team is perfectly capable of producing a good result today.

All about the attitude and spirit - still a problematic element in my opinion. This, and being let off the leash a bit with the right tactics.

Danny O’Neill
76 Posted 22/10/2022 at 13:43:52
Time to go and do it.

I don't care who is playing just come on blues. Spirit and here we go.

See you all on the other side.

Steve Shave
77 Posted 22/10/2022 at 13:46:46
Gary 69 both Tony Everan and myself have previously mused that set up on here. Gana as a 6, Onana and Garner as 8s either side of him, Iwobi fizzing between the lines behind two strikers. We are playing shit and lost 3 on the bounce, we need to shake it up at home.
Andy Walker
78 Posted 22/10/2022 at 13:54:14
Hi Will (73). Agree, I think a manager should either ignore the media speculation, or a call it out at the time it’s said, not a few weeks afterwards.

Frank chose the option to call it out, but his mistake was to do it only after he felt safe. He’s now shown the media that they can get to him, so he now must stand up to such speculation and call out the media, along the lines of I’m not going anywhere, anytime soon.

Show some confidence in yourself and your team Frank. Or haven’t you got it?

Will Mabon
79 Posted 22/10/2022 at 13:58:54
True, Andy - stay away from the wolves.

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