Another Anfield let-down from passive Everton

14/02/2023 96comments  |  Jump to last
Liverpool 2 - 0 Everton

Ellis Simms made only his second Premier League start but found it tough going in the absence of Dominic Calvert-Lewin

Everton were brought swiftly back down to earth from last week’s impressive win over Arsenal as they were comfortably beaten by out-of-form Liverpool in the Merseyside derby.

The Blues came into the Anfield edition of the local grudge match hopeful of being able to take advantage of the Reds’ mini-crisis and the “new manager bounce” provided by Sean Dyche’s arrival but they never really got going and were hit by a couple of sucker punches that exploited their vulnerability in transition.

The first half turned on a moment at one end where James Tarkowski headed off the post and Jürgen Klopp’s men raced away on the counter to take a 36th-minute lead before Cody Gakpo netted his first Premier League goal with another counter-attack four minutes after half time.

Everton, for their part, struggled to make inroads in attack in the absence of the injured Dominic Calvert-Lewin but should have had the platform to make a game of it in the closing stages but substitute Tom Davies wasted a gilt-edged chance to halve the deficit nine minutes from the end.

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With Calvert-Lewin ruled out with his recurrent hamstring problem, Dyche handed a second League start in Everton colours to Ellis Simms as the only change from the side that had started against the Gunners nine days ago.

Unfortunately, although he made a decent enough start and made some intelligent runs in the early going, the raw 22-year-old cut a largely isolated figure up top and couldn’t make much impact on the game.

The first half chance fell Simms’s way in the fifth minute following a slip by Joel Matip but his shot was blocked but it was the home side who started to exert their superiority as the first period wore on, with Darwin Nuñez volleying a ball across the area that Gakpo could only steer wide with his head and young midfielder Stefan Bajcetic seeing a speculative effort comfortably gathered by Jordan Pickford.

Idrissa Gueye had a sight of goal back down the other end on the half-hour mark when he smashed a volley over the crossbar from 25 yards following a corner but when Everton got another set-piece from the same side six minutes later, they came within inches of taking a precious lead.

Tarkowski rose above Fabinho at the back post to meet Alex Iwobi’s delivery but his downward header back across goal came back off the woodwork. Simms collected the rebound and laid it back to Dwight McNeil and when his ball back into the six-yard box again fell kindly for Liverpool, the hosts streamed away with four red shirts easily out-stripping their blue-shirted opponents for pace and Gueye electing not to take a yellow card for felling his man to stop the counter in its tracks.

The move ended with Nuñez centering for Mohamed Salah who had been given an open net in which to steer the cross because Pickford had gone AWOL trying to anticipate the flight off the ball to the farther side of his box.

Half-time brought no changes from either side and it was soon 2-0 when Everton lost the ball near the right touchline from their perspective when no foul was awarded to Iwobi. Liverpool accelerated through midfield and moved the ball wide to Trent Alexander-Arnold who swept it across the area to the back post where Conor Coady let it run past him expecting a goal kick only for Gakpo to arrive behind him and knock it into the empty side of the goal.

Jordan Henderson almost made it 3-0 but shinned it wide at the back stick after an awful error from Tarkowski had handed possession straight to a red shirt while Gakpo curled wide after Dyche had withdrawn Simms in favour of Demarai Gray with an hour gone.

Two more changes saw Neal Maupay replace Dwight McNeil and Davies come on for the somewhat quiet Amadou Onana and it was the Scouser who should have reduced the arrears when Iwobi picked him out unmarked with a beautiful cross but he couldn’t put his header on target and the chance went begging.

Tarkowski prevented Salah from increasing the damage in the 82nd minute with an excellent saving tackle and Pickford made a reflex, one-handed save to divert the Egyptian’s shot behind after Vitalii Mykolenko had missed his tackle before referee Simon Hooper blew for full-time.

So a set-back for Dyche following the high of his debut match in charge but a result that Everton largely brought on themselves by being too timid, too passive and too open in transition.

Though arguably three points better off after the new boss’s first two games than many expected, tonight’s result nonetheless keeps them the Toffees the bottom three with 16 games to play and puts enormous significance on Saturday’s clash with fellow strugglers Leeds at Goodison Park and the home clash with Aston Villa the following weekend.


Reader Comments (96)

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Karl Jones
1 Posted 14/02/2023 at 07:02:53
Ah well the new manager bounce didn't last long. Back to square one.

I fully expect Leeds to beat them on Saturday.

Ian Bennett
2 Posted 14/02/2023 at 07:04:15
Their 2 centre-backs are error prone, but the players didn't have a go once again. That's not the manager, that's the players yet again.

Poor goals to give away. Coleman and Gana had to take a yellow and stop the counter. Instead, Pickford did a shit Fifa thing being caught in no-man's land. A top international, sorry but no.

The second was not much better. Again a chance to stop Robertson in a central area went begging. Coady let's it go through, and Gakpo scores with Coleman watching on for another piss poor goal.

The passing was really poor last night, and highlighted the madness of playing through the lines. The accuracy and movement is appalling, no wonder managers have had the chop trying to play a style that these players clearly don't have.

Lastly, Calvert-Lewin out again. Despite a World Cup for a 6 week period and a 1-month teransfer window, we finished weaker in squad terms than before. That is simply pathetic from the board and recruitment team. Either that's sheer incompetence or it is clear we are financially broken and fans have been lied to by Moshiri, or probably both.

Jacques Sandtonian
3 Posted 14/02/2023 at 07:05:26
We looked organised enough. I think it's easy to accuse a team like ours of not working hard enough but this Liverpool team is capable of making any opponent look like that.

Our biggest issue, clearly, is the lack of pace. It's clear to see how other teams have been hurting Liverpool because they overload so heavily in their high press that they open themselves to the sort of counter-attack that they scored against us from.

We need Calvert-Lewin to play consistently or it's going to be very easy to play against us. I can see Dyche going for his favoured 4-4-2-ish against Leeds.

Benjamin Dyke
4 Posted 14/02/2023 at 07:20:16
It was a performance we're used to seeing unfortunately. Nothing up front, midfield with no cohesion and mistakes at the back and on the transition. Liverpool are poor at the moment but their squad is a lot better than ours with some world class players.

The season isn't lost against these teams though, it's the dreadful results against Southampton, West Ham, Bournemouth etc that have us marked for relegation.

String 2 results together and it can start to look better but the post Moyes era, apart from the Martinez blip, has been a long study in decline.

How the heck did we get here and how the heck do we get away from here to midtable finishes again? Certainly doesn't work not replacing Lukaku's goals.

Kunal Desai
5 Posted 14/02/2023 at 07:59:45
18 points from 22 played. We need another 18 from 16. It's a tall order for a team that have scored the fewest goals in the league.

We now have to look at taking results in tranches. My take is we now have to identify and win one of Leeds or Aston Villa. Win one of Brentford or Fulham. Win one of City, Newcastle and Spurs, beat Bournemouth. 4 home wins.

We will then need a win away and pick up a few draws from Forest, Palace, Leicester and Wolves.

Jim Bennings
6 Posted 14/02/2023 at 08:08:56
"Show me goals, my Lord, show me goals, show me goals my Lord, show me goals, oh oh show me goals"

How can the team that doesn't score goals expect to win enough games?

As I said, the Arsenal game was the exception to the rule.

Last night was the Everton we all know and hate so well that came back after one week off to show its very ugly head again.

If I was Sean Dyche this morning, I'd have them in a room and tell them that they do actually know a football match was played last night, a Merseyside derby?

Because it seemed that most of them didn't want to be there, couldn't cope with being there, or just were scared shitless as usual.

Robert Tressell
7 Posted 14/02/2023 at 08:17:29
With Calvert-Lewin and a home crowd, we can beat anyone. Without those two ingredients, it is much harder.

Unfortunately the team we put out last night is absolutely a Bottom 3 team in terms of attacking quality. In fact, it's the worst in the Premier League by some measure.

Simms showed why he has needed loans to develop – and would certainly have benefited from remaining at Sunderland for his own development. For all those people calling for Cannon and others to be blooded, this is what you get.

Dyche showed that, like Ancelotti, he is not a magician.

The RS showed that you can get away with mediocre centre-backs like Gomez, Matip and a right-back who barely defends if you have a lightning fast high quality trio up front and 3 workers in midfield.

In terms of points, we need to convert away losses to draws and win at home. Any away win is a bonus. It remains hard.

Andrew Ellams
8 Posted 14/02/2023 at 08:19:21
I just don't see that team scoring enough goals to stay up.

Last night was a real kick in the nuts for the fans and too many more of them and it won't just be the board in the firing line.

David Vaughan
9 Posted 14/02/2023 at 08:27:38
"My Everton team will fight for the badge".

Don't think that's what Dyche had in mind when he arrived...

Charles Brewer
10 Posted 14/02/2023 at 08:33:20
I hope Dyche is making plans for Calvert-Lewin to be absent from every game for the rest of the season. I'll be happy never to see this cowardly, lazy third-rate “fashion” creature never play for Everton again. And I'm pretty sure Dyche has worked this out too, his statements have been muted but crystal clear. This bum does not want to play and has a terrible attitude (think “Pogba without the talent”).

Poor Tom Davies has got such a lack of confidence in front of goal that he makes Stuart “Jigsaw” Barlow look like ice-cool Messi at his best, but at least he turns up, fights a bit and doesn't fail to get on the end of crosses – unlike Calvert-Lewin: “If I'm half a second late, the winger gets the blame, not me”

Simms is not a Duncan Ferguson goal-scoring miracle worker reincarnation, but then neither was Duncan Ferguson, most of the time. He's certainly worth persevering with and may strike up a combination with another more jackal oriented player, a sort of “not a complete human shit” version of Lineker.

Overall, a huge disappointment, partly due to horrific misfortune – Tarkowski hits the inside of the post, the second – bad – shot from outside the penalty area hits Doucouré on the back of his legs and rebounds to an advanced, unmarked Redshite player. When did we even have a marginally fortunate single instance of good fortune?

Ernie Baywood
11 Posted 14/02/2023 at 08:37:28
There was no chalk and cheese from the Arsenal game.

Keep it tight and hope for a goal from a corner. That's not going to work out too often. The Arsenal game was a home (plus Calvert-Lewin for an hour) version of exactly what we did away to Liverpool.

Sometimes we won't score the corner.

But it's about our best (only) chance. No manager is a miracle worker.

Don't forget, we sold our joint top scorer. The other was sat on the bench. Our biggest threat on the pitch was McNeill (2 goals).

It's pathetic. But it was pathetic before last week, it was pathetic last week and it is pathetic this week. I just can't get worked up about individual performances or matches. It's like complaining because water is wet. We're crap and have no goals in us. That will not change – no matter how many items of clothing get banned from training.

Jim Bennings
12 Posted 14/02/2023 at 08:40:58
Dyche could have been a bit more daring last night to be fair.

I'm not criticizing him because he probably thought it was logical to keep a winning team.

However, we gave Trent Alexander-Arnold, an absolute shocking defender, his easiest day of the season by putting McNeil and Mykolenko on his side, two players that just can't run.

I'd vouch we would have given Liverpool far more to worry about if we had Godfrey left back with Gray in front of him.

It's little things like this that does my head why managers can't see it.

We go to these games thinking you can get away with doing nothing to hurt the opposite team but just sit deep and try and hold on and get a set-piece.

John Cook
13 Posted 14/02/2023 at 08:47:39
We have to get some pace in the side. I would bring Holgate and Godfrey in as full-backs, drop Cody for Mina, and Garner in for Gana. I believe this would make us a bit more mobile and less prone to breakaways.

Watching Leeds at the weekend, they were impressive against the Mancs and will come here with the same attitude. These changes hopefully would help.

Robert Tressell
14 Posted 14/02/2023 at 08:57:20
John # 13, some of this tinkering might help. But the reason Leeds could have a go at Man Utd is that in attack they have:


Our predicament and results aren't something tactics, personnel or formation will vastly change.

The fact is that, without Calvert-Lewin, we will struggle to score.

Andy Crooks
15 Posted 14/02/2023 at 08:57:50
Charles Brewer,

I assume Sean Dyche was on the phone to you last night and confirmed that Calvert-Lewin is a bum and a coward who does not want to play?

Otherwise, your post is made-up bollocks.

Bill Fairfield
16 Posted 14/02/2023 at 08:58:39
Crystal Palace at home last October saw a team fighting for the badge. Since then, they went awol.

Arsenal last Saturday, once again, we seen a team fighting for the badge. They went awol again last night. It's just not good enough to stay in this league.

Good luck to Dyche but I've watched this crap long enough to know they'll let him and us down.

Mark Andrews
17 Posted 14/02/2023 at 09:03:47
Normal service resumes with Everton's rag-tag bunch of meek misfits. To a man, that was a lacklustre, error-prone display with no fight whatsoever.

We'll slip off into the night, without a whisper. Nice work, Farhad, truly outstanding. No wonder Arsenal didn't want you or your crooked, oligarch mate anywhere near their club.

Rob Dolby
18 Posted 14/02/2023 at 09:07:16
Jim 12, Disagree. With this group of players, the only way to play is to get everyone behind the ball and hit on the break or threaten from set-pieces. We got done on the counter twice last night and have done throughout the season due to the lack of pace in the team.

I thought Mykolenko was our best defender last night. Often left one on one, he did quite well against a top player. The 2 centre-backs where terrible with pathetic schoolboy errors and Coleman should be holding his position rather than go chasing younger faster players around.

On Saturday, I would bring Gray in for McNeil. I assume Calvert-Lewin would still not be available so would stick with Simms. He had no service at all last night and nobody around him for the 2nd balls but is still better than Mauphay.

Big game Saturday.

Jonathan Tasker
19 Posted 14/02/2023 at 09:30:09
Suggested formation for remaining matches: 4-6-0.

And try to win the matches from set-pieces.

No point playing forwards if they never ever score

Iain Johnston
20 Posted 14/02/2023 at 09:30:53
For me, Gueye needs benching, play Doucoure & Onana in the middle and play Gray up front with Calvert-Lewin or Simms.

I'd then leave Gray up on his own when we defend set-pieces.

Charles Brewer
21 Posted 14/02/2023 at 09:34:51
Andy, Dyche said as soon as he arrived that Calvert-Lewin was fitter than he was pretending to be; before tonight's match, he said that Calvert-Lewin was fit enough to play. It's clear he thinks the man is malingering and has no fight for the game.

Any young man in a job which requires 90 minutes of largely non-contact running about one afternoon a week for about 2/3rds of the year who cannot get fit in 2 years is either permanently physically damaged or dodging responsibility.

Seamus Coleman came back from a really bad broken leg after 10 months; André Gomes was back from a horrific injury within the season. These were real injuries but the players had resolve, guts and recovered – albeit never fully in poor Gomes's case – but they didn't come back for half a match, play in a half-hearted manner, and then limp off whining after 60 minutes.

I didn't like Lukaku's attitude and thought he was dressing room poison. Calvert-Lewin brings the same attitude but without 1/10th of the talent. What a tragedy we lost Richarlison, not this lead-swinging mannequin.

David West
22 Posted 14/02/2023 at 09:36:57
I had hope last night, but was realistic. Liverpool were going to win sooner or later and of course they were going to do it against us. No one thought we would get any points from these 2 matches anyway and, although losing to them is never nice, 3 points from Arsenal & Liverpool – I would have taken that 10 days ago.

If we are going to stay up, our wide men have to support the striker. It's ridiculous how isolated Simms was. In the first 10 to 15 minutes, he had people round him but after that, there was no chance for the lad with no service or support. Iwobi is off the boil; get Gray in, supporting Simms.

Leeds game is massive; we need to find some goals, Gray is our best hope, imo.

Joe McMahon
23 Posted 14/02/2023 at 09:36:57
Jonathan @19.

This is nothing new to Everton. Since the Lineker goal haul way back in 1986, only the Yak and Lukaku have managed over 20 league goals in a season; Tony Cottee came the closest after that. For any professional football team, that's shambolic.

I look across the Park at the riches of strikers they always seem to have and think where the hell did it all go wrong at Everton?!

Mark Dunford
24 Posted 14/02/2023 at 09:42:01
We don't score goals, have a disjointed midfield and a slow defence. Without Calvert-Lewin in the side, we never really look capable of putting a team under pressure and are heavily dependent on corners or set-pieces.

The side has a more reasonable structure with five in midfield with two of them playing wide and McNeil is certainly at home on the left. Iwobi is a talented, hard-working footballer who doesn't seem to have a natural playing position so he shifts to right wing where the gap is.

Doesn't make much difference if we play without a proper forward who can hold the ball up and preferably score goals. Unfair to be harsh on Simms who is a rookie thrown in at the deep end in desperate times. He is, however, 22 so he has a lot to do if he is going to make the grade.

A team which doesn't score goals, and always looks like shipping more after the first one has gone in, is always going to struggle badly.

We've largely played all the teams around us at home in recent weeks and lost. Saturday is the last of these fixtures, so it is critical but the post World Cup period shows we've no real reason to be optimistic.

Karl Meighan
25 Posted 14/02/2023 at 09:47:54
That was the opposite of what we witnessed against Arsenal.

It's a derby – where was the early hard challenge, total commitment, hard running and helping your teammate do his job? No need to be the world's best to do these basics – just a need to realise these games are important, especially to us the fans.

That was a free game last night that should have had us going into the up-and-coming vital games high on confidence. We just showed how badly we needed a striker and someone to create from midfield.

Where are our goals going to come from? Answers on a postcard, please.

Andrew Clare
26 Posted 14/02/2023 at 09:48:01
By 1970, we were circa 10 wins ahead in derby games since the fixture began. By the start of the Premier League, they were circa 10 wins ahead. Now, they are circa 30 wins ahead.

We all know why there is such a gulf between us. For 30 years, we have been shocking, a badly run football club.
No other reason.

Not the fault of the managers or the players, solely the fault of the owners and board of this great football club.

Charles Brewer
27 Posted 14/02/2023 at 09:54:57

I think you have to look no further than the people at the Academy who had four days watching Erling Haaland and said:

“Nah! I mean, what use would a big, ugly hugely talented goal-scoring monster bring to Everton? We'd rather have Calvert Lewin in high heels and pretending to be Naomi Campbell (but without the aggression).”

Mark Murphy
28 Posted 14/02/2023 at 09:56:02
We have a midfield who give the ball away constantly.
Doucoure and Gana through poor passing and Iwobi and McNeil from running into trouble.

Before this game, people were saying we had too much power for Liverpool in midfield. If that was the case, we wouldn't be 18th.

There are several reasons why we're in trouble and giving the ball away cheaply is up there with the lack of firepower. Now may not be the time to bring in youngsters but I thought that Mills lad looked steady when he came on recently.

How far off is Garner? And personally I'd like to see Tom Davies given a fair crack at a run in the team. I cannot understand why we brought back Gana and let Allan go unless it was for financial reasons?

Tony Everan
29 Posted 14/02/2023 at 10:01:34
With no pace in the defence, we have no option but to play deep, Mariana Trench deep. As soon as we are exposed, like after Tarkowski hit the post, we were 5 yards behind their breakaway, almost too far behind to do a rugby tackle on them?

I'd be tempted too to add some pace to the defence; otherwise, it's going to be a backs-to-the-wall job in most games. I'd start with Godfrey for Mykolenko. Our stats with Mina playing are always better, I think he's a better quality centre-back than Coady, he should always start if fully fit. I'm torn over Holgate for Coleman at right-back, there's pros and cons in it.

In midfield, Garner for Gana has to be considered too. We retain the tenacity but get a bit more forward thrust from Garner. Better at set pieces, he has a shot on him too which he could score from or someone from the rebound. We have to be thinking about it.

Up front it's simple: it's Calvert-Lewin or a big struggle ahead. Finance, procurement and recruitment debacles have ensured there are no alternatives that can make a difference. It's gut wrenching that the club have allowed this to happen. However, I am still optimistic we can get safe with Calvert-Lewin fit.

Playing five across the midfield demands a quality No 9 to get points, or having to rely on a set-piece goal. It's obvious that we've been working hard on the latter, as Sean Dyche and his team know this too.

Tony Shelby
30 Posted 14/02/2023 at 10:05:28
‘New manager bounce'?

From what was on show last night, the Arsenal result may well have been a dead cat bounce.

Mike Owen
31 Posted 14/02/2023 at 10:08:08
Got to play two up front to score enough goals for us to win enough games to stay up.

We've played 25 games this season. And in only two of those have we scored more than once.

With the quality of Premier League opposition these days, one goal is so often insufficient to win a game.

Have been wondering if Lampard and now Dyche believe they have got to get the team playing "good football" to get Evertonians onside.

Not in our league position.

I'd like to see a big man/small man combo up front, with us getting the ball up there as often as possible. I believe Maupay would thrive in such a set-up. Similarly, Simms.

And if Dom wasn't fit, I'd have Michael Keane leading the line. Yes, Michael Keane. Think I'm right in saying only two of the squad have scored more Everton goals than Keane.

Get the team scoring more goals, the mood changes for the better and the confidence goes up a gear.

Thomas Hughes
32 Posted 14/02/2023 at 10:15:19
Andrew Clare @26,

Further to your derby match analysis, my first derby was 1985 when the match programme head-to-head history shows there were 45 wins apiece at the time, so in 38 years they have pulled more than 30 ahead of us, mainly due to our abysmal record this century alone.

We actually weren't that bad in the 90s against them, went from 1990 to 2001 without losing at home to them. Kenwright turns up in 1999 and virtually since then we have been their favourite opposition for victories… surprise, surprise.

Anthony Dove
33 Posted 14/02/2023 at 10:20:36
Mike @31.

In the absence of Calvert-Lewin, I think Keane would be worth a punt. He's tall, a good header of the ball and skilful on the ground, unlike Maupay or Simms who aren't any of those things.

Allen Rodgers
34 Posted 14/02/2023 at 10:22:24
Not much chance of Dyche getting his £3.5m bonus on that showing.

If we don't beat Leeds and Villa, we're about done.

Brian Harrison
35 Posted 14/02/2023 at 10:29:38
Apart from the obvious lack of goals in this team, I think yesterday showed that, without the backing of 40,000 fans screaming encouragement, this team are mentally very weak. Time after time, the player in possession couldn't wait to get rid of the ball, you could see the fear.

Obviously the Calvert-Lewin situation is a real worry – the scans show nothing yet the player is still saying his hamstring... something isn't right.

Seems a long time since he had a run of games in the side, and right now, without him, Dyche has been left with no credible alternative.

Joe McMahon
36 Posted 14/02/2023 at 10:32:45

Without playing, the modeling will dry up, and he won't be wearing an England shirt again. Christ, I remember reading on this site he's gonna be better than Harry Kane!

James Lauwervine
37 Posted 14/02/2023 at 10:44:32
Charles Brewer, you were called out for your bollocks post @10 then come back with even more bollocks as a response.

Just plain made-up nonsense to suit your obvious prejudice against the man. Personal attacks on players are tiresome and childish and not in the slightest bit funny or clever.

Steve Brown
38 Posted 14/02/2023 at 10:46:00
Match was the story of our season really.

We show up and put in good performances against the Top 6, but fail to do the same against mid- to lower-table teams.

Martin Farrington
39 Posted 14/02/2023 at 10:46:55
Every post above has something accurate to say. Glaringly obvious in many cases. Except if you are on the board or the owner.

That said, before Arsenal and OBC (our bastard child), would you have taken 2 points from drawing both or 3 points from a victory and a loss?

For far too many years, Everton choke. Always:

A) After one good performance
B) Away from home
C) Against OBC.

To be honest, the list is endless. And it has been clear for decades we have been improperly run on and off the field.

As for Moshiri. He cannot sack the board. It's in the clubs articles Kenwright insisted on, together with other vital caveats, when the sale was made.

So how to escape this nightmare?

Put faith in Dyche to pull every rabbit out of a battered and trampled hat to keep this once-great club up.

Ernie Baywood
40 Posted 14/02/2023 at 11:24:04
Martin, that's more desperation than hope. But you're right.

We already passed all of the points at which something could have been done. And we didn't do any of them.

We're down to the last bit now. Where we cling onto the unlikely scenario that the former Burnley manager renowned for keeping things tight takes a team that has no attacking options and can't score, and somehow improves their goal return.

It's Calvert-Lewin or I really can't see what improves our attack. Maybe there's a 2-man strike force that finds a way to get something out of Maupay.

Gray will need to be utilised in some way. He can actually produce something.

It's desperate alright.

Alec Gaston
41 Posted 14/02/2023 at 11:28:41
I think Michael Keane would do better upfront than any other of our striking options – so the last poster is right: it's desperation time!
Charles Brewer
42 Posted 14/02/2023 at 11:58:40
James, your deep analysis of my comments as "bollocks" has, of course entirely refuted my merely factual statements that Calvert-Lewin has taken far longer to recover from - erm I can't actually remember what the original problem was, it was such a long time ago. However, unlike Coleman, Gomes, James McCarthy who had actual, X-ray proven broken bones, DCL has had what sound like a series of really nasty bumps and bruises and even a few mild strains.

Those pathetic specimens like McCarthy who were carried off the pitch in various states of extreme distress all managed to return within a year and, mostly, to keep going for some time. At least they looked as though they wanted to play.

Calling someone's factually-based opinions "bollocks" is of course, a time-honoured method of winning an intellectual or scientific argument, and my years of studying Aristotle, Plato, Kant and Wittgenstein (not to mention Russell and Frege's formal logic systems) were obviously wasted when I could have produced a devastating refutation of Goedel's Theorem, Andrew Wiles proof of Fermat's last Theorem or Eddington's empirical support for Einstein's prediction that light would be bent by a sufficiently large gravitational field by simply saying something like "That hairy Swiss bloke is talking bollocks", we'd have been straight back to Newtonian dynamics!

But wait! Here's some shock news from today's 'Goodison News': 'After the 2-0 defeat against Liverpool, Sean Dyche has hinted that he may have to give Calvert-Lewin extra time to recover so that his body doesn’t break down again, and picking him for the next game is a “tough call”. '

What happened, did he stand up too quickly and feel a bit dizzy? He certainly wasn't injured on the fucking pitch! That must be worth 3 months physiotherapy and £100,000 a week (that's £5.2 million a year for doing fuck all apart from throwing yet another sickie in an endless series).

The problem at Goodison since the luvvie gained influence has been an ever-increasing lack of guts. Joe Royle won the FA Cup with a mediocre but spirited team - the Dogs of War - David Moyes gritty managership kept us afloat, but sadly the pervasive "kindness" has resulted in a club where third best is good enough, lack of commitment and where skiving and leaving your teammates in the shit is not just tolerated but vastly rewarded.

As to being "called out", I think that is what low-IQ blue haired female American "students" on 'Grievance Studies' courses do when they find something which is true but they don't like it or have any way of refuting it (or indeed any method of argument, since all they've been taught is how to be offended).

Actually, I liked DCL very much when he started, I though he was a bit lightweight and was pleased when he got a bit more solid, I was delighted with him when he began knocking them in for fun under Ancelotti, and even enjoyed his silly clothes stuff with Tom Davies as adding to the general amusement. However, he has proven to be another easily led, stupid and lazy footballer who thinks he is something more important than the club I love and ceased to put in effort or to look interested in getting results.

That's why I am a huge supporter of Seamus Coleman, Tom Davies (even on his worst days), despise Anthony Gordon, and am very favourably disposed to Amadou Onana, who despite just arriving from Belgium with no known connection to Everton has shown very much the right attitude. Also why I shall admire Richarlison as long as he plays; he no longer owes Everton or its supporters anything but while he was here he was excellent.

Brent Stephens
43 Posted 14/02/2023 at 12:02:53
Steve #38 - exquisite!
Martin Mason
44 Posted 14/02/2023 at 12:19:16
Looks like two of the relegation slots are filled now?
Tom Bowers
45 Posted 14/02/2023 at 12:20:23
It wasn't a surprise. After all the RS still have some fine players that they could afford to bring in and Everton have to soldier on with average acquisitions.

Sadly I don't see any change for the near future because the hierarchy dithered when they should have acted and brought in some better strikers.

Everton it seems are relying too much on the ''air force'' to score goals but they came unstuck yesterday. Once behind, Everton very rarely come back much to our disappointment.

With, hopefully Soton and Bournemouth being the bottom two it may be a dogfight with Leeds to see who joins them.

Ray Jacques
46 Posted 14/02/2023 at 12:23:27
Liverpool - worst run of form for probably a decade
Salah - cant buy a goal, some fans saying he has gone AWOL since his big wage increase
Gapko - no goals since arrival, struggling, what a waste of money.

Solution to all the above: play Everton. All your problems solved in 90 minutes.

I agree with Charles about Calvert-Lewin, something not right with that lad for the past 18 months and I don't think it's just physical injuries.

Anyway, we have 3 more points than expected 10 days ago, that's a positive isn't it???

Charles Brewer
47 Posted 14/02/2023 at 12:34:43
Ray, you are spot on about the points! If any of us had been offered a couple of draws against Arsenal and Liverpool we'd have been delirious with 2 points.

Now of course we're deeply disappointed with 3 points.

Andy Crooks
48 Posted 14/02/2023 at 12:53:09
That's true, Charles, but, as is our way, hope is built up, four or even six points seems within our grasp, then the usual. We are only ever predictable in a disappointing way.
George McKane
49 Posted 14/02/2023 at 12:53:51
It's not necessarily the points but the manner of our play and capitulation and the sheer frustration of seeing the same mistakes and poor play time and time again without seemingly changing things.

Sadly we have no options. Very poor displays result in being in the team for the next game. It breeds a lack of drive and ambition and mediocrity which is visible to all.

Barry Hesketh
50 Posted 14/02/2023 at 12:56:46
Paul the Esk tweeted the number of league victories Everton have managed in each decade since the other lots arrival in the top flight, I have added the number of defeats in the same time span.

1960s: 5 versus 3 defeats
1970s: 3 versus 9 defeats
1980s: 4 versus 10 defeats
1990s: 6 versus 7 defeats
2000s: 2 versus 12 defeats
2010s: 1 versus 9 defeats
2020s: 1 versus 3 defeats

The other 45 encounters were drawn. What is surprising is the number of defeats in the 1980s but, in this century, our record against them is truly shameful.

The last 38 league games against the rivals reads:
Won 4 Drawn 15 lost 19 GF 29 GA 60 Pts 27

Barry Rathbone
51 Posted 14/02/2023 at 12:57:59
Always look on the bright side: it's quite likely we won't play them for the foreseeable except for the odd cup draw.
Brian Wilkinson
52 Posted 14/02/2023 at 12:58:45
Big one on Saturday, one we have to win.

Just a little off subject are there any techno regulars going the game on Saturday who can really help me out.

I have a funeral in a couple of weeks and trying to compile some videos to burn on a dvd to give family friends.

Every software I use puts a watermark on the video or shortens the length so you can only get so much on it.

Are there any techno people out there that could burn me a copy of a DVD burner, without having to have a serial key, something I can pick up on match day, install it on my Windows 10 laptop and then be able to compile and then burn the DVDs.

I'm really sorry to the admins for going off track but I could do with a big helping hand fellow Blues, just this once.

See you all Saturday.

Danny O’Neill
53 Posted 14/02/2023 at 13:07:38
Finally back in my adopted home town after a very long 28 hours.

I can't really add a lot to what I've already said.

Saturday is more important now. Another long trip. But I don't mind.

I'm still very upset. It will take me a few days to come down from that. They were there for the taking.

John Keating
54 Posted 14/02/2023 at 13:17:32
The last 2 games were never going to define our season but for sure the next 2 do
We simply have to beat both Leeds and Villa
2 breakaways 2 goals, Davis misses a straightforward header. The devil has not left Mordor
Surrounded by red tossers
Half my mates I’ve known from the day I was born and followed the RS all over the world until a few years ago cos they can’t get tickets understand our situation and are decent guys
Unfortunately the rest if them are just pure scum
Gareth Stephens
55 Posted 14/02/2023 at 13:39:06
#52 Hi Brian, have a look at

I've only ever used it for ripping my own DVDs, but I think you can also burn them as well.

Mike Allen
56 Posted 14/02/2023 at 13:44:23
Just take a gamble. Try Onana up front or one of the many centre-halves and fight for second ball. stop trying to play out from the back. Play a system that suits the players.

We are where we are because we are a poor side basics is dreadful. Bin the coaching manuals and manage the players available stop trying to be something we haven't been for decades. And no talent coming through the ranks that I can see.

Gareth Stephens
57 Posted 14/02/2023 at 13:45:52
#42 Charles, Einstein was German, not Swiss.

Karen Mason
58 Posted 14/02/2023 at 13:59:46
The Red Shite have 2 of the most mistake prone centre backs in their history in Matip and Gomez. They have shown over weeks now, against mid-table opposition, that when put under pressure and pressed, they make mistakes. Why would we not go 4-4-2 and let Simms and Maupay harass and press from the front ?

After being at Goodison for the Arsenal game, I was filled with hope once again. Watched the Shite later the same day and thought - WOW, this is our time. If we had only shown the aggression, the willingness to work, shown the passion, last nights game could and would have been so very different. While - yes - they have speed and forwards with ability, their midfield is average and defence - capabable of making big mistakes. We didn't test any of that.

God help us - if you can't get your blood up and fight for every ball, run til you drop, in a Merseyside Derby, tell your manager to give your shirt to someone that will.

I don't think that we exploited their obvious weaknesses by not playing 2 up top to press hard, and not bullying them off the ball in the midfield, as we could have done.

The result was one thing. The lack of heart, balls, passion, aggression is something I can't swallow. I am empty of emotion and broken today. Listening to those smug guttersnipes at Anfield taking the piss again.

I've played hockey all my life at club, county, region and International standard and have NEVER gone into ANY game, without giving my all and fighting until the final whistle goes, and I was never paid to play !

As so many ToffeeWebbers say - 'It's the hope that kills you' and this time, it has killed me.

David West
59 Posted 14/02/2023 at 14:00:04
It's like alot of people expected a win. Come on we had Hope of course anything can happen in 90min but was always going to be a tough ask.
The performance was the worst aspect.
No belief like against arsenal.

451 will only work if it becomes 433 when attacking.
Or midfielders support or even imagine this get beyond the striker!!
If we play 3 centre mids then the wingers have to push on or we are just fighting fires all game.
Maupay, dcl or simms and gray to play against Leeds, garner if ready.
Shake it up

Danny O’Neill
60 Posted 14/02/2023 at 14:04:08
German Empire, Prussian, Austrian and settled in America I believe Gareth.

I bit more complicated back in those days as Germay was only just forming as a nation.

I always find it interesting that Switzerland is often considered French speaking whereas they are over 60% German speaking. I think it's close to 65%.

Sorry random one.

Tony Abrahams
61 Posted 14/02/2023 at 14:17:40
It was simply the lack of craft, that stopped us from getting anything out of last nights game, imo. The players haven’t got enough confidence, because at least half of them haven’t quite got enough ability, and it showed.

Good players relish and embrace the battle, and taking yellow cards for their team, is all part and parcel of this, imo.

One thing that looked pretty clear though, is that Everton, would definitely be a mid table side if they had played the season with a half decent centre forward.

All this talk is just repetitive, because we need to start getting points on the board now. This isn’t going to be easy, when you look at the complete lack of even half decent forwards, that we have in our squad, right now.

Let’s stick together, and we can start this by acknowledging that this squad is lacking in quality players, especially going forward, and they really need our help now.

Charles Brewer
62 Posted 14/02/2023 at 14:31:23
Danny and Gareth, according to Britannica, Einstein renounced his German nationality in around 1896, was stateless for a while. He took up Swiss nationality in 1901, before his annus mirabilis of 1905 when he published his papers on the quantum nature of light, Brownian motion, the mathematics of special relativity (presumably adapting Lorentz- I can't remember the details) and the paper on inertia and energy which led to the mass/energy equivalence. So I think we are all right (as long as you consider nationality non-isomorphic with time).

Also, Danny, when I lived in Switzerland, in Basel, the majority of the cantons were German-speaking (of rather Schweitzerdeutsch, something my (Ecuadorian) secretary laughed at me for attempting - inadvertently: "Charles, you sound like an Englishman trying to sound like a Swiss peasant"). The German Swiss all hated the French Swiss and wanted them to join France, and everyone despised the Italian speakers, it was a macrocosm of Europe, except the distances were shorter. Romansch was like the mad granny in chains in the attic, no-one acknowledged it existed.

Isn't ToffeeWeb fun!


Joe McMahon
63 Posted 14/02/2023 at 14:36:23
Charles@62, very interesting. But this is all well and good but going off your earlier posts today, do you think DCL would declare himself match fit if he was allowed to wear a Gym Skirt?
Raymond Fox
64 Posted 14/02/2023 at 14:39:30
Missing DCL again, the writing was on the wall before a ball was kicked.

As Tony 61 just said we know what our problems are and the result last night was no suprise to me at least.

We are not going to get enough points if we cant score, apart from DCL's injury problems we are just lacking ability in vital positions.

Dyche is going to have to be a miracle worker to keep us up I fear, we have lost to all the teams around us which was a disaster and shows how poor we are most of the time.

Gareth Stephens
65 Posted 14/02/2023 at 14:56:02
#60. Correct. More passports than Jason Bourne. I meant he was born in Germany.

On the topic of last night's game, that performance was just inexcusable from so many aspects. Pulling out of tackles, lack of effort, lack of fight, unforced mistakes. I mean Tom Davies, for fuck's sake. He's got to be getting that header on target. He was unchallenged.

Regardless of how crap we'd been and how well they were doing, you used to be able to rely on us turning up to a derby match and getting stuck into them. Whatever the outcome. It never seems to happen anymore.

Paul Armstrong
66 Posted 14/02/2023 at 14:59:10
I have heard that SD told the board that although he would give it his best shot they should prepare for the worst at the end of the season. I suspect the board them had to Google what 'prepare' meant.
Gareth Stephens
67 Posted 14/02/2023 at 15:04:35
#62 Is annus mirabilis Latin for shit itch?
Eric Myles
68 Posted 14/02/2023 at 15:21:01
Barry #51, I was joking with a RS mate that after the St. Valentines Day Massacre (it was played at 3 a.m. Tuesday here) our next derby match would be against Tranmere.

That was when Frank was still with us and before the false hope of the Arsenal game.

Jim Bennings
69 Posted 14/02/2023 at 15:24:42
I can remember when Tranmere rocked up at Goodison in 2001 and absolutely demolished us.

From that day on to this very day, it made me realise that there is something very wrong with Everton Football Club in local derbies.

I imagine we'd struggle to beat Marine if that match ever came about.

Jay Harris
70 Posted 14/02/2023 at 15:24:47
Karen is spot on we played to our weaknesses rather than theirs.

We should have gone for pressing their back 4 and not letting them play balls out of defence.

We knew the pace of Salah and Nunes so why did we go all MF instead of up top.

LAst time SD put the high press on with Burnley and got a result.

My only guess is he has seen how poor MAupay and Simms are and was hoping MF would compensate but luck was against us for the first goal and that gave them the confidence to rip us apart second half.

Lets hope DCL is fit for Leeds who play a similar but lower quality to the RS with pacy forwards and high press.

Jonathan Tasker
71 Posted 14/02/2023 at 15:46:17
My first match was in 1967. In all the ensuing period, we have been awful away from home. And consistently had key players out for long periods with injuries.

Separately, if we get relegated, I can see the new ground being sidelined.

Stephen Colby
72 Posted 14/02/2023 at 15:52:24
Eric's comments #68 about our next derby being against Tranmere reminds me of the last time I went to Prenton Park, many years ago.

It was Tranmere v Bournemouth and an extremely elderly gent in the Shed end slid between the rails and for absolutely no reason attacked the Bournemouth 'keeper with his brolly. The Woodchurch bovver boys went giddy with pleasure.

Anthony Dove
73 Posted 14/02/2023 at 16:14:08
Stephen, why was the Bournemouth keeper carrying a brolly?
Will Mabon
74 Posted 14/02/2023 at 16:22:51
Anthony - shots were raining in.
Charles Brewer
75 Posted 14/02/2023 at 16:27:17
Will, your coat is over there. Please collect it...
Mal van Schaick
76 Posted 14/02/2023 at 16:28:45
Two aging headless chickens in centre-midfield, Gana and Doucoure, doesn't help our cause. Their lack of creativity and prowess cost us. However, there aren't a lot of decent options on the bench.

My only solution would be to put Godfrey into midfield to give us more strength and pace, and put Gray back in to an attacking midfield role behind or just on the shoulder of the striker. Other than that, we are stuck with what we have, with such a weak bench.

Good luck to Dyche sorting this bunch out.

Will Mabon
77 Posted 14/02/2023 at 16:34:13
Charles, I'm here all week, thank you.
Will Mabon
78 Posted 14/02/2023 at 16:41:36
Mal, yet recall how that same midfield dealt with Arsenal. The spirit, commitment and belief, professionalism, is still a bigger problem than the ability.
Brent Stephens
79 Posted 14/02/2023 at 16:45:18
Schrodinger's Calvert-Lewin – is he fit or unfit? Don't dare open that box!
Martin Farrington
80 Posted 14/02/2023 at 17:22:35
Ernie @ 40👍

Charles @ 62 KFO I wish. Sadly he became immortal after the mysterious shenanigans surrounding the Arteta deal. He has the only copy of The Book of the Dead which he moves from theatre safe to theatre safe to thwart Bluenoses.

Anthony @ 73 🤣🧤🌂

Will @ 74 🤦😄

Brent @ 79 😂📦🐩

Maybe, after an education on principles of ideology during this thread, we need to switch Z-Cars to Bruce's Philosophers Song (Monty Python).

Jack Convery
81 Posted 14/02/2023 at 18:30:20
If Everton were a kitchen drawer, they would be one without a tin opener.

If they were a painter, they would not have a brush.

If they were a football team – ha, ha, ha, stop it please. A football team! Everton!! you must be joking!!!

Sean Dyche: Your mission, should choose to accept it, is to turn the Everton players into a team that can win 6 or 7 matches from the 16 games remaining. Good Luck with that.

Frank Thomas
82 Posted 14/02/2023 at 18:57:53
Last night came the "Return of the passback King" except this time the Orcs and J. Saruman Klopp won.

Every time we could have challenged, attacked and shown fighting skills, we let our fears overtake us and simply passed back. If we continue in this vein, then Helm's Goodison Deep will fall... and ignominy will stain every player who made an appearance this season, currently fit or unfit.

Ernie Baywood
83 Posted 14/02/2023 at 18:59:18
Charles, how can it be a factual comment that Calvert-Lewin has taken longer than expected to recover from an injury that you can't remember?

It was a quad tear. And a few people (myself included) have given insight into what a tough injury that is to recover from.

Dyche's comments didn't mention mentality. They were all about getting his body right. He talked about slowing things down to get him right. That's an about-turn from things he was saying last week which suggests to me that he got it wrong previously – understandable given he'd only had a few days.

It's not unusual to have niggling injuries after such a bad injury.

Danny O’Neill
84 Posted 14/02/2023 at 19:37:45
I like that about Switzerland, Charles. It's like Bavaria, which has more links and a dialect associated with Austria. And then there is the Sudtirol in what is now northern Italy, where I go skiing. The region itself is about 75% German speaking but some of the towns and villages are closer to or above 90% German. And then they have areas where they speak Ladin, which I believe is similar to Swiss Romansch.

Back on track. A quad injury is a very difficult one to recover from if not managed correctly. Just when you think it's okay, you break down again. Same as hamstrings. I hope I'm wrong, but I fear for Dominic.

Dale Self
85 Posted 14/02/2023 at 20:30:36
Now there is a term that describes Everton on offence-Brownian motion. It works on a couple of levels, hat tip Charles.
Ernie Baywood
86 Posted 15/02/2023 at 01:07:09
To be honest I'd make a desperate roll of the dice.

Stick Iwobi and McNeill at wing back. 3 centre mids with licence to join up with the attack. 2 up front - big and little (Maupay and DCL or Simms). It gets slightly more attackers onto the pitch.

Won't happen though. We'll play 4-5-1 or 4-4-2.

Si Cooper
87 Posted 15/02/2023 at 05:42:28
Looked like ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’ in action to me. The players all nervy and clunky, looking terrified in case they ‘provoked’ the RS to make a game of it, and so it proved with them demonstrating how easily they could counter on us.
Desperate now for some good news from the treatment room. We need as much power and pace as we can muster so I’m impatient for Godfrey, Patterson and DCL to become available again.
To get anything like a decent chance for the remaining fixture we’ve got to be able to hold up the ball in the opponent’s half and have plenty of recovery pace for dealing with counter attacks.
Tony Hill
88 Posted 15/02/2023 at 06:42:34
Si @87,

Yes, it was the emptiness of the performance which was so depressing, an abandonment of all the things which had given us hope in the Arsenal game. That's why I'm so concerned: in the course of 9 days, we lost ourselves, and the absence of DCL for a 60-minute stint can't explain that.

I've dismissed those on here who were giving up for no apparent reason, but we do look quite awful a lot of the time. Our ball retention, in particular, remains appalling.

My view is that the next two games will decide where we're going to end up, and the deep collapse of spirit on Monday – after Dyche had worked with them – worries me most of all.

Tony Mace
89 Posted 15/02/2023 at 06:55:30
Tarkowski - Unlucky to hit the post

Pickford - Clown-like positioning for 1st goal

Coady - Clown-like defending for 2nd goal

Davies - Just go. Not good enough for primary school reserves. Please just go.

Paul Washington
90 Posted 15/02/2023 at 08:55:51
I think most of us would have taken the 3 points from the first 2 games since Sean Dyche was appointed. However, after the Arsenal game, our hopes were given a massive boost, only yet again to be left pissed off after such an insipid display.

Me arl fella, who's 91, has a saying for most things, his Everton one he's been saying for most of my 61 years you'll all be familiar with: "Always Let You Down"!!

Alec Gaston
91 Posted 15/02/2023 at 10:19:42
The team is in trouble but I think there is no hope if we persist with Coady. We will get relegated if we continue with him - Dyche is keen on getting Keane back in by the sounds of it
Steve Cotton
92 Posted 15/02/2023 at 10:30:49
Just wondering, assuming DCL is out who is our goal threat, who in that team is likely to get you 5 goals a season?

This incompetance is entirely down to the board and Manager

Bring in an out of contract player even for 4 games.or put one of the big defenders up front and tell the media that it's our only option after the disgraceful transfer window... put the blame back.on the board

Paul Birmingham
93 Posted 15/02/2023 at 17:45:35
Tony @88, spot on.
Paul Armstrong
94 Posted 15/02/2023 at 20:56:21
I fear going down is inevitable. Sean Dyche is good but too late. Relegated by the board not the inadequate players they recruited.
Peter McEvoy
95 Posted 16/02/2023 at 10:39:25
A very disappointing performance on Monday. Defence lacks any real pace. Midfield has no creativity, Attack very poor... Where are goals coming from? Simms was way out of his depth. Gray would have been a better option

The main disappointment was the lack of passion. Tom Davies and Neal Maupay not good enough. I cant believe we didn't give Dyche some money to buy a forward.

Hans Fyhrqvist
96 Posted 17/02/2023 at 17:21:14
A bit late here with a comment on Monday´s Merseyside derby at Anfield.
I think the first half was quite good, Everton kept their shape, maybe we were a little bit too cautious in our approach.

If Tarkowski´s header had entered in the Liverpool net, I´m sure our players and fans would have been so energized that we would most probably have got a good result.

As it turned out, the header hit "only" the post and Liverpool scored straight away from the counter attack. A real double blow. But I understand that you can´t dwell on "what could have happened". You could do that in most matches. Sometimes the luck favours you, sometimes not.

What was disappointing was that after Liverpool´s second goal in the early stages of the second half seemed to drain the confidence of our players and the game petered out quite uneventfully (or maybe not if only Davies had planted his header in Liverpool´s net and not high in the stands; but that was another if).

We must hope that against Leeds at Goodison our energy and confidence levels are the same as they were in our home game against Arsenal. And we need hard work and plenty of running as our opponents are maybe the chief exponents of those qualities in the PL.

Hope that Goodison will be a cauldron tomorrow, and the rest of the season, just as it was towards the end of last season, and just as it was in the Arsenal game. That can save us once again.

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