Everton vs Leeds United

16/02/2023 228comments  |  Jump to last
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Dominic Calvert-Lewin's involvement in the game was rated as "improbable" by manager Sean Dyche as the striker's hamstring frustrations continue

Everton go into another massive relegation "six-pointer" this weekend as they host Leeds United knowing that a victory would vault them out of the bottom three for the first time since early January.

The Blues come into the weekend sitting a point behind the Yorkshiremen with both teams having played 22 games each and the hosts will be hoping for a repeat of this same fixture last year when they beat Marcelo Bielsa's side handsomely 3-0.

This, too, will be Sean Dyche's second home game in charge and, like Lampard after a disappointing loss away from home at Newcastle on 8 February last year, he will be looking for a reaction in front of the Goodison faithful following Monday's defeat in the Anfield derby.

Dyche will have to engineer a victory without Dominic Calvert-Lewin., though, as the striker will be missing from the line-up for a second match running due to his troublesome hamstring.

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Calvert-Lewin managed a hugely productive hour against Arsenal in Dyche's first match in charge a fortnight ago but missed the Merseyside derby after not training during the previous week due to discomfort in the muscle.

Dyche's comments on Monday evening, when Calvert-Lewin was deputised by the inexperienced Ellis Simms, suggested that the club's medical staff might slow down the 25-year-old's training in an effort to get his whole body more fit was an indication that he wouldn't be available on Saturday and that is now the case.

Dyche said in his pre-match press conference today that it was "improbable" that Calvert-Lewin would be involved against Leeds.

"The root of the problem is pretty easy from the medical side of things," the manager explained. "Now it's just time to make sure his body's well."

Asked how he would deal with his main centre-forward's absence, Dyche said: "We've got other good players here and I think it's more important to focus on them at this stage because that's who we've got available."

While he wasn't giving anything away in his presser, Dyche's comments regarding opportunities for Neal Maupay and Demarai Gray in certain situations, combined with Simms's struggles to make an impact against Liverpool, suggest perhaps that one of the two substitutes at Anfield will get the nod to start against Leeds.

Gray is Everton's top scorer in all competitions this season with five but Maupay is a more conventional second striker, even if the presence of either will necessitate a change in approach play from the predominantly direct tactics they employed against the Gunners when Calvert-Lewin was up top. 

Meanwhile, James Garner and Nathan Patterson will be given a run-out for the Under-21s tomorrow as they complete the final stage of their respective recoveries having rejoined first-team training last week.

With their search for a more permanent successor to Jesse Marsch having failed to bear fruit so far, Leeds will travel with interim boss Michael Skubala taking charge of his third match since the American was sacked.

He will welcome Pascal Struijk back to his team after he was cleared following a concussion but is unlikely to risk Marc Roca or Liam Cooper even though both will undergo fitness late tests. The game might also come too soon for Sonny Perkins but Stuart Dallas, Luis Sinisterra, Adam Forshaw, Archie Gray and Rodrigo Machado are ruled out.

Even with those injuries, Leeds remain a dangerous side, with Wilfried Gnonto in particular coming to life in recent weeks as a real handful. He scored at Old Trafford in the Whites' 2-2 draw against Manchester United 10 days ago and, alongside the likes of Crysencio Summerville and Jack Harrison, will one of the visitors' danger men to keep in check.

A 3 pm kick-off at Goodison where the size of the occasion will almost certainly prompt a raucous atmosphere; all that remains is for the Toffees to put on a strong performance to try and take another step towards survival with three precious points. 

Kick-off: 3 pm, Saturday, 18 February 2023 
Referee: Andy Madley
VAR: Michael Oliver
Last Time: Everton 3 - 0 Leeds United

Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Coleman, Coady, Tarkowski, Mykolenko, Gueye, Onana, Iwobi, Doucouré, McNeil, Maupay


Reader Comments (228)

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Jim Bennings
1 Posted 16/02/2023 at 14:31:29
Surprise me.

Calvert-Lewin is making Delph look like Linford Christie in his pomp.

I'd love to know why we thought he would ever be fit this season, the logic should have been signing his replacement last August and if he was fit for any games then fair enough it's a bonus.

Ridiculous negligence of duty from the clown club.

Mark Ryan
2 Posted 16/02/2023 at 14:34:36
Like a broken record ! Before we know it Sean will be churning out Frank's old adage about "what a talisman he is for the team" but for now we'll continue to monitor his progress.

Ffs just give him to away.

He is a distraction. It's why players like Simms, Maupay and even Rondon never got a game. It's because we are constantly MONITORING DOMINIC. Forget him. Stop talking about him. If he gets fit fine but wait until he's fighting fit which btw will be never. Give, sell, loan out, whatever but ffs get rid. Talisman my arse !!

Eddie Dunn
3 Posted 16/02/2023 at 14:35:26
I watched the presser. It seems that the lad was "touch and go" for the Derby is now out for an undisclosed spell.
The curse of DCL strikes again. The trouble is, that Dom always takes a few games to get anywhere near his best and when he gets near his best, he breaks down.
We have to find goals from elsewhere but young Simms will neeed Maupay up with him and Sean is bound to play one up top and try to nick a goal at a corner.
Leeds is a very pivotal game.
Colin Glassar
4 Posted 16/02/2023 at 14:41:28
Can we cancel his contract? Let’s face it, the lad is finished. I’ve heard his problem is more mental than physical a bit like Daniel Sturridge at Mordor. Klopp always said there was nothing physically wrong with him. It was always in his head.
Tony Abrahams
5 Posted 16/02/2023 at 14:47:09
If we don’t get him fit soon then I think we are going to be cancelling our contract with the EPL
Steve Shave
6 Posted 16/02/2023 at 14:47:28
I'm not going to jump on the inevitable DCL bashing that is likely to ensue here in this thread. Many will be unable to see that there is a likely correlation between their reactionary, blaming vitriol towards him and his self reported mental health struggles. Surely these struggles are impacting on his mindset and his relationship with his body?

If we are to blame anyone for Dom's poor run of injuries and our subsequent lack of firepower, then that blame should be directed solely at the board. It's criminal that a striker wasn't purchased in the summer, especially after trousering £60M for Richy. It's just gross negligence that we did not bring anyone in in the window just gone, despite trousering another £40M for Gordon.

We then hire a manager who notoriously needs a target man to play his system, our survival depends on this system being implemented correctly. Instead they cross their fingers and pray for Dom to suddenly shake off two years of injury problems. Now here we are trying to decide between an untested kid and Neal bloody Maupay. Fucking pathetic way to run a club.

Barry Hesketh
7 Posted 16/02/2023 at 14:49:11
You can't blame the player for having injury issues, you can blame the club for relying on a player who has had injury issues for how long, a year, two years?

Sean Dyche will have to write-off having DCL available to him for the rest of the season, and if the lad does regain full fitness, that will be a bonus, but until then, the manager has to formulate a plan that can win points.

It doesn't matter how he does it, but he has to somehow find a way, either by having Gray as a striker, or Simms and Maupay as a two, or whatever way is possible, we can't continue to be toothless, with or without Dominic.

Nick Page
8 Posted 16/02/2023 at 14:50:07
Injured his skirt.

Cancel his fucking contract. And tell him to fuck off. Down we go

Nick Page
9 Posted 16/02/2023 at 14:51:31
Still haven’t replaced Lukaku
Kevin Molloy
10 Posted 16/02/2023 at 14:52:34
the backroom staff at Everton should go to gaol for this sort of negligence. They must know how it is with him, not to bring in a journeyman striker to deputise over the course of two transfer windows is just amazing. Our whole system of play only works with a big chap up front who can hold the ball up.
Jon Harding
11 Posted 16/02/2023 at 14:52:41
Dyche's terse comment was scathing about Dom sadly. It reminded me of Howard Kendall's attitude towards injured players - he didn't even want to see them around the place.
Maybe we should take a leaf out of their books and stop debating poor Dom's never-ending rehab?
Although I'm all for another Charles Brewer mega-rant with Monty Python overtones about this player.
All the best, especially if you're going the Leeds game on Saturday.
Danny O’Neill
12 Posted 16/02/2023 at 14:53:33
Again I will be at that match. I'll support the players on the pitch with all my heart.

I'm spending another day at of my life and a lot of my money to follow our team on Saturday.

I will leave at an early hour and get home late.

All I Iexpext is the same commitment.

Tony Everan
13 Posted 16/02/2023 at 14:56:47
Terrible news, the absolute last thing I wanted to hear. It’s not just having him as a threat it’s about ball retention further up the pitch which gives our midfield a chance to breathe.

Against Leeds we will certainly need this ability to retain possession, win free kicks and throw ins in the opposition half.

So it’s down to Ellis Simms, or will he go left field and put Keane up there. Maybe Simms/Maupay in a 4411 the best combination? Simms’ aerial ability is not great which is a big problem in our set up .

Who knows ? Keane and Gray could be better. Whatever you pick it’s a shot in the dark.

It’s a massive match that will be pivotal for our survival hopes. The supporters again will need to be the twelfth man to try to tip the balance and make the difference.

Barry Hesketh
14 Posted 16/02/2023 at 14:57:04
Jon @11
I was always of the opinion that Howard, mostly tried to include the injured players as part of the squad, remember the bench at Villa Park against Sheffield Wednesday in 1986, there was no room available as the likes of Lineker et all sat cheering the lads on. If you mean he had no time for shirkers, I'd agree. But wasn't it Moyes, who was the Everton manager that had little or no time for players who were out injured?
Jay Harris
15 Posted 16/02/2023 at 14:57:38
But the good news is Patterson and Garner playing for the U21s tomorrow and Townshend is nearing fitness. Yawn.
John Bourne
16 Posted 16/02/2023 at 15:00:27

The club have been fully aware of his issues for how long? and have chosen to have no contingency plan in place, instead they send out yet another Manager to manage expectations.

Madness, utter madness.

"You hear that, Mr. Anderson? That is the sound of inevitability"

Terry Downes
17 Posted 16/02/2023 at 15:10:10
I was saying on forum monday night I think the last proper center forward we bought was Lukaku ? If that proves right then it’s a glaring example of just how bad our club as been run since then ? Insane for any prem club let alone ours.
John Zapa
18 Posted 16/02/2023 at 15:17:10
I don't understand why Rondon was released when there was no replacement lined up. I think he could have filled the gap better than the current alternatives and is more suited to a SD system.
Mark Ryan
19 Posted 16/02/2023 at 15:17:46
Any comment from the board ? thought not
Get Aubameyang !!! it will cost us less in the end
Minik Hansen
20 Posted 16/02/2023 at 15:23:55
It's gonna be interesting to see what SD does with the back four, namely Tarky, Coady and Myko.
In my view, Coady had a blip in the oppostions second goal. Therefore deserves a second chance. As for Tarkowsky, he gave the ball away quite a couple of times, and with Leeds front foot football, it's a call for problems. I'd drop him for Mina, and in case he gets an early injury, let Holgate in. Either Vinagre or Godfrey for Myko.
But I would still be somewhat confident if the back four remains unchanged.
Tony Abrahams
21 Posted 16/02/2023 at 15:24:55
I’m glad Patterson and Garner are getting closer to full fitness. The game is very hard for Seamus now, and we also need someone in midfield who can pass the ball properly.

Calvert-Lewin being out is very bad news, but moaning about it won’t make anything better, but trying to find a solution, might?

Find another way Dychey, because it’s us against the world, right now

Robert Tressell
22 Posted 16/02/2023 at 15:25:03
Colin # 4, where have you heard that DCL's fitness issues were in his head?

I ask because the injuries seem to be quadricep muscle and hamstring.

I also recall Duncan Ferguson spending much of his patchy career injured - maybe that was all in his head? Possibly as a result of wearing a kilt instead of trousers.

Dennis Stevens
23 Posted 16/02/2023 at 15:26:04
The Club should have had a suitable striker signed up the season before last & then DCL would not be a big issue - he'd just be another injured player in the squad & his fitness would not be the hook our survival is, seemingly, hanging on.

I'm interested to, hopefully, see Simms given a run of matches to find his feet at this level. He's done so before, but is this a step up too far for him?
Fingers crossed!

Anthony Murphy
24 Posted 16/02/2023 at 15:26:12
I feel the club have let him down. Had we added a striker as was obviously required, Dom could have eased back without the pressure he’s now under. Mark my words, we will be relegated without a fit DCL and that is 100% on the owner and board.
Matt Byrne
25 Posted 16/02/2023 at 15:33:57
Adrian Heath travelled with the lads to every game in 84 85 after his injury in the Deccember. He was made to feel part of things after contributing so much. We need to bring in forward players from the free agent market. Easier said than done of course. Max Kruse and Nic Jorgensen are experienced German and Danish internationals with good track records. No doubt they are past their best but this is an emergency situation. I can't believe they are any worse than what we have. They would be motivated to do well if given a short term deal with a view to a better deal if by some miracle they were to come in and do a Kevin Campbell. It must be worth seeing who is out there. Alternatively, Mina or Keane may be able to act ad a focus point and hold the ball up. Evertonians like Mike Lyons and Ian Marshall have done this in the past.
Jim Bennings
26 Posted 16/02/2023 at 15:37:46
They may as well just start again with Simms on Saturday albeit his limitations and lack of movement mimicked Solomon Rondon.

It is pointless giving him a start in a vicious Anfield derby if you then take him out on Saturday in a game we need to be winning.

By the way Farhard "we'll get a striker don't worry" Moshiri, well where the f#ck is he???

Tony Abrahams
27 Posted 16/02/2023 at 15:37:54
It’s our club, and it’s eleven v eleven, when we start the game on Saturday. Obviously he’s a big miss, but we have just got to get behind the players as much as possible, and become the twelfth man, for every remaining home game.

Football is all about hard work and improvisation. I’m just glad the pragmatic Dyche, is managing us, rather than the diplomatic Lampard, and once the tackles start flying in, hopefully Goodison, can become a bear-pit.

WE SHALL NOT BE MOVED - it’s our song for a bloody good reason! Sometimes football is just all about fighting, and fighting is always better, than sitting there feeling sorry for yourselves, so let’s just get behind the team.

Robert Tressell
28 Posted 16/02/2023 at 15:45:10
Rather than sign a has been with no club, it would make more sense to give Simms a bit more time to acclimatise after just 1 game against vastly superior opposition.

He is a slow starter with every step up since the u18s but performs once in a rhythm.

But we don't have time I hear you cry!

Well in that case how do we expect a player that hasn't even got a club to just slot right in? Kruse or Jorgensen would need time too. This isn't the solution.

It's a crap situation borne of our horrific financial situation and the mugs who combined to cause it.

But Simms and Maupay, probably as a double act, have enough to cause trouble for weaker sides than the RS.

Jay Harris
29 Posted 16/02/2023 at 15:56:00
I would advocate 4-4-2 at the moment in the absence of DCL maybe with Gray and Simms up front (I just don't rate Maupay either as a player or a striker, IMO he only has nuisance value).
Geoff Lambert
30 Posted 16/02/2023 at 15:59:40
Some posters actualy asking for Tarks to be dropped?? He is the most likly to score for us. That says it all about our transfer dealings.
Geoff Lambert
31 Posted 16/02/2023 at 15:59:40
Some posters actualy asking for Tarks to be dropped?? He is the most likly to score for us. That says it all about our transfer dealings.
Christy Ring
32 Posted 16/02/2023 at 15:59:55
Calvert-Lewin has a hamstring injury, you could see the effort he put in against Arsenal, why all the abuse and smart comments. The bigger issue is that how the board didn't sign another target man is an absolute disgrace. Does it not stand out the reason they brought back Simms, a young striker with no Premiership experience, was because they had no intention of signing a striker, even after getting £45m for Gordon.
Phil Smith
33 Posted 16/02/2023 at 16:00:01
Think he also ruled out players without contracts in the presser, so in Ellis Simms we trust! I'd start with him and Maupay up top and go 4-4-2. Drop the Duke/Iwobi and have Grey and McNeil out wide with Onana and Gana in the middle. Either that or 3-5-2 with Tark, Godfrey and Coady/Mina with Iwobi roaming behind the strikers. Need more attacking options. Ellis can't play up top on his own. Needs someone to play off him. Either Maupay or Grey/Iwobi. Can only play 1 up top with DCL with this group. He cannot be relied upon for the rest of the season so might as well start getting used to playing 2 up top.
Ian Hollingworth
34 Posted 16/02/2023 at 16:05:18
The biggest worry is will DCL ever be fir for a prolonged time?
How long to we preserver with the current situation.
Lets face hit the last 2 years of a strategy of hoping he is fit has been a disaster for the club.

Gross miss-management of the highest order. Thanks Bill

Best we all assume he isn't playing again this season and then anything above that is a bonus.

Mark Dunford
35 Posted 16/02/2023 at 16:09:01
DCL is clearly an excellent centre forward and, on form, he is exactly the sort of player we need. As others have said, Duncan Ferguson was plagued by a series of injuries across his career and DCL is similar. Likewise DCL scored a critical goal last year in the Palace fixture.

The real issue here is that the problem with his fitness was known months ago - and has been rumbling on for 18 months or so now. At least three transfer windows have passed. Failing to secure reasonable cover at the very least is negligence of the highest order and will quite probably relegate the club.

This isn't DCL's fault. I've no idea if Simms can make the grade, if Maupay can deliver his 7-9 goals per season in an end of year flurry or if Keane can turn into a latter day Mick Lyons; all I can say - all any of us can say - is that we shouldn't be forced into a position where - as fans, stakeholders in the club - we're even contemplating these questions.

Paul Cherrington
36 Posted 16/02/2023 at 16:09:13
I really do feel for Calvert-Lewin - he is a decent player and can't help constantly getting injured.

What maddens me most is that the club did not learn from last season when banking on him coming back from fitness to rescue us almost got us relegated. What business bases their success on just one person? It's crazy - football is a team game!

It is also very frustrating because everyone knew we needed a decent striker to cover when DCL is out since before last season even ended. We have gone through 2 transfer windows now without it being sorted. It's a disgrace and could cost us dearly.

I'm not buying it being about lack of money or no-one being out there. We spent a good amount on various players over the summer - surely some of that should have been used to find a good striker to cover for DCL and give him proper competition. Other sides manage to sign strikers when they need them so there must be some out there.

I know we signed Maupay but that doesn't count as he is a non-scoring striker. That is about as much good as an open toed welly to us at the moment.

Eddie Dunn
37 Posted 16/02/2023 at 16:10:35
On reflection, we haven't had goals from DCL for some time and though we will miss his ability to cause problems for defenders and win throw-ins we won't miss his goals, because he doesn't score any.
Ironically, Lampard waited for him to come back and be the beast of old but mostly in vain. So many false dawns.
We have little choice but to stick with Simms and gamble on giving him a partner. I suspect Sean will go with a midfielder who pushes up when able- a bit like how Doucoure started on Monday.
The biggest worry for Dyche will be not to lose to a rival.
That would be disastrous. I expect him to be content with set-piece goals.
Grey has dropped down the pecking order since Dyche came in.
I wonder if Iwobi will be brought into a ten roll supporting Simms and Grey brought in for MCNeil.
We were told by Lampard that Keane was one of the best finishers at the club. I think a journo asked about a centreback being pushed up and Dyche seemed amused.
My worry is that Leeds still have that Bielsa attitude with blistering pace on the counter and in Gnonto have the sort of nippy little striker that will rip our old barges apart.
Godfrey has to come in somewhere.
Jim Bennings
38 Posted 16/02/2023 at 16:12:47
The thing is, if we start Simms he needs to start with 4-4-2 and two strikers.

Simms hasn't got the tools to be lone striker, it's got to be Maupay playing off him.

Darren Hind
39 Posted 16/02/2023 at 16:33:01
We all know the club should have signed strikers, but they didnt. Dyche will have to somehow find a way of winning at least six games with what is available.

Cloughie would often put his center halves up front when he was out of options. I wonder if playing MK or big Yerry up front has crossed Dyche's mind ?

I kinda skipped over suggestions on here a few weeks back that we try to put one of the center halves up front...But that was then. We grow increasingly desperate.

I would personally go for Simms, but I wouldnt be at all surprised if Dyche asks one of his defenders to try to do a Mick Lyons.

Bill Gall
40 Posted 16/02/2023 at 16:33:46
Well that puts another nail in the coffin, it looks as though he may not be fit for a few more games, I don't know about the chairman and board being frightened to come to Goodison, they should be ashamed of how this once proud club is being driven to its knees by pure incompetence from them, backed by a Owner who I doubt could run a stall in Kirkby Market plus hiring and firing managers to paper over their negligence.
James Hughes
41 Posted 16/02/2023 at 16:46:30
There are some disgraceful comments on this thread and for the people making them, well I just hope you never have the same mental health issues.

The young man has been expected to lead our front line for a good few years and mostly without support or a mentor apart from Dunc. Yet you want to slate him for not being fit to play. The man has already been on record saying he has struggled mentally being injured and he is also aware that he is our only option up front.

Might be a big burden for Him

So for some to say cancel his contract or he injured his skirt !! beggars belief

Glassar I expect better from you I always thought you were well rounded
Nick Page just fucking behave mate

John Charles
42 Posted 16/02/2023 at 16:46:49
Not the lads fault but this might be the straw that breaks our backs and sends us down. I just can’t see us scoring.
DCL hasn’t really scored many for a long while but his presence is essential to the way we want to play.
We should have cashed in when (and if) we had any chance and reinvested (hahaha).
Hoping that we at least match them for effort on Saturday. Sitting in the park end could do without them having anything to cheer.
Barry Hesketh
43 Posted 16/02/2023 at 16:56:22
All options being explored by the club in relation to Calvert-Lewin. Including insurance on the player.

Injury looks like it’s with him for the rest of his career now and will need careful management. Source: Watched Toffee Twitter.

I read this tweet prior to Dyche's revelation that DCL would be out of Saturday's game. I'm still unsure what he means by all options explored including insurance on the player? More penny-pinching or just the usual protocol?

Colin Glassar
44 Posted 16/02/2023 at 16:57:00
Robert 22, it was reported by one of those football bloggers that Dyche was overheard saying DCL has decided (in his head) that he’s not fit enough to play and doesn’t want to aggravate his “injury”.

Probably BS but like I said, Sturridge was another one who convinced himself he was always injured.

Btw, I’ve been a massive DCL fan so I’m not bashing him.

Kieran Kinsella
45 Posted 16/02/2023 at 16:57:37
The bottom line as Boba Fett said of Han Solo "He's no good to me dead." We need to accept that he will likely be frozen in carbonite for the rest of the season and get past this mentality of "maybe Dom will be back," before every game. Even if he is, he likely will take a while to find his form.
Sean Roe
46 Posted 16/02/2023 at 16:58:07
Is Steve Watson available? We could do with a swiss army knife player.
Barry Hesketh
47 Posted 16/02/2023 at 17:00:39
We could have done with that Swiss army knife in those gun-fight days, Sean, at least we would have had options.
Nick Page
48 Posted 16/02/2023 at 17:02:22
Hope they insured his skirt. And his nails and his lashes too.

That ones for you James.

Brent Stephens
49 Posted 16/02/2023 at 17:07:05
Danny #12 "I'm spending another day at of my life and a lot of my money to follow our team on Saturday. I will leave at an early hour and get home late."

You're not on your own. Many blues do the same week in and week out. The hope keeps us going.

Lenny Kingman
50 Posted 16/02/2023 at 17:14:16
Simms has been playing almost non stop for 2 years now. Helping Blackpool to Wembley a couple of seasons back and promotion to the Championship. Then there was the Hearts gig and then Sunderland.

Now in times of desperation and dire need risks have to be taken. He did ok against the reds the other night considering the circumstances. Time to give him a chance right now and it's up to Dyche to put a formation together that enables Simms to be more effective at this level. It's now or never.

Danny O’Neill
51 Posted 16/02/2023 at 17:16:42
I know Brent.

I feel like I' going through an Everton Menopause right now.

I'll be good come tomorrow and Saturday.

It's Karaoke in the local tonight. That should sort me out..–

Danny Baily
52 Posted 16/02/2023 at 17:27:01
Monday was a big ask but Simms or Gray remain our best bets up top in the centre. I could only see Maupay playing off Simms, but that would mean a start ahead of McNeil, Gray or Iwobi.
Michael Lynch
53 Posted 16/02/2023 at 17:29:27
It's not Dominic's fault, it's entirely the club's fault. They've left us with absolutely no threat having sold Richarlison and Gordon, while they knew that Calvert Lewin was having fitness and injury problems.

Fully fit, Calvert Lewin would be the first name on the team sheet every week. He's a class player. Of course, it might be that he is one of those players who's career is blighted and ultimately cut short by injury. WHich is why our useless, embarrassing, criminally negligent board should have been signing forwards, like every other team seems to have done.

Dyche in his presser was talking about how hard it was to find a forward. Really? How come everyone else seems to have signed dozens of the fuckers while we've signed jack shit.

Mind you, right now, I'd be grateful to have Jack Shit on the bench, rather than two hundred central defenders and our Tom.

Derek Knox
54 Posted 16/02/2023 at 17:46:01
Danny @51, don't be singing any Blues numbers in that Karaoke !

May I suggest Thin Lizzy's " The Boys Are Back In Town " and Elton John's " Saturday Nights (well afternoon, on the pitch) For Fighting " ? Not suggesting fisticuffs v Leeds but Fighting for our Survival and carrying on from the Arsenal match.


Tony McNulty
55 Posted 16/02/2023 at 17:51:50
Why tell the opposition in advance that they won't have to prepare to deal with him and his style of play?

Unless it's a double bluff.

Lenny Fisher
56 Posted 16/02/2023 at 18:07:08
Not been to support this shit show of a club since the Fat Slug brought Beneath us to our club.

Only way to hurt Fat Slug and his mob is to boycott the club on match days.
I been doing it for months and months.

My principals men more to me than attending Goodison.
Have been to watch Chester,Tranmere,and Man City…much more enjoyable.

Vote with your wallet 👹👹👹👹👹👹

Mike Gaynes
57 Posted 16/02/2023 at 18:10:34
I thought Simms did well in the Derby. Ran the channels, won some knockdown headers and laid the ball off nicely a few times. Wouldn't bother me a bit to see him start against Leeds. But my guess is Dyche will pick Gray instead.
Ian Bennett
58 Posted 16/02/2023 at 18:19:18
I just don't have the words 😞
Ian Riley
59 Posted 16/02/2023 at 18:31:59
Just gotta keep going!

Until its over we have hope!

Anyone blaming dyche? Only one willing to take this job on!

Christine Foster
60 Posted 16/02/2023 at 18:33:08
For an hour against Arsenal we looked like a much improved team with a plan, get it wide, put it in early. Without the target man the wide players are pointless. Against the RS we reverted to type and it was dreadful.
The need for someone to cause mayhem is critical, someone who can get stuck into centre backs, hold a ball up for runners and act as a targetman. Without such a player ourwhole tactical foundation is stuffed.
So, if I were in SD shoes I would be looking at giving one of our current centre backs on the bench, a new role. Who could do such a job?

Mina: causes mayhem yet full of effort, certainly a consideration but unknown threat? Fitness an issue but good for an hour.
Holgate: young and fit, experienced but not so great in the air, but could adapt?
Keane: big presence but hardly mobile, knows where the goal is, not short of the odd goal or two.

Point being anyone of the three allows the rest of the team to play in their natural positions which makes the team look more solid as a unit. It's obviously not a preferred option for any, but circumstances need dealing with. We are where we are, the post mortem comes after we are dead, not while we have survival to fight for.

We have inexperienced kids as back up and expect them to be a Rooney overnight and pull the rest of the team out of the crap. It's not going to happen. Bringing in a free agent is not an option because they won't be fit enough to make a difference, remember Rondon?

Frankly, roll the Dyche, tinkering with formations with the same players will fail. As every single bloody manager has found out to his cost for the past 7 years.

We all know why we are here, we have all been quick enough to point the finger at players, managers or the board, with various degrees of justification I might add, but we have probably the best manager for the position we are in and he needs to forget the hype and put an effective unit out. The are footballers, mostly very experienced. I would gather the centre backs together and ask them, I need a centre forward, which one of you thinks they can do a job?
Ridiculous? Yes, absurd to expect? Probably. Effective? Possibly. Pointless? No.
For the good of the team.

Kunal Desai
61 Posted 16/02/2023 at 18:37:17
I imagine we'll see very little of DCL for the remainder of the campaign. We need a run of games from him that would aid us hugely to stay up. Dyche is going to have to yield points by working on a system to accomodatate Simms, Maupay and Gray.

Lets hope Newcastle are daft yet again to throw us another £45 million in the summer.

Christopher Timmins
62 Posted 16/02/2023 at 18:40:22
No point feeling sorry for ourselves, circle the wagons and get on with it!

Brian Hennessy
63 Posted 16/02/2023 at 18:45:00
Would love to see Gray and Simms up front. I think Simms deserves a run of games to see what he can do and Gray I thought did relatively well on Monday when he came on.

I don't expect Coady to be dropped but I would love to see how Mina and Tarks got on together and would certainly add to our threat at set pieces.

Dave Lynch
64 Posted 16/02/2023 at 18:53:54
Laughable on one hand, criminal on one hand...Everton that...on the other hand.

If I was Dyche I'd be fucking livid, not the trpe of player you need in a dog fight, and a dog fight we are in.

I've said it before, lose against Leeds and we're virtually EPL history.

Teams around us "will" win games, they have strikers, we don't, I cant for the life of me see anyway out of this for us, especially after the Liverpool game.

If/when we go down it will be the greatest tragedy since Hamlet.

Dave Abrahams
65 Posted 16/02/2023 at 18:54:48
Ellis Simms might do a job upfront but not on his own, it’s a thankless task that very experienced strikers find it hard ploughing alone for little reward, he has to have someone working in tandem with him, maybe Michael Keane as others have mentioned, clutching at straws but we paid a lot of money for a converted full back once upon a time and he scored plenty, Fred Pickering, Cometh the hour cometh the man, Ben Godfrey ? bustling and hassling and making space and time for others in the opponents penalty area.
Rob Halligan
66 Posted 16/02/2023 at 19:03:42
Kunal, there is not a cat in hells chance of Newcastle, or anyone else for that matter, taking DCL off us next summer, certainly not for £45M. For a start, it looks like he would not pass any medical at another club any time soon, and as he is still under contract with us until June 2025, it looks like he would only leave on a free, but even then he’s still got to pass a medical. If, as Barry says @ # 43, the club are looking at all options, including an insurance claim, then it doesn’t look good for DCL.
Kieran Kinsella
67 Posted 16/02/2023 at 19:11:34

I don't know, there's a chance the Rag n' Bone man may find some use for him. Or part of him.

Brian Harrison
68 Posted 16/02/2023 at 19:32:10
Really disappointing that DCL wont be fit to face Leeds, I thought his 70 minutes against Arsenal was one of his best displays for a long time. He put their CBs under real pressure and with a bit of luck may have got on the end of Onana,s ball into the box. I genuinely thought that Sean Dyche had said to Dominic give me everything you have got for 70 minutes and then I will pull you out. So to hear that he didnt train for the days following the Arsenal game was massively disappointing, as I think a fit DCL and the way Dyche wants to set us up was ideal for Dominic.

I have to say I was puzzled by the comments by Sean Dyche at todays press conference when asked about DCLs injury. He said " The root of the problem is pretty easy from the medical side of things. Now its just a case of time. Facts are facts and Dom's not available so we have to focus on the other players". Surely if the problem is easy for the medical team, then why is this problem still persisting, after all its been going on since August.

Ernie Baywood
69 Posted 16/02/2023 at 19:36:53
To be fair, a proper football club might fancy their chances of getting him fit. Might be a worthwhile gamble.

Whereas we managed to claim only two weeks ago that "Dom is probably closer than he thinks he is". 60 minutes of football later he was back on the injury list.

We just get everything wrong.

Barry Hesketh
70 Posted 16/02/2023 at 19:48:50
Rob @66
I'm as mystified as you are as to what @watchedtoffee meant by the insurance bit of his post. Could it possibly be that if we risk Dominic playing, then he wouldn't be covered by the Insurance company?
Alec Gaston
71 Posted 16/02/2023 at 19:50:06
Christine I agreed the least tinkering with the rest of the team the better - time for a gamble
Kieran Kinsella
72 Posted 16/02/2023 at 20:00:11

There's insurance clubs can claim for wages when players are injured for a long time. But there's also the insurance clubs can claim if they think a player is finished. Remember Marco Branca of Boro and Casiraghi of Chelsea? Both kept getting injured and their clubs were able to terminate their contracts and get insurance for them. The players lost wages and weren't able to play again as post the insurance pay out it's kind of like when a car is a "write off." Both Branca and Casiraghi unsuccessfully sued for lost wages.

Tony Abrahams
73 Posted 16/02/2023 at 20:00:50
That was the new managers assessment after seeing DCL, in training, and possibly also witnessing his recovery after doing the bleep test, Ernie.

Dominic looked good against Arsenal, and probably ran more than he had ran in any of the previous games he has played in this season?

The scan allegedly showed nothing was wrong, although it’s now nearly two weeks later and Dominic, is still not fit. Treating him with kid gloves hasn’t worked, and has meant his body wasn’t ready for the increased work load. I just hope the rest of the squad are benefiting from being asked to do more physical work, and hopefully this will stand us in good stead, and help the players show that all is not lost just yet.

If we see a team that is fighting, then all is not lost, that’s got to be the most important thing right now.

Peter Neilson
74 Posted 16/02/2023 at 20:03:23
Barry it might be something along those lines. Most players are insured against specific injuries/ailments at the time of their medical, either when joining a new club or signing a new contract. I guess the club is considering whether to make a claim now (but weighing up the associated conditions imposed by the insurer) or to gamble on getting him fit and potentially invalidating any future claim. It’s not just career ending injuries that are insured.
Geoff Lambert
75 Posted 16/02/2023 at 20:04:51
Geoff Lambert
76 Posted 16/02/2023 at 20:04:51
To be fair he is championship at best.Might as well rest him for the rest of the season and maybe he will show his worth next year helping us to get back in the prem.
Derek Knox
77 Posted 16/02/2023 at 20:09:13
Dominic is changing his name from Calvert Lewinowski, to Calvert Alwaysoffski ! :-)
Rob Halligan
78 Posted 16/02/2023 at 20:09:40
Barry,I don’t think by playing DCL would invalidate an insurance policy, otherwise he might as well call it a day now and we cash in. I guess the club will do everything in its power to try and get him fully fit and playing again. There may well come a time when DCL and/or the club think its in the players best interests to call it a day, though I do remember Mark Higgins back in the 80’s being advised to pack in through injury, and if I’m not mistaken, an insurance claim was paid out, only to have to be repaid a while later when mark Higgins somehow got himself fit and went on to play for Man Utd.
Alan McGuffog
79 Posted 16/02/2023 at 20:38:56
When we are playing Blackburn next year he'll be like a new signing.
Paul Birmingham
80 Posted 16/02/2023 at 20:42:01
Rob, yep Mark Higgins, was a strange case in them days, as he did play for United for a few seasons, and went to Bury, after retiring from Everton in. 1984.

But its my hunch, and I hope I’m wrong, that this is a managed decline of his fitness, which could lead to his early retirement to pursue other less physically demanding careers.

Duncan McDine
81 Posted 16/02/2023 at 20:42:12
FFS. If we stand any chance whatsoever of staying up, he needs to start playing through these niggles.
Tony Everan
82 Posted 16/02/2023 at 20:42:53
Christine, 60. It’s unbelievable it’s come to this but what you are advocating has to be under consideration.

What is clear is that the team needs to be set up as the Arsenal match to function. Any diversion from the 451 will come unstuck. Carlo knew it and it worked for him, Dyche immediately knew it too.

I am concerned about Simms having the aerial ability and experience to win headers and hold the ball up. It’s a big task for him under huge pressure. The dream scenario would be he copes with it well and we win.

It’s a situation I’m glad that I’m not having to decide selections up front. Out of the three CBs you’ve mentioned I’d probably go for Keane and have Maupay playing off him tasked with winning every knockdown and second ball.

Joe McMahon
83 Posted 16/02/2023 at 21:09:42
Alan, don't forget Plymouth, and I feel we'll have to get used to it, as Burnley overtake us, joining an ever growing list of clubs.

What would Everton do?

Nick Page
84 Posted 16/02/2023 at 21:33:14
I sincerely hope everyone, every single Evertonian is up for the protests against Good Times Kenwright this weekend. What an appalling state of affairs, that was completely avoidable. Shameful
Derek Knox
85 Posted 16/02/2023 at 22:06:15
Nick @ 84, I will be very surprised if The Maggot turns up this week-end along with L'il Miss Dynamite and sycophant Sharp. He didn't seem to bother turning up at Anfield, though, his Spiritual Home on Monday evening.
Jerome Shields
86 Posted 16/02/2023 at 22:06:34
Wish Calvert Lewin well in his recovery.Simms will probably get another run out.Making your debut in a Derby game is difficult.Did Ok.He should be better second time out against Leeds.
Robert Tressell
87 Posted 16/02/2023 at 22:10:04
Food for thought, but if Allardyce was in charge he'd set us up in a 4411 / 451 something like this:

Holgate / Coleman
Mina (if fit)
Keane / Holgate (holding mid)
Gueye / Garner
Iwobi / Gray (right wing)
McNeil (left wing)
Onana (Fellaini style 2nd striker)
Simms / Maupay

There's a lot of height in that side for set pieces - which is our best goal threat.

When in possession, Onana would play right up against their CBs to win the header with Maupay or Simms fighting for the 2nd ball.

Out of possession Onana would tuck back in to give us a good 451 defensive shape.

I expect Dyche will do similar but might try Simms and Maupay as a double act before using Onana this way.

Alan McGuffog
88 Posted 16/02/2023 at 22:13:52
Robert...bloody hell...is there a question over Mina's fitness ? I'll go t' foot of our stair
Jerome Shields
89 Posted 16/02/2023 at 22:21:05

Actually not a bad formation for Premiership survival.

Andy Crooks
90 Posted 16/02/2023 at 22:25:29
Our predicament is entirely down to ineptitude from the club. The player is injured and the foaming at the mouth bile from sad specimens on this thread is fully expected and says quite a bit about them. A few "in the knows" who know fuck all. Innuendo, spite and bitterness.

Mal van Schaick
91 Posted 16/02/2023 at 22:27:40
Because of a lack of options, Dyche is going to have to formulate a plan to support the striker. Perhaps push Gray into an attacking central midfielder behind the striker.

My other concern would be playing Gana and Doucoure, who produce very little in creativity. Godfreys pace and strength may be an option in midfield.

Home advantage and the Goodson roar may see us over the line against Leeds, with an important three points.

Tony Everan
92 Posted 16/02/2023 at 22:31:50
Robert, that’s a good assessment, it makes sense to me the Onana / Fellaini role. Think this will happen with Simms up top to give more height and physicality than Maupay or Gray.
Andy Crooks
93 Posted 16/02/2023 at 22:34:10
"Dyche was overheard saying", " cancel his contract",for the love of fuck, remember you are saying this out loud.
Barry Hesketh
94 Posted 16/02/2023 at 22:41:42
Andy @93
I've looked up and down this thread and I can't find a poster using the quote you seemingly refer to, unless of course it's been deleted?
Brendan McLaughlin
95 Posted 16/02/2023 at 22:48:09
Barry #94

That's Andy's bedroom chat!

Barry Hesketh
96 Posted 16/02/2023 at 23:00:27
Dyche said: “I’ve got to learn about his history, his physiological history. I’ve got to learn what his body will and won’t take, which is what we are trying to do now. We’re speaking to him, the medics, the sports scientists, looking at the stats, training programmes, distance covered, high-speed running, how many kms in a week, what’s his diet like, what’s his lifestyle like, what car does he drive, what mattress does he use, how many hours does he sleep a night?

“That’s learning about people. The biggest learning is what is in here [points to his head] and that’s the hard part. I’ll get all the information I can and then share it with him. That’s the process for every player, by the way, not just him.”

Dyche believes Calvert-Lewin’s determination to play with injury has contributed to the frequent setbacks. “I don’t think he’s been properly fit throughout this situation because of his own will and demand to keep playing. Some players don’t realise until afterwards that they’ve put so much demand on themselves and they weren’t quite ready. We have to align the process of getting the injury right and him completely right so that he doesn’t break down and he can keep going. But that’s what you try to do with every player.” Source: Guardian

Jonathan Oppenheimer
97 Posted 16/02/2023 at 23:00:59
I’ve never tried to play the manager game, but what the hell? A 4-5-1
Davies (central)
Onana (central)
Gray (right)
Iwobi (central)
McNeil (left)

It’s time for Gana to sit. Iwobi needs to be in the middle of the park to succeed. Gray is our most dangerous player right now, even if he’s not the most prolific in front of goal. We need more speed and height, and it’s a close call between Mina’s height and Godfrey’s speed, but might as well take a shot with one or the other over Coady. I give the edge to Mina because our best chance is a headed goal. I agree that Simms wasn’t half bad last week, especially in the air, which people said he didn’t have in his game, at least from winning flick-ons if not scoring goals — so we play him again. Bring Maupay on at 60 to wreak havoc, and apparently he likes to score against Leeds. I know people hate on Tom, but to me he deserves a shot, and I’m done believing that Gana will be the Gana of old; he never had a pass in him, but now he’s also lost a step.

Mostly I haven’t a clue, because we’re in a world of hurt without Dom. Need to find a way, somehow.

Bill Gienapp
98 Posted 16/02/2023 at 23:08:58
Just when I thought this season couldn't get more farcical, we've reached the "our Premier League survival now hinges on Dominic Calvert-Lewin's mattress" stage of the campaign.
Neil Carter
99 Posted 16/02/2023 at 23:21:25
Time to concentrate on what happens on the pitch and not use an injured player as an excuse for poor performances.
Get the gloves on and get started on Saturday.
Rob Dolby
100 Posted 16/02/2023 at 23:33:06
We may as well write DCL off this season. He has had an injury similar to Gbamin and has tried to get back asap without proper rehab.

Godfrey Tarkowski Mina Mykolenko
Garner Onana iwobi Gana Doucoure

We know Leeds are full of energy but lack goals similar to ourselves. It will be important to win that midfield battle.

Tony Everan
101 Posted 16/02/2023 at 23:33:10

Bill, He’s now got all the info about Dom’s mattress, but needs to sleep on it.

Vijay Nair
102 Posted 16/02/2023 at 23:40:21
I said it then and I'll say it again now...we should have sold DCL at the time, not Richarlison.

Anyway it is what it is. We need to play two up front with Simms and Maupay. I would sacrifice Doucoure to give the young lad some support up front. Would also play Gray instead of McNeil.

Derek Knox
103 Posted 16/02/2023 at 23:42:47
Tony @ 101, phew, at least there was no pillow talk ! :-)
Si Cooper
104 Posted 16/02/2023 at 23:46:23
Barry (94), posts 4, 8 and 44 may need another look.
Bill Gienapp
105 Posted 17/02/2023 at 00:26:45
Tony (101) --

Dyche: Where did you get this mattress, Dom?

DCL: You're not going to believe it, someone just left it lying on the curb! If you turn it over, you can't even see the rips or stains!

Jamie Sweet
106 Posted 17/02/2023 at 00:58:34
Fucking hell, some of you need to give your heads a good wobble.

Whether Doms issues be mental or physical, one thing is for sure, they aren't intentional. I have nothing but empathy for the lad.

It isn't his fault that our recruitment team have been so utterly incompetent over the last few seasons that there has been so much pressure on our one and only half decent striker to get fit / stay fit, even when made to play minutes that his body wasn't ready to play.

And what the fuck does what he wears off the pitch have to do with football? He could wear Sam Smith's latest number for all I care, so long as he gives 110% on the pitch as he did very recently against Arsenal. Don't suppose many of you were sitting there worrying about his dress sense when he scored possibly the most important goals in the club's history against Palace last season?!

I for one hope he eventually gets over his problems and comes back fitter, stronger, and scoring goals for us again. When that time comes, some of you arseholes won't deserve him.

Martin Mason
107 Posted 17/02/2023 at 01:15:22
Why does it have to be psychological, I ran at a decent level and had a few years of a niggling hamstring that just wouldn't clear. Dom knows his body and he is an incredible athlete, nobody but him understands it.
Sam Mellor
108 Posted 17/02/2023 at 01:16:50
Well said Jamie Sweet.

Do people really think he doesn't care?!

I've had two ACLs that meant I couldn't play for about 18 months each. I hated it and football was just a hobby for me. I wanted to be fit so much but just couldn't be. For a guy who has it as a whole career it must be a nightmare.

Yeah he gets paid a lot but it doesn't mean he doesn't care.

And how him doing fashion shoots or whatever is an issue, I just don't understand. It takes time to recover from big injuries and a mental break from it by doing the fashion stuff is probably more of a help than a hindrance.

Bill Gall
109 Posted 17/02/2023 at 01:37:36
At 82 I have had a few injuries and medical procedures some ii have got over quicker than other people others I have taken longer, the message being, no 2 people are the same that's the beauty of being a human being, whether it is Physical or Mental we all deal with it differently. I cant believe with all the help professional players receive they can fake any injuries, so if the manager says he is unable to play he cant.
Kieran Kinsella
110 Posted 17/02/2023 at 03:13:00
It doesn’t sound good at all if we are scratching around for ergonomic or dietary solutions. It sounds like the injury isn’t the problem, it’s his body as a whole is structurally unsound so he keeps getting injuries. I don’t understand the mental point either. It sounds like Sean is saying it’s all in his head but then he says Dom keeps trying to play. So is he one minute gung-ho then suddenly crying off? Very puzzling but if we are looking for solutions based on his sleep pattern on leg room in his car it sounds like we’ve exhausted the conventional options and are clinging at straws.
Matt Smith
111 Posted 17/02/2023 at 03:44:42
I have heard about doctors such as US-based Bill Knowles that specialize in getting broken athletes like DCL back on track.

I wonder if the club is considering such measures because whatever it is they've tried thus far doesn't seem to be working.

Bob Parrington
112 Posted 17/02/2023 at 03:48:30
Christine@60 I wrote something similar on another thread a week or two ago. It's worked before. I suggested Cody to go up front and maybe bring Keane in again as a CD. others might disagree but the thrust of the suggestion has some merit IMO
Ernie Baywood
113 Posted 17/02/2023 at 04:04:57
I hope Dyche is great, I hope he can galvanise the players, the fans, the whole club. Play a bit of simple football, scrap out some wins and keep us in the top league.

But I also wish he'd shut up. He sounds like someone trying to sound like a genius. Or trying to prove he's more than people generally think he is. It's in a very similar vein, to be honest, to Sam and his sports science. The only thing Dyche loves more than a stat is telling us that he loves a stat.

Here's a stat. We've got the lowest goals scored in the league.

2 weeks ago him and his team had all the answers to Dom based on just a few days. Now the guy is broken again and he and his team have all the answers again - they're just completely different answers. It's gone from being in his head to in his bed.

Just get on with managing the team and leave the self marketing until you keep us up. Every Evertonian will help by telling the world how great you are.

No-one else sees through this?

Phil Smith
114 Posted 17/02/2023 at 04:14:42
Just watched the Leverkusen vs Monaco game. We should be signing Florian Wirtz in the summer. 19 and skillful as hell. Also injury prone. He’s perfect for us! Seriously though, what a player.
Ernie Baywood
115 Posted 17/02/2023 at 04:22:58
Anyway, moving past the press conference stuff.

We have to find a way to score goals. Same problem, same problem, same problem.

Our midfield is pretty poor. The answer to that seems to be to play an extra player in there. But it's where we take that player from that is the problem. We don't have a striker who can play on their own. We can't keep playing one up front.

We also can't keep on expecting Seamus to roll back the years. He can't. And we need to outright give up on Mykolenko. I've no idea what his level is but it's not this.

We don't really have the luxury of thinking what we'd like to do. The team is just so poor and under resourced.

By virtue of eliminating things we just can't do anymore, I get to a 3-5-2.

Godfrey, Coady, Tarkowski
Wing backs - Iwobi and McNeill (yeah I don't know either, but isn't it worth a go?)
Onana, Gueye, pick one more
Maupay (what choice do we have?) and Gray (again, who else can score a goal?)

Instead of playing 5 in midfield and hoping they can link up with a non-linkable attack (they can't)... why not wing backs? We increase the quality in the team. If it means we concede more, well we might have to live with that because I'm pretty certain that we won't stay up at the rate we're scoring at.

And for those who say "what about the Arsenal game?" - the last 30 against Arsenal were terrible. You wouldn't want to repeat that.

Derek Knox
116 Posted 17/02/2023 at 05:46:41
Talking of Stats, I was reading somewhere that we score less goals, when the temperature is around zero degrees, slightly more when above that, and most when it is between 12 and 20 degrees.

I think it must have been a Thermo-Stat ! :-)

Andy Finigan
117 Posted 17/02/2023 at 07:17:07
Ernie 115 that's similar to what I have been thinking, just add Davies to the midfield and there's your team for Sat.
Christine Foster
118 Posted 17/02/2023 at 07:19:05
Bob, Tony, I know its a throwback to the Mick Lyons days but the point is we need someone upfront to upset the applecart, make holes, drag players, lay off, hold up.. Simms isn't there and Maupay never will be..
There is no point playing McNeil and Gray when they have only one trick in their bag, Gray, cut inside and shoot, McNeil, head for the line and cross...to er..
We need a target for the rest of the team to perform.
Frank Sheppard
119 Posted 17/02/2023 at 07:22:04
I don’t think the same back 4 that were at Anfield will play.
Time for Gray to get a start, and possibly have 2 up front.
Danny O’Neill
120 Posted 17/02/2023 at 07:34:17
It's not like we've not done it before, even in relatively recent times, we played Steve Watson up front.

Personal view, I thought Simms done okay on Monday night. He just needed someone to play off him, which he didn't have.

Gray in a more central role or Maupay, who himself has cut a lone figure for most of the season?

Darren Hind
121 Posted 17/02/2023 at 07:37:28
Mike 57

I'm not sure I agree with you about Simms doing well at Anfield, but I fully understand your point.

He was thrown into the most hostile of situations and was given nothing whatsoever to work with. He did ok under the circumstances - I think thats what you meant. Does he deserve another shot ?. I think he does.

Playing in front of a raucous Goodison for a team being urged to get forward and support him would be a totally different ball game to the soul destroying task he was given the other night.

You never can tell whether a boy cant make the leap to first team football until you have given him his shot. He may not be good enough, but we now have very
knowledgeable posters giving serious consideration to playing one of the center halves up top.

I have sympathy for DCL, but he doesnt look capable of putting two games together. we have got to find a solution to his continued absence... Lets try the obvious one first

Danny O’Neill
122 Posted 17/02/2023 at 07:45:22
Derek Knox, I've used it before on here, but my Everton Karaoke tune would be I never promised you a Rose Garden.

There has to be a little rain sometimes.

Just not a constant downpour!!

Brian Keating
123 Posted 17/02/2023 at 08:14:01
People saying we should cancel DCLs contract should be ashamed of themselves. We scream and cry about loyalty when I player wants to leave, but that goes both ways.

The fella has serious problems, made worse by wanting to play when not fully recovered. Let's show him some loyalty in the hope he gets fit and well again.

Peter Neilson
124 Posted 17/02/2023 at 08:21:24
Personally I don’t buy the theory that DCL suddenly just doesn’t fancy playing after averaging over 40 appearances 4 seasons running (Sturridge managed this one season out of fifteen). When he has returned I’ve not seen a lack of effort just match sharpness. It’s the clubs fault that he’s our only experienced striker.

Simms didn’t do much in the derby but it was a tough debut so hopefully he gets another chance. I wonder if players are coached so specifically to their roles now that we’re unlikely to see one of our centre halves do a Mick Lyons.

Derek Knox
125 Posted 17/02/2023 at 08:30:33
Danny @ 122, let's hope it's not a ' Yorkshire Rose Garden ' even a solitary Bluebell will do, Lawro has us down for a 1-1 draw, let's make him eat 'umble pie !
Tony Hill
126 Posted 17/02/2023 at 08:39:51
Simms did ok. I hope Dyche shows some imagination, with the limited resources, tomorrow both in selection and formation.

I would start Gray and Maupay.

Rob Halligan
127 Posted 17/02/2023 at 08:40:20
FFS, how many players do Forest want?………………

Nottingham Forest are attempting to register English defender Steve Cook, 31, back into their squad before facing Manchester City at the weekend. (Telegraph - subscription required)

Rob Halligan
128 Posted 17/02/2023 at 08:43:55
Danny # 120………..Steve Watson played up front and scored a hat trick against Leeds, tomorrow’s opponents. Deja vu tomorrow?
Danny O’Neill
129 Posted 17/02/2023 at 08:44:22
I think they've signed about 30 Rob.


Too many cooks springs to mind.

Derek Knox
130 Posted 17/02/2023 at 08:47:28
Danny and Rob, I heard they want to make him Captain ! I'll get my coat.
Bill Fairfield
131 Posted 17/02/2023 at 09:10:40
It’s the same eleven for me tomorrow,and with the twelfth man behind them,it should be a much improved performance. COYB.
Eddie Dunn
132 Posted 17/02/2023 at 09:19:43
Domenic will be 26 next month so he has a good five or six years of top level football ahead of him, if he stays (gets) healthy.
I wonder if the modern footballer, with his agent and any other personal advisers considers his whole career when deciding whather to "play through" knocks and niggles.
Calvert-Lewin looked fairly ordinary in previous outings this season but did look decent at Old Trafford where his "equalizer" was ruled out for offside.
He was back to his combative best for an hour against the Arsenal but now his demons are back after that exertion.
He has these set backs whenever he goes full-pelt and his dillemma is whether playing through discomfort will ruin his future career.
The club's medical staff can only advise the player on a medical basis and they can't tell if a twinge or ache is going to be a long term issue if the player plays on with it.
If I was Domenic and the medics said "well the pain could be unimportant, and you could play on and it hopefully won't get worse, or it could lead to a chronic condition and finish your career if not managed properly now". Then I would err on the side of caution.
It's tough for us but other clubs have had strikers on the treament table very regularly( Ings, Antonio, Jesus, Wilson, Bamford) the answer, we all know is to have a good alternative.
This is all down to our leaders. With a decent alternative signed two years ago or even last summer then this player might have been rehabilitated by now and be ready to play fully fit.
Robert Tressell
133 Posted 17/02/2023 at 09:24:54
Some rare sense being talked there Eddie. I remember Michael Ball being finished by about age 22 after repeated painkiller injections into his knee to get him playing.

You an add Owen, Carroll, Ashton, Bridges, Duncan Ferguson etc etc to a long list of injury plagued strikers.

Christopher Timmins
134 Posted 17/02/2023 at 09:31:21
Let's hope for another Arsenal type performance tomorrow, hopefully, we can nick a 1 - 0.

I think Gray or Maupay have got to start, hopefully playing just off Simms. I expect we will defend deep in order to counter their pace.

Must not lose this one!

Duncan McDine
135 Posted 17/02/2023 at 09:32:17
Sorry to piss on anyone’s chips, but I’ve skimmed the comments and see more than one suggesting that Simms did ok. In what way did he do ok? He was dreadful, which is understandable for a young lad thrown into the deep end, but to suggest that he did ok is mental. Unfortunately our so called senior players were also useless - that is not forgivable.

The club have fucked us by not securing a proper centre forward. Simms is out of his depth (if the derby is anything to go by) and it’s criminal that he’s been put in this position. That just leaves Maupay and Gray… oh dear.

Brian Harrison
136 Posted 17/02/2023 at 09:36:11
I cant help but feel sorry for Sean Dyche, I doubt if he has ever had the problems he has here. His main striker is struggling with fitness that leaves him a striker who has scored 1 in his last 27 games or a young kid who has been on loan to Hearts and Sunderland. At Burnley he had about 4 strikers and he comes to a supposedly bigger club and has so few options to try and get this club to safety.
Mark Andrews
137 Posted 17/02/2023 at 09:56:11
I find it odd that we call Simms 'a kid' when he's the same age as Haaland and has played first team football for the last few seasons.
He's not DCL, he's not a target man. Why did the ub use him in the last game as one.
It seems our club is set up to provide opportunities for a striker who rarely plays, that's weird. If we're looking for a traditional CF like DCL, why didn't we buy one, we've had 2 windows to do this or change our style of play to suit the limited options available.
I honestly think the seige mentality of the 'grown ups' has blinded them to the parlours state of the club. We're blindly stepping into the precipice.
Roger Helm
138 Posted 17/02/2023 at 10:53:39
This is a six pointer for sure. I am half-resigned to relegation, but is we can’t even beat a rudderless shambles like Leeds then I will be three-quarters-resigned.

If we do manage a win, perhaps Sean Dyche can somehow fashion a silk purse out of the pig’s ear which is Everton. How, I have no idea. Our problem all season has been scoring goals, but the club negligently has failed to address the issue. Neither Simms nor Maupay can play as a lone striker and there is no CF for them to play off. Neither do we have the passing ability to unlock defences. The Mick Lyons option is all I can think of, and that doesn’t inspire confidence.

Laurie Hartley
139 Posted 17/02/2023 at 10:56:27
Would it be fair to say that Gray and McNeill are the only two players we have who can possibly score from outside the box? I thinks so.

I also agree we need a target man up front who can win an arial duel so I think Keane is worth a try in that spot. He would also be an additional threat at corners.

Consequently I would play McNeill on the left and Gray on the right of a midfield 5.

Coleman, Coady*, Tarkowski, Mykolenko
Gray, Doucoure, Gueye, Onana, McNeill,

Denis Richardson
140 Posted 17/02/2023 at 11:13:31
This isn't DCLs fault. At the end of the day he's been asked to be our main (and often only) striker for a long time, even when we've known about his injury issues.

The club could and should have signed another decent striker a long long time ago and so have not just a 2nd option but also some competition up front. I'm sure it would help DCL if he didn't think he'd walk straight back in when fit and also it would help him knowing there was less pressure on him to rush back before he was 100% ready. He'd also be able to have a break more often hence meaning he's fit more often!

All the above has been written about numerous times on this site and I'm sure discussed thousands of times down the pub and at the games - the powers that be have been utterly blind to the fact or simply not reacted.

Now we have a massive game at home with an Oompa Loompa leading the line.

Just hope Dyche goes two up top as neither Simms nor Maupay on their own are gong to trouble the Leeds defence. This is a real must win for me given remaining games and not knowing when DCL will be fit. Going to be another behind the sofa affair watching through fingers.

Mike Doyle
141 Posted 17/02/2023 at 11:20:11
Roger #138] Mick Lyons is 71 now, so might struggle to get through 90 minutes - but could be useful to come off the bench late on.
Plus he is a free agent and, if called upon, I'm sure would answer the call - and give it a go. I'm sure he'd still cause Leeds a problem at set pieces.
Steve Brown
142 Posted 17/02/2023 at 11:22:27
Now David Harrison has resigned as Director of Football Operations after 27 years. When will this nightmare end?
Steve Brown
143 Posted 17/02/2023 at 11:23:17
The most exciting part of that announcement was I found out we had a Director of Football Operations Then I remembered he was pictured signing all those massive contracts with shite players.
Roger Helm
144 Posted 17/02/2023 at 11:26:07
I don’t know Mike, Mick Lyons wasn’t that good when he was playing, nor did he run around much, but he always gave 100 per cent. I reckon if the club can get his registration through in time, he would do a better job than the present lot. It’s worth a try.
Geoff Lambert
145 Posted 17/02/2023 at 11:26:31
Geoff Lambert
146 Posted 17/02/2023 at 11:26:31
Where are the goals going to come from? Need lots of clean sheets if we are going to survive.
On another point I see our club secretary of 27 years David Harrison has been poached by Man Utd.
Danny O’Neill
147 Posted 17/02/2023 at 11:32:47
We go to Goodison tomorrow and many others will be watching from around the country and getting up at ridiculous times around the globe.

The board can show up if they have the balls and any decency about them.

We will as always, They'll only get shouted at just as you would do in any pub near Country Road, which I guess they've never visited. Not head locked or physically assaulted. Do they really not understand Evertonians despite claiming to be one of us? We might be a ferocious bunch and I get reminded of that a lot by my wife. But we aren't violent. Look across the park for that.

Focused on the team, whoever is playing. It doesn't matter to me. 10 blue shirts out there that need us. And they have us.

Sorry, getting emotional again ahead of tomorrow.

Kevin Prytherch
148 Posted 17/02/2023 at 11:52:50
So we clamour for Simms to play, we give him 60 minutes in the derby with absolutely no support whatsoever, and then write him off and want to throw a centre back up front instead?

Makes sense.

Gray’s fairly quick - let’s put him at centre back because Tarks and Coady are a bit slow…

Christy Ring
149 Posted 17/02/2023 at 12:00:51
Jamie Sweet@106 Great post. Calvert-Lewin has been overused when he’s not fully fit, because the club didn’t buy another target man, o ye we bought Rondon, and Benitez still playing Dom when he was carrying an injury. Martinez did the same with McCarthy, and Joe Royle cost Joe Parkinson his career, constantly playing him, and his cartilage in shit. It’s good to see Dyche and the medical staff not playing DCL until fully fit mentally and physically, hopefully fairly quickly. It was a baptism of fire for Simms playing as alone striker, out of his depth, but would be a lot better with Maupay beside him, in my opinion.
Raymond Fox
150 Posted 17/02/2023 at 12:07:46
I would like to be positive about this game but I'm struggling.
We have lost to most if not all the teams around us at home so far and here comes ditto - Leeds.
I desperately hope I'm wrong and we win which is entirely possible, but how can you be positive about with this team especially with DCL missing again.

If we win great, a draw wouldn't be a disaster but lose and we are staring down an abyss.
Granted I'm of the half empty persuasion but as a form man I don't like this game at all.

Barry Rathbone
151 Posted 17/02/2023 at 12:12:32
Quite like the idea of a Mina or any of the tall guys up front heading it down for others to run onto. In previous eras it was the way to go AND it stops the pissing about in defence and midfield we're so crap at whilst injecting some urgency.

Liverpool built a bloody empire on it with Toshack and Keegan.

DCL being in a coma could be the saving of us.

Dave Abrahams
152 Posted 17/02/2023 at 12:25:43
Kevin (148), yes Ellis Simms had no chance playing upfront on his own but I think fans suggesting playing a big centre back as a striker mean alongside either Simms or Maupay, at least I did when I suggested it!!
Tony Everan
153 Posted 17/02/2023 at 12:38:39

I liked Robert’s suggestion yesterday of pushing Onana up like Moyes played Fellaini. Winning headers with Simms running onto the knockdowns and getting his shot in. A direct game that tries to play to the strengths of the players available. Dyche will want the physical presence and height up front so he may try this.

Mike Doyle
154 Posted 17/02/2023 at 12:43:33
Steve #143] I was thinking that too. However now that these days we never seem to sign any players he may have felt his role was redundant and it was a good time to move on.
Surprised he hasn't gone to Forest or Chelsea. They are always signing players - that would have kept him match fit.
Danny Baily
155 Posted 17/02/2023 at 12:56:47
Raymond 150, if we win tomorrow then we're right back in the fight to stay up. The Arsenal result has made this possible. But I've been wearing the sandwich board of doom for over a month now. There's just too much riding on the upcoming fixtures, and absolutely no room for us to put a foot wrong (which we of course will).
Dave Abrahams
156 Posted 17/02/2023 at 13:01:57
Tony(153)Yes sounds okay on paper Tony because I thought Fellaini was pretty good as an auxiliary striker but I think he was a lot more involved in the game than Onana appears to be, he drifts in and out of the game for long periods although the position we are in everything has to be considered in order to get those vital points that will keep us safe.
Robert Tressell
157 Posted 17/02/2023 at 13:02:18
Tony, in times of (footballing) desperation I ask myself "what would Sam Allardyce do?"

That's where the Onana / Fellaini thing comes in. He's still a midfielder but he just plays right up against the opposition backline when we're in possession.

From a defensive point of view Onana is one of the top 5 most effective headers of the ball in world football under 25 (or something like that - see the CIS football observatory if interested). So he should be a decent target man to play off. The main thing is to get bodies around him so we can win the 2nd ball.

A CB at CF is something to try in the last 5 or so minutes if all else fails. Mina and Keane can head a ball but there's a lot more to CF play than that.

Including a CB at full back or midfield might work too though to give extra height at set pieces.

Danny O’Neill
158 Posted 17/02/2023 at 13:21:52
There are very few successful teams that succeed without a striker or strikers leading the line.

It's very telling that Dyche in his first two games has opted for deep hit corners aimed at our centre backs. Tarkowski scored a winner and rattled the post.

So we we are effectively already playing our centre backs up front when we get a set piece opportunity. That's not new or footballing science.

But relying on them or expecting them to play up front is not a strategy.

We have Simms and Maupay until DCL comes back. Just get them and Gray playing off each other. Don't leave the main striker as lonely as a lighthouse in Cornwall..

Christopher Timmins
159 Posted 17/02/2023 at 13:52:07
If DCL, Simms, Maupay and Gray with a little help from Onana and the Duke cannot score the goals over the remainder of the season to keep us up then we are done, you can only expect defenders to chip in with one or two goals at most, the idea of playing a defender up top, it's not going to work.

Danny are we going to beat them by 3 - 0 as we did this time last year?

Danny O’Neill
160 Posted 17/02/2023 at 13:57:10
Sorry, I'm off and in the zone.

They had best have the decency to show up tomorrow.

Bournemouth times two and West Ham away, I was there. Earlier matches this season too. Three trips to my home city in the last month as well as a stopover in Manchester for the FA Cup when I had no hotel so sat and waited for an early plane..

Another one tomorrow.

God knows how many miles that adds up to. I don't care. It doesn't matter.

Again, not the big I am, but when the supporers make the effort, the very least you can expect is for the board to do likewise. Not shy away.

Sorry I'm emotional, but I will be up for tomorrow and be right behind them as always.

Joe McMahon
161 Posted 17/02/2023 at 14:07:22
Danny you are either the world's greatest Evertonian (shock horror it's not Kenwright), or you are insane.

I feel however it's a bit of both 🤫

Brian Harrison
162 Posted 17/02/2023 at 14:10:12
Many and varied opinions of who to play up front, I think if anything highlights how poor Lampard was it was to leave us in this position. He saw the problem with DCLs injuries last year, and up to him breaking down again prior to this season starting Lampard still didnt go and buy a striker instead still believed Chelsea would let him take Broja on loan. When he eventually realised that wasn't going to happen he signed Maupay, not Maupay,s fault that he is not equipped to play as the lone striker. Lets also not forget that Lampard instead of getting a striker in once DCL was injured instead played 5 games with either McNeil or Gordon as the lone striker. Who in the right mind would think that was even a possibility to succeed.

I have no idea whether Sean Dyche with such limited attacking options can gain enough points for us to survive, but what is abundantly clear is we have more chance with him in charge that we would have if Lampard was still in charge. Unbelievably up to him being sacked there were still some posting on here we should stick with him.

Brian Harrison
163 Posted 17/02/2023 at 14:18:30
Danny 160

While I can understand your sentiments in hoping that members of the board attend the game tomorrow. I hope they don't, tomorrow will be a tough game and if Leeds were to go in front I could see sections of the crowd letting them know what they think of them if they are there. But we as fans cant be distracted once inside the ground it has to be 100% backing which they always do, but if some members of the board turn up I don't think that may be the case.

Eric Myles
164 Posted 17/02/2023 at 14:25:27
Brian #163, I think Danny was talking about the team, not the board?
Colin Malone
165 Posted 17/02/2023 at 14:54:12
This is the time, when we should be reaping the reward of the youth system.
Thanks Bill and Unsworth. For Fuck all.
Eddie Dunn
166 Posted 17/02/2023 at 14:57:09
Chucking a centreback up top might work in the last twenty minutes of a match where a goal is desperately needed but as a long term fix it is madness.
Imagine suggesting that a striker should play centre half? I know there have been players who are good at both like Chris Sutton and Dion Dublin but it is very rare.
There are players in our squad who can score goals.
Iwobi, Mc Neil, Gray, Maupay, Simms, Doucoure, Tarkowski and Coleman.
We simply have to get bodies in the box and get the ball to them, whether it is via the channels or hoofed long from Pickford.
It ain't rocket science -other teams actually manage it on a regular basis...these are fucking pro footballers.
Danny O’Neill
167 Posted 17/02/2023 at 14:57:44
Totally 100% behind that team tomorrow Brian once they are on the pitch.

Joe, I am no bigger an Evertonian than anyone.

But I'll give you insane.

Bill Gall
168 Posted 17/02/2023 at 17:45:32
I believe that premier league clubs buy players who are used to playing in a certain position, like keeper, full back, winger or striker as these players have played in these positions for their majority of years in the game.
As a couple of supporters have said about moving certain players to fill in for the loss of DCL. It may work or it may not it is just experimental. The point about Simms is no matter about his skill level, playing as a central striker is what he is used to, but only recently with the Everton squad. I don't think that Dyche at this stage of the season will want to experiment and will start with Simms.
The defense needs strengthening and the only change may happen there with Mina being decided over Coady.
Hans Fyhrqvist
169 Posted 17/02/2023 at 17:53:51
Very disappointing that Dominic Calvert-Lewin is absent tomorrow. He has shown many times, as against Arsenal, that he is a top centre-forward, with his good all-round skills and especially his great heading ability.

I think Everton should continue with Ellis Simms up front. That´s because he is also a big target man and imo we need that kind of player when we must make clearances with long balls and when we are putting crosses in the opposition´s box.

What is the most important thing is that the Everton players put in a "never-say-die" attitude and fighting mentality from the first minute to the last and get the home crowd instantly behind them.

Matthew Williams
170 Posted 17/02/2023 at 17:58:15
So we've won, lost...so this one should end in a draw.

It would help our cause greatly if we started Gray for this one.

Can we bring back Branthwaithe and Dobbin too?…methinks we'll need them,only our board could loan them out in the first place... clueless Tossers!

Ernie Baywood
171 Posted 17/02/2023 at 18:00:26
I don't know who the World's Biggest Evertonian is. But I've no doubt they are at least slightly insane.
Mark Taylor
172 Posted 17/02/2023 at 18:44:51
From what I've seen of him, against Liverpool and a little for Sunderland, Simms isn't a target man in the way DCL at his best was. Nor unfortunately does he have as much pace, nor even the ability to hold up play, at least not at this level. Of course it's too early to judge, but he did look very much out of his death v Liverpool.

He does however have half an eye for goal, unproven at this level but even so to a degree exceeding any of our fit players. I don't personally see how he fits in a 2 striker set up with Maupay or Gray. The best of a pretty poor range of options would be Onana doing a Fellaini and Simms hopefully poaching. It's not much of a threat but it might be the best we have.

The other tactical option in semi desperate situations is pace up front and playing long balls through the midfield. But that works best with 2 or even 3 up front and we don't have the players for that. Simms, as mentioned is not fast, McNeil and Maupay are outright slow and Gray is never going to work on his own.

Thank god I'm not Dyche.

Tony Everan
173 Posted 17/02/2023 at 18:45:46
Brian 162

“Lampard instead of getting a striker in once DCL was injured instead played 5 games with either McNeil or Gordon as the lone striker. “

There is some solace in the fact that Sean Dyche would never in a million years let that happen on his watch.

Barry Rathbone
174 Posted 17/02/2023 at 19:10:49
Lose this and mathematically we're not done but emotionally we are. The point has passed of dropping points to relegation peers we either put up or shut up right here right now.
Lewis Barclay
175 Posted 17/02/2023 at 19:37:20
Give Simms and Gray a chance up front, Gray playing just behind Simms with the offer of doing what he likes.
I can’t see much else we have.
Allan Board
176 Posted 17/02/2023 at 20:09:54
To be quite frank- I just wish Evertons player's, manager and staff would just shut the fuck up giving it the usual fucking drivel- and do their talking on the fucking pitch- it would make a refreshing change.
I won't hold my breath though.
Pretentious twats the lot of them.
Andy Crooks
177 Posted 17/02/2023 at 22:38:13
Spot on, Barry @174. This is it, our biggest game.
Paul Birmingham
178 Posted 17/02/2023 at 22:47:47
I expect Leeds to start fast and frenzied tomorrow.

If Everton can show the same resolve as v Arsenal, then I hope Everton can convert their chances and learn from the game on Monday night.

Who starts in attack and what formation is played remains interesting...

Tomorrow is the Saints Day of St Colmán of Lindisfarne.

Hopefully Seamus, with his spirit, will get the support he needs from his teammates, and Everton can grind out a precious 3 points.

Hearts and minds, focus on the match, and beat Leeds.


Kunal Desai
179 Posted 17/02/2023 at 22:57:20
It will take a miracle if we start going 5 or 6 behind the point per game. We need 4 points from Leeds Utd and Aston Villa. There is no flexibility on this. These two fixtures essentially make or break our season.

Getting 18 or 19 points from 24 played is too much of a gap to bridge to attain the required 36 points for survival.

Mike Gaynes
180 Posted 17/02/2023 at 23:10:16
Hey, Lee Mason got fired, so good things do happen sometimes. I smell a victory on that basis alone!
Danny Baily
181 Posted 17/02/2023 at 23:10:17
Kunal, we need 6 points from those two matches, not 4. And we need a few suprise wins at home. This side aren't getting any wins away from Goodison.
Oliver Molloy
182 Posted 17/02/2023 at 23:16:19
100% must-win game.

I reckon we will need a couple of goals to win this, where the fuck they come from — who knows!

Kunal Desai
183 Posted 17/02/2023 at 23:20:34
Danny @184,

The ideal scenario is 6 points and this gives us breathing space; however, we have a poor record against Aston Villa. We've not beaten them in 7 and they've been going along well under Emery up until the last two performances – albeit one was against Man City.

I think a point isn't bad and, if that is the case, then tomorrow is an absolute must-win.

James Stewart
184 Posted 17/02/2023 at 23:27:32
Patterson, Mina, Tarkowski, Godrey,
Gray, Doucoure, Gueye, Onana, McNeil,
Kevin Molloy
185 Posted 17/02/2023 at 23:28:24
This feels all of a sudden like a very high-pressure game. Not quite 'must-win' but definitely 'must not lose'.
Dale Self
186 Posted 17/02/2023 at 23:41:01
Kevin, you also made a good point on another thread that, given Everton's performance vs Arsenal, this is the matchup we want. They will come at us and they are not Arsenal. We can do these. UTFT!!!!

I'm glad there hasn't been too much “6-pointer” talk. It doesn't exist. A certain and direct gain of 3 points is all it is.

Derek Knox
187 Posted 17/02/2023 at 23:43:16
James @ 187, while I share your preference for a now fit again Patterson, (all due respect to Seamus) I would be very surprised to see him start, or even be on the bench, due to the fact he, and James Garner, have played down at Spurs tonight in the U-21 fixture.

As Paul @ 181, said it is, "Tomorrow is the Saints Day of St Colman of Lindisfarne" so fingers and candlesticks and all things crossed tomorrow.

Paul Birmingham
188 Posted 18/02/2023 at 06:03:32
A massive game… and Demari Gray done well v Leeds this and last season, so I hope he gets a starting role today.

Patterson came off last night v Spurs U21s so all being well is available for Villa, another 6-pointer.

Today, Everton can't afford to lose and this could be the battle of the season so far. Hopefully the Everton team turns up and also earns some luck on the park today.

Arguably in the '70s, the dirtiest team around in English football at the time was Leeds. Today, Everton must hold and be strong and have the guile to pick Leeds off.


Bobby Mallon
189 Posted 18/02/2023 at 08:24:10
Coleman should not start today as and neither should Iwobi. I don't care how many assists he has – he's a coward in football terms, won't put a proper tackle in, and gives away silly fouls.

Also Dwight McNeil – he's as bad as Iwobi. Let's get Godfrey, Gray and Mills on the pitch instead.

Danny Baily
190 Posted 18/02/2023 at 08:34:37
Kunal @186, draw either of these and it's over. We need six wins, and these are two of the three winnable games left.

Dale @189, this is the dictionary definition of a six-pointer.

Mark Ryan
191 Posted 18/02/2023 at 09:21:20
Do this for Christian Atsu boys!!

May he RIP

Jerome Shields
192 Posted 18/02/2023 at 09:21:25
It really is a Evertonian thing to obsess over the Centre Forward.We have been all brought up to think of them as superman,a bit like the Geordies obsession with supermac.Any time they where good we had a good team backing them.

Calvert Lewin did play better against Arsenal directed by Dyche before and during the game, roared on by 31000 Evertonians on their feet.But still a times was coming too deep, didn't get into the right attacking position, sometimes being a yard late and missed chances.

Simms in his first Derby looked quite composed doing the right things, with the backing of a below par team.This was because of the exertions of the Arsenal game and Dyche up tempo training.Dyche did make a mistake playing McNeill rather than Gray.

This will be the three week of Dyche training, so the squad should be up to speed.Apparently it takes three weeks for players to adjust to such training.Simms will be playing his second match starting.Dyche will probably start with Gray, but if McNeill starts he will not be getting the same attention as the Derby.

Dyche main problem is how deep the team will want to sit.This is understandable given that they where badly caught out for both Derby goals.So it is how Dyche organises the team for counter attacks that will be important and whether the players buy into it.

All the players and those that manage them at Finch Farm we now know are being scrutinised in detail by Dyche, not just Calver Lewin.I think this will have a marked affect on the players application Lampard was all into his style of play and repetitive practise of it, with details flowcharts prepared by.Dyche is back to the individual player like Ancelotti,but not into the square pegs in round holes approach of Ancelotti, or the dual role emphasis of Silva.

Actually before the Arsenal game I had a sneaking confidence that Everton would do well, but sadly was not brave enough to post it.I also have the feeling that Everton will do ok against Leeds and can't wait the see Onano play.

If only Dyche was brave enough to play him as Robert#85 in his Big Sam paraphrased formation suggestion. That is exactly what Big Sam would do with Onano.He is far better than Walcott being motivated. The Liverpool players where mouthing at him all the time and he was answering back.He gets a badge all day long from me for that.

Must look where Walcott and his millions are now?

Frank Carroll
193 Posted 18/02/2023 at 09:30:43
When I used to play I always hid my injuries so that I could carry on playing, amongst my injuries were; sprained ankles, swollen knees, sprained wrist, dislocated elbow, toothache, being drunk, very tired, ricked neck, broken big toe, two broken ribs, double vision, sciatica, boils on the knees, scurvy, rickets and well it would be easier to say what I didn’t have. Because of all my injuries I found it particularly difficult to achieve any sort of physical fitness. I couldn’t afford shin pads so I used to tape carpet offcuts around my shins which hampered running a little. Things improved a lot when I could afford to buy some glasses. The thing was, I wanted to play, it was what I lived for COYB
Brent Stephens
194 Posted 18/02/2023 at 09:41:40
Frank " I couldn’t afford shin pads so I used to tape carpet offcuts around my shins".

Frank, carpet offcuts? luxury! I could only afford slices of hovis to use as shin pads.

Tony Abrahams
195 Posted 18/02/2023 at 09:46:10
Looking back, then trying to play with a dislocated elbow, was one of the stupidest things I’ve ever done on a football pitch Frank. It was a waste of a player because you need your arms for everything, especially when you are as slow as I was.
Ray Smith
196 Posted 18/02/2023 at 09:46:55
The Battle at Goodison November 1964 was my first game as an Evertonian.
The pride and passion that day of the players and crowd that day is what I want to see minus the unsavoury coin throwing.
Over 40k of us packed in like sardines.
Johnny Giles left his stud marks on Sandy Browns chest, ripping his shirt in doing so. 4 minutes in Sandy Brown sent off for a left hook flooring Giles.
After 10 minutes the ref took the players off threatening to abandon the game due to the violent tackles and rough stuff going in (by both sides). There was also an announcement that if the crowd didn’t stop throwing coins he would abandon the match. Couldn’t hear it at the time, due to the noise, but read it later.
I want to see that level of commitment from the lads today, and we should come out on top.
It goes without saying that the fans will do their bit.
Just over 58 years ago and still going strong(ish), once a blue always a blue.
Brent Stephens
198 Posted 18/02/2023 at 10:02:34
Ray, was that the match Derek Temple was scythed down on the halfway line? A shocking tackle.
Eddie Dunn
199 Posted 18/02/2023 at 10:02:51
Frank/Brent, my mate only had pumps and in the snow he had bread bags over them to keep his feet dry...it never caught-on. We also had a jockey play with us and he had broken nearly every bone in his body..the hardest player I ever came across.
Dave Abrahams
200 Posted 18/02/2023 at 10:18:50
Jerome (197), I don’t want Onana answering opponents back, I want him to concentrate on his game and answer them back with some good hard tackles and a lot more forward runs at their defence, fuck the talk that’s all he did at Anfield on and off the field,some fans seem to think you are a very good player I’m still waiting for you to prove you can play for ninety minutes instead of the twenty five to thirty minutes he has a go for now, and he wasn’t the only one on Monday night.
Alan McGuffog
201 Posted 18/02/2023 at 10:21:11
Brent...I think it was Willie Bell who mangled Derek Temple. The atmosphere was already white hot and this didn't help.
Someone will help me out here but, seemingly, Bell was told to stay down, feigning injury, to deflect the ire of the crowd.
I can't vouch for this even though I was there but I've heard that the St John's were called on and one of them looked at Bell and suggested he go forth and multiply.
Have despised Leeds ever since
Brian Harrison
202 Posted 18/02/2023 at 10:33:46
Dave 203

Spot on about Onana goes missing for large parts of the game, and this constant gesturing to the crowd for more support when he is one of the biggest culprits of doing nothing for large parts of the game really annoys me. Your 6ft 4ins get stuck in start to intimidate the opposition, make more runs into the opponents box with the ball, then you want have to ask the crowd for more support.

Tony Mace
203 Posted 18/02/2023 at 10:38:07
JO @ 97

Tom deserves a shot?

I hope you mean Tom Jones

Tony Hill
204 Posted 18/02/2023 at 10:39:28
Alan @204, it was Bell.

A horrible team, Leeds, with horrible fans, comfortably the most boneheaded and aggressive in the Premier League. I can’t go today and I’m quite pleased about that in truth.

Danny O’Neill
205 Posted 18/02/2023 at 10:42:55
On my way from Euston.

Agree on Onana. Like most of our players, he needs to add consistency to the potential.

Still only 21 though. Still learning.

Long day ahead but it will be worth it.

Dave Abrahams
206 Posted 18/02/2023 at 10:50:22
Alan (204),Yes Bell smashed Temple then made a meal of being injured himself, kidded no one especially the crowd, the bastard scored the winning goal as well!!

Barry Rees played full back for Everton that day, a Welsh kid who was a centre forward but had a go in defence that day and stood up to that brilliant football team but made horrible by Revie, God knows why, they could have been famous instead of the infamous team they became known as and rightly so.

Come onBlues into these today, get those three points, give us confidence and put a smile on our faces for the weekend.

Danny O’Neill
207 Posted 18/02/2023 at 11:02:35
A good distraction as my nerves build.

I never watched him, but how how was Temple rated?

I've said before, I know, served with and speak to his son occasionally.

But I never saw him play.

Alexander Sterpikov
208 Posted 18/02/2023 at 11:06:13
Hi there,

I was supposed to be at Goodison today for the game against Leeds, but weather conditions combined with Ryanair-issues made it not possible to arrive in time (was supposed to travel from Copenhagen).

Anyone interested in buying my 3 tickets?

Gwladys Street End, block GT3, row PP, seats 68-70.

Feel free to contact on +45 61 24 47 81 or r3g1uz@hotmail.com if you are interested.

Thank you!

Best regards,

Tony Hill
209 Posted 18/02/2023 at 11:07:43
Temple was quick and decent with both feet, Danny. He was also a good finisher. Never quite had the concentration or consistency to make him top class but he only needed that one goal, of course, to set him apart.
Derek Knox
210 Posted 18/02/2023 at 11:19:24
Alexander @ 211. Sorry to hear that your intended visit has had to be cancelled due to circumstances beyond your control, very frustrating for you and your companions. Scant consolation I know, but I only (personally) ever travelled once with Ryan Air, and that was a package which I booked without knowing the Airline, to Budapest.

The outgoing flight, in all fairness, was pretty much like any other, apart from having to pay extra for just about everything, but the return flight was a total nightmare, and I vowed then to never use them again, and haven't. Can't imagine you having too much trouble selling them on, best of luck there, and nice of you to post, please do more often.

Dave Abrahams
211 Posted 18/02/2023 at 11:37:56
Danny (210), Derek Temple was sensational as schoolboy footballer, centre forward, good control, two footed as Tony(212) says, full of goals, as he got older he never grew too much but still a very lively player playing upfront as a no, 9 pr no.8 before he was converted to the wings, he had a good temperament and never flapped and just got on with game, a gentleman off the field who was easy to talk to and carried himself very well, didn’t seem to realise how well liked he was by Evertonians, that goal had something to do with his popularity obviously but not everything.
Alexander Sterpikov
212 Posted 18/02/2023 at 11:39:11
Derek @213, thanks mate. I went to Goodison some years ago for a game, against Bournemouth I believe, which was cancelled on the day because of stormy weather. So unlucky!

Any idea how to get the tickets moved on? The game is fully sold out, but I can’t re-sell via the Everton ticket platform.

Kevin Molloy
213 Posted 18/02/2023 at 11:41:44
yes, important to remember there is nearly half a season to go. Hopefully SD is able to get in the players heads and relieve the pressure a bit. Everyone is feeling gloomy at the moment cos it looks like DCL is going to be absent from here on in. In truth, he'll probably play between a third and a half of the games I would guess. Also, I imagine Maupay is being primed at the moment for how he can fit within the Dyche system. That will take weeks, but hopefully he can also make an important contribution. I think the key for us this season is Onana. If he can continue to improve as he has, he could be a consistent match winner for us, certainly in the home games.

214 Posted 18/02/2023 at 11:52:34
Dave, I agree with you and he'll always be revered for that goal in 66.
I feel that he was sometimes viewed, incorrectly I must emphasise, as being a bit lightweight ( especially when compared to his understudy at the time, Mogsy )
Not helped by his nickname " Shirley " ?
Peter Mills
215 Posted 18/02/2023 at 11:52:47
It’s always worth remembering that while Derek Temple scored that wonderful Wembley winner, it was one of six he scored in the FA Cup that season.
Jerome Shields
216 Posted 18/02/2023 at 11:57:51

Maybe he bought into the mouthing too much, but he is 21 and does show signs of potential. He is also dependent on the player's around him and some of them are struggling to show Premier League potential.He is more a attacking midfielder and the preference of Everton to stay deep is leaving spaces in midfield that running around like a blue ass fly trying to get a tackle in is not going to sort out.

Dave Abrahams
217 Posted 18/02/2023 at 12:07:17
Jerome (219), he might only be 21 but cost a lot of money with not many games in his career so what we’re we signing, he looks good in a few things but constantly goes missing, he is one of the reasons those huge gaps appear he’s just ambling around instead of getting involved in the game, pass and move not pass and stand still and indicate to the player you’ve just passed to what to do with the ball, do it your bleedin’ self, Jerome potential is okay we need more than that at the moment, he did well versus Arsenal so we need more of that and for the whole game.
Derek Knox
218 Posted 18/02/2023 at 12:13:26
Alexander, you are possibly asking the wrong person, as I am usually asking for tickets myself, I will make a call now to someone (David Pearl) who knows better how these things work, Facebook, Twitter etc, none of which I subscribe to. Bit late in the day but where there's hope, there's an Evertonian, too used to it nowadays !

Just spoken to him, he said you would have to notify the Ticket Office, but would have to have a name or names to give in, as I said a bit late. If all else fails, sue Ryan Air, because it is down to them the situation has arisen, and you have the proof of Purchase for both Tickets (Airline and Match) and one Cancellation has precluded you from the other.

Jerome Shields
219 Posted 18/02/2023 at 12:23:14
Dave #220,

I think he will be better today. The Everton midfield seemed overwhelmed in the derby. It was his first derby like Simms. Hopefully he will improve, as you say it is definitely needed at present at Everton.

Rob Birks
220 Posted 18/02/2023 at 12:38:14
Agree fellas with comments about our Onana and his inconsistent performances during games.
Dyche and his team need to take him to one side and ask for much, much more. He's got all the weapons to become a great player, but so far he's been relatively toothless!
Ambling around and pointing.
Raymond Fox
224 Posted 18/02/2023 at 12:50:52
The bettings saying the game is likely a draw.

Its the same old story for us - can we score a goal, I think we will probably have to, to get anything from the game.

I would be inclined to play for as many corners and free kicks in their half as we can get, maybe play Mina instead of Coady for a bit more height.

I'm nervous about their attack though, they have more firepower than us.

Alexander Sterpikov
225 Posted 18/02/2023 at 12:54:46
Derek @ 221 thanks again. I contacted the Ticket Office and they actually kindly replied quickly and offered a full refund.

Thanks for your time and thoughts on this!

Tony Everan
227 Posted 18/02/2023 at 13:01:29
Frank 196

I bet you didn't need shin pads! No-one would go within 10 yards of you and your pussing knee boils.

Derek Taylor
228 Posted 18/02/2023 at 13:04:50
Let's face it, both these teams are pretty hopeless and a no-score draw is the likely outcome. Accordingly, I have just taken 23/10 on that being the result.

Times are so bad around Goodison that we have again appointed a recently relegated manager and already the folly is showing!

Tony Abrahams
229 Posted 18/02/2023 at 13:06:46
Being cynical, I'd say there was probably more truth in Barrett-Baxendale getting strangled than there was of Kenwright overruling Moshiri.

‘They like death or glory – they love a good story'!

Rob Hooton
230 Posted 18/02/2023 at 13:10:53
I’d start Gray over Maupay every single time - Gray has pace and gets himself into shooting positions, Maupay is annoying and offers nothing else (as far as I’ve seen).

Whoever starts will need to give it their all, we need goals desperately and have very few players in the team who can create them or finish them.

Still think we will win this 2-1, hope those fortunate enough to attend create the same atmosphere as against Arsenal - with the players starting quickly with the same commitment as that game.

Fran Mitchell
231 Posted 18/02/2023 at 13:19:01
think Grey should start, not sure about 4-4-2, especially if neither forward has a physical presence. If Dyche thinks Simms can improve (worth noting that in all his loan spells, he's always started slowly and taken time to adapt, so no surprise he hasn't hit the ground running) then 4-4-2 with Simms and Grey might work.

But I think Simms as an option on the bench, getting 15-30 minutes to adapt and learn and see if he can make the step up.

So for now, I'd stick with the 3 in midfield. If Maupay starts, maybe take out Iwobi and play Grey. Iwobi not suited to the wide midfield role.

Need to be aware of Gnonto. he's electric. Maybe Godfrey at right back for more speed. Also like to see Mina, if he's capable of playing without injury. He's a level above our other defenders, but unfortunately made of glass.

Rob Hooton
232 Posted 18/02/2023 at 13:31:21
Paul, 181: interested to read that today is Saints Day of St Colmán of Lindisfarne.

I’m going to put a whole pound on Seamus scoring today now, proper big money for me.

Wish I’d known yesterday that there’d be spare tickets going, would have driven up this morning but far too late for me now.

Dave Abrahams
233 Posted 18/02/2023 at 14:04:28
Jerome (222), I hope they do play better today than Monday they were very disappointing even making allowances for that it was a Derby game, to be honest that should have been a reason to put that little bit extra in.

I certainly don’t want to be getting on players backs particularly when we need to stick together at this time, they’ll be roared on as usual during the match even though my tongue will be bit to pieces!!

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