Everton vs Aston Villa

23/02/2023 136comments  |  Jump to last
Match Preview

Amadou Onana is available despite dealing with a minor knee issue that saw him come off during the home win over Leeds last weekend

Sean Dyche seeks his third win in four games as Everton manager this weekend as Aston Villa come to Goodison Park as English football's most-played fixture gets a traditional 3pm Saturday kick-off.

Dyche has overseen home wins over Arsenal and Leeds United either side of a disappointing showing at Anfield, a sequence that has lifted the Blues out of the relegation zone for the first time in six weeks and boosted the club's hopes of surviving the drop this season.

He now faces a Villa side who pulled away from the danger zone themselves when they acted far more decisively than Everton's Board by firing Steven Gerard last October.

The Villains come into the match week sitting in 11th place, some seven points better off than their hosts this weekend but with the Premier League table so tight, no team in the bottom half is truly safe even though Unami Emery's men are only 12 points shy of the 40-point target that generally means survival.

Article continues below video content

For Everton, Amadou Onana is expected to be in the starting XI as the club continue to manage a minor knee problem but Dominic Calvert-Lewin is still not back in full training.

Onana, who made his Everton debut in the reverse fixture at Villa Park back in August, was withdrawn from last Saturday's win over Leeds United after feeling discomfort in the knee but Dyche says that the problem is minor and the Belgian will be available.

Meanwhile, Calvert-Lewin is training on grass but is not yet back with the main group as the club's medical staff try to build up his overall fitness and allow him to get over a troublesome hamstring issue that has kept him out of the last two games.

He played an hour against Arsenal in Dyche's first match in charge but was substituted after an hour.

"He's building up well. He's not with us yet but I think that will come quite quickly," Dyche said in his press conference at Finch Farm this afternoon. 

"Our intention is to get him as fit as possible so we can break this spell of ups and downs with injuries. We want all of our players — not just Dominic — fit and available."

Andros Townsend is still weeks away from making a full recovery as he is still working to get full load on the knee which required surgery almost a year ago to repair a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament and Nathan Patterson won't yet be in contention as he sustained a minor knock playing for the Under-21s.

With none of the "walking wounded" back, Dyche is expected to name an unchanged XI from the one that started against Leeds, which would mean another chance for Neal Maupay up front.

In general, little changes are expected tactically either but the Blues will know that Villa, who have an in-form Ollie Watkins leading the line and threats behind him in the form of Leon Bailey, Philippe Coutinho and Emiliano Buendia, will pose a far greater threat to their defence than Leeds did last weekend.

They are on a three-game losing streak, however, having shipped 11 goals to Arsenal, Manchester City and Leicester and Everton will hope to exploit those defensive vulnerabilities.

As they did against the Gunners, the Blues' best bet will be to keep things as tight as possible at the back and hope to make the breakthrough first at the other end.

Kick-off: 3pm, Saturday 25 February 2023
Referee: Anthony Taylor
VAR: Chris Kavanagh
Last Time: Everton 0 -1 Aston Villa

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


Reader Comments (136)

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Michael Boardman
1 Posted 23/02/2023 at 14:50:13
Training on grass? As opposed to what, the car park? No wonder he's always injured.

Do we have a Slaven Bilic award for most nearly ready alerts in pre-match conferences?

At least DCL didn't go to the World Cup I suppose

Danny O’Neill
2 Posted 23/02/2023 at 14:53:26
Just a couple of thoughts here.

Is Onana's physique going to be an issue as with Mina? I hope not.

Worried about Calvert-Lewin. Have we over relied and overplayed him as a youngster?

Michael, the impact of training and playing on a 4G pitch (they might even be up to 5G no) is more punishing on the body even though it's great for keeping players on their feet and passing the ball.

I've always thought we should train on clay as they do in Germany. Then play on grass.

Kieran Kinsella
3 Posted 23/02/2023 at 15:05:27

"Training on grass." Sounds like Jose Baxter must be handling his training.

Peter Hodgson
4 Posted 23/02/2023 at 15:10:35
No surprises then. I just hope that Kenwright and Co actually do something about a striker this summer irrespective of which division we are going to be in next year,

I am absolutelt sick and tired of hearing time and again that they are going to bring in a stiker but fail to do so each time. One or more is a must if we are to have a chance of competing in whatever division we end up in. I just hope that the penny has finally dropped with those well paid ones at the top of the tree. Having said that I will only believe it when I see it, and that signing doesn't mean Maupay Mk2 either (which unfortunately is more likely the way those muppets behave.

PS - a strker means someone who actually scores goals.

Michael Boardman
5 Posted 23/02/2023 at 15:10:51
Makes sense Kieran. We have a lot of spare fax paper from transfer deadline day to roll it all up
Andrew Keatley
6 Posted 23/02/2023 at 15:14:39
We were light on striking options when we had Richarlison and a fully-fit Calvert-Lewin at the club, and I'd imagine close to 100% of the people who post on this site could see that losing Richarlison and bringing in Maupay was going to leave us even lighter.

For whatever reason or reasons, Calvert-Lewin has struggled to remain match-fit for any length of time over the best part of two years, and the January window provided the board with a vital chance to bring in a new player capable of scoring goals - and instead they just shuffled the pack by bringing Ellis Simms back from his loan and sending Tom Cannon out on his. This was a huge dereliction of duty and could end up costing us the ultimate price. A novice football fan could have seen and sensed that relying on Calvert-Lewin to be fit and firing was a recipe for disappointment... and yet here we are.

If we start next season in the Championship then I suspect it will chiefly be because we lacked the firepower to get the results we needed. And if we start next season in the Premier League then I suspect it will be because we managed to concede less than our rivals. Either way, the board need to be held to account for their contribution to our on-field problems just as much as they need to answer for their off-field lies and betrayals.

Derek Knox
7 Posted 23/02/2023 at 15:41:40
Kieran, I like it, ' that was far out man '.

He gets wrapped in Cotton Wool and then gets injured running into the Candy Floss Man. Just imagine him in the trenches ! Well I couldn't, now I come to think of it !

Good possible news on Onana though, but I was sort of looking forward to seeing James Garner, who presumably, would have been his replacement. Starting to feel confident against Villa now, but it will be a harder game than Leeds.

Kieran Kinsella
8 Posted 23/02/2023 at 16:04:56

I am hoping Garner can take Duke's place.

Christy Ring
9 Posted 23/02/2023 at 16:16:59
The Villa game will be a lot tougher, a win here will be a massive turning point in my opinion. Calvert-Lewin is still a huge loss, and I still say the board, mainly Kenwright still has too much say, not signing a striker, made no sense whatsoever. He's supposed to have blocked the Arnautovic deal, I'm not saying he was the answer, but 'A' striker should have been signed at all costs.
Philip McKeown
10 Posted 23/02/2023 at 16:22:31
Are all the deluded, blinded by loyalty virtue signallers who defended this s***house on the 'Dyche undertakes forensic examination of Calvert-Lewin's condition' thread, piping down yet ?
Eddie Dunn
11 Posted 23/02/2023 at 16:28:28
Christy- exactly, and when we scrape a goal from an unlikely source the subjecy is shelved for a week but if we fail to score this weekend the issue will be the main reason that could cause relegation.
The win against Leeds has placated the fans but with the fixtures coming up, it is imperative that we collect more points this weekend.
I want to see someone taking a gamble on those Mc Neil crosses on Saturday.
Andy Crooks
12 Posted 23/02/2023 at 16:55:44
Not yet, Philip, but your articulate post certainly has me reconsidering my views.
Ray Roche
13 Posted 23/02/2023 at 17:00:39
Arnautovic was, apparently, wanting £150k a week and a two and a half year deal. He’s 34(?). And no guarantee that he’s still the same player as he was at WHU.
That’s the sort of deal that has stuffed this club in the past. We may have dodged a bullet.
Sean Roe
14 Posted 23/02/2023 at 17:05:47
Mark Tarkowski out of the game at corners and that is 90% of our attacking threat nulified.

Having said that I still believe that somebody will come up with the goods enough times to keep us in this league.

Brian Williams
15 Posted 23/02/2023 at 17:08:55
Agree with Ray. Thank "whoever" the Arnautovic deal was blocked (allegedly by Kenwright) for the reasons Ray points out.

Did a previous poster call DCL a " shithouse"?

Tony Everan
16 Posted 23/02/2023 at 17:12:36
The manager and players deserve a lot of credit for grinding out these last two wins. Both fully deserved too.

These points we are picking up are despite the unprecedented negligence of the board to provide the finances to get a striker in as a priority (All through the summer months, then more acutely still the World Cup break until Jan 31st). What are they playing at? they are putting the club at risk with this level of incompetence.

Hopefully Ellis Simms can find some goalscoring form, I’d like to see him given a start on Saturday. It’s our defenders who have done the scoring since Sean Dyche arrived. Although our midfield have played encouragingly well I want to see McNeill, Onana, Doucoure and Iwobi get their best shooting boots out and get some goals too.

Philip McKeown
17 Posted 23/02/2023 at 17:18:35
Being a fellow Belfast Boy Andy, English is my 2nd language but I will endeavour to try harder next time. Certainly much harder than Dom anyway.
Well Done Amadou, nice to see someone in blue who isn't an Invertebrate
Peter Neilson
18 Posted 23/02/2023 at 17:24:32
Couldn’t agree more Eddie(11) about gambling on the crosses. We need to see Maupay, Iwobi and others attacking them with intent. The opportunities presented themselves against Leeds but weren’t met by players with a desire to be on the end of them. Hopefully this is something Dyche has emphasised and worked on over the past week.
Andy Crooks
19 Posted 23/02/2023 at 17:48:51
Nice one, Philip!
John Chambers
20 Posted 23/02/2023 at 17:49:23
Peter #18. I totally agree about people attacking the balls into the box. In the last 2 matches Iwobi had tap ins at the far post if he had attacked the space instead of stopping to watch the ball coming in then trying to react. Likewise Doucoure has missed good chances, the weak header against Arsenal and not getting a shot off agains Leeds. I’m not saying this to have a go at those players but just to show we are not entirely dependent on DCL but that we must be more positive/confident in front of goal.
Danny O’Neill
21 Posted 23/02/2023 at 17:53:58
Once again, I don't care who starts or who doesn't.

When they step on that pitch we get behind them as we always do.

I'll probably get in the shit for this, but for this weekend I don't care who Aston Villa are or if people think they are better than us. People told me we would struggle against Leeds.

We are Everton and we are playing at Goodison Park.

Getting in the zone.

Kieran Kinsella
22 Posted 23/02/2023 at 18:10:44

The media are feeding this frenzy around DCL by focusing on whether he is fit each and every game. Whereas based on Sean's last two pressers I got the impression he won't be fit for a while. So I didn't really see it as "news" that he won't play versus Villa. But this weekly drip from the media makes it seems as if he's fit Mon-Fri and injured again every Saturday, instead of just accepting it is an ongoing issue

Christy Ring
23 Posted 23/02/2023 at 18:15:21
Philip#10 Philip Are you calling DCL a Shithouse, he is out with a hamstring injury, or maybe I read it wrong?
Danny O’Neill
24 Posted 23/02/2023 at 18:28:40
There are a few shithouses at our club. They used to sit in the Main Stand.

I had questioned Dominic's head, but I also recognise his injuries and how we have overused a young player.

I've questioned whether he has spent too much time in the gym and is too ripped / bulked for a footballer. Muscle tires and injures more readily than a more natural state of the body. A sport science person can advise me on that, but it's always been my understanding.

Anyone who has had a quad or hamstring injury will know how difficult they are to come back from. Especially when you play the way Dominic does.

Charles Brewer
25 Posted 23/02/2023 at 18:30:30
This reminds me of an American footballer who, before the Super Bowl, was asked if he preferred playing on grass or Astroturf. His reply was "Dunno, I've never smoked Astroturf".
Eddie Dunn
26 Posted 23/02/2023 at 18:32:18
Having Domenic in the side might actually encourage the others to watch and admire instead of also busting a gut to get on the end of something.
I'm pretty sure that Dyche has been emphasising gambling on crosses and rebounds and hopefully they will have watched the "tape"(do they still have those?) of last week and those handy crosses being missed by various people.
Now Seamus has popped-in a classic, what are the odds on him cutting inside and having a punt more often(like he used to do in the olden days)?
Philip McKeown
27 Posted 23/02/2023 at 18:40:15
Yes Christy. Exactly that

We have players out there who aren't 100% every week. Players we can actually rely on.
Seamus last week v Arsenal came back out for the 2nd half when clearly struggling. Onana this week available with a knee that isn't 100%
Is this hamstring injury actually real ? Is there other things going on here ?
We may never know...
The comments from the previous and current manager have both been very non committal about him and non specific, all been about getting him right and as fit as possible. What does that even mean.

For me it comes down to mentality and desire.

The media are quite right to be all over this, especially as they know we lack depth in this department and I am glad they are highlighting it as it highlights the shortcomings of our inept board.

I applaud the tolerance of those who don't agree with me.

Derek Knox
28 Posted 23/02/2023 at 18:40:41
Danny these modern players don't know how lucky they are, albeit Athletics, Alf Tupper used to put in a full day's work alongside Ike the Blacksmith and Welder, get off five minutes early, run all the way to the Track stopping at the Chippy for Fish and Chips. Yet still go on and beat all those Toffs from the Harriers ! Jeez. :-)
Charles Brewer
29 Posted 23/02/2023 at 18:41:43
Danny, in the Ancelotti season, DCL was successful by playing mostly in the 6 yard box and got on the end of crosses. We have known for years that he can't shoot and his main asset is being near the goal and jumping high and with good timing.

He isn't a "get stuck in" or a "lightning acceleration" footballer, so he's unlikely to get the hammering the likes of Richarlison - or even Rodriguez - used to get from the likes of van Dyck (whose career appears to be over, personally, I'm delighted, that will mean a lot better footballers won't be leaving the pitch after another dirty Achilles rake from behind).

With the current style, his tactic of arriving well after the cross has gone past is not going to result in many goals, and I would hope that Simms may be encouraged to be prepared to look like an idiot by going for balls that don't get past the defender.

Actually, no-one ever criticises players for chasing opportunities that don't materialise, I wish more footballers realised that, in fact crowds love their willingness to put in a failed charge on goal rather than looking a bit silly (in their own minds only). That continues to be why I still like Tom Davies despite his horrible form - he has a go even when his efforts turn out to be very poor.

Charles Brewer
30 Posted 23/02/2023 at 18:42:38
Derek, didn't Alf Tupper smoke 40 Capstan Full Strength a day too?
Minik Hansen
31 Posted 23/02/2023 at 18:47:08
I think the momentum will make the match against Aston Villa easier than Leeds. I'll go into this game, expecting the starting 11 to be on the front foot from the whistle, if they do that, then it's gonna be a good game for us.
Kevin Molloy
32 Posted 23/02/2023 at 18:53:22
Nothing would please me more than to pull Villa into this pit of hell. I like Emery. I was surprised by how he started at Villa, but I think he's getting his message across now. They are starting to score lots of goals and lose hand over fist.

He has the sort of gravitas that is entirely fitting for an Aston Villa manager, Alan Partridge meets Inspector Clouseau. But, they have 9 points from their last 12 available points away, so there's that.

Eddie Dunn
33 Posted 23/02/2023 at 18:53:40
Philip @27,

Of course we don't really have any idea of what is really going on in regards to Domenic's injury and treatment. For all we know he could be training on his own as a punishment.

Dyche might have had a row with him and now could be demanding that he gets properly fit before Dyche will use him again.

I doubt it though, but I do think that the open discussion of the treatment(bed, clothes, food etc) was weird. I think it is most likely that he simply overdid it against Arsenal.

Or was it Snoodgate?

Derek Knox
34 Posted 23/02/2023 at 18:59:22
Charles, not sure about the smoking or Capstan Full Strength, but that would sort of fit the character, he only earned £1 and 5 Shillings a week and had to get his traditional training aid the good 'ol fish and chips out of that. No mention of Drugs, Play Stations, Loose Women or Alcohol for Alf !

Often wondered about that ? :-)

Christy Ring
35 Posted 23/02/2023 at 19:18:45
Off the main topic, just watching the Juventus Europa game, just to watch Kean, lasted 65min, so poor, first touch shocking.
Brian Hennessy
36 Posted 23/02/2023 at 19:30:04
Christy. Thanks for the update on Kean, I was wondering if he was getting any games and how he was getting on.

Anyone. Is it the end of this season Juve have to buy him or what's the story?

Paul Birmingham
37 Posted 23/02/2023 at 19:32:42
This is a welcome boost, and hopefully he can stick one in like he did v Soton.

On a separate note I was flicking through Farley TV, in the last hour, and he’s done a very good sketch off Carlo Ancelotti, talking to Mr Ed, on a phone call after Real put them in their place, the other night.

Friday Eve, and a massive game for Everton, and to secure a victory over Villa.


Mike Gaynes
38 Posted 23/02/2023 at 19:38:54
Christy, yes, I've been watching that game and he truly does look like shit.

Brian, yes, Juve must buy him from us at the end of the season for around £28 million. They frantically tried to sell him last summer and pay us off then with the proceeds, but nobody wanted him.

Amazing Monaco-Leverkusen tie, now 5-5 on aggregate.

Getting fired up for Barca vs. Man Utd. Putting on BOTH my Barca shirts.

Derek Knox
39 Posted 23/02/2023 at 20:03:03
Mike G @ 38, Hi Mike, re : Kean, goes to show how a bit of hype can inflate a Player's worth well into the Stratosphere, one we we fell for, hook, line and sinker.
Tony Abrahams
40 Posted 23/02/2023 at 20:12:54
It sounds obvious that Dyche, has got Dominic doing a lot of running. The more you run the stronger you get, and especially upstairs mentally. Modern day football is a running game, and looking at Lewin, then I personally don’t think he has been doing anywhere near enough running, because he has looked very stiff, since he returned to the first team, even for the sporadic moments last season, when his powerful diving header, kept us in the premier league.

He’s not far away or he won’t be long, hopefully sounds like Dyche, is telling us/him that he’s just got to have more belief in his body, because he’s a lot fitter, stronger and more powerful than he actually realizes, although this is understandable because of how long he hasn’t been quite right physically?

I also hope that with Dyche saying he’s not far away, that this means Dominic, has been doing a lot of one to one training with a ball, as well as also doing a lot of conditioning work?

Tony Abrahams
41 Posted 23/02/2023 at 20:19:43
I think it also showed that Marcel Brands, never had enough experience of the English game, Derek. We needed a quick central defender, but he brought us a forward, who wasn’t ready. I was staggered after listening to a football agent yesterday, who told me that it’s crazy now, and that managers have no input whatsoever into the players that they sign, and when I told him that it’s not something that I could comprehend, he assured me that this was 100% true.

I always felt that Brands killed Marco Silva, and after listening to this agent yesterday, then this made a little bit more sense.

Derek Knox
42 Posted 23/02/2023 at 20:37:13
Agree Tony, sort of on the same theme as the hype thing about players, we were led to believe Marcel Brands would totally transform us, and our methods, and bring in better players etc. There was little evidence of that while he was becoming yet another Millionaire, and as you rightly said, he killed Marco Silva, who has since proved that given the time and the right tools, he could have been decent for us.

However, I have no complaints about Sean Dyche, I think he was probably the only candidate for us, in the situation we found ourselves in through a succession of wrongly appointed Managers and Coaches. Hope he gets another win on Saturday, or it could be 'Dyche Out'! (only joking) :-)

Kevin Molloy
43 Posted 23/02/2023 at 20:52:47
Interesting what you say about just running, Tony. One thing that sticks in my mind about Calvert-Lewin from previous interviews is that other players commented on what a gym junkie he was. Doing the biggest leaps etc.

I wouldn't be surprised if an excess of that sort of training, whilst making him stronger physically, has made him more vulnerable to injury.

Tony Everan
44 Posted 23/02/2023 at 21:00:42
A thought came into my head with regards Dominic's fitness. The only other player I can remember with this type of leap was Tim Cahill. Tim seemed to be much more resilient fitness-wise, I was wondering if he could pass on any of his fitness regime tips to Dominic from when he was a player?

They say they are leaving no stone (or mattress) unturned so maybe some advice from Tim would not be that ridiculous an idea.

Kieran Kinsella
45 Posted 23/02/2023 at 21:09:07
Christy & Mike,

I read an interview with Allegri the other day. Seemingly he had a good handful of games then turned crap. Allegri asked the fans to stop booing him. I know previously he was racially abused by rival fans but partly in reaction to that the Juve fans were previously very supportive of him. But it seems the more he plays the more his footballing inadequacies come to the fore.

Andy Crooks
46 Posted 23/02/2023 at 21:17:09
DK, the mighty Tupper had his fish and chips wrapped in the sports page. Now, I know served your time with Alf, mate, so was it the Echo?!!
Jason Li
47 Posted 23/02/2023 at 21:50:02
The way Ellis Simms has found a way to score goals in professional football already on loans, my crystal ball says he's going to do it in the Premier League too. Probably will replace DCL and Maupay as the main striker by the end of March as the main man.

Regarding not knowing when we get a bid for Pickford because there's a chance this summer of some interest, let's hope Thelwell buys a good up and coming keeper or two to loan out soon. We need at least two very good young prospective keepers out on loan who are nearly ready for the Premier League as Bergovic might be good for 2 seasons if Pickford leaves and there's a huge gaping hole behind Bergovic.

Hopefully Pickford doesn't go for a long time, but we need to have 2 young back ups minimum that can make it if called upon.

Or if Pickford goes one 1st team goalie and one to go on loan ready to replace Bergovic.

Tony Abrahams
48 Posted 23/02/2023 at 21:50:24
Possibly Kevin, but something in my mind, thinks that a big powerful kid, playing with a broken toe, must have changed the dynamics of his body? You couldn’t play on your toes, or play on your front foot, whilst protecting such an injury, imo, and this is when Dominic’s problems seemed to begin.

Cahill was tough as old boots, brave, elusive, but his greatest gift was his fantastic timing, imo, whereas Dominic is definitely a lot more powerful, and finely tuned. So too much gym and not doing enough of different types of varied running, has hopefully been one of Lewin’s biggest problems, whilst trying to come back from a serious injury, and I’m hoping it’s something just as simple as this.

We need him badly, and if we can get him fit, bring back Brainthwaith, and hopefully see Onana, begin to develop, then all of a sudden, Everton could have a very big, strong and physical spine, and a manager who knows how to use this to his advantage?

Kevin Molloy
49 Posted 23/02/2023 at 22:15:05

that then takes us back to the role of the club in all this, and the wisdom of getting players with innocuous injuries to play through them. I think the club's fingerprints are on that decision, and that of JP ( to play him before he was fully fit), both times resulting in disastrous and unusual quad injuries. I think Benitez was on the record as calling into question the club's record on this sort of thing. It might also explain DCLs reluctance to press ahead now, if he feels he was given duff advice in the past.

Jerome Shields
50 Posted 23/02/2023 at 22:23:32
Calvert lewin emerged at Everton after Big Sam left.Tosun proved not up to Premier League standard, not able to beat his marker.Then Niasse arrived and had his locker taken off him Did produce goals when played did score, but was banded by the Premier League, as a Special Case.It was during that Summer under Silva he put alot of gym work in, and overtook Toson and Niasse( who got his locker back,) as first choice.It was the failure of these two signing that was instrumental in his emergence.But he had not been allowed to develop the technical ability of a Centre forward, late positioning,not attacking the near post,poor footwork and shooting.Good at heading, but not on the end of many crosses,rarely gets In front of his man.,coming deep to do so.

Ancelotti simplied it for him, with the one touch, which negated the technical weaknesses. But Calvert Lewin never recognised the benefits of Ancelotti advice, po poing it after Ancelotti left.

It maybe he was advised to keep up the gym regime, with little running, as Tony says. This has left him open to injury, but the technical weaknesses that where never given enough time to work on,make it difficult to play, because his effectiveness is never going to be good when he he is being rehabited, making him think he needs more recovery time.

Danny is right Calvert Lewin has been pushed to play to early , because inadequate players where brought in.He has missed out on the technical Development he needed and was been trained wrong.All this has come home to roost, as a lack of confidence in his performance and him looking for reasons why he feels he has difficulty performing to the right standard.

Paul Birmingham
51 Posted 23/02/2023 at 23:06:59
Tony, @48, Tim, was Evertons pocket Rocket in his time, his belief, controlled aggression, skill, team work, and timing was on par with any Everton player, from the last 60 years, imho.

His last game, didn’t do justice, and he took a Red, after coming on as sub, but Hibbo, scored a cracking own goal header, as how I remember that game, v the Toon., in May 2012, when, they brought loads down that day.

Heitenga scored the 3rd, a plant header, on the Street End,

That header, v the RS, in 2009, at our old ground was typical, fearless..


But in modern times, for me, Tim Cahill, was the modern Everton - Corinthian, and Brian Labone, was a good judge too.

So now for Villa, and a very tough game.

This is Evertons, biggest game of the season, in context.

Win, and it eases and feels slightly better?

Miles to go..But hope on the horizon, if the same match day focus at Goodison Park, can stand for the rest of this season.

Evertonians, the greatest Legions, of football supporters the World has Seen.

This Saturday we are all, invited and required across the Universe to support Everton, and to drive for Victory.

It’s not safety, but a big step towards building safety this season.

Friday Eve, is almost done.

“Whats OurName?”


Derek Knox
52 Posted 24/02/2023 at 04:18:07
Andy @ 46, now there's another throwback, The Pink Echo !

One thing for sure that Dominic will never receive the Alf Tupper Award for Sheer Determination and Competing, However High The Odds Are ! :-)

Alf Tupper, Roy Race and Limp Along Leslie, all my boyhood heroes, don't make 'em like them any more ! :-)

Jim Bennings
53 Posted 24/02/2023 at 06:38:24
I'd basically rule Calvert-Lewin out for the rest of the season, then look to sign a replacement for him ASAP and then an able bodied back up this summer.

We can't be having a player that just never plays – it's not like we have been able to rely on goals from him – like I say, he's scored two goals in 18 months.

We need to move on from him now, as ruthless as that sounds, he can't be our answer.

Tony Hill
54 Posted 24/02/2023 at 06:51:27
I hope Simms gets a go from the start.
Bob Parrington
55 Posted 24/02/2023 at 07:13:29
Danny @21 Agree. That's the spirit mate but not sure about @24 as any stand might be more accurate (going' back)

Peter@18 Yes. But DCL missed similar chances vs the Arse

Charles@ 25 Classic - really! Ha! Ha!

Ray@ 13 Yes. Arnautavic would have been wrong. If BK's judgement stopped this happening then, wow, for a change, well done BK (sorry, I just need to clear my throat, cough, cough)

Danny O’Neill
56 Posted 24/02/2023 at 07:16:44
I always have to tread very carefully on egg shells for this one.

But come on Everton. Bring the points home.

That's me sleeping with the dogs or coming home with my tail between my legs.

Bob Parrington
57 Posted 24/02/2023 at 07:28:45
Tony @ 54 That's the way I feel, too. His cameo against Leeds showed to me that he is ready and can not only keep up with the game but can make things happen. Some have said he is slow but I didn't notice this vs Leeds.
Tony Abrahams
58 Posted 24/02/2023 at 08:10:35
It was Benitez who played him whilst he had an alleged broken toe Kevin, but I did hear that he wasn’t happy with the physiotherapy department, from not long after he arrived at Everton, because of the time it was taken them to respond to whatever he asked for.

Playing whilst protecting certain injuries is ridiculous, especially at the highest levels, and we went from looking like a good team, with the potential to get better, to a team that just about stayed in the division, once we lost three of our better players, after the Brighton game.

Players get bad injuries, remembering the mid eighties, then it was two players that had been written off, that really helped to turn Everton’s fortunes, so if people want to get rid of DCL, then that’s their opinion, with my opinion being, that the way he led the line against Arsenal the other week, proved that he can still be a massive player for Everton in the future, because he still offers a lot of good and different things.

Tony Abrahams
59 Posted 24/02/2023 at 08:21:30
That doesn’t sound ruthless Jim B, because it’s a ruthless sport, but it does sound stupid imo, because we haven’t got a replacement for Dominic, and I think he’s still going to be badly needed during the run in.

We beat Leeds, because of Coleman’s impudent improvisation, but otherwise we were finding it very difficult to open them up, and break them down, and we probably wouldn’t have won the game without this brilliant goal?

Looking at Leeds recent record, then it’s appalling, so just because we beat them doesn’t mean we are anywhere near safe yet. If we continue to struggle going forward then looking to bin our centre forward, who might even be about to come back strong? doesn’t make any sense whatsoever to me.

Robert Tressell
60 Posted 24/02/2023 at 08:24:52
Tony # 58, I was talking to an ex pro / ex Red still v much involved in the coaching scene. He thought DCL put in a tremendous performance against Arsenal.

We plainly need to invest in more / better forward options. DCL should be part of that but without us being so over-reliant

Andrew Ellams
61 Posted 24/02/2023 at 08:28:29
If he's going to play Simms, I think he needs to change formation and bring in Gray for one of the midfield 3 and then play him as a Number 10 playing off Simms.

Playing him with the formation he played in the derby, with the midfield so far behind him, is pointless.

Phil Gardner
62 Posted 24/02/2023 at 08:47:25
Wether the ‘£150k/week and a two year deal’ was true or not (who knows?) it’s a drop in the ocean compared to the loss of revenue that the club will suffer from relegation brought about, primarily, by failing to buy a striker, whatever the cost, in the January window. Do the maths.
Philip McKeown
63 Posted 24/02/2023 at 09:26:44
Tony(58) & Robert(60)

Completely agree, Dom did play well (As did the team) against Arsenal.

His commitment when on the field not in question, but rather his mentality off it.

Now, when I say that, it has nothing to do with his interests away from football, he can borrow my fishnets and G-string as long as he out there giving all for the Blue shirt. Just get out there !!!

We have thrown our eggs in this basket for too long now, I am not quite yet saying ship him out, just sign someone to replace him/add competition in the first 11.

Remarkable failings over a period of time. I can't help but think the prospect of relegation was a cloud hanging over the last transfer window and shaping the thoughts of the regime

Or perhaps , adding any kind of rationale to our gang of inept muppets in the boardroom is folly

Derek Knox
64 Posted 24/02/2023 at 10:26:38
Danny @ 56, Have you tried Winalot ? :-)
Dave Williams
65 Posted 24/02/2023 at 10:36:50
The worst thing Dominic Calvert-Lewin ever did was to pose in that skirt. He opened himself to ridicule but has inadvertently encouraged folk to write him off just because he has had a few injuries and has clearly played a lot of games when not fit. Having a broken toe and playing against centre-halves who know about it would not be easy and took guts so give him a break (no pun intended).

I'd start with Maupay tomorrow and let him soften up the Villa defence before introducing Simms after an hour, or half time if things are going badly. Keep it tight and be prepared to gamble in the box – we created a few very good chances against Leeds and a natural goal scorer would have put a couple away. Simms is a natural goal scorer and we just need to see if he can do it at this level. There's only one way to find out!

Tony Abrahams
66 Posted 24/02/2023 at 11:05:19
Of course Phillip. Dominic has been injured at a time when “the club” is inexplicably short of forward players, and this is down to us constantly chopping and changing our manager, and the recruitment done by our different directors of football, over the last few seasons.

Carragher was apparently slagging off Liverpool’s defenders, saying that they have been protected by the most hardworking front six in world football for years, and sometimes when I look at Everton, I think that it’s been rare for our midfielders, to have much to hit in front of them, and this makes their job very difficult?

It looks like there’s going to be changes off the pitch🤞So hopefully Everton can stay up, and finally begin to move forward.

Ajay Gopal
67 Posted 24/02/2023 at 12:06:36
I like Simms a lot, but I think it makes more sense to bring him on after Maupay has done the hard work, and hopefully got us a goal. Dyche may not change a winning team anyway, so I expect to see the same starting XI. Would like to see Simms, Garner, Gray, Patterson and Davies come on to give some fresh legs to the team.

Tony Everan
69 Posted 24/02/2023 at 13:31:32
What is heartwarming is that Sean Dyche has brought some toughness back to the team. No one will look forward to playing us now, like they did under Frank. We are set up to be, aggressive, organised and hard to break down, with stings in the tail. It’s not Man City - Davide Silva - football, but I am absolutely loving it. Keep it up Sean and the lads.

It is fantastic too that we now look like we can score from some corner kicks, all teams big or small need this type of goal. Another hard fought narrow win tomorrow would do very nicely.


Raymond Fox
70 Posted 24/02/2023 at 13:36:06
The bettings 6/4 Everton 2/1 Villa 11/5 the draw, in other words its expected to be a tight game where anything can happen.

We still have the same problem, thats scoring goals so you cant be confident of beating anyone however poor they are.

Mick Davies
71 Posted 24/02/2023 at 13:37:25
This reminds me of an American footballer who, before the Super Bowl, was asked if he preferred playing on grass or Astroturf. His reply was "Dunno, I've never smoked Astroturf".
Charles, I think you'll find that was Rodney Trotter c. 1981
Si Cooper
72 Posted 24/02/2023 at 14:11:47
I’d interpret the ‘training on grass’ information to mean he’s got his boots back on rather than the trainers he’d need for the physio room / gym, and may be doing individual ball work but it’s too early for flat out running / any sort of contact, rather than a particular choice of surface to protect him.

Any news on Ben Godfrey? I don’t really want to contemplate Watkins in a series of foot races with any of Seamus, Mykolenko, Tarks or Coady. If he is 100% fit I’d stick him anywhere in our back four but give him specific responsibility for shadowing Watkins in circumstances where they might counter.

With Tony A in his response to Jim B. Even if we only get him on the pitch for half the remaining fixtures I still see DCL as our best chance of winning those games and that may be the significant difference this season. Not giving up on anyone pitching in at the moment.

Paul Cherrington
73 Posted 24/02/2023 at 15:06:31
Although it can always be a dangerous thing with Everton, I am quite optimistic going into this one. Dyche has got us playing better, a lot more competitive and a lot more compact. We still seem to come alive for home games too and I can see another 1-0 win here. Tarkowski off a long corner to the back stick again prob haha!

Only slight worry is that Villa have always seemed to do well against us in the last few years. Watkins seems to like playing against us too and he is in good form. Keep him quite though and we should be ok.

Would like to see Garner in for Gana or Doucoure if he is fit. Some extra pace in the backline might be good too as mentioned previously - maybe Godfrey at LB and Holgate in at CB for Coady?

Robert Tressell
74 Posted 24/02/2023 at 15:45:42
Philip # 63,what is his mentality off the pitch that you've taken such an objection to? No sleaze, no drugs, no booze etc so far as I know. No inherent laziness as per Dele Alli? What is it that you've seen that you don't like?
David Midgley
75 Posted 24/02/2023 at 17:00:54

Charles #30 and Derek#52.

You're thinking of 'Bouncing Bernard Briggs '.

Derek Knox
76 Posted 24/02/2023 at 17:22:07
Just realised that the referee is the Evertonians' Friend (Not!) Anthony Taylor, hope there are no 50/50s in dangerous areas, (like anywhere on the pitch) awarded to the Villains!
Mick Davies
77 Posted 24/02/2023 at 17:34:49
Derek @ 76,

That is bad news: if there's one ref who has a proven record against Everton, it's that man.

I'll never forget Roberto's first season when he disallowed the most obvious penalty claim possible when Baines (the most honest of players) was hacked down in the Cardiff penalty area, yet over the course of that season, gave at least two debatable penalties against us, one of which Howard dramatically saved against Villa.

He has never been objective in our games, and I can't understand why the club haven't taken action against him for his obvious bias.

Dale Self
78 Posted 24/02/2023 at 17:52:11
I didn’t have him with the always out to sea Mariner and I'm blanking out of hatred, oh yeah Mike Dean. It could ne interesting whether Dyche can get Everton a few calls.

79 Posted 24/02/2023 at 17:55:48
News from the Liver Building, the Everton Board have been barred by security advisors from attending the game.
Charles Brewer
80 Posted 24/02/2023 at 18:17:00
If the Everton board has decided to absent itself from Goodison, then this is entirely to the good.

Personally, I'd like to see Moshiri turn up and get a good reception from the crowd. While he's been terrible as a selector of managers, I think he's kept up his end of the bargain by providing vast amounts of money and getting the new ground properly under way.

I strongly suspect there are contractual reasons why he hasn't been able to get rid of the rest of the absolute dross on the board; while he may have been stupid to sign such an agreement, the choice of players and the style of play and management certainly was not his.

If we had had the organisation of Leicester, Arsenal, even Brighton or Brentford, we'd now be in the Top 4 every year.

Fuck Off, Kenwright!

Danny O’Neill
81 Posted 24/02/2023 at 18:26:04
I think I've said all I can about the board, so I'm leaving it until Sunday. I'm in match mode.

Come tomorrow, I'll get behind the next / lost generation leading the march down Goodison Road and right behind the team on the pitch.

Actually they are not lost. They deserve more credit than me and my generation. Loyalty and dedication that knows no bounds despite having to grow up never witnessing success and being goaded by the shameless cousins. Their dedication is unbelievable. I keep saying, it was easy for me.

Let's go and do this, Blue Boys.

Andy Crooks
83 Posted 24/02/2023 at 18:34:16
Mick @71, Rodney said it best. The late, great John Sullivan stole many a line and made them funnier. I always thought the magnificent Joe Namath said it, but apparently it was Tug Magraw in 1974.
Kim Vivian
84 Posted 24/02/2023 at 18:35:59
Can advisors bar, or do they only advise?
Derek Knox
85 Posted 24/02/2023 at 18:40:27
Mick @ 77,

Aparently you are not allowed to complain about refereeing; if a manager does it, generally a fine follows. We have (allegedly) the best league in the world, with the worst officials! It is ruining and has ruined many a season, possibly resulting in relegation for some through incorrect decisions.

Of course we get back to the old argument: refs should be chosen for the Premier League and Championship from retired professionals. Between them and the VARs, they have certainly depleted the enjoyment of the game, amongst players and fans alike. You think your team has scored and it is ruled out for a shoelace over the line, whereas other totally obvious infringements go unpunished and allowed to stand. So inconsistent… don't get me started! 🤷‍♂️🤔

Tony Hill
86 Posted 24/02/2023 at 18:46:16
Agreed about Moshiri attending, Charles @80.
James Flynn
87 Posted 24/02/2023 at 19:03:21
Calvert-Lewin was given a few games during Koeman's first season.

Koeman's second season, he was in the starting lineup from Game 1 and stayed there the next 4 years regardless of who the manager was.

In that period, and despite his battling physical style, he only missed 16 of 152 league games.

Since he could out-battle even tough veteran defenders right from the off, forget sometimes that he was still only 20 when Koeman pushed him out there.

His progression over those 4 years is what you always hope to see in a hard-working, dedicated young professional. Then his quadriceps blew up.

Terry McLavey
88 Posted 24/02/2023 at 19:04:07
A bit off-topic and maybe a bit picky but should the Everton shop take Mr Gordon off their advert now?
Larry O'Hara
89 Posted 24/02/2023 at 19:31:58
Terry (88),

I was thinking just the same: although maybe Karl Masters would say it is advance marketing for when Gordon re-signs (a la Rooney) aged 45….

Danny O’Neill
90 Posted 24/02/2023 at 19:38:25
Peter @82, lighthearted response before I start getting myself wound up ahead of tomorrow.

Could have been one of my dogs. The girl is called Bella (Francesca Bella – a reference to Totti). Her best friend is called Bertie. They sit with me a lot and I leave my laptop unlocked!!

The boy is called Rorke after Rorke's Drift. A beast of a Rhodesian Ridgeback but a big softy despite his loud bark and deep voice. I'd play him tomorrow.

Random but takes my mind off it even though I'll be up thinking about it all night. I'll just do what I always do and just wish the team on.

See you there, Blues.

Christopher Timmins
91 Posted 24/02/2023 at 20:15:53
I will take another clean sheet to add to the previous two.
Gaute Lie
92 Posted 24/02/2023 at 20:16:13
I would like to see Mina up front as a striker.

Sure, he'll be injured, but he can score a goal or two.

John Raftery
93 Posted 24/02/2023 at 20:54:13
We have only two more home matches against teams currently placed in the lower half of the table: Villa and Bournemouth. With our poor away record, I think this is another really vital game which we must win in order to give ourselves a little breathing space before two consecutive away games.

We have not beaten Villa since they returned to the Premier League. I would be very wary about opening up against them because Emery is an expert at setting his teams up to deal with pressure and play on the counter-attack. We should take nothing for granted.

Ted Donnelly
94 Posted 24/02/2023 at 21:31:16
Guys, what's the best site to watch the game tomorrow?
Tony Hill
95 Posted 24/02/2023 at 21:38:38
John @93, what is interesting about this team is its capacity to perform well, or at least better, against the stronger teams.

The Anfield shambles apart, we have largely held our own (despite defeats) when faced with big favourites. That is because unconfident teams, if well organised, feel more relaxed and can surprise opponents who are expected to win.

The result last week, added to a win tomorrow, would show significant progress: winning when the pressure to win is at least equal to, or greater than, the pressure on the other side.

That's the equation I expect Dyche to solve. A huge amount of it is in the mind; happily, judging from his comments on Calvert-Lewin, our manager knows it very well.

John Raftery
96 Posted 24/02/2023 at 22:05:51
Tony (95),

Yes, sometimes the hardest games in prospect prove to be the easiest. In the last 12 months, we have recorded 1-0 wins against Man Utd, Chelsea and Arsenal.

Jerome Shields
97 Posted 24/02/2023 at 22:20:14
I expect Dyche to go with the same starting XI, but expect him to be more proactive with substitutions. Aston Villa are very much a side that like to know what they are facing and put a lot of preparation in on that basis.

Expect Gray to be used to mix it up at some stage and Simms on earlier. How the midfield is marshalled at the beginning of the second half is critical, since Aston Villa will try a push-up spurt and try a high press. They have done this every game they played against Everton.

I am a bit more confident with Dyche in charge and hoping any free-flowing Villa attacks are prevented after Everton got caught for pace at Anfield.

Brendan McLaughlin
98 Posted 24/02/2023 at 22:51:45
Difficult match tomorrow.

Villa will be happy with a point and I'm not sure we have enough to open them up and keep it sufficiently tight defensively.

However, I also expect Sean Dyche to prove me wrong.

Jack Convery
99 Posted 24/02/2023 at 23:09:59
An Arsenal performance will get us 3 points. A Leeds performance should be enough to guarantee at least a draw.

I would play Gray on the right and put Iwobi in midfield instead of Doucouré. Iwobi would not have cocked up the one-on-one chance that Doucoure did v Leeds.

Whatever happens, don't lose to a team that has Mings in defence!!

Andy Meighan
100 Posted 24/02/2023 at 23:16:47
Jack 99.

Iwobi doesn't get himself into those positions, though, does he?

Steve Brown
101 Posted 25/02/2023 at 02:11:25
Looking forward to having James Garner back soon. He’ll bring some quality to the midfield.
Joe Digney
102 Posted 25/02/2023 at 04:06:56
Another weekend, another 6-pointer. It will be much more of a challenge than Leeds but I'm feeling confident.

Tarkowski winner.


Derek Knox
103 Posted 25/02/2023 at 06:04:24
Steve @ 101,

Yes, I agree there on Rockford Files, who has been unlucky with injury since signing for us, where have I heard that before? In fact, I would rather see him replace Doucouré who has, for me, been very disappointing since joining from Watford, and on exorbitant wages. He has had a few decent games but too few and far between.

Joe @ 102,

I have done a little wager that we win 2-1 and Ellis Simms and Dwight McNeil are the scorers for us; however, if it is 1-0 (Tarkowski), I will gladly take that too, and lose my bet, if it means 3 points. Could be another one I have taken for the team. :-)

Managed to get a ticket after all so will be able to add my cheers, and hope I don't hear any jeers.


Bobby Mallon
104 Posted 25/02/2023 at 06:24:51
Villa are not a bad side and this will be our hardest test. I'm going for a 0-0 stalemate.
Joe Digney
105 Posted 25/02/2023 at 06:28:17
I'd take either result, Derek, mate! But hopefully it's the 2-1 and you finish the evening a richer man. 👍😂
Danny Baily
106 Posted 25/02/2023 at 07:21:13
Bobby 104, this is a must-win today.
Jim Lloyd
107 Posted 25/02/2023 at 08:45:16
Charles (80),

I agree with all that you've said there. Especially the last 3 words!

I'm not sure I could forecast a win. When we played Arsenal, we played well and against Leeds we did the same, but we still missed chances we should have buried (Doucouré against Arsenal and Leeds, and Calvert-Lewin against Arsenal) But the Old Everton turned up against the other lot. So it depends which EFC turns up.

If we play well today, that will be a good start, but our inability to take easy chances is going to cost us if we don't put them away... Mr Doucouré!

Hopefully, Sean Dyche's long talk with Demarai Gray can bring out better results for the talent he has, and he can get him to be more effective, as a sub, or from the start. Ellis Simms is on a steep learning curve but that pass he put over to Doucouré, against Leeds was top class. Hopefully he can get on the end of a chance today.

But in the end, we have to put the chances away to win, and who's going to do it! I thought Maupay did well against Leeds and perhaps if we create one or two chances for him, he'll hit the target. We've got Ellis Simms and Demarai Gray, who are decent goalscorers; and maybe Neal Maupay as well, so it would help if we start creating more chances for them.

Anthony Murphy
108 Posted 25/02/2023 at 09:18:23
Villa come in on the back of three league defeats, but they haven't disgraced themselves and played well against Arsenal who only got the win in injury time.

They will be desperate to stop the rot and, although we beat Leeds last week, we need to acknowledge how poor Leeds were and how we only just got the win via an unusual route.

I'd be happy with a draw today – I'd be pleasantly surprised with a win.

Allan Corken
109 Posted 25/02/2023 at 09:23:59
Ted @94:

Behind the sofa!

Phil McKeown
110 Posted 25/02/2023 at 09:44:14
Robert (74),

Hypochondria, otherwise know as Louis Sahaitis or maybe just weak as pissitis.

I've said it in a previous thread, where you ridiculously tried to goad me into making comments about his lifestyle choices.
If there is a small problem (small problems niggles at most players regularly), then show some resilience and make yourself available. Better playing at 80% than turning ethereal.

I am speaking from experience, I was a professional footballer and shared changing rooms with people who exhibited similar 'mentalities'. Some were called out and some weren't to not upset the dynamics. A manager even instructed me as captain to speak to teammates to try to ensure this chatter was kept to a minimum.

Did you ever play at a high level?

Would Calvert-Lewin be available more often if he was on a pay-as-you-play deal? Now there is a thought…

Martin Mason
111 Posted 25/02/2023 at 09:48:31
Villa are a fair side and under reorganisation. I hate to see them coming after 3 consecutive defeats too. I will be happy with a draw and over the moon with a win.
Laurie Hartley
112 Posted 25/02/2023 at 09:59:40
All of the other Bottom 6 teams seem to be fighting tooth and nail to get out of trouble. Who will falter? It must not be us. A win against Villa will knock the stuffing out of our immediate rivals.

Coleman, Coady, Tarkowski, Mykolenko
Gray, Doucoure, Gueye, Onana, McNeil

Up the Blues!!!

Paul Birmingham
113 Posted 25/02/2023 at 10:06:59
Today is a must win, as the next couple of away games are very tough.

Villa will be smarting and have pace.

I expect a full-blooded battle, and hopefully Everton can take their chances.

There's been some great matches with Villa down the decades, but let's hope today Everton can set a hat trick of back-to-back wins at Goodison.


Jerome Shields
114 Posted 25/02/2023 at 10:08:37
McNeil will get special attention. He was involved in almost everything in the Leeds game. A straight change for Gray is too predictable and McNeill's tracking back and defensive work is lost.

Hopefully Maupay will be more effective, offering himself in the right position. Doucouré is box-to-box and a passer rather than a shooter. Onano hopefully has put in some shooting practise during the week and will be the subject of a lot of attempted play spoiling. Iowbi is Iowbi and hopefully will turn up in the right place.

The defence needs to be aware and error-free. Tarkowski seems to know what he is doing and it has made a big difference overall in the defence. Pickford will be good today. Seamus will be charged up.

Derek Knox
115 Posted 25/02/2023 at 10:09:14
Phil @ 110,

If I had anything to do with it, which unfortunately I don't, they would all be on a basic wage coupled with a pay-as-you-play and win bonus throughout the team.

Sorry for sounding like an owld arse, but basically I am one now, and feel these players are too cossetted these days, with almost film-star money – whether they play or not!

Andy Meighan
116 Posted 25/02/2023 at 10:19:26
Haven't these conceded 11 in their last 3 games? Man City, Leicester City and Arsenal. Now I'm not saying we will bang in 3 or 4 all of a sudden, but it's obvious that they cough chances up.

With a decent finisher or two, we could have been out of sight against Arsenal and Leeds. Unfortunately we haven't got a decent finisher. Simms looks a bit raw and seems to lack half a yard and Maupay is just Maupay, ie, not very good.

Time for the midfielders to come to the party. Narrow win for us.

Phil McKeown
117 Posted 25/02/2023 at 10:31:13
Despite the potential for being castigated on here, never apologise for having an opinion Derek! Ha!

I do think contracts like this would certainly be appropriate for those who have evidenced regular minor injuries, availability to less than a certain percentage of matches, or their pre-signing medical raises an issue.

Where it would become contentious at contract renewal/inception is for injuries like Andre Gomes for example v Spurs. Out for a long time with a singular serious issue.

And You would always have clubs willing to gazump the offer and take the chance, unless it became legislation akin to recent certain publicised white papers or simply within the league rules itself.

James Marshall
118 Posted 25/02/2023 at 10:33:59
Several big games today, obviously us but Leeds v Southampton as well. A draw in that one would be ideal, and Leicester play Arsenal which is handy (albeit at home).

We'd probably benefit from a West Ham v Forest draw as well.

Bournemouth play City and Palace play the shite too, so a win today for us could make a decent dent in those around us in the league - at least on paper!

John Keating
119 Posted 25/02/2023 at 10:35:44
Slightly off topic
I was with a load of old mates yesterday in Ma Egertons, half red, half blue
One blue won’t hear anything bad about Bullshit Bill
He asked me what time the board out march was setting off because he wanted in!!
Now if he’s pissed off the Board really have to go!
James Marshall
120 Posted 25/02/2023 at 10:35:58
Re the thing about contracts above - none of that could ever happen due to employment law in the UK. You can't penalise an employee based on their physical health - that's illegal.
Jim Lloyd
121 Posted 25/02/2023 at 10:42:05
Jerome, Maupay got in the right position against Leeds, about 3 yards out and the ball wasl passed to a man 10 yards further back. Doucouré might well be a box to box player but the ball he received in the Leeds match from Ellis Simms, gave him only the keeper to beat and he fluffed it. The same man missed a sitter unmarked against Arsenal.
So hopefully he's being practising how to put the ball in the net, because if he's a box to box player, the idea is to score as well as provide chances.
Our midfield don't score many at the best of times, to miss sitters perhaps can be worked on.
Christy Ring
122 Posted 25/02/2023 at 11:00:06
Regarding the comments about Calvert-Lewin, physical and mental issues, he has a hamstring injury which you just can't shake off, time is the only cure. Give him a break.
Andrew Clare
123 Posted 25/02/2023 at 11:02:21
Very nervous about today's game. There is a big difference between the bottom of the table and the mid table teams this year.
I just hope we are on our game from the first to the last minute. It's a big game for us.
Danny O’Neill
124 Posted 25/02/2023 at 11:02:49
Train safely away from Euston. I'm on my way home.

Just had a chat with two very young blues on the train who told me it was hard and that they go to school with many Liverpool fans.

I went into a war time like speech. Their Dad smiled and let me go. I hope I influenced rather than caused fear with my fanatical rantings.

They are in the Park End today. I hope they have a great trip.

Brian Harrison
125 Posted 25/02/2023 at 11:13:20
the last time we beat Villa at home was 2016/17 season Lukaku being a goal scorer. What we would give to have him in the side probably wouldn't be anywhere near the relegation battle if he was. Two 1-0 wins at home under Sean Dyche, which just highlights our lack of goal options, with the window closed and DCL not yet fit to play I don't know where the goals are going to come from. Cant keep relying on corner kicks or dead ball situations to create chances, or the completely unexpected like Colemans goal last week.
In Watkins and Bailey they have pace so we will have to make sure they don't have the space to run at us. I think it will be a lot harder than last week but we beat Arsenal who are a lot better than Villa so lets hope we can win this one as well, would take 1-0.
Colin Malone
126 Posted 25/02/2023 at 11:18:42
The beer goes down much better, when we win.
Allan Board
127 Posted 25/02/2023 at 11:28:29
Just thrash plenty of crosses onto the Argy twat in goal- he'll drop em. And munch this lot when they get on the ball- these are soooo easy to wind up,get one sent off.
Yes they have conceded 11 in 3 games- the keeper and centre backs are the weakness- we conceded only 1 v City and Arsenal.
Make it nasty,this lot will roll over- just be careful not to get tangled up in Dick Emerys hair gel!! Serious wet look going on there!
Mick Davies
128 Posted 25/02/2023 at 11:48:45
Andy @ 83 - I apologise, my defence being I was caught out by the world's worst plagiarist; John Sullivan (R.I.P.). How he got away with it is beyond me, but OFAH was a great sitcom
Raymond Fox
129 Posted 25/02/2023 at 12:00:16
Our defensive record this season stands comparison with all the other teams, its better than most but the top few clubs. and that is after conceeding 4 goals against Brighton and 3 against Bournemouth!

The world and his dog knows we have little strike power, we are now the lowest scoring club in the league.
With a fit DCL or another player of the same quality we would be well up the table.

Thats old news I know, we would be better playing for corners and free kicks and see if we can score from those, at least its a plan of some sort.

Mick Davies
130 Posted 25/02/2023 at 12:08:39
Yes, it's a pity we never got Gyokeres, as he would have been better than anything we have. I agree with those who advocate Mina or Keane being thrown up front: both can score goals, and their height is another factor. It worked for Steve Watson and Mick Lyons, so I hope someone in the dugout thinks the same
Robert Tressell
131 Posted 25/02/2023 at 12:18:23
Phil, I'm just curious as to why you think DCL has hypochondria? Why him and not, say, Patterson who's hardly been available for the past 2 seasons also. Or Mina? Or Gbamin? Or Big Dunc?

I get that you've been in dressing rooms - but you've not been in the same dressing room as any of our squad so how do you know?

Mike Dolan
132 Posted 25/02/2023 at 12:40:50
DCL and his spate of injuries is the news right now but doesn’t Everton have a long history of otherwise fit players being forced out by niggling injuries. I have said for years that there is something either in our training or in the surfacing of our training ground that could be at the root of this.
Solve this problem and you solve a lot of Evertons problems. Time for a different level of science to be implemented I think.
Dale Self
133 Posted 25/02/2023 at 12:47:01
With all due respect to fellow Toffees stop the must win talk. That was last week and we won. As James Marshall pointed out the schedule will keep things limited and some draws eleswhere would be welcomed. The back line is developing some collective decision-making and leaving less open on transitions. Dyche will likely prescribe attacks that leave limited risk on a turnover and Villa are not in good form presently. Probably a draw but we could get on top at times and the crowd may inspire the goal that decides it UTFT!!!!!
Tony Everan
134 Posted 25/02/2023 at 13:02:36
Mike 132, I’ve thought that for a long time too about the training ground surface at FF. What harm could it do to get two separate independent experts in to report on it?

Brian 125, Goals goals goals again, I agree with Lukaku up front and Dyche as manager we would be a top half team no question. Hopefully we can stay up and get a quality player in the summer. You ask where the goals are going to come from. I’d bet on scoring somehow from a corner or free kick.

James Hughes
135 Posted 25/02/2023 at 13:07:42
McNeil put in some great crosses against Leeds and if we start Ropey Maupey again then he needs to gamble and get in the 6 yard box.
The same goes for Iwobi he needs to get in there and attck the ball in the box. Really not sure where the goals are coming from but all we need is one.

We need to keep an eye on Watkins but I am sure Dyche has this sorted. Another three points today cheers


Phil Gardner
136 Posted 25/02/2023 at 13:10:40
Mick #77. I remember that incident well. Had Baines had the common sense to roll about a bit, or even appeal for the pen he may well have got it. ‘Honest’ or otherwise, the lad just got up and jogged back to our half. I was screaming at him for doing that…he made it easy for Taylor to not allow the pen I’m afraid and Baines’ team mates didn’t help by not making a fuss of the incident. Sadly, it’s part of the game nowadays wether we agree about it or not.
Christopher Timmins
137 Posted 25/02/2023 at 13:27:59
Under Dyche I am very confident that DCL will come back into the side and have a run of games before the season end, helping to push us away from the relegation zone.

Hopefully another 1 - 0 today but if we fail to score lets come away with a point.

Si Cooper
138 Posted 25/02/2023 at 14:11:18
I’d love to see plenty of craft but simple graft will suffice for now if we can eke out some wins. A well earned victory today and the Arsenal game becomes a ‘free hit’.

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