Everton vs Fulham

13/04/2023 172comments  |  Jump to last
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Seamus Coleman is ruled out with a hamstring problem

Everton go into what has the potential to be a hugely significant weekend in the dogfight at the bottom of the Premier League to avoid relegation as they prepare to host Fulham at Goodison Park.

The Blues come into the match week hovering above the drop zone, level on points with Nottingham Forest but above them on goal difference, two points better off than struggling Leicester and just three points behind West Ham and Bournemouth in 14th and 15th place respectively.

Importantly, while Everton are involved one of two remaining home fixtures where they might realistically be regarded as favourites, three of those afore-mentioned rival clubs face teams currently sitting in the top four this weekend.

That provides Sean Dyche and his side with the chance to open up a gap between themselves and the teams below them if results go as they might be expected to. The manager was keen to stress in his press conference, however, that Everton will continue to focus on what they need to do rather than sweat on results elsewhere.

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Dyche will be forced into at least one change from the side that lined up against Manchester United last weekend, with the news that Seamus Coleman has sustained a "niggling" hamstring injury that will sideline him for this week at least.

The club captain was forced off during the second half of the defeat at Old Trafford with the complaint and was replaced by Nathan Patterson who is now fit himself after recovering from a knee injury that had kept him out of action since the first week of January.

The Scot's cameo last weekend was his first appearance under Dyche so it remains to be seen whether the new manager will instill faith in him to start in Coleman's place as a natural full-back against the Cottagers or whether he will turn to Ben Godfrey who has been starting ahead of Vitalii Mykolenko on the other side of defence in recent games.

Godfrey was withdrawn himself against United after having a torrid time at left-back defending the Red Devils' balls over the top of the Blues' high line and struggled at right-back at the Emirates Stadium against Arsenal last month when he came on a second-half substitute.

Dyche remarked in his pre-match press conference that full match fitness was a concern where Patterson was concerned given that he has not started a match for over three months. That could be what prompts the manager to give Godfrey the nod this time around.

Meanwhile, Dyche was coy over whether Dominic Calvert-Lewin will play any part this weekend. The striker will complete a full week's training if he is involved with the group at Finch Farm tomorrow and could be passed as fit by the club's medical staff to start for the first time since the home clash against the Gunners in early February.

Assuming Calvert-Lewin isn't risked from the start, Dyche still has the conundrum of how best to compensate for the absence of Abdoulaye Doucouré who serves the second of a three-match ban for his altercation with Harry Kane of Tottenham a fortnight ago.

Ellis Simms was handed the responsibility of leading the line along with Demarai Gray with mixed results but it remains to be seen whether Dyche will be moved to try something different, perhaps with James Garner in midfield and one of Amadou Onana or Alex Iwobi pushed forward in support of Gray.

Fulham travel without their top goalscorer and biggest threat, Aleksandar Mitrovic, who is in the middle of an eight-game suspension, and in the middle of a run of form that has seem them go winless in the league since mid-February. 

Sitting comfortably in seventh place not long ago, Marco Silva's side have slipped to 10th place, some seven points adrift of a possible European place. Silva, himself serving a ban, will be watching on from the stand for his first game back at Goodison as a manager since he was sacked by Farhad Moshiri 3½  years ago.

Nevertheless, they are a well-organised side boasting plenty of good players which will make them a tough opponent for Everton.

Dyche will remind his players, though, that they have already seen off League leaders Arsenal this season, ended Brentford's long unbeaten sequence and run Champions League-chasing Spurs very close since he took charge almost 11 weeks ago.

With another committed, intense performance and the 12th man of Goodison, he will feel that the Blues have enough to earn what would be three priceless points.

Kick-off: 3 pm, Saturday 15 April 2023
Referee: Anthony Taylor
VAR: Andre Marriner
Last Time:  
Everton 0 - 2 Fulham

Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Godfrey, Keane, Tarkowski, Mykolenko, Gueye, Onana, Garner, Iwobi, McNeil, Gray


Reader Comments (172)

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Paul Hewitt
1 Posted 13/04/2023 at 14:16:31
Time for Patterson to step up.
Christy Ring
2 Posted 13/04/2023 at 14:46:31
Listening to Dyche's press conference, Calvert-Lewin will be in the squad, but he's definitely not blowing up Patterson to start, in my opinion.
Brian Wilkinson
3 Posted 13/04/2023 at 14:49:24
I thought the same Christy.

Looking at our remaining fixtures, apart from Bournemouth last game of season, the Fulham game is the one that is certainly winnable, we simply have to win.

We have got to gamble on Calvert-Lewin this Saturday, take the gamble.

Shane Corcoran
4 Posted 13/04/2023 at 14:51:30
I didn’t see the press conference but I’d be amazed if Patterson starts.
Andrew Keatley
5 Posted 13/04/2023 at 15:20:29
I suspect it will be Godfrey at right back and Mykolenko back in the starting XI at left-back.

Right now Patterson is probably best utilised as an option off the bench in the last 30 minutes if we need a more progressive attacking push.

I'd be delighted to see DCL back in the match-day squad. Starting him would be a big statement, but one that might put too much pressure on him and his body right now. Like Patterson, he's surely one to deploy only if the situation absolutely demands it.

Dave Abrahams
6 Posted 13/04/2023 at 15:28:13
Seamus adds so much to Everton’s team just by being on the pitch as captain, his influence is enormous and he has proved it in the last few weeks, yes he did make a mistake on Saturday, he alongside the absence of Doucoure will make it that much harder for us to beat Fulham and harder still for Sean Dyche to get eleven fighters on the pitch to battle throughout the game to get those vital three points, no game for faint hearts and shirkers but they will play because the squad is so limited, have a good think about the eleven for this game Sean although you will be helped by the return of Dominic even if it is off the bench, I still expect us to win though and we supporters can do our bit, again, and roar them home.
Jerome Shields
7 Posted 13/04/2023 at 15:39:40
I think it will be Godfrey and Mykolenko.I thought Patterson would have been back in favour by now.There must be a reason he isn't.

Glad Calvin Lewin is back in the squad.

Lee Courtliff
8 Posted 13/04/2023 at 15:58:20
I get the feeling Dyche isn't too keen on Patterson (don't ask me why), so I'm expecting Godfrey at RB with Myko returning to LB. Maybe even Holgate at RB if Godfrey is to pay for his poor performance last week?

DCL off the bench should give us all a bit of a lift...hopefully.

Mark Murphy
9 Posted 13/04/2023 at 16:05:06
As Seamus is now injured I don’t feel bad about leaving him out.
My eleven for this Saturday would be
Patterson Keane* Tarks Myko
Gana Garner
Gray O’Nana McNeil
Simms (or DCL)

*im also a fan of Ben Godfrey and if he was in form I’d play him before Keane but the latter has earned his place recently and Godfrey doesn’t look comfortable nor confident.

Danny O’Neill
10 Posted 13/04/2023 at 16:07:54
I can see that Lee.

Agree with that Dave Abrahams. Presence sometimes is as important as ability. I used to say it about Phil Neville. Not the best player but for that team around that time, when he wasn't on the pitch, his presence and influence on the other players was missed.

Colin Malone
11 Posted 13/04/2023 at 16:29:17
This the first 3 o'clock kick off on Grand national day, I can remember.
Robert Tressell
12 Posted 13/04/2023 at 16:40:48
Godfrey has generally been very poor at RB even though he appears to have attributes to play there. Not ideal after a bad showing against Man Utd, albeit he was badly exposed by team structure.

I expect it'll be Holgate at RB, which may not be a bad thing at all. He's a decent threat at set pieces as well as a decent defender.

Patterson, as others note, is still a bit raw and has only just recovered from long term injury. Shame but his time will come.

Hopefully it's a 4411 / 451:

Holgate / Godfrey
Garner / Davies
Onana / Iwobi
DCL / Maupay / Simms


Ben King
13 Posted 13/04/2023 at 16:41:18
I’d prefer Patterson over the out of form Godfrey. Apparently Dyche doesn’t like to make many changes so with that in mind it’ll be Godfrey all the way sadly (as he has a lot of mistakes in him).
Mike Gaynes
14 Posted 13/04/2023 at 16:44:44
If Patterson is fully fit, he's got to start, but I suspect otherwise... like Andrew and Lee I anticipate Godfrey at RB and Myko back in the 11. Happy to see Myko, because I am unimpressed with Godfrey's fullback play -- he's constantly out of position. Seamus will be much missed.

Off-topic, congrats to our old friend Steven Naismith beginning his top-level managerial career by being named interim gaffer at Hearts. First thing he did was kick old friend Robert Snodgrass out of the club to "spend more time with his family." Did anybody doubt that Nais would be a tough, hard-ass manager? Whoooo.

Dale Self
15 Posted 13/04/2023 at 16:51:51
I have concerns about Godfrey at RB if Willian starts for Fulham. I’d like to see Dyche try Patterson in front but Iwobi is probably a piece that will stay as is. The Doucoure absence is obviously the main problem to solve. I’m not sure what to expect from Dyche.
Ajay Gopal
16 Posted 13/04/2023 at 17:08:49
I agree with Robert (12), it should be one of Holgate or Patterson over Godfrey, who in my opinion is a game trier but very, very limited in his play. Patterson had a couple of good international games, so he should be in contention. Onana also needs a kick up his backside, and should be dropped to the bench:

Patterson Keane Tarkowski Mykolenko
Iwobi Davies Gana Garner McNeil

With Simms/DCL coming on in the 2nd half to run at a tiring Fulham defence.

Ian Jones
17 Posted 13/04/2023 at 17:10:06
If Dominic is fit, I'd start him, get the game won by the 60th minute and then rest him.
Derek Knox
18 Posted 13/04/2023 at 17:14:31
Seamus out, will be a massive blow, we all thought last season that could be his last, but he keeps defying age and physical restrictions and puts in MotM performances week in, week out, and his goal against Leeds exemplified that. Whoever does deputise will have to perform well for 90 plus to emulate him.

I do hope it's Patterson as he has pace and physicality going forward, his defensive duties will get better the more he plays. All his injuries have come on International Duty, which is both unfortunate and stopped him having a run of games.

Looking forward to this match and meeting a few of you in the Harlech Castle (County Road, opposite KFC) 13.00 to before kick-off, Andy Crooks is over from Belfast and Peter Moore coming up from Worcester too, so there should be a decent TW contingency there, plus many regulars.

Christy Ring
19 Posted 13/04/2023 at 17:16:43
Seamus will be a big loss, especially against Willian, and who ever starts at full back, Iwobi isn't going to be any help. I do admire Willian, he went back to Brazil from Arsenal, tore up his contract, didn't look for a pay off, walked away from £20m.
Eddie Dunn
20 Posted 13/04/2023 at 18:16:08
As others have said, Seamus will be a big miss.
This season, he has shown again and again just how good a player he is. His experience will be missed and I am in the Holgate for rightback camp.
With a rejigged defence it will be even more important to score some goals. Fingers crossed, because this game really has to be won.
Tony Everan
21 Posted 13/04/2023 at 18:56:36
It’s starting at three o’clock on Saturday and the betting is heating up , forget the Grand National ……who will start at right back ? Holgate 7/4, Godfrey 5/2, Patterson 4/1, back 3 and Iwobi as wing back 12/1.

There’s pros and cons with all of them but I think the manager will go for Holgate, who is a tough customer and has a bit of experience playing there. Godfrey a bit more of a risk at right back then left back positioning wise. Patterson would be the natural choice but this is a crunch game, he’s inexperienced and just back from injury. If he’s looking the part in training though he could get the nod. Back 3 option unlikely.

Will Mabon
22 Posted 13/04/2023 at 18:58:33
Yep - big miss.

This compounds with the loss of Doucouré, whose absence was very noticeable. We've had less trouble in this area under Dyche so far, hopefully no more injuries.

Will Mabon
23 Posted 13/04/2023 at 19:03:28
Colin @ 11 - kind of a pity eh?

Nothing means nothing no more.

Andy McGuffog
24 Posted 13/04/2023 at 19:33:36
The idea that Simms or DCL should come on late to 'run at a tiring Fulham defence' begs the question, "Why would the Fulham defence be tired?"
Mark Murphy
25 Posted 13/04/2023 at 19:40:50
From pressing us up our end of the pitch probably Andy - good point!
Half a game each for Simms and DCL should be manageable I hope. Maupay shouldn’t be asked to play the lone striker role and we shouldn’t try that 2 again this season.
Paul Birmingham
26 Posted 13/04/2023 at 20:43:22
I don't think Ben Godfrey has looked comfy the last few games he’s started, and if I’m honest since he returned from his injury, he doesn’t seem the same player, imho, but it can longer time to get the mind and the body, in to harmony, in football.

I’m not convinced yet that Patterson, cuts it with Sean Dyche, player requirements.

But be it, Patterson, Godfrey, Holgate or Mykolenko, who starts, they must do a good job, a very tough job, to eclipse Seamus in his current form, the slip up at United, was one of those mistakes, any player can make in any match.

But focus on Everton, and let’s hope for a fair crack from the referee ( Anthony Taylor) and the line people.


Tony Abrahams
27 Posted 13/04/2023 at 21:49:18
When was the last time we got a penalty, Paul?

That Anthony Taylor loves giving out a penalty kicks.

Christy Ring
28 Posted 13/04/2023 at 22:16:03
So the linesman has apologised to the biggest shitbag and coward Robertson, as Keane called him, and he's reinstated to the Premiership, embarrassing for Liverpool
Andy Crooks
29 Posted 13/04/2023 at 22:21:13
Christy, seriously, how can Robertson reflect on what happened and ever go out in public again? Easy, he signed for Liverpool and had any notion of shame drilled out of him.
Derek Thomas
30 Posted 13/04/2023 at 22:21:33
I'd prefer Patterson at RMF, infront of Coleman at RB, but thats not to be, so it's Holgate over Godfrey at RB.
Even when Godfrey was in Ancelotti's 'Wall of 4' and on what passed for 'good form'...and that wasn't the highest of bars...he was a better LB than RB.

Off topic-ish; 50yrs since Red Rum first won - where did that all go?

Peter Mills
31 Posted 13/04/2023 at 22:31:14
Séamus has put in some terrific performances recently, especially at home.

He is a favourite son. I would like nothing more than that we achieve safety prior to the Bournemouth game and he plays in that match having announced his retirement.

Will Mabon
32 Posted 13/04/2023 at 22:32:50

sometimes players are playing things politically, sometimes they are just natural scumbags. Some are both.

The whole thing stinks and shows that when it suits for the drama, it will be allowed to play out with no real oversight or intervention.

Jay Harris
33 Posted 13/04/2023 at 22:37:45
The way Seamus has been playing and cajoling he will be a big miss but they havent got Mitrovic either so covering Willan and Robinson will be key.

Dyche doesnt seem to have a high opinion of Patterson but he is an international RB and has played some good games for us so for me he must be in there. Godfrey has been a shadow of the player of a couple of years ago and I wouldnt even have him on the bench.

DCL must start if fit and we have to be on the front foot from the off in this game.

Paul Birmingham
34 Posted 13/04/2023 at 22:38:36
Tony, zackly, and he was true to form for the recent Villa home game.

But on Saturday, Everton, will atone for the display last week at Old Trafford.


Peter Mills
35 Posted 13/04/2023 at 22:41:56
Derek, it’s 56 years ago since I was on a coach home from a 6th round 3-2 defeat at Nottingham Forest and I found a slip of paper in my pocket reading “Foinaven” meaning I had won the sweep. At 11 years old, I was rich.

No consolation at all, nor was winning the Eurovision Song Contest with “Puppet on a string” when we finally got home.

Will Mabon
36 Posted 13/04/2023 at 22:43:02

I "met" Red Rum once - and Aldaniti. "Just" horses but I swear, both had an aura for sure.

You're right. Where did the time go?

Tom Bowers
37 Posted 13/04/2023 at 22:52:23
Seamus still has something to offer but it doesn't matter if he plays or not.

Everton have adequate players on defense to come in but as we all know the biggest problem is the offense.

Fulham are not doing well of late and have nothing to play for although we all know they will give Everton a hard time unless we can show them who's boss early on.

I am glad Mitrovic will be absent but of course Silva will be looking for something against the club he did nothing for except bring in Richarlison.

This has to be nothing less than three points given the standings and we cannot rely on other clubs slipping up even Leeds against RS.

Don Alexander
38 Posted 13/04/2023 at 23:48:35
Peter (#35), I was the same age that day. We had Jimmy Husband in the no. 9 shirt with a certain legendary Scottish centre-forward on our right wing. Husband scored both our goals but Ian Storey-Moore scored a hat-trick for them.

It's a bleak memory.

Red Rum's never meant much to me for obvious reasons but now that you mention Sandy Shore (for the times, a modest vocalist, who was termed "Pebbly Beach" by my scouse family) her song just may have been the catalyst for Kenwright squandering later decades in search of his "Puppet On A String."

Our young maths teacher, Mr Lawson, had a bet on Foinavon and was kind enough with some of his winnings to buy our school some mesmeric drawing equipment that left the then newly adored "Spirograph" toy in the distant shade.

He gave exhibitions of it in his own time - as a dedicated educator would.

Fran Mitchell
39 Posted 13/04/2023 at 23:59:27
If DCL is fit, and starts, wonder if Dyche would make big changes and go 3 at the back.

Keane, Coady, Tarkowski. McNeill and Iwobi wing backs. Garner, Gana, Onana as a midfield 3. Grey and DCL up top.

if not that, the I fully expect Godfrey at right back and Myko left back. DCL from the bench - although if fit I'd rather he starts and gets 60 minutes.

Simon Dalzell
40 Posted 14/04/2023 at 00:32:00
Robert 12. The Holgate you expect to be right back that is ' a decent defender' is he related to Calamity Kid Mason Holgate. who ISN'T ? You've made me nervous. I'd hoped to never hear that name again.
Kieran Kinsella
41 Posted 14/04/2023 at 03:03:59

I can’t stand Holgate or his fellow Chuckle brother Keane. However, Patterson can’t defend and Holgate has previously done OK at RB versus Godfrey who seems like a tri athlete who’s never played football before. So as long as he isn’t playing in a CB partnership alongside Keane, due to our paucity of options I would reluctantly probably utilize Mason at RB with Coleman absent.

Sam Hoare
42 Posted 14/04/2023 at 06:01:43
Full back has been an issue for a long time and I’m afraid spending upwards of £30m on Mykolenko and Patterson was yet more dubious spending. Mykolenko is solid enough though offers very little going forward and Patterson still has lots of time to improve but both were over priced; certainly when you look at cost of players like Lamptey, Estupinan, Livramento, Coufal, Alex Moreno, Kenny Tete etc

Oh for the prime days of Baines and Coleman!

Think Dyche will probably opt for Mykolenko and Godfrey this weekend. He values consistency and will probably make as few changes as possible. He doesn’t seem to rate Patterson.

Coleman can’t be relied upon next season again surely. If we stay up then I wonder if we’ll buy a new RB. If we go down then Patterson will be more than good enough for Championship you’d think.

Pete Day
43 Posted 14/04/2023 at 06:25:22
Help required ToffeeWebbers, my first trip to the old lady tomorrow, what are the best pre and post game pubs?
Terry Farrell
44 Posted 14/04/2023 at 06:28:31
Before he had his covid spell Godfrey was always easily the quickest player on the pitch so recovered if out of position. Last week Antony was at least as quick as him and exposed him badly. He lost the turbo power and hope he gets it back. Seamus has been outstanding since Dyche came in and will be a massive loss. Holgate for me and hope he steers clear of an early yellow.
Mike thought exactly the same about Naismith and his snodgrass decision. He finished off by saying let's concentrate on the players who are going forward!
Jim Bennings
45 Posted 14/04/2023 at 06:29:25
If ever a game was must win then this is hitting close to the bullseye.

The loss of Coleman will be felt because it's another square peg, probably Godfrey, in a round hole.

Patterson is another one who is starting to do my head in with the amount of time out since he's been here, I can't believe he's actually been here for 15 months and I've hardly seen him.

Right back and left back will be added to the summer tranfer list of at least two strikers and a creative, attacking midfielder.

All providing of course that we don't end up with a transfer embargo.

Paul Birmingham
46 Posted 14/04/2023 at 06:52:05
A must win game, and to hopefully claw away further from the bottom 3, with a bit of luck, if other results go Evertons way this weekend.
GD is proofing key, and a clean sheet in any game, is nice, but victory is key tomorrow.

On a seperate note good luck, to Steven Naismith in his caretaker role at Hearts. I rated him for team work and effort and he was the last Everton player to score the perfect hatrick v Chelsea -12.09.2015, the day after my Dad passed.

Tomorrow is a great chance for Everton to shine and progress up the table, and victory is important to get some positive momentum in the last month of this season.


Alex Whitehead
47 Posted 14/04/2023 at 07:02:23
Why do people constantly pick Iwobi in their starting 11? He is shite.
Danny O’Neill
48 Posted 14/04/2023 at 07:29:46
Paul @46, Naismith, although not the best, was a good honest player who you could count on for effort, determination and hard work. Also he should be credited for using his footballing brain to make intelligent runs.

He should also be credited with his personal charitable work. He has put his name to helping Dyslexia, sponsors a scheme to help injured ex-forces personnel back to work and his work with the homeless in Liverpool and Glasgow is well documented.

And he does that in a humble unassuming manner unlike St Marcus of Manchester.

Doesn't seek limelight, attention or interviews that have BBC breakfast gushing over him. He just goes about using his fortunate situation to help others.

I'm not dismissing what Rashford has done by the way, but look at the difference.

As well as donating tickets throughout job centres in Merseyside for unemployed people to attend the match.

Take note absent charlatan board if you are not using your seats. There are people who would take them in a second.

Danny O’Neill
49 Posted 14/04/2023 at 07:39:35
Pete @43, you may get many different answers to this one as most have their own rituals. Mine varies depending on who I'm meeting.

Pre-match, the Saddle Inn is a gathering point as is George McKane's "Dark House". Depending on how you're travelling, if by train, the North Western at Lime Street is always good for a pitstop before heading to the ground.

Personally I avoid the Spoons on County Road as it attracts away supporters (says me!!). Then I doubt there be many tomorrow.

The Brick and The Winslow are obvious ones, but I prefer them post match, especially after a decent result, as the sing-song gets boisterous bordering on emotional.

For tomorrow, you might want to consider the Harlech Castle on County Road. Derek Knox has rallied a gathering of a few of the regulars on this site. They will look after you.

Post match I often wander across Stanley Park to the Arkles, but I don't recommend that. It's just a personal thing to have a swift one in my late Grandfather’s local. He was an Evertonian, but it is a red pub. Easier to get a cab back to Lime Street even if it makes me feel bitter!

Jerome Shields
50 Posted 14/04/2023 at 07:45:46
Christy #28,

Regarding Williams, that impressed me as well.

Derek Thomas
51 Posted 14/04/2023 at 08:08:26
Peter @ 35; I went to that game too, for some reason, can't for the life of me think why, but both Carey and Wignall seemed to have points to prove, Wignall gave the normally unflappable Labone a torrid time.

Henry Newton had a decent game too - the only decent game I saw the glass kneed bluffer ever have...I'm sure Harry bought him on the strength of that one game - 5yrs too late.

Tommy Jackson excluded, there's a good case to say that Howard Kendall - in March 1967 - was the last decent signing he ever made.

Tony Everan
52 Posted 14/04/2023 at 08:26:11
I have watched Fulham and without Mitrovic they look very ordinary, even poor. Also, they seem to have lost some of their early season thrust, maybe as now they have little to play for. At this moment they are one of the weakest teams in the league.

That doesn't mean we turn up an win, we will have to be our best to achieve that, even the Bottom 9 clubs will hurt you if you are not 100% or make a sloppy unforced mistake.

It's a worn out cliche the ‘must win game', but it certainly applies to this one. Both for the big opportunity to get 3 points and also to regain the momentum.

I think the manager will revert to the tried and tested hard to beat 4-5-1 formation and will be happy to restrict Fulham and pick them off with a goal and another from a set piece. It frustrates some fans but it is what works best with the players we have got. A back three formation or a 4-4-2 always leave us exposed , they may sound good in theory, but in practice seldom work for us.

Here's my guess;

Holgate Keane Tarkowski Godfrey
Iwobi Garner Gana Onana McNeil

Calvert-Lewin likely kept in reserve for the last 20-30 minutes to help keep possession if we are winning, or score the winner if we're not.

Can't underestimate the importance of this match. COY BLUES !

Andrew McLawrence
53 Posted 14/04/2023 at 08:30:55
Reading that James Rodriguez is now a free agent!
Tony Abrahams
54 Posted 14/04/2023 at 08:49:56
He should have still been playing for Everton, Andrew, only for that horrible Benitez, to rob us of real genuine quality!
Ray Roche
55 Posted 14/04/2023 at 08:53:26
Instead Tony, he’s been wasting his talent in the Greek league. Shame.
Steve Shave
56 Posted 14/04/2023 at 09:00:07
Yes just saw that Andrew! Anyone know why they terminated his contract? I'd guess he was injured all the time, not pulling his weight, trained badly, partying and too expensive to keep but maybe that's being harsh.

I loved him while he was with us, probably the best player I have seen in an Everton shirt IMO. However, something tells me he doesn't have the stomach for a relegation battle and I can't see him being much of an SD player. MLS beckons for our James me thinks.

Matt Henderson
57 Posted 14/04/2023 at 09:00:14
Paying huge amounts for players like James is part of the reason the Club is in such a financial mess. It’s not just about how good he is or isn’t it is the return he provides for the amount of cash we outlay. For the amount we paid him he either needs to provide a return by way of a sell on profit at some point (not happening as too old) or generate money via substantially increasing our league position through his contribution (this didn’t happen either really as he was too often unavailable for the cash he was paid). In other words he was not worth the money paid.

It’s why smart Clubs buy young up and comers. They buy them cheap, don’t pay them much and then hopefully, if they’ve bought well, sell them at a large profit. Like it or not, given Everton’s revenue level and the FFP considerations meaning we can only lose so much money, we need to be one of these smart clubs (not the dumb one we have been run as for years that now, per our owner, has us facing an existential threat!)

Brian Denton
58 Posted 14/04/2023 at 09:01:59
Derek (51) when I read your comment about Kendall being Catterick's last decent signing, I gave it some thought.

A right Rogues Gallery came up in my head. Ernie Hunt, Joe Harper, Rod Belfitt, Bernie Wright, Newtons x 2 (actually a bit harsh on Keith), Tiger McLoughlin… perhaps you're right.

Brian Foley
59 Posted 14/04/2023 at 09:11:07
Fran Mitchell (39) bang on good 11 fits the 3 at the back looks very workable hoping SD reads that, tidy. Cannot KEEP doing the same thing look where we are.
Danny O’Neill
60 Posted 14/04/2023 at 09:13:14
I'd have taken James this season. Even if just for 10 to 15 games, he could have made a difference.

But that was then. Politics, stadium, board. They can wait until Sunday.

Tomorrow it's about the players that walk on the pitch we all dreamed of walking on with us behind them.

Pete Day
61 Posted 14/04/2023 at 09:21:50
Thanks for the advice Danny, would be nice to meet you and a few TWers, I'm staying at at a relatives so will probably catch a cab! What's the recognition signal Derek K? Do you wear a flag! 🤣
My email is dozzerday@gmail.com if anyone fancies dropping me their number 👍
Paul Hewitt
62 Posted 14/04/2023 at 09:38:30
For me the next 4 games will decide if we stay up or not. A win tomorrow is a must and I'd say we need at least 9 points from the next 4 games. Can't see anything from Brighton and city. And I don't want to go into the wolves and Bournemouth games not safe.
Ajay Gopal
63 Posted 14/04/2023 at 09:48:52
I hope Tony and Ray (54, 55) are being sarcastic! I know some genuine posters like Christine still pine away for James, but I just don't get how he can still be thought of fondly. Players like James, Dele, Delph, etc - players who are past their prime or lost their appetite for the game or been tossed out by experienced managers like Zidane, Mourinho, Guardiola - such purchases have been absolutely catastrophic for the club. Yes, there have been exceptions - Gareth Barry, Phil Neville (to an extent) - were useful buys and they did perform creditably, but such examples are few and far between. Benitez will never be remembered fondly, but two big favours he did for us was to get rid of James & Lucas Digne.
David Peate
64 Posted 14/04/2023 at 09:49:48
I see that James Rodriguez is a free agent now. Is Goodison the renewed place for him?
Paul Hewitt
65 Posted 14/04/2023 at 09:53:40
Tony@54 the fact that we was paying Rodriguez £250k a week is the reason we got rid. Not Benitez.
Si Pulford
66 Posted 14/04/2023 at 10:07:58
Patterson is a prospect for me but shouldn’t be anywhere near the starting eleven. Especially if not 100%. I just don’t get it with him. He’s a poor defender and his crossing is shocking.

Says something when our best RB is the guy we’ve been trying unsuccessfully to replace for the last five seasons.

I’d go godfrey just because we need to be solid and he has strength and speed. He was let down a little by our tactics at OT. That ball over the top was always going to let a fast winger like Anthony in. BG was exposed with a choice between drop deeper and risk not holding the high line therefore playing Anthony onside or a foot race every five minutes. Turned out to be the latter.

One of the few times Dyche got it wrong tactically for me. We got of conceded five easily.

Chris Leyland
67 Posted 14/04/2023 at 10:12:16
We must obsess and actually sign more former players than any other club. It seldom works out. Off the top of my head:
Howard as a manager again 2 more times
David Johnson
Alan Harper

I’m sure there are more. Very few were a success sending time round.

Why would we want to add a washed-up, released twice since he left us 18 months ago James to the list?

Mark Ryan
68 Posted 14/04/2023 at 10:40:30
If Rodriguez was any good he'd be playing on a top league week in week out. He's not because he is now past it. Not sure any team will consider him now.
Geoff Lambert
69 Posted 14/04/2023 at 11:13:50
I would take 20 minutes of James over any of our midfield wasters every match. he would create and score more at age 40 than this shower of shite.
John Cook
70 Posted 14/04/2023 at 11:25:52
Geoff Lambert spot on.Best footballer in a blue shirt since Alex Young IMHO.
Jim Wilson
71 Posted 14/04/2023 at 11:26:10
Patterson in
Garner in

Keep it simple
Strong midfield!

Mark Murphy
72 Posted 14/04/2023 at 11:27:07
Seamus is almost irreplaceable and I’ll be gutted when he’s sitting out but I disagree about Patterson. I think he’s a cracking prospect and will prove it with a decent run. He’s a massive improvement on Jonjo Kenny and I personally think he’ll become a crowd favourite. UTFT
Dave Abrahams
73 Posted 14/04/2023 at 11:31:59
Ajay (63) I think Tony was being sarcastic if he wasn’t he should have been!!
Joe McMahon
74 Posted 14/04/2023 at 11:45:07
Paul@65 exactly, that's over 1 million a month. Hiw a team that doesn't get to CL knock out stages can afford that, unless you are Newcastle post takeover. Let's not forget Ancelottis obscene salary also. No wonder we are in financial shit.
Alan J Thompson
75 Posted 14/04/2023 at 11:54:40
If Mr Dyche doesn't think that Patterson is match fit then how can he consider Holgate? Probably play Godfrey at right back for no other reason than he doesn't like change.
James Marshall
76 Posted 14/04/2023 at 12:03:34
James might be 31, and probably not a Dyche type player, but he's a Rolls Royce, an actual genuine fully fledged quality footballer. How many of those have we had over the years? You can count them on one hand.

He'd piss all over every player in our squad when it comes to ability - yeah he can't run, but who needs running when you have the ability he has? Let the others run around while he picks them out.

I was gutted he played for us during the pandemic and never got to see him live. I'd have him back in a heartbeat, even just for the last 8 games.

You get 5 subs now, so using James for maybe 20/30 minutes per game, he'd light the place up and create more than our entire squad.

Chris Leyland
77 Posted 14/04/2023 at 12:06:55
John Cook -I’d say both Beardsley and Kanchelskis were better than James at Everton. All had short Everton careers.

Trevor Steven and Kevin Sheedy were also better over a longer period of time.

Dave Abrahams
78 Posted 14/04/2023 at 12:14:45
James (76), I don’t think a Rolls Royce is much use if it’s nearly always in the garage.
Joe McMahon
79 Posted 14/04/2023 at 12:14:53
Chris@77, fully agree, and they didn't fly by private jet either. Peter Beardsley was a very clever player.
Christine Foster
80 Posted 14/04/2023 at 12:21:37
Ajay, "Pine for James" you're right, I do.. because he was quality and we failed to make the best use of him. The bullshit about his cost is eyewateringly false. He came on a free transfer. The first year of his salary was subsidised by RM, the club sanctioned his departure with the appointment of Benitez. It was always personal, after the first year of subsidy his wages would have been fully met by the club. It was reported Everton paid him 90k a week or a 150k+ salary. That makes his total cost to the club for the year he was here at about 6m.. that was expensive wasn't it?

We were supposed to be selling him due to S + P rules and the high salary we could not afford.. then we went out and got more players so much for that one..

I suspect the club wanted rid after Ancelotti went.. so the "inside sources let the BS of his salary get worse and fed into it. Don't believe it? All too convenient with this bloody board.

Regarding his age / quality / injury etc.. Even at the end of his era, he possessed more skill than anyone in the first team, so he was slaughtered in the press for his lifestyle..

You see all I saw was quality.. but all others saw was lazy.. he didn't run a million miles an hour like Keane, tackle like Iwobi, or finish like Maupay, so they must have been better.. yeah.. they must be..

James Marshall
81 Posted 14/04/2023 at 12:22:17

Agreed, but to get him in for 8 games? God knows we could do with the help!

Christine Foster
82 Posted 14/04/2023 at 12:26:08
JM 81# So for the last 8 games, who would you rather have.. James or Dele Alli?
James Marshall
83 Posted 14/04/2023 at 12:29:41
Christine, haha! I think we both know the answer to that!

The Dele Alli conundrum is such a shame - the kid has ability but appears to have the brains of a rocking horse.

Give me a fit James any day of the week (mainly Saturday's)

Steve Brown
84 Posted 14/04/2023 at 12:35:09
Quite strange that supporters celebrate the loss of top quality players, when it has led us to the brink of relegation for two successive seasons.
Phil Smith
85 Posted 14/04/2023 at 12:38:48
I’m also pro Patterson playing. Godfrey is useless going forward (although he does have bags of pace) and lately he can’t defend either. Need to win this. Start him, otherwise he’ll be another yet another young player who slowly wastes away for us. Garner in the middle as well.
James Marshall
86 Posted 14/04/2023 at 12:39:08
Steve - I concur. A lot of Evertonians appear to be more inclined to want grafters; players who run about a lot and make tackles at the expense of actual quality footballing ability.
Paul Hewitt
87 Posted 14/04/2023 at 12:41:06
James can't we have both. Other clubs do.
Danny O’Neill
88 Posted 14/04/2023 at 12:46:17
I pine the departure of any player of quality.

I think the lost generation has been sucked into low expectations. Well done Bill & Co, but you won't take my expectation away from me or take the fight out of my heart and Everton soul as long as I breathe. Most Evertonians demonstrated that last season. Sheer refusal to give in. Well, we need it again.

Kanchelskis and Beardsley. Quality. James likewise. Some around me at the time muttered about Sheedy being lazy on occasions. All perception I guess.

I would add to that list Anders Limpar. I liked watching him for Everton. Always head up, looking for where the ball was going next and a great precision passer of the ball.

It not any supporters fault or an indictment on any Evertonian's judgement, but we've almost collectively become fearful of genuinely creative players after years of being starved of or drip fed them in small doses.

I wonder how many peoples thoughts may have changed had they witnessed Rodriguez in the flesh at Goodison?

I would love to have watched him in Royal Blue.

Lee Courtliff
89 Posted 14/04/2023 at 12:48:02
I still pine for Andrei Kanchelskis 26 years after we sold him! Even in his 50s he'd still be one of quicker players.
Danny O’Neill
90 Posted 14/04/2023 at 12:50:21
Any quality team has a balance.

Quality creative players complemented by workhorses.

Young potential complimented with experienced wise heads.

Tony Everan
91 Posted 14/04/2023 at 12:52:21
James was the most gifted player to grace the Goodison turf for a long time. That left foot is a magic wand and we were lucky enough to see it in action, albeit briefly.

The problem wasn’t all money, it was the physicality of the Premier League. After the glorious start when he was strutting his stuff and helping us to the European places opposition teams and managers made him a marked man. Not just marked but taken out and taken out early in games. He got no protection from referees and was fouled to the extent of him being partially injured or negated.

Alan McGuffog
92 Posted 14/04/2023 at 12:53:07
Patterson is a right back. Our usual right back is crocked. Ergo Patterson should, if fit, play. Otherwise get shut and write it off as yet another mistake in the transfer market. I'm getting a little fed up of our square peg round hole philosophy
Ray Roche
93 Posted 14/04/2023 at 12:53:08

No Ajay, I wasn’t being sarcastic, I was merely saying that to have a God given talent like James, only to squander it through lack of application, is a shame and almost criminal.
James was/is hugely talented but chose to spend his latter playing years in sub standard leagues, in my opinion. I doubt if he’ll ever get fit or strong enough to play Premier League again.

James Marshall
94 Posted 14/04/2023 at 12:57:58
Paul - yep, and we should have that blend. Everton seem hellbent on ignoring players with ability in favour of workhorses though don't they.

We can all see a team screaming out for some creativity but there's fear attached to it because they don't always pull their weight in other ways so they're seen as a liability.

As a result we've scored a paltry 23 goals in 30 league games.

Paul Hewitt
95 Posted 14/04/2023 at 12:58:14
If we're talking about departing players. I was well gutted when we sold Trevor Steven. Still by far my favourite player.
Kevin Molloy
96 Posted 14/04/2023 at 13:03:34
we never did sell him Paul, he was stolen.
Danny O’Neill
97 Posted 14/04/2023 at 13:10:50
Paul @95, you're going to pull the discussion into the repercussions and impact on Everton of Heysels.

That can be debated, but right now I want to focus on the team I will watch tomorrow.

Stephen Vincent
98 Posted 14/04/2023 at 13:14:49
Chris #67, It worries me enormously that if our 'loan stars' return our midfield next season could be Gomes, Gbamin, Delle and Nkounkou. That scares me to death.
Dave Abrahams
99 Posted 14/04/2023 at 13:14:59
Christine (80), Benitez quite possibly didn’t like Rodriguez but he was told to get rid of him for financial reasons and there was a wild rush by other clubs to sign Rodriguez up when he left, he’s still floundering around after two unsuccessful goes with minor clubs but still gaining from his main aim, making money.

Ancelotti brought him here but didn’t take any responsibility for his career here, just shrugged his shoulders when asked about his injuries and let him skive as much as he wanted before he did one himself with him and Rodriguez both minted after their very brief stays here.

James (81), Maybe, it all depends on which Rodriguez turns up and he is older now and every game is a ninety minutes or more battle for survival, he will make sure he survives but doubt, very much, he would be much use to Everton now, he took the urine out of the club, manager and players not to mention the fans the last couple of months he was here. Thanks but no thank you very much.

Kevin Molloy
100 Posted 14/04/2023 at 13:15:18
I sill can't believe that after all the shit we went through with rubbish buys, we then bought Dele Alli. The terms of that deal, 'yes we can see he's on the slide, yes we'll pay his crazy contract, and if we actually play him we'll also pay you up to £40m, even though we didn't let Benitez spend a brass farthing'.

There's a reason we are in trouble, and it's not bad luck. The people at the top are guilty of gross incompetence.

Setting all that aside though, we HAVE to win tomorrow.

Danny O’Neill
101 Posted 14/04/2023 at 13:29:04
Time to get ready for tomorrow.

If you are walking to the ground from your home in Walton or Everton. If you are getting a Merseyrail to Kirkdale. The 81D from Speke or train from Hunts Cross, Kirkby or Southport.

If you are on a train or coach from far flung parts of the UK. If you are travelling from abroad. If you are up at a ridiculous hour watching from afar.

We are all there tomorrow. Descending on Goodison. Every single one of us. In person or in spirit.

Joe McMahon
102 Posted 14/04/2023 at 13:32:53
Danny, Gary Speed was always quality for Everton, but unfortunately we all know he didn't leave in great circumstances.
Danny O’Neill
103 Posted 14/04/2023 at 13:34:52
Good shout that Joe. A classy and quality player Gary Speed.
Peter Carpenter
105 Posted 14/04/2023 at 14:07:54
Barry, I bet they knew that 18 months ago.
Ian Bennett
106 Posted 14/04/2023 at 14:09:01
Iwobi refusing to sign until we are safe.
Jay Harris
108 Posted 14/04/2023 at 15:22:08
I wonder what has happened to Danny Mills. He was close to making he breakthrough a couple of seasons ago but for me Patterson has to fill the slot. Godfrey is a shadow of the player he was when he first came and Holgate is just plain Holgate a red card waiting to happen.
Ajay Gopal
109 Posted 14/04/2023 at 15:28:50
Jay, the last I heard he was in broadcasting


I know you meant Stanley Mills, maybe some of our friends on TW who follow the U21s can give us some insight.

Stan Schofield
110 Posted 14/04/2023 at 15:55:14
Dave @99: Rodriguez was fantastic when he was here and not injured. In my opinion, the best ball player since Colin Harvey.

But his injury problems began in the Goodison derby when the thug Van Dijk deliberately clobbered him. He was never the same after that.

Ironically, LFC and their cronies in the media went all drama queen about St Virgil's subsequent ACL, when in fact if he hadn't deliberately taken out Rodriguez, then the course of the game would have been different and, in all likelihood, St Virgil wouldn't have been injured that way.

It's this kind of thing, this cheating, thuggishness, and bias, that makes the modern game repulsive.

Dave Abrahams
111 Posted 14/04/2023 at 16:15:54
Stan (113) well you are entitled to your opinion but that game was in the middle of October and you say he was never the same after that so he was only fantastic, in your opinion, for a few games, I thought he played his part in the win at Spurs when the team looked very good. I saw him play well in parts of matches where he also gave the ball up to easily and wasn’t in the game for long spells. I think there was a massive hype about the few good things he did, which to be honest got you out of your seat, but nowhere enough or often enough, he entertained and frustrated me, more frustration than entertainment, very good in the Derby game at Anfield for the seventy minutes or so he was on the field, then very poor in the Newcastle game, for one, when he just gave up and went off the field injured after a less than severe tackle, he flattered to deceive far too often and at the end of the season he wouldn’t play because of little niggles and was allowed to do so by the man who brought him here, a very expensive twelve months in my opinion and it didn’t bother me that I never saw him live and don’t miss him at all.
Stan Schofield
112 Posted 14/04/2023 at 16:36:31
Dave@111: Well, at least we finished our usual midtable that season, and had some entertainment (as well as the usual frustration with Everton) in the process. In contrast to Ancelotti’s successor and the subsequent disaster of constantly battling relegation.

Dave Abrahams
113 Posted 14/04/2023 at 16:49:44
Stan (113),

Yes we have that. Ancelotti walked away more than well rewarded for his time here; his successor had to try and clean up the financial mess that others had made, given nothing to spend until he transferred Digne to Villa.

Then the players throwing their hand in during his management and the take over by the incompetent Lampard. On to Dyche taking over a thankless job of trying to restore the club and team into something like a proper club. I'm sure he'd have been delighted in having a player like Rodriguez in his squad!!

Geoff Cadman
114 Posted 14/04/2023 at 17:20:14
There are many players over the Moshiri era who have cost the club far more for far less contribution than James. Most of the ill will is the down to frustration we felt when he didn't feature because we knew he made us better.

Christine. I didn't know Real Madrid subsidised his first year's salary, I knew when he signed he was on £90k and couldn't understand the sudden jump to £250k widely reported in the press which turned many fans against him.

Jeff Armstrong
115 Posted 14/04/2023 at 17:34:15
James Rodriguez was a football mercenary before, during and after he came here. He puts in a decent 5 minutes here and there but only to perpetuate his reputation. His strategy has worked for him and his wealth will keep him and his family happy for years and years.
Pete Neilson
116 Posted 14/04/2023 at 17:58:13
After his inept performance at United, surely Godfrey won't even be on the bench. Let him run in the Grand National where he won't have a ball to watch.

Hopefully Patterson for Seamus.

Christopher Timmins
117 Posted 14/04/2023 at 17:59:17
Playing an out-of-form team who not got a lot to play for, 3 points is a must!

Brian Wilkinson
118 Posted 14/04/2023 at 18:04:05
No gloves or snoozes during training you can forget about James coming back.

Still not forgot him on his private jet, while we were getting battered at City.

Now Peter Beardsley different class, what a player he was.

Daniel A Johnson
119 Posted 14/04/2023 at 18:05:54
I don't understand the intricacies of the case but looks like after over 2 years, the player is now innocent?

Quite how it took 2 years to come to this conclusion is simply scandalous.

Bill Gall
120 Posted 14/04/2023 at 18:27:08
Reading some of the comments, I wonder if Sean Dyche can sort out Dele Alli and get him back on track for next season? He is not really that old, I believe he is about 27. There is a footballer in there somewhere and I believe that previous managers expected something different than what they got.

If there was something blocking the progress of Calvert-Lewin and over time, Sean Dyche and his staff have managed to get him back on track, they may be able to do the same with Dele Alli and we will have a good player on hand.

As for the team tomorrow, as I have never got it right before, to give Patterson a chance, I will go for Godfrey at right-back.

Robert Tressell
121 Posted 14/04/2023 at 18:56:41
Bill #122.

Sadly, I am pretty sure Alli is a completely lost cause. My hope of a decent outcome is that he does enough for us to sack him.

Ian Hollingworth
122 Posted 14/04/2023 at 19:09:14
We can debate the pros and cons of James all day long but we cannot deny that we lack quality and whatever your opinion of him he is / was a top quality player.

It is not a coincidence that we are fighting relegation again. We simply do not have enough quality especially in the final third of the pitch.

Like it or not, fellow blues, if we survive this season, you can expect more of the same next season: we will be surviving in the bottom half of the Premier League quite simply because we lack quality and, with the current financial mess, not a lot is going to change in terms of players.

Ian Hollingworth
123 Posted 14/04/2023 at 19:13:22
Most footballers are mercenaries, it’s a livelihood to them, they are not fans.
One of our own has taken more out of our club than most players.
Bill Gienapp
125 Posted 14/04/2023 at 19:54:49
Re: Patterson, I don't like it when managers get overly cute. Coleman and Patterson are our two right-backs. If Coleman is hurt and Patterson is fit, Patterson should start – period.

I don't see the logic of favoring Godfrey, who was so bad over the weekend, he had to be hooked at halftime, and is traditionally weaker at right-back anyway – or Holgate, who's a better option, but has basically played 45 minutes since October.

David West
126 Posted 14/04/2023 at 19:56:08
Fair enough never found guilty and charges may be dropped, Yet I never heard a statement proclaiming innocence or have I missed it? First thing I'd do is be out there calling it lies, if it's lies!!!

The mystery surrounding the charges and his disappearance only serve to stoke the rumours.

This is where footballers' contracts should have disrepute clauses in. Where the club can terminate contracts and seek compensation from the players for damages if found guilty of criminal offences seen to bring the club in to disrepute. Or are clubs insured against this type of thing?

David West
128 Posted 14/04/2023 at 20:32:49
On James Rodriguez, no surprise that Calvert-Lewin had his best season with a decent supply from a quality midfield player. Not had anyone near him since.

Yes, he's not Gana, not Iwobi but you could lose Iwobi, Gray and McNeil and still have more creativity with James in the team.

He had a left-foot wand that Harry Potter has wet dreams about…

Bill Gall
129 Posted 14/04/2023 at 20:54:15
Robert #123,

I don't believe in it being a lost cause, and I don't think the club do; otherwise, they would have already got rid of him. He is listed as injured and until he is fit he will be under contract.

Calvert-Lewin has been unfit for most of the season with the opinion of a number of supporters believing that his problem was more in his mind than an actual physical injury. Nobody really knows but it seems Sean Dyche and his staff are slowly solving whatever the problem was, whether it be physical or something else, and that is why I wonder if Dele Alli's problems are solvable also.

I don't know what is in his contract but I doubt if the club can just sack him.

Jeff Armstrong
130 Posted 14/04/2023 at 20:59:40
Bill @122,

Dele Alli is a lost cause as far as someone like Dyche is concerned. Dyche knows you get one chance at a top-flight career and you make the most of it; he won't pander to an ego who has pissed his career up a wall.

Don't waste your time on Dele All… Dyche won't.

David West
131 Posted 14/04/2023 at 21:36:12
Dele Alli will never get to where he was. Mourinho seen it coming years ago. You can have all the talent in the world, but without hard work, application, discipline and desire, the talent is worthless. I'd say Dele Alli is lacking in all 4 categories...

A real shame. Someone I thought was really a world class player in the making. The lad was frightening in his prime, shame that prime was as a 21- to 23-year-old.

Cut our losses, get what we can, or least worst deal possible.

Christine Foster
132 Posted 14/04/2023 at 21:45:31
Kim, the case is unproven. Meaning just that, he is acquitted with insufficient evidence to substantiate any allegations.
It would be interesting to hear his side of the story but who knows, the club dropped him like a hot brick when the allegations were made but not proven. A career ruined which ever way you look at it.
Philip Abbott
133 Posted 14/04/2023 at 22:04:09
2 tickets available v Fulham, contact Roy on 07894032243
Hans Fyhrqvist
134 Posted 14/04/2023 at 22:29:02
Great that Dominic Calvert-Lewin is in consideration for tomorrow´s game. Everton have really missed him. Hopefully he could play at least some part against Fulham. At the same time we must "pray" that there will not be any further set-backs.

If Nathan Patterson steps in at right back, there will be the needed energy, and hopefully a cool head, too.

Imo Everton should have Ellis Simms/DCL (one starting and the other coming off the bench, if needed) as our main striker and target man. Would also suggest moving Alex Iwobi in central midfield (or starting James Garner alternatively) and Demarai Gray on the wing.

Sean Dyche said in the press conference that, apart from demanding his players to show the needed desire, commitment, energy and concentration, he would also like to see that the Everton players could adopt a kind of relaxed state of mind which allows them to perform to their utmost. The Goodison crowd will push our players onwards, and so it should, but the mentality of the players will always be decisive.

David West
135 Posted 14/04/2023 at 22:36:36
Christine 133 There lies the dilemma we fans have been left with.
I liked him as a player. Left a huge hoke in our team. Never replaced.
If the club were willing to write off his value let's say 20- 30m plus the final year wages we paid him without any statement of innocence or willingness to clear his own name.
Just because an alleged incident fails to meet the threshold for cps it doesn't mean it didn't happen, it means there is insufficient evidence for a conviction.

I'd be screaming my innocence on every TV channel, on every social media platform providing my own evidence countering the allegations.

Derek Knox
136 Posted 14/04/2023 at 22:37:15
Hans, totally agree with your comment on Ellis Simms, this lad has scored goals everywhere he has played.

Okay, the Premier League is another step up, but how is he going to gain confidence, hence goals, if not played regularly?

Hans Fyhrqvist
138 Posted 14/04/2023 at 00:14:35
Derek, very good point. Still, in this relegation battle mire we are in, I think that we could maybe put too much responsibility on Ellis Simms, if he would be expected to lead the line alone, especially if Calvert-Lewin is available.

And to be able to choose between those two would be a luxury we haven´t had for ages, or months. With Simms being quite inexperienced and Calvert-Lewin lacking match fitness, could be a win-win situation for both.

Ben King
139 Posted 15/04/2023 at 00:22:30
David #140,

Do you think Sigurdsson would want to play for a club that (he may perceive) didn't support him in his hour of need?

Do you think Sigurdsson will be match fit and ready to go?

Personally, I think the answer to both questions is ‘no'.

Simon Dalzell
140 Posted 15/04/2023 at 01:34:48
If Calvert-Lewin is in the squad, I would definitely start with him, although I can't see Dyche doing this.
Simon Dalzell
141 Posted 15/04/2023 at 01:39:44
Fair comment, Kieran, but I really think Holgate spreads unease wherever he is. Admittedly I'm somewhat blinkered in my dislike for the 'Kid'.
Steve Brown
142 Posted 15/04/2023 at 01:47:36
Even stranger!

The manager who sold James and Digne, signed Rondon, unravelled the football operations team, led the DoF to quit, collapsed team morale, and brought us to the brink of relegation before being sacked is now the victim.

I think that is some weird alternative universe in play.

Lampard may have been a poor manager, but he got out of the massive hole that Benitez had dug for us with his catastrophic period in charge.

Sam Hoare
143 Posted 15/04/2023 at 05:13:07
Derek @138, the trouble with Simms is more about how he plays without the ball than with it.

Dyche's system when working well depends a lot upon a collective pressing of the ball and blocking of passing lanes. This starts from the front. Doucouré was a big part of this as he can run all day.

Simms does not work hard enough from the front and so the midfield ends up getting bypassed more easily, we've conceded more chances in the two games he started than any others I believe.

Simms has his uses as a super sub when we need a goal but I'm not sure he can start regularly till he improves his work rate and defensive work. This may sound crazy to say about a striker but success under Dyche will depend upon efficiency of his system and that's why he needs a team of hard workers who understand their roles.

Danny O’Neill
144 Posted 15/04/2023 at 05:33:28
Sam @146.

Simms is 22 years old. He's played less than 10 games for Everton's first team but lifted the roof at Stamford Bridge.

He is an output of the standard of what our academy has been in recent years. But he is what we have, so we use him.

I hope he shows for the ball today and gets a goal in front of the Gwladys Street.

Matchday mode now. Bring the points home blues. Forget the rest. They don't matter.

Everton matters.

Sam Hoare
145 Posted 15/04/2023 at 05:38:21
It's a huge match today. Fulham are without Mitrovic (and Silva?) and have less to play for though may have an outside shot at Europe.

Dyche will probably change things as little as possible but will have big decisions about who replaces Coleman and Doucouré, my guess would be Garner and Mykolenko (swapping sides with Godfrey).

Fulham will rely a lot on William and Pereira. Limiting those 2 will be hard and we could use Onana stepping us his efforts from last few games. Can't imagine Calvert-Lewin will start but 30 minutes from him (if he's fit) could make a big difference.

Hope Goodison is a bear pit as we really need 3 points today!!

Godfrey Keane Tarkowski Mykolenko
Onana Gana
Iwobi Garner McNeil

Sam Hoare
146 Posted 15/04/2023 at 05:42:25
Danny@147, it doesn't matter how old Simms is. Or where he's come from. Today is only about getting 3 points.

I don't think starting Simms is the best way to do that. I'm not convinced Dyche will either for the reasons I stated. But we will see. Obviously if he does get the nod, he will receive my full backing!!

Danny O’Neill
147 Posted 15/04/2023 at 05:42:36
We'll be fine, Sam. Ours to win. And we will.
Sam Hoare
148 Posted 15/04/2023 at 05:43:38
Very much hope so, Danny!
Danny O’Neill
149 Posted 15/04/2023 at 05:45:24
It does matter how old and experienced he is, Sam, as with any player.

I'll agree with you on bringing him on as an impact player.

Sam Hoare
150 Posted 15/04/2023 at 06:09:43
Danny, what I meant is that today it doesn't matter. Today is about 3 points only; it's not about giving young players a chance or supporting the academy or any of that (usually important) sentiment.

Today is purely about selecting the best unit to get the win. Personally I don't think Simms starts according to that rationale.

Laurie Hartley
151 Posted 15/04/2023 at 06:11:41
I like Godfrey and I think Dyche will likely play him at right-back but I honestly think Holgate would be a better pick for this game.

I think we might see a few surprises in the midfield starters for this one.

Whatever happens we "must win" this game – full stop. I have lost count of the times that we have had the chance to change the course of our season by winning one crucial game and failed to do so.

The only time I can recall of us doing so in recent times was against Crystal Palace last season. We need a repeat – but please can we do it from the front this time.

Up the Blues!!!!

Danny O’Neill
152 Posted 15/04/2023 at 07:47:28
In agreement with you Sam and on my way to Goodison.
Eddie Dunn
153 Posted 15/04/2023 at 07:51:17
The rightback slot is a worry. If it is true that Dyche doesn't rate Patterson, then it is because defensively, he is terrible.
Godfrey is fit but brainless. Of the two, I would go with Patterson because he does get forward with some real purpose.
You can bet your bottom Dollar that Silva has instructed his team to hit our right flank.
As for DCL, if he does get on the bench, remember how it always takes a few games for him to be effective. If we have to use him, it will only mean we are behind.
Steve Shave
154 Posted 15/04/2023 at 07:59:50
Must win game, Silva will be up for proving a point here. I am happy with Dyche so far but have often wondered what could have been if we had backed Silva after that strong end to the season with a pacey CB to replace Zouma and if Gbamin hadn't got injured. Hey-ho, I liked Silva and wish him well, just not today!

I hope SD picks Patterson who I like alot, the only real spell of games of us looking effective under Frank was when Patterson was marauding forwards. Garner deserves his chance in the centre today, I'd keep Iwobi out wide covering for Patterson. Gray to start up front, DCL to come on after an hour to get minutes. COYB!

Steve Shave
155 Posted 15/04/2023 at 08:02:31
And to add, dive or no dive from that fanny Kane, Doucoure really screwed up against Spurs and we have missed him badly. He let us down at a vital time.
Jim Lloyd
156 Posted 15/04/2023 at 08:37:28
Yep, Steve, we could have done with him, and still need all hands to the pump for the rest of the season. Doucouré let us down. I think Sam is right. Today and all the games to come, play the lads giving us the best chance of points; and if Simmsy can come on as a impact player late on, excellent.
I'm hoping that Garner is fit enough to start and get some passes going forward. Whoever plays today, I'm sure they'll pull their tripes out and the supporters will raise the roof again. I'm not so sure about Godfrey as a full back, either on the right or the left, but I think he could do a job in the midfield, as he's got a great engine but not quite as much of a brain.
It's sad, no going back, but I thought Moshiri sacked Silva to early; and went for a star name who didn't cut the mustard at all.
Robert Tressell
157 Posted 15/04/2023 at 08:47:23
If Dyche doesn't play Patterson today then I wouldn't read too much into it.

Holgate might get the nod but Patterson will still probably be earmarked for the RB slot for many years to come.

It can come down to fitness, maturity, the tricky circumstances.

The good thing is that players like Godfrey, Patterson, Garner and Holgate do have qualities and they are the sorts of players Dyche has worked hard to improve in the past. They might all make a contribution in the run in.

Jeff Armstrong
158 Posted 15/04/2023 at 09:09:46
Dyche will probably go with Godfrey RB, Myko LB, Garner in midfield, Gray up top, and both Simms and DCL on the bench.
Alan J Thompson
160 Posted 15/04/2023 at 10:35:05
Fair to assume then that neither Dele nor James will be playing this afternoon regardless of the right back position. Meanwhile, back near the pitch...
James Marshall
161 Posted 15/04/2023 at 10:40:51
Patterson is a right back, Coleman is injured = play the second choice right back at right back.


Christy Ring
162 Posted 15/04/2023 at 10:44:18
Patterson has played few games because he's always injured, he might be a good prospect, but when he was in the side, did he not make a couple of horendous mistakes where he was responsible for a couple of goals, and we gave him the benefit of doubt because of his lack of experience?
Danny O’Neill
163 Posted 15/04/2023 at 11:00:28
Edge Hill, inbound to Lime Street.

See some of you before. See some of you after. See some of you there. Share the journey with those watching.

We can do this blues.

Dave Abrahams
164 Posted 15/04/2023 at 11:02:52
Steve (142), if you ever get to England I’ll have a drink with you and I’ll argue all those points you made in your post, in fact make that a few drinks, in the meantime let’s hope the Blues get these three points today, best wishes and good health Steve.
Rob Hooton
165 Posted 15/04/2023 at 11:05:26
I thought Patterson was looking like a real prospect before his injury and that Seamus wouldn’t be missed, albeit with a few naive mistakes in him. I’d like to see him start, he’s got fight in him and is the only other natural right back in the squad, Godfrey or Holgate will likely offer nothing going forwards and we need to attack this game where we can.

Desperately need a win here, don’t care how it happens as long as we get 3 points. Would be lovely to see Calvert-Lewin get a stress free run out for the last 20 mins where we are 3-0 up!!!

Colin Malone
166 Posted 15/04/2023 at 11:19:44
Is James Rodriguez was available now? He never played at a full Goodison stadium. I would love him back, even though he ain't a Dyche type player, he's fucking class.
He would love the Goodison crowd and the crowd would love him.
Dale Rose
167 Posted 15/04/2023 at 11:23:12
Danny #48. Very well said.
Robert Tressell
168 Posted 15/04/2023 at 12:00:24
Personally I don't get the fascination with Rodriguez who got found out as a liability and weak link after about half a dozen games. Lovely skills but offered less to the team than Sigurdsson and played like he was in an exhibition futsal game.

You don't need to sign broken ex stars like him and Alli to have creativity. Look at Mitoma and MacAllister at Brighton.

Look at how Arsenal have come on since getting rid of similarly talented lazybones Ozil.

And the reason we've scored so few is because Lampard is a bad manager and we've tied up so much money in disastrous vanity signings that would couldn't afford the likes of Kudus and Ouattara, who could easily be stars in their own right soon.

Christopher Timmins
169 Posted 15/04/2023 at 12:03:45
I don't understand the negativity about Patterson, before he got injured he was doing fine. He is certainly a more natural option for the right back slot than Godfrey and his delivery is way superior. I am not a great believer in putting square pegs into round holes.

We need 3 points today and the role of our full backs will be crucial in providing the necessary attacking intent, therefore, Patterson and Myko to start and Everton to win!

Raymond Fox
170 Posted 15/04/2023 at 12:05:02
Its a must win today, we really need the 3pts.

Fulham are safe and are on a free shot, while our players are bound to be nervy.
How that plays out, who knows.

We are at Goodison so that might swing it in our favour, I sure hope so.

Steve Shave
171 Posted 15/04/2023 at 12:12:52
Christopher @169 I hear what you are saying but does Mykolenko offer "attacking intent" ? I must have missed that. I'm not one for knocking players and I like him but his attacking game is extremely limited. I think he will go on to have a solid Everton career though but based largely on defensive abilities.

For this reason I want us to invest in Patterson's development who does cause problems moving forwards and I think eventually will add goals to his game.

Dave Abrahams
172 Posted 15/04/2023 at 12:16:04
Robert (168), you’ll never convince Rodriguez’s followers that he is less than a genius, it’s like a cult group.

Christopher (169) I was made up Everton signed Ben Godfrey but he hasn’t developed like I thought he would, he’s had his injury problems but he’s more of an athlete than a footballer while Patterson, who has also had his injury problems, is a much better footballer with a brain to match, he, I think, will be a good investment for the Blues while there is still time for Ben to improve under Dyche and add football knowledge to his athleticism and become a more reliable player than he is now.

David Midgley
173 Posted 15/04/2023 at 12:40:36
This is not on topic. I want three tickets for Everton /City . I want to take my son-in-law and my grandson six to his first Everton game. The tradition continues. He came home from school a year ago and said " Grandad, I'm a Bluenose ! " Will be a wonderful experience for him and for me !
What's the best way to get tickets ?
Jim Lloyd
174 Posted 15/04/2023 at 12:40:51
Rodriquez had the skills that have been missing for a long, long time. But he played when he fancied it. What was he costing us? £200,000 a week? He played some good stuff but wasn't he injured for weeks with us, then shot right off in his private jet, to see if he could get in his national team. Their coach wouldn't play him and he doesn't seem to have done anything since he's left.
Yep, Benitez brought Rondon in but I wonder what our pulling power and financial state were when he did. I also think Benitez brought in two really good players for about A million £££'s Gray and Townsend 2 of thebest players in the squad. fior the money
Mark Taylor
175 Posted 15/04/2023 at 12:57:26
Personally, I'd play Iwobi with McNeil and Gray either side and Simms up front. Iwobi doesn't really work on the wings but he can pick a pass and he does run around a lot, so would make a good first line of defence.

We have seen little of Simms, he looked out of his depth in the derby but that goal against Chelsea is one that I do not think could be scored by any other fit member of our squad and on that alone, he deserves a chance. If by some miracle we are several goals up, bring DCL on for some match time- he usually takes several games before he's sharp, so he is an unlikely saviour for now.

It's somewhat depressing to find the loss of Seamus causes a minor crisis. That is partly because of his perhaps unexpected continued quality, despite his years, mainly because we still haven't replaced him. Godfrey is out of form, Holgate is risky and while I worry about Patterson's defensive nous, he is a proper RB unlike the others and he was the bloke we bought to replace Seamus, so if fit, he should start. Maybe make sure one of the DM's makes a point of leaning a bit more to the right because of course Gray is not going to provide all that much cover.

What will actually happen is the predicted line up in the article probably with Onana playing the Doucoure role between Iwobi and McNeil. DCL will play twenty mins and hopefully not with us chasing the game.

Allan Board
176 Posted 15/04/2023 at 13:19:23
Just win- it doesn't matter how- just win. Lose today and I think we are in big,big trouble. Don't consider other teams games, it is irrelevant- just win or draw every game now,by any means.
Going to the last game of the season this is.
Oh,and whatever happens between now and the end of the season- just make sure Tom Cannon is back in an Everton shirt for the start of next season- he's already better and more reliable than Dcl, and Branthwaite
should be our 1st choice center half too. Youth next season please, had enough of highly paid experienced shithouses at Everton to last me a lifetime! Rather watch youth giving it their all in the Championship, than more crap from our current prima Donna's.
Christine Foster
177 Posted 15/04/2023 at 13:26:58
Dave.. thanks for that, being a cult member and all. You and I differ on his value / quality, I get that, such is the value of debate. I see things different to you, and thats ok. Nothing that a few drinks wouldn't cure. We will agree to differ.

Today is far more important than looking backward.. I hope DCL plays but if he doesn't I hope the boys put the effort in that was lacking so badly last week.. its a must win..

Mick O'Malley
178 Posted 15/04/2023 at 13:29:47
I am a member of the cult group, I want to see some footballers not just headless chicken tackling machines, I couldn’t care less that he played 50% off the games while he was here, Calvert Lewin does it now Ffs and yet some still pine for him, if Rodriguez want here Calvert Lewin wouldn’t have scored those goals he did that season, proven by his diabolical goal return since James left

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