Everton undone by ruthless City machine

14/05/2023 63comments  |  Jump to last
Everton 0 - 3 Man City

Dominic Calvert-Lewin was withdrawn at half-time after feeling tightness in his groin

Everton fell to predictable defeat to Champions-elect Manchester City as Ilkay Gündogan underlined the chasm in class between the two clubs with another world-class performance that took the visitors to within two wins of the title and kept the Blues mired in relegation danger.

In truth, Sean Dyche’s side, hobbled somewhat by the loss to injury of Vitalii Mykolenko that prompted the manager to deploy Mason Holgate as an awkward left-back, put up a spirited display for much of the first half and enjoyed their best spells after they had fallen irretrievably behind by a three-goal margin.

However, City’s vast superiority enabled them to break the deadlock through an impressive piece of improvisation from Gündogan and then double their lead through a trademark header by Erling Haaland to give them a half-time lead.

Dyche withdrew Dominic Calvert-Lewin as a precaution after the striker reported feeling tightness in his groin and introduced Neal Maupay and though Gündogan killed the contest with a free-kick early in the second half and Everton’s sub offered little up front, the home side did enjoy some decent spells in what became something of an exhibition game as the match progressed.

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Mykolenko’s injury, a “minor thigh strain” sustained in training yesterday, forced Dyche into making one change from the team that had romped to victory at Brighton last Monday and fielding Holgate out of position meant that Everton were vulnerable down their right flank.

Nevertheless, it was the hosts who carried the early threat, with Edersen sending a sixth-minute clearance into Alex Iwobi that the Nigerian couldn’t control before great work by Calvert-Lewin down the right wing saw him find Abdoulaye Doucouré in the centre but Idrissa Gueye was smothered by two City defenders after picking up Dwight McNeil’s square pass.

A potentially pivotal moment arrived in the 34th minute when James Garner and Calvert-Lewin drove forward on another promising counter-attack through the centre but the striker’s touch was a little heavy and it only resulted in a corner.

Tarkowski rose to meet the set-piece from the right and his downward header fell to Holgate at the near post but the bounce was at an awkward height and the defender couldn’t get over the ball to knock it home.

A minute later, Rodri tested Jordan Pickford for the first time with a low drive from 25 yards and a minute after that, the visitors took the lead. Mahrez’s ball from the right flank into the six-yard box picked out Gündogan who controlled it off his thigh and then hooked it backwards past Pickford.

It was evocative of the Anfield derby and Everton’s defeat at Arsenal where a decent start and defensive solidity had been broken in the later stages of the first half but this time Manchester City killed the game with a rapid second.

Pep Guardiola’s men won a second ball on their left flank this time, an incident that irked Dyche in terms of his defence, where Güdogan was able to flight an inch-perfect cross for Haaland to easily leap above Holgate and power a header in off Pickford’s glove.

A foul by Garner just outside the box presented Gündogan with the chance to extend the lead four minutes after half-time, one that he seized with both hands by curling the resulting direct free-kick into the top corner of Pickford’s goal.

Dyche withdrew Gueye and Holgate in the 55th minute and introduced Amadou Onana and Conor Coady, moving to something more resembling a back five with James Tarkowski on the left side of defence and McNeil playing wing-back.

Everton had a few decent passages of play and some promising moments, notably when Maupay was presented with a chance to shoot from 25 yards by eschewed the opportunity to test Edersen and then when Tarkowski rattled the crossbar with a header from a corner.

Referee Anthony Taylor awarded a second corner for the Blues and Yerry Mina might have done better when he met the ensuing dead-ball chance but his downward header bounced over the bar.

Demarai Gray made a now-rare appearance off the bench in place of Garner but the game was essentially over at this point, with no further chances for either side.

As expected losses go, this was among the more obvious even if there had been a feeling beforehand that Everton had enough to perhaps scratch out another point, having denied City all three points at the Etihad Stadium on New Year’s Eve.

Guardiola's squad - and Gündogan in particular - is, simply, on another level and the Blues would have needed everything to go for them today in order to get anything from this match.

Of more concern is the fitness of Calvert-Lewin ahead of a crucial trip top Wolves next weekend and the home game with Bournemouth beyond that on the final day.


Reader Comments (63)

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Frank Sheppard
1 Posted 14/05/2023 at 19:02:26
As long as DCL not injured, no harm done.
Rick Tarleton
2 Posted 14/05/2023 at 19:13:13
It was rather like watching the talented Under-13s team take on the first eleven. You just knew that eventually the difference in skill, athleticism, even strength would tell in the end.

I hope Calvert-Lewin is able to play in the last two fixtures because without him we have no attacking focus. Maupay offers so little he may as well not be on the pitch, in fact only Onana of our subs actually was an improvement on the player he replaced.

What a strange league this is. We beat Brighton 5-1 at their place, they beat Arsenal 3-0 at the Emirates. Place your bets for all other results, I just hope Liverpool do us a favour tomorrow night.

If we scrape through and escape relegation and having read Paul the Esk's excellent analysis of our financial situation, I can't see next season being a huge improvement on this one. Doom, gloom and the need for a new broom is vital.

Jay Evans
3 Posted 14/05/2023 at 19:16:32
Calvert-Lewin fit for next week. 👍🏼
Bill Fairfield
4 Posted 14/05/2023 at 19:29:40
I thought we played some good stuff without really hurting City.

Holgate missed a great chance, which was a choker.

Class told in the end. At least we stuck at it, which gives confidence for the next two games.

Brian Denton
5 Posted 14/05/2023 at 19:40:34
If it ever emerges that we could have had Arab state money if Kenwright had been prepared to let go of his train set ....he should rot in hell.
Christopher Timmins
6 Posted 14/05/2023 at 20:02:36
Move on to next weekend, today was always a likely defeat against a team who could well win the treble and their fifth title in 6 years.

A good decision to take off Calvert-Lewin, we need him and Mykolenko starting against Wolverhampton.

It may well go to the last day.

Mark Andersson
7 Posted 14/05/2023 at 20:11:53
No surprise Man City deserve more credit than they get from the biased media.

We live in hope but, as above said, the same shite next season if we do survive.

Michael Lynch
8 Posted 14/05/2023 at 20:24:30
We looked well organised and focussed for most of the game, but City won at a stroll.

If we'd played like this all season, we'd be mid-table. As it is, relegation is still very much on the cards, especially if the Red Shite crumble tomorrow night.

Classy from the fans that stayed to the end to cheer the players off the pitch. They looked like they expected a less positive reaction. It's important we don't get on their backs at this point – we need to be united.

Tony Everan
9 Posted 14/05/2023 at 21:06:46
Manchester City are not really part of the Premier League, they are in a league of their own. They are way ahead of the second placed team who have had a bit of a one off season. All this whilst still going strong in the FA cup and Champions League.

Today they came up against a weakened Everton side, the result was entirely predictable. We did the best we could. The reality was always about our forthcoming performances against Wolves and Bournemouth.

Neither of those teams are at Brighton’s level, so we are bang in the game to get points. We need a full strength team, full on focus and commitment, then we can make it happen.

It’s natural to be panicky but I’d rather be in our position than Leicester, Leeds or Nottingham Forest’s. (Just about).

My Amstrad 386 says;

Leicester L D W 34 points

Nottingham Forest L D 35 points

Leeds D W 35 points

Everton D W 36 points

Prepare yourself for a stressful last day!

Dave Abrahams
10 Posted 14/05/2023 at 21:12:19
I thought we played very well for most of the first half but then the concentration dropped for a couple of minutes and Man City took full advantage to go two-up.

I thought the second goal could have been prevented with three or four players at fault, with Pickford stuck on his line and the ball in his 6-yard area, he really should be coming out to either catch the ball or punch it clear.

Mina seemed to blame him for the third goal; I thought he left a big gap between himself and his right-hand post where he invited the goalscorer to place the ball – which he promptly did.

Losing Dominic left us with hardly any attacking ideas but we never packed in, kept City down to the three goals, and physically battled on with good performances from Tarkowski, Patterson, Gueye, Garner and Everton's best player over the last few games, McNeil, not giving in against a team that is by far the best team in England and possibly the world.

Dyche is doing his best with such a small squad but finding it very hard when that squad is limited in talent made worse when injuries limit it even further.

With just two games to go, he might still drag us over the line to fight another season in the Premier League with whatever players he can acquire to help in the fight while getting rid of some who are just not good enough, certainly for the Premier League.

John McFarlane Snr
11 Posted 14/05/2023 at 22:01:37
Hi Rick [2] and Dave [10],

I'm aware of the fact that fans of many age groups contribute to this site. I also know that, like myself, you are no spring chickens.

It is unfair that players who all season have been called crap and other names should be expected to outplay a team that has been brought together over a period of time and at great expense.

I acknowledge that Manchester City were far superior in every department and I believe that every Everton player had given all he could give for the cause.

It's also my belief that they were up against possibly the best team in Europe and beyond. I left the ground feeling both disappointed and proud.

Dane Munro
12 Posted 14/05/2023 at 22:22:11
My boss lad has said repeatedly, "It will go to the last game and day."

Expressions on here, 'a stressful last day'; 'As long as Calvert-Lewin not injured, no harm done'; '...the same shite next season if we do survive'; 'Doom, gloom, and the need for a new broom is vital'.

Personally, I feel the players performed like 1-5 at Brighton never happened; if that performance can't give them encouragement to give the same again a go, regardless of the knowledge we can never and are unlikely to ever manage to get near this incredible, finite, intelligent, classy footballing side – whining and behaving like children, aside – it is depressing.

Dyche may well have reminded them of keeping goal difference under control, but they still played with little belief, and nothing but hope in their heads.

I am totally fed-up with their lack of footballing common sense and intelligence. They can't even manage to pass a ball either with pace or accuracy, to feet, along the floor. I can do that and I'm bloody 62!

I thought they lacked pride in themselves, and playing for Everton Football Club. If fans saw drive, passion, and determination in these players today, a la Brighton, then they were watching a different game than me.

They are Premier League players who do this every day, for fuck's sake!!!

Rob Dolby
13 Posted 14/05/2023 at 23:25:57
I thought we gave it a good go for the first 35 mins and the last 25 of the 2nd half once we changed shape.

The holdgate miss at the back post then 2 mins later we are 2 down!.

A piece of brilliance from Gunduguon for the first, assist for the 2nd and great free kick. He was the best player on the park.

Holdgate shouldn't be anywhere near the team nevermind left back. It was embarrassing watching him against Mahrez. Saying that he didn't pick himself, God knows what Dyche sees in him and Maupay.

We need the shite to do us a favour tomorrow night, then roll on to Wolves at the weekend.
Keep it tight again and hit them on the break. Playing expansive would be suicidal.

George Stuart
14 Posted 14/05/2023 at 23:53:11
Red Shite are desperate for champions league football. Might even be a financial imperative.
They will be looking to beat Leicester.
Alan J Thompson
15 Posted 15/05/2023 at 07:00:30
I really don't follow some postings that we did okay for 35 minutes and the 2nd half. For a start, Man City gave up after the third and just pottered around for the rest of the game. The nearest we came to scoring fell to a replacement full-back who was wrong-footed as he failed to consider the ball might actually come through to him and it never entered his head to throw himself at it.

Their first goal, Mina just stood watching when he could have moved in to help Patterson, and for the second, Holgate was a yard behind Haaland, ball watching for no good reason and Tarkowski didn't seem to think that perhaps he should have been marking that man. As for Iwobi, he forever gave his man several yards start and just ran after him never catching up.

I thought it was bad enough accepting mediocrity but it now seems it is okay to be appalling providing we think the opposition are quite good.

And the problem with team selection rests with one man who, like some of his predecessors, seems allergic to the idea of maybe using youngsters rather than players out of position or just not good enough. And let's be honest we won't be losing any nearly players whose contracts aren't out of date never mind get a fee for them, and we are not in a position we don't deserve to be.

Mediocrity? I'd love to be able to complain about it!

Steve Brown
16 Posted 15/05/2023 at 07:48:01
Maybe try rewatching the match, Alan.

I assume the other teams that Man City have beaten in the last 15 league games are also mediocre and appalling? Given that they have won 14 games and drawn 1 game, that is quite a list.

Somebody had better let Arsenal, Liverpool and Newcastle know in particular that they are shite. Particularly given that those 3 teams conceded 13 and scored 3 in the 4 games that they played against City.

Rob Halligan
17 Posted 15/05/2023 at 07:57:57

Your first couple of lines have described perfectly Man City against Leeds last week, when they went 2-up within 30 minutes, and then took their foot completely off the pedal, even though they could easily have scored a few more, so poor were Leeds.

Jeez, even at the end, the Leeds players, and Allardyce ,were over at their fans, celebrating as if they had got something from the game, Allardyce was even punching the air. For fuk's sake,, what's all that about, celebrating a defeat, or was it merely celebrating they had restricted Man City to 2 goals, when it should have been much more?

The last game they won was 4-2 at Wolves, how the hell did they manage that, the same day we drew at Chelsea. So if a piss-poor team like Leeds can go to Wolves and win, then so can we.

In fact we now seem to be doing okay away from home, drawing four and winning one from the last six.

Alan J Thompson
18 Posted 15/05/2023 at 08:01:25
Steve (#16);

It's not other teams that I'm interested in or commenting on but, if that performance satisfies you that we gave our all and couldn't or shouldn't consider improving, then that's your right.

I don't find it good enough!

Matt Hayhurst
19 Posted 15/05/2023 at 08:55:55
We played the best team in the world, kept the goal difference down, and stayed out of the Bottom 3.

It is in our hands with 2 games to go.

As long as Calvert-Lewin is fit we are in a favourable position.

A win against Bournemouth at home on the final day will be enough, I hope. Anything at Wolves will ease the pressure.

Mark Murphy
20 Posted 15/05/2023 at 08:58:27
Personally, I thought for the first 35 minutes we did look like we had confidence from the Brighton game. we were playing joined-up, cautious (out of respect for the classy opposition) but skillful football and I was encouraged.

It was the first goal that suckered us and, from my view, given that Gundogan was shielding the ball with his back to goal, there wasn't much anyone could do short of barging him over. It was an opportunist goal and it changed the game plan.

The second killed the game. Imo, with Pickford, it's swings and roundabouts. He's probably the best short-range shot-stopper in the Premier League and, with any other keeper, we would have had a closer scoreline at Brighton.

But he's not a "commands his area" keeper and I genuinely believe someone like Pope, for example, would have taken that cross off Haaland's head. If we need funds next season, I'd cash in on Pickford and buy a young, tall keeper.

I'm not satisfied that we gave our 100% all yesterday, no. But, given the opposition and the players we had available, I'm neither surprised nor despondent. City are two leagues better than us at the moment and once we went 2 down we were never going to touch them. They don't do panic collapse and, once Dom went off, we had nothing.

We'll beat Wolves with a left-back and Dom if we play like we did for most of yesterday's game. If that makes me a happy clapper, so be it.


Joe McMahon
21 Posted 15/05/2023 at 09:13:11
Matt @19 "Kept the goal difference down" – Dude, it's -24.

If anyone wants an example of Bill's good times, our goal difference and Brentford have 21 points more than us!

Nick Bower
22 Posted 15/05/2023 at 10:08:50
For anyone looking for straws to grab at (me included), Dyche's Burnley had a decent record against Bournemouth including 7 wins - 2 draws and 3 losses.
Dave Abrahams
23 Posted 15/05/2023 at 10:26:57
John (11),

I think a lot of fans, myself included, hoped that we might get something out of this game rather than expected them to do so.

I think it is right to criticise players when they repeatedly make the same mistakes game after game. Some of these players have gone through years as an apprentice then 5 or 6 years as a professional footballer and still can't do the basics of controlling and making simple 5- to 10-yard passes, can't read a game, or the worst of the lot: pull out of 50-50 tackles or go missing from games for minutes on end

Their mistakes deserve to be highlighted and criticised; as a paying supporter, I will always criticise such players.

Yesterday, some of those things happened but mostly they stayed as a team and did the best they could against a team of the very best talent around today, and I stayed behind to applaud the team off the field for their efforts but also conscious that we still need their confidence to be lifted for the last two games.

Rob Dolby
24 Posted 15/05/2023 at 11:40:18
Alan 15,

How would you have set up the team yesterday to perform better.

I get your not happy, do you think any of us are? We have a squad with next to no goals in it, lowest goal scorers in the football league. That hasn't happened over night.

Expectations versus reality. We got a great away win last week, it's just not realistic to expect the same with this group of players against a top team.

Kyle Walker is City's worse footballer, cost £50m he is as fast as anyone in the league, has over 50 caps for England. stopped two attacks of ours on his own.

Their worst cost more than our record signing from 5 years ago!

Rob Halligan
25 Posted 15/05/2023 at 11:45:01
Rob, just a slight correction, but we are not the lowest scorers, not even in the Premier League. We've got 32, Southampton 31 and Wolves 30.
Dave Lynch
26 Posted 15/05/2023 at 12:10:17
The reality is...City are light years ahead of any team in this league.

They play simple, yes simple pass and move football and dictate the pace of the game.

We on the other hand were chasing, harrying and basically trying to impose ourselves on a game that we had no chance of winning.

That's the reality, we weren't good enough, and never will be good enough to play or compete at City's level.

John McFarlane Snr
27 Posted 15/05/2023 at 12:58:29
Hi Dave [23],

I can't really argue against your right to criticise. We all have our own way of handling such situations; mine is initially frustration, leading to disappointment. I have been rebuked on this site for stating that players are only human and can't be programmed, but I stick to my view. I have also stated that I have never misplaced a pass, or spurned a goal scoring opportunity, from my seat in the Park End.

Regarding the treatment that Mason Holgate has received, it appears that it was his fault that Everton were beaten. Every player from Pickford in goal to McNeil on the wing, plus anyone who has deputised, has had their share of criticism.

But in fairness, I think that sort of behaviour could be true of supporters of any club.

Alan J Thompson
28 Posted 15/05/2023 at 13:01:03
Rob (#24);

My gripe is more with several individuals that could have done more particularly at the goals as I've pointed out in other postings. However, I don't think I'd have played Holgate at left-back.

I don't know how Mykolenko got his injury and you may have to take it back a couple of steps but I might have worked on both full-back positions at training as that is where we are light.

If I was to go with the squad, then I might have looked at Gana or Onana for that position. The manager should also have considered that which he ended up playing, 3 at the back, but I'm not privvy to his thoughts on possible variations.

Also, I doubt I'd have considered Maupay at any stage and probably considered pace with Gray or more likely Simms even – considering that we got him from City, I think, and might have wanted to prove a point. At least he would have made any wing play and crosses more worthwhile than Maupay who gave us no outlet whatsoever.

Given it was half-time, I might even have considered moving Iwobi to play striker and added to midfield or wing-half but Maupay was just surrendering.

Finally, I don't follow your argument. I doubt you are but it comes over as you saying the team selected would have played better had we paid more for them.

And my point is not that no-one is overly happy but a lot seem to be happy with the performance because of who we were playing rather than if there were instances that could have been better with more effort which I've pointed out in previous postings.

Somebody said I should watch the game again so perhaps some should follow their own advice and look again at the players I mentioned in those instances.

Terry Ankers
29 Posted 15/05/2023 at 13:39:40
Can anyone tell me why did Foden not have to leave the pitch after having the medics on for a injury?

I was of the opinion the rule was you had to leave the field of play and wait for the ref to call you on.

Kevin Molloy
30 Posted 15/05/2023 at 13:54:33
If we do go down, and we eventually undergo the pain of examining how it all went so badly wrong, I am sure we will be surprised that we didn't pay more attention to one glaring deficiency this season and try to do more to rectify it, and that is our appalling home form.

You can praise Man City as much as you like but for us to cough up three goals so effortlessly yesterday on the back of previous maulings to the mighty Fulham and the Geordies, and with so much riding on it, shows that we have a serious problem.

That problem was further illustrated yesterday with Holgate apparently in tears after being taken off. I thought we had learnt our lesson last season about how counter-productive anger is towards the team. It is almost literally like taking a shotgun to your own kneecaps.

And the contrast with the other lot across the park is horribly apparent. It is something they never ever do. The penny dropped with them years ago that you back the team no matter what.

Now you could say 'they've had more to cheer about' and that's certainly true recently, but they also had 25 years of Siralex to enjoy. We really need to start learning this lesson, if it's not too late that is.

Barry Hesketh
31 Posted 15/05/2023 at 14:03:54
Kevin @30,

Are you talking about the same fans and how they reacted to Stevie G's possible move to Chelsea or their goalkeeper who had lots of abuse from them because he didn't play too cleverly in a final?

We have nothing to learn from those fans from over the park. I don't in any way condone any player being booed by Evertonians when wearing a royal blue shirt, but taking lessons from Kopites… no thanks.

Rob Dolby
32 Posted 15/05/2023 at 14:04:01
Rob 25, I stand corrected, up until the Brighton game, we weren't exactly full of goals.

Alan 28, My point being their whole team and squad are like the Harlem Globetrotters compared to ours. Their worst player cost more than our record signing from 5 years ago. There is a correlation between how much teams spend and their success. Only Leicester winning the league and Forest 40 years beforehand have won stuff without buying it.

We gave it a go and got beat. I would have loved to have taken a few more yellow cards and tried to physically impose ourselves more but we didn't.

Every time someone concedes a goal blame can be pointed at the goalie or defender. Their first goal was a moment of genius from a top quality player. Other than stop the cross, I am not sure what else could have been done.

Terry 29, That has happened a few times this season not just yesterday. It's so random, I have no idea why. I assume a rule was brought in that we aren't aware of.

Dave Abrahams
33 Posted 15/05/2023 at 14:09:56
John (27),

Fair enough, each to their own. As for never misplacing a pass or spurning a goal-scoring opportunity, your're not getting paid to do those things but the players are, and very handsomely these days.

If they make mistakes, which even great players do, now and again, I don't complain… but when they make them nearly every game, then it's fine to point it out on here.

Constructive criticism, if the managers and coaches are pointing it out to them, they are not taking a blind bit of notice, John, and you watch the same games as me so you must know who these players are and get frustrated and disappointed with them quite a lot.

Kevin Molloy
34 Posted 15/05/2023 at 14:24:35

I think we definitely do need to take that lesson from Kopites. I'm not saying they are great, I am saying they are tactically more astute than we are.

They have built Anfield into probably the most difficult venue to play footy at, and there are reasons why this is so. And whilst this is going on, we on the other hand have our worst home record in over 100 years.

If we don't self analyse now, we never will.

Pete Clarke
35 Posted 15/05/2023 at 14:29:51
The whole Premier League is awash with overpaid mercenary footballers whose talents are limited to two or three good things which are usually athleticism, tackling and the ability to point at something.

Let's take Gana for example. A very diminutive athlete who has great stamina, can tackle, and leaves it all on the pitch but unfortunately cannot pass the ball, win a header, or score goals very often. There's a lot of basics missing from one of your main players.

That can be compensated of course if his partner in midfield possesses these other attributes but unfortunately that player in our team is Doucouré and he is actually not much better if at all than Gana. And these are the good players. Very very limited.

Nearly all Premier League teams have this problem and even Guardiola and Klopp, despite having really strong squads and being top coaches, will moan about one thing or another despite all of the favouritism going their way. I'd love to see either of these coaches doing a job at the likes of Doncaster or somewhere like that. No disrespect of course.

Every season, there is a team that stands out. Arsenal have been outstanding with a well-coached young team. Newcastle have done well without setting the world alight, Brentford have done well but Brighton are the team who have caught everybody's eye.

Are the Brighton players good or is it just good coaching? I'm with the latter which is amazing because that's 2 good coaches on the run. Some of these players will get snatched away by wannabe title contenders like Spurs or Man Utd and Brighton will end up back in the Championship. We will buy the cast-offs.

All-in-all, we get very little back in enjoyment from this overpriced product that is the Premier League and Everton in particular. In fact, we get downright ripped off when you take the VAR and crap officials into it.

Take Everton out of the equation and I'm not sure I'd be watching the game at all – unless in the local park of course, which is enjoyable. I can watch almost any sport down there and enjoy it.

The Everton bug is hard to shake off though and we live in hope of seeing our team with great players in it and fighting to win games, trophies and titles. For this to happen, there has to be a whole lot of changes from top to bottom and start a new culture at this once-proud club.

I hope that next title is not the Championship. Then again, this time next year, I may just be hoping for that! What a horrible thought!

Dale Self
36 Posted 15/05/2023 at 14:34:42
Let me get this right. If we go down we need to learn from those across the park?

Fuck that and anyone who thinks that, in my humble opinion, should get an intimate learning experience by moving someplace across the park. And take that fighting spirit with you.

Sorry, man, but that is ridiculous wind-up material, you deserved it.

Kevin Molloy
37 Posted 15/05/2023 at 14:38:36

Frame it however you like, I use them as they are the starkest example. But the bottom line is we are our own worst enemy when we castigate our own players.

Joe McMahon
38 Posted 15/05/2023 at 14:45:06
Dale, sorry but I tend to agree with Kevin. They cheat, try everything to win, prioritise goals and players that can score them, their players have nasty streaks and so do the home crowd. Look at the strikers they have had in the last 20 years alone, all we had in that time was Lukaku. Now look at us.

I couldn't imagine a Liverpool team going 28 years without a trophy and I'm sure neither could you. City have only managed to dominate by having a takeover Everton would never be able to get. Although rumours Bill said No to those owners.

Barry Hesketh
39 Posted 15/05/2023 at 15:07:57
We can certainly do with learning a thing or two from many many successful football clubs, including the neighbours.

However, we have nothing at all to learn from their fans.

Dale Self
40 Posted 15/05/2023 at 15:32:09
Right, Joe, let's work through that. Brighton is the model not those guys. So please understand that when someone chooses those guys for a comparison without specifying where the millions for transfers come from, it looks kinda wind-uppity.

We can talk about an "If we go down" scenario without amping people's anxiety if that is of interest. The responses are likely to be more informative than confrontational in that space.

Alan J Thompson
41 Posted 15/05/2023 at 15:55:39
Rob (#32);

So you've had another look and think that my points on who could have done better don't hold water or is that just your generalization?

I think that several players could have done better, a lot better, for the first two goals, I'm not asking for miracles. Mina needed only to move two paces and indeed half raised his foot towards the ball but then lowered it less than half-way through.

For the second, Holgate stood still and ended up a yard behind Haaland, knees half bent and a grimace on his face, instead of shoulder to shoulder contesting the header, while Tarkowski was marking nobody, not that there was anyone bar Haaland.

All I'm asking and pointing out is that both may have been stopped with just a little more effort, about two paces worth.

Oh, and by the way, the Harlem Globetrotters never played a competitive game, they were all exhibitions against selected opposition with some choreography; otherwise, Meadowlark would have had a cupboard full of rings, medals and cups.

Mark Murphy
42 Posted 15/05/2023 at 16:44:06
Alan, re your last point ,I heard the opposite. That Meadowlark wouldn't have made it in a serious league team. A bit like those lads who do pre-match keepy uppys and tricks. That was according to an American basketball fan I used to know.
Alan J Thompson
43 Posted 15/05/2023 at 17:01:16
Mark (#42); I think that is what I said: choreographed exhibition games against selected opposition.
Mark Murphy
44 Posted 15/05/2023 at 17:16:24
Ah I misunderstood your point about him otherwise having loads of medals then. No worries, I was just making conversation not contradicting.
Mark Murphy
45 Posted 15/05/2023 at 17:18:59
I used to enjoy watching them on the telly but I preferred scooby doo 😬
Alan J Thompson
46 Posted 15/05/2023 at 17:22:57
No probs, Mark, I did find myself humming "Sweet Georgia Brown" and they were first class entertainment.
Jim Lloyd
47 Posted 15/05/2023 at 17:24:14
I've heard the R/S boo their own players during a match and coming off at half-time and full-time, during Graham Souness's reign.

Trouble is, they've known long periods of undiluted success while we've had glimpses of glory then had it taken away. They started getting the glory as they started showing football matches on the telly. It also coincided with the Liverpool Sound when the Beatles and all were conquering the world.

I can remember us playing Inter Milan for our first European Cup game in the first round. And getting knocked out by the odd goal over at the San Siro but having our goal ruled out at home, as offside. They went right through Europe, beating Inter 3-1 (I think) at our Old Ground before getting whacked over there.

I can remember when they got into the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup ahead of us when the competition was one team per city. They had two great managers who built a dynasty and we didn't.

And they carried on building a worldwide reputation by a combination of factors.

The fact that they had never won the FA Cup since joining the Football League uintil 1965, so waiting nearly 70 years before winning but all coinciding with TV and the Liverpool sound.

Since then well, we know what happened at Heysel, and how our team and manager left for other clubs.

So a lot of poor players poor managers, okay managers and one or two good managers, very little success apart from the 60s and mid 80s and watching that lot win bucket loads of trophies.

I call them devil worshippers but whatever, we were left trailing.

Quite a few of us have seen all our successes since the '60s, even more have seen our successes during the eighties and one or two FA Cups. and many have seen bugger all in the way of success!

So a lot of frustration throughout our supporters.

I think many of us have been at Goodison when the attendances were around 20,000 to 30,000 and even less. I certainly remember wandering round Glwadys Street, trying to find a fellow smoker for a light, yet now we've got a regular 40,000 at each match.

So Evertonians have passed their passion from father to son and daughter; but still there's the frustration there. The feeling that we're getting left behind and, for too many seasons, the worry of relegation.

No wonder booing takes place from some of us as we sink down and further away from the top echelons of the league, where we've always been apart from 1929-30 (thanks, Barry!) and 50-51.

However, my view is that booing is totally destructive to our players. It also boosts the opposition's morale. Destructive, totally destructive.

On here, well, it's a discussion forum and just like mates in a pub, it can get heated, but a load of common sense is also spoken by many posters of all ages. Experience, wisdom, enthusiasm, good laughs and reminiscences, and sheer bloody devotion to our club from Blues all over the world, keeps us going. Especially all the Blues who go away as well.

Barry (39) you're dead right. If they ever hit the hard times, watch that support shrivel.

Joe (38) I've been told they're not rumours. Nevertheless, We had Mr Moores who brought us success in the sixties, and that's the way it's been going since. Now it's countries! My hope is that we get taken over, as otherwise trying to keep up will just become harder and harder.

Let's see where we are after two more matches!

Rob Dolby
48 Posted 15/05/2023 at 17:33:23
Alan 41,

Let's agree to disagree. I thought the first and 3rd goals were fantastic. I thought the 2nd was scored by a modern-day Dixie Dean.

As Dave said above, the fans that stayed until the end clapped and sang the players off the pitch knowing we have bigger battles ahead.

Mal van Schaick
49 Posted 15/05/2023 at 17:50:40
Beat Wolves and the win will set us up for the Bournemouth game and hopefully a celebration.

With the new stadium nearly done, it is imperative that we stay in the Premier League and, as long as the manager and players understand that and give everything in the last two games, I'm hoping it will be enough for us.

If we do survive, there is a massive amount of work to be done in the close season with us only keeping half a dozen players from the current squad. I dread to think of the alternative.

John McFarlane Snr
50 Posted 15/05/2023 at 19:26:05
Hi Dave [33],

I get as frustrated and disappointed at the number of misplaced passes and wasted potential goalscoring chances as yourself. I may have been less tolerant in my younger days, but experience has taught me that these players don't make these mistakes on purpose. I find that this attitude has removed the pent-up feelings that I used to have, which are now a thing of the past.

Dave Downey
51 Posted 15/05/2023 at 22:20:59
We have stayed up only because Leeds and Leicester are even poorer. Potentially the fewest wins for over 40 years, the fewest points since 3 points for a win and an almost record number of home defeats in one season yet we still avoid the drop. To be honest we need relegation as it may serve as the giant kick up the arse the club needs. Some people are talking about "celebrating" a win over Bournemouth in the final game. I personally feel more disappointed for Leicester and Leeds than I do for Everton. Anybody celebrating at the end of this season doesn't need to look too far to see why Everton are league leaders when it comes to making a virtue of mediocrity.
Barry Hesketh
52 Posted 15/05/2023 at 22:26:04
Dave @54
We haven't yet achieved safety mate. If we do escape the drop it will be because we will have a better record than three other teams, who cares about the details, if it happens. As for your accusation of 'celebrating' the end of the season, you clearly are not very good at reading the room are you?
Dave Abrahams
53 Posted 16/05/2023 at 11:02:08
John (50),

Well, I'm glad that you're more relaxed and tolerant of players' mistakes, it's much better for your health. But the thing about players not making mistakes on purpose is they don't bleedin' learn from them either which I find hard to tolerate.

Anyway, the main thing is we stay up this season and that Everton FC starts the reset of the club which has been needed for a long time.

Alan McGuffog
54 Posted 16/05/2023 at 11:09:19
Here's hoping, Dave. But weren't we all (I certainly was) expecting a major reset this time last year?
Jim Bennings
55 Posted 16/05/2023 at 11:51:03
I don't know if anyone at Everton is actually capable of overseeing a major reset.

As Alan 54 says, we were all expecting one last summer but ignored the fact that we had no strikers outside of an injury-prone Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

Everton must be the only club to keep doing the same things that fail, year-in & year-out.

The definition of madness.

Dave Abrahams
56 Posted 16/05/2023 at 12:07:43
Alan (54) and Jim (55)

Yes, I understand the frustration we all feel with the club standing still year after year but I'm hoping the main obstruction to us moving on will be removed in the very near future.

I don't think I have to mention who the main obstruction has been!!

Alan McGuffog
57 Posted 16/05/2023 at 12:30:32
Oh go on, Dave. Give us a clue. 😃
Dave Abrahams
58 Posted 16/05/2023 at 13:34:22
Alan (57) His unforgettable performances in Coronation Street might help!!
Tony Abrahams
59 Posted 16/05/2023 at 13:39:23
It's very difficult to have a major reset whilst trying to compete in the Premier League, especially when the club hasn't got any real money, and even if we did, we couldn't spend it.

Dan Parker
60 Posted 16/05/2023 at 13:46:37
Agree, Tony, but if we do stay up, the lack of speculation and focus from the press on us for transfer gossip might do us a favor, albeit small.
Si Cooper
61 Posted 16/05/2023 at 18:03:12
I didn’t see any real lack of effort in that game. Okay, maybe the players weren’t constantly pressing, harrying the opposition but I think that’s missing the point that City are more likely to shred your defence if the team loses its shape overall. Apart from the mid part of the game I thought we did a sensible amount to try to get something from the game.
Mason Holgate may have looked like he was all at sea in the game (at least partly understandable due to the lack of recent games and it not being a suitable position for him) but I don’t think he really cost us anything.
Their first was out of the blue, the second was lost when Iwobi didn’t get back to aid Patterson in clearing the ball. For their third I thought the preceding foul necessary but in a terrible position. I think Pickford has to primarily cover his side of the goal and hope the strike is nowhere near as good as it was.
Iwobi improved second half but by then we didn’t have DCL as the attacking focal point (so crucial he is available for last 2 games).
MCNeil and Gana were Trojan’s, rest decent enough. We needed near perfection and so the writing was on the wall from fairly early on when Doucoure overhit a pass that would have played DCL in.
Very disappointed with how many left very early. I know people will say they’ve paid so it’s their right. Personally I think you pay for the opportunity to possibly share in something momentous and historic and turn that into your right by the support you give through thick and thin.
Bobby Mallon
62 Posted 16/05/2023 at 19:01:35
Holgate is just rubbish I’m with Tony A on this.

I’d keep Patterson, I’d definitely bring back Brainthwaith, and I’d also keep Tarkowski, but the rest of the back five/six/seven/eight, can go.

I’d keep Garner, I’d keep McNeil, i’d maybe keep Doucoure & Gueye for another season, but the rest of our midfield can go.

I’d keep DCL, and I’d keep Demari Gray, but the rest of our forwards can go.

Maybe Onana can come good, but he’s a sellable asset, along with Pickford, and Everton are going to have to do some serious wheeling and dealing to get through the next couple of seasons, because not having a proper thought out plan, has really caught up with us?

Si Cooper
63 Posted 17/05/2023 at 17:27:42
I didn’t see any real lack of effort in that game. Okay, maybe the players weren’t constantly pressing, harrying the opposition but I think that’s missing the point that City are more likely to shred your defence if the team loses its shape overall.

Apart from the mid part of the game I thought we did a sensible amount to try to get something from the game.

Mason Holgate may have looked like he was all at sea in the game (at least partly understandable due to the lack of recent games and it not being a suitable position for him) but I don’t think he really cost us anything.

Their first was out of the blue, the second was lost when Iwobi didn’t get back to aid Patterson in clearing the ball. For their third I thought the preceding foul necessary but in a terrible position. I think Pickford has to primarily cover his side of the goal and hope the strike is nowhere near as good as it was.

Iwobi improved second half but by then we didn’t have DCL as the attacking focal point (so crucial he is available for last 2 games).

McNeil and Gana were Trojans, rest decent enough. We needed near perfection and so the writing was on the wall from fairly early on when Doucoure overhit a pass that would have played DCL in.

Very disappointed with how many left very early. I know people will say they’ve paid so it’s their right. Personally I think you pay for the opportunity to possibly share in something momentous and historic and turn that into your right by the support you give through thick and thin.

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