Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Everton

18/05/2023 201comments  |  Jump to last
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Vitalii Mykolenko looks set to be sidelined this weekend after not training all week because of a thigh strain

Everton's final away game of the season takes them to Molineux to face Wolves in what is yet another "cup final" in the context of the club's bid to avoid relegation.

The Blues will be looking to put last Sunday's heavy defeat to Champions-elect Manchester City behind them and putting everything into taking maximum points which, if they can manage it, would represent a huge step toward preserving their top-flight status with just one match left to play.

Sean Dyche will be dealing with the same headache he had at left-back last week with the news that Vitalii Mykolenko is almost certain to miss out with the injury that sidelined him for the City game.

The Ukrainian international strained the muscle at Finch Farm last Saturday and the problem hasn't sufficiently settled down in the interim to allow him to train.

Article continues below video content

Dyche says that it is highly unlikely Mykolenko will feature against Wolves but he has a chance of being available for the final game of the season against Bournemouth.

“I doubt he will be right for this one,” Dyche said in his press conference today. “He has got a chance for the next one. It’s a risk-and-reward scenario and he hasn’t trained. So, therefore, I doubt he will make this one.”

It means that the manager will either have to plump for a makeshift option at left-back — be that Mason Holgate again despite this struggles against Man City, Nathan Patterson on the left with Holgate on the right, Dwight McNeil dropping back, or Dyche deploying a back five as he did in the second half last weekend.

In that case, Conor Coady's ineligibility to face his parent club would likely mean Michael Keane coming in as the third centre-back.

In better news, however, Dominic Calvert-Lewin is expected to play this weekend after resting for much of the week. He was expected to rejoin the rest of the first team at Finch Farm and if he comes through the session he will be included in the squad for the trip to the Midlands.

The striker, whose fitness has been closely managed since Dyche came on board, was withdrawn as a precaution at half-time against City after feeling tightness in his groin.

Asked in the presser if he thought Calvert-Lewin would be ready, Dyche said: “Hopefully. “He’s had a few down days and it’s looking more promising. He will be with us again tomorrow for training.

Meanwhile, Andros Towsend has returned to training on grass but remains some way away from being match-fit, Ben Godfrey is still absent with a groin problem and Tom Davies is ruled out with a thigh tendon injury. 

Wolves have fewer injury worries but also have a lot less to play for than Everton, having already guaranteed their survival thanks to the work of manager Julen Lopetegui. The Spaniard came in for Bruno Lage last October and while at one point it looked as though the Midlanders were in serious danger of going down, the new boss has steadied the ship and guided them to 40 points with two games to spare.

Lopetegui won't be able to call on Francisco Tavares or Sasa Kaladjic, both of whom are ruled out, while Boubacar Traoré is rated only 50-50 as he works his way back from injury.

Though they were thumped 6-0 at Brighton three weeks ago (a result that should hearten Dyche and Everton as they prepare for this game) and they've struggled in general on the road where they haven't win since beating now-relegated Southampton in February, at home Wolves have been hard to beat.

In recent weeks they have seen off Liverpool, Tottenham, Brentford, Chelsea and Aston Villa, all top-half sides but were beaten by lowly Leeds when the Yorkshire side really took the game to them and won 4-2 having roared into a 3-0 lead. That kind of susceptibility to pressure and direct attacking is hopefully something Dyche will look to exploit to Everton's gain.

Psychologically, as well as coming into the weekend sitting outside the drop zone, the Toffees are also playing first out of the four teams still in relegation danger. A win, together with defeats for Leeds and Leicester would guarantee safety but a victory regardless of how things go elsewhere would keep things in Everton's hands going into the final weekend.

Kick-off: 3 pm, Saturday 20 May 2023
Referee: David Coote
VAR: Paul Tierney
Last Time: Wolverhampton Wanderers 2 - 1 Everton

Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Patterson, Mina, Keane, Tarkowski, McNeil, Gueye, Onana, Iwobi, Doucouré, Calvert-Lewin


Reader Comments (201)

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Michael Kenrick
1 Posted 18/05/2023 at 14:38:10
I make it seven to miss this one – eight if Calvert--Lewin doesn't make it:

Seamus Coleman – knee ligament damage
Vitalii Mykolenko – thigh strin
Tom Davies – hamstring injury
Ben Godfrey – groin injury
Andros Townsend – not back despite playing for U21s last week
Ruben Vinagre – still injured
Conor Coady – loanee excluded

Mark Ryan
2 Posted 18/05/2023 at 14:39:20
It's a big miss Myko being out
Kevin Molloy
3 Posted 18/05/2023 at 14:46:44
so that's the left back, the back up to the left back, and the back up to the back up all injured. Out of nowhere.
didn't know Godfrey was injured, obv he's been in poor form, but at left back he's better than playing Holgate there.
Dale Self
4 Posted 18/05/2023 at 14:47:28
Fantastic, this gives us all a chance to play LB Bingo. Everyone get your cards out and who will you pick?
Jack Convery
5 Posted 18/05/2023 at 14:49:50
Not good news given how strong Wolves are on their right hand side. I can only think Dyche will play McNeill at LB and Gray in front of him, especially if he wants to continue with the same formation that stunned Brighton. 3 points are very necessary from this game so COYBs.
Dale Self
6 Posted 18/05/2023 at 14:53:25
I would consult Onana to see if he has confidence. Taking McNeil to LB risks his form which is top drawer right now. Preserve what we can elsewhere and risk Onana if he is ip to it.
Colin Malone
7 Posted 18/05/2023 at 14:57:03
Tarkowski. Left back. Keane and Yerry together, in the middle. There is no other way.
Peter Carpenter
8 Posted 18/05/2023 at 14:59:25
How about Mason Holgate? I am sure he would be up for it.
Christy Ring
9 Posted 18/05/2023 at 15:04:06
Dyche says he doesn’t think he’ll make it, give him a fitness test tomorrow, what has he got to lose? Who play’s left back for the u21’s? if McNeill plays left back with Gray ahead of him wouldn’t we have an excellent attacking threat on the left with great support for Calvert-Lewin in the middle
Mark Murphy
10 Posted 18/05/2023 at 15:05:43
Peter, I know your being ironic but that wouldn’t surprise me and possibly is the only option.
Three things to bear in mind though.
1. We’re not playing Man City
2. I would assume Dyche has had Mason training all week for this eventuality
3. As a pro footballer Mason Holgate will be determined to make up for last week.
Phil Gardner
11 Posted 18/05/2023 at 15:09:46
I feel sorry for Godfrey. He’s struggling to regain any kind of form and is suffering from Long-covid apparently.
Bill Gall
12 Posted 18/05/2023 at 15:09:56
Do we not have anyone from the under 21s that is what they are supposed to be there for, without playing other players out of position.
Peter Carpenter
13 Posted 18/05/2023 at 15:12:46
Not totally ironic, Mark, for the exact reasons you gave. Holgate was ok in the first half and sometimes showing faith in someone, against all logic, pays off. (I was also hoping to provoke some of the Holgate haters too, to be honest.)
Andy Crooks
14 Posted 18/05/2023 at 15:13:42
Mark @ 10, that sounds like the best option. Holgate will be looking for redemption here, and it's not Man City.
Get back on board again, Mason, and put it right.
Peter Carpenter
15 Posted 18/05/2023 at 15:14:06
Yes, Bill. We do. But the same guy is also from the under 16s.
Dale Self
16 Posted 18/05/2023 at 15:21:50
I don't know if it is a Pickford thing but on one ill-advised backpass, I'm fairly sure I lip-read “Pass it back there, you shithouse!” while pointing toward the corner and Tarkowski.

If this isn't the usual Pickford banter, then that with getting subbed at halftime rules Holgate out for me.

Jay Harris
17 Posted 18/05/2023 at 15:22:20
Michael Keane cannot play in a back 3 and against Wolves – we need more pace.

My only thought is to play Garner there and put Onana in midfield but Wolves do have quick wingers so maybe drop McNeil in with Gray in front of him and play a lopsided wing-back system. Also, hasn't Iwobi played full-back on the right side before.

Oh dear… decisions, decisions.

Brent Stephens
18 Posted 18/05/2023 at 15:52:08
Our U21 left-back is highly unlikely to even get on the first-team bench. Ishe Samuels-Smith is developing well but still only 17 (nearly??).
Dale Self
19 Posted 18/05/2023 at 16:08:10
Who is the ref? Maybe we can get away with a rotation from the bench as we receive yellow cards.
Don Wright
20 Posted 18/05/2023 at 16:09:54
Brent, he could be shit hot at the moment but will not get near the bench first team or anything else as he is in Mumbai with the U19s

Only Everton that.

Brent Stephens
21 Posted 18/05/2023 at 16:14:58
Don, “only Everton, that”. Yes, depriving the first team of a lad unlikely to get in the first team! But I know what you mean.
Jim Wilson
22 Posted 18/05/2023 at 16:18:13
Samuels-Smith must play if Mykolenko is not fit.

Yes he is young, yes it is not ideal, but he is by far the best option.

Rooney and James Vaughan made their debuts at an early age, Colin Harvey was only 18 when he made his debut against Inter Milan.

We must keep the system that did so well against Brighton and we must not move the likes of McNeil or Garner to left-back messing up the balance of the team. And it would be suicide to change the system at this stage of the season to a back 3.

We must keep to 4-5-1 and if the manager says the right things to do is to play Samuels-Smith, he will be fine. He is a good confident player and he has trained with the first team and has been on the bench before so he isn't a stranger to the first team.

I am sure he would look forward to the challenge. And he is a left-back, so play him.

We must keep to the formation that beat Brighton.

Gary Brown
23 Posted 18/05/2023 at 16:33:41
You cannot throw a kid in at this stage. Just insane. If he was ready, he'd already be in. Throw him in now and one mistake is a burden too much.

Personally, I'd go back 3 and play Iwobi and McNeil as wingbacks, but I can't see Dyche changing formation now. Maybe it's just asking McNeil to sacrifice and try Gray in front of him on the wing. If the central midfield can cover runs forward, he could at least give us potency from that side too. Whoever it is needs pace and lungs.

Bill Gall
24 Posted 18/05/2023 at 16:36:52
Well, if Samuels-Smith is not available, I guess they will move Garner, who is a defensive midfielder, and should be okay as a defensive and attacking full-back, with Onana in a more defensive midfield position.

You can't go a full season without injuries and you must have a Plan B for cover. But this is Everton we are talking about… who most of the time don't seem to have a Plan A.

Danny O’Neill
25 Posted 18/05/2023 at 16:37:27
Big day ahead.

Whoever walks on that pitch and plays in whatever position, the best advice I can offer is something a close friend and colleague used to quote in times of pressure, when the outlook was unpredictable and deep down, we didn't know the outcome.

"Hold your nerve. Anything is possible."

I got sent a link from Brian Murray today. A call for everyone attending to wear blue and create a blue wall along the side of the pitch, where they put us.

I don't usually wear colours, but I will. Paint the town blue and let them see and hear us. Even if you are not there, wear blue.

It's about the team on Saturday.

Regarding the full-back situation, I'll take my Puma Kings just in case.

Simon Dalzell
26 Posted 18/05/2023 at 16:38:20
Please, please, please… not Calamity Kid Holgate. I lLoathe him.

My heart sank last week when I saw him on the team sheet. He should have left ages ago.

Jack Convery
27 Posted 18/05/2023 at 16:40:18
I have just watched a recording of the press conference and Dyche mentioned moving players around or altering the system. If he goes 3 at the back, that will mean Keane is back.

I said on another thread a few days ago, only EFC can get to the stage of only one left-back – Vinagre doesn't count as neither Lampard nor Dyche appear to rate him. Why was he brought in by our DoF? God knows.

Let us hope Wolves are wearing their flip-flops.

Gary Brown
28 Posted 18/05/2023 at 16:44:50
Why is Kevin Thelwell still employed?

Hopefully next owners get rid.

Needed not only cover for fullbacks but competition for them. We got a failed, injury-prone midget from his last club instead. How inventive.

Jim Wilson
29 Posted 18/05/2023 at 16:56:57
Gary @23,

So you would risk messing up the whole team system to facilitate McNeil at left-back? Not to mention McNeil is one of our best bets for goals.

You say 'If he was ready, he'd already be in." Mykolenko is clearly ahead of Samuels-Smith but, with the injuries, he is now next in line and he is a good player who might revel in the situation.

Playing square pegs in round holes has never worked and I don't want to see Keane back in the dreaded Frank Lampard Back 3. Totally inviting trouble

Keep to the best system we have, 4-5-1 with only one position to be concerned about.

David Bromwell
30 Posted 18/05/2023 at 17:01:34
So it's bad news Thursday, permutations Friday and God knows what will happen on Saturday.

I find it hard to get any affection for Dyche but he has certainly been dealt a bum hand. It might sound ridiculous but I would play Townsend at left-back, he is an experienced player and he must be itching to play.

Keep last Saturday's other starting 10 in their same positions and hope and pray that no-one gets injured.

Brent Stephens
31 Posted 18/05/2023 at 17:07:30
David, Townsend is injured still?
Christy Ring
32 Posted 18/05/2023 at 17:08:06
I hope he doesn't go with a back 5, especially with Coady not available, and we're more offensive playing 4-3-3. It's probably too much of a risk bringing in Samuels-Smith unless he's been training with the first team all week.

I definitely would be against trying Iwobi as a full-back, as the full-backs job is to tackle the winger and stop him crossing the ball, and it's not in his DNA to put your foot in.

Will Mabon
33 Posted 18/05/2023 at 17:08:50
I'm left-footed – and I could train tomorrow...
Brent Stephens
34 Posted 18/05/2023 at 17:10:36
Will, can you chew gum aggressively and strut, Holgate-style?
Will Mabon
35 Posted 18/05/2023 at 17:15:41
Brent, I mean, if it helps I could.
Will Mabon
36 Posted 18/05/2023 at 17:18:08
We have a real problem here but I agree with those saying, leave the team shape the same. Tinkering now would spell disaster, is my guess.

It's going to be Holgate, isn't it?

Joe McMahon
37 Posted 18/05/2023 at 17:19:18

It was also the same for Frank and Rafa, the curse continues.

This issue is not good news.

Jim Wilson
38 Posted 18/05/2023 at 17:26:22
Christy @32,

It is more of a risk doing anything else than playing Samuels-Smith at left-back. The damage done to the team in changing formation could be enormous. The damage in moving first team players around to cover the left-back position could also mess the team up.

Keep the changes to the team to a minimum to keep the continuity going. And that is play Samuels-Smith at left-back.
He will have Tarkowski at his side and McNeil in front of him to help him.

By far the best scenario.

Ian Bennett
39 Posted 18/05/2023 at 17:29:17
Really tough selection if Godfrey and Mykolenko are out.

A different opposition to City, but I don't think you can put Patterson or Holgate into left-back, and I'd be against 5 at the back as we just don't play it well. Putting in a raw kid is also a huge, huge gamble.



Doucoure off left

That's a big side; alternatively, Maupay from the left and Doucoure drops back in for Onana.

Christy Ring
40 Posted 18/05/2023 at 17:33:03
Jim #38,

I agree, he's very promising and has great pace. It hasn't worked putting square pegs in round holes and changing formation. Listening to Dyche today talking about the imbalance of the squad… take a bow, Board.

Jeff Armstrong
41 Posted 18/05/2023 at 17:54:04
Even if Holgate is up for it, he just isn't good enough to play left-back, he's poor at right-back (Palace) which is his stronger side, but at left-back he is and always will be a liability, his left foot is for standing only, no matter who the opposition.

How about Patterson at left-back (he's a full-back) with Garner at right-back (he's right-footed), Onana in midfield?

Tony Everan
42 Posted 18/05/2023 at 17:58:20
It can't be Holgate, he is very awkward at left-back, much better as a reserve right-back at times in the past, but still over-zealous.

Ishe Samuels-Smith is 16 still, I watched him a couple of weeks ago in the mini derby, he's a fantastic prospect but definitely in the "still learning the game" stage.

It's a killer that Godfrey is injured because, like Holgate, just okay as a reserve left-back if we're desperate.

Another option would be to do a switcheroo of full-backs. Patterson has filled in once or twice as a left-back in his early days. Holgate then plays his more natural right-back. Still a nightmare option and a lot to put on the young lad's shoulders. Garner a maybe, but I don't think he has any experience at all as a full-back.

There are no good options, but possibly the most natural would be to pay McNeil there, bringing Gray into the team and told to work like an animal defensively and pop a few quality crosses into Dominic every now and again.

Patterson Mina Tarkowski McNeil
Garner Gana
Iwobi Doucouré Gray

Dennis Stevens
43 Posted 18/05/2023 at 17:58:45
Can Maupay play left-back?

I don't feel we've quite established what his best position is yet.

Fran Mitchell
44 Posted 18/05/2023 at 18:05:10
Massive miss, despite his faults. I expect we'll go to a 3-5-1-1:

Mina, Tarkowski, Keane (or Holgate)
Patterson Garner Onana Gana McNeil

Other option would be Gray in place of Onana, with Gray supporting Calvert-Lewin and Doucoure dropping deeper.

Shane Corcoran
45 Posted 18/05/2023 at 18:24:54
Holgate on the right and Patterson on the left. Nathan strikes me as the type to just get on with it wherever he's out. Mason might be okay-ish on the right.

Don't change the system at this stage of the season.

Dave White
46 Posted 18/05/2023 at 18:42:06
Dennis @43,

I can tell you one position which definitely isn't his best…s adly it's the same position we signed him to play!

Jim Wilson
47 Posted 18/05/2023 at 18:44:25
The decision should be simple.

No change to the system.

Keep the other 9 outfield players exactly where they have started over the last few games.

Play the best available at left-back. The options are:

A left footed reserve midfielder who knows how to tackle and mark.

Ishe Samuels-Smith.

Anything else is football suicide.

Holgate would have been in the reckoning but, thanks to the short-sighted boo boys, his confidence is now wrecked and I doubt he could play at right-back now never mind left-back.

Colin Glassar
48 Posted 18/05/2023 at 18:57:38
Can Iwobi play left-back? He's useless anywhere else on the pitch so who knows, might as well give it a go.
Dave Abrahams
49 Posted 18/05/2023 at 19:23:58
Colin (48), I think that would be a novel experience, a non tackling left back!!
Clive Rogers
50 Posted 18/05/2023 at 19:24:15
Colin, 48, no he can’t. He simply can’t tackle. He’s useless everywhere on the pitch.
Clive Rogers
51 Posted 18/05/2023 at 19:26:40
Shane @45,

Holgate got sent off for chopping them down last time he played right-back.

Mal van Schaick
52 Posted 18/05/2023 at 19:32:29
May as well shove Gana in at left-back. Doucoure in the middle of midfield. Please don't put Holgate anywhere near the last two games unless Daniel Day Lewis is available.

McNeil is one of our better attacking options with his left foot, so leave him on the left wing.

Derek Knox
53 Posted 18/05/2023 at 19:43:11
Holgate has earned the right to be left-back!

Left Back at Finch Farm! :-)

Robert Tressell
54 Posted 18/05/2023 at 19:45:18
I like the romance of throwing in a 16-year-old for our vital away game but this is not going to happen. Neto, Podence or Traore is a steep learning curve beyond youth football. If he gets exposed it could ruin a very promising career.

The more likely solution is a 3-5-2 which actually looked like a reasonable shape at the end of the Man City game.

If this an end-of-season dead rubber, then yes, it would be a nice time for Ishe Samuels-Smith but too much is riding on this.

Brent Stephens
55 Posted 18/05/2023 at 19:53:04
Did Samuels-Smith play for Everton U19s in India (yesterday)? We lost 0-4.

To Wolves U19s!

Neil Carter
56 Posted 18/05/2023 at 19:55:50
One full-back – Holgate or Keane only other fit defenders.
McNeil playing at the top of his game going forward-forced to play wing-back?

And a vital game in the club's history.

Great job, board… 🙄

Brent Stephens
57 Posted 18/05/2023 at 19:56:06
Looks like it might have been Odin SamuelS-Smith not Ishe who is in India?
Jim Wilson
58 Posted 18/05/2023 at 20:25:05
Robert @ 54,

I agree with almost everything you say, usually.

Not on this point. I think changing to 3-5-2 is far too risky. It was used against Man City merely as damage control. Not to win a game. And it also had the luxury of having Coady in the back 3. The thought of 'mistake every game' Keane coming back in is a No. Three big centre-backs is the last thing we need.

The Wolves game is a must-win. We need the continuity of the 4-5-1 system to have any chance of that.

The lesser risk in my view is keeping everything as it is and use either Ishe Samuels-Smith or a makeshift left-back from the reserves.

To change the system now could mess everything up as it did for the Man Utd and Fulham games and, if Mykolenko is back for the Bournemouth game, are we going to change the system back to 4-5-1 to play him. You're breaking one of your own 'Golden rules'!

Alec Gaston
59 Posted 18/05/2023 at 21:45:49
Jim 58 I agree keep the system 4-5-1
Jerome Shields
60 Posted 18/05/2023 at 22:19:59
Godfrey will return.

I was so wrong about Man City being toast against Real. Come to think of it, it could be a good thing if they won the Champions League since Everton are Saints in comparison financially.

Everton played well against them, if only Dyche had been more savvy tactics-wise in the first half.

Inter won't be slow as far as defensive tactics are concerned.

Ernie Baywood
61 Posted 18/05/2023 at 22:36:56
We're out of left backs, but we never really had any anyway. Mykolenko is awful and the rest are out-of-position fill-ins.

3 centre-backs, 2 wing-backs, 3 midfielders, plus a link-up midfielder and a striker up top makes too much sense not to do. But then it made sense for most of the season and we didn't do it.

We end up in that formation anyway. McNeil comes back to fill in for whatever rubbish is behind him. The defender then slots across inside him. It just happens in a haphazard way rather than by design. Might as well do the obvious and actually play that formation.

We score on the break or by set-pieces, not by breaking teams down on the outside with wingers.

I'd imagine he'll now go to the only formation that ever suited the shape of our squad.

Gary Brown
62 Posted 18/05/2023 at 22:48:50
Jim @ 29 – we don't have a round peg for the hole.

Your peglet idea of an untried kid against the likes of Traore is too big a risk. Much bigger than playing a seasoned pro who's been doing full-back protection for 5 years.

Jim Wilson
63 Posted 18/05/2023 at 23:05:59
Gary @ 62 - Traore is not fit.

'Much bigger (risk) than playing a seasoned pro who's been doing full back protection for 5 years' – I'm glad you agree that McNeil is the perfect player to carry on where he is and protect Samuels-Smith then. Although he might find Samuels-Smith supporting him with his electric pace.

I will say I would prefer McNeil dropping back to left-back than changing the system and formation.

Habib Erkan Jr
64 Posted 18/05/2023 at 23:23:14
Mark 10 agreed and UTFT!
Gary Brown
65 Posted 18/05/2023 at 23:24:16

I can't see any news about Adama Traore out, only Boubacar. It's pretty pedantic either way as I said “the likes of...” Neto, Nunes, Cunha, Hwang, etc would all have a field day against your 16-year-old kid, who has zero Premier League minutes under his belt.

I don't like the idea of losing McNeil from left-wing either, but we have a round peg in Gray who plays best there too. Gray and McNeil is a far better bet than someone not old enough to buy a pint and McNeil. At least when there's £100M and the threat of relegation and administration riding on it…

If we were safe, your idea would be a blinder. Right now, I'm thinking it's borderline abuse to put 16-year-old in that situation.

Niall McIlhone
66 Posted 18/05/2023 at 23:34:16
It has to be our most improved player of the season (McNeil) at left-back as he is intelligent enough to play to the manager's and the team's requirements.

I feel we are in with a shout at Wolves, and (as stated earlier) if Townsend is anywhere near fit, he has to be a bonus option from the bench? He is a very canny player and has a great work ethic. He can also score from distance. Worth bringing on if we are level at 70 minutes for the pure hell of it?

Of course, the club chose to loan out Nkounkou, bringing in Vinagre who has largely been overlooked for whatever reason. That conundrum is on Thelwell in my book.

Come on you blues, make us proud.

Paul Birmingham
67 Posted 18/05/2023 at 23:39:20
Play the same system as v Brighton away and stop the supply to their wingers, frustrate Wolves and pick them off.

Let's keep the faith and spirit of the last 3 games and Everton will beat Wolves.


Jim Wilson
68 Posted 18/05/2023 at 00:00:44
Gary @65 – you are righ:t it is Boubacar.

But tell me was it abuse when Rooney scored for us at 16 against the mighty Arsenal or when James Vaughan scored at 16?

This lad is an excellent talent and keeping everybody else in the same positions is the most sensible option.

To digress, is there no-one else in the U21s who Baines can't single out to be a good option for one game? Whether we sink or swim can depend on us getting this right.

By the way, the abuse you talk about was what Holgate received when he was asked to do the impossible. Square peg in round hole.

Phil Lewis
69 Posted 18/05/2023 at 00:23:23
Holgate was not at fault for any of Man City's goals. I hope Dyche shows the courage and faith to play him against Wolves. We have no realistic alternative.

I hope Holgate is mentally strong enough to shrug off the pack of hyenas disguised as Evertonians, who are hounding him and baying for his blood. As a right-sided player, he was wrong-footed down the left and cruelly exposed by Mahrez, a world-class player.

McNeil and Tarkowski would need to be on their toes to provide cover and prevent a repeat against Wolves. But even so, I'm convinced that with Mykolenko and Godfrey injured, Holgate must play. It would be folly to switch him and Patterson from left to right. Patterson could well encounter the same problems.

Let's get behind the lad now on here and continue on all social media platforms in the run-up to the game. When the match begins, cheer instead of taunt him. Boost his confidence. The past is gone, we have two games to salvage our future. Let Mason know that we have faith in him in our hour of need.

It's the Wolves in Amber jerseys he needs to battle with, not the 'wolves' in blue and white scarves.

Cut the boy some slack, he may just reward us with a Man of the Match performance and make all of his detractors eat their cruel words.

I've seen this sort of thing before when it becomes fashionable to turn on a player, singling him out to be slagged off. Two full-backs from different era's come to mind: Sandy Brown, who scored a beauty in his own net in a derby game, and Alan Harper. Both were really reserve players who came in for stick from the crowd. Yet both gave their all in Royal Blue.

Holgate admittedly has been error-prone. His hesitation could be a confidence issue. If he's selected against Wolves, I'm calling on all Evertonians to roar him on in a positive way, in order to get the best out of him. It could create the response we all need.

Nothing would give me greater satisfaction.

Mike Gaynes
70 Posted 19/05/2023 at 03:51:03
In his entire career, Holgate has played two games at left-back. The second one was last weekend.

To borrow Phil's phrase, I'm a confirmed Holgate Hyena, and I can't imagine anything worse in this situation... except all the suggested alternatives -- McNeil, Tarkowski, Patterson, Gana, Garner, Iwobi or a 16-year-old kid making his debut in a £100 million game.

Oh, how I wish Townsend were all the way back... ...

But the simple fact is that, as bad as Holgate is, there's no other choice. All we can do is stick him back in there, close our eyes, and hope he comes up with a game. He did it last season in similar circumstances. Maybe he will again.

Nothing would give me greater satisfaction either.

Pete Gunby
71 Posted 19/05/2023 at 05:53:23
Phil is right.
Jim Bennings
72 Posted 19/05/2023 at 06:37:00
I can't help but feel there are so many twists and turns left in these last two games.

We all felt relief and euphoria after smashing Brighton 5-1 but the reality is, if Leeds do get a positive result against a likely jaded West Ham side and we fail at Wolves, then that last day will be fraught with danger.

In normal seasons, I would have backed our home form but it's been atrocious this season, and well ever since before lockdown it's been appalling.

We need to do everything we possibly can to win tomorrow.

Pete Clarke
73 Posted 19/05/2023 at 06:59:29
We have played reasonably well for the last 3 games despite the defeat to Man City so we need to make as minimal changes to the team as possible.

Holgate is out of form and played out of position so it's tough on him for sure and his confidence must be shattered. Dyche will hopefully have worked this one out by now.

McNeil should be left exactly where he is as he covers lots of ground, gets crosses in, and is a goal threat for us.

I'm not even a great admirer of Calvert-Lewin but he was the one player we did not need to miss this game as he gives the rest of the team an outlet.

I'm not worried about the other relegation-threatened teams losing but I do hope Wolves lose.


Danny O’Neill
74 Posted 19/05/2023 at 07:31:51
Very well put, Phil.

I don't care who is playing or not playing for Wolves.

I don't care who is playing or not playing for Everton.

When in that stadium, we are behind all of those players privileged to wear the royal blue shirt and take to the pitch. Every single one of them.

Mason got a rough deal last Sunday. Out of position, had an off day, but in the context of playing against the best team in Europe, Champions League winners elect who destroyed Real Madrid days later. Deliberately stretching our full-backs. No shame in that.

I didn't like the reaction of some when he was taken off. Not all, I hasten to add, just some.

If he plays tomorrow, and if he plays left-back, then for at least one of the halves, he is alongside a royal blue wall of the travelling blue army. He's got my support if he's on the pitch. As he will have for the majority, I'm sure of that.

I get frustration and opinions, but right now it's about supporting and encouraging them.

I hope he scores the winner in the 92nd minute and then comes over at the end to receive the plaudits.

Get behind the players and the team. Other matters can wait. The players and manager have been left on their own, as have we. We are in this together.

Tony Abrahams
75 Posted 19/05/2023 at 08:15:40
The Holgate situation just shows how desperate we have become as a fanbase because we have been getting run by idiots and charlatans and this has eventually left our club in a very desperate position.

Holgate is not a full-back, Godfrey is not a full-back, and they are always going to struggle in a system that doesn't play very deep and keep eleven men behind the ball.

We only have one real centre-forward and only one genuine left-back on our books. I honestly used to have more options when I was running a Sunday league team.

Jeff Armstrong
76 Posted 19/05/2023 at 08:21:31
Well said, Tony, and outsiders cannot understand our hatred of Kenwright and Co.

Just look at our squad is all we need to say.

Mark Murphy
77 Posted 19/05/2023 at 08:31:20
I fervently hope that at the end of the game tomorrow Mason Holgate comes over to us with his hands behind he's ears asking “How dya love me now???”


Colin Glassar
78 Posted 19/05/2023 at 08:42:21
A point at Wolves is an absolute minimum tomorrow. I can see Nottingham Forest being dragged back into the mix and Leeds clawing back points, so that 18th spot could be between Everton, Forest and Leeds.

It'll all come down to the Bournemouth game imo.

Craig James
79 Posted 19/05/2023 at 08:48:39
Tomorrow is not going to be easy but all we need to worry about is ourselves.

Securing safety or relegation is in our hands.

3 points tomorrow and imho we are safe but need a big clear-out and reshuffle for next season as I fear we may not be so lucky.

Enjoy the sun and weekend, fellow blues. 💙

David Bromwell
80 Posted 19/05/2023 at 08:53:26
Looks to me like we are all clutching at straws with big worries about who can and will play at left-back, and whether our one centre-forward will be fit to play and will last the 90-plus minutes. Quite honestly, it's pathetic and clearly indicative of why we are in this position.

In recent weeks, Dwight McNeil has stepped up and been our best performer, and tomorrow we will need top-class performances from a few more. The manager has very few options, and most of us believe that 10 of the players who started last week are our best available.

So that just leaves the left-back position, and surely we can find someone who can frustrate their winger and take throw-ins? Seems simple enough to me as after all we are a premiership football club and we badly need to start playing and acting like one.

Christopher Timmins
81 Posted 19/05/2023 at 09:02:50
Yesterday's press conference did not do a lot for my nerves. No left back available, another into square peg into a round hole job. DCL seemingly not having trained so far this week.

The starting eleven will need to show resolve tomorrow. Nothing less than a win will do at this stage, anything less and it has to go to the final game.

Good luck to all who will be part of the blue wall, your teams needs you!

Paul Hewitt
82 Posted 19/05/2023 at 09:09:09
Wolves manager has said he's likely to pick fringe players tomorrow.
Brian Harrison
83 Posted 19/05/2023 at 09:14:18
Many questions about tomorrows game, about team selection given our injuries, and Sean Dyche even suggesting a change to the shape of the team.
For me the most important thing is that after all the games are played this weekend, I just hope that we are still in control of our own destiny, because playing our last game having to worry about what other teams are doing would be unbearable.
So whatever side is picked for tomorrow they could really heap massive pressure on the other relegation candidates with a win. So I hope even if we change our shape we still go all out to win the game.
Colin Glassar
84 Posted 19/05/2023 at 09:16:44
I hope they are not as good as the Bournemouth “fringe players” who humiliated us in the fa cup, Paul.
Paul Hewitt
85 Posted 19/05/2023 at 09:17:10
We will win tomorrow. There manager isn't very happy at the moment and won't care if they lose.
Dave Abrahams
86 Posted 19/05/2023 at 09:17:15
Plenty of common sense over Holgate highlighted by Phil @ (69), Holgate has talent, shown it in the past, never really had a consistent run in the team over a long period, out of position on Sunday he didn’t have a good game to be honest, only played there once before as Mike Gaynes points out, can any alternative do better without disrupting the team? I have my doubts, I won’t be disappointed if Holgate plays there tomorrow, let’s see what team Sean Dyche decides to play. COYB get us home!!
Jim Lloyd
87 Posted 19/05/2023 at 09:39:34
Did anyone see the close up of Holgate sitting on the subs bench after being taken off? Well he was a broken lad! Is that what some of our fellow supporters want to see?

He did his best for fuck's sake, yet he was hounded. Not good enough? Maybe; but he's a decent lad, can play football but a) he's not a left full-back and b) he was up against probably the best attack in Europe. He was left marking Haaland for his headed goal, who's about 7 foot twelve!

I think the lads and lasses who go away tomorrow, will back all our team to the hilt. I certainly hope so, to to see a lad in tears as this lad was is not on at all.

I think it'll come down to the last game. I hope and think, we as supporters will back all the lads playing for us. Everyone of them will be giving all they've got. No one should get stick when they're pulling their tripes out,

As someone has already said, don't blame any of these lads, blame should lie at the crew who've made millions sitting on their arses in the boardroom while leaving our first team squad, with the bare bones of a squad to save our Premier League life.

Ernie Baywood
88 Posted 19/05/2023 at 09:56:05
Holgate was only a left-back when nothing was happening. He spent most of the game falling inside while McNeil dropped back and covered the left-back position. On the few occasions that didn't happen, Mahrez went past him like he wasn't there.

Might as well just play another centre-back and have McNeil as wing-back. It's not like McNeil ever plays as a winger high up the pitch. We don't have enough of the ball to do that. He breaks into positions from deep.

Jim Wilson
89 Posted 19/05/2023 at 09:59:10
My blunt comment is simple.

Mess about with the team formation or shuffle the players around to cover for Mykolenko and we will not beat Wolves.

The choice is play Ishe Samuels-Smith, who was on the bench a few weeks ago, so presumably Dyche was ready to play him, play Holgate who suffered disgraceful abuse from some fans last week, or someone else from the reserves.

I would play Samuels-Smith and McNeil will be in front of him giving some help and cover.

Michael Kenrick
90 Posted 19/05/2023 at 10:09:12
Jim Wilson,

If you're gonna be a success at this Manager Pro Tem business, I think you're gonna have to get a better handle on things.

Everton Reserves have not existed as such since who knows when... actually Season 2011-12 — that's 11 years ago!!!

And surely a manager should be familiar with all the players available to him at Finch Farm, so it's a bit rich just offering up this throw-away approach of picking "someone else from the reserves."

I mean, isn't that slapdash approach to team management what has gotten us in this dreadful predicament in the first place?


James Marshall
91 Posted 19/05/2023 at 10:15:33
Holgate will play left-back – Dyche rarely tends to do anything other than what he feels is the 'safe' option, so he'll play Holgate because, while he's an awful player, he does have experience (of being awful) and is (allegedly) a defender.

Playing McNeil there would take too much away from the team as a whole in my view. He already drops in there to cover but using him as a full-back would leave us short in midfield and attack. Yeah, he could use Gray, but he never uses Gray, does he?

He won't use a young 'un either, that's potential suicide if it goes awry.

Expect the same team as last week, just with Holgate instead of Mykolenko.

One win will do it now, I reckon – if we beat Wolves, that leaves Leicester and Leeds needing to win both their games. I can't see that happening.

I also think Moyes will play a stronger team than people think against Leeds because the Europa Conference League Final isn't until 7 June which is almost 3 weeks away.

Jim Lloyd
92 Posted 19/05/2023 at 10:15:54
I think it's that Michael but even moreso is the slapdash way we've chosen players. We've spent a massive fortune on players and hardly ever got a good team. I weas goin to say squad there, but we've hardly ever had a good squad.
John Keating
93 Posted 19/05/2023 at 10:40:26
Unlike Lyndon, I don't think this is "another" Cup Final; I think this is our Cup Final.

I can still see Leeds and Forest getting a result out of their last 2 games; however, 3 points at Wolves then it really is totally a one-game shoot-out. Anything less, then I fear for us.

Hopefully Dyche makes minimal changes both to personnel and team set-up. I hope he doesn't go gung-ho or try another formation. Stick with one up top and try and replicate the Brighton tactics, keeping a tight defensive shape.

Danny O’Neill
94 Posted 19/05/2023 at 10:46:52
Jim Lloyd, absolutely.

The players, manager and supporters are not to blame.

We have been left with the menu we have to chose from.

All I care about from these next two matches is my Everton. Not theirs. It isn't theirs. It is ours.

Let's go and do it.

On our own like they have left us to it. Shithouses.

I'll see you in Wolverhampton. See you at Goodison next week.

I won't because you are cowards who do not care for this club as much as I and thousands of others do.

Apologies for my usual emotional outburst.

Pat Kelly
95 Posted 19/05/2023 at 10:57:35
Another Cup Final indeed. Let's treat it like one and go for it from the start.

Whoever's playing at left-back will be less of a concern if we attack from the start. Sitting back and trying to counter will expose our weaknesses at the back.

Wolves have nothing to play for. We can't afford to concede first. We know how that will end.

Neil Lawson
96 Posted 19/05/2023 at 11:01:03
The difference of shared opinion is always entertaining. I tend not to join in with team selection.

I do think however, that the win at Brighton was so outstanding (and unexpected) that anything other than a forced change would be daft.

Very much the mantra of Dyche. Hence, the only issue should be who plays at left-back. Don't we all wish that there was an obvious solution?

Brent Stephens
97 Posted 19/05/2023 at 11:03:55
Jim #89.

Ishe Samuels-Smith is one for the future, not now. He was on the bench most probably to get experience of, well, being on the bench initially.

Do we rate his defensive qualities more than his attacking qualities? The former is what we need at the moment but I'd suggest that's the weakest part of his game.

Mark Murphy
98 Posted 19/05/2023 at 11:19:50
If Mason Holgate is selected tomorrow, I will be giving him my full-throated support from the start and I hope (and believe) that the away support will also do so en masse.

I've been loads of aways over the last few years and the only time players get stick or abuse is after the final whistle, when they deserve it, as at Brentford and Norwich last season. As disappointing as this season has been, that hasn't happened at any away game I've been to this season. Support the team, whoever is selected!

Throw them AT the Wolves, not TO the Wolves!


Alan J Thompson
99 Posted 19/05/2023 at 11:31:05
The upside to all of this might be that Wolves might plan to play everything through our left-back regardless of who plays there merely because we can't agree who might be best suited and they see it is a weakness.

My choice would be either Gana or Onana. Gana may be the best available tackler or Onana as more mobile and they may be interchangeable but Onana better at getting forward behind McNeil. Consideration would also have to be given to Wolves continually playing balls from wing to wing.

Still, it's Mr Dyche's £3.5M bonus on the line.

Kevin Molloy
100 Posted 19/05/2023 at 11:50:30
A neutral would look at their home form, and our away form, and conclude this is highly likely to be a home win.

Their recent Villa result in particular is concerning; Villa are absolutely flying but went here last week and came away with nothing.

I think we have to be realistic and say that a point here is a very good result (we're shit, remember), regardless of the fact that (hopefully temporarily) our fate would then pass out of our hands and we would be in the lap of the gods.

Sometimes you just have to be grateful you have a chance. If anyone had told us last year we'd be going again, only this time we would only have Maupay up front instead of Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison and Gordon, I don't think anyone would have thought we could do it, yet here we are.

Rob Dolby
101 Posted 19/05/2023 at 11:51:32
I am a firm believer that both full-back positions should be produced from inside the club. There are no excuses why we shouldn't be able to call up an U21 player. Instead, we look to be pretty siloed with the teams at Finch Farm. Changing managers hasn't helped.

Watching the likes of Holgate and Godfrey playing instead of a proper full-back is more to do with who the manager trusts and has seen rather than a proper performance pyramid from the junior teams.

I would go with the young lad Samuels-Smith to start at full-back rather than the mess we witnessed last week.

If I was the Wolves manager, I would start with Traore but thankfully he appears to be out of favour with him.

I wouldn't be surprised if Mykolenko played with a painkiller tomorrow.

We are a mess of a club but they are our mess. Regardless of who plays, the fans will 100% support them. Sit tight and hit them on the break similar to the Brighton game. The onus should be on the home team to press us which should hopefully play into our hands.


Robert Tressell
102 Posted 19/05/2023 at 11:57:50
There isn't much difference between Holgate at left-back and Holgate at left centre-back in a back 3 (or 5).

It is a question of starting position and cover provided by the now excellent McNeil.

Hopefully Mina is fit as he's the organiser. Hopefully Calvert-Lewin is fit as he can peg Wolves back and ease the pressure on a makeshift defence.


Jim Wilson
103 Posted 19/05/2023 at 11:58:29
Michael @ 90,

Trying to be a smart alec is not helpful whatsoever.

'Reserves' is just a term to cover the U18s, U21s and fringe players.

I am of the opinion that changing the formation or shuffling the players round is the worst thing we can do.

I have suggested using Samuels-Smith or Holgate and as I do not know all the 'reserve' players, I said in an earlier comment surely there must be someone else who could cover this position. Maybe Baines could help with his opinion.

Clearly I have bugged you, Micheal, when all I am trying to do is give my opinion on what I think we should do.

I am worried, worried sick about our situation, we are close to being relegated and cannot afford another defeat, you clearly just want to sound clever. I don't expect an apology but I recommend you concentrate solely on what is good for the team!


Alan Johnson
104 Posted 19/05/2023 at 12:14:47
Jim #103. Well said. Agree with you 100%
John Raftery
105 Posted 19/05/2023 at 12:50:36
Whatever is done to cover the absence of Mykolenko tomorrow is fraught with risk; however some options carry a higher degree of risk than others. Throwing a lad with no first team experience into such a vital game is the worst of options. I doubt it has even crossed Dyche's mind to do so.

From what I have read, Wolves generally play a 4-4-2 formation which has proved successful at home, less so away. Perhaps we need to make this game feel like an away game for them. Our fans can obviously play a part in that.

On the pitch, it seems to me we must control the midfield, deny Wolves the majority of possession, and make sure we do not leave ourselves open to counter-attacks in the naive way we did on Boxing Day. Above all, we must capitalise on our opportunities when they arrive.

Christine Foster
106 Posted 19/05/2023 at 13:19:29
So, Wolves' tactics…

If they play a high press, then we do it as at Brighton, sit deep and raid them. If they sit deep, we cannot afford to let the game just go on, we have to press from the front and close them down, make them make mistakes.

If we have to, be adaptable and change it around: Plan A, Plan B at the drop of a hat – no waiting for half-time, for them to score.

For substitutes, change it at 5 minutes if need be. We must score first… we go to win, we don't go to draw.

Mick Davies
107 Posted 19/05/2023 at 13:42:42
Will all these 'bleeding heart' Holgate fans wind their necks in please?

Forget the fact that he gets roasted by any attacking player with a pulse every time he plays, struts around the pitch looking uninterested and then allows the opposition to by-pass him while he's munching his Wrigley's Extra due to a lack of spatial awareness.

Remember all the passes to the opposition every time he plays, and the panic he creates for the defence and keeper with his inability to calmly pass out of defence – which has led to own-goals by his teammates and calamitous mistakes from an erratic Pickford.

There is only one redeeming feature in his arsenal, and that's his knack of nicking a goal or two, which begs the question: Why wasn't he chosen up front for much of this season, in place of Maupay, as he definitely has a better chance of scoring than our alleged striker.

Craig Walker
108 Posted 19/05/2023 at 13:55:11
I'll be glad when this weekend is over. It's so bloody stressful watching us and then praying results go our way in the other teams' fixtures. I used to moan about getting mid-table respectability but I'd settle for that for a few seasons.

It would be a shame to put McNeil at left-back as he has been our best player recently and is the best provider for Calvert-Lewin. The fact that we have no options to play a specialist left-back speaks volumes about our recruitment.

Please Everton, for once, turn up, apply yourselves with maximum effort, don't make stupid mistakes, and get yourselves out of this mess when you have the chance to do so.

This is massive.

Danny O’Neill
109 Posted 19/05/2023 at 13:55:16

I hope you are fortunate to be at the Molineux tomorrow like the rest of us. About 3,000 of us.

Maybe if he plays and performs, you can cheer him on and hopefully congratulate him at the end.

Is he great? No. Far from it. But with all the absentees, he is what we have. So let's hope he and the team put in a performance and get a result.

Craig, just keep those blue fingers crossed.

Kevin Molloy
110 Posted 19/05/2023 at 14:06:33
Interesting watching Moyes after the game last night. He says he's 'thrilled' to make it to the final. And that's why he'll probably lose it.

You don't punch to the target Davey, you're supposed to punch through it. His head has pretty much gone. He'll be thinking about Leeds late Saturday night if at all. And when he does, he'll be thinking:

"Now the final's only a couple of weeks off… if I play any of these tired heroes, they might get injured. Better for everyone if I play fresh players who want to force their way into my plans."

He'll go to bed thinking he's doing us a favour dropping his first team, cos that's what I reckon he's going to do.

Rob Halligan
111 Posted 19/05/2023 at 14:06:39
If Holgate plays left back tomorrow, then he won't be facing Mahrez, but that headless chicken Adama Traore, who runs like Forrest Gump. If there were no stands at each end of the pitch, I swear he would carry on running out the ground.

His crosses are crap, with the vast majority going out for a throw-in on the other side of the pitch. Holgate will also get the backing of every Blue tomorrow, of that there is no doubt.

Raymond Fox
112 Posted 19/05/2023 at 14:07:12
So what do you do with this fixture? Do you set up not to be beaten or go for the win?

Playing the game without a proper left-back is a big handicap for starters.

I think Dyche will play Holgate, the lad's not left-footed so you can't expect him to shine.

That's the option I would go for nevertheless and keep the rest of the team that beat Brighton, that is if Calvert-Lewin is truly fit, there has to be a doubt about him also.

The betting on the match is 7/4 each to win, take your pick, with the draw a likely outcome at 11/5.

That's the way I see it also, I think anything can happen.

Andrew Clare
113 Posted 19/05/2023 at 14:22:54
This will be a tough game against an improved Wolves. We have to go for the win as I think the Bournemouth (who are also a very improved team) game will be a nerve-racking affair.

Leeds will likely get a result at West Ham and Forest may do the same against Arsenal as Arsenal have lost a lot of confidence of late.

It's all very worrying.

Steve Brown
114 Posted 19/05/2023 at 14:27:46
I honestly don't think Dyche will switch to a back 3 at the stage. It will be 4-5-1 again.

Like a lot of common-sense posters on here, I felt very sorry for Holgate last week being pitched in at left-back against Mahrez. The vitriol he got was out of order.

He will need to play a game role again tomorrow in all likelihood and rely on Dwight tracking back to help him.

We should really go for it tomorrow. All or nothing.

Christopher Timmins
115 Posted 19/05/2023 at 14:32:06
It will be 4-5-1 okay, the manager won't change the system with only two games to go.
Minik Hansen
116 Posted 19/05/2023 at 14:59:03
All respect to the ruled out players, it seems a good thing going into this game against Wolverhampton; Mykolenko, Godfrey and Davies.

Only the downside is Coady being ineligible, so it's up to Keane to have his feet and head in the right places.

I don't know what's wrong with Holgate nowadays, just needs to sort it out ASAP and perform to his best of what we've seen before! COYB.

Jim Lloyd
117 Posted 19/05/2023 at 15:01:41
Mick, you use words loosely. You used the word 'Nazi' the other day, about a newspaper. "Nazi" – You do know what it means, I assume.

As for bleeding hearts, it is our club facing relegation. Whoever Dyche picks is what our manager thinks is his best men and best formation. Are you going to boo him then, considering not good enough?

We have two games to rescue our fucking club from relegation. I'm sure we'll be saved booing players we don't like.

Mark 98, well said.

Danny 109, Spot on.

Paul Kossoff
118 Posted 19/05/2023 at 15:32:16
Please don't play Kean or Holgate, rather try anything but two mistakes waiting to happen than those two.

God is a Blue so 3 points please.


Minik Hansen
119 Posted 19/05/2023 at 15:57:55
You just wonder if Demarai Gray's motivation has spiked up, being on the bench where he has something to prove for Dyche.

We'll find out during the match if Gray will have a good impact on Everton's performance, nevermind in the last match of the season.

Colin Glassar
120 Posted 19/05/2023 at 15:59:34
Back 3 of Keane (I know) Tarkowski and Holgate (I know). Just make sure the midfield of Patterson, Gana, McNeil, Onana, Garner and Gray. Just keep the game tight. Flood the midfield and suffocate Wolves. Hit them on the break and defend like mad. Simples.

A draw wouldn't be the end of the world but, if Dyche plays his cards right, we can win this.

Robert Tressell
121 Posted 19/05/2023 at 16:15:43
Raymond #112, it is a good question because Wolves are a good side.

The main thing is to stay clear of the Bottom 3. A win would obviously be brilliant. But chasing a win and losing would be a bad outcome.

Hence the need for a bit of restraint throwing a 16-year-old into the mix (albeit a very classy one). Jim: unfortunately there isn't really anyone else other than maybe Elijah Campbell who is a bit older at 18 but more of a centre-back than a left-back (although he is, I think, left-footed). No reason to expect him to outperform Holgate though, for all people don't like Holgate.

A draw would prolong the agony but may be a good outcome in the grand scheme of things.

Dennis Stevens
122 Posted 19/05/2023 at 16:33:39
Assuming that Dyche will have known all week that he'll be playing Holgate at left-back, I should imagine they'll have done a fair bit of work with him to get him technically & mentally in the right place, as far as is possible in the time available.
Pete Neilson
123 Posted 19/05/2023 at 16:34:51
For quite a number of Wolves players, their last home appearances. Jonny, Joao Moutinho, Adama Traore, Raul Jimenez and Ruben Neves all said to be leaving so maybe a bit of a carnival feel for Wolves.

Also, as Paul (82) says, Lopetegui hinting at picking fringe players. He's also said that he was misled over Wolves' transfer plans, maybe he's planning his own departure. Hopefully all of these distractions are slight advantages for us.

James Hughes
124 Posted 19/05/2023 at 16:36:43
If Holgate plays then, as others have said, the fans will be behind him. He showed great potential but another casualty of the revolving door of managers.

Don't forget there were quite a few who thought Stones was overrated.

We have a poor record at Wolves since they came back up but I believe we will get the points.

Frank Fearns
125 Posted 19/05/2023 at 16:51:15
A while back when Duncan Ferguson played Holgate in front of the defence, he was outstanding and everyone was singing his praises. I've never known why he's never played in that position since?

Also, these players are professionals getting paid staggering amounts of money and should be capable of playing in a different position on the field, or am I naive?

Jim Wilson
126 Posted 19/05/2023 at 16:54:38
Robert @121,

As always you talk a lot of sense. Thanks for the info on Campbell.

My instinct is to stick with 4-5-1. It has done well in recent away games and has got us the 4 Dyche wins. Dyche tinkered with things after the Doucoure sending off and that may have caused the Fulham setback.

I'll stick with my gut feeling that playing an orthodox left-back, even if he is young, is better than changing things around.

In my opinion, if you play a youngster, it is on the manager to say the right things to him, tell him there is nothing to worry about, it's on me. Motivate him in the right way.

Playing Rooney at 16 did him no harm, except maybe his head got bigger!

Danny O’Neill
127 Posted 19/05/2023 at 16:56:09
See you all there. Belief. I don't give two shits who is playing or what formation it is.

Those who understand need no explanation.

Apologies, I'm getting into matchday mode and I've still got a long way to go.

I can't wait. Tomorrow can't come soon enough.

Spirit. Forever. Trinity.

We go and do this.

Jim Wilson
128 Posted 19/05/2023 at 17:10:33
Good on you, Danny.

I hope you have a perfect day!


Andy Crooks
129 Posted 19/05/2023 at 17:10:35
Jim @117, excellent post.

"Bleeding Hearts" … Really poor stuff.

Jamie Crowley
130 Posted 19/05/2023 at 17:11:46
I'm already shitting my pants.

I've opened the bar so it's ready to roll at 10 am tomorrow.

This left-back situation for me is tough. I'd not play Holgate, he has been awful. Someone above said before and I concur – bump Tarkowski to left-back and bring Keane in with Mina. For me, that's the only choice.

Same spot as last year. Second to last game can keep us safe. We gotta win this.

Christy Ring
131 Posted 19/05/2023 at 17:19:17
I believe we have to win tomorrow, because if West Ham play a reserve team on Sunday, Leeds will get the win, and beat Spurs on the last day, as they're total crap.

But I'm hoping Moyes shows a bit of loyalty to the club he christened "The People's Club" and play's his first 11 and sickens Big Sam, considering they have 18 days to recover for the final.

I'd play McNeil at left-back with Gray ahead òf him. Against Brighton, he was back helping the defence, so he'd still be an attacking threat.

Jay Harris
132 Posted 19/05/2023 at 17:47:08
I think we have to accept left-back as a problem and deal with it by excelling in the positions where we are strong. Midfield with Calvert-Lewin and Doucouré up front should be a handful for anyone.

Personally, I think Holgate is shot. He was in tears last week when he was brought off so I think the only solution is to play McNeil there with Gray just in front or Garner instead of Gray to back McNeil up.

We cannot allow Wolves to score because they are difficult to score against.

Minik Hansen
133 Posted 19/05/2023 at 17:55:42
Jim #126,

The same can be said about Thierry Small about the head!

Jim Lloyd
134 Posted 19/05/2023 at 18:08:50
Hi Andy. Well! 2 games! This one I'd be made up with a draw.

I remember that game, Frank, where he played Mason Holgate in front of defence. Not a bad shout that, but maybe the time for experimenting isn't now.

Garner, Gray and McNeil are 3 classy footballers who might just give us a chance of bagging a goal or two. McNeil's come on a bundle, Garner looks a good fit, and Gray is good at making chances and taking free kicks. So we've got good players, let's hope they click tomorrow. Brrr....

Jamie Crowley
135 Posted 19/05/2023 at 18:15:40
Tons of people saying drop McNeil to left-back.

McNeil has been immense in being a real threat and simultaneously providing fantastic cover for anyone at left-back. The kid's effort and stamina are sublime.

I'd not, in a million years, move him. Plug the hole that needs to be plugged – don't create two holes! McNeil is not a left-back! Moving him there, you weaken that position as well as left-midfield.

Steve Shave
136 Posted 19/05/2023 at 18:19:04
Absolutely babbing my pants about this game. I pray he plays 4-5-1, doesn't change much and, if not Calvert-Lewin then Gray up front. We will need to play like our lives depend on it, they are beatable.

I'd prefer Godfrey to Holgate at left-back, neither fill me with much confidence. I'm going for a spirited 1-2 to the Blues. COYB.

Paul Washington
137 Posted 19/05/2023 at 18:26:40
Holgate to score the winner then!!!
Mark Taylor
138 Posted 19/05/2023 at 19:09:20
The left-back options are clearly beyond limited, bordering on impractical.

The least impractical is Holgate again, but I agree with others, he looked shot last time. It's almost cruel to play a guy who I think now realises he is not at the level of Premier League and out of position as well. He doesn't have the mental resolve to cope, still less the ability.

So what else? Both Vinagre (who?) and Godfrey are injured. A teenager who I'm not sure is even in the country is hardly an answer. I'm against the idea of our best current performer (McNeil) being neutered by being out of position.

Short of a painkiller for Mykolenko, the best (not really the right word), options seem to me to be Gana, who is experienced and can tackle, or maybe Tarkowski. He has played there, albeit barely at all. Problem is, that means you have to bring Keane back at centre-back. If it wasn't for that, it would be a more obvious choice.

Least bad options and all that. But at least we keep a midfield and attack, which has shown signs of working, intact. Hopefully Wolves will send their first team on their hols.

Bernard Dooley
139 Posted 19/05/2023 at 19:19:12
Rob #111

"… that headless chicken Adama Traore, who runs like Forrest Gump"

I seem to remember that in the home game against Wolves we lost the ball on the edge of our own area and Traore was screaming for the ball.

When he received it, he ran with it into our area before looking up and squaring the ball towards the far post where he had seen at least three Wolves colleagues running into space.

The rest is history. Just proves every dog has his day and most pro footballers can produce given time and space.

Our left-back that day? Mykolenko.

Mick Davies
140 Posted 19/05/2023 at 19:23:47
Jim @ 117, don't try scoring cheap points off me when you don't even know the extent of my intelligence and educational levels, it makes you look petty.

My gripe is, I'm just sick of watching players representing my club – and becoming extremely wealthy to boot – who are nowhere near capable of competing at this level.

No, I don't blame the likes of Holgate, Maupay etc who are being recruited and picked, it's at the management and boardroom level where the problem lies.

In all my years supporting this basket-case of a club, never once did I vent my anger and disgust at the likes of Darracott, Biley, Angell et al, but gave them all my support, despite leaving grounds up and down the country wondering why I bother.

My first match as a kid had the team printed in the centre of the proggramme, and I can still relate that roll call with ease: West, Wright, Wilson, Kendall, Labone, Harvey, Husband, Ball, Royle, Hurst and Morrisey. That team was almost set in stone for a few seasons, and looking back, I often wonder where it all went wrong?

That lot over the park evolved by replacing their ageing players one by one, whereas we would wait until they're all over the hill, and bring in 7 at a time, hoping that they will miraculously gel. That's what we're left with today.

And Danny, I won't be at Molineux in body, but if I was, I would be doing what I always have, and giving the team 100% support, which I know you will. I just hope we get through this, and summer sees the departure of the worst Evertonian ever to enter our club.

Jerome Shields
141 Posted 19/05/2023 at 19:26:06
I thought Godfrey would be in. I did not realise he was injured. Sorry to hear he has long Covid. Holgate will probably start, makeshift as usual.

I don't think three centre-backs is a good thing with error-prone Keane. Need to counter-attack, like against Brighton.

Rob Halligan
142 Posted 19/05/2023 at 19:42:46
Bernard #139… yes, I do remember that.

I meant to add to my post that, every now and again, Traore will produce something out of the blue – although very infrequent, I might add.

Unfortunately for us, that was the day when he did produce something, although, even he couldn't fuck that up as he had absolute acres of space. He's still shit though.

Dale Self
143 Posted 19/05/2023 at 20:01:12
I got Cadiz v Valladolid on screen. I was thinking of going with Cadiz just because it is in Andalusia. Any Toffee perspective on this match or a yawn?
Brent Stephens
144 Posted 19/05/2023 at 20:16:14
Dale, Cadiz has that lovely soft "z" ("Cadith").

But Valladolid beats it for pronunciation ("Balyatholith" - the V as "B", the double L as "ly" and the d as "th") - Balyatholith.

So I'm going for the latterrrr.

Dale Self
145 Posted 19/05/2023 at 20:25:45
You know, Brent, I think you could have clipped and spaced that a bit and gone full E E Cummings on that.

Yeah, yeah, Valladolid it is for exactly that reason.

Brent Stephens
146 Posted 19/05/2023 at 20:27:23
Cummings I don't know, Dale. Not an ex-blue, I guess! Tell me more.
Dale Self
147 Posted 19/05/2023 at 20:38:13
Are you setting me up to make a fool of myself? If I make one low-rent Yank reference, you know I'll get outclassed, if not slaughtered. I know my place, mate.
Brent Stephens
148 Posted 19/05/2023 at 20:39:45
Outrageous, Dale.
Paul Birmingham
149 Posted 19/05/2023 at 20:47:10
The atmosphere and songs of one of the greatest nights at Goodison 12 months ago still resonates. That was some day and night in the history of Everton Football Club.

Tomorrow, the travelling Blue Wall and the Everton team will prevail.

Keep the faith and belief.


Jim Lloyd
150 Posted 19/05/2023 at 21:16:36
Well, MIk,e if you use the word 'Nazi'? That's not a cheap point, what do you expect?

If you call fellow supporters "bleeding hearts", what does that say? Because you don't have the same thought process of other Blues who see a lad play his football and get vilified. That isn't a bleeding heart – it's seeing what negativity does to a footballer playing for Everton.

If Holgate is in the team, then the manager put him there for a reason. I thought us as supporters understood that pulling our own players down gives us less chance of coming out of this nightmare and our competition more.

The basket-case of a club is right, we all feel so frustrated with the mess that's been made. I went through the late '50s and into the '60s and saw Sir John Moores build up a great squad beginning with the players Johnny Carey bought and the football was magical.

Catterick come along, and there's difference of opinions with his management style. I couldn't stand the bugger, but until, around the early '70s, we started going off the boil, we were a good club with good sides until Sir John couldn't keep control.

You know the rest. I went away as well. We all saw Liverpool build up a massive football reputation while we had Howard Kendall, then basically scraps.

We come to this now, where we have injuries at the worst time, we have had poor selections by the Board over 6 or 7 years of first of all a great chance of doing what Newcastle are doing, until now when were trying to avoid relegation.

None of this is the players' doing. If they're not good enough, the club should have had a better plan, but it didn't! A hopeless plan run by a Chairman who should have left decades ago.

We've got a choice haven't we – that's not a cheap point. We support those who play, or we don't. My view is that the aim should be well and truly aimed at the Chairman, and the Chief Executive Officer. Maybe the major shareholder, but without him we'd have been skint years ago, seeing as we refused Sheikh Masoud… allegedly!

Neil Copeland
151 Posted 19/05/2023 at 21:26:03
Danny #127, spot on mate, I don't really care either just want to see us put the effort in and bring home the points. See you there.

Paul #149, that's the spirit mate. We are going to Wolves for the win and nothing less.

We can do this.


Ed Prytherch
152 Posted 19/05/2023 at 21:50:04
McNeil is our only player who gives us width on the left side and stretches defences. Gray always plays narrow to get onto his right foot and he is a poor replacement for McNeil.

Holgate is not the perfect solution tomorrow but he is the least worst. He was not responsible for the goals that we conceded against Man City. Michael Keane is a much bigger risk.

Mark Murphy
153 Posted 19/05/2023 at 21:55:02
One more sleep to the next Everton away.

Everton are magic!


See you at Euston, Danny!

Tony Everan
154 Posted 19/05/2023 at 21:58:09
One thing is for sure, we will want it more. I am hoping that determines the outcome.

Dale, Brent. Cadiz always makes me think of the classical guitar piece of the same name played by Julian Bream, composed by the genius Isaac Albeniz. I used to attempt to play it before deafness and injury claimed me. One of a few classical guitar pieces that make me weep with joy and sadness. You can see Bream playing it on YouTube.

Hans Fyhrqvist
155 Posted 19/05/2023 at 22:13:05
As we all agree, Everton´s away game at Wolves will be crucial for our chances to stay up, and for us to have our fate in our own hands (or should we say, in this case, on our own feet).

I think it would be more important to have in tomorrow's game our best starting XI than in our last game, home against Bournemouth. That´s because I believe that it can after all be a little bit more difficult to get the win at Molineux than at Goodison with the full house and the ferocious backing of our fans, whatever the situation then may be.

So I would suggest that Dyche should take a calculated risk with Calvert-Lewin and Mykolenko tomorrow. I mean that, if they could play, for example with the aid of painkillers, I would encourage to take that risk. Only if there was a danger to get a long term, or even a career threatening injury, they should of course be rested.

So if at all possible, start with them, or put them at least on the bench. Seeing them in the squad would surely boost the morale and give more confidence, for us supporters at least.

Imo, Dyche and his coaching staff, and of course the players themselves, too, must now put the cause and benefit of Everton FC in the first place. There are only two games left and then the whole summer to get really fit once again.

And as said, I would prefer Calvert-Lewin and Mykolenko playing tomorrow rather than a week later. Imo we can cope without them better at Goodison, if it were to be the "cost" of playing them tomorrow, and especially if we have won at Wolves.

If after all Calvert-Lewin is unavailable tomorrow, I really hope that Dyche selects Simms to lead our line, because he also has that physicality and heading power we need up front.

We must hope and believe that all the Everton players who cross the white line at Molineux will play out of their skin. Surely the Everton fans will once again be at their best and our players must match that!

Brent Stephens
156 Posted 19/05/2023 at 22:28:39
Tony #154 - poignant.

And at the same time almost leading us back to the Live Forum fish puns. One for tomorrow?

Paul Birmingham
157 Posted 19/05/2023 at 22:33:19
The Day of Reckoning, is, near, tomorrow is a massive game, for Everton FC, and Evertonians, across the Universe, and the destiny of Everton FC.

Reality, is, and so stick together, and beat Wolves!

Stakes are high, but Everton, can rise from the Ashes of a a very tough season, tomorrow, and move, gradually into better times.

A point will be massive, a win, could be Victory, in terms of the viable survival of EFC, this, but could take the issue to the Bournemouth game at Goodison Park. It’s in Evertons control.

The Blue Wall, Real and virtual, tomorrow, will not be moved,

“Everton! Forever, where ever, Everton!”

On a serious, match going note,as many know, it’s not the most friendly of away grounds, all be careful, via car, train or coach, push bike.

God speed, and safety, and Victory for Everton.

Pray Arsenal beat Forest, West Ham, beat Leeds on Sunday lunch time,, and on Monday, Newcastle beat Leicester.

A lot to ask, but so needs must.

“Whats Our Name?”


Jamie Crowley
158 Posted 19/05/2023 at 23:04:23
I’m at my bar now greasing the wheels for tomorrow.

Liquid courage!

Paul Birmingham
159 Posted 19/05/2023 at 23:16:15
Well, in Jamie!🍺🍺🍺🥃🥃🥃🍻🍻🍻🍻☘️👍🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼⚽️⚽️⚽️

Tomorrow, 20 May 2023, v Wolves!


Dave Williams
160 Posted 19/05/2023 at 23:17:09
Just back from a session down the pub with my mate who wanted to agree a menu for our trip for Bournemouth. It developed into a rehearsal of Everton songs and neither of us were too good on Spirit of the Blues – can someone post the words so we can get some practice in? The Star pub in Liverton, Devon knows about Everton now – if it didn't before!!

We agreed that, if Calvert-Lewin is fit, then we should win both remaining games. The fans will make one heck of a racket and if the players are right in their faces then their players may not fancy it.

Who to play at left-back is a tricky one and I'd go for Tarkowski with Keane at centre-back. NcNeil to provide cover to Tarkowski so he doesn't get done for pace. If in need, bring on Gray, Onana and Simms. Lots of height for set-pieces.

PC turned up at the pub in full cowboy fancy dress sourced from his dressing-up box (don't ask why- there was no function on at all). If our boys turn up in as bold a fashion, then 3 points are ours!

Get in!!!!!

Brent Stephens
161 Posted 19/05/2023 at 23:20:29
Dave, there's an excellent The Fans forum with Spirit of the Blues words:

Current Everton Chants

Brendan McLaughlin
162 Posted 19/05/2023 at 23:20:37
Jamie #158,

Walking a beach in Donegal... dark now but the roar of the waves reminds me of the last time I was at Goodison.

Still off the alcohol.


ps: I don't have a problem – other than fecking Everton.

Mike Morgan
163 Posted 19/05/2023 at 23:55:19
I hope all this focus on left-back isn't a smoke screen to hide the fact that Calvert-Lewin is injured. It would be typical if he was missing. The whole season has been blighted by not having a centre-forward.

If we are going to get out of this, Calvert-Lewin must be fit for the last two games. If he is, left-back will sort itself out. Holgate is the only sensible option unless Godfrey has recovered.

Dale Self
164 Posted 20/05/2023 at 00:40:06
If you are still up having one, say a toast for the away fans!
Michael Kenrick
165 Posted 20/05/2023 at 05:49:12
Jim @103,

Sorry to have hit a nerve there – it's just that I was triggered by your repeated use of that archaic term for what the rest of us now call the Academy.

This feeling was admittedly compounded by the vagueness of your advice to throw in "someone else from the reserves" – which struck me as an unfortunate lapse in diligence for your adopted role as Fantasy Manager.

It's just that I believe the depth and sincerity of the analysis provided by the welter of alternative advice to the manager on this thread in the build-up to such a huge and critical match needs to be of the highest quality with no room for mistakes or misinterpretations.

I'd also be concerned, after going through all this effort, how you must feel about the teamsheet when announced or the formation when realised on the pitch, if your recommendations have not been followed?

It would bug the hell out of me and be a source of constant frustration throughout the game if the manager had made such an obvious mistake – as many claim he did last week.

Actually, that's exactly what the early comments on the matchday thread last week focussed on – complete exasperation that the manager had selected the wrong team!

I think there's a lot to be said for Danny's approach to such things – he says he doesn't get hung up on who's playing. It's not exactly saying the manager is always going to get it right but he has to have more information than any of us on which to base his team selection, I would think.

Derek Thomas
166 Posted 20/05/2023 at 06:19:28
Godfrey had a pretty 'adequate' run at left-back under Ancelotti. Since then, he's had what amounts to extended 2nd season syndrome, more than likely caused by (maybe long) Covid and a broken leg.

It's not even certain that Traore will play, Holgate's just had the mother of all mares, so baring an out-of-left field and even more out of position selection.

I would go with Godfrey, who is big enough and fast enough to handle him using old-style full-backing 101: the ball can go past you, or the man can go past you, but not both... run him into the corner.

"Show him the Nettles" (very hard but fairly obviously 😆 – clatter him over the line and off the pitch into said nettles), as one of my old managers used to say.

Jerome Shields
167 Posted 20/05/2023 at 07:07:02
I can't see Dyche risking an in-form McNeil in his present position at left-back. He will play a back at the back.
Dave Evans
168 Posted 20/05/2023 at 07:08:09
Godfrey is injured.

Saturday. Well this is it blue boys.
Let's roll.

Eddie Dunn
169 Posted 20/05/2023 at 07:22:41
Dyche must be thinking whether it is worth risking Myko and Calvert-Lewin this week and possibly not having them next week for a much more winnable match.
It's a big call. If he tries it this week and we still lose -he might not have either next week.
Personally, if Myko is too far from fitness, I would put Holgate back in there and give him the chance to redeem himself -I certainly would avoid going to a back three with Keane involved and I wouldn't want to lose McNeil from his left wing berth.
Fingers crossed.
Jim Lloyd
170 Posted 20/05/2023 at 07:36:08
It sounds like you had a great night Dave!! (160) and your mate, an even better one! A good shout Derek. Yep, he hasn't hit the heights of his first season, but he's fast and he's hard. If Traore plays, Godfrey could give him his moneysworth alright!.
Anyway, whoever plays, give your best and you can't do any more. I think McNeill is one of our best chances of acoring and we need to attack, as well as defend; put Wolves on the back foot a bit. Fingers crossed indeed, Ed!
Colin Glassar
171 Posted 20/05/2023 at 08:22:43
Today’s the day lads. I’m going with the majority of the pundits and predicting a draw (0-0). Prove me wrong Everton and give us a win.

Next week we could possibly be celebrating the departure of Moshiri and his merry men and be looking forward, finally, to a game at Goodison against Bournemouth knowing our future is secure for the time being.

Kevin Edward
172 Posted 20/05/2023 at 08:38:08
This is massive today, a big shout out to all the travelling blues to do what you do best and roar EFC over the line. I’m thinking about how I felt on the morning of the Wimbledon game, and I really don’t want to have that feeling again next week. It might finish me off. But footballs 99% belief and effort, so hoping that the fans will drag the players over the line again. We don’t have right to stay up, and probably (club not fans) deserve to go down this time. But I’m not having it, Spirit of the Blues will deliver the points. UTFT!
Tony Abrahams
173 Posted 20/05/2023 at 09:38:32
I’ve only just noticed it’s such a beautiful day outside because my mind is on other things.

So take yer coat off and get moving - and pray that the sun is still shining at 5 O’CLOCK tonight.

Raymond Fox
174 Posted 20/05/2023 at 09:45:41
We are now clear favs for this game which points towards those who are first to know for definite who is fit and going to play have had their money on.

CL will start and maybe Wolves will field a weakened side also, its pointing that way lets hope so.

Ian Riley
175 Posted 20/05/2023 at 09:45:47
Get at them from the start. My prediction is we will score at least 2 goals. Hopefully that's enough for 3 points.

Safe journey all.

Dave Abrahams
176 Posted 20/05/2023 at 09:58:27
Dave (160), lovely lively optimistic post, put me in a good mood for the match ahead with plenty more fans thinking we will get the vital 3 points.

Wishing all those brilliant away fans travelling from all over the place a great time and a great performance from the team although that is not vital as long as they bring those 3 points home. COYB.

Derek Knox
177 Posted 20/05/2023 at 10:06:32
Dave A, Dave W, Jim L, Danny and all,

Hoping to have a last match meet-up at the Harlech Castle again. Peter Moore and a Cornish Blue (not a cheese, by the way) are coming up, so hoping we can repeat that amazing pre-match atmosphere like at the Fulham game – only the team let us down.

Hope to see you all, and Dave W, get that song sheet learnt! lol.

COYB today at Molyneux 💙💙

Bernard Dooley
178 Posted 20/05/2023 at 10:13:39
Sometimes I look at opposition stats to see if it helps the Blues in their upcoming fixture. Have to say it's largely a waste of time.

However, The Times stats page this morning says no team in the Premer League have won as many home games (nine) whilst keeping a clean sheet. They haven't won any matches at home where they have conceded. In fact, only Newcastle have scored at Molyneux and not won (1-1).

Go Blues and find the net!!

Wolves have lost seven at home, twice conceding four goals and twice conceding three goals. Another Brighton-type display from Everton would be so timely.

Dave Williams
179 Posted 20/05/2023 at 10:18:30
Thanks Brent- printed off, sent over to PC so a bit of old-style exam revision now in readiness for Sunday week. I so wish I could make it today but my daughter's boyfriend is sorting me out with a live stream – he's a good boy for an Arsenal fan!

Nerves are starting to kick in – how dare this board, previous managers, directors of football (what a joke!!) land us in this position yet again.

The players need to step up today and the travelling support can drive them on. Defeat is not an option and neither is a draw really. The more I think about it, I am convinced Dom will play and Seamus will be at full-back supported by a Zimmer frame.

Good luck today, chaps, stay safe to those travelling and I hope to see you next Sunday pre-game! I owe Peter Moore a pint!!

Danny O’Neill
180 Posted 20/05/2023 at 10:24:03
Dave @179,

We're on our way. I know you and many thousands of others would be there and if not, pacing around the house. In fact, I reckon we would sell out Molineux if they let us.

Derek, let's do that.

Dave Williams
181 Posted 20/05/2023 at 10:29:05
Danny – no talking to strange people wearing gold-coloured shirts!!
Craig Walker
182 Posted 20/05/2023 at 10:30:02
Please God, give us 3 points today. I don't ask for much. I've even been kind to our neighbours this last few weeks.

You took my dad from us in 2003 and he's the reason my family are all Blues and have endured their fair share of suffering this last 20 years. You owe us this one.


Derek Thomas
183 Posted 20/05/2023 at 10:47:17
Derek K. @ 177; back in January, I had a feeling in my water that it would all culminate in a last-day photo-finish... I won't moan if it's all sorted in a good way today though.

I managed to source 2 Bournemouth tickets (don't ask)
Anyway, she who must be obeyed, aka, The Keeper of the Purse, being an Aussie girl, also wanted to come and see what this Everton fuss was all about too.

So we're flying in from Brisbane on Wednesday and will be at the Harlech Castle for the festivities.

Derek Knox
184 Posted 20/05/2023 at 10:48:11
Dave A, Dave W, Jim L, Danny and all, hoping to have a last match meet up at the Harlech Castle again. Peter Moore and a Cornish Blue (not a cheese by the way) are coming up, so hoping we can repeat that amazing pre-match atmosphere like at the Fulham Game only the team let us down.

Hope to see you all, and Dave W, get that song sheet learnt ! lol

COYB today at Molyneux 💙💙

James Marshall
185 Posted 20/05/2023 at 10:51:42
Wolves can finish from 11th to 15th so still have positions to play for - the Premier League is worth about £2M per position in the league, so it's not all 'feet up on the beach' stuff like it was in 1975.

Lopetegui has stated he might play some fringe players though, so you never know.

My worry is that we have so much pressure, and they have very little - this could play into their hands, and even their fringe players could turn us over.

Our players had better be up for it today or we're in for a difficult afternoon. Score first and we have a chance. Concede first and we're up shit creek.

As for the left-back... there's going to be a lot of clenching if Holgate plays.

Brian Harrison
186 Posted 20/05/2023 at 11:00:50

Good luck to you and the thousands of travelling Blues who as always will be giving the team unbelievable support.

I don't know why but, when I am sitting in my seat in the Upper Bullens, I don't feel as nervous as I do watching on the box. Maybe because I can shout and sing at the match whereas watching on the box just makes me more nervous.

I doubt my nerves will let me watch the last 15 minutes even the Brighton game I was still just popping in and out to watch 5 minutes then back pacing round the house again.

I don't know how this weekend will pan out results-wise for all the clubs still involved in the relegation battle. I just hope it's still in our own hands for the Bournemouth game.

Peter Moore
187 Posted 20/05/2023 at 11:12:56
For sure, absolutely massive game today, pivotal to getting us out of the relegation mire. Must win of course to ensure we have destiny in our own hands when we play Bournemouth next weekend.

COYB! Cornish Blue Steve Thomas has a dicky ticker, win and win well on the grounds of health and safety for the faithful as well as everything else please Everton😅 🙏 💙 UTFT!

Derek Knox
188 Posted 20/05/2023 at 11:16:44
Derek T, absolutely brilliant mate, be great to meet you in person after all these years, you will be made very welcome and so will 'Sheila'!

I meant to add before the Cornish Blue (not to be confused with cheese or cat) is Steve Thomas, he is a long-standing Blue and a mate of Peter Moore who he has known and worked with for years. Because of location and work commitments, he can't always make it to Goodison, well once in a Blue Moon would be more accurate.

Dave W, you owe Peter Moore a pint? Gawd, he goes on about that every time I speak with him ! Only joking mate, he is a very generous guy, and a good Blue. Really looking forward to it all now, but let's get today out of the way first, and hope for a repeat of something like the Brighton game, but with a few missing from that line-up, that won't be so easy!

Now Wolves are safe it will be interesting to know how they approach this game in the knowledge they are now 'safe', do they just go through the motions, or try to give their home fans a last home game display?

Jim Wilson
189 Posted 20/05/2023 at 11:23:50
Micheal @ 165
Your reply was best left at the first word you typed - 'Sorry'.

I will ignore your further attempts at sarcasm and will confirm what is important today.

No change to the system.
No shuffling players around to fill the left-back spot
Play Holgate, Samuels-Smith or someone from the U18s or U23s that the coaches think could do a one-off job there.

Instead of the sarcasm, Micheal, try becoming a fantasy manager yourself. When I suggested in my recent article that playing Garner, Patterson and Mina would be a good idea and we beat Brighton 5-1, I couldn't believe it!

Finally, I'd suggest you have a word with the website designer. Under the players tab the sub tab says 'reserves', apparently it's very archaic.

Now back to the important thing, a win today for the Blues!


Frank Crewe
190 Posted 20/05/2023 at 11:43:00
It's hard to believe, if Benitez hadn't brought in Mykolenko, we would not have a left-back at all!!!

How can any Premier League club have a squad that has six centre-backs (seven if we count Branthwaite) but only one keeper not counting the two pensioner back-ups, one left-back, two right-backs (one of whom is 34) and one injury-prone striker after spending something like £600 million in the last 10 years???

The level of squad mismanagement and downright incompetence has reached comedic levels. Whether we stay up or not, it will take years of spending to put this squad right with proper cover in all positions. I don't envy Dyche, especially if he keeps us up.

Trying to rebuild this squad while avoiding yet more relegation battles in the coming seasons will be a manager's worst nightmare. Let's hope whoever does finally take over the club gives him plenty of time and cash because he's going to need copious amounts of both.

Kevin Molloy
192 Posted 20/05/2023 at 11:44:10
This is not must-win. It is not even a 'must-not-lose'.

As such, I hope Sean Dyche has been able to try and remove some of the pressure off them this week, that's defo what someone like Carlo would be prioritising.

If we manage to play with a bit of freedom, and not as if our lives depend on it, we might just get the win. I'd not be looking back to Brighton for a guide though. That was a freak game; a more accurate guide to the level we are at is the two away draws at Palace and Leicester.

We are 'not bad'. So you'd have to take a point at the end of the day if it's offered.

Will Mabon
193 Posted 20/05/2023 at 12:03:27
"It's hard to believe, if Benitez hadn't brought in Mykolenko, we would not have a left back at all."

Frank, it was rather incumbent on him after despatching Digne.

Andy Crooks
194 Posted 20/05/2023 at 12:15:00
Whatever the arguments over the season, I guess every Blue is united today in hope and trepidation. Best wishes to the mighty travelling Blues. Let this day be the start of the fight back.
Will Mabon
195 Posted 20/05/2023 at 12:30:28
"Hope and trepidation".

That about says it, Andy!

James Hughes
196 Posted 20/05/2023 at 12:43:24
We will win this and breathe a bit easier.

Shortly getting on a flight from Hong Kong so no dodgy stream or live forum. But will be fretting about the result anyway. Not sure which is worse – not knowing or watching.


Christine Foster
197 Posted 20/05/2023 at 12:45:01
My eyeballs are on stalks. I haven't stopped pacing the living room… over 2 hours still to go.

Christ, I will be on my knees praying shortly. You know, the one that goes, "Dear God, if you let them win, I will do anything you want, go to Mass every week… be nice to even the Jehovah's Witnesses who call around thinking they can convert me… Hang on, scratch that one!"

We can do this, I know we can.

Our Father, who art in heaven. hallowed be thy name...

Christopher Timmins
198 Posted 20/05/2023 at 12:49:40
Kevin # 192

I would take an away point in most circumstances, maybe even 99 times out of a hundred but against a team with nothing to play for and in order to keep things in our own hands we need the win.

Leeds going to West Ham knowing that a win puts them ahead of us as against Leeds going to West Ham knowing that a defeat means they can't catch us, that's the difference between a win and a draw today.

Just win!

Christine Foster
199 Posted 20/05/2023 at 12:50:48
No matter what the result today, I have to say one thing:

This, the last away game of the season, will see the best-supported club cheering the team on as only they can. I am proud of every last one of you, you put any other club to shame. Thank you for being the best. Heads up show them who you are!

One last Hurrah guys.. give it everything you got, this little town of Hawera in New Zealand is going to get noisy at 2 am... even if I am the only one making the noise. With you guys all the way, thank you!!

Bob Parrington
200 Posted 20/05/2023 at 13:01:27
Hey Danny O'Neill,

If you get this on time, please give an extra positive shout or plenty more to the guys today!

Christine -Good on ya Lass, you'll hear me across the Tasman from Adelaide!

Kevin Molloy
201 Posted 20/05/2023 at 13:06:32

Don't get me wrong, a win would be just fine with me too!

There's a lot of kamikaze pilots in here today though. Death or glory aren't the only options here though… sometimes cold-headed pragmatism is what keeps your head above water when you're down in the reeds.

Speaking objectively, the perfect game today is one which is absolutely dire for the spectator, no shots on target, and we grab a scrambled winner from a corner. But a terrible nil-nil might just be priceless by the end of next week. I certainly don't want to concede in the 83rd minute cos we've left the back door open.

Bill Gall
202 Posted 20/05/2023 at 14:17:54
Well to all of our traveling supporters, thank you, here's hoping your support over the season gets the rewards, and let's hope we can get someone to run this club with the same enthusiasm that you have shown over the season as a reward.

Its all up to the manager and players today, and to say it is a must win situation is putting it mildly. The future of this club is on the line and if the players can give 75% of the 100% the supporters have given we should succeed.

Time to start to get the sandwiches and beer behind the couch, or go for a long walk, amazing how quick 2hrs can go.

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