By his own admission, Sean Dyche only got the job at what remains one of the country’s biggest clubs – even if they haven’t been acting up to that status for quite a while now – because of his lowly status in the game. Having briefly cut his teeth at Watford and then spending the vast majority of his career trying to keep Burnley in the top flight, his CV was not one that was ever going to land him one of the top jobs.

He may have inherited a small squad at a club that was in the middle of fighting back-to-back battles against relegation, but there was an opportunity with the smattering of quality that exists in the Everton squad for him to at least start to demonstrate whether there was in fact a top English coach hiding beneath that gruff exterior and pragmatic reputation.

If that was the question, the answer – on the evidence of 15 months of inconsistent results, the longest winless run in Everton's Premier League history, and an ever worsening standard of football – is, sadly, a resounding no. The feeling has been growing that, should there be any clarity on the ownership saga by the summer – be that the shaky underpinnings of a 777 Partners buyout or another, as yet unknown entity that might come out of the shadows once the club’s immediate footballing future is decided – the opportunity for a clean sweep that removes the current manager and his staff should be taken as part of a wider reset of the whole culture and ethos of the Club.

For now, though, the Toffees' very survival may depend on Dyche’s ability to rally one more collective push from the players in four key matches that remain – against Nottingham Forest, Brentford, Luton Town, and Sheffield United – and Evertonians just have to hope that the one-trick pony’s one trick can work just a few more times and keep this grand old club in the Premier League.

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The truth is, though, the players shouldn’t need him to pick them up. They shouldn’t need the gravel-voiced, motivational rabble-rousing or the barking from the sidelines. If what Dele Alli said on Monday Night Football is true about how much that defeat Stamford Bridge will have hurt the Everton players, then a sense of duty and professional pride should be enough to spur the kind of performance that we will need against Forest on Sunday.

Even more than that should be the knowledge and, sadly, the long-lost confidence that collectively – and certainly, in some cases, individually – these players are a lot better than performances over the past four months have suggested.

That almost mythical display at Brighton 10 months ago demonstrated the clinical attacking execution that this Everton team is capable of. The backs-to-the-wall, gutsy effort against the likes of Arsenal, Leeds and Bournemouth during last season's successful battle against relegation showed the spirit and determination that the players are able to muster. The 30-pass move and goal against Newcastle earlier this season, coupled with the efficient dispatching of Chelsea in the same week, were another example of how good this side can be when it is firing on all cylinders and mentally in tune with each other.

Over the course of this miserable run of just one Premier League win in 15 matches, the team has had its belief, its fluidity and any attacking incisiveness, beaten out of them by a combination of poor results, and the increasingly one-dimensional coaching and instruction from the manager. They’ve lost all belief in their ability to effectively move the ball around the pitch on a consistent basis; and the defensive solidity that used to be Dyche’s trademark is gone.

It doesn’t mean they’ve become poor players but it shows they’ve completely lost their way – and, perhaps, their faith – under this manager and, if that’s the case, it might be time for them to take matters into their own hands a little and throw off the shackles. (This article was written before Michael Ball’s piece for the Liverpool Echo this week but he offers a similar sentiment.)

The message for Everton’s players in these absolutely vital upcoming home games should be go out and do it for the supporters who have sold out Goodison Park every fortnight or so with precious little to cheer or celebrate for years on end and packed out away ends up and down the country, rain or shine, distance and cost be damned.

Do it for the legacy of this famous old club and the preservation of the proudest top-flight record in English football – founder members of the Football and Premier Leagues, with more seasons in the top flight than any other. Do it so that all the tears, chaotic highs and perverse elation of the last two near-death scrapes with the drop don’t count for nothing.

Do it for yourselves, either to earn the move away that will advance your career away from this perennial shit show, or to make sure that your career and your own legacy are not tarnished by taking this historic and once-proud institution down to the Championship and, quite possibly, oblivion.

In his post-match interview in the Capital on Monday, James Tarkowski said during his mea culpa: “We can apologise and there have been dark days during my time at this football club but what these fans do is always turn up for the next game for us so hopefully they do that because we’re going to need them for these last six games.”

They will be there, starting on Sunday. From somewhere they will drag up the passion and the fight that was so lacking among the players on Monday night in what was one of the most embarrassing games in our Premier League history to make Goodison the bear pit it needs to be.

Because they know that this is a big one – the quintessential six-pointer against a direct rival in the fight to avoid relegation from the top flight. Victory means a four-point cushion between us and Forest and, depending on Luton’s result against Brentford 24 hours earlier, potentially a huge step towards safety.

To the players, the message, again, is clear: six games (four, realistically) to save the club. Get up and at them on Sunday and give everything for the badge. Goodison will respond, as you know. Learn the lessons from Monday but, like the humbling 4-1 home defeat to Newcastle almost a year ago, consign that awful performance at Chelsea to history. Regroup and go again.

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, and UTFT!

Reader Comments (71)

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Colin Glassar
1 Posted 19/04/2024 at 07:05:16
This is like trying to squeeze blood out of a stone. Three seasons running and still we are resorting to Shakespearean rallying calls to save us from the malignant legacy of the Moshiri/kenshite regime.

I have no doubt the Goodison faithful will do their part against Nottingham (until the first misplaced pass at least) but what hope do we have for the future? Even if we do survive we are still deep in the shit. Probably deeper than even now.

I will be hoping and praying for an Everton win but this won’t change the fact that beating the drop or not this club is facing annihilation unless a miracle happens on and off the pitch.

We are being circled by sharks and the vultures are hovering above us while the band play, Nearer, my god, to thee… Godspeed to all those who are at the ground tomorrow I hope your faith and passion is repaid in kind by these shirkers and misfits who disgraced our shirt on Monday night.

I don’t know how much more I can take of this as the future looks so bleak but hey ho, this is the life we’ve chosen. COYB!!!!

Lee Courtliff
2 Posted 19/04/2024 at 07:09:52
I view this game as a Must Win, if Dyche selects both Young and Coleman on the right then he obviously sees it a Must Not Lose.

Arguments can be made either way but I just don't see how we can afford to drop yet more home points when we have Liverpool and Arsenal to play.

But, you just never know in football. As much as I dislike Dyche, I along with the rest of you will be fully behind the team on Sunday. Just like we always do.

Danny O’Neill
3 Posted 19/04/2024 at 07:11:29
A great and emotive rallying call Lyndon.

After the shock of Monday night, the manager, players and supporters have to rally for Sunday.

We can only take care of ourselves.

I don't won't want to dwell on Monday. There are still points to play for and a Derby, where anything can happen.

Bella Ciao

Lyndon Lloyd
4 Posted 19/04/2024 at 07:24:00
One foot in front of the other, Coilin. Let’s ensure Premier League survival first and then worry about what comes next.
Mark Murphy
5 Posted 19/04/2024 at 07:40:59
The club needs all us happy clappers to remain positive Danny Boy!
Make it loud on Sunday!
Derek Thomas
6 Posted 19/04/2024 at 07:50:43
Another Shakespeare quote, very apt given our 'legal' woes...

"The first thing we do is, let's kill all the lawyers"

Colin @ 1, and others; If you can't take a joke, you shouldn't have joined

Allez St Domingo Phoenix !

Laurie Hartley
7 Posted 19/04/2024 at 07:58:15
Colin # 1 - the reality is, for better or worse, you will always be an Evertonian. That’s just the way it is for us - it’s embedded in our DNA.

So ——— Up the Blues !!!

Alan McGuffog
8 Posted 19/04/2024 at 08:19:24
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here
And hold their manhoods cheap whilst any speaks
That fought with us upon St Crispin’s day.
A-bed ? Our shower of bottlers would be under the feckin bed rubbing their strains, pulls and knocks
We’d be speaking French today !
Mike Hayes
9 Posted 19/04/2024 at 08:23:36
All down to Dyche to pick the right team, formation and tactics - something he hasn’t done this year. Then get the players chomping at the bit to make amends for not only Monday, but since the start of the season
Neil Lawson
10 Posted 19/04/2024 at 08:34:19
Absolutely Lyndon.

I read an article yesterday that suggested that " within Goodison!" Dyche's position remains safe until season end, not because there is no alternative but because if it were not for the 10 point deduction we would be comfortably mid table.

There is a very strange irony in that position. If we were mid table and went 15 games with one lucky win and playing horribly, he would have been sacked, and justifiably so, 5 games ago.

If he does have any credit in the bank repayment is long overdue. If we lose on Sunday it's time to recover the debt.

James Marshall
11 Posted 19/04/2024 at 08:42:46
We won't throw off any shackles, we'll keep plodding along in the hope we can nick a goal from a set piece or corner slung to the back post for Tarkowski to head across goal, or Onana to head tamely wide.

Nothing will change, and I fear we'll get beat by Luton at their place.

I also don't see us beating Forest, or anyone in fact. We can't score goals which is pretty fundamental really.

Steve Brown
12 Posted 19/04/2024 at 08:48:55
It's like someone creates a classic horror movie with a compelling finale, then decides to make 2 sequels that no-one wanted.

It will be down to the fans once again to carry the team.

David Bromwell
13 Posted 19/04/2024 at 08:49:17
Sadly I don't think the Manager will have too many players to pick from on Sunday. Also it seems that Godfrey and Keane will be needed in defence, and we know that both can make costly mistakes. We will desperately need Gueye's energy in midfield and hope Calvert Lewin is available upfront, but the potential loss of Branthwaite and the general lack of skills and energy leaves me short of confidence and hope. Maybe Messers Gomes and Danjuma will be our heroes, who knows ?
Kevin Edward
14 Posted 19/04/2024 at 09:01:40
We all expect a response to Mondays debacle
but I just can’t see that it’s going to be anything less than horrible against Forest.
Forest are no mugs, they will want this one and know that if they stay in the game for 90+ minutes then we are capable of folding.
So can Dyche and the players organise themselves and eliminate the stupid mistakes for this game?
We’ll find out on Sunday, but one thing is certain we can’t convert good chances into goals, so it leaves us vulnerable.
If there is any fight in this team then we’ll see it on Sunday, but it’s like staring down the barrell of a gun.
Shakespeare would love it, but we’ve seen comedy and tradegy at Goodison too often to sit comfortably.
I’m really hoping for the ‘sense of duty and professional pride’ to be there for 90+ mins.
Paul Hewitt
15 Posted 19/04/2024 at 09:06:49
Let's be honest we all know what the team will be on Sunday, we know how they will set up and the tactics ( if that's what you call it) will be. It predictable and boring.
Christopher Timmins
16 Posted 19/04/2024 at 09:12:07
The total focus has to be on survival, from somewhere, we have to find the form we showed up to and including the Spurs away game just before Christmas, the players have it in them to turn things around but after Monday there has to be a real worry that they are shot.

Eric Myles
17 Posted 19/04/2024 at 09:17:20
Alan #8 "We’d be speaking French today!"


"more than 80,000 terms – a third of the English vocabulary– are of French origin"

"Some 40 per cent of the 15,000 words in Shakespeare’s works were of French origin. The same percentage can be found in the current English version of the Bible."

And another 40% of the 'English' language is German! Then we have Latin and Greek to throw in the pot as well.

Barry Rathbone
18 Posted 19/04/2024 at 09:17:45
Sadly I have to disagree with the premise this team is better than results suggest. We are archetypal relegation fodder and Forest beating us quite comfortably would not be a surprise.

On saying that the difference between us luton and forest is barely measurable so if the gods are with us we will survive if not we're done

Mal van Schaick
19 Posted 19/04/2024 at 09:25:48
It’s definitely not been plain sailing, but if we look into all the mitigating factors, such as; a failed owner, a takeover, a new ground, financial points deductions and a toxic playing environment with all those factors present, the we can hardly expect to in the top four.

We must stay calm, and grind results out. Use our home advantage in the three home games to ensure we have points in the bag and survive this season.

My tannoy song for the final home game. “ things can only get better “.

Chris Leyland
20 Posted 19/04/2024 at 09:35:09
What if the players aren’t actually better than recent results suggest? What if they’ve found their level and their level is absymal?

The previous 2 seasons, I always thought we’d survive but this season there just seems to be a whiff of relegation about us and the fixture gods haven’t been that kind to us in the sense that we have a load of high stakes games left against teams who all have something to play for still. No Palace at home still to come, just relegation rivals or title chasers.

It’s ironic because on the pitch we’ve actually accumulated more points than the previous 2 by this stage of where we are at but there has been nothing, absolutely nothing since Christmas to suggest that these players are actually capable of winning games of football or that the manager knows how to effect an outcome.

We can’t score and our previously solid back unit has become anything but.

Unforced errors in every part of the pitch, a seeming inability to pass to a teammate or keep hold of the ball and too many players who wilt at the first sign of adversity.

I’ll be there on Sunday and I will shout myself hoarse for the cause but deep down I know that a win will be an unexpected result.

Jack Convery
21 Posted 19/04/2024 at 09:36:40
St Crispin is the patron saint of Cobblers !

The difference to the Battle of Agincourt, is Henry V had his English Archers - the best in the world, to do the damage that needed to be done, to win against the French. Plus the fact, Henry was a charismatic leader of men and a great tactician.

Our would be heroes are playing more like the Radio 4 Archers. As some one, once said, I wouldn't trust them to sit the right way, on a toilet never mind win a football match, that they can't afford to lose.

He will pick.
Pickford, Godfrey, Keane, Tarkowski, Mykolenko, Young, Garner, Gueye, McNeill, Doucoure and Beto / DCL if he's fit.

He should pick,
Pickford, Garner, Keane, Tarkowski, Mykolenko, Harrison, Gueye, Onana, Danjuma, Gomes and Chermitti / DCL if fit.

Personally after last Monday I'd drop Onana but needs must. Beto can come on late as a wrecking ball if we need one. Doucoure late on too, if we need to press them at the back. McNeill is goosed. Stop their wingers at all costs.

Bill Fairfield
22 Posted 19/04/2024 at 09:38:59
Dyche wouldn’t have been any Everton fans choice as manager. But he accepted the impossible task of keeping us up last season, which miraculously he achieved. It’s something he would already have accomplished this season, only for the points deduction by the PL. No, Dyche is not the answer if we ever get ourselves out of this awful mess, but for now he’ll have to do. COYB.
Derek Knox
23 Posted 19/04/2024 at 09:40:55
Good pre-match article again Lyndon, while I can partly accept that the situation behind the scenes is not helping anyone, including the players, I feel they can't make that the excuse for poor play either. Possibly if they weren't getting paid etc, but it is almost the opposite, they are, and nowhere near commensurate with their performances.

Without stating the obvious the Forest Match will be like our season defining result. Lose, everyone will become more demoralised, we will slip down the table, possibly with no chance of climbing back up.

A draw will be a temporary stay of execution, and leave us either dependent on other negative results going for us (not a good policy). Even a win may just be a temporary lift, unless we can harvest more points on the run-in. To achieve that they will have to start not only playing as a team but also that it means so much !

Dave Williams
24 Posted 19/04/2024 at 09:45:09
Sod the formation and tactics- the whole team has to go out and fight like hell and run themselves into the ground. Do that and we should win because we do have quality but we have not been imposing that.
I’d love to drop Pickford after his pathetic performance but he has saved us many times in the past. Danjuma and Harrison out wide for me with Gomes and Gueye in the middle. Doucoure has been poor since his return to the team but he will add workrate to the midfield with hopefully DCL up front.
If it’s not working I’d give Chemitti half an hour as he looks a proper footballer as opposed to the willing but so limited Beto.
The most important ingredient is the crowd. We must stick with the team for the whole game and lift them. Too often our home support is too quiet and that has to change. No crap about it being up to the players to lift the crowd- we have to do that ourselves- our future could depend on it!!!
Brian Harrison
25 Posted 19/04/2024 at 09:56:12
So once again the pressure is being put on our magnificent supporters to help get this lot over the line for the third time in 3 years. Our fans always provide great vocal support, but I got the feeling against Burnley that fighting relegation for the last 3 years is beginning to take its toll on the fans. This is a team that have won once since before Xmas what an appalling stat, and yet to stay safe for another year we may have to win 3 of our last 7 games Now supporting a team who have been fighting relegation for 3 years would be bad enough for any group of fans to have to endure. But added to that we have had 2 lots of points deductions, an absentee owner, an unfinished stadium that still requires money to complete it, and a set of potential owners who hardly inspire things will get better if they get control of the club.
Dave Williams
26 Posted 19/04/2024 at 10:00:49
That’s exactly what we are facing Brian and it’s appalling that the owner has brought us to this point but if we supporters give up then all really is lost. We have to raise ourselves on account of the great institution that is Everton Football Club and refuse to die.
Mark Murphy
27 Posted 19/04/2024 at 10:12:10
Eric in that case if we don’t win on Sunday we should tell Dyche to fous le camp, the dumkopf!
Allors, Allez les Bleu!
Eddie Dunn
28 Posted 19/04/2024 at 10:28:46
This team are so brittle that if we don't get a lucky break, the confidence will vapourise and our lack of a proper Captain will see us wilt under the pressure.
Our crowd need a boost too and inevitably the groans will follow anything other than a determined, gutsy show.
A defeat would send us into panic mode.
A win of any kind will feed the fire.
A draw is most likely. It will prolong the agony till the next one.
Edward Rogers
29 Posted 19/04/2024 at 10:32:18
We have six matches left, four of which are against teams below or around us, three of those at home. If we cannot get the points required then we surely deserve to go down? Lyndon, don't give up on us getting something against the RS
We will not go down this year (as for next year, I'm not so sure)
Kim Vivian
30 Posted 19/04/2024 at 10:32:47
In simple terms we basically just have to manage at least as many point as Forest and Luton, iee assume that Burnley and Sheffield are toast. The former two both have a more daunting task than Everton in that they have to manage more points than us, both with on paper a tougher run in.
This Forest game is our Palace moment for surf although I do think that Brentford may turn out to be that moment. They will likely be safe by then with little to play for and I think we will collect 6 points from those two games.

That should be enough to see us safe.

Martin Farrington
31 Posted 19/04/2024 at 10:35:59
Agincourt was won due to french farce. Atrocious leadership and hiring of mercenaries who couldnt understand each other. ALL wanting a bit of English blood.
I bet Henry couldnt believe his fortune when the French despatched cavalry at him.
Sodden ground unfit for ducks and swine let alone horses. Stick a knight on a horse and watch it sink.
Narrow battlefield (hemmed in by thick forest).
Add in an enemy with a superior archery range and the disaster was set.
Most french died of crush injuries. Those who were at the front and fell first drowned in the quagmire.
The rest at full gallop fell over them. Due to the sides having no exit and no way to swerve or stop it was a massive pile up of scrap metal to which English archers then had free target practice.
Talking of archers.
Let us hope they make similar rash errors we can capitalise upon.
Dave Abrahams
32 Posted 19/04/2024 at 10:40:21
Eric (17) After everything you have thrown into that pot Eric it’s no wonder we all speak Scouse!
Mark Murphy
33 Posted 19/04/2024 at 10:44:38
Oh Cointreau Dave, not all of us!!
Dave Abrahams
34 Posted 19/04/2024 at 10:56:28
Take the despair out of the situation for a moment and look at it another way: We beat Forest and Brentford lose we are just one point behind them with a game in hand.

Unlikely many will say but not impossible either.

Jack Convery
35 Posted 19/04/2024 at 11:03:34
Before the game can Harry Tyrer be introduced and allowed to walk around the ground showing off his winners medal - it would be nice to see what silver looks like, as I've forgotten.
Eric Myles
36 Posted 19/04/2024 at 11:14:55
Jack #21 "Henry V had his English Archers - the best in the world"

I was always taught that the longbowmen of the English Army were actually Welsh.

Do we have any Welshmen in our team that can fire in long range shots on goal?

Dave Abrahams
37 Posted 19/04/2024 at 11:27:47
Mark (33). Mark going by your last couple of posts you can’t even speak bleedin’ English.
Brian Wilkinson
38 Posted 19/04/2024 at 11:28:22
Sunday sees a team that has scored the majority of their goals from set pieces, playing a team with possibly the worst record at defending set pieces.

If we get our set pieces right and draw cheap free kicks, thats where we can hurt Forest, we have to take advantage of it and make them count.

Forest will come at us, for me I would pack the midfield and try at every opportunity to try and get the ball high up their end of the pitch and see if we can get some free kicks, thats our best chance of getting the three points.

These three home games will give us an idea of what the future holds, one game at a time I know but next week is a huge week.

The chelsea game has gone, the last three Months have gone, all that matters now is the players somehow putting in a weeks work over 3 matches, get that right and the present and future will be a lot healthier, we simply cannot lay down next week.

Jack Convery
39 Posted 19/04/2024 at 11:30:48
Eric. You maybe right. I read a lot of Martin Kemp books. He's an English Archer in the 100 years war - Agincourt, Crecy etc. He leads a group of Archers and one of them, his best mate is Welsh.

We lack the Welsh spirit at the present time. No Southall, Ratcliffe, Van Den Hauwe, Horn, Pembridge types in the team whatsoever sadly. All of them would walk into the present side.

John Hall
40 Posted 19/04/2024 at 11:35:40
Players need to turn up big time for the next home games against teams fighting for their lives as we are.

Failure to do so will undoubtedly show that Dyche has lost the dressing room and that everyone has downed tools.

The recent sunshine break produced nothing other than him giving one of the younger players reportedly a sharp slap around the head. Seems it wasn't taken very well by quite a few who were present.

Some one needs to slap him if we perform the way we did at Chelsea.

His team, his tactics, his methods.

Put up or shut up now Sean. Do the right thing and pass the reins to Leighton for the last few games if we get shafted once again. Am sure he has the tactical acumen to improve things having been a cultured and elegant player in his heyday.

Football is not such a hard game as Jimmy Armfield / Shanks often remarked - pass and move pass and move make space for others and you have done your job. Work rate will often be enough to overcome superior opponents.

Dropping your head in a game as we have seen so much of lately is the cowards way out. Do you want it or don't you care.

Next results will answer the question.

Ernie Baywood
41 Posted 19/04/2024 at 11:45:32
There'll be no change. He'll stick to it.

It might actually be enough against Forest. They'll come at us and I expect us to weather it and win. Mainly because we do have a better group of players - this lot aren't as bad as they look... if they're played to their strengths and full of confidence.

I still think we'll stay up. Then I want him sacked immediately.

Kunal Desai
42 Posted 19/04/2024 at 12:00:22
The thing is we all said it after the Crystal Palace game and then after Bournemouth to never allow ourselves as a club to be in this predicament and here we are again 24 and 12 months later. Even if we survive it will be again the same next season until that trap door eventually opens and swallows us.
Brian Harrison
43 Posted 19/04/2024 at 12:03:27
I think one of the big differences between the 2 sides is they have pace on the wings in Hudson Odi and Elanga and in Gibbs White they have a goal scoring midfield player, just looked at his stats and he has scored 10 in 67 games for Forest. This season its been very apparent how teams break on us especially when we have corners, so we will need to be aware of their pacey wingers. We will also probably be without the pace of Branthwaite and also his aerial domination. I hope that we have Gueye fit and I would hope we find a place for Gomes as his range of passing is way better than any other midfield player we have. But for Gomes to be effective he needs runners up front to hit. And neither McNeil or Young or Harrison or Beto has much pace, so just hoping that DCL is fit to start.
Jim Wilson
44 Posted 19/04/2024 at 12:04:04
Just brilliant Lyndon.

Players must stand up and be counted. If things aren't working just keep running, keep working hard.

And if Gueye isn't fit PLAY LEWIS WARRINGTON.
We need someone in there who is prepaed to run all day!

Mark Murphy
45 Posted 19/04/2024 at 12:14:36
Touché Dave, Touché….
Jerome Shields
46 Posted 19/04/2024 at 12:30:04
Dyche is earning over £5 m per year higher wages than some Manager in the Premier League whose team's playing better football and more tactical aware than Everton.Everton once again overpaid on a Contract.

Dyche's 'into the breach 'has to be back to Dycheball, which it added to stupidity with a ill judged against Chelsea.He didn't even select players with pace to suit.

Dycheball is dependent on fine margin and getting the run of the ball to score. It is also dependent on the thrills and spills of the other teams that are in the relegation dogfight.

He can't be so stupid as to employ the same tactics as against Forest as he did against Chelsea.It may even be good he got the answer he did get at Chelsea, to such stupidity.The players need to put the effort in.

I expect a 1-0 at best or a 1-1 anything else will cause enragement of gigantic proportions.The kick in the arse at Chelsea, could end up a operation this time.

Edward Rogers
47 Posted 19/04/2024 at 13:08:27
Could we get Barry Horne on a 'pay as you play' for the last few matches?😜
Andrew Clare
48 Posted 19/04/2024 at 13:09:18
We will do well to get anything from the Forest game. They have played well lately and we have been dreadful. I not sure if Dyche can play an attacking game. Expect another dire nail biting experience and kiss the game goodbye if Forest score first.
We are possibly the worst team in the division.
How terribly disappointing.
Jeff Armstrong
49 Posted 19/04/2024 at 13:17:02
If Beto plays I just hope he’s being taught the offside rules this week, and told to stop falling over or run across defenders to try to win non existent penalties.We only get nailed on penalties, not debatables.
Ray Said
50 Posted 19/04/2024 at 13:24:45
There is no one at the club with an eye for a player and thousands in the stands that can spot rubbish a mile away. Few in the stands would look at Ashley Young -in the twilight of his career- and think ' loads of use left in him lets snap him up'. Few in the stands would look at Jack Harrison and think ' yes, Jack will beat a man and whip in a good cross so we must have him'.

We have players with no pace so cant run past the opposition. We have players with limited ball skills so cant trick their way past the opposition and we have players that cant pass their way around the opposition so we resort to huff and puff football with the goalie as playmaker being fed with a diet of back passes from players too timid to try something other than pass off responsibility.

I watched Real Madrid a few days ago forced to defend by Man City and resorting to long balls to relieve pressure. Their attackers were facing and running the right way ready to attack and threaten.

Ours face our goal and run away from the opposition goal.

Our attackers are auxiliary midfielders, our midfielders are auxiliary defenders and our defenders are focussed on passing the ball to the goalie so he can kick the ball into the attacking third where our players have vacated the goal area and are waiting to get it and pass it backwards in some imitation of football. Around and around we go until someone passes it backwards and we start the slow laborious show again.

I still think we can escape but we have to change the balance and have a least 3 players facing the opposition goal and running forward.

Derek Knox
51 Posted 19/04/2024 at 13:26:51
Mark @ 33&45, " Oh Cointreau Dave, not all of us!! "

That's the Spirit ! Though technically a Liqueur !

Mange Tout mate ! :-)

John Raftery
52 Posted 19/04/2024 at 13:36:21
I would also question the view our players are better than results suggest. They are certainly not much better. We have nobody capable of carrying the ball at pace, nobody capable of creating and converting a chance through a piece of individual skill and nobody with the presence to impose themselves on a game. We have nobody who can worry the opposition; not even a Richarlison, an Iwobi or a Demarai Gray.

The players now need to raise their game above their natural level. We are in what might be regarded as a mini-tournament involving the five teams at the bottom. Twenty three of our thirty five points have come from nine clean sheets. The key in these games will be to battle hard to keep a clean sheet. Do that and we can hope to find a moment when we score with a set piece or a slice of luck.

Those big wins against Newcastle and Chelsea were achieved in the second half. In both games our share of possession and passes was very much in the minority. We hung in there through stubborn defence and seized the moments when opposition errors gave us a chance to score.

More than likely that will be the case in these games. It will be important for the crowd to stick with the players in what will probably be a tough first half. Groans of frustration will only encourage our opponents.

Raymond Fox
53 Posted 19/04/2024 at 14:12:11
I think we will find a way to beat Forest, call it blind faith if you like we are surely better than we have played lately.

We will stay up I'm reasonably confident about that.

If we do go down with the fixtures we have left -you can get 9/2 that happening- we will truly deserve to.

Say we do stay up, it seems extremely likely that the squad will be even weaker than this one next season. If you then sack Dyche, who are you going to get, Jesus, because they are going to have to produce one mighty miracle if we are to stay in this division again!

Ernie Baywood
54 Posted 19/04/2024 at 14:30:30
John 52, yes we have won a few games with all out defence and minimal possession.

We've also lost plenty.

This squad isn't capable of counter attacking because, as you point out, we have no pace. And your right that it's not going to be tricky or creative football that gets us goals (or just 'goal').

But it certainly won't be through all out defence and treating the ball like it's an unnecessary distraction. You might get a few go your way but it's putting the game out of your own hands.

There are plenty of ways to compete in a football match. We just need to try one. If that's long ball then great. Long ball football can be very effective and thrilling to watch. But we don't play long ball. We play 'kick it away and then chase the opposition'.

A pragmatist would have some kind of approach to working within the limitations of our squad. I'm yet to see it from our current manager.

Charles Ward
55 Posted 19/04/2024 at 14:40:46
I think we’ll narrowly beat Forest and probably get a point against the RS who can’t score for Toffee at the moment so a dull 0-0 is on the cards.
Dave Cashen
56 Posted 19/04/2024 at 15:16:19

Dave Cashen
57 Posted 19/04/2024 at 15:16:19
Why is anybody surprised at the dull passionless stuff we have been watching under Dyche ? Half his players are already thinking about spending next season elsewhere.

I'm convinced that before Everton managers get the gig, they have to sign a pledge to play anti-football.
Its not just the Koeman's, the Rafa's and the Big Sams. Even Carlo Ancelotti did it. This has long since been the Everton way. Our young fans must scratch their heads in disbelief when their Dads and Uncle's talk about the School of science.

Dyche is doing what it says on his tin. He has inherited a worst team than all his predecessors. Even his contract is based around "survival"

Those grumbling about our fans having to drag this team over the line need to consider the alternative. We have a future to fight for. We will still be here long after these players and Dyche are gone. Anybody not up for it should just make his excuses and do one

Unfortunately, right now. My ambition only stretches as far as survival in the hope that somewhere in the not too distant future, a man with the balls and nouse will come into this circus. Blow the fucker up and start again

Michael Bennet
58 Posted 19/04/2024 at 15:22:08
Charles I think you're miles off mate forest are scoring a lot of goals lately and there tales are for the shite...there struggling to convert all those chances they create but they will show us why we really are shite mate...even the kids they were playing a few weeks back would batter us unfortunately...I think we are going to need snookers and loads of luck to stay up hope I'm wrong but let's be honest with are selves we really are a championship side in the waiting
Dave Abrahams
59 Posted 19/04/2024 at 15:46:23
Dave (57) Those last three paragraphs are where we are that ‘s the reality of the situation.

We are needed more than ever on Sunday.

Danny O’Neill
60 Posted 19/04/2024 at 15:52:59
It's painful Dave C. Tough to watch but back for more on Sunday.

On a lighter note, I feel like offering up my two Rhodesian Ridgebacks to start.

The girl would follow the Ref around the pitch constantly whispering in his ear.

The boy, Rorke, named after Rorke's drift (they are a southern African breed), is an imposing character and nothing would get past him.

Back to reality. Whoever is privileged enough to take to that field on Sunday, just turn up and pay us back for what we witnessed on Monday.

Steve Brown
61 Posted 19/04/2024 at 16:30:22
There are 8 players whose deals end this summer - Dele Alli, Gomes, Harrison, Danjuma, Gueye, Coleman, Young and Lonergan. We could also see Onana and Branthwaite sold to offset a further PSR sanction, plus others depart as surplus to requirements in Keane, Godfrey, Maupay and Holgate.

That will leave us with a grand total of 7 established first-team players in the squad. That is some reset, and all we can do is survive to the end of the season and take it from there.

We can’t afford to sack Dyche this season and we won’t do it. So we need the Goodison Roar.

John Daley
62 Posted 19/04/2024 at 16:31:28
“If you then sack Dyche, who are you going to get, Jesus, because they are going to have to produce one mighty miracle”

Well, in his cringe-personified press conference Dyche did claim that “15 games ago I was deemed to be the Messiah”.


I’d take almost anyone over this bellend right now.

David Currie
63 Posted 19/04/2024 at 16:59:37
Forest have goals in their team and since Xmas look better than us. I would take a draw against Forest and Brentford, beat Sheff Utd.
We will lose to RS and Arsenal. Luton away again I would take a draw which puts us on 33pts. If Luton get 8 more pts they finish on 33 and hope our GD keeps us up.
Be a good weekend if we get a draw and Brentford beat Luton.
John Keating
64 Posted 19/04/2024 at 17:02:22
I fully agree with the limitations and responsibility of Dyche
However, these and past players have proven their incompetence under numerous managers, and as such, every one of them need calling out.

I was very fortunate to be in the company for a few weeks of a former top manager. His main job was not tactics or team selection. His main job was getting a knock on the door discussing contracts and more money.

The whole thing needs a total revamp!

John Pendleton
65 Posted 19/04/2024 at 19:09:13
We should appeal against Chelsea’s outrageous 6 goals. Maybe get them down to 4? Every little helps…
Si Cooper
66 Posted 19/04/2024 at 21:12:56
With our paper-thin squad it was pretty nailed on the tail end of the season would see the ranks thinned even more at times.

I had hoped the players may have been judiciously pacing themselves and had something left for a 10-game furry. Seen nothing but mental and physical fatigue since that 3-week gap.

Very hard to see where the needed spark / second-wind will come from. Perhaps the manager can get the handful of performances we need by employing only fringe players for the games we least expect to get any points for / when the opponent isn't a survival rival, horrific as that may be for the sacrificial lambs.

Forest are obviously one of those we need to be pushing ourselves up as we are pushing them down. Still, as this season has been going, living more in hope than expectation. COYB!!!

Peter Moore
67 Posted 19/04/2024 at 21:40:49
Even Don Carlo, with Richarlison, James Rodriguez and an in form Calvert-Lewin failed to fashion a consistent team for us, the wheels seemed to have come off before he dropped us like a stone.

With a lesser squad and the massive deluge of shite including a massive points deduction and the endless negativity around the (lack of) suitable ownership that is Sean Dyche's lot.

That he has this underperformimg squad above the drop zone as I type, despite the 8 points deducted through no fault of the manager.

Trying to look objectively, he has done a bloody good job and continues to do so I believe. Can he make a silk purse from a sow's ear? No, I don't think he can. I don't believe he has lost the dressing room. I think the players were shell-shocked when Pickford passed too near Cole Palmer and it was 3-0 down all too quickly.

That terrible result and showing must be learnt from and bounced back from quickly certainly.

A bouncing Goodison on Sunday will certainly help. 3 massive points will help settle a lot of angst and get us believing again. COYB.

John Crawley
69 Posted 20/04/2024 at 14:30:45
Peter surely the reason our form tailed off under Ancelotti is because the players knew he was leaving long before it was announced. Hardly surprising that it occured, given what happened to Man Utd when Ferguson announced his retirement early in the season. See also what's happening to Liverpool now that Klopp has announced he's going as well.
Paul Ferry
70 Posted 20/04/2024 at 19:13:30
Peter Moore @67:

"He has done a bloody good job and continues to do so I believe".

Jesus wept. One win since the middle of December, teetering on the edge of relegation, but it's okay everyone, breathe easy, "he has done a bloody good job".

Phew, thanks Peter for reminding me of that.

David Peate
71 Posted 21/04/2024 at 08:51:30
Additionally, there are dozens of old Welsh words in the English language.

Besides this, the bowmen at Agincourt included a substantial number of Welshmen who were famed for their prowess. What is more, the English word for bow comes from the Welsh bwa. Just saying.

Peter Hodgson
72 Posted 22/04/2024 at 16:11:55
Peter @ 67

A couple of somewhat harsh responses to your post I believe. But never mind as your opinion strikes me as being very valid.

The fact that Dyche seems not to be able to juggle his troops to everyone's satisfaction is a managerial hazard he will expect and I can be as critical of him in this respect as much as the next man. What we all need to reflect on before uttering such criticism is the absolutely crap hand he was dealt when taking this job.

It hasn't improved since either due to finances and points reductions. I feel sorry for the guy and wonder how, every now and again, he manages to get some sort of tune from his charges. In the circumstances, he is doing a good job – particularly when you consider the points we have lost thanks to Masters & Co.

He is, for better or worse, our manager and should remain so for the foreseeable future. No more big names, and bigger salaries to boot, required thank you. The future, when our position improves, may be a different story, however.

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