We all know the Bournemouth game is going to be really tough. They will be buzzing after their incredible win against Luton so we will need to be on it right from the off.

Their weakness is obviously defensive so we must somehow take the game to them when we can but clam up the midfield and stop them playing.

The much-maligned Gueye is a must for me. We have missed him badly when he has not been available and no coincidence that our drop in results has coincided with him not playing in many games since the Fulham cup game. All the 7 goals conceded in the last 4 games were when Gueye was not on the pitch. And of course we have had both Gueye and Doucoure missing for some of the games in the winless run of 11 games.

We have had some tough games in this winless run though, Man City twice, Spurs twice, Man Utd, Aston Villa, Brighton away and we have had some creditable draws. (The Wolves game was lost before we started because of the change in formation.)

And fact is when we play Man City, Man Utd and Spurs, you can forget it. No matter how the games go, a win would now be a minor miracle. There will always be one or more decisions to take the game away from us.

The West Ham collapse is a worry but I feel this would not have happened with Gueye in the team. He would have been able to deal with the counter-attacks towards the end of the game.

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I do not think the Bournemouth game suits Onana and he should be left on the bench. He leaves too many holes in midfield for the opposition to exploit and I think we will be more solid with Gueye, Garner and Doucoure filling the centre midfield positions.

I would love to see Coleman back in the team, and maybe at right midfield, but after 2 games in quick succession (where he has proved he is now back to full fitness) maybe after the Bournemouth game. Seamus is our captain and he can give the team that extra bit of inspiration that we now need. And I would have no problem playing him at right-midfield. With Patterson at right-back (or Godfrey), I think we would be solid defensively and still have a lot of attacking strength on the right flank. Harrison can then be used as a useful substitute.

We have to hope that the Dyche - Patterson incident is now water under the bridge, no hard feelings, and that Dyche has not lost the confidence of the players.

Bournemouth was a graveyard for Lampard. And after a footballing break last season, Everton got off to a poor start. Dyche must not let history repeat itself.

We need another good little run, maybe after the Bournemouth and Newcastle games, but maybe a couple of draws in these games could see the confidence growing again.

We all must stick together now, players and supporters. We do need a slice of luck and good and fair refereeing. If Calvert-Lewin and McNeil can start firing again, there is no reason why we can get a few wins and Dyche must start using Dobbin and Danjuma, if fit more and more and players like Onyango and Okoronkwo should now be on the bench.

Make these independent commission hearings irrelevant, Everton. COYB!

Reader Comments (31)

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Danny O’Neill
1 Posted 28/03/2024 at 06:03:35
There were a few low points last season, but none of them surpassed the two trips to Bournemouth in 4 days to get battered twice.

For me, it was only a 250-mile round trip (x 2). For those travelling from Merseyside, it was over 500 miles (x 2). Tough journeys home only to go back for more.

Well, 3rd time lucky. Don't let them down, Everton.

Jim Wilson
2 Posted 28/03/2024 at 11:17:03
I didn't go to either game, Danny, and I can only imagine how deflating and thoroughly miserable that was.

Let's hope our players remember it well and are determined to ensure it does not happen again.

Paul Kossoff
3 Posted 28/03/2024 at 14:39:11
We are running out of cushion games now, Burnley, Sheffield United, Nottingham Forest, Brentford and this one, Bournemouth are winnable; the rest are no chance games and draws at best.

Bournemouth are safe, I would say Palace are, can you see them not getting another 6 points? That leaves us and the rest.

Hope the C U P don't do us again with a points deduction, they take 4 off us, then we need possibly 14 to stay up. Dyche has to pick his games now and adjust tactics to suit, no defensive set-ups at home to Burnley. Coyb.

Paul Kossoff
4 Posted 28/03/2024 at 14:55:13
C U P — Corrupt Uber Premier…
Paul Kossoff
5 Posted 28/03/2024 at 14:58:19
Danny 1, I don't know how you do it.

Medals, end of season, first given to fans like you.

Niall McIlhone
6 Posted 28/03/2024 at 15:05:14
Your concluding sentence says it all, Jim. A win – however it comes – would go a very long way to countering any points deduction arising over the second charge, and Everton are well overdue a morale-boosting win down at the Vitality.

I agree that Coleman should be starting at right-back, but I am not so sure about benching Onana, as he does offer some composure and passing ability that others lack.

That said, it could be that the manager chooses to play with Garner wide right, with Harrison on the bench? Whilst this limits the options on the service (ie, crosses) from wide right, I feel we have strength with Mykolenko and McNeil on the left side and would ensure that we have decent cover down each flank.

Their right-winger, Samedo, is dangerous coming inside, as he showed in the Luton game, so our defensive midfield need to on their guard.

Best of luck to our fans making their way to the game: most will likely be travelling tomorrow, here's hoping there aren't too many delays on road and rail which have now become the norm on Easter weekends in the UK.

Mark Murphy
7 Posted 28/03/2024 at 16:32:55
I found out this week that the lad who helps me out with tickets hasn't missed a game, home, away or preseason, in 8 years.

He didn't miss a single game for the whole of the 80's so reckons he has 22 seasons with 100% attendance. Awesome!

Danny O’Neill
8 Posted 28/03/2024 at 16:38:16
No need for medals, Paul. We go out of sheer devotion and others around the globe get up in the early hours.

My better half calls it childish. I sometimes understand but can't help myself.

Despite the chaotic mismanagement of the club, we have a significant season ticket waiting list and supporters scrambling for tickets every week. Wait until we are competing again.

After the trip to the south coast, thousands will make the long trip to Newcastle and climb the 140 plus steps to get in that away section where you practically need binoculars to see the match!!

Tony Abrahams
9 Posted 28/03/2024 at 16:45:57
I'd bet that Everton have got as many if not more of this type of supporter as any other club in the country, Mark.

I was only talking about the time we played in Bangkok to someone the other day and how there must have been 1200-1500 scouse Evertonians there (plus the odd wool!) in comparison to the odd Bertie Magoo following Man City!

Dale Self
10 Posted 28/03/2024 at 17:25:11
I'm with Niall, keep Onana in the line-up and run the pivot with Garner and Gueye in a tandem slightly advanced. Garner for the action forward and Gueye to quell any danger when it breaks down.

Also, stealing Tony's idea, play Doucouré right side and bring McNeil into the middle. Harrison and McNeil can create space for each other and Doucoure is more effective with space. Garner should be looking for space to receive the pivot pass and feed either Harrison or McNeil and make a run. Doucoure should be able to find an alley with enough space for a decision. Gueye should be the outlet for pressure and the disruptor of breaks the other way.

The right-back problem is the biggest and the tradeoffs have been mentioned above. With my selection of Doucoure on the right I am not comfortable with either Patterson or Coleman. The former for defensive reasons, the latter for lack of possession. Seamus gets turned back too easily rather than positioning for the one-touch pass or making a convincing run forward. Since Godfrey is more capable in coverage and the tackle I would give him the start knowing the risks.

Basically, return to the 4-5-1 that worked before injuries and switch up the roles in possession slightly. We will likely be forced to create chances from sustained possession rather than the counterattack. Obviously, I am not confident that I'm getting that right but who is confident with suggestions for this squad?

Jay Harris
11 Posted 28/03/2024 at 17:44:29
I am all for Niall's selection.

Gana and Onana keeping central midfield tight and Garner on the right in front of Seamus gives us the best of both worlds with defensive cover for their wing play and Garner's crossing accuracy and Seamus's attacking runs.

Duncan McDine
12 Posted 28/03/2024 at 17:51:53
I went to the cup game down there (just before the winter World Cup break wasn't it?), but glad that I wasn't "lucky" enough to get a ticket for the league game that followed. It was toxic to say the least, and I'll be there on Saturday hoping that we see a much better showing.

Bournemouth are the comeback kids, so no chickens will be counted if Everton manage to take the lead!

Paul Kossoff
13 Posted 28/03/2024 at 18:59:19

That's my team that is.😀

Neil Tyrrell
14 Posted 28/03/2024 at 19:00:00
Semenyo had a great second half for them in that comeback win v Luton before the break.

I'm not familiar enough with Bournemouth to know how good he is, week-in & week-out, but based on that match, we would do well to keep him quiet.

Mike Doyle
15 Posted 28/03/2024 at 19:34:37
Just arrived at my mum's house in Liverpool after a 7-hour drive from South-West London.

My thoughts are with those planning the longer drive to Bournemouth and back at the weekend. You deserve a medal for even contemplating that trip.

Mark Murphy
16 Posted 29/03/2024 at 10:23:12
The pulse is racing and I'm not even going the game!

I gave up on Everton once. It was the worst hour of my life!

Jeff Spiers
18 Posted 29/03/2024 at 15:53:16
Best away support, anywhere.
Neil Copeland
19 Posted 29/03/2024 at 15:55:12
Got a ticket, yessssssss! Long drive but who cares, can’t wait as always, seems like years since we last played.


Danny O’Neill
20 Posted 29/03/2024 at 16:13:35
You can't give up Mark.

Like a puppy, Everton isn't just for Christmas. It's for life!! You can't escape!

Sleepless night tonight.

Ed Prytherch
21 Posted 29/03/2024 at 16:23:14
Ellis Simms has 30 minutes remaining for the goal that he needs for a hat trick.
Danny O’Neill
22 Posted 29/03/2024 at 16:49:35
I hope Ellis Simms does well and gets a hat trick.

But he doesn't impact tomorrow, so I'm not really interested.

Dave Abrahams
23 Posted 29/03/2024 at 17:00:16
Mark (16), Well, you will be a happy man right now as St Helens just beat Wigan in a cracking game for men, they physically battered each other with not a whimper out of any of them.

All those rugby lads shamed the overpaid cheating, crying footballers we watch every week on a pittance of the wages those footballers get.

A terrific game, I couldn't take my eyes off it for a second, a credit to a sporting spectacle.

Rob Halligan
24 Posted 29/03/2024 at 17:16:42
After an eleven hour journey travelling home from Lanzarote yesterday, it’s another arduous journey to Bournemouth and back tomorrow, a couple of days rest(😁😁😁), then another long journey to the skunk maggots on Tuesday, but hey, I wouldn’t have it any other way!!.


Mark Murphy
25 Posted 29/03/2024 at 17:28:10
Cheers Dave. I’m stuck in the wilderness near the Welsh border in a tiny place called Kington, the same place I was when we beat Bournemouth to stay up. Unfortunately the in-laws don’t have Sky and I couldn’t find a pub showing the game so had to “follow” it on the Saints match centre by text updates. Sounds like a classic! I know I’m not a “real scouser” (grrr) Dave, but even the success of my home town Saints can’t replace my aching for Everton glory. I remember one Challenge cup final at Twickenham a few years ago cheering as Saints held up the cup at the end. I looked to my right and a lad was checking out an Everton website. We’d just beaten Spurs at WHL and both of us said the same - “I wish I was THERE”! Well done Saints but UTFT tomorrow even more!!
Neil Copeland
26 Posted 29/03/2024 at 17:37:22
Rob, I am going to the barcodes too, as you say it will be nice to have a bit of rest between the 3 games.

Hope you enjoyed Lanzarote, no sympathy with the travelling from there though 😁

Mark Murphy
27 Posted 29/03/2024 at 18:08:58
You’ll both need the rest to get up them stairs!
Have a great away day(s) boys - see you in dat West Lundun!
Rob Halligan
28 Posted 29/03/2024 at 18:46:25
Mark, I'll use the lift to get up there. A mate that I go with recently had a pacemaker fitted so he'll have to use the lift, so I will dive in with him!

Meanwhile, I see that team that quite a few had down for nailed on promotion, have currently slipped out of the automatic promotion places. Hope they don't get promotion, the cheating bastards, for having the nerve to threaten to sue us.

Neil Copeland
29 Posted 29/03/2024 at 19:21:02
I didn't know there was a lift! I might get to see the first half as well then this year!

Yep, thought the same about Leicester. A few teams competing for the playoffs are in good form too.

See you at the Bridge, Mark.

Brent Stephens
30 Posted 29/03/2024 at 19:49:05
Neil, there's always a queue for the lift - you'd need to get there early! Mind you, that's the same with the stairs!
Danny O’Neill
31 Posted 29/03/2024 at 19:51:28
There's a lift? Why has no one ever told me that?!!!

Totally random, but the only worse experience of steps was Koln (Cologne) Cathedral. A proper walk up the the spiralling steps to then be faced by what can only be described as a scaffold like structure for the last couple of hundred metres with a clear view below and out across the city. Even if you didn't suffer from a fear of heights, it wasn't pleasant.

Tony Abrahams
33 Posted 29/03/2024 at 21:04:53
Did Leicester genuinely threaten to sue Everton, or was it just paper talk?

I look at how they have khazied, since stories about them started to circulate last month, and it makes me realize how much pressure our squad has been playing under since November.

We have struggled for results lately, but the pressure our very small squad was put under has been absolutely immense, imo.

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