Sean Dyche clearly does not agree with me but I think we have the perfect pair for the right-hand side of the team. Coleman right-back with Patterson right-midfield.
With Coleman behind him, we will see the best out of Patterson, defensively and going forward. You can even play them the other way around. Either way, I am sure it would make us defensively more solid and much more convincing in our forward play. I also think there would be a good knock-on effect for the rest of the team.
I think the formation of the team is correct, I just want to see an improvement in the team's play.
Doucouré is the big dilemma for me. I like his workrate, he can score, but he too has the annoying habit of making too many fouls and his passing is his weakness.
With that in mind, I like the idea of Gueye and Garner as the defensive pair with Gomes operating as the attacking playmaker. I know many people prefer Onana, and sure, we keep seeing glimpses of real talent but, for me, he just doesn't do enough and, when we are really up against it, we don't see him. I like the idea of him coming off the bench. When we got those 4 great wins on the bounce, I thought Gueye and Garner were playing great together and I would like that partnership restored.
The frustration with Dyche is that I think we can all see better options but he is unwilling to try anything different. I do not want wholesale changes now – just tinkering around the edges that I think can make a big difference.
A team of Pickford, Coleman, Tarkowski, Branthwaite, Mykolenko, Patterson, Gueye, Garner, Gomes, McNeil, Calvert-Lewin, looks pretty solid to me with hopefully a more pass-orientated look.
Hopefully complemented by subs like Danjuma, Dobbin, Onana, Harrison, Beto, Chermiti, Onyango, Okoronkwo.
I wouldn't hesitate to bring Okoronkwo on for the last 10  minutes. We need something different up front and he could be just the player we need.
We cannot keep playing as poorly as we have been since the Palace 1-1 or before. We were playing well in the run-up before Christmas and then the fixtures (Man City and Spurs twice in quick succession) combined with Dyche being clueless on how to deal with Doucoure's and Gueye's abscence sent us in freefall. We need to start playing more football with purpose and who knows where we will be at the end of this horrible season.
To all Evertonians, I just want to say let's stick together, keep backing the players on the pitch the best we can, and thanks to ToffeeWeb and everyone on here. It keeps me going as I'm sure it does for you.
Everton has been my life and I know I just have to keep picking myself up from the next blow and keep hoping the gods will always help us out in the end.

Reader Comments (31)

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John Raftery
1 Posted 10/04/2024 at 19:00:19
I would have liked to have seen Patterson tried a couple of months ago in the right midfield role in front of Coleman or Young with the older player tutoring the younger man on positional play.

So much is at stake now I don't think Dyche dare take the chance. Patterson is still in the development phase of his career and as such makes poor decisions in and out of possession.

Charles Ward
2 Posted 10/04/2024 at 19:17:57
Dyche is equally damned if he does or doesn't pick certain players. It may be that this is not the time to experiment or that he is simply stuck in his ways. Most managers are and only change their ways through sheer necessity.
Peter Warren
4 Posted 10/04/2024 at 19:45:01
Have to keep Doucoure in the team as he is one of the few that can actually score a goal.
Andy Meighan
5 Posted 10/04/2024 at 20:10:17
Jim, he's never going to play Patterson.

He obviously doesn't rate him and picks 2 octogenarians before him (no offence, Seamus), so forget that notion.

There's 3 or 4 who are prime candidates for being benched right now but the truth is we're short of options I'd take McNeil out tomorrow, he's been shit nearly all season yet plays every minute of every game.

Good managers don't do that, they identify the weakness and leave them out for a bit.

Obviously Dyche doesn't come into the category of 'good manager' does he? His constant inclusion of Young in every matchday squad drives me nuts.

Young has been nothing short of bang average for us every time he's featured, in fact he should never have played another game for us after his appalling display at Aston Villa but good old Sean keeps deploying him.

That's the type of manager we are dealing with.

Lee Courtliff
6 Posted 10/04/2024 at 20:39:31
Young should be used as a squad player and nothing more, and Patterson has every right to be pissed off as he played in our wins against West Ham, Newcastle and Burnley and was then ostracised!

Picking Young on the right wing against a struggling Palace, at home and under the lights, was one of the most negative selections I've ever seen. Especially when we had Dobbin and Patterson both sat on the bench.

Mark Murphy
7 Posted 10/04/2024 at 21:25:40
I've never really got this idea that a player who can't get in a team in his preferred position should be given a go in another position.

I used to groan when I saw Lyons being pushed up front - it meant we were desperate. Holgate had one good game at Old Trafford and fans thought he was the next Paul Bracewell. Leighton Baines “should've” been given a go in midfield…

I'm not convinced that Dyche is the way forward after this season but he and his coaches see Patterson and the squad every day and know, far better than any of us on here, what they are capable of.

If they thought Patterson could cement Everton's place in the Premier League, and possibly secure their own futures by doing so, I'm sure they would. I'm also hoping Patterson gets a run but there must be a reason he isn't.

I only watch Everton on game day so I'm not qualified to say what that reason is but, if he's good enough, he will get picked. At right-back.

Alan J Thompson
8 Posted 11/04/2024 at 05:14:04

I'm not sure that Patterson doesn't suffer from being told to play nearer the central defender rather than taking the winger or wide player nearer the touchline, thereby offering less room, the defender or full-back tucking in usually gives the attacker the advantage of more room thus direction change options.

I've always thought that the defence moves across together or somebody in midfield has to tuck in. If you ever saw Alex Parker or Ray Wilson, they only ever gave the winger the outside option.

And in today's game, tackling a player in the penalty area as he cuts across you is fraught with danger as whether you get the ball or not he only has to fall over your legs.

I've not always gone along with the idea that seeing them in training gives any advantage on how good they are as they are against players they know and who know them well, and if a lot of ToffeeWeb posters are to be believed, may not be that good anyway.

John Chambers
9 Posted 11/04/2024 at 16:26:32
It would be good to see Patterson have the opportunity to play wide on the right, remember that is how Seamus started in the team before moving to right back.

Problem at the moment is Dyche is clearly not a gambler and prefers to stick with what he knows he will get with Harrison or Young rather than roll the dice with Patterson.

Lyndon Lloyd
10 Posted 11/04/2024 at 21:44:33
Word is that Patterson, from an attacking perspective, was the stand-out performer at the recent open training session.
Brendan McLaughlin
11 Posted 11/04/2024 at 21:46:25
From right midfield Lyndon? #10
Ian Bennett
12 Posted 11/04/2024 at 21:48:28
I would start Patterson or Garner on the right.

I think Harrison has been poor. It's clear he's not comfortable playing on that side, so why persevere with it?

Denver Daniels
13 Posted 11/04/2024 at 22:13:19
I wouldn't mind seeing Onana in the Doucoure role. He doesn't offer much of a goal threat but I'd love to see him finding pockets of space and running with the ball. He can pick a pass too. If Doucoure doesn't score, he offers nothing.

I'd play both Dom and Beto split left and right ahead of him. Our wingers don't cross anyway. Even McNeil has been cutting inside a lot recently.

Garner opposite McNeil with Gana sitting. Same back 4.

Lyndon Lloyd
14 Posted 11/04/2024 at 22:44:53
Brendan (11),

I'm not sure where he was playing but the fellas from the View From the Bullens podcast said he looked very sharp, particularly with his deliveries into the box.

I've been saying for a while Dyche should give him a go in right midfield as I'm convinced he'd offer a lot more than Ashley Young.

Wesley Coles
15 Posted 12/04/2024 at 02:33:44
When you look at Man Utd putting a young kid in, and of course Man City as well, it's embarrassing that we don't get the opportunity to see the likes of Dobbin or Okoronkwo just have a go at teams.

With all the analysis going around, teams know exactly what are are going to do and how. Just by dropping one of these into the mix creates a level of unpredictability that might provide the edge. Remember Cadamarteri?

Danny O’Neill
16 Posted 12/04/2024 at 06:22:37
John @9. I too remember when we played a raw Seamus higher up the pitch on the right side as we were unsure on his defensive attributes.

I know not everyone is in agreement about his abilities, but with our squad in its present state, it has to be worth a go.

And coach / mentor him. He can come good.

Doucoure is hit and miss but has goals in him.

Let's go and win points. Starting Monday night.

Danny O’Neill
17 Posted 12/04/2024 at 08:04:18
Let's not forget that we played Seamus higher on the right in his early days at Everton as there were doubts about his defensive ability.

Get Patterson playing. Coach and mentor him. He can come good. The lad has a great attitude from what I've seen and is still only 22.

Robert Tressell
18 Posted 12/04/2024 at 08:14:11
Wesley, the real embarrassment is that our academy is so far behind that of Man City and Man Utd.

A further difficulty for our young players is this: players like Dobbin need minutes to develop. But the Premier League is too unforgiving a place for someone at his level (miles behind the likes of Demarai Gray, let alone Garnacho and Bobb) – he'd be better in the Championship.

But because our squad is so weak, we need to hang onto them to make up the numbers. And when they do get a chance, they are thrown into a poor, struggling side – which again does very little for their development.

Seriously every Premier League side has academy players of that sort of standard and hardly any are getting minutes.

Although you see the ones that make it, like Mainoo, Man Utd for example have tonnes of players who don't. A player called Ethan Galbraith looked like a young Paul Scholes at U21 level – and played our kids off the park a few years ago. Lovely footballer but now age 22 he's at Leyton Orient after joining on a free.

A striker they signed from Sunderland, Hugill, just before we signed Okoronkwo also from Sunderland, is now struggling for goals at Burton Albion. Kids only get the chance if they are of exceptional high quality (usually youth internationals from an early age, like Pickford was from age 15).

Brian Harrison
19 Posted 12/04/2024 at 09:51:06
I can't quite understand the clamour to play a poor fullback in midfield. I suppose it just shows how low this club has sunk when we are considering playing Patterson on the right of midfield.

Dyche plays survival football, lacks any ambition and has given very few minutes to any of our young players. Now I fully understand that many will argue that he doesn't play any youngsters because they are worse than the regulars he is playing.

Maybe Dobbin, Cannon and Simms are only Championship quality, well there are players playing regularly who fall into that category.

I think our display against Burnley – one of the poorest sides I have seen in a long while – sums up exactly everything that is wrong with this club. We adopt a survival approach; no boldness no desire to really go at sides, no ambition.

Even if we survive, does anybody really believe that the football next season will be any better or that anybody will address the dearth in young players coming through? And that is crucial to a team who could start next season with further points deducted.

My son says, given our points deduction we should give Dyche some credit, and maybe he is right. none of the points deductions is Dyche's fault. But I just see the same outlook on the game that Allardyce had and surely we deserve better than this.

Robert Tressell
20 Posted 12/04/2024 at 11:47:05

The dearth of genuine youth talent is not something Dyche can fix now. It took the likes of Chelsea and Man City more than 10 years to get their academies into the position they are in now.

Unfortunately it would have taken relegation for the likes of Simms, Cannon and Dobbin to become regular first teamers. We really are way behind.

As for Allardyce, he had £50M to spend and still managed rubbish football – and saddled us with Tosun's and Walcott's wages and rapidly declining values.

The last 3 seasons have seen negative investment of £70m. We're £200m to £250 behind the likes of Forest, Palace and Bournemouth (with weaker squads as a consequence).

Without genuine investment in attacking / wide forwards in particular, it is extremely difficult to go at teams. Hence we don't… but have still managed to collect 35 points.

The complaints you make are more about the state of the club Dyche has inherited – rather than what Dyche is very understandably doing with a squad that is not in good shape.

Brian Harrison
21 Posted 12/04/2024 at 12:07:18

You are correct that Dyche can't be expected to fix our academy now, especially with yet another relegation battle on our hands. You are also correct that most of my complaints are about the club.

To think we have had the best football coach this club has ever had, and just lives a short car drive to Bellfield and latterly Finch Farm ,yet we never used him. I am sure, had we employed Colin Harvey in a type of DoF role we would have been producing good quality youngsters.

Regarding Dyche, many of our fans give him a free hit because of what he has inherited, yet tell me any player he has improved, and before anybody suggests Branthwaite, even Dyche has admitted he does little coaching of Branthwaite.

I am old enough to have seen the Busby Babes, and that club more than any other has always had academy kids and not imported academy kids but Manchester lads born and bred.

Robert Tressell
22 Posted 12/04/2024 at 12:30:10

Let's park Branthwaite then — Mykolenko, Doucoure and McNeil have all improved markedly under Dyche.

You could also make a case for Pickford (no longer the subject of constant criticism), Onana (despite fans expecting him to be the new Steven Gerrard), and Calvert-Lewin (because a player who many fans considered a fraud, finished or both has now managed 27 games).

I appreciate these latter three will attract a bit of controversy.

Jim Wilson
23 Posted 12/04/2024 at 14:12:52
Robert @ 22 - I agree with you there. And if only everyone could play at their best (and if we could stay clear of injuries) for the run in, hopefully we would be okay.

There is just something about the mix that isn't quite right. I can't put my finger on it apart from Ashley Young to me is a liability. He can easily get sent off with a mis-timed tackle and, in view of that, I do not think playing Patterson on the right flank is a gamble. I can only see positives.

Jay Harris
24 Posted 12/04/2024 at 15:24:33
Brian, that's not strictly true.

Under Ferguson, they went out and poached all the best kids from other academies, like we did with Branthwaite ,so while the "Busby babes" era supports your view, it no longer holds for any club in the Premier League with kids being poached internationally now too.

Abramovic did something similar at Chelsea.

Robert Tressell
25 Posted 12/04/2024 at 15:38:08
It's pretty marginal though Jim. It's not like we have Richarlison or Gordon sat on the bench. Young is not great but Patterson is unlikely to be a game changer.

Personally, I'd be putting a lot more hope in Danjuma.

Andrew Keatley
26 Posted 12/04/2024 at 17:13:42
Jim, I think you raise a very good point about Patterson.

Dyche obviously seems to think that he is not the right option at full-back in the present moment but, in the absence of our attacking players pulling up any trees, then Patterson must be an option as a wide midfielder.

He's quick, and aggressive, and I think he is quite spawny – the sort of player who is a little unorthodox and therefore likely to cause unusual problems for the opposition. He might lack finesse, but I think he will run in behind and be progressive – as his early performances for Scotland demonstrated.

Robert (18) - You say that "when they (our academy graduates) do get a chance, they are thrown into a poor, struggling side – which again does very little for their development."

But Mainoo and Garnacho were thrown into a misfiring Man Utd side, and if anything they've been the two players on whom their minor resurgence seems to be based.

It's about the attributes of the young players themselves – and not just their ability level; Garnacho has the arrogance of a player who believes that he can score goals like his overhead kick against us, and who takes players on knowing that he can outsmart them by either drawing a foul (again, twice against us) or driving past them and managing to get a shot away.

While Mainoo just seems to have an incredibly level head and two decent feet, paired with a great understanding of the game and the position. Hopefully we have some young players in the academy who have the shoulders to carry the weight of expectation on them. That's one of the main qualities we require right now.

Rob Dolby
27 Posted 12/04/2024 at 17:31:18
I would like to see Patterson either sold or sent out on loan to get game time next season. Dyche isn't wrong by leaving him on the bench.

He hasn't impressed me at any point, defensively or offensively.

I know we are 4th choice in the North-West for attracting youth talent but what talent we do have aren't being coached properly.

We should have both full-back areas covered in the reserves at the very least.

How come Man City can produce Foden, Palmer and Lewis as well as buy the best? Man Utd have always produced decent youth players and Liverpool have at least 2 scousers in their first-team squad. Their coaching is better than ours.

We have a load of old boys producing work horses and coaching raw talent out of the kids.

In a football-mad city, we should be producing more than just the odd Premier League ready player every now and then.

Brian Harrison
28 Posted 12/04/2024 at 19:28:47
Jay 24

Dont know how you can say Ferguson went and poached kids from other academies, Butt, Scholes, Gary Neville, Phil Neville and a few more as well.
Take todays Utd team Mainoo, Mctominay, Rashford and Greenwood who is having to play abroad at present.

Robert Tressell
29 Posted 12/04/2024 at 22:45:18
Interestingly Atalanta have managed to find a way to create an excellent academy despite having to compete for talent in a region dominated by AC Milan, Inter, Juve and (at least historically) Torino. Delighted to see them put three past the RS last night.

It does take time; it probably takes recruitment too (the RS certainly recruit very heavily for example and Garnacho is not exactly a local). But sadly I'd be surprised if our next first team regular from the academy is older than 15 right now. Hope I'm wrong.

Jim Wilson
30 Posted 12/04/2024 at 23:53:49
Agree Robert, Danjuma could end up being our life saver, If Dyche would give him a run!
Danny O’Neill
31 Posted 13/04/2024 at 06:06:33
Robert, you probably know my opinion on the academy system.

Most Premier League clubs buy players despite spending a fortune on their academies. Contrary to the opinion, it's not free.

Personally, I don't think the system is fit for purpose and should be overhauled.

I read an interesting and up-to-date article this week. 97% of academy graduates never kick a ball in top flight football. So a 3% return. That is a failing system.

It works in other countries, but another example of the Premier League clubs eating themselves to focus on the brand rather than developing players and supporting football closer to home.

Robert Tressell
32 Posted 13/04/2024 at 12:36:52
Danny # 31, I know what you mean, but by some measures at least the academy system is now succeeding big time:

1. England: quality of the seniors and U21s is very high, with a high proportion having come through top Premier League academies. Unusually, we are now producing highly technical players in decent numbers.

2. First teamers: the academy system has produced Saka, Greenwood, Mainoo, Palmer, Gallagher, James, Alexander-Arnold, Kellerher and many others who are high quality first teamers for Champions League clubs (Greenwood's lifestyle choices obviously intervened for him). These players are more like the sorts of players France, Spain, Netherlands and Portugal produce in style and technical ability. Which is not surprising since we've based our system on the successful overhaul in France with a nod to the likes of La Masia in Spain.

3. Revenue: Man City's academy has raised huge sums (over £350m) for Pep to sign first teamers. Liverpool and Chelsea do similar, developing players for sale rather than for the first team. A 19-year-old has to already be Champions League quality to be able to get into a Top 4 first team, and even then may be blocked by one or more established first-teamers. So many get sold.

Even we have done okay out of this, with the sales of Samuels-Smith, Gordon, Cannon and Simms keeping us from administration and / or even more severe points deductions.

You're right that only a tiny proportion of academy players make it — but presumably that was always the case. The standard of the Premier League is extraordinarily high.

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