Everton 0 - 1 Fulham

A new season kicking off under a different manager than the one who began the last with hope rather than optimism this time that the club won’t be mired in a relegation dogfight come May… There has been change at Everton over the past 12 months and yet so much remains depressingly the same.

No Dominic Calvert-Lewin in the match-day squad, no meaningful alternative up front in his stead, incoming attacking reinforcements not yet signed or not available, and, not surprisingly, a number of gilt-edged chances spurned in a match that Sean Dyche is, no doubt, still wondering how the Blues lost. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose. The more things change at Goodison Park, the more they seem to stay the same.

The manager pointed to the mystifying decision by Stuart Attwell — no change on that front; he remains a pitifully poor referee — to penalise James Tarkowski for a "foul" on Bernd Leno after the Fulham goalkeeper went over the top of him, spilled the ball and Michael Keane knocked it into the empty net.

But even without that controversial decision, Everton should have won this match comfortably. Fulham dominated the possession, as Marco Silva would surely have expected, but they looked a shadow of the side that made such an impressive start to 2022-23 and they didn’t muster a shot on target until substitute Bobby de Cordova-Reid converted Andreas Pereira’s centre in the 73rd minute.

It was the Toffees who created almost all the chances — they would finish with a higher xG without scoring than any team did in a game during all of last season — but would count the cost of their profligacy in front of goal, with Abdoulaye Doucouré passing up the chance to either score or lay on an early opener, Neal Maupay failing to convert either of two good chances and Nathan Patterson somehow contriving to hit the bar with Everton’s best chance of the second half.

This was by far a better performance than the one against the same opposition in April when the stakes were considerably higher. Everton were slick and purposeful at times, pressing tenaciously, seizing on the opposition’s mistakes and looking to cut through them in transition.

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But the mistakes of last season haven’t been learned or addressed. Which is why Maupay, who missed a great chance to score what would have been only his second goal in a Blue jersey in the same fixture last term, was leading the line looking just as unsuitable an option in that role as ever.

One argument will go that he was at least in the right place in the right time for opportunities in front of goal; another might credit Leno with two very good point-blank saves; but the end result was that the Frenchman’s goal drought goes on and Everton began the season as they did the last — with a home defeat to West London opposition and no points on the board following a winnable game.

With Calvert-Lewin having only managed 90 minutes of pre-season football and Youssef Chermiti having only had his protracted move from Sporting CP yesterday, Dyche deployed the unreliable Maupay at centre-forward in front of Doucouré while James Garner and Alex Iwobi lined up on the flanks, Ashley Young made his debut at left-back and Keane was paired with Tarkowski at the back.

A brilliant fifth-minute attack by the hosts set the tone for the first half as Amadou Onana threaded Doucouré in between the two visiting centre-halves and with Maupay to his left and Garner to his right, he had simple options that would surely have guaranteed a goal but he elected to shoot himself and Bernd Leno got a crucial toe to the ball to divert it wide.

Two more counter-attacks midway through the first period provided shooting opportunities for Iwobi but his first was deflected behind and the second he dragged narrowly wide from 18 yards out before Tarkowksi couldn’t get enough purchase on Garner’s free-kick to trouble Leno after the former had been chopped down by Willian’s ugly stamp.

Everton retained the upper hand as the half wore on and when Doucouré nodded Iwobi’s cross from the left down to Maupay, the Frenchman was denied at point-blank range by the keeper. When the ball was hooked back into the box and Keane knocked the loose ball home, Attwell called play back, the official determining that Tarkowski had fouled Leno when it appeared as though he had simply stood his ground as the keeper jumped over him.

Nevertheless, the Blues continued to carve out chances without being threatened at all at the other end, Doucouré testing Leno with a strong shot after superb work by Iwobi and an interception by the Nigerian allowing the Mali international to play Maupay in but he was foiled by the goalkeeper again from close quarters as he tried to prod the ball home.

The second half began in scrappier and more even fashion than had been the pattern in the first but the Cottagers soon began to threaten as Saša Lukić bounced a half-volley wide off a corner and Raul Jimenez saw a shot come back off the base of the upright with what was his last contribution before being replaced by Aleksandar Mitrovic just before the hour mark.

But it was Everton who really should have taken the lead — and, perhaps, the points as a result — when Iwobi fired goal-wards, Leno could only push it into the path of Patterson at the back post and the defender, with almost entire goal to aim at, planted a first-time effort onto the crossbar instead.

Four minutes later, after Harry Wilson had fizzed an effort inches over at the other end, it was 1-0 Fulham. Marco Silva’s men had cut their way through Everton’s midfield, dragged Keane out of position outside his box so when the ball was played down the channel to Pereira, the hosts were short-handed in the centre when the Belgian hooked it across the face of goal and De Cordova-Reid just had to tap in at the back stick.

De Cordova-Reid volleyed a gilt-edged chance to kill the contest over the bar four minutes later and Mitrovic’s goal-bound was blocked, legally according to Video Assistant Referee Anthony Taylor, by Tarkowski’s arm either side of Dyche’s decision to throw Lewis Dobbin on in place of the unfortunate Garner and switch Iwobi to the right flank.

And Iwobi came close to levelling in the 85th minute when he arrived to meet Young’s cross but Leno beat it behind at his near post while Tarkowski had the last chance to salvage a point but his stooping header flashed across goal and narrowly missed the far post.

There was a frustrating familiarity about the way this game played out — Everton having the upper hand early on, failing to take their chances and then seeing the opposition come into the contest in the second half before picking the Blues off with the only goal they would need on the day.

Dyche, as is customary, waited until the 70-odd-minute mark to make his first change and while he was unfortunate that Fulham scored on the very next attack following Arnaut Danjuma’s introduction for Maupay, he later opted for Lewis Dobbin as an attacking wide player rather than a genuine centre-forward option like Tom Cannon when Everton were chasing the game.

Unless things do click in the transfer market over the next three works, Calvert-Lewin comes back for an extended run of fitness and/or Chermiti hits the ground running as a teenage revelation, you get the feeling that this air of depressing predictability is going to hang around the Blues all season. The next three weeks have the potential to be very significant.

Reader Comments (70)

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Tony Everan
1 Posted 12/08/2023 at 22:00:56
The team played relatively well, with Lukaku up front we win 3-0 today. With a journeyman striker, we win 1-0. With no striker, we miss golden opportunities and become vulnerable to any team who will eventually start believing.

Michael called it criminal incompetence in front of goal: true; a bigger test of competence is getting a striker into the club who can score 10+ goals a season. I would like a Lukaku but we don't even need that level, a journeyman striker would do the job for now. We can't afford too many more repeats of today.

And Mr Moshiri, leave the targeting of players to Kevin Thelwell, in consultation with Sean Dyche. The last thing we need is another round of dysfunctional recruitment.

Brian Williams
2 Posted 12/08/2023 at 22:18:32
Two of the best gilt-edged chances fell to a midfielder and a fullback. The lack of a striker is, IMO, an easy excuse.

Had Doucouré and Patterson scored, which they both should certainly have done, we probably win the game.

Yes, we need a striker… but we should have won comfortably today with the team we fielded.

Jim Bennings
3 Posted 12/08/2023 at 22:20:24
No doubt next week we'll make Aston Villa look like Barcelona in their pomp.

Why oh why have Everton made having so much money to spend look like real hard work over these past 6 years???

Now we have firmly established ourselves as perennial relegation strugglers once more.

Brent Stephens
4 Posted 12/08/2023 at 22:26:04
That's pretty much as I saw the game, Lyndon. Disappointing not to have won our opening game but, the goal apart, I felt we were under little threat, created sufficient chances by far, and for the want of a genuine striker we would have taken the points (and Dyche the plaudits).

Surely, Maupay doesn't start next week?

Tony Abrahams
5 Posted 12/08/2023 at 22:44:36
I only watched about 20 minutes today but I agree with Lyndon when he said the more things change, the more they seem to stay the same, because we looked like a living room that needs redecorating.

I think the next 3 weeks before the transfer window shuts will define our season, and hope to see quite a few different faces by the beginning of September.

Jerome Shields
6 Posted 12/08/2023 at 22:58:07
Whilst Dyche has a say, Thewell as Director of Football implements the transfer policy within the constraints set and objectives agreed with Moshiri under the guidance of Kenwright. Once a target has been selected, the attempted deal is negotiated.

Actually, the transfer policy has followed the same pattern in recent years. Getting a proven 10-goal striker is mostly speculation and never the reality. If Everton did have such a striker, more than likely he would be sold.

Dyche has improved Everton's play, but the error-prone lack of concentration that has cost Everton so many games in the first 15 minutes of the second half remains. I await the game when Everton get through those proverbial 15 minutes of the second half unscathed. That is the progress that is needed.

Mike Allison
7 Posted 12/08/2023 at 23:01:37
Our two best attacking players are Dominic Calvert-Lewis and Demarai Gray. Where are they?

Who is going to convince me that Neal Maupay is better than Ellis Simms?

If you pick 3 or 4 defensive midfielders, you can't really complain that you didn't take your chances. There's no-one on the pitch who does take chances and no substitutions being made to change things.

Lev Vellene
8 Posted 12/08/2023 at 23:04:20
Lyndon, I just say Bah! and a lot of good things about your analysis! Strange to think that the French are so hostile to the English, language-wise, when you (and initially the Americans) are the only ones keeping their language alive as a recognized world language... ;P

I'd agree that we played well, but we really should have used any of the young strikers instead of the already proven-ineffective Maupay. At least those would learn and hopefully improve (even if through feeling ashamed!) in such an environment!

Haha, Lyndon removed the French stuff even as I posted my reply!

I hope this was the last time ever that we saw Maupay play for Everton! Give the youngsters a chance, none of them can ever be worse than he's proven himself to be! And they will still be able to learn and improve!

Pekka Harvilahti
9 Posted 12/08/2023 at 23:08:39
We will see Maupay as a lone striker for ever because this is Everton, we don't have anything else in this lonely world.

In the Moyes Everton world, you could always rely on the fact that he would put the best he had in the side. To put Maupay on is probably a way from Dyche to show the owners that this is not going smoothly.

Andy Crooks
10 Posted 12/08/2023 at 23:13:07
Brent, he will start.

Maupay and his selection or non-selection will define Dyche's reign at Everton. Maupay is the worst "striker" I have ever seen playing top-level football.

Brent Stephens
11 Posted 12/08/2023 at 23:20:58
Yes, Andy, a striker who doesn't strike, doesn't beat a man in the air, doesn't beat a man on the ground, fails so often to trap a ball properly. If he were an emperor, he'd doubtless wear new clothes.
Martin Kidman
12 Posted 12/08/2023 at 23:22:05
Maupay is an absolute waste of space, he's a busy idiot, and Doucouré was doing the same thing he did today for most of last season.

Everton were okay today and, with someone that could finish a sentence, we should have comfortably won the game. We haven't had that class in the 6-yard box for many years now and it is very telling.

Headers, set-pieces and maybe the odd potshot from a midfielder, we don't have someone with composure who can calmly control a ball and put it in the net or have the instinct to hit it first time (look at Haaland's goal yesterday). If hitting it directly at the keeper earned you points, Maupay would have been top of the class today.

Why have we had players for the last 10 years who seem to be sliding money into the manager's pockets to play? Everyone in the ground groans when they are named instead of the managers...

Lev Vellene
13 Posted 12/08/2023 at 23:23:22
Bad luck, though, as our goal should have stood! Our player was pushed into the path of their 'keeper by the opposition in the first place. Oh, well.

And, oh dang, Lyndon is still keeping that French that no one but the English will ever understand! Except, maybe, our American friends? ;D

Kunal Desai
14 Posted 12/08/2023 at 23:36:56
Nothing convinces that we'll be anything but in the Bottom 6 at end of the season.
Colin Glassar
15 Posted 12/08/2023 at 23:41:03
Bottom 6 would be a dream right now, Kunai.
Kunal Desai
16 Posted 12/08/2023 at 23:46:20

I think Dyche squeezes out a little bit more from this current squad by a few more points… but not much.

Si Cooper
17 Posted 12/08/2023 at 00:05:27
Simply a game that the team that took the pitch could and should have won.

At least Atwell's terrible decision was rightly denounced on MotD.

I can only assume Maupay is a model professional who is routinely banging them in during training so the manager thinks he must come good some time.

Jack Convery
18 Posted 12/08/2023 at 00:10:07
I believe the fact that we Evertonains haven't made a song and dance about the disallowed goal tells you all you need to know about the feeling amongst us all.

We are pissed off, tired, and totally fed up with the club as a whole now. It's gone on too long. Nobody seems willing to bring in the right people to do things in a professional manner.

We still have a Chairman who should have been shown the door after the statement issued prior to last season's home game versus Southampton. He is totally in line with everything wrong at Goodison. Moshiri is the same. An idiot who listens to charlatans because he wouldn't know a genuine football man from a rotten banana. He'll most probably go and buy Banana because it rhymes with Garner, Onana and Gana and call them the New Beatles.

A proper club would not:

1. Still have no decent experienced centre-forward on their books after 3 years and rely on Calvert-Lewin's injury record improving.

2. Would never have bought Maupay.

3. Would never have spent £18M on a Rangers reserve full-back.

4. Would pussy foot around Iwobi over a contract extension. Tell him to sign or go now. No ifs, buts or maybes. Everton comes first.

5. Would arse around for nearly 2 weeks trying to buy a 19-year-old striker. Make an offer, have it accepted, agree personal terms and move on. Not Everton with our very experienced transfer guru, Blue Bill.

6. Would put up with Gbamin saying "I'm not playing for you again." Tear up his contract and tell him to do one.

7. Would have Gomes on the bench – sell or loan him.

8. Would play Keane or even have him on the books for so long.

9. As 8 but for Holgate.

10. Would have an academy that does not produce youngsters good enough for the Premier League, season after season, and gives them away to lower league teams for buttons.

There are many more but I'm tired, jaded and all my enthusiasm has faded. I'm one of those Evertonians who has had enough. I'm pissed off, disillusioned, bored with the people who run the club, bored with the rumours, bored with the excuses… and I just want the nightmare to end – now!

Ben King
19 Posted 13/08/2023 at 01:23:02
Jack #18,

Great post.

It's all so wearisome, boring, depressing and uninspiring.

What a time to be an Evertonian.

Kieran Kinsella
20 Posted 13/08/2023 at 01:27:56

Not defending Maupay but, as Brian said, we had several gilt-edged chances. He is a problem certainly but I suspect Seamus would have buried Patterson's chance, Cahill Doucoure's and dare I say Bilyaletdinov (assuming his slow jog got him into position) Onana's.

Right across the board, we have impotent players.

Don Alexander
21 Posted 13/08/2023 at 02:00:46
Let's make things clear:-

Moshiri and Kenwright will choose to burn at the stake rather than come clean to anyone on the calamity they've delivered to our club's finances. This means that Thelwell and Dyche are always working in the dark when it comes to players, in or out.

This means that players and agents the world over quite rightly identify our club as a basket case when it comes to players of proven quality.

Untested youngsters on the other hand will risk joining us, on way better wages with little to lose if our club goes tits-up next season or so. And Finch Farm continues to produce players nowhere near good enough to play Premier League football.

What could possibly go wrong in terms of Premier League survival this season? Disastrous sanction in October aside, of course.

And I wonder what the thoughts are of those interested entities on the cost to them of acquiring our club as it continues to plummet downwards?

On the match – Keane's goal was legit, we created enough to score three, and their goal was an abject aberration.

Danny O’Neill
22 Posted 13/08/2023 at 06:57:47
I haven't looked at the highlights and probably won't. I'll write up later.

The "goal" looked fine to me.

I think you sum it up well, Lyndon. A game we should have won well before they got their goal.

John Raftery
23 Posted 13/08/2023 at 07:09:49
The main positive to emerge was the abundance of chances from very effective counter-attacks. Having created so many opportunities to shoot at goal with only the keeper to beat, it was very disappointing to see none converted.

Naturally fans will direct their ire at Maupay. The striker's dire scoring form should not however mask the inadequacy of finishing on the part of the team as a whole. Put simply, we do not see enough goals coming from midfielders or defenders. One striker will not solve that issue.

John Keating
24 Posted 13/08/2023 at 07:15:55
First game in and I'd be more than happy to see the season end now with us finishing in our present position.

How sad.

Eddie Dunn
25 Posted 13/08/2023 at 07:24:57
I was optimistic that a solid preseason would result in our lot getting the better of Fulham. We did play some more incisive football than them but we simply have to put the chances away.

Maupay did get himself into the right places but he has zero confidence. It is surely Dyche drawing attention to our lack of a striker that he gets a start. Mind you, Doucoure had an age before popping his chance onto Leno's outstretched boot.

The weak link was Patterson. With Keane on his inside there was always space to be exploited. The goal wasn't his fault though, as everyone ran to the left (Pickford included) leaving him two players to mark.

Once behind, we huffed and puffed, the subs had little time to get into the game, and we slowly accepted the inevitable.
Silva's tactical changes caught us napping. Our dim-witted midfield and slow defence was opened three times in five minutes.

To think they could take off Jiminez and put on Mitrovich whilst we took off Maupay and put on Danjuma. If we don't find a striker, then it is going to be just like the last two seasons. I don't think I can stand it again.

Colin Glassar
26 Posted 13/08/2023 at 07:31:08
Eddie, I'm optimistic that we can make 16th or 17th this season. There's going to be 3-4 worse teams than us.
Sam Hoare
27 Posted 13/08/2023 at 07:51:45
I was optimistic too and I think it's too soon to be making judgments on the season. It's a bad result but just one game, in which we created enough chances to win comfortably. It's worth saying that Bernd Leno had an extremely good game, statistically one of the best goalkeeping performances in Europe this weekend!

Villa away next weekend will be a very tough match. A Watkins & Diaby strike force is the sort we can only dream of. Until we get Calvert-Lewin & Gnonto?!!

Hopefully we have Calvert-Lewin back, new players in, and possibly even McNeil available for Wolves at home as that is one we should win.

Paul Tran
28 Posted 13/08/2023 at 07:54:48
You've nailed it, Lyndon. As does the exasperated Andy Hunter in today's Observer.

I liked the energy and purpose, especially in the first half. We created loads of chances and looked a fitter, stronger team than last season.

The defeat was nothing to do with tactics. I would have hooked Maupay for Cannon at half-time, though I'm wary of prematurely seeing Tom as a saviour. Nothing to do with Keane, who I thought played well. Garner lost his man for the goal.

I thought we played well, created chances, and restricted them to two chances. Any team that does that should expect to pick up points.

We lost the game as a long-term consequence of buying one goalscorer in seven years.

I suspect that Dyche, like Koeman seven years ago, is screaming at everyone behind the scenes to get a striker or two over the line in the next two weeks. Then, like now, our season depends on it.

Rob Dolby
29 Posted 13/08/2023 at 08:04:12
A lot better performance than what we witnessed for most of last season.

It's obvious to everyone where we need reinforcement. I want Cannon to be given a run up front, he can't be any worse than what we have.

Their one bit of quality won the game. They are a better footballing team than us though at least we played to our strengths yesterday by getting the ball up the field early and competing for second balls. It's not pretty but should have worked yesterday.

The Premier League is a ruthless place. We probably won't create that many chances in a game again this season. Fulham had 3 strikers who would all walk into our starting line-up from yesterday; none of ours would get near their bench. Kind of sums up where we are at.

Robert Tressell
30 Posted 13/08/2023 at 08:04:50
Yesterday's result hasn't changed a thing, for me.

We finished last season with a squad weaker than the club's that went down – and in particular we had the weakest attack in the Premier League by some measure.

We have no money – so the start of the season was always going to come and go before we finish our recruitment drive.

Disappointing but just based on the law of averages, if we play as well as we did yesterday throughout the season, we'll be fine. The xG statistic Lyndon cites shows how extraordinary it was that we lost the game.

The positives are that a good group of players is starting to emerge, playing a style of football that suits them. It will come together, but the start may well be slow.

Bill Fairfield
31 Posted 13/08/2023 at 08:50:04
Should have won this game with the amount of chances we had.

So wasteful. Encouraging that so many chances were created though. Just got to get hold of a decent striker.

Kevin Edward
32 Posted 13/08/2023 at 08:58:47
I agree with Lyndon that the next 3 weeks will set the tone for the rest of the season.

I take the positives from yesterday, but I just felt the pre-season optimism being sucked out of me as I listened in and Fulham scored.

I guess those at Goodison stayed hoping for a last-gasp equalizer. I switched off and cut the hedge.

It's football so comes with an element of unpredictability, but we must come away from Villa next week with something other than unlucky or unfortunate.

Anthony A Hughes
33 Posted 13/08/2023 at 09:06:33
The thing, is would Calvert-Lewin have finished those chances Maupay missed?

Whilst a good leader of the line, he's hardly a fox in the box and we've seen so many simple chances fluffed by him.

Easier said than done I know but we need a tap-in merchant to play off Calvert-Lewin.

Ray Jacques
34 Posted 13/08/2023 at 09:14:59
Jack 17, can't add to that except seems Kenwright has survived. Thought he was staying on for a few days, mmm?
Tony Abrahams
35 Posted 13/08/2023 at 09:22:39
The most alarming thing about yesterday was listening to the radio Merseyside presenter reading out Kevin Thelwell's programme notes.

It sounds like we haven't got a pot to piss in, but they are working hard behind the scenes, including Chairman Bill, who is allegedly sick again.

Michael Lynch
36 Posted 13/08/2023 at 09:26:56
Patterson might or might not be a Premier League full back one day, but is woefully inadequate right now and, in the absence of other options, I’d play Garner there.

If we can sign Gnonto, have him and Iwobi out wide, McNeil in the centre behind a striker when he’s fit.

If we get a big offer for Onana from Chelsea, sell him if they give us Gallagher in return. Right now he’s a luxury player who is a better cheerleader than he is a footballer.

The rest of the transfer window will define our season, whether we go down or finish mid table.

Tony Everan
37 Posted 13/08/2023 at 09:36:41
This morning's rumours, if you are interested. Advanced talks with Beto from Udinese on a loan to buy deal, which will in theory leave funds to get the £25m Gnonto deal over the line with terms that Leeds can agree to.

Anyone who has watched Beto think he will adapt?

Brian Harrison
38 Posted 13/08/2023 at 09:50:48
Walking up to Goodison yesterday, it was very noticeable that there wasn't the same buzz for the first game of the new season, and when news filtered through that Calvert-Lewin wasn't even in the squad, it did nothing to lighten the mood.

What I find really puzzling is that both Lampard and Dyche seem to think that Maupay is well suited to the lone striker role, whereas I am sure most fans think quite the opposite.

The game kicked off and we were set up to play a 4-5-1 system, and Fulham dominated possession but created very little for all their possession. Whereas us playing on the break created 3 or 4 guilt edge chances as well as having a perfectly good goal disallowed.

The 2nd half we had more possession than we did in the first but, with Fulham sitting a bit deeper, we didn't create as many chances. But we did create 2 excellent chances: one fell to Patterson who, rather than side-footing into the net, chose to blast it against the crossbar; and right at the death, Tarkowski had a good chance and chose to head it rather than use his foot.

With us wasting so many good chances, it just seemed the footballing gods would punish us and so it seemed inevitable when Fulham scored. Minutes before their goal, Dyche took off Garner who had been playing like a 2nd right back for the whole game, and Fulham attacked and squared the ball to where Patterson should have been but only Reid was there to tap in the winner.

I thought Maupay worked hard and, if he was a natural goalscorer which sadly he isn't, he could easily he could have walked off at half-time to having bagged a couple of goals and with confidence massively boosted.

Someone posted a stat yesterday which was interesting: it stated that, since Moshiri became the majority shareholder, he has signed the following centre-forwards: Tosun, Ramirez, Kean, Rondon and Maupay. The total outlay for these players was £66M and since 2017 these players scored 13 Premier League goals. To think we will probably have this man in charge for a while yet is the thing that worries me most at the moment.

The Fulham game isn't going to determine our season but what it highlighted yet again is how few goalscorers we have in this squad and somehow we will need to score more than the 34 goals we scored last season.

Rob Halligan
39 Posted 13/08/2023 at 10:05:46
Tony # 37…

It appears Gnonto is doing everything he can to force Leeds into selling him. First by making himself unavailable for their last two games, then spending the day in Harrogate yesterday, having a few drinks whilst Leeds are playing, and losing, at Birmingham.

The Leeds fans have also turned against him pretty quickly, with the following chant yesterday………

“Willy Gnonto is a Wanker, is a Wanker. Willy Gnonto is a Wanker, is a Wanker”.

Brian Harrison
40 Posted 13/08/2023 at 10:15:36
Paul @28,

You say Garner lost his man for their goal, could that be because he had just been subbed before they scored? I think it was Patterson who lost his man, not Garner.

Mike Allison
41 Posted 13/08/2023 at 10:16:34
Michael @36,

Iwobi should never, ever play out wide. Surely we've all learnt that over 4 painful years?

Rob Halligan
42 Posted 13/08/2023 at 10:18:13
Also found this…

Leeds United fans instantly start Wilfried Gnonto chant v Birmingham

So it seems it's best all round for Leeds to get rid, be it either to us or anybody else. Reminds me of when Lescott wanted his move to Man City, which we refused. So he played the opening game of the season, at home against Arsenal, and he just strolled around totally disinterested. Needless to say, we lost 6-0, or 6-1, I can't remember, but he was gone within a day or two.

Mike Hayes
43 Posted 13/08/2023 at 10:19:09
Some decent play yesterday but, as usual, Maupay can't find the back of the net. Not much wrong about the lead-up to Keane's no goal, it was Leno's own fault. First game of the season and the enthusiasm sapped already but a long way to go. Villa up next – will they be down and ready for the taking or easy prey?

Oh and Kenwright being ill is all “Look at me, I'm not well. It's not about Everton, it's about me!” Crying turd – just flush away and take Moshiri with you. 😡

Andrew Bentley
44 Posted 13/08/2023 at 10:21:56
Brian @#40, you need to check your stats. Fulham scored in the 73rd minute and Garner was subbed in the 83rd…

Patterson had to leave his man to cover the big gap in the middle and tried to tackle, block the cross or mishit shot. Garner hadn't recognised the danger, which is why the Fulham player was in acres of space.

Either blame the centre-backs for getting pulled across and leaving the man free that Patterson had to then cover, or Garner for not tracking back. Personally I tend to blame the team as a whole as there were plenty of moments in that period of play where we could have done better.

Gareth Stephens
45 Posted 13/08/2023 at 10:27:24
Hearing the news this morning that Neal Maupay has been getting abuse on social media is just a fucking disgrace. He's the worst striker to play for Everton? Really? Worse than Angell, Branch, Bakayoko, Niasse, Chadwick, Kone, Rondon, Tosun?

Maupay's goal return for Brighton (in the Premier League) was 10, 8, and 9. To put it into context, Richarlison had exactly the same goal return for the same number of games for Spurs as Maupay did for us and we know he's not shit.

Only for small margins and good goalkeeping, he could have had 2-3 yesterday.

Christopher Timmins
46 Posted 13/08/2023 at 10:28:56
Not that Keane did anything wrong yesterday but, if Branhtwaite is not seen to be a better option, then he should be sold.

Maupay's confidence is shot to pieces. He was never a 12-15 goal-a-season player but he did manage 8 to 10 most seasons at Brighton. If Cannon is not seen as a better option, then he should be sold.

Let's hope our options are better when we kick off against Villa next weekend.

Tony Everan
47 Posted 13/08/2023 at 10:33:40
Rob, I remember that, it's a dirty business and no club is immune. Leeds need to move on quickly and do what's best for themselves by selling and strengthening with players who actually want to be there.

Hopefully now we can quickly reach an agreement that is acceptable and get this one over the line, as him and Bilal Toure seem to have been the No 1 targets this window. (I'm half waiting for Levy, or Villa, to step in and Leeds immediately agree to their offer of more money up front.)

Brian Harrison
49 Posted 13/08/2023 at 10:41:32
Andrew @44,

You're right, my mistake: Garner was still on the field when Fulham scored.

Apologies, Paul Tran, and I am sitting in Upper Bullens, so you would think I would remember. I will put it down to an age thing.

Raymond Fox
50 Posted 13/08/2023 at 10:58:13
Agree with Gareth @45, well done the idiots who have been giving Maupay abuse on social media. That's another reason players will not want to come and play for us.

Maupay didn't miss any chances in this game, their goalkeeper was out in a flash to block his shots.

It's not just him, we have team full of players who are goal shy.

We all know we want a target man; without Calvert-Lewin, we haven't got one.

We were the best team by a mile and that performance every week with a decent out-and-out striker will win us plenty games, there's no doubt about it.

Barry Rathbone
51 Posted 13/08/2023 at 11:05:38
"Plus ça change" - the more things change the more they stay the same (I looked it up).

Too true, but not unexpected hence the reported flat atmosphere as pre-season hopes re-acquaint with grim matchday reality.

It is borderline fraud using the term "change" regarding this summer's inactivity whilst the festering boil of Calvert-Lewin remains. Effectively, we start games with 10 men – a frightening proportion of whom are not footballers but runners.

Normally, early-season optimism provides some leeway but not this time; the natives are loyal but not stupid. Unless a recognised focal point up front is found pronto, Mr Dyche won't last 8 games.

Paul Tran
52 Posted 13/08/2023 at 11:09:59
No problem, Brian. The frustration affects us in so many different ways!
Ian Bennett
53 Posted 13/08/2023 at 11:11:57
At home, I'd like to see Garner in as the defensive midfield position ahead of Gana. His passing ability is very good and wins just as many duels as anyone else.

Put Onana in as a Number 8. He has the attributes of a box-to-box powerhouse, let's just bloody play him there. He needs to be in the game more.

I'd then start Iwobi centrally as the Number 10. He's our most creative player, works hard, and I think scores a similar amount to Doucouré over a season.

That means benching Gana and Doucouré.

That leaves us finding a proper right winger if Gray is off. And we need a centre-forward.

I see Lukuku is rebuilding bridges of his best time being at Everton.

Stuart Sharp
55 Posted 13/08/2023 at 11:24:54
Good to see some more sensible posts on here than those appearing yesterday, although they were kind of understandable in the aftermath of such a gutting game.

For me, Garner was the biggest positive, whatever his role in the goal. A proper footballer with great attitude. Maupay played okay first half, but is rock bottom on confidence. Still, Patterson and Doucoure arguably missed easier chances (I've not watched things back).

Mick O'Malley
56 Posted 13/08/2023 at 11:27:50
I must have watched a different game yesterday.

I thought Onana played well and created a few chances, passed the ball well. Doucouré was back to his usual self with his feet on the wrong legs, the more time he has to think about it, the more likely he is to cock it up.

I'm not going to condemn Patterson for missing that chance, it came at an awkward height, he got too much on it.

Maupay should have scored 2, it's just not going to happen for him here. The abuse on social media is disgraceful, absolutely no need for it. The lad is not good enough, we know that, but the level of abuse is disgusting.

I'm not too despondent as we created plenty but we really are poor in front of goal. UTFT

Rick Tarleton
57 Posted 13/08/2023 at 11:47:23
It sounds stupid, but we only score great goals.

Doucouré (twice a season perhaps) can hit a wonder goal from way outside the box. Ten times a season, he can, like yesterday fail to put away an obvious chance from 5 to 10 yards out.

For Doucouré above put in any name you like (McNeil, Gray, Iwobi, Coleman et alia) except Maupay. He makes Brett Angell and Bernie Wright look prolific.

The thesis advanced by Lyndon and most contributors is that we simply haven't got a striker despite hundreds of millions being spent.

We've bought a young boy from Portugal (Moise Kean anyone?) who may have promise but whose goalscoring record is poor. Is he going to be the answer? I hope so, but logic and experience tell me it is not guaranteed.

Will Calvert-Lewin regain the kind of fitness that allows him to play 30-plus games a season? Again logic and experience…

This is going to be a difficult season, possibly an impossibly difficult one if we have a points deduction in October.

Plus ça change. Rien ça change more like.

Jim Lloyd
58 Posted 13/08/2023 at 12:07:27
Well said, Gareth. Maupay is doing a job he's not suited for and your comparison with Richarlison's goals per game figures playing for Spurs is also apt, when compared to Maupay's at Brighton.

I didn't see us getting many points until we see who we've brought in by the end of the transfer window. I'd have been fairly content if we got three points out of the first three games, fairly happy if we got 5 and doing a jig if we got 7. Well, I won't be doing a jig, thankfully. (I think my maths is out there!).

The lack of communication from the club is its usual pathetic self. We don't know where we are regarding funds available for transfers, though I'd be surprised if it's enough to buy us two or three decent players plus a couple of loans.

We haven't got a clue where the situation is regarding the investment by MSP. The independent commission in October is a hurdle the Club has to face, so there's a number of factors that are concerning.

So basically, I was optimistic that, by the end of the transfer window, we'd have a better squad than we had last season. My view hasn't changed. I think that most of the dealing will be done towards the end of the transfer window, if not in the last couple of days.

By the end of the transfer window, I'll either be content that we can face the season with a better squad and gain more points than last season, or feel much the same as last season if we don't.

Like many of us, I look at the continued presence of Kenwright in our club, and I can only think that if Moshiri says that Kenwright's is a temporary appointment, as he is an excellent man for completing deals (may the gods help us!!) then he will be gone at the end of the transfer window. Let's see eh! I've got a bottle of whisky to open if he goes... then I will do a bloody jig!

As for the game, a few points came out of our performance for me. As for poor Maupay, if one of those chances had gone in, I think he'd have got more, but as it is, he didn't; and for whatever reason the management are playing him there, it's not doing the team, or him any good.

Is he in the shop window? Well so far it's not doing him or us much good. I hope he's rested (and he might need a lot of rest!). What will the reaction be from us be, though, if we play whoever else is a potential goalscorer while the search for goalscorer goes on?

Doucouré missed his usual sitter and, even though he scored a vital goal last season, he missed plenty as well.

I thought Garner was unusually ineffective and didn't come back to mark the eventual Fulham goalscorer. Iwobi was a mixture but are we going to replace him if he wants to go (I'd be content to see him replaced).

Onana? he put a good ball through but most of the match I didn't really notice him as being outstanding. Keane? Well, my view he's more use up the pitch, as a goalscorer than our central defender. He neither marked Mitrovitch, nor the lad behind him, who Mitrovitch passed to in the lead up to the goal.

I thought Patterson was poor, and from the Upper Bullens, it looked like him and Garner were not really gelling as a right-sided pair (and Garner was way behind play and well lost his man who went on and scored). Patterson had gone over to mark the passer to the goalscorer, leaving the right wide open.

So I hope Seamus comes back really quickly, while we look for an experienced right back. (By the way, I thought their Antonee Robinson played well!) Pickford… I wish he'd effin well stop prancin round and get the ball out more intelligently.

So my overall feeling coming out of the match? Pissed off but still optimistic...for now!

Peter Moore
59 Posted 13/08/2023 at 12:14:44
It's more than blindingly obvious that all the lads left their shooting boots on the bus yesterday. In the case of Maupay, it seems his shooting boots have disappeared.

Sean Dyche seems to have faith that Maupay does well to get in the positions to have chances and in so doing it is inevitable he will start to score goals. He may get the odd goal here and there in future, but it seems abundantly clear to these eyes, he will never get enough or be the player the club presumably hoped he would be.

Tony Cottee was diminutive and scored frequently. He was a classy finisher though, something Neal Maupay sadly seems not to be, despite more chances than most would have in a month of Sundays.

This Groundhog Day experience of a decent team showing, let down by profligate finishing must be addressed urgently for all our sanity. Everton Football Club and its fans deserve a striker that is fit for purpose.

The risk of going into the new stadium as a Championship team is real and present still with the huge problem in the scoring department.

The Beto link from Undinese looks promising. Here's hoping that comes to fruition, and fast. UTFT

Brian Harrison
60 Posted 13/08/2023 at 12:25:05
I think our main problem is we don't have players who want to get in the box and score goals. Whoever we pick from our alternatives in midfield just don't score goals, whether you have Garner, Onana, Gueye, Doucouré, who between them don't get into double figures.

So that puts enormous pressure on our striking options. Which at present are Maupay, Iwobi, Cannon, Dobbin, McNeil and (when fit) Calvert-Lewin. Apart from Calvert-Lewin, I don't think any of the others have ever scored 10 league goals in any season. So I really struggle to see where the goals are going to come from.

Yes, we have just signed Danjuma but I don't think his goal record is great and the young Chermiti who has scored 3 in 16 games for Sporting.

Paul Tran
61 Posted 13/08/2023 at 12:34:05
Brian, I've been saying this for seven years. We studiously keep buying players who don't score goals. It feels like a conscious policy. What we're seeing now is its inevitable consequence. It will be rectified by bringing in players who can score now, hoping it will inspire confidence and improvement in others.

Before anyone criticises Thelwell, he's having to clear up 7 years of spending on expensive, hard-to-sell non-goalscoring players.

John Keating
62 Posted 13/08/2023 at 12:41:49
2 guys playing against each other just now both of whom I am surprised haven’t been picked up
Kyogo of Celtic and Duk at Aberdeen
Thought Kyogo would have been nailed on to follow Postecogleu to Spurs
Charles Brewer
63 Posted 13/08/2023 at 12:53:00
I finally got round to watching the highlights after being too disappointed to do so before.

What I saw was a team that appears to go to pieces anywhere near either box. The decision-making in front of the Fulham goal was dreadful.

At the beginning, Maupay shot too early – in fact it would have been better if he'd passed across the goal, but there wasn't another Everton play within half the pitch so that wasn't an option.

Doucouré steamed straight through the defence and had two players who could have walked it into the goal -2 the Fulham goalkeeper had come too far out, but he shot when he should have passed.

Maupay's shot onto the goalkeeper showed why he is not a striker, a better player would have weighed up the goalkeeper and either killed the ball and put it into the corner or stood his ground and got flattened by the goalie for a penalty – that said Keane's disallowed goal was as bad a refereeing decision as we are likely to see this season so a penalty would have been unlikely.

The Fulham goal was the standard disaster from last season – the totally unmarked opposition player standing in acres of space at the left-hand side of the goal and a crowd of Everton players doing little apart from watch the ball and get in Pickford's way.

The team is currently probably fitter, more mobile and, for a few weeks, better motivated. But come December, this set of low-quality players ("Not even Championship quality") will have reverted to the usual confused rabble where opponents will realise that they don't really need to bother too much with defence, and provided they can put a deep cross into Everton's penalty area, there will be no defenders so a couple of goals are pretty much guaranteed.

While I'm in this miserable mood, I have just seen Rob Halligan's point [39]. I cannot think of anything worse than bringing in a player who refuses to play and doesn't turn up to the match.

Isn't the mood bad enough with the useless parasite Alli consuming £100,000 a week as salary and being told how wonderful he is? In the current circumstances, I'd take a so-so player with an inspiring attitude rather than a Pogba-wannabe who appears to think it's fine to insult his club while still being paid by them.

These players are poison in a club doing well, let alone one in a state of collapse.

Curiously, I think that Ian Bennett [53] may have a point and a Lukaku loan from Chelsea might be the answer to some of our problems. I think Romelu's less-than-stellar progress after Everton may have opened his eyes and made him a bit smarter. I didn't like him when he was at Goodison (but appreciated his goals!) but a reformed, more modest and wiser, Lukaku might be just what is needed.

Dale Self
64 Posted 13/08/2023 at 13:07:30
The main problem with Maupay is that he has no Trossard. No number 10 at all to run off of or gauge space or anything. All alone he is deprived of what made him productive at Brighton.

On to why he plays. We have put Gray up top and he was similarly ineffective though at a higher level of unproductive play. The unbalanced squad is obviously set up for DCL and there is no tweak to suit Maupay. So should we play someone else before we have worked a system change for them and possibly damage their confidence early?

All of our present problems on the pitch are the result of moves we are tempted to make now. You can hear the suggestions that are wide of our long term plan being yelled out. This is an uncomfortable time where we should not get twitchy and buy for pleasure or the pure present. We should stick to pursuing assets that fit and opt for a loan if it doesn’t completely come together for us this window.

You will drive yourself crazy demanding short term moves that do not build toward long term goals. Limited funds and limited options are being maximized. That has to be recognized.

Robert Tressell
65 Posted 13/08/2023 at 13:34:46
You're right, Dale. Lampard I think was under the impression that he was going to turn us into a 3-4-3 pass-and-move type team – along the lines of how Brighton were playing.

Maupay (contrary to opinion on here) played a lot of games as the lone striker in that formation, but with the likes of Trossard in support, and also quality footballers like March, Mac Allister, Gross, Caceido, Bissouma etc feeding Trossard and March. Sometimes he played in a duo with (the very underrated) Welbeck, too.

Unlike Brighton, we were very poorly disposed to 3-4-3 from the centre-backs to the midfield to the attack. So Maupay got fewer chances for us under Lampard than he did at Brighton, and as we all know, he doesn't convert many of the chances he does get.

By far the easiest way to get this squad ticking is a 4-3-3 / 4-5-1 / 4-2-3-1 variant built on direct play and hard running. That is exactly what Dyche is doing. Maupay is completely ill-suited to that type of football.

Tony Abrahams
66 Posted 13/08/2023 at 13:41:48
It's not borderline fraud, it's total fraud. Moshiri is keeping Kenwright on because of his expertise in the transfer market, but now rumours have been spreading that the Chairman isn't well once again.

They make me sick. Kenwright surely should have stepped in and tried to stop an Everton legend from badly tarnishing his legacy but at least he has had the good grace to stay on for the good of our club.

Everton Football Club need a complete change of direction away from these current charlatans before it's too late.

Si Cooper
67 Posted 13/08/2023 at 15:01:46
I'm going to speak up for Doucoure on the chance where people are saying he simply chose not to play in either Maupay or Garner.

For a right-footed player, I'd say playing in the guy on the left is the easiest option but Maupay stupidly kept running ahead of him until the very last second which took out that option. Left with two options, he chose to try to place it past the keeper rather than flicking it right and was mere inches away from succeeding.

Hopefully Calvert-Lewin only missed this game due to the birth of his first child. I reckon he'd have converted at least one of Maupay's chances simply due to the fact he's much quicker and has longer legs.

Bob Wilkinson
68 Posted 14/08/2023 at 09:09:24
It's difficult to know what exactly is going on at Everton.
Yet again we go into a new season not totally prepared. For at least the last 2 seasons we've all said we are weak in attack, something that is made all the more obvious by DCL's injury troubles
Surely the Everton management knew DCL wouldn't be fit in time to figure in the first game
Surely they knew that Danjuma /Chermity also weren't ready
Surely they knew that Maupay hasn't been the answer over the last season
However we decide not to buy a centre forward that can solve these issues, we decide to persevere with Maupay and leave Cannon and Dobbin on the bench, further undermining their confidence and belief that they will be given chances at Everton

The match comes and the inevitable happens, not because we played badly but because we didn't have anybody on the pitch that could put away chances

Now I have to criticise Sean Dyche a bit even though I think he's the best manager we could have at the moment

He seemed happy at 0-0. No move to change anybody. Silva, when you could say Fulham were hanging on a bit, goes out and puts on 3 substitutes - the changes work and Fulham score. All of a sudden, now that we are chasing the game, Maupay who has missed several chances is replaced at last but not really effectively by Danjuma. 10 minutes later with just 7 minutes left Dobbin replaces Garner. Just 2 substitutions when we were losing and still leaving Gueye, Onana and Doucoure, our defensively minded midfieders on the pitch
Cannon didn't even get a look in - Why not? Had Dyche been told not to use him except in an emergency because he is the subject of a potential loan move?

Sorry Sean but in my opinion this was too little too late

We simply can't afford to give away points like this

Rennie Smith
69 Posted 14/08/2023 at 10:00:53
After the first 15 minutes, I knew that if I sat in my seat watching until it was dark we still wouldn't have scored. I said to my lad, we need an open goal or it to go in off someone's arse, we got 2 open goals, Patterson still couldn't score and when Keane did it was wrongly ruled out.

I saw a comment before about Maupay's problem is not having someone like Trossard in support, he could have Messi in support and that 2-legged stool couldn't find the net. I'm actually starting to feel a bit sorry for the lad being put in a position he's clearly not qualified for. I wouldn't mind if he was a bit of a nasty shit, snapping into defenders all the time, but he doesn't even do that. Has anyone checked to see if he's related to Brett Angell?

The first half an hour was embarrassingly poor, couldn't string 3 passes together. But in that time we had 4 or 5 great chances. We have more of the ball in the second half, but don't create as much. Work that one out? It's the same story, pass-pass-pass, shit what do I do now? Chip it into the corner and hope for the best.

Talking of chipping it, can someone in training please teach this lot to whip a cross in with pace and a low trajectory. How many corners does Iwobi need to take where it floats in aimlessly like a kebab being lobbed across Bold Street before someone says leave it out?

Bill Fairfield
70 Posted 14/08/2023 at 15:04:55
Apparently, although the disallowed goal was wrongly ruled to be a foul on the goalkeeper. It would have been disallowed by the VAR anyway: Keane was offside according to Dermot Gallagher.
Mick Roberts
71 Posted 15/08/2023 at 08:29:46
Not playing Cannon, Dobbin or Branthwaite shows Dyche's reluctance to play youngsters unfortunately.
Paul Kossoff
72 Posted 15/08/2023 at 15:53:35
What would the time line be for releasing someone from their contract and telling them, sorry but it's time to go because of ongoing injury problems. I'm talking about DLC. Suppose he doesnt play for a few more weeks, then plays a few games and breaks down again, and because of having no striker by the time he's available we are bottom four. When is the plug pulled? Would you continue paying for car that continuosly breaks down?
What protection does the players club have?

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