Cards on the table. No complaints about the result. The lads put a good shift in, but were beaten by a much, much better team. It’s about as simple as that really.

Yes, Everton were frustrating in possession. I thought in the second half we were far too careless and lost the ball way too easily. There’s plenty for Sean Dyche to correct there. There’s a lot to improve on. But with players returning and getting into their groove, plus the opportunities created against the teams we “should” do well against, I’m encouraged enough that we can get this right.

Once Beto gets a few games under his belt. Once Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Dwight McNeil get more minutes in them. Once Jack Harrison gets fit. Once Seamus Coleman is back to lead us…there’s a lot that will get better.

But there’s a few things Sean really needs to get right quick-smart. Is Ashley Young’s set-pieces really the hill Sean is going to die on? Why the self-nullification of one of our most potent attacking weapons? Nathan Patterson needs a run of games too…is he third choice right back now? What does that say to a young player? He’ll be wanting to leave soon if he gets overlooked. We need to let him learn.

Sean really needs to alter that midfield too. James Garner has to be in it. We need that improvement in quality. The other three, though pretty faultless with effort, seem muddled in our plan. And when we are in trouble and chasing a game, James is quickly called upon to try and rescue it, often from the flank, which is asking a lot really and isn’t very fair. Give him a role in the midfield and games to learn. We’ll lose him if we don’t, which would be a shame as he is quite the gem.

I don’t want Sean sacked. I hjaven’t the faintest idea who we would turn to if we do, and we need as much of a feeling of stability as we can possibly get. But if you keep on losing games, no matter how unfortuitously, eventually the axe will fall, and Sean is in grave danger of that if we don’t improve quickly.

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But on the day, Arsenal were much better than us. They have stability with a manager. Enormous resource, much superior players, coaching staff and analysis. They are flying high and were always going to be a huge mountain to overcome despite the best efforts from the vociferous crowd. From the Gwladys Street their goal looked a brilliantly worked one though I’ll have to see it again.

Matching these team is very tough. Out-gunning them even more so. The better team won by a country mile. But you need a level playing field. Does corruption run that deep that one team miles better than another one gets all the 50-50s their way? That a referee will call a game back for a foul once the better team has lost possession, though then not do the same for the lesser team? On a weekend when we’ve seen five injury time goals with games now going on for an extra 10-15 minutes, but we only get four minutes in a very niggly stop-start game. And then most of that four minutes is spent with the ball out of play, only for the referee to blow for full time to second Everton boot it forward? It’s a scenario we’ve seen many times before, but if they are going to show such favouritism, could they do us the courtesy of making it a little less obvious?

The boos rang out at full time were aimed at Simon Hooper and his mates. Did Everton play well? No. But they did give it their all. They made poor decisions in attacking areas but defended heroically, and the defenders will feel hard done to coming out of the wrong side of that.

Like it or not, we know what Sean Dyche is about. He’ll set up not to lose against the big teams and hope for a break. But he’ll go for it in the games we stand much mote of a chance with.

Get behind the lads. Get behind the manager. If the form continues something would have to be done. But by uniting behind them gives them much more of a chance. And if Sean does get the bullet, who exactly are we expecting to come in to our sorry mess of a club and take us forward?

My man of the match: Jarrad Branthwaite

Reader Comments (80)

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Robert Tressell
1 Posted 17/09/2023 at 20:59:06
It is hard to be logical like this after a horrible home performance like that – but you are right Paul. Having finished 2nd last season, Arsenal have just spent more than £200m on Havertz, Rice and Timber, as well as getting Raya on loan.

We are so far behind them in every department.

Obviously Dyche is being called a dinosaur / tactically inept etc but, apart from one little bit of quality (or possibly a slightly fortuitous sliced finish) we would have hung on for a very boring 0-0. We could have had a right old go, of course, but chances are we'd have been picked off on the break.

From here, Patterson should be restored to the right flank and Garner to the central midfield. That will help. As will the return to fitness of Harrison and McNeil (the latter being lethargic today but we know he can be much better).

Onana is getting a lot of grief for his performance – fair enough. But quite why Gueye escapes criticism I have no idea. I thought he was the stand out worst player on the pitch. He has been atrocious since we got him back from PSG, fails to protect the back 4, can't control or pass a ball ,and is never in position to receive a pass. Doucoure isn't much better but at least pops up with a goal now and again.

And at what point do we admit that we miss Iwobi?

Jim Wilson
2 Posted 17/09/2023 at 21:18:03
Good points from both Paul and Robert.

Totally agree that Garner must play in our midfield. He is our best passer and that is what we are clearly struggling with.

Garner boosted our midfield at the end of last season and Gueye and Doucouré improved because of his presence.

And Robert, you are so right about Iwobi. Madness to have sold him. One of our most influential players, whether you liked him or not.

Michael Kenrick
3 Posted 17/09/2023 at 21:20:08
No complaints about the result? What???

I hate that stupid expression.

And I have a whole host of complaints about the result. It was totally unacceptable and it stemmed from a totally unacceptable display against a club we have beaten four times out of the last five.

Yet you say you have no complaints about Everton losing? Unbelievable!

When we made absolutely no attempt to take the game to them for long periods. It was utterly embarrassing.

Paul Birmingham
4 Posted 17/09/2023 at 21:24:41
Today Everton – bar a few minutes in each half – didn't earn the right to play and were outplayed in every aspect.

The midfield was overrun, but all is not lost for this season. Big positives in Branthwaite, who seems to have improved 100% at PSV, and has acquired some great playing skills and doesn't panick. Tarkowski, Pickford and great last ditch defending by Mykolenko stood out.

The forwards rarely got the ball, so it was a very tough game. But I still think that this squad can recover, well they must do at Brentford.

It just shows the massive gulf in class in this Premier League but I still think Arsenal could have been worked on more but the midfield today was disjointed and when in good positions in both halves, fluffed the key passes.

Being rational and no complaints but the most concerning issue is generally Everton didn't look after the ball and more than most simple 6-, 10-, 15-yard passes were not finding the Everton player. That's basics.

Hope eternal.

Bill Fairfield
5 Posted 17/09/2023 at 21:35:10
If we're going to go down, at least go down fighting.

Today's set-up was pathetic. What a miserable performance it was. Is there no end to this tragedy?

Paul Jones
6 Posted 17/09/2023 at 21:50:19
The midfield trio of Gana, Doucouré and Onana are completely ineffective. They have been first choice since Dyche got here but they offer very little. I'd say there are 3 players there doing the job of 1.

Defence looked relatively solid under a fair amount of pressure. Forwards were anonymous, but more through absence of supply than effort.

Once the ball gets played into our midfield it is surrendered with no fight and no obvious plan. What do these players do every day in training? And why does Dyche persist with this dross?

Calls for Garner are understandable but if feels like we should get him in there because he can't be worse than the others as opposed to anything positive he could bring to the game.

I would happily sacrifice one of the 3 midfielders for 442, because they're a complete vacuum at the moment. Teams play through us and fear nothing dangerous from them.

John Raftery
7 Posted 17/09/2023 at 22:22:46
Like Paul I have no problem with the result in the sense it was a fair reflection of the play.

Given the extent to which Arsenal dominated both territory and possession there were very few positives to draw upon from a home point of view. Branthwaite showed maturity in a man of the match performance. Already he looks a permanent fixture in the team. Our back five as a unit did well to restrict Arsenal’s opportunities thus preventing what might otherwise have been a mauling in terms of the scoreline.

Gueye and Doucouré are workhorses. As such they put in a shift chasing the ball but failed to capitalise on the admittedly few moments when they might have set up a counterattack. Passes were hurried, in part owing to the intensity of Arsenal’s pressing; in part a symptom of our lack of quality. We desperately needed players capable of seizing possession, making a run with the ball, linking up with the attackers and dragging the team up the pitch. Iwobi was that sort of player but others must now step up to fill the void.

McNeil at his best is capable of doing that, but looked rusty today. He was badly caught in possession in the early stages and thereafter seemed to suffer a confidence deficit. Onana gave a typically uneven performance; a strong tackle here, a decent pass there but a seeming reluctance to impose himself on the game. Thus it was that Danjuma and Beto were left to feed on scraps, of which there were pitifully few.

Today’s game was always destined to be really tough. It was arguably an achievement, of sorts, to keep the scoreline down to a single goal. Having taken only one point from five games it is important now the team uses the next three league matches to put enough points on the board to lift themselves out of the relegation zone.

Lyndon Lloyd
8 Posted 17/09/2023 at 22:26:26
It's not a stupid expression when framing it in the context of the performance... which was dreadful in terms of its lack of desire and intensity and, as such, we can have no complaints about losing, especially with Dyche moaning about not getting a penalty.

It's possible to have few or no complaints about the result given the way we played while still having serious misgivings about the display, which I did.

Barry Hesketh
9 Posted 17/09/2023 at 22:40:15
The previous two seasons it could be argued that the result of Everton v Arsenal at Goodison gave us the points that helped to keep us safe, so from that perspective, the abject surrender of the match today isn't at all welcome.

Did the defence keep a clean sheet? No. Was the Arsenal keeper tested at any point in the game? No.

It also has to be remembered that the previous two campaigns began with some promise, not pulling up trees promise but getting a few points on the board, before we fell away badly type promise.

It might transpire that Dyche's Everton will grow stronger as the season wears on, but he still needs to put points on the board and the longer we go without actually winning a footy match, the harder that task becomes.

God knows how he'll set-up at the more challenging away venues and against the more ruthless visitors to Goodison, if he doesn't believe that this current Everton possesses the quality to lay a finger on one of the flakier traveling top teams at Goodison and feels he has to resort to having his side defend its own penalty area for almost the entire match.

Andy McNabb
10 Posted 18/09/2023 at 04:06:16
In defence of Paul, who is one of the most balanced and realistic contributors on ToffeeWeb, the playing field is so tilted that we can’t really complain about the result. Yes, it hurts, yes we want to see the team at least have a go but since last year, Arsenal are significantly stronger and we are (incredibly) even weaker.

I, thankfully was watching the back of my eyelids during our latest disappointment but was surprised to read the general level of pre-match optimism regarding the result. I can be a half- empty glass personality but when it comes to Everton this is simply my self-defence mechanism to stop me from combusting.

We could easily have no wins after 7 games and be cut adrift with Lutron and Sheff Utd. I would love to be more optimistic but to expect different this season is to set myself up for crushing disappointment. As it is, something has changed and I don’t even feel that gutted.

It doesn’t stop me from hating it but it simply is what it is.

Paul Ferry
11 Posted 18/09/2023 at 04:31:52
Paul, with respect - and you were there and I was watching in Chicago - on what planet did our team "give it their all" or "put a shift in" today?

Also, again I was not there you were, but that was not "a vociferous crowd" at all. I know well and love deeply our "vociferous crowd" but one of the most troubling aspects of today for me was the lack of noise from the stands. That's not being critical, I would have been lost for words and songs too, but that missing "vociferous crowd" is a testimony of how awful that performance was today.

There was very little teamwork, spirit, fight, steel, and guts on that pitch from us. Branthwaite, Mykolenko, and, to a lesser degree, Tarkowski and Jordan put in a shift today. But no one in midfield emerged from that game with more than 3/4 points (you did not give your usual scores today Paul).

Dyche is going nowhere soon but his game management and set up were shocking. His strengths of old before us are conspicuous by their absence: the previously mentioned spirit, fight, steel, and guts.

Ernie Baywood
12 Posted 18/09/2023 at 05:22:34
I can't agree they (team and manager) gave their all. I don't know whether they covered more or less miles than usual, but giving your all includes the bravery to actually have a go. Running a lot is relatively easy. There are millions who could do that for a fraction of the expenditure.

Agree with most of the other things you say. The Ashley Young free kick situation is beyond absurd for a manager who pretty much relies solely on set pieces. And yes, Garner needs to come in, but only if we're going to try to pass the ball sometimes.

I haven't seen Dyche's post match comments and I don't think I really need or want to. To my mind we're in the same position we were last January. It's desperate, we can defend a bit, but we can't do any more. Maybe there's minimal improvement in our defensive record left but it's for minimal gains and at the expense of the area that we have the most improvement available. We've scored in one game out of 5. That's not even going to be good enough for 19th place.

We need a manager who can somehow inspire this group of players to be brave, to be committed and to go out and have a go on behalf of the fans. Do that and Goodison will rock again.

But I still don't think Dyche is that man. For all his statements portraying himself as being some kind of misunderstood tactical and sports science genius, he's looked exactly what everyone thought he was. Maybe even a caricature of what we thought he was.

It's not about losing to Arsenal. I can live with the disappointment of losing a football match against a very good side. It's not even bothering to have a go that disgusts me.

Paul Ferry
13 Posted 18/09/2023 at 06:13:24
"No complaints about the result? What??? I hate that stupid expression. And I have a whole host of complaints about the result".

To be fair, MK, yoor own headline for your report – "Poor Everton did well to lose by just one goal" – does not really chime with these remarks.

Paul Traill
14 Posted 18/09/2023 at 07:34:00
Thanks for all your comments. I probably haven't got my points across well enough. Though by "no complaints about the result" I'm not simply shrugging my shoulders and saying "ah well, they're better than us anyway". I mean that on the day, the result was fair, so I can't complain. That's all really.

I hate losing as much as the next guy. If anything, I can't stand the negativity when we go into games and we all write the game off. I fancied us before today. You've always a chance, but on the day they completely deserved to win. That's what I mean.

In terms of did the players give their all – I thought they did. Yes, they could have been braver with the ball, but they all worked hard. A lot of passes were very poor, but not deliberately. They just got it wrong. It doesn't mean they didn't try.

And, were the crowd vociferous – I thought they were. Certainly where I was in the Gwladys Street, we shouted a lot throughout and it felt noisy to me. If it was a bit down, then the team need to create more to get the crowd going and vice versa, but to me it felt pretty noisy and intimidating. Though Arsenal overcame it well.

And Paul #11 - yes by the time I got home I wrote this and turned off the laptop as quickly as I could, and skipped the player ratings. I wouldn't even really call this a report... More some musings.

Keep the faith, Blues. If we'd played this meekly in all the games, then I'd feel the same. But we haven't, we should have a lot more points, but getting well beaten by a team this good isn't the time to lose our heads.

Get behind them. We all want the same thing don't we? UTT.

Paul Ferry
15 Posted 18/09/2023 at 07:45:26
Great response, Paul - 14 - and good to see you sticking to your guns.

I still feel – I always after matches talk to the lads I grew up with in Crosby who have been my best mates forever and never miss a match – that the best fans in the land were a tad quiet.

I always enjoy your ratings and player comments, Pau,l but even more admire your commitment to our club and this site.

Mick O'Malley
16 Posted 18/09/2023 at 07:49:20
There's absolutely no way I'm getting behind Dyche. We are one Jordan Pickford wonder save away from having 0 points.

What I witnessed yesterday was cowardly football, we should always be on the front foot at home. That was a disgrace yesterday.

His record is horrific – we've won a grand total of 5 games under Dyche. We can't keep clean sheets, this could be the year we go.

Mark Murphy
17 Posted 18/09/2023 at 07:55:06
If Onana is as good as people say he is, then he's not giving his all for us. He needs to be promised a move in January – if he shows he's good enough for a Champions League place.

Otherwise his value is falling by the week! Games like yesterday’s should be his stage.

Getting worried now.

Mark Murphy
18 Posted 18/09/2023 at 08:13:21
This is going to attract a lot of ire but this self-appointed “best fans in the land” tag is wearing thin.

We're passionate in the sense of angry and wound up, and we turn up in admirable numbers but we don't get behind our team when we're losing. Home and away.

Derek Thomas
19 Posted 18/09/2023 at 08:21:16
I agree with a lot of that, Paul, plus; Onana has to be the 'sitter', with Doucoure as the 'box-to-box' man. Gana - bench. Garner has to play in the middle.

At first glance, if McNeil and Danjuma are on the field at the same time – one of them is out of position! – which is a waste.

Dyche? Should he stay or should he go... if he goes there may be trouble... if he stays it may be double.
8 managers? or is it 7 or 9?

Should there even be a decision? And if so, who is going to make it – and when?

We have, l believe, an Interim Chairman, a board cobbled together with 'D' list place fillers (who replaced the previous 'C' list place fillers) plus the presumably on his way out... but not just yet... maybe not at all, maybe December – who the fuck knows? Owner who has obviously done his dash and wants out ASAP.

Mandate? I ain't got no mandate, I don't have to show you no stinkin' mandate.

Jim Bennings
20 Posted 18/09/2023 at 08:33:23
Dyche has to bring more to the table, he has been here now since February.

Is this not a better group of players than the ones he had during his time at Burnley?

With the exception of maybe Ashley Youngpp and one or two others, surely the playing staff here should be capable of doing more with the football than we are presently seeing?

I never see any sustainable pressure from Everton, I never see us put a move together that results in a passing move and try to get behind a team.

It's the aimless lay it off back to Pickford then bang it 70 yards.

Michael Lynch
21 Posted 18/09/2023 at 08:36:31
Our defence was decent enough, but our midfield yet again looked awful. Doucoure should be nowhere near this team – all he gives is effort and the occasional bobble off his knee for a goal. We shouldn't be fooled by the fact that he scores important goals – we wouldn't need to score important goals if we had an upgrade on him in midfield. He works hard and he's done nothing wrong, but he's not good enough for the 2023 Premier League.

Onana needs to get hold of the game. Give him the fucking armband, and a video of Declan Rice, make him take responsibility for running the show.

Garner has to play. He was brilliant at Forest, but he's been used as a utility player by Dyche. Give him a run in his favoured position.

Do we miss Iwobi? I dunno, but we could definitely do with a player who can get to the bye-line and knock a cross in. Did we do that even once in this game? We've got a big, nasty striker up top now, so give him some service. Either a cross on his bonce, or a ball through the lines for him to run on to Lukaku style. Onana is well capable of doing that, but he won't do it for some reason.

Raymond Fox
22 Posted 18/09/2023 at 08:37:19
I'm with you Paul with 99% of what you say.

We are 'supporters' thats suppose to mean we get behind the manager and the players.

The last thing the club needs now is getting rid of Dyche. He knows that wasn't good enough, he has or will rip the players a length off without doubt.

We were outclassed, their bench was worth a fortune, probably more than all our team put together.

We were 5/1 to win which tells you what neutrals thought of our chances.

It seemed like the players also thought little of our chances from the start and their heart wasn't in it, thats not good enough from professionals being paid a lot of money.

The midfield needs to get a grip, if your getting beat there you are in a heap of trouble, I also have to agree with Michael when he says we will miss Owobi.

Nick Armitage
23 Posted 18/09/2023 at 08:41:05
Paul, I thought we were shocking but you're right, Garner, McNeil, Calvert-Lewin, Harrison and Coleman will improve us but I've got no faith in Dyche.

Young on free-kicks are like his refusal to drop Keane last season when he had a far better option on the bench.

Dyche isn't the man to take Everton anywhere, the players aren't buying into his dour gameplans. No point hoping otherwise, the trigger needs pulling, any delay increases the risk of relegation.

George McKane
24 Posted 18/09/2023 at 08:49:21
I wonder if ever the Players ever talk about the system and set-ups to the Manager, saying possibly "It's not working", "My best place is and such". That's what made Kendall and Harvey great, they let the players talk and they listened but made the ultimate decisions, and we won things.

I, as many of you know, am watching games nowadays from a sickbed. I want to see some joy. Everton are joyless and draining, things have to change (again), soon.

Danny O’Neill
25 Posted 18/09/2023 at 08:59:00
On the additional time thing. Just stop the clock as they do in Rugby.

At present in football, we are blind to the subjectivity of the non-communicative officials

There are enough screens around the stadiums that give us the time. Stop the clock and stop the ambiguity.

Paul Traill
26 Posted 18/09/2023 at 09:14:50
Nick #23 - hi mate, how's it? If we sack Sean Dyche, who the hell are we going to get?

I mean seriously, who would join us now who is competent enough to take is forward?

He's had to deal with a heck of a lot. We've been through so many managers and need some sort of stability now and to get the squad as settled as we can. Losing to Arsenal isn't the time to lose our heads.

Mike Doyle
27 Posted 18/09/2023 at 09:22:25
Thinking about our hopeless midfield (that neither protects the defence or helps the attack) and what could be done about it, I was reminded that a few years ago – during Moyes's time I think – there was a period when every time we were supposed to be about the buy a player, Spurs pipped us with an 11th-hour deal.

I wonder if we might adopt the same policy by following Brighton? Apparently 9 of their starting 11 that beat Man Utd on Saturday cost less than £8m in total (with several being free transfers).

Alan Rooney
28 Posted 18/09/2023 at 09:31:36
I don't want to travel all the way to Goodison (5 hours) to watch games like that.

About 15 years ago, we lost 6-1 to Arsenal with our goal coming in the last minute and I can still remember my shouting and cheering for that one goal now. I won’t remember anything about that pathetic game yesterday.

I don't want us to lose and I would gratefully accept a draw, but Sean, if you don't think we are up to it, then let’s just have a go at them and get slaughtered in the process. We might get one goal…

Michael Lynch
29 Posted 18/09/2023 at 09:37:32
I see in the OS that Dyche is saying what Dyche says after every game – we weren't a million miles away, it was just the details in both boxes.

Sorry, Sean, but we are a million miles away and it's not just the details in both boxes, it's the details all over the pitch.

One point from five games, no goals scored at home, and he reckons we're not a million miles away. Jesus.

Paul Hewitt
30 Posted 18/09/2023 at 09:47:27
Let's admit it, the clubs basically on life support. We have an owner who's desperate to sell. We have possible owners the fans don't want. The manager and squad ain't good enough.

Just waiting for this financial inquiry to pull the plug and just end it. So so depressing.

Jerome Shields
31 Posted 18/09/2023 at 09:50:53

I was hoping for the defensively orientated-performance we got. I thought this was an achievement over the international break by Dyche to actually get that out of these players at Finch Farm.

But I was disappointed with totally the opposite regarding the Arsenal goal, where discipline, concentration and awareness went out the window. I thought Garner was dropped because of his lack of tracking back, which is a problem.

Beto, McNeil, and Calvert-Lewin do need match practice. Though I do have difficulty with Robert Tressell's claim that Calvert-Lewin is our best Centre Forward on a previous thread.

Garner would help going forward. Doucoure possession losing flicks, Gana's retrieved and misplaced passes, and Onana trying to fit into a disjointed midfield trio will have to change.

Arsenal had an easy job defending attacks in front of them, they were never challenged on the turn or with crosses and Young's set pieces were diabolically short.

Arsenal I have always thought are a barometer of Everton's health and getting bested 1-0 is better than the years of three-goal margins. Therefore I accept the hope in your assessment.

Joe McMahon
32 Posted 18/09/2023 at 10:23:07
Paul @30,

I actually think the squad's the best it's been since Carlo did a runner. IMO, what the issue is at the moment is Sean is a very experienced manager, but very rigid and one-dimensional. His approach to games hasn't evolved that much in over 10 years.

The nearest was Cornet zooming in on the left, but his preference was still to bypass midfield.

Barry Rathbone
33 Posted 18/09/2023 at 10:44:48
Paul @14,

I think you're right, the players aren't wanting for effort, they're just getting out-passed and out-skilled and it just looks that way. Especially since reckless slide tackling is how many still see "effort" despite changes in the game putting such things in automatic red card territory.

We just don't have very good footballers and nothing but mega money will change matters. The only hope is 3 more teams are worse over the season.

Dave Abrahams
34 Posted 18/09/2023 at 11:45:25
It was an uninspiring performance by the Blues and got worse with every passing minute and the crowd tried to get them going. But, once the goal went in, it was all over and quite a few left the ground early. I wouldn't blame them, I stayed to the end hoping for an unlikely equaliser.

I saw two sides playing on Saturday night, Newcastle playing Brentford, a very poor game with Brentford playing for a draw. They were as poor as Everton were yesterday and Newcastle, in the Champions League this season, were not much better and won with a penalty.

Fulham beat Luton by one goal while Luton had three or four very good chances to get level at least.

You would be right to wonder where I am going with this but I am giving myself some hope that we will survive this season and I've watched a few teams this season who look as bad or even worse than us.

So I'm sticking with Dyche and the, admittedly, poor squad to keep us afloat in the Premier League, that is all any of us can hope for this season and unfortunately the next few more.

Jacques Sandtonian
35 Posted 18/09/2023 at 11:57:12
For those of you calling for Dyche to be sacked: we simply haven’t got the money to pay him and his back room staff off. We will end the season with Sean Dyche in the dugout.
Jimmy Carr
36 Posted 18/09/2023 at 11:57:23
George (24),

I like that idea. But surely every squad player would back himself to start and we'd end up with about 15 of them in the first1 1. This might not be a bad idea on our current form but it's not part of the rules.

And Keane would undoubtedly pick himself at centre back!

Brian Harrison
37 Posted 18/09/2023 at 12:10:30
Am I missing something as it seems Young has been designated to be our dead ball specialist, never seen him do that at his previous clubs. Against Wolves, every corner he took ended with their keeper catching every ball virtually unchallenged.

Again yesterday, Young took every corner which came to nothing, and when you think we had Branthwaite at 6ft-6in, Onana 6ft-4in and Beto 6ft-4in – not forgetting Tarkowski as well –surely couldn't we hit one of them from a corner or free kick??

George McKane
38 Posted 18/09/2023 at 12:27:10
Jimmy - agreed and it is a different football world nowadays.

I knew Howard Kendall and most of the players in those days and still see them reasonably regularly, as well as older players like Temple, Hurst, Royle, Tony Kay… They all say they would drive to and from training in each other's car, discussing the training session and the last and next game, regularly dropping off on the way home after training for a pint and a chat.

One player recently said “Now they come in their own cars with their headphones on and barely talk to each other." I have no faith in Dyche to change but I am hoping, desperately, that Beto has the on- and off-pitch effect that Andy Gray brought to the Club.

I was there at Mellwood when he arrived – Gray that is – like a gust of cosmic grooves – talk you Blue Boys. Here's hoping… eternally.

Michael Kenrick
39 Posted 17/09/2023 at 12:41:38
Totally illogical nonsense. You're trying to create a completely false dichotomy by trying to separate the poor result from the poor display and performance that was directly responsible for it.

The display was rubbish and fully worthy of complaint. The result was equally rubbish and equally worthy of complaint, especially in the context of what we have done against them in recent years – despite the form gulf you guys always revert to when looking for excuses.

To say you have 'no complaints about the result' is to meekly accept both the result and the display that was responsible for it. The two go hand in hand.

Christine Foster
40 Posted 18/09/2023 at 13:38:58
Well, I have one sodding huge complaint with the way we played. You see, if you want the crowd to make Goodison the bear pit so many teams used to fear, you need to give the fans a reason to drive you on. The approach, tactics and the totally lack of anything resembling desire, motivation or drive, left supporters mute.

Arsenal have spent fortunes on quality. The sort of quality we do not have. But in the equation of football in the catchphrase of Jonesy from Dad's Army, "They don't like it up 'em!" Bite, fight and battle, do not gently go... well, we meekly didn't try.

We got nothing and I cannot pin blame on any single player for losing, because they did what they were told. No, I am furious because of the manner of defeat, the tactics, the sheer folly of the approach. The crowd knew immediately what they were in for and didn't like it one little bit. We should have never conceded ground. They may have still won, but we didn't have a chance because of the tactics. At least if we had tried it wouldn't have been so easy.

Gaute Lie
41 Posted 18/09/2023 at 13:41:34
As for Sean Dyche... He is not up to anything good. I can't see him making us stay up at all.

Kjetil Knutsen, head coach manager at F/K Bodø Glimt. He would be my choice. And he would take the job.

With Dyche, we will play in the Championship next season. For sure...

Si Cooper
42 Posted 18/09/2023 at 14:32:08
‘The nearest was Cornet zooming in on the left, but his preference was still to bypass midfield.'

All eye of the beholder, I guess, because I was cursing our seeming inability to choose anything other than over-complication.

Tony Everan
43 Posted 18/09/2023 at 14:49:31
George 38, Bellefield?
George McKane
44 Posted 18/09/2023 at 14:52:36
Woops, Bellefield... before technology took over

Big whiteboard on the wall, pens and magnets. Nice canteen, Howard's Domain the whole place. I was always treated very kindly and well.

Sorry for the mistake. Thank you, Tony.

Jay Harris
45 Posted 18/09/2023 at 15:15:26
Totally agree with Michael Kenrick.

It was embarassing for a football club of Everton's stature (I know its history) to go onto a field defeated before a ball is kicked.

I can't understand the logic of allowing the other team 80% possession especially when you're at home and given the quality of Arsenal going forward.

My big concern is Dyche has lost all motivation now as he is continually moaning about the lack of budget and "internal" issues, and from the evidence of yesterday, that is rubbing off on the players and supporters at a time when we need inspiration – not excuses.

I await the next game with interest and, if we are not on the front foot, I fear Dyche's days are numbered.

Kevin Naylor
46 Posted 18/09/2023 at 15:32:18
4 points from the next 2 games or Dyche needs to go. I don't care who they get in as surely it can't be as bad as this shite.

That sub of Beto for Calvert-Lewin was as bad as when Fat Sam brought on Schneiderlin when we needed a goal, if memory serves me well.

George McKane
47 Posted 18/09/2023 at 15:38:16
What worries me is Dyche's dreadful “form”. People are saying he will get sacked – by whom? Who runs Everton these days? If it's the clowns Kenwright and Moshiri, they seem to me distracted by their own schemes without any particular interest in the quality or performance of the Team.

Are they going to sack Dyche… and get in who? Would you trust them to get anything right? I don't. It takes an incredible amount of loyalty and love for Everton at the moment to keep patient and follow them.

Watching the game yesterday, myself and another +70-year-old supporter said something like, "It's crap, modern football and this (Everton Game) is garbage but it's only because we are Evertonians that we watch it but we still love them somehow and follow them."

Deadful yesterday, really. Several players could have sat in the stands for as much as they did on the field. God Bless Evertonians, said Tiny Tim.

Andrew Bentley
48 Posted 18/09/2023 at 16:34:41
I can understand the reticence in some to call for the managers head right now and give Dyche some leeway, but I am really struggling to defend him with some of the decisions he keeps making to play certain players.

You can't tell me that, if any of the 11 on the pitch today were at Brighton or Brentford, that they would play as bad as they do in an Everton shirt. At least half of our team would walk into the first 11 at any of the clubs outside of the Top 10.

They are professional footballers so can clearly pass a ball, and have talent that matches with most of the other players in the Premier League, a number of them are internationals so in the top tier of whichever country they represent – so why, when they cross the line onto the Goodison turf, do they look so woeful?

Last year, Dyche was seen as the hero we needed and not what we wanted. Now, I seriously question that logic.

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
49 Posted 18/09/2023 at 16:38:16
"Hello, is that xxx. Sorry about you getting the sack from xxxx FC but we think you are a brilliant manager and we are thinking about whether to replace Sean Dyche. We were..."
"Oh, I was going to say, We were thinking…"
"We were thinking of offering a salary of £15M per year and a bonus of…"
"I said NO!!!"
Mark Taylor
50 Posted 18/09/2023 at 16:49:10
Michael @39,

I do think you are misunderstanding what Paul says, and also what I believe, which is the same as him. You can't complain about the result in the sense that we were not unlucky, as with Fulham and perhaps Wolves. We didn't really throw a punch.

Nor were we on the end of terrible referee or VAR decisions, in fact we were fortunate with the offside, albeit it was technically correct. In other words, we got exactly what we deserved.

On the other hand, the performance was abject and if some supporters are angry, I don't blame them. Not just the performance either, we regularly see a lack of skill and application from many of these culprits. We have a midfield who can't shoot or even pass, the odd Doucoure fluke goal aside.

As for the result, we might disagree there – unlike versus Fulham and Wolves, my own expectations were rather lower than yours, despite the anomaly of our form against them. A draw would have been gratefully accepted, even with a rubbish performance. I'm just being realistic, this is in my view pretty much the worst Everton team I've seen in 55 years.

I'm afraid that means I don't have the optimism others do going forward. Our players' reputation seem to improve the more they don't play and fall when they do.

They talk about Calvert-Lewin but we've not seen consistent form for years. Or Seamus, bless him, who may be too old to recover from such a serious injury.

Garner is set up to be our saviour but he is a Premier Leegue rookie who really is there to add squad depth. He might be better than that, but if that's our big hope to solve the humdrum midfield, it's asking a lot of him.

In my own case, maybe I'm just a bit more fatalistic about our prospects. We might well be saved by such a very poor fresh intake. You could see all 3 going down. But we'd better beat Luton because, if not, even I'm being delusional.

Mark Taylor
51 Posted 18/09/2023 at 17:13:13

I guess you articulate the debate here. Are we so abject mainly because the manager is rubbish and the players okay, or is it the other way round?

On balance, I think it is the other way around. The players are relatively poor, given the standard we play against. Actually, even Doncaster made them look poor for 45 minutes.

Do we have any serious internationals apart from Pickford? Onana supposedly does well for Belgium but I don't believe his pathetic effort for us can be pinned on Dyche. Generally, international teams are below Premier Leaague level.

I would expect a good team like Brighton to routinely beat all but a small portion of international teams. For example, I'd have them favourites for Afcon if they were to play in it.

Andy Crooks
52 Posted 18/09/2023 at 17:13:19
Barry @33,

Yes, reckless slide tackling is the easy way that some players "give their all".

The real way is to always be available for a pass, to try something different, to have a shot from 30 yards, to never hide, never fear the crowd, and never look for someone else to do your job.

By those criteria, our players are not giving their all, not anywhere near it. If that was "their all", we will be relegated by Christmas.

Dyche, as has ludicrously been suggested on another thread, doesn't need to teach them to pass to each other. He needs to be forgiving, he needs to allow innovation and he needs to demonstrate that hiding is cowardice and unacceptable.

Barry Rathbone
53 Posted 18/09/2023 at 17:25:11
Andy @52,

But surely you make my point.

These players are barely capable of doing the basics against mediocre sides let alone "something different" against a Top 4 outfit.

Unfortunately this means you are right about "their all" seeing us relegated – I just disagree with Xmas.

I'm going with Easter.

Paul Washington
54 Posted 18/09/2023 at 17:33:43
At the very least, I expect Everton to compete. The last few years we have seen numerous capitulations no matter who is in charge.

Send those players out on the pitch with a positive game plan, fired up, and bloody well compete. I don't care who we are playing, I want to win.

Andy Crooks
55 Posted 18/09/2023 at 17:37:34
Barry, you me and Paul Kossoff could make ourselves available for passes. It's having no one to pass to that makes mediocre look shit. We are not frightened, our players are. They pass like terrified rabbits.

Sean Dyche needs to get his arm round this bunch and tell them to show how good he knows they are. (Of course we know different, but keep it to yourself, or you'll be optimistic with Easter!!)

Phil Friedman
56 Posted 18/09/2023 at 17:52:56
I'm forever puzzled about the love Iwobi and McNeil get on here.

Iwobi a “creative force”? Look at his goal and assist records while here — they are pathetic.

McNeil — a one-footed disaster, every club in the league (including Arsenal yesterday) know exactly how to play him to neutralize his game completely.

Brian Williams
57 Posted 18/09/2023 at 17:56:38
Andy #55.

By the time you get over here, mate, we won't be worth watching.

We may have to swerve the game and just go on the piss… err, I mean visit the museums and galleries. 😇

Steve Cotton
58 Posted 18/09/2023 at 17:57:30
We are crying out for a Number 10.

Okay, and the rest but…

Bill Fairfield
59 Posted 18/09/2023 at 18:17:13
We're crying out for a football brain in midfield. Defensively very good yesterday, but the passing was abysmal. Which made for a right dog turd of a game.

Dyche has to get more time, he's virtually only had one transfer window. God knows who'd come anyway.

But if you're up for a challenge, this one's massive.

Barry Rathbone
60 Posted 18/09/2023 at 18:25:34
Andy @55,

Quite right but the trouble is players of the standard presently wearing Everton shirts are indistinguishable from me, you and Paul in space in the Premier League

If the basics of ball control aren't there, it doesn't matter how much time and space poor players have, the result is the same – loss of possession Add in the inability to pass accurately and it matters not a jot how much running off the ball there is, the ball is as likely to be overhit as go to the desired target.

We're just dreadful in the fundamentals, making it look like players aren't trying… but I don't think that's the case.

Pat Kelly
61 Posted 18/09/2023 at 19:04:27
It'll be all right on the night. Nothing to see here. We weren't expected to win. Or turn up.

Don't expect much and that's what you'll get. We know our place.

Trevor Bailey
62 Posted 18/09/2023 at 19:06:36
World class manager Ancelloti, Benitez won pots as a manager. Ex-player Lampard won everything available.

The players are not bad players as such, I think there is a collective arrogance among them.

No manager is responsible for a simple misplaced pass or a lack of effort. The players (bar maybe a couple or three) don't seem to have any professional pride. How or why would any manager have to instill such a thing. It should be innate.

Over the last few years, we have bought on paper at least some decent players, and always, after a short period, the downturn in performance kicks in.

Beto looks to me as if he's prepared at the moment anyway to put the effort in.
Unless he sees more of his team mates do the same thing he'll probably lose interest himself.

Just a couple of random thoughts. How do we fix the problem? Absolutely no idea.

Kieran Kinsella
63 Posted 18/09/2023 at 19:16:52

"players of the standard presently wearing Everton shirts are indistinguishable from me."

That's below the belt. You can be self-deprecating but suggesting Andy Crooks is as poor as our players is out of line.

Barry Hesketh
64 Posted 18/09/2023 at 19:22:58
Trevor @62,

If there is a collective arrogance amongst the squad, it probably stems from the fact that their wages are ludicrously high. I've just been reading that Michael Keane has made circa £21M over the period of his contract at Everton. Add in the circa £30M we paid for him and that's over £50M as a cost to the club

He's not as bad as people paint him, and it's not his fault that he gets the income he does, but he's hardly the best centre-half we've ever had either. Keane exemplifies why this club is in so much trouble on and off the pitch and he is symptomatic of the high rewards some of our players have been on for the last six or so years, with minimum return.

Many of the players we have are on huge salaries that they couldn't match anywhere else, Palace, Fulham et al wouldn't entertain them, even if they deemed them good enough for their teams, and none of the top clubs would go near them, because they know they're not good enough for their clubs.

I know that, due to financial necessity, quite a few of those original high-earners have left the club, but their legacy and culture continues and it will be difficult to remove. Perhaps, only relegation or administration, whichever comes first, will lead to a much-needed revamp of the club.

Danny O’Neill
65 Posted 18/09/2023 at 19:50:43
The much revered Brighton didn't know how to play him last season, Phil @56.

He was one of our most effective players once he got into his rhythm towards the end of last season.

Let's not forget he's just back from injury. Once they settle and gel, McNeil's delivery will benefit Beto.

Barry Rathbone
66 Posted 18/09/2023 at 19:50:44
Kieran 63, Haha, fair dos, mate
Peter Moore
67 Posted 18/09/2023 at 20:20:37
I only watched on the tele.

It seemed clear the plan was to contain them, let them have the ball and then spring forward when we had the chance. I assume that last element must have been the plan, but the execution of passing when we had the ball was that poor, it was extremely unsuccessful and ineffective.

To my eyes, part of that was due to how well Arsenal played. They worked very hard when they did not have the ball to block or intercept our passes and regain possession.

It was really frustrating to watch.

I was hoping Dyche would put Calvert-Lewin on to play together with Beto, rather than replace him.

Then seek to get balls into them try and make things happen. It may not have worked (it did not work when he brought Chermiti on to play closer to Dom, though it may have if Dom could have found Chermiti lurking by the penalty spot when he had his late opportunity in penetrating their penalty area.

Dom is not up to full match sharpness is he.

Beto will only get better service I sincerely hope in the coming games.

I will not be surprised if we win our next two matches, though away from home. That will bring a bit of Karma, after the batterings we gave Fulham and Wolves to net zero points rather than 6. UTFT.

Peter Moore
68 Posted 18/09/2023 at 20:33:24
Though the next game is away from home I mean. Though, home and away our current form results wise is crap of course.
3 points away at Brentford followed by a victory at home to Luton, we badly need it don't we. COYB.
Ernie Baywood
69 Posted 19/09/2023 at 03:49:17
We can forget about Dyche being relieved of his duties. Who would do it? Why would Moshiri pay for it? At this present time we are completely without a leader. No-one is making that decision.

Like it or not, he's staying.

To me he's just another example of poor decision making. Not for one second do I think we're too big or too good for him, but I do believe we had a functional side that couldn't score... and we hired a guy famed for solving the problems were didn't have and who would struggle to solve the problems that we did have.

That away win at Brighton is looking more and more like an absolute anomaly. That was our Tokyo Douglas moment. We deserved it on the day, but it was a miracle against all the odds. 99 times out of 100, that game goes as it should and we're now a Championship team.

But statistical anomalies and freak events eventually revert to the norm over a long enough period. It won't happen again.

I believe that we're down with this guy. And the guy isn't going anywhere.

Peter Moore
70 Posted 19/09/2023 at 04:46:15
Belief and confidence are massive. We need both, we have Calvert-Lewin back and Beto and Danjuma on board, McNeil and Harrison.

Perform akin to the Fulham and Wolves games and repeats of 5-1 to us are not too fanciful. UTFT.

Jimmy Carr
71 Posted 19/09/2023 at 10:05:56

The players are suffering from 'collective arrogance'. Like, someone here actually speaks to the players and knows this for a fact?

Every team in the Premier League knows how to play against McNeil? Really? He's only been back one game, he was one of our best players last season.

Nothing like a bad result for the ToffeeWeb conspiracy theorists to come out all guns blazing! :)

Poor result at the weekend. We've been lousy for a while, Dyche got his tactics wrong and we need to do better.

Si Cooper
72 Posted 19/09/2023 at 13:16:53
I don't see collective arrogance, I see lack of confidence and fear of failure.

The poor play isn't because of any puffed-up self-belief based on their bulging bank balances.

Eddie Dunn
73 Posted 20/09/2023 at 15:22:51
These players are scared. Scared to make a pass, frightened of making errors.
This leads to rushed decisions and the malaise spreads.

The first ball on a break was routinely over/under hit and thus the moves broke down in their infancy.

Away from the scrutiny of 80,000 blue eyes, they might do better. I would play them the video of Brighton away just before they go out at Bretford.

Karen Mason
74 Posted 20/09/2023 at 15:56:10
Is there anybody on ToffeeWeb who is in the privileged postion of knowing (for sure) if the players are following the manager's coaches' instructions?

Are they playing so deep and not pressing with energy and forcing the opposition into mistakes, because that's the game plan they've been told to follow? Or are they falling back and not engaging out of fear?

If the game plan was to give Arsenal the freedom of Goodison Park, then we can't criticize players. Given all the hype about Dyche's fitness regime, surely the players are fit enough to press with more energy and commitment?

Arsenal, while they have quality, have long been upset by teams pressing them hard & fast. Even I know that. Like all of you other posters, I could write about how we need Garner in midfield, etc etc.

But I would reallly like to know if the way we played against Arsenal is following the game plan, or just lack of energy and game plan. Where does the responsibility rest for that?

Bill Gall
75 Posted 20/09/2023 at 16:07:28
There has to be a lack of belief in themselves in a competitive league game.

During the training sessions at Finch Farm, in videos shown, they are zipping the ball around between themselves, running off the ball with other players tackling and no problems.

But on game days they can't seem to pass more than 10 yards without an interception.

Barry Hesketh
76 Posted 20/09/2023 at 16:22:58
Turkish national team manager Stefan Kuntz has been sacked, which means he's available, should any club side want to take him on.

Make an interesting matchday chant, being on the march with Stefan's army?

Andrew Ellams
77 Posted 20/09/2023 at 16:28:23
Barry, the man who will be forever remembered for John Motson shouting 'Kuntz' as he equalised at Wembley in the Euro 96 semi-final.

He also of course featured in a Viz strip called 'The Kuntz Next Door'.

Barry Hesketh
78 Posted 20/09/2023 at 16:41:19
Andrew @77,

I didn't realise that Viz liked Everton. :)

Don Alexander
79 Posted 20/09/2023 at 16:43:53
Wish our strikers played like Kuntz.
Andrew Ellams
80 Posted 20/09/2023 at 16:46:17
Don, they have been for years.

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