Everton 0 - 1 Arsenal

No goals. Three straight defeats. Just two wins in their last nine. Everton’s home form, naturally their best hope of survival again this season, continues to be as abysmal as it is worrying.

It was unlikely to improve much against Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal… but then you could have said the same in December 2021 coming off humiliation at the hands of Liverpool and again in February when the Blues hadn’t won in front of their home fans for four games, were sitting 19th in the Premier League and the Gunners appeared to be on course for the title.

In both of those prior instances, Everton found the passion, inspiration and grit to beat Arsenal and record results that, in the grand scheme of things, were one of their keys to staying up in the top flight.

None of that was in evidence today in a display that was, for the most part, long on defensive organisation but depressingly short on guile, invention, intensity and attacking purpose. Even Goodison itself, a cauldron in this fixture earlier this year to greet Sean Dyche as the latest incumbent of the “hot seat”, was subdued and uncertain, perhaps conveying the general mood of the club as Farhad Moshiri prepares to cut ties by selling to 777 Partners in the coming months.

Everton under Dyche, and often under Frank Lampard before him, have tended to at least start games with energy and dogged pressing but it was curious how much respect they paid Arsenal today and how meekly they seemed to accept their fate; as if defeat were obvious before a ball was kicked and they merely had to play along with the script. As one Evertonian posted to Twitter, it was like they were playing for a 1-0 defeat.

The high press seemed to have been abandoned in favour of a strategy of sitting off Arsenal and then getting into them when they got into Everton’s half, a tactic that relied on another excellent display from Jarrad Branthwaite and an improved outing from James Tarkowski, with Vitalii Mykolenko, restored at left-back with Ashley Young replaced Nathan Patterson on the other side, playing his part with a largely assured performance of his own.

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But it was high-risk given Arsenal’s ability on the ball and it was undermined by Everton’s horrific inability to do anything meaningful when they had possession which was at odds with the number of chances they created against Fulham, Wolves and Sheffield United, matches from which most agree the Toffees should have gleaned more than just one point.

In that sense, Dyche had better hope that this was an aberration from an attacking standpoint; a consequence of the combination of a vastly superior opposition and the disruption of the international break, with precious little evidence that two-week hiatus for many of his charges had been an opportunity for fine-tuning and the formulation of an attacking strategy.

Because Everton were horrendous going forward, clueless in possession and just awful at times in terms of their ball retention. Beto made his home debut but cut an isolated and unsupported figure up front, Dwight McNeil returned to the fold but looked off the pace, Arnaut Danjuma seemed to suffer from switching flanks to accommodate McNeil, while the decision to sit Amadou Onana deep and push the wasteful Idrissa Gueye forward as one of the lead pressers was questionable from the outset.

In the end, Mikel Arteta’s side merely needed to bide their time before making the decisive breakthrough after Gabriel Martinelli’s 19th-minute strike had been ruled out of offside and Leandro Trossard provided the killer goal with 21 minutes of the 90 to go.

The tone of the game was established early, with Arsenal dominating possession — sometimes to an embarrassing degree — and the hosts seemingly content to sit and try and get deep into the contest without conceding.

Fabio Vieira was allowed the time and space to shoot but his effort sailed over in the 10th minute but nine minutes later, Everton’s defence stood still hoping for an offside flag against Eddie Nketiah as Gabriel’s pass deflected forward off Beto. A check by Video Assistant Referee Stuart Attwell confirmed that the Gunners’ striker was marginally offside before Martinelli converted and the Blues were let off the hook.

Arsenal continued to carry all the attacking threat, though, and when Ben White was allowed to power to the byline, Declan Rice’s shot was blocked while the former would test Jordan Pickford with a drive later in the half.

In between, Everton had a brief flurry of attacking intent but William Saliba had seen Beto’s purposeful run out of play, Abdoulaye Doucouré had had a plea for a penalty waved away when he went down in the box and both Gueye and McNeil had seen attempts at goal blocked.

If there was hope that Dyche might fire his charges up for a more effective second half, it was quickly extinguished as Arsenal resumed their control of the game after the interval and almost went ahead within two minutes when Martin Ødegaard stung Pickford’s palms before Tarkowski did superbly to divert Nketiah’s shot wide with a last-ditch lunge.

Two shots from Oleksandr Zinchenko were also deflected behind shortly afterwards before Dominic Calvert-Lewin replaced Beto and was involved in what turned out to be the Blues’ best opportunity when the ball ricocheted to Danjuma but his half-volley dropped narrowly over the bar from the edge of the area.

Two minutes later, Everton were carved open by another short-corner and passing routine from the visitors that ended with the substitute Trossard placing a shot wide of Pickford from a cut-back from near the byline to finally break the deadlock.

Everton’s response was tepid. Mykolenko did really well to sprint onto Pickford’s long ball forward and get a shot away that was blocked by Saliba but Young again wasted the set-piece opportunity and Gueye later lashed a poor shot into the Gwladys Street End.

Instead, it was Arsenal who came closer to adding to the scoreline when an unfortunate bounce fell kindly to Gabriel Jesus but Pickford parried Ødegaard’s goal-bound shot away and Mykolenko got in an excellent block to keep Vieira’s shot out off the rebound.

Dyche threw James Garner, Patterson, and Youssef Chermiti on in the closing stages and the Scot did well to create a half-chance for Calvert-Lewin but the striker looked rusty on his return and prodded the ball into no-man’s-land.

There are threats in this team, players capable of moving the ball, of making things happen but not all of them are playing at a high enough level and, as a collective, they appear to have had precious little belief they could get anything out of this game.

Onana was anonymous save for some good defensive work towards the end, Gueye at times made a mockery of the fact that he once played for Paris Saint-Germain with awful distribution, Danjuma was a peripheral figure in the context of such a one-dimensional display that was heavily reliant on long balls forward rather than coherent moves through midfield or even quick the transitions on which Dyche’s strategy seems to increasingly rely, and Beto struggled under the attention of two top-class centre-backs in Gabriel and Saliba.

Somehow, the manager needs to muster more fight from and instil more belief in this group of players for a sequence of three matches against Brentford, Luton and Bournemouth that have now taken on huge significance in the context of Everton’s desperate need for points.

The prospect of Dyche losing his job, despite an embarrassing points return in recent games, appears remote given the flux and financial constraints off the pitch, so you suspect he’s going to have to knuckle down and get it right. It just needs to happen quickly.

Reader Comments (92)

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Tony Everan
1 Posted 17/09/2023 at 22:14:14
It’s a perfect opportunity for Dyche to turn this around against Brentford Luton and Bournemouth and get seven or more points on the board. It’s a results based business and if the results haven’t come after those three matches when will they?

We need a win next week to get some confidence back, then build on it. It gets said every season that the last thing the club needs is to be changing manager again. We need some stability.

Sean Dyche has to have a long hard look at midfield. It cannot retain possession, build play, feed wide men, even pass to each other. Alarm bells have got to be sounding across Finch Farm. This set up cannot go on, he has to try something different.

With our midfield resources there are no cast iron guaranteed answers. My stab at it would be ;

1 Drop Doucoure, I like the player but he doesn’t have any midfield composure, and we need to inject some if we can.

2 Have Gana screening the defence to break up play. Play him in the only role that he can actually do. He can’t create, he most definitely cannot shoot.

3 With Gana deeper, then have Onana ( needs a rocket up his arse) and Garner playing either side with instructions to get the ball forward by carrying it or picking the forward pass. Their youthful energy needs to be tapped into, it’s Dyche’s job to light the fires in these young lads, especially Onana. Dyche has to be demanding more from him, a lot more.

Other solutions?

John Raftery
2 Posted 17/09/2023 at 22:54:43
Tony, I agree with you about Onana. We need more, much more, from him.

At present, I would move Garner into the middle and drop Onana.

Don Alexander
3 Posted 17/09/2023 at 23:10:59
Just watched MotD and listened to Osman, the host and what's-is-name in the "analysis", all resembling the restaurant critic on the Hindenburg in discussing what was served up today whilst ignoring everything of the wider reality whilst the club's bursting into terminal flame to anyone but a blind man, woman, dog etc.

Their only clear opinion was that short corners by opponents were our chief killer, not the consistent disaster throughout the entire club from top to bottom.

As if!

Jeff Armstrong
4 Posted 17/09/2023 at 23:18:35
Does anyone else feel that Dyche has given up already? Tthat he's actually given up on the shitshow that is EFC???

The goldfish bowl is way too big for him and he'd much rather be at Bournemouth or Sheffield Utd where he doesn't have 40,000 (80,000) eyes looking at him for inspiration and leadership and he can offer nothing.

I think the job here is too big for him.

Barry Rathbone
5 Posted 17/09/2023 at 23:22:54
In recent times, we have surprised by getting points when not expected amidst crap runs in places we expect points – not happened so far… and we're being taken over by "Criminals r Us".

Little wonder hope is non-existent.

David Cooper
6 Posted 17/09/2023 at 23:39:50
So we are now 1 point and 2 goals after 5 games. Three of the 5 have been at home, no points and no goals. The 5 teams represent a fair cross section of the division. One challenging for the title, two middle of the table or higher and two more, one of which will probably be relegated. So those, who like to see positives we had a couple of strikers on the bench, Arsenal only scored 1 goal so our goal difference wasn’t hurt too much. Not sure there are many more.
So this is a long winded way in to the main point of this post. Five games represent just under 1/7 of the season so if we carry on like this, we will have 7 or 8 points at the end of the season and will have score 7 or 8 goals! Now of course such mathematical examinations of our position are completely a waste of time, aren’t they? So who can shoot down my forecast and give sound reasoning behind your answer?
Answers on a postcard to Mr. S. Dyche.
Geoff Lambert
7 Posted 17/09/2023 at 00:01:43
David look on the bright side, a one hundred percent improvement will give us 16 points at the end of the season.
Don Alexander
8 Posted 18/09/2023 at 00:30:49
Don Alexander
9 Posted 18/09/2023 at 00:30:49
The one absolute certainty for so-called "professionals" in the Premier League (and in all "professional" sport for that matter) is that their over-arching worry, and this is especially true of a BIG club like us, is about how much compo will be paid to them when they are moved out before their contract expires.

Whilst it's been obvious for years, world-wide, that the only people in top-level English football who never realised that basic truth are STILL active at OUR heart, how can some, or any of us fans still give one iota of respect, appreciation or support to Kenwright and Moshiri?

In plain view they're still doing to OUR club what psychopaths like Idi Amin did to his people.

It's insane.

Paul Ferry
10 Posted 18/09/2023 at 02:43:25
That bottom six today has a familiar feel to it. It's been said, sorry, but even this early it looks like final positions top six. Here is where the absolutely vital games will be be: Luton, Burnley, Sheffield United, Wolves, and Bournemouth.

We have a team on paper that is better than anything that any one of them can out out:

Pickford, Coleman, Branthwaite, Tarkowski, Mykolenko, Gueye, Garner, Harrison, O’Neill, Danjuma, Beto/DCL.

That is not a bottom three line up. But that is not enough. There are teams in that six whose teamwork, spirit, fight, steel, and guts are at this moment greater than ours. That worries me almost as much as anything else. That spirit, fight, "band of brothers", all needs to become part of who we are and what we do.

Dyche's teams have historically been thought of as gutsy, resilient, disrespectful (!), iconoclastic even, and we are none of those things right now yet we have Dyche pulling the strings.

Perhaps the players (or too many of them), unlike the majority of the Burnley lads, think themselves to be top players, stars, celebrities, Sky players in waiting, one agent call away from the top table at the feast. Well, I got news for you ........

We need that grit, steel, and fight Dyche or we are drowning in the deepest water. We need Pickfords, Colemans, Tarkowskis, and Branthwaites (significant that they are all at the back), not lazy prima-donna Onanas or last-paycheck Youngs.

The shopping list of what we need is scary and I haven't mentioned game-management that, Dyche, we need from you in vast quantities.

Dare we actually start games on the front foot rather than wait until we go a goal down? Can Dyche invert things and not sit on the back foot first half? Can he give us some Burnley fight, team-spirit, and guts?

Art and craft are no longer enough and we don't have any of them in spades anyway.

Jim Bennings
11 Posted 18/09/2023 at 08:12:40
You can't play the game the way Dyche thinks you can in the modern era.

Sitting there just trying to defend for the whole match and offering nothing at all going forwards, no ambition, no variety to the play.

Even the smallest squads, teams in the league all try to work the ball and pass and move, at least try having a go.

It's turgid watching Everton.

Brian Harrison
12 Posted 18/09/2023 at 09:35:31
Our club is facing the biggest crises I can remember in nearly 70 years of going to Goodison.

We have an owner who is going through the process of selling his shares to a group whose track record with other clubs they own is nothing short of disastrous.

We have a chairman who hasn't been seen or heard from for months, and at present are being run by the man whose initial job was to oversee the new stadium. So in these difficult times its hard to see who if anybody is making the decisions at present.

The whole club is massively under-performing: the first team have fought 2 back-to -back relegation battles and just surviving on both occasions with wins in our last home games to secure safety.

The stats show we have lost 12 of our last 18 home games and have 1 point from 5 games and we are yet to see us score a goal at Goodison Park this season. But it's the same scenario with our other teams, the U21s have 1 point from 4 games the U18s have lost all 4 games.

Sean Dyche has the 3rd worst record of any Everton manager ever and at the moment is just ahead of Frank Lampard and Mike Walker, quite ironic to think this ownership has appointed 2 of our worst managers ever.

Goodison yesterday was as quiet as I can remember for a long while, but who could blame our magnificent fans – they had a team who allowed Arsenal to stroll into our half unchallenged, and very rarely did we get the ball in their half.

Even when we have had poor teams, and I have seen quite a few, we always (to use an old terminology) "got stuck in". Yesterday, I saw none of that and as for Dyche's claim that we would be the fittest team in the league, I have seen very little evidence of that so far.

Dyche seems reluctant to change the system and play 2 strikers together, a system he used a lot at Burnley, and surely with us not being able to create a lot, it might have been worth seeing if Beto and Calvert-Lewin could create something playing in tandem.

Just talking about Dyche's time at Burnley, I was staggered to see a stat that said, in the 7 years he was at Burnley, they only averaged 36.7 goals per season. So maybe we shouldn't be surprised with our lack of goals under his leadership.

I have some sympathy with Dyche as he has joined the most dysfunctional club in the Premier League, but unfortunately he understands, when results don't go well, the first casualty is the manager. But at the moment, we are rudderless so I don't know who would make that decision or whether the powers that be are abdicating themselves of making any such decision.

And yes I understand we have had far too many managerial changes in the last 6 years but, if Dyche doesn't get results shortly, I don't see any alternative to looking for yet another manager. Problem is you are still left with the man who appointed our worst 2 managers to make that decision.

Si Cooper
13 Posted 18/09/2023 at 09:37:47
I don't understand that performance. I think we'd have carried much more threat more easily if we'd had Danjuma, Beto and Calvert-Lewin on from the start, just looking for knockdowns or running the channels. At least it would have given their defenders something to worry about.

I didn't watch much of them but I don't remember Burnley under Dyche being so passive, either with the ball or without.

Benjamin Dyke
14 Posted 18/09/2023 at 10:15:04
At the moment, it feels like we are doomed. Do we stick with Dyche?

Look at the effect Aston Villa had with getting in a better coach... I'm sick of chopping and changing the coach but we look so uninspired most of the time...

Jack Convery
15 Posted 18/09/2023 at 10:24:25
If Dyche were to leave, I would not put it past Blue Bill to appoint the new Holy Trinity of Ferguson, Unsworth and Ebbrell to manage us for the rest of the season. They are all available and true blue bloods to the core. I couldn't see a Potter for instance coming to our rescue, given the chaos the club is in.

As for yesterday, less said the better.

Kim Vivian
16 Posted 18/09/2023 at 10:35:13
There was a comment on the live forum about half an hour into the match yesterday which made me laugh at the time - I forget who made it - but summed up the whole evening really. I quote " Arsenal are struggling to get out of our half"

Replying to Tony (#1) "It's a perfect opportunity...to turn this around against Brentford Luton and Bournemouth and get... more points on the board " - Unfortunately the fans and managers of those clubs will be saying exactly the same about the visit to, or from, Everton. And will probably be more up for the fight.

It is a bleak picture and a statistic of 80% of matches so far without scoring a goal - win or lose - paints it bleaker. We will start picking up points - some unexpectedly - but it's going to take some serious mindset changes to achieve that. I personally thought that Dyche might prove to be a good motivator in that respect but he seems to be caving mentally under the pressure that managing Everton generates.

I abhor manager sacking after sacking, and just wish these guys would have the respect to walk once they realise they are not up to the job. I understand the reasons they don't and I'm not sure we could afford to pay off Dyche and his entourage's compo anyway.

Having said that, I cannot offer a single name of anyone save Bielsa who might provide the right catalyst to light the fire under this squad at all levels. We had a great opportunity when he made his offer last year, or earlier this year - whenever it was - but as someone said that ship has left port.

I'm kind of stuck for ideas really. We can keep banging the optimism drum, Danny style, and we'll get it right sometimes, but I'm kind of stuck where I am unfortunately.

To repeat - bleak times, bleak viewing, bleak hope.

Just plain bleak really.

Robert Tressell
17 Posted 18/09/2023 at 10:39:00
Which thread to post this on? Anyway a few thoughts:

1. We battered Wolves and Fulham and would have won with Beto or Calvert-Lewin up front. We created loads of chances in those matches but got very unlucky.

2. We were beaten by a much better Villa side away and a much better Arsenal side at home.

3. Finances mean that we have been unable to recruit players we need and have sold players who would have helped. In particular, we missed Iwobi yesterday as he provides forward momentum for counter-attacks. Obviously he's not exactly Ronaldinho but he was the best player we had at that sort of thing and we miss him.

4. Comparing our situation now with Villa last year is pointless. Villa spent heavily and were massively underperforming. Emery came in and did well with a good side. He's since been given Diaby, Tielemans and Pau Torres – all Champions League quality players. If Dyche and Thelwell had been given the same level of investment, we'd be doing fine. If people seriously think Potter could turn up and get this lot playing like Brighton then I despair.

5. Although Arsenal completely dominated the match yesterday, they didn't threaten our goal much. Arguably Trossard sliced that finish too and got lucky. So although it was incredibly boring, it wasn't tactically wrong by Dyche to play that way. It probably was our best chance of sneaking a win – or getting a draw.

6. We will start to pick up points and wins from here, and other clubs will go on poor runs. The table will start to even out. That said, it will be a hard season and it was always going to be. Especially since we did our transfer business so late and key players are injured.

7. Some of the other mediocre or weak sides are doing well because they've built up a good rhythm under a manager for a few years. Many of those teams built up that rhythm in the Championship and have kept it going. If we keep changing managers, we will never build up that rhythm.

Dave Lynch
18 Posted 18/09/2023 at 10:59:19
11 points from a possible 48 under Dyche.
Just let that sink in for a minute.
Kevin Edward
19 Posted 18/09/2023 at 11:01:50
As I see it, we've had some ‘must-win' games already and lost them all. ‘Unlucky' will see us relegated so it's all on the manager and players to stand up and be counted.

It just wasn't good enough yesterday, no surprise that the Goodison faithful have fatigue, give us something to get behind. I really want Dyche to be successful but losing game after game is a hard cycle to get out of, and you win nothing by sitting back in fear.

Let's see what he does next, but for sure there are plenty of ‘managers' who will be happy to have a go and try to improve us. It's the Premier League gravy train still on the tracks (for a few more months at least….).

Brian Harrison
20 Posted 18/09/2023 at 11:32:01
Robert @17,

You say we battered Fulham and Wolves, now while we did create some great opportunities to score against Fulham, seeing they had 59.4% possession I don't think you can fairly say we battered them.

While you are right generally changing managers as often as we have doesn't help, but the stats say that Lampard and Dyche are 2 of the worst managers we have ever had only Walker is below them.

I remember many on here, and you may well have been one of them, saying stick with Frank. Had we done that, I have no doubt we would have gone down.

I hope you are right when you say we will start to pick up points and the table will even itself out; unfortunately, the stats for Sean Dyche as an Everton manager don't suggest that will happen.

While I thank him for keeping us up last season, I fear, to avoid relegation, change may need to happen soon, and somehow I can't see that change happening under Dyche.

I would love to ask what made him play Gana as an attacking midfield player and Onana as the sitting midfield player? Mind, for me, playing Onana in any position is like playing with 10 men.

Terry Aylward
21 Posted 18/09/2023 at 11:51:38
It's obvious that we need someone with creativity, who can put his foot on the ball and pick out a defence-splitting pass. Is it possible that we already have him with Andre Gomes?

There's no doubt that he's a good skillful footballer who is being paid £100,000 a week, so why not utilise him? Could he really be any worse than what we're seeing at the moment? Just tell him to stop giving away stupid fouls near our box.

I may be grabbing at straws here but that's what desperate men do!

Tony Everan
22 Posted 18/09/2023 at 11:53:41
If we'd had a striker before the season started we'd have seven points. I think before Dyche gets frog-marched to the gallows he needs to be given some more breathing space.

Yesterday was as abject as I can remember from any previous sacked manager, particularly the midfield has to be more of a fighting and cohesive unit. No midfielder backs themselves to be a footballer, yesterday only the defender Branthwaite showed he was one.

Our midfielders have to stand up and be counted, prove you can play the game! It's a football not a hot potato or time bomb! Retain possession under pressure, use the ball wisely, it's the fundamentals of being a midfielder. Dyche and his coaches have to address these confidence issues.

The picture will be much clearer after Brentford, Bournemouth and Luton. Make no mistake – it's a results-based business, no improvement after those three games and it could very fairly argued that an alternative manager could have a better chance of getting this side to the mid-table zone.

All consensus expectations from bookies and fans had us finishing about 14th. So falling dangerously below that trajectory is failure.

Rick Tarleton
23 Posted 18/09/2023 at 12:24:36
Lyndon, as ever you spot the problem You use the word "collective", I've been using the word "unit", but it's the same point.

Everton's players, particularly the midfielders, do not play together, they are aware of their individual roles and duties, but they are not supportive of each other.

I'm just using a name, these two are no more guilty than their colleagues, but If Doucoure has made a lung-breaking run to get up to support the lone striker, then he is unlikely to be able to cover defensively in the subsequent counter move. So McNeil or Garner have to cover his area.

That frequently does not happen. They each only do what they see as their function. They are playing so that they can't be blamed for not doing their job. This is partly a confidence issue, but it's also a problem of having no real leaders, no one who shouts and cajoles.

People are calling for Dyche's head and he's certainly not covering himself with glory, but would Guardiola get more out of this bunch?

We haven't got enough players with character. Tarkowski, Pickford and Coleman are shouters, the rest are too young, too quiet, and too lacking in confidence to be leaders.

I fear for the rest of the season, both on and off the field.

Ian Bennett
24 Posted 18/09/2023 at 12:27:41
The midfield and full backs are just so poor. It's hard to have a go at the strikers when you're serving up that shite.

As a collective, I don't think you would find 5 worse footballers.

Robert Tressell
25 Posted 18/09/2023 at 13:14:39
Alternative reality...

Headline: Kamikaze Everton ship 5 against Arteta's Arsenal.

After going toe to toe with Arsenal in a frenetic first 15 minutes, the floodgates opened as Arsenal's quality began to count. Having gambled on making home advantage count, Everton found themselves 3 nil down at half time with Odegaard and Vieira revelling in the space afforded as Everton committed numbers forward in attack. Despite throwing the kitchen sink at it after half time, Arsenal found their moment to score two simple breakaway goals to complete a 5 nil rout.

Dyche's tactics labelled kamikaze by fans - many of whom felt it was crazy to attempt anything other than a dour KITAP1 approach against free-flowing Arsenal.

Paul Hewitt
26 Posted 18/09/2023 at 13:22:03
Robert, at least we would have had a go. And not just rolled over and got our tummies tickled.
Robert Tressell
27 Posted 18/09/2023 at 13:32:54
Let's be honest, Paul, that is not what you'd be saying if we'd have got a 5-nil thumping.
Paul Hewitt
28 Posted 18/09/2023 at 13:40:36
Funny how Fulham went to Arsenal the other week and came away with a 2-2 draw after not waving the white flag.
Si Cooper
29 Posted 18/09/2023 at 14:10:06
‘Kamikaze', ‘toe-to-toe', ‘frenetic'???? Who is suggesting that?

Reality is we didn't really get to ‘KITAP1' as we were stuck at ‘KIT'.

If we'd been beaten by at least 3 clear goals yesterday, not one neutral observer would be calling it undeserved, such was the gulf in attacking ambition never mind actual pressure on their box.

Barry Hesketh
30 Posted 18/09/2023 at 14:21:16
If the worst does happen and we get relegated at the end of this season, would Dyche be the right guy to bring us back up at the first attempt? I can't see it.

I watched Leeds against Millwall yesterday, they had a bit of luck, but they were cohesive and effective in their attacking play. I would wager that to win games in the Championship it's the effectiveness of the attack that would determine whether there's a realistic chance you would get promoted.

Given Dyche's overall record of managing, he doesn't do attacking, he's all about keeping things tight, and that wouldn't be enough in the Championship.

The big ship hasn't even sailed down the alley alley oh, and already I'm thinking about how to get promoted from the Championship.

The big ship sails on the ally ally oh,
The alley ally oh,
The alley ally oh.
The big ship sails on the ally ally oh,
On the last day of September.

The captain said, 'It will never, never do,
Never, never do,
Never, never do.'
The captain said, 'It will never, never do,'
On the last day of September.

The big ship sank to the bottom of the sea,
The bottom of the sea,
The bottom of the sea.
The big ship sank to the bottom of the sea,
On the last day of September.

Robert Tressell
31 Posted 18/09/2023 at 14:42:14
Paul # 28, but Fulham are much better equipped than us to go for it.

They are now entering their third season with Silva in charge and have an established way of playing – and also have a much, much better footballing midfield than us in Palhinha, Lukic and Pereira.

On the flanks, they have established partnerships between wingers and full backs who have played together a good while. They also spent considerably more than us on improving their side over summer.

We, on the other hand, have just sold (to Fulham) the one (flawed) player through whom most of our constructive football has been played over the past couple of seasons.

I would have liked to have seen more intensity – and also Garner and Patterson earlier. But we are not going to be equipped to do much more than sit back and counter for most of the season.

Brian Harrison
32 Posted 18/09/2023 at 14:44:27
I can't believe that there is a section of our fanbase who believe, if you're playing a Top 6 side home or away, then you have to play 10 men defending deep in our own half to avoid getting a hiding.

So Brighton go to Old Trafford and through having a few injuries can't play their strongest side, but did they given the circumstances, play 10 behind the ball? Absolutely not. They took the game to Man Utd and won quite comfortably. Also that Brighton team that played at the weekend cost the princely sum of £16.2 million.

So let's stop the nonsense that the way we played yesterday is the only way we can play if we hope to take points off a Top 6 side.

Dave Lynch
33 Posted 18/09/2023 at 14:50:52
Brian @32.

Well said sir...its the coaching, tactics and the instilling of belief in players that count for a lot.

Paul Kossoff
34 Posted 18/09/2023 at 15:57:07
Dyche is already throwing the team under the bus.

"I thought we would have more points on the board by now but you can't give the ball away that many times," Dyche said.

"That link on transition was missing and we weren't effective enough. We are conceding softish goals.

"Our growth is where we are. There is a reality. Last season nothing was solved. I've said there is massive work to be done."

Fat Sam done the same thing when he said "I don't tell the team to pass to the opposition." Dyche has been in charge long enough to stop that. Emery at Villa, and Howe at Newcastle had less time to bring about spectacular changes. Dyche is running out of time.

Don't start saying it's to early to get rid, we made that mistake with Lampard. Dyche has changed nothing with this team, he's a PE teacher, and we stayed up last season through pure luck, not because of Dyche, we were near relegated because of him.

We have to get at least 6 points for the next three games, the cup match is not important, what is is us staying in the Premier League. I said pre-season under Dyche we could be cut adrift by Christmas, well we could be up Shit Creek with a broken paddle before then.

Brian Williams
35 Posted 18/09/2023 at 16:02:41
Fat Sam done the same thing when he said I don't tell the team to pass to the opposition. Dyche has been in charge long enough to stop that.

Go on then, tell us how he stops our players passing to the other team.

Barry Hesketh
36 Posted 18/09/2023 at 16:04:08
Paul @ 34

You've found the quote I was searching for, yesterday, That link on transition was missing and we weren't effective enough

I read that the first time and thought it was a veiled message of how Dyche has had to sacrifice Iwobi for financial reasons rather than footballing reasons.

I might be reading too much into it but, regardless on how good or bad we thought Iwobi was in an Everton shirt, there is nobody within the current set-up who can do what Iwobi was at least trying to do.

Paul Kossoff
37 Posted 18/09/2023 at 16:19:58
Brian, seriously, you are excusing Dyche? Train the fuckers properly! Drop the fuckers if they can't play the game that they are paid millions for!

I played amateur football for years and never ever passed a simple pass to the opposition. And no, you can't use the old, "Oh well, this is professional football."

Well, if it's professional then they shouldn't be passing to the opposition then, should they? And if Dyche can't train them to pass to each other, then I am right, he should go.

Robert Tressell
38 Posted 18/09/2023 at 16:23:57
Dave & Brian, quite right – what Brighton have done is incredible. However, none of that happened overnight – and a lot of the good stuff started with a boring period under Chris Hughton.

The really extraordinary thing about Brighton is not the coach / manager – it's the recruitment and development of players that's built up a really good squad over an extended period. And specifically they recruit front-foot players to play front-foot football, enabling the transition from Hughton to De Zerbi and, ultimately, fantastic performances at Old Trafford.

There's no shortcut to this for us. It's going to take a time.

You can't just install a DeZerbi (or more far-fetched still, Bielsa) at Everton and expect the likes of Gueye and Doucoure to take the game to the opposition.

Paul Kossoff
39 Posted 18/09/2023 at 16:28:36
Apart from Dyche and his poor tactical ideas, I'm worried if we will still exist by BMD opening time, the club is run that bad.
Paul Kossoff
40 Posted 18/09/2023 at 16:28:36
Barry, we paid £20 million for a striker who is nowhere near ready to help us stay up, then buy another. Why didn't Dyche insist on an attacking central midfielder instead? We all said we need one, even before Alex was sold.

We play Arsenal and Dyche drops our only player who is capable of doing that job, Garner, what does that tell you? He set the team up to keep the score down, and his favourite tactics, see if we can nick one. Those tactics will see us go down.

Eddie Dunn
41 Posted 18/09/2023 at 16:29:03

It doesn't matter who we got in, the same players would still give the ball away. They are simply not good enough.

Robert Tressell
42 Posted 18/09/2023 at 16:34:06
Paul, are you saying we spent £20M on Chermiti? That isn't true. The total fee is £10.8M. We paid about £2M up front. The remainder is conditional / deferred.

I know all of this is hugely infuriating but the reason the squad is still a mess after summer is because of financials not incompetence.

I am sure Dyche would have been delighted to have had £20M to spend on a first-team-ready midfielder – but the reality is we had to sell one instead (Iwobi) because we're so skint.

Eddie Dunn
43 Posted 18/09/2023 at 16:38:13
Could it be that the players and staff are all as bemused as the fans? Whatever Dyche and Co say to them, they all know we are in a right mess. The uncertainty is undermining everything.

Goodison was painfully quiet. The fans are numb.

Dyche is conservative but, if we had gone for it, perhaps we would have been tonked 4 or 5 and then Sean would be top of the charts for the sack and our goal difference would be even worse.

Paul Kossoff
44 Posted 18/09/2023 at 16:45:11
Robert, surely Dyche and Thelwell knew we needed an attacking central midfielder even before Iwobi left. Even with him, we still needed one, and no, Alli didn't count.

Brighton find class players for buttons; are our scouts and Thelwell so poor that they can't?

Andy Crooks
45 Posted 18/09/2023 at 16:58:43
Paul @ 37,

If only you were a bit younger. Player manager without a doubt. Actually, why not now?

Robert Tressell
46 Posted 18/09/2023 at 17:33:18

I am sure Dyche and Thelwell did notice we could have done with a new midfield. Why do think they didn't buy one? Incompetence? Indifference? Or because our financials leave us in an absolutely desperate position?

As for developing high quality talent from low-cost markets, I've been banging on about that for years – and have regularly been told it's a load of bollocks.

It is of course the way to go, but it takes time. This summer we might have recruited a gem in Chermiti. We won't know for a little while yet. Brighton use AI adapted from the owner's gambling business to find their players – but very few come straight into the first team. Most go out on loan for a season or two first, or spend a while acclimatising in the academy.

I think most people would agree that this summer we didn't have the luxury of buying too many players for the future, since the current squad is so weak (probably weaker than the three teams that got relegated last season).

Brian Williams
47 Posted 18/09/2023 at 17:43:07
Brian, seriously, you are excusing Dyche? Train the fuckers properly! Drop the fuckers if they can't play the game that they are paid millions for! I played amateur football for years and never ever passed a simple pass to the opposition.

Couple of things, Paul. We can't afford to drop too many of the fuckers because the fuckers we have to replace the original fuckers are just as fucking useless.

So you never ever played a simple pass to the opposition? If that's true, I'm sure that the training you got wouldn't be a patch on the training Premier League football players get, and in all my years playing, I can not remember being trained to pass. It's one of the most basic of skills.

It's not about simply being able to pass to a team mate – it's the ability to do it in match conditions, under pressure, at speed.

If it's the manager's fault, then it must be the fault of our previous x number of managers too because they suffered the same.

Pep himself couldn't get the shower we've got to perform – and I genuinely believe that!

Peter Fearon
48 Posted 18/09/2023 at 18:17:23
Mikel Arteta had this game read from the start. He knew he did not need his starting goalkeeper and took the opportunity to give his understudy a no-stress debut because the attacking threat would be zero. And he was absolutely right.

This is Allardyce Lite.

Paul Kossoff
49 Posted 18/09/2023 at 18:57:47
Andy @45,

Come on, we all know what we needed for this team, a striker and an attacking central midfielder, at least. And how long has that been the case?

It's not rocket science, is it? Mind you, it seems to be rocket science for the DoF and manager. I must be a lot more scientifically tuned in than the Everton staff. 😀

Paul Kossoff
50 Posted 18/09/2023 at 19:01:58
Brian 47,

"I can not remember being trained to pass. It's one of the most basic of skills."

Nuff said.

Tony Abrahams
51 Posted 18/09/2023 at 19:08:57
Where is Ian Edwards when you need him? He's been advocating 4-4-2 forever and I personally think that this is the only formation that will get us out of trouble this season.

Doucouré - Garner - Gueye - McNeil, all of these players can graft, and if you are going to be playing a four-man midfield, then every single one of them has got to be able to run, tackle and fight.

When Harrison is fit, he might improve us down the flanks, but we need some dogs of war, and we need to start getting the ball forward to our two strikers.

Kieran Kinsella
52 Posted 18/09/2023 at 19:22:42

Chermiti might be a gem but he also might be another Leandro Rodriguez. 10 goals in 8 years now. There is a player in there.

Paul Kossoff
53 Posted 18/09/2023 at 19:28:40
Robert 46, points taken, but I will give no excuse to Dyche if we don't get away from the Bottom 3 after our next two home games.

Six points against Bournemouth and Luton must be our priority. If Dyche doesn't go for it in those games, then we seriously have to ask questions about if he's the right man.

Paul Kossoff
54 Posted 18/09/2023 at 19:45:39
Tony @51,

All of Doucoure - Garner - Gueye - plus Onana played against Sheffield United, but our midfield was cavenous, we were wide open.

Do you think against certain teams we should go 4-5-1?

I'm wondering about Dyche early on, just before he came to Everton, saying all players have to know their positions and keep their positions. We don't seem to do that now, as in all over the place.

Paul Kossoff
55 Posted 18/09/2023 at 19:50:06
Kieran 52, 😀😀😀
Mark Boullé
56 Posted 18/09/2023 at 20:05:44
Si Cooper #29,

Your mention of the old favourite KITAP1 had me wondering if Sunday's tactic should be christened:

KICAS 0 - (Keep it clean [sheet] and score 0)


BALLS - Back away lifelessly, lose, scoreless

Paul Kossoff
57 Posted 18/09/2023 at 20:13:04
Mark 56, love it. ring Dyche up and let him have it.

I personally would like to let him have it after Sunday.😀

Mike Doyle
58 Posted 18/09/2023 at 20:16:14
Apparently our 1 point from 15 start is, according to BBC Radio Merseyside, our worst since Mike Walker (1994-95). He was replaced by Joe Royle who turned things around.

Joe is now 74. Is he too old to make a comeback? Well, he's 2 years younger than Palace Manager, Roy Hodgson!

Robert Tressell
59 Posted 18/09/2023 at 20:32:28
Paul # 53, I agree. We need to start picking up points now - and playing much, much better than we did against Arsenal.
Anthony A Hughes
60 Posted 18/09/2023 at 21:13:50
Nobody wants to keep changing the manager but this guys record is awful.
Whether you get beat 1-0 or 4-0 you still don't get any points.
At least try and win the game and not set up not to get beat.
The pyscho babble garbage he spews involves no sensible indication of a plan other than parking the bus every week.
For 3 million a year or whatever he's on there needs to be more of a gameplan and some signs of in game management.
Dave Evans
61 Posted 19/09/2023 at 07:09:49
Robert Tressell,

There was no one more delighted than Arteta that we sat back. It meant his players could relax and play.

I could give a number of examples of how Arteta had primed his team to be very careful and measured and to break up play. His player's head holding when they were tackled, was a more obvious one. Also, throughout the game, Arteta touching his own forehead with two fingers, reminding his players to think.

Why did Artea adopt this approach?

It is because he feared an aggressive and passionate Goodison Park. Where our players would be physically energised and on the front foot. Where there would be a noisy connect between our fans and players. In short, a game atmosphere that might have a poor psychological effect on his own players and an up-lifting one for ours.

Arteta feared a bear-pit. Dyche handed him a bunny warren on a plate.

Eddie Dunn
62 Posted 19/09/2023 at 08:31:56
On reflection, it is likely that our players' apparent lack of drive was down to instruction. Dyche decided that a point would suffice (and we might get lucky from a set-piece or a long ball).

Arsenal didn't have to break sweat. The clever play from the visitors, the delay at corners stretched our ability to concentrate.

Dyche's tactics might have prevented a humiliating defeat but gives little hope to us that we can turn it round. Indeed, it saps the confidence of the players after some improvement in performance.

If Dyche doesn't start to get a tune out of them, he will be next on the chopping block.

Robert Tressell
63 Posted 19/09/2023 at 08:46:53
Dave # 61, you are right - Arteta did turn up with a game plan to thwart Everton and dampen the atmosphere. Part of that was the play acting etc. The much more obvious part was ball retention which they did brilliantly well.

Dyche's tactics were to play a fairly deep (but not really deep) defensive line to reduce the space in behind. Our players' job was to win the ball back in congested areas and then counter-attack. That's been our most successful approach since Dyche joined.

I doubt that Dyche told them not to bother being aggressive in their winning of the ball aspect of this tactic. I assume he was also hoping that Goodison became a bear pit for Arsenal.

The fact that we didn't manage to do it isn't down to our tactics – it's down to the limitations of the players and the fact that Arsenal executed their own game plan very well.

Mind you, they did only have one or two decent chances in the match despite their dominance. Which shows that the defensive side of this approach wasn't flawed. We did pinch the ball back with reasonable frequency too – but unlike Arsenal our players are so limited on the ball that we couldn't progress it up the pitch and lost it before we'd gained any forward momentum.

Iwobi, for all his flaws (and he had many) ,was our best player by far at one-touch football, receiving the ball and playing it forward. Without him (or a player like him) linking the play, we never got our counter-attacks going.

Michael Lynch
64 Posted 19/09/2023 at 09:03:04
Robert @63,

I think that's a very reasonable summary of the game, though I don't share your belief that Iwobi would have made a difference. More likely he would have been running around chasing shadows before giving up the ball in midfield on the rare occasions he received it.

But, whatever our views on Iwobi, the players we did have on the field simply aren't capable of laying a glove on a side as good as Arsenal. We just have to hope that we can impose ourselves more against Luton and Bournemouth.

Frank Fearns
65 Posted 19/09/2023 at 09:24:48
Robert 63. Sadly it's both.

We neither have the tactics right and the skills of the players are poor. Hoofing the ball forward in the hope that a forward can latch onto it doesn't work – unless it's Sunday morning on the local park. Modern defenders can deal with that very basic tactic all day.

Watching the Forest v Burnley game last night both sides had pacy skilful players who I'd never heard of! Instead we have players like Onana who plods up and down the pitch creating nothing and, if he does get the ball, he passes backwards.

We can't keep living off scraps, ie, played well defensively, one player had a good game etc. We need the whole team to play as a unit and score goals. Not a big ask!

Moan, moan. I need a glimmer of hope.

Tony Abrahams
66 Posted 19/09/2023 at 10:49:09
Paul @54,

I definitely think we should be playing 4-5-1 against the better teams, but only if we can also have an attacking threat, which was absolutely none existent on Sunday.

I don't think Danjuma is a winger, it's early days but I think Demarai Gray offered more with the ball at his feet – even though he could be a bit headless at times, he at least tried to put the opposition on the back foot.

Maybe I shouldn't be going off one game, especially because I think the manager set his stall out to only really concentrate on one part of our game on Sunday, and it definitely didn't involve putting the opposition on the back foot.

If Onana is going to be a player, then he's got to be shown some tough love imo, instead of it being James Garner who doesn't seem to be getting treated properly.

Another thing that is now obvious is that it is definitely a squad game nowadays, so this means that the tactics should not always be so rigid for 100 minutes, with the opportunity to use five subs to change things around when necessary.

Rob Jones
67 Posted 19/09/2023 at 10:54:46
Garner is one of the few players on our books that can hold the ball, distribute, and is willing to shoot from distance. Onana and Doucoure provided less than nothing.

One of them needs to be removed.

My team for Brentford:



Onana plays much better as a 6. Use him in that role. Have a bit of guile in the middle. Garner creating, Gana as destroyer. Have McNeil and Harrison putting balls in the box (or shooting from range, depending on the scenario).

4-4-1-1 isn't working. We need to score goals, or we're dead. 4-1-4-1 wouldn't be a drastic departure, but it would use Onana properly, and it would push us forward a bit more as a unit, rather than waiting for teams like overrun us.

Mal van Schaick
68 Posted 19/09/2023 at 13:39:27
The result of the game lies solely with Dyche, his team selection and tactics.

No up-front creativity, and blatantly sitting behind the ball for most of the game, whereas, if we had been more adventurous in counter-attacking Arsenal, we would have taken at least a point. Disappointed.

Tom Bowers
69 Posted 19/09/2023 at 13:50:49
We all have our opinions about who should start and how the team should line up but unfortunately, at the moment, the bottom line is that the squad is not up to snuff.

Some players can be singled out but the tactics on Sunday were poor and played into Arsenal's hands. Sure they kept a clean sheet for a while but the inevitable end result was always there. We saw that against Fulham and Wolves.

So far Dyche has not been able to instill character into this team and this has been shown to be a problem in other games too. Although on paper we can be led to believe some players are worthy of selection, they often fail to put in a shift.

Sadly it's hard to think of a game coming up they can win unless there is a big improvement in cohesion and passing.

Raymond Fox
70 Posted 19/09/2023 at 13:59:57
When have we had a team that could pass the ball well and keep possession? Years ago, in fact I'm struggling to remember when.

Do you think Dyche wants them to keep giving the ball back to the opposition?
Why do the top teams all want as many top players as they can get? It's because that's what you need to be winners.

We've had more managers than I've had hot dinners and look where it's got us.
It's better players we need; I do like the signings we have just made but we need our midfield to improve a lot.

Stuart Gray
71 Posted 19/09/2023 at 14:01:01
Everton don't exist simply to survive in the Premier League, we exist to entertain and try to win. Dyche simply plays to not lose.

I don't buy that our players are so bad that we can't score at all. It's nonsense, just bad coaching and team management.

Rob Jones
72 Posted 19/09/2023 at 14:12:52
The result was on Dyche? It has everything to do with the fact that Arsenal have a much better team and much better players. Putting the result at Dyche's feet does nothing but lay bare your bias against him.
Tony Abrahams
73 Posted 19/09/2023 at 14:17:44
I’m not arguing with any of your other points Stuart, but I personally believe that - Everton only exist - simply to survive in the Premier league - and I believe it’s been this way since Bill Kenwright begged, stole and borrowed, to get his dirty, deceitful paws into Everton football club.
Dave Lynch
74 Posted 19/09/2023 at 14:28:32
Of course the defeat is down to Dyche.
He sets out tactics and game plans, he motivates the players and picks the team, it is his job to try and "win games".
This is the most boring, turgid, uninspiring Everton team I've ever seen. I firmly believe the players want to go out to win but Dyche tactics stifle any creativity, I reckon he is losing the dressing room...time will tell.
Brian Williams
75 Posted 19/09/2023 at 14:34:25
If, as is being mooted in certain media outlets, Dyche gets the sack and is replaced with Graham Potter and the team do no better does it then become Potter's fault?
How many managers are we going to have who are solely to blame for the players performances?
When you have three, four etc managers who can't get a tune out of these players maybe, just maybe, it's time to look beyond the very simplistic "it's the manager's fault."
Barry Rathbone
76 Posted 19/09/2023 at 14:43:51
The answer to when we last had a side capable of attack was the Martinez revolution.

He was the only coach who tried the wholesale change fans were crying out for and have returned to ever since.

Rom, Barry, MCarthy, Delboy, seeing value in Barkley, Oviedo and Stones were the beginnings but if anyone doubts this club is cursed it's the meaningful arrival of Moshiri a year too late to maintain momentum

Available monies to replace the remnants of the Moyes mediocre crew with decent (not 5 quid journeymen) would have had us challenging but nearly 8 years later we are disintegrating.

The right men passing each other like ships in the night - heart breaking

Dave Evans
77 Posted 19/09/2023 at 15:04:37
Robert @63 Yes believe me, like everyone who was watching, I get Dyche's game plan and I also get the 'limitations' of our players

I am not sure that Arsenal kept the ball 'brilliantly well' or were allowed to so by our comatosed tactics and performance. Arsenal often played slow and in front of us. An almost possession for possession sake approach that the likes of Guardiola has comprehensively ditched, because it occasionally made his team vunerable in intense, high pressure games. Especially away from home.

There is a psychological element in games for players and fans alike. When we retreated constantly in the first 10 minutes you could see players inevitably adopting a overtly defensive mindset. One example is individual players spending time too much time pointing at spaces and Arsenal players. Ofcourse, healthy concern about the opposition is good but, with a relentless defensive mindset concern easily becomes fear. Fear that results in a player, who eventually wins or recieves the ball, panicking or make the wrong decision.

For us fans, seeing an Everton team at home defend on the half way line reeks of passivity from the start. Add to that the dearth of forays into the Arsenal half and penalty area, isn't it inevitable that the crowd becomes concerned and passive also?

Arteta feared a chasing, pressing, aggressive, front foot, hard tackling Everton team. With players renewed in confidence on the roars of a crowd pleased with what they are seeing. He prepared his team for such an Everton team and crowd. Dyche prepared his team to sit back behind the half way line and, in doing so, allieviated most of Arteta's worries for him.

I like the honesty of Dyche. Not much previously was accountable to him. But he can't set up an Everton team behind the half way line at Goodison. He needs to find another way or he will continue to lose games and the support of the crowd.

Jerome Shields
78 Posted 19/09/2023 at 16:20:04
On reflection, I thought it was a typical lethargic Everton performance after an international break, with McNeil, Calvert-Lewin and Beto needing more match time. Danjuma did play well.

The difference was that Dyche actually managed to get the defence organised. Obviously work on defending set pieces is not a priority at Finch Farm, when it glaringly should be.

I shall be calling Doucouré 'Doucouré the flicker' from now on.

Robert Tressell
79 Posted 19/09/2023 at 17:13:45
Dave, Arsenal played slow and in front of us precisely because the defensive side of Dyche's tactics were working well. They couldn't get in behind and we restricted them to about 2 decent chances.

It wasn't our defensive line that killed the atmosphere. Goodison is more than used to that. In fact, Goodison would have really got going if, having won the ball deep (which we did often) we then motored forward in number on the counter-attack. That was our tactic.

Unfortunately, as well as retain the ball so well - Arsenal regained it ever better. They used the classic Pep Barcelona tactic of swarming the man on the ball, forcing mistakes and closing off passing lanes. Our limited players couldn't handle it, couldn't string two passes together and so we couldn't counter attack. That was their defensive strategy and it completely killed the atmosphere.

It left the only option as long ball - which made us look like a pub team. But I'd be amazed if the actual tactic was to go so long and aimless. It was just a last resort.

We obviously won't agree on this - but I'd say both managers did a good tactical defensive job on the other. Whilst we didn't threaten their goal; they barely threatened ours for all their possession. The difference in the end was quality.

Dave Lynch
80 Posted 19/09/2023 at 17:40:06
So why didn't he change things at half time Rob?

My opinion is he's limited in his tactics and acumen, hes a poor man's Moyes in that he can keep it tight but can't nick one which his record suggests...it is worse than Lampards ffs.

Dont get me wrong...I would love him to prove me wrong and start winning games but for the life of me I can't see it.

Robert Tressell
81 Posted 19/09/2023 at 18:03:18
Because the defensive plan was working, perhaps D?

It was nil-nil at half time, so there was no massive reason to change things around. Depressing though this is, there was still a possibility of a set piece goal or perhaps a bit of luck on the break. I expect their fans were equally frustrated by Arsenal's impotence in attack.

We could have gone for it a bit more and I wanted more intensity from the players. Personally, I'd have started with Garner (instead of Gueye who I think is rubbish) and might even have gone with Patterson instead of Young. I'm not going to pretend any of these tweaks and changes would have been decisive though and got Goodison roaring.

Barry Rathbone
82 Posted 19/09/2023 at 18:05:58
Dave 80

The tactical genius of Rommel wouldn't have mattered a jot if he had donkeys towing handcarts rather than Panzer tanks in the desert. This squad is chocca full of donkeys and handcarts.

It doesn't matter who is in charge or what tactics they employ the past 7ish years have seen us manage to cobble together a group simply not up to Premiership football.

A change of manager won't do a thing about it as seen umpteen times over the Mosh era.

Robert Tressell
83 Posted 19/09/2023 at 18:18:36
A neat way of putting it, Barry.
Ian Edwards
84 Posted 19/09/2023 at 18:23:04
Rob 67. You say we need to score or we're dead and then say you want a midfield of Gueye, Garner and Onana with one front. That team is awful.

I would go 442:

Patterson Branth Tarks Myko
Harrison Doucoure Garner Danjuma
DCL Beto.

Rob Dolby
85 Posted 19/09/2023 at 18:28:57
What we are witnessing is the trickle down effect of a shambolic board, recruitment coupled with the shackles of ffp.

Since ancelotti left the club we have weakened the squad during every transfer window. We have reduced quality to an all time low. People are posting that we shouldn't have sold Iwobi!

I think the tactics v arsenal where to be expected. I would have liked to have seen us target their left back area similar to what Roberto did when we had Lukaku but let's face it we haven't got a Lukaku.

Against lesser teams we have been good without getting the points, I just hope we get something from the next 2 home games otherwise Dyche will be toast and some other no mark will be in the relegation hot seat.

Fact is we can't keep weakening the squad and expecting us to stay up. Leicester went down with a far better squad than ours last season. Dyche needs to create the siege mentality within the squad and play as ugly and filthy as possible to get us out of the mess. We don't have the quality to do anything else.

Terry Aylward
86 Posted 19/09/2023 at 18:39:31
Things can change very quickly in football, as we all know. At the moment, there doesn't appear to be much light at the end of this very long tunnel, but I imagine that the Newcastle supporters thought exactly the same in November 2021 with their team rooted rock-bottom of the table with 6 points after 13 games.

Then, Eddie Howe arrives, gets 2 or 3 additions in January, and they end up in 13th place on 49 points. Now, they're playing Champions League football, The same can happen to us, a jammy win gets a bit of confidence and I'm certain we'll be fine.

The off-the-pitch dealings though… Well, that's another story.

Brian Harrison
87 Posted 19/09/2023 at 19:04:02
Talking of recruitment Peter Reid said today that when he was working at Wigan to help out the manager, he recommended to Marcel Brands that he should take a look at Wigan's right back Reece James. Apparently Brands did go and have a look at him and decided he wasn't good enough for Everton, obviously Chelsea thought differently. Also last year Alan Stubbs said when he was managing in Scotland he recommended John McGinn to Brands again he ignored the advice again Villa got themselves a bargain. So maybe instead of employing a DOF maybe we should employ people who have played the game at the highest level and can spot a player.
Tony Abrahams
88 Posted 19/09/2023 at 19:30:56
Paul Cook’s brother told me about Reece James after he had only been at Wigan, for a couple of months Brian, and I think there’s a similar story behind Seamus Coleman, with regards Everton following up on a tip from the same Paul Cook, maybe?

Brands never had the experience for English football imo, but it doesn’t really matter now even though he has definitely contributed to our demise.

Kevin Prytherch
89 Posted 19/09/2023 at 19:40:21
It still baffles me how Brands gets off Scot free from so many posters on here.

Look at Brightons team against Man Utd, the whole team cost less than £20m.

How many duds did Brands lumber us with who cost more than Brighton’s entire team - and on one hell of a lot more money.

Kieran Kinsella
90 Posted 19/09/2023 at 19:41:03

Brands was an idiot. I remember once there was a profile a kind of "day in the life of" Marcel Brands in the paper. Most of his time was spent having a cup of coffee with Dennis Adeniran.

He said he liked to have coffee with Under-23 players. Beyond that, what did he do? Dust off his list of missed PSV targets like Gomes? Make false promises to Moise Kean's Mum?

Barry Rathbone
91 Posted 19/09/2023 at 20:02:26
Think Brands didn't get a fair shake here he had a great rep in Holland and in Europe generally. Also as things unravelled he was the only one with balls enough to resign.

His comment of interference hampering Everton suggests Moshiri and/or Usmanov were putting their clueless oars in and their appointment of Benitez constitutes the smoking gun in my opinion.

Rob Dolby
92 Posted 19/09/2023 at 20:16:33
Think James was only on loan to Wigan from Chelsea.

I have just watched Newcastle play for a 1-0 defeat away to AC Milan but fortunately they got a draw playing very similar to how we did against Arsenal!

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