Everton 3 - 0 Bournemouth

It was my son’s birthday yesterday, and he was awarded Player of the Match in his kids football game. “If Everton win, that would be a hat-trick of celebrations today” he said gleefully while clutching his trophy award. ‘Don’t get your hopes up’, I thought…

After some lunch, Dan picked us up quite promptly and we were parked up for at around 1:15 pm. Such was the beautiful weather, we thought against going to the usual pub and instead visited the Fan Zone which was a nice change up. Them self-service Coors beers are pretty cool, and it was a nicer environment for my son, who was able to come along to the game thanks to Dan and his lad generously offering to switch seats. So rather than having to stand up and not see a lot in the Gwladys Street, we could enjoy a great view from the Top Balcony. Splendid stuff.

In the Fan Zone, we’d got the team news and understood that Idrissa Gueye was playing in midfield alongside James Garner and a more advanced Abdoulaye Doucoure. I thought I was going mad when we lined up with Amadou Onana in the midfield instead though it did materialise that Idrissa had injured himself in the warm-up.

Not that I like to see players get injured, of course, though this turned into a blessing in disguise as Amadou, for me at least, had his best game yet in a Blue shirt in what was as dominant an Everton performance we’ve seen for many a year.

In our podcast earlier in the week, we made a lot of our ability to win games once we take the lead, and inability to get back into games once falling behind. And so it felt important that we got in front early in this one.

Our early dominance was repaid when Illia Zabarnyi slipped and panicked a bit in possession as James Garner zoned in. James, who excelled in the centre throughout, took the ball forward and surprised everyone, not least Neto in goal,  by taking his strike quite early to put Everton ahead. It looked for all the world that he was going to slip Dominic Calvert-Lewin in, which may have caught the goalkeeper out. My boy jumped up for joy and it was great to give him a hug and a high five, the first of three in the afternoon in celebrating our goals.

The next of which wasn’t too far away. Bournemouth briefly murmured and had us struggling with a number of corner kicks which eventually we managed to clear. As it was, pressure built from corner kicks of our own resulted in our second goal.

It was clear to see that Neto isn’t a goalkeeper that likes to catch. On a few occasions, he punched clear though Everton got the ball back into the box. On this occasion, Vitalii Mykolenko curved a ball back into the penalty area and Neto punched clear but only to Jack Harrison. Jack had a few options, of which lofting the ball back towards goal and into the net probably the least likely to result in a goal, though this is what he tried. ‘You don’t win the lottery if you don’t buy a ticket’ they say, or perhaps in more footballing terms – ‘you don’t shoot, you don’t score’. So credit to him for taking it on and clipping in a lovely goal, to put Everton into a full deserved 2-0 lead.

It could have been more too. Dominic Calvert-Lewin hit the crossbar with a nice header, and Amadou Onana flashed an effort just wide on the turn when perhaps he might have done better. There were a couple of other opportunities too, but we had to be delighted with what we had at the break.

During half-time, my son had his photo and message up on the big screen. It was a bit of an anxious wait. I’d sent the photo and message in to Everton though had no response on if it was going to feature, so I was kind of hoping for the best while encouraging my son to keep an eye on the screen. Thankfully it came up which made his day. It would have sucked to have him watch all the messages and then not see one for himself!

Everton continued the second half in much the same vein and pressed aggressively up the field. Our third goal was a joy to watch. Amadou was really settling into his groove by now and did very well to retain possession. Was it a foul as Bournemouth were claiming? Possibly, but if the referee doesn't give it in the first instance it’s not clear and obvious enough to overturn that in my view.

Anyhow, this resulted in Dwight McNeil getting down the left and chipping a ball to the back post. (It was very Kevin Kilbane to Tim Cahill vs Crystal Palace in April 2005, Christ, how long ago was that?!?!). Jack Harrison should have scored though it was well blocked on the goal line. However, Abdoulaye Doucouré was on hand to make sure and walloped it into the net. The result no longer in doubt. And one more hug and high five with my boy. Brilliant.

Though we eased off slightly from an attacking sense, we still had some other openings and on another day could have scored five or six. Abdoulaye should have done better with his chance, Dwight too though that he'd cleared it off the line and then ran the length of the field to be there to hit the shot was incredibly commendable in itself, and Amadou was unlucky not to score with one of his two fierce drives at goal from a corner kick but it wasn’t to be. Instead, preserving a highly valued clean sheet perhaps became more of the priority by the end, though whatever James Tarkowski or Jarrad Branthwaite couldn’t handle was well dealt with by Jordan Pickford.

Going into the international break and with the next match at Anfield, this was an important win, make no mistake. While this only takes us up to 15th position in the league table, it’s a big relief to have a little cushion on the teams in the Bottom 3. Look at our goal difference already compared to them too. We’re on -3, they are on -13 or in Sheffield United’s case, -16. Luton Town are on -9. It goes to show quite how tight most of our games have been.

After the match, Dan kindly took us back home and we went out for a great family meal. A brilliant birthday for the boy, hopefully one he’ll remember for some time. Certainly one his old man will.

A great day. Up the Toffees.

Jordan Pickford: Caught what he had to and saved well when required. 7

Vitalii Mykolenko: A good solid effort. 7

Jarrad Branthwaite: Did well. Looked calm and composed as ever. 7

James Tarkowski: Marshalled the team well and defended well. 7

Ashley Young: He did okay. Positionally he’s very aware which is probably what’s keeping him in the team. He doesn’t really get caught out with balls over the top, which may be an area Nathan can improve on. 6

Amadou Onana: He was everywhere. He used the ball smartly and made several excellent tackles and interceptions. Dan made a point on the way home of – is he a bit of a Paul Pogba? Capable of brilliance but doesn’t do it often enough, and looks good when the team is winning and is well on top. Which posed the question – does Amadou play well because the team plays well, or is the team playing well because he is playing well? I’m actually not sure but he was my Man of the Match yesterday. 8

James Garner: He had an excellent game in the middle. He scored a good goal of course, but its his tenacity, and then nous when we win back the ball which make him so valuable in there. A great effort. 8

Dwight McNeil: I think that’s Dwight back to his best and fully fit as he didn’t quite seem there against Luton Town. A great shift throughout. 8

Jack Harrison: A brilliant full league debut from Jack. I hate to term him a “Sean Dyche player” but he epitomises everything you would expect for that category. He’s selfless for the team, works very hard and is productive with the ball, as he showed with his goal of course. The team seems to be shaping up. 8

Abdoulaye Doucoure: I think we just have to accept Abdoulaye’s limitations in comparison with the great work he brings to the team, especially given the fact he is coupling this with goals too. He makes some poor decisions which frustrate, but does a lot of good too which is why he will stay in the team. And if he’s popping up with goals, who can really complain? 8

Dominic Calvert-Lewin: With three wins coming in the last four games it’s probably not a coincidence that this has arrived with Dominic’s return. He leads the line very well and can cause problems for any team when fit. For the first time probably since he was managed by Carlo Ancelotti, he now looks fully fit. If he can stay so throughout most of the season, we will be in no trouble whatsoever. 7

Nathan Patterson (for Jack Harrison): He settled into the game pretty nicely. 6

Beto (for Dominic Calvert-Lewin): He did okay and showed some glimpses of what he can do, but has a bit to go yet. The good thing is that if Dominic is not available, he is an adequate replacement. It’s great this competition for places malarkey! 6

Youssef Chermiti (for Abdoulaye Doucoure): Though not on long I was made up to see him for a few minutes and kept a close eye on him. He got involved well, and at one point chased back into our penalty area to try and win the ball back. A small sample, I know, but he looks handy. I’m looking forward to seeing him develop. 6

Reader Comments (21)

Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer ()

Stephen Vincent
1 Posted 08/10/2023 at 12:45:19
Paul, enjoyable write up as always and belated best wishes to your boy.

Thought your scores were pretty much on the money but I couldn't disagree more about Onana, I just don't get him.

I just posted on the main match thread that the reason he makes so many tackles is that his control is so poor. Just a 6 for me. I would have given Calvert-Lewin an 8 as well superb display of centre-forward play.

Dave Abrahams
2 Posted 08/10/2023 at 13:20:45
“Onana was everywhere” — Really?

Paul, you gave some 8 marks out including Onana and made him your MotM. Each to his own there, mate. Comparing him with Pogba though is a great line because he had a lot of talent but mostly stood out because of his lethargic and lazy performances.

Sincerely glad that you and son had a great time on his birthday. I hope you both have many more days like that.

David Bromwell
3 Posted 08/10/2023 at 13:55:52
Always enjoy your posts Paul. I too am keen to see more of Chermiti, I think he might link very well with Calvert-Lewin. All good as Beto offers something different.

Good to have options and a nice change to previous campaigns.

Christopher Timmins
4 Posted 08/10/2023 at 14:39:49

Thanks for the report on the day's events. I do hope your son can be a lucky charm going forward and enjoys many days following Everton in the future.

I expect the same 11 in 2 weeks and expect us to be competitive, a minimum requirement for our great club.

John Raftery
5 Posted 08/10/2023 at 15:29:33
In the context of our home form since April I think yesterday could be described as a great day, especially for the young fans who have had so little to cheer in their formative years.

I thought Onana had a decent second half after struggling to keep up with the pace of the game in the first half. At one point I noticed he was gasping for breath and sweating profusely as he made his way into the penalty area at the Park End.

The Paul Pogba comparison is legitimate in the sense that Onana drifts in and out of matches. The flashes of undoubted brilliance are too often followed by lengthy bouts of anonymity. Those gaps between the moments of brilliance need to be narrowed. Moreover, he needs to make more of his play count in the opposition penalty area in the way Fellaini did.

Neither Garner nor Onana are the finished article but from what we have seen in the last month or so, Garner appears to be closer. I'm hoping they can grow together to become the top class midfield duo we have lacked for many years.

Mike Gaynes
6 Posted 08/10/2023 at 18:24:39
Paul, great report and glad you and your son had a good day out.

For me, it was a day of pure joy, the capper of my UK trip that was an unbroken pleasure (except for last Saturday). After a lovely 10 days of hiking and dining with Pete and Sheila and the rest of the Mills family and friends and grandsons, I'd gone off to spend a couple of days with the writer Brian Viner and his wife Jayne (also a top writer), and for this game, he'd somehow arranged for two seats in the nearly empty Director's Box.

My nearest neighbors aside from Brian turned out to be Coleen Rooney and her two youngest sons, and right in front of me were Dele and Gomes. I didn't engage with the Rooneys beyond smiles and greetings, expecting that it might be a difficult day for them with Wayne's rumored sacking at DC United (which was announced hours later). But the boys in particular seemed to enjoy the game immensely -- as did the overgrown child adjacent to them.

I cracked my voice cheering Garner's goal and absolutely blew it to pieces on Harrison's moment of artistry. Watching him shape his hips and his foot to drop that volley off the underside of the bar was something very special indeed.

And having observed early on that Onana appeared to have gotten Dyche's message with his benching and subsequent resurrection, I yelled louder with every tackle as he and Garner went hunting in the midfield. We had 28 tackles yesterday.

Most of all, the effort was there from start to finish. Even up 3-0 the guys were still pressuring the ball and forcing attacks. There was no celebrating at the final whistle -- EVERYBODY sat down or bent over. They had all left everything out there.

In a quiet moment in injury time, I leaned over and told Dele, I hoped he'd be out there soon. He smiled back and said, "Me too."

And the apres-win meetup at the Bramley Moore was a delight, with John Sr and Pete and Peter and Derek and Brian Williams (and his bro-in-law Joe) and Andy (looking great) and Brian Wilkinson and Stephen and (briefly) Tony A. I immediately stirred the pot by asking Dave A about Onana and got a gruff "He was better than he's been!" Much like his response at #2 above.

Thanks to everybody who made this such an incredible trip for me. It's the ongoing miracle of ToffeeWeb that so many of you are now such a big part of my life.


Paul Ferry
7 Posted 08/10/2023 at 19:12:06
Thanks for the report, Paul; wonderful stuff Mike (G), a real day in the life, have a safe and sound trip home mate.

I have to agree with Stephen (V) and Dave (A), I simply don't see Paul's Onana, and he most certainly was not "everywhere". But, that said, I'm interested in the Jimmy Garner - Onana pairing. Let's keep that for the next game please and give it the chance it deserved on the basis of yesterday.

I might not call Onana "lazy" but I'm still a tad puzzled about what he is supposed to do and his principal contributions: he doesn't seem to win that many tackles, I'm sure there are some but not a single defence-splitting pass comes to mind, he doesn't score on anything remotely like a regular basis; and his assists aren't exactly stacking up, are they?

Hopefully, Mike G will have some stats for me to prove me wrong!

Pickford 7, Mykolenko 6, Branthwaite, 7, Tarkowski 7, Young 6, Onana 6, Garner 9, McNeil 9 (MOM), Harrison 8, Doucoure 7, Calvert-Lewin 8

Dave Abrahams
8 Posted 08/10/2023 at 19:31:46
Mike (6),

I couldn't help but reply to Paul's piece about Onana's performance yesterday. You asked me what I thought of Onana's performance and I replied as you said but it certainly wasn't a gruff response.

I asked you "Did you think that Onana could do a lot more than he did?" And you replied "Yes, he could be doing more than he did."

He most certainly does anywhere near as much as Garner and if they are going to be a successful partnership then Onana will have to do a lot more of the work load than he did yesterday.

Pleasure to see you, Mike, at the two games. I hope you have a safe trip home and you can start planning your next trip home to watch the Blues, Very best wishes, Mike, and continued good health.

Tony Abrahams
9 Posted 08/10/2023 at 19:57:20
A nice story, Paul, especially because it’s usually been downhill after watching the kids footy, and then having to attend Goodison Pk, to become exasperated, mate!

I’m glad your son had a great day both playing and watching football yesterday, and I was also very happy for Mike G, and Andy C, because they are both very loyal Evertonians, who rarely get to see us play live.

Whilst waiting to pick people up to take them to Bramley-Moore, I bumped into a few mates, and it was very nice to see everyone smiling after watching what sounded like a very convincing display yesterday.

The stadium is causing us headaches, but it’s really starting to grow now, and I’m sure both Andy & Mike, must have taken a proper good look, and hoping they will both get there one day🤞

It was great to see some old ToffeeWeb face’s yesterday, and a question about Wayne Rooney, who I’m sure would probably be a fantastic football coach, rather than a football manager?

John McFarlane Snr
10 Posted 08/10/2023 at 19:58:58
Hi Mike [6] It was a pleasure to see you again, and I'm doing my best to 'hang on' long enough to sit next to you at the 'Bramley Moore Stadium'. I would like to add that I am grateful to Tony Abrahams for giving me a lift to the Bramley Moore Pub, and Peter Mills for dropping me off at Sandhills station, after what I consider a very pleasant evening.
Geoff Lambert
11 Posted 08/10/2023 at 20:11:41
Hi paul I to thought Onana was very good and if it had been Guye in from the start we could have lost that game as well. Harrison and Mcneil were excellent as well, Thin DCL could have done better with the chances he had, Maybe give Beto a run in the team starting at the RS and Bring DCL on later in second half.
Paul Tran
12 Posted 08/10/2023 at 20:21:05
Usual good report, Paul. Glad you all had a good day!

Mr Gaynes - good call steering clear of up here. We've had rain for the last few days and severe flooding where we've just been on holiday in Perthshire. I knew you'd get well looked after! Safe home!

Mike Gaynes
13 Posted 08/10/2023 at 20:59:08
I saw that, PT, and Pete and I were both wishing you well. If your life raft has wi-fi we can still do that Zoom call!
Paul Tran
14 Posted 08/10/2023 at 21:07:02
We're fine up here, thanks Mike, but much of the country is badly flooded. So glad we were on holiday a week earlier!
Andy Meighan
15 Posted 08/10/2023 at 21:12:58
Great day all round Paul.

And delighted for your lad, the new generation of blues, love seeing the young lads going the game, you don't get much of that from the theme park across the park.

Anyway Paul agree with most of your ratings though I'm still not seeing what Onana brought to the party though he was good 2nd half.

I'm still not struck on McNeil me, does some good things but is extremely one paced and runs into blind alleys a lot of the time.

My motm was a close call between Garner and Doucoure, I've called Duke clumsy - God knows how many times, but my god that lad has got a goal in him.

Surely Garner is there to stay now another impressive display again and he's really growing on me.

My only gripe is we should be on a positive GD now, that's how dominant we were.

Brendan McLaughlin
17 Posted 08/10/2023 at 21:50:26
Mike Gaynes

Delighted you saw a great match...perhaps the stars are aligning at last.

Danny O’Neill
18 Posted 08/10/2023 at 21:52:57
Sorry I couldn't make it. Family wedding commitments.

Mike, I've sent you a message.

See you all at the Derby.

Peter Mills
19 Posted 09/10/2023 at 10:58:36
Be gentle with Dave, he’s still coming to terms with the loss of Iwobi!
Dave Abrahams
20 Posted 09/10/2023 at 11:24:57
Peter(19), Stop it Peter!
Andy McNabb
21 Posted 10/10/2023 at 21:37:52
Thanks again, Paul. So nice to wake up to a win on Sunday morning! There have been many times I was quite relieved to be 12,000 miles away but would have loved to have been at the Old Lady on Saturday.
Peter Moore
22 Posted 11/10/2023 at 20:59:26
Lovely to read your report, Paul, was great your son had such a special birthday with you. Magic.

It was a fabulous day. I don't make loads of games but felt honoured indeed to be there on Saturday.

It was great to meet you Mike G, what an amazing trip, so thoroughly deserved that Everton did you proud to finish the latest trip. I hope you had a good trip back.

May you bring more Bournemouth Bounce than Luton Lethergy on your next visit.

The Footballing Gods will hopefully be kind to us on the injury front, if so, onwards and upwards. COYB!

Add Your Comments

In order to post a comment, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.

» Log in now

Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and Talking Points submissions across the site.

How to get rid of these ads and support TW

© ToffeeWeb