Liverpool 2 - 0 Everton

I was supposed to be watching this in a bar in Majorca. We were all set and then, last weekend, my wife took quite suddenly ill and had to have a rather urgent operation. She’s fine, nothing to worry about, but it did mean we couldn’t go on holiday. And instead I got the “pleasure” of a trip to Anfield.

A few weeks ago, a mate had offered me a ticket though at that point I obviously couldn’t go. So I didn’t in a million years expect the ticket to still be available, though surprisingly it was.

I met with Chris at the bus stop, and joined his brother Michael for breakfast over in Dale Street before heading to the Denbigh Castle for some early beers. It’s always a good laugh meeting up with them fellas. They are passionate Evertonians who seldom miss a game home or away.

One catch with the ticket was that I had to go and collect it from one of Michael’s friends who was at the Harlech Castle on County Road, so I cut short my stay at the Denbigh Castle and jumped in a taxi to meet John, a really nice fella who had my ticket.

It was surprisingly quiet in the Harlech Castle and we had a bit of chit-chat with the barmaid. Upon telling John about my usual pre-match routine I was surprised to hear he already knew it, as he often reads our reports, which is always nice to hear.

I expected Idrissa Gueye to come back into the team and so was surprised to see the team unchanged from our good win against Bournemouth. I made the short trip across Stanley Park. Getting into the Anfield Road end is quite staggered, but certainly better organised than it used to be. The teams came out. Everton well backed of course. Liverpool won the toss and attacked towards us in the first half.

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I suppose not much more needs to be said that hasn’t been said already about the game, but I’ll give my two pence worth. I’m proud of how our lads fought yesterday afternoon. We could have been better in possession, especially when it was 11 versus 11, but we have to accept we have limitations with ability, and that was highlighted on numerous occasions, probably mostly by Abdoulaye Doucoure, and of course by Ashley Young.

I have to give credit where it’s due also. A lot has been made about Virgil van Dijk not being the player he once was, but I thought he was colossal against Dominic Calvert-Lewin, and didn’t give Dominic much opportunity to get into the game. Dominic’s very early chance which he headed straight at Allison was probably the best chance we had all game actually. I thought Beto was more of a handful in his 39 minutes.

But let’s be fair, this is all about Craig Pawson and everybody knows it. When Ashley Young was yellow-carded early in the game, I said out loud “Well, I think that is a yellow card, but that better be the rule all game.” Of which the fella in front of me quickly said “No chance, lad.” And he was right. Clearly right. 

Having booked Ashley Young already, I don’t really have a complaint about Craig Pawson dishing out a second yellow. Now you could argue a player shouldn’t be sent off for two fouls in a Merseyside derby. And it felt to me that he did it on the advice of Trent Alexander-Arnold. On one hand, it felt harsh; on the other, I could understand it. But that’s where the referee must be consistent. And that, he clearly wasn’t.

Well done, Sean Dyche, for being bold enough to make the changes he did at the break. It was bold and brave and good on him for being gutsy enough to do it. If we’d have gone 0-2 down say within 10 minutes of the half, he’d have been under scrutiny big time so good on him for backing himself. It worked, it really did.

Almost everything was kept in front of us, and they blocked, battled and were dogged throughout the half. We made countless blocks, interceptions and tackles, and restricted Liverpool largely to efforts from range. That which was on target was straight at Jordan Pickford.

Ibrahima Konate should have been sent off and everybody knows it, including Jurgen Klopp, who said as much after the match. When Konate challenged Beto, John next to me immediately said calmly “He’s already been booked”. While Craig Pawson, in my view, gave Ashley Young a second yellow on the advice of a Liverpool player, he ignored our players and allowed Konate to remain on the pitch… for the 60 seconds or so at least until Jurgen quickly hooked him.

But you know what, I wasn’t surprised. You just kind of knew. We don’t get these calls when playing against Liverpool or any of the big teams. We just don’t. And there’s not a lot we can do about it… well maybe Sean could do one thing, we’ll come to that later. Ridiculously two of our coaching team received yellow cards in the game instead, including Sean.

Liverpool were dealt a bad hand with a VAR call a few weeks ago and the world came to an end. We get bad calls like this, and nobody cares. A few pundits might come out and say it was a bad call, but that’s the end of it. And all the shouting and screaming in the world from Sean, or anyone, will not make the blindest bit of difference. If anything, the media would have us as a bunch of whingers.

Quickly from memory, I can go back to calls we just don’t get against Liverpool. It happens against all the big teams, but especially at Liverpool and Manchester United. You just don’t get anything. We can quickly add this one to a recent list of Virgil van Dijk avoiding what was a clear red card at Goodison Park last season for a vicious shin-high challenge on Amadou Onana.

The previous season at Anfield under Frank Lampard was a debacle. The challenge by Joel Matip on Anthony Gordon was a clear penalty and VAR barely gave it a look, not to mention that Trent Alexander-Arnold should have been red-carded, especially if yesterday’s logic was applied. 

When we had a dark day there under Marco Silva, while the performance was poor, Mike Dean ignored a clear foul by Virgil van Dijk on Dominc Calvert-Lewin as he went to shoot, that may even have been a red card but was certainly a penalty. While Trent Alexander-Arnold did two very bad challenges and then got away with a clear-as-day deliberate handball while on a yellow card. He literally stretched his arm out and handballed it for no reason.

That’s just recent history. You want me to go back further? I can, no problem, we all know the incidents. And it all leads to this feeling of absolute hopelessness going into Merseyside derbies, especially at Anfield.

We’ve made the trip there several times and been well beaten. I’ve no complaints with that. They’ve been a very good team for many years now and it’s always going to be tough to compete there. So when we do compete, and when we do give a good account of ourselves, you really feel like it's pointless because the officials just won’t give you anything.

And you know what, it’s spoilt the Merseyside derby as a spectacle, no matter how much Sky and the likes try to dress it up. There used to be such a buzz in the city when this fixture rolled around; now, it's so futile. The excitement isn’t there. The way it's officiated, it’s impossible for it to be competitive, especially with the vast difference in resources and quality between the two teams. Yes, yes, a lot of that is our fault down to bad club management, we know this, but are we really asking too much for a fair crack from the officials?

I guess this makes the penalty we conceded all the more frustrating because we had done so much of the hard work and Liverpool didn’t really have a lot of answers. It’s Liverpool. By hook or by crook, they usually find a way and I imagine they probably would have finally breached us somehow. But we don’t know this, so don’t – pardon the pun – hand it to them. It was foolish from Michael and we can have no complaints. Ball to hand, yes, but you can’t leave your hand there. Would we have got it though against a big team? Rodri anyone?

The second goal was academic, and I credit the lads for at least having a go. It’s a shame the late corner kick we had was a poor delivery because it felt that was the only real chance we had late in the game. I tell you what, though, you’ve got to credit Liverpool for their counter-attacking pace and creativity. It’s quite exceptional and you have to doff your cap a bit there. It’s almost a danger to yourself to win a corner kick.

When they countered for the second goal I, like many, many others, departed. Walking back into the city centre, I ran into Chris and Michael. And Chris had a possible solution to Everton making our displeasure at clearly bias refereeing against big teams – do what Carlo Ancelotti did after the Manchester United just before Covid when we had a clear goal disallowed (surprise!).

Sean should confront the referee at the end of the game. The cameras are on you. Everybody sees it. It’s worth the red card – he got a yellow for not doing it yesterday anyway. Make it abundantly clear what a farce this has become. And do it again. And again. And again. And get other teams on board with it too. Make a stand. Supporters would get on board with it. Make their lives hell. They sure make our lives hell.

FA. You are killing the game.

Player ratings

Jordan Pickford: He made a very good save late on and did everything else that was asked of him. Hard to criticise him with distribution too as he didn’t have a lot to work with. 7

Vitalii Mykolenko: Vitalii was excellent. Mohammed Salah didn’t get a lot of change out of him all game and, in the second half, the vast majority of Liverpool’s attacks came from our right. He stood up manfully and did a brilliant job. Despite the circumstances, the applause he got from the Evertonians when he was substituted late on was a nice moment. I’m glad we collectively recognised that. My Man of the Match. 8

Jarrad Branthwaite: Looked very accomplished as ever. I’m interested to see his career develop. He could be a real star in the making. 8

James Tarkowski: He marshalled the lads superbly. A real captain's performance. I still can’t believe he got yellow carded so early in the game for a nothing challenge. 8

Ashley Young: With his experience, he should have known better than to dive in when on a yellow card. It highlights the limitations we have in the squad. I guess when Seamus Coleman is fit, we have our first-choice full-back available, but I feel Nathan Patterson would have had a struggle up against Luis Diaz from the get-go. It was poor from Ashley, though, he should have known better, and he rightly sits out the next game – the same way that Ibrahima Konate should be. 4

Amadou Onana: He made one quite brilliant challenge which perhaps prevented a goal early in the game, and took care of the ball really well, I thought. He had a really good game, as he did in the last game. Hopefully we’re beginning to get the consistency from Amadou which matches his ability. 8

James Garner: He really struggled to get involved in the game, especially in the first half. He got into the game more as it went on, but we really needed more from him I thought. A shame. 5

Abdoulaye Doucoure: No shortage of effort, but his passing, dribbling and decision-making limitations were there for all to see. It is what it is. 5

Dwight McNeil: Had a decent first half but was sacrificed for our second-half game plan. 6

Jack Harrison: Worked hard and pressed well, though was also sacrificed for game plan. 6

Dominic Calvert-Lewin: He had not a lot to work with admittedly, but I thought he struggled to get into the game, though credit to Virgil van Dijk who was outstanding in my opinion. 5

Michael Keane (for Dwight McNeil): He did well, though sadly for Michael, he made a costly mistake. He’ll feel like every mistake he makes gets punished, I imagine. It’s a shame because he does a lot of good, but you can’t ignore the mistakes unfortunately. Keep giving your best though, Michael, that’s all anyone can ask. 6

Nathan Patterson (for Jack Harrison): All the action was on the far side of the pitch so it was difficult to asses exactly how well he did back there. It looked like he battled gamely, but got pulled apart a bit by the tricky Diaz. Presumably he’ll get a good opportunity next weekend in Ashley’s absence. Take the opportunity, Nathan. Give Sean a big decision to make. 6

Beto (for Dominic Calvert-Lewin): I thought he was a bit of a handful and he worked very hard. I’d have liked to have seen how that one versus one against Virgil van Dijk would have gone but we’ll never know. Not a yellow card? Really? 7

Arnout Djanjuma (for Amadou Onana): A bit hit and miss. It perhaps wasn’t the time for flicks and tricks but he did take them on a bit which nobody else was doing. 6

Youssef Chermiti (for Vitalii Mykolenko): I think he’s already looking quite a handy player. We’re obviously seeing very limited amounts of him but he does look to be getting up to speed quite quickly. 6

Reader Comments (27)

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John Gall
1 Posted 22/10/2023 at 14:08:51
I completely agree about the inconsistent refereeing and the absurdity of the VAR but I have to say I've had enough of the victim stuff.

Okay, best-case scenario yesterday, before the sending-off, would have been that we battle through, scrape a point, play horrible football but defend like dogs and frustrate them.

But I'm sick of it – we are timid, fearful and lack imagination. There is no tenacity, no grit, no desire in Everton teams and haven't been for ages.

Lesser teams than Everton have gone to Anfield and got stuck in and played in a way you can admire. Everton's only 'progressive' tactic yesterday seemed to me to be just to press their back four into making mistakes and trying to do something with the scraps.

No ability to keep possession, build play, make space, create proper chances. There was none of that. In fact, since the great 85-87 period, I think Everton have only managed to properly go toe-to-toe with Liverpool in footballing terms on only perhaps two or three occasions.

The gulf has been embarrassingly vast for decades and I just now find derbies agonising to even contemplate. Their crappy plastic fans can't even be bothered about derbies anymore. They know they'll win, and it'll be easy, and we'll huff and puff and blame everyone else for losing, but lose we will. We always do...

Barry Rathbone
2 Posted 22/10/2023 at 15:08:30
John #1,

I'm with you on this "victim stuff" — it drives me up the wall, fans whimpering in the corner like cowardly little fuckwits afraid to face the fact we lose because we're shit.

And don't get me started on the crooked ref conspiracy - fuck me - if a better example of a drowning man clutching at straws exists I've yet to see it.

If we had decent players, we wouldn't be constantly on the back foot in these games vulnerable to red cards and avoidable penalties. The only time I've seen us have a real go was under Martinez in the Goodison 3-3 and we were magnificent.

But of course he'd worked a minor miracle getting in game-changers like Barry, Lukaku, Barkley and McCarthy with Deulofeu to come on. I feel sorry for Dyche – if he tried it with this crew, the Red Shite would run up double figures.

Mike Doyle
3 Posted 22/10/2023 at 15:31:59
It might help if we didn't have a manager whose only approach to these type of games is to defend deep and hope for a point – or maybe a win if we manage a counter-attack. Invariably, of course, we lose.

In recent years, Martinez had a go and our last win at Anfield was under Carlo – who doesn't do intimidation.

Yesterday's result wasn't to difficult to predict – and hats off to the posters who, pre-match, also highlighted Ashley Young as a likely problem.

Anthony A Hughes
4 Posted 22/10/2023 at 15:53:40
I disagree with your view of Dyche's half-time subs being brave Paul. It put us completely on the back foot and took away any attacking emphasis we may have had.

Trying to hold out for a draw only brought about the inevitable, we should have had a go at them as they weren't on top form.

Danny O’Neill
5 Posted 22/10/2023 at 16:11:14
So, from from a couple of those comments, we accept the officials had a blinder?

I won't accept that. Shocking and biased.

I will accept we are currently gulfs apart on the football pitch. But when my son, who is way more balanced than me gets riled, I know something is wrong. That was wrong. Again.

We have narrowly escaped relegation by the skin of our teeth twice in two seasons. I know they are currently better than us, but we could have got something out of that if it had been a level playing field. It wasn't.

Yesterday's calling out of the officials is highlighting the incompetency and favouritism.

Imagine had the shoe been on the other foot. Do you think they are accepting that?

Absolutely not. And Klopp would have been up in arms.

See you at West Ham.

Jim Bennings
6 Posted 22/10/2023 at 17:15:10
Dyche panicked at half-time, let's be honest.

If only he'd acted and brought on Patterson for Young after 30 minutes instead of naively thinking Pawson wasn't just waiting for the wind to blow Young's way so that second yellow could be brandished.

Taking two attack-minded players off basically said that we were just booting the ball out of our own penalty area for the best part of an hour, it never works because you get penned in and eventually something goes against you, either a lucky bounce or a braindead Michael Keane moment.

Danny Baily
7 Posted 22/10/2023 at 17:23:08
Jim 6,

I'm pretty sure Young picked up a yellow early against Brentford and managed to stay on. But yes, I'd have hauled him off not long after receiving the first yellow. Too old and too much of a liability for me at full-back. If Mykolenko and Patterson are fit, they should start.

Young still has plenty to offer, but from the bench.

Jim Wilson
8 Posted 22/10/2023 at 20:22:16
Great piece, Paul. Worryingly it is now not just against the big teams that decisions go against us, it is against everyone. In nearly every game this season, there has been a big decision given against us.

The other thing in my opinion is that all the little decisions went for Liverpool too so the referee dictated that Liverpool would keep possesion by blowing up for fouls against us but not them.

The game is totally corrupt now and it is blatant. And no one speaks out like they should unless it affects one of the deemed big clubs.

John Raftery
9 Posted 22/10/2023 at 21:18:42
Thanks for the report, Paul. I agree with all your ratings, notably those for Mykolenko and Garner.

Mykolenko is steadily changing the minds of critics or at least those who pay attention to what is happening on the pitch. In recent weeks he has defended well against Saka and Salah, two of the best left on right attackers in the world.

Garner's performance really concerned me. Many fans, me included, see him as a big part of our future in midfield. He was one player I was hoping would step up to the challenge yesterday. Instead he seemed to freeze, struggled to get into the game and looked lost at times in that first half.

It was almost as though the pace of the game in the opening half was too much for him. It was hard to escape the thought that for all the flaws in his game, Gana Gueye might have acquitted himself more effectively.

Mike (3) We didn't defend deep and hope for a point while we had ten men. Too often we were caught with most of our players upfield. That left the RS with acres of space to launch counterattacks.

Andy McNabb
10 Posted 22/10/2023 at 21:42:06
Thanks Paul. Hope your wife is okay. Just reading it reminded me of suddenly taking my wife in re her gall bladder.

I'm always conscious that there are much more important things but 'of all the unimportant things, football is'.

My brothers were concerned they might only stay top of the league for a few hours. I was more concerned about playing with 10 against 12 of them.

Stephen Williams
11 Posted 22/10/2023 at 22:30:54
So, John and Barry (who by the way have form for criticising the hell out of us) think that Alan Shearer, Micah Richards, Dion Dublin, Rio Ferdinand, Ally McCoist and Jurgen Klopp of all people, amongst many others must be Evertonians who bleat about being victims? Pathetic.

Many of my Liverpool mates have been gracious enough to acknowledge that the corruption of the referee was the game changer. So sad that you can see what is evident to everyone. But there again, it doesn't suit your agenda.

By the way, Tsimikas committed three fouls in the first half that weren't distinguishable from Young's but he didn't even get spoken to. Corrupt.

Ernie Baywood
12 Posted 22/10/2023 at 23:08:54
The referee isn't corrupt. He's part of a system that's been in operation for a long time.

Big clubs at home get the benefit of the doubt. That's not a new concept. Make a big call at Anfield against Liverpool and your career is on the line. They'll hang you for it.

So what do we do? There's only one thing we can do. Don't depend on the balance of decisions going our way.

Our approach yesterday was to hope. Hope that Young can get through the game against Diaz. Hope that lot wouldn't produce something to break down our two banks of blue. Hope that the ball in our box for half the game didn't hit a hand, deflect in, or cause a rash challenge (no-one talking about the one Patterson got away with?).

If that's the plan, and that's where we're at as a club, then it's a bit rich to complain that the thing that was always likely to happen, happened.

We barely touched the ball. We offered little to the match. We chased and tackled instead of possessing the ball or trying to create something. They're the things we need to focus on.

You're making the club's and manager's excuses for them. We weren't just unlucky. We're in a position where these things will happen, and continue to happen. It's not bad luck when the practically inevitable happens.

Honestly, taking the incident in isolation, then Konate should have gone. Of course he should have. But that's not the cause of our problems.

This season, so far, we have had a great set of fixtures and have 7 points from 9. It's a dreadful return - and has been blamed entirely on bad luck.

We had high xG against relegation candidates but couldn't score. Bad luck.

We played really well but our striker was injured. Bad luck.

We had a goal disallowed against a team we had countless opportunities against. Bad luck.

We had a 38-year-old sent off against a tricky, fast winger at Anfield. Bad luck.

We had 20% of the ball at Anfield and they didn't get a player sent off. Bad luck.

When do we take some accountability? If your injury-prone striker is injured, that's not bad luck. If you pick holding midfielders with little ability in front of goal and they have lots of the ball but don't score, that's not bad luck. If you go to Anfield and disregard the ball, that's not bad luck.

Luck is the one thing that we can't control.

7 points from 9 isn't good enough. It probably won't be good enough. Yet we're adamant we're cursed or unlucky or conspired against. And it's being said on here with absolute conviction after every game.

There is a con job, but it's a different con job to the one you're complaining about.

Stephen Williams
13 Posted 22/10/2023 at 00:01:25

A corrupt system by any chance? Totally.

I deliberately quoted people who had no affiliation to EFC to demonstrate that we were doomed by the (corrupt) system.

By the way, I totally agree that we have thrown away points in other games. But, we didn't play those other games yesterday. We can only play the latest game and that was one that the referee decided the outcome of.

Also, we can't change our ability to play football until we invest in better players, which won't be for quite some time, so absolutely no point in trying to argue that.

Paul Ferry
14 Posted 23/10/2023 at 03:55:08
Most importantly, Paul, I hope that your wife is well and doing great.

I have to give the polar opposite view to you on the half-time subs. They were not in any sense of the words "bold" and "brave". Quite the reverse (bold and brave would have been hooking Young for Patterson after his first yellow when anyone could have seen the writing on the wall).

They have weak full-backs and centre-backs who quake and shake when a ball comes anywhere near their penalty spot. What does Dyche do? He takes off our wingers.

That decision cost us, Paul, and for a while, we thought as the minutes passed that we might get a draw that we to some extent deserved. But we know from bitter experience that the back foot is the wrong foot at our old ground.

Jim Bennings
15 Posted 23/10/2023 at 06:08:58
The way I see the game with the flashpoints.

Young got two yellow cards that yes were harsh but equally very preventable by both himself and the manager acting faster to remove the possibility of a second yellow.

The half-time subs basically removed any chance or likelihood that we could get out of our half or support the lone striker who, even up to that point had been isolated when an equal amount of players were present.

Yes, the Michael Keane handball was a penalty; if it had been down the other end, then we'd be screaming for it. It was blatant, he did the same at Leicester in May, the guy is a walking disaster area.

Konate should have been sent off, yes, but it probably wouldn't at that stage have altered the way Dyche was seeing the game out.

Alan J Thompson
16 Posted 23/10/2023 at 06:16:57
I've passed comment on our performance on other threads and enough have repeated similar thoughts above. However, I disagree that Everton can't do anything about the poor refereeing.

We must appeal the yellow cards for the Manager and his assistant to be overturned on the basis that the referee was both wrong and inconsistent. Show video evidence from this and other games, not necessarily involving us, and shout it all very publicly, shame the man and the system that allows it to flourish.

Or are we too frightened that it will result in a more severe penalty from an "Independent" Commission. What's that old adage? "For evil to prosper, good men.... " That should be translated into a Latin motto.

Jimmy Carr
17 Posted 23/10/2023 at 10:45:58
Thanks for your report Paul, I always enjoy reading the perspectives of real fans at the game.

Have to disagree with your assessment of Dyche's half-time subs as 'ballsy' though.

I don't think Sean Dyche had a good game at all on Saturday. I was willing him to sub Young after his first yellow. so if I could see a second yellow card coming a mile off then it's a bit worrying that our manager couldn't.

Ditto bringing Keane on, my heart sank and of course the inevitable happened. Keane shouldn't be anywhere near our first eleven again. He's a liability and we all know it. Godfrey is no world beater but he's a much better bet in a three at the back.

This is only one game, so I remain broadly supportive of Sean Dyche, there are positives, but I pray he's learning a few lessons here, even if he's learning them slowly.

Whilst I agree the referee was again a decisive influence in Liverpool's favour, it doesn't mean we shouldn't acknowledge some very poor decisions by our manager.

Steve Hogan
18 Posted 23/10/2023 at 10:51:53
I think we all need a sense of perspective here. A very poor referee contributed to our defeat, but we played a team costing north of £500M, who in the summer, strengthened by recruiting some of Europe's best young players at some cost.

Compare that to a team made up of largely free transfers, loan deals, and buy-now, pay-later transfers.

Is it any wonder we struggled to have any influence on the game?

In reality, that's where we are as a club at the moment, sad but true. We stopped competing with them on a technical and ability basis, a long time ago.

John Raftery
19 Posted 23/10/2023 at 12:43:28
Steve (18),

Correct. In truth, our team did well to keep the game alive for as long as they did.

Ernie Baywood
20 Posted 23/10/2023 at 12:49:23
Stephen 13, either the ref decided the game, or we're not good enough.

We seem to be going down the road of 'we're not good enough, but on this rare occasion we would have been if the ref hadn't messed up'.

Either we are or we aren't.

And we're not. The ref dropped a clanger, but we give refs plenty of opportunities to drop clangers. And very few opportunities for them to drop one in our favour.

It's hard to accept that, even though the ref had an impact, our team and management had a greater impact.

Jim Wilson
21 Posted 23/10/2023 at 14:57:44
Ernie @ 12 - you are right. If we were always in possesion and always pressing it would be less likely that we would have someone sent off.

But last season we had the coady goal rubbed off. Would it have been disallowed because of such a fine margin if Liverpool had scored it?

The season before we had a definite penalty not given after Gordon was booked for something Salah does on a regular basis. They also should have had Mane sent off for an offence far worse than Youngs (compare Mane's offence with Doucoure's against Spurs last season. No comparison).

There are loads of other incidents in recent years and going back further. Clattenburgs offences were bad but when Suarez got Rodwell sent off by diving how come he didn't get punished for one of the biggest crimes in football? Because it was Liverpool. The game has been corrupt for years. And it has now gone to a new blatant level. It is as clear as day.

Stephen Williams
22 Posted 23/10/2023 at 15:30:07

I really don't want to play tennis trying to score points particularly as we're on the same side, but clearly I've not articulated myself with the clarity I had hoped. Therefore I'll try one last time but now using your terminology.

Clearly we weren't (quite) good enough with 11 v 10 (or 12 v 10!) and, with the difference in resources who would have expected us to be, but we may have been good enough with 10 v10. It is this opportunity that the referee unfairly denied us. Therefore a simple binary of good enough or not doesn't work.

It is clear the referee unfairly influenced our ability to get something from the game – not only my view but also of those independents I had mentioned.

Ajay Gopal
23 Posted 23/10/2023 at 15:37:38
Jimmy (17), I respectfully disagree with your perspectives of the game with regards to Young and Keane.

Ashley Young had been yellow-carded 3 times previously this season – all were in the 1st half:

Arsenal in the 45th minute which Everton lost 1-0,
Brentford in the 1st minute (!) which we went on to win 3-1, and
Bournemouth in the 11th minute, which we won 3-0. So, Dyche was justified in keeping him on.

I am surprised no one mentioned the absolute shit-housery by Diaz, who I am finding almost as despicable as rat-face Suarez. Rolling over 3-4 times for a normal footballing tackle is absolutely disgusting. I wish Young had sandbagged him on his way out.

Also, it is easy to forget that Young made a great block on Diaz's goal-bound shot which kept the game 0-0.

I also wonder what makes you think Godfrey is a better defender than Keane? Sadly, Covid seems to have taken out any bit of footballing skill he had, and Godfrey is now a much bigger liability than Keane or – dare I say it – Holgate!

Keane's handball looks bad in slow-motion, but when you watch it in real time, I doubt anyone else in his position could have gotten his hand out of the way quickly enough. Just plain bad luck that the ball struck his hand.

Dale Self
24 Posted 23/10/2023 at 15:49:05
Without intent of aggravating anyone, let me point somethimg out to the substitution/tactics with 10 critics. Just because you can suggest an alternative does not ensure it would have been effective. Yes, Dyche reduced our limted chances for a point but he increased the probability that we stayed only one goal down for that possible chance.

If you had kept Harrison and McNeil on for the full match and did not secure a point, then we would no doubt be in a worse position. Tradeoffs, maaan.

I will note that a few complaints about the substitutions have authors who also claim we were never good for a goal with eleven. Work that out and explain that to me if you can be bothered.

Barry Cowling
25 Posted 24/10/2023 at 09:24:43
I think your assessment of the players Paul is pretty spot on,I thought Mykolenko and Onana the stand out players, apart from Tarky and Branthwaite of course, I was dissapointed with Garner, his control and distribution had sunk to a level only Doucoure could match. We had a few good positions in the game but just cannot pass to a blue shirt. Garner is still young but has a lot to learn but wont have done himself any favours for his favoured central role, Onana seems to be getting to grips with the premier league and showing consistency, but he needs to be more confident and calmer when on the ball. I also expected a lot more from DCL especially when England are in definite need for an option for kane if injured, it wasnt until Beto came on that we looked like we may make something happen. I do believe we are getting there and will be fine come the end of the season but we are getting caught far too many times with break away goals
Jimmy Carr
26 Posted 24/10/2023 at 10:35:12
Ajay (23), fair points regarding Young BUT the X-factor is that we were playing at Anfield, were the refs are already itching to send an Everton player off, and in a game where we were likely to be doing a lot of defending. For these reasons I would have been concerned if any of our players had picked up a first half yellow, but Young with his lack of pace and the defensive duties required of him particularly concerned me. It wasn't a specific criticism of him, but I stand by my comments, Dyche should have subbed him immediately. I would have and thought so at the time.

Re Godfrey. We've not seen him much since he had Covid. But let's not forget there were many here, and at the game, who saw a real player in him when he first arrived. I agree he's made mistakes, but often playing in an unstable defence, and he's still young. I'm not advocating for him in the first team, but he's always been less mistake prone than Keane. If Dyche goes three at the back he has to be worth a try, if fit of course.

I disagree with you about the handball too, another defender would not have had his arm hanging out in that position. Unlucky? Perhaps, but I'd rather Keane worked through his bad luck away from Everton and at another club. Sorry to sound blunt.

Mick Davies
27 Posted 24/10/2023 at 17:55:46
In support of Garner, he did get messed around, being temporarily moved to right-back and then into midfield again, where things had changed with the sending-off.

Although I agree, he didn't take to the derby occasion well, possibly, affected by being the only local lad in the team.

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