Everton 0 - 3 Manchester Utd

It is one result. A disappointing one. But one result in a long season. 

Early start as always and into Euston. No train to Lime Street until 11:19. Great. Always looking at the positives, enough time for a bacon roll. 

It was very quiet on the train until we got to Crewe when a few Stoke-based Manchester United supporters got on with their Sainsbury's carry-outs and livened things up a bit. 

Once at Lime Street, I had a customary one in the Northwestern, which was very busy. I have to say, although irrelevant to the match, the Christmas Market outside St George's Hall looks great. 

Only time for a quick pit stop before I headed off to the Harlech Castle and then the Brick to meet with a few, including those who had travelled further than me. Bumped into Neil on one of the streets near Goodison. Good to see those I managed to. Apologies to those I didn't get to see.

The atmosphere outside was building. Young lads climbing to stand on the top of the nearby bus stop to orchestrate the singing and building the atmosphere with blue smoke in the air. I was looking on with pride, but also with some concern that the bus stop was going to collapse under the pressure! They didn't care. 

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I keep saying it time and again. At 52 years old, I've witnessed and seen just about everything with Everton, good and bad. I can understand why I do it because the hope and desire is always there that we will get back. We will.

How those young kids who have had nothing but stories from the likes of me do it is beyond me. I suppose I can relate to it growing up in the '70s and asking my Dad why I support Everton. As I've said previously, there was a frank answer. Because you do. End of discussion. 

Total respect. Keep going, boys and girls. Your Everton days will happen and reward you. 

I did however comment that I didn't like the "Manchester is full of shit" chants. I know it's a common theme when we play them, but yesterday wasn't about that. A minor observation from a grumpy middle-aged man that should not detract from how electric it was around the Brick and County Road. 

We headed towards the Grand Old Lady along County Road, Spellow Lane and eventually Goodison Road. It seemed that half of those attending Goodison took that march. It often got difficult to move. A father had to pick up his very young son, no older than 4 years old, as the congestion built and he seemed to be getting distressed. I gave the young man a reassuring message and got a smile. I hope he one day gets to experience what I have. It is worth the wait and pain when it happens. It will. 

Another pit stop in the obvious. They've changed the name. It’s now the Food Supper Bar, not the Goodison Supper Bar. I feel like part of my teenage years have been taken away from me. Still, it didn't detract from me finishing up my usual on the street facing the Holy Trinity statue looking at the Main Stand and St Luke's before heading into the ground. Having been going to Goodison since 1976, I'm really going to miss that special place. Although I understand we have to leave, it really is going to hurt when we can't go there anymore. 

Into the Gwladys Street stand. Hardly anyone was sitting and the Stewards initially just let people stand where they wanted, including near the stairs. Many held up the protest posters. I noted that some Man Utd supporters did initially, which was interesting. 

I can't say a lot about the match, which almost felt like a side show. It was a bit of a non-event. 

First goal. Not a lot you can do about that and it will likely be Goal of the Season. Pickford had no chance. I suppose all I can say is that once again, teams are targeting our flanks and as good a goal as it was (no one around me disputed that), we got exposed out wide as we did on countless occasions. Ashley Young in particular was targeted throughout the match. I was screaming at one point for him to look to his right. Not that he would have heard me. 

Undecided on the penalty as it was too far away and I won't watch it back. Players will always go down easily if there is contact and often play for it.

We were calved open for the third. I am an advocate of young Branthwaite and I don't want to be harsh, but he seemed to get turned inside-out in the buildup. I said to the person next to me that I could sense what was coming. Your footballing instinct tells you. In his defence, he was probably left exposed and on the back foot by a lack of cover in front of him. 

Jarrad is going to be a special player and he hardly put a foot wrong once again. So commanding and comfortable on the ball. As I keep saying, just be patient with a very young centre-back playing in a team under challenging circumstances. Not the best place to learn your trade right now, but he's doing a good job of it. He's young and learning and will only get better. I just hope we keep hold of him. 

I don't think I can say more than what others have said. The initial wall of noise was numbed with that early goal. It built up again, but gradually realisation kicked in. We should have been on even terms going in at half-time. That would have made it a different second half. Their goalkeeper was Man of the Match and whoever that defender was that cleared what was about to be a goal off the line; credit due. Great last-ditch defending. They finished their chances, we didn't. A common theme. 

Despite his critics and lack of consistency, I thought we missed Onana yesterday and he could have made a difference. Gueye had too much to do on his own but, had it not been for a top-class save, he'd have claimed a screamer that was heading for the top corner in front of me. I was so convinced I was already jumping and cheering. As the James song from the 90s goes. Sit down! 

Back to Lime Street and on the train back. I was speaking to a family from Runcorn. Not directed at Everton, but the lady was so aggrieved with the Premier League that she told me she was considering giving up her Season Ticket. I don't know if she reads these pages, but don't. Never give in. 

Also a conversation with an Evertonian who got off at Crewe. He'd been watching Everton since the 60s so we debated Kendall, Ball, Harvey, Young and what always intrigues me, Tony Kay. How ironic he was banned for life for one offence, whereas there are others now who get a 10-match ban or rap on the knuckles.

Just a thought in the current circumstances relating to Everton's offence of being found guilty of spending little more than the cost of a decent fullback. Manchester City and Chelsea, however… I'll leave that one there. 

I slept for the rest of the journey to Euston and then again on the Metropolitan Line. Home by midnight to be comforted by the dogs. But not after a chance meeting with Andy Burnham on the platform at Euston Square. Top guy and we briefly discussed the match and Everton. 

Reader Comments (16)

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Jack Convery
1 Posted 27/11/2023 at 14:33:14
Danny, thanks for that. Your report put a smile on my face. Your optimism holds no bounds. I sincerely hope you get your reward as you will deserve it.

I know you can't possibly report what Andy Burnham said to you but if he thought we have a really good case can you reply with "Oh yeh, Jack".

John Raftery
2 Posted 27/11/2023 at 15:02:56
Thanks for the report, Danny. Another long day for you and no reward in terms of points. The scenes around the Brick were truly memorable as was the brandishing of the pink protest sheets inside the ground.

The early goal punctured the atmosphere. It took a while for our players to settle into the game but, once they did, they created enough at least to have drawn level before half-time. Perhaps the pressure got to them. The players snatched at their opportunities when a little more composure might have yielded a better outcome.

The most pleasing aspects for me were: first, the team kept going with both Gana and Mykolenko going close with shots; and second, the majority of the crowd stayed until the end even though the cause was lost. I wish everyone would stay in their seats until the final whistle but leaving early has long been a bugbear of mine.

Christopher Timmins
3 Posted 27/11/2023 at 15:31:28

Great report and spot on about the remainder of the season. Yesterday was down to a difference in quality. They are a top half team and we are not.

Lots of winnable games ahead, starting with next weekend.

Christopher Timmins
4 Posted 27/11/2023 at 15:37:44

You said last week, we don't do big emotional days that well!

Danny O’Neill
6 Posted 27/11/2023 at 16:33:16
I know what you mean, John. I was conscious of train times and making the last one back to London.

But I never leave until the players come over and leave the pitch. I thought they got a good reception despite the result. Certainly from where I was positioned at the end.

Tony Everan
7 Posted 27/11/2023 at 16:54:32
Danny, thanks for the report, you could get your own Parkinson interview show.

"Hold your nerve" is a good tagline, we just needed to finish one of those three excellent chances in the first half to cancel out that lightning strike of a goal. It would have lit up the crowd and would have been a different match.

So I wouldn't change too much, apart from Ashley Young for Seamus or Patterson. Onana back in because he adds a bit of composure to our midfield and we have been looking a better side when he plays.

The worst thing that can happen now is a dip in confidence, we've been playing well away from home, so as you say, hold the nerve and bring home the 3 points next week. Just be more clinical with those chances!!!

Rob Halligan
8 Posted 27/11/2023 at 17:26:29
Another good read, Danny.

Wish I could have completed the march from the Brick up to the ground, but a call of nature meant I had to cut short the march; otherwise, I would have been cut short meself!

Don't forget what I told you about Forest next week; otherwise, it will be severe punishment for you! 😁😁😁

Danny O’Neill
9 Posted 27/11/2023 at 17:29:56
I promise not to get arrested, Rob!!
Paul Ferry
10 Posted 27/11/2023 at 19:19:48
Andy Burnham was on his way to speak at the Covid inquiry today. He did a top-notch job there as well, rightly lambasting Johnson and company for being overly London-centric.

Top fella. Never misses a home game unless government calls.

Why is he not leader of the Labour Party?

Tony Abrahams
11 Posted 27/11/2023 at 19:44:30
I like the title Danny, and thought that on another day Everton might not have been so unlucky. I’m glad we got back to watching football yesterday, and although we must fight this ten point deduction, we have got to remain calm, hold our nerve, and really begin to concentrate on the football once again, and hopefully we can slowly regain the momentum that we were just beginning to show, before this very unjust punishment.
Mark Murphy
12 Posted 27/11/2023 at 19:46:32
Paul, because he has principles and sticks to them?
Kier Starmers motto, on the other hand, seems to be..
“ I have principles, if you don’t like them I have others..”
Paul Ferry
13 Posted 27/11/2023 at 22:08:07
Yep Mark, bendy Starmer, I hope he wasn't named after Keir Hardie.
Paul Kossoff
14 Posted 28/11/2023 at 19:59:55
I've just looked at our remaining fixtures. With some effort, good luck, no bad VAR decisions and corrupt referees, I think we should get 29 points, with our four that's 33, not enough, but throw in an unexpected win, that's 36 should see us okay.

Am I confident all will go well? No fucking chance, after what's gone on, you think we will be okay?

I'm gearing up for a season or two in the Championship, with hopefully new owners managing the heavy debts so still being solvent.

One or two more defeats and we will be cut adrift, even from the so-called worse sides than us. Two wins on the trot for us and two losses for Luton and Sheff U then I'll be more optimistic.

Danny, I wish I had your confidence, but I don't.

Danny O’Neill
15 Posted 29/11/2023 at 19:29:59
I sometimes wish I had your pessimism, Paul, otherwise I wouldn't leave the grounds disappointed!

On to Nottingham. Get the points, then we think about the next one.

Dave Williams
16 Posted 29/11/2023 at 20:38:21
Totally right, Danny. The old expression of “one game at a time” has to apply. Who can accurately predict what else might happen?

Calvert-Lewin may get injured or he may go on a scoring run. We could go into administration (I doubt it as Moshiri would lose more than anyone).

Branthwaite or Onana might get sold, the team might grit their teeth and grind out some wins.

777 Partners might take over and put up some money for a new signing, Beto or Chermiti might start scoring goals.

There's an awful long way to go… hang on!!!

Danny Baily
17 Posted 30/11/2023 at 07:40:59
Wins are the currency. We'll need to win at least 7 games from here out, which is a massive ask, especially so given that we've let Fulham, Wolves and Luton leave Goodison with all 3 points already.

Let's start on Saturday, and drag Forest into the mix in the process.

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