Tottenham Hotspur 2 - 1 Everton

Everton travel to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium looking to lift themselves back up after disappointment in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday evening with what would be a fifth successive win in the Premier League.

Vitalli Mykolenko is back in the starting line-up at the expense of Michael Keane but Abdoulaye Doucouré and Ashley Young are is still out injured, with Sean Dyche electing to persist with the lacklustre Calvert-Lewin upfront despite Beto scoring the equalizer on Tuesday. 

Gomes has been playing for the U21s but is on the bench. For the home side, Richarlison starts and he kicked things off, Kulusevski striking the fist shot but hitting it into the ground. 

Garner did brilliantly to rob Davies but Calvert-Lewin ran the wrong side of his marker and could not profit. Everton kept up the press, Branthwaite switching play to the left and McNeil winning the first corner. Mykolenko hit his shot into the ground too. 

Spurs farted around with the ball as they struggled to play out, Everton doing well to get the turnover but balls forward to Calvert-Lewin sailed over his head. 

McNeil did brilliantly after Son was floored, fairly said the ref, and set up Calvert-Lewin for a great run forward, a glorious chance to shoot with his left foot, should have surely seen at least a decent shot on goal but he completely messed it up and was dispossessed for a corner. It was a very lively game played at tempo and it was Spurs who put together a simple move with a couple of slick passes for Richarlison to score with ease at the near post. 

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That completely deflated the tremendous energy and spirit Everton had shown in the first 9 minutes and they were rocking when Royal's clever cross should have been converted by Johnson but he screwed it over the bar, for a major let-off. 

Everton slugged forward but McNeil's strike from Onana's pass was poor, slicing well wide of the Spurs goal. Next was Mykolenko to overlap well and delivered a great cross for Calvert-Lewin with the entire goal to aim at but his header was just too close to Vicaro.

Calvert-Lewin then had a brilliant chance to volley a tremendous goal with Vicario well out of his area but the Everton centre-forward's effort was woefully off target. 

At the other end, and a Johnson shot from a corner was parried out poorly by Pickford and Son said "Thank you very much!" 2-0. 

Everton tried attacking again but Calvert-Lewin could not find a teammate with his poorly directed knock-down.  Gueye was at a stretch to tackle Richarlison and sent him tumbling, injuring himself, with the ref deciding it merited a rather harsh card before he was forced to gobble off, André Gomes replacing him for his first senior appearance of the season.  

Spurs set to cutting through the middle of Everton with slick one-touch passing and Onana's foul also saw a  yellow card, the free-kick delivered beyond Richarlison. Everton pushed up but couldn't threaten before a turnover saw another swarming horde of white slicing through the salmon shirts and getting a corner but at least that was cleared. 

Everton didn't seem to be man-marking as Richarlison was able to run through in acres of space but played the ball kindly to Tarkowski who could clear. 

Garner did a superb steal job again but Gomes could not find Calvert-Lewin and the ball was immediately back with Son as Spurs attacked yet again. Everton pushed forward again but McNeil expected the static Calvert-Lewin to run into space… and he didn't. 

Patterson made another great interception but Harrison's cross evaded everyone and Garner's shot from the cleared ball was not powerful enough to beat Vicario.

Everton had four players pressing right of the Spurs area but the Whites still evaded them to create another break, Richarlison and Tarkowski competing for a 50-50 ball, given Everton's way.

Everton still seemed to have time and space to get forward and put together a string of threatening attacks, Calvert-Lewin allowing a bouncing ball to come heavily off his chest and reachable for the advancing Vicario.

A great ball forward found McNeil and he ran forward looking for the moment to strike but he could only drive it at Vicario. 

Gomes then played in Calvert-Lewin who played his cross agonizingly behind Harrison, then Patterson crossed behind Gomes for Mykolenko to try and shoot but there was a second ball just sitting there, right in his path!

The ball then fell for Garner to have a shot, but it was just not strong enough to trouble Vicario. Patterson's crossed but just too high for Calvert-Lewin.

Patterson got wide again but Gomes's shot hit Mykolenko and screwed behind. 

At the other end, after Sarr(?) was caught accidentally by Onana. 

Harrison got behind the Spurs defence but he tried to place it with not enough power to beat Vicario. Everton went forward again but the ball in found Calvert-Lewin the wrong side of his marker again. 

Everton won a corner, Kulusevski hanging on desperately to Onana's shirt but the Everton player made nothing of it — and neither did the referee. 

What a crazy half of high-tempo football, both sides very open but only Spurs benefitting with Everton's numerous excellent chances created sufficient to be well ahead but all sadly spurned. 

Everton resorted to the long-ball hoof from the restart and Onana forced a turnover but could not create a chance from it. Porro was allowed to run wide and Everton had to defend resolutely. 

A long punt forward was caught and played out by Vicario but Gomes rescued it with a tackle on Royal and played in Calvert-Lewin who this time buried it with his right foot. But the VAR pointed out that neither the referee nor the linesman saw Gomes tread on Royal's foot as he won the ball and the goal was denied. 

Everton got another giveaway, this time from Dier, but they could not make anything of it. At the other end, Sarr smashed one at Pickford. Gomes got Calvert-Lewin moving down the left but again, no chance created. 

Patterson tried to pick out Calvert-Lewin with a good but he couldn't win the ball and Spurs attacked again. Patterson and Garner tried to attack down the right but they were stymied. 

Harrison found Garner who turned and fired, his shot slicing off the face of the far post as Richarlison was replaced by Hojbjerg. Everton pushed up but could not sustain the attack and Spurs broke once again, Sarr's shot blocked away. 

Going the other way and McNeil's efforts won a corner, Mykolenko's driven shot hitting Branthwaite. Everton were finding a lot of space but the creation of chances was not as effective as in the first half. Patterson did well to win another Everton corner, but the referee thought Branthwaite was too close the the keeper. 

Everton were still pressing as Vicario tried to play out and was almost embarrassed before Spurs were surging forward again but time was now running out surely for Everton to rescue anything from this game with 20 minutes left. 

Kulusevski brushed aside Patterson to fire a shot wide of Pickford but he pawed it behind at full stretch, a fine save, Gomes shown the yellow card for protesting. 

Goomes picked up a good ball from Mykolennko and drove forward but his shot was deflected into the side netting; however, no corner! Incredibly, Beto came on for Onana, with Calvert-Lewin still on the field. 

But Spurs surged forward again but were stalled, Danjuma could not find his way through, Spurs countered and Son over hit his pass. Braanthwaite stole the ball in midfield and Everton attacked again, winning a corner. It came around to Gomes and he lashed it home first time, a great finish. 

Patterson was shown a yellow card from coming in late and from behind. 

McNeil found Danjuma with a tremendous pass, Viirio pulling off  fantastic save. From the corner, Spurs were at sixes and sevens, Tarkowwski's header blocked and Beto denied by a desperate Vicario punch off his head.

Spurs tried to get forward nut were flagged offside, Kulusevski booked for kicking the ball away. Everton attacked again and won a corner that went over everyone, Son knocking McNeil over. But the Everton pressure was really good as the clock relentlessly ticked away. 

Everton still had to defend, before Gomes again found Danjuma but it dribbled out for a goal-kick with 6 minutes added on as Everton kept pushing Spurs back. Garner was fouled by Royal and Pickford put in a deep free-kick but Branthwaite could not find Calvert-Lewin. 

Son got forward but his cross was picked off and the ball immediately forward to Danjuma who drove forward to score the equalizer.... oh no he didn't — he fairly lashed it just over Vicario's goal.

Everton forward again and Danjumia running around the back surely would score but he hit the bar and out off Vicario's knee. Incredible finish buy Everton... except the finishing. But what a game! 

Tottenham Hotspur: Vicario; Porro, Romero (46' Dier), Davies, Royal; Sarr (73' Lo Celso), Skipp; Johnson, Kulusevski  [Y:86'], Son; Richarlison (63' Hojbjerg). 

Subs: Forster, Dorrington, Phillips, Bryan, Donley, Veliz.

Everton: Pickford, Patterson, Tarkowski, Branthwaite, Mykolenko, Gana [Y:23'] (24' Gomes [Y:76']), Onana [Y:26'], Garner, Harrison (66' Danjuma), McNeil, Calvert-Lewin (79' Beto).

Subs: Virginia, Lonergan, Keane, (79' Beto) Godfrey, Chermiti, Hunt.


Reader Comments (277)

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Rolf Tomander
1 Posted 23/12/2023 at 13:39:11
Horrible away shirt.
Michael Bennet
2 Posted 23/12/2023 at 14:00:49
The last match, Sean Dyche said all his stats on energy and running were spot on.

But they never passed the eye test for me… They were miles off it... and it looked like the fans were a bit flat as well.

Rob Dolby
3 Posted 23/12/2023 at 14:15:14
Michael 2, Flat fans! What do you expect? Flag shaggers FC?

You sound like a certain entitled bitter and twisted prem manager.

Si Cooper
4 Posted 23/12/2023 at 14:34:02
I know zilch about most of their bench but their attack gives me the heebie-jeebies, especially on the break!
Hopefully our defence can bottle them up or at least stay close enough that they get very few clear chances.
Don’t want any lingering disappointment from Tuesday to take root. 8 wins the simple way to do it, with hopefully one today restoring the positivity.
John Atkinson
5 Posted 23/12/2023 at 14:36:26
Really looking forward to this. I agree that we should have started Beto though. He deserves it!
Christy Ring
6 Posted 23/12/2023 at 14:47:04
Delighted to see Mykolenko back, and Branthwaite back in his proper position, good to see Gomes on the bench, he can still do a job for us.
Alan J Thompson
7 Posted 23/12/2023 at 14:50:13
Have we got anyone quick enough to outpace their high defensive line? And Dobbin and the other youngsters don't make the bench but our 40 year old third keeper does.
Kieran Kinsella
8 Posted 23/12/2023 at 15:36:17
Slow, weak, no control. DCL has regenerated into Tom Davies.
Dan Parker
9 Posted 23/12/2023 at 15:57:23
Poor second goal and with better finishing we should have at least one goal.

Gomes played really well and the lads haven't given up. Might be a difficult couple of games until we get the rhythm back.

Dave Abrahams
10 Posted 23/12/2023 at 15:58:34
Watching this game with a visitor, who has no interest in football, so I'm paying him a bit of respect and with just one eye on the game.

It seems to me we've played as well or better than them without taking three or four chances while Spurs have taken their two chances.

Let's see what the second half brings.

Alan J Thompson
11 Posted 23/12/2023 at 15:58:36
Get Powderpuff off as he looks like he's on one of his modelling jobs and get Beto on. We've had enough chances to be ahead but nobody wants to put it in the net.

We've given away two soft goals, the first looked like everybody was leaving it to somebody else and the second they were all looking to add to their blocking stats.

And we've had two soft, almost contactless yellow cards (Gana & Onana) while Spurs have committed worse fouls and have barely had a free kick against them.

And finally what was going to be my opening remark, sack whoever is responsible for that awful strip. We are Everton and play in blue not some faux red colour!

George Cumiskey
12 Posted 23/12/2023 at 16:01:44
I've said it before and I'll say it again — what the fuck does Harrison bring to the team????
Brian Wilkinson
13 Posted 23/12/2023 at 16:02:47
After a shaky start, playing alright for me, missed quite a few chances, Need to put one away and then it's game on.

Keep pressing second half and more chances will come our way. I would go with Chermiti alongside Calvert-Lewin, get Chermiti into the game, then look to swap Calvert-Lewin for Beto a little later on.

Michael Kenrick
14 Posted 23/12/2023 at 16:04:53
Yea, why the fuck are we playing in that stupid strip, rather than all Blue?

But that is the least of our problems.

Not gonna say who I think is the biggest of those problems as I'll probably be relieved of my duties as matchday updater...

Jerome Shields
15 Posted 23/12/2023 at 16:06:31
Alan #11,

Agree regarding the strip.

Two poorly defended goals against.

Calvert-Lewin is all sorts, basics out the window. Need Beto on fast. Can't see Calvert-Lewin wanting to come out for the second half.

Gomes a surprising addition and playing well.

Paul Kossoff
16 Posted 23/12/2023 at 16:12:46
Calvert-Lewin goal disallowed!
Paul Kossoff
17 Posted 23/12/2023 at 16:18:57
How many fuckiing "there you goes" are we getting today?

Just scored, disallowed… there you go.
Townsend scores for Luton… there you go.
Forest score… there you go.
Burnley winning… there you go.
Us getting beat… there you go.

My ex-wife sends Christmas presents over from Ireland, the most horrendous pair of curtains I've ever seen, straight in the charity shop level, there you go.

Any more I'll let you know. Thought we were supposed to be happy at Christmas? There you go.🙄

Paul Kossoff
18 Posted 23/12/2023 at 16:22:54
Garner hits the post, there you go.

I'm going for double figures today.😌

Hang on… Burnley score again. There you go. 🙄

Paul Kossoff
19 Posted 23/12/2023 at 16:33:10
Here is another one I forgot to mention:

Richarlison scored… there you go!😌
Paul Kossoff
20 Posted 23/12/2023 at 16:43:07
Goooooool Gomes!!!😀
Ernie Baywood
21 Posted 23/12/2023 at 16:59:14
Wouldn't mind seeing the assessment of whether that crossed the line... it looked in.
Paul Kossoff
22 Posted 23/12/2023 at 17:01:58
Should have won today, so unlucky we are.

Gomes excellent — don't know how we lost.

Happy Christmas every body to you and yours, all the best in health God bless.

Ajay Gopal
23 Posted 23/12/2023 at 17:02:14
So, so proud of our display today. How did we not get at least a point???

That last shot by Danjuma looked to have been over the line. Why didn't the VAR look at it? Spurs very, very, very lucky to come away with 3 points.

Once again, well done to the boys.

Ohh... and the refereeing was abysmal. That Calvert-Lewin goal should have stood / would have stood if it had been against us – 100%.

Ed Prytherch
24 Posted 23/12/2023 at 17:03:46
Gomes was brilliant. Lets hope that he can maintain this form for the rest of the season.
Ernie Baywood
25 Posted 23/12/2023 at 17:07:12
Just seen the goal decision system vision... didn't cross the line. A couple of centimetres overlapping.

I still don't think you can overrule the Calvert-Lewin goal. The linesman is right there judging whether it's a foul and decides it isn't. He didn't see something else, he saw the challenge.

They've re-refereed the game. Show motion replays always look like fouls.

Tony Abrahams
26 Posted 23/12/2023 at 17:08:24
Only watched the last 15 minutes, and have to say that during that period, I haven’t seen an Everton team playing with such attacking intent for years.
Colin Glassar
27 Posted 23/12/2023 at 17:08:51
What a different Everton team this is. Proud of the lads.
Graham Mockford
28 Posted 23/12/2023 at 17:08:58
It's quite rare to get beat but still feel good.

Brilliant performance once we went 2-0 down. Very poor VAR decision and I'm pretty sure that Danjuma shot crossed the line.

David Vaughan
29 Posted 23/12/2023 at 17:09:40
Damn shame but in no way damning. There's no way we're going backwards again, not with an attitude and application like that.

Other results today may have done us no favours, but it's still a very Merry Christmas for a team whose recent performances, results and league position make it easy to forget (yeah, right!) were so cruelly and erratically docked 10 points just a few weeks ago.

Plenty to build on. UTFTs! And a Happy New Year to come (closes eyes*crosses fingers)!!

Danny Baily
30 Posted 23/12/2023 at 17:10:20
Looked every bit the equal of Spurs there. Unlucky not to get a point but a lot to suggest we'll be comfortably safe by Easter this time around.
Alan J Thompson
31 Posted 23/12/2023 at 17:10:40
Well, that was a game we should never have lost. What may come out of it is what our starting eleven could be.

Gomes had a good game and might be that touch of class we need in midfield and it wouldn't do any harm to offer him a 2 year contact at say 30Kpw. And somebody has to have a word with Harrison as he seemed to make a mess of everything that came near him while Onana didn't have much of a game either but I'm not sure if that was because he was given Gana's role after he went off. And it does look like we miss Doucoure's late runs into the box.

As for VAR, the quicker they stick it the better or perhaps only comes into use when the Referee requests it. It seemed to look at everything we did but gave us nothing while I don't recall it being used against Spurs. And I had to laugh almost when VAR looked at a shirt pull on an Everton corner but gave nothing as the ball wasn't in play.

Andy Finigan
32 Posted 23/12/2023 at 17:13:18
From the opposite side that ball was well past the post. Robbed again. Well done Everton but we should of scored more than 1.
Joe McMahon
33 Posted 23/12/2023 at 17:14:18
Everything is getting better, but we will still miss not having a reliable confident finisher. Just look at Dominic Solanke now, and the difference he makes to Bournemouth.
Colin Glassar
34 Posted 23/12/2023 at 17:15:44
I don't want to criticise any of the players but Harrison is a talented player but football wise he's a bit brain dead. Danjuma is a greedy player who seemed to enjoy himself with his Spurs teammates after the final whistle.

We are on the right track and, despite the probable loss to Man City, we'll be more than ok this season.

Ernie Baywood
35 Posted 23/12/2023 at 17:18:21
Colin, I'm not sure he's talented either.

If we had any other option at right wing then he shouldn't be anywhere near the side.

Danjuma is talented but dumb. Harrison just isn't anything. I've never seen someone's legs move so quickly for so little speed. Nor a player use so many touches when just two would do. He's crap.

Dave Abrahams
36 Posted 23/12/2023 at 17:18:37
Disappointed with the result but happy with that performance, we definitely deserved a point.

Surprised, no amazed at Gomes performance, without a very good goal, love him to continue in that vein for the rest of the season, Danjuma was another who looked good, could have chipped one centre instead of shooting but he did played well.

Another VAR decision for Dominic's goal that was contentious, referee and linesman saw nothing wrong with it until the referee was instructed to have a view. Spurs taking Richarlison off and putting a defensive midfielder on. Everton, prompted by Gomes, were doing well down that left wing but that equaliser wouldn't come.

Not for the first time this season, missed chances cost us points, but we look far from being a poor team heading for the drop. Keep this squad fit and we will avoid relegation.

Kieran Kinsella
37 Posted 23/12/2023 at 17:19:14

Yeah, after the early goals, in recent seasons we would have capitulated and lost 5-0. Not so now.

100% improvement in attitude and desire this season. Very unlucky today.

Mike Doyle
38 Posted 23/12/2023 at 17:20:41
Great effort after going 2 down. Yet again, our collective inability to finish decent chances and make the right decision in the final third cost us at least a point and arguably 3.

Great performance from Gomes. We need a constructive midfield player who can pass accurately and quickly. Perhaps we've found one?

Paul Birmingham
39 Posted 23/12/2023 at 17:22:49
Gutted to lose but superb character, I said preseason it feels like1983 in terms of positive progress, and Everton today thoroughly deserved at least a point.

Should have been at least 2-4, to Everton, but poor finishing and no luck.

The VAR and the referee didn't help the cause today.
Gomes, inspired, he's made me rethink hopefully, this will be his renaissance.


Pete Clarke
40 Posted 23/12/2023 at 17:22:59
Agree with Tony. Best football I've seen us play for a long time.

Maybe that's because Spurs play a certain way but I was impressed with our desire to get the ball and then equally find players in space.

Ultimately it was lack of quality in and around the area where we failed.

Great effort and let's hope we can keep it going.

Calvert-Lewin is bang average and I'd like to see Beto given a run.

Peter Jansson
41 Posted 23/12/2023 at 17:23:00
André Gomes was brilliant!! 10 times better than the man he replaced. If this is how good he still is, he needs to play much more!!
Brian Wilkinson
42 Posted 23/12/2023 at 17:23:58
The whole of the ball did not cross the line – it will not go to the VARwith goal line technology not signalling ball never crossed.

It has showed a freeze frame and sadly they were right just a few centimetres of the ball on the line but 100% correct on no goal.

As for the VAR decision, the linesman saw nothing and he was as close as you could get to the Gomes tackle, very unlucky to get that goal ruled out.

Overall, Everton were great today, cannot fault that effort. Gomes looks a real positive, just need to start putting those chances away, but happy with that performance.

Paul Tran
43 Posted 23/12/2023 at 17:29:09
We played some cracking stuff today. The lack of goalscorers in the squad is really being shown now that we're consistently creating chances.

Gomes was superb. Will he find that elusive consistency he's yet to show us?

Danjuma is another talented footballer with poor decision-making. How many of those have we seen in recent years?

Lots to be happy about, much to ponder about who's going to start finishing these chances...

Lee Courtliff
44 Posted 23/12/2023 at 17:30:02
It feels strange, normally I'm gutted when we lose but that was a good performance. An entertaining performance, even.

I did question the introduction of Gomes at 2-nil down but he played very well and scored a lovely goal.

Christine Foster
45 Posted 23/12/2023 at 17:30:25
Well, we deserved more from that, a great performance and I can't fault anyone except the lack of clinical finishing that Richarlison had, still miss that guy...

The Spurs players are pathetic, continually falling over at the slightest touch, playing for fouls, the referee was poor with that. The VAR on the disallowed goal was ridiculous; this is still supposed to be a contact sport, somebody should explain that to referees.

Gomes started slowly but, once he got going, played very well, great passes and a good goal, unlucky not to have a second, Spurs keeper so lucky.

Results didn't go our way today but, although we didn't finish, what a great game… good skill, fought to the final whistle and a point should have been the very least we deserved.

Lucky Spurs, unlucky Blues!

Robert Tressell
46 Posted 23/12/2023 at 17:32:26
Somehow feels positive despite the result.

This team just needs a few options like Spurs have in wide / attacking areas and we could go very far.

Have a great Christmas everyone. COYB

Jim Lloyd
47 Posted 23/12/2023 at 17:33:58
Apart from the first 15 minutes, we got better as the game wore on.

Welcome back, André. A classy display rounded off with a cracking goal. I'm made up for him, not only scoring a good goal but he was orchestrating our game in a way that I haven't seen done for yonks.

We were all at sea for their first goal but credit to our late forward for finding all that space 6 yards from our goal line. I didn't see the Calvert-Lewin "goal" so can't comment but he seemed to wait far too long before trying to get his shot away early on. We had a very good chance of equalizing then.

A few (quite rightly!!!) have mentioned that bloody awful kit! Looks like it's been to the bagwash too many times; or they're trying to get some fans to buy it for a Chrimmy present for the kids. Why not all Royal Blue, or our old away kit Tangerine shirts, Royal Blue shorts and Tangering socks?

Marketing? say no more!

Still, we made lots of chances, restricted them well, and could have won the game – and couldn't have been called lucky if we had.

I thought Danjuma looked lively but could have passed to a better-placed team mate for a scoring chance on a couple of occasions. Still; overall, we've got a few more players coming into the squad, so it gives Sean more to choose from.

Patterson's got a lot to learn but, overall we looked pretty good against a top side and had them worried for most of the 2nd half. Good stuff Blues, keep it going.

Have I said André looked classy?

Colin Glassar
48 Posted 23/12/2023 at 17:35:09
Ernie 35, you're probably right. I can't see either staying beyond the summer.

This was a Glorious Defeat if such a thing exists.

Oliver Molloy
49 Posted 23/12/2023 at 17:35:45
Unlucky from what I seen – never a foul for me for our disallowed goal – I'm looking forward to the day when the ref tells the VAR to fuck off and just goes with it.

Very unlucky, Calvert-Lewin should have scored. again!
Great performance from Gomes, who is putting himself in the shop window of course!

Colin Glassar
50 Posted 23/12/2023 at 17:40:03
Long may he remain in that window, Oliver.
Colin Malone
51 Posted 23/12/2023 at 17:42:49
At last. Gomes is not and never will be a holding midfielder. Great performance in his rightful position.
Ajay Gopal
52 Posted 23/12/2023 at 17:44:12
Gomes did not touch the football for about 10 minutes after he came on, but he started imposing himself as the game went on.

We need to remember that Spurs were missing a number of their key players including their first-choice centre-backs. So, this was a great opportunity to get something from the game, but giving away those early goals gave us a difficult mountain to climb.

Calvert-Lewin's lack of goals is beginning to be worrisome although he was unlucky to have his goal pulled back.

Dyche is doing a terrific job getting some forgotten players playing well – Godfrey, Keane, Doucoure, Mykolenko, and now perhaps Gomes? So, I am quietly optimistic that he will get a tune out of Dele Alli sometime later in the season.

Tony Everan
53 Posted 23/12/2023 at 17:45:58
Don't know whether to be happy we played well or gutted we got beat. As ever with Everton, it's complicated.

Enjoyed watching Branthwaite again, just class. Patterson did well in a tough game, should take confidence from that performance.

Special mention goes to André Gomes, got involved, was influential, looking to pass it forward. More of the same, please, André.

Going into the Man City game now thinking we can get something.

Jim Bennings
54 Posted 23/12/2023 at 17:51:44
Gomes should be in ahead of Onana or Gana for the next few games, let's see how he goes. He can at least pass a football.

We've absolutely beat the piss out of them for most of that game but in this league, if you switch off early on, then you are likely to pay.

A win against Wolves next Saturday (another bogey team?) is not out of the question if we perform like we did today.

Andy Meighan
55 Posted 23/12/2023 at 17:55:44
How we never won that is beyond me.

We were absolutely brilliant after we went 2 down, and I've never seen us dominate a game like that since Howard's first spell.

Honestly, 7 wouldn't have flattered us – we were that dominant.

Special mention to André Gomes – absolute quality, ran the midfield from the moment he came on.

I'm never happy losing but seeing us play like that at a so-called top side fills me with pride.

Annika Herbert
56 Posted 23/12/2023 at 18:05:06
Despite a sloppy start, I thought the lads gave a damn good account of themselves and can feel unlucky to walk away with nothing.

I am not going to single out any player for criticism because I thought they all gave it 100%. If we continue to produce performances like that, we will win a lot more games than we lose.

Disappointed at the end result but proud of that performance.

Paul Hewitt
57 Posted 23/12/2023 at 18:05:43
Even ex-ref Mike Dean said the goal should have stood.

And he hates us.

John Raftery
58 Posted 23/12/2023 at 18:10:37
I was proud of the team today. That was our best performance of the season. Continue playing like that and we will win more than we lose.

Gomes, a new slim-line version of him, was a revelation. Some of his passes were sublime. Garner was here, there and everywhere.

By the end, we had Spurs clinging on for the final whistle. They knew they had been in a game.

Rob Dolby
59 Posted 23/12/2023 at 18:16:57
A great performance spoilt by 2 lapses of concentration.

It would have been a good game for the neutral.

Var and the refs making stuff up as they go along is killing the game, how many times did the spurs players just fall to the floor to get the foul including for our first goal.

A good cameo from Gomes may just fill the gap in January if we don't get anyone in, though I won't hold my breath.

Danjuma wasting some great chances, showing why he doesn't get a regular start with his frustrating decision-making.

Some strong performance from the team but my MotM was James Garner.

Peter Mills
60 Posted 23/12/2023 at 18:17:06
It was a tremendous performance, frustratingly lacking in the final pass or finish. Unfortunately, we missed the kind of player who scored the first goal for Spurs.

Am I being paranoid, or did the referee give just about every decision to Tottenham? We had 2 players yellow-carded for innocuous fouls, a foul against us for a bit of physical contact in the build-up to our disallowed goal, nothing against Spurs for a shirt pull on Onana, nor an elbow on Mykolenko.

Some would say it's a bit dodgy.

Niall McIlhone
61 Posted 23/12/2023 at 18:21:34
This was a very entertaining game, and- save for their second goal where our defence looked completely static for the Son goal – they hardly troubled Pickford.

I noticed that their left back, Emerson Royal had a flaw in his defending insofar as he spends too much time facing his own goal, shielding the ball. It came as no surprise that Gomes then hunted him down when he again had his arse sticking out facing his own goal. Contact was minimal, the ref saw it, the linesman saw it, and Gomes put Calvert-Lewin in for a great finish. Sadly, the ref did not have the bottle to stand by what he and his assistant saw for themselves. A disgrace.

All-in-all, however, the manager was brave with his tactics, we gave it our best shot, and really should have beaten Spurs.

Well done also to our travelling fans, I noted that they gave Onana a classy send-off when he was substituted which the player acknowledged.

Chris Leyland
62 Posted 23/12/2023 at 18:22:28
A feast performed with a disappointing result. How that goal is disallowed is beyond me. The ref and the assistant both saw it and didn't give a foul for Gomes's challenge. It wasn't a clear and obvious error, so why did the VAR intervene? That's not what it is there for.

Gomes was a revelation today and I hope the lad gets a run in the side as he's got the creativity we are sadly lacking.

Charles Brewer
63 Posted 23/12/2023 at 18:23:55
I have always liked André Gomes, and today he showed what he is capable of and essentially stood the game on its head from the moment he came on. His passes and general play were the most intelligent from an Everton player I have seen since James Rodriguez left.

Previously he was an "on/off" player and I'm not sure he was played in position where he could shine. He's not quick or a good tackler, but a few of his passes today – and his goal – were the kind which changes matches.

He appears to be another player who thrives in the right position, but suffers badly from being given the wrong role (unlike the new discovery, Branthwaite, who seems to be able to play anywhere).

I just hope that Sean Dyche can get him into the team in a position where he can play his best game.

Jeff Armstrong
64 Posted 23/12/2023 at 18:24:00
Don't particularly want to piss on everybody's chips, but that is as good as it gets from André Gomes. He has had his one good game this season.

He's been here for the best part of 5 years and he's scored 1 decent goal before v Wolves in a defeat and had 1 decent game about 4 years ago at Anfield. He is not going to be like the proverbial “new signing”.

Paul Hewitt
65 Posted 23/12/2023 at 18:29:34
The referee and linesman didn't give a foul on the goal, it would have stood. So why did the VAR get involved – that's not their job.
Dave Lynch
66 Posted 23/12/2023 at 18:30:16
Gomes is a class act, always has been, that horrible bastard Son all but wrecked his career.

For me... we are short of a natural finisher, Calvert-Lewin is not the answer, he is a focal point but nothing more, a good finisher in the ranks and we'd be a force to be reckoned with.

Dale Self
67 Posted 23/12/2023 at 18:40:06
Gomes scored but no riot?
Charles Brewer
68 Posted 23/12/2023 at 18:44:42
From Sleaze Central, Brown Envelope House, Scunthorpe, or Premier League HQ, as it is less accurately termed:

"All 380 Premier League fixtures in a season will have a VAR, who is constantly monitoring the match but will be used only for "clear and obvious errors" or "serious missed incidents" in four match-changing situations:"

There was no "clear and obvious error" for the Gomes tackle and Calvert-Lewin goal, and the incident was most certainly not "missed", the onfield, close by, officials had a perfect view and saw nothing wrong.

This wasn't some player being held back off the ball, it wasn't some bullet of a shot fired from 2 feet range which hit an arm somewhere above the elbow, it wasn't someone with a big nose leaning forward in a possibly offside position; it was a player being stripped of the ball, observed by a referee who was giving fouls for virtually any contact on a Spurs player. And who saw nothing wrong, just as the linesman, in an absolutely perfect position, didn't.

But then the same VAR didn't see Onana being dragged half way across the penalty area by his shirt.

Jonathan Oppenheimer
69 Posted 23/12/2023 at 18:47:40
As others have said, unsure whether to be happy we played well or gutted we lost.

While Gomes showed his class, especially when not being forced to defend, this was a match crying out for Doucoure and his finishing ability.

It's unclear to me whether Danjuma can do the defensive work required of Dyche, and he certainly gives the ball away a bit much trying to be fancy, but you can at least see his quality; he could've had 2 goals but for a great save and the crossbar. Another solid match from the centre-backs and Garner, and I thought Patterson did well and is growing into the starting role.

This was a match where Dyche could actually say afterwards that we played well but for the two goals and lack of finishing, and he'd be spot on.

As for the disallowed goal, I agree with the call, and we would've wanted the foul against us. He may have gone down a bit easily, but that's a clear foul. That didn't lose us the match – our lack of finishing and poor defending did us in.

All-in-all, another sign of progress for us under Dyche.

Jack Convery
70 Posted 23/12/2023 at 18:52:19
Given everyone's comments, we put a real shift in after a sloppy start. Listening to Dyche we definitely didn't deserve to lose and the VAR has done us again. Did Spurs claim for a foul on Romero? Or was it another SLy Six decision?

What is worrying me at the moment is the number of soft yellow cards we are getting, whilst our opponents are getting away with it. We can ill-afford suspensions given the small squad we have for the rest of the season.

Still, we are a midtable team, at least this season and with better finishing, 10 points back and a fair crack of the whip from VARgghhh, we'd be comfortably threatening a European place. If I was Wolves, Brentford and Palace I'd start to worry about the teams currently below them.

All the best to everyone at EFC for the rest of the season.

Happy Xmas and a great 2024.

Jerome Shields
71 Posted 23/12/2023 at 18:57:27
Whilst the two goals against were the result of poor defending, Everton did play well and created chances. They were unlucky and Spurs were very lucky.
Minik Hansen
72 Posted 23/12/2023 at 19:00:08
Sounds like a good, but frustrating and unlucky game for us... I missed it due to the flight to Las Palmas!

Happy to read and see Gomes had a good game and scored.

Merry Christmas everyone 🎄 Have a good one and be safe ✨

John Keating
73 Posted 23/12/2023 at 19:03:35
By far the better team and should have won no problem.
Spurs dead lucky to get anything never mind a win

As for the VAR – I am sick of moaning about it.

Bill Gienapp
74 Posted 23/12/2023 at 19:08:56
If Gomes can play like that, what a massive boost to our midfield and overall squad depth (though I say that knowing that he's had a tendency in the past to pull one amazing performance out of his butt and then utterly fail to sustain it).

And Danjuma (while a bit selfish) definitely has goals in his locker – hopefully, Dyche will start using him off the bench more. We could use some consistent firepower.

Philip Lockett
75 Posted 23/12/2023 at 19:10:26
I like Danjuma but he needs to be less selfish would have drawn had he passed the ball.

I like Calvert-Lewin but he needs help with his heading – should have buried that cross today. Our finishing is really poor.

Jeff Armstrong
76 Posted 23/12/2023 at 19:17:54
As Charles Brewer says, the VAR probably got it right regarding the Gomes foul (typical challenge by him btw) but where was the VAR when Onana's shirt is being yanked off him at a corner?

The VAR is subjective when it wants to be, it's not consistent and that's what winds everyone up. It needs binning, it's just another level of inconsistency, which we already have with referees. The game doesn't need more decisions made by incompetent biased individuals.

Paul Ferry
77 Posted 23/12/2023 at 19:20:40
Jim Bennings: A win against Wolves next Saturday (another bogey team?) is not out of the question if we perform like we did today.

Feck me, how low have we sunk, eh!? A win against mighty thrill-a-minute Wolves “is not out of the question”. Christmas is saved! Hark the herald Bennings sing.

I have genuinely never said a bad word against Gomes, ever, and I'm absolutely thrilled for him. His passing was top-notch, exactly what we have been missing. Now if I could take Danjuma into a dark room for a word …

Nice to see the reception Onana got when he was subbed. Classy that.

A huge Happy Xmas to one and all, especially to our moderators sorry editors!

Rob Jones
78 Posted 23/12/2023 at 19:24:30
Great performance. We went to a good team and outplayed them, barring our slow start. Gomes was phenomenal (weird that: imagine a player playing well when he's played in his actual position), he made such a difference.

Disappointing to see the usual barrage of shitty little comments above about Dominic Calvert-Lewin, especially the more personal ones. It's petty, unnecessary, and it says far more about you than it does about him.

Ian Bennett
79 Posted 23/12/2023 at 19:25:52
Played well and deserved something from the game.

All commentators have come out and said the Calvert-Lewin goal shouldn't have been disallowed. Clearly the agenda continues...

Charles Brewer
80 Posted 23/12/2023 at 19:29:01
I think the criticism of Danjuma is a bit misplaced. While he could have attempted to pass to teammates instead of shooting on a couple of occasions, the teammates were well covered by Spurs defenders and a pass would have been very difficult.

Also, I think a bit of selfishness in front of goal is no bad thing, we all saw how Tom Davies got to the point where he would almost always pass rather than shoot because of the absolute opprobrium and insult he got when he missed a chance.

I also thought that the final VAR insult of not even bothering to check whether the ball was over the line was typical - it was at most around 2cm on the line, certainly not so clear cut that "we don't even need to check" was appropriate.

The rule appears to be "if Everton [and, I'm sure, Wolves, Sheffield, Burnley against the Syph Six] score then scrutinize everything for the least possible cause of disallowing the goal, in the reverse case [eg, penalties for shirt pulling of the most obvious and extended type] don't bother looking and make sure it doesn't get on the Lineker boreathon."

Jerome Shields
81 Posted 23/12/2023 at 19:39:06
Gomes should not be loaned out in January. He has found a yard from somewhere since I last saw him play. Though I don't think Spurs knew what to do with him.

If he is targeted, it may be different, but he's a great option off the bench and maybe five of the bench appearances by Dele Alli just to mix it up.

Everton play like a Top 10 side.

Rob Jones
82 Posted 23/12/2023 at 19:39:14
We played far better today than we did against Burnley.

Football is weird.

Paul Tran
83 Posted 23/12/2023 at 19:43:19
Apparently VAR did see the Onana incident, but deemed that the ball was 'out of play'.

If these things 'even themselves out', we'll get plenty of decisions in the next few months, won't we?

Jason Hewly
84 Posted 23/12/2023 at 19:44:45
I haven't seen the game or highlights yet but, from what I was picking up in reports, we worried Spurs and created chances.
Despite the injuries, Spurs are a decent outfit with a good manager and a lot of quality. Away from home, 2-0 down, and we went after it. Not too shabby.

Good to see Gomes back. I've never had a downer on him. He's a quality footballer who benefits from love and being played to his strengths. It would be good to see more of him.

I've been a Dyche sceptic, but fair play to the guy, he's really getting a tune out of these players. Hopefully he weaponizes the VAR shite to pump them up for the next game.

Feels good to be a Blue. Happy Christmas, everyone.

John Keating
85 Posted 23/12/2023 at 19:54:40
Michael, your headline sums it up exactly.

An excellent performance but our finishing determined 3 points or nothing.

We really need someone who can put it in the net – simply put, a goal scorer.

It is an anathema for me to say this but a cheap cheap cheap option for a Club with no money but we should go for Lawrence Shankland at Hearts.

We look at Beto and Chermiti at £25M and £15M. We are quoted for others at big money but right now, for a few million, we can get a proven guy who knows exactly where the goal is.

Don't expect a non-stop 20-km-a-game player but putting the ball in the net, well say no more.

Sam Hoare
86 Posted 23/12/2023 at 19:56:49
Poor finishing has been the story of this season. If we had our 10 points back and even a mediocre level of finishing, then I think we'd be right in the mix for Top 4. But that's a lot of ‘ifs'!!

Great that we fought hard and till the end today and I'm pleased that Gomes, who I've criticized relentlessly, had a sparkling cameo. I don't think he'll be a starter for Dyche when Doucoure, Garner, Onana and Gueye are fit but it's great to have another option in the middle.

I'm surprised Danjuma has not played more. He can make things happen. But is maybe more useful when chasing a game rather than protecting a lead.

Disappointing results today but, if we keep playing anywhere near that level, it's hard to see us finishing below 15th.

What a job Dyche has done so far. If only our financial situation were sorted, we might actually say goodbye to Goodson Park in style next season.

Mike Connolly
88 Posted 23/12/2023 at 20:16:32
Sam. if Gomes continues like today, it will be Onana and Gueye worrying about their places in the team.
Ernie Baywood
89 Posted 23/12/2023 at 20:18:50
Charles, they don't need to go to the VAR to check if the ball is over the line. It's chipped and the referee's watch would buzz instantly.

Had it buzzed, they would have stopped play regardless of the offside as the ball was out of play.

But the Calvert-Lewin goal is a different story. I don't know how they can even send the referee to the screen for that. The officials saw what happened – Royal chose to shield the ball, take contact and drop. Contact isn't necessarily a foul. They saw that and decided to wave play on.

The VAR should have asked the referee and assistant what they saw and ruled that there was therefore no clear and obvious error. The only way you'd send the referee to the screen is if he said in response to that question "myself and my assistant didn't see the challenge". Which obviously didn't happen.

It's an error in application of VAR. Plain and simple. You're not supposed to just go back and re-ref the game.

Graham Mockford
90 Posted 23/12/2023 at 20:22:36
So many positives to take from today:

We dominated a top 4 side on their turf.
Patterson is growing as a right-back.
Centre-halves solid as ever.
Gomes looks like he fancies it under Dyche.
Danjuma looked a handful.
We didn't fold because this is a side with backbone.
We got beat but we didn't deserve to.

I'm going into the City game without the normal sinking feeling. No reason, if we play as we are, we can't turn them ,

Jamie Crowley
91 Posted 23/12/2023 at 20:23:33
Gomes MotM. Without question he was absolutely marvelous.

Now the rant:

Why in the hell is that goal disallowed? Why does that go to VAR?? That is the worst execution of VAR I've ever seen. You have an AR not but 12 yards from the "foul". The AR judges the play to not be a foul, that the Spurs player makes a meal of it. Perfectly good goal. Then the spineless ref - who was AWFUL - decides to go have a look and overrules? Why in the world is that play even ALLOWED to be reviewed???? You have an AR right in front of the play and he did NOT see a foul, but they go and review it? What's the point of calling fouls? Why not just review them all?

Unreal! Terrible execution of VAR.

Couple in the fact VAR decided to completely ignore at least two pens for us with the insane shirt pulling and grabbing by Spurs when we took corners.

Look, we were poor the first 30 minutes. But what an effort by the team and players. Never gave up, righted the ship, created a multitude of opportunities.

Would have been better to drive a few nails through my big toe rather than watch that shitshow-officiated match. Sickening.

Gomes - A+ letter grade. Effort - A+. Result grossly unjust.

Merry Christmas.

Brent Stephens
93 Posted 23/12/2023 at 20:30:47
Graham #90 - good post.
Jamie Crowley
96 Posted 23/12/2023 at 20:35:40
Graham -

I concur with Stephens - good post!

We can absolutely turn Man City. They're a bit of a mess at the moment.

The most encouraging thing about Everton at the moment is I fear no game. I think we can complete and win against anyone right now. How refreshing.

Still feel robbed today! But it's the Holidays, so bag the negativity, as per your post.

Ian Riley
100 Posted 23/12/2023 at 20:43:02
Sorry, but conceding 2 goals in the first 20 minutes away from home is just terrible. Positive was our reaction and confidence we have now. The players look comfortable and enjoy playing under Dyche. Just keep moving forward.

Christmas greetings to all and good health for 2024!

Stay positive all!

Mike Gaynes
101 Posted 23/12/2023 at 20:44:32
Sam #86, Danjuma is only effective for chasing a game because he provides no effort or awareness defensively. He's more talented than Harrison, but Harrison's defensive industry makes him irreplaceable in Dyche's system. And Danjuma is selfish on the ball -- a simple square pass to DCL or Beto, both of whom had beaten their defenders into the box, enables us to get a well-earned point.

Mike #88, same comment on Gomes. He can have moments of brilliance going forward, as we saw today on the best shot he has ever hit in his entire career. (I watched him at Barca too and he never did that.) But Gomes has also previously proven himself a nightmare defensively with ill-judged fouls around the box. If Dyche has cured him of that addiction, great, but until I see that, I'm going to hope that he plays as far from his own 18 as possible.

Charles #80, VAR has nothing to do with the goal line. The goal line technology is a separate, automated system that buzzes the referee's watch. And it most definitely DID check that ball, automatically, the instant it hit the ground -- correctly determining that it wasn't wholly over the line. So don't blame VAR. Blame the horrible luck that Danjuma's shot wasn't a fraction of an inch deeper on the crossbar.

Dale #67, we were too shocked to riot.

Phil Friedman
102 Posted 23/12/2023 at 20:49:42
Mike @101:

I like Gomes, who can give us something needed (and different) but I agree with your analysis about his being a liability near our own box.

However, if Dyche can play him at the top of a midfield triangle, with Garner and Onana behind, then he could be pushed up far enough to be less dangerous to us, and more dangerous to the opposition.

We'll have to see, especially when Gana goes off to Afcon.

Mal van Schaick
106 Posted 23/12/2023 at 21:17:24
Great effort today and we should have got something from the game.

I am disappointed with the officials and their decisions. Spurs players spent more time with their backsides on the turf simulating, than playing.

Graham Mockford
111 Posted 23/12/2023 at 21:40:33
Great performance; wrong result.
Michael Bennet
112 Posted 23/12/2023 at 21:48:23
Great performance today... and we were really unlucky to not at least get a point.

Dyche and the team have put the last game behind them... that shows a lot of backbone.

Mike Gaynes
113 Posted 23/12/2023 at 21:48:48
Phil #102,

I always chuckled when suggestions like yours would pop up here, because you cannot have a player at the top of the triangle who has no ability or desire to shoot at goal. Which was Gomes. Then, anyway.

André did score a long-distance screamer on loan for Lille at the end of last season, which I saw some weeks later and chalked off to once-in-a-lifetime, like that little Man Utd jerk with the bicycle kick. But damned if he didn't crack one today, right in the side netting.

Maybe, just maybe, we've got a newly useful player here. We're due for a break like that, aren't we?

Derek Thomas
114 Posted 23/12/2023 at 21:49:15
Great game (except for going 2-0 down)... a good game for the neutral...etc, etc.

Bah Humbug!

Give me miserable wins, you can stick your 'Glorious Defeats'.

Is this the early Gomes, the on-loan one who bossed the derby at Anfield – which we also lost?

What is he playing for now...? Oh yes, yet another contact – if not here then somewhere else.

We go 2-0 down with a defensive midfielder and play better without him... well, we didn't conceed any more – but would Dour Dyche have taken him off if he didn't get Injured?
The sooner he goes to Afcon, the better.

Harrison, Danjuma, Beto, Calvert-Lewin, McNeil – All Crap.

Referees and VAR – Even Crapper.

[Takes tongue out of cheek…]

A happy, healthy Christmas to all and, for what it's worth, we'll beat Man City.

John Keating
116 Posted 23/12/2023 at 21:50:16
Sometime during the week, the PMGOL or whatever it's called will look at the VAR decision.

They may, unlikely, admit an error, far too late and another nail in their coffin.

Or, they will find an excuse and support their decision. A bigger nail in their coffin.

Whatever they decide, the decision was horrendous.

Brian Wilkinson
117 Posted 23/12/2023 at 22:03:07
Danjuma had every right to take a pop at goal, many occasions this season Calvert- Lewin has been in similar positions and chose to take a shot on from narrow angles, than look up and square the ball to a player in a better position, it’s what forwards do, one of the few selfishness forwards I saw was Teddy Sherringham who was out on his own for goal scoring and setting team mates up.

Today’s performance was one of the best for not letting heads drop, they battled and outplayed Spurs for large parts of the game, like everyone else, slight contact but not enough for me to over rule the ref and linesman for our goal ruled out, you could argue var might have thought the ref may not have seen it, but the linesman had an excellent view so wrong for var to jump in.

We have all seen the picture on the line, clear as Day, the ball centremetres from crossing the line, but what I have not seen is did the goalkeepers knee make the ball have a slight deviation forward as it then hit the line, or did it hit the keepers leg after hitting the goal line, anyone able to clear that up for me.

David Cooper
118 Posted 23/12/2023 at 22:20:09
There is a video on YouTube showing the after-match scenes and it is quite clear where Richarlison's heart still is. After a muted goal celebration, at the end of the game he spent most of his time chatting to his former Blues teammates especially Gomes – they were hugging each other.

When all the white shirts headed to the Spurs end, he walked over to the Everton fans and showed his love of the club! If only we had 60 grand to buy him back and let him play centre-forward where he is so dangerous. I know what I wish for Christmas but it's not going to happen!
COYB v Citeh!

Brian Wilkinson
119 Posted 23/12/2023 at 22:27:46
I doubt Levy would let him go for 60 Grand, Dave.
Paul Shipsides
120 Posted 23/12/2023 at 22:28:29
Although we lost today I feel that we played with an energy and commitment that has been missing for the last few seasons of disappointment.

Sean Dyche is doing a fantastic job and our pride is restored. Onwards and upwards.

Paul Hewitt
121 Posted 23/12/2023 at 22:42:28
I would seriously swap Branthwaite for Richarlison.
Brian Williams
122 Posted 23/12/2023 at 23:18:41
You should seriously stop drinking.
Chris Jones (NZ)
123 Posted 23/12/2023 at 23:19:35
Great performance, awful result. Gomes was excellent.

Danjuma reminds me so much of Mirallas – has that something but comes across as a bit selfish in his decision-making... avoids crosses more than Dracula!

David Cooper
124 Posted 23/12/2023 at 23:22:30
Yes I would take that swap!
Don Alexander
125 Posted 23/12/2023 at 23:51:38
We all have to allow for the fact that many of our signings attracted no interest whatsoever from more successful clubs, for decades.

We also have to allow for the fact that many of our signings for decades have been possessed, until this past month perhaps, of, erm, "fragile" winning mentalities.

But – despite the fact that we're still in massive jeopardy of yet more inept, unaccountable owners – we do seem, I pray, to have discovered a smidge of professionalism in our performances.

Long may it continue.

Rob Halligan
126 Posted 23/12/2023 at 23:55:10
Just in after a really tiring day. Won't say too much for now, except to say there was fuck all wrong with the disallowed goal.

Gomes was probably our best player when he came on, and that referee was absolutely fucking shite!!

John Keating
127 Posted 24/12/2023 at 00:04:48
Sure we lost but how many times have we said over the last 2-3 seasons "we lost deservedly", "we were shite" etc etc?
Sure we lost but we were the better team and deserved to win.

At the end of the day, winning is the main thing but the signs are there to progress. We need to beat Man City and get back on track. Fingers crossed Doucoure makes a Christmas Day miracle!

Tony Abrahams
128 Posted 24/12/2023 at 00:25:15
Winning is the main thing when you are playing for the title or fighting against relegation, but performances are what you look for, when taking the first steps along the road to improvement, imo.

I have got a bit of a downer on Everton and quite a few Evertonians but I'm very glad we have got a very sensible manager who definitely sounds like he wants to improve and knows that this will only come about through sheer hard work and professionalism.

Dale Self
129 Posted 24/12/2023 at 00:28:42
As long as the squad can find performances like this as we wait for our usual best eleven, the momentum and belief continues. We will learn from this and any other setbacks and begin to solve some remaining issues with what we have.

Many of of these players have another level to be realized. Hopefully, they all grow together and create the kind of chemistry we have always felt Everton should show.

Oh yeah, Richarlison would run through walls for Dyche. I don't want to go too far with that but it would be a good fit.

Mike Gaynes
130 Posted 24/12/2023 at 00:33:52
Brian #122,

Whatever they're drinking should be taken off the market. It clearly has a deleterious effect on both the reasoning center of the brain and the optic nerve.

Kunal Desai
131 Posted 24/12/2023 at 01:54:51
Top performance yet again despite the defeat. This is what I want to see from an Everton side. Passion, effort and committment. We should have won today never mind picking up a point.

We move on, I think we'll turn Man City over on Wednesday.

Paul Birmingham
132 Posted 24/12/2023 at 02:02:37
Rob, well in. I had a Spurs season-ticket holder tell me today we should have won.

Seriously, the referee and his linesman must be pulled up.
Fuckin' disgrace. And the game, imho, is growing big major issues every week. The VAR in my view is killing football.

Fair play to Richardson, in heart he's an Evertonian.

Bill Gall
133 Posted 24/12/2023 at 02:17:15
I watched the game so there is not a lot I could add, I also taped it so I can watch tomorrow without being on the edge of my seat and be able to summarize of what I thought of the game today.

I did enjoy the comment from Sean Dyche about the VAR, that he believes it is re-refereeing the game not assisting. The foul by Gomes was minor that most times is ignored and, if Calvert-Lewin had not scored, it would have been ignored as other fouls had.

The thing that I found impressive was after the 2 goals, going back over the last number of seasons that would have been it, but congratulations are in order as the team and manager with the use of his substitutions fought back against an in-form team. The future looks promising, and not with your heart in your mouth watching.

Kieran Kinsella
134 Posted 24/12/2023 at 03:26:04
Can we get David Cooper handling transfer negotiations going forward? Total opposite of Brands's approach of “we will triple your money and triple your transfer fee.”

David's starting point of £60,000k a week should mean finding a middle ground of a few million for Richarlison.

Julian Wait
135 Posted 24/12/2023 at 03:31:57
I wouldn't swap choose to swap Richarlison for Branthwaite. I think Branthwaite will be worth more than him soon.

But I would also like Richarlison back. Or we could teach Danjuma to pass (he reminded me of early Richie with the ball).

David Cooper
136 Posted 24/12/2023 at 04:08:24
Nice one, Kieran! I obviously got thousands and millions mixed up! Now we all know that swap only exists in the Fantasy League! But it's an interesting comparison to think about in-between Christmas lunch, dinner and supper!

Who would make the biggest difference to our team right now and for the rest of this season? There's no point thinking long-term past this season as we are fighting for our Premier League lives with all the odds stacked against us.

Branthwaite is exceptional and we would miss him but between Tarkowski, Keane, Godfrey, Seamus, Mykolenko and Patterson, we could cover for him. But we have no one who can score goals like Richarlison and it's goals that will inevitably save us.

Seasons Greetings!

COYB vs City. Let's confound all those Sky Six and Premier League doughnuts!

Bob Parrington
137 Posted 24/12/2023 at 04:49:42
It's a bit like going back to the first few games of the season. Played well overall but got not points. But we'll be back and will be in the top half of the table by season's end.

Thanks to all of you who are ToffeeWebbers. I wish you all a very, merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and prosperous 2024. For those with differing religious or non-religious belongings, I wish you a happy holiday and healthy, prosperous 2024.

Alan J Thompson
138 Posted 24/12/2023 at 05:12:43
I would be loathe to sell Branthwaite to anybody but, if it was to be Spurs, then £50M plus Richarlison and Dier and it would at least give something to think about. The question is, has our financial mismanagement led us to be a selling club?

Oh, David (#136), are you sure it isn't your hundreds & thousands you've got mixed up?

Andy Meighan
139 Posted 24/12/2023 at 06:38:52
I can't believe the amount of grief Danjuma is getting on here. The lad is direct, positive and always looking to drive forward. He looks a threat every time he gets on the pitch.

He needs to be starting games ahead of Harrison now, who for all his industry and labour, doesn't really contribute that much in terms of chances created, in other words, his final ball is shit.

Yes, Danjuma's decision-making could be a bit better but at least he's a goal threat. The other night against Fulham, he nearly won us the game and yesterday he was so unlucky not to get at least a brace.

I don't expect Dyche to start him ahead of Harrison but for me he should walk in the side.

Danny O’Neill
140 Posted 24/12/2023 at 06:41:01
We were unlucky. I had to make do with watching on the tele.

A poor start cost us, but we could and should have got at least a point out of that. We could have won it.

I wouldn't say poor finishing, just fine margins. Posts, bars and the goalkeeper's thigh.

I have to say, not for the first time and not just for Everton, but the officials once again highlighted their incompetence. It's now getting beyond ridiculous.

Great to see Gomes back. Goal aside, he looked our best player.

John Atkinson
141 Posted 24/12/2023 at 07:56:51
I live in Sheffield now and just woke up on this fine Christmas eve with the song Everton oh we are Everton and we love our Peter Reid I've never felt prouder to be a blue than I do now. And I love my Everton
Jimmy Carr
142 Posted 24/12/2023 at 08:27:08
Listened to the first half an hour then got a strop on as we were two nil down by then.

Really pleased for Gomez. I have often enjoyed his obvious skills - not so much his lack of pace and penchant for giving away dodgy free kicks just outside the box. Watched Dyche's post-match interviews and he clearly sees a role for Gomez going forward, could be interesting.

Myko seemed caught in two minds for the first goal and McNeil didn't track his man for the second. Just hope that fatigue isn't playing a part as we go through this period. If we can get a point at Man City that would be a very good result.

We can take great heart from the team giving it everything against Spurs though. They don't lie down. We were unlucky not to get something out the game.


Danny O’Neill
143 Posted 24/12/2023 at 08:35:27
I always used to preach to the lads I coached. Perform and results will come your way.

Yesterday we performed.

Keep performing. If we perform against City, we can get something.

Once again we are not being hammered. We are fighting and even if we lose, it's small margins. That match could have gone either way.

Get those points back, or some of them, and we are fine with the rest of the points we will pick up.

As always, I check on my German Royal Blues (Konigsblauen), Schalke. As they go into the Christmas break, they have pulled themselves 6 points clear of the relegation zone from Bundesliga 2 before heading into the Ruckrunde.

We head into our own series of matches. We take City and Wolves and then go into the 3rd round of the FA Cup and it is a different landscape.

We shall not be moved. Never ever.

Peter Quinn
144 Posted 24/12/2023 at 08:36:04
I watched the game live, I watched it again on Sky and then Match of the Day. I still do not know how we did not get at least a point. The defending for both of Spurs goals was very disappointing.
The turning point for me was the arrival of Gomes. Thereafter we were a different team. We created some excellent opportunities and should have at least equalised. We took on a “Sky six” team away from Goodison and gave as good as we got.
City next, let us hope we play in the same way. Sean Dyche and the team are to be commended, there is a spirit there which we have not had for a long time.
One last point, I hate VAR and whilst it is fine for offside, for all other decisions I wish we could return to on field decision making. When the likes of Michael Oliver is the VAR official no on field referee is ever going to challenge the wholly subjective view of VAR that there has been a clear and obvious error.
It is so wrong and is ruining the game we all love. Sky demand it because of all the outrage and debate it causes. They are the paymaster so Mr Masters does as they want. How sad we were one of the five clubs responsible for the formation of the EPL. What a permanent stain on our history.
Happy Christmas, we are in such a better place than we were at the start of 2023!
Joe McMahon
145 Posted 24/12/2023 at 08:36:30
Andy Meighan, fully agree and he is a goal threat (and we don't have many). But Dyche will only make changes to his preferred line up with injuries. I want to see more of Beto, but not gonna happen, unless DCL gets another injury.
Terry Farrell
146 Posted 24/12/2023 at 08:38:00
We were fantastic yesterday and special mentions to Jarrad Patto Gomes and Mcneil. I saw enough of Danjuma away at sheff utd to see that he is the greediest player ever and he cost us 2 extra points in that game. Its taken a further 3 months of Dyche raising his fitness levels and commitment levels since then to warrant minutes on the pitch. There is a reason he moves from team to team after so little time there! As someone said earlier he needs a good talking to and if he can play for the team as well as himself he may finally put a few roots down!
Once again we get the negative decisions absolutely sick of it. Onanas booking was ridiculous.
Robert Tressell
147 Posted 24/12/2023 at 08:40:55
You probably learn more in defeat than in victory, and the past couple of results have shown us quite a few things:

1. We're close to being a team that can at least compete for cup trophies. Lacked a bit of quality and / or luck unfortunately.

2. We don't give up hope when we go a goal down anymore. That is a big, big development. You could see that sort of spirit even in the Man Utd game. In the three defeats we've carved out a lot of chances - easily enough to win or draw each match.

3. Converting chances is still our problem. We've missed Doucoure these past two games - because the goals have been coming from his position behind DCL where there's more space to operate in.

4. DCL is never going to be a brilliant finisher (although he took his disallowed goal well yesterday) but he does a hell of a job for the team.

5. Beto and Danjuma are not exactly Kane and Sane, but they carry a real goal threat (to reinforce / agree with what Andy M said # 139). However, neither do the less glamorous work as well as DCL and Harrison. I'd like to see Dyche shake it up a bit in the forward positions especially if Doucoure is out (which makes DCL less effective).

6. We're not going to keep the clean sheets and wins going but we're a pretty side now. Shape, style, organisation, fitness and team spirit look as good as the best moments under Moyes and Martinez (albeit lacking some of the quality of those sides). We should keep taking points to keep us out of the relegation zone and around the mid-table mark. There will be nervy moments though - because you can't take 10 points off a squad that's only just scraped up these past two season without causing some difficulties.

7. A little bit of quality adds a lot to this side. Andre Gomes is a good technical player but I got to the point where I couldn't stand him (similar to Colin Glassar and Iwobi). Yesterday he looked fit and motivated and classy on the ball - and it looked like he was playing in the right position in the right set-up. Dyche has probably never worked with a midfielder of that style and elegance before - and I think it bodes well that he worked out how to handle him.

8. If we can keep this group of players and add a little bit more quality then we could become a really good side. Others will be following it more closely but it looks like the 777 deal is nearly done. There's a small chance we may do a little bit of (loan or free) business in January or pick up the next Branthwaite and DCL from the lower leagues. That would be marvellous. This season was always going to be difficult - but we should be positioning ourselves for a very strong 2024/25 season.

Brent Stephens
148 Posted 24/12/2023 at 08:47:29
Robert #147 that's a really good summary. I despair at some who say we should cash in on the likes of Branthwaite. If we want to be victors...
Christopher Timmins
149 Posted 24/12/2023 at 09:15:58
We are a very competitive team and our performance levels are more consistent week in week out. If we perform as we did yesterday, the results will look after themselves.

Another big assignment on Wednesday but one that we should not fear. Our days of fearing the opposition are hopefully well behind us at this stage.

Derek Knox
150 Posted 24/12/2023 at 09:22:10
I couldn't believe some of the Ref/VAR decisions yesterday, we could have, should have, won that game. I have to hold my hands up though for a player I have never rated, and regularly slagged off, in Andre Gomes. My big question is, can he keep up that level ?

He has flattered to deceive in very few games played before, only to disappear, either during the game after a worldy of a pass, or not played due to some mysterious injury !

City at home won't be easy, but prior to them going to that CWC thing in Japan, they have been well below what we have come to expect from them, and on the surprising end of defeats or lucky/unlucky draws. Seriously believe if we play like we have been recently, we can cause a Festive Period upset.

Merry Xmas to everyone on TW and All Blues everywhere ! 🎅💙💙

Rob Jones
151 Posted 24/12/2023 at 09:30:10
Son celebrating a goal against us will never not great, the nasty little shithouse prick.
Kevin Molloy
152 Posted 24/12/2023 at 09:32:20
Everton no doubt are currently locked in negotiations about JB with anyone interested. I reckon anything above £50m and he's gone. Everyone knows we are in desperate need of cash, and Moshiri in particular is looking for any spare fiver he can find.
Pavel Ivanov
153 Posted 24/12/2023 at 09:32:33
Flew in yesterday from Bulgaria for my first Everton game after about 35 years of being a blue. The plane got delayed, then I missed a train by a hair's width; terrible omens, those. There were more. While on the overground to White Hart Lane, I was sitting next to a Spurs fan, also late to the game. As we were approaching our stop he got a notification on his phone: 1:0, Richarlison.

When I finally entered the stadium, the first thing I saw were the two large screens on both sides of their magnificent North Stand: 2:0. It was gett ok Ng terrible to the point of being funny.

I got to my place, Row 2, just behind the goal, about 20 away from the Evertonians to my left. From that moment until the end of the half it was as if the game was being played for my benefit: it was all Everton in and around their box. Seeing Andre Gomes pulling the strings was another surreal touch in a bizarre afternoon. That was to be topped, again, soon, by Myko hesitating for a split second which of the two balls to hit after another good attack on the right.

Tottenham couldn't get beyond the halfway line from where I was sitting. It was very impressive by the men in pink, and most of all by McNeil who at this juncture was very elegantly and intelligently finding ways to get out of trouble and push us on.

Half-time was mostly about Korean kids taking selfies, pacing the isles with fish and chips, and generally gearing up to take snaps of Son attacking our goal in the second half and maybe scoring.

They were starved for chances of doing the latter however. Son had a sole chance to take a shot, but Tarkowski blocked him brilliantly - which he did again and again and elicited genuine plaudits from the Spurs fans around me: "Great defending, that." After a couple of those, there were kind of resigned that no one in white will get the better of him.

There was also this annoying posh man of around 65 in Row One, right in front of me, smartly dressed, dead ringer for Nigel Farage, whom I almost kicked in the head after our very good goal was inexplicably disallowed. Said man spent the entire second half goading the Everton support; the highlight of his afternoon was savoring the moments of collective Evertonian disappointment: when the Spurs keeper saved off Danjuma, when Garner hit the post, when the ball bounced of the bar and the keeper's knee in the last minute. Classless that.

The Evertonian were very loud and up for it in the last twenty minutes, and the rest of the stadium left them be, as if admitting that the team in pink was deserving of this.

The game ended; the stadium -less the North East corner -erupted with joy, but mostly relief. The stadium is magnificent. I hope ours is better.

I waited around long enough to see Richarlison, naked from the waist up, pink shirt across his shoulder, walk along the entire length of the Everton corner applauding. Evertonians applauded back; I felt they didn't want to leave the ground before this moment of mutual appreciation.

From inside the ground, this was the best I have seen Everton play in a long time, let alone away, to a team better than them, on paper. And they didn't win, and they didn't get even a draw - by way moments of bad luck and refereeing decisions, which in a film script would be discarded as too improbable.

From what I'm reading here, we did play very well and looked good on TV. Here's to hoping this is the New Everton. Here's to hoping we'll be winning when we play like this.

Rob Jones
154 Posted 24/12/2023 at 09:34:07
Kevin, that's unlikely. He's the only prized possession we have left. Even by our usual standards, Everton would be stupid to sell him that cheaply.
Ralph Basnett
155 Posted 24/12/2023 at 09:34:23
Oodles of chances spurned against Fulham and Wolves at home, now Spuds away and we leave with nothing.

Never been a great supporter of DCL as he is not prolific enough, if it’s not happening for any player they have to be pulled, ten minutes at the end of a game to win it is only good if you have the players to do it, we don’t.

If chasing the game we have to give the introduced players longer to make an impact.

Rob Jones
156 Posted 24/12/2023 at 09:38:31
Rewatching the highlights. Danjuma is absolutely chasing a deal somewhere else. He doesn't give a toss about Everton or his teammates. He was just trying to improve his stats.
Derek Knox
157 Posted 24/12/2023 at 09:56:44
Pavel @ 153, good post there my friend, it almost beggars belief at times how things seem to go against us, but surely it is only a matter of time before we break that hoodoo, and start a decent run again. Hope you enjoy the rest of your stay.

Rob @ 156, tend to agree there but it's difficult to judge in hindsight whether if he had passed rather than have a go at goal, would the result have been different ? I just hope they are working on ' finishing ' at Finch Farm and Penalties across the whole squad.

Bill Griffiths
158 Posted 24/12/2023 at 10:05:19
Despite the defeat it is great to see mainly positive and hopeful posts on here rather than the spiteful negative posts we usually get after a defeat.
I'd just like to pick up on a couple of points made by BG(#133) & RT(#147).
I think yesterdays performance more than any shows how greatly we have improved under Sean Dyche. As Bill#133) indicated, previous to Dyche and probably during his early days in a game like this we would have completely folded after letting in a couple of quick goals like that and would have gone on to concede 2 or 3 more.
Rob(#147) mentions Gomes's performance and like most others I have seriously doubted he would ever play for us again. However despite despite comments by some that his performance was aone off I think that maybe Dyche can bring out the player he once was as he has done with others in the squad
I am now seriously starting to believe the improvements Dyche has brought about is ongoing and not a flash in the pan as has been the case on previous occasions when we have flattered only to have been deceived.
Kim Vivian
159 Posted 24/12/2023 at 10:12:55
Despite losing, like most people I do not feel down hearted after that display. A fair bit of daylight between us and the abyss, and signs from the squad are good. It's just a shame it is as stretched as it is.

As far as officiating, VAR and the disallowed goal go, my take on it is that it probably was a foul, marginally, but one that was not given so the goal SHOULD have stood. As Dyche pointed out VAR is not there to re-referee games otherwise how far back in play does one go to pinpoint a missed "foul" preceding a subsequent goal which by extension has led to that goal. We were robbed on that one definitely.

However I was somewhat less aggrieved as it would only have been at that point a goal back and no-one knows how the match would have paned out after that. If it had been an equaliser - a far more bitter pill to swallow.

Great to see Gomes back doing what he can - I hope it continues.

I love that salmon and blue strip, and finally - Merry Christmas to all. "See" you at the City game.

Duncan McDine
160 Posted 24/12/2023 at 10:23:35
Pavel, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post, what a shame that the result didn't match the performance.

The disallowed goal is hard to accept, seeing as the ref didn't see it as a foul in real time. It was the kind of challenge that we've seen so much over the years and is rarely deemed a foul. Leon Osman would often get caught with this kind of challenge, then tumble to the deck and it would usually lead to a goal for the oppo!

Paul Birmingham
161 Posted 24/12/2023 at 10:26:49
Good summary Robert, at147.

VAR and cack house officials are ruining the game.

Seriously these cack house officials should be banned for life, the lack of belief to do the right thing when refereeing is a disgrace.

I saw Bolis sending off, another cack house descision, and they should have had a penalty too, like Everton had x2 100% penalty claims, dismissed without review.

Everton were immense, I hope they play the same v City, and take their chances.

It will be a Goodison special, and I really hope that Everton take their chances, and beat them.

Merry Christmas Evertonians!

"What's our Name?"

Brian Harrison
162 Posted 24/12/2023 at 10:33:13
Apart from the first 20 minutes that was a really positive display and the players can feel really aggrieved that they came away with no points from that game. Watched the game again on MOTD and I didn't realize how close Pickford was to the near post for their 2nd goal, and I cant understand why he just didn't push it round the post for a corner instead of pushing it back into the middle of the box.

But after that there was only one team going to score and that was us, I think we were unlucky to have DCLs goal chalked off by VAR, and as Sean Dyche said the referee and the linesman who was closest to the play both thought the challenge by Gomes was fine.

But for Gomes to come on after being out injured for all the season and put in a performance like that it was amazing. Not only did he score but he completely ran the midfield. He is by far our most talented midfield player and his range of passing is a joy to watch. Also well done Danjuma, who also performed well when he came on, maybe a tad selfish at times but given he has had so little game time he was probably trying to score to impress any watching clubs. When I see what Danjuma did I cant believe that Dyche prefers Harrison, yes he tracks back and works hard but lacks quality and never looks like scoring. Also he is so left footed when he is played in behind the full back he always stops and wants to cross with his left foot.

That goal that was disallowed would have given DCL a big confidence boost, as although working extremely hard for the team, we need him to start scoring on a regular basis.
But overall delighted with the performance and hopefully the displays of Gomes and Danjuma will give Sean room to ponder the team to face City.

Si Cooper
163 Posted 24/12/2023 at 10:37:30
Watched the full game last night. The points I’d like to make are:

Ref was inconsistent - yellows for Gana and Onana were really harsh.

VAR is for checking incidents in same phase of play for clear and obvious errors so the challenge by Gomes on Royal is valid for scrutiny even if match officials saw it. However, like pretty much everyone else I don’t think it was clearly an obvious error (unless the ref had thought there was no contact which is ridiculous). This was exactly the sort of crumpling under a ‘soft’ challenge that they have cracked down on this season and have routinely waved ‘play on” for. It will always look worse slowed down. I wonder if the most significant fact is that it was Michael Oliver telling him to look at it again.

VAR is NOT required for goal line checks which have their own automated system. Just incredibly unlucky that Danjuma’s effort struck Vicario’s knee at such an angle that it bounced the wrong way. Have to call that a miraculous save!

I saw Andre Gomes screamer for Lille last season live (only game of his loan spell I happened to catch one quiet afternoon) and think - my memory is not clear on it - it was similar in that he was hanging around the edge of the penalty box when a corner was taken and hit one first time.

He does look fitter than I’ve ever seen him and may, therefore, have a role to play this season.

I am bothered that both last Tuesday night and yesterday may serve as metaphors for this season. There is still much that needs to be done / go right and effort alone will not suffice.

I am worried about squad numbers and the current levels of effort may not be sustainable. Not sure what can be done to bolster the ranks. I’d actually be heartbroken to see Branthwaite sold. I’d be furious too if if were for as little as £50 million.

I don’t actually accept that Moshiri is stony broke, but I don’t expect a war chest to appear anytime soon. Apart from the likely ongoing profit and sustainability scrutiny, I can understand that he wouldn’t want to funnel any more money into the club when he has presumably agreed a price with 777.

I thought Danjuma was trying to make a point to the Spurs hierarchy and / or fans.

Last thing; I like the salmon / navy kit(s) and no, I’m not colourblind!

Pete Clarke
164 Posted 24/12/2023 at 10:42:03
The decisions to give both Gana and Onana yellow cards were wrong and I had the distinct feeling inside me that we are playing the officials in every game too.
Spurs players going to ground at every chance and I wish there would be more open discussions with managers about this shit. We have our own players do it but I’d like to see it eradicated.
That free header that DCL missed very early on just shows how poor we are in front of goal. It actually hit his shoulder ffs.
A few other poor decisions by our players in and around the area cost us dearly but I’d love to see us play with that intent every week. Garner and Gomez were pulling Spurs apart.
Dyche is doing a great job with limited resources but I feel a lot better than I did 5 weeks ago.
Sam Hoare
165 Posted 24/12/2023 at 10:42:47
Brent@148, sadly I think we will and have to sell Branthwaite. And Onana. Because if they are as good as we think they are then there is no way they will stay here for the long term anyway.

The key thing will be selling them at the right time and for the most money. And having young, talented players ready to step in. This is what well-run clubs do, like Brighton selling Bissouma for decent money having already bought Caciedo (for nothing) to step in.

Holding onto players for too long is one of the mistakes Everton has made continuously over the last decade and is a big reason why our P&L looks so bad; too many players have left for nothing or next to nothing. We have to accept that a successful cycle for this club will mean identifying talent, developing it then selling for profit and repeating. Good scouting and management hopefully means we can perform well on the pitch whilst doing this.

Branthwaite and Onana are our greatest assets and we have to maximize the profits they can generate and then use that money wisely. My bet is that we sell Onana this summer for around £60-75m (if he has good second half to the season) and Branthwaite the following summer for even more (if he continues to develop). The hard bit is finding and developing their successors.

Dave Abrahams
166 Posted 24/12/2023 at 10:46:27
Pavel (153), great post mate, pity you never made it to the start of the game we might have won the game. I hope you make it to the City game on Wednesday.
Alan McGuffog
167 Posted 24/12/2023 at 10:53:56
Exactly Sam. Our scouts ( we do have scouts?) should be identifying a replacement for Branthwaite right now. Then the club sets a price at which the bidding might begin
Brian Harrison
168 Posted 24/12/2023 at 11:01:40
I cant believe that some fans are talking about selling Branthwaite, you moan about not winning trophies for over 30 years yet here you are actively behaving like accountants instead of supporters. He will be an England regular and possible England captain, build the team round him. He has signed a 4 year contract with no get out clauses in his contract, so he is ours for 4 years so stop trying to sell our best chance of getting out of this relegation cycle.
Robert Tressell
169 Posted 24/12/2023 at 11:12:11
Sam, I think you're right. Onana to leave in summer because he's replaceable. Branthwaite however should be kept as long as possible. He's a Rolls Royce player.

Replacements (and reinforcements) don't need to cost a fortune.

Si: I wouldn't be surprised if this is the fittest Gomes has ever been. Great to see us in such good physical condition and it makes such a big difference. Much like the high performing Paqueta at West Ham (under fitness focused Moyes).

Mark Taylor
170 Posted 24/12/2023 at 11:29:18
Having given up hope on Gomes, I am here to eat my hat, at least for today. It helps playing him in his correct position, further up the pitch and away from our box. He might usefully fill in for Duke, albeit they are very different players.

I though Danjuma carried a real threat and both his near misses were legitimate strikes and a better option than passing, the first especially was a great shot and save. Dyche won't start him because he doesn't do the Duracell bunny role Harrison does which our system requires, but he's a handy impact sub and carries way more threat than the latter.

On the disallowed goal, truth is, it was a foul. The issue is more whether VAR should get involved with fouls which are a much more subjective area. Actually I'm surprised no-one mentioned the first half penalty incident when their goalie pretty much cleared out DCL. Sure he wasn't entirely in control of the ball and very unlikely to score but I've watched it several times and the goalie was nowhere near the ball and his impetus took him straight through DCL.

For their goals, there were key defensive mistakes. Tarks lost Richie for the first goal and McNeil's positioning sense was awful for the second- he does struggle with that as we saw against Burnley. To be fair, both otherwise had decent games.

Many times I've seen us lose without barely putting up a fight. All I've ever wanted is that we at least pose a threat, give it a go, and clearly that is Dyche's way too. He's less defensive than some coaches we've had. Which I guess is why we are all feeling a bit more positive about losing. Spurs didn't deserve it.

James Hughes
171 Posted 24/12/2023 at 11:29:48
Still can't beleive how we ended up with nothing from that game. 18 chances created and 8 on target. Richi first goal was well taken but how many have we seen him miss when in blue?
I have always been a big fan fan of DCL and Ancellotti had him right, get him in positions where he needs just one touch. He never looked comfy on that through ball in the first half. Also we aren't getting enough support goals and if only EFC had taken on Sam Hoare we could have had Jarred Bowen onboard.

As others have said it was pleasing to see us coming roaring back and not have the heads go down like they have in the past.

Lastly we have a good chance against Citteh as they have just had an 8 hour flight home and will be missing Rodri

Merry Christmas to all and COYB

Phil Lewis
172 Posted 24/12/2023 at 11:32:59
Not so long ago I was ridiculed on here for asking fans to keep faith with Andre Gomes as he struggled to find form after long bouts of injury. My reasoning was simple. That is, form is temporary, class is permanent. I said then and maintain now, that he is the main talent in the squad. His football brain is head and shoulders above everyone else. The burgeoning talent of Branthwaite puts him as Gomes's closest contender for that accolade.
No doubt I will upset many with my next statement. Onana is hyped and overrated. He dosent control games. He isn't capable of changing the course of a game. Rarely does he dictate play. He's poor in the tackle. For
a man of his height he's pretty
useless in the air. People have latched on to this common thread that he's some sort of Superstar. It's a myth. I'd sell him in a heartbeat if the right offer came along.
Happy Christmas to one and all.
Rob Halligan
173 Posted 24/12/2023 at 11:36:36
After watching the brief highlights on Everton TV, and also MOTD, a couple more points from yesterday. First of all, the second ball on the pitch as Mykolenko was about to shoot. Where did it come from, as I never saw it during the actual game? Surely this must have put Myko off as he was about to shoot, and am sure the referee (HAHA, fucking referee my arse) gave a drop ball to Spurs afterwards. Could be wrong about that though.

Then the Danjuma shot that hit the bar. We saw down the other end straight away the flag go up for offside, even though it wasn’t Danjuma who was offside, but Beto. What happened to letting play progress before raising the flag? Had the shot gone in, then the goal would have stood, but it seems that linesman couldn’t get his flag up quick enough. Just our luck though, that the ball hits the bar, is millimetres from crossing the line, hits their goalie and bounces out. Remember the goal Sheffield united scored against us earlier in the season!!

As for the disallowed goal. I’m still firmly convinced it should have stood. Yes, there was minimum contact by Gomes, but enough for Emerson Royal to go down? He was just weak when losing possession, but then to remain down as if he’d been pole axed was just a joke. If that’s the case, then every minimal contact on an opponent should result in a foul.

Overall though, a very solid and encouraging performance. Couldn’t really fault any player, though both goals conceded could easily have been prevented with a bit more concentration.

Funniest incident yesterday……….Bingo taking out his own player, Tsimikas, who will now be out with a fractured collarbone. Bad news for the player, but tough shit for Bingo!

Brian Williams
174 Posted 24/12/2023 at 11:57:54

Phil, you probably weren't "ridiculed" maybe disagreed with strongly?
While Gomes does indeed have a great footballing brain and is a skilful player he hasn't/didn't demonstrate that on a regular basis. He was often a liability, not only giving away dangerous free kicks around our box but losing out in midfield often.
He was a luxury we couldn't really afford with the players we had around him.
He scored a great goal yesterday and had a good game. He's had lots of poor games. Let's see how he does going forward.
With regard to Onana. I think he's overhyped too and is undoubtedly the finished article (in his own head). The lad has lots to learn but he does have lots of potential and if that can be realized he'll be an outstanding payer.
Have to disagree about his tackling and with regard to his heading ability I suggest you take a look at his goal against Burnley. True he doesn't dictate play but at 21 I'd say he's got it in his future to do so. Maybe we expect too much for a young lad who came into a team that was garbage. The team's improving and I'd expect him to do the same.
Please don't feel ridiculed, derided or similar. XX

Richard Nelson
175 Posted 24/12/2023 at 12:10:49
..who'd have thought it... Ross Barkley & Andre Gomes..M.O.M on the same day..!
Phil Lewis
177 Posted 24/12/2023 at 12:20:36
Brian 174#
Well I was initially told back then that I must be on magic mushrooms for suggesting that Gomes was a class act!
I appreciate the kisses, although a handshake would be fine mate thanks...
Tony Abrahams
178 Posted 24/12/2023 at 12:23:39
After initially thinking there was contact, I honestly didn’t think that was a foul by Gomes, which led to our goal being disallowed, but that’s the way it is with Michael Oliver.

Suddenly sent to start refereeing Everton games, during our fight against relegation two seasons ago, this ref sent off four Everton players in three games, and when I took in his overall performances, I could definitely find an argument to say that he had been sent on purpose?

Football is already too controversial, but it’s like they are constantly trying to find ways to add more layers. I honestly don’t think they are clever enough to realize that if things don’t change, they will probably start driving people away?

I don’t think it was ever in doubt that when Gomes, is in the mood, then he has a touch of class Phil. Let’s hope everyone is agreeing with you come May🤞

Tony Abrahams
179 Posted 24/12/2023 at 12:33:36
Besic has a great pre season game - Evertonians are saying he his brilliant. Van De Beek, has a very good debut against Leeds - Evertonians are trying to work out how much he would cost. Gomes has a very good hour at Spurs - Let’s hope it’s a sign of things to come?

I’m more happy with how Dyche has got everyone fit and really simplified everything. I was worried by some of his earlier games when we appeared way to open, I am worried about how narrow we sometimes become defensively (this makes me understand why Harrison always gets the nod over Danjuma) but I’m delighted to see Everton playing like a proper team, for the first time in years. This has been the best thing to see and explains why Everton are rapidly improving, imo.

Robert Tressell
180 Posted 24/12/2023 at 12:37:54
Brian # 174, I think you hit the nail on the head with Onana. I don't think anyone is claiming he's making a top class contribution now. But then he is only 22 and this is his first season playing in a side that isn't a total shambles.

In relation to our academy I'm regularly told that players that our English lads can still mature into first teamers at that sort of age. For some reason we expect the foreign imports to be the finished article at a much younger age.

The likes of Henry, Evra and Drogba and many others have looked pretty hopeless in their first year in the Prem. And they were being introduced into much, much better organised sides than Everton.

Christy Ring
181 Posted 24/12/2023 at 12:40:04
I have always said, play Gomes in a 3 man midfield in his proper position and he is pure class. He never was a defensive midfielder, he’s the best passer of a ball we have and I think Dyche can see that. I know Danjuma was a bit selfish, but he did more in 30 min’s than Harrison has produced in the last few games. That was our best performance this season, and credit goes to Dyche. The ref gave us absolutely nothing and as for the supposedly best ref in the premiership on VAR an absolute disgrace.
Joe McMahon
182 Posted 24/12/2023 at 12:42:01
Robert and Bergkamp also.
Barry Hesketh
183 Posted 24/12/2023 at 12:42:45
Every time I look at the League table it makes me hopping mad, all the teams from Brighton downwards have won less than us, yet due to that ten points deduction, we find ourselves hovering just above the drop zone.

The team has improved over the last 12 months, there can be no doubt about that, and we'll need to continue that type of performance between now and May, pick up the equivalent of 8 more victories from the remaining 20 games and we'll be OK.

If we could manage to get even half of the deducted points back that would be a shot in the arm for the fans and the team, but when will this hearing take place?

Christopher Timmins
184 Posted 24/12/2023 at 12:46:03
I hope Gomes has a strong second half to the season but he has it all to prove, one swallow does not make a summer.

Tony, you are correct when you say that we are playing like a proper team.

Gomes doesn't get the man and not the ball in the lead up to DCL's disallowed goal, it was never going to stand.

Rob Halligan
185 Posted 24/12/2023 at 12:58:22
Barry # 183. Ive been told the hearing will take place in early January, with a decision before the end of January.
Tony Abrahams
186 Posted 24/12/2023 at 13:04:28
Watch it close Christopher. Gomes comes in, the player shields the ball, and then when he rolls his foot on the ball to keep it as far away from his opponent as possible, I think he slip’s because he his concentrating to much on the player, and not taking enough care of the ball?

We all see things differently. Some will agree with me and some won’t, but surely everyone would agree that football seems to have lost its middle ground nowadays? I think the game has become like basketball, because every little touch is now deemed enough to be a foul.

Barry Hesketh
187 Posted 24/12/2023 at 13:05:36
That's good news, even if the outcome of it goes against the club, we'll know exactly what we have to do for the rest of the season.
Sam Hoare
188 Posted 24/12/2023 at 13:07:01
Brian@168, it is the (ironic) failure of the Everton leadership to not act like ‘accountants’ as you put it that has spiralled us into the mess we are currently in.

Were you one of the fans who said ‘it’s not our money!’ as we spent injudiciously on players who would end up costing us a ten point deduction?

Personally I haven’t enjoyed the last few years a lot so am keen that the club learn from their mistakes and operate more sensibly both on and off the pitch. Part of that involves optimised trading and getting the most money you can for the excellent players you find. I’ve been a fan of Branthwaite since I saw him playing for our academy teams and will be gutted when he leaves but if we can get £75m+ for him and buy a prodigious young replacement for £10-15m then I will applaud our club belatedly behaving in a way that safeguards our future.

Rob Halligan
189 Posted 24/12/2023 at 13:13:58
Tony, you will be raging when you hear that Michael Oliver is to be on VAR duties yet again, in our game at wolves next Saturday.
Dale Self
190 Posted 24/12/2023 at 13:16:53
Brent 148, right up to the line there, nicely done.
Danny O’Neill
191 Posted 24/12/2023 at 13:39:41
Really nice post Pavel. Richarlison has been touched. There is no going back. If we could, ask Alan Ball.

For the likes of me, it was a birthright thing. For those who came to Everton, they feel it regardless of who they go onto play for.

I'm glad you had a good day out. I've occasionally sat with the opposition supporters and spent many hours on the train with various followings of numerous clubs.

The boys in blue done well yesterday.

I'm going to say it again, the technology isn't wrong. Make those officials accountable, audible and transparent. Then we might improve the competency as they will have to explain and answer.

To use the Scouse vernacular; shithouses.

Brian Williams
192 Posted 24/12/2023 at 13:42:17

Phil the mention of magic mushrooms wasn't ridiculing you mate, that was an invitation! ;-) Though, I'm sure you're a fungi anyway.

David Vaughan
193 Posted 24/12/2023 at 14:03:17
Sorry to post this random, off-topic question here but I'm reminiscing...

Does anyone remember in the 1970s an Everton player feigning injury until the stretcher was belatedly brought on at which point he jumped up. And was sent off for his 'ungentlemanly conduct'?

I'm sure I didn't dream it. Was it John Connolly??

Si Cooper
194 Posted 24/12/2023 at 14:15:29
Addressing a few points I’ve read since my previous post.
For their first goal I thought Mykolenko really didn’t help himself (or us) as his initial movement when Johnson started his overlap took him back closer to the 18 yard box rather than just matching the path of Johnson’s run in a sprint towards the goal line. That meant there was yards between them when Johnson got to the ball and it was a doddle for him to arc it round Myko.
I thought the Danjuma ‘shot’ which the keeper had to go at with right hand whilst diving left was actually an attempt to clip it across to Beto that took a wicked early deflection off the defender’s leg.
I think Gomes’ left knee clunks Royal’s left as the defender broadens his stance but not nearly enough for him to drop to the floor.
Ray Roche
195 Posted 24/12/2023 at 14:18:01
I see the Wolves fans are singing ’Premier League corrupt as f***’
Fair play to them.
Danny O’Neill
196 Posted 24/12/2023 at 14:21:58
Love them or hate them, Chelsea supporters out with banners outside Sky Sports and the Premier League Headquarters yesterday.

We are not alone and they can't ignore it.

It's not just Everton. Give football back to the supporters.

Dave Cashen
197 Posted 24/12/2023 at 14:35:22
Calvert Lewin's critics do make me smile. "He is League one", but expected to score world class goals. He cost 1.5 million, but should score goals that 100m pound strikers wouldn't score. Every effort, no matter how great, is considered a "sitter"

To get to that apparent "free header" yesterday, he needed to run twenty yards at full tilt and Bully his way past the defender, go BEYOND the near post, rise high, very high and twist his body mid air to enable him to direct his effort on target - All on YouTube for doubters.

It was a Majestic effort. Very few strikers in the world would have got on the end of that cross. Even fewer would have got the header on target.

Last week he out muscled and outj-jumped a 6ft 3 defender. Powered a header down forcing the keeper to make a great save, but that was also considered a free header too.

I wonder if these critics have ever contested a ball against a defender determined to ensure you don't get a clean header.

Pep Guardiola thinks DLC is the best header of a ball in the league. It was only when I logged on to this thread that I learned that he actually needs help with his heading.

All we need to do is find somebody better who can show him where he is going wrong.

Good luck with that

Kieran Kinsella
198 Posted 24/12/2023 at 14:47:53
Dave you previously told us Pep wanted to buy Holgate for 50 million so what does he know
Dave Cashen
199 Posted 24/12/2023 at 15:03:32
You are getting yourself confused again. Pep wanted Stones not Holgate and he got him.

You right though. being the first manager in the history of the game to win five trophies in the same calender year is Hardly a ringing endorsement.

Paul Smith
200 Posted 24/12/2023 at 15:25:16
Some absolute madness on here - selling Onana and Branthwaite. Where the fuck has that come from ? The lad's just signed a 4 year deal and Onana took the worst penalty of the season and needs bouncing.
Bill Gall
201 Posted 24/12/2023 at 15:34:49
Did I see it right, after the Wolves game was over the Chelsea players walked toward their supporters and they told them to F --k off and waved them away.

On the criticism of Danjuma. All goalscorers are greedy, its why they score often. The problem with Danjuma is he is the only one that believes he is a goalscorer.

Alan J Thompson
202 Posted 24/12/2023 at 15:36:42
Paul(#200); I think you'll find it has come from the accounts or do you think we've made enough profit this year to wipe 10M off the losses to get back under -115M or again suffer the Premier Leagues outrage toward our cooperation. It wasn't paid off with a 10 point penal we haven't sold a Richarlison or Gordon recently.
Lee Robinson
203 Posted 24/12/2023 at 15:41:51
Think yesterday proved we should have been using Danjuma much more. Like Harrison even if he's not having the best of games there's still an element of class, and being able to accept balls to feet and to create.

Dyche got lucky, he was forced into the Gomes substitution and it changed the game, hopefully we have found another way to play instead of feeding off scraps off Dom. If Doucoure is out Danjuma has to be the one to fill in there.

We looked like we had more options to hurt them with some people on the pitch who are more technical and it complimented Onana and Garner.

Peter Quinn
204 Posted 24/12/2023 at 15:42:30
Rob at 185 you mention you have been told the appeal is in early January. Are you able to tell us the source of your information? Such an early hearing with as you suggest a decision before the end of January 24 would be really good so we know what our actual league position is going into the remainder of the season.
Rob Halligan
205 Posted 24/12/2023 at 16:31:51
Peter, it was someone I met whilst away in the Caribbean earlier this month. He was also a blue, and he told me whilst we were watching the Newcastle game on TV. I never did ask him how he knew though, so I guess we'll never know if he was telling the truth of not? He did seem pretty certain though, and being a blue I probably had no reason to doubt him.
Peter Quinn
206 Posted 24/12/2023 at 16:37:20
Thanks Rob…..hopefully the Premier League will allow an announcement soon so that the people who matter…the fans….might have some idea what is going on.
Dale Self
207 Posted 24/12/2023 at 17:03:50
I think yesterday just shows that Everton and its fans are the Richard Lewis of English football. The only problems on the pitch are good ones. Altough we may need to sell due to financial predicamen, Dyche has already demonstrated an ability to rebuild players and find their proper playing position. There are so many players looking for the chance provided Onana and Branthwaite that we should be able to reload without breakdown of overall progress.

Merry Christmas to all lovable and miserable football bastards! Have some sherry or something.

Mark Taylor
208 Posted 24/12/2023 at 17:40:46
Peter 206

My bigger priority for the EPL is to confirm whether 777 are approved or not. Without that, we are facing a bigger chasm than 5 or 10 points loss.

Given our situation, living hand to mouth on high interest loans, I am astonished and angry that they do not seem to have a set deadline for this. Yesterday would do.

Mike Gaynes
209 Posted 24/12/2023 at 17:44:24
Pavel #153, enjoyed your post... sorry about the outcome, but congratulations on making your in-person Blue debut.

Phil #172, where Gomes is concerned you are mistaking skill for a footballing brain -- of which he has previously shown little, making more crucial mistakes than any other player we've had during his tenure here. Garner, McNeil, Tarkowski, Branthwaite and Mykolenko all make better decisions on the ball and no such shattering errors in defense. Now Gomes did have a genuinely great game yesterday, his first truly outstanding performance since December 2018 at Anfield. Five years between MOTMs is a long damn time to wait. If during his loan at Lille and his injury downtime he has raised his mental acuity, that's wonderful, but I will wait to see it.

Brian #174, it isn't just the goal that speaks to Onana's heading, it's the numbers. He has the highest winning percentage in the air of any midfielder in the PL. Useless? Hardly. That said, he had his worst game of the season yesterday and, despite the protests here, his yellow card was richly deserved for a purely tactical foul that broke up a Spurs attack. It was a wise foul, but it was always going to draw yellow.

Richard #175, yeah, life's little ironies.

Dave #197, agreed on Dom, the criticism is wildly overblown.

Si #194, Myko had a rough first half, his toughest stretch of the season. Johnson is the fastest player in the PL and I think his pace caught Myko out a couple of times, most obviously on the first goal. Myko did adjust later.

Brian #162, we won four straight games with four straight clean sheets due in no small measure to the remarkable defensive work rate of Harrison in front of Seamus, Young and now Patterson. Danjuma has pace, skill and a eye for goal, but Dyche demands performance at both ends, and Danjuma will never provide it. Or he'd be in the lineup ahead of a less talented player.

Rob and Peter, I'm looking forward to that hearing... I still think we're gonna get back the four extra points we were assessed for the "aggravating factors". Of course I have no evidence, just belief.

Jerome Shields
210 Posted 24/12/2023 at 18:18:52
Merry Xmas to all.Thank you.
Tony Abrahams
211 Posted 24/12/2023 at 18:35:19
Wolves next Saturday should be fun Rob. Their fans were amongst the first to start singing about the Premier League being corrupt as fuck.

It wouldn't surprise me if Oliver is being sent to prove that he has never been biased against Everton!

Rob Jones
212 Posted 24/12/2023 at 19:14:36
I'd imagine that it's less of a bias *against* Everton, and more of a bias in favour of the Sly Six (Seven, if you read into their takeover). The Premier League will protect what they regard as the moneymaking teams.

It's not unlike the UCI's policy when it comes to policing doping. Sacrifice one, ideally loudly, preserve the rest, and the illusion of a clean peleton.

Mike - if you put any player in a position to fail, they usually will. A succession of managers decided to put Gomes in the centre of midfield, neglecting to notice the fact that he lacks both physicality and defensive nous. The end result was a player who was completely out of his depth. The guy was never used properly.

Robert Tressell
213 Posted 24/12/2023 at 19:35:24
The tragedy of all this is that I don't have billions of pounds going spare to buy the club. 777 seem like nice guys though. Should be fine. Merry Christmas blues 💙
Dale Self
214 Posted 24/12/2023 at 19:37:40
I don’t want to start up a brouhaha over Gomesjz but I think this is a different phase for him. The initial PL appearances were while teammates were unable to make useful runs or position wisely. This isn’t to say he couldn’t have done better but being limited with no pace made his vision of little use.

Now with a proper manager Gomesjz has the expectation of where the spaces are and where he can find support. Perhaps this just an initial flourish that could get shutdown by defence adjustment but I’m thinking Dyche figured out how to use this type if player within the present system. This takes pressure off Gomesjz decision making and gives him more time. A couple of passes deep, eapecially the one that set up Haz with a shot, looked to me as if this is something Dyche has been waiting to unveil. So far Gomesjz appears to be a decent student of the Dyche gameplan.

Danny O’Neill
215 Posted 24/12/2023 at 20:20:16
I was a defender Dave and there was no way a forward was getting a clean run at it. If he did, fair credit.

Dominic is not Harry Kane, but he is ours. Alongside Beto and our with the wide players, we have a threat up front.

World beaters? No. But we'll go 50-50 with most and when we get some of those points back, we'll be comfortable.

Not to mention the Evertonian defiance. We are not going anywhere.

Apart from Goodison Park on the 27th.

Brendan McLaughlin
216 Posted 24/12/2023 at 21:00:28
Happy Christmas all

This time next year....

Mike Gaynes
217 Posted 24/12/2023 at 21:15:05
Dale #214, I like your optimism, although the fact that he was unexpectedly subbed into a game we were chasing may not really imply that Dyche has figured out how to plug him into the system.

But if the manager can actually make that happen, there's no doubt Gomes has some abilities that will be highly helpful under certain game conditions.

And if he has actually learned to shoot the ball, as yesterday's strike and the Lille goal would seem to indicate, his impact could be huge in the right moments.

The key, in my mind, will be keeping him clear of any defensive responsibilities.

Simon Harrison
218 Posted 24/12/2023 at 22:09:31
Mike [217] I think that Gomes might be an alternative, not the answer, at the 8/10 slot Doucs is playing now?

I know that Dyche thus far has shown a preference for the 4-4-1-1, but it is a tiny step to develop, as an alternative a 🔷formation 4-1-3-1-1

Same back 5, and a striker up top (obviously)

Play Onana as the 6 (or base pivot) with Doucs and Garner as the 8s and Gomes up top at the point 10.

With McNeil and Harrison on the wings.

This leaves Gana as the bench cover. If any of the MF 4 get injured, or Gomes reverts to type (Leopard and spots and all that?) Gana slots in at 6, Onana partners Garner and Doucs picks up where he left off, and that Diamond formation still allows him to bomb up front as Onana is playing the door-latch position.

Also there'd be flexibility for Gomes and Doucs to interchange depending on the phase of play.

However, to caveat that, Gomes might have played well yesterday; v good finish, some excellent passes and a willingness to press where he could, but... I can't get his performances of the last four seasons out of my head.

Ill-discipline to try and win the ball back after an attack broke down, and allows the opposition to get a free-kick to clear their lines.

Or those all-to-common 'silly/stupid/reckless' challenges near our box.

Or his MIA's in MF when he should have been tracking back.

And something he showed on occasion yesterday, albeit infrequently, but he still did it. When he never looked up-field, received the pass, and pinged it straight back to the original passer, whereas if he'd looked he had a few yards of space to try and make a 'progressive' pass.

Minor things, but I'm not jumping on the Gomes bandwagon yet. "One swallow does not a summer make!" and all that...

Bear in mind he was part of a midfield 5 vs a midfield 2/4 depending if Spuds were breaking or not.

However, whilst he wears the Royal-blue he's one of ours!

Phil Lewis
219 Posted 24/12/2023 at 22:40:18
I'm not on any bandwagon, I've always sang his praises. Even when he returned to the squad after Sons hideous tackle, clearly not fully recovered from that career threatening injury.

What a wonderful platform to play against that player who had set him back so much, yesterday.

Let's not mince words, the man is a different class to the rest of our squad. I was delighted for him yesterday that he was able to prove that none of his world class vision has diminished and more tellingly he is still a supremely able combatant. A deserved victory would have topped the lot.

My New Year's wish, is that he continues to confound his doubters with regular 5 star sterling performances.

Andre Gomes is back! Make no mistake. Others will have noted his outstanding play against Spurs, get his new contract ready to sign please Mr. Dyche.

Colin Malone
220 Posted 24/12/2023 at 23:03:36
Gomes had a lot of criticism, because Big Frank and Benitez played him in a holding position. So at last, his got a chance to play in his preferred position, which is long over due.
Andre Gomes does not wear square boots.
Mark Taylor
221 Posted 25/12/2023 at 00:11:47
Simon 218

The flaw, as I see it, in your proposed line up is that it appears to comprise of 12 players.

But since it's Xmas, maybe we're allowed that?

Paul Birmingham
222 Posted 25/12/2023 at 00:24:03
Like many have said, Gomes, has belief in himself and the squad.

I'm made up for him, and if he is now believing 100%, in himself, then Evertons attacking options are massively bolstered.

He was sublime in vision and passing,

Luck, and a bit more, but He made a massive difference.

Thinking back, to the Carlo days, and a Friday night, game at Wolves. Iwobi, 1st half goal, and 2nd half header, by the Keggerman.

He crossed for Keanes, headed winner.

That was it, but so nice to see, and like having a new signing.


Ed Prytherch
223 Posted 25/12/2023 at 01:04:18
Andre Gomes has always been a creative player when he has had time on the ball. He had that on Saturday and he was our man of the match. It is up to Dyche to play him in a system where he is not hit as soon as he receives the ball. If that happens and Andre stays healthy then he will be a significant asset until he leaves the club.
Pete Clarke
224 Posted 25/12/2023 at 01:15:00
We have been starved of football for many years and it was great to see us take it to Spurs with decent ball players on the park like Gomez, Garner and McNeil. Even young Branthwaite was splaying the ball about too and credit to Sean Dyche for the way we took it to them.
Players running off the ball and finding space is crucial but it needs that pass to find them. We probably would not have got so many chances with Doucouré and Gana on the pitch but then we’ve been having success lately with those two.
Nice to finally see we can alternate the play to suit.

Happy Xmas to you all. 🍻
Steve Brown
225 Posted 25/12/2023 at 02:55:42
Gomes played well for Lille and he made a difference in the advanced role against Spurs.

Us fans tend to double-down on our opinion of players rather than watch how they perform, so it will be interesting to see if Gomes can maintain his level in coming games.

Kieran Kinsella
226 Posted 25/12/2023 at 02:56:54
Colin Malone

Gomes played a total of 14 times under Rafa and Frank combined. He wasn’t even at Everton for half of Franks tenure as he was on loan. He played for three years prior to Rafa and played over 80 games under Silva and Carlo. During that time he earned his reputation for being slow and giving away petulant fouls. He already earned a reputation for neither scoring nor getting assists while in Spain. We criticize Rafa and Frank for a lot but blaming them for Gomes failings is ludicrous

Simon Harrison
227 Posted 25/12/2023 at 04:39:01
Mark [221] You and your forensic abilities! Of course, I put 12 in the 1st XI, purely as a Christmas exercise... 🤦‍♂️🤣

As I have previously made 'obvious' errors, you win the prize, so please come to front of class and collect your prize. Many congratulations 😄hehe

I was 'obviously' conflating the 4-4-1-1 into the very experimental 4-1-3-1-1-1...?

However, now you mention it, it (4-1-3-1-1) leave us with two bench spots for MF. Maybe good, maybe bad?

Back 5, Onana @6, Garner @8, Doucs@10

With Gana covering the #6, and Gomes the #10. Along with Onana/Doucs covering the #8.

Haz, McNeil and a striker... 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11... I got it right this time! 😀

PS Thanks for the let-off Mark.

PPS Mark, could I be excused , as I've only just started to recover from my head-cold. Oh, and it is obviously the Everton way to try and be 'creative' with numbers, surely..! 😜

Merry Christmas everybody! I hope you all have a wonderful holiday/festive period and whatever your circumstances, manage to find some peace and happiness.

Good wishes, Simon

Bobby Mallon
228 Posted 25/12/2023 at 06:05:59
Gomes is not a tackler… never has been.

Just play him as a Number 10 behind Calvert-Lewin or Beto and let's see how it goes, eh?

Ajay Gopal
229 Posted 25/12/2023 at 06:08:03
On this Christmas morning Merry Christmas to my fellow TWers. Thank you for your company here - always entertaining, never boring. And special thanks to Lyndon and Michael for keeping this site going.

My final comments on this entertaining post-Spurs match thread:

1. Why was Dobbin not on the bench? He must have got injured – I am quite sure that Dyche would have played him ahead of Danjuma if Dobbs had been fit, and maybe he would converted one of the chances that Danjuma got?

2. Also, I am a bit puzzled as to why Dyche moved McNeil to the right and played Danjuma on the left. Again, I feel that if any of those 3 chances had fallen to McNeil in those positions, he would have converted them?

3. This is not a criticism of Dyche - I have become a fan of his style and tactics and how he has changed the entire mentality of the squad. I am not sure any other manager could have achieved what he has in his time here so far of 11 months?

4. The overruled Calvert-Lewin goal was Everton's 2nd of the season. The 1st one being the Keane strike against Fulham in the opening fixture of the season. Both were extremely poor decisions and cost Everton dearly.

(However, the most shocking decision of the weekend, IMO, was the 2nd yellow and sending off of Willy Boly of Nottingham Forest in the 25th minute of the game. Go on, if you haven't seen it, see it and please explain to me how a clean tackle like that merits a foul, let alone a yellow. Football is screwed if refs are allowed to get away with decisions like that and the VAR is not allowed to review it because yellow cards are not reviewable! Anyway... off topic, sorry.)

5. To those criticising Jack Harrison, I would ask them to see some of the skills he brings to the team, apart from his workrate. He usually quickly brings down very difficult long range passes and starts an attack. I have seen Iwobi for years mis-controlling those passes on the sidelines and giving a thumbs-up.

Also, I think this was shown on TV slow-motion replays, and maybe those in the stadium missed it, but that pass from him from the outside of his boot to find James Garner in the box whose shot grazed the post and went out, was 'de Bruyne-esque'.

6. Gomes had a great game, and obviously he is supremely talented, but who does he replace when everyone is available? Doucoure has his free-roaming, goal-scoring role. McNeil and Harrison cover the flanks and provide the crosses as well as score the odd goals, Onana is the physical presence in the boxes, Garner provides both the graft as well as creativity from a deeper role.

So, presently for me, Gana and Gomes provide the back-up. And isn't it nice to have some decent back-ups for a change? And, I have this sneaky feeling that when Dyche gets Dele fit and firing, he will have another option on his hands.

Merry Christmas, once again, everyone!

Danny O’Neill
230 Posted 25/12/2023 at 06:43:45
I've said it elsewhere, but have a Royal Blue Christmas all.

On Gomes, he is a good player.

I personally think he struggled after that injury. It wasn't just the physical aspect, I think his confidence was shot.

Let's hope that isn't a one-off and he's able to play a much needed part in the run-in.

Get some of those points back and continue these performances and we will be comfortable.

Mike Gaynes
231 Posted 25/12/2023 at 07:50:03
Danny #230, amen, wishing Gomes only the very best of success.

But Simon #218, yes, I cannot get FIVE years of Gomes out of my head -- the five years that separated his two outstanding performances -- during which he has been paid £112k/week, close to the top of our wage scale. That someone here now wants Dyche to sign him to a new contract based on one performance (one!!) and "world class" abilities that have somehow escaped the notice of his national team, caused my eyes to roll so hard that they fell out on the floor. And I'm sober.

Colin #220, he played his "preferred position" at Barca and failed. Blaming his managers for those failures is, as Kieran says, ludicrous.

Tony Abrahams
232 Posted 25/12/2023 at 08:56:08
Are you sure that yellow cards are not reviewable Ajay, or was you just being sarcastic towards this presently awful regime of incompetent decision-makers?

I know Martial got his yellow rescinded at Goodison and, although I thought that was the correct decision, I obviously disagreed with the referee, when he also went and gave Man Utd a penalty.

The thing which possibly wasn't really envisaged when the VAR was introduced, was how subjective a lot of these very contentious decisions would be. Nothing much is cut and dried, and this is leading to more and more people questioning today's game, with many even feeling that the game might just even be corrupt?

Football needs to really define the laws of the game imo, because I think what Dyche said about it being easy to define a foul in almost any situation nowadays, is leading to a lot of awfully controversial decisions and Is not really doing the game any favours whatsoever.

Football used to be called a man's game, but now it's become a sport full of cynical cheating, and sometimes it feels like even the officials are involved in this cheating nowadays.

Derek Knox
233 Posted 25/12/2023 at 08:56:33
Mike G, hope you are good mate, I couldn't agree more about Gomes, a player as you well know I have slated on so many occasions, accompanied by 'limpet and barnacle' or Gravy Train Stowaway! Barcelona Fans could neither wait to get rid of him, or believe how much we paid for him.

As you so rightly say even before his protracted injury problems, before and after in nearly 5 years have we seen what you could call an excellent performance. Not being a Stat Man but even someone like me can deduce that equates to crapola!

I like everyone, hope he can continue such displays, for the rest of his contracted stay, but I very much doubt it, unless he makes me eat my words, and copious amounts of humble pie, which I will almost relish!

Derek Knox
234 Posted 25/12/2023 at 10:00:29
All we need is Dele Alli to follow suit but, in his case, he was a always a class act until his 'problems'.

I think his contract wording as well comes into play, regarding his limited appearances, the £10M after so many games etc. Apparently training again at Finch Farm, let's hope Sean can work his magic with him too.

Hard-nosed Levy is hardly likely to ease off as a goodwill gesture either.

Laurie Hartley
235 Posted 25/12/2023 at 10:29:00
Mike -# 217 - “ And if he has actually learned to shoot the ball,”

As you know I reluctantly agreed with you that Gomes had become a liability because he kept getting caught in possession.

However there are two things that Gomes is top class at:-

Passing the ball

“Shooting the ball”

Remember this one:-

When he hits them they stay hit.

Paul Hewitt
236 Posted 25/12/2023 at 10:50:01
Merry Christmas everyone.
Ray Roche
237 Posted 25/12/2023 at 11:56:47
Thing is Laurie, I think that that was the last goal he scored for us.
Ajay Gopal
238 Posted 25/12/2023 at 12:25:32
Tony (232), this from the website:

"The VAR will not intervene for an incident where a second yellow card leads to a red card, unless the VAR believes the second yellow card should be upgraded to a red."

Make of it what you will.

Andy Meighan
239 Posted 25/12/2023 at 12:59:12
Ajay 229.

Don't forget Doucouré had a good goal ruled out by the VAR at home to Wolves.

There's another for the collection.

Anyway, all the best.

Tony Abrahams
240 Posted 25/12/2023 at 13:10:00
It must be different when they are looking at penalties, Ajay, but I think we already know that a lot of things are getting changed around on a weekly basis nowadays, mate.

The biggest problem for me is how inconsistent everything seems to be, and I don't think it's going to change until they lift the gagging ban that is helping to keep so many inept referees in a job.

I'm sure the people at Sky TV must have been delighted to hear Jargoon Klopp give Dermot Gallagher a plug even though I personally feel that hanging onto the words of an ex-official is doing absolutely nothing for the game… but probably loads for the television industry.

Ed Prytherch
241 Posted 25/12/2023 at 14:20:34
Tony 232,

I agree, the VAR is subjective, cynical and cheating in the Premier League. That is why Championship and League 1 games are generally more enjoyable.

Colin Malone
242 Posted 25/12/2023 at 15:34:57
Kieran Kinsella,

The previous games Gomes has played for Everton, were as a holding midfielder. Then clueless Frank loaned him out.

One game doesn't make a season, but form is temporary, class is permanent. He is our best Number 10.

Brian Wilkinson
243 Posted 25/12/2023 at 15:44:42
With Gueye going to the Afcon and Doucoure injured, a huge slice of luck that we did not offload Gomes.

The Gomes before the injury was very good, lost his way after the horrific injury, certainly looked decent the other day. Like others have said, can he maintain it? Well, he certainly looked fitter and more mobile. Time will tell but he should certainly get his chance now and I hope his form continues.

I just hope Dyche keeps McNeil on the left for the Man City game, don't put your best wide player out of position, if Danjuma cannot play on the right, then put someone on who can, just don't move McNeil to the right.

Anyway will finish by wishing fellow ToffeeWebbers a very happy Xmas.

Jack Convery
244 Posted 25/12/2023 at 17:20:13
The really stupid thing about the VAR is, if Calvert-Lewin's shot had been saved and gone out for a corner, we would have gotten the corner!!!

If it's outside the box, leave it to the matchday officials, not some arsehole who wants to do some mischief for the hell of it, or because it's actually Everton. I tell you, folks, if that had been Rodri, Saka, Salah etc making the tackle ,no way would our dear friend Mr Oliver have got himself involved.

Let's all be on Oliver watch when we play Wolves, it should be interesting.

Tom Bowers
245 Posted 25/12/2023 at 17:40:41
The old saying, woulda, coulda, shoulda comes to mind about this game but I suppose our good run in London was due to end.

Putting the ball in the net is what it is all about, even penalties and the Fulham game says a lot about Everton's striking frailties.

Calvert-Lewin is just not up to snuff these days and one wonders if he ever will be again which doesn't say much about Beto or Chermitti neither of whom can get a starting position.

We have to face up to the fact that we are still an average outfit who will blow half hot and cold but the Spurs result was a disappointment to say the least. Once again we conceded early which makes it doubly difficult against teams like Spurs.

Surely to God they won't give Man City an early break.

Annika Herbert
246 Posted 25/12/2023 at 17:55:40
Don't understand the dislike for Harrison at all. The lad gives us terrific balance on the right and tracks back. Without him in the side we appear to lack width.

As for Gomes, credit where it's due, he looked quality. Some people on here still doubt him with good reason. But the same people rated Sigurdsson who I, personally, thought was a complete waste of £50 million.

Mike Gaynes
247 Posted 25/12/2023 at 18:04:04
Laurie #235, good reminder, and I do remember that, although as Ray #237 reminds us, there hadn't been another one since. (Or before, for that matter, since all three of his goals at Barca were tap-ins.) But with that and the rocket at Lille and the one on Saturday, I'll readily admit that he is showing that capability -- and it makes him a possibility to fill in for the injured Doucouré. He lacks Doucouré's engine and aggression, but he shares his knack for getting into the right positions. And he can pass.

Colin #242, Gomes has played most of his career as a holding mid. He has been tried briefly at #10 by multiple managers. And while Frank was certainly clueless, loaning Gomes out appears to have been an excellent judgement, because Gomes rebuilt his career at Lille.

DK #233, miss ya brother, hope you're having a lovely and peaceful holiday. And I share your hopes for Dele. If Gomes, a less talented player, can make a comeback at 30, Dele can certainly do so at 27.

(BTW the Mirror reports that Everton are still trying to renegotiate the Dele deal with Spurs.)

Brian #243, judging by the reactions of the players on both teams to Gueye's injury on Saturday, I very much doubt that he's going to Afcon. Or anywhere else but the rehab room.

Mike Gaynes
248 Posted 25/12/2023 at 18:11:09
Some people are still obsessed with criticizing a player who hasn't played for us in almost 3 years.
Rob Halligan
249 Posted 25/12/2023 at 19:08:56
Jack # 244…

That's a really excellent point, and just shows how flawed the VAR is. Shot goes in, VAR intervention and foul given. Shot saved and pushed behind, corner awarded. This was not a clear and obvious error by Attwell, and the goal should have stood.

Perhaps if we, as fans, cannot hear what the VAR is saying to the on-field officials during a game, then maybe a representative from each club should be allowed to sit in that little box at Stockley Park and listen to the conversations going on. We would get nowhere near the amount of cock-ups by the VAR if that was allowed.

Paul Ferry
250 Posted 25/12/2023 at 20:27:37
I find it verging on unbelievable to hear folk like Kieran Kinsella – but he is not at all alone – still lampooning and lambasting MotM Gomes, as he and everyone else in that camp has done before and after Son's assault.

It began before he arrived with Mike Gaynes – who, by the way, I have the highest respect and affection for, but even he has occasional foibles – telling us what to expect.

Kieran, he was MotM in what was one of our best performances of the season that was made possible by playing Gomes in his correct role and so nearly a result for us made possible by Gomes's absolute top-drawer finish. But he can't shoot, apparently.

He was MotM, why not give him a fecking chance or another minute? It is good for Everton that he came on and did what he did. Even if he never ever has another game anywhere near this for us, yesterday still happened and should be celebrated and not degraded and diminished by someone's inability to forgive, forget, and hope for the best, and top-notch ability to continue to rant and rave as if it was 4 years ago.

Dear God, even the Allied and German troops had an armistice on Christmas Day. Give it a break for just one day, Kieran et al, and perhaps even another game or two.

I'm made up for Gomes and fingers tightly crossed that he can continue in this vein because, Kieran, the good of the club is above individual vendettas.

Come on, Gomes. COYB. And I hope that each and every one of us has a lovely Christmas Day.

Dan Parker
251 Posted 25/12/2023 at 20:36:24
I agree, Paul. I thought Gomes was outstanding and not what I was expecting to be honest. As you rightly pointed out, he struggled to get back to his best after Son's petulant horror tackle.

If he follows it up with a poor performance by all means fair to critique but when someone ups their game and excels when given an unexpected opportunity, the right thing to do is praise and encourage in the moment. Otherwise, people make mistakes and society writes them off for good.

Don Alexander
252 Posted 25/12/2023 at 20:47:04
There's a reason we signed Gomes with no competition from any other club, pay or contract-wise. He is slowish, ineffectual in defence and rarely scores.

Yes, he can pick a pass and on that account may be worth a place, and if he scores half a dozen all the better but I've as much chance as he has of getting a better contract, unless he dramatically uplifts himself.

And as for Dele Alli.............. .

Paul Ferry
253 Posted 25/12/2023 at 20:56:13
Happy Xmas Don and all the best for 2024.

Entirely expected that post of yours, same old, same old. By the way, let me break this to you gently, you don't, I'm afraid, have as much chance as Gomes of getting a contract to play for Everton.

Sorry to bring you this bad news on this day of all days when Baby Jesus was born and most people tend towards the better and kinder side of their nature, however thin it might be.

Dave Evans
254 Posted 25/12/2023 at 21:20:19
So pleased for Gomes. Hope he makes this his level in every future game. Happy new year blues.
Tony Abrahams
255 Posted 25/12/2023 at 21:20:24
Don, did say unless he dramatically uplifts himself, on allegedly this most uplifting of days!!
Brent Stephens
256 Posted 25/12/2023 at 21:22:37
Given the way Dyche has got tunes out of certain players I didn’t think I’d hear, I’d be tempted to say he should continue waiving the baton at Gomes for a wee while, especially given injuries etc.
Paul Ferry
257 Posted 25/12/2023 at 21:36:34
Or even waving the baton Brent, you Xmas drunk you.

Happy Xmas mate!

Andy Crooks
258 Posted 25/12/2023 at 21:48:51
Paul Ferry, I'm with you on this. I just have a gut feeling that Gomes has had, appropriately, a moment of epiphany. He looked different to me. Confident, determined and resolute. Attributes I would never have dreamt he had.

I also, full of Christmas spirit, by the way, have a feeling that Dele will be good too. I may well be wrong, most likely in fact, but thinking that those two top, but troubled, players might just turn around our club is a nice Christmas thought.

Isn't thinking of the two most talented players at our club, doing great things for us, part of being a Blue? Why not?

Brendan McLaughlin
259 Posted 25/12/2023 at 21:57:13
Don #252,

Happy Christmas, mate...

Why you get bad press, I'll never know.

Paul Birmingham
260 Posted 25/12/2023 at 22:35:10
Tony at 240, a good point about the expro players and match officials.

Their rhetoric and conscious bias, doesn't improve the quality of the match officials. The stench now is polluting every weekend, the political parties/ government must get some proper governance on football.

Yep, in the old dsys, we had the bias and pig headedness of Clive Thomas and the calm of Pat Patridge, but for me, this century has seen the era of the virtual, partial, not my descion, referree.

Oliver, hides under the table, and for me there are no consistent and reliable match officials.

They all cack their kecks, with any so called active play descision.

But Everton, on and off the Park, the real deal and the bastion of democracy in the playing values of the game and hopefully soon, a board with clean backing can take the clubs, business management challenges to a better place.


Brent Stephens
261 Posted 25/12/2023 at 22:40:07
Paul, my bad, mate. Going through a bad spell at the moment. Merry Christmas.
Peter Mills
262 Posted 25/12/2023 at 22:42:38
Gomes played well when he came on. But it was against a defence pushing up to the halfway line, affording him a degree of latitude to play passes into space.

He won’t get that every week.

Colin Malone
263 Posted 25/12/2023 at 22:47:12
Mike Gaynes.

Colin #242, Gomes has played most of his career as a holding mid. He has been tried briefly at #10 by multiple managers. And while Frank was certainly clueless, loaning Gomes out appears to have been an excellent judgement, because Gomes rebuilt his career at Lille.

I've seen Gomes in a holding midfield in a 3 with two wingers, under Frank. He was lost. All the team were lost. Gomes is a number 10 all day long. Not a headless chicken. A number 10, with guile.

Paul Hewitt
264 Posted 25/12/2023 at 22:57:20
Gomes's contract is up in the summer. No other mug will pay him anywhere near what we do. Expect him to suddenly find some form and earn a new contract. Only Everton.
Andy Finigan
265 Posted 25/12/2023 at 23:12:19
Just to put some perspective on the game, is there any team that plays a higher line? Even when they were winning? We won't play as open an opponent again.

With the way they play they are always going to give chances to the opposition. We didn't take them. On another day we might've but it's the here and now.

Man City on Wednesday will be different. Remember when Arsenal came and we didn't get any chances?

I don't want to piss on our good play at Spurs but they were wide open. It's back to the take no shit, close down and take any chances against Man City.
Mark Murphy
266 Posted 25/12/2023 at 23:12:41
I don't particularly care if Gomes earns a lucrative move through playing well for Everton when he plays - he's a professional band it's his job.

I'm not a fan of Onana either but if he plays to his obvious ability while with us and earns a decent fee then good luck bro him too!

Not all pros love the club they play for but if they don't love mine they can go with my blessing as long as they put in a shift whilst here. And that penalty the other night was NOT a shift! UTFT

Mike Gaynes
267 Posted 25/12/2023 at 23:13:11
Colin #263, in the past nine years for Valencia, Barcelona, Everton, Lille and Portugal, Gomes has started a game in the #10 position maybe eight or nine times. Total.

In 101 appearances for Everton, he has started exactly one game at attacking mid. Subbed in there maybe three other times. Otherwise he has always been a deeper-lying midfielder. Even on Saturday -- he replaced DM Gana, not the more attacking Doucoure.

You're entitled to your opinion, but since we haven't actually seen him playing at #10, your certainty mystifies me.

Mike Doyle
268 Posted 25/12/2023 at 23:17:50
Mike #247,

Dele is out of contract in June, so Spurs have the choice of renegotiating his deal or receiving £0 in the summer — unless of course they think we are about to cough up £10 million.

As he hasn't played at all this season, and knowing Dyche's fitness requirements, taking part in the last 4 games may be a realistic target.

Andy Crooks
269 Posted 25/12/2023 at 23:43:45
Paul @ 264,

I do not believe that Gomes is as cynical as you suggest. In fact, I could not believe it and continue watching Premier League football.

Integrity is a devalued currency but I choose to believe it still exists.

Don Alexander
270 Posted 25/12/2023 at 23:58:26
Brendan (#259) - I've admittedly had a smidge of bad press down the years but a lot of the silly buggers who so indulge themselves have taken a ferry-ride off the site. I rest my case.

I've never sought to personalise things as some seem to get a kick out of doing and I respect everyone's right to expound an opinion about Everton, good and bad.

Moving onto Gomes again, the alleged fact that he's had a series of managers in a series of clubs who've only selected him 9 times as a no.10 in 9 years might just have a good reason for a team aspiring to win to be nervous about him.

But who knows? Maybe we should try to find what's missing in him whilst we struggle for points. After all, what could possibly go wrong?

Ed Prytherch
271 Posted 26/12/2023 at 00:39:31
My wife's blood is 100% Sicilian and she does not hold grudges as long as some of you guys. Gomes played very well on Saturday so give him a break.
Dale Self
272 Posted 26/12/2023 at 01:03:08
Brent and/or Paul, is baton some kind of English double entendre?

And a brief Xmas story: I was riding my bike along the road to the Santa Cruz lighthouse and something offensive caught my eye. Some smug looking Liverpooler was sporting his red Standard Charter top. I rode by close enough so the group would hear clearly. “Everton is going to beat you and soon mate” , I said. Each one of them looked as though they knew it was true. Good times.

Paul Birmingham
273 Posted 26/12/2023 at 01:09:27
Dale, well in, we'll said.


Dale Self
274 Posted 26/12/2023 at 01:14:52
Merry Christmas Paul and everyone else. This is still the place! UTFT! Fuckin’ A!
Paul Ferry
275 Posted 26/12/2023 at 01:27:56
Brent, I hope that anything that is wrong turns out right mate
Paul Ferry
276 Posted 26/12/2023 at 01:28:53
And. the best of xmas wishes to you Dale, one of the three wise men, along with
Steve Brown
278 Posted 26/12/2023 at 01:52:51
Good festive debate fuelled by a few bevvys I am sure. Peace and goodwill to all men.

Given the small squad we have, I think we should all be praying that Dyche can get a tune out of Gomes and Alli this season before their contracts expire in the summer. Doucouré has a hammy. Gueye is injured then off to Afcon, so we will be seriously short in midfield for the next 2 months.

Personally, I don't think Gomes has the physicality to play holding midfield – Onana will occupy that role. But, imagine a Dele Alli at even 75% capacity playing behind Calvert-Lewin? We need goal scorers and he is one.

Not saying it will work out for either of them, but I am holding out hope.

Paul Ferry
279 Posted 26/12/2023 at 02:16:15
You're right about Gomes's physicality shortcomings. Steve, and that is most certainly one reason I was cheered to see him being played further up the pitch even though he was replacing Gana. I hope that Sean Dyche sees him playing there as that might be a real boost for us.

Let's not be bombastic either way for good or bad as some have been on this thread. Let's see if this helps us out in the weeks to come. If it doesn't, it was worth a try, although some have clearly already made their dogged minds up on someone who has not played for us for more than 18 months and gave us a very high-quality performance on his return 2 days ago.

Kieran Kinsella
280 Posted 26/12/2023 at 02:47:25

I totally agree he was brilliant v Spurs. But based on his age, career stats etc, I'm not convinced he won't revert to type in the next game. Obviousjy beggars can't be choosers so, with the injuries we have, he's the best option over untried youngsters.

I'd also argue that Doucoure was played out of position as a defensive midfielder his entire Everton career and even his last year at Watford until Dyche restored him to the role he very successful played at Watford.

But Gomes we are talking about his whole career not playing in a role that now we are talking about transitioning to, aged 30. So I'm skeptical but I'd be delighted to be proven wrong.

As for a new deal? I'm with Don on that one (Merry Christmas by the way, mate). Even if he dazzles for the next 6 months I can't see us extending his deal. And if he does dazzle, I can't see him taking the massive pay cut FFP and squad pay parity would warrant. Either way, I think a new deal is a non-starter.

Derek Knox
281 Posted 26/12/2023 at 03:51:13
I totally agree with Kieran, Mike G, and many, many others, about André Gomes's, ability to continue or indeed repeat, his outstanding performances.

Let's just check and remind ourselves, of those, despite injury, which have amounted to 2, in nearly 5 years. Not exactly the model of consistency!

I keep hearing he was played 'out of position', by a series of different managers. No excuse in my book; you are a professional footballer and, let's face it, earning (?) a very good income!

Once selected, and you put on that shirt which many thousands would love to be given that opportunity (let's face it, we all have dreamed). Whether you have supported that team or not, you should do your utmost for 90 minutes unless subbed. Not sit there with your calculator looking at your already inflated bank account!

Let's not forget also that Everton supported him to the hilt during his injury from Son/Aurier. Payback is well overdue!

Paul Ferry
282 Posted 26/12/2023 at 04:38:38
Derek K,

'Let's not forget also, that Everton supported him to the hilt during his injury from Son/Aurier. Payback is well overdue!'

He can only do so much in one match only DK and Saturday was a pretty chunky first instalment. And so we should have supported him, are we now blaming him for that too? Insurance would have taken care of medical costs and, if I'm not mistaken, unless things have changed now, some part of the salary.

Happy Xmas, Derek, and have a great new year.

Danny O’Neill
283 Posted 26/12/2023 at 07:09:00
I too am under no illusion that Gomes will be with us next season. But he's with us now.

It wasn't his fault he suffered a horrific injury. Okay, so did Seamus, but we all cope differently. Over the years, I broke both legs, both ankles and had ligament damage (not all at the same time!!). We all cope differently. Some want to get back on the pitch as soon as possible and go in for that first tackle. Others take time. It's a confidence and mentality thing. I've coached players, they all cope and recover differently.

This isn't me being an apologist for Gomes. We simply don't know what's been going on in his head or body. Like with a lot of Everton players in recent seasons, he probably has not been helped by the turbulence, turmoil and managerial merry-go-round surrounding the club, which will also have impacted the medical and fitness departments. Revolving doors, change and different opinions on players.

I'm just pleased he played to the ability we saw when he first arrived. That Pickford derby at Anfield, when he controlled the game. I hope he does tomorrow and for however many games he plays in for the rest of the season. Maybe Dyche saw something he liked and got his coaching staff to work on him?

For me, cut him some slack and support him like every other player that crosses the line in a Royal Blue shirt. Or Salmon or Silver.

On the other subject. Don's views are always welcome, as are everyone's. As were Darren's. Where has he gone? Come back, Darren, I miss the lively discussions!!

We come on here to debate the one thing that unifies us. As I have said, agreeing, disagreeing, locking horns. Never let it get personal. The trouble with online is context. We could have the same conversation in a pub outside the ground or on the concourses in the grounds. Argue and then buy each other a drink before walking to the ground together or back to our seats.

I hope you all had a great Blue Christmas.

Steve Brown
284 Posted 26/12/2023 at 07:30:45
Very good post, Danny.
Dave Cashen
285 Posted 26/12/2023 at 07:50:16
I once heard Garry Neville, former manager, describe Gomes as one of the most technically gifted midfield players he had seen. That is one hell of a statement given the talent Neville has been fortunate enough to have played with.

Spurs gave him time on the ball and offered him that ridiculously high line to exploit and, to be honest, I thought he murdered them. Watching him on Saturday, I thought Neville's statement gained a fair degree of credibility. I'm still wondering how we came away with nothing.

I'm made up for the guy. His journey back from that horrific injury must have been long and very lonely.

Unfortunately for Gomes, we will not play against Spurs every week. Players from Sheffield, Luton, Nottingham, Burnley, will feel inferior to him and not allow him to play. They will smother him. Therein lies the problem.

Although he is capable of a top-class performance against better teams who will let him play, he has frequently been proven to lack the athleticism to play consistently in the hurly-burly of bread-and-butter Premier League games.

Still made up for him. I welcome him back with open arms. We are going to need all hands to the pump and he may just pop up with the key in one or two of our many crucial matches.

Dave Cashen
286 Posted 26/12/2023 at 07:59:46
"My wife's blood is 100% Sicilian and she does not hold grudges as long as some of you guys."

An absolute Christmas cracker.

Danny O’Neill
287 Posted 26/12/2023 at 08:28:40
Off on a tangent Dave Cashen.

We lived in Italy for 2 years and go back regularly.

We lived in a place called Latina in the region of Lazio about 40 minutes south of Rome.

I went to watch both Lazio and Roma. I have to say, I prefer Roma. The Lazio supporters are a pretty nasty and dare I say fascist bunch.

Anyway, the story. We travelled all over Italy including a trip to Taormina in Sicily. Day two, I go to start the car up. No battery. It had gone missing. The locals came to my help. I guy on a moped arrived with a battery that looked suspiciously like the one that had been removed from my car. I paid the price and the car was fine!!

Brian Wilkinson
288 Posted 26/12/2023 at 12:47:14
Everton are a different team now, the fringe players when called upon are coming in and working to the system Dyche has set them out for.

For a very long time, we always said the usual suspects came in and performed for a new manager, then downed tools when their heads dropped, same old same old we said, we saw some performances that stank Goodison out at times, confidence in players shattered.

This squad I see now has a completely different outlook, a will to win, to still compete instead of letting heads drop, so I have every confidence that Dyche will continue the trend, I would not be so quick to write Gomes off just yet, even Young and Keane are already starting to look better in their last few games for us, after shaky starts.

Against Spurs I saw a sharper Gomes, when he came on he looked quicker, fitter and more aware of players around him, to slip a pass to, all this when his team is already 2 goals down, that is the one thing that stood out for me more than anything, he came on and took the game to Spurs, give the guy a chance, with Doucoure and Gauye out we definitely need Gomes to carry on from where he left off against Spurs and hope we can get some more performances out of the player.

Had Gomes came on and had a stinker, quite a few would have wrote him off and said he is finished, however he came on and had a good game, the same people would say it’s only one game for his good performance, but happy to write him off for one bad performance, give the guy a chance.

Dale Self
289 Posted 26/12/2023 at 12:58:22
Paul, I assume you had posted the the other wise men who promptly protested and were thus deleted.

Merry merry to you mate!

Brent Stephens
290 Posted 26/12/2023 at 13:37:38
Dale #272 - no, Paul rightly corrected my spelling of what should have been "waving" in #256.

Paul #275 - good man.

Si Cooper
291 Posted 26/12/2023 at 14:15:45
“Some smug looking Liverpooler was sporting his red Standard Charter top. I rode by close enough so the group would hear clearly. “Everton is going to beat you and soon mate”, I said. Each one of them looked as though they knew it was true. Good times.”

Further proof (if needed) that they attract the mentally deficient and spiritually bereft in their thousands. A sharp Scouse wit would surely have zipped “But not in the Carabao Cup, eh la'?” right back at you Dale.

Personally, I'm avoiding having the customary ‘dig' at them until we are guaranteed safe from relegation.

Alan J Thompson
292 Posted 26/12/2023 at 17:03:51
Oh, come on, Danny(#287), it's known as "Mind ya car, Mister".
Mark Murphy
293 Posted 26/12/2023 at 17:18:31
Best “mind yer car mister”memory for me was back in the late 70s. We played Manyoo in a night match and I was parking in an old car parking sight where the Club shop is now. I gave the scallies 50p with a promise of another 50p after the game. A transit pulled up alongside and disgorged a pile of Mancs. On hearing the little cherubs request to “mind yer car” the driver hurled a torrent of abuse, much to the amusement of his passengers (and to me as I knew what was to come).
After the game (I think we won) I returned to my car to find a lot of upset mancs and a badly scratched and smashed up rental hire transit with 4 slashed tyres.
Stupid manc bastards!
Saved me 50p mind!
Danny O’Neill
294 Posted 27/12/2023 at 06:45:08
Alan @292.

I always remember going to the Anfield derby in the season we last won the league. It was the Sheedy two fingers to the Kop match as we took the league. We lost 3-1 but were on course to be champions.

Anyway the "mind yer car mister" point. My dad's friend from Yorkshire attended with us. When the young kid asked him that question, he told him "It's okay, there is a dog in the back." (There wasn't!)

The response from someone who couldn't have been more than 6 years old…

"Can he put out fires?"

Quality response. We paid him and the car was there after match. He even got a tip!!

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