Wolverhampton Wanderers 3 - 0 Everton

Everton are at Molineux to take on Wolves for their final game of 2023.

Doucocure and Gueye are still out injured. Sean Dyche makes two changes, with Keane and Calvert-Lewin returning to the starting line-up at the expense of Gomes and Beto.

Everton got things going in their silver strip and looked to play up but Wolves got in behind and they almost scored. Everton struggled to retain possession as it became something of a midfield ding-dong but Everton were caught out from their own attacking free-kick, Wolves on a counter through Hwang that they should have done more from with Everton all over the place, but somehow they kept the ball out. 

Harrison put in a decent ball where Calvert-Lewin should have been but wasn't. Harrison again looked to put one in but Everton's striker was still ambling forward, well behind the play. When Tarkowski did play a nice ball to him, he could not control it.   

Wolves got forward again and Cunha had a pop, just wide of Pickford's goal. Mykolenko did well to stop a cross but Everton were really struggling to keep the ball. Some great work from McNeil ended with an overhit pass in for Sa to collect. 

Mykolenko was very lucky not to be penalized for a silly drag on Semedo's arm when the ball was going out of play. Calvert-Lewin did well to collect a forward ball and play it in for McNeil to shoot high and wide of the angle. 

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Patterson was carded for a clumsy foul on Gomes. Branthwaite had to defend at the expense of a corner that went behind off Tarkowski, who headed the next one away but it came right back in and the initial shot parried by Pickford but  was scrambled in by Kilman despite Branthwaite's and Tarkowski's efforts to block it on the line.  

McNeil did well to feed a perfect ball forward for Calvert-Lewin, who only had to dink it over the advancing Sa but his touch was poor and the shot bobbled across goal and wide. 

At the other end, very quick play by Wolves created another guilt-edged opportunity but Sarabia couldn't make contact. McNeil tried to release Harrison down the right but Semedo clearly cheated him with a trailing leg to win a free-kick. 

Onana had maybe twisted his ankle and went down for a second time, needing treatment before he came back on.  A poor backpass from Onana set up Hwang to give Tarkowski a torrid time, winning a free-kick that was eventually cleared.  

Ait Nouri was booked for delaying an Everton throw-in. Calvert-Lewin did well to intercept a strong forward ball but played the pass to Harrison all wrong. 

Another long ball forward to the speedy Hwang produced an unorthodox clearance from Pickford. Hwang was released again down the left but Pickford gathered it.  

Onana released Calvert-Lewin with a lovely through-ball but the striker's first touch was all wrong and Sa was able to get a hand on the ball before the Everton forward took a shot before his run was deemed offside.

Everton won a corner but it was overhit and eventually went behind for a goal-kick. A collision between Dawson and Calvert-Lewin led to Doyle and McNeil getting involved in a Japanese wrestling tussle, both booked before a rather unsatisfactory half for Everton was brought to an end. 

Everton worked the ball around well from the restart but it broke down and Semedo crossed just wide of the far post. Everton got the ball forward but Harrison's shot was way off, and Tarkwoski's shot was blocked by Dawson's nose. 

The action returned to the Everton area where a couple of shots needed blocking. But Hwang got through again and was able to drive the ball beyond Pickford to the far post where Cunha had outrun two Everton markers to bundle the ball in. 

Everton now had a mountain to climb with Dyche seemingly unwilling to make any changes just yet. It needed an Everton response but Wolves were now full of it and stepping in to pick up balls the Everton players expected to roll for them. 

Somehow, Tarkowski and Keane gifted the ball to Hwang who this time shot at goal himself, Pickford touching it onto the post for a corner. It looked like that had been cleared but a weak shot in and Dawson waved a foot at it to divert it past Pickford for a real stinker. 

Finally time for a few changes after the horse was galloping away into the distance… Coleman and Gomes on for Patterson and Keane. But Everton still could not make much impression until Gomes fed Calvert-Lewin for a neat feed to McNeil who fired a screamer onto the top of the Wolves post. 

Everton upped their game a little and some god play fed McNeil for a cross that someone should have been in place to tap home but wasn't. Wolves countered and should have had a fourth but for a fine one-handed save by Pickford.

But Everton were sliced open again and Hwang curled a beautiful finish around Pickford,... but he had made his run from an offside position. Dyche seemed surprised at the effect his changes had finally made, bringing on Beto and Danjuma for Calvert-Lewin and McNeil.

But the net result was that Everton were even more open to the Wolves counter, bringing everyone back for a corner when Sarabia's shot had been deflected behind. 

Still Everton played up as if they could get something from this game, but Mykoleno's cross was meat and drink for Sa to collect. And the speedy Wolves runners came so close to scoring again on the counter, with Everton backpedalling once again. 

Everton came forward again and won a corner but it was cleared by the first defender. More Wolves changes pretty much killed the game.  Everton huffed and puffed until they lost the ball and Wolves scampered forward again, Neto going for glory with his wild strike before an astounding 9 minutes were added on. 

Everton got themselves in trouble again with Coleman getting caught and Pickford passing out to a Wolves player. But the fine finish by Neto was ruled out for offside. 

And so ended a really disappointing performance for Everton, who were perhaps missing Doucoure and Gueye more than they should be? 

Wolves: Jose Sa, Kilman, Dawson, Gomes (85' Traore), Nelson Semedo (85' Doherty), Joao Gomes, Doyle [Y:45+3'], Ait Nouri [Y:43'], Hwang, Sarabia (80' Bellegarde), Matheus Cunha (80' Pedro Neto). 

Subs not Used: Santiago Bueno, Hugo Bueno, Kalajdzic, Bentley, Hodge.

Everton: Pickford, Keane (63' Gomes), Tarkowski [Y:66'], Branthwaite, Patterson [Y:23'] (63' Coleman), Onana, Garner, Mykolenko, Harrison, McNeil [Y:45+3'] (74' Danjuma), Calvert-Lewin (74' Beto).

Subs not Used: Virginia, Godfrey, Chermiti, Hunt, Dobbin.


Reader Comments (241)

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Soren Moyer
1 Posted 30/12/2023 at 13:55:46
Great! Neto, their best player, is back against us after weeks out with hamstring injury.
Jeff Armstrong
2 Posted 30/12/2023 at 13:59:27
Keane in 5 at the back, Calvert-Lewin up top.
Tony Everan
3 Posted 30/12/2023 at 14:07:50
Formation ?

…….Keane Tarkowski Branthwaite
Patterson ………………………………..Mykolenko
…………………Garner Onana
Harrison ……………Calvert-Lewin…………McNeil

Paul Kossoff
4 Posted 30/12/2023 at 14:10:52
I don't like the five at the back, hopefully Dyche knows what he's doing.

We have to be very disciplined today, everyone knowing their places.

Dennis Stevens
5 Posted 30/12/2023 at 14:12:37

Or will Keane play off Calvert-Lewin in a surprise 4-4-2?

Jim Wilson
6 Posted 30/12/2023 at 14:20:59
The back 3/5 just about worked against Burnley.

I can't see playing 3 central defenders at the expense of the midfield working today.

Rob Jones
7 Posted 30/12/2023 at 14:24:51
Did Keane find Dyche in a compromising position with a farm animal? I fail to see how else he keeps making it into the team.
Paul Kossoff
8 Posted 30/12/2023 at 14:28:35
Rob did you know apart from humans, the only animal that enjoys having sex is a dolphin. You would have to shag a lot of animals to find that out.🎅
Rob Jones
9 Posted 30/12/2023 at 14:32:36
Paul, I bow to your more extensive knowledge. :P
Paul Kossoff
10 Posted 30/12/2023 at 14:34:16
Rob, I assure you, it's not by practice.😀
Rob Hooton
11 Posted 30/12/2023 at 14:34:19
The mince pie is safe Paul! We could really do with a win today to put some breathing room between us.

Hope the formation works today, at least we have some decent options on the bench in Beto, Danjuma, Dobbin and Gomes should we need them.

Graham Mockford
12 Posted 30/12/2023 at 14:38:10
Strongest bench we've had for a long time.
Jeff Armstrong
13 Posted 30/12/2023 at 14:42:40
Paul 12, a bloke got done for having sex with a dolphin once, and apparently he did it on porpoise.
Paul Kossoff
14 Posted 30/12/2023 at 14:44:49
Jeff I bet he did, apparently he had a whale of a time😀
Alan J Thompson
15 Posted 30/12/2023 at 14:47:10
Anyone seen much of Wolves that might explain this line-up or is it a point away from home we are after?
Ray Roche
16 Posted 30/12/2023 at 14:48:11
I booked to go swimming with Dolphins and I was gutted when I found out it was a Porpoise tribute band.
Paul Kossoff
17 Posted 30/12/2023 at 14:49:44
Spot on Alan, keep the score down and nick it. 1 2 to the blue boys.👮👮
Paul Kossoff
18 Posted 30/12/2023 at 14:53:24
Ray, what do dolphins use to clean themselves? all porpoise cleaner😀
Jerome Shields
19 Posted 30/12/2023 at 15:00:29
Not surprised that Gomes is dropped to the bench once Dyche saw his stats. Keane to play a defending midfielder role, but knowing him he will be deep on occasions.

……. .....Tarkowski Branthwaite
Patterson …………Keane………………..Mykolenko
…………………Garner. Onana
Harrison ……………Calvert-Lewin…………McNeil

Garry Martin
20 Posted 30/12/2023 at 15:07:56
OMG Keane playing again…

Own-goal or penalty coming our way soon!

Jerome Shields
21 Posted 30/12/2023 at 15:13:45
Dyche must think Beto better as a Sub on the second half.
Paul Kossoff
23 Posted 30/12/2023 at 15:25:49
Wolves score. I actually thought that Everton had scored by the sound of joy coming from the total prat on Merseyside.

Fantastic save from Pickford but the Wolves player's reactions quicker and a goal.

Paul Kossoff
24 Posted 30/12/2023 at 15:27:34
Calvert-Lewin should have scored then but the finish was not good enough.
Colin Malone
25 Posted 30/12/2023 at 15:29:02
Keane off. Gomes on.
Paul Kossoff
26 Posted 30/12/2023 at 15:30:14
Calvert-Lewin's run timed spot on but he should have chipped it over the keeper who went down early, put outside of the post.

Wolves near in again.

Paul Kossoff
27 Posted 30/12/2023 at 15:38:26
Poor for from Everton so far, system not working at all.
Paul Kossoff
28 Posted 30/12/2023 at 15:42:08
Amadou Onana is not moving too freely, it looks like an issue with his right ankle.
Sean O’Hanlon
29 Posted 30/12/2023 at 15:46:42
The 4 wins on the trot was the zenith of our season.

Today will be embarrassing – followed by more depressing losses.

John Ronnie
30 Posted 30/12/2023 at 15:47:27
I'm sorry but Calvert-Lewin is fucking useless.
Pete Clarke
31 Posted 30/12/2023 at 15:49:10
Sleepwalking our way to defeat here. Body language of some players is shocking.
Paul Kossoff
32 Posted 30/12/2023 at 15:50:24
Sean let's hope not, 45 mins to go yet, point will do me if the other results go our way.
Paul Kossoff
33 Posted 30/12/2023 at 15:52:56
Pete, the poor lads have had a heavy Christmas bonus to take home, a bit stiff I would presume.
Michael Lynch
34 Posted 30/12/2023 at 15:54:21
Very poor so far. McNeil doing okay, but Calvert-Lewin looks a broken man in front of goal.

Onana is such a frustrating player – full of talent but seems to be happy doing the bare minimum.

I can't see a way back today, but at 1-0 there's always a chance. A point would be a great outcome.

Phil Smith
35 Posted 30/12/2023 at 15:55:21
Awful half of football that.

We can't make a forward pass to save our lives and, when we do, you know that Calvert-Lewin will fuck it up. He needs a goal.

Need to change things at the half.

Paul Kossoff
36 Posted 30/12/2023 at 15:57:59
Micheal, I would take Calvert-Lewin off, show him he's not nailed on unless he's doing his job.

Rumours he's off soon, don't know where. We have options on the bench at least.

Christy Ring
37 Posted 30/12/2023 at 15:59:23
Playing 5 at the back is a disaster.

Bring on Gomes for Keane, we'd be a lot more offensive.

Alan J Thompson
38 Posted 30/12/2023 at 16:00:07
This system just isn't working, Wolves play little one-twos through the middle as we are undermanned and then switch it out wide when our players come inside. The defence is also too slow to move out when we clear the ball, somebody is always hanging back and quite often most of the defence.

It's not that he's played badly but Keane has to come off and revert to a back four and add another midfield man and consider putting Beto on for Calvert-Lewin but we have to get more men forward, especially in their box.

Patterson's yellow was weak and this is another display of poor refereeing, are there any decent refs in England?

And finally that idiot on away strips strikes again with an awful grey outfit when for the life of me I don't understand why we can't play in Blue shirts, he does know we are Everton?

Brian Wilkinson
39 Posted 30/12/2023 at 16:00:29
If we are not making any subs at half-time, I would scrap the 5 at the back and push Michael Keane just behind Calvert-Lewin and give that a go for 15 minutes.
Christine Foster
40 Posted 30/12/2023 at 16:01:49
Everything is not working today, tactics, shape or individual performances, we look as poor as we have done all season. Keane for Gomes, back to a back four. Calvert-Lewin is struggling, Beto on.

Wolves are poor but dropping like flies at every hint of being touched, this has to be under instruction.

Passing is poor, this is just nowhere near good enough... get it together blues!

Ed Prytherch
41 Posted 30/12/2023 at 16:06:04
We are being out-numbered in midfield and Calvert-Lewin is not improving. Beto and Gomes on please.
Christine Foster
42 Posted 30/12/2023 at 16:07:43
No changes... goodness me.
Colin Malone
43 Posted 30/12/2023 at 16:07:55
Poor, poor formation. A blind man could see it.

Calvert-Lewin isolated. Patterson, Harrison, liabilities. Yet we continue with it in the second half. For fuck's sake.

Paul Kossoff
44 Posted 30/12/2023 at 16:10:29
Should have had a penalty, struck an arm.
Paul Kossoff
45 Posted 30/12/2023 at 16:13:13
Paul Kossoff
46 Posted 30/12/2023 at 16:14:26
That bastard on Merseyside radio, near wetting himself announcing Wolves' second.
Paul Kossoff
47 Posted 30/12/2023 at 16:19:59
Sitter missed by Wolves.
Paul Kossoff
48 Posted 30/12/2023 at 16:22:52
3 0, from a corner which wasn't, Dawson. So much for defensive setup, doesn't work does it. Checked for offside, goal given.
Colin Malone
49 Posted 30/12/2023 at 16:23:01
Only one man to blame. Dyche. No fucking excuses.
Paul Kossoff
50 Posted 30/12/2023 at 16:24:53
Oh don't worry lads, Dyche brings on Coleman, we will turn it round now: defender off, defender on, brilliant tactics.
Sean O’Hanlon
51 Posted 30/12/2023 at 16:26:21
Sorry Paul. I predicted a 4-0 defeat for Everton, and it's now 3. They never fail to disappoint!
Phil Smith
52 Posted 30/12/2023 at 16:27:05
This result is 100% on Dyche! Should have changed it at half-time. It clearly wasn't working. Making changes at 3-0 is just pathetic.

Shockingly bad today but, again, totally the coach's fault. Well, we're back in the thick of the shite now.

Frank Crewe
53 Posted 30/12/2023 at 16:30:02
I think Dyche panicked after the defeats by Spurs and Man City and the loss of Doucoure. Should have stuck with the 4-4-1-1 set-up.

Dyche keeps falling back on Keane as 3rd centre-back which is never a good idea. He's a mistake waiting to happen.

Oh well we live and learn. Let's hope Dyche learns from this because you can never defend your way to success.

Rob Jones
54 Posted 30/12/2023 at 16:31:40
One day, psychologists will read the Live Forum and use it to analyse and diagnose the speed at which people's behavior descends into utter psychopathic rants and anger.

We've been shit today. Tactically inept, and at least three performers who should be looking for new clubs if Everton had any money.

But the level of abuse from people is fucking unacceptable. Would you speak to people in person the way you do on there?

Paul Smith
55 Posted 30/12/2023 at 16:34:50
Fuck off, Rob. 😆

Only joking, mate, I think we're all upset atm.

Mike Gaynes
56 Posted 30/12/2023 at 16:36:39
Worst performance of the season by far. Not a single player out there deserves more than a 3 or 4 rating for this. And neither does the manager.

This level of effort, this level of execution, this poor of a plan, against a middle-tier opponent, is inexcusable.

By any rights, this should have been a 6-0 game. If Wolves could finish, this would have gone down as a historic defeat.

Garry Martin
57 Posted 30/12/2023 at 16:43:35
Is there a thought that, since the introduction of Keane, Everton are badly leaking goals?
Paul Kossoff
58 Posted 30/12/2023 at 16:48:44
Garry, more than a thought. Totally the wrong line-up from Dyche. Soon as I saw it, I thought "Wolves will be all over us".
Derek Knox
59 Posted 30/12/2023 at 16:51:05
Can anyone tell me why Blue/White Shorts clashes with Gold/Black Shorts? Same with Spurs where we wore the other ghastly strip?

Surely it must play a part with peripheral vision amongst the players!

Si Cooper
60 Posted 30/12/2023 at 16:51:40
Wolves started the season poorly and were being suggested as relegation candidates (along with us) if Burnley really had something about them. More recently, they have really upped their game and surged up table.

I think they have more strength in depth than us (Neto on bench today). Without our 10-point penalty we'd be pretty much level but we really need reinforcements (from somewhere / somehow).

Current reality is they can pretty much enjoy the second half of the season unless the wheels come off spectacularly; we have a very hard slog facing us if we don't get the majority / all of our points back.

Mike Gaynes
61 Posted 30/12/2023 at 16:54:44
Yes, obviously, it was a mistake from the manager, and Keane should not have been in there. But he wasn't the reason that Tarkowski and Branthwaite and Garner and Onana were so unaccountably awful at the core of the defense today.

And he wasn't the reason that we couldn't complete even the most simple passes in the center of the pitch, or put any pressure on the ball.

This is on everybody – no one person is more accountable than anyone else.

Paul Kossoff
62 Posted 30/12/2023 at 16:55:29
Wolves score but off side, horrendous mistake by Pickford giving it away.
Ian Bennett
63 Posted 30/12/2023 at 16:57:05
Anyone starting Michael Keane needs their head testing. He's literally got 6 or so managers the sack.
Jerome Shields
65 Posted 30/12/2023 at 17:01:36
I can't believe that Dyche thought he was going to get something from 5 at the back, effectively surrendering midfield.
George Cumiskey
66 Posted 30/12/2023 at 17:02:23
Disgraceful performance from the team and manager, you could see the system wasn't working in the first 10 minutes but he did fuckall about it until we were 3-0 down.

The worst two players on the pitch, Onana and Harrison, were on till the end. Only Myolenko put in a shift!

Jim Bennings
67 Posted 30/12/2023 at 17:03:59
Dyche must have been bevvied after the Christmas period, it's clearly altered his thinking with that starting formation, I can't think what he was wanting to do with that.

We were absolutely abysmal from back to front and if that carries on much more then I'd be making absolutely certain that we really push everything we've got with that 10-point deduction appeal, we may need it.

Si Cooper
68 Posted 30/12/2023 at 17:05:59
“Rob did you know apart from humans, the only animal that enjoys having sex is a dolphin.”

What about bonobos? Well known that they utilise casual sex (ie, not explicitly for procreation) to cement mutually beneficial relationships.

Also depends how you define ‘enjoy'; many animals obviously get ‘excited' or deliberately stimulate themselves. There must be some feedback in their nervous system that turns instinct into habit.

Pity some of the players can't always appear to be giving a toss!

Alan J Thompson
69 Posted 30/12/2023 at 17:06:06
We got the tonking those tactics deserved. We left ourselves undermanned in midfield and defensively out wide which Wolves exploited at will while our players didn't seem to know what was expected of them.

You could say that we might have got a couple of goals with a bit of luck but Wolves could have had six, an awful display.

Stuart Sharp
70 Posted 30/12/2023 at 17:07:28
Mike @61,

Surely Dyche is more to blame? I mean, it's the first time that's been true for ages and I'm right behind the bloke, but he clearly screwed up. Tried something which we could all see wasn't working. So obvious. But worst of all, doesn't change it until 3-0 down. That's very poor management.

ps: I remain convinced that Onana is bang average every game.

Les Callan
71 Posted 30/12/2023 at 17:07:48
No doubt in my mind, we must get those 10 points back.
Pete Neilson
72 Posted 30/12/2023 at 17:07:49
Dyche rightly takes credit when due but today he had a shocker.

Obvious in the ground that it was wrong inside the first 10 minutes. Amazingly he sent us out for the second half with more of the same. Dreadful. Two steps back.

Ed Prytherch
73 Posted 30/12/2023 at 17:08:10
Not a single shot on goal tells the story. Bad tactics, tool late making changes, poor finishing.
Simon Dalzell
74 Posted 30/12/2023 at 17:08:19
Spineless, Clueless Dyche. 5 at the back. Jesus. Doomed from the off.

He won't even change it when it's obviously not working.

Phil Lewis
75 Posted 30/12/2023 at 17:09:11
Back to square one. Dependant on other teams' results again.

Dyche has to shoulder much of the blame for this abysmal performance. His negative tactics from the outset and then reluctance to change players and formations until it was far too late, exposed his managerial limitations for all to see.

I've previously applauded the fighting spirit he has injected into the squad. It wasn't apparent today. Without it, we were technically and tactically inferior to a decent Wolves side who didn't have to be anything special to walk all over us in the manner that they did. Unopposed.

Tony Abrahams
76 Posted 30/12/2023 at 17:09:40
Very apt headline, Michael, although I think the Toffees were very easy to chew today, they looked completely shattered. I had a feeling that Dyche would go with a back five today, and that's why I questioned whether he would be brave enough to play with two centre-forwards?

Both Calvert-Lewin and Beto are finding it very hard playing on their own at the minute and might just have a lot more success if they had a partner instead of cutting a completely isolated figure for most of the contest.

I think quite a few predicted a hard Christmas period because they know our limitations and also know how much playing a few matches in quick succession really stretches a very small squad. This is the reason I would have just got eight men behind the ball and tried to play off two strikers today.

Joe McMahon
77 Posted 30/12/2023 at 17:09:52
Long season after all. All the good work of last few weeks to wipe out the dreadful start disappeared. The squad is very weak, fragile, with a non-scoring striker who can't event strike a ball, an erratic keeper, and a baffling manager who thinks that substitutions are the devil's work.

The People's Club are not necessarily safe from the drop at all. The manager had better get to grips with his approach to games, and squad use.

Bill Gall
78 Posted 30/12/2023 at 17:11:03
From the sublime to the ridiculousness describes this game over other games. As they say, Everton couldn't score in a brothel.

I am not sure what the manager's tactics were supposed to be but it seemed the players never understood them.

It is no use blaming the team selection as every player stunk the place out and should be ashamed of this performance, and go so far as to offer to pay all away supporters their expenses.

Barry Hesketh
79 Posted 30/12/2023 at 17:13:23
I switched off after the opening goal, it was so obvious that Wolves were at it and Everton… well, they weren't.

Too many games for a limited squad in a short period of time. We were all over the place, what happened to the tight defending and midfielders covering for each other?

I can't speak for the last hour of the game but, reading stuff above, it looked as if we carried on the same way for the whole game.

Not the end of the world, but I was hoping for at least a point from today, but that old Everton curse of the team believing they are better than they actually are, raised its ugly head again.

I do realise we miss Doucoure and possibly more so Gueye. 18 games to go, we need seven wins or so, but sometimes we look really toothless and lack the desire to go forward with purpose.

Bad start to 2023, bad end to it too; let's hope 2024 provides some better days more often.

Richard Nelson
80 Posted 30/12/2023 at 17:14:28
The "piss-taking" penalty miss against Fulham tells you absolutely all you need to know about Onana... and Sergeant Major Dyche!
Ray Jacques
81 Posted 30/12/2023 at 17:15:28
I don't want to be too critical as the team have improved this season. However, today the manager's selection of three centre-backs was nothing short of disgraceful.

The whole balance is disrupted. Calvert-Lewin becomes isolated, Onana needs players around him (plus a rocket up his arse) and Keane will play one decent game in four. The lad is a disaster and rarely disappoints on this, plus the other players are affected as they don't trust him.

Build on the centre-back pairing, for fuck's sake, don't mess about with the back four unless there is an injury. Today was back to the bad old days of early season against Aston Villa.

Steve Dowdeswell
82 Posted 30/12/2023 at 17:15:57
Shocker today and deserves an apology to those fans that travelled.

Piss-poor decision with the formation and a complete lack of willingness to change things when it was clear things were not working from about 10 minutes in.

I can't name one player that really deserves praise today.
Calvert-Lewin really needs to be taken to one side and either a few home truths or some love thrown his way (I know what way I would go). Time to use Beto, Dobbin and Chermiti who at least want to be there.

Yes, we should have 26 points and be where we should be in the league – we don't and we aren't… and performances like that are going to keep us looking over our shoulders hoping for a reduction in the points punishment.

Still, like most of us on here, I will be back next week to cheer them on, so COYB!

Michael McFarlane
83 Posted 30/12/2023 at 17:17:51
Dismal that. Totally outplayed. Lucky to escape with only 3-0 defeat – it could have been much worse.

Okay, Dyche hasn't got much of a squad and he'd done wonders before the last 4 games.

However, today his starting formation and selection was poor. He'd found a winning formula so changing it was a risk that backfired. Adding Keane has destabilised the strong Branthwaite-Tarkowski pairing.

Inexplicable to not make changes at half-time or even earlier. It was glaringly obvious it wasn't working and they were running the show!

Hope we have some cash for the transfer window... and we get Dele and Doucouré back asap.

Ian Edwards
84 Posted 30/12/2023 at 17:21:02
After three defeats in a row, we needed a big performance and three points from a winnable game. But Gravel Throat decided he was shit scared of mid-table Wolves and changed the formation to match theirs. Has any other club done similar?

Half-time arrived and his managership hit a low with a failure to make much-needed changes.

Dyche didn't make any changes until it was 3-0 and then it was a like-for-like at right back and one of the changes he should have made at half-time: Gomes for Keane.

We are now back in a relegation battle and Dyche looks absolutely clueless. Worrying.

Neil Tyrrell
85 Posted 30/12/2023 at 17:21:20
Tough watch, that. I think it was just a match too far for our available starters.

Thankfully the fixtures slow down now. At least the teams below us all lost as well.

Dave Abrahams
86 Posted 30/12/2023 at 17:21:29
We gave a very poor, pathetic performance in the first half and played even worse in the second half.

We all knew injuries and suspensions would hamper us and missing the energy of Doucoure and Gueye left us with a limited centre-midfield today which was evident from the start of the game today and we were wide open throughout the game.

Impossible to pick the MotM for Everton but there were a few who could put themselves down for The Rotten Tomatoes Award.

It looked like a lot were competing for who could make the biggest cock-up of the game but it was a hard watch from my armchair… think of all those brilliant fans who were actually at the game?

A lot easier for me: I was miserable in comfort; they had to endure the weather, watch that rubbish and face a long sad journey home.

It never rains but it fuckin' pours for us Evertonians!

Christine Foster
87 Posted 30/12/2023 at 17:23:17
So much wrong with that performance, worst of the season by manager and players. By far.

They couldn't put two passes together, not a single shot on goal, not one single player did their job, not one. I've seen managers sacked because of performances like that.

It's not even as if Wolves played well, they could have been 5 or 6 up and we would have deserved it. I cannot even single out one player for blame – they were all useless. They gave up, way before the first one went in.

Yes, Dyche at fault with formation and tactics but every player failed to do their job. Because of that, it was disgraceful and shameful. Just bloody awful.

Frank Crewe
88 Posted 30/12/2023 at 17:26:22
Win four… lose three. Typical Everton.

Apparently we are 1 point better off than this time last season. That's not including the 10 points deducted, of course. We'd be sitting pretty if it wasn't for that.

Pat Kelly
89 Posted 30/12/2023 at 17:32:27
Is anyone really that surprised? We are short of quality in most departments and devoid in others. Our strikers wouldn't get into a Championship side. Well, maybe next season they will.

Everything looked stale today. And the cupboard is bare. We can't even shop in Tesco in January. We've become perennial bottom-feeders.

Branthwaite, if he has ambition, will be off next month. We need the money to keep the lights on and pay our star players. Onana could go too but we probably wouldn't notice.

Tony Abrahams
90 Posted 30/12/2023 at 17:33:36
With just over 30 hours left until the end of this year, hopefully 2024 can be the beginning of a new era for Everton Football Club.

I listened to fans who thought today was more important than next Thursday night, and although I understand their reasoning, it still leaves me in utter despair.

Different periods of today's game genuinely reminded me of the many different periods of the last 25 years, and I simply can't wait for this horrible era to end.

Brian Williams
91 Posted 30/12/2023 at 17:33:59
Just as one outstanding win doesn't define a season, one abject defeat doesn't either.

With a small, somewhat limited squad, there's always gonna be ups and downs and bad defeats are sickening but some of the overreaction and vitriol says more about the poster than anyone else.

You can be pig-sick without becoming embarrassing and some of the posts are just that.

Kunal Desai
92 Posted 30/12/2023 at 17:34:51
Disappointing performance by all today, including the manager setting us up to not get beat with 5 at the back. The committment and effort wasn't there like there had been against Spurs and Man City, despite the defeats.

Hopefully today is one of those as a game too far where our squad is stretched and missed key players.

Let's get back to one game a week, which we're more likely to cope with given the small squad we have.

Tony Everan
93 Posted 30/12/2023 at 17:36:25
Shocking system, shocking performance from the players…all of them, totally shocking that there were no changes at half-time. What was the manager thinking?

Worst performance of Dyche's tenure? It was a contender; we offered nothing. Wolves didn't have to play well to win, a walk in the park today.

Get a grip and get back to what wins us games. If some players are tired, choose others. Pig-sick after watching that.

Jim Bennings
94 Posted 30/12/2023 at 17:38:43
Thursday night is massively important.

The FA Cup is a potential confidence-boosting competition, we know more than most the Dogs of War of 95 revelled in this famous old tournament.

If we get sunk by Palace, then confidence will be low going to the Villa home game.

Winning breeds confidence and I'm convinced, if we'd beaten Fulham on penalties, we don't start that Spurs game in the slack sloppy manner that we did, and I doubt we'd have come close to losing that fixture in North London.

Sean Mitchell
95 Posted 30/12/2023 at 17:41:43
Back to reality and another 1,000th ruined weekend.

Screw the new year celebrations.

Shit won't change.

Barry Rathbone
96 Posted 30/12/2023 at 17:44:30
We're in Poo City again – a place Everton teams drift to with alarming regularity. An injury or two, players navel-gazing, fearful introspection and the club of royal blue doing what it does best – retreat into its shell.

3-0 isn't a defeat – it's a drubbing.

Courage isn't having the strength to go on; it is going on when you don't have strength. — Napoleon Bonaparte

Now is the test – is this real revolution or are we suckers yet again?

Barry Hesketh
97 Posted 30/12/2023 at 17:45:05
It's of little consolation, but when Everton travelled to Wolves in late December 1983, they got mullered 3-0, Wayne Clarke scored one of the goals for Wolves.

Southall; Stevens, D Hughes, Ratcliffe, Mountfield; Irvine, Reid, Richardson, Sheedy; Rimmer and Gray.

A good portion of that side went on to lift the cup in 1984.

Nick West
98 Posted 30/12/2023 at 17:45:40
Blimey, Dyche right royally fucked it up today.

After 15 minutes, me mum could've seen it wasn't working – and Dyche did nothing. Totally inexplicable.

Dyche's favouritism towards Keane is shocking. Hwang just ran round Keane for the 2nd goal whereas Branthwaite would normally have been in that position and no doubt would have dealt with him.

Dyche has been good for us but this was crap. It's not tricky to see his original 4-4-1-1 works best for the players and that Keane is a liability. I was sat thinking Mourinho or Ancelotti or Arteta would have changed things immediately it was apparent that five at the back wasn't working

Rob Jones
99 Posted 30/12/2023 at 17:51:04
Bad day.

Tactics were all wrong.

Michael Keane was a disaster waiting to happen.

But the schedule is about to ease off, and though the fixtures won't get easier, we'll get injured players back, and the performances will improve.

We were all hailing the team when they won four straight. I don't see a good reason to throw them under the bus because of what was admittedly a poor performance by everybody involved, players and management.

Mark Murphy
100 Posted 30/12/2023 at 17:53:57
I was worried before this game as we all seem to have accepted hardworking defeats as somehow positives. There are no positives in defeat and today's defeat cost us exactly the same as those against Spurs and Man City.

Losing is a habit and we, the supporters, the players and especially the manager need to stop accepting second place in a two-team fight as somehow being okay.

There were too many on the pitch there today that didn't look like they hated losing to me.

Paul Kossoff
101 Posted 30/12/2023 at 17:59:13
100% Dyche's fault: wrong players. wrong tactics wrong set-up. Before kick-off, I said he's trying to keep the score down and nick it. That turned out okay, didn't it?

I saw it coming but Sean couldn't see it. Five at the back, flat back line, weak midfield, isolated striker (out of form), late pointless substitutes… what could possibly go wrong?

The cushion we had has now gone, through negative ideas, some bad luck, poor finishing and Pickford's mistakes. The season won't get any easier and no one is going to do us any favours.

Paul Hewitt
102 Posted 30/12/2023 at 18:00:57
Can we pack it in with this "small squad", "the players are tired" crap.

We haven't played that many more games than Wolves. And if they are tired, don't we have a bench of 9 players?

Barry Hesketh
103 Posted 30/12/2023 at 18:03:23
Mark @100,

On a similar theme, Dyche's sides don't seem to be able to recover from going a goal behind. Whilst it's good that he has won nearly as many as he has lost this season, there's something to be said for grinding out a few draws now and again.

"If you can't win a game, don't lose it" — is what we need instilled into our team.

Ian Jones
104 Posted 30/12/2023 at 18:08:18
Barry @ 97.

From your lineup from 1983 I saw the name Rimmer. I have been following Everton for over 50 years so think I know of most players who have played for Everton.

However, Rimmer. Never heard of him... He can't have made much impression on me!

Oliver Molloy
105 Posted 30/12/2023 at 18:09:06
I think quite a few of our players looked wrecked today, especially McNeil. But no excuses: Wolves fully deserved their victory.

They were just too good all over the park, superior to us in the technical side of the game and boy did it show.

Calvert-Lewin doesn't get any great service but, fuck me, he is well off it at the moment – he would probably miss an empty net.

Gomes's showing at Spurs proving once again he just isn't good enough – good midfielders (no matter what their role is) always find space, can protect the ball, and most of the time find a team mate with a pass… Gomes??

I agree with those who say Dyche should have made changes at halftime but, to be honest, it was what it is – we are well short of quality and goal scorers.

It will be a dogfight once again in my opinion, and these players need to stop listening to all these pundits who say we will be okay.

It could be that the 10-point deduction will remain.

Happy New Year, ToffeeWebbers and Blues everywhere – let's hope 2024 is good to us on the field and off it.

Barry Hesketh
107 Posted 30/12/2023 at 18:12:01
The lack of pace throughout the side is most worrying. Every other side seems to have some sort of speed merchant within its ranks, we are very pedestrian in many cases and the lack of quality, which we knew already, will always show itself when players are overused in heavy schedules.

We can't rotate because there are not enough fringe players of the right quality to come in and do the job to a decent level. We shouldn't panic too much, however, the window is going to be a testing time for the manager and the fans.

Get back to basics, doing the stuff that earned us 26 points and we'll be okay; start feeling sorry for ourselves and we're back in Lampard territory, where we're relying on the Goodison supporters to rally round again!

Jeff Armstrong
108 Posted 30/12/2023 at 18:13:45
Ian #104,

I think that's Stuart Rimmer, a lightweight forward who came through the ranks with Rob Wakenshaw. I think he had a lower league career.

Barry Hesketh
109 Posted 30/12/2023 at 18:14:49
Ian @104

Stuart Rimmer! He only made 3 appearances for Everton before joining Chester City in 1985.

Rimmer came through the ranks at Everton but found competition for places incredibly hard. He made his debut as a 17-year-old in a 3–1 win at Swansea City on 1 May 1982, three days before helping the "Toffees" beat Leeds United. His reputation was developed further by being included in the England Youth side for a summer tournament in 1982 in Norway, where he featured in three matches.

He was to make just one more appearance for Everton, in a 3–0 defeat at Wolverhampton Wanderers on 27 December 1983 but, with his first-team chances not increasing, he asked for his name to be circulated to other clubs. This prompted a loan move to Chester City, who were struggling at the foot of Football League Division Four when he joined them in January 1985 under new manager Mick Speight.

Tony Everan
110 Posted 30/12/2023 at 18:14:54

I watched Stuart Rimmer a few times in the early eighties as my mate was playing in the youth team with him. Rimmer got three appearances for us then got released and went to Chester where he became their record goalscorer.

Tom Bowers
111 Posted 30/12/2023 at 18:17:12
That's nine games this season where we have conceded first and lost but today they looked hapless from the start.

Calvert-Lewin and Harrison look poor these days and I think it's time for Dyche to wield the axe.

Harrison has only looked decent spasmodically and the midfield of Garner and Onana just cannot create.

Gueye and Doucouré may improve things whenever that may be and, despite a good performance by Gomes after injury, it seems he is still not good enough to start.

Oddly enough, without the points deduction, Everton would be up there with the likes of Wolves but the gap between the teams today was embarrassing.

Now we have to go to Palace in the FA Cup and it may be the best time to play the benchwarmers and concentrate on Premier League survival once again.

Ian Edwards
112 Posted 30/12/2023 at 18:21:26
We also had another Rimmer around the same time. Neil Rimmer.

Appropriate discussion today given we were utterly rimmed.

Colin Malone
113 Posted 30/12/2023 at 18:30:34
Just seen Dyche interview. No mention of, "I got it wrong today".
Rob Jones
114 Posted 30/12/2023 at 18:32:58
Sean Dyche has now managed us 38 times in the league. In that time, we've garnered a total of 47 points.

In almost any season, that is solidly midtable. It probably will be this season, even allowing for the points deduction. Name me another manager who would get more out of this squad, with what effectively amounts to a transfer ban hanging over it???

We're going to have bad days like this. But in 20 games this season, the only comparable performance was the 4-0 stuffing away at Aston Villa. I can live with a 1:9 ratio of stinkers if it means we're managed away from the relegation zone.

Which I have every confidence in Sean Dyche to do.

Rob Hooton
115 Posted 30/12/2023 at 18:33:01
Well, Paul K was right before kick-off – Wolves absolutely battered us! If they'd scored 6 then they'd have deserved it, that was our worst performance of the season.

Dyche got this one horribly wrong and left it until we were out of the match to change things. I expect him to hold his hands up and shoulder the blame for this one.

Too many of our players were low on energy after playing so many games in a short space of time. In hindsight, he could have freshened things up. We were second to every ball and our passing was woeful.

Crappy end to the year, let's hope we start the New Year how things were before the Christmas fixtures.

Got to add that Wolves were very good and fully deserved to thrash us, they have pace all over the pitch and we were no match for them.

Stuart Sharp
116 Posted 30/12/2023 at 18:33:18
I've already posted that I think this one was on Dyche, but some of the comments here are crazy. The guy has been working miracles with a weak squad, and the improvement is there for all to see.

We're midtable without the points deduction. Real evidence he's improved us. To call him 'clueless' is a truly pathetic overreaction. It's so easy to comment like that when we lose.

We didn't deserve to lose to Spurs; Fulham scored an og only; Man City needed a dodgy penalty and a Pickford howler (plus, they're Man City). Today is the first really crap game since Villa.

Show some spine, Edwards et al.

Ian Jones
117 Posted 30/12/2023 at 18:47:46
Thanks to all those who filled me in regarding Stuart Rimmer. I still don't remember him. :).

As for today, bad day. It happens, but we've done enough recently to assume we'll get back on track soon.

Will hopefully watch the extended highlights later.

Paul Shipsides
118 Posted 30/12/2023 at 18:48:15
Stuart Sharp,

I couldn't put my words and feelings any better than that. Thank you for saving my time.

I wish you a very happy and peaceful New Year ahead.

Dan Parker
119 Posted 30/12/2023 at 18:50:09
Spot on, Stuart. Very disappointing result and it won't be the last one but the manager and team under very difficult circumstances have been doing very well overall.

We're only worrying about this because of the 10 points robbed off us. Reminder: we've more away points this season than the last two combined.

John Keating
120 Posted 30/12/2023 at 19:02:42
Absolute nightmare of a tactical setup and display from the players individually and as a team. Again, the relegation places are not in our hands

Just so frustrating to see teams down there with us show so much fight and determination even in defeat when we seem to accept things.

Palace winning, Forest presently ahead against Man Utd…
What a bloody day!

Ian Edwards
121 Posted 30/12/2023 at 19:03:08
Stuart not very Sharp 116.

I have called out Dyche for his very bad day at the office today. My comments were warranted and I stand by them. I wasn't in charge today so not sure why your criticism for a pisspoor defeat is saved for me. Sit down.

Tony Everan
122 Posted 30/12/2023 at 19:04:16
I'm very much supportive of Dyche, but he deserves criticism today. The set-up wasn't working and he should have acted. Some stats I came across;

When Keane starts:

P15 W2, D5, L8
- 11 points from 45
-Conceded 31 (2.06 a game)
- 2 clean sheets
Win ratio: 13%

When Keane doesn't start:

P23 W14 D3 L6
- 45 points from 69
- Conceded: 25 (0.92 a game)
- 10 clean sheets
Win ratio: 60%

Bill Whity
123 Posted 30/12/2023 at 19:04:59
Players to go in January:


Paul Tran
125 Posted 30/12/2023 at 19:06:53
If you don't turn up, you struggle. We didn't turn up today, we struggled badly.

I'm judging manager and players on the results so far, which would have us midtable, without the obvious, which was nothing to do with them.

We were awful today, that's on Dyche.

Bad day; on to the next one.

Mal van Schaick
126 Posted 30/12/2023 at 19:07:32
Wrong formation, wrong tactics, and second to every ball. Comedy defending with Keane and Tarkowski.

I am looking forward to the story of this game, Dyche!

Ralph Basnett
127 Posted 30/12/2023 at 19:11:12
A big difference today in the two squads is that all of their bench would walk into our team; none of our team would even get near their bench!
Pat Kelly
128 Posted 30/12/2023 at 19:12:38
Bill, #123 and #124, we couldn’t give that lot away for nothing.
Pat Kelly
129 Posted 30/12/2023 at 19:16:19
When you increasingly get the feeling that, once we go a goal down, it's game over, then you might be justified wondering where the in-game management is.
Sean Mitchell
130 Posted 30/12/2023 at 19:21:11
And who comes in when all these players go in January?

Absolute non-starter.

Zero pulling power to top it off.

Joe McMahon
131 Posted 30/12/2023 at 19:24:32
Pat, there isn't any.

Bill, I'd like to see more of Chermiti, Beto and the other 2023 signings as well as Godfrey. It's Keane and Calvert-Lewin that offer bog all.

Ralph Basnett
132 Posted 30/12/2023 at 19:27:26
McNeil and Harrison is not working.

Try Chemiti, he is young he will run all day.

John Raftery
133 Posted 30/12/2023 at 19:27:45
Stuart Rimmer went on to be a prolific goalscorer with Chester City.

The last week has been a case of three games too far. Players like Onana, McNeil and Branthwaite look as though they are carrying injuries. Others like Garner and Harrison look fatigued. We badly miss Doucouré and Gana plus the steadying influence of Ashley Young.

At 2-0 down, there were some fans around me pleading for Dyche to ‘change it'. They were not specific about what the change should be. The brutal truth is there were no viable options on the bench to retrieve a losing position.

With fewer games next month, there will be a welcome opportunity for players to recover and re-energise before the final months of the season.

In times like these, I always hang on to the thought that things are never quite as good as they seem when we are winning and never quite as bad as they seem when we are losing.

Jim Bennings
134 Posted 30/12/2023 at 19:29:23
At some point, we do need to ask some questions about where we go with the striking situation.

I get that Dominic Calvert-Lewin has missed almost 2 years of football with injury but how many goals has he scored since his return?

He's not scoring or converting anywhere near enough chances, and contrary to what people say, he is getting opportunities in most games but he's missing the target or not working the goalkeeper enough.

Beto seems willing and will work hard but we can't play the same type of football when he's in the side, his strength isn't back to goal, isn't about winning headers from high crosses, but I don't think we have the type of players that will play to his strengths and that's a concern.

How long do we persist with strikers who are firing blanks too often?

Do we now give Beto three games on the spin to see what he can do?

Surely we can work on different patterns of play and try to get the ball on the ground to him?

I've always been of the belief that we need a better striker, I don't know but I sat and watched Lukaku scoring all types of goals in an Everton shirt for 4 years... Before that I saw the likes of Louis Saha who when fit had everything and people like Yakubu who, for a year, could find the net with consumate ease.

I just look at our options now and it feels like it's not coming natural to the lads up top – even when the chances do arrive.

John Ronnie
135 Posted 30/12/2023 at 19:32:36
I didn't expect Forest to pick up 6 points from Newcastle away and Man Utd at home!

It's not been a good couple of weeks…

Luton seem to fighting and playing well.

We really need some points back from the appeal and Doucouré to be back asap, it's no coincidence we've struggled without him.

Rob Jones
136 Posted 30/12/2023 at 19:32:38
Would all those crying about Calvert-Lewin please remember that he's had precious little support in the last three games? You bitch that he's not a top level striker, then bemoan the fact that he doesn't put away chances like a top level striker. You really can't have it both ways.

He cost £1.5m.

If you want a goal a game, you're paying a hundred times that, between wages and transfer fee. Haaland would struggle to hit twenty in this team.

As for the personal nature of some of the "criticism", with some of the "fashion model" bollocks some people aim at him, stop it. It's ridiculous.

He's not playing well at the moment. But no striker in the world would be prolific in this side.

Dave Abrahams
137 Posted 30/12/2023 at 19:37:25
John (133),

You're a better man than me if you can tell the difference of when Onana is carrying an injury or when he is fit – he always looks the bleedin' same to me.

He made me laugh, at him, when he lost his rag with his team mates and indicated they were not moving enough for him… Jesus, you can't get more ironic than that!

Jim Bennings
138 Posted 30/12/2023 at 19:38:50
It doesn't matter, Rob.

He's not scoring goals.

We know how much he cost and all that, but he's the player leading our forward line and forget about support for a minute, he's missing chances in most games, not glorious ones always but still very presentable chances.

At some point, we have to start asking the questions.

At the end of the day, you need to find a way to get a striker scoring goals, we haven't done that this season with either Calvert-Lewin or Beto really.

Pat Kelly
139 Posted 30/12/2023 at 19:39:15
Jim, having to rely on Calvert-Lewin has been holding us back for years.

Beto is not a prolific goalscorer. I think he confuses profligate with prolific.

Chermiti isn't ready for the Premier League. No doubt he's part of Thelwell's 3-year plan.

So we've spunked whatever cash we had and borrowed against future income for nothing.

Joe McMahon
140 Posted 30/12/2023 at 19:39:57
Rob, it's not calling him, I've never rated him. Ask Darren Hind. I'm sure he's a nice lad, but he isn't what a team that lacks goals needs.

For years, I've wondered why we never pick up gems at a low price. Last possibly was Coleman donkey's years ago. You mention £1.5 million for Calvert-Lewin; Leicester got Vardy for around £900k.

I'm sick to death of Everton never having strikers with instinct and goals. Lukaku was a one-off and many still slagged him off.

Paul Tran
141 Posted 30/12/2023 at 19:42:36
Jim, it's deeper than strikers.

Under Moshiri, we kept buying players who don't score. Nobody at the club seemed to notice.

We need to strike lucky with a youngster or one from the lower leagues. If Beto cost £26M, how much would a prolific scorer cost?

Paul Tran
142 Posted 30/12/2023 at 19:51:36
I'll vouch for that, Joe, you've never rated Dyche!
Barry Hesketh
143 Posted 30/12/2023 at 19:51:53
Dominic has never been a goalscorer that we can rely upon, and he never will be, but, he's in the team because he brings midfielders into the game… well, he does when he's at it.

I never saw enough of the game today to judge whether he did that well enough, but he's undoubtedly suffered the most by the absence of Doucoure.

Reliable goalscorers at Goodison, considering our 'heritage', have been few and far between, and that's why we have struggled so much for as far back as you can look.

Obviously Lukaku, Yakubu et al made a huge difference to the sides they were part of, but is it time that we stopped looking for the Sharp, Dean, Royle types and got up to speed with the modern game, and look for pace and power to lead our line?

Rob Dolby
144 Posted 30/12/2023 at 19:51:56
I totally understood why Dyche went with a back 5 to match up with Wolves but, after 10 minutes, it was so obvious we needed to change it — but there is no way he was going to make a sub after 10 minutes.

A back 5 needs quality from both fullbacks and we already know both of our fullbacks aren't very good at attacking.

I also didn't understand why he set us up to play so open, for where we are in the league, playing away from home, you have to sit deep and pack the midfield.

The bonus is that all the teams around us lost. We have a rough run of games coming up where Dyche needs to get back to basics and make it hard for the opposition.

We need Doucoure back and to bring in a centre-midfielder in January.

I thought Mykolenko was the only player who could claim to have played well.

Bad day at the office for Dyche today.

Ian Riley
145 Posted 30/12/2023 at 19:53:45
We played Wolves. Wolves for goodness sake! We set up to stop them! This is Wolves – not Manchester City.

How about 2 strikers up front! Confuse the opposition. They wouldn't be expecting that. Imagine that, 2 strikers supporting each other. Chasing their defence down. Imagine that!!

Our set-up was bringing the opposition on to us and frankly it could have been 5 or 6 goals against us! The honeymoon is well and truly over! We are in a hole again and everyone must work harder!

Happy New Year and healthy 2024 to everyone.

Stay positive all.

Ian Edwards
146 Posted 30/12/2023 at 19:57:54
And why did we wear that grey kit? It was shite.
Joe McMahon
147 Posted 30/12/2023 at 20:03:45
Paul, no but I was impressed that he seemed to be evolving from Burnley tactics.

But then again, performances against Man Utd, Arsenal, Luton, Fulham and today, I'm still not 100% convinced…

But I'm hoping sometime very soon he realises (like I thought he was doing) that Michael Keane must be the last resort.

Mark Murphy
148 Posted 30/12/2023 at 20:03:53

I was wondering the same…

We play in Royal Blue – why change our colours for any other team unless they play at home in blue??

Brian Wilkinson
149 Posted 30/12/2023 at 20:11:45
I will agree with you on that, Ian, horrendous colour that shirt today.

I know it is not the reason for defeat but, Jesus, that kit is awful.

Stephen Davies
150 Posted 30/12/2023 at 20:14:36

The Blue we play in isn't Royal Blue...we haven't played in Royal Blue for a long long time.

Take a look at some old YouTube videos and tell me the shirt colour they were wearing is the same as now.

Question is: Why isn't it?

Mark Murphy
151 Posted 30/12/2023 at 20:17:44

I'm a positive guy before and during the game (until it's out of reach, like at 3-0 today) and I seethe at the negativity on the Live Forum if we're not winning after 15 minutes… but we all have the right to call out a poor performance and that was as poor as I've seen.

For what it's worth, I think Dyche has got us on the right track but we are still far from a good team and we lack quality where it matters. I'm not Gueye's biggest fan but I'd have him anytime ahead of Onana and Gomes – we're missing him and Doucoure big time. Not Dyche's fault.

But it is on Dyche that, at half-time today, he didn't change that up and remove Michael Keane from the pitch. I'm also with several others in that I don't think Harrison is an asset. I'm Pickford's biggest fan but he's in one of his crazy phases lately.

But the overriding thing that drives me crazy with us over the last several seasons is that our defensive headers and clearances almost without exception go straight to the opposition.

I'll be at Palace on Thursday cheering them on – hopefully I will still have my spine in the Prince George later! UTFT

Jim Bennings
152 Posted 30/12/2023 at 20:20:21
I thought everyone liked the grey shirt when it first got unveiled? Lol.

I think it's quite smart to be honest and looked good when we wore it at Palace in the 3-2 win but I agree, why the hell did we wear it today?

Does blue clash with gold?

Same at Spurs last week mind you, salmon and navy? Ermm, okay…

Jay Evans
153 Posted 30/12/2023 at 20:22:33
Everyone makes mistakes and I think anyone who watched the game could see the formation was a mistake from the very first minute.

I personally can live with that and move on, but what I won't tolerate is being second to every ball… all game. That is unacceptable.

Good footballers make things look easy. Today, most of our players made things look difficult. Even easy things like passing to a teammate was beyond most of them.

I'm no Ashley Young fan but I can see why the manager picks him ahead of Patterson when they are both fit. Jesus wept, that kid is so poor. The problem is, he will only ever improve by playing games… so I guess we persevere?

As for Michael Keane — there are simply no words.

Paul Tran
154 Posted 30/12/2023 at 20:23:40
I think he has evolved, Joe.

Problem is, it's a mid-table squad, so we're going to get variance in performances and results. The disappointment for me today was that we just weren't at it at any point in the game.

We need the solidity before we get the bells and whistles.

Mark Murphy
155 Posted 30/12/2023 at 20:30:10
Stephen, you're right. I bought this seasons home shirt and when it arrived I thought it was a cheap copy as it looked more like the mid-90s one-to-one shirt than Royal Blue.

But the point stands – why are we wearing any colour other than Blue against Wolves? (I can understand v Palace.)

Jim Bennings
156 Posted 30/12/2023 at 20:33:26
Danka 1995-97.

Now that was the last frightening good Everton kit, it was so good that none of the traditionalists even kicked up a stink about the blue and black classy continental hooped socks instead of the rather mundane boring all-white.

I guess you can't keep churning out crackers every year.

Stuart Sharp
157 Posted 30/12/2023 at 20:39:24
Ian @121,

I mentioned you because you called Dyche clueless and overreacted. Pretty simple really. I said 'et al' because there were others.

Yes, you've made your views on Dyche clear. Except when we won 4 on the spin and conceded zero goals.

Like I've said twice already, I agree Dyche was at fault today, but in my opinion the reaction of some is OTT. And you always give the impression of someone who is just waiting for form to justify their opinion.

Congratulations on the excellent and mature riffing on my surname, by the way. I had no idea you were a wit as well as a misery guts.

Mark Murphy
158 Posted 30/12/2023 at 20:40:41
To lighten the mood a little…

Me and the missus just watched Only Connect.

She commented that she thinks Victoria Coren and David Mitchell have “lots of fun at home”.

I don't think she meant what I was thinking tbh…
Lucky David Mitchell.

Simon Harrison
159 Posted 30/12/2023 at 20:40:54
I've saved my powder till now.

The game was dire, on our behalf today. Dyche is still picking his 'best' 11 (and favourites) as it were, despite the obvious lack of energy from some.

However, he must surely realise that McNeil has looked off the pace since the Burnley game. I'm not blaming McNeil as he has been playing from back to front and has been used as our focal point for attack in every game this December. The lad needs a proper rest. Remember he has come straight back in from injury and is never subbed!

Then we have people slagging off Jack Harrison, who obviously don't understand (remember) the role he has been playing since he came into the team straight from an injury. Against Man City, people were saying he was one of our best players; today, he looked very jaded. Again, who can blame him when you look at the work he does?

Calvert-Lewin must be sick up to the back teeth of having to be asked to play a roaming lone striker role. If it were me, I'd have been to see the manager by now. Why will Dyche not spell him, by playing him with Beto?

Neither really suit the lone striker role, but why can't Calvert-Lewin be the ball-winner and Beto play off him? Is Dyche so concerned about being called a 4-4-2 merchant that he is cutting his nose off to spite his face?

Wouldn't playing both of them, complimenting each other, be better than having them both competing for a position neither particularly want to play?

Also, when you're light in midfield as we are, it can help get the ball upfield quicker, and stick better, with two strikers or forwards upfront, à la Chris Woods and Jay Rodriguez, like he had at Burnley?

I'm in full agreement about never going back to a back 5 again; and we don't have the personnel for a back 3, unless Gana is fit, or Godfrey is converted to a Gana-type role.

Dyche knows the strengths of the team, and despite Keane's decent game against Burnley, he hasn't shown enough since (or any time before) that he is consistent enough to play in a five – or a four for that matter. What did Godfrey actually do wrong in that Burnley game?

Why break up the Tarkowski and Branthwaite partnership? Why push up Mykolenko and Patterson when they play better in a flat four? This one is on Dyche again.

Why couldn't Danjuma or Dobbin spell McNeil or Harrison today? Surely Chermiti could have been called on for 20-30 minutes if Beto or Calvert-Lewin tired, or revert to bringing on Danjuma if either forward got crocked? Even maybe push Keane into an emergency striker role, as has been done since Dyche has been here (once so far, if I recall correctly?)

Onana seems to have not fully recovered from his calf injury, or he is just not 'fancying' it for whatever reason. It is noticeable that, since Fulham, and that penalty, he seems to have gone into his shell somewhat? Try Gomes for 60 minutes and then put Amadou on maybe?

Jimmy Garner looks knackered, even though he works like a Trojan every game, and his form has dipped too (the number of mistakes he is making is increasing), but... who can spell him? Maybe Metcalfe, or A N Other, for half a game?

Dyche needs to manage this as you just can't keep going to the well because, just like today, sometimes you just come up empty.

It's funny that the Beeb have rated our usual back four as our top four players today, whereas Pickford was bottom, and Keane 11th from 15.

It just shows where we're weak currently: injury and fatigue have seen to that.

All that being said, I dreaded December and those 8 games. However, a return of 4W and 4L is probably what we might have taken. The only things that disappointed me were the defeat to a poor Fulham side, and the Spurs game, where fatigue and circumstance did for us.

I would have loved 5W (Carabao Cup Win) 1D and 2L but it's not to be. Small margins indeed.

I think Dyche has shown us his good and stubborn (inflexible) side this month. Let's hope we see more of the 'Super Sean' and less of the 'Dour Dyche' in 2024...

Happy New Year to all of you.

Paul Birmingham
160 Posted 30/12/2023 at 20:45:14
Today, was very poor, and disappointing in the overall display.

Lucky it wasnt 6 or 7, but are the squad mentally and physically drained? Who knows… but for me, they never turned up.

But a week ago, Everton got robbed at Spurs and were very unlucky v Man City.

Today's back-line set-up, imo, gave Wolves free reign across the midfield. They controlled the game throughout.

But every team has an off-day and, year on year, this Everton squad is in a far better place.

Crystal Palace will be very tough but Everton have already beaten them and hopefully having Doucouré back will provide the cutting edge in offensive play which has been missing the last few weeks.

I think also without Gana, no other players have the intensity and appetite for doing the dirty work and breaking up play, and as for his poor shooting, his work rate and feeding short passes is a big miss.

But no complaints: the best team won. Hopefully Everton will turn up at Palace.


Deborah Maria
161 Posted 30/12/2023 at 20:45:45
Are you really bothered what colour the kit is and whether it's genuine royal blue?

It's what the players do in it that matters. To win in grey or to lose in pristine royal blue: you choose.

Mark Murphy
162 Posted 30/12/2023 at 20:51:11
Deborah, it was just a side debate, that's all.

As long as we don't play in red, I don't really care.

Derek Thomas
163 Posted 30/12/2023 at 20:52:00
Aided and abetted by a defensive team selection, a lower mid-table team of mostly average players, some carrying injuries, have a collective off-day.
Deborah Maria
164 Posted 30/12/2023 at 21:06:47
I agree, Mark, there just seems to be a lot of irrelevant noise, considering the big picture.
Christy Ring
165 Posted 30/12/2023 at 21:10:59
I still don't understand why Dyche decided to bring in Keane when Tarkowski and Branthwaite have excelled together.

Dyche's formation today totally cost us, and he only changed it at 2-0? Definitely down to Dyche.

James Marshall
166 Posted 30/12/2023 at 21:14:36
We're 12th without the points deduction, and that in my view needs to temper people's views on our league position and what Sean Dyche has done for this team.

Remember, we've been woeful the last few years so he has improved us.

On the striker issue, I would give Dobbin a few run-outs up front with Calvert-Lewin in a 4-4-2. He has pace and a finish in him, as well as some guile. Something we lack up front, and he'd give Calvert-Lewin or Beto a foil.

Looking at the bigger picture, I'm fairly happy with where we are at the moment, albeit not overly happy with our league position. The reality is we're a better team now than we've been in a few years, and we're very much missing Doucoure and Gana. We'll improve again when they're fit and I still have faith we'll stay in the Premier League.

Kevin Molloy
167 Posted 30/12/2023 at 21:14:38
Dyche will have known how tired his team is. He won't have been surprised at all by today. We can't expect McNeil and Harrison to keep playing with this intensity every three days. Something had to give. We'll get the rest we need after Thursday and go again after the break.

In hindsight, Man City at home and Spurs away were perfect games to have when we were running on empty, as they are games which you would not normally expect us to win, so no harm done really. This is the only game really in December that we have fallen down on.

David Cooper
168 Posted 30/12/2023 at 21:23:32
Whatever we think about professional football players and their assumed endless physical fitness capabilities, it was very clear today that we were well below par all over the pitch.

Our run of wins in early December were made with unbelievable fitness numbers and our concerted ability to press high up the pitch. Doucouré and Gana both contributed hugely to this tactic which encouraged McNeil and Harrison to win the ball back high up the pitch.

However, this approach is physically draining and it's almost impossible to do it on 3 or 4 days rest. Most of our players are covering 10-12 km per game with a mixture of sprinting and hard running. Doucouré and Gana could cope with that workload but no one else can – certainly not Gomes and Onana who has looked tired in our last 3 defeats. Garner does have a good engine but even he looks tired.

I can only guess what Dyche's thinking was today. By playing the line-up today, we never really pressed and won the ball back high up the pitch. Wolves were very good at playing out from the back and not getting caught. Then their attacking players made it look as if our guys were running in sand.

Apart from the cup game on Thursday, January is a relatively light month, even lighter if we can't press on Thursday. Dyche is usually very careful about bringing back injured players too soon so I don't expect to see them back this week. Even if Gueye did get fit, he might be off to the Afcon.

However, many Premier League teams will be missing key players. Hee Wang Son, the best player for Wolves will be playing in The Asia Cup. So it will be interesting to see how other teams do with key players missing.

Ralph Basnett
169 Posted 30/12/2023 at 21:36:27
We are currently discussing a new contract for Dyche, that’s the sum of Everton’s ambitions really!!!!
Barry Rathbone
171 Posted 30/12/2023 at 21:47:48
The reality is we need to be Champions of the Bottom 4 and this squad with aged, limited-ability players as a backbone should still do it as long as panic doesn't set in. But, as with everything, present-day Everton we are a bit uninspiring.
Brian Williams
172 Posted 30/12/2023 at 21:51:43
No Ralph, that's where we are — whether you choose to accept it or not.
John Raftery
173 Posted 30/12/2023 at 21:57:47
Ralph (172),

We will be fortunate if Dyche signs up for more of the same; a small squad, no money, the threat of further sanctions, a need to cut the wage bill still further, a need to sell our best players and potential new owners with a questionable track record.

Who do you suggest would be the ideal candidate for such a job offer?

Anthony Dove
174 Posted 30/12/2023 at 22:00:28
Please can we play in blue away from home when there is
no colour clash? If I was ever lucky enough to play for Everton I would feel twice the player in blue. Obviously the shirt sponsors pay us £50 for wearing the away kit.

Wishes for 2024: Back Four only (no Micheal Keane) and let's bury the People's Club logo.

Final thought for 2023: every player we bought this year
was money down the drain (or will be when we pay for them).

We will stay up but please give us a Cup run.

Rob Dolby
175 Posted 30/12/2023 at 22:09:16
Ralph 172.

Dyche has done a great job; what's the problem in offering him a new deal? Do you want Lampard or Benitez back?

Tony 177,

The reason Dobbin, Danjuma or Gomes don't get a lot of game time is that they are useless off the ball.

Without Doucoure, we could maybe try Beto in that role with Calvert-Lewin up top?

We need to bring in a couple of free transfers in January. In hindsight, it was wrong not offering a deal to Townsend.

Rob Jones
176 Posted 30/12/2023 at 22:11:58
Who could better the job Sean Dyche has done over the past eleven months? Seriously, it's been a few hours now, and reason should be prevailing over emotion. The calls for someone new are absurd.

Ancelotti managed 10th place, with a better squad, and a massive net spend. Benitez nearly destroyed us, and the less said about Lampard, the better. There's no saviour to replace Dyche. We've got no money to spend on transfers, and no money to pay compensation to Dyche and his staff.

Dyche has accrued 47 points in 38 games. With a threadbare squad, and with everything we've done under the scrutiny of an organisation who are determined to ruin us to drag attention away from the need for a regulator.

Brendan McLaughlin
177 Posted 30/12/2023 at 22:32:01
"Handballs, injuries, offsides, referees…

All we are say...ing

Is give Sean a chance!"

Ian Riley
178 Posted 30/12/2023 at 23:08:11
Rob is correct.

Dyche has done a very good job with this squad. Today's performance is probably the worst under his management. Dyche won't be happy but we need him. Calling for his replacement is ludicrous.

I said in August staying up is success. Add the deduction of 10 points and that makes our position even more remarkable.

The league is priority. The FA Cup is a distraction and extra games could mean injuries to key players. Also a gap between league games gives players a rest ready for the league.

Dave Cashen
179 Posted 30/12/2023 at 23:32:25
Rob @136,

All excellent points. I think the overwhelming majority of Evertonians understand the thankless task handed to Calvert-Lewin. There is however a handful who post repeatedly battering away at him.

One guy on the Live Forum posted a dozen times in the first hour and didn't mention any other player. This despite the absolute shit show from every other player.

Another guy (who is very prominent and persistent in this thread) didn't even see the game. He came on 10 minutes to go, said "I've been out, how is DCL doing?" That was all he was interested in.

I actually thought Calvert-Lewin was hated on these pages, but I have come to realise it's the same handful of people who can't wait to attack him.

It's their prerogative, but I saw ten others who are meant to be either defending or supplying the ammunition, play at least as badly.

I respect fair criticism. You can reason with that. I also accept most clubs have players that minority groups will take their anger out on, but when people who don't even watch the game come on to stick the boot. I can't help wondering what is driving them.

Soren Moyer
180 Posted 30/12/2023 at 23:56:49
At least our performance, specially the back 3, provided laughing material for tonight's MotD on the Beeb!
Jay Harris
181 Posted 30/12/2023 at 23:58:11
I think there were a number of factors contributing to that performance today:

● 4 games in a short space of time with some players running on empty.
● Changing the formation and tactics
● Playing Michael Keane
● Having such a small squad

I am very happy with Sean Dyche but wish he would get over his obligation to Michael Keane and sell the lad.

Burnley, Luton and Forest are showing some fire in their bellies lately so we need to get back to winning ways soon.

Robert Tressell
182 Posted 30/12/2023 at 00:02:05
Lots of very emotional knee-jerk reactions to a tired performance. It was remarkably quiet on our winning run by comparison.

We haven't gone from brilliant to pathetic. It's all quite fine margins and the reality is we have a very small squad now struggling with injuries – and we finally came unstuck after a series of valliant performances.

Dyche is still doing an exceptional job in the circumstances and should keep us out of relegation despite the 10-point deduction. Stick with the team and the manager, people – rather than shit your pants because we hit an inevitable bump in the road.

Dale Self
183 Posted 31/12/2023 at 00:06:39
Thanks Mark 158, I'm always looking for new David Mitchell material.

And Ha! The hysterical types get the “shit yer pants” comment from Robert. I missed the Live Forum, sounds like it was a good move.

Pete Clarke
184 Posted 31/12/2023 at 00:27:20
Truly inept and jaded looking performance by our threadbare squad.

Micheal Keane should only be a last resort and even then as a makeshift striker because he's got doom written all over him at the back.

Never been more clear that our lawyers need to push for the return of all 10 points and accept a big fine.

This will probably work for the Premier League anyway because they must know that, if our points deduction remains, then Man City will lose titles and be relegated.

Kieran Kinsella
185 Posted 31/12/2023 at 00:32:34

Sensible post among the hysteria.

Ernie Baywood
186 Posted 30/12/2023 at 00:41:38
I can't quite tally people saying that we couldn't string two passes together today but that overall Dyche has done a good job.

We very rarely string passes together. It's not what we have been about all season. We have a complete disregard for using the ball. Our chances either present through teams over committing against us or by us catching teams playing out from the back. There have been exceptions (such as the third Newcastle goal) but they are just that... exceptions.

Sometimes it's going to work. Other times teams who move the ball well and create space through movement will make us look very poor. Credit to Wolves – they made us look shite.

A few wins didn't make us great. A few losses don't make us dreadful. We're sitting right at the 'poor but probably good enough to stay up' level.

I'm not too excited, but also not too fearful. Which is progress in itself. Even if that progress has a lot to do with the standard of the bottom few teams. Might be a problem next season though when some of those teams depart. I still don't think we have any kind of medium-term answer to our problems.

Dan Parker
187 Posted 31/12/2023 at 03:28:06
“We very rarely string passes together” is a fair criticism of today's game but not at all of many games of late. I must have been watching different games.

Complete disregard for using the ball? Behave.

Jamie Crowley
188 Posted 31/12/2023 at 03:47:48
Today? Bad day at the office with tired legs and some folks missing.

8 wins.
2 draws.
10 losses.
26 points without the deduction, sitting 12th in the table.

With two straight nightmare near-relegation years, show of hands: who would have taken that at season's start?

We're fine. Keep the faith. We won't be relegated even with the disproportionate, heavy-handed penalty. And even that will be reduced in the future.

Looking forward to 2024.

Steve Brown
189 Posted 31/12/2023 at 03:51:59
Chilling echoes of Frank in the tactics and performance, but hopefully just a bad day at the office after a heavy schedule with a small squad.

Happy New Year to all the Blues.

Paul Ferry
190 Posted 31/12/2023 at 03:53:22
Ian (Edwards), I did think that your smart twist on Stuart Sharp's name was absolutely hilarious and telling. I did not see that one coming.

I would, however, seriously advise you against going toe to toe with Dr Sharp on intelligence and sharpness.

Kieran Kinsella
191 Posted 31/12/2023 at 04:13:19
184 Different names… same posts.
Alan J Thompson
192 Posted 31/12/2023 at 06:08:12
We all have the right to voice our opinion and similarly there is the right to question an opinion.

There are the usual, "but who would you replace him with?" – although criticism of Dyche doesn't necessarily mean sack him – but Forest, Wolves, Palace, Spurs and Villa don't seem to have had a problem and maybe Man Utd won't; not all "glamour" clubs.

Others have called Dyche a "miracle worker" and he has done well overall but today he changed the way of his miracle and it didn't work. This doesn't mean sack him but I would like to think that it may mean Dyche sitting down with his staff and players to discuss where and why it went wrong and which format, with appropriate small changes dependent on opposition, is preferable, and without falling out or selling those players who hold a firm opinion.

Having said that, I would make the League the priority and use the FA Cup game to try some changes. Calvert-Lewin is a good target man while Beto looks better at running channels so I might look at trying that and maybe see if Danjuma can use his pace more to provide crosses with only the occasional cut in for a shot. Then play Gomes, Onana and either McNeil or Garner in midfield with an emphasis on attack.

Substitutions would then depend on how the game is going but maybe Godfrey as a defensive midfielder or Dobbin for one of the front players.

As I started, we all have the right of reply but please be polite with it. Happy New Year to All.

Paul Birmingham
193 Posted 31/12/2023 at 06:35:22
Onwards and believing in Everton.

Yesterday was a defeat in a tough slog of games in a tough week where Everon had sweet fuck all luck on the pitch but the squad is in far better shape than 12 months ago.

The form and spirit this season has been good and, thinking back to Fulham, Wolves and Luton home league games and the Man Utd game, Everton could have been in the Top 8 on merit.

A bit of luck will drop in Everton's favour soon, hopefully both on and off the pitch.

Wishing all TWrs and Evertonians the very best of health & happiness for 2024!


Phillip Warrington
194 Posted 31/12/2023 at 06:44:27
Our fullbacks play like centre-halves, while the opposition players go out wide, they have time to control the ball, attack the goal, or put in a cross.

Our fullbacks then run to the opposition player but by then it's too late, they're in nowhere land. Tarkowski and Branthwaite have been outstanding this season.

What did we pay for Beto and Chermiti? I could be wrong but wasn't about £22M and £16M? They haven't been that great; why not play Lewis Dobbin from the start and give them forwards a kick up the arse?

I think the players got carried away with their winning run and forgot how hard you have to work.

Colin Glassar
195 Posted 31/12/2023 at 06:46:41
We will have to pick ourselves up to avoid going into a downward spiral.

Happy New Year.

Danny O’Neill
196 Posted 31/12/2023 at 06:57:32
I didn't attend yesterday and didn't watch it, so I can't comment in comparison to those who did. I'll watch the highlights later.

From what I've read (not just on here), the general view is that we were jaded and tired, which I suppose is inevitable with such a threadbare squad. That's not down to individual players.

I don't need to preach on here, it's down to the team. I don't mind criticism for a player having a stinker, but sometimes you have to look at the bigger picture as to what is happening on the football pitch.

Anyway, we've got Palace in the cup next week. Remember Stoke for those old enough. From the ashes of despair, it kick-started us. We won a trophy and finished 7th when we were staring over the cliff edge just before that.

A few defeats don't make our season. We need to focus on our own results, but looking at other results yesterday, most went our way yesterday.

We will be fine. Especially when we get some of those points back even though I don't think we will need them.

Happy Blue Year.

Derek Knox
197 Posted 31/12/2023 at 07:14:29
Philip @ 198,

"I think the players got carried away with their winning run and forgot how hard you have to work."

Those are my thoughts, mate. As I have said many times, I do still believe we have the right Manager, but his refusal to see change is needed before or at half-time in some games, added to his reluctance to make full use of his subs, "grinds my gears" – to quote Peter Griffin.

Happy New Year to all ToffeeWebbers wherever you may be, and hope and pray this coming year and remaining fixtures augur well.

Peter Quinn
198 Posted 31/12/2023 at 07:20:28
Some thoughts:

The headline on Sky is “Wonderful Wolves too good for Everton”. On the day, they were. They play 5 at the back wonderfully well. They have pace to burn and probably could not believe their luck when they saw the Everton line-up attempting to match their system.

Memo to Mr Dyche: Michael Keane will get you the sack, he is very good at achieving that. Please stick to 4-4-1-1. It works for this group of Everton players.

The Palace game on Thursday should involve our normal defence: Garner and Onana, but then leave Harrison, McNeil and Calvert-Lewin on the bench… they need a break. Use Beto, Gomes, Danjuma and Dobbin. Do not risk Doucoure in any circumstances; we need him back for the Villa game.

Yesterday was a bad day at the office for our management team. We should have realised our mistakes and reverted to our normal system at half-time. There are times when you have to admit your mistakes. To blame it on a loss of “focus” was daft.

Remember how bad Bournemouth were when we beat them on 7 October and look at them now. Same players, same management team who learnt their mistakes; 10 games later, they are in 12th place and completely rejuvenated.

I always said throughout my working life, you learn something new every day. Our management team are very experienced but they still perhaps have a fair amount to learn about achieving success with this group of players. Let us hope they do and quickly!

Finally could our interim chief executive please let us know ASAP what on earth is happening with the appeal?

Danny O’Neill
199 Posted 31/12/2023 at 07:32:43
I've just watched the highlights for my Sunday sins.

Poor performance but, if that Dwight McNeil strike that smacks the angle goes in, we're back in the game and it changes the dynamics. Football is a game of small margins.

Anyway, we move on. Still a lot to play for.

Mark Murphy
200 Posted 31/12/2023 at 09:01:46
The big picture is we need to play in the new stadium as a Premier League side and upwards from there. Personally, I'm confident that will happen.

Short term, I believe in Calvert-Lewin and expect a run of goals from him that will drive us on another mini run and easing of nerves.

Happy New Year to all and UTFT!

Michael Kenrick
201 Posted 31/12/2023 at 09:19:51
Simon @159,

Going a bit literal here but you are casting a spell on me that I just can't fathom… Not just once:

Why will Dyche not spell him, by playing him with Beto?

Not twice even:

Why couldn't Danjuma or Dobbin spell McNeil or Harrison today?

But three times:

Jimmy Garner … who can spell him? Maybe Metcalfe, or A N Other, for half a game?

By that stage, I thought my mind was going and I'd better just check the Collins Dictionary. Buried deep in a long page of otherwise highly recongnisable English in common usage, was this bizarre definition in "American English":

Informal: to serve or work in place of (another), esp. so as to give a period of rest to; relieve

Strangely, no examples given. I think I can safely say (despite spending many years in that former colony) I have never seen nor heard this construction before and I'm curious how or where you may have picked it up?

Steve Boardman
202 Posted 31/12/2023 at 10:59:46
Michael @207.

I remember this usage of 'spell' going back many years. As a student working on building sites in the early 1970s "taking a spell' was to take a break from strenuous physical exercise while a workmate took over from you.

Maybe it transferred to Liverpool from via the then Atlantic trade, sailors and the docks and it has slipped from usage since then?

Nick Page
203 Posted 31/12/2023 at 11:15:52
Very simple message for Sean Dyche:

Stick to 4-4-1-1, we're good at it.

Don't play Michael Keane!

Dave Abrahams
204 Posted 31/12/2023 at 11:48:14
Michael (207) and Steve (208) “spell him” and “taking a spell” translated into Scouse simply means “Have a blow”.

Working on the docks, the dockers working in an eight-man team, they would split into two four-men teams, each team having a two-hour blow working in tandem, known as “Working the welt”.

Many an argument and fight occurred when some dockers never came back from their two-hour blow but stayed in the pub.

Rob Halligan
205 Posted 31/12/2023 at 12:41:47
No disgrace in losing the last three games, especially a tough away game at Spurs, where even a draw might have been seen as unjust considering the performance, or losing to the newly crowned World Club Champions. It doesn't matter where a team plays Man City, they will always be odds on favourites to win.

What was not acceptable however, yesterday, was the performance against a Wolves team who could well be pushing for Europe this season. During the game, and then on the train home afterwards, it was the same topic of conversation, why didn't Dyche revert back to four at the back when it was only 1-0?

Onana was also having a stinker and should have been pulled at half-time, whilst at the same time pulling off Keane and moving Branthwaite back in alongside Tarkowski and Mykolenko dropping back. The longed for change was finally taken at the 63rd minute, but by then it was too late as it was game over with the score being 3-0.

So what was a very pleasing two-thirds of December, with four wins from four games, turned into a disappointing final third, with three defeats in eight days. And whoever decided on the scheduling for December needs their heads testing.

Seven league games in a month will test the best of teams, and also the pockets of the many fans who travel home and away, and with Christmas as well to consider, it was just a ridiculous schedule. And yet as we move into January, there is a maximum of two league games, plus a free weekend for the ridiculous winter break.

I know there is the FA Cup, so for a few premier league teams, they will play a maximum of three games in January, compared to seven, or eight in our case, in December. Utter madness!!

Finally, for any future opposition fans who may wander onto this site. Try getting your facts right before coming out with the “Cheating Bastards you know what you are “, chant. I didn't know an overspend on a payment towards a new stadium was cheating!!

We had a couple of pints in the town centre before catching our train home, and there were one or two in the pub we were in chanting this. Trust me, it was very difficult to keep quiet and put them right.

Ian Edwards
206 Posted 31/12/2023 at 12:54:52

I was name-checked in a way I considered inappropriate so I returned serve. I'll hold my own in any exchange of badinage with doctors, consultants or anyone. Just because someone knows their way around the alimentary canal isn't something that unduly concerns me.

We lost three-nil and Mr Dyche had a very bad day at the office. It doesn't need a catheter to work that one out.

Barry Hesketh
207 Posted 31/12/2023 at 13:00:57
Rob @205,

According to the BBC, the Wolves manager wanted yesterday's game to be rescheduled due to the workload of his players; the Premier League said no.

Funny how our neighbours – aided and abetted by the TV companies – will only have played three games in 10 days, with the only travelling being to that far away place, Turf Moor.

Corrupt… perhaps not completely, but helping certain clubs, very much so.

Tony Abrahams
208 Posted 31/12/2023 at 13:02:50
I think a psychiatrist would have problems working you out Ian!

The squeaking hinge gets the oil Barry? I think Liverpool have been looked after very favorably over the Christmas period since Klopp got here and immediately started moaning about it?

Don’t mention those half twelve kick offs after an international break though, but now that it’s been severely noted then I do expect things to change.

Mike Price
209 Posted 31/12/2023 at 13:15:22
Our recruitment is still killing us. As many people have pointed out, we have a complete lack of pace, we continually overpay for average players and put them on stupid contracts.

I was hoping that Dyche and Thelwell would change the narrative but we seem to have wasted our limited budget of around £40 million on even more limited players in Beto and Chermiti. We aren't in a position to pay for players that are punts and not ready to play.

I've been banging on for years about our lack of pace and technical ability, the only thing that they seem to revere is height!

Sam Hoare
210 Posted 31/12/2023 at 13:22:01
Disappointing way to end the year, and to lose 4 on the trot damages the confidence and momentum we'd worked hard to achieve.

3 of those results could have gone a different way but yesterday was as bad as we've been.

Hopefully it can be chalked off to a small squad, who gave a lot over the busy Xmas period, struggling to maintain the same levels.

Fingers crossed we can raise ourselves for the cup and then it's only 2 games in the next 4 weeks or so for the squad to recover.

Andy Crooks
211 Posted 31/12/2023 at 13:32:46
After years of appalling mismanagement (why has someone not been held to account for our breach of the rules?), we have a limited, threadbare squad who are doing their best. We have a coach who is doing a superb job with this poor squad.

There are some on this site who seem utterly oblivious to the shit we are in. If our coach and his team give 100%, that will do. Wherever it leads us, it will have to do.

Frank Crewe
212 Posted 31/12/2023 at 13:47:37
I think Dyche lost faith in the 4-4-1-1 system because Doucouré is injured so, like a lot of managers do after two or three defeats, he fell back on the tired old five at the back to try and stop the rot. Inevitably it didn't work. It never does against better attacking teams, plus it restricts the teams attacking options.

Maybe Doucouré will be back for the next Premier League game, which isn't for a fortnight. But, even if he isn't, we should still play 4-4-1-1 and at least try to attack. Better to burn out than fade away, as the Kurgan said.

One more thing. Coleman, Doucoure, Young and Gueye are all out through injury. They are also all well over 30. Playing a high-energy pressing game with so many 30+ players in your side will always be risky, especially with a small squad to begin with.

John Keating
213 Posted 31/12/2023 at 14:04:20
Went to Mass this morning and prayed and prayed cos I think it's the only way we'll get out of this. Divine intervention.

Even the priest felt sorry for us and he's a bloody Tranmere supporter!

Mark Ryan
214 Posted 31/12/2023 at 14:09:29
Wolves had played 3 in 6 days when they played us. Not sure how we can blame fatigue for being poor. They looked like dynamite. Why weren't they fatigued?

We are missing Doucouré, simple as that.

Soren Moyer
215 Posted 31/12/2023 at 15:02:36
Exactly, Mark.

Every team has had the same amount of games equally, so cannot blame fatigue. I watched Luton and Forest games, didn't notice tiredness with their squad even though Luton lost their game.

Mark Murphy
216 Posted 31/12/2023 at 15:10:24
We laughed at the Skunks when they blamed tiredness!

We have a small squad with the bare minimum of quality to finish lower mid-table when fully fit. Until we see the benefits of the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock kick in, that's where we are.

Happy new year everyone – I'm heading for the ale now!

Terry Aylward
217 Posted 31/12/2023 at 15:14:41
Soren (224),

Spot on with that post, mate, I also watched the Luton game and at 3-0 down, they went tearing into Chelsea and could have easily equalised or even gone on to win the game.

They along with some of the other lower-down teams seem to have a never-say-die attitude which we are sadly lacking. Tiredness is just a poor excuse for a wretched performance by both the team and management.

Hopefully both will have learned from this.

Happy New Year to all.

Tony Abrahams
218 Posted 31/12/2023 at 16:08:17
I thought Wolves looked just as tired as Everton, until they scored. Winning creates energy, while losing when you are already tired often creates a performance like the one Everton gave on Saturday.

Bereft of ideas, with tired bodies affecting tired minds, playing in a system that also offered very little

Geoff Lambert
219 Posted 31/12/2023 at 16:16:02
Dave #184.

I think the overwhelming majority of Evertonians see Calvert-Lewin for what he is. A very limited player who can't contol a ball or score goals at a level needed to be No 9 at a Premier League club.

The few on here who big him up after every failed shot or header are dwindling by the week. Ten goals and three assists in the three years up to now says it all, but we can't blame him for that shit show — no one turned up on Saturday.

Joe Hurst
220 Posted 31/12/2023 at 17:22:58
Very true. The appalling show that showed us being humiliated at The Molineux was not entirely Calvert-Lewin's fault, it was more Dyche's, and the entire team's.

Not for the first time, we were shown how any team that has Keane in it will end up being fucked!

Andy Crooks
221 Posted 31/12/2023 at 17:30:11
Wow, Geoff, you know what the overwhelming majority of Evertonians think!

What a super-confident guy you are. A very special post, that. A collector's item.

Paul Smith
222 Posted 31/12/2023 at 17:38:30
Mad in it, points deduction and all and we still must demand more. We have to; otherwise, we will drop, and we can't give in to the corrupt fuckers, so shout and scream and demand the best and then some.

No excuses, we need to do better in every game. Forget where we should be or the asterisk; reality is, we're in the shit and have to get out of it.

Dave Cashen
223 Posted 31/12/2023 at 17:48:41

Careful there, mate. Your confirmation bias is showing.

Despite playing for what was widely regarded as a dour negative team, Calvert-Lewin scored 36 goals in the two seasons prior to the injury-ravaged period you so carefully choose to point to.

Time and time again, throughout that period, managers (who are better judges than you) were so desperate to keep their jobs. They risked his career by sending him out badly injured in order to save their own. But you know that. Every Evertonian knows that.

You are one of the "few" I spoke about. I have never seen you post about any other player. That's fair enough. Entirely up to you. But you chose to address me this time

I'm a big Seamus fan… but, during his absence, I got upset when a similar group repeatedly rounded on Ashley Young – before, during and after every match. I pointed out that Patterson had played in all four of our opening games and we had shipped goals.

Well, Young hasn't played in our last three games and, while everyone else is getting a suspension, the red-card-waiting-to-happen won't be getting one. It would appear he wasn't the devil incarnate after all.

Does that make me right? Of course not, but it does expose an inevitability associated with undiluted confirmation bias.

Young's relentless critics won't like it, but they have had an emphatic answer. Calvert-Lewin's relentless critics (you) will get theirs.

Brian Williams
224 Posted 31/12/2023 at 17:50:35
Calvert-Lewin can't control the ball?

I've heard the lot now! 😱

Andy Crooks
225 Posted 31/12/2023 at 18:12:31
Brian, you haven't heard the lot, mate.

"The overwhelming majority of Evertonians" will continue to speak, via their leader, Geoff Lambert. If Geoff thinks Calvert-Lewin is shite, then, by fuck, he is.

Happy New Year, Brian. Get it off to a good start, mate.🙏

Simon Harrison
226 Posted 31/12/2023 at 18:28:21
Michael Kenrick – "Hello!" 😀

Firstly, may I wish your good self, and of course Mr Lloyd, many thanks for continuing with your excellent endeavours on maintaining and operating 'ToffeeWeb', especially after a near 28-year spell now! (😜 Hehe!)

Moving on to your query somewhere up the thread regards my use of the word 'spell'.

Quite simply, during my childhood, school years and early adulthood, 'spell' was a general part of the (local, Central/West Lancs) vernacular. Also, whilst younger and working round a large portion of the country, 'spell' was widely used, and it inferred for a indeterminate period of time.

For example: "The manager thought that the loan spell his striker went on last season really benefitted him." or "The teacher thought that a spell in detention would curb some of the pupil's more outlandish behaviour." or "The fans thought that a spell on the side-lines would show the player that he isn't undroppable!"

I used to use it quite a lot, but when I watched a couple of 'interesting' videos talking about how Language can be used to 'enspell' people, I purposefully tried to stop using the word.

However, I think that with the season being what it is, ie, Christmas (and the footy season I suppose?), and also thinking that Dyche might do with a spell at a coaching session or seminar, it came back to mind.

Going back to language, it's interesting when you ask how a word is constructed via its 'Alpha ABet', you ask how do you 'spell' it! Just like casting magic. (In the case of Abet, the A was discarded and the term Alphabet came about)

Or the Alpha (The first), to Abet (from Old French 'abeter' (“to entice”))

See here

Such is the way, that even the 'great orators' are said to 'ensnare' their audiences with their craft with words (or oratory). Think of the likes of Abe Lincoln, Hitler, and Churchill! (Quite a mix!). Even nowadays, when you describe theatre audiences, they can be described as being entranced, or a like a captive audience to the performance, or 'caught up' in a performance or show.

Language is a much more powerful thing when studied and used in such ways. (Or even when used for the proper purpose!)

I believe that the truly excellent coaches of 'public speaking', teach their pupils how to engage with their audience's deeper emotions and feelings to stop them (the audience) from using logic and analysis during a speech, in order to get the audience to react using their 'frontal lobe' (their inner chimp as Dr Peter's calls it!), and not the deeper more logic driven thought processes; or at least to try and bypass them.

That in itself, is called the art of fast-talking, or what excellent salesmen are excellent at! Hehe

I hope that helps a little Michael, and I'm glad my post put you in a spell, even though I was trying to apply logic, waayyy back at [159].

Good wishes and all the best, Michael.

Simon Harrison
227 Posted 31/12/2023 at 18:31:56
Paul [233],

If I may summarise for you: stop admiring the scenery, stop making excuses and just start shovelling, and be quick about it too!

Well said, mon ami! And a Happy New Year to you too!

Brian Williams
228 Posted 31/12/2023 at 18:34:37
Andy #236.

All the best to you, mate. See you in '24!

Simon Harrison
229 Posted 31/12/2023 at 18:42:30
Dave C, please stop trying to apply logic to an entertainment 'product', that exists to fulfil the more 'visceral' emotions of the viewer or spectator or fan even...

It really is just the modern day 'Gladiatorial Games' or 'Hippodrome' (Circus) experience of the past, obviously without the bloodshed and loss of life (though occasionally, we will still get the temporary loss of use of a limb now and then!) used to satisfy the 'great unwashed masses' – The Mob!

Football is just the 'bread and games' for the 21st Century masses...

Just my opinion of course, and I'd hate to speak for anybody else on here! Hehe. 😉

Good wishes, and tongue firmly in cheek!

Dale Self
230 Posted 31/12/2023 at 19:03:52
What's all this about excuses?

Dyche isn't whining at all and knows what we will need to do. So just know that, while you oh so quickly adjust to the 3-match losing streak, he really does not give one half of a fuck and will get it done. Stack those rhetorical chips now.

Anthony Dove
231 Posted 31/12/2023 at 19:08:31
Simon @237 and 240,

I think you could be just the man to cast your spell on Pickford and get him to calm down.

Andy Crooks
232 Posted 31/12/2023 at 19:09:06
Simon, I like your posts!
Getting you in at the last window was top work.
Paul Ferry
233 Posted 31/12/2023 at 19:47:15
Ian (Edwards),

Stuart Sharp is not a medical doctor.

Simon Harrison
234 Posted 31/12/2023 at 20:19:16
Anthony [242]

I believe that Jordan Pickford has his own Sports Psychologist to help his behaviour. I think he was hired around 2019, after a couple of incidents away from football, and of course, he was advised by Ancelotti to try and calm himself a little. At least as far I was aware of from the Public Domain.

Also, it is interesting that Dyche has appointed a Sports Psychologist to aid the club's Sports Science guys. He had him at Burnley, a gentleman called Simon Clarkson (sp?)

The Athletic did a really interesting Podcast just after the Burnley game, it gives you that sense of hope and excitement we had just prior to the Fulham game and beyond, and a little insight into how Dyche and Thelwell have worked since they came together; here it is:

How Dyche got Everton out of trouble

I just think Pickford gets too wrapped in the moment, or is a very emotive player, which is what probably gives him his edge, though anything powerful and emotive is always going to be double-edged – if it gets too much, it becomes detrimental to performance. (Or reasoning! Like on Fan Forum sites for example! 😜)

We've got to remember for all his foibles, Pickford is a top keeper and has saved the team, and the club on numerous occasions. He could probably do without my input, to be honest...

Andy [243]

Thank you very much, 'tis genuinely appreciated, mon ami. 🙂🙇‍♂️

I actually appreciate the time for anyone to post on here; it doesn't matter whether I agree with it or not, as I say, every day is a school day. 🙂

Good wishes to all, and I hope you're all looking forward to 2024.

For anyone who is having 'troubled times', I wish for nothing but health, happiness and Blue New Year to you all.

May all your dreams come true bar one..!

Simon Harrison
235 Posted 31/12/2023 at 20:29:34
ps: Andy C,

I'm on one of those play now, pay later deals, and amortised over a 7-year period!!

That Michael, is one shrewd operator, though Lyndon did warn him about bringing me in!?

A nicer pair of guys you won't come across. 😆

Ernie Baywood
236 Posted 01/01/2024 at 00:37:21
Dan @192,

I think you have been watching a different game. We don't take care of the ball. We create chances by breaking or by pressing. It's efficient... but it's limited.

Or are we sticking to idea that the players tried really hard before and then just didn't bother this time. Really? That might be a little simplistic? We try we win. We don't try we don't win. That's good news because it shouldn't be hard to sign some grafters. They don't tend to cost much.

Geoff Lambert
237 Posted 01/01/2024 at 00:40:03
Andy #232, thanks for your kind words.

But they were not my words, Andy, so you might want to redirect it to the author. Try post 184.

But I do agree with you. Happy New Year.

Geoff Lambert
238 Posted 01/01/2024 at 00:42:44
Yes Dave C, you see a lot of ingrained, ideological, or emotionally charged views by some posters on here. Happy New Year.
Dave Cashen
239 Posted 01/01/2024 at 01:16:48

May 2024 not only be a year of joy for you, but also one of enlightenment.

It would be very lovely to think you will join the overwhelming majority and discover we have 20-odd players besides Dominic Calvert-Lewin and you are perfectly at liberty to criticise or talk about any of them too.

Happy New Year

Kieran Kinsella
240 Posted 01/01/2024 at 03:43:12

You're broadly correct about Calvert-Lewin.

Look at some of the chances he's missed and consider how Ollie Watkins, his erstwhile rival as an England sub, would have done. He's good in the air, he can do tap-ins but he can't strike the ball, he can't dribble etc.

But Darren has a point about the broader squad. Calvert-Lewin, like the rest, is decent… not great. You could replace any one of our starters with a better player. Not sure why Calvert-Lewin is singled out. He's not like someone like Tom Davies – devoid of any attributes.

Jimmy Carr
241 Posted 01/01/2024 at 09:32:22
Come on Toffee Webbers, make a New Year's resolution to stop making the 'I was emotional' excuse every time Everton lose and you come on here and post nonsense about Dyche, random players, Calvert-Lewin, our inability to pass (I love that one), Kevin Thelwell's transfer dealings and the definitely corrupt Premier League.

Talk about Jordan Pickford getting over-involved! Talk about conspiracy theories.

Right, I'm not that bothered about the Palace game. Priority needs to be the league. Having said that, Palace are probably there for the taking. Give that Chermiti bloke a start. Just for a change. And Dobbin, see what happens.


I like that post about Dyche not giving one because we've lost a few games on the trot. He won't.

Andy Crooks
243 Posted 01/01/2024 at 11:38:32
Happy New Year to you too, Geoff! 💙

Onwards and upwards!

Brian Wilkinson
244 Posted 01/01/2024 at 20:15:35
Pat, if Sam has any morals he will leave McNeil out of the squad Thursday, and give him some family leave.
Brian Wilkinson
245 Posted 01/01/2024 at 20:56:50
Oops meant to say Sean not Sam Pat :-)
Jim Wilson
246 Posted 02/01/2024 at 2024/01/02 : 15:05:52

I think most Evertonians agree that Dyche's team setup for the Wolves game was a disaster.

We had a weak midfield because Doucoure and Gueye were injured so Dyche's answer was to weaken the midfield further and play 3 central defenders. It was nonsensical to me and just helped Wolves to run through our midfield and expose our defence even more than it would have done if Dyche had stuck with the 4-5-1 system.

Some people have defended Dyche saying his hands were tied because of the small squad. Obviously the squad we have does limit the options but for Dyche to opt for 5-4-1 was an awful attempt to get something from the game.

I've said before that playing 3 central defenders is pointless – it just takes a player away from another area of the team and does not help the defence, as Saturdays 3 - 0 scoreline shows. The fact that Doucoure and Gueye were unavailable should have made Dyche realise that the midfield needed strengthening, not weakening.

I would have brought in Coleman and played him wide right in front of Patterson (or Patterson wide right in front of Seamus) allowing Harrison to play in midfield in Doucoure's position. A very simple change to the team that would have kept the 4-5-1 system in place which has done so well for us.

There were other options too. Giving Dobbin a start in his best No 10 position I would have preferred to changing the system to 5-4-1. Even playing the underperforming Danjuma or slow Gomes in the No 10 and keeping the 4-5-1 system was better than hoisting the white flag.

Playing 3 central defenders is just a primitive move and it has failed miserably time and time again. We got away with it against Burnley because we were playing Burnley but I could understand it more because we didn't have Mykolenko or Branthwaite available. But on Saturday we had other options, and we were playing a much better team than Burnley, and they made us pay. And of course, against Burnley, Doucoure provided more aggression in midfield.

And to keep bringing Keane in when we are already in a difficult position just compounds things and is unfair on him. Dyche has always championed the virtues of 4-5-1 and 4-4-2 and keeping the continuity going so I am completely baffled as to why he would want to switch to a completely different system. It does feel like any excuse to get Keane in the team.

The value of Doucoure to the team is clear and maybe some Blues will now realise Gueye, even with his passing limitations, is also important to the team and he had been playing very well before his injury.

There are a lot of areas of the team that could do with strengthening but the most important to me are a midfield general that can push us on for the second half of the season, a goal poacher with some pace and a left-back. So, Mr Thelwell, work some miracles!

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