Everton 0 - 0 Aston Villa

Everton and Aston Villa played out a niggly stoppage-ridden apology for a football match at Goodison Park in front of the Sky cameras in this afternoon's Premier League clash.

Abdoulaye Doucouré returns to the first team while Dwight McNeil is fit enough to appear on the bench as he quickly recovers from his knee injury.  Arnaut Danjuma is given a starting spot in his place. 

The visitors kicked off but it was pretty well contested stuff, Garner getting a smack in the face from Kamara. Pickford's deep free-kick saw someone offside. Good steady build-up by Everton won the first corner, but Marinez gobbled it up. 

Harrison got down the wing and put in a great cross that Danjuma looked to volley but he hit it all wrong and did nothing with it when the ball came back to him. 

Onana was well on it to take the ball off Douglas Luiz but had to lunge at it and keeper Martinez. From another Everton free-kick, Douglas Luiz was called for pulling Branthwaite's shirt (why no yellow card?) but Garner drove the set-piece into the Villa wall. 

Danjuma overlapped brilliantly and crossed in well for Doucoure but he couldn't get his feet around the ball and missed the chance to score. A great start from Everton but, as ever, nothing to show for it. 

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It was 12 minutes before Villa really mounted an attack, Watkins not fooling Pickford with a clever shot to the far side of goal. Douglas Luiz committed yet another foul, this one on Onana. 

Villa then had a spell of pressure until Onana stole it back but overhit his through ball for Calvert-Lewin, Villa responding by winning a corner. It was worked short and Moreno lashed a good shot inside Pickford. Danjuma was seriously obstructed in the 6-yard area by Linglet in the build-up and the VAR looked at offside, with the Everton player dragged to the floor, and they took an age to finally decide that the goal should not stand. Offside, but it should have been for the foul on Danjuma. 

Villa pushed forward again, winning another corner that was cleared but Harrison could not challenge McGinn cleanly to set up a counter, and Villa came at them again. The Blues responded well but Harrison's pass forward to play in Calvert-Lewin was woefully under-hit.

Pickford showed rash judgement, rushing out to the wing for a forward ball bouncing ahead of Moreno. Luckily Coleman was across in a flash to rescue him with a welly into Row Z. But Villa got through twice more, the second a goalbound shot by Bailey that was saved brilliantly by Pickford down to his left. 

It was now almost all one-way traffic toward Pickford's goal, Everton with rare moments to counter that they only messed up.  Watkins was shown a yellow for an aerial forearm smash to the head that drew blood from Tarkowski. Of course he had to leave the field for 30 seconds – not really feigning injury!

Everton produced a tremendous press, but Danjuma was almost too greedy, his shot deflected behind for a corner that eventually forced a turnover. On the corner, Calvert-Lewin was pushed over by Douglas Luiz, again unpunished. 

Another Villa ball over the top for Watkins was finally flagged offside, with the crowd getting into it. Everton were running hard for the high press but Villa were able to break out only to be well thwarted. But Harrison was impeeded in midfield after he smacked the ball in Moreno's face. 

The deep free-kick in was messy and didn't stick. The ball just wasn't running for the Blue shirts, although there seemed a lot more in Claret every time they tried to get forward. 

A brilliant ball forward from Danjuma sent Calvert-Lewin free in on gaol and absolutely 100% certain to score. But of course, that's not what happened, the Everton striker's shot nowhere near good enough to beat Martinez's outstretched leg. From the corner, Garner's strike forced a much better one-handed save from Martinez. 

Everton looked to get behind the high Aston Villa back line but that meant three of them were offside for a fine deep cross that Mykolenko could only play in to Martinez. Coleman caught Moreno and the free-kick almost produced another goal for Villa but play was called back for a foul. 

Villa were so quick to threaten again but Pickford was out quickly to deny Diaby near the end of 8 minutes of added time.  

The second half began with Everton losing possession and Villa launching a high cross over everyone. But Everton were on the back foot, with key interceptions needed from Branthwaite and Tarkowski. 

Diego Carlos was booked after he lost the ball into touch for an Everton throw-in, then picked it up and tossed it infield to another teammate. Tarkowski and Mykolenko both went for the same ball and clashed heads horribly, Mykolenko needing the most attention and having to go off for treatment. 

Mykolenko retuned with his head bandaged. Everton kept Villa pinned back with some great high pressing, Danjuma again playing in Calvert-Lewin who lost it almost immediately. Garner was next to be in the wars, a hand in the face, but the free-kick was easily gathered by Martinez. 

Villa did well to break out and it looked like Diaby Villa won a corner would run on but Branthwaite brilliantly stole the ball off him before Villa won a corner that was cleared. 

Everton pressed forward again but Coleman's cross was repelled and Onana could not get a clear shot. Then Doucore lost the ball in an advanced position allowing Villa to counter, McGinn lashing a fearsome shot just wide. 

At the other end, Harrison crossed to Danjuma but his first-time shot screwed across goal and wide. And it was back up the other end for another Villa corner, DIaby unable to beat Pickford. Everton tried to break but Danjuma was offside. Beto and Mcneil came on, like for like, as per usual. 

Villa continued to get forward at pace, Duran firing wide.  Everton got forward but McNeil overhit his first cross. The stoppages continued, Onana getting a painful knock in the crotch. 

Diego Carlos fouled Beto in midfield, Pickford stepping up to launch one from the centre-circle. Tarkwoski was restrained by Diego Carlos and he slid in strongly to dispossess Morneo, causing the Villa players to react, which caused the Everton players to grab their handbags. Coleman and Tielelmans wouldn't let it drop, but were not booked., with Diego Carlos wisely removed from the fray.

But still it was fractious, Tielemans finally booked after being very aggressive. McNeil's free-kick easily plucked out of the air by Martinez. Villa came forward again but there was no power in the final header and Pickford launched a counter that petered out. 

Tarkowski took out his man from behind and that would normally be a yellow caard but he had already been booked. Villa kept up the pressure, Pickford having to punch away a cross. 

A tremendous curling shot from Tielemans was somehow stopped by Branthwaite. Doucoure seemed to get free but his run stalled. It was end to end as Douglas Luiz lofted a cross in, then he put Onana into a head-lock. Duran was next pushing Mykolenko in the head, which Branthwaite took exception to. 

There was a real scramble in front of Pickford, Mykolenko down brilliantly to deny Cash and somehow Everton cleared the ball away. Villa put together the best move with Cash controlling the ball and putting in a very dangerous cross that Duran touched on, just outside the far post. 

Doucoure got behind Villa's high line and scored well but he was deemed to have been a yard offside. The game was extended with 7 minutes of added time, the relentless battle continuing back and forth, Duran heading wide. 

McNeil released Harrison wide right with a tremendous crossfield pass but Beto could not get to his cross in. Watkins then just threw Tarkowski to the floor as Villa attacked. 

Everton tried toress again and it fell to Doucoure but his shot was well high and wide. An appropriate end to a very strange game of nasty niggles with hardly any proper football.  

Everton: Pickford; Coleman [Y:67'], Tarkowski [Y:70'], Branthwaite, Mykolenko; Onana, Garner; Harrison, Doucoure; Danjuma (63' McNeil), Calvert-Lewin (63' Beto).

Subs not Used: Virginia, Patterson, Keane, Gomes, Godfrey, Chermiti, Dobbin.

Aston Villa: Martinez; Konsa, Diego Carlos [Y:48'] (77' Cash),  Lenglet, Alex Moreno; Kamara, Douglas Luiz; Bailey (64' Duran), McGinn (89' Zaniolo); Diaby (64' Tielemans [Y:]75'), Watkins [Y:31'].

Subs not Used: Marschall, Wright, Dendoncker, Iroegbunam.

Attendance: 39,284

Reader Comments (149)

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Christy Ring
1 Posted 14/01/2024 at 13:04:50
Great to see Doucoure starting and McNeil on the bench.
Clive Rogers
2 Posted 14/01/2024 at 13:08:30
No excuses then. Almost strongest team.
Michael Kenrick
3 Posted 14/01/2024 at 13:10:40
Everton vs Villa – the most historied fixture.

But what do we get from Sky?

A Man Utd love-in with fucking Roy Keane telling us how wonderful he was back in the day. Much more of this and I'll be buying into the conspiracy theories...

Christy Ring
4 Posted 14/01/2024 at 13:39:47
Michael you'd actually think there was only one match on today, they showed even discussing Utd until 4pm.

Christy Ring
5 Posted 14/01/2024 at 13:44:20
They haven't even discussed Everton yet on Sky, all talk of Villa, absolutely shocking
Oliver Molloy
6 Posted 14/01/2024 at 13:44:30
Was it ever any different Michael?
I sometimes agree with Keane - he is what he is and can be funny without evening knowing it.

I'm so looking forward to the day when Haaland bumps into Keane and asks him about that infamous tackle - wonder what Richards would do ?

Alan J Thompson
7 Posted 14/01/2024 at 13:48:31
It might be interesting to see Danjuma playing off Calvert-Lewin or is he to take the McNeil role and run at defenders with the ball.
Christy Ring
8 Posted 14/01/2024 at 13:51:05
Oliver regarding Keane's tackle on Haaland, people seem to forget it was his other leg that caused him to retire.
Christine Foster
9 Posted 14/01/2024 at 13:51:52
Jesus Christ, are Everton actually playing in this game? You wouldn't think so, just switched over to a French link, hard to follow but at least we get a mention.. I hope we turn them over.. just to stick it to sky!
Si Cooper
10 Posted 14/01/2024 at 14:00:09
Would be another big shot in the arm to get 3 points today. Hopefully we score first and can keep a breakaway threat going throughout the game.
I actually don’t really know how to rate Villa at the moment; have they really improved that much or is it a bit of a bubble?
Hopefully we are just too strong and focussed for them. COYB!
Si Cooper
11 Posted 14/01/2024 at 14:27:22
So Alan Smith doesn’t think it matters that Danjuma is deliberately fouled in an attempt to prevent the offside line moving further out for what is obviously a practised corner routine?
What an absolute cretin!
Andy Mead
12 Posted 14/01/2024 at 14:47:59
DCL? Hopeless. Nothing more to say.
Michael Kenrick
13 Posted 14/01/2024 at 14:59:02
So utterly fucking useless.

Why couldn't he put some decent force into the shot and get it off the ground? No, a lame pathetic sidefooted attempt that Martinez could easily stop.

He drives me fucking crazy! Why has nobody taught him to hit the fucking ball properly in all his years wearing the Everton No 9 shirt?

Joe McMahon
14 Posted 14/01/2024 at 15:00:48
Micheal, apparently that was Dunc was for, to teach him him how to shoot. It was a shocking attempt.
Alan J Thompson
15 Posted 14/01/2024 at 15:04:10
We dominated the first ten minutes and then it seemed to fall apart. There were defenders coming out while others were running back toward goal and it wasn't much better up front where nobody knew who was moving where or when.

As for their "goal", it shouldn't take that long to make that decision. The man (Danjuma) supposedly keeping them onside was only there because he was fouled by the Villa player holding him, it couldn't have been more obvious although we should have done something to make their short corner routine a little more difficult.

And I'll not start on Powder-puff but he doesn't seem interested and how can any self respecting striker miss a chance like that, one on one with the keeper and all the time in the world, awful.

Let's hope Mr Dyche at half time introduces them to each other and explains where he wants them playing when we attack.

Michael Kenrick
16 Posted 14/01/2024 at 15:05:38

Martinez stuck his leg out before Calvert-Lewin fired straight at it! You could not make it up!

That's after he'd missed a simple moment to lash it past a retreating Martinez who wasn't even looking at him!

Despair isn't even in it. Give me a wall to bang my head against.

Christine Foster
17 Posted 14/01/2024 at 15:08:56
Calvert-Lewin clearly has no confidence, it shows in every run and every attempt. Should have lifted the ball.

Anyway, I think changing Calvert-Lewin, Danjuma and Harrison is called for. Seamus is exposed, and Onana is lost... get a grip, guys, foot on the ball, it's not a hot potato.

We have to change, we got lucky with the VAR given for offside, not the foul.

We cannot sit back and soak up pressure from good sides, either stop them playing or change our approach. Deep breath. 4am, lord help us, dawn in an hour.

Si Cooper
18 Posted 14/01/2024 at 15:10:47
I thought Calvert-Lewin did it about 95 percent right on that opportunity. He didn't miss the target, just didn't lift it a bit which is all it would have taken for that shot to have beaten the keeper.

Bugger all to do with lack of caring. Yes, he should have scored… but not the worst attempt he's ever made.

Sean Mitchell
19 Posted 14/01/2024 at 15:12:45
Watkins sticks that Calvert-Lewin chance away if it's at the other end.

Paul Kossoff
20 Posted 14/01/2024 at 16:02:04
Commentator once again showing the true colours of Radio Merseyside. "Oh!" he shoots, "Oh, oh, aawww, he shoots wide aaaw."

It was actually John McGinn of Villa that had the chance and missed. The same dope at Wolves who screamed that a goal had gone in. Myself and my son were convinced Everton had scored and cheered…

Nope, the twat on Radio Merseyside was celebrating a Wolves goal — and he did the same with the other two goals.

Back in 1986 against Oxford, Radio Merseyside, "Good news coming from Oxford, Oxford are winning one nil."

Dad and me were still running round the house celebrating an Everton goal before we realised Radio Merseyside's good news was an Oxford goal. Bastards!

Michael Lynch
21 Posted 14/01/2024 at 16:09:41
Happy with a point in the end. A top striker would have scored Calvert-Lewin's chance but – to be fair – all the top strikers play for top teams.

We are where we are. Kudos for Dyche for getting so much out of so little, and massive kudos to Seamus, Tarkowski, Jimmy Garner and Mykolenko for giving 100% for every minute of every game.

Alan J Thompson
22 Posted 14/01/2024 at 16:10:29
Second half much like the first, Villa had the better of it but neither side having anyone clinical enough to find the back of the net.

Again, not impressed with the refereeing but it wasn't an easy game for the Ref as the Villa players, Douglas Luiz in particular, seem to want to tackle players in a way that wouldn't look out of place in a Rugby League game.

Too many of our players didn't look up for it Harrison looking very poor and Doucoure not looking at his peak. We really have to get more of a pattern to our game. And lastly, some of those yellow cards were given for next to nothing.

Another point to the tally which Calvert-Lewin should have made three.

Barry Rathbone
23 Posted 14/01/2024 at 16:19:32
Calvert-Lewin hasn't the skillset to do anything beyond hit the ball the way he's facing. If it goes in, people claim mad things like he deliberately nutmegged the keeper but the fact is he is completely bereft of guile.

His physical presence is useful to a lower-ranking club like us but, while he's got a hole in his arse, he'll never be a top striker.

Pat Kelly
24 Posted 14/01/2024 at 16:20:12
We’re hard to beat. And harder to watch. Dyche to a tee. But it might just save us.
Christy Ring
25 Posted 14/01/2024 at 16:21:17
If Calvert-Lewin had to lift it, he scores. He's lacking confidence, and hopefully he finds the net against Palace.

We have two wingers, and his strength is in the air, I don't remember one cross today.

Si Cooper
26 Posted 14/01/2024 at 16:24:37
“We got lucky with the VAR giving offside, not the foul.” — not exactly lucky, it was a foul and yet he was still off-side.

Testosterone destroyed any semblance of controlled football. I actually thought Tarkowski was lucky not to accrue a red (given the modern attitude) for two over rigorous follow-throughs on two of his challenges although he made good contact on the ball in both. Mind you, the gusto challenge yesterday and one by McGinn today seem to indicate a reset in the viewing of those.

And yet we still see fouls given for hardly touching someone in the back and actually clamping hold of someone to restrict their movement goes largely ignored.

A point today probably fair and presumably a few of our players were hindered by lack of recent game time, playing whilst likely not fully recovered from injury, and some nasty head clashes in this match.

Home game or not, Villa are currently a level above us and the players should feel they just about got the job done.

Craig Walker
27 Posted 14/01/2024 at 16:25:23
Decent point. Calvert-Lewin has to score when one v one. Salah, Haaland etc don't waste those chances and therein lies the difference.

Calvert-Lewin hasn't been at the races since he did that TV interview where he said he has always backed himself to score goals. I like the lad but he has to start converting those chances and being more ruthless.

I think Beto offers more from a target-man role but is a bit raw at this level. Wish we had an Ollie Watkins type.

Not too disappointed with a draw against a very good Villa side. We'd have lost that game under Lampard.

Steve Brown
28 Posted 14/01/2024 at 16:25:33
When you are not in form, all you do is put in the hard work, which we did today. We had Doucouré and McNeil back from injury and they will be better for that run-out.

I said a few games ago that Calvert-Lewin needs a break from the team, as his confidence has dipped. Time to give Beto a run out for a couple of games.

Finally, Mykolenko was really excellent. I doubted the lad but I am enjoying eating humble pie.

Tony Everan
29 Posted 14/01/2024 at 16:26:22
It was a tough game, a win would have put Villa joint top. Unai Emery has created a decent team. For all that we competed very well, looked a bit ragged at times but I thought we were always in the match and could have bagged a goal with more quality up front.

DCL had the golden opportunity to change the game, got his shot off well and Martinez made a good, but not spectacular, save. I thought DCL telegraphed his shot with his head and eye movement so that made it easier for Martinez. With him being such a big unit the midweek homework finish looked hard and low through the keepers legs as he was spreading himself.

It’s easy to spout off with hindsight, and I thought DCL and the rest put in a good shift, so well done the lads. On balance a point gained today, rather than two lost.

Ed Prytherch
30 Posted 14/01/2024 at 16:28:06
Good battling performance and a point against a top team. Just a pity that we cannot score.
Michael Kenrick
31 Posted 14/01/2024 at 16:29:00
People talk about falling out of love with football because of the awful referring errors and the regular injustice of interfering VARs but that to me was a horrible advert for the so-called 'beautiful game'.

Was there anything redeeming, rewarding, inspirational or fulfilling about that dog's dinner of a game? Yes, we got a point, we didn't lose… whoop-de-do. But that had me getting more and more annoyed at the almost complete lack of football – ironically it was quite well refereed considering all the ridiculous 'contact' and, if there really was any conspiracy against Everton, then that goal would not have been ruled out by the VAR and there'd be nothing we could do about it.

Unless of course the conspiracy chapter this week revolves around Calvert-Lewin's red card being rescinded so that he could demonstrate once again what a dreadful striker he has become as he throws away two vital points?

Si Cooper
33 Posted 14/01/2024 at 16:32:31
Christy, there were definitely crosses today, Danjuma at back post for one, but they weren’t generally well enough delivered to offer proper opportunities.
Barry, for that one goal the goalie had his legs wide apart and that suited DCL. If he’d needed to play it either side of the keeper I think we’d have seen a result much like today’s.
Joe McMahon
34 Posted 14/01/2024 at 16:32:58
If we don't get some points back, I can't see us finishing above Luton. Lukaku left in 2017, why the hell has this club not prioritised goalscorers since then?

Years and points have been lost waiting for Calvert-lewin to turn into the next Jamie Vardy. 2 more points lost today can be added.

Raymond Fox
35 Posted 14/01/2024 at 16:33:53
It's a well-earned point against a team in form, that's all we will need against top-of-the-table teams. That's another team nilled but our lack of goals is a little worrying.

Our appeal against the 10-point deduction needs to be sorted long before the end of the season, there will be hell to play if they have to make a decision that decides who is relegated.

Jim Bennings
36 Posted 14/01/2024 at 16:33:58
Decent point against the best Villa side for 30 plus years.

Horrible match but every point is another one closer to staying up and that is going to be massive in the fight for survival.

I still think we need to get something back on that points deduction however, Luton are running us closer than I thought they would.

It may seem I'm critical but we need a decent striker in summer and before people start asking who and where and how we get him, that's up to the club not me.

Paul Hewitt
37 Posted 14/01/2024 at 16:40:12
You only had to dink the ball over the keeper, Dom.
Paul Tran
38 Posted 14/01/2024 at 16:45:23
We'll finish above at least Luton, Burnley and Sheffield Utd. No rational argument for them finishing above us, in my view.
Si Cooper
39 Posted 14/01/2024 at 16:47:48
“2 more points lost today can be added.”

Was there only one team that had decent opportunities today?

I’m sticking with a point gained from a fixture many wouldn’t have been surprised to see us lose.

John Keating
40 Posted 14/01/2024 at 16:52:48
Shite game.

Have to say the VAR saved us. I still think it's ruining the game.

Calvert-Lewin – no excuses, that has to go in and give us a precious 3 points.

Anthony A Hughes
41 Posted 14/01/2024 at 16:53:57
At one point in the game, I thought a football match might break out…
Danny Baily
42 Posted 14/01/2024 at 16:54:14
Definitely in the point gained camp. Villa are a top side.
Oliver Molloy
43 Posted 14/01/2024 at 17:01:04
As an Evertonian, you have to be happy with a point – we were absolute garbage.
Ray Jacques
44 Posted 14/01/2024 at 17:01:14
A decent point as they are a few notches above us. The difference in the centre-forwards is a prime example as to how they are better.

We are a little isolated from the rest of the table and it is looking like a shoot-out between us and Luton as to who stays up.

Reckon we need 18 more points and that would do it. 5 home wins and pick up a few points away from home.

Gerry Quinn
45 Posted 14/01/2024 at 17:02:01
Tommy Fleetwood made up for his teams performance/result today winning the Dubai Invitational - another Evertonian to be proud of...
Ajay Gopal
46 Posted 14/01/2024 at 17:02:29
Getting a point against Villa and shutting them out is not to be sniffed at. Yes, Calvert-Lewin should have scored, but he is short of confidence and his backups are no goal machines. That is why his disallowed goal against Spurs was so unfortunate for Everton.

The positives for me:

1. The return of Doucoure and McNeil;
2. The fighting spirit of the team;
3. The fact that Pickford was not overly troubled.

It would be great if Thelwell can freshen up the squad just a little bit this transfer window:

Peter Jones
47 Posted 14/01/2024 at 17:05:39
Please give Calvert-Lewin a rest. Beto in.
Colin Glassar
48 Posted 14/01/2024 at 17:06:36
I missed the game due to travel. As Ajay said, a point against Villa isn’t to be sniffed at seeing they are currently flying.
Kevin Molloy
49 Posted 14/01/2024 at 17:10:05
Here is the hot take from Villatalk:

'By far the better team, but shithouse tactics won them the 0-0 they dreamed of.'

They seem to be taking it all rather personally. I do hope we haven't upset their plans.

Anthony A Hughes
50 Posted 14/01/2024 at 17:12:11
What's with the DCL's short of confidence I keep reading today? Does anyone know him personally to know this?

He's just a poor finisher who rarely strikes a shot cleanly. Yes, he has attributes as a hold-up man but, as for his bread and butter as a centre-forward, he doesn't score enough goals.

Bill Gall
51 Posted 14/01/2024 at 17:19:16
We knew it was going to be a hard game and I thought the referee let a lot go and then made soft yellow calls.

I agree with other comments that Calvert-Lewin seems to lack confidence and, as much as I would like to see him improve, we are not in a good position to allow a player to find his form. He should be dropped to the bench for a couple of games and see how Beto makes out, starting with the cup game.

Villa are 2nd in the league and the difference was they seemed more composed than Everton, with Everton showing that they are a mid-table team struggling for points with the treatment they received from the Premier League.

The points deduction has made it harder for Everton with teams below and just above fighting to stay up so every point we get is essential, especially against the top teams, so we can't afford to play someone just to find his form. It may not make any difference playing Beto, but we don't know unless they try.

There are no complaints about the effort the players put in today, but you have to put the chances you get away, especially the 1 v 1 opportunities.

Barry Rathbone
52 Posted 14/01/2024 at 17:19:20
Anthony @50,

My thoughts exactly.

Furthermore why should Calvert-Lewin be short of confidence?

He's playing regularly something previously in doubt surely he should be doing cartwheels relishing every moment.

Far too many excuses for this lad's failings.

Jerome Shields
53 Posted 14/01/2024 at 17:19:34
Good point as others have said. Not good enough at maintaining our forward line, giving them control of the match.

We improved in the second half with subs. May have even won it with some luck.

Paul Tran
54 Posted 14/01/2024 at 17:20:57
We're going to have to take a punt on a young/lower league striker if we're going to change things.

Arsenal & Spurs chucking money at Havertz & Werner shows you the shortage and high cost of strikers right now.

Neil Lawson
55 Posted 14/01/2024 at 17:24:24
Ajay 46. Concise and accurate summary. There is enough about us and how we are organised to believe that we should be safe but it is going to be a hard watch. How we all crave the return of our stolen points to make it a little more comfortable.

Calvert-Lewin should have buried his chance but he's not the first striker to miss a sitter. I am happy to cut him some slack especially as he didn't have a single cross to try and convert. Just what is it with modern football that makes a first-time cross as offensive as a full-blooded ball-winning tackle?

Sam Hoare
56 Posted 14/01/2024 at 17:29:05
We're not in form right now. And none of our strikers look like scoring.

Given those facts, I think a point against one of the teams in the Top 3 is a decent return. It's been a challenging run of games and it was important to break the losing streak which we did.

Scrapping for points will continue to be the way this season and I think this team has the stomach for the fight.

Dave Ganley
57 Posted 14/01/2024 at 17:35:11
Just back from the game and I think it was a decent point. Personally I think people are being a bit harsh with their assessment. It wasn't a rubbish game, it was hard-fought. They had chances but so did we. I didn't hear too many grumbles walking out.

Villa are a decent team. First half was pretty even really but yes 2nd half Villa had more ball but didn't do that much with it. Doucour! coming back into the team was a huge bonus and Braithwaite goes from strength to strength.

Calvert-Lewin missing chances is concerning but we are where we are and given the lack of depth we are doing okay. We're trying to rebuild from being perennial relegation fodder so in that respect it was a hard earned point, it wasn't lucky. We are showing heart and fight which is something we haven't had for quite a while. Baby steps, we are heading in the right direction. Its not like we are not creating any chances.

As a last issue, the fucking VAR. I know it went our way today but it's just soul-destroying waiting for an outcome. I can't see anything on the screen so just sat there twiddling your thumbs. Was it nearly 4 minutes? I'd just rather the ref make a decision and get on with it, remember, like we used to do for nigh on 100 years. Even our fans were singing in unison with Villa "Fuck VAR!"

Mike Gaynes
58 Posted 14/01/2024 at 17:35:18
Personally I'm pleased about today. Villa is playing their best footy since 2002 and their position in the table isn't a fluke -- they really are that good. So this is a well-won point.

PT #54, we've taken our punts on the two Portuguese. We spent £26 million on a capable striker -- one every three games in Serie A is a professional performer -- and took a gamble on a huge, speedy kid.

Nothing more can be done right now given our financial situation. Maybe it's time to give Beto the job for a couple of games and see what happens.

Paul Hewitt
59 Posted 14/01/2024 at 17:36:23
Paul @54. I agree.

There's a lad at Leicester called Tom Cannon. I think he'd do a better job than our current strikers.

Tony Heron
60 Posted 14/01/2024 at 17:37:28
Neil @55, spot on re first-time crosses.

Frustrates the life out of me, the number of times a cross is on but the the ball gets pulled back inside instead!

Mike Gaynes
61 Posted 14/01/2024 at 17:39:19
The ones who leave always look better in retrospect.

Tom Cannon has scored two league goals this season.

Jeff Armstrong
62 Posted 14/01/2024 at 17:43:33
Cannon was injured for 3 months at Leicester, played his first full game this month.

He is a good finisher, we should have kept him and saved on Chermiti imo.

Ben King
63 Posted 14/01/2024 at 17:48:12
The lads (particularly the defenders and I don't just mean the blood-stained Tarkowski & Mykolenko) really fought and put everything on the line. We say we want 100% effort – well that's what we got and we should back them.

Villa are in form and riding high; we're in poor form and struggling so, all-in-all, a point is an excellent return.

But for a close offside (weird that Sky only showed it once) then Doucs wins it for us.

Yes, Calvert-Lewin is in poor form in respect of goals but he still offers far more than Beto and we need to get behind him. It was still an excellent run, good control, great pace and he hit the target. The next goal will come but it'll come sooner if we back him.

We fight on.

Ian Bennett
64 Posted 14/01/2024 at 17:51:18
Hard earned point I'd have taken before the game. They shaded it, with us creating not a lot.

Calvert-Lewin missed his chance, and it's easy to be critical – but he's hardly getting a lot of chances.

Not convinced on Danjuma, I'd be moving him on if we can get a replacement in.

Paul Tran
65 Posted 14/01/2024 at 17:59:30
Mike, that's a fair point. We are financially where we are.

With Beto, we'd need to set the team up differently – we still don't know how good he is till he gets a run of games.

We know even less about Chermiti.

Anthony Dove
66 Posted 14/01/2024 at 18:03:17
Jeff @62, I fully agree, selling Tom Cannon will come back to
haunt us.

A good game could have broken out today without cheating players, over fussy refereeing and the VAR.

Oh, and get Danjuma on the plane to Lyon.

Mark Andrews
67 Posted 14/01/2024 at 18:08:28
Feel sorry for Calvert-Lewin, he's working hard but he's lacking confidence because he's woefully out of form. It's time to start other forwards.
Mike Gaynes
68 Posted 14/01/2024 at 18:12:12
I growled as loud as anybody when Dom missed, but the replay showed he hit a good shot, just needed it to be a bit higher. Proper credit for the kick save by the world's top goalkeeper at the moment.

And proper credit to Villa for signing Martinez in 2020 before he'd even made his international debut. Two years later, he was the Golden Glove and FIFA World's best. He and Emery are the biggest reasons they're up at the top right now.

Anthony #66, cannot agree. Danjuma has pace and is always on the attack, and his through ball to release Dom was elegant. I not only want to keep him, I want to see him play more.

Andy Meighan
69 Posted 14/01/2024 at 18:12:24
Joe 34.

That wasn't 2 points lost, it was actually a good point and well earned.

I don't know if you looked at the table beforehand but Villa are riding high.

They had a lot of the ball but did they really create many opportunities? I'd say no.

No neither did we but we did have the chance of the game but never took it.

All-in-all, that's a decent result given where Villa are lying in the table.

I'd agree with Jim Bennings though – a striker or 2 is a must in the summer.

For all Beto's endeavour and strength, he's limited, Chermiti not sure what to make of him really and Calvert-Lewin 's limitations have been well and truly laid out.

Glass half-full for me tonight.

Joe McMahon
70 Posted 14/01/2024 at 18:13:36
I don't understand the regular criticism of Danjuma. At least he will run at defenders and have a go.

Not sure why new arrivals get slagged off so much. They need games. Look at Mykolenko now.

Calvert-lewin has never been able to shoot in all the years he's been here, and some still think he will somehow turn in to Thierry Henry.

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
71 Posted 14/01/2024 at 18:21:43
After 20 games, the three promoted clubs are doing worse than the 3 they replaced.

We are +5 points (or +15 if you ignore the deduction). We will be okay. I know we are Evertonians but it might not go badly.

Ray Roche
72 Posted 14/01/2024 at 18:32:54
Mike @68.

Good sensible and reasoned post, Mike.

Danny O’Neill
73 Posted 14/01/2024 at 18:46:54
I've admired Martinez fo ra few seasons Mike. Very astute signing. Very good keeper.

I'll reflect more in the morning. It's been a long day and although all Avanti West Coast, I had to change at Crewe on the way up and have to on the way back. No direct trains between Liverpool and London.

Peter Mills
74 Posted 14/01/2024 at 19:00:28
I watched a more entertaining game at Under-10s level this morning, with better joined-up football. A cracking 2-2 draw.

However, I came away from Goodison satisfied with a hard-won point. As has been stated, it was a snidely, niggly affair, but I'm pleased that we can, at last, compete at that level. We are no longer being bullied, and some of the defending was top level.

We are in a sticky situation. We all aspire to watching better quality football, but at present we have to grab every point we can.

Simon Harrison
75 Posted 14/01/2024 at 19:07:56
Sam [56]

Good post my friend, I'm going to repost it just to make a point and grab a handful from Mike Gaynes [58] too.

First though, I didn't see much of the game, owing to family and work commitments unfortunately. Yet, regardless of that, with the current form and the teams playing, the point we got was better than I expected (though, in truth, I hoped for more!)

Every point is going to be vital to our Premier League survival this season I feel. I'm not actually looking forward to watching the recording of the game I made...

From Sam above,

We're not in form right now. And none of our strikers look like scoring.

This is going to be a problem for the next 17 games and our potential cup run. Unless you score goals, you don't win games. We seem toothless currently for some reason, yet we have shown we are capable of scoring and even getting two and three goals a game at times. This needs fixing and quickly!

Given those facts, I think a point against one of the teams in the Top 3 is a decent return. It's been a challenging run of games and it was important to break the losing streak which we did.

I agree, a point today was a good return, considering we played a team on form, and is one of our ever-growing amount of 'bogey teams'. They aren't too shabby, are they!

Scrapping for points will continue to be the way this season and I think this team has the stomach for the fight.

Again, I have to agree here. The problem is nothing to do with the team's and player's efforts and resolve, the problem is that we have a small squad, with a noticeable step-off in quality, if a couple of first-team choices get injured or start running out of gas...

To help us, the team and Dyche really need Thelwell to pull a rabbit or two out of the hat!

As Mike Gaynes said, we have Beto, who may be more suited to how we are actually playing than Calvert-Lewin currently; and Chermiti who is doing okay in the U21s when he plays, and yet, doesn't seem to be in Dyche's plans for moving forward...

Stuart Sharp
76 Posted 14/01/2024 at 19:13:54
Barry/Anthony (50ish),

People are saying Calvert-Lewin is short of confidence because he hasn't scored for ages, and it shows. I don't think that's so hard to understand... strikers are famous for it. If they are in form, they don't have to even think.

Don't get me wrong – I don't think he's the kind of striker who'd regularly get 20 a season even if fit – but the comments about confidence make perfect sense to me.

It was a scrappy game for sure, but we're in no position to get too upset about a point against a Top 4 side.

Rob Hooton
77 Posted 14/01/2024 at 19:14:25
It was a battle today, and plenty of blood was spilled!

A hard-won point that I thought we were worthy of, everyone put a big shift in.

Fair bit to be positive about: Villa are deservedly in the Top 3 and this was the first ever 0-0 in the Premier Leaague for Emery at something like the 93rd attempt, Tarkowski and Branthwaite were rock solid and rock hard today.

As an aside, I thought Villa started the shithousery and were getting away with a fair bit, so we matched up to them – and did it well.

Now let's stuff Palace.

Dale Self
78 Posted 14/01/2024 at 19:26:49
I think we just made it through the most threatening challenge we faced with a thin squad. Two of our most capable players were sidelined and we made it out of the losing streak without any self-destruction. Low bar maybe but did anyone actually forget how light we are with effective players?

The bubbling frustration with style of play is largely due to raised hopes during the wins. We are making our way back to some competent football as we heal up.

Paul Tran
79 Posted 14/01/2024 at 19:31:25
Yes, Danny #73, I like Martinez.

I've always had time for competent keepers who can psych out strikers, though nothing will ever top Big Nev's work on Cascarino that night in Gillingham!

Brendan McLaughlin
80 Posted 14/01/2024 at 19:34:20
We've been on a bad run recently and halting it against an in-form Villa was no easy ask… but we did it.

Barry Rathbone
81 Posted 14/01/2024 at 19:35:35
Stuart @76,

He missed today (and on other occasions) because he hasn't the ability to do what decent strikers do in their sleep.

Someone said just lift it over the keeper – he didn't because he can't.

Good strikers commit the keeper then slot the other side or go round them for a tap-in; he hasn't got that ability. It may affect his confidence but that is a symptom, not the root cause. Unfortunately he's the best of a bad lot and just another example of why we're also-rans.

Derek Taylor
82 Posted 14/01/2024 at 19:42:30
Why all the gloom? I have long forecast that we shall march into the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock as record making champions of the Championship.

That after a season in which we break every record in the history of the second tier. Far better that than we crawl in on the back of a season in which we've won less than 10 matches in the Premier League!

Derek Knox
83 Posted 14/01/2024 at 19:43:04
Lawrence Shankland (Hearts, 27) is available for reportedly £3-4M and would be on a quarter of Calvert-Lewin's ill-gotten gains, or possibly less.

If you think I am being harsh, any striker (?) can have a bad day, but Calvert-Lewin 's are all too often, and an important loss of valuable points!

Mike Gaynes
84 Posted 14/01/2024 at 19:44:09
Simon #75, good summary.

I think the reason for our scoring downturn is that most of our goals come from the midfield, and our two finishers there have been injured. You're right, we will be inconsistent all season. Nothing to be done about it. We have what we have.

On Beto and Dom, it's all about what you need at the moment, and often you just don't know. Dom is better in the air, Beto on the ground. Dom is about movement without the ball, Beto with it. Dom holds up the ball, Beto barges defenders. Does Beto go horizontal for the header against Palace that kept us up? Doubtful. Does Dom storm 60 yards and then shrug off the challenge to finish against the Skunks? Nope. Each has traits that will be effective under certain circumstances... which are hard to anticipate.

On Chermiti, my perspective is the opposite of yours -- this is a teenaged kid who has played barely a thousand top-level minutes in his entire career, yet he has already made seven senior appearances for Dyche. I think that speaks to him showing the manager his potential and being in his plans for the future.

Paul Hewitt
85 Posted 14/01/2024 at 19:46:15
Any half-decent Championship striker would have scored that chance today, no danger. Calvert-Lewin is a good hold up player, bringing others into play, but he's not a finisher.

We've just brought in 2 strikers nowhere near ready for the Premier League. We should have kept Tom Cannon and gone a got a goalscorer. There's plenty of decent strikers in the Championship that would score far more than Beto.

Finn Taylor
86 Posted 14/01/2024 at 19:59:04
Sadly, it tells you how bad standards have slipped away when Calvert-Lewin is lauded as the savior. He is, at best, a decent hold-up player, with the odd goal in him.

Reminds me of Paul Wilkinson.

We desperately need a striker.

Joe McMahon
87 Posted 14/01/2024 at 19:59:22
Paul @85, have you seen the 2 goals Callum O'Hare scored for Coventry yesterday?

I'm not saying we should go get him. But there is some quality in the Championship, and he's a midfielder.

Stuart Sharp
88 Posted 14/01/2024 at 20:04:05
Barry, I more or less agree about his shortcomings, although better strikers than him can miss sitters too.

My point was just that comments about confidence in front of goal seem reasonable – in form, he is more likely to bury that chance. It's true of all but the very elite.

As to whether to start Beto instead, I'm unsure – I think Mike G sums it up pretty well.

Bobby Mallon
89 Posted 14/01/2024 at 20:04:22
Can someone tell me what Carlo did to get the best out of Dominic? What tactics did he use that had Dom scoring goals?

Was it the fact we had Richarlison?

Joe McMahon
90 Posted 14/01/2024 at 20:07:32

We had Richie, Sigurdsson, Rodriguez for a few games, and Dominic was told to stay in the 6-yard box.

Paul Hewitt
91 Posted 14/01/2024 at 20:08:38
Bobby @89.

Carlo kept it simple. He told Calvert-Lewin to stay in front of goal within the 6-yard box. Don't go out wide. And when the ball comes in, one touch then shoot.

David West
92 Posted 14/01/2024 at 20:13:08
Drawing against Villa isn't that bad to be fair. You don't end up 3rd in this league by accident, and they will be the more dissatisfied with the draw.

It feels worse as we could've won it with a bit of clinical finishing. The chances are not coming as freely as they were pre-Xmas, so the chances we get, it's vital we take them.

The subs they made just shows how thin our squad is.
Beto struggles alone up front at this level, right now anyway! We do miss Gana's energy and ability to break play up. McNeil didn't look fit when he came on and hasn't had his usual energy for a while.

Our back four are immense, we need to be more positive, as we were earlier in the season.

Barry Rathbone
93 Posted 14/01/2024 at 20:13:53
Stuart @88,

The concern is we're dependent on a guy who we can't depend on.

If the "loss of confidence" thing holds water, then he is a fair-weather player — fine and dandy when all is going his way but a basket-case at the first downturn.

It's just not good enough but we're skint so have no option.

Brian Wilkinson
94 Posted 14/01/2024 at 20:14:00
Anything that takes 4 minutes to review is certainly not a clear and obvious error.

Mike @31 made a fair point: if it was totally corrupt against Everton, they would have given Villa the goal.

I said last week and again today before the match, we will get something to go our way, not because they are mellowing towards us, more the fact they will not want Villa in the Top 4 and certainly not challenging the usual suspects for the title. I fully expect a few decisions going against Villa the longer they gatecrash the party.

I will have a look later at the highlights again.

Overall, a point is a decent result; I was surprised we did not play more over-the-top balls, because Villa looked great going forward, but today looked vulnerable in defence. Now to Palace on Wednesday.

Just a final thought: Dobbin came off the bench and scored a goal a few weeks back… I don't think he has had any minutes since that from the bench. Harrison for Dobbin for 10 minutes with Wednesday's cup game in mind was worth a go today.

Dave Cashen
95 Posted 14/01/2024 at 20:15:25
Embarrassing reading some of the comments on Calvert-Lewin.

No fans were waiting for him to become Jamie Vardy. They were simply desperate to get him fit because they could see how bad we were without him and we were fighting relegation without him.

After labelling some really decent efforts from him in recent weeks as "sitters", his critics finally got the squandered easy chance which would allow them to go ballistic.

Yes, he should have scored, but anyone who has never seen a goalkeeper make a great save against very top world class strikers in a one-on-one situation, must have been watching their first game today.

Bill Gienapp
96 Posted 14/01/2024 at 20:17:44
I'll certainly take a point against an in-form Villa side that's legitimately pushing for Champions League football. And if you can keep clean sheets consistently, good things will happen.

Unfortunately, Calvert-Lewin has always been middling in one-on-one situations. He's a service-dependent striker who's good in the air and finishing chances around the box. Alas, we're not particularly good at generating them. We could really use a striker capable of creating his own magic, but they're literally at the top of every club's wishlist.

Bobby Mallon
97 Posted 14/01/2024 at 20:21:47
Paul, Joe,

Then Dyche should do the same. Stop him from running around like a headless wonder and play another striker player alongside him.

Dave Abrahams
98 Posted 14/01/2024 at 20:27:09
Very, very happy with the point earned today, mostly by hard graft and not being bossed and bullied by Villa.

Yes, Dominic might have done better with his chance. I think he is lacking in confidence in other parts of his game, he is not holding onto the ball as good as he usually does. But a rest on Wednesday might do him good, bring him on if needed later in the game.

We would have lost that game 12 months ago, well we did actually when McGinn ran that game, scoring one and making the other. He bossed the midfield today and the way he finds space all over the field and spreads the ball, flashed one good shot inches wide. He is the sort of complete midfielder we are lacking, in fact, I'd be absolutely positive of us staying up if he played for us.

As it is, I think we will get points back after the appeal and be safe this season and Dyche and Thelwell can get on with improving us even further than they have done. It would be nice if they could get a couple of players in before the end of January, using the removal of Danjuma to help in that direction.

Brendan McLaughlin
99 Posted 14/01/2024 at 20:27:54
Brian #94,

So why didn't "they" simply allow the Villa goal to stand and shaft Villa in later matches... there are plenty left!

Andy Crooks
100 Posted 14/01/2024 at 20:31:41
We played the 3rd-placed team and might well have won. Who in their right mind thought we should go out and play a wide open entertaining game? Well, some it seems.

Calvert-Lewin missed a good chance, to the utter glee of some Blues. My God, some people love to be right. "Soured". Really? Pathetic.

Brian Williams
101 Posted 14/01/2024 at 20:32:58
Andy #100.

My thoughts exactly.

Rob Halligan
102 Posted 14/01/2024 at 20:33:20
Dave #95…

I can't understand why Martinez didn't just let Calvert-Lewin 's shot go past him, after all, is that what all goalkeepers are meant to do, let any shot go past them?

Oh no, they are there to try and stop shots go past them, you know, keep a shot out of their goal.

If that had been down the other end, it would have been “A great save from Pickford”.

Looking at it again, yeah maybe Calvert-Lewin should have scored, after all Martinez had gone down early, but he still spread his body in the hope of saving Calvert-Lewin 's shot, which is what he did. So some credit goes to Martinez.

Pete Day
103 Posted 14/01/2024 at 20:34:07
Haven't read any previous posts so apologies if I repeat anything! Didn't watch live so avoided the emotion!


We are 3 players away from a decent side.
Danjuma and Harrison have no end product (see above).
Calvert-Lewin is devoid of confidence (see first point).
Beto scores the Calvert-Lewin chance, as does Doucouré.
What did Douglas Luis have on the ref? How did he not get a yellow in the first 16 minutes?
We matched them in spirit and strength, just lacking in skill.
We have a player in Garner.

All-in-all, it didn't look like a 12th-place v 2nd-place game –more like peers – so I was happy with a point .UTFTs

Jerome Shields
104 Posted 14/01/2024 at 20:35:18
Bobby #89

By having him concentrating on one touch, he would have had him focused on getting into the right position to score in the 6-yard box. This gets him first to the ball in front of his marker, attacking the near post, keeps him where a centre-forward should be positioned. It also cuts out any ground play, which he is poor at. None of these Calvert-Lewin currently does.

Branthwaite floated in an accurate cross early in the first half. Calvert-Lewin, in-between two defenders, pulled back to get space, which was the right thing do, and then completely missed the header.

Danjuma soon after that did a pullback on the wing creating space and made an accurate pass to Calvert Lewin in space, he completely fumbled that. I knew then it was not going to be Calvert-Lewin's day.

Aston Villa pushed their defensive line up after that, compressing midfield, and took control of the game.

Stuart Sharp
105 Posted 14/01/2024 at 20:37:25
I think that's harsh, Barry. I know he's not a top-notch striker (we ain't had one since Lukaku), but for me that's OTT.

Guess we all feel differently about him.

David West
106 Posted 14/01/2024 at 20:39:59
Dave 95. I agree. A 1-on-1 opportunity through on goal is a great chance to score, but if it's Pickford, many will say he should've saved it if it's against us, and if Calvert-Lewin misses, many will say he should've scored.

Who's to say the striker should have scored? Who's to say the keeper shouldn't save it? The keeper pulled off a great save, Calvert-Lewin would probably score 7 out of 10 of those chances. Haaland probably 9 out of 10. The keeper always has a chance.

We didn't lose against a Top 3 side, wasn't much in it to be fair. Yes, we could've and should've created more opportunities but let's not get too down – they didn't play us off the park, like the last league game.

Stu Darlington
107 Posted 14/01/2024 at 20:42:15
I totally get why people are so frustrated with DCL's performance today. I've never seen anything to convince me that he is the striker we need to make a difference to our success in the Premier League.

His miss today probably cost us 2 what could prove critical points. No excuses, it was a feeble and incompetent effort, and not for the first time in recent games. I know anyone can have an off day, but he just seems unable to strike a ball with force, and his anticipation and positional play mean he rarely gets near any dangerous balls played into the box.

What I don't get is why people constantly make excuses for him. “Oh, he's had a long-term injury problem, he's lacking in confidence, his absence was the reason we spent most of last season hovering around the relegation zone…” All rubbish!

The bottom line is he is not good enough, and we should have brought a goalscorer in after Lukaku left.

Solving this problem will be the real test for Dyche and Thelwell. I'm totally with Michael on this one.

Shane Corcoran
108 Posted 14/01/2024 at 20:43:47
David, I think the point is that Calvert-Lewin would not score 7/10.

If I see him one-on-one, I'm thinking 50/50 he'll score, and that's when he's at his best, which he isn't at the minute.

Dave Abrahams
109 Posted 14/01/2024 at 20:48:15
Rob (102),

I'm a fan of Dominic and I think the two year period of hamstring injuries has left him still not completely fit and able to compete the way he did.

It's not down to lack of effort and I think he will come good again when he scored as many goals as Richarlison, or near enough, in the 2 years before his persistent injuries began.

Yes, of course Villa's goalie deserved praise for that save and the one just after from James Garner.

Villa were much better than Everton and a much stronger bench than Everton to operate with and, thanks to a stubborn and resilient back four, we got another point to add to the total we need to stay up.

Kunal Desai
110 Posted 14/01/2024 at 21:03:37
Calvert-Lewin's third big chance in as many games.

He should have buried the header against Vicario in the opening minutes at Spurs, though he was unfortunate to have the goal chalked. He should have got our equaliser against City but put that wide… and now today.

He reminds of Tyler Roberts at Leeds. Championship at best.

Simon Harrison
111 Posted 14/01/2024 at 21:25:21
Mike [84]

Thanks mon ami, and I hope all is good with you and yours... 🙂

Yes, as you pointed out, we seem to be pretty ineffective with our main striker(s) for whatever reason. Though I'll show below, we actually aren't..!?

Yes, in our team we only have three players scoring three goals (yes, that was three!) or more this season!! That tells us all we need to know about where the problem lies; though in saying that, having goals popping up from other places rather than a main source helps… (I suppose?)

We have:

Doucouré: 6 goals, 21 apps, 1,652 mins played (275.33 mins/goal)

Calvert-Lewin: 4 goals, 21 apps, 1,427 mins played (356.75 mins/goal)

Beto: 3 goals, 21 apps, 658 mins played (219.33 mins/goal)

Full list here via Transfrmarkt;

Everton goal scorers so far

The caveat to that, is that the goals include the Carabao Cup games too.

I think the point is that we don't have a 'decent' finisher; if we did, Doucouré wouldn't have his 6 goals, because the first-time 'striker' would have scored in the first place.

However, all that being said, we have a system that doesn't utilise the 'striker' as our main point of attack…? (Weirdly enough!)

Dyche seems to use the striker as a hold-up player, to give time for the midfield to break from their deeper-lying defensive duties, and add numbers to an attack, seemingly in a permanent counter-attack mode, coupled with an aggressive press.

Not quite what he did at Burnley, where he used Woods and Rodrigues as twin goal threats and hold-up players.

Which begs the question: Why doesn't he play Calvert-Lewin and Beto together..? Or A N Other, I guess...

By the way; Mike, I'm actually supportive of Dyche playing Chermiti, but forget the appearances, look at the minutes and the times he's been thrown on, oh and against the opposition.

I think he'll become a decent player in the Premier League, but I don't think it will be for us, as I don't think he fits Dyche's plans for the way he sets his teams up. We might make a few pounds on him though...?

To add Paul's comment at [85] to the mix.

The last two attackers that I can remember that we were seriously linked with, were Jarrod Bowen (deemed not good enough! SMH!) and Ollie Watkins, who when push came to shove, we couldn't afford... Even though he only went for £12m plus add-ons!?

I genuinely can't think of anyone else who we have been seriously linked with..? If anyone can, please help me out would you?

In a perfect world, we could have added one or both of them, and sold Calvert-Lewin to Arsenal for the reported £50m+ that was being touted around at the end of 2021 (was it, or 2020?)

I can't understand why we don't look at the Championship for proven goal scorers and no, not the lad at Marseille who played at Sheffield Utd.

Just looking back, our talent assessment team seem to be bloody awful on actually spotting potential. I mean we have had Haaland at Finch Farm and we didn't sign him, as he wasn't good enough (..!?), and we looked at Bowen (top goalscorer in the Championship at the time) and we deemed him not good enough..!

How those decisions, if reversed, could have buoyed the state that the club that we find ourselves in now.

Anyway, bygones and hindsight is...

Andy Crooks
112 Posted 14/01/2024 at 21:28:47
Stu, the bottom line is we're skint and everyone, fucking everyone, knows we should have brought a goalscorer in after Lukaku.

We've got Beto on the bench and he's starting to make Rondon look like Michael Owen.

Kevin Molloy
113 Posted 14/01/2024 at 21:33:38
I've just seen the Calvert-Lewin effort.

Brilliant run, first touch, and that effort would have beaten 8 out of 10 keepers.

Mark Ryan
114 Posted 14/01/2024 at 21:34:34
As soon as Dom broke clear, my gut said "No chance he'll bury this" whereas, if that was Vardy, you'd put your house on it, even now.

There have to be some diamonds in the rough out there somewhere…

Frank Thomas
115 Posted 14/01/2024 at 21:36:55
Couple of worrying things today that we need to sort out to make us once more very potent in attack.

First, many times we had 4 or more players waiting for the forward pass or crossfield pass but nobody was waiting behind that line to pick up a clearance from the defenders, unlike Villa who kept constant pressure on us due to their positioning. We have been doing that in the last 2 months. We need to do that again in the cup.

Secondly, Danjuma needs to stop being so greedy. I know he wants to score goals to raise his profile but he needs to be told he has teammates. If he selfishly keeps the ball to himself in the FA Cup replay, we should get rid of him in the transfer window.

I wonder if he was the player whose role was to stay behind the line for the clearance but his attitude seems to be 'sod EFC, I want to score and gets lots of money'.

Calvert-Lewin, yes he has scored some goals but do you think he has created as many chances out of nothing as Richarlison or finished as well? Even Gordon is on 7 goals now and his last one was very difficult to score.

If players (Branthwaite, Garner, Beto and others) who are on far less than Calvert-Lewin see him earning twice as much as them and missing easy chances, it will not be long before they want to go.

The season he scored 20 goals, I would classify a lot of those as 'goalhanger goals'. He just tapped them in. Today's miss was typical of his last few years' play. I have seen better finishers in Walton Park on a Sunday.

No man can serve two masters: Calvert-Lewin has three, Football (a hobby, so it seems), child (very important) and Fashion Model (his preferred profession). If we for some reason gave him another contract, it needs at least two clauses a) No more modelling until the end of his time at EFC (with financial penalty clauses; and b) A pay with a base and bonus. Base is at least 10 goals per season and that would give him £80k then another £50k pw if he gets to 15+ goals.

Lastly, did you notice the Villa player handled the ball to stop it going over his shoulder possibly to Harrison and would have been away but we did get a free kick due to someone else or another foul on the passing player but did the Villa player get a yellow card?

Robert Tressell
116 Posted 14/01/2024 at 21:38:38
Calvert-Lewin should be scoring more but he does a job for the team which helps secure points.

He also does a job that creates space and goals for Doucoure – which could have won it again today. No such luck.

Other strikers often get tap-ins and penalties to get the confidence up. Again no such luck.

Two real positives to mention though. Lovely ball by Danjuma for the Calvert-Lewin chance. Fantastic tackle by the increasingly likeable Mykolenko.

Don Alexander
117 Posted 14/01/2024 at 21:42:50
Like many of our current players, Calvert-Lewin disappoints me when it comes to accurately shooting. The goal span he had available was gaping, just requiring a bit of composure. He fluffed it but by now, at his age, it should have been a doddle.

Similarly Onana in the last minute or two. He controls the ball just outside the corner of their penalty area, with no-one able to get in the way of a shot, but duly spanks his way over their bar. Their keeper was bollocking his defence before the ball went over his bar so poor was the effort.

It's pathetic. Shooting accurately and hard is a basic skill that can be learnt in training. Yes, there's always been a few players who are naturally fantastic at lashing a shot home but to be so weak as our offensive players have been for years is unacceptable to me.

Si Cooper
118 Posted 14/01/2024 at 21:44:45
Stu (107), to say one missed chance cost us 2 points today is an odd way to sum up that game.

‘Feeble' is also a skewed view. Whilst the shot wasn't a rocket ,it was crisply struck and would have easily found the back of the net if it had been better directed, given approx 6 inches of elevation. I've seen Calvert-Lewin hit underpowered shots but I don't think this was one of those.

And whilst we would all prefer he was banging in a shed full of goals, I think most of his supporters are at least happy that he adds something that the opposition have to worry about that we are not currently getting from anyone else in the squad.

If the team is just that bit more successful with him, especially when fully fit, than without him, then the realists amongst us don't see the point of going on and on about his limitations. Until we have clearly better options, then he will get selected. May as well hope he finds the occasional purple patch.

Ted Donnelly
119 Posted 14/01/2024 at 22:15:10
Ted Donnelly
120 Posted 14/01/2024 at 22:19:48
This was a decent point against an in form team...at least it stopped the rot..and by the way that was a brilliant save from a word cup winning goal keeper UTFT!!!
Steve Hogan
121 Posted 14/01/2024 at 22:43:20
DCL missed a sitter, no doubt about it, but to play CF in that team must be a nightmare. Playing up front on his own, mostly with his back to goal, he'll be lucky to get two chances per game. We simply don't have any creativity or players with real technical ability to create anything of note.

Even the donkey across the park, Darwin Nunez, who incidentally, cost £70m, commits some right howlers, virtually every game, but plays in a very good side, which means he escapes most of the fans criticism.

I don't think Dyche helps the situation either, playing hoofball constantly is awful to watch, and simply hands back possession to the opposition.

Paul Birmingham
122 Posted 14/01/2024 at 23:05:08
A hard earned point and grit and determination by Everton.
with some luck Everton could have nicked 5his game but credit to Villa, who are a well organised and sneaky team.

It’s a point won, and will be vital in the longer term, this season.

Stu Darlington
123 Posted 14/01/2024 at 23:19:03
That one missed chance would have made it 1-0,as it stands a winning score and 3 points instead of 1,hence my point that it cost us 2,possibly vital points.
I agree that he is a big unit and creates space for other players in the box,but he is employed to put the ball in the net and this he doesn’t do often enough for me.
As Andy points out we’re skint and don’t have the cash to buy anyone any better at the moment,but I still believe his goal efforts in recent games have been pathetic
David Hallwood
124 Posted 15/01/2024 at 01:20:06
Shocking miss by Dom, but before anyone calls for him to be dropped, sold or executed, you should think about how Dyche has set us up and how instrumental Dom is to the system.

We go front to back with very little passing through the midfield, Dom is there to win the, usually, Pickford long ball and if not, occupy and pull the centre backs all over the place; we then press to win the loose ball- beautiful game? yer 'avin a larff, but when everybody's on it we can give any team a game.

Beto simply isn't a back to goal target man, and is more suited to latching on to clever passes from midfield; something that's in short supply with Dycheball.

So if Dom is to have a spell on the sidelines, we would have to change our approach, because we would just see Pickford's long punts coming straight back.

Maybe at home and starting with the Palace game, we could go 442 with Dom & Beto up top, Douc dropping back to partner Onana. I know it sounds too attacking but as Harrison & McNeil get through a fair amount of defensive work, but we need to find ways to score.

Mike Gaynes
125 Posted 15/01/2024 at 01:54:00
"Beto scores the Calvert-Lewin chance, as does Doucouré."

"Any half-decent Championship striker would have scored that chance"

"it was a feeble and incompetent effort"

WTF. What planet are you guys orbiting?

In 2021 Emiliano Martinez won the Copa America Golden Glove and shut out Brazil in the final.

In 2022 he won the World Cup Golden Glove and won the final by saving two pens in the shootout.

He has since been named 2022 Best FIFA Goalkeeper and the winner of the 2023 Yashin Trophy.

He's the best keeper in the world.

Yet he only saved on DCL because DCL sucks. Got it.

And then there's this gem:

"There's plenty of decent strikers in the Championship that would score far more than Beto."

Name one. I mean one we've ever heard of. The leading scorer in the Championship is a 130-pound mid. The second-leading is 5'7" (think Maupay). The third is a loan to Argyle from Lincoln City. The fourth had 11 goals in 50 games last season (Beto had 10 in 34 at Udinese) and before that had scored ONE in his previous four years. You catching my drift here?

Somebody tell me about all these fine Championship goalscorers we've missed out on. The ones who are better than Beto and his 21 goals in Serie A. The ones who would have stampeded 60 yards and shrugged off that tackle to score on the Skunks.

Brian Dagnall
126 Posted 15/01/2024 at 02:48:39
I agree with Steve (121).

I remember the shouting "We have to buy a striker to bag these goals". Well we did. Goals still didn't come.

The reason we don't score goals in my opinion is that we don't create any. Villa outnumbered us in midfield, Garner and Onana is all we had. Nothing wrong with those guys … just not enough of them. If DCL or Danjuma do make a run, there's no one dashing into the area to pick up anything.

I too am so bored watching Pickford take huge free kicks hoping to pick out Tarkovski or Branthwaite. It's embarrassing that we use such schoolboy tactics.

But then again maybe Mr Dyche is to be congratulated for achieving what he has, with so little material.

Ernie Baywood
127 Posted 15/01/2024 at 02:58:19
Dom isn't a great finisher. That's my view over a long period time, which is how you typically judge a finisher.

But he didn't do too much wrong for that chance... if it rolled past the keepers leg everyone would say what a clinical finish it was. Instead the keeper got something on it and everyone says what a terrible attempt it was.

Fickle crowd. But over a long term, no he's not a good finisher.

Paul Ferry
128 Posted 15/01/2024 at 03:58:00
You read stuff on here, shake your head sometimes, the jaw drops when some remarkably talented doom and gloom merchant pushes the boat out too far. There are a fair few vultures on here and they are good at gathering in packs and gobbling up scraps.

And then there is the one post. A post too far. A post that is so evidently nutty that rising blood pressure is not enough and you have to reach for the laptop to type something.

Take a long and deep bow, Frank Thomas (115). Our Frank in a dazzling display of caricature – snide I think he thinks it's satire – and barrel-scraping footy nous comes up with this silly gem:

“No man can serve two masters: Calvert-Lewin has three, Football (a hobby, so it seems), child (very important) and Fashion Model (his preferred profession)”.

Apart from the sheer stupidity of the premise and its flaky “foundations”, I am sick to death of this tired, lazy, and spiteful caricature of the clothes and the model.

Some people just can't wait to jump on board a bandwagon in a moment of, yes, shoddy stuff from Calvert-Lewin that confirms your stereotype (give the goalie some credit too) after a few have blazed the trail for them and be so deliciously and daringly cuttingly naughty with a tart quip.

Spot on, Andy (Crooks), there are some who seem to get what for me is a perverse satisfaction in leaping online with their “told you so” and – you're right Andy – evident glee in doing so, even more so if a few others are leaping in with them.

Paul Ferry
129 Posted 15/01/2024 at 06:44:44
The Calvert-Lewin clothes, model, skirt shite that at times has splashes of dodgy views is about as smart, interesting, relevant, and side-splittingly hilarious as the wags on deadline day with their pure comedy gold about seeing Riquelme at John Lennon Airport, at a restaurant on Castle Street, or, for the less chronologically sound but contemporary, digging into a steak at the Titanic.
Robert Tressell
130 Posted 15/01/2024 at 08:09:51
Do people watch other (non-Everton) games of football?

If they do, they will see big money signings like Nunez, Hojlund, Isak and yes, even, miss lots of chances week in week out.

They will see the same from the likes of Nketiah, Jesus, Richarlison, Havertz, Jackson, Mudryk, Sterling and so on and so on.

DCL gets a fraction of the chances they get because the team overall lacks talent and creativity unfortunately.

Would DCL be a better striker if he had 6 goals and our attacking midfielder only 3?

Or is the fact that Doucoure is the highest scoring player in his position in Europe's big leagues an indication that DCL is performing an effective team role?

Perhaps we should be bemoaning the fact that the midfield and full backs were only able to create one decent chance for the striker?

Phil Lewis
131 Posted 15/01/2024 at 08:27:31
DCL is an excellent footballer. When fit he gives us 110% of selfless effort. His positional sense and hold-up play is second to none. He missed a golden chance yesterday, nobody is more aware of that than him. It happens to the best, that's football.

Idiots deriding him on here have short memories. Cast your minds back to when Ancelloti was in charge and Dominic was scoring goals for fun and ask yourself why the goals have dried up? The one word answer is glaringly obvious. Service.

He was being supplied by one of the world's greatest in James Rodriguez through the middle and with pinpoint crosses from the left by Digne.

In this current system, he runs himself into the ground each week feeding off scraps from lesser players. Probably the only man on the books with the creative talent to match DCL's was sat on the bench, Andre Gomes.

I understand Dyche's survival mentality. By and large, it has served him well throughout his career. But such tactics will never produce consistently attractive winning teams.

Calvert-Lewin's critics would do well to examine the effort he regularly puts in for the cause, rather than castigating him for missed chances. I firmly believe that were he to be transferred to a top footballing side, Arsenal for instance, his quicksilver touch of a few seasons ago would return and he would quickly establish himself as a top scoring talent.

I've said it before on here, notably about Gomes, but the same applies to DCL. Form is temporary, class is permanent.

Stuart Sharp
132 Posted 15/01/2024 at 08:39:43
A good post, Robert T 139.

I would add that those claiming 'a half decent Championship striker would score that chance' clearly don't watch the Championship much.

Half decent strikers in that league miss great chances every week. Dom is not the most consistent of finishers, but to suggest he's not a PL quality striker is baffling.

Jimmy Carr
133 Posted 15/01/2024 at 08:47:57
Good point against the Villa. We can't expect to win games against opposition of that quality, so keeping a clean sheet and trying to nick one was a fair plan.

Our midfield seemed to go AWOL midway through the second half but we clung on. Dyche has completely changed the mentality of the team.

The lads were determined to at least not lose that game. Not the prettiest to watch but don't care. Rigid, defensive performance. Our back four were superb.

DCL lacks confidence at the moment but is so much of a better player than Beto and remains one of the best strikers in the Premier League, his hold-up play is priceless to us, as everyone here recognised when he was injured, but that's now been conveniently forgotten of course.

As usual, a number of posts from complete dickheads who've got no idea how to play football but feel qualified to lecture professional players on how to take chances. Embarrassing.

A good point yesterday, Dyche needs to do some 1:1 work with Dom (or get someone in to do it) to try and keep his confidence up.


Steve Brown
134 Posted 15/01/2024 at 09:19:44
Calvert-Lewin looked very sharp when he returned to action and scored goals.

He has now played 17 games this season, compared to the 18 games he played in each of the last 2 seasons. He is physically better but will be subject to fatigue as his role is knackering. So I would give him a break for 1-2 games and play Beto.

He is also playing a lone striker role that suits the team, but gives him less scoring opportunities. As a striker, confidence is everything so all he needs is a goal to spark him.

So cut him some slack. It is a trait in football fans to constantly look for evidence in individual performances to support our own confirmation bias about a particular player – we are all guilty of it.

I am sure Dyche, the coaching team, and his team-mates understand and appreciate what he does for the team a lot.

Finally, we have played a Top 4 side on 3 occasions this season and our record is W1 D1 L1 – that is a sign of progress for sure.

Paul Cherrington
135 Posted 15/01/2024 at 10:29:15
A decent point against a side who are having a very good season and are no pushovers. Another point on the board and it means we break the losing streak we had been on in the league, which is important.

But. we have to be more clincial as a team overall if we are to really progress and start to climb the table. Calvert-Lewin is a top player, I agree, and does lots of good things for the team – but that chance has to go in when he gets it.

To be fair, the keeper did do well for it but top, top stirkers put those away. The best teams and players take those sorts of golden chances when they come – even if it is only one in a game.

That is not targetting Calvert-Lewin particulalry, as the whole team can be guilty of lacking that clincial edge when we have chances to score and take home points. The cup game against Palace was another example and saw some good chances missed by other players.

Until we have someone who has that clinical edge in front of goal, we will continue to lose or draw games we should get more rewards from. That has been clear from the very first games this season. I know that sort of player costs money… but that's another story at the moment, as we all know.

Dave Cashen
136 Posted 15/01/2024 at 12:03:23
This thread has settled down into a reasonable debate after ridiculous posts from the usual sources claiming Evertonians have been expecting DCL to turn into Vardy or Henry - Claims, which of course, wont be substantiated.

Unfortunately. I have to concur with Andy crooks (and several others). There does appear to be a degree of "glee" attached to some of the criticism directed at this fella.

Calvert -Lewin was touted by all and sundry as a potential top class center forward. He was invited to join the national squad. Carlo Ancelotti, who has seen a few decent strikers. Didnt just think he was top quality. he said so. he spotted the talent made the necessary tweaks and the battering ram became the high class striker he clearly had the talent to become.

When Rafa Benitez came in he couldnt believe his luck. DCL started the season like a house on fire. Unfortunately for the Kopite. The honeymoon was short lived. DCL's injury saw the teams form fall off a cliff (2-5 against Watford at home). In desperation to get back on track. Rafa caused further damage by repeatedly playing him when not fit - Documented fact, as opposed to excuse.

Frank Lampard fell into the same trap as his predecessor. He too went into desperation mode and played the guy, when he knew he wasnt fit. further damage was done. Many doubted the striker would ever gain full fitness again.

Dyche was more patient, but fortune again wasnt with DCL. he had his faced smashed at Villa. To this clubs shame a section of our fan base (the ignorant section) booed him off. "What a tart" they said. The incident and their ignorance was later exposed by TV footage.

Our forwards don't have the luxury of other forwards. They cant just shrug a miss off and wait for the next one. The next one isn't coming. The fact that they are unlikely to get a second chance puts them under so more pressure than other strikers. Poor Beto must wonder what the fuck he has signed up for.

I think this debate will rumble on until DCL leaves. There are people who clearly wait for him to miss. After saying he wasnt good enough, they went very quiet when he was healthy and scoring freely for Carlo. Unfortunately they are now shouting very loudly. This is their chance and they wont let it go. Unfortunately such hysteria will only add to the pressure next time he has a chance.

People taking a real personal dislike to footballers and want so desperately to be proved right about them kind of paint themselves into a corner. Next time the player scores a winner. They are unable to rejoice like everyone else because they fear they look foolish. If the criticism isnt constructive. It serves no purpose.

The final point I would like to make is to those who repeatedly call him a "championship" player. Is the irony really lost on them ?

If DCL had not put his injury ravaged body on the line to play against Palace and score that brilliant diving header. Those making such foolish claims would have long since been "championship" fans.

Paul Hewitt
137 Posted 15/01/2024 at 12:17:19
So let's get this right,when Pickford was making howlers and letting goals in, it was ok to criticise him. Same with Michael Keane. But now DCL is missing sitters we ain't allowed to say anything. Can someone please explain that one?
Rob Dolby
138 Posted 15/01/2024 at 13:40:39
DCL is our best striker by a country mile. He has had 3 chances in 3 matches! Yep 3 in 3 matches, the supply to him is almost none existent. All this championship at best stuff is embarrassing.

I would have liked to have kept Cannon but with accountancy ruling football these days it probably looks better taking an 8m profit on a home grown player and buying 2 Portuguese strikers on the never never.

I was happy with the point. If Digne played we would have got beat, they opened us up down the left a lot but their fullback didn't have the quality with his delivery.

Emri has got them playing well to a set structure, he has also got them diving and trying to influence the ref as much as possible. I was made up with the teams reaction, they stuck up for themselves and didn't back down. Under the previous 2 managers those same players would crumble.

I was made up to see Branthwait fronting their Columbia striker after he stamped on Mykolenko's foot.
A well deserved point against a tough team.

My motm again was Mykolenko.

Palace next up. I would try and keep to the same starting 11 maybe rest DCL for Beto.

Colin Malone
139 Posted 15/01/2024 at 15:23:10
Doucoure or Gomes? Gomes all day long, a player who lets the ball do the work.
Jerome Shields
140 Posted 15/01/2024 at 15:46:54
DCL would have problems in the Championships. The basics are the same not matter where you play.A big part of the problem is how DCL has been poorly coached and developed at Everton under multiple Managers,and trussed forward as the only Striker through multiple transfer windows.Anyone he was partnered with was sold.This all has taken it's toll on his physical and mental health.His confidence looks shot.
Rob Dolby
141 Posted 15/01/2024 at 15:58:20
Jerome 140

Can you elaborate on the poor coaching please.


unfortunately he also lets his team mates do all of the running, defending and scoring but other than that he looks good.

Sean Mitchell
142 Posted 15/01/2024 at 16:08:31
Would it hurt to DCL and Beto together?

I don't know what impact it may cause. But goals are needed and they'd be a real handful together.

But we'll probably never see it and DCL will continue to struggle on his own.
Over to you, Doucoure. No pressure.

Stu Darlington
143 Posted 15/01/2024 at 16:38:11
Paul @137
Great shout.Seems all Everton players are equal but some are more equal than others.
Pickford has been labelled a clown,Keanes mistakes at the back have made grown men cry when they see his selection,
McNeil was slagged off when he first arrived at the club as being too slow,not good enough and now can do no wrong.
But DCL ? Well,he isn’t getting the service,he’s lost his confidence,he’s had a long term injury,he’s playing in a difficult position for a manager who plays hoofball,anyway he does a lot for the team even if he isn’t scoring so we are fortunate to have him as he is one of the best strikers in the Premier League !Robert Tressell implies we maybe should criticise the rest of the team for not having the quality to create chances for him after all strikers in other teams miss chances and they have many more chances created for them!!
What other strikers and other teams do or don’t do is not the point at issue here.The point surely here is that DCL is nowhere near a top striker and has some serious technical flaws in his game which don’t seem to be being addressed and despite not having as many chances as some,should at least be putting some away.
Whether Evertonians will ever admit or acknowledge this,or continue to bury their heads in the sand I don’t know,but never mind maybe another scapegoat will come along before then!

Mike Gaynes
144 Posted 15/01/2024 at 16:42:15
Colin #139, I think your opinion will be disputed by 99.999% of Evertonians.

That is, of course, just a ballpark estimate.

Jimmy Carr
145 Posted 15/01/2024 at 18:45:40
Paul (137), here's your explanation.

No-one said he shouldn't be criticised but there's a difference between saying 'missed a sitter' and 'championship at best'.

Dave Cashen
146 Posted 16/01/2024 at 09:21:22
Paul @137,

You're a funny man.

You come on to attack Calvert-Lewin at every opportunity. Five times on this thread alone. Then get all victimised claiming that you are not allowed to criticise him.

Every player is there to be shot at and most people recognise constructive criticism, but every player is there to be defended too. Just like Pickford and Keane.

If you want to put the boot in by making foolish statements, you have to be prepared for people to counter your post with facts.

Honestly, Paul. I just can't understand why so many top managers around Europe have lost their jobs over recent seasons because their teams couldn't score enough goals. All they had to do is come to you and you could have told them about all those excellent strikers in the Championship.

People say Calvert-Lewin isn't getting service because he isn't.

They say he has suffered long-term injury because he has.

They say he has a thankless, selfless lone task chasing hoofed balls because he does.

People who watch Everton games would know all this. They don't see Henry or Vardy. They simply see a talented honest professional who had to come through set-back after set-back and gives his all for the team.

If Henry or Vardy had been as ill-used and played repeatedly when injured, by desperate managers during their most crucial, formative years. They would have suffered too.

Not sure why I am responding here. You can reason with constructive criticism, but when I spent weeks defending Ashley Young, I learned you can't reason with deep-rooted confirmation bias which blinds itself to facts. BTW, we still haven't been able to buy a win since the people who hated upon him got their way and he was out of the team.

Stu Darlington
147 Posted 16/01/2024 at 17:15:14
Dave @146,

A valiant attempt to answer criticism of Calvert-Lewin, if a little patronising.

Paul is perfectly within his rights to air his opinion of Calvert-Lewin's failures in front of goal, without being admonished like a naughty schoolboy for making “foolish statements” and for forcing you to actually make the effort to respond!

Whether managers around Europe have lost their jobs because their teams didn't score enough goals is totally irrelevant to Calvert-Lewin's performances.

You go through all the same old excuses why he doesn't score enough goals, but you conveniently forget to point out the number of excellent chances that have been created for him in recent games that he has made a complete hash of.

You're right, though: people who watch Everton don't see Henry or Vardy, simply because he's not on the same planet as them for talent or clinical finishing. An honest professional, I'll grant you, but talented?

He's bang-average at best, in my opinion.

Danny O’Neill
148 Posted 16/01/2024 at 17:20:09
Dave drop me a a message.

0796 600 7546

Danny O’Neill
150 Posted 16/01/2024 at 17:32:57
For those fortunate to be at Goodison tomorrow, enjoy. We'll get to the next round.

Some won't get home until 6am.

And then I get to go to Fulham away with my son and meet up with Mike.

What isn't there to enjoy about following Everton?

Dave Cashen
151 Posted 17/01/2024 at 14:20:42
Nobody "forced" me to do anything. I simply pointed out that the notion that the Championship is blessed with lots of "top strikers" is for the birds. Everybody knows about everybody else's players today and the claim that there is a few "hidden gems" just waiting to be plucked is, for me, a tad Naive.

I don't conveniently forget that Calvert Lewin has missed excellent chances created for him in recent games. I just don't accept the claim. Yes he missed one on Saturday, but most of his half chances are created by his own hard graft. Henry or Vardy ( The apparent chosen examples of real strikers) would not have even got near either of the two headers he has recently had brilliantly saved - Both efforts incredibly deemed "sitters" by some.

Incidentally; For the first time in his Leicester career Jamie Vardy was asked to sacrifice his own game for the team and play the target man last season. He scored 3 goals in 37 premier league games. I live in Leicestershire. That club, like ours, was being run like a market stall last season and I was amazed to hear some of their fans blame Vardy for the teams relegation.

Vardy has has been relieved of packing mule duties this season and guess what ? He has already doubled last years total in half as many games. Just as DCL did when he was told to concentrate on getting into the box

On Sunday during the Villa game. I listened to Kevin Campbell and Alan smith (both speaking from experience) trying patiently to explain the difference between playing the lone battering ram role of DCL and the contrasting heavily supported free role of Ollie Watkins. I've enjoyed the distraction on this thread, but if two players who actually walked in the shoes cant explain it clearly enough. I've got no chance.

On to tonight's game.

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