Everton 1 - 2 Luton Town

A pretty dreadful FA Cup tie with few redeeming moments saw Everton beaten by Luton right at the end of 5 minutes of added time when the visitors bundled home a corner to avoid a replay no-one wanted.

With injuries biting deep into Sean Dyche's squad, the Blues are without  Doucouré, Gomes, Coleman, Dele Alli, but the manager has finally decided to play Beto and Calvert-Lewin together up-front.

For the visitors, Ross Barkley returns to Goodison Park with Andros Townsend also in the Hatters' starting line-up.

Everton lined up attacking the Park-End with Luton kicking off, Beto soon pulling back Bell for an earl free-kick. Mykolenko was far too easily robbed and Doughty ended up lashing over. Barkley was next to have a pop from 30 yards. Then it was Morris hoofing it over, with Everton looking half-asleep!

Everton looked to build but they lost the ball again. Tarkowski to the rescue but, when released, Beto could only manhandle his marker again. Everton came a bit closer to Luton's penalty area but Beto looked very leggy. 

Finally, Calvert-Lewin teed up Beto to shoot – inches wide. Branthwaite then picked out Calvert-Lewin with a nice forward ball but he was only marginally offside. 

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Luton built well from the back but Virginia plucked the ball off his head. Everton then got forward with a lot more intent but Mykolenko's cross was just too high for Calvert-Lewin.

Onana was scythed down by Burke but, because the Luton defender cleared the ball, it was not deemed a foul… although it certainly looked for all the world like a very bad tackle, Onana needing treatment and 30 s off the pitch as Patterson's shot attempt was woeful. 

Onana was then tripped by Lokonga, setting up a deep free-kick for Garner wide left that was far too easily cleared. The quality of play was really poor at times and the crowd were beginning to get restless. After more scrappy stuff, McNeil was kicked on the shin by Lokonga. 

But Luton quickly produced an attack, with Adebayo heading just wide. More Luton attacks were stalled by Branthwaite but Harrison could not release Calvert-Lewin, hitting the defender for the second time with his through-ball.

The visitors won the first corner that was half-cleared but Everton were really struggling to play anything even approaching joined-up football and thankfully accepted a free-kick to clear upfield, where they struggled again. 

Beto was manhandled by Mengi, from inside the area, eventually getting a free kick after he went down outside the area, but Garner's effort was cleared again without reaching any of the big Everton players. 

Some rare quick-ball forward saw Beto fail to set up McNeil and the follow-up play failed to produce any threat. McNeil and Garner tried to one-two their way through the Luton defence but McNeil's return ball was overhit.

The physical grappling was getting completely ridiculous but Everton's quick free-kick found Mykolenko on the overlap with a great chance to either cross or score but he messed it up with a poor in-between ball. 

Onana drove a shot forward that seemed to fall nicely for Beto with only the keeper to beat but somehow Mengi got a boot to it before the Everton man, the ball screwing wide.   Mykloenkko swung in a cross that McNeil headed straight at Krul – the first shot on target.

Luton won a corner from a deflected shot and it was Burkeon the end of it to head home at the near post, with Everton protesting that Barkley had pushed Calvert-Lewin, who ducked under the ball and sprawled forward after he felt the contact. A scrappy bundled goal, credited to Mykolenko, befitting of an equally scrappy game, and a massive task now for a highly dysfunctional Everton side. 

Everton tried to respond but Garner's effort at forward play was poorly overhit behind. Beto was fouled again by Lokonga as 4 minutes were added. Garner curled his effort just over but well covered by Krul, totally lacking in required guile.  

A very shoddy first-half performance was serenaded by a chorus of boos at the break. Really, it was shockingly poor football on show. 

The same line-up started the second half with little sign that the game would be much different, Luton getting an early corner that kept away from the Everton goal. But the Blues still struggled to get forward with any effect as the niggly fouls continued. 

Another corner was headed powerfully goalward by Morris and saved very well by Virginia. Everton then seemed to have no idea how to penetrate the massed Luton defence. But eventually, Harrison saw a gap and drove forward, his shot squirming beneath Krul and dribbling over the line. Er... Game on!

But a rare slip by Branthwaite allowed Adebayo to run in on Virginia and try to curl it around him with Morris open for the passs, Virginia again covering his goal superbly to palm it behind. 

Harrison tried to feed the ball forward to Beto but he had no way around the confident defending of Mengi. Townsend then skipped through, drawing Virginia out and setting up Morris who could not get it past Paterson on the line. 

Adebayo got the better of Branthwaite again and won a very dangerous free-kick that Barkley overhit dreadfully, much to the amusement of the Goodison crowd. 

Luton then remarkably withdrew some of their best players. Everton won their first corner off a wayward backpass, a much better delivery from Garner, forcing a second corner, with Harrison unable to keep his shot down. 

At the other end, an equally wayward Barkley effort sailed over the Everton goal. Everton got forward and Beto finally seemed to have a clear shot only to hit a defender with his drive goalward.

Luton got forward in numbers but Barkley's shot was charged down, Barkley finally going off with cramp. A better move saw a good first-time cross by McNeil but it was a bit behind Harrison who could only fire over.

That was enough of the next-to-useless Calvert-Lewin and the insufficiently effective  McNeil, a double change for the last 15 minutes seeing Danjuma and Chermiti replace them. Beto then had a half-chance bouncing away from him and he could only welly it high over the goal. 

Beto continued to be outgunned in the physical battle stakes at this level, and was hustled off the ball all too easily. Beto looked like he'd set up Harrison but his looping cross was headed tamely back across goal by Chermiti.

A superb through-ball from Onana found Danjuma who carried the ball forward wanted a clear shot but it was easily blocked and the second phase didn't produce much, the third phase saw another Harrison volley blocked at close range.

A deep Everton cross was challenged as it was going out, Chermiti and Burke getting their handbags entangled and both getting booked. The Everton corner was not good enough to create a chance, but Everton kept pushing forward, Mengi superbly dispossessing Chermiti as he was about to shoot.   

It was the most determined spell Everton had managed in terms of attacking play but the lack of quality was painfully obvious. Everton tired a little in the 5 added minutes, allowing Luton to come forward and claim a very late corner, bundled into the Everton net at the third attempt by Woodrow. 

Probably a blessed relief to be honest. Everton showed no capacity whatsoever to mount anything approaching a cup run, and really must now focus on their perilous situation in the Premier League. 

Everton: Virginia, Patterson, Tarkowski, Branthwaite, Mykolenko, Harrison, Onana, Garner, McNeil (78' Danjuma), Calvert-Lewin (78' Chermiti), Beto.

Sub not Used: Pickford, Lonergan, Keane, Young, Godfrey, Hunt, Dobbin.

Luton Town: Krul, Mengi, Burke, Bell, Doughty (75' Johnson), Barkley (75' Berry), Sambi Lokonga (66' Mpanzu), Ogbene, Townsend (66' Chong), Adebayo (66' Woodrow), Morris.

Subs not Used: Shea, Potts, Kaminski, Nelson.

Referee: Simon Hooper

Attendance: 37,713

Reader Comments (188)

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Stephen Davies
1 Posted 27/01/2024 at 13:47:42
As I mentioned yesterday…

Calvert-Lewin and Beto to start!

Iain Crawford
2 Posted 27/01/2024 at 13:57:50
I'm pleased about it, an opportunity to see if they can play together, especially with Doucouré out. They'll be a handful for Luton's defence.


Garry Martin
3 Posted 27/01/2024 at 14:28:33
Robert Tressell
4 Posted 27/01/2024 at 14:41:42
It's a good day for anyone nostalgic for two target-man strikers in a 4-4-2.
Jerome Shields
5 Posted 27/01/2024 at 14:48:58
See that Dyche is going for two in attack again after having Danjuma play off Calvert-Lewin in the previous round. Luton are very much a training ground team so the selection of CL and Beto will upset plans a bit.

Beto to play off Calvert-Lewin: 4-4-2. Danjuma did not track back anyway.

Andy Crooks
6 Posted 27/01/2024 at 15:00:03
Robert, soon as I heard the team, you came to mind!! I thought there might be blood vessels bursting!

Calm down and think Keegan and Toshack. I can't wait to see how this pans out…

Si Cooper
7 Posted 27/01/2024 at 15:01:32
Looks like we are taking the Cup seriously. COYB.
Fingers crossed we don’t pick up any more injuries today.
Andy Mead
8 Posted 27/01/2024 at 15:48:36
Final ball is horrendous. Luton also continue to try every dirty trick in the book
Andrew Clare
9 Posted 27/01/2024 at 15:54:39
We need to wake up and be like a 'woke' person. Some one who is aware and knows what is happening.
We look awful- a very poor team.
Sean Mitchell
10 Posted 27/01/2024 at 16:08:50
An ex player scoring against Everton.

Who'd have thought 🤔

Tommy Coleman
11 Posted 27/01/2024 at 17:01:43
George Cumiskey
12 Posted 27/01/2024 at 17:03:18
Well done, Luton – played us off the park.
Gavin Johnson
13 Posted 27/01/2024 at 17:03:29
Knew Luton would score off that last corner.

They've gotta be the best side in the league off corners, at least I would hope they are, given we've conceded 4 of them against them. They're proving to be a bit of a bogie side for us.

I don't know about anyone else, but I'm so beaten down following Everton over the last couple of years, I feel pretty indifferent! It's not like we had any chance of actually winning the Cup.

Denis Richardson
14 Posted 27/01/2024 at 17:04:25
Well, we can focus on the league now!

Utterly bizarre season writes another forgettable chapter.

Andy Mead
15 Posted 27/01/2024 at 17:05:30
Disgraceful performance and result. Dyche, take your boring route one non-league football tactics and get the fuck out of our club.

And take that useless Calvert-Lewin with you too. Couldn't score or win a header or hold a ball up if it killed him. Can't defend corners, can't make simple 10-yard passes.

We are a joke of a club and deserve relegation. You can run around and work as hard as you like but it means fuck all of you can't play football. We were outplayed for the 2nd time this season at home by the mighty Luton fucking Town.

Colin Glassar
16 Posted 27/01/2024 at 17:05:42
A well deserved loss. What have they been doing since the last game? Certainly not passing the ball to each other.
Sean O’Hanlon
17 Posted 27/01/2024 at 17:09:01
Absolute dross.
Lee Courtliff
18 Posted 27/01/2024 at 17:09:12
Luton have got our number the same way we have Burnley's number!
They deserved to win, we were poor today and I really hope someone gives Beto longer studs for the next game.
Neil Tyrrell
19 Posted 27/01/2024 at 17:09:31
Mostly dire and hard to watch, Virginia kept us in it with a couple of big saves.

Our "strikers" wouldn't strike fear into anyone but surely it's time to give Dom a rest and try something else, he's looked well off it for the last 2 months. Beto didn't look great either but a run of games might do him some good.

Mike Price
20 Posted 27/01/2024 at 17:10:41
Worrying that the heads of recruitment thought Beto was a footballer worth more than £20 million.

It's very difficult to gain any pleasure from that team. The support deserves so much more.

Mark Ryan
21 Posted 27/01/2024 at 17:12:45
We needed a bounce to change our season around. I thought the cup would do it. I fear for this team now. Calvert-Lewin is on such a barren run and with Doucouré and Gueye out we seem bereft of any spark whatsoever.

Dyche is going nowhere because of all the aggro off the pitch. I worry that this team is about to implode. Luton, I mean for fuck's sake… Luton Town.

Ben King
22 Posted 27/01/2024 at 17:12:58
Supporting Everton is one of the most joyless and unrewarding pursuits known to man
Kunal Desai
23 Posted 27/01/2024 at 17:14:04
No different today to any other cup competition over the last 25 years. We can concentrate on trying to stay in league.

Pretty sad and mundane when you get beaten by Luton Town home twice in a season. It's what we are as a football club, I suppose.

Michael Kenrick
24 Posted 27/01/2024 at 17:15:07
Well, I was seething at those who were advocating for a weakened team and wanting Dyche to forfeit the game.

But honestly, what a load of utter crap that was from Everton. Sadly, I have to admit there was, as some have wisely said, no way we were going to go very far in this competition and, after that display, I'm just glad I don't have to watch them try to win games like that any more this season.

Although that's 100% wrong, because every game in the Premier League is now going to be a 'cup-tie' in the old vernacular, and we are going to struggle mightily if that is the way we are going to play them.

Ed Prytherch
25 Posted 27/01/2024 at 17:15:14
Luton deserved the win. They played with more desire and only Virginia was on top form for us.

We have been poor at defending corners this season yet we concede them too easily.

Joe McMahon
26 Posted 27/01/2024 at 17:15:32
We really do need all 10 points back, even if it's 5 we will struggle. We have strikers that cannot shoot or score. Does a team deserve
to stay up if that's the case.

Take the piss out of that lot all you want, but they are going to win the league and possibly the FA Cup again this season and Everton can't even win a match at home to Luton (twice).

Dave Cashen, that's why I like well-taken goals across all leagues, as we don't see them being scored by anyone in an Everton shirt.

The Kenwright legacy will be the 25-year killing Everton FC.

Jerome Shields
27 Posted 27/01/2024 at 17:16:48
Really poor display.

I'm actually glad they are out of the FA Cup and can concentrate on Premier League survival.

Frank Sheppard
28 Posted 27/01/2024 at 17:16:50
We are in a very worrying slump. Struggle to score (unless the goalie gifts us one). Can't defend basic corners.
Lots of other things we cannot do.

Looking like a Championship team on the pitch again.
Very, Very, Very worried.

Andy Crooks
29 Posted 27/01/2024 at 17:19:17
No MotD again. I only watch it when we play well so I've no idea what that pious cunt Lineker is up to.

As for today, Beto is worse than Rondon and that is something special, because Rondon was an elasticated shorts money thief.

Mark Andrews
30 Posted 27/01/2024 at 17:22:57
In Beto's defence, it must be quite tiring carrying holiday makers up and down the beach.
Rob Jones
31 Posted 27/01/2024 at 17:23:59
Mark (30), please explain?
Rob Jones
32 Posted 27/01/2024 at 17:26:19
VAR bullshit. Poor finishing. No wing play.

I swear, you could write the same comment every week, and it would still be true.

John Hall
33 Posted 27/01/2024 at 17:26:55
Posted earier about Berni Beto. He didn't disappoint me. Who sanctioned £20 million for another Rondon / Tosun? Calvert-Lewin just as bad.

Where do we go from here?

Sam Hoare
34 Posted 27/01/2024 at 17:28:48
Poor setup today. Using 4-4-2 played right into Luton's strengths as their centre-backs are physical and they relish space behind the midfield to counter into.

Poor tactics allied to poor individual performances.

Worrying slump we are now in with few options for rotation. Lord knows when Doucoure is back but we miss him terribly. Let's consign 4-4-2 to the dump for a while.

Hope we do better at Craven Cottage, I'll be watching us in person for first time this season.

Jim Lloyd
35 Posted 27/01/2024 at 17:29:47
I'm glad we're out the cup.

I've just come home from the match and, in my view, we're going to have a hard enough time staying in the league.

Jim Bennings
36 Posted 27/01/2024 at 17:30:48
Can't argue with it.

Luton look the better football team.

We still look like the ball has just landed from a far-off planet in another galaxy.

Not one of them can do the basics well, can't pass, can't run, can't even be a nuisance factor and hold the ball up, for two relatively big forwards in Calvert-Lewin and Beto, I doubt Luton's defenders will have a more cushy afternoon.

We are one of the slowest sides in the league, where is the pace?

Not one of our centre midfielders can create either which is a worry going forward now.

Fulham away, Spurs at home and Man City away?

I can't see much from those games judging by the way we've collapsed since the Fulham Carabao Cup loss, zero goal threat.

Long old tussle now for a third season in succession.

Tony Heron
37 Posted 27/01/2024 at 17:31:08
You have to wonder about the scouting.

Looks like we've bought a Sunday league player in Beto, while Brighton just seem to pick up gem after gem.

Mark Andrews
38 Posted 27/01/2024 at 17:32:35
Rob 31. The lad's a donkey.
Allan Board
39 Posted 27/01/2024 at 17:32:52
Big trouble now. Not seeing any points from the next 3 league games — let's hope the bottom 3 continue losing.

Conceding comedy goals again and looking comedic up front too. Not sure what the question is… but Calvert-Lewin and Beto are definitely not the answer! Running around a lot won't do, I'm afraid.

Could be our turn this season unless this team find a way to pass to each other. Long way to go, but it ain't looking great, I did wonder whether this latest allegations/charges would affect the players adversely, there's part of the answer for us. Can't even beat Luton at home once out of 2 at home!

Why don't Everton do goals anymore?

Ian Styles
40 Posted 27/01/2024 at 17:33:00
Idiots who say they are glad we are out the cup, they said the same after Fulham in the League Cup and we haven't won in the Premier League since.
Bill Gall
41 Posted 27/01/2024 at 17:36:50
Well, I suppose it is okay to be knocked out of the cup to concentrate on the league, But was there any need to offer up such a dreadful display in front of your own supporters?

There was a lot of hope when we went on that good run after the points deduction but, since then, the performances have gone backwards and, with the fixtures coming up, it does not look as if it will get any easier. Confidence builds success but the players don't seem confident and that is for the manager to solve.

I'm coming back home for a visit near the end of the season and I thought we would be safe… but, unless there is a change in performances, we will be back to having to make Crystal Palace performances.

Things have to change quickly, Dyche had the team set up with Doucoure scoring, he is unavailable for we don't know how long shouldn't he have another formation.

Danny O’Neill
42 Posted 27/01/2024 at 17:37:55
On my way home.

Tough watch. Worst I've seen us play this season even when results weren't going our way early.

I don't know how many times I've said it over the years: 4-4-2 doesn't work in the modern game.

Mark Andrews
43 Posted 27/01/2024 at 17:40:37
Who scouted Beto, Ray Charles?

Well, I suppose we can concentrate on the perennial relegation battle now. We're a terrible team.

David Pearl
44 Posted 27/01/2024 at 17:44:04
I think 4-4-2 can work with the right players and coach. We don't have either.

You need wingers and full-backs that can beat a man and cross. You also need partnerships. We have that at centre-back but nowhere else.

I expected this result. The Premier League campaign is going down to the last couple of games again.

Jim Bennings
45 Posted 27/01/2024 at 17:45:14
You get the feeling the pre-Christmas form was an exception to the rule and a short-term response to the points deduction.

It all seems very flat since we fucked up that penalty shootout (thanks Onana, you clown).

Everton seasons do tend to swing very quickly and on one small incident.

We look like a side that's flat again now and in need of new blood which sadly won't be coming in this month now due to no finances.

Phil Lewis
47 Posted 27/01/2024 at 17:49:20
This Everton team eventually wears you out, to the point of indifference.
I am rapidly approaching that point.
Jay Harris
48 Posted 27/01/2024 at 17:49:38
Between the Premier League and the VARs, they have finally knocked the stuffing out of the team and fans.

Beto was clearly manhandled all the way to the edge of the box starting 6 yards inside the area and Barkley clearly pushed Calvert-Lewin in the back for their goal.

Besides that, we have to stop giving so many corners away and conceding from them. Also, a goalscorer and change in tactics would help.

Why wasnt Dobbin given a chance? He is the only forward to score recently.

Dave Lynch
49 Posted 27/01/2024 at 17:49:40
Don't know why people are surprised, they had more possession, more shots on goal, more corners... the list goes on.

For the past 3 seasons, we have stayed up by the skin of our teeth and it's no better.

We have no effective strike force, in fact we have fucking piss poor strike force. It's not going to get better either, the manager is a dyed-in-the-wool journeyman.

Nothing in today's game gave me any hope. In a way, I'm glad we're out as we didn't need a replay. I don't give a shite who castigates me for that statement either, we were never winning the cup anyway and anybody who says different is deluded.

Oliver Molloy
50 Posted 27/01/2024 at 17:50:00
The old saying "If you have nothing good to say – say nothing."

But holy fuck – it is hard to keep your mouth shut with a performance like that. I bet every Evertonian just knew Luton would score from that corner.

We deserved nothing and that's what we got – fucking rubbish, we are… even against what some on here have called a shit side!

Raymond Fox
51 Posted 27/01/2024 at 17:50:59
Poor again, we have gone from confidently staying in the Premier League to all hands on deck to survive.

It's not like Dyche can bring in players that will improve us, it's become worrying.

We were never going to win the cup so I'm not that bothered about going out, our form needs to improve markedly though.

Luton, who had shown some good form before this game, were supposed to be certain to go down; it's not looking that nailed on now.

Ed Prytherch
52 Posted 27/01/2024 at 17:51:20
The only thing worse than Everton's performance today was the TV commentary from Lucy Ward. I'll bet that her partner prefers a blow job.
Julian Exshaw
53 Posted 27/01/2024 at 17:52:35
I'm not glad we are out. I'm devasatated as it means our season is over yet again. Other teams will go on and have big European nights and others will still believe they can find glory at Wembley. We will huff and puff for however many games it is, hopefully get some points back and survive. There will be no big signings in the next few days, but don't rule out a loan deal for 4th choice keeper!

We have simply lost our way. Many factors outside our control haven't helped but we are sinking deeper season after season. I wish I could see some hope, a spark of something to revive dormant expectation. Alas, I cannot.

Dave Cashen
54 Posted 27/01/2024 at 17:53:25

You may enjoy hearing about lower league players scoring the occasional goal against lower league teams with lower league goalkeepers and lower league defenders. No harm in that but, as others pointed out on last week's thread, these players you so often tout just because they have scored that day would not get near a Premier League squad. They are simply not good enough.

Our forwards are trying to do it against some of the best and most expensive defenders in the world. And they trying to do it without any sort of service.

No striker would score many goals in this Everton set-up.

Rob Dolby
55 Posted 27/01/2024 at 17:55:08
Got out fought again, Luton deserved the win. Krul had 1 save in 90 mins.

We need those points back. Saying that, we will be in the same position next season and the one after that. Without investment, we are only going one way.

Nothing coming through the youth team to improve us.

It's a slow downward spiral.

Jim Bennings
56 Posted 27/01/2024 at 17:55:28

I don't think anyone will castigate you mate.

The reality is the Moshiri tenure has been that much of a sick joke that 7 years down a line of managers which includes various Champion's League winners, we have Sean Dyche at the helm in 2024.

That tells you in a nutshell everything that is wrong with Everton Football Club.

Danny Baily
57 Posted 27/01/2024 at 17:56:15
This result doesn't matter. The only result that matters is the outcome of the appeal. Win that, the second charge goes away, we get points back and we're as good as safe. Lose that and even Champions League form from here on out is unlikely to save us.

The odds were overwhelmingly stacked against us to win the cup. Better to go out now than face a replay and the prospect that brings of losing players to injury and suspension.

Jim Lloyd
58 Posted 27/01/2024 at 17:56:42
I agree with you, Dave, on both points: they had more shots, more corners and our lad pulled off more saves, and agree with you Phil, our team is wearing us out.

I think it is going to be a long hard struggle to avoid relegation from now on in. Maybe if we can get Seamus and Doucouré fit, and keep them fit, we'll have a chance. But if we don't get points back from that bunch of shysters, then I fear for our club.

Anthony A Hughes
59 Posted 27/01/2024 at 17:57:40
It's so depressing but we"ll never be a "big club" challenging again as things are now.

Even if we had a multi billionaire buy into us he wouldn't be allowed to spend due to the closed shop bollocks Financial Unfair Play rules.

And the romantic notion that a manager can come in and wheel and deal and play youngsters to succeed is from a bygone era.

Brian Williams
60 Posted 27/01/2024 at 17:59:25
Well Luton tried their best to fuck up our plan of getting out of the FA Cup but luckily they got their just rewards and have to go into the hat for the next round.

That'll teach 'em!

Jim Bennings
61 Posted 27/01/2024 at 18:01:04
Anthony 59


Kendall tried to do that in his third spell in 1997 buying the likes of Oster, Farrelly, Williamson, he thought because he did it 15 years earlier you could do it then.

That was 1997 when you couldn't get away with that anymore, even far far less now.

Sean Mitchell
62 Posted 27/01/2024 at 18:01:33
Fuck off, Everton, and fuck off, football.

Time to find a new love and a new hobby.

The mental health can't do this shite anymore.

100 years from now and it'll be the same but in a lower division and we will have won fuck all.

Christy Ring
63 Posted 27/01/2024 at 18:02:11
Dobbin hasn't got a chance since he scored against Chelsea?

I know we're stuck for numbers in midfield, two doesn't work in midfield; whether you like it or not, we miss Gueye.

I thought Beto was the poorest on show, which says a lot, his first touch is like Brett Angell — as big Nev said about him, his 2nd touch is a tackle. We desperately need a loan signing.

Pat Kelly
64 Posted 27/01/2024 at 18:07:20
Sure, we were never going to sign a top striker. But could anyone contribute less than Beto and Chermiti have so far ? And I don't buy the argument that they haven't been played enough. Why bloody buy them then?

A couple of even competent players who could contribute something would have done. Thelwell has squandered the last chance we had to strengthen the squad up front. And Dyche has been complicit.

Christy Ring
65 Posted 27/01/2024 at 18:09:53
Looking at the Fulham team, Silva resting his big players, that's all we need.
Bill Fairfield
66 Posted 27/01/2024 at 18:15:40
Awful. Outgarbaged again. There'll be a few more of them performances before this season is out.

Beto looks like another "lights on, no one at home". Still, we plod on.

Mike Oates
67 Posted 27/01/2024 at 18:19:41
I can't understand at this stage why we've bought Chermiti. He isn't a centre-forward, he's weak, and he's just not aware of what's going on around him.

In the midweek U21s, he was miles behind Dobbin in terms of performance. Dobbin ran Benfica ragged, created a goal, created a penalty and was just head and shoulders above Chermiti. Chermiti scored from a back pass which was 20 yards short of the goalie, that's all he did all night.

Yet today he gets on instead of Dobbin; must be soul-destroying to Dobbin.

What the hell did our Sporting Director and his team of scouts and performance analysts see in Chermiti???

Dyche must have been at a different game today if he thinks we performed as well as Luton and just two poor free-kicks let us down.

Mick O'Malley
68 Posted 27/01/2024 at 18:20:42
Thank fuck the Rugby starts next week, and I'll be cheering the Detroit Lions on this weekend. I'm done with football.

That was absolutely diabolical today, mind-numbing football. I'm sick of reading excuses for Calvert-Lewin, two players who were Championship defenders last season absolutely bullied our two no-marks up front today and had them in their pockets.

Also, what does Garner do? Never scores, doesn't create chances, and Harrison is awful. I can't watch Dycheball, I know he has his fans but, fuck me, it is atrocious to watch.

Luton had the cigars out today, one of the worst Everton displays I've seen in my 54 years of being a Blue.

I never thought I'd lose interest in football but what's the point in just surviving relegation every season? I'm glad I've seen us lift trophies, I feel for you Blues who haven't

Anthony A Hughes
69 Posted 27/01/2024 at 18:22:29
Do we even have a scouting system anymore?
What did Thelwell see when he watched Beto that the rest of us can't?

Terry Farrell
70 Posted 27/01/2024 at 18:22:34
Jay, spot on. Whilst we didn't play well today, once again, two incidents are looked at we don't get the verdict!

Why would Dom fall forward rather than head the ball out? It's an easy decision to find in our favour but once again we get nothing.

I thought Garner was good today. Going to The Cottage on Tuesday. Coyb!

Les Callan
71 Posted 27/01/2024 at 18:25:19
Just back.

I've seen some rubbish over the last 20 years or so, but this takes the biscuit. Woeful, couldn't have complained had it been 4-0.

We need those points back. If not we are doomed.

Anthony A Hughes
72 Posted 27/01/2024 at 18:26:04
I agree with regards to Garner, Mick.

Runs about a lot but contributes very little in a creative sense.

Joe McMahon
73 Posted 27/01/2024 at 18:28:48
Dave @54, I wouldn't call Luton's defenders "best and most expensive defenders in the world" as you just have done. But I expect any professional striker to be able to strike a ball clean, no matter what division they are in.

I just can't understand why we forked out over £20 million on Beto, when we could have kept Cannon who would have been no worse than the two strikers Dyche played today. We really do need all 10 points back.

Mick #68, I agree with every word!

Les Callan
74 Posted 27/01/2024 at 18:31:14
Terry @ 70.

Garner was poor today.

Soren Moyer
75 Posted 27/01/2024 at 18:33:05
How the hell did a team like bloody Luton Town had more passing accuracy than our Useless Band of Misfits (UBOM) at our own turf!?

Why can't they pass? What do they do all week at Finch Farm?? How come every team we play against seems fitter, pacier, and more dangerous going forward than us?

Terry Farrell
76 Posted 27/01/2024 at 18:37:36
It's opinions, Les.

I thought he worked hard and won the ball back more than anyone.

Jeff Armstrong
77 Posted 27/01/2024 at 18:39:29
The cup has gone and tbh we've been pretty awful in the 3 games played; as soon as we would have met a decent side, we'd have been beaten and out anyway.

We were never going to win this competition with this squad.
I'm all for a cup run with us in mid-table and using squad players, but we're fighting relegation and the squad is thinner than a wet Rizla.

Forget today and move on.

Jay Harris
78 Posted 27/01/2024 at 18:43:50

We had 2 midfield players playing against 5 in Luton. I think Onana and Garner did well in the circumstances.

It's the age-old story that, if you can't hold the ball up top, you're always liable on the turn.

Luton's defenders were far better than our two turnips.

Kevin Edward
79 Posted 27/01/2024 at 18:51:05
Same old story, really poor at home yet again in a winnable game; so this is likely to be the trend for the rest of the season.

I get that the league is a priority, but getting turned over in games like this is killing off any chance of a comfortable escape from the trap door.

I'm starting to think that all the pre-Christmas good things we saw will not return as this bunch are just not good enough for this level.

To be honest, I don't know how we manage to sign so many players who can't pass, can't finish, and can't tackle. It's something we seem to excel at; other clubs don't seem to have this level of expertise.

Jeff Armstrong
80 Posted 27/01/2024 at 18:55:49
Your right, Terry @76,

Garner worked hard and did win the ball on several occasions, he then promptly gave it away again! But you're correct: he was being swamped by their midfield.

It's the dilemma of playing 2 up top or 5 in midfield, I thought early doors, Beto and Calvert-Lewin created a couple of half chances but, as the game wore on, it didn't develop.

I think the lone striker with a forward-thinking midfielder (Doucoure) is our best formation but, with him out, we're snookered. Danjuma and Dobbin are too unreliable in midfield to use them in that role.

Beto and Calvert-Lewin need someone close to them; it's why Dyche needs to earn his salary.

Danny O’Neill
81 Posted 27/01/2024 at 18:57:39
Each to their own.

Personally, I'm gutted we've gone out of the cup.

Fulham next week.

Alan McGuffog
82 Posted 27/01/2024 at 18:58:03
When we are relegated, I'd like every single employee of EFC – from tea lady to whoever runs the club – to be shown the door.

How we keep assembling "teams" of lazy midfielders, useless defenders, and forwards who wouldn't get a game for Tranmere is beyond me.

We can rail against the VAR, conspiracies, bad luck but the long and short of it is we are shite at football!

Sam Hoare
83 Posted 27/01/2024 at 19:00:15
Beto had a solid and consistent record over his last 3 seasons in Italy and Portugal. A physical and athletic player who was scoring around 1 in 3. So I can absolutely see why he was bought as an alternative to Calvert-Lewin.

But it's his first season in the Premier League and he's been in and out of a team that's not creating many chances currently. Let's not jump on his back as many are prone to.

Today, Dyche adopted tactics which in no way played to our strengths. I've been a supporter of his but the blame lies on him primarily for today's result and performance.

I still think we will stay up, just about, but many more performances (and tactical mistakes) like this will have Thelwell (and the new owners?) looking more and more closely at who the next man in is?

He quickly needs to find a way of making us more competitive and creative when Doucoure is missing. Plan B is not working so far.

Les Callan
84 Posted 27/01/2024 at 19:02:13
Jay @ 78.

Point taken.

Les Callan
85 Posted 27/01/2024 at 19:04:11

I couldn't have put it better myself.

Jeff Armstrong
86 Posted 27/01/2024 at 19:07:16
82 — Why does the tea lady always get dragged into it?
Anthony A Hughes
87 Posted 27/01/2024 at 19:10:13
Sam, look at the evidence before you on the pitch.

Physical? Yes; athletic? Really? Football skill? Incredibly limited. He isn't a kid who's going to improve. He is what he is, a big clumsy forward with no pace or acceleration.

Not what works in the Premier League anymore. It's not a case of jumping on his back – it's more of looking at what our Director of Dycheball is doing.

Dave Cashen
88 Posted 27/01/2024 at 19:15:27

I didn't call Luton defenders the best and most expensive players in the world. But then you knew that.

I said our forwards are trying to do it against the best and most expensive players in the world. That's a fact. The Premier League is a magnet for some of the very best.

Even against a poor Luton side, we couldn't create chances for strikers today. You might want to address that situation.

As for striking the ball "clean", why don't you google Calvert-Lewin 50 goals? Off the top, you will see him hammer home against Palace and Newcastle. You will see him strike a beauty against West Ham after spinning two defenders. You will even see a spectacular overhead kick against Arsenal. Then there are 3-4 penalties which he hammers home. You'll also see that, given decent crosses, he is probably the best header of a ball in the game.

Sorry, Joe. Wrong information: When you google it, you will have to type the letters E P and L into your search.

Anthony A Hughes
89 Posted 27/01/2024 at 19:15:27
I do agree with you, Sam, with regards to Dyche though. The "safety first, let's not concede" tactic does my head in.
John Keating
90 Posted 27/01/2024 at 19:16:53
We can complain about certain players and their performances. Should he have played or not, should he have been subbed earlier or not by whoever? Shit tactics, good tactics, all opinion.

At the end of the day, we may be able to tweak things here and there but the fact is that this is about as good as we have I'm afraid.

Individually, on paper, we are a better bunch than Luton. Shockingly, they are a better team.

We just have to hope that we get more lucky than them for the rest of the season and hopefully put at least one more point on the board come the last match of the season.

Ian Edwards
91 Posted 27/01/2024 at 19:24:06
The bottom line is that the side is full of players signed from relegated teams or shite signed on the never never.

We should never have sold Cannon. He's better than Beto. So is Dobbin.

Sam Hoare
92 Posted 27/01/2024 at 19:24:24
Anthony @87, he's obviously not got brilliant technique and maybe he'll turn out to be a dud but plenty of players struggle in their first season.

He works hard, he occupies defenders and he's got a decent goal scoring record. I can absolutely see why the scouting department would think he'd suit Dyche's system.

Chris Wood is one of the top scorers in the league so I think there's evidence that such players can still be effective. He's only had 500 minutes in Blue. Early days.

Joe McMahon
93 Posted 27/01/2024 at 19:30:35
Dave @88,

We'll just have to agree to disagree. You obviously rate Calvert-Lewin and I don't.

Let's leave it there.

Jim Lloyd
94 Posted 27/01/2024 at 19:33:01
Did their goalie have to make a save troday? I can't remember him having to. Nor can I think of them being under the cosh at any time.

I can't even remember us making any moves of note, that showed us to be a Premier League team. That I could look at and say to myself "good move!"

I don't want to be unfair to our team, they're our team playing for our club and I want to be proud of them. I couldn't today. I can't remember us, at any time, exciting us, the supporters, enough to be enthralled enough to jump up and roar them on.

It might be a totally different atmosphere and performance, when we next play. We might produce a much better performance and produce enough moves to create the shots to give us hope that we can win a game.

On the evidence of today's performance, I'm worried about our team and I'm worried about our club.

Mal van Schaick
95 Posted 27/01/2024 at 19:34:10
Scrappy game. We have to find a better way of converting our chances. Calvert-Lewin isn't scoring, drop him.

Push Harrison into the centre alongside Beto and play Garner on the right wing, put Dobbin in midfield alongside Onana.

Could do with three points on Tuesday to get back on track in the league.

Frank Thomas
96 Posted 27/01/2024 at 19:48:48
When Spurs sold Harry Kane everyone thought Spurs would nose dive in the league. He was one of their leading scorers so they have changed their style of play and are playing better than ever. We have DCL who has not scored but he is rewarded each week with more game time. Every time he plays badly his transfer value to us drops.

Dyche is rewarding failure, Beto and Dobbin who have both scored more recently than DCL have not been given time to gain more experience. Players should be given at least 60 mins per game in subsequent games if the player scores.

Dyche style of play is high tempo and pressing very demanding football everyone is running and trying, By only using 2 subs we are likely to have injuries and conceded goals very late in the game.
Like today.

Paul Ferry
97 Posted 27/01/2024 at 19:53:07
Ian (91), how did that two up-front that you have been going on and on and on about for months work out?
Stephen Vincent
98 Posted 27/01/2024 at 19:54:23
Awful, truly dreadful. I really can't think of a single redeeming feature apart from maybe Virginia who could hardly be blamed for either goal.

Again we have to wait until the 75th minute for subs and how Harrison stayed on the pitch is just beyond me, he offers nothing, can't pass, can't cross and can't tackle. His goal was fortunate to say the least.

Onana or Barkley, Townsend or Harrison? I know who I would have and neither was wearing a blue shirt. Fortunately Harrison's loan expires at the end of the season and with any luck we won't be able to afford to keep him. If Arsenal want Onana just let me know and I will take him myself (or anywhere else in the world the useless bum wants to go).

Paul Tran
99 Posted 27/01/2024 at 19:57:53
Beto was bought because we needed a body up front and Thelwell found a deal with no outlay for a year. Cannon was sold because we could get a fee for him and there was doubt as to whether he'd make it at PL level. I'm guessing Chemtiti was bought on a similar basis - a punt that would at least get us our money back, like Kean.

We're buying players when the deal is possible, rather than what we want/need. That's why we have few options, why the bench is used as a last resort. Don't compare us to Brighton. They have a rational, thought-through scouting & recruitment system. We have short-term decision-making on top of an awful, non-competitive culture.

That said, no excuse for such an insipid, lifeless performance. When we're not on it, we're really bad, aren't we?

David West
100 Posted 27/01/2024 at 20:02:50
Worrying this result. Its Worrying too how the chances we were creating early in the season are drying up. I can only think of the Harrison goal where a decent bit of play created a good chance. Every other chance we had was a case of lump it up and see if we get a knock down, ricochet or deflection.

Wheres the football ? Wheres the interplay ? Wheres the craft ?
They look devoid of ideas.

Tactics play a part, but 442, 4411 or 433 it would only have been 1 player difference to the line up.
I don't think we would have created a load of chances with a little tinker of formation, the players have to stand up, be braver on the ball, be willing to try something different, be willing to do something unexpected because its all too predictable.

Gana & dacoure will help but if they come into a squad with shattered confidence then they won't be the saviours we are looking for.

Jim Lloyd
101 Posted 27/01/2024 at 20:07:00
I agree Steve, I thought Virginia played well. He was competent in goal and it wouldn't worry me if we sold Pickford and bought (if we could choose them!) one or two decent players, or sold Onana as well and get two good players...if any'd come.
I know He didn't move til the end of the season and Chelsea got cheap, but Barkley looked a better player today, than Onana. I also though Andros Townsend played better than either of our wingers.
Colin Malone
102 Posted 27/01/2024 at 20:19:11
Dyche is a dinosaur. I've said it before, it's horrible football. Run around like a soft c##t, your favoured instead of skilled players.
Why? His a dinosaur. A bad coach. One size fits all. Same old, same old,nothing else. No possession of the ball whatsoever. No subs when needed, hoofball is Fucking shite football.
Dont you dare say we have not got the players to play possession football.
Don Harris
103 Posted 27/01/2024 at 20:26:10
I was at the game. Sorry, I want to be positive, but:

1) Our players look weaker and slower in lose ball skirmishes? Not quick enough to get their foot in and win more than 35% of challenges and too slow over 2 or 3 yards to evade challenges. (McNeil especially.)

2) Shrugged off the ball too easily. Harrison, Garner, McNeil, Patterson are lightweight physically, compared to more athletic opponents, even Luton and Crystal Palace players, who passed the ball far better than us in triangles to gain territory.

3) Our throw-ins are a joke, in terms of the willingness of often static players making themselves available and often having to receive a bouncing throw-in — what % do we win?

4) Which goalie had to make the best saves in both recent cup games?!! Yes, Virginia has performed very well, especially the stoppage-time save against Palace. He seems to have a longer kick than even Pickford, but today, especially, so many went straight through to Krul.

Does he practice hitting markers 35 yards away from opponents goal during training, or just told to belt it to the usual lone 'striker'? How good was Calvert-Lewin 18 months or 2 years ago at winning headers? He was excellent.

5) Some really worrying passing, when not under pressure, especially in the 1st half.

6) Luton and Palace seemed to have more space when attacking; we are under more pressure when going forward, so inaccuracy and poor weight on the ball result.

Add together little things such as these and… thank goodness for Branthwaite, who, uncharacteristically, made a few mistakes today, he takes no shit from a striker. Tarkowski and Mykolenko were okay, but the giveaway last-minute corner (Tarkowski?) looked awful.

Andy Crooks
104 Posted 27/01/2024 at 20:26:33
Sam Hoare, I hope that my mind is not closed to a decent argument, so I will take back my view on Beto for now. Frankly, he has a job on his hands.

Surely what is happening off the pitch must be hurting Dyche and his team. It's fucking hurting me.

Dave Abrahams
105 Posted 27/01/2024 at 20:29:34
The result didn't hurt me too much personally; I understand perfectly that plenty of fans wanted us to have a good cup run to get to Wembley and inspire confidence in the squad.

The performance is a different kettle of fish: it was really poor all over the field except for Virginia and Tarkowski. Although he was at fault for the corner that Luton scored the winner from, I hate to think where we would be without him this season.

Basic mistakes all over the field – it was very depressing to watch and, as poor as Luton were, they deserved to win.

A nightmare of a performance leaving us all down in the dumps and wondering where the next points are coming from. Absolutely nothing good to take from abysmal performances like that, the players should be ashamed and made to watch it at the next training session.

Sean Kelly
106 Posted 27/01/2024 at 20:33:39
Although this was a cup game this will give a real boost to Luton and others around us in the league.

Dyche the dinosaur messed up again playing 4-4-2. It doesn't work; it's for League One. We have 2 duds up front. Neither can score and neither should be classed as a striker. Where's Dobbin? What did he do wrong?

Dyche will take us down as he's ran out of ideas. A gloomy January to be followed by a gloomier February. These players have resorted to type. They gave up under all our managers since Moshiri arrived.

I reckon the atmosphere is toxic within Goodison, with many wanting to jump this sinking and stinking ship. Thanks to Moshiri, Dyche, and bullshit Bill.

Sorry, folks, but we need to realise where they have brought us and stop playing the victim.

Dale Self
107 Posted 27/01/2024 at 20:37:23
We do not have the players to play possession football. Also, we do not have the fans to support non-possession football.

It is a bit of a dilemma, really.

Paul Hewitt
108 Posted 27/01/2024 at 20:41:03
If professional footballers can't keep possession of a football, then they really need a new job.
Ian Edwards
109 Posted 27/01/2024 at 20:49:57
Two up front is great Paul Ferry. Just not that two.

Beto is worse than Dobbin, Cannon, Tosun, Maupay, Belfitt and even Brett Angell.

Peter Mills
110 Posted 27/01/2024 at 20:59:26
McNeil and Harrison tucked in to make the 4 in midfield compact, but that meant there was little creativity up front.

We were trying for through balls but the front two struggled with them, and Calvert-Lewin and Beto received very few decent crosses from out wide. Having said that, their first touch on the ball was awful.

I thought Onana was one of the better players today.

There were some individual mistakes in defence, too, from Mykolenko, Patterson and even Branthwaite.

It was a poor day all round. I had a couple of daft moments myself - Mrs Mills suggested a holiday commencing 25 May, I thought “That's Cup Final day, we'll discuss this tomorrow.”

And I opted to go to Goodison instead of Marine, who won what was apparently a superb match with an in-off-the-crossbar screamer in the 98th minute.

Don Harris
111 Posted 27/01/2024 at 21:01:05
PH 108 I agree.

At half time, I noticed that the Luton players were playing that 'piggy in the middle' quick control and passing game over by their fans.

Our galacticos were in 2s and 3s at the Gwladys, 35 yards apart, twatting the ball to each other, with varying degrees of accuracy, showing off a range of trapping and nifty turns, but at half pace.

You know, like we all used to do before our own amateur kick offs, in my case 50 years ago!

As I said, 103 above, little things.

Phil Friedman
112 Posted 27/01/2024 at 21:05:23
This team screams out to me: support some other club:

Multiple fullbacks who can't cross;
Two Completely Impotent Strikers;
Most One-Footed Winger;
One Headless Chicken Winger;
Zero Midfield Creativity—Zero;
Defender (Tarkowski) who gives away a corner for absolutely no reason with 15 seconds on the clock.

Branthwaite should be preparing a transfer request before his chance for an England career dies before it is born. And Pickford, losing his England's Number 1.

Totally disgusting.

Brett Jonathan
113 Posted 27/01/2024 at 21:36:45
Oh, the irony in finally seeing Beto and Calvert-Lewin paired together — only to remember they are both shite.
Bobby Mallon
114 Posted 27/01/2024 at 21:38:52
Ian Edwards,

And Calvert-Lewin — don't forget him.

Andrew Clare
115 Posted 27/01/2024 at 21:41:19
I always hoped that, with the right owners and manager, we would one day get back in the big time. Moshiri and Kenwright were clueless and it was obvious that Ancelotti knew it. Unfortunately the chances of it ever happening are now disappearing rapidly.

Relegation would be a disaster, as would the takeover deal with 777 Partners. Whether it happens or not, it is not good for us.

The Dyche project seems to be running out of ideas, the players look spent and alternatives are unlikely due to P&S rules.

Deborah Maria
116 Posted 27/01/2024 at 21:49:35
I've only read the last half-a-dozen comments; I can't be bothered to read the rest but, if you want world class ballers at this moment in time, you are definitely supporting the wrong team.

Personally, I support what we have got because that's all we have got. So either get behind them or…

Deborah Maria
117 Posted 27/01/2024 at 21:56:17
Oh and for the Calvert-Lewin bashers, we paid less than £2M for him — how many strikers have we paid over £25M for since who couldn't lace his boots?

How many cousins has George Weah got!!!

Danny O’Neill
118 Posted 27/01/2024 at 22:01:20
I'll write my view from the Upper Gwladys overnight or in the morning once I get home and speak to the dogs.

Very disappointing. But we have Fulham next week.

Nearly home after a very long day.

Gavin Johnson
119 Posted 27/01/2024 at 22:05:42
Beto can't trap a bag of sand but he's still an upgrade on Maupay, and at least carries some kind of goal threat.
Stephen Vincent
120 Posted 27/01/2024 at 22:06:06
Ademola Lookman and Alex Iwobi combine to send Nigeria through to Afcon quarterfinals, Lookman scoring twice.


Kevin Naylor
121 Posted 27/01/2024 at 22:12:46
Calvert-Lewin's confidence is shot and he's lost about 6 inches off his leap, needs taking out of the starting line-up and brought on for the last 20 minutes as the games are just passing him by at the moment.

As for Beto, he had a great chance to make a name for himself, though not an easy chance; nearly put it in No 5 Gwladys Street's back garden!

At this level, you don't get many chances and we don't have strikers either good enough or confident enough to take them when they come along.

Anthony Dove
122 Posted 27/01/2024 at 22:16:22
Luton were way superior in skill, teamwork and intensity.
Their Number 9 was a real handful.

We are the worst team in the Premier League apart from Sheffield Utd. We desperately need some loan signings (and a good barrister) to save us from relegation.

Brendan McLaughlin
123 Posted 27/01/2024 at 22:27:15
Anthony #122,

Worst team... you do realise without the 10-point deduction we'd be comfortably mid-table.

We were rank today but let's keep it real.

Tony Abrahams
124 Posted 27/01/2024 at 23:01:32
Horrible game of football in which the harder running Luton team definitely deserved to win.

I advocated playing with two strikers but one is badly out of form and the other is still getting used to the English game with the jury still very much out on whether he will ever adapt.

I thought we played the system very badly and left way too much space in between the lines for Luton to exploit. But the most galling thing about today was how badly nearly every Everton player was in possession, with few players taking anywhere near enough care of the football.

The lack of quality was very embarrassing and what made it even more frustrating was how many times we wasted good opportunities by being extremely casual and careless; this is cause for a lot of worry imo, right now.

Bill Watson
125 Posted 27/01/2024 at 23:10:10
An absolutely dreadful performance. No passion, awful passing and no joined-up play.

Why can't we find our own players with a pass? Time and again we give the ball away, not just today but week-in & week-out. We must have the worst (or best) Premier League statistics for passing to the opposition!

We put no sustained pressure on Luton, at all, until the last 5 minutes but even then we didn't look like getting anything on target.

Most players were poor but some were woeful – including Harrison, Beto and Calvert-Lewin. Is he the new Maupay?

Dyche is always way too late with his substitutions and today waited until the 78th minute – by which time, Luton had already made five! He either thinks his first choices are okay or has absolutely no faith in those on the bench.

Just a comment on their goalkeeper. He was wearing the same colour jersey as the rest of the team. Have they changed the rules?

Paul Ferry
126 Posted 27/01/2024 at 23:25:25
In that case, Ian, why were you going on and on about playing two up front? "Our only chance of staying up" you said more than once – if you knew that XYZ were not good enough?

Today showed us convincingly that we don't have the players to do 4-4-2 or 3-5-2 or 1-7-2 or 5-3-2 or 8-0-2.

A rather large issue that you chose not to bring up, Ian, is that, in order to line up with two up front, we need a one. Who is the one? Calvert-Lewin?

Unlike many others, I prefer not to go heavy on criticising players but sadly with a heavy heart I have to say that Calvert-Lewin has been pants for a while now. In other words, your working assumption is that it is Calvert-Lewin plus one.

As I said, we do not have the players to move to 4-4-2; my jaw almost dropped when I saw Dyche's team. Dobbin? Danjuma? Chermiti? Beto? None of these will perform effectively with a 75% Calvert-Lewin in a two.

Our strengths, such as they are, are in a 4-5-1 or 5-4-1. Alas, the same players who can win four on the trot can also lose four on the trot.

That is the nub of the matter and we have to cross all our fingers tightly and hope that whatever version of Harrison, McNeil, Gomes, Doucoure, Garner, and Gana take to the pitch behind the lone striker manage to get the ball out wide and through the middle. Hope!

I would like to see Dobbin get a couple of games either out wide or behind Calvert-Lewin. But I think, like most of us, I'm running out of ideas, but not hope, belief, and the certainty that we will be in the Premier League next season.

Simon Dalzell
127 Posted 28/01/2024 at 00:51:56
Shocking. Nothing going forward.

Two Absolute Plank forwards. Non non-existent midfield, defence looking like conceding for 90 minutes.


Rob Dolby
128 Posted 28/01/2024 at 01:04:44
We did get into lots of good positions in the final 3rd but made bad decisions time and time again.

A little bit of composure and a timed pass and we walk away with the game. Trouble is, we are like this every week. We have to try and bring someone in before the window closes.

Simon Dalzell
129 Posted 28/01/2024 at 01:05:41
I've had enough of this shite.

Absolute unadulterated garbage.

Let's not beat around it.

Simon Dalzell
130 Posted 28/01/2024 at 01:08:48
Gavin @119,

Beto a goal threat??? Gffaww. Dreadful. Great big Numb Donkey. No touch, skill, or guile… Oh how expectations have reached the gutter.

Bill Gall
131 Posted 28/01/2024 at 01:34:57
Brendan @123,

Yes, without that 10-point deduction, we would be in a better league position, but I think we would only be about 11 points from relegation, and the way we are playing, I don't think we would be in a comfortable position.
George Stuart
132 Posted 28/01/2024 at 01:35:38
A no-lose game, except maybe a draw would be a loss. But we avoided that.
Kim Vivian
133 Posted 28/01/2024 at 06:31:10
Off topic but I see Lookman scored two for Nigeria to see them through to the last 16 of the Afcon. He collected a lot of stick but I always thought there was a player there if we could have dug it out.

Reading these comments, everyone is pretty much on the same page, the only comfort being that at least we have fewer games to plan for with our threadbare squad. We scraped past Palace and I'm still seething about the League Cup Quaterfinal. Although Harrison wasn't hurt so badly (was it Harrison?), Calvert-Lewin's red was rescinded but I'm convinced that game weakened our league chances. At least we haven't had two extra games to further decimate the squad going forward to try and remain in the top flight.

I have three sons who have all responded to treatment and are to-die-for Evertonians, and a grandson heading the same way. He is now old enough to work things out for himself and I might even suggest he seeks alternative treatment before the Everton in him also becomes incurable. (He lives not far from Maidstone!)

Sad, sad times us Blues are enduring (that's the only word to describe it). I remain forever hopeful but the optimism is simply receding that we will be anything relevant again before I become a gibbering old fart.

I just looked at the BBC football home page and, unless I am missing it, I could not find the word Everton mentioned anywhere in any context.

Sums it up really.

Alan McGuffog
135 Posted 28/01/2024 at 08:30:17
Paul Tran sums up my feelings. We don't go out to sign or loan players for a dedicated role. We take on players, who, let's be honest, no one else wants. We run our transfer activity like a Sunday League team.

"I've got a mate who wants a game. And he's got a Transit. And his mum will wash the kits…"

We'll get another "winger" in on loan before February. Once he's recovered from his inevitable knee or hamstring injury, he'll be played in the middle or as cover at right-back. And so it goes.

Martin Farrington
136 Posted 28/01/2024 at 08:59:56

You can't blame the last stand for the dregs they have to fight with.

I think having that 10 points stolen from us has really negatively affected the players more than we realise. I think Dyche has put a brave face on to cover for them.

We all know why we are where we are and which bugger put us here. We will recover at some stage. I just hope it doesn't take as long as the bugger who put us here was alive for.

Tony Abrahams
137 Posted 28/01/2024 at 09:00:10
When you look at the statistics, then yes, Bill, we would be 11 points from relegation. But you can see the effect this is having on our very small squad right now because they looked physically and mentally drained yesterday.

The club is not getting governed, which might not be any worse than how it's been anyway, but all these things ‘add up' and it looks like it's ‘taking away' a lot of our spirit right now.

I spoke to my oldest son, who is an Everton fanatic and has been going for over 23 years, a lad who has been going anywhere Everton play for a lot of that time. He said to me it didn't really hurt yesterday, and how he was beginning to hate going to Goodison, and how he was seriously thinking about how can he indoctrinate his soon-to-be-born first child, into being the Evertonian that he has been.

We must be telepathic because I was driving towards Goodison from Bankhall after last night's game, looking at the floodlights lighting up the Walton skyline, and my first thought was that we have now got to get away from that fucking ground – and this is coming from someone who absolutely loves Goodison Park.

Don't worry, Everton, my first grandson will definitely be going to Bramley-Moore Dock (God willing) but Goodison has been cursed by an era of the complete fraud, kidding the life out of way too many people, whilst going under the guise of a man who only ever had Everton's best interests at heart.

I think Everton need to bring in a couple of players on loan; otherwise, I might get my wish of playing Championship football next season. Unless yesterday was a game we had no interest in winning, we definitely look like we need a little bit of fresh impetus from somewhere, right now.

Martin Farrington
138 Posted 28/01/2024 at 09:31:50
Alan at 135,

I was laughing and agreeing with your hilarious message.

So please ignore my post at 136.

Alan McGuffog
139 Posted 28/01/2024 at 09:38:54
No worries, Martin, although I did find your post worthy of Finnegans Wake.
Andy Meighan
140 Posted 28/01/2024 at 09:49:04
Terry @70.

You thought Garner was good??? My god, what game were you watching – he was absolutely shit.

Then again, here were 9 others alongside him… I'll give the keeper some credit because he played well.

We must have the worst forwards in the Premier League alongside the worst two wingers because believe me that Harrison and McNeil are fucking dreadful footballers.

The sooner Doucoure is back, the better, not the most graceful of players but he at least offers a goal threat.

And Dyche can fuck off as well, and as for them morons booing Barkley – they haven't got a clue, he was the best player on the park by a mile.

Our midfielders are just a bunch of show ponies and cowards as well.

Anthony Dove
141 Posted 28/01/2024 at 11:29:47
Brendan @123,

Unfortunately over the last few games, it is real. Maybe you could add an improving Burnley to Sheff Utd but I can't think of anyone else.

Christy Ring
142 Posted 28/01/2024 at 12:33:35
I know we are short of numbers in midfield, but playing 2 in midfield is a disaster. Luton completely overran us in midfield.

If he won't give Hunt a chance, he should have played Godfrey as defensive midfielder or Young. Beto's first touch was so poor, Dobbin was a better option, but our strikers were living off scraps.

Our two wide men offered nothing, and when was the last time Harrison played well? In the 2nd half yesterday, how many times did Branthwaite have to cover at right back, because Patterson was totally out of position? At one stage, he was standing beside Tarkowski.

I know others have mentioned why did we sell Cannon for £7M, and bring in Beto for £30mM, even if no fee was paid yet? I have to agree.

Eddie Dunn
143 Posted 28/01/2024 at 12:54:25
Only saw the "highlights" but said before the game that I hoped we would play the kids as we were never going to win the cup because we can't score goals.

You can moan against 4-4-2 (which some have called for to see if Beto can help Calvert-Lewin), However, whatever formation we play, we lack the players to provide openings and those to bury the few chances we create.

Players let us down every week with a poor touch, an overhit pass, an inaccurate pass, miscontrol (and lost possession) and a scuffed or inaccurate shot; essentially, the players are fluffing their lines.

When Patterson plays on our right, our defence is wide open, as the kid gets caught out of position all the time. We are competitive when we can play Coleman at right back and Doucoure in midfield.

The absence of Gana has exposed just how useful he was at closing the gaps. Dyche has his faves and Danjuma and Dobbin are deemed untrustworthy due to their perceived lack of defensive cover. However, we will never create with the sleepy McNeil and scattergun Harrison.

It's a mess. We are only good enough to sit back and play on the counter. The minute we have a go, we get picked off.
Luton are crap and so are we.

Derek Cartwright
144 Posted 28/01/2024 at 13:01:17
Eddie @143.

You're so spot on there mate. Patterson is a Championship player at best.

Most of them are really, to be honest.

Frank Crewe
145 Posted 28/01/2024 at 13:13:58
It's all ifs, buts and maybes.

Maybe we should have kept Townsend. Maybe we should have signed Barkley on a free. They would have padded out the squad. But we didn't… so we are where we are. At least we only have to worry about staying up.

I do think, if those 10 points hadn't been taken, we would be doing better because we wouldn't be looking over our shoulder at the Bottom 3. It's screwed us up good and proper.

Maybe those of you saying our players are no good should remember that. In December we were world beaters. Well, it was the same players then as it is now.

Andy Meighan
146 Posted 28/01/2024 at 13:24:43
Eddie @143.

I don't think Luton are crap, they were very good value for that win yesterday, as they were in the league game.

They had the best player on the pitch in Barkley – how ironic being a former player of ours.

The cretins that were booing him were probably the same clowns who used to say Rodriguez was a waste of space.

Ignorant morons who'd rather see someone like Garner running around offering the square root of fuck-all.

I worry for our future if that clown Thelwell hangs around because, believe me, he wouldn't spot a player if it smacked him in the face.

Witness his pursuit of Gnonto and Adams during the summer, embarrassing to say the least.

The less said about Beto and Harrison and to a lesser extent Chermiti, the 3 of them are useless, the better.

I honestly think if we don't get them points back we are down, these players don't look like they've got any fight in them, unlike our opponents yesterday – what they lack in skill they make up for in fight and strength.

Jerome Shields
147 Posted 28/01/2024 at 13:32:53
What rules are teams in the FA Cup under?

I know it is the Football Association which I think is separate from the Premier League and the Football League.

Christopher Timmins
148 Posted 28/01/2024 at 13:44:06
We are just a very poor team with the ball. In December, we were one of the best teams without the ball and that was more than compensating.

Our worst performance since Luton earlier in the season. It's hard to take that Luton and Fulham are getting the better of us.

Pickford, Coleman and Gomes to return for Fulham on Tuesday and hopefully Doucouré and Gana will return shortly thereafter.

Next season will mark the 30th Anniversary since our last piece of Silverware.

Tony A, I agree, the sooner we move out of Goodison the better as the good memories are now too distant in the past.

Andy Meighan
149 Posted 28/01/2024 at 14:21:16
I totally agree with Tony A.

The old girl is cursed I'm convinced of it.

Teams used to hate coming here because it was intimidating; not no more – anyone can rock up and walk off with the points or a cup win.

Let's be fair, we've been knocked out of both cups at home, a shocking stat.

No, for me the sooner we get to Bramley-Moore Dock, the better, I'm absolutely sick of the place.

I'm convinced our fortunes will change once we get there and I for one can't wait to take my seat in there.

What a ground that is going to be.

Jerome Shields
150 Posted 28/01/2024 at 14:36:29
Answer my own question: Uefa and Fifa rules. Have the right of veto on Premier League and Football League rules.
George Cumiskey
151 Posted 28/01/2024 at 14:52:24
Like I said yesterday, 4-4-2 wasn't a bad shout if the two wingers were any good but I'm afraid they're not.

Keeping Harrison on, who is poor, week-in and week-out, is unbelievable. But it looks like he's a Dyche favourite and is first on the team sheet every match. Why the hell didn't he give Dobbin a go?

Rob Jones
152 Posted 28/01/2024 at 14:56:41
George, 4-4-2 works if you've got wingers who will put crosses in the box. McNeil and Harrison weren't doing that yesterday.

I wonder if Young will get a go down the right, given Dyche's seeming disinterest in using Danjuma (understandable, he's too selfish). Because Harrison needs dropping. Flukey goal aside, he's been slipshod for weeks, and we need something.

Brian Wilkinson
153 Posted 28/01/2024 at 15:38:50
I was a bit worried of both Calvert-Lewin and Beto starting as a 4-4-2, and apart from the only time Calvert-Lewin squared the ball to Beto, who shot narrowly wide, I was trying to work out if Calvert-Lewin was marking Beto, or vice versa, both yet again going into the same area and matters of only a foot away from each other.

I think 4-4-2 could work, but I would have Dobbin as the link-up striker, bit of pace and nippy for the knock-ons. Unless it is worked on, on the training ground, Beto and Calvert-Lewin are too similar and attack the same ball, getting in each other's way.

With bodies missing in midfield, I think at half-time I would have looked to put Ashley Young in midfield to try and get a grip of the ball in midfield, instead of going Route One to our strikers.

A replay was the last thing we needed; we need to focus now on getting points, getting the off-field mess sorted, lick our wounds, then once we have the numbers and everything sorted, we can focus on a cup run in the following seasons,
it may be a god-send that late winner.

Once again, I thought Virginia gave his all, well impressed how he has come out of the cold and put in some great performances, Pickford will be back for the league games, but you have to feel for Virginia after his recent performances.

We would have drawn Man City at home, with a depleted midfield, Luton may have done us a big favour with that late winner.

Derek Street
154 Posted 28/01/2024 at 15:40:49
I have never seen an Everton team so poor at passing and crossing the ball, our inability to do the basics also means we are unable to create many chances if any during a game.
Let's face it, if we cannot beat the likes of Luton twice at home, the outlook is and will be extremely bleak.

In the match yesterday, Luton made 5 substitutions before we made one, which has been a Dyche weakness throughout the season and any resistance to change. We are back to the Moyes days of no Plan B.

Equally worrying this season, is that Dyche's new arrivals in Beto, Young, Chermiti, Danjuma and Harrison, have at best been poor acquisitions and have not added any value whatsoever to the squad.

We never seem to learn and I don't see any new arrivals coming in January which will be another disappointment but, based on our recent track record in this area, it is hardly surprising.

Derek Knox
155 Posted 28/01/2024 at 15:51:52
From a personal point of view on Beto, I quite like the lad, he is certainly more willing than Calvert-Lewin, plus he is still adjusting to the Premier League.

Okay, yesterday was not really a match to judge any of our players on with the over-physicality of Luton, aided and abetted by that personification of dogshit (apologies to all dogs, Danny) who refereed. (?)

Beto and others were muscled off the ball, usually by two Luton thugs in tandem. Although I would heavily criticise, not just this match but most others too, our deplorable and wasteful passing. I also watched the U21 game vs Benfica and that was mirrored in that one too.

What is going on at Finch Farm in Training with what should be basic tools and skills for any professional footballer — control… passing… shooting?

Kieran Kinsella
156 Posted 28/01/2024 at 16:01:46
I remember in the early days of ToffeeWeb with Moyes, there was talk of 3-year plans and things. A few malcontents would say things like “It's gonna take 10 years before we are good again.”

Occasionally I'd wind them up and say “It's gonna take a generation to sort out this club.” And yet here we are 30 years at a minimum will have passed before we win a trophy.

Whatever the reasons, and they're manifold – some controllable, some not – it's highly depressing.

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
157 Posted 28/01/2024 at 16:54:58
Brian, I agree. Would have gone out in the 5th round so one less game to get injured and one less game in the legs.

I would love to know how much of the comments are knee-jerk reactions? We would be 12th without the deductions. Have we suddenly fallen off a cliff or is it a miracle that we would have had 27 points?

Are Gueye and Doucoure so vital that there is no replacement? Or is this just typical Evertonians' reactions to another bad day?

Paul Birmingham
158 Posted 28/01/2024 at 17:25:12
Tension was in the air and sadly Everton didn't put enough into winning this game, and Luton got what they deserved, no complaints.

Hopefully there will be redemption on Tuesday night at Fulham.

There's a long way to go this season, and on to the next match. Hopefully there's going to be a few bright sparks from the Everton squad, and 97 minutes of commitment, guile and effort.


Gavin Johnson
159 Posted 28/01/2024 at 18:05:52
Simon #130.

Beto has scored 3 goals so far this season which is 2 more than Maupay did for the whole of last season, so he's still an upgrade, albeit not as much as we'd all like.

Like I said, Beto's fist touch is poor but, if he gets the opportunity to run with the ball like the goal he scored against Newcastle, then he carries a threat.

£20M is comparable to a £500k punt 30 years ago. That's the transfer market unfortunately.

Look on the bright side... At least we've saved ourselves a pointless fixture against Man City in the next round.

Dave Ganley
160 Posted 28/01/2024 at 18:51:21
Phil, did you actually watch the game yesterday, and have you watched us all season? We have degenerated into an ale-house football team.

Evertonians have a right to be angry after yesterday's performance. It was terrible. We may well just about escape relegation but, sooner or later, we won't.

There is no progression and hasn't been for a number of years. Dyche is a proper dinosaur regarding tactics and how to play the game. It's no better than Allaryce. It wasn't good enough then and it's not good enough now.

The players shouldn't escape criticism either. Everyone likes to slag off Calvert-Lewin but the midfield is shocking. No penetration, passes constantly overhit, and no desire to win the ball back when they inevitably lose it. It's a shit state of affairs no matter how much you want to dress it up.

It's horrible football to watch and it produces horrible results as shown yesterday so don't try and pass it off as Evertonians overreacting to another shite performance.

The mere fact that you suggest we would probably get thrashed by Man City just shows how far we have fallen and, if that doesn't make you angry, then what will?

Are you content now for us to just thank our lucky stars that we haven't made the 5th Round of the cup for fear of humiliation? Well that statement in itself is humiliation enough.

David West
161 Posted 28/01/2024 at 18:57:24
Phil 157.

It's not so much the result or results that have been bad, it's been the performances that have slipped. When that happens, you see it manifest in threads like this one. Which is fair enough in my view. Some constructive, some just looking to vent, and few with their same one-sentence shite!

The real issue is the lack of threat we are posing. Before this game, it was 4 matches without a goal from open play: Palace twice, Villa & Wolves – not Man City, Man Utd and Chelsea!!!

Gana and Doucouré will help, but the energy of the team has dropped massively, which is understandable with the schedule and a small sqaud. But the lack of ideas, the poor possession, zero invention and lack of real craft to create more is the most worrying.

There's not to much shuffling that can be done, but even taking players out for a match may give them the rest and kick up the arse they need to up their games.

I'd say the Beto & Calvert-Lewin pairing won't be coming back so soon, but Danjuma is definitely an option behind Calvert-Lewin.
Young and Coleman will improve us too.

We are so predictable, teams are dealing with us too easily. We need to change something.

Raymond Fox
162 Posted 28/01/2024 at 19:26:44
It's the mid-field that should provide most of the chances for the forwards. Put the Man City midfield in our team and we would score a lot more, really it's that simple.

Dyche has to make do with what he's got, good players but not ones that are going to dazzle anyone.

Dyche knows as well as anyone the different ways to play football, but it depends what type of players you have to pick from.

Jim Lloyd
163 Posted 28/01/2024 at 19:30:50
I'm relieved we're out of the FA Cup, I didn't want to see us travel in either Cup competition, while we're under the threat of the most vicious Premier League committee making up rules on an Eeny Meeny Miney Mo basis. With maybe more yet to come.

In my view, we could do with one or two decent loan players in this transfer window. I think it's very unlikely, mind, but who knows?

We've got Doucoure, our best goalscorer, injured and McNeil doesn't seem fully fit to me, another one of our best goalscorers. He got injurerd in a cup match. Gomes got injured in a cup match it seems and Calvert-Lewin got sent off, which was rescinded. (I was going to say thankfully but I'm not so sure!) I don't know how many (or few) goals he's scored or contributed to; but he's missed a fair few decent chances from the games I've seen.

I don't know what's up with Seamus, but we're missing him, we're missing Gueye in the Afcon.

Brian has said in (153) that he thinks 4-4-2 could work, I agree. I don't think the formation is as important, as is the players who fit in that formation. When we had Doucouré playing further up instead of in the defensive midfield, we went on a very successful run, and I'd be quite happy to see us play it again. That was 4-4-2 in effect.

I have my doubts about Calvert-Lewin. It's just my view but he looks like he doesn't have the "sniffer" side of goalscoring and regularly gets goals like Doucouré does on the end of moves. I think he had one purple patch for half a season when Digne (and the two players brought in by Benitez, Townsend and Gray) were supplying him with crosses and chances, mainly for the half a season it took before the oppostion stifled Digne's crosses.

Anyway, we've got Beto, Calvert-Lewin, Danzuma (if he stays), Chermiti and Dobbin who might do a job as central striker or support striker.

In the league, Doucouré's got 6, Calvert-Lewin 3, McNeil, Harrison and Mykolenko 2 each and others including Keane, Gomes, Beto, Onana, Danjuma, Garner, Gueye and Dobbin with 1 each.

Sean Dyche is trying to build a team rather than just 11 players and it mustn't be the easiest job in the world, with the number of injuries with the small squad we've got at Everton. I think continuuity is an important aspect but with the number of injuries we have, it makes it even harder.

But I don't think Everton can wait much longer for Calvert-Lewin to start producing more goals. I'd much rather like to see us see Doucouré with Dobbin alongside and Danzuma or Gomes or Beto on the right of midfield.

When I saw clips of Harrison playing for Burnley, I couldn't wait to see him in a Blue shirt, but I must admit, he's been disappointing. He works hard but I was hoping for more.

I hope Danjuma stays as he looks a decent player to me and perhaps him and Dobbin could play more of a role on the right.

I look at Patterson and think he's very enthusiastic but rather naive and can't wait to see Seamus back. We then have a sound defence.

It must be very difficult to learn your trade while playing in the Premier League but I hope and think Patterson will eventually make it. Right now though, I hope we get Seamus back PDQ.

As for Keane, if he isn't transferred, I would hold him as an emergency striker sub. I wouldn't like to see us with 5 at the back again.

As for Onana, I won't mind if we sell him and bring in two good players, or even one. If we keep him, then I hope he either improves radically or is used as a sub.

Finally, does anyone think like me, that some of these refs are so pathetic they are bordering on the biased? There's been at least 3 occasions recently where an Everton player has hands round his waist and pulled back, two of these occasions were in the opposition penalty area (and the BBC gave the opposition centre-half "Best Player" vote!) and one yesterday where Beto was shoving off another player who was grabbing him round the waist and the bloody ref waved play on!

Well, we've got half a season to pull ourselves away from relegation for all the frustrations with this effin Premier League's roguery, what we can do, is what we have been doing. Support our team in the brilliant fashion we have been doing.

Sean McCarthy
164 Posted 28/01/2024 at 21:07:01
Bill #125… Krul was in pink whilst his team mates were wearing orange.

Whatever colour he wore, he should have brought himself a flask to keep warm considering the lack of anything meaningful we sent his way!!

Tony Abrahams
165 Posted 28/01/2024 at 22:38:02
Most teams play with three central midfield players nowadays, so the only way to not be overrun in this area is by getting eleven men behind the ball and defending your own half, and condensing the space, imo.

Luton had way too much space in between the lines yesterday, especially once our very careless and extremely casual passing kicked in.

Phil Lewis
167 Posted 28/01/2024 at 23:49:37
Just seen the draw for the next round. Luton are to become City's next sacrificial lambs.

In the light of that, plus Fulham being paired against Klopp's soon to be former team in the League Cup semi-final, may well have helped us dodge a couple of bullets.

Perhaps we have spared ourselves further embarrassment than we have already had to endure so far in this depressing season.

Kieran Kinsella
168 Posted 29/01/2024 at 01:07:29
My old lady was rather proud of herself today that she managed to fenegle live coverage of the FA Cup from BBC out here in Missouri. She was crestfallen when I told her to turn it off. I wasn’t trying to be mean but even if Newport beat Utd 6-0 it wouldn’t raise a smile from me after Everton.

Many on here moan about football these days abs I’ve never been one. But I’m realizing now my love for the game has gone and simply it’s Everton or I’m not interested. I never thought I’d reach this point in the days I recorded every World Cup match or bartered to complete Charlton Athletic in the Pannini soccer album but evidently I’ve reached the Victor Meldrew point in life.

Gareth Williams
170 Posted 29/01/2024 at 07:31:46
I hate to say it but I think it's time to change the manager again… someone with new ideas.
Mark Ryan
171 Posted 29/01/2024 at 11:01:17
I kinda concur Gareth at 170 because these players need a bounce but I think right now it's a case of "better the devil you know".

I like Sean Dyche, he talks a lot of sense… but I think he is one dimensional and archaic in his approach. My gut says perhaps we have to keep things simple. These players need to stay on track and a new manager might give us a very quick bounce but derail us before May.

I fear we have to stick and under very difficult circumstances, Sean Dyche is grafting and he deserves credit for that. Might be a tad harsh to say enough is enough. We are out of all competitions but realistically that is where we are as a club right now.

Who would come anyway?

Steve Brown
172 Posted 29/01/2024 at 11:05:22
If Sean Dyche steers us to safety, he deserves manager of the season.
Brian Harrison
173 Posted 29/01/2024 at 11:27:09
Dyche has had a lot to deal with since joining the club, and it must be difficult with an owner who wants out and potential new owners still not getting the approval of the Premier League.

I cant agree with Steve's post @170 as I see quite a few managers with a similar quality squad as ours but playing much better football. Thomas Frank, Gary O'Neil and De Zherbi. Yes, Dyche has improved the mentality of the side but the football is pretty much route one.

I don't think changing the manager is the right decision at this time but, if we survive relegation, I hope we do look for a manager who will play a more expansive game than Sean seems capable of playing.

Also, let's not forget Brighton have sold about £300M of talent in the last couple of years and also changed their manager but are still sitting comfortably in the top half. Are people really saying we shouldn't be able to do what Brighton have done, just our recruitment of managers needs to improve.

Dave Abrahams
174 Posted 29/01/2024 at 11:47:54
Some fans, not many, want to change the manager, one wants a new manager with new ideas, the squad is threadbare and getting smaller with injuries, new ideas might help slightly but nowhere as much as some new bleedin’ players and with three days to go it doesn’t look like we are getting any.

Count your blessings we’ve got Sean Dyche at the moment is my mantra and hope the injured players come back and we don’t get many more, a hard fought draw at Fulham tomorrow might start raising our hopes again, down but still alive and limping towards safety!

Andrew Ellams
175 Posted 29/01/2024 at 12:33:08
It's OK saying get rid of Dyche but who the hell would take this basket case on right now. If he goes there is every chance we'll end up with somebody like Rooney by default.
John McFarlane Snr
176 Posted 29/01/2024 at 13:48:24
Hi Dave [174],

You and I must have witnessed many a game down the years, that can be likened to the Luton Town fixture. Those who are ripping the team to pieces today will no doubt experience similar games in years to come.

It's easy to criticise from a seat in the stand, and it's my belief that anyone who earns a living playing football can actually "play football". I have in the past been ridiculed for saying that footballers are not robots who have been programmed but it's a view that I have held for some time.

I am obviously pleased when we win, and disappointed when we lose. In my youth and and early adulthood, an Everton defeat would spoil my weekend. I now attend games with an open mind and it helps me to either enjoy or endure what's placed before me.

I now know that if Everton losing a game is the worst thing that happens to me this year then I've had a good year.

Bill Gall
177 Posted 29/01/2024 at 13:56:07
I thought you were supposed to learn by your mistakes and sacking Dyche at this time is a mistake.

Every manager that comes in has his own ideas and the type of players he needs to carry them out. You can't do this in one season,

Dyche has come into a crises-ridden club from the top, with no money to spend and an overall poor squad.

He steadied the squad into a decent place and was then hit with a 10-point deduction, and has since been hit with players missing with either injuries or representing their countries and others out of form, and with a poor squad; no money, he can't replace them.

He has his problems sure, but somewhere along the line we have to get stability, and sacking the manager hoping we can find someone with a magic wand to change things is not the answer.

There is no problem in firing a manager when you are in a more stable position, but as this club is far from stable with every Everton detractor willing to put the boot in, now is not the time to join them.

Any new manager that comes in will face the same problems, and what is that saying, you can't turn a pig's ear into a silk purse.

Every new manager will want to bring in new players to suit his methods, so far Dyche has proved he is capable of getting what he has into a mid-table team, and who knows what he is capable of with financial backing.

Brian Wilkinson
178 Posted 29/01/2024 at 14:05:02
Andrew, no one is going to come in and better Dyche, that's for sure, although I do wish he would act quicker with his subs, or even without subs, change the style. 4-4-2 was not working, drop one of the strikers back in a Number 10 role, try tweaking the formation on the pitch if it is not working.

No one wanted to keep hold of the ball on Saturday, it was like a hot potato! As soon as a player got it, no thought process, just get rid of it, for whatever reason. We can put it down to short on numbers and confidence low but it just looks like the fight has gone out of the players, whether it's mental fatigue or just sheer panic. If it is fatigue, then Dyche needs to start making subs a lot earlier, because he is slowly burning these players out.

We need to get a second wind and get a little run going again, we simply cannot have a third season on praying the three teams below us are worse.

We can look and say without the 10-point deduction, we would be okay, and I agree, but looking at us at the moment, even some or all of those points back might not be enough.

Now we are out of both cups, at least it gives us a fighting chance of resting players and trying to somehow get a run going again.

Dave Abrahams
179 Posted 29/01/2024 at 14:42:47
John (176),

Yes, you and I have been following Everton for a long time and we both love the Blues. You have your way of supporting the Toffees and stick to that, that's fine.

I think any supporters who have a go at the players when they see a disgraceful performance as on Saturday are perfectly entitled to do so — especially when they see players making the same mistake time after time with the basics of the game. As you say, John, they are professionals; to me, it is like an electrician who doesn't know how to put a fuse in an electric plug.

That's by the way and I'm glad we are still able to go to the game and see the team we fell in love with all those ago. It's a good job you took Josh with you when he was very young, he loves Everton like you and is now your right-hand man, helping you to support the team.

Give him my regards. I hope he is still playing the game as well as watching the Blues.

John McFarlane Snr
180 Posted 29/01/2024 at 15:46:21
Hi Dave [179],

I have no problem with fans expressing their views, but vilifying players is a different thing, and it's my belief that many critics go over the top.

There may be some players who don't always give 100% but it's my opinion that very few play badly on purpose, and to hear fans calling international players crap or other names isn't called for.

I bought Josh his first season ticket when he 6 years old, he's now 19, and I've told him that it's his turn to look after me. I find now that I'm walking like an old man, but I suppose that can be expected as I approach my 86th birthday. Yes, Dave, Josh is still playing, it was a really nasty injury he suffered, and I thought he wouldn't play again.

Everton are doing me no favour by postponing the new stadium opening, but I'm determined to do all I can to hang on. I think that walking away from Goodison would be a sad day for every Evertonian but, as they say, "Time and tide wait for no-one".

Dave Abrahams
182 Posted 29/01/2024 at 16:22:43
John (180),

Well vilifying players at the game doesn't do any useful purpose and I doubt they hear any personal abuse anyway but offering their opinion after the game in pubs and talking on the way home is a release of emotion.

I have a go at the game at shirkers who pull out of tackles or players who don't give their all and go missing from games, do it on here as well, I think they deserve all they get, to be honest, John.

Over the top is Gordon West getting destroyed at the Gwladys Street end in a European Cup game, he moved to the penalty spot to get away from the abuse, we won the game quite easily in the end; there have been other instances.

I'm glad Josh is playing again, I hope he is enjoying it, the only thing better than watching football is playing it.

You are right, John: "Time and tide waits for no-one" so all we can do is “ Keep right on to the end of the road”!

Andrew Ellams
183 Posted 29/01/2024 at 16:48:13
Brian @178,

The problem is his bench isn't all that. He had two fit first-team midfielders on Saturday and very little experience beyond keeper and central defender on the bench.

Sean Mitchell
184 Posted 29/01/2024 at 16:49:36
Apparently, Tim Krul is way behind in his TV shows and has asked to play the rest of the fixtures against Everton.

That way he can put his feet up and binge the lot.

Alec Gaston
185 Posted 29/01/2024 at 16:56:23
Without the 10-point deduction, we would be 12th and 2 points behind Newcastle, 4 behind Chelsea, 5 behind Man Utd.

I do think Dyche is in danger of running the players into the ground but, compared to last season, we have improved. The deduction has put a massive downer on things but we need to stay behind the team.

Brian Wilkinson
186 Posted 29/01/2024 at 17:14:26
Andrew, can you tell me hand on heart when Luton took 5 players off, to rest for their midweek game in mind, how many of those 5 coming on did you know? Their manager used fresh legs.

We could have used Dobbin and Danjuma, like-for-like for McNeil and Harrison, pushed Young or Hunt on, even Michael Keane pushed up as back-up behind the striker, anything to just get some fresh legs on the pitch.

These starting 11 are starting every single game; why not switch a couple on the 60-minute mark, let someone come on with fresh legs for 30 minutes, instead of the last 12 minutes?

These players will end up picking up minor injuries, with playing week-in & week-out and being hit with fatigue, when a bit of game management needs to be used on the players.

Brian Wilkinson
187 Posted 29/01/2024 at 18:03:11
The game has gone what we know, destroyed by an elite 6, who can spend and do whatever they like, and draw bridge pulled up for the rest to stand outside and look and only guess how to join the elite feasting at the table.

What can you do, try and swim the moat, will get bit on the arse by Masters and Co and told to turn back and not try again; the rest are on the outside waiting for scraps to be dangled to tempt us.

Leicester once managed it, Wigan and Portsmouth, but if you look over the last 20 seasons, the Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup have all been won by one of the top 6 elite. That cannot be good for the game, but if they are allowed to spend more with bigger revenue, prize money, TV money from the Champions League, the gap will keep on getting bigger. Something has to change for the good of the game.

Everyone reminds us no silverware since 1995. Have a good look at the FA Cup Winners, League Cup Winners and League Title Winners – it's not just Everton who have not won a trophy for a while. Pompey, Wigan and maybe Swansea in the cups and once by Leicester in the league. That's how big the gap is between the 6 and the rest, over two decades of almost full domination of the trophies on offer.

Andy Crooks
188 Posted 29/01/2024 at 18:33:11
Kieran@ 168, that is me exactly. Other than Everton and Morecambe, I have no interest in, or watch any football.

I never thought it would come to this.

Finn Taylor
189 Posted 29/01/2024 at 19:28:37
Brian @187 - agree. I always found it very very disgusting that about 20/25 years ago, a selection of Premier League clubs began having clandestine meetings. This group – you know the suspects – were strategically steering the Premier League, Champions League in their favour, hell it's been going on since the late '90s or earlier.

The fact that this happened – and no-one stood up to them – has got us where we are now (not Everton, football).

Question is: What can anyone do about it? Stop paying football subscriptions to media monsters?

I firmly believe that Man City will get relegated when eventually the case is heard and they are punished. They will resign from the Premier League and join the European Super League. Quickly followed by the usual suspects.

Dave Abrahams
190 Posted 29/01/2024 at 19:42:11
Andy (188),

In the next couple of days, you might be changing your allegiance from Morecambe to a Championship team!

Jonathan Oppenheimer
191 Posted 29/01/2024 at 19:52:15
After that performance on Saturday, I couldn't come on TW for a couple days it was so painful, so I understand all the angry and frustrated sentiment.

That said, I'm with Bill @177 and others who recognize we need stability more than anything, even if that means this season and next we simply fight off relegation. We cannot even contemplate firing Dyche, can't even be on the table. Maybe if we lose 5 or 10 more in a row, but not where we stand now.

Maybe the hope will continue to kill us, and it's much easier for me than those who are 20, 30, 60 years in as supporters, but I look at the turnaround of clubs like Villa, Brighton, Brentford, Newcastle, even West Ham, and anything is possible with a few savvy moves.

Our squad has the players who should be playing mid-table football, but the glaring weakness for me — even more than lack of a creative midfielder or strikers who can find the net, both of which are big — is we lack any real pace, anyone who you think might actually take someone on successfully one-on-one.

Which is why I'm also frustrated, as others have mentioned, that Dobbin didn't get a run-out against Luton. I stand by my pre-match call for Beto to start alone up front, with Dobbin coming in out wide, and it would've also been a good time to start Danjuma over McNeil, shifting Harrison to the Doucouré role.

Sure, we might've suffered defensively, but it couldn't get much worse than it turned out. It won't happen in a league match, so foolish to call for it against Fulham, just wish we could've seen it on Saturday.

Win tomorrow and we can end the doom and gloom for at least a few days. COYB!

Mark Murphy
192 Posted 29/01/2024 at 20:07:40
I was critical of Dyche after the game, as I was after the Wolves and Villa games. I'm not a fan but there's a world of difference between criticising him and calling out his faults (imo) and wanting him out.

I think he's doing a decent job overall and, until we can afford to bring in quality, he's probably the man for the job. Doesn't mean I can't criticise him or have to admire him. On saying that, I do like his approach to press conferences.

Philip Lockett
193 Posted 29/01/2024 at 2024/01/29 : 20:24:55

After the mediocre performance on Saturday by both teams, I am now thinking  back to last season regarding looking over our shoulders at the teams below us as we need them to lose their matches so that we can stay up… again! 

Even if this match was not a cup game, what is seriously wrong with some of our players???  Calvert-Lewin — when will he score for us? Beto — a player of his stature falls over so easily,  Onana — was he actually there? 

I will be there on Saturday against Spurs but will we get a hiding? At least we get some spirit and fire from the likes of Gomes and Coleman.  Ideally, I would prefer that all our team turn up week-in & week-out; we cannot keep blaming the manager.

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