Bournemouth 2 - 1 Everton

A bright sunny day on the south coast. I’m glad I took my sunglasses. A glorious day. What can go wrong? I shouldn’t have asked myself. Because it did go wrong!


Brighton has recently been a happy hunting ground. But Bournemouth… it’s like Liverpool has sprinkled their Lucifer’s dust on that stadium to haunt us. That’s 9 goals conceded in the last 3 trips to the Vitality that I and others have had to endure.


The trains out of London Waterloo, once I got there, were a nightmare. Disruption and delays of up to half an hour near Southampton due to signalling issues and sat there stationary for periods as well as being slow moving. Now I was cutting it fine but made it into the ground just after kick-off following the security checks.


I would probably have to ask away supporters who visit Goodison, but the body checks and being asked to empty your pockets seems a bit over the top. I showed them my phone and wallet and then got asked what was that in my top pocket? I showed them my house key. They asked what it was. Simple answer; a house key. I then got told I would be asked the same for the next inspection about 20 metres away where I had to repeat the process, which I went through. What a waste of time.


I just don’t experience that at Goodison.


Honestly, some of these clubs must expend so much on unnecessary so-called security. By this point, I just wanted to get in the stadium, so they could have strip-searched me if they wanted rather than the token gesture of lifting my arms and emptying my pockets.


The supporters on both sides seemed apprehensive. Not surprising as there were two poor sides on show. We did play some neat stuff at times but lacked confidence in the final third and the players appeared to not want to take responsibility and take the shot. I did comment that it was like watching those training clips on the official website at Finch Farm.


Bournemouth exposed our flanks and were more adventurous. Although by and large, I thought we were the better team. We are just tame up front.


The worrying aspect is that this was an Everton team devoid of confidence and belief. Once again, the midfield was largely bypassed by the Pickford punts. Don’t talk to me about Pickford as I still haven’t calmed down. Many have been pointing at Coleman. From my seat, which was almost directly in line, not me. With communication and commanding the situation, that’s an easy take for Jordan. For me, it was on him. I don’t want to bash him as he has saved us many times, but yesterday he was at fault. He could probably have taken the cross for the first.


Hard to pick out, but our best players in a poor performance? Seamus, Tarkowski, and young Branthwaite were probably our best performers. Because they had to be. Once again I’m picking out defenders.


Beto has to get a mention. A brute force and he bullied their keeper to get his goal. I thought he’d put him in the net along with the ball. Use him more.


We thought we’d secured a point with minutes to go and then the killer blow. I won’t repeat what I’ve said. It can only have been a lack of communication. I can’t think of anything else but it looked awful from two experienced players.


I believe we should have had a penalty when Calvert-Lewin was clipped on the shin, but I’ve given up thinking we will get a decision. Once again, Calvert-Lewin spent a lot of that match on his own, flicking on the long balls with no one supporting or following up.


A quiet journey home. No supporters to engage with. More delays. I just felt numb and with it being Easter, held my crucifix and asked God and Jesus why? And then just slept.


I said to a few, Bournemouth reminds me of Norwich. Living in London, you think geographically they are close. No, far from it. Both are an epic journey, although I won’t compare to those who took the coaches from and back to Merseyside.


We are still in control of our destiny. Burnley, Forest, Luton and Sheffield United. And who says we can’t get something out of Newcastle or Chelsea? And give Klopp a Royal Blue send-off. No fear.


Licking the wounds. We are all feeling hurt after yesterday, and they hurt me. But we, and more importantly, the players need to pick ourselves up for Tuesday night. Take your oxygen masks to get you up those stairs!


I met a few outside briefly before heading in to find Bournemouth station. Even though I’ve been there several times and followed the signs, it was a right slog. Five minutes my arse (one of the signs told me that). Anyway, I got there.


For those fortunate enough to travel, onto the 140 steps into the Newcastle heavens. If anyone wants to go, let me know as my brother may have a spare. No guarantee but it is a possibility.


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Reader Comments (22)

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Rob Halligan
2 Posted 01/04/2024 at 09:43:48
Tough times, Danny, but we will pull through. Like last season there will be a Brightonesque performance somewhere from completely out of the blue, be it home or away. Didn’t have time for a chat outside after the game as the coach driver had said beforehand to get back on as quick as possible and try and get away to beat the traffic. What traffic, the ground only holds 11K! Still, the two drivers done well, getting back to the Rocket at 9.55pm.

I must try and seek out Seamus and get to find out what really happened for that second goal. No doubt he would say 100% it was his fault!

Thinking about those two trips in the space of four days last season, you could say it’s a near carbon copy, just replacing Skunksville with Bournemouth for the second one. I’ll still be using the lift to get upto the clouds though, so hopefully will see you up there.

Charles Ward
3 Posted 01/04/2024 at 10:01:55
You do wonder who arranges two consecutive away games at the furthest reaches of the League.

Newcastle will be pumped with adrenaline but missing key players. Keep things calm for the first twenty minutes and silence the horse punchers.

And keep the ball well away from Pickers who will be easily confused by the waves of hate emanating from the herd of zebras behind him.

Barry Rathbone
4 Posted 01/04/2024 at 10:17:04
The much-quoted lack of confidence isn't the problem it is a symptom; good players never lack confidence.

We have players like McNeil and Harrison who show glimpses of genuine ability even DCL can look effective at times but what prevents them being top echelon is consistency. Couple that with players long past their sell-by date and others just not up to standard and no one should be surprised at us getting turned over everywhere.

Mike Doyle
5 Posted 01/04/2024 at 10:24:48
Rob 2] sounds like the best performance from anyone associated with Everton in recent weeks was by the coach drivers getting back to the Rocket before 10.00pm.
The second best will be you and the others making it up the 140 steps to the away section at Newcastle without collapsing.
Tony Abrahams
6 Posted 01/04/2024 at 10:34:57
I think it’s a fifty/ fifty argument that Barry. If you said very good players, I’d have definitely agreed with you, but modern life seems so fragile, and I also think average/good players need better players around them, when things are not going so well, whereas it’s the very good players, who drag everyone else up by their collars?

I stand by my assessment that the month of December, has taken a massive amount out of these players, and I’m going to stick my neck out and say I still expect things to start improving, but this is a very bold or stupid statement, considering the lack of confidence in our very fragile squad right now.

It’s been a horrible season, but it’s imperative that people stick together, at least until the season ends.

Rob Halligan
7 Posted 01/04/2024 at 10:50:31
Mike # 5. Don't know if you've been to Newcastle or not, but believe me, those steps are horrendous. I've seen people actually being sick halfway up, though that could be because of the ale consumed beforehand. You really do have to stop for a breather now and then. Other clubs really do need to start complaining to either Newcastle or the premier league about the location of the away section. There are home sections on the same level, so God knows what they think of it, though they may have more than one lift and a few escalators.
John Raftery
8 Posted 01/04/2024 at 11:21:52
Tony (6) Your middle paragraph is spot on. The extra cup game lost with a daft penalty and the unlucky defeat in arguably the best performance of the season at Spurs halted the momentum after winning five out of six.

As Rob says we need one big performance to turn the tide. The opportunity to get positive results from games against all the teams around us in the league is one the players must grab.

By the way I reckon it’s 147 steps at Newcastle. I counted them a few years ago. Whatever, it’s a challenge to run up them in less than a minute and a half. I would tell the players if they lose tomorrow their post-match warm down will include running up those steps. Carrot and stick.

Rob Halligan
9 Posted 01/04/2024 at 11:30:23
John, I thought it was fourteen flights of stairs at ten steps per flight? Maybe you were distracted!! 😁😁😁
Dave Abrahams
10 Posted 01/04/2024 at 11:38:17
John (8), I think that putrid penalty was one of the few decent things that Onana has done this season, didn’t it us save from a future two games with Liverpool?
Rob Halligan
11 Posted 01/04/2024 at 12:04:32
Dave, I'd rather have had the opportunity to play the RS. Plus I'm sure the club would have been thinking it's a lost opportunity to put a couple of million into the bank account with a sell out 40K crowd at Goodison.
Brian Harrison
12 Posted 01/04/2024 at 12:09:01
Danny & Rob

Along with thousands of others you trek around the country, having to get up very early and often arriving home very late, not to mention the expense you incur. You and our brilliant away supporters are the best thing about our club by a country mile, filling out the away section on every occasion. Now its very easy to follow a club that's doing well but to fill out the away allocation for a third consecutive relegation battle is unbelievable. I find it hard enough going to Goodison, but you guys nothing seems to dampen your spirit even though you haven't seen us win for 3 months you still book your travel and tickets knowing victories will be few and far between.
To think after what happened on Saturday you are getting ready to travel to Newcastle on Tuesday which will mean not getting back till the early hours or later. If any group of supporters deserve better its you guys, lets hope for a decent result on Tuesday just to give the supporters a break from the doom and gloom that surrounds following Everton at present.

Dave Abrahams
13 Posted 01/04/2024 at 12:22:14
Rob (11), Fair enough Rob, it certainly would have helped financially especially with the two games being televised but I doubt very much it would have helped us regarding results on the field and a further two tough physical encounters wouldn’t have helped the squad, let’s see how we fare when we next play them in the league, a draw would send us delirious with a point for us and a set back for them.

Can’t see it at the moment Rob but you never know!

Danny O’Neill
14 Posted 01/04/2024 at 12:23:14
Rob, last trip out, I had to help an elderly gentleman out as he needed a rest. I'll be honest I was welcome of the breather myself.

I was talking to a Newcastle supporting friend last night. He told me they can't segregate in the lower sections.

Bollocks. How come everyone else can?

Dave Abrahams
15 Posted 01/04/2024 at 12:32:12
Danny, Rob and John, how many steps are there on the Spanish Steps in Rome, I did them no bother and I was in my seventies and I’d had a few lagers.

Mind you you when I walk up the three flights of stairs to The Upper Bullens now I’m cream crackered and have to take a blow when I reach the top!

Danny O’Neill
16 Posted 01/04/2024 at 12:38:02
Dave, I have spent a lot of time in Roma, but I looked that one up. Apparently 135. We usually approach from the Chapel at the top and walk down.

St Peters Basillca in the Vatican is a different case, especially if you head up into the top of the dome. But what a view.

Rob Halligan
17 Posted 01/04/2024 at 12:47:29
Brian # 12 ......... Chelsea away, on a Monday night live on Sky, has already sold out.

Apart from the match itself, it's meeting up with the same crowd, either on the coach or sometimes when I travel by train with mates, and having a good chat and a laugh, with the odd pint thrown in. We often say, the match can get in the way of a good day out!

Mark Murphy
18 Posted 01/04/2024 at 12:57:03
Rob, I used to say that, a good day out spoiled by a football match, but then something clicked earlier this season and I was actually enjoying the football, culminating in a great day out at West Ham.
Sadly it’s gone back to “wish I’d stayed in the pub” since then.
Good luck at Newcastle - I’m relieved Gordon isn’t playing - anyone else think he engineered that? VERY strange two yellows there….🤔
Christopher Timmins
19 Posted 01/04/2024 at 13:01:27
Danny, Rob and Co, given that Gordon's sale obviously prevented a financial wipe out in the 2022/23 Financial Year, will you be giving him a round of applause if and when the camera focuses on him sitting in the stand tomorrow evening?

Mark Murphy
20 Posted 01/04/2024 at 13:03:04
135 / 140 steps schmeps
I used to jog up the Calvari steps in Pollensa when I lived there.
365 of them!
And it was a damned sight hotter than Newcastle in April….
Dave Abrahams
21 Posted 01/04/2024 at 13:20:07
Mark (20), Calvary eh, I bet you couldn’t do it with a heavy cross on your back!
Danny O’Neill
22 Posted 01/04/2024 at 16:23:24
Christopher, if he can climb those steps, then I would gladly shake his hand!

Players don't always make the decisions. They get moved on as the clubs see fit and that isn't just Everton.

Mark Murphy
23 Posted 01/04/2024 at 17:03:51
No Dave, but me dad could!

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