Everton 1 - 0 Burnley

A critical game in the Premier League relegation battle sees Everton take on Burnley at Goodison Park this afternoon with the home side and fans desperate for them to end this dreadful winless run.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin leads the line after breaking his horrendous goal drought with that powerful spot-kick that beat Dubravka on Tuesday night in Newcastle. André Gomes, Seamus Coleman, James Garner also return to the starting line-up.

Amadou Onana is not risked in this one after having picked up a number of knocks in recent games, while Lewis Dobbin, Dele Alli and Arnaut Danjuma continue to be unavailable through injury or extended recovery, with Dyche reverting to naming two goalkeepers on the bench. 

The visitors kicked off in the breezy sunshine with some head tennis and an early touch for each goalkeeper. Branthwaite looked to release Mykolenko down the left but he was not strong enough. Coleman swung in an early cross but Muric came out strongly to claim it.

McNeil tried to advance but could not get past Berge. Coleman did better on the other side, not finding an Everton shirt though but winning a corner. Young and Muric set to before McNeil's kick, which curled in very close to the far post but no one there to convert it.

O'Shea fouled Calvert-Lewin, McNeil's free-kick again beating everyone, no blue shirt wanting to attack the lofted ball. Docucoure fouled Curen, but that set-piece too flew away for an Everton goal-kick. Garner looked to break but Taylor caught him, this time Gomes looping it long, but an infringement was called on the Blues. 

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McNeil fed Doucoure but he played in behind Calvert-Lewin. Branthwaite tackled well in midfield but then strode forward and shot poorly well wide. \Gmes did  well to win a corner, but found the first defender with it on the near post.

On the workaround, Doucoure tried to force something but the goalkeeper stopped it reaching Calvert-Lewin. McNeil and Doucoure tried a move down the left but up went the offside flag. Everton were trying their best to get forward in the first 20 minutes but Burnley were successfully snuffing out everything. SUmmed up by McNeil's drive forward and distant shot, easily blocked. 

There followed the first spell of defensive panic in the Everton area with a couple of shots that needed blocking, that finished with a Burnley corner cleared. Everton attacked again but it ended with a poor ball from Ashley Young. Young then tried to release Calvert-Lewin with a decent all down the right but he too was flagged offside.  

Calvert-Lewin got a good glance on a decent cross in from Mykolenko but Young and Dcucoure conspired to mess up the ensuing half-chance and Burnley came forward again, causing more panic in defence. Tarkowski and Pickford went for the same dangerous ball in from Assignon and fortunately avoided an own-goal but it was nerve-wracking stuff.

Foster and Fofana created a terrible defensive muddle in the Everton area that was fortunately cleared but Everton were living on a knife-edge.  Tarkowski was drawn in to foul ___ outside the corner of the Everton penalty area, the free-kick whipped low over the far angle of Pickford's goal.

Tarkowski's pullback on Odobert drew the game's first yellow card with Everton under the cosh. Tarkowski did well to get his head on the set-piece ball, McNeil and Taylor clashing heads for the aerial ball.  

The play finally moved back up the Burnley end, Young's cross not leading to anything and Everton were soon on the back foot again, Burnley winning another corner. This one was headed thankfully straight at Pickford, when Fofana might have directed it elsewhere. 

Coleman and Odobert had a good tussle for the ball in the corner, aided by Young but eventually signalled as a goal kick. Calvert-Lewin was fouled by Esteve, Gomes not finding a Blue shirt at the far post as Tarkowski got an arm in his face. 

Everton forced a turnover and moved the ball well, Mykolenko crossing in but Docucoure's volley did not come off. Gomes saw yellow for his foul on Odobert.

But out of nothing, Calvert-Lewin blocked Muric's clearance straight back into the Burnley goal! Excellent work by Dominic!  Just what another dreadful half of so-called zombie football needed!

Everton played it forward from the restart, Calvert-Lewin getting fouled wide right. Gomes fired it in too hard and strong for anyone to get to. Mykolenko's cross from the left wasn't much better. 

As Burnley built their fist attack, Branthwaite was in decisively to cut it out. And when they came back, he marshalled Foster harmlessly to the byline for a goalkick. 

Pickford tried to launch a counter with a good throw to McNeil but he was immediately tackled, then the ball forward to Calvert-Lewin found him offside again. Burnley looked to attack again but it was thwarted.

The benefit of Everton's goal was that they now pressed high whenever Burnley tried to play out from the back. 

Branthwaite timed a perfect block on Berge as he forced his way forward, and Everton defended the corner. At the other end, Calvert-Lewin was again gifted a chance, this time by Assignon, but the Everton centre-forward could only drive his poor shot into the goalkeeper's feet. 

Some better movement in the next play saw Young swing over a deep cross but Doucoure seemed to misjudge it. McNeil tried to play Calvert-Lewin into space but he initially hesitated on the wrong side of his marker and was late to react.

Gomes drew a foul in a clash with Cullen, setting up a freekick 30 yards out that Gomes smashed 10 feet over the bar.  O'Shea was forced into a rash challenge on McNeil and, as the last man, he was shown an immediate red card by Michael Oliver. 

Brownhill, on as a sub, spun and fired a very dangerous shot inches over the far angle with Pickford rooted. While at the other end, Everton were again caught offside. 

Calvert-Lewin did well to cut inside with the ball but could not keep his shot on target. Everton looked ragged again as Burley got the ball forward well, Braintwaite again having to lunge at the ball at the expense of a corner. 

Docuocore was left to beat four men but the ball wa played back and around, finally reaching Calvert-Lewin who went far too wide and could only pass it to Muric from a narrow angle. 

Burnley's attacks with 10 men were more threatening than anything so far, with Everton struggling to keep them in check Dyche seemed to get the message but his answer was the much derided Jack Harrison. Meanwhile, Assignon thankfully failed to make contact on a dropping ball for what could have been an embarrassing chance. 

Calvert-Lewin and McNeil lumbered forward slowly, McNeil choosing to scoop his shot past the angle. In another painfully laboured attack, Young could only swing his cross over everyone. 

McNeil tried to reach Beto with a good cross but a defender got in at the crucial moment to deny him. Harrison played a hard low cross into Young who could not control it.

Beto appeared to get ahead of Berge with the ball and was bearing in on goal but pushed it to his right and then was pushed down by Berge but no foul, said Michael Oliver. Berge's next grapple of Beto saw him shown a yellow before 5 minutes were added on. 

Try as they might, Everto just could not get forward strongly enough to score, while Burnley knew they could cause chaos in the counter. Beto was again given a chance to run forward but was easily marshalled off the ball by the defenders. 

Garner was clearly fouled the edge of the Burnley area but no protests, no claims for a clear penalty, and of course no VAR review. Burnley scampered up the other end and Coleman was forced to give away a late corner that was thankfully cleared and Everton stumbled their way to a massive 3-points thanks to that Calvert-Lewin goal. 

Everton: Pickford, Coleman, Tarkowski [Y:33'], Branthwaite, Mykolenko, Gomes [Y:45'], Garner, Young (83' Harrison), Doucoure, McNeil, Calvert-Lewin (83' Beto).

Subs: Virginia, Lonergan, Patterson, Keane, Godfrey. Chermiti, Warrington.

Burnley: Muric, Assignon (83' Jay Rodriguez), Esteve, O’Shea [R:67'], Taylor (84' Zeki Amdouni), Cullen, Berge [Y:90'], Bruun Larsen (69' Brownhill), Odobert (83' Gudmundsson), Fofana (62' Vitinho), Foster.

Subs: Vigouroux, Cork, Benson, Delcroix.

Reader Comments (238)

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Tony Abrahams
1 Posted 06/04/2024 at 14:05:54
That doesn’t look right that Michael, so hopefully not a sign of things to come today, mate.

My mistake, I thought James Garner wasn’t playing, but after reading through your post, I now realize he his playing instead of the second Gomes.

Robert Tressell
2 Posted 06/04/2024 at 14:11:36
Sadly not a huge gulf in quality between the two teams. They also have a lot of pace on the break in Assignon, Foster, Odobert and dangerman Fofana.

Onana is a big miss for us unfortunately - and our right flank might be the oldest in Premier League history!

Another unlikely swansong from Gomes please and DCL to pick up where he left off last time around with more goals.


Michael Kenrick
3 Posted 06/04/2024 at 14:14:27
Yeah, Tony, they caught me again, knowing how I take everything literal. If they says there's Gomes X2, then that's what I put down in black & white.
Anthony Day
4 Posted 06/04/2024 at 14:14:44
A very, very slow midfield being played. Seems any goal threat is a Hail Mary cross from McNeil or a ball through from Gomes. If Burnley press high this is going to be very tricky.
Neil Lawson
5 Posted 06/04/2024 at 14:14:57
No mention anywhere of Idrissa Gueye ?
Michael Kenrick
6 Posted 06/04/2024 at 14:16:36
Ah, that's who's missing.

Gana's wife gave birth overnight so he has had a lot on his plate - congratulations to them. All is well but no sleep and that sort of thing.

Christy Ring
7 Posted 06/04/2024 at 14:17:24
I'm a big Gomes fan, but I'm worried because he's more suited in a 3 man midfield, with a defensive midfielder behind him, what's wrong with Gueye?
Christine Foster
8 Posted 06/04/2024 at 14:20:08
Really looks a little light in centre midfield with no Gueye or Onana, thought he might go for Beto instead of Doucoure to partner DCL.. need a yard dog in the middle with legs to cover Gomes..
Christy Ring
9 Posted 06/04/2024 at 14:29:11
I'd prefer to see Gomes at no.10 and Doucoure back in midfield, we're too lightweight in midfield.
Alan J Thompson
10 Posted 06/04/2024 at 14:31:31
I'm with Christine and think that Beto alongside DCL in place of probably Young as Doucoure is another scoring option that might have given Burnley more to worry about.

And that young bloke, scoring a lot in the juniors, Ebere, on the bench might have given him some encouragement rather than a 40-year-old keeper whose contract I think is up this season.

Gana might be getting off light as I remember Harry Catterick giving Bally what for for turning up late when his wife gave birth overnight.

Colin Glassar
11 Posted 06/04/2024 at 14:33:55
No Gana? Between fasting and now getting no sleep for a few months, I don't think we can count on him anymore.
Michael Boardman
12 Posted 06/04/2024 at 14:43:37
2 keepers on the bench should never be okay — shows the youngsters you don't have the confidence for them to be on the bench (you don't have to use them).

Dyche stinks, and his "not on my watch" mantra shows him for exactly what he is.

Nice to see one up front again too!!!

Jay Harris
13 Posted 06/04/2024 at 14:49:42
I guess Gana and Onana are injured or surely they would at least be on the bench.

With Seamus, Young and Gomes we are lacking pace and that's a worry against these.

Simon Dalzell
14 Posted 06/04/2024 at 15:01:00
Jay 13. Gana's wife gave birth last night. That's why he's not available.
Alan J Thompson
15 Posted 06/04/2024 at 15:53:53
I think that goal just about summed up the half.

We seemed to be doing everything right and I won't say in slow motion but certainly looked to be without a great deal of urgency and then, just as I was wondering where the halftime whistle was, a bit of a daft goal, but they all count.

Ernie Baywood
16 Posted 06/04/2024 at 15:54:08
Weird game.

Burnley moving the ball around and causing problems in attack and in their own defence.

Everton just blocking things, pressing their defence and appealing for free kicks. That's pretty much been the sum of our contribution. There's been no obvious style to our play at all.

Then, in the last seconds, the respective approaches reap a goal for Everton. I'm not sure it particularly validates our approach to a must-win game but good on Dom for making it happen.

Phil Smith
17 Posted 06/04/2024 at 16:05:02
What a load of shite. That’s a huge slice of luck, which shouldn’t gloss over the fact that we’ve given one of the worst halves of football (???) I’ve ever seen. Awful. The crowd is nervous and that’s feed into the team. Hopefully there’s a huge roar for the second half and we actually try and play. Need a second early. If that goal or the gaffa can’t wake them up then I’d rather someone else takes us down playing football.
Lee Courtliff
18 Posted 06/04/2024 at 16:57:20
That was fuckin awful yet again. The lack of basic technique was embarrassing at times.
Pete Hughes
19 Posted 06/04/2024 at 16:59:04
Welcome 3pts but Jesus we are atrocious!
Michael Kenrick
20 Posted 06/04/2024 at 17:00:15
You're dead right, Phil, it was a horrible watch again... but we won... WE WON!!! Against 10 men!!! Thanks to Michael Oliver!!!

I can hardly believe it. Without that massive strike of luck — the ball could have gone anywhere — we never really looked like scoring.

But this will go down as a massive massive win in our desperate fight to avoid the drop for a third year in a row.

George Cumiskey
21 Posted 06/04/2024 at 17:00:18
We won great but what a fucking shocking shocking performance manager included.
Alan J Thompson
22 Posted 06/04/2024 at 17:02:37
The second half seemed to pick up in pace as the crowd grew louder but was still not much more than a practice match. I thought the red card was a bit harsh but that's how the last man fouling is treated and I thought we had a couple of good penalty shouts.

I don't think Dyche got his substitutions right as Calvert-Lewin was playing well and Burnley were having a hard time containing him and Harrison just seemed to make it 10 a side, for me Doucoure was the man who should have been subbed. Calvert-Lewin was probably our MotM but Branthwaite and Mykolenko had very good games.

3 points further away from the bottom two and a home win.

Steve Brown
23 Posted 06/04/2024 at 17:04:33
Who cares if we played badly? I don’t.

3 VITAL points.

Michael Whitehead
24 Posted 06/04/2024 at 17:07:24
Massive massive win but I still don't think I can rest easy, much much much work to do before safety is even considered.

The more I watch Dyche's teams and his abhorrent dislike of any kind of attacking football or cohesive football going forward though, I really don't think he should be here next season because frankly I don't think it will keep us up again if it does somehow work this time around.

He did a decent job for a while but his tactics are absolutely horrible to be fair.

Neil Lawson
25 Posted 06/04/2024 at 17:07:43
I have to cut Dyche some slack only because losing Onana and Gueye did limit his options. That said, just awful again. He is a lucky man. Shame about Luton. They will be above us come Monday evening. Thank heavens for a win but if that's the best that Dyche can extract from this lot, the next few weeks are promising a slow painful death.
Tom Bowers
26 Posted 06/04/2024 at 17:10:41
I will take 3 points any which way.

I wasn't expecting anything different from Everton with the motley crew they have and knew that Burnley and all the other dross around us will be fighting like crazy.

Everton got some lucky breaks but finished on the right end of a scoreline at last. Other teams are now in the mix and I expected Luton to win so we need Spurs to beat Forest.

All the games are going to be ugly so let's not overreact.

Ernie Baywood
27 Posted 06/04/2024 at 17:12:23
Couldn't see the point in bringing on our spare Doucoure while keeping the original one on.

If we were looking to someone who could provide fresh legs, a bit of youthful endeavour, and maybe even gain a bit from the experience then I know who I would have turned to. But it's very clear he's not getting near the pitch while Dyche is in charge.

The match was dreadful. Anyone who has played on a windy day will be familiar with players looking worse than they are... but that was something else.

I've no idea what this team is about when they're not defending. The effort is there but there's no discernable pattern to the way we play. It's just hit and hope.

A win is a win. The first this year.

Come what may, this club needs an incredible amount of change. It's pretty implausible at the moment that we open our new stadium with Premier League football.

George Cumiskey
28 Posted 06/04/2024 at 17:14:06
Against 10-man Burnley we had everyone behind the ball, Dyche is a fucking dinosaur he makes fat Sam look like Pep.
Bill Gienapp
29 Posted 06/04/2024 at 17:16:19
Not much to hang your hat on with that performance, other than getting the three points.

A fortuitous goal, Burnley going down a man for the final quarter of the game and offering almost no quality and we're still hanging on by our fingernails. It is what it is.

Trevor Bailey
30 Posted 06/04/2024 at 17:23:23
Steve@23. Absolutely. That is all that matters.

Was the football good? Don't know and don't care, didn't see it.

We got three points, does that matter? Fuck yeah.

Steve Brown
31 Posted 06/04/2024 at 17:28:32
Agree Trevor.

We are 4 points ahead of Luton with a game in hand. Their next game is Man City away.

So I can’t see how it is implausible at the moment that we open our new stadium with Premier League football. We have taken 4 points from the last 2 game so it is positive.

Lucky? After a season of zero luck it is good to see things evening themselves out.

Kunal Desai
32 Posted 06/04/2024 at 17:29:46
Huge, huge slice of luck but will take it any day of the week. Massive 3 points.

Play like that though in the remainder of our home games and it will yield in very few points.

Sam Hoare
33 Posted 06/04/2024 at 17:30:29
We’ve been the better team and drawn or lost a fair few times this season so I’ll happily take that. 3 points was crucial so well done to players and management on delivering that.

Relegation race is far from over and we’ll need a fair few more points especially if the points deduction is harsh. Now the winless run is over hopefully we may see something a little more confident and coherent emerge though I won’t hold my breath.

Dave Williams
34 Posted 06/04/2024 at 17:37:34
If Sean had sent us out to play open football and we had lost we would all have been up in arms.
Three points were all that mattered especially with Luton winning and more points to be deducted. The quality may improve next season but for this all that matters is points.
Jarrod, Myko and DCL were outstanding- the rest were solid with Jordan not required to make a save.
Christy Ring
35 Posted 06/04/2024 at 17:43:46
A massive 3pts but a very poor performance against 10 men. 4411 doesn’t work, but Dyche won’t change it, maybe with Onana and Gueye out it was hard to change it. Two in midfield especially with Gomes was a worry, but we survived and the positivity was Calvert-Lewin scoring again, and that’s a big plus for him and the club.
Peter Moore
36 Posted 06/04/2024 at 17:45:04
Without the 6 points docked, we would be 10 points clear of the drop zone, much better goal difference, so like 11 points, with a game in hand and only 8 games left for Luton and Burnley to try and catch us. Its not Dyche's fault the financial shit that has led to the points deductions for failings of those above him, before he arrived at L4 postcode!
He aint perfect, but its a massive improvement over Rafa and Frank.. massive! I say, massive thanks to Sean Dyche. He is only doing his job, for which he is well paid. But, he does it fantastically in my view. He does not tell players to bottle it and fluff chances at goal and pass to the opposition. That is on the players. Even with all that, on his watch, we are well clear of the drop for the first time in years, without the points deductions that are not his fault.
Trevor Bailey
37 Posted 06/04/2024 at 17:46:40
Sam @33 Amen to that.There seems to be many posters on here who want to see beautiful football.
Well fuck that right now,points are all that matter, and we just got three
Sam Hoare
38 Posted 06/04/2024 at 17:47:30
Also worth pointing out that we have won 35 points on the pitch, 10 points clear with a game in hand over relegation spots.

If Everton go down this year it will be down to historical mismanagement and appeal panels rather than Dyche and the players.

Trevor Bailey
39 Posted 06/04/2024 at 17:50:52
Peter@36,stop talking sense.
Barry Rathbone
40 Posted 06/04/2024 at 17:50:59
3 points against anyone is all we can ask for with this squad the method doesn't matter. This is a fight for survival against all odds on and off the pitch. The players and manager are giving it all they can and though not pretty none have downed tools.

Shameful the gleeful berating of Dyche and co among some. Anyone with an iota of footballing knowledge can see how technically bereft we are but theyre trying and thats all we can ask for

Jeff Armstrong
41 Posted 06/04/2024 at 17:56:41
I don’t think it was a lucky goal, DCL knew exactly what he was doing and it paid off, he almost did it minutes earlier and he’s done it before against De Gea v Man U, good centre forward play is how I saw it, no luck involved.
George Cumiskey
42 Posted 06/04/2024 at 17:57:53
Peter Moore @ 36 but he does tell his players to all get behind the ball against ten man Burnley, when we were desperate for another goal to ensure a win.
Jay Harris
43 Posted 06/04/2024 at 18:01:07
The good news-we got three points without Gueye and Onana, Gomes, Brandthwaite and Seamus were outstanding and Pickford was solid.

The bad news / Their keeper didn’t have a save to make despite being down to 10 men for much of the second half.

I know the wind was difficult but they were 2 very poor sides today

I honestly can’t see Luton getting more than 33 points so 35 after the next points deduction should see us safe so we need at least 3 wins from 7 games assuming its a 3 point deduction and hope we pick up the odd unexpected point against the RS, Arsenal and just to be safe.

Trevor Bailey
44 Posted 06/04/2024 at 18:02:20
Oh, I get it. We should be playing '84,85.86 footy
.Sorry but go and get fucked by a big wooly donkey
Points win prizes don't yer know. And if we get enough points on the board,and stay up" are you not entertained, are you not entertained"
Answers on a postcard please
Robert Tressell
45 Posted 06/04/2024 at 18:03:11
Good point, Sam, # 33. We've battered teams at Goodison this season and managed to lose. We didn't batter Burnley. But we did defend properly against a team that sadly isn't that far behind us in quality - and Branthwaite completely nullified the threat of the usually dangerous Fofana. That takes some doing - especially when the midfield cover comprises Gomes and the increasingly ineffective Doucoure - and what must be the oldest right flank in Premier League history.

And too right Peter # 36 With our unfairly docked 6 points back we'd be chasing down a place in the top half. As it is, we're 4 points ahead of the drop with a better goal difference and a game in hand. Pressure is now all on Forest away at Spurs tomorrow - and Luton, Brentford and even Palace will remain nervous.

And I'm not really sure who you mean for the youthful endeavour Ernie. Warrington? A defensive midfielder who is only a year younger than Onana but has no recognition at any England youth level, and only managed a season at Fleetwood before an injury hit 4 appearances for Plymouth? I hope he has a good career but he's not exactly screaming "the solution" from the bench.

Jason Li
46 Posted 06/04/2024 at 18:05:13
Should of been at least one penalty. Not even went to VAR. These are like goal chance punishments on top of points punishments.

Anyway, keep creating chances and the obvious fouls in the box have to be given again. Well done to the lads on a win.

Also DCL looked very good and the best player on the pitch trying to force things going forwards. If Ashley Young could run beyond him it would an easy ball when Burnley were down to 10 men. But alas, those Kanchelskis days were a long time ago! Let's hope in the summer a winger that can fly down the right is added to the squad.

Until then, got to give praise on the results front and a very useful 3 points so well done to Dyche and the team.

Peter Moore
47 Posted 06/04/2024 at 18:07:30
42. George, yes, I agree. Its playing the percentages I think, which in our situation I believe is the right thing to do.
To push for a goal (as we have done so unsuccessfully in many other home games, that we lost or drew late on) and risk another late sickener? No thanks.
Massively needed the win, so doing the maximum to keep them out and protect the lead was correct in my view. If we were upper mid table, no, entertain us please.
We are in a tight spot in spite of Dyche, not because of him. That is fact, not opinion. Its only the point deductions that put us in the mire.
Dyche is perfect for us in this moment for me. If better times come, if he keeps us up this year despite 10 points expected in total docked, he also deserves his chance in better times.
I do worry seriously though, due to the financial house of cards seemingly on verge of collapse, that things may get desperately worse, before they get better.
Nick Page
48 Posted 06/04/2024 at 18:14:22
Good win. Much needed. Confidence grows. Curious as to why everyone thinks we’ll get another fine for same offence? Using EFL and UEFA template/precedent, you can’t get done twice for same thing. And the despicable twats used the EFL rules in the arb and for Forest. Mind you, the club (not the fans) are as weak as piss and would probably thank Masters for an illegal fine.
Iain Crawford
49 Posted 06/04/2024 at 18:16:09
We won, file the rest under ‘doesn’t matter’.

We are fighting against a points deduction, and likely another one, compounded by a net spend of 27m in the last few years. (five I think). Here’s to a few more wins by whatever means, then hopefully decent new owners and a reset in the summer.

It’s criminal what Moshiri is doing to the club right now, and if we don’t get some stability, direction and strategy in before the summer window shuts, then next season will be an even bigger challenge. Maybe one too far.

Mr Moshiri needs to move on now from 777 ( seven months without being able to meet the PL conditions) and do what’s best for not just for the club, but for the whole Everton community. Hundreds of thousands of people most of whom live and breathe Everton.

Time to act Farhad, please do the decent thing and talk to people who can meet the conditions. According to Paul Joyce of The Times newspaper, they do exist.

Chris Lawlor
50 Posted 06/04/2024 at 18:17:33
All today proves is that we are a mid table Championship side at best. The football is atrocious, if you were showing your kid the game to teach him/her how to play you'd be hard pushed to find anything of value from that 90 mins. Dyche is a nice man but my god he is hugely out of his depth in terms of developing any type of playing style beyond lumping it forward, there's likely 100s of fellas in the crowd at GP that could do better for less. We're in the dog house on all fronts and this rubbish he plays makes it so hard to even enjoy this single win of 2024.
Colin Glassar
51 Posted 06/04/2024 at 18:18:36
At last we are getting some breaks. I was dreading a last minute equaliser but we held on. Not a pretty performance but a wins a win and I’ll take it.

9-10 points from our remaining games should see us safe despite the prems best efforts.

God I hate Luton. Why don’t they just give up? Buggers

Pat Kelly
52 Posted 06/04/2024 at 18:23:17
3 points. We’ll take that. And so will the Premier League. We’re robbing Peter to pay Paul. But we’re still in this. Nothing else matters..
Mal van Schaick
53 Posted 06/04/2024 at 18:24:10
Dyche said in his interview, that they planned to win ugly, well he was spot on with that shit game, and okay Pickford only had one save to make all game, but we could have easily slipped up in that game.

Let’s see what noise Dyche hears heading to the Chelsea game a week on Monday, and what team formation and tactics he employs.

Bill Fairfield
54 Posted 06/04/2024 at 18:24:11
We’ll take all the good fortune we can get. Thought Branthwaite was magnificent once again.
Paul Smith
55 Posted 06/04/2024 at 18:32:04
Terrible football and fortunate to win. If we got our 6 points back we would be one place higher and still in the relegation mix after one of the worst winless runs ever for an Everton team.

No doubt the coming deduction impacts psychologically but it's no excuse for football with absolutely no method, plan or ideology.

What do we stand for ?

Jerome Shields
57 Posted 06/04/2024 at 18:42:14
It's survival and three points matter But it was a dyre performance from Everton and Dyche managed to set up shop at home, against a team that was doing the same giving them 60% possession, even against a team with 10men.He managed to get away with it, keeping Gomes on with a yellow card, with Oliver as referee.

Roll on survival at the end of the season, with a manageable point deduction, but something has to improve over the Summer.

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
58 Posted 06/04/2024 at 18:46:26
Talk all week is that the regs are not fit for purpose and going to be changed and teams will now get financial penalties and yet all the talk on here is back to points deductions. Can we make up our minds, please!

Check the article in the Daily Fail.


Yes you are right, once the PL have docked points from Everton, then they will change the rules but not before.

For those of us going through agony at home, can we just point out that we are 11 points better than last season (before the deduction). Our goal diff has improved by 12 compared to last season.

We complain about Dyche. WHU fans are complaining about Moyes. He has them 7th, a European Trophy in the Cabinet and they want sexy football. I enjoyed the Moyes years for the simple reason that we did not have the stress we have now about being relegated. If Dyche can return us to top half year after year I will be happy - and the cardiac wards will be quieter. Yes, sexy football a la City or Arsenal would be great but we have neither the players nor the money to do it. One day, one day, maybe.

Phil Smith
59 Posted 06/04/2024 at 18:51:44
Desperately needed fresh legs on there as Duke, Seamus and McNeil looked knackered. 2 keepers on the bench again. I know the boss doesn’t rate our youth but we have zero pace in this team. Sometimes you just need a bit of energy and youth in there to freshen things up. We are a stale club with stale looking players. The fact that he just doesn’t trust any of the kids is really disappointing to see and I’m sure the negativity effects the entire club. We’re one of the only sides that would rather shoehorn a player into a position rather than try a younger player in his natural one. Hell, Patterson is a full international who still isn’t trusted by Dyche. Can’t wait for this season to end. It really has been a complete disaster.

777 also won’t be our lucky number.

Charles Ward
60 Posted 06/04/2024 at 18:52:36
Three points are three points but we’ll need to up our game against Luton and Forest as they can score goals, add Brentford to that mix as well.
Dave Lynch
61 Posted 06/04/2024 at 18:54:11
Just in from the game.

Not much to day except a welcome 3 points and another awful display of how not to play football at home.

Andy Crooks
62 Posted 06/04/2024 at 18:55:20
Bad runs usually end with a fortuitous win. That is often how good runs start. That was a huge confidence booster and the nervy ending was understandable. I think it highly likely that we will improve significantly.
Had Burnley got a late draw I think there would already be 200 plus posts on this thread. We are draining to watch right now but the final whistle today gave me a good deal of pleasure. It's possible to see the faults, lament where we are, but still get something positive from supporting our club.
I just don't get the bile from some, I really don't. Each to their own.
Christy Ring
63 Posted 06/04/2024 at 18:57:36
Paul #55,

If we had our 6 points back, we'd be 10 points ahead of Luton who've played a game more, and Forest, definitely not in the relegation mix.

Ray Jacques
64 Posted 06/04/2024 at 18:59:51
Since we ve not won since before Xmas, I will take that even tho it was abysmal to watch.

Dyche is doing a great job compared to the dross we've had for the past 3 years. Without the points deduction, we would be safe already.

If we are docked further points then tbh, I will no longer be arsed with football, especially if they then change the rules. What a farce that would be.

Raymond Fox
66 Posted 06/04/2024 at 19:02:14
The players have had all season to prove how good they are, all they have shown is that they are bang average.
You need quality players to play the fancy stuff.

Dyche is watching them every week in training he knows what he's got. You have to admit we are difficult to score against..

Love the result and the 3 points, I f/c the score if we were to win, I don't think we are capable of scoring twice.

Brian Denton
67 Posted 06/04/2024 at 19:08:31
McNeil is almost as slow as Ian Wilson. Words I never thought I'd say.

Fuck me, that was dire.

John Charles
68 Posted 06/04/2024 at 19:11:36
Great win!

Was good to be in the ground at the end without listening to away fans celebrating.

But my god if we play like that for the rest of the season - regardless of points deductions - we are down because Forest, Luton and Brentford will murder us.

It was truly awful.

John Keating
69 Posted 06/04/2024 at 19:13:16
Poor performance but the only thing that mattered today was 3 points.

If we win all our remaining home games playing crap but winning them 1-0, I'll be more than happy.

Christy Ring
70 Posted 06/04/2024 at 19:18:20
Gueye and Onana will be back next week and finished Ramadan, we needed an extra midfielder today, and give Gomes a move of an attacking threat, and Danjuma will also be back and offer more pace on the wing.
John Charles
71 Posted 06/04/2024 at 19:20:04
We missed Onana and Gueye. Gomes so much better than Garner or Doucoure.
Paul Birmingham
72 Posted 06/04/2024 at 19:28:13
An ugly win, and why not... Vital in view of Luton's result today.

Hopefully Spurs can beat Forest tomorrow.

Praying for a minimum points deduction.


Paul Ferry
73 Posted 06/04/2024 at 19:34:54
Neil Lawson @25,

"Shame about Luton. They will be above us come Monday evening".

Erm, how? What witchcraft is at work?

Erm, Neil, who are Luton playing tomorrow or Monday? Give your head a good wobble and have a look at the table: this is the giveaway, Luton are four points behind us and we have a game in hand.

Love reading all the moaning doom and gloom on here. Would you have preferred a 1984/85 display and a 3-2 loss?

We won misery guts! That's all that matters! Have you seen us down there in the Premier League basement? We win, and you what, celebrate a crucial 3 points, our first win in 14 games? No! You fecking hammer Dyche and (fill in the blank) this or that player(s).

You scrap in the basement. And you are exactly the same old same old moaners who claim that we can't play the sort of footy you criticise us, Dyche and the players for not playing.

Words fail me.

And in other bad news for you: I have a hunch that we will be fined next week – not getting the North Wharf Road guillotine points cut.

Christy Ring
74 Posted 06/04/2024 at 19:37:32
Brian #67,

Colin Harvey signed Ian Wilson to replace the brilliant Sheedy. I still believe he wasn't a footballer, he didn't even have a left foot.

McNeil hasn't got pace, but he can definitely use his left peg.

Rob Halligan
75 Posted 06/04/2024 at 19:41:22
Paul, come next weekend, we will have two games in hand over Luton, and will still be above them. They will get battered by Man City, while we will get at least a point at Chelsea.

Obviously it all depends on the decision of the corrupt Premier League and any points deduction, but even a four-point deduction will still keep us above Luton.

Brian Denton
77 Posted 06/04/2024 at 19:45:03
Christy, yes of course. It was only the pace comparison I was making.

I have never seen a slower midfield player than Ian Wilson. One would need to break the laws of physics.

Kieran Kinsella
78 Posted 06/04/2024 at 19:50:15
Brian Denton,

Did you ever see Bilyaletdinov play? He wasn't just slow, he seemed physically incapable of doing anything but walk.

I remember a few times under Moyes he had a clear breakaway and not only did both teams catch up with and pass him, but by the time he reached his destination the last attendant was turning out the floodlights as everyone else had long gone home.

Nick White
84 Posted 06/04/2024 at 20:20:33
All that mattered was the 3 points and we got them. It wasn't a good watch but we won.

We've been on bad runs before (not many as long as this to be fair) but a win is a win. Confidence was clearly low (especially in the 1st half) but it will grow now the monkey is off our back.

We were never going to get a performance like the mid-80s teams did and I can't believe anyone would have expected different, it takes time to rebuild confidence. Let's just enjoy the win.

Christy Ring
88 Posted 06/04/2024 at 20:48:17
Kieran #78,

Didn't he score a screamer when we beat Man Utd 3-1? He was also called up to fight in the armed forces against Ukraine by Putin.

Ian Riley
89 Posted 06/04/2024 at 20:59:10
We won! Couldn't care less how we do it!

Luck? We are owed some. I just want to get to the 96th minute on the last game of the season with the Premier League flag flying above Goodison! Then off to the doctors to reduce my medication!!

Well done, lads and management today!

Ian Edwards
90 Posted 06/04/2024 at 21:14:50
Onana and Gueye aren't in the team and we finally win.

Those two useless crabs have ruined the midfield all season. Keep them out and we might string some wins together.

Paul Ferry
91 Posted 06/04/2024 at 21:15:42
I'm in two minds whether it was luck Ian (R). Not long before the goal, there was a similiar incident. And I have a vague memory of Calvert-Lewin scoring in the same manner a few years ago against, I think, Man Utd or Man City.

Strikers deliberately try to block keepers, not least in this day and age when so many of them try to dribble and play short passes. I think that it is possible that Calvert-Lewin put himself there on purpose hoping for a keeper error that would have included precisely what followed.

Les Moorcroft
92 Posted 06/04/2024 at 21:17:43
This is the time of the season when points make safety. Yes, I would like us to play better, but needs must.

As has been said: Put the 6 points back and it's a better season than the last few. It's not going to be pretty but we're Everton, aren't we? UTFT.

Peter Mills
93 Posted 06/04/2024 at 21:19:34
“Excellent work by Dominic” – words I never expected to read from Michael!

Actually, MK, you are right, it was excellent closing down, Dominic making the effort to put pressure on the goalie, something we might not have seen a few weeks ago.

It was an ugly win. At times, that is okay. We've seen them when we've been winning Titles, the points are always acceptable. Move on.

After the match to the Bramley Moore, a real pleasure to meet Jonathan Oppenheimer, and Chris and Lindy, together with friends from here.

Ian Pilkington
94 Posted 06/04/2024 at 21:23:58
Very thankful for 3 points at the end of a very poor match but…

37% possession against a team reduced to 10 men for a third of the match, a team that has taken just 8 points from their last 15 matches since we beat them at Turf Moor.

Doucouré, Ramadan fasting since 06:30 this morning, was clearly exhausted after a poor game, but when the subs were introduced after a ludicrous 83 minutes with Calvert-Lewin, playing well, coming off.

In mitigation, Dyche has of course had a lot to put up with off the field but his game management is truly appalling.

Denis Richardson
95 Posted 06/04/2024 at 21:28:59
It was a massive must-win game, even more so after Luton grabbed a winner at the death. I can't imagine the second points deduction being more than 4 points to match Forest so we're effectively above the drop zone on goal difference.

Forest away to Spurs next, Luton away to Man City, so you'd think (hope) that's zero points for them. Our next game is a chance to get a bit more daylight, albeit it's Chelsea. I would gladly take a point now.

Today was massive but that home game against Forest in 2 weeks is mega! Win that and we're pretty much safe.

Great to finally win this year and two in two now for Calvert-Lewin formally takes that monkey off his back – at last.

Graham Mockford
96 Posted 06/04/2024 at 21:29:51
Assuming we don't get relegated or go into administration, I think we have to roll the dice this summer.

Sell Pickford, Onana, Branthwaite and Calvert-Lewin.

I reckon we could get £180M.

Much as I think Dyche keeps us honest and is the right guy for our current situation, I wouldn't want him reshaping the side.

Oliver Molloy
97 Posted 06/04/2024 at 21:31:54
No luck in Calvert-Lewin making his own luck, only for that this would have nil-nil.

We needed 3 points and we got them, even though it was an awful watch.


Rob Jones
98 Posted 06/04/2024 at 21:34:47
We won.

That's the take. That's all that matters.

If we win, the shit football does not matter.

Yet again, I have to ask, though: if the players are shit, and the manager is shit, as some of the most negative on here aver, why are you so angry when the result doesn't go our way?

If we're as shit as you suggest, what right do you have to be angry when the result is inevitably poor?

Dave Abrahams
99 Posted 06/04/2024 at 21:45:06
I said pre match that it was all about getting the 3 points. We got them and I'm happy but couldn't disagree with anyone on here about the state of the football.

I did learn though that Onana is most definitely better than Beto!

Christy Ring
101 Posted 06/04/2024 at 22:06:35
Ian #90,

I know you're not a Gueye fan, and now Onana, but we need a defensive midfielder, even today. You are also not a Gomes fan, but I am, if he is in a 3-man midfield, with one of these.

Dean Williams
102 Posted 06/04/2024 at 22:12:09
My worry is that if, and when we stay up, we will start next season in the same vane.

No money to spend, and a dinosaur of a manager we can't afford to sack.

Nick White
103 Posted 06/04/2024 at 22:28:47
Dean, assuming we stay up, we will likely be without at least 1 of Branthwaite, Onana, Pickford and still a very limited transfer budget to improve the squad.

Any manager will be a miracle worker to keep us up. Who would be better than Dyche?

Ernie Baywood
104 Posted 06/04/2024 at 22:32:22
I can't believe what I'm reading. People truly believe that the performance doesn't matter? That's the type of performance that has yielded one win in 14 matches.

The performance does matter. If we continue to perform like that, we will lose regularly and continue to slide further into a relegation battle.

I'll gratefully and with some relief accept the 3 points. But I won't claim the performance doesn't matter, nor that Dyche is 'doing a great job', and certainly not that we are 'getting better' when we've got 4 months of evidence to suggest the exact polar opposite.

How can any Evertonian watch that shite and say it doesn't matter?

How can the performance matter when we lose and not matter when we win? Performances like that are the reason that we don't win very often!

Brian Wilkinson
105 Posted 06/04/2024 at 22:42:57
A scrapy win but will take the 3 points. We've played teams off the park and come away with nothing, so a few more scrappy wins will do for me.

The more I see Branthwaite, the more you know someone is going to come in for him; another excellent game from him today. Calvert-Lewin ran his nuts off and deserves praise, as does Gomes for keeping it calm in the middle of the pitch, shame the injury has slowed him down.

A good meet-up at the Harlech and some new faces, made up our American Evertonians got to see a win and to also see our new ground after the game.

A big thanks to Tony A and Neil C for the lifts, much appreciated.

Up the Toffees.

Paul Ferry
106 Posted 06/04/2024 at 22:43:30
Dean (W), I've been saying for a while now that I am more concerned about next season than this one.

This is in large part due to being in limbo in the dark about too many things for comfort:

Who will be our manager on August 1?
Who will be our owner on August 1?
Who will be our chairman/board on August 1?
Will the takeover be finalised before August 1?
Will we be in administration on August 1?
Who will be sold over the summer?
Will we be sold over the summer?
Will we be in the Premier League on August 1?

No one likes doubt, ambiguity, fuzziness, not knowing. We all like clarity, precision, things being cut and dried, knowledge (but no one in the club actually speaks to us/in public, except for "guarantees" from one of the most slippery gobshites whose ever had a hand in our club).

Too many questions. Too many grey areas. Too many uncertainties. This could well be our most important summer ever. It might plausibly be the summer that breaks us, not this season.

In some respects, another scrap to stay in the top league is a distraction from some of the very real troubles that lie ahead in what will probably be a stormy summer. The by now annual survival dogfight keeps our minds off the day after survival Sunday.

That's why I'm more worried about next season than I am about the one we are in because there's this thing called summer in between them.

Derek Knox
107 Posted 06/04/2024 at 22:44:47
While I am happy that we somehow engineered a win, and 3 points, I am still scratching my head as to how? Burnley passed better and more accurately than us, seemed to have a game plan too. That was even when they were down to 10 men.

At least it gives us some much-needed breathing space, but for how long? Another Damoclesian Sword hanging perilously in the form of more points being deducted!

The people that have initiated all this misery, Mosh the (somebody else's dodgy) Dosh and others, don't give a tinker's curse yet sit pretty well financially. I don't believe Moshiri has a Council House in Monaco either!

Barry Rathbone
108 Posted 06/04/2024 at 22:55:20
Ernie 104

I think "doesn't natter" equates to recognition of not being able to play any other way given the squad.

Everybody wants to play like Brazil 1970 but how are we going to do it with only a handful of Premier League standard players?

We are where we are because we can't sign good players. It's a toss of the coin whether we stay up because our options are so limited… but they're trying.

Paul Ferry
109 Posted 06/04/2024 at 22:56:21
Ernie (104):

"How can the performance matter when we lose and not matter when we win? Performances like that are the reason that we don't win very often!"

Because, Ernie:

We desperately needed to win.
We had not won for thirteen games.
We were playing poorly and needed a win.
We are in another relegation dog-fight.

Clubs stay up in relegation dog-fights by scrapping —not by playing purring footy. Even if we could, we cannot afford the luxury of anything other than survival footy.

You have been on here – with a long list of others – saying that we are not able to play the sort of footy that you say we ought to be playing.

Ernie, please answer this direct question in a direct manner: What was more important for us today, a win or not playing "that shite"? An answer on direct lines is one or the other, not "Well, I'd rather we won playing much better footy". That is an utter cop-out.

The win or the performance, Ernie, what was most important today?

Brent Stephens
110 Posted 06/04/2024 at 22:56:23
Paul #106 - me too. Too many things coming together next season.

Trying to avoid further sanction terrifies me. Going into administration, as you say. Losing 2 or 3 of our top players doesn't bear thinking about.

What happens to the new stadium?

Colin Glassar
111 Posted 06/04/2024 at 22:59:55
Paul, I agree. We are in total disarray on and off the pitch. Next summer we will lose Branthwaite and Onana and possibly won't find adequate replacements. This manager is not fit for purpose and we are currently without an owner or even a board of directors.

The current and previous “stewards” of the club, ie, Moshiri, Usmanov, Kenwright, Barrett-Baxendale etc, have destroyed the very fabric of the club. We will need a miracle to survive as a going concern unless some honest, competent, wealthy owners take over and a progressive, forward looking manager is found to replace the dinosaur currently in charge.

Ian Riley
112 Posted 06/04/2024 at 23:18:45
Those worried about performance — don't be! It's nearly mid-April and points keep you up.

Those worried about off the field finances — don't!! We deal with now! Staying a Premier League club is paramount to our survival as a club.

Those worried about players being sold — don't!!! They will go and we rebuild.

To all Evertonians: small steps and today was one! We move forward as one. A win gives everyone at the club belief! That's the real win today with 3 lovely points.

Paul Ferry
113 Posted 06/04/2024 at 23:27:41
Good post, Ian Riley.

But the problem for me is that I am certain that we will stay up, so the summer matters much more and therefore is much more on my mind. And, to boot, the summer "issues" are far more fundamentally structural and nuts and bolts.

If we stay up (we will) we can still be sunk over the summer (that starts in six weeks or so), unless something that we today cannot see changes things for the better and more secure future.

I don't share your confidence that "we rebuild". Who? What? Where? When?

Andy Crooks
114 Posted 06/04/2024 at 23:42:47
I find it amazing that Beto, who for all his effort, makes Rondon look like Gary Lineker, can ever, ever be selected ahead of Calvert-Lewin.
Si Cooper
115 Posted 06/04/2024 at 23:59:09

I think you are being harsh on Beto who works hard and gives the defenders something to deal with rather than simply having an armchair ride.

A bit of rotation shouldn't put the players noses out of joint. Sometimes it will be about spelling a player or maybe just seeing how the opposition react to someone they don't know much about.

Tony Abrahams
116 Posted 06/04/2024 at 23:59:48
The result was a lot more important than the performance today, and anyone who understands anything about football surely knows that any team that hasn't won in 13 games are not going to be playing with any real confidence.

Confidence comes with results, and if Everton had lost today, a lot of people would have been screaming for the manager's head, even though, after all these years of mismanagement, and then a 10-point deduction, we are lucky to have such a pragmatic man holding things together; a lot of other people would have already folded by now.

Jeff Armstrong
117 Posted 07/04/2024 at 00:17:09
Why worry about next season when there's still plenty to worry about this season?

Talk about getting ahead of yourself, the next 7 games and Premier League sanctions are what we need to be concerned about.

Worry about next week, not next season.

Colin Malone
118 Posted 06/04/2024 at 00:28:42
Pathetic. Fucking Pathetic.

The School of Science has disappeared under the philosophy of a fucking idiot who believes in yard-dog football.

Same subs every game, whatever.
No change of formation.

You are fucking clueless! "It's never my fault" Dyche. You're so up your own arse. Fuck Off, Dyche.

Paul Ferry
119 Posted 07/04/2024 at 00:30:38
Hi Jeff.

There are seven games left, mate, and I am coming round to the view that we will get a fine not a points cut.

How can we not worry about the summer? It would be a dereliction of duty not to. We can only hope that someone somewhere in and around this club is worrying about the summer and what it might be possible to do in all potential scenarios.

I'm not worried about this season Jeff, We will stay up.

But I'm scared stiff about the summer and will continue to expend what is left of my Everton energy and emotion over the next six weeks or so to what they will mean and bring for the day after 19 May.

Rob Jones
120 Posted 07/04/2024 at 00:43:24
Colin, you really must learn to speak your mind...
Ernie Baywood
121 Posted 07/04/2024 at 01:12:19
Let's start with Barry @108 and the predictable statement that calling for some kind of style of play means "playing like Brazil".

It obviously doesn't mean that. I'm happy to have a good chat with Blues but that statement is just silly. And repeated in various guises on this thread. Just be sensible.

Paul Ferry @109 — you want a direct answer to the question of whether a win was more important than not playing that shite? Obviously the win. Obviously. Direct enough?

But that's not the choice offered, ever, to any football team.

When you desperately need a win, it makes sense to me that you go and try to get it. 30 minutes at Newcastle aside, we've looked incapable of making anything happen for ourselves. By any kind of footballing style.

You seem to think we ground out a win by playing ugly. Did you watch? Have you watched us over the last few months?

We don't grind out anything. We don't play ugly – we don't play at all. We chase. That's the sum total of what we do. We chase teams and then at the end they either beat us or we lose.

Today, one of those chases yielded a ball being booted into our centre forward and deflecting into the goal. Great – we'll take those points. But let's not suggest that was us grinding out a win or playing some kind of efficient or effective football. We played very little football of any determinable style; shite or otherwise.

The acceptance on here is staggering. We all know the realities of our position and the lack of quality in the team. But the minimum we should expect is some kind of plan. We just offered nothing against Burnley at home and fluked a win.

You should be able to separate the 3 points from the performance. The performance can still be as unacceptable as what has gone before.

Ernie Baywood
122 Posted 07/04/2024 at 01:22:29
"We are lucky to have such a pragmatic man, holding things together, because a lot of people would have already folded by now, IMO."

We failed to win a game in 13 attempts.

If that's not folding, then what is?

I don't see how doing the same thing over and over again when it's evident it doesn't produce results can be described as 'pragmatic'?

Complaining about bad luck in the face of every bit of factual evidence is not pragmatic. It's the opposite.

Ricky Oak
123 Posted 07/04/2024 at 01:23:02
I love Everton and I've got nothing but love, respect and good wishes to those men and women who genuinely must be giving their all in maintaining and fighting for our club's very existence.

This constant belittling of our own manager, coaches and players though, is actually playing right into the hands of those that want us obliterated as a club.

For all the money they get paid, do the people that keep side-swiping our own not have any empathy at all? Dyche, Doucoure, Pickford, Gomes etc are human – this spiteful assassination every day is so damaging and hurtful.

The corruption brigade are succeeding in dividing and conquering. How they must enjoy reading the 'supporters' of the club pissing on the dignity and integrity of the very people that so obviously are pulling their tripes out.

Most of the faint hearts have abandoned ship already, all that's left are those who simply do care and do try best; otherwise, they'd not be human.

Bill Gall
124 Posted 07/04/2024 at 01:31:38
Well, no, it was not a great game, but neither have previous games got you off your seat, and usually the opposition wins. No matter how the goal was scored, it got us 3 needed points and may have got it into the players heads that in the future they can win a game.

I am coming back for a visit, 19 to 28 April, and when I booked, I thought that Everton may have been in a more safer position, but then I thought "Get a grip, this is Everton you are talking about!" Still, the 3 games that first week will make it more exiting. At least I will not be bored.

As far as Dyche goes, I can't think of another manager that can come in this late in the season and suddenly change a team of misfits into a winning team. Maybe next season they may find a better manager to get them through the whole season and beyond.

See you all in a couple of weeks.

Paul Ferry
125 Posted 07/04/2024 at 01:50:44
Yes, Ernie, I've watched it twice now. And, yes, of course I have watched every game. So, you wanted us to win but you come on moaning about the performance.

It's not hard Ernie, we have to play ugly and scrappy because that is what happens where we are where we are with what we have.

I love the way posters like you call that sort of pragmatism in the here and now "acceptance". It's not. It's far more realistic and intelligent than your "performance" ranting and raving.

Would I like us to "perform" better? Of course (although I am apparently "accepting"). But unlike you and like most of the "accepting" posters on here, I am aware that we are where we are and we must do what we must do to get out of it.

You want it all, Ernie, a win and good footy, when as you have said yourself, we do not have the equipment to play significantly better. The realistic among us accept (flirting with danger there) this in the current predicament and just want us to win.

They would love us to play better but they are not delusional like you who wants everything at once. Safety first in dire situations. I learnt that in school, Ernie.

And try to think of things like this before you come out with crass judgments that this is "accepting" of what goes on on the pitch.

Pete Clarke
126 Posted 07/04/2024 at 02:01:25
That was a very hard watch and really showed how many poor players we have to go with a poor football manager.

Having said that the conditions called for us to fight and that's what we did. We got some luck today for our goal but I'd be livid if we ever concede like that.

Calvert-Lewin did what he should be doing by closing down but he also showed us how poor he is when presented with other opportunities and, for an experienced striker to get caught offside 8 times or so is shocking. Beto is no better.

Clear Man of the Match goes to Branthwaite but the whole defense battled hard to be fair. Midfield also worked hard but showed zero skill on the ball. Hard to accept this level of skill from millionaire professionals and it drives me mental watching it.

So it's over to the Premier League now to see what further damage they can do to our club and supporters. Just like some of the unskilled players we have, we also have an owner with zero skill and zero will to fight these charges against us whilst Man City just delay everything until the rules change. What a mess.

Finally, for those calling out Dyche for having every man behind the ball. I watched the Palace - Man City game before we played and Guardiola unbelievably does it all the time for corners despite the quality in his team.

I just hate this as there's no outlet once a ball is cleared.
Paul Ferry
127 Posted 07/04/2024 at 02:12:00
Bill G, how long is it since you were in Liverpool and got to see a match?

I have a hunch that you will be feeling better about us when you get on the plane to go home. We are in a better position today than we were yesterday and that is all that we can ask for in our present predicament.

I hope that you have a great trip and see us win as I think you will.

Bill Gall
128 Posted 07/04/2024 at 02:37:13

The last time I was in Liverpool was in 2009. I came back for my brother-in-law's funeral, in the early December. I was only there for 2 days and ended up in Hospital, had to sign myself out for the funeral and go back after it was over.

Beside that, I have subscribed to various TV companies that give me every Premier League game. I have not been to Goodison Park for a while but I don't think I have missed a home or away game for the last 10 or more years.

I was a season ticket holder from 1970 to 1976 before I left Liverpool, and I am not sure how many times I have been back and it was always in September or October whichever had the most home games on.

Derek Knox
129 Posted 07/04/2024 at 02:49:33
Paul F, we go back a long way my friend, although we have never actually met in person.

I am somewhat surprised that you feel performances of late are a very ugly means to an end – survival in the Premier League!

Well, I suppose in some ways you are right, but there is ugly, and then there is coyote ugly!

I am of the old school, and have stated on here many times, I can reluctantly accept defeat, if we have played to the best of our team's ability (on the day), if we have been beaten by a better side or unfortunately been the victim of wrong refereeing decisions, disallowed goals, penalties etc, later proved as such, but never rescinded.

However, the absolute lack of any joined up football, simple passes, control (or lack of) schoolboy errors etc, on show is deeply worrying.

It's not exactly a one-off recently either, remembering of course, these players are not playing in a Sunday League, or for buttons. Decent Lottery wins to most of us, and every week, without buying a Ticket.

We all worry for our future, but the faceless bastards that have caused all this grief, are not only well rewarded, but don't give a fuck like we do!

Ernie Baywood
130 Posted 07/04/2024 at 02:57:43
Paul Ferry, there you go again.

I apparently want us to win and play good footy. They are your words.

Nowhere have I said that. Though obviously that would be something to aim for when we change a lot of things, including the coach.

I want us to go out for the win in a home game to Burnley. That's a long way removed from what you're projecting onto me. Long ball, for example, is fine by me. We're not playing long ball football. We're playing flick it to no-one and then chase the opposition football. There's a good reason that we create nothing.

I struggle to understand your logic. If we win, then all is fine. Presumably if we lose, then all is not fine. How can an opinion on a football team be so lacking in any kind of depth? Why even bother watching when you can form that opinion completely independently of how we play? How will we do in the next games? Can you have an opinion when you don't yet know the result?

We have gone out and played mostly non-winning football for 4 months. A ball deflects into the goal and suddenly Dyche is a pragmatist?

You understand that he clearly isn't, don't you? He's the opposite of a pragmatist. He's dogmatic in the extreme. He's going to continue to do what he does because he's convinced that the opposite happening is just a prolonged aberration.

He laments our bad fortune. Look at our last three goals. We're having extreme good fortune. These are the Dyche good times.

Paul Ferry
131 Posted 07/04/2024 at 04:14:39
Ernie, this is getting boring and I'm a little tired of you putting words in my mouth and also crassly labelling necessary realism as "accepting".

I'll end on these notes:

"If we win, then all is fine". Quote me saying that. Give me back my words where I say that. I do say that ugly is necessary for where we find ourselves and that I don't like the way we play (Do you read things?), but I never once said "If we win, then all is fine". But don't let that stop you Ernie.

While I'm at it, find me anywhere where I call Dyche "pragmatic". Don't put fecking words in my mouth to suit your utter lack of "understanding" and "depth".

This is not very smart mixed up doggerel, Ernie.

"I struggle to understand your logic. If we win then all is fine. Presumably if we lose then all is not fine. How can an opinion on a football team be so lacking in any kind of depth? Why even bother watching when you can form that opinion completely independently of how we play?"

I do feel for you that you cannot follow my logic – such as it is – and it might help if you actually represented it correctly. Here's one sentence to sum it up for you:

I would rather we played better football but I can see that, with what we have at our disposal, in the situation in which we find ourselves, that the scrappy shite to keep us up in a messy dog-fight is something I can put up with for now.


And now, finally, pure comedy gold:

"I apparently want us to win and play good footy. They are your words. Nowhere have I said that."

Erm, you said that the win was more important than performance. So, ergo, you would like us to win and play well. I'll quote you directly and will not put words in your mouth:

"You want a direct answer to the question of whether a win was more important than not playing that shite? Obviously the win."

This is also worth a good bellyache: "We don't grind out anything. We don't play ugly – we don't play at all".

Happy zzzzzzzzz Ernie. Nice to swap words with you. This is the first time, isn't it? You're quite easy to debate.

Kieran Kinsella
132 Posted 07/04/2024 at 04:21:09
Derek Knox,

Agreed. I understand Tony Abrahams point about pragmatism but, for context, I'd say it was pragmatism that saw us have a long undefeated run against Liverpool under Royle, Smith and Kendall Mk III when they clearly had better players.

Scraping a 1-0 win against 10-man Burnley isn't grinding out a result – it's sitting on your hands and being negative. I was pro-Sean when we got him and early on was happy but those early games when we were creating 15-20 shots seem more like a fluke now.

Kinda like when under Royle we started playing “footie” but, the longer he stayed around, the more he reverted to dour long ball hit and hope and results suffered.

Obviously I'm not suggesting ousting the manager as we have neither the money nor the leadership to do so. But I am disappointed with with his overall impact and the performances of the team, especially versus weaker, less experienced sides, eg, Luton, Burnley etc.

Paul Ferry
133 Posted 07/04/2024 at 04:21:41
Derek (129), I agree with just about every word.

But don't be "surprised", points right now are way more important than performance. That's just reality, in my view. I'd love us to win with some flair (and actually, we show some now and then), but we don't have the tools (carefully chosen) to play like that and a manager (who I would rather not have) whose relation to flair is as distant as Chester, UK from Chester, PN.

I would love to meet up one day sooner rather than later. You seem like a real nice and jolly fella in those Bramley Moore photographs!!

Phil Lewis
134 Posted 07/04/2024 at 04:25:32
A poor game, but a well earned win.

Gomes must keep his place. Gueye was missed, not so much Onana.

If we dodge a bullet regarding further points reduction, with a fully fit squad for the remaining fixtures, I can see us finishing the season safe and 7th from bottom.

Ernie Baywood
135 Posted 07/04/2024 at 04:28:19
Paul, let's end it there.

You make no sense and it's not going to matter whether I point that out in detail.

Paul Ferry
136 Posted 07/04/2024 at 04:38:43
Fair enough, Ernie. I'm sorry that I "make no sense". I genuinely thought that it was not hard to understand that, right now, points matter more than performances. Enjoy your Sunday.

Christine Foster
137 Posted 07/04/2024 at 05:02:01
Ernie, Paul, does my head in this because I agree with both sides of the argument and above all else at the moment we have to win. It's the name of the game and our survival. At this point, how you win is irrelevant, as long as you do — a win is a win.

But, as I said on another thread, how you set the team up, the way you play, the tactics used, all determine the probability of a win. Get them wrong and the Championship beckons.

Before Dyche, we were disorganized, players bought to fit several previous managers. Some well past their sell-by date, some should be here. In short, a mixed bag of round pegs in square holes.

Where are we now? We have a set of poorer quality players who are better organized. But there the good news stops. We have bought badly, lost much of the little quality we have, yet we know when they get their act together they can do pretty well.

The issue is not that anyone takes style over a win, the reality is we had been 13 matches without one.

Ernie's point is that if we had a better game plan we would win more with the same squad and I agree, I think we are defensively set up not to lose without any real attacking strategy or game plan. Much is made of the poor quality players, but hand in hand with this is what they are being told to do, how to play.

Play to your instructions, not necessarily you capability, for the greater good. Makes sense if it produces the required results, and if we had 6 1-0 wins, 3 draws and 4 loses in the past 13 then I would say it's a means to an end... but 13 matches and no wins is relegation form.

Keep doing what we are doing and hope it eventually comes right? Too late... draws are not enough; several more wins are needed.

So, we have to find the balance between attacking and defending that produces more wins. That's a gamble, but doing nothing different is leaving too much to hope.

Steve Brown
138 Posted 07/04/2024 at 05:13:21
As Kieran has said, we have debated pragmatic v progressive football for 25 years. It became a full time occupation when Ancelotti was in charge.

It is simply an outcome of the quality of players in the squad during that period. For the majority of those years, financial constraints have prevented us improving while, under Moshiri, it was the appalling recruitment and financial mismanagement.

Dyche is not getting the optimal performance out of this squad, but I think that is partly down to the simple footballing fact that defeats kill player confidence. He had the performances without the results early in the season, then the performances and the results up to Xmas. Tough defeats and unlucky draws have sapped the confidence that the squad had built until mid-December.

That is why, yes indeed, the result is far more important than the dire performance.

We are facing an existential threat to this club right now – absent owner, no takeover, no board, huge losses, potential administration, two penalty point sanctions, no transfer funds, player sales, possible relegation – so the only thing that matters is we can continue the club as a going concern in the Premier League.

The win today was massive, the performance was irrelevant.

Paul Ferry
139 Posted 07/04/2024 at 05:14:44
Thanks, as ever, Christine. (I loved that '68 final post, by the way)

Ernie and I want the same thing, like you. We're all a tad upset, sad, and pulled in two directions or more. But we have to stay up by hook or by crook.

At this moment we must prioritise points over performance. But, to be honest, I'm not even sure that we have the manager and players for the sort of sustained performance that Ernie longs for.

I've genuinely never been more worried about us since my first game in 1975 than I am now.

The summer worries me much more than the next six weeks or so because we will stay up.

Christine Foster
140 Posted 07/04/2024 at 05:31:01
Paul, I still think we have much to do to stay up, I really don't trust the Premier League and would not be at all surprised to see them ignore double jeopardy and deduct another 6 points, making survival difficult to say the least.

Even with allowing for a 2-point deduction, I would not be at all surprised to see a points deduction and a transfer ban which would cripple us next season with so many out of contract.

Your fears too are well grounded because, if the 777 Partners takeover goes through, I can't see them wanting too keep Dyche.

Paul Ferry
141 Posted 07/04/2024 at 05:48:05
Oh God, a friend who knows someone who works at The Guardian has told me that his mate is saying that the wires are hinting that we might get a fine next week - suits both sides - but could well get slapped with a third case in the autumn.

I suppose, Christine, that my optimism is still largely situated less in us and what we can do than in my strong sense that there are genuinely three worse teams than us who are going down.

We will not have that luxury next season - Leicester, Leeds etc.

Danny O’Neill
142 Posted 07/04/2024 at 07:01:01
Brentford, Sheffield United, Luton and Forest.

We can get something out of Chelsea and let's give Klopp a Royal Blue send off.

It's there to play for. 35 or 36 points will do it.

Paul Ferry
143 Posted 07/04/2024 at 07:11:06
Danny, hope you had a wonderful day, feck me, I know you did. 31/33 will do it mate. I'm off to winey zzzzzzzzzzz

We're staying up. Nailed on.

Alan J Thompson
144 Posted 07/04/2024 at 07:27:48
Ernie (#104,122,130);

Now come on, Ernie, it's not how you play but how many points you've got, you must have read that by now. Many say that Man City are the best team in Europe and that they and Arsenal play beautiful football but using the points criteria then Celtic, or is it Rangers, have been the best team in the world for as long as anyone can remember.

What worries me is that I'm not sure that Mr Dyche has ever run up a lot of points in England's top flight and all our title and cup wins are, as Mr Moshirir said, "just a museum". School of Science, most knowledgeable fans, pure poppycock. Never mind the quality, feel the width!

I see we've won one.

Paul Ferry
145 Posted 07/04/2024 at 07:54:13
Utterly silly post, Alan T – "but using the points criteria, then Celtic, or is it Rangers, have been the best team in the world for as long as anyone can remember."

Erm, that's not true, but the logic is so silly anyway.

Quick question, Alan: What will keep us up: "How you play [or] how many points you've got"?

Congratulations, Alan, you've out-Ernied Ernie. Your Boots gift voucher is in the post.

"I see we've won one". After 13 fucking games without winning. What a fucking asinine comment.

Words fail me.

Sam Hoare
146 Posted 07/04/2024 at 07:57:48
Ernie Baywood, I'm somewhat confused by your arguments.

“We just offered nothing against Burnley at home and fluked a win. You should be able to separate the 3 points from the performance. The performance can still be as unacceptable as what has gone before.”

We had a fair few debates earlier this season after matches where we had played reasonably well and created more chances and shots than our opponents, where you told me (and forgive me for paraphrasing) that it did not matter, and that shots were falling to people who would never score and that to talk about luck was misleading.

Now, you are saying after a win that it was lucky and that the performance was unacceptable. It appears slightly that you want to grumble both after a loss in which we've played well and a win in which we haven't.

The reality is that, without points deductions we'd be waking up to 14th place and being closer to 9th place than the relegation places. I don't think anyone on here is enamoured with the style of play but getting 35 points after 31 matches is a decent return with this limited squad and, as you have told me before, you can't put that down to luck.

Alan J Thompson
147 Posted 07/04/2024 at 08:10:13
Paul (#145);

You recognize your own sentiment then?

Of course it's asinine; it's how your posts are coming over.

Ken Kneale
148 Posted 07/04/2024 at 08:11:14
In our current position, the idea of playing 1968-70 football is pie in the sky. The win was all important.

Danny – with you there. We should treat both matches as ones to secure points and certainly give Mr Klopp a reminder Everton are not done yet!

Paul Ferry
149 Posted 07/04/2024 at 08:17:21
Great response Alan. Smart, articulate, piercing, intelligent, deep, thoughtful.

I'll try one more time but it won't work.

Answer the question.

Quick question, Alan: What will keep us up, "how you play [or] how many points you've got"?

And here's another one for you, you raise it yourself.

Try and explain precisely in more than a throwaway hackneyed cowardly avoiding sentence, exactly how my posts on here are "asinine".

You can phone a friend or ask the audience.

Go on, I dare you, can you stretch to as many as, phew, six or seven sentences?

You can phone a friend or ask the audience.

David Bromwell
150 Posted 07/04/2024 at 08:17:36
One thing that was very noticeable yesterday was that we are back to the siege mentality that has served us well for the last two seasons. It rubs off on the players and, even when the team are not playing well, it means they run that extra yard.

But one thing that annoyed me, was the apparent lack of direction to the half-time warm-up by those players on the bench. For the most part, there was no-one from the coaching team with them, and to begin not even a ball to kick.

Eventually, they were put through some limited drills, but to me it all looked a little sloppy and ill-prepared.

When we are literally fighting for our lives, I think these things are important, and yesterday that aspect all looked too casual and unprofessional.

Maybe with a little more work at half-time we could have brought someone on 30 minutes earlier for Ashley Young who I thought contributed very little all afternoon.

Alan J Thompson
151 Posted 07/04/2024 at 08:25:11
Paul (#149);

Well how we've played so far isn't doing that well or is mediocrity your criterion? — poor football bringing poor results as previous managers have. But Mr Dyche could have had us mid-table with better accountants.

It is poor football with one win in 13, is it, try reading your own rubbish before getting on your high horse, parody.

Robert Tressell
152 Posted 07/04/2024 at 08:26:26
Michael, you do a brilliant job of writing up these match reports and maintaining ToffeeWeb - but (and I've mentioned this before) the Headline / Title of the piece is often strangely negative to me.

The goal was a bit of luck in some respects, but you make your own luck by pressing a team that dallies on the ball in defence. A very high proportion of goals are scored by doing exactly that.

And there as a stonewall, Garnacho-style penalty in there too which wasn't given when Calvert-Lewin was tripped. And I'm sure Salah would have been walking the ball to the penalty spot had he taken the same tumble as Beto when clean through yesterday.

Our neighbours would probably have gone with the headline of "Nunez forces win after double penalty controversy".

Dave Abrahams
154 Posted 07/04/2024 at 08:49:20
Anyone who saw yesterday's game, at the match or on TV, would surely recognise that, while Dyche makes mistakes, they are nowhere near as many as the players on the field. Really and truly basic mistakes: passing, lack of anticipation, not talking to each other.

For example, Pickford twice not opening his mouth, once in the first half that caused the pandemonium with players panicking, three times failing to clear the ball; then in the last minute of the game letting Colman head the ball out for a corner instead of shouting to tell him to let it go. They hardly played as a team for many minutes of the game.

Maybe that is due to the lack of confidence Tony is talking about; the lack of quality is also a big factor, a very big factor. So I believe Dyche is entitled to a lot more credit than he gets while recognising his faults. I can't name another manager, at the moment, who will manage this squad better than Dyche is doing now.

Dave Abrahams
155 Posted 07/04/2024 at 08:59:33
David (150),

Yes, I noticed that and it is the same most games but, strangely enough, I don't think the Burnley players came out at half-time – first time that has happened if I'm correct.

Derek Knox
156 Posted 07/04/2024 at 09:04:01
Dave A, like in the Accrington Stanley Milk Ad? – Exactly!

I like Pickford (England's Numero Uno) and allegedly on £150k/week, but he does make a lot of howlers that contradicts his bounty.

Mind you he is not alone, there is too much, regarding reward/performance. I don't think or know of any player we have, who gives a toss whether we survive as a club (Seamus excepted). None will be signing on in their lifetime!

Mark Taylor
157 Posted 07/04/2024 at 09:13:41
I'm with the Ernie's and especially Christine's perspective on this. Obviously points right now matter more than performance.

But why performance matters is the future, and not next year, but our remaining games. Play like we did yesterday and the chances of us winning many if any games, especially against better opposition, are in my opinion, slim.

In other words, while you can happily bank 3 points with a great deal of relief, what I saw does not bode well. And while we looked better and more threatening earlier in the season, our performances this calendar year have been almost entirely dire, like yesterday, and that closely correlates to our shocking results during that period – notwithstanding a somewhat fortunate victory against a Championship side playing a large part of the game with 10 men.

The aspect I am unsure about is whether it is because our players are truly that poor, except perhaps some in our defence, or they are being coached badly. I'm not looking for 1970s Brazil or Cruyff's 'total football' – just a semblance of a coherent plan and a more evident capacity to threaten the opposition's goal.

Denver Daniels
158 Posted 07/04/2024 at 09:19:07
Livid with the performance, delighted with the result.

We've played 100 times better than that and got turned over. I'll take the 3 points thank you very much.

Dyche is not blameless but posters on here calling for the School of Science can't see that we have donkeys like Doucoure, Young and Coleman who couldn't pass wind.

Peter Quinn
159 Posted 07/04/2024 at 09:19:50
Terrible game but just don't care at present. We should have had at least one penalty and maybe that would have changed the perspective.

Given we are about to have another points deduction, those 4 points from 2 games are so important. I just wish some of the more critical fans would look at the asterix next to our name in the table.

This squad has gathered 35 points this season so far. Last season was 36 in total! The most important thing is we all get behind our team at Goodison — we know how fantastic our away fans are.

Charles Ward
160 Posted 07/04/2024 at 09:27:00
Robert @152,

Wonder what the odds would have been for two number nines to score the same type of closing down goal a couple of days apart?

Neither goal was lucky and came about by two strikers simply doing their job.

A player shots, hits a defender and balloons over the keeper. Fortunate yes but if the shot hadn't been taken there wouldn't have been a deflection made.

As to the quality of football let's avoid relegation and worry about next summer then and, as Paul F has said, there'll be plenty to worry about on the ownership front.

Those suggesting the Commission will simply fine us? We're skint.

If they do go easy, can they issue a suspended points deduction?

Ray Jacques
161 Posted 07/04/2024 at 09:44:44
We lost the first two home games to Wolves and Fulham one nil despite dominating both matches. We had 1 point after five games and were bottom.

A quiz show once had the catchphrase that points win prizes. We won't win any cups but, bloody hell, we sure need points. At this stage of the season, I don't care how.

With regard to the School of Science, those students are now drawing their state pensions. It is a long time ago and ever distant memory unfortunately. It is gone, not relevant, no one outside of us ToffeeWebbers will even know what it once referred to.

Ernie Baywood
162 Posted 07/04/2024 at 09:48:33
Sam, I'll forgive you for paraphrasing though I think you've over simplified my argument from last year. I never said we played well for a start!

My argument was along the lines that Dyche was conning our masses into thinking we were playing attacking football with extreme bad luck. I countered that I didn't think it was bad luck - I thought it was poor play and poor management. And yes, I gave the example of Gueye pumping shots from range into the Park End.

Dyche continued with that theme throughout a 13 match winless streak.

I ran across our esteemed manager's comments after we finally got a win against Burnley. I go out of my way to avoid them but they turned up in a match report. He's claiming that he was sick of us deserving to win and losing so he decided that if we played shite we might win.

Quote from Dyche "You’re nervous but the facts are the facts, they only had one shot on target which shows we dominated the game. Not with the ball but without the ball"

I stand by it Sam. He's a conman.

Ernie Baywood
163 Posted 07/04/2024 at 09:58:15
Paul Ferry, Congratulations, Alan, you've out-Ernied Ernie.

What do you think happened earlier in the thread, Paul?

I stopped engaging with you because, in my opinion, you make no sense. Not with your footballing opinions, which you are entitled to and I would happily debate, but with your strange arguments and associations.

If this was real life, in a pub, for example, we could have a great old football conversation or even a heated debate. That could go for hours. But if you started taking the piss, as you are in that post, then that wouldn't continue for long at all.

We're not in a pub. So I don't have that recourse available to me. So behave like an adult.

James Bradshaw
164 Posted 07/04/2024 at 10:04:18
The 3 points was massive. The way we played was terrible but what do you expect from a team that hasn't won since before Xmas?

Dyche has faults, like the wrong subs and waiting for the inevitable to happen and concede, but maybe he doesn't trust the players. We need to win the home games – easier said than done, I know – and not lose at Luton.

Tony Abrahams
165 Posted 07/04/2024 at 10:06:27
Colin @118, you don't like the manager and his current style of football; fair enough, mate, but without the points deduction, and playing under the enormous pressure that this has created, Everton have still won 39 points this season, with seven games left to play.

This is down to “Dyche's pragmatic approach”, which has kept a squad of players (who have been getting criticised for years) going, even though people have been saying for years, that these players have not got much heart.

The School of Science died a very long time ago and, if I'm being totally honest, this is something that I can't even blame Bill Kenwright for.

Silky football is brilliant but, in my near 50 years of watching Everton, I have only seen two teams win. Royle's “Dogs of War” and Howard Kendall's great team – and both these teams only won because they always won the battle first.

Everton are currently in the biggest battle of their entire history. The club has no money, an absolute mishmash of players, that have been bought by about six different managers, leaving a squad bereft of any genuine skill or pace, and it's the manager's fault for having the gumption to make them competitive at the expense of things his squad doesn't really possess?

We all want more, but Everton Football Club has always been built on pragmatism, and if anyone doesn't realise this, they don't really understand our football club.

I'm not sure if Dyche is the long-term answer (his football is shite – but his attitude and approach have been admirable, and he also hasn't had any money) but he deserves enormous credit for keeping us up last season, and he deserves even more, for the way he has got us battling into the face of adversity this season.

Brian Wilkinson
166 Posted 07/04/2024 at 10:11:50
I think a few are being a bit harsh on Doucoure, he had a Doucoure Day yesterday for sure, whether that is down to Ramadam or not I'm not sure, but over the years and certainly large parts of this season, he has more than pulled his weight.

I have no doubt when Ramadan ends, we will see the real Doucoure and you can guarantee he will pull a goal or two out of the bag before the end of the season.

With Ramadam ending 9 April, we just might get the likes of Doucoure, Gueye and Onana firing again which will be a huge boost to our run-in.

Danny O’Neill
167 Posted 07/04/2024 at 10:11:52
Yesterday wasn't pretty.

But we got 3 points.

We can worry about the rest later.

Right now, Sean Dyche is doing a job in the circumstances.

Robert Tressell
168 Posted 07/04/2024 at 10:19:34
Charles #160, my son and I watch the football highlights together from across the Premier League and Europe each week, and a high proportion of goals are scored by forcing errors from a team playing the ball to the goalkeeper who then fluffs his lines. I've not been able to find any stats from a quick hunt on Google but I'd guess it's up there with set-piece goals.

It's not always the sorts of goals Nunez and Calvert-Lewin forced, but it's the same principle. And like a well-worked set piece, it's not luck.

The most common issue is the straight ball played by the goalkeeper to a deep midfield player facing his own goal. This often leads to loss of possession and a goalscoring opportunity.

This looks like a goalkeeping blunder but pressing teams are deliberately blocking safer passing lanes to force this type of reckless pass. It happens time and time again. Dispossessing a goalkeeper is also pretty common.

We put Man Utd under very high pressure recently but unlike Muric, Andre Onana (who is talented but erratic) had an exceptional game with the ball at his feet and alas it bore no rewards.

Michael Kenrick
169 Posted 07/04/2024 at 10:27:35
Robert @152,

You're probably right; I should take more care and deliberation in selecting the half-dozen or so words I choose to sum up the foregoing 2 hours of mind-numbing Dycheball that currently passes for 'entertainment' at Goodison Park.

I don't think I allow myself quite enough time at the end of the game for such finesse as you call for in producing the most eloquent or apposite summary of proceedings without some element of my own personal overwhelmingly negative assessment seeping through.

In this instance, I can accept that I was indeed rash to label Calvert-Lewin's effort as 'lucky', knowing that some observers would underline the desire, commitment and initiative required to anticipate such a challenge that proved so pivotal to the outcome of the game.

You say a high proportion of goals are scored by pressing a team that dallies on the ball in defence, although nowhere near often enough by us, unfortunately, despite previous efforts to force things in past games.

Subtly within the headline, I did actually give credit to Calvert-Lewin for the block. But I could not avoid calling out the luck involved in seeing the ball careen over Muric and into the Park End goal. In many such instances, the ball does not go in the goal. So when it does, I believe a huge slice of luck is involved.

As ever, I think emphasising luck over endeavour was striking the right balance overall. But some would see negativity lurking under the surface. I would like to suggest that searching for and calling out such latent negativity is in fact the ultimate expression of the very negativity you decry.

Danny O’Neill
170 Posted 07/04/2024 at 10:31:55
Robert, I always respect your view, especially your knowledge of players. Everton should hire you as a scout!

I agree with your comment. Initially, it looked like a goalkeeping mistake.

But Calvert-Lewin deserves the credit for pressing and getting the goal.

Danny O’Neill
171 Posted 07/04/2024 at 10:37:36
Don't be harsh on yourself, Michael.

You write in the moment.

I have to give myself time.

Keep doing what you do. It is always welcome.

Mike Corcoran
172 Posted 07/04/2024 at 10:38:02
I appreciate André Gomes is beyond slow… but we are not scoring due to poor play in the final third. He is the only one who can actually pass intelligently so stick him at the Number 10 spot to create chances.

Dyche gets mullered for his tactic (there's only one: Pickford hoofs it up-field) but the players need holding to account for poor control, misplaced passes and overall lack of movement and guile.

Brian Harrison
173 Posted 07/04/2024 at 10:41:02
Without doubt the main thing yesterday was to get 3 points, and thanks to a goalkeeping error, we achieved that.

Driving home from the game, I listened to Sean Dyche being interviewed and he said he "designed a plan where we deliberately tried to play long and strong and make the game as awkward and ugly as possible".

What I found strange is he was talking as if he had been playing a different style for the previous 13 games: this was no different at all his long ball and try and win 2nd ball football.

Someone quoted a stat that, when Burnley went down to 10 men, we still only managed 37% possession, I think that just sums up how ineffective we are.

Thankfully we played against a side who are worse than us and for most of the game showed little desire to get the ball into our box. But the result wasn't achieved by Sean Dyche's tactics which, even against 10 men, created very little.

I think this team have got little or no idea how to create chances, we broke on a few occasions but, when we needed cool heads to create an opening, we played the wrong pass or hit the right pass too hard.

My worry is, and has been for the last couple of seasons, who is going to score the goals to keep us up? And is the style we play hampering our chances of creating many options?

All the teams round us seem to have more goals in them than we do and, let's be honest, our last 4 points were gained by a penalty and a goalkeeping error.

On a positive note, I thought Branthwaite was excellent, in fact the whole back 4 played well. Gomes played some delightful through-balls that could and should have led to goals, and Calvert-Lewin put in a shift. I do think Ramadan has had an effect on Doucoure.

Phil Bickerstaff
174 Posted 07/04/2024 at 10:52:38
Brian 173,

I think due to us having a good defence, we will be okay.

Doucoure is dreadful whether he is doing Ramadan or not.

The forward line is awful with no idea on attacking play.

Also, the 3 points will probably be deducted by the wankers at the Premier League this week, so it's a good job we won.

Robert Tressell
175 Posted 07/04/2024 at 10:56:56
Michael, I have touched a nerve and hadn't intended to. I'll repeat the opening comment - that you do a brilliant job.

As for the penalty shouts, my main gripe is not the headlines but with the players for failing to harangue the referee. Just like with pressing the GK, you make your own luck with that sort of thing.

Anyway, keep up the good work.

Tony Abrahams
176 Posted 07/04/2024 at 11:00:59
I said to anyone who was listening to me at half-time yesterday, Robert, that when a coach has got his players concentrating on something that is not their primary job, then you will always get chances to force them into making stupid mistakes.

Maybe this is what Dyche meant with his description of how he wanted us to play? (I haven't listened to him though.)

Kompany has got Burnley players trying to play like Man City players – that was Danny O'Neill's description after yesterday's game. Maybe Dyche had already witnessed how passive they are, and decided to let them concentrate on playing their football, without really trying to hurt their opponents. But maybe I'm being a bit too defensive of the Everton manager, by suggesting such a thing!

Andy Crooks
177 Posted 07/04/2024 at 11:39:47
Having supported Everton for nearly 60 years, I think that I have seen more dross than sublime football, and that's allowing for the blue-tinted glasses that I look back with. The phrase "School of Science" should be as redundant as Grand Old Team.

I loved every minute, though, because it is the despair that makes the brief glory so sweet. I don't watch Champions League and I don't care how great the football is. Yesterday gave me more pleasure than watching any other team playing the best football in the world.

I don't want to spend the last games of the season in perpetual anxiety so I do not care how we accumulate points. Dyche is handling his dwindling pile of chips like an underdog at the World Poker Championship. Kompany and others went all in. Dyche will hang in, get us our stake back, and go again. That's how to play shit hands.

Danny O’Neill
178 Posted 07/04/2024 at 11:42:16
Tony, your comment @165 resonates.

We were always taught to win your battles and then you earn the right to play football.

Phil Sammon
179 Posted 07/04/2024 at 11:54:35
Mike @172

It's a funny one, that. All the defenders seem to try their best to not hoof it forward but invariably work the ball back to Pickford who's sole directive seems to be to drill the ball forward. How many goals have we got out of that?

Mark Taylor
180 Posted 07/04/2024 at 11:58:46
Interesting opinions about Calvert-Lewin's goal. I agree it was not 'out of the blue' luck, it is the product of closing down options and relying on a team's tactical approach of playing through and out of defence.

Pickford would almost certainly have lumped it forward earlier, Burnley, as Danny observed, try to do a 'half-City', so you are in with a decent chance of such a mistake.

Actually, while a well organised press did in my view help create the goal, I felt we didn't press well enough for most of the time. Often you would have one guy haring after the ball but, for a press to work, the whole team needs to move as one, giving ever less time to escape. That happened all too infrequently. I don't think Dyche is a 'high press' type of guy.

In contrast, teams like our local rivals and Arsenal do it very well. One of the interesting aspects of last night's game with Brighton was seeing how they dealt with Arsenal's high press. Granted they lost 3-0 but they really do stick with the plan, are clearly coached in doing it, and have much better players than Burnley and so very often pulled it off.

Risky, yes, but the rewards are suddenly finding free space in midfield or down the flanks for a fast counter. Brighton didn't exploit that well enough last night, but they sure created enough opportunities. No wonder even the top teams are wary of them.

John Charles
181 Posted 07/04/2024 at 12:06:18
There is no doubt that we play as our manager wants. It is his decision that we play long, miss out the midfield, and make the game ugly.

If we stay up then fantastic.

If not, there is nowhere to hide… having played exactly as he wishes.

Christy Ring
182 Posted 07/04/2024 at 12:06:31
I agree the result was more important than the performance yesterday, and the players probably felt the pressure.

We'll have Onana, Gueye and Danjuma available for our next game, and Ramadan finished as well, and with Calvert-Lewin back on the score sheet, is a big positive.

I still believe our best performance this season was against Spurs, and the 2nd half at Newcastle, and that's when Dyche brought on Gomes and switched to 4-3-3 which made us way more offensive than the stagnant 4-4-1-1.

Colin Glassar
183 Posted 07/04/2024 at 12:31:53
I was hoping against hope yesterday that Dyche might try something different seeing as Gueye and Onana were unavailable. I'd have liked to have seen Branthwaite move into midfield to add some muscle and speed.

The lad is quick, strong and mobile. Man City did it with Stones and the rs do it with Arnold. Moving players into different positions isn't unheard of in the football world but then you have to have a manager with a modicum of imagination.

Christopher Timmins
184 Posted 07/04/2024 at 12:36:05
A vital win by one of the better defensive teams in the League. Credit to Calvert-Lewin for the goal, he deserved the luck he got. If Burnley had 12 on the pitch yesterday, they would not have scored in my opinion.

Not that it mattered in the end but we had a stone wall penalty not given.

We should know our fate, points-deduction-wise in the week ahead. I am assuming that unless, we have a zero points deduction, we will appeal. Once it washes out at no more the 2 or 3 in total then we will be fine as regards avoiding the drop as there are numerous opportunities for us to pick up the points in the remaining games.

It's joyless to watch but needs must!

Respect to all those who made the trip to Newcastle midweek and turned up again yesterday.

Chelsea next, and with our defensive solidity, we can take something from that game.

Mike Corcoran
185 Posted 07/04/2024 at 12:37:13
As bad as we were and to temper my comments at 172, it has to be noted that Burnley's last four games were score draws with Wolves, Chelsea, West Ham and a win against Brentford, so to keep a clean sheet and take the points isn't too shabby.
Brian Harrison
186 Posted 07/04/2024 at 12:38:42
While I am critical of Sean Dyche I agree when he says that he isn't responsible for our points deduction, and our position would be far healthier if the people in charge had managed our finances better. But even with the 6 point deduction we are 15th 1 point behind Palace in 14th, and given what happened the last 2 seasons that is an improvement. But we know possibly tomorrow we will be docked further points, and I have no idea what points deduction the committee will hand down. Sean Dyche said that he was asked if he would like another of Kia Joorabchins players which thankfully he turned down. But it just highlights how Moshiri views the P & S rules. I am expecting no favours from the commission as our recently published accounts show we went on spending despite our financial position..
Tony Abrahams
187 Posted 07/04/2024 at 12:45:09
Good point about the high press, Mark.

McNeil (who I thought was responsible for Burnley getting out) a couple of times during yesterday's first half by not reading the press that others were trying to create got a standing ovation for sprinting after a ball back to the goalkeeper and then continuing to sprint right when it was played to their left back, but was then out of position, for Burnley to work the ball into a dangerous area down our left hand side.

Iwobi used to do the same and leave a similar gap to exploit so, unless you can get everyone on the same page, then trying to play a high press is a very dangerous tactic.

There is no way on God's Earth I would play a high press with the players we had on the pitch yesterday.

Tony Abrahams
188 Posted 07/04/2024 at 12:51:37
Some of the things I read on these pages astound me sometimes, and your post @183 Colin, is one of those posts mate.

Thirteen games without a win, so let’s move our best defender into midfield. Sometimes I’m glad Sean Dyche, lacks imagination!

Seriously Colin, it’s easy for me to write this because Brainthwaith was absolutely immense yesterday, and It wasn’t until the clock was on 90 minutes, that he made his first real unforced error by getting under a high ball to miss the header, but that kids performance yesterday was the biggest reason Pickford, never got troubled all afternoon, imo.

Ian Bennett
189 Posted 07/04/2024 at 12:56:18
Look, it's a very welcome 3 points.

But it was a poor performance from both teams, and felt more Championship than Premier League. A must-win game where only the result mattered.

29 points after a 6-point deduction makes it really tight. There are going to be a lot of twists in the road and we are going to have to pick up wins. This is something we aren't blessed in with the lack of pace and genuine threat in the squad.

I am not convinced on Dyche, and if he had failed to win yesterday, I think he was gone. Yesterday gives him till the end of the season. Then hopefully new owners need to sort out this mess.

Ray Robinson
190 Posted 07/04/2024 at 12:56:57
For us to beat Burnley three times this season shows how poor a side they are – albeit the margins have been getting closer, 3-0, 2-0, 1-0. We've deteriorated or they've improved?

My best mate is a Burnley season ticket holder and he would vehemently disagree with the idea that Kompany is a good coach. Playing out from the back like Man City is not very pragmatic when you have inferior players. A lot of Burnley's woes this season have been self-inflicted which shows that he has sacrificed pragmatism for philosophy.

The total opposite of Dyche. Our big dilemma next season, if we stay up, is going to be whether to entrust a complete rebuild to Dyche. With the enforced sale of the better players, return of loan players, certain players being out of contract or just too old, can Dyche rebuild a more exciting team on a shoestring budget?

Will we get the chance to find out? Or do we go for a philosophy-driven manager with all the risks that that approach entails?

Meanwhile, Dyche just does what Dyche does. It's awful football but, if it keeps us up, it's justifiable. The risk will be in trying something different. Are we prepared to try another approach?

Tom Bowers
191 Posted 07/04/2024 at 12:58:06
It's not hard to notice that Everton have the poorest midfield in the Premier League, no matter who starts there.

When they lose possession up front, they always seem to be very quickly under the cosh as opponents break into Everton's half.

It has been like that all season and, until they get some really good tacklers or players who can get back quickly, they will always be vulnerable. Amazing how even Burnley can expose this.

Tony Abrahams
192 Posted 07/04/2024 at 13:00:34
A man who tries to do the best with the tools that he has been given, always deserves a chance to work with better tools, Ray!!!
Danny O’Neill
193 Posted 07/04/2024 at 13:00:52
Our best player, Tony. I've watched him very closely, not just yesterday. He defies his young years. My fear is we will lose him.

A natural defender who is calm and composed on the ball, but anticipates danger and snuffs it out.

By far our best player yesterday, as he has been many times this season.

Chris Leyland
194 Posted 07/04/2024 at 13:01:42
Tony A - I'm with you all the way on the absurd suggestion that we try Branthwaite in midfield. The lad is our best defender.

He is a Rolls-Royce in a field full of Ladas. He has to play at the back for us to stand any chance of staying up.

Tony Abrahams
195 Posted 07/04/2024 at 13:06:00
I loved watching John Stones, Danny, because he was always very calm, but Branthwaite is a much better defender and some of his defensive play yesterday was out of the top drawer.

It held us together during what could have otherwise been a few dangerous moments. I thought the kid was a 9 out of 10 yesterday.

Mark Ryan
196 Posted 07/04/2024 at 13:07:18
Yes Ray. A new coach who can get these players playing football.

Many have said it: "This is dire, turgid football." Why would we aspire to more of the same next season, simply watching more horrible football?

I'd like him moved on whether we stay up or not.

Ray Robinson
197 Posted 07/04/2024 at 13:14:33
Branthwaite into midfield? A ridiculous suggestion! Why weaken the only functioning part of the team? The only chance we have of nicking a win to nil.

We have a crap midfield because we have inadequate midfielders. No up-and-down players capable of carrying the ball at speed, taking shots at goal etc.

Moving a centre-back there isn't going to solve anything, no matter how versatile he may be.

Ray Robinson
198 Posted 07/04/2024 at 13:19:41
Mark, two outcomes: someone like Iraola at Bournemouth or someone like Kompany at Burnley? There’s the dilemma.
Colin Glassar
200 Posted 07/04/2024 at 13:20:39
Joelinton moved from attack into midfield and changed the Geordies' fortunes. Bale went from left-back to being one of the best attackers of his generation. Lahm went from defender into midfield, once again, a sensation.

Yesterday we were overrun several times in midfield due to the absence of Gueye and Onana. Burnley were hardly a threat, were they? Godfrey or even the abominable Keane could have sat on a deck chair yesterday and would've looked comfy.

Branthwaite, imo, could play either role, he's that good. I'm not suggesting he plays there on a permanent basis but, when you see Garner and Co getting outmuscled, he could be an option to stiffen the midfield when needed.

A bit of imagination can go a far way.

Dave Lynch
201 Posted 07/04/2024 at 13:27:24
The problem will be funds for players if we part with Dyche at the end of the season. As well as unloading some of the dross we have.

Any aspiring or proven manager will look at our team and want a complete revamp, I'm guessing.

Personally, I couldn't watch another season of this dross, it's just not worth the money, effort and emotional pain.

Ray Robinson
202 Posted 07/04/2024 at 13:33:26
Admirable examples, Colin, of players who've shifted position and improved immeasurably. Maybe we could experiment more if we weren't at the wrong end of the table.

But right now, taking the kingpin out of defence when the best hope of a win is 1-0 scoreline, just doesn't make any sense.

Mark Taylor
203 Posted 07/04/2024 at 13:35:05
Tony @187,

Yes it was McNeil who was in my mind when I said that. Whether he was acting on instinct and/or trying to get a cheer, or maybe, just maybe, assuming he would be the trigger for a proper press, I'm not sure.

You are probably right, we don't have the players for an effective press. Partly because we have so many really quite slow players. Our lack of pace really stands out.

Raymond Fox
204 Posted 07/04/2024 at 13:37:56
Is it that hard to understand that, to play better football – thats subjective anyway – you need players who are capable of doing that.

Why do the top teams break the bank to sign the best players they can find every season? It's a damn sight easier to win games when you have superior skilled players than the opposition.

Dyche has decided that we've a better chance of avoiding relegation playing a defensive game – there's only the Top 3 sides that have conceded fewer goals than us – than playing an open game poorly.

We will stay up this season, we would have easily but for the 6-point deduction and the near certainty of another one to come.

If you think this season is bad, I don't know what you will make of next seasons when it seems very likely we will be forced to sell 2 or 3 of our 'stars'.

Kevin O'Regan
205 Posted 07/04/2024 at 13:49:04
Delighted with the point BUT that was the biggest heap of shite I have ever seen from the toffees and that's saying something. 68% passing accuracy and 37% possession at home against mighty Burnley is disgraceful. I'm lost for words. That's not even Championship quality let alone PL. Do we even have 1 Player who can shoot? Does anyone know the runs of his teammates? Baffling Slapstick embarrassment.
Christopher Timmins
206 Posted 07/04/2024 at 14:02:21
Given what the summer is likely to bring transfer wise, our best option to stay in the division next season might well be to stick with our current manager. That might prove too much for those who have to watch the joyless performances week in week out but I am not sure if there is any other game in town at the moment.

Tony Abrahams
207 Posted 07/04/2024 at 14:17:03
37% possession, even though we played against ten men for about a quarter of yesterday’s game. 68% passing accuracy, even though we played against ten men for at least a quarter of the game yesterday.

A squad of players bereft of confidence because they are mentally tired?, (because of the point deduction and the absolute uncertainty around our club) Or a squad of players drained because they have been getting mismanaged by a manager who simply refuses to play to their obvious strengths? Take your pick.

Tony Abrahams
208 Posted 07/04/2024 at 14:22:46
There is always another game Christopher, especially when you consider that the very passive Burnley side, we played yesterday, ran away with the championship title, last season.

Reset in the championship, or continue to struggle by grinding out enough points to remain in the premier league?

My guess is that Kompany, will bring Burnley back up again, and be a lot more prepared for the premier league, the next time, but I’m only really interested in Everton!

Ray Robinson
209 Posted 07/04/2024 at 14:24:35
Exactly Christopher. That’s exactly the situation Burnley found themselves in after seven years of Dyche. Revered by the fans, in the end even his most loyal admirers felt it was time for a change. They got Kompany who gave them one great season in the Championship but then a season of more attractive football in the Premiership which is leading to their relegation.
Rennie Smith
210 Posted 07/04/2024 at 14:27:46
3-points is the only thing you can say about yesterday. Two really poor teams lacking confidence devoid of inspiration. I don't think I've ever seen so many passes straight out of play, we even had the comedy foul-throw which is an absolute embarrassment at this level.

We were gifted a goal and gifted a red card, even though they seemed to play better with 10, probably because we didn't try and finish them off.

People are talking about the midfield being overrun, but I thought Gomes did pretty well considering he's hardly played. He can't run but at least he can make a pass, which is beyond a few. Branthwaite was MOM again and he was bent over in exhaustion when the final whistle went, I hope he's not getting burnt out because we'll need desperately need him for the run-in.

One to forget, take the gift and run.

Ian Edwards
211 Posted 07/04/2024 at 14:28:26
Hopefully, Dyche doesn't revert to negative type and bring back Gueye and Onana. Gomes is the only midfielder we have who passes forwards. It's no coincidence that we won after 13 games with those two waster crabs sat in the stand.

We'll probably hear what points deduction we'll get tonorrow. My guess is no more than three.

Nick Page
212 Posted 07/04/2024 at 14:42:12
Personally, I don’t think it’s a terrible squad. Not at all. But they lack confidence. And that comes with goals. And goals come with being brave (as does fortune). The defence is good. Can’t be easy for any of them though with all the shite going on in the background. Dyche has actually done an incredible job to be fair - we’re way ahead of last year. Would be great if Andy Bell and George Downing got hold of the club, even part time in prep for a full sale. Clear the decks once and for all. I’d also say that the fans should have a decent sized minority stake in any sale, and a seat on the board.
Sean Kelly
213 Posted 07/04/2024 at 15:04:09
The flies on the wall in finch farm are really busy circling shite coz the ain’t entertained by dyches tactics. Or maybe they are one and the same.
Robert Williams
214 Posted 07/04/2024 at 15:12:58
NP212 According to the Goals conceded figs we have the fourth best defence in the Premier.
Anthony Dove
215 Posted 07/04/2024 at 15:13:14
It is really dreadful stuff. There is no excuse for being the
slowest team in the Premiership and probably the worst
passers of a ball. Fortunately watching Branthwaite is
something special.
Dale Self
216 Posted 07/04/2024 at 15:46:09
Monitoring fly flight paths on Sunday after a victory? Are you completely out of anti-Dyche material?
Sam Hoare
217 Posted 07/04/2024 at 16:41:22
Ernie @162,

I think calling him a conman is pretty harsh. Absolutely fine if you see it a different way but it's more than plausible that he saw positives in the amount of chances we were creating and the xG style statistics.

As did I and many others. If nothing else, I think it can often suit a manager to find the positives and boost the player's confidence. And our players need boosting more than most.

Where would you have expected this squad to finish this season? My personal view at the outset was that 12th/13th would have been a sort of success (given the low bar) and anything below 17th was failure.

David West
218 Posted 07/04/2024 at 16:44:03
Robert @214.

The defence is a positive, however, if we actually tried to be more positive, then that stat would suffer.

We just haven't got the players with the ability, the squad is shocking!

I'm sure Luton could improve their goals against by not trying to win matches and scoring goals, but that's how you win games by scoring and you can't win if you can't score!

Chris Leyland
219 Posted 07/04/2024 at 16:46:24
David - and yet, Luton have won 6 games to Everton’s 9 this season. They’ve lost 19 to Everton’s 14. Maybe if they wouldn’t win so few and lose so many if they did tighten up at the back?
David Hallwood
220 Posted 07/04/2024 at 16:48:42
Nick Page(#212) Spot on about being brave makes goals, but then you blotted your copybook by saying Dyche had done and ‘incredible job’ because it’s his shithousery that is a large part of our problem.

Fast forward to April 25 when Forest come to our place and let’s imagine we’re still 4pts to the good, I’d put money on Dyche’s approach being, it’s the 33rd game, if we come away with a point, they’re running out of runway.

I was watching the Palace v City on MoTD, spoiler alert, they play football on a different universe to us, nevertheless, they were 1 down away from home and when they went forward they had 5 in the box with 2 out wide, the fact that Palace have quick players and can do them on the break, didn’t concern them; who dares wins-and they did.

Now before anyone says, yeah but that’s City, I’ll say footballers should be able to run; when I was playing, and at a very a low level. I could run into the box, and if the move broke down bust a gut to get back and defend.

I’m getting totally sick of seeing Dom or Beto going forward without a player being within 30 yards of them; it’s not rocket science why, if we take out the set-piece goals, we’re the lowest scorers from open play.

I agree that the players aren’t as bad as the table suggests, maybe the slowest but not the worst and being 1 up at home to a struggling 10 man Burnley, and it was still squeeky bum time, is frankly unacceptable when we were desperate for all 3pts thazt we didn’t press the advantage. We got away with the 3points yesterday as opposed to handsome win.

John Raftery
221 Posted 07/04/2024 at 16:59:55
Andy (62) That’s exactly how I feel about yesterday’s result.

With a limited squad clean sheets are generally the key to survival. So far we have nine which have yielded twenty three points. Four more should be enough to make us safe.

It is interesting to note some supporters criticise Dyche for not making substitutions while others criticise him for taking Calvert-Lewin off with six minutes left.

David West
222 Posted 07/04/2024 at 17:36:16
Chris 219. I get it mate.
If we stay up it will be our defensive record that will be the reason, whereas if Luton stay up it will be their ability to score.
I was merely pointing out that if we were trying to play better football, attacking football, rather than the long ball direct route then the defensive side would probably suffer. (Luton as an example)

It's a balance, and I'd say Dyche can see he doest have the creativity, pace or ability in the forward areas he's tried playing to our strengths.
If you could add a few goals to the defensive solidity then we wouldn't be near the drop zone !

Dave Ganley
223 Posted 07/04/2024 at 17:45:22
I've held off from commenting until I was thinking a bit more rational. I'm not so much now having taken a few beers this afternoon but bottom line this weekend is we have won and the gobshites have dropped points so I'm taking whatever small wins I can at the moment. Dyche and anti football can wait till another day.
Brian Wilkinson
224 Posted 07/04/2024 at 18:58:53
There must be some Evertonian that knows the answer to this question: What the fuck was that song they played after Spirit of the Blues and what was the significance of it?

Not sure if it had anything to do with Ukraine, sounded Greek then half way through Viva Espanya.

Any idea, ToffeeWebbers?

Brian Wilkinson
225 Posted 07/04/2024 at 19:28:18
Just found above answer out from an Evertonian.

Italian commentary through week sang it about Calvert-Lewin when he scored and it was all over social media.

Sean Kelly
226 Posted 07/04/2024 at 22:34:13
Dale the answer is definitely NO but possibly bordering on the edge of the precipice given over by Dyche of course.
Kieran Kinsella
227 Posted 07/04/2024 at 22:58:35
Michael Kenrick's “negative” reports are clearly written hurriedly in the moment. Not an easy thing to do whilst watching a match then having a full summary published about one second after the game finishes.

After you've had a pint, a fag, taken or deep breath or vented to mates, it's a lot easier to produce a more measured “big picture” view of any game, as Lyndon does an hour or so later.

But if the live forum is any judge, then Michael's in the moment “negativity” is pretty balanced when compared with what most of us say or think in the moment over the last 30 years.

There is a reason Mr Positive Danny O'Neill's immediate post-match reaction is usually “I'm too raw to talk, I'm taking the dog out.” God knows what he might say if he let it off the leash right off the cuff?

Si Cooper
228 Posted 07/04/2024 at 00:25:08
I've only got the highlights to go on, which wasn't but I'm still seeing statements that don't line-up with my impressions of many of our games.

Is it really true that all we ever do is back-pass to the keeper, who then just hits it high and handsome to no-one in particular?

Then we have those who see no attacking intent at any point, ever. Pressing isn't something positive or potentially valuable – it's just ‘chasing'. Funny how the best teams in the world get praise for their work-rate off the ball.

There is plenty to criticise but the debate is still-born when people give no credit whatsoever.

Ernie Baywood
229 Posted 08/04/2024 at 01:37:22
Si, I repeatedly give credit for the effort on display. I haven't seen any stats but I would guess we've got players covering more ground than most.

As for the long balls from Pickford. Yes, if I was looking for a pattern of what we do more than anything else, it would be that. We play back to Pickford and he (sometimes Tarkowski) launches the 'attack'. He's actually very good at it, so more credit there.

My only issue is that, when the ball goes back to Pickford, it's not like we suddenly commit players forward to play off Calvert-Lewin who, again, deserves credit for the amount of headers he wins even if they typically just go to a defender.

When it comes to our press, I'm not sure it's quite the high press most would think of where the whole team moves forward and pressures the defence while cutting off the next ball. We get one or two chasing but most stay home. Great effort, maybe even heroic effort at times, but not particularly coordinated. We're not a team that is going to take a chance on committing players forward.

The best teams get praise for their work off the ball. Then they get praise for what they do with the ball.

Our players deserve praise for what they do off the ball. We're a non-event on the ball. I'm not even really expecting decent football, just something that could offer a threat.

There'll be many games where that's a means to an end and maybe even just a way to avoid a confidence-sapping hiding. But we were playing Burnley. That was ultra-conservative.

Si Cooper
230 Posted 08/04/2024 at 02:01:53
“Our players deserve praise for what they do off the ball. We're a non-event on the ball.”

Ah yes but why does the players' inability to do the basics get portrayed as the manager's negative tactics?

As others consistently point out, we've seen the same failings from (most of) these players under a wide range of leadership and yet, when the results don't go our way, there's plenty who go after the manager first, last and always.

Ernie Baywood
231 Posted 08/04/2024 at 03:39:14
Si, I'd imagine that if the issue was that players aren't carrying out the manager's directions then we might see some kind of change. But we don't. Every indication is that the manager is comfortable with the performances if not the results.

No-one thinks we're being told to get midfielders on the ball to play a more progressive style of football do they? Or that someone is getting directed to get close to Dom as soon as our defence have the ball so we can play some kind of meaningful long ball game? Or that he might be picking a different formation due to our lack of wide players but they just keep reverting to a 4-4-1-1?

It looks to me like they are directed to stay in shape, to get men behind the ball, and to be hard to beat. And credit where it's due – we are very hard to score against.

I don't see the basics when we have the ball either. Who's job is it to get them doing that?

Pete Clarke
232 Posted 08/04/2024 at 06:36:36
Dyche is not the perfect manager we desire to give us decent football to watch but I'd argue that he is the manager for the run in of this horrible season. Certainly would want him long term though.

The players are currently focused on getting numbers in defensive positions to avoid conceding and we suffer offensively for this. Tarkowski is slightly out of form but still the main reason we have conceded fewer goals than most and that's because he has allowed young Branthwaite to flourish next to him and can put silly arse Pickford in his place when he's ranting at them.

Coleman will always do a decent job but it's worrying as to why Patterson is not playing. Myko was struggling early on yesterday but cannot fault his effort.

Definitely our weakest point is composure and passing with the ball by our midfielders and it's hard to understand how pros at this level can be so poor. Do they not practice this daily? Why did we end up with so many duds?

Even Garner has been caught up in our frantic defensive system and is not getting on the ball a lot. Gomes didn't have a great game on Saturday but it's a risk we need to take by playing him I feel.

Dom and Beto are both bang average but for us to survive they need to start converting some of the chances they get. There's not many chances I admit but, for fuck's sake, they are paid to score goals.

Tony Abrahams
233 Posted 08/04/2024 at 08:44:47
Sometimes it’s easy to pick the wrong words, because I was going to write Poor Dyche, until I realized the money, he must be on.

The points deduction, has had a massive detrimental effect, on Everton’s season, and even Dyche’s biggest critics, must surely understand this?

My own view is that the club would not even be in the premier league, if it wasn’t for Sean Dyche, and when you look at the present financial situation of Everton football club, then it’s apparent that he has been a true saviour.

His football might be shit, but he has genuinely kept us going imo, and anyone honest and sensible enough to understand this, will surely give him the credit he deserves for steering the biggest shitshow in Everton football clubs, very long history.

Football is absolutely about the here and now, and under normal circumstances then Dyche’s current football, just wouldn’t be acceptable, but these are not normal circumstances, and Everton are very lucky to have had a manager who has just kept his council, and got on with the most difficult job in football, even if he’s probably being paid a fortune for his troubles!

Mark Murphy
234 Posted 08/04/2024 at 08:54:15
Morning Tony.
Knowing as I do your history in the game I look forward to your posts and use them to keep my expectations grounded. You know what you’re talking about….
I’m struggling to get past the no win in 13 run. That’s shocking no matter who we played nor who was in the team.
But as I said, I’m reassured by your logic so I’ll relax a bit for now.
If we don’t win at least two more games though I’ll have another wobble…
Ernie Baywood
235 Posted 08/04/2024 at 09:19:02
Tony, I suspect without the points deduction Goodison would have been pretty toxic toward the owner and manager during this run. Instead it feels like most of Blues' collective ire was aimed at the PL and there was actually a galvanising effect within the cub.

But it's all supposition.

What I do know is that the last few months haven't been good enough on the pitch. There's no excuse for just how bad it's been - it's been generationally bad!

Ian Jones
236 Posted 08/04/2024 at 09:50:18
4th best defence in league according to goals conceded. (Keeper and central defenders for the most part this season are English - there's 3 of The England Euro team picked 😀 )

The top 3 defences currently are found in the top 3 places in the league.

However, joint second worst (with Burnley) for goals scored.

Hmm. I wonder where the issue with the team is.

Ok, I like to point out the obvious.

Rob Dolby
237 Posted 08/04/2024 at 10:13:42
Totally agree with Tony 233.

It's not called a relegation scrap for nothing. Has good football ever got a team out of a relegation battle?

In the run in we are playing teams around us, these games will be terrible to watch and nervy for all involved.

Burnley are nice on the eye, they walked away with the championship last year. They have spent a lot more money than us and will almost certainly get relegated again.

On Saturday I thought Branthwaite was our Motm, Tarks was having a right nightmare first half whilst Jarrod kept sweeping up for him. Garner had a great game filling the gaps that Gomes can't get to whilst Myko kept their right winger very quiet. A bit of luck for a change went our way and we got a rare win whilst Oliver was refereeing.

The garner pen, Beto push in the back are fouls given anywhere else on the pitch. Fast forward 24 hours and lpool get a pen with very little contact. United got one against us and the lad celebrated the decision. Var and this current crop of refs must be good for the TV as they are shite for the fans and game in general.

We have played some decent stuff this season and not got the rewards for it. How many times have we come away from games where we have missed lots of chances and the opposition have done a smash and grab, wolves, Fulham and west ham spring to mind. Spurs away we should have won after a slow start and another bad refereeing decision.

Dyche is the club at the minute, there isn't any other leadership.
Under Frank we where definitely going down. We have since lost 3 attackers and replaced them 1 loan player.

I am not defending the style of play and dislike it as much as the next fan but I do think the penny dropped with Dyche very early on to play to the players strengths and not a philosophy.

I also don't get the calls for Patterson to get game time. The lad can't defend and very rarely delivers quality. A spell on loan will be sink or swim for him next season.

If we ever do get taken over the usual pattern will emerge, Dyche will be sacked as the owners will want their own man in charge.

Unless we find a way of unearthing attacking talent we will be in the same or worse position next season whilst Chelsea appoint a new manager and let him spend another few hundred million!

Tony Abrahams
238 Posted 08/04/2024 at 10:19:38
I agree it’s a shocking statistic Mark, and I can also understand Ernie’s frustration, but I do think there are a lot of ulterior motives for both of these issues.

I sometimes think, what would I do differently, and if I’m being honest, there are definitely one or two things, I would have tried to do.

I love width, so I would have probably concentrated on this a lot more, and I also believe there is a decent core, but I have never known a squad bereft of pace as much as this team, and because modern football is mostly all about pace, I think I would have badly struggled trying to make us a more offensive unit.

Of course it would be possible, but you also need confident players, and since the club got punished and the team went and got those points back, I believe we have been running on empty, because we have a very small squad, and slowly the confidence has drained away.

We played Spurs and got a lot of plaudits, for playing very good aggressive forward thinking football, (some people would say Michael Oliver, robbed us once again) and then we played City, in a thoroughly intriguing game, and might have even hung on, but for another very debatable penalty kick?

I doubt we would of, because I personally thought Manchester City, gave one of the best attacking performances I’ve ever witnessed at Goodison, but Everton were aggressive and competitive that night, and I thought Phil Foden, was being genuinely honest in his after match interview, when he said Everton are a good team.

I don’t think he would have said this in previous years? (I might be wrong) but since the exertions of December, we have made him look like a liar, because we haven’t looked like a good team.

Mentally tired and lacking confidence, has anyone ever sailed through their job or just life itself, when suffering with these thoughts?

Brian Harrison
239 Posted 08/04/2024 at 10:42:56
Tony 238

Totally agree about our lack of pace, especially in the majority of our front 6 players. McNeil has no pace so is most reluctant to take on his fullback, and the same applies to Harrison and being predominantly left footed he always wants to come back onto his left foot before making any crosses. Young when he was a lot younger had pace and used to go past players at will but he no longer posses that pace. Gueye, Garner and Onana again no pace in these 3. I watched our neighbours on MOTD and what was noticeable was how they attacked with pace and numbers. Beto isn't blessed with any pace and although DCL is quicker than Beto I would hardly describe him as pacy.

Maybe if we could get Danjuma fit he could add a bit of pace and the same with Dobbin.

I think most of us will be glued to the sports news outlets today and tomorrow to hear what decision the commission will hand down to us. I fear if its around 6 points which would put us in the relegation zone, that might be a step to far so late in the season. Maybe if we only get 4 we can still escape, but whatever points we get deducted it will be a massive lift to those clubs in and around us.

Tony Abrahams
240 Posted 08/04/2024 at 11:16:32
The problem with Danjouma, Brian, is that unless the wide players are prepared to do their defensive duties in an unselfish way, and sacrifice themselves for the team, then I think he will only be asked to play a cameo role.

I’d love to be a fullback in this Everton team because you don’t half get a lot of help from the player in front of you, but I’d hate to be a wide player because it is very rarely reciprocated in return.

As well as having no pace, we have not got many players who possess the individual quality to do anything with the ball, so this is probably another reason that Dyche prefers us to play without the ball.

The great Ancellotti used similar tactics with much more quality in his squad, but he his Italian, so pragmatism always comes naturally, I suppose?

Dave Abrahams
241 Posted 08/04/2024 at 11:39:09
Tony (240) The defensive players mostly do a good job but they could make it a lot easier for themselves if they added some calmness and composure to their game, apart from Branthwaite and Tarkowski ( until recently) they panic and just lash the ball anywhere upfield.

They would have done well to watch Gomes at times especially in one movement in the first half just on the edge of out penalty area, he calmly chested the ball down to his feet and looked around before making a pass to a teammate and out of danger.

Gomes is not my favourite player, far from it, but he mostly had a good calm game trying to get passes forward or taking control and slowing the game down and playing the ball back to a defender in plenty of space or even to Calamity in goal, when is he going to talk to his defenders, he screams at them when the ball has gone out of play rarely when they need a bit of advice like Colman in the last minute of the game to just ‘ leave it’.

Alan J Thompson
242 Posted 08/04/2024 at 11:54:30
Dave(#241); I agree with you that somebody and in that position it is usually the keeper's responsibility to call to players but this is consecutive games where Coleman has been in the same position and unaware that there is nobody else there. I seem to recall that Koeman had a problem with the defence not moving across together when pulled to one side and with Tarkowski's form dropping off in the last couple of games if anybody is marshaling the defence or acting as the lynchpin that the defence swings on.
Brian Harrison
243 Posted 08/04/2024 at 11:56:56

I think you some up my criticism of Dyche perfectly when you said Dyche prefers us to play without the ball, I think that goes against everything I believe in. I think he has got a decent back 4 but I believe the tactics he uses doesnt help us as an attacking force. Now as we have agreed he doesnt have a lot of pace to call on, but they don't look comfortable on the ball when in the opponents half, and he seems not to want his central midfield players to get into the opponents box which limits our options.

Tony Abrahams
244 Posted 08/04/2024 at 12:05:37
I think it comes down to trust Brian. If you trust your wife player to get past his marker, or your fullback to get around his partner on the overlap, then you will be more inclined to get into the box from those central midfield areas, but if you’re not so ‘confident’ of this happening, then you’re more likely to just back play up and choose to stay behind the ball.

Trust and confidence, isn’t that what most things are built from?

Ernie Baywood
245 Posted 08/04/2024 at 12:40:59
Tony, it's not going to come from the wide players. We just don't have the ability in those players.

Given we know that, why are we still going out there with ineffective wide players? There are other ways to setup and we've tried precisely none of them. This isn't me calling for 'expansive' football. I'd have gone down the cynical Allardyce route with this lot long ago.

Again I call out the idea that Dyche is pragmatic, as he is often credited with. He is sticking to his approach regardless of all evidence pointing to it being ineffective. That's not pragmatic.

Bill Gall
246 Posted 08/04/2024 at 13:24:10
Dave #241

Good remarks on players keeping calm, it is supposed to be part of being a professional footballer. I know he gets a lot of abuse about being lazy but to me Onana is one of the few who is aware of another Everton player to pass to before he is tackled.

As one of the many TV watchers I complain, but I realize that our view is not the same as being at the game, as the TV just follow the ball where at the game you can see the movements off the ball. I may have not been a great amateur footballer but I was taught that unless the ball carrier was in your immediate vicinity, watch for the movement of players around you and look for danger.

Dave Abrahams
247 Posted 08/04/2024 at 13:24:37
Alan (242), Yes certainly Coleman has to take his proportion of the blame for both the own goal and the give away corner but Pickford is/ should be watching the game and is close enough to give a warning shout to his defender, he is, to me, more culpable than Coleman in both instances and all the shouting and gesturing he does throughout the game doesn’t do much to calm or help the defence.
Eddie Dunn
248 Posted 08/04/2024 at 13:48:30
Tony @244. I do trust my wife but not enough to pass to her even if I got in the box.
Ray Said
249 Posted 08/04/2024 at 14:00:25
It seems to me that the overall balance of the set up is wrong. Our wide players are focused/instructed to mark the opposition full backs more than to provide for the centre forward. I think we need at least three players whose main purpose aim is to attack and this should be the minimum especially at home.

A minor adjustment to bring the wide players in a few yards from the touchline -playing more like inside forwards with more liberty- may mean the opposition full backs and centre backs are more uncertain if our wide players are going outside down the line or inside towards the centre and may create more space to attack.

Danny O’Neill
250 Posted 08/04/2024 at 14:02:30
Dave @241, agree with all of that. As I said on my own post, we gave away too many corners that could have cost us, when simple communication and keeping their heads would has seen it shepherded for a goal kick.

Bill, it is a different picture and that's no insult to those who can't get to the match. I don't get to them all.

When I am at the match, just as when I was coaching, I'm not really focussed on the ball. I'm looking at where it might be going next, so space and movement.

It's probably why I miss half the goals we score and have to often ask who scored. When we do score them that is!

Brent Stephens
252 Posted 08/04/2024 at 14:31:26
What's interesting are the two comments:

The Commission accepts that Everton is entitled to credit, in mitigation, in respect of the following matters: (a) the fact that the Club has already been penalised in the Everton FY22 Proceedings for losses in years which overlap with the years at issue in these proceedings.

And further down:
In relation to the double jeopardy issue, the guidelines promulgated by the EFL set out the position the EFL would take where a sanction has been imposed previously. Those guidelines are undoubtedly a helpful and compelling benchmark. However, the Commission does not consider that they can be transposed directly into the Premier League Rules.

So double jeopardy taken into account by the EPL - but not in the way the EFL would do?

Tony Abrahams
253 Posted 08/04/2024 at 18:49:57
Reading backwards, I thought "Fuckin' hell, Eddie," and then I read my post again, mate!

I don't think Dyche is over pragmatic, rather than over cautious Ernie, but when you mention the Allardyce route, I'm intrigued to what you was thinking with this squad of players?

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