05/08/2023 212comments  |  Jump to last
Everton 1 - 0 Sporting CP

Everton's final pre-season friendly took place at Goodison Park this afternoon with European opposition, Sporting CP, from Portugal: kick-off 3 pm BST.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin was declared fit enough to start!

Demarai Gray is not expected to take part as he continues to negotiate a protracted move away to Fulham – next weeks visitors when the new Premier League season kicks off. 

While potential new signing Youssef Chermiti, Sporting's 19-year-old striker, is in a similar position with his protracted move to Everton meaning he is unlikely to play for either side today.  While Tom Cannon appears to be edging closer to a loan deal with Preston North End.

Article continues below video content

Other absentees include Seamus Coleman and Dele Alli who are each recovering from surgery last season.  While Jean-Philippe Gbamin remains mysteriously invisible. 

Both Dwight McNeil and Arnaut Danjuma have sustained injuries which also keep them out of this game. 

A rather damp Goodison Park saw Iwobi kick things off for the Blues and they looked pretty bright with a number of decent forays and corners in the first 5 minutes. 

Gyökeres cut down the right for Sporting and crossed for a perfect set-up that Gonzales squandered somewhat, scooping his shot at an open goal a foot over the bar. Another attack had the nerves jangling as the Everton defence were too easily opened up. 

Everton deserved a goal when Young fed Iwobi in space and his cross was wellied by Doucouré, parried up in the air to Calvert-Lewin who had the whole goal to aim at but let it bounce off his head and straight to the keeper. 

Sporting went up the other end and almost scored, Gyökeres's shot being well stopped by Pickford. And Everton went back up the Park End but Onana's cross was easy for the Sporting keeper to gather. Gueye later had to have his usual utterly useless shot — well off target.

Just before the break, Doucouré's shot was blocked by the hand of a defender going to ground and Calvert-Lewin executed the penalty kick superbly to give Everton the lead at half-time.

Sean Dyche made a couple of changes for the second half. Maupay was soon in action, heading a cross high and wide of goal that might have been converted by Garner running in behind him.

Onana had a good overlap down the left but was pushed a bit painfully onto the cinder path while Maupay and then Garner each had a little set-to with their respective markers from the visiting side. All a little bit unsavoury…

A great piece of play followed a poor Garner free-kick, the ball getting worked to Onana who smacked a tremendous shot onto the face of the post with the keeper well beaten. Maupay was then booked for catching the player when he challenged for and won the ball. 

Onana was next to be booked for a poor tackle from behind, scything through his man. Pickford was very grateful when a clever shot hit the top of his post and bounced back kindly to him. 

Gyökeres floored Tarkowski with a crunching challenge that did for his left knee in a cruel incident near the end, and there were lots of concerned Everton staff as he finally walked off gingerly after extensive treatment, to be replaced by Michael Keane. 

Keane played a nice through-ball to Maupay but it wasn't the right side for him to pick it up. Everton had to withstand a couple of tricky corners in added time, and a tremendous rising strike that Pickford may have got his fingertip to.

So ended a pretty strongly competitive game that signalled an undefeated pre-season campaign for Everton – as long as Tarkowski is not too badly injured.  

Everton: Pickford, Patterson, Tarkowski (88' Keane), Godfrey (46' Branthwaite), Young (65' Mykolenko)Iwobi, Onana [Y:78'], Doucoure (79' Gomes), Gana (74' Dobbin), Garner, Calvert-Lewin (46' Maupay [Y:75']). 

Subs not Used: Virginia, Lonergan, Hunt, Onyango.  

Attendance: 28,322


Reader Comments (212)

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Michael Kenrick
1 Posted 05/08/2023 at 11:09:25
Get Down To Goodison Park!

But, if you can't make it to the Old Lady this afternoon, there's always live streaming online…

However, the online streaming looks even more challenging than usual (I say that based on the anecdotal experience of other posters – I've never had a problem but it's all about being logged in properly at the official website Live Portal).

This time, it comes with a warning:

* Due to Article 48 and broadcasting rights, the free live stream will be available to viewers outside the United Kingdom, Portugal, South Africa, Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Sao Tome and Principe, and Equatorial Guinea (PALOP) only.

Somehow, its availability is linked with the new sponsorship by KICK, but I've no idea what Article 48 is or says.

Everton... we never shone so brightly,
Everton… The Spirit of the Blues

Mark Andersson
2 Posted 05/08/2023 at 11:23:58
Good luck to all the crazy bluenose fans that turn up expecting an entertaining game...

Brent Stephens
3 Posted 05/08/2023 at 11:31:08
Mark: "Good luck to all the crazy blue nose fans that turn up expecting an entertaining game."

Mark, I'll be turning up not necessarily expecting an entertaining game, because that's not what it's all about today as I see it. What I think it is about, and I'll be watching, is who plays, in what positions, using what formations and tactics, with what levels of fitness, with what in-game changes etc (and especially what new goal celebrations, most importantly!). This isn't the new season – it's all about preparation for the new season.

I might not like the look of what chef is doing in the kitchen, but I'm more likely to enjoy the dish once served up.

Tony Abrahams
4 Posted 05/08/2023 at 11:38:20
The season is getting closer now and, once Monday comes you, will be able to really smell it.

But pre-season is all about preparation and hopefully Dyche has got us prepared for a much better season than the last two. I'm sure he will, even if I still expect quite a few changes before the transfer window closes shut.

Alex Gray
5 Posted 05/08/2023 at 11:38:41
Looks to be no Danjuma or McNeil due to injury with Gray seemingly out of the door soon considering he's not turned up to training all week.

Worrying lack of wingers. I'm guessing Dobbin and Iwobi on the flanks. Be interesting to see if Dom starts today! My guess at the team will be the following:

Patterson Tarkowski Branthwaite Young
Garner Gana
Iwobi Dobbin (wings)

Bench: Virginia, Keane, Mykolenko, Godfrey, Onana, Alli, Onyango, Maupay, Kouyate (I'm not sure of how many players are allowed on the bench in pre-season friendlies?)

I don't expect a classic today by any means but I'm hoping for Dele Alli to get a runout and Dom to get about 60-75 minutes under his belt so that he's close to ready for Fulham. Onana or Keane could also start, I'm guessing.

Dave Abrahams
6 Posted 05/08/2023 at 12:30:49
The complete absence of information about what is going on with the players' fitness is disgraceful, especially about one of the most important players the club has, McNeil. It's like he doesn't exist, not a word since his injury 7 days ago.

As for today's game, I was hoping to see the two summer signings plus a couple more but it looks like we will only be seeing Young. Two or three more signings like Young would be a big help to get us through another worrying season.

Today's Echo pays tribute to the biggest asset the club has got – the supporters. These are the the reporter's words:

Unfortunately the reporter, Joe Thomas, doesn't condemn those running the club apparently from home, if at all.

Brian Wilkinson
7 Posted 05/08/2023 at 12:56:28
Dave, I told Jim two weeks ago Branthwaite will be leaving Everton due to information I had from a good source.

Whether it still is the case or not who knows, but do not be suprised if he leaves in this transfer window, that's as much as I can say.

David West
8 Posted 05/08/2023 at 13:03:59
Dave @6.

I'm not worried about the info on injuries. If they have no chance of making the Fulham game, then why let the opposition know? Keep them guessing.

Yes, we would like to know… but, if they are fit they play,
I just don't see the point in saying Calvert-Lewin, McNeil and Danjuma are or are not going to play until the teamsheets handed in. Just gives the other side time to plan a strategy.

Dave Abrahams
9 Posted 05/08/2023 at 13:15:35
Brian (7),

Well, I think there will be movements in and out before the window closes. It would have been better if the signings are ready to play in the easy games, on paper, at the beginning of the season, and I do understand that we are in a difficult situation when it comes to bringing players in.

David (8),

Fair enough, still frustrating though.

Bill Fairfield
10 Posted 05/08/2023 at 13:35:47
Final pre-season game and no sign of any meaningful improvement to the squad. Transfer dealings as usual, at a snail's pace.

Is there any hope of anything positive soon? I hope so. COYB.

Peter Thistle
11 Posted 05/08/2023 at 13:57:35
Hope Dobbin gets the nod ahead of Whathisname, the fella who is shite.
John Raftery
12 Posted 05/08/2023 at 14:02:28
I'm feeling positive. The fitness work has been done. Now it's about cohesion and building understanding and confidence.

McNeil's injury is a blow but an opportunity for another player to come through. I'm looking forward to seeing Young and Danjuma.

Martin Farrington
13 Posted 05/08/2023 at 14:09:33
It's Everton. For the last three decades, there has been no information worthy of note released by you-know-who to us,
The Despised.

As for transfers… sigh. I'm no mathematician (so I'm similar to Moshiri there, then) but money from player sales (even before the mess Dumb and Dumber have put us in now) – I never saw equal amounts from sales going back into purchases.

The sales were always crap and never the true amount stated. Dependant upon ludicrous caveats such as winning leagues and trophies. Or landing on Mars. (Joke!) Whilst we paid massively over the odds for a lesser quality duffer.

And here we are again. I am allowed the privilege to detest those in charge. But the team and the club are my blood and I bloody love them.

Michael Lynch
14 Posted 05/08/2023 at 14:11:27
Last run-out before the season starts and the only new face is a 38-year-old who came in on a free, and Kenwright and Moshiri are still in charge.

Really looking forward to the massive changes Sean Dyche asked for after the Bournemouth game.

Ian McDowell
15 Posted 05/08/2023 at 14:19:11
One week before the season starts, and that's the bench! Embarrassing…
Ian Jones
16 Posted 05/08/2023 at 14:22:24
Let's keep positive for the new season and see what it brings. I personally, I think we'll be good enough for a Top 10 position.

Kevin Molloy
17 Posted 05/08/2023 at 14:25:41
A fter a TWO YEAR wait, finally our wingers have someone to aim at!

(what's that, all three wingers out?)

as you were

sporting manager's final words 'just let them have the ball'

Dyche 'don't let them have the ball'.

Kim Vivian
18 Posted 05/08/2023 at 14:26:14
As usual, I will be looking for any links to this game chaps.

Everton live portal...


This video is unavailable in your region"

Article 48 interference I assume.

Alex Gray
19 Posted 05/08/2023 at 14:34:46
I'm disappointed that Branthwaite isn't starting to be honest.

Regarding the bench when Mcneil, Danjuma and Chermiti are on it things look a bit healthier but we all know we need more.

Nick Page
20 Posted 05/08/2023 at 14:42:09
Fuck off Kenwright

Forza Everton

Robert Tressell
21 Posted 05/08/2023 at 14:43:30
Agreed, Alex - and surely we could have given Dobbin another run-out too at the expense of one of four central midfielders?

Oh well, it will be good to see whether Godfrey can return to his pre-Covid best with us this season.

Robert Tressell
22 Posted 05/08/2023 at 14:43:30
Agreed, Alex - and surely we could have given Dobbin another run-out too at the expense of one of four central midfielders?

Oh well, it will be good to see whether Godfrey can return to his pre-Covid best with us this season.

Robert Tressell
23 Posted 05/08/2023 at 14:43:31
Agreed, Alex - and surely we could have given Dobbin another run-out too at the expense of one of four central midfielders?

Oh well, it will be good to see whether Godfrey can return to his pre-Covid best with us this season.

Robert Tressell
24 Posted 05/08/2023 at 14:43:31
Agreed, Alex - and surely we could have given Dobbin another run-out too at the expense of one of four central midfielders?

Oh well, it will be good to see whether Godfrey can return to his pre-Covid best with us this season.

Jeff Armstrong
25 Posted 05/08/2023 at 14:45:57
Branthwaite should be starting on the left of Tarkowski, Godfrey is not a starter anywhere in the back four.
Kim Vivian
26 Posted 05/08/2023 at 14:48:33
Article 48 is to do with the 3.00pm UK broadcasting blackout evidently.
Gary Fenton
27 Posted 05/08/2023 at 14:49:31
Looking forward to seeing the changes in the teams play this season but not holding my breath.


Jack Convery
28 Posted 05/08/2023 at 14:54:24
One new face for a team that nearly got relegated - cheers Dumb and Dumber. If Branthwaite can't get in ahead of Godfrey I despair. PSV desperately wanted Branthwaite - would they even consider Godfrey !

Jay Harris
29 Posted 05/08/2023 at 14:55:52
I too am disappointed Godfrey is starting ahead of Branthwaite.

If Jarrad does not get any minutes today, that's a sure sign he is on his way.

Kim Vivian
30 Posted 05/08/2023 at 14:56:39
Michael - are you going to open up the LF for this game?
Michael Kenrick
31 Posted 05/08/2023 at 14:58:02
Just thinking about doing that, Kim.

Give us a mo...

… and there ya go!

Jamie Crowley
32 Posted 05/08/2023 at 15:01:26
The McNeil and Danjuma injuries are very concerning. We can't be injury riddled this season, we simply must stay healthy.

If we encounter a rash of injuries, relegation is certainly a possibility. If we stay healthy we'll be comfortably safe.

Season in a nutshell in my opinion.

Ian Bennett
33 Posted 05/08/2023 at 15:03:17
On YouTube with Portuguese commentary
Tony Everan
34 Posted 05/08/2023 at 15:03:49
Big opportunity for Godfrey to show he can handle the centre-back berth.

I expected Branthwaite to start today, maybe they'll get a half each.

Jamie Crowley
35 Posted 05/08/2023 at 15:06:16
If Branthwaite isn't starting, is it possible there's a transfer in his future and we're keeping him on the bench to not sustain injury and scupper a move?
Mike Hayes
36 Posted 05/08/2023 at 15:12:25
Two GKs on bench - why not put all 3 in and hope for the best 🤷🤡🤡
Martin Farrington
37 Posted 05/08/2023 at 15:15:16
We have started brightly. A couple of corners come to nothing.
Sporting now coming into the game with corners.
No shots yet.
DcL a lil bit rusty.
Sporting break down right.
Striker unmarked 12 yards out and hits it over the bar
Martin Farrington
38 Posted 05/08/2023 at 15:17:30
DcL puts Iwobi in on right of box. He shoots and nearly hits corner flag.
We get opened up down the left.
Again ball comes in to far area if box.
Unmarked player closed by Pickford and young
Jack Convery
39 Posted 05/08/2023 at 15:18:02
For those not planning to see Sporting live in the flesh, this is not a fixture you will be able to view online. Due to the game taking place on a Saturday afternoon at 3pm, traditional blackout rules seen on a weekly basis in the Premier League and EFL will apply.

The blackout rule has been in place since the 1960s and prevents matches from being televised in the UK between 2:45pm and 5:15pm.

In todays Echo.

Martin Farrington
40 Posted 05/08/2023 at 15:19:45
We are losing possession too easy.
Sporting on top.
Bright start now reduced to defending.
Alex Gray
41 Posted 05/08/2023 at 15:19:46
Should be 2-0 sporting already. Gyokores tearing us apart currently. We're keeping hold of the ball well but whenever we get into the final third we instantly lose it. Same old really.
Martin Farrington
42 Posted 05/08/2023 at 15:22:36
Its become lively.
Onana and Iwobi link well down left but onana over runs it and falls over.
Gueye in hard. Game paused
Martin Farrington
44 Posted 05/08/2023 at 15:27:51
We are passing out from back which doesnt get us far.
Sporting press.
We get out with a long ball from edge of box but it doesnt stick up front.
We lose possession.
Sporting fast attack. We have enough cover.
Onana and Godfrey give niggling fouls away.
We have not looked like scoring in last 10 mins. Sporting look fit and sharp.
They have had two clear chances.
Our midfield of concern.
A free kick for us is wasted and Sporting keep the ball
Martin Farrington
45 Posted 05/08/2023 at 15:32:02
The coventry guy is mom so far. He is a player.
We try to play and link up going forward. Final pass misplaced.
Again we are exposed on a flank.
This time the left but Cattermo ? doesnt shoot from corner of box and is shut out.
Iwobi sprints out and over hits.
We get ball back in our half.
Onana breaks out.
Iwobi cross blocked and drom corner sporting come at us
Jeff Armstrong
46 Posted 05/08/2023 at 15:32:15
Gyorkeres showing far more than DCL.
Martin Farrington
49 Posted 05/08/2023 at 15:38:22
We are just a bit out of shape as a team whereas Sporting look honed.
Coventry guy through. Passes to RS guy who from 8 yds out passez to Picky
We break finally iwobi gets his cross over
Docoure volleys from 10 yds keeper saves. Dcl 4 yfs out heads at keeper who parries n catches
Sporting break and cross. Godfrey beaten again and pickford great save.
Sp corner they head at goal garner clears
Martin Farrington
50 Posted 05/08/2023 at 15:38:53
We break. Onana poor cross
Alex Gray
51 Posted 05/08/2023 at 15:39:32
Should be 1-0. Best chance of the game. Iwobi cross to Docoure who volleys it straight into the keeper who palms it out to Dom from three yards out who heads it straight back to the keeper. Better build up play though.
Martin Farrington
52 Posted 05/08/2023 at 15:40:16
We were nearly thru. Dcl holds up play. But its too slow. Gana shoots. Watch out crowd
Martin Farrington
54 Posted 05/08/2023 at 15:44:39
We are missing that final something in the last 3rd still but dcl makes us look better. Iwobi cant cross and nothing from our right.
Sp looking to win their league this year.
We are a bit leggy.
Sp have v.fast players with skill.
Thankfully they are not executing their chances.
Iwobi has control of our left but cant beat their defender for speed.
A cross by Patterson is over hit.
We win vack poss. Iwobi. Crosses. Offside dcl
Martin Farrington
55 Posted 05/08/2023 at 15:47:45
Cov guy slips tark who recovers. Foul for us. Dcl takes control of ling hit. Passing about to get Iwobi in position left flag. Cross goes out if play
Martin Farrington
56 Posted 05/08/2023 at 15:48:19
Penalty for us
Martin Farrington
57 Posted 05/08/2023 at 15:49:26
Dcl crosses to duke. He shoots. Blocked by def who handles when sliding.
Dcl to take
Martin Farrington
58 Posted 05/08/2023 at 15:50:21
Hits it to his right above keeper
Tony Everan
61 Posted 05/08/2023 at 15:55:44
Massive to have DCL back, the team looks like it has a purpose when we have a proper striker on the pitch.

He's a bit rusty and the final balls in could have been a lot better. But still we look a different outfit with DCL. Highlights the importance of the back up / challenger signing.

Onana a touch of class that half, I hope we don't sell him, he's improving.

Martin Farrington
62 Posted 05/08/2023 at 15:56:15
Half time

Sp Lisb look good and carve us too easy. Could be 2 up.
We should have had one prior to penalty.
Our tackling to stop their play is good.
Iwobi has had majority of wing play.
Delivery and speed has let him down.
Garner looking class.
onana has been ok but not involved enough.
Godfrey better in centre than at full back.
DcL makes a huge difference and with game time will only get better.
He takes the ball in his stride whichever way he faces. His control and pass to Duke to shoot got us the pen.
Overall satisfactory with

Alex Gray
63 Posted 05/08/2023 at 15:59:02
Thoughts on first half. Onana looks a level above last year. Iwobi is making a lot of clever runs but his crossing has been dire sadly.

Midfield looks fit but we're poor on the ball when going forwards.

Patterson looks lively going forwards and is doing well defensively. Young looks okay and i'd start him before Mykolenko. Goddfrey has been bullied by Gyokores.

Sporting look poor to be honest but Gyokores looks a talent.

Kieran Kinsella
64 Posted 05/08/2023 at 16:01:58
Dyche is getting the best out of the group we have that’s all you can ask of the man but hopefully we get some attacking ammunition before long.
Martin Farrington
65 Posted 05/08/2023 at 16:07:49
Kieran I agree.
He has a set side whom he will stick with. Those he trusts. It will be tough as a youngster to break in.
Tony Everan
66 Posted 05/08/2023 at 16:08:08
Kieran, Shame we couldn't have a good look at Danjuma today. Also, MCNeil would have been more productive in the left midfield slot. Dobbin, improving and we will get a look this second half. Soon we could have the first two back , Chermiti and Gnonto. Things could look very different in a few weeks time.

Saving DCL to play an hour against Fulham?

Martin Farrington
67 Posted 05/08/2023 at 16:08:39
Oh lordy.
Maupay for DcL
Now what will we do
Martin Farrington
68 Posted 05/08/2023 at 16:11:14
The commentator has just realised Branthwaite is on for Godfrey
Colin Malone
69 Posted 05/08/2023 at 16:12:11
Gana Gueye our best player.
Martin Farrington
70 Posted 05/08/2023 at 16:12:12
Not much excitement long shot from sp goes over
Martin Farrington
71 Posted 05/08/2023 at 16:13:47
Great work down left and iwobi crosses but Maupay too small and heads it wide, just off the head of garner who never called.
Martin Farrington
72 Posted 05/08/2023 at 16:16:18
Pickford error and passes to sp.who cant make most as tark has it on edge of box
Tarks on cov dude and cov dude gone quiet
Martin Farrington
73 Posted 05/08/2023 at 16:20:12
Im not into our passing from back but on this occasion we havent lost it.
ends up with sp keeper as iwobi cant find maupay.
We have slowed pace
Passing from back. Onana speeds down left into box and Onana ends up in hoarding and still down.
Handbags out with garner maupay and sp.players
Martin Farrington
74 Posted 05/08/2023 at 16:21:04
Onana back on.
Throws a couple of limps in and is ok now
Martin Farrington
75 Posted 05/08/2023 at 16:24:45
Sp have no threat and pickford collects cross but hoofs it long to midget maupay. Sp 6'4" dood wins headers easily as no comp.
Corner for sp from nothing
Jordan catches hits it long to wing.
Our throw
Colin Malone
76 Posted 05/08/2023 at 16:28:40
I would bring on Gomes for Doucoure
Martin Farrington
77 Posted 05/08/2023 at 16:28:47
We try down right garners crosses blocked.
Onana takes it off ganas toe.
No way idrissa allowed to shoot.
Game scrappy. Not much to report.
Mykolenko for Young
Martin Farrington
78 Posted 05/08/2023 at 16:30:52
Patterson comes inside but gets lost in his own head and passes to them
Sp on att and cattermo cruises inside right edge of box and misses over and just wide
Martin Farrington
79 Posted 05/08/2023 at 16:32:06
Sp subs.
4 on 4 off
Martin Farrington
80 Posted 05/08/2023 at 16:33:54
Sp have come alive a bit again. Sp break down their left and cross.
Pick catches.
We break but final ball fails. Sp again left. But go back.
Martin Farrington
81 Posted 05/08/2023 at 16:35:36
Branthwaite doing well. Looks like a player at the back.
Goid passing down right leading to corner
Martin Farrington
82 Posted 05/08/2023 at 16:36:53
Corner poor from Garner. Handball outside rt corner of box 10 yds out

Crowd 28.3k

Martin Farrington
83 Posted 05/08/2023 at 16:38:25
Poor free kick leads to left and Onana from 20 yds out on our left hits post.
Gana off Dobbin on
Martin Farrington
84 Posted 05/08/2023 at 16:40:18
Sp break. Branthwaite tidies up. Hoof from jord leading to maupay sliding in after not winning header.
Never a foul but maupay booked
Martin Farrington
85 Posted 05/08/2023 at 16:41:27
Sp look goid in our box but we clear. Onana mid our half slides in taking out player n gets booked
Martin Farrington
86 Posted 05/08/2023 at 16:42:25
Final pass again lets us down as we look to go right.
Gomez for duke. 79 mins gone
Martin Farrington
87 Posted 05/08/2023 at 16:44:47
Jeez. that was close
Sp beat Dobbin in their half.
Quick passes in our box and Off dobbin which leads to their player hitting side netting
Martin Farrington
88 Posted 05/08/2023 at 16:47:11
10 mins left.
Sp look more likely.
Again intricate passing. Edge of our box
Sp hit angle
They have energy to burn
Martin Farrington
89 Posted 05/08/2023 at 16:48:58
We are now a bit pedestrian.
Onana fouled by sp inside their half.
Sp fans are louder than us.
Tarks gone down.
Left knee gone after challange
Martin Farrington
90 Posted 05/08/2023 at 16:50:40
He is stamping right foot
He is in pain but knee is bending
He is sitting up
Hopefully it is a horrible inside knee bone knock
He is up and limping off
Keane on
Alex Gray
91 Posted 05/08/2023 at 16:51:42
Tarky off injured.
Martin Farrington
92 Posted 05/08/2023 at 16:54:22
Well. Guess what.
Up front with Maupay.
No outlet.
We don't adapt. Midfielders not really pushing up
1 shot from outside box.

They control game. Again get into our box on right. Corner.
In it comes we clear but its a corner
4 mins they come back at us as no player up front.

Martin Farrington
93 Posted 05/08/2023 at 16:55:50
Defended well. Corner.
Gomes miscontrols and gifts sp from 12 yds out excellent save.
World class keeper.

Martin Farrington
94 Posted 05/08/2023 at 16:58:03
Sp break
Sp in our box.
Its last ditch stuff.
Outlet dobbin but easily beaten.
We are hanging on
Maupay up front. Loses ball. Chased it. Foul to sp
Sp beat dobbin n myk. Corner
Martin Farrington
95 Posted 05/08/2023 at 16:58:55
Short corner and final whistle.
Well done lads.
Tony Everan
96 Posted 05/08/2023 at 17:04:01
An excellent work out against a decent team, became a bit scrappy in the second half with the substitutions. We looked miles better with DCL, just hope Tarks is ok. Attacking wise we are threadbare , and need McNeil and Danjuma back for next week.
Michael Lynch
97 Posted 05/08/2023 at 17:04:32
Much the same as last season, but with a slightly weaker squad at the moment.

There has to be three or four incoming, surely? Especially when Gray goes. The squad looks paper thin.

George Cumiskey
98 Posted 05/08/2023 at 17:04:59
Caught the second half we looked awful, I don't think there'll be many worse teams than us next season.
Alex Gray
99 Posted 05/08/2023 at 17:05:36
Overall a good run out as long as Tarky is fit for next week.

Onana head and shoulders the best player on the pitch. Branthwaite must be starting and apart from a little spell at the end and the firs ten minutes we shut Sporting out and looked comfortable.

Maupay dropped deep to pass a few times forgetting that once again he's meant to be a striker. Zero threat and likes to wrestle more than play football.

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
100 Posted 05/08/2023 at 17:05:42
And not only undefeated Michael, we never conceeded!
Barry Hesketh
102 Posted 05/08/2023 at 17:11:41
I believe that Onana was Senegalese born and he plays for Belgium, but who am I to argue with the Echo.
A free-flowing move from Everton ends with Onana's curling effort rattling the woodwork. Fantastic from the Frenchman.

I thought it was pretty tasty for a pre-season game, Onana could be a star, if he can perform consistently week in week out. Patterson is not a full-back, I don't know what he is, but he ain't a defender. Iwobi went missing in the second-half, although he could have been doing a job off the ball for the team.

I hope Tarks is okay by next week, we can't be starting the campaign without him in the defence, we still conceded too many opportunities in and around the box, and that trait for panic defending still exists. My player of the game, was Garner, he goes about his business quietly but effectively.

Enjoy, the next seven days of relative peace and quiet, before we have another nervous season ahead of us, unless we can find some quality in the attacking third.

Andrew Keatley
103 Posted 05/08/2023 at 17:12:20
The Maupay situation is truly bizarre. There are probably teams and formations in which he can contribute something positive but he is a complete liability in our current set-up. I’m not sure how we can effectively move him out of the club for a moderate fee but it really does just feel like he needs to go.
Kevin Molloy
104 Posted 05/08/2023 at 17:20:44
Dyche has done a number on this sorry sack of shit we've been rooting for, and they look a lot better. I think we're actually going to have a relatively peaceful season.
John Catto
105 Posted 05/08/2023 at 17:20:46
If only we had a playmaker. Someone who could beat a man with skill or a pass
Peter Hodgson
106 Posted 05/08/2023 at 17:21:17
A much improved performance on last week. I don't get the moans about Maupay tracking back. When it was necessary its okay. Okay I'm not thrilled with his wrestling though. Not necessary.

Good to see DCL confidently scoring the pen. He looked good in his time on the pitch. It is what we have been hoping for from Onana. He was excellent. Hope it was good for him too because it is what we want from him and will stand him in good stead for the new season.

The only bad thing about the whole match was Tarks getting injured towards the end. Hope it is nothing serious, fingers and toes crossed. I'm looking a bit brighter about the new season after that one. COYB.

Paul Tran
107 Posted 05/08/2023 at 17:24:58
Maupay isn't, and will never be, a lone striker. He needs someone upfront with him to be the 9 or 10 goal a season striker he was at Brighton. A classic piece of expensive, square peg round hole recruitment by Everton.
George Cumiskey
108 Posted 05/08/2023 at 17:25:26
John Catto, spot on mate.
Billy Shears
109 Posted 05/08/2023 at 17:28:39
Unbeaten in pre-season!... let's keep it going eh Blues, starting next week with a solid win versus Fulham,we need a good start this season and I believe we can achieve it too.
Ian Edwards
110 Posted 05/08/2023 at 17:31:52
107. Agreed Paul. Dyche needs to be brave and play a second striker and drop one of the DMs. Gueye/Onana/Doucoure. Preferably Gueye who is dreadful.
Neil Gribbin
111 Posted 05/08/2023 at 17:32:39
Just out of the game….not bad, certainly not brilliant. Tarkowski hopefully fit for next week. Branthwaite looks decent. We need to get Garner on the ball more
Ben King
112 Posted 05/08/2023 at 17:35:08
Ian #110

Would you really drop Doucouré? Honestly?

We don’t have many goal scorers on the pitch but Doucs is one of them and his goals very vital last season

C’mon mate, are you really suggesting that he’s a contender to make way??

Jeff Armstrong
113 Posted 05/08/2023 at 17:44:28
Ian has a point, Maupay did well at both Brentford and Brighton playing in a two, he’s probably as pissed off as the rest of us at his performances in a blue shirt, he can only work with what he’s been given, i.e, nobody !

Everyone slags off Maupay being picked for the squad, who else is there?

Its not like anyone else has set the world on fire up top at Everton lately and Maupay is keeping them out the team, far from it, DCL wouldn’t have got many goals these last 2 seasons if fit, as we do not create chances for forwards, our midfield is creatively dire.

We desperately need a midfield playmaker.

Billy Shears
114 Posted 05/08/2023 at 17:46:01
John #105...Like Harrison from Leeds !?... would do for me, plus we still need a decent Striker still!
Frank Thomas
115 Posted 05/08/2023 at 17:51:41
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail, is the comment we all say of Everton's recruitment policy every year.

2023 no exception.

Everybody in the league knows we need a reliable striker the situation with Chermiti is a perfect example. He has missed all of the preseason games. The crucial opportunity for him to blend in with his team mates has been missed for a £!.7M amount ???

We have paid Gbamin millions for a handful of games, £5M to a player under suspicion from the police due to his own actions who played no games for that money and millions to other players and managers for not performing.

How difficult is it to negotiate with this player, example he says he wants 60K pw how many goals do you think you will score, he states 15? fine we will pay you 50K pw and increase that to 60k pw for the whole season when you score 15 goals or if we qualify for Europe that figure increases to 70k pw. Then we have a tiger who actually earns more if he scores more and the team plays better.

Have a look at our first 6 games we should be able to get 8 points, less than 3 and we are in trouble.

David West
116 Posted 05/08/2023 at 17:54:40
I'd say one of the 3 central midfielders would lose their place if we find a creative midfield player.

Onana showed a couple of times today when he bursts forward he's dangerous, he just needs to do it more; take the shackles off him and make him the advancing midfield player.

I feel for Garner, I would've liked to see how he and Onana could play in front of either Doucouré or Gana. Versatility can be a bad thing for a young player trying to establish themselves.

We don't really have the players for 4-4-2 at the moment.
4-3-3 or 4-5-1 seems like the obvious choice. We are missing that one player who knits it all together, it could be Garner if given his chance in the middle.

Only really Danjuma and McNeil missing from the first XI. I'd say we need another wide man, striker and creator.

Kieran Kinsella
117 Posted 05/08/2023 at 17:55:35
Patterson doesn't convince me. I know he's young but so is my dog and, despite my best efforts, I see no evidence he will become a top player. Overall, Kenny was better.

As for Maupay? He did okay at Brighton but they'd create about 30 along-the-ground decent goalscoring openings per game. He'd miss nine, get one and, on paper, seem okay. But as a target man chasing crosses and maybe getting one clear shot per game, he is always going to struggle.

Barry Hesketh
118 Posted 05/08/2023 at 17:56:42
We missed McNeil today and it looks like we'll be without him next week too; better news on Tarkowski and Danjuma, according to Dyche.

Sean Dyche has provided injury updates on James Tarkowski, Arnaut Danjuma and Dwight McNeil following Everton's 1-0 pre-season friendly win over Sporting CP at Goodison Park on Saturday.

The Blues boss said he was hopeful defender Tarkowski, who was forced off late on against the Portuguese giants, sustained "just a knock" and the Club was "being ultra careful" ahead of next weekend's Premier League opener against Fulham.

Danjuma – who joined the Blues on loan this summer from Villarreal – missed the match against Sporting but Dyche confirmed the forward had picked up a minor knock and is "hopeful he will be back on grass next week".

Fellow winger McNeil went off late on against Stoke City last weekend, with Dyche admitting the ex-Burnley man was "facing a little period out so we'll have to see how that settles down". Source: Everton OS

Michael Lynch
119 Posted 05/08/2023 at 17:58:10
Dyche has said that Dwight McNeil is "facing a little period out so we'll have to see how that settles down".

Tarkowski he hopes is just a knock and they're being ultra-cautious, while Danjuma should be "back on grass" next week, which either means full training… or smoking as much gear as he can get hold of to stop him breaking down at the thought of a full season at Everton.

Brian Wilkinson
120 Posted 05/08/2023 at 18:08:36
Branthwaite looks quality, I hope and prey we keep hold of the lad, but again from what I know, he will be sold in this window, unless something drastic changes.
Jeff Armstrong
121 Posted 05/08/2023 at 18:26:55
Branthwaite is a saleable asset, he wants to leave, he will be sold this window.
Keane,Godfrey and Tarkowski will be our central defenders to start the season.
Gary Brown
122 Posted 05/08/2023 at 18:32:11
“He wants to leave”

Decades of Bullshit Bill's press releases, and some of our fans lap it up still.

Jeff Armstrong
123 Posted 05/08/2023 at 18:35:03
Why would you not want to leave?
Barry Hesketh
124 Posted 05/08/2023 at 18:42:26
Speaking after the win over Sporting, Dyche said of McNeil: “It's not going to be days. It's going to be weeks rather than days. We're waiting on a weekly update if you like. So, yeah, we'll see how long it takes. He's just hurt his ankle ligaments.” Source: Echo
Andy Crooks
125 Posted 05/08/2023 at 18:42:33
Martin F, were you an unofficial commentator? Well done.
Rob Halligan
126 Posted 05/08/2023 at 18:42:36
Jeff #121,

I don't know where you're getting this shit from, but Branthwaite does definitely not want to leave.

Brian Wilkinson
127 Posted 05/08/2023 at 18:46:04
Watch this space, Rob.
Brent Stephens
128 Posted 05/08/2023 at 18:47:10
Jeff #121 "Branthwaite is a saleable asset, he wants to leave".

And your source is...?

Graham Fylde
129 Posted 05/08/2023 at 18:48:54
Brian #120 – he does look quality, I agree.

What is it you know that makes you believe he'll be leaving?

Rob Halligan
130 Posted 05/08/2023 at 18:49:06
Brian, no need, mate. I've got a very reliable source that says Branthwaite does not want to leave Everton.
Jeff Armstrong
131 Posted 05/08/2023 at 18:50:46
Rob @126,

I've heard more than once that he wants to leave with Man Utd interested and he said himself that he was more than happy to stay away at PSV for another spell; I don't think its shit.

He's not exactly been given a chance to make the left-sided central defensive position his own either, has he? He didn't start today with Godfrey picked ahead of him in what was Dyche's strongest available 11.

He's going.

My source, Brent? Nobody… just reading between the lines… probably wrong.

Rob obviously has better intel.

Barry Hesketh
132 Posted 05/08/2023 at 18:51:26
Given Everton's financial position, it's likely we'll cash in on someone; Branthwaite will likely be the most profitable sale as far as the books are concerned.

Sell him for £25M and it goes straight in the profit column, buy Maguire or someone else for same price and that fee is amortised over the period of the contract.

Not what I would like to see, but I feel it is inevitable it will happen; nothing to do with what a player may or may not want.

Rob Halligan
133 Posted 05/08/2023 at 18:55:14
Well, Jeff, my source is a close friend of mine, who just happens to be a very close friend of Branthwaite's dad, and I can tell you now, Branthwaite is going nowhere.
Andy Crooks
134 Posted 05/08/2023 at 18:56:31
Ian @110,

In my view, we do not have the midfield to play two strikers. If you are suggesting Calvert-Lewin and Maupay as a 1970s type Little and Large duo, then I predict we will score more goals and see some hugely entertaining (for the neutral) 7-3 defeats.

It will never happen, rightly, under Dyche.

Maupay was a panic, utterly ludicrous buy and will never fit into a team with any aspiration. That's why he's ours.

Stuart Sharp
135 Posted 05/08/2023 at 18:58:46
Kieran @117,

I get where your coming from about Patterson being unconvincing, but no way on earth was Kenny better. I just don't see that. Patterson's run of games before his injury last season showed lots of promise.

A few positives to cling to today. Garner getting better, Onana getting forward more, Branthwaite looking super solid. But we still rarely look like scoring. We create so little of note.

Christy Ring
136 Posted 05/08/2023 at 18:59:24
All Branthwaite wants is first team football at Everton in my opinion, and after his performance today, that's what he'll get.
Brian Wilkinson
137 Posted 05/08/2023 at 18:59:41
Graham, I cannot say, mate, due to confidentiality, unless Everton come in with a wage increase that might change his mind from his current £15 grand a week.

I have shown Jim Lloyd what I know, there could be another logical reason to it, but if my reasoning is correct, he will be on the move this window.

Sam Hoare
138 Posted 05/08/2023 at 19:00:42
Unbeaten in pre-season! When did that last happen?

Sporting are a very decent team who beat both Sociedad and Villarreal 3-0 in their last friendlies.

Clearly we lack dynamism, especially without McNeil and Danjuma but we've been hard to score against (partly thanks to some good goalkeeping).

Not sure we'll see lots of goals this season but if we can keep grinding out results (like we have in preseason) we should be okay.

Jeff Armstrong
139 Posted 05/08/2023 at 19:01:29
Rob, good to hear. He should've started today at left side to Tarkowski.

I think Tarkowski would be even better on his natural right side with Branthwaite to his left, but it's not really been tried, maybe because Branthwaite was late coming back from international duty.

Or he's being sold…

I still think he is a saleable asset to Kenwright and Dyche – whether he wants to stay or not.

Anthony Jones
140 Posted 05/08/2023 at 19:08:09
Garner needs to be central. Best footballer in the side.

If we continue with Gana, Onana, and Doucouré in the middle, we are going to struggle. There isn't enough about them.

David West
141 Posted 05/08/2023 at 19:12:40
Jeff, you have the inside track, do you?? Something we don't know?

I'd say he may stay considering that many teams have wanted him for a while now and it looks like Holgate is negotiating to leave. I'd say he would've gone by now.
3 centre-backs for a Premier League season is not enough!

He has an air of class and calm about him. Dare I say Bobby Moore -esque? I'd say we lose nothing by playing him ahead of Keane and Godfrey. Neither give you security, confidence or trust so what do you lose putting the lad in?

He's played Champions League last season, the lad's not wet behind the ears. If this lad's not showing enough going on a successful loan, playing every week, scoring goals, and playing in the Champions League, then what does he have to do?

What does any young player have to do? He can't do much more!! Play him!!

Shane Corcoran
142 Posted 05/08/2023 at 19:12:47
Dyche namechecking Lewis Dobbin for a good pre-season. Not sure how Lewis is likely to take that.
Graham Fylde
143 Posted 05/08/2023 at 19:19:52
Brian #137 – that's a worry. When you think Godfrey is on @5 times that amount you'd hope they have the sense to give Jarrad a raise!

Shane – yes, I had to play that twice. I hope Lewis has a sense of humour!

Alex Gray
144 Posted 05/08/2023 at 19:25:03
From the sounds of it, Tarkowski just has a knock and Danjuma is back in training next week, which is good. McNeil out for weeks – not so much.

More concerning is that Dyche has apparently (according to Toffee TV Patreon post so not actually heard him say it yet) that no new signings are imminent. That needs to change this week. Reality is we need bodies through the door as we are two injuries away from a crisis again.

Christy Ring
145 Posted 05/08/2023 at 19:33:34
Branthwaite has 2 years left on his contract, and after sending him on loan to gain experience, and letting two centre-backs go, and Holgate next, it makes no sense to sell him now.

Establish himself and give him an improved contract, he's only 21, and all he wants is first-team football. Also, why would we sell him and have to buy a new centre-back?

And please, no-one mention Maguire!

Mark Tanton
146 Posted 05/08/2023 at 19:35:11
It's really appalling that we are dragging our feet on transfers.

With so much dross to get out the door, I suppose it's to be expected.

Tony Everan
147 Posted 05/08/2023 at 19:44:00
Branthwaite wants to build a great career and to do that he needs to play football. The only way I can imagine him wanting to leave is if he was rotting away on the bench. He's good enough to be first choice now and I think he is the lesser gamble compared to Keane and Godfrey.

No one should be expecting perfection, but he needs to be backed. Will fans forgive a few mistakes whilst he is growing into the team? Will the manager!?

There are no certainties in football, especially with young players, but Jarrad looks like he could well develop into a Top-6 (or better) defender.

Oliver Molloy
148 Posted 05/08/2023 at 19:47:06
On the Branthwaite, he will - he won't.

If he wants to stay, then fair play… but it won't matter what he wants if enough money is on the table – and I think if Dyche was offered Maguire in place of him, he would be saying "Get it done!"

Personally, I do not believe for a second that Maguire would want to come to Everton. If Man Utd really want Branthwaite, they will get him, simply because money talks and we are a club that needs it right now.

Shame, but I think it is fair to say that is the true reality.

Graham Hammond
149 Posted 05/08/2023 at 19:56:55
I read somewhere that Jarrad Branthwaite is on £15k a week at Everton. He doubtless knows and understands that he could treble or even quadruple his current salary by moving on to Man Utd so of course it is probable that he does indeed want to leave the club that sells every piece of silver it ever owns.

Who could really blame the lad? Jarrad needs to be starting games for us from the off next week, and that salary (if indeed true) needs looking at as soon as possible if we do not want to drive another young talent out of the door.

Stephen Williams
150 Posted 05/08/2023 at 20:19:32
I have it on good authority that Pickford has had enough and wants to leave. Apparently Villa are interested.

Is this true? Noooo! Of course not; it's complete bullshit.

But it's probably as accurate as most of the made-up crap from no reliable source about Branthwaite!

Some people just want to be in the know and don't mind making stuff up along the way. It's best to just ignore them.

As for why we haven't bought anyone so far, it's quite an easy answer. It's really difficult to buy quickly when there's a lack of buying power.

Jeff Armstrong
151 Posted 05/08/2023 at 20:23:22
I wonder if Branthwaite came back in from the U21 tournament earlier than Garner?

Garner played virtually every game, Branthwaite 45 minutes. Dyche, I expect, will have noted things like that, he’s not played much pre-season, and said in May he would be happy to stay at PSV.

Danny O’Neill
153 Posted 05/08/2023 at 20:40:45
I am not arsed about the result. We looked solid.

From the back, Pickford again is proving why he is England's Number 1 for those who follow England. For me, he is Everton's Number 1.

Patterson impressed me and Tarkowski is an absolute rock. Our captain in making. Branwthaite will and can learn a lot off him.

Idrissa does his thing and defies the years.

Onana looked good. Still young and will get better. Keep hold of him. Almost scored bar the shave of a post.

Iwobi was creative and Garner always looked comfortable and seeking the forward pass.

Good to see Dominic looking lean and keen. And confident.

We will be fine this season.

When Saturday comes. I can't wait.

Great turn out for a pre-season, but credit to the Sporting fans too.

Dave Abrahams
154 Posted 05/08/2023 at 20:41:20
McNeil will be a big loss. I hope he is not out for a long period. He is the best midfielder on the books, in my opinion, with Garner coming along nicely.

Gana does a lot of the dirty work, while Doucoure has plenty of energy but loses the ball too often, Onana had a good effort which hit the post, still lumbering about the pitch and going missing, made three energetic runs which came to nothing.

Falling over, he put his centre straight into the ‘keepers hands and ran the ball out of play, got booked for one of his misplaced on the-floor tackles, got left on his arse with another one.

He got caught inside his own area with a stupid dribble that nearly gave a goal away, made a meal of staying down after two tackles. I thought he had injured himself when he ran the ball out of play but he was okay.

I hope some of the top clubs see his potential, that loads see on here, and come in with huge bid and see his potential come to fruition. I will be very surprised myself.

Rob Halligan
155 Posted 05/08/2023 at 20:42:01
More to the point, Danny, what happened to you???
Ray Jacques
156 Posted 05/08/2023 at 20:42:27
I have a reliable source that Branthwaite wants to either leave or stay.

You heard it here first.

John Raftery
157 Posted 05/08/2023 at 20:42:57
It was a competitive pre-season game on a fast pitch with the ball zipping off the surface. The two Number 9s, Calvert-Lewin and Gyökeres, looked a class above anybody else in the first half.

I thought Onana had a strong second half. He was unfortunate with his shot against the post and his driving runs could make a difference to our attacking play this season.

1-0 to the Everton already has a familiar feel to it. Sixteen clean sheets will see us safe from relegation.

Jeff Armstrong
158 Posted 05/08/2023 at 20:46:33
Dave 154,

So as you saw it, Onana was involved a lot, but you just don't rate him?

Never did, never will.

Same as Richarlison.

Paul Birmingham
159 Posted 05/08/2023 at 20:46:46
Sam, @138, spot on.

Michael Lynch
160 Posted 05/08/2023 at 20:51:21
Massively disappointing to hear McNeil will be out for weeks.

We will struggle without his creativity, that's for sure. With Gray going too, that leaves just Iwobi and the untested (and currently injured) Danjuma.

Too late to sign anyone in time for them to start on Saturday, so we go with what we saw today, and hope Fulham are as shit as us.

Gary Brown
161 Posted 05/08/2023 at 20:56:38
Dave, it's a game of opinions I guess, and sometimes the opinions are as ridiculous as yours.

Onana looks like the amazing slightly raw talent he is. We are lucky to have him, Pickford, Garner, Tarkowski, McNeil, and Calvert-Lewin (fitness permitting). 4 out of 6 of them last season's boys. Yes, plenty of shit to moan about, but there's reason to think we're not dead yet.

Philip Bunting
162 Posted 05/08/2023 at 21:01:58
Back from the game this evening.

I thought the young guns Branthwaite, Patterson, Garner, Onana all did very well. Not impressed at all with Godfrey today, Tarkowski immense, Pickford his usual solid self. Young had a good game, Gana a bit quiet, Iwoba lively but still not one to go for a 50/50 – maybe wise in pre-season.

For me, though, I thought Maupay had a good game, was involved and tiggerish but made the wrong decision a few times, but overall an improvement. Calvert-Lewin got a good 45 minutes under his belt.

We do need to be a bit more careful in front of goal and clear our lines as give them a few opportunites, we may have won but we could have lost. It was one of those games where a draw was probably a fair result but Sporting are no pushovers.

Danny Baily
163 Posted 05/08/2023 at 21:08:07
Phillip @162, based on his track record, a sharp Maupay will get us 7 or so goals a season. For that he'll need to play regularly, and that can't be as a lone striker.
Jeff Armstrong
164 Posted 05/08/2023 at 21:10:04
Maupay's best seasons have come playing in a two; apparently that's out of fashion, so the likes of him are finished.

You'd think a director of football would know about fashion before he signed someone.

Kieran Kinsella
166 Posted 05/08/2023 at 21:17:32

May be the same source — I'm crap with names but maybe Peter or Keith? Who knows the family and posted here a few weeks ago Branthwaite wants to stay.

I wonder if Brian's source is from the club trying to offload him in Rooney style?

Dave Abrahams
167 Posted 05/08/2023 at 21:19:54
Jeff (158),

No, Onana never gets involved enough, goes missing far too often.

I could have mentioned the many times he goes missing, it's too early to say I don't rate him, it's only been 12 months, when he's played well I've given him credit, think it was the Arsenal game, can't think of any other, as for the Brazilian we made a profit on him, not as much as many on here were telling us we would get.

Gary (161),

“Onana looks like the amazing slightly raw talent he is.”

Well, that's fair enough if that's what you see. It looks like he's still in the freezer to me. When he thaws out, maybe I'll see what you see.

Rob Halligan
168 Posted 05/08/2023 at 21:20:42
Kieran… one of those, yeah.
Kieran Kinsella
169 Posted 05/08/2023 at 21:27:38

I agree. How often have we lost league cup games or indeed preseason games against 2nd or 3rd tier teams. Also considering we just avoided relegation and weakened our squad since then getting results and clean sheets against these is decent.

It should raise confidence a bit among the players and fans. We don't have the squad we want but we do seem to be getting the best out of them which wasn't the case a year ago.

Jeff Armstrong
170 Posted 05/08/2023 at 21:32:21
Dave @167,

Honest question, have you ever changed your mind about a player you thought at first was not good enough, but eventually won you over.

Btw Onana was outstanding in the home defeat by Wolves after Christmas, only one to be clapped off the pitch. (Ask your lad.)

Graham Fylde
171 Posted 05/08/2023 at 21:42:26
That's a great question, Jeff.

I have one that, currently, I have to own up to and that is McNeil. I was despondent when we signed him, had watched him at Burnley when we were linked with him some time before we signed him and thought he was one-paced, let games pass him by and had no idea in front of goal.

Given he got 7 last year in an unproductive team, worked really hard and showed no little skill on the ball and at set pieces, I am happy if he keeps proving me wrong! I was right about his pace though.

What about you?

Christy Ring
172 Posted 05/08/2023 at 21:48:55
Oliver #148,

Get a grip, why would Dyche want Maguire, a has-been on £200k, for Branthwaite?

Gary Brown
173 Posted 05/08/2023 at 21:50:43
Dave - way to double down on those ridiculous comments. “Onana still in the freezer.”? 🤣🤣 For fuck's sake.

He's a class act already, raw for what he will become. He has everything – pace, strength, tackling, skill, flamboyance… and most of all character.

Time will make you look foolish. The kind of foolish that used to say Stones wasn't good enough too.

Dave Abrahams
174 Posted 05/08/2023 at 21:51:45
Jeff (170),

There have been quite a few players I thought were not rated by other fans who I defended so it works both ways.

But to answer your question, there was one player who I thought was okay but not as outstanding as some saw him, then in the semi-final of the FA Cup versus Luton Town, he covered every blade of grass, worked relentlessly for the whole game and always backed up his teammates.

Brilliant, I saw Paul Bracewell in a new light.

I'll be fuckin' amazed if Onana can do that!!

Peter Moore
175 Posted 05/08/2023 at 21:51:59
I attended today, with my 7-year-old lad. His first match.

We were just on time, after 10 minutes queuing to get through the turnstiles. I was surprised, but very pleased, at such a strong turnout for a pre-season friendly in the pouring rain. Well done, Toffees. 👏

We just got through when Z-Cars started so I think Keith was impressed by my fleet-footed pace as I scrambled excitedly up from the turnstiles to row LL in time for the players coming out.

The lads need our support for sure I think. I think we look solid but lack creativity and cutting edge. It's extremely obvious isn't it. I am sure the recruitment drive is going full tilt, but with financial hands tied it seems so it's hard to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

So much of the team is good I think. Its just short in the firepower area again isn't he.

I like Calvert-Lewin, but robust he is not. That Gyökeres looks a much more robust player. I really hope that Calvert-Lewin does not break down again this season but I won't hold my breath obviously.

The young lad who scored 3 last year for Sporting Lisbon in his breakthrough season, seems one for the future. We need ones for now don't we.

My lad, Keith, is not as bitten by the Everton bug as me yet. We live in Worcestershire, not a footballing hotbed. I fear I may have infected him today though, he was covering his face in trepidation when Sporting were pushing for an equaliser late on. Poor bugger. I should be prosecuted for child cruelty, lol!

Stuart Sharp
176 Posted 05/08/2023 at 21:54:19
Wasn't that the Southampton game, Jeff? All that hell blurs into one, but I remember that in the one game Onana scored in, he was really good all round and was clapped off the pitch. Might be going bonkers though.
Jeff Armstrong
177 Posted 05/08/2023 at 21:55:04

Recently I'd agree about McNeil, although I thought he was really good at Burnley when he first broke into the team, then when Dyche started to drop him in his last season and then we signed him I did have reservations, he definitely had a slow start to his Everton career but I thought he was fantastic (ironically) from when Dyche arrived, and overall was my player of the season.

Going back a bit I was underwhelmed by Fellaini for 6 months but then he started to grow on me until I eventually grew my hair in his style even at 55, 😉 going even further back I wasn't keen on Rod Belfitt and I was right.

Kieran Kinsella
178 Posted 05/08/2023 at 21:57:34
Peter Moore,

Good on your mate. Get the lad in early.

Sam Bowen
179 Posted 05/08/2023 at 21:59:00
Lack of width is a real concern but I thought they performed pretty well.

Patterson was good, Tarkowski solid, Young eased himself in, Godfrey pretty awful, Branthwaite handled Gyökores much better and looks ready to start the season in the team for me, Onana was class.

Calvert-Lewin makes a huge difference but I thought Maupay actually did okay when he came on, in fairness to him. Still never looks like scoring but he help it up pretty well and had a couple of nice touches.

Final thought though: the new kit is absolutely horrendous. Cheap, shiny and an exceptionally childish collar. Who designs this crap? Lazy effort. Collars don't belong on football kits… shocking.

We should be fine this season, I'm reasonably relaxed.

Jeff Armstrong
180 Posted 05/08/2023 at 22:00:18
Dave 174, seriously??

It took you to the end of his first full season to realise Paul Bracewell was a good player?

For fuck's sake, you're a tough audience.

Dave Abrahams
181 Posted 05/08/2023 at 22:03:04
Gary (173)

All those traits you see in Onana, quite a list. I don't see them but I don't say you are making ridiculous comments, you are stating an opinion, same me.

As for John Stones, I always thought he was a very good player. I knew he was bound for a more successful club than The Blues, so it's wrong to associate me with those comments about John Stones.

Gary Brown
182 Posted 05/08/2023 at 22:12:30
Dave, my “opinion” is you're being ridiculous. It's an opinion, just like yours.

If you can't see what I see you're as blind as those who did not see what Stones was either. That's not an opinion, that's not an accusation, that's an analogy.

Jeff Armstrong
183 Posted 05/08/2023 at 22:21:01
Stuart 175, you might be right, both games were close to each other.

I remember the Wolves game in particular because Costa was booked on 88 minutes at 1-1, then deliberately hand balled at 92 minutes but was not shown a second yellow, which would have meant them holding on for a point.

Instead, the crowd got on to Everton to try to win the game (me included), Tarkowski panicked and gave the ball away to Traore who crossed for Wolves to win in injury time, Lopatague's first win.

Anyway I think that was when Onana got clapped off, as the rest of the team where told they weren't fit to wear the shirt!

Jeff Armstrong
184 Posted 05/08/2023 at 22:50:56
Dave Abrahams, on these pages over the last 8 or 9 years that I've been on them, you've not rated and not then given any praise to:

Michael Keane – fair enough overall, but he's had some great defensive games and scored some important goals but you've never given any credit for those games... never... cos you formed an opinion about him early doors.

Richarlison – most Evertonians would have him back in a heartbeat, saved us along with others, season before last.

Onana, doesn't matter what he does from here on in, he's not your cup of tea.

Bracewell – 35 years ago! 'nuff said.

I really respect your views, Dave, but sometimes players become better than from where they started at Everton and they do actually become better as their careers progress; it's no slight on you to admit you might be wrong sometimes and you could give praise to show you might have been wrong to begin with.

Kieran Kinsella
185 Posted 05/08/2023 at 23:27:14
Jeff and Gary,

I'll be honest I can see Dave's point. I don't think Onana is as bad as Dave says but I think his athleticism and physique deceive one into thinking he's another Viera type whereas as yet he hasn't really shown a lot.

Just my opinion which I won't put 'humble' in front of, lol; otherwise, there'd be no fun in debating.

Jeff Armstrong
186 Posted 05/08/2023 at 23:53:09
Hi Kieran, it's fun debating on here, you don't like Darren Hind or his aliases, you don't like Paul Ferry, Paul doesn't like you, Darren and his aliases don't like you, it's just the way it is, mate.

But we're all Evertonians.

Paul Kossoff
188 Posted 05/08/2023 at 00:02:07
We were very poor today. We should have been down by four goals within 10 minutes. How we won that game is only down to poor finishing and luck, definitely not because we played well. If we play like that against some of the good teams, we will get slaughtered.
Andrew Keatley
189 Posted 05/08/2023 at 00:24:42
I am very excited by Onana. He's obviously got a lot of very good physical assets but I increasingly surprised how much more there is to his game. He seems very comfortable in possession, passes well and can stride forward effectively with the ball.

There were signs today that he is looking to take on more creative responsibility within the team, and I think that he's capable of making major contributions as an attacking player, which I wasn't initially convinced that he had the skill-set for.

One little side-note for the talent-spotters on here; Afonso Moreira – who wore 90 for Sporting Lisbon and played as a left winger in the second half. My first sight of him but I wouldn't be surprised to see him have a very good career indeed and maybe even end up playing at the very top. Reminded me of Bernardo Silva.

Kieran Kinsella
190 Posted 06/08/2023 at 00:59:11

Let's just hope for a barnstorming win next week so all the differences are forgotten.

Peter Moore
191 Posted 06/08/2023 at 01:10:35
Onana and Doucouré are both very big, powerful, athletic lads with bags of ability.

Once Dyche bought Doucouré back in from Lampard's frozen aisle, he was a revelation. The crucial massive away win at Brighton was engineered by his blistering goals early on in the game to make the upset a reality.

The belief that win imbued in the team and fanbase was massive. Not as massive as the unexpected 3 points were though.

Then last game of the season, a turgid match, Premier League survival hanging by a thread. Who stepped up with a thunderbolt to save the club from relegation? The reborn Doucouré again.

In terms of footballing ability, I think Onana has the edge out of the two. I hope he comes of age this season performance-wise, with the impact on games his talent affords him.

With weakness in the striking department, we certainly need midfield and defence to step up. With McNeil likely out for the first two or three games, we need the rest of the team to step up. Garner certainly has quality of delivery, it needs midfield runners to get in where it hurts and give more thrust to our play. UTFT.

Bill Watson
192 Posted 06/08/2023 at 03:37:01
Danny #153,

I mostly agree with your match assessment bar Iwobi who I thought was awful. He constantly gave the ball away and his centres were either under or overhit.

Garner's an outstanding prospect and some of his forward passes were outstanding. He can certainly see and make a pass. His free kicks were poor, though, and he needs to work on those.

I'd have liked Branthwaite to have been on from the start and was surprised Godfrey was selected ahead of him.

All-in-all, a good workout with a lot of plusses bar the late injury to Tarkowski.

Danny O’Neill
193 Posted 06/08/2023 at 05:56:53
Peter @175 your lad has been bitten. There's no going back now.

I can't read the Daily Mail, so don't take notice of anything it has to say.

Garner is a genuine prospect. On the Onana debate, I would like to give him time. I get his current flaws that others call out, and he is not the finished article. But he is young.

Worried about Tarkowski. Without him, we are down to Keane, a misfiring Godfrey, an unpredictable Holgate and maybe throwing Mykolenko in the mix?

Ian Jones
194 Posted 06/08/2023 at 07:28:15
Danny, 198, don't forget, we also have Jarrad Branthwaite in defence.

To keep him at the club, we have to play him.
Danny O’Neill
195 Posted 06/08/2023 at 07:44:17
I agree, Ian, but my concern there is that we are putting a lot of expectation on a young player in the centre-back position.

We've done this before with young prospects, who suddenly fall from grace very quickly.

Ian Jones
196 Posted 06/08/2023 at 08:34:50
I can't argue about the expectation placed on Branthwaite and the impact on him if it all goes belly up. But playing him is the only way to learn if he's good enough and can cope in the Premier League.

However, coping in our defence compared to a more settled team or club are two different things.

Sam Hoare
197 Posted 06/08/2023 at 08:35:18
Who to pick in those central midfield berths (presumably 3 but possibly 2) would seem the hardest decision.

Gueye is the consummate firefighter and ball-stealer and was right at the top of the lists in the league last season for tackles and interceptions etc.

Onana looks to be the best young talent in the team. He can do a bit of everything and is hard to stop when in full flow.

Doucoure runs for days and looks like the only option likely to score.

Garner looks neat and precise and a battler. Dyche clearly likes him. Could he play the No 6 to let Onana, Gueye or Doucouré roam? Not sure his positioning is strong enough yet having not played that role much.

The difficulty is that none of them is really a No 6. All like to roam around but Onana may have the best talents for the role.

Another possibility is bringing Iwobi back into one of those central roles (so that we can get another goalscorer into the wide attacker role). I know some people were slagging Iwobi off for yesterday but, even from the highlights, I noticed that he put in a good cross for the volley Doucoure really should have scored from, exchanged nice passes on the edge of the box with Onana who then hit the post, and put in a nice ball that Maupay headed wide from 7 yards out. He might easily have 3 assists and continues to be one of our only players who creates chances regularly.

Ian Riley
198 Posted 06/08/2023 at 08:45:33
A very tough season ahead. Plenty of ups and downs. Probably more downs but we do have the right manager for the task.

My advice to all. Have no expectations other than survival is success. It's reality to the squad we have. Getting on the players' backs or the manager's will harm the club. If ever we all need to stick together as one, it's now.

Rich Storey
199 Posted 06/08/2023 at 09:03:52
Took my lad to Goodison Park for the first time yesterday and the first time for me in 5 years since the rot really kicked in.

Although a friendly, I was fairly pleased with what I saw: we have the basis of a steady, solid team. We look tight and organised at the back. I think Gueye and Onana stood out as the best players.

It's pretty obvious we're lacking creativity, width and someone to play those killer passes. I'm hoping that might be Danjuma but that remains to be seen.

What's clear is that no-one else is coming in before next weekend and it concerns me that we've focused all our time and energy getting Chermitti over the line, and he's not a player who's going to make an instant impact. (I see Kudos to Brighton is a goer, he's exactly the kind of player we need.)

We're a couple of injuries away (Calvert-Lewin, Tarkowsky, McNeil) away from disaster though and it really highlights our threadbare squad. We have no-one who can impact from the bench.

Garner – I'm still not convinced, Iwobi frustrates, Gomes is not the answer, Dobbin looked lost yesterday and we still haven't found a suitable role for Maupay who I actually thought played well despite always coming deep and playing with his back to goal.

Finally, why do none of our players break through the lines? Why wasn't Maupay spinning off the shoulder of their big slow centre-back? Iwobi was static on the wing.

We need more pace, more directness, more drive. We need to be braver and gamble more, but obviously it's the way Sean Dyche has set them up to be safe, compact and patient, and I guess we just have to trust him.

Jay Evans
200 Posted 06/08/2023 at 09:39:19
My 3-year-old made her debut at the holy ground yesterday. I wanted her to go at least once before we move and I'm glad to say she got the full Everton experience ….

1) Long queues and a 20-minute wait at the gates as the turnstiles were broken.

2) A proper free-for-all as we were then told just to go through (not 1 of my 5 tickets were even looked at).

3) Similar waiting time for half-time refreshments despite being there from 3:30.

4) The young gentleman who eventually served me picking a scab from his neck, inspecting it, and then informing the queue that there were no pies at all!

Welcome to Goodison.

As for the game, it's quite clear that Iwobi can't play on the left and Garner is wasted on the right. As for Onana, words fail me. Potential is one thing but end product? I'm not sure we can carry potential in our current state. It's going to be a long enough season without waiting for him to ‘realise his potential.'

One final highlight for me was early in the 2nd half when Maupay made a fantastic tackle on Gana as we threatened a counter attack. Maybe the reason he has struggled so much up front is because really he is a defensive midfielder?

Tony Abrahams
201 Posted 06/08/2023 at 09:45:36
Not because he's my arl fella, Jeff@184, you can carry on debating with the very hard-to-please arl basket (and I should know!) for as long as you want, mate, but you do what a lot of people sometimes do on these pages, and it's not quite right imo.

No personal gripe, but I hate it when people say others have said things that they haven't. I remember it happened to me during one Covid debate and a few “very sensible people”, started believing that I'd said things that I hadn't quite said.

I made a mental note, just like I did when Dave said he thought Bracewell was okay, but not as “outstanding” as some saw him. By the way, don't get him started on Howard Kendall the manager (he loved him as a player) or this thread will reach about 1,500 posts!!

I still think clubs will come in for Onana, and it wouldn't surprise me if Dyche, ends up agreeing with Dave. I don't think we should be selling any of our better younger players, but we will see…

Brian Harrison
202 Posted 06/08/2023 at 10:09:12
So that's an end to pre-season games and next week the real stuff begins.

While we haven't lost any of our pre-season games, the lack of goals is still prevalent in this squad.

I know we are short of money but, with only scoring 34 goals last season, I thought all our effort and what money we had would have been used to buy a decent striker. But we have only brought in Ashley Young on a free and Dunjama on a loan.

Our leading goal scorer from last season, McNeil, is likely missing for a couple of games and our 2nd top scorer, Gray, is on his way to Fulham. We have 4 midfield players who very rarely score and Iwobi as one of the attackers has a very poor goal-scoring record.

I know Dyche has said he is looking for more attacking options, so I can only assume that it's the lack of funds that has stopped him adding those attackers already.

I think with Calvert-Lewin coming back from injury is great news; however, other than when he played under Ancelotti, he isn't anywhere near prolific.

I would hope Dyche keeps hold of Cannon as he is the only other forward on our books who could possibly fill in for Calvert-Lewin if he gets another injury.

Christopher Timmins
203 Posted 06/08/2023 at 10:12:27
Branthwaite to start next Saturday, I just hope that Tarkowski is partner and not Keane who would not fill any young player with confidence.
Michael Kenrick
204 Posted 06/08/2023 at 10:22:27
Good summary, Brian @202.

Ominously, Dyche has not had Tom Cannon involved in any of the pre-season games since the training camp runout against Stade Nyonnaise last month.

There was some brief talk of him being out injured, then he was spotted at a Preston game when Everton were in action (very odd, imho) – which would perhaps make more sense if the other rumblings turn out to be true — that he is set to return to Deepdale on loan for the season.

A daft move if we are again left short of strikers, but the runes would indicate that he is not in Sean Dyche's plans for the coming season. Perhaps Rob, Jeff or Gary could jump in with something more definitive?

Danny O’Neill
205 Posted 06/08/2023 at 10:30:02
I've not seen enough of Tom Cannon to comment, Michael.

Interestingly, Brian, although not quite prolific, Calvert-Lewin benefited that season when Lucas Digne was playing. When he wasn't, Dominic struggled.

Get the two on the pitch together, which didn't happen a lot last season, and I can see benefit from McNeil's delivery to supply Dominic.

Brian Harrison
206 Posted 06/08/2023 at 10:38:25
Michael @204,

I am not sure if Cannon is still injured, and I agree I found it puzzling why he would turn up at a Preston friendly when Everton were playing that night.

I guess we will never know what discussions Dyche and Cannon have had, and if he isn't injured, why he hasn't had more game time.

Obviously Dyche didn't fancy Simms so he was sold, and we have sent a few youngsters out on loan already and it looks like Cannon will be loaned again to Preston.

I am beginning to wonder about the culture to young players at Everton: Branthwaite given a choice would have stayed at PSV if all rumours are correct, and Price decided to leave. Maybe we just aren't producing the quality of youngster that's needed or maybe there isn't a pathway to the first team for them and therefore they prefer to go elsewhere?

I think that's worrying for a club with little money — if it can't produce its own in sufficient numbers, how do we survive?

Sam Hoare
207 Posted 06/08/2023 at 10:42:43
If Calvert-Lewin stays fit (a huge if!), I'd be surprised if he scores less than 10 goals. Probably nearer 15.

Chermiti is coming in who is a more similar profile to Calvert-Lewin than Cannon who is off to Preston for a loan which will be great for his development.

Robert Tressell
208 Posted 06/08/2023 at 11:41:07
Brian #206,

I think the player development culture is improving at Everton although we haven't really committed to it as a club.

I'm not surprised Branthwaite quite fancied the idea of staying in Eindhoven, playing in the Champions League and competing for trophies in a team that plays exciting football.

I wouldn't read anything into the departures of Price or Simms because neither are anywhere near Premier League players at the moment, especially Price.

As for Cannon, it looks like (I hope) a safe assumption that we'll have Danjuma, Calvert-Lewin, Chermiti and AN Other possibly when the window closes. That leaves Cannon very unlikely to get minutes, let alone games, just at the point he really needs them. So that is probably a case of player development in action.

As for the situation with Onana being discussed on the thread, his is a bit of an enigma right now. Doucouré and Gueye are more effective because of their energy and application, albeit both are very limited footballers and find it difficult to control possession even against very weak sides.

Onana and Garner are better footballers, definitely (I really like Garner). Whatever we all make of Onana, it's pretty clear that other clubs and the Belgian international side rate him highly and consider him a Champions League type of player. That might be his problem at Everton: we don't play a Champions League brand of football that he's geared up to.

I expect prime Busquets would have looked lost in our midfield last season. Probably best to assess his development at the end of the coming season, rather than off the back of the mess of the season just gone.

Dave Abrahams
209 Posted 06/08/2023 at 11:44:36
Jeff (184),

You are correct: I don't rate Michael Keane. How many fans do?

But you are absolutely wrong that I have never given him any praise – check up if you can – that also applies to Iwobi, another I don't rate. I'm in good company over him, by the way. When he's played well, I've said so. It's not so much he is a poor player, it's because he is a bluff merchant pulling out of tackles he has every chance of winning.

At least, Jeff, you don't say I make ridiculous comments because I don't agree with your assessments of players.

Jeff Armstrong
210 Posted 06/08/2023 at 13:19:21
Hi Dave @184, apologies if I put words into your mouth that you haven't said.

And for what it's worth I totally agree with you about Iwobi, I'm not Keane's biggest fan either but he's had some decent games in his time here, again apologies for saying you've never praised him when you obviously have.

As for the ridiculous comment (not by me), I think that was OTT as I know you're a knowledgeable poster and debate is something you enjoy without any personal remarks going back and forth.

David Bromwell
211 Posted 06/08/2023 at 13:20:49
Michael Keane has generally been played on the left side of the two centre-backs at Everton and, as a right-footed player, this puts him at a disadvantage and exacerbates his lack of pace.

Sadly, the club have done nothing to rectify this situation as all the centre-backs at the club for many years have been naturally right-footed.

As a result, none from Keane, Mina, Holgate, Godfrey and Coady have been totally successful. Only Tarkowski has been highly thought of; he too is right-footed. So young Branthwaite could be the answer, unless of course we are silly enough to sell him.

Dave Abrahams
212 Posted 06/08/2023 at 14:23:31
Jeff (210),

No apologies necessary, Jeff, I think we just had a sensible debate about our team.

Steve Brown
213 Posted 06/08/2023 at 14:38:57
My thoughts from the game:

1) A better performance, and we look defensively solid apart from when teams counter us.

2) The midfield lacks goals and creativity.

3) Iwobi and Garner are not the answers on the wing.

4) If Calvert-Lewin picks up an injury, we are immediately going to struggle.
5) Patterson is a great athlete, but he needs a lot of development.
7) Sign Pedro Gonclaves.

We need a centre-forward, creative midfielder, centre back and winger. But, not need to panic as Bill is at the wheel to steer us through the coming months.

Paul Kossoff
215 Posted 06/08/2023 at 15:32:49
Rich 199.

"We look tight and organised at the back. "

Really? We should have been out of it after 10 minutes.
It reminded me of the Bournemouth cup game. We were all over the place yesterday, that's what worried me.

Not the lack of fire power, but the defence side of the team, which is a Dyche strength, was non-existent. We play like that against Fulham and we won't get away with it.

Andrew Keatley
216 Posted 06/08/2023 at 16:25:49
I seem to say this several times a season but I really do not think Michael Keane is the liability that most people seem to think he is.

Sure, he is prone to the odd mistake, isn't very quick, and has other minor flaws to his game, but he's dominant in the air (at both ends of the pitch), is comfortably our best passing defender (especially long passing) and, with a complimentary partner, I still think he has a great deal to offer.

He's become a popular whipping boy on these pages, but he's a good footballer who can still be a good defender at Premier League level for at least another 4 or 5 years. He could do with being a bit more aggressive and physical, and hopefully Dyche is a good manager to instil that attitude back into him.

Gary Brown
218 Posted 06/08/2023 at 16:36:30
Agree, Andrew. The boy can finish too.

Fans are quick to forget his Crystal Palace contribution. If fans stay off his back, he's easily good enough to have as cover and competition.

Godfrey may still become a good centre-back (only if he finds those no-fear tackles we saw when he first came), but Keane is likely first choice to step in if either Tarkowski or Branthwaite hit issues. Not ideal, but we have far more pressing needs.

David West
219 Posted 06/08/2023 at 16:52:32
Keane is okay when it's backs-to-the-wall defending, sat on the edge of the box, when it's just get it out anywhere will do.
He's not so good when you are the team on the front foot and the opposition are trying to counter, or balls over the top with a fast striker running the channels.

He's just not quick enough and turns too slow. A good pro who's given us decent service, not a moaner or complainer, always tries his best and pops up with important goals.
I'd much rather sell Holgate.

Branthwaite must get his chance though. What does it say to the other young lads going on loan if he doesn't? It says:
"Go on loan, be a success, have teams begging to sign you, and you still don't get your chance!!"

If other loan players see him getting his chance, then surely that's extra motivation for them on their loans to think, "If I do well, I'll get my chance."

No-brainer for me!

Tony Abrahams
220 Posted 06/08/2023 at 17:11:06
Michael Keane has never been good enough for Everton because he lacks confidence and tends to worry about his weaknesses rather than concentrating on trying to play to his strengths, imo.

I will never forget his goal against Palace, which was arguably the best goal I've ever seen scored by a central defender (Jagielka's at Anfield? Keane's had a lot more skill, class and composure for me) but I like central defenders to be aggressive, calm and commanding, and these aren't things I've ever really seen in Michael's game?

Liam Heffernan
221 Posted 06/08/2023 at 18:09:02
We are the only team in the Premier League not to have spent any money yet. This is very worrying as our squad is threadbare and not equipped to stay clear of the relegation zone.

Let's hope we bring in a few bodies to give us a proper squad. I'm afraid after watching the pre-season games: where we are going to score goals???

Clive Rogers
222 Posted 06/08/2023 at 18:42:23

I don't think West Ham have signed anyone.

Liam Heffernan
223 Posted 06/08/2023 at 19:04:40

They signed a young lad from Cliftonville, probably paid a pittance, but it was something.

What I posted is moot now as it looks like we've got Chermiti coming in. Here's hoping for a few more.

David West
224 Posted 06/08/2023 at 20:07:54
Liam. Danjuma is costing £2.5M in a loan fee.

Chermiti deal looks like it's done

Young is free.

They are not the big bucks headline-grabbing deals of the past wasteful years but these shrewd deals could mean we have the money to spend on the areas we need most, like a wide player, striker and creative midfield player.

We all know most of the transfer business happens towards the end of the window… so sit tight, lad, and hold your breath,

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