18/08/2023 78comments  |  Jump to last
Match Preview

Sean Dyche says that Dominic Calvert-Lewin has completed his planned rehabilitation and is "in the thinking" for Sunday

Everton travel to Villa Park this Sunday for their first away game of the season looking to not only pick up their first points of the new season but also improve on what was a horrendous record on the road during 2022-23.

The Blues won just two games away from Goodison Park last season which compounded a record-equalling 10 home defeats to keep the club in danger of relegation right the way to the final game of the campaign.

Manager Sean Dyche wasn’t able to start his first full season in charge with a victory as his charges went down 1-0 to Fulham last Saturday but he will be bolstered this weekend by the return of Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

The striker has endured two years of stop-start availability since first suffering a serious quad injury in August 2021 and then a knee injury on the eve of last season, with frustrating hamstring problems keeping him from ever putting a consistent run of games together.

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However, with Dyche having made a commitment to try and get to the bottom of his soft-tissue niggles and ensure that he is 100% ready to return to action rather than rush him back, Calvert-Lewin has undergone a summer of patient fitness and rehab work that he and the club's medical staff hope will enable him to finally return for a sustained spell.

Whether he starts against Villa remains to be seen but, having played 45 minutes in each of the friendlies against Sporting CP and AC Monza and then coming through a 90-minute practice match at Manchester United's Carrington training complex on Tuesday, he is in the frame for Everton's second fixture of 2023-24.

"He is in good shape," Dyche said in his pre-match press conference today. "He managed to get the sort of end part of his rehab with 90 minutes [this week] and he certainly comes straight back into the thinking."

The last time Calvert-Lewin was consistently available across a season was in 2020-21 under Carlo Ancelotti when he scored 21 goals in all competitions, broke into the England setup and made the squad for the delayed 2020 European Championships. Since then he has managed 15 Premier League starts in successive seasons and scored seven times.

As he showed in most of the games where he was available last term, and particularly in Everton’s stunning 5-1 win at Brighton in May, he provides a hugely important different dimension to the attack when he is in the side and the hope is that he can play a vital role in improving the Toffees’ away form.

They take on a Villa side that looked hugely impressive last season after Unai Emery took over from Steven Gerrard and the Midlanders have continued to recruit well, adding the likes of Pau Torres, Moussa Diaby and Youri Tielemans over the summer.

Torres is likely to make his full debut this weekend after Tyrone Mings suffered a serious knee injury at St James’s Park last Saturday as the Villans took a hiding from Newcastle. Emery’s men went down 5-1 to the rampant Magpies and Dyche will no doubt be hoping his men can play on any psychological weakness that might exist in the minds of his opponents on Sunday.

Neither of the players who got the goals in Villa’s 2-1 win in this fixture at the same stage of last season will be involved this time — Danny Ings was sold to West Ham in January and Emiliano Buendia is out injured — but in players like Olly Watkins and Leon Bailey they have threats who have caused Everton plenty of problems before.

While Dyche could replace Neal Maupay with Calvert-Lewin, the manager is otherwise expected to go with the same side that lined up against Fulham, unless he feels that Arnaut Danjuma is ready to play his part from the start.

The Dutchman picked up a knock in pre-season, missed the game against Sporting and only came on as a sub against Fulham but he, too, logged important minutes earlier in the week in the match against Man Utd and could be seen as a more dangerous option on the flanks than James Garner who played out of position in right midfield last weekend.

Dwight McNeil is back in light training as he recovers from ankle ligament damage that looks likely to keep him out until at least the international break.

“He’s going alright,” the manager replied. “I spoke to him today. [He’s] just on at the light stuff now, but getting back, not quite back on the grass, but in the running and really building a true strength to his ankle.”

On the topic of Jean-Philippe Gbamin, who has not returned to Finch Farm following his loan spell at Trabsonspor last season and is said to be in Paris recovering from his latest injury, Dyche was unable to provide any updates but the belief is that Everton will listen to offers for a player whose agent suggests won’t play for the club again with his contract up at the end of the season. 

"He is not back with us at the moment,” Dyche explained. “We are monitoring the situation."

When asked if the Ivorian midfielder will be allowed to leave, Dyche said: "We need an offer to come in first."

Kick-off: 2 pm, Sunday 20 August 2023
Referee: Anthony Taylor
VAR: Darren England

Last Time: Aston Villa 2 - 1 Everton

Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Patterson, Keane, Tarkowski, Young, Gueye, Onana, Iwobi, Danjuma, Doucouré, Calvert-Lewin


Reader Comments (78)

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Paul Kossoff
1 Posted 18/08/2023 at 15:12:36
Welcome back Calvert-Lewin, but can I just ask Thelwell, Dyche, Kenwright with all his expertise, get some back up for this lad!

Dom must be full of "If I get injured again, how many games will I play? What if I go too hard? Shall I take it easy?"

A player should concentrate on one thing: the game, not worrying if his body fails again. If you asked every Everton supporter what do we need, every one of them would say "Get a striker in similar to Dom, to give him back up."

It's not rocket science for us, so why is it so hard for Kenwright and Co?

Dave Evans
2 Posted 18/08/2023 at 15:16:07
A tough and talented centre-forward with a great work ethic.
If any Premier League player deserves a bit of luck and a great season it is Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
Jamie Crowley
3 Posted 18/08/2023 at 15:26:05
Was watching Dyche's presser and he mentioned Dom is back in contention.

Thank God. Now please, please stay healthy, young man.

As an aside, I absolutely love Sean Dyche's approach to everything. He's so down to earth, so refreshingly straightforward. He comes in for stick but I really want him to succeed. I like the man a lot.

Kieran Kinsella
5 Posted 18/08/2023 at 15:57:04
I find the situations with Gbamin, Holgate and Gray very strange. If Training started a month ago and Gbamin is not loaned out then where is he? If we want him gone and he wants to leave as seems to be the case, isn't it necessary for him to get himself match fit by coming to training?

Then there is Demarai Gray. Dyche said last week "He came back later than the others" meaning he was on international duty and hasn't been training. But his last game for Jamaica was only four days after Branthwaite and Garner played in the U21 final. Well Garner and Branthwaite weren't just training they were in the team to play Stoke on 29 July. That is 20 days ago. So why the extended absence of Gray?

Then there is Holgate. He has been playing with the under 21s even while a lot of seemingly "not ready" under 21 players were playing with the first team preseason. If they're not in the mix for the season, wouldn't you expect the 70k a week with a 165 senior appearances to his name to be involved instead. Even if only to get him match fit and "in the window" in hopes of getting him fit enough and seeming attractive enough to a potential buyer?

Are we just trying to freeze these guys out to force them to find new clubs? If so it doesn't seem to be working. Or are they on the naughty list and being punished for some kind of infraction? I don't miss two of the three as they are pretty terrible but it is just a peculiar situation.

Mark Taylor
6 Posted 18/08/2023 at 16:14:32
I very much hope we are not paying Gbamin's inflated wages if he can't be bothered to train. We have been taken for a ride too often.

As for Dom, I'll believe it when I see it. I'd be surprised he does any more than make the bench. Too many let downs, sad to say. Personally I think there is something more fundamentally wrong, either in the body or more likely the head.

Tom Bowers
7 Posted 18/08/2023 at 16:24:25
I don't think DCL will start and I also don't think we will get a win with what we have on the table right now.

We need not to be wasteful and then concede late on like we did against an average Fulham mob.

We still have weaknesses arguably in midfield where they have not yet come together as a tight unit when not in possession despite having little up front.

However, we live in hope and if they can produce something like the Brighton away game late last season then it's possible to get a good result

Iakovos Iasonidis
8 Posted 18/08/2023 at 16:33:15
I have to say I really like the way he responds to everything he is being asked. Not my dream manager for sure but I trully believe he is the right one to stabilize this wreck of a team.
Mike Gwyer
9 Posted 18/08/2023 at 16:42:19

Staying positive.

DCL to start.. We need him so he starts, by all accounts he's in a good frame of mind and in his own words, his body is in a good frame of mind as well.

Secondly, our defence against Fulham was good, you do not play any team in EPL and not conceed any chances within 90 minutes of play. Fulham had two. Lets build on that.


Dale Self
10 Posted 18/08/2023 at 16:48:13
Kieran, I think we had to get a forward, which is likely happening, before Gray could go to Fulham I believe they are waiting on him and that will happen. Holgate was discussed as a wage share problem so that likely gets resolved. Gbamin? fuck man, fuck.

Even without DCL we have a good chance of containing Villa’s attack. Our counterattack should get some payoff this time around. UTFT!

Jay Harris
11 Posted 18/08/2023 at 16:58:04
This was a game I was dreading before the season started with Villa Expected to do very well this season but with Buedia and Mings both injured and the fractured confidence of a 5-1 loss still fresh in their minds I feel we can get sometging out of this especialy with DCL back.

I don't think DAnjuma is quite ready so I think GArner will get another chance to beef up the MF.

KITAP1 hopefully.

Kieran Kinsella
12 Posted 18/08/2023 at 17:01:14

Right but why do these potential transfers preclude them from training? I mean for one thing, if we are trying to have Maupay hone his skills in training wouldn't it be better for him to come up against Holgate then one of the youngsters they've been using in pre-season? Or if we want Patterson to improve wouldn't it benefit him to face Gray in training versus Onyango?

Billy Shears
13 Posted 18/08/2023 at 17:07:24
Unless we've got a new plan in place to how we approach our away ties then I can only see the Villains winning this one with ease...3-1 to Villa.
Craig Walker
14 Posted 18/08/2023 at 17:08:38
Villa have become the latest team that we just cannot beat. We always seem to face them early in the season at Villa Park and get beat. I'm not confident about this fixture and think it has come too soon for us. Just hope we can get something.
Christy Ring
15 Posted 18/08/2023 at 17:17:19
Dyche said DCL is in “ good shape” first time he’s given him a clean bill of health, so hopefully fingers crossed 🤞
Tony Everan
16 Posted 18/08/2023 at 17:23:58
We played well last week, just needed to finish one chance in the first half and we would have closed the shop and taken three points. With Calvert-Lewin back he will affect the game to contribute to a goal or score himself. A better presence up front can cause doubts in and create some panic in their defence.

Our team with Dom back is solid, hard to play against and will grab a goal. Patterson will get targeted and tested on Sunday, it’s a big game for him, he will need defensive discipline first and foremost and focus at all times.

With Villa weakened I’m going for a narrow victory, Villa 1 Everton 2. COYBLUES! UTFT’s, Let’s get this season up and running!

Kieran Kinsella
17 Posted 18/08/2023 at 17:36:52

The last team we beat them home or away was at Villa Park and Fumes Mori was one of the scorers. Blimey that feels like a long time ago. Time to switch things up. Prior to that we had the better of things for about 8 years so lets flip the script this weekend.

Andrew Clare
18 Posted 18/08/2023 at 17:45:39
Sadly it's unlikely that we will get anything from this game. Unai Emery is an astute manager and with him at the helm it's most probable that Villa will be in contention for European competition. On the other hand we will be scratching around the lower reaches of the table thanks to our totally inept duo of Moshiri and Kenwright who have made us a laughing stock.
Jim Wilson
19 Posted 18/08/2023 at 18:24:35
Would definitely have Garner ahead of Onana.

He tackles more, passes better, is in the game more and is more interested.

Mark Taylor
20 Posted 18/08/2023 at 18:37:28
I like the optimism on here. Wish I could share it. Fulham at home is a game we would hope to win, and certainly not want anything less than a point from. Villa away, even with Newcastle thrashing them, is not one I'd have so much hope for. A point would be good. Another loss seems to be to be setting a worrying trend.

I'm already looking at other results. Luton and Sheffield look worse even than us and unlike last year's teams, look clear relegation fodder, so in my mind, we need to beat whatever Forest, Wolves and Bournemouth do.

Not much fun at the moment. If we can somehow hang in there, it should get better, new stadium, P&S will improve and maybe, here's hoping, new owners/leadership.

Mick Davies
21 Posted 18/08/2023 at 18:49:33
Can't watch a Dyche presser without cringing when he wipes his snotty hand on his head
Hugh Jenkins
22 Posted 18/08/2023 at 18:56:57
Billy Shears - I'm worried about you. Are you an RS plant?
Geoff Lambert
23 Posted 18/08/2023 at 19:03:16
Mick! at least he doesn't have to buy any hair gel.
Brian Denton
24 Posted 18/08/2023 at 19:03:42
He gets by with a little help from his friends, Hugh (22).
Barry Hesketh
25 Posted 18/08/2023 at 19:12:31
It's not Billy Shears, it's Paul McCartney? Well at least that's what the tin-foil hat brigade, conspiracy theorists would have us believe.
Jeff Armstrong
26 Posted 18/08/2023 at 19:12:59
Kieran #5 agree with your analysis, it doesn’t make sense to freeze out these players whilst paying them, Holgate and Gbamin I get because both of them need to be away from the first team squad, but put them out there whether it’s training vids or Under 21 game’s just to show they still exist!

Gray is an odd one, its like things need to happen here and elsewhere before he moves on, but we’re currently paying him ! he should be in and around the first team squad and be fit and ready to come on whenever required, could’ve done with him coming on v Fulham if only for a “come and get me “ cameo, instead he’s disappeared.

Dyche is obviously not bothered about him and he’s already out of his plans.

The manager is saying these things in pressers but he should realise he’s only talking to journalists who don’t bother analysing what he’s saying one week from the next, but us fans do, and we rely on this information ,and take it for what it is , cos it’s the only information we currently get out of the club.

Dale Self
27 Posted 18/08/2023 at 19:42:38
Kieran, I don’t know club football at that level but I’ve always taken a player missing training without injury concerns as a signal of how likely the transfer. There were several in for Gray early and Holgate fits Soton’s need so reason for optimism on both. Perhaps Gray has been training on his own. Who knows with Holgate.
Danny O’Neill
28 Posted 18/08/2023 at 19:49:35
I have some great memories of Villa Park. The semi finals, Sheedy banging in the winner in front of about 10,000 travelling blues (no exaggeration) as we edged towards the title.

I don't care or want to predict who plays. When they walk across the white line they are all in royal blue shirts and have our backing whoever they are. They represent Everton. We all want the same outcome regardless of the team selection.

John Connor
31 Posted 18/08/2023 at 22:50:05
Second week of the season and already I am not looking forward to the match. Aston Villa will be tough this weekend, I just hope they defend the way they did against Newcastle Utd.

The next few games after Villa are all potentially winnable, so I just hope the new signings integrate very quickly and Dyche takes the cup game against Doncaster seriously.

The Fulham performance was dire because, without scoring a goal, it doesn't matter how many chances we have and Fulham at home should have been a guaranteed 3 points.

Denis Richardson
32 Posted 18/08/2023 at 23:13:50
No idea how tomorrow plays out but I feel their 5-1 hiding will be to our detriment as they’ll fell they ‘owe’ their fans. Also first home game.

We were crap on the road last year and there’s nothing to suggest that’s going to change anytime soon. I expect to lose tomorrow (not being pessimistic, just realistic) but hoping to be surprised.

I’d take a draw now if offered - DCL or no DCL.

Danny - have to say I’ve hated Villa Park since the 6-2 reversal in ‘89. Tony Daley tore us a new one that day, even with Nev in goal! Never liked Ian Olney either - anyways, ‘nother time, ‘nother place’ etc.

Jamie Crowley
33 Posted 19/08/2023 at 01:12:50
Mick @ 21 -

Hilarious! So true.

I have a different take.

When he goes to his schnoz and then wipes his bald-ish head I love it. He's basically telling the world, "I don't give a fuck what you think." 😂

Steve Brown
34 Posted 19/08/2023 at 03:21:36
Mick@ 21, skull polish is expensive these days!
Jack Convery
35 Posted 19/08/2023 at 06:06:13
I'm hoping for a score draw. Yet another game without a recognised CF, unless DCL starts and hopefully finishes the game.
Kevin Edward
36 Posted 19/08/2023 at 08:33:43
After last weeks disappointment the boys need to step up and show that they can be competitive away from Goodison.
So will be interesting to see how effective Dyches set up will be against a Villa side who were undone last week too.
I fear that Villa will be up for this one, and if we concede early then it will be huge pressure again to put away any chances.
I really hope the positives from last week continue, if we score first and can grind out a win then it would show some grit for the games ahead.
Lose this one badly and we’re back to square one someone needs to step up and put the ball in back of the net.
So it’s a low score draw for me (but I’ll happily take a rampant 3:0 win should the planets align a la Brighton).
Ajay Gopal
37 Posted 19/08/2023 at 09:14:08
I think this is a good time to play Aston Villa. They have just lost heavily against one of their fellow contenders for Top 6, a few key players are out injured, they will have to play a Centre Back who is new to the league. Of course, in Watkins, Bailey & Diaby, they have a very potent front line, as against our front 3 of Maupay, Iwobi & Doucoure whom I expect to line-up once again. I don't see Calvert-Lewin starting and I hope he is eased back in by subbing him on in the 2nd half instead of throwing him in the starting line-up and putting him under pressure immediately. If we can keep it to 0-0 or 0-1 until DCL comes on, then we might get a draw or even nick a win.

Maupay Iwobi
Doucoure Gana Onana Garner
Young Tarkowski Keane Patterson


Bailey McGinn Diaby
Luiz Kamara
Digne Torres Konsa Cash

Mick Davies
38 Posted 19/08/2023 at 09:36:32
And when you thought things couldn't get any worse. . . . the 'ref' (debatable term) is none other than Anthony 'I hate Everton' Taylor, who incidentally was the silent VAR joker last week
Jeff Armstrong
39 Posted 19/08/2023 at 10:42:14
Was it Taylor last week Mick? I heard it was some rookie 39 year old ref on VAR who didn’t have the bottle to question Attwell’s farcical whistle blowing on the Tarkowski incident.
Geoff Lambert
40 Posted 19/08/2023 at 10:54:39
We need to score some goals tomorrow. Not something we have managed to do on a regular basis for a long time now.

A defeat by a couple of goals and we could be rock bottom after only two games. Will he or won't he: Calvert-Lewin the enigma might be up for saving us, or he might not!!

Tom Bowers
41 Posted 19/08/2023 at 11:31:13
Nothing surprises me about Everton these days.

Seen it all over the last ten seasons with all the players and managers coming through the sliding doors.

We all know we just don't have the offense to really worry most teams if any at all.

Signing new players means nothing if they can't do the business.

Villa will be on the rebound and playing their first home game so we had better beware regardless of the injuries they have.

Needless to say we need a goal and we need to get it first just like the Fulham game which we blew.

Robert Tressell
42 Posted 19/08/2023 at 11:39:27
Looking forward to this. Tough game but they almost all are. If we create as many chances as we did against Fulham, we'll win this.
Christopher Timmins
43 Posted 19/08/2023 at 11:56:10
Difficult assignment tomorrow, they, Villa, were one of the best sides in the Premier League since their manager arrived into town.

I hoping for Calvert-Lewin and Braintwaite to start and Everton to get their first points of the season.

Joe McMahon
44 Posted 19/08/2023 at 12:11:48
Gonna be very difficult tomorrow. Even when Villa were poor with Steven Gerrard, they still took the points home and away. Gerrard would have loved getting a win v Duncan at Goodison annoyingly as well.
Andy Crooks
45 Posted 19/08/2023 at 12:49:37
Tom, we will be on the rebound more than Villa. We deserved to win; they got what they deserved.
Mick Davies
46 Posted 19/08/2023 at 14:41:13
Jeff, there's always two in the VAR box so if one gets it wrong, the other can agree.
Habib Erkan Jr
47 Posted 19/08/2023 at 15:56:45
Dom plays 70 minutes or so, we win tomorrow; if it is the same line-up as last week, it's a crapshoot.
David West
48 Posted 19/08/2023 at 16:21:52
As the saying goes: "Throw enough shit, some of it will stick "

If we keep making chances like last week, some of them will stick and we will score some goals. Calvert-Lewin and Danjuma should be able to contribute more too, so I'm positive.

2-0 for me. Calvert-Lewin & Danjuma.

David West
49 Posted 19/08/2023 at 16:28:00

I think playing Calvert-Lewin from the start is better for everyone. He benefits from the full warm-up, instead of sitting on the bench.

He can help get us on the front foot and get us a better foothold in the match or even a lead. He can come off if any worries.

If he's coming on to chase a game at 0-0 or a deficit, it's more pressure and worse if he has any reaction and we need to sub the sub.

Ashley Roberts
50 Posted 19/08/2023 at 18:20:44
I hope Danjuma is fit to start along with Calvert-Lewin. We hopefully would then have Iwobi and Danjuma feeding from the wings and Garner from midfield.

I would play Garner, Onana and Doucouré in midfield. This would be an attacking line-up and hopefully generate some much-needed goals.

I would also like to see Branthwaite in for Keane but don't see that happening. I would be cautiously optimistic with that line-up.

Rick Tarleton
51 Posted 19/08/2023 at 18:41:16
"A tough and talented centre-forward with a great work ethic, " writes one correspondent and I couldn't agree more. I'd even add that at his best he's second only to Harry Kane in terms of talent amongst English centre-forwards.

But – and it's a big 'but' – has the infamous "soft" tissue become hard enough that he can play a number of games, preferably without being rested every other game? If not, we need a backup – and that backup is not Maupay.

Paul Kossoff
52 Posted 19/08/2023 at 19:15:54
Rick 51.

"I'd even add that at his best he's second only to Harry Kane in terms of talent amongst English centre-forwards". How did you come to that conclusion?

I would swap Calvert-Lewin with most of the good centre-forwards in the Pemier League. He will never be in the same league as Kane, injuries or not. If he stays fit, he will get goals, but a class centre-forward he is not.

Christy Ring
53 Posted 19/08/2023 at 19:37:27
Maguire not in the Man Utd squad, hope he's not coming our way.
Martin Farrington
54 Posted 19/08/2023 at 19:38:57
So Fulham got whacked at home. Something we should have done last week.

But thanks to our god awful chairman and puppet Thelwell, no recognised striker graces our locker room. They have avoided goalscorers… still!!!

Tom Bowers
55 Posted 19/08/2023 at 19:39:16
Sad to think about that Fulham defeat last week and seeing how the Bees dismantled them today on their own patch.

Everton have to make amends tomorrow surely.

Martin Farrington
56 Posted 19/08/2023 at 19:50:22
Dyche at Burnley played with big blokes up front who scored goals from crosses. What's the point of wingers when you haven't got a single bloody striker in the centre?

The big guy we have, Cannon, Dyche won't use. Albeit he said he was injured in his Aston Villa press conference. So why put him on the bench? Hopefully Calvert-Lewin will get a start tomorrow.

But after Fulham were well beaten at home, what could have been, should have been. Had Calvert-Lewin started we would have creamed them.

Still no centre-forward and our god awful chairman and puppet now look towards another midget centre-forward (5'-9") non-goalscorer to fill the 3-year relegation battle void of no striker.

It truly truly beggars belief.

Barry Hesketh
57 Posted 19/08/2023 at 19:59:32
Some posters on here really grind my gears. Remember last week, we lost, but that wasn't the only thing we should have taken away from the game: we created many decent chances, unfortunately we couldn't convert one or two of them. Fulham were mostly kept at bay, until one fatal lapse of concentration, and they won the game.

Every player signed by other clubs: Oh why can't Everton buy him? Because we haven't got too much cash to spare, and we're hampered by Profitability and Sustainability rules, that's why we had to sell Richarlison and Gordon, that's why we're hunting in the bargain bin for new recruits.

A new manager arrives at what has been a Top 6 squad for most of the last decade and is lauded for playing exciting football, that's why Conte wasn't suited to Spurs. Now they have a manager who has done well in his career up to now, by playing open football, but who knows if Spurs will continue to play this exciting brand of footy during this long-drawn out season?

Dyche isn't going anywhere, anytime soon, and if he does, it will be his decision. It will also mean he has failed and that means that the club has failed. So let's stop this attempt to be a purist supporter who expects to see champagne football, we aren't in that territory and we won't be for some time. It's dig in and fight for the next few years, and hopefully then we might start to ask to see a more entertaining style of football.

It's as if the last couple of seasons didn't happened with some on here. Remember how close we were to going down? Remember the possible dire consequences that would have followed if we had fallen out of the Premier League?

Enjoy each game as it comes and thank our lucky stars that those games are currently being played in the top tier. It may still end in tears, I'm no gypsy, but I'll try and enjoy Everton playing Premier League footy whilst it lasts. I can wait until at least the turn of the year before fretting about the style of play, or the position in the table which we occupy; I'd advise others to do the same.

Billy Shears
58 Posted 19/08/2023 at 21:02:24
Rest easy, folks, I am a 100% Blue Boy who knows our away form is so fucking dire and Villa Park (apart from Cup Semi-finals) has been not exactly a happy hunting ground for us over the years.

I just see Villa bouncing back, first home game for them too, we're live on the box and Dyche's usual caution frustrating the fuck outta me... doesn't bode well like my fellow Blues!

Sigh... when will our fortunes change?

Barry Hesketh
59 Posted 19/08/2023 at 21:11:34
We beat them 3-1 in an early season encounter in 2012 when Pienaar, Jelavic and Fellaini scored. The last time we won at Villa Park was when Lukaku was here, Funes Mori, Aaron Lennon and Lukaku scored also in a 3-1 victory. It was a night match, and I have no recollection of it whatsoever.
Billy Shears
60 Posted 19/08/2023 at 21:28:56
Oh yeah,I also fucking hate the Villains too since the heartbreak of the League Cup final games of '77.

To me there still owed,but unless we take the L.C seriously again,I very much doubt we'll have our day in the sun at Wembley and finally win that 3- handled pot!

Sam Hoare
61 Posted 19/08/2023 at 22:00:34
Very tough game. Watkins and Diaby is the sort of strike force we can only dream of (until DCL and Gnonto?!)

A point tomorrow would be a good result and I fear for our defense.

Billy Shears
62 Posted 19/08/2023 at 22:40:42
Check out footkit.net for our new home shirt,only £32!! (Short sleeved only)... seems kosher folks!
Bobby Mallon
63 Posted 20/08/2023 at 07:02:16
Calvert-Lewin has to start the game… he has too!!! We are not going to miraculously come back into the game if we go a goal down and he is on the bench.

Dyche had better not start Maupay or he can do one as well.

Dave Abrahams
64 Posted 20/08/2023 at 09:00:29
Barry (57),

Amen to that. Sometimes the truth hurts but it has to be faced up to. There is no easy way back to the good times we have never had under Chairman Bill.

Stu Darlington
65 Posted 20/08/2023 at 09:26:17
Barry @57'

Verging on a rant that, but well said! I agree with every word.

Terry Downes
66 Posted 20/08/2023 at 09:31:14
I'm getting tired of Dyche saying players aren't fit? What does he call 'fit'?

We must be the worst team in living memory for getting players fit enough to play.
Danny Baily
67 Posted 20/08/2023 at 09:39:41
Terry 66, it's like Mr Burns and the sideburns in The Simpsons.
Ian Bennett
68 Posted 20/08/2023 at 09:59:27
Perhaps Dyche's insistence on players being fit to his standard will reduce the injury problems that have plagued us for years.

Clearly frustrating and time will tell if if it works.

It's probably the right thing to do, but it depends on the recruitment team ensuring adequate replacements can be called upon. For that, we aren't where we need to be.

Alan McGuffog
69 Posted 20/08/2023 at 10:06:27
Let me get this right.

Gbamin is employed by Everton Football Club, yes?

We pay him a generous salary, yes or no? If yes, then why is he not at the place of employment?

If he's unable to play football, then surely there must be other roles he could fulfill ? Working with the juniors, driving a minibus, filing maybe…

If he refuses he is in breach of contract surely.

Danny Broderick
70 Posted 20/08/2023 at 10:07:06
Where is the striker we have needed for the last 4/5 windows? We've repeated the mistakes of last summer by not bringing a striker in. If it's Doucouré playing off Maupay again, I can't see us getting anything today, which will mean that we are up against it for the season yet again.

I like Dyche. I like his bluntness. I wish he would make more subs — but if I was a player, I think I'd like to play for him.

Hopefully Calvert-Lewin starts, but regardless, the recruitment guys need to get their finger out of their arse and get a striker in. It's all well and good pursuing Harrison and Gnonto… the glaring hole in our squad is up front! Sign a striker asap!!

Brian Harrison
71 Posted 20/08/2023 at 10:14:02
Someone plese tell me who is going to score the goals to help us pick up enough points to avoid relegation?

Calvert-Lewin makes a big difference in how we play but, other than his season under Ancelotti, he isn't a 20-goal-a-season man.

The other options without McNeil are awful: Iwobi, 2 goals last season and not much the previous seasons; not sure about Danjuma but Dyche hinted in his press conference he may not start the game.

Goals from our midfield are pretty much non-existent so we might have to rely on Keane or Tarkowski from a corner.

Hopefully our goalscoring prospects will pick up when Harrison and McNeil are fit to start games and we may still sign a striker before the window closes.

Kim Vivian
72 Posted 20/08/2023 at 10:39:07
I'm not sure Dyche when he talks about 'fit' necessarily means 'not injured' or carrying a knock. I think he means just fucking fit - to his standards - if you get my drift. We have clearly carried some fucking (relatively) lazy gets in the past. Iwobi, Doucourie play like 'fit' units, certain others don't.

Shitting it about this afternoon (I think we might surprisingly win against the odds). I don't know why I'm crapping it because I'm at the point of knowing however good or bad Everton are it won't affect my life, but that's were I find myself now. Past caring almost - it's a defence mechanism I reckon.

Derek Knox
73 Posted 20/08/2023 at 10:41:01
Alan @ 69,

Spot on there, brother! One of the reasons I am slowly (no, quickly) becoming so disillusioned with the modern-day game and the cosseted tossers that wear the shirts today.

No other Profession would a) pay these immoral amounts, and b) issue ridiculous contracts that ostensibly could make a very average player a millionaire, without ever playing a senior game.

Frank Sheppard
74 Posted 20/08/2023 at 10:47:44
Barry @57,

Well said – we need more realism on here, and less pessimism.

Terry Downes
75 Posted 20/08/2023 at 10:51:40
Going on Dyche's opinion of being fit, we should have Chermitti available for Xmas.
Christy Ring
76 Posted 20/08/2023 at 11:40:06
Dyche is 100% correct regarding fitness.

Benitez played Calvert-Lewin when he had a broken toe, he never got a chance to rest, repeatedly being played when he was carrying an injury.

Hopefully now we'll see the benefits of Dyche's training methods, considering the extent of our injuries over the last few years has been unreal.

Derek Knox
77 Posted 20/08/2023 at 11:47:33
While I am usually optimistic regarding us against any opponent, I doubt whether any naysayers or pessimists have any influence over the result. In fact, I would be very surprised if any player or management staff have any idea that ToffeeWeb exists, let alone it influence them.

Let's keep it that way, because it would be another excuse in the case of defeat: "We played badly because those on ToffeeWeb slagged us off beforehand." :-)

Tony Everan
78 Posted 20/08/2023 at 12:06:05
We are two Evertons.

One which performs well with Calvert-Lewin on the pitch, then another which struggles badly without him. For two years, a quality backup or challenger has been a necessity for Premier League security, and also the whole club's stability.

Managers, trainers, administrators come and go at great cost, but still no striker to put the chances away when Dom is injured. If they want stability then get the fundamentals right first.

If he starts today, I am very optimistic we will get at least a draw.


Andy Crooks
79 Posted 20/08/2023 at 12:21:33
I really understand what anyone gets by posting time after time, on and on, that Villa are going to best us. Are you trying to show devastating vision?

We are 4/1 today so you are not alone in your analysis. I think we will win.

Honest to God, the day I feel the need to actually type, time after time, that we are going to be well beaten is really the day I will reconsider why I support Everton and instead think of building a replica of the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock from matchsticks.

Luke Welch
80 Posted 20/08/2023 at 12:28:28
There will be a lot of huff and puff and half chances. A new season breed optimistim but in reality what's changed? A solid draw will be something.
Tony McNulty
81 Posted 20/08/2023 at 12:32:04

So you think we have been wasting all of our ToffeeWeb sweetness on the desert air?

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