08/10/2023 54comments  |  Jump to last

Sean Dyche has dismissed suggestions that he was ready to leave Amadou Onana out of yesterday's team to face Bournemouth for disciplinary reasons.

The Belgian was set to be named among the substitutes for the clash with the Cherries before Idrissa Gueye sustained an injury in the warm-up and had to withdraw from the game, with Onana reclaiming his place in midfield alongside James Garner.

Rumours spread on social media when the teams were announced that Onana had arrived late for training during the week and that Dyche had tempoarily dropped him as a result but the manager has rejected that notion in comments relayed by the Liverpool Echo.

“Imagine! Imagine how I’m the manager, and yet apparently the internet knows more than me," Dyche exclaimed. "That is the modern world. It’s not about that at all.

Article continues below video content

“Gana was going to play, and he got injured. I mentioned it before: we have four; we could move other people around in there, but Jimmy, Amadou, Gana, Douc, the main group in there, were fighting, all of them.

“Douc may be slightly different because he’s in a more advanced role. But certainty, the other three are very good players; obviously, Gana has got more experience."

Regardless of the reasons behind Dyche's decision, his selection dilemma in central midfield might have got more acute following the Blues' 3-0 win, where Garner excelled in his preferred role and Onana was an increasingly dominant presence as the match wore on.

Dyche's pre-planned change to that part of the pitch was influenced in part by the poverty of his team's performance against Luton the week before and the fact that Jack Harrison had been pressing his case for a full debut wide on the right where Garner had been deployed prior to this weekend. 

Gueye's injury was described as a heel or ankle problem but as of yet there is no indication of its severity or how long he might be sidelined, if at all. Everton don't play again until 21 October because of the international break, giving the Senegal international time to recover if the problem is only minor.


Reader Comments (54)

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Kieran Kinsella
1 Posted 09/10/2023 at 05:13:45
Country Cobbler who’s quite a well followed Evertonian on Twitter was spreading this rumor that Onana was dropped as he was 30 minutes late for training. He also claimed Dyche had a falling out with Pickford after stripping him of the vice captaincy — though they’ve now made peace. And that he’s had a falling out with Danjuma.

I don’t know who this Tweeter is or if he is credible but he interacts with the FAB group a lot and has a large following. Could be full of crap, could be “in the know” I don’t know.

Big picture we won so who cares? There have been several bizarre articles this weekend linking us with sacked DC United and Man Utd legend Wayne Rooney. I can’t see the logic in these rumors but maybe there is an Everton source fueling them. Maybe a chap who cried to his Mum when he sold the aforementioned for a bargain fee to Man Utd. Ergo, rumors to undermine Dyche could help court public favor to support this move. But as Ian Richardson in House of Cards might say, you might think that I couldn’t possibly comment.

Kenwright out.

Lee Courtliff
2 Posted 09/10/2023 at 07:09:07
I'd happily see Gueye used as a sub from now on as we should build our midfield around the likes of Garner and Onana.

But we know full well he'll be back in the starting line up at Anfield as we look to cling on for a point!

Tony Abrahams
3 Posted 09/10/2023 at 07:46:21
Fuckin hell, Dychey, just because you are our manager and have finally won a home game against the mighty Bournemouth 3-0, I can't believe you are now suggesting you know more than the internet?

Get a grip - because I've yet to meet anyone who knows more than Siri. Keep it real!

Tony Everan
4 Posted 09/10/2023 at 07:46:57
Who knows, probably something going on, if there is I hope they sort it out this week. Hope Gana’s injury is minor and he recovers quickly, we will need him. On Saturday though I was happy to see Onana starting the game in his place.

Onana and Garner seem to compliment each other in central midfield so I’m looking forward to see if this partnership can grow. Bigger tests will come against tougher teams, but they did well against Villa and this partnership could be the real deal. Doucoure is an important part of it with his boundlessly energy between midfield and supporting attack. He looks like he is really enjoying his football at the moment. Great to see him in his element.

The team has a good balance to it at the moment, and looks like it’s on an upward curve of improvement. We are definitely in a better place now than we were under Lampard this time last year.

Christine Foster
5 Posted 09/10/2023 at 08:04:40
Tony, as you have met up with Sean Dyche of late, it just made me wonder if he actually reads any fan sites like TW or even TW itself! Some really good nuggets of gold in here but of course it's buried in crap a lot of the time!

I wonder if any managers ever are on a forum under an alias perhaps? Keep forgetting they are exactly like 90% of people, except they usually know what they are talking about! An exchange of views both ways would be quite an insight all round.

Dean Williams
6 Posted 09/10/2023 at 08:49:37
Should have dropped Onana 3 games ago. Everyone's been calling for Garner at centre-midfield for ages. And he gave us better balance through the middle.
Peter Moore
7 Posted 09/10/2023 at 08:53:49
That good banter Tony for your pal! Would be nice if the latest and hopefully greatest MGM (Managerial Ginger Messiah) posted a come back on here lol.

If he does read TW, may he know, from this fan at least (and doubtless very many thousands of us) he has total support and backing from this Evertonian.

Keeping us up last season, when moral and (especially goalscoring) quality was in such short supply, was no small achievement! The talent pool should never have been down there in my opinion, but they were.

The momentum has not been easy to change, following the mess that was the state of play when this MGM landed. It is being changed though. That is down to the manager and his staff.

Getting buy-in from the perennially underperforming bunch and getting them to start to perform more consistently and consistently better, that is what you are paid for MGM, but so many previous managers failed in this.

May you succeed, Mr Dyche. Your endeavour, quality and application deserves success. May it be achieved. Onwards and upwards! Tough tests await. May we meet them head on, and pass! UTFT. COYB.

Danny O’Neill
8 Posted 09/10/2023 at 08:55:44
That's a good point Christine.

I'm not suggesting for one minute we all know everything on sites like this.

And there are very varied views on multiple ends of the spectrum. Those foaming at the mouth, the passives and the romantics like me.

But you'd like to think they would keep an eye on the supporters' forums to inform or take into consideration?

Maybe a role for the Fans' Advisory Board?

Dave Carruthers
9 Posted 09/10/2023 at 08:56:29
That is a great post Peter. Well done and tx
Ernie Baywood
10 Posted 09/10/2023 at 08:59:28
Christine, I think we undersell ourselves as supporters.

I've watched more Everton matches than our last 10 Everton managers have. Combined. It's not even close.

There's nothing in my life I've been more dedicated to for this long. In any other field I'd be considered an expert.

Managers know what they know. They know the inner workings of a club. They know how to setup and lead a coaching team. They know how to express whatever rubbish it is that they want to express in a press conference. And they have a character that somehow deals with the intense pressure they're under.

But they haven't watched as much of Idrissa Gana Gueye in an Everton shirt as I have. Or most of the players in this team.

Martin Reppion
11 Posted 09/10/2023 at 09:13:16
Christine #5, I think Peter #7 may be your Sean Dyche alias… ;-
Dave Abrahams
12 Posted 09/10/2023 at 09:35:57
Christine (5),

I think Harry Catterick used to go and mingle with the supporters of the team of a player he was interested in, listen to their comments about the player and what they thought about his ability.

Not sure if that was true but I do know that reading the letters page in the ‘Pink Echo', plenty of comments by fans were implemented by both Catterick and Shankly in the following weeks.

For those stating they hope Onana plays in the derby instead of Gana, maybe they should think back to last season's game at Anfield when he was substituted after another poor game when a young Liverpool midfield player 18 years of age was voted MotM.

Dan Nulty
13 Posted 09/10/2023 at 09:37:24
I'd imagine the last thing any manager or player for that matter would keep an eye on fans sites. I'm sure it would knock their confidence and depress the hell out of them.
Mark Murphy
14 Posted 09/10/2023 at 10:13:40
Christine (and Martin) maybe Farkov is actually Sean Dyche trolling Paul Ferry for disagreeing with his material decisions??
Derek Thomas
15 Posted 09/10/2023 at 11:08:45
Gana, Onana; if we had even One decent Midfielder extra they'd both be on the bench.

Gana is a one-trick pony and Onana is a no-trick pony.

Brendan McLaughlin
16 Posted 09/10/2023 at 11:15:11
Pretty sure Sean Dyche would file fans website comments under "noise".
Trevor Powell
17 Posted 09/10/2023 at 11:30:34
We desperately needed more attacking intent for the last few seasons. We have been strapped for money to buy players. The meagre money in recent transfer markets this summer has gone on three free transfers plus two "modest money" transfers!

The two money transfers do not seem to feature, why? Is Beto only here to back up DCL's next injury and as for Chermiti is he only been bought to back up Beto when we have nobody left to play up top. Danjuma must be thinking that he is in a recurring footballing loop reflecting his Spurs experience, but we seem to be always able play a has been geriatric full back all the time.

I am the first to admit that my tactical football nous is pretty useless, but it seems that we are recruiting players with no clear strategy for what might be our best starting eleven!

Only saying like .

Dave Abrahams
18 Posted 09/10/2023 at 11:30:46
Derek (15),

It could be worse: some fans want to play Gomes, or even Dele Alli!

Barry Rathbone
19 Posted 09/10/2023 at 11:41:37
I think fan site views have been overly influential at Everton for some time, usually the timing of manager sacking coinciding with peak angst on the web.

Mind you, the one time they went their own way Dumb and Dumber (Moshiri and Usmanov) appointed Benitez!!

Steve Brown
20 Posted 09/10/2023 at 11:47:07
Dave, I think Dyche wants to play them as well. They can control and pass the ball, which evades Doucouré, Onana and Gueye.

His squad is thinner than Starvin Marvin so beggars can't be choosers.

Steve Brown
21 Posted 09/10/2023 at 11:48:53
Barry, I think Moshiri did ask Siri before he hired Benitez.
Barry Rathbone
22 Posted 09/10/2023 at 11:58:13
Steve 21

Agent Siri – the buggers are everywhere.

Dave Evans
23 Posted 09/10/2023 at 12:18:47
A still devoping Onana was many fans stand out player on Saturday, me included.

Gana has the best tackling stats in the Premier League and in some of our displays, along with Tarkowski and Pickford, one of the only players to show up.

Few players have been great this season but, after a good win last time out, I think it is time to shred any dated agendas and get behind all of our players, including Onana and Gana.

Christine Foster
24 Posted 09/10/2023 at 12:48:51
So, let's face it, managers are nothing special, some are better at their job than others but it's a job.

There are hundreds of fans, even on TW, who could do just as good a job of it as they do, they have the understanding, the knowledge, the art of manipulation, the tactical awareness, in fact the whole kit bag... except they will never have the opportunity, it's the defining line, as it is in everything in life.

And no, this post is not sarcastic, a joke, a laugh, but managers have to shop, eat, sort out kids at home etc, just like you, me and every other fan. So you bet they will read sites because, like every one of us, they have an opinion.

Ernie Baywood
25 Posted 09/10/2023 at 13:05:24
Dave, does Gana have the best tackling stats?

If we're going off stats, Onana has Gueye covered in almost every category in defence and attack. Makes more tackles, wins more tackles, plays more passes, creates more chances and obviously wins more headers (26 to 1!)

I can't find any details on distance covered but I've a sneaky suspicion Onana might do a lot more than he's given credit for in that area too. His lolloping style won't win many fans, but he seems to pop up at both ends pretty consistently.

I'm not anti-Gueye, I just think you pick him to do a job. And you don't pick him when you need to break down a limited but resolute opponent at your own ground. Whereas I think Onana has been both underutilised and underrated.

Gana may well be an option for Anfield. It depends on what Dyche wants to do in terms of tactics. Or if he's got any idea what he's doing in terms of tactics.

Anthony Flack
26 Posted 09/10/2023 at 13:12:45
Onana had a cracking game, as someone says earlier, growing into the game. I admit to thinking at the start that he seemed a bit anonymous. However, when he gets the ball, he looks to move it forward, and his recovery tackles are excellent.

Him and Garner all day long – Gueye has many qualities but creates no danger (other than for our defence), but does not blend well with Onana.

Ernie Baywood
27 Posted 09/10/2023 at 13:25:02
Christine, they're not there because they are football geniuses.

The difference between leaders and the rest in every field is minimal in terms of technical ability. In fact, it's often an inverse relationship.

They'll be good at the day to day job of knowing how to setup a structure that manages training, coaching, matchdays, media etc. They'll all be decent people managers. Basically all the operational stuff that managers in every field deal with. They'll also manage their careers and their stakeholders well.

Think about how your C-Suite or Directors might have ascended to and remained employed in their positions... it won't be that different for the majority of football managers.

It comes through when they speak. Take credit when things go well, find ways to demonstrate claimed progress when there's nothing tangible to show, cover their arse for when things go wrong.

You just have to hope there are a few people who can see through that stuff... but you look at the top rungs in our club as an example and there clearly aren't.

They're on massive salaries. You don't spend that on someone with just good football knowledge. There's no shortfall in people who understand football.

Brian Wilkinson
28 Posted 09/10/2023 at 13:30:12
Anthony @26, Gueye creates no danger?

Try sitting in the Park End when he gets his usual half-chance each game, I nearly lost my foot-long hot dog, last shot he cracked off, and I'm two-thirds up in the Park stand.

No doubting his ability in tackling and not much gets past him, but one of the players needs to have a word in his ear about his shooting abilities.

Dale Self
29 Posted 09/10/2023 at 13:43:55
It’s snot hyperbole to say that Dyche will mucous a much better team and club. [wipes dome for emphasis]
Mick O'Malley
30 Posted 09/10/2023 at 13:57:47
Dave @23 and Ernie@25, well said.

It's absolutely no mystery to me that our best performances have been when Garner and Onana are paired together. Gana has great tackling stats but, for me, he needs leaving out for a bit to see how these two develop.

They will get better with more game time whereas Gana is only going to decline. He still has an important part to play, but I want to see the other two develop a partnership while playing in their proper positions.

Si Cooper
31 Posted 09/10/2023 at 15:44:26
I think it’s too simplistic to say just play a player in their best position. That’s great if you’ve got 11 players that pick themselves and have complementary roles.

At times the manager has just been looking to get a balanced team out and that has meant his best option at certain times has been to utilise Garner in a role that fitted with the other players then available. With better options elsewhere you would hope Dyche will play him in the middle but the team overall should still be capable of beating certain opponents even with Garner filling in elsewhere.

Gana certainly has limitations and needs to keep it simple but it’s unfair to say he has ‘one trick’, and to say Onana has none is just trying to be extreme. Do people not remember how poor our midfield has actually been in recent times?

I beg to differ on whether being knowledgeable about the game actually means you would be a good manager / coach. I think assembling / moulding a competitive team has a lot of facets to it that laymen just won’t have a grasp of. It’s actually doing something that demonstrates ability and just observing something (for however long) does not mean you could actually execute. Hopefully the NHS never tries to recruit its surgeons from a list of people who have watched every episode of Casualty.

How many weeks of training with the players would it take for a manager / coach to get to know them better than we supporters can ever do from just watching them in games? I’d reckon 3 months would give them around 240 hours of scrutinising the players which is 160 ‘games’ worth.

Mike Allison
32 Posted 09/10/2023 at 16:06:01
Yet another manager tries to crowbar his favourites into the wrong positions and it doesn't work.

He's finally forced into picking a balanced team like any 9-year-old on a computer game would and he gets a win.

So much of modern football is not-very-clever people trying to convince us that football is complicated and that only they are clever enough to do it. It's nonsense.

Pick the right players in the right positions and get them working hard to a simple plan and you'll get results.

Kieran Kinsella
33 Posted 09/10/2023 at 16:13:54

I've watched every Batman film and know all the tricks of the trade. I just need a rich benefactor who can equip me and Kansas City will be crime-free.

Will Mabon
34 Posted 09/10/2023 at 16:39:16

You may deal with Kansas City but could you handle Gotham?

Si Cooper
35 Posted 09/10/2023 at 16:56:45
Kieran, is it the Dunning - Kruger Effect that reckons the less intelligent tend to underestimate what it takes to actually do a job well, and the more intelligent who tend to underestimate their personal ability to do it?

Sometimes it is perfectly acceptable to play someone somewhere other than their best position if the team overall would have more problems if someone else had to plug the gap they are plugging. It's a 'lesser of two evils' situation.

I don't see how people just can't accept that can be true. The debate is whether Dyche had better options in previous games for the right-sided role he gave to James Garner. I think it can be argued that, until Harrison got fit, it was a tough choice for the manager how to use his best players.

Jay Harris
36 Posted 09/10/2023 at 17:00:03
Its simple Will you just need a mask, a cape and a smoke and mirrors approach just ask the guy who has made a personal fortune masquerading as EFC chairman.
Will Mabon
37 Posted 09/10/2023 at 17:08:15
Jay, Batman is no Bill...
Steve Brown
38 Posted 09/10/2023 at 17:34:21
Bill is more like Harvey Dent - the Two Face Janus (or something that rhymes with that anyway).
David West
39 Posted 09/10/2023 at 18:15:31
I think many people like Garner playing in the centre, I know I do. We need to remember his age, he's still a young lad, as is Onana.

If you look at the second half of the Luton game, they didn't play well together in the centre. So I don't think it's going to solve all our problems.

There will be injuries, suspensions and rotations. I am not convinced they could take on the midfield of the top few sides, but I'd like to be proved wrong.

It may be that Garner and Doucouré are the mainstays and Onana and Gana are interchanged dependent on the opposition.

Harrison and McNeil look to have the wide spots now, this is a dyche tactic, hard-working wingers, up and down the flanks, helping the full-backs – even Mykolenko got forward on Saturday.

Jerome Shields
40 Posted 09/10/2023 at 18:48:26
I just think that Onana plays better when there are ball players in the midfield with him. Doucoure has become more of a forward getting into the box and getting and taking chances.

Gana is more a break-up of play and interceptor, which is also necessary. Gana is slower than he was, but was always prone the wayward long pass. Docoure is better forward with his tendency to flick, which deeper results in loss of possession.

Garner is more of a ball player and suits Onana. Harrison is a lot better than what we had before, getting into position and able to suit.

McNeil did play well, but the crosses in were mostly for the penalty spot. A better goalkeeper than the Bournemouth one would have gobbled them up, and may have looked MotM.

Dyche needs to know what he is doing, rather than telling us he does.

Dale Self
41 Posted 09/10/2023 at 18:53:40
Kieran, just don’t blow the bloody doors off.
Ernie Baywood
42 Posted 09/10/2023 at 20:57:51
Si, in your NHS analogy Dyche isn't the surgeon. DCL is a specialist. Dyche is a manager.

I don't have knowledge of the medical industry. It's possible that surgeons make good leaders, but probably a waste of their skills. I'm sure the NHS have plenty of leaders with leadership skills rather than surgery expertise. Their CEO never touched a scalpel in her life.

I don't underestimate what it takes to be a manager because I can't know what it takes without ever being part of that system. Leading, motivating and aligning a big team of players, coaches, fitness staff, data analysts and on and on is a huge job. The job would go so far beyond tactical knowledge. If you haven't been part of that system then you won't know the day to day job.

Most people seem to think the football manager is just the tactics guru. I'm sure they're not.

Opinion on specific players or team performance is the easy bit. Anyone who has spent their life playing and watching football is capable. That's not the bit that is in short supply.

Put it this way, if Guardiola was just a tactical genius then he could just consult to multiple clubs (presumably just joining a Teams meeting and saying things like "short from the keeper, double pivot") and earn billions without any stress. That's not what he does - his impact would be right across the football department. He's a great leader - proven by the results his teams get and the kind of clubs that seek his services.

Si Cooper
43 Posted 09/10/2023 at 22:53:47
Ernie, I've said it before and stand by my opinion that managing a football squad is not equivalent to any other managerial position, and so to my mind they are the specialists, ie, the surgeons.

I work in an industry where Qualified Persons and subject matter experts can have the most significant say as to what happens on the shop floor even though they are technically apart from the managerial system you are describing and I think the hierarchy in football operates in yet another separate fashion.

“There's nothing in my life I've been more dedicated to for this long. In any other field, I'd be considered an expert.”

Ernie, I guess I need to ask you what you mean by ‘expert' and how it relates to who the manager should be picking, which seemed to be the theme of the thread?

Also, what is the relevance of having watched more of Everton in particular (although I'd have no problem believing Dyche's already seen more of the current squad at work than any supporter)?

Why is experience as a player and manager elsewhere not transferable or as good as Everton-centric experience?

Mike Gaynes
44 Posted 10/10/2023 at 02:08:12
Brian #28, good 'un.
Ernie Baywood
45 Posted 10/10/2023 at 02:46:23
I'm pretty sure the theme was whether supporter opinion on players and tactics was valid enough for consideration by a manager.

My argument is that it absolutely is valid. I think people who watch every single game, live and breathe the club, assess and debate every action... yeah, I think if there was an equivalent in my industry (there is), then their opinions would be sought and valued (they are).

Football knowledge is not in short supply. You wouldn't pay millions a year for one guy's ideas about how the game should be played. You might pay millions a year for someone who can establish, align and run a large football operation including leveraging their own contacts and networks for the benefit of the organisation. Those people are in more limited supply.

Ian Jones
46 Posted 10/10/2023 at 06:44:18
Comments by James Garner on the Everton website:

''I was breaking through and I had Dom [Calvert-Lewin] and Doucs [Doucoure] on my left… I was spoilt for choice. Maybe I picked the wrong choice! But the ball ended up in the back of the net and I'm happy to get my first goal.”

And there's me thinking he used the defender as a shield leaving the goalie unsure of where he was going to pass it into the net.

If he gets into that position again, go for the shot again. I think he's an intelligent player.

Duncan McDine
47 Posted 10/10/2023 at 06:59:47
Ernie, its an interesting point that you raise. My opinion is that not everyone on TW 'undersells themselves' as supporters... in fact, some blow their own trumpet a bit too loud!

There is one major problem with your call for managers to listen to long term match-going fans: everyone has a slightly different opinion! In fairness, most of us agree on playing Jimmy Garner central but – apart from that – very few fans can agree on anything. The manager would end up more confused than where he'd started.

Neil Lawson
48 Posted 10/10/2023 at 08:14:57
Bit concerned that my cover may be blown. Posting now whilst supervising training in the hope that will reassure you that I can't be SD operating under an alias. Will do the same during my next press conference so you can be certain it's not me. At least now you can all be assured that my team and tactical changes on Saturday were not as a result of all of your helpful contributions on TW. Phew ! Same again for Mordor ? What you all reckon ?
Ernie Baywood
49 Posted 10/10/2023 at 08:31:39
Absolutely, Duncan.

Just think if he'd dropped Keane earlier. Played Garner in the middle earlier. Stopped talking shite in his press conferences.

What a better world it would be.

Mind you he would have also released DCL on a free for wearing a skirt once.

So he'd probably need to be selective on what viewpoints to consider.

Brian Wilkinson
50 Posted 10/10/2023 at 14:20:20
Hard to believe Dyche has only been at Everton 36 weeks, roughly speaking :-)

One for Derek that.

Peter Moore
51 Posted 10/10/2023 at 20:05:16
Neil 48 (MGM Sean?)
Yes please to same again, gaffer.
Their defence is their weakest point, if needed, roll the Dyche and come up with a Double..act. DCL and Beto to destroy them. 3-5-2! On Anfield victims let DCL and Beto chew.
Lester Yip
52 Posted 11/10/2023 at 02:01:41
Not uncommon to find an excuse for a more senior player to sit out – save face for both the player and the manager if things don't work as planned.

Surely Dyche can see Gana's limitation in going forward but he might have preferred experience and safety. With the recent under-performance, he is forced to try something new and it works.

Garner must play in the middle going forward. So it's Gana and Onana to fight it out.

Mick Davies
53 Posted 11/10/2023 at 16:12:52
David West:

If you look at the second half of the Luton game, they didn't play well together in the centre. So I don't think it's going to solve all our problems.

Wrong; they weren't paired together, just a tactical reshuffle that sent Garner from the wing to deep, central midfield. He hardly got over the half-way line.

Mick Davies
54 Posted 11/10/2023 at 16:23:12
Football managers are completely different to any other 'business'. They haven't had to go to university for 3 years to get the job, just a short course and a knowledge of football, almost invariably as a former player.

Even a man like Mark Warburton, who had only played at amateur level, went on to coach at Premier League level in England and Scotland, and he was an accountant. If football managers are so highly skilled, then why are they getting sacked every 5 minutes?

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