11/12/2023 116comments  |  Jump to last

Everton could be down to their last two available centre-halves when they make the short trip to Burnley this Saturday as Michael Keane could miss out through injury.

The defender sat out Sunday's rousing win over Chelsea entirely because of an ankle issue and watched the game from the Directors Box – he is a doubt for this coming weekend.

With Jarrad Branthwaite serving a one-game ban for passing the five yellow card mark for the season, Keane's potential absence exposes Sean Dyche to the risk of having just two fit natural centre-halves to call on for what will be his first match back at Turf Moor since he was sacked as Burnley's manager in the spring of 2022.

Ben Godfrey, the only remaining central defender available to partner James Tarkowski, has made just one appearance so far this season, that coming in the Carabao Cup second round against Doncaster in late August.

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The only other centre-halves with first-team experience, Mason Holgate and Reece Welch, are currently out on loan but it's possible either could be recalled in an emergency.

Dyche also has fitness concerns over veteran full-backs Seamus Coleman and Ashley Young who were forced to come off against Newcastle and Chelsea respectively in the past week. 


Reader Comments (116)

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Mike Gaynes
1 Posted 11/12/2023 at 22:57:50
I would not like to see Godfrey in the middle.

Nor would I want to see a three-man backline when we're playing so superbly with four at the back.

I'd say move Myko inside next to Tark. He's the best tackler and header available.

Slot Godfrey in at left back, where he started five games last season and six the year before.

It could be his last appearance for us. Multiple media reports in the past couple of days have us selling him to Spurs in January.

Colin Glassar
2 Posted 11/12/2023 at 23:00:50
Patto Seamus (if fit) Tarkowski Mykolenko
Paul Kossoff
3 Posted 11/12/2023 at 23:12:00
Keane a doubt, thank fk for that, I would rather go back to the old days of one centre half not two. You never heard big Ron Yeats, ( dirty b.) complaining that he needed another c b to help him. Big Mike England, ( Apparently he was the one who prodded the ball over the line for the shite, in the fog, against Ajax,) done it all himself, large Larry Loyd just got on with it, as a cart horse pulling a plow, and brilliant Brian Labone always looked so cool and majestic. Apparently Southampton have told us if we take Holgate back they won't sue us, tell them to fk off.
Should have kept Coady. Surely we won't have any problems taking three off Burnley, we won't will we, surely. Hello, knocks on mike, blows on mike hello.
Les Callan
4 Posted 11/12/2023 at 23:18:31
Paul, I don’t think Mike England played for Liverpool did he ?
Brendan McLaughlin
5 Posted 11/12/2023 at 23:18:42
Paul #3

" blows on mike"

Too much information...

Anthony Dwyer
6 Posted 11/12/2023 at 23:21:46
Just play Braithwaite alone, no full backs, no partners at centre half, just him. That's what we play every other week according to the press, we are a one man defence !!

Paul Kossoff
7 Posted 11/12/2023 at 23:23:23
Brendan, I don't know what you mean,😀 Les, that's the point, the fog was so thick in that game that the news paper the next day said, apparently Mike England prodded the all over the line for the Reds.
Bob Parrington
8 Posted 11/12/2023 at 23:24:49
Mike @ 1 Spot on. I'm sure Mike can do the job alongside Tark.
Will Mabon
9 Posted 11/12/2023 at 23:46:38
...just as it's rumoured that we are to recall Holgate due to "Lack of playing time."
Will Mabon
10 Posted 11/12/2023 at 23:49:53
*Duplicate alert:

Sorry, Paul @ 3, I see you already mentioned Holgate.

Gavin Johnson
11 Posted 11/12/2023 at 23:50:39
It's probably a blessing as Keane, was and always will be an accident waiting to happen. Godfrey is the safer option out of the two.
Paul Kossoff
12 Posted 12/12/2023 at 00:24:44
Ok Will, the more we complain about Holgate the better.😀
Mike Gaynes
13 Posted 12/12/2023 at 00:26:09
Blows on who?
Paul Kossoff
14 Posted 12/12/2023 at 00:50:56
Off topic, regarding the dreadful chanting by away fans to poverty and hunger that's going on throughout the UK.
Everton scoreboard responded to poverty chanting in Chelsea game with foodbank advert.


Jamie Sweet
15 Posted 12/12/2023 at 01:41:55
I noticed in the post-Chelsea press conference, Dyche specifically mentioned Ben Godfrey (after first calling him Ben Gibson), as one of the lads, like Dobbin, who have been training really well and working very professionally so that they are ready when called upon.

Would love Ben to come in and show he's somewhere near back to his best and ready to provide quality back-up for the magnificent Tarkowski and Branthwaite. I thought he could be great when he first arrived, but seemed to regress after his injury set-backs.

Dan Parker
16 Posted 12/12/2023 at 02:05:53
Godfrey might not be the worse central defensive partner. Deployed on the wings not so good.
Mike Dolan
17 Posted 12/12/2023 at 02:10:07
We cannot replace Branthwaite with the same quality of player. He’s already one of the best center backs in the league.
So the most important thing is to not start pulling players out of position. So depending on fitness the pecking order should be Keane, Godfrey and the absolute emergency cover would be Shamus.

Bill Gienapp
18 Posted 12/12/2023 at 02:10:16
Godfrey's not a complete bum. He can step in and do a professional job if called upon. It's not an optimal solution, but when you have a squad as slender as ours (which Dyche has further boiled down to the players he absolutely trusts), you're going to have selection headaches like these some weeks. If we can keep such headaches to a minimum this season, we should consider ourselves fortunate.
Derek Knox
19 Posted 12/12/2023 at 03:43:55
Keane a Doubt ? He hasn't played for ages, must be splinters in his arse then ! :-)

If any recall to be made (bit too panicky for one game) I would rather it be Reece Welch, makes more sense, one for the possible future, against one we are tying to offload, no brainer as they should say ?

Alan J Thompson
20 Posted 12/12/2023 at 04:37:30
Or, reluctantly, change the system to 3-4-2-1 using either Young or Godfrey in the 4.

Can Holgate (or Welch) be recalled outside of a transfer window and how will recalling him see he gets more game time as aren't Branthwaite and Gana only out for the one game.

Paul Hewitt
21 Posted 12/12/2023 at 06:15:25
No changing the system. No moving players about. Godfrey for Branthwaite,keep it simple.
Robert Tressell
22 Posted 12/12/2023 at 07:16:35
I think Mike has called it at # 1. Mykolenko steps inside to replace Jarrad and Godfrey takes the LB slot where he's played his best football with us. Hopefully Onana is back to provide some extra height too.
Keith Meakin
23 Posted 12/12/2023 at 07:17:39
Talk about white men can’t jump, Godfrey needs to take some jumping lessons from DCL, the guy always looks like he’s wearing lead boots when he jumps for a cross. Still best option we have but I think this will be a tough battle, I just hope we don’t sustain any injuries.
Derek Thomas
24 Posted 12/12/2023 at 07:32:10
Paul @3
Dean Johnson
25 Posted 12/12/2023 at 07:40:11
Would rather a lame duck than holgate, Keane or Godfrey

All three are utter shite and having them in our team makes us vulnerable as fuck.

Our problems as a team stem from the continued selection of these morons. We're only doing well because they are nowhere near the first team under dyche.

Yes I'm harsh, but when yer paid that kinda money to go and fuck up time and time again then you have to question a) the coach for selecting them and b) the idiots who keep extending their contracts.

I'm very interested to see what dyche does in this situation.

I say miko central with young at left back and Seamus at right back

Duncan McDine
26 Posted 12/12/2023 at 07:58:47
Keith (23), you've lost me with the 'White men can't jump' reference. Both Ben Godfrey and DCL are of mixed race! Great film though.

We'll have to wait and see how Dyche tackles this mini availability crisis. One thing is for sure (from reading the comments) - none of us can agree on a back 4 against Burnley.

Tony Abrahams
27 Posted 12/12/2023 at 08:09:08
Anyone who wants to play Godfrey as a fullback in the system Dyche uses has obviously forgotten about his performance at Man Utd, last season.

Godfrey did very well playing fullback in Ancelloti’s team, but it’s been different under Dyche, although because the team is more confident, he will hopefully find it a lot easier if he comes back in for Brainthwaith.

Robert Tressell
28 Posted 12/12/2023 at 08:35:44
Tony # 27, Godfrey has had some horrible performances at CB too. There isn't really a good option here. At CB Godfrey offers nothing like what Branthwaite gives us. So LB seems least worst option to me.

I wouldn't even be surprised if Onana, if he's fit, starts at CB alongside Tarkowski. He's a closer match physically to Jarrad and a calm presence on the ball too.

The good news is that Dyche tends to find a way of shuffling players about and getting a performance so hopefully that will happen against Burnley.

Danny Baily
29 Posted 12/12/2023 at 08:56:58
Godfrey is the obvious solution, and a great back up.
David Bromwell
30 Posted 12/12/2023 at 08:57:26
This was bound to happen with our small squad. I watched both Keane and Godfrey playing for the under 21 team recently, both looked clumsy and slow. Holgate is on the bench most weeks for Southampton. Not sure how much game time he has had, but I think Reece Welch is left footed, so he might be our best bet ?
Mark Taylor
31 Posted 12/12/2023 at 09:11:35
For once, our defence isn't broke so keep fixes to a minimum and play people in their correct position. I know Myko has been stellar but I think it is unfair to expect him to naturally be as good at CB.

So Godfrey at CB and offer up a prayer.

Eddie Dunn
32 Posted 12/12/2023 at 09:18:36
I would try not to upset the good balance that Dyche has carefully developed. Therefore, I wouldn't disturb Myko on the left but simply slot Godfrey in next to Tarks and hope the lad can be coaxed through the game.
It will be even more important to have midfield cover in front of the back four. I wonder who is fit?
Burnley will be desperate to peg us back and I expect them to throw the kitchen sink at us. A point is a must.
Brent Stephens
33 Posted 12/12/2023 at 09:27:38
David #30 I think Welch has tended to play in the right CB position (often with Campbell occupying the left CB position). Presumably Tarkowski could switch to left CB to accommodate Welch but others might be in line before Welch (and interesting call by Robert #28, with Onana as a possibility).
Robert Tressell
34 Posted 12/12/2023 at 09:33:23
Reece Welch is on loan at Forest Green Rovers so can't play (although he could come back in Jan perhaps).

Need James Flynn to resume his loan round up...

Danny O’Neill
35 Posted 12/12/2023 at 09:34:20
If Keane isn't available, I wonder if he goes 3 at the back?

Dare I say, 3-5-2? Question being Mykolenko or pushed up front as a wing back. Or the other way around? Godfrey as a wing back with Mykolenko in a 3?

Who knows? The manager will decide.

Paul Hewitt
36 Posted 12/12/2023 at 09:38:21
Bloody hell we're only playing Burnley. Stick my nan at the back and we will still smash them.
Dave Cashen
37 Posted 12/12/2023 at 09:56:50
Paul 36

Sorry mate that's a ridiculous post.

The worst thing you can do in any sport is to disrespect your opponent before the battle. I like to see inner confidence, but that sort of disrespect invariably comes back to bite you on the arse.

Danny O’Neill
38 Posted 12/12/2023 at 09:58:41
Paul, we are full of confidence. We've lost one in six and fear no-one. The players are playing with smiles on their faces and enjoying playing football.

Keep the momentum.

Pete Jeffries
39 Posted 12/12/2023 at 10:08:42
I do feel some sympathy for Ben Godfrey who before his bad injury was often man of the match for us, at full back or centre back.
Meanwhile when we eventually get up to safety in this league, I think the club should repay the fans for all the more than fantastic support without which we would be in the Championship by now. How about free entry to some matches for a start to show credit instead of skulking in the boardroom.
James Marshall
40 Posted 12/12/2023 at 10:12:56
Godfrey is a useless centre half - his positioning is all wrong and his heading ability isn't great. Fairly integral for a central defender. He's only made it to this level because he has pace in my view, but that's enough to stick him in for one game and we should beat Burnley I reckon.

Then ship him off to Spurs ASAP. Unfortunately it looks likes calamity Holgate could be back.

Danny O’Neill
41 Posted 12/12/2023 at 10:21:02
Totally agree Dave Cashen.

I don't want to get dramatic, but I've faced many opponents in my life. Terrorists, Serbian, Taliban insurgents and human rights abusers. You always believe you are better, but you never disrespect the enemy.

Anyway, to your point and back to the football. We go to Burnley with confidence and belief. But also with humility.

We won't win them all, so let's not panic if we do lose one. We will win enough.

Totally different era and scenario, but in what is the greatest season in my living memory (84-85), we lost the first two games and shipped 6 goals.

The rest was history. Don't panic as they say. Long way to go.

Ian Jones
42 Posted 12/12/2023 at 10:22:47
When manager of Burnley, didn't Sean Dyche tell his players at half-time that 'Everton don't know how to win' which led to a second-half comeback.

Wonder what he'll tell our players this weekend if we find ourselves in a losing position !

Mark Taylor
43 Posted 12/12/2023 at 10:28:26
People talking about CB options perhaps need to consider that Holgate is struggling to get games in the Championship, having started 4 and been pulled in 2, and Welch rarely plays for Forest Green who are in Division 2 and likely to be relegated to non league.

The problem is, we got rid of our better CB's at the end of last season (Mina and to a lesser extent, Coady), albeit for good reasons, which left us with the dross. Without Branthwaite's emergence as a class CB, one shudders to think of the situation we might have been in.

Mark Ryan
44 Posted 12/12/2023 at 10:39:04
At a time when the team is playing with increased confidence, Godfrey might step up to the plate and do a decent job. I felt ill when I saw us linked again with Holgate
John Chambers
45 Posted 12/12/2023 at 10:42:01
Re the Mike England comments, he played for Spurs. I wouldn’t move Mykolenko. He is doing so well at LB at the moment why weaken two positions? Also I’m not convinced he’s the best in the air. I know his header for his goal was top drawer but I often think he gets to the ball in the air but then makes a poor header. Personally I’d go for Godfrey. Burnley haven’t got Woods or Westwood to bully him.
Brian Harrison
46 Posted 12/12/2023 at 10:52:11
John 45

Not sure what the Mike England comment was about, but what I remember was that it was Mike England who injured Joe Royle with his knees in Joes back. Joe was out of the game for 12 months and had to have back surgery, and was never the same player when he came back. England was also captain of Wales, a decent centre half and not a dirty player at all but doubt Joe would see it that way.

Brian Harrison
47 Posted 12/12/2023 at 10:52:11
John 45

Not sure what the Mike England comment was about, but what I remember was that it was Mike England who injured Joe Royle with his knees in Joes back. Joe was out of the game for 12 months and had to have back surgery, and was never the same player when he came back. England was also captain of Wales, a decent centre half and not a dirty player at all but doubt Joe would see it that way.

Jon Harding
48 Posted 12/12/2023 at 10:58:53
In that Doncaster cup game, Godfey looked totally shot. Confidence on the floor. Struggled to put one foot in front of the other, let alone play football. By the sound of it, things did not improve in his u21 appearance.
I'd rather see Myko play central with Dwight filling in again at left back and Danjuma brought in ahead of him on the wing assuming, old boys Seamus and Ashley Young are not fit.
The good news is that whatever Dyche decides on, he has all week to prepare for it and he's getting most things right this season so In Sean I Trust.
Eddie Dunn
49 Posted 12/12/2023 at 11:33:20
Jon -that would be crazy. McNeil is currently our best player, so to move him to leftback would deny us an important threat.
Anyway, I think Dyche will come up with a plan that is practical.
Much depends on whether Young, or Coleman is fit enough and just who is in midfield.
John Pickles
50 Posted 12/12/2023 at 11:50:42
From Premier League Handbook 2022/2023:

'Subject to any conditions imposed by the Board in the exercise of its
discretion under Rule V.4.2, the minimum period of a Temporary Transfer
shall be the period between two consecutive Transfer Windows and the
period of a Temporary Transfer shall not extend beyond 30 June next after
it was entered into, save that the Board may, in its absolute discretion,
permit a Temporary Transfer to be terminated before the commencement
of the second Transfer Window (subject to such conditions as the Board
deems appropriate);'

So, you can only get a termination, if you are mates with the Premier League.

Can't see a problem for Everton there.

Tony Abrahams
51 Posted 12/12/2023 at 12:05:20
I can’t disagree with you about Godfrey, Robert T, but I just don’t think Dyche would change the position of two defenders, when he can just use one player to make a straight swap with Brainthwaite.

I couldn’t see him playing Onana there either if I’m being honest, and I would have that same opinion even if Gana Gueye wasn’t suspended.

Chris Hockenhull
52 Posted 12/12/2023 at 12:12:39
Brian (46) as player Harry Catterick looked bring to the club from Blackburni in the 60’s
Frank Fearns
53 Posted 12/12/2023 at 12:24:26
Just a reminder that last season Ben Godfrey had an outstanding game against Haaland at Man city. He can do it again.
Tony Everan
54 Posted 12/12/2023 at 12:35:59
I think Keane would get the nod if he was fit, but as it looks unlikely it will be a straight swap Godfrey for Branthwaite. With Godfrey being told to keep the game simple as possible, clear the ball down the lines, get the tackles timed right etc. I wouldn't change the framework of the system to move other players about, stick with what works.

We are a nightmare for teams away from home with our set up so I'm still confident despite the enforced changes. I also think the other players will encourage and help Godfrey get through the game, especially Tarkowski and Seamus will help him too from on or even off the pitch.

Robert Leigh
55 Posted 12/12/2023 at 12:46:59
Less moving pieces the better, we need to respect Burnley (they do look slightly better after beating Sheffield United so handsomely), so keep it simple:

Patterson - Tarkowski - Godfrey - Myko
Harrison - Onana - Garner - McNeil

If we're looking comfy after an hour give a rest to Dwight, DCL and Garner as they're so key to us creating and scoring.

Danny O’Neill
56 Posted 12/12/2023 at 12:47:03
I try not to think too much about who is playing or not.

Whoever walks on that pitch gets my backing.

I've looked at a very young line up at Stamford Bridge, admittedly with trepidation. And the then even younger Branthwaite scored the equaliser right in front of me stood in in the Shed End. At the next visit, albeit down the other end, Ellis Simms slots one in.

Nothing is impossible. Fear no-one.

I don't care who is playing for Everton at the weekend. They are playing for Everton whoever they are. That is all that matters.

For God's sake, it's only Tuesday!!

Frank Fearns
57 Posted 12/12/2023 at 13:09:17
I agree Danny. Any lad who dons an Everton shirt should get full support. I said that earlier as Ben Godfrey getting stick and he hasn't even been picked yet.

If you knock a lads confidence then don't be surprised about poor performances. At this time total support is necessary all round.

Henrik Lyngsie
58 Posted 12/12/2023 at 13:15:09
I think we have an extremely well organized and hard working team. It is so much easier to integrate a new player today than when Lampard had Iwobi running around like a headless chicken.
A one to one substitution for Branthwaite (Godfrey or Keane) and obviously Onana for Idrissa.
Derek Knox
59 Posted 12/12/2023 at 13:30:21
Paul H @ 36, what size boots does your nan take ? :-)
Dale Self
60 Posted 12/12/2023 at 13:32:25
I don’t see Burnley exploiting it outright. Their front line isn’t dynamic and Godfrey will be inside of Myko whose positioning will help. He will be under instruction to limit angles rather challenge. He could get caught in a situation that requires a risk and we will have to live with it. He wants this to work as much any of us and is capable of turning it around here.

Early on under Frank, Godfrey and Myko had a couple of solid games together. They appeared to understand each other’s tendencies with the ball. McNeil will obviously need to help getting the ball out of the left side.

Dale Self
61 Posted 12/12/2023 at 13:39:05
By the way, Paul’s @36 is to play the opponent down so that any struggle or bad result can be slagged. Old hat.
Simon Harrison
62 Posted 12/12/2023 at 14:07:31
A lot of short memories on here! Wasn't the TW consensus that our future backline was going to be Patto, Godfrey, Jarrad and Myko?

Just leave the decision to Dyche, he seems to have mellowed a little in player selection, and so far, no player has really let him down.

As Danny and others had said, whoever Dyche selects, it's for a reason, and he is not going to pick a team or player to lose.

At least if Garner or Onana, or even Doucs have to come off, we know Dyche has the confidence to reshuffle the pack,

As Danny says it's only Tuesday... Keep the faith and believe. We're on the up, and not on our uppers!

Simon Harrison
63 Posted 12/12/2023 at 14:10:37
Frank [57] Bl00dy well said that man! Pay heed TW'ers.

Look at the difference in Gordon at Newcastle now he is in a different, more appreciate environment.

Giving the players support and not dogs abuse really helps.

Ed Prytherch
64 Posted 12/12/2023 at 14:14:55
Godfrey is a CB and is in the first team squad. If we cannot play him when we have only one other CB available then what is the point of having him on the payroll?
Paul Hewitt
65 Posted 12/12/2023 at 14:15:32
We're playing Burnley they have 2 wins all season. They've conceded 34 goals. To right I'm confident.
James Marshall
66 Posted 12/12/2023 at 14:29:47
Godfrey aside (I've said enough about him over the time he's been with us), we should be too good for Burnley - this is one of those games that will go a log way to deciding our fate so winning is imperative in my view.

They're the 3rd lowest scorers in the league with only Sheffield Utd boasting a worse defensive record. My hope is that they come to play because I reckon we'll murder them if we let them have the ball.

Our confidence is sky high, and it's teams like Burnley we should be taking it out on.

Derek Knox
67 Posted 12/12/2023 at 14:36:06
Simon @ 63, " Giving the players support and not dogs abuse really helps."

While I agree with your sentiments, I also very much doubt whether any players ever consult, not only TW but any Fanzone Online site, to see how they are doing !

The Devil's Advocate side of me thinks though these players are paid a lot of money to perform, and entertain, and while some can have an off day (like us all) if consistently poor I believe there is no harm in 'calling them out'.

James Marshall
68 Posted 12/12/2023 at 14:36:48
Also, I've just read that Burnley have given Everton an extra 550 tickets as they couldn't sell their own allocation.

No mention of this on the OS though.

Andy Crooks
69 Posted 12/12/2023 at 15:02:38
Good post, Danny Bailey. I admire Godfrey, what he is missing is a run in the side. Cometh the hour and he will be fine.
Niall McIlhone
70 Posted 12/12/2023 at 15:02:39
What Frank(#57)said. This is no time to be putting pressure on players who rarely play: we need every man we have got to survive in the PL this season.

The likes of Godfrey, Gomes, Alli and Keane train intensively with the rest of the squad, and I suspect there is a lot of camaraderie, so the less we dip into vitriol towards incoming squad players, the better, IMHO. We need all of our players to feel the fans are backing them. This includes making allowances for those getting used to the intensity of PL football. especially the "Dycheball ".

Brian Wilkinson
71 Posted 12/12/2023 at 15:09:30
Out of the two, I would prefer Godfrey as short term cover than Keane.

Godfrey has played a lot of his poorer games, when he has been played as a right back, which is not suited for a left footed player.

I do not expect a Beckenbauer performance from the lad, but with Tarkowski and Mykolenko alongside him, I think he is the better option than Keane.

If you look back to McNeils early Days, he was employed to play down the right, it was only when McNeil was moved to play on the left side that we saw his strengths and hasn’t looked back since.

If there is anything to get out of Godfrey, then we need to keep away from playing him as right back.

Jamie Crowley
72 Posted 12/12/2023 at 15:16:05
I feel for Ben Godfrey.

When he first came in he looked marvelous. Bags of speed, solid, he looked great.

Then he got covid. He's never, ever been the same since he contracted the virus.

I do not like Godfrey at either RB or LB. He was and is a CB. I'd not play him out of position. I'd slot him right next to Tarks and have a back four of Patto, Tarks, Godfrey, Myko. Those four can handle anything Burnley throws at us.

Dyche has been a master at improving the players off the bench. With all the training Godfrey has had under Dyche, I think he'll be fine, especially against Burnley.

It's better to slot in one-for-one rather than upset the norm and move Myko inside.

Tony Abrahams
73 Posted 12/12/2023 at 15:31:33
Interesting that James M, especially because you just broke my dream from last night mate. I was going to watch a game at Burnden Park, (which has been shut for year’s, and is also a bit closer to our house) and yet I ended up driving right past Turf Moor, on the way😂

I can’t remember who I was going to watch though because I’m sure Nat Lofthouse was suspended! but it did make me realize that watching football has suddenly become important once again. I wonder if I can get a ticket for Saturday now, because surely Big Rob Halligan, won’t be wanting to go, just in case he jinxes us!

Andy Crooks
74 Posted 12/12/2023 at 15:45:42
Spot on, Jamie Crowley.
Rob Hooton
75 Posted 12/12/2023 at 16:19:28
I think Godfrey would be fine at centre-back with Tarkowski and Mykolenko marshalling him, I'm sure Dyche will have him up to speed on the training ground all week.

Burnley aren't a ‘lump it' team under Kompany, so his speed might be useful.

Sean Mitchell
76 Posted 12/12/2023 at 16:51:49
Burnley are gutted.
Keane was their biggest goal threat and chance to win.
Trevor Powell
77 Posted 12/12/2023 at 17:02:09
Get off Michael Keane's back, without his goals against Palace, which set the ball rolling two seasons ago ,and then his thunderball against Spurs last season, we could be playing Championship football.

How many goals did centre-halves Ratcliffe, Labone etc manage between them? While he wears Royal Blue, he deserves our support and he is clearly getting his respect for his work-rate and commitment in training!

Dave Cashen
78 Posted 12/12/2023 at 17:24:47
Frank @57 and Simon @63.

Absolutely spot on. This hammering of our own players before a ball is kicked is like a weekly ritual.

"If they're consistently poor, I believe there is no harm in "calling them out". Words fail.

As Danny points out, it's only Tuesday, for fuck's sake.

Godfrey and Keane can't be called out for being consistently poor because one hasn't started since August and the other hasn't started a game since the season started.

Simon Harrison
79 Posted 12/12/2023 at 17:24:50
Jamie [72],

I agree, when we first got Godfrey, again the general consensus was that we'd got a proper player.

He then gets Covid, which develops into long-covid.

When he returns, in his first game back, he gets a broken fibula (outside bone in the lower leg), is out for 3 months and seems to have been over-looked since.

At the summer break, I was one saying he should probably go out of loan, and try to recapture his form and fitness. Or play him in the junior squad. (Which stops a younger player from developing.)

As a few above have said. He is one of ours and as such, forget history and look to the future. With a run of games, much like Patto, he can only improve, and the team need a confident and capable backup at centre-back.

Right now, it is time to stop grinding axes, and voice our support.

As George Mac would say, send positive vibes, and not negative ones.

Burnley in reality is a must-win game. As we need to focus on those five or six clubs around us and prioritise them as 3 pointers.

Simon Harrison
80 Posted 12/12/2023 at 17:32:17
Thanks, Dave [78].

I usually ignore negative posts unless I need to admit that I should be eating crow. Yet, as you say, "If they're consistently poor I believe there is no harm in "calling them out". It beggars belief! It really does.

If I was at work, and trying my best, but everything was going pear-shaped, and I had work colleagues or, even worse customers, telling me how poor I was doing, I know exactly how I would react and it wouldn't be positive.

Whereas if someone said, "Just chill, it's not your day. Focus on what you are doing well, it'll get better..." Well, that would help my productivity a lot more than the former.

Mutual respect, support and effort, that is what builds a positive culture. I believe.

Trevor [77],

Very well said, Trevor, absolutely this. Why kick one of your own when they are known to confidence problems... Makes perfect sense... not!

Tom Bowers
81 Posted 12/12/2023 at 18:09:05
Would have to happen now when we are on a roll.

Please don't recall Holgate. Why not try Beto there? Okay that's caused a titter or two but I have been impressed with what little we have seen of him so far and would love to see him start again. He is big, strong and really puts himself about.

At the back, I would go with Mykolenko as long as he knows he cannot go forward and leave Tarkowski exposed.

They should be able to manage Burnley with what we have available but Spurs are coming up and we need to field the best of the squad.

Christy Ring
82 Posted 12/12/2023 at 18:17:41
Godfrey has been sitting on the bench probably biting at the bit to get his chance. Dyche has been praising him, so a straight swap for Branthwaite.

Why would we go to a back 5, Mykolenko has been superb at left-back.

Brian Wilkinson
83 Posted 12/12/2023 at 18:42:37
Player of the Season for me up to now is Mykolenko, Christy, just edging Branthwaite.
Jimmy Carr
84 Posted 12/12/2023 at 18:45:07
Moving Mykolenko from left-back? Changing the system and going to a back 3? Playing Onana at centre-back? Can I have a pint of what you're drinking?

Slot Godfrey in and leave the rest as is. Not only would I do that but Dyche – who loves consistency – will definitely do it. Not the ideal solution but it is what it is. Our squad is thin and this stuff will happen more so as the season progresses.

Dyche will look to minimise disruption and make as few changes as possible. Burnley will look to play the ball on the deck anyway, so I'm less concerned about Godfrey's heading ability.

By the way, and sorry for repeating myself, I did say this on another thread, but where have those people who were calling for Graham Potter to replace Dyche gone to? They're very quiet wherever they are.

Brent Stephens
85 Posted 12/12/2023 at 19:20:23
"Dave" #78 - spot on.
Matt Woods
86 Posted 12/12/2023 at 19:48:30
I'm not a massive fan of Ben Godfrey; however, if he can't slot in to help out alongside Tarkowski in a team playing with this confidence, he may as well pack in.

He's got a fantastic attitude, very athletic, and will throw himself under a bus. Absolutely no disrespect to Burnley but they are not Real Madrid. If we turn up and play with total commitment, the points are there for the taking. UTFT!

Sean Kelly
87 Posted 12/12/2023 at 20:01:15
Why do people on here get their togs in a twist about who plays where?

Dyche gets well paid to figure it out and get it right. Our job is to support his decision and get behind whoever he picks. Nothing more, nothing less

Laurie Hartley
88 Posted 12/12/2023 at 20:32:51
Ben Godfrey, I seem to remember he did a terrific job on Haaland not so long ago and now rumours that Spurs want to buy him… 🤔??

Peter Mills
89 Posted 12/12/2023 at 21:08:13
When I first watched Ben Godfrey (I think it was when I got to a game at Goodison during Covid restrictions), I posted that he reminded me of Des Walker. He was excellent.

Having seen that such a level of performance is within him, I hope it has not disappeared permanently. We spectators have little knowledge of the impact of serious injuries upon players. Of course, they can wreck a player's career. But, other times, they simply need time and patience, commodities in short supply in the Premier League.

Ben is the obvious choice to replace Branthwaite on Saturday — if he is given the chance, I'd love to see him grab it.

Jamie Crowley
90 Posted 12/12/2023 at 21:17:10
Sean Kelly,

Why do people question the manager's selections?

Because it's a blast!

Also, I've seen countless managers try to "out-think the room" and they deserved to be questioned. They think they're so savvy and intelligent, they make baffling decisions with lineups, players, etc.

Ever watch Greg Berhalter manage the USA?? Holy shit man, you'd not rhetorically ask that question if you had!!!

None of the above applies to Dyche really. His subs? Yes, at times he waits too long. But I do trust his decision-making when it comes to starting line-ups.

Dave Abrahams
91 Posted 12/12/2023 at 21:20:03
Peter (89),

Like you, I was made up when we signed Ben and he started off well, looked a good confident player, then he broke his leg, first game last season, caught Covid and since then he looks a different player, slower and devoid of the confidence he once had. A couple of weeks ago, he played for the U21s and looked drained, didn't want the ball, couldn't use it when he got it.

I want him to do well for Everton but there is a huge gap between the lad who came here and the way he is playing now. I would be surprised if Dyche played him at Burnley but he might be the only option.

Peter Mills
92 Posted 12/12/2023 at 21:33:48
Dave #91,

There's the rub – you've mentioned the “confident” word twice.

It's one of the most important words in life, and there's only one way it can be obtained – get stuck in there, take a chance, don't be afraid to fail… if you do, try again.

Dave Abrahams
93 Posted 12/12/2023 at 21:38:33
Peter (92),

Fair enough but I'd be very nervous watching him try and grab that chance and my nerves are on edge as it is most games although we had some welcome relief at the end of the Newcastle and Chelsea games!

Tony Abrahams
94 Posted 12/12/2023 at 21:48:48
I liked your post, Peter, it definitely resonated, but sometimes you just need someone to have that little bit of confidence in you, when you have been going through a bad time.

So if Dyche picks Gordon, then hopefully he will respond with the right attitude!

Peter Mills
95 Posted 12/12/2023 at 21:59:13
I'm surprised you were nervous, Dave – neither result was ever in doubt.

Best wishes, Pinocchio!

Dave Abrahams
96 Posted 12/12/2023 at 22:25:56
Peter (95),

Tongue in your cheek there, Peter.

“I'm surprised you were nervous, Dave — neither result was ever in doubt.”

I'd have loved to be sitting next to you when both games were 1-0 in our favour, I thought I would have needed a change of kecks in both games at that stage!

Geoff Lambert
97 Posted 12/12/2023 at 22:26:55
Tony #94,


Dave Abrahams
98 Posted 12/12/2023 at 22:33:56
Geoff (97),

Tony meant Godfrey but that name has got seven letters Gordon has only got six, easier to spell!

Geoff Lambert
99 Posted 12/12/2023 at 22:37:00
I know, Dave.

Just winding him up.

Cathal Naughton
100 Posted 13/12/2023 at 00:45:56
I fail to see how this is bad news. Godfrey has been a disappointment but he has time on his side to get back to his first-season form where there were high hopes.
Mike Gaynes
101 Posted 13/12/2023 at 01:12:24
Brian #71, Godfrey is right-footed.

Tony Abrahams
102 Posted 13/12/2023 at 08:26:33
Thanks, Geoff, you have just brought a smile to my face mate. I don't know why but I instinctively thought of that song about Gordon.

I think the Evertonians missed a very big trick last week by not singing “Gordon is a Moron” maybe next year, or maybe at Wembley? We will see!

John Williams
103 Posted 13/12/2023 at 09:23:56
Interesting to read, that Burnley supporters know their team are very poor at defending set pieces.
I am certain the Blues management will know as well.
Brian Wilkinson
105 Posted 13/12/2023 at 12:22:37
If anyone can put a link on here, I found a beaut of an Everton fest on YouTube and over 2 hours of pure Everton winning from 1969-1983, with plenty of nostalgia of long forgotten players, and those never forgotten.

Absolute must of a watch, I promise.

So if anyone can copy a link over on here, it would be a treat to fellow blues

On the YouTube search, it comes under the search "Everton the big match highlights 1969 1983".

From Alan Ball, all the way through to Heath, Sharp, Sheedy Southall, and a few forgotten ones: Smallman, Telfer, Mick Ferguson, Alan Bailey plus a lot more thrown in over the years.

David McKitt
106 Posted 13/12/2023 at 12:31:10
@Brian 106:


Is this the one?

Brian Wilkinson
107 Posted 13/12/2023 at 13:15:26
Cheers David, yes that's one one.

Well worth a click in David's link.

Bill Gall
108 Posted 13/12/2023 at 15:52:43
We have a balanced team set-up at the moment, and I think it may upset the balance by moving other players around to cover a missing player through suspension.

Godfrey has played numerous times as a central defender and will try harder to become a regular, but with no chance of replacing Branthwaite. He is still a young player and, the more games he gets, the higher his fee will become if transferred.

We would all like to see the same team selection every game, but unfortunately they are human beings not machines and I am sure that Dyche and his trainers prepare for coverage in case of injuries or suspensions and have been training for it.

Neil Lawson
109 Posted 14/12/2023 at 09:11:20
There is not one single person on this site who would want Branthwaite to be sold in January. He has been magnificent.

However, if the talk around repayment of the 777 loans and potential administration has any truth, can the income from the sale of any player be applied directly towards repayment of those loans? Can it be as simple as that?

It is the nightmare scenario. Being forced to sell your best player(s) to avoid a further 9-point penalty and then getting relegated because of the loss of your best player(s). It is such a mess which is being masked, in part, by the fine form on the field, but which will not go away until the current sanction is overturned or reduced and some financial stability, even if shortlived, is confirmed.

In the meantime, whoever plays on Saturday should have our wholehearted support but why do I worry that Burnley may turn out to be "one of those games"?

Len Hawkins
110 Posted 14/12/2023 at 10:55:19
Didn't Mike England play for Blackburn and Spurs and Wales?

The red of Wales may have been the one he was wearing when he poked the ball in the net.

Brian Wilkinson
111 Posted 14/12/2023 at 13:04:17
Neil, 2 years on the bounce, the Premier League have hoped that Everton would be relegated. So many wrong VAR and unbelievable refereeing decisions going against us in those 2 years.

Now they put a 10-point deduction on Everton in the hope of us going down. That's not working so I can only guess they are doing all they can to delay the ownership going through, until after the December accounts are published.

We know they have to scrutinise the new ownership, but the very fact that the Premier League brought in P&S Rules was to stop clubs going into administration, yet in their own actions, even with Everton working hand-in-hand with them for 2 years, selling players as advised, they could end up putting Everton into administration.

When the ref made a mistake in the Liverpool - Spurs game, the very next home game, we got a player sent off, they escaped a player being sent off and received a penalty. Seems they evened it out for them, yet after the unbelievable Rodri handball, we got a letter of apology, but the next three games, we had three players sent off and went almost a full season without receiving a penalty.

Something stinks and is not right within the Premier League.

Neil Lawson
112 Posted 14/12/2023 at 13:13:55
When are Shittee going to be sanctioned for their players' behaviour after the Spurs game?

That is a genuine football offence deserving of a relevant sanction: points deduction…11 post-match red cards etc. It is not a financial off-field rules breach.

However, we all know what the outcome will be.

Rob Jones
113 Posted 14/12/2023 at 14:11:47
Neil, I'd like to know why Nicolas Jackson wasn't sanctioned for his behaviour. But we both know that rules only apply to some clubs, and not to others.
James Marshall
114 Posted 14/12/2023 at 14:16:16
I see Dyche says Keane trained today and, if there's no reaction, he'll be fit for Saturday.

Hold onto your hats. You can absolutely see Keane and Tarkowski playing against their old club.

Barry Hesketh
115 Posted 14/12/2023 at 14:56:43
It wouldn't be the end of the world, if we could manage to get 2 points from our next two away fixtures. Given the ill-timed suspensions – Branthwaite and Gueye – and niggling injuries to Coleman and Young, plus having that well-known Everton enthusiast Anthony Taylor in charge of the game, live on Sky, a draw could be seen as a decent result on Saturday.

Obviously, we'd like to be victorious at Turf Moor, but it'll be a tough game and they'd really like to beat us for obvious reasons. Thankfully last week provided some room for error, but not much, unless those deducted points are returned.

Allen Rodgers
116 Posted 14/12/2023 at 15:47:38
With Keane in the team, we won't keep a clean sheet. The Dingles will be well up for this one and we'll need to score 3 or 4 to get the win.
Trevor Powell
117 Posted 16/12/2023 at 20:29:56
Funny we kept a clean sheet AGAIN! Scores a goal and hits the woodcock and funny we did not lose! Well done Keano for showing the critics up!

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