05/01/2024 69comments  |  Jump to last
Palace 0 - 0 Everton

Everton and Crystal Palace must do it all again in the FA Cup Third Round after this evening’s tie at Selhurst Park ended goalless but was also beset by controversy following the staggering decision to send off Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

The Blues had carried the greater threat all evening but had struggled to turn their superiority into a crucial goal before referee Chris Kavanagh, at the prompting of Video Assistant Referee, Craig Pawson, opted to show Calvert-Lewin a straight red card for a fair-looking tackle on Nathaniel Clyne in the 79th minute.

Sean Dyche’s men held off their hosts for the remaining 20 minutes of play to earn a replay at Goodison Park but not without the potential cost of a three-game ban for Calvert-Lewin and a significant injury to Dwight McNeil, who was stretchered down the tunnel in the closing stages.

Despite the clear toll that a gruelling December campaign had had on his squad, Dyche went with a strong line-up to face the Eagles, with all but three of his regulars named in the starting XI.

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Seamus Coleman came in for his first start since the Newcastle home game a month ago, Arnaut Danjuma was deployed wide on the left and Joao Virginia made only his third start for Everton in goal in place of Jordan Pickford who was rested.

The Portuguese was called upon early to find his feet when Jeffrey Schlupp bounced a shot his way in the third minute but it was the visitors who began to assume control of the contest as the first half wore on.

Coleman eschewed the chance to shoot and worked it to Calvert-Lewin instead, the latter feeding Danjuma whose drilled shot took a crucial deflection off a defender that sent it crashing into the side-netting with 16 minutes gone.

Three minutes later, Jack Harrison slipped the Dutchman in in a similar position but this time he produced an excellent save from Dean Henderson who readjusted his body in time to palm the effort over his crossbar.

The former Manchester United goalkeeper had to be alert six minutes later when James Garner’s scuffed corner was sneaking in but Henderson kicked it clear off his goal line and Garner’s goal-bound shot five minutes before the break was cut out by Joachim Andersen.

At the other end, Eberechi Eze was handed a direct free-kick opportunity when James Tarkowski was adjudged to have fouled Matheus França on the edge of the Blues’ penalty area but, thankfully he blazed his shot over.

Schlupp’s deflected cross a few minutes later was hacked away from danger by Vitalii Mykolenko and the hosts’ best move of the half saw Eze move Jean-Philippe Mateta’s dummy on to Jefferson Lerma but he blasted high into the stand behind the goal.

Neither side made any changes at the halfway stage but Palace finally gave Virginia a genuine test five minutes into the second half after Garner’s attempted curler had drifted wide for Everton.

Eze lined up a strong drive that the Toffees’ keeper parried behind smartly and from the resulting corner, Virginia caught Lerma’s header under his crossbar.

Just past the hour mark, Calvert-Lewin was played in for his best chance of the game but he shot weakly from an angle and Henderson smothered it comfortably and Danjuma had a snapshot saved as well when he drove it straight at the keeper.

In between, from one of Everton’s seven corners on the night, McNeil’s deep cross had found Tarkowski at the back post and his header back across goal presented Amadou Onana with a presentable opportunity to hit the target but he powered his header too high.

The game changed with 11 minutes left of the 90, though, when McNeil lofted a ball forward towards Calvert-Lewin and when the second ball dropped away from his aerial challenge with Andersen, the striker slid in to successfully win the ball and control it between his legs before laying it off to McNeil who had made the ground in the interim.

Calvert-Lewin’s boot had caught Clyne’s shin in passing, however, leaving the full-back writhing in the turf, but Kavanagh had deemed it accidental and legal before Pawson intervened. The trip to the monitor signalled that an on-the-pitch decision was about to be reversed and the Everton No 9 was sent off to the amazement of the 4,000 Blues in the away end.

Naouirou Ahamada came off the bench for Roy Hodgson’s team and shot wide, before Eze brought the ball down adeptly and saw his shot blocked behind by Tarkowski but from the resulting corner, McNeil went down in a heap behind the byline in obvious distress.

The game went on with Everton down to nine men and the winger’s leg was strapped to a brace but, either side of that sequence, the visitors will feel they had excellent chances to win it.

First, substitute Beto, who had a shout for a penalty ignored when Andersen held him back, centred for Garner but the midfielder somehow skied the ball high over the bar from near the penalty spot. Then, in stoppage time, the ball arrived at a tempting height in the box for Harrison but he couldn’t keep his volley down either.

The final action of the game saw Eze drive a low shot towards the far post that Virginia finger-tipped behind at full stretch before Kavanagh blew for full-time.


Reader Comments (69)

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Darryl Ritchie
1 Posted 05/01/2024 at 06:59:29
Red card or no red card. It had no bearing on the outcome of the match.

We should’ve had the game done and dusted, long before DCL’s extremely vague sending off.

We are still suffering from a very bad case of Evertonitis…that is the fact we don’t seem to be able to put the ball in the net, no matter how easy the chance appears to be. We control the match, but can’t finish.

It’s a disease that appears to have infected every player in an Everton kit.

Rob Jones
2 Posted 05/01/2024 at 07:26:09
Disastrous evening for us. We lose DCL to a non-foul, and McNeil to a freak accident. We can't put away gilt-edged chances.

I'm sure we'll get some lovely sympathy. Just like after the ten points. And the Anfield decisions. And the penalty against City. I don't want sympathy. I just want people to stop fucking with Everton.

Shane Corcoran
3 Posted 05/01/2024 at 07:45:12
I totally agree Daryl, and with the first half of Rob’s post. In control of the game and zero cutting edge.

Red card and all this other endless, tiresome rambling about fucking VAR and corruption will no doubt dominate the conversation but we can’t score.

I can’t believe that we’re pinning out hopes on Doucoure.

In the red, not for me but then I don’t make the laws. If two refs sitting looking at in both fast and slow motion think it’s a pen then I guess it’s a pen in today’s game. But if it is, then it’s a big pile of shite.

But get rid of the screen. It’s nothing but panto for the fans, and there’s enough of that in the game already.

Ian Bennett
5 Posted 05/01/2024 at 08:05:08
The game is finished. It's so obviously corrupt, and it's beyond worth watching. If you've young children, get them interested in something else.

If attempting to block the ball is a penalty.
A touch of a player is worthy of ruling out a goal.
A tackle of a player is a red card.
A single ffp breach is 10 points.
A dive in the box is a penalty.
Accumulating 115 ffp charges is a treble.
Offsides are given/not given if the defender attempts to play the ball depending on if its a sky favourite.
Handballs are not given if its a sky favourite.
Shirt pulls are not given if its a sky favourite.
Some clubs will get sanctioned for tapping up but sky favourites don't.
You can attempt to break to a super league with no actions against them.

I am sure there are others, but it's getting increasingly hard to watch on.

I am not far from knocking it on the head and just watching grassroots with the hope they don't try and cheat to the same extent that the 'best league' in the world does. Genuinely sick of it.

Christine Foster
6 Posted 05/01/2024 at 08:32:29
It was a poor game, the better side was Everton, but it was a game ruined by officials in Stockley. In truth is was Craig Pawson, yet again, one has to either question his obvious bias against Everton or his competence to officiate. I would be asking if he was not allowed to be an official nor at VAR in any of our future games, he deserves every serve he gets from supporters.
On a side note, DCL is now out of contention till the end of the month and actually his form of late has been poor, the rest may do him good. McNeil is more of a worry though as we wait for an update on hid injury. We need to rebalance what we have again and quickly play to the strengths we have. Danjuma, Dobbin, Beto.. and get a couple back off the treatment table..
Pete Neilson
7 Posted 05/01/2024 at 08:37:23
VAR is killing the game week by week. Makes it even more farcical that against a non PL opponent there'd have been no VAR.

Henry Winter:
“EFC surely appeal Calvert-Lewin's red. He neither endangered opponent nor used excessive force. Webb@FA_PGMOL has to restore confidence of on-field refs to back themselves, deliver some consistency as worse challenges get only yellow and invest even more in improving standards.”

James Newcombe
8 Posted 05/01/2024 at 09:07:21
In real time, I thought it was a great tackle. No malice involved, won the ball and controlled it in one movement.

VAR should be put in the bin. Turns out the rules of the game are still subjective opinion, changing week-to-week. And you can slow almost anything down and it can resemble an assault. And that’s without the technology being used to assist the bias that has been present in officiating for, oh I don’t know - a very, very long time.

When’s the Duke coming back?

Neil Lawson
9 Posted 05/01/2024 at 09:48:30
Us seniors often reminisce about the old days including some glory days. The days when the ball hit the net, we were up celebrating, looking quickly to check there was no linesman's flag.

When Phil Neville delivered that tackle. Not to mention the likes of Jimmy Gabriel and Reidy, when no player rolled over so many times that they disappeared up Goodison Road. Just tune in to Big Match Revisited to put a smile on your face.

In those days, there were plenty of refereeing mistakes but we got on with it. They did tend to even out over time. The match finished at 5 to 5 and we were in the pub by 5.

Today, it is becoming a theatre farce. Playacting is killing the game. Cheating is rife and is encouraged. "There was contact so he was entitled to go down."

The skill levels can be exceptional but the true excitement and involvement has gone. Just watch highlights of the Bayern Cup game under the lights and tell me we are watching a better game today. Your nose will grow very long.

The VAR and the stupid forensic examination of offside and handball and proper tackling has to go. I would much rather have the officials make an honest mistake and the game continue than the current state of bollocks.

James Lauwervine
10 Posted 05/01/2024 at 09:57:03
You're right, James, it was an excellent tackle. The 'clear and obvious error' is absolute bullshit. The referee was 10 yards away and looking straight at the tackle. He didn't give it a second's thought.

Just like the disgusting disallowed goal in the Spurs game where the referee and linesman had a clear view, the VAR is actively looking for a reason to change the decision based on subjective opinion, when the on-field referee has made a real-time decision based on his clear view and perception of the incident in real-time.

If the referee misses something, couldn't see it, or gets conned and the VAR shows it up, fair enough. This idea that the VAR should step in when the on-field referee has made a decision with a clear view from an excellent vantage point and all the VAR does is slow it down to make it look worse… fucking hell, it makes me livid.

We are getting fucked pretty much every game now. The Man City penalty was also a total disgrace.

By the way, it didn't help last night that that fucker Clyne rolled about like he'd been shot in the leg.

I've felt victimised before as an Evertonian and, let's face it, we've never been a club blessed with much luck, but this season it genuinely appears that there is an agenda against us.

Rob Dolby
11 Posted 05/01/2024 at 10:04:14
We just don't have enough quality in the final third. No midfielder or forward will get past 10 goals a season.

Thelwell and Dyche need to unearth goals from somewhere as there aren't enough in the squad.

Dyche has improved on work rate and shape but not found any goals in the squad.

Garner, Harrison, Calvert-Lewin and Danjuma had chances last night and all snatched at them or waited too long. We need to create four of five chances before we score. Says something when we need Doucouré back just because he can hit the target more than the others.

There must be some gems in the lower leagues or free transfers that we can pick up.

Barry Hesketh
12 Posted 05/01/2024 at 10:10:07
Just been looking at the VAR thread on Grand Old Team and a couple of videos, one was the Van Dijk tackle on Onana, which should have been a red card, but Dermott "I'll defend anything in order to earn myself a few bob" Gallagher reckoned it was only worthy of a yellow card, because Van Dijk was too close to Onana to pull out, or some such rubbish.

The other video referred back to a MOTD clip from 19 years ago, where Alan Hansen and Peter Schmeichel debated the non-award of a goal that had been scored by Mendes for Spurs at Old Trafford, where it was obvious to everybody that the ball had crossed the line.

Both pundits predicted that bringing in technology for anything other than goal-line cameras would result in 'carnage' and their prediction has unfortunately been proven to be completely true.

If the use of the VAR isn't addressed properly, the clubs without a big tourist following will begin to see ever more empty seats, but will that matter to the money-loving owners? Who it would appear care little for the game – or the fans who travel far and wide to watch it.

Paul Kossoff
13 Posted 05/01/2024 at 13:32:25
Sorry lads, but I can see why the red was given.

Don't look at the leading leg, look at the trailing leg under Dominic, that's the leg that hits the ball and pushes the ball to the leading leg, enabling Dom to then put his foot on it and make it look like that was his intention.

He's not looking at the ball, he's looking at the player, his leading leg is straight out with studs showing high and nowhere near going to the ball. He makes contact with the player's shin – again, nowhere near the ball.

If that was an opponent making that tackle against Calvert-Lewin, we would be screaming for a red all day long.

I've looked at it a dozen or so times, at first thinking it's a good tackle, but go and have a look again and slow it down, and I'm thinking Calvert-Lewin is more than happy to be out of the firing line (he should have been benched a few games ago) because something is not right with him, possibly he's off this month.

My opinion – and I played and watched the game long enough to know what's intentional and what's accidental. In my humble opinion, Dom knew what he was doing; in his defence, possibly protecting himself… only he knows.

Argue objectively and debate but it's just an opinion. Replies to the Round House Funny Farm, Nutsville

Barry Hesketh
14 Posted 05/01/2024 at 13:40:45
Paul @13,

You are one very confusing person to read. I sometimes wonder if you like Everton at all. You constantly whine and whinge about how the club doesn't do this or that, or how certain players are not good enough to represent the club etc.

But this is the most incredible post that you've submitted – perhaps we should see you in the VAR room to ensure that 'fairness' is maintained in relation to games involving Everton.

If you honestly believe what you wrote about Dominic, that's fair enough, but surely you're just winding us all up here on ToffeeWeb?

Brian Williams
15 Posted 05/01/2024 at 13:43:37
Soooooo… Calvert-Lewin played to get red-carded so he could get out of the firing line. 🤣🤣🤣.
Jerome Shields
16 Posted 05/01/2024 at 13:44:33
Everton had chances to win that game and didn't take them. As always, you cannot beat the referee or his other technical help.
Paul Hewitt
17 Posted 05/01/2024 at 13:50:09
Paul @13.

You're literally the only person who thinks it's a red card. All journalists and TV pundits are saying it wasn't a red.

But each to their own.

Rob Dolby
18 Posted 05/01/2024 at 13:56:54
Paul 13,

Are you okay?

What's your take on the Will Hughes cameo last night. Was the ref right in not showing cards even though he committed 2 cynical fouls?

What's your take on the Eze penalty or the Schlupp dive into Branthwaite?

Paul Kossoff
19 Posted 05/01/2024 at 13:57:00
Barry, I never said it was a red, I said I can understand the decision, right or wrong.

If, as I said, that tackle was by Hughes on Calvert-Lewin, you would have been asking for the death penalty, and practically all on here. Take off your blue-tinted ones,

I'm as much of a blue on here as the next man and always will be. Replies to the Round house, funny farm Nutsville, didn't you read that bit, Barry?

Opinions differ, and if I'm the only one who thinks why the red card was given, then okay. I stay with my opinion, and as I said, I didn't say it was a red, and if I was the VAR, I would advise a yellow.

And Brian, are you a mind reader? How do you know what's in a player's mind?

Eddie Dunn
20 Posted 05/01/2024 at 13:57:30
James puts it in a nutshell @8. The VAR simply gives the officials more opportunity to favour the Premier League's brand leaders.

Week-in & week-out, the big boys get the benefit of the doubt and the media only stir up a big stink if two of their favorites are pitched against one another and a ref makes an error.
We played at Anfield a week after Klopp had his meltdown and – surprise, suprise – we paid the price.

It reminds me of the old days (it still happens) when a boxer, travelling to the Champion's backyard, had to knock out his opponent to be sure of victory.

We have to bang in three goals to make sure of getting one and we have only to make a marginal error to be punished, whilst some teams will get the benefit of the doubt at both ends of the park.

Goaline tech is fine but the VAR is another tool of repression at present.

Barry Rathbone
21 Posted 05/01/2024 at 14:07:45
The problem with the present system is it encourages degradation of the game. I don't doubt for a minute a technical case for a red can be made.

In fact, if you forensically examine every contact, I would imagine every time the rules are transgressed in some form. The problem is in real time, the Calvert-Lewin effort has 99.9% of the watching public thinking "What a good tackle".

So why actively look for an issue?

It isn't good for, or in the spirit of, the game. It looks like an attention-seeking technocrat interference and not what the game should be about.

Barry Williams
22 Posted 05/01/2024 at 14:07:47
Darryl Ritchie - 1

I have to respectfully disagree; Everton had to play for 20 minute swith 10 players – a massive adjustment was made tactically. Danjuma, who'd played well and was a threat all night, was taken off.

You also have to remember that those last 20 minutes when the players are tired can easily lead to mistakes after a busy Christmas schedule (either way to be fair). Heavy legs lead to mistakes.

The ramifications go beyond this match: McNeil was injured making a tackle in an area that he may not have been in had there been a full complement of players on the pitch.

Our lead striker is now out for 3 games, and 10 players had to run more than they normally would in the last 20 minutes after a massively busy schedule in a squad that is operating on fumes at the moment.

The likes of a comebacking Coleman in his mid-30s played almost 100 minutes at a pace, with 20 of those minutes being outnumbered!

But it is all about opinions.

Rob Halligan
23 Posted 05/01/2024 at 14:44:36
The biggest Tyne-Wear derby match in ten years should be fun tomorrow afternoon. With the game being played at Sunderland, there will be no VAR. Good luck with whoever is the referee in that one, because you will have to make every decision yourself!
Ian Jones
24 Posted 05/01/2024 at 14:48:20
I don't agree with the decision but I can see why DCL was given the red card.

I don't feel it was either dangerous, wreckless or serious. I don't feel he was out of control. However, his studs were up, he did go over the ball and he touched the guy's shin.

Under the current interpretation where no common sense is allowed a red card is always possible. Roy Hodgson covered it calling it down to the modern game.

I'm old school so remember the game as a contact sport.

Boxing will be next. Punches will be banned

Pete @ 7. On the subject of VAR, I think it's available at Premier League stadiums so all games are covered including those against teams from outside the Premier League. Just not available when games are not at PL stadiums. The easy thing would be to not have VAR in the FA Cup. I seem to remember the lack of VAR hindered our chances a few years ago at Millwall.

Tony McNulty
25 Posted 05/01/2024 at 15:17:35
What really pisses people off is the lack of consistency.
Alan McGuffog
26 Posted 05/01/2024 at 15:25:00
Well, because of the furore over the red card, some good will come of it. In every game from now on, any player who makes a challenge, however innocuous, with studs up, will be sent off.

Won't he?

Colin Glassar
27 Posted 05/01/2024 at 15:38:55
I'm not even sure I want to watch football any more. The game's been ruined by poor refereeing, corruption, cheating, dark money, 24/7 coverage, shite pundits, bent journos, social media, on-line betting, mobile phones, prawn sandwich brigade, football tourists and – last, but not least, the fucking VAR!!

Paul #13, 17, are you one and the same person or was that a finger mistake?🙄🙄

Ian Jones
28 Posted 05/01/2024 at 15:50:16
Colin, I'm with you. I don't tend to watch any games on TV now, only the Everton ones. I'm sure we won't renew our TV Sports packages next time.

I watch the highlights of other matches on YouTube.

Rob Dolby
29 Posted 05/01/2024 at 16:00:17
Colin 27,

I couldn't agree more.

It was quite refreshing hearing Jobi McAnuff and Eluko talking a bit of sense. If that game was on Sky, they would have just agreed with the ref like they did with the Jota penalty last week.

I would love the game to implode and reset back to a level where we could all understand it again.

What we are witnessing isn't any good for football at any level.

Nobody will convince me that grown men screaming and rolling around on the floor is good for football.

The World Cup used to be a thing of beauty. The best players and skills. Nowadays, the team with the best cheats win. Shithousery of the highest order gets rewarded.

Kevin Edward
30 Posted 05/01/2024 at 16:20:17
The point is (in my opinion) that the VAR, refs, Premier League, FA and the Super Shitty Six will do absolutely anything to protect ‘the brand' as it's a cash-generating machine for anyone lucky enough to have their snout in the trough.

Have you seen what the Post Office was up to in the ITV drama? I file this lot in the same gutter, they just don't care so long as the gravy train stays on the tracks.

Everton and others are just cannon fodder. The VAR is exactly the tool they wanted to stop another Leicester City and batter the ‘dissenters'.

Calvert-Lewin's red may be overturned or downgraded to yellow, but just wait until a couple of games later for the next ‘punishment'.

Banners and cards at the ready, but I understand the disillusionment for the loss of the game we loved.

Michael Connelly
31 Posted 05/01/2024 at 16:37:46
I think there needs to be a change in the officiating in that, if the ref has a clear view of an incident, then the VAR doesn't get involved.

Fair enough if there is an off-the-ball incident that the referee hasn't seen, but not for something that's happened right in front of his eyes.

Simon Harrison
32 Posted 05/01/2024 at 16:39:20
Alan McG [26],

I hope you're well, and have found a new source of Batham's local to you?

Regards your post above, one thing Everton and the fanbase need to remember is that there is a much larger audience than usual to possibly garner support. The reason being, that the game was televised on a non-subscription, non-paywall service: it was broadcast on terrestrial TV by ITV.

This means that many more thousands would have seen the abject decision-making by Kavanagh after being told to review his on-field decision by the VAR (Pawson, plus his assitant).

Unlike the glossing over, or light-hearted, 'laddish' culture of MotD with Lineker and his over-paid and highly renumerated 'lads club', here we had Eni Aluko (who was particularly eloquent) and Jobi McAnuff, both very much of the opinion that the red card, and the actual decision-making process (or the VAR methodology, apparently which the VAR gets 'graded' on!?) was absolutely incorrect (as was Laura Woods to be fair, although I guess she had to appear more impartial as the host).

As Eni said, "By the rules and letter of the law, there was no excessive force, and no intent to endanger the opponent, and the was no physical violence." [I did paraphrase, as I don't have an eidetic memory unfortunately.]

As she said, for that very reason, why was a straight red shown for 'Possible violent conduct' as shown on the stadium screens, and why did the VAR take approximately 90 seconds or more of constant review of slow-motion, freeze-frame, or worse, frame-by-frame analysis from multiple angles (yes, including the one that showed the contact was absolutely negligible) and then show Kavanagh only those images and not include a 'real-time' video sequence?

Again, if it is taking that long to forensically analyse the incident, then surely it is not a clear and obvious error!

As many, many others have stated, any forensic analysis of any tackle will show contact, and invariably a vast majority when slowed enough will show potential for violent conduct.

If it was a position that I could take for the club (Everton), I would call for an immediate emergency meeting of all the 20 Premier League clubs, the FA, and the PGMOL, and insist that unless the VAR is reduced to looking for serious foul play off the ball which has been missed by the on-field officials; that all other functions are withheld till a proper review of the VAR can be held. Where then all 20 clubs have to have a consensus before the VAR is reimplemented.

In the meantime:

Let the referee actually referee the game without worrying about intervention by the VAR.

Let the linesmen (or assitant referees) do their jobs unhindered: give offsides, throw-in decisions and help the referee determine if a foul has been committed.

Accept that mistakes can and will be made on the basis of human error.

Otherwise, the game will remain, with regards to the officiating of games, at the farcical, inconsistently subjective dissoluteness that it has now descended to.

It is as if we are no longer watching a sporting event, but an event that involves sport, but is more about how the match is actually adjudicated and not how the teams perform or even the result! Which in itself is a travesty!

[By 'eck, that was only meant to be a quick missive! Sorry!]

Mike Gaynes
33 Posted 05/01/2024 at 16:41:37
Simon, you don't do "quick missive"... but this one couldn't be better stated. Well in.
Les Callan
34 Posted 05/01/2024 at 16:57:21
Kevin @30.

Instead of Bates versus The Post Office, we need a drama “Everton versus the FA"!

Will Mabon
35 Posted 05/01/2024 at 17:56:42
"It is as if we are no longer watching a sporting event, but an event that involves sport, but is more about how the match is actually adjudicated..."

Well deduced, Simon.

Make no mistake, the socio-psychological angle of this aspect is not lost on certain levels of those overseeing the wider game and more.

Very few places left outwith the machine.

Brian Wilkinson
36 Posted 05/01/2024 at 18:08:44
Okay, I'm sure I might have missed some but let's have a look at this season alone:

Michael Keane goal disallowed after their keeper was all over Tarkowski and dropped the ball.

Non-sending-off in the derby for a second yellow card.

Goal ruled out v Spurs for foul after both ref and linesman gave goal; same game, Doucouré nearly gets his shirt ripped off his back, no penalty, a week later same player does it again, penalty to Brighton

Man City, the player blasts the ball from a yard away and penalty given for handball.

Last night, player wins the ball, the VAR jumps in… red card

But only takes 10 seconds for vhe VAR check complete, no penalty on Beto, even though he is being held in the area. You can argue all you like about not a penalty, he was being held in the area and to take just 10 seconds and not even say to ref check monitor shows how hard done by we have been.

Can anyone name one instance where something has been given Everton's way, if so, name two in case I missed the first one.

Blatantly being shafted over week after week.

Mike Corcoran
37 Posted 05/01/2024 at 18:17:44
Once it went back to the pitch side monitor, we all knew he was off. Ridiculous.

I was surprised by the composure of Virginia between the sticks, a very small bonus from a very boring match.

Alan McGuffog
38 Posted 05/01/2024 at 18:20:21
Great post, Simon...

If I'd had hold of a bottle of Bathams last night, I'd need a new telly today.

Mark Murphy
39 Posted 05/01/2024 at 19:03:34
Lyndon you’ve spelt “plums” wrong.
John Raftery
40 Posted 05/01/2024 at 19:05:14
Who is the VAR helping?

After the fight against the points deduction is over the next fans' campaign should be against the VAR. The vast majority of match-going fans hate it.

It needs to go other than for matters of fact which can be decided immediately through the use of technology with messages relayed to the referee's watch.

Nick Page
41 Posted 05/01/2024 at 19:45:52
Imagine being an average team like Spurs, who haven't won a major trophy since 1991… yet are hyped up beyond all comprehension by a biased media and where officials are under tacit orders to actively manage you up the league, and keep you in cups vs Everton, where even getting a penalty is greeted with astonishment by the fanbase.

It hasn't always been like this but, under Kenwright's managed decline, the club was allowed to slip so far down the pecking order that those in power considered us nothing more than a nuisance. And certainly not one that would stick up for itself and ever fight back (that would upset friends in the boardroom).

Things have to change and we have to fight back, rather than hiding in the shadows and letting them walk all over us. The corrupt bastards.

Rob Halligan
42 Posted 05/01/2024 at 19:51:09
Nick, watching the Spurs v Burnley cup game on ITV, and one of the first sentences out of the presenter's mouth was “We all know Spurs have a love affair with the FA Cup”.

Bloody hell, that's been some separation period then hasn't it………33 years and counting!!

Barry Hesketh
43 Posted 05/01/2024 at 19:55:35
Come on Rob, you have to admit that Spuds are a huge club with honours bursting their trophy cabinet - what's wrong with you? Next you'll be saying that Newcastle are also rans. Only joshing, even when Everton and winning trophies was synonymous, the media somehow painted us as a lesser club, whilst they bigged up 27 years without a title Manchester United, or up and down Chelsea, before they got loadsamoney. Love Liverpool hate Everton is the media mantra.
Rob Halligan
44 Posted 05/01/2024 at 20:04:12
Newcastle………..who are dey?
Nick Page
45 Posted 05/01/2024 at 20:07:03
Rob, I despise the bastards. And Spurs 😂

Anyone else notice that Branthwaite is front and centre of one of Sky's Transfer Centre banners? The despicable wankers.

Barry Hesketh
46 Posted 05/01/2024 at 20:12:41
Chris Beesley in his talking points article in the Echo, ponders how Everton should take a leaf out of the neighbours' book, when it comes to controversial decisions.

Everton may have to learn a lesson from Jurgen Klopp to stop ridiculous VAR blunders

Nick Page
47 Posted 05/01/2024 at 21:01:10
Spot on that, Barry. The club never kicked up a stink under BPB cos it wasn’t in his interest. It’s not the fans, although tbf many had their heads so far up their arses when he was in charge they wouldn’t have noticed anyway. Lol. It’s time to change all that, and it looks like Dyche is having a go. As for all other clubs feeling the same, the stats don’t bear that out, and this is Everton (or it was) and not some no mark yoyo club - how many times have you come away from GP after playing one of these thinking the ref gave us everything there? It doesn’t happen.
Neil Carter
48 Posted 06/01/2024 at 00:45:50
Bin the VAR – it's just an abused tool.

If you retain then you need to ban tackling and make football a non-contact sport. The boots have become ballet shoes –what's next – replacing shorts with tutus?

This game is going further and further backward because of meddling by idiots and the corruption of big money. You don't need a TV to spot a badge to influence a decision.

You don't have to be an old codger like me to know football is not the game it was – it's become a fucking panto!!!

Roger Helm
49 Posted 06/01/2024 at 08:57:11
Any player sliding into tackle an opponent these days is risking a red card. Like Cloughie said, football is best played on your feet, not on your arse.
Dave Abrahams
50 Posted 06/01/2024 at 09:47:08
Roger (49) No matter what Brian Clough said as a manager he played with and against teams when the sliding tackle was a huge and legitimate part of the game, one of the best full backs I saw playing for Everton, Alex Parker, was noted for the excellent timing of his sliding tackles.

Roger though, you are correct in saying any player is at risk sliding into a tackle these days and getting a red card,it is how those tackles are judged.

Danny Baily
51 Posted 06/01/2024 at 11:06:01
Just looking at the Kovacic challenges Vs Arsenal. WOW, neither challenge was deemed serious foul play on review.

Makes the decision on Thursday all the more farcical.

Overturn. Apologise. Get rid. Now.

Neil Lawson
52 Posted 06/01/2024 at 13:17:15
How many of us watching the Newcastle game now thought that Clarke's challenge on Botman could be a red card. On Calvert-Lewin standards, it's a triple red and seasons ban!

No yellow. No VAR. The game is so much better for it.

Isak penalty just happened. VAR dead cert penalty. Not given. Get up and get on with it.

Sean O’Hanlon
53 Posted 06/01/2024 at 14:14:12
So the game has developed into 2 methods of officiating:

1. In real time (by refs and linesmen/women)
2. In slow motion (by knobheads in front of TV screens)

The latter method now takes precedence – they make the final decision and the refs will never challenge that decision.

Rather than utilising 2 methods of officiating, why can't we do away with the game in real time? And to make it easier for the VAR & cronies, the game could revert to "walking football". Which is hugely popular amongst OAPs.

This would ensure there are no tackles to adjudicate. It would be equivalent to walking touch rugby – where a player is considered tackled with a touch to his/her shorts from the opposition.

Now to deal with verbals:

1. Swearing – an automatic red card
2. Vulgar hand gesture – yellow card
3. Sarcasm – warning

Tony Everan
54 Posted 06/01/2024 at 14:18:53
An interesting stat:

A club has a 1.8% chance of the on-field referee disagreeing with the VAR and upholding his real-time decision. Based on this season's statistics so far: 55 referrals to overturn the original decision, 54 decisions overturned.

Basically the game is being refereed remotely. It's got to stop.

Robert Tressell
55 Posted 06/01/2024 at 14:34:12
Sean you could go one step further and allow TV viewers to download a referee app and vote for whether they think its a penalty, sending off etc. That way the most popular teams get the most favourable decisions. Job done.
Christy Ring
56 Posted 06/01/2024 at 15:01:05
I guarantee on ref watch on Monday, Dermot Gallagher will back the VAR and the ref and say Calvert-Lewin's red card was the correct decision.

The same Dermot who said Van Dijk's yellow for his challenge on Onana was the correct decision. He still backs the referees in every instance; at least Mike Dean is 50/50 in his assessments, even though he's another arrogant individual.

Sky are doing Everton no favours, constantly licking the Premier League Authorities.

Denis Hignett
57 Posted 06/01/2024 at 17:10:46
I thought overall the referee had a decent game. He booked the Palace player for diving, ignored their players diving and gave the correct decision on the Calvert-Lewin incident.

Then the VAR got involved.

Spare a thought for the Palace fans who have to listen to that drum every home game!

Rob Jones
58 Posted 06/01/2024 at 18:02:31
Keith Hackett on TalkSport demanding an apology for Calvert-Lewin.

Sums it up, really.

James Marshall
59 Posted 06/01/2024 at 18:29:28
Keep goal-line technology. Bin the VAR altogether. There, fixed it for you.

Football was always interesting because of refereeing and linesmen's decisions, and we all enjoyed talking about it and how human choices in real time made the game what it is.

The VAR has simply complicated the human decisions and done absolutely nothing to address the issues of human error, so it's been an unmitigated disaster in my view.

Turn it all off and go back to referees and linesmen getting some right and some wrong. End of story.

Will Mabon
60 Posted 06/01/2024 at 18:32:09
Dave @ 50:

Howard Kendall was a pretty good exponent of the art too. I don't remember any bad intent behind it either.

Neil Lawson
61 Posted 06/01/2024 at 19:25:18
James 59. What better evidence is there other than all the games played today without any VARs. What a difference.

Some proper tackling too. Yes. Just bin it.

Barry Hesketh
62 Posted 06/01/2024 at 19:41:14
James @59,

That's spot on, get rid of it altogether, what purpose does it really serve? Okay, they might end up at the odd right decision, like they did in the Chelsea v Preston tie, by allowing a goal that was wrongly disallowed by the on-pitch officials, but mostly it's an unnecessary waste of time.

The game is supposed to be spontaneous and unscripted, that means that we have to accept a few bad decisions here and there, we should not have to wait for inordinate amounts of time for the VAR to compound the referee's errors.

Clamp down on cheating, diving, pulling of shirts by all means but we don't need the VAR to implement that, the referee and his assistants can easily do it, if they are instructed to do so.

There are so many created positions for the hangers-on in football and everybody wants a slice of the pie — that really shouldn't include those who implement and oversee the rules of the game. Sometimes, less is more.

Sean O’Hanlon
63 Posted 06/01/2024 at 20:21:26
Robert #55 - great idea!!! ;-)
Bill Fairfield
64 Posted 06/01/2024 at 23:42:34
Watching FA cup games without VAR has been like a breath of fresh air. So enjoyable.
Danny O’Neill
65 Posted 08/01/2024 at 08:58:40
Most know my view. The VAR isn't the issue, it's the officials and some of the ridiculous interpretations of the rules.

The VAR could and should work to correct the wrongs of the past.

Evertonians celebrated a goal against Liverpool in a semi-final in 1977 only for Clive Thomas to rule it out. Alan Hansen clearly made a handball only for a penalty not to be given. We could go on.

No VAR back then but wrong decisions by the officials. The VAR is supposed to correct that. If we can see it on the camera, why can't they?

Be in the stadiums. Be audible. Explain the decision for everyone to hear. Be accountable.

But no. Secrecy shrouded in silence.

The clue is in the title. The "A"; it is there to assist. Will it be correct 100% of the time? Of course not. But it can go a long way if it is employed correctly. The main problem is the implementation and the standard of officials in my opinion.

I don't understand how you can have a competition where some games have it on the basis of being a Premier League ground and others don't. Either implement across the board in the FA Cup or don't have it. Make it a level playing ground. Why can't the officials at Stockley Park not watch and comment on a match at Leicester or Leeds?

Those at Palace will know it was the referee that was the issue. He was shockingly inept.

Dave Bowen
66 Posted 08/01/2024 at 09:29:53
In principle, the VAR is a good idea. However, it needs to be ex-players and not the referee's mate with a god complex.

An ex-player who'd actually played the game at a high level would never have sent off Calvert-Lewin and probably wouldn't have given the penalty against Man City.

Si Cooper
67 Posted 08/01/2024 at 14:33:58
Paul (13),

There's either something wrong with your eyesight or with mine. It's hard to decipher what you are actually trying to indicate that the rest of us haven't already seen – like the very obvious fact that both his legs come into contact with the ball.

But I disagree with your interpretation of what Calvert-Lewin was doing 100 percent. If you were right, it would be a red card offence and not the yellow that you would recommend.

I wouldn't / won't be calling for anyone to be sent off for a challenge like that.

Ged Simpson
68 Posted 08/01/2024 at 15:09:22
Danny 65

Totally agree. The issue is those easily influenced people. The pressure behind the scenes and weakness of those who make the VAR decisions is the key.

TV. TV Media. Arguments on media. No consistent truth... Who gets the best record etc etc.

Nature of a very wealthy but – as most fans in most clubs know – very, very corrupt game.

Andrew Grey
69 Posted 08/01/2024 at 15:09:54
Paul (13),

I too can see why it was given. Foot up, studs showing, and ultimately the ref making the mistake that that alone makes it a red.

Bad decision; no need for the VAR check which put pressure on the ref.

John Raftery
70 Posted 08/01/2024 at 15:34:49
So long as the VAR continues to be used on matters of opinion or judgement, it will continue to be a farce. The forensic overreach has made refereeing outcomes worse than before. And it is worse now than it was 2 years ago.

From what I have seen of its use in Serie A and in Scotland, it is no better elsewhere.

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