25/01/2024 120comments  |  Jump to last
FA Cup 4th Round Preview

Everton and Luton meet at Goodison Park for the second time this season, with the Toffees seeking to make amends for a dreadful second-half display in their Premier League defeat to the Hatters by progressing to the FA Cup Fifth Round.

Luton's unexpected victory in L4 at the end of September was their first since returning to the top flight and it was an indication that they were not simply going to go back down to the Championship as favourites for relegation without a fight.

Goals by Tom Lockyer and Carlton Morris stunned the Toffees that day and it sparked a run of eight wins from the next 11 games in all competitions by Sean Dyche's men in response.

Since the win over Burnley in mid-December, however, Everton have won just once, that in the Third Round replay against Crystal Palace on 17th January and the manager will be hoping another victorious cup tie performance can provide a platform for three League games in quick succession between 30th January and 10th February

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He will have to do it with a squad that is less than full strength following the news that André Gomes has sustained another injury and is "very unlikely" to play on Saturday.

The midfielder was the hero of the replay against Palace when he whipped a direct free-kick in off the post to score the only goal of the game and send Everton through but Dyche told the media at his press conference today that Gomes now has an injury, thought to be a recurrence of his troublesome calf issue.

The Portuguese looks set to join Abdoulaye Doucouré and Seamus Coleman on the sidelines while Dele Alli, already a long-term absentee after suffering another set-back in his comeback last month, has undergone surgery on his groin. 

It had been thought Doucouré would be back for the replay but he isn't expected to be fit again until mid-February at the earliest after he injured the hamstring in the other leg from the one that kept him out of action over the Festive Period.

With Idrissa Gueye away at the Africa Cup of Nations where Senegal have progressed to the next phase of the competition and Ashley Young not quite ready to return to first-team action, it leaves Dyche with a threadbare squad ahead of four matches in the space of 15 days.

Nathan Patterson is the obvious candidate to start at right-back while one of Arnaut Danjuma or Lewis Dobbin  is likely to take one of the spots out wide with Jack Harrison expected to play off Dominic Calvert-Lewin up top.

Having kept two clean sheets and performed well in both games against Palace, Joao Virginia can be confident of continuing his "cup keeper" role by retaining the goalkeeper's spot.

The Hatters could feature two former Everton players in their ranks, depending on how seriously manager Rob Edwards wants to take the tie.

Ross Barkley and Andros Townsend have both been important players for Luton in their recent uptick in form that has brought them to within a point of the Blues in the Premier League table (albeit only because of the 10-point deduction that Everton will soon be fighting through an appeal) and both will need to be kept quiet by the home defence.

Otherwise, it will be a case of seeing what Dyche and his players learned from the meeting in the League and how best to defeat a physical side who can deal with the aerial game but aren't quite as adept at defending attacks on the ground.

Kick-off: 3pm, Saturday 27 January 2024
Last Time: Everton 1 - 0 Luton Town (FA Cup QF replay, March 1986)

Predicted Line-up: Virginia Pickford, Patterson, Tarkowski, Branthwaite, Mykolenko, Onana, Garner, McNeil, Danjuma, Harrison, Calvert-Lewin


Reader Comments (120)

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Sam Hoare
1 Posted 25/01/2024 at 14:45:34
Getting a bit thin now isn't it. Doucoure is the big miss of course but with Gueye away and Gomes now out again it leaves us with Garner and Onana as the only fit centre midfielders.

Is Tyler Onyango still around and fit?! The likes of Jenson Metcalfe may have to fill the bench from the U21s. Or maybe the glorious return of Holgate to defensive central midfield, as some called for back in the day?!

The surgery for Dele Alli would strongly suggest that he won't appear again for us this season (or ever) so we could really do with trying to loan in a central midfielder.

Jim Bennings
2 Posted 25/01/2024 at 14:46:44
Surprise me.

If we can't bring anyone in during the next few days, even on loan, then we could be in trouble here, numbers could fall in our squad very quickly.

Christy Ring
3 Posted 25/01/2024 at 14:58:25
Need to bring in a midfielder now, even on loan, we're totally stretched in midfield.

Try Godfrey if he's not being sold, he can play across the back, very versatile so could work as defensive midfielder. We may forget about Allí, another Gbamin.

Jonathan Oppenheimer
4 Posted 25/01/2024 at 15:02:41
No question we are getting mighty thin. This seems like a time to give Dobbin a start out wide, pushing Harrison or Danjuma to the middle.

As much as I'm a fan of Calvert-Lewin, it also feels like a good opportunity to give Beto the start and see what happens.

It's too bad that it's looking like we won't get to see a potentially rejuvenated Dele Alli this season. Here's to hoping we get that one or two sparkling appearances from him, à la Palace, to shoot us up the table in the last month.

Graham Williams
5 Posted 25/01/2024 at 15:05:55
Mackenzie Hunt has been on the bench recently. I know little about him, but it might be time to give him a go.

Onyango and Metcalfe are also in the U21 squad.

The thought of Holgate in midfield doesn't excite me.

Joe McMahon
6 Posted 25/01/2024 at 15:08:06
Every winter, we get hammered with injuries. I'd also like to see Danjuma more central and, yes, Godfrey an option in midfield too.

As for Dele Alli, he's joined the long list of Everton players that spent more time injured than playing.

David West
7 Posted 25/01/2024 at 15:12:27
Christy 3.

I'd give Godfrey a go as a holding midfielder it may just be his best position. He's no full back, left or right! Never been convinced when he's at centre-back.

He's got the engine and energy, he likes to tackle. His distribution is not the best… but please not Holgate!

It's probably the only genuine option if it's 4-5-1.

Other sides looking at bringing players in; we are watching our thin squad getting anorexic by the day!!

Michael Kenrick
8 Posted 25/01/2024 at 15:14:01

I doubt if Tyler Onyango is available. He hasn't played for almost 4 months and didn't appear for either the U21s or U18s last night.

Giving Hunt or Metcalfe a chance might be something Dyche is forced to consider.

Kieran Kinsella
9 Posted 25/01/2024 at 15:15:11
If only we'd kept Fabian Delph, that absentee list would be even longer.
Simon Harrison
10 Posted 25/01/2024 at 15:20:06
Sam, I'd prefer it if Ben Godfrey played in the #6 DM role, at least he played there for Norwich a number of times, and as Captain on a couple of occasions too.

Please keep Mason Holgate away from any matchday squad, including the bench!

Paul Hewitt
11 Posted 25/01/2024 at 15:21:46
Dele requires groin surgery. So we won't see him in a Everton shirt again, unless we give him a new deal in the summer.
Michael Lynch
12 Posted 25/01/2024 at 15:41:02
EIther Danjuma, McNeil or Harrison in front of Onana and Garner. Play out wide whichever two aren't filling that role. The usual suspects fill out the back four (Patterson in the absence of Seamus), with Virginia in goal and I reckon Beto up front.

Subs bench is going to look a lonely place for whoever sits on it.

Paul Kossoff
13 Posted 25/01/2024 at 15:43:44
Christy 3.

"Try Godfrey if he's not being sold, he can play across the back, very versatile so could work as defensive midfielder"

He can't play anywhere across the back: Why? Because he's not versatile, he's not adaptable, he's not good enough. Who is your next choice, Holgate? Keane?

Oy vey iz mir already.

Brian Wilkinson
14 Posted 25/01/2024 at 15:54:51
I am going to rock the boat here and suggest playing Michael Keane just behind the striker, just in front of Onana and Garner. I would start with Harrison and Danjuma both flanks, then switch both for Dobbin and McNeil, or vice versa.

As a defender, you can all argue the case of a mistake in him, but playing him high up the pitch, that lad can score and create goals. Worth trying him out in a Number 10 role.

If he can get close enough for knock-downs, he will knock their goalie into the middle of next week, one hell of a shot on him.

Eddie Dunn
15 Posted 25/01/2024 at 15:58:33
I would rest as many key players as possible. We need to pick up Premier League points – not go on a knackering cup run.

Play the kids.

Sam Hoare
16 Posted 25/01/2024 at 16:32:25
Michael @8, Yes, I assume he must be injured as I don't think he's on loan anywhere currently.

Simon@10, I've no desire to see either Godfrey or Holgate in the starting XI to be honest; certainly not in midfield! If push comes to shove, it will be interesting to see if Dyche considers them before the youngsters.

If such an emergency were to occur, then I wouldn't be surprised to see Branthwaite moved forwards as he is so comfortable on the ball and seems to read the game so well.

Jon Harding
17 Posted 25/01/2024 at 16:46:53
Thanks Eddie! Having bought my ticket yesterday, booked my hotel and filled the car up for a 400-mile + round trip, I hope we go with the U21s too. Who wants to progress towards Wembley for heaven's sake?

No surprise we're short in centre-midfield – the most physically demanding position on the pitch for me by a mile. We only had 4 seniors players for 3 positions there at the start of the season (2 of those in their 30s) and Afcon coming up.

The thought of poor Ben Godfrey at the heart of the Everton formation gives me the shivers. He could hardly put left leg in front of right in that horror show vs Doncaster and we've scarcely seen him since, unsurprisingly. Eddie, in this instance, I would rather see an Under-21 who plays that position regularly.

So Onana and Garner together again with McNeil, Danjuma and Harrison in front of them behind Calvert-Lewin, with Beto and Dobbin primed and on the bench.

Then same again next Tuesday and next Saturday… etc, etc.

Robert Tressell
18 Posted 25/01/2024 at 16:50:28
I'd be pretty confident in Metcalfe doing okay in midfield. He had a good game against Benfica U21s last night. Nothing flashy but protected the defence well (against Joao Felix's brother) and didn't buckle against a high press.

Otherwise, we might just switch to a 5-2-2-1 – which matches up to Luton pretty well.

Eddie Dunn
19 Posted 25/01/2024 at 16:58:47
Ah Jon, sorry mate!

I will be moving my daughter over to Cardiff and going to Ikea to eat meatballs. (Only a 200-mile round trip for me.) It's only the meatballs that's keeping me interested.

I'm sure Dychey will put out a respectable team!

As for Godfrey – I think that he may be on his way, and so won't be risked.

Brian Wilkinson
20 Posted 25/01/2024 at 17:07:25
If anyone is doubting Michael Keane behind a striker, check out his footwork in the box to put it on a plate for Yeri Mina's late goal against Wolves, his footwork for his goal in the Palace comeback, and his screamer against Spurs last season.

He's a totally different player playing higher up the pitch. I would say he is a better option than Godfrey but played closer to our striker for knock-downs.

That is assuming we do not play Danjuma in midfield. I have a feeling he will play Young in midfield.

Tony Abrahams
21 Posted 25/01/2024 at 17:08:09
Danjuma is the type to come alive for 30 minutes and could be an option, although my preference would be McNeil, who is a player who might relish playing inside and he is also a player who can naturally play on the half-turn.

Maybe change our tactics and try and pair Beto with Calvert-Lewin? I'm aware that not many teams are prepared to go with a 4-4-2 nowadays because of the gaps that can be left to exploit in the middle of the park but, if we can defend from the halfway line with eleven men behind the ball and then look to break forward quickly, then maybe it might just work?

Brian Wilkinson
22 Posted 25/01/2024 at 17:21:22
Last time we played Calvert-Lewin and Beto, they were both attacking similar areas and going for the same ball, unless this has been worked on in training since.

It might be a better option to try Chermiti or Dobbin with one of the strikers as a 4-4-2 option, like Tony suggests.

Eddie Dunn
23 Posted 25/01/2024 at 17:21:42
Brian, he won't play Young, as the guy just played for the Under-21s.
Ian Pilkington
24 Posted 25/01/2024 at 17:33:28
This proves beyond a doubt that we cannot afford to let Godfrey or Danjuma go.
Brian Wilkinson
25 Posted 25/01/2024 at 17:33:57
I think he will give Young some minutes, Eddie, then sub him, try to get his fitness back up again.

Likewise the midweek game; he hardly bust a gut last night, it was more of a training game for him.

Tony Abrahams
26 Posted 25/01/2024 at 17:39:33
A similar thought crossed my mind when thinking about pairing up those two, Brian, but it's also about getting the defensive side of the game right, and making ourselves hard to penetrate, so work would definitely have to be done before Dyche could just try and go and implement this type of system.

I think it could suit the personnel that we have available, but I suppose it's dead easy sitting in the living room, trying to be a football manager!

Mark Taylor
27 Posted 25/01/2024 at 17:47:30
Well what can one expect when you have two midfielders who are biscuits and the Afcon taking another away?

Not that we were in any financial position to do much about it.

The first team pretty much picks itself from those still standing. With Young apparently not recovering as well as expected from his injury, I guess McNeil or Harrison will have to be centre-midfield back-up and I imagine Dobbin and Chermiti can expect to see some action at some point.

For the rest of the bench, I hear we're asking for volunteers.

Sam Hoare
28 Posted 25/01/2024 at 18:02:45
Given Coleman is out and Luton love a set-piece, I would not be surprised to see Keane bought in to a 5-3-2.

Pickford (or Virginia again?)
Patterson Tarkowski Keane Branthwaite Mykolenko
Garner Onana McNeil
Harrison Calvert-Lewin

Pat Kelly
29 Posted 25/01/2024 at 18:17:40
Alli and Gomes. They'd bankrupt the NHS.
John Ronnie
30 Posted 25/01/2024 at 18:21:36
This time of year is always the same for injuries, too many games in quick succession: league, cup, replays, internationals.

Same for all the teams – just too much and all about the money.

Kieran Kinsella
31 Posted 25/01/2024 at 18:28:22
Trivia for you.

We've played Luton in cup competitions 9 times. Drew one (replayed obviously) won 8 and lost just once.

When and what was the one defeat?

Dave Abrahams
32 Posted 25/01/2024 at 18:30:51
Brian (20),

With the squad being diminished daily, I wouldn't mind Keane being used upfront if necessary. It wouldn't do much for Beto's confidence but, being honest, he doesn't look like he is ready for the Premier League at the moment.

Keane does have better control than Beto and, with goals very scarce, Keane might just supply one or two.

Russell Smith
33 Posted 25/01/2024 at 18:34:07
Think Sam @28 could be on the money with his team selection. Harrison's best game was against Newcastle when Onana was ill. Doucoure dropped back into Onana's position, and Harrison played off Calvert-Lewin.

The only possible variation on Sam's team would be Danjuma playing on the wing in Harrison's spot and Harrison replacing Doucouré in our usual formation.

But we are now starting to scrape the barrel; if Onana or Garner get injured, we are really in trouble.

Colin Glassar
34 Posted 25/01/2024 at 18:57:49
Is he a great loss? I know our squad is down to the bare bones but he's hardly a regular player, is he?

Same goes for Dele Alli. I can't even remember what he looks like.

Lee Howard
35 Posted 25/01/2024 at 19:41:37
Lol, shocker also we are skint so chances are we will sell Onana, lose Danjuma and bring in no-one.

I would love to see Calvert-Lewin and Chermiti upfront, but he does love Young and will play him in the middle.

Duncan McDine
36 Posted 25/01/2024 at 19:43:45
He's been like a new signing albeit a fairly disappointing one. Fabulous free kick though tbh.

It feels very much like the squad is now down to the bare bones. Dyche might have to put Woan and Stone on the subs bench alongside 5 keepers.

Kieran Kinsella
37 Posted 25/01/2024 at 19:54:07
Dele is only two games away from matching Danny Williamson's appearance record. Though, in fairness to Williamson, he spread his 15 games over 3 years.
John Raftery
38 Posted 25/01/2024 at 20:06:01
We can still put out a competitive team against Luton, albeit one with few options on the bench. More worrying is the state we'll be in after playing three games in the next week.

Likewise, Luton will be weighing up the significance of the cup tie versus the following league matches. It will be interesting to see if they rest some of their key players.

Jim Bennings
39 Posted 25/01/2024 at 20:15:06
No idea at all how much Dele Alli enjoys playing (I use the word 'playing' lightly now) but I do feel the best thing for him would be to consider retirement soon.

There's no way he's ever going to be up to the fitness or mental demands of being a top-flight footballer in England again, he couldn't even manage to set the Turkish league alight.

I don't know what went wrong in his life at some point just before he left Spurs but I don't ever see him rediscovering what he once had.

Steve Hogan
40 Posted 25/01/2024 at 20:30:08
The chickens are really coming home to roost now, fail to invest in your squad, and your in deep trouble.

The Premier League will find you out big time. I believe our chances of staying in the top flight depend on our ability to claw back some points from the ongoing appeal.

Strap yourselves in, it's going to be a bumpy ride until the end of the season.

John Connor
41 Posted 25/01/2024 at 20:43:28
Disappointing on the injuries to key players but, let's face it, Dele and Gomes have hardly featured this season and are not what I would call integral to the team; supporting numbers, yes, so, to my mind, neither should be missed (even though Gomes scored in the previous round).

It's the injuries/missing of Doucoure and Gueye which will cause the problems to us – not Dele and Gomes. I cannot see Dele ever putting a blue shirt on again, and the club should look to pay him off now.

Danny O’Neill
42 Posted 25/01/2024 at 20:51:39
Exactly John @38.

Whoever crosses that white line and plays is representing Everton Football Club and us, the supporters who will be behind them.

They have an opportunity to prove themselves.

Time to stand up and be counted in front of what looks like another sell out as well as the sell out against Fulham at Craven Cottage next week.

Anthony Dove
43 Posted 25/01/2024 at 20:52:18
Big game on Saturday. If we lose morale, we will plummet.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion but I can't understand why anyone would want us to field a weakened team. Luckily I think Dyche will also understand the game’s importance.

I for one would love to see Ross on our side on Saturday. However, for those with the opposite view, can they at least not spend all afternoon booing his every touch.

Rob Halligan
44 Posted 25/01/2024 at 21:02:51
Didn’t know Yannick Bolasie was at Swansea. Just come on as a sub.
Kieran Kinsella
45 Posted 25/01/2024 at 21:03:45
Anthony Dove,

I totally agree with your first point and said the same before the Palace game after which a bunch of "I told you so's" said "well Calvert-Lewin is suspended now and McNeil critically injured."

Luckily those comments didn't age well :)

Jerome Shields
46 Posted 25/01/2024 at 22:30:19
I think Young and Keane will return… apprehensive about them both, but can see little option. Dyche is not into playing players out of position.

For me, Gomes was an impact sub at best, hopefully unmarked, and could not be dependent on as a deep defensive midfielder. Godfrey is a possible defensive midfielder. Holgate back from loan is fantasy football.

Danny O’Neill
47 Posted 25/01/2024 at 22:58:55
I don't care

We are competing in a cup match this weekend. And then we travel to Fulham.

Spirit. Forever. We shall not be moved


Mike Gaynes
48 Posted 25/01/2024 at 23:24:21
Kieran, lots of my comments don't age well.

Neither has my hair.

Matt Traynor
49 Posted 25/01/2024 at 23:36:40
Kieran #31. Simon Cup tie. Was it a semi final at home? Eddie Youds put us 1 up but Luton won 2-1. 1988 I'm guessing, as we played an FA cup tie a few days later against that lot - another 0-1 (but they lost in the final to Wimbledon).

Yes I was one of the 4.5k ish in the crowd. 4 page programme was 20p. The minibus of Luton fans went home happy...

Mike Oates
50 Posted 26/01/2024 at 00:43:58
I watched the U21’s the other night vs Benfica. We were given a football lesson for first 25min and all the 2nd half. But there was a 20min spell before half time where Dobbin tore them apart, and we scored the two goals and he missed a penalty, which he earned himself. He was unplayable driving in from the left hand side causing total panic. Benfica just couldn’t score.

Certainly Dobbin is ready for a 1st team try out, but Chermiti is miles away, not strong enough for a centre forward, doesn’t show for the ball, and lacks any drive, very fortunate to get the full 90 mins. At the moment I just can’t see why we paid £13m for him, he needs to feed off a big lad.

Metcalf was the only other player who looked as though he could develop into a decent player, but he’s not ready yet.

Kieran Kinsella
51 Posted 26/01/2024 at 00:59:52

Yes finally although I think it may have been an earlier round. You were one of the true blues who showed up! I'd actually forgotten about that cup and the fact Luton were good in that era. I think they beat Arsenal to win the League Cup that year. My mate’s dad, a big Arsenal fan, claimed to have thrown a brick through the TV.

Mike. lol mine either. Especially when it comes to managerial appointments

Ian Jones
52 Posted 26/01/2024 at 06:48:50
Jim @ 39

Re your Dele Alli comment, sorry don't agree about him never going to be up to the fitness or mental demands of being a top-flight footballer in England again, although I suppose it depends on your definition of top-flight etc.

If, and it's a big if, he can get through his latest injury unscathed he could do a decent job for a Fulham, Luton, Palace, Bournemouth type team or perhaps another team aspiring to be a mid-table team like us, because like it or not that's where we are at the moment.

I don't think his time in Turkey is a great gauge of his ability. It seems he had some mental health issues and chuck in another injury, it wasn't the best of times for him. I think Turkish football is pretty unforgiving when things aren't going well.

I hope he can get past his various issues and perform at a reasonably high level. If that was at Everton, I would be delighted. I imagine he'll go south to his 'home' area where he is likely to get more support from family.

There's a decent player still there.

Paul Ferry
54 Posted 26/01/2024 at 07:13:31
link Danny mate
Danny O’Neill
55 Posted 26/01/2024 at 07:55:28
Paul and all,

Apart from watching Graeme Sharp score right in from of me at Wembley in 1984, my favourite FA Cup moments were at the semi finals against Luton and Sheffield Wednesday at Villa Park.

I'm going to have to wait another year for that elusive League Cup but tomorrow, we can take one step further to Wembley and our 6th FA Cup.

That said, the penalty shoot out at Stamford Bridge was special. I wasn't in the ground as I only had one ticket and gave it to my son. I was marching around the nearby cemetery and took to talking to one of the gravestones asking if they could help.

I know, madness. But I could hear the crowd and knew we had done it.

Here we go.

Derek Knox
56 Posted 26/01/2024 at 08:19:23
While in some ways I admire Sean Dyche's loyalty in keeping faith with Calvert-Lewin, he hasn't exactly been a model of how to finish, and although few strikers have the occasional miss, his are almost the norm.

I know we are thin on numbers, but I also believe in keeping any player 'on his toes' and not being a 'shoo-in' which I believe induces complacency and lack of effort. It's not that he is the only available striker either – Beto, Chermiti and Dobbin – if pushed forward.

Eddie Dunn
58 Posted 26/01/2024 at 09:18:23
Anthony, "you can't understand why anyone would field a weakened team".

We are facing an existential threat to our future. We have lost Gana to Afcon and Doucouré is injured leaving just two of our regular midfielders.

Onana has already missed games due to injury and may well be playing despite niggles.

If one or the other gets a knock(or worse) then we will be drafting in kids for crucial league games.

If we were sitting comfortably in 11th (as we should be) then I would be prepared to play an unchanged side, but our squad is so stretched already, that another midfielder getting crocked would be very serious.

We won't win the cup anyway.

Why? Because we can't score enough goals.

So, we need to concentrate on the Premier League – it's that important.

Robert Tressell
59 Posted 26/01/2024 at 09:22:07
Mike I watched the Benfica U21s game and thought Chermiti was clearly our best player. Pressed well, held the ball up well, good in the air in both boxes and good one touch passing.

Much more mature than Dobbin, although, as you say, Dobbin had a spell where he caused them all sorts of problems.

Tony Graham
60 Posted 26/01/2024 at 09:25:27
I want to believe, but they always let down...
Christopher Timmins
61 Posted 26/01/2024 at 09:51:00
Given our schedule between now and the end of the season, I hope we pick a team similar to the one that has now kept 3 clean sheets.

More playing time for Patterson, McNeil, Danjuma and Gomes if possible.

Let's make it 2 wins and 2 draws in our last 4 as we head to Fulham on Tuesday.

Brian Harrison
62 Posted 26/01/2024 at 10:15:03
Sean Dyche has so far showed very little appetite to start any of the youngsters, so I doubt that will change tomorrow.

I expect that the team Lyndon has selected will be pretty much on the money. He doesn’t seem to fancy Danjuma and with Gomes being injured don't know who he will play in Doucouré’s position.

Certainly with Gomes injured and Gueye at the Afcon for a few more weeks, we have only got Garner and Onana and if either get injured we may have to play an untried youngster.

I think both sides won’t want a replay so maybe we see both sides going for it from the off.

Jack Convery
63 Posted 26/01/2024 at 10:15:45
Play 4-4-2. My guess is Dyche will go 5-3-1-1.

Patterson, Tarkowski, Keane, Branthwaite. Mykolenko.
Garner, Onana, McNeil

I would go

Patterson, Tarkowski, Branthwaite, Mykolenko
Harrison, Garner, Onana, McNeil

Whatever COYBs.

Mark Ryan
64 Posted 26/01/2024 at 10:40:35
Having watched the U21s the other night and can see why Steve Stone and Ian Woan are not kicking his door down. Nobody impressed me enough to think "Wow, there's a player in the making"

I hope we can progress. We need wins, we need to build confidence

Robert Tressell
68 Posted 26/01/2024 at 11:08:05
Brian # 63, other than the youngsters Dyche has been playing, our youngsters are not very good.

Personally I'd have given Dobbin a few more minutes but Danjuma is much better in the same position.

Anthony Dove
70 Posted 26/01/2024 at 11:09:21
Eddie@59 I hope the team don’t read your post.
Martin Farrington
75 Posted 26/01/2024 at 11:20:27
Brian 63 Mark 65 Robert 69

So right I am sad to say. I have watched both age groups numerous times and they are a pretty average lot. Can honestly say all of them should be looking outside of top flight football (Pl & championship, Lge 1) for future employment

They seem to be without any life. Ponderous. Very poor... touch. Passing. Finishing.

Maybe it's recipe soccer. Following what the coaching manual says. But not one player is a diamond.

I don't rate Dobbin either.

So Dyche, whilst taking criticism of not introducing a youngster or two has my sympathy.

Danny O’Neill
76 Posted 26/01/2024 at 11:21:18
I don't like predicting teams as we simply don't know, but Lyndon's is probably the strongest we have available.

Whoever walks on that pitch, fight for the Royal Blue shirt and take us to the next round.

Jon Harding
77 Posted 26/01/2024 at 11:25:18
The good news is that Dyche has picked pretty much full strength teams for cup games this season. So I agree with the predicted line-up in the OP.
I wonder if Luton on the other hand may be tempted to rest a few?

Imagine the positivity from an easy win - I'm thinking like vs Brentford under Lampard a couple of years ago.

Morale-boosting ahead of the trip to Fulham for players and fans alike.
And if we're in the draw for the 5th round, there's guaranteed to be at least 6 non-Prem teams out of 16. So a home game vs Maidstone please.

And more income for the club from more cup / TV games and the fans dreaming of putting the champagne on ice - just like '84!

Brian Harrison
78 Posted 26/01/2024 at 11:35:04
Robert @69 & Martin @76,

I know you watch the younger teams which I don't, so I respect your views in saying how poor the youngsters are. So you have to look at the coaches and the recruitment as to why we are struggling to produce any youngsters. Both Branthwaite and Calvert-Lewin were bought from other clubs so we cant claim to much credit of bringing them through.

Just to highlight my criticism of Sean Dyche's reluctance to start youngsters he allowed Branthwaite to go on loan to PSV and if they had the funds he probably would still be playing there. Also when he came back after his loan spell finished Dyche still selected Keane ahead of him. Branthwaite now must be the first name on the team sheet.

I would like Dobbin to be given more time than he is presently getting and Robert said that he was impressed with Chermetti against Benfica the other day, yet he gets no minutes from Dyche. And its not as if we are blessed with goal scorers at present.

Mark Ryan
79 Posted 26/01/2024 at 11:39:23
Martin @ 76 spot on.

The entire team were just going through the paces, doing just enough, against Benfica for goodness sake. I watched it hoping to see someone, just anyone pop out for me to go "Wow, there is a new star in the making.”
Oh well, when Saturday comes, UTFT's

Robert Tressell
84 Posted 26/01/2024 at 11:58:28
Brian # 7,

Lampard let Branthwaite go to PSV, not Dyche. Dyche is the one who is developing him in the first team.

Also whilst Chermiti is developing, he is not as good as Beto or Calvert-Lewin hence no minutes.

Nothing to see here.

Jack Convery
85 Posted 26/01/2024 at 11:59:32
Interesting USA international available on a free at present. Kellyn Acosta Defensive Midfielder / Central midfielder. Captained the USA last season in one game. Good stats too.

Can any of our Rebel cousins across the pond give us some feedback on him ?

Danny O’Neill
86 Posted 26/01/2024 at 12:01:43
A near sell out, but tickets available.

Get down to Goodison Park.

Dave Abrahams
89 Posted 26/01/2024 at 12:35:42
Jon (7):

Yes, it was a very easy 4-1 win v Brentford in that cup game but Brentford had a weakened team out and when it came to the league game a few weeks later Brentford won 3-2 with a proper team out.

I hope we get through, as against Palace, without a replay, but it won't hurt too much, to me, if we go out. The Premier League is everything to me. The cup would be a bonus but too many games could hurt us in the long run.

Christy Ring
91 Posted 26/01/2024 at 13:03:33
Paul #13,

You mustn't have watched us much, because Godfrey played everywhere across the back.

Whether he's not your cup of tea, is irrelevant.

Stephen Vincent
93 Posted 26/01/2024 at 13:19:17
Matt #50,

It was the Simod Cup and if I remember correctly it was Paul Power who scored for us. It was 1988.

We got to the final the following season but lost to Forest in an excellent game at Wembley. I never did discover what a Simod was.

Danny O’Neill
94 Posted 26/01/2024 at 13:31:06
Simod Cup, Full Members Cup. I think there might have been something else, but I can't remember.

Athough I do remember being stood in the Kop (I know, unclean) for a derby in one those tin pot competitions that were created after they got us banned from Europe. I'll leave it there.

As always, my friends (blue and red) headed to my Grandfather's flat on Arkles Lane after the match to be fed and watered by his wife who was a great cook. She used to run a bakery on Walton Breck Road.

Raymond Fox
95 Posted 26/01/2024 at 13:41:53
Depends where your priorities lie: staying in the Premier League or sooner go on a jolly if we win this game.

As Eddie @ 59 said earlier, we have very little chance of winning the cup whatever teams we pick.

We could be teetering on the brink of going bust as it is, relegation at this time would be another possible nail in the coffin that we can ill afford.

Nigel Munford
96 Posted 26/01/2024 at 13:43:59
Any insight into the news in the Express about Onana to Newcastle £50M?
Joe McMahon
98 Posted 26/01/2024 at 13:54:33
Nigel, I can't see it happening in this window, as Newcastle are having to curb their spending.
Stephen Vincent
99 Posted 26/01/2024 at 14:08:28
Danny, Simod Cup, Screen Sport Super Cup, Full Members Cup, Zenith Data Systems Cup.

The Screen Sport Super Cup was played over two legs I remember beating Man Utd 4-2 at Goodison. The 1985-86 final was carried over to the following season; we lost 7-2 on aggregate to the Orcs.

David West
104 Posted 26/01/2024 at 15:34:13
Why don't we just go for it!!

Play Danjuma, Calvert-Lewin, Beto, Harrison, McNeil, Onana, Garner and give the opposition something to worry about.

We'd all like a cup run but, with this thin squad, it could be to the detriment of our league position.

Another midfield injury tomorrow and we are goosed!

Martin Farrington
110 Posted 26/01/2024 at 16:12:55
Nigel @ 97,

Howe states Joelinton has probably paid his last game for Newcastle due to FFP, PSR etc. With him being injured & without signing a new contract (he has 18 months left) he is likely to be sold.

Almiron may also have to be sold to balance Newcastle's books.

Kieran Kinsella
116 Posted 26/01/2024 at 17:07:07

Dobbin is an interesting one. He seems to be widely dismissed as first team potential. But if you compare his Under-23 record, loan spell away and initial handful of Everton appearances with Gordon's, he seems better than Gordon did at that point.

Personally, I think Gordon is overhyped now but nonetheless he was sold for £50 million and playing regularly for a team who were in the Champions League.

Robert Tressell
118 Posted 26/01/2024 at 17:26:30
Kieran, a significant difference between Dobbin and Gordon is at international level. Gordon was capped regularly throughout the age groups and got 6 goals in 16 games at U21 level. He was strongly linked to Dortmund at age 17 / 18. That shows he was rated very highly outside of the club.

Dobbin by comparison has only been capped twice since a good showing at U17 level.

Now 21, he's miles behind his peer group of Madueke, Bynoe Gittens, Iling Junior and Philogene.

Really he should be on loan in the Championship or abroad to develop, but the squad is so think we need him just in case.

Jonathan Oppenheimer
122 Posted 26/01/2024 at 17:44:59
Jack 86, regarding Kellyn Acosta, there are at least a dozen Americans that we would want ahead of him. He’s perfectly fine for MLS and as the second or third midfielder off the bench for the national team, but he’s not one we should be lining up for. Unless of course we keep losing central midfielders.

There are not a lot of Americans who can cut it in the Premier League outside of our top 5-6. Danny O’Neill is a big fan of Weston McKennie and he’s one of them, but for now we’ve missed out on him. Yunus Musah is one heckuva player. And we may find out if Gio Reyna can cut it if he ends up at Forest. Tyler Adams did a pretty good job at Leeds last season, all things considered, but has been injured all season while at Bournemouth.

There are others who have a better pulse on the 18 year-old Americans we might want to take a crack at, but those players are typically better off developing in MLS or Belgium or the Netherlands, and once they’ve proven themselves there it becomes a bit of a risk to pay £8-15 million to see if they can cut it in the Premier League. But Kellyn Acosta is not the answer.

Mike Gaynes
123 Posted 26/01/2024 at 17:57:26
Jack #86, agree with Jonathan re Acosta. He does what he does -- shutdown defensive midfielder -- very, very well. But he is not a good passer out of the back and is a zero contributor in attack.

Jonathan #123, far and away our best USA addition would have been Tyler Adams, but we couldn't afford him any more than we could have had McKennie. Adams injuries have been unfortunate for the USA and for Bournemouth.

The young Yank I would love to see us take a chance on is Paxten Aaronson, younger brother of Brenden. Hasn't broken through yet at Eintracht Frankfurt but a tremendous young talent.

Robert Tressell
124 Posted 26/01/2024 at 18:29:50
Mike and others, isn't Noel Buck the stand out lower cost talent in MLS now - especially given he's chosen to represent England?

Billy Shears
125 Posted 26/01/2024 at 18:30:56
With the players we have out of this one, I can only see a draw but I believe we can still go through in this tie — we'll have to do it the hard way... away at Luton.

1-1 methinks.

Jonathan Oppenheimer
126 Posted 26/01/2024 at 18:32:24
Mike 125, agreed on Adams. I didn't watch him play enough regularly prior to his coming to Leeds to recognize he could cut it at the top level, but he clearly can. I so hope he can get healthy again.

Interesting the shout for Aaronson. I've read plenty about him but never seen him play. I very much trust your judgment, though, so will be interesting to see how his career plays out.

The one under the radar Yank who has caught my eye when I've seen him play is Cade Cowell, who has just gone down to Mexico. I wouldn't be surprised if he breaks through before the next World Cup.

Paul Birmingham
127 Posted 26/01/2024 at 18:58:37
For me, Everton must go for a win and play their best team tomorrow, to keep belief and build positive momentum for some tough games coming up.

I recall the days after the scourge of the RS banned all English teams from Europe.

Beating Man Utd 2-4, at their place in mid-week was a well-deserved result by a fine Everton squad in 1986. Sheedy took the piss in a fine Everton display.

Losing to Palace and Forest in finals was also a sign of the times.

Those were the days... but tomorrow can be another great day.


Stephen Davies
128 Posted 26/01/2024 at 19:24:54
Calvert-Lewin & Beto up top together tomorrow.

* Taps Nose

Stephen Davies
129 Posted 26/01/2024 at 19:27:31
Oh, and Virginia in the net.
Derek Knox
130 Posted 26/01/2024 at 19:28:36
Mike G @ 125, if his nickname is Paxo, he could end up getting well and truly stuffed ! :-)
Kevin Edward
132 Posted 26/01/2024 at 19:43:53
I desperately want us to get on a cup run, but this feels a bit like the Carabao Quarterfinal so I'm apprehensive.

I can't bear our great club worrying about Luton at home, so I'll say it: One day we'll put all our chances away and someone's getting a hiding.

So tomorrow, it's going to happen. UTFT!

Neil Tyrrell
133 Posted 26/01/2024 at 20:15:00
We have to win this and get through.

Man City playing Spurs and Chelsea playing Villa right now, so 2 of them 4 going out in the 4th round. Could be a good opportunity for a cup run with a bit of luck in the draws.

Tony Abrahams
134 Posted 26/01/2024 at 20:44:38
If one of the richest clubs in the world are having to curb their spending before they have even really got going, then I think this shows one of the main reasons why Profitability & Sustainability Rules were brought in.

Dave @90. I personally think Everton would have bettered that 4-1 victory against Brentford in the league game, if it wasn't for those 20 seconds when the silent (he definitely held back his little smirk when he didn't break stride, running to send Branthwaite off) assassin, Michael Oliver took over proceedings, and sent us down to ten men at a time we should have been taking a penalty to go 2-0 in front.

Frank Thomas
135 Posted 26/01/2024 at 20:48:32
Some suggestions have been interesting tonight: playing Godfrey in midfield I think is a good idea, even playing Keane behind Calvert-Lewin. There is no doubt Keane has scored some good goals being very alert near the opposition's goal area.

How about playing Calvert-Lewin later in the game for the last 35 mins when their defence is tired and maybe he can use his speed to his advantage.

Also, I remember Dobbin replaced Gordon in one game and I was amazed at Dobbin's speed. I also think he is faster than Gordon but far less confident that is down to the manager.

Some suggestions seem ludicrous. I remember Moyes saying he was going to move Coleman from winger to defence… nuts absolutely nuts; how did that turn out?

Tony Abrahams
136 Posted 26/01/2024 at 20:57:27
Brian @78,

Branthwaite was already on loan when Dyche came to Everton, and PSV allegedly made a bid for the kid, which would have made him the costliest player they had ever signed, but Everton obviously said No to that offer.

I'm sure that decision would have been made between Dyche and Thelwell, so although he played Keane before Branthwaite, I'm sure he will have been key in keeping the player at Everton.

Martin Farrington
138 Posted 26/01/2024 at 21:05:27
Mark @ 80 – cheers mate.

Brian @ 79, I have been banging that drum for so, so long. Our recruitment at all levels is pants. When not one of the Under "whatever age" is nowhere near consideration for the first team (when its quality is so poor), then one must wonder what the point of that entire set-up is.

There should be a half dozen at least banging on the door.
Bear in mind they come in to the club at a ridiculously young age so a huge amount gets put into this system. (Not that I personally agree with that, the low age.)

Yes, we produced Gordon. However, that was one lad from dozens and dozens over the last decades. As for Dyche, he has Premier League survival at the top of his agenda.

There really are no players in the above system that are good enough to risk. But Onana, Garner and Patterson are all 22; Branthwaite (also Dobbin) 21; (and Chermiti is only 19). That's six young players.

McNeil and Mykolenko are 24, so realistically we have 5 first-teamers still developing, learning, young.

Dave Abrahams
139 Posted 26/01/2024 at 21:14:11
Martin (139),

I think the coaching and the recruitment part of the Academy need a good looking at and have done for a long time at Finch Farm, a very long time.

Andy Meighan
140 Posted 26/01/2024 at 22:10:19
Look, Keane might have scored a few goals at centre-back but get this ridiculous notion out of your heads that he could play up front… he couldn't, he really couldn't.

He's a centre-back for a reason in that he's a defender first and foremost, albeit not a great one but at least an adequate replacement.

No, if Dyche had anything about him, he'd go 2 up tomorrow and go for it. But, let's face it – there's more chance of Lord Lucan riding around Goodison on Shergar.

I think we'll just scrape through tomorrow but it'll be another poor watch.

Goodnight all.

Tom Bowers
141 Posted 26/01/2024 at 22:35:29
Whatever team Dyche is forced to start with, they should be able to take care of a Luton side who are not exactly lighting up the Premier League – despite beating the Blues earlier in the season.

Every player in the Everton squad who is available should be chomping at the bit to show what they can do in light of the adversity aimed at them by the ''authorities''.

Every game is important and cup ties can be very tense but the defense hasn't been too shabby of late which is an important factor.

Personally, I am more concerned about the next Premier League game.

Bill Hawker
142 Posted 26/01/2024 at 23:16:47
Dele's career is over isn't it?

Another surgery? Man can't catch a break now.

Danny O’Neill
143 Posted 27/01/2024 at 08:42:41
Amen, Dave Abrahams @139.

You know my views on grass root, development and modern academies.

Meanwhile, Everton boys and girls or people, cup match today.

Get behind them whether you're at Goodison or watching from the far flung areas of the globe.

John Hall
146 Posted 27/01/2024 at 09:43:47
Mentioned on here that Beto does not look ready for the Premier League.

For me, he will never be a Premier League player.

He runs like he has two left feet with seemingly very little football intelligence.

He doesn't time his runs well enough and wins few if any important headers.

£20M buys very little these days. We will be lucky if he does any better than Maupay who stunk the place out.

Rob Jones
147 Posted 27/01/2024 at 10:03:05
Lewis Dobbin.

Tom Cannon.

Ellis Simms.

Anthony Gordon.

Antonee Robinson.

Nathan Broadhead.

Kieran Dowell.

Adam Forshaw.

Tom Davies.

Jonjoe Kenny.

But sure. Our youth system produces nothing.

Our youth system is fine. The issue isn't the youths, or even the coaching (at least, within the youth system itself), but the way that so many of these players were subsequently managed, and failed, by a club who were too busy wasting a king's ransom rather than building a squad and working to an actual fucking strategy. These are all players who have, or will, play in the top flight.

There's so much wrong with Everton, you could literally write a book. But the youth system is low on the list.

Tom Davies, for example. If we'd either given him the chance to develop, or sold him years before we allowed him to leave for nothing, he'd have paid the money it cost to develop him fivefold.

Derek Knox
148 Posted 27/01/2024 at 10:09:40
Rob, I agree with your first part, but Tom (Dogshit) Davies can't even get a place with Sheffield United, after Everton making him a millionaire, all after scoring a goal against City (?)

Good work if you can get it, so No I don't feel sorry for him but I do for the others we let go for a pittance, apart from AG.

Dave Abrahams
149 Posted 27/01/2024 at 10:12:27
Tony (134), Yes I think the early sending off obviously had a lot to do with Brentford’s victory but I think it was Christian Ericksen who took over the proceedings from midfield and ran the game, Gomes was part of a two player central midfield and he was withdrawn, I think Everton had another player sent off near the end of the game, Rondon (?).

Lampard didn’t really have a clue lining up his teams in too many games and he either didn’t listen to his coaching team or they were as clueless as him.

Ian Jones
150 Posted 27/01/2024 at 10:35:43
Derek, re Tom Davies. He picked up a relatively serious injury in October so assume he is still out making it difficult for him to be picked !
Rob Jones
151 Posted 27/01/2024 at 11:05:10
Derek, Tom Davies' slipshod development is entirely upon Everton, and the short-termist way it's been managed over the years.
Mike Owen
152 Posted 27/01/2024 at 11:33:04
Derek, you can make it clear that you don't rate him without using such an abusive term.
Please remember he didn't pick the team for all those games he played for us. A succession of managers selected him.
Mike Owen
153 Posted 27/01/2024 at 11:44:13
Watching DCL against Villa, I thought he must be the only Premier League target man who has to chase his own knockdowns, so I'm sure he'll be pleased if Beto starts alongside him.

Just noticed that after the West Ham game on March 2nd, we could go five weeks with no home game until April 6th!

Goodison derby is scheduled for March 16, but that is also quarter-finals weekend. If either of us make it to Round 6, the derby's cancelled, I assume.

Dave Williams
154 Posted 27/01/2024 at 12:00:39
Sometimes a young player just needs to be thrown in to see if he can cope.
Many years ago I was having a drink in a London hotel bar with our then CEO. I was pushing the first team claims of Osman and Hibbert and he said that you wouldn’t be scared of facing Osman and that Hibbert wouldn’t make it.
As it turns out they were eventually given a run in the team and didn’t turn out too badly!
Some lads will shrivel but the odd one or two will respond to the occasion and seize the opportunity. Dobbin has to be worth a start in a game like this to see if he can do it or not. Likewise Chermiti who might find motivation difficult at U21 level but might rise to the occasion. Beto for me is a slightly more refined Niasse with a bit of the Straq thrown in. I like him and would love him to make it but have severe doubts!
For me, Virginia, usual defence with Patto for Seamus, Onana Garner and McNeil with Dobbin and Harrison wide and Dom up front. Chemitti to be given a good half an hour on as sub.
A good game to win!!

Bob Parrington
155 Posted 27/01/2024 at 12:06:53
Off subject. Is it true that Klopp has quit Liverpool fc?
David Bromwell
156 Posted 27/01/2024 at 12:09:00
I wish people would stop knocking Tom Davies, who I think at one stage even captained the team. He looked like he was going to be a very good player, but he didn't develop like we all had hoped. No doubt his development was hampered by the frequent changes in management, but as we all know he always gave 100%. And perhaps today Ben Godfrey is in a similar position. So I hope he is given a chance as the defensive midfielder. Who would ever have thought that Doucour'e would become such a good attacking midfielder ? And today needs must, and Ben deserves his chance.

Ray Roche
157 Posted 27/01/2024 at 12:18:08
I don’t know Bob, there’s been nothing on tv about it
Jim Lloyd
158 Posted 27/01/2024 at 12:20:36
He's going. All over the Daily Mail "A City in Shock!" Think they meant Bergen!
Danny O’Neill
159 Posted 27/01/2024 at 12:39:02
Forget him.

Ther tearjearkers being interviewed on Stanley Park this morning almost made me smile nut equally cringw.

Can't wait to hit the Arkles later.

We know the chant Every single one of them.

Meanwhile, we have Luton to think about.

Martin Farrington
160 Posted 27/01/2024 at 13:03:31
Rob @ 147
Sorry. I disagree.
None of those players (with the exception possibly of Gordon) have made it nor will they.
Which is my point.
I fail to see the benefit of "an academy," which for decades has failed to produce any player of note for the first team.
Isnt that its purpose ?
Yes we would have to sell any decent player coming through after a season or two. Because we have to sell to exist now.
But at present, with so much turmoil its a crying shame we havent got anyone. I include young Dobbin. (God I hope he proves me wrong)
Because for the foreseeable future it will remain as is, sadly.
Peter Thistle
161 Posted 27/01/2024 at 13:44:16
Give Beto a game, it's only the FA cup, there's nothing to lose. Calvert-Lewin can sod off, he wouldn't be missed.

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