27/01/2024 69comments  |  Jump to last
Everton 1 - 2 Luton

Luton emerged from Goodison Park victorious for the second time this season as Cauley Woodrow grabbed a last-gasp winner that turfed turgid Everton out of the FA Cup.

An unwanted replay at Kenilworth Road was looming as a poor contest between two limited sides dragged into stoppage time when the Blues failed to deal with a corner and the Hatters struck with almost the last kick of the game.

Luton had gone ahead in controversial circumstances late in the first half when Ross Barkley appeared to push Dominic Calvert-Lewin as Alfie Doughty swung in a corner and Vitalii Mykolenko inadvertently headed into his own net.

The hosts eventually hauled themselves back level when Jack Harrison profited from some fortune from Tim Krul who couldn’t keep his low drive out but their attempts to win it late on proved wholly inadequate and they paid the price at the death.

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If there were key takeaways from the first meeting between these two sides at the end of September, they were that Everton were highly susceptible to conceding from set-pieces against Rob Edwards’s side and that the combination of Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Beto up front in a 4-4-2 just didn’t work.

So it was galling to see Sean Dyche retain that unproven and unconvincing partnership up front and for the Blues to concede from two corners. Worse was the continued deterioration in Everton’s approach play and effectiveness in the final third, where openings to create goalscoring chances were routinely spurned and when rare opportunities arrived, they were missed.

Luton had started on the front foot and sent three efforts into the Gwladys Street End inside the first 5 minutes, Doughty missing the best chance when he skied James Tarkowski’s short clearance over after Mykolenko had been badly caught out by Andros Townsend down the visitors’ right flank.

Everton found their feet, however, and came very close to taking the lead when Calvert-Lewin was played in down the left channel where he centred for Beto who, exhibiting a rare moment of composure, despatched a crisp side-foot shot an inch the wrong side of the upright from the edge of the box.

Elijah Adebayo went almost as close for Luton at the other end after 23 minutes when Morris clipped a ball into the box and the big striker nodded past Joao Virginia but also narrowly wide of the far post.

Mykolenko failed to test Krul when he was picked out in space with an excellent, quickly-taken free-kick by Tarkowski and Dwight McNeil headed a cross straight at the keeper but the best chance of the half fell to Beto. Onana’s shot from 25 yards was deflected heavily into the Portuguese striker’s path but, under pressure from a defender, he somehow failed to even hit the target lunging in on the loose ball.

The Hatters went ahead 6 minutes before the end of the regulation 45, however, when Calvert-Lewin fell forward in his own box trying to meet a low delivery to the near post with Barkley’s hands on his back and the unsighted Mykolenko unwittingly headed into his own goal.

A VAR check did not come to Everton's rescue and after James Garner swept a late direct free-kick over the crossbar, the Toffees had to go into the interval a goal down and with plenty to think about for the second half.

Dyche opted not to make any changes at the break – in the end, he would wait until there were just 12 minutes left to make his two substitutions – and things might have got worse for him and his side 6 minutes after the restart but, although Morris rose easily above Beto in the box, Virginia made a good save to turn his header away.

Everton were level 2 minutes later, however, when a counter-attack saw the ball arrive with Beto and he swept a pass out to the right wing for Harrison. The on-loan winger cut across Teden Mengi, drilled the ball goalwards and, though Krul looked as though he might save it, it squirmed under his body and rolled over the line.

That should have been the catalyst the Blues needed to kick their performance up a few gears and really take the game to Luton but, instead, it was the Hatters who nearly scored again.

First, an uncharacteristic slip by Jarrad Branthwaite gave Adebayo a two-on-one break with Townsend in support but, rather than play the obvious pass that would have given the ex-Everton winger a simple tap-in, he went for glory himself and Virginia tipped his effort around the post.

Then, in the 63rd minute, they carved Everton’s defence open with ease and when Townsend sold Tarkowski with a turn back onto his left foot in the penalty area and squared it for Morris with the goal gaping, Nathan Patterson denied him by blocking his shot on the line.

Harrison smashed well over the bar and Barkley had a wayward effort of his own that flew well over the crossbar at either end before Beto, played in by Patterson’s ball forward, out-muscled his man and engineered space for a shot but Reece Burke got in the way to block it behind for a corner.

It was then that Dyche belatedly moved to switch things up, removing Calvert-Lewin and McNeil in favour of Youssef Chermiti and Arnaut Danjuma but a Beto shot that he blasted over as he slipped in the 81st minute and a blocked Harrison volley were as close as the Blues would come to winning it.

Instead, it was Luton who seized the moment deep into stoppage time when Morris again won a barely-contested header that dropped to the back post, the ball pinged between Danjuma’s knee and the chest of Woodrow before the Hatters’ substitute prodded it home to send the Hatters through to the Fifth Round.

In all honesty, with Everton’s small squad stretched thin by the absences of Abdoulaye Doucouré, Seamus Coleman, Idrissa Gueye and André Gomes and three Premier League games to come in the space of 11 days, Luton might have done them a favour by settling this tie without the need for a replay.

There is no way that this Blues team playing like that would get anywhere near Wembley so it might be a blessing in disguise that Dyche and his staff can now concentrate on the Premier League where survival is paramount.

On this evidence, though, the manager has a lot of work to do at Finch Farm in trying to get this team playing effective, winning football, something they have forgotten how to do since that impressive spell before Christmas. Certainly, nervy, haphazard, disjointed, kick-and-rush football isn't going to be enough.


Reader Comments (69)

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Ralph Basnett
1 Posted 27/01/2024 at 18:37:49
We are so bad that the Red Shite supporters are getting bored slagging us off now.

All quiet on BBC and on other forums, they pity us.

Chris Leyland
2 Posted 27/01/2024 at 18:43:13
Embarrassing that. Losing twice to Luton at home in a single season — Luton! All 4 of their goals from set pieces across both games but, time and again, we don't learn. Can't defend set pieces and can't create anything.

Hopefully it also puts to bed the notion of Beto and Calvert-Lewin upfront. Dreadful combination.

The atmosphere today was as flat as the Palace replay but the players gave us nothing to get excited about.

Everton – ruining weekends since 1878!

We desperately need Doucoure back and we need Gana Gueye too.

Andrew Bentley
3 Posted 27/01/2024 at 18:50:48
We are fucked.

That's all there is to say.

Derek Knox
4 Posted 27/01/2024 at 19:19:54
Not long got back home from watching, or should I say enduring, the match. It was more like a tag team wrestling match where a football got in the way.

What a horrible side (Luton) are, and we weren't much better. As for the disgrace of a Referee (again) and his bent partner acting as a linesman, should we expect anything approaching impartiality?

The greatest cheers, and quite rightly so, were for the introduction of our ex-player, Andros Townsend (wish he still was) and on his substitution. Probably their only player who treated it as a game of football.

Really felt a degree of confidence before this one, but the only highlight was meeting John McFarlane, Jon Harding (Bristol Blue), Neil Copeland and Stephen Vincent in the Harlech. Also bumping into Dave Abrahams in Bullens Road.

Starting to fear for the remainder of our fixtures in the Premier League, especially our inexplicably poor home form (or lack of it). Chermiti looked half decent when introduced, albeit too late again to have any impact!

Should I be?

Jim Bennings
5 Posted 27/01/2024 at 19:48:17
Years of failure in the transfer market since Moshiri arrived has seen us to where we are now.

Selling Lukaku, the talismanic 25 goal a season striker not building around him and then the list of abysmal forwards we have pissed millions away on since.


It's the stuff of nightmares it really is, that this club can't sign a striker worthy.

Keep signing players that can't score goals then you struggle most season's, that's a recipe for disaster.

Jonathan Tasker
6 Posted 27/01/2024 at 20:07:07
Everton 2024
Where the report on here says we were better losing this match than having a replay for a competition that we have zero chance of winning
With our forwards, I think Luton will finish ahead of us in the league
Stuart Sharp
7 Posted 27/01/2024 at 20:18:48
Just home and yet again questioning what makes me devote so much time, energy and money for something which gives so little back. That game was shocking. So few positives. The goalie maybe. Or as Derek says, maybe Chermiti. Have tried to be patient with Harrison, but he seems to get worse every game. Gutted to be knocked out, but far more worrying is seeing Luton look better than us, and more confident. Compared with the league game, they were several notches better. We'll all be praying that Forest and Palace enter freefall soon. Two scrappy goals, yes, but at least they've got a midfield.
Ian Bennett
8 Posted 27/01/2024 at 20:19:51
Lack of quality in the attacking half is stark.

The two centre forwards and 2 wingers were dreadful.

The need for reinforcements is clearly obvious..

John Charles
9 Posted 27/01/2024 at 20:25:59
Beginning to get really annoyed at watching the away supporters celebrating at the end of the game. I sit in the Park End at it is hard to bear.

More worrying than the loss is the style (?) of play. Does anyone else in the league play the sort of hoofball we do?

The forwards are atrocious though I thought Chermiti looked promising, but the midfield 4 is the worst I have seen since I got my first season ticket in 1977.

I fear we are in real trouble – whether we get any points back or not.

Kunal Desai
10 Posted 27/01/2024 at 20:30:25
This club needs some stability.

The points deduction and charges need to be put to bed and concluded imminently, not next month or in three months,

Secondly, the takeover also needs firming up. Both the off-field issues have created absolute uncertainty which clearly does have an impact on-field.

If these two issues can be resolved relatively quickly, at least Dyche can start working towards a target for the remainder of the season.

Jim Bennings
11 Posted 27/01/2024 at 20:32:09
Won't be happening now, Ian.

We are stuck with dreadful forwards and a midfield that offers nothing.

Can't keep rolling out the excuses that Calvert-Lewin isn't getting chances, the two Maidstone strikers had two chances all game at Ipswich and they buried both competently.

You can't expect to get and miss 10 chances a game like our forwards think you are going to get.

What few attributes Calvert-Lewin had before his injuries have long since diminished, there's no athletism there anymore, he can't jump now.

Beto is just basically Niasse second coming.

Chris Leyland
12 Posted 27/01/2024 at 20:37:11
Derek, not sure what you saw in Chermiti's 7 touches that made you think he looked ‘half decent'?

He must have slipped over 3 or 4 times on top of those 7 touches. He did manage to win 1 out of 4 arial duels and 1 out of 3 tackles mind you… and he did manage 2 passes too.

Jim Bennings
13 Posted 27/01/2024 at 20:40:52
Chermiti looks nothing.

I don't see anything, I doubt our scouts saw anything before signing him either because he's got barely any experience at top-level football.

The fact we try to clutch at straws with some unknown kid says how desperate we are for a hero.

Robert Tressell
14 Posted 27/01/2024 at 21:02:05
I think many fans assume that, because we're Everton, we must have much better players than clubs like Luton.

That might have been the case once upon a time. The "best of the rest" sides that Moyes assembled with the likes of Cahill, Fellaini, Saha and Yakubu. So too with the Martinez Everton of Lukaku, Deulofeu, Barkley etc. And Silva with Sigurdsson, Richarlison, Bernard, Gomes etc etc.

Unfortunately it's just not the case now.

I think fans also view someone like Beto as a big money signing from a glamorous league and therefore expect goals. Unfortunately, £25M is peanuts these days – especially when you consider we pay pretty much nothing up front.

Beto got 10 goals (and 2 assists) in 34 appearances in Serie A last season. Serie A is really not what it was, either. He's a 6- to 8-goal-a-season striker in the Premier League and was bought because we absolutely had to buy cover for Calvert-Lewin (similar physical attributes) and because he was available without upfront payment.

Carlton Morris got 20 goals (and 6 assists) in 44 Championship games last season. Elijah Adebayo got 10 goals (and 4 assists) in 49 last season. These guys are certainly Beto standard players – maybe better. You'd certainly struggle to buy either of them for £25M.

Lokonga, Barkley, Doughty and Mengi are all good footballers too. We all know Townsend has quality and work rate too.

We're really missing quality at right full-back, right-midfield and Number 10. That lack of quality hurts us big time because, whilst we're good without the ball, we find it extremely hard to fashion chances.

Personally I'd have gone with a front three of Beto, Danjuma and Dobbin today because it's mobile and fast. However, it's hardly Messi, Suarez and Neymar, is it? So it's not like I have hit upon some genius formula that Dyche has overlooked.

Home games are going to continue to be difficult unfortunately, until we can stock up more talented footballers. At the moment, we're better without the ball than we are with it.

Derek Knox
15 Posted 27/01/2024 at 21:04:09
Chris @ 12,

I feel you have initiated a response regarding Chermiti, you seemed to say he only had 7 touches etc, but it was his control, that impressed me.

As John McF always says, we all go to a football match yet see things differently. It doesn't necessarily mean I am, or you either, right, but it was my perception!

John Raftery
16 Posted 27/01/2024 at 21:14:31
I think we can cast aside the notion 4-4-2 can be used as a starting formation against a well-organised opposition.

We never looked secure in midfield and what little service was supplied to the front players was of the hit-and-hope variety.

Danny Baily
17 Posted 27/01/2024 at 21:23:34
Robert @14, I certainly wouldn't trade squads with Luton.

We lost in the cup. It's not a big deal, and it doesn't mean Luton are a better side. We've had 10 points deducted and we're still ahead of them in the league.

Let's not read too much into this. In the same way, we shouldn't read too much into wins against decent opposition.

Andy Meighan
18 Posted 27/01/2024 at 21:26:17
Be honest — that was garbage today.

We created absolutely nothing and the best team won..

Sorry to say, but this Dyche hasn't got a clue. Can someone please tell me what his tactics were today?

Billy Shears
19 Posted 27/01/2024 at 21:29:39
I am sick of slow starts to games.
I am sick of zonal marking.
I am sick of inverted wingers.
I am still sick of over-watering the fucking pitch, with players still slipping and sliding about.
I am sick of playing more than one defensive midfielder.

This shite has been going on for years now and our new owners need to address these issues when (if) they get the green light from the Premier League!

We need a goal scorer fast, a right-winger with pace and skill, and a central midfielder who is creative and chips in with goals too... and the whole club needs to be a lot fucking braver or we will sink without a trace!

Stuart Sharp
20 Posted 27/01/2024 at 21:48:51
Danny 17 - maybe not the whole squad, but I'd exchange our midfield with most Premier League clubs.

Chris 12 - Chermiti brought energy, closed down properly, and might have had an assist if anyone had gambled at the back stick. Not much, admittedly, and you'd expect a young sub to bring energy, but then Derek did only say 'half-decent'.

Pass me a straw right now and I'll happily clutch it.

Danny Broderick
21 Posted 27/01/2024 at 21:52:57
Awful game and performance.

I was expecting better from Calvert-Lewin today. He had someone up there with him for a change, playing against a team with their back-up keeper in goal, in a winnable game. Today had to be the day he put in a performance and broke his barren streak.

What did we get from him? Unless I'm mistaken, he didn't have any shots. He didn't win any headers. All I saw was someone going through the motions – maybe playing within himself to avoid injuries. He coasted through at 60%.

I have to say, the whole team looked leggy. This is understandable with our squad and the injuries we have had.

Today, I feel the manager could have freshened it up more. Surely Dobbin could have had a run out? And Danjuma and Chermiti came on in the 78th minute? Why so late yet again?

As stated above, the strikers and wingers were woeful. We need something to freshen them up so that they don't look like strangers on the pitch. Can Thelwell pull a rabbit out the hat in the next 4 or 5 days?

Going forward, we look boring and predictable…

Chris Leyland
22 Posted 27/01/2024 at 21:56:04
Derek, sorry, just my frustration boiling over.

I didn't think a single player had a good game today, to be honest. Far too many mistakes and unforced errors from every single one of them:

From Mykolenko slipping trying to do a Cryuff turn…

To Branthwaite flying in with a sliding tackle and getting bullied by their big centre-forward and missing…

To Tarkowski pinging aimless balls…

To Virginia doing his Pickford impersonation with his hoofs to no one…

To Beto looking like he'd won a competition to play a game…

To Harrison constantly being dispossessed…

To McNeil hitting aimless balls into the box…

Through to Garner failing to beat the first man on nearly every set-piece.

And finally special mention to Dyche for his lack of substitutions until far too late in the game.

Jerome Shields
23 Posted 27/01/2024 at 22:33:49
It was a typical Everton performance after a break, admittedly being a short one. Calvert-Lewin's performance did not bear any resemblance to anything I could describe as football. He completely missed the ball at the near post defending. I would be too embarrassed to watch the replay. In that game, he was totally devoid of focus. Garner's crosses were woeful.

Having players play like that has an effect on the performance of other players. The goals against were both from balls that should have been cleared.

I am actually glad Everton are out of all cup competitions. Dyche is only capable of handling the league fixtures and the players are not up to extra games.

Anyways, Beto and Chermiti got extra game time.

Phil Bickerstaff
24 Posted 27/01/2024 at 23:28:22
Totally agree, Jim Bennings.

We have bought total garbage when perhaps we had the answer with Simms and Cannon.
Derek Knox
25 Posted 27/01/2024 at 23:33:43
Chris @22, not picking arguments here, but apart from the odd blip, I thought the defence were not only the busiest, but the more purposeful players on the pitch today.

Now that would imply we were constantly 'under the cosh' — not so; it is easy to be wise retrospectively. We have all done it, but it was one of those games, with yet another imbecile of a referee and his crew that set the tone for an exceedingly uphill battle.

Q: Are there any decent and impartial referees in the Premier League? Which purportedly is the best in the World!

Please name them, because I can't think of one! Another case of the tail wagging the dog, their incorrect decisions can determine a club's future, should it be for a title, cup, next round, relegation battle etc. Who are they answerable to after a match?

All very well rescinding a yellow or red card, but it will never alter anything else!

Robert Tressell
27 Posted 27/01/2024 at 23:43:13
Danny # 17,

No, I wouldn't trade squads with Luton either. But I would be happy to have players like Adebayo, Morris, Doughty, Mengi, Barkley and Lokonga in the squad. Townsend too.

These are all good players.

Andy McGuffog
28 Posted 27/01/2024 at 23:58:15
There's a regular mantra repeated every time we play, and fail to beat, teams outside the top half of the table, along the lines of... "We have a better team on paper than (Luton, Forest, Fulham, whoever)."

However, I've noticed that most of these teams have a large number of players who can control a ball, pass a ball accurately, find, and run, into space and shoot, with some degree of power and accuracy.

But never mind… man for man, we've got better players on paper.

Don Alexander
29 Posted 28/01/2024 at 01:36:39
It's 2024 and yet today we repeated lamentable performances on the pitch that we've been forced to witness for decades under the ownership and chairmanship of "good-times" Kenwright and his mongrel bosses (and he's caved into many other absolute dog-bosses before Moshiri ever surfaced from the scum employing him).

We've long been a mongrel club to most of the world and, whilst we may all take huge umbrage at that, the facts speak for themselves (see our most recent financial positioning, where we're bested by Palace, Fulham, Villa, Leeds, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, City and United, Newcastle and West Ham).

We literally own next to nothing that constitutes an attractive club to fans, players, agents or the media. Instead, we are repeatedly swamped by mediocrity, organised by those ostensibly in charge of our club, and every season we see it plain as day on the pitch.

There's a large white elephant being built on a really, really down-at-heel dockland area that absolutely no-one knows who's going to pay for or, if we're relegated or sent into administration, what the hell it might ever be used for.

And we still have hokum-central 777 Partners circling us like the ruthless sharks they are.

"Good times" indeed.

I just wish there was one club out there who'd persistently made such a bollox of themselves for decades before recapturing even a glimmer of nationally recognised success – you know, a club other desperate clubs contact for advice on how to be "a well-run club".

But there isn't.

Never was.

It's just bullshit we were all expected to swallow – and too many of us did just that.

Jerome Shields
30 Posted 28/01/2024 at 03:30:22
Andy #28,

Players supported to be doing their job.

Crosses and passes were woeful. Everton do not only have to beat the other team, they have to beat themselves.

If some of the players had to look at their performances, they would be either embarrassed or wouldn't care.

Alan J Thompson
31 Posted 28/01/2024 at 05:51:36
I couldn't watch this game but tried listening to the BBC World Service which consisted of two opinions followed by one sentence describing what was happening on the pitch then 2 minutes of what was happening in other games and when the tennis would be on.

Why would we need midfield players who can make a pass when our game plan has always been hoof it up to the bloke up front and then hope somebody can catch up to him before the ball is lost? And am I glad that we are out of the Cup and can concentrate on the League? Not particularly… but then I do tend to wonder if we've not just lost the chance of some glory but also some much needed prize money. Anybody any idea how much a couple more rounds might have earned us?

Meanwhile, back at the Selling, sorry, Transfer Window.....

Jim Bennings
32 Posted 28/01/2024 at 07:35:27
For anyone grumbling now that the football we play is "hoof it forward and hope for the best" well, all I'll say is, how many people wanted us to push on and get Martinez back in January 2022 when Benitez had been fired?

It was universally unpopular the links to Martinez but apparently we were actually quite close and going to push through with that until Moshiri succumbed to fan power and gave it to Frank Lampard.

I'm guessing the football now attacking-wise anyway would have been gung-ho if Bobby had got the gig, but we'd be conceding goals everywhere.

Same with the Marcelo Bielsa appointment which was close too.

It's atrocious the football under Dyche at times but there are not many top sides that most of our players would get anywhere near other than Pickford, Tarkowski and Branthwaite, maybe at a push Mykolenko.

The rest wouldn't get anywhere near a Top 10 outfit.

Rick Tarleton
33 Posted 28/01/2024 at 07:57:58
Dyche is not a great one for bringing in young players. Dobbin's goal against Chelsea has not secured him another chance, Simms has disappeared. Yet the coupling of Beto and Calvert-Lewin – which manifestly has not worked previously – was resurrected and again did not work.

Chermiti and Cannon are two more players who may have a future in the game, but I doubt they'll get much opportunity at Goodison. Experience is marvellous if it is good experience, not just if it is used in preference to giving younger players a chance.

Colin Glassar
34 Posted 28/01/2024 at 08:04:10
Worrying times as our little post-points-reduction bump seems to have come to a screeching halt.

What with injuries and loss of form to key players (and no owner) it looks like it's going to be another nail-biting end to the season.

Michael Kenrick
35 Posted 28/01/2024 at 08:08:52

There's no doubt you're right about Dyche and young players. I just feel I should clarify that Ellis Simms joined Coventry City in July, and Tom Cannon joined Leicester City in September.

Ellis has played in 31 games this season and scored 3 goals; Tom had a back injury that kept him out until November, since when he has played in 9 games and scored 3 goals.

Jim Bennings
36 Posted 28/01/2024 at 08:10:40

Simms signed for Coventry last summer, mate.

To be fair he doesn't look like a top-flight forward and he didn't in the games I saw him last season either.

Clutching at straws just because players have left but people forget they weren't very good when they were here either.

Mal van Schaick
37 Posted 28/01/2024 at 08:49:32
It was a scrappy game and we did look disjointed. The game has gone and we have to concentrate on Tuesday at Fulham and find a way to win there.

Dyche has to reinvigorate the players, and find a different system with the players who are available.

Aside from the points deduction, we have to keep fighting, for who knows – we might win some points back on appeal, and stop any further points deduction, if we can.

Rob Dolby
38 Posted 28/01/2024 at 09:15:35
Their first goal would be chalked off in a Premier League game, it was a push in Calvert-Lewin's back as clear as day. People saying he ducked under it are probably frustrated with the overall performance rather than the facts.

Beto getting grappled with inside the box, no foul; he moves a yard outside the box and the ref gives a foul!

McNeil receiving a high studs-up tackle which was worse than the one Calvert-Lewin got sent off for… not even a yellow.

Branthwaite got a push before slipping to let their guy in, no foul. Mykolenko then forced the guy to shoot from a tight angle, cutting off the square pass to the striker — probably our best bit of defending all game.

We didn't deserve to win but I am not sure Luton deserved much either. It was a low-quality game.

I am convinced the refs get told to let things go more in the cup games.

Dyche must know now that our only formation is 4-4-1-1. Doucoure is key to this with Harrison being the next in line for the central role with maybe Danjuma on the wing.

People commenting on Simms and Cannon. Unless you are living under a rock, we need to sell players. Getting £16M for both homegrown players looks better on PSR and paying nothing upfront with the two Portuguese replacements.

We need to bring a loan player in before the window shuts to try and freshen things up. My fear is Calvert-Lewin is due an injury and – whether you rate him or not – without him, we are dead in the water.

I would take a draw on Tuesday.

Ralph Basnett
39 Posted 28/01/2024 at 10:07:40

I don't see how you think Calvert-Lewin is our saviour, he has done fuck-all all season, so the impending injury he is due might be the thing that keeps us up if we give someone else a proper runout rather than the 5 minutes they get.

First goal VAR looked at, Calvert-Lewin ducked!

Beto could have been given, should have been given and let VAR confirm but wasn't.

The key to your loan player coming in unfortunately is based on Branthwaite and Onana.

We have no money and we have to approach clubs who can afford these players and do pre-summer agreements that they can buy them at a fixed fee on the proviso they loan us now, and pay salaries to players that will get us out of the shit we are in.

Paul Hewitt
40 Posted 28/01/2024 at 11:37:45
In the 45 years of watching Everton, this is by far the worst team for passing the ball. It is simply staggering that Premier League footballers can not pass a football to each other.

I don't know what they do in training all week, but it's definitely not learning to pass the ball.

Dave Cashen
41 Posted 28/01/2024 at 11:43:30
Some crackers on here.

"You can't expect to get and miss 10 chances a game like our forwards think you are going to get."

I had to read that one twice. If I'm a current Everton striker, I'm wondering if I'm going to get 10 chances in a season.

The vitriol aimed at Chermeti and Beto really disappoints me. Beto (when he gets a chance) is used as a workhorse and is rarely given any sort of service in the box.

Chermeti barely gets a look in. A young man in a foreign land trying to score goals out of absolutely nothing. I can't remember him having a single chance. Yet some are already dismissing him.

At least Calvert-Lewin knew he was going to be starved of the sort of meaningful service other strikers expect. These two must wonder what the fuck they have signed up for.

We don't know how good (or bad) these two are. We may never find out in this set-up.

For the sake of those hammering the forwards repeatedly, let's have a re-cap: Sean Dyche (and the managers before him) abandoned expansive free-flowing football because he (they) believe with the players we have, we have a better chance of survival without the ball and trying to catch teams on the break. Some Evertonians have put their trust in that; some haven't.

For the life of me, I don't see how hammering away at forwards in a team which regularly has less than 30% possession makes any sense at all.

The same people hammered away at Anthony Gordon, he had "no end product". He was a kid, for fuck's sake… working his plums off. Now he plays in a team which at least wants the ball and he is flying.

We are in complete survival mode. Our forwards have less to feed on than any other forwards.

Maybe we should get a move on. Sign those two boys from Maidstone before all the other Premier League clubs who are beating down their door get in first.

Ian Bennett
42 Posted 28/01/2024 at 12:19:45
I am guessing that our wage bill is still in the top 30 clubs in world football.

The quality of our attacking football is below Sunday pub stuff. Movement poor, no one prepared to shoot, no one good enough to play a killer pass. Desperate.

Jack Convery
43 Posted 28/01/2024 at 13:44:09
I see Jonny has been released by Wolves.

Given his ability and experience, he may be worth a shout. He can play many positions.

Rob Halligan
44 Posted 28/01/2024 at 14:02:35
Yesterday was an absolute shitshow, and if it's to be the last ever FA Cup game to be played at Goodison, then I'm sure plenty of us will remember it.
Stuart Sharp
45 Posted 28/01/2024 at 14:25:57
Paul @40,

Fully agree. Of all the many things about Everton that do my head in, the inability of our players to make simple passes is No 1. It applies to every single one of them.

Jim Bennings
46 Posted 28/01/2024 at 14:31:50
Everton haven't been able to play 5-yard passes for years.

With the exception of probably James Rodriguez, and Sigurdsson, then you've got to go back to the days of players like Pienaar, Arteta, and maybe Barry, Barkley under Martinez since the basics were performed well at this club.

Rob Jones
47 Posted 28/01/2024 at 14:49:28
Jack, that's a great shout, especially given that we can't offer any real money.

He's experienced (Dyche loves that), can play multiple positions (Dyche loves that), has a bit of nark (we need that).

Neil Lawson
48 Posted 28/01/2024 at 15:22:23
How Dyche can consistently divide opinion is perhaps his greatest skill. Plaudits when the team are organised and performing well. Brickbats the next week when they are abysmal. Both his responsibility.

Perhaps he's the man to keep us safe this year. Not the man to take us forward (unless it's from the Championship courtesy of the Premier League).

Ed Prytherch
49 Posted 28/01/2024 at 16:03:38
Mason Holgate had a good game for Saints today, playing right-wingback in the first half and in a more advanced right-midfield role in the second.

He put in some good crosses and brought a good save from the Watford keeper. I will be happy if he returns to Goodison for us to sell Godfrey.

Brian Williams
50 Posted 28/01/2024 at 16:21:53
Well, you must have an exceedingly short memory if you'd be glad to have Holgate back after one decent game!!!
Dan Parker
51 Posted 28/01/2024 at 16:30:56
Still annoyed at the result but a replay and then next round against Man City wouldn't have been great given the league situation.
Ray Said
52 Posted 28/01/2024 at 16:42:25
In my opinion, this team's approach (manager's instructions?) is best illustrated when we have to kick off. We immediately kick the ball away from our possession and gift it to the opposition.

Any decent team would treat the fact that we have the ball as a gift and would work it around until we were in a position from where we could move forward and attack.

Other teams stroke the ball, our lads treat the ball as if they have a grudge against it and want to kick it to death. That approach is becoming ingrained and will lead us to be an anti-football team. Those teams always end up in the Championship.

Ed Prytherch
53 Posted 28/01/2024 at 16:43:27

I believe that he is more useful than Ben Godfrey and, if the switch would generate some much-needed funds, then it could be a good one.

Joe McMahon
54 Posted 28/01/2024 at 17:12:19
Ray @52,

Thats an interesting observation, and slightly related – the Burnley fans' chant was "Anti-Football".

Dave Ganley
55 Posted 28/01/2024 at 17:20:11
Ray, we are already anti-football, mate, we are horrible to watch. It's no wonder we have no atmosphere at the game anymore, there's nothing to get behind.
James Marshall
56 Posted 28/01/2024 at 17:37:47
To echo Ray@52,

Similarly when we have a throw-in down near the opposition's box, we almost always throw it backwards and end up giving it to the keeper to kick long. I mean seriously!

Kevin O'Regan
57 Posted 28/01/2024 at 17:57:21
Only saw a bit of the first half and really didn't like the body language at all. Players complaining that the ball didn't arrive instead of chasing it like a terrier to get it back is not what I want to see.

Seemed like a bunch of individuals out there – no cohesion or teamplay or support of one another... how can you ever win anything with that kind of a mood in the camp???

Sean McCarthy
58 Posted 28/01/2024 at 20:33:58
24 hours (or so) after that match and still numb!!

So much has already been said on here on how poor we are but I'd like to add my views.

Someone at the start of this thread was bemoaning the fact that we have been beaten twice by Luton this season. Would anyone seriously bet on it becoming three times when we go down there?? Luton are a better side than us. They've got some momentum and in all probability will be above us before too long looking at our upcoming games.

The flurry of results back in November were clearly a flash in the pan. We look a million miles off getting 3 wins in 3 games again. If we don't get the 10 points back (which we won't) we are royally fucked. There's no way without them we are reaching 36 points.

Dyche – it seems he's beyond blame in some people's eyes. I see comments that we are lucky to have him!! Let's be honest: we have him because nobody else wanted him. Out of work for 12 months, I don't recall any other clubs beating his door down to take over at their club. We took him because we were desperate and skint and he was ‘free'.

His tactics are 30 years behind the times and perfectly summed up with our kick-off routine. Garner plays the ball back direct to the goalkeeper who hoofs it 80 yards to nobody in particular and straight away we are on the defensive. Sunday League teams have more idea how to take a kick-off!!!

We all know we don't have much money so why do we persist in blowing what we have on absolute stiffs? Beto looked impressive on his debut against a League 2 side and has been pretty awful ever since. God bless the lad for trying but he's not a Premier League footballer while he's got a hole in his ass!!

Once again, we seem to be pinning our survival hopes on a Number 9 who hasn't scored in 15 games and doesn't look like scoring but can't be dropped as the alternative is the bull in a china shop, Beto!!

Our superstar midfielder Onana congratulates himself when he wins a throw-in on the half-way line!! A throw-in, for fuck's sake!!! I wish he was half as good as he thinks he is!!

Branthwaite is the only real bonus of the season. We will have to enjoy him while he's here because he'll be sold out of necessity in the summer (if not the coming week). Then we will have Keane back in the side. Oh great!!

Would it surprise anyone if, after Virginia's performances against Palace and yesterday, that the club think it's safe(ish) to cash in Pickford?? Funds have to be raised ASAP as administration is peeping above the horizon. Especially if the shysters at 777 Partners don't get Premier League approval.

As for the upcoming relegation battle, if you were a supporter of those sides around us, would you seriously fear playing us home or away? Toothless, no creativity, reliant on not conceding, with the best kicker of the ball being the goalkeeper!!

Grim days ahead. Really grim. We are the new Southampton. Flirt with relegation season after season until it catches up on us. Anyone looking forward to the last game of the season? Away to Arsenal!!

Ian Jones
59 Posted 28/01/2024 at 20:58:11
Rob @ 44,

You make an interesting comment about yesterday possibly being the last ever FA Cup game to be played at Goodison.

Brings it home that the new stadium is just round the corner.

Alan McGuffog
60 Posted 28/01/2024 at 20:58:17
Sean – nobody else wanted him? Yeah, maybe.

But then again, there wasn't exactly a queue down Goodison Road of hopeful applicants.

Sean McCarthy
61 Posted 28/01/2024 at 21:24:01
Alan, no, you're right – there wasn't a queue.

But I'm pretty sure that those paid handsomely by the club to head up the recruitment of players and coaching staff could have shown more ambition than a Sunday league manager with two recent relegations at the top of his CV.

Paul Hewitt
62 Posted 28/01/2024 at 21:46:00
Dyche really needs to shake it up a bit on Tuesday.

Start Danjuma for McNeil. I'd start Dobbin upfront, the lad's quick with good movement, he's not static like Calvert-Lewin and Beto.

Start Hunt or McKenzie in midfield. Go 4-4-1-1. Let's have something bloody different.

Jim Bennings
64 Posted 29/01/2024 at 06:59:07

We all know he'll never go with that kind of set-up.

For a start off, it's an unwritten rule that Everton always have to play with a big Number 9 that the ball can be lumped up to.

Starting Dobbin, who's not a striker by the way, would mean that the ball would have to be kept on the ground and we rarely see Everton do that, we don't play intricate give-and-goes and partly because we don't have the players but also we never train players to improve ball skills.

Tony Abrahams
65 Posted 29/01/2024 at 08:25:11
I’ve just watched the highlights of Leicester at Millwall, and Tom Cannon, looked very, very lively. He was constantly playing on the shoulder of the last defender, scored a great goal and could have had a couple of others as well as being denied a stonewall penalty, made by his clever movement and strong running.
Robert Tressell
66 Posted 29/01/2024 at 08:53:08
Tony, relegation last year might have been the making of Cannon, Mill, Dobbin, Warrington and others. They would have been given a run at a lower standard.
Dave Abrahams
67 Posted 29/01/2024 at 11:34:37
I know Cannon was sold because we were desperate for money but surely someone at Everton must have noticed the huge improvement Tom made in the last 2 years he was here.

I watched him in his early days at the Blues, he scored now and again but I didn't rate him. Then, when he came back from the summer break, he looked a different player, like someone had whispered to him “It's make or break, lad!” He started scoring regularly, was more mobile, led the line better.

He went to Preston on loan and impressed there, they wanted him back. He got rare minutes in the Everton team, we had signed Maupay so his chances were less and he went to Leicester City where, after injury, his improvement has continued.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, not as good as foresight and I bet I wasn't the only supporter who noticed the difference in his play at Everton. Maybe someone at the club pleaded his case but it was ignored? Pity, he could have saved Everton a lot of money and earned us some valuable points.

Jon Harding
68 Posted 29/01/2024 at 11:52:50
Hi Derek @ 4,

It was great to meet up with you and the other lads in the Harlech before kick-off. Thanks for that. Definitely the best part of my day in view of how the match turned out. Let's stick to golf from now on!

I am still in shock from handing over a tenner for a pint of Guinness and getting a fiver back in the change.

Brent Stephens
69 Posted 29/01/2024 at 12:05:30
Dave #67, I agree on Cannon.

There was a time when Cannon seemed to have plateaued with us and Dobbin was developing better and faster. I sense that Dobbin is the one to have plateaued. Badly needs meaningful game time.

Tony Abrahams
70 Posted 29/01/2024 at 13:28:05
If you don't play, you don't improve, especially once a player has began to play league football, and then has to shuffle between five minute substitute cameos or dropping down to play Under-21 football.

Training is great but most players learn by being involved in competitive football every week and this is why I think a lot of very talented young footballers end up stagnating in this country.

Everton sold Cannon for pure profit and then signed another young player from a different league who hadn't quite reached the level of the player we sold. Profitability & Sustainability doesn't quite make sense when you analyze decisions like this.

Paul Birmingham
71 Posted 29/01/2024 at 22:26:36
Tony, @70, very good view, spot on.

It's as if the reality of developing and improving the youth at Everton no longer matters.

I think the case of Tom Cannon proves it.

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