24/02/2024 62comments  |  Jump to last
Brighton 1- 1 Everton

Everton just had to compose themselves and hold out for nine minutes of stoppage time to secure three precious points against 10-man Brighton but succumbed to Lewis Dunk's gut punch at the Amex Stadium.

The Blues were leading through Jarrad Branthwaite's brilliant 72nd-minute strike and were handed a further advantage when Billy Gilmour was shown a straight red card for an ugly tackle on Amadou Onana but failed to clear a late corner and paid the price.

Beto, on for Dominic Calvert-Lewin, failed to make proper contact with a couple of headed opportunities and squandered a gilt-edged chance to seal the victory but questions will be asked, partly of Sean Dyche but of his players in particular, over some questionable game management that allowed Roberto de Zerbi's men to scratch out a draw.

Dyche had made the bold decision to leave Onana on the bench and retain the central midfield pairing of James Garner and Idrissa Gueye but corrected an error from Monday evening against Crystal Palace by leaving Ashley Young on the bench and restoring Jack Harrison to the right flank.

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The improvement in Everton's performance from a few days ago was readily apparent, with Abdoulaye Doucouré looking more like himself and the players appearing more comfortable with the ball at their feet but, unlike in this fixture last May, it was the home side who carried the early threat.

The first couple of a succession of first-half corners was repelled by the Toffees' defence but they were almost carved open in the seventh minute but Danny Welbeck's shot took a crucial deflection off James Tarkowski's heel and skidded past the post.

Jordan Pickford almost pressed the self-destruct button a few minutes later when he, inexplicably, came haring out of his box and was relieved to see Welbeck prod the ball past him but also wide of the target.

The visitors tried at times to match their hosts' ability to play out from the back but when Pickford abandoned it and clipped a pass towards Doucouré, the Frenchman was beaten in the air, Brighton quickly played Welbeck in where the keeper made a last-ditch save to keep the contest goalless.

Everton threatened for the first time midway through the half when James Garner curled a lovely ball into the Seagulls' penalty area for Doucouré but Dunk got across well to snuff out the chance at the near post. Tarkowski met the resulting corner with his head but his knock back across goal found no takers in salmon pink.

At the other end, Simon Adingra turned Ben Godfrey and flashed a shot inches above the angle of bar and post and then turned inside the Blues' full-back to fire goalwards again but this time Tarkowski was there to glance it behind to safety. Just as Dunk did from two other corners, Jan Paul van Hecke headed straight at Pickford from the ensuing set-piece.

Welbeck wasted a direct free-kick by driving it well over the bar after Garner had needlessly barged Pascal Gross over just outside his box but the best Everton move of the first 45 minutes should have yielded a corner. After playing a one-two with Dwight McNeil, however, Doucouré was incorrectly flagged offside by linesman Greg Dyke as Dunk edged Calvert-Lewin out at the near post.

Dyche was forced into a change less than five minutes after the restart when Gueye pulled up with what looked to be a groin strain, Onana coming on to replace him to upgrade the Toffees' ability to move the ball around in midfield.

A minute later, Branthwaite had the chance to test Verbruggen in the Brighton goal but opted to try and head it back across goal to Calvert-Lewin who went down under the attentions of a defender but the referee waved away appeals for a penalty.

The opportunity of the game arrived a few minutes after that when, in almost a carbon-copy of Everton's opener on this ground last year, McNeil crossed beautifully for Doucouré who met it with a guided right-foot volley but Tariq Lamptey had positioned himself in the middle of the goal and was able to head it off the line.

The match became a lot more even as the second period wore on and Beto could have had an immediate impact off the bench in the 68th minute when Harrison centred invitingly but the Portuguese couldn't get proper purchase with his header and the chance went begging.

Two minutes later when Van Hecke scythed him down near the touchline, Beto was in the right area again as Garner curled in a dangerous free-kick but this time the striker failed to get a touch and the ball eluded Branthwaite as he came sliding in at the back post.

The big centre-half didn't have to wait much longer to make the breakthrough, however, and he did so in some style. Pickford pumped a deep free-kick into the box from the halfway line that dropped to Branthwaite near the 18-yard line and he swept a beauty of a shot into the top corner to hand Everton a vital lead.

Despite the introduction of Ansu Fati, Pervis Estupiñán and Julio Enciso, Brighton continued to struggle to break Everton down as the Toffees entrenched themselves to protect the lead and their hopes of getting anything out of the game seemed to evaporate when Gilmour was given his marching orders with nine minutes of the regulation 90 to go.

The Scot went over the ball and clattered through Onana, leaving the Belgian writhing in pain and referee Tony Harrington with little option but to send him off.

That should have been all a Dyche team needed to see the game out or even kill the contest but when Doucouré released Beto and the Portuguese held off Dunk to bear down on the keeper, he slashed a wild right-foot shot well off target.

Brighton then managed to efficiently pass their way through Everton's midfield and Pickford had to make a superb stop to deny Fati, adjusting his feet to palm the Spain international's effort past the post.

Much to the bafflement and chagrin of the visiting fans and manager, the officials deduced that there should be nine minutes added on and Dyche's next move was to withdraw one of his key outlets up top in the form of Doucouré and throw on Young in an attempt to bolster the back line.

And with a number of overhit long balls simply gifting possession back to Verbruggen for Brighton to mount fresh attacks, Everton simply invited trouble from their depleted hosts who desperately tried to fashion an equaliser. 

Unfortunately, after Harrison failed to complete a clearance from a corner in the fifth minute of stoppage time and Beto allowed Gross to twist and turn back onto his favoured right foot, the German swung in a cross, Dunk was allowed to muscle his way into position and then head back across Pickford and into the net to wipe out the Toffees' lead.

Everton had one last chance to take back all three points when Tarkowski picked Harrison out with a floated ball to the back of the area but despite having time to pick his spot, the winger curled his shot past the far post.

The consensus coming into this game was that a draw would be a good return from a difficult fixture against tough opposition but, in the Blues' position – still uncertain over the outcome of their appeal against a 10-point deduction and fearing further censure by a second independent commission – they couldn't afford to toss away two points.

Dyche has made defending narrow leads gained from set-piece goals a speciality since taking over from Frank Lampard but he and his charges dropped the proverbial ball from a massively advantageous position this afternoon and cost themselves the chance of moving three points clear of Luton at the bottom.

Playing a man better off, the Blues just needed to keep the ball intelligently and see the game out and, if they couldn't do that, at least keep an important attacking outlet in Doucouré on the field in the hope of doubling the advantage late on.

Instead, they panicked somewhat and a series of failings at the back trying to clear the home side's 11th corner of the game ended with Dunk robbing them deep into time added on. A decent draw ended up feeling like a costly defeat.

Though it's now nine Premier League games without a win, the positives from an improved overall display can be taken into next weekend's clash with out-of-form West Ham where the need to correct what is a poor record at Goodison Park will remain but a win on the south coast today would have eased that pressure enormously.


Reader Comments (62)

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Jeff Armstrong
1 Posted 24/02/2024 at 18:34:36
Poor headline from a top manager there.
Jerome Shields
2 Posted 24/02/2024 at 18:38:32
It was sickening. Everton did look in control but poor concentration cost them in the end.
Paul Kossoff
3 Posted 24/02/2024 at 18:59:25
Once again, Dyche and his out-dated dinosaur tactics lose us points.

Palace at home was a must-win, Dyche sends out a defensive line-up. That game, despite negative play, we should still have won.

Today's game, again with the chances created, should have led to 3 points, but again Dyche – scared to lose or devoid of a positive mind – makes the wrong choices.

Considering he made the statement that Everton don't know how to win a game is the pot calling the kettle black. With Luton having a game in hand, we really are in Knopfler territory now.

We won't get any points back because, if we do, the second charge will deliver the same scenario, 10 points deducted. Any points we do get back, they will have to take the same action in the second charge. Points taken away then given back, what's the point in that? It's a clear sign the Premier League is run by idiots.

Anyone would have taken a point today, but we should have won, if we had a positive manager instead of a dinosaur.

Jeff Armstrong
4 Posted 24/02/2024 at 19:07:17
So Paul #3 you already know the points deduction process.

If we get points back, we will then get them deducted anyway by the second charge?

Even though they relate to the same seasons?

How can they give us points back and then take them away again for the same seasons?

Please explain your reasoning.

Lyndon Lloyd
5 Posted 24/02/2024 at 19:13:21
Jeff, I take it you disagree with the headline...? I'd be intrigued to know in what way Everton, as a collective, managed those final 18 minutes following Gilmour's dismissal well. Because they didn't.

There may be all kinds of reasons for that – lack of confidence and the fact that we're just not a very good team among them – but we did not give a good account of ourselves at the end there, in my opinion.

The Premier League is all about small margins and when you have a slight advantage, you've got to lock it down and secure it. Massively frustrating but, as another comment on the other thread said, it's better that Dunk's goal wasn't a stoppage-time winner.

Kieran Kinsella
6 Posted 24/02/2024 at 19:19:50

I think Jeff may have meant it's a poor headline for the manager in the sense that while accurate it doesn't reflect well on Dyche as a "top manager"?

Neil Lawson
7 Posted 24/02/2024 at 19:21:18

Why attack Paul? He is expressing an opinion, maybe a fear. He is entitled to it.

Many of us believe, or are beginning to believe, that the Premier League will find a means to reaffirm our points deduction, whether it be in the current process, the second charge, or potential liquidation. Paul doesn't have to justify his opinions but he is entitled to share them.

Jeff Armstrong
8 Posted 24/02/2024 at 19:32:41
Lyndon, you're challenging Dyche's game management for a 15-minute period when he got it right for 85 minutes.

A good result was obtained over 99 minutes.

Okay, the game lasts until the final whistle but your headline suggests you know better and would have done things differently to Dyche in those last 15 minutes. Please share with us your game management analysis for those last 15 minutes.

Christopher Timmins
9 Posted 24/02/2024 at 19:34:43
When you are bad with ball, it's difficult – if not impossible – to manage a game.
Kieran Kinsella
10 Posted 24/02/2024 at 19:39:42

"He got it right for 85 minutes." So was it part of his game management plan to have zero shots in the first half? And for the team to play generally poorly save a period in the second half?

I think Dyche is overall doing well with what he has but that doesn't mean he is immune to criticism. Earlier in the season, with this same group, we were creating 16 or 17 chances per game but just lacked composure to finish them.

Now, we aren't even creating chances. I realize part of that may be an emphasis on defence but you're sailing pretty close to the wind if the plan is to have a series of 0-0 draws to round out the season.

Lyndon Lloyd
11 Posted 24/02/2024 at 19:42:16
Jeff, it was a criticism across the board, mostly of the players. I disagreed with Dyche's decision to take Doucouré off and not put someone like Chermiti on to keep another outlet on the field.

Had it been 11 vs 11, I'd have seen the logic in trying to see out the game as we have done on a number of times under Dyche but when you have the man advantage against a team like Brighton who leave lots of space behind, I think it would have been better to either keep Doucouré on or, if fitness was a concern, put someone other than Young on.

But then that's Dyche's MO. He's very defensive and very conservative. I can't stand it but he's the manager and I can't do anything about it.

Branthwaite apparently admitted that we sat back after the sending off and he didn't know why. That was poor management of the game and a winning position by the players. Unlike against Newcastle at 2-0 up, they couldn't keep the ball against a side that thrives on possession to create chances.

It's massively frustrating and when you can't score enough goals or win at home, throwing away points from winning positions is potentially very costly.

Sean O’Hanlon
12 Posted 24/02/2024 at 19:44:01
It's 5 draws in last 6 games. That is relegation form. It's down to the manager and I agree, poor game management.

I did predict a 3-0 drubbing, but thankfully that didn't happen.

James Flynn
13 Posted 24/02/2024 at 19:44:48
Jeff didn't attack Paul.

Paul said something and Jeff questioned it. Something that happens in a discussion.

Why did you attack Jeff?

Ged Simpson
14 Posted 24/02/2024 at 19:54:40
Sign of us these days.

Big headline… but that is us Lyndon. You know that.

Boss? Sympathy. Great career move he made!

Players? Linked. Many pissed off too.

Must be financially tough for them all!

Used to always watch.

Is it just me that listens for updates now?

Suspect if we were top, may be same.


Whole game like watching X versus Facebook now.

Oh Ged...care.

Give me a reason these days.

63 years as fan and former season ticket holder in Upper Bullens.


Joe McMahon
15 Posted 24/02/2024 at 19:57:20
I think the headline to the article is accurate and basically bang on.
Peter Moore
16 Posted 24/02/2024 at 20:03:06
Brighton are undefeated in the league at home since August I think, better teams than us have gone there and been drubbed.

It is still a horrible loss of two points though. The strikers are not without blame. 1 goal from open play in the last 9 games is not a fair reflection of chances created.

Calvert-Lewin and Beto were both profligate. Oh for a finisher like Gyökeres, who is tearing it up at Sporting Lisbon.

John Raftery
17 Posted 24/02/2024 at 20:11:31
Brighton were reduced to 10 men. Our players panicked. We badly needed someone, anyone, to show some composure, put their foot on the ball, play into the channels and drag Brighton back into their own half. At one point, I noticed Dyche appearing to signal exactly that.

Instead, we too frequently hit long balls straight to their keeper or conceded possession in midfield. I blame the players. Judging by the disappointment etched on their faces, they knew they had let themselves down in those final minutes.

I think the substitution of Doucouré was debatable although Young is a player who can offer composure on the ball. Bearing in mind his recent injury, it possibly made sense to spare Doucouré the additional time.

Lewis Dunk was the obvious threat at set-piece crosses. I was slightly disappointed neither of our tall centre-backs picked him up for the equaliser. But that is nit-picking as our back line once again gave a solid performance.

Derek Wadeson
18 Posted 24/02/2024 at 20:12:50
Another two points taken away from us by the PremierLeague.

Why? Because before the game we would of taken a point. After going ahead and chasing an outside European spot with 30 points we go for a second goal but because we are looking over our shoulder we have to make sure we don't lose the game.

We created enough chances to win the game and once again poor finishing cost us dearly. Then again Pickford's save near the end tells us why we should be grateful for having England's Number 1.

Rob Dolby
19 Posted 24/02/2024 at 20:14:43
Dyche is defensive for a very good reason. We haven't got the squad to be anything other than how he has us playing.

We still created a few chances today, our overall season conversion rate is probably in the Bottom 3 in the Premier League.

We have 21 or 31 points depending on the appeal. The mindset is totally different in either scenario.

The manager is doing a great job at keeping the players focused and working hard which is an achievement in itself.

Roll on the Hammers next week.

Iain Crawford
20 Posted 24/02/2024 at 20:18:07
It was ugly but, after the opening 20 minutes, they waned a bit and Brighton didn't cause us so many problems . After that period, it looked like either side could grab the winner.

It's maddening conceding so late but, when the dust has settled, it's another important point away against a decent side.

Dyche will be criticised again by some, but in reality he is fulfilling what he has been asked to do, ie, without the deduction we would be 12th, 11 points clear of relegation, and only two wins, from the 12 remaining games, away from safety. That compares pretty well to recent seasons.

Nigel Stephens
21 Posted 24/02/2024 at 20:20:21
It's a point gained, we all know where we should be, but Dyche is having to play relegation football.

The real issue here is how the Premier League have made a situation that any manager would struggle to deal with; how do you realistically manage a team that should be comfortably mid-table, and have to scrap relegation? Yet people still complain.

Dyche is doing a brilliant job given the hand he's been dealt. Without him, we would be long gone. Wake up and smell the coffee.

Paul Jones
22 Posted 24/02/2024 at 20:26:18
Jarrad needs to pull his damned pants up.
Peter Moore
23 Posted 24/02/2024 at 20:27:41
We would be 13th now, without the 10 points deducted, after Iwobi (who Dyche admitted was a forced sale due to the financial situation of PSR restrictions) smashed in Fulham's late winner at Old Trafford today. Dyche has my full support.

It would be interesting to know Roberto de Zerbi's view on the Doucoure sub. He is a massive unit, just returning after a very long lay-off. I bet it was a reluctant sub to protect the player.

Maybe the Brighton boss was glad we bought an extra defender on, limiting our ability to counter. Or disappointed we had an extra experienced defender to plug gaps and defend. Would be interesting to know his thoughts. All academic now, of course.

A good result, snatched from the jaws of a great one. Feels like a defeat though, due to the 10 men and the lateness of their leveller. Sickening.

Stephen Williams
24 Posted 24/02/2024 at 20:40:45
Yet again, points thrown away, mostly by Dyche's mindset. And I was far from alone in that view in the travelling toffees.

Replacing Doucoure with Young was a huge error. If Doucoure had to be removed to protect him from harm, then Dyche should have replaced energy with energy, not someone just to sit in.

I wasn't ‘slightly disappointed' that Dunk wasn't picked up by one of the centre-halves. I was and still am livid. At the stage of the game, Dunk was the only aerial threat, none of their other players could win an aerial dual. Gutted.

Dave Ganley
25 Posted 24/02/2024 at 20:41:12
In the grand scheme of things, it's a decent point, especially given that we'd have taken it before the game. I'll still never understand why though, especially against 10 men, we invite teams onto us in the last 10 minutes by going ultra-defensive. We had done okay all game using the system we had, why change it? Definitely a shot right in the solar plexus.

Jarrod is right, why stop pressing in the latter stages? Lyndon is right, poor game management.

Mike Doyle
26 Posted 24/02/2024 at 20:54:49
So next weekend it’s West Ham at Goodison. Will we actually try to win this one or implement the usual strategy - concede 75% possession, rely on set pieces for chances and hope to hang on for a point?
Sadly I suspect we all know the plan.
Peter Moore
27 Posted 24/02/2024 at 20:56:04
If Dyche told the players to stop pressing and sit back then he deserves stick. Did he though? If Jarrod says he does not know why the players stopped pressing, I guess it was not an instruction from the manager.
Doucoure is unique amongst our squad. Chermiti is not like for like. Beto has similar power, pace, presence and strength and he was already on.
I am not a fan of bringing on a defender to protect a narrow lead. Moyes was a stickler for it too. Very frustrating when it does not work. Would rather be hung as a sheep than a lamb and all that.
It's a shame Jarrod could not have been on Dunk to compete for the ball when he bagged the leveller.
Hindsight is very helpful of course, but surely Braithwaite or Tarkovski were instructed to mark Dunk when he was attacking.
The extra two points would have been a massive fillip.
What a turgid struggle we are in. The Hammers game could be a festival of pragmatic KITAP1 chess. UTFT though.
Anthony A Hughes
28 Posted 24/02/2024 at 21:03:51
Dyche v Moyes next.

I've got a feeling that could be the last game shown on Match of the Day.

John Raftery
29 Posted 24/02/2024 at 21:11:51
Mike (26) We had over 60% of the possession against Palace. It didn’t help us. In fact it probably hindered us because we lack the creative players required to unlock well drilled defences.
Tony Abrahams
30 Posted 24/02/2024 at 21:21:59
I caught a little bit of the radio Merseyside phone In and a couple of what seemed like knowledgeable Evertonians, were speaking about this (terrible game management) after today’s game Lyndon.

Football is all about momentum, was what one of the callers said, and then he compared the way Palace, killed the game on Monday night, with horrible gamesmanship, to how Everton, never had the brains or inclination to do the same thing to Brighton today.

Mike Doyle
32 Posted 24/02/2024 at 22:15:38
John @29.

I'm sure you are correct. The only midfielder player left on the books who offers any creativity is probably Gomes but he's hardly ever fit.

If Moysie comes with a plan similar to Palace, we could see a repeat of that game.

Rob Jones
33 Posted 24/02/2024 at 22:23:28
"Points lost due to Dyche's mindset."

Even after the substitution, we still created chances. Beto and Harrison both missed chances that should have wrapped it up.

Peter Mills
34 Posted 24/02/2024 at 22:28:54
I wonder how much the players on the pitch are actually governed by their managers?

We all fall into accepting the theory that the managers call the shots, the players just implement their instructions – that's why the managers get the big bucks. But at the highest level, certain players get paid more than the manager. That's because, on the pitch, those players take control of the situation. Nobody in our midfield did that in the last 10 minutes today.

I thought that, overall, we played well. It was a fair result. Frustrating as it was to lose 2 points, we came away from a very tough game with a point, a result nearly all of us would have accepted before kick-off.

If I have a particular criticism, it's one that hasn't been mentioned much – Brighton won 3 headers from corners, straight at Pickford, in the first half, then scored from another from a cross for their goal.

Kevin Edward
35 Posted 24/02/2024 at 22:31:40
A lot of chances come in the last minutes of a game, regardless of ‘added time'.

Players are tired, concentration levels are stretched etc.

Yes, it's disappointing to lose a goal so late, why not think about the chances we miss time and time again? It could have been put to bed 2-0.

Okay, poor game management but our defenders have been magnificent at times and if we can stay up it's their effort making the difference.

We have no-one stepping up and putting chances away, except Jarrad at the moment.

I don't want the manager having to ‘game manage' the last 10 minutes of a game, top players should be able to do it themselves.

Game management includes a degree of luck, make a change and we score and the manager's a genius, let one in and he's an idiot.

Problem is we have no effective outlet up front to help run down the clock, or ‘clever' players breaking up play to disrupt the flow.

Of course Brighton were going to press for an equaliser even with 10 men.

All our best players are defenders. If we had just one 10 - 15 goal a season striker on form we would be fine.

We can still batter West Ham next week, I actually think we will (if 1-0 can be described as a battering). UTFT!

It's the 10-point deduction doing the damage, and lack of quality in certain key areas of the pitch. Not necessarily poor game management.

Christine Foster
36 Posted 24/02/2024 at 22:48:48
When we scored that terrific goal, I thought we had done it, we were going to win at last. Then Young came on, Brighton down to 10 men, my first thought was "Oh no, not Young... not the time or the place." We sat back, forfeited the advantage of an extra man, and gave them the ball.

People rightly compare what Palace did to us and we didn't do here. Game management, on-field leadership, team manager should have got the message out.

I thought the ref had an okay game, the linesman didn't, but it felt like we had done all the hard stuff but lacked someone to put a foot on the ball in a corner and waste time.

Poor finish to hard work cost us critical points.

Paul Hewitt
37 Posted 24/02/2024 at 22:58:26
Bringing Young on just showed we was just going to hang on.

I'd have kept Doucouré on and gone for the second.

Oliver Molloy
38 Posted 24/02/2024 at 23:10:39
Defender scores our goal – shame on the fucking so-called strikers we have – no more excuses.

Dunk is their big threat from set pieces and should never have a got a free header – everyone switched off.

I Was expecting nothing and, even though we are all pissed off losing 2 points, 1 is better than 0!

I agree with Lyndon to an extent regards bringing on Young when perhaps Dobbin or Chermiti may have given them something to think about; had he done that, we might all have said "What the fuck is he doing?"

No matter; our lack of goals is killing us big time – it needs to change – 'how' is another matter!

Nick Page
39 Posted 24/02/2024 at 23:19:07
Haven't had goals since we sold Lukaku.

Kenwright's legacy.

Paul Kossoff
40 Posted 24/02/2024 at 00:23:02
Jeff 4.

We have had 10 points taken. If the appeal gives us say 5 back, we then face another charge and another 10 points taken.

Then they have to give us 5 back as with the first charge, we then end up with a 10-point deduction, is that not absolutely ridiculous?

Jeff Armstrong
41 Posted 25/02/2024 at 00:28:20
Doucoure was having a mare, btw. I would've brought on Young for him with 30 minutes to go, never mind 15 minutes.

Dyche did fine today, so did the players he picked, sometimes you need to remember there is an opponent trying their best too,

and sometimes they succeed in their efforts.

Paul 40, I think you're over thinking it, if they give us points back, whether it's 5 or 8… whatever, it completely undermines the second charge. That's what I'm trying to say, it's one thing at a time, let's wait for the first verdict before we start speculating about the next charge.

Stephen Williams
42 Posted 24/02/2024 at 00:31:12
My words ‘points lost mostly by Dyche's mindset' were carefully drafted.

He clearly sets up the team all week, every week, to be ultra defensive. The evidence of this is for all to see on any given Saturday (or the day the games are played).

That's what we were today. However, when we are presented a chance to play 11 v 10, like every other team in that position, we need to make the pitch as long and wide as possible; to really stretch the numerically disadvantaged opposition. That relieves pressure building in our defence.

But because we are so conditioned to be ultra defensive, it's not in the players' psyche to be so tactically aware of stretching the opposition. They continue in the same defensive mode. Add taking off legs and replacing them with a defensive-minded 38-year-old past-it player, and we just sunk deeper, completely negating the man advantage.

It is this that is Dyche's mindset problem; if not resolved, it will put us in even greater peril.

Sean Kearns
43 Posted 25/02/2024 at 02:06:59
Anyone moaning about us being really defensive is naive, has never played real footy, doesn't understand football or seriously doesn't care if we go down…

We are not good enough to take the game to other teams, the squad is a mish-mash of different managers' players, some of the fringe players are on 3 or 4 times more money than starters, it's a shit show.

If we try and attack teams, we'll go down because we'll lose too many games. The squad still has a loser's mindset and we are doing well to be where we are.

Most on here have probably never played entire seasons in actual football teams, even recreationally. I've played on losing teams and it does affect the mindset. By the 2nd or 3rd season, we went into games expecting to lose.

The way Dyche has us playing and being resilient is more than just eye level. There are psychological entities at play that we can't see or feel. We need to muddle through this season, give him a summer transfer window with funds (even if it means selling Onana and Branthwaite) then judge him a season or two from now.

The man is working miracles as far as I'm concerned and I would kiss the fella's fuckin feet for what he's done for my beloved Everton. Anyone who wants us to rock up at Brighton, play them around like we are Man City and get 3 points is naive. Just sayin' like.

Phillip Warrington
44 Posted 25/02/2024 at 04:46:06
At the end of the day, if you would have said "Would yoo take a draw at Brighton?" – most people would say "Yeh, happy with a point away to Brighton." Man, they play some nice football at times that destroys teams.

Is it worth putting Calvert-Lewin in the next level down (U21s?) so he can get confidence in scoring goals again?

Beside avoiding relegation, our next job is trying to keep hold of Branthwaite, and build a young team around him and Pickford instead of selling our best players.

How much did we really spend on Beto and Youssef Chermiti? Lewis Dobbin has impressed me more when he has been playing than either of them two.

Either way, it's going to be a nail-biter of a season both on and off the pitch; it just seems to be the Everton way at the moment.

Stephen Jones
45 Posted 25/02/2024 at 10:52:28
Top and bottom of it is that we lost the game because we failed to mark Dunk, their most dangerous man at crosses.
Godfrey, who is poor in the air for a CB hardly got off the ground.
Stu Gore
46 Posted 25/02/2024 at 11:19:34
Did we lose?
Nick Page
47 Posted 25/02/2024 at 13:06:52
100% agreed with Sean at 43. The fact that Kenwright survived so long at EFC, unquestioned by so many, tells you all you need to know about some sections of the support facing reality. Massive massive credit to Sean Dyche and his team.
Pete Clarke
48 Posted 25/02/2024 at 13:38:44
I think we all know how Dyche sets things up. Our defensive record this season is very good so it could be argued that he is doing his job pretty well but the strikers are badly letting him and all of us down.

Another problem we have is that Pickford very rarely if ever controls the area by coming for crosses so he causes problems with his jittery movements.

Right now we can't be choosy with who owns us, manages us or plays for us because we allowed a certain great Evertonian fucked us over.

Will Mabon
49 Posted 25/02/2024 at 13:52:23

"...we are not good enough to take the game to other teams, the squad is a mish mash of different managers players, some of the fringe players are on 3 or 4 times more money than starters, it's a shit show. If we try and attack teams we'll go down because we'll lose too many games. The squad still has a losers mindset and we are doing well to be where we are."

All suspended for four consecutive winning games including some strong opposition, right after the kind of bombshell news that would likely collapse a bunch of losers.

Same staff, same players (yes there have been some injuries), same everything. Something has changed/been changed behind the scenes. It's as if a switch was thrown after that penalty, resulting in a reversion that has remained for most of all games since.

I don't buy the "not good enough" thing. After all, we would be around mid table without the deduction, due largely to that four-game run. Why do we look nothing like that winning team now?

Paul Tran
50 Posted 25/02/2024 at 14:00:57
I'm intrigued by the idea of Palace's 'superior game management'. Playing against a bottom three team with a 'rubbish manager' and 'rubbish tactics', they conceded a late equaliser.

We had chances to win yesterday's game and didn't take them. It's happened regularly this season. That's got nothing to do with tactics. More to do with seven years of avoiding buying players who can score goals. Now we're paying for it, because we can't afford to buy anyone who can.

Steve Brown
51 Posted 25/02/2024 at 14:08:01
The key to this season will be finishing above Forest.

Sheffield Utd and Burnley are done, so Forest are the target given they also face a points deduction for the latest charges.

Paul Tran
52 Posted 25/02/2024 at 14:12:39
Will, I'd say we are the archetypal midtable team. Capable of great/awful performances. Generally hard to beat, but on an off-day we look terrible. We win four in a row, then inexplicably lose all momentum. When we last had a top-notch striker (Lukaku), we'd often play indifferently and he'd bale us out. There's no-one to do that now. A striker that good makes a huge difference psychologically too, the players know if he gets half a chance it'll go in.

The players can play well, I'm not sure they can do it consistently. I'm certain it would look different with a couple of players who know where the goal is. Big if, though!

Will Mabon
53 Posted 25/02/2024 at 14:49:45

can't argue about the attack. Has there been another team of our size and stature go for so long with so little firepower? (excluding a time under Ancelotti). Masochism.

Essentially no effective striker found in years, through the sweet shop period too – even an 8-10 per season one: only Doucouré has come close to filling in.

Ironic when you look at the performance of our defence, for which Dyche must take credit – top 4/5 level this season.

However, I feel for 2 months we've largely shown little up front in terms of intent, yet we have earlier. It all looks point-a-game-is-the-aim to me... and we are capable of (slightly) more against some opposition, if not consistently.

This can be one difficult club to follow!

Pete Clarke
54 Posted 25/02/2024 at 14:53:24
There's a few games coming up in which teams around us will inevitably gain points so we have to start winning some to keep them at bay. Luton are the team we need to stay ahead of as I see Forest picking up points soon.

As for Forest facing a deduction of their own, well I hope it doesn't happen as it will mean the whole system of deducting points has probably been thrown out of the window and scrapped completely after super silk exposes the whole flawed system.

Mike Owen
55 Posted 25/02/2024 at 14:59:27
Peter, 34, yep, we were fortunate that all three of those first-half headers went straight to Jordan.

On another day, one or more would have gone in the net.

For the equaliser, I thought it was a great cross and a cracking header.

Regards the late substitution, given that they were throwing the kitchen sink at us, with Dunk going up front, perhaps we should have put another centre half on instead.

And did our players start sitting back, was it more a case of them running out of legs in another 100-minute game?

Phillip, 41, an interesting thought about giving DCL a game in the under-21s, but I think the success of that would depend on their formation and whether they create significantly more chances than the first team. I don't know the answers to those questions.

All in all, a good point yesterday. But now for another barmy week. Hoping West Ham win tomorrow then potentially yelling abuse at them on Saturday. Pleased to see Luton and Forest with Cup games in midweek and hoping they go to extra-time. Then hoping Liverpool win on Saturday. Oh, it's great being an Evertonian. Really relaxing.

Brian Harrison
56 Posted 26/02/2024 at 09:42:51
I am sure its been mentioned by somebody over the last couple of days, but how ironic that Dyche said of Lampards team when playing his Burnley side "this team doesnt know how to win".
He was right about Lampards team and that same comment is true about this Everton team under Dyche.

I see so much similarity in supporters wanting to back the manager and desperately wanting things to work out, but I think its more head in the sand approach. We havent won a game this year our last victory was against Burnley in December, and still some believe this has nothing to do with Dyche or his tactics.

Dave Abrahams
57 Posted 26/02/2024 at 09:51:43
Brian (56), Yes Brian Dyche’s tactics contribute to some of the criticism he gets on here but surely hardly any Everton fan would prefer Lampard to Dyche as Everton’s manager? Nice guy Frank but he wasn’t replaced fast enough and Dyche is doing much better with a smaller and poorer squad than Frank, who is doing quite well, financially, in advertising, he’ll never starve Frank!!
Brian Harrison
58 Posted 26/02/2024 at 10:04:07
Dave @57,

I didn't mean my post to be a backing for Lampard it certainly wasn't, I was calling for Lampard's head weeks before the World Cup.

Dyche has spent most of his time as a Premier League manager in and around the relegation zone, and with his insistence on playing Harrison and Young at every opportunity, it's not hard to see why.

We are set up defensively both home and away, hence why we find scoring goals is so hard.

I know many say about our lack of quality but I don't think Gary O'Neill at either Bournemouth or Wolves has much more quality yet he got Bournemouth well clear of relegation and this season has Wolves comfortably in the top half.

I accept it's too late to change manager now and who would want the job is not only a problem for now but also going forward. While I readily accept Dyche has improved the fitness and the heads don't go down as often, you need a lot more than that to manage successfully in the Premier League.

Dave Abrahams
59 Posted 26/02/2024 at 10:42:32
Brian (58),

I think Dyche has improved the limited squad more than in just fitness and application, don't forget, Brian, without the 10-point penalty, we would be near the top half of the table.

Not great but a big improvement on recent years and not able to spend bringing in new players but also losing players who might have helped his cause even more.

Brian Harrison
60 Posted 26/02/2024 at 12:11:25
Dave 59

I accept that had we not been deducted 10 points we would indeed be 13th in the league. But I just don't see any ambition in Dyches style, I watch teams not far above us in the league and they have 5 players in the opponents box at times, were at best we have DCL and Doucoure and maybe a wide player. Its not coincidence why we are one of the lowest scoring teams in the Premier league.
I go to Goodison now and hope we can score first and hang on, but usually the opposition score first and only when we get to the last 10 minutes do we throw men forward to chase the equaliser.

Dave Abrahams
61 Posted 26/02/2024 at 12:23:53
Brian (60), I agree with everything you say in your post, I would add that there is little fun in going to watch Everton now, just worry, fret and aggravation but being honest Brian there is little Dyche could have done to improve the squads strength with nothing to spend.

When we finish this season still in the premier league there is little or no indication that there will be any money to spend or if there is will we be allowed to spend it.

Maybe Dyche won't be part of the furniture when we come out to this trial and tribulation but I'm very glad he has been manager these last twelve months, I think he has done very well, he has his faults, can't be denied, but overall with all of the faults this club has I wouldn't complain too much.

Brian Harrison
62 Posted 26/02/2024 at 12:46:13
Dave @61,

As always you bring the right perspective to how things are and always bring reason in your posts. Maybe you are right that, at this moment in time, he is the right man to be in charge; I just want to see a bit of ambition.

I agree he hasn't had a lot of money to spend and that seems to be something that won't change for a while. But he did bring in Harrison and Young, who for me haven't improved our team one bit, and even when fit he doesn't seem to fancy Danjuma, another he agreed to bring in on loan.

Then you have Beto and Chermiti who despite Calvert-Lewin struggling, never seem to get many minutes, and the treatment of Dobbin really gets to me.

Jim Lloyd
64 Posted 26/02/2024 at 15:19:43
Brian, I think it's frustration building up, in different degrees; and for different reasons, with many of us.
My view is that we haven't got a squad, to give us the luxury of playing expansive, good looking football all the time, or hardly ever, depends how you view it, I suppose. We're making do with a paper thin squad, a vindictive Premier League with bent "Independent" commission, who make the rules up as they go along.
I don't think Calvert Lewin is a good enough goalscorer, to do much better than he's doing now. I'll be very pleasantly surprised if he does. Maybe he's trying too hard, but we had to sell our other goalscorer to Spurs.
So it's "make do and mend" and if we can't win, then do everything we can not to lose and grab every point that we can. The squad are doing a decent job, and it wasn't their fault they got 10 points robbed off their efforts. I think we owe a lot to Sean Dyche for organising our meagre resources into a giving us a decent, a very decent chance of getting out mire the Premier League have put us in. He's done well so far.
As for future? Well let's see what the Scumbag League do to us with the next "Crime"! If we overcome that, and stay in this League, I'd like to see him given a chance. Assuming, of course, Everton are still in business and if so, can we afford to buy players.

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