29/02/2024 106comments  |  Jump to last
Match Preview

Everton are back in action at Goodison Park this weekend when they take on West Ham United in what will be their last home game for more than a month as they seek a first Premier League win in nine matches.

The Club's medical staff will give Amadou Onana and Idrissa Gana Gueye late fitness tests before Sean Dyche names his side to face David Moyes's somewhat erratic outfit. 

Both midfielders are dealing with groin complaints, with Gueye forced off against Brighton last Saturday when, as Dyche described it, a muscle seized up early in the second half. The Senegal international had apparently felt tightness during the first half but indicated at half-time that he was fine to carry on and lasted just four more minutes.

Onana, meanwhile, took a heavy blow to his lower leg when Billy Gilmour followed through on him before being shown a straight red card in the 1-1 draw at the Amex Community Stadium but it appears as though his intermitted groin problem has resurfaced.

Article continues below video content

Sean Dyche said in his pre-match press conference at Finch Farm tosay that "[Gana] is still settling down and Ama has got a groin thing, similar to Gana's, which is just settling down. So we'll make more of a decision on them [on Friday]."

On the more positive side, however, the manager confirmed that André Gomes has resumed training and "is going well" but Arnaut Danjuma likely won't figure until after the three-week break that Everton have ahead of them following the trip to Old Trafford to face Manchester United because of the international break and the postponement of the Goodison derby against Liverpool on account of the Reds' involvement in the FA Cup.

"Arnie is doing well with his ankle but it's obviously a longer-term situation," Dyche explained. "He's doing really well. I just spoke to him before I came in  and he's in a good place. It's going well."

Though Seamus Coleman has recovered from illness and both Nathan Patterson and Ashley Young are fit and available, Dyche is expected to retain Ben Godfrey at right-back, with the only change from the side that started on the south coast last weekend likely to be in midfield if Gueye is ruled out.

West Ham arrested a six-match winless run of their own on Monday evening when they beat Brentford in fairly convincing fashion 4-2, a result that moved them back up to eighth place in the table and, perhaps, subdued the disquiet among some in the Irons faithful round Moyes's tenure.

Key for the Hammers has been the return to fitness of midfield linchpin, Lucas Paquetà, who, alongside Mohammed Kudus and Jarrod Bowen, will be the key dangerman that the Toffees will need to keep quiet.

The Brazilian's return means that Moyes has a completely clean bill of health for his squad, with only Kalvin Phillips missing because of suspension.

Matches involving a return to L4 for Moyes usually attract headlines but this fixture has an added wrinkle with the appointment of controversial official, Craig Pawson, as the match referee.

Pawson has made himself a detested figure at Goodison for a number of poor decisions he has made involving the Blues in recent years, not least the red card shown to Allan in the game against Newcastle in March 2022, his failure to send Ibrahim Konaté off in the Anfield derby earlier this season, and his directive as VAR to red card Dominic Calvert-Lewin in the FA Cup Third Round tie at Crystal Palace in January.

Kick-off: 3pm, Saturday 2 March 2024
Referee: Craig Pawson
VAR: Tony Harrington
Last Time: Everton 1 - 0 West Ham United 

Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Godfrey, Tarkowski, Branthwaite, Mykolenko, Onana, Garner, Harrison, McNeil, Doucouré, Calvert-Lewin


Reader Comments (106)

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Danny O’Neill
1 Posted 29/02/2024 at 21:39:19
Just beat West Ham.

Go and get something at Old Trafford.

And then pay us back at Bournemouth for last season.

Kieran Kinsella
2 Posted 29/02/2024 at 21:43:03
Not really a "game changer" but I noticed Onyango was back in action for the under 21s on Monday. He has previously been in the first team picture albeit as someone who sits on the bench and is talked up by coaches rather than someone who has actually done the business.

This was from three years ago:

A talented midfielder with Kenyan roots, Tyler Onyango, has been promoted to the Everton first-team by manager Carlo Ancelotti.

Everton's U23 manager David Unsworth said Onyango has great potential and will be a superstar in the future.

“He's a boy with a big opportunity and, potentially, with a big future. “He looks the part, his gains are outstanding, he will get better and better. He's got the physique, the pace...I'm trying not to get too excited too soon but I like seeing that.

“All the best players start with us when they are 16 or 17, it's always been the case and history will tell you that and he's another one. He's come in and he's taken to the level straight away,” Unsworth told Echo.

Maybe he is ready to come of age and will fill the Onana/Gueye void?

Paul Hewitt
3 Posted 29/02/2024 at 21:58:49
No more excuses. Go and beat an average West Ham team.
Mike Hayes
4 Posted 29/02/2024 at 22:05:41
We need the three points in case the corrupt frauds take more 😡😡 UTFT COYB 💙
Mal van Schaick
5 Posted 29/02/2024 at 23:01:03
For West Ham, Bowen will drop into midfield and then run into forward channels. That's how he got his goals against Brentford, and Dyche should flag that up to our defenders.

As for Everton, I don't know how or when we are going to create clear cut opportunities in open play, in order to score goals, and put us on the front foot at home.

Having said that a corner set piece and a 1-0 win will keep us out of of the dogfight at the bottom in the interim.

Jim Wilson
6 Posted 29/02/2024 at 23:05:57
Two big worries for me:

1. Pawson
2. If Onana is not fit to play - Dyche should do the simple thing and play Dobbin or Kieran’s shout, Onyango. Something positive.

But if he wants to move Harrison inside play Seamus or Patterson wide right – and not Young.

Colin Malone
7 Posted 29/02/2024 at 23:44:24
Just wish we had some one who can pass a ball. Calvert-Lewin suffering badly with this hoof ball tactics.

It’s bad when Pickford is our main play maker.

Jonathan Oppenheimer
8 Posted 01/03/2024 at 03:35:32
Kieran, the shout for Onyango is admirable and interesting, but the chances of it happening are less than zero, given Dyche's reluctance to give young guys a chance. That said, it would be nice to one day see what he's actually capable of.

We'll certainly be hurting without Onana and Gana, but if that's the case, Dobbin would have to come in with Harrison moving inside, and Garner sitting deep.

Anyone but Ashley Young starting or Andre Gomes being given defensive responsibility is all I ask. That and a win. We need three points. Badly. For morale more than anything. COYB!

Derek Knox
9 Posted 01/03/2024 at 03:48:17
Not over-confident, but optimistic as usual, I watched the West Ham V Brentford game earlier in the week, and the Hammers looked very good. I think Paqueta made a big difference on his return. I don't have too many fears about them freely scoring as they did then, but scoring at the other end is.

I like Calvert Lewin as most others do, but how long do you persist with a non-scoring striker ? His general play is good, but in front of goal, it's the cow's arse/banjo scenario seemingly.

He was possibly our best player against Palace in that dreadful game, won all the aerial duels, but was both lacking support, and rarely in a scoring position, but when he was, he transformed/metamorphisized into Mr Magoo.

I will be there on Saturday, our friend from N I, Andy Crooks is over, Peter Moore (Worcester) and Steve Thomas (Cornwall) so we will all be meeting pre-match at The Harlech Castle. If you are not one of the regulars, please come along and put a face to many names on TW. You can even buy me a pint ! :-)

Paul Ferry
10 Posted 01/03/2024 at 04:06:16
Paul Hewitt (3), West Ham are not average. Moyes has them in 8th (something that we can only dream of) despite losing three on the trot before their stylish win over Brentford.

In Paqueta and Bowen they have top-class midfielders who we would kill to have in our starting eleven. (Actually, the poor run started after Phillips went there). Paqueta in particular is a wonderful player.

But they don't do clean sheets and are shaky at the back, though the keeper is much better than that.

I, of course, fully expect us to win. Not because West Ham are "average" but because I always do, unless it's City. That said, I could imagine Moyes beating us, quite frankly.

I'm sure that some West Ham lad has popped on here and is having a good laugh at your post with his mates as that is exactly what they want to hear Paul. Thankfully, Sean D would bollock anyone who said that.

West Ham at their best - and they have been without Paqueta for months - are fecking dangerous. Calling them "average" is the worst possible frame of mind for this match. Judged on recent performances, we will need to be much better to topple Moyes's boys.

But they do leak goals. This is where with all my fingers tightly crossed I pray that the DCL/service dilemma could be put to bed at long last,



Colin Glassar
11 Posted 01/03/2024 at 05:52:53
Massive, massive game. Win this and we can build ourselves a cushion above the Bottom Three. Draw or lose and we get sucked straight back into the relegation zone.
John Keating
12 Posted 01/03/2024 at 06:11:31
After getting some of our points deduction back, I think this game is even more important that we win. We have to turn these draws into 3 pointers starting against West Ham.

I hope Onana is fit as I believe his height will again be crucial from set pieces.

Agree with Lyndon that Godfrey should start. Only thing I would change from Lyndon's team is that I would start Beto up front and bring on a fit Calvert-Lewin later as defenders, hopefully, tire.

We have to take advantage and drag ourselves clear of Forest and Luton asap for reasons yet to come. Nothing less than 3 points.

Paul Ferry
13 Posted 01/03/2024 at 06:39:55
The calls for Beto are sound and nearly inevitable given Calvert-Lewin's last 3 months, but £1.5M Calvert-Lewin remains our best option up front to start - thanks to the criminal failure to sign a striker other than Beto. I've seen zilch in £25.8M Beto – dear God, £25.8M!! – to even hint that he is worth starting ahead of Calvert-Lewin.

I'm no big Calvert-Lewin clapper, by the way, but this is where we are: he suits Dyche. That's the way it is. This is what we have become.

Beto is erm – you Calvert-Lewin lambasters and lampooners – Championship. We have no choice but to persist with Calvert-Lewin.

One reassuring thing throughout this drought is that he has not been crocked for weeks or months, which not many people have pointed out in the rush to condemn, criticise, and caricature.

I pray that Calvert-Lewin will prove the naysayers wrong, my chilly fear is that he might not.

But Beto, feck me, I hold my hands up in the air in despair for what we have become.


Sam Hoare
17 Posted 01/03/2024 at 07:51:29
A shame West Ham have Paquetà back as he makes them tick and is a wonderful player (as he should be for the £50m he cost them!).

It certainly won’t be an easy game but then very few games are for us!

Our inability to create anything from open play at the moment is concerning and both McNeill and Harriso have looked pretty underwhelming of late. Dare I say we are missing Iwobi a bit, who was our best creator from open play and ball progressor last season.

If both Gueye and Onana are out then I could see Dyche dropping Doucoure back and maybe having to bring in Beto or Dobbin. Hopefully we won’t see Young on the right wing again, having him and Godfrey just makes our entire right flank useless with the ball.

Depressingly our best chance may be a set piece or a mistake by West Ham. Let’s hope our defence play well as in Bowen, Paqueta, Kudus and Ward-Prowse West Ham have the type of scorers and creators that we are desperately lacking at the moment.

Hopefully the 4 points back might return some confidence and clarity and some of the form and energy we saw before Christmas.

Christy Ring
18 Posted 01/03/2024 at 07:55:31
My big worry is our midfield if Onana is not fit especially with Gueye out. Give Calvert-Lewin the right ball and he'll score hopefully, but Dyche's tactics have Dom running all over the field.

Kevin Sheedy what a player, and let's not forget, he had to play with the old heavy ball, imagine if he had the light ball – like Beckham had – for free kicks.

John Hall
19 Posted 01/03/2024 at 07:57:31
Is Dobbin fit? Did Sean mention him in the presser? He missed the last game through injury and we certainly need him as back up. Let's hope he can play a part.
Mark Murphy
25 Posted 01/03/2024 at 08:49:36
Don't take Calvert-Lewin off. Every minute counts and he needs that goal. If a change has to be made, give him a partner for the last 15!


Jimmy Salt
30 Posted 01/03/2024 at 09:11:52
It would be nice if we showed the passion needed to get a result instead of the zombie football being served up at the moment.

We are sleepwalking into trouble with the current style of play.

Peter Moore
31 Posted 01/03/2024 at 09:22:07
Looks like it's 12 vs 11 with Pawson the ref. What a disgraceful excuse for a 'professional' he is.

I doubt it, but how good it would be for Karma to kick in and him be absolved in this game? 3 penalties in the first half for us, 3 sendings-off of West Ham's danger men, and a resounding 10-nil win, goal gluts for Calvert-Lewin and Beto!

This is a lovely dream. Hope I never wake up. UTFT.

Peter Mills
32 Posted 01/03/2024 at 10:00:16
Plums on the anvil time again. Let’s hope West Ham and Mr Pawson leave the lump hammers at home. (“Chapeau” to Mr Ruane).
Christopher Timmins
33 Posted 01/03/2024 at 10:27:29





Should be good enough to take something from the game but it won't be easy as sadly West Ham have far greater attacking options.

Liam Heffernan
34 Posted 01/03/2024 at 10:30:05
Derek #9,

Flying over from Shannon for game, first in 4 years. Maybe will head to Harlech, what time are you guys meeting up? UTFT.

Dave Williams
35 Posted 01/03/2024 at 10:44:43
Derek # 9, Okay if I join you all in the Harlech with a couple of West Country Blues?

I see this as a tough game. Moyes has signed some good footballers and yet his defence can be porous. It sounds like Onana will at best be on the bench and Gomes may play which is no bad thing provided he is told not to tackle in our half, especially if Ward-Prowse is playing!

It could be time to pair Chemitti with Calvert-Lewin after the former's two goals in the week – though I have a feeling that Dominic will score.

We need the home fans to support like they do away and cut out the boos and groans. We need a win!!

Danny O’Neill
36 Posted 01/03/2024 at 10:53:16
Respect to the West Country Blues making the long journey, Dave.

Hopefully a happy return home.

Geoff Lambert
37 Posted 01/03/2024 at 10:56:23
Goals win games. West Ham have lots of players with the ability to hit the back of the net, we don't. Unless the blank firing strikers start scoring the best we can hope for is a 0-0.

The four points we got back only made up for the pathetic
four we lost in the last two games. It's sad times when we are hoping Forest get a point deduction to keep us in with a shout of avoiding the drop.

Need to get at them from the start or the crowd will go quiet and there goes our 12th man.

Just a side note, I have been watching (Hammers chat Hammers v Everton) on YouTube to get an idea of what the opposition think of their chances at the Old Lady. The two Hammers are fully backing us against the Premier League and make some very valid points.

Mark Ryan
38 Posted 01/03/2024 at 10:57:00
We havent won a PL in 9. If this was any of our previous managers I would be reading
" give him his cards or don't let the door smack your arse on the way out" but there is nothing. Its like tumble weed. We have no goalscorer firing at this time, no wins in sight, rooted to the bottom and nothing about Dyche, his poor game management, poor use of subs, route one bollocks. I'm very surprised. If we stick with him I think we'll go down. I'm really surprised at the lack of concern about Dyche being our manager. Is it because he's quite likeable like Frank. They are very different characters but their results are the same by and large aren't they ? It feels the same to me. I guess the off field concerns have limited our expectation of what we want to be. I hope I'm wrong but Dyche bothers me a lot.
Bill Griffiths
39 Posted 01/03/2024 at 11:00:36
Liam (#34), people tend to get there at different times. Tomorrow myself and Jim Lloyd will probably be there from 12:30-ish.

Just thought I'd mention that there are no Merseyrail trains running to Kirkdale tomorrow, buses are laid on.

Mark Murphy
40 Posted 01/03/2024 at 11:07:05
“Quite likeable”???


I don't think that's why he's shown patience, Mark.

I think it's because he's sorted out the leaky defence and improved us on the last two seasons. I'm not his Number 1 fan by any means but I think he's doing a good enough job to buy some patience.

James Marshall
41 Posted 01/03/2024 at 12:17:11
For all the people worried about Craig Pawson, have a read of this link to a West Ham fan page outlining the 'nightmare' scenario they're expecting against us tomorrow, which I guess proves that all teams fans have the same fears about referees.


Mike Doyle
42 Posted 01/03/2024 at 12:20:46
Paul @13,

Sadly I have to agree with you. Undoubtedly a nice bloke who tries hard, Beto simply reminds me of "the Stracq" from a few seasons ago, though I think Stracqualursi was a better header of the ball (actually, Bernie Wright may have been a better header of the ball).

James Marshall
43 Posted 01/03/2024 at 12:28:10
Beto is shite. He's a juggernaut with no finesse who runs about a fair bit but that's all he has to offer. His record in Italy was shite, and it shows.

We only bought him because he was the best we could get at the time – nobody wants to come to Everton, and quite frankly, who can blame them?

Ray Jacques
44 Posted 01/03/2024 at 12:37:39
Mark at 38. The results are nothing like when Lampard was manager. Without the points deduction we would be comfortably mid-table and 2 wins from safety.

Lampard was taking us down probably with 3 or 4 games to spare.

Dave Williams
45 Posted 01/03/2024 at 12:41:49
I don't think his goals record in Italy was shite. We'd be quite happy if he could replicate that here.

But I have to agree that he doesn't look impressive. A slightly better version of Niasse imo but he will hopefully find his feet soon and prove me wrong.

Nicholas Ryan
46 Posted 01/03/2024 at 12:50:14
My teenage daughter described Beto as: 'A B-Tec Stracquilursi'. I think I know what she meant!
James Marshall
47 Posted 01/03/2024 at 13:03:32
He was roughly a goal every 3 games striker in Serie A. Average I'd suggest, and that's really my point - we're lucky if we can sign average players nowadays.

I spose if he scored 10 goals a season he'd be considered worthy of a place in the team, but I just don't see it ever happening for him in the Premier League.

And yes, his opportunities are limited due to the prolific Calvert-Lewin being picked ahead of him.

Sam Hoare
48 Posted 01/03/2024 at 13:10:31
Beto has been underwhelming but no player should be written off in their first season at a new club in a new league.

If nothing else, he is a handful and I actually think he seems to be getting in scoring positions more frequently than Calvert-Lewin. His technique and touch do not look great but they improve with confidence and a run of games.

He's a good fit for a direct tactical system and has the combination of speed and size that can be hard to find. He's snatching at chances currently but showed in Italy that he's capable of finding the net, scoring once every 200 minutes which is decent in a mid-table team.

Phil Sammon
49 Posted 01/03/2024 at 13:22:01
In Beto's first few outings, he looked like he could be a really special player. Since then, I think he's been a victim of circumstance, much like Calvert-Lewin.

I'd love to see the two of them play together in a situation that isn't the 94th minute.

His fitness looks a major issue though and something Dyche probably can't stomach. He looks wiped out after a few sprints.

Kevin Edward
50 Posted 01/03/2024 at 13:37:37
Not a ‘must-win' game like we may get in April/May, but surely a great chance for Dyche and the team to give something back to the fans.

Yes, we expect a home win (in most games at Goodison of course) but history tells us that we really struggle when expectations are high. No one ever steps up to put away the chances.

A while ago, I recklessly suggested that one day the flood gates will open and someone's going to get a proper beating at Goodison.

Will it be tomorrow? We have a decent record at home vs the Hammers. Come on, Everton, give us a lift before the next disaster strikes. UTFT!

Barry Rathbone
51 Posted 01/03/2024 at 13:51:27
Just need to get this game out of the way. Goodison is more hindrance than help these days with bipolar fans in full effect.

Scrabble a point then get on the road where the players seem more relaxed and hope for better results.

Tony Abrahams
52 Posted 01/03/2024 at 14:04:14
I was talking to a Preston fan who told me he got tickets for our last home game and he told me he thought that the Evertonians were quick to turn, Barry.

I obviously offered him a different slant on things and told him that after the shite we have endured for years, I think I've seen milk turn quicker, but I don't think I convinced him, and then he gave me a look, that made me feel like I had bipolar!

Brian Wilkinson
53 Posted 01/03/2024 at 14:07:27
I shall try my best to get in the Harlech before the game, any newbies going, listen out For someone sounding like Taggart and that will be Derek K :-)

Looking forward to catching up to the regulars, if Danny is down, will try and get him into rugby league. :-)

See you all Saturday, all being well.

Christopher Timmins
54 Posted 01/03/2024 at 14:32:19

Before we start giving out about our strikers we have to accept that the service and support they are getting is non-existent.

My problem with Beto is his lack of first touch. Calvert-Lewin may well leave at the end of the season and then do what the guy at Brentford is currently doing.

Barry Rathbone
55 Posted 01/03/2024 at 14:35:44
Tony 52,

It's not just here – fans everywhere are fickle but it's relative to expectation. Our issue surrounds still expecting the best in the midst of dross. Hardly surprising our journeymen struggle in such an environment.

Ray Roche
56 Posted 01/03/2024 at 14:39:34
Christopher, you need look no further to see what the other guy at Brentford, Maupay, is doing when he's not played as a 5ft-5ins target man. And on his own.
Jay Harris
57 Posted 01/03/2024 at 15:20:12
Yes Ray,
but we would be comfortably above Brentford without the points deduction.

Although we are not free scoring (or even scoring) we are unbeaten in 5 of our last 6 games. Brentford have lost 5 of their last 6 games with arguably a better set of players.

Lets get behind Dyche and the players and not get despondent when we don't score.

Look at what the encouragement has done in the last few years.

Colin Malone
58 Posted 01/03/2024 at 15:22:31
I appreciate the effort of Doucoure but the lad cannot pass a ball, That's were DCL is suffering. We need a player with guile that can open up defences with a pass. A player who can feed off DCL second ball.
I would swap Doucouré, and Onana or give Chemeti a go. DCL winning aerial battles and there's no one within 5 yards of him.
Ray Roche
59 Posted 01/03/2024 at 15:26:34
Jay, I'm not specifically having a go at Dyche, he's not perfect but he's certainly been up against it here with the situation that the club's been in since he arrived. The point that I was making was that, given the right service and proper tactics, DCL might start scoring in the same way that Maupay has. DCL has proved, to me at least, that he is a more than capable forward and can score goals, but where must his confidence be right now? Especially if he reads TW.
And yes, we would be above Brentford but it is what it is, we've had the points stolen and we have to get on with it.
Anthony Flack
60 Posted 01/03/2024 at 15:45:10
Hello - I could not find the right place on the site for spare tickets for tomorrow...

I have a spare ticket for the Upper Bullens, it is a good seat just past the halfway line.

I will be there and can meet anyone who wants it before the game.

Currently an over 65 ticket, but can upgrade easily at the Bullens Road box office.

Obviously at face value only.

Anyone interested drop me a line and mobile number to anthony@uberlabs.co.uk

Ian Wilkins
61 Posted 01/03/2024 at 15:46:45
For me Goodison has been flat for recent home games.
Evertonians are unsurprisingly bruised and battered by events off the field, and by our continued and excellent exertions to make our case against the PL, with no support from media and other clubs.
The team has been affected by points deduction, lacked confidence, feared of making mistakes. Playing with no freedom.
It needs to change. Fans and team need to find some sparks, lift the mood. Get on the front foot, put the visiting team on the back foot. Put the moans and groans aside, find our voices and deliver the required wins.
It seems like we have had to lift the team for too many seasons, and we have, but we must now go again.
Neil Lawson
62 Posted 01/03/2024 at 16:11:08
Some very good points made in the comments above and much to debate.
I am very much with those who express concern about the lack of on field support for DCL and the generally poor service offered to him. He is constantly isolated. The answer is within Dyche's compass but he is so rigid in his approach, we all know it won't happen. Perhaps therefore, it is time to start Beto with DCL on the bench. It can't be any worse and Beto does add something a little bit different. However, it is a home game where we must start on the front foot. West Ham are somewhat fragile and an aggressive and positive start is crucial.
Ashley Roberts
63 Posted 01/03/2024 at 16:23:32
I hope Seamus is fit and raring to go at right back. He has so much more to offer than Godfrey who is good defensively but shite with the ball and offers nothing going forward. If Onana is not fit to start, I would move Doucoure back and move Harrison inside and give Dobbin a run out on the wing. I would like to see Onyango on the bench and given sometime on the pitch depending on how the game is going but do not see that happening. I believe we will need our 12th man tomorrow, the fans, to drag us over the line. COYB.
James Marshall
64 Posted 01/03/2024 at 16:35:45
Just read Ben Mee is out for the season for Brentford - good news (not for him obviously) since they're (currently) below us and already in relegation form.

All the teams at the bottom play top 10 sides this weekend, so anyone who picks up a win, it'll be like gold dust. I'm still looking ahead to playing the bottom 5 in our last 7 games of the season - we play Arsenal away last game so we need things wrapped up before then IMO so every point counts from now on.

Even draws are decent for us, especially since all the bottom teams leak goals and will lose more than we do. Nobody really enjoys a draw but those 4 points in our last 5 games from draws while our relegation rivals are losing games, could prove crucial.

Tony Abrahams
65 Posted 01/03/2024 at 16:56:00
But we are the lucky ones Barry, we are the ones who have seen Everton win trophies.

I’d say at least a third of our crowd have never seen us win anything, so I don’t think it’s about expectation, I just think it’s about demanding certain things?

David Midgley
66 Posted 01/03/2024 at 16:59:44
It just shows how valuable the two points lost against
Brighton were. I think this is an important game. Yes, a win would give us a cushion and some confidence for upcoming games. Beto turns as quickly as a Mulberry Harbour. Some of the young lads with speed and enthusiasm need a run. I don't particularly like Dyche as a manager for Everton always defensive never attacking.
We never seem to have a plan, not even a cunning one.
Everton have been paying Deli an alleged £100.000 per week . I doubt that he'll ever play for Everton again, 10 Mill in two years . Gyokeres left Coventry for Porto on a free !!
He's now being touted as worth 87 Mill. I'm sure we could have managed a decent signing on fee for him.
Vision ? Everton ? Badly run ? Not us mate.
Stephen Colby
67 Posted 01/03/2024 at 17:08:46
There could be some confusion with players shouting for the ball during this game. We have Gana, Nana, Garner, Arna while WHU have Rahama and Bama
Dale Self
68 Posted 01/03/2024 at 17:14:15
James, that is a big loss for them especially as their LBs have been unreliable.
Dave Williams
69 Posted 01/03/2024 at 17:16:22
Ian #61 great post!!!
John Raftery
70 Posted 01/03/2024 at 17:36:41
Our record in the last 4 years at Goodison against average teams we are expected to beat is terrible. Tomorrow would be a good time to change that by capitalising on the positivity following the 4 points gained on Monday. Otherwise we will be going into April not only hovering above the drop zone but also worrying about the size of our next points deduction.

West Ham have some clever attacking players but I didn't think they looked particularly secure in defence especially at set pieces.

Joe McMahon
71 Posted 01/03/2024 at 18:13:13
Kevin Sheedy on ITV now
Brian Wilkinson
72 Posted 01/03/2024 at 18:30:19
David, we did try to sign Gyokeres, but he turned us down and wanted to sign for Porto instead.
Denis Richardson
73 Posted 01/03/2024 at 19:06:39
Just looked at the table and realised with the 4 points back, we probably only need 9 points from 12 games to stay up. That doesn't seem like a massive task. Feels like around 34 points will be enough this year – Burnley and Sheff Utd are already down. That's obviously assuming we don't get yet another deduction!

Tomorrow definitely winnable but I imagine it won't be pretty. Right now, a scrappy 1-0 win off someone's backside is perfectly fine.

Calvert-Lewin's not been getting great service but that's not to say he's not been getting any chances either. Just not going for him at the moment but hopefully with Doucoure back, we have a bit more fire power up front. That 5-1 win at Brighton seems like a lifetime ago

Fingers crossed for tomorrow – hoping for a win but at the very least don't lose, to at least keep the points ticking over.

Oliver Molloy
74 Posted 01/03/2024 at 19:46:50
Must win tomorrow – forget how many times I've said that these last few years!
Danny O’Neill
75 Posted 01/03/2024 at 19:50:00
Bruised and hurting, Ian @61.

It's been an emotional few seasons that has drained us.

Totally different at the away matches.

Tony, it hurts me. My middle brother was fortunate to see us win titles and trophies alongside me.

My younger one barely remembers 1995 and my son was only 5 months old. My season ticket holding nephew wasn't born.

I feel for them, but admire them as they keep going. Mine is blind faith we'll get back. Theirs is pure dedication. I respect them more than I do for my efforts.

Jay Harris
76 Posted 01/03/2024 at 19:54:39
Denis, with the way Luton are fighting and the potential of another 4-6 points deducted, I don't think 34 will cut it. I am hoping for 40 to be sure although Forest could be in an even worse position.

We need a couple of wins just to get that confidence back.

Matt Byrne
77 Posted 01/03/2024 at 20:27:29
Joe. What was Sheeds saying?

Got a selfie with him in the Aldi of all places 2 weeks ago. I was explaining to my sons that this fella had a left foot like a wand and would be worth £100M plus today with all those goals and assists from midfield.

He was so polite and humble. They say don't meet your heroes, but I did and it was fabulous!

Danny O’Neill
78 Posted 01/03/2024 at 20:40:42
Any chance of a link?

Joe McMahon
79 Posted 01/03/2024 at 20:53:46
Matt, I don't bloody know, my phone rang as soon as I turned TV up. There's was a picture in the background of Everton with a trophy in the 80s.
Denis Richardson
80 Posted 01/03/2024 at 21:53:03
Jay 76,

I think 34 points will be okay as long as we don't get more points deducted. However, if we keep our heads above Forest then surely even with a deduction we'd be fine (as Forest would also get hit presumably).

40 may not be fine if they hit us with 10 again!

Luton are scrapping but a poor side and have lost their strikers through injury for a few games. With goal difference, we've effectively got 6 points over them and we've been crap. A win tomorrow would put a lot of daylight between us and them.

Plenty of games left but, if we go down, it'll be due to another points deduction imo.

Andy Meighan
81 Posted 01/03/2024 at 22:00:47
Mark Ryan 38.

I thought I was the only one thinking that, but it seems I'm not.

There's a train of thought on here that thinks he's doing a good job, can someone please show me any evidence of that?

It's March now and we've won 3 home games, I get sick of myself banging the same old drum but that is one poor stat given some of the teams we've lost to.

I'm going to stick my neck out here and say I don't honestly think we'll win another home game under this fella this season because, when we've got to force the issue, we're snookered.

Dom Kearney
82 Posted 01/03/2024 at 22:48:45
Just over a year ago, I went up with 2 mates for my first time in 22 years to Goodison (since uni days) to see us beat Arsenal 1-0.

Heading up tomorrow from London and hoping for the same victory buzz. Avoid the disappointed Hammers on train back! UTFT!

Sam Hoare
83 Posted 01/03/2024 at 23:22:05
David @66,

Gyökeres was not on a free. He cost Sporting in the region of £20M which I believe was a club record for them. He wanted to go there and it's looking like a good choice.

Derek Thomas
84 Posted 01/03/2024 at 23:30:52
Where can I watch the game in Singapore?
Dale Self
85 Posted 02/03/2024 at 00:16:59
Mark 38 and Andy 81,

We all seemed to agree when we received the 10-point deduction if Dyche could keep us up that would constitute a good job. Perhaps you sat out that lengthy discussion. Please keep in mind that was before we fully understood our financial problems.

Help yourself to the dinghy if you must jump ship now.

Derek Knox
86 Posted 02/03/2024 at 05:16:12
Dale @ 85,

"Help yourself to the dinghy if you must jump ship now."

None left mate, all them immigrants have commandeered them! :-)

Danny O’Neill
87 Posted 02/03/2024 at 06:17:01
Have a great day, Dom.

Head to the Harlech Castle on County Road.

You will be amongst the wisest of people of Goodison!!

Derek Knox
88 Posted 02/03/2024 at 06:34:11
Dom @ 82,

I can only second what Danny said there, you will meet a few 'good uns'.

[Not blowing my own bugle, or including myself in Danny's glowing accolade, but you can make your own mind up on that. :-)]

Laurie Hartley
89 Posted 02/03/2024 at 07:39:08
Big test for the team and the manager, this. If ever we needed Calvert-Lewin to score, it is in this one.

Doucoure was kept off the scoresheet at Brighton by a fantastic goal-line block by Lampdtey. Perhaps he can get on the scoresheet. McNeill is due one also.

Up the Blues!!!

Danny Baily
90 Posted 02/03/2024 at 07:59:38
Everton are overdue a win. Calvert-Lewin, McNeil and Gomes are well overdue goals. West Ham are no longer on a protracted losing streak (a surefire recipe for a routine win at Goodison if there ever was one). We have one of the best defensive records in the Premier League.

Everything points to 3 points to the Toffees this afternoon.

Mark Ryan
91 Posted 02/03/2024 at 08:13:49
Dale @85. It has been an awful mess off the field but Dyche said himself "We'll ignore the 10 points, we just carry on doing what we do." From a Football perspective, he's done just that. It's been awful at times.

I'm aware everyone says he's sorted the defence but, in truth, without Branthwaite, this season so far, he would not have sorted out our defence, it is in fact Branthwaite and Tarkowski, they have been immense

Paul Birmingham
92 Posted 02/03/2024 at 08:24:12
Play and believe and earn a win today. Hopefully Gana and Onana are available. Hopefully a change of luck and Calvert-Lewin scores and Everton get a penalty.

Get some confidence and stability for the final games. There's pllenty of winnable games and this is one of them.

Get 21 points and I believe Everton will be safe, barring possible further points deductions.


John Chambers
93 Posted 02/03/2024 at 08:30:00
Paul, if we get a penalty, at 0-0, would Calvert-Lewin be the penalty taker?
Danny O’Neill
94 Posted 02/03/2024 at 08:31:19
Tough call, John.

I'd go for Garner.

Alan McGuffog
95 Posted 02/03/2024 at 08:36:34
Dyche coaches our boys to play hoofball. He coaches our midfield players to give the ball away to the opposition at every opportunity. It is his coaching that makes our forwards as fearsome as an Under-11 side.

The sooner that taxi pulls up at Finch Farm, the better. Then, at last, we can install the dream team of Duncan Ferguson and David Unsworth.

Ian Riley
96 Posted 02/03/2024 at 08:39:09
Danny #90,

I feel we will have to score 3 goals to win. West Ham have goals in them. Interesting game. Moyes will tell his players to get at them early doors to get the crowd down. It's up to us to lift the players from the start.

Safe journey all.

Jeff Armstrong
97 Posted 02/03/2024 at 08:50:43
John #93,

Deffo Onana for me!

Christine Foster
98 Posted 02/03/2024 at 08:51:16
For God's sake do not, I mean do not, sit back and just try to hit them on the break. Front-foot football, high intensity from the off, they can't score in their own box.

Get in front, close them down. Central midfield will be key to stopping them playing, Bowen is attacking in the hole so we need someone in front of him to stop the threat. Give him space and it's a tactical nightmare.

Do a Dick van Dyke on him in the first five and noble him but stop the supply and don't give them any space in our half.

Danny Baily
99 Posted 02/03/2024 at 08:52:04
Ian 96, they have goals in them against the likes of Brentford.

Paul 92, 21 points from the remaining games is a bit ambitious! Anywhere between 12-15 would likely be the best we can hope for.

Neil Copeland
100 Posted 02/03/2024 at 08:52:32
Dom 82, speaking for myself I am not sure about meeting some of the wisest bluenoses but you will meet some very passionate ones.

Have a great day.

Dave Abrahams
101 Posted 02/03/2024 at 09:50:04
I'm going expecting Everton to win but I know I will have a long worrying 2 hours before that victory is won. That's the way it is.

I don't blame Dyche: the squad he has inherited, without being able to add to it, ensures he has to play this way. Maybe a touch more ambitious attacking-wise might help, as long as it doesn't help the opposition in quick breakaways!

John Atkinson
102 Posted 02/03/2024 at 09:54:35
Please don't just play a defensive set-up, Dyche. We can beat these.

Let's get Dobbin starting and subs around 65 minutes if not going well. Please, please don't play Young in any capacity.

Tony Abrahams
103 Posted 02/03/2024 at 10:02:18
Mark@91, I think it is no coincidence that our two most consistent performers, are the only Everton players on the pitch, that have built up a real partnership.

Football has always been about doing your own job, and then also trying to help your mate, but until we get a lot more tandems, then the football, is not really going to entertain us.

Hopefully it will be enough to keep us safe, but just as we were beginning to relax and started looking like we could develop into a better team, the authorities struck, and it’s been backs to the wall, ever since.

I want to be entertained but I’d take a last minute fluke, if I’m being honest

Sam Hoare
104 Posted 02/03/2024 at 10:05:07
Anyone expecting us to suddenly switch to an attacking, swashbuckling style surely hasn't been watching!!

Dyche favours a solid, organised, hard-to-score-against approach. That's not going to change any time soon.

What may change is how high up the pitch we press them. Our good run pre-Xmas saw us pressing teams quicker and higher up the pitch. To good effect. That has somewhat diminished in the last month or two. I'm not sure if it's due to tactics or energy levels or nerves.

I'm happy for us to maintain a solid structure but within that we have to pick moments to be braver, to show composure, to press higher and to get men forwards.

Fingers crossed we see more of that today (though the setup will undoubtedly be defensive!).

Christy Ring
105 Posted 02/03/2024 at 10:22:57
Our team setup is totally defensive. Calvert-Lewin needs support upfront and, instead of him leading the line and staying around the penalty area, he's covering back, covering the wings.

Our two wingers are way too deep and our full-backs are seldom past the half-way line. For someone like Calvert-Lewin who thrives on crosses, they're seldom and far between.

Brian Harrison
106 Posted 02/03/2024 at 11:16:36
Like many I will be setting off to go to the game in a few hours time, but alas not with any excitement or expectation of seeing us play with more ambition. Our manager rightly or wrongly has decided that the best way to avoid the possibility of relegation is to play a defensive set up, in the hope either we score from a breakaway or more likely a set piece.

I believe that this group is capable of more than they are producing, its very rare you see us with more than 3 players in the opponents box unless its a corner. Sadly even the clubs around us show more attacking intent, and I don't know why that should be the case.

I haven't been Onana,s biggest fans, and thats mainly because he always takes the easy option. I remember our first glimpse of him coming on as a late sub away at Villa, within 5 minutes of coming on he picked up the ball on the edge of the Villa box, went into the box beat a man got down to the goal line and pulled the ball back for us to score and reduce the deficit. I thought at last a midfield player who can carry the ball and run at the opposition, yet even under Lampard we never saw a glimpse of that attacking midfielder, why not. We have Gana who can sit in front of the back 4 allowing Onana to get forward, also at 6ft 4ins if he appeared in the box we also have another aerial threat.

With getting 4 points back from our appeal we have to win today, which will put pressure on all the clubs around us. I know Dyche wont change his style but I just hope we can celebrate a win for the first time this year.

John Keating
107 Posted 02/03/2024 at 11:25:38
The team to come off the pitch today totally knackered going for the 3 points. Same next week at Man Utd.

Then they can rest up for a few weeks… But today, nothing less than 3 points.

David West
108 Posted 02/03/2024 at 11:57:22
Sam @104.

I definitely agree that the key to us creating more, is winning the ball higher up the pitch and catching the opposition when there's less of them behind the ball — "in transition", to use a phrase Dyche and many use nowadays (I hate it!).

Gana, Harrison and Doucouré were the keys to this, they are the ones who can force mistakes by pressing higher at the right times of course.

I think west ham are a bit like us sometimes, where they prefer a team to come on to them and hit them on the break, while struggling with teams who sit in and let them have the ball.

So prediction is a tight affair that opens up second half and we nick it 1-0.

Alan McGuffog
109 Posted 02/03/2024 at 12:03:03
Watched The Big Match Revisited earlier. Cup game at the Dell in 1981. Christ what a poor side but everyone worked their knackers off. If we can rekindle that spirit, we'll have no problems.

Incidentally, the replay was the only game I've been locked out of. Who eventually knocked us out in 1981?

Les Callan
110 Posted 02/03/2024 at 12:12:32
Alan. It was Man City after a replay (according to Google……wouldn't want you to think I'm a know-all)!
Paul Tran
111 Posted 02/03/2024 at 12:14:16
Great day, Alan. Four and a half hours there on the train. Frogmarched into that away end that was a cage that obscured most of the pitch. Battling goalless draw. Four and a half hours back. Great days. City did us the following round, kicked everything except the ball. That was one that got away at the end of an exciting cup run.
Jeff Armstrong
112 Posted 02/03/2024 at 12:20:14
Paul 111,

I think Ratcliffe got sent off v City at home for nutting I think Tommy Hutchinson. I remember going the replay in the pissing down rain and got beat 3-0.

Paul Baxter
113 Posted 02/03/2024 at 12:21:07
Alan, it was City at Maine Road, horrible weather and got drenched in those open corners they had.
Paul Tran
114 Posted 02/03/2024 at 12:25:45
Yes Jeff, a beautiful headbutt that summed up how we all felt!
Robert Tressell
115 Posted 02/03/2024 at 12:28:48
David # 108,

You're right, West Ham are a bit like us but with much more quality – especially on the flanks (full-backs and wide attackers) and in the Number 10 position (Paqueta / Ward-Prowse).

Tactically, Moyes will probably be fairly conservative still though. He knows he can invite Everton onto them because we seriously lack the quality to open up a defensive side. They will try to pinch the ball off us and break at speed which they are pretty good at.

This is why our home form generally is poor; we don't have the quality in attack or on the flanks to play on the front foot.

How do we combat this? Dyche will obviously choose to go long, play percentages, hope the ball drops for Doucoure or force set piece opportunities. Also pinching the ball off them as they build from the back – as we did well against Newcastle.

What else can we do? Vary it up with Beto and Dobbin up top instead of Calvert-Lewin and Doucouré? Play Patterson at right-back to help get crosses into their box? Go 3-5-2?

None of these are brilliant options. Probably the main thing is being brave enough to commit men forward in our 4-4-1-1(-ish) formation to pose a genuine threat from open play. Mykolenko and Godfrey are both good recovery defenders and should be able to handle Kudus and Bowen if West Ham break.

Michael Kenrick
116 Posted 02/03/2024 at 12:41:14
For those hoping to see Tyler Onyango at Goodison Park this afternoon, he is down in London along with Mackenzie Hunt and the other U21s playing Spurs.

There's a new name in our line-up down there: 18-year-old Welsh forward Omari Benjamin, whose family hails from Barbados; he has been on the books of Arsenal's academy. I've no report that we've signed him, but I think he's more than a trialist.

Dave Williams
117 Posted 02/03/2024 at 12:48:33
Oh the joys of long distance travel!!

Our coach has broken down for the second time so we are stuck at Keele services waiting for a replacement!

Will definitely miss the Harlech and might just make kick-off.
I was going to buy a drink for everyone at the Harlech so sorry I won't make it!!!

Fingers crossed for a coach and a win!!

Dom Kearney
118 Posted 02/03/2024 at 13:51:23
Danny, Derek and Neil,

Cheers lads, heading to the Harlech now for a pint then onto watch us beat West Ham!

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