07/03/2024 126comments  |  Jump to last
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Idrissa Gueye is rated as doubtful for Everton's trip to Old Trafford on Saturday where they will take on Manchester United, still looking to end what is now the Blues' longest run without a win in the Premier League for 30 years.

The Senegalese midfielder had to be withdrawn less than five minutes into the second half of the Blues' 1-1 draw at Brighton a fortnight ago and missed the defeat to West Ham last weekend with a groin problem.

Sean Dyche said in his press conference ahead of the game that Gueye "has a chance" of being passed fit enough to make the squad but it's unlikely.

Meanwhile, Arnaut Danjuma, who has been sidelined with ankle ligament damage since the goalless encounter with Fulham at the end of January, continues to make progress, in the manager's words, but won't be available until after Everton's upcoming three-week break in the fixture list.

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Dyche indicated that the team will likely travel to a training camp in Europe during the hiatus which will hopefully give the squad some time to recharge their batteries, with some players looking particularly jaded in recent matches.

Before that, however, Dyche will need to plot a way to become the first Everton manager to win on United's home turf since December 2013 when Bryan Oviedo famously scored a late winner that ended what was, at that time, a 21-year wait for victory at Old Trafford.

Since then, the Toffees have drawn four and lost five in this fixture, but last season's version was a depressingly routine home win for the Red Devils who ran out 2-0 winners last April.

Dyche is also grappling with his team's failure to win at all in the Premier League since mid-December, the worst such sequence since 1994, which hasn't been helped by his players' failings in front of goal and an increasingly vulnerability at the back where, previously, they were particularly strong.

Having not conceced a headed goal in the league all season, they've now conceded in that manner in consecutive games, the first at the Amex Stadium when Lewis Dunk equalised in stoppage time and then last weekend when Kurt Zouma connected with a James Ward-Prowse corner to level that game.

Dyche's response to Dominic Calvert-Lewin's goal drought was to start Beto against the Hammers and though the Portuguese saw a penalty saved, he atoned in the second half by converting James Garner's delicious cross to notch his second league goal since signing from Udinese last summer.

Whether the manager retains him in the starting XI for a tricky away fixture against erratic but possession-focused United, when a more traditional centre-forward capable of holding the ball up better and winning aerial duals might be more suitable, remains to be seen, however.

The other potential changes are at right-back, where Seamus Coleman is fit again but hasn't added to his tally of Premier League appearances due to the presence of Ben Godfrey but Dyche appears to be content with the latter playing out of position, and right-midfield where Jack Harrison's form has been patchy of late.

The on-loan winger was particularly poor last week against West Ham and was hooked in favour of André Gomes in the second half but his industry and the Portuguese midfielder's struggles to stay fit – he missed training on Thursday, according to the Liverpool Echo – mean that the former will likely keep his place for this one.

For their part, United come into this game under another cloud given the grumbles from fans at Erik ten Hag's management of the team and and media speculation over his future, with Brighton having to come out and state the importance to them of Roberto de Zerbi, a reported target for the new ownership structure at Old Trafford.

Their defeat in the Manchester derby last Sunday was their 11th in the Premier League this season and, unusually for a them and a team chasing Europe, they currently have a goal difference of -2.

Added to that, Ten Hag has a number of injury concerns which could, in the worst case, deprive him of up to 10 first-team players. Luke Shaw, Lisandro Martinez, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Tom Heaton, Tyrell Malacia and Mason Mount are ruled out while it looks as though Anthony Martial, a regular scourge of Everton teams past, will also be missing.

Meanwhile, there are reports that Jonny Evans, Harry Maguire and Rasmus Hojlund face late fitness tests.

All of which means that there are possibilities for Everton, who have arguably been better away from home than at Goodison Park over the past three months, to capitalise on the instability and unrest at Old Trafford and get something from this game.

It's hard to put into words what a rare win would mean while a point would be more than useful but a loss would make the barren three-week gap in the schedule feel that much more deflating. 

Kick-off: 12:30 pm, Saturday 9 March 2024
Referee: Simon Hooper
VAR: David Coote
Last Time: Manchester United 2 - 0 Everton

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


Reader Comments (126)

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Nick Palmer
1 Posted 07/03/2024 at 16:08:53
What about 'Oviedo baby'! December 2013.
Bill Hawker
2 Posted 07/03/2024 at 16:23:37
Another 3-0 win for Man Utd. They'll be raring to go after getting beat by Man City and we didn't cover ourselves in glory last time at home against them.
Mike Hayes
3 Posted 07/03/2024 at 16:46:40
See how many we miss and concede this week.

Even the hope is diminishing with turning wins into defeats.

Joe McMahon
4 Posted 07/03/2024 at 17:07:28
Nick #1, if my memory is working that was our first win at OT since Peter Beardsley scored in 1992 or 93.

Absolutely pathetic, isn't it?

Lee Courtliff
5 Posted 07/03/2024 at 17:21:49
That's right, Joe, we beat them 3-nil at Old Trafford in what was the second game of the season in the first-ever season of the Premier League era.
Christopher Timmins
6 Posted 07/03/2024 at 17:29:21
Playing a team who were without potentially their first choice back four last weekend plus their main striker. If, a big if, all remain absent come 12:30 pm on Saturday, we should be in with a shout of taking something from the game.

We were particularly poor in the corresponding fixture last year and our left-back, now right-back, had a horrid time.

We could do with a lift as things have been difficult and joyless, since just before Christmas.

Nick Palmer
7 Posted 07/03/2024 at 18:20:39
Agreed, it's hopelessly poor, Joe #4.
Jay Harris
8 Posted 07/03/2024 at 18:54:10
Stick Seamus and Patterson in for Godfrey and Harrison and away we go. Scruffy 0-1 win for us.
Danny O’Neill
9 Posted 07/03/2024 at 18:56:14
We can do it with belief.

Let's not forget, under Ferguson, they built an almost unbeatable dynasty that took the baton from that lot.

Beating them 5-0 at Goodison. Mountfield's equaliser at Old Trafford with Southall saving a penalty. Beating them 3-2 in 1989 (I think). Upsetting the odds to win the FA Cup.

Anything is possible.

I have no fear whatsoever.

Joe McMahon
10 Posted 07/03/2024 at 19:13:59
Danny, I always love your optimistic outlook, but the 5-nil at Goodison was 39 years ago. Marco Silva's Everton did thrash them at Goodison but we had Sigurdsson and Richarlison then.

Burnley with Dyche did win at Old T afford though.

Paul Kossoff
11 Posted 07/03/2024 at 19:14:02
My worry is that we are rapidly running out of cover games, meaning points in the bag that we really should have.

Crystal Palace at home, West Ham at home, we got a draw against Brighton but 2 points out of a possible 9 is not good enough, and that's down to the manager's strategy being negative.

Also, Thelwell's average transfers, Beto and Chermiti not being able to replace a very poor Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

We can't go into games and say, "Oh it's okay if we get beat because we're winning the easier ones." With the threat of a further points deduction, we have no cushion,

Brian Williams
12 Posted 07/03/2024 at 19:18:08
Sure it's not down to not putting away the numerous chances we've had to score?

A strategy I'm pretty sure is nowt to do with the manager!

Jim Bennings
13 Posted 07/03/2024 at 19:35:16
I have no real fear going into this fixture but that's probably because I expect nothing from it.

Regardless of Man Utd's average state since Ferguson left, we still invariably lose more than we get results in against that lot.

Our away record at venues like Old Trafford remains a mind-boggling mystery, when you consider the likes of Fulham and Bournemouth go to those places and regularly come away with 3 points.

I know we won at Anfield and Emirates during the Covid season but it felt like it was unlikely to have happened with full houses there. Maybe just me but based on what's happened again since and it reverting to type, I find it less likely.

Dave Abrahams
14 Posted 07/03/2024 at 19:38:16
Danjuma is a bit of a problem, he was hardly picked when he was fit. I understood that we still have to pay his full wages when he is unfit, he might be fighting fit following the 3 weeks without a game after we play Man Utd.

I believe we paid a decent wedge for his loan fee, plus wages. There won't be much left of the season if he returns. He didn't provide much when he played, he's like a bleedin' mini Gomes at the end of it.

Danny O’Neill
15 Posted 07/03/2024 at 19:43:20
It's okay, Joe.

You always go into battle believing you can win!

I forgot the final nail in Moyes's United coffin.

We are due a win and can get something from this.

Barry Rathbone
16 Posted 07/03/2024 at 19:49:08
Another expect nothing game hoping Utd have an off day to keep the score down.

A point might be squirmed if the devils are complacent otherwise a great excuse to crack on with hanging the double gates.

David West
17 Posted 07/03/2024 at 19:51:34
Tough game but we are better away than at Goodison, and better when a team is coming at us.

I'd like to see if McNeil could do the No 10 role, he has the vision and would have better shooting opportunities next to Doucouré, supporting Beto. Maybe a 4-3-2-1:


Mike Gaynes
18 Posted 07/03/2024 at 20:34:02
Off-topic, did you know Carlo is being targeted for jail in Spain? A prosecutor wants to send him to prison for almost five years for evading €1m in taxes.
Neil Tyrrell
19 Posted 07/03/2024 at 20:35:50
Much as I'd like to see another 4-4 that cost them the league about 10 (?) years ago, what a match that was, I'm expecting us to keep it tight and hopefully get a draw or smash and grab a win, à la Oviedo, baby.

Man Utd are up and down week to week from what I've seen of them this season. Sadly for us, they have lost a couple in a row and will be looking to make amends on Saturday. I thought we played okay against them at Goodison, got burned early by the goal of the season from Garnacho and then conceded a dubious late penalty if memory serves.

They're not all that and we can beat them with a good performance and a bit of (good) luck.

Danny O’Neill
20 Posted 07/03/2024 at 20:49:32
I forgot about that one, Neil. Crazy match that arguably contributed to Man City's title win.

I read that, Mike.

Cosa Nostra, sleep with fishes and horses heads on the bed for fans of the Godfather films. He'll know people to sort it out. I would imagine that, if found guilty, he'll get a fine like Ronaldo. Messi, who did get sentenced, but had it reduced to a fine.

Even Liverpool's probably future manager, Alonso was under investigation, although he was a bit more transparent.

A bit like the current P&S investigations, you wonder how many are at it.

Greed breeds greed.

Alan McGuffog
22 Posted 07/03/2024 at 21:11:39
Mike...Carlo in Spain, Li Tie in China. Its a shame The Alex have already got MornfLake Oats as the sponsor
Jonathan Oppenheimer
23 Posted 07/03/2024 at 22:34:47
Dyche won't pick Dobbin or bench Harrison, though I'd like to see it, but I sure wish he would bring in Patterson or Coleman for Godfrey. Beto earned his place in the starting XI with the goal, just don't let him take a penalty.

Time for a 1-0 win to break this ugly spell.

John Raftery
24 Posted 07/03/2024 at 22:38:51
Man Utd are very inconsistent. If we can catch them on one of their bad days, we can get a positive result.

Anyone who thinks we lost against West Ham because the manager was negative is mistaken. We created plenty of chances but failed to capitalise.

Once the game entered the final minutes, we should have shut up shop and settled for the draw. Instead, we were still throwing players forward into attacking areas, allowing West Ham space to counter.

Danny O’Neill
25 Posted 07/03/2024 at 22:44:43
That's bang on, John.

We should go to Old Trafford full of confidence.

I do every single match, even though they frequently give me anxiety attacks!

Andy Mead
26 Posted 07/03/2024 at 00:02:49
Routine 2-0 win for Man Utd without having to break a sweat.

Dyche will play the same players who continue to pass back to our playmaker Pickford for the customary hoof to nobody up front. Harrison will continue with his record of having every single cross blocked by the opposition and we will all look to every team below us losing to maintain our league status.

Watching Everton is like waiting to see the dentist, you don't want to but you know you must. Can't wait for the international break to have a rest from it all…

Brian Wilkinson
27 Posted 07/03/2024 at 00:16:20
Some players look jaded in the last few weeks? I wonder if it has anything to do with going with the same players and leaving them on the pitch until 88 minutes every single week???

Either Harrison or McNeil, or both, need starting from the bench, give them the last 20 minutes, give Dobbin a run out, start with Coleman right-back and put Garner on the other wing, I would go with Onana, Doucoure and possibly Young midfield, at least that starting 11 has a fighting chance.

But I have a feeling we will go with the usual starters, where Man Utd will pick us off then Dyche will throw subs on after the horse has bolted.

Please, for once, Dyche, surprise me.

Jack Convery
28 Posted 08/03/2024 at 01:14:53
For some reason I fancy us to get at least a point. Sorry, got to go – a white van has just pulled up outside!

Pickford, Coleman, Tarkowski, Branthworthwaiteingold, Mykolenko,
Patterson, Garner, Onana, Dobbin, Doucoure, Betonhimtoscore.

Martin Mason
29 Posted 08/03/2024 at 03:05:29
This season, I've made the decision to downgrade my Evertonian status to purely passive or even a thing of the past from nearly 70 years of active, mainly fanatic, support. Life has become just too short now for it to be negatively affected in any way by what the club has done and continues to do.

I've stopped going to or even watching any matches and contributing here and, as the season winds down, I hope to limit my interest to at most looking at the result after a game but possibly not even that.

I'm into 6 months of stopping drinking and feel now that stopping being a football supporter and getting a life will be just as good for me in terms of personal well-being. I'm bit by bit stopping reading or listening to any news and see this as a similar improvement in life quality.

Good luck to you wonderful true Evertonians, you deserve much better.

Bob Parrington
30 Posted 08/03/2024 at 05:37:03
Would come to visit you in the looney bin, Jack, but they won't let me travel out of Australia, stating I will be a risk to the other passengers because I regularly wear an Everton tee shirt and cap.

Betonhimtoscore (I like that one) also but not from the penalty spot!!!

Actually, thinking more about it, if he'd scored the header before the, penalty, he'd likely have scored from the penalty spot.

0-1 to us. 2 red cards for Man Utd and another 4 points penalty for us for daring to win a game!

Paul Hewitt
31 Posted 08/03/2024 at 07:03:23
3-0 United. Nothing else to say.
Danny O’Neill
32 Posted 08/03/2024 at 07:35:33
Come on Paul, a ball hasn't been kicked yet!
Mark Murphy
33 Posted 08/03/2024 at 07:54:26
Well that’s ruined my weekend!

Battered before a balls even been kicked!

Come ON Paul lad, NEVER write off the Blues either

Mark Murphy
34 Posted 08/03/2024 at 08:00:25
Missing you Martin! Good luck in giving up the booze and the blues!
(Ps I might have a spare for Chelsea away - interested?)
Frank Sheppard
35 Posted 08/03/2024 at 08:05:10
12.30 kick off and live game, so that my weekend spoilt very early. Or is it ……..? COYB (please).
Paul Hewitt
36 Posted 08/03/2024 at 08:13:29
Sorry guys but I'm worn out with it all. Point deductions, takeover turmoil, a crap team. My optimism is on the floor at the moment.
Tony Abrahams
37 Posted 08/03/2024 at 08:29:01
When I read your posts Paul H, then I think your optimism is never above the kerb, anyway, so I don’t think you hav had far to fall, mate!

Seriously though one of the few things I agree with Michael K about, is his disdain for that awful website Goodison News, but I had to agree with something I’ve just read on that site, that puts the finger on things perfectly.

The premier league is currently doing something a lot worse to Everton than the points deduction, it said, with the most cynical amongst us, starting to believe that it might just be a ploy?

Onto Old Trafford, a game in which we have nothing to fear, just as long as we deal with the ball over the top, a lot better than we dealt with it the last time we played at United, and also that flat track bully Fernandez.

Danny O’Neill
38 Posted 08/03/2024 at 08:30:27
Hopefully Paul, you can go into the 3 week break with some optimism.

Keep writing Martin and keep following the blues.

Frank, for the supporters that aren't Merseyside based, it's a ridiculous early start. As it will be for a lot of United supporters.

I see they've given us other evening kick offs at Newcastle and Chelsea.

Eddie Dunn
39 Posted 08/03/2024 at 08:35:50
Paul -it does grind you down and I honestly think that even the players see matches drift away from them -like last week.
After the uncertainty and stil lthe threat of more deductions it is clear that they all need a little break.
As do we!
Martin -good for you on the booze, and if we win tomorrow, you might feel like contributing!
Kevin Edward
40 Posted 08/03/2024 at 08:55:47
After last weeks show I’m going all out doom and gloom.
No doubt we’ll get picked off easily as we huff and puff trying to find the net.
I have no fear of Man U at Old Trafford, my fear comes from our lack of quality in the final third.
Our great away following deserve better, I hope they get it on Saturday. UTFT!
Tony Graham
41 Posted 08/03/2024 at 09:04:47
Every game that comes around I think they,ll get it together and put in a winning performance, but no, always a let down, its the hope that kills.
Jonathan Haddock
42 Posted 08/03/2024 at 09:16:44
Two more dreadful referees on the pitch and VAR. Hooper isn’t fit enough to keep up with play and rarely makes it out of the centre circle. Almost worth a goal to Utd before we kick a ball!
Bill Fairfield
43 Posted 08/03/2024 at 09:32:09
Just got to take our chances for a change, or it could be another miserable weekend. Just hope Dyche doesn’t start Beto. COYB.
John Keating
44 Posted 08/03/2024 at 09:50:09
To be honest I'll be more interested in Palace and Arsenal winning tomorrow, and Brighton on Sunday.

Regarding us, well, fed up being optimistic every game so realistically it'll be a case of hoping our goal difference doesn't get crazy.

Dyche has made mistakes that's for sure but it's about time the real blame was put firmly and squarely on the players.
It's not Dyche that's missing chance after chance every week.
All this XG shit is a joke. The only thing that matters is putting the ball in the net. We are creating chances, some really good chances, but the players are not taking them. Not Dyche, the players.

We can't keep making excuses.

Niall McIlhone
45 Posted 08/03/2024 at 09:51:45
If ever there was a good time to have a go at United, it is when their fans are edgy( following the poor showing at City) and with them having key injuries, especially in defence. They are also unlikely to qualify for ECL this season, and their manager may be on borrowed time.
I am sure our manager will go with the usual low block and “hit them on the break” tactics, and as such, we desperately need Doucoure playing in tandem with DCL or Beto so we have a workable outlet on regaining possession. Dyche has laid bare the issue- all outfield players need to take responsibility when they find themselves in goal scoring positions. I hope the players have the courage to implement the plan when it matters.
Jimmy Salt
46 Posted 08/03/2024 at 09:58:36
Drop Myko (yes) Seamus back in on the right, God at left back. And start with Beto.
Wont be watching going for a yomp, too many weekends ruined watching this turgid crap.
Dave Abrahams
47 Posted 08/03/2024 at 10:06:33
Ah/ Martin (29), It’s nice to hear from you, glad you are feeling better without the worry and fret of Everton hanging on your shoulders.

Keep looking in on ToffeeWeb Martin, you kept a lot of us on our toes and created debates, nearly every time you came on, I never thought there was any malice in your posts you just spoke your mind and posted what you genuinely thought and I knew you loved Everton FC as much as any of us.

Stay strong and healthy Martin, very best wishes.

Dave Williams
48 Posted 08/03/2024 at 10:10:37
Our wingers have been very poor lately and I quite like the thought of Seamus and Patto looking after the right flank between them in place of Jack. We need to pack midfield to counter their possession game so I’d play McNeil with Onana Garner and Doucoure and start with Beto roughing up their defence before subbing DCL on after no more than an hour. I’d play Onyango if he is fully match fit in place of Dwight but Sean’s dislike of blooding young players suggests that this, or indeed starting Dobbin wide left is unlikely.
Nothing to fear from this United team if we go for them.
Rob Dolby
49 Posted 08/03/2024 at 10:14:15
I would keep Beto in the starting 11. He scored a goal last week, dropping him would only demoralise the lad.

I would also rest Harrison and give Dobbin a run out. Both of our wingers look like they haven't got much left in the tank, the 3 week break should do them and us some good.

United have assembled one of the most expensive squads in world football so should be hot favourites meanwhile our rag tag bargain bin squad is running on empty but as the old saying goes it's not the size of the man in the fight but the size of the fight in the man.

We need this break to get some energy and focus back into the players. Since our little winning streak the edge has gone out of a couple of players games.

James Marshall
50 Posted 08/03/2024 at 10:22:16
I've just been looking at the home/away stats for us and Utd and us, and it makes for interesting reading: Utd's home/away form is almost identical - they score/concede the same home and away.

Man Utd home: W7, D1, L5. Away: W7, D1, L6. Goal difference both -1. Points per game at home: 1.69, PPG away: 1.57.

Everton home, W3, D4, L7, away: W5, D3, L5. Goal difference home: -3, away: -5. Points per game at home: 0.93, away: 1.38.

So we're marginally better away from home points-wise, our PPG is definitely better away, yet our goal difference is worse away from home.

Our shot conversion rate is shockingly terrible (surprise!), and ultimately the one stat that's destroying our season other than points deductions. Overall it's only 9%, home it's 8% and away 11%.

My guess is more of the same tomorrow - Utd will likely beat us by a couple of goals, we'll again have a few decent chances but fail to put them away, and although I don't make predictions, I will predict we get nothing out of the game as our trend continues for another week.

In my view, our season hangs on the 6 to 8 game period where we play Burnley, Chelsea, Forest, Brentford, Luton and Sheffield Utd. Add into that the RS at some point, and Arsenal away last game and I believe we need to be safe before the Arsenal game - if we need something at the Emirates last day of the season, they'll relegate us.

Jim Wilson
51 Posted 08/03/2024 at 10:27:01
Dave @ 48 - Totally agree. Play Seamus on the right with either Godfrey or Patterson. We need him back in the team and can give Harrison a rest.
Dave Abrahams
52 Posted 08/03/2024 at 10:37:29
Dave (48), Unless Onyango has improved dramatically I don’t think he will be playing and has nothing to do with his age, Dobbin would improve us as an attacking force but reduce out defensive ability if played wide, as a striker coming for the last third of the game he would increase our chances of scoring.

Patterson up wide on the right would give us better chances of getting crosses in and doubling up with Seamus, with one covering for the other would help if
Seamus can last the full game.

It’s all about opinions Dave and only Sean Dyche picks the team!!

Dave Williams
53 Posted 08/03/2024 at 10:43:57

I don't envy Sean at all. He's not got much to play with and I accept your point re Onyango. I just can't believe that our youngsters are so poor that none of them are considered ready to contribute to the senior side!

When we are talking about a 36-year-old coming in to energise the right flank, it shows how bad things are. We badly need Harrison and McNeil to come back from the training camp fully refreshed. A fully fit and refreshed squad is well capable of staying up.

Neil Lawson
54 Posted 08/03/2024 at 10:55:50
Lovely to have all these suggestions as to how to freshen up the lineup and address some of our recurring issues and failures. However, this is Dyche and it won't happen.

I agree wholeheartedly with everyone who advocates the recall of Seamus. Not least for his presence on the park. But will it happen? Somehow I doubt it.

Yes, give Dyche appropriate plaudits for achieving some stability in difficult circumstances and with limited resources. However, that must not be allowed to hide his very obvious limitations and resistance to change. No optimism about tomorrow. Fearing a miserable lunchtime.

Anthony Dove
55 Posted 08/03/2024 at 11:44:56
Please let the shirts be blue. It's another tradition being lost to the game.

When at Goodison, I want to see the likes of Man Utd and Arsenal in their true colours not some sort of Banksy like creation.

Sorry, I digress. Let's try and avoid breaking any further records tomorrow.

Denis Richardson
60 Posted 08/03/2024 at 12:11:29
League results have been inconsistently consistent recently, if that even makes sense. Going back to December, we won 4 in a row, then lost 3 in a row, then drew 4 in a row, before the expected loss away to Man City.

Last 3 games could have been three wins but for missing chances and gifting soft goals away. Tomorrow, who knows which Utd or which Everton will turn up. However, I wouldn't be surprised if we get a draw. We seem to play better away and it matches the teams set up better.

More important game is probably Palace - Luton and worryingly Brighton are playing Forest just when they seem to have badly lost form.

As long as Luton and Forest lose I'll take any Everton result. Sad but it's come to that.

James Marshall
61 Posted 08/03/2024 at 12:22:51
Denis @60,

I don't think it's sad to be thinking about other teams results – the same theory is applied whether you're at the top, middle or bottom of the table. It's a natural consequence of league-based sports.

Brian Wilkinson
62 Posted 08/03/2024 at 12:30:01
Niall @45,

Ten Hag was on borrowed time and talk of gardening leave before the away game at Everton, we will save him again because, if Man Utd get the first goal, it's game over.

I used to have a pop at posters writing us off before a ball was kicked but, from what I have seen – particularly the last 10 games – if we go with the same starting 11, we will be playing with two passengers after half-an-hour, Harrison and McNeil, both running on fumes.

The only hope we have tomorrow is the team tweaked, Patterson, Coleman and Dobbin getting a start, but it will not happen. That's why I am less than confident tomorrow. Man Utd will pick us off midway through the second half, then fire a couple in late on, unless we have McNeil, Calvert-Lewin and Harrison to come off the bench to counteract it in the second half.

Pat Kelly
63 Posted 08/03/2024 at 12:46:58
If we can keep it to 3-0 it’ll be like a pyrrhic victory.
Tom Bowers
64 Posted 08/03/2024 at 13:15:49
Hard to believe it's ten games without a win but, with a little luck, we should have picked up more points.

After that debacle last weak in the dying moments it's hard to envisage anything from tomorrow's game. Everton just don't seem to have the resolve to stand firm when they have something to hold on to.

We seem to be dependent on Luton and Forest losing games but we all know Everton have to get a few wins.

Like everyone else, I will be glad when this shit season is over and we get to fight another day (hopefully).

Rob Halligan
65 Posted 08/03/2024 at 13:20:12
Pat, if we can keep it to three, then that will do just fine. Can't see us scoring four though, but you never know, after all, who'd have thought we'd get five at Brighton last season?

But I'm not being greedy, just the one- or two-nil victory will do for me.

Dave Lynch
66 Posted 08/03/2024 at 13:26:23
I'll take a back-to-the-wall point.
Jim Bennings
67 Posted 08/03/2024 at 15:01:11
Having just seen the goals from Roma v Brighton last night, got me thinking when I saw Lukaku scoring a typically beautiful crisp clean strike how blessed we once were in the striking department.
Eddie Dunn
68 Posted 08/03/2024 at 15:09:55
I will tell you now that Dyche sees this game as a chance of gaining one precious point or possibly a chance to nick it late on from a corner. I fully expect him to pick a team designed to defend.

Young will appear on our right against his old club and hopefully Seamus will reclaim the right-back slot. If we avoid defeat, it would be a handy point and give the lads something positive to reflect on during their little break.

Christy Ring
69 Posted 08/03/2024 at 16:20:01
Hoping for a result tomorrow, but need to change the shape. Shamus at full back, Dobbin on the right, for Harrison, McNeill still has something to offer with his left foot, maybe in the 10 role?
Mihir Ambardekar
70 Posted 08/03/2024 at 16:31:35
We need this win badly to lift the spirits. But Dyche is uber conservative. We have to get as many points on the board as possible to be distant from 18th.

Hoping we nick a win 1-0..

Tony Waring
71 Posted 08/03/2024 at 16:35:49
Talk of Carlo's problems withe Spanish tax authorities prompts me to ask for some clarification. I understood that he "walked" out of the Everton job of his own volition. Neverthless we apparently had to pay him and his squad compo amounting to something like £12 million. Is that true or just my imagination working overtime ?
Jay Harris
72 Posted 08/03/2024 at 16:59:32

I don't know the amount but it was for a bonus that was due to him in his contract.

As he left of his own choice, I don't believe we paid any compensation.

John Raftery
73 Posted 08/03/2024 at 17:04:48
Jim (67) I remember a few on here saying Lukaku was a one trick pony who contributed nothing to the team… except scoring goals.

Furthermore, he would be easy to replace. We're still waiting and we will wait many more years before we see any striker anywhere near his standard playing for us.

Billy Shears
74 Posted 08/03/2024 at 17:08:33
I think this will be a carbon copy of the Man City away game from a few weeks back.

We'll compete for 60 or 70 minutes and then the Man Utd goal will eventually come, soon to be followed by the killer second goal 5-10 minutes later.

Job done for them and more misery for us Blues.

I'll sleep through this one folks and just hope that other results go our way.

Dale Self
75 Posted 08/03/2024 at 17:19:01
Early kick off, dig it. We have a decent chance.

Tony, I think he had a case that Moshiri did not honor his side of the agreement which prompted the exit.

Man Utd could tighten up if we stay in long enough. After losing to Fulham, the crowd could get frustrated and the team doesn’t seem mentally tough. We could settle in a bit and be a problem after 20 minutes. That first 20 minutes will be a test.

Brian Harrison
77 Posted 08/03/2024 at 17:21:56
My worry is, if we don't get anything from this game, it will give all the teams around us a huge lift, and they will all play next week which we won’t.

If results conspire against us, we could be back in a relegation spot before our next game.

Rob Birks
78 Posted 08/03/2024 at 17:42:23
Isn't this the 2nd time that Gueye has gone off injured since the African Cup?

Needs to get his priorities right now at 34 and keep fit for the team that pays his wages.

Just saying.

Andy Crooks
79 Posted 08/03/2024 at 17:43:55
The Racing Post have Man Utd as the worst bet of the day. They comment that Everton are considerably better than their league position and Man Utd much worse. I think they are spot on. However, I would, if I were not emotionally involved, not be backing us at less than 6/1.

If my confidence is eroded, I guess it must be for the players too. This is where it is down to the coach. Sean Dyche, inspire them and us!!

Danny O’Neill
80 Posted 08/03/2024 at 17:46:10
I understand the anxiety.

But some of the pessimism on this thread makes you wonder why 3000 supporters will bother tomorrow.

Well, they will, joined by countless others around the country and globe sat on the edge of their couches. Some behind them!

Mark Murphy
81 Posted 08/03/2024 at 17:50:21
We're going to win, Danny!
“To the regiment!
I wish I was there!”
Dale Self
82 Posted 08/03/2024 at 17:58:55
Danny, the key word is supporters.
Mark Murphy
83 Posted 08/03/2024 at 18:10:25
Whatever people post on line, whether it be Everton are magic, or we're doomed and going to lose 3-0, is irrelevant and has no bearing on the performance nor result.

But I can't for the life of me understand what some people get from predicting shite and moaning on the live forum when it's still 0-0 after 40 minutes (I'm being generous -– some of the shit starts after 5 minutes).

I'm not a happy clapper by any means but why do people want me to join them in their doldrums?

Paul Birmingham
84 Posted 08/03/2024 at 18:17:41
Everton, can win tomorrow, and hopefully maintain they're generally good performance levels away this season (Villa and Wolves, aside).

Everton’s luck will change and those whom believe will see success tomorrow.

Man Utd are not in the best of form and Everton can cause the upset tomorrow.


Ray Said
85 Posted 08/03/2024 at 18:25:17
I think the Man Utd style will suit us. They will attack all game, we will defend 'backs against the wall' style and look for long ball breakaways which is exactly when the current team looks most effective.
Andy Crooks
86 Posted 08/03/2024 at 18:31:20
Mark Murphy @ 83, spot on. It is beyond comprehension what utter glee some get. I think it is an almost creepy desire to say “I predicted it.”
Brian Williams
87 Posted 08/03/2024 at 18:34:20
Or maybe they're just miserable negative fuckers!
Dale Self
88 Posted 08/03/2024 at 18:48:54
Since I usually attack them in the Love Forum, another explanation is offered here. This has been exhausting for all of us and for some just too much. It is kind of like that person you really love that simply isn’t cutting it at the relationship level. You can’t make out what their problem is in not getting it together and at some point you start to hate that side of them a bit. That is the best I can come up with. If they can not get weird about the responses to it I can certainly forgive, after I’ve rudely attacked them for it of course.
Brian Wilkinson
89 Posted 08/03/2024 at 18:52:06
Or maybe realists Brian@87

I doff my cap Danny, a real inspiration to those lucky enough to be able to get the game tomorrow.

I cannot say we will roll Utd over tomorrow, not with what I’ve witnessed these past 10 weeks, same formation, same 11 starting that’s fit, subs too late, same result, only I am basing my thoughts on what I have seen.

If being honest with my opinion makes me negative, I will take being negative on the chin.

Brian Williams
90 Posted 08/03/2024 at 19:03:15
There's a difference in being honest and just constantly moaning Brian.
We all know the situation we're in, we all know we're not very good but some wallow in the misery and just churn out the same old moans every time.
I can't see the point in logging in to moan and put forward nothing constructive.
I mean, why bother?
Rob Halligan
91 Posted 08/03/2024 at 19:29:07
Andy # 86……..you’re right, there are a few who predict not only a loss, but also the correct score, and they must be itching to come on and say “See, I told yer so, aren’t I fucking great”.
Danny O’Neill
92 Posted 08/03/2024 at 19:34:53
Andy Crooks. Can you resend your number please? I tried calling you earlier but the number didn't work.

0796 600 7546


Brian, hopefully the blues cheer you up tomorrow. Like all of us regardless of opinion we are all part of the Everton family.

Keith Gleave
93 Posted 08/03/2024 at 19:40:06
Our tactics are now so well known that a complete change and move to playing the wide men out wide and putting crosses in. If we can manage to attack the crosses and actually score, we could revert to type in the second half.
Jay Evans
94 Posted 08/03/2024 at 19:52:36
Anyone who actually watches us regularly knows exactly what is going to happen. It will be pretty much the same team (DCL for Beto being the only change I think ?) and we will be defensive and dull throughout.

Dyche constantly rewards underperforming players by continuing to pick them after a defeat. I know he doesn’t have much to work with - we can all see that - but look at the performances of our wide players last week. They are both really struggling and that was magnified when you compare them against the 2 wide West Ham lads.

I’m not sure what Lewis Dobbin has to do to get a start.

I’m not sure what Jack Harrison has to do to get a blow.

Usual dull Old Trafford shit show will follow I reckon.
God I hope I’m wrong.
God we need a win.

Paul Ferry
95 Posted 08/03/2024 at 19:53:15
You're right Brian (Williams) there is a real difference between someone gradually over months falling into despair and others who seem pathologically unable to say something good about us. It can seem like it's drummed into their DNA.

This is something that I will never understand, although I lob grenades at the three baldies on the sidelines and individual players when it seems reasonable to do so. But - initials only - JB, BR, DA and the rest of the misery guts brigade (they have a new apprentice now, I see, DW, who really needs to work on articulation) seem to exist under an ever-present black pissy cloud.

How do they get any satisfaction from their incessant doom and gloom drumbeat, but they can't wait to pop on with a "told yer so". But they will run for the hills or toss off a one-liner if you ask them to provide something of substance to back up their vacuous generalisations. And Jeez they will push the boat if ever offering a little bit of "history" to jazz up their bleak pontificating. "We aint won there since. "; "not since [fill in the year] have we won there"; "we usually get beat by these", and invariably it's just wrong. JB is the Phil Foden of this.

Paul Ferry
96 Posted 08/03/2024 at 20:00:07
Nor do I understand why anyone would think that we will lose tomorrow as night follows day.

United: set up in a way that ought to suit us; have a team that is a faint shadow of SAF's last season (and the one lad who was on fire is crocked); define the word "inconsistent"; have a knobhead between the sticks; change their defence sometimes on a weekly basis; do not like being frustrated and contained.

David West
97 Posted 08/03/2024 at 20:29:50
You can be a realist without being a moaning, negative, draining contributor!!

I'm realistic about our chances. We can beat them if we play well and they are not at their best. Let's face it if they turn up and play at their best we are in for a long afternoon, which is the case when we play any of the top 7-8 teams.

That's not to say we don't have a chance, stick with beto let him build some confidence and understanding with the rest of the team.

Early kick off maybe a plus for us, they might just expect an easy game, so if we on it from the start it may suprise them.

We are due a win, and a bit of luck, let's make our own luck with hard work and commitment.

Mark Murphy
98 Posted 08/03/2024 at 20:31:06
Paul, you missed out the king of misery and gloom - Ian Edwards. He's on there from 5 minutes at 0-0 until the end. Unless we're winning.
Rob Halligan
99 Posted 08/03/2024 at 20:35:28
Mark, what happened to IE’s mate JT, him who kept telling us “There’s no new stadium”.
Brent Stephens
100 Posted 08/03/2024 at 20:44:21
Rob, re that conversation at the weekend about the pedalo, you'll be interested to know I've now fitted the second pedal. Tested it in the sea just off Southport (well, about a mile out before I got to water) and it no longer goes tound in circles (I should never have taken it out with just one pedal!). Only problem was, I had to carry it out to the water on my back and I could hear some girls on the pier laughing at "that turtle with short white legs".
Rob Halligan
101 Posted 08/03/2024 at 20:52:18
Brent, it’s going to need some serious testing before it’s considered sea worthy. I’m sure there’s a few on here who we could persuade to put their lives at risk in helping to test your fine vessel!
Paul Ferry
102 Posted 08/03/2024 at 20:53:45
I was always led to believe that it was quicksand and then "sea" at Southport beach. Mark/Rob, to be fair to me I say "and the rest of the misery guts brigade"!
Mark Murphy
103 Posted 08/03/2024 at 21:06:07
Just watching Richard Osman's House of Games. There's a round when you have to identify songs that they've written the clues backwards.

This one ended Alone Walk Never. Jo (my wife) got really annoyed with me when I answered "OFF FUCK!!" Rather loudly…

Brent Stephens
104 Posted 08/03/2024 at 21:10:27
Rob, Paul, I'd be happy to let them all try it out at once. Waving not drowning?
Rob Halligan
105 Posted 08/03/2024 at 21:10:54
That was the correct answer, Mark!
Oliver Molloy
106 Posted 08/03/2024 at 21:14:39
I have only read some of the posts at the back end of this thread.

If there are Evertonians on here who reckon it will be another defeat for us tomorrow (I include myself), then I think it's fair enough.

I can guarantee that I for one will be over the fucking moon if we win, but I just can not see how we can.

I'm sure the team will put in a shift but it will be the same story.

Danny O’Neill
107 Posted 08/03/2024 at 21:16:52
I have to leave the room and family functions when that song gets played.

I'd rather walk alone. On hot burning coal barefoot.

Spirit. Forever.

Sorry. In the zone.

Phil Smith
108 Posted 08/03/2024 at 21:37:01
Harrison should not start this game. He has been getting slowly worse over the last few weeks and was woeful in our last match.

He's on loan and should be dropped for one of our lads now. If you're out of form you shouldn't be an automatic starter.

I'd rather Patterson played there. At least he can cross a ball with his right foot!

Paul Ferry
109 Posted 08/03/2024 at 21:40:03
Agree, Danny, I have to mute it as soon as I hear it and the same goes for that goofy bingo clown on the touchline, I can't bear his voice and his dumb smart-arse grin when something goes against him.

Phil, I'm also deeply concerned about Harrison and have come to see his selection from one week to the next as a sort of litmus paper test for Dyche.

Mark Murphy
110 Posted 08/03/2024 at 21:56:00
It's a freebee – let's go 4-3-3:

Coleman Tarkowski Branthwaite Mykolenko
Garner Doucouré Onana
Chermiti Calvert-Lewin Dobbin

Ashley Roberts
111 Posted 08/03/2024 at 22:53:47
I agree with several previous comments, please oh please, Sean, start Seamus. This change will also help Harrison who has been isolated with Godfrey who can defend but provides nothing going forward.

Along with bringing back Calvert-Lewin, these for me are the only realistic changes from last week's team. We seem to have been undone by wonder goals against just recently. Let's hope our luck changes.

Jerome Shields
112 Posted 08/03/2024 at 23:14:33
Martin #29,

Best Wishes. It is important sometimes to look at life and even better to have the strength to make changes. You will be better for it.

Everton are the way they are and have been mismanaged through no fault of any of us.

Good Luck, Martin and look after yourself.

Sean Kelly
113 Posted 08/03/2024 at 23:39:44
I hope we compete for 100 minutes tomorrow. Everyone needs to be committed. We need to get revenge for the Goodison Park shambolic display earlier this season.

I want to see our Onana dictating play throughout and use this as his shop window. A one-nil to us and defend like our lives depended on it will do for me.

Here I go, dreaming again… but I live in hope. I have four sons who are Man Utd fanatics and for once I'd prefer to not hide behind the couch when they visit.

Brendan McLaughlin
114 Posted 08/03/2024 at 23:43:14
Martin #29,

For once, I completely agree with Jerome... enjoy the "retirement".

You will be missed.

Kunal Desai
115 Posted 08/03/2024 at 23:48:31
Can we bring Robert Waryzcha on as a half timetime sub?
Pete Gunby
116 Posted 08/03/2024 at 03:03:36
Ready for a 4:30 start here in California. Hope springs eternal- dreaming of getting it right and stuffing the second most hated team.

Churchill had it right: Never never never give up!

Derek Knox
117 Posted 09/03/2024 at 04:28:27
Optimistic as per usual, but realistically worried as per our goals, and who or where they are coming from.

I remember when we scored and won about 4 games on the trot, with them coming from all departments. Basically the same group of players… headscratcher – nothing new there then!

Laurie Hartley
118 Posted 09/03/2024 at 06:19:14
Phil #108,

“ At least he can cross a ball with his right foot!”.

For me. that is the number one reason Patterson should start instead of Harrison.

My second reason is we need someone to get up Fernandes's nose and put him off his game.

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

Get the ball out wide and ping it into their box. Sooner or later, we are going to win a game. Why not this one?

Up the Blues!!!

Frank Fearns
119 Posted 09/03/2024 at 06:39:37
When we lost at home to Man Utd in November, I think it was the first game after the 10-point deduction malarky. Goodison was at its best, the crowd were up for it, as were the players…

Then, a wonder goal in the first few minutes which was like a stab to the heart! It all became overwhelming and Man Utd just pushed the ball about and took the steam out of the hype. Good tactics.

Despite that, we got back in the game and, though there were a couple more goals from them, I thought we didn't deserve to lose.

I've a good feeling in my urine for today — or is that my enlarged prostate beginning to give me jip?!

Paul Ferry
120 Posted 09/03/2024 at 06:56:32
All the best, Martin (Mason). Your blood pressure will be lower and I can see how a 6-month booze freeze coincides with pulling away from Everton.

That said, I fully expect you to be back one day, and, despite our past skirmishes I look forward to that. If that is not to be, enjoy your retirement.

Foakes out, 113-6, what a knobhead Stokes looks now with his gung-ho cricket. Mind you, not as big a knobhead as mouthy Duckett.

Mark Murphy
121 Posted 09/03/2024 at 09:09:59
Not a good start to the weekend, Paul Hewitt – what's the chances of Everton cheering us up??
Paul Hewitt
122 Posted 09/03/2024 at 09:16:06
After today, no Everton for 3 weeks. Now that should cheer everyone up.
Danny Baily
123 Posted 09/03/2024 at 09:20:14
Man Utd have the most offsides of any club this season, and aren't dispossessed often. Our usual style isn't suited to that.

I think we'll need to go for it today and hope for the best. Sitting back is just waiting to be picked off.

Mark Murphy
124 Posted 09/03/2024 at 09:21:46
Saints lost, England cricket lost, surely God won't put the boot in today?

I've been really good, I'm not wearing anything remotely resembling red and I haven't had a ham shank in years…

I've done my bit – it's up to Dyche and the boys now. UTFT

Brent Stephens
125 Posted 09/03/2024 at 09:31:34
Martin #29 best wishes, mate. Always a blue.
Christopher Timmins
126 Posted 09/03/2024 at 09:33:39
We can keep a clean sheet today and move closer to safety.
Dave Abrahams
128 Posted 09/03/2024 at 10:15:47
Paul (95),

Put Sean Dyhe on your list of misery guts people: he is reported in The Liverpool Echo today saying, “If any of the young lads at the Acadamy were good enough, I would have picked them.”

He singled out Branthwaite and Dobbin as being good enough.

Tony Abrahams
129 Posted 09/03/2024 at 10:46:58
If we are all going to start moaning, then Everton's academy is not fit for purpose right now and this part of the club needs a total and utter revamp, imo.

I thought McKenzie Hunt was looking like a decent player but then got the shock of my life when I read he was already 22 years of age.

What are 22-year-olds doing still playing uncompetitive football? Or more to the point, how is anyone involved in trying to produce players for the first team actually allowing this?

Dave Cashen
130 Posted 09/03/2024 at 10:48:26
Rob @65,

Like it!

Mark Murphy
131 Posted 09/03/2024 at 10:50:52
Or alternatively, Dave, he's right?

He sees the squad a lot more than we on here do and whether we agree with his choices and tactics or not, he is a professional, experienced Premier League manager who should, and almost certainly does, know much much more about this squad's capabilities and limitations than we do?

With respect, as I know you and Tony do now what your talking about, but I'd be worried if Dyche picked his team and tactics based on the thoughts of the well intentioned but ultimately unqualified majority of TWebbers, including my own 4-3-3 with Chermiti and Dobbin with Calvert-Lewin. In my head, it's worth a go – but it's never going to happen and would probably be disastrous if it did.

Derek Knox
133 Posted 09/03/2024 at 11:07:26
Paul H, @ 36 what's new ? :-)

Hoping for some tactical change from Dyche, we have generally played reasonably well, but can't close a game out from a winning position.

Substitutes always left far too late, and not always the right ones, in the situation. We even played well against Man Utd at our place, but that early Worldie floored us, plus a twat of a referee. Beginning to think there are no decent and fair or unbiased referees at all!

Dave Abrahams
135 Posted 09/03/2024 at 11:30:57
Mark (131),

I'd say he was correct as I was pointing out over one of the not so young players in a post yesterday and as Dave Williams said on-another post that he didn't envy Sean Dyche the job of selecting the team each week with the squad at his disposal.

I think we can get a result at Man Utd today provided we take the goal scoring chances on offer — that has been the difference in getting points or losing them, as most of us realise.

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