19/04/2024 172comments  |  Jump to last
Match Preview

Jarrad Branthwaite came through a light training session today and the hope is he will be fit to play after coming off during the second half against Chelsea on Monday

Everton go into the latest of a series of huge games at Goodison Park as rivals to avoid relegation, Nottingham Forest, come to town and the outcome could have a huge bearing on whether the Toffees remain in the Premier League for next season.

The Grand Old Lady has borne witness to some hugely significant occasions over the past two years as the respective seasons have entered their crucial stages but this will be the first genuine "six-pointer" staged here since the 1-0 win over Leeds United 14 months ago.

Everton and Forest will come into the fixture separated by a single point, the result of the former's harsher treatment by their first Independent Commission, which opted to deduct 10 points from the Club (later reduced to six, of course) and the fact that the Blues were hit with an unprecedented second sanction in the same season with two more points taken away.

Depending on what happens between Luton and Brentford 24 hours earlier, the East Midlanders might be kicking off in the relegation zone – either a potential motivator or source of fear – but for Sean Dyche, the task is a simple one: pick his players up after that horrific 6-0 defeat at Chelsea on Monday and get them back to playing the kind of football that beat Forest in the return fixture in December in the middle of a run of five wins in six.

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“We can’t just park it, that’s for sure,” said Dyche during his press conference at Finch Farm of his team's humiliation at Stamford Bridge. “I certainly haven’t. The players were affected by it, and they were very disappointed – as was I, in my part as manager. I take responsibility, inevitably.

“We spoke to the players about it, and they fed back their disappointment, as well as mine. Equally, by now we’ve made sense of it, of course, but, the day after, we certainly [hadn't]. It was a challenge, but now you do have to park it.

"So, we’ve had a chat about it this morning to finish it off and go, ‘Right, that’s gone. We move forwards'."

Everton attracted widespread criticism for their abysmal defending during a first half that yielded four goals for Chelsea and a hat-trick for Cole Palmer. Central midfielders Amadou Onana and James Garner paid the price by being taken off at half-time but neither James Tarkowski nor Jarrad Branthwaite covered themselves in glory on the night.

"You've got to do the basics," Dyche explained. "You've got to work, you've got to harry, you've got to press, you've got to fight, you've got to tackle and you've got to play, of course. And we were nowhere near either.

“There were a lot of home truths [aired] – me included, by the way – about what I expect from myself, from the staff, and from the players, and realigning, saying: ‘Right, you can only do it as a group. You can’t do it as individuals,' and pull it all back together.

“The players have been disappointed. I must make that clear. It’s a funny thing about football nowadays... ‘Oh, do they care?’ They care. Trust me, they care. I care deeply about what we’re trying to achieve here, but they care as well."

Those afore-mentioned midfield performances, combined with the anticipated availability of Idrissa Gueye after two games out, will probably make Dyche's selection task easier for this one, with Onana expected to start on the bench and André Gomes preferred to Garner.

There is a strong argument for deploying Garner either at right-midfield or right-back in the absence of injured duo Seamus Coleman and Nathan Patterson but the sensible money would go on either Ben Godfrey or Ashley Young starting at full-back and, perhaps Jack Harrison, taking the more attacking role on the right.

Arnaut Danjuma's return to fitness provides another option off the bench while, up front, the hope is that Dominic Calvert-Lewin will come through one last training session tomorrow with no reaction in his hamstring so that he can lead the line.

Forest boss Nuno Espirito Santo will still be wtihout striker Taiwo Awoniyi and defender Willy Boly while Anthony Elanga will undergo a late fitness test but he will be looking for midfield dynamo, Morgan Gibbs-White, and tall forward Chris Wood to provide his main threat against an Everton side that has forgotten how to defend in recent weeks.

The Blues' back line was hardly troubled by Burnley in their last home match, an ugly 1-0 win, but you had to go back to January for their previous clean sheet.

The more promising statistic for Dyche's goal-shy outfit, however, is that the Trees have only kept one clean sheet of their own since the first week of November and they've been particularly vulnerable at set-pieces which have, for much of the campaign, been Everton's bread and butter. 

Victory for the Toffees coupled with defeat for Luton would clearly provide a massive boost to Everton's survival hopes as it would put four points between them and Forest and move them five ahead of Luton with those two rival teams only having four games left to play. Fingers crossed Dyche's charges rise to the challenge and seize the day.

Kick-off: 1:30pm, Sunday 21 April 2024
Referee: Anthony Taylor
VAR: Stuart Attwell
Last Time: Everton 1 - 1 Nottingham Forest

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


Reader Comments (172)

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Colin Malone
1 Posted 19/04/2024 at 22:40:35
No Doucoure for me. Garner, with Gomes further up.
He is not a defensive midfielder for crying out loud.
Andy Meighan
2 Posted 19/04/2024 at 22:43:58
Don't know what to make of this.

If you'd have asked me on Tuesday or Wednesday I would have been indifferent to it.

Now the dust has settled after that debacle on Monda, I'm more and only a tiny bit more optimistic.

The other part of me says 1 win in 15 and by god that stat makes me cringe. So I'm not getting my hopes up.

Let's be fair, Forest are no great shakes, but I said the same about Chelsea and we all know the outcome of that.

I'll go for a draw, but be over the moon with a win.

Derek Knox
3 Posted 19/04/2024 at 23:45:35
I would take a scruffy or a lucky goal again now, if it meant a win and 3 points, if it were that easy.

Forest will have the smell of fear and 3 points themselves. What worries me is they have some dangerous players capable of scoring, which we haven't!

Paul Birmingham
4 Posted 20/04/2024 at 00:07:19
For me, after Monday, it's all on this game, it defines Everton's survival approach, all things considered.

Shit Creek we cleared 2 years ago… but this is now.

Pete Clarke
5 Posted 20/04/2024 at 01:30:44
Dyche has to get this right and organize his players to have a good go at Forest and not sit too deep. The crowd will react if we are too defensive and that will make it worse.

Time for our only two decent footballers in Gomes and Garner to step up and find some passes through the leaky opponents' defense and, if Danjuma is fit, then I would give him a start. Sick of seeing our two big so-called strikers.
Mark Andersson
6 Posted 20/04/2024 at 02:21:26
It's been the perfect storm this season and relegation beckons... do us as fans have it in us to pull this team over the line again?

The pressure is on Everton, I think Forest will be less worried...
2-0 to Forest.

Dale Self
7 Posted 20/04/2024 at 02:34:42
As the wisest of tacticians, Pat Kelly once said, “just twat these”.
Jamie Crowley
8 Posted 20/04/2024 at 03:24:02

Pat also said, "Are we still in this?" :0)

This is it. This is the defining game.

The showdown at the OK Coral. Must win.

Say your prayers, kids, we lose this and it's curtains.

It's killing me that I'll be driving in Georgia back to Florida and have to watch on the phone, not able to be on the Live Forum. But that's honestly just personal, trivial things. We just have to win this game. Three points or we're in big, big trouble in my opinion.

The showdown at the OK Coral. The Alamo. Pick your thing, this is it.

Kieran Kinsella
9 Posted 20/04/2024 at 04:03:09
If we are not above Luton come Sunday lunchtime, you may find me a grave man.
Don Alexander
10 Posted 20/04/2024 at 04:26:17
In case anyone's unaware, Moshiri trusting Kenwright has fucked us for years to come.

The game against Forest is a mere precursor of things to come given that their incompetence will lead this summer to the loss of all of our competent players to the range of far better run clubs, namely everyone else.

Gana, Garner, and Gomes for a place in the team is the very least of the hideous problems inflicted on us by the two who've destroyed our viability and very existence.

Mark Murphy
11 Posted 20/04/2024 at 04:58:25
I don't think anyone is unaware of that, Don.
Jerome Shields
12 Posted 20/04/2024 at 05:37:40
Everton now have me joining Christine in the middle-of-the-night walkabout club.

What tactics can Dyche come up with now? Will it be Dycheball staying deep at Goodison with a lone striker, giving Forest dominant possession, which is dangerous, since they do have players that score? Or does he push up the pitch with a higher defensive line, after getting thoroughly taken apart for doing so by Chelsea?

His selections will be similar, like a bad habit – Young first on the team sheet. Gomes can look like a midfielder. Keane can't be risked at the back. Beto will start as I can't see Calvert-Lewin being up to it yet.

I think the game will be a goalless draw on paper, with us depending on other teams faltering to keep Everton out of the relegation zone. Need the run of the ball to do better. We really can't have any headless chicken players that's for sure. Everton to do okay somehow!

Danny O’Neill
13 Posted 20/04/2024 at 05:57:23
Jamie, I'll add some British examples. Dunkirk or Rorke's Drift!

Put Monday night behind us, come out, fight, win your early battles and the right to play. And play with confidence.

The supporters will do their part if they see a reaction on the pitch.

As always, the Billy Smart's Circus off the pitch can wait. It's all about getting the result tomorrow.

Christine Foster
14 Posted 20/04/2024 at 06:13:35
Jerome, I will be glad when this season is over, I will either be worn out or just plain dead, my heart not taking the thought of me shouting at the TV at 4 am again.

I find a clarity that deserts me several hours later with sunrise, I daren't go out as my bad temper, bloodshot eyes and grumpy misdemeanour scare the heck out of the Sunday morning breakfast crew at Macca's!

Funny enough, after Burnley, I had a spring and a smile, until Masters and Co took another pound of flesh. It's been torture, nothing less... but I am getting a drop of scotch in because Winter's coming and it's cold at 2 am. Besides, if the game doesn't go well, I won't remember it.

Terry Farrell
15 Posted 20/04/2024 at 06:39:41
Garner, Onana and Gueye have to start. Please no Young.

Gomes only if paying at 10 instead of Doucouré. Garner will have to play wide right for this game.

Frank Fearns
16 Posted 20/04/2024 at 07:07:44
Terry 16.

I don't usually get into who should and shouldn't play as I do think whoever dons the shirt should play their guts out. However, I have to say Onana from my observation is totally useless.

He always passes the ball backwards or sideways very rarely looking to go forwards. He does not create space often close to a defender if not behind one. He strolls about looking the business but creativity is non-existent.

The other bloke I'd ditch is Pickford. His antics are not good for defenders. Constantly waving his arms and gobbing off and he makes more mistakes than any of them. His distribution has deteriorated, slicing the ball, going straight into touch or to the opposition. Virginia has an even temperament and is reassuring for defenders.

Paul Ferry
17 Posted 20/04/2024 at 07:07:50
Dyche said in his Forest presser when asked about poor form: "It's not my fault, it's not theirs [the players]".

He actually said that. Speechless. There are no words.

It's horrible when professional dislike begins to seep into the personal. I don't like it.

He also said: "I try to speak in factual terms" and
"15 games ago I was the Messiah"… There are no words.

This summer coming is our most important ever and dumping Dyche is about the 4th or 5th ranking issue. But this embarrassment has to go whether we go down or he, erm, "saves" us.

If he doesn't start Gomes, drops Young, starts a fit Gana, drops or shifts Doucoure from the hole behind, all fingers ever so tightly crossed, Calvert-Lewin (and continues in the same vein), then the immovable frozen Dyche and the other two golf balls on the sidelines have to go as soon as possible in May, but they have to already.

Jerome Shields
18 Posted 20/04/2024 at 07:40:03

I sympathise with your concern because no amount of analysis can calm the brains solving cycles regarding Everton. But as Evertonians, we have been here before and survived.

Dyche has to come up with something we can latch onto. For some reason, he does not connect with the terraces. There seems to be a feeling that events of the pitch are overwhelming.

At this stage, Evertonians would gladly have Moshiri sell Everton for two pigs, just to get clarity.and some type of starting point to go forward. I don't think any of us signed up for anything other than the football. Anything to get back to that.

Good Luck and best wishes, Christine.


I agree with your midfield and use of Gomes. Why he would play Young is difficult to fathom. Onana's play is for a functioning tactical midfield, which your selection gives a chance., He is lost when Dyche dicks about with that.

Mark Dunford
19 Posted 20/04/2024 at 07:41:26
So many permutations but the reality is that this genuinely is a must-win game; lose and we may well sink into the Bottom 3 while a draw is likely to leave us on the cusp of the drop zone.

The team that doesn't score plays the team that never fails to concede. Looks like a fixture with draw written all over it.

You would pray that it couldn't be worse than Monday and Everton have a dazzling ability to defy expectation. More Brighton than Chelsea would be best…

Chris Williams
20 Posted 20/04/2024 at 07:44:44
There’s a very outspoken interview with Sean Dyche in the Echo. Obviously outside the duty stuff he does for TV broadcasts.

Very strong rhetoric.

Sam Hoare
21 Posted 20/04/2024 at 07:51:01
Huge game.

I struggle to remember the last time we actually played well? Maybe the 2-2 draw with Tottenham in early February? We are overdue a good performance. Hopefully the Chelsea result will have sparked a reaction.

Selection and tactics wise I’m not expecting huge change and to be fair the options are limited. I’d like to see Garner tried at right back but it will likely be Godfrey or Young, two pretty poor options as one offers nothing at all on the ball and the other can be a liability in defence.

I’ve defended Onana countlessy but he’s been very poor recently. Gueye will hopefully offer some consistency in the middle and where the hell is the Doucoure who looked so dangerous before Christmas?! Danjuma when fit can be dangerous so I hope he’s up for it.

Most of the players are playing beneath themselves at the moment. Whether that is due to fatigue, nerves, confidence or disharmony I don’t know but Dyche needs to sort it.

Win tomorrow and we’re four points clear of Forest with superior goal difference and them having only 4 games left. Make it happen. COYB

Kunal Desai
22 Posted 20/04/2024 at 08:04:46
Head says we see out a 1-0 win.h

Heart says Wood plunders in a double.

Jarmo Rahnasto
23 Posted 20/04/2024 at 08:09:20
Pickford, Godfrey, Tarkowski, Branthwaite, Mykolenko, Gana, Garner, Gomes, McNeil, Harrison, Calvert-Lewin.
Danny O’Neill
24 Posted 20/04/2024 at 08:09:35
Looks like Branthwaite, Idrissa and Calvert-Lewin could be available for tomorrow.
Steve Brown
25 Posted 20/04/2024 at 08:10:27
Sam @ 22,

I think Onana knows he is leaving in the summer and wants to avoid injury before the Euros.

Alan J Thompson
26 Posted 20/04/2024 at 08:16:07
I don't normally like second guessing the manager's team selection but he certainly needs to have a word with Pickford and probably stop him taking free kicks near the halfway line.

Then he needs to speak to Tarkowski about his positioning in the back line which seems to have been all over the place for the last few weeks and I wonder if that doesn't have something to do with who we've had playing right back in the last 6 or more weeks.

I'd still start Onana in midfield as "only passing backward and sideways" probably has more to do with his team mates' positioning. Then Gomes for his ability to hold the ball and spot a pass and Gana for his defensive qualities although I'm not sure he has any others.

Up front it's a choice between DC-L and Beto and whichever play Danjuma off him for his pace.

This then leaves the two problem positions of right back and midfield. I'd rather that Young is not considered but seems to do no wrong in Dyche's view, the alternative appearing Godfrey who has not been outstanding, but who has, or chance Garner. In this formation is there any other option if Coleman and Patterson are injured. I'd probably put Doucoure on the bench which leaves us with McNeil, Harrison for the final spot or do we have any youngsters possessed of skill or outstanding pace or just ask Godfrey to buzz around for an hour(can't believe I just said that).

I'm not over confident that I'm any where near the actual choice as with those I suggest be dropped, there won't be any room on the bench for a second elderly keeper.

Charles Ward
27 Posted 20/04/2024 at 08:21:20
Danny, Jamie,

I was trying to come up with an English-based equivalent of the Alamo or Rorke's Drift.

My first thought was Hastings, but we lost that in time added on and then my mind strayed to Harold's victory prior to Hastings but that was Stamford Bridge.

Best forget the military analogies!

Geoff Lambert
28 Posted 20/04/2024 at 08:23:36
Another defeat on the cards, they score goals we don't.

The enjoyment has gone out of the game – it's just a business now, not the game I have watched and loved for over 60 years.

Alan J Thompson
29 Posted 20/04/2024 at 08:26:58
Charles (#28);

I think Rorkes Drift was one of ours, Zulu? But perhaps with the hoofball we play, Agincourt.

Derek Knox
30 Posted 20/04/2024 at 08:36:10
Paul F @ 18, "15 games ago I was the Messiah"… There are no words."

Maybe a visit to the Garden of Gethsemene, will alter his perception there !

Admittedly we did go on a decent run without playing scintillating football, but picking up points. Now basically the same players, give or take, look like rank hammer-chewers, there must be some psychological factors involved here, or they don't care as much as we do !

Kevin Edward
31 Posted 20/04/2024 at 08:40:26
This morning feels like tomorrow's game is the last one and, if we lose, we are relegated. So much pressure, it's going to be horrible if we start badly and go behind, which is highly likely.

It's impossible to predict what's going to happen, but one things for sure, another poor display and Forest have enough to take all 3 points.

So I'm hearing Dyche, and have an expectation that we will set up not to lose, hoping to grab a goal from a set piece.
A fine line between snatching a narrow win, or giving up 3 points right at the end in 90+ minutes.

Reality is telling me that, if we are still in the game with 10 minutes to go, then we may get a point. That's based on the last 15 games… I really hope I'm shocked by a comfortable win and Forest being poor on the day. UTFT!

Paul Hewitt
32 Posted 20/04/2024 at 08:47:09
I don't know why but I still have faith (not a lot) that the players will get us over the line and stay up.

Surely after the 6-0 hammering, professional pride will kick in and the players will start to realise the mess they have got us in and start playing with pride.

Michael Kenrick
33 Posted 20/04/2024 at 08:48:30
Chris @21,

There's a very outspoken interview with Sean Dyche in the Echo.

I'm only seeing his press-conference blather and nothing that would constitute an interview with "very strong rhetoric".

Can you provide a link or just copy and paste the headline, please. Unless you are being cunningly sarcastic about the Echo's lousy coverage and the utter monotony of Dyche's drivel???

In which case... nice one. Hook, line and sinker!

Rob Dolby
34 Posted 20/04/2024 at 08:49:50
Forest will most likely play 4-5-1.

Stating the obvious, we need to win the midfield battle. We need to play 4-5-1 – our usual 4 in the midfield will get overrun and we don't want that at home.

Young Tarkowski Branthwaite Mykolenko
Garner Onana Doucouré Gana McNeil

I don't care how ugly it is, we need to control the game and nick a win.

Michael Lynch
35 Posted 20/04/2024 at 08:54:08
'People want the truth' - Sean Dyche tells Everton players they will not get him the sack

I'm assuming this is the Dyche interview. He's telling the players that he won't be the fall guy, like all the other managers have been. Though, to me, it sounds like he's talking to the fans as well:

"Is it now just a cycle that the club is in? Every year you want a new manager, you get a new manager, you get a bounce then 6 months later it's: ‘Boo! We want him out!' and you just keep doing that? Is that where we are at?"

Laurie Hartley
36 Posted 20/04/2024 at 08:57:31
Sydney or the Bush?
Danny Baily
37 Posted 20/04/2024 at 08:59:51
The jig is very nearly up.

It's been painful watching what should have been a comfortable position erode over the weeks and months since December, but, in Dyche's own words, this team doesn't know how to win.

Mark Murphy
38 Posted 20/04/2024 at 09:02:46
This might be sacrilegious, Danny, but Dunkirk was a managed defeat. Heroic, yes, but we were sent packing and, if them gobshites had turned the screw, we would have been slaughtered.

We must win on Sunday. None of this heroic going down fighting shit. Luton will beat us at theirs – we need 3 points Sunday – nil satis nisi less than that! UTFT

Ernie Baywood
39 Posted 20/04/2024 at 09:09:28
I think we'll win because we have the better players. I really think we do.

But if they bag one early, then it will be a real test of nerves. And you'd expect us to be found wanting.

Not expecting to enjoy this at all. Win, and it's probably a big sigh of relief. Lose and it will be a sigh of resignation.

I'd love to call it do or die. But this lot won't see it that way. Steadily unimpressive is the mantra from the top.

Michael Kenrick
40 Posted 20/04/2024 at 09:13:25
Thanks, Michael @36,

I glanced through that story but I didn't think it could qualify as an interview — just random crap from the pre-match presser. Another annoying Echo trait that they think is 'journalism'.

Danny O’Neill
41 Posted 20/04/2024 at 09:16:57
My last military analogy Mark. We were always taught the principle that the British Army never retreats. It carries out fighting withdrawals. Then regroup and fight again.

I've read all the posts.

Some have us down for defeat.

I can't have that. We go into tomorrow expecting a win. And then we take them on Wednesday. Send Klopp off on his last derby with his nervous Jack Nicholson the Shining smile.

Don't be beaten before a ball is kicked.

Mike Hayes
42 Posted 20/04/2024 at 09:24:22
With Dyche not blaming himself or the players for the performances then that only leaves THE FANS! We are a naughty lot and need to pull our fingers out and perform better - slaps backside - FFS!
Jerome Shields
43 Posted 20/04/2024 at 09:43:17

I agree with you regarding the Echo.Dyche has got some things wrong.Nearly every Everton Manager in the run in has publicly come out with something a kin to the Echos

random crap.I doubt any of them would have personalised it so.But I do think it is built into the walls of Finch Farm a attitude that is not helpful at this time of year regarding motivation.Whilst the Chelsea game was,a tactical debacle by Dyche some players were not blameless and I not blaming young Onana.So has been the situation at this stage of the season been at Everton for as long as I can remember, where Everton have gone into reverse whereever they have been in the table.

Frank Sheppard
44 Posted 20/04/2024 at 09:55:45
I don’t know what the definition of “bigger than a big game” would be, but this is definitely one of those.
As Bowie said “ All you've got to do is win.
That's all you gotta do ”.
Winston Williamson
45 Posted 20/04/2024 at 10:00:08
We don’t do must win games very often. There has been an issue in this regards going back to Moyes. We bottle it. It used to be fighting for Europe, now it’s fighting for survival.

I want a win here. If there wasn’t so much riding on the result, I’d say we would win, but…I hold no trust in these players.

I’m hoping for three things-
Premier League survival
No new contracts to those expiring at season end
Promotion of 5-6 youth players, ideally scousers, with hunger, desire and who actually give a shit about EFC

Rob Dolby
46 Posted 20/04/2024 at 10:04:05
Mike 43,

Dyche has only ever praised the fans.

Maybe he was referring to the 17 points that the league tried to take off us?

Have you ever thought that these deductions have an impact on the whole club, fans, players, manager and owner? Even the rest of the league!

Nuno has already stated in the press, the deduction is playing on the players minds!

We have had more points and gone through this twice in the same season. The players and manager aren't robots.

We are continually being kicked whilst down. Dyche isn't perfect but he certainly knows the fans are behind the club.

Andy Meighan
47 Posted 20/04/2024 at 10:09:08
Danny O'Neill @42.

It's not us fans who are beaten before a ball is kicked in the derby, it's the players.

I can't remember the last time we won a home derby… must've been the Cahill and Arteta game and my god how embarrassing is that?

Our players don't play the game – they play the name.

The funny thing is we are playing them at a good time irrespective of the Fulham result, because they look dead on their feet by all accounts.

No, it'll be the players that give them the push they need because that's Everton that, isn't it?

Danny O’Neill
48 Posted 20/04/2024 at 10:14:34
Winston, I'm not particularly where they come from as long as they care about football and Everton as we do.

But I'll bring my boots, have a shave and fake my age!!

Rob, well put. His tactics may be questionable and we are still licking wounds from Monday evening,

But Dyche, to my knowledge, hasn't questioned the supporters.

Time for unity everyone, not division. I know it's hard to imagine, but I've seen worse as much as I've seen better.

Rob Jones
49 Posted 20/04/2024 at 10:15:51
Winston, on the contrary. Over the past three years, we've done just that. Crystal Palace, two seasons ago. Bournemouth, last season. Burnley, two weeks ago.

We're shit. But I'm weirdly optimistic about tomorrow.

Ralph Basnett
50 Posted 20/04/2024 at 10:37:11
Dyches biggest problem is he has no tactical ability.

On corners leave one up top (Young). One up top for corners means they leave at least two back releasing a little pressure on the defence.

It is okay to play deep, but having one up top means no outlet having two means they leave back at least three defenders.

If you persist on playing two shit wingers let them alternate, give the defence something to think about.

We are so predictable every game, unfortunately I think we will also be that predictable this one around too. 😞😣

Winston Williamson
51 Posted 20/04/2024 at 10:51:44
Rob, I did think of those games. I put those results firmly with the supporters. We knew the importance and cowed the opposition, as well as providing an extra 5-10% to our lads.
Without us though, they’re bottlers. Many games were bottled until those pivotal games. We could have been out of sight if key games hadn’t been squandered.
Anthony Dove
52 Posted 20/04/2024 at 10:54:02
The Luton game today is massive. If they don’t win we can
all breathe a bit easier. If they do win tomorrow is
going to be a real nerve fest.
Andrew Clare
53 Posted 20/04/2024 at 10:54:11
I very very much want us to win but we won't.
John Kavanagh
54 Posted 20/04/2024 at 11:02:57
Stopping Gibbs-White is the key. If he's given anything like the space that Palmer got, then he'll score a brace and it's bye bye EPL. I just hope that we're still in with a chance of a result with 10 minutes to go.

And I think we've seen enough of Beto now to know he's useless, so everything depends on DCL being fit to provide anything resembling a goal threat. (I'd play a wheelie bin ahead of Beto. At least it would get caught offside less and a shot might get deflected in off it)

Praying once again for the divine intervention of Alec Young to raise Everton from the dead and for a bus to run over the RS glove puppet Masters.

Dave Abrahams
55 Posted 20/04/2024 at 11:07:09
Off subject, I had a little debate yesterday about the Aston Villa first leg league cup semi final in 1984, was it an all ticket game or could you pay at the gate, I say you could have paid at the gate, the attendance was 40, 006.
Ralph Basnett
56 Posted 20/04/2024 at 11:08:05
Would any one advocate trying to man mark Gibbs-White?

He is the only difference between the two teams.

Danny O’Neill
57 Posted 20/04/2024 at 11:11:35
I must be confused or senile.

Whoever goes into a football match, either as a player, manager or supporter believing you can't win?

I don't understand it.

I won't harp back to history and use a more recent example. Many didn't give us a chance against Brighton last season.

We battered them.

Time to stand up and fight.

Brian Harrison
58 Posted 20/04/2024 at 11:15:50
Brian Harrison
59 Posted 20/04/2024 at 11:15:50
while defensively we have been ok for most of the season, obviously not on Monday night, but I have said since Richarlison left who is going to score the goals to keep us up. Garner, Onana and Gueye from which our central midfield players are selected don't score more than 2 or 3 per season. So that leaves McNeil and Harrison or Young when played wide, McNeil is the most productive but I don't think he has scored from coming back from injury and Harrison and Young your lucky to get possibly 2 or 3 from either. Which leaves the main responsibility to Beto, DCL and Doucoure, again be lucky if Beto gets more than a handful and its been a couple of seasons since DCL scored double figures and yes his injuries havent helped but he has just played 15 games virtually on the bounce and scored 1 goal. That leaves Doucoure who started the season very well but again during the last couple of months is struggling to score. So its corners and dead ball situations to come to our rescue.

Now is it the system that Dyche operates or just a team full of players who lack the ability to put the ball in the back of the net consistently.

Dave Abrahams
60 Posted 20/04/2024 at 11:16:30
John (55), Too late now John but I think buying Gibbs- White was the key, I think we lost out because we couldn’t afford the money at the time so we bought Onana on the drip instead, I think he would have made a huge difference to our league placing, nerves and the posts on here.

You are correct though he is the man to watch and stop tomorrow.

Tony Abrahams
61 Posted 20/04/2024 at 11:17:43
Don @11,

It goes a lot further than just trust, imo mate. Look at the hush-money that has been paid out over the years to keep people quiet once they have left Everton. I think this might be what is stopping the sale of Everton Football Club to genuine reputable people. Once they start uncovering the cover-ups of the last 25 years, the best place for some people will actually be in the grave.

Tomorrow is a game of football between two teams who have both struggled this season. I think it's fair to say that this Everton team, would have been well clear of the relegation places if our club had been getting run by genuine professionals.

This mismanagement is coming back to bite us from a lot of different angles, right now, and it has helped create a lot of fear in the changing rooms, and this has now spread to the terraces.

Forest, have got one key player imo (Gibbs-White) and a couple of wingers, who blow hot and cold. A confident Everton team would have too much for Forest at Goodison Park so it's time for Dyche to pick a team that every other player knows they can trust to work and fight for each other tomorrow.

Play 4-5-1 (oh dear Ian Edwards, you can mention what Liverpool do all you like but the three front players you mentioned the other day would look ridiculous playing for Liverpool) work hard, close the space, and then look to break with pace because this will be the Forest tactics tomorrow.

Beto, Gomes, Harrison and the cheerleader, would start on the bench if I was in charge, and I would play Doucoure right, Danjuma left, and Garner, Gueye, with the very lucky McNeil, in a midfield triangle, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin up front.

Danjuma would be my only worry because the other four midfielders will all run but he needs to play because he can do something a little bit different and god knows we need something a little bit different right now.

Danny O’Neill
62 Posted 20/04/2024 at 11:21:26
I think back then Dave, you could pay at the gate.

I used to queue up with my mates for ages before kick off. I think we only used to pay about £1.50 (my paper round money), but had to get there early to get our favourite spot on the lower Gwladys Street.

After that, my mother somehow managed to find money for a season ticket.

I could go back earlier as a real youngster, and I'm sure many have had the similar experience of being lifted over the turnstile, assisted by those charging at the gate to get in for free!!

Nick Page
63 Posted 20/04/2024 at 11:23:30
It's been time to stand up and fight for about oh, 25 years Danny. Sadly, many didn't get the memo. EFC went from a club with proud traditions – see the speech by John Moores – to one that was happy to make weight in a division/sport obsessed with money (I can't even say success – look at Spurs).

Fighting for survival is pretty much all we have left, given we're up against the wall financially and one cannot change the mentality of a football club (the proper fans get it) overnight.

Needs a root and branch reset from the top down to clear out all the shite, the hangers on, the parasites etc etc, who use this club and it's amazing fans to fund their lifestyles. I don't want to see us drop through the leagues to force the issue but something needs to happen.

Forza Everton!

Danny O’Neill
64 Posted 20/04/2024 at 11:28:04
I like that last line Nick.

Forza - force and power in Italiano.

Dave Abrahams
65 Posted 20/04/2024 at 11:35:10
Good post, Tony (62), and good team but you will need a sub for Danjuma because he doesn't defend very well and he won't last the game, so maybe Gomes to slow the game down and add a bit of composure to the team, and who would you select for right back? Another headache of a position.

I hope the important fans, very important, are up for it as well. COYB.

Sean Kelly
66 Posted 20/04/2024 at 11:37:45
Dyche and his baldy crew don't have the brains to do anything else. What ever 11 start need to get in Forest's faces, close them down and put a shift in. They need to play and show their personal pride. Remember they won't want relegation on their CVs.

Dyche will do his best with his negative outlook but it's time the players stepped up. The likes of Coleman and Tarkowski should lay down the law to everyone on the pitch. They should tell the likes of Onana, Harrison, McNeil and Pickford that it's 100% concentration and commitment required for the duration.

I've no faith in Dyche but the players should lock him and his spoofers out of the dressing room.

Dave Abrahams
67 Posted 20/04/2024 at 11:47:29
Danny (63), Yes I’m sure that I was ready to pay on the gate but outside the ground I was given two tickets for the stands so me and my mate went in there.

I think at the time the ground held more than 40,006 which was the official attendance.

Christopher Timmins
68 Posted 20/04/2024 at 11:49:39
I would play Garner on the right side of a midfield 4 tomorrow. He has good delivery and that is something that all wide players must have in my opinion.


God only knows what will transpire tomorrow but we absolutely can't afford to lose the game. If we recapture our pre-Christmas form, we will take all 3 points!

Neil Lawson
69 Posted 20/04/2024 at 12:06:23
As mentioned above, "Dyche the Messiah ".

I remain a total atheist and he is deluded.

Lose this game at your peril, Mr Dyche. You won't be walking on water. You will be drowning in shit.

John Hall
70 Posted 20/04/2024 at 12:17:18
Dyche tells the players, "You wont get me the sack!"!

Probably not the best statement he could have made before a must-win game Sunday.

It seems that some or most of the squad are fed up and tired of his instructions with many waiting to jump ship.

11 guys should just go out and just give it their all. Play to their own strengths instead of being shoehorned into special and specific areas doing what he tells them to do which obviously they don't like or they can't do.

Sean has never been known as a master tactician and his hoofball style I doubt will keep us up. Football is meant to be played on grass and not in the stratosphere.

Hope we don't need binoculars again to watch this one.

Raymond Fox
71 Posted 20/04/2024 at 12:40:37
We need to have a fully fit side playing with Branthwaite and Calvert-Lewin included, but this game is not a must win.

I think our fate will be sealed by how many points Luton manage to put together, not Nottm Forest.

Of course a win would be a wonderful tonic for all us nerve-racked souls, a draw not the end of the world though.

We have to go to Luton, that's a bigger game than tomorrow's.

Whoever we play, we need goals, something we now seem incapable of doing; as we are, it's hard to fancy us to beat anyone.

Goodison needs to be a bearpit on Sunday. My head is saying don't expect too much; my heart is wishing for a scappy win.

Christy Ring
72 Posted 20/04/2024 at 12:43:10
Dyche said in his press conference he has to take the blame for Monday's performance, and I agree completely because of his stubbornness of continuously playing 4-4-1-1 and his favouritism of playing certain players. He has to pick an offensive team and play 4-3-3:

Coleman Tarkowski Branthwaite Mykolenko
Gueye Onana Gomes
Garner Calvert-Lewin McNeil

Edward Rogers
73 Posted 20/04/2024 at 13:00:13
Neil @70,

To quote Monty Python, Dyche "is not the Messiah, he's just a very naughty boy!"

Mike Corcoran
74 Posted 20/04/2024 at 13:05:05
Hindsight's an ass but it would have been great to have the reinvigorated Ross Barkley playing for us this season.

Free agent in the summer isn't he?

Martin Farrington
75 Posted 20/04/2024 at 13:07:07
Christy, it was a complete stitch-up. I have seen how the judgement came about and it is as corrupt as can be.

No FA involvement. A panel of four set up to discuss other matters surrounding leagues and a non-agenda question to the effect of, "Do you think scrapping FA Cup replays for clubs involved in Europe would assist them?" was met with murmurings of "Probably".

This then became the authorisation from the Football League (ie, all non Premier League clubs) to approve the removal. Much to their horror.

The reactions from managers like Pep and Arteta were telling. Like they knew way in advance that the fix was in.

Eddie Dunn
76 Posted 20/04/2024 at 13:35:26
I think Dyche will play the side that won one nil at the City ground:


With Calvert-Lewin to come on to run the tiring defenders and Onana and Danjuma as reinforcements.

Martin Farrington
77 Posted 20/04/2024 at 13:59:56
Tony @ 61

Spot on. When crooked kenwright slimed his way onto the board followed by his potless takeover, I was told by someone who knew him well that he was a wolf in sheeps clothing. That whilst handing you a fiver he was picking your pocket of the tenner inside.

He was wrong about our imminent decline however.

That took decades to mastermind.

As for Forest, their manager states that their players are in a fug due to the points deduction and lack of clarity.

The complete opposite of our players if you believe Mr Dyche on that one.

So theoretically this should be easy because we never choke.

My main concern is that we cannot score. We will miss about 3 glaring opportunities to kill off Forest.

Then they will counter. Our mainly non existent midfield (especially McNeil, Onana and Garner) will do the usual, fail to track opposition runners, one of whom will be unmarked six or seven yards out. One or all of those three will then throw their arms in the air as our net bulges from their first effort.

Old dogs new tricks. No way is Dyche changing the formation or tactics handed to him on the back of a fag pack, by a genial Sheepskin wearing geezer called Cluffy.

"Keep the same 11 always son. Making changes is a sign of weakness. Now with that priceless information, here's your £2 wages. Get to that bar and back in under a minute with a pint of best and whisky chaser".

Dave Abrahams
78 Posted 20/04/2024 at 14:05:49
Whether you think Dyche is good bad or indifferent, what the man needs at the moment is friends not enemies. Let's get behind him and the team tomorrow and the two games next week, they need backing now.

Loads of us fans are angry and frustrated at the situation we are in. I hope the players are angry and frustrated as well and take it out on Forest tomorrow, Liverpool on Wednesday and Brentford when we play them.

Sack him or Back him? Surely that can wait until we finish this season, it will help if we support the team until then.

Danny O’Neill
79 Posted 20/04/2024 at 14:12:30
Dave you sum it up perfectly.

All we can do is get behind the team and manager, starting tomorrow.

I hope to enjoy your company.

Kevin Naylor
80 Posted 20/04/2024 at 14:21:24
If Dyche persists with tactics only he understands and repetitive team selections then unless we are slipping in a few ringers there will only be one outcome tomorrow. Everton are around evens and I for one wouldn't back them with counterfeit money at that price with this clown in charge.
Jerome Shields
82 Posted 20/04/2024 at 14:28:26
You are right a lot more has been happening than we know and some of the speculative reasons given for Everton's demise could be on the mark.

I hadn't considered Danjumad inclusion, though I do think that Dyche will have to use all the available squad to get Everton over the line.Your midfield triage could work.

There is no doubt that what Dom said is true and is continuing to play out , but alot more could come out in the was regarding Kenwright &Co.

Jerome Shields
83 Posted 20/04/2024 at 14:28:26
You are right a lot more has been happening than we know and some of the speculative reasons given for Everton's demise could be on the mark.
I hadn't consisted Danjumad inclusion, though I do think that Dyche will have to use all the available squad to get Everton over the line.Your midfield triage could work.
Jerome Shields
84 Posted 20/04/2024 at 14:28:26
You are right a lot more has been happening than we know and some of the speculative reasons given for Everton's demise could be on the mark.
I hadn't consisted Danjumad inclusion, though I do think that Dyche will have to use all the available squad to get Everton over the line.Your midfield triage could work.
Jason Li
85 Posted 20/04/2024 at 14:38:09
He likely won't change formation as he's got most of the squad fit.

So hopefully he plays the most committed hungry 1st team players and the fittest players in this group first. In the 2nd half bring on the next most committed players on to replace anyone flagging - at the end like he always does. Forest don't have a great bench.

Maybe tactics will play some factor in this to win it, but desire will be a massive part to win this scrappy game.

So Garner and Gueye for me in the centre as they get stuck in and are proactive, if Onana is giving too chilled vibes. Bring him on in 2nd half when control is needed or the other two are flagging.

Derek Knox
86 Posted 20/04/2024 at 14:55:59
Dave @ 78, well in there mate, the voice of sanity and reason as always, when all around are losing theirs. This is certainly no time to be pointing fingers causing unrest, division and unrest.

A lot goes on behind the scenes that we are never a party to, and we don't know the real reason for our poor performances of late. Lack of confidence, lack of direction etc. It would appear in many games that Dyche is as frustrated as we are, by his reactions on the side-lines, unless he's a good actor ! (aka Swan Douche) :-)

Paul Tran
87 Posted 20/04/2024 at 15:02:17
Dave #55, it was pay on the gate against Villa. I travelled up ftom Portsmouth hoping the train would get me there handy enough to get into Goodison.
John Raftery
88 Posted 20/04/2024 at 15:09:50
Well said Dave (78). Messages undermining the manager only serve to encourage opponents.
Neil Lawson
89 Posted 20/04/2024 at 15:18:59
Returning to Monty Python. The messages aren't undermining the manager, they are just statements " of the bleedin' obvious".
This parrot is deceased. It is no more. Unless the Messiah a.k.a. "Naughty Boy" can somehow revive it.
John Raftery
90 Posted 20/04/2024 at 15:19:57
Derek (86) I think you make a very good point about things behind the scenes affecting performances.

Aside from the impact of points deductions we are a club in turmoil with so much uncertainty hanging over the future.

We have players out of contract in a few weeks concerned about where they will be next season, on loan players who will be wondering where they go next and more than a few pondering whether or not they will be sold, and to whom, to help the club meet PSR rules. Very few will be feeling secure about their future.

Paul Kossoff
91 Posted 20/04/2024 at 15:26:43
Brentford score👮👮👮
James Marshall
92 Posted 20/04/2024 at 15:27:20
A beauty from Wissa
Brent Stephens
93 Posted 20/04/2024 at 15:28:14
Impressive Brentford goal.
Kieran Kinsella
94 Posted 20/04/2024 at 15:40:09
"Confidence blah blah" get a shrink in if that is an issue. I am tired of reading all these sob stories. These players should be stone cold assassins devoid of human frailties like emotion. We should have a team of Jason Bourne's out there every week unflappable, focused hunters. Instead we have a bunch of mentally frail, whiney spoilt brats.
Robert Tressell
95 Posted 20/04/2024 at 16:02:47
Of our starting line up, only Pickford, Tarkowski, Mykolenko and Onana would definitely get into Forest's First XI. And obviously none of these really offer anything in the final third.

We have nothing like their creative attacking options in Elanga, Reyna, Hudson-Odoi and Gibbs-White - which means it is so much harder for us to craft a goal from open play.

Even Branthwaite might not get in ahead of the impressive Murillo.

There isn't a perfect formation or set of tactics that can overcome this disparity in quality - especially in attack. The game is going to be difficult and will have to rely on us restricting the number of chances for Forest, while making the most of ours. But we will get chances because Forest are, like us, in horrible form and very patchy defensively.

Dyche and the fans will hopefully play their part in getting the team in positive mindset, because a good attitude, defensive concentration and hard work should see us to a win.

Les Callan
96 Posted 20/04/2024 at 16:06:29
Robert. Onana wouldn’t.
Terry McLavey
97 Posted 20/04/2024 at 16:22:50
Paul #17 Me, too ! speechless !
Whose fault is it then ? Must be us?
Won't be sorry to see the back of this deluded incompetent "manager" if they ever get around to sacking him that is?
Chris Jenkins
98 Posted 20/04/2024 at 16:39:13
Dave Abrahams #78, very sensible words indeed.

Criticism of Sean Dyche and the players at this critical juncture serves no useful purpose whatsoever.

Ray Jacques
99 Posted 20/04/2024 at 17:14:44
Well Luton making it as easy as they can for us. God knows how many Brentford will score next week!!

6 points from the last 6 games should do it. If they can't manage that with 4 of those games at home then good riddance.

Danny O’Neill
100 Posted 20/04/2024 at 17:34:49
It's up to us.

Take control Everton.

We can get 9 points without an appeal.

And a bonus against them.

Roger Helm
101 Posted 20/04/2024 at 17:45:40
Does anyone want a ticket for tomorrow? I have a top balcony ticket I can’t use. 07796 958255
Dave Abrahams
102 Posted 20/04/2024 at 17:54:15
Paul (87). Thanks, I thought that was the case.

Thanks to Danny and a few more for their realisation that moaning a day before the game doesn't help anyone even though I understand everyone's nerves are stretched.

Nick Page
103 Posted 20/04/2024 at 18:02:34
Can't understand the Dyche bashing. We have 35 points after 32 games… minus 8 we've been screwed over for. And have played over half a season with the Premier League politics hanging over us. It can't be easy.

Add to that an absent owner and a never-ending takeover saga, it's hardly surprising the squad looks bereft of confidence.

Up until the annual robbery at shithouse Tottenham, we'd played pretty decent stuff. Anger shouldn't be directed at our manager and coaching staff, who've done an unbelievable job under these circumstances, it should be at the Premier League and the club suits.

Everton Aren't We.

Derek Knox
104 Posted 20/04/2024 at 18:09:40
I see Frank Lampwick is now considered an expert on the BBC Panel (FA Cup)… strewth, must be one of the few jobs where you get rewarded for failure.
Tony Abrahams
105 Posted 20/04/2024 at 18:11:34
And you wonder why Bill Kenwright found it so easy to split the fans, Nick.

I have managed a couple of Sunday league football teams, and probably think I got more help than Dyche and his backroom team have had this season. But not everyone wants to give the manager any credit even though he's got the most difficult job in football.

Sean Kelly
106 Posted 20/04/2024 at 18:12:20
We all want the same thing: a win. Ugly, pretty or fluky — I don't care.

As Dale says, in the words of Pat Kelly “just twat these”. We have been handed a boost by Brentford beating Luton but it will mean fuck all unless we win. Regardless of who plays or what instructions Dyche gives the players, just get the job done and win your duels.

For god's sake, just get it done before Christine turns into an alco or gets arrested for going nuts at her neighbours in the early hours. Stay sane, lass.

Roger Helm
107 Posted 20/04/2024 at 18:19:24
Dyche is a pragmatist. He does whatever he thinks will be effective. I remember the Stoke manager criticised for parking the bus at Arsenal saying “ a nil nil draw is a win for me, if you want entertainment you can go to the circus.”

He kept Burnley in the prem for years, now he has probably the worst managers job in England, so if he keeps us up against the iddd, that too will be a win.

Nick Page
108 Posted 20/04/2024 at 18:52:06
Exactly, Tony.

Honestly, people bashing Sean Dyche….have a fucking word with yerselves, fuck's sake.


David Currie
109 Posted 20/04/2024 at 19:12:46
Tony 62,

I would have a 3-5-2 with Calvert-Lewin and Danjuma up front instead of wide, that way he does not need to run back. He gives us something different and can beat a player in 1v1 situations.

Pete Gunby
110 Posted 20/04/2024 at 19:20:47
Brentford did us a favour today.

Seize the moment, Everton

David Currie
111 Posted 20/04/2024 at 19:33:37
A draw tomorrow is a good result and a draw against Brentford would also be a good result, beat Sheffield Utd and draw away at Luton.

Finish on 33 pts. Luton would need 3 wins to get 34.

Paul Birmingham
112 Posted 20/04/2024 at 19:58:45
It's a 6-pointer and a must-win game for Everton.

Win this game and it will turn the screw tighter on Luton and Forest.

But Masters may be planning some more shit tricks, so the aim is to get as many points and surety against any further points deductions.

Oliver Molloy
113 Posted 20/04/2024 at 20:47:46
I agree, David, a draw for this Everton side tomorrow would be a good result; a win would be fucking unbelievable. A defeat… no surprise!

Amazing how Everton have changed my thinking – when we lose, I'm not at all surprised; if we manage a win, I am surprised!

How far we have fallen!

Jay Harris
114 Posted 20/04/2024 at 21:03:08
Agree with Rob Dolby about the need to beef up the midfield.

We can't score from open play but at least we can control the game.

Dave, well said. Some people don't recognize the effect on the players and manager of 3 years of bad refereeing decisions, poor club management, selling our best players, and having a small weak squad – let alone the nonsense of PSR and the takeover pantomime.

Mike Galley
115 Posted 20/04/2024 at 21:11:58
After the Luton result today, this gives us an opportunity to make a massive step to safety.

If we can find a win (I know), not getting beat at Luton will probably see us safe.

Come on, Blues, win and let us relax a little.

Chris James
116 Posted 20/04/2024 at 21:20:27
Great results for us today (with possible exception of Burnley getting a little hope!).

A win tomorrow and we're pretty much there I think, I can't see Luton getting more than 6 points in the last 4, probably not even that (although Fulham will be on the beach last match when we play Arsenal who'll likely need to win to stay in title hunt).

TBH even a point vs Forest would be a decent result to steady the ship after the Chelsea debacle, but I would love it if we can secure all 3!

Ian Riley
117 Posted 20/04/2024 at 21:21:54
We need to work harder! A 5-man midfield with Calvert-Lewin working the line and chasing everything!

Time for the players to step up!! Dyche gets all the bashing but the players very little. It's a team effort.

Nick Dommett
118 Posted 20/04/2024 at 21:23:47
A little nervous as Burnley's result almost makes it 2 from 4 Almost. Don't lose the 4 games against the teams around us, with wins in two of them should see us through.

I'm feeling strangely good about the game tomorrow – perhaps it's the wine speaking… ;)

Jerome Shields
119 Posted 20/04/2024 at 21:41:20
I think that the Luton Town result today and with them playing Wolves next at Molineux that Everton will survive in the Premier League by the end of this season.

Even with twists and turns, it is too much for Luton to survive. Burnley and Sheffield United are already relegated.

Christine Foster
120 Posted 20/04/2024 at 21:45:37
In a hard-fought season filled with off-the-field controversy and targeted vindictiveness of the Premier League and media, we have struggled to keep our heads above water. Sean Dyche has got the best he can out of a side of aging players, few stars and the odd journeymen.

Even at the best of times without the ever-present turmoil, it was a big ask to make it work. The flashes of inspiration may have been few and far between this season, but the manager has stuck with his squad, the formation and even out-of-form players.

Our frustrations as we watch is due to the erratic ability of players to put it all together on the day and the manager's decisions in tweaking formations or dealing with injuries or form.

Confidence is paramount for the team, and the fans too. We have to believe we can do it and drive through adversity, poor form or baffling decisions. It's sodding hard to do so when things are being stacked against you by the Premier League and all of sundry. But the players and manager must do so, they are not to blame for points taken from us, it hurts them and us.

Through it all are the fans, fabulous, critical, head bangers and all, wannabe managers, we love the club, our pride immense matched only the sheer frustration of incompetence of ownership in team matters.

All of the above is today. The day we can lift ourselves up and pull each other out of the trench warfare that has been this season. No more "blue on blue" today – we stand together, from top to bottom. Our focus is to win. Our efforts all are with the manager, the players, the staff, the ball boys and each other.

Goodison Park. Its rafters have seen the very best the game can offer, in every wooden seat are etched the memories of those who inspired the greatest, Pele, Eusebio, The Golden Vision, little Alan Ball, white boots and all, the Spirit of the Blues, the noise, the tribal roar. She may be coming to the end of days but her proud heart still beats, her mighty roar inspires and our tears of pride will flow.

Once more to the breach dear friends, once more, so apt. Push all aside for today we stand together, the force of one. We have your back.

Tom Bowers
121 Posted 20/04/2024 at 21:52:43
Without getting into all the bad criticism that we have all expressed many times over, we have to hope that the team turns up tomorrow, unlike the first half at the Bridge.

It was just one of many miserable performances this season although the scoreline was not expected.

Luton have once again given us the impetus to get something tomorrow and I think Forest are a much better team than Luton.

We need to have our minds put to rest for a change and any kind of win will suffice.


Sam Hoare
122 Posted 20/04/2024 at 22:38:32
Go on Everton. Treat us to two early goals to the blues. With another after half time.

A comfortable win and 3 points to take us 5 points clear with superior goal difference and our relegation rivals struggling with only 4 games left.

How nice would it be to just relax a little?!

Ray Jacques
123 Posted 20/04/2024 at 22:50:59
Sam, I know what you mean, but it's Everton and it won't be that relaxing!!!
Jerome Shields
124 Posted 20/04/2024 at 22:55:22
Ton y#61,

Paul the Esk has stated that, at the last Everton Shareholders Association meeting with the Club, it was revealed that the ex-Directors decided their own pay-off and that a decision has been taken to sell part of the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock.

It seems that your predictions maybe already unravelling…

Andy Crooks
125 Posted 20/04/2024 at 22:56:11
It would be wonderful, Sam, my God we deserve it.

To watch MotD2 tomorrow night and not feel ill!!

Andy Meighan
126 Posted 20/04/2024 at 23:05:41
Only for 3 teams below us helping us out, we would be marooned by now. Yes, I totally get the points deduction and that's so unfair but sorry it's happened so we have to deal with it.

I've a good feeling about tomorrow and think we will win but hey what do I know?

Once again Luton have done us a favour but surely we have to come to the party soon. Do us proud tomorrow please that's all I'm asking.

A defeat won't be the be-all and end-all but it'll feel like it.

Sam Hoare
127 Posted 20/04/2024 at 23:06:25
Andy, I dream of that day!

Watching the match tomorrow with an Irish actor. Last time we watched Everton together was Bournemouth on final day last season so fingers crossed for a repeat (even though that match was far from relaxing).

Tony Abrahams
128 Posted 20/04/2024 at 23:11:49
I wrote that post after reading that the directors wrote their own paychecks, Jerome, which is just absolutely sickening, whatever way this is viewed.

We never got an imminent decline, Martin F, but it's definitely been very slow and even more painful, especially whenever we play Liverpool, and are reminded of our pathetic last 29 years, mate.

3-5-2, is one way of getting more players up towards the top end of the pitch, David, but it's not something I'd be starting with tomorrow because I'm not sure it suits Mykolenko and Garner to be playing wingbacks against a team that will probably play with two natural wingers.

Football, like life, is all about trust, so the quicker Everton Football Club can get rid of the enemy within, the better. Hopefully tomorrow will go a long way to sorting out our immediate future as a Premier League team and we might even go into the derby with a lot more confidence?

Dare to dream🤦‍♂️

Denis Richardson
129 Posted 20/04/2024 at 23:27:21
Stop worrying. We’ll win tomorrow.
Peter Mills
130 Posted 20/04/2024 at 23:42:51
A bit like climate change, it's difficult to deny – an attendance of 1,589 at Marine today, up from 350-400 only a few seasons ago.

Is the Premier League eating itself?

Paul Ferry
131 Posted 20/04/2024 at 23:55:51
See what Sam Hoare did there?

We got the tiniest of windows into the luvvy Garrick world.

Sam, you can't leave it as "an Irish actor".

Who the feck is it: Liam Neeson, Gabriel Byrne, Colin Farrell, Cillian Murphy?

Are you meeting at the Club for Acts and Actors?

Spill the beans.

Did I ever tell you that I saw you in Breakfast at Tiffany's at the TR Haymarket?

Absolutely, Denis, we will win the deduction derby, but Forest will score.

Peter M: great to hear that people are flocking to still for me Rossett Park.

Two questions Peter:

Why is it called Rossett Park (I used to call it Road) and not College Road? It's on College Road not sleepy Rossett Road.

What was the fecking score?

Hope you're well mate.

Si Cooper
132 Posted 20/04/2024 at 00:31:23
If Gueye is fit, I'd stick with Doucoure playing close to the striker.

You can rely on McNeill to try but he looked utterly drained at times against Chelsea. I'd be interested in Danjuma on the right and Harrison on the left (which I think he prefers).

Picking a side shouldn't have so many ‘ifs, buts and maybes' but we are still waiting for a team to emerge from whatever 11 have taken the pitch for the majority of the season.

So it's fingers crossed and ‘UTFT!'

Jerome Shields
133 Posted 21/04/2024 at 00:38:29
Tony #128,

What the hell has been going on and what the hell is going on now? Truly this is unbelievable. Moshiri appears to have had and still does not have control over anything.

Actually it is pretty unfathomable what is going on. The closest I can get as an explanation is 'the lunatics have taken over the asylum'.

David Currie
134 Posted 21/04/2024 at 01:09:04
Sam 127,
I hope that Irish actor is better than the one that use to be at our club??
Mike Gaynes
135 Posted 21/04/2024 at 01:14:29
Pete #130, what's wrong with you, mate? Attendance but no score? Did we win???

Never mind, I looked it up. What a great season in Crosby. Well in, lads.

Andy Mead
136 Posted 21/04/2024 at 01:43:59
If we get relegated, it will be 100% on us. We have had 1 win in 14 games, that's nailed on relegation/sacked manager form. We still have our fate in our hands though. Win today and we are 5 clear with a game in hand.

I know this club is an advert for how to mess up just about every facet of running a football club but somehow, we are still alive. We have been incredibly lucky with results again last night. We must win tomorrow.

Laurie Hartley
137 Posted 21/04/2024 at 01:46:36
In the post Chelsea thread I promised not to post what my team selection would be, however…… if Danjuma is fit, I would play him up front – not on the wing.

Teeth gritted.

Up the Blues!!!

Jamie Crowley
138 Posted 21/04/2024 at 02:47:49
Well, the idea of watching the game in my car while I drive is too much to bear. My wife and I are delaying departure from Georgia to Florida until after the game so I can watch on a "proper" TV.

This game is, again as the last 2 years with Palace and Bournemouth, the game in my opinion. I will literally kill my wife and myself if I try to drive while watching.

I don't have a good feeling about this game. We've been awful lately, we're rudderless, and we can't score.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, it's the fans that will push this team on life support over the line.

Every single person going to the game – give it everything you have. I'll be watching from a tiny home on Lake Sinclair, Georgia, in "Bubba Land".

I caught over 20 fish today. Surely that's a positive omen??


Steve Brown
139 Posted 21/04/2024 at 03:07:29
Great that positivity has crept back into the thread!

We need to win 2 games and this will be one of them.

Rorke’s Drift, Agincourt, Palace and Bournemouth - read Dave A’s great post @ 78 and let’s get the Goodison Roar going.

Dave Lynch
140 Posted 21/04/2024 at 03:43:37
Well I'm in Vegas... 5-day trip paid for by my boys as a Xmas present.

I'll be up at 5.30 am Vegas time to watch proceedings.

Ps...it's firkin boiling here.

Jerome Shields
141 Posted 21/04/2024 at 05:35:58

It is not only the severance pay-outs to Directors. I would query the absurd remuneration that Everton directors are getting.

Paul Ferry
142 Posted 21/04/2024 at 05:36:30
So, today, I am joint top of the ToffeeWeb fantasy league:


But it won't last because I refuse to have red shite in my team.

I am sure today that Jarrad, Jordan and Co will get me a clean sheet - hmmmm - for a few more points, but more than anything else, just win, please. Give us something to smile about and let us let go a sigh of real relief.


Ray Roche
143 Posted 21/04/2024 at 05:45:05
Well, I'm in Turkey, supposedly on a golfing trip but a dodgy knee may keep me in the buggy.

I'm going to do all I can not to have any updates as to how the match is going so it doesn't ruin my day if things aren't going well…

Last time I did that was two years ago and we beat Chelsea!

Danny O’Neill
144 Posted 21/04/2024 at 06:58:59
Ray, that is mission impossible!!! I've tried it many times in foreign climes and failed. Even resorting to getting the lads to radio through the updates when I was somewhere in Bosnia or Afghanistan.

Dave, 5 days in Vegas is too long for me. I can only take about 2 or 3. It's too much.But you enjoy.

I'm not a gambler, but on on my first trip, I went to the poker table with $100. At one point, I was down to $10. I recovered and got back to $110. That was it for me!!!

On my last visit, I seriously jarred my lower back and spent the next 3 weeks of a trip across the States walking like I had a fire rod stuffed up the proverbial and not able to sleep on a bed. I had to forward fold myself over a chair.

I know this isn't related to Everton, but some light humour ahead of today.

I hope you get a win, both in Vegas and at Goodison.

Duncan McDine
145 Posted 21/04/2024 at 07:35:24
Following Luton's thrashing, I see today's game as an opportunity to push ahead, rather than something to be nervous about.

I've got every confidence that the players will be right up for it and will get the 3 points.

Bill Fairfield
146 Posted 21/04/2024 at 07:44:36
There's got to be a good performance in this team somewhere. I'm praying it'll be today.

And yes, I am very nervous. COYB.

Derek Knox
147 Posted 21/04/2024 at 08:15:07
Ray @ 143,

Sorry to hear your knee is still playing up, but also hope you can get some Golf in.

I won't spoil it for you, but may relay the good news (if any) after 90 minutes!

Peter Mills
148 Posted 21/04/2024 at 08:19:54
Paul #131, Mike 135, I was treading a fine line as I know Michael likes to keep this site Everton-related!

I am hoping I will be able to report on Tuesday night that, for the second season running, the Blues were knocked out of the Liverpool Senior Cup by the eventual winners as their conquerors, Marine, take on City of Liverpool in the final at College Road/Rossett Park.

For now, two matches for the boys this morning then straight to Goodison. Up the Toffees.

Paul Davies
149 Posted 21/04/2024 at 08:29:03
Slightly off topic but apparently when Levekusen scored their 5th goal on the way to securing the Bundesliga, fans ran on to the pitch causing the referee to end the match before the 90 minutes.

The FA have looked into this and are likely to respond with a further points deduction to Everton. Seems about right!

Tony Abrahams
150 Posted 21/04/2024 at 08:36:18
Don't take your phone, or at least turn it off, because I'm not sure Derek is actually helping you there, Ray!

The Premier League isn't eating itself, Peter, it's getting stronger every single year. The greed of the beast kills everything eventually though, and now football has become such a saturated television sport, sustaining it will definitely be the hardest part, imo.

Geoff Cadman
151 Posted 21/04/2024 at 08:54:15
Good to see the mood swing on the later posts.

The Forest manager's game plan is to frustrate and silence the crowd, that's in our hands, let's keep Goodison rocking and lift the mood.

Dave Abrahams
152 Posted 21/04/2024 at 08:55:37
Paul (131) I can tell you it isn't Barry Fitzgerald!

Peter (148), You are a very lucky man, I envy you going to watch Charlie and Sam, watching Marine yesterday and again on Tuesday, pure bliss.

I hope your grandsons have wins today, is one of them games a cup final? Marine win the cup on Tuesday to add to Everton's win today and you will have had a brilliant few days.

Danny Baily
153 Posted 21/04/2024 at 09:38:35
A great result for us yesterday. But our form, lack of quality and the deteriorating morale in the camp (Dyche's comments at the press conference were telling) all point to a shambles on our part today.
Sean O’Hanlon
154 Posted 21/04/2024 at 10:04:45
Please not Pickford! He'll give away one or more goals.

Why does Dyche persist with this cowardly clown?

James Hughes
155 Posted 21/04/2024 at 10:09:47
Come on, Blue Boys, just follow the lead of Burnley & Brentford and get stuck in.

A simplistic approach I know but following on from Lyndon's missive I think Hamlet Act III, scene 1 is more appropriate: we have been suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune for too long...

Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks


Derek Knox
156 Posted 21/04/2024 at 10:10:20
Danny, very true, but how much can we depend on other results 'doing us a favour'?

We have to roll our sleeves up (well the team does) and even grind out results if need be, on our own merits, limited as they are, over the next 6 matches.

COYB 💙💙👍

Denis Richardson
157 Posted 21/04/2024 at 10:30:32
Completely off topic but I was at the Cardiff - Southampton game yesterday. Young kid called Cian Ashford made his first start. 19 years old, good pace, strength, technique, engine and good with both feet. Really impressive.

Oh, also got the winner in injury time, which the crowd absolutely loved as he's come through their academy.

If we're looking for a decent young left midfielder, he probably won't cost that much — assuming Cardiff would actually sell.

Brian Harrison
158 Posted 21/04/2024 at 10:41:48
Just a couple of hours before heading to Goodison, desperately hoping for a win. Just like all the games left, we are probably in for a nervous 90-plus minutes.

I know it has no effect but I will still be screaming instructions to the players for the whole game, I just want the season to be over and us to be safe.

I think we are fortunate that the bottom 3 in the Premier League are so poor that, even with our points deductions, we are still above the relegation zone. Today could be a very big day in achieving safety but, to do that, we will have to play an awful lot better than we have of late.

I hear some fans say the crowd were a bit quiet today, I just think that's brought on because we all know relegation would put this club in a perilous position and the fear of that when the team aren't creating a lot is I think the crowd go quiet at times.

Should we hopefully survive being relegated, this club needs root and branch reform but, from what I have read of our potential new owners, they don't seem the sort to want to tackle that important task.

Garry Martin
159 Posted 21/04/2024 at 11:00:13
Dyche has to get this right or it could be his last game. We're playing at home with the home fans on edge about his future tenancy at Goodison.

Nottm Forest are set up as an attacking team and, if Dyche plays a defensive set up, they will truly hurt us; we have to show a bit more adventure today and play with 2 front men and 1 behind them.

5 across the back and 2 in the middle — anything less will give us problems. COYB's

Geoff Lambert
160 Posted 21/04/2024 at 11:07:51

"Please not Pickford! He'll give away one or more goals. Why does Dyche persist with this cowardly clown?"

Anyone going to bite?

James Marshall
161 Posted 21/04/2024 at 11:13:10
We could conceivably win only one of our last 6 games and that could be enough to stay up. Win one and Luton would need to win 2 games, and hope we don't pick up any more points in order to catch us.

Luton winning 2 of their last 4, and one of those is against us? Like I say, we win one and they'll really have their work cut out to finish above us.

That said, can we win a game? It's felt massively unlikely of late and I reckon today will be another nervy affair – we must score first, or we're goosed.

Forest haven't won many games since the turn of the year, but the big difference is they score goals and we don't. Interestingly we have the same goal difference (–16) but they've scored 10 more than us and conceded 10 more than us so it could be tight.

Can we actually manage a goal from open play? I still have very little faith we can, but hope springs eternal. Player availability, and not using Ashley Young from the start, will help.

Andrew Clare
162 Posted 21/04/2024 at 11:15:41
Another nailbiter coming up. The dour no possession, substitutions too late, can't score, Dyche defensive team against the adventurous goal scoring, attacking (of late) Nuno men.

Very worried for our once great club. COYB's

Lee Courtliff
163 Posted 21/04/2024 at 11:24:31
Good luck everyone, we can do this.
Lee Courtliff
164 Posted 21/04/2024 at 11:24:31
Good luck everyone, we can do this.
Iain Johnston
165 Posted 21/04/2024 at 11:26:13
For me Dyche will be too busy worrying about Forest's goalscorers rather than tactical changes to exploit ours.

It'll be more of 4 midfielders 5 yards ahead of 4 defenders.

If we don't play attacking football we'll lose this against a current midfield & striker who have 27 goals between them.

They've scored 10 more than us, this is what Dyche will be looking at rather than the fact that they've also conceded 10 more.

I'm trying to look at the positives. We've conceded less than Villa, Spurs & Newcastle. We know our defence is good so why not use that as a confidence boost and push on a bit more?

Surely our forwards are better than Sheffield Utd's?

Edward Rogers
166 Posted 21/04/2024 at 11:31:55
Denis @157

Sounded good until you mentioned 'pace', unfortunately Everton don't do ' pace' so he won't be coming to us.

Christopher Timmins
167 Posted 21/04/2024 at 11:43:47
Let's not over-state the task at hand today and in the weeks ahead. We are playing the fourth-worst team in the Premier League and we still have to play the worst and possibly the second-worst team before the season's end. All teams deserve to be respected but we are not playing Real Madrid today.

Play like we did before Christmas and we win.

Expectations are at an all time low on the forum!

Anthony Dove
168 Posted 21/04/2024 at 11:56:50
I would try swapping the roles of Doucouré and Onana.

Onana will find it more difficult to hide and Doucouré will help stop their midfielders running through us.

Barry Rathbone
169 Posted 21/04/2024 at 12:01:31
If we get a point and lose every game thereafter whilst luton lose theirs bar a win against us we're safe by goal difference aren't we?

What can possibly go wrong?

Dave Abrahams
170 Posted 21/04/2024 at 12:12:33
Lee (163), Of course we can, as Christopher says @ (167) We are not playing Real bleedin' Madrid although reading some of these posts you'd think Nottm Forest were unbeatable.

We won 1-0 at their ground earlier in the season with mostly the same group of players.

Tom Bowers
171 Posted 21/04/2024 at 12:22:03
All the hallmarks of a boring 0-0 draw or just maybe one of them finding a way to lose 1-0.
Danny O’Neill
172 Posted 21/04/2024 at 12:24:53
That's it Dave. I hope the players don't have the fear of some.

And we can get something Wednesday night under the lights. Why not?

Be brave Everton.

Kevin Molloy
173 Posted 21/04/2024 at 12:32:22
The key to this whole team is McNeil. Get him firing again and we'll be fine.

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