Everton grind out a vital win

By Michael Kenrick 17/08/2019 167comments  |  Jump to last

Fabian Delph returned to training this week but is still ruled out while Morgan Schneiderlin is suspended and André Gomes remains a doubt through injury

Everton kick off their home programme of Premier League fixtures for the new season with the visit to Goodison Park of Watford this weekend as Marco Silva's team bid to improve on last weekend's goalless draw at Crystal Palace.

Fabian Delph returned to training this week but is still ruled out while Morgan Schneiderlin is suspended. Gomes is declared fit and started alongside Gbamin in midfield, with new signings Kean and Iwobi on the bench.

For Watford ex-Blues, Deulofeu starts while Tom Cleverley is on the bench, along with new signing Danny Wellbeck.

Watford started things off with the first attack and moved the ball around brightly until Femenia let it run out. A Digne long throw threatened but Deulofeu picked the pocket of Andre Gomes as Everton looked to settle, Richarlison winning an early corner off Dawson's body. A great corner from Digne that everyone avoided, and it came back from Bernard to Digne who fired wide.

Another couple of corners led to a foul on Sigurdsson 5 yards outside the Watford area, Digne hitting the wall and Foster collecting. Bernard chased down a nice ball, cut inside and drove a great shot inside the post to take the lead on 10 minutes with Everton''s first goal of the season!

Coleman caught Pereyra late and became an early entry in Lee Mason's little book. Gbamin tried a ball that was a little too hard for Sigurdsson, but at least it was creative. He was increasingly involved in midfield and tried an even more ambitious cross-field pass that was just ahead of Digne.

Sigurdsson did well to feed Coleman but his cutback did not come off and Watford attacked, winning their first corner. Mina got his head to the first, Dawson getting a header past Pickford and off the woodwork from a testing delivery by Holebas.

A great move saw Gomes and Sigurdsson trade balls with Calvert-Lewin getting twisted and falling rather than being fouled, but it looked questionable defending. Everton looked to move the ball around but annoyingly kept returning it to Pickford. When they did finally get forward with Gomes, Digne's cross was woefully overhit.

Everton attacked again but the chance never really came despite some good possession and movement around the Watford area and Everton, through Digne, needed to defend again. Capoue clipped Richarlison and saw yellow.

Digne was called for fouling Hughes despite getting the ball; Holebas curled it past the far post. Yerry Mina is annoyed by Deulofeu's dive, Lee Mason strangely calling a corner, VAR confirming it was not a penalty. A sustained period of pressure from Watford saw Pickford block away a sharp shot from Capoue.

Capoue was called for a foul on Richarlison. Sigurdsson planted it perfectly on Richarlison's head in loads of space and he makes an awful job of it, heading over when he really should have buried it, and he knew it.

A Deulofeu free-kick fooled everyone at the other end, Pickford watching it bounce behind. The early goal had promised much in the half but Everton had not really backed it up with anything approaching sustained pressure, and the half finished with Watford still pressing for the equalizer, Capoue firing well wide.

Watford restarted where they left off, pushing Everton back, Gomes catching a Watford player and seeing yellow, Watford winning a slew of corners. Everton were still not really at the races as the pace of the game was being dictated by the yellow shirts of Watford.

Bernard finally got free to run at Watford, Digne's cross not reaching Richarlison. But Watford continued to press and harass making it increasingly uncomfortable for Everton despite their slender lead.

The Blues tried to advance but Richarlison was too-easily dispossessed by Capoue and Watford re-established the high press without really threatening Pickford's goal. Richarlison attacked but passed straight to Capoue outside the Watford area and in a rapid counter, Deulofeu cut the Everton defence wide open, Deeny lashing the ball in Pickford's face — the only thing to stop him scoring.

Holebas was too strong holding back Calvert-Lewin, the Blues grateful a chance to strike again from a wide free-kick that Sigurdsson curled in perfectly again for Richarlison and again, he headed over when it seemed easier to score. Second shocking miss... with Silva already planning on Theo Walcott replacing him.

Deulofeu dived once too often and Lee Mason rightly booked him. Walcott came on when everyone was surely pinning for another sight of Moise Kean? Walcott, however, added a little more space to the Blues right-flank attack, winning a corner that would hopefully provide another much-needed goal.

That change finally came on 72 minutes, Kean on for the perennially non-scoring Calvert-Lewin. Holgate then replaced Digne after he needed treatment. Deulofeu resumed his torment, spooning a cross over everyone.

The game became scrappy, with hoofed balls out of the Everton defence, and no real flow to things as Kean was given a rough physical time by Watford. Coleman surged forward but fired well wide. Cleverley them replaced Deulofeu, getting a decent round of applause from his old supporters for a fair effort.< /p>

Kean was really getting stuck in and being pressed hard but staying on his feet, unlike Richarlison, who would have been flinging himself to the turf at the slightest touch. Refreshing. But nothing Everton did would relieve the incessant pressure as the Hornets kept buzzing around the Everton area, thankfully with no end product to show for their industriousness.

Bernard went on another enthraling run, only to lose the ball at the end of it. Gray replaced Capoue and Watford came the closest they had all afternoon to getting a goal, Deeney's shot screwing across to Doucoure at the far post who fluffed his shot under pressure.

Kean wriggled free but fired his shot wide of the target as the clock ticked down... but with 5 minutes of added time. And a massive chance for Kean, who stopped, looked offside but turned and drove his shot inches wide with Foster well beaten.

The early goal had promised a deluge of brilliant attacking football to grace the Everton sunshine... but that never came as Everton once again struggled to create a handful of chances that they contrived to miss with appalling profligacy. But a win is a win is a win, and 3 vital points.

Scorer: Bernard (10')

Everton: Pickford, Coleman [Y:14'], Keane, Mina, Digne (73' Holgate), Gbamin, Gomes [Y:46'], Richarlison (63' Walcott), Sigurdsson, Bernard, Calvert-Lewin (72' Kean).
Subs not Used: Lössl, Davies, Iwobi, Tosun.

Watford: Foster, Femenia, Dawson, Cathcart, Holebas [Y:59'], Doucoure, Capoue [Y:31'] (83' Gray), Hughes (67' Welbeck), Pereyra, Deulofeu [Y:61'] (78' Cleverley), Deeney.
Subs not Used: Gomes, Janmaat, Quina, Kabasele.

Referee: Lee Mason

Attendance: 39,066

Reader Comments (167)

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Ciarán McGlone
1 Posted 17/08/2019 at 14:04:49
Great that Gomes starts. Our Icelandic record signing is undroppable.

I can see this being as frustrating as last week.

Jay Wood

2 Posted 17/08/2019 at 14:05:22
Same XI as last week with Gomes fit to start and Gbamin in for the suspended Schneiderlin.
Fran Mitchell
3 Posted 17/08/2019 at 14:11:15
Great that Gomes is in, hope he is 100% because the midfield battle today will determine how this game goes.

Bernard and Calvert-Lewin have much pressure on them today, and Sigurdsson too. So hopefully they up their game.

Confident that Mina and Keane can control Deeney. Interesting to see how Geri Deulofeu does. Always wish he had stayed.

Chris Gould
4 Posted 17/08/2019 at 14:13:41
Silva found the winning formula at home last season. Sweeping aside 4 of the big 6 in the final few months. It makes sense to make as few changes as possible and allow Kean and Iwobi more time to settle.
Jerome Shields
5 Posted 17/08/2019 at 14:14:39
Kean to come on and Iowbi to get a run out.
Kieran Kinsella
6 Posted 17/08/2019 at 14:17:43
I've given up on Calvert-Lewin. I have always been an advocate but I have just run out of faith. I am not going to become one of these Calvert-Lewin bashers constantly attacking him but I am just no longer expecting him to become the player I thought he would.

Hopefully he will prove me wrong. Today.

Kieran Kinsella
7 Posted 17/08/2019 at 14:19:29
Subs bench looks imbalanced. Since we play with one striker, why do we need two strikers on the bench? Meanwhile, we play with four defenders but only have one on the bench?
Derek Knox
8 Posted 17/08/2019 at 14:22:26
Fran, glad that Gomes is back in, I think Gbamin and Davies would have had their work cut out. Hope his ankle isn't targeted early on, Mina and Keane will have to be aware of the Halloween Mask/Gargoyle as he does put it about a bit.
John McGimpsey
9 Posted 17/08/2019 at 14:23:13
Could be really good today, especially for the new boys who will be chomping at the bit once that siren goes. COYB
Gary Carter
10 Posted 17/08/2019 at 14:28:49
Can't believe he persists with Calvert-Lewin, weak decision and small-club mentality.
Annika Herbert
11 Posted 17/08/2019 at 14:35:47
Sorry to see Silva has kept faith with Sigurdsson, it seems he can't be dropped, no matter how badly he plays.
Mark Burton
12 Posted 17/08/2019 at 14:36:27
I wonder if Deulofeu will show us up today.
Ian Lloyd
13 Posted 17/08/2019 at 14:39:38
He is really starting to wind me up, this bloke.
Philip Bunting
14 Posted 17/08/2019 at 14:50:09
We finished last season with this team on fire. Why should it not continue?

Silva is perfectly correct to maintain the status quo and allow the signings time to settle and integrate. Very young team... let's not allow stage freight or the pace of the game to destroy them. 'Slowly but surely' approach from me. COYB

Tom Roberts
15 Posted 17/08/2019 at 14:53:58
Early days in the season but I want to see more from Bernard and Calvert-Lewin. As 2 of our front 3 they have to produce more. Plenty of young talent waiting to replace them. 3 points please...
Annika Herbert
16 Posted 17/08/2019 at 15:11:43
Your wish is granted Tom!!
Christy Ring
17 Posted 17/08/2019 at 15:45:59
Gbamin is bossing the midfield, good to see.
Ciarán McGlone
18 Posted 17/08/2019 at 15:52:44
The great finish from Bernard aside, not a great deal to get excited about. Simple mistakes all over the pitch.

I know he hasn't done a lot wrong but Mina gives me the jitters every time he gets the ball.

Hopefully a bit more quality in the second half... because Watford are threatening to get back into this.

David Pearl
19 Posted 17/08/2019 at 15:58:14
Is that your moan? The bench is imbalanced? Maybe if Big Nev is around he can sit on one side to even it out a bit.

Lost our grip a bit as the half wore on. Poor keeper for our goal. Interesting how long we wait till we use the bench.

Jay Wood

20 Posted 17/08/2019 at 16:03:09
Confident start, penned them in. Good goal by Bernard. He has the skill so should be capable of doing that more often.

How many times have we seen him run clear of the defence only to be caught or have a complete brain freeze and fall over the ball when it came to getting a shot off?

Today the defender got back but a shimmy to open up the angle and getting off a first time shot cleverly inside the near post caught the keeper unawares.

Gbamin much more up to speed this week. He is already looking as though he will be a real presence in our midfield.

Only our own errors have given Watford a foothold in the game, that and Gerry looking their most dangerous and skillful player in a roaming role.

Calvert-Lewin needs to be more switched on defending the back post at corners. It almost cost us an equaliser. He had a couple of other similar situations last season.

Great delivery by Siggy for Richarlison's clear header which should have been 2-0, heading it down and either side of the keeper.

George Cumiskey
21 Posted 17/08/2019 at 16:59:28
A dire performance scraped a one-nil win, Calvert-Lewin and Sigurdsson didn't have a shot on goal between them, I wonder if they'll be picked again next week???
Ciarán McGlone
22 Posted 17/08/2019 at 17:00:38
A win... but good grief, the second half served up some of the most dismal football I've ever had the misfortune of watching.

Silva clearly had no idea how to change it other than a couple of 'like-for-like' substitutions and persisting with a Number 10 whose contribution is now bordering on pathetic.

Gbamin was okayish... but the only bright spark was Kean. If he doesn't start next game, then Silva needs a good boot up the arse.

Pickford MotM. Says it all really. Can't even do the simple stuff properly and there's no excuses for it.

Jay Wood

23 Posted 17/08/2019 at 17:02:27
Three points, another clean sheet but it was all very laboured.

Bernard much improved, as was Gbamin. Richarlison very poor. Gomes not much better.

Kean is clearly going to be a handful if and when the team starts playing more joined up football. Could have made himself an instant hero with his two chances. Goals will come from him, of that I'm sure.

John Graham
24 Posted 17/08/2019 at 17:04:10
A deserved win, I feel. Not much of a threat from Watford, but still a rough game.

Good to see Kean come on again, but I think he's trying too hard to please at the moment. Mina had another good game and great for Bernard to get his goal.

Getting there slowly. COYB

Paul Tran
25 Posted 17/08/2019 at 17:08:27
Excellent defensive display. Attack good for half-an-hour. Richarlison capped a poor performance by getting under the two headers he missed.

Gomes's fitness told in the last 30 mins.

And Kean showed why he should be starting.

Jim Marray
26 Posted 17/08/2019 at 17:08:51
That was one awful game even if we did win. No fluidity to the play, no real pressing, Watford dominated possession and could even have won it with a bit more compsure.

Need more work before we better last season's 8th place.

Bill Gienapp
27 Posted 17/08/2019 at 17:10:51
I've only got two words where Moise Kean is concerned.

Buckle up.

Otherwise not one you'll be telling your grandkids about, but back-to-back clean sheets isn't a bad way to start the season.

Frank Crewe
28 Posted 17/08/2019 at 17:16:52
I have never understood the idea that dominating possession is some good thing. I've watched games were one side has had 70% of the possession and lost three-nil. How many times have we dominated possession and lost?

I don't care who has the most possession but who scores the most goals. We scored; they didn't. We won. Another clean sheet. Maybe we should start cutting Mina some slack and stop pining for Zouma. Mina and Keane are looking as solid as any pairing in the league right now.

Colin Glassar
29 Posted 17/08/2019 at 17:18:57
Win our game against Villa next Friday and we could be top of the league – for a few hours at least.
Fran Mitchell
30 Posted 17/08/2019 at 17:19:21
The defense looks solid, and that was our main concern at the start of the season. Mina, in my eyes, is a beast who will get better and better.

Gbamin looked good, and Gomes looked a bit wobbly at times, but played well at times too. We lacked control when Watford stepped up their game, and Sigurdsson wasn't there in the midfield to help us win the ball nor keep the ball. I think he was below par again.

But a good win, only 2 points off the top. Showed potential, and we will improve.

Kieran Kinsella
31 Posted 17/08/2019 at 17:22:07
David @19,

Yes, that was my moan pre-game that we only had Holgate as a defensive option. Lo and behold, the left-back is injured so we have to use him out of position as coverage. I just don't see why we didn't have Baines on the bench instead of Tosun. Just not good planning IMHO.

Alastair Kelly
32 Posted 17/08/2019 at 17:22:10
Let's not be too harsh on the guys, good to see another clean sheet. We've had a big turnover pre-season, 9 out and 7 in. Last thing we need to do is keep changing the team.

We've lost our spine from last season in Zouma and Gueye too. Digne and Bernard link-up play is getting better. Calvert-Lewin will be more appreciated by his teammates than the fans, I feel.

I think gently using Kean is the right way to do it, no need to put any pressure on him. I think Sigurdsson's earnt the right from last season to have a couple of quiet ones, he'll come good.

David Pearl
33 Posted 17/08/2019 at 17:22:34
Mina has been really solid the two games. Controlled possession or being controlled out of possession just as important. We were neither today but can only get better.
Karl Masters
34 Posted 17/08/2019 at 17:24:11
Rode our luck massively.

They hit the woodwork, Pickford's face, Keane's ankle both stopped certain goals and I'm not sure how Mina got away with that first-half penalty claim in this VAR age.

We created virtually nothing in the second half.

Mina my MotM. At long last, when the ball is pumped into our box, it looks like we have two centre-halves who can win it. Not since Distin and Jagielka have we looked that solid.

I'm hoping our forward play will improve as the players become more familiar. But I'll take the 3 points and the clean sheet.

Jay Harris
35 Posted 17/08/2019 at 17:24:53
Frank, I think 44% possession at home to Watford with 2 shots on target and 67% passing accuracy is very telling. We got out of jail today and rode our luck. I agree that Coleman, Mina and Kean (apart from one lapse of concentration) all played well but Pickford got us the points with two superb saves – otherwise, we would not be talking about 3 points.
George Cumiskey
36 Posted 17/08/2019 at 17:29:29
Alastair Kelly, did you actually watch Calvert-Lewin and Sigurdsson this week and last week? Not a shot on goal between them.
Jerome Shields
37 Posted 17/08/2019 at 17:35:53
Really the same type of game as last week, but we got a goal.

The Mina and Keane partnership was solid, worries unfounded. Gbamin played well and a full game, which will help him no end. Calvert-Lewin did play well, but attack was predominantly via the wing. Bernard improved on last week and Richarlison was poor. Sigurdsson played well and Gomes got there, but their build up was slow at times.

Kean made a difference and will be a real threat, if more ball is played through the centre. The situation is ready-made for the introduction of Iowbi. Everton are not threating from crosses, though the height is there, but positioning is not good enough.

Kieran Kinsella
38 Posted 17/08/2019 at 17:37:36
To me, Sigurdsson, Richarlison and Gomes, for all the hype, don't do enough on a weekly basis. Hopefully the new signings can light a fire under their arses.
Steve Brown
39 Posted 17/08/2019 at 17:39:02
Understand Sigurddson's contribution last season, but he has been really poor in the last two games. The purpose of competition in the squad is to earn your place on form, so surely Silva should consider the excellent Bernard in his position for Villa?

Defence looked rock solid today. Keane, Mina and Pickford were the reason we took the points. Kean will definitely start the next game.

Anish Dosani
40 Posted 17/08/2019 at 17:41:01
Bit of a slow game, but I thought we just about edged it.

However, I thought Gbamin gave the ball away far too much with passes either overhit, or straight to the opposition. He needs to work on that part of his game.

Pat Kelly
41 Posted 17/08/2019 at 17:42:28
We're in for some more of this transition football unfortunately. Need all the new signings fit and playing ASAP and we can dispense with Walcott, Calvert-Lewin, and Sigurdsson.
Josh Barber
42 Posted 17/08/2019 at 17:45:50
Just got back from the pub in the US. Gbamin really growing into the game and just needs time. Kean looks fantastic – I hope we can stop using Calvert-Lewin as a midfield crutch and give Kean more time. I would have lost it if he scored one of his two chances.

I can only hope we are not yet match-fit because the midfield was awful. I almost never say a bad word about Sigurdsson but I literally couldn't believe he had been playing the entire game. Didn't think he even touched the ball until 60th minute. I thought surely Silva would put Iwobi on for Gylfi today.

Either way, 3 points while you get your team up to speed and new players the experience they need isn't something I'm ready to complain about.

Alan J Thompson
43 Posted 17/08/2019 at 17:47:45
Cock-up on the logistics front and ended up watching on a Bar Manager's phone. First half we looked to be playing a lot quicker and moving the ball fluidly and then up popped the man who, I'm told, never scores.

Second half seemed to be back to last week and the last 25 minutes seemed quite laboured but that lad Kean looks the real deal.

Again, difficult to properly assess most players as there was little pressure on them for most of the game.

Still, like Pickford, unbeaten but we may have just played a couple of teams who might struggle.

Gio Mero
44 Posted 17/08/2019 at 17:48:20
Three points! Am I glad or what? We'll get better, we know we are much better than this so to get away with the three points today was great. I'd say Gana left a big hole in that midfield, it will be interesting to see what kind of dynamics will Silva go for.

Very happy for Bernard, he always serves us up some wonderful trickery and today delivered nicely for us.

Paul Hewitt
45 Posted 17/08/2019 at 17:49:11
We won. Who cares if we were lucky.
Annika Herbert
46 Posted 17/08/2019 at 17:51:59
Not great but I am happy with the win. We have to hope that Digne's injury isn't a serious one. We do look especially solid at the back at the moment, I thought the whole defensive line played well. Gbamin I think will get better with every game played.

For me, Bernard was MotM but we still aren't very fluid going forward. Richarlison on fitness. Sigurdsson worked his socks off and put in a few decent crosses but still isn't being creative enough, he looks out of form.

Kean did look exciting though, it's difficult not to have anything but great hope for the lad. Hopefully he will get his first goal at Villa Park next week, the first of many!!

Christy Ring
47 Posted 17/08/2019 at 17:58:39
Keane and Mina looking very stong and a great partnership developing. Richarlison should have scored, had two great chances, which would have made it a lot more comfortable. I thought Sigurdsson, who was anonymous again, should have been replaced, instead of Richarlison.

Kean looked very lively when he came on, should start against Villa on Friday night, and with Siggy out of sorts, why not start Iwobi on the wing and Bernard in the middle?

Ciarán McGlone
48 Posted 17/08/2019 at 18:01:48
I hope people aren't a little premature with their conclusions on the Mina - Keane partnership.

Let's see how they deal with a decent attacking threat first before we declare them the second coming.

Dave Williams
49 Posted 17/08/2019 at 18:01:57
Four points from 6 is what matters at this stage. Need to improve fitness of the new boys and Gomes. Sigurdsson either sorts himself out or must be dropped for Iwobi.

The moans about Calvert-Lewin are ridiculous – he had a decent game and didn't miss any chances, not like Richarlison, who was out of sorts and missed two good ones. Those who wrote off Mina as not up to it need to think again – he and Keane look rock solid.

Once the new boys get up to speed and the team settles down, we will have a damn good team on our hands, and a young one!!

Jay Wood

50 Posted 17/08/2019 at 18:03:17
Sorry, but some of the comments are showing both poor recall of how well the team and individual players finished last season and being very selective in who and how they are judging players in the two games this season.

The quartet of Bernard, Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison and Sigurdsson closed out last season really well. All four – NOT just Sigurdsson – were poor last week at Palace.

Bernard and Sigurdsson were much improved today. Siggy delivered two beautiful free kicks Richarlison should have scored from.

Gomes, for me, remains the player that is least fulfilling his role: transitioning the ball more quickly from defence to midfield. He also offers little or nothing in the way of midfield defensive cover, as epitomised when Richarlison's poor pass across Watford's penalty area allowed them to break on us, skipping past Gomes as if he were mere vapour, ending with the Deeney attempt Jordan did well to save.

Like many I'm sure, I'm happier with the result rather than the performance which I'm confident in saying will improve.

Four points and no goals conceded ain't all bad.

Trevor Peers
51 Posted 17/08/2019 at 18:10:20
Sigurdsson twice set up out-of-sorts Richarlison who missed two easy chances and he generally played a lot better; the crowd appreciated his efforts even if some on TW didn't.

Hard-fought win, maybe Calvert-Lewin should've been replaced at half-time, his attacking contribution was nil. Hopefully Kean will start at Villa and that will increase our chance of a win. COYB.

Paul Tran
52 Posted 17/08/2019 at 18:14:22
Agreed, Jay. To be fair to Gomes, I'm not convinced he was fit, it certainly showed last half hour.

Simple truth is that we were better in both penalty boxes and showed a doggedness that is every bit as important as the sexy stuff.

Kean came on, held up the ball and ran with power at their defence, reminding me of Lukaku on a good day. He looks exciting. Start him next week please, Marco.

Jim Bennings
54 Posted 17/08/2019 at 18:23:13
Moise Kean has to start at Villa Park end of debate.

Don’t get me wrong, DCL has toiled away now for 18 months but his limitations are laid bare in that he’s absolutely no threat whatsoever to the opposition in terms of scoring.

Kean came on and within 20 minutes he takes a defender on and hits a shot over and then instinctively shoots narrowly wide on the turn, that’s the difference between having a instinctive centre forward.

I firmly believe once this Italian whiz kid scores one then the goals will come rolling in.

Defensively we will be severely tested now however with the potential that Digne is hurt, no way on earth is Holgate a right back and that’s a big concern if Sidibe can’t play yet.

Bernard was head and shoulders above anything today, the rest of the outfield players were just so so.

I also think we learned a lot today about what Silva currently feels about Tom Davies, that a quite clearly not fully fit Andre Gomes played the game ahead of him.

Anyway, another clean sheet, a first win of the season so I’ll happily take that, and I’ll even more happily take it on Friday night in Birmingham too!!

Gary Hughes
55 Posted 17/08/2019 at 18:24:43
Lots of comments about how solid the defence looks but only for Pickford's prowess in one-on-one situations we would probably have zero points.

That performance was abysmal & reminds me of how we started the season when Koeman was sacked with a laboured victory over a piss-poor Stoke team. We look like a team of strangers, very worrying.

Mike Gaynes
56 Posted 17/08/2019 at 18:25:32
Does anybody still miss Zouma? Seems to me his successor is Yerry, Yerry good. And Gomes bounced right back from the niggle last week – excellent 55 minutes before he got tired.

Steve #39, Bernard plays an excellent game on the wing. Why do you want him to play out of position, where he has never played before? No thanks. Besides, Sigurdsson was pretty good today. Created three clear scoring chances and beautifully supervised our seeing the game out in the last 10 minutes.

George #36, you're mistaken. Sigurdsson had a shot cleared off the line last week by Van Aanholt.

Paul and Trev, I wouldn't mind seeing Kean start either. But I'm quite sure he won't. Silva has shown he won't change starters until the player grabs the job in both hands and pulls it away. Kean hasn't done that yet.

Jim #54, I'm pretty sure Davies would have come on for Gomes had Silva not been required to use an unexpected sub for Digne.

Mark Brennnan
57 Posted 17/08/2019 at 18:27:10
Happy with the result.

Pluses: clean sheet, Gomes, Digne, Coleman, Bernard & win.

Minus: Richarlison, who clearly had his boots on the wrong feet and his head on back to front.

Jay Wood

58 Posted 17/08/2019 at 18:34:51
"Goalkeeper does his job."

Pickford has started the season superbly, both in shot stopping and his distribution.

I also like the classic look of his dark-green kit.

Really looks the part.

Tony Hill
59 Posted 17/08/2019 at 18:51:41
Jay @58, he's lost weight as well.

We weren't great and we look messy at the moment. It's going to change though. The ease with which Kean went past the defender before his first shot was very encouraging and he's not afraid to get stuck in.

Delighted to see Bernard enjoying himself so much.

Raymond Fox
60 Posted 17/08/2019 at 18:55:33
We are doing okay, solid-looking at the back – a carry-over from the end of last season.

We are not Man City so we won't play like them, but we have a good class of player throughout the team now, we are definitely going the right way.

I hope Digne only has a small knock, we would miss him more than most. I think Gbamin is going to be an important player when he gets his legs and Kean looks really exciting for the future. Had to laugh at Mark's comment on Richarlison, good one.

Every game is tough in this league, so I'm satisfied even though we are not playing fancy football, there's plenty of time.

Chris Gould
61 Posted 17/08/2019 at 18:55:39
Ciarán #48, Keane and Mina have already shown that they can be solid against decent attacking threats. They kept a clean sheet against Chelsea last season, and also kept Liverpool out at Anfield until Pickford's injury time blunder.
Brent Stephens
62 Posted 17/08/2019 at 18:57:14
I think Moise Kean will be dynamite for us, but he seemed to struggling with fitness towards the end – or is it just the way he was jogging? He might get the second half against Villa.

Not the best performance today but three points. Only Gbamin's second run out, so early days. Gomes worries me – his brilliant touches are brilliant but there's a lot of dross at times.

Kevin Prytherch
63 Posted 17/08/2019 at 19:02:58
Not seen the game yet so just a couple of questions...

Did Kean look good against a tired defence? If so, maybe it’s the correct decision to persist with Calvert-Lewin, who tires defences, but maybe bring Kean on slightly earlier.

How did Gbamin do defensively? Did we play the same as last season with him in the Gueye role?

Tony Hill
64 Posted 17/08/2019 at 19:03:57
PS the goal took a slight deflection but god knows what Foster was doing. Anyway, it shows the benefit of having a go.
Rob Dolby
65 Posted 17/08/2019 at 19:10:01
First 20 mins we looked decent. Another clean sheet is a positive. Whole defence played their part.

The rest of the team looked rusty but a win us a win.

Brent Stephens
66 Posted 17/08/2019 at 19:10:39
Tony, Foster seemed to go down late but I think he was initially unsighted, judging by the replay.
David Pearl
67 Posted 17/08/2019 at 19:11:33
Kieran, 31
I'm thinking Baines wasn't ready to feature. But you're right l don't think there would be a reason to have a Tosun on the bench. He's not as bad as made out but he's well down the order.

We haven't hit the ground running, have we... but I can see us improving next Friday, when, by the way, we will be top of league with a win. So get ready to send the table to all your redshite acquaintances.

I'm thinking Villa will go down actually. They've done what Fulham did, spent over £100M on a whole new team but they will find it hard to integrate so many.

I thought Walcott looked okay, Richarlison tired but the whole shape needs something of a tweak. Coleman great today.

What will Silva do? Will he dare drop Sigurdsson and leave out our most productive player, or will he reshape things to accommodate him and Iwobi and Kean. It will take time, l know. Probably the same team to start next week.

Tony Hill
68 Posted 17/08/2019 at 19:14:47
He just got himself in a right tangle, Brent, even allowing for being unsighted. His hands were all wrong. Weird, but who cares.
John Hammond
69 Posted 17/08/2019 at 19:18:06
Second excellent performance in a row from Mina and Digne while Pickford is making some outstanding saves. He is proving crucial to us picking up points while the front line continues to misfire. It's only a matter of time though until it all clicks – Villa to get a tonking?

I think Friday will be the same lineup and we'll see Kean and Iwobi come in for the Lincoln game.

Brent Stephens
70 Posted 17/08/2019 at 19:18:59
Yes, Tony, he did seem bloody awkward once he'd gone down. Anyway, a beautifully-worked goal. Pacey.
Annika Herbert
71 Posted 17/08/2019 at 19:24:43
Whilst Sigurdsson did provide Richarlison with 2 great chances from free kicks, my main problem with him is the lack of chances he creates from open play. Still, a win is a win no matter how it's achieved.

But we will need to improve at Villa next week, although another 1-0 win would be completely acceptable for me personally.

Rob Marsh
72 Posted 17/08/2019 at 19:26:44
Richarlison needs a week or two on the bench to shake him up, you can only put so much down to early season rust.

He didn't get anything right, give him a rest!

Fran Mitchell
73 Posted 17/08/2019 at 19:35:32
We got dominated in the midfield in the second half, really missing Gana's energy. And Sigurdsson in my eye is part of the problem here, we needed an extra man in the middle, but Siggy was way too far forward.

We need him to be more than just a danger at set pieces, and if it wasn't for Digne's injury, I would have brought on Davies for Siggy to give that extra man.

Gbamin and Gomes, neither fully fit, were over ran.

Mike Gaynes
74 Posted 17/08/2019 at 19:42:47
Rob #75, not for me. He doesn't need rest, he needs improved sharpness, and that comes from playing, not sitting.
David Pearl
75 Posted 17/08/2019 at 19:46:52

That's the question though. He obviously needs to play close to he striker but in doing so he isn't involved as much. I'd drop him deeper and play the wingers narrow. It's not such a big change and he will be more involved in the game, plus our wide players will be more comfortable and won't have to chase back as much.

Richarlison looks shattered already. Gbamin did okay but he's no Gana and we needed that today. Not that he can't improve and have a more rounded game. Wondering if Schneiderlin comes back in on Friday.

Phil Greenough
76 Posted 17/08/2019 at 19:54:14
Why don't people give the team a chance. "Gbamin did okay but he’s no Gana." He's played about two hours of Premier League football and you want him to be on the same par as Gueye? Give him a chance, David, he may just turn out better.
David Pearl
77 Posted 17/08/2019 at 19:57:41

He might be a more rounded player eventually but I don't think there's any shame in not being able to nick the ball back like Gana can. I think we needed that ball-winner today. Hopefully we improve. I'm sure we will.

John Boon
78 Posted 17/08/2019 at 19:58:47
Little cohesion in the Everton ranks. Coleman showed his versatility by moving over to the left side. I always like to see Everton young players do well but Holgate doesn't inspire me with confidence. I thought today's game was a perfect introduction for Kean to find out just how physical the Premier League is. I think he coped very well and I hope we see him in a full game.

Walcott showed far more than Richarlison. I look forward to Iwobi as I think he will offer something different. Still a long way to go but defensively we are showing promise.

Colin Glassar
79 Posted 17/08/2019 at 20:04:26
Every game, every season it’s the same old story. We won, scrappy but a win. Try and enjoy it, it’s better than losing.
Jerome Shields
80 Posted 17/08/2019 at 20:07:54
Forgot to mention Pickford in my earlier post. He pulled off two great saves this week, as he did last week. My Man of the Match.
Paul Burns
81 Posted 17/08/2019 at 20:08:02
That team will get ripped to pieces as soon as they come up against anyone decent.

We're so bad, it's embarrassing and anyone who says otherwise is constantly ignoring the evidence in front of their eyes to our own detriment.

Andrew Keatley
82 Posted 17/08/2019 at 20:08:09
We rode our luck today, with Pickford and the post proving resilient when our (generally very good) back four were breached.

I thought both Gomes and Gbamin took too many risks when in possession - passing and dribbling. Maybe they didn't feel they had good options to offload the ball, but several times today we were in danger of losing the ball in our own half. I think opposing teams are going to target those two players - with players hunting in pairs to turn the ball over.

Kean looked bright, quick and purposeful when he came on - but that was against a tiring Watford team who were overcommitting in midfield in order to try and get back into the game.

Quick mention for Walcott, off the bench, who I thought worked hard and showed some bright moments. I've been pretty dismissive of him for the last 12 months, so today I'll give him a small bit of praise.

Martin Mason
83 Posted 17/08/2019 at 20:10:09
I think that, when Silva figures out which system to play and which players to use, we'll get a lot better.
Mike Gaynes
84 Posted 17/08/2019 at 20:10:32
Paul Burns, always a ray of sunshine.
Colin Glassar
85 Posted 17/08/2019 at 20:10:36
Paul 81, can we mention the R word now then? Honestly
Tony Hill
86 Posted 17/08/2019 at 20:14:28
I said last week about Pickford's one-on-one excellence. He must be the best in the Premier League at that aspect of goalkeeping. He had some poor kicks but one pass to Coleman in the first half was wonderful. This man has the skill and temperament to become a great.

Yerry Mina is a serious bonus. What I like about him is his willingness just to clear the ball however unattractive it may appear, and that's what he's paid to do. He, like Jordan, seems to have the temperament needed. The old cliche: build a good side from the back, is true of us.

Jim Bennings
87 Posted 17/08/2019 at 20:17:39
The test now of course though is can Everton actually start winning away from home?

The home form is exceptionally good this calendar year but no momentum is ever built because we seldom pick up three points on the road.

Imagine a half-decent away form to go with a solid home record?

Bloody hell... we would be in dreamland.

Paul Birmingham
88 Posted 17/08/2019 at 20:18:08
It's early days and first-half promise became a tough grind in the second half but the defence done well, but God forbid if Lucas Diagne is out for a while else either of our centre-backs get injured.

Moise Kean knows where the goal is and he's got natural instinct and talent. I hope he starts at a Villa as we must make our offensive play be more productive.

The evening spirits are dampened by Old Nick and the Disciples of Spawniness. But 4/6, is a decent start, and we can beat Villa, and we should take the game to them.

I still reckon that Marco Silva will start with the same team that started. Well done, Jordan Pickford, who kept us on the game, an exceptional start to this season, long may it last.

Si Smith
89 Posted 17/08/2019 at 20:20:05
Not the best game today, not the best football we've ever played, but we are starting to look really solid.

We scored 1, we missed 2 sitters (both Richalison headers), I'd like to see the DCL penalty moment again, but defensively we only allowed 1 chance to Watford which is something we should be happy with.

As far as I know now, no Premier League side has had more clean sheets in 2019 (15, joint with Man City I think), that is something I'd never have thought possible during any time in 2018.

Winning ugly while we aren't playing at our most fluent, plus without our new attacking players being fit and ready to go.

John Keating
90 Posted 17/08/2019 at 20:21:21
I appreciate we got the 3 points and are only 2 games in but we must shake things up.

We are so easy to play against and our fitness levels are atrocious.

The manager has to change things and regarding personnel some are far too comfortable.

Steve Carse
91 Posted 17/08/2019 at 20:27:12
A pitch so hard and fast that anything less than a perfectly weighted ball is overhit. A ball that runs so fast and bounces so high that even the most technically talented are looking challenged to bring it down and under control. Is it really any wonder that the game is so scrappy these days?

And after the VAR farce this evening is there really any point in celebrating a goal these days until the game has restarted?
What's happened to the game we've grown with and loved?

Si Smith
92 Posted 17/08/2019 at 20:29:13
John my guess is Siggy would be one who you believe looks too comfortable atm, but I'm not sure Iwobi is fit enough to start, and I'm not sure Davies is ready to take that mantle, but if Siggy doesn't step up next week v Villa I'd get Iwobi or DCL (putting Kean up top) wide and play Bernard off a striker.

Si Smith
93 Posted 17/08/2019 at 20:31:17
Frank Mitchell 73.

Couldn't agree more mate, that was the sub I felt was needed when Walcott was brought on.

Martin Mason
94 Posted 17/08/2019 at 20:35:20
There are positives even though we were dire at times. We aren't going to collapse because of losing Zouma and Gueye and we are capable of clean sheets. It was a win and priceless. How many points is Jordan worth? How did we manage to land one of the best left-backs in the game?

The big question is, is our manager clueless or a latent genius?

Dave Williams
95 Posted 17/08/2019 at 20:50:06
John #90,

So easy to play against that we've had is it 10 clean sheets in our last 13 league games?

Our fitness last season wasn't top notch initially but peaked in the New Year when we looked way fitter than the opposition.

We've had two iffy performances and got four points. Give this team time to gel; it has the potential to become the best since the eighties.

Jeff Armstrong
96 Posted 17/08/2019 at 21:04:46
Okay, Annika, you don't rate Sigurdsson, but give it a rest, please... every single post you submit mentions "Siggi this, Siggi that" ... you're obsessed with Gylfi Sigurdsson!

He was our top scorer last season, who else will get 13 goals from midfield this season, Gomes? Gbamin? Bernard? I could go on but you need a reality check.

Get off Siggi, FFS.

Brian Wilkinson
97 Posted 17/08/2019 at 21:13:23
Take a look at any season, even when we won the league twice in the Eighties, we never start on fire and win our first couple of games.

For all the "We will get snotted against so and so", enjoy the win.

Friday night, we could be sitting top of the Premier League, lads and lasses.

I will take a scrappy win against a brilliant performance but dropped points any day of the week.

If Kean and Iwobi hit the ground running, we could be in for an interesting season.

Onwards and upwards, Blues.

Tony Hill
98 Posted 17/08/2019 at 21:14:45
Martin @94, I agree that Silva is difficult to judge and I have moved from one end of the spectrum to the other. I am pleased to see him tell the truth about our performance today. I now think he's a winner and that he will bring us what we crave.
Martin Mason
99 Posted 17/08/2019 at 21:21:51
I hope so, Tony.
Rob Marsh
100 Posted 17/08/2019 at 21:31:21
Mike #74,

I can see your point, but he looks now like he did in the last games of last season – clueless.

He's guaranteed his place with little competition. Silva did the right thing pulling him off today, I think it's more of an attitude problem than a sharpness one.

He needs to have a bit of an introspective with himself and then come out to play once more.

Josh Barber
101 Posted 17/08/2019 at 21:44:57
Who cares about sitting on top of the league before the other teams have played???
Jay Wood

102 Posted 17/08/2019 at 21:51:37
Rob @ 100.

Your recall of Everton's run in and Richarlison's form at the end of last season is very poor. Clueless he most certainly wasn't.

He and Sigurdsson were scintillating together, even though the Brazilian was playing with a stomach strain.

In our penultimate game of the season home to Burnley he possibly put in his best performance in an Everton shirt in the first half.

Unfortunately, the aforementioned stomach strain forced him off shortly after the interval and he was unavailable for the final game away to Spurs.

As for your further claim that he has an 'attitude' problem I'm curious to know how exactly you arrived at that notion.

In my eyes and ears there is only evidence both on and off the pitch of a very humble boy with a strong work and team ethic.

If anything, both at club and national level, he needs to be told to better conserve his energies and enthusiasm at times as he chases back the length of the pitch sometimes in an attempt to retrieve the ball for the team that he has lost.

Mike is right. He needs game time to get his sharpness back after returning to pre-season later than most due to his involvement in the Copa America.

A big time Charlie who needs taking down a peg or two as your words imply, he most certainly ain't.

Denis Richardson
103 Posted 17/08/2019 at 23:09:24
Didn't watch the game but it's quite funny that there seems to be more negativity after this game than the Palace one, and we won!

4 points and two clean sheets - regardless of the performances, I'd have taken that if offered at the start of the season. Main aim is to get as many points on the board from the first half-dozen games or so and take it from there. Beat Villa next weekend and we top (for a bit).

Enjoy the weekend lads (and lasses). Win is a win. Complain when we lose.

Andrew Clare
104 Posted 17/08/2019 at 23:10:05
Terrible game but glad we won. So often possession was surrendered when Pickford continuously hoofed the ball up the pitch to no one. We have to play out from the back and keep the ball.

Good goal by Bernard. I am pleased for him as he is a very clever footballer and he makes things happen.

Justin Doone
105 Posted 17/08/2019 at 23:16:34
A great win but not performance. A good battle that our midfield stood up well too.

We still lack the obvious, a natural goal scorer.

Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin, Kean all good young forward players but one of them needs to quickly shine and be the main threat.

As young players they will have inconsistent patches which is understandable but no excuses, we are crying out for a striker and if they are good enough they need to show it quickly.

Kean strikes the ball well and I'm hoping in another month he steps up to be the main man. It's all potential but hopefully one starts to look the part ASAP.

Richarlison missed two good headers, not even hitting the target. Calvert-Lewin has had similar chances that he fluffs in previous games. They should concentrate 100% on finishing in training because on another day we could easily have dropped points.

Mike Gaynes
106 Posted 17/08/2019 at 23:33:20
Rob #100, an attitude problem? Really? We're seeing two different players, mate.

The one I see is running his tits off at both ends of the pitch, getting into perfect scoring positions, and no longer flopping around like a fish on the beach or wailing at the referee. Haven't seen a single moment of laziness or sourness.

He's just playing poorly. He's misfiring on chances he would normally put away. Off-target on his passes. He needs to regain his timing and his confidence. And he can't do that sitting down.

Besides, on a purely practical level he's the best scorer on a team that can't score at the moment. It's not like there's anybody on the bench who will do better. So I say leave him out there and let him work it out. He will.

Jay Harris
107 Posted 18/08/2019 at 00:38:37
I thought our problems were mainly in me today where at times they overpowered us. Where is the Gomes that could hold the ball, take people on, and spray killer passes? Gbamin on the other hand just needs some time to get fit and adopt. Good to see Bernard get on the scoresheet even if it was a lucky deflection. That should give him more confidence to score in future.

Thankfully solid at the back with Seamus putting in a real captain's performance. Can't understand why so many have adopted Sigurdsson as the new scapegoat. The man always gives 100%, looks the most likely player to score, and provides more opportunities for others to score than any other player.

Derek Knox
108 Posted 18/08/2019 at 00:41:42
It's strange, but I am used to it now, even when we win, there is a limited response from TW'ers, and I can put that down to one thing really.

Yes, we won, but in what manner? We got an early goal, great! But what happened after that?

The longer the match went, the longer my anticipation of the killer punch, was just around the corner. Gladly, and God only knows why, we didn't succumb to that!

We have bought new players who have had some 'acclimatisition' and were chomping at the bit to be entered onto the field, to hopefully increase our lead and at least, not only be introduced, but to make the score-line less precarious.

What does Silva do? He brings on Walcott, after having Iwobi warming up, Theo did little to change anything, but his Bank Balance, has increased even more to be on Britain's Richest Footballers list!

I have ever decreasing faith in Silva's ability to be the man to lead us, please, and you will have to be very convincing, tell me I am wrong!

Kase Chow
109 Posted 18/08/2019 at 00:57:22
Jay #107,

People that are having a go at Sigurdsson simply don't understand football.

He put 2 on a plate today for Ritchie – if either (or both) go in, then Siggy is (hopefully!!!) hailed a creative masestro.

It's weird – we simply love to bash our productive better players, eg, Sigurdsson, Lukaku, Osman, the list goes on. But we fall in love with Niasse, Bernard, Stracqualursi who between them have scored very few goals. It's a bizarre trait

Siggy is a very very good player. We can't attract an Erikson, we can't afford a Zaha but we should love who we've got who is actually a solid player.

Nicholas Ryan
110 Posted 18/08/2019 at 01:12:02
Derek, you're wrong.
Albert Perkins
111 Posted 18/08/2019 at 01:16:30
Derek 108. Who do you think would do a better job and would they come to us? I think it's true that we might attract other quality managers but that could be because we are a more attractive club due to our present incumbent. He's got this season to prove he's worth the job and I can't see why he won't do that.

You can't always get what you want. If you can't have the one you love, love the one you're with.

Si Smith
112 Posted 18/08/2019 at 01:16:32
Agree whole heartedly Mike, the kid works tirelessly to impress us as fans, and to improve his game in all aspects.

Richalison and Siggy are 2 major players for us, soon they will get into there groove and be back to what they have done all last season.

Mike Gaynes
113 Posted 18/08/2019 at 01:34:45
Derek #108, my biggest complaint with Silva is his overly predictable use of subs. I felt the same about Walcott as you did. I am also less than dazzled by his equally predictable attacking strategy and the still-poor dead-ball defense.

He has, however, impressed me by solidifying the overall defensive organization, incorporating more professionalism into our ability to see out games (today we looked in total control over the last 10 minutes), and the coaching-related improvement in individual players.

And I believe the improved work rate and intensity of the club from a year ago is down to Silva as well.

He is certainly a manager who can lead us back into Europe, which is our objective at the moment. Whether he is a Top-4-caliber manager I have no idea -- that will only be determined if and when he has players of that quality around him.

To sum up, I don't love the guy, but I think he's doing a pretty good job. But I won't say you're wrong -- just a bit too impatient (he's still gathering this team) and a bit too pessimistic.

Peter Mills
114 Posted 18/08/2019 at 01:40:10
At the end of the match, I was delighted that we had gained 3 points.

It was a tough game, Watford were strong and rough, we did not capitulate, the whole team battled, did not always play sublime football, but dug in and the whole 14 players contributed to a win. Sometimes that’s what you have to do.

Result. Move on.

David Pearl
115 Posted 18/08/2019 at 02:02:18
The most important thing for Silva is he seems to have the support of his players.

He put on Walcott like for like because he trusts this system and maybe him and Schneiderlin will have a better season with better players around them. Gbamin could be anything but will only get better. He’s certainly got the physique.

I hope Baines stays fit more this year too to provide the cover we need. Looking at the squad I’m pretty happy we do have perhaps the best squad we’ve had in years. Albeit a little short at CB if we pick up suspensions and injury but I’m sure we will have that covered in January.

Kean looks pretty good, he likes that turn doesn’t he. We have a forward line of 19, 22, 21. Things are looking up, even if we didn’t control the game like we expected or wanted to. Watford won’t be bottom for long.

John Boon
116 Posted 18/08/2019 at 03:33:30
Posted earlier but this time just to compliment our lone teenager who showed enough in a short spell on the field to suggest that we may have a tough, hard-working centre forward at last. He gave as good as he got and NEARLY scored twice. Nobody else seemed to know where the net was. He seems to have the physical qualities needed in the Premier League.
Steve Brown
117 Posted 18/08/2019 at 03:58:31
Kase 109, the two on a plate were free-kicks. His influence on our general play on the last two games has been poor: in fact he has slowed down the attacking transition. I'd like to test Bernard or Iwobi in that position next game. If it doesn't work, then fine back to Siggy.

As for the ‘don't understand football' comment, suggest you don't go down that route on here.

Gavin Johnson
118 Posted 18/08/2019 at 03:58:47
What a great goal by Bernard in yesterday's game. He's an important member of the squad but he normally fluffs it when he shoots at goal. It's the one weakness to his game. Let's hope he scores a few more this season.

I only saw the highlights. There seems to be a lot of negativity on the thread suggesting we rode our luck, but it should be remembered that Richarlison should have scored two goals. At the end of the day, we won and kept another clean sheet, and the pairing of Mina and Keane is looking even stronger than when Zouma was with us

Darryl Ritchie
119 Posted 18/08/2019 at 05:24:39
Two games in. Two clean sheets. Undefeated season is still possible. Just wait ‘til the new guys find their rhythm...hell, just wait ‘til the entire squad sort themselves out.

Four points out of a possible six, and we haven’t played very well.

It’s not the ideal start, but it’s not that bad either.

Bobby Mallon
120 Posted 18/08/2019 at 05:26:41
I take the same view as others who say Richarlison needs a two-week break. He's played with Brazil and he also had mumps. The lad needs a proper rest then he will be back to his best.
Annika Herbert
121 Posted 18/08/2019 at 06:09:24
Kase @109, I understand football every bit as well as you do. As already mentioned, two of the chances created by Sigurdsson came from free-kicks. If you had bothered to read my post, you would have noticed that my complaint about Sigurdsson is the lack of chances he creates from open play.

That is my opinion and I am entitled to it. Just as you are entitled to yours. That does not mean I don't know what I am talking about and it doesn't make your comments right or wrong. But I do expect more than a decent free-kick from our creative maestro, to use your words.

Jerome Shields
122 Posted 18/08/2019 at 06:21:30
Richarlison was a constant threat to Watford with his pace and power. He does the job that Silva wants him to do, as does Ca!vert-Lewin. The two areas he could improve on are his finishing and his passing. His finishing is the result of how he plays within Everton's tactics. He may have to beat his marker before he has a chance, and other chances are not clear-cut.

I often think that the ball is not got to him fast enough. His passing appears to be an after thought, his first objective is to run at defence, beat his marker or shoot. It appears that, when these options close down, he decides to pass. His pass completion rate is poor as a result. He is an out-and-out striker but does work hard at maintaining the high press and tackling to get possession back.

Everton's tactics have a preference for wing play and the left wing has a bigger percentage of the play than the right wing. It was the same in the Palace game. The centre play was around 15 percent of the attacking play, similar again to the Palace game.

I suggest, but I am open to other opinions, that whilst this is part of Silvas tactics it falls down on two areas. It is first dependent on the speed and movement in midfield and pass completion and interplay in the final third.

In the Watford game, Gomes and Sigurdsson where too laboured in build-up and Gbamin was making the defensive part of his game a priority. When Watford pushed up in the second half, making the high press ineffective, Sigurdsson largely became anonymous and Gomes largely ineffective. Pass completion in the final third is poor, because teams now set up to defend against Everton's wing play. In the second half Coleman did fade a bit, but his main aim when getting forward is to cross. He is now less effective at this than Dyne. Calvin Lewin in the second half had to come deeper to try hold up and lay off the ball and had to try to provide supporting overlaps rather than attacking play to get Everton into the attacking zone. Kean just attacked through the centre and used his strength to do that, once he got the ball.

Silva needs to accommodate and coach Richarlison better.

Annika Herbert
124 Posted 18/08/2019 at 07:05:26
Jerome @122 , I think that is a pretty good assessment of the game overall.
Steven Astley
125 Posted 18/08/2019 at 07:16:37
Anyone in any doubt about Calvert-Lewin, just watch his movement for the first goal. It's pathetic.

Does he get into space to allow a pass for a chance on goal or even make a run that takes a player out of position? He does neither and barges into Cathcart and runs offside.

He should be 3rd choice behind Tosun in my opinion. Offers nothing and should have been loaned out to the Championship or the German league.

Alan J Thompson
126 Posted 18/08/2019 at 07:26:43
I've said before that Bernard seems to be thinking two moves ahead and for the goal he seems to be moving, sprinting well before Digne got anywhere near the ball with the Watford defence playing its part by pushing up into our half. I had worried that that might be our weakness, a lack of pace in central defence, but not on the evidence so far.
Justin Doone
127 Posted 18/08/2019 at 08:30:24
A few comments on other posts.

Although I would hope for a win against Villa we can't under estimate them. I hope the players and team do not take it for certain. To often we turn 'easy' wins into draws and losses. We should start our strongest team.

Both Ric and Sig put in full effort and unless Kean proves otherwise our 2 best goal scorers. Dropping either would be foolish. They are both playing well without being on top of their game. Still better than any alternative.

Really happy for Bernard. Like Osman and Pieniar finishing is the obvious floor in his game and at his age I can't see him being anything more than 5 goals a season player.

He's got the creativity and trickery to unlock defences and should be given a chance in a more central position with Iwobi left and Siggy rested (when required).

Watford did dominate midfield at times which is a bit of a worry. The Central areas still appear to be our weakest and better teams will simply over run us.

Tactically it's great having pace and width but we only have Digne who can cross a ball. It's never been Colemans game and the wingers all want to cut inside. Plus we don't appear to have a good enough header of the ball. We are too predictable and I'm looking forward to Iwobi mixing it up.

Jerome Shields
128 Posted 18/08/2019 at 08:50:07
Justin #127

I agree regarding Bernard and Iowbi.

George Cumiskey
129 Posted 18/08/2019 at 08:59:18
Annika @ 121 spot on. When it comes to DCL and Siggy, a lot of ToffeeWebbers go into the Three Wise Monkey mode.
Brendan Fox
132 Posted 18/08/2019 at 09:46:15
The team started well yesterday as they did against Palace, Bernard anticipated the pass from Digne really well and got a deflection on a shot that was otherwise straight at the keeper for the only goal. Other than that I can't recall any further moments where either Foster was seriously tested or any goal attempt had to be blocked or cleared off the line by one of their players for the whole game which is a real concern that has been voiced by many during pre-season and after these first two games.

Defensively relatively solid with two clean sheets but in both games played to date Pickford has saved points with one on one saves, saving from Deeney with his face today probably saved all 3 points TBH as Watford were on the front foot in terms of posession and goal threat at that point.

Against the better teams in the league the team will struggle to keep clean sheets and score goals with the current levels of perfomance. Pickford cannot be expected to keep digging the team out of holes with one on one saves to keep clean sheets, given there has only been 5 shots on goal in the two matches and only one goal so far the lack of goal threat posed needs adressing quickly. Kean brings a lot more natural goalscoring ability up top than DCL so changes may need to be considered soon to reverse this.

A big step up needed on the goal threat the team poses has got to start against Villa on Friday either with personnel/formation changes or both.

Taking the positives with new players still bedding into the team and squad I am happy we have 4 points despite playing pretty poor footie which the best teams need to do to grind out results during a season.

Hopefully Digne being taken of was a precautionary measure similar to Gomes substitution against Palace and he's back in the team against Villa.


Danny O'Neill
133 Posted 18/08/2019 at 09:51:46
2 games in, we can't read too much into things either way; you can't with any team.

In my opinion, a solid & professional start; 4 points from 6.

Oh, can we ditch those tacky flags? Cringeworthy & very Leicester like. Next we'll be issuing those annoying happy clappy things.

Barry Williams
135 Posted 18/08/2019 at 10:28:50
Wow! Good job we didn't lose!
Neil Copeland
136 Posted 18/08/2019 at 10:32:17
Josh #101, better to have the points in the bag and much better than any of the other 19 available league positions.
Barry Williams
137 Posted 18/08/2019 at 10:44:54
Right, that's the throw away comment done!

2 games, 1 away, 1 at home, 4 points, not bad!

The defence seems to have carried on from last season, despite having a change in the CB partnership. In fact, having Mina in is like a new player to a certain degree.

We have lost 2 important players in Zouma and Gueye. We have replaced them with Mina (see above) and a player who has never played in this league before, and is young.

On top of that, we lost Schneiderlin and Gomes in the first game. plus Digne in the second game, meaning reshuffles all round and 10 men for a period.

Yes, Pickford had to make saves, which is why he is there. That's why we paid a lot for him! Southall had to do it too on occasions!

I thought Bernard's goal was quite special. A great pass out of defence, some great footwork from the Brazilian and a good finish too, not lucky in any way. If it was, well he created his own luck!

2 games in, points on board. Delph, Keane (who looked excellent) Iwobi, yet to be properly unleashed or even played, plus the new RB too.

The conditions were pretty crappy in both games, that does make a difference (Ask Klopp hee hee)

Are we going in the right direction!? Yes, yes and yes again! In my humble opinion anyway! And, it is just an opinion!

We are 2 games in folks!

Ciarán McGlone
138 Posted 18/08/2019 at 10:47:27
The problem with Sigurdsson is that he will be rightly compared with the number 10s of teams above us, the teams we aspire to be mixing it with.

Even in his purples patches he is lacking in terms of his overall contribution to the team. He occupies, what should be, the most influential offensive position on the pitch.. transition from back to front, through balls, linking with the wing play, dribbling, creating space..

All too often we rely on wing play alone because the middle is too slow and incapable of keeping up or linking play.

Imagine what we'd be like with a David Silva in there... or even a Richarlison.

Barry Williams
139 Posted 18/08/2019 at 10:51:42
Ciarán McGlone - 138

Conversely, what could Sigurdsson do surrounded by the Man City players?

All conjecture!

Ciarán McGlone
140 Posted 18/08/2019 at 11:00:50
Yeah Barry.. city missed a trick there, didnt they.
Barry Williams
141 Posted 18/08/2019 at 11:10:45
Ciarán McGlone - 140

Haa haa. maybe!

David Pearl
142 Posted 18/08/2019 at 11:13:58
Yes Ciarán, and why they didn’t pick up Niasse when they had the chance is anyone’s guess. They’ve only got Aguirre and Jesus but after that fucked.
Joe McMahon
143 Posted 18/08/2019 at 11:45:37
Danny @133. I completely agree with you on the flags, and it looks even more embarrassing in a relic stadium. On Leicester I suppose they can say they have won something recently.

I know I think about things too much but our image is so important at the moment. We have to end looking back at past glories and we have to look to the future. Please no more magnificent 7 DVD'S Everton FC marketing.

Annika Herbert
144 Posted 18/08/2019 at 11:47:12
Excellent post, Ciaran @138, very well explained points.
Stu Gore
145 Posted 18/08/2019 at 11:58:15
Went to the game. DCL criticism is harsh. Constantly plays with his back to goal as this appears to be the plan. Many times in the first half he was on the defenders shoulder setting off to run behind and the ball never, ever came. Not once did we give him something to run on to. Build up is down each wing and he gets well marked in the centre. Kean came on. Looks very strong and held the ball up well, and got something he could run on to. Looked brilliant doing so and he will be ace. DCL won’t score though as he is given no opportunity to do so unless we try to change the plan a little.

The strategy of kick the ball to centre half, back to keeper, out to heavily marked midfielder, and then back to keeper will cost us this season. Hope they knock that off quickly.

Brian Williams
146 Posted 18/08/2019 at 12:06:43
The flags were to celebrate a first home game of a new season and to create an atmosphere to help the players.
From the top balcony it looked amazing to see the whole ground dazzling in blue and white in the sunshine.
No matter what the club does some miseries will slag em for it.
Ray Roche
147 Posted 18/08/2019 at 12:15:43

Correct, the siren kicked it off, Z Cars was drowned out by the noise and the atmosphere was electric. The flags helped this, but I wouldn't want them every week and if we ever get those damn clappers that small club Leicester issue to their fans then it'll be a really naff addition.

Pity the game didn't live up to the initial atmosphere though.

John Pierce
148 Posted 18/08/2019 at 12:31:54
The game hinged on the midfield. Both the players picked looked barely fit. After that initial burst in the game I felt we had no control in the middle of the park. The effectiveness of our attacking unit was much reduced because we had no sustained pressure or control.

I was really surprised he didn't pick Davies, instead of or in addition to, Gbamin and Gomes. I think really that says it all how Silva feels about him despite his words. I thought that would help us control the game against a physical Watford midfield.

We do look more organised as a team, and that's a carryover from the last part of the season. As such were look sound against mediocre attacks.

Very much an ugly duckling of a game.

Sam Hoare
149 Posted 18/08/2019 at 12:33:40
If we continue this season to pick up points when not playing well, then I'll be delighted!

Having said that, I do find the lack of creativity a bit worrying. We rely so heavily on the Bernard - Digne combination. It reminds me of Bainaar days.

Sigurdsson is a good player but he has got to get more involved in the game from open play and more regularly. He only made 14 passes yesterday! Whereas Pereyra made 38. Stieppermann who plays in a similar role for Norwich made 48 passes yesterday. Ceballos for Arsenal yesterday played 75 passes!

Sigurdsson has got to be able to make himself available for the ball more often and demand it. He is in the team to affect play creatively and in the first two matches this season he has not done that nearly enough. He doesn't dribble, he doesn't make a lot of tackles; so if he is not passing often and accurately then it's very hard to see what his worth is to the team.

Mina and Keane did well though the chance that Deulofeu made for Deeney is what worries me. How will they cope with runners in behind? Watford definitely missed some good chances yesterday and I think if it had been a draw it would be hard to complain it was unjust.

Definitely lots to work on for Silva but Kean looked promising as did Gbamin at times. I hoped Bernard might have a breakout season this time and he was our best player yesterday, linking play well, making the most tackles in the team and scoring the crucial goal.

Villa away will not be easy though I think they can be susceptible to the counter. Personally, I'd love to see Iwobi get a start for Sigurdsson to see if that dynamism and dribbling ability in the middle can help open us up as a creative entity.

Colin Malone
151 Posted 18/08/2019 at 13:07:36
I know it's only the second match of the season, but why oh why does Silva keep playing Walcott? He's been bad for so long.
Rob Marsh
152 Posted 18/08/2019 at 14:25:43
Mike @ 106

Mike, Nowhere have I mentioned laziness or sourness or even sulking, what I said was he's got no competition and it's this that's impacting his attitude towards his game time.

He's putting effort in, but he's been a few % off his most effective game for a while now, this "edge" comes when you know you might not play again for 5-10 games if you're not quite there.

I think we are both looking at two different players at the moment.

"Besides, on a purely practical level, he's the best scorer on a team that can't score at the moment. It's not like there's anybody on the bench who will do better. So I say leave him out there and let him work it out. He will."

Nail on the head, from the paragraph above we are both now looking at the same player again (and not a different one), the practicalities are the only reason I'd have him on the pitch at the moment (there's a few players who fall into this category). When the new kid, Kean, starts to find the net and maybe a few other players also find the net, Richarlison might feel some (healthy) pressure again.

Rob Marsh
153 Posted 18/08/2019 at 14:42:42
Jay # 102

Jay, I haven't based my observations on Isolated games, it's his performance over many and Sigurdsson is another one who also could do with some competition.

Richarlison is a very talented boy and I'm happy we have him, the £40m we paid at the time seemed a bit much to me, but now we have him it was a bit of a bargain. Having said that, he's had lots of game time and just seemed to be off his best for many of those games and I'm not sure playing continually is the solution?

However, he's our top scorer with 13 goals, so I can see why he's played like he is.

Derek Knox
154 Posted 18/08/2019 at 15:07:15
Brian @ 146, a bit disappointed I didn't see you in the Excelsior after the game, you did say you were going. I want a full report and explanation on my desk by 9 o'clock tomorrow morning. :-)
Brian Williams
155 Posted 18/08/2019 at 15:14:52
Hi Derek. Yeh apologies for that mate. I'll tell you "offline."
Alan Bodell
156 Posted 18/08/2019 at 15:18:52
Not a memorable game except for Watford players making complete tits of themselves contesting every single decision but one thing stood out for me was that Seamus is proving any of the many doubters saying he was finished are wrong, he can play left back too, phenomanal servant.
Mike Gaynes
157 Posted 18/08/2019 at 15:39:10
DK, you're an encyclopedia. I never would have known he'd been one of ours.

We must have found out about his lack of character. According to his Wikipedia biography he's an RS supporter.

Jay Harris
158 Posted 18/08/2019 at 16:11:10
I thought our problems were mainly in mf today where at times they overpowered us. Where is the Gomes that could hold the ball take people on and spray killer passes. Gbamin on the other hand just needs some time to get fit and adopt. Good to see Bernard get on the scoresheet even if it was a lucky deflection. That should give him more confidence to score in future.

Thankfully solid at the back with Seamus putting in a real captain s performance. Can't understand why so many have adopted Siggy as the new scapegoat. The man always gives 100!% looks the most likely player to score and provides more opportunities for others to score than any other player.

Derek Knox
159 Posted 18/08/2019 at 16:15:05
Mike G, looks like part of my comment has been removed, I believe you may be coming over again in January? It was mentioned at the TW get together after the game. Be great to see you, we have a slightly better venue now (more space/seating) the Excelsior, Dale Street as you will be aware.

It turned into a bit of a Ceilidh, there were a couple of musicians, who played mostly Irish songs, it was enjoyable but a bit loud, a lot of people up dancing. Riverdance has no threats whatsoever to it's continuance, I don't remember too many, or any of the original troupe, falling over!

Ray Roche
160 Posted 18/08/2019 at 16:54:45
Derek, it looked like it was about to kick off in the bar when I left, what happened?
Danny O'Neill
161 Posted 18/08/2019 at 16:55:17
To be clear, I'm pleased with the start, just not the flags!! Such a gimmick... the Kopites do it, but at least in fairness theirs comes from natural adoption through their 1970s & 80s European exploits. Let's just keep us Everton (in my humble opinion).

As previous, I never get carried away either way with the initial performances or results. Experience tells you not to read too much into early season.

1993-94: Howard Kendall at the reigns with a clearly sub-par Everton team. Won the first 3 fixtures (9 from 9); finished 17th if I recall (sorry, couldn't be bothered looking it up, but there or there about).

1984-85: Battered at home on the first day of the season by Tottenham, lost the next one to West Brom 3-2; conceded 7 goals in the first 2 games. Everton finish champions.

Perspective guys, never read too much into early season. Whatever happened to the league table not being published until at least 3 games had been completed? Personally, I don't really look at the league table until Christmas; that's when you really find out where you are in the stakes from my experience.

Derek Knox
162 Posted 18/08/2019 at 17:08:15
Ray, I wasn't aware of any potentially explosive powder kegs in the bar area, but there were a few dancing, (men with men) what's the World coming to? Although admittedly they outnumbered the ladies present, I think it was just high spirits, or too many spirits?

I left to get my train, which I missed by a matter of seconds, so had to wait nearly an hour for what was presumably the last train to Chester. It was enjoyable, and good to see a few TW'ers again.

Ray Roche
163 Posted 18/08/2019 at 17:10:09
When I was going out, there were a couple of blokes and a woman having a grappling match and plenty of verbals with some others attempting to quieten things down. Seems like it was handbags.
Steven Astley
164 Posted 18/08/2019 at 17:25:06
Was the banner for Moise Kean in place?
Laurie Hartley
166 Posted 18/08/2019 at 23:37:54
Peter # 114 - that is a wise post - two seasons ago we would have capitulated.

After watching Watford V Brighton the previous week I thought it would be a close game which it was - but we won.

When the forward line clicks, and it will with Kean up front, we will be a real handful..

Kevin Dyer
167 Posted 19/08/2019 at 13:51:06
Kind of hilarious how we get half the number of comments when we win, or look good (mostly the former in this case). It's like a victory applies a filter, weeding out the repetitive moaning!

Sigurdson can't actually score the goals for Richie though, so there's that to grumble about, if so inclined. :)

Steve Ferns
168 Posted 19/08/2019 at 13:59:51
No Steve. It’ll take 4 weeks, the guys said on Twitter, which seems odd to me.
Paul Tran
169 Posted 19/08/2019 at 14:04:27
Banner will be ready for the City game.
Kevin Dyer
170 Posted 19/08/2019 at 16:29:03
George #36, the idea that we'd drop our best offensive player from last season after 1 game as suggested by some here is baffling. Yes, Sigurdsson had a poor opening match, though was still unlucky not to score (you may have noticed his on-target shot cleared off the line by Van Aarnholt).

Today he was much better, was always looking to make things happen and, but for some awful heading by an unmarked Richarlison, would have chalked up at least one assist. He also battled well for the ball, held it up and was still giving it 100% keeping possession in injury time to get us over the line.

The bloke is a total professional, technically excellent, has an eye for a pass, has zero quit in him, can score double figure goals from midfield and should have way more assists than he registers if we had consistent finishers in the team. I think Walcott alone missed at least 3 sitters last year when put clean through by our much-maligned No 10.

Honestly, what more do you, Ciaran and Annika (and others) actually want?

John Pierce
171 Posted 19/08/2019 at 16:42:38
The Sigurdsson thing isn't a scapegoating, he is and is recognized as a very good player. Perhaps framing the argument that we've had 2 games is not quite were many are coming from. I could be wrong; however, he is our No 10 and, like the debate over Calvert-Lewin at centre-forward, he should be nigh on our most important player.

Sigurdsson has yet to score a direct free-kick for Everton, his penalty reliability has waned considerably since the 2018 World Cup. He should be demanding the ball, prompting, probing. Perhaps his style, he plays in moments, hampers the way we play?

I want my No 10 front and centre, involved incessantly, especially at home. Is Sigurdsson doing that?

Tom Bowers
172 Posted 19/08/2019 at 16:48:10
I think Gylfi's performances were heightened by the goals he scored but generally, without the goals, he is an average midfielder these days. You don't get quicker and acquire more stamina as you get older so I would say his best days are behind him for the most part.

Silva is building his team and with the new guys chomping at the bit Gylfi may find it difficult to be in the starting eleven down the line.

Annika Herbert
173 Posted 19/08/2019 at 17:29:21
Kevin @170, some open play creativity from our so-called most creative player is what I want.
George Cumiskey
175 Posted 20/08/2019 at 14:12:55
Kevin @ 170 — you must be watching entirely different games than me, is all I can say about your comments.

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