Injury curse strikes again before Tosun rescues a point

By Lyndon Lloyd 04/11/2019 134comments  |  Jump to last

It was one of those days where the final result felt rather immaterial; where a long-term injury to another important player, another largely disappointing performance, more infuriatingly poor refereeing and the damningly criminal injustice of VAR all combined to leave you with a sense of futility about 2019-20.

It’s difficult to believe that this Everton team is poor enough to go down but current form suggests that far from challenging for a place in the top six (where newly-promoted Sheffield United of all teams currently find themselves) the Blues are going to spend this season battling to keep themselves out of the bottom three. Today’s draw, salvaged deep into stoppage time by Cenk Tosun’s first goal of the season, represented just the fourth point Everton have collected from an available 21 under Marco Silva since they beat Wolves and there was little to suggest that they could or even deserved to get any more from what was a terrible game played out between two teams struggling for confidence.

The loss of Gomes to a fracture dislocation to his right ankle following a cynical, late challenge by Son Hueng-min will further deplete a central midfield that has been forced to do without Jean-Philippe Gbamin since late August and that will lose Fabian Delph in the short term as well after the former Manchester City man pulled up with a hamstring injury a couple of minutes before the end.

It’s especially annoying because Gomes, who battled through his first season in England short of full fitness, was just starting to settle back into a rhythm in Everton’s midfield after a month out with a rib injury and looked ready to kick on. Silva was no doubt relying on him to provide a source of leadership, assertiveness and increasing influence in the middle of the park now that he was fit again but the Portuguese international’s season is, in all likelihood, over.

Not that this improving Gomes had been able to single-handedly inspire Everton this afternoon against a Spurs side that hadn’t won away from home in the Premier League since January and yet looked on course to do just that following Alex Iwobi’s unfortunate error in the 63rd minute. Gomes’s absence could be used as a mitigating circumstance for the manager going forward but even with him in the side for 79 minutes this afternoon, the Blues were as flat and unthreatening as they have been for too much of this already wretched season.

And yet, because his team, fuelled by a burning sense of injustice at some mystifying VAR decisions and a desire to get something from the game for Gomes while also roared on by an increasingly raucous home crowd, rallied in the 12 minutes’ time added for stoppages against 10 men and grabbed an equaliser, it feels as though Silva will escape the scrutiny that a sixth defeat in seven games would have demanded.

Perhaps with the 6-2 mauling Everton suffered in this fixture last season, Silva deviated from the 4-2-3-1 formation he has relied upon so far and deployed a three-man midfield of Delph, Gomes and Tom Davies and a front three of Iwobi, Richarlison and Theo Walcott. The result was a less effective outing for Iwobi, who looks far more effective played centrally, while Walcott lapsed back into his familiarly unproductive form on the right.

In between, Richarlison toiled on the press, provided a source of direct running and, when he wasn’t flinging himself to the ground or writhing around in short-lived agony clutching various body parts, offered the most promising source of a goal in what was an awful first half of football.

The Brazilian was played down the channel beautifully by Gomes in the 25th minute but lacked the confidence to take his man on for pace and saw a premature shot blocked. Then, in the 32nd minute, after Gomes himself had headed a chance well over, Richarlison controlled Lucas Digne’s centre and shot on the swivel but his tame effort was straight down the throat of Paulo Gazzaniga.

Finally, he exhibited his strength against Davinson Sanchez to roll the defender but spooned his eventual shot from the angle into the Park End stand.

At the other end, despite the supposed threats posed by Son and Lucas Moura, playing instead of Harry Kane who was missing because of a virus, Spurs had shown almost no threat with Jordan Pickford really called upon just once to bat Serge Aurier’s swirling cross away to safety midway through the half.

The turgid fare bled into the first 15 minutes of the second half with only Tottenham’s Ben Davies going close when he stole in at the back post to meet a free-kick delivery but Delph got in the way before things ignited as the match ticked past the hour mark. Meanwhile, the game was paused for a VAR check after Son went down in the Everton area under the attentions of Yerry Mina but the appeals were waved away.

Then, after referee Martin Atkinson had ignored calls for a penalty when Sanchez felled Richarlison in the box — for some reason, no VAR check was carried out on this incident — a terrific pass by Iwobi found Digne who rolled a cut-back towards the penalty spot that was seized on by Richarlison but Gazzaniga denied him by clawing his shot out the air.

Two minutes later, however, Iwobi missed Delph in midfield with a short pass that went straight to Son and he played in Alli who took advantage of poor positioning by Mason Holgate to drill the ball past Pickford. The young defender, so impressive against Brighton last Saturday and in the cup match against Watford, had been preferred to Michael Keane today but did not cover himself in glory as the last man.

Silva responded five minutes later with his customarily reactive substitution by withdrawing Walcott in favour of Tosun while there was another ridiculously lengthy VAR review of what proved on the video replays to be a conclusive handball by Alli under FIFA’s new guidelines. The decision wasn’t given in Everton’s favour and an increasingly fractious affair on the pitch was being matched by increasing ire from the stands at abysmal officiating all the way around.

It was in that atmosphere and the context of a contest over which Atkinson was losing his authority that Silva was forced into another switch 11 minutes from the end of the regulation 90 by a horrific injury to Gomes. The Portuguese had escaped censure for an accidental elbow on Son but the South Korean elected to take matters into his own hands shortly afterwards.

Losing the ball in Everton’s half, he took an unsuccessful swipe at Iwobi and then chased down Gomes near the touchline, scything his opponent down without any intent to win it back. Gomes’s boot caught in the turf before he collided heavily with Aurier and it was immediately apparent the former Barcelona man had sustained an awful injury.

Quickly surrounded by horrified team-mates and then Everton’s medical staff while Son went to pieces once he had seen the extent of the damage he had caused to Gomes, the stricken player was eventually stretchered out of the far gate between the Bullens Road and Park End stands to be taken straight to hospital. Son, meanwhile, was initially booked before the colour of the card was changed by Atkinson to red.

With Gylfi Sigurdsson on for Gomes and Dominic Calvert-Lewin on for Davies (who was unfortunate to be taken off), Everton had the final six minutes plus 12 minutes of stoppage time to salvage something from the game and while Calvert-Lewin went close with a towering header to meet a Sigurdsson cross that he despatched narrowly over, it was Tosun who grabbed the goal with 97 minutes on the clock.

Yerry Mina delivered a cross to the left flank that Digne centred perfectly on the volley and Tosun stole in in front of Calvert-Lewin to power a header home.

For those few minutes at the end where a united sense of purpose had Goodison in full voice urging the players to get it forward in the hunt for an equaliser, there was a brief sense of the Everton that has been all too lacking this season. Ultimately, though, there was little satisfying about this result or performance.

For Silva, who is lurching from one match to the next looking to bolster his stock in the face of a horrible points return thus far, there wasn’t much to advance his case that he is the man to take this club forward and he will take his players to Southampton still under huge pressure. There hasn’t been any sense from the hierarchy so far that his position is under threat but defeat at St Mary’s could push them to the brink.

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Reader Comments (134)

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Christopher Timmins
1 Posted 04/11/2019 at 08:08:40
Lyndon can the season get any worse? A terrible game between two very moderate teams coupled with the injury to Gomes, it's almost too much to bear.

I think things look very bleak going forward. If we don't win next weekend in the 6 pointer against Southampton then there has to be a change of manager over the next International break. It can't go on, it just can't. I have supported the manager and I still want him to succeed but if we have 12 points or less from the first 12 games then it's impossible to argue against a change.

Best wishes to Gomes in his recovery and hopefully we will see him in a Royal Blue shirt at a Premier League venue next August.

Jack Convery
2 Posted 04/11/2019 at 08:26:30
Maybe this is why the curse began - Bill Kenwright recorded a song called Epitaph ( When times were good ). Its on you tube
Rob Hooton
3 Posted 04/11/2019 at 08:52:33
Hope Gomes can make a full recovery, this was a truly miserable weekend of sport.
How both the on field and VAR referees were so incompetent defies belief, there is definitely a hex on our great club.

I think we would have lost that match we’re it not for the horrific incident, it is sad when only the awful officiating can rouse the crowd

Thomas Lennon
4 Posted 04/11/2019 at 08:59:51
Difficult to accept.

In the last 5 years - serious leg breaks

Brian Oviedo
James McCarthy
Seamus Coleman
Andre Gomes

It might be me being Everton biased, but I don't recall many of these types of injury in the previous 50 years, certainly not to Everton players. There was a huge fuss about a Coventry player a few years ago, then an Arsenal player more recently but we are getting one a year.

Good luck Andre, terrible luck.

John Raftery
5 Posted 04/11/2019 at 09:08:39
This was an awful match. It had nothing whatsoever to commend it. The terrible injury to Gomes and the lamentable officiating made the headlines but quality of the football itself was poor. Relegation candidates are usually dogged by bad luck, bad injuries, bad refereeing and bad runs of form. We are experiencing all those this season.

The next two games against two of the three teams below us in the table are of huge significance for Silva and the club.

Stan Schofield
6 Posted 04/11/2019 at 09:26:15
Thomas@4: Jimmy Husband, broken ankle. John Connolly, broken leg. Both at Goodison, 1970s. Plus Ross Barkley.

We have no luck. That, plus the officiating against us looks, on the face of it, corrupt, as if the authorities and pundits have it in for Everton.

Bob Parrington
7 Posted 04/11/2019 at 09:34:01
Arrived in Singapore late yesterday and received the news of Gomes' injury. Seems we're dogged by some curse, what with Coleman, MacCarthy and now Gomes - all key players at the times of their injuries.

But we will not be relegated. There is enough talent in the squad to keep us up. It is what happens from survival onwards that matters.

Officiating is another matter. Is there just one person on the VAR? Should be 3 IMO. No sense having it if the "1" is leaning towards a misguided sense of support for the referee.

Kim Vivian
8 Posted 04/11/2019 at 09:50:26
Off topic - Whether we are all just a bit paranoid or not, there does seem to be a prejudice against our club, but for people to so liberally make accusations of corruption does evidence symptoms of paranoia. Corruption sadly does exist in football but to call out virtually every referee and the authorities to be acting dishonestly in return for personal gain is starting to get rather boring.

I'm sure there would be more credibility in many comments if word such as biased, discriminatory, prejudicial and so on could be used rather than corrupt which does harbor a more sinister motivation.

Stan Schofield
9 Posted 04/11/2019 at 09:54:11
Kim, you make a good point. However, for me, I don't believe I'm a person prone to making any accusations without evidence, even with my blue specs on. The evidence before my eyes, cumulative evidence particularly from recent seasons, points clearly to corruption of some form. The game as I knew it looks dead.

I believe 'corrupt' is an appropriate term to use, given the evidence, the recent history of corruption within FIFA, and the amount of money in the game. The first provides the direct evidence, with the latter two underlining suspicions of skullduggery.

None of this implies that every official is corrupt, only that corruption appears to exist and to be widespread.

Whether the references to curruption are boring to you is neither here nor there. On that basis of repetition being boring, you could just as readily say that any political issue of substance that is repeated is boring, like racism, homophobia, etc. The question of boredom is simply not relevant.

Jimmy Hogan
10 Posted 04/11/2019 at 10:14:51
Best wishes to Andre for a quick and uncomplicated recovery, but with or without him, we really look like we're really floundering. It's difficult to see how we will end this run of poor form.
Rick Tarleton
11 Posted 04/11/2019 at 10:15:56
It's not corruption, but officials (and I include VAR in this) are consciously or subconsciously making borderline decisions in favour of the so-called six. Yesterday's decision on the Alli handball is a case in point, that decision would never have favoured Everton had it been the other way round.
Tosun did his cause a lot of good yesterday, with his excellent header and his general behaviour. I thought Davies and Holgate were our two best players and Richarlison will have to learn or be told (as Drogba was by senior players at Chelsea) that his antics are counter-productive and that he is the constant wolf-crier who no official believes.
The Gomes incident has been analysed and examined ad infinitum on Michael's post, but it means that Silva has to sort out his formation and create a midfield that works. I'm not sure Delph is totally fit, but he and Davies ought to be the basis of it.

Tony Everan
12 Posted 04/11/2019 at 10:19:38
VAR is not working properly, penalty incidents for opponents are being checked and for us it is being continually overlooked.

Where is the transparency?, where is the consistency ? there is none.

It opens up all sorts of accusations and conspiracy theories.

Wishing Andre Gomes all the best with his recovery, he will get the best of the best to help him come back strong. Hopefully for pre season in July.

Next weeks game against Southampton is now crucial. Win and we have a bit of breathing space to progress.

Johan Elmgren
13 Posted 04/11/2019 at 10:34:24
I don't think the referees are corrupt, it's just a case of them beeing completely incompetent, and in some cases they are cleary biased, as with Atkinson and Mason.. they clearly don't like us and take every opportunity to "do us one"...

VAR as a technical devise to help referees isn't to blame either. As we have seen, it worked in the world cup, and in several other countries. The thing that is failing is the incompetence of the referees. When you have one incompetent referee on the pitch, and yet another incompetent referee behind the screens it can only end in disaster, as we've witnessed this season...

Kim Vivian
14 Posted 04/11/2019 at 11:25:22
Stan - I wasn't using bored in the sense of sleep inducing, but just tiresome.

I suppose "corrupt/corrupted" as used in the context of a computer program could be applied to the 'system' - particularly VAR - which does seem corrupted somehow, could be used. But to use corrupt in the context of "Dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery" (OED), is either inappropriate or just lazy use of English.

Unless one knows or suspects different of course......

Johan Elmgren
15 Posted 04/11/2019 at 11:37:18
"Dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power"... Well, I think that corrupt is one of the correct terms to use for those biased, incompetent sods after all... but maybe without the bribery then...
Thomas Lennon
16 Posted 04/11/2019 at 13:09:10
Stan #6 - so three we can recall in the previous 50 years (one not in a first-team game), and four in the last 5!

It felt the same in Moyes heyday when we had three serious tendon/knee injuries in a year - Jagielka, Yakubu and Arteta 2008-2009.

It is bad luck but with so many, we certainly need to look for any similarities in how each injury was caused with a view to prevention - grass length, stud length etc?

Stan Schofield
18 Posted 04/11/2019 at 13:17:58
Kim@14: Tiresome is just as irrelevant. Lots of things are tiresome without detracting from their importance. And I do mean dishonest and/or fraudulent. I haven't got evidence that would submit to a Court of Law, but the evidence I have got makes it LOOK like there is corruption, and that's enough to put me off football.

Thomas@16: They were ones off the top of my head. As you say, 4 in the last 5 years is hard to take.

Ken Kneale
19 Posted 04/11/2019 at 13:27:08
John @5 - the perfect storm as you outline for relegation battles ahead - I fear this manager and squad a ill-equipped to meet the challenge

Rick - which one of our senior players is able to do the telling - seemingly none nor the manager - inept leadership on and off the field

John Keating
20 Posted 04/11/2019 at 14:50:48
the last paragraph of your piece is the most telling.

There is no way I am trying to gloss over the Gomes horror but we can't keep using the excuses we have been using to keep Silva in the job.

We keep having "must win" games. There has to be a final "must win" game. Recently it has been West Ham at home, then it was Brighton, then it was Watford, Spurs, now we mention Southampton as the next "must win"

Winning the next game should not absolve Silva in the abject failure he has achieved since joining us. Has there been any appreciable change in performances and results ? I would suggest not.

Injuries, VAR and God knows what other excuses have been used are not good enough. We have been abysmal. We were abysmal against Spurs.

The odd five minute patch of good play here and there cannot be seen as some sort of Oxford moment.

He has to go and he has to go now.

John Pierce
21 Posted 04/11/2019 at 15:02:38
It’s now less about Silva, his ship sailing games ago. My eye is now fixed on Brands and that the silence from the club is telling.

Leaving the man to flounder on his own is pretty bad. They should have replacements in mind, if they don’t shame on them. The club is nowhere, drifting towards a very bad season.

Rob Marsh
22 Posted 04/11/2019 at 15:12:07
John Keating # 20

Southampton are below us and in the bottom three with a goal diff of -17, they're conceding like there's no tomorrow with the worst defence in the league.

If we can't come away with a win from them, this must surely underline to Everton's top brass that all the other poor away performances weren't flukes and the position we find ourselves in is where we deserve to be.

The value of the squad is irrelevant and the odd West Ham "better" performance is not making any difference.

This surely is that final "Must-Win" game?

Jay Wood

23 Posted 04/11/2019 at 15:14:24
Stan @ 6.

"The officiating against us looks, on the face of it, corrupt, as if the authorities and pundits have it in for Everton."

Why Stan? What have refs, the authorities or pundits got to gain by 'doing Everton down?'

We haven't been 'relevant' or a 'threat' for 30 years and counting.

Kieran Kinsella
24 Posted 04/11/2019 at 15:21:16
Stan 9,

I've read previously that statistics support the notion that "big clubs" get the benefit of doubt on calls. I suspect that's more a case of awe-struck refs than an actual plot. I don't see why it would be in anyone's interest to target a campaign against Everton. Based on our attendances, history, and high profile derby's, isn't it financially better for the powers-that-be to keep us around?

More broadly, yes there is a lot of corruption in football with match fixing, warm balls, etc but I think it's driven by crooks seeking personal financial gain rather than a conspiracy specifically against Everton or any other club.

John Keating
25 Posted 04/11/2019 at 15:24:11

I hope you are correct and the Southampton game is that final must-win game. Though, in my opinion, it should have been a few games ago.

When that day of departure finally arrives and he leaves. I hope the squad of players who, have not helped matters by any stretch of the imagination, have a good talk between themselves and accept partial responsibility for his departure.

I just see the usual excuses rolled out. If we don't get a result at Southampton something will be rolled out as the latest excuse.

But really even if we do beat a totally useless Southampton team should that give Silva yet another period to turn things around? I suggest not. It just prolongs our agony.

Henry McDonald
26 Posted 04/11/2019 at 15:31:44
Richarlison should be playing on the wing, feeding balls into either Tosun, Calvert-Lewin or Kean. But our 'genius' manager doesn't listen. His tactics are appalling and as I keep saying on social media if we persist with him much longer we are going to get relegated.

Yes, referees are biased against us; yes, last weeks VAR decision at Brighton (I was there) was a disgraceful injustice and yes our luck is never in. But if you start out with a manager who is tactically inept then you are setting yourself up to lose.

I agree with the threat that the Southampton game is crucial. I fear gravely that Soton are about to bounce back after that humiliation against the Foxes at home and those back to back Man City defeats. If we cannot beat Southampton in their current parlous state then that should surely be that for Silva. Anyone who is still defending his leadership at this stage must be disconnected from reality.

Robbie Rensenbrink once said that in the end football is just a simple game. And yet we are doing all the really simple things wrong. Team and tactical selection being the core of those mistakes. I don't know about the rest of you but for me the solutions are obvious on the field and still our manager persists with the same losing regime.

Removing Silva won't be the magic medicine on its own to turn another miserable solution around but at least by getting in a manager who can tailor the team to where it is exactly in the league we stand (in a relegation battle, let's be honest with ourselves and stop this BS that we are too good to go down!), then we will be given a racing chance to survive and kick on next season.

Tony Hill
27 Posted 04/11/2019 at 15:51:37
According to the Everton bulletin, today's surgery went extremely well and Gomes is expected to make a full recovery. May it be so.
Bill Gall
28 Posted 04/11/2019 at 15:52:10
Over the years there is one thing you can count on, and that is teams that struggle in the relegation zone nearly always get poor decisions against them, good luck going to the team they are playing against, and bad luck going against them.

We are now starting to get into the comments, "good job there are poorer teams below us" and, "Everton are to good to go down" – rallying cry of relegated teams.

Everton are in the entertainment business, and as such they are supposed to entertain people who pay to watch them, and if you don't entertain people will not pay to watch, and if the supporters monies start a dramatic decrease then the board may act.

We are a club with a great history, and so did other cubs who were relegated.

I don't like talking about the other team across the park, but the one thing that you have to admire about them, is they have a board who don't bury their head in the sand when the going gets tough. As they say, the tough get going.

The present manager Silva has been given ample time and chances to prove himself to be a successful manager in the Premier League, not only at Everton but 2 other Premier League teams and he is still struggling for consistency.
No one likes to see a manager fired, but there comes a time when the board and owner must take a hard stand and admit, they made a mistake.

This "Wait till we see how he does against the next 2 teams" is a waste of time, as he could lose them both or, win 1 and lose 1, it does not paper over what has happened in the previous league games or against who they were played against.

Teams that you watch in Premier League games are a reflection of their manager and coaches, who are responsible for their style, tactics and game management, and at the present time the present manager and his coaching staff have a failing grade.

It seems very difficult to me to be talking about the manager with what happened to the 2 previous managers, but 2 wrongs don't make a wright, and lack of ambition breeds failure. So if as they say, the board are ambitious, they have to take a hard look at whose hands they have put their ambitions in, and decide if he, or someone else, can fulfill those ambitions.

Mike Oates
29 Posted 04/11/2019 at 16:02:01
There comes a time when you know it's all over. It creeps up on you and no matter what you do, it's inevitable that the end is in sight.

Silva can't, will not be able to pull us out of this mess we are in. I really don't think he's 100% to blame; Brands must expect flack as well but for him there will be another chance.

Brands, even though at the time his summer dealings looked good, in hindsight, they now look as though his recruitment process was flawed. Short at centre-half, short on another creative centre-midfield and short on proven Premier League centre forward and I suspect Iwobi was a panic last-minute purchase to pacify a baying supporter base. Mosie Kean was in his blue-sky strategy of buying young and selling at big profit later. Losing Gueye and Kouma was the disaster neither Brands or Silva could envisage, nor if truth to be told could replace.

Silva quite frankly hasn't got a clue on how to build a team. We are 11 games in, and 3 League Cups and who can tell me who he favours in key positions:

Coleman or Sidibe,
Mina or Holgate or Keane,
Walcott or Kean,
Delph or Davies or Schenderlein or Iwobi or Bernard,
Sigurdsson or Iwobi,
Calvert-Lewin or Richarlison or Tosun or Kean.

Does he know his best team, does he know his best formation, and with our bloody cursed team he now has lost one of his three build team players – Gomes, with Pickford and Digne being the other two. He said he only wants a small squad, now it's three short for next 6 months at least and he shows no guts in fielding a couple of youngsters who are continually being thrown his way by Unsworth.

All-in-all, a disaster season, one in which we'll be lucky to keep out of the bottom 6 let alone reaching for the top 6.

Graham Coldron
30 Posted 04/11/2019 at 16:26:24
Stan @6 and Jay @23, I can accept your collective comments but tend to favour Stan's more. Put it this way – before VAR was put in practice, my son and I both agreed that VAR would have a detrimental impact on Everton and this is exactly what has happened.

Before Sunday's game, I told one of my neighbours that the game would contain at least one pivotal decision that would go against Everton and, again, this is exactly what has happened. There was sheer amazement in our house when the penalty decision went against us and when it was in the process of being decided, everyone laughed at me when I said no penalty would be awarded. All this cannot be attributed to bad luck as it is becoming more and more regular.

Jay, I appreciate that it will never be proven that the football authorities have a bias against Everton (or any other team, for that matter) but Sunday's events make it very hard to think otherwise.

Gerard McKean
31 Posted 04/11/2019 at 17:19:31
The argument about why Everton have been on the wrong end of several disgraceful VAR decisions lately seems to be between corruption/bias versus incompetent officials. For me it's a bit of both, and borne once again, and I make no apology for repeating this, out of a sense that as a club we are perceived to be a soft touch.

The masonic secrecy of professional referees, a perfect oxymoron, means that the great unwashed are left in not so blissful ignorance as to why, for example, inadvertently standing on an opponent's toe is more a foul than wrestling one to the ground in full view, or why the remote referee decides that the clear and obvious error of the referee on the pitch in not seeing a handball that in any other game would have been a penalty is not worth bothering about.

Bias? Yes. Incompetence? Definitely. But it's only Everton and they know it will blow over soon enough. Liverpool has a legal team three times the size of Everton's Riley knows this. Riley worries about this. He knows that if they had been the victims of such Very Arbitrary Refereeing he would feel the full force of some clever people forcing him to watch uncomfortably the video clips that show the abysmal inconsistency of his organisation. Riley worries because these people are not only clever, they are tenacious. Riley worries that his very well paid sinecure as Chief Incompetent might even come under scrutiny if this club with people who won't be mollified start talking to the Premier League administration. But Everton?

So now I read that the Premier League managers are meeting with Riley and his team, to be followed by the CEO of each Premier League team having a showdown with Riley. I'm just so relieved to hear that! A CEO who wouldn't know offside from backside arguing the toss over VAR. This is why it matters that NSNO must apply to every facet of the club if we're ever to see a successful Everton team again.

Joe McMahon
32 Posted 04/11/2019 at 17:47:33
VAR penalty for Liverpool in CL final and at home to Leicester (95th minute winner). One was armpit ball the other a dive.

No VAR penalties for Everton full stop. Nothing will change for Everton this season or the next, then the next. LFC has always had it's own set of rules, and Everton certainly have not. For the sake of our future the club needs a new image, nasty manager and stop being The Peoples Club (whatever that actually is)

Rob Halligan
33 Posted 04/11/2019 at 17:52:36
Ged, I'm so glad you've posted what you told me last week, as I think it's something that should be made known.
Tim Smith
34 Posted 04/11/2019 at 18:20:09
Some thoughts after yesterday's match.

With regards to VAR, I think there is a sub-conscious fear amongst many officials about making decisions against the so called big 6. That said, Son clearly didn't help himself when challenged by Mina by doing that sort of extra flick of the leg which many players do to put emphasis on their fall.

Likewise, it must have been in the back of the mind of the VAR officials when Richarlison was brought down in the area that he'd spent half the afternoon falling over at the slightest touch. We can all see he's making a complete idiot of himself by doing it so why doesn't our manager deal with it?

Looking at the bigger picture I am genuinely worried. Southampton must be smiling that after their recent defeats they've got us next. I was at that 4-1 humiliation not that long ago, sitting with some Saints friends of mine, when Unsworth was in charge and they could not believe how bad we were and how good we made them.

Frankly, I worry we're going to see something similar next weekend. Call me negative if you want, but look at our away record under Silva. I look at our squad and I wonder where the fighters and leaders are. Where is that real mental strength?

We can blame VAR, injuries, etc., but once the decline sets in it needs a jolt to deal with it. Silva looks to me like a man who is not sure what to do. He hasn't got his old No 2 either to help him out. Very worrying.

Mark Boullé
35 Posted 04/11/2019 at 18:45:09
Is anybody aware of any source of Premier League injury stats? I'd love to know if the sensation I have that Everton are cursed by more long-term (say 4 months plus) injuries than other clubs has any actual basis in fact...

The Bernard situation is very quiet, I hope they haven't discovered his is a seriously long term job as well...

Mark Boullé
36 Posted 04/11/2019 at 20:09:46
Is anybody aware of any source of Premier League injury stats? I'd love to know if the sensation I have that Everton are cursed by more long-term (say 4 months plus) injuries than other clubs has any actual basis in fact...

The Bernard situation is very quiet, I hope they haven't discovered his is a seriously long-term job as well...

Steve Ferns
37 Posted 04/11/2019 at 20:11:33
You mean like this, Mark:


Stan Schofield
38 Posted 04/11/2019 at 20:54:33
Jay@23: My answer to both those questions would have been "I don't know the reason, but it looks like corruption". As I said earlier, it's not something I'd put to a Court of Law, where I'd need very specific focused evidence. That said, Gerard's post @31 is interesting.

Bias from paid officials could be interpreted as corruption, since that bias can mean obtaining personal gain (which may include deliberately avoiding situations that lead to scrutiny by a clever legal team) under false pretences, which seems fraudulent.

Kase Chow
39 Posted 04/11/2019 at 22:01:08
I'll tell you what's happened: Everton played Wimbledon in 1994... I prayed for Everton not to go down. I said to the great Lord, I would accept anything for us not to go down.

So the Lord delivered: we didn't go down. Whether because it was fixed, the Lord's doing, whatever, we didn't go down. And now (and since then) this is payback.

Every slice of bad luck, every bad injury (we have struggled so much with getting decent strikers and when we got one that was content, Yakubu, he gets a game-changing injury). Every element of misfortune (strikers on a barren spell always find their form vs Everton).

Everything can be traced back to that game. We used up 2 generations worth of luck. (And I'm not saying anything about our escape a few years later when we drew 1-1 with Coventry but had drawn a match with Bolton in which the ball was over the line but the ref never gave it... that's used up another couple of generations of luck too).

Sorry but it's the only explanation.

Glenn Williams
40 Posted 04/11/2019 at 23:35:39
As I said after the Brighton debacle, I needed a rest from the plight of an Evertonian. So I did not watch the Spurs game despite it being at a great time for central US. Now, after watching the highlights, reading all the comments, and articles I agree with much has been said about Son's challenge, Everton's tragic leg break history, and the uselessness of VAR on several calls.

But I can't believe more is not being said about the referee's non-call and the VAR non-call at the end of the game when Sanchez clearly fouls Richarlison as the last man. In the Brighton game, VAR went out of its way to make a penalty call for a football move most people would not have seen as a foul by Keane for the most incidental of contact and would not blame a referee for not seeing in real time.

But VAR turned a blind eye to a foul by Sanchez that, on replay for VAR, is absolutely blindingly clear. As I have heard many people chastise Everton fans about the Brighton call, a foul is a foul is a foul wherever it occurs on the pitch. HOW THE HELL WAS THAT NOT CALLED?

We can all accept that the referee would not necessarily have seen the full extent of Sanchez's challenge. But the VAR referee has no such excuse. Besides the injury, the tepid performance, and the other VAR non-calls in the match, I'm most gutted by the non-call at the very end. It is exactly the kind of call that would be made against Everton.

The combination of VAR and our continued struggle as a club is making me rapidly fall out of love with football. At least with top-level football.

Kiern Moran
41 Posted 05/11/2019 at 00:47:10
Brutal, Lyndon. I have taken the view that this is the corner. If we don't turn now, then it's time for a new regime.
Andrew Keatley
42 Posted 05/11/2019 at 01:31:46
Most teams will lose a few players to significant injuries over the course of a season. We have definitely suffered some horrible in-game injuries over the last five years, but so have most other Premier League sides – although obviously we are more likely to remember our own than pay close attention to the misfortunes of other clubs.

I don't have a definitive list, nor the inclination to make one, but as an example – in the last 10 years or so – Arsenal lost Ramsey, Diaby and Eduardo to bad breaks, as well as Wilshere, Rosicky, Vermaelen, Cazorla, Holding, Welbeck, Walcott, Koscielny, Jenkinson, and Oxlade-Chamberlain to debilitating (and often recurring) injuries.

There seem to have been a lot of comments recently bemoaning our bad luck with injuries and our somewhat suspicious misfortunes with VAR. Tempting as it is to scream at the moon, I find myself more concerned about our bad run of managers, and our inability to build a quality side, despite significant transfer expenditure. The longer we have an underachieving side and a scaredy-cat manager, then all this breast-beating talk of hexes and conspiracies will continue.

Mal van Schaick
43 Posted 05/11/2019 at 08:52:03
Terrible for Gomes but glad he's on the mend.

Silva should give Tosun a run in the side. We've tried Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin up front. Richarlison is either a winger or attacking midfielder, whose behaviour is embarrassing.

Calvert-Lewin is a hold up forward. Tosun (given the service) has more to offer in the penalty area. Iwobi is a headless chicken, can't fault his effort but he's all over the place.

Moshri must be seeing what we see, a bunch of misfits with no clear direction, especially in the final third. I couldn't understand Sigurdson and Michael Keane on the bench?

Brian Porter
44 Posted 05/11/2019 at 09:01:48
Despite the VAR controversy and the terrible injury to Andre Gomes, and the attempts by some people to turn Son into a victim rather than the aggressor, let's not lose sight of the plight we find ourselves in at present under the weak leadership of Marco Silva.

Just 4points from the last 21 available to us is relegation form, without a doubt. I've spent the last 24 hours trawling through various posts on the web which refer to Everton and Marco Silva.

Almost unanimously, pundits, ex-players and many, many supporters are urging Moshiri to get rid of Silva before he drags us down to the championship. It's no good saying "There are three worse teams than us in the Premier League so we can't possibly be relegated." Does anyone really want to hang our hopes for the season on such a flimsy premise?

At the start of the season we might have expected Aston Villa and Sheffield United to be parr of the three worst teams in the league, but while we languish one place above the drop zone, Sheffield are riding high in 6th place, (where we aspired to be) and Aston Villa are level on points with us, but more significant is the fact that they have both beaten us.

One correspondent described Moshiri as "sleepwalking Everton into the championship by steadfastly sticking with his man, who is probably the worst of the managers he has so far imposed on a once great club."

Silva is naive, tactically inept and his in-game management is wholly reactive Instead of being proactive in seeking the means to pull a victory out of improbable circumstances, which top managers do, but Silva has no idea what to do to achieve this. His away record is down there with the worst Premier League managers of all time and yet we are allowing him to drag us further into the mire with every passing game, and if Moshiri doesn't act soon, it will be too late for any new manager to inspire us to climb to safety

Don't presume we're too good to go down. I'm sure Leeds Utd, Aston Villa and others before us thought the same and look what happened to them.

For God's sake Moshiri, wake up and act now, or any talk of a grand new stadium will be just that, a load of hot air and no substance

After 60 years supporting this club, this is the most worrying time I've experienced in many a year, and something has to be done, NOW, not later, when it's too late to save us.

Tony Everan
45 Posted 05/11/2019 at 10:38:25
There has been a failure to build on the West Ham match, a point in the last two is not good enough and I agree 4 points from 21 is relegation form; 4 from 24 is the end of the road. I just hope Brands and Moshiri have been proactive in organising the safety net.

I think we are right back to square one. Make no mistakes, it's all on the line for Marco Silva against Southampton.

Lose and he is gone, we will be back in the relegation zone with 4 points from 24 and just beaten by one of our relegation rivals.

There's always a few Billy Big Balls around who say we are too good to go down. Bullshit.

Injuries, poor tactics, poor substitutions, unable to get anything away from home, leak goals from mistakes and set-pieces every week, unable to win after going behind, Mina is an injury-time bomb waiting to go off, no regular goalscorer, record signing in really poor form and on the subs bench, VAR bias and on to of all that no luck. It all adds up to perilous danger whether you like it or not.

The timing of this match, just before the international break is significant. Marco should be in no doubt he will be fired if we lose.

Moshiri's finger is surely on the trigger.

Steve Carse
46 Posted 05/11/2019 at 10:43:04
Like everyone else, I have grave doubts about our players and our manager. But before we all start checking out routes to Luton and Barnsley, let's keep in mind that but for one totally absurd VAR decision at Brighton we would likely be sitting on a recent record of 3 wins and a draw from the last 4 games.

And, amazing as it may seem, if we look at the return from this season's games alongside last season's corresponding fixtures we are actually 6 points up – 11 pts versus 5 in the 9 games!

Stan Schofield
47 Posted 05/11/2019 at 11:19:31
Brian @44: I don't think anyone is losing sight of the problems, on the contrary, there are loads of posts criticising the board, management and players. But the issue of biased officiating is a big one. Separate from the issues internal to Everton, but big issues that are hindering us further, and are ruining the game.

Those issues are central to our current position since, without the biased officiating, we would very likely be in a better position and there would very likely be much less concern being expressed about Everton's internal issues. And Andre Gomes would not have a broken ankle.

Gerard McKean
48 Posted 05/11/2019 at 11:30:59
Glenn #40, you echo my point #31. Why isn't more being said about these atrocious VAR decisions? More pertinently, why is the club itself so passive, some might say meek?

The after match interviews with the managers of Chelsea and Everton are illustrative: Lampard calmly dissembles the current usage of the technology as providing no solutions but simply adding one more subjective opinion to the one expressed on the pitch while Silva talks about the referees needing help.

Needing help? Most of them need to learn that arrogance is not acceptable, football is a contact sport in which “flow” should be encouraged and that impartiality is essential on their part.

Rick Tarleton
49 Posted 05/11/2019 at 11:35:52
I think we need to be careful about using the word 'corrupt' about referees and the whole VAR issue.

I posted earlier that I feel consciously or more possibly subconsciously that referees and the VAR officials favour the big teams. For Riley and co. these teams represent the power in English football. If one of the Manchester clubs or Liverpool gets a horrendous decision, especially in a big match, the comeback and reaction is immense. If Burnley, Brighton, or even Everton get a bad decision it's forgotten by the following Tuesday, except by their fans, and their fans are usually confined by geography to their area. Whereas, for the big teams, fans are ubiquitous.

It's not corruption, it's a working of the selfish gene looking after the officials' own interest. I think it is instinctive rather than deliberate bias, but the effect is exactly the same and Everton have been a victim of this misjudgement far too often.

Stan Schofield
50 Posted 05/11/2019 at 11:44:38
Rick, in my opinion, that is a form of corruption, with officials knowingly accepting payment as professionals whilst doing something they should not be doing, being biased. The reasons you give for the bias might be 'mitigating factors' in the defence of such officials, but those officials are ultimately guilty of corruption.

Some might prefer to call it malpractice, but to me it is corruption.

Brian Harrison
51 Posted 05/11/2019 at 12:01:45

I completely agree with what you say about decisions that effect the so called big teams. I am pretty sure that, if it was one of the big clubs, that decision against us at Brighton would never have been overturned. I agree that to say some refs are corrupt is taking it to far, but these refs could be influenced by things that have happened in the past which may persuade them to be lenient with some clubs than others.

Taylor who was in charge of VAR for the Spurs game, refereed us a couple of seasons back against West Ham away. I forget which of our players he sent off but we appealed and a few days later the sending off was overturned. So was any of that in his mind while reviewing any of the decisions he made on Sunday?

I was reading the other day that an official operating the VAR in the Italian league took 14 minutes to review a decision, so its not just happening here.

I was listening to an ex ref yesterday questioning why Mike Riley (one of the worst refs I have ever seen) not allow referees to check on the pitchside monitor the incident that the VAR official is looking at.

I would suggest that for VAR to work at all the VAR official if he sees something he says to ref via his headset "You might want to have a look at this on the monitor." Then the on-field ref checks his monitor to see if it requires any further action, also the fans inside the ground must be allowed to see the incident that the ref is checking.

Let's face it, if the on-field ref at the Brighton game had looked at the monitor, he would probably have stuck with his original decision but once VAR get involved he has no say in what judgement is made. So, for me, the VAR ref can notify if he has seen something but the decision must be left to the on-field ref.

Mark Guglielmo
52 Posted 05/11/2019 at 12:19:38
Brian, above

I was reading the other day that an official operating the VAR in the Italian league took 14 minutes to review a decision

Any chance you’ve got a link to this? Seems crazy to me.

Marcus Taylor
53 Posted 05/11/2019 at 12:45:14
VAR is a shambles in it's current form. The Premier League have stated that The Alli 'handball' and the two 'fouls' on Richarlison were not "clear and obvious errors". This is the line they will use to justify the incompetence of referees (on and off the pitch). How do they define a "clear and obvious error"? I am guessing they will leave it as ambiguous as possible to allow them room for manoeuvre when 'explaining' decisions.

Take these similar incidents from the weekend:

Richarlison was clearly tripped in the penalty area, moving towards goal, with the ball at his feet: Premier League - No penalty, "wasn't a clear and obvious error".

Deulofeu was tripped in similar fashion (less clear cut, if anything) – and I quote from the Premier League: "The VAR identified a clear trip that impeded Deulofeu's progress in the penalty area and because no penalty was awarded on the field, the referee overturned his decision."

This sums up the lack of consistency in decision-making and the extent of the arse-covering from the Premier League. VAR is a "clear and obvious" farce.

Steve Carse
54 Posted 05/11/2019 at 13:33:19
Just a question on the 'lack of communication' aspect – why does only the VAR official get to see the video? Why not have what he/she is looking at displayed at the same time to everyone inside the stadium on the stadium's screens – fans, players, managers alike? The "WTF's going on" problem is thereby removed (and the time delays issue reduced too).

Home crowd intimidation might be the counter-argument to this suggestion but, if a referee is likely to succumb to this, then he or she shouldn't be in the game.

Mark Guglielmo
55 Posted 05/11/2019 at 15:06:09
I must be typing in invisible ink 😂

I’ll summarize re: VAR what I’ve typed 2 dozen times already.

This is supposed to (operative words) be how it’s used:

Step 1: The game ref makes a call/non-call.
Step 2: VAR ref rings the game ref up to say “hey we think there might be a ‘clear & obvious’ error and we’re going to take a look.”
Step 3: VAR ref comes to his conclusion, rings back down to the game ref and shares his recommendation.
Step 4: The game ref takes it under advisement, and then uses the sideline monitors for a final review with his own eyes before issuing the final ruling.

Hopefully you can see where things break down in the EPL. Like or dislike technology‘s “intrusion” in the game, 100% of the vitriol should be directed at Mike Riley, and then the entire group of the EPL’s old boys club referees.

When the game ref skips step 4, he’s giving the decision authority to the VAR ref, and lo and behold, there are problems. I have no idea why EPL refs are hell-bent on relinquishing their authority and giving up whatever credibility they have left, but that’s what they’re doing.

Oh, and no other league has active league refs in the VAR booth. They use 3rd-party, non-biased refs. What’s the sense of allowing a Lee Mason in the booth one week, working with one of his mates, then allowing him on the pitch the next week, working with a different mate? And so the cycle continues.

Sorry I’m not trying to be condescending or know-it-all-esque, I’m just trying to help some understand why it’s failing so badly.

John Pierce
56 Posted 05/11/2019 at 15:42:44
FIFA/UEFA will eventually conclude the scope of VAR is too great. Goal line tech. and off sides are fine. In time we will get used to being a fraction offside. 😐

I’m still opposed to it because offside is about gaining an advantage and even in the ‘small marginal gains’ of professional sport a toe nail is not an advantage.

Any other type of subjective call will have to be bundled back into Pandora’s box and chained shut, deposited on Krypton and guarded by some interstellar Kraken for eternity. Leave it alone!

I’ve long banged on about the laws of the game, ancient and insufficient for both the modern game and to cater for the use of technology. The behaviors and cheating ushered into the game through the premier league era are now not restricted to one or two players but it’s accepted practice. The laws are being exposed by technology, loopholes exist because we’ve not kept up with modern changes to the game. Take the handball law, it’s absurd. A law should be homogeneous across the field and to both sets of players. It’s now split depending on were you are on the field. Ridiculous.

Sanctions and bans should be heavier, because no financial penalty will even begin to modify behavior. On field sanctions should hurt the team in the moment, give the players cause to police themselves and keep their discipline. That’s how you get players to conform, boundaries are required. If you show players that if they comply, you will get better co-operation. They will use the rules to put pressure on teams who don’t.

The players, coaches and the game have completely outstripped the officials. They have been left behind and are used by all and sundry to excuse what you see on the field. Unacceptable.

They are operating with one hand tied behind their back. However we are breaking point, people who slate an official and say the fella should be rested etc. think there’s a queue of people ready to replace him? 😂 How naive. The next bunch of guys are less experienced, not as good and there are fewer wanting to do the job because of the behavior of fans and players alike from the top to the bottom of the pyramid.

Failure of the sport to recognize what these people do, equip them properly and make them a valued part of the circus will have us sleep walk into a crisis were no one wants to be an official. We might be there already.

Our game Sunday was what’s been coming for weeks, the premier league got a game they deserved. That game will not be remembered for two big teams struggling for confidence but for the mishandling of a game by officials who have not been given a leg to stand on. They are set up to fail, it was truly unedifying.

Jay Wood

57 Posted 05/11/2019 at 15:45:49
Stan @ 50 and in many other posts across different threads since Sunday.

In the last couple of years you have (quite correctly, IMO) frequently taken to task people who posted 'if we had done x, then y would have resulted,' pointing out it was an exercise in futility to speculate so.

It's been quite a noticeable mantra of yours. That's why I find it a tad inconsistent of you in the last 48 hours to repeatedly claim that corrupt and incompetent referring was directly attributable to Gomes broken ankle. That if the officiating had been different, Gomes would not have suffered the break.

Sorry Stan, but based on your own oft repeated stance such presumed cause and consequence simply doesn't follow.

As for your repeated (and defended) claim that there is some kind of conspiracy to do Everton down, it really doesn't stand up to even modest investigation.

I will wager a pound to a penny in every band of supporters similar claims are made about their own teams, even the most successful ones.

We as Evertonians tend to primarily focus on what happens to us, and us only, in isolation.

There is also the law of immediacy, that many tend to recall the most recent events rather than take a more balanced look across for example an entire season, as well as what happens to other clubs other than our own.

Fresh in our minds currently are the perceived injustices in our last two PL games v Brighton and Spurs.

With that in mind, your (and others) claim that VAR and 'the system' favours the elite clubs over others doesn't stand up.

Check out a very recent article on how VAR has impacted on every single PL club this season. Caveat: the data does not appear to include games from last weekend's fixtures.


It shows that only one club - Newcastle - has had no decisive decision overturned in any of their games.

The greatest beneficiaries of overturned VAR decisions in their favour have been Palace and Leicester (+3 each), then S'ton and United (+2).

Four clubs are on +1 - Brighton, Burnley, Watford and Spurs.

Two clubs are evens Stevens on zero, Bournemouth and the 'poo. We are bracketed on -1 with Arsenal, City, WHU, Sheff Utd and Norwich.

Villa and Wolves are -2. The team that has suffered most in overturned VAR calls is Chelsea with -4.

I would politely suggest that sort of spread makes a mockery of ongoing claims that VAR protects the elite clubs whilst punishing the rest as a means to maintain an unspoken 'status quo '.

The issues with VAR and referring in general are of basic competence, application, interpretation and intervention.

It's a considerable leap to allege corruption is primarily at play here as you do Stan, or to suggest as you have that the officiating in the Everton-Spurs game is directly culpable for Gomes' misfortune.

Mark Guglielmo
58 Posted 05/11/2019 at 16:22:30
Problem with that, Jay, is that they've limited their 'analysis' to black & white overturned calls. Completely disregarding non-calls, like the handball on Sunday, or not getting a booking & goal kick instead of a corner against Sidibe.

So it only tells a partial story. I look at Everton as -3, and 2nd to worst in the league.

Mark Guglielmo
59 Posted 05/11/2019 at 16:29:01
John @56, are you the former ref, or am I mixing you up with another John? Apologies for my memory. If you are, we obviously bring different biases to the table, but I am curious as to your feelings around what I wrote above re: VAR step 4, and the use of actual EPL refs in the VAR booth?

Neither is directed at incompetency, but are very much directed at poor implementation, and a complete on-field decision-making submission by the game refs. Gracias for your thoughts.

Stan Schofield
60 Posted 05/11/2019 at 16:55:31
Jay@57: I believe what I've said on this subject is consistent with every other post I've written on this subject of cause and effect relating to events changing the course of games.

We could never predict that any particular outcome will result from any particular prior condition. But what we can say, with 'practical certainty', is that if the officiating had been done properly in relation to the penalty that we should have had (but didn't have), the particular incident that culminated in a broken ankle for Gomes would not have happened.

The reason why this is important is that the improper officiating referred to was part of what appears to be systematic bias against Everton. That bias led, albeit in a way that could never be considered 'reasonably foreseeable', to an ankle break.

Of course, even if the officiating had been consistently proper, with no bias, ankles can still be broken, or other terrible injuries can occur. However, in that case, such occurrences cannot be seen as having any assignable systematic linkage. In contrast, in the case of Gomes' broken ankle, there is an assignable systematic linkage: The fact that biased officiating happened to change the course of the game in that particular way. The latter was not 'reasonably foreseeable', since outcomes are completely unpredictable. But what was reasonably foreseeable is that biased officiating, which is malpractice, increases the risk of injury to players of teams who are not favoured by that bias.

Biased officiating, malpractice (or corruption), increases the chance of injuries like that, because players in favoured teams think they can get away with challenges that they might be deterred from by proper officiating. Biased officiating like we've seen is not consistent with proper management of hazards to players.

Jay Wood

61 Posted 05/11/2019 at 16:57:50
Oh I agree Mark. That the data doesn't map all the 'silent calls' that the VAR team whispers in the match ref's ear.

I also clearly stated that the report didn't include last weekend's fixtures otherwise the Deli handball would have been listed.

What it does expose is a fallacy that some are trying to propagate that VAR ONLY favours an elite few.

Based on the linked data it clearly doesn't.

And IMO it's a leap too far that some are claiming that any real or perceived failing in VAR is primarily due to corruption and collusion 'twixt officials, the authorities and an elite clique of clubs.

I hold, as already stated, that confusion with VAR and referring in general results from basic incompetence, application, interpretation and intervention. NOT some secretive malevolent illuminati designed solely to keep Everton down as some are suggesting.

Steve Ferns
62 Posted 05/11/2019 at 16:59:46
Mark, was it you who said once the ref blew his whistle they can’t go to VAR?

I mention that because it kept going to VAR on Sunday long after Prat-kinson blew his whistle. I think the rule might be that we just can’t restart, although we did that at one point if I’m not mistaken.

John Pierce
63 Posted 05/11/2019 at 17:05:40
Mark, the process is not fit for purpose. Even if I were to concede that subjective decisions; handball, penalties and red cards were include the way they arrive at a decision is flawed. The rules are not robust enough for VAR in its current format.

Personally I’m philosophically opposed to technology used to correct a subjective decision taken in the heat of the moment. A referees decisions come with the tenor of the game. For example a fiercely contested game with high levels of contact referees may allow more contact. If you then review a call, you look at contact and the rule of law in the cold light of a tv screen the decision will in all likelihood be incongruent with the game. The laws are a starting point to be applied within a game not a matter of black and white ‘gotcha officiating’ when it’s nonsensical to do so.

From what I know and my experience involved in officiating there isn’t even a set of closed questions to eliminate inconsistencies in the decision making process.
For example if the ball cannot be played by the player fouled then the review would end there. You drill down to the point we’re you are left with answer.

“When you take away all things it cannot be then what you are left with the outcome” Apply that to any decision making process and whilst you might not get everything right you ultimately will be more consistent within the context of a subjective call.

The answer I believe lies not in step 4, as you outline, but in making the laws robust enough for the game that it gives the players choices which support skillful play and heavily penalize dangerous acts. In doing so players choose a better path and you will have less contentious decisions to make. As a result when players do become desperate there no surprises and it’s clear what action to take. Often in a situation like this a players own colleague will castigate them for hurting the team.

Modern referees simply don’t have the scope of tools to apply the right sanction on game.

Jay Wood

64 Posted 05/11/2019 at 17:18:36
Sorry Stan, but your latest post reads as an attempt to absolve and justify yourself on semantics and is not consistent with how you have challenged others in the past.

You can NOT say, with 'practical certainty' (whatever the hell that is), as you claim that "if the officiating had been done properly in relation to the penalty that we should have had...the particular incident that culminated in a broken ankle for Gomes would not have happened."

To continue to speculate (because that is all it is, Stan) that it "appears to be systematic bias against Everton" does not make for a sound argument to uphold your claims.

You evidently have a bee under your bonnet about many aspects of Sunday's game Stan (and beyond). But in my eyes, you're simply not offering a credible, plausible case.

It's a tad out of the norm for you, Stan.

Jay Wood

65 Posted 05/11/2019 at 17:22:29
Opps! This is going to go down well with some folk.

I see that Son's red card has been overturned.


Stan Schofield
66 Posted 05/11/2019 at 17:25:48
Jay@64: You can be as sorry as you like. If you think there are inconsistencies, I suggest you read more carefully the posts I've written.

By the way, 'practical certainty' (my term), is meant to mean 'as confident as you would be that the Sun will rise in the East tomorrow'.

Mike Gaynes
67 Posted 05/11/2019 at 17:27:05
I am not surprised.
Tom Bowers
68 Posted 05/11/2019 at 17:27:58
Did Son get a yellow earlier on ? If so I would think the Red was a second yellow but if not then a straight red was harsh for that challenge.
Rob Halligan
69 Posted 05/11/2019 at 17:28:47
Just seen that Jay. So a bad challenge from behind is no longer deemed to be "endangering the safety of another player"?

As I heard yesterday on Ref Watch, Stephen Warnock said Son may not feel up to play for a couple of weeks anyway, but at least he will be available, unlike Gomes.

Mike Gaynes
70 Posted 05/11/2019 at 17:31:21
John #56:

"FIFA/UEFA will eventually conclude the scope of VAR is too great."

I'd wager any amount that will never happen.

VAR is generally considered a success in La Liga, Bundesliga, Ligue 1 and Serie A, as well as MLS. No way will it ever be dialed back. Has never happened in any league or sport where it has been deployed.

The EPL system is working like crap and badly needs adjustment, but that's all that will happen.

James Hughes
71 Posted 05/11/2019 at 17:32:55
Jay, did you expect anything different? I am continually mystified by the double standards used by the F.A.

Keane's penalty award because a Brighton player jumped in the air still rankles. The one that really still pisses me off, Niasse's retrospective ban for the penalty he won. As far as I am aware no other club/player has suffered the same fate. There are loads more we could all add.

I won't go down the 'why us' route but we do get the rough end of the deal on too many occasions.

Mike Gaynes
72 Posted 05/11/2019 at 17:35:23
Rob, it wasn't studs up, or a wild swing, or a high challenge, or overly forceful. It was simply a one-foot professional trip from behind, the likes of which gets yellows in every game.

We may feel like the horrifying consequences are worthy of the red, but the laws of the game say otherwise, and I think this decision was inevitable. The foul itself simply wasn't a red-card offense.

Dave Abrahams
73 Posted 05/11/2019 at 17:37:39
It will be very interesting to hear the reasons why the red card has been rescinded and also who sat on the independent panel to make that decision.
John Pierce
74 Posted 05/11/2019 at 17:42:51
I know Mike. deep down of course it’s going to stay but you know when it’s cause I believe in and love I have to be bullish!

John Pierce
77 Posted 05/11/2019 at 17:53:58
Mike a well described action of the foul.

The better consideration might be; is why the laws allow such a tackle to be punished with such leniency?
When a player is more than playing distance away from the ball, it would be easy to conclude any attempt to ‘win the ball’ is in-fact an attempt to deliberately foul an opponent. As such the penalty for that should be far greater. Because the laws allow such a tackle, Son felt he could do so without severe sanction. I believe if the penalty was more appropriate, even a clearly pissed off Son would refrain from the tackle because of the consequences to his team.

This is a great example of why I think the laws are so far out of step with the modern game.

Jay Wood

78 Posted 05/11/2019 at 17:56:17
OK Stan. As you seemingly resent my associating previous posts you've made calling out other posters on fanciful speculation they've made with your more recent flurry of posts, let's put them aside.

Let's just consider your post @ 60.

Sorry (again!) Stan, but I'm calling Occam's Razor.

To paraphrase your words, you claim that poor officiating culminated in a broken ankle for Gomes. More, that the alleged 'improper officiating' was part of a systematic bias against Everton. That this 'malpractice' increases the risk of injury to players of teams who are not favoured by that bias.

Me? Gomes was the unfortunate victim of a football incident that happens in pretty much every game of football that has ever been played. It had nothing - ZERO! - to do with a fanciful conspiracy theory you profer.

Occam's Razor? The simplest alternative of two competing theories is usually the right one.

Mark Guglielmo
80 Posted 05/11/2019 at 17:59:26
Mike @72 for a change I actually disagree with you.

I'm of the belief (and somewhat opinion) that reds are handed out a) for dangerous tackles from behind (this was), and/or b) tackles or fouls that impede the opposing player who "beat you" and was moving upfield. It doesn't have to be a breakaway for that, or does it?

If there had been no injury, I'm still of the opinion that it should have been a straight red. I'm right approx. 97% of the time, but I'll leave the door open that this may be in the 3% ;-)

Steve Ferns
81 Posted 05/11/2019 at 18:05:38
The challenge itself is a yellow card challenge. However, the challenge can not be divorced from the incident a minute earlier. Son was out for revenge. For me, it was a red card. The likes of mike Gaynes know this, but still consider it a yellow. Then fine, how can we expect others to consider it a red? I won’t be changing my mind or debating it further.
Ian Pilkington
82 Posted 05/11/2019 at 18:05:41
The terrible injury to Gomes and totally incompetent refereeing both on and off the pitch contributed to the bleakest afternoon I can ever remember at Goodison since my first visit in 1961.
Th rescinding of Son’s red card simply epitomises the low standing of our great club amidst another dismal season.
Imagine that the roles were reversed and Gomes had tripped Son.
Would there have been an outburst of media sympathy for Gomes? No.
Would we have appealed to have the red card rescinded? No.
Would the PL have overturned the decision had we appealed ?
Of course not.
We have our technically best player sidelined for the rest of the season whilst Son turns out as usual next weekend. In the meantime we look forward to yet another “make or break “ game for our dreadful manager.

Steve Ferns
83 Posted 05/11/2019 at 18:06:49
Ian, I assume you didn’t go to Goodison in the 90s then?
Rob Dolby
84 Posted 05/11/2019 at 18:07:29
Mike 72. The same tackle is seen as an acceptable tactic in the game. The top 2 teams are masters at it. It doesn't make it right.

Out of 100 of these tackles maybe only a couple get yellow cards for persistent offenders. The Palace centre mid is a master at it. The big difference is that this one has caused a major injury.

By not backing the red card the fa are condoning tackles that can lead to this sort of thing.

Spurs should be embarrassed in appealing but in a game where morals are pretty low priority it doesn't surprise me.
They probably would have had justice for Son t shirts printed if he hadn't had it overturned.

The whole thing sets such a bad example from grass roots upwards.

Mike Gaynes
85 Posted 05/11/2019 at 18:07:37
John #77, so you believe the standard punishment for a deliberate/professional foul of a yellow card is inadequate? Wouldn't that basically mean elevating every yellow card offense to a red, since there is no intermediate punishment?

Guys like Stiles, Pearce, Irwin, Keane, Cattermole etc. would never have been able to play a full game under those rules.

Stan Schofield
86 Posted 05/11/2019 at 18:13:59
Jay@78: I prefer my own razor!
Rob Dolby
87 Posted 05/11/2019 at 18:22:47
Ian 81 Steve 82.
Having watched us through thick and thin from the late 70s.

I came out of the game on Sunday so disappointed on so many levels and on top of that there was the actual football being played.

It was like I was watching a slow motion car crash. The game that has given me so much enjoyment over the years is being ruined at almost every level.

John Pierce
88 Posted 05/11/2019 at 18:24:32
Mike, we are not playing in the 90s or further back when frankly those players are animals by today’s standards! 🐶 You can not compare era with era it just doesn’t work.

What I’m advocating is if players feel they can do whatever they like in a professional environment, the laws aren’t in syncs so they must also accept the sanction has a high price.. The laws have allowed players loop-holes to commit cynical challenges without a proper penalty. Is a red card for this too strong for some, yes, I’m sure it is. But I guarantee players would change their tackling methods, if they knew the penalty would hurt the team.

We outlawed the tackle from behind decades ago to stop defenders from clearing a player out when they could not reach the ball. Defenders now stay on their feet in this situation. It can be done and everything should be done to protect player safety and encourage more skillful play. The onus law makers to change the game to reflect modern trends, not leave the referee with one hand tied behind his back.

Stan Schofield
89 Posted 05/11/2019 at 18:26:33
John@88: Absolutely spot on.
Steve Ferns
90 Posted 05/11/2019 at 18:27:27
I feel you Rob. The VAR was killing it. There was two incidents that were being considered in our favour, and most of us knew that, but still we wanted VAR to eff off!

When it went against us, we ended up with the additional bonus of it killing our momentum.

I was very much in favour of video technology but right now I wish it had never been brought in. It’s the implementation rather than the technology but I can’t see how they can ever make it work and I think this might be the thin end of the wedge before they turn football into that dreadful game the NFL preside over.

Karl Meighan
92 Posted 05/11/2019 at 18:33:58
Players making no attempt to play the ball should be sent off as should cheats of which are own Richarlison is one of the worst. He spends so much time trying to con the ref that when he is genuinely fouled the ref automatically thinks no he's at it again.

The nonesense at corners has in the main dissapeared as players know pens will be given, the same thing would happen if a red was shown for players blatantly playing the man instead of "taking one for the team" its horse shit as is var.

Danny Broderick
93 Posted 05/11/2019 at 18:39:08
Some are advocating harsher sanctions for fouls that have more serious consequences. So you can have 2 identical trips. In the first case, the player jumps up and the game carries on with a free kick and a yellow card. In the 2nd incident, however, the tripped player stumbles and gets injured. The referee shows him a red card according to the new rules.

This will be the birth of all players requiring treatment after any foul, forcing referees to dish out red cards left, right and centre. Games will start being abandoned as teams quickly go down to 7 men.

These new rules will be referred to as Son’s law.

James Marshall
94 Posted 05/11/2019 at 18:52:48
There's nothing wrong with taking a player out, or cynically stopping them, tripping them etc for the good of your team - it's always gone on and is absolutely part of the game in my view.

A lot of people seem to be advocating completely cleaning the game up to the point where it'll essentially become a non-contact sport. You can't give out cards based on what happens as a result of a tackle - if you do that, then football is over.

A lot of what we're seeing on TW at the moment is massively influenced by emotion, and doesn't have a huge amount of grounding in sensible opinion. No offence.

Danny Broderick
95 Posted 05/11/2019 at 19:00:02
Correct James (94)

John Pierce et al would take us to a place where players are too scared to tackle. Tackles would be outlawed, only interceptions allowed. God knows what would happen if someone got injured after an interception!

Andrew Keatley
96 Posted 05/11/2019 at 19:13:48
Emotion still seems to be dominating a lot of opinion on here.

I fully understand why Atkinson issued a red for Son; in the emotion of the moment - with Gomes clearly suffering a horrendous injury - it seemed appropriate.

With 48 hours passed, and Gomes having been the subject of what appears to be successful operation and a healthy prognosis, I can fully understand the decision to rescind the red card.

IMO Son’s foul - in and of itself - is not deserving of a red card. The way people are split on this is ironic at a time when we are also debating VAR; it seems like the black and white world of officiating football matches has never been more grey.

Christy Ring
97 Posted 05/11/2019 at 19:19:31
I still think it stinks, that the do gooders got their way, and Son is now available for the next game, and Gomes will hopefully be back for next season. Son sought revenge on Gomes, and the ball was nowhere in sight, ok he didnt foresee the horrific outcome, but as Shake Hislop said on ESPN, ' he has to take responsibility for his tackle, he was fired up and wanted to leave a mark. I'm disappointed Spurs appealed it, and he should have got a yellow for his dive, and the original yellow for the tackle, anyway.
Paul Birmingham
98 Posted 05/11/2019 at 19:21:48
Andrew, your analogy is right as now in football games he interpretation of the rules by the match officials and then the use, correct use or no use of VAR, makes any major descision a massive real time delay.

If this is the way it will be, then the so called beautiful game will be tarnished for good.

And the FA are as limp and weak as they’ve ever been.

Stan Schofield
99 Posted 05/11/2019 at 19:23:45
It' quite an assertion to say that much of the debate on ToffeeWeb at the moment is based on emotion. I've read most of the posts since Sunday's game, and as far as I can see most are fairly cool-headed.

There are some very substantial and important issues being discussed, and the assertions about emotion seem a little dismissive.

It's best to stick with the substance of the discussions, rather than try to discern the underlying motivations.

John Keating
100 Posted 05/11/2019 at 19:23:54
We can talk all we want about how VAR should work, how we can cut down the time it takes to make a decision, the ref can go to the sideline screen etc etc etc
The thing is if VAR is, at sometime in the future, made fit for purpose it will still take that instant of spontaneity out of football. That millisecond of joy when the ball hits the net. The instant human errors that gives us massive talking points after the game.

The game will become sterile. Why have refs and linesmen ? The games will be controlled from afar.
Why have crowds ? Lets just have "canned" crowd noise and photoshopped crowd scenes.

At present VAR is an absolute joke, not fit for purpose and should be ditched. If it is decided that VAR is the way ahead then it should not be introduced until most if not all of the glitches are sorted

Rick Tarleton
101 Posted 05/11/2019 at 20:00:00
The purpose of VAR seems to be a virtuous one: to remove blatant errors from the game and therefore to make more correct decisions, which in turn would be fairer to all concerned. The problem seems to me that it has become another layer of subjective judgements, decided by an anonymous man(men) in a tv studio.
I have suggested that this man(men)is predisposed to favour the bigger teams in his decision process, just as I feel many on-field officials do.
While VAR stays as it is, this seems inevitable, unless there is an algorithm that can sort this out with objectivity.
A second complaint is that VAR destroys all spontaneity. In cricket and rugby VAR basically works because the rhythm of the game allows for an inspection of a situation, this is far more difficult in football.
A third problem is that the spectators in the ground and on tv are not able to listen to the process and therefore cannot understand what has led the VAR official to make the decision he has made. I might have respected (I doubt it, but I just might have) if the VAR official had reasoned aloud why he felt Dele Alli's hand was not committing a handball, and thus explained how he came to this decision. I know the referees don't do this, so I am adding further difficulties, but at the moment I don't trust VAR and without trust on the part of spectators it can't work successfully.
Technology works when it is like the goal line technology, it answers immediately a binary issue. VAR as used in the Premier League is too cumbersome and too subjective to be effective or efficient.
Andrew Keatley
102 Posted 05/11/2019 at 21:15:46
Stan (99) - I didn’t think you’d agree. Here’s part of your comment (60):

“Biased officiating, malpractice (or corruption), increases the chance of injuries like that, because players in favoured teams think they can get away with challenges that they might be deterred from by proper officiating. Biased officiating like we've seen is not consistent with proper management of hazards to players.“

It’s not the most rational argument I’ve ever heard. The leaps of comprehension and conjecture are pretty big.

Stan Schofield
103 Posted 05/11/2019 at 21:23:00
Andrew, the comment @99 is about folks asserting that there's a lot of emotion.. The passage of mine you've quoted, from post 60, is an entirely separate thing. It's an attempt at analysis (might not be very good analysis, depending on your view), and nothing to do with the comment @99. Can't quite see your point. I'm quite amenable to my 'analysis' being taken apart. I'm just presenting an 'analysis', and am happy to be wrong if there's a good counter-argument.
Rob Marsh
104 Posted 05/11/2019 at 21:31:35
Ultimately had all of these bad decisions gone our way, would we be complaining?

Mike Gaynes is correct, it's here to stay, it may well evolve, but the best we can hope for is that the Law of Averages comes to our rescue (instead of Sod's Law) and we get some dubious decisions come our way.

John Keating
105 Posted 05/11/2019 at 21:49:51
I have no doubt we will benefit from VAR both in correct and incorrect decisions.
However, I believe it is the thin end of the wedge, and, in my opinion a disaster for football as we know it,
Stan Schofield
106 Posted 05/11/2019 at 21:53:37
Rob, people have raised valid issues here, some of them not apparently Everton-biased, such as the prevalence of diving and Richarlison's antics amongst the antics of players from other clubs.

Many people don't want to see antics, dirty play, and officiating bias, full stop. I know I don't, and if Everton did it habitually and got away with it, I would stop watching.

If there are substantial issues, they need addressing, unless you wish to be an ostrich.

Dave Abrahams
107 Posted 05/11/2019 at 21:58:24
I think if VAR continues to carry on as it is plenty of fans will say enough is enough and stop watching the game at the stadiums and even on tv.

Even if they improve the decision making the spontinuty of the action will be curtailed and the game will still lose many fans.

The arguments will be doubled or trebled each game and more fans will get fed up with that, arguments equal headaches as we have seen with the pro’s and cons of the Son incident.

Andrew Keatley
108 Posted 05/11/2019 at 22:00:16
Stan (103) - Seemed like a fair assumption to me that your comment at 99 was a response to my comment at 96 - where I mentioned emotion being a significant factor in a number of recent posts.

I think the analysis at the end of your post at 60 is quite reactionary, and while it is entirely understandable given recent events - the ongoing farce that is VAR, the Gomes injury, the rescinding of Son’s red card, and the general malaise running through our first team - the notion that there is some sort of organised bias against Everton (and for the Top 6) to the point that their players believe they can foul with greater impunity... I just think it sounds like you’ve filled in the blanks with pure guesswork. And it felt to me like emotional guesswork rather than critical thinking. That’s why I made reference to it.

Stan Schofield
109 Posted 05/11/2019 at 22:10:48
Andrew, I see now, you've assumed my 'analysis' is based on emotion and guesswork. What can I say? You have every right to make assumptions, even though you don't know me. I of course believe you're wrong to make that assumption (because I know me better than you know me), but unless you present a counter-analysis to my attempted analysis I'm left thinking, so what?

You'll need to do better than that if you want to engage with me in any substantial way.

Tony Abrahams
110 Posted 05/11/2019 at 22:19:08
Rob@104, that’s why we are complaining though mate, because they were bad decisions, but if they had been correct decisions we would have had nothing to complain about.

I can’t believe a man would need more than 3 looks to decide it wasn’t a penalty, and honestly think a lot of these contentious decisions would change overnight if the man in the VAR studio had to start explaining his decisions to the ref/crowd?

Rob Marsh
111 Posted 05/11/2019 at 22:27:58
Stan Schofield # 106

I personally believe that the Rivaldo incident against Turkey in the Japan/Korea WC when he was hit in the shin with the ball and collapsed to the floor holding his face, this was the moment when the OK was given to every professional player in the world to start diving.

Rivaldo was fined £4500 + $680 costs and allowed to carry on to the final? The problem for us (British football) is that unlike Brazil and the continent we don't have a diving culture. These days you can't win matches now with honesty, if the prem used VAR to find the cheats our players would be at a disadvantage because the wouldn't know how to dive properly in the CL and Euros and WC.

Instead of banning Rivaldo Fifa has turned diving into an accepted part of the game with the Rivaldo decision. Don't expect things to change, it's all utterly corrupt.

Jay Wood

112 Posted 05/11/2019 at 22:32:28
Rob @ 111:

"The problem for us (British football) is that unlike Brazil and the continent we don't have a diving culture."

That is deliciously naive of you Rob.

Stan Schofield
113 Posted 05/11/2019 at 22:34:23
Rob, yes, and France won the World Cup after Griezmann dived and a goal was scored from the free kick. This kind of crap has been putting me off the game for some time. I stopped watching non-Everton games last season, and am tempted this season to stop watching all games including Everton's because the entire thing seems a total sham. I find Toffeeweb more entertaining than watching the actual game these days.

Gone are the days of Labone and Kendall.

Tony Abrahams
114 Posted 05/11/2019 at 22:34:39
I’m sure the same could be said to you Jay, if you still believe that to be the truth mate!
Rob Marsh
115 Posted 05/11/2019 at 22:38:20
John Keating # 105

John, one small solace I take from VAR is that the Milk cup final goal line handball denying us a victory against the dark side won't (shouldn't?) happen again.

Rob Marsh
116 Posted 05/11/2019 at 22:49:36
Jay Wood # 112

Jay, as things are now I can't argue with your observation, please allow me an addendum:

"The problem for us (British football) is that unlike Brazil and the continent we didn't have a diving culture like that of the aforementioned, until the advent of the influx of foreign 'talent'. However there was some diving but not as frequently or professionally done as now".

Rob Marsh
117 Posted 05/11/2019 at 23:01:08
Tony Abrahams # 110

One thing we have to understand about these refs is that the spirit of the game means little or nothing to them, they are like lawyers looking more at the letter of the law.

I think they're like us at the end of the day basically fucking clueless what's going. They're confusing themselves with legalities.

That Dele Alli handball sums the whole thing up.

And as I've said, all we can do is sit back and hope some of these terrible decisions go our way.

John Pierce
118 Posted 05/11/2019 at 23:05:32
Danny, far from your suggestion I am not advocating the extreme you suggest.

I highlight that players can do what they want on field of play; dive to win your team a pen, fake an injury to get an opponent sent off, scythe the last man down or play the man not the ball.

Do what you need to do it’s professional football and your paid plenty. However if you’re caught, the penalty should reflect the professional length you’ve gone to take advantage.

Officials don’t have the means to sanction the players that’s why they get away with it.

Football is about staying on your feet now. That’s what’s coached, players are valued in skill not brawn. The games laws should reflect that.

Jay Wood

119 Posted 05/11/2019 at 23:07:56
Tony, diving is prevalent in every single nation that plays football.

It's old hat to claim that the English/British are somehow morally superior and above cheating on the football field.

Maybe people live in an bubble if they are UK based and have little or no idea how the rest of the world perceives us.

For example, from last year's Russia World Cup the Brazilian press took exception to how the rest of the world was mocking Neymar's antics, particularly the English media.

As a retort, on a Brazilian late night round-up program the day England beat Colombia in the quarter-finals, they showed examples of how the English media were mocking Neymar, including examples of moral high-ground grandstanding commentary pieces.

They then quoted the popular acronym applied to the English football team around Europe when it comes to football: A.B.E - 'Anyone But England' (to win the tournament) to call attention to how despised English football is by some.

From the quarter-final with Colombia - a game in which John Stones post-match declared his disgust at the gamemanship employed by the opposition - they showed very clear examples of England's own cheating in the very same game.

Ironically, this included Stones himself feigning that he had been caught in the face by a flailing arm when it was nowhere near. From memory, there were further examples of Kane, Lingard and Maguire all playing for and claiming pens when there was no or minimal contact.

So - no! Don't deflect and pretend this is a Johnny Foreigner disease, or that it is only a recent phenomenon. It has been evident in the English game and British players for 2-3 decades now.

Jay Wood

120 Posted 05/11/2019 at 23:11:17
Rob @116. Addendum acknowledged and appreciated.

Thank you.

Ian Pilkington
121 Posted 05/11/2019 at 23:28:27
Steve @82.

I certainly went to far fewer matches in the '90s. What has sickened me has been the failure of the Moshiri regime up to now.

I had a season ticket from 1965-80, packing it up in protest at the awful football under Gordon Lee. However, unlike many relapsed season ticket holders, I never gave up going to matches altogether and with tickets harder to obtain, after a gap of 36 years, I became a season ticket holder again as soon as Kenwright sold up.

Rob @87,

The only game to rival last Sunday in wretchedness was the notorious visit of newly promoted Leeds in November 1965. The dirtiest team I've ever seen was aided and abetted by a referee even worse than Martin Atkinson.

Andrew Keatley
123 Posted 05/11/2019 at 00:21:42
Stan (109) - On another thread you questioned Son’s instinctive reaction to seeing the extent of Gomes’ injury, suggesting that he may have been acting. There’s no evidence of this - in fact the evidence suggests that Son spent a long time in the dressing room, head bowed, crying. Unless you think all the Spurs and Everton players and staff who saw this are also lying.

I think you’re either over a bit off-kilter with emotion, or possibly just not a particularly generous person when it comes to the benefit of the doubt. There are all manner of aspersions you’ve got flying around at the moment - VAR conspiracy, one player’s intent to injure another, the organised bias of EPL referees - and while you consider it to be analysis I’m afraid I consider it to be unhelpful speculation fuelled by emotion. But I don’t know you, so maybe I am way off; it’s a useful in-the-back pocket deflection card we can all play.

As for counter-arguments - well when someone just makes up an argument based on speculation then the obvious counter-argument would be a request for evidence. Where is your evidence that any of the refereeing we saw on Sunday was biased? Inept, yes. Divisive, yes. Biased... no evidence.

Also, I am not quite sure why you keep putting the word analysis in quotation marks.

Ray Roche
124 Posted 06/11/2019 at 08:56:26

All this coverage of Son crying in the changing room. well, call me an cynical old bugger (true) but that smacks to me of guilt. He realises what he’s done and he knows he’s guilty. I don’t believe he intended to injure Gomes as severely as he did but he certainly wanted to “get him back “ for the alleged elbow.
“He’s not that kind of lad”. Really?
Maybe not, but I wouldn’t trust him alone at Dinner time with a Poodle, nice lad or not.

Stan Schofield
125 Posted 06/11/2019 at 09:29:43
Andrew@123: You're simply stating your opinion about me again, without knowing me. Get a grip. If you don't stick to substance you'll get no engagement from me.
Ray Roche
126 Posted 06/11/2019 at 09:35:24
Stan, are you two getting engaged?😁
Stan Schofield
127 Posted 06/11/2019 at 09:59:13
Ray, he hasn't proposed yet!
Tony Abrahams
128 Posted 06/11/2019 at 11:04:11
i Got the wrong end of the stick Jay, and for that I can only apologise. If you read my posts you will know I hate cheats, and that I’ve yet to see a footballer that doesn’t cheat, because it’s so ingrained into the culture of the game right now.

I will bang on about this or stop watching the game I love soon if there is not more clarity given from the VAR referee, instead of the bad decisions and then the lies the next day, and I’d sooner this happened than some terrible decisions go our way Rob@117.

It all goes back to the cheating culture imo, and surely a sin-bin has got to be the next move for diving? Son might have still been on the sidelines after his little feign the other day, but until everyone accepts that a player hasn’t always got the right to go down, then players are going to keep falling, and teams are going to keep losing to the cheats, including referees looking at some of the decisions that have gone against Everton in the last fortnight.

WHY CANT WE START GETTING PROPER EXPLANATIONS RIGHT AWAY, INSTEAD OF GETTING TOLD A LOAD OF ABSOLUTE PONY TOMORROW? I’m honestly convinced football doesn’t want to properly clean itself up because if it did then surely an indirect free-kick in the box, would take away loads of diving right away?

Andrew Keatley
129 Posted 06/11/2019 at 11:16:25
Ray (124) - Totally agree; I imagine Son did feel guilty. But that is a genuine emotion, and probably born of remorse. I took issue with Stan’s speculation that Son was acting - something another poster rebuked him over and Stan subsequently apologised for, saying he was pissed off (or something similar).

So Stan, you admitted emotion getting the better of you with that earlier comment - which makes me wonder why you took issue with my comment about there being a lot of emotion swimming around discussions of the Gomes injury. I am trying to understand your point of view and get to know you, otherwise this marriage will never work...

Ray Roche
130 Posted 06/11/2019 at 11:19:10
Come on boys kiss and make up😘
Stan Schofield
131 Posted 06/11/2019 at 11:38:09
Andrew, OK I accept your proposal, thank you.

As you say, in my reply to Mike Gaynes, I admitted I thought I'd gone a bit far in suggesting the possibility that Son was feigning emotion. I didn't apologise for it, just admitted I was pissed off, which is obviously an emotional thing. That said, none of the other posts I've written have been emotionally driven (so far as I am aware), and I've simply tried to fit together observations and interpretations from them in as analytical way that I can. I cannot ignore repeated observations (such as apparent bias), and I do tend to use terms like 'apparent', 'looks like', 'appears to be', 'on the face of it', and 'it strikes me that', rather than asserting something is so. These terms represent uncertainty even with some confidence in interpretation, and I am always ready to accept being wrong, which to me is an essence of discussion.

If you disagree with anything I've written, then feel free to analyse it, break it down, and show me I'm wrong if I am. I'd like to be wrong on much of this subject, since I'd like it if I thought there was no bias against Everton.

These are the 'rules of engagement' in my mind. I don't make personal comments, and I don't accept them, because I don't know other posters personally, and they don't know me. When a poster claims another post to be emotionally driven without evidence of it, I take it as a personal comment, and consider that you should stick to the substance of the debate. As I've already indicated, if you don't stick to the substance, you don't get to debate with me. It's that simple.

This matter of people making personal comments and failing to focus on substance is an ongoing issue on ToffeeWeb that has been discussed in some past threads.

Perhaps you know me a bit better now.

John Boon
132 Posted 06/11/2019 at 13:12:03
The game was definitely overshadowed by the Gomes incident. I was digusted when I went on the BBC Football site, not too long after the game finished to read the report and also the ensuing comments. 95% of the comments were not about the horrific injury which the player had sustained but about whether it was a red or yellow card.

These responses were not from Evertonians, thank god, but neutrals who had watched the game. It gives a pathetic insight into the minds of many who watch football. Even the result was not important never mind the colour of the card.

Stan Schofield
133 Posted 07/11/2019 at 10:02:54
Andrew@123: Following my post @131, here are some comments of substance on your post @123.

You say there are all manner of aspersions flying around - VAR conspiracy, one player's intent to injure another, and the organised bias of EPL referees.

My focus has been on the 'organised bias of EPL referees' as you put it. I've not really mentioned VAR, haven't really expressed strong views on it per se, and in fact I see the problem of bias existing with or without VAR. So 'VAR conspiracy' can be struck off your list. But I'll come back to 'organised bias of EPL referees' below.

Regarding 'one player's intent to injure another player', I have never said that Son aimed to injure Gomes, but I have said that in my opinion the tackle from behind was cynical and endangering, and deserving of a red. This opinion has been part of a sensible, unemotional, discussion of the rules and their interpretation, distinguishing between endangering someone and actually injuring them. So, 'one player's intent to injure another player' can also be struck off your list.

Regarding 'organised bias of EPL referees', that can stay on your list. I believe this bias exists, because I've seen it occur so many times, and it seems to have worsened in recent seasons. So the belief is based on observation. It could be an incorrect belief, but as I say it is my belief based on observations.

In my opinion, if bias exists, it is equivalent to corruption, and this has been discussed amongst other posts that consider what people consider corruption is. Again, quite unemotionally so far as I can see.

The rules exist (at least in part) to regulate behaviours and protect players from injury. When such rules don't exist or are not applied properly, in my opinion players are at greater risk of injury. If the rules are not applied properly because the application is biased, in my opinion those players advantaged by the bias will feel more able to commit acts from which they would otherwise be deterred, and those players disadvantaged by the bias will be more at risk.

In this respect, I would say Everton players are less advantaged than players of some other teams, and correspondingly more at risk from inappropriate action by opposing players.

Now, if it could be demonstrated to me, clearly and in the face of the repeated observations I referred to earlier, that there is no bias against Everton, my concerns would disappear, I could drop this subject of bias and corruption, and focus solely on Everton's form.

Martin Mason
134 Posted 07/11/2019 at 20:54:27
The best manager in the Premiership on current form and the man we should break the bank to get? Brendan Rogers.
Oliver Molloy
135 Posted 07/11/2019 at 21:02:41
Rumour has it that Rogers was sounded out before Allardyce was appointed but didn't want to leave Celtic at the time.
Jeff Armstrong
136 Posted 07/11/2019 at 21:24:37
Just read a true account of Sunday’s events at last in a national tabloid, Mail on Line sports page actually, and fair play to Gylfi as he’s found and twittered a couple of videos showing Son the animal IS that type of player.
Brian Williams
137 Posted 07/11/2019 at 21:30:59
Jeff. Dont believe thats the real Gylfi's twitter account mate.
Jeff Armstrong
138 Posted 07/11/2019 at 21:36:08
Ahh your likely correct Brian,
l’m not that up on twatter and the like, decent article though.
Brian Williams
139 Posted 07/11/2019 at 21:42:14
Jeff. I actually found that story earlier today and put the link on here because I felt it summed up the situation perfectly, well I put the web address on anyway, can't do links. It was only then I double checked Sigurdssons twitter handle (don't use it myself either, or Facebook) and noticed it reads Gyfi not Gylfi.
My first reaction was like yours probably was "Get in Gylfi."
I was taken in at first but was initially made up that another player had done that! Shoulda known better. 🤔
Jeff Armstrong
140 Posted 07/11/2019 at 21:49:07
Brian, agree pal, and kudo’s to whoever posted those videos, they paint a different story to the Spurs PR narrative that Sonny gets sunnier everyday.

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