Everton fail yet again with crucial opportunities missed

By Michael Kenrick 21/06/2020 201comments  |  Jump to last

Everton 0 - 0 Liverpool

Carlo Ancelotti gave Anthony Gordon a start but Everton fail yet again to beat Liverpool at Goodison Park.

Scousser Tom Davies is also selected to alongside André Gomes in central midfield, with the perennially disappointing Gylfi Sigurdsson on the socially distant bench, where he has eight other teammates, including Branthwaite and Beningime from the Under-23s.

The most bizarre derby ever, with Goodison Park basically empty, Liverpool players entering the stadium from the corner between the Park End and Bullens Road, while the Everton players come out of the tunnel, the siren squeals and Z-Cars booms out of an echoy Tannoy system, with a combination of rain and sunshine bathing the pristine emerald turf.

30 seconds of silence in memory of the many who have died of the coronavirus as a plane buzzed noisily overhead before Liverpool kicked off behind closed doors.

Liverpool did most of the early pressing down the Everton right before Everton got a bit more possession. Richarlison got forward but lashed his shot across the face of goal after dribbling past Virgil van Dijk, and really Everton should have done a lot better with that early chance.

Fabinho committed a really dirty challenge on Calvert-Lewin, but it went unpunished by Kopite referee, Michael Dean. Gordon lost the ball to Fabinio and Minamino lashed a shot high and wide of Pickford's goal.< Richarlison was fouled by Fabiinio but Dean gave it the other way, it thankfully was put harmlessly behind.

The game developed into a depressing pattern of Everton playing on the back foot, unable to retain possession long enough to get beyond the half-way line. Really poor quality from the Blues. A better piece of play saw Everton attack through Richarlison but Digne launched an awful cross behind Alisson's goal.

Iwobi, gaining rare possession for Everton, lashed a ridiculous ball to nobody down the right wing. Milner took out Richarlison and was rightly given the yellow card. The pace and intensity of the game was starting to look a little more like a real derby, on the field at least, as the first drinks break was called.

Davies was caught, earning a free-kick that went all the way through, wasted. Digne did the usual Everton trow-in routine, no-one to throw to... Holgate this time lashed an awful ball that would have been good for gaining ground were they playing Rugby Union. Gordon broke up a Liverpool attack but gave it straight back trying to pass to Calvert-Lewin.

A Liverpool free-kick for a handball was headed well wide by Matip. Everton won a free-kick that came a lot closer, Richarlison getting a little too much on it from Gordon's excellent delivery, but Richarlison had broken too early and was called offside.

Liverpool finally looked to breakthrough at pace after Gomes was dispossessed, Frmino dragging his shot wide of Pickford's goal. Some neat play among Iwobi, a great flick from Gordon was too clever for Richarlison, who should have done better.

Gordon tried a good ball forward but Calvert-Lewin went obe way and Richarlison was beaten to the ball by Van Dijk. Keane had to floor Mane and take the yellow card. Pickford had the measure of Arnold's set-piece.

Milner went down and was replaced by Gomez. Liverpool tried to walk the ball into the Everton net with some slick passing and some blue shirts finally blocked the threatening move. The added time was played out with Everton again on the back foot but repelling all Liverpool's patient probing through until half-time.

The game resumed, with Calvert-Lewin doing some impressive keepy-uppy on his head, running the ball into touch... brilliant! Coleman had to be sharp in on Gomez, giving away the first corner of the game, batted away by Pickford. Keita tried a tricky volley on the run that went well wide.

Everton were surrendering the ball, only ever comfortable playing a deep defensive line, and totally bereft of ideas when the had possession, Pickford wellying it aimlessly upfield. Coleman did well to contain Mane again and win a goal-kick that was yet again wasted, with Liverpool pressing the Blue shirts back again, ever threatening the breakthrough. Everton were living very dangerously.

With the hour approaching, Gylfi Sigurdsson was readied to come on, but not before a Liverpool corner was headed down to Pickford. Digne tried a heavily ballooned cross that was meat and drink for Alisson. Kene had to give away a corner on a strong cross as Gordon trotted off.

Calvert-Lewin did well to release Richarlison down the right but he could not command the bouncing ball at pace and launched it moonward. Dean booked Digne for a good tackle that got the ball, Everton protestations to nought and no VAR interference. Arnold clipped the set-piece off the top of the Everton wall, the Blues unable to repel the corner, Digne floored by Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Everton's game plan, if there was one, was to survive the increasing onslaught without conceding. Such limited ambition.

On the rare occasion that they could break out through Digne and Calvert-Lewin, they stalled and went backwards. Calvert-Lewin got behind the Liverpool back line a fraction too early, his lively run flagged offside.

A great ball ou to Richarlsom Calvert-Lewin tries to be too clever with a flick that did not beat Alisson but Davies following up would surely score.... but no, off the post. Such criminally poor finishing. From the corner, Calvert-Lewin could not head in at the far post.

Richarlison then did really well, beating everyone down the left again and cutting inside along the byeline, and having time to pick his spot or play a ball across, but shooting straight at Alisson. How Everton contrived not to score in this spell will defy all football analysis.

The earlier pattern resumed, Liverpool pressing high, winning a corner, scrambled clear by the Blue shirts. Iwobi made way for Bernard. Moise Keane was then given all of 10 seconds at the end in place of Calvert-Lewin after Richarlison fouled Oxlade-Chamberlain and Fabinho fired in an excellent free-kick that Pickford did very well to flick over the bar.

The game ended, and a hollow feeling as empty as the stadium after yet another squandered opportunity, with Everton failing yet again to beat their deadly rivals.

Everton: Pickford; Coleman, Holgate, Keane [Y:40'], Digne [Y:62']; Gordon (60' Sigurdsson), Gomes, Davies, Iwobi (88' Bernard); Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin (90+3' Kean).
Subs not Used: Stekelenburg, Virginia, Baines, Martina, Branthwaite, Baningime.

Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip (73' Lovren), Van Dijk, Milner [Y:20'] (42' Gomez); Henderson, Fabinho, Keita (65' Wijnaldum); Minamino (46' Oxlade-Chamberlain), Firmino (65' Origi [Y:85']), Mane.
Subs not Used: Adrian, Williams, Elliott, Salah.

Referee: Mike Dean
VAR: Chris Kavanagh

Reader Comments (201)

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Dave Williams
1 Posted 21/06/2020 at 18:11:42
The team much as I went for but Iwobi instead of Beni. Looks half decent if they really have a go with plenty of attacking intent and no shortage of ability.
Jay Wood

2 Posted 21/06/2020 at 18:13:53
Ballsy from Carlo. Sigurdsson and Bernard on the bench. Anthony Gordon starts, as does Tom Davies with Gomes.

Iwobi, Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin up front.

The NINE man bench is possibly more interesting than the starting XI.

Baines, Sigurdsson, Bernard, BOTH keepers Stekelenburg and Virgínia, Kean, 17-year-old Branthwaite, Baningime and... Martina!

Danny Baily
3 Posted 21/06/2020 at 18:15:21
Gordon is a rogue shout. Less than a handful of senior appearances under his belt.

I like the line-up though, COYB!

Danny Baily
4 Posted 21/06/2020 at 18:17:46
Having said that, not sure Davies has the discipline/focus required for this sort of game.
Jeff Armstrong
5 Posted 21/06/2020 at 18:17:56
Why 2 keepers on bench? Pickford nursing a knock maybe? If not you’d think Niasse, Feeney or Simms would beat Virginia to a place on the bench.
Conor McCourt
6 Posted 21/06/2020 at 18:20:49
Fair play to Carlo as he could have went with Gomes and Siggy in the middle and Bernard wide and we would have been totally overrun. We may still get outclassed in there but at least Carlo has given us a chance with the increased energy to try and combat their wing backs and a bold move to drop the Icelander.

All the very best to young Anthony Gordon

Christy Ring
7 Posted 21/06/2020 at 18:25:17
Good to see Beni in the squad, no Sidibe, and delighted Ancelotti has finally dropped Sigurdsson. An attacking lineup.
Derek Taylor
8 Posted 21/06/2020 at 18:25:29
Can only imagine those available are so limited that he had to name two goalies for the bench. Never thought we'd see Martina in again either but he's unlikely to be called on. 0-3 result would be deemed some improvement I guess !
Michael Kenrick
9 Posted 21/06/2020 at 18:29:07
Derek, spot on. Naming two goalies is shameful. It really shows up the horrific lack of depth in this squad.

At least he didn't name Niasse!

Dave Williams
10 Posted 21/06/2020 at 18:34:43
Two goalies can only mean that one of the three (most likely Pickford) is carrying an injury. Carlo could easily have included another young lad. Not an indicator of how shallow the squad is – Martina being named surely shows that!
Justin Doone
11 Posted 21/06/2020 at 18:37:16
The best thing about the restart is the ability to use 5 subs which I thoroughly expect us to do and test the fringe players. Really happy at Gordon starting.

I want 3 points, not expecting but every player needs to give their all. No walking around, pointing fingers and blaming others. A strong team spirit and belief has hopefully started to gather with Carlo in charge. I want to see evidence of that on the pitch.

Who wants it, who's kept themselves fit, who's got the mentality and maturity to play to win at all odds.

Jay Wood

12 Posted 21/06/2020 at 18:41:41
Any word from the streets about fans gathering at Goodison...?
Dave Abrahams
13 Posted 21/06/2020 at 18:42:21
Whatever the team and bench let's hope they go out and have ago and make us proud against them, it won't be before time.

On Friday, one of the coaching staff was talking to a market trader in town, he told him with conviction “We'll fuck these on Sunday”. Might be just an Evertonian talking or maybe he knows that Carlo has a very cunning plan up his sleeve. We”ll soon find out. COYB

Michael Lynch
14 Posted 21/06/2020 at 18:47:36
Christ, we haven't even got enough outfield players to fill the bench!
David Milner
15 Posted 21/06/2020 at 18:49:46
Jeff @5,

Feeney is being released in 9 days time & is only just recovering from injury whilst on loan at Tranmere. I agree, Dennis Adeniran should have been included instead of a 3rd keeper unless Pickford has a problem. Where is Sidibé though?

Jeff Armstrong
16 Posted 21/06/2020 at 18:51:43
Sidibe tweeting that he’s got a knock
Derek Taylor
17 Posted 21/06/2020 at 18:52:11
As for cunning plan, Dave, perhaps he plans to field all THREE goalies !
Jay Wood

18 Posted 21/06/2020 at 18:56:12
David @ 15 re: Sidibé. I wondered the same because if fit he would easily make that bench.

Unless injured, which hasn't been reported, you do wonder if Carlo has taken the decision NOT to take up the option of signing him permanently.

Rather than give him any game time as he won't be around next season he is selecting players who will feature.

Late edit: just seen Jeff's post about Sidibé's tweet about carrying a knock.

Gerry Ring
19 Posted 21/06/2020 at 18:57:35
Everton playing at home & they don’t even show us coming onto our own bloody pitch. Assholes!!!!
Brian Williams
20 Posted 21/06/2020 at 18:59:40
Sounds like somebody's gonna dive bomb the ground!
Derek Taylor
21 Posted 21/06/2020 at 19:01:54
Not started yet but we've brought RS to their knees !
Brian Williams
22 Posted 21/06/2020 at 19:12:24
Fucking Dean giving them everything.
Christy Ring
23 Posted 21/06/2020 at 19:24:26
The short kick outs are ridiculous, and dodgy to say the least, Iwobi on the left, a total passenger for the first 20 mins.

I know Dalglish has some type of ambassador role, but how is he allowed attend the game?

Ernie Baywood
24 Posted 21/06/2020 at 19:46:45
Agree Christy, although Iwobi is on the right. Not that you'd notice. If you were going to pick an opportunity out of Liverpool's back line it would be Milner at left back. So we put our most lethargic player against him.

Not really sure what our plan is here.

Tony Shelby
25 Posted 21/06/2020 at 19:49:27
So presumably “crowd noise DJ” is a legitimate career choice these days?
Christy Ring
26 Posted 21/06/2020 at 19:55:58
Ernie @24, Apologies I meant the right, we're lacking on both wings, Bernard has to come on. A defensive midfielder has to be our No 1 priority this summer, Keita and Fabinho totally dominating in the middle.
Jay Wood

27 Posted 21/06/2020 at 19:58:27
Competitive enough first half, but still lacking a real edge.

Tom Davies has been excellent. Mostly one touch, two at most, football from him. And mostly forward, too. Keep that standard up and he will feature more under Carlo.

Iwobi mostly peripheral. Gomes looks sluggish, having his pocket picked too easily when in possession and seemingly clear.

Richarlison looking lively. DCL feeding off scraps. Gordon doing OK. Nice drop of the shoulder in the centre of the park to make space for himself, but then showing his inexperience by wanting too much time on the ball and having it taken off him.

Nice cross from the free kick for the Richarlison header. Nice back-heel lay off for Richarlison's shot. Anthony can be pleased with his performance.

I fancy we could benefit from better service into DCL and Richie and for the two of them to play closer together and off each other.

The game is there to be won, by either team.

Brian Wilkinson
28 Posted 21/06/2020 at 19:58:34
Just about to type same myself, Christy, we need Bernard on.
Dave Abrahams
29 Posted 21/06/2020 at 19:59:46
Even with the pace of the game very slow we still give the ball away time after time after time, pathetic, no one from either side has stood out, I hope it carries on to a dreary, dithering drab game and we get a draw or a fluke of a goal in the last minute.
Gerry Ring
30 Posted 21/06/2020 at 20:02:23
Tom Davies has to work on his control & decision making. His tendency to get caught & give the ball away in dangerous areas is a worry!!!!
Ernie Baywood
31 Posted 21/06/2020 at 20:13:33
Concerning that I don't think we've won a second ball. Forget ability, that's a basic standard of competing.
Christy Ring
32 Posted 21/06/2020 at 20:29:56
We're totally 2nd best, I thought Bernard would have come on ahead of Siggy, and don't know how Iwobi is sill on.
Ciarán McGlone
33 Posted 21/06/2020 at 20:34:27
Poor from start to finish. Borefest.
Roger Helm
34 Posted 21/06/2020 at 20:53:10
Positives - didn’t get beat, well organised and battling against a much superior team, had chances to nick a win
Tony Hill
35 Posted 21/06/2020 at 20:53:53
That wasn't a proper game of football. I'd got myself enthused but it was a tedious farce.
Ernie Baywood
36 Posted 21/06/2020 at 20:55:07
Incredibly should have won it through Davies.

But I still can't understand that. Kean got 10 seconds. Bernard less than 10 minutes. Iwobi was disciplined but didn't really offer anything else.

Given the general lack of ability on the ball it's incredible how much faith we put in playing out from the back.

Michael Kenrick
37 Posted 21/06/2020 at 20:55:50
Absolute crap.
Christy Ring
38 Posted 21/06/2020 at 20:56:54
In the end we had the 3 best chances in the 2nd half, so how did Martin Tyler think we'd be happier with a draw. Great performance by Seamus deserved man of the match.
Danny Baily
39 Posted 21/06/2020 at 20:59:20
Preseason stuff. Completely unfair that some clubs might get relegated on the basis of this farce.
Jim Bennings
40 Posted 21/06/2020 at 21:01:13
To be honest there’s not much to say about it, the game felt like a preseason kickabout most of the time.

We maintain the same weaknesses that we’ve had for numerous years, lack of movement in midfield, no really forward thrust and penetration and give too many unforced errors away, similar to how we ended in March pre-lockdown.

Most derbies now are quite predictable in that they always dour affairs with us not quite having enough devilment to go all out for the win.

Positives, we didn’t lose, sadly that’s about all we have in local derbies now, it’s not how many do we win but how many can we not lose.

Michael Lynch
41 Posted 21/06/2020 at 21:01:25
Poor game but a defensive masterclass from Carlo. Both teams very rusty.

Still think they should have scrapped football til the crowds could come back. TV calling the shots of course.

Conor McCourt
42 Posted 21/06/2020 at 21:01:41
Sorry but these comments are crazily harsh. We played the best team in the league and we got a hard earned draw. We were organised, worked hard and deserved a point. Anyone would have taken a point before the game.

I thought Coleman was outstanding and a big shout out to the Keane and Holgate partnership. They look like the best pairing we have currently and we looked much tighter without Yerry. I'm not Michael's biggest fan but they looked really solid tonight.

Not the win we wanted but a good start and great for young Gordon.

Dave Abrahams
43 Posted 21/06/2020 at 21:02:46
Happy with the point, might have had three which would have absolutely flattered us, but that was one point I never honestly thought we would have got today, need another five to be safe, but this squad is so limited it worries me.

Michael I thought that flick by Dominic was very good and had the Liverpool goalie floundering across his line to save it and then Tom was an inch away from putting it in.

Paul Jones
44 Posted 21/06/2020 at 21:12:48
I can't understand that short pass restart we kept flogging. If Pickford's kicking is less accurate than Holgate's (not sure if this is the case) then get Holgate to take the goal kicks instead of giving him the ball with the forwards running at him.

We were never going to walk it out the box so what was the point of it all?

Tony Shelby
45 Posted 21/06/2020 at 21:13:19
At the moment the Premier League is a little like watching live music without a crowd.

It can be The Beatles at Shea Stadium or your mate’s band in their garage. Either way, it’s all a bit... meh.

Kevin Prytherch
46 Posted 21/06/2020 at 21:13:23
Baffling after that performance that people still see fit to home in on Tom Davies. Pretty much everything he did was one or two touch football, he was always in the right position defensively, won back possession a couple of times and very rarely wasted a pass. And he was the furthest midfielder forward when he nearly scored. If Gomes has of played as well as Davies some would be saying MOM performance.

We did what we needed to and I’m not going to criticise Ancelotti for not making subs earlier. After Liverpool had made 4-5 subs they looked disjointed and we nearly scored. Subs can often kill the flow of the game and, when we never looked like conceding, what would be the point of making a sub for subs sake?

Good draw, disappointed that we didn’t win, and we don’t say that often against Liverpool.

Tony Hill
48 Posted 21/06/2020 at 21:18:03
We played okay for 2minutes at the start and 5 minutes at the end. When we attacked them, we looked like scoring. Instead of which, being Everton, we cringed for most of the game. It's what we do.

If Allardyce had been in charge of that performance, he'd have been crucified.

Tony Twist
49 Posted 21/06/2020 at 21:18:22
And so it goes on. Pathetic, we are happy with a draw which is all part of the problem. It looks like the players don't believe they can beat them.
Michael Kenrick
50 Posted 21/06/2020 at 21:19:55
No, Conor, let's ditch that "take a point before the game" garbage. It's not an option. Football does not work like that.

You take your chances on the park. That means being clinical when the chances come. Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison and Davies – all of Darren's young heroes – all ludicrously guilty of horrendously poor finishing that once again cost us a very winnable game.

And that was on the back of incredibly poor play whenever we managed to turnover the ball, except for the handful of chances created near the end. Just plain sickening to any true Evertonian who remembers the words of one Sir John Moores.

And Dave Abrahams: "but that was one point I never honestly thought we would have got today" — utterly shameful from an Evertonian.
Kevin Prytherch
51 Posted 21/06/2020 at 21:27:11
Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison and Davies – all of Darren's young heroes – all ludricously guilty of horrendously poor finishing...

The back heel flick that was unlucky? The stretched header that was just out of reach? Or the shot that took a slight rich off a defender to deflect it onto the post?

Richarlison should have done better with 2 chances admittedly, but lumping criticism on Calvert-Lewin and Davies is just like the regular boo boys of last season.

Tony Abrahams
52 Posted 21/06/2020 at 21:27:20
Seriously Michael, watch that chance again, and if you think Calvert-Lewin was being too clever, I'm not sure why?
Tony Sullivan
53 Posted 21/06/2020 at 21:28:08
Christ Kenrick you talk some shit.
Paul Birmingham
54 Posted 21/06/2020 at 21:29:47
Happy with the point, but old habits die hard with Everton.

The chance that Richarlison carved out in the first few minutes, and the three Everton made in the last 10 minutes, shows the big game-winning capability is still missing.

Ring rusty is expected but we looked too slow in midfield, and we need more craft and guile.

Not sure why we are doing the dodgy inter-box passing from goalkeeper to his defenders, like in the Cup tie in January, we were cutting it fine at times.

If and if; we have another point, so hopefully we can beat Norwich away.

Dean was ridiculous in some of his decisions and giving them free-kicks when they were in their customary diving mode.

Let's take Norwich and get three points. MotM for me was Seamus. I thought Anthony Gordon looks like a player, and has a good eye for the killer pass. Hopefully he'll be kept in the squad for the rest of this season.

Not convinced about Iwobi, he seems to panic and bottle it and looks like he hasn't the stomach for a battle.

Well done, Everton, one day soon, we'll beat the RS.

David Connor
55 Posted 21/06/2020 at 21:32:18
One point more than I thought we would get to be fair and unlucky not to win. But let's face it, we were second best for 75 minutes.

Our midfield needs a massive overhaul. The only one worth keeping is Gomes. The rest can go for me, we wouldn't miss one of em, not one. A decent midfield and our front 2 would score goals for fun. Needs addressing urgently.

Colin Glassar
56 Posted 21/06/2020 at 21:32:50
I was really pissed off with us watching the game but, in hindsight, that was tactically spot on. Watch it again if you don't believe me.
Christy Ring
57 Posted 21/06/2020 at 21:32:57
Incredibly harsh, great flick by Calvert-Lewin, and Gomes deflected Davies effort, can't believe the criticism. Agree with Conor, Holgate and Keane outstanding.
Michael Kenrick
58 Posted 21/06/2020 at 21:34:00
Tony, it's all about the effort, force, power you put into beating the goalie. A real predator would have ensured he did enough to get the ball past the goalie in that situation, not just redirect it goalwards with a little flick that had no chance of beating a decent goalie. When he needed to put something extra on the ball, he failed. Sadly, that's all too typical of what he does in front of goal.

But I know it's good enough for many Evertonians so I'll shut up now. I've had my say.

Liam Mogan
59 Posted 21/06/2020 at 21:35:41
Holgate was outstanding today. First to everything, read the play like Baresi and, most importantly, guided the defensive line to perfection. Unlike the once much lauded Stones, he stays on his feet, he has no obvious ego and is always looking to improve. Under the Italian master he can go far.
Jim Bennings
60 Posted 21/06/2020 at 21:37:37
I don't think we should moan too much either.

Taken into isolation a 0-0 draw with Liverpool it's not a bad result, just the frustration of never beating them takes over with fans thoughts but looking at it another way, they have hardly racked up many wins at Goodison in the last decade either have they?

After the nightmare year we've had I'm not gonna moan about football, it's good to have an alternative talking point.

Tony Hill
61 Posted 21/06/2020 at 21:38:52
Colin @56, it was tactically spot on, if you want to secure a 0-0 at home. But we showed no courage and I think if we had done so we'd have won. The RS were dire.
Jamie Crowley
62 Posted 21/06/2020 at 21:40:22
The Tom Davies chance was deflected. It was going in. Hardly wasteful.

We had a solid game plan of hitting arguably the best team in world football on the counter. We executed that plan exceedingly well. We created more chances over the 90 minutes.

We have a coach who knows what the fuck he's doing.

We started: Gordon, Davies (WONDERFUL game), Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin, and Holgate in a derby. Young players who, given time (cough-cough) are developing nicely. We have a coach who's brave enough to trust those youngsters, again in a derby, preferring them to "trusted veterans" or some such nonsense.

I understand the disappointment of not finally beating those douch-bags. But we weren't poor. Not in the least. I see positives from this game, a game that was never going to be "pretty" after this long layoff and some really tough circumstances.

Justin Doone
63 Posted 21/06/2020 at 21:41:55
Don't make the mistake of thinking Norwich is an easy game.

They impressed me in the 2st half with their energy and passing, far more than Everton have shown.

We need to withstanding their attacking impetus early on and hopefully do a clinical scoring job on them as Southampton did.

To do that we will need to improve.

Tony Abrahams
64 Posted 21/06/2020 at 21:44:09
I'm not sure he could have got much more power on the ball, Michael, and thought he showed great movement to stop and then start again, making Van Dijk unaware of where he was, which allowed him to then get in front of the Liverpool man.

I agree that Calvert-Lewin sometimes doesn't get enough power on the ball, but it was on his weaker side, and it's not easy to generate a lot of power from this type of position. I thought the kid showed great improvisation, had a very good keeper scrambling to make the save, and if Davies would have put the second chance away, it's quite possible you might have even praised Calvert-Lewin for his part in the move.

Gavin Johnson
65 Posted 21/06/2020 at 21:44:24
Very, very, unlucky not to score and win the game. Them dominating possession meant nothing. We worked hard, kept our lines and shape and should have got something on the break.

And, yes Tony, it was a great improvisation by Calvert-Lewin.

Brent Stephens
66 Posted 21/06/2020 at 21:46:44
Given that that was against the team that's going to win the league, by a mile, I thought Carlo set us up well. I had no argument with his selection. He set us up to sit and hold, which we did. And looked to take our opportunities to move forward when we had the ball, changing formation to support that.

Our midfield were wasteful at times, and our front two struggled to get much of a look-in for most of the game but those three (half-)chances at the end nearly got us the points.

I'm not unhappy.

Conor McCourt
67 Posted 21/06/2020 at 21:47:12
Michael, Sorry that I'm not enough of a "true Evertonian" for being proud of the character, leadership, fight and organisation of a team who have barely showed that all season. We had half a team out and God knows I've been the first to criticise Ancelotti and the boys for accepting mediocrity but they battled hard against a far superior outfit and nearly nicked it.

Yes at times that was poor fare especially in the first half but fuck me, Michael, if we showed that level of commitment and determination every week we wouldn't be in the sad state of affairs we are now.

I won't be hammering anyone for giving their all tonight.

Jay Wood

68 Posted 21/06/2020 at 21:50:50
'It was football, Jim, but not as we know it.'

A strange spectacle, with nothing spectacular. Pretty much like every other game I've watched sans spectators since football returned.

The same intensity just hasn't been there for any team that I've watched. And I perfectly understand that. Any sport at this level isn't something that can be turned on or off at the flick of a switch.

With no idea how or when the new season will start, I'm guessing these games will be used more like pre-season prep for the majority of clubs as a conditioner for the next season.

Pretty even first half, they were pretty dominant for the bulk of the second half but even so, their only threat on our goal was from free-kicks, some of which should never have been awarded.

I genuinely thought we had the best chances to score and win the game, none more so than when we suddenly burst into life with 10 minutes to go.

Can't agree with Michael's description of the double chance for Calvert-Lewin and Davies as 'horrendous finishing'. It was clever improvision by Calvert-Lewin for his back heel. Tom was at least on hand to follow up the rebound and it might well have gone in but for hitting the covering Red defender, doing his job.

I thought Anthony Gordon did just fine, as did the defence. Seamus got the TV MotM, but for my money our best player today was Tom Davies, the only midfielder who played to his ability.

As I said at half time and as noted by Kevin @ 46, Tom was playing lovely one, maximum two-touch football, happy to accept the ball in any situation, playing incisive forward passes. Keeping up that standard he will definitely feature more under Carlo than not.

Gomes and Iwobi, by contrast, were respectively sluggish and peripheral with very little impact on the game.

I also felt the team could have benefited if Carlo had introduced his subs earlier than he did. Bringing on Bernard and Kean at the times he did was done just to eat up time, rather than be game-changing.

Brent Stephens
69 Posted 21/06/2020 at 21:52:34
Liverpool try to pull you all over the pitch, to pull your tight formation apart in order to make chances. They didn't do that today. We really kept our shape well. With the youth of Gordon, the still-young lads in Dominic, Tom and Mason. Well done, Carlo.
Rob Halligan
70 Posted 21/06/2020 at 21:52:50
So dogshits daughter thought the RS were under strength. Well who's fault is that? The only player missing from their squad tonight was Robertson. All the others were on the bench e.g. Salah, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Wijnaldum and Lovren, so the only person to blame was Bingo!
Derek Knox
71 Posted 21/06/2020 at 21:53:59
While I was reasonably happy with the result (not getting beaten) I felt disappointed the more the game went on, we had no-one to grab the game by the scruff of the neck.

We could have won that with better finishing and a bit of leadership and dynamism. Let's hope that Wednesday, will see a more accomplished performance now they have had a game after so long.

Couldn't quite understand subbing Gordon, who did a lot more than Iwobi, who is fast becoming a waste of money. I wasn't impressed with either Davies or Gomes to a degree, but they did improve (which wasn't hard) as the game went on.

Jamie Crowley
72 Posted 21/06/2020 at 21:55:20
A quick aside and question -

Did thine eyes deceive, or did Bernard actually slot in at the 10?

We moved Richarlison back and wide right, Sigurdsson was wide left, and I'd swear to God Bernard was in the 10 in a 4-5-1?

I've been praying to see that creative little maestro sit behind the striker and unlock defenses. If Carlo is going to give him a whirl centrally, I can't wait to see it for more than 5 minutes.

John McFarlane Snr
73 Posted 21/06/2020 at 21:55:27
Hi Michael [50], like Dave Abrahams [43], I, and I suspect thousands of other Evertonians, didn't expect Everton to hold Liverpool to a draw today. I see no reason to feel shame in expressing that opinion. I feel that your response to Dave's honest words lacked respect and hinted at a bigot's point of view. I feel sure that like myself, Dave and thousand of others hoped for the best and feared the worst, and in a derby game, the result is more important than the performance.
Christy Ring
74 Posted 21/06/2020 at 21:56:10
Michael, credit to Calvert-Lewin and Davies, they couldn't have done anymore, cannot understand your criticism.
Dave Abrahams
75 Posted 21/06/2020 at 21:58:16
Michael (50), you think being honest is shameful, I think we will find it hard to get a point from any of the remaining teams we play, with this squad, never mind the team that has won the league.

There is no midfield, although Tom Davies had a good game today and might have grabbed the winner, turned out his shot was deflected, which I never noticed.

The defence was pretty sound but if you don't attack much there is little likelihood of scoring. Carlo played a very defensive game which got us a point, which, I repeat I never thought we would get today. Being honest, did you think we would get a point today?

Darren Hind
76 Posted 21/06/2020 at 21:59:07
Some minor (very minor) gripes from me.

I thought we lacked ambition at crucial moments. I'm not knocking Carlo's tactics because they were spot on. I just thought there were moments when the individual could have backed himself a little more.

There were quite a few positives; Keane and Digne (both of whom I have been heavily critical of recently) played like men. Holgate was imperious and every time Seamus tussled with Mane, I was beating my chest shouting "fuck off, gobshite". I'm pretty certain I heard Seamus growl a couple of times.

We had chances to win it. Richie sent a shot into the upper Gwladys after getting away from the "Greatest defender who ever lived" and Calvert-Lewin showed fantastic improvisation when Richarlison's cross landed slightly behind him. I thought for all the world that Tom would follow up, but on examining the replay. I have to confess it was a combination of world class defending and pure dumb RS luck which saw his effort come back off the post.

In some ways I'm content. We made "the best team in the world" look bang average... but I can't help feeling that this is yet another one which got away.

Brent Stephens
77 Posted 21/06/2020 at 22:00:10
John #73 "I feel that your response to Dave's honest words lacked respect and hinted at a bigot's point of view".

Steady on, John! My posts above show I have a different view of the game from Michael but it's all about opinions - "bigot" sounds a bit strong!

Bill Gienapp
78 Posted 21/06/2020 at 22:02:14
The general sentiment pre-match was that we'd be lucky to "only" get stuffed 3 or 4 to nothing. Now people are turning up their nose at a draw and a clean sheet?

Look, obviously it wasn't scintillating stuff. We offered almost nothing in attack (though ironically had the best chances), but we were disciplined, kept our shape and restricted Liverpool's opportunities. We're only the third team to take any points off them this season (albeit under unusual circumstances). They were far from their best, but they were clearly out to win that match. A week ago, people thought it was a foregone conclusion that they'd be clinching the title at Goodison.

Honestly, I don't think anyone had a poor game, other than Iwobi, who offered little. Gordon had a few nervy moments, but also several bright ones. The entire defense looked solid. Under the circumstances, I'm happy to take the point and move on, especially since we play again in three days.

Paul Birmingham
79 Posted 21/06/2020 at 22:03:00
Calvert-Lewin's back-heel was something out of nothing, and shows the lad has got belief and confidence, and a manager that believes in him to the hilt. He had a couple similar the last couple of seasons, and soon one will go in.

If Messi done it and scored such an effort, it's genius. If Calvert-Lewin carries on, with his attitude, effort and spirit, he'll go far. A few more goals and he'll bring to Everton, front line leadership like we once had with Sharpie.

Let's build for Norwich, and see how we approach that game, hopefully to beat them.

Robert Tressell
80 Posted 21/06/2020 at 22:04:15
We got a point and nearly got the win. Did Liverpool look like winning? Not really.

Carlo set out to keep it tight and hit them on the break as they grew frustrated. Bit of luck and we'd have an unlikely 3 points.

Tom Davies may be our next 'Championship at best' player to come good. Indeed, I wonder if he might even oust Gomes from the first 11 in due course? Endeavour over silky skills or something like it.

Nathan Ford
81 Posted 21/06/2020 at 22:07:48
Not losing for me was a big plus. They have a much better 1st 11 and overall squad than us. Remember, Ancelotti has not even signed a player for the club yet. He'll know first and foremost what we need to improve for next season and I believe we will have a much better squad when it starts.
Joe McMahon
82 Posted 21/06/2020 at 22:09:24
Michael, I'm not sure Calvert-Lewin could have done anything different with that particular chance, it happened so quickly.

What frustrated me tonight were Pickford's goal kicks, they end up as Liverpool attacks.

Maybe substitutes should have been earlier and go for it in the last 20 minutes though.

Eric Paul
83 Posted 21/06/2020 at 22:11:22
Michael @50

Against my better judgment I surrendered and watched the game, every minute, but I didn't see any “horrendously poor finishing“. Can you give me examples, please.

Peter Mills
84 Posted 21/06/2020 at 22:12:18
It was not glamorous. But then I feared we would be beaten heavily today. Michael K thinks that someone who thinks that way is not a proper Evertonian. Sorry Mike, I am, but I’m also realistic.

Do I want to be subservient to the rs? No, I want our team to be bullying them, intimidating them, playing them off the park with superior football. But that was never going to happen tonight. So our manager sent out our players with a game plan, and they executed it well, almost to perfection. If only Calvert-Lewin’s very clever flick had gone in, or Davies’s follow up not taken a crucial blocking touch.

Did I enjoy the game? Absolutely not, I thought it was poor, much of our football was poor, the referee was questionable, and we made them play poorly. But we are playing in a nonsensical situation, and all things considered I am prepared to take the result.

Sam Hoare
85 Posted 21/06/2020 at 22:12:22
Thought we did okay. Few teams play openly against them and prosper. Think Carlo got his tactics pretty spot on and even though we didn't pass well at times, we probably had the best chances.

Thought Davies and Holgate and especially Coleman did well. Richarlison was full of energy and Digne played pretty well too.

Whether this looks like a good point or a bad one may depend a lot on how the next few games go.

Darren Hind
86 Posted 21/06/2020 at 22:14:55
Dave A

I don't know where you got your information about team selection from – hours before the game. but it was absolutely spot on.

If you ever get that sort of information from a racing stable. I'll be all ears.

Do you charge commission?

Duncan Adams
87 Posted 21/06/2020 at 22:23:10
Some decent performances on our comeback match. The defence performed well and Pickford was steady. We're desperate for a midfield. We've got some decent players but it's not knitting together and we need some bite/energy/tenacity. Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin will get goals but we need to give them the ball.
Derek Knox
88 Posted 21/06/2020 at 22:23:24
Darren, you won't need a mask, but a Nosebag may come in handy! :-)
Jamie Crowley
89 Posted 21/06/2020 at 22:26:08
Jesus above.

This was the first game back after a completely unannounced three month layoff.

Of course you’re going to see some rust.

The players don’t shit gold bars FFS!

Can we please have some realistic expectations of the football that is served up?

John McFarlane Snr
90 Posted 21/06/2020 at 22:28:47
Hi Brent [77] there is absolutely nothing wrong with voicing an opposite point of view, but to say that it's 'utterly shameful' for an Evertonian to express an honest opinion hints to me, to be a completely biased attitude. If 'Bigot' is indeed a bit strong, then I hope that this post puts a different slant on my previous attempt.
Gavin Johnson
91 Posted 21/06/2020 at 22:29:44
Just a further comment on Calvert-LewinL's improvisation. That incident was the perfect illustration on how he's developed from a player who used to snatch at things and shoot and hope, to a player who has confidence in his ability and would try something like that in a game the size of a derby. Can't wait to see where he helps to take us next season. The lad is going to be our own Harry Kane.
David Thomas
92 Posted 21/06/2020 at 22:41:10
It was crap match; if it hadn't been Everton playing, we would have all switched off.

We had a couple of chances at the end which we should have done better with but, except for the last 10 minutes or so, it was pretty dire.

Brent Stephens
93 Posted 21/06/2020 at 22:43:38
John #90 " If 'Bigot' is indeed a bit strong, then I hope that this post puts a different slant on my previous attempt".

It does, John, thanks.

Best wishes, Brent

Tony Abrahams
94 Posted 21/06/2020 at 22:47:34
With Schneiderlin leaving this week, I should be delighted, but it's making me think about the Koeman and Walsh regime, and how far back they pushed us.

Of course we all want more, but football is definitely about quality. Quality players, not average players on quality wages, and until this has been rectified, then there is always going to be frustration around our team.

John Malone
95 Posted 21/06/2020 at 22:50:50
I must see a different game from most of you lot!

Carlos tactics were spot on???

Why because Salah and Robertson never played and the redshite were well off it??

We were dogshite the whole game we hardly strung three passes together!

He played Iwobi on the right who was absolutely diabolical and has been everytime he's played wide right and left him there until the 80th minute! The lad can only play left wing cutting inside or centre attacking mid for fucks sake!

He started Gordon in his first ever Premier League game in a derby the lad looked completely lost and couldn't get into the game at all!

He eventually changed it after after wave after wave of attacks and put Sigurdsson on the left and then Bernard – the player who links up great with Digne and is the smallest weakest man on the pitch – in the middle!!

The redshite were there for the taking, they had injuries all over the pitch and, for me, Carlo got it badly wrong. I know we had injuries ourselves but, apart from the back four being solid, we had nothing going forward, we gave the ball away time after time, it was horrendous!

Maybe I'm wrong but I was under the assumption if you play 4-4-2, you play with wide men who link with their fullbacks and overlap each other or can beat a man and whip quality crosses into the two front men?

We had nothing today, absolutely nothing, apart from Richarlison's and Calvert-Lewin's hard work and endeavour! Very worrying!

Liam Mogan
97 Posted 21/06/2020 at 22:51:08
Need to put this season behind us. Last time we played them in the league we were embarrassed, this time we should have won.

We have a manager who knows more about the game than every single one of us. Give him 3 years, if he can't produce, then probably no one could. Fresh start, new season, Italian guile and know-how. Give us something to shout about.

Eric Paul
98 Posted 21/06/2020 at 22:53:57
Dave A

I would keep that info to yourself. My nephew is a coach who often works at Finch Farm; he usually tells me the starting 11 on Thursday or Friday so, in my wisdom, I posted this info and got dogs abuse for being a mole.

Hugh Jenkins
99 Posted 21/06/2020 at 23:03:40
Apparently, according to the BBC - "Liverpool" were not too snobby in accepting a point from us". I didn't know we'd given them one?


Martin Berry
100 Posted 21/06/2020 at 23:25:56
What a load of miserable griping from some posters. Has any game been a sparkler so far?

We made the best chances against a team that is winning the Premier League by a cricket score.

Carlo did the best for the players that he has at his disposal, give him a chance in the transfer window, and keep the faith, for heaven's sake.

Brian Wilkinson
101 Posted 21/06/2020 at 23:26:26
Trent A Arnold is auctioning his boots,. I very much doubt even the charity shop would take Iwobi's boot.

Shocker of a performance today, hopefully Bernard will start there on Wednesday.

Jerome Shields
102 Posted 21/06/2020 at 23:28:22
The defensive performance was really good. Midfield was poor, though they did pretty well in their own third, but found it difficult to get on the ball, with little link play and poor pass completion. Iowbi was the best, not getting caught in possession to the extent of Gomes, Davies and Gordon. Bernard and Sigurdsson added little.

It was only when the backs got forward in support that Everton threatened. Calvert-Lewin was poor at holding up and laying off the ball. Finishing is still not good enough. Pickford's ball distribution was woeful, though he kept his head in goal, which is something to be thankful for.

Everton should have won that game but, until we get better players in midfield and better finishing, they won't win the games they should.

Defensively, Everton are a lot better under Ancelotti. He still has work to do in midfield and attack.

The performance of Ancelotti in this game is the winner, he tactical outplayed the Prancing Clown, and Klopp knew it.

Brian Wilkinson
103 Posted 21/06/2020 at 23:29:23
Man City will tear that team to pieces. If Palace get a result against them, our neighbours arses will start to twitch when they visit City, just a shame their lead is so big.
Liam Reilly
104 Posted 21/06/2020 at 23:47:42
Ancellotti got it right tactically, but anyone who thinks we deserved to win or that was a game to be won is talking nonsense.

They didn't get out of second gear and left Salah on the bench.

This rebuild is and will be the biggest challenge of Ancellotti's career.

Eric Paul
105 Posted 22/06/2020 at 00:10:33

Do you not think they wanted to win today? Salah is injured, he was only on the bench in a psychological capacity.

Jamie Crowley
106 Posted 22/06/2020 at 00:15:08
Does removing Salah from their lineup make them bang average?

No. If it does, then that's a one-man team. And it isn't.

Beat what's in front of you. Or in this case, draw.

John Boon
107 Posted 22/06/2020 at 00:29:32
John 73. Agree completely with your post. This wasn't even a normal game in any way shape or form. I just did not have high expectations but would love to have won, just like any other Evertonian.

Both teams lacked drive, cohesion and a finishing touch. All I expected from Everton was effort and for the most part that was provided. We have now drawn seven of the last eight home games against them.

Considering Covid-19, we should all be thankful that these players for just being able to participate in any game. Today, a draw was fine until next time.

Tom Bowers
108 Posted 22/06/2020 at 00:40:12
Given the squad they have and the season of many poor games, this result was creditable if only because it was against RS, the hardest team to beat this season, if not last season as well.

Carlo must now know who isn't good enough for next season and hopefully has laid down to the brass who he wants in and who he wants out.

Whilst many of us have our differing opinions on who is and who isn't good enough, what is apparent is that half the regular squad are under-performing and maybe even overpaid.

Keeping RS off the scoresheet is no mean feat and one hopes at least Everton can build on that.

Bobby Mallon
109 Posted 22/06/2020 at 00:46:28
Micheal Kenrick @50, stop living in the past will you. We got a point from a team who are 20 points clear of the best team in England. We played the shite with 3 homegrown players and I think we had the same on the bench. I think we played very well and, but for a very good sliding last-ditch block by Gomez, we would have won.
Bill Gall
110 Posted 22/06/2020 at 01:01:08
As all non-Evertonians were expecting a walk-over from the Reds, this was a good performance to not only get the point. They nearly stole a Liverpool trademark of getting a goal for 3 pts.

No, it was not a good game to watch but Ancelotti sent a team out with a game plan and they worked hard for the point.

I have said before that by now Ancelotti must be fully aware of what we need in the transfer window, and hopefully he can get 1 or 2 top players in to strengthen the team. The young players performed well in midfield but this is a major position that needs to be strengthened.

Derek Thomas
111 Posted 22/06/2020 at 01:45:54
Even with no injuries, our midfield is crap. Just because our manager is Italian and there is probably a cool sounding Italian word or phrase for what he did today, but no need, I'll translate... KITAP1... and we nearly managed the 1 bit.

I know we're crap, most on here know we're crap, I'm sure Ancelotti knows it too.

Our next game vs Norwich – a team fighting for their lives, will maybe show us just how crap we are – or as I suspect, are not.

But the fact remains, over a season, even a total dogs breakfast such as this one, the table doesn't lie. We're behind Palace, Burnley and Sheffield United. And we've only played 1 decent game all season – Ferguson's Chelsea game.

Ancelotti knows he has a job on his hands. What he can do about it and how long it will take is anybody's guess.

Kieran Kinsella
112 Posted 22/06/2020 at 01:48:25
Michael, Dave, John McFarlane

I think what we have here is a failure to communicate (Guns N Roses) anyone. I imagine you're all on the same page really but there are two ways to judge Everton.

One being, judging this team by the long-term level we expect that was set by Dixie Dean and Co. The other is to judge this team on its ability versus today's opponents.

I think Michael Kenrick and Tony Twist are judging by the first criteria, most are judging by the second.

Nicholas Ryan
113 Posted 22/06/2020 at 02:25:52
Michael [58] 'I'll shut up now...' ... Good.
Alun Jones
114 Posted 22/06/2020 at 02:32:13
It was a predictable result, with Everton still smarting from that debacle against Chelsea, looking to not concede early. The main problem early on was the incessant Liverpool pressing which resulted in long punts from Pickford and very little possession retained but it was better than watching us trying to play out from the back.

Gomes and Davies to me were unable to impose anything in the middle of the park and the latter is simply too slow in thought and deed to play that role, especially against a team like Liverpool. Gomes may be still rusty after his injury, he look laboured. We did get better though, and I think Davies was a bit unlucky at the end as the touch from Gomez was the key in it hitting the post and not going in.

It could have been much worse and, in the context of where both teams are at the moment, I am not too despondent at the result. We certainly looked more secure at the back, even if we could not deal with the Liverpool press. Iwobi was pants though.

David Currie
115 Posted 22/06/2020 at 03:48:37
Well done, Carlo, on getting the tactics right and defending well as a team and not giving any chances away.

The back four all did very well and Davies in midfield had a good game. I was surprised he kept Iwobi on for so long and would have liked to have seen more of Bernard. Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison both looked a threat but needed more quality from the midfield.

I don't understand the negative comments after this game. Carlo can improve us when he signs some quality in midfield.

Michael O'Malley
116 Posted 22/06/2020 at 04:04:37
I never thought we'd go virtually a full decade without a derby win.

This was the chance to change our appalling record against Liverpool as they were very ordinary tonight but, as usual, we got no luck and a few dodgy referee decisions against us.

John Pierce
117 Posted 22/06/2020 at 04:16:48
Let's have it right. Carlo played his hand with what was available, we were decent without the ball, we sprung into shape consistently marked Sane and Arnold out of the game. We tried our only ace to play long and down the sides, which inevitably became somewhat potent as they tired and Lovren was exposed.

With the ball, we were non-existent, truly awful, in part by design because we didn't want possession.

I agree, the chances we created should have been finished, and the lack of atmosphere seemed to help us because we didn't become emotionally embroiled in the game. We stayed disciplined and structured; with 40,000 baying at them, I think we'd have lost shape going for it.

Very odd times and let's face it, we are just fulfilling a contractual obligation to ensure financial longevity. It's not really football.

Niall McIlhone
118 Posted 22/06/2020 at 05:37:18
The big positive for me was Seamus. He played a Captain's game and he was sharp, aggressive and made good use of the ball. Hopefully, we got our old Seamie back. Let's also see how the Keane - Holgate axis works out... promising?

I note Alex Iwobi has come in for a lot of stick, but by far his best performances for Arsenal were central – behind the strikers – often coming in late into the box, to good effect. He does not have the sensational pace and trickery to succeed out wide, but he can use both feet, he can pick a pass... Play him at No 10, and if we have natural wide players fit, use them.

I've noticed the thread is quite tetchy – we've all been cooped up too long eh? Where's George McKane and his cosmic grooves? Come on, George, save us from the Blue Meanies!

Ajay Gopal
119 Posted 22/06/2020 at 05:53:39
I sat up until 1:30 am here in India, and although disappointed that we did not win, I am not too down with the performance.

I liked the team selected by Ancellotti; overall, the game showed the difference in skills between the two teams. This Liverpool team is very good in winning the ball back quickly and quickly moving it around with sharp, accurate and well controlled passes.

Huge gap there that we need to make up but, from our side, I saw a lot of positives – a clean sheet being the most important one, especially after the 4-0 hiding by Chelsea in the previous game.

Pickford had a quiet game, which is obviously brilliant – he was very calm and composed and that inspired confidence in the back 4.

Our defence was excellent today: Coleman, Digne, Keane, Holgate – all worked hard and restricted their chances.

Midfield is our bug-bear and we all know it. I think Gordon will be disappointed that he could not make a bigger impression in his first Premier League start, but hopefully he will come good next season and Ancelotti perseveres with him and gives him more chances. I hope Bernard starts in his place next game.

Iwobi... sorry, but he is not cutting it at Everton. If a decent offer comes in for him, he should be either sold or loaned out to Europe or a fellow Premier League team. Walcott would have done much more, and made their left-back work more.

I would put Sigurdsson out there on the right – he works equally as hard as Iwobi, and with much better crossing ability and quality on the ball. Davies was good, not great, but I would have him in the midfield any day over guys like Schneiderlin, Delph, Iwobi, etc.

Gomes had a relatively poor game, and gave away the ball in dangerous areas, which almost resulted in a goal for them (the Firmino scuffed shot in the 1st half). The good thing is he played the whole game, and I think started to look better as the game wore on.

Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison, as expected of them, worked their socks off. If they are supported by an energetic and more skilful midfield, they will be a top striking partnership.

Overall, a good practice game to build on for the rest of the season, which I actually think could turn out exciting if we get a few wins and finish in the top half of the table.

Tony Abrahams
120 Posted 22/06/2020 at 07:05:20
I thought a player I constantly criticise for not being good enough had a very good game yesterday and he was possibly the one Everton player who might have been helped by there being no crowd inside the stadium last night.

Good point by John P, because I definitely thought that Michael Keane was very focused, and I was smiling to myself when he tried to play a stupid pass out of defence early in the game that was intercepted, and the lack of groaning from the crowd possibly stopped him losing focus and going into his shell.

Agree with Darren, Keane played like a man, but so did the whole back 4, and if Martin Tyler was praising Alisson for his save because he'd just had nothing to do, then I'm going to praise the Everton back 4 because neither did Pickford, Martin, despite Liverpool having most of the ball last night.

Ian Jones
121 Posted 22/06/2020 at 07:30:16
It was mentioned on the live forum about the timing of Liverpool's subs. I thought the new rule allowed 5 subs at 3 different times in the game. Liverpool used theirs at 4 separate times.
Ian Jones
122 Posted 22/06/2020 at 07:37:09
Follow up to the above post. Apparently, half time doesn't count as a stoppage so a sub can come on then and it does not count as one of the three 'sub' points.
Martin Mason
123 Posted 22/06/2020 at 07:45:14
I believe that what these closed-doors games have shown is that modern football needs a crowd to make it watchable.

For me, it was a very good Everton performance but we have a couple of positions that are weak and unlikely to be filled with anybody who can progress us to top 6 level. What an advantage to have somebody like De Bruyne or Mane playing for you?

Derek Knox
125 Posted 22/06/2020 at 07:59:23
Ian @121,&122, I didn't notice about the RS's substitute timings to be honest, but you have raised a point, which I hope either yourself or someone can answer. Is this 5 subs, at 3 different times going to be a thing of the future or is it a temporary measure?

Getting back to the game, it showed in spades yesterday how much we need midfield reinforcements in the Transfer Window, when that will be I don't know. More especially a midfield dynamo and orchestrator, although Gomes and Davies did show glimpses in the final minutes.

Annika Herbert
126 Posted 22/06/2020 at 08:05:58
Ajay @119.

Sorry but I have to disagree with your suggestion of putting Sigurdsson on the right of midfield. Apart from the fact that he has been crap all season, why would you place just about our slowest player wide right?

I don't want to see Walcott anywhere near the team either, stick with Gordon and give him some experience.

A decent, hard-fought-for point in the end, though. Davies, Holgate and Coleman were standouts for me.

Derek Knox
127 Posted 22/06/2020 at 08:16:52
Meant to add to my previous post, how disappointed I have been with Iwobi. We paid way over the top for him in the fist place, which is a black mark on Marcel Brands's report card.

He hardly touched the ball during the game yesterday yet remained on the pitch up until the last 2 minutes. I have utmost respect for Carlo, and I know he was limited with options, but he wants to have a serious word with Iwobi.

Okay everybody was a bit rusty, but even allowing for that, there was very little commitment.

Sam Hoare
128 Posted 22/06/2020 at 08:31:44
A lot of people down on Iwobi but it's worth saying that he was practically playing at right-wingback in order to help combat Mane. This was a tactic that Carlo used at Napoli to beat the RS and he did the same here.

Not saying Iwobi played well but he was required to play so deep, basically as a right-wingback when he's best as a right-wingback or attacking centre-midfielder.

He worked hard in helping deny Mane space and seldom lost the ball while creating an opening or two. Not sure he deserves the pile on.

Rob Halligan
129 Posted 22/06/2020 at 08:37:07
Ian, # 121 / 122. Liverpool made their four subs at three different stages. The first one In the first half when Gomez replaced Milner. Then in the second half at the 65th minute they replaced Firmino and Keita with Origi and Wijnaldum, then in the 73rd minute Lovren came on for Matip. So they made the four subs in three stages.
Ian Jones
130 Posted 22/06/2020 at 08:41:27
Rob, and the one you missed...

Oxlade-Chamberlain at half-time.

Rob Halligan
131 Posted 22/06/2020 at 08:49:07
Sorry Ian, yeah, forgot about Oxlade-Chamberlain. The half-time change does not count towards one of the three stages. So they made five substitutions? Jeez, I'm even confusing myself now.
Ian Jones
132 Posted 22/06/2020 at 08:52:01
Derek, I hope the 5 subs isn't a permanent fixture next season, just a one-off for the end of this season. I think I read somewhere that four Premier League teams were against the move.

Can you imagine a lesser talented team, or a team with less resources, keeping one of the top teams such as Man City at bay, then being faced with Fernandinho, Foden, Bernardo Silva, Aguero and Rodri as replacements?

Ian Jones
133 Posted 22/06/2020 at 08:53:36
Apols, in the above comment...I mean 4 teams were against the move..
Robert Tressell
134 Posted 22/06/2020 at 08:58:22
Agree that the comments are harsh on Iwobi. Gordon too. Hard to expect either of them to set the world alight.

It was a horrible game to have to play first. Disappointing not to win but a relief not to lose.

We have a few more games to come now where Iwobi and Gordon will have more freedom to express themselves. Hopefully Davies will benefit from a proper run in the side too in the same way Calvert-Lewin has prospered.

Darren Hind
135 Posted 22/06/2020 at 08:59:57
Iwobi created an opening or two ?... Staggering statement.

A case can always be made when for a guy who is being played out of position, but I can make no case for a guy who played the entire 90 on his heels.

Did nobody ever tell this guy that you should ALWAYS expect the ball? Every time the ball comes near him (no matter what position he is playing), he is slow to react.

That attempted I've-never-played-the-game-before hook where he sent the ball 20 yards back towards our goal in the first half is just about as bad as professional football gets. If a fella did that having a kick about with his kids in Wally Hall Park, his kids would have slaughtered him.

Joe McMahon
136 Posted 22/06/2020 at 09:00:25
Sam, correct; Iwobi got plenty of abuse in the live forum. He really wasn't that bad.
Joe McMahon
137 Posted 22/06/2020 at 09:05:42
Forgot to add, the stand-outs as I saw them: Seamus, Davies and I thought Micheal Keane had a good game.
Mike Doyle
138 Posted 22/06/2020 at 09:08:50
Like Sam #128, I think credit is due to Iwobi for performing an unfamiliar role to help the team – and performing it well.

Liverpool under Klopp have been rightly praised for their fitness and conditioning, so I was surprised how we looked the stronger/ fitter of the sides in the closing stages.

Overall though – an odd spectacle to watch.

Eddie Dunn
139 Posted 22/06/2020 at 09:22:23
I was utterly amazed at just how quick Seamus Coleman was. I honestly thought he was never going to get back to his former self but he was tremendous, marshalling Mane, who is their most dangerous player.

A good solid performance from us.

Michael Lynch
140 Posted 22/06/2020 at 09:22:32
I expected a hammering, but I thought the RS were insipid and uninspired, and we produced a Carlo masterclass to grind out a nil-nil. Having said that, if we'd lost 1-0, I would have been fuming at our negativity, so it was a risk but that's what managers are paid for.

If we'd have won, would it have been deserved? Well, as Carra said (incredibly), it probably would have been, because we carved out the best chances and that's what football is all about – end product, not possession. Since we didn't take our chances, then a draw was about fair.

I think football without crowds is unsustainable in the medium term. If we can't find a way to get the fans back in the grounds, then next season should be delayed or scrapped. Having said that, a part of me loved watching the boys in blue play again. I even watched MotD.

Football, it fucks you up.

Brent Stephens
141 Posted 22/06/2020 at 09:54:16
Michael #140 "Football, it fucks you up". Just like parents!

A word on Iwobi: I wouldn't rate him as having a great game but it must be frustrating for players to be played out of position and / or being asked to do a job they might not normally do. I'm not a great fan if Sigurdsson but he's had to suffer a lot of this at Goodison Park. The lads did probably the best they could last night.

Seamus, I love you.

Andy Crooks
142 Posted 22/06/2020 at 10:05:00
Our best opportunity came when Richarlison failed to square the ball to the unmarked Iwobi. He tried an attempt from an impossible angle instead. A goal for Iwobi might well have transformed him.

Such are the small incidents that change a season.

Colin Glassar
143 Posted 22/06/2020 at 10:14:05
Into something resembling a footballer, Andy? I’ll believe it when I see it.
Simon Jones
144 Posted 22/06/2020 at 10:38:28
That was "Rope-a-Dope" football and we nearly nicked it. I actually feel unlucky not to have won 2-0.

Davies and Coleman looked nothing like the much criticised players they are on TW. I wonder if the lack of a crowd actually helped Davies?

All the teams will be a bit rusty and the players lack a bit of sharpness, but I thought we looked fitter and better organised. Without the enforced break, I strongly suspect the Dark Side would have twatted us three months ago.

Dave Williams
145 Posted 22/06/2020 at 11:29:44
Carlo looked at his resources and adopted a game plan around what he had.

With Gomes a good way off his best coming back from injury and Bernard likely to get muscled out of it, he accepted that we wouldn't get control of midfield... so we would be solid, organised, deny them space and see if we could nick a goal.

Against Chelsea, we crumbled and gave their midfield way too much room. Yesterday, they had no gaps to exploit. The back four kept shape, covered each other and didn't dive in. Holgate in particular is continuing to grow into a top-class centre-back.

The midfield was outplayed for the first 70 minutes but again kept shape and didn't allow them to create. Tom had a very decent game though Gomes is some way off match sharpness as would be expected.

Iwobi was awful?? Not for me. He is a Number 10 who played right-wingback (would he have started if Sidibé had been fit?) and he played with discipline and stuck to his task of giving Seamus cover. Has he justified his transfer fee? Absolutely not… but he played to orders and did a decent enough job.

Some good signs from Gordon and he has to have more starts to get to grips with the speed of thought in the first-team games – he looks very promising. The two lads up front are a handful for anyone and once we get a decent midfield they will get even better.

Norwich will be a big test this week as we will be expected to beat them and attack rather than contain. Midfield is our main problem with a lack of real aggression and genuine creativity but, as someone posted above, Carlo has to be given the opportunity to work in the transfer market. It is clear to everyone that we need three midfield players who between them can compete and create in any company and I see this as far more urgent than any other position.

Yesterday, we played with some determination and grit with a well-devised and executed plan. Attractive it wasn't... but I wanted to avoid defeat so, for me, job done – and show some attacking intent on Wednesday.
Well done as far as I am concerned!

Steve Brown
146 Posted 22/06/2020 at 11:45:47
Sam @ 128, agree. Granted he didn't have a great game, but he was playing out of position and put a shift in. That being said, never let it be said that we miss an opportunity to pile into a young player!

Ray Jacques
147 Posted 22/06/2020 at 11:53:16
Some great opinions on here as usual, although I don't agree with many of them!

Honestly, who would have settled for a point before the game? I know I would.

The guys who think we should be beating Liverpool at present need to get a dose of reality. Not expecting it to happen does not make you less of a supporter, just a realist at this time.

We now have a 'proper' manager, so give this man 3 or 4 years to build his team and then we can hopefully expect to beat the horrible bastards on a regular basis.

Christine Foster
148 Posted 22/06/2020 at 12:22:03
I thought young Gordon learnt a lot from the game, the speed of decision making and lack of time on the ball mostly. He got shut down so quick he looked naive. It depends on how quickly he can adapt (or not).

It wasn't a great game but personally I enjoy watching the Blues but got frustrated by poor play. We gave the ball away too much, lacked pace and thrust but, when we eventually did step up a gear, we almost scored. I might add how many times have I seen the red lot do the same to us and nick it at the end?

In three years time, we will be chasing silverware... but not with many of this team. Over to you, Carlo!

John McFarlane Snr
149 Posted 22/06/2020 at 12:23:12
Hi Kieran [112],

Experience has taught me that anything can happen in a game of football, and I learned that lesson early in my years of supporting Everton. If your theory is correct, I would imagine that the standards present day Blues would be hoping to emulate, would centre around the sides of the 60s and 80s.

In my younger days we would defend our club passionately, and leave the criticism to our friends from across the park. I appreciate that the game, and attitudes have changed over the years, but I think there is still room for a more constructive outlook and exchange of opinions.

Conor McCourt
150 Posted 22/06/2020 at 13:00:50
I just want to touch on Iwobi because I believe there has been a lot of strange arguments made on his behalf. Last night I thought that he stuck to his task well and at times supported Seamus in coping with the threat of Mane especially in that first half.

However again his overall performance was very poor and he looks a player totally devoid of confidence. I think Sam has given him too much credit as Seamus largely dealt with him and I believe his selection was based on dealing with the threat of Robertson's energy which never materialised due to injury. It must be said that himself and Gordon were more effective imo in compensating for the lack of pace of the midfield boys and closing the spaces there.

Again his performance has been attributed to playing out of position yet he has played that role more in his career than the attacking central position which many believe is his best. Indeed up until the 2017-18 season he primarily played there. In addition Alex has all the attributes to perform a more disciplined role than one designed to get at the full back. He has the strength, energy, discipline and intelligence to suit playing that role very effectively.

Again many believe misguidedly that he is a number ten due to the fact his main weapon is his vision and has decent stats for assists and second assists. Alex has been tried there over and again for Arsenal yet had settled on him as a left winger due to his lack of impact. Even when Ozil was struggling badly they didn't think he had the imagination or threat to play there.

I really hope that over the rest of the season that Carlo will experiment with a diamond due to the lack of widemen available and to see how Alex would fare in a three where we could get more out of his undoubted vision with those little clever slide passes he would play for Arsenal. If he proves unable to play in a three or even centrally in a two then we should really look to cash in because he will be of no benefit to us going forward and especially under this manager's preferred system.

Darren Hind
151 Posted 22/06/2020 at 13:01:02
"Never let it be said that we missed an opportunity to pile into a young player."

Iwobi's 24 FFS. Hes played well over a hundred games for one of the biggest clubs in Europe... When does he stop being a young player?

If he came through our academy, he would already have suffered 6/7 years of proper abuse, not a little bit of criticism on a website which he will probably never know about.

For £30million, we are entitled to expect a little more than anonymity.

Dan Nulty
152 Posted 22/06/2020 at 13:11:35
I'm not really sure what you expect of Iwobi. He has come from a side with 3 in the centre of midfield where most of the time he touched the ball he tried to do something forward looking and dangerous whilst his team mates wanted to just keep the ball and pass it into the back of the net.

We on the other hand play 2 in the middle (and therefore going to have less possession) where Gomes who is the only one there who is capable of keeping the ball regularly but needs legs and ability around him. When you look at who we have in the middle of the park it is no wonder we don't see the best of Iwobi. What we did see from him yesterday was a disciplined defensive performance. If you look at the first half, Keita kept on getting between Davies and Iwobi and was in acres of space but fortunately Liverpool seemed obsessed with attacking down their right. After half time, Iwobi moved back and tucked in to cover that threat and largely nullified it.

We will see more of an attacking threat from him once we have the ability to keep possession and build play giving him time to push on. Perhaps against worse sides than Liverpool we won't have to set up for the counter attack. Shows the gulf between us that we have to do that at home. But Liverpool don't half push their full backs on and their pressing game is better than City's this season which I think is the difference.

The largest concern to me is the goal kicks. I am yet to see the benefit of having the centre back receive the ball right next to the goalkeeper as essentially one Liverpool player can close down both the centre back and the goal keeper meaning we have no player free. Flipping suicide.

Conor McCourt
153 Posted 22/06/2020 at 13:26:33
Dan @152- "I'm not really sure what you expect from Iwobi". I wil tell you that I don't expect a young lad who has made a handful of appearances to carry out an unfamiliar defensive strategy as equally as diligently as a player with Premier League, Champions League and International experience and look far more accomplished and comfortable in possession when given the opportunity.

Of all the arguments put forward in complementing Alex defensive responsibilities the same applied to young Anthony. Yet he performed with considerably more authority even though it was a tough game for him to be given his head.

Jason Li
154 Posted 22/06/2020 at 13:33:57
Ronaldo used to get clattered at Utd when he first arrived, took near two years to be a Prem player. Gordan will have learnt a lot playing against a top right back yesterday.

Positives: Liverpool players looked like they were huffing and puffing around 75 minutes, imagine without 5 subs?

I suspect a few have been ran into the ground by Klopp, and many of their star performers are nearing 30. Where as we have our best players under the age of 26 in the main.

2 good transfers in this summer, 2 more in next summer - Brands is right and we can recreate how PSV took over Ajax hopefully, but for the Prem.

George Carroll
155 Posted 22/06/2020 at 13:41:08
It never fails to amaze me how many fans missed their vocation and should have been top managers. They can judge a player better than our Manager or the Director of Football and yet never even played top class football.

But yes, it's the right of all to have an opinion but let's not be so dogmatic. We have seen our team gain a draw against the best team in the league and you don't do that without everyone pulling their weight.

Could we not get behind the lads and forget about pulling certain players to pieces? But I suppose that's too much to wish for…

Steve Brown
156 Posted 22/06/2020 at 14:01:03
Darren, you have stood out to my mind in backing the younger players when they were getting savaged on here. For me that applies to them all, whether we bought them or developed them. It's not the fault of Iwobi or Kean that Everton decided to pay big money for them.

This a young team and they all need backing - At 24 years & 356 days, Everton's youngest starting line-up for a league game against Liverpool since February 1986. - plus we will be pissing another 45 million away of these two lads fail.

The older players on the other hand who have fleeced this club in the last few years and got away with murder while the youngsters should have been looking to them for leadership? Fill your boots.

John McFarlane Snr
157 Posted 22/06/2020 at 14:03:35
Hi George [155],

I'm afraid that the gift of knowing all there is to know about football is not just confined to supporters. There are pundits, led by Roy Keane in particular, who with the benefit of hindsight rip players to shreds, for making the mistakes that they themselves made during their careers, or maybe I've got it wrong and they were infallible.

I echo your request regarding supporters doing what they should do, and that is 'support' any player who represents Everton FC. Then again maybe that's gone out of fashion, and my values are outdated.

Gavin Johnson
158 Posted 22/06/2020 at 14:05:32
Personally, I don't particularly rate Iwobi and was surprised we bought him. Some people brought up good stats in why Brands might have bought him but, let's face it, if we hadn't have signed him, we could buy Lozano or Everton Soares who look much more accomplished playing on the left side.

We can still buy one of the aforementioned but really need a naturally right-sided player now after signing Iwobi, and they aren't it, and neither is Iwobi. I see Iwobi playing as a No 10, or even a No 8 if he was playing alongside a mobile, defensive player like Gana, or Allan.

Brian Wilkinson
159 Posted 22/06/2020 at 14:48:00
Can I just add a thought on people who have commented on Iwobi playing out of position and stating it is not his fault, playing in an unfamiliar role.

I want to know hand on heart if the same people gave Martina as much slack with being played as a left back instead of his favoured right back spot, we can all argue we had Coleman cementing the right berth over the years, but so was Leighton Baines on he left.

I personally thought we made worse signings than Martina, and he did ok, who knows what we might have seen, had he played at right back
Truth is for all the stick Martina got, he never once got to play on the right

we have never saw Martina played in his favoured role as a right footed defender so for that reason, I will not put him down as deadwood to be removed, he will leave On a free, but give the guy some slack when we do release him.

Jeff Spiers
160 Posted 22/06/2020 at 14:50:09
Still can't get my head around the fact that protestors can herd in their thousands, reek havoc and the Police stand off. Football supporters cannot attend a game. One group can flaunt Covid laws. The rest of us have the law in our faces dishing out fines with over the top menace when we dare venture outside. Double standards by a weak Government and Police Authorities.
Conor McCourt
161 Posted 22/06/2020 at 14:52:45
George 155- I think a rather nonsensical argument in getting behind the team when my first post on this thread did exactly that and praised everyone for their effort in securing a deserved point.

Many fans were debating Alex contribution as his performance has split opinions. I took exception to the myth that many posters offered up in that he was being played out of position and the reason why I put my two pennies worth was to attempt to correct what I perceived as misinformation.

I acknowledged the role he played defensively and in helping the midfield and he certainly played his part but we are certainly not getting the best from him since he arrived and all would love to see more.

As for your argument that the manager knows best well he has not showed much faith in the player and possibly only played him due to the absence of Sidibe and Walcott who he has habitually preferred as well as Bernard on the left.

Now you are articulating that Everton fans need to have been top class players to judge a footballer. On a football forum really? And particularly one where we get to share our passion and dreams for our club with like minded individuals because we weren't good enough to make those reality? I certainly wasn't anywhere near the level of Carlo or even Marcel but I did play at a similar level as Seamus did in Ireland when I was 18 so whether that makes my opinion any less or more valid in your elitist hierarchical view I'm not sure. Nor should it on a fans site.

Paul Tran
162 Posted 22/06/2020 at 14:53:14
Iwobi was an okay player in a, by their standards, struggling Arsenal team. When we bought him, I thought Silva & Brands must have an idea of what they were going to do with him. 10 months on, I'm still waiting to find out what that is.

He worked his socks off yesterday, while offering little up front. You could argue that he took one for the team, but he's increasingly looking like another Brands peripheral signings, who might be a good player with solid players around him.

I wonder if Brands's kitchen has lots of expensive cutlery and no plates?

Kevin Molloy
163 Posted 22/06/2020 at 15:03:34
The main thing I take from yesterday is that Carlo ain't here for a slippers-up coast to Allardyce-like riches. For him to match the best team in the world at effectively a neutral venue with that squad, just shows his quality as a coach, And we were a whisker away from winning it. Bravo.
Conor McCourt
164 Posted 22/06/2020 at 15:06:22
Paul I think he's got all the cutlery and the plates in the world, I think he's forgotten to go shopping for the food (the substance).
Bill Gall
165 Posted 22/06/2020 at 15:09:28
The one thing that upsets me is the people who jump on the results from the derby games with how many years it is since Everton won one, that sounds like we have lost them all.

Yesterday was an unusual game with no crowd, no games being played for a couple of months, and players only being able to practice and plan their tactics over a small period of time. This made a draw inevitable.

Of the 2 teams, Everton deserve the major credits as they were playing the alleged best team in Europe who play at a high intensity and have been scoring for fun. Everton, on the other hand, have been adapting under a new manager who was trying to reach the highest position as possible till the end of season, working with players he has only had since December and a couple of months was missed since the pandemic.

This game came down to tactics and Everton's manager knew they could not go all out for a win and leave themselves open so he formed a defensively tactical game that involved all players. Some played better than others but this is a team sport and, as a team, Everton played their planned game perfectly.

Even if you win 4-0 in a game, there are some players who perform poorly but, as long as they contribute to the game plan, they will have played their part. I doubt if you ever get a game that all 11 players are Man of the Match; some play great, some play good, and 1 or 2 are average. As a team yesterday, Everton played well and deserved more than they got, but it seems you have to be in the top 4 to get the luck for extra points.

Paul Tran
166 Posted 22/06/2020 at 15:15:26
Hahaha, Conor, I'm not going for a metaphor war! I'm agreeing with you that Brands buys the peripheral players, without buying the solid ones that knit the team together.

We need that solid centre midfielder as soon as possible.

Kieran Kinsella
167 Posted 22/06/2020 at 15:15:59

Agreed. It's obvious Carlo is a real football man. In a sense he reminds me of Jack Charlton in his self-deprecating humor and honesty. I certainly don't think he's here just for the payday.

Sam Hoare
168 Posted 22/06/2020 at 15:26:21
Conor @150 "Again his performance has been attributed to playing out of position yet he has played that role more in his career than the attacking central position which many believe is his best."

This is not quite true though. He has played a lot of games as a right-winger (25 games) but very few as a right-midfielder (1 game), which is where he played last night with a lot more defensive responsibility. The significant majority of his career has been spent playing at left-wing (61 games).

His stats are better when playing off the left or in the middle.

Jay Harris
169 Posted 22/06/2020 at 15:37:53
The Good:
Ancellotti 10/10 for his tactics given the paucity of our squad.

Kudos to Seamus for leading by example and showing the grot and determination sadly lacking in most of this squad.

Credit to Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin for working their bollocks off and almost wrapping the game up for us.

The defense looked organised and disciplined and The "loony" looked calm and collected in goal.

The Bad:
Why oh why can't we keep hold of the ball and be available for each other's passes. I know the RS press hard but anyone with an ounce of football brain knows just pass it behind them.

Central midfield still looks a major concern and is definitely the weakest link.

The Frustrating:
Why oh why did Tom not put his laces through that ball instead of trying to place it.

John Boon
170 Posted 22/06/2020 at 15:52:41
Sometimes you just have to be satisfied with what you get. We cannot always expect to be over the moon with a performance. This was a weird game, played at a weird time in a season that really finished months ago. I have watched some or all of every Premier game since we restarted and have obviously been neutral on all the other games.

None of the games have been spectacular. In fact, only Man City looked like a half-decent team; mainly because they are the still the best team to watch in the Premier League. From now until the end of the season I consider that we are playing eight games that should give our manager some insight into just what we need. Other than that the games are almost meaningless.

It has taken me 80 years to eventually become a patient and realistic Evertonian. I have seen the best and endured the worst. I always want to win, but sometimes have to be satisfied with what we get. I can accept Sunday's result even though I would have liked more. Also, this is just not the time to rip players apart just to satisfy frustration. For all, it was just like the first game of the season.

Raymond Fox
171 Posted 22/06/2020 at 15:54:17
Credit where it's due, that was a point I didn't see coming.

We know we don't have a great team that's lacking in star quality, so you have to be satisfied with a point gained.

If you are playing better sides, you have to find a way to get something out of the game.

Conor McCourt
172 Posted 22/06/2020 at 16:00:11
Sam your argument makes no sense to me. He began his career as a right midfielder and don't tell me he never played in a four at youth or senior level even during games. I thought the defensive aspect to his game last night was his strength and his game is probably suited to that role more than an out and out winger.

Yes Emery believed he was best from the left wing also but how well as he done there for us this season? Was there a significant difference in his form from playing left wing under Silva to left midfield under Ancelotti?

If you are arguing he did a diligent job for the team I'm in total agreement with that. But I can't agree his lack of quality was due to him being hampered by Ancelotti's tactics.

Jason Li
173 Posted 22/06/2020 at 16:30:05
Richarlison scared them to death yesterday, they were always hacking him down. Did much more than the much-fawned Firmino.

Imagine if Firmino played like Richarlison for them, we would have been worried sick all match, and Sky would have done a full highlights reel 5 times over.

We can go out in matches knowing we have one of the best players in the world on the planet now, and he is an Evertonian. We saw enough yesterday to confirm how good Richarlison is.

Yes, one moment he could have passed to Iwobi, but maybe he's scored a lot of goals from there in training, and so took it on with his confidence this season.

Sam Hoare
174 Posted 22/06/2020 at 16:52:32
Conor, I don't know where he played for youth teams but the stats show that he's been played mainly at left wing and then at AMC and right wing at senior level. History shows he is least productive on the right.

Last night he was asked to do alot more defensive work and play at right midfield, which is not a role he has played in often at all at senior level. Whether it suits his skills is debatable, I'd say he does his best work in the final third with the ball at his feet.

All I said previously was I think he did ok considering he was not playing in his best or usual position. Not sure what is non-sensical about that.

Jay Harris
175 Posted 22/06/2020 at 17:53:58

I don't think last night was about individual players. I think collectively they did a job which was what Carlo wanted.

I think like all of us he can see where the weaknesses are and will plan to improve the quality to the required level.

For me, it's goalscoring and grit in midfield which has been our Achilles heel for a long time but, at this stage, I think it's pointless to look at individuals.

Ian Bennett
176 Posted 22/06/2020 at 18:14:03
I wonder if Souness thought it was high feet on Calvert-Lewin's header? Course he didn't.
Conor McCourt
177 Posted 22/06/2020 at 18:34:26
Sam, the nonsensical part for me is that I disagree with those stats. You made the point that he has played only one game there in his career which I am totally disputing. These famous stats that told us to part with £26 million for Alex are now telling us that he can't show for the ball or be brave on it because he is least effective on the right.

Alex began as a right midfielder but you are professing he doesn't know how to play there because Arsene and Unai preferred a different system even though I'm sure I've seen him do so on numerous occasions both starting and during games. Unai particularly changed three or four systems within a game.

I know Denis Irwin played right-back, left-back and right-midfield but thank God he didn't play today as not sure he could have coped playing right-wingback since the stats show he didn't play there his entire career.

Derek Knox
178 Posted 22/06/2020 at 18:53:52
Paul T @162, when we first got Iwobi I was initially quite happy, until I found out how much we had paid Arsenal for him. He started with a few half decent displays, the seems to have got worse, mind you playing out of position doesn't help.

I can understand that playing out of position you are not going to be at your best, but it's his work rate or lack of it that gets me, and that is nothing to do with playing out of position. Besides that his passing is verging on suicidal and half hearted at times, not referring to yesterday by the way.

Sam Hoare
179 Posted 22/06/2020 at 18:57:15
Conor, Iwobi may well have played more than 90 minutes at right-midfield. But it's pretty clearly not his favoured or best or most frequently played position.

If you think every player should be as versatile or talented as Dennis Irwin, then you're gonna be disappointed!

Paul Tran
180 Posted 22/06/2020 at 19:03:19
Derek #178, I find it hard to judge Iwobi, because I'm not actually sure what he's meant to be doing and, to be fair, I don't think he's had a run of games to really bed in.

He worked his socks off yesterday doing a lot of donkey work. Like for a lot of our players, Wednesday will be a different kind of test if he's picked, in some respects a more difficult one.

Christy Ring
181 Posted 22/06/2020 at 19:16:52
We all have different opinions on Iwobi. I said it last night, I thought he was a total passenger on the right, and don't know how he stayed on as long as he did. How many times did he give the ball away, and some opinions that he worked his socks off, he made Joe Gomez look like a left-winger. I know he spent most of his career on the left, but for £30M, I expected a lot more.
Ryan Holroyd
182 Posted 22/06/2020 at 19:19:56
Iwobi stayed on because he was doing the job the manager asked him to do.
Dave Abrahams
183 Posted 22/06/2020 at 19:25:39
Brian (159), I‘d say Martina turned out many times at right-back, possibly more times than he turned out at left-back. In both positions, he wasn't much help to the team, and at £30,000 per week, he was very overpaid, and still getting it!!!

He must have a cracking agent, he certainly had a very good friend in Koeman who gave him that contract... come to think of it, maybe Koeman was his agent.

Derek Knox
184 Posted 22/06/2020 at 20:17:17
Dave @183, I have to agree there, we have had some donkeys over the years, but he has to be one of the worst. (Cuco Martina) He probably did better out of position at emergency left back, than he did on the right.

Why he was given that length of Con-trick is beyond belief, but a good point you make in Koeman possibly being his agent. He did more damage to us than Blofeld, Goldfinger and all the Comic Villains put together.

Darren Hind
185 Posted 22/06/2020 at 20:24:11

I will continue to back youngsters no matter where they are from, but you are very very wrong to suggest it doesn't matter where they come from.

Players coming through our academy don't cost £30M. They cost little or nothing. If anything, they save the club money... fortunes. The idiots who constantly bash away at them throughout their teens and early twenties demonstrate a rare level of stupidity.

Right now, Tom Davies is getting it, despite the fact that we have around half a billion quids worth of expensive flops. There are some people on here who cannot resist singling him out. I could name them. When he has proved all those hopeless judges wrong, they will no doubt turn their attentions to Young Gordon or Baningime.

I won't ever batter youngsters. I will say if I don't think a player is good enough and leave it there. I don't see any mileage at all in coming back time again sneering "crap". "Championship at best"..."Couldn't hit a cow's arse with a banjo"

That's because I understand that these kids are in their formative years. Possibly the most crucial stage of their careers. Iwobi does not fit into this category. He is 24 and while all players should still have plenty of improvement in them at 24, they are past the apprenticeship stage. They should be getting close to being consummate professionals

I didn't come on here to hammer Iwobi, in fact I hadn't even mentioned him, but there was a little bit of nonsense starting to surface about his performance last night. Claims which I thought should be challenged. Like the suggestion that he had played a large part in nullifying Mane. That's not what I saw. Time and again, he was able to attack Seamus. It was almost a duel at times. One which Seamus thankfully won – hands down.

Then there was the claim that he had created 1-2 openings... Utter bollocks designed to make him (a Brands signing) look better than he is/was.

I'm telling you right now that Iwobi will never be a £30M player, in any position. He simply doesn't have the tools... But that's not his fault and it doesn't mean I will hold last night's unproductive performance against him.

I will be cheering him on next time he plays. I will be first in line to congratulate him and give him due credit if he plays well. If he scores, I will jump for joy.

Mike Gaynes
188 Posted 22/06/2020 at 21:00:18
Dave #183 and DK #184, Brian is more correct than incorrect at #159. Martina has turned out 28 times for Everton. Only 7 were at RB, his normal position.

That's not quite "never" as Brian claims, but it's a fact that 3/4ths of his appearances for us were in a position he had never played before in his life, either for club or country (he plays centre-back for Curacao), before coming to Everton.

Obviously, the salary was/is ridiculous, but I wouldn't call him a donkey or one of our worst -- Cuco gave 100% every minute on the pitch and had a couple of very good games, which is more than we can say of Besic, for example. I remember particularly an elegant assist on one of Niasse's rare goals, against Palace.

And I agree with Brian that we should definitely cut him some slack when he leaves. But I doubt most here will do that.

Dave Abrahams
194 Posted 22/06/2020 at 21:27:04
Mike (188), fair enough, you can cut him as much slack as you like. Wherever he played, to me, he wasn't very good at all. An elegant pass in one game out of 35 and two very good games, well I don't remember them, Mike, to be honest, but I know you so I'll take your word.

I did see him play a few very embarrassing games and he was a very poor player in my opinion. I doubt very much if the opinion of any Evertonian will upset him. He will look back on his time with the club for many years to come and laugh his head off at the money he was paid while he was here.

Dan Nulty
195 Posted 22/06/2020 at 21:36:36
Connor, can I suggest you watch that first half again and tell me that young Gordon played well defensively or looked comfortable in possession? Other than that 1 backheel to Richarlison I'd say Gordon looked exactly like what he was. A young lad on debut thrown in against a class side. I'm glad for him there wasn't a crowd because I can only think he'd have been more nervous.

I'm not criticising Gordon, just your take on it! Iwobi and probably Gordon are being asked to do something that in my opinion they are not bought for or playing in a position/style/quality of team that will get the best out of them. It is the exact same thing as when we bought Rooney, Klaassen and Sigurdsson to all play in the same position. I am presuming that Iwobi was bought with a plan but with Gbamin being the supposed replacement for Gueye and Davies not at that level Ancelotti is having to make do with what he has got for now.

I just don't see how people can criticise players that are being asked to do something and play in positions that come completely unnatural to them. It isn't their fault, it is ours for our rubbish buying strategy yet again! I am praying that Ancelotti holds some serious sway around what he wants this summer.

Conor McCourt
196 Posted 22/06/2020 at 21:38:23
Sam, I don't wish to go back and forward so this will be my last word. A 4-3-3 system under Wenger and Emery are totally different. Granted under Arsene, Iwobi would be mainly an attacking threat but under Unai that job was totally different.

Many of the Arsenal fans wanted the manager sacked because he set up the team to combat the opposition, ie, he didn't understand the Arsenal philosophy. Emery often left Ozil and Lacazette up and fans were annoyed because Aubameyang their most dangerous player was spending too much time tracking back. It's a necessity for an Emery wide player to do both sides of the game. This season Pepe was dropped for not doing his defensive duties and was out of the team for weeks because Emery couldn't trust him.

If you haven't seen Iwobi work defensively for his team before last night, then you must have not watched him closely at Arsenal. Last night was nothing new to him and he has even performed a similar job for us on the right against Arsenals Saka though he was dropped because he was at fault for Nketiah's goal.

If you don't think that's his position because he is better going forward then you seem as confused as many others including Carlo to where to play him. If he can't do that job on the right because it doesn't play to his strengths, then he can't do it on the left and he won't change the two boys up top so he can't play as a ten. Carlo therefore needs then to change system to accommodate him.

Conor McCourt
198 Posted 22/06/2020 at 21:58:27
Dan I'm not really saying that Gordon was excellent but I definitely think he outperformed Iwobi. I think for a young man he acquitted himself well and never hid in that type of arena and was a lot braver than the former Arsenal man.

I agree with much of your argument regarding Alex but you can't blame others when Silva gave him plenty of opportunities as a left attacker that he didn't shine. I saw him at 17 when at the same level as Gnabry and he looked a talent. I don't think he has shown progression and continues to frustrate more than he excites. That's why I want to see him in a midfield three.

Sam Hoare
202 Posted 22/06/2020 at 22:20:37
Conor @196, agreed, I'll let this one go now! And agree that Iwobi's best position does not fit into Carlo's current setup which is why I suspect he may not last the course.

I never suggested that he's never had to do any defending at Arsenal. Of course he has! But look at his average position map last night and you'll see he is almost as deep as Digne and way deeper than Gordon. He was effectively playing RWB, a tactic that Ancelloti also used at Napoli.

If you can find more than a handful of position maps with him that deep at Arsenal I'll be very surprised.

John Pierce
209 Posted 22/06/2020 at 22:46:47
I for one cannot see any difference in Iwobi's performance compared to Gordon, Gomes or Davies and for that matter when Sigurdsson and Bernard came on.

The tactics were clear that they, the midfield, were there to protect and plug gaps, there was barely a prolonged attacking movement with the ball other than long direct balls towards our two better players.

So why is Iwobi getting the majority of the stick?

Different tactics Wednesday and we should have most of the ball, I expect Midfield to play a prominent part, perhaps fairer to judge them all then, rather than getting stuck in when it is clear the instructions were to sit and protect. It was proper catenaccio.

Darren Hind
217 Posted 23/06/2020 at 05:15:51
"So why is Iwobi getting the majority of the stick?"

He isn't... At least he wasn't until the cavalry arrived to save him from a fate worse than death.

After well over a hundred posts, Iwobi had barely warranted a mention. 2-3 had people criticised his performance – which is staggering when you consider his poor performance. The debate about our missed chances ensured he had gone under the radar. He had gotten away very lightly with really substandard effort.

Those making daft claims defending him were the ones who put him in the spotlight on this thread.

Darren Hind
218 Posted 23/06/2020 at 05:35:58
And what's all this "He was playing out of position" lark?

Today's game is a tactical one. Every player is asked to play out of position at some stage. That doesn't mean they should lose the ability to do the basics, like make a simple pass and work hard. Tom Davies has played in 5-6 different positions (despite being younger than Iwobi) but I have never yet heard any of his critics make provisions for him.

Ancelotti set us up with two rigid banks of four. He challenged the RS to break us down. When we got the ball, we went long... very long. It was a formation which I agreed with (just this once) because it gave us our best chance of winning...

But let's be clear here, this was no Italian master-class. No clever tactics. It was about as primitive as football gets and it should have simplified the game for everyone in a blue shirt. No matter where they were playing.

Jeff Spiers
219 Posted 23/06/2020 at 07:16:30
Michael @140. A footnote to my thought on depopulation. YouTube Dr Vernon Coleman, Dr Rashid Buttah. I'm not trying to wreck your brain. Just listen with an open mind. Debunk it all as shite, no problem. Stay on the excursion.
Tony Abrahams
220 Posted 23/06/2020 at 08:19:02
You surprise me John P, if you didn’t see a difference between Davies and Gomes, trying to show for the ball, and Iwobi, who didn’t want the ball.

I’m not criticising Iwobi, I think it’s the most thankless task in football, playing out-wide in a 4-4-2, but he’s got to be braver if he’s got any chance of becoming the player that he could be, but it won’t be as a right or left midfielder, because you can see he doesn’t have much desire, when he’s played in this position.

Paul Tran
221 Posted 23/06/2020 at 08:21:04
Jeff #219, interesting guy, Vernon Coleman. Really like his book How to Stop Your Doctor Killing You. Talks a lot of sense about how, all too often, medicine is run by and for major pharma companies.

I'd say he often goes right off the scale, but his heart's in the right place and I'd say there's a grain of truth in most of what he says. Refreshingly maverick man who is worth checking out.

Jeff Spiers
222 Posted 23/06/2020 at 09:21:05
Paul@221. Spot on mate, Cheers. Stay healthy
Jeff Spiers
223 Posted 23/06/2020 at 09:36:18
Paul. Try Carl Vernon.
George Carroll
224 Posted 23/06/2020 at 11:18:42
Conor (161),

Sorry, I only just read your views of my post. To be honest, I was fed up you spouting as the oracle on all things Everton. But of course you have every right to express your opinions and remember I also have a right to express what, to you, may be old-fashioned and elitist views.

Paul Tran
225 Posted 23/06/2020 at 12:03:56
Funny that, Jeff, I mentioned You Care Too Much on the course I ran this morning!
Jeff Spiers
226 Posted 23/06/2020 at 12:57:52
Paul, made me chuckle that!
John Pierce
227 Posted 23/06/2020 at 13:48:31
Tony, I will say I was at least four beers in before kick off Sunday.

There was very little between all four midfielders. It was set up for us not to have the ball, 85% of that work was done diligently and without error, they didn’t create anything from open play. I’d say that’s pretty good. All four worked very well as a unit, three were picked for youth and energy, Gomes his quality. Imagine Sigurdsson or Bernard in there, luxury personified we’d have been ruined!

We had, what 30-35% possession? Not sure how a dribbler like Gordon or Iwobi could thrive in that game plan? Furthermore, to be fair to Iwobi he was in the box for both our best chances late on.

I was very disappointed with Gomes and honestly I think too many games pass him by. There were some trademark cross field passes. However he looked shot on Sunday, still groping for fitness but in general without Gueye he looks exposed and will look to foul as soon as the ball goes beyond him. He needs a protector. But true enough the game plan didn’t suit him either and we looked to him for the ball down the sides.

If I was to concede your point, Davies was very neat and tidy, broke things up well, off the ball was the one who led a half court press but still his first touch drives me nuts! He stood out for his energy and one tackle apart his discipline, he more than most benefited from not having the stands rain down on him for every error.

I’d be surprised if any of that four bar Gomes play Wednesday

Tony Abrahams
228 Posted 23/06/2020 at 14:13:40
Fair enough JP, all opinions, I just think if Iwobi, was as brave as Davies, then he might just give himself a chance.

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