Ancelotti engineers an economical win in the heat

By Michael Kenrick 24/06/2020 189comments  |  Jump to last

Djibril Sidibe misses out again after picking up a knock to his foot in training
Norwich City 0 - 1 Everton

It was a lacklustre event, lacking crowds, energy or invention but Everton's day trip to Norwich for the second game of 'Project Restart' saw Ancelotti's men secure the win while conserving energy in the heat of the June sunshine.

Carlo Ancelotti makes one change from the side that started against the reds on Sunday, with Bernard coming in for youngster Anthony Gordon.

Everton kicked off in the sunshine and searing heat, strangely wearing their pink and blue second strip, and immediately looked to attack but it broke down with Bernard. Everton played some nice passing until Keane gave it away, and Davies gave away a free-kick.

The visitors maintained their dominance of possession without creating much, Norwich backing off to defend whenever they lost advanced possession, while Ancelotti's men increasingly looked to play in their attacking duo. But Calvert-Lewin misjudged a nice cross to him from Digne that curled behind him.

Davies lost possession to an effective block. Then, a bouncing ball came out to him off Krull, prime for a shot on goal, but poor Tom completely missed it. At the other end, a driving Canaries move ended in a deflected shot bobbling past Pickford and off the post for the first corner, well defended by Everton, but a decent spell for the home side followed.

Norwich seemed emboldened, having resisted the early pressure from Everton, and looked to make something going forward. They eventually won a dangerous free-kick that was driven into the wall by Rupp.

Finally, there was a little more adventurous attacking play from Everton, Iwobi hanging up a cross to the far post that was too deep. Bernard and Iwobi were having good times in the channels but Iwobi's cross into the area was a present for the Norwich defender.

Davies saw a chance for a very bright ball forward but Krul was out to prevent Calvert-Lewin from threatening. DIgne then crossed in after a very sweet clip out wide from Bernard but he too picked out a defender and Everton were no closer to creating a chance or a goal,

Davies was spoken to after a clumsy challenge that actually missed ball and man but the ball in from the free-kick was initially dangerous. Calvert-Lewin picked out Richarlison with a peach of a pacey cross but the Brazilian decided to high-kick it instead of going for a bullet header and was called for foot-up on the defender.

A couple of very threatened chances from Norwich almost caught Everton out at the whistle after plenty of huff and puff but nothing by way of any quality to write home about. Probably a game that was really missing the crowds.

Sigurdsson came on in place of Davies. Richarlison galloped down the channel but his shot was blocked behind for a corner, Sigurdsson's long-distance shot was blocked.

More sustained pressure from Everton came to nothing as the heat sapped any quality out of the play. But from a corner won by Coleman's persistence, Keane nodded a nice delivery inside the far post, a fine textbook goal.

Calvert-Lewin actually got a decent sight of goal and really put his foot through the ball for once, but eschewed the top corner in favour of Krul, and his raised arm in the centre of goal.

Another spirited attack down the right ended with another wayward cross from Iwobi to a defender. Norwich returned the favour on a corner delivered straight to Iwobi. Iwobi seemed to put in a great cross but somehow Calvert-Lewin snatched at it with his head and it dribbled wide.

Nowich won a free-kick that came in at pace and careened behind when it could have gone anywhere. Everton were now trying to close out the game but Daniel Farke made a couple of attacking subs, giving them a lift, while Richarlison came off for Moise Kean, who was booked for his first clumsy challenge.

Calvert-Lewin went on a good run but chose to shoot far too early, straight at Krul, when other options might have been considered. With less than 5 mins left, Baines came on for Bernard, then Gordon for Iwobi, who had been heavily involved but with little end result

Kean went on a great run and was caught on the edge of the area, Digne blasting the free-kick over the bar, as a surprising 6 minutes of added time offered the home side a small lifeline. They tried to rattle the Everton defence but the visitors held firm to claim all three points.

If there were concerns about having to play two games in 3 days after 3 months enforced break, Ancelotti appeared to have manged his limited resources very economically.

Scorer: Keane (55').

Norwich City: Krul, Aarons, Godfrey, Klose, Lewis (88' Cantwell), Tettey (79' Vrancic), McLean, Rupp (71' Buendia), Duda (71' Pukki), Hernandez (79' Idah), Drmic.
Subs not Used: McGovern, Leitner, Stiepermann, Trybull.

Everton: Pickford, Coleman, Keane, Holgate, Digne, Gomes, Davies (46' Sigurdsson), Bernard (87' Baines), Iwobi (90' Gordon), Richarlison (79' Kean [Y:81']), Calvert-Lewin.
Subs not Used: Stekelenburg, Virginia, Martina, Baningime, Branthwaite.

Referee: Andy Madley
VAR: Jonathan Moss

Reader Comments (189)

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Carl Manning
1 Posted 24/06/2020 at 16:47:28
Personally I'm surprised to see Bernard start. He tends to be woeful away from Goodison and Norwich will fly at us. They have to win. I think Carlo will want the team to weather an early onslaught and then take the game to them.

If we score early we could well give them a hammering as they will have to go for broke.

Norwich will see this as a winnable game. Should suit us

Brent Stephens
2 Posted 24/06/2020 at 17:03:14
Bernard starts. Gordon on bench.
Richard Mason
3 Posted 24/06/2020 at 17:09:15
Think I would have preferred Iwobi on the bench, with Gordon starting.

Also Banaingime getting a run out for Davies.

Geoff Williams
4 Posted 24/06/2020 at 17:09:43
Iwobi AGAIN, oh dear.
Christy Ring
5 Posted 24/06/2020 at 17:32:22
Well, in my opinion, Iwobi can't be any worse than last Sunday. Would it not make sense to put another youngster on the bench, instead of 2 keepers?
Jim Bennings
6 Posted 24/06/2020 at 17:42:17
I think Iwobi was acting under clear instructions given to him by Carlo Ancelotti to stay deep and break when possible.

Don't get me wrong, Iwobi has been shite since October but to criticise him Sunday would be wrong.

If we can't win tonight, then I expect it will just be a case really of limping over the finish line.

Ciarán McGlone
7 Posted 24/06/2020 at 18:26:49
How can you possibly single Iwobi out in this pile of garbage?

This (and the preceding game) are/were simply not worth turning the television on for. Professional footballers who don't seem to be able to execute a 5-yard pass... irrespective of a global pandemic.

25 minutes in and I'm away to prune my roses.

Christy Ring
8 Posted 24/06/2020 at 18:30:18
Has Gomes touched the ball in the first 30 mins?
Kase Chow
9 Posted 24/06/2020 at 18:37:19
Bernard is crap. He really is.
Danny Baily
10 Posted 24/06/2020 at 18:47:33
This midfield isn't working.
Terence Leong
11 Posted 24/06/2020 at 18:49:26
Either players are not showing themselves for the ball, or our players can't see the pass. I think it's more of the former.

Unfortunately, Davies stands out for all the mis-steps, mis-passes and late to the second balls. It's either Davies is in a rut, or that he's not developing. He tries to run with the ball, but loses it when he tries, or runs out of ideas on how to pass the ball. I think he's better at releasing the ball early, play the "pass & move" football.

While Bernard is hardly involved, at least when he does, there is some positive outcome.

Christy Ring
12 Posted 24/06/2020 at 18:49:40
Very poor display in the first half, we showed no quality whatsoever.
Jay Wood

13 Posted 24/06/2020 at 18:51:54
Complete snoozefest.

Poor first touch by many players. Started well, got worse, improved a tad before half-time.

But the intensity – as in the first game – appears lacking.

Jim Bennings
14 Posted 24/06/2020 at 18:54:21
To be brutally honest, we don't look like we have a game plan other than to look defensively compact.

The football is not really much more developed than it was under Sam Allardyce.

Even prior to this enforced break we looked pretty shite against Arsenal, Man Utd and Chelsea and obviously Liverpool's kindergarten club in January with a couple of sketchy wins against Crystal Palace, Watford and Brighton aside.

Ancelotti needs miles better quality on the pitch than we have at present, let's be straight about it. The midfield is atrocious: no pace, no-one who can pass a ball, no aggression.

After promising starts under Silva in autumn 2018, I just don't see Bernard ever making it and Gomes (even before the injury) flatters to deceive and fails to deliver too often.

Davies is poor most of the time with no real attributes whilst the least said of Iwobi the better, isn't it?

Big job on.

Tony Heron
15 Posted 24/06/2020 at 18:58:18
Davies, I'm sorry to say, is just not good enough. I'd like to see the stats on how many times he's lost possession. Each time he does, he leaves a hole in midfield which the opposition can exploit.

As for Iwobi and Bernard being crap, it's hard to produce anything when there's no service from midfield. It really is vital that midfield is recognised as a priority when transfer dealings get under way.

Alan McGuffog
16 Posted 24/06/2020 at 19:08:55
Bit harsh, Tony. Davies and the rest of our "midfield" are always looking to bring Pickford into the game.
Christy Ring
17 Posted 24/06/2020 at 19:09:18
Tony @15, I agree midfield is our No 1 priority in the summer, but disagree. Iwobi got plenty of the ball, did nothing with it.
Ernie Baywood
18 Posted 24/06/2020 at 19:51:18
Moise Kean really is a bit 'special' isn't he?

Dribbling from his own penalty area with us 1-0 up in the 90th minute.

Glenn Williams
19 Posted 24/06/2020 at 19:57:07
Finally achieved 40 points with an extra one for good measure. I'm so happy 🙄🤪😣
Christy Ring
20 Posted 24/06/2020 at 19:59:25
Keane was my Man of the Match.
Jeff Spiers
21 Posted 24/06/2020 at 20:02:00
Why the pink strip? Still, 3 points. COYB
Pete Hughes
22 Posted 24/06/2020 at 20:02:56
3 points, terrible strip.
Dave Abrahams
23 Posted 24/06/2020 at 20:04:58
No crowds at these games... we don't know how lucky we are. Love the three points but the game was absolutely putrid.

Only Keane scoring stopped Iwobi from being Man of the Match, that doesn't mean he was great but much better than he usually is, and there wasn't many contenders for the honour.

Jay Wood

24 Posted 24/06/2020 at 20:06:17
Much improved 2nd half performance, not least from Alex Iwobi who was excellent.

Very nice movement and header by Michael Keane for the winner.

Bringing on Sigurdsson at half-time gave us more control in midfield. Defence very solid again. Two clean sheets on the trot.

We are so much better running at and playing the game in the opponent's half rather than fannying around at the back around our own penalty area.

Always nice to win on the road, no matter who the opposition.

Joe Cavanagh
25 Posted 24/06/2020 at 20:12:32
That was frustrating. Too many players off the pace. Defence solid. Midfield not functioning. Attack not really linking up with each other. And why oh why do we get some space in front of us, with men running ahead, only for the guy in possession to turn back instead of moving the ball forward? Very frustrating to watch.

Best players on the pitch – the defenders, plus Iwobi and Calvert-Lewin. Thank god we took Davies off at half-time – Sigurdsson didn't set the pitch alight but at least he has awareness and doesn't give the ball away cheaply.

Roll on next season.

Mike Powell
26 Posted 24/06/2020 at 20:12:46
Iwobi had a great second half, but wasn't very good in the first half, but no-one played well in first half.

Don't get me started on Davies, how anyone can defend him after that performance. He is terrible.

Alan Rodgers
27 Posted 24/06/2020 at 20:14:34
Iwobi's 2nd-half performance was very impressive. Overall, I was disappointed with our play and, although I like Davies, he makes too many mistakes and was rightly subbed off. Norwich were poor though, I don't know how they beat us at Goodison.
Tony Everan
28 Posted 24/06/2020 at 20:17:39
4 points from 6 off Liverpool and Norwich away is a good return.

We've played okay in patches and we need much, much more. But the points are in the bank and we move on with a bit more confidence and the chance to improve. I'll take that.

Chris Williams
29 Posted 24/06/2020 at 20:18:25
It looks like Carlo is sacrificing style and flair for soliditity, hard work and discipline. Given the squad, weakened further by missing players, who themselves aren’t brilliant, are basically inadequate, I don’t mind that so much.

It was an awful game against a poor team, in a crap atmosphere, but the players looked well prepared and organised, and pretty fit given the circumstances, in that heat. People seemed to do their jobs.

It’s pretty basic, but again I don’t mind that. Results count right now, and if they can get a few more results like this then we’ll finish a bit higher up.

It was a bit like the Dogs of War. Without the the Dogs. And the War. But with the Attitude.

Fran Mitchell
30 Posted 24/06/2020 at 20:19:41
Sigurdsson for the second game on the run has come on, and this has coincided with much more composure in midfield and more control of the game. Despite his faults, and not being the £45 million player we hoped he would be, he is still an integral part of our midfield and we are better with him than without, at the moment.

Iwobi showed what he is capable of.

Calvert-Lewin led well, but lacked communication with Richarlison and was overly greedy on more than one occasion. I'm sure Ancelotti will work with him about this. There is so much to admire about his game.

Gomes improved when Sigurdsson came on. Davies was poor, no two ways about it. He can't continue being so rash in possession and hope to develop a career at this club. And he is neither strong enough nor a tackler to work as a ball-winner... clock is ticking on his time here, unfortunately.

Holgate and Keane looked composed and solid. Coleman mostly good. Both Digne and Bernard were lacking, imo. Gordon did well with the little time he had. Kean looked lead-footed when out of possession, not moving or showing himself, and greedy when in possession. But he did show flickers of talent.

Pickford was solid and made the save when necessary.

A 6/10, very much a pre-season feel to the game.

Mike Oates
31 Posted 24/06/2020 at 20:21:28
Poor game, lifeless, but 3 points. Defence looks sound, attacking always a threat if they get decent balls... but centre-midfield is the real problem.

Davies gives the ball away so many times. His awareness, control, passing just isn't up to it for a Premier League midfielder. The switch at half-time did work and we were so much better at building up play and keeping possession.

It's clear we need a couple of midfielders, and though it's early yet, I see nothing in Moise Kean that's worth £23M.

David Connor
32 Posted 24/06/2020 at 20:27:01
New midfield required. Not one player worth keeping, they are that bad. No drive and very little guile. They really are piss poor.
Darren Hind
33 Posted 24/06/2020 at 20:38:28
Made up for Keane. We have played two games which were right up his street. Let's hope he can step up and start shining in games which take him out of his comfort zone.

Same could be said for Iwobi. Made up for him too. A massive improvement. Lots of poor crosses which didn't find a blue shirt, but he was tenacious, stuck with it and eventually put an absolute beauty in there for Calvert-Lewin. If he wants to fulfill his ambition and become top notch, he really needs to be burying those.

Holgate was Holgate. The guy can play. That's all.

Derek Taylor
34 Posted 24/06/2020 at 20:42:28
Norwich are bottom of the Premier League and likely to stay so. All our players should look like stars in that company but just about managed to scrape a one goal win via a defender's header,

Should be good enough to clinch 12th place by season's end... whenever that might be!

Graham Holliday
35 Posted 24/06/2020 at 20:42:35
The Iwobi improvement was in part due to a tactical change.

In possession in the first half, we played a 3-5-2 with Coleman tucked in centrally and Iwobi very deep. Norwich didn't really press the 3 so it was really difficult for us to progress the ball forward (and in part explains Davies's performance – as soon as we moved the ball into midfield, we were pressed hard – but he was also below par).

In the second half, Coleman was higher and wider with Iwobi tucked in slightly to give us more options getting the ball forward. Norwich didn't adjust to it, and Iwobi stood out. So credit to him and to Don Carlo for a smart change.

Gavin Johnson
36 Posted 24/06/2020 at 20:45:45
Michael Keane looked great again and now that Carlo's had more time on the training field to work on formations, I see the real problem being in midfield. If we could sign Allan and bring in Coutinho on loan, we'd have a strong spine all the way through the team.

That's not to say I'd like us to bring in a centre-back and right-winger, but I'm seeing some good stuff from Keane and maybe we don't have to give up on him.

Joe McMahon
37 Posted 24/06/2020 at 20:53:35
Much improved second half, and all the defence looks more solid. Holgae and Keane playing well together. Pickford still worries me near the 90-minute mark.

I thought Alex Iwobi ran his heart out second half and it was a satisfying performance from him. I found a bit of info on Iwobi yesterday I didn't know: his uncle is Jay-Jay Okocha, so a bit of a football family.

Paul Birmingham
38 Posted 24/06/2020 at 21:00:18
An away win, clean sheet, hopefully no injuries.

Let's see how we cope vs Leicester but the defence looks solid but I'm concerned about our midfield who seem to play the bulk of their possession sideways and backwards.

I'd like to see how many forward offensive passes we made today?

Hopefully, we can beat Leicester and who knows.

Peter Mills
39 Posted 24/06/2020 at 21:04:35
On the suggestions about Coutinho, a kopite pal of mine described him as a “Match of the Day” player.
Colin Glassar
40 Posted 24/06/2020 at 21:07:41
Let's not kid ourselves. We have a good keeper, defence and two forwards; the rest (midfield) are all substandard. Bernard, Iwobi, Davies etc would struggle to get into most of the top 10 teams in this country. Gomes is good but painfully slow.

We have no speed, no creativity, no physical presence so the defence is under constant pressure and the forwards are starved of service.

Another major disappointment is Kean. He's a shadow of the player he was in Italy. He's fat, lazy and clueless. We can't keep on blaming the Koeman - Walsh disaster. A lot of these players are Brands's choices.

Danny Baily
41 Posted 24/06/2020 at 21:09:27
Pleased with the win. Big improvement once Davies went off.

Kean looks very poor. I can't see him making it in the Premier League.

Kase Chow
42 Posted 24/06/2020 at 21:12:25
That was atrocious but was an away win and a clean sheet so gotta be grateful.

I don't see what Davies, Bernard or Moise Kean have to offer us. They are all pretty poor and need to be sacrificed.

Keith Gleave
43 Posted 24/06/2020 at 21:16:23
At the end of the day, it was 3 points.

The back 5 were solid and I was happy for Keane. The midfield was problematical, Davies wasn't at the game. Iwobi brought nothing to the game in the first half and Bernard was little better. Upfront Richarlison was lazy and gave little help to Calvert-Lewin.

Iwobi performed better in the second half but why oh why, when you're a winger, don't you run at defenders and make them tackle?? I'm sick of this stop and turn back.

Sigurdsson to me did little when he came on and brought no guile to the attack. Finally, I have been supportive of giving Kean a chance but I saw nothing in what he did.

We really do need to bring some quality into midfield along with pace out wide. Calvert-Lewin has improved greatly and more is required but I think Richarlison needs to look at his game and effort. I wonder if Kean will come good so we need another striker of quality. I know we need centre-back and full-back support but feel the other areas are more important at present.

Rob Baker
44 Posted 24/06/2020 at 21:35:36
Dreadful game. So bad, my son took himself to get ready for bed early.

The commentators spoke absolute rubbish, raving about Iwobi. He was terrible. I don't think he ran his socks off. I would run my socks for the Blues; however, I don't have the pace to beat modern quick defenders and neither does he. He's a one-trick pony and always tries to jink inside the full-back.

The other joke is Tom Davies. His possession game is no-existent, as is his dribbling and ability to beat a man.

Keown said Calvert-Lewin is showing international class. Where? Also Richarlison's decision-making is so selfish. Gomes runs like he has lost several yards of pace.

And as for poor Moise... my god! Dribbling out his box on 90 mins and getting robbed. He's not got potential, he's a liability!

Praise does go to the back 5 as 2 clean sheets, even in post-/pre-season mode can't be sniffed at.

John Reynolds
45 Posted 24/06/2020 at 21:54:53
Let’s take the three points gratefully, move on, and never speak of this awful game again.
David Pearl
46 Posted 24/06/2020 at 22:03:18
A bit of maturity in a few players and you could make an argument for us kicking on.

Iwobi much improved in the second half when Carlo tweaked things. Gomes needs a partner... and for now it has to be Sigurdsson. Although let's not forget that this pricey squad was put together to play 4-2-3-1 and not 4-4-2. I hated it under Silva but l would try it again and see if we can get more from our so-called flair players.

Defence looking quite good with the exception of Digne on corners and crosses when he should be a strong first man. Also noticed Kean trying to run the ball out of our box late on when he could have been caught in possession quite easily. Hopefully we can slog it out for the remaining 7 games.

Brian Harrison
47 Posted 24/06/2020 at 22:05:55
Well, very difficult to know what to make of our performance... we started quite brightly for 10 minutes but then just seem to be happy to try and keep possession.

At half-time, Carlo could have taken any of our midfield off, Gomes and Davies struggled to get a foothold in the game, and Bernard and Iwobi were non-existent. I could imagine Carlo had some stern words with the team at half-time, and brought on Sigurdsson for Davies.

Obviously something was said to Iwobi as his 2nd-half performance was something like we should expect on a regular basis from him. I think Carlo must have told him to tuck in more behind Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin, and it seemed to work a treat for him.

The whole team looked more committed at the start of the 2nd half and Keane scored from a corner to cap a very good performance from him. But 15 minutes after the goal, they went into a very defensive mindset passing the ball back to Pickford on most occasions rather than going for a 2nd or 3rd goal. We have seen this defensive mindset before from many of these players under Koeman and Silva, seems old habits die hard.

So, to sum up, we beat the side that's bottom of the league, whose manager decided to leave two of his best players mostly on the bench. Obviously he has given up trying to stay up so I guess Cantwell and Pukki will start against Man Utd in the FA Cup.

So, 2 games since lockdown and 2 clean sheets, which is good, but we need to be a lot more effective going forward than we have in our previous 2 games.

Sam Hoare
48 Posted 24/06/2020 at 22:07:11
It wasn't that awful! We won. Away from home. I'll take that every week and twice on Sunday thanks very much.

I actually thought we looked pretty controlled in the second half. Some jitters towards the end to be expected but we defended well and deserved the win.

So pleased for Keane and Iwobi, two players who've not been at their best this season but will benefit from the confidence.

Iwobi was especially satisfying and if he can show more of that then he may begin to prove worth the fee. For those interested, he created 3 chances (should definitely have had an assist – Calvert-Lewin!), beat his man 4 times and had the most successful passes into the final third. Interestingly he also made 2 tackles, 2 interceptions, 4 clearances and a huge 9 recoveries. That's a pretty strong all-round display for a wide man.

Anthony Jones
49 Posted 24/06/2020 at 22:13:01
Until we have a considerable upgrade on this squad, Duncan, or even Allardyce, I am sure could have replicated the last 2 matches.

Do we need Ancelloti?

Maybe in 3 years' time.

Anthony Jones
50 Posted 24/06/2020 at 22:18:16
Good on you, Sam, for using actual numbers to back up your opinion.

I see how frustrating Iwobi can be, but I think he is our most dangerous attacking midfielder.

Tony Abrahams
51 Posted 24/06/2020 at 22:34:10
It's in the head with Iwobi, and you can tell he hates playing out wide imo. He only moved inside slightly during the second half, but not being stuck on the wing seemed to settle him, and he became braver, and started trying to get on the ball, which is definitely what he needs to do, to become a much better player.

Made up for Michael Keane, he looks so much more comfortable without the crowd, although our next two games will definitely show us a lot more about our defenders, with Vardy then Kane to come.

I thought Calvert-Lewin worked hard, done some very good things, but then also some poor things. And I have to agree with what Seamus Coleman said the other day when he said Holgate was turning into a real leader, because I thought he was our best player tonight.

Bill Gienapp
52 Posted 24/06/2020 at 22:37:34
Really dire first half, with Gomes and Davies looking utterly ineffectual in midfield. Better second half, very nicely taken goal by Keane, and three points in the bank. Probably can't hope for much more under the circumstances.

Iwobi got himself into dangerous positions in the first half and played quite well in the second. In spite of many of our players being written off as "crap," they're not actually crap – they're just inconsistent. I would say lack of consistency across the board has been our biggest issue these past few seasons and will hopefully be one of the things Carlo can correct.

Robert Tressell
53 Posted 24/06/2020 at 22:38:40
Interesting stats, Sam. You could also see that Iwobi really kicked on in the 2nd half. Even in the first half, he was getting balls into the box. And diligent too with his defending of the flank. Playing his way into a regular first-team slot next season as right-midfield. He and Coleman need to work better in tandem, however.

Davies and Bernard were terrible. They'll both have had better days. Perhaps not naturally fit and can't step it up after a lay-off.

Gomes. A really awful first half alongside Davies. Looks to me like he's playing within himself to avoid injury. Possibly been told to do so.

Sigurdsson. Surprisingly good performance as a deep midfielder.

But... To concede so much possession to a crap team was awful.

The sooner we can find our Gana replacement, the better.

Carl Manning
54 Posted 24/06/2020 at 22:40:10
Do we need Ancelotti?

We're top 4 since he took over! I don't think Duncan and Allardyce would Have matched that form! It's not been perfect but he's yet to stamp his mark on the playing personnel in terms of having at least a couple of his own players in.

Tom Bowers
59 Posted 24/06/2020 at 23:19:42
I am prepared to give some concession to the lack of full games for 15 weeks for the performances of some players but, after today, there can be no excuses.

Everton have some players who just are not top notch, despite a lot of effort, and no amount of games will change that. It's time now to shape up or ship out.

If they play the first half like they have played the last two games against Spurs, Leicester and Wolves, then they may get hammered.

However, it may be safe to assume that Carlo will iron this out before these games come about as he didn't get his status as a top boss for nothing.

Dave Williams
60 Posted 24/06/2020 at 23:22:33
A very low-key first half with our midfield anonymous. Now I'm no fan of Sigurdsson and he didn't seem to do a lot but Gomes improved a lot in the second half (we must remember he is feeling his way back after that injury) and our ball retention was much better.

The Tom Davies haters annoy the hell out of me but he had a poor half and was rightly replaced. Iwobi had a very good second half and even got stuck in with a couple of tackles and an aggressive challenge for a high ball. More of the same please!

Bernard will never make a first-team regular in my opinion, Richarlison couldn't get into the game and Calvert-Lewin looks like an international player now, having the confidence to shoot from distance and with real power. He must be worth a lot of money now. Back four were solid, especially the two in the middle.

After such a long lay off, the strange lack of atmosphere and a flight down on the day, it was never likely to be a good entertaining game but we should now be safe and the next two games will be interesting. Four points from those and the run in is favourable. I'm guessing at 8th at the end of the season, then we must acquire a playmaker and a physical specimen in midfield. Not much to ask!!

Dave Southword
61 Posted 24/06/2020 at 00:02:30
We haven't really got a solid left-sided attacker unless we put Richarlison there and put Kean or maybe Gordon up front with Calvert-Lewin. Maybe Kean would be a bit more level-headed with more minutes to impress and it might be good to see if there's an Inchy or a Beardsley lurking in Gordon.

A risk to move Richarlison from up front but, from the left, they would basically form an attacking three in possession.

Bill Watson
62 Posted 24/06/2020 at 00:12:24
I really hope Tom Davies eventually makes it as an Everton player but it's becoming increasingly unlikely. He continually loses possession in midfield, often leaving the defence totally exposed. Better sides than Norwich will, and have, exploited this.

The second half was an improvement but some of the crosses were awful. We really must improve the final ball into the area.

Derek Thomas
63 Posted 24/06/2020 at 00:25:14
For once, the wee small hours kick-off my time did me a favour. Apart from the 3 points, it seems I didn't miss much.

Even a supposed 24-minutes highlights package skipped though the first half in about 3 minutes – but did manage to slip in the fact that Davies gave the ball away in midfield and Calvert-Lewin got underneath a simple header.

The 2nd half wasn't much better... or longer, Keane's header showed one of the reasons Norwich are bottom – they defend worse than we do.

Calvert-Lewin missed another header, made an excellent break, then showed he has no left foot at all, by trying to centre with the outside of his right foot.

Kean's 15 minutes of fame was, thankfully by all accounts, missed out.

My brief glimpses show Iwobi moving well, but I forget if they actually showed him doing anything bar moving well.

Looking for more information, I try the BBC (I know, *shrugs*)... no joy there. 25 or 30 lines dealing with Norwich's woes and Saturdays FA Cup game with Man Utd – could've been sticky for United if they had a crowd.

We got 5 or 6 lines, that mentioned a goal and Calvert-Lewin something, something, blah, blah. Forgetable Footy.

Everton's season in a nutshell... all our seasons just lately seem to be asterisk seasons – somehow incomplete.

Dick Fearon
64 Posted 25/06/2020 at 00:43:08
It infuriates me when, all too often, an Everton player in possession of the ball and no opponents within 20 or more yards, pass it back to Pickford.

With 8 or 9 teamates further up-field, they should be able to pick out a forward pass. There again, the answer lies in the words: Should be able.

Andrew Keatley
65 Posted 25/06/2020 at 00:56:24
Derek (64),

At one point in the first half, Calvert-Lewin crossed the ball with his left-foot, picking out Richarlison in the middle – who was a bit slow to read it and was beaten to the ball by the Norwich defender. I'm not saying Calvert-Lewin has a great left foot but he does use it for more than mere decoration.

Jerome Shields
66 Posted 25/06/2020 at 01:03:22
Bill #52,

Keane was interviewed at the end of the match. He said that Ancelotti at half-time changed Everton's shape, which allowed players to get more on the ball.

Kieran Kinsella
67 Posted 25/06/2020 at 01:42:48

I always hope the best for Tom as he's a local lad, seems to love the club etc but yeah it's tough watching him have one poor performance after another. I don't want to be on his back like some but neither do I want to be in the Darren Hind's club of “everyone is shit except the AMAZING academy graduates”. But I'm losing hope for Davies...

Nicholas Ryan
68 Posted 25/06/2020 at 01:49:32
On the one hand, a draw against a good team and an away win against a bad one, is not to be sniffed at. On the other hand, the paint is now dry!
Lester Yip
69 Posted 25/06/2020 at 02:00:14
A very poor performance, even though we nicked a narrow win. Anyone got stats about cross/goal or even cross/goal attempt rate? It seems that our crosses never found anyone. Iwobi did a lay back cross from deep and no late runner was there. He put one into the 6-yard box and the strikers were not in there. Do they even practise together?

Understand Norwich wants points more than we do. So we played slow from the back and drew them out. But when we did that, we can't hardly link those short passes together and ended up just booting it upfield?

Davies, I am not sure what he's developing into. He wants to impose himself like Gueye but his tackles were usually late and gave away fouls in dangerous areas. In terms of control and composure, he's not even close to Gomes and Sigurdsson. Apart from his willingness to run, I can't see what he contributes to the team at the moment.

Kean, I'd wished he got some game time... but regretted when I saw him play. I think he's got good physique but without a brain. Rash tackle, dribble from his own box and gave away the ball, when Iwobi was running with the ball, he didn't attempt to come back or run the channel but just stayed with the centre-back. Unbelievable.

I really don't know what to expect next game against Leceister.

Alun Jones
70 Posted 25/06/2020 at 02:27:03
I guess the best thing you can say about that match was 3 points and no late equaliser to peg us back. It was a poor match against a pretty poor Norwich side. The amount of space and time we got compared to Liverpool was evident but we didn't really exploit it that much.

Tom Davies was again poor in the centre-midfielder role and we really need to address this position in the close season if Gbamin is unable to prove his fitness.

When we are up 1-0 in a game like this, I always feel we are prone to concede late. We should have won by more but it's 3 points. Let's hope we can put a run together. A Europa League place is still a possibility.

Jay Harris
71 Posted 25/06/2020 at 03:25:16
I do worry about Tom and his lifestyle. He always looks like his eyes are in the back of his head. I don't know whether he stays up all night playing video games or something else is going on but it seems years ago he broke onto the scene with much promise and he hasn't kicked on one jot.

I have to say, for all the stick Davies gets, Gomes is not much better. Our midfield needs a radical overhaul in this transfer window.

Kudos though to Iwobi, who was my MotM today,

Kieran Kinsella
72 Posted 25/06/2020 at 03:46:27

Yeah Gomes to me is mostly a passenger. I know he was good at Valencia but so was that bloke who looked like the non-Jim Carey character in Dumb and Dumber. Men duets was it?

To me, he just doesn't offer enough. Even before his injury, he seemed like someone who wants to be on the periphery and in the shadow of someone else.

No-one can be in Tom Davies boney shadow save an emaciated kitten.

Martin Mason
73 Posted 25/06/2020 at 06:56:20
I'm sure that the manager can see the glaring weaknesses in midfield and I'm sure the club are working very hard to get one or two new players in of the required quality to resolve this.

Until then, we need to accept how we're set up and how we play now which has produced 2 exceptional results on the run. I like to think of the positives like the defence and front 2 and the possibility that we may now get the best out of Iwobi.

Chris Williams
74 Posted 25/06/2020 at 07:38:49
Interesting stat from last night. That was our 10th goal from a corner this season. The most in the division.

Remember when we bemoaned never scoring enough from corners, despite winning headers and having giants in the team?

It was also only our second clean sheet away from home. And our second on the trot.

Efficiency rules!

Leicester and Spurs up next.

Gerry Ring
75 Posted 25/06/2020 at 07:58:36
3 points secured but... It's getting more obvious with each game that Tom Davies is struggling at this level. The old saying about top players looking like they always have time for themselves on the ball doesn't apply to Tom, who mostly ends up turning into trouble and losing the ball. He did play a super pass to Calvert-Lewin, early on, to be fair.

The other glaringly obvious thing to come out of last night is the urgent need to offload Moise Kean. Apart from the silly mistakes, it appears that he has a low work ethic & a poor attitude. After 12 minutes on the field, he was blowing hard & looked totally unfit. I don't see anything in him that would give me any confidence that he is good enough for Everton.

Trevor Peers
76 Posted 25/06/2020 at 08:05:56
Schniederlin & Sigurdsson may not be the best players on the planet, but when you remove both of them from the team without adequate replacements surprise surprise ! We can't compete even with, bottom of the table, Norwich in midfield.

That was the main lesson to be learned from the last 2 games, all those advocating dropping and selling experienced professionals and replacing them with youngsters have had a very rude awaking. If we carried on with the experiment next season we would end up in the drop zone for sure.

Thankfully, Carlo now has the time and experience to find the players we need, at one point last night he looked totally disgruntled with the lack of quality at the club especially in the midfield area.

Martin Berry
77 Posted 25/06/2020 at 08:06:20
We will see where we really stand and if we can compete with the next two matches.

However, a win is a win against a team fighting for their lives.

Rob Young
78 Posted 25/06/2020 at 08:13:41
Good to see Digne still gives a thumbs up to Pickford every time the pass intended for him ends up in the stands.

Let's keep on condoning that absolute site.

Worries me that Brands seems to think we only need 2-3 more players. We need 4 for midfield alone! He's doing some job, isn't he?

For all the fucking talk, we're still nowhere near the top 6 and don't deserve to be either.

Lee Gorre
79 Posted 25/06/2020 at 08:24:21
Might be worth remembering the season has been on a break, it's not a new season, we have the same players so there's not going to any magical transformation. We are clearly lacking in a number of positions and lack quality in depth. The manager has what he inherited for now and it's not great to watch but generally he's been able to get results where previous managers haven't.

The games have been dull but it's the points that really matter. This just doesn't feel or look like real football so I'll judge more when there's been a window and the crowds are back.

Andrew Clare
80 Posted 25/06/2020 at 08:31:53
I agree with Colin earlier on in this thread. We just don't have a midfield. The defence and attack are as good as any but without a top class midfield they will always be struggling.

Our midfield players are good and will occasionally have very good games but they are not exceptional.

Gana was exceptional but we sold him. We need three midfielders of his calibre attacking and defensive types.

Unfortunately we are nowhere near Leicester, Wolves or Spurs so I just can't see European qualification happening.

Every season we always seem to lack two or three commanding players that would make the difference to our team. It's very frustrating.

Tony Abrahams
81 Posted 25/06/2020 at 08:45:37
Wow Terry@57, I’ve just woke up and I already feel like going back to sleep.
Darren Hind
82 Posted 25/06/2020 at 09:21:14
Tom Davies is suffering in exactly the same way Calvert-Lewin did.

There are few tasks in football which are as thankless as playing up front on your own when you are still learning your trade. Playing in a midfield two against an opposition three is one of them and when your partner is recovering from a bad injury and is about 20 minutes off the pace, the mountain gets even higher. The Davies bashers do understand that... don't they? ... Sigh.

I could not believe my eyes when I logged onto the live forum last night, I scanned back at the comments to see a group of people were all over Davies almost from the off... WTF is all that about?

Was he playing badly? yes. He was having a complete Weston. His passing was fucking awful, but here's the were his options.

Central Defenders apart, all our players were having a really poor game in that first half, really poor. Iwobi repeatedly squandered good positions with a series of awful crosses. Gomes was miles off the pace, Richarlison contributing nothing, Bernard may as well not been on the pitch. It was abject and it was right through the team. So please, someone explain to me; Why the fuck an academy boy was AGAIN singled out by so many people for stick?

After well over a hundred posts on the derby match thread, 2-3 people had criticised Iwobi. What a reaction that got. Despite him being every bit as bad as Davies was last night, half a dozen people were up in arms... apparently the criticism was totally unjust ?.. Cost £30M though didn't he.

The Keiran Kinsella and the rest of the football experts have a created a little bit of a conundrum for themselves. Despite the fact that they think Ancelotti is a footballing genius, he keeps picking a player who is fucking useless. Although he has won just about every trophy in the game, he reacts like all his predecessors and after looking at what's available to him, he always comes back to the useless fucker.

Go figure.

Rob Halligan
83 Posted 25/06/2020 at 09:27:03
My god, I know people on here can moan at the slightest thing, but FFS does it matter how we write or what we call certain players?

Oh, and by the way, I hope everyone was okay pushing a little button on your TV remote to change from BBC2 to BBC1 last night. I found it quite exhausting!!

Sam Hoare
84 Posted 25/06/2020 at 09:29:16
Davies was very poor in the first half but so was Gomes. In fact, I thought André was a little bit worse. Davies at least gets around a bit more and I personally would have sacrificed the Portuguese before Tom but then André did do better in the second half.

Kean was quite concerning. It was only a brief cameo but it was memorable for all the wrong reasons. Poor decision-making in both halves. There was one moment where he brought the ball down and simultaneously turned his man which got me thinking there's something there but it was the outlier.

I think he'll have to get a start in August as there's no way Calvert-Lewin and Richie can play that many games back to back with their work-rate; perhaps that will be a better chance to see what the young Italian can do but having been a champion of his in the past I saw some worrying signs last night.

Robert Tressell
85 Posted 25/06/2020 at 09:29:57
Gomes is playing within himself, possibly not fit. He's good though. A very high quality midfield partner will make a big difference. Ideally Rabiot + someone a bit more up and coming (eg, Diallo at Brest or Santamaria at Angers who both play a bit like Gueye).

With Iwobi starting to perform on the right, maybe Ryan Fraser's busyness would help on the left. Probs more impact than Bernard. Would still prefer Coutinho. The super-talented Szoboszlai would also be great.

Whatever the case, 3 new signings could be transformational. Just one top quality signing can help – see Bruno Fernandes at Man Utd. Suddenly a group of talented players who weren't gelling have started to click.

Tony Abrahams
86 Posted 25/06/2020 at 09:35:43
Good point Darren, because one of the things that has surprised me about Ancelotti, is that he sometimes takes a bit too long to react to what is happening out on the pitch.

We got over-ran at Chelsea, and the only difference last night, was we were playing a team with a lot less quality, because the gaps were just as big, probably even worse at times, and a better opponent would have surely exploited them?

The weather was scorching, with only two days recovery for what was basically the same team. Although this might have tempered our urgency, I'm sure a good team will systematically destroy us, if they're given the same amount of room in the midfield.

Dave Abrahams
87 Posted 25/06/2020 at 09:41:24
Eighty posts and not one word of criticism that I can see of Richarlison.

Saying it in politically correct terms, he wasn't very good. Saying it as I see it, he stunk and looked like he was fed up. He wasn't great versus Liverpool either.

Danny Baily
88 Posted 25/06/2020 at 09:47:29
Richarlison looked lively against Liverpool. He was the only one technically good enough on the ball to get past one of their players and get a pass away cleanly.

He looked tired last night. We might need to make better use of our squad as this restart continues. Keep players fresh and prevent injuries.

Some good points about Gomes, he's so slow that we need to think carefully about who he's paired with.

Dave Williams
89 Posted 25/06/2020 at 09:52:44
Well said, Darren #83. Tom had a bad half after a very good 90 v RS. That's what subs are for, it does happen. Leave the lad alone and see what develops.
Joe McMahon
90 Posted 25/06/2020 at 09:53:07
Bernard for me just isn't doing enough on the pitch, and somehow Calvert-Lewin needs to start converting more chances, he's missed a few in the last few games, I'm hoping this will be addressed in Training.

Like everyone else, midfield is the biggest concern for me but I was very pleased with Iwobi display in the second-half heat.

Sam Hoare
91 Posted 25/06/2020 at 09:54:19
Trevor@77 "All those advocating dropping and selling experienced professionals and replacing them with youngsters have had a very rude awaking."

A strange thing to say given the likes of Calvert-Lewin, Holgate and Richarlison are the only candidates for players of the year. I don't think anyone is advocating that we have no experience in the team but it cant be said that any of our 'experienced' players have covered themselves in glory this season or have I missed something?

You'll notice too that financially the club is preparing to take around £100M+ worth of loss on the likes of Bolasie, Schneiderlin and Sigurdsson. Yay for experience!

Bobby Mallon
92 Posted 25/06/2020 at 09:56:55
Tony @87, we played a better team in Liverpool and they didn't overrun us and didn't systematically destroy us. Just take it game by game and don't worry too much. Didn't Norwich beat Man City 3.2 this season and Leicester and us.

The Premier League is a hard hard league please stop expecting to win games just because teams have a perceived lessor playing staff. An away win, especially for us, is fantastic.

Brian Harrison
93 Posted 25/06/2020 at 10:07:44
Michael Keane said that something after being interviewed you havent heard before, the manager changed tactics at half time. Obviously Carlo could see things weren't working and, unlike his predecessors he changed tactics, something Martinez, Koeman, Allardyce or Silva failed to do.

For those wanting to take a pop at Ancelotti, let's remember he is still having to work with the dross that were bought by the inept bunch who managed this club before him. The downside for Ancelotti is he won't have the same transfer kitty the previous managers had.

There were very few pluses to come out of last night's game other than the 2nd half performance by Iwobi and the performance from our back 4. But 2 clean sheets is always a plus, but we need to be more effective in the final third than we have been in our 2 previous games.

I am pleased with the way Michael Keane has played in these 2 games, and Holgate is looking more and more assured with every game. I don't think it will be too long before he is called up to the England squad. I think Seamus turned in another solid performance last night to go with his MotM performance against Furlough FC, and Digne also deserves a mention for his performances in the last 2 games.

Martin Mason
94 Posted 25/06/2020 at 10:11:13
We are apparently weak in midfield but don't forget that the major part of the modern game to counter sides who played nicely from the back is to attack these players and, in Rugby Union terms, to get a turnover. They have a thankless task in that they have to turn and find a teammate before the opposition force the turnover and they have little or no space to do it.

To find players who can play in these specialist positions, everybody is looking and people are on the market because they may be good players but can't play against the intensity of the modern midfield. It isn't like Ball, Harvey and Kendall tiptoeing through the tulips any more, it is a minefield and failure results in good opposition swarming through and running at the now vulnerable defence.

The modern high pressing and forcing game has changed the landscape.

Michael O'Malley
95 Posted 25/06/2020 at 10:15:24
If Tyrone Mings was called up for England then surely Holgate deserves a chance. I was impressed with his loan spell at WBA and he has become a reassuring presence at centre-half.

Keep up the good work, Mason!

Alan McGuffog
96 Posted 25/06/2020 at 10:20:45
I agree, Michael. Can't be long before he and Calvert-Lewin are said to be deserving of a move to a "big" club?
Michael Kenrick
97 Posted 25/06/2020 at 10:44:19
Chris @28, great description of the game. Can't argue with that. Also Brian @47.

On reflection, I've decided to give Carlo Ancellotti full credit for his brilliant strategy and tactics so far through Project Restart – if for no other reason than it flies in the face of Darren Hind's obvious bias against him. And further to my post yesterday on providing critical assessment of player performances, it's reassuring to see plenty of people are not frightened of incurring Darren's wrath and are daring to give honest opinions on another dreadful performance from Tom Davies.

But getting results in this dogend of the season is all that matters, and Ancelotti is getting it done. If his much-vaunted young shooting stars could actually shoot a little better, we would have a fantastic 6 points and a fabulous win over those bastards to celebrate.

But apparently they're not machines (Whatever the fuck that means?) and we as Evertonians shouldn't dare to harbour any expectation for them to actually do their jobs to the very best of their undoubted abilities. Sorry but that's complete bollocks, Mr John Snr.

Martin Mason
98 Posted 25/06/2020 at 11:05:06
Michael, how do you know that they aren't playing to the best of their abilities rather than just not having the skills to perform to the expectations of some?
Conor McCourt
99 Posted 25/06/2020 at 11:06:34
I think the point which has barely been mentioned is that we played a really mentally and physically gruelling game against the enemy where we worked like trojans and took our fitness levels to the wire to come away with a valued point.

The neighbours, on the other hand left a few of their stars out, controlled the game and as frustrated as they were they used as it as preparation for their next game. It would have taken nothing out of them.

My point is that our fans can't have it both ways. We have a manager who is tactically excellent, develops a game plan to beat the opponent and he doesn't care about developing an identity or the performance or controlling possession. We have amassed a very decent points tally under him but we will continue to only be functional and, if we continue to win, then effective.

We can blame Davies or Gomes or Iwobi or Richarlison or whoever for that first half but the manager picked that team who largely were chasing shadows for a game three days before and it's no surprise we were so flat. His game plan was very simple, keep it tight and we can do a Marco Silva on them because they are dying to give us a goal. It was no shock to me that we won it or that Sigurdsson came on and helped get control against tiring players with his quality and freshness.

As much as that poor first half was largely down to Carlo, his little tactical and personnel tweak at half-time brought about a win many wouldn't have envisaged under the previous regime and while many Blues won't like what they saw, the boss will be really satisfied. Four points from those two games is an excellent return.

Bill Gienapp
100 Posted 25/06/2020 at 11:07:25
I think the issue with Davies is that, whenever he does have a good performance, he never seems able to build on it. It's always one step forward, two steps back.

His hapless performance against Norwich could easily be explained by restart rust, two matches in four days, hot weather, etc... but it's an all too familiar refrain with him, coming off a showing against Liverpool that was actually quite creditable.

Colin Malone
101 Posted 25/06/2020 at 11:33:22
Davies needs to go out on loan and let's see what Mo Besic can do under Ancellotti.
Annika Herbert
102 Posted 25/06/2020 at 11:46:18
No arguing that Davies had a poor game, but I fail to understand how people think Sigurdsson came on and improved matters?

It seems to me it was more likely the change of tactics that changed things. No doubt we need a vastly improved midfield, but Sigurdsson will never provide that.

It was disappointing to lose Gbamin for a lengthy period again but I would prefer to see Baningime or Adeniran to Sigurdsson. Give them a few games to see what they can do, we already know Siggi isn't the answer.

Darren Hind
103 Posted 25/06/2020 at 12:17:47

I was amused and really rather cheered to read you have taken a position just to oppose mine. I was even more amused when you suggested people may be frightened to incur my "wrath". You may not have noticed, but some enjoy actively seeking it – you don't have to leave this thread to see that.

But as we are in opposite camps as far as Carlo's tactics are concerned, let me give you my view.

Since Carlo got here, we have played with two banks. We have defended deep and we have knocked long percentage balls. Dull uninspiring football... Fair?

Now correct me if I'm wrong, but are those not the very reasons you spent years screaming for the removal of Davey Moyes?

Unlike Moyes, Carlo did not inherit a team of journeymen who were staring down the relegation barrel. He inherited a team of hugely expensive signings.

Unlike Moyes, he will not be having to sell his best player at the start of next season. On the contrary, he will get Millions to strengthen.

The question is, Michael... Do you expect Carlo to achieve Champions League qualification, like the Ginger fella did? Do you expect a series of 5th and 6th place finishes like the Ginger fella?

Given the club's enormous resources in comparison to the buttons Moyes was given, will you be demanding more from Carlo?

Actually, Michael, this begs other questions.
Given how dreadful Moyes made us feel, will you be vociferously demanding Carlo entertains us? How long will you continue to extol the virtues of this Italian KITAP1? And more importantly: Has your bar been lowered so far that what was once totally unacceptable is now acceptable?

The tactically limited, penniless but hungry Moyes, versus the tactical mastermind with bundles of cash and a squad full of internationals. Who`s your money on? We'll soon see how committed to the task Carlo is.

Michael Barrett
104 Posted 25/06/2020 at 12:42:37
If we think our owners are going to fork out more money for a new midfield... we are dreaming; it won't happen. They will use the Covid-19 pandemic as an excuse for being skint, and so the mid-table team stumbles into next season with more or less the same players... Sad, so sad...
Martin Mason
105 Posted 25/06/2020 at 12:44:39
Darren, football has changed immeasurably since Moyes did well at Everton as his performance has shown. He was very good but comparing him with Carlo is apples and oranges.
John McFarlane Snr
106 Posted 25/06/2020 at 12:48:26
Hi Michael [98] I have for a long time, had the impression that you have held my posts in contempt. Without knowing you, I still believe that you know exactly what I mean when I say, "They are not machines"

I have never suggested at any time that "Evertonian's shouldn't dare to harbour any expectations for players to actually do their jobs, to the very best of their undoubted abilities". They are your words, and your final comment in description of my opinion, illustrates to me, your contempt.

Brian Harrison
107 Posted 25/06/2020 at 12:56:50

I am sure Michael will answer the questions you posed, but here is my take on the questions you ask. You say we have played with 2 banks of 4; yes, exactly the same formation as Duncan played prior to Carlo arriving; you say that with this formation we just hit long balls, so how many times did we always try to play the ball out from the back. Surely if that was Carlo's way of playing he would just tell Pickford to launch it from every goal kick.

You say he didn't inherit a bunch of journeymen who were staring down the relegation barrel, we were 15th when Carlo took over, pretty close to relegation for my liking.

As for not inheriting journeymen I would take issue with that most are just that in my opinion, the fact that this club bought and paid these guys fortunes doesn't make them into something there not.

You rightly say Moyes was given buttons absolutely correct, but Carlo hasn't spent a penny, and the forecasts are we will not have much to spend when the window does open, as well as keeping within the FFP which again were not of Carlos making. You ask if Carlo will achieve a Champions League place, I think he will and won't take a near decade to achieve it.

Your last statement was correct Carlo is a tactical mastermind, you don't win what he has without that being the case. Bundles of cash, well let's see what his net spend is in the next window.

Apart from David Unsworth, your stance is always to critisize all the managers we employ practically before the team under the new manager has played a dozen or so games. And as we all know most managers get sacked at sometime, the only 2 I can think of who weren't who both spent a long time at clubs was Ferguson at Man Utd and Wenger at Arsenal.

So by adopting your stance of opposing the manager from day 1 you know at some point when they are sacked you can claim you were right all along.

Tony Abrahams
108 Posted 25/06/2020 at 13:06:05
I'm not worried Bobby, because I think we have got enough points on the board now, mate. I'm just stating that the gaps are too big in midfield, especially when we change our style and try and open up a bit.
Steve Brown
109 Posted 25/06/2020 at 13:12:56
I keep reading the criticism of Ancelotti and thinking maybe I am being too lenient in my assessment of him. But then I remember that he has managed us for 14 games and not signed a single player since he took over.

Comparing him to a Moyes who managed us for a decade is a bit premature. TGT won nothing in a decade with us. Ancelotti's 3 Champions Leagues and domestic league titles in Italy, France, Germany and England probably earns him a bit longer in the job!

Joe McMahon
110 Posted 25/06/2020 at 13:24:18
David Moyes was good for Everton at the time and Everton were very good financially to David Moyes for 11 years. Yes, we did finish 4th and 5th a couple of times, but 11 years is also a long time not to actually win anything or at several away grounds, and the Liverpool record was pitiful.

Football has moved on now and David Moyes has struggled in several manergerial positions since, often being sacked. He steadied the ship at Everton but stayed way too long. Hammers ain't safe yet.

Martin Mason
111 Posted 25/06/2020 at 14:12:57
Michael @105,

The owners can't fork out for a new midfield so, yes – you are dreaming. We don't have the cash or cash flow and there are FFP rules that we have to abide by.

Covid-19 won't be used as an excuse because the damage done is reality, not imagined.

Tell us what Carlo should do with the mid-table team that he inherited to not stumble into next season when there is no credible scenario for the team buying several top-class midfielders? What solutions do you have other than to whinge?

Darren Hind
112 Posted 25/06/2020 at 14:18:25
Brian Harrison

You are right about one thing and only one thing. That my questions were directed to the Editor of this website. There is a very good reason for that.

Mike Kenrick was always front and center of ToffeeWebs fable MOB. Back then he spoke with a passion for the club, He had high expectations. He demanded more expansive football, His comments about David Moyes were not always universally popular, but they were, in my opinion, unerringly accurate.

Today he is extolling the virtues of virtually identical tactics. the same miserable safety first mentality. Ambition shy performances where we barely trouble the opposition goal.

I am curious to know if somewhere down the line the bar has been lowered to the extent that Moyes-like performances against really poor opposition are deemed now acceptable. I think my questions are directed to the right person and I think they are fair.
I'm not comparing two different types of fruit. The only thing I'm comparing this particular apple with, is another apple
Dull uninspiring football is still dull inspiring football. Hoofball is still Hoofball. premeditated spoiling tactics, is stiil premeditated spoiling tactics... doesnt matter how long a manager is in the job. He tactics demonstrate his philosophy

You try a rather snidey claim that I try to put myself in a no lose situation by criticising managers. Thats just gibberish. Anyone of them could have proven me wrong, Many on this website were confident that they would.
If you and anybody else who so believeS Ancelotti is our answer know what they are talking about and he does bring entertaining football which wins prizes, I will be proved unequivocally wrong. You and I dare say others, will be proved right and will be desperate to come on here and tell me so.

Look you believe the guy who won all those trophies with truly world class players can do it without them. I don't.

Its all about opinion

Craig Walker
113 Posted 25/06/2020 at 14:19:11
Moyes' biggest legacy at Everton is that some fans are still talking about him as if he were the Messiah. He was good for us at the time and made some astute signings. I like him as a bloke but the game has moved on. He is no longer a good manager. Please can we move on from constantly comparing David Moyes with the incumbent?
Ray Robinson
114 Posted 25/06/2020 at 14:44:41
It's far, far too early to judge Ancelotti's tenure at Everton one way or another but having tried so many alternatives, if he isn't the answer, then there probably isn't one. Of course his previous achievements with world-class players mean nothing at Everton other than the reputation and calm demeanour that he brings with him but similarly it is far too soon to label the football that he wants his team to play as "hoofball" given that he hasn't even brought in a single player of his own yet. He only has the current tools to work with.

And Darren, I know you might have been addressing Michael Kenrick with your questions but since when do you wait until addressed personally before offering an opinion? I don't believe Brian's comments at the end of his post were snidey. They echo my thoughts precisely – so I guess that makes me a snide too.

I don't think you'll ever be happy unless Unsworth or Ferguson are managing and Davies is an ever-present in midfield. Incidentally, for what it's worth, I love Davies's application to bits but he is reckless with his tackling, a booking waiting to happen every game, is profligate in his passing and has an engine but no gears – precisely the sort of player that Ancelotti will probably be looking to replace. Nothing to do with the fact that he is a local boy (I too do not like the abuse he has to put up with) but he simply is not consistently good enough.

It's all about opinion, as you say.

Jason Li
115 Posted 25/06/2020 at 14:57:57
If we get into Europe, great, we would have a chance of another European trophy next year.

If we don't, challenge for the Premier League and FA Cup next season. Why not? Let's see how we handle Leicester and Spurs that's coming up.

2 excellent signings that can do the defensive compact 4-4-2 and create when in attack will transform the team.

England's No 1, Brazil's No 9. Maybe England's No 9 soon too.

Not that far off with World Manager's top 3 as the tactician too.

Or is this too much "glass half-full"?

Ray Jacques
116 Posted 25/06/2020 at 15:13:16
Cannot believe some posters on here giving Ancelotti stick and inferring that Moyes is a better manager. Ask Real Sociedad, Sunderland, Man Utd or west Ham fans (take your pick).

Which of his signings are you not happy with?? We were 15th, just 4 points above relegation when he took over, and now we are looking up not down.

Give the man 3 to 4 years and see where we get to.

Jay Harris
117 Posted 25/06/2020 at 15:25:23
I can understand frustration at how we are playing right now but we have to bear a few things in mind.

1. We were leaking goals like confetti until Carlo arrived and you cant build a good effective team without a solid defence.

2. We have just had a shutdown and most games have been awful likewise the Bundesliga.

3. The players are not as fit as they should be and there is no crowd atmosphere to drive them on.

4. You can have the best tactics in the world but if some players fail to pass accurately or give the ball away constantly how can the manager be questioned unless or until he has the opportunity to have players of his choosing..

5. The standard of teams above and around us has improved considerably over the last few years while we have had constant managerial change and poor aquisitions.

My past criticism of the club has been to bring in managers with poor records and suitability that is not the case with Carlo who has a pedigree we should all be grateful for. That man knows football inside out at the highest levels and for me is our last hope for a return to the top table.

Moyes was a good appointment at the time but stayed too long and was not replaced with someone who could take us to the next level something he could not do. Had Carlo been appointed instead of Martinez I am sure we would not still be waiting for a trophy.

Andrew Keatley
118 Posted 25/06/2020 at 15:28:04
I always like to see the academy players given a chance, but I will not overlook their continued limitations just because they are academy graduates.

Anyone who plays for Everton – whether they cost nothing, or are our record signing – regardless of where they are from or how old they are – I want them all to succeed. I imagine most (if not everyone) on here are the same. But when I believe that a player is consistently not delivering then it seems fair and apt to say so, whoever they are.

Tom Davies – much like Ross Barkley before him – has spent four years with the first team and largely seems to have gone backwards. My heart still wants him to succeed, but my eyes and my brain tell me that is never going to happen. Ditto Moise Kean.

It's so hard to know how players will develop. I always believed Barkley could turn a corner and become a world-beater, even up to the point he left, even after years of frustration.

I still believe that Kieran Dowell has the sort of footballing ability that - were the defensive side of his game to vastly improve - could make him a Premier League player. I think getting rid of Lookman was a mistake. I was surprised and disappointed when we let Lundstram leave. And I was fairly convinced that Harry Kane would never be a top player.

You just never know. But something tells me that Tom Davies and Moise Kean are never going to be regulars in an Everton side that is in the top half of the Premier League.

Paul Tran
119 Posted 25/06/2020 at 15:34:00
Darren, I was critical of Moyes for the same reasons. Actually, I was more critical of those who deified a good manager that could organise a half decent team, without being able to take it further.

I thought/hoped Moyes's pragmatism was a means to an end. It wasn't. That was partially down to lack of budget, but mainly, in my view, down to his mindset.

Right now, we need stability. If that means a bit of initial pragmatism to instil good habits and confidence, that fine with me. For starters.

Carlo might have inherited 'a team of internationals', but many have slated these players, often rightly. If that's true, I'd say he's inherited a squad short on character with a big hole in midfield.

All he's done is what any half decent coach does. He's organised them, given them simple instructions, while having the clout that his predecessors could only dream of.

He's steadied the ship. Fifth on current form since he's arrived. Time will tell whether he's going to take us somewhere sunnier.

Brent Stephens
120 Posted 25/06/2020 at 15:36:45
As Paul #120 says - sums it up well.
Mike Gaynes
121 Posted 25/06/2020 at 15:53:43
Ray #115 and Paul #120, amen.
Darren Hind
122 Posted 25/06/2020 at 15:57:49
Yes Ray.

What you are doing is precisely what you accuse me of doing, by sitting on the fence and edging your bets. You cant possibly be proved wrong, but by stating categorically that I don't think he will win anything, I most definitely can – nice try though

It's not just about opinion, it's about choices, You want to believe we have to wait years before we can judge/criticise a manager. That's your choice. I choose to believe that the writing is on the wall now, today.
If it so upsets you guys for me to express those views, I won't, but I'm not going to be jumping on board the good ship Lollipop any time soon.

I support Everton, not the hired hand who picks the team. He, whoever he may be, should be held accountable from day one... not given a 3-year honeymoon because he once won stuff.

I find it interesting that you want to give a manager who may well have his best years behind him, all the time in the world, but are ready to dismiss a youngster with his entire career in front of him, out of hand... Choices and opinions eh?


I thought Unsworth did a manful job in his brief stint in charge. I made no secret of the fact that I would have had him over Big Sam all day long. However not long after, I heard from a very reliable source, that Rhino had been so disenchanted with the attitude of the modern highly paid superstar, He was no longer interested in management. He prefers to coach youngsters.

I believe that to be true and that why I haven't mentioned him as potential manager since. So can we please let this tired old chestnut drop. Why would I want a manager who I believe doesn't even want the job?

Steve Brown
123 Posted 25/06/2020 at 16:04:00
It took Klopp three years to build his current squad, starting from a far better base than Ancelotti enjoys. He only got the blend of the team right by spending £75 million on Van Dijk and £67 million on Alisson to improve the defence. It will take Ancelotti at least that time to build this club back up.

The one thing I admire about Liverpool is that they rarely spend carelessly on transfers. We need to spend our money far more carefully once we have managed to clear the remainder of the deadwood out. And yes, the team won't be playing the 'jogo bonito' at once. They will play better football when they have better players.

Mike Gaynes
124 Posted 25/06/2020 at 16:07:12
Darren, I asked you this question recently but I couldn't see if you replied because I couldn't remember which thread I posted it on. (This happens a lot.) You had expressed your disdain for foreign mercenary managers, or something close to that sentiment, and said you wanted an Evertonian to manage the club.

So if you had the power to name that manager right now, who would it be?

(I will stay on this thread so I don't get lost again.)

Martin Mason
125 Posted 25/06/2020 at 16:13:45
Remember though, on a forum such as this there will be a spectrum of opinion but I believe that these should be tempered by one reality.

The expectations of supporters of clubs that were once "big", like Everton, are totally unrealistic, we have no rights to base expectations on. The gap between expectations and what can be delivered at some points is often comical. especially at the extremes.

There is nothing wrong with wishes and hopes or the club as long as they aren't just shrill demands just as those who don't make shrill demands aren't accepting of mediocrity. Our function is to support the club and I believe that the club is making massive endeavours to elevate our status, they deserve our support. Criticise yes but not with mindless negativity, be constructive in criticism and offer alternatives and no boo-boying.

My son is a big Evertonian even though he is a Southerner but he reckons that Evertonians who take to social media after the game are amongst the worst of all fans. This is sad as I have always, or pre social media, always believed us to be fair.

John Pierce
126 Posted 25/06/2020 at 16:55:55
Anyone else scream at the TV when Baines and Digne stood over the free-kick? I was: Leave it for Baines!!!!
Jay Wood

127 Posted 25/06/2020 at 17:06:36
You can tell footy is back from the wide range of opinions on individual players, the team, the manager, the club, on this thread alone.

It strikes me there are some really hard task masters on TW.

We are living in extraordinary times and the football we are watching is as far removed from the norm as you could contrive. Playing in the summer months at all hours. No spectators. Clearly without the intensity or fitness levels usually associated with the last quarter of a season.

I believe yesterday in Norwich was the hottest day of the year. In June, lest we forget, when players are normally on the beach recuperating from a long hard season.

I believe I'm correct in saying Everton flew down on the same day and went directly to the ground from the airport to play the game. At least they didn't go to the extremes of Palace for their game against the 'bours last night, DRIVING from London in 20 separate people carriers. Exaggerated social distancing, or what?

We were playing our second game less than 72 hours after a 3-month lay-off. I was amazed Carlo made only one change from the starting XI against Liverpool from Sunday.

That the bulk of them comfortably saw out the full 90 minutes without injury is a testament to their fitness levels which some (that would be you, Connor) have maligned Carlo for since he arrived.

Tom Davies, as excellent as he was Sunday, was poor yesterday in a tepid 1st half. But so were Gomes, Bernard and Iwobi.

That does not merit, IMO, the likes of Jay Harris @ 72 making the highly speculative comment he does about Tom, that he:

'... worry about Tom and his lifestyle. He always looks like his eyes are in the back of his head. I don't know whether he stays up all night playing video games or something else is going on but it seems years ago he broke onto the scene with much promise and he hasn't kicked on one jot.'

Now personally, I haven't got a scooby about Tom's 'lifestyle'. I do have the impression he is very much his own man. He (and Calvert-Lewin) dress flambouyantly and stylishly, as seen in their mid-season break to New York which Carlo endorsed, commenting how much he liked their style, even saying next time, take me with you!

I too like Tom's style and individuality. I like that he goes skateboarding around the streets of Liverpool. I like that as a junior in the academy he took the ribbing from his team mates of being dropped off at Finch Farm by his mam and always kissed her goodbye. That's both ballsy and mature for a teenage to do that in front of his peers. None of that suggests to me a vagrant lifestyle as Jay implies.

Under Koeman as an 18-year-old in his breakthrough season, he was often preferred to both Schneiderlin and Gueye. He won both the fans' and the players' young-player-of-the-season awards AND the goal of the season at the annual awards.

He was often promoted to captain under Silva. He only turns 22 in five days times. He has played under SIX different managers since breaking into the team. ALL of them selected him. This 'Championship-level at best' player has made 100+ appearances for Everton 1st team in all competitions.

As Darren is right to point out, as with our other young guns Holgate and Calvert-Lewin, Tom shows bravery and determination sadly lacking in more senior players. He always shows for the ball. Is always willing to take responsibility. For the most part, his instinct is to play the ball FORWARD with a higher risk factor, rather than the safer sideways or backwards pass.

Is he without blemishes? No. He is clumsy in his challenges and picks up more cards than is necessary. Is his first touch always sound? No. But often it is and, when he is fully on his game, he is one of our better one- or two-touch players, as he was on Sunday, quickly and accurately moving the ball on.

I've just used the example of Tom. But it could apply to virtually any and every player on Everton's books. Again and again and again, I read the critique of certain players by particular posters who are simply incapable of seeing any good whatsoever in a player.

Annika is another and her total loathing of Sigurdsson. Sigurdsson was excellent when he came on yesterday, surprisingly playing a deeper role alongside Gomes, who also improved in the 2nd half.

Siggy was disciplined, available, tidy in his passing, worked tirelessly and effectively in his defensive duties and gave us a solid base in midfield that was missing in the first half.

Annika will never see or acknowledge when Siggy plays well.

Iwobi had a superb second half. He looks so much better off the leash, freed up from defensive duties and licence to roam and influence the game more inside and not just wide. Yet still some claim he contributed nothing.

My counsel is judge each player on a game-by-game basis with an open mind, not on a preconceived prejudice about him.

You may just be pleasantly surprised how good they are.

Steve Ferns
128 Posted 25/06/2020 at 17:14:19
Spot on, Jay, can't disagree with any of that.
Jay Harris
129 Posted 25/06/2020 at 17:40:14
Jay #128,
Let me clarify my opinion on Tom Davies.

I love the lad as I do all the youngsters who are progressing to first team status and would love him to come good.

However IMO Tom has not kicked on from the outstanding youngster when he first broke through.

Now one can blame that on a succession of useless and different managers, you can blame it on tactics or you can blame it on lifestyle or all three.

However in mine and many others opinion he is not performing to the level he is capable of consistently and I don't know if others see it but every time I watch him he seems to have black eyes with huge bags which for a 21-year-old is not normal hence my thought that he might be staying up half the night which could explain his inconsistent form.

If you are happy with his form then I'm pleased for you but I am not and as you will also note I did not excuse Gomes from the point either.

My opinion is we will never improve our status until we beef up the midfield and get a midfield player who can score goals too.

Paul Tran
130 Posted 25/06/2020 at 17:45:05
Everybody, whatever job they do, should always show up at work. Tom Davies always does that. When he has a poor game, like yesterday, he's always visible at the coal face, never shirking. Like Calvert-Lewin, he's had no-one to learn from, at least they have a manager that can teach them things now.
Ajay Gopal
131 Posted 25/06/2020 at 17:49:31
Good points made by Bobby Mallon (93) and Steve Brown (124).
Bobby rightly says that Norwich are no pushovers - they have beaten some very good teams as well us turned us over 2-0 at Goodison. Also, they were fighting against the drop with their Manager having publicly said that if they win 5 of their remaining 8 games, they could still stay up. Surely winning against a mid-table club was a 'do-or-die' situation for them. To restrict them to almost no clear cut chances, and dominating them for large parts of the 2nd half is no mean feat. Having said that, Bernard, Gomes and Davies had very poor games. Iwobi may just have redeemed his career with that 2nd half performance, so all credit to Carlo for persisting with Iwobi, in spite of many posters (me included) having written him off after the Liverpool game.

Klopp has got incredibly lucky with their selling and buying. They have sold players for huge fees - Coutinho 140+ million, Suarez 80+ million, Sterling 50+ million, Ibe & Solanke for a combined 34 million (ha.. ha..), Benteke and Sakho for a combined 58 million (HA... HA...), Danny Ings (20 million), and so on. The list is staggering. Of course, then he had enough funds to go out and buy the best in the market like Van Dijk and Alisson and they have proved to be very astute buys. When you also consider the present value of the Liverpool squad, it just shows how far away we are from that level.

We need to get lucky with our youngsters coming good (which has happened to an extent with Holgate and DCL coming on strongly this year) and we need to get lucky with our next 2-3 signings and we need to get lucky with injuries to our key players. The stars need to align.

Mike Gaynes
132 Posted 25/06/2020 at 17:55:34
John P #127, you could have heard me screaming all the way from the Coast. It wasn't quite Mirallas The Penalty Sequel, but that was my first thought when Bainesy didn't take it.

Jay #130, there's another possible explanation re Davies... just not enough talent and/or smarts. What looks brilliantly promising at 18 looks distinctly average at 22. I personally doubt your "lifestyle" speculation since there's no more energetic and committed player on the pitch every minute he's out there. I don't think he gave away that ball in the middle of the pitch at the end of the game because he was out too late the night before. He did that because it's what he does, time after time.

Steve #124, stop making so much sense.

Ajay #132, good post. I thought Iwobi redeemed himself with his entire game -- I said on the Forum at halftime that he'd been our best player in the first 45 as well. And coming off playing the full 90 in the derby 72 hours earlier, it was a really good performance, certainly his best at Everton. Let's see if he can maintain it.

David Pearl
133 Posted 25/06/2020 at 18:07:52
Mike and John, that was also a shout of mine. Not as bad as Mirallas and Barkley taking the ball of him but l wish Baines could show his authority more in those situations. Hope he signs his extension or we have another problem area to fill for next season.
Jay Wood

134 Posted 25/06/2020 at 18:10:10
Jay @ 130.

I have absolutely no issue with anyone expressing whatever view they like on TW.

I don't claim to be the unique purveyor of truth as some do on TW.

However, I will challenge highly speculative posts making huge presumptions about players and their lifestyles as you offered @ 72 and reinforced again in your latest post.

Liverpool is like a village for gossip. For sure, if Tom Davies is burning the candle at both ends, Blues in the city will know. For sure, that will be made known here on TW.

It is my opinion and simple assessment that if Tom Davies plays as he did on Sunday against t'other lot, he will get a lot of game time under Carlo. If he plays like he did yesterday v Norwich, he won't.

And that assessment is based purely on his football, not some fanciful speculation as you offered on his lifestyle which, on the laws of probability, you know bugger all about.

Jay Harris
135 Posted 25/06/2020 at 18:13:57
I agree I don't think there is anything wrong with his energy levels, he is one of the most hardworking players on the pitch. I believe it is more a case of tired mind because sometimes he seems very careless in possession or passing and that to me together with the tired eyes suggests there may be a case for lifestyle issues. I may be totally out of order because I don't know and I certainly don't think its drink or drugs but the lad is frustrating because we all want him to do well, know he has the capability but he just doesnt do it consistently even in the same game.

BTW I am so pleased you will be reunited as a family next week, Just don't go out to celebrate and catch the damn thing!!

Jay Harris
136 Posted 25/06/2020 at 18:19:45
Jay #135,
I don't think Tom is a clubber I remember hearing some time ago he was a gamer and thought he might be staying up playing games all night as a lot of the kids do and that would explain the bags under his eyes which I'm sure a lot of people have noticed.

I would love the kid to come good but worry that he is not taking his chance to state his credentials right now.

Darren Hind
137 Posted 25/06/2020 at 18:45:22

I believed and still do, that Big Duncan should have been given the Gig.

Paul Tran
138 Posted 25/06/2020 at 18:48:10
There are two main issues here. One is that some people seem to be criticising some players for not being the player they'd like them to be. The other is that some people have decided they don't like some players and are looking for reasons to have a pop at them. The haphazard, shapeless recruitment is a bigger problem than any player.
Joe McMahon
139 Posted 25/06/2020 at 18:58:29
Darren, I may be wrong but I thought Duncan didn't want the job and wanted a more experienced person in charge. TBH Pep or Klopp would struggle at this club.
Ray Robinson
140 Posted 25/06/2020 at 19:00:06
Jay #128, superb post, well balanced, though I can't agree on Iwobi, who I thought did his job adequately in the second half but no more than that.

As for Tom Davies, I'm afraid that I belong in the old school which is that at the age of (almost 22), you can't suddenly develop change of pace in the same way that a goalie can't develop height or natural spring (Pickford), a forward can't learn predatory instincts (DCL), a fullback can't develop ball retention sklills (Hibbert) and a midfielder can't develop blistering pace (Osman) - all good players, incidentally. They can / could all improve by experience but I fear for Tom's lack of gear change in today's ultrafast midfield play. His lack of pace (not energy, fearlessness or application) is why, in my opinion, he lunges into tackles. Gomes is a similar sort of player but has infinitely better on- the -ball skills.

Darren #123, I know it is impossible to outlast you in a debate as you will keep coming back ad infinitum but here is my response. I do not wish to sit on the fence. If you want my take on the matter, Ancelotti is in his probationary period and who judges a new starter until after he has completed such a trial period, which must include a couple of transfer windows at least, surely? I care not for his previous reputation. For what it's worth, I believe he will leave Everton in a far better position than the one he inherited. Whether he wins anything depends on the Board's finance and the crowd's patience. I am positive about his appointment and do not damn him with faint praise as you did early on, just so that (my opinion) you can claim kudos (if / when he inevitably fails - all managers do at some point). Nobody can make such predictions.

You state that you have anecdotal evidence about Unsworth not wanting the job on a permanently basis due to the attitude of so-called star players. Easy to say. I could equally claim that I have anecdotal evidence that he admitted that the pressure was too much for him and he couldn't handle the job. I don't by the way, but, without my admission, you couldn't disprove it. With Ferguson admitting that the job came too soon for him, and given your seemingly premature criticism of any recent managerial appointment, who would you have hired - particularly as you seem to favour the "Evertonian" approach?

Paul Tran
141 Posted 25/06/2020 at 19:04:08
When I first heard from Big Dunc that he 'didn't want the job', it made me realise the Ancelotti rumours might actually be true and that Dunc is clever enough to realise he could learn a lot from Carlo before he succeeds him.
Darren Hind
142 Posted 25/06/2020 at 19:25:46

You are perfectly at liberty to make whatever "claim" you want. I didnt claim anything. I simply told you why I hadnt mentioned Unsworth for the job in Years. Its people like you who have supported the succession of all too predictable failures. who keep bringing him up. - and their failure was all too predictable.


Its well documented what Duncan said. Ancelotti had been targeted, What else could he say ?. but anybody who believes he wouldnt have ripped Moshiri's hand off if asked to take the managers seat is living in cuckoo land

Jason Li
143 Posted 25/06/2020 at 19:30:35
Game management. At times in the last few years we looked naive like leading away at Bournemouth and drawing by giving it all away in the final minutes. Oh how we wished we could just close up shop, and the knashed teeth, fists and frustrations. Sometimes you could just crush a grape.

This time, we looked in command and let them chase the ball in the classical 1-0 up Italian style of football. If a chance comes, we take the counter. (Remember old World Cup videos when players walked with the ball at times under the hot sun.) Totally different from the winter Premier League one touch action type of football when the weather is easier to get up and down the pitch which does not suit Snieds anymore (sold) as it's just so athletic now.

No new injuries, no muscle strains to note so the players can also train and prepare for the next two big games coming up.

It's all going to plan, Italians always start slow in a tournament, and pick up after 3-4 games in, in the World Cup. I think Ancelotti is potentially playing a similar plan. In fact, it's fun watching players fizzing the ball around at one nil and watching the opposition chasing nothing in the sun. Seeing the same sequence of wide midfield to centre back, and ping out from the centre back to the other wide midfielder - the same triangle safely moving the ball the whole width of the pitch in two passes. Notice the other manager absolutely stumped in what to do. Trust Carlo. :)

Annika Herbert
144 Posted 25/06/2020 at 19:40:46
Jay@128, I most certainly will acknowledge Sigurdsson playing well, I just haven’t seen it happen yet. To suggest he was excellent after coming on against Norwich would, in my opinion, be greatly stretching the truth. However, it is only my opinion and something I am fully entitled to. As a few others mentioned, I hardly noticed he was on the pitch at all. You clearly saw things differently. Because you see things differently however, does not guarantee your being right and the same applies to my opinion.

My opinion is he is a poor player and has performed poorly all season.

Kevin Molloy
145 Posted 25/06/2020 at 19:43:33
I think Gareth Barry proved once and for all that you don't need anything in football if you've got the brain.
Ray Robinson
146 Posted 25/06/2020 at 19:44:34
Darren, I detest the "it's people like you who. " argument. Unless you have a photographic memory, what do you know about my previous opinion of managerial appointments? I believe in every new manager being given a chance to prove himself over a reasonable trial period. Is that unfair? Ralph Hasenhuttel lost 0-9 at home to Leicester this season but proved a lot of critics wrong in his ability to turn things around. Go on, answer the question, who would you have appointed?
Trevor Peers
147 Posted 25/06/2020 at 19:54:17
Strange post that, I was commenting on the midfield situation so your rant is ridiculous.
Darren Hind
148 Posted 25/06/2020 at 20:02:36

I do know your opinions. I know them because you have always been someone who has taken exception to my criticism of them.

I didnt seek you out. I never have done. In fact I have not sought anybody out on this thread, I've merely responded to those who have posted their comments directly either at or to me.

I didnt as you claim sit on the fence and damn Ancelotti by faint praise, I gave him his due for past deeds and said he wouldnt win anything with this squad. I think the term I used was "forgone conclusion"..Really gave me splinters in me arse that one.

I hate not responding to people, but I'm done with this thread.

I will be penning another article about Ancelotti and other hired hands in the next couple of days. IF Michael or Lyndon decide to publish. I have absolutely no doubt there will be a few people ready to kick the arse out of it.

John Pierce
149 Posted 25/06/2020 at 20:02:52
Let’s have your TWebbers vendetta XI’s!
Mike Gaynes
150 Posted 25/06/2020 at 20:24:02
Darren #143, I think "cuckoo land" is where everyone would have thought Moshiri was living if he had given the job of managing a deeply troubled Prem club to somebody with zero managerial experience, just because he was an Evertonian.

I do think he'll probably be the next manager when Carlo moves on in a few years, and he'll be a good one.

Mike Gaynes
151 Posted 25/06/2020 at 20:37:31
Annika #145... "I most certainly will acknowledge Sigurdsson playing well"??

Come off it. You've had the exact same opinion of Siggy from the moment he got here. You never said one complimentary thing even last season when he was putting up 14 goals.

Ray Robinson
152 Posted 25/06/2020 at 20:55:05
Darren #149, I do frequently disagree with your opinion - although I have agreed with it occasionally. Actually it's more your browbeating tone rather than the opinion itself that grates. Flattered that you remember me and I look forward to reading your article - but I won't comment on it, honest!
Brent Stephens
153 Posted 25/06/2020 at 20:55:29
You made a claim, Darren, even before Carlo was appointed, that he would fail at GP. No qualification, no if or unless, no reference to this squad. You claimed he would fail - full stop.

Annika Herbert
154 Posted 25/06/2020 at 21:01:05
Mike@152, I thought it was 13 goals but happy to be corrected. But scoring 14 doesn’t prove he was playing well all the time. He was supposed to be our creative genius, the dead ball expert who would knock in any amount of free kicks for us. So far, exactly, how many times has he scored from free kicks? Of course you were one of many who believed he would be our midfield saviour, despite stats, which you often refer to, suggesting otherwise. Sky did a nice piece showing his lack of creativity from open play. But, whilst his first season wasn’t as bad as I first feared, his second has been a total disaster. But, if you feel he has played well at any stage this season, then you have been watching a different player to me. Even when dropping deeper, a position you suggested he could excel at, he showed nothing. I agree he tries hard and works hard. But he hasn’t played well this season at all.
Paul Tran
155 Posted 25/06/2020 at 21:07:25
Darren #143, that was precisely my point. He'd have taken the job in a flash, but he knew who was coming. Duncan's always been more savvy than many give him credit for.
Jay Wood

156 Posted 25/06/2020 at 21:34:51
Annika @ 145.

'I most certainly will acknowledge Sigurdsson playing well, I just haven’t seen it happen yet.'

Do you really not see the absurdity of those two phrases?

Wot Mike says @ 152.

Last season he scored 14 goals and had 7 assists. You have constantly been on his case in all the time he has been at Everton.

If, as you claim, you have never seen him play well in his 105 games in the Blue of Everton, then that is self-confirming what I said in my original post.

You are totally incapable of acknowledging when he does play well.

And again, nobody is denying you your opinion Annika.

Just challenging it which you always seem to bristle at.

Annika Herbert
157 Posted 25/06/2020 at 22:12:26

It was actually 6 assists which is hardly world-beating stuff from a £45 million player. And no, I have never seen him play well for a full 90 minutes. However, as you seem to know everything I am feeling, maybe I should bow to your, quite obviously, greater knowledge?

Your opinion is your opinion but don't try to tell me what I am incapable of. Unless, of course, you have physic powers previously not known to myself. It is my opinion and, whilst admittedly restricted to being a TV viewer only, I stick by my statement.

I have yet to see Sigurdsson dominate a full 90 minutes, à la the top midfield creators. Maybe you feel you have done so, that is your opinion; mine is the complete opposite.

No, he did not decide how much we paid for him, but the fee was still £45 million. Do you honestly believe we have had full value for our money given his return over 2 seasons?

Come the time, if ever, that I can honestly say, "Sigurdsson won that game almost single-handedly, " then I will accept he has given a top performance.

Andrew Keatley
158 Posted 25/06/2020 at 22:16:57
Annika, seriously, let it go.
David Thomas
159 Posted 25/06/2020 at 22:18:30
The club would have become the biggest laughing stock in football if they had appointed Duncan over Carlo.

We have just appointed one of the most successful managers in the last 50 years of football, but instead Darren says we should have appointed a manager who has only managed a few first-team games in his life in a caretaker role.

Carlo may not be a success with us but surely Darren's the only person in the world who thinks we shouldn't have appointed him.

Jay Wood

160 Posted 25/06/2020 at 22:41:28
Annika @ 158.

And once again you self-confirm what I said.

Your latest post just bristles with resentment that your opinion is being challenged instead of engaging civilly.

You attribute to me attitudes and claims I haven't made.

I made no such claim to have greater knowledge than you or anyone else or any subject.

I have made no such claim to know how you think or feel.

I do not have and nor have I ever claimed to possess psychic powers.

I have never denied anyone the right to hold or express any opinion they like on TW.

I correctly stated that last season he scored 14 goals and had 7 assists. Here is a link to confirm that:

Siggy's 2018-19 Stats

Your posts to me on the subject of Gylfi Sigurdsson serve to affirm and reinforce the wider point I was making in my original post about some posters being incapable of acknowledging any good in a player.

It is clearly the case with you and the low esteem in which you hold the Icelander. Nothing, but nothing he does, merits acknowledgement or praise from you Annika. Nothing.

IMO it is an extremely absurd position to hold and seriously undermines your credibility.

Phillip Warrington
161 Posted 26/06/2020 at 00:19:42
Against the top team and bottom team 4points and conceded no goals not bad really cheers to all and hope you are all staying safe in these crazy times
Annika Herbert
162 Posted 26/06/2020 at 00:43:57
Andrew @159, if you don't like my posts, feel free to ignore them.

Jay @161, I did say I thought it was 6 assists but didn't claim I was right. Maybe if your posts weren't so condescending, my posts wouldn't seem to bristle, as you suggest?

Sigurdsson scored an amazing goal in Europe for us. That is the only good point I ever remember from him. Zero free-kicks in 2 seasons and a lack of creativity doesn't convince me he has played well.

But, once again, you suggest I am incapable of accepting something I don't agree with. Sorry my views don't match with your's but that's what opinions are all about. You, along with several others, believe Siggi is a good player. I, along with several others, disagree.

As a side note, how many of those 14 goals came from open play? My mistake about the assists was because I was quoting the Premier League stats, forgetting about the cup games.

Jay Wood

163 Posted 26/06/2020 at 00:52:04
Annika, if you read my posts as condescending, that is very much your problem.

You might want to double check your own posting style before throwing mud at others who have the audacity of disagreeing with you.

Annika Herbert
164 Posted 26/06/2020 at 01:51:15
Jay, people in glass houses, as the saying goes.
Derek Thomas
165 Posted 26/06/2020 at 01:55:44
When we bought him, most thought we'd overpaid for Sigurdsson and, the odd blammo aside, his performance for us never reached his 'expected' Iceland / Swansea levels.

We paid £45M, we should've paid £28M, his performance for us... the odd worldy aside, rates at £15M and we wouldn't get £5M for him if he went tomorrow.

Niasse, Sigurdsson, Schneiderlin, Tosun, Klaassen, Bolasie, Walcott, Kean(?) £200M plus wages. Add in Sandro and Bernard on frees and big wages.

We could've bought a 4-man world-class midfield for that and still had change for a bag of chips and a taxi home!

Steve Brown
166 Posted 26/06/2020 at 03:05:06
I loved Duncan's passion and ability to motivate the players when he was caretaker manager. It also struck me how respected he was by the players and popular within the club - despite many Everton fans contending that he did little as a coach and had a job for life due to Kenwright. But he wasn't ready to permanently take the role after the disaster of Koeman, Allardyce and Silva and it would have been a massive disservice to him to put him in the job at that time.

He now has the opportunity to study under Ancelotti and build his experience to take over in due course and, amazingly, Everton actually have a well-considered succession plan in place.

Mike Gaynes
167 Posted 26/06/2020 at 05:53:54
Annika #155...

When was the last time you saw anyone not named Messi dominate for 90 minutes? What kind of ridiculous standard is that?

But much more to the point:

"Of course you were one of many who believed he would be our midfield saviour,"...

It's beneath you to invent that kind of crapola. I never said that, or anything like it. I thought he would be a good player for us, and last season he was very good. But "saviour"? No. Never believed that, never wrote it. Period.

Don't make things up that other people supposedly said or believed. If you can't debate honestly, don't debate.

Annika Herbert
168 Posted 26/06/2020 at 06:07:48

Kevin Dr Bruyne actually, not so many days ago. I will debate when I want and how I want, within TW rules of course and it isn't your place to tell me how I should go about it.

You have constantly backed Sigurdsson as vehemently as I have derided him. Statements such as killer balls, great cross, worked his socks off etc. But I am wrong for not believing the hype?

Furthermore, for a £45 million pound player he was okay, not very good in my opinion. Was it not you who suggested Siggi could do a good job by dropping deeper?

So you will have to forgive me for refusing to accept the moral high ground you seem to have adopted.

Darren Hind
169 Posted 26/06/2020 at 08:44:22
Wow. I thought I was out of this thread.

David Thomas

"Darren's the only person in the world who thinks we shouldnt have appointed him". Do you really know so very little about your club that you believe that ?... Really ?
Ancelotti was undoubtedly a very popular appointment. a large number of fans were always going to be seduced by his past deeds..but Everyone ????. what a naive statement..almost endearing

You have to have pretty broad shoulders to offer an alternative view on ToffeeWeb especially when it comes to criticisng a relatively new manager. It does not win you popularity.

Its doesnt seem to matter how many kicks our fans get. These guys are and always have been untouchable. They can do what they want. They can serve up as much shite as they want and they will not be held accountable Theyre not even accountable for stuff they have total control over - Like style of play.
If you question their boring tactics you will be told that YOU are the one being negative. Some will attempt to tell you what you REALLY mean. Some will respond to you with comments you made years ago as if they are still relevant in todays different environment.
They will attack you for not conforming to their views..Then accuse you, of brow beating them.
They will make lies up, Deny stuff you have allegedly said in an article you wrote seven months ago -Even though the article is still there to be read.

All the above on this thread alone

Trust me when I tell you; NOTHING occurs the wrath of the natives like asking if the Emperor really is wearing any clothes. He has to be given at least five transfer windows. before you can suggest that maybe he's in his nack.

I've seen your little trick of trying to put me in a minority of one so many times, it induces a fit of yawning

If you think I'm the only Evertonian who's instincts tell them Ancelotti is a very risky choice given he has only worked with top class players. You are wrong.
If you think I'm the only Evetonian who thinks the appointment of yesterdays man is a razzle dazzle appointment made by Moshiri to mask his previous disastrous appointments. You are wrong again.
If you think I'm the only Evertonian who buys into the theory that he Ancelotti is compelled to play soulless negative football because his players cant play with tempo and passion, then you are wronger than you were the first two times. - Everyone saw them do it under big Duncan.

Its hassle to put your head above the parapet and express your opinion/concerns. It's not a route you should take if seeking approval is your aim and while the appointment of Carlo has been very popular with the large majority, You should not be fooled into thinking this unbridled joy is universal.

Sam Allardyce was ran out of town for insisting on playing soulless, organised, mechanical football. Being a winner with other clubs years ago will buy Carlo a little more time, but it wont buy him immunity. Looks what happens to Jose these days. People will only forgive negative football for so long. It may have brought success for some in the past, but it`s had it day. People want to be entertained.

Carlo needs to start next season playing a level of football which doesnt offend the eye, otherwise the minority will swiftly become the majority.

Yeah, I know - He needs five transfer windows before we can even think of asking him to send 3-4 people into the opposition box

Conor McCourt
170 Posted 26/06/2020 at 11:21:44
I am in a similar camp to Darren in that I worry that we won't progress as many expect us to under the Italian and agree with Mr Hind's assertion that our players performances are a reflection, both the good and bad, of the managers demands and expectations of his team.

When Allardyce was appointed many Blues were delighted because we were in a precarious position and so he was brought into stave off relegation. Many of these same supporters were then furious months later with the lack of quality he produced. Don't get me wrong some were disgusted by his approach to the club however those whose issue was solely the lack of quality I couldn't work out what they were expecting. I didn't want the guy near our great club but I'm not going then to ridicule him for doing what he has throughout his career, for doing what 'it says on the tin'.

Some of you thinking that it's easy to criticise the manager or that it's about being 'I told you so' are totally misguided and on this site you incur quite a lot of heat for doing so. Last summer I was furious with the club for their transfer activity and highlighted how it made us significantly weaker. I was so angry for what I seen as destroying the spine of the team yet there was a lot of backlash for speaking out against Marcel's work.
We all care desperately about our club and we all want what we individually view as the best decisions for it.

Where Darren speaks of the lack of entertainment for me it's much more than that, I worry about the method. Some of you point to Klopp and Pep and how long they took to achieve success but unlike under Carlo I could see the pattern of what they were trying achieve instantly and how they had formed an identity whereby they even suffered for trying to implement it when clear weaknesses to do so. Incidentally, even though Arsenal have similar difficulties to what Carlo has inherited, I see that from Mikel Arteta also.

No doubt Carlo's introduction should be viewed as an 'excellent start' and 'something to build on' and certainly it's what we are all hoping for. He has clearly rectified many of his predecessors ills and his points tally has been thoroughly impressive. However there is a real worry from a minority of Blues that this might be as good as it gets under the wily Italian.

Carlo has always been a 'fixer', the type of manager to come to a club straight away and instantly address the problems of the previous incumbent. Even at Bayern and Madrid he had to fix fracured squads in term of harmony if not results. In both jobs he really made an impact initially with Real winning the decima and Bayern retaining their title. However both clubs went backwards quickly and he remarkably finished third with Real in his last season and at Bayern had made a really poor start to his second season there.

The interesting case was Napoli. This was the first job where he had nothing to fix as he had inherited a squad that had challenged for the title and had a manager idolised by their fans for the progressive, exciting Sarri Ball. Carlo unprecedentedly struggled to win over their fans as they had lost their identity and became typically pragmatic while failing to mount an expected title challenge before really struggling the following season. At Everton Carlo needs to buck this trend and build gradually and sustainably.

On the positive side as Jay points out the fears I have over how fit the squad were have proved totally unfounded as we looked excellent in that department against the neighbours and Carlo and his staff must be credited for that. The mounting injury list in training does however still worry me as Sidibe has now joined the walking wounded also.

What also has really impressed me since the restart is that Siggy and Bernard have made way and Carlo seems to be planning for next season while marrying his importance of gaining confidence with results. Gordon has been given his head while Iwobi and Davies have seen more game time. Yes injuries have played their part but there seems a determination to build a squad based around our top young talent and it seems the Italian Maestro is looking at others who can step up.
This is a really strong indication for me that he does want to put the right structure in place for future success and that we aren't going to see some of the worrying names we have been linked with come to fruition.

Danny Broderick
171 Posted 26/06/2020 at 11:47:17
You can’t compare Ancelotti to Allardyce in any way, shape or form. For starters, likeability (if that’s a word!) Allardyce was arrogant - if we won it was because of a master plan he’d devised. If we lost, it wasn’t his fault. Ancelotti has bought into Everton 100%. The fans actually like him.

In terms of the football, under Allardyce it was dross. We were bottom of the stats for any semblance of attacking play. Under Ancelotti, we are an organised, hard working team, but we always have a good go and have chances in every game.

Let’s not forget that Ancelotti is working with what he inherited also. He hasn’t brought in any players yet, but just look at the ones we are being linked with. Top international players from PSG and Napoli, among others. Under Allardyce, we spent top dollar on Tosun and Walcott.

I didn’t watch the Norwich game but I did watch the derby, and while we didn’t play too well in the first half against Liverpool, our defending in the whole game was outstanding. The whole team shape was really good, and we should have won it second half.

I believe that performance is a good barometer of how we will perform under Ancelotti. Organised and hard working, in an under-stated way. If he can improve the players in one or two positions, we can hopefully be looking at top 6/7 next year. If Allardyce had stayed, I would struggle to imagine the same progression...

Tony Abrahams
172 Posted 26/06/2020 at 12:00:49
I’m delighted to have Ancellotti, and think he’s doing a good job. We are better suited to playing a game with less possession, but with a distinct lack of speed, quality and real energy right across the midfield, then maybe these tactics are better right now.

The reason I say this is because we lack purpose at the minute, although the defence has looked tighter, which is always something to build on, he’s sticking to his guns by keeping two up top, but this surprises me sometimes, and I think an extra body in midfield, might make us more pragmatic, until he gets the players with the energy required, to stop us leaving so many big gaps in the middle of the park, especially when we relinquish good possession so easily at times.

Patrick McFarlane
173 Posted 26/06/2020 at 12:10:51
If Carlo had inherited a similar group to what Pep and the other fella had then of course we as fans would expect a better style of football from his team, right now.

But he didn't, he was given a mish-mash of a squad with lots of players with average ability. Duncan motivated them to perform for a while but the lack of ability still reared its ugly head at times.

I'm not satisfied with the performances either but I would have welcomed the points we have on the board that Duncan and Carlo have delivered so far.

We are not a couple of players away from being a top side, we need a vast improvement in all departments if we want to see the club move forward.

If Carlo isn't able to improve the current players or purchase better ones, we will find ourselves occupying mid table for a few years.

Carlo won't be fired unless he has a run of catastrophic results, he has the length of his contract to find a way to produce consistent results and a more pleasing style. He may not achieve either and if he can't, I'm not sure anyone can.

33 years and counting!

Michael O'Malley
174 Posted 26/06/2020 at 12:15:20
Absolutely no way we would have got relegated anyway whether Allardyce was brought in or not He made out if he was the sole reason we stayed up when in reality the results we got including the 4-0 win over West Ham we’re done under Unsworth and put paid to any relegation fears, Allardyce is finished as a top level manager and no one in relegation trouble has phoned him to keep them up, plus he’s a greedy grabbing dinosaur who’s finished in top level football, He still goes on about Bolton now on talksport and that was nearly 20 years ago
Sam Hoare
175 Posted 26/06/2020 at 13:04:14
Conor@171, good post. This is definitely a very different challenge for Ancelotti. He's not built up a really mediocre team since 1995 with Reggianna! Since then literally every team he has taken on has been at or near the top and usually with a very good squad.

One example gives confidence though. Probably the furthest off the top was AC Milan who came 6th the season before he went there (though they had won the league two seasons prior). Milan was the longest tenure of his managerial career and he certainly left them in a better place than when he found them, winning a whole bunch of trophies in the process.

Not suggesting that we are in the same place as early 2000 Milan but his longest (and perhaps toughest) project also turned out to be one of his most successfull.

Joe McMahon
176 Posted 26/06/2020 at 13:32:58
Michael @1755, I tend to agree but WHU would've been better sticking with Allardyce as they have been on the whole awful since.

I felt his next move was superb keeping a doomed Sunderland up, bring in Defoe. Then Moyes arrived, signed a few ex Everton crocs and down they went. How we got shut of Darren Gibson is a miracle. I'm no Allardyce fan, but he achieves what he is asked to do, and he did a lot less damage to the club than Koeman.

Michael Kenrick
177 Posted 26/06/2020 at 13:51:41
I think 'contempt' is a bit strong, Mr John Snr (@107), but whatever floats your boat. Myself, I think it was more a friendly little nudge and a wink, a gentle suggestion that the "machines" business is plain and utter rubbish.

Oops... there I go again. Many people in this day and age are hypersensitive and take offence at the least provocation – the young ones, I believe, have a term for it, John: "Snowflake" – so I should really try to be a lot more considerate...

So that I can escape any accusation that I am contemptuously dismissing your post (so cruel, John – you don't know me and how much that might have cut me to the quick), let's examine this claim you make, that you say I fully understand (a little presumptuous, dare I say): something like "the players are not machines that can be programmed", I think is what you said on the other thread.

Firstly, I have to say this is something I have never come across before; it's an entirely new concept for me to even imagine that machines could be programmed to play football. But, again with the young folk and this time their video games... I guess that is what you mean: it's not a game of Fifa 2020 or Football Manager... But I suspect like me, John, you're not an adherent of such frivolous pastimes, so I might be barking up the wrong tree here.

Looking at it the other way, I don't think anyone (except you) has suggested that the players we have are, or could be thought of as, machines. So no, I honestly have no idea, comprehension or inkling of what you mean by this in the context of refuting my firmly held belief that the very human players we have the privilege of watching should be just a little better at shooting the ball into the goal.

But that is very much a human skill, John. It has nothing to do with programmable machines, which is why I struggled with your analogy. (Or was it a metaphor? I did go to one of the few remaining Grammar Schools in my time, John, but such ignorance is truly embarrassing.)

In the derby game, we had at least three glorious examples of what humans (not machines) performing to a slightly higher standard (not programmmed) might have done:

1) Richarlison cuts in all the way to the 6-yard box but, with Alisson already going down, he fails to smack it high into the roof of the net, instead choosing to fire it Alisson himself, enabling the save.

2) Calvert-Lewin, with the ball coming to him along the ground and his body perfectly positioned for a deft strick (with power) using his left foot across the line of the ball and scoring a brilliant goal inside the near post, chose the lower percentage but easier option of flicking his heel indolently at the ball to redirect it (with zero added power) inside the far post, only to allow Alisson the time to get across and save.

3) A very inviting ball drops for Davies, running in, with keeper down and defender approaching from the side: he chooses to strike his shot along the ground, where the defender can get the slightest touch with his foot, deflecting it onto the post, rather than leathering it above keeper and defender into the roof of the net.

But in your time, John, you must have seen hundreds, neigh thousands of such glorious chances missed by the narrowest of margins, and perhaps become immune to the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune that have through the years conspired to deny us greater glories. You must have also seen (not as) many wonderful strikes that ended up in goals, in part at least because the players had the skill and confidence to do the business.

I feel I've probably laboured the point in this lengthy treatise, but hope that I've shown you machines have no part to play in this, programmed or otherwise.

Then again, I just remembered... you never even saw any of this crap, did you? Astounding to me that you would avert your eyes from free TV coverage of 'your' team, a team in dire need of the 'support' you brag about, even if it is only 'virtual'... But no, you deliberately eschewed watching them play out the season, no doubt 'on principle'. See, that's something I can't believe you, of all people, would do.

I guess we come from very different spaces, John. If it helps, I'll try to ignore your posts in future as it seems to upset you if I respond to them.

Michael O'Malley
178 Posted 26/06/2020 at 13:56:26
Joe, I agree about West Ham, it's just the way he makes out he saved us and when he's on TalkSport. He loves bringing up the 3-0 win against us when he was Sunderland boss.

Also, Moyes is up to his old tricks with West Ham, playing Antonio as a centre-forward. I know Haller is injured but surely there must be another centre-forward at the club?

His "safety first" attitude looks like it will back-fire on him as they have not improved one jot since he went there.

Joe McMahon
179 Posted 26/06/2020 at 14:17:22
Michael, when he's fit (there's the problem) Antonio is a good player. I think West Ham will just about survive, as Bournemouth have stopped scoring. It's gonna be tight though.
David Thomas
180 Posted 26/06/2020 at 15:09:36
Darren, post 170 what a pile of crap.
Michael O'Malley
181 Posted 26/06/2020 at 15:11:27
The money West Ham spent in the summer as well, I think they’ll just about survive but only as there is 3 teams just about worse than them, that Haller cost £45 million, can’t remember the last time he scored
Jay Harris
182 Posted 26/06/2020 at 15:50:06
Michael and Joe,
We will have a big say in who goes down because we have Villa and Bournemouth at home.
West Ham, Villa and Bournemouth all have a tough fixture run in and I think it will go down to the wire with West Ham playing Villa on the last day of the season.
Martin Mason
183 Posted 26/06/2020 at 19:26:28
Darren, you're perfectly entitled to state your opinion I'm just sorry that it is always a pile of pony.
John McFarlane Snr
184 Posted 26/06/2020 at 20:31:21
Hi Michael [178] I have no intention to getting into a slanging match but I still believe that you do know what I meant, it's my opinion that some people demand perfection and that's what the term "Programmed Machines" refers to. You then appear to rule out the human element, I can assure you that I have witnessed better players than Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin, and Davies miss what we supporters consider 'sitters', and yes Michael that's where the "Human Element" comes in.

You're correct in saying that I've probably seen thousands of glorious chances missed by the narrowest of margins, but no, I haven't become immune, I've become more tolerant and understanding.

Michael you may well be astounded at my decision not to watch the televised games on a matter of principle, I watch my football from the Park End of Goodison, I no longer attend away games but I can assure you that I've seen my fair share of away games down the years. I chose not to watch the televised games because the idea of football in empty stadiums with a pretend crowd involvement, doesn't as you may put it "Float my boat"

In closing, I have never intended to use my support of which I am proud, to be interpreted as some sort of bragging, and Michael it's not your responding to my posts that is an issue, it's the manner in which you do so'
and it does indeed appear that you and I are as you say, in "Different Spaces"

Brian Wilkinson
185 Posted 27/06/2020 at 00:57:15
Darren@170, the past Managers have one up on Carlo, they all bought players, even Sam brought a few in.

Carlo did not panic in the January window, he has took stock of the players and have no doubt, if and when he buys in the transfer window, it will Be an upgrade on most of the shite we have bought from past Managers with the odd one or two That have actually improved the team.

Carlo came in December, has hardly had time to get his coaching across, when lockdown came into place.

Every Manager is a risk, however, time will tell if we are moving in the right direction, big Dunc can take huge credit in starting us off on the right foot with the pairing of Calvert Lewin and Richarlison.

Bit to early to judge a Manager who has had so little time, to get his tactics across and transfer incomings as of yet.

Brian Wilkinson
186 Posted 27/06/2020 at 01:02:21
Continuing on the above, I cannot speak from everyone’s point of view, but I personally think we made a great choice in landing Carlo.
Steve Ferns
187 Posted 27/06/2020 at 02:36:36
I don’t think there’s a manager out there that everyone would think was an amazing appointment.

Even Pep Guardiola, probably the best of them all, would attract reservations. Someone would point to the money spent, the quality of the players he inherits and the fact that his football is too open and suits better players than we have and that results would be marginally better than they were under Martinez.

Klopp, before Liverpool was coming off a season where he had the second best team in the country in the bottom two in February. There’d be a load of doubts shed about whether he’s a one trick pony and whether his tactics found out leading to Dortmund’s demise. He was often doubted on here due to his slow start at Liverpool.

Mourinho has stopped winning trophies at his previous rate, and his ability seems to be in decline. People don’t enjoy watching his teams play. He has a tendency to self-destruct.

Arteta faced a lot of doubts that will still be firmly in your memories of you read these pages.

Few rate Solskjaer. He’s improving but no one would swap Carlo for him.

Lampard is still something of a rookie and an unknown quantity, so there’d be similar doubts as raised for Arteta.

Rogers faced a lot of doubts on these pages, not just because of his Liverpool connections.

Simeone is one who was met with universal praise, but his glow has faded as Atletico struggle to third and it’s been a little while since they won the league now.

Zidane’s quality is likely to be questioned in managing a team of our level, as his skills, like Carlo’s, are based on getting the best out of the best, and his record shows he’s more of a cup manager than someone who delivers in the league.

Anyone else is going to be called unproven in England, or at this level.

There’s no one who cannot be questioned.

Steve Brown
188 Posted 27/06/2020 at 03:01:56
Brian @ 187, I agree that we made a brilliant appointment in Ancelotti, despite reading on here for years that we would never get anyone like him. We now need trust and patience.
Darren Hind
189 Posted 27/06/2020 at 07:26:59
Martin @184

A most compelling argument. You've won me over

Your'e right of course. My opinion is always a "pile of pony". My misgivings concerning a steady stream of hired hands have always proved to be unfounded.

Blind faith and unconditional support for them has always been rewarded. In fact we wouldnt be were we are today without it

I'm with you now. Is there room for one more on board the good ship "Eternally wrong" ?

Michael O'Malley
190 Posted 27/06/2020 at 07:27:51
And to think there was some posters wanting Eddie Howe as our next manager, Carlo might not be everyone’s cup of tea but we would be in a worse state with Eddie Howe in charge
Conor McCourt
191 Posted 27/06/2020 at 11:26:33
Danny @172- perhaps my post wasn't clear enough but I wasn't making a 'direct' comparison between the two managers (excuse the pun). My point was aimed at the constant theory on Tweb that performances will improve once we are safe or once we get better players.

Some fans expected a change in method under Sam and guess what it never materialised and I agree he was a totally pointless self defeating appointment. We had Mourinho spout the same nonsense as United boss and Moyes when he went to West Ham. Neither could evolve.

My argument is that Carlo achieved all his success in the past by his method which is centred more about the opposition than what we are trying to achieve. Liverpool was about stopping their threat, Norwich was about waiting for their energy to burst and doing a Marco Silva on them. He is a master tactician more in the mould of a Mourinho or an Emery rather than an Allardyce.

I was merely highlighting that Napoli provided the perfect opportunity for Carlo to reinvent himself if there was a genuine desire to do so as there was nothing to address and a template for a progressive, adventurous, riskier brand of football. Carlo reverted to type.

Sam@176- I thought your mate Buendia had his best game against us that I've seen. He made a big difference to them but thankfully for us he still lacks that final ball. He was very promising though and looked really pissed that he was left out so he may have something about him like most Argentinians.

Also good to see Iwobi get more time centrally which we both have been wanting to see.

Justin Doone
192 Posted 27/06/2020 at 11:51:04
Having read a few comments above about our victory over Norwich I'd be thinking we must have lost the game and any faith in the new manager.

Happily I know the result and another 3 points is the maximum we could take from the game. The cherry on top would be improving our poor goal difference by a larger margin against the worst team in the league but oh well.

On the performance, we were poor but slightly better than Norwich, who had more clear cut chances in the 1st half. I won't pick on a few individual players, I'll simply say the team didn't perform and were inconsistent.

I can understand Carlo wanting to assess the players and build from the back starting with a solid defensiveness display, very sensible for a team that has conceded so many simple easy goals.

Against this logic is the needless passing it around between goalkeeper and defenders when the opposition are pushed up pressing them.

We don't have the players to do it. It failed under several other managers and for the life of me I can't understand it, unless simply attempting to run the clock down. High risk for little or no return.

Also I fail to see any other logical game plan, team play or creativity. If we play 2 up front I expect more forward balls played quickly. Long diagonals, more crosses, more forward runs from the midfield to support and get the knockdowns and 2nd balls.

I'm delighted to have Carlo, he's genuinely top class, experienced, managed some of Europe's biggest and best clubs and won plenty of trophies. He's managed and won silverware in England before and ticks nearly every box.

If he's given a little time and allowed to buy 5 top class players we can achieve something, we can win something. But time and money it seems are in short supply with fans and our owner.

Some say timing is everything and unfortunately his appointment may have come a few years and many millions too late.

John Boon
195 Posted 28/06/2020 at 02:10:10
John (184), I fully understood just what you meant by your expression about players that "They are not machines". Evertonians in general are frustrated about many things that have been happening at "Our" football club over the last few years. As long-time supporters, we are all very disappointed about many of the signings we have made or not made. Management problems have also become valid reasons for debate.

For the most part, these frustrations are directed at individual players and this is made very clear by reading the articles and the posts on TW. We all have different opinions and, amazing as it may seem, someone's "Man of the Match" is another supporter's "Donkey", who should never wear Blue again as he is a total disgrace, and should never ever play for Everton under any circumstances. I know this because I have expressed just those thoughts many times after watching one more abysmal display.

I think today's players are very well paid and have to put up with the criticisms that they hear or read. However, I am not quite as forgiving as John M, but his point of view is probably far more rational and sensible than mine. Players are not just programmed machines, they are human beings with all the expected frailties and weaknesses that we ALL have. John M is really saying that sometimes fan's expectations go beyond what is fair. Well, that is only my perspective and many may disagree with how I see things. My wife does on a regular basis.

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