Early goals give Blues a vital win despite barrage

By Michael Kenrick 01/07/2020 254comments  |  Jump to last

Yerry Mina is available again after recovering from a thigh problem

Everton held on for an important win in their third fixture since the resumption of the Premier League with smart goal from Richarlison after a fine setup from Gordon, and a very rare penalty through VAR.

Carlo Ancelotti makes two changes from the team that started at Norwich, with Anthony Gordon and Gylfi Sigurdsson coming in for Bernard and Tom Davies. Yerry Mina, fit again following a thigh injury, is on the bench.

Leicester played it cagey from the kick-off, looking to protect the ball and build slow, almost playing in Vardy but Digne blocked him well. Everton, playing out from the back, could only give it away.

Gordon was fouled wide right, Digne swinging the cross all the way over for an Everton throw. And it was worked around to the other side where Anthony Gordon took superb command of the ball from Digne's nice header, crossing for Richarlison to hammer home. Great goal.


After Praet went close at the other end, Richarlison was double-teamed, Digne putting in a great ball that forced a tricky VAR decision with Ndiidi's hand then and Keane's head, then his raised hand... long review before the penalty was finally given, the first in 38 Premier League games for Everton. Sigurdsson stepped up and slotted it home nonchalantly.

Leicester, their game plan in tatters, continued to build slowly and methodically nevertheless, forcing Everton to defend. But Everton broke well, a brilliant visionary ball forward from Gordon inviting Calvert-Lewin to run behind the defence but he then inexplicably threw himself pathetically into the defender Soyncu and fell to the floor; never a penalty and a ridiculous manoeuvre when he had a glorious chance to shoot and score.

Praet crossed well and it needed a deft touch from Coleman to keep it away from the striker. But The Foxes had obviously been told to up the pace by Brendan Rodgers at the drinks break.

After another period of being penned back, Calvert-Lewin and Iwobi were set to break together at pace but the pass was either too far ahead of Calvert-Lewin or he had no conviction in completing the move for what would, in another universe, have been a very good goal.

Rcharlison fouled but Everton repelled the Leicester free-kick and follow-ups with a sequence of defensive headers. But they kept probing and won a corner, Keane position to block a pile-driver from Tielemans that would have ripped the net, then Pickford was quickly out to stifle the follow-up.

The Everton defence was living an increasingly charmed life, with the ball just not quite falling for the visitors, while Everton had offered no further threat at the other end before half-time.

Gordon and Digne tried to reprise the first goal but the final ball in was a little too wild for Richarlison to control. Digne's long throw ended up back with Pickford, and Pickford's punt forward to Calvert-Lewin ended up back with Pickford before the whistle blew for half-time.

Maddison and Iheanacho came on after the break, as Leicester looked to get back in the game. But it was another important test fro ANcellotti's prowess at organizing his defender. Digne's deflected shot was probably going wide. A messy ball in and Holgate's clearance spun in off Iheanacho, that defensive record blown.

Everton continued to invite pressure with poor passing and sloppy play. Bringing on Davies for Richarlison was hardly likely to improve this as the Brazilian struggled after getting his foot trodden on by Ndidi.

Iwobi looked to set up a strike that saw Sigurdsson's shot blocked at source. At the other end, Keane did the same with a vital block on Maddison. A shocking error by Pickford came so close to gifting a goal but for vital quick thinking by Keane to scop the ball away from almost behind the line.

Leicester were now creating chances on every attack, Ihenacho missing an open goal. Iwobi, as ineffective as ever, was finally withdrawn with Mina on to shore up the teetering Everton defence. And it seemed to at least break the pattern of attacks getting into the Everton box. Ihenacho was reduced to shooting from the edge of the box, with Pickford this time alert to the bouncing ball.

The nonsense playing out from the back led to a stupid yellow card for Pickford. A deep cross to Chilwell was well high and wide. Everton finally broke out but Gordon was then pulled off, Bernard in his place for the last 12 minutes.

Leicester continued to work the ball well but Maddison's shot looked very tired, hinting that perhaps Everton could hold out for the win. A corner for The Foxes was well defended away by Digne. Chilwell beat Gomes but not Coleman, although admittedly his had, and normally a penalty under the new rules?

With Bernard's vision, Everton broke more convincingly but Sigurdsson just stopped the move dead, with 6 minutes added time for the Blues to hold out. Davies showed a ncie pair of heels but the ball to CLavert-Lewin was deflected away from him.

Vardy set up Perez for a certain tieing goal that was only just deflected wide, but Everton still struggled to relive their lines as the pink shirts swarmed at them with renewed energy. But the Blues held on for a very significant win, risi=ding out a very difficult barrage for Brendan.

Scorers: Richarlison (7'), Sigurdsson (pen: 16'); Iheanacho (51')

Everton: Pickford [Y:74'], Coleman, Keane, Holgate, Digne, Gomes, Sigurdsson, Iwobi (68' Mina), Gordon (78' Bernard), Richarlison (57' Davies), Calvert-Lewin.
Subs: Stekelenburg, Virginia, Baines, Branthwaite, Baningime, Kean.

Leicester City: Schmeichel; Justin, Soyuncu, Evans, Chilwell; Ndidi [Y:54'], Praet (46' Iheanacho); Albrighton (81' Pérez), Tielemans (81' Gray), Barnes (46' Maddison); Vardy.
Subs: Ward, Morgan, Fuchs, Choudhury, Mendy.

Referee: David Coote
VAR: Craig Pawson

Reader Comments (254)

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Tom Bowers
1 Posted 01/07/2020 at 17:39:45
Will be a difficult game as ever.
Jay Wood

2 Posted 01/07/2020 at 17:44:54
From the BBC:

'Everton are the only team yet to win a penalty in the Premier League this season. They’ve gone 38 games since they last won one (vs Chelsea in March 2019), their joint-longest such run in the competition (also 38 in 2008).'

What a surprise...

Robert Tressell
3 Posted 01/07/2020 at 17:53:37
Is this on a non-Sky channel anywhere?
Mike Hughes
4 Posted 01/07/2020 at 18:26:53
Listening on Radio Merseyside with Ronnie “as I say” Goodlass.

I swear he’s just used “as I say” three times in the same sentence.

Still, as I say, better than a RS pundit!

Jay Wood

5 Posted 01/07/2020 at 18:54:19
What a very impressive half of football from Anthony Gordon.

Not just for his excellent work on the 1st goal, but his all round play. Sharp pace and control, imaginative passing, not neglecting his defensive duties.

He is stepping up very nicely.

Plenty of possession for Leicester, but the way Keane, Holgate and Pickford are mopping up everything that comes into the box, let them lump in crosses all evening.

Anybody else gave their kitchen a first coat of paint waiting for the VAR decision on the penalty..?

Simon Dalzell
6 Posted 01/07/2020 at 18:57:16
Enjoyable half. Young Gordon playing really well. (Touch wood.)
Chris Williams
7 Posted 01/07/2020 at 18:58:00
Watching Sky on mute and listening to Everton Radio on the app with Darren and Snods. Funny, informative and very, very biased but in a good way.

Anything to avoid that odious twat Carragher.

Jay Wood

8 Posted 01/07/2020 at 18:59:30
Simon @ 6.

(Touch wood)...?

Keep yer hands off!

Ernie Baywood
9 Posted 01/07/2020 at 19:02:13
International viewers suffering Jim Begin again.

Good half from the Blues and very impressed with Gordon. Looked a different player after his assist – amazing what a bit of confidence can do.

Defence looks decent again, though Leicester putting us under a fair bit of pressure. Keane in his element defending whipped crosses.

Would be handy if Calvert-Lewin could grab a goal. Things not really going for him at the moment.

Chris Williams
10 Posted 01/07/2020 at 19:03:37

Gordon giving his best display, and very impressive. Iwobi showing an unexpected turn of pace once or twice as well.

Keeping it solid under a fair bit of pressure, and will need to deal with a fair bit more. Leicester have to keep it going or jeopardise their Champions League place.

Nice to get a VAR decision and a penalty, but never would have been given otherwise. Not sure how I'd have felt if we'd have conceded that.

Robert Tressell
11 Posted 01/07/2020 at 19:57:13
We might be dull as dishwater but we're hard to beat. A couple of midfield dynamos transform this side.
Simon Smith
12 Posted 01/07/2020 at 19:57:27
Micheal Keane really beneficial from the break.

Great shout from Jay to predict the penalty (of sorts).

Football is back!


Jim Bennings
13 Posted 01/07/2020 at 19:57:33
That was bloody hard work!

Carlo puts the shits up me at times with too many defensive players on the pitch inviting pressure.

That will do though, a win against the team in third.

Mike Kehoe
14 Posted 01/07/2020 at 19:58:09
That was a hard watch. The type of game we would have lost under Marco. Well done, at last we have a manager.
Ernie Baywood
15 Posted 01/07/2020 at 19:58:59
Thank God for the penalty, because that was a tough second half. We went a period of about 10 minutes without completing a single pass. That might be a record.

Overall it's a very useful 3 points against a good side.

John Reynolds
16 Posted 01/07/2020 at 20:02:18
Carlo has successfully taught us the art of Catenaccio during the shutdown. Not pretty, but effective. 7 from 9 with an injury-hit squad. No complaints.
Jerome Shields
17 Posted 01/07/2020 at 20:03:32
A win is a win.
Jay Wood

18 Posted 01/07/2020 at 20:04:49
Oof! Not a pretty watch in the 2nd half.

Offered little or nothing as a creative or attacking force.

Gordon had a very good game, but for his full 90 minute display MoTM for me has to be Michael Keane.

Gomes doesn't look right to me. Heavy and sluggish. Pickford had a couple of wobbly moments, but for all their possession the Leicester goal was a fortunate one and they really didn't threaten our goal.

All we can do is keep banking the points, however they come, and see where it takes us.

Paul Smith
19 Posted 01/07/2020 at 20:06:03
What a manager we have at last. 5 - 6 players not good enough and for the first time I'm including Gomes. Just too many poor games I'm afraid.
Bill Gall
20 Posted 01/07/2020 at 20:09:07
It is no use putting out a defensive side unless as Ancelotti has shown they play as an organized unit. The defensive type of game was forced on Everton when rich went off.

No matter what we think of the game, it was something we have not done for a while, and that is beating a team near the top and earning hard-fought 3 points.

Michael Lynch
21 Posted 01/07/2020 at 20:12:05
Leicester were magnificent in the second half until Ancelotti locked them up, then they just drifted away. We have about half a decent team, but desperately need someone like Maddison who can make things happen.

Great 3 points though.

Mo Guindi
22 Posted 01/07/2020 at 20:12:27
Can we play all our games with no fans going forward!? It seems to be working!! Seriously the likes of Michael Keane and even Tom Davies are playing better without the moans and groans from the stands. Would be nice when fans go back to be supporters not moaners whoever we have on the pitch
Fran Mitchell
23 Posted 01/07/2020 at 20:13:51
Game management dot com

Excellent work from Carlo. Leicester had the ball, but in reality we were comfortable. Leicester are dangerous when attacking at pace with space, and we didn't let them do that. The countless crosses into the box was easy work for the imperious Keane.

We don't have wide players, nor ball winning midfielders, so Carlo set the team up appropriately.

They got a lucky second half goal that made it a bit tight, but we had the game won after 15 minutes.

Gomes looked knackered, and Davies took a while to get into the game. Once he did, mind, he played well. His passing was better, and his movement on the ball. For me, though, is is never gonna be a defensive midfielder. He's better in the attacking half.

Siggy played ok, but again, not a great ball winner. This is our clear and obvious weakness.

Once at 5-3-2, Coleman played well, great engine, but this formation isn't great for holding possession.

DCL ran his socks off, and Gordon looked a player.

Iwobi was rash in possession again.

Keane is a new man. Top quality again. Holgate solid (unlucky with the goal). Mina calmed things when he came on he's a really good player. We have 3 top centre halves that makes me wonder why we're linked with so many.

3 games 7 points. Good stuff.

Christy Ring
24 Posted 01/07/2020 at 20:14:26
A tough 2nd half, Keane to the fore again, and sparing Pickford's blushes, who had a difficult time, to say the least. Richarlison going off changed our game plan, and bringing Mina on had us on the back foot. Would have liked to see Baningime getting a run. 7pts from 9 and big game at Spurs next.
Andrew Hight
25 Posted 01/07/2020 at 20:15:12
Glad to win. Pretty big gulf between the teams. Iwobi woeful, Sigurdsson and Gomes poor and Pickford dodgy. The rest played well. Gordon was very good.
Martin Berry
26 Posted 01/07/2020 at 20:15:25
Carlo has a real job on his hands but is getting the best out of what he has got.

Woefully outplayed in midfield and maybe Richarlison going off injured and Davies on to beef the centre was a blessing in disguise.

Iwobi hooked due to some poor decisions, he is really going to have to get a grip. I think we need a left- as well as right-winger although Gordon showed some glimpses of great promise.

Thought the defense was really solid and at least Carlo has us hard to beat and a win is a win. Their first goal was fortunate and, despite possession, they did not create that much.

The Spurs game is going to be very interesting.

Michael McCarthy
27 Posted 01/07/2020 at 20:18:31
Keane dominates and Davies showing his skills.
Colin Glassar
28 Posted 01/07/2020 at 20:19:55
Our run in is really tough. I can't see us getting any higher than 9th. With our midfield, even that would be a miracle. Thankfully, we have Ancellotti.
Duncan Adams
29 Posted 01/07/2020 at 20:21:12
Pleased to win obviously. Feels like Carlo is dragging us to the end of the season whilst accumulating/grinding out points. The gaps are obvious and pointed out by other contributors.

If we all know, then so must Carlo. Let’s hope he (and Marcel) can execute his plan over the summer.

Jamie Crowley
30 Posted 01/07/2020 at 20:22:26
Ever seen a cornered, hungry animal in danger?

Today was like that.

Frank Kearns
31 Posted 01/07/2020 at 20:26:24
Master Ancelotti read the game, saw the problems and made the necessary changes to deal with them. Kudos to young Mr Gordon, getting better as his confidence grows, Misters Keane and Holgate, imperious. I feel Master has got The Team performing.
Charlie Dixon
32 Posted 01/07/2020 at 20:27:19
Decent win that. Enjoyable game to watch as well!

Jay thought you weren't watching any games a month ago?!!!

Ian Bennett
33 Posted 01/07/2020 at 20:29:47
So what do you do with Michael Keane – sell or keep?
Fran Mitchell
34 Posted 01/07/2020 at 20:30:38
Of our last 6 games we play 3 teams above us, and 3 below. The 3 above being Spurs, Wolves, and Sheff Utd. Below being Southampton, Bournemouth, and Villa.

Of course, nothing is guaranteed in football, we will likely "do an Everton" at some point, and the likes of Villa and Bournemouth fighting against relegation may find some form, but with Carlo I'm confident in any of those games.

12-14 points come season's end and things don't look too bad.

Peter Mills
35 Posted 01/07/2020 at 20:31:52
A good 3 points, well managed by Carlo. Once again, it was not very pretty, but we are so much better organised than previously. Tom Davies did well, Iwobi will never fancy a challenge, Pickford is daft.
Colin Glassar
36 Posted 01/07/2020 at 20:32:03
The first water break interrupted our rhythm. The second, when Carlo pulled Tom and Dom aside, changed the game in our favour. Double-edged sword I suppose.
Christy Ring
37 Posted 01/07/2020 at 20:32:13
No one can complain about Davies's effort when he came on, worked his socks off, with Sigurdsson, a luxury we can do without, and Gomes anonymous, and Iwobi poor yet again.
Alan Rodgers
38 Posted 01/07/2020 at 20:33:03
An imperious Michael Keane MotM – who'd have thought it?

A resolute performance from Everton and a well-deserved win. I could pick holes in Gomes, Pickford and Iwobi but not tonight. Shame about the Richarlison knock, hope it's not too serious.

Jay Wood

39 Posted 01/07/2020 at 20:34:23
Charlie @ 32, if that is addressed to me it's a case of mistaken identity.

I will always watch Everton, whatever the circumstances. Never, ever claimed that I wouldn't watch them once the Premier League re-started.

Liam Reilly
40 Posted 01/07/2020 at 20:39:19
Colin #28

"Our run in is really tough".

We've only Wolves in the top six and Spurs top 8. I'd say it's a very reasonable run in if we've any aspirations of Europe.

Jamie Crowley
41 Posted 01/07/2020 at 20:44:19

I agree. If you want to get into Europe, you need to earn it.

That said, I believe the three "tougher games on paper" – Spurs, Wolves, Sheffield Utd – are all on the road.

It's going to be tough. If it was easy, we'd leave it to the children. We can do it, but we need to be at our best.

Knowing this team, and trying to objectively assess our talent vs the other teams in the mix, I'd honestly say our chances our remote. We're a year away under Carlo's tutelage. But for me, Europe still needs to be the goal. And it is, no matter how difficult the road to be travelled, a reality.

Gotta go for it.

Colin Glassar
42 Posted 01/07/2020 at 20:45:10
Sheffield United are no mugs either, Liam
Jamie Crowley
43 Posted 01/07/2020 at 20:47:02
Never mind Sheffield Utd, Colin! What about the inevitable "Everton fart" when we drop 3 points against Bournemouth last game of the season!

As craddle-born Evertonians are fond of saying, Everton that!

Colin Glassar
44 Posted 01/07/2020 at 20:48:21
Lads, I'd love us to get into Europe. But, if we do, we need at least three top midfield players. This lot, bar Gomes, scare the crap out of me.
Dave Abrahams
45 Posted 01/07/2020 at 20:52:15
We had it tough when Richarlison went off injured, he was having a good game and it just left Dominic on his own up front where he did very well battling for every ball and took a lot of physical stick off the two Leicester centre-backs.

Coleman had another very good game up and down the line, never shirks for a moment, and Tom Davies came on and played very well and got us some well-earned respite going forward. Sigurdsson also had a good game along with Digne and Gordon performed well and stuck to his job while providing a good pass for Richarlison's goal.

A well earned 3 points for their perseverance and keeping their shape under plenty of pressure.

Kieran Kinsella
46 Posted 01/07/2020 at 20:52:58
Interesting how some teams (Man Utd, Chelsea) have flown out of the blocks after this break while others (Sheffield Utd, Norwich, Bournemouth) are like it's the first day of pre-season. The rest (Everton, Leicester City, Aston Villa) are sort of in-between, cautious, not a lot of goals, like we're building up our fitness.

Makes me wonder about the "midseason" training. I know I saw Man Utd players getting in trouble for trespass and quarantine violations keeping fit before the clubs were allowed to train on site. Is that the difference? eg, self-motivated players? Or is it just down to the coaching team? Either way, the difference in form and fitness is pretty staggering.

Sam Hoare
47 Posted 01/07/2020 at 20:53:09
Richarlison's injury is no big deal apparently. Should be fine.

As for the match, id say it was a hard won 3 points. It scared me how little we had of the ball in the second half and i'm surprised Carlo didn't have some better tactics to retain at least a little possession but the defensive effort was strong and luckily Maddison had his radar a little off.

Definitely need more in midfield and after his best game for us against Norwich I was disappointed in Iwobi who worked hard but used the ball very poorly.

2 points off 7th and why shouldn't we aim for Europe? We're one of the form teams in the league; though this small squad may struggle with 5 games in 12 days.

Fran Mitchell
48 Posted 01/07/2020 at 20:54:29
Mourinho vs Ancelotti will be interesting. Wolves will be tough. Sheffield Utd look a bit wobbly after the restart. Bournemouth look a lost cause... Aston Villa too. Southampton are a decent outfit and have restarted reasonably well.

I expect: 1 defeat, 2 draws, 3 wins (55 points).

I think possibly: 2 draws, 4 wins (58 points).

I fear a true Everton style self-sabotage: 3 defeats, 1 win, 2 draws (49 points).

Darren Hind
49 Posted 01/07/2020 at 20:56:00
Keane often struggles when playing a high line, but this defending deep lark is right up his street. Another MotM performance from him.

Tom Davies? We were getting mullered before he came on. An equalizer looked a certainty. Our players were simply hacking it anywhere and it kept coming back. Davies wouldn't do it. He was constructive. He passed out to blue shirts and was prepared to carry the fight by running with it and going past Leicester players. He knew how his detractors would react if he was caught in possession. So does everyone else... but he did it anyway.

This is what I mean when I talk about his bravery. He may not be our most talented player, but he wouldn't just lump it back to Leicester the way more experienced team mates were doing.

By the time the final whistle went, he was head and shoulders above everyone else on that pitch.

Get in, Tom lad. That's the only way to answer them.

Bobby Mallon
50 Posted 01/07/2020 at 20:56:05
VAR should be banned. What a joke the Hammers goal not given. His head offside... there was no fucking way he was going to get up and head it in.
Brian Dagnall
51 Posted 01/07/2020 at 20:56:20
Well I was expecting some argument on here to my view that Gomes is a big disappointment. But, having read the earlier posts, it seems that many agree. I've watched Gomes and Sigurdsson before and thought both were good players but, just now, both are off their game. Next season, maybe they'll be back.

You see Keane, Digne and Coleman are playing great just now but have been through rough patches in the recent past, so I hope our midfielders make a similar recovery. Holgate was and is the real deal.

Gordon also played great.

Tony Abrahams
52 Posted 01/07/2020 at 20:58:54
It's a disgrace, Bobby, sickening really. Should be one up, but now they're one down, and this is coming from someone who has got no time for any David Moyes team.
Paul Birmingham
53 Posted 01/07/2020 at 20:59:03
All-in-all, a win that invites hope and optimism for the next match.

Fine performance by Anthony Gordon, who has shown in glimpses vs the RS that he reads the game and has pitch awareness and uses the ball well.

Two halves, and we got battered 2nd half, and interesting with the 6 mins added time, we beat Leicester, who are a good team and we were clinical with the chances we had.

Hopefully we have Richarlison fit for Spurs, as Calvert-Lewin fought a valiant lone struggle when he went.

For me and accepting the terrible injury André Gomes had, he is getting match fitness with each game, but his sharpness, for me, seems a long way off. Hopefully it will return.

Well done to the team for grinding this one out and hopefully we can play with no fear and beat Spurs.

It seems that there's good signs of resilience and belief in this squad and, if we can get the midfield furnace burning for a full match, we may be able to play more offensive.

Carlo knows his football, there's no doubt, and it's soothing to know we have a top manager.

Hopefully Calvert-Lewin will stick a couple in soon, fingers crossed, and no bad injuries for a Spurs, and Jordan keeps his concentration for the full game.

Here's to a good weekend for all of us.

Robert Tressell
54 Posted 01/07/2020 at 21:01:16
Some thoughts:

- manager is not afraid to win ugly. Fair enough.

- back four has a good shape and well organised. A big plus.

- centre mid is still fairly terrible. Gomes surely can't be properly fit. With Iwobi and Gordon showing some form, maybe we need to spend the pennies on 2 centre mid players. Gomes is a strange sort of player. Classy but maybe not really what we need. More mobility is required.

- Gordon is going to be a good player in an inside left type role. Worth leaving him there for the rest of this season. He'll create and score. Good pace and running and technique. You can see why Dortmund were interested. He suits that aggressive running forward play.

- Iwobi is going to be more hit and miss but offers good cover on his flank and is a source of balls into the box. May be worth giving him a proper chance to make right-wing his.

Ian Riley
55 Posted 01/07/2020 at 21:04:37
A manager who made changes when required. This we have lacked this for many years. Also moving the ball with pace and purpose. The next level is moving from 2 goals up to 4 up. This only comes with confidence and belief.

Players, in particular the younger ones, are improving. Pickford needs competition in the summer. He scares me, let alone the back four, he's too unpredictable. The methods and standards set by the manager are starting to set in. Players who don't meet them... goodbye.

Tony Everan
56 Posted 01/07/2020 at 21:05:43
Carlo is a bit stuck with lack of options from the bench. Sticking Davies on and trying to break up their play was probably the best one. As we got the 3 points, it was justified. Tom did his job well when he came on, carried out his instructions to a tee. Carlo will be well pleased with that.

To have a chance to finish 7th, we will need 4 points away against Tottenham and Wolves. The fact that we are still in there battling for it with 6 games left is a credit to the manager and the players.

The football isn't perfect by a long chalk, but they've turned the club around from last October's nadir and we are looking forward again.

Tony Abrahams
57 Posted 01/07/2020 at 21:06:46
Tom Davies did very well, Darren, but he's always brave, and his presence definitely helped Gomes, who was a total passenger up until this point.

I haven't read many posts but, with Everton getting totally over-run, that was a victory for Ancellotti tonight. He changed us once, but it still wasn't that convincing so he changed us again. It tightened us right up and then we never looked in much danger for the latter period of this game.

Paul Tran
58 Posted 01/07/2020 at 21:10:25
There was a lot to like there.

A well-drilled defence, a lovely first goal, a team working its socks off the whole game. Simple obvious substitutions instead of trying to be clever.

That midfield is like five mis-shapen jigsaw pieces that will never, ever fit together. It won't outplay Liverpool or Leicester.

People asked on the forum why Sheffield Utd and Burnley are ahead of us. It's simple. They've had a good manager all season. We've got a very good one right now.

I'll get excited when we get the solid midfielder with presence we desperately need. He will release the others to play. Until then, I'll settle for hard to beat and winning.

Dave Williams
59 Posted 01/07/2020 at 21:17:17
Excellent post, Darren, the game turned when Tom Davies came on as, not only did he stop Maddison from dictating play, he positioned himself well to cut out space and as Darren says he played positively and retained possession which rubbed off on the rest of the team- Gomes in particular started to look better.

Carlo has sorted out the defence by playing to Keane strengths, covered superbly by Holgate and the full-backs have got their mojo back. Midfield is poor in that whilst we work hard we don't appear to have the ability to control the game. Up front we will be very dangerous once we can provide some kind of service to them.

Gordon was very good, growing in confidence and could be a real player for us next season, again we need to sort out the midfield to supply him with decent possession.

Pickford?? He scares the crap out of me. Very lucky not to have given a goal away and, for a while, I thought he would be sent off for continuing to waste time.

Carlo?? A masterclass of game management, the way he is getting Keane back to his best and the right substitutes at the right time not to mention how he and his staff have clearly coached and mentored what was one of the shakiest defences in the league.

Well done again, boys!!

Alan McGuffog
60 Posted 01/07/2020 at 21:17:45
RIP, Everton Weekes.

Maybe we should mark his passing?

David Hayes
61 Posted 01/07/2020 at 21:19:47
Christy Ring #37,

I don't often comment on here but read all comments respecting all different points of view. I too sometimes feel let down by what I see on the pitch and get frustrated when we don't get what we truly deserve but, win lose or draw, it's the same from you and others like George C who can't comment without saying Sigurdsson is poor, Iwobi is poor and whoever the current whipping boy is also poor.

We just won against a top-three team, and we are definitely improving as a unit. I don't really understand the reason why you need to be down when we are winning?

I must have missed the point in my 50 years of being a toffee. Please loose the word 'poor' – it's, lazy and dosen't make good reading for others with more joy of good football to discuss. Be distraught and angry when it's not good enough, but give credit where it's due.

Richard Mason
62 Posted 01/07/2020 at 21:23:43
Great result. Sweaty goal from Leicester, and they only really threatened for 15-20 minutes in the second half.

Carlo got his tactics and subs absolutely spot on. Leicester ran out of ideas and faded.

Kenny Smith
63 Posted 01/07/2020 at 21:35:51
We'd've lost that game under our previous long list of managers. Loads of positives tonight. There's no point going over the few negatives.
Jim Burns
64 Posted 01/07/2020 at 21:36:57
Those on here calling Gomes – do me a favour. He's clearly not as sharp – but I don't suppose the fact that he's still coming back from that horrific injury in such a short time has anything to do with it – physically or mentally.

This guy is one of our jewels – ffs sake take a step back and stop expecting perfection overnight.

He will be back next season and will be one of our key assets in the coming seasons.

Jim Burns
65 Posted 01/07/2020 at 21:41:54
Well said, David @61.
Colin Glassar
66 Posted 01/07/2020 at 21:42:02
Have you noticed how many modern players chicken out of tackles? Not only don't they know how to tackle (an art imo) but they visibly shrink from any physical contact.

I was watching 'Howard's Way‘ this afternoon and they showed the Everton - Sheffield Wednesday game when Inchy got hammered by Marwood(?) and was taken off. Reidy and Andy Gray admitted going after the Wednesday player who didn't complain.

The Bayern Munich game was also highlighted where both teams kicked the crap out of each other. Once again, no complaints. Most of today's players would become conscientious objectors if they had to face that level of physicality. No names mentioned.

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
67 Posted 01/07/2020 at 21:54:17
Alan #60. Yup, I am with you. Sad day RP, Everton Weekes.

He was before my time but a lot say he was class.

Jamie Crowley
68 Posted 01/07/2020 at 22:04:46
Oh my, West Ham... The Ginger One breathes relief.
Gavin Johnson
69 Posted 01/07/2020 at 22:07:14
Things I saw today:

Michael Keane has a future at the club and if we do manage to win the race for Gabriel there will be no shortage of takers for Keane.

Carlo has no faith in Moise Kean. We looked a shell of our self when Richarlison went off. We could have brought him on and kept the 4-4-2 shape.

There was good game management from Carlo to counter the threat of Leicester City when they bought on Maddison and the lad up front they got from Man City. We did well when Mina came on, even if it was at the detriment of leaving Calvert-Lewin isolated.

If only we had pushed the boat out and bought James Maddison instead of sticking with Dowell.

Jay Wood

70 Posted 01/07/2020 at 22:17:49
Interesting from the BBC.

Since the start of last season, Neymar (28) is the only Brazilian player with more goals than Everton's Richarlison (24) in the top five European leagues.

Paul Hewitt
71 Posted 01/07/2020 at 22:18:55
Any of our previous 4 managers would have lost that game.
Jerome Shields
72 Posted 01/07/2020 at 22:22:34
Ancelotti has probably realised we need improvements in midfield and has concentrated on defence in the meantime.

His use of Subs in the second half probably saved the day and the look on Pickford's face when Keane cleared off the line was pure relief, as if someone had saved his life.

We all know the weaknesses but players, a few of them flawed, are trying their best in a depleted squad and fought for those points. So two wins and a draw, definitely means will avoid a relegation fight and lucky Carlo may give us a strong end to the season, and we have his first Summer transfer window to look forward to.

Most important of all, confidence at Everton is being helped no end. The look on Rodgers's face after he was tactically beaten was worth every agonising moment of that second half.

Robert Tressell
73 Posted 01/07/2020 at 22:27:52
Gavin, I would say Carlo has no faith in Moise Kean in the current set up. I suspect we're dealing with a kid who needs building back up. He needs a better team around him to help him do that. So maybe not this season, maybe next. Really glad for Gordon, mind you.
John Raftery
74 Posted 01/07/2020 at 22:47:39
A deep defensive line suits Michael Keane who was outstanding tonight with his marking and clearances, on the ground or in the air. He was our Man of the Match for the third game in succession and on this occasion by a considerable margin.

In many ways, the last half-hour was a tactical triumph for Ancelotti who made the necessary adjustments in response to Leicester's dominance. In the end despite, or perhaps because of, having so many attackers on the field, the Foxes were restricted to overly ambitious shots from outside the box.

Our manager will not be misled by the outcome of this match. To beat a top three team is no mean feat but he will have noted yet again our inability to control the midfield areas. At present we are heavily dependent on defence in depth with our midfield also sitting deep. The need to add dynamism in midfield has been apparent all season. It remains to be seen if the weakness can be addressed in the next transfer window.

Christy Ring
75 Posted 01/07/2020 at 22:54:08
David Hayes @61,

As you say, we are all Blues fans on here and allowed to express our views, and delighted with the win. In my post, I said Tom Davies was excellent when he came on, and, for your information, he's normally the whipping boy on here, so I'm not allowed to say Sigurdsson and Iwobi were poor, even though others who watched the game had the same view.

Jim Burns @65 What was well said??

John Raftery
76 Posted 01/07/2020 at 23:13:27
Christy (75),

Well said. Was the reference to Everton Weekes, the great West Indian batsman who has passed away?

Gerry Ring
77 Posted 01/07/2020 at 23:22:05
Colin #66 Totally agree about some players shirking tackles. I thought Gylfi gave a masterclass in tackle avoidance tonight! Others like Keane, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin, Coleman, Holgate & Digne in particular, were very strong in the tackle all night.
Jay Harris
78 Posted 01/07/2020 at 23:40:55
Jay #70

Let's hope he is as good with his charm and persuades Gabriel to come join the Carlo revolution.

Gary Poole
79 Posted 01/07/2020 at 23:44:13
Really delighted with the win and having, in Carlo, a coach that is able to manage games in the live environment to get the result.

We've all seen us lose too many of those games over the years and, to be honest, I think it helped that there was no crowd tonight. The players were able to focus on what Carlo wanted them to do rather than the crowd.

Obviously, I'm not advocating playing games behind closed doors but, on this occasion, I think it helped us. Gordon, Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison, and the back line were great, as was Davies when he came on. Fantastic 3 points, COYBs!

Martin Reppion
80 Posted 01/07/2020 at 23:44:22
It's never been easy being a Blue. (Well maybe for a while in the '80s). Tonight no exception.

But it has been great to see Michael Keane playing so well. Holding on to win when my head kept saying 'this is going to end badly' was an experience I can get used to.

We do need some genuine creativity out wide to succeed playing 4-4-2. Iwobi and Gordon or Bernard are not (yet) Steven and Sheedy. And these days, players who combine bite and flair in the midfield in the way that Reid and Bracewell did seem few. It seems they can only be one or the other nowadays.

But this was a game that recent history said we shouldn't have won. So my view is that things are a hell of a lot better than they have been for a long time. I'm not expecting miracles. But I am thinking that watching on TV from behind the sofa can be put on hold.

Kase Chow
81 Posted 01/07/2020 at 23:55:37
Dave #61

Well said, mate. Totally agree.

Well done, Blues. Great home win against a tough opponent with a mishmash of a squad


Pickford is a clown. A complete liability and almost cost us.

Coleman: playing so well since lockdown.

Digne: did well enough. Brilliant defending against Vardy to stop us going 1 down and good free-kick that earnt the penalty.

Keane: a player reborn. I still think we need a centre-back but Keane is staking his claim. Maybe we just need a clam and reliable keeper?

Holgate: the journey this guy has made this season is immense. Looks stronger, has some pace and reads the game well. An asset.

Iwobi: hit and miss. Does some good things but difficult to imagine him doing it over 90 mins.

Gordon: decent game and great assist. Well done.

Gomes: seems to have remodelled himself as a defensive midfielder that can pass the ball. Uses his physicality so well for us. Thought he played well.

Sigurdsson: again showed he can play in a 2 (until we were outnumbered). He's clearly not a 10 and was never going to be good enough in that position. But can do a job for us as a centre-midfielder. But wouldn't be my first choice.

Richarlison: fab finish for the goal and also put in some great tackles. Wondering if he can improve further or ‘is this it?' If he can improve more, we could have a real genuine player.

Calvert-Lewin: worked tirelessly but didn't get the service or anything really. Was a great outlet for us.


Davies: did great and turned the tide for us when he came on.

Mina: made the defence a wall.

Bernard: this guy is rubbish. An absolute waste of space. We thought we were getting a Coutinho. Or even a Juninho. Instead, we've bought an 8-stone guy with superb skills but that cannot play in the Premier League

Well done, Everton!

Don Alexander
82 Posted 01/07/2020 at 00:01:53
Due respect to our moderator Mr Kenrick but his somewhat critical commentary on the match is very different from the Guardian newspaper's football correspondent's summary of it. He thought we were clearly the best team apart from a 20-minute period in the second half.

Didn't watch it because the whole thing is really soulless without the crowd IMHO, but, if these anaemic games improve us for next season, if it takes place in any normal environment, it's all to the good, I suppose.

Andrew Keatley
83 Posted 02/07/2020 at 00:21:36
Darren (49) – Tom Davies did well today, but "head and shoulders above everyone else on that pitch"? Come on, that's just silly.

Kase (81) – There is a certain irony in you agreeing with Dave's comments at 61 and then opening your "thoughts" by calling Pickford a "clown" and ending them by calling Bernard "rubbish."

I thought we were unlucky to concede something of a freak goal, but seemed to become very timid once we did – something that was further exacerbated once Richarlison went off. The last 40 minutes were very much an exercise in holding-on, and our defence in particular should take immense credit for that.

Steve Ferns
85 Posted 02/07/2020 at 02:06:09
Season ticket holders get two free TV passes, and with the first two games being free to watch, I used one of my passes to watch the game on Sky.

I still haven't come round to the fact that football is being played without fans in the stadium. I don't like it. I thought this was one of the better games though.

I was fearful that, without the crowd, home advantage would count for nothing and so Leicester, being 3rd, was a very tough game. We flew out the blocks and were 2-0 up in no time. I think the penalty incident was at 11 minutes although after all the faffing around the clock had ticked to 16 minutes when Gylfi slotted it home.

I saw we were struggling in the middle before half-time and made the comment on the official Twitter thread that we needed to get a grip of midfield and sadly that became worse after the restart with Maddison on the pitch and looking injury-free.

The thing that others haven't mentioned though, is we had two of the slowest central midfielders in the league up against three. That's a tough job at the best of times, but Ndidi and Tielemans are full of running and a lot more mobile than our two. So it was always going to be a struggle for us. And with their lack of mobility, and being outnumbered, Gomes and Sigurdsson were always going to be chasing shadows.

On the Davies substitution that someone suggested was a bit negative and Kean should have come on, I think you need to watch it back. Ancelotti already had Davies stripped and coming on before Richarlison went down and had to come off. I expect that Richarlison was not going to come off, but that he was set to drop into midfield with one of the wide men coming off (probably the ineffective Iwobi). If I am right, then it wasn't a big adjustment to take Richarlison off instead. So a switch to a 4-5-1 with Davies in behind Sigurdsson and Gomes.

Carlo then shored things up further with Mina coming on and we went 5-4-1. The midfield kept its numerical supremacy by shifting to a narrow diamond with Davies still deepest and Gordon now off the striker. Bernard then made a straight swap for Gordon.

I thought Davies was magnificent. He took a few minutes to warm up but, once he did, he was everywhere. He always dropped in deepest of the trio, but if we (usually he) won the ball, he would be the one getting forwards, giving an impression that he was not so deep. He showcased his good footwork and carried the ball forwards well and passed it efficiently.

I thought that, with Davies taking responsibility defensively, we did see an improvement from the other two. But that could also be as a result of having more freedom as they were no longer outnumbered and chasing hard. I would agree though that Gomes is still far from his best, and I didn't like it when he felt that recently broken ankle a couple of times after getting a knock. I hope it's not causing him an issue.

My man, Anthony Gordon, was superb. Sure, he's still a kid, makes wrong decisions and can get knocked off the ball easily, but he's passing well and showing what he's about. That said, he's still to really open his legs and show his pace. He's electric when he gets going and he can maintain the speed with the ball at his feet and that's a side of his game most have yet to see.

As for his position, he's in the right position. He's not going to play central for a good few years yet. He's best on the left, with space to run into, to use that pace, to run at defenders and show his trickery, and to drift inside on his right and shoot, and most importantly, as he did all game, to come inside and drift into space and make things happen.

I think we've done very well the last three games. So what if the football is not scintillating, or we only put one past Norwich. We've 7 points from 9. The only team we didn't beat is the team that has only failed to win two other times all season. That's more than you can ask for really. It gives me hope for Spurs and Wolves away and if we win those two games ugly, then we are on for a great end to the season.

As for Michael Keane, it's been said above, and I've said it before, that if you defend deep, then Keane looks brilliant. The problem is always, and this won't change even if he's in good form, that if you play a high line, then he gets caught out for pace and on the turn. I think Holgate is our best defender for that reason and so we do still need another centre-half.

Most crucially though, we need a much more mobile central midfielder to do the running for Gomes, and to cover for his mistakes and sweep up behind him, and so allow him to get on the ball and make things happen. If we sign one player this summer, and it's this type of midfielder, and no-one else, then I'd be happy. We need another centre-back and a winger for sure, but I'm not greedy and fixing that midfield should be a priority, particularly if Carlo perseveres with his 4-4-2.

Jerome Shields
86 Posted 02/07/2020 at 03:20:14
Andrew #83,

Agree with your comments.

Steve #85,

Just that one midfielder would be fine. The difference has been that long coming.

Ernie Baywood
87 Posted 02/07/2020 at 04:02:40
As I was watching, I thought we were going to lose that game. People won't like this but maybe we benefited from not having 40,000 Evertonians in the stadium in that second half.

7 points from 9 still feels good. And Tom really should have knocked in that rebound against our friends across the park!

Jay Harris
88 Posted 02/07/2020 at 04:35:28

I agree with much of what you say, especially about Gordon. Once he settled down, he played some killer passes and contributed greatly to the cause.

Where I don't agree with you is getting just one midfield player.

Maddison, when he first came on, looked head and shoulders above every midfield player on the pitch and it was only when he took a knock he faded from the game.

We have had long enough to look at Davies and Gomes but neither contribute enough consistently and do not produce any goals. Tom has potential but, for me, Gomes is a midtable player – certainly not top six.

John Boon
89 Posted 02/07/2020 at 04:39:35
A number of very satisfactory individual performances, but football is a team game and we looked ponderous and unable to link up, particularly in the second half.

Far more needed if we are to get seventh place. I will be delighted and amazed if we somehow make it.

Steve Brown
90 Posted 02/07/2020 at 04:53:20
The better players on the pitch were Holgate, Gordon and Tom Davies when he came on. Calvert-Lewin led the line well also. It is great to see a nucleus of young development players getting a chance. Give Anthony Gordon a run of games until the end of the season to help his growth and confidence.

Tom Davies always looks to play a progressive pass and that can lead to mistakes, but I would take that all day long to the lack of accountability we have seen over the last three seasons from the likes of Schneiderlin and Sigurdsson. It's also good to see him slot so calmly into a defensive role in this instance.

Central midfield is where we have fundamental issues, and I would like to see a CDM and a CM brought in over the summer to supplement Gomes and Davies. We'll add another centre-half and, with Kenny returning, that might be it for this summer.

Mike Gaynes
91 Posted 02/07/2020 at 06:21:42
Steve #90, sorry but the best player on the pitch, no contest, was Mr Michael Keane. Absolutely massive.
Darren Hind
92 Posted 02/07/2020 at 07:48:16
Andrew Keatley.

My comments silly ?... Here's a few other posters thoughts

"Davies showing his skills"
"Davies worked his socks off"
"Davies did very well"
"Game turned when he came on"
"Came on and turned the tide"

If you care to look you will find other people who, unlike you, are not completely bound by their confirmation bias.

I was stunned by the reaction on the live forum when it became clear Davies was coming on. His detractors were onto him before he'd even kicked a ball. You were hammering him within minutes of the start of the Norwich game. That's life, unfortunately.

People seem to spend long periods defending Kean for being not so. Iwobi for being Iwoeful. Gomes for being Gormless... but they are all foreign or internationals who cost £30M.

I have kind of come to terms with the fact that a certain section will hammer the academy boys. What I can't come to terms with is the way they react to any defence of them. If you don't join in the lynching, you must think he is a "boy wonder" – know anyone?

What I also don't understand is the determination not to acknowledge when these guys have played well. People were actually making excuses for Davies playing well on that forum last night "He's only playing well because Leicester are tired"... You couldn't make this shit up... They have long since dismissed this boy so it pains them when he makes complete mugs of them.

"He did well, but" – Not begrudging at all, that, Andrew. Your inability to accept praise for this guy is exposed when you dismiss it as "silly".

If Tom Davies did not finish that game as the strongest player on the pitch, I would love someone (you?) to come on here and tell me who did? Let's hear something really silly...

Darren Hind
93 Posted 02/07/2020 at 08:04:20

Let's be clear: I was happy to give Keane MotM because he manfully did the job he was asked to do... but "Player"? He won multiple headers "mainly unchallenged" and he spent long periods hacking away dangerous balls. He cleared his lines all night. Great... but he didn't play much football.

There is something radically wrong here. We are employing the most primitive, backs-to-the-wall, ten-men-behind-the-ball tactics, where for long periods our players are adopting an "anywhere will do" attitude... And people are calling it a tactical master class???

I'll take the points and accept it for the remainder of this season... but let's not pretend this alehouse mentality can ever replace football, or real tactics.

Tony Abrahams
94 Posted 02/07/2020 at 08:22:03
Michael Keane is getting the plaudits. Fair play to the lad, he's doing well, but he's not good enough for where we want to go though. Slow to react for Leicester's goal, and then murdered out wide near the end by Vardy.

I'm not taking anything away from him, but he gets way too square, which then means he takes an age to turn, but he's definitely improving.

But this is a real weakness that has to be rectified because good players don't get caught in bad positions, it's all about playing to their strengths.

Rob Halligan
95 Posted 02/07/2020 at 08:26:17
Two points from watching our game, then the West Ham vs Chelsea game. The inconsistency / consistency use of VAR. Our penalty, rightfully awarded in my view, was an exact replica of the handball by Dele Alli in the spurs game, which was not given. Arm straight up in the air with the ball striking the hand, penalty all day long. This showed the inconsistency of VAR.

From the West Ham game, West ham had a goal disallowed for offside, due to Antonio's head being in an offside position, despite the fact he was laying on the floor, but deemed to be interfering with play as he was in line with Kepa's view of the ball.

This was similar to our disallowed goal against Man Utd when Sigurdsson was also sitting on the floor, and deemed to be blocking De Gea's view, even though the ball took a massive deflection off Maguire.

Both these decisions were, in my opinion, wrong, but at least showed VAR to be consistent.

Christy Ring
96 Posted 02/07/2020 at 08:32:33
Kase @81,

You agree with Dave @61; then you call Pickford a clown, and Bernard rubbish, which is the complete opposite.

Try and learn what 'agree' means.

Eddie Dunn
97 Posted 02/07/2020 at 08:33:26
Steve @85, we have been short of that midfielder since Gana left. How we need a quick, tenacious player of that ilk.

Surely Brands and Carlo are looking through the catalogues in the midfield section.

Darren Hind
98 Posted 02/07/2020 at 08:39:15

Let's give Keane his due, he has defended for his life.

We all know what will happen if we play a more progessive high line. He will become exposed again. Ancelotti knows this by now. This is almost certainly why he allows Keane (and therefore the entire back four) to stay in his comfort zone defending the box.

Forgiveable... for now.

Martin Mason
99 Posted 02/07/2020 at 09:17:42
I disagree with the comments on how poor Iwobi was. He played a good tactical game as wide midfielder, dropping back to right-back when we defended, allowing Coleman to come inside as an extra centre-back. This needed him to show what an amazing engine he has and, at times, very good skill and pace. When he was taken off, it wasn't because he had played or was playing badly but because we went to a back 5 when Mina came on.

I wonder sometimes if those who criticise so negatively actually watch what is going on or just comment on an overall impression? Doing this usually means getting the wrong impression as all that is often remembered are the mistakes. Every player makes mistakes.

Dave Abrahams
100 Posted 02/07/2020 at 09:47:29
Tony (94),

I agree entirely about Keane, he played okay in the first half; second half he was poor. That Leicester goal, you could see his brain click into gear 3 seconds too late and consequently yards from the play.

Later on, Maddison to the far post with Keane in the centre of the goalmouth marking no-one, the ball was headed back into the area and Keane was still marking nobody, he rushed at the Leicester player, who scored their goal, who calmly put the ball over Keene's head and should have done better with his half volley.

Vardy made a mug out of him later on and again Leicester had a good chance which went just outside the post.

When Leicester took control after their goal, Keane was all over the place, never aware of where he is, and seconds behind the game in his head.

Carragher, I believe, made him MotM. I had the sound turned off, think Spitty was taking the piss.

As you say, Tony, he'll never be good enough for a top-class team. Now is definitely the time to sell him, while he is getting good reviews.

Paul Tran
101 Posted 02/07/2020 at 09:59:51
My Twitter feed shows the table since Boxing Day. We're 5th, level on points with the 3rd & 4th placed teams.

Not a cause for celebration, it's where we should always be, for starters.

Carlo does simple, obvious stuff. I suppose if you follow the coaches that overcomplicate everything and confuse everyone, it may seem like a masterclass. Like life in general, it often appears brave to do the simple things consistently well. Must be refreshing for those players, who have had a run of poor communicators as managers.

Just get that centre mid with strength and presence, please.

Dave Abrahams
102 Posted 02/07/2020 at 10:10:58
Alan (60), Everton Weekes was a brilliant cavalier batsman who was one of the three W's in that fabulous West Indian cricket team, the other two Frank Worral, the captain and Clyve Walcott another brilliant player.

What a delight to see them play cricket in such an adventurous way and with smiles on their faces, they absolutely enjoyed playing the game and all supporters of cricket enjoyed it with them.

Andrew Hight
103 Posted 02/07/2020 at 10:23:33
Once the season is dead, Everton traditionally start to play and give us hope for the following season. Only by Xmas to have the hope squashed. With Carlo at the helm, it could be different. Positive signs so far...
Brian Harrison
104 Posted 02/07/2020 at 10:35:53
Dave @100,

I know you are not a fan of Michael Keane, and I to have been critical of him in the past but, after last nights terrific result and Keane being very instrumental in that victory I think for your whole post was just to critisize Keane was poor.

Same as Darren 98, he also begrudgingly gives faint praise for his performance, and also doesn't miss a chance to have a sideways dig at Ancelotti. Yet he devotes post 92 to praise Tom Davies, yet no mention of anything about the performances of the players who played the full game. In Darren's world don't dare critisize any of our academy players, irrespective of how they have played.

For me whether we have paid a fortune for a player or one that's come through the ranks they should be judged on their performance not how little or how much they cost. By the way, Tom was excellent when he came on and nobody was more pleased than me.

I will go and put my crash helmet on as I am sure Darren will come back with a scathing attack, haha.

Martin Mason
105 Posted 02/07/2020 at 10:39:23
Dave @100, Fantastic sense of humour.
Eddie Dunn
106 Posted 02/07/2020 at 11:02:04
Martin, I was amazed at your views on Iwobi on the Live Forum and although I can agree that the lad tried hard and was playing to instruction, I watched him fail to beat his man, lose possession and play sloppily. He wasn't the only one but he seems to lack real aggression.

I can see that he has some pace and technique but I suggest that Arsenal were only too aware of his shortcomings and were delighted that we shelled-out so much for a powderpuff wimp.

Darren Hind
107 Posted 02/07/2020 at 11:05:59
Brian Harrison,

I don't think I have ever addressed a point directly to you, So It never ceases to amaze me how you go out of your way to misrepresent and even lie about my thoughts on the game, then follow it up by describing any defence as an "attack".

I've just read a post of yours, fawning all over last night's "Dog and Duck" tactics. That kinda makes me think we don't see the game in the same way – I would only ever give credit to those tactics when they are used by lower league managers in the FA Cup.

You don't want to engage me? Fine. I don't care, but if you continue to misrepresent me with a post directed to me, you kinda forfeit the right to complain when you receive responses.

Scathing? If the heat from the flames is too hot, stop lighting the fires. You are perfectly at liberty to give an opinion without misrepresenting me.


My post 92 was also a response to a comment directed at me about Tom Davies... You do understand that? Who did you want me to talk about? Jordan Pickford?

Brian Harrison
108 Posted 02/07/2020 at 11:32:47

I like the fact that you always take the side of our academy players, and most of us take greater pride when one of our local lads do well. But you sometimes defend our academy players when they haven't played well, and as far as I am concerned you aren't prepared to be even-handed in your criticism.

As for fawning over our "Dog and Duck" tactics, as you call it, what I said in the other post is that, if we had played that game with any of our previous 4 managers, we would have lost the game. I then went on to say we at last have a world-class manager and, in my opinion, we are lucky to have him.

We have seen how some of Ancelotti's previous teams have played great football, and I am sure he would in time want us to play that way. But he has to work with what he has inherited, and is yet to spend a penny in the transfer market.

Yes, he could have decided to play open and attacking football, like we both want, but if he had done this against Liverpool or Leicester, we would have lost both games. He is doing what all top managers do – he is creating a system with the group of players he has at his disposal to get as many points as he can.

Now maybe let's give him some time and hopefully some money to spend in the market and see what type of football we are playing in 12 months time.

Finally you ask who should you have talked about when someone directed a post asking you about Tom Davies. Well, yes, answer the post by saying that Tom did brilliantly when he came on, but you could have then said how impressive Anthony Gordon was, who I thought looks a very natural talented footballer.

Now I might have missed it if you did praise Anthony Gordon and, if I did, I apologize. I only used the word 'attack' in jest; sorry, I didn't mean any offence. Football is all about opinions and long may TW allow both of us to express those opinions. All posters on here love our club but we all have different thoughts on how that is best achieved.

Steve Brown
109 Posted 02/07/2020 at 11:40:58
Mike @ 91, Keane did play well for sure. My concern is that the team cannot play a high press when he is playing at centre-half, and that results in the team getting stretched when the opposition counter-attacks.
Robert Tressell
110 Posted 02/07/2020 at 11:42:48
Michael Keane is no Baresi but he's doing well playing a deeper line (as he did for Burnley). This defensive strategy is helping to make us hard to beat but it also makes it hard to sustain possession in an attacking third and creates distance between front and back, making attacks more haphazard or very slow to develop.

This seems to be a pragmatic move for the rest of the season. The continued apparent hunt for a more mobile centre-back to partner Holgate suggests the switch to a higher line allowing us to play a more progressive attacking game.

If the new centre-back is first-team ready (eg, Maghaeles) then the switch should come soon. If the new centre-back is more raw (eg, Todibo or Salisu), then next season will be transitional probably with Keane continuing to play an important role in a deeper defense.

Tom Bowers
111 Posted 02/07/2020 at 11:52:42
Keane has improved just as Holgate has. Holgate has surprised me as I wasn't too impressed with his games for Albion albeit at right-back. Holgate has speed as does Seamus so it makes sense for those two to hang back if the other two venture forward.

Whilst the defence continues to mold the work needs to be done in midfield where there is still too much poor marking and passing. With only 6 games left I would like to see some others like Gordon get a decent run out.

Jamie Crowley
112 Posted 02/07/2020 at 12:30:39
Crackin' through YouTube this morning, and the God Algorithm popped this up.

I know he's a polarizing figure, but fuck me could we use a guy like this in midfield.

Roy Keane on his fight with Vieira

Jamie Crowley
113 Posted 02/07/2020 at 12:42:11
To further Darren's point at 92,

Tom Davies played excellently against the shite.

On three days rest, after a three month layoff, he was off the pace against Norwich.

After a week's rest, he played fantastically yesterday.

If one of our players has a stinker in between 2 great games, especially just coming back off a long, unannounced layoff, people would excuse the "fart in the middle".

But with Tom Davies, who gets fucking slaughtered on here – embarrassingly so considering he's one of your own [it's quite disgusting at points] – there's never, ever any leeway.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: one of the nasty little things certain Evertonians do is eat their own. If it takes an American to say that and knock some fucking sense into people, so be it.

The kid has talent. He's Blue through and through. He never hides. He always works his socks off. Whether he's "good enough" or not isn't the point. Get behind him FFS. Try it just once, see how it goes.

Andrew Keatley
114 Posted 02/07/2020 at 12:43:23
Darren (92) - The irony of you suggesting someone else is guilty of confirmation bias is delicious. Thank you for that.
Brian Williams
115 Posted 02/07/2020 at 12:45:56
Whether he's "good enough" or not isn't the point.

Jamie, that's exactly the point mate.

Andrew Keatley
116 Posted 02/07/2020 at 12:48:14
Jamie Crowley (114) - “Whether he's "good enough" or not isn't the point.”

Umm... what? If that isn’t the point then what is the point? Support players regardless? To what end? I want this club to win things.

Jamie Crowley
117 Posted 02/07/2020 at 12:58:34
It's not the point - I'm addressing the bile and negativity shown to a homegrown player.

Whether he's good enough or not is a separate discussion.

Martin Mason
118 Posted 02/07/2020 at 13:06:22
Andrew, and you think irrationally negative criticism of players will help us win things?
Steve Brown
119 Posted 02/07/2020 at 13:08:46
Relentlessly slagging off your own players is moronic. It only aids the opposition.
Darren Hind
120 Posted 02/07/2020 at 13:09:11
Jamie C,

The speed at which people responded to your post should tell you that you are pissing against the wind, my friend. They simply do not get it. Their poor judgement and bias won't allow them to see the absurdity of their position.

We have several incredibly expensive signings who are simply not good enough... but they hammer the kid.

We are playing a pug ugly brand of football... but they hammer the kid.

Gomes is so far of the pace, he`s probably just turning up for last night's game, but they hammer the kid.

If young Tom is really not good enough, why are they not hammering Ancelotti for playing him? Because Ancelotti is "world class" so they hammer the kid.

Suggest he finished the strongest player on the pitch and they will be up in arms. Challenge them to name somebody who finished the game stronger and the silence will deafen you.

Martin Mason
121 Posted 02/07/2020 at 13:11:43
That Keane won't be able to play in a defensive line that presses up is fan myth. He made mistakes in a couple of games when almost every facet of his game was poor, that's all. Saying it doesn't make it true.
David Graves
122 Posted 02/07/2020 at 13:18:59
Regards Tom Davis; To suggest that whether he is good enough or not "isn't the point" doesn't make sense. That can't possibly be ignored if we are talking about individual performances.

But he is good enough. He may not have had the best of games against Norwich but I'd suggest that he compares pretty well against Gomes and Sigurdsson since the restart.

Steve Brown
123 Posted 02/07/2020 at 13:22:25
It doesn't matter how Tom Davies plays to certain posters – why let the evidence get in the way of an opinion?
Martin Mason
124 Posted 02/07/2020 at 13:28:10
Eddie @106, agreed, he did all of those things at some time during the game. A midfielder playing such a dynamic role will inevitably make mistakes but that doesn't mean that he had a bad game. Failing to beat Chilwell in a race almost the length of the pitch is bad?He's firmly established as England's best left-back and he was very good last night.

Yesterday, I watched a couple of players very closely so that I could better counter the inevitable slagging that a couple of players would get today. Iwobi isn't a great player but neither is he as bad as made out by some. As you say he followed orders yesterday to fit a certain system and he was taken off when the system wasn't needed but surely you need players who can and will do that?

Tom Davies played well when he came on too.

Brian Williams
125 Posted 02/07/2020 at 13:31:44
I'm not one of those who "hammer the kid" or constantly throw negativity and bile his way. In my opinion, he's just one of a number of players that aren't quite good enough for where we'd like to be.

Players who have bad games get slagged, some players get slagged more than others. Personally I don't think it has anything to do with them being homegrown or not.

Tom did well when he came on last night. He played well against the shite, but poorly against Norwich.

"Some" people do just criticise everything and everybody during the game, especially (I've found) on the live forum, which is why I rarely bother going on it.

Andrew Keatley
126 Posted 02/07/2020 at 13:32:26
Darren (121) - "Their poor judgement and bias wont allow them to see the absurdity of their position."

You. Are. Priceless.

Jamie Crowley
127 Posted 02/07/2020 at 13:36:42
David @ 123 -

I agree with you - he is good enough.

Again, in regards to "isn't the point" I'm attempting to separate two different facts that can be debated:

1. The negative treatment of Tom Davies by a portion of our fansbase;

2. Tom Davies's qualities and talents as a footballer.

Now some would say 1 affects 2. Of course it does. But I'd maintain there's certain folks out there who honestly don't give a shit about #2 and Tom's talent or lack thereof, they simply have made up their minds they're going to rip the stink out of the kid, no matter what.

It's the treatment of Tom Davies I'm focusing on. He's played wonderfully in 2 of the last 3 games – one in a derby against the top team in the league, and one against a very talented 3rd-placed team. Where's the love? There's no recognition of anything done well by this kid.

Therein lies the "isn't the point" comment. It's not my point. Focus on the phenomenom of why in the world some of our own fans hate this kid and continually throw him under the bus.

Len Hawkins
128 Posted 02/07/2020 at 13:38:39
As good as he was against Norwich, Iwobi was back to his normal game last night. Gordon completely outshone him and, after Iwobi giving a pass straight to an opponent, Gordon dispossessed the Leicester player and put in a great throughball.

Iwobi just isn't interested in going for 50-50 balls, he likes the odds to be more his way and you can see him hold back which obviously will be picked up by opposing players.

He needs a 'heart' transplant before he disappears altogether! As pointed out, Arsenal knew what they were doing getting shut.

Andrew Keatley
129 Posted 02/07/2020 at 13:41:16
Martin (119) – "Andrew, and you think irrationally negative criticism of players will help us win things?"

No. And if you are using the word "irrationally" in relation to me then I genuinely take issue with it. I praised Tom Davies on the live forum, and in my posts after the game, but seemingly that is deemed insufficient.

My feeling is that, after a very bright start, he has not yet developed into a player that deserves to be a regular starter at this club – and my worry is that he never will. I spent much of Marco Silva's reign calling for Davies to get more game time, and now I see and understand Silva's reticence a bit more clearly.

Brian (126) – Thank you for some perspective.

Andrew Keatley
130 Posted 02/07/2020 at 13:46:14
Jamie Crowley (128) - "But I'd maintain there's certain folks out there who honestly don't give a shit about #2 (Tom Davies's qualities and talents as a footballer) and Tom's talent or lack thereof, they simply have made up their minds they're going to rip the stink out of the kid, no matter what."

Do you honestly believe that? You believe that some people would knowingly and relentlessly have a vendetta against a player?

I want every Everton player to be a world-beater – without exception. I imagine most – if not everyone else – wants the same. The problems arise when they turn out not to be world-beaters, and get more serious when they turn out to be below-par Premier League players.

Jamie Crowley
131 Posted 02/07/2020 at 13:48:25
Another point that might or might not bear mentioning.

Yesterday on the Live Forum, Mike Gaynes, fellow 'Merican, brought up a great point. Why do some players trigger certain fans?

Sidibé drives me batshit crazy. Don't like him as a footballer. My opinion of him is not objective – it's one of the reasons I simply stopped talking about him. I can't see clearly, he drives me fucking nuts.

Colin Glassar, a contributor who most know and I'd venture like and respect, is triggered by Iwobi. The kid could score a hat-trick and Colin would find some fault in his game. He can't stand him.

Mike Gaynes is not a fan of Tom Davies. He's measured about it, but he's admitted, for whatever personal mental reasons, he just can't like the kid as a footballer.

It's an odd thing. What I can't understand is this negativity towards Tom Davies comes from a LOT of people – he has a large "trigger base". A large majority of that "trigger base" seemingly is from inside the heart of Everton – Liverpool and the surrounding areas. It's Scousers – the true heartbeat of EFC – that jump on this kid.

Why? Wouldn't you want to get behind the local kid and see him succeed?

The kid could shit rainbows and the locals, if TW is any guide, would still tear him to shreds.

Jamie Crowley
132 Posted 02/07/2020 at 13:50:19
Do you honestly believe that? You believe that some people would knowingly and relentlessly have a vendetta against a player?



Why? No clue.

Paul Tran
133 Posted 02/07/2020 at 13:51:23
Two things with Tom Davies.

One is that, over the past few years, he's been as consistent and shown more character as anyone else in our midfield, other than Gueye.

The other is whether he's 'good enough'. I'm not sure we'll know that until we get that proper centre midfielder.

Right now he'd be in my team. He's at least as good enough as any midfielders we have. And I'd say he's the only one with improvement in him.

Darren Hind
134 Posted 02/07/2020 at 13:54:14
Thanks, Andrew.

Now that you've seen the light, perhaps you will hammer Ancelotti next time you see a clearly "not good enough" Tom Davies on the pitch... You'll still be wrong because it's clear that the £30M men are even weaker alternatives, but at least your position will not look quite as absurd.

You do realise that if you're right in your assessment of Tom Davies, it's the manager you should be criticising for playing him? No? ... Didn't think so.

You kinda triggered this debate by taking exception to me saying Tom Davies finished the strongest player on the pitch. You were challenged to name a player who finished stronger... How's that going?

Jamie Crowley
135 Posted 02/07/2020 at 14:04:54
People have been quick to praise the turn in form of Michael Keane.

Why are they hesitant to praise the uptick in form of a 22-year-old kid who was, by far (it's not even a contest), our best midfielder against the top team and the #3 team in the Premier League, in the span of what? Nine days?

All because his legs were rubbery in that sandwich game, 3 days after a derby? He gave the ball away 4-5 times in midfield, never mind 2-3 of those "giveaways" were longer, defense-penetrating attempted, positive passes?

It's madness. It has no basis in reality. It's some weird, emotionally driven reaction to a kid who's developing, playing by and large well, and cost us buttons.

And he's one of your own!!

Steve Ferns
136 Posted 02/07/2020 at 14:21:09
Jamie, I agree with you. I can only think it's jealousy. Maybe they think Davies isn't good enough, so he's lucky and they could do that? Who knows?

Tom Davies is exactly where Barkley was a few years back. Before him there was Hibbert and Osman. Barkley and Osman were good enough for England but some on here thought that they were stealing a living.

It's only a matter of time before Gordon is next. Once he's 21 or so, and loses his shine and has a few bad games and his flaws are exposed, the knives will be out.

It really disappoints me. I used to think Everton fans were the best. But the best fans would defend their own, back them to the hilt and excuse them.

Tom Davies is one of the poorest paid players in the squad. He was 5th or 6th choice going into this season. But he has played more than Delph or Schniederlin. He's done far more. He never gets any credit.

I've not seen anyone say, "Don't sign a central midfielder, Davies is the answer." Most of his supporters say he's a squad player in a squad game. So, for someone who earns comparatively little, should be on the bench, and yet still plays a lot of games, he doesn't half get some stick. Meantime, sick note Delph gets away Scott free when he's going to earn in a season what Davies has yet to earn in his career.

Andrew Keatley
137 Posted 02/07/2020 at 14:23:25
Darren (135) - "You kinda triggered this debate by taking exception to me saying Tom Davies finished the strongest player on the pitch. You were challenge to name a player who finished stronger... How's that going ?"

What you actually said was that "By the time the final whistle went, He* (Tom Davies) was head and shoulders above everyone else on that pitch." I thought Davies played well, but to say he was head and shoulders above everyone else on the pitch, sorry but I don't think anyone was head and shoulders above everyone else. I was very pleased to see Davies make a positive contribution but seeing your hyperbole just seemed excessive to me.

Maybe it is semantics, but rarely is a player "head and shoulders" above his peers, and a decent 45 minutes from Davies just doesn't warrant that sort of praise.

*It was you (accidentally?) capitalised the H in "he" – or maybe you believe he is a deity and deserves to be capitalised...

Denny Kerr
138 Posted 02/07/2020 at 14:25:05
Just a couple of points.

Firstly, it's nice to read the variety of comments just about the game, and not all the political stuff that has crept into the comments during the last few months.

And secondly, we finally have a world-class manager, who reads the game and makes the needed adjustments as necessary.

For the first time in years, I feel optimistic about our future!


Ray Robinson
139 Posted 02/07/2020 at 14:27:28
Whether or not Tom Davies is good enough on a consistent basis is still open to debate and, as far as I'm concerned, the jury's still out – although I like his bravery, want him to succeed and don't slag him off.

I do think the myth that he does get criticised so much more because he is local needs nailing though. Was Schneiderlin local then? Delph, Bolasie, Iwobi are all coming in for abuse more recently, as did Tom Cleverley, Simon Davies, Kevin Mirallas before them.

There are many reasons for "disliking" a player. I doubt the fact he is or isn't local is one of them. It's a tough gig playing for Everton – wherever you come from.

Dave Abrahams
140 Posted 02/07/2020 at 14:41:29
Brian (104), no it wasn't criticising for the sake of it. Have a look at the three instances I gave about his performance last night and tell me I am wrong about any of them.

You are correct I don't think Keane is a good footballer or has a football brain, however when we played Norwich last week I praised him, because he deserved it. Last night he was named MotM, I couldn't believe that and had my say on it and why I thought he wasn't. I thought Coleman, Davies, Calvert-Lewin , Holgate, Richarlison, who I have criticised in the past, and Digne all had better games than Keane, but we all see games and players differently and we are all correct in our own heads.

Martin (105) thanks for that, not as good as your sense of humour though; your defence of Iwobi was extremely comical, loved it.

Darren Hind
142 Posted 02/07/2020 at 14:46:27
Nice try, Andrew.

Last time I challenged you for hammering Davies a few minutes into the match, you claimed I saw him as a "boy wonder". Now you have elevated him (in my eyes) to Deity status. You are funny.

I had no trouble whatsoever in calling Davies's performance against Norwich a complete Weston and I have to admit, I find it amusing when people who have already made up their minds have so much trouble hearing him praised.

I think he is a decent player who has a good chance of saving us a fortune. I also think (along with several others) that his arrival last night turned the tide.

That game was running away from us. It was a scruff of the neck job and whether you agree or not (even though you can't offer an alternative) I maintain he finished that game head and shoulders above.

Nice try with the deflection though. It takes a bit of courage to criticise Ancelotti on these pages and although he keeps picking a guy who you insist simply not good enough, your reluctance to do it, is obvious.

Jamie Crowley
143 Posted 02/07/2020 at 14:47:51
"...but we all see games and players differently and we are all correct in our own heads."

Probably can sum it all up with those wise words.

John McFarlane Snr
144 Posted 02/07/2020 at 14:49:02
Hi all, I've tried in vain, not to get involved in this current thread. I have my views on the qualities [or lack] of individuals, but no matter the result, I ask myself: Did we deserve that?

Whatever the answer may be, I tend not to play the blame game. I regard it as a "we win together, we lose together" situation.

I may be disappointed in individual performances, but I don't rip players to pieces whether they're homegrown local lads, high-priced or basement bargain signings from home or abroad.

I appreciate that this approach is not everybody's cup of tea but it's served me well down the years.

Justin Doone
145 Posted 02/07/2020 at 14:51:44
Keane played well, helped by Leicester playing to his strengths. Crosses into the box for him to compete with.

We defended deep, thank God as the one time Vardy had a run at him he went past him like Keane was a statue.

It was a good solid defensive display, apart from a Pickford mad moment, and Carlo made changes when they were needed.

Defending better but ball retention and attacking is terrible. We may have several attacking options but there's a lot of work to be done and hopefully 2 top class creative forward players to bring in.

A penalty every day on VAR. I can't understand why it took so long. Flapped high in the air and impeded Keane's header, easy decision.

2nd half both Gomes and Sigurdsson were poor and Davies played well when he came on.

Well done boys, Leicester are a very good, pacey, attacking team so it was never going to be easy.

Derek Taylor
146 Posted 02/07/2020 at 15:22:39
Ray @140. I would say that the criticism of Tom Davies is on par with that levelled at Ossie throughout his career. 'Cost nowt, worth nowt' was just about the most generous acclamation he was ever afforded – and that was after he'd won an England cap!

Of course, the work-horses of the game win no tributes although I can never recall a successful side that lacked one. Let's all hope 'Everton Tom' goes on to prove my point!

Tony Abrahams
147 Posted 02/07/2020 at 16:51:30
I thought our left back finished the game as strong as anyone Darren, and also thought he was our best player throughout. Coleman as well, he should have done better when Davies slipped him down the side going into the box, but defensively he was outstanding yet again.

Gomes, was also a lot better and definitely looked stronger when Davies came on, his legs buckled once near the end, but he looked like he was getting stronger, but so did Everton, because once Tom Davies started running forward, and linking play, It never looked like it was going to be anything but an Everton victory.

Tony Hill
148 Posted 02/07/2020 at 17:23:09
Davies is at a turning point in his career. He does indeed consistently look to go forward and to take risks. That is wholly admirable. But he is far too inconsistent and his concentration must greatly improve.

It was wonderful to see him taking on and going past the opposition yesterday, albeit later on in the game. He must believe in himself fully and really mean it - the hardest thing of all to do in sport if talent and the right instincts are to be converted into lasting achievement. Come on, Tom.

Mike Gaynes
149 Posted 02/07/2020 at 17:43:22
Does anybody know anything about this teenaged French left back we just signed?
Brian Williams
150 Posted 02/07/2020 at 18:14:10
Ancelotti can only pick from the players available to him and if you have a look at last night's squad he didn't have much choice with regard to semi defensive midfielders.
Mike Gaynes
151 Posted 02/07/2020 at 18:19:05
Hey Brian, does "semi defensive" mean that they're half-hearted, or they're defensive midfielders who turn like semi-trailer trucks, or they specialize in defending semis?

I like the term. I'd say we have a semi-secure keeper and a couple of semi-predatory strikers. And watching Gomes I think we should invent the term semi-pace.

Andrew Keatley
152 Posted 02/07/2020 at 18:59:18
Darren (143) - Having a conversation with you on here is proving rather difficult. I explain my reasoning to you and you claim I am resorting to deflection - presumably because I did not name a player who ended the game stronger than Davies as you arbitrarily requested. I am at a loss. I said Davies played well - I praised him. Please accept that. But as far as I am concerned he is not and has never been head and shoulders above everyone else on the pitch.

And what has criticism of Ancelotti got to do with anything? What I do is criticise whoever I think is deserving of it, regardless of their status or history. As far as I am concerned, considering our squad and the shambles he inherited (while acknowledging the excellent steadying job Duncan Ferguson did), Carlo has exceeded my early expectations. From his 14 games in charge we have amassed 25 points - which puts us 5th in the form table in that period. There are a handful of players who deserve significant praise for their contributions in those 14 games - Mason Holgate in particular (who has developed into one of England's finest young players). It's seeing the way that Holgate and Dominic Calvert-Lewin have kicked on that just accentuates how little progress Tom Davies has made at a time when the Everton midfield has been so consistently lacklustre and the chance for to make a starting spot his own could not have been more pronounced.

Terry White
153 Posted 02/07/2020 at 19:01:38
Mike (#150), from what I know about him he is a French teenager who plays left back. And we have just signed him.
Eddie Dunn
154 Posted 02/07/2020 at 19:03:57
On Tom Davies "triggering" responses. He sometimes plays well, sometimes does not, but I think it is nothing to do with him being local. It's his hair. Many of the posters on here are like me, - shiny-headed. Say no more!
Christy Ring
155 Posted 02/07/2020 at 19:19:05
I'm a big fan of Tom Davies, at times he's played as an attacking midfielder, and last night when he came on, he shored up midfield, tackled from deep, and also had to shackle Madisson. Gomes is still getting back to match fitness, Siggy can't defend or tackle, so last night Tom was our match winner in midfield, credit where credits due. As for Michael Keane, he's being superb under Ancelotti, and he's still criticised, as been to slow, and can't play a high line? We have probably the slowest midfield in the Premiership, apart from Davies, and with Gbamin, Gueye's replacement injured, playing a high line leaves our centrebacks completely exposed.
Brent Stephens
156 Posted 02/07/2020 at 19:44:12
Sheffield United spanking spurs. 3 up.
Rob Halligan
157 Posted 02/07/2020 at 19:56:19
Brent, did you see the spurs disallowed goal when it was only 1-0? Probably the most ridiculous decision by VAR ever.
Brent Stephens
158 Posted 02/07/2020 at 20:01:04
I did Rob. And I thought the rule was that if ur hand was going to the floor as you fell then it cant be handball. Am I wrong or did the rule change?
Rob Halligan
159 Posted 02/07/2020 at 20:04:53
Don't know about that, the commentators just kept on harping on about the ball hitting Moura's arm, so it's handball. But seriously, Moura gets fouled, as he's falling the ball gets smacked against his arm from about six inches away, so how on earth can that be handball? There was no way he could get out of the way. Absolutely ridiculous decision by Michael Oliver, the VAR official.
Brent Stephens
160 Posted 02/07/2020 at 20:06:33
Laws of the Game on FA website say not handball “when a player falls and the hand/arm is between the body and the ground to support the body, but not extended laterally or vertically away from the body“.
Looked to me as if that’s all it was.
Brent Stephens
161 Posted 02/07/2020 at 20:08:08
And I agree with what u say about what went before the handball Rob.
Rob Halligan
162 Posted 02/07/2020 at 20:10:12
Quick turnover of the telly. Not watching city give the shite a guard of honour.
Bill Gall
163 Posted 02/07/2020 at 20:16:21
neither side putting out a weakened side.
Dan Nulty
164 Posted 02/07/2020 at 20:21:27
Not sure if mentioned, did anyone else see we have signed some young French left back from marseille?

Also, new kit launched tomorrow. If leaked picture is true I like it, slightly retro. Have we a shirt sponsor yet?

Dan Nulty
165 Posted 02/07/2020 at 20:22:29
Forget that last comment, remember it is cazoo now.
Rob Halligan
166 Posted 02/07/2020 at 20:24:52
Fireworks being set off outside the Etihad. I wonder who by?
Brent Stephens
167 Posted 02/07/2020 at 20:24:57
Fireworks outside the Etihad. The scum again?
Jim Burns
168 Posted 02/07/2020 at 20:27:40
Christy Ring @ 75 - For clarity . I thought that David's views were well expressed in his post @61 and we're pretty much aligned with my own.Is there anything else I can clarify for you?
Darren Hind
169 Posted 02/07/2020 at 20:37:19

You resort to deflection by making foolish claims that I think Davies is a boy wonder or some sort of Deity. By doing that you think you are deflecting from the fact you don't have the moral courage to criticise the manager for repeatedly playing a guy you insist isn't good enough.
If Davies isn't good enough why are you hammering him after a few minutes of a match ? Why are you not hammering the guy who put him on there ???.

You claim Davies hasnt made the progress DCL and Holgate have made... You do realise he is younger ?

You are aware aware that when they were 22 they were both being slaughtered by the footballing Einsteins in exactly the same way you were slaughtering Davies ?
You are aware that any praise or encouragement for them was dismissed in exactly the same way you did when you first came on this thread.

I was disgusted by what I saw last night. People really hammering a youngster before he even got on a pitch - Not the manager who was asking him to alter the game.
People so desperate not to give him any credit, they were making excuses for the Leicester players who had been swarming all over us up to that point - Apparently they all became exhausted when he came on

Davies did finish that game head and shoulders above anybody else. Anyone doubting that need only watch the last quarter again. As others have noted his performance did turn the tide. If he wasnt introduced when he was, We would surely have lost that game.
You can argue against that till you are blue in the face, but I prefer to give credit where its due.

You may consider my observations "Just silly", but I'll tell you what. They are nowhere near as silly as hammering away at our youngest player when the whole team is stinking the gaff out.

Brian Murray
170 Posted 02/07/2020 at 20:57:36
Seems there is a lot of point scoring on this site about who said what about the virtues Davies and whoever else Carlo picks. If in the grand scheme of things Davies and maybe half the team first team are not good enough to challenge week after week the top 4 then I expect they will be phased out as soon as. We all want us a a serious threat no matter who is dropped or sold.
Brent Stephens
171 Posted 02/07/2020 at 21:05:34
City three up on the rs. I guess they’ll bring on a sub in the second half and somebody will claim he was man of the match.
Bill Gall
172 Posted 02/07/2020 at 21:06:10
They are trying to put the fireworks up their teams arse's they are down 3--0
Conor McCourt
173 Posted 02/07/2020 at 21:13:36
Darren, your posts at 49 and 93 have echoed my thoughts exactly. I am starting to feel like a party pooper every time I express my views so I will take a time out from posting for the foreseeable future as I don't share the wave of optimism at this point and wish all ToffeeWebbers only the best of times, luck and good health to you all.

I am sorry but I find Brian's post deeply insulting that we are playing a Leicester team whose squad depth is probably weaker than ours despite them clearly having a higher quality first eleven when all fit and being a more balanced outfit, that we can't compete with them footballing wise.

Last night, they started without Maddison and Perreira, two key players that have helped take them to a level above us. Their replacements Praet and Justin. If you look at those starting elevens last night, Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison (playing right-wing), Holgate, Coleman and possibly Gordon would all start in a combined eleven.

We were playing a side on a bad run, their top man slightly short on confidence and coming to Goodison Park where we have a decent record. Without Maddison, they are nowhere near a top 3 side. We produced a quality goal involving Gordon and Richarlison and, apart from that, only Tom Davies showed any real composure on the night.

Last night was the first time I can remember Everton winning a game of football and feeling slightly deflated, playing like a minnow away from home against a world beater. You can accept that strategy against the scum who are a cut above but against Norwich and then at home to Leicester? I know I'm in the minority but, since Carlo has come to the club, the only game where we showed a bit of class and looked like a decent team was the Newcastle game we ultimately threw away.

I get that we have more character, togetherness, organisation, that our points tally under Carlo is really good and the new regime will need time to recruit players... but ironically I feel we are further away from being a top team than even under the kamikaze Silva.

We remind me of Burnley the season they finished 7th and had nothing to build on the following season and good players now will only adhere to these methods for so long and while they are winning and the manager's star is shining bright.

The irony of Carlo's system and work is that the manager gets constantly praised for being some kind of genius as his players are made to look piss poor, play risk free but still accumulate a healthy points return. Consequentially our midfielders get slated for being outnumbered and outworked, our widemen get slaughtered yet they have to get through so much running and have only have two teammates showing when they do manage to get on the ball. Our forwards are so good but have to resort to mostly feeding on scraps and individual brilliance to make their mark. However the back four get to bask in the kudos as the rest of the team works their bollocks off to minimise exposing their frailties yet they rarely see the half way line and are like robots in a well oiled machine.

Our players are apparently so shit that we can't trust them to produce patterns of play yet we have Brazilian, Portuguese and England internationals, former Barca players, players who have played for top six clubs and guys who have competed at World Cups and European Competitions and incidentally finished above the imperious Leicester the previous season though they had a manager who also didn't believe in them.

I am really not enjoying this football cowardice under this regime and this attitude of gratitude we need to express for having it at our club. I hope for all Blues I am wrong and this is the start of something special and their dream of having a manager with his pedigree will bear the fruit we all desperately so wish for.

But for me what we are watching is a total dereliction of 'nil satis nisi optimum'. Under Moyes we were lambs to the slaughter but thanks largely to getting a rare decision in our favour which put us two up, holding on somehow transforms into a tactical masterclass.

Best Wishes to all Blues for now

Bill Gall
174 Posted 02/07/2020 at 21:23:01
Apart from when they played Everton, this is the first time I have watched Liverpool – and I only watched this one because I wanted Man City to win.

The best is the half-time show with Michael Owen trying to make excuses for why Liverpool are loosing, while opposite him Steve MacManaman is praising how well Man City are playing.

Andrew Keatley
175 Posted 02/07/2020 at 21:29:21
Darren - The deity thing was obviously a joke. You clearly know that.

I'm afraid that your post at 170 has rendered me disinterested in discussing things with you any further than this post. It's just not worth the time or effort to try to converse with an immovable object. But here's a quick response to some of the highlights of your latest post:

"I was disgusted by what I saw last night. People really hammering a youngster before he even got on a pitch - Not the manager who was asking him to alter the game."

Not me. I didn't say anything negative about Davies.

"People so desperate not to give him any credit, they were making excuses for the Leicester players who had been swarming all over us up to that point - Apparently they all became exhausted when he came on."

Again, not me. I made positive comments about Davies v Leicester. Yes, I have been critical about him before, and remain unconvinced, but don't just lump me in with people criticising him v Leicester because I was not in that number.

"Davies did finish that game head and shoulders above anybody else. Anyone doubting that need only watch the last quarter again. As others have noted his performance did turn the tide."

Your opinion, but far from a fact. Sometimes other people have different opinions; it's generally a good idea to include room for other opinions and not dismiss dissenters as people who need to go and have another think about things and then see the light.

"If he wasnt introduced when he was, We would surely have lost that game. You can argue against that till you are blue in the face, but I prefer to give credit where its due."

Objection! Speculation.

"You may consider my observations "Just silly", but I'll tell you what. They are nowhere near as silly as hammering away at our youngest player when the whole team is stinking the gaff out."

Again, in the game v Leicester - not me. Also Anthony Gordon was our youngest player, but I reckon I get your point - which (I think) is that criticism should have some sort of built-in age-consideration-factor. So, if a player has been part of the first team for 4 years and has over 100 first team appearances, but is only 22 years old, how much criticism am I allowed to give him? Is there an algorithm I can have a look at?*

Any questions in this post are rhetorical. Please don't answer them, particularly if your name is Darren Hind.

Jamie Crowley
176 Posted 02/07/2020 at 21:40:11
Spurs will be a motivated side come Monday, having received a bare-bottom spanking today.

It will be one hell of a test.

Joe McMahon
177 Posted 02/07/2020 at 21:43:22
Mmm, I thought exactly the same, Jamie. Good win for Sheff Utd though.
Andy Meighan
178 Posted 02/07/2020 at 21:48:11
Dazza. Take that man-sized chip off your shoulder, lad. You hate it when anyone challenges your opinion.

If you honestly think Davies and Calvert-Lewin are top quality, you are deluded. And another thing... get this ridiculous notion out of your head that everyone picks on the local lads, eg, Hibbert, Osman etc. The reason people call them is quite simply no other half-decent side would touch them.

David Graves
179 Posted 02/07/2020 at 21:57:40
Jamie @128, I think that you're over-complicating the issue when you suggest that "there's certain folks that have made up their minds they're going to rip the stink out of the kid, no matter what". That's not true.

Everton fans are no different from any other fans when it comes to criticising their own. I've seen it and heard it in many other grounds around the country and you're mistaken if you think it's special treatment for Tom Davies. Previously it was Calvert-Lewin and before him Holgate. Both young players deemed by a number on here as "Championship level at best".

I suggest that's it's better to concentrate on the key issue: Is Tom Davies good enough to be playing in this current Everton team? As you've clearly stated, there's no doubt that he is.

Terry White
180 Posted 02/07/2020 at 22:10:31
One thing is quite clear (David, #180): based upon what I have seen today, Davies is no Phil Foden and we really need a Phil Foden, not a Tom Davies.
Bobby Mallon
181 Posted 02/07/2020 at 22:14:12
We played and won, that's all that matters. Here's my take on some players:

Davies, only player in midfield that goes forward but I would have Maddison playing for us in his place any day.

Iwobi tried hard has a bit of skill but I would have Saint-Maximin of Newcastle any day of the week.

Micheal Keane is a good defender when played in last nights system but would have Connor Cody playing for us any day of the week.

That's it in a nutshell really; we have some good players (those I've mentioned) but we need better if we want to climb higher and constantly challenge the status quo.

Darren Hind
182 Posted 02/07/2020 at 22:23:21
I have no questions about your post Andrew, but I will make comment.

You keep referring to the Leicester game in an attempt to deflect from the fact that you hammered away form the kick off in the Norwich game. You also reacted to a defence of him with sarcastic "boy wonder" comments.

I didn't claim you said anything last night. I didn't even know you had posted. I simply pointed out what was said.

Contrary to your claims, in the game against Norwich, the then 21-year-old Davies was by some distance the youngest player on our team – Gordon only got on the pitch as a time-wasting exercise at the death.

There is no age where a player shouldn't be given stick, but it isn't compulsory to target the youngest player, especially when everyone else is playing badly.

Finally, you claim people are entitled to a different opinion. I couldn't agree more, but wasn't it you who burst on to this thread telling me mine was silly? Had I tried to disrespect yours before that? As far as can see, you hadn't even posted

You are right about one thing: there is no point in continuing this discussion, because we both have very different ways of supporting our team and I am never going to say what you want me to say.

Dave Williams
183 Posted 02/07/2020 at 23:19:40

Oh dear, dear oh dear... how unfortunate. Two defeats and a draw in their last 4 games – relegation form!!

Martin Mason
184 Posted 02/07/2020 at 00:00:26
Terry @180,

Would you like to put a price on Phil Foden so we can buy him? I'd say Man City wouldn't part with him for £150M. Are we really in that market? No, we are a small club in this respect. We have Tom Davies already and he is a very good player.

Reality is a thing that many football fans don't have in abundance unfortunately but slagging homegrown, low-paid players who give their all is not good for me.

Jay Harris
185 Posted 03/07/2020 at 00:20:54
I really can't believe that some posters are blaming Ancelotti for some players' performances that have looked under par.

FFS, take a look at the previous 4 managers and ask yourself if the same players were playing any better?

We are in the results game and this man, who I feel we are very lucky to have, knows the game better than ANY Evertonian and is credited with managing and improving some of the best players in the world.

Personally, I would love Tom Davies to progress and become an important member of the squad but, right now, he is not consistent enough even over 90 minutes.

We need to improve our central midfield to win more balls, pass more accurately and score more goals. Can anyone see Davies or Gomes filling that role?

Brian Murray
186 Posted 03/07/2020 at 00:27:50
We will continue to defend deep as to not expose our centre-halves and use the wide men to tuck in against the top six. If and when Carlo can add some pace and class to the midfield, that will change and we will have more of a go.

Gordon's football brain and ability will ensure he will be part of the first team for many years.

Dan Nulty
187 Posted 03/07/2020 at 07:19:08
Agree, Jay. I'm surprised at Conor's comments. Yes, we have a lot of players with the pedigrees he mentions; however, if they were that good, would they be at Goodison?

I have heard more positive stories coming out about the manager directly from players for the first time since... well... I can't remember who?

So, do I trust Conor's judgement or the man with the playing mad managerial history whose medal cabinet is significant?

Darren Hind
188 Posted 03/07/2020 at 07:23:00

I sincerely hope you reconsider and continue to post on this site. For me ,you bring a balance. You are not taken in by the mere fact that the manager once won things.

Expressing disdain for what you rightly, in my opinion, describe as football cowardice does not make you a party pooper.

Don't be discouraged by people telling you that you should be grateful for it.

Christy Ring
189 Posted 03/07/2020 at 09:10:43
Jim @168,

No, but this forum is where we express our constructive views. If you don't like it, tough.

Charles Barrow
190 Posted 03/07/2020 at 09:25:55
On Ancelotti – he clearly is not a miracle worker as our performances have generally been poor (Chelsea and Livrepool games) or average to quite good. But he's not been a disaster by any means as the points on the board make clear.

So the jury is out, but not in a negative way. We just have to wait and see how he performs in the transfer market in the close season (if there is one!) and how he sets the team up next season.

My tentative predictions are that he will improve the team but not so much that we'll be dancing in the streets setting off fireworks!!

Tony Abrahams
191 Posted 03/07/2020 at 09:34:39
You have backed your opinion up, Conor, so it's only time that will tell that Ancelotti is either playing what you describe as "Coward's football" – or he's implementing into the squad something that Everton haven't had for years?
David Graves
192 Posted 03/07/2020 at 09:44:40
Terry, you are right: Tom Davies is no Phil Foden. They play in completely different positions and one of them has been afforded a significant amount of development time whilst playing alongside some of the best players in the world. Bit of a daft comparison isn't it?

You say we don't need a Tom Davies. I'd suggest that, prior to him coming on Wednesday, we absolutely did need "a Tom Davies".

If you want to start playing Fantasy Football then of course we need a few Phil Fodens. What team doesn't? But this isn't Fantasy Football so we should try and stick to the issue. Does Tom Davies warrant a place in the current Everton team? Yes or No?

Tony Everan
193 Posted 03/07/2020 at 11:39:35
Carlo hasn’t signed a player yet. Agree with the comments that the football we are playing is a bit risk averse, but that suits the players at his disposal currently. More joined up, Barca football doesn’t just come from nowhere, it comes from confidence, strong defence and midfield.

That confidence comes from having a stable side which has been picking up points and being very hard to beat. When we sign the two or three players Brands alluded to we will gradually see a better style of football built on stronger foundations. Next season bodes we’ll for us.

There have been one or two moments already of class, the first goal against Leicester had a touch of class about it. Great to see Anthony Gordon involved with that, he has a football brain, much for to come from him.

Hugh Jenkins
194 Posted 03/07/2020 at 12:21:45
Charles (190). I agree that Carlo will no doubt improve the team significantly, but also agree that we are not going to win the league next season. It has taken Klopp five years - after what we have been through since we last won it, I can wait that long (although, being 70 years old - I may well be tempting fate by saying this). A consisted top four finish over the next few years will demonstrate to me that we are moving in the right direction.
Brian Harrison
195 Posted 03/07/2020 at 12:55:56
Conor @173,

Do not stop posting, this site is here so everybody can express their views and, although I take a completely different view of Carlo Ancelotti than you, it doesn't mean my points are any more valid than yours.

I hope you're wrong about Ancelotti, as I fear with all his experience, if he can't get things right here, I have no idea where we go. Yes, the brand of football isn't great and, knowing our fans, they will want a far more attacking brand of football than we are currently playing. But, for this season, collecting points is our main goal.

Why I am not as worried as you at present is because we have seen other Carlo Ancelotti sides who have played great football while winning trophies, and I am sure he will want us to play that way, but he might need a bit of time in my opinion.

John Boon
196 Posted 03/07/2020 at 14:55:04
Whether we like the way we have played since Ancelotti arrived, I don't think it makes much sense to be critical until he has had a real chance to demonstrate his managerial abilities. He needs at least 10 games into NEXT season before we can even start to draw some valid conclusions.
Christy Ring
197 Posted 03/07/2020 at 15:21:54
Conor @173,

I hope you reconsider, and continue posting. Everyone has different views, and that's what's good about ToffeeWeb. At the end of the day, we're all Evertonians.

David Hayes
198 Posted 03/07/2020 at 15:53:51
Christy #155, As you have concisely demonstrated in this post, constructive and eloquent observation is more powerful and meaningful than knee-jerk disappointment.

I respect all reasoned debate and opinion and totally understand that many others have different views to myself; that's what makes for a great debate. I like to leave the petty point-scoring exchanges to those who are much better at it than me, but I do enjoy insight and constructive, passionate reflections, as I am sure most of us do.

Terry White
199 Posted 03/07/2020 at 16:01:18
David (#192). No!
Jay Wood

200 Posted 03/07/2020 at 17:36:06
To add to the Tom Davies debate, right at the end of today's pre-Spurs presser, Carlo was asked about him and the fact that, having just turned 22 just this week, if he plays v Spurs it will be his 100th Premier League game, that will make him the 2nd youngest Everton player to achieve it.

Carlo was asked about his qualities and what he needs to do to keep on improving.

Carlo gave a little laugh and said "He seems not 22 at all. He plays like with a lot more experience. I like him. He's a really humble guy, really professional, really serious. He loves this club. He's an Evertonian. He is an important part of our team and he will be an important part of our future."

Carlo's Pre-Spurs Presser

Jamie Crowley
201 Posted 03/07/2020 at 17:47:54
Jay @200 -

Mic drop. TY

Jay Harris @185 -

Personally I would love Tom Davies to progress and become an important member of the squad but right now he is not consistent enough even over 90 minutes.

That's fair. I'd say get behind the kid while he develops and becomes a consistent contributor.

David @ 179 -

TY. I'll need to dwell on that a bit, but be assured I'll be doing so and contemplating your point of view. One that is more knowledgable than mine. Cheers.

Mike Gaynes
202 Posted 03/07/2020 at 17:52:49
David #192, given the overall weakness of our midfield and our current injury situation, yes, Tom does often merit a place in the lineup. I do not expect that situation to continue as Carlo starts to bring in higher-quality players.

On attitude, effort and courage, Tom is the most worthy of Blues. In my opinion, his talent does not measure up, and I believe that when we are finally a strong enough club to return to our proper place in the Champions League, he will not be with us.

John Pierce
203 Posted 03/07/2020 at 18:01:08
I wouldn't disagree that our manager is playing anti-football. It's structured and not easy in the eye for sure.

However, I'd proffer, with no window to change the squad Ancellotti has decided points and position matter more. The points total he's collected since he came amounts to 4th.

He's teaching them how to win, using our best players, Richarlison & Calvert-Lewin, were they are most effective.

With limited quality in the defence and midfield, he's maximized the sum of their parts. It's a long time since I've seen an Everton side with such shape out of possession. How many real chances has Pickford had to save since the restart?

It will evolve, I'm sure of that.

Tony Hill
204 Posted 03/07/2020 at 18:10:37
Two Johns @196 and @203, quite right. A shame we haven’t always had such a rational approach to our managers.
Tom Bowers
205 Posted 03/07/2020 at 18:13:27
Sometimes it's all down to man-management.

Managers are only human but some just piss-off good players when they first arrive for various reasons and that could be why some clubs don't succeed and go through too many players and managers.

Take Rooney, for instance. The man still has a great brain and okay he is now a veteran but could still do a job for a season at Goodison playing deep the way he does for Derby and who can argue he still knows where the goal is especially from free-kicks.

Everton should have kept him longer and, only for idiot Allardyce, he may still be here but it's water under the bridge now and Everton's work in the middle of the park is still basically lacking in creativity.

Jamie Crowley
206 Posted 03/07/2020 at 18:31:12
Mike Gaynes @ 202 -

"... I believe that when we are finally a strong enough club to return to our proper place in the Champions League, he will not be with us."

I'd predict Tom being with us, and if supplanted as a starter, will be a vital cog in a team environment. I think Carlo is going to build a squad with 15-16 players that can slot in and out of the lineup.

That's more of a hunch admittedly, but Carlo hasn't been shy in the least about bringing players in and out of the lineup. Bernard, Iwobi, Gordon, Davies, Sigurdsson, etc.

There's a quote out there somewhere from Sir Alex Ferguson where he stated the easiest part of his job was team selection. He said, paraphrasing, "The team picks itself." I can see Carlo adopting that approach, continually moving players in and out of the lineup in a system – a total team approach.

Tom Davies would be a part of that total team approach. I don't see us getting rid of him unless he were to force that move himself.

That's my prediction.

Allan Board
207 Posted 03/07/2020 at 18:48:57
I think everyone needs to remember the shit days of Mr Silva before criticising Ancelotti. Relegation was on the cards for sure, the team was divided, zero confidence in any of the players, spats on the pitch between our players and just a general "Who gives a shit anymore?" attitude.

This fella has worked with and organised well, some of the finest players we have seen play the game across Europe and won everything. He will, as he said when he took over, work on the harmony and togetherness of the team first so that the atmosphere is positive and players play for each other, then the tactical and technical coaching will begin in earnest – and he is bloody good at that.

He must be a great fella to work with, he comes across as charming, funny and a good pal to his player's. All he wants in return is 100% commitment and the focus to play as you are coached.

Wait till he signs a few good players, then you will start to see nice footy, but I can guarantee it won't be at the expense of defensive solidity! 1-0 to the Everton will become a regular occurrence!

Stay safe all, your beloved Toffees are in good hands for once.

Tony Abrahams
208 Posted 03/07/2020 at 19:14:26
Wayne Rooney in a 4-4-2 in the Premier League? Not a chance!

The key to success is all about having a good structure, JP, then comes the belief, then the talent, and then the knowledge... But, as you quite rightly say, it's all about learning how to win, and that's why I really enjoyed the last 20 minutes of the second half the other night!

Darren Hind
209 Posted 03/07/2020 at 20:16:58
I don't accept we can't play fast-paced football, driven by passion, with these players. Big Dunc blew that theory out of the window before Ancelotti even got here.

Nor do I accept that Ancelotti's previous teams have played expansive attacking football. He has always been cautious, organised and methodical. But he has had some truly dazzling individuals to illuminate and win games. Proper world class players.

Cautious, organised and methodical football without brilliant individuals is just cautious, organised and methodical football. Players like Kaka are not coming. Neither are players like Pirlo or Ronaldo. Sure, we may get cheap imitations, some of them are already here. But, Ancelotti or no Ancelotti, the best players are not coming here.

So get used to this brand of football and get used to the excuses made for it, because what you see now is what you will be watching for the duration of Carlo's reign.

Those footballing Einsteins who seem hellbent on hammering Tom Davies are in for a nasty shock too. We will need to sign at least five players before your whipping boy will disappear. Two hundred million pound worth of talent will be bumped before Tom is sacrificed. Sigurdsson, Iwobi, Walcott, Kean will all give way before the object of so much angst fades from Carlo's plans.

Another hired hand serving up crap. Carlo may be a serial winner, but his football bares a striking resemblance to stuff the Night King and Koeman served up... That only works when you are winning trophies.

Unfortunately, supporting cowardly football is back in vogue on ToffeeWeb. The self-proclaimed positives are out in force. Once again, they have convinced themselves that it's positive to support the negative... In fact, it's worse this time. This time, we are "lucky to have it"...

"It will be different this time" ... Sigh.

Still, if all else fails, we can always kick the arse out of the next academy boy.

No wonder Conor is having to be talked down from that window ledge...

David Cash
210 Posted 03/07/2020 at 20:38:35
You see, Dazza. This is why I love you.

I log onto TW in the hope of seeing a little raw passion and there you are, in full flight.

A load of shite, like... but what a magnificent rant!!!

Tony Abrahams
211 Posted 03/07/2020 at 21:13:14
By the end of Duncan Ferguson's last game, Everton were on there knees. He did a great job, instilling loads of passion, fight and effort, and he also only played his four matches against teams in the top six without defeat (maybe not Arsenal?) but his players could barely even raise a gallop by the time Ancelotti was sitting in the stands.

I like that you're hard on managers, Darren, in fact I don't think you've called one wrong since I've been coming on these pages, but if you wasn't impressed with the way Everton saw the game out the other day, I'd be a little bit surprised, even if it's obviously not how you want them to play long-term.

I've seen Forest win the European cup, using those tactics though, obviously with better players in certain positions, but I wouldn't mind watching this type of football, once we also get more quality, and I'll definitely take “the structure” for now.

John Pierce
212 Posted 03/07/2020 at 21:38:12
Tony, I‘m nodding like the proverbial donkey! I going back to Carlo's Parma team, and how he built that. Although he had some superb raw material!

The way we saw that game out on Wednesday was far different to that of our recent predecessors. When we moved to five at the back, we all but snuffed then out. What would we have given to have that level of professionalism under Bobby and Marco in particular?

West Ham, Stoke at home springs to mind. Bournemouth, Chelsea & Newcastle away echo in my head all the time.

Carlo isn't going to get the latitude to bring in top drawer players so it's down to evolving but winning at the same time. He is, for me, the first manager than can do both at the same time since big Joe.

Martin Mason
213 Posted 03/07/2020 at 21:40:47
Tony, criticism is easy. Constructive criticism is difficult. Darren doesn't understand what the latter is.

There are some fans who understand what can be delivered at any given time and who support regardless and hope that we can at least reach our potential which is in reality all that can be expected.

There are, however, fans who demand and expect outcomes which can't be delivered and some on the basis of our ridiculous Club motto. The reality is that individual fans, especially non-shareholders, have absolutely no say in how the club, as a Limited Company, is run and no right to expect or demand anything.

As part of a mob, they can demand a change of manager perhaps and sometimes win but that is all. Note that games are being played now in empty stadiums. We're close to the time where the game can survive without local fans because nearly all income is from people watching Sky around the world.

John Keating
214 Posted 03/07/2020 at 21:52:08
John Pierce @203,

Spot on, John.

Mike Gaynes
215 Posted 03/07/2020 at 21:54:00
Jamie #206, yep, that's possible, depending on who we get -- and who we get rid of -- in the next couple of windows.

Darren #209, what you call "cowardly" football is only cowardly if you lose. If you win, it's strategic. We're winning with Carlo.

And call me uncultured, but I like winning more than I like stylish football. It's great if you can have both, but we can't, so I choose winning. And, as you say, Carlo is a serial winner. I love serial winning. Gimme gimme.

Tony Abrahams
216 Posted 03/07/2020 at 21:56:55
I'm not sure it would last that long without the crowd though Martin, and hope the powers that be finally start to really appreciate the match-going fan, rather than continue to take advantage of us.

I understand what you're saying about shareholders and stakeholders, but cradle-to-grave fans are what makes certain clubs so special, and surely this is only because of the standards that have been passed down throughout the generations.

Well, that's how I see it anyway, Martin, because football is definitely not a sport that could survive without the fans long-term. Let's not forget about the pure emotion, because It's surely why the game is the most popular sport in the world to begin with.

Darren Hind
217 Posted 03/07/2020 at 22:14:29
Mike, you are, undeniably, a philistine. An uncultured Seppo, but you are also right – again.

Yes, this is meant to be an unrehearsed live entertainment, but I can accept a cynics point of view. If Ancelotti wins enough, he will deliver prizes. He will be proved right and so will you.

You have more chance of being struck by lightning, my friend. We will not win nearly enough games to justify this cowardice


I would like to see our players on their knees at the end of every game. They should be totally spent. Nothing left... That's why the soft twats have 3 or 4 and often 7 days to recover.

Martin... Na, it doesn't matter.

Tony Abrahams
218 Posted 03/07/2020 at 22:23:23
Fair enough, Darren, but it's much better when the opposition are on their knees, or even better when they run out of ideas, which is what I thought happened to Leicester the other night.
Mike Gaynes
219 Posted 03/07/2020 at 23:00:58
Seppo? Was he the one with the hat who chased Harpo and Chico?
Brent Stephens
220 Posted 03/07/2020 at 23:02:28
Mike, I think we’re dealing with Groucho.
Mike Gaynes
221 Posted 03/07/2020 at 23:03:33
I was hoping you would say that, Brent!
Brent Stephens
222 Posted 03/07/2020 at 23:05:19
Things getting back to normal, at home, Mike?
Darren Hind
223 Posted 03/07/2020 at 23:15:24
Na Mike.

You need a 'Merican zee for that.

What was the name of that woman who always played the lead in the Marx Brothers movies and never quite had the brains to get the joke? Was it Bre somebody? Brent maybe?

The image won't leave me now.

Patrick McFarlane
224 Posted 03/07/2020 at 23:18:24
Mike #219,

According to some sites:

Seppo is a masculine given name of Finnish origin. It has two distinct origins; Seppo is a character in the Kalevala, whose name is derived from the Finnish word seppä, meaning smith, and the name is also a diminutive for Sebastian in Finland.

But others define it as:

A derogatory word used by the English and Australians for all American nationals. Derived from Rhyming slang (Septic Tank = Yank), eg: Will those stupid seppos ever shut up bragging about how much lemonade they can drink?

Herbert Manfred "Zeppo" Marx (February 25, 1901 - November 30, 1979) was an American actor, comedian, theatrical agent, and engineer. He was the youngest of the five Marx Brothers and also the last to die. He appeared in the first five Marx Brothers feature films, from 1929 to 1933, but then left the act to start his second career as an engineer and theatrical agent.

Take your pick, Mike, btw, glad to see you are getting your family back together, all the best until your next sojourn to Blighty.

Darren - Margaret Dumont is the lady you are thinking of.

Mike Gaynes
225 Posted 03/07/2020 at 23:20:05
All good, Brent. I smile a lot these days. A lot. Thanks for asking.

Darren, that was Margaret Dumont. I believe she was married into the Schneiderlin family.

Patrick, thanks, I did know the Aussie appellation... was just teasing Darren. As for the Marxes, I am something of an aficionado. The funniest book I have ever read, on any subject ever, was Harpo's autobiography, Harpo Speaks! It isn't strictly accurate -- Harpo told some tall tales to his ghostwriter, Rowland Barber -- but it is fall-on-the-floor material. I've given away several copies.

Brent Stephens
226 Posted 03/07/2020 at 23:21:12
Darren, as I guessed. Deflected and dodged my three questions. Or are your responses on their way?
Brent Stephens
227 Posted 03/07/2020 at 23:22:14
Good to hear, Mike.
Si Cooper
228 Posted 03/07/2020 at 23:31:40
Really surprised by the level of disappointment some are voicing for what I thought was generally a well-deserved victory based on nullifying the opposition's greatest threats.

I think it is strange to write-off Leicester as serious competition so easily. Sure they don't have a lengthy history of success and are on a bad run, but they have no real weak links in their team, some very gifted individuals and were having a storming season for much of it.

Our performance may have been limited and there were still some basic errors that ultimately need to be expunged, but I watched that game and never thought we were under too much pressure or didn't have anything left in reserve.

I thought Sigurdsson worked hard to disrupt their possession and Gomes at least looks to make something happen every time he has the ball. Tom Davies showed marvellous footwork on multiple occasions and Anthony Gordon is obviously adapting quickly to what must be a step up in pace and physicality.

I actually didn't have to turn Jamie Carragher off. Freed of the desperation of the RS seemingly consigned eternally to the ranks of ‘also-rans', he seemed much more rational and gave what I thought was a reasonable assessment of what he considered to be a good competitive match.

Tom Bowers
229 Posted 03/07/2020 at 23:37:09
Getting back to football instead of the sarcastic sniping going on, everyone has to agree on the sad fact that the modern game is basically defence and possession.

Being able to score first and if possible very early is a big plus and RS seem to do that a lot – and why not, they have the players to do that, yesterday's game excepted against the great Man City (De Bruyne has to be a shoo-in for Player of the Year).

I would like to think that Carlo is working toward that and certainly the defence has stood up to scrutiny since the restart.

The last six games should be interesting but the Spurs game will also be tough as they will be smarting from that Sheffield Utd defeat.

Laurie Hartley
230 Posted 03/07/2020 at 23:55:56
In 1963, I watched a game at Goodison Park that created an impression so strong that it has stayed with me ever since – the importance of having a great defence. In that game, Inter Milan put on a master class of defending against an Everton team that could tear most opposition teams to pieces.

English in Europe: Sticky Toffees – Everton 1963-64

At the time, as a young lad of 14, it bewildered me. They were impenetrable.

Reading through that article also reminded me that our 1963 team also had a great defence.

In my opinion, to do any good in football before everything else, you must be able to defend.

Ancelotti will either teach our current crop how to defend as a unit – or bring in players that already know how to.

Tony Cawson
231 Posted 04/07/2020 at 00:28:24
Calvert-Lewin was absolutely outstanding.

Long may he flourish at Everton.

Tony Hill
232 Posted 04/07/2020 at 06:25:40
Darren is right about our football at the moment. It's dull, very dull. Allardyce was pulverised for playing this type of stuff, with much worse players and without any support.

I see, and agree with, the argument that you need to be solid first. But I don't want to be watching this for much longer.

Next season is crucial and so is the acquisition or development of two high-class midfielders, as we know. In game after game, we lose tempo and give up momentum to the opposition. We must start to keep the ball and develop rhythms which we can maintain over the full match.

I'm with Ancelotti if we “build from the back”; but build we must, and in a bold and beautiful way which honours our heritage.

Ron Marr
233 Posted 04/07/2020 at 06:56:37
Allardyce's team was 20th in shots per game. There is no comparison with the current team.
Tony Hill
234 Posted 04/07/2020 at 07:00:00
No there isn't, Ron, because, as I said, we have much better players now. The football, regardless of shots, was no more boring than much of what we're seeing now.
Bob Parrington
235 Posted 04/07/2020 at 07:51:21
Laurie @230. Thanks for the memory. As a 14-year-old, I was also there with my wayward brother-in-law. Massive crowd. Fabulous atmosphere. And yes, a masterclass in rock-solid defence.

Maybe we should also recall Don Revie with Leeds Utd a few years later. In '66 I shared a huge flat with 5 other students in Manchester. Four of them were Leeds Utd fans and the other, from a place called Wath upon Dearne, was a Barnsley fan.

Most of the time, the Leeds guys gave us plenty of shit. Great to get the Cup win that year.

Thomas Lennon
236 Posted 04/07/2020 at 08:37:34
Back in 1999, I anticipated an entertaining match at Goodison Park against an Arsenal team containing some great players. We were in survival mode and might lose by four but at least I would get to watch some great play. We were there for the taking.

Arsenal proceeded to kill the game, allowed us lots of possession and we tried to find a way through for 89 minutes but weren't allowed a sight of goal. At some point, it went Adams forward to Petit, carried to just inside their half and then a pass from their right, behind our defensive line to Overmars on the left, who accelerated to score in the clear.

Minimal effort, maximum organisation, top class finishers, they barely knew that they had been in a match. It seemed so simple, I always wondered why Everton never seemed to build a superb defence first, always tried to entertain but never quite win. Perhaps Carlo is taking us there at last.

Mind you, I was so disappointed with Arsenal in that game I have never bothered watching them play us again!

Laurie Hartley
237 Posted 04/07/2020 at 08:51:08
Bob @ 235 - it was a great atmosphere. Do you remember Tony Kay getting Luis Suarez in a headlock to stop him running through on to goal and scoring on the break. Kay would have been sent off nowadays.

Thomas @ 236 - "Mind you, I was so disappointed with Arsenal in that game I have never bothered watching them play us again!"

You missed out big time then. I have only been back to Goodison Park twice this century – the first time to see us play Wenger's invincibles. They mullered us 4-1 but it was a privilege to see that team.

"At some point it went Adams forward to Petit, carried to just inside their half and then a pass from their right, behind our defensive line to Overmars on the left who accelerated to score in the clear."

Our defensive line must have been too high up the pitch then (just saying like). ;)

George McKane
238 Posted 04/07/2020 at 09:02:18
Went straight to The Inter game from school, I wanted to make sure I got in. I was about 14 then – what an atmosphere.
Tony Abrahams
239 Posted 04/07/2020 at 09:36:46
I disagree we have now got much better players now, Tony H. Digne and Richarlison definitely, and Calvert-Lewin has obviously started developing, but – even if the last few games have been built on being strong defensively (makes a lot of sense after the Chelsea debacle) – I never saw any kind of real structure under Allardyce, never a sense that he could improve us offensively.

I feel differently now; we could have beaten Liverpool with better finishing in the end. Leicester started the second half with a real rhythm the other night, scored early which encouraged them even more, and it took a lot of nous from the sidelines to eventually wrap them up – something I'm not sure Big Sam really had in his make-up, imo.

Martin M, have a look at Laurie's link, and then tell me that football doesn't really need a crowd, because what Jock Stein said will always apply; it's that passion that makes the game great.

Paul Tran
240 Posted 04/07/2020 at 09:42:03
'Cowardice'? Really? I'd say he's doing the basics pretty well.

I remember people bleating on here about letting in goals at set-pieces, not scoring from set-pieces, picking a system that doesn't suit the players, not seeing games out (I'll give you Newcastle!).

Right now, after a few years of chaos, I'd argue this is what we need. Stability. Players working hard, knowing and doing their jobs. Getting the confidence and momentum that comes with being hard to beat.

I remember Bingham's team. Dull as ditchwater to watch, should have won the league, threw it away. Bingham took too long to build on a miserly defence and got sacked. I suspect Carlo will build on this more quickly.

If we're playing like this next season, I'll join in the criticism. Right now, I'm happy watching games and expecting us to win. I'm happy seeing us look like a team again. For now. We just need to fill that hole in centre midfield.

Martin Nicholls
241 Posted 04/07/2020 at 10:02:46
George, Bob, Laurie – we're of the same vintage! Like George, I went to the Inter game straight from school. Unlike him, I and two mates who sagged off after lunch and were queuing outside the ground by 2 pm!!
Tony Abrahams
242 Posted 04/07/2020 at 10:04:45
I'd love to carry on playing like this, Paul T, and I definitely won't be complaining if it carries on next season.

Darren says the great players won't be coming here... Exactly, I say, so let's build a side that's hard to beat, a team of substance, a team with great will and desire, and “a team” that will always overcome great individuals.

The style will come, but first let us work on becoming a proper team, and then just imagine how much belief the players will get once the Everton crowd really gets behind them.

Michael Kenrick
243 Posted 04/07/2020 at 10:11:58
Thomas @236,

Very lucid memory for a game 20 years in the past... made me curious for some reason so I pulled up ToffeeWeb's Match Report on the game, just to see what the mood was like back then – apologies for uncorrected typos!...

"Not many Evertonians have given Arsenal the credit they deserve for their performance in this match. It was the kind of performance we should be aspiring to on a consistent basis – quick in closing down EVERY ball; speed on the break; comfortable in the air and on the ground; and the ability to con match officials."

That's just the first line of fan comments from Alan Creevy, who we haven't seen for a while. The parallels are indeed remarkable.

Tony Abrahams
244 Posted 04/07/2020 at 10:24:59
Just carrying on in the same vein, but I can feel the passion and the hope coming out of that post, Paul Tran.

As I keep saying, fans make a club special, fans like Martin who was sagging school nearly 60 years ago to watch his team, and still retains his passion for the Blues.

Tony Hill
245 Posted 04/07/2020 at 10:48:32
Tony @239, remember that we also have Calvert-Lewin and Holgate as much more mature players; Coleman (of course) and Sigurdsson (then playing well) were both out injured for long spells.

Anyway, I agree with you @242, but I want and expect the style to happen fairly quickly.

Dave Abrahams
246 Posted 04/07/2020 at 10:55:31
Mike (225), I read Groucho's autobiography a long time ago, it was brilliant, one of those books you were sorry when it finished. When the library opens up again I'll look for Harpo's.

George and Martin, going back to the Inter Milan game, I was on the dole at the time. I signed on that morning and the clerk told me there were jobs going for that night, carry a sandwich board outside the ground for The Daily Express for a couple of hours, 7s/6d and free entry to the game.

"You can fuck that for a lark," I thought, and I went to the game at my usual time and paid on the gate, no bother. If I could turn the clock back, George and Martin, I'd snitch on the pair of you, sagging school at the expense of us tax payers, disgraceful!!!

Martin Nicholls
247 Posted 04/07/2020 at 13:32:35
Dave #246 – "at the expense of us taxpayers"? You were on the dole! :-)

Wouldn't it be great to turn the clock back though, Dave?

Martin Nicholls
248 Posted 04/07/2020 at 13:34:28
Sorry, Dave, meant to add that when I read your opening paragraph, I thought Darren had written his autobiography!! Joking Darren, honestly!
Brian Murray
249 Posted 04/07/2020 at 13:44:05
We have to give Carlo the benefit of the doubt and this is indeed a defensive master plan that's getting wins.

One thing we do know for sure is Koeman and Martinez wouldn't have a clue how to execute this type of tactic.

He just needs a little gold dust to sprinkle on this hard-to-beat team. Sadly, the likes of Bernard and Sigurdsson are nowhere near the answer. Gordon is a definite maybe.

Tony Abrahams
250 Posted 04/07/2020 at 14:16:56
I'd turn the clock back, Martin, if I could just get to see dead-pan Dave and his sandwich board!
Jim Burns
251 Posted 04/07/2020 at 15:23:43
Christy @ 189 – I know exactly what the purpose of this forum is - but thanks for enlightening me. I simply expressed approval of the content and tone of David's post @ 61 - in answer to your question. I also think your post @ 155 is considered and constructive and agree with it.

I'm not sure what your point is but, as a match going fan home and away since the age of 10 (I am now 64), and like many thousands of blues, I'm really feeling the fact that I can't still travel and attend with my kids and grandkids. Hence I've made a rare foray onto ToffeeWeb.

There are some great posts on here - robust, insightful and passionate – and I wish I was more eloquent in being able to do some of them justice. It's the tone of some posts in terms of addressing fellow fans' views that sometimes grates.

It's just a view and I hope it doesn't offend.

George McKane
252 Posted 04/07/2020 at 17:05:55
What a gang of old hooligans we are.
Dave Abrahams
253 Posted 04/07/2020 at 21:17:01
Martin (247), “Wouldn't it be great to turn the clock back” – are you off your cake? Turn the clock back and go through another 50 years with our Tony, and no chance of parole.

And God knows how many more years I've got to face with him... it doesn't bear thinking about.

Christy Ring
254 Posted 05/07/2020 at 09:30:14
Jim @251,

As you say, we all have different views, and thanks, definitely no offence taken.

Martin Nicholls
255 Posted 05/07/2020 at 11:31:52
Dave #253 – at the risk of "stirring it", I have to say that your Tony seems okay to me!!
Dave Abrahams
256 Posted 05/07/2020 at 15:51:03
Martin (255), stir away but I agree with you, Tony is fine: when he's asleep!!

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