Serial Let-Downs

By Lyndon Lloyd 07/07/2020 165comments  |  Jump to last
Tottenham Hotspur 1 - 0 Everton

Carlo Ancelotti is a man accustomed to the big stage and even given the predicament in which he found Everton when he took over in December, there must have been a part of him that felt he might be able to sneak the Blues into Europe this season.

Much of the talk coming into this “six-pointer” against Tottenham surrounded Everton’s record under the Italian which was among the best four in the Premier League since Christmas. It’s been Champions League-level form, albeit in a division littered with erratic teams that has been emerging from a three-month hiatus following the Covid-19 shutdown, but after today, it’s hard seeing this team gracing any Continental competition next season. Indeed, without some significant investment or, quite frankly, miraculous management by Ancelotti, Europe could remain elusive for a while to come.

That’s not to say that this Everton side doesn’t boast some talent. In Richarlison they have a genuine match-winner, a fact that wasn’t lost on Jose Mourinho who had clearly instructed his Tottenham charges to surround, harry and kick the Brazilian out of the game. He still almost produced a goal on the stroke of half-time at the end of what might have been the Toffees’ only incisive moment in 50 first-half minutes but he was effectively negated for the most part.

Mason Holgate and Michael Keane have formed an impressive partnership in recent weeks, conceding just once since ‘Project Restart’ got underway but it was a pairing that was broken up after half an hour when the former was forced off with an injury of his own making when he went in late on Giovani Lo Celso, not long after the latter had scored an unfortunate own goal that ultimately decided what was a dreadful contest.

Anthony Gordon, the lively, inventive and largely fearless teenager who stepped off the bench at the start of the second half and injected some much-needed life into the attack offers hope for the future but that is where the plaudits for this Everton side end because, apart from Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s ceaseless industry, there is precious little to get excited about.

At the heart of their problems is a black hole of a midfield, one devoid of guile, imagination and drive, where the first instinct is to go backwards because of an inability to play through an opposition press and the link between defence and attack is all too often a launched ball over the top, a risky flighted diagonal pass to the flanks or the safe option to lay it off to the centre-halves.

So much is expected of André Gomes but his rich pedigree and suave Iberian demeanour are increasingly deceit by way of flattery of the eye. The Portuguese continues to play within himself, seemingly frightened of trying anything riskier than a safe sideways pass and prone to stupid fouls outside his own area like the transparent challenge he left in on Son Hueng-Min as a half-hearted and ill-advised reminder of what the South Korean did to him in the reverse fixture at Goodison last November.

His long injury lay-off in between would be an obvious mitigating factor on his form but, truth be told, Gomes had become a source of frustration before his injury and if he is to remain the great hope in Everton’s midfield, he is going to need to demonstrate he can recapture his best form next season.

On today’s evidence, he isn’t worthy of even a starting role in what would, money permitting, be an entirely revamped midfield for 2020-21. Next to him, Gylfi Sigurdsson reverted to type after decent outings off the bench at Norwich and against Leicester in midweek. Slow, uncommitted and one-dimensional, the Icelander didn’t attempt a single tackle and made further mockery of his inflated price tag and six-figure monthly salary.

Tom Davies, making his 100th appearance for Everton despite being only 22, also lapsed back into the form that has raised question marks left, right and centre as to whether he is good enough to command even a regular spot on the bench let alone a routine starting role.

Then there was Alex Iwobi, a player who really only has one position — a free no. 10 role behind the strikers, one that doesn’t currently exist under Ancelotti, even in this evening’s modified system. He had adapted well to a wide-right role in recent weeks but he found himself shunted out to the left this evening and struggled before he was taken off at half-time with a hamstring problem.

That it took a teenager to come on after the break and provide some of the thrust and invention that had been sorely lacking by his more experienced team-mates rather summed up Everton’s midfield but there is a general and persistent lack of spirit, fight and cohesion about the entire team that has infected this club for years.

Players, managers and directors of football have come and gone and yet Everton’s pitiful record on the grounds of the so-called “big six” just extends, season after season with no evidence in sight that they can find the collective stones to just go out and win one of these matches.

They had actually done alright prior to the Spurs goal which had come from the hosts’ first really incisive bit of play. For the first quarter of the contest, the respective teams had been effectively cancelling each other out with their pressing game and while it was perhaps a little conservative from Ancelotti given Tottenham’s potential fragility following a 3-1 defeat to Sheffield United last time out, it at least preserved parity until Lady Luck intervened.

Son had done his best to tease a couple of Everton defenders in the penalty area before finding Harry Kane whose shot was blocked but fell to Lo Celso. He wrong-footed Lucas Digne and sliced a shot that was heading off target but it stuck Keane in the midriff and bounced past Jordan Pickford.

It was an ugly goal, fittingly enough the winner of an ugly game, and it was one that Everton proved incapable of cancelling out, not helped by the fact that they registered just six touches of the ball in Tottenham's box all game.

Richarlison’s decent strike, set up by Yerry Mina, was about as close as the Toffees came to breaching Hugo Lloris’s goal in the entire game. Gordon had the game’s first effort on target, a low drive that made for a routine save five minutes into the second half and, thanks to a late but vain flurry by the visitors towards the end, Calvert-Lewin would test Lloris himself with an improvise heel-flick off a free-kick.

There was also time for Gordon to send a rising half-volley over and substitute Djibril Sidibé to rattle a stoppage-time shot wide but in the final reckoning and despite the introduction of Moise Kean and Bernard, Everton’s attacking efforts were pretty feeble.

At the other end, Pickford beat away a couple of shots from Son while the Spurs forward curled another effort past the far post.

With this first defeat in four games, Everton remain outside the top 10 — below Burnley and barely above Newcastle in the table — and while they still have five games to go, two of them against teams above them, they can probably kiss goodbye thoughts of qualifying for the Europa League.

That’s just as well; with Marcel Brands tempering hopes of a significant influx of talent during the upcoming transfer window, it’s likely that the bulk of this team will still be around next season and, frankly, they’re not yet worthy of Continental competition.

It will be a supreme test of Brands’s ability to find two or three players to really make a difference to a squad that again looks short on depth and quality and just as big an examination of Ancelotti’s managerial savvy and expertise to fashion a side capable of winning consistently and taking big scalps away from home next season.

Some introspection on the part of the players themselves wouldn’t go amiss either because there was opportunity here with discord in Tottenham's dressing room and Mourinho's start to life in North London not going to plan. Not for the first time, Everton couldn't rise to the occasion and once again they let the supporters down just when they were daring to entertain a little optimism.

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Reader Comments (165)

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Ian McAvoy
1 Posted 07/07/2020 at 01:57:21
That was poor today. Time to blood in some of the kids as we won't be seeing the Europa League.

I have big doubts on Siggurson and Iwobi. The former needs to be sold while there is still value in Europe. The latter needs to be used in his best position.

We also need to evaluate if Gomes is the midfield anchor we need? I'm not convinced since the restart. Tidy but toothless.

Jerome Shields
2 Posted 07/07/2020 at 04:23:53
Good article and title that describes the Everton team.

Gomes is not the player to build a midfield around. He is also weak in defensive duties. Though he blocked the initial shot in the attack that lead to the goal, he was too deep and actually got in the way of a better clearance. If Sigurdsson could be gone the same way as Schniederlin, it would be a blessing. Iowbi is erratic, whilst Davies, who I thought played well, was on a mission to nothing with his poor compatriots in midfield. He was pushed too deep and could not continue the better final third performance we had seen in the previous game.

Though Calvert-Lewin was industrious he never give the appearance that he was going to score or even threaten. Richardson was kicked of the pitch in a cynical Mourinho ploy. Coleman was below par, as was Bernard. Kean is not going to make it, even as a passenger, on present appearances

Keane did a good job on Kane and both Holgate and Mina played well. Digne is not as effective, but did get in some poorly met crosses. Gordon played the best in midfield and Pickford was his normal erratic self.

Ancelotti got the tactics right, but didn't have the players that where up to implementing them. Mourinho tactics where as expected, but Tottenham are scraping the bottom, in a unfathomed fall from grace.

Mark Andersson
3 Posted 07/07/2020 at 05:45:46
Seems like business as usual.

Can't blame the crowd or the managment... it's the players. Maybe they don't want Europe? Maybe they would rather be at home in their mansions, playing Fifa or whatever?

It seems to me that, no matter who the manager is, they cannot be motivated to up their game when it matters most.

They should be fined heavily if they don't perform well. How can a whole team be off? I give up!

Carlo, sack the shower of shite and start again.

David Currie
4 Posted 07/07/2020 at 06:41:14
I hope Sigurdsson never plays again. We need to get rid of him. Gomes is also not good enough and in the last two games he should never have played the whole game.

Give Holgate (if fit) and Gordon a chance in the centre of midfield on Thursday and give Mina a chance alongside Keane. Play Richarlison out wide and let's give Kean and Calvert-Lewin a try upfront.

Paul Davies
5 Posted 07/07/2020 at 06:45:29
Compare and contrast to our next opponents, Southampton. They ran their bollocks off against Man City. Our midfield lacks any guile and lower mid-table appears to be a given for this miserable season.
Rick Tarleton
6 Posted 07/07/2020 at 07:06:44
A very good assessment of Everton's display at Spurs, but to be honest apart from the freakish and unfortunate own goal, Spurs were no better. It was a terrible game, played out by two teams in the no-man's land of end-of-season mid-table.

Gomes is an excellent passer of the ball, he can hit forty yard passes across the pitch, but rarely does he make a defence-splitting pass. He also lacks the power and stamina needed to be the centre of the midfield.

However, he is streets ahead of the anonymous and ineffectual Sigurdsson, who offers little except in dead ball situations and even then Digne has become the number one choice with Gordon as the backup.

Keane, despite the own goal is playing impressively and Mina looked more solid than he has done this season when he came on.

Tom Davies had a poor game but at least he doesn't hide when things aren't going right, which makes him miles ahead of the other midfielders.

Bill Fairfield
7 Posted 07/07/2020 at 08:09:00
Lyndon, your assessment and Gary Neville's assessment during commentary is spot on.
Mal van Schaick
8 Posted 07/07/2020 at 08:09:18
We deserved a point in a poor game, but our midfield is an enigma.

Davies, for all his efforts, is not up to Premier League level. Bernard too lightweight, Iwobi erratic, Sigurdsson looks like he doesn't want to be on the pitch, Gomes is another Barkley, loses the ball and no pace to recover.

Gordon brightened the game up, but is affected by poorer players around him. Rebuild midfield, buy quality and a proven goal scorer for next season.

Looks like this season is a write-off for European football, unless other teams slip up.

Robert Tressell
9 Posted 07/07/2020 at 08:17:17
Without reinforcements, we are always going to have games like that. Mourinho did a job on us tactically and, because our playing staff is limited, we had no answer.

We need a midfield upgrade – we've known that all season.

Mark Murphy
10 Posted 07/07/2020 at 08:26:49
Replace all but Holgate, Keane, Mina, Digne, Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin. The rest won't see us challenge the top eight, let alone top four.

Another point –- once it was obvious they were rotationally fouling Richarlison, our guys should have been all over the ref, a la Peter Reid. Instead, they just let Richie sigh and get up alone. We are just too fucking nice!!

Iain Love
11 Posted 07/07/2020 at 08:50:28
I can't remember which game it was, but Gomes was just coming back from injury and gave the worst midfield display I had ever seen. Next game he was imperious. They say form is temporary, class is permanent.

Last night was an awful end of season game for both sides, without any crowd reaction to inject any passion and with the knowledge we play again on Thursday.

For me this season is finished and we should let Carlo rebuild for next. Not with wholesale changes but one or two quality additions, just look at what a difference Bruno at Man Utd has made.
Joe McMahon
12 Posted 07/07/2020 at 08:57:19
Sigurdsson, Gomes and Bernard just ain't doing it at this level. Gomes wasn't much different before the injury. This weak midfield is seriously holding us back.

I'm convinced Sigurdsson is the most expensive flop in top-flight football, post war. Everton with this lot are awful and embarrassing.

Moshiri has to take some flack as he allowed Koeman and Walsh to nearly sink us. Calvert-Lewin needs a goal as well.

Christopher Timmins
13 Posted 07/07/2020 at 08:57:39
The performances have been poor for weeks, folks, we have accumulated points without playing well. Hand on heart, we are a moderate team.

I don't think there is any need for Carlo to look at Sigurdsson or Iwobi any longer as a blind man can see what they bring to the party at this stage.

I suppose the back four look more solid but we have major problems in the midfield sector.

Mark Burton
14 Posted 07/07/2020 at 09:05:33
That display cannot be put down to fatigue with too many games. Pride and honour was disgraced by overpaid mercenaries who don't care about club or supporters.

The contract given to each player is too long and we are being used as a hospice for overated prideless players. Nobody will be leaving because they earn too much at Everton and other clubs are not prepared to pay the wages we pay for heartless mercenaries.

The display last evening was dire by any standard and should not be tolerated. I hope the cardboard cutouts don't even turn up for the game.

Mark Dunford
15 Posted 07/07/2020 at 09:19:33
It was really a very poor game in the now familiar sterile atmosphere. Agree on Iwobi and Sigurdsson – neither contributed much to our cause yesterday. We were, however, very unlucky to concede a freak goal against a team who were actually no better than us. Midfield is clearly our real problem.

Gordon is a really eye catching positive player who, even after a few appearances, reminds me of the young Trevor Steven – we really must get the best out of him as we can't afford to lose another talent.

Gomes is a talented footballer, but is still in the relatively early recovery stages after a horrific injury and has much to offer.

I'm unsure about Davies who is perhaps going to be more of a squad player than a first-teamer – say like Kevin Richardson. He is still young and could yet come good.

Beni Banngime must deserve a chance in the last few fixtures. I'd certainly try to sell on the rest while we can. Sigurdsson, Iwobi and Bernard could all move on but that would leave us without any serious midfield. We need to strengthen this area so badly.

As others have said, Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison are a good pair up front, the defence is quite solid and will hopefully be strengthened by return of Kenny and the acquisition of another centre half. It doesn't take too much to spot the weakest area.

Joe McMahon
16 Posted 07/07/2020 at 09:20:29
Bill, Gary Neville is often correct in his assessment. It's a pity he's not Director of Football.
Dave Williams
17 Posted 07/07/2020 at 09:31:09
The defence is looking much more solid and the strikers are dangerous on the rare occasion they get the ball.

Our problems are in midfield and of course the apparently weak mentality which as Neville and posters on here have rightly pointed out has affected us for a very long time now.

The playing squad has changed completely yet this weak mentality persists. Quite where it comes from I don't know (it's nothing to do with the directors of the club) and Carlo has to introduce some players with attitude to inject some real bite and fighting spirit. Young Gordon showed some last night and now has to be the time to see if Baningime can reproduce the form he showed when he was given a run a couple of years ago.

The midfield was woeful. I thought Tom did okay, moving forward looking for a positive pass and beating his man on a number of occasions in the second half.

Gomes is a shadow of the player he was when he was looking one of the best in the league in the middle of last season. His injury can be used to excuse some sluggishness but he can only be effective with a player next to him who can consistently win and then control possession. We don't create space up front because we pass sideways or backwards and this means that our strikers get very little quality service.

Sigurdsson was appalling and he and Iwobi were both guilty of chickening out of tackles. I think Iwobi has ability but I can't abide players who back out of tackles. Sigurdsson is poor. I can't believe that he is still described as a dead ball specialist. Since he joined us he has specialised in not scoring a goal from the multitude of set pieces he has taken! Is this down to a lack of practice? It is surely a skill which stays with you for good if you continually practice it?

We started last night with three passengers in our midfield and the much-praised manager then brings on the tiny Bernard against a physically strong side like Spurs – why?? He does not play well away from home for a start and surely a midfield of Tom and Beni flanked by Gordon and Richarlison playing behind a front two of Calvert-Lewin and Moise Kean would at least have had a bit more bite? Spurs will hardly have shuddered seeing Bernard being introduced?

Mina was always looking forward and I thought brought the ball out of defence well.

We won't get Europa League now and we haven't got a squad capable of playing in it anyway.

Carlo needs to look at Adeniran, Branthwaite and Beni before the season ends and then ship out as much of the deadwood as possible (how many years have we all been saying that??). Gordon has shown that he is ready to play and maybe there are a couple of others.

Utterly depressing!!

Tony Abrahams
18 Posted 07/07/2020 at 09:33:42
We could talk all day about this squad, and I could also put the boot on the other foot, and disagree with Lyndon's headline, because I'm being genuine when I say they never let me down.

Not being facetious, Lyndon, I just think they put in a typical Everton away from home performance, and during the lockdown, I was surprised to read Pickford, saying how important it was for the players to play at Goodison, even without the crowd.

I thought it was a bit bizarre considering there are no fans inside the stadium. I still find it bizarre because I'd love to know why Everton lose so much aggression whenever they play away from home?

Ken Kneale
19 Posted 07/07/2020 at 09:36:03
Lyndon – a superb headline and report as ever – this game and result is both galling and sadly customary.

Joe 12 – spot on analysis – these guys are letting down even an average team and ensuring the continuance of mediocrity or lower is the norm.

Sam Hoare
20 Posted 07/07/2020 at 09:44:13
We are still lumbered with Steve Walsh's most expensive mistake Sigurdsson and sadly his qualities (or lack of them) are most highlighted when paired with the equally poor and immobile Gomes.

Between them the midfield pair don't tackles, don't intercept, don't create and don't score. Hardly a recipe for success. Yet they are two of our most senior and best payed players, both on over £100k per week. People keep saying that Gomes will be much better with the right partner but shouldn't one of best payed and supposedly most talented footballers be able to lead the team in some capacity on his own?

Of course last night was poor across the board and the likes of Bernard and Iwobi need to do alot better. Calvert-Lewin also needs to match his enthusiam with some better technique, too much of his hold-up play was ineffectual last night.

The match thread was full of ire and people saying we need a whole new team. It's not going to happen. We cannot keep buying 4-5+ first team players every summer. Brands has already said it will be 2-3 this year and the onus is on Ancelotti to get a better tune out of what we have.

The defense looks better. Those 3 new players need to bring legs and energy in midfield, pace out wide and some more goals. If it's true that Gbamin will be ready for new season that would be a big boost. Oh for some dynamism in the middle!

2 very tough games now against a rejuvanated Southampton and a very effective Wolves. We looked tired and uninspired yesterday. We'll have to find a spark from somewhere or this optimistic Europa challenge could quickly turn into a slide to 15th-16th which may make attracting top talents even harder than it already is.

Paul Swan
21 Posted 07/07/2020 at 09:45:56
So when does Carlo’s get out of jail free card run out? Because I’m not convinced in the slightest that he is the correct person for this job. Gutless mercenaries both on and off the field have basically pissed Moshiri’s money up against the wall and we are moving backwards year on year. He sent those players out last night - not one scrap of motivation or desire anywhere but this is not an isolated example. There are players week in week out who don’t turn up. Surely he sees this. Surely he sees that we play at 50% of the speed of other teams in the league. Surely he sees that we have 75% of our playing staff who can’t pass or control a football? Surely he sees players who make no tackles or even contributions in games? So to answer my own question I suppose when he gets his own signings on the park then we can assess but the risk is throwing good after bad. Motivation comes from the top and I see very little to suggest any change any time soon.
John Raftery
22 Posted 07/07/2020 at 09:53:51
In the short term managers can only make the best of the players they have by organising them, playing to a clearly defined system and not asking them to do things beyond their limitations. Carlo has tried with some degree of success to eke our results with a containment strategy aiming somehow to nick a goal or two via set pieces or a quick break. That can only take a team so far. Concede an unlucky goal and the strategy immediately unravels.

The core problem we have is Gomes and Sigurdsson and before he departed Schneiderlin, cannot get around the pitch. Sigurdsson is not and never has been a central midfielder. Playing him there is a case of make do and mend. Gomes could do a job there if he had a Gana Gueye alongside him doing his running. Finding such a player must surely be the top priority in the next few weeks. I suspect buying a completely revamped midfield is probably out of the question.

Mark Dunford
23 Posted 07/07/2020 at 09:54:52
Forgot to say - Delph can also go. Near impossible for anyone to be as good as he thinks he is, but in his case the distance between thought and expression is a chasm. Gbamin could prove to be good acquisition yet he could also be the new Danny Williamson - I hope not, but we'll have no idea till half way through next season when he'll be a third of the way through his contract. Feel very sorry for him. We have a midfield pool of say eight or nine and really only Gordon, Beni, Gomes and Davies (possibly Iwobi as a new arrival who is settling) seem to have secure medium term futures.
Clive Rogers
24 Posted 07/07/2020 at 09:56:34
The back four defended pretty well, but the fb’s added nothing to attack. The big problems are midfield and up front. None of the midfield drive forward and are capable of opening up the opposition’s defence. Gordon should remain in the team till the end of the season. He gives us pace and guile and can only improve. Bernard is simply not good enough and too lightweight. Richarlison is our main danger up front. DCL doesn’t threaten the goal enough. Twice he received the ball in dangerous positions in the area and instead of taking on the last defender, turned back and played the ball away from goal. All his best work is outside the box.
Rob Halligan
25 Posted 07/07/2020 at 09:58:35
At the moment I am suffering with a toothache, and due to get it taken out on Thursday (don't ask how much it will cost 😥), but watching that last night was definitely more painful. Sigurdsson just ambled around all match until he was hooked, I'm just surprised he lasted as long as he did. Gary Neville summed up his attitude perfectly when he said "Sigurdsson bottled out of that challenge there", and when seeing the replay it's clear he didn't want to get hurt.

The only highlight for me was the challenge by Gomes on Son, clearly intended, even if Son wasn't hurt, though you wouldn't think so by the grimace on his face as he went down.

Chris Leyland
26 Posted 07/07/2020 at 10:14:20
It is criminal that we’ve spent half a billion pounds in four years to end up with the squad we’ve got.

It is far too soon to be blaming Ancellotti given that none of the players are his signings. He has done the basics of tightening us up at the back but he has inherited nothing in midfield.

Gomes is having to play every minute of every game because there is nothing else. He is coming back from a serious career-threatening injury but he is the only one I’d retain from the current midfield crop.

Sigurdsson is a lost cause.

Davies huffs and puffs but isn’t good enough for what we want to be. He wouldn’t be getting games in any of Liverpool, City, United, Chelsea, Spurs, Arsenal, Leicester or Wolves.

Gbamin - who knows but we can’t wait for ever for him to be fit.

Iwobi - not good enough for a poor Arsenal but we somehow paid £30m plus for him.

Bernard - what’s the point?

Put Delph on the shelf.

Chris Leyland
27 Posted 07/07/2020 at 10:15:42
Sorry, I forgot Gordon - a potential diamond in a slag heap of midfielders.
John Raftery
28 Posted 07/07/2020 at 10:26:27
Rob (25) I am relieved to read you are not resorting to pliers! You can use the money you are saving not having to travel up and down the country to all these away matches.

There were more than a few daft pundits not so long ago saying Sigurdsson was a genius. Now finally the penny seems to have dropped. He is almost completely useless. Unfortunately on such high wages it is likely he will still be with us next season.

Rennie Smith
29 Posted 07/07/2020 at 10:30:09
Pretty desperate stuff from both teams last night, if it wasn't for the unfortunate deflection it surely would have been a 0-0 training session.

Agree with most of the comments about the midfield, Vinny Sideways comes to mind. Sad when Gary Neville makes so much sense, I'm sure Carlo would love to lay into them, but he's not going to dig them out on TV.

Sigurdsson is a mystery. I read loads of comments about him plodding around and not doing much, yet he has consistently been in the top 10 stats for distance covered during matches season after season. 2018-19 for instance he was the 6th best in the league. Maybe he's a ghost and we just don't see that distance travelled?

As for Iwobi, the lad needs a rocket up his arse. The whole match was epitomised by one moment in the first half when a poor defensive clearance fell to Iwobi, centre-left about 15 yards into the Spurs half, no Spurs player directly in-front of him and the defence out of shape. 3 passes later the ball is with Pickford. He should be driving forward, taking advantage, but he always looks like a teenager who's mum has just found his porno stash under his bed. If he turns in on himself any more he'll disappear up his own arse.

Steve Ferns
30 Posted 07/07/2020 at 10:38:23
We had an “interesting“ tactical setup here. Interesting is how I would have described it if it was not my team. But we saw Davies, Gomes and Sigurdsson ahead of the two centre backs, when in possession, and so the fullbacks were able to push on. Indeed anything positive in the first half came from the fullbacks. However, it was a confusing mess and really just resulted in Tom Davies looking like he was playing right back. Sure, we looked solid enough and maybe if there wasn’t a deflection we’d have held out for an ugly point.

I did want to see that trio, but I wanted to see them narrower. Iwobi looked like he didn’t know where to be or what to do and I think the injury excuse was just an excuse.

Young Anthony Gordon was the sole bright spot on a dismal performance. I think if Carlo had gone with the 442 diamond and Gordon from the start, then maybe it might have been a bit better.

It’s only a maybe though, because Gylfi Sigurdsson is atrocious. He has mastered the art of running around like a headless chicken and looking like he’s putting a shift in, but doing nothing. He didn’t even make a tackle. In fact the most tackles was made by Gordon and he only played 45 minutes.

Sure, Spurs set about Richarlison and kicked him off the ball and reduced his effectiveness. Calvert-Lewin looks back to his form before his purple patch, and has offered little goal threat since the restart.

I thought Coleman did alright, but the tactic was designed for Sidibe, not for him. He could have done with playing a bit deeper.

People might know I’m a big fan of Gomes, and I still am. That was one of his worst performances and he needs to improve. It’s like he’s got no confidence in hitting the quick long passes as our players cannot control the ball or take it in their stride.

We’ve nothing to play for but pride now. I expect nothing from the last few games as we already played like we were on our holidays. Players like Sigurdsson are not unduly worried as they know they’ll still get their £120,000 per week.

This game really stresses the need for a central midfielder above all else. We need a right midfielder and a centre back too. But if we get the central midfielder right, we could delay the other signings. By that I mean, I don’t want any half measures. If it takes all our transfer funds, then we get the central midfielder only.

Michael O'Malley
31 Posted 07/07/2020 at 10:41:57
I think it’s about time Seamus is discarded, he can still do a job defending but if we want our fullbacks to join in attacks I think he’s had his time, the amount of time the move breaks down or the ball goes backwards is unbelievable, I know he’s a crowd favourite but I think it’s time to move on, and he’s never been a great captain
Brent Stephens
32 Posted 07/07/2020 at 10:42:15
Lyndon "Tom Davies...also lapsed back into the form that has raised question marks left, right and centre as to whether he is good enough to command even a regular spot on the bench let alone a routine starting role".

A tad harsh on Davies. He covers a lot of ground. He tries. He gets stuck in. OK, limited effectiveness, but he does try. Having said that, we do need triers who are also consistently effective.

James Fletcher
33 Posted 07/07/2020 at 10:57:33
I think Seamus has lost a little bit of pace and that's making him tend towards the backwards pass rather than bombing down the wing.

From the match I thought Gordon was great and Davies continues to try. This is also the first game where Moise Keane actually did a decent job, if he can carry on with that and gain some confidence then I'd be happy.

Roman Sidey
34 Posted 07/07/2020 at 11:11:17
Is "Tom Davies tries" what we want at Everton? For Christ's sake, that's depressing. If there was a stat for most calories burned for least productivity, he'd be in the top 1 in the league.

Coleman's finished. No other summary even comes close. I was calling for him to be captain seven years ago but far out I don't think I've ever been more wrong.

There's more issues that have been mentioned at length already, but I think Coleman and Davies perfectly bookend the problems that Everton have had for well over a decade now.

Mike Doyle
35 Posted 07/07/2020 at 11:17:00
Steve #30] Tend to agree with all of the points you make. With regard to Seamus (who I have the highest respect for) in the old days he would have sprinted up the touchline and given the opposing full back a problem. These days he thinks about it, decides not to, stops then passes the ball inside or back - and the opportunity to press the opponents fades.
He's not the only one - Andre Gomes is now doing the same - and bringing back memories of Ray 'sideways' Wilkins. The only mitigation I'd offer is that he never seems to have many other options to consider.
We have a handful of players who seem keen to take the fight to the opposition - Holgate, Mina (last night at least), Richarlison & DCL (on the odd occasions the ball reaches them), Gordon and the much-derided Tom Davies.
Most of our current midfield options don't seem physically capable of - or interested in - competing.
As other posters have commented. Holgate has pace, doesnt mind a challenge and is a bit of a nark. If he's is fit for Thursday I'd move him into midfield and bring Mina into defence.
James Fletcher
36 Posted 07/07/2020 at 11:18:20
It's more that Tom at least tries, and has some success. Compared to others in the midfield who bottle tackles and take the easy backwards pass almost all the time. I think what we're really lacking is wingers. Iwobi has shown that he's not fast enough, can't cross/pass and can't really beat players so can't be out on the right. Gordon is quick enough to do a job on either side. We need another pacey wide player to give us another threat.
Steve Ferns
37 Posted 07/07/2020 at 11:24:18
James, I’m sure I read somewhere on here that Anthony Gordon should play in the middle as he has no pace! Gordon looked rapid in the u23s. He’s not yet got himself into a foot race in the first team, to show just how fast he is, and I suspect that as everyone is faster in the premier league (compared to youth levels) that he probably won’t look as quick. He’s still quick though.

I see Beni Baningime is still being pushed forwards for a starting berth. I wonder if any of his fan club have seen him since Sam Allardyce left? He’s played for three managers since (Silva, Cook (Wigan), and Ancelotti) but has played only one game. Surely, all three of these guys can’t be wrong, and purposely holding the young man back, especially with our woeful midfield crying out for youthful energy and pace. It’s time to forget about Beni Baningime. Hopefully, he can re-emerge and surprise us all. But let’s stop pushing him forwards as if he’s a badly treated player, when the reality is likely to be that he’s just not good enough, even for Wigan.

James Fletcher
38 Posted 07/07/2020 at 11:27:40
I've only seen him in his first team appearances and he's looked pretty quick and clever with the ball too.

I'd be happy for him to retain his place on his showings so far.

In the Summer, if Gbamin is still a no show then we need some more pace and trickery in the team. We just seem to have no movement going foward at times.

Steve Ferns
39 Posted 07/07/2020 at 11:34:22
Gbamin should be considered a bust and be replaced (effectively replacing Gueye again). Sure, Gbamin could recover, but with two nasty injuries in succession (three if you count the repetition) then you need to just let the lad heal, without pressure and not be counting on him. Let’s remember he was raw talent brought here to develop. He’s just gone backwards in a big way over the last nightmare season. Is he ever to get back to where he was? Let alone ponder if he can ever be as good as he was hoped to become when signed.
Michael O'Malley
40 Posted 07/07/2020 at 11:46:58
Steve I know it’s not Gbamin’s fault but virtually every player we sign goes backwards, it’s like we suck the energy and skill out of them, And if Baningime is fit and can’t get in this side then I think his Everton career is over cos now is the perfect time to give him a run, I hope these last few games are Gylfi’s last in an Everton shirt and let’s hope Carlo takes the handbrake off cos that was abysmal last night
Steve Ferns
41 Posted 07/07/2020 at 11:57:11
Yes Michael, I think if you go back to Martinez, and take away all the bright spots, then it doesn’t matter who the players are, who the manager is, the players seem to play the same cowardly football. I thought the crowd and expectations were too much for the side when they get into a rut, but there’s no such excuse right now. So why is it we play this side to side crap, continuously despite the managers, and despite the skill level of the players when bought?
Joe Francis
42 Posted 07/07/2020 at 12:03:49
Seems a little harsh on (some) of the players. Gomes has struggled more than anyone due to the loss of Gueye and then Gbamin: last season he was largely freed of defensive duties due to the work of the Senegalese. Davies too is being asked to do too much defensively. Both he and Gomes need a defensive midfielder either next to them or behind them in a three. Under Ferguson, Holgate was doing that well, but Ancelotti has abandoned that experiment. Ancelotti should get a lot of the blame for last night because he messed too much with a winning team. Ancelotti seemed to want to play a 4-3-3 in possession but then go to a 4-4-2 when out of possession, which didn't work very well. Davies was moved to the right wing out of possession while Iwobi was put on the left, often ending up as deep as Digne. It was frustrating to watch because he had finally shown some form on the right in previous games. Perhaps Ancelotti thought he wouldn't provide enough cover for Coleman, who was up against Son. In any case, it was hard to see what the plan was and it didn't really work, nor did the Plan B after half time.
Brent Stephens
43 Posted 07/07/2020 at 12:11:51
Steve #37, yes Gordon played out wide for the U23s and was the fastest of the lot.

You might be right, that Beni won't make it, but he did play the U23 games earlier this (calendar) year (Arsenal, Chelsea, Derby...) and if I remember correctly stood out above the others in midfield.

Paul Tran
44 Posted 07/07/2020 at 12:16:35
Right, let's take a step back and look at this calmly.

Four games since lockdown. Defensively sound in all four. Conceded two goals, both deflections. That's good. All four games could have had different results, fine margins and all that.

We have been pretty dull to watch, which is in my view down to the midfield. Davies is willing and needs an on-field mentor that he's never had. Siggy has lost what zip he had and is being picked in the hope that he recaptured what he once had. Iwobi works hard, but looks like he doesn t know what he's meant to be doing. Bernard is skilful, but lightweight. Gomes doesn't impose himself on games enough.

Problem is, we launch it, the forwards might win it, but who's bursting forward from behind them? When the team is under the cosh, who gathers the troops and sorts things out?

I've always said this squad is like a set of jigsaw pieces from different boxes. Carlo's organised the defence. and that's it. In midfield, we need better pieces.

All the focus this summer should be on buying at least one centre midfielder who can link the other parts of the team and impose himself on games. Someone similar to Fernandes, who at Utd is the perfect illustration of what we need. Someone Davies can learn from.

As things stand, I think we'll win more than lose, but we won't be making real progress until we get that midfielder.

Dave Abrahams
45 Posted 07/07/2020 at 12:20:27
Brent (43), I agree that Beni deserves a game, it might be a risk playing him but he might surprise us and do a good job, we already know that Gomes and Sigurdson are not, they are not even competing for the ball.
Steve Ferns
46 Posted 07/07/2020 at 12:20:46
Brent, yes you’re right. But you’ve also seen enough of the u23s to know that there was two decent midfielders in that side. One is Gordon; the other was Evans (now sold to paderborn). The u23 midfield was poor.

There is some hope, and that comes in the form of 17 year old giant, Tyler Onyango. He could be a talent, but despite his height, he needs to fill out and beef up.

Tony Everan
47 Posted 07/07/2020 at 12:24:25
Midfield not good enough.
Mike Allison
48 Posted 07/07/2020 at 12:27:48
I’m dying to see whether Baningime can still offer something. This has to be the chance to do it now. To coin a phrase no-one has ever used before, it’d be like new signing.

However, as unlikely as it may seem from the League table that we’ll still make the Europa League, the fixture list says otherwise. Nine points should be demanded and expected from our home games, leaving two big away games at direct rivals (neither of whom play in London!). This means that those of you trying to protect yourselves by abandoning all hope need to wait for one more bad result before you can legitimately do so.

My question is: are we more likely to get results with Beni in the side? I think he has to be given a go anyway, even with the season just about alive, because he can’t be any less creative or energetic than those currently playing instead of him.

Joe McMahon
49 Posted 07/07/2020 at 12:33:27
Mike, personally I always thought it was a mistake letting Lookman go. He never had that many opportunities, but tried when he did.
James Lauwervine
50 Posted 07/07/2020 at 12:38:00
An appallingly tedious game with zero entertainment value and nothing at all to enjoy. Two sides as bad as each other separated by a flukey undeserved goal. I don't actually begrudge Spurs the win though after the criminal VAR decision in their last game, much as I think Mourinho is the biggest knobhead on earth. Like us, they're a mediocre side with a couple of quality players.
In the four games since the restart Everton have been poor, as generally has all the football I've bothered to watch. I realise why I didn't miss football one jot during the lockdown. As for the standard of refereeing, words fail me.
Brian Harrison
51 Posted 07/07/2020 at 12:39:05
Well after a couple of decent results everything went back to normal again with another gutless display from this team. Lets not forget as Lyndon says some of these players have played under a few managers and they are serial let downs. Now I don't know if we have just appointed the worlds worst DOFs or the idea of DOFs is a busted flush. Between them Walsh and Brands have wasted best part of £250 million, just let that figure sink in for a moment. Under these 2 we have spent like a big 6 club but unfortunately bought in the main bottom half of the league players. Out of all the players that were bought while these 2 have been DOF probably only Digne is of the required quality I don't include Richarlison as Silva bought him.

Thanks to Walsh we still are paying Sandro his £75 - £100,000 per week and Onyekuro never even saw Finch Farm. Please Farhad ditch your DOF policy it has cost you in excess of £250 million and this team is still languishing in the bottom half of the league. Anthony Gordon is miles better than Bernard or Iwobi or Walcott, not to mention our back from another loan Bolasie.
Ancelotti has been left with 2 slow midfield players in Sigurdsson and Gomes, so is it any wonder nothing is being created as they are normally at least 20 yards away from our strikers. I have read many of the posts saying we need a midfielder player who can tackle and get round the pitch, we had the best at that in the Premier league in Gueye and Brands sanctioned him going to PSG. And before anybody says we couldnt keep hold of him as he wanted to go to PSG, yes we could he still had 2 years left on his contract. Gomes played his best football with Gueye alongside him because with Gueyes engine he could get back and cover on his own.

Does anybody really believe that Brands should be in charge of future transfers. And if they do then what was the point of appointing Ancelotti if he is just here to coach what our DOF buys, and we now know is record in buying players isn't great.

I just hope that Farhad backs Ancelotti in the market because we need at least 4 quality players. 2 central midfield and 2 attacking players.

Sam Hoare
52 Posted 07/07/2020 at 12:52:14
Brian, I believe Brands should be in charge of future transfers. Last summer was poor but i'm hopeful he'll do a better job this summer. The likes of Richarlison and Digne have been excellent signings, I think Mina has been pretty solid and i'm hopeful we will see better from Kean, Iwobi and Gbamin next season.

As for Ancelotti, if you read his book (and I haven't!) i'm told he says he does not get that involved in transfers. He has suggestions and ideas but prefers a DOF type to take charge. He is very much a coach primarily though of course he'll be communicating with Brands about what he needs (a central midfielder who can run for starters).

Brent Stephens
53 Posted 07/07/2020 at 12:57:01
Steve #46 "there was two decent midfielders in that side. One is Gordon; the other was Evans (now sold to paderborn). The u23 midfield was poor."

Steve, I, too, liked Evans. This suggests you don't rate Beni as highly as the other two, but, like Dave (#45) I still want him to get some starts now.

"There is some hope, and that comes in the form of 17 year old giant, Tyler Onyango. He could be a talent, but despite his height, he needs to fill out and beef up".

Yes! Impressive size and engine. After his introduction to the U23s and what seemed like regular game time, he then seemed to be on the bench somewhat more - maybe to "protect" him? Was he carrying a niggle?

Jonathan Tasker
54 Posted 07/07/2020 at 13:19:08
I looked at the last sixty away games to the so called Sky Big six

It truly is shameful

Won 2 (At United under Moyes and City )
Drew 20
Lost 38
Played 60
Points 26
For 46
Against 118

Our club is seriously a disease

Kunal Desai
55 Posted 07/07/2020 at 13:20:14
You see it's all good and well looking forward to next season but are we really bringing in the right number and quality of players to challenge the top six. Unlikely. Just who exactly is buying the players? Is it Brands? Is it the manager? Is it Moshiri? Based on the last two years with Brands on board (if his remit is recruitment) it has been undoubtedly poor, bar Digne and Richarlison. On one or two the jury is still out but i've not really been impressed with most that have been brought it. Add to that list we nearly brought in Rojo last summer. Sums up the calibre of players we are looking at. With Ancelotti on board there is hope we can attract better players that will want to play under him but i'm not confident in that we'll bring in either the quality and numbers we need to compete at higher levels.
Robert Tressell
56 Posted 07/07/2020 at 13:32:26
The issue with our midfield is that it was built for 433 / 4231. In this set up Gomes, Gueye and Sigurdsson were an effective trio. Sigurdsson got 13 goals, Gomes kept possession ticking over and Gueye hunted down the ball for the pair of them.

442 gives us the classic two banks of 4 and a good defensive shape. Sigurdsson, Gomes and Davies are all playing their part defensively - but the system thwarts them offensively because it exposes what they are bad at, especially collectively.

These are not bad players as such. Gomes in particular is / can be a really good player.

But he really needs a partner who can allow him to function effectively in a 442.

Rennie Smith
57 Posted 07/07/2020 at 13:34:00
The spend stats always come up when things don't go well but consider this, have we spent so much money because we've turned over so many managers with their different philosophies? No manager is going to come in and work with what he's got, he wants to bring in players that fit his style and tactics.

So if we want to stop wasting money then maybe we should stop chopping and changing every 5 minutes?

Danny Broderick
58 Posted 07/07/2020 at 14:32:48
Tackles attempted by Everton's midfielders in #TOTEVE (minimum 45 minutes played):

Anthony Gordon - 3 (45 mins)
Tom Davies - 3 (77 mins)
Andre Gomes - 2 (90 mins)
Alex Iwobi - 1 (45 mins)
Gylfi Sigurdsson - 0 (67 mins)


That’s right guys, we had Gomes and Sigurdsson in centre mid for the majority of that match, and between them they made 2 tackles. Sigurdsson, our record signing and one of our top earners, didn’t make a single tackle. This is criminal. In an away match against one of our rivals for European football. They were not playing well, we should have been chomping at the bit. We just turned up and rolled over.

There’s no hiding place for midfielders in a 4-4-2. And we can clearly see that most of our midfield are one trick ponies. Sigurdsson is like a 36 year old David Beckham. No longer able to contribute but he can take a set piece.

I’m disgusted by Iwobi, Gomes and Sigurdsson. At least Davies ran his socks off, put in some tackles and kept trying to get on the ball. It must have been a nightmare for him playing in midfield with the other 3. Carlo should drop the 3 of them on Saturday and send out a clear message. This will not be tolerated. I don’t care who plays ahead of them. Personally, I’d have Holgate and Davies in centre mid, maybe with Gordon and Richarlison on the flanks, and Kean and DCL up front.

But let’s make it abundantly clear. We don’t want shirkers playing for us. Last night’s performance from those 3 was unacceptable and they need to be made to understand that.

Christy Ring
59 Posted 07/07/2020 at 14:35:03
Lyndon, you said it will be a supreme test of Brands ability to find 2 or 3 players to make a difference to our squad, I can mention the last 3 players he bought, who made our squad worse. I hope he has nothing to do with any signings, I sincerely hope Carlo is sole in charge of transfers, ok it's unfortunate that Gbamin is injured, but Brands bought Delph, injury prone at City, still injured and 2 more years on his contract, and Iwobi, enough said. The best player we have Richarlison was definitely Silva's acquisition.
Jay Wood

60 Posted 07/07/2020 at 14:54:31
Steve Ferns, I know you're a big fan of Andre Gomes. He has many attributes which should make him a key player for us. But for me he remains an unfulfilled enigma in a Blue shirt.

His performance last night was not his worst, as you describe, but rather quite typical of how he has performed for us.

I wasn't alone in the match day thread to be bemused as to why Tom Davies was withdrawn rather than Andre, as Tom was the best of our midfielders last night.

Andre has been nowhere near as consistent or reliable as we require for someone in his position.

Now if he could be relied on to play as he did in his 30 minute cameo performance v Arsenal following his speedy recover from the dreadful injry sustained v Spurs, he would immediately resolve one of our midfield problems.

You've probably already seen it, but here's a link to Andre's every touch in that game:

Andre Gomes Every Touch v Arsenal

It is maddingly good. Maddingly because this shows the level he can play at. Not afraid to receive the ball with his back to or facing the opposition, even in tight situations. The strength and skill to break free of his markers. A wonderful range of perfectly weighted and directed long and short passes. His 3 right to left long diagonal passes in particular completing turning and exposing the opposition defence.

He's got the lot. But again last night he displayed none of that. It was summed up in the 2nd half when he was in acres of space on the left and in a good position to play a killer ball into the Spurs' penalty area...and it was dreadfully executed, overhit way in front of our forwards, sailing harmlessly out for a goal kick.

Now he can be partly excused because of course he is coming back from injury. But let's acknowledge also, like all the players, since the lockdown he had a further 3 months recovery time on top of his return to playing.

I do find it interesting that since the Arsenal game Ancelotti has started and played him for every minute of the 6 games apart from the final 8 minutes v United when he was subbed out on 82 minutes. The only midfield player Carlo has not rotated.

I would suggest his form hasn't merited that he remained on the pitch in all those games, so maybe - just maybe - Ancelotti sees something in him, or is desperate for him to succeed, and is giving him the minutes now in this runt end of an abnormal season to then benefit from this conditioning whenever the new season gets under way.

But I have to say, unless Andre does step up, he is another one in our brittle midfield that needs to be upgraded.

For a quick comparison, last night was Tom Davies' 100 PL game for Everton. For all his supposed limitations he has 5 goals and 4 assists.

Andre has played 42 times in the PL for us and has contributed just 1 goal and 1 assist. For the creative force he is meant to be, that's simply not enough.

Joe McMahon
61 Posted 07/07/2020 at 15:14:46
Jonathan @54, its Grim reading isn't it. Shameful how a once great Club has been run to the ground over the past 30 years. The Kenwright legacy.

I suppose we have to be grateful that Moyes was United manager for a short stint otherwise our last victory at Old Trafford would have been 1992.

But Arsenal 1996 and Liverpool 1999 is absolutely discraceful!

Kieran Kinsella
62 Posted 07/07/2020 at 15:21:00
Gomez may be one of those players who has talent but isn't going to cut it in the prem. Think Paolo Futre, Veron, Raduciou, they all had great success in Serie A or Spain. No doubting their quality but physically and mentally they were useless in the prem.

Another point, none of us are highly paid football geniuses. But I remember when we signed Gomez and Bernard. The concern voiced by many on here was end product, e.g. assists and goals. Neither of them had anywhere near enough elsewhere to suggest they'd solve our creative issues. So why the Hell did we buy them? We already lacked punch so we added more pretty but ineffective players. To compound things, neither one can tackle. So if you can't tackle, don't score, don't get assists, then how can you call yourself a midfielder?

Paul Jones
63 Posted 07/07/2020 at 15:46:36
Sigurdsson and Iwobi were not bought to win a tackle but don't produce enough to be excused. Neither is great like Kevin Sheedy so much more is expected when we don't have the ball.
With Gomes after such a bad injury it will take longer to see if he can come back to the same level. Most people after bad injury don't come back better Peter Reid was exceptional, that took a few years and change of club.
Colin Glassar
64 Posted 07/07/2020 at 15:53:37
Paul, have you ever seen Iwobi win a tackle? In fact, have you ever seen Iwobi not pull out of a 50/50 ball? Honest to god I think the fella is made out of feathers. I’ve never seen a weaker more cowardly player like him. He’s an embarrassment to the team, the club and the sport!
Sam Hoare
65 Posted 07/07/2020 at 16:02:43
Gomes is an issue. We’ve no guarantee he’ll ever return to what he was pre-injury. Though what he was before has been over-hyped a bit.

He has 1 goal and 1 assist in around 40 appearances for us. He does not often run with the ball and his stats for progressing it forwards are very mediocre. He is one of the most dribbled past midfielders in the league and has the worst tackle success in the whole league! Not a great combination there.

I’ve no doubt he’s capable of better but if he’s not showing it more often then he’s a real passenger in the crucial middle of this team.

Ancelloti clearly has faith in him, as do many on here, but he needs to start repaying it.

Jerome Shields
66 Posted 07/07/2020 at 16:37:45

Premier League teams now have the measure of Gomes. In all their tactical strategies Gomes will be a targeted weakness, as Richarlison is a targeted threat.

He is two slow, can be pushed deep, will lose the ball if put under pressure and does not have the pace to carry the ball or go past a opposing player. He will get even slower next season. His only asset is his pass completion ability, but many are backwards. His better forward passes are link passes, where he is unchallenged. Defensively he is a liability in the penalty area or just outside it. Often he defends too deep for his position as a midfielder. He occupied a space between three Everton defenders , against Tottenham causing the confusion that lead to the goal. Should have never been there.

If Sigurdsson goes , Gomes is in danger of being the player to most likely fill his boots in the Everton fans opinions.

Danny Broderick
67 Posted 07/07/2020 at 16:48:46
Just seen this on Twitter...

If you add Walcott, Sigurdsson, Gomes, Davies, Bernard, Delph and Iwobi’s contribution at Everton:

Appearances - 404

Goals - 39

Assists - 26

This lot form our midfield every week. From all of them, we get one goal every 10 games. And 1 assist every 16 games. We’ve already established they are not tackling. What the fuck do they do??!!

Our defence is doing ok, and DCL and Richarlison are forming a good partnership up front. But we are getting pretty much nothing from all the midfielders at the club! I’m so angry, primarily with Iwobi, Sigurdsson and Gomes it has to be said after last night.

John Chambers
68 Posted 07/07/2020 at 17:06:38
Defence, under Ancelotti’s organisation is ok. Forwards are OK, but not sure we have much behind Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin, but midfield needs to be completely replaced by what I’ve seen since the re-start.
Sigurdsson and Iwobi have shown nothing. Bernard runs around with no end product. Gomes does not appear to be able to get around the park at the moment. Davies always gives 100% but gives possession away too often. Can't say too much on Gordon as any youngster coming in to a side with the rest of the midfield would struggle but he has shown some promise.
If Carlo wants to persist with 4 4 2 I think he has to find 3 new starters with more energy, pace and commitment. I’d stick with Gomes and hope that his lack of mobility is due to the extended time he has had out, give Davies a last chance, as a squad player, to deliver his potential he showed when breaking in to the team and persevere with Gordon.
Any money we could get for Sigurdsson, Bernard, Iwobi Delph and Walcott would be a bonus!
Mike Gaynes
69 Posted 07/07/2020 at 17:17:19
Lyndon, great article. I didn't hear Gary Neville's commentary, of course, but you don't have a wrong word here as far as I'm concerned.

Great responses from Paul at #44 and Sam at #65, particularly Sam's comments on Gomes. As I've repeatedly said here (starting from the day he arrived), the expectations of Gomes have always been too high -- having watched him many times for Barca, he is exactly the player Sam describes. Sometimes better, sometimes worse, sometimes momentarily brilliant on the ball, undoubtedly impacted by the injury... but never, ever an imposing figure on a game. He is not a top-quality midfielder and never will be.

Robert Tressell
70 Posted 07/07/2020 at 17:35:56
The players are always out there:

- eggestein (Werder Bremen)
- merino (sociedad)
- nandez (genoa)
- anguissa (Villareal)
- roca (espanyol)
- arambarri (getafe)
- maksimovic (getafe)
- camara (olympiakos)
- svanberg (bologna)
- mckennie (schalke)
- mangala (stuttgart)
- koopmeiners (az alkmaar)
- florentino (benfica)
- sangare (toulouse)
- diallo (brest)
- soumare (lille)

Just a selection of midfield reinforcements who are within reach. We need at least one, possibly two. Depends a bit on whether Gbamin makes a miracle recovery and / or whether the CB signing could fill in in midfield too (eg Todibo).

Ed Prytherch
71 Posted 07/07/2020 at 18:05:27
When Brands arrived he made it clear that his first job was to reduce the wage bill and free up funds and he has made progress. It is true that Ancelotti works with DOF's. He sees coaching as a full time job. Buying and selling players is not what he wants to do. He would not have joined Everton to do that. I am prepared to be patient with both of them.
Bill Gall
72 Posted 07/07/2020 at 18:14:05
People are going on and on and on about the weakness in our midfield. I know the director of football knows, the manager knows, all his coaching staff knows, and more than likely the tea lady knows, so it is time to stop talking about it and for the people responsible for this mess to get off the pot and do something about it.

Ancelotti has been here long enough to be aware of the players he puts on the team sheet who, to put it mildly, are unfit, lazy no desire excuses for professional footballers and benched, replaced by young players from the under 23's or the youth teams who will show pride in the shirt and badge that they are privileged to wear.

Brands as director of football has no excuses as he is responsible for finding the type of player the manager wants so between them they have to come up with positive results as at the moment the future is looking pretty bleak.

The game against Tottenham showed the difference in attitudes of the 2 managers 1 who had his team fired up enough to get the players arguing with each other, and the other one not being able to get his players to show any fight. Not many teams will sit back and let their star striker get kicked and fouled constantly without standing up for him, it is called teamwork ethics.

I was born in 1940 started supporting Everton after playing at Goodison Park in 1952 and after reading the history of Everton from the Dr France collection of what this club represents, I thought who the hell will want to read the history of Everton in the 2000's.

You need young people to carry on the tradition of Everton but at the same time you need history to encourage them.
If ever this club needed a kick up the backside to turn it around it is now,, starting at the next game.
Ancelotti may be a top class manager but it has to be proved not read about, so prove it, and let these players know that their performances are unacceptable of a player wearing an Everton shirt.

Rennie Smith
73 Posted 07/07/2020 at 18:18:07
Interesting Robert@70 you don't list a single player based in this country? I'm sure these guys all have their merits but do we always need to look overseas?

The club will have an army of scouts out there (by the way, have a read of The Nowhere Men, the hidden world of scouts. Highly recommended) and a list of players probably 10 times the amount on your list. But ultimately, every single transfer is a gamble, regardless of the price tag.

I would fully expect the midfield to have a new look come the new season. Gomes may become a quarterback style player with someone next to him chasing every player just to give him the ball and use it.

Paul Birmingham
74 Posted 07/07/2020 at 18:46:16
The midfield needs an overhaul, and the team needs personality and steel on the pitch.

Everton get bullied and have no fighters or leaders on the pitch.

The mental and psychological side of the club is set in stone and they accept defeat in the 50:50 challenges, second balls, and don’t have the confidence for slick offensive interchanges on the park.. How can you win a football match playing so slow, and we must be the easiest team to set up against, due to being so slow.

Find a Gana type player, fight and guts, and a leader on the pitch. Until then this team won’t progress, back down to getting the basics consistent, heart, desire, belief, motivation etc.

Let’s hope the team is fired up for Soton and Wolves.

Robert Tressell
75 Posted 07/07/2020 at 19:01:15
Rennie, you're quite right of course. But when a player as ordinary as Declan Rice is touted around for £50m or more I don't see a lot of value in established Premier League players. There are a few like Hojbjerg who might be good, but he's only vaguely decent value because his contract is winding down. Better in my view to bring in players age 21 to 25 from abroad and invest in UK youth like we've done with Stones, Holgate, DCL, Lookman, Hornby, Gibson and Branthwaite etc.
Jack Convery
76 Posted 07/07/2020 at 19:06:40
Until the players who performed so pitifully against the RS youth team are shipped out nothing will change. The way Richy was kicked black and blue and no one complained or got in the refs face, tells you all you need to know about this group of players. The cheek they have, to decide when and if to put a shift in, is astounding. They have downed tools on Martinez, Koeman, and Silva. Yesterday they did it to Carlo. Maybe he's told the agents of certain players to look for a new club as he doesn't want them stinking the place out next season. I can only hope Brands was having a laugh when he said 1 or 2 players will be brought in before 20/21 kicks off. Saints on Thursday will be tough as Danny Ings is a man on a mission and his team mates will be full of confidence. Deflated blue - yet again !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Jeff Armstrong
77 Posted 07/07/2020 at 19:29:48
Watching Norwich who are about to go down 3 of their players would walk into our team, Buendia, Aarons and Lewis would be a big upgrade on what we already have.
Tony Everan
79 Posted 07/07/2020 at 19:36:12
Agree with that Jeff. Been watching a Norwich because of those 3, at least 2 of them will be snapped up.

Buendia would be a great addition to the squad giving us better strength in depth in midfield. Aarons would be an ideal signing to challenge Seamus and take over at right back. Both young and on the up, would be fired up coming to us.

Steve Shave
80 Posted 07/07/2020 at 19:42:13
Yes please to both Buendia and Aarons, I'd love for this to happen.
Colin Glassar
81 Posted 07/07/2020 at 19:43:29
Agree Jeff, their two fullbacks are going to be top, top players.

We need another Peter Reid and Andy Gray in this team. Tough, hard, men Not the bunch of pansies with their fancy hairdo’s and Nancy headbands. They’re all shite imo. I do Rate Gomes though.

Brent Stephens
82 Posted 07/07/2020 at 19:43:44
Buendia dis does look useful though.
Jeff Armstrong
84 Posted 07/07/2020 at 19:51:04
That number 8 for Watford would be an upgrade on any of our midfield 4 from last night too!
Joe McMahon
85 Posted 07/07/2020 at 20:16:27
We just want to see football like this. BBC report from tonight's Palace Chelsea game;
But the rest of the match was a testament to the kind of competitive, high-octane, see-saw football that draws so many viewers to the English top-flight, even when the grounds are empty of fans.
David Thomas
86 Posted 07/07/2020 at 20:22:42
Brian 51,

I wouldn’t give Brands another penny of the clubs money to waste.

Richarlison and Digne have been decent buys the rest have been shocking.

Danny ONeill
87 Posted 07/07/2020 at 20:28:09
Others have referred to it above. Yes, we need better quality players, that's obvious. But equally concerning of this and previous Everton teams of the past 20 years or so is the mentality & psychology. Serial let downs, serial losers.

We can't shed the "knife to a gun fight", "plucky Everton tag". It's okay to lose against the "big" clubs and Jagielka being caught with an arm around Barkley telling him not to worry as "they" aren't booing you Ross. Weak, acceptance & loser mentality.

How I watch Howard's Way with nostalgic despair when I hear Peter Reid & Kevin Ratcliffe recalling being constant flies in each others ears ("you going to show up today or what"?). Grahame Sharp's recount of a Colin Harvey dressing room dress down. Colin Harvey's own opinion of his winning standards and expectations. Neville Southall's shrugging off of "that"save at Tottenham that arguably paved the way for the title win; "I'm a goalkeeper, I'd have been disappointed if I didn't save it".

Excuse my accuracy in the "quotes" above as I couldn't be arsed researching so went off contextual recollection of many a drink influenced viewing.

We need a clear out, I agree. I appreciate that times are different, however that 80s team were not household names as they embarked on their path of brief glory, but neither were the current Leicester team with a league title and likely Champions League qualification in the bag. Liverpool right now are good but a large part of that is down to belief and mentality, not just sheer ability.

We need is a complete mentality & psychological transplant throughout the club, not just new playing staff.

Relax, pour a glass of wine Danny!!

Bill Gall
88 Posted 07/07/2020 at 20:48:59
Joe #85
I watched that game and agree with your comments, Watching the Arsenal v Leicester game at the moment and thinking are Everton really in the same League as these last 4 teams, as they seem to play a higher standard of a game than we do. Can not remember where Arsenal was in the league when they hired Arteta, but a win tonight will put them 10pts ahead of Everton and yes they are playing like they want to win.
Barry Jones
89 Posted 07/07/2020 at 21:22:07
What was particularly depressing in the Spurs game for me was that after going a goal down, we failed to raise the tempo. The movement and the passing was way too slow, and very easy for Spurs to defend against. I felt like we needed someone to tell them that we are losing. It was obvious that they would NEVER compete in that game playing at that pace.
Colin Glassar
90 Posted 07/07/2020 at 21:41:52
I think Gomes could be a great player for us but he needs a minder next to him, someone to do the dirty work and the running. Currently, we have no one who fits that description.

What we do have is, Iwobi. I won’t even go there as he’s not worth my ire. Sigurdsson who’s past his best. Tom Davies who will never achieve his best. Bernard who’s too weak for this league and the near mythical figure that is Baningime who, I think, once played a game a few years ago and looked half decent.

That, my friends, is our MF. A pile of mediocre shite who would struggle in league one never mind the championship. If this lot, along with Walcott aren’t shipped out pronto we will never be able to compete.

Danny ONeill
91 Posted 07/07/2020 at 21:45:52
Someone like Gana Colin; we've missed him more than anyone mentions? I agree, we need the pressure off Gomez. That could either be a minder like you say or possibly someone else who provides an alternative creative outlet, which takes the pressure off Gomez in a different way.
Colin Glassar
92 Posted 07/07/2020 at 21:56:41
Gomes can’t tackle to save his life but he can pick a pass out, something none of our MF players seem capable of. If, like you say Danny, a Gana then he’d be able to control the tempo of our play. And with two wider players who are willing to run we’d have more balance and bite in MF.
Mike Gaynes
93 Posted 07/07/2020 at 22:17:55
Colin, yes, Gomes can pick a pass... crossfield or to the sides. You will almost never see him making a cutting, incisive pass into the area that turns into a goal, or even a good scoring opportunity. He won't even look there -- just to the flanks.

That's how you can be as skillful a passer as Gomes is... and produce exactly one assist in 42 Prem appearances.

Patrick McFarlane
94 Posted 07/07/2020 at 22:24:59
Bill # 88
Arsenal are in 7th place, six points ahead of Everton who have a game in hand. Had Arsenal beaten Leicester there would have been an eight point gap not ten. I think the two clubs were close to each other at Christmas, perhaps with Arsenal slightly ahead.
Brent Stephens
95 Posted 07/07/2020 at 22:27:26
Mike that’s a revealing stat.
Brent Stephens
96 Posted 07/07/2020 at 22:29:02
So in effect can’t tackle, can’t (incisively) pass.
Ken Kneale
97 Posted 07/07/2020 at 22:32:30
Mike 93 You forgot one statistic most relevant - the amount of silly free kicks he gives away in dangerous areas - with that in the mix his overall contribution to offensive play is in the minus column. Like his midfield colleagues he is the reason we are where we are, not one of the solutions.
Gavin Johnson
98 Posted 07/07/2020 at 22:33:25
Brent, I like Buendia. He could be an option on the right wing. He wouldn't cost the world and his dribbling and ball control is something to behold. He also has a good record with assists. The problem is that he isn't a goal scoring winger. I think we have to buy one who can score because, Bernard, Iwobi and Walcott don't.

Iwobi and Barnard were hopeless last night, and Bernard's free kick was embarrassing. He isn't much of a physical specimen but you'd expect him to be able to get the ball over the wall of players.

Danny ONeill
99 Posted 07/07/2020 at 22:36:20
But to Colin's point, with better support in midfield and more outlets when he looks up, he would have more options. If there's no obvious option forward, why go forward for the sake of it? More often than not in that scenario, you just give the ball back to the opposition for the sake of forcing the game. With no option, the instinct will be to retain possession, hence the sideways / backwards thing. Look, I'm not getting particularly defensive or protective over Gomez, I'm just suggesting that with the right players around him, he's the type of player who could thrive in a good team with the right mentality (to my main and previous point). Paul Bracewell had his Peter Reid, the bonus being Reid could play a bit himself as well!
Brent Stephens
100 Posted 07/07/2020 at 22:36:49
Fair comment Gavin.
Paul Hewitt
101 Posted 07/07/2020 at 22:40:28
Anyone questioning Ancelotti hadn't got a clue about football.
Tom Bowers
102 Posted 07/07/2020 at 22:47:31
We need an impact player from midfield. At the moment nobody has shown they have the credentials. Good shots on goal are very rare from Everton outside the box and we need a Lampard type player.

The Everton players who are given midfield roles this season all work hard enough but lack that incisiveness to create chances.
Siggy is past his sell by date as regards his scoring prowess but maybe young Gordon given starts for the rest of the games can make a starting position his own.
There is also Bangemin Benny who maybe should get a start but I suppose while Everton still have a chance of 7th place Carlo will stick with the usual suspects.

Christy Ring
103 Posted 07/07/2020 at 22:53:14
How can you question Ancelotti, he has a team with no midfield, he bought no one, can you give him a chance ?
Sam Hoare
104 Posted 07/07/2020 at 22:56:41
I'm a fan of Buendia. It's true that he doesn't get enough goals but he does every else. He can dribble, he can create and he also makes an impressive amount of tackles. He'll cost around £15-20m after Norwich get relegated and whoever gets him will do well out of it I believe but I doubt it will be us as Brands/Ancelotti will want more pace and goals out wide.
Danny ONeill
105 Posted 07/07/2020 at 22:58:25
I thought about responding to that Christy, but opted not to!! No football supporter in their own right can question his track record. I'll judge his future record on what he does over the next few years (hopefully) when he's had the chance to build and shape the team he wants. Not after 8 months, 4 of which were interrupted by C-19 lockdown, so 4 months of a totally disrupted and surreal season like no other in reality.
Roman Sidey
106 Posted 07/07/2020 at 23:11:43
Rennie, I think the issue with looking at England based players is, aside from the inflated price tags, the players themselves see Everton coming in and would rather hold out for a bigger club. Really, most players are concerned about their payslip first and foremost, and is it really worth their while changing West Ham for Everton for pretty much the same money, especially seeing how tumultuous things are at Goodison? Most players who've played an afternoon match at Goodison probably never want to be within 50 miles of the place ever again.
Jerome Shields
107 Posted 07/07/2020 at 23:24:45

Interesting stats regarding Gomes assists. It therefore appears that Gomes main attribute is as a unchallenged link player.

Steve Ferns also highlighted that at times Davies appeared to be right back, which I did wonder about during the game. It could be that Gomes was playing that deep that Davies had to track back to maintain the link with his midfield partner Gomes. Ancelotti would have wanted Davies to be attacking the final third, as he had done in the second half in the previous game.

The only reason Gomes would be so deep is to try and get on the ball, having been pressurised in midfield and not able to get the ball as a result.

John Pierce
108 Posted 07/07/2020 at 23:46:46
For me perfectly it’s acceptable to get into Carlo for his selection and tactics yesterday. They stunk. It’s also fair to say he has enough pedigree to put the criticism in context of his overall performance so far, which is pretty decent looking at points etc. You can hold two opposing views and even change them!
John Pierce
109 Posted 07/07/2020 at 23:52:02
Missing Gana?! Sure. That’s doesn’t make up for the lack of mobility both Gomes and in particular Sigurdsson have. Imagine if we had Gana and midfielders who were athletic? Those who play there cannot have a player like Gana as a crutch. You have to be unbelievably good to have a protector. That went out of football sometime ago.
Jay Harris
110 Posted 07/07/2020 at 00:00:42
So who would you have selected and what would be your tactics.

It is easy to criticise Carlo after that debacle but the man hardly has a squad to choose from let alone decent players.

Do you think any other Premiership club with ambition would be playing Tom Davies and Anthony Gordon so regularly. Take a look at the subs bench that should tell you all you need to know about the paucity of this squad.

The players don't even have to try they know they will keep their place.

Colin Glassar
111 Posted 08/07/2020 at 00:07:32
Mike 93, so you admit Gomes can pass the ball albeit sideways and backwards? A vast improvement, in my mind, on the useless clowns around him who can’t even control the ball never mind pass the fucker to a teammate!
Barry Jones
112 Posted 07/07/2020 at 00:11:15
It's not about having one decent midfielder, it's about having several players who can cause problems. I just watched Chelsea beat Palace. What a display, so different to Everton. They have Pulisic, Willian, Mount, and Gilchrist, all willing to turn with the ball, run at players and probe forward.

The only Chelsea midfielder who slowed it down was Ross Barkley. You can take the boy out of Everton, but you cannot take Everton out of the boy. He was replaced by the much more direct and speedier Loftus Cheek.

The Everton players hold onto the ball way too long, slow it down and move it to their preferred (and often only) options, sideways and backwards. We will never win games or entertain playing like this.

Richarlison is not a forward. He loses nearly every ball with his back to goal, unable to hold off defenders. He needs to start deeper and to be able to run at players, which is his strength.

Danny Ings would be a great addition as a forward. I would also love to have Dwight McNeil and David Brooks at the club. I would also take Eric Lamela if was surplus at Spurs. We need movement, creativity and fight in the team.

Jay Harris
113 Posted 08/07/2020 at 00:12:33
I don't know why we keep looking at relegated sides and envy their players. There is a reason they are at the bottom and its endemic in EFC now. Its called weak mentality and lack of desire to win.

United spent 85m on Pogba and a kings ransom on Hernandes, Chelsea got Pulisic, The RS got Mane and Salah and for the bench Oxlaide-Chamberlain, Minimouae and Shaquiri.

We spent over 200m on Bolasie, Sandro, Tosun, Walcott, Sigurdsson, Iwobi and Kean none of whom would make a top six squad let alone the team.

If we had spent that 200m on 2 or 3 players would we be better off. You bet we would but the recruitment process which still involves Kenwright in the decision making is still a shambles.

Sean Kelly
114 Posted 08/07/2020 at 00:17:18
I think all us Evertonians are deluded. We know we have a shit squad full of no hopers, other clubs rejects and are dreaming of championship players stepping up to miraculously being consistent top 6 players. Carlo with all his experience knows we are shit and is in a holding position until he sees what he can get in.
Don't be fooled folks by thinking next season we will be world beaters. No matter how good Carlo and Brand are they can't polish a turd.
Gavin Johnson
115 Posted 08/07/2020 at 00:35:49
Barry, I really rate David Brooks and would be happy if we signed him. There's a story out there that Bournemouth are going to have to sell players due to the pandemic, so if it's true and Brands rates him, it might just happen. As you probably know David Brooks can also operate as a left footed right winger, the position we need to fill.

Nathan Ake is a left footed CB. Do you rate him?

Mike Gaynes
116 Posted 08/07/2020 at 01:04:07
Ken #97, obviously true.

Colin #111, definitely, he controls the ball and passes it better than anyone we have. He just doesn't actually produce any results from those moments of elegance.

Si Cooper
117 Posted 07/07/2020 at 01:32:41
For a fair few years we vied with Spuds for ‘the best of the rest’ accolade but when they sorted out their midfield (Dembele, Wanyama, Sissoko, Eriksen et al) they started to move away from us.
We just never seem to have either the right blend or strength in depth. When Gana left we needed at least 2 very good replacements.
Because the whole can exceed the sum of the parts, Gomes might still be good enough but he definitely needs someone with more pace and imposing tackling to give him a stage he might operate on.
As for the potential recruits from Norwich, I’m still not entirely convinced that Aarons is the upgrade we are looking for. Good pace and youthful enthusiasm, but I still think I’ve seen it all before in the likes of Jon Flanagan, Martin Kelly, Jordan Ibe, Ryan Bertrand, Sam Byram, Nathaniel Clyde, etc, etc. All touted ‘prospects’ who ultimately seem to have fallen by the wayside (also shows the ruthlessness of the RS when players just aren’t quite good enough). The thing that stands out with Wan-Bissaka is his tenacious tackling / defensive ability which so many flavour-of-the-month’s just don’t seem to have. It is definitely Alexander Arnold’s weak point and if the rest of his game wasn’t so potent I could see the full-back mill spitting him out in a couple of years.
Chilwell also seems to be the real deal. So obviously I don’t have an alternative in mind, it’s just that I’m not overly impressed by Aarons yet and he would command the usual ridiculous home grown player mark-up.
John Pierce
118 Posted 08/07/2020 at 01:59:42
Jay. He definitely got the Spurs game wrong imo. As I said that doesn’t mean I do not rate him.
The games need rotation, it’s as much about energy as it is talent. We do not have midfielders who can play at a good tempo.

Personally Davies, Gordon & Kean get as many minutes as possible. They get to make as many mistakes as possible and learn at the same time.

I would like to a proper change up for Southampton. 3-5-2. The three centre backs protect each other. Digne and Sidibé at wing back, to start them further up the pitch. Gordon, Davies and Banngime in the middle, DCL and Kean up front.

Richarlison needs time out he got kicked to shit Monday night, and plays every minute too! Sigurdsson & Gomes have had enough chances and offer nothing in a 4-4-2 they have no defensive qualities. They are not the future in any form. The others might be, in these circumstances that should be upper most in the managers thoughts.

Carlo won’t get right every time and a deserves to carry the can but I will equally sing his praises when he gets it right.

Roman Sidey
119 Posted 08/07/2020 at 02:16:58
John, after 100 league matches, how many more free runs is Davies allowed?
John Pierce
120 Posted 08/07/2020 at 04:01:48
Roman, he’s allowed more than Gomes and Sigurdsson. They will never get better, he might. True enough he’s still hasn’t found a consistency to his game, but what more can you learn from playing Sigurdsson or Gomes? I’d argue nothing. I’ll throw in as a last point of order that even if Davies is not your cup of tea (and he’s not mine) he never hides, Andre & Gylfi are good looking holograms, that’s we’re the positives end!
Roman Sidey
121 Posted 08/07/2020 at 05:05:12
Can't disagree with that. However it can become an issue when players are only judged against other poorly performing players in the squad. I'd say Gomes and Sigurdsson are much better footballers than Davies but definitely agree they're playing awfully - Sigurdsson for a couple of years now. The fact that they're playing badly doesn't mean that Davies is playing well.
Jay Harris
122 Posted 08/07/2020 at 05:15:07
I understand where youre coming from but unlike us CArlo does not have an emotional overreaction.

He knows where he needs to strengthen and he knows which players should be able to put a shift in but with 3 games a week and no crowd motivation it is hard to know until they are out there on the pitch.

Im sure like me you would like to leave half of them at the training ground never mind the dressing room but weve just got to get this dreadful season out of the way tell ourselves that Europe was a dream too far and thank god we werent in the relegation dogfight.

I have supreme confidence that Carlo is the right man maybe a few years late but he will get us back among the big boys soon.

David Currie
123 Posted 08/07/2020 at 06:50:24
Gomes and Sigurdsson are not good enough, both slow, both can't win the ball, both don't play any creative passes that lead to goals, both don't score goals. Both players lack stamina, both players can't get around the pitch and Gomes always gives silly free kicks away as he can't defend well.
Sam Hoare
124 Posted 08/07/2020 at 08:21:53
Going to be very interesting to see who plays on Thursday. Thought DCL and Richie looked a bit knackered. Obviously the middle is weak and Holgate may or may not be injured.

Baningime may get a chance but we can’t expect much of him. This is a player who struggled to get onto the Wigan bench last year (though he did have injury issues).

Unspectacular as Delph has been I think he’d be our best bet centrally if he were able to stay fit. Having neither him nor Gbamin has been a real loss. Could Iwobi be tried in the middle, he works hard and whilst not rapid has more mobility than Gomes/Siggy. Or, if recovered, do you move Holgate into midfield?

It’s a shame we don’t have a few more youngsters ready to contribute. This time next year I think Gordon will be a first team regular and the likes of Gibson, Branthwaite, Simms and maybe Onyango and Dobbin might be ready to contribute minutes.

Tony Abrahams
125 Posted 08/07/2020 at 08:33:37
I keep reading people say Moise Kean is shite, but how do we know this until he’s given a run in the team?

Maybe some will say that it proves everything because he can’t get a look in, but he’s the only one out of our three forwards, who makes proper genuine centre-forward runs imo, and it’s obvious Iwobi, and Sigurdson, are nothing more than square pegs in round holes when played out wide, with neither offering any forward movement, pace or a genuine goal threat?

Play Mina with Keane, play Holgate if fit with Davies, play Gordon and Richarlison, out wide and Lewin and Kean up front.

I hate naming teams, but I’m fed up watching Everton play without real purpose and aggression, with certain players hiding, or maybe I’m wrong? maybe going through the motions with a complete lack of desire is a better description? Either way It’s just not what football is about.

Mal van Schaick
126 Posted 08/07/2020 at 08:36:40
A pedestrian midfield is not helping our cause. Can’t blame Gordon he’s new to the line up.

It’s down to Brands, the Manager and the Board, to sort previous misgivings on signings out. We’ve wasted a lot of money on mediocre players. I hope we have learned our lesson, But we cannot continue to pick other teams trash players up and dress them up as decent players when they are clearly not. Or else, we may be heading for next seasons trap door.

James Fletcher
127 Posted 08/07/2020 at 08:47:28
The talk of Holgate as a holding midfielder is interesting as I think he's always looked fantastic whenever he's played in that position - it also allows us to make good use of having 3 great centre backs.
Sam Hoare
128 Posted 08/07/2020 at 09:28:20
Tonay@125, yes those selections are pretty much what I was thinking. Need a bit of freshness and energy injected into this team. My only worry would be Mina and Keane against the agility of Ings. But I think we need some to try something a little different. Despite decent results in the first 3 games we've looked very pedestrian for the most part.
Christopher Timmins
129 Posted 08/07/2020 at 10:21:38
Folks, the last time Everton played with real aggression Duncan Ferguson was manager!
Rennie Smith
130 Posted 08/07/2020 at 11:44:11
Tony@125, everytime I've seen Kean and DCL playing together they've looked on different planets. Ok he needs a run to see if he can build up a relationship/form, but I think Carlo is giving him next season as his starting point. He's already said he'll be better next season (if he's actually still here?).

I don't think we'll see Holgate in midfield as it almost gives the message that he's not good enough for centre-back. I'm sure he could do a job, but I don't think that's Carlo's style.

Joe McMahon
131 Posted 08/07/2020 at 12:03:17
Rennie, they have had so few minutes on the pitch together it impossible to make any kind of judgement. The most we have seen of Moise Kean is when we played Newcastle and he scored.

I'm sure more would have been made of that if we hadn't conceded 2 injury time goals with Pickford standing behind the goal line for the equaliser.

Kevin Molloy
132 Posted 08/07/2020 at 12:12:03
some absolutely appalling stats I've read about the game Monday. the front two exchanged one pass all game. Our no 10 exchanged one pass with the front two, again all game. You can just about allow for that during a half of football, but all game? and this wasn't even a thumping, we could have got something out of that game at any point, it's not like they had an excuse for throwing in the towel. I do sometimes feel as though there is something rotten at Everton, a bad vibe. Big window for Carlo. if he's told there's no money, he may sell one or two of the crown jewels just so he can move in a few players he wants.
Colin Glassar
133 Posted 08/07/2020 at 12:18:45
We have too many brain dead and cowardly players. Players who don’t know what to do with the ball and who are terrified of any sort of physical contact - I exclude our defenders and DCL from this group of losers.

Our priority must be to find MEN who know how to play football and don’t chicken out of tackles.

Barry Jones
134 Posted 08/07/2020 at 12:35:47
Gavin, intersting news about Brooks, so it may be a possibility to sign him, and yes I do rate Nathan Ake. We definitely need another CB to partner Holgate. I am still unsure about Keane and Mina. It would be sweet to pick up both players.
Sukhdev Sohal
135 Posted 08/07/2020 at 13:11:59
Our CBs are fine. Why would we get Ake when all our CBs are better bigger and stronger than him? He's massively overrated. We should prioritise a CDM like Sangare, a CM like Allan or Doucoure, and wingers like Federico Chiesa and ASM. These are the type of quality player we need. Not the fraud Iwobi (I never got fooled by him eveyone else did I watched him for 5 years and have never been impressed) and Sig and Gomes in the same team.
Sukhdev Sohal
136 Posted 08/07/2020 at 13:13:25
Also start Kean. Calvert-Lewin is not undroppable, especially in poor form, and Kean deserves a proper chance. Play Gordon and Sidibé on the wings.
Eddie Dunn
137 Posted 08/07/2020 at 13:48:25
One guy who catches my eye is Kyle Walker-Peters. I Know he is on loan at Southampton and may well return to Spurs but his performace against Man City was tremendous. It will be very interesting seeing him at Goodison on Thursday. Good speed, an attacking threat and he seems to be in the right place at the right time to thwart danger. A possible successor to Seamus?
Jamie Crowley
138 Posted 08/07/2020 at 14:42:42
Roman -

John is spot on for me.

You look at Chelsea for example. Mason Mount was given the keys to the car. He made tons of mistakes, but played through them. Pulisic (Baby Jesus) didn’t impress. Calls of overpaying and American-not-good-enough abounded. Frank stuck with him and now he looks like a world-beater. That Abraham kid is going throug a tough time. They aren’t throwing him out, they’re letting Giroud get more minutes while they work with a very talented youngster.

As an aside, us Americans, often having our opinions ignored or dismissed, could have told you how special Pulisic is. I digress.

The core of our team is good, and it is young. Very young. If we have any aspirations of improving, we actually need to commit to that core through sickness and health, poverty or wealth, till death do us part.

It’s time to make the jump to the youth. Carlo still had aspirations of top 7 so he was playing some of the older guys. That’ ain’t happening now.

I’m with Sir John 100% on the lineup and the approach. We have 5 games left, and I’d ride those kids the entire way until they drop dead of exhaustion.

Coleman. Keane. Holgate. Digne
Rich. Davies. Gomes. Gordon
Kean. DCL

Win or lose who gives a fuck any more. Get those kids the experience they need. Then buy a quality, quality CM and see where it all goes from there.

Jamie Crowley
139 Posted 08/07/2020 at 14:48:35
Another quick point.

We are just overpaying for players.

Why in the world do you pay 40 million for Gilfy Sigurdsson. Why? Especially when you had Ross Barkley?

We’ve spent some terrible money - just terrible - on players who are going to be past their prime, or don’t really help us that much.

Siggy, Theo, Iwobe (25 million!!!), etc.

I honestly believe we need to start to do what Brands has done, aside from Iwobe. Buy young, buy cheap. But the very best up and comers around the world and in the Championship and pay only 10 million or less. If you go big, go seriously big and pay 60-70 million for a proven player if you can afford it.

This mid-range, 25 to 40 million expenditure is getting us above average to average veterans and breaking the bank. It’s stupid.

Rob Halligan
140 Posted 08/07/2020 at 14:52:09
Jamie, the annoying thing with the Sigurdsson transfer, is that nobody else was in for him, yet we just paid whatever Swansea wanted for him. Why didn't we just hold out until nearer the end of the transfer window then say to Swansea, "here's £XXXM for him, take it or leave it!
Robert Tressell
141 Posted 08/07/2020 at 15:02:00
Holgate (1.84m) and Ake (1.8m) would be the shortest centre half pairing in the Prem by some distance, I expect. Holgate needs a more imposing partner to flourish. Gabriel Maghaeles, Salisu and other linked players are big lads...

We have overpaid, we have scouted and bought with little imagination. We have tried to improve by signing players who reached their ceiling at Swansea, Palace or Fenerbache or players who were on the way down after a big club. Recruitment is not rocket science but we failed in the basics.

Mike Doyle
142 Posted 08/07/2020 at 15:02:15
Jamie & Rob. Most of the amounts paid for players during the Walsh & Brands era has been staggering - and hard to understand the logic / rationale.
Cannot believe there are not players in the lower leagues who are better players - and better value - than the likes of Bolasie & Delph. In fact we know there are because teams like Leicester keep finding them (as did David Moyes).
Rennie Smith
143 Posted 08/07/2020 at 15:17:24
Carlo says Holgate is not fit to face Southampton, so ditch those ideas of him in centre-mid. The "great" news is Iwobi is fit! :-(
Rob Halligan
144 Posted 08/07/2020 at 15:20:32
True enough, Mike. The problem being when the selling club know who the buyer is (us, and they know we've got cash to splash), they usually inflate the price. We should just say no and walk away as we did with Zaha. Look at Newcastle with Carroll. No way was he worth £35M, but because it was the RS who wanted him, and Newcastle knowing the RS had just pocketed £50M from the sale of Torres, I bet they increased his price. I think, for now anyway, we have seen the last of these obscene transfer fees, as clubs just won't be able to afford them.
Trevor Peers
145 Posted 08/07/2020 at 15:27:42
Suggestions we have paid staggering amounts for our players is nonsense, to my mind we have bought average players for average prices resulting in average teams. If we truly wanted to compete for actual trophies we needed to be paying £70 to £100 million… Of course we are not in that league and are never likely to be.

Chelsea are reported to be paying £90 million for a player we've never heard of and don't blink an eyelid. The top clubs which we are no longer a member of, have spent much more than £45 Millon which is our record spend on players who have failed miserably. They are able to live with it and move on to the next player. That's why we remain mediocre, the only solution was to get Usmanov on board, but for some reason it hasn't happened, typical of Everton, another missed opportunity, gone.

Robert Tressell
146 Posted 08/07/2020 at 15:42:06
Leicester, Dortmund and Athletico Madrid have built sides capable of competing through a longer term strategy of youth development and well thought out acquisition. No fortunes spent there (apart from the odd bit of strategic reinvestment). They have to rebuild now and again so will have their highs and lows, but their lows are still generally higher than our heights.

For what we've paid, we are left with a side struggling to keep pace with Burnley, Palace and Sheff Utd. It would be nice to have a sugar daddy like Usmanov to buy the circa 5 first teamers we probably need but it is not essential.

Shane Corcoran
147 Posted 08/07/2020 at 15:46:02
Trevor, we bought Sigurdsson for 45m odd I think, when 45m was about the equivalent of, I would say, £ 75m today. That's a lot of money for an average 29 year old.

And regardless of how we rate them, the likes of Bolasie (27m in old money) don't contribute to the team at all for whatever reason. See also Klaasen who fits the same bill.

Danny Broderick
148 Posted 08/07/2020 at 15:50:40
I’m still furious with Sigurdsson in particular after that ‘performance’ 2 days ago. Our record signing, one of our top earners, and also a guy who wears the captain’s armband on occasion, did not break a sweat, and did not make a tackle in all the time he was on the pitch. I think he has given us 2 goals and 2 assists in 29 games this season. Enough is enough. He should be dropped immediately, and hopefully made available for transfer. It’s not just against Spurs - he offers nothing during play. He doesn’t tackle or head the ball. He doesn’t press. Even when he gets the ball, he gets rid of it straight away like it’s a hot potato. He doesn’t dictate play. An example must be made. Iwobi and Gomes must also be dropped, and made to understand that their performances were unacceptable.
Trevor Peers
149 Posted 08/07/2020 at 15:54:28
Shane in the same year we bought Siggy the record transfer fee that year was £198 million for Neymar !
Mike Doyle
150 Posted 08/07/2020 at 15:54:30
Shane - a pal of mine is a C Palace fan. Couldn’t believe that we - or anyone else - would have shelled out that amount on a player who wasn’t even a guaranteed starter with them.

Although the amount was smaller The one I still don’t get is Delph. Injury-prone and on the fringes of City’s squad. A relatively expensive down-grade On James McArthey.

Trevor Peers
151 Posted 08/07/2020 at 16:30:43
Shane #147.
There's no doubt we have bought shite, but we have never really spent staggering amounts and remember we received a fortune for the Lukaku and Stones transfers that's the real kick in the teeth.
Robert Tressell
152 Posted 08/07/2020 at 16:44:45
I think some of the criticism of Sigurdsson is unfair because he is being played in a very unfamiliar role. He's a very specialised player and is effective at the limited things he does well. See 13 goals 2018 / 19 in his correct position. As a holding / centre mid player in a 442 he is fairly crap and will surely not plsy there next season. But at the moment we're down to the bare bones. We can't just drop him. In fact his introduction steadied the ship at Norwich.
Sukhdev Sohal
153 Posted 08/07/2020 at 18:23:13
Robert I agree, but he needs a more powerful player next to him
Steve Shave
154 Posted 08/07/2020 at 18:56:04
Will we ever recover from the Koeman Walsh big summer blow out? The transfer strategy was fucking appalling, just appalling, a 10 year old could have thought it through better. I'm sorry for the language but when I watch Gylfi stink the gaff out week after week and watch us desperately try to shoe horn him into a system every week that ceases to function the second his name is on the team sheet, it makes my blood boil and I want to wipe the smug smile off Steve Walsh's face!!!! it's not Gylfi's fault, he's a 10 and can only play just behind the striker end of. This has probably been as miserable for him as it has been for us please Brands, cut your losses and sell. now! he could do a great job still if playing in a slower league and in his correct position. I wish him no Ill will, I just want to sell so we can buy 2 CM's which is what we need. rant over.
Brent Stephens
155 Posted 08/07/2020 at 19:02:25
Ironically, Koeman's best buy was Gana Gueye.

Onyekuru was the weirdest.

Steve Shave
156 Posted 08/07/2020 at 19:03:58
At least we doubled our money on Onyekuru. Good business. Yes, Gueye was a marvellous acquisition.
Steve Ferns
157 Posted 08/07/2020 at 19:04:24
Steve Walsh definitely gets the credit for Gueye. Leicester tried to sign him before us and he was a Kante alternative. He definitely gets the blame for onyekuru. However, he made us some money on that unusual transfer.
Roman Sidey
158 Posted 08/07/2020 at 19:56:33
Jamie, you're comparing Davies to the likes of Pulisic, Abraham and Mount. Yes, they've been entrusted by their manager, but they've also built a lot of their skills and enhanced their reputations in other leagues/divisions. Be it loans (Mount & Abraham) or coming in from the Bundesliga (increasingly becoming a more suitable development space for young talent), those three young players have come into the Premier League with more experience and knowledge.

Since Davies was 11 years old (half his life), all he's known is Everton Football Club. I love this club, but the last 11 years hasn't exactly been school of science stuff.

100 Premier League games for the same club and people are still unsure about your role or best position? Sorry, next.

Danny ONeill
159 Posted 08/07/2020 at 20:02:10
That transfer "strategy" was indeed bizarre Steve. I won't even try to analyse it as it was all over the place. My simplistic tongue in cheek view is that Koeman wanted Klaassen. Bill got all soppy about bringing "our Wayne" back and Walsh went after a few random targets that he thought would be good headlines. It was like they all went the shop without speaking with each other to agree on the shopping list. When they got back, we had 4 pints of milk when we only needed 1, 2 boxes of cornflakes when we didn't need any and no coffee even though we had run out.

Apologies for my rubbish attempt at humour, but I am in total agreement with you on that summer. What a shambles of a transfer "strategy" that we are still paying for.

Jerome Shields
160 Posted 08/07/2020 at 20:03:59
It's beginning to look like, to a certain extent, Silva selected players to be brought in by Brands that have added to our previous problem of ineffective players on more wages than they are worth.

It is going to take Ancelotti a while to sort things out.

Paul Tran
161 Posted 08/07/2020 at 20:24:58
It's all about who, or what, we haven't bought.

Where's the character, the winning mindset, in the players we've paid big money for?

Where's the midfielder who can dig in and run the game? Where are the midfielders with a track record of assists and goals?

Some of these expensive players may have worked if Koeman/Walsh had actually bought the striker and centre mid we needed, but they failed.

The one player who was a proper old pro who done it all and had nous (Barry) we let go. Christ knows why.

It's who/what we don't buy. That's what Carlo has to change.

Grant Rorrison
162 Posted 08/07/2020 at 20:30:54
Paul 161 said. "The one player who was a proper old pro who done it all and had nous (Barry) we let go. Christ knows why."

Wasn't he about 90?

Patrick McFarlane
163 Posted 08/07/2020 at 20:35:16
Danny #159,

So that's what a dog's breakfast consists of - I bet that's the last occasion that Moshiri allows anybody at Everton to use his credit card without his permission.

Tony Abrahams
164 Posted 08/07/2020 at 20:36:48
Fair point Rennie, but I think the last time a Moise Kean started a game was against Newcastle, and it was definitely his best game in a blue shirt.

Holgate is out anyway, so Gomes should partner Davies, but please put Richarlison on the wing!

Danny ONeill
165 Posted 08/07/2020 at 20:42:32
Paul: Grant picks up the obvious on Barry (!!!). As we have both agreed on other threads, one of the key problems with this team (in addition to the randomness of how they've been assembled), isn't just or necessarily about ability, it's winning mentality. In honesty, that has been a disease we've had stretching back decades. We have to fix the mentality throughout the club as much as we have to address the question of playing staff.
Danny ONeill
166 Posted 08/07/2020 at 21:10:25
As a previous poster mentioned (either on here or elsewhere), Tom Davies has made 100 appearances for Everton and many still want him to be given time. Within those 100 appearances I would wager he's accumulated way more minutes on the pitch in terms of percentage than Kean has in his 25. And he's started more; it's always more difficult as a player to come on as a sub in my experience.

He's moved to a foreign country at a very young age so will inevitably take time to settle. Let's pass on judgement for now until we see more of Moise Keane, which hopefully we will next season.

Jerome Shields
167 Posted 08/07/2020 at 22:20:59
Paul #161

Oh for a midfielder like Gareth Barry, if only we had Ancelotti when he was about. All the midfield players mentioned are not fit to clean his boots, except Gueye.

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