Everton vs Sheffield United

Friday, 20 September, 2019 140comments  |  Jump to last
Match Preview

News from Marco Silva's press conference is that André Gomes, who missed the Bournemouth game with a rib injury, is still ruled out

Everton are back at home this weekend hoping to use their Goodison Park fortress to get them back to winning ways against Sheffield United after last Sunday's huge disappointment at Bournemouth.

The Blues have now won six straight at home since March and will be hoping to see off the newly-promoted Blades and dispel some of the gloom that has set in after yet another failure in what was an eminently winnable game on the road.

Another three points at the Grand Old Lady would certainly help lift the mood but there's also a level of expectation that this talented but frustrating squad should win this one and that the real focus from the supporters' point of view is on the next two away games, at Sheffield Wednesday in the League Cup on Tuesday, and then at Burnley on 5th October and the clash with Manchester City in between.

Not that this test against Sheffield United will be routine in any way. For one thing, Everton didn't really perform at their best in either of their two home wins so far this season, edging Watford and Wolves by single goals; Chris Wilder's Blades, meanwhile, will be no pushovers as Chelsea and Bournemouth found out when they hosted them last month.

A late Kurt Zouma own goal earned them a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge while Billy Sharp's goal at the Vitality Stadium, also scored in the 88th minute, secured a point on the opening day. They come into this weekend two points behind Everton having conceded a one goal fewer in their opening five games back in the Premier League.

Wilder has earned kudos at Bramall Lane for leading United out of the League One and then into the top flight, not with an archetypal lower-division emphasis on brawn and direct football but a complicated system that involves fluid fullbacks and overlapping centre-halves that will require some preparation on the part of Marco Silva and his staff.

Whether Phil Jagielka plays as one of those unorthodox attacking defenders on his return to Goodison remains to be seen. The veteran has started just one match for Sheffield since returning to the club from which Everton signed him in 2007, the Carabao Cup win over Blackburn last month, and unless injuries dictate otherwise, he will likely be on the bench.

John Lundstram, on the other hand, could well be in the starting XI, playing a senior match at Goodison Park for the first time after he left the Toffees for Oxford United four years ago. He has already scored his first Premier League goal for the Blades and he will surely be itching to add to his tally against the club that groomed him at the Finch Farm academy.

Silva won't be taking his team's home record for granted but he will also know that he has the quality at his disposal to see off a side that lost their last match at home to Southampton last weekend. The intriguing part of it will be whether he makes any significant changes in the wake of the debacle at Bournemouth or whether he waits until the game against United's city rivals Wednesday in the Cup.

Certainly, there has been a lengthy post-mortem on the defeat to the Cherries by Blues fans since Sunday, with questions being raised about everything from the team's set-piece defending, the strength of certain players' places in the team, and the need for the manager to start taking a more imaginative approach to a system that is failing to consistently deliver results.

Perhaps most prominent among the personnel-related dilemmas are Gyfli Sigurdsson, and Dominic Calvert-Lewin, with the former struggling to create away from Goodison and the latter continuing to be a topic debate despite grabbing his first goal of the season last time out.

Sigurdsson's home form could see him keep his place this weekend and then sit out on Tuesday while the relative comfort of Goodison and the relative weakness on paper of the opposition might persuade Silva to reintroduce Moise Kean up front.

Morgan Schneiderlin's name has also come up for discussion in recent days, particularly given how Tom Davies appears to be out in the cold and the fact that André Gomes is unable to play because of a rib problem. There will be many who feel as though the young local lad is worth a shot in central midfield alongside the experienced head of Fabian Delph.

Regardless of what team the Portuguese does go for, the onus will be on Everton to take the game to Sheffield United and win it comfortably. Then Silva can switch focus to Hillsborough and a cup competition that has taken on added importance in the wake of the early stumbles in the league.

Kick-off: 3pm, Saturday, 21 September, 2019
Referee: Simon Hooper
Last Time: Everton 2-0 Sheffield United, October 2006

Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Coleman, Keane, Mina, Digne, Schneiderlin, Delph, Sigurdsson, Iwobi, Richarlison, Kean

Full coverage: ToffeeWeb Match Report page

Reader Comments (140)

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Tony Hill
1 Posted 20/09/2019 at 07:04:22
They did well at Chelsea and it will be tough. We have to win though.

I would play Sidibe, Davies and Bernard instead of Coleman, Schneiderlin and Sigurdsson.

We need to start to be braver.

Kunal Desai
2 Posted 20/09/2019 at 07:06:39
I imagine we'll dig out a narrow win here but it's the away form which is a real worry and a solution which Silva needs to find very quickly.
Annika Herbert
3 Posted 20/09/2019 at 07:30:10
Tony @1, I agree with those choices. Let's hope Silva goes with that line-up too.
Derek Knox
4 Posted 20/09/2019 at 07:41:24
Tony, good shout with those 3; Seamus has not been at his best this season, and I'm not sure if he will ever get back to being the Seamus we all love.

Sigurdsson has been disappointing for a while, but he is one of those players who may just have a blinder when we think he needs a rest (on the bench).

Bernard, another player who I think adds another dimension with his trickery, and combines well with Lucas Digne, although his only weaknesses if you like, are easily muscled off the ball, and should score more.

Having said that, Silva very rarely changes anything unless injuries dictate otherwise, so we will most probably see Lyndon's projected team starting, although I'm not sure he will have Kean on from the start, especially with Calvert-Lewin having scored last week and with him being a Sheffield lad and all that.

Hope Gomes is fit again, so there is no slot for Sch...… you know who, and Tom Davies on the bench, at least. I don't think these will be a push-over either; from what I have seen of them, they can hold up against most sides they've played so far.

Duncan McDine
5 Posted 20/09/2019 at 08:10:23
Win this one and we'll be in the hunt for the Champions League places... ah, wait now... no, it appears I'm talking bollocks again.
Jim Bennings
6 Posted 20/09/2019 at 08:37:14
Well, without hexing it, we should eek out a dour win tomorrow as usually at home we can do this.

Nevertheless a win merely papers over the cracks lets be honest, we won't get anything against Man City and after that it's back on the travel sickness pills to Burnley.

Still tomorrow must be won if only another step closer to 40 points.

Trevor Peers
7 Posted 20/09/2019 at 09:07:17
If the game at Bournemouth was about joining the elite, this game is about avoiding the drop zone or bottom six. I think Silva must change his tactics once again if we are to get the 3 points.

So far this season, Silva seems undecided about his best line up, so there's no way of predicting what team or tactics he will go with. Time will start running out for him if he gets this wrong; defeat is unthinkable as this a much more of a must-win game than last week – even a draw would be a big setback.

Jimmy Salt
8 Posted 20/09/2019 at 09:36:37
I agree with Tony @1, braver yes, but these players also need a kick up the arse. It's like some of them don't know we are out of pre-season yet.

You can't just think you'll win because you cost this much or you play for that international team. You have to put in the effort and desire. The top teams do it, week-in & week-out.

John Keating
9 Posted 20/09/2019 at 09:39:34
Regardless of the team he puts out, it will be the never-ending 4-2-3-1. Sheffield Utd are no mugs and will adapt, like all other teams, to Silva's system.

The issue is: Can Silva adapt during the game? Recent evidence says he can't or won't...

Lyndon's team — but Calvert-Lewin to start.

Dave Williams
10 Posted 20/09/2019 at 09:47:25
Tony's team for me at #1. I don't see the point of playing Sigurdsson just because he is better at home. We have to sort out a team that will perform anywhere and quite simply he hasn't performed since last season.

I arrive at around 1 pm with the West Country Blues coach if anyone is available for a beer?

Kevin Prytherch
11 Posted 20/09/2019 at 09:48:03
This is one of the games where we need to adapt and realise that 4-2-3-1 does not work against a team who will more than likely sit back.

I would try a 4-3-3 for this one. Have Delph sat deep in midfield with Davies and Gomes in front of him being the box to box midfielders. Kean up top with Richarlison and Iwobi playing more as inside forwards than wide players.

If we go a goal up and they start to come at us in the second half, that's when we revert back to the 4-2-3-1 that only works when teams attack us. If we are only one up and they start to look dangerous, that's when I would bring on Calvert-Lewin, Sigurdsson and Bernard as it will play to their strengths.

No doubt we will roll out the same tactics that have proven not to work time and time again.

Ajay Gopal
12 Posted 20/09/2019 at 10:07:09
Tony (#1), I agree with your changes, with one exception: I would bring Holgate in at right-back for Coleman. He is quick and strong and can bring the ball out from the back. A front 3 of Bernard, Iwobi and Richarlison.

Holgate Keane Mina Digne
Davies Delph Gomes
Richarlison Iwobi Bernard

Subs: Stekelenburg, Coleman, Schneiderlin, Sigurdsson, Calvert-Lewin, Kean, Tosun

Kelvin Thomas
13 Posted 20/09/2019 at 10:22:43
Last week was a very poor team performance. Defensive errors were at fault for all three goals.

Personally, I am not critical of two or three players the whole team thought they'd won before kick off!!

Go for the same team! Let them feel the pressure at Goodison Park tomorrow. The pressure they themselves have caused due to that performance last week!

If it wasn't for the errors we would have pulled off a good win and Calvert-Lewin would have done his job. Therefore stick with him this weekend.

If Gylfi isn't getting involved in the game tomorrow bring Kean on early to play alongside Calvert-Lewin.

Any news on Gomes?


Alan J Thompson
14 Posted 20/09/2019 at 10:30:29
I don't know what team Silva will put out as his logic tends to defy me but he has to start this game with a team that includes Bernard and sees Schneiderlin on the sofa with the bride watching the TV at home.

What price Jags to lead them out and flip the coin with Calvert-Lewin?

James Marshall
15 Posted 20/09/2019 at 10:52:16
Hoping Gomes is back, we miss him in my view. I just read they don't know when he will play again, though they also didn't say how bad his rib injury is.

Surely it's just bruising or something and he'll be back sooner rather than later.

As for the game tomorrow - Jeckyl & Hyde Everton so it could be 4-4, 0-0, 1-0, 0-1, 3-1, you name it, pick a score, stick a pin in it.

Kelvin Thomas
16 Posted 20/09/2019 at 11:28:22
I agree, James. Very difficult to predict. Even when we play well, somebody will be hell-bent on making an error!!

Pickford has been good recently, probably due a stinker!

Clive Rogers
17 Posted 20/09/2019 at 11:32:58
Silva must know this is a massive game for him. Not saying he will be sacked if he loses, but it will look bad and doubts will set in, including Mr Moshiri. Personally I can't be confident with a leaky back four, an insipid midfield and poor team selection and substitutions. Time for some changes.
Tony Everan
18 Posted 20/09/2019 at 11:36:51
Sheffield Utd will not give us any time on the ball, will close down push and foul. The referee will have a big role to play tomorrow as far as how much he lets these fouls go unpunished.

Sheffield Utd will be playing for free kicks and corners, they will be practicing scoring from set-pieces all week. We need to be 100% defensively ready for that, it doesn't take a footballing Einstein to know what they will be trying.

I think we need to exploit them with pace that they cannot handle.

The very young forward line of - Richarlison - Calvert-Lewin - Kean, I like.

Also I think that Moise Kean could be, at this stage, be more better utilised coming from a wide position. When he has some space he is direct and dangerous. He is getting crowded out and out-muscled of it at the moment at No 9. He has great skill and pace, that would strike fear from a wide position.

Sam Hoare
19 Posted 20/09/2019 at 11:46:33
How about making us more dynamic in the middle by bringing Iwobi into the centre and putting Sigurdsson on the right-wing where his crossing, pressing, intelligence and two footed-shooting will come into play against a team that will sit deeper.

Coleman Keane Mina Digne
Gomes Delph Iwobi
Sigurdsson Kean Richarlison

That way we have Iwobi and Gomes's ball-carrying threat through the middle plus Gylfi crossing it from the right for Richarlison to nod it in! If Sigurdsson is having another quiet day then put on Bernard or even Calvert-Lewin (who looked good in his wing cameo recently).

Tony Everan
20 Posted 20/09/2019 at 11:53:31
Also, It is the type of game that Bernard could make all the difference. He has the creativity that will lead to an assist and the trickery to leave Sheffield Utd's defenders on their arses.

Where he fits into the shape, you tell me...

A midfield of Iwobi Gomes Delph Bernard

and give Richarlison and Kean free roles up-front??

Brian Murray
21 Posted 20/09/2019 at 11:55:22
The most damning moment, even more than the two totally gifted defeats, is Silvas demeanour at Bournemouth when the third went in. In short, he doesn't believe in himself to motivate or game change quick enough.

Regardless of tomorrow's result it won't be him leading us to Bramley-Moore Dock. Or even past Xmas. Sad but true.

Not sad for him with yet another obscene pay off but sad for the generations of fans who have never seen us succeed. Or hardly win a derby!

James Lauwervine
22 Posted 20/09/2019 at 12:14:36
These are not to be underestimated. They're a strong side and play some excellent football, all overseen by a clever manager. They were very unlucky to lose last week and have had some decent results this season already.

I'll be very happy if we manage to beat them, partly because I work with a big fan of theirs so next Monday would be amusing.

Justin Doone
23 Posted 20/09/2019 at 12:53:28
As long as it's not proceeded by 'over', we're at home and should be confident. We have to put in the performance first, not talk, imagine or believe 3 points are already in the bag.

I watched a fair bit of Sheffield Utd last season and they played good football and Wilder is doing a good job. It won't be an easy game. I don't know why Dowell didn't stay for another loan this season but his loss.

Our team and balance isn't yet right and, along with individual (mainly defensive) errors, we have given away to many cheap goals and opportunities.

On Silva, he's got to do more, demand more and change things before it's too late.

Aston Villa spent a lot of money buying half a new team and have had only several weeks together. Yet they look like a team. They know their positions and what's expected of each player and are focused and determined.

What has Silva achieved after 15 months? We play better football (not hard after Sam Allardyce) but he seems unable to get his players to perform how he wants.

I'm not saying we will finish below Villa but sometimes keeping things simple or playing to players strengths is advantageous to keeping the same struggling tactics and formation.

I hope Silva does quickly learn and help improve results quickly. We are defensively slow and weak and that needs addressing. Keeping a full-back back may help.

Matthew Williams
24 Posted 20/09/2019 at 13:30:49
We'll edge this one (couldn't resist), but it's our away form that is my only main concern. Unless it improves we simply can't win anything in the future!
Kieran Kinsella
25 Posted 20/09/2019 at 13:56:06
I see us losing 1-3. Set pieces. I'm sorry folks but I have foreseen it in the force.
Jamie Evans
26 Posted 20/09/2019 at 13:59:05
Lyndon's predicted team is usually pretty close but I personally hope it's miles away this week as only changing 1 player (the player who scored, I might add) sends out the wrong message for me. It basically rewards under-performance and after last week's debacle things need to be shaken up.

Nobody is undroppable, even our Captain and our record signing.

The centre-backs survive by the skin of their teeth, mainly due to our lack of options in this area and Bernard, (who can consider himself very unlucky at being out of the team in the first place) needs to be recalled.

Forecast looks great for tomorrow. Something special about a Saturday 3pm kick-off in the sunshine at our place.

Full support. Onwards Evertonians.

Steve Ferns
27 Posted 20/09/2019 at 14:05:08
Silva just confirmed Gomes is out. I hope he "rests" Sigurdsson and gives him a chance to sort himself out. He's been well below par and we do not tend to play well unless he plays well. Dropping him would allow others to shine. It would also allow Silva to play his preferred 4-3-3 formation. I would hope he goes with the following:

Coleman Holegate Mina Digne
Davies Schneiderlin Delph
Richarlison Calvert-Lewin Iwobi

I know most of you would like to see Schniederlin dropped but without Gbamin and Gomes there is no way we can leave Schneiderlin out. There's certainly no way Silva will leave him out. I know some all calling for Bernard, and I could see him in for Sigurdsson and Iwobi moved into Sigurdsson's position but that then has to be 4-2-3-1.

I would also give Calvert-Lewin 60 minutes, and no more, to go full gas on the Sheff Utd players and tire them out before sending Kean on for the last 30 minutes.

It would also be great to see young Gordon sat on the bench and get 10 minutes or so.

Dennis Stevens
28 Posted 20/09/2019 at 14:22:39
Steve #27,

When I mentioned Silva's supposed preference for 4-3-3 in the "Rolls-Royce" thread, I was somewhat admonished in response:

"And please can we stop saying that Silva prefers 4-3-3 when he has, to my memory, not played this formation even once."

So, perhaps he's gone off it?!

Steve Ferns
29 Posted 20/09/2019 at 14:51:05
Dennis, he has played it in more than 50% of his career. People only look to Everton and not beyond.

There is one reason and one reason only we persist with 4-2-3-1 and that reason's name is Gylfi Sigurdsson. He cannot play in any position other than behind the striker. He was poor at left-wing in his first season for us. He has been pushed deeper a couple of times but drifts up the pitch to where he wants to be. Quite simply, he will gravitate towards that position so you may as well build around it. Which means a 4-2-3-1.

If Gylfi gets injured and Marco then plays 4-2-3-1 regardless then fine. Clearly he doesn't want to play the formation any more. When he arrived he talked about 4-3-3 and one holding midfielder and that this was his preference.

Jamie Crowley
30 Posted 20/09/2019 at 15:13:08
Well, we're at home, so Silva will leave out Schneiderlin and play more bravely.

On the road, he's more cautious and looks to protect. We'll be more forward-thinking at Goodison, so it should be fun to watch.

3-1 Blues.

Why is every week a "must-win"? Doesn't it seem that way? Crazy.

Jay Harris
31 Posted 20/09/2019 at 15:14:56
Gomes is out and Sheff Utd are a very physical team especially in midfield.

I would let Siggy sit the first half out until we get control of the game with Davies, Schneiderlin and Delph with Richarlison and Iwobi really pushing up the pitch.

We cant let sentiment come into this one and for that reason Kean has to start to lead the line more regularly.

I see a very tough and frustrating game so hope the crowd are patient and get behind the team. A win here is so important going into the Man City game.

Jamie Crowley
32 Posted 20/09/2019 at 15:17:44
Coleman Keane Mina Digne
Delph Davies
Iwobe Sigurdsson Richarlison
Steve Ferns
33 Posted 20/09/2019 at 15:20:09
Jamie, how can you play more bravely and leave out Schneiderlin? There's no Gbamin or Gomes. So, if you want to leave out Schneiderlin, then you're playing exactly the same way but with Tom Davies there. So that's hardly braver.

We had a ridiculously high line against Bournemouth. I think we were too brave. It was a risky strategy and the risk backfired when they scored two in quick succession at a point when we had been in control.

Silva could quite rightly point to being in control, but that's a crap argument when you play so recklessly with a high line like that. But, you must play a high-line like we did if you want to press the way we did and get the results we were getting (ie, forcing Bournemouth to repeatedly cough up possession). We were leaving our backdoor unlocked and with no real pace at the back.

Jamie Crowley
34 Posted 20/09/2019 at 15:21:34
Finally, I'd give an arm and a leg to see Bernard start at No 10 in place of Sigurdsson, but it'll never happen.

Silva don't do that!

Jamie Crowley
35 Posted 20/09/2019 at 15:23:04

Here's what I see.

I see Schneiderlin anchoring the back line in Silva's eyes. He plays him when he feels he can't really go for it.

By definition, you're playing more bravely if you leave Scheiderlin out. ;0)

Jamie Crowley
36 Posted 20/09/2019 at 15:24:38
With Delph and Davies in midfield, we're miles better off protecting our back line in my opinion, as opposed to playing Morgan Schneiderlin.

And Davies can also get forward a bit. Delph naturally stays home more and can cover if Tom roams forward.

That's what I see. I could be wrong.

Steve Ferns
37 Posted 20/09/2019 at 15:30:01
I disagree, Jamie, you need balance and Schneiderlin provides it. There's extended highlights of the Everton Bournemouth game on our YouTube channel. I suggest you have another look at the game now the dust has settled and the anger has subsided somewhat.

What you will surely see is how high up the pitch we are at the start of the game. Also, look at how compact we are. There's very little room between our lines. The attack races forwards and then presses and then comes the midfield and the defence is pressing right up behind them. When Bournemouth get a foot in and tackles us the next line was in place to contest the ball.

Silva's plan, if anything, was too brave. For an away game anyway, and especially considering the fact that Bournemouth had pace to hurt us on the counter. I thought Mina coped quite well until they got the decisive goal. But it's a risky strategy that could so easily backfire. We cannot make a mistake – otherwise the opposition are through on goal and simply lob the keeper.

I like the high pressing game, it's great to see. Don't get me wrong, but I just don't think we have enough quality to capitalise in attack and we're too slow in defence. I'd prefer a counter-attacking game.

However, Sheff Utd are not going to attack us at Goodison and allow to play on the counter. So we have to go with a possession game. This means playing the pressing game once more, and playing that high line.

Brave tactics bordering on reckless.

Steve Ferns
38 Posted 20/09/2019 at 15:38:46
Jamie, with a 4-2-3-1 you have three lines of players. As the game stretches and the formation becomes less compact, a gap can emerge between the midfield two and the midfield three. If the wingers drift wide to the touchline, then the number 10 (Sigurdsson) becomes very isolated. He's then very easily marked out of the game. I think this has been happening.

When the team that Michael does not want to be mentioned on this website press, and sorry we have to refer to them as the best pressers in the league, if not Europe, then you see 3 lines rather than 4. When they are in possession and camped on the edge of the box, they don't have a Number 10 who is easily marked. Their centre-forward drops into this position pulling defenders with him. The wingers are coming in off the flanks, dragging defenders with them and the fullbacks are racing forwards into space.

Without Gylfi, we have an extra man deeper on the pitch to allow Richarlison and Bernard / Iwobi into the box, and then Digne and Coleman to stretch the opposition. You then have three central midfielders, one of who can make a late run, one can be a square pass and one would presumably be on the ball.

I think the 4-3-3 if we utilise Gbamin (if he's as good as promised), Delph, and Gomes in the midfield 3 can really work for us. Helping us move the ball quickly and more effectively and allowing Richarlison and Iwobi to get into more dangerous positions.

Iain Latchford
39 Posted 20/09/2019 at 15:40:57
Steve (29). I mostly agree with what you say on here, but don't agree that Sigurdsson is incapable of playing deeper. He's an experienced professional footballer and should able to follow instructions from the manager. If he's told to sit deeper, he should do exactly that.
Tony Everan
40 Posted 20/09/2019 at 15:44:22
I know every game is a potential turning point to some extent, but tomorrow is a massive game for Marco Silva. Expectations are high and the fans tomorrow will be expecting a win and an improvement in all positions after last week's embarrassing display.

Beat the 2 Sheffields in the next 4 days, the doubters will be silenced for a bit and we can build a strong season from those results.

Coleman Keane Mina Digne
Iwobi Delph Bernard
Kean Calvert-Lewin Richarlison

Go for it for a change, so what if we let in 2, we will score 4 or 5. Let's have some fun in the sun tomorrow.

Steve Ferns
41 Posted 20/09/2019 at 15:49:44
Yes, he should, Iain. But, whenever I have seen him, he's been incapable of doing that. Perhaps it's having had a free role in the 10 slot for so long that caused that.

Paulo Fonseca's Shaktar played a 4-2-3-1 with effectively 3 no10s. In other words what Koeman was trying to do. Bernard was on the left of the midfield three and he linked well with the others and swapped positions, but generally he was able to hold that position left of centre, moving into the channel.

Sigurdsson couldn't play that position for us, he seemed lost and confused. Now perhaps that's another failure of Koeman, the great communicator. But surely an experienced and talented player like Sigurdsson could understand what was being said? Instead, he kept drifting into the middle and tripping over Rooney and Klaassen.

I think he also played one game as a proper central midfielder and again he drifted forwards, gravitating to where he wanted to be.He just seems to lack that discipline.

Also there's his tackling. It's one thing to press and harry, even to nick the ball off someone's boot, but it's a completely different skill to be in the middle and battling and scrapping away for the full game. I don't see that in him.

I just do not see a player capable of playing as a central or defensive midfielder. I see a player who can pick a pass, can score from 40 yards, and can turn a game on its head from nowhere. He can do it all single-handed too.

And that's the problem with Sigurdsson. It's a big risk leaving him out. The plan without him could backfire and then you've not got his individual brilliance on the pitch to just slam it home with a quick turn and shot from 40 yards.

Steve Ferns
42 Posted 20/09/2019 at 15:55:16
Tony, I don't think the doubters would be silenced... even if we won both games 4-0 and played like Brazil. If we go down with a credible performance but defeated to Man City, then it's still all bubbling under the surface. We need to beat Burnley away to quiet the doubts, and then comes games against Brighton and West Ham.

I think the doubters would only be silenced if we beat both Sheffield clubs, and win two of West Ham, Brighton and Burnley. I think any less than 10 points from the next 5 games would be disappointing.

Iain Latchford
43 Posted 20/09/2019 at 15:58:48
It's a tricky one with the injuries we've got at the moment (Gomes and Gbamin). Seems that if we want to play 4-3-3 we're going to have a £45m player (who's probably worth less than half of that now), on circa £150k per week, sitting on the bench.
Trevor Peers
44 Posted 20/09/2019 at 16:02:54
Everton's team v Wolves:

1 Pickford
23 Coleman
5 Keane
13 Mina
12 Digne
21 André Gomes - Schniedelin or Davies
8 Delph
7 Richarlison
10 G Sigurdsson
17 Iwobi
27 Kean

I would imagine Silva will go with this team minus Gomes tomorrow, I see that as a 4-3-3 formation and we played quite well and won. Why he changed tactics for the Bournemouth game is anyone's guess but change it he did and we lost. It gives us the best chance of a win on Saturday. The squad we have isn't great, simple as that.

Steve Ferns
45 Posted 20/09/2019 at 16:04:41
I think so Iain. But let's remember Gylfi is the wrong side of 30 now. He never gets injured but they'll start to catch up with him soon. It's injury that gets you, not age.
Kieran Kinsella
46 Posted 20/09/2019 at 16:28:20
I see us losing this for several reasons.

One, Sheff Utd to use a Martinez word have a "swagger" about them. They were applauded off the field when they lost the other week but their coach tore into them and said fans shouldn't be happy merely with effort in a loss. Unlike Holloway and Moyes, Wilder hasn't adopted the "we are in a relegation battle. It will be a miracle if we survive" mantra. Rightly or wrongly he is of the opinion that they are used to winning and they plan to continue. You could see that mentality in the games versus Chelsea and Bournemouth when other teams would have laid down and died.

Secondly, they are seriously dangerous on set pieces which just happens to be our Achilles heel.

Thirdly, they have an inform midfielder named John Lundstram who may just have a point to prove to the Everton punters.

Fourthly, we see a team shot of confidence and in disarray with no imagination and no "plan B" from the coach.

All things considered, I see us losing 1-3.

John Pierce
47 Posted 20/09/2019 at 16:48:44
I saw this game as a difficult one a week or so ago. Casting my eye towards the Blades' performances, bizarrely despite how I feel about Silva, more confident.

They haven't sat back in their games asking an opponent to break them down, which is one of Silva's failings in his tenure, they've decided wins are more important than draws. Eddie Howe is of the same hue. Draws get you nothing.

Perhaps they might sit back, but unlikely, so we should have the space to create opportunities. Unlike Bournemouth, they don't have the pace to trouble as much as Wilson and Co.

As forecast the high line we play with Mina and Keane is too much for them and we are easily exposed by pace.

I'd ask Silva to be bold; he won't. My desire to watch the team will ebb further and I think we'll win by the odd goal. Big deal.

The team sadly do no look empowered to play with the shackles off against dross like this. Yet I'm sure the following weekend we'll play well against Man City, maybe even get a result and that will piss me off more.

A manager and a team than can get up for the champions but cannot get a decent haul from six very winnable games.

Say it all. I'm very despondent about my Blues.

Dermot Byrne
48 Posted 20/09/2019 at 16:49:39
Kieran: shit that is well argued.

Even as a guy who expects world peace and the collapse of the current PM tomorrow, it is your point about Plan B that strikes me as v true.

I can predict every attack we do it seems and my tarot card skills are hardly legendary in the spiritual market!

Can we ever attack down the middle rather the constant attempt to resurrect the BaInes-Pienaar era? It is one option that exchange between two players down the wing but surely not the only one.

That is my biggest worry and seems to have been same for ages.

Still, who knows? Word is Trump is taking Koran studies!

Philip Abbott
49 Posted 20/09/2019 at 17:21:57
John Keating
50 Posted 20/09/2019 at 17:26:49
Amazing really. New season, new buzz word: 'Doubters'.

Last season we had 'White-flag wavers' and 'un-Evertonian'.

any people had doubts about Silva when he was signed up, for various reasons. Only the most ardent of Silva supporters, and their number seems to have dwindled, broach absolutely no adverse comment on Silva's job so far.

I think supporters have every right to have doubts about Silva cos, let's be honest, he's not exactly set the world alight – especially after all the high praise he was getting in certain quarters prior to joining.

Personally, I doubt the doubters will be silenced if we best the mighty Sheff Utd, Burnley and Brighton. They might have been if we'd beaten the mighty Palace, Villa and Bournemouth.

Like the acolytes, I think the doubters will be around a while yet…

Dennis Stevens
51 Posted 20/09/2019 at 17:33:46
If we are to continue to play this high line, Holgate has to come in for Keane, imo.
Terry Farrell
52 Posted 20/09/2019 at 17:40:04
Steve forgot the balance: Morgan was poor last week, giving away petulant fouls and second to the second balls. It's high time Tom Davies starts and alongside Delph will impose himself. Really hope this happens. Everton 3 Sheffield Utd 1
Christy Ring
53 Posted 20/09/2019 at 17:42:59
Steve @33,

I have to disagree with your over-dependence on Schneiderlin. You say Silva was too brave at Bournemouth, we had two defensive midfielders, and it still didn't work.

We're playing Sheffield at home, play Delph defensively with Davies as attacking midfielder, and either start with Calvert-Lewin and Kean together, which he probably won't do, play Bernard instead of Sigurdsson.

He says the players are hurting, because of our poor away form, and let's not forget, we lost to Villa and Bournemouth, not a top 6/7 team, so he should be livid, and let a few of them hurt on the bench, because his tried and trusted aren't working.

Mike Gaynes
54 Posted 20/09/2019 at 17:45:13
Steve #41, gotta agree with Iain. Gylfi would be fine as a deep-lying midfielder -- he was our third-leading tackler last season with 55, much better than Gomes with fewer fouls -- and his go-forward instinct would be an advantage in the box-to-box role. Nothing would make me happier right now than to see him in Schneiderlin's place in front of the back four.

By the way, guess who's our leading tackler this season -- by far??

Richarlison. 18. That's double anybody else on the club.

Mike Gaynes
55 Posted 20/09/2019 at 17:56:22
And actually that's a pretty harrowing indictment of our midfield defensive play thus far.
Jay Harris
56 Posted 20/09/2019 at 18:01:14

I disagree with you on the Bournemouth game.

The only goal that was conceded due to the high press is their third goal and that was when we were chasing the game and heads had dropped.

The first two were down to poor organisation from dead balls – something that has plagued us for years – and a stupid error of judgement by Delph to block with his left instead of his right foot.

Other than that, I am pleased to see us higher up the pitch and amongst the leading teams for pressing.

Steve Ferns
57 Posted 20/09/2019 at 18:06:32
Jay, the first goal was not organisational. Richarlison is beat at the near post then Calvert-Lewin at the far post and then Keane in the middle. We lost three consecutive duels to concede that first goal.

All of the goals were down to player error. Delph with the second and the pair of centre backs for the third. The high line didn't cost us but it was reckless with our lack of pace at the back and it worries me.

Jay Harris
58 Posted 20/09/2019 at 18:08:59
I also have to say I am disappointed about making Schneiderlin the scapegoat for our losses.

It wasn't him who stupidly stuck a left foot out instead of a right boot to give them a goal.

It wasn't him who let Callum Wilson dart behind our two centre-backs who were holding hands on the right touchline.

Schneiderlin unlike Delph was spraying accurate passes all over the pitch.

Now don't get me wrong: I can't wait for Gbamin to get fit and take Schneiderlin's place but, for now, let's stop making the lad a scapegoat when he clearly isn't the worst player on the pitch.

Terry Farrell
59 Posted 20/09/2019 at 18:14:18
Jay, you make some valid points but Morgan is a passive player and Gbamin is months off being fit. We are at home against a team we should beat so play Davies, who is all heart and soul and progressive. It's obvious to me.
David Currie
60 Posted 20/09/2019 at 18:37:08
Would like to see Holgate play with Mina. Keane and Mina together is a big problem. Also play Kean as the striker he needs a run of games.
Christy Ring
61 Posted 20/09/2019 at 18:41:45
Jay @58, Not been picky, but if you remember Richarlison's foul on King, which led to Delph's stupid left foot effort. Have a look at Schneiderlin's shocking attempt of a tackle before the foul, he never even got near King.
John Keating
62 Posted 20/09/2019 at 18:48:09
If we had a top bunch of players, like Man City and those who we can't mention, we wouldn't be having these conversations: unfortunately we don't.

When we look at the Catterick era, Kendall, even Moyes, we had leaders and winners on the pitch. And if the players didn't sort it out, those managers would.

I look at this squad and see nobody. Maybe Delph will step up? Even when Kenny was playing when Coleman was out, he wasn't afraid to bollock the so-called senior pros.

We really need some players to step up as quite obviously Silva is no Catterick or Kendall and can't motivate himself.

Jim Marray
63 Posted 20/09/2019 at 18:51:59
I didn't see the game last week but was able to hear one person on the radio ask why despite Bournemouth playing two young full-backs, one of whom Richarlison was roasting every time, Everton insisted on playing through the middle. Sounds symptomatic of Silva's naivety to me.

I look forward to a win tomorrow maybe by one goal, but the reality is we will struggle if we continue to play out from the back with the speed of a tortoise. Most of the goals we have scored came from quick decisive breaks, Bernard's goal being an excellent example.

I also want to see more crosses into the box and passes to players making a run. My biggest fear is that Kean will not deliver what we want because we continue to create too few chances.

Mike Gaynes
64 Posted 20/09/2019 at 19:14:29
Christy #61, spot on, glad you noticed that too. If Schneiderlin even fouls King farther upfield, the chance never happens.

But Jay, you're right, he was having a better-than-usual day passing the ball.

Steve #57, sorry, but when you're the worst team in the Prem on set pieces, at some point you have to stop blaming the players. Silva's defensive system is simply not putting the players in a position to succeed against free kicks and corners. It's been a problem since Day 1 of his tenure and it has not improved one iota since then. Whether it's a bad system or just a good one that the players can't execute, it needs changing. And he won't.

Steve Ferns
65 Posted 20/09/2019 at 19:42:51
Mike, that could have been man for man. Richarlison was beaten, then Calvert-Lewin and Wilson got last two to score. Nothing Silva can do about that except put someone else on the near post.

Tim Cahill said he was near post on corners (zonal marking) under Moyes. He'd head everything away and it would have to go over his head for the corner to succeed.

Richarlison should have had that. It doesn't matter the system. He missed the near post header. Calvert-Lewin has his feet planted and didn't react, long got it across and Keane should have cleared it but Wilson was quicker.

We got beat in three duels there. Nothing you can do about that. The men were in the right places to deal with it. They didn't.

Steve Ferns
66 Posted 20/09/2019 at 19:48:19
I agree on Schneiderlin too. I thought he had a better game up until the second goal. He was at fault for that silly lunge. His passing was much better. It was sharper and it was quicker. He was not going for the 5-yard pass but hitting it out to the flanks. I thought he was having one of his better games. And I think he's been on a run of improving form for a while now. I'd argue this is as good as he's been.

It's still not great from Morgan. He should have done much better with the lunge. He had another wild lunge not long after. He should show leadership at his age instead his is one of the first heads down. The guy is obviously fragile.

I hope Gbamin takes his place, but until then I think Morgan is in his best form for a while and was far from our worst player on the pitch. That honour went to our captain for me. Yet another poor performance. Yet another game where he lacked leadership. His passing is too safe and stops counter attacks. He doesn't get back, at one point he's walking back instead of racing when he's badly out of position. I'd like to see what sidibe can do. Give Delph the armband too.

Dave Abrahams
67 Posted 20/09/2019 at 19:51:31
Christy @61, if Schneiderlin had got near him, he'd have been sent off, on the floor again with his attempted tackle. Maybe he wanted to get sent off, he's done that stupid sort of tackle a couple of times before and paid the price, or the team and the fans have.
Steve Carse
68 Posted 20/09/2019 at 19:56:23
Steve (65), Calvert-Lewin didn't react because he never once glanced around to see who was behind him.
Annika Herbert
69 Posted 20/09/2019 at 21:30:03
Mike @54,

Sigurdsson simply hasn't got the pace to be a deep-lying midfielder, he has one position and that is the Number 10. He has never been a box-to-box midfielder and I don't think he can become one now.

It's true that Gomes is also on the slow side, but I believe he is still quicker than Sigurdsson. I do agree about Schneiderlin though, I would prefer to see him left out completely.

Tony Abrahams
71 Posted 20/09/2019 at 21:40:56
Anyone who has ever played central midfield will tell you that they wouldn't want to be playing next to Schneiderlin.

I know I support Everton but, depending on my mood, if I saw the team-sheet at 2:15 pm tomorrow and Morgan is starting, then it's quite possible that I could give the game a swerve, such is my exasperation at having to endure watching someone who looks like he doesn't want to be at the ground, never mind on the actual pitch.

Possibly a bad thing to say, especially because the team needs the fans tomorrow, but I'm sure I'm not alone when I echo my true sentiments.

Bill Gienapp
72 Posted 20/09/2019 at 22:30:55
I noticed that too, Christy (61). I don't think Schneiderlin was that bad on the whole, but because he whiffed on that tackle, Richarlison had to bring King down in a dangerous area and Bournemouth took the lead on the ensuing free kick. The entire match effectively turned on that moment. Fine margins, as they say.
Eric Paul
73 Posted 20/09/2019 at 23:00:39
Care to explain why anyone who has played midfield wouldn't want to play next to Schneiderlin. I think he is being prejudged on matters at finch farm and not on the pitch where he is by far not our worst player this season, that accolade is reserved for our central defenders or record signings you choose.
Andrew Keatley
74 Posted 20/09/2019 at 23:21:44
Seeing Schneiderlin in the team is always a worry for me. I don't think I've ever seen him sprint. Has anyone? Genuine question. I don't know if he's just so slow that when he's flat out it just looks like anyone else at 75%, or if he has a long-standing injury that makes sprinting difficult or impossible. The weak and hopeful non-tackle on King (referred to above) laid bare the fact that Schneiderlin struggles when under that sort of pressure against opponents with pace.

Having said that, I thought he largely accounted for himself fairly well last Sunday – certainly better than a lot of his team-mates - and without Gomes and Gbamin he may well start against a Sheffield United side that possibly lack that out and out pace themselves.

Steve (38) – "Jamie, with a 4-2-3-1 you have three lines of players." No, you don't; you have four lines. And when it comes to pressing, you press dependant on how the opposition line up - so that could be 3 lines, or 4 lines (or waves), or whatever. You generally see three lines when "the other lot" press because they actually are set up to play 4-3-3 – so it's their default. I've said it before and I'll say it again – you're overly concerned with the mechanical nature of formations – which is probably why you're such a fan of Silva, as he clearly is too!

Jay Harris
75 Posted 20/09/2019 at 23:39:30
I played mf at a decent level and I would have no problem playing alongside Schneiderlin on current form.
I agree Gbamin ( and Gueye) are better options but Schneiderlin did a much better job than Delph in our last game and I feel he is being made the scapegoat while people wax lyrical about Delph being made captain. I am sure a number of players who were told they were shit last week would have something to say about that and if it was me I would give him a smack after the game.
Personally speaking I have felt our MF has been on of the weakest links for years with no bite no energy and no goals contributed.
This is compounded by Silva's insistence on 4-2-3-1 and given how poor our defenders and number 9 options are explains why we can't score goals and leak so many. Our spine apart from the gk is one of the weakest in the Premier.
Dick Fearon
76 Posted 20/09/2019 at 23:51:34
Of all the Managers in the world, how did we end up with Silva.

His failed yet unchangeable game plan of down the wing and bang it over is a throwback to the '70s. To have any hope of success it needs a good central striker. Therein lies our main problem.

Defeat today could result in Play it again Sam.

Chris Hockenhull
77 Posted 21/09/2019 at 00:16:29
So there we have it. Jay Harris is the missing link...already to slot into place alongside Morgan go on my son Marcel?. sign him now before PSG get wind😁😁
Derek Knox
78 Posted 21/09/2019 at 00:31:32
Chris, if PSG get wind, there's always Rennies and Gripe Water. 😂😁
Mike Gaynes
79 Posted 21/09/2019 at 01:24:12
Jay, your contract is in the mail and your salary has been ring-fenced.

Just please make sure you mark somebody on corner kicks.

John Pierce
80 Posted 21/09/2019 at 03:51:25
Schneiderlin was absolutely at fault. He shouldn't have even committed at all. Despite the pace difference if he stays with the player it allows others to funnel back. Doing so crowds the player out, and the desperate tackle from Richarlison.

The corner, well, all three players have been in the side under Silva for months, so whichever way you cut it, Silva has take it on chin that we are still vulnerable here.

His system, his players, his coaching.

Bobby Mallon
81 Posted 21/09/2019 at 05:45:41
Just play with 2 forwards, 4 midfielders and 4 defenders. Have plenty of shots and defend as a whole unit... simple.

Pickford, Coleman, Keane, Mina, Digne. Iwobi, Davies, Sigurdsson, Bernard, Richarlison, Kean.

Ivan Varghese
82 Posted 21/09/2019 at 06:18:23
Don't know which Everton would turn up tomorrow.
Derek Knox
83 Posted 21/09/2019 at 07:58:37
Enjoyed a day yesterday, at the first TW Golf Day at Frodsham Golf Club, and naturally we all talked about the game today, and tried to predict a score.

I have never known a group of normally optimistic supporters, including myself in that by the way, be so hesitant to predict a decent score. Such is the mood of late, and with a decent fixture list, and better players added in the Summer, this should not have been the case.

I think the only thing that swayed it, was the fact we are at home in the end, that the majority went for a narrow margin of victory, with few goals scored by either team.

Meanwhile the mighty Bournemouth have usurped our hypothetical third slot, before last week's disappointing result, which ironically was against them!

Tony Everan
84 Posted 21/09/2019 at 08:04:24
Bobby #81

That team would do for me, and would be a positive one. Too hot for Sheffield to handle at our place.

The stats for Richie's tackling also lend favour to the midfield being strengthened as he flits in and out of it when necessary.

I would like Richarlison and Kean to play up front together as a team. I think that is where have real class and the required step up in quality. A nightmare of pace and ability for defences.

I want both be given free roles to get between defenders and make dangerous runs through the channels.

Andrew Clare
85 Posted 21/09/2019 at 08:10:36
Bernard must play. He is the key that unlocks the door. The rest just try to batter the door down.
John Keating
86 Posted 21/09/2019 at 08:12:09
Tony agree
It would be great to see our team at home against someone like Sheff Utd go 442 with attacking players given license to alternate positions and not stick ridgedly to a set plan

Unfortunately it appears so far that Silva is incapable of having such thoughts
Similarly the master tacticians on here will give you a hundred reasons why this can't work, including, it's apparently outdated and no modern manager would think of 442.
Actually because everyone thinks its impossible to play that might be a reason to try it!

Tony Abrahams
87 Posted 21/09/2019 at 08:24:19
It's easy to explain Eric, he just gives you the ball and then stands still. He never shows if his mate is under pressure, and you never see him driving to get others to play, which is what any decent midfielder should be trying to do.

I think it's no coincidence that both Gomes, and Delph, have both lost their heads playing alongside Schniederlin, and this can only be because he offers nothing. It wasn't like this when he first came because I was very impressed with him, especially the way he used to retrieve so many balls on the blind side of his opponent, (this is what only clever midfielders do?) but for the last 18 months, I find him very, very, very fuckin painful to watch.

Derek Knox
88 Posted 21/09/2019 at 08:27:19
Sort of following on from my previous post, prompted by the other recent posts, we all discussed this lone striker formation which clearly doesn't work, so why does he persist in employing it?

He (Silva) needs to adapt to the pressures of the Premier League, and also to adapt the team, that is best to resist and overpower the opposition, whoever they happen to be.

Tony Abrahams
89 Posted 21/09/2019 at 09:16:24
I hate negativity, especially on the day of a game because I'm a great believer in a united force. I want the players to work their socks off for the team, because this ignites the crowd, and Everton don't lose many when they have got the crowd right behind them.

Snides does the opposite imo, but if he plays and puts a real shift in, (what's a real shift then!?) then it won't be a problem, but until Everton get players who really want to die for the shirt, then the longest barren spell in our history is only going to get longer.

Silva didn't help himself "sulking on the sidelines" last week, but just maybe it was a message to Brands and Moshiri? I agree with you about the centre backs Eric, how can you play a high pressing game, with no pace at the back, and I will be very surprised and also disappointed if Holgate, isn't given another go soon.

Anyway, who wants to read shite off me, it's a Saturday home game and hopefully the legend that is George Mckane, can hopefully come and lighten up the mood soon!

John Keating
90 Posted 21/09/2019 at 09:46:41
We are sometimes doom and gloom right up to getting in the ground
As you know as it gets closer to kick off the only thought is how many we're going to win by!

Mind you that might only last 5 minutes!

Me personally I have never left early regardless of the score
Save my bitching until the ale house after the whistle

Derek Knox
91 Posted 21/09/2019 at 09:47:42
Tony mate, "Silva didn't help himself "sulking on the sidelines" last week, but just maybe it was a message to Brands and Moshiri? "

How could he be so stupid if that was the case? We were on Television, millions would have seen it, the players will have noticed, the fans will most probably have seen it, depending on where they were in the ground, but more importantly the opposition would have seen it.

Immediate boost to them, we've got these on the ropes, the Manager hasn't exactly thrown the towel in, but his expression signalled the inevitable defeat which was to become reality. Could you name me one Premiership Manager who would do the same?

Come on George, cheer us up!

James Hughes
92 Posted 21/09/2019 at 09:59:32
It would be nice if we could return to the form we showed at the end of last season or even 50% of that form. The level of performance last week was woeful and all the players should have wages docked.

We will beat The blades today but I am looking for a performance to get the crowd going and to give us some hope. COYB

John Keating
93 Posted 21/09/2019 at 10:04:59
We were led to believe Silva was a great one for preparation and sussing out the opposition. God only knows where we'd be if he wasn't

One thing we can for sure say is that Silva is not a motivator, either player or self. Far too nice to be a serial winner.

Sam Hoare
94 Posted 21/09/2019 at 10:06:56
Really hoping we'll see something better/different today. I've not really seen us convince in any one match (including pre-season) since last year. Not quite solved the balance yet and predictably Gueye and Zouma (our two most athletic central players) are being missed.

I hoped we would improve after the international break but alas. I still worry that the makeup of the squad is not right. We look more threatening going forwards with Kean and Iwobi especially helpful but definitely less secure defensively.

A win today would likely have us in the top 6/7 but I'd really like to see a confident, controlled performance too. I hope Silva might try out the 433 but if we do stick 4231 I expect Siggy to get more joy behind the wing backs as he did vs Wolves.

I'm hoping for 3-1 but fear a late equaliser from Sheffield, maybe even worse if they go ahead.

Brian Porter
95 Posted 21/09/2019 at 10:10:05
If Silva sticks with DCL instead of bringing Kean back, I really will be in total despair.
I think most of us agree by now that Silva has no plan B, and his substitutions are more reactive than proactive, are usually like for like with no tactical thought behind them and usually take place about ten minutes too late.
As they usually include bringing Walcott on, he simply doesn't inspire confidence in the fans, nor I suspect, in the team. His performance in the dugout last week was the knell of doom for Silva, as far as I'm concerned.
Fran Mitchell
96 Posted 21/09/2019 at 10:17:29
Huge game, we need more than just a result, we need to see a performance that suggests the team is developing.

DCL or Kean.
Schneiderlin or Davies.
Coleman or Sibide.

The rest of the team is pretty much as is, maybe the only point for discussion could be Siggy's position. Personally, at home, he has to play. It is when we are away from home that I feel he get dropped (imo, for Davies).

Pat Kelly
97 Posted 21/09/2019 at 10:18:41
If they can't muster a win today they may as well give up. Although where a goal may come from is anyone's guess. Hopefully we'll see Kean start and DCL holding up the bench. But we know Silva won't change a losing side.
Neil Wood
98 Posted 21/09/2019 at 10:21:11
Team today


Richarlison, Walcott, Bernard, Iwobi
Tosun, Niasse, Sigurdsson, Digne
Kean, DCL

Just attack attack attack !!!!!

Neil Wood
99 Posted 21/09/2019 at 10:32:46
Joking apart - I am not going to predict a team as I usually end up disappointed and frustrated.

I will however fly the flag for playing Kean and DCL up front as I think they both have different qualities and they could form a formidable partnership.

I would also strongly consider Bernard in the 10 role with Iwobi taking his place on the left (Or Richarlison left and Iwobi right )

Gary Willock
100 Posted 21/09/2019 at 10:36:30
We really need to try something new, and not the same predictable 4-2-3-1, particularly so if Gomes is out, as we just don't have the quality in the ‘two'.

Would love to see:

Sidibe Keane Mina Digne
Davies Delph Bernard
Siggy Kean Richie

Couple of U23's need to start being given a go on the bench in place of the deadwood. Would also like to see Tosun given a go again too.

Fingers crossed, we need the points today.

Derek Knox
101 Posted 21/09/2019 at 10:37:03
John Keating, good point made, how many others are thinking the same?

When I saw the fixture list for this new season, and with the players we have brought in, it is not a Fantasy Island scenario to have believed that we could been up there with Liverpool on equal points. (maybe not the goal difference)

"One thing we can for sure say is that Silva is not a motivator," I think he has unfortunately proved that, but is displaying that he is possibly a word beginning with 'm' and ending in ator! 😂🤔

Fran Mitchell
102 Posted 21/09/2019 at 10:43:02
Neil, curious as to how you would set up that team with both DCL and Kean, plus both Iwobi and Richarlison, plus Bernard in the no10.

4-1-1- 4: quite the adventurous side there I have to say.

George McKane
103 Posted 21/09/2019 at 10:44:20
I have just had a little walk around the top floor of my house here in New Brighton - - getting myself ready and into the groove for the game today - - posted a little Live video on The dark House Blues FB - - had a look down The River - - the late summer sun shining on The Mersey - - Turneresque - - or maybe a Whistler Nocturn - - or even a Sisley - - Monet - - whatever it is it fills me with A Sense OF Wonder - - there is beauty here - - beauty in everything - - if we look - - sitting at my desk - - bit of Nick Drake in the background for now - - sombre but beautiful and uplifting for all its sadness - - - shades of William Blake:

“I never felt magic crazy as this
I never saw moons knew the meaning of the sea
I never held emotion in the palm of my hand
Or felt sweet breezes in the top of a tree
But now you're here
Brighten my northern sky.
I've been a long time that I'm waiting
Been a long that I'm blown
I've been a long time that I've wandered
Through the people I have known
Oh, if you would and you could
Straighten my new mind's eye.
Would you love me for my money
Would you love me for my head
Would you love me through the winter
Would you love me 'til I'm dead
Oh, if you would and you could
Come blow your horn on high.”

- - Judee Sill just come on my playlist - - - just floating up into The Blue for a moment - - OK back now.

Beatles now - - “Oh that magic feeling - - - ahhhaaa:

“One sweet dream
Pick up the bags and get in the limousine
Soon we'll be away from here
Step on the gas and wipe that tear away
One sweet dream came true today
Came true today
Came true today (yes, it did)
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven
All good children go to Heaven”

I am a person who doesn't do what I am told to do - - do not do things “because” - - if I do not see the point I will change direction - - - so my thoughts on matchdays are always about being an Evertonian - - I do not wish to write about the players/manager/the tactics/ the game/win/lose/draw - - this is the factual Everton - - - I will discuss all this when I get to The Dark house - - for 3 hours before the game and late into the evening hours - -with Fellow Travellers - - my posso waves are about BEING AN EVERTONIAN - - the holistic concept of loving something - - being disappointed sometimes - - fed up - - bored - - frustrated - - - BUT - - would any of us change it - - of course not - - Born Blue - - Always Blue - - it is the (w)holistic package - - getting up - - looking out of the window - - The River - -The Sky - - The Roofs - - sitting at my desk - - Favourite Music - - - Poetry - - Postcards and Posters on The Walls - - opening my heart and soul - - letting out the neggo waves - - getting myself filled with the Spirit - - Pause:

Helpless -- Neil Young - - wonderous - -

“And in my mind
I still need a place to go
All my changes were there
Blue, blue windows behind the stars
Yellow moon on the rise
Big birds flying across the sky
Throwing shadows on our eyes
Leave us”

And now Stringman - -

“You can say the soul is gone
And close another door
Just be sure
That yours is not the one”

Let your Soul and Spirit Fly
The Mystic

Just got my Harmonica out and had a blow - - there you go - -

Otherwise there is no point going to the game - - watching the match - - talking negative energy to these events that we all love - - - of course I can write pages about my disappointment - - about how poor this player is - - how badly we played - - but there are enough people filling pages on TW about that - - no complaints from me about those posts - - but for me I need to go to forward always with a positive hopeful feel - -no matter what - - the sheer joy and pleasure of getting up on Saturday morning knowing it is a 3-00pm KO - - Joy of Joys - - the excitement - - pleasure - - expectancy - - knowing I will walk along Scotland Road - - my eye's not seeing the post Tunnel World but the memories of my youth - - Friday Night Pub Crawls - - Greatie Market - - down towards The Dark House - - past Whittle Street - - 33 bus to Cardinal Godfrey - - The Dockers Bus - - upstairs like a steam room full of smoke and a cacophony of coughing and spitting - - wonderful - - full of wit - - spit - - and humour - - always being late and running for the bus and jumping on the platform at the back - - walking home from school - - saving bus fare for sweets - - talking football - - me and Lenny Mc Cluskey - - A Red - - Peter Walsh - - Another Red - - in the days when it wasn't bitter - - Bansie Curran - - a Blue like me - - still see Frankie Jones at The Park End:

Now hang on gang - - take a few minutes out - - The Impressions - - It's Allright:
“Say it's all right, it's all right
Say it's all right, it's all right
It's all right, have a good time
'Cause it's all right, whoa, it's all right
We're gonna move it slow
When lights are low
When you move it slow, it sounds like more
And it's all right, whoa, it's all right
Now listen to the beat
Kinda pat your feet
You've got soul and everybody knows
That it's all right, whoa, it's all right
When you wake up early in the morning
Feelin' sad like so many of us do
Hum a little soul, make life your goal
And surely something's got to come to you
And say it's all right
Say it's all right
It's all right, have a good time
'Cause it's all right, whoa, it's all right
Now everybody clap your hands
Give yourself a chance
You got soul and everybody knows
That it's all right, whoa, it's all right”

See now how the world feels a bit better - - say It's All Right - - Sunday Night at The CI - - Mohair Suit - - Barbara - - a really cool dancer and - - Carol in her Mary Quant paisley dress - - really cool :

So that's what I do about “going” to the game - - getting ready for the match - - getting myself into the mood - - Zipping Up My Boots - - Getting Back to My Roots – don't carry no neggos with me - - why should I - - in a few hours I will be sitting in The Dark House surrounded by friendship - - warmth - - (yes) love - - - a warm Blue glow - - talking football - - last week -- next week - - today's game - - the score - - scorers - - “did you see…..” - - no mention of “those” - - just Blue thoughts - - Blue Dreams and Visions – Mick The Bookie brings in my 4-0 Betting slip - - once the gang are in - -Gaffer, Paul, Mick, Liam and Helen - - doing the “coupon” - -knowing that we never ever get it right - -but do we love doing it - - of course we do:

Stop a minute gang - - steady now - - let Van float all over you for a moment:

“Take me back, take me way, way, way back
On Hyndford Street
Where you could feel the silence at half past eleven
On long summer nights
As the wireless played Radio Luxembourg
And the voices whispered across Beechie River
In the quietness as we sank into restful slumber in the silence
And carried on dreaming, in God
And walks up Cherry Valley from North Road Bridge, railway line
On sunny summer afternoons
Picking apples from the side of the tracks
That spilled over from the gardens of the houses on Cyprus Avenue
Watching the moth catcher working the floodlights in the evenings
And meeting down by the pylons
Playing round Mrs. Kelly's lamp
Going out to Holywood on the bus
And walking from the end of the lines to the seaside
Stopping at Fusco's for ice cream
In the days before rock 'n' roll
Hyndford Street, Abetta Parade
Orangefield, St. Donard's Church
Sunday six-bells, and in between the silence there was conversation
And laughter, and music and singing, and shivers up the back of the neck
And tuning in to Luxembourg late at night
And jazz and blues records during the day
Also Debussy on the third program
Early mornings when contemplation was best
Going up the Castlereagh hills
And the cregagh glens in summer and coming back
To Hyndford Street, feeling wondrous and lit up inside
With a sense of everlasting life
And reading Mr. Jelly Roll and Big Bill Broonzy
And "Really The Blues" by "Mezz" Mezzrow
And "Dharma Bums" by Jack Kerouac
Over and over again
And voices echoing late at night over Beechie River
And it's always being now, and it's always being now
It's always now
Can you feel the silence?
On Hyndford Street where you could feel the silence
At half past eleven on long summer nights
As the wireless played Radio Luxembourg
And the voices whispered across Beechie River
And in the quietness we sank into restful slumber in silence
And carried on dreaming in God.”

I deny anyone not to be lifted - - raised up - - close your eyes and feel the astral - - it's wondrous and Bluetiful - - this is my match preparation - - - of course as Gaffer says “ and then the footie got in the way” - - but it's The Blue That Binds Us - - - Van:

“And the music on the radio, and the music on the radio
Has so much soul, has so much soul
And you listen, in the night time
While we're still and quiet
And you look out on the water
And the big ships, and the big boats
Came on sailing by, by, by, by
And you felt so good, and I felt so good
I felt I want to blow my harmonica
Take me back, there, take me way back there
Take me back, take me back, take me back
Take me way, way, way back, way back
To when, when I understood
When I understood the light, when I understood the light
In the golden afternoon, in the golden afternoon
In the golden afternoon, in the golden afternoon
In the golden afternoon when we sat and listened to Sonny Boy blow
In the golden afternoon when
We sat and let Sonny Boy, blow, blow his harp”

Just had a quick blow of my Harp - - - and the music on the radio - - has so much soul - - and you listen - -It Felt So good - - and It Felt So Good.

Never Take Medicine For Other People's Sicknesses.

And we all shine on like the soon and the moon and we all shine on and on - - on and on and on.

See you all in The Dark House - - keep those cosmic grooves going - - - look up -- feel good - -everything felt - - everything felt - - everything felt so right and so good- - so right and so good - - and so good.

Keep cool - - keep cosmic and forever keep Blue - - - George

Raymond Fox
105 Posted 21/09/2019 at 11:06:28
We are 4/6 to win this game, which looks about right I'd say.

Problem is we simply don't score enough to be overly confident of a good result, although I feel that we will give someone a drubbing in the near future if our new signings play to their potential.

Today !, I think we will win a tightish game with a little to spare in the end, here's hoping so anyway.

Brian Harrison
106 Posted 21/09/2019 at 11:18:53
I thought when we sold Gueye we would have a serious problem replacing him and sadly thats how its turned out. We have nobody at the club who has the energy and pace in midfield that he had, while not being the most gifted in the way of making or scoring goals what he gave to the team was hard to replace.

I don't know what side Silva will pick but their performance levels need to improve, although we beat Wolves in an exciting game, for long periods the result was in doubt. Same against Watford who spurned 2 great chances to equalise. So I am hoping for a more dominant performance today, as so far we haven't really played well at home and I wont comment on our away performances.

I know some have criticized Silva for his body language against Bournemouth, but I think he was just as frustrated as we were. To be honest I have never been keen on managers who stand on the sidelines screaming from the start to the end. I didnt see Clough or Paisley running around screaming yet you couldnt say there sides lacked passion. What they do on the training ground is the most important not their demeanour on the touchline.

Steavey Buckley
107 Posted 21/09/2019 at 11:19:01
Everton have played against 5 moderate teams this season and struggled against all of them. The 2 teams Everton have beaten so far this season, Watford and Wolves, were at home and bottom of the PL. The main reason why Everton are struggling this season because there are no regular goal scorers.

In every away game, Everton have struggled to put even the easiest chance into the back of the net. All the goal scorers listed on the Everton's books are not really goal scorers because they all struggle to score even the easiest chance. Ultimately, the manager is responsible for this situation because he can't find any regular goal scorers to buy or loan or nurture those already on Everton's books.

Rob Hooton
108 Posted 21/09/2019 at 11:21:11
Is it just me or have we now been playing the same formation for the last 15 years without ever deviating from it? 4-2-3-1 (or basically 4-5-1).
It's almost as if it is part of the managers contract!
If anything else is played today then I'll be majorly surprised
Joe McMahon
109 Posted 21/09/2019 at 11:25:35
Rob, we have. One of the many of the reasons we have never won anything.

I wonder if when David Moyes dies his gravestone will just read here lies 4-5-1.

Rob Hooton
110 Posted 21/09/2019 at 11:31:43
Joe, it's no wonder all of our strikers have struggled to bang them in (Lukaku apart) as they tend to be lacking support and having to chase a lot of shadows.
As somebody mentioned above I think DCL and Kean could really work well together, Dom is great in the air and it would be nice to see it tried here and there in games, Lincoln would have been a great place to try it.
Being so rigid makes it easier for teams to prepare for games against us too.
Think we will still win today, 3-1 for me
Dave O\'Connell
111 Posted 21/09/2019 at 11:31:54
A win and a good display to make up for last week dreadful performance
Neil Wood
112 Posted 21/09/2019 at 11:35:57
I am a massive advocate of 4-4-2 and don't think it is used enough... As long as it's not ''hoof ball'' and you play football with this system it works.

I have no objection to differing formations and altering these dependant on who you play etc... however managers seem to avoid 4-4-2 at all costs and I have no idea why.

We have the players for this system and it actually probably suits the players we do have better.

Kean would be a great foil for DCL and provide that extra support often lacking up top. DCL wins so many headers for him to feed off and can also hold the ball up better than many other premier league strikers.

Despite DCL's goal scoring issues, I am sure if he scored 10 this season but his partner Kean scored 18-20 we would all be happy.

And Sigurdsson. I have again banged this drum previously only to be shot down by his goal tally etc etc.. but he is simply not creative enough and I would have Bernard playing a floating 10 role.

Robert Williams
113 Posted 21/09/2019 at 11:55:03
103 - What a load of cobblers
Peter Mills
114 Posted 21/09/2019 at 12:01:38
Gutted to be missing the match today.

In support of George, and everyone else going to Goodison, I hope on the 21st day of September, hearts will be ringing, in the key that our souls are singing, chasing the clouds away.

Steve Ferns
115 Posted 21/09/2019 at 12:03:53
Neil 442 is outdated I'm afraid. You end up effectively a man down. You can make it work if you play defensively like Burnley. No doubt about that. You can make it work if you tinker with the shape. However the old fashioned 442 with two banks of four and two up top simply doesn't work. You end up needing to drop one of the strikers a bit deeper. This then becomes a 4411. Now you will need to push your wingers on just a bit to support the lone striker but set your midfielders back a bit for balance. Wait that's 4231. You see 4231 is the natural progression of 442. You are just trying to get as many players close to the ball as you can.

There's been a massive change in football over the last 20 years or so. Footballers are so fit now. They're all athletes and can run great distances during the 90 minutes. So tactics have evolved to become more and more compact. Get all the players to defend and attack. Squash those lines. Deny the opposition space.

I think the 4231 has had its day though. Maybe we'll see a return to more 442 type formations but not the traditional shape. Silva used an interesting 442 that looked like a 4132 at Estoril and Hull. The strikers were wingers and would split into the flanks. The middle of the 3 would then get forwards into the vacated space, arriving late, and causing havoc. It was a defensive but counter-attacking formation designed for taking down superior sides. I'm surprised he's not used it against the likes of city. Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin would play the forwards roll well. We just lack a pacy midfielder to burst forwards into the box.

Steve Ferns
116 Posted 21/09/2019 at 12:14:42
John keating, how can you be sure is not a motivator? Have you been down to the training or do you speak to the players? If not it's a guess, assumption or an opinion. You cannot be sure.

John, you do the comparison table. Can you confirm whether Everton are ahead or behind on last season? Do your own figures indicate progress?

We are TWO points up on last season. That's 0.4 per game and would get us to around 65 points.

Now I'm not saying we're doing well, it's just we haven't reversed enough of last season's bad results. We should be on 10 points at least. Not 7. We also have some big results from the end of last season to maintain to stay on target.

Enjoy the game blues. I think silva will get a reaction because he is a good motivator and the players respond well to him.

Dave Abrahams
117 Posted 21/09/2019 at 12:16:43
George (103)thanks for that, love when you go back to the fifties and sixties when the world seemed to be a better place, most probably was, Scottie Road with all the shops and pubs same as Greatie ( Great Homer St.) lovely days bringing lovely memories, spoiled when ‘ you know who' came into my head, I hope he's not playing today but most probably will be, I've just threw him to the back of my mind.

Brian (106), you might not have seen Paisley running around on the touchline but Brian Clough most certainly did, wit his sleeves pushed up above his elbows yelling out orders to the team, running on the pitch after one game and clouting a Forest supporter around the head, for which he was later fined by the FA, but they were excellent managers who knew thegame inside out and had more than one plan for their teams.

Annika Herbert
118 Posted 21/09/2019 at 12:29:19
Neil@112, I am in full agreement with you regarding Sigurdsson and have been saying exactly the same for months now. In fact I was totally against him being signed. Same as you though, I was shot down due to his goals and his creative genius lol!!!
Tony Abrahams
119 Posted 21/09/2019 at 12:32:32
Beautiful George, I just hope the game is half as good as your post amigo!
Jay Harris
120 Posted 21/09/2019 at 12:39:48
Brilliant mate.
Just what we all needed to lighten the mood and stop depression setting in.

You almost inspired me to get my boots out at 68 years of age and demand Silva plays me alongside Schneiderlin. I would certainly kick one or two if I could catch them.

Great grooves George keep me coming till 5.00 when we can hopefully have an enjoyable Saturday night pint.

Neil Copeland
121 Posted 21/09/2019 at 12:43:38
As an aside (sort of), when was the last time we played both Sheffield teams in the same week?

Our results thus far at home have been better than against the same opponents last season. There is every reason to be optimistic when playing at home, our recent record is top equal to the RS over the same number of fixtures.

Home form is not the problem, our away form stinks and needs drastic improvement. However, today we are at home and therefore should be positive regardless of the opposition.

Kevin Prytherch
122 Posted 21/09/2019 at 12:56:10
I would go with 4-3-3 today based on how Sheff Utd are going to play.

They have 3 centre backs, of which the wide centre backs are encouraged to break forward and support the wing backs. The midfield provide the cover when this happens.

I believe that by keeping Richarlison and Iwobi up front with less defensive responsibility we will force Sheff Utd's centre backs and wing backs into the back foot and help nullify their threat. They will then either take risks in playing their natural game leaving space at the back for us to break when we get the ball, or they will defend deeper and offer less attacking threat.

The conundrum is, if they do the latter I believe that Kean will be better up top, if they do the former, I believe DCL will be better up top.

Paul Tran
123 Posted 21/09/2019 at 13:12:20
Dave, they were brilliant man-managers as well as shrewd tacticians with an eye for a player.
John Pierce
124 Posted 21/09/2019 at 13:13:42
I see Marco is gobbing off about the fans, he thinks 7pts is okay, oh Marco lad. Stick to sorting your tactics out.
James Hughes
125 Posted 21/09/2019 at 13:21:51
George #103 many thamks for that I share your sentiments about what a being a blue is. Hope you have a great day and your bet comes in

robert #113 the only cobblers was your post

Steve Ferns
126 Posted 21/09/2019 at 13:30:30
Not what he said at all John. What's wrong with you these days? You're out of touch on your side of the Atlantic. Positive atmosphere inside the ground today. Like it or not.
John Keating
127 Posted 21/09/2019 at 13:31:17
I haven't been down to Finch Farm to see Silvas motivational skills or nit
His non motivational skills is purely my opinion
Just like almost everything you write is your opinion.
I know it is almost impossible for you to see any faults whatsoever in Silva but if you truly believe Silva is a motivator of players based on his and their efforts since he arrived then theres nothing more I can say regarding the matter
Steve Ferns
128 Posted 21/09/2019 at 13:32:33
Of course it's opinions, John. Enjoy the game.
Dave Abrahams
129 Posted 21/09/2019 at 13:33:10
Jay (120), 68 years of age? That wouldn't stop me from picking you, but if you suffer from high blood pressure I wouldn't consider you, your blood pressure would go through the roof playing alongside that lazy Frenchman!!! I hope you enjoy a nice victory pint or two tonight.
John Keating
130 Posted 21/09/2019 at 13:46:26
Thanks Steve,

Having a couple of beers before watching.

Fingers crossed for a good performance and more importantly, 3 points.

Steve Ferns
131 Posted 21/09/2019 at 13:48:57
John, I'm enjoying a drink inside the ground. Nice day for it. It'll be hot down on the pitch.

Leicester, although losing, are looking quite good here.

Kieran Kinsella
132 Posted 21/09/2019 at 13:52:04

Didn't see him slate the fans but he did alude to some kind of David Icke media conspiracy. Weirdly he also said championship contenders are being praised for having 7 or 8 points. Not sure what papers he reads but Arsenal, Utd and Spurs are getting slated daily

John Pierce
133 Posted 21/09/2019 at 13:54:16
Steve, you miss the point. He should keep his counsel off the back of a very indifferent start. He's trying to justify it, because a team who might be champion only has eight points. You know that run of fixtures should have yielded a much better return.

All those quotes do is antagonize people.

The fact he feels the need to make comments is a tacit indicator he knows it's not good enough. Actions not words, Steve.

He's had a generous year of transition, but little evolution. It's time for him to be brave and stop being so conservative, drop players out of form (eg; he looks scared to drop Siggy because he has only one scorer, Richarlison, left on the pitch) and be dynamic tactically. That was his USP. Where's the innovation? I haven't enjoyed one game yet this season. I'm see a team scared of their own shadow.

What's wrong with me? Well truth be told a lot mate, Everton has driven me crazy. It was only a matter of time.

The last five years have been an utter waste, We all seen much worse but we all knew it. You can make peace with bad sides who try. We've wasted so much resources and gone nowhere.

I used to be the most patient of Blues, but no longer.

Steve Ferns
134 Posted 21/09/2019 at 13:58:59
You blatantly said: “Silva has been gobbing off at the fans”. He was talking about the media. You used this to suit your agenda of constantly sniping at the guy.
Steve Ferns
135 Posted 21/09/2019 at 14:05:35
Coleman Keane Mina Digne
Schneiderlin Delph
Richarlison Sigurdsson Bernard

Dermot Byrne
136 Posted 21/09/2019 at 14:12:45
On the whole, good team. We can argue about one or two selections but this should be good enough to win.

For me, please stay on your feel Richarlison unless in box and no chance to score. Don't fall over every time.

And the rest spot runs and pass to them quickly rather than sideways passes. Especially to Kean.

And play fast and take risks in attack.

And take throw ins v quickly.

And SCORE early, before half time, just after HT and in injury time to make us relax.

And don't concede.

And all fans cheer like maniacs for all of the 90 mins as if it is the title decider.

And. !

Steve Ferns
137 Posted 21/09/2019 at 14:14:24
Leicester are looking like the team we want to be. I don't like Brenda but he's doing a fantastic job there.
Jay Wood

138 Posted 21/09/2019 at 14:23:01
No starting XI will universally please all Evertonians, but the changes he has made will please some who called for them.

I fully understand that he has retained the defence and midfield given the alternatives. Interesting that Iwobi - who has started well - has been sacrificed for Bernard, who - other than his goal v Watford - has not hit the levels of last season.

Tactical, or based on this week's training at FF? In the 8 minute training video put up on the club site this week (admittedly, very limited evidence) you could hear Silva constantly barking what was good, what was bad. And Bernard was doing some pretty good stuff, including shooting!

I didn't see anyone comment on it last week, but after half-time Iwobi deliberately played much more centrally with Sigurdson dropping deeper. Iwobi did well, but on evidence thus far you have a more than even chance of winning a 50-50, even a 60-40 ball in his favour. He doesn't seem to fancy close combat. Is that one of the reasons he has made way against the more rugged Blades?

Maybe Silva is hoping for a revival of last season's Digne-Bernard blend to keep the Blades' raiding defenders 'at home'. If the Siggy-Richie combo can click as it did at the end of last season AND Kean starts integrating better, it could be a fun watch.

But our one-paced midfield and defence still appears to be are weak spot.

Dermot Byrne
139 Posted 21/09/2019 at 14:26:18
I wonder could an Everton manager have an idea of a two half strategy and make a sub at half time? Iwobi.

Please please not after we go one down at 70 mins.

If that happens I may do something rash (tbc)

Paul Smith
140 Posted 21/09/2019 at 14:26:56
Would have preferred Brenda to Marco. Not arsed about the Liverpool link, he's decent.

Today should be a win if Evertons pattern is maintained.

Sam Hoare
141 Posted 21/09/2019 at 14:31:38
Same old 4231. Having said that I think it will work better today than against Bournemouth. Expect to see Sigurdsson drifting out to the right in the space behind wing backs. What odds on Bernard scoring a header?!
Brian Hennessy
142 Posted 21/09/2019 at 16:50:50
I wanted Silva to succeed at Everton but he has now proven time after time that he is clueless.

Moshiri has backed him with money, Brands has cleared much of the deadwood and brought in good players, but Silva continues to make us go backwards.

Please sack this clown tonight.

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